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Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,567 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,567
Reviews: 815
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 65
Gots: 149 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

Rich, velvety and deliciously complex, Old Heathen (8% ABV) is a truly distinctive stout. We use seven types of malt and two varieties of hops to bring forth this big brew. Quite robust and roasty on the palate, Old Heathen Imperial Stout has a wonderfully fruity nose and a moderately dry finish. The taste is highly complex. Perhaps you’ll even discern notes of espresso or chocolate.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,567 | Reviews: 815 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beermanbrian
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one has been sitting in the cellar for at least 18 months, maybe 2 years. Pours black, with just the faintest tinge of brown around the edges. Small tan head that fades to a halo around the top very quickly. Smell is coffee and bourbon. The 8% really shows itself. I thought it may have mellowed over time but i think it is more pronounced. Coffee, chocolate and some dark fruit can be noted in the taste, but again the alchohol comes through. This isn't a bad thing on a cool fall day and gives a nice warming feeling. Overall a nice RIS. About what I've come to expect from Weyerbacher.

Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears black with a small, tan head that fades into a mild cap and collar. Streaks of lacing are left all around the glass.
Smell is of cream, vanilla, bakers chocolate, coffee, fudge, dark fruits, and roasted malts.
Taste is of the aromas with the same creamy, cocoa infused, fudgy, coffee flavors.
Mouthfeel is creamy, full bodied, along with some creamy, buttery notes along the tongue. There are also aspects of roastyness, and fruitiness that lead to a roasty bitterness. Perhaps there is also a tinge of sulfer buried in there as well.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - A balck ichor with only a tiny short lived head and mere tiny specks of lacing. A bit dissappointing.

S - Figs, chocolate, soy sauce, lemon and a touch of rubbing alcohol, but I don't mean a stong fusel alcohol, an "alcohol aroma" isn't what is present, it is that other chemical smell in rubbing alcohol that I smell here.

T - A bit of a chocolatey malt profile with a nutty flavor (hazelnuts and peanuts I'd say) with a touch of lemon sourness. That same chemical smell of rubbing alcohol appears faintly in the taste. It really isn't that bad, it is a sort of sweetish chemical flavor. I mean it certainly isn't a plus, but it hardly kills the beer.

M - Thick, smooth, barely refreshing.

D - Not too good, it isn't the sort of beer you drink a lot of, there are a lot of superior stouts on the market IMO. If you are looking for a "sour stout," then this is a viable option. I might have it again, since Weyerbacher is so local. I am excited to try the heresy I have though!

Photo of Doomcifer
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black with a big caramel brown head that goes away pretty quickly. Smell is huge. Chocolate, coffe, sweet malts, cherries, chocolate covered cherries! Alcohol as well can be picked up by the nose. Taste is less eventful than the aroma though. Big alcohol burn for only an 8.0% abv. Lots of roasty coffee flavors, roasty malts, andlike I said alcohol. I was expecting it to way more robust, judging by the aroma it packed but was letdown a bit. Mouthfeel isn't as heavy as a typical Imperial Stout but is still creamy. One of these is good enough for me. It's not a bad brew. It's just that there are so many others that are a lot better.

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

12 oz. bottle> wine goblet

AP: Dark brown, nearly black and very active with a short, thin light mocha colored head that isn't very frothy but light and bubbly, dissipated quickly and then totally disapeared. Not much in the way of lacing.

Nose:Caramel-mocha, Chocolaty, nutty and wheaty malted nose with some mildly bitter coffee and nut's n' oats.

Taste: A robust chocolaty malted flavor with honey and nuts, oats and coffee effects. The heat is well hidden amoung the array of flavors Nice and complex the way a good RIS should be. There is a subtle fruity flavor from the hops that peaks through at the end.

MF: Full body, but rather lively for the style and it goes down like a medium body.

DA: This is a very drinkable RIS.

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep tan head. Dark, thick, creamy near-black appearance.

S - Malty & chocolatey. A minor amount of sweetness comes through as well.

T - Chocolate and big malt flavors. Underlying hoppiness rounds out the flavor. Huge and smooth - outstanding.

M - Creamy and heavy. Very smooth in the mouth and on the way down.

D - Just a tremendous stout. Can't reccomend highly enough. I already want more.

Photo of CWiggins
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a "black-as-night" hue in my Samuel Smith glass. The texture is quite syrupy. A thin, tan head appeared briefly; the lacing held firm for several minutes around the edge, right at the point of surface tension.

The aroma is mainly of all those classic dark beer characteristics: coffee, dark chocolate, a bit of sweet, dried fruit, and some toasted nuts make themselves clearly known.

Ah! What a tremendous flavor! I don't know if stout gets much better than this. Smooth, strong, and delicious! The flavor is mainly of dark coffee and chocolate, the dark, baking type. Just the right amount of alcohol provides the warm and thick texture delivered by this beer. If you taste closely, you can also obtain detect properties of dark dried fruits, and the whole thing is capped off with a slight bitterness with a long-lasting aftertaste. Nearly perfect!

