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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

673 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 673
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 28
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Duhast500 on 02-24-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 673 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewskifan55
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark brown with a tan, half finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. Some lacing.

S: Malts, smoky peat, leather

T: Intense! Heavy duty malts with a smoky overture. Caramel. Sweet. A dry, chocolate finish. Alcohol slowly invades, dulling the senses.

M: Heavy, creamy. Good carbonation; lots of bubbles playing bagpipes on my tongue.

O: Sip it and be wowed! Would go well with a cigar. Decent with cheddar. A memorable drink.

brewskifan55, May 12, 2012
Photo of gustogasmic
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic Scotch-ale features. Very good.

Appearance is quintessential scotch ale- very dark, not cloudy. Head disappears quickly. The smell is full molasses and suggests a sweetness. Tastes just the same- molasses overload, and a little sweetness that leads to a good roasty malt taste. The balance is awesome and the booze is all-but-invisible. The mouthfeel is awesome- fat and sticky. Nice warmer @ 10%. It's just what I expected. If you're looking for a readily-vailable Scotch ale with an especially big kick, this is a solid one.

gustogasmic, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of JamesMN
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to find any date on this one, which is odd for a Samuel Adams product.

Appearance: Dark murky brown with a thin tan head that's left some lacing. Not the prettiest of beers.

Aroma: Raisin, caramel, brown sugar, and liqueur. Robust with dark fruits.

Taste: First sip reveals a malt punch to the palate full of hearty caramelized fruit flavors. The first half continues this trend without getting too sweet and then the hops come out lending moderate bitterness which works well to complement the malt character. The flavor is pretty deep but not overly complex. Finish is smooth with an immediate nail polish remover tinge from the 10% ABV but it's quickly covered up by the signature smoked flavor of peat malt. The flavor goes on for a while in the aftertaste with dark malt contributing hazelnut coffee and toffee to the experience. Decently impressed with this one.

Mouthfeel: Full to almost thick in body with a syrupy nature about it. Good carbonation that keeps things from getting too heavy and an ease of drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'd heard good things about the Sam Adams Imperial series and it seems I heard right. There's a lot to like about this beer. Well done. Would I drink it again? Yes.

JamesMN, Jul 31, 2013
Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A fingers worth of slightly dense moderately creamy light tan colored froth... Slight retention gives way to thick collar and mostly full lacing... A medium-to-dark brown color with a slight chilled haze... Some sluggish carbonation can be seen climbing towards to the top of the glass...

S - Malt forward, but still rather subdued... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... Some dark fruits... Slightly muddled, yet very nice... Just wish this one had a little more umph to it... It should be noted that the booze rises to the forefront as this one warms slightly...

T - Dark fruits... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... A hint of smoke... Some very subtle coffee undertones...

M - Ultra dense... Medium to full bodied... Nicely carbonation... Slightly creamy... Slightly velvety... A bit a of chalky burnt texture... A touch of a dry finish... Very nice...

D - A definite sipper of a Wee Heavy... The 10% ABV packs a pretty good punch... Slightly above average with a stellar mouthfeel...

philbe311, May 03, 2011
Photo of Greywulfken
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown pour looks black in the glass, brief head thins to a collar

S: slightly smoky malt, brown sugary sweet

T: caramels and brown sugar, mild smoke, maybe a hint of peat on the back-end

M: full, lush, thick

O: being compared to Skullsplitter and Backwoods Bastard is not easy, and this style of beer reminds me of some barleywines, too (of which I've had my share of exceptional beers), but I'd have to say it holds its own. A worthy beer - Sam Adams' Imperial line keeps the brewer in the periphery of the craft beer drinker's eye.

As you'd expect, it warms really well, and by the time I was 2/3 done (about 30 minutes later), I was sure I was drinking a much more elite beer than I was (hey, maybe the abv had something to do with it, too, but who cares?). If the style (scotch ale, old ale, barleywine, strong dark ale) is to your liking, give it a buy.

Greywulfken, May 31, 2012
Photo of Thickfreakness
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours like cola into my Great Divide glass. A thin, tan head disappears immediately and leaves just little whisps of lacing around the glass. Nothing much to look at.

S- Smokey, malty sweet, vanilla bean, raisins, dried cherries, and hints of dark chocolate.

T- Smoked peat, chocolate covered caramel bites, toffee, dark raisins, fig jam, freshly scraped vanilla bean, and sweet malts. Damn this is nicely done! Bitter cocoa, sweet dark fruit, caramel and just enough smoke.

M- I love the subtle, smokey notes and the way they hang on the tongue. Nice bitter chocolate melds nicely with the slightly sour/sweet dark fruit... nice caramel/vanilla candy sweetness. Better than I expected.

