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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

1,495 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,495
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 63
Gots: 124 | FT: 1
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: 1,495 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vacax
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a dark tan head that is rich with microbubbles and attractive lacing. Aroma of caramel malts, bubble gum, and a slight hops spiciness. Taste displays a smooth balance between roasted malts and a bubblegum sweetness. Dark malt finish with some residual dark fruit. Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Quite a good Imperial Stout in my opinion, nice combination of roast and sweet.

vacax, Jul 05, 2009
Photo of drinkHoppy
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Old heathen is a fun beer to pour. It is jet black with a dark tan, creamy head which takes up every bit of glass the beer does not. Don't pour too fast, this will foam over. It does not drink nearly as thick as it looks, and is quite easy to forget this beer is 8%. The smell is pretty pronounced, kind of roasted and chocolaty. A bit of carbonation is noticeable and helps the beer to go fast. This is easy to drink for the style and the alcohol percentage, but the mouthfeel is the only reason I don't buy this beer more often. The taste really lingers and laces your mouth. I find myself taking my next sip just to remove the taste that is left from the previous one.

When people tell me Guinness is the best beer, of course I know they are ignorant to how many types of beers there are, I recommend them to Old Heathen. I am aware that they are very different, but, Old Heathen is a great beer, and i am positive others will like it more than I do.

drinkHoppy, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of colts9016
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a BIF, thank you.

Poured into a pint glass at 51 degree.

Appearance: A dark Tan foamy creamy one finger head that has some retention. The body of the beer is jet black. The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is some carbonation bubble on the side of the glass.

Nose: A rich dark roasted malt, espresso, a molasses like sweetness, dark chocolate, a little bit of wood, citrus, and floral. There is a slight hint of phenols in the background of the beer.

Taste: A very dark roasted malt, espresso, milk chocolate, a touch of molasses, a little wood, cirus, and some floral. There is a nice earthy flavor that grounds this beer. Like in the nose, there is some phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel of the beer is a little flat with some creaminess. The body of the beer is medium full and the finish is medium. This RIS, isnt chewy and full body up in your face like a great RIS. It does hold the characters of a good RIS, so, it isnt too bad. I enjoyed drinking it.

colts9016, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of philipquarles
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours an extremely dark brown with a medium light brown head. Smells of light cocoa and darkly roasted malt. No blatant coffee aromas, surprisingly. The taste is dark, slightly bitter roasted malt with some milk chocolate. Mostly sweet. The body is on the lighter side for an imperial stout. A mediocre RIS, really.

philipquarles, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of Yimosan
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz Brown bottle onto a glass dimpled mug.

A: Jet black with a thick and creamy 2 finger brown head. The head thinned out fairly quick forming a brown bubbly ring around the edge.

S: Chocolate, roasted malt, raisins, and fig.

T: Chocolate definitely comes through first, then sweet roasted malt and I also tasted Fig Newton cookies somewhere in there. As the beer warms, the flavor becomes more integrated, like combining all the components I mentioned above into a blender...simply delicious.

M: Smooth and creamy like a cup of hot cocoa.

D: A very good Russian stout that goes down extremely well.


Yimosan, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The twelve-ounce bottle pours opaque ebony with a faint gleam of polished teakwood trimming the periphery. The brew is capped with a finger's thickness of pale beige foam that fades into a ring, providing a few freckles of lacing that remain on the sides of my Duvel tulip.

The aroma is fruity, dark, and licorice-laced; notes of caramel-drizzled plums, fudge brownies, and dark chocolate-covered raisins swirl above the glass.

The taste is darkly chocolatey with a splash of dried fruits and a bit of cola nuts dipped in caramel. A twangy malty edge of unsulphured molasses adds richness and a note of black coffee that is almost smoky in character languishes deep into the aftertaste.

The drink is lush, full-bodied, and super-smooth. Rich and satisfying, Old Heathen is a fine, fine sipper.

cvstrickland, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of DraperyFalls
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had one of these last night with a bowl of ice cream. The best way to describe the pour on this beer is 'exciting" as the thick (but not overwhelmingly) head forms out of the beautiful dark brown of this stout. Pick it up and you'll get an even more exciting whiff of it. The taste is above average but not uncommon compared to other imperial stouts. There is however, a definite hint of what the server at the Weyerbacher Brewery described to me as "Belgian-influenced" which I can see, but it wasn't the first thing that came to my mind. This "Belgian-influence" added to the smooth mouthfeel of this beer.

DraperyFalls, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of cpmau11
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into large snifter. Small tan head, Very black body. This beer does not seem to have very good head retention. Aroma smells of alcohol and chocolate. The taste has a nice roasty complexity with a hint of what seems to be British Chocolate. Very smooth and warm mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty decent since this RIS is only arond 8.0. Overall I thought this was a very good beer, decent compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts.

cpmau11, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of TheFightfan1
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Poured black with a largly bubbled coco cola heading that disapates to nothing and left no lacing at all.

