1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

1,414 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,414
Reviews: 802
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Heathen Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,414 | Reviews: 802 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of tempest


3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pulled out of the Weyerbacher big beers variety pack. Pours pitch black with a short tan head.

Another Weyerbacher beer. Another underachiever. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing offensive or off, but the aroma is very muted and the flavor scores low on complexity. What's there is pleasant enough - big dark roasted barley with java and dark bittersweet chocolate. The aroma has a metallic note and a hint of milk chocolate. The body is reasonably thick and fairly drinkable. Not bad overall, but there are many better RIS's available.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 21:55:35 | More by tempest
Photo of Shaw


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

Pours all black with a chocolate brown head that reduces to a thin layer.

A lighter aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee.

It's got a good taste: rich and creamy with lots of roasted and toasted flavors. There is just a hint of alcohol. This is a very under control RIS.

The mouthfeel is also creamy and smooth.

Overall this is pretty good. I was expecting something a bit more extreme. This is a good RIS to introduce people to the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 05:18:19 | More by Shaw
Photo of Yesac


3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - solid black with a fading brown head

S - I can only pick up roasted malts

T - Sweet overtone of roasted malts, a mono flavor. Dark fruits. The 8% is cleverly hidden.

M - Thick on the palate and heavy carbonation

D - High drinkablility. Not bitter or head on alcohol taste.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 15:21:58 | More by Yesac
Photo of BeerBelcher


2.93/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The world is full of great Russian Imperial Stouts. In fact, it's rare to find one on this site without a glowing review. But I found this one to be very....average. We just got distribution of Weyerbacher here in Wisconsin, and everyone's excited (this flavor of the month excitement goes back a year or so - we got Stone this summer, Southern Tier a little before that, etc), but that excitement for me didn't turn into a greatly favorable impression of this particular beer.

It pours black and a bit thin, with a very modest amount of head. Aroma is faint but reminiscent of dark malt, roastiness, and chocolate. Flavor is same, but I was distracted by this due to some wateriness and a very faint flavor (particularly for this style of beer).

This beer wasn't bad, it just doesn't compare to many others of the style. Still, I'd have it again and weakly recommend it. I bought a 6-pack at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 20:33:04 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this as an extra in a trade with Aprilluvsbeer.

Reviewed by Wisemen Nick and Jorge.

Appearance: Pitch black, tight brown head. Head is thin and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate and coffee beans. Caramel and almonds are also present.

Taste: Wiseman Nick says the flavor begins with strong milk chocolate, followed by coffee beans, caramel, roasted malts, and a touch of alcohol. Wiseman Jorge believes the flavor begins with coffee beans, and is followed by milk chocolate. EDIT: (Nick) I've had an RIS like this before. Full Circle Brewing Company makes their RIS with only black and caramel malts and it had a flavor identical to this one. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of the taste - it's too sweet.

Mouthfeel: A little gritty. High carbonation for an imperial stout. Syrupy and fairly slick. Heavy

Drinkability: Smooth and sweet...a little TOO sweet at times.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2008 05:01:36 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Thanks to seanpachefddfa for the bottle.

Pours black with low carbonation and little head with a good ring of lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, cherries and blueberries. Wonderful smelling stuff with a great balance between the malts and fruits.

Taste of roasted malts and coffee initially with the flavor of blueberries being overpowered by the malts and alcohol. A slightly metallic flavor comes with the alcohol does this beer leaving a tangy, oily finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth with little carbonation, but the oily texture of the beer is a little unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 20:29:03 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of gameface23


3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown/black with a tan head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves a lace that slides rapidly down the glass.

S: Dark fruits, chocolate covered cherry cordials, and slight black coffee.

T: Well rounded, consisting of dark fruits with a coffee finish. Nothing is too prominent, but I liked it.

M: Great mouthfeel. Thick and creamy.

D: I don't think I would ever want to or could ever drink more than one or two imperial stouts, but this was only 8% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 23:10:51 | More by gameface23
Photo of aubuc1


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

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours dark black with a thin tan head.

Sweet smell of ripe fruit jumps out of the glass. Behind it is some chocolate and roasted malt.

Taste is of sweet, roasted malts. Great tasting imperial stout for me especially since it is less coffeeish (I don't like coffee) than others.

