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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

1,469 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,469
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 63
Gots: 120 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,469 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 release, Sampled October 2007
Pours with a one finger thick, light brown colored head that sits atop an opaque, black colored brew. The aroma is quite concentrated with notes of roasted, dried figs, cherries, a touch of sherry, light chocolate notes, smooth espresso roast coffee beans, and a touch of alcohol, which adds some fruit-brandy like notes here that is quite distinct. An aged character has thinned out the malt a bit here, but seems to have smoothed things out quite a bit as well.

This has somewhat of a light body, at least for an Imperial Stout, but it does have some heft to it which provides some palate coating character and body to this brew. The taste has a touch of caramelized, slightly roasted sweetness to it and it is actually fairly fruity tasting as well (raisins, figs, perhaps a hint of cherry, and even some notes of prunes; all of which have been roasted / burnt to one degree or other). Chalky chocolate malt notes and roasted grain flavors (reminiscent of smooth espresso) linger in the finish as does a very slight, hop bitterness. A burnt plum character becomes more prominent as the beer warms up a bit. This is quite smooth tasting & feeling, though it could be a touch too thin.

This has clearly aged in the two years since bottling, perhaps a bit more than expected, but it is still a tasty brew and would even age gracefully for at least another couple of years.

Gueuzedude, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of JamesS
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nicely, thick and dark with a nice head of foam, just like a stout should. Good smell, loamy with a chocolate/coffee hint, but the high level of alcohol detracts a bit from the scent. It has a nice feel going down, but not as smooth as most stouts I've had. Very deep flavor, malty and rich with a bit of a coffee overtone. I like that it has a high ABV, but even for an imperial the alcohol takes away slightly from the overall taste. Even though it's not high on my list of stouts, it's worth a try.

EDIT: I've had several more of these in the past year and it gets nothing but better. Wonderful smoky, coffee flavors, smoother going down. Better all around than the first 1/4 case.

JamesS, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a chalice glass, pours pitch black, very fizzy, a thick two inch dark tan head eventually settling to a quarter inch or so... a little less fizzy and more smooth and this gets a perfect score. Molasses and a boozy, rummy alcohol are most present in the nose, toasty, roasted malts, roasted coffee, dark fruits like plum, maybe some tobacco, and maybe some Dr. Pepper? It'd explain the massive carbonation!

The taste is similarly good, full of roasted goodness, plum, roasted and black strap malts, molasses, espresso, and a warm rum through the middle. Unfortunately, that carbonation I've been talking about is very distracting in the mouth, and hampers the onslaught of flavors. Fortunately, after some warming, that carbonation also tones down, and am able to enjoy it better. Overall, a pretty good impy stout, not my fav, but glad I had it for sure.

objectivemonkey, Sep 14, 2007
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another solid RIS from another great brewery.

A - pitch black color, small dark tan head
S - Sweet dark malts, roasted grains & cocoa
T - similar to the aroma but with a modest hop bite and a bit of ABV making itself known.
M - Medium to full body, nicely carbonated, smooth and balanced.
D - A nice solid RIS. I could drink a couple over an evening and be happy.

Not over the top, not underwhelming. A nice RIS. If it was in my marketplace I'd pick some up for the winter season.

barleywinebrewer, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this bottle back in late July, based on notes:

Poured mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Some roasted malt

T: Chocolate & chewy malt up front. A little iron as this warms. Finishes dry with more chocolate

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation

Drank easy for the abv, a decent not great IMP Stout

russpowell, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of Risser09
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter - 2007 bottling

Appearance: Pours a darbk black thing of beauty. The head is a bountiful inch and is brown. Nothing like a dark stout during the dog days of summer. Bubbles range from large in size to mostly miniscule. No light can possibly penetrate this dark elixir.

Smell: Roasted malt and coffee are huge aromas. The aroma is that of a freshly roasted espresso bean. Vanilla and cocoa powder are also present. The sweet smells remind me of the homemade chocolate cake my grandma made. Nicely done.

