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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

1,579 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,579
Reviews: 818
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 66
Gots: 158 | 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: 1,579 | Reviews: 818 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.99/5  rDev -23.7%
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
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
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
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
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
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
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
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,579 ratings.