I really enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer. It's cloying, but not in an annoying manner.

Like many of Weyerbacher's beers, this one is entirely drinkable and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.

Photo of shirfan
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a thin layer of tan foam.

Strong aroma of roast coffee and raisins.

Taste first strikes with a fairly bitter charcoal note, dry throughout, hints of baker's chocolate and acidic coffee. Good creamy mouthfeel with a small burn in the finish.

Perhaps a little one-dimensional, but it would still be a good pick if you like stouts on the dry side.

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

Pitch black liquid with a dark tan head that doesn't last too long. Some thin lacing down the glass but less than expected.

Huge coffee nose with some alcohol and some notes of peanut butter. There's a sweet fruitiness that's almost like raisins.

Rich roasted black coffee with warm alcohol. There some slight hop taste to it and a strong dose of alcohol flavor as this one goes down.

This is a great stout. I'll definitely pick this one up again.

Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 12oz bottle that timtheenchanta shared with me (I like to mooch beer off of him).

This beer was pours pitch black with a creamy tan head that dissipates to nice whisps of film with some lace. The smell mostly sweet roasted malts with some chocolate. The taste is very sweet as well with roasted chocolate flavors. The mouthfeel has a medium to full body with smooth carbonation. Overall a nice Imperial Stout. Quite drinkable, strait forward and not too complex but a good beer.

Photo of bjohnson
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a jet black oil like color with a thin one finger caramel colored head. Slight rim of retention around the glass with a thin film on top.
S: Dark fruit mashed together with sweet caramel, chocolate, and a bit of roasted coffee.
T/M: Very complex brew this one is. Many different flavors all peeking in and out. Burnt roasted coffee and sweet chocolate. Dark fruits--mostly plum, raisons, and figs. Very silky smooth across the palate with a slight burning sensation on the roof of the mouth (abv?). Sweet dry finish with a bit of hop bitterness. Nice subtle carbonation zing. Nice balance of the flavors.
D: One stellar Impy stout. I'm very happy these are in 12oz'ers. Abv goes unmasked with only a subtle cameo. Definately worth tracking down and added for the winter season.

Photo of Backer2004
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm beginning to fall in love with Weyerbacher beers. I'm unsure of their distribution in NC, but they were at the Charlotte Oktoberfest and their line seemed to be the longest most of the time. Just a great Russian Imperial stout that would love to just have more more and more.

Photo of javenbohall
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark as strong black coffee, with a little tan lace around the edges. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a nice Imperial Stout to look.

Slight bite of alcohol at first sip, followed by dark chocolate, coffee
and malt. Smooth, with a nice sweetness. A little dry on the finish. Not quite as much depth as I might like, but hardly a disappointment. Definitely improves as it warms. This is the type of beer that you could drink two (or maybe three) and call it a good night. It will be interesting to see how my perception changes as it gets colder and the snow starts to fly.

Photo of treehugger02010
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

I don't know if my palet isn't "expanded" enough, but I really didn't like this beer. It felt really good in my mouth, and the smell was rather aromatic. I don't know what was in this beer, but I think I'm going to try it a couple more times and then make a better judgement. If anyone knows what would be a good "beginning" beer for me to try if I was going to find out more about Old Heathen. Don't drink and review.

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

Coal black with a mocha brown slightly red-tinged fine frothy Ovaltine head. Nose is cocoa powder, Hershey bars, soy, burnt espresso bean and caramel. Burnt flavors flash on first sip, touch of sweet cocoa, coffee, stewed fruits or hint of raisins. Burnt edges return, it gets all dusty and dry, finishes with a mild but enduring toasty bitterness. The alcohol is only noticable over time; a warming tingle suffuses your mouth after a bit. Then it suffuses your head. The mouthfeel is good, plenty of fuzzy carbonation in a medium to full body. It ain't thick or oily though. Smooth and smoother, but not docile. Mighty fine.

Photo of phisig137
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with slight hints of ruby around the edges. Nice head, and good retention, leaves behind some quality lacing as well.

Aroma is quite full. Roasted malts, caramel, raw sugar, toffee, coffee, cocoa, and oddly a hint of bourbon. Very complex and enjoyable. I'd wear this as cologne if they made it.

Flavor again is very complex. Huge amounts of coffee flavor, backed by some roasted grain and a lot of toasted grains. Quite malty and toffee-ish, the finish is only slightly hoppy. Incredibly smooth and balanced, much more so that the oak aged version of the same beer (Heresy). Mouthfeel is creamy and very smooth. Drinkability is good.

Once again, Weyerbacher does not disappoint. Great beer overall, and one that I prefer over the Heresy. Usually I really like oak aged beers, but this Old Heathen shows so much more complexity and flavor than the vanilla bomb (that I love dearly) of Heresy. Cheers to Weyerbacher!

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a used motor-oil black with a small mocha head that fades. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is slightly sweet and chocked full of roasted malts, cocoa, and espresso.