Taste: Roasted malt profile, huge espresso flavor and lots of sweetness. Dark chocolate and no really fruity flavors. If you don't like fruity stouts, this is for you. I find this one to be very earthy in its aroma and taste. There is a nice touch of smoke at the finish. Complex with its earthy flavor build.

Mouthfeel: Pinchy with carbonation at first touch. This beer has a medium body and a sugary sweetness that is followed up by mocha espresso flavors. Alcohol is present but does not get in the way of the flavors. Slight warming belt in the throat and stomach. Creamy finish is pleasant and doesn't make you drink just to quench yourself.

Drinkability: Great. I think this beer has improved since the first time I had it a few years ago. It's a very very drinkable stout that isn't outrageously expensive. I could see myself buying a case/keg of this during the winter months. The earthy flavors are very approachable for my palate. I would pair this with some funky cheeses or even alone as a dessert. It would do well with grilled meat, too. Very nice. One of the better stouts I've had this year.

Risser09, Sep 08, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep black with a thin brown head and patchey lacing. Ruby shades when held to the light but still deeply black.

S - Nice aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and hints of coffee and a milky vanilla. The aroma is very promising.

T - Slightly astringent to start followed by sweet milk chocolate and a burnt coffee finish. The taste is missing some of the nice aromas and is a touch harsh on the burnt astringency.

M - Mouthfeel is medium full and creamy.

D - ABV is well hidden. Tasty but flavor needs to reflect aroma a bit more to be outstanding.

brewcrew76, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of templar316
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As beautiful as beer gets on the pour. A thick black unable to see through you have to be ready for a beer like this. Extraordinary aroma; bready, yeasty, and above all malty. The head dissapates too fast and you certainly need to decant to serve as they're is defineatly an over carbonation straight from the bottle. However once you get to the taste it can't be beat: malty, bready, chocolately, a perfect finish to any evenings enjoyment. Though the complex flavor is best limited to a few rather then a dozen.
Still smooth and malty, nowadays it seems like everyones trying to knock you out at the first sip. Old Heathen is a beer that knows balance.

templar316, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: An absolute pitch-black sea, no light getting through a rather viscous looking liquid. Topped by a thick, voluminous tan head that likes to stick around.

S: Roasted malt aroma with a spike of hops and/or alcohol in the nose. Notes of dark fruit, currant. Bready.

T: Verbose and powerful malts that roll over the palate in a smooth but heavy wave. Sweet and smoky flavor that carries notes of cocoa and an espresso-like character toward the end. Alcohol warms the tongue while the flavor becomes more pronounced as the beer itself warms.

M: Well-carbonated little number, with a syrupy and creamy texture.

D: Perhaps not the most fantastic RIS I've come across, but definitely worth a try, especially for fans of the style. A quite quaffable brew in the RIS category, yet perhaps a little tame compared to its competitors. Nevertheless, it's still a good offering by Weyerbacher, as this beer is not without merit.

CharlieMopps, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank this one a bit warm, but just had to try one.
Beer poured an almost black, motor oil brown. Perfect for style.
Left a small half inch head that went away too fast.

The nose was chocolatey, with hints of roasted barly and even a slightly metalic twinge.

Taste was very much of chocolate, toasted grains, nicely balanced with bittering hops.
A little disapointng on the mouthfeel, though. Seemed to be a bit thin. I expected more for a "impy" stout.

dmamiano, Aug 15, 2007
Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour black without light being able to penetrate the glass. Nice beige head, although it has a short life. Good lace

Classic stout aromas--black patent malt, slight alcohol, low hop.

High alcohol warmth. Dark malt flavors upfront. Not overly complex. Relatively thin body but I think this comes from the higher alcohol content. Reasonable body and carbonation.

