Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

279 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Duhast500 on 02-24-2010

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Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 695
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is dark brown, amber edges, head is tan and presents at least 1 inch thick and remains quite well, nice lacing.

Smell is booze and then some heavy caramel and toffee, with some light chocolate and hints of peat.

Taste is a bit sweet, with some heavy raisin, toffee, hints of cocoa and some light peat. booziness is noticeable but not detracting from the flavor.

Mouthfeel is definitely on the sweet/cloying side, but still at 10% abv and with the heavy load of caramel malts it can be expected. There is a bit of drying that wants to occur but it is weighed down by the cloying sweetness.

Overall, this is a big, sweet, strong beer with a nice presentation.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep brown producing a 2+ finger, mocha, frothy, somewhat lasting head leaving a sticky, streaky web of lacing. Aroma is roast & dark chocolate malt, smoke, molasses, some butter & nut notes. Taste is smokey chocolate/ caramel/toffee, dark fruit, butter & a hint of spicy hop undertones & bitterness. The bitterness may be as much a function of the peat smoked malts as it is the hops, perhaps more so. Finishes with a tongue biting spice, butter & alcohol that fades to a smokey, bitter, alcohol aftertaste. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy but with lively spice on the tongue. A more robust version of Dirty Bastard & more alcohol prominence. A rustic, grab you by the throat Wee Heavy. I'm pretty sure William Wallace never had a brew approximating this, but he should have!

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant chestnut crowned by a 2” tan foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Fruit and malt aromas.
T: A malt driven beer featuring rich malt flavors with plum to prune, a dash of fig, some kettle sugars, caramel, a hint of port. Mild hop presence.
F: Medium full to full body, medium to medium low carbonation.
O: A flavorful, well balanced wee heavy.

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Photo of Brenden
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Scotch ale is a dark brown-red, deep violet hues shining in the translucent body. The head is a creamy tan cap about 1/4 of a finger at its peak that leaves a foam and some spotting on the glass.
This one smells sweet, lots of caramel and nut with a touch of peat smoke and a little bit of black pepper.
Dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and brown sugar start up front and make this a very sweet beer as they never back down. There's lots of malt here, and the smokiness comes into the middle but I'd like more heft. A bit of herb and grass flash a ghost of bitterness but can't quite cut the malts.
The body is full and even thick even as a heavy carbonation tries to cut it. It leans cloying, but the crispness helps some and it isn't too syrupy.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend of mine brought over a bottle of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy to share. I don't think I've had this one before, but I'm always down to try a new Wee Heavy, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it goes a little with the name and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice mahogany color that took on some slight crimson edges when held to the light with a finger and a half of tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty and patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up with the caramel malts coming through nicely and it moves right into a a lighter amount of a medium smokey peat aroma. Up next comes the dark fruit which are nice and no single fruit sticks out the most and there's just a slight alcohol like aroma coming through in the background. This beer had a good aroma, it seemed to have nice balance.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the malts still being the first to show up and they still impart those nice caramel malt aspects and this time they are followed by the dark fruits which are just a little lighter than they were in the aroma with still no single fruit sticking out the most. Up next comes the smoke which has a nice smoked peat flavors to it and it shows up just a little more than it did in the aroma and it carries into the aftertaste with pretty much no bitterness, a slight alcohol and some caramel malt and light dark fruits also showing up. This was a good tasting beer, I liked the complexity the smoke malt added.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and it was a good example of a Wee Heavy, it took the non traditional smoked malt aspect and I didn't mind that, in that aspect it seemed to be pretty similar to Dark Horse's Scotty Karate. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, a little crisp, a little creamy, slightly sticky, not too filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one would be the perfect amount for me, but I wouldn't rule out drinking two, but that would be my limit. What I like the most about this beer was the complexity, it was fairly complex for the style and I liked that. What I liked the least about this beer was that the body just wasn't a little thicker, but in the end that wasn't a big deal. I would buy this beer again and I would't mind seeing how it ages. I would recommend giving this a try if your a fan of the style, especially if you like the Wee Heavys with smoked malts. All in all I was happy with this beer and i think it might be one of the best beers from this series that I've had. It's not my favorite Sam Adams beer or my favorite Wee Heavy, but I would say it's just a notch under Scotty Karate. Nice job guys this, was a good beer, keep up the solid work.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/25/2012. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, light smoke, light chocolate, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light smoke, herbal, and toasted/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, chocolate, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Scotch ale style! All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Bob_Rhoades
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really looked forward to this offering and when I finally found it, I purchased a four-pack. I cracked one open that very night and the look and smell were terrific.

The taste however, wasn't what I was expecting in a wee heavy. It had too much of an alcohol burn in the finish and not enough barley taste. I have had a lot of wee heavy's from other brewers and this, unfortunately, doesn't live up to the rest.

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Samuel Adams' Imperial Series, scotch ale inspired, Wee Heavy is one intriguing brew. I was lucky to stumble across a 4 pack recently and sampled a couple and put the others away to age them to try again later. The beer poured a very dark/amber brown with a modest creamy head with retention and some lacing as well. I found the taste from the dark roasted malts to be smokey and smooth with a very adequate mouthfeel and enjoyed the peat smoked malts as well. I found the high ABV to be hidden very well within this sweet tasting beer. Overall I found the brew to be very intense and complex; one I would recommend and purchase again. Well done Samuel Adams!

