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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

1,590 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,590
Reviews: 820
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 67
Gots: 166 | 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: 1,590 | Reviews: 820
Photo of sloejams
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Everytime I get an Russian Imperial Stout I make the mistake of pouring it into my Stone Imperial Russian Stout goblet. This gets me thinking about Stone Imperial Russian Stout. Ahh so good. How can I not compare now?

The color was dark as can be with a cappuccino head. Toffee, dark chocolate and expresso dominated the aroma. Flavor followed suite with a slick, resiny texture to it. Also a bit of Irish Whiskey in the flavor. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the other Weyerbacher beers I've tried..

Photo of n0rmann
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've recently discovered Weyerbacher, and I've been impressed with everything I've tasted from them, none more so than this imperial stout.

It pours black with a nice tan head. You can smell a slight coffee-like, tart smell.

It goes down nice smooth, and you can taste both chocolate and coffee, as well as a mryiad of other flavors, maybe a little raisin- flavor.

You can taste the alcohol, but that's not necessairly a bad thing.

Photo of Nipitato
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep dark mahogony. Opaque. Thin tan head. Visibly viscous.

S: Great aroma coming off this beer. Raisin and plum character dominate. Sweet malty backbone almost vanilla like. Coffee also present.

T: Strong intense fruity esters with raisin character. Toasted malt reminiscent of strong coffee. The finish is quite dry and slightly hoppy.

MF: Heavy. Has a nice creamy velvet texture. Pretty low carbonation. No alcohol warming.

D: Good stuff. It masks its higher alcohol content well.

Photo of Jwaks
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 12oz bottle

This dense, nearly opaque, brew shows an intense, deep brown to black color with a neat decorative yet elegant quarter finger thick layer of fine taupe colored foam. Scant patches of sticky light brown foam cling to the glass after a few quick swirls.

Resplendent aromas of mocha infused crushed dark fruits, roasted malts, mixed nuts, chocolate liquor, prunes, nougat and hints of hop bitters shine through on this beer's bouquet.

Waves of mocha-infused dark fruit esters and well roasted malts wash over the palate upon entry working into a crescendo of vinous, dry chocolate liquor and dry peanuts slowly dissovling to reveal a dry, alcoholic chocolate-malt finish. This brew exhibits laudible balance with a bit of sweetness upfront and slight mouthpuckering dryness on the medium length, increasingly hallow finish.

This full bodied beer makes a smooth entrance slowly evolving into a very creamy, dry finish.

A damn good stout! It begs for a slightly sweeter and more lengthy finish; though as anyone can see by my score this brew is an awesome, quintessential russian imperial stout.


Photo of IceAce
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle void of freshness dating

Pours as dark as a moonless night capped with three fingers of rocky, pock-marked leathery foam. Nose is elegant with thick cocoa and alcoholic phenols. Lacing clocks in at 10%...really very good for an 8% ABV concoction.

Entry is muted with deeply roasted malts comprising the midtaste. Mouthfeel is slightly oily and warming due to unhidden alcohol. The finish is dry with a slick mocha latte front which leaves a slick roof of the mouth following departure.

This is a nice run at the Impy Stout style and would benefit greatly with a little additional bittering hop addition to help hide some of the throat-warming alcohol. Despite that minor complaint, I really like this beer...pass the peanut brittle and caramel corn!

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

Pour is a dark brown, more or less black, with a brown head, a finger and a half high. Head falls to a few bubbles with minimal lacing.

Smell is kind of woody, chocolaty with only hints of alcohol and even a little vanilla.

Taste is also quite chocolaty, along with a dark nutty roastiness and a nice malty sweetness. There's a good mild booziness in the the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, though slightly astringent, perhaps a product of the alcohol, but not to the point of making this a bad beer, by any means. Not as creamy or full as other imperial stouts I've had.

Drinkability is pretty good, this isn't a knock-your-socks-off imperial stout but it is a solid beer from Weyerbacher.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a inky black body with a thin film of creamy tan head that is pretty splotchy. No sign of carbonation in that black body.

S- This beer has a dark malt aroma with great depth that is well blended. Some note of cream, graham crackers, and earthy espresso beans are just a few layers I can pull out. There is a dry note to the malt and it is not really sweet.

T- The taste of dark black malt has a very light sweetness to it with notes of dried dark fruit but they are not sweet. The notes of dark toasted malt come through as it warms a bit. The finish is a soft dark malt bitterness that is smooth.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery note but there is no sign of alcohol heat even when it warms a bit.