Full mouthfeel and a nice way of drinking considering the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 00:30:54 | More by aubuc1
Photo of ruckzuck


4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours an opaque, smooth black with a thin, tan head that quickly dissipated

S - rich aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, and hints of vanilla

T - initial hit is of rich, roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate again. Very enjoyable as it rolls around the palate. Swallowing reveals even more bittersweet chocolate goodness. Definitely tasty

M - full bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down smoothly and nicely

D - very nice. This is one of the first imperial stouts I've had in a while (I know I should drink them throughout the year, but man I enjoy my lagers and other styles during the summer) and I'm really enjoying it. The ABV seems to be pretty well hidden, and I could probably drink a couple of these. Would totally buy again (and will as it gets colder) or drink on tap. Definitely worth a shot

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2008 04:55:13 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of padan7


4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Brown head that didn't stick around too long,. Black body. Looks like an imperial stoudt should.

S: Very pleasant aroma of coffee and other goodies.

T: Roasted coffee and malts, some chocolate. I compare this to Rasputin.

M: Full body. But not as heavy as Rasputin. Very, very smooth . I actually prefer this to Rasputin.

D: The alcohol was hidden well. Goes down much easier than Rasputin. Just a fun time with a great beer. I still really enjoy Rasputin but this beer takes less effort.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 15:40:15 | More by padan7
Photo of treyrab


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

Poured into a pint glass

A: The appearance is the darkest brown you can get without being black. It is opaque for sure however.

S: The smell is of a nice, though light coffee and rich chocolate.

T: The taste is rather light, but has a nice chocolate and cocoa taste. The hops are not really there in this one hence leaving a rather sweeter stout. There is definitely some bitter cocoa in there though.

Overall, not a bad stout, but not excellent. It has all the normal flavors, but could use some complexity and bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 02:24:51 | More by treyrab
Photo of seanpachefddfa


4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a midnight black with a dark tan head that quickly dissipates.
Smell - Lots of roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate, coffee and vanilla.
Taste - Nice roasted malts flavor with a chocolate undertone. A slight coffe, vanilla and dark fruit flavor (mabey cherry).
Mouthfeel - A full body beer with a mild carbonation.
Drinkability - A great rusian imperal stout, tasty, smooth and balanced.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 05:47:32 | More by seanpachefddfa
Photo of redneckchugger


3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into my chimay chalice.
dark dark brown, big tan head, some bubbles from carbonation.
smells of roasted malt
tastes about the same as the smell, but a bit weaker than i expected, some caramel notes, a hint of alcohol, some bitter malt flavor, kinda weak for an imperial stout.
mouthfeel is a bit thin also, i gotta say i was a bit disapointed in this one, its good, but not really imperial in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 04:30:46 | More by redneckchugger
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Old Heathen, how is it that I have not reviewed you yet?

This beer pours a dark black, but is a dark, clear brown as I pour it. I can still see a bit of this bright brown through the edges of my pint. The head is but a dirty pale tan collar.

Smells of raisins and milk chocolate mixed up in a dusty dryness. There's also a tart green apple sourness accompanied by a touch of old coffee.

Tastes similar with an emphasis on a light and watery milk chocolate and coffee that picks up some under-ripe strawberry sourness. This finishes off with a light baking cocoa dryness.

Feels quite light and clean that leaves a bit of film in my mouth. The carbonation seems like its trying to creep out of the beer prematurely.

An easy drinking RIS.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 03:37:12 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of IronCitySteve


4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at 55 degrees F.

A: A thick dark black color. With a decent brown head that quickly dissipated. Lots of carbonation.

S: Lots of chocolate, espresso, fruit (prunes/raisins) and other roasted grain malts. A great smell, becomes more potent as it warms, very typical of this style.

T: A great mixture of chocolate, prunes/raisins, espresso, with some hints of alcohol, all quite balanced.

M: A rich creamy roasted malt flavoring on the tongue. A tad on the dry side.

D: This is a great Imperial Stout. Good for dessert!

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 13:36:41 | More by IronCitySteve
Photo of Chinon01


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

The appearance is deep brown to black. Nice soapy sloppy head. The taste and aroma I would describe as "breakfasty" (i.e. profound cocoa and roasted coffee). And the mouthfeel was rounder and light and sort of milky (not very "hot" or very inky [for an imperial]).

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 16:17:21 | More by Chinon01
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured into a frozen Steelers mug, watching the game. What a great coincidence. Pours chocolate syrup with a dark khaki head.

