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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

1,453 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,453
Reviews: 806
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 62
Gots: 111 | 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: 1,453 | Reviews: 806 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of winomark


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%

Pours a thick, jet black with a sticky, medium brown head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate and lots of sweetness. Smells "thick". Rich coffee, toasted malts flavors control the palate. Not as syrupy as you would think. Mouthfeel is very flavorful, but not too heavy. Really glad I got to taste this one. I wish the body was thicker and more coating, but still good. Definately worth a try if you find it.

11-03-2004 04:54:14 | More by winomark
Photo of ppoitras


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dense 2" medium brown head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head recedes by half in 5 minutes, and lacing is great, heavy and foamy. Aroma is strongly dark malts, with a slight undercurrent of alcohol. Taste is as the nose portends, with the coffee and chocolate malts upfront, and some dark fruit and light alcohol tinges as time elapses. Mouthfeel a bit thin of the style, but still good and smooth, and drinkability is good as well.

10-31-2004 01:07:24 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Ahhdball


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Motor oil black and appeared to pour with the same consistency. A very small beige ring fell slightly along the outer rim of the crude. Smelled roasted coffee and baking chocolate. The taste was about the same with a few hints of molasses to finish. Slick and chewy just like the style should be. Alcohol came on fair and didn't leave anything behind save for a bit of warmth. A decent Russian Imperial but not among my favorites, Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer, not to miss by anyone, just not one of my favorites.

10-19-2004 04:20:03 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of santoslhalper


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a deep, ominous brown with a nice thin dark tan head. Head falls to a collar with a little lacing. Smells quite coffee-ish with hints at amaretto and cocoa. Very strong smelling, and very pleasing. Tastes very strongly of iced espresso. The taste is almost too much, not letting the other flavors shine through. Can't taste any of the alcohol though (EVIL). A little bit of a hop aftertaste, but not enough to round the brew off. The taste is extremely pleasing - but not complex enough for my preferences. Very strong, solid stout. Feels very light in the mouth, not creamy enough. And, finally, quite drinkable. Almost too drinkable being so high in alcohol, but no beer is "too drinkable." Recommended.

10-18-2004 19:18:13 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of oxmasterscream

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

Appearance: Poured an opaque black with a thick tan head. Nice tan lacing was left behind as I drank.

Aroma: Sweetened espresso. Spice. Dark chocolate. Hints of dark ripe fruits in the background. Ripe fruits became more noticeable as it warmed.

Taste: Mostly a coffee profile. Just like its aroma, lots of sweetened espresso, some dark chocolate, spicy hops and a bitter coffee finish. Big coffee flavors, not enough chocolate and dark fruits for an imperial. Still good though.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and silky smooth, with just enough carbonation to keep things interesting.

Drinkability: Ok stuff but not the caliber I'd prefer for an imperial. I'd have it again but wouldn't seek it out.

10-08-2004 01:12:54 | More by oxmasterscream
Photo of vitesse


3.13/5  rDev -20.2%

served in 12 oz. brown bottle.

nice nice nice head retention on this one. pours a dark-ass black with no light getting through.
taste is just over the top roastiness. that's really all i could taste. there is a bit of hoppiness there, but the roastiness dominates. alcohol is fairly well hidden, actually and it's not an undrinkable disaster. i thought the flavor could use a little more sweetness to make it more distinctive and complex. it's definitely not a bad stout, but i think it's just a tad one-dimensional.

09-11-2004 01:53:58 | More by vitesse
Photo of Dithyramb


4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Served in an imperial pint glass at Sean Bolan's. Listed on the chalk board as 9% ABV.

Opaque jet black with no carbonation evident. 1/4" of thick dark brown head that dissipated into a thin ring.

Smells like slightly bitter espresso with some sweet chocolate on top.

Starts with sweet malts followed by the bitter roasted flavors. There are some more complex esters in the background, but I was lost in the alcohol warmth provided. Smooth drinking with a heavy mouthfeel. Finishes clean and dry. Although I would love to have more than a few, the high ABV will quickly catch up to you.