Smell is deeply roasted and a slight hoppiness can be detected.

Taste is ridiculously roasted with an unbalanced maltiness,also a little gritiness.

Mouth is very smooth and slick a nice sting on the tongue is left a while after finishing. Full bodied ok carbonation.

Drink is good I could have a session with this beer on a chilly night. Even for 8% ABV it is very drinkable.

All and all I was a little disappointed from what I've been hearing about this beer just a good beer nothing spectacular.

TheFightfan1, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of joerodiii
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good imperial stout. It is not over-the-top amazing, but it is one of the more drinkable ones I've had to date. It contains all the usual expected aromas and tastes, roasted malts, sweet maltiness, slight alcohol masked by the sweetness of the beer. There is a nice, subtle oakiness.
Hop bitterness and flavor is low...lower than most others I've tried. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and overcarbonated, but that kind of works.
This is the most sessionable Imperial Stout I've tasted.

joerodiii, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black, oil-like body with a creamy, sticky head. Strong malt smell of roasted/coffee and sweet malts like chocolate, caramel and some dark fruits. Medium-to-full-bodied and very smooth. Lots of malts in this beer such as roasted, coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and some other tart sweet flavors, like cherries or something. Hops balance it out on backend with some herbal dryness. Passes easily and is a very enjoyable beer.

clayrock81, May 27, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pleasing one to two finger head which has lots of big bubbles at first which then sink down into sheet of foam, dark brown in color, the lacing slides easily down the glass. Like its immediate peer group, black as the ace of spades. Anise seed, bittersweet dark chocolate and rum cake, sweet baking spices and creamed coffee make up the bulk of the nose, white raisin, fig, pear, peach fruit, interestingly non-dark in character, flows through your nostrils at a good pace. Medium-bodied, the carbonation awkward in how it handles its enthusiasm, hurts overall balance. The coffee, caramel, chocolate as well as raisin, fig, date, apricot, banana fruit keeps it sweet but by no stretch sugary. In fact, it's much drier than expected. The black licorice, flowers and orange peel lend nuance, still, nothing overtly hop-inspired going on. The roast factor is low. Grinds to a halt semi-prematurely. Needs to offer more pleasure or, conversely, more intellectual engagement.

farrago, May 24, 2009
Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of medium brown head on an opaque black body. The head settles pretty quickly and leaves little lace.

S - Dark and malty; caramel, figs and toffee. Some light milk chocolate and a hint of spicy hops as well.

T - Milk chocolate and smooth coffee. Caramel and toffee in the middle with some minor fruit notes. The character darkens in the finish with some more robust coffee notes and more bitter chocolate. Some slightly smoky, charred notes linger on the palate.

M - Medium-thick body, low carbonation, and an only slightly sweet finish.

D - This is a bit light for the style and unusually smooth. Neither hop character nor roasted malt is overly powerful and while, when combined with the smooth alcohol, this makes for easy drinkability, it also limits complexity. In some ways, this is almost more like an Imperial Porter. A good beer overall, nothing to complain about, but nothing special and not as interesting as I would hope for something in this price range to be.

nickfl, May 18, 2009
Photo of wspscott
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip

A: Black as night, pours with a huge head that dissappears quickly leaving a small bit of lace. The head was surprisingly dark colored, almost a dark caramel color.
S: Chocolate is the most obvious smell, followed by roasted malts and some dark fruits from the yeast (I assume).
T: The taste is predominately roasted malts along with some sweetness, almost makes me think of a bigger version of a sweet stout. There is still a bit of chocolate on the tongue, but it is in the background. No sign of hops, the only bitterness comes from the roasted malt.
M: Creamy, and a little drying, medium carbonation, needs a little more "richness", comes across a little light on the tongue, maybe a little less attenuation.
D: This goes down very easy, a great dessert beer, there is no sign of alcohol, I expect a little bit of "warming" in a RIS. This makes me think of an imperial sweet/milk stout, a bigger (and roastier) version of Young's double chocolate stout. Very yummy, very recommended. I wish I could get this in KY.

wspscott, May 09, 2009
Photo of Yetiman420
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours black with a thin tan head despite a tremendous amount of fine bubbles.

Rich aroma with roasted coffee chocolate malt. After the head settles, aroma turns slightly metallic.

Drinks easy for an imperial stout but at 8%, it may be one of the lowest RIS I've sampled. A modest balance of what I'm guessing may be coffee and chocolate malt.

Yetiman420, May 06, 2009
Photo of Naugled
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served in tulip glass

A: fine brown head, dam near opaque dark walnut color

S: nice roasted malt smell, coffee and dried fruit in background

T: nice subdued flavors, little bitterness, but some sournesss, which helps cut the sweetness of it. caramel, candy come through as well as some late bitterness from the hops, nicely balanced

M: medium mouthfeel, but rich and smooth with little carbonation bite.

D: very good, I could drink a few of these.

