Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Old Heathen Imperial Stout
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very good

826 Reviews

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Reviews: 826
Hads: 1,630
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 75
Gots: 189 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Rich, velvety and deliciously complex, Old Heathen (8% ABV) is a truly distinctive stout. We use seven types of malt and two varieties of hops to bring forth this big brew. Quite robust and roasty on the palate, Old Heathen Imperial Stout has a wonderfully fruity nose and a moderately dry finish. The taste is highly complex. Perhaps you’ll even discern notes of espresso or chocolate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 826 | Hads: 1,630
Photo of lastmango
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass from an undated bottle. Looked like dirty motor oil going in. 2 finger malt colored head dissipated quickly. Initial aroma was a hint of musty grass with caramel turning to chocolate. Tastes of cocoa, malt and black licorice. Just a hint of hops on the end. Thinner feel than expected but like velvet. Carbonation was mild. Overall, not bad. Not sure why they deep sixed this brew.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Thanks for the trade and the chance to try this, Ozzylizzard!

Appearance : Jet black motor oil colored body, both out of the bottle and into the globe snifter. The head is about a finger but dies quickly to a beige ring. Opacity is of course 100%. Lack of head knocks it down a quarter point.

Smell : Made sure to pour this in a snifter so I could get the full effect. Mostly toffee and burnt malts, alcohol fuel and peanut, prune, singed black licorice...maybe a hint of rich Swiss chocolate.

Taste : It starts with a watery buzz, followed by a pinch of cooca, peppermint, roasted malts, peanut hulls, prune skin, and then more water/nothing. The vast majority of this flavor profile is like drinking alcoholic water. It's washed out, not well mixed, and just plain off.

Edit - second bottle I had (9/26/15) has many more flavors - loud prune and tons of yeast. Totally odd how different these two bottles were.

Mouthfeel : Watery, especially for a Russian Imperial Stout. Some light buzz accompanies the feel which if it weren't there would feel like Aquafina. A slight dryness finishes out the swallow.

Overall : This was not a very good stout, and a piss poor representation of a Russian Imperial Stout. Is it drinkable? Yes. But only because of the watery nature and the tight carbonation. I have never had a worse RUSSIAN Imperial Stout. Fail.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out oil-colored with minimal head. nose; heavily roasted grain, burnt toast and very light coffee bean. taste; big roasted grains, dark cola, chocolate, plum, light vanilla and some bitter hops. aftertaste is a slightly boozed complexity of chocolate, slight hops, and light dark fruit. very good carbonation, but a shockingly thin and smooth mouthfeel - i was expecting a chewy malt monster; not the case here. reminds me a little of a hyper version of young's chocolate stout in this regard. overall, just a bit too sweet, but still a great brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. L: Pours dense coffee black under a ½” head that quickly dissipates and produces good lacing. S: Dark fruit, alcohol and dark malts provide the aroma. T: Dark malts, medium body and some fruit. There is some prune to raisin with a little dryness in the finish from the roast malts. There is maybe a hint of coffee in the after taste. The hops go well with the malts. F: Very creamy with a full body and fine soft carbonation. O: This is a nice Russian imperial stout type beer.

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Photo of byronic
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Received this bottle with roughly a year of age. Pours an opaque deep brown with a slight tan head. Smells of roasted malts and molasses perhaps a touch of caramel. Tastes follows the nose all be it a bit milder. Hints of malts, caramel and hints of coffee. This is one silky smooth brew, carbonation is barely noticeable and the ABV is completely hidden. Goes down easy and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep brown/black with a finger and a half of rootbeer brown head which breaks slowly leaving very nice lacing behind.

S: Aroma is strong on sweet roasted malts, there is some leather, dark fruits and perhaps a touch of molasses.

T: Taste is milder than I expected, the malts carry through from the nose but they are mild. There is little in the way of a hops presence. Nice coffee finish.

M: Feel is smooth and velvety, carbonation is low and fine.

