1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,354 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1354
Reviews: 798
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001)
View: Beers (48) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,354 | Reviews: 798 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kylehay2004


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger tan head on a near jet black body. Very nice lacing. Vanilla and milk chocolate dominate the flavor with some dark fruit mostly raspberry and cherry. Roasted malt, vanilla, brown sugar as toffee form the smooth flavor. Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. A very nice flavorful stout but doesn't quite stand out in the genre.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 21:27:24 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of mooseo


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia.

A - Dark brown-black, looks like coffee but with a small tan head which quickly dissipates.

S - Strong roasted malt aroma with hints of milk chocolate and coffee.

T - Bold roasted malt flavor mixed with subtle hints of cocoa and toffee. Sweet but not overly so. Delicious, and very well balanced.

M - Super smooth, thick, and rich. Low carbonation.

O - An excellent imperial stout. The alcohol, while slightly warming, is nearly undetectable. The smoothness of this brew really blew me away.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 20:03:00 | More by mooseo
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into wine glass/goblet. Deep black color with slight foam and lacing. Coffee and chocolate flavor, nice balance and easy drink.

Really nice stout. well balanced and tastey. Id get a pint if I saw again...but wouldnt buy in the store since I just dont think this woud translate well in a bottle. Id really like a cask of this.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2011 16:07:56 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of Rifugium


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ?

Not a distinctively overwhelming stout, but still pretty good. Poured a dark brown-black with a cap of chocolate-colored head. Malty aroma, dark chocolate, aged vanilla, and hints of dark fruits. Taste was roasty up front, cocoa, dark malts, raisins, a bit of a pithy sourness detectable...not sure if it was an off flavor or intentional, but it didn't really detract too much from the beer overall. Pretty smooth, but a little on the thin side for the style, being about medium-bodied, with the alcohol slightly noticeable. Decently drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2011 20:19:50 | More by Rifugium
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of rich cooca and coffee dominate with a nice touch of bitter and roasted malts that take over the profile very nicely.

The tastes begin with smooth, roasted maltiness that wraps itself over the palate. There are light hints of vanilla mix in with the dark chocolate and rich roasted malts. As it warms you get a nice touch of sweet vanilla and brown sugar that really compliments the cocoa and lightly hopped finish quite nicely.

The flavors deliver lots of dark malt with a bittersweet chocolate character and a soft, roasted edge backed by a bold bitterness and some drying alcohol in the finish.

Overall, Weyerbacher continues to deliver with affordable quality beers. This "sessionable" Russian Imperial Stout is often overlooked by many, including myself, because it is readily available and doesn't have it's own magical release day, but any fan of the style should/will enjoy this.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 19:41:35 | More by claspada
Photo of ExtraStout


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in a 12oz. glass. It pours nicely black, with a good head, but it fades quickly. Alcohol hits the nose first quickly followed by lots of coffee. Chocolate, and roasty malts, as you would expect, quite subtle, which i liked, nice balance and slightly too thin mouthfeel, with nice bitterness. This was the last one of the night and it still stood up nicely overall.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 19:57:02 | More by ExtraStout
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

dark as night inky black pour with a nice little tan head of about two inches that fades down into a nice layer of about an inch or so that hangs around for the remainder of the session.

nice aroma, rich cooca and coffee dominate with a nice touch of bitter and roasted malts that take over the profile very nicely. smooth, effortless flavor then wraps itself over the palate. light hints of vanilla mix in with the dark chocolate and rich roasted malts. small touch of alcohol but this fades quickly as it warms and leaves you with a nice touch of sweet vanilla and brown sugar that really compliments the cocoa and lightly hopped finish quite nicely

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 02:17:27 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of JDFish


4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the tap to my glass, looked very dark and a typical dark foam about a finger thick. Some IRS have a disgusting sweet rotten molasses flavor. Others are more roasty. This one was the latter. Roasted malts and coffee notes. The take home message on this beer is that it is the most drinkable IRS I've ever had, I really appreciate that. Great balance, a little less complex than Old Rasputin, but its taste and drinkability was very close. This is a good thing. I really enjoyed this as I could've easily had a second pint..not something I can say for all IRS. Great Brew!!

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2011 16:13:22 | More by JDFish
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at la Cave du Vin, poured into a tuliup glass

a: dark black color, silky 3/4" tan head, with good retention. Reduces to light lacing cap

s: cocoa, light bitter chocolate, coffee.

t: nice roasted malt and chocolate, more sweet than bitter. Slight alchohol is noticable as is warms. The alchohol its self is warming and would be perfect on a cold winter day.

m&d: smooth creamy mouthfeel, complex RIS, drinkable for its style bu sip and enjoy!!!


Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2009 16:08:08 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This snifter glass fills with a rich, black, velvet beer under a thin but dense head closely resembling the color of coffee ice cream. A lacing first coats the glass, then becomes a fine webbing. As the glass empties, one can notice legs upon swirling.

Strong, dark chocolate with black coffee, oak and molasses is carried airborne in fumes of alcohol reminiscent of brandy as is warms.

This stout opens with lush chocolate as it follows the nose adding bitterness and an amazing finish. The complexity of these flavors intensifies as it warms.