Well done lighter Imperial Stout

Naugled, May 03, 2009
Photo of mralphabet
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pint glass

A: Pours dark as night... about 1 & 1/2 fingers of tan... It fades to a small ring, with little to no lacing.

S: I'm getting some chocolate, maybe dark cherries and alot of coffee.

T: Very creamy coffee, with hints of chocolate toasted malts and a slight dark cherry aftertaste... There is a a little bitterness at the back of the palate but it is not over powering... True Russian Imperial Stout.

M: Mouthfeel is on the money. Perfectly carbonated for this style. Thick, rich and smooth...

D: Pretty drinkable for a 8% ABV... I could a couple a night.

mralphabet, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of damienblack
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from a glass a couple of nights ago. Standard RIS appearance, decent tan head, decent lacing left. Aroma was sweet, malty and a bit coffee-ee. Taste was overwhelmingly sweet. There wasn't much in the way of the big roastiness I love so much, which was a bit dissappointing. It sort of lacks roast and focuses on sweet in the same way Rasputin lacks sweet and focuses on roast. Not a bad beer by any means, just lacking a bit. Mouthfeel was still plenty chewy, full bodied, and low on carbonation. Drinkability was very high, although it's not really the most alcoholic RIS to begin with. OK, decent to try, but nothing to get excited over.

damienblack, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed pouring this beer into my glass, as I have taken a liking to darker, heavier bodied beers lately. It is black, with a brown tinged head. The taste had strong coffee and chocolate notes, with a subtle dryness that led to a sweet and sour aftertaste (could just be my pallet today). I found it drinkable, with the alcohol somewhat inconspicuous. I look forward to finishing my six-pack.

, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of gabrielsyme
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the real ale tap at Rustico. Pours dark dark black with maybe some ruby lasting. Taste is like fine dark chocolate, sweet without being sickly so, and some bitterness in the finish. Strong enough to let you know it, but still relatively easy to finish.

gabrielsyme, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle was purchased in Nov of 07 and so has about 18 months of bottle age.

Appearance: Pours dark brown almost black with a full foam head about ¾" thick which is dark tan in color. The head recedes slowly and sipping leaves a nice line of foam with trails of lacing down to the rim of foam around the liquid. A fine layer of foam remains on the surface.

Smell: The aroma leaves no doubt this is a stout. There are dark roasted malts here with bittersweet chocolate, hints of dark fruits, some coffee, and no remaining trace of the hops that might have been present when the bottle was new.

Taste: The dominant flavor is the dark roasted bittersweet chocolate malt, with some traces of sweetness popping out here and there. I really don't taste any hops here at all but there are definite coffee and dark fruit flavors in the mix.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is smooth, thick and almost oily and the carbonation is minimal. The finish is long and balanced between dryness and bittersweet flavor from the roasted malt, again there seems to be no strong hop presence.

Drinkability: A very nice Imperial Stout that is as complex in flavor as you could ask for. As seems to be the case with most Imperial Stouts this one should be only lightly chilled or the flavors may be too harsh for some. However, at 8% ABV it's the a one a night beer to sip slowly and savor. I'm looking forward to the bottle of the bourbon barrel aged version (Heresy) that I'll be opening and reviewing in the next few days.

drtth, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of tigg924
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black, small head

Smell:burnt malt, coffee, alcohol

Taste: burnt malt, coffee, alcohol

Mouthfeel: a little creamy, heavy body, bitter and biting--slightly sweet finish

Drinkability: I do not see this as being overly complex for a RIS. It is very one or two dimensional. I think there are better offerings for the style and will not get this again.

tigg924, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Very dark brown pour with a minimalistic brown head. Retained a ring throughout and stuck to the sides of the glass just slightly. Nice roasty aromas, malt, coffee and light chocolate, just a hint of hops. Creamier mouthfeel than I was expecting, pretty nice. Taste is quite similar to the aromas. There is some dark plum or other red fruit in their also. I like these imperials that are below 10%, less boozy and very drinkable. It doesn't have the complexity that the big boys have, but is excellent in it's own right. Especially since I think Weyerbacher produces quite a few overly boozy brews.

Bung, Apr 13, 2009
Photo of goblue3509
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a very dark brown almost black color. The smell is malty, you can't smell all of the complexity of the taste of the beer though. The taste of the beer is like a stout, it is malty and smokey. There is also a taste of licorice in there as well. There is very little carbonation for mouthfeel. This is a very good beer, but it would be difficult to drink a large amount of them. It does go down smooth, but a little heavy.

goblue3509, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of Durge
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a perfect opaque black color with a very decent crackling brown head and very nice lacing. The aroma is an inviting chocolate charcoal and licorice. The flavor jumps out with all the same qualities plus a sweet malt background. It's got some hop bitterness at the edges, but overall this is smooth, in a very medium bodied lucious feeling stout. Surprisingly drinkable due to subtlety of the alcohol presence and great mouthfeel and great flavor. This is what a stout should be. Bravo!

Durge, Apr 04, 2009
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,495 ratings.