O: Overall a fine RIS with a nice mellow taste and feel. Glad I picked this one up.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Completely opaque with mild brown head and not much carbonation. Can't get much more stout than that. Roasted chocolate malt aroma with a hint of hop at the end. The typical caramel nutty, etc aroma. Amazing complex flavor. This beer sets the standard for the word stout. Perfectly roasted nut flavor. Amazing dark roasted coffee at the end of the sip. This beer is perfect. We'd love to try this on draught.

This is one of the best beers we have ever had. We struggled to find faults in this beer.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look - Nice black body and medium tan head with aggressive pour. Thick bubbled head. No lacing.

Smell - Coffee. Chocolate. Malt. Caramel. Belgian?

Taste - Malt. Chocolate. Caramel. Coffee. Dirty. Alcohol is prominent at the end.

Feel - Creamy and heavy. Carbonation throughout but not a bomb.

Overall - A good imperial stout with little over the top features. Can't really complain with that.

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Photo of Acks
4.24/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Thick, dark and brown, almost black. Creamy with some foam, but little to no head when poured.

Smell: I could spell the aromas as soon as I poured it. Rich and sweet smelling scents of malt and caramel, with hints of coffee and chocolate as well.

Taste: Roasted flavors of caramel and coffee with some traces of fruit. Leaves a nutty aftertaste that resonates on the tongue.

Feel: Thick and creamy, lightly carbonated.

Overall: This is a great stout. The light hints of fruit and coffee balance the flavoring of the roasted caramel nicely.

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Photo of Mikus
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid stout. Thin ring of cocoa head on top of a deep pool of darkness. Aromas of roasted malt, molasses, and a whiff of tobacco. Complex and balanced brew. Weyerbacher didn't start out great for me, but I am enjoying their rich, dark beers.

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Photo of B-Finnegan
1.21/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I am 90% sure my bottle despite being in date had spoiled, I contacted Weyerbacher about it but received no reply.

Look: Looked good, a rich dark colour nothing off, it looked like a solid stout.

Smell: It had a smell of over ripe bananas and air fix model glue, should have tipped it then.

Taste: Like drinking cleaning fluid it tasted like glue and detox.

Feel: I felt sad that I'd let it pass my lips, like someone had mixed bleach and motor oil.

Overall: Terrible one of the worst beers I've ever had, I would give it a second chance encase it really was just a bad bottle but I'm not going to be doing that any time soon.

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Photo of seedyone
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Usual midnight black in appearence, light head but rich coffee/espresso aroma. Full bodied with a truly robust flavor. I'm becoming a big Weyerbacher fan & this only adds fuel to the flame.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottling date of 10/27/14

Appearance - Pours thick and black with a cocoa powder colored head that sits a half finger's width before quickly dissipating and leaving a spotty, broken layer of surface suds and a razor thin ring around the edge.

Smell - Has almost an English stout aroma, with lots of earthen character along with mild caramel and dark fruit notes.

Taste - Follows the nose, with earth and caramel character at the forefront and a fair amount of even keeled roastiness throughout while distant notes of raisin give it a subtle fruitiness. Milk chocolate notes and a nutty flavor hit in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with low to moderate carbonation. Silky texture that turns a bone dry finish.

Overall - It's a good beer, but for me there's not quite enough depth in the darker qualities that make for my kind of imperial stout. All in the same, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of PA-hunter
1.74/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 8% abv

Appearance- Black and opaque, Large brown head.

Smell- Cocoa, molasses, honey, caramel.

Taste- Has a vinegar sourness that overrules the other notes. The taste was a bit overwhelming to decipher much else.

Mouthfeel- Heavy

Overall- I'm not an expert on the RIS style but I do not think this is how it should be. It tasted like vinegar. This bottle came from a case from a friend who also said it was terrible. No freshness date. This beer may of been bad from the brewery or outdated but my review will still reflect what I tasted. Poor vinegar.

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Photo of Michael_R_Gurdineer
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Most Weyerbacher is barrel stored if not aged it seems. It provides a heavy liquor after taste which some may find appealing. I feel that stout goes in one glass and whiskey in the other!