09-10-2004 14:48:20 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of marc77


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Utterly pitch black and absorbant. Light bister, two fingered, steadfast, pitted head. Muddled lace remains. Upfront in aroma is a combination of buttery milk chocolate and licorice. Rounded notions of butterscotch and burnt fudge add depth. Becomes agreeably cuspate upon swirling with minty, albeit searing ethanol and citric hops arising. Very enticing aromawise. In flavor, prevalent is a bittersweet suggestion of lightly singed buttery chocolate cookie. Ashen dark fruit esters lend an impression of cocoa dusted prune, but not as pronounced as it other versions. Ethanol is well integrated, with only trace peppery hints surfacing mid palate. Despite the rich chocolate presence, this is very well attenuated for an imperial. This is not a detriment, but serves to facilitate its dangerous drinkabilty. Finishes lightly alcoholic, but otherwise with a bitter continuation of baker's chocolate. A tasty, albeit soft imperial that is well suited to drinking more than one in a sitting. A "session" imperial? Close enough.

08-10-2004 00:28:07 | More by marc77
Photo of TagoMago

New York

4/5  rDev +2%

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black; motor oil-like in appearance. When held up to light, absolutely nothing passes through. The head is chocolate colored and creamy.

Smell: Lots of rich chocolate and coffee malts with some fruity, esthery, berry-like smells, and a fusal alcohol aroma.

Taste: Full-bodied and very smooth. Lots of chocolates and espresso present. There is also a fruitiness present that is almost currant-like. Alcohols are warm and up-front. There is a raw, leafy hop bitterness present, too.

Overall: A very good Imperial Stout. Rich, creamy, full of flavor and very satisfying. A great winter warmer. Recommended!

08-08-2004 06:49:27 | More by TagoMago
Photo of mattcrill


4/5  rDev +2%

Appearnce: Pours thick, black, and with minimal carbonation. A thin, wispy brown head forms that quickly dissapates with no lacings around the glass.

Smell: Candied fruits, malts, and a dry, hoppy finish

Taste: Big, smokey, peppery with a nice clean and dry finish. It's a lot for the palate to work with.

Mouthfeel: It is big and chewy. The carbonation lightens it up some but it's a meal.

Overall: I couldn't drink more than one of these at a time but a damn fine stout. I enjoyed the dryness of it. A little drier than I'm used to but a pleasant change and it works well for this beer. A good representation of the style.

07-31-2004 21:34:13 | More by mattcrill
Photo of ngandhi


3.35/5  rDev -14.5%

Artificial. Fudge, chocolate syrup, and caramel immediately open to dry roasted grain, stale coffee grinds and then hops. The finish is literally seconds long with only a lingering lactose-laden viscosity to remember Old Heathen by.

The individual components of this beer are wholesome -- I like the roast, the residual maltiness, and the alcohol deftly bordering on solvent; the underlying hops are okay, but relatively non-descript. But it all has a lot of trouble coming together and that comes to be almost unpalatable on the finish which is dry and lets all these flavors come through at once. I'm reminded of that scene in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs where each member of the gang has a gun pointed on him at the same time. Old Heathen has that sort of tension, but overdoes it and tastes like everyone actually pulled the trigger.

Relax, relax.

07-01-2004 22:41:23 | More by ngandhi
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%


Pours pitch black w/ a very small dark tan head that settles rapidly.

I'm detecting roasted malts & marshmallow.


Not as smooth as I like, but flavors are good w/ a roasted sweet malt that hits you at the beginning and is followed by a pleasant bitter finish.

07-01-2004 17:14:12 | More by cbl2
Photo of NEhophead


4.43/5  rDev +13%

Burnt brown head sliding quickly to the sides of the glass. A muddy, thick black-as-night color. Very noticeable carbonation. Not much lacing to speak of at all.

Roasted coffee, syrup-like aroma. Sweet, burnt maltiness; a toasted toffee/chocolate nose.

Very nice chocolateyflavor that's dead on for the style. A very pleasant burnt hazlenut malt aftertaste that gives way to a nice, moderate bitterness.

Very smooth for the style, but maybe a tad too much carbonation (I like my imperial stouts to be as syrpuy as possible). Not too heavy; nice middle of the road balance in flavor, sweetness, and bitterness.

What an easy drinking imperial stout! Very enjoyable but lacks some flavor, and too much carbonation, to be put in the select imperial stout category. Easy to drink a couple of these and it would be a pleasure to do so. One of the biggest surprises of this imperial stout is the 8%abv since it is hidden so well.