This is a potent brew, although it seems more alcoholic than the abv would suggest. That leads me to believe that this beer is underflavored. It's good but, IMHO, not as good as some of the other reviews suggest.

smcolw, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: as of writing this, the bottle was purchased nearly one year ago.

Appearance: Pours a black body with a small brown head.

Smell: Aroma of dark chocolate with notes of vanilla and caramel and only a faint, faint bit of fruitiness and pine lurking beneath the maltiness.

Taste: A tasty, sweet mixture of high-percentage cocoa dark cocolate and crème de menthe, like a liquefied Andes mint. The finish is sweet and roasty, with a nice anise flavor lingering into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Soft carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A delightful stout fresh and even moreso a year later.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 06, 2007
Photo of Overlord
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to leftmindedrighty for the beer trade.

A drinkable stout, but not much going on with it. Except for a deep smoky, roasted malt flavor, I didn't detect much of anything. Not a lot of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, roast fruit, etc.

It did pour a nice inky black with a good finger sized head. Decent, but not superlative.

Overlord, Aug 02, 2007
Photo of Atron67
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- poured an opaque black with a big brown head that stayed for a little while, and left only light lacing
S- strong roasted and malt scents, a slight alcohol whiff, a little bitterness at then end
T- strong roasted malts provide the bulk of the flavor, a nice lingering complexity underneath. there is a bitterness at the finish which provides a nice balance
M- a crisp fine carbonation, with a surprizingly light body, but is still not That light of a body
D- pretty solid and enjoyable to drink, but ide prolly pick up some bells stout or something else before this

Atron67, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of ericj551
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Old Heathen pours a thick inky black with a small head that dissipates quickly. The smell is rich caramel malts, very sweet with a decent amount of roastiness. The flavor is nice and sweet first, with a light fruitiness that gives way to chocolatey roasted malts. Warming alcohol is apparent in the finish, more than I would expect for 8%. It has a slightly whiskey like flavor to it, as if it was aged in oak barrels.

ericj551, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of jackorain
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque, black no light. Half inch tan head decent retention and lace

Nose of coffee, chocolate malt, roaste barley and green hops

Tastes of sweet mollases, coffee, chocolate and prunes. Some bitterness from the dark roasted barley. A little green hops comes through on the finish.

Medium to full body. very smooth, a little sticky on the lips

i could drink a few

jackorain, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with a small dark tan head. In the aroma, alcohol and a sugary coffee smell. In the taste, a nice coffee and chocolate malt. It does have a sticky malt, yet smooth, yet a nice alcohol presence. I think this is one of the better beers from Weyerbacher, yet it seems to overlooked alot.

OWSLEY069, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of mountdew1
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A very nice dark brown/black opaque color. Minimal head, that was slightly brown and foamy. The head disappeared quickly. Aroma seemed of sweet brown sugar oatmeal. Taste was slightly sweet with grains with oatmeal cookie flavors. Very easy going down. Nice thickness to the beer, lingered in the mouth just enough to be pleasant. A slight bitter aftertaste, but nothing bad. Great beer.

mountdew1, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for the brew.

This is my 800th BA review.

Poured into a chalice a nice deep black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head, some sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, slightly roasted, lots of coffee/caramel. The taste is malty, roasted, slightly tangy/bitter, a good dose of coffee/caramel. The alcohol is hidden pretty well though. Medium body, a well rounded brew. Drinkable, the brew lacks something (more malts, more oaky/roastedness to bring it over the top), glad to have had a chance to try it though. Recommended.

Wasatch, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark, black beer with a beige head which settles after pouring the beer.

Smell of molasses and burned, with some woody notes. This is a full-bodied smell with hints of coffee, vanilla and fresh chopped wood.

Taste is mild molasses with burned coffee notes. This burned taste also gives a maltbitterness, which together with the hop bitterness make it a real treat. There is a wood taste that I can only describe as fresh wood or timber. As I move along I get more and more dark chocolate taste. Some booziness in the back of my throat, a warming feeling, which is nice. Mouthfeel is velvety, viscous and a little sweet and sticky. Drinkability is very good, the 8% alcohol wasn't very detectable.