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. a faint bottling code, but no clear date.

appears very dark brown, with garnet colored highlights. nice creamy tan colored head of very fine bubbles. great head retention and lacing. very boozy strong aroma, a little smokey. taste is fairly well balanced. even though malt flavors dominate the taste, it's not too sweet, it finishes dry. not as boozy as the smell. nice smooth mouthfeel, coats the mouth.

overall - decent, but the flavor has room for improvement.

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Photo of Rhf9120
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank this one straight out of the bottle. Smells of smoked malts with hints of sweetness and alcohol. The taste matches with a very smokey flavor with subtle sweetness through out. This was my first of the Sam Adams imperial line of beers and I definitely enjoined it.

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Photo of brurevu
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From my tasting notes: It poured a dark burnt amber, almost opaque with a thin tan head. It had a sweet malty aroma with a hint of burnt chocolate. The flavor was very bold and intense like a barley wine with a sharper smoky burnt malt flavor with the sweet malt hiding underneath. This was a big complex beer that deserves the Imperial moniker. Tasty.

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4.69/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Dark Brown with a great creamy foam head if you want one, or as I prefer none so I pour slowly.
Taste: Strong but not over powering, complex and almost perfect for me Regardless if you don't like Scotch Ales, which until now never had any that I really like that much. This is my number one beer, not style. American beer has come a long way and this is a shining example but not the only one in the Imperial series that is not only head and shoulders above any American beer but any foreign made beer also. Also a great example of a beer that is well worth the it's price!

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Photo of JamesMN
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hard to find any date on this one, which is odd for a Samuel Adams product.

Appearance: Dark murky brown with a thin tan head that's left some lacing. Not the prettiest of beers.

Aroma: Raisin, caramel, brown sugar, and liqueur. Robust with dark fruits.

Taste: First sip reveals a malt punch to the palate full of hearty caramelized fruit flavors. The first half continues this trend without getting too sweet and then the hops come out lending moderate bitterness which works well to complement the malt character. The flavor is pretty deep but not overly complex. Finish is smooth with an immediate nail polish remover tinge from the 10% ABV but it's quickly covered up by the signature smoked flavor of peat malt. The flavor goes on for a while in the aftertaste with dark malt contributing hazelnut coffee and toffee to the experience. Decently impressed with this one.

Mouthfeel: Full to almost thick in body with a syrupy nature about it. Good carbonation that keeps things from getting too heavy and an ease of drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'd heard good things about the Sam Adams Imperial series and it seems I heard right. There's a lot to like about this beer. Well done. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest head that leaves a fair amount of lacing behind

Smell: Burnt brown sugar, raisins and a vague sense of smoky peat

Taste: Sweet, up front, with the burnt brown sugar and raisin flavors dominant; the smoky/briny peat arrives in the middle and lingers in the finish but remains a bit vague; the finish returns to the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: While this is not the best Wee Heavy I have come across, it is a very nice example of the style; I would prefer a bit more peat and a bit less sweetness but this is still quite enjoyable

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Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz. bottle

Pour is clear but very dark brown. The tan head has rather weak retention.

Rich and strong flavor despite a nose that is only moderately strong. Some peat and char with a touch of smoke. Dark roasted malts with alcohol esters and a touch of spicy hops.
High ABV is partially hidden but fully evident on the tongue.

Feel: very full, near syrupy body with low carbonation.

O: Certainly competent but not outstanding wee heavy, but then I am not a fan of peat smoked malts as featured in this ale.

(revisited and tweaked in May 2014)

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very dark with heavy head and mild carbonation. Chocolatey, caramel, malty aroma with notes of coffee beans. Burnt toasted coffee and caramel taste with heavy alcohol flavor. It's a 10% abv and you can really taste it. Really burnt taste. This is for people who ask for their hot dogs burnt.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thus, it began with a 12oz bottle. Poured into a pint, the color a deep amber brown, the head, off white, the lace left rings. Retention was solid, and as a Wee Heavy, this appears to fit the bill.

Aroma of nutty malts. Toast, some caramel and peat smoke as well. The light smokey note plays well with the sweetness of the malt. Faint hops make a floral impression. The alcohol is not apparent in the nose.

In the flavor, malty, with a flash of citrus and bitterness before a smack of booze. Well balanced between sweet and bitter, it allows the finish to be smokey and strong. Fans of scotch would find refuge in this beer, it has that peat smoke flavor and alcohol bite. Brown sugar, chocolate, tobacco and molasses flavors arise as it warms. This beer is growing on me.

Medium bodied feel with a light medium carbonation. A bit thin for the style but makes for an easier drinking 10% abv beer. In the finish is some caramel, toast, toffee and alcohol.