S. Woody booze dark cherries.

T. Smooth malty and creamy. Sedating. Very well rounded. Toasted malt. Robust coffee in the distance. Sharp bitter hops. There are layers of grandness. 5

M. Coats the palate with a light creme. Enjoyable.

D. I am glad I have 2 more of these!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 00:03:27 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of currysage1


3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into snifter. Pours a thick one finger cocoa head. Dark black velvet look to it.

Smells of rum soaked pound cake, raisins mixed in, chocolate covered figs. Slightly astringent but pleasantly.

Dark chocolate off the bat, with some dark fruits and root vegetable. Middle has more of a boozy sort of feel to it, and it finishes with a candy like sweetness mixed with a dark roasted grain.

Feel is nice and dense, somewhat chewy, and it matches the look with a velvet smoothness.
Drink is somewhat less, not as complex as I would like. RIS are not exactly easy drinking beers but this is one that I would have one but move on. Recommended but not a staple.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 04:21:30 | More by currysage1
Photo of BDIMike


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

Pours a jet black viscous looking color. There is a thin tan head that dissipates immediately.
Smell is somewhat faint for an imperial stout. A faint chocolate malt smell to it with a little bit of plum as well. Some good smoked malts also.
Good taste to this beer. Very strong smoked, roasted malts. Good oaky taste.
Mouthfeel is nice. Very smooth, but slightly thin for an imperial stout.
Drinkability is nice. Very smooth beer and it doesn't have an overbearing strong taste that usually makes it hard to drink a lot of an imperial stout. Not one of the best offerings for its brand, but I could definitely drink a six-pack of these.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 01:32:01 | More by BDIMike
Photo of Nesued

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass from a 12 oz bottle. No freshness date or other such markings to determine production date.

Appearance - Poured a squid ink black (hey, best way of describing the "black" of this pour). A dense tan head formed upon the initial pour that retained until sampling. Opaque with little chance to determine the carbonation density.

Smell - Heavy roasted coffee bean aroma. A yeasty presense as well, but a overwhelming malty nose is what hits me hard.

Taste - The coffee/espresso smell extends into taste as well. The carbonation makes its appearance with a mild bite on the tongue as well. A bit of a bitterness towards the end and little to no alcohol presence. A clean finish with little remaining prior to your next sip.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin in the initial and middle but the finish is worthwhile. A good opening that seems to lose points due to lack of duration when compared to other RISs I've had.

Drinkability - If I had to pick a style, RIS would be my favorate. This offering is above the mean, but not a top RIS. Worth having a few around if you want to compare to others within its class. I have a few aging to see if any change is noticed over time.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 02:07:30 | More by Nesued
Photo of jdubjacket


3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Stella Artois chalice. Pours a deep brown with not much of a head. Smells like roasted coffee and a little bit of chocolate undertones. Taste is primarily coffee and roasted malts. Not incredibly complex. Moderate carbonation makes this relatively drinkable. Not the best RIS, but a good one nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 23:10:39 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of AltBock


2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a shadowy figure of a medicine man or a mountain man on a mountain looking at the full moon in front of him. It's one of their better labels. There is however still no date on the bottle.

I went ahead and poured this oldie into a Maudite Snifter. When it settled, this RIS is a solid ink black with a 1/2 an inch head of mocha colored foam. This mocha head quickly dissipated into a foamy mocha rings along the edge and few mocha spots of lace here and there.

This RIS smelled like cinnamon candy with a hint of dark roasted malts and a tiny splash of dark chocolate. This has to be the first RIS that I've smelled that smells exactly like bulk cinnamon candy.

No cinnamon in the taste, but the taste was dark and roasted like a good RIS should be. This RIS contained dried dark roasted malts, a hint of black cherry, a touch of espresso, and then it suddenly ends with a hoppy alcohol combo. Imagine subtle floral hops soaked in alcohol. That's what the hoppy/alcohol combo tasted like.

The mouthfeel to this RIS was medium bodied and very carbonated with a slightly roasted aftertaste of dried dark roasted malts, a hint of dark fruits, and a drop of alcohol at the finish.

It's clearly not the most roasted of flavorful RIS out on the market, but it is a decent one. It's one of the few can miss RIS. It's one of those beers you get when you want to start out on that particular style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 21:44:46 | More by AltBock
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,414 ratings.