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Wee Heavy - Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

45 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 45
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.58%

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Full-bodied Scotch-style ale with a distinct malty-sweet and fruity aroma and flavor. A light smokiness lurks in the background from the use of peat smoked malts.

40 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002)
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Ratings: 45 | Reviews: 24 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smakawhat


3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a wine taster glass at the DC bottle share. Much thanks to jeff for the bottle.

A good off white head, slightly tan colored with thin contained bubbles. Real nice walnut brown body and large red hues along the edges. Very nice.

Boquet has a first mild nutty sensation, more like a brown ale. Some sweet subtle cream and soft bodied. Not much caramel or large malt sweetness, but still inviting and very enjoyable.

Palate brings a matching soft texture and taste. Soft malts, with a hint of char and caramel. Light brown sugar rolls around nicely in a somewhat thin mouthfeel.

Overall a bit thin and wet for a wee heavy but with some very solid enjoyable qualities nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 15:47:53 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Knapp85


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a dark amber color. The head was big and fizzy but retained itself for the entire beer as you drank it. The smell is earthy with sweet malts. The taste is sweet with malts, some aramel, earth and pete on the tongue. A very nice tasting Wee Heavy. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a light carbonation. Overall the I enjoyed this brew quite a bit. Surprised to see it's retired since I just bought it.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 01:45:35 | More by Knapp85
Photo of woodychandler


4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 04 Dec 2010. This was a IH Newark beer served at IHLNC.

Again, a wispy head, but I was taking my time on Winter Warmer afternoon and this was simply the price that I would have to pay. The nose had a tropical bent to it, like banana and coconut. Color was a slightly hazy reddish-brown. I immediately got the smokiness of the peated malt on the nose and I then sneered at the Cheat Sheet, which characterized it as "slight". Slight like John Holmes, RIP. Mouthfeel was medium-to full and swirled around on my tongue nicely without losing any of its viscosity. Finish lingered with a smokiness that, for me, was surprisingly just right. Usually, I am the stereotypical American, striving for more or the most in just about everything. I could easily drink more of this.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2011 23:04:17 | More by woodychandler
Photo of womencantsail


3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark amber, maybe amber color with a huge off-white head.

S: Surprisingly fruity on the nose. There's a lot of carbon dioxide aroma to it which sort of detracts from the other aspects. Some nice toast and toffee, though.

T: Good stone fruit flavors with a hint of smoke/peat. Plenty of toasted bread/malt with a moderate caramel and toffee flavor giving the beer its sweetness.

M: Medium in body with a very high carbonation.

O: Good, but the excessive carbonation lessens the enjoyment of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 22:11:41 | More by womencantsail
Photo of xnicknj


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

750mL bottle poured into large snifter glass

Pours a clouded mocha brown with some lighter hues towards the bottom. A beige head slowly dissolves into a layer of film with a nice collar around the glass. Some spots of lacing are also on the glass.

An intricate nose with elements of sweet caramel malt, molasses, smoky peat, and boozy warmth.

A decent element of scotch and sweeter roasted caramel malts up front. Syrupy molasses mixes with the backbone for a slightly sweeter overall profile. Hints of smoke and peat create the familiar scotch ale flavor. Suggestions of candied fruit and burnt sugar. Finishes with some alcohol heat and lingering stickiness.

Fuller body, rather smooth and easy on the tongue, decent carbonation and a bit dry and sticky. Drinks well, and the alcohol is about where I'd like it to be for the style. There's definitely cheaper examples out there, but this still a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 02:47:02 | More by xnicknj
Photo of beermanbrian


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked bottle that was a gift from my brother in law for Christmas. I'm pretty sure he got it at the Lancaster location but the bottle says Wilmington so I'm assuming that's were it was brewed and bottled.

Nice copper color but a rather small head. The head does hang on longer than expected for it's size. Smell of candy sweet malt with some biscuit notes. Taste matches the smell, nice sweetness and just some faint peat smokeyness to finish it off. ABV is hidden behind all the sweetness. There must be enough smokeyness to balance the sweet out because it manages to not be too cloying which is always one of my big complaints with a big high abv sweet brew.

