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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

1,434 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,434
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 60
Gots: 102 | FT: 3
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: 1,434 | Reviews: 803 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Running4beer


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out jet black with a small tan froth that disappears to just a lace around the glass. Smell was sweet malts, chocolate and espresso and coffee and maybe a hint of raspberry. Taste was similar sweet chocolate espresso and coffee and a bit of alcohol to give you a nice warming feeling. Very flavorful and medium bodied mouthfeel. This is very drinkable and very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2004 03:35:04 | More by Running4beer
Photo of Mitchster


2.03/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours completely opaque, not a suggestion of accents when held to bright light. Forms a modest dark tan head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is intense with deeply roasted grains, bittersweet chocolate, bitter cocoa powder, vanilla, french roast coffee, and walnuts. As it warms, acetone and sparse fusels become noticeable. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a sterile finish and medium body (surprisingly light for the style). The taste is an muted echo of the aroma, however a few undesirable elements make themselves known. There is a metallic note throughout, lasting into the finish, as well as a pronounced cardboard twang which I sometimes appreciate in amateur homebrew. Odd metallic oxidized tartness. Blech. The finish is roasted, but not malty nor thick. The hops are restrained in their bitterness and flavor.

Not a good imperial stout, and not even a good beer. Thin, lacking in body, poor mouthfeel, and unsettling off-flavors which make it difficult to drink. Down the drain she goes. Pass on this one, it's a stinker.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 18:34:14 | More by Mitchster
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black with a thick rich brown head

Smell: Oak, rich dark malt. Fruity and sweet. Smells like chocolate liqueur.

Taste: Strong oaky, port flavors. Prominenet alcohol flavor. Bitter coffee and fruity. Ever had those little chocolate bottle candies filled with various liqueurs? Well, this beer tastes a bit like Anthony Berg chocolate bottles filled with Grand Marnier. However, it could stand to be aged a bit to smooth it out.

Mouth: Huge, alcohol aftertaste

Drink: A good imperial stout, if a bit young at this tasting.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 01:52:01 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep black color with a thick brown head. The aroma is great. It has an intense black malt scent that is accompanied by chocolate and roasted malts; very nice. The taste is good. It has a rich dark malt feel that goes down easy and finishes dry and slightly bitter. It seems that this and the raspberry imperial stout are really bitter on the finish; maybe too much black malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This beer drinks well. I like the Weyerbacher lineup very much especially their "big beer" spread. This is a fine imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2004 01:49:57 | More by WesWes
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mimimal brown head. Beer is an opaque black in the glass.
Aroma of medium to heavily roasted malt, dark fruit, cocoa, and a slight smokiness.

Taste shows roasty malt and dark fruit. Slight smokiness, coffee, cocoa, and alcohol. Hops provide a nice balance and really kick in at the finish.

Good body to the mouthfeel, although it's a little thin for an imperial stout.
This one is relatively smooth and the alcohol is well hidden, yielding a very drinkable imperial stout.
Overall, a good imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2004 15:56:11 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of merlin48


4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky, opaque, dark brown with a minimal, tan head that quickly falls into a film and patches of lace.
Aroma is subdued for the style, but roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and some smoky nuttiness are very noticeable.
Mouthfeel is smooth and satiny, with medium carbonation and a peppery, hop bite.
Taste is enormous, and belies the subdued nose. A walnut nuttiness opens the door to a delicious roasted Kona coffee flavor, backed with a superior, dark chocolate note. Cherry and some plum fruity flavors emerge midway through. Alcohol is hidden away extremely well. Finish tastes like butternut roasted coffee.
One of the best tasting, American imperial stouts around. This makes up in taste what it lacks in aroma. I'm going to stock up on these next time I see them.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2004 01:05:24 | More by merlin48
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Black as coal, totally opaque. Good carbonation. Nose is roasted malts; Starts with a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor, finishes smooth with just a bit of bitterness. You don't notice the high ABV. $2.10 for a 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 23:39:11 | More by jdhilt
Photo of mzwolinski


3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a trip to New York, and have been saving it for a year or so while I quaffed all the lesser-ABV brews.

A nice-looking beer, to be sure. Jet black in color, with a surprisingly large, creamy, dark tan head. This settles into a respectable and persistant top.

Aroma is nice, with a big malt profile and a hint of roastiness. Develops a bit of fruitiness later on, but not as robust a scent as is typical for the style.

Malt is well-developed in the flavor as well, with chocolatey hints and a wee-bit o' roastiness to the finish. This gets better with warmth, developing a bit of plum flavor and a slightly more assertive bitterness to the finish. But still, in the end, lacks much hint of alcohol or any of the estery byproducts that one would expect from the style. Full-bodied, but rather high level of carbonation which makes it seem less so. Warming.

