1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,424 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,424
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 59
Gots: 101 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Heathen Imperial Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,424 | Reviews: 803 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ark57
ark57

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is thick and black. It has a thin tan head and a lot of aroma that smells of coffee, sweet chocolate, and dark fruits. The smooth body is very complex with tastes of coffee, choclate, plum, port wine, and a slight sourness. It finishes relatively dry with a taste of molasses. It would go well with a choclate dessert or as a nightcap on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2004 13:43:12 | More by ark57
Photo of 99bottles
99bottles

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher's Old Heathen is a pretty good imperial stout. It lacks the wow of the big boys (Stone, Victory, Rogue) and falls more in line with what I try to use as my imperial benchmark, Sam Smith. It's not too fancy, easy malt and choco, somewhat weak hopfeel. It pours a deep brown-black and yields a deep tan head which quickly subsides to a thin lace upon the surface of the beer. The taste of alcohol is strong for only being 8%. I would think the ABV could be increased and the overall flavor enhanced with a better blend of hops. It just lacks something the others don't. Not at all bad, but really not worth the purchase if another is available.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 08:29:09 | More by 99bottles
Photo of ChrisBowers
ChrisBowers

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off, let me say I LOVE the aftertaste of this beer. Rich espresso, bittersweet chocolate and a nice warming effect. What I don't really like all that much is the initial taste. Its a been "mediciney" for lack of a better word. Its not that its a bad taste, its just odd. Alcohol is very apparent. Mouthfeel is average to thin. There are much better representations available from regional breweries such as Victory's Storm King. Still, a very drinkable beer, but chances are you'll have your choice of others if you find a place that has this.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 01:40:10 | More by ChrisBowers
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black with a good mocha head, and coating lace and stain blanketing the glass. Looks good.

Smells of cookie dough, sweet dark malt, chocolate milk wisps, and a combination of roasty notes and soapy hop notes.

Has espresso impressions from the black and roast malt mix. Fairly chewy, but a thin body of flavor that doesn't show more than a general Imperial Stout personality, though with a toasted nut tone. Milky and light roast finish. Moderate mouthfeel. Hard to choose when Storm King and Black Choc. Stout are as available at the same price.

Another average approximation of the style by Weyerbacher. But, as always, their offerings are drinkable thanks to their moderate profiles.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2004 02:10:50 | More by nomad
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick head which lasted quite awhile. Aroma of cocoa and dark roasted coffee with subtle fruit notes. Body is thin for the style yet smooth. Flavors are good, roasty malt, chocolate but finishing a bit too dry in my opinion. I found the thinner body, drier finish and lack of sweetness uncharacteristic for the style. Not an exceptional Stout but a decent one. Thanks Jason for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2004 13:02:11 | More by BierReise
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
GuinnessSmurf

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark beer fans pay heed: this beer is remarkable.

It pours a dark, dark brown with a deep brown head - the heavy nature of the beer is apparent in pouring. You can tell that it will be very thick and slow drinking, as almost no light passes through it. Smells of caramels, malts, and alcohol. The taste is overall sweet - but carries with it many complexities. Caramel and coffee seem to join forces against a warm, alcohol flavor which warms the mouth when you drink it. The body of this beer is thick - and delicious.

Something about this beer just wows me. I actually drank 3 bottles of it (on different occasions) before writing this review because I was afraid I was exaggerating my joy for it.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 12:24:51 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of Erix
Erix

Vermont

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold, in a pint glass
Appear: Poured a somewhat sluggish, somewhat rocky head. Very very dark beer, with slow, almost nonexistant bubbles rising.
Smell: Nice sweet roasted malt first off. Smells more like a milk stout than an imperial stout, actually. I expect a bit more hops in this style, but it still smells delicious.
Taste: Not as strong as an imperial stout should be. Nicely roasted flavor. A little alcohol, but not as apparent as its 8% would suggest. Sweetness fades kinda quickly, leaving a lingering bitterness, and something like burnt toast. Tastes great, and I would give it a higher rating here, but its just not quite right for the style. Well balanced, however.
Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy, coating.. nice. A little astringent, however.
Drinkability: Quite drinkable despite the high alcohol. I like this beer, and wish my rating was higher, but it just doesn't fit the billing for an imperial stout to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 13:25:11 | More by Erix
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well carbonated, black or dark brown with a two finger chocolate-khaki puffy head. Thin bits of sparse lacing remain.
Deep coffee and roasted malt aroma, a little soaked wheat note.
Chocolate, caramel and black patent, bitterness seems to come from heavily roasted malt not hops. Black currant, coffee, what hops exist are floral, but they're crushed under all the dark flavors.
Robust, smooth, but full, acidic bite.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2004 21:07:32 | More by mschofield
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black as midnight, even when I held it to the light only a vague brown hue could be detected, the russet head of a half finger in height held reasonably well. It did dissipate in time. The subsequent lacing was spotty but evident. The nose is big and aromatic with heaps of rich roasted malts, dry coffee beans, and milk chocolate; it is a luscious nose. The aromas of hops are absent. Inviting. The palate was surprisingly watery upfront with minimal bulk until the middle, here I found a solid foundation of roasted malts, hints of coffee, very dry, minimal chocolate, which was contrary to the invitation of the aromas. The hops are somewhat noticeable but dull. The aftertaste is amazingly long; it latched onto my cheeks and never left. This is a smaller Imperial Stout or a big “regular” Stout. Either way I am impressed with Old Heathen. It is not very hoppy nor is it very burnt but is kind of sweet and very relaxing, especially for the style. The mouthfeel is apathetic, this is a bit of a disappointment, it lacks in sturdiness; the carbonation was moderate but manageable. I found this to be an easy drinking Imperial Stout (is that good?), I really couldn’t taste the alcohol, it’s plenty drinkable. As a whole, I really dig this one, flaws and all. It is well worth trying. Thanks Bierman9!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 21:27:33 | More by bditty187
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Solid black in color with a nice, very tight, tanned head that showed some good retention.