Overall a nice example of the style. A nice one time buy.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 01:04:57 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of Minotaur


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This pours from a 750ml bottle (which has aged for about a year) into a pint glass.

It is a hazy light brown-copper color with a one finger head that quickly vanishes to only a thin bit of hazy white atop the beer.

The aroma is unique: slightly toasty malts with a bit of sour hops. But there are two predominant flavors of slightly smokey peat and a floral-honey like scent that hints at heather.

The taste follows the aroma with a strong honey-floral (almost mead like) flavor supported by bready and yeasty malt. There is a slight bit of hops bitterness that offsets the honey very well. The peaty smokiness is a nice compliment to an alcoholic finish.

It has a full, vigorous mouthfeel. There is a bread-like quality typical of Belgian ales but without the usual estery flavors. It is a very drinkable and smooth beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 00:53:03 | More by Minotaur
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 06/04/2009. Bottle at PPRBSG09. This beer pours a cloudy light brown. The aroma is of sweet, light butterscotch. The flavor is rather sweet, with some mint (?) and booze in the finish. Not bad for a wee heavy, actually, but I didn't love it either.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 15:49:19 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of drtth


4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in standard 12 oz glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Clear, dark reddish brown with thin white/beige head.

Smell: Rich sweet caramel malts and grain, no hops detectable

Taste: Sweet, crisp malt flavor that is very intense and with little or no hop bitterness. Instead there is some soft smokiness in here but it comes and goes and does not dominate the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and a smooth, silky feel and a medium long finish.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. Could easily repeat for 3 or 4 more.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

03-04-2009 11:25:23 | More by drtth
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy, dark brown with a nice off white head
S - caramel, toffee, slight smokey note
T - smilaro to the aroma but the malts come in with a light caramel balance, almost dry effect
M - medium / medium full bodied, lightly carbonated, nice light smokey caramel after note.
D - easy to approach and nicely complimentary to the brewery burger!

pricey at 18.50 but a nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

05-14-2008 00:10:52 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of recieving a grolwer of this in a BIF not too long ago, and needless to say I was thrilled. Poured out a crazy dark brown, damn near opaque with a huge tan head on the top that only gradually settled down before finally coming to a rest with at least an inch left on the top and tons of side glass lace all over it. Really full looking for a wee heavy.

The aroma was rich, lots of malted sugar and caramel aroms with a hint of some earthy tones underneath it all, really quite big here as well. The flavor was masterful, almost tasted like a stout, and definitly had the feel of one. The rich sugary notes were huge, and mixed in well with tons of caramel and earthy grains. Rich dry finish really was just the icing on the cake for me.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Easily one of the best I have ever had from the style. Truly a top notch brew if I have ever had one and I would love to be able to try this one again anytime.

Serving type: growler
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

04-05-2008 15:45:44 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of DrJay


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, deep reddish brown colour with a thin cap of light beige bubbles. A little spotty lace clung to the glass. Rich malty aroma with intense cereal and grain notes. Same in the flavour, with very low bitterness and a hint of fruity esters in the background. Sweetness was more malty than caramel or toffee. Full bodied with lowish carbonation, quite smooth. Alcohol wasn't evident in the flavour or nose. Quite drinkable and very tasty.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

03-15-2008 22:06:37 | More by DrJay
Photo of akorsak


4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle purchased at Iron Hill West Chester over a year ago. Since then, it has been aging quietly in my cellar.

A: The wee heavy has a dark tawny color, more brown than red. The ale has a bit of a cola appearance, white head notwithstanding.

S: The nose malty, livened by a touch of peaty smokiness. The aroma is strong but not Bamberger strong; nonetheless it is very enticing.