Decent enough, but in the end, a bit too "polite" for the "Imperial" guard. Send this stout back to the stormtroopers!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 07:57:55 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, with no dating. Pours BLACK, very dark tan head. Coffee and cocoa in the nose. Nice thick and heavy mouthfeel. Burnt fruit, chocolate, black malt. Alcohol obvious but nicely in the background. Hint of vanilla and fruit in a nice long and smooth finish. High quality brew. Nice warming sipper

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 21:40:29 | More by Billolick
Photo of jward


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a somewhat thin brown head. The impressive nose presents cocoa powder, cherry and a pleasant woodsy, oak aroma. Rich roasted malt dominates the flavor profile, with hints of fruity tartness appearing mid-palate, giving way to a dark, even burnt, espresso-like finish. Hints of alcohol are also present at the finish. With a creamy mouthfeel, this is a delicious imperial from Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2004 23:50:14 | More by jward
Photo of ark57


4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is thick and black. It has a thin tan head and a lot of aroma that smells of coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruits. The smooth body is very complex with tastes of coffee, choclate, plum, port wine, and a slight sourness. It finishes relatively dry with a taste of molasses. It would go well with a choclate dessert or as a nightcap on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 13:43:12 | More by ark57
Photo of 99bottles


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher's Old Heathen is a pretty good imperial stout. It lacks the wow of the big boys (Stone, Victory, Rogue) and falls more in line with what I try to use as my imperial benchmark, Sam Smith. It's not too fancy, easy malt and choco, somewhat weak hopfeel. It pours a deep brown-black and yields a deep tan head which quickly subsides to a thin lace upon the surface of the beer. The taste of alcohol is strong for only being 8%. I would think the ABV could be increased and the overall flavor enhanced with a better blend of hops. It just lacks something the others don't. Not at all bad, but really not worth the purchase if another is available.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 08:29:09 | More by 99bottles
Photo of ChrisBowers


3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off, let me say I LOVE the aftertaste of this beer. Rich espresso, bittersweet chocolate and a nice warming effect. What I don't really like all that much is the initial taste. Its a been "mediciney" for lack of a better word. Its not that its a bad taste, its just odd. Alcohol is very apparent. Mouthfeel is average to thin. There are much better representations available from regional breweries such as Victory's Storm King. Still, a very drinkable beer, but chances are you'll have your choice of others if you find a place that has this.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 01:40:10 | More by ChrisBowers
Photo of nomad


3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a good mocha head, and coating lace and stain blanketing the glass. Looks good.

Smells of cookie dough, sweet dark malt, chocolate milk wisps, and a combination of roasty notes and soapy hop notes.

Has espresso impressions from the black and roast malt mix. Fairly chewy, but a thin body of flavor that doesn't show more than a general Imperial Stout personality, though with a toasted nut tone. Milky and light roast finish. Moderate mouthfeel. Hard to choose when Storm King and Black Choc. Stout are as available at the same price.

Another average approximation of the style by Weyerbacher. But, as always, their offerings are drinkable thanks to their moderate profiles.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2004 02:10:50 | More by nomad
Photo of BierReise


3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick head which lasted quite awhile. Aroma of cocoa and dark roasted coffee with subtle fruit notes. Body is thin for the style yet smooth. Flavors are good, roasty malt, chocolate but finishing a bit too dry in my opinion. I found the thinner body, drier finish and lack of sweetness uncharacteristic for the style. Not an exceptional Stout but a decent one. Thanks Jason for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2004 13:02:11 | More by BierReise
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark beer fans pay heed: this beer is remarkable.

It pours a dark, dark brown with a deep brown head - the heavy nature of the beer is apparent in pouring. You can tell that it will be very thick and slow drinking, as almost no light passes through it. Smells of caramels, malts, and alcohol. The taste is overall sweet - but carries with it many complexities. Caramel and coffee seem to join forces against a warm, alcohol flavor which warms the mouth when you drink it. The body of this beer is thick - and delicious.

Something about this beer just wows me. I actually drank 3 bottles of it (on different occasions) before writing this review because I was afraid I was exaggerating my joy for it.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 12:24:51 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Erix


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold, in a pint glass
Appear: Poured a somewhat sluggish, somewhat rocky head. Very very dark beer, with slow, almost nonexistant bubbles rising.
Smell: Nice sweet roasted malt first off. Smells more like a milk stout than an imperial stout, actually. I expect a bit more hops in this style, but it still smells delicious.
Taste: Not as strong as an imperial stout should be. Nicely roasted flavor. A little alcohol, but not as apparent as its 8% would suggest. Sweetness fades kinda quickly, leaving a lingering bitterness, and something like burnt toast. Tastes great, and I would give it a higher rating here, but its just not quite right for the style. Well balanced, however.
Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy, coating.. nice. A little astringent, however.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable despite the high alcohol. I like this beer, and wish my rating was higher, but it just doesn't fit the billing for an imperial stout to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 13:25:11 | More by Erix
Photo of mschofield


