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Old Heathen Imperial Stout - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

823 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 823
Hads: 1,623
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.28%
Wants: 72
Gots: 186 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

Rich, velvety and deliciously complex, Old Heathen (8% ABV) is a truly distinctive stout. We use seven types of malt and two varieties of hops to bring forth this big brew. Quite robust and roasty on the palate, Old Heathen Imperial Stout has a wonderfully fruity nose and a moderately dry finish. The taste is highly complex. Perhaps you’ll even discern notes of espresso or chocolate.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 823 | Hads: 1,623
Photo of ark57
4.25/5  rDev +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. (361 characters)

Photo of 99bottles
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (694 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (403 characters)

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (707 characters)

Photo of Erix
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (933 characters)

Photo of mschofield
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (422 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
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! (1,308 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (1,389 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (404 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of bigbubba
3.47/5  rDev -11%
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. (308 characters)

Photo of BCMan
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of edchicma
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (639 characters)

Photo of BigSipper
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (401 characters)

Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (1,172 characters)

Photo of yankeeheel
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of stewart124
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (346 characters)

Photo of sideshowrob
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (347 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
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! (745 characters)

Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 823 ratings.