Smell – What a lovely bouquet! This is indeed “imperial.” The roasted malts form the backbone here, but they are complimented by a plethora of smells. The deep, dark fruits are among the highlights. The big Rainier cherries are especially appealing, as are the tobacco and dates.

The espresso is prominent as well, nicely encouraged by the raw sugars and alcohol. All in all, this has a very complex nose, and I’m sure I haven’t done it justice.

Taste – The espresso from the nose steps it up a bit here, as this is the prominent flavor that I found. The malts of course make up the base, and all the sugar and fruits from the smell find their way to the tongue. I really liked the fine cocoa powder that introduced itself to me here.

Mouthfeel – Impeccably smooth and very bitter. This medium to full-bodied Imperial Stout was a joy to hold in the cheeks.

Drinkability – My wife and I had some good unexpected work-related news to celebrate tonight, and I couldn’t have wandered into a nicer ale. This one will close the evening, as I can't imagine chasing it with anything else. Guten nacht!

Comments – Curses to Jason for sending this to me. I’ll never be able to get the flavors out of my mind and will trade and spend foolishly trying to get another.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2004 04:14:33 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Indybeer
Indybeer

Indiana

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.Poured a dark black with a massive head that really stuck around. Lots of lacing on the glass. Aroma is of espresso coffee, roasted malt and a slight smokiness. Taste is coffee and chocolate and lots of roasted malt. This is not an overpowering imperial, but has a very good balance. Smooth and silky with just the right amount of bitterness in the finish. This is a very easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 05:22:12 | More by Indybeer
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black opeque look in the glass with a nice rich milk cocoa colored head on the pour which settles quickly to a tan sheen and lace. Nice cocoa black malt and slight berry nose. Sharp sourish plum , burnt malt, and light expresso are show the most. The feel and taste are a little lighter than you would think. Medium mouth. Dry sightly sour tongue in the finish. Overall very nice.. just a slight lightness to the brew sensed.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 01:46:33 | More by frank4sail
Photo of bigbubba
bigbubba

Ohio

3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It was extremely dark with a dissapointing head that faded quickly. The smell was very good, but the taste didn't follow. It wasn't bad as a stout, but compared to other Imperial Stouts it was not impressive. There was a nice dark malt taste. It is a decent beer but it just doesn't live up to this category.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 04:17:53 | More by bigbubba
Photo of BCMan
BCMan

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was not what I was expecting at all. This seams to be one of those beers that will sneak up on you because it's very easy to drink but has very respectable ABV. It pours smooth and generates a frothy, brown head. The color is very deep redish color when held to the light but away from the light it appears black. The foam faded fast to a weather system over the beer. The first sip was very good. Had a nice bold flavor to it that was full of chocolate and coffee tones. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth. As I said before, very drinkable. I tend to stay away from Weyerbacher but since recently having the Rasberry Imperial and now this beer I realize that I need to stay with the styles I like brcause these two beers are very nice beer to have on hand. I highly suggest you try if if you haven't already.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 01:39:04 | More by BCMan
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Imperial Stouts so when new ones come to town, I get excited. Pours out solid black, much like oil with almost no head at all. The smell is wonderful. Coffee and chocolate with a grainy almost nutty flavor. The taste is not as nice as the smell. Solid, just no mind blowing. More coffee and some burnt notes come through. I like my imp stouts to have more of a hop backbone which this one seems to lack. More on the sweet side. A good beer that I am glad that I tried.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2004 01:06:08 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of edchicma
edchicma