This one has a full, creamy body, lots of warming alcohol, both of which are welcoming.

Weyerbacher has produced a welcome addition to a good book or to be shared with a companion while sitting by a fire. I intend to try this with Rocky Road ice cream.

BTW, Tap & Mallet in Rochester, NY (where I tried this gem)is a great place for good beer, and the food is top notch too.

Serving type: on-tap

07-26-2009 02:20:38 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of sprucetip


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. On tap at Novare Res in Portland, Me, during their stoutfest.

Black with hint of highlights. 1 finger brown head goes away eventually.

Chocolate, molasses, sweet malty, roasted grain. Balanced, not overwhelming. Has legs.

roasty, chocolate, light molasses, solid malty base, smooth. Clean finish. Nice.

Pleasantly mild carbonation and fiz. Alc heat comes on with thick coating texture. Medium/full body.

Very easy drinker at 8%. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 04:15:35 | More by sprucetip
Photo of CrellMoset


3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brickstore Pub, Decatur, GA. Served in a fitted pint glass.

Appearance: A deep hazy brown if not completely opaque brew with one-finger of foamy cocoa head with good retention. A few nice flourishes of lacing, almost like solar flares rising up out of the sheen of foam, though they fade fairly quickly.

Aroma: Milky chocolate with hints of raisins and a few light fruity esters. A few fresh, green hop notes, nondescript and earthy, break through at various times. The whole thing's rather faint, as well.

Taste: Dark bitter chocolate with plenty of char. A healthy dose of toasty malt notes add a little bit of complexity, and a dose of cherry-like sweetness - similar to what I remember from the bottled version - finish things off. A fairly light RIS, all things considered.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated, largely even, and medium to thick bodied.

Drinkability: A solid and drinkable if not outstanding beer, with a reasonable abv% for the style that's well hidden and a nice assortment of interesting flavors. Not too very different from the bottled version - it's enjoyable in either serving format, but I wouldn't seen it out in either, as well.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2008 04:58:52 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrived in a shaker glass a rich deep brown color with about an inch of dark tan foam. No lacing to speak of. Smells of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and mild hints of coffee and a touch of smoke. Tastes of bittersweet cocoa, mild roasted coffee, molasses and vanilla. Medium in both body and carbonation. An overall decent Imp. stout.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2007 15:39:23 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out nearly black, crowned by a foamy tan head with lots of lacing. The nose offers basic chocolate and coffee, rounded out by spice and alcohol. The taste was even more straightforward; coffee again, chocolate again, and spice again. The alcohol was disguised nicely here though. Has a creamy mouthfeel and a long slick finish.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2006 23:10:19 | More by dherling
Photo of Ahhdball


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Motor oil black and appeared to pour with the same consistency. A very small beige ring fell slightly along the outer rim of the crude. Smelled roasted coffee and baking chocolate. The taste was about the same with a few hints of molasses to finish. Slick and chewy just like the style should be. Alcohol came on fair and didn't leave anything behind save for a bit of warmth. A decent Russian Imperial but not among my favorites, Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer, not to miss by anyone, just not one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2004 04:20:03 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of Dithyramb


4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an imperial pint glass at Sean Bolan's. Listed on the chalk board as 9% ABV.

Opaque jet black with no carbonation evident. 1/4" of thick dark brown head that dissipated into a thin ring.

Smells like slightly bitter espresso with some sweet chocolate on top.

Starts with sweet malts followed by the bitter roasted flavors. There are some more complex esters in the background, but I was lost in the alcohol warmth provided. Smooth drinking with a heavy mouthfeel. Finishes clean and dry. Although I would love to have more than a few, the high ABV will quickly catch up to you.

Serving type: on-tap

09-10-2004 14:48:20 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of pezoids


2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is pretty thin for and Imperial Stout. Poured out a midnight black with a thin tan head. Bitter roasted grains and alcohol in the aroma. Again, the body is thin and bitter with roasted grains and some chocolate. Strong alcohol is in the forefront. There’s some roasted coffee, caramel and cocoa in there. Not bad but lacking for an Imperial Stout. Maybe this is an Imperial Stout Light.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2003 02:14:24 | More by pezoids
Photo of steelreign

New York

4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black as the pits of hell. Creamed coffee head, with roasted malt and toffee, espresso notes all over the place! Amazing depth and complexity on the palate. Roasted malt, dark fruity esters, alcohol and mocha are evident. Hops balance this somewhat nicely considering the depth of the roasted presence. Nice carbonation level makes going down easy. Warming all the way down with a semi dry, crisp finish. This is a big winner!

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2003 13:25:35 | More by steelreign
Photo of Jarod


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When poured into the glass it was dark brown to black in color. But when held to the light some gets through and you see some dark red peaking through. The head was creamy and slightly thick that was tan/beige in color. It lasted a good way to the bottom, but did not really produce a lace, which surprised me. The aroma was of roasted coffee, chocolate, malt, raisins and slight hops. The taste was a little sweet in the beginning. It had hints of malt, coffee, chocolate covered raisins and at the end some hops peaked through. The looks and taste of the beer were good, just not a thick as I would have liked for this type of beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2002 09:19:41 | More by Jarod
Photo of smakawhat


3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Why has this one Weyerbacher always escaped me till now? Never seemed to have found it till now.