Overall, a pretty decent beer that got better as it warmed. The peat flavor was a welcome strong suit, as it is in any ale of this sort. Not shy with the alcohol content, but works well within the style. An enjoyable drinking experience, big peat smoke in a big beer.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark chestnut; big frothy head, beige

Aroma: Slightly smoky, peat-like; slight roasted grains; malty; sweet

Taste: Very interesting; very creamy malt, almost syrupy; hits with a roasted grain bitterness quickly, followed by thick, warming alcohol; finishes; juicy, sweet and slightly bitter from the grains

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of godlessape
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a thistle glass, this brew is stoutishly dark with a creamy tan head.

The aroma gives up boozy vapors with wisps of brown sugar, raisons, and smoky roasted malt.

The flavor and the mouthfeel is so dense with malty sweetness you could chip a tooth on it if your not careful. This is thick stuff, like black quicksand or chilled molasses. There is, thankfully, a trace of hop sizzle at the very end, that makes this whole thing work out nicely.

Overall a great job by the brew wizards at Samuel Adams. With the high ABV one should not serve this beverage to amateurs, children or any small mammals. Do not attempt to subdue complicated algebraic problems , drive long distances, or preform liver transplants on your drinking buddy while consuming Wee Heavy. Just a suggestion.

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Photo of brewcifix
4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Wee Heavy pours a beautiful clear brown that lies black-brown in the glass. There's a nice off-white fizzy head that quickly dissapates to a thin film that displays moderate lacing. Lacing (along with flavor) increases as the beer warms. Don't be afraid to let this warm up a bit. This is not a beer to enjoy ice cold.

S- Caramel, toffee, molasses, sugar, fill the nose with a touch chocolate and honey. This is the kind of nose that makes me anxious to get it in my mouth!

T- Sweet caramel, sugar, and candy is immediately overpowered by strong roasted malts. The finish is roasted malts and smoke that leaves a lingering after taste of malts, peat and molasses. This beer is bliss going in, and still manages to leave a wonderful impression on the palate. The 10% ABV is righteously masked, and pretty much not perceptible.

M- There is low-medium carbonation and a medium tongue weight. Although, a little silky, this beer goes down pretty easy.

Overall: this is a "kick ass" brew! Be careful, it combines high alcohol with high drinkability! The look, smell, and taste of this concoction is delightful. This has to be my favorite of the Imperial Series.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.44/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

A- pours a very deep brown, clear body with a gushing white head thy reduces slowly and leaves some medium lacing.

S- quite inviting actually. Heavy vanilla, sugar cookies, caramel, toffee, maybe some bourbon and chocolate.

T- it tasted a lot better as it warmed so I suggest you warm it to at least 55 degrees. Starts off with molasses, toffee,vanilla, caramel, leads into a nice lightly toasted flavor and leaves a subtle roasty flavor on the tongue. Some banana and spice on the finish. Very little alcohol for 10 percent.

M- medium body, low carbonation. Decent drink ability.

I was surprisingly impressed with this beer - it's smooth, tasty, complex, and balanced. On the sweet side, would go good with dessert or for dessert. Underrated.

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Photo of bmwats
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a footed tulip.

A: Dark brown. Pours a half finger, foamy, brown-white head. Dissipates very quickly leaving a beer ring. No real lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, molasses, tea, pumpkin, and nutmeg.

T: Coffee with unsweetened dark chocolate, black licorice, and a smoky character.

M: Heavy, smoky, and bitter. Dry finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, decent head, but no real lacing. Nose is full and strong components of coffee, tea, sweet and fall spice. Smoky coffee with some bittersweet licorice and dark chocolate. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of SiriusBock
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: deep maroon, dark head of about three fingers
S: very little hop aroma and grain, hit with big peat aroma
T: a bit sweet but is to be expected with such a high abv. A bit too smoky for me, especially when left to warm up
M: thick like an oatmeal stout, very silky and viscous. Does not feel hot even though we are approaching 10% abv

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Swiped from my father-in-law's fridge while we're in town for Easter - grabbed the hightest ABV I could find because it's necessary. Very necessary.

Dark brown, little tan head - not very inspiring. Stout-like lacing.

Heavy, sweet malts, bit of spice, some alcohol on the nose.

Molasses, spice, warming - like a big holiday warmer. Lots of alcohol that rolls around in the mouth, sitting heavy on the tongue.

Lightly carbonated, relatively smooth, a slow burn to close.

Fine to get you through on a cold night, but not enough to make up for its deficiencies.

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Photo of barczar
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with a foamy one inch tan head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky sheets of lacing.

Raisins and plum leap from the snifter, with notes of smoky peaty and soy adding complexity to the aroma. There's a big molasses sweetness present, with a hint of licorice and muddled dark fruit.

Flavor is very savory. Soy, leather, and peat dominate initially, drying out the underlying sweet molasses backbone. There's a bit of a dark berry tang, which mellowed the smokiness of the malt. The finish is slightly dry, and nutty notes surface in the aftertaste. Rich notes of plums and figs become evident late.

Body is somewhat full, with light carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Aroma and flavor were somewhat disjointed. Aroma was far sweeter and dark fruit forward than the flavor, which was much more savory. There may be a bit too much going on here. The smoke and dark berry flavors collide somewhat strangely.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.73 out of 5 based on 695 ratings.
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