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice brew that started with an absolutely great black color with an outstanding head and lacing. Smell was of burnt malt with some fruity elements. A hint of smokiness was also present. Taste was wine-like, with the alcohol presence overriding any sweetness. Definite hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel for a hig abv was nice. As expected, it was very dry, yet medium bodied. Very drinkable for its abv. My first offering from this brewery...I hope the others are just as good. My bottle was not plain jane....it had the silhouette of a druid? with neat stylized lettering.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 23:14:42 | More by edchicma
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brewing company caught my attention at EBFest...in fact; I got to pour for them (and sample) for a while.
This one pours an oily black with a firm beige/tannish head on top and some sticky and trailing lace. A smoky and toasted malt aroma makes way for some floral hop and fumy alcohol.
The malt is smoky and rich. Burnt toast, dark coffee, chocolate and hint of licorice flavors are all upfront. Citrusy bitterness and a faint metallic tang can are also noticed. A light warming alcohol emerges and gathers momentum as it warms. This is a hearty and flavorful Imperial stout, that doesn't over-rely on potent alcohol to be noticed.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 23:08:51 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of BigSipper
BigSipper

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark brown, practically black. Looks delicious and inviting with a layer of head the color of coffee with a dash of milk. As much I tried, I couldn't smell much anything.

The flavor is sweet with a hint of tartness, smoky dark roasted malt, and a mouthful of hops to bring a balance to the storm of flavors. Smooth and viscous, leaving behind a chocolate ghost.

Absolutely outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2004 23:37:50 | More by BigSipper
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
NearerMyBeerToMe

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A slightly viscous pour results in a flagon of pitch-black liquid topped off by about half a finger of rich, khaki-colored foam of uniform, small, and dense bubbles, with not much spottiness. The head dies out to a thin film that rings the glass; cling is sparse and slightly viscous. An aroma of rich, coffeeish maltiness; twinging smoke and wood. With warmth and agitation, smells of tar and black currant emerge; perhaps plum brandy (with some imagination)? Nosefeel is pleasantly oily and alcoholic. Flavors are earthy and sooty from the get-go. An intriguing palate... after an initial big roast barley graininess, I keep thinking of inedible flavors! burnt popcorn/burnt rye toast, smoldering cedar chips, used coffee grounds; bits of sweetness in front palate and hoppiness at sides are bowled over by big smoke flavors; this has got to be a cigarette smoker's dream beer. Mouthfeel is tingly throughout with an oily body; however, considering the intensity of the flavor, the aftertaste finishes rather quickly. After a few minutes, a nice booziness takes over, so watch your speed. I used to not like this beer, but it's grown on me--I would happily have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2004 18:38:03 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
Photo of yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark black with a two finger espresso colored head. Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate malt. Very nice in the glass.

The taste is quite pronounced at cellar temperature. Lots of dark smoky notes. Almost a oak like quality to the flavor. Just like the smell the taste reveals a whole lot of coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is in the medium strong body range. This is a very drinkable imperial. Just a notch or two below the big boys of the imperial stout world, but it's pretty darn good.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2004 23:55:18 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a rusty head. The aroma is a roasted chocolate. The taste is a rush of chocoate and roasted malt that really hits your tastebuds. Very nice mouthfeel that leaves you wanting to take another gulp. The aftertaste is again a roasted chocolate that lasts and lasts. This is something to sit back and enjoy anytime of the year.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 04:31:14 | More by stewart124
Photo of sideshowrob
sideshowrob

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderful example of an Imperial Stout. Deep Black in color, an almost solid appearance in the glass. Nice little dark brown frothy head. Obvious substance to this brew. Wonderful aroma. Almost overpoweringly well balanced massive malt and hops. Very smooth taste, this one could substitute for dinner in a pinch. Easy to drink and a wonderful party in the palate. An excellent brew to try and keep around until the summer.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2004 15:56:51 | More by sideshowrob
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black beer-has a great tan head on it that reminds me of the Sam ad "you could float a cap on it".Like a dark version of the head on a Belgian.Nice aroma-roasty,chocolate.Roasted malt flavor up front.Hints of licorice and anise.Full mouthfeel-nice body on this one.Very nice imperial-could have several of these in a sitting.Definate must try.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 02:31:24 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost perfect mouthfeel from the creamy full body of this baby. The cave-dark body is joined to a nice beige head that is too quickly gone. Very light lacing effect to the point of being negligible.

Aroma of molasses, licorice and chocolate. Fortunately the chocolate comes to the fore in the flavor and leaves a nice nice sense of the lovely malts herein. The drinkability is hampered by the 8% ABV, but it's not bad at all. Good stout in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 02:43:12 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Horribly, terribly, thoroughly deep black, with a tall, fluffy, richly roasted tannish mess of foam up on top.
Aroma: stands up on top, proud and tall, big licorice, dark rum, molasses, but a tad cola-ish, creamy, rife with espresso tinges, chocolate dribbles, bitter-yet-sweet, with little fruit appearances, as well.
Taste: highly carbonated from the start, a huge effervescence from the start, largely cola-ish, again, with a significant fruity aspect, ably matched with tastes of cocoa. Big ol' liquory chocolatey milkshake, here, folks.
Full-bodied, nice, medium finish, huge, thick maltiness...all-around, a very nice stout to battle off this horrid mid-December Mid-western weather.
Thank you, Old Heathen, and thanks to you, ManekiNeko!

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 08:42:19 | More by feloniousmonk
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,424 ratings.