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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

1,498 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,498
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 63
Gots: 126 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,498 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of mattcrill
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mattcrill, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of ngandhi
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

ngandhi, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of cbl2
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


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.

cbl2, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

NEhophead, Jul 01, 2004
Photo of kennyo
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

kennyo, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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...

SixpointJMH, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of Maestro
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Maestro, Jun 07, 2004
Photo of PSUDREW
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

PSUDREW, May 13, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

blitheringidiot, May 06, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

SheepNutz, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of Running4beer
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Running4beer, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
2.03/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

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.

Mitchster, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 15, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

WesWes, Apr 09, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

PhantomVodoo, Apr 08, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

merlin48, Mar 31, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Black as coal, totally opaque. Good carbonation. Nose is roasted malts; Starts with a roasted chocolate/coffee flavor, finishes smooth with just a bit of bitterness. You don't notice the high ABV. $2.10 for a 12oz bottle.

jdhilt, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a trip to New York, and have been saving it for a year or so while I quaffed all the lesser-ABV brews.

A nice-looking beer, to be sure. Jet black in color, with a surprisingly large, creamy, dark tan head. This settles into a respectable and persistant top.

Aroma is nice, with a big malt profile and a hint of roastiness. Develops a bit of fruitiness later on, but not as robust a scent as is typical for the style.

Malt is well-developed in the flavor as well, with chocolatey hints and a wee-bit o' roastiness to the finish. This gets better with warmth, developing a bit of plum flavor and a slightly more assertive bitterness to the finish. But still, in the end, lacks much hint of alcohol or any of the estery byproducts that one would expect from the style. Full-bodied, but rather high level of carbonation which makes it seem less so. Warming.

Decent enough, but in the end, a bit too "polite" for the "Imperial" guard. Send this stout back to the stormtroopers!

mzwolinski, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, with no dating. Pours BLACK, very dark tan head. Coffee and cocoa in the nose. Nice thick and heavy mouthfeel. Burnt fruit, chocolate, black malt. Alcohol obvious but nicely in the background. Hint of vanilla and fruit in a nice long and smooth finish. High quality brew. Nice warming sipper

Billolick, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of jward
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black, with a somewhat thin brown head. The impressive nose presents cocoa powder, cherry and a pleasant woodsy, oak aroma. Rich roasted malt dominates the flavor profile, with hints of fruity tartness appearing mid-palate, giving way to a dark, even burnt, espresso-like finish. Hints of alcohol are also present at the finish. With a creamy mouthfeel, this is a delicious imperial from Weyerbacher.

jward, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of ark57
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

ark57, Mar 12, 2004
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,498 ratings.