Slightly sweet upfront with a bold roasted flavor with chocolate and coffee flavors woven in. There is a slight bitter bite, similar to black coffee, before it finishes with a lingering roasted malt and coffee taste.

Medium body, light carbonation.

A solid RIS, through and through. Always a good option when in the mood for this style, and one of the best offerings out of Weyerbacher's standard lineup. Fans of this style will not be disappointed.

Photo of beveritt
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. No freshness date on this, but does it really matter in a RIS?

Appearance: Pours nice and black with a thick, creamy head. The head fell to just a think coating of medium brown foam over the brew. I can't see through this and I usually take that as a good sign.

Smell: Has a smell of alcohol, chocolate, and roasted barley.

Taste: Smooth and creamy, with a bitter chocolate finish. A small level of sweetness acts nicely to balance the whole thing out.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated enough to give an initial bite when you take a mouthful, but not too much to drown out the flavors. Nice warming effect.

Drinkability: Well, its ABV precludes it from being a session beer, but I wouldn't mind having a few.

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a nice dark black, with tan head that has lacing, but not that long lasting.

Aroma ofg chocolate and coffee, toffee, and rostiness.

Flavor of chocolate and toffee some coffee essence. With a surprising effervescent espresso tingle.

mouthfeel is a little light, carbonated ok.

Overall it is a nice interpretation of style. But could benefit from some body. Enjoy this one

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Weyerbacher- Old Heathen Imperial Stout

Appearance- dark black with a thick brown head. Head held up nicely and laced the glass with a thcik spiderweb.
Smell- darkk roast coffee beans with a blend of cherywood and raisin.
Taste- burnt cherry wood blended with drak roast coffee, dark chocolate and fruit ( cherry, raisin, prune)
Mouthfeel- creamy smooth, with no alcohol detection. Warm and bursting with flavor.

Overall- 1 of the best, if not BEST, stouts I've ever had!! Loved it!!! You could not detect the 8% abv!!! Can't wait til it gets cold so I can drink this more often!!!

Photo of burnstar
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a medium tan head which leaves little lacing. Dark malt aroma with light chocolate and espresso notes. Dark fruit notes are also present along with a noticable sweetness in the nose. Taste is initially sweet quickly followed by burnt malt and dark fruit. There is some noticable alcohol as well as some hops in the finish which is dry with a hoppy bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is very well carbonated with a medium to heavy body. Fairly drinkable. Decent stuff.

I must add that the name "Old Heathan" is absolutely awesome. Very evocative. Additionally, the packaging is sweet.

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

Pours a deep black with a dark tan one finger head that slowly fades to a thin spotty cap, leaving behind a thick webbing of lace. I wasn't expecting to see as much lace as I did, with such a small amount of foam left behind.

Smell; lots of roasted malts and coffee float out of the glass, but without totally assaulting you like some other imperial stouts. I also get hints of some dark fruits and little bit of some hops.

Taste; as with the aroma, there's roasted malts with a slightly bitter coffee flavor. Some plums and raisins are present as well as some chocolate and molasses. This is a bit more subdued than I was expecting for an Imperial stout, but sometimes it's a good thing to not be bludgeoned by your beer. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner that i would have liked, but the drinkability was very nice.

Photo of SilentSabre
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured ink black, with a sand coloured head that faded away in a few seconds. Smelled like I thought it would with plenty of unsweetened chocolate and roasted malts. However, what I wasn't expecting, was the slightly fruity, vinous undertone. This was present in the taste, as well. Taste was mostly more of the smell. I really didn't care for the vinous, wine-like character I got from this. It didn't ruin the beer, but I certainly gave it lower marks for this. The mouthfeel was also thinner than I was expecting. This isn't a bad RIS; you could do worse. You could do much, much better, too.

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

Aggressive pour yielded a 2 inch, cocoa colored head which dissipated quickly to a light creamy ring around the glass. The nearly pitch black body seems fairly heavy.

The smell seems somewhat chocolate and coffee like with a very minimal hop profile.

Taste is also of chocolate but coffee is heavier here. I also get some oatmeal out of this and just a modest alcohol "tingle" on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is firm and crisp. Drinkability good.

This is a very nice beer and I am thoroughly enjoying it but it seems to me that it's just barely off the mark. Perhaps this one would do better with some age? High on my list of Imperial Stouts but still needs some tweaking to reach the pinnacle.

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

Pours from the bottle thick, black as night and oily. Produces a 1" thick tight, dense head with great durability. Some spotty lacing noted as glass is consumed. Pleasant, but somewhat restrained aromas of black roasted malts, baker’s cocoa, dark roasted coffee beans, chocolate and dried dark fruits. Mouthfeel is a bit oily, but full, thick and chewy. Flavors, as with the aroma, are enjoyable and well balanced, but slightly tame for a big RIS. Espresso, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, prune, raisin and roasted malts are apparent. Starts out moderately sweet, but slips into a mild, crisp bitterness in the finish. Alcohol lends a very mild warmth. A well done RIS, but could use a bit more muscle.

Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,567 ratings.