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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

1,469 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,469
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 63
Gots: 120 | FT: 2
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: 1,469 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warriorsoul
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another day...another beer from Weyerbacher.
Pours a cloudy dark brown w/ no light passing through this baby.
Almost a half finger of milk chocolate head.
I am reminded of the aroma from a hot chocolate w/ a shot or two of Bailey's Irish cream...unbelievable!
The taste is simply perfect...one heck of a representation for its style. I'm glad to see the hops take a back seat to the malts.
Full bodied coffee flavor w/ just a hint of alcohol...it is a very drinkable brew and is just one more reason to keep my eye on Weyerbacher.

warriorsoul, Feb 16, 2005
Photo of sulldaddy
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a few bottles of this brew at the brewery in a mix case. I am sampling a room temp 12 oz bottle in a snifter.
The beer pours a rich dark brown color and no light passes through. A soft creamyand fizzy tan head foams up easily. Aroma is deep maltiness with chocolate and coffee and a hint of caramel too, with some brown sugar and a bit of fruity (berry) sweetness too. Quite nice.

First sip reveals a fairly thick body with smooth lite and rolling carbonation. Very gentle on the palate.
Flavor is rich with malt characters with chocolate and brown sugar and some molasses mixing nicely for a chewy slightly sweet flavor that makes the beer similar to a rich candy in my mind. No real hop presence that I can detect. A very nice brew. Only wish the berries on the nose were in the flavor somewhere. Still great and easy to drink for 8.0%

sulldaddy, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of cncbofh
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark with a miniscule tan head that quickly raced to the sides of the glass... Smells of roasted malt, smoking charcoal, marshmallow and oak.

Taste of burnt oatmeal, bitter chocolate, black licorice, marshmallow and a sour lactic finish. Tastes were layered and complex with my tastebuds tingling after each sip... The brew was lighter on the palette than expected with a lingering dry finish.

This beer is definitely in the top ten of the style.

cncbofh, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather sourish stout, cushioned by malts to make it more drinkable through a smoother finish. Was OK with food, have had better in this style. Completely dark appearance. Not as roasty fragrant as many other stouts. Burnt roasts, mellow coffee, licorice.

Sammy, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of AudioGilz
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served just above a typical room temperature:

A complete darkness fills the glass, and a rather large/thick head forms and stays a while. Roasted malts and a bit of dark fruit entice the nose, albeit I can't get much out of it due to a stuffed nose at the moment.

A smooth treat to the palate is very enjoyable. It's creamy and very roasty, and the higher ABV definitely comes through in a big way to me. The flavor immediately after swallowing is one of darker fruits and alcohol.

Overall, a pleasant and warming experience...perfect stout for wintertimes of snow and slush.

AudioGilz, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of soulfly967
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured nearly jet black with a bit of ruby red tones around the edges. Had a nice tan head that lasted quite a while and left good lacing. The smell was of rich dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee. The taste was of bitter chocolate and espresso, maybe I'll call it a chocolate covered espresso bean followed by some mild hops flavors to balance it out. The mouthfeel was creamy, but not as thick as other imperial stouts, and a bit too carbonated. I would say, however, that this was a very drinkable beer. I can't wait to try the Heresy... possibly tonight.

soulfly967, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a motor oil black color with a huge head that reminds me more of a belgian beer than an imperial stout. Currently I'm still waiting for it to recede, this is getting a bit rediculus now. Aromas are a strong mix of roasty chocolate malts with hints of burnt tones along with some coffee and just a tone of smoke. Flavors are a mix between the roasty malts and coffee tones but there's just way to much carbonation in this beer to really let these flavors shine. There are some nice chocolate tones in the mix as well and a decent bitter hop finish but the carbonation and a thin mouthfeel really takes away from what this brew could be. Overall to me this isn't anywhere near an imperial stout, and I will not be seeking this one out again...

bigbeerdrinka, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Last bottle from my Big Beers mix-case, about time for a review. Pours deep, red-tinged black with a light cap of creamy brown head that leaves some lace which is gone by the time I'm finished. Dark chocolate, bitter coffee, dark and moist fruitcake, and dried fruit aromas prepare me for the first sip. Taste is dark toasted malts, lots of coffee, choc., raisens, prunes, leather, and oaky wood. Has a smokey quality not typically found in RIS's, nice. Has a velvet-smooth consistency and is a bit thin-bodied for this style. No hint of the 8% abv. Finishes with a leathery coffee flavor, different. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. Would benefit from some cellaring.

AlexJ, Dec 23, 2004
Photo of markman
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old Heathen Imperial Stout:

Yup, looks great smells good… but I gotta chime in on the flavor. Really nice…coffee hits hard first, maybe a bit too hard for me, but it is followed by a smokeyness that is just God-damn sweet. Roasty, toasty, big, and bouncy this thing is. An slightly sweet burnt malt finish completes a damn fine beer The smokeyness makes it hard to put down and drinkability accordingly benefits. Big props to richdude for braving the sleet to find this heathenistic concoction.


markman, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of Ego
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Pours very dark (near black), minute brownish head dissipates quickly. Has a sweet milk-chocolate/slight bitter chocolate aroma (tiny hint of coffee notes). Lacing is very nice down the glass as you go.