O- I'm not gonna say this is fantastic... but it's not far off! Subtley smokey, amazing caramel sweetness, nicely cocoa bittered, deep dried fruitiness. So why did it take me this long to try this one? Well done Sam... well done indeed!

Thickfreakness, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of vonschplieffen into a Duvel tulip.

A: An unhurried pour results in nearly an inch of fine, pillowy tan foam atop the dark brown, practically black body. Pretty good retention and tight, patchy lace. Attractive, but not quite stunning.

S: The peat smoke really dominates here, delivering woody, boozy, and medicinal overtones. The underlying malt can be sensed, but doesn't provide the aroma with as much heft as I'd expect for such a big beer.

T: Starts out with some sweet candied malts, followed by some chocolate roastiness and a big wave of smoke. There's lots of really tasty stuff going on, but unfortunately the aftertaste dies off into nothing but spicy, astringent alcohol. Harsh, but worth it for the front end.

M: Soft full body with matching carbonation. Voluptuous.

D: While the booziness is a bit overbearing, the flavors are spot on for the style and provide a great balance of malt sweetness and smoky dryness.

Notes: What do you know, another good but not quite great beer from Sam. I'm continually impressed by BBC's ability to create consistently solid beers in such a huge array of styles, but here again I'm not tempted to buy more. Definitely worth a shot for anyone who likes a big Wee Heavy.


woosterbill, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of Blueribbon666
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black into dimpled mug with very little head. Smells of raisins, plums, bread and malt. Wow, another BIG flavored, full bodied beer in their Imperial Series, Wee Heavy indeed, velvety thick that coats the tongue with the aforementioned sweet raisin and plums with the alcohol fully evident that warms deep with a smokey peat like finish. Another BIG beer sipper that I liked more than the Dopplebock in the series as I thought it was a little heavy in the mouthfeel for that style it seemed closer to this Wee Heavy, which is a thick, sweet sipper. The Imperial Series is a good 4-pack series for $9.99 that finds its way into more mainstream outlets like grocery stores.

Blueribbon666, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of cratez
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Siciliano's Specialty Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a dark brown hue, basically black, with deep ruby edges, a sliver of cream-coloured froth, and several strands of lacing on the snifter. Good appearance for a high gravity brew.

Smell is raisin, peaty smokiness, dark fruit (plum, red grape), fire wood, Scotch whisky, seaweed-like earthiness, yeast esters, and sherry. Intriguing aromas.

Taste is raisin, red grape, and dark plum sweetness upfront, toffee and roasted malt mid-palate, very subtle peaty and earthy smokiness transitions to a mild bitterness with some burnt wood on the cough. Rich, satisfying flavours.

Mouthfeel is full side of medium bodied, higher than average carbonation, moderate bitterness precedes a drying finish with a little heat in the throat.

Overall, Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is a balanced and warming sipper with an enticing smokey character. While the palate is a little thin for the style, it also increases the drinkability (took me an hour to finish vs. ~ two hours for most 10% brews). I would recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys Highland whiskies and bold, contemplative scotch ales.

cratez, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of nickthegun12
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not bad beer....i've tasted better scotch ales!

appearance is dark reddish brown color...with a fading head....and not much lacing to speak of...

smells like a stronger version a sam's regular scotch ale....the smoked peat malt comes out better in this one...

the taste is a little sweet....and has an underlying smoky flavor....not bad...

the feel is a good balance with the not going on the dry side....not too much carbonation...

the drink ability is there surprisingly....has much more drink ability than the other imperial beer by sam....

nickthegun12, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a black to dark brown that has some lighter brown highlights to it when the light hits it. A finger of tan head leaves a lot of lacing and dissipates slowly.

S: figs, a bit leathery and a lot of dark roasted malts.

T: surprisingly fruity, in a dark sort of way. Figs, dates and prunes make the first appearance in the mouth followed in shortly by an earthy tone that mellows things out. The hops are pine like and have a resin quality to them. There is a nice leather quality that is left on the tongue.

MF: heavy, chewy and warm. Little carbonation with good astringency. A tad dry on the back which is actually nice.

O: a good beer that I would buy again if the mood for a good wee heavy struck, but not one I'll be getting everyday.

nickthetick, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark ruby red colour, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Complex and unique. The scent off the top is reminiscent of soya sauce, but then nutty malts, chocolate, peat, smoke toffee, leather and caramel come through.

T - Intensely flavoured ale, caramel dominates alongside some cocoa, peat flavours are present, some burnt toast and leather also come through. ABV heat is subdued and the sweetness complements the flavour.

M - Medium bodied, but comes across a tad syropy. Finish is surprisingly wet.

O - A tasty wee heavy and not for the faint of heart. This is a bold beer and should be respected as such. Definitely worth a try.

andrenaline, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love me some Sam Adams, had to give this one a try. One of my favorite styles to boot so here it goes.

