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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

1,465 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,465
Reviews: 807
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 63
Gots: 119 | 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: 1,465 | Reviews: 807 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

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.

RoyalT, Feb 07, 2004
Photo of Indybeer
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

Indybeer, Feb 06, 2004
Photo of frank4sail
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

frank4sail, Feb 06, 2004
Photo of bigbubba
3.45/5  rDev -12%

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.

bigbubba, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of BCMan
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

BCMan, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of CharlesRiver
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

CharlesRiver, Feb 01, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

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.

edchicma, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

BeerResearcher, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of BigSipper
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

BigSipper, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

NearerMyBeerToMe, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

yankeeheel, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of stewart124
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

stewart124, Jan 06, 2004
Photo of sideshowrob
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

sideshowrob, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

lackenhauser, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

AtLagerHeads, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%

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!

feloniousmonk, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of CRJMellor
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Pours a huge tan head with staying power. Jet black and very creamy. Heavy, heavy malt, chocolate and coffee and earth notes. Beautiful chocolately velvet mouthfeel, very syrupy. I think I could but this on some vanilla ice cream and enjoy it. Malt whiskey notes with light bitterness on the end.
IMHO this is a beautiful beer.

CRJMellor, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of jtw5877
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%

This stuff is great, a very pleasant surprise to see this at my local farm market. Pours a thick deep dark black hue with a brownish tan head. Wonderful deep rich maltiness with alot of coffee, caramel, and chocolatey tones. A very fine imperial stout that I would recommend to anyone who can find it.

jtw5877, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

"I wanna be a pagan, born-again pagan
Runnin' nekkid through the woods all day
I'd say a prayer to Apollo with each jug of wine I'd swallow
Honey, donchu wanna be a pagan, too?"
-Willie Griggs

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temp in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Jet black topped by a massive brown head that eventually settles down to a smallish layer of foam that lasts all throughout the consumption. Valiant efforts are made to leave lacing, but to no avail.

Smell: Strong coffee and prune-like fruity smells. Smoky roasted malts, dark chocolate, and intriguing light floral notes.

Taste: Sweet coffee with bitter chocolate aftertastes. Dark prune, apple, and red grape flavors. Not quite complex, but still damn good. A little too light on the malts. The fruity flavors kinda ran rough-shod in my mouth and reminded me of an Otter Pop with all the fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Just a wee bit short of heavy-bodied, but get out the knife and fork - this is thick.

Drinkability: I've certainly had better Imperial Stouts, but this is nonetheless a sterling example of the style. A bit anemic, maltwise, but still quite top notch.

ManekiNeko, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

I have four Russians in front of me--- ahh!

Harvey & Son A. Le Coq Tribute 2001
Weyerbacher Old Heathen
Rogue Imperial Stout
North Coast Old Rasputin
Weyerbacher Old Heathen

The beer cascased into my glass filling it as an opaque black liquid. At the same instant the beer washed the walls of my glass, a brown colored fine bubbled creamy textured head formed. Some mild lacing graced the glass. Within a few minutes the foamy head thinned and the beer's black eye gazed up at me.

The nose presented definite hints of alcohol, dotted with sprinkles of malt and toasted coffee. Nevertheless the nose was faint.

Flavor started with an immediate fizz on my palate followed by a bitter hops note and some slight toated malt. Otherwise the flavor profile was rather thin and slight.

The mouthfeel was cordial, but the beer's scant flavor body made the mouthfeel slight and superficial-- especially for an Imperial Stout.

I rate this Imperial as fourth in the line-up at the start of my review.
Maybe this is a "lite" Imperial Stout.

To my beer palate A.Le Coq is most delectable, Rogue second, Old Rasputin third, and alas Old Heathen.

Still a nice beer, but just a lighter simpler Imperial Stout.

gueuzeonhigh, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of pezoids
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%

This is pretty thin for and Imperial Stout. Poured out a midnight black with a thin tan head. Bitter roasted grains and alcohol in the aroma. Again, the body is thin and bitter with roasted grains and some chocolate. Strong alcohol is in the forefront. There’s some roasted coffee, caramel and cocoa in there. Not bad but lacking for an Imperial Stout. Maybe this is an Imperial Stout Light.

pezoids, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

The body is an opaque black and reveals only a thin glint of mahogany at the base of the glass. The thin lid of creamy dark tan foam drops quickly to a razor thin surface covering and it leaves little more than spotty lace. The nose offers toasted chocolate; a berry-like yeasty fruitiness; and some alcohol. The body is medium-full, and it's silky smooth in the mouth with a low-level, very fine and natural carbonation from bottle conditioning that gently caresses the tongue. The flavor delivers a dark malt with a bittersweet chocolate character and a soft, roasted edge backed by a bold bitterness and some drying alcohol in the finish. Some floral and grassy hops rest under the surface don't don't really show themselves unless you seek them out.

NeroFiddled, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours a pitch black with no head to speak of,aroma is softly sweet and I also got a light peppermint aroma (Iam glad Iam not the only one who got that).Taste is lightly chocolaty with an alcolic sweetness to it kinda hard to explain,the alcohol is very prevelant there is a nice earthiness in the finish as well.A real nice complex Imperial Stout here a nice one to savor.The big beers from Weyerbacher are very good I have to say.

oberon, Nov 13, 2003
Photo of Darkale
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

The usual coal-black body, with good thickness, gradual creamy tan head, good lacing.

Very high and candy-like sweet aroma with a hint of peppermint.

Taste is far more smoky and sour than the aroma would lead you to expect. Really not very sweet tasting at all; it's more sour and smoky.

Mouthfeel is disappointingly thin and not very robust.

Not especially tasty. I could have another, but would not seek it out.

An odd-tasting Imperial Stout. Not very imperial, and also, to me, not especially stout-like. Has an aftertaste of sour fruit. Not sure what the heck they were going after with this beer.

Another reason for me to be unimpressed with Weyerbacher.

Darkale, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Gavage
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

Pours a black color with a light brown thin head. The head receded to the rim of the glass rather quickly. The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, and alcohol. The flavor followed the sniff test, with tons of roasted malts and coffee, but chocolate and licorice flavors were also strong. Very full bodied imperial stout, and the alcohol is quite noticeable. The carbonation is very mild, making this a bit syrupy on the tongue. There is a slight dryness in the aftertaste. This is one to sip on a cold evening if you want to feel some warmth.

Gavage, Nov 09, 2003
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,465 ratings.