D- This beer has a good complexity and depth but even though it is well blended it is still a big beer.

Photo of JasonA
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola with no head. Very dark. No lacing.

Smells roasted ABV. Yummy. Coffee chocolate?

Initial carbonation, roasted malts. Another deep taste I cant place.

Somewhat thin, good carbonation ... maybe a tad too much. Solid finish, pretty full. Some hops.

Very drinkable. Im not sure whats up with no head, maybe I poured it too well? Id like to have some more, though not sure its the big time RIS though.

Photo of aluskungs
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Yes, you cannot see through this beer. Pours slow and thick. Little carbonation, what little head there was is gone. Only some bubbles that look like Antarctica floating on a black south sea. Would like to see a big foamy head, but hey you can't always get what you want.

Perfect Imperial Stout smell! Alcohol nose. Burnt molasses, roasted barley, and a big malt sweetness converge in you nose so much you can taste the beer. I can't take it anymore, must partake.

Huge roasted taste! Taste just like an iced coffee (I don't drink coffee, I can only assume). A hint of dates. Can't really taste the 8% alc. Not harsh, seems aged well and not too sweet, but sweet. I've had imperial stouts that are so sweet that they make my stomach upset. Also the flavor tends to disappear, no aftertaste to chew on.

Imperial in alcohol only, not in flavor. Expecting a big full flavored beer after smelling it but couldn't live up to it's name.

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

12oz single, thanks expatsteve i believe

appearance: pours into a snifter...very dark mahogany - black body, foamy chocolate head with slight lacing left behind

smell: i get some dry hops immediately, dark chocolate, moderate malt structure, licorice

taste: I"m not finding this to be very good...its a bit carbonated on the tongue...dry dark chocolate, light coffee, fair amount of hops, licorice. pretty standard with no true strength

mouthfeel: sharp carbonation on the tongue, medium mouthfeel

drinkability: average

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

Very dark, almost completely black with faint ruby highlights. Dense chocolatey head that shows a bit of lacing and good retention. Malty aroma with some cola, licorice, chocolate and roast. Also a bit of alcohol. Moderate bitterness with a lot of malt sweetness and cocoa. Light vanilla middle. It also has a significant nutty character, very peanutty. Finishes with some cola and alcohol. The carbonation is a bit lively and coarse on the palate, but overall the texture's decent. Slight dryness and some alcohol warmth. Not bad, fairly average stout. Fairly easy drinking though.

Photo of Atlas1
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout pours from the bottle a deep black color with a decent, though somewhat thin, reddish-brown head. There is also some noticeable red tint shining through at the edges when held up to the light. A very nice looking beer. The thinned-out head leaves very little lace. The aroma is sweet, with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses. Maybe some pear as well? This is an aroma I could grow accustomed to. It tastes nice too. Creamy vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee bitterness all appear in the flavor. Some toffee as well, perhaps. A decent mouthfeel, but not as pronounced as I would have guessed; a bit thin for an imperial stout. But overall, the Old Heathen is a job well done. Sometimes Weyerbacher, in my opinion, has a tendancy to over-do things a bit with their beers, but they hit the spot on this one. A quality Imperial Stout to add to the collection.

Photo of jmc44
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle a pitch black, with creamy tan head. Head diminishes and leaves a lacing around the glass.

Aroma is mainly of roasted malt, sweet, coffee and chocolate. Nice aroma.

A malty sweetness is the initial taste; shortly followed by a nice roasty character. For its depth, it is very smooth. Slight hint of alcohol in the finish, but hidden behind the more noticeable roasted malt.

A very rich, robust stout that is smooth and fairly easy to drink. A well-made Imperial Stout.

Photo of shbobdb
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhhh, now this is what I am talkin' about, a truly top-class Imperial Stout.

It pours a viscous black with a fluffy coffee-and-cream head. It reeks of a mixture of caramel malts and roasted barley with, perhaps, a hint of american hops.

Mmmmm, it tastes heavenly. Roasted barley mixed with caramel malts, it was neither too sweet nor too bitter, but rather a happy mid-point, and it wasn't oppressively acidic either, like some other examples of the style.

Thanks MuenchenerKindl! This was one mighty tastey beer.

Photo of cro250klr
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours as black as oil that's been in the motor for 10,000 miles.
No looking though this one. Coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, hop. Yeah, it's in there. Starts out with the coffee and roasted malt, then finishes with a bit of a hop and alcohol bite. Alchohol is present, even for an 8 abv. A bit on the heavy side as far as body and taste. Overall, not a bad beer to warm you up when the temps go down but I can only handle a six pack at most. Not my favorite Imperial, but priced resonably enough that you can afford to have a decent Stout on hand to share with your friends.