Pours a dark, almost blood-like color, nice little head to it. Aroma is of figs or dark fruit. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, nice creamy mouthfeel. This beer is 10% ABV and the alcohol can definitely be detected. The dark fruit really comes through, doesn't really strike me as a 'wee heavy' though. There isn't the usual smokiness in it, I would relate it to more of a Belgian or strong ale almost. A little bit of a rough finish, but for the most part a nice beer to sip and savor. Not my favorite Sam Adams by any means and they missed the style a little bit, but glad I gave it a try.

oriolesfan4, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a cola-like dark brown with an off-white one finger head that leaves lacing as it settles into a modest collar. Hard to gauge the carbonation level of a beer to dark to see through. Aroma is of sweet, smoky malt...hints of caramel, toffee, and the smoked peat described on the label. The aroma of alcohol is also present, the way it would be in a single malt scotch. 1st sip brings everything promised on the nose...caramel, toffee, smoky peat, and alcohol. There is a silky smoothness on the tongue, with a solid mouthfeel. Light hints of the smoke & alcohol linger on an otherwise clean finish. Drinkability is quite good for a beer with such a big abv wallop, but these are obviously sippers, not chuggers. Overall, another very good offering from Boston Beer Company, an increasingly underappreciated brewery IMHO, although I can't understand why!

CJfromPhilly, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of StaveHooks
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A deep dark brown with garnet highlights. A 1.5 tan head sinks into a thin cap. Delicate lacing towards the bottom.

S - Old lacquered church pews. Dark fruit-figs and prunes sit underneath a smokey peat and alcohol soaked wood.

T - Sour and smoked wood, slightly salty, roasted nutty malt, boozy dark fruit, alcohol invades the entire mouth. Finishes tangy with a woody alcohol-type dryness.

M - Full bodied, viscous, smooth carbonation, alcohol is bold and heavy even for this style.

This beer has great character and deep flavors. The alcohol was screaming through this beer. It had nice low level bitterness. There was no hiding it. It actually develops levels of flavors but was on the verge of taking them over.

StaveHooks, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is that of peat smoke, dark fruit and some toffee. The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of peat smoke, cherries, grapes, plums, toffee and some alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nicely balanced wee heavy where the alcohol is present, but not overpowering. Very drinkable.

Mora2000, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle). Pours a dark mahogany-almost burnt caramel. Khaki colored head. Aroma has caramel, peat, and with a hint of chocolate. Taste is sweet with some light hop bitterness and great peaty smoke. Medium bodied with slick texture. Smooth finish. This is a very nice beer.

trappistlover, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of dinomite
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Careful pour yielded a small but dense, creamy colored head that dissipated slowly. The color below is certainly dark, but slightly red in tint against light. Smell isn't very significant, just a subdued earthiness that jives well with the flavor. The taste itself is quintessential of a basic wee heavy—earthy peatiness, a bit of spice, and an overall full-bodied flavor. The mouthfeel is quite thick, between the strong flavors and high alcohol it is exactly what is expected.

dinomite, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of bamadog
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Always happy to pick up a new bottle of Sam Adams. Review is from notes taken on 5/10/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep and dark cola brown with some rich, dark ruby highlights when held up to the lamp; starts with a short 1/2 finger tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a scant, thin and uneven skim on the surface; only two small spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Quite nice and robust -- lots of big maltiness with aspects of caramel, and I'd swear a touch of butterscotch; bit of a wet, mulchy and bready scent to it; very slight touch of alcohol to it, but it's pretty well masked in the nose for something that clocks in at 10%.

Taste: It's good, and I like it -- I see it doesn't get a whole lot of love, and I can kind of see why due to the name associated with it and the sweetness, which is a tad much, but overall, I think it's a pretty solid interpretation of the style. Lots of big and sweet malts up front that match the nose to a "T," and the hearty, wheaty and mulchy breadiness; alcohol comes through clearly in the mouth, but I feel it blends pretty well with the sweetness and earthy malty overtones; bit of a cola-like sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and comes with a thick and sticky coating all over the mouth, and I feel it's even creeping down the back of the throat; carbonation is present, but soft, kind of like a cola that's been sitting out for a little while; alcohol is warming to the belly and the gums are left a little tingly.