Dark black walnut body, but comes out of the bottle more mahogany brown. Leaves a bit of leg and slick top, but not too filmy looking, with a finger of cocoa coffee brown head. Very bubbled collar and thin puck, but manages to always stick around as head disappears a little quickly.

Real fruity nose. Hints of blueberry, soft roasted malts, a little charring, a faint hint of warmth but not overly boozy. Hints at a large beer. Quite an impressive nose actually for a regular imperial stout.

Funny aftertaste. Very odd. First sip seems quite palate full, bringing some of the hinting fruit, then the finish is very wet and thin with little to distinguish. Slightly acrid finish but with not much sourness luckily. Fruit feeling hints of raspberry, blueberry, and watery juice, almost as if it's a fruit infused stout. Strange taste of peanut butter in here as it warms.

It's ironically not that bad, but it's nothing like I expected, or unfortunately reminding me anything of a regular imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 18:51:15 | More by smakawhat
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tar black body with a tan head; nice lacing

Smell: Chocolate and coffee tones

Taste: Starts out with a chocolate base that, mid-palate is joined by caramel, coffee and a bit of hops; closes with a slightly harsh, grainy character

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little thin for the style

Overall: Haven't had this one since my original review in 2006 (thanks then to BeerBeing, one of the great BAs from the old days) but this is a much better beer than I remember so I am going to consider this one a re-review

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 22:58:13 | More by brentk56
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single picked up at Northbridge Pig before it closed. Poured into a tulip glass -

A: Black-brown, opaque pour; mocha head - one finger; good retention leaves a few specks of lace.

S: Milk chocolate; cocoa; sweet, roasted malt aroma.

T: Dark chocolate; coffee; fair level of hop bitterness; some smoked malt provides and extra layer of flavor; has a bit of a grapey aftertaste - reminiscent of DFH Worldwide Stout - obviously on a MUCH smaller scale.

M: Medium body; high carbonation; dry finish; feel seems a little light, though.

O: A nice stout; drinkable; tasty, with a good aroma, too; glad I tried it.

*from notes 01.21.14

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 00:25:39 | More by jpro
Photo of dcmchew


4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a small dark beige head, quickly reduced to a nice lacing.
Smells of dark roasted malts, with caramel, raisin, coffee, chocolate, molasses, cherries.
Huge dark fruit - sweet coffee combo in the first sip. Lots of roasted malts (almost burnt) serve as a blanket for raisin, juicy plums (especially), figs, ripe red grapes (red wine-ish) and a touch of sour cherries, also for big coffee bean notes, very dark chocolate and slight toffee. A mild citrus feel throughout. Caramel. Lots of dark spices and some vanilla and licorice. Some American hops trying to "conquer" the finish, and add a green feel to the midly bitter finish.
It's not as heavy as one would expect, but somewhat crisp. A tiny bit too carbonated, but still in the sipping category. Aftertaste of charcoal and dark fruit.
It's not gonna be my favourite RIS, but definitely one of the good ones.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 12:25:18 | More by dcmchew
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours black as far as I'm concerned. Big, creamy head is actually two-toned. The upper half is a firm tan and the lower half is brown. Loads of thick lacing.

S-Lots of roast and chocolate. Chocolate is bittersweet in the nose. Some soapy hoppiness as well. Pretty straight forward.

T-The roast is the first flavor I notice. It's quite strong. Then the bittersweet chocolate jumps out. Light anise. A bit of dark fruit and cola.

M-Full bodied but not viscous. Softer carbonation. A bit too hot for a sub-10% ABV brew.

O/D-Had Heresy before this and was very pleased with how this beer took to the barrel. A pretty standard big Stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 23:43:07 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Darkmagus82


2.64/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black color with a one finger of brown colored head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving a tiny bit of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt and coffee smell mixed with a rather strong aroma of a grainier and spent grain like smell. Mixed with these smells are some sweeter aromas of a caramel and chocolate with a little bit of a char and a hay like smell. The mix of spent grain (husky and musty) and hay really put a bad spin on the aroma, overall producing a rather unpleasant aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a roasted malt taste with some darker chocolate flavors right from the start. Some sweetness is present upfront with a little bit of vanilla and caramel right from the start. The roasted flavors increase after the initial taste, with the sweeter flavors losing some ground and a good deal of a woody and coffee flavor coming to the tongue. Some flavors of a grainy nature as well as a little bit of an earthy and char taste come to the tongue more toward the end of the taste. With the mainly roasted body and light sweetness, one is left with a somewhat drier and grainy stout flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The slightly thicker body was decent for the darker flavors of the brew, although it did not do well for the more grainy flavors. Like the body, the carbonation being on the lower side, was good for the darker flavors, but not so good for the grainy tastes. Overall, just OK.

Overall – The flavors never really meld well in this one; with too much bitter graininess which does not compliment the roasted flavors all that well. Not an imperial I would frequent too often.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 02:21:01 | More by Darkmagus82
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,354 ratings.