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Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

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

1,411 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,411
Reviews: 801
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 57
Gots: 100 | FT: 5
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,411 | Reviews: 801 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jawapimp


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

Appearance: dark brown. 1/2 inch tan head.

Smell: good roasted malt a hint of chocolate but the espresso is evident.

Taste: Malty, then espresso, finished with a warming alcohol feel.

Mouth feel : Smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable, a couple of beers and I would move to something heavier.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 01:47:02 | More by jawapimp
Photo of number1bum


2.73/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown color with a fizzy two fingers of tan head. Head settles to a thin lace, leaving a bit of stick but retention overall isn't all that impressive.

Smell is, in a word, odd. It has a cola sort of aroma to it, with a syrupy sweetness and a grainy roasted aroma. I can get a bit of chocolate with much effort, and also an odd fruitiness; not really sure what it is, banana maybe? Weird, and not really what I'm looking for out of an imperial stout.

Taste has more roasted malt character than the smell which holds it together a little better, but it's still pretty strange. I definitely think it's banana I'm smelling/tasting now, which I can't say I expected in an imperial stout. I can't say I really like it either. There are other fruity esters, as well. It's a bit on the grainy side and like the smell it has a cola sort of sweetness. Really lacks robustness and depth of flavor, and the malt profile is just bland and boring.

For an imperial stout, even one on the low end at 8%, this is quite thin. It's less than medium bodied and just feels thin in the mouth. There is almost a complete lack of aftertaste which speaks to how thin it is, as well. Can I have more malt please?

This is another Weyerbacher beer that I find extremely underwhelming. This is just a very strange imperial stout. Has an overall cola sort of quality to it, and the banana qualities are also odd. It's also very thin and needs much more in the way of body. Just lacks robustness overall, and frankly isn't all that good. I'm not a fan, and I won't be coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 20:53:46 | More by number1bum
Photo of RonofPA


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

This has been my favorite new brew this holiday season.

If you like your beer dark you will love the deep expresso tones evident during the pour.

Aroma carried a nice whiff of fresh hops over a malty base.

The power of this beer kicks in with the first taste of deep maltiness conjuring images of dense chocolate cake, not too sweet. No sense of the high alcohol content in the taste.

Medium to full bodied mouthfeel and a nice crisp finish. Very drinkable - would have loved to have followed my first bottle with a second...if I had one!

Overall a well balanced product.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 12:32:24 | More by RonofPA
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout...

Appearance-a thick viciously black color, tan brown creamy head that disappears quickly, oily swirl.

Smell-fruity notes, chocolate/coffee, alcohol fumes, nutty aroma, very nice.

Taste/Mouthfeel-complex flavor, starts out with a more fruity pear-like taste, sugary near the middle with coffee fumes , aftertaste is smooth with a last alcohol burn before leaving. I also let it sit to warm up and tasted again and maybe got a faint coffee taste as well. Balanced taste.

Drinkability-balanced, flavorful, complex, I'm a fan.

Overall-really nice stout, again from above it's balanced, flavorful, and complex. I really enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 16:39:49 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of ATLbeerDog


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

Pours deep black with a beautiful1/2 inch caramel colored head. Smells of dark fruits, coffee, and chocolate complete the nose. First sip is a blend of coffee and chocolate and neither is overpowering. A strong malt backbone compliments and makes the Imperial Stout very creamy. Tastes stronger than ths 8% ABV would indicate.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 01:04:40 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of rhinos00


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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- Dark brown, almost black. Poured half inch tan head.

S- Nice combination of burnt malt, molasses, and chocolate. Booze is very evident.

T- Follows the nose. Wish there was a little more complexity.

M- Thick and viscous. Typical of the style.

D- Very drinkable.

Overall, a nice quality beer to relax on a cold day.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 19:50:37 | More by rhinos00
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark chocolate color, with a moderate size cherry tan head.

S: some rich, dark fruit, chocolate, figs and dark roasted grain. There was a nice bitter hoppiness with light charred smokiness that added some complexity and depth.

T: The flavor was malty with dark chocolate, dark fruit and black coffee beans and dried cherries.

M: thick and viscous with a nice creamy full body feel on the tongue.

D: Had enough complexity and dark fruitiness as well alcohol to keep things interesting throughout the entire drink, which became more smooth and easy as you progressed.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 13:41:50 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of katan


3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A - Very dark - not very thick. Head was slow to form, but once it was there it was well retained. A mocha colored foam formation.

S - Primarily a combination of roasted and smoked flavors on the nose. Perhaps the trifecta is rounded out with some hints of coffee.

T - Starts off light with some acidic notes combined with a hair of bitterness. Out of the gate very balanced. Finishes with an interesting sweeter cocoa flavor. Very chocolatey. Just a hair of phenolic notes became more noticeable on the aftertaste.

M - Thick and creamy - above average body for the RIS experience I have. Carbonation isn't very present. Almost feels like I'm drinking chocolate milk at times.