Overall: I like it, but the sweetness becomes a bit much and the alcohol would definitely limit too much in any one sitting, and I probably wouldn't put one away to age due to the already massive sweetness.

bamadog, May 11, 2011
Photo of chodinheaven
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep red almost black color with a head that doesn't show up until the end of the pour, but remains there thinly for a while afterwards. Smells of some strong sweet malts and booze and generally tastes similar. Reminiscent of my dad's scotch collection in fact. It's boozy and sweet, like a much less strong peaty highlands scotch. I bet it would age well also. Very complex with some sweet malts that complement the alcohol and scotch-like mouthfeel. Booziness threatens to overwhelm the taste buds (and does so when I taste scotch) but this manages to fit fairly well in beer form. I think this is the strongest scotch ale I've tried and I like the idea of the higher ABV mimicking the scotch mouthfeel rather than only the taste. Good beer, glad I tried it.

chodinheaven, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Maudite tulip. Pours slightly darker than cola with a creamy, half inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates in the center and disperses towards the shoulders. Head eventually settles into a thin band and some strands of lacing are evident during the tasting, but no legs. Nose suggests dark fruit and a slightly earthy character, as well as some malty sweetness. Taste is much bolder and robust than suggested by the nose - a smokey/earthy/peaty character intersperses itself in throughout the malty backbone and the dark fruit peaks through towards the front and middle. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium), with a lively, almost prickly carbonation that lightly burns the sides of the cheeks and the back of the throat. This is a really nice wee heavy, probably my favorite from the SA Imperial series so far. I'd love to see what a couple years does for this brew.

Jwale73, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby red with a fingers worth of mahogany head

S: Malty and smokey, with sort of a metallic twinge to it... Unfortunately, the metallic part is the part that sticks out the most

T: Much better than the smell, but the metallic element is still present. Fairly sweet, but this hides the alcohol well. Only slightly smokey at the end. A malt bomb for sure

M: Very heavy and thick, with medium carbonation

D/O: This would be perfect on a snowy day. A heavy, hearty beer that is a major malt bomb, but there's nothing wrong with that. The only real downfall for this beer is the metallic element that is present in both the smell and taste and the fact that the smoke isn't nearly as present in this beer than in their scotch ale, which was my favorite part of that beer and in the style

BEERMILER12, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with highlights of a ruby red shinning through when held up to the light. Upon pouring there is only a fine film on the top of the brew. This fades fast with little lacing. Upon swirling the beer in the glass its thickness can be seen with the brew clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big and sweet. It consists of a load of caramel and toffee with some sweet smells of a dark fruit nature (mainly cherry and plum). Mixed with these aromas are a light chocolate smell and a decent presence of a scotch aroma.

Taste – The taste is not nearly as sweet then you would expect from the nose. The flavor begins with a big malty and bready taste mixed with a lighter caramel sweetness. Other sweet flavors of a buttery toffee and some cocoa come to the tongue more toward the middle of the flavor. Along with the toffee and cocoa also comes the forefront of the alcohol taste. It begins rather mild and of a more rum like nature. As the taste advances toward the end however the boozy taste gets quite a bit stronger and take on a more whisky like flavor with smoky notes and some woody flavors coming to the tongue. The taste is rather dry and boozy at the end, leaving a very warming and smoky and roasty malt flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thicker side, but for a 10% abv wee heavy it may be a little light to average with a carbonation level that is quite light. Quite appropriate for the style and fitting for the whisky and malty flavors of the brew.

Overall – A nice smoky brew that is good to sit back with and sip slowly while being warmed by all the boozy and roasty flavors.

Darkmagus82, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of bpw28
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two finger caramel head, Ruby/Blood Red (about a 33 SRM), Good Lacing

Nose: Turning Milk (surpisingly not really a bad thing), Barnyard, Smoky, Floral, Some Sweetness

Taste: Earthy, Roasty, Smoky, Whisky like, Honey, Floral, Wonderful strong hop bite, Good Fullness, Alot of Carb

Final Thoughts: Very interseting. I wouldn't say this is a everyday beer but its very much worth a return. In Sam Adams style, they produce a good example of the style, but thats all. It's great, but I'm sure there's better. If your looking for a good base line, Sam Adams has you covered.

Food Pairing: Meat, Potatoes, Ham, Sausages, Biscuits, Lamb, Strong Cheeses

bpw28, May 23, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my cousin SirBenton for this one!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

When piured, the honey brown liquid settles a deep dark brown with reddish hues when held to the light. Two fingers of cream colored head sits for a shot while before dissipating. Bubbly and oily lacing clinging.

The nose is very sweet and malty. Some vanilla and caramel notes are noticed. A bit of chocolate is also observed in the nose.

The taste is sweet and caramel like with a bit of booze and smome on the end. The backyard bbq ready smokiness would be great with a burger or some ribs. However, to get to the smoke you must survive a very sweet palate blanket.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn thick. It sticks to my lips and palate, holding a long aftertaste.

Overall, Sam Adams might be the biggest craft brewery but they are still putting some consistant great flavors into their beers (well this one at least). Pretty solild scotch ale. Thanks Benny

ChugginOil, May 16, 2011
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.