T: Subtle smoked malts really define the ale. They are oh-so-soft, flicking at the tastebuds with burnt, cured flavors. They never rise to the meaty, smoked bacon level but do just fine on their own. The mouthfeel has a noticeable lack of carbonation that mutes the flavor a touch. The grainy, smoked malts leave a pleasant taste in the mouth long after the sip is gone.

M: The cured flavor is tough to beat, thick with a tasty meaty body.

D: The alcohol is well-hidden, allowing the malts to take charge throughout. The smokiness is divine.

Serving type: bottle
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

03-14-2008 02:39:17 | More by akorsak
Photo of ChainGangGuy


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

Appearance: Pours a clearish, medium brown body with a fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Rich aroma of caramelized kettle sugars, fruit, smokey peat, and a dash of cocoa.

Taste: Sweet, malty caramel with a ripe fruitiness. Distinct smoked peat flavor. Hint of cocoa. Quite warming on the peaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Nice! A very solid example of a scotch ale.

Serving type: bottle
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

01-16-2008 03:55:40 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Biscuit033


3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a fluffy one finger cream colored head and nice lacing.

S: Light notes of caramel and that is about it.

T: Nice, big chewy malts. There is caramel and toffee along with the dark malt sweetness. There was a bit of green apple in the aftertaste as well.

M: Full and creamy. I asked for something chewy and malty and the barmaid recommended this. It was just that with a creaminess from the Nitro.

D: Because of the fullness it slowed me down but I could have two or three before the sweetness caught up to me. The alcohol was not perceptible.

Serving type: nitro-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

01-07-2008 02:41:05 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of BrewMan13

New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, and had the pleasure of visiting the IronHill brewpub. They were out of most of the stuff I wanted to try on tap (after looking at their website) but this more then makes up for it. I'm drinking this after raking the entire lawn for the 1st time at my 1st house!
It comes in a corked 750ml bottle (boy was that cork on there!). Cant tell the year it was brewed, but based on the condition of the label, I'd say its at least a year or 2 old. Stats: OG: 1.085, 16L, 35 IBU, 8.3% abv (note: the OG and the the alcohol content were lower then actually listed on the specialty beers menu it was ordered from...perhaps newer vintages have a different recipe?).
I finally get the cork off and pour a healthy amount into my snifter. It pours a light brown with a decent off-white, almost tan head, ~2 fingers worth which slowly dissipates. A small amount remains for the duration.
Hints of toffee and caramel in the nose...also something else. Seems to be a contribution of the yeast (not fruity really, just 'yeasty'). Says it's brewed with peat-smoked malt, but I'm not really picking up on it in the aroma.
Taste is very impressive and not too over the top. Sweet, but not too much so. Still not really picking up on the peat smoked malt, which is a tad disappointing as I love it...so my guess is that they must have been very conservative with it. I can maybe convince myself I get a faint hint in the finish, but if I wasnt looking for it, I wouldnt think it was there at all. No alcohol (thankfully) or hop presence (as you would expect) to speak of in the taste. Actually has a slightly dry finish. I am impressed with the carbonation level: it's not out of control and it doesnt detract from the mouthfeel(like some bottle conditioned beers) but it seems to be a good balance. Body is just on the hefty side of medium. Not nearly too heavy to quaff a lot of the stuff.
I can tell this was made with great care and attention and has been (presumably) aged very well at the brewpub.
If it wasnt so pricey (18.50...but it was also a gift from my mother-in-law) and I actually lived close enough to procure it regularly, I might get it once a year, but this is likely the only time I'll ever have it. I would probably put it in my top 3 scotch ales.

Serving type: bottle
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

11-24-2007 23:43:32 | More by BrewMan13
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one while there for a mug club event.