D - Deceiptively easy to drink. I find that the alcohol is warming but not overpowering. Flavors are smooth enough so that it doesn't wear down the pallet.

Solid RIS. Not quite Black Bear or Ten Fidy, but close.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2008 00:56:17 | More by katan
Photo of hoplover82


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

I can never ''love'' a stout that is too chocolaty. And this one is. It's not bad, but I just can't ''love'' it.

Pours black with a thick dark brown sugar creamy but quickly dissapating head.

Strong licerice in the aroma and choclate malts.

As I said, the flavor is too chocolaty, they should call it Imp Chocolate Stout. No balance to this one.

The mouthfeel is smooth and not too dry, which would make it better. It's pretty cloying.

The alcohol is very hidden so it seems drinkable but then you start to feel numb after half a bottle so it turns out, it's not. I could just have one of these (which is not a bad thing).

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 16:56:31 | More by hoplover82
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up recently because winter is fast approaching and I'm on a stout kick right now. I wasn't quite sure if this would be a "motor-oil" stout or more of a rich and roasted variety but surprisingly, this turned out to be neither of those. This is pretty smooth and easygoing, which suits me well after the day at work I had yesterday!

It's almost a typical stout pour here - dark, with a hint of ruby at the edges, a creamy tan head, and surprisingly, no lacing to be found down the sides of my glass as I sip this down. The mouthfeel is different than other brands of this type that I've had lately - there is no roasting or toffee to be found here. Instead, this comes across as a sweet stout, with chocolate, lactose, milk, and a hint of espresso all found here. The aroma is isn't very overpowering but the mouthfeel is like a light version of the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. It goes down very creamy and smoothy, with a hint of the bitter chocolate in the back and a root-beer like carbonation left in front for the aftertaste.

I can't even taste the alcohol in this and I'm almost shocked this this is listed as 8.00% ABV. While this isn't the best stout I've had, there's no way ya could go wrong drinking this. It would go well with food since there's nothing here to overpower a meal and the alochol doesn't linger on breath like it does with so many other heavy beers. This might be enough to have my crave some Ghiradelli on the side...

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 08:50:28 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a coal black color and a thick consistency. There was a huge, tan-colored, long-lasting head and excellent lacing.

S: A subtle aroma of coffee, malts and maybe some chocolate.

T: A nicely done taste with roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and a slightly astringent quality.

M: Highly carbonated with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer, though it is as heavy as you might expect.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 13:43:06 | More by avalon07
Photo of PatronWizard


3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gift from and thank you to Mauerhan. You ole softie!

Pours more of a super dark brown than black. Near black though. Sports a decent yet thin head of off-white bubbles, settling to a film.

Well, she smells good, Captain. Robust coffee. Maybe booze?

Taste sorta fruity. Cherries? A little too much so personally. Fruits are on top of the coffee, camel clutch.

In fact, there's a little too much everything here. For example: a little too fruity, a little too thin, a little too harsh. Yes, I'm fuckin Goldilocks. Let's let it warm.

<Let's it warm.>

A nice coffee flavor emerges to counter the fruits. Definitely tasts better at near room temperature. Still seems just a little thin for a stout, forgiveable.

Would I drink it again? If you're buying, I'll drink 20 of em. Would I seek it out again? Probably not.

Overall: good one shot beer

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 02:06:50 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had my eye on this one for a while. I'm not sure what elderly heathens have to do with big stouts but I also like the name. The look is right, with a jet color and thick brown head that retreats to show elaborate sticky lace. The nose is sweet malt chocolate and coffee but could use some more muscle.

The texture is about right on this one; thick, almost syrupy. The flavors are not overwhelming but are complex and satisfying throughout. There is hoppy bitterness caught underneath a dump truck full of coffee and chocolate malts. Alcohol is almost negligible which is unexpected but welcome, especially for the style.

This is well crafted and worth trying. This winter will be cold. This one is your friend.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2008 07:08:14 | More by daliandragon
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 Douglas14


4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an extremely dark color with brown and ruby hues glinting through the edges. The aroma is nice. It is of coffee and very much of dark chocolate. The taste is the best aspect of this beer, as it should be. The roasted coffee and chocolate flavors really come out and it is great. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 15:50:09 | More by Douglas14
Photo of Gtreid


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into an Imperial Pint glass.

A: Pitch black at first, but when back lit, just a touch of a reddish hue comes through. Pours one finger of wet sand colored head that did not hang around or leave much lace.

A: Smells of rich coffee and chocolate. Roasted nuts, figs, black current, and other dark fruit come through as well.

T: Very nice. I first get the chocolate, then a little coffee, followed by the dark fruit. Not overly complex, just right.

M: Heavy body, but smooth on the palate. Not much carbonation, just silky.