Absumaster, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Eyedrinkale for this beer.

This beer is missing something in the flavor that would push it over the top. I think it is some sort of definable fruitiness that is normally present in most beers of this style.

Pours an absolute dark brown coor with a thick fom head that really tries not to dissolve into a thinner film. Nose is Dark malts and something biting.

Flavor is malty with bits of coffee and dark chocolate. Kind of a wholesome breadiness to the beer as well. Very full body but the flavor does not stic to the cheeks as I expected. ABV is hardly noticeable but warms one up. Honestly, this would be a decent winter beer.

MuddyFeet, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of mortarit
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have been trying more Imperial Stout these days. Why I don't know you would think I would wait till the cooler months. I remember late year when trying my first Russian Imperial Stout that squinted my mouth from the different style. This style is starting to have appeal to me.

For this partilicur one

It meets the standards but wish it was a little fuller.
Honestly I would like to pair this one up with others in its field. I feel that this one is riding the fence.

Very dark
little to no head
low in carbonation
taste is weak so its hard to tell

mortarit, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Deep dark black body with minimal brown head. Head fades quickly to a nice collar and leaves behind some lacing in the glass. Decent overall but not the head retention I was expecting.

S- Toasted malt and dark chocolate hit the nose first. Hints of coffee are there too. Nose is robust.

T- Big, strong, robust taste. Toasted malt and coffee upfront. Followed by a nice balance of malt, coffee and dark chocolate. Bittersweet dark chocolate lingers on the palate.

M- Medium carbonation and thick syrupy body. Goes down smooth.

D- ABV very well hidden in this brew by the big robust taste. This is a very drinkable and enjoyable imperial stout. This came in my weyerbacher "big beers" variety pack. This and double simcoe have shown to be excellent brews. I am looking foreward to trying the other 2 in this pack I have not had yet

PittBeerGirl, Jul 14, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the brewery's March open house.

A: The stout is pitch black. I'd love to elaborate, but nothin' gets in and nothin' gets out. The head measured around 1 finger and is now an off-white, cappucino colored thin band of foam. A thicker pool gathers in the center of the glass than at the edges (thanks, nucleation).

S: The nose is huge. Roasted malts, chocolate and graham cracker all conspire to create a thick, luxurious nose.

T: Nothin' worse than reviewing an old bottle. My last review of Old Heathen was, in my opinion, a tad past its prime. The taste on this bottle is huge, a strong RIS. Roasted grains and burnt toast lead the way, creating a harsh, dark dry body that is quite deep. Some sweeter graham flavors soften up the roasted notes. Lingering at the end of the sip is a smoked flavor that, while subtle, is distinctive.

M: The mouthfeel enscapsulates roasted malts, sweet graham, smoked grains and chocolatey sweetness. Nicely done.

D: The abv is fairly high, I don't see this beer being a regular go-to. The flavor is strong nonetheless, packing a big punch that goes down pleasantly.

akorsak, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of jim102864
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a solid interpretation of the Imperial Stout style by a brewer whose offerings I've never sampled before, in part because they've only recently become available in Connecticut.

Appearance in my nonic glass was black as night. No head at all and chocolate black perhaps best describes it. It's an imperial stout, so no surprises there.

The nose was of alcohol esters but really nothing else was discernable. Somewhat dissapointing, but lets taste it for a final verdict.

The taste was slightly sweet with chocolate notes and aged blackberry licorice. Nice.

Mouthfeel was big and chewy with obvious alcohol in the finish. Viscous. Coats the tongue.

This is a IS, so it's meant to be savored. A beer I prefer during cold winter nights but certainly can be enjoyed anytime.

jim102864, Jun 27, 2007
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,469 ratings.