Dark, dark brown with a fingers worth of khaki head. Sweet roasted malt, alcohol, and a very light smoke scent made up the aroma. The flavor was a blend of the sweet, fruity malt, alcohol twang, and a nice roasted earthy taste. Man, this was a heavy beer. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. 24oz of this one was plenty.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

03-11-2007 01:34:08 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of kernalklink


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark wee heavy- alcohol notes present straight away after the small head dissipates. Bready malt aromas back it up- not as estery as others, but still slightly spicy without huge fruit aromas. Sweet and thick malts on the taste, mild alcohol burn. Nice finish, though I did not detect a lot of the smoky character which the bartender warned me about. Great as a night-ending brew.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

02-10-2007 15:46:08 | More by kernalklink
Photo of weeare138


4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark brown with a fluffy, off white head that slowly fades out. Lots of sticky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of rich caramel, toffee, hints of cocoa, light smoke, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice, malty, caramel flavor, and ripe fruit, along with a touch of smoke and cocoa.
Mouthfeel is solid, medium bodied, chewy, semi-sweet up front, and a solid finish.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

01-15-2007 20:30:53 | More by weeare138
Photo of Boto


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught in Phoenixville: This had almost no head whatsoever. It poured a cloudy, dark caramel color. The nose is caramel, spicy and somewhat sweet. The taste is quite good. There is some smokey peat, caramel and roastiness flavors. The finish is slightly sweet. Very Good!

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

01-02-2007 01:21:28 | More by Boto
Photo of BuckSpin


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The tapped version of this offering would, unless I had not fallen under the Siren song of its cask conditioned brother, been simply extrodinary - it has to settle for merely being fantastic.

Poured a deep, ruby amber, which was surprising difficult to see through. A head of loose, off-white foam that mildly laced topped it off.

Nose was very nice - sweet yet obviously related in aroma to a light/young single malt. Its nice, malts and dried fruits (cherries) swirl on the tongue and warm the pallete nicely with its crisp nature. These continue to dance and fade away nicely, leaving a very pleasing aftertaste. Just a wonderful example of the genre and a damn fine beer - but not as good as its cask conditioned twin.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

05-28-2005 03:53:42 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of tenant


3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the West Chester location (which I live 2 blocks from). It arrived with a head of about 1cm which quickly vanished. Mouthfeel was extremely smooth with more body than I expected for an Iron Hill beer. Typically, I find their beers too thin and watery, so this was a surprise. The color was very dark, almost black...although I didn't hold it up to light for a better assessment. If this beer truly is 8% then it's hidden well, although I imagine the ABV changes from year to year as this is a seasonal. The taste was all malt and a bit one-dimensional. Mostly smokey, burnt malt flavors. Reminded me of the Anchor X-mas (without the spice) or the Weyerbacher Black Hole with the alcohol kicked up a few notches. As it warmed the alcohol showed more of its character, and towards the end I could see there was a good deal of lacing. Definitely one of the better brews I've had at the West Chester Iron Hill. Now I can't wait for the Weizenbock on 11/22.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

11-19-2004 00:01:53 | More by tenant
Photo of packetknife


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an excellent Scotch Ale. Thick, roasted, sweet, heavy. Really nice. Don't bother with a meal here, it's worthy of an empty stomach and a clean tongue.

Serving type: bottle
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

04-27-2002 19:10:21 | More by packetknife
Photo of mophie


5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is hands down, no two ways about it, without a doubt the finest wee heavy I have ever tasted. Served at Iron Hill Brewery's Brewers' Reserve Night in West Chester, PA, this was the last cask of their 2000 vintage, which won a Bronze Medal at the 2001 GABF. No doubt in my mind, had the judging included this aged version, there is no finer Scotch ale out there. Served by Brian Finn, master brewer at the West Chester restaurant, this beer is deep brown in color, with a slight, white head. Sweet malty aroma. Sweet, malty, earthy, peaty smokiness in the taste. Incredibly complex, incredibly balanced. I feel lucky and honored to have tasted this beer, as it is the last of Iron Hill's 2000 vintage. Not to worry though: there is a new batch of Wee Heavy conditioning in an old Jack Daniel's cask, and I can only hope I am lucky enough to taste it again.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, 30 E State St, Media

04-20-2002 20:15:42 | More by mophie
Wee Heavy from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
90 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.