Photo of williamherbert
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Midnight black with a thin, light brown ring of head. Through this thick concoction, no light shall pass.

Heavy, stoudy-malt smell, but with a hint of caramel. Heavy alcohol smell. Sweet initial scent, before the toasted malt kicks in; burnt smell.

Initial taste has burnt stout malt flavor. Smooth but strong alcohol kick. Metallic/alcohol flavor. That alcohol is welcome, as a counterbalance to the toasted malt.

Thick but smooth, surprisingly so. Not a dry stout. Good but too strong to drink all night. A fine brew, however. Burnt flavor that is appealling.

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

Appearance: 12 oz. bottle from Orfeu from SS '06. Jet black on the pour, good head, a slow fade.

Smell: Sweet and alcoholic, brown sugar and dark roasted malts. A little raw hops on the back side.

Taste: Smooth yet strong, grainy burnt malt and a little licorice. Raw alcohol, a little rough towards teh end, but overall not bad. Could use a bigger malt or hops punch.

Drinkability: Good, maybe a little bland, but a good beer.

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

Pours black with a small dark tan head that fades back quickly. Nice roastiness in the aroma along with a light chocolate and marshmallow sweetness. There is a cola-y sweetness up front in the taste that mixes with some tingly carbonation on the tongue. The roastiness comes into the taste shortly thereafter with a somewhat acidic twang that mixes with a nicely dry finish. I enjoyed the crisp sharp bite from the carbonation and hops and the nice dry finish, but would have liked a little heavier, thicker body. An enjoyable easy to drink beer.

Photo of jdg204
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bad boy at the Weyerbacher brewery itself. Made my own variety pack after sampling a few and have loved one after another.

Appearance - Nice, thick black pour with a perfect coffee colored head. Beautiful color.

Smell - Wonderful chocolate and coffee notes which roll together with a dark roast smell.

Taste - Much more subtle sweet, dark roasted flavor than Victory's Storm King. Still loved the flavor and sometimes I'd almost prefer this more subtle model.

Mouthfeel - Leaves a great dark roasted malt aftertaste in your mouth. Very satisfying sipping beer.

Drinkability - Big fan of this beer, another homerun for the Weyerbacher guys. This is only my 2nd Imperial Stout (Storm King being the other) and this beer is yet another testemant to this impressive catagory.

Photo of vwcraig
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tumbler was black with just enough head to coat the top. Smells of mostly roasted malts with some sweetness lingering. Tastes of bitter, dark chocolate. Sweet tastes first switching to burnt and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy and creamy if left to swirl in your mouth or in the glass. Very good drinkability with a lower price. Have had quite a few of these as a good go-to stout. Very lucky to be close to Weyerbacher.

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been holding on to this one for long enough...

Basically pitch black, although there are some brownish hints at the fringes where (when) the light comes through. There's a gossamer halo and wisp of bubbles on the surface. The nose shows the obvious in the way of dark roasty grains, coffee, and dark fruits suggestive of a hefty alcohol content. Flavors are dark too, with bittersweet chocolate and some roasty flavors, but nothing too dark or over bearing really. The MF isn't as chewy as you might think, but then again this is still relatively low at 8%.

For some reason we have these ice cream-filled chocolate nuggets in the freezer that never get eaten. We have strawberry and cookies and cream. I decided to try some with this Impy Stout. Wonderful. I had to stop lest I were to stand there at the freezer eating all that crap.

Photo of dherling
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out nearly black, crowned by a foamy tan head with lots of lacing. The nose offers basic chocolate and coffee, rounded out by spice and alcohol. The taste was even more straightforward; coffee again, chocolate again, and spice again. The alcohol was disguised nicely here though. Has a creamy mouthfeel and a long slick finish.

Photo of bruachan
2.89/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

i don't even remember where i picked this up. 8%? does that qualify as a RIS?

the head couldn't have fizzled more quickly. it faded faster than crystal clear pepsi. so...i'm left with a pint glass full of ink

warm smelling, and roasty. oaky vanilla, too. nice but a little weak

it's got a sharpness to it, despite the low % (not an ethanol sharpness, just something up front that goes POP). it's very winey up front, and actually does not boast much of a RIS character in the flavor...soy sauce, mildly roasted finish. it's thin and fizzy, too

Photo of beermanbrian
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.