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Photo of utopiajane
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

beautiful pour. Thick black, pours like oil. Has a sheen to it. Burnt brown. Thick creamy head of mousse like foam. Falls slowly, hugs the glass and leaves lace. Crisp toasty bread. Sugar sweetens the malt scent. Nose is sweet chocolate, caramel, toasty nuts. Soft bread. Drinks with a touch of molasses for an underpinning, sweet malty and deep. Little bit of warmth as it finishes form the alcohol. That molasses is the last thing on the palate with a bit of stickiness.

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Photo of delta490
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep black, with no light getting through. The head is dark tan and burns off quickly, leaving only a bit around the rim with no lacing. The aroma comes into its own as it warms, with nice coffee and sweet alcohol notes. The taste is big on dark roasted malt, with some deeper burnt sugars. The body has a little oily quality and just a hint of bite from the alcohol.

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Photo of ordybill
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a strong malt aroma with a chocolate backdrop.
Appearance- A black colored beer with a tan head
Taste- Has a strong malt flavor that I found mildly satisfying.
Palate- This is a full bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- Not a favorite of mine, but not a horrible beer

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Photo of mdfb79
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%

From 10/01/14 notes. 12 oz bottle left over from Winter 2013, poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with less than an inch of dark tan head and low to moderate carbonation evident. Roasted malts, sweet chocolate , dark fruits, dark chocolate, and toasted malts. Taste has some vanilla and cream, and more dark than sweet milk chocolate. Full body and low carbonation, super smooth. Great mouthfeel

Overall a very good stout. Wish the taste had more sweet than bitter chocolate but otherwise very good. Bet it would be great barrel aged. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of MDHopster
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Good RIS deep black with brown head of varying color. Excellent aroma of coffee and malt. Smooth with a hint of bitterness. Lingering aftertaste is both sweet and acidic like coffee.

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Photo of Bone53
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from a bottlle into a snifter at around 50°F

Appearance (4.25): Great looking stout; Oil black with a two finger light brown head

Smell (4): Roasted malts, molasses, caramel, leather

Taste (4): Mainly roasted and caramel malts and dark fruits. Wish the roasted malts were more prominent. It does taste good, just a little weak for a RIS with little complexity.

Mouthfeel(3.75): Certainly on the lighter side for the style

Overall (3.9): I was expecting more from this offering. Its just above average for me, considering its a RIS, and nothing that stands out to warrant a revisit. Both the taste and mouthfeel are subdued. It seems more like a regular stout, and i would've probably rated it a little higher if it was rated as such. Maybe a good starter RIS, but for someone like myself who regularly indulges in world class stouts, this misses the mark by quite a bit.

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Photo of 4thpalehorsemanale
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Light as an imperial stout on flavors and after it warms up even the aroma falls off along with the little flavor that was there. Carbonated head and dissipates quickly. Light bodied, honestly light all around, not something I would go back to. Sorry weyerbacher I do like your beers but pass on this one for me.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%

Look: Poured into a snifer. Pitch black, pours with a big bubbly head which fades to just a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Deep roasty notes, with some chocolate, sweet, dark fruits.

Taste: Dark and roasty, dark chocolate flavors, with just the smallest touch of a coffee finish.

Feel: fulled bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall: I don't have much to say about this beer, but it is infact excellent.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Have this a year after "best by" date, bottled in 2012. Does this RIS age well??

A: black, but poured a little thin to me, meaning a gave it a straight pour at the end to generate some head. That head did come, not in large quantities, but some larger bubbles, not foamy or creamy as if like, but they did sustain in a decent fashion.

S: dark chocolate, little coffe, light smokiness come out with a little warmth. I also get aight banana scent in the background

T/M: the mouthfeel, being a little weak is what first gets me. The tastes are a bit more bitter than the smell, also, with an almost hint-of-lemon bitterness underlying the coffe/smokey taste I get from the beer. The end taste is coffee bitter in nature.

O: expected more from the taste given the smell, but it was fine overall. I think with a better body, I'd put this I a list of must have again, but as is, I won't avoid or seek it.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Party Source Syracuse NY for $4

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an above average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also a faint burnt/charred flavour, some dark fruits, and a nuttiness.

Overall - Tasty and very easy to drink. Kind of a hybrid between a regular and a imperial stout. Enough flavour to keep it interesting and a little something for everyone taste wise.

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Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 826 ratings.