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well carbonated, black or dark brown with a two finger chocolate-khaki puffy head. Thin bits of sparse lacing remain.
Deep coffee and roasted malt aroma, a little soaked wheat note.
Chocolate, caramel and black patent, bitterness seems to come from heavily roasted malt not hops. Black currant, coffee, what hops exist are floral, but they're crushed under all the dark flavors.
Robust, smooth, but full, acidic bite.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 21:07:32 | More by mschofield
Photo of bditty187


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as midnight, even when I held it to the light only a vague brown hue could be detected, the russet head of a half finger in height held reasonably well. It did dissipate in time. The subsequent lacing was spotty but evident. The nose is big and aromatic with heaps of rich roasted malts, dry coffee beans, and milk chocolate; it is a luscious nose. The aromas of hops are absent. Inviting. The palate was surprisingly watery upfront with minimal bulk until the middle, here I found a solid foundation of roasted malts, hints of coffee, very dry, minimal chocolate, which was contrary to the invitation of the aromas. The hops are somewhat noticeable but dull. The aftertaste is amazingly long; it latched onto my cheeks and never left. This is a smaller Imperial Stout or a big “regular” Stout. Either way I am impressed with Old Heathen. It is not very hoppy nor is it very burnt but is kind of sweet and very relaxing, especially for the style. The mouthfeel is apathetic, this is a bit of a disappointment, it lacks in sturdiness; the carbonation was moderate but manageable. I found this to be an easy drinking Imperial Stout (is that good?), I really couldn’t taste the alcohol, it’s plenty drinkable. As a whole, I really dig this one, flaws and all. It is well worth trying. Thanks Bierman9!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 21:27:33 | More by bditty187
Photo of RoyalT


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Solid black in color with a nice, very tight, tanned head that showed some good retention.

Smell – What a lovely bouquet! This is indeed “imperial.” The roasted malts form the backbone here, but they are complimented by a plethora of smells. The deep, dark fruits are among the highlights. The big Rainier cherries are especially appealing, as are the tobacco and dates.

The espresso is prominent as well, nicely encouraged by the raw sugars and alcohol. All in all, this has a very complex nose, and I’m sure I haven’t done it justice.

Taste – The espresso from the nose steps it up a bit here, as this is the prominent flavor that I found. The malts of course make up the base, and all the sugar and fruits from the smell find their way to the tongue. I really liked the fine cocoa powder that introduced itself to me here.

Mouthfeel – Impeccably smooth and very bitter. This medium to full-bodied Imperial Stout was a joy to hold in the cheeks.

Drinkability – My wife and I had some good unexpected work-related news to celebrate tonight, and I couldn’t have wandered into a nicer ale. This one will close the evening, as I can't imagine chasing it with anything else. Guten nacht!

Comments – Curses to Jason for sending this to me. I’ll never be able to get the flavors out of my mind and will trade and spend foolishly trying to get another.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 04:14:33 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Indybeer


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.Poured a dark black with a massive head that really stuck around. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is of espresso coffee, roasted malt and a slight smokiness. Taste is coffee and chocolate and lots of roasted malt. This is not an overpowering imperial, but has a very good balance. Smooth and silky with just the right amount of bitterness in the finish. This is a very easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 05:22:12 | More by Indybeer
Photo of frank4sail

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black opeque look in the glass with a nice rich milk cocoa colored head on the pour which settles quickly to a tan sheen and lace. Nice cocoa black malt and slight berry nose. Sharp sourish plum , burnt malt, and light expresso are show the most. The feel and taste are a little lighter than you would think. Medium mouth. Dry sightly sour tongue in the finish. Overall very nice.. just a slight lightness to the brew sensed.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 01:46:33 | More by frank4sail
Photo of bigbubba


3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was extremely dark with a dissapointing head that faded quickly. The smell was very good, but the taste didn't follow. It wasn't bad as a stout, but compared to other Imperial Stouts it was not impressive. There was a nice dark malt taste. It is a decent beer but it just doesn't live up to this category.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 04:17:53 | More by bigbubba
Photo of BCMan


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was not what I was expecting at all. This seams to be one of those beers that will sneak up on you because it's very easy to drink but has very respectable ABV. It pours smooth and generates a frothy, brown head. The color is very deep redish color when held to the light but away from the light it appears black. The foam faded fast to a weather system over the beer. The first sip was very good. Had a nice bold flavor to it that was full of chocolate and coffee tones. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth. As I said before, very drinkable. I tend to stay away from Weyerbacher but since recently having the Rasberry Imperial and now this beer I realize that I need to stay with the styles I like brcause these two beers are very nice beer to have on hand. I highly suggest you try if if you haven't already.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 01:39:04 | More by BCMan
Photo of CharlesRiver


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Imperial Stouts so when new ones come to town, I get excited. Pours out solid black, much like oil with almost no head at all. The smell is wonderful. Coffee and chocolate with a grainy almost nutty flavor. The taste is not as nice as the smell. Solid, just no mind blowing. More coffee and some burnt notes come through. I like my imp stouts to have more of a hop backbone which this one seems to lack. More on the sweet side. A good beer that I am glad that I tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2004 01:06:08 | More by CharlesRiver
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.