D, and overall impression: At 8% this is very drinkable. As the beer warms it goes down very easy. I thought this was a very good Imperial Stout, definately worth the try, and one I will be having again. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 18:22:31 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Douglas88


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

Bottle thanks to Daniel, thanks man. Pours a dark, almost black color with an initially large head that quickly goes down to a small light brown head. The aroma is nice; lots of coffee and vanilla, some dark fruits also. A nice flavor of dark fruits, some light coffee and chocolates, some milkiness, toffee and perhaps a hint of banana. The mouthfeel is very rich and creamy. A nice brew for sure. Very drinkable and no notice of alcohol, almost no warmth even.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 05:10:18 | More by Douglas88
Photo of bhalter8


4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color, not even a hint of light making it through the glass. A surprisingly thin, coffee colored head on top. The smell practically made me drool. The chocolate, coffee combination is strong, and exceptional. The smell delivers even more, when tasting. That chocolate, coffee smell translates strongly into the taste of the beer. Slightly bitter, but still very smooth stout. A pleasure to drink. I had it on of the first cool afternoons, and it warmed me nicely. Top notch.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:00:24 | More by bhalter8
Photo of Mauerhan


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to duqtroops for this and many others from the secret halloween bif.

pours a dark rich brown with a nice chocolate colored head that fizzles fast. small amount of lacing.

smells chocolaty. malty and rich.

taste is nice. full. big chocolate roasted malt flavors up front, follows through with a nice nutty aftertaste. very nice brew

smooth medium bodied. full flavored. an easy drink. im really glad i got a chance to crack this open and enjoy. excited to age a bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 06:53:33 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of CHADMC3


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

Pours a gorgeous opaque with an abundant dark tan head lasts through most of the beer leaving just a faint lacing behind.

Abundant roast aroma with chocolate & coffee. So much malt goodness, smells like a winner.

Fantastic sweet chocolate flavor with roasted malt and some version of dark bread.

Robust body and tons of flavor character with medium carbonation, this beer has a lot to offer the palate.

This is a winner and one of my favorites in the style. Warming & complex, I will be sampling this over and over.

A good PA beer to enjoy before game 5 of the Series!

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 00:21:47 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of jasonjlewis


4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I rated 4.25 on appearance and smell

Pours a dark brown color with a 1 finger head. Very nice retention.

Smell is of licorice, irish moss, and a big whiff of chocolate malt.

Taste is huge on the chocolate malt with only a hint of roasted characteristic. Alcohol is fairly muted. Licorice with a slight mint undertone comes out as well.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel at first, but as the beer warms it becomes slightly astringent.

This is a very good chocolatey imperial stout. Give it a try. There is a nice complexity without a whole lot of roasted flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 05:52:35 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of DLtheMD

New Jersey

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

12 oz bottle purchased during a "fire sale" at Adobe Blues (Staten Island, NY).

Appearance: Jet black, uniform throughout. Little head

Smell: Coffee, oats, chocolate, roasted nuts

Taste: Almost like a dark milk chocolate. Some smokiness. Goes a little dry on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, little creamy, but not overly viscous.

Drinkability: Definitely a session beer, maybe 2 at a sitting.

Definitely a delicious beer. The 8% ABV doesn't come through that much in the taste. Fine work.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 00:51:42 | More by DLtheMD
Photo of mooseisloose


3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This brew has a chocolate and cinnamon smell, fresh chocolate chip cookies come to mind. Poured into a pint it is thick and dark black with a little bit of tan head. Taste is roasted malts and lots of it. In the glass I can smell the alcohol but it really isn't evident in the taste until the very end where is seems to go up through the nose and evaporate from the tongue. This is one potent brew. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy but very slick. The carbonation is low and is only detected for a short time in the middle of the taste. The finish is dry but still has lingering sweetness and alcohol. It goes down extremely smoothly, like silk. Gotta watch the AC though this one will sneak up fast.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 21:12:32 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of steelcutoats


3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've had this fine stout on several occasions, never having reviewed it and after purchasing a Weyerbacher "Big Beers" variety pack; I figured it was a good time to throw in my two cents. I poured it right into my tasting snifter and prepared to enjoy. There was a thick mocha head that quickly dissipated the color was absolutely jet black, with no light what so ever penetrating it from the other side of the glass. The aroma was strong, with lots of dark roasted malts, and dark, bittersweet chocolates. The flavor was not as strong as I thought it would be. Its very mellow and sooth drinking. The high alcohol content is very well hidden. You can definitely taste the malts, with a sweet after taste. This is a good brew, one to definitely try out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 00:03:00 | More by steelcutoats
Photo of whoneeds8


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

Poured into pint glass a black with a nice tan head that lasted fairly long for a RIS with nice lacing.

Smell, seems non-existant however that's probably me because of allergies.

Taste is light for an RIS, which is something I actually like. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth.

Overall, this is an RIS with very good drinkability. Nothing really spectacular but nothing terrible either.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 00:44:05 | More by whoneeds8
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,411 ratings.