The carbonation seems to take over much of the mouthfeel vs the flavor. Very light feeling as well for a stout. Flavor is subdued with some bite at the back end of the sip (slight hops - not that you should look for hop kick in this style...). The higher alcohol content is well hidden.

The flavor isn't particularly deep or substantial compared to something like North Coast's Old Rasputin but it isnt bad perse. Not something I would go out of my way looking for but if it was offered I wouldn't turn it down.

tried a second bottle and the flavor was better, same notes as above except the flavor was more accentuated. I edited my taste grade up to 4.00 from 3.50. so give this one 2 bottles to form your opinion I suppose...

$8.99 for a 6 pack of 12oz bottles

Ego, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaquely near black with a thin light brown head. Serious roasty character with some underlying candiness like red licorice. No real hop aroma, but that's OK. Roasty flavors abound, coffee, toffee, caramel and chocolate-covered raisin, and that red licorice-like candiness oddly enough appears in the taste, too. Hop bitterness shows up in the finish, just bitterness, no real hop taste, but bitterness that complements the roastiness. Certainly better at warmer temperatures. Rather enjoyable.

crookedhalo, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a full creamy dark brown head but a bit overcarbonated... Husky overly intense chocolate, roasty, dark fruit aroma and flavor ... OXIDATION evident. Does not hold up well over time like Storm King does. Medium-full bodied but a bit too airy due to carbonation.

Would like to try it fresh again...

Per W.B.Co website: seven types of malt and two varieties of hops.

'02' embossed on bottom
Tasted: 11/11/04

($10.99 / 6-pack)

RBorsato, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beware this sucker while pouring. I poured half the bottle into my 22 oz. pilsner glass and got 6 inches of dark brown head. It eventually died down to a fluffy meringue-like foam atop a nearly black beer that looked just like an imperial stout should. And this bad boy did not have lacing... it left sheets of foam on the sides of the glass as I drank.

The aroma was of very dark roasted malts, raisins and prunes, and coffee notes.

The taste was initially bitter, but there were hints of a medicinal taste to it that threw me off a bit. It wasn't bad, just a little surprizing, and I suppose part of it came from the surprising amount of carbonation it had. The roasted character started off as coffee, but swiftly changed to roasted barley.

A very good imperial stout... but personally, one was enough for me. This was a big roasted beer, a little extreme for my IPA-leaning tastes.

connecticutpoet, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of bashiba
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with some ruby red highlights and a thin tan head that lingers for some time.

Smells of Dark Chocolate and Espresso Dominate with hints of Anise and Toffee creeping threw this very strong and complex bouquet.

Taste is initially a very dry bitter chocolate and coffee flavors followed by a nice earthy smooth hop flavor, one of the most balanced imperials I have ever had. The taste however is considerably milder than the scent would have led me to suspect.

Mouthfeel has a mild creaminess to it, however not quite as full and thick as I would have expected or liked.

Drinkability is pretty good, especially for an imperial stout as this is a much more subdued version than most, but still good.

bashiba, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of silenius
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice ebony with a very foamy chocolate mousse head that lasts throughout the brew. Light lacing.

Smell is an interesting combination of milk chocolate liquer, cherries, plums, soy, and mint. There is an oxidation there that runs through all the smells, but not too badly.

Taste is nice with a chocolate covered coffee bean and raisin quality. Slightly sharp acid bite with a little bit of warming going down. Pleasant dark chocolate bitterness on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is creamy and prickly at the same time. Texture is creamy, but some carbonation puts a zing to it.

One is enough for me, but I did enjoy it.

All that being said, I've had a couple of these that turned out to be real stinkers. No-headed soy sauce debacles.

silenius, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pitch black with a tall brown head. Collapses down to a rocky surface while lacing the glass nicely. Aroma of dark chocolate with plenty of sweetness rises form the glass. Weaker notes of coffee were also present. Taste starts off with a bittersweet mix of chocolate and coffee. The flavor finishes with some earthy hops and a roasty malt. Full thick bodied brew here that coats the mouth nicely with wonderful flavor. Great drinkability to boot, with 8% alcohol this can almost pass as a sessionable Imperial Stout. Not much alcohol is detectable in the flavor of nose. Give it a shot if you haven’t already.

meathookjones, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of winomark
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

winomark, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ppoitras, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Ahhdball
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Ahhdball, Oct 19, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

santoslhalper, Oct 18, 2004
Photo of oxmasterscream
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

oxmasterscream, Oct 08, 2004
Photo of vitesse
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

vitesse, Sep 11, 2004
Photo of Dithyramb
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Dithyramb, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of marc77
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

marc77, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of TagoMago
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

TagoMago, Aug 08, 2004
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,469 ratings.