07-01-2004 02:23:46 | More by NEhophead
Photo of kennyo

New York

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

this beer is a black, opaque brew that pours with a nice head that dissipates real quick. Aroma - roasted barley, a little chocolate, alcohol on the back senses. Malty/roasty taste, a little carbonation bite. Very drinkable, goes down too smooth for an 8%'er.

06-22-2004 03:52:07 | More by kennyo
Photo of SixpointJMH

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

now this is my kind of imperial stout. it's more subdued than the more popular ones within the style, but that's the way i like 'em. actually, this one reminded me a bit more of an oatmeal stout than an imperial. it pours a lovely black colour, with a thick chocolate milk like head. it's not as sticky as one would imagine, but still nice. it looked like it was going to be a touch overcarbonated as well (it ultimately wasn't, really). the smell is really nice as well: sweet chocolate, roasted malt, wood, alcohol and a touch of coffee are present. this is a flavourful brew as well that doesn't slap you in the face with coffee flavour all the way through. coffee is subtle and in the back, right where it should be in my book. it starts creamy and sweet goes a bit dry and finishes with a burnt flavour. nice. alcohol is barely noticeable (if at all), so be careful here. mouthfeel was a bit thin for an imperial stout, but nothing offensive. i just would've preferred it to be a bit chunkier. this is definitely a tasty treat that i'll be happy to sample again. weyerbacher is two for two thusfar in my book. can't wait to try my third...

06-14-2004 02:13:44 | More by SixpointJMH
Photo of Maestro


4.35/5  rDev +11%

This is a great stout. Pitch black with a thin tan head. It is fairly sweet, almost like a milk stout. The high alcohol puts it in the imperial category. There is a defiinite fruitiness in the nose. Taste is chocolate, with hints of grape/raisin. The mouthfeel is very foamy and full. Goes down smoothly for an 8% ale. A definite treat.

06-07-2004 22:07:36 | More by Maestro
Photo of PSUDREW


3.33/5  rDev -15.1%

Best way for me to describe this is Storm King's little brother. Not that it is a bad thing and all. It is a very nice imperial. Not The King, but I do not think the boys in easton were shooting for that kind of thing.

Like a younger sibling, it is like the elder, but differntiates so that you know the individual. Pours tha dark rich brown/black color, with a nice tan head. Nice solid smell to boot. Taste are a sweet, rich, roasted chocolate taste. very tight from head to toe. Hoppy coffee after taste and a nice not-so-heavy mouhtfeel. No notice of the aclhohol

I really like this. Not something I would gun for every time, but a nice change of imperial pace every so often

05-13-2004 03:25:38 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

WEYER Old Heathen storms out of the 12 oz. dark brown bottle to a solid black-as-midnight used motor oil solid brown/black pour with a mere suggestion of a head via a brown (I mean brown) ring around the edge that immediately slides down the glass without a trace of ever being there.

Straight up scents of Brandy and fresh baked pumpernickel bread. Awk-kee-hawl is well hidden in the nose.

No wonder the label has a silhouette of a nomadic Sheppard wielding a staff while cresting a hill. You gotta be brave as an ancient warrior to dare try this Imperial Stoudt. Chocolate cake and dark chocolate flavors meet coffee ice cream. A little awk-kee-hawl escapes while it warms in the taste department. Hardly notice the high ABV.

Last swigs: Chewy, bready, dark chocolate. Tasty offering of an imperial stoudt.

Beer is good. Happy Imperial Beering.

05-06-2004 02:06:43 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of SheepNutz


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a thick deep jet black color with two fingers of medium tan foam. There is a fair amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is full of burnt malt, caramel, chocolate, and espresso. A nice smell that fills the nose. The taste is rich in roasted malt, lots of coffee, and a hint of mocha. Not too sweet though. Only a hint of hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and heavy, yet smooth. The drinkability is fairly good for an 8% brew. A damn fine Imperial Stout!

04-30-2004 03:13:53 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of Running4beer


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

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.

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


2.03/5  rDev -48.2%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +2%

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.

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

New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

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


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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


4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

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.

03-31-2004 01:05:24 | More by merlin48
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,453 ratings.