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

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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 yemenmocha
4.33/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big smoky beer!

Pours deep mahogany color with light tan head that is thick at first, then settles to a thin rim layer. Nose is rich with roasty malt, smoky malt, and baked desserts. On the palate the smoked malt is quite a whollop on the palate, dark caramels & toffee, and leads to a roasty dry finish. Aftertaste of toffee & smoky flavors just lingers and lingers. What a savory beer!!

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a really dark brownish red color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label. Once in the glass, the beer was almost pitch black with hints of light penetration along the surface of the beer.
One finger off-white to khaki color head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Aroma has a lot of malt notes, with hints of smoke coming through upfront. Lots of malt variations in the nose. Hints of dried fruits; like dates and raisins with hints of sweetness. Some molasses and licorice notes were also coming through intermittently.
Taste is oh so malty. Layers upon layers of malty goodness. Sweet caramel notes upfront coating the palate very nicely. In the middle the sweet caramel notes turn to a slightly roasted/burnt caramel. The mouthfeel is almost of burnt brown sugar mixed with smoke residue from a bonfire. The finish is almost dry, which is a stark contrast to the full-bodied mouthfeel. This is a hugely complex, yet delicious brew from Sam Adams. One of the best takes on a Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale. Perfect sipper on a freezing cold evening. However, I must admit, the alcohol is hidden so well, that it is hard to tell it has 10% ABV and I found it really hard to actually sip it considering how tasty this brew is.
I would definitely recommend this beer, especially if you enjoy a good scotch ale which has a lot of malt complexities.

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Photo of YouSkeete
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, almost bronze around the edges. No head whatsoever, very very partial lacing.

S: Roasted coffee, caramel, oak and wood, mild fruity sweetness. Hints of dry hops and bourbon as well.

T: Big nice malt character right off the bat. Roasted coffee and espresso beans, dry hopped malts, and a mild scotch bite. Hop character and alcohol is well balanced. Caramel sweetness is just a little tiny bit on the strong side, though it creates a great balance with the rest of the body. Hints of bittersweet dark chocolate and candied fruits follow.

M: Sticky and milky on the palate, full body with moderate carbonation. Oaked scotch and fruity sweet aftertaste.

D: Easy as hell for a 10%abv. A great addition to the Imperial Series.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came out the bottle very dark almost black with a reddish tint. Nice white head with quickly dissipates.

Smells peaty and malty almost like a fine scottish whiskey, toffee, caramel.

Powerfull stuff, you can taste the malts, smokiness, peatyness. Slight taste of alcohol a very interesting taste.

Feels pretty smooth, a very slight carbination. Feels thick and creamy.

Overall a heavy and interesting beer, I've never had a beer like this before. I'd probably buy this again.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a nice beer!
In a Sam Adams pint glass the beer was a dark reddish/brown color with a tan head. A bit of thin lace.
Caramel/roasted malt aroma. Sweet, smoky. Lots going on here.
Toffee taste. Smoky/peaty. Warming. Don't taste the alcohol.
This was a full-bodied beer with real depth. The flavors worked well together.
Gotta have more.

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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 MattyG85
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with hints of amber and ruby red. Lots of rising bubbles and a four finger light tan head with good retention. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Big and malty. Roasted caramel malts with hints of dark bread, chocolate, and toffee. Big smell of smoke with a good noticeable whiff of peat. Hints of oak, wood, and a good amount of brown sugar. Also some hints of licorice anise and some subtle hints of dark fruits including raisin and fig. Pretty nice.

Taste: Like the smell leads, roasty malts and smoke. Bready and roasted caramel malts with hints of chocolate and toffee. Lots of smoke with a light beef jerky like hint. Good hint of peat. Also some notes of oak chips and wood. Brown sugar and a hint of licorice. Some subtle notes of dark fig and raisins. Good taste.

Mouthfeel: Has a fairly heavy and thick feeling body. Carbonation is moderate. Creamy, chewy, and slightly syrupy. A little booze heat is felt but not too much.

Overall: A very solid Wee Heavy. Nice malts and the smoked peat elements are very good.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark black, about half a finger of head, some lacing is left behind.

S-Smoked and roasted malts, peat.

T-Starts with the smoky and roasted malts, ends with some bitterness. Well balanced the peat is a wonderful.

M-Heavy, smooth not much carbonation.

D-Extremely drinkable, leaves behind a great after taste. Possibly the best beer Sam Adams brews, haven't had the rest of their Imperial Series but this could be there best offering.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in the glass, but a dark rootbeer color around the edges where light shows through and while poured. Nice thick foamy khaki head with medium retention and lacing.

Full flavored. Nice smokey oak, scotch notes up front. Deep rich sweetness that transitions well throughout the beer. Really well balance and a nice smooth peaty aftertaste.

Thick viscous mouthfeel, yet not too heavy. Medium carbonation that is really nice creamy/foamy.

Overall this beer is very good. One of the best of the style I've had. Great body and full flavor along with ABV.

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams' Wee Heavy--the fourth beer in their Imperial Series--opens with a rich, malty nose reminiscent of deep earth and sugar cane fields. Scads of brown sugar are tempered in their sweetness by a rich, loamy undercurrent, and together they bring forth hints of vanilla, fig, port, and wet wood.

On the tongue, the beer begins by showing its smoky underbelly, the result of peat smoked malts, which adds a campfire smoke earthiness to the brew (think Rauchbier, but nowhere near the smokiness). This is balanced by an overly-healthy dose of sugars--brown, with darker fruit esters such as fig and raisin--toast, fresh wheat bread, and vanilla. Later in the mouthful hops make a small appearance, adding citrusy bitterness to the smoky textures. The aftertaste is mainly smoky sugars, and lingers for a long time. Mouthfeel is a silky medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, and admitting up front that I'm not terribly familiar with the "wee heavy" style, I think this is great beer, and a fantastic addition to what has so far been a stellar Imperial Series from Sam Adams: an immensely flavorful, daring, finely crafted brew.

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Photo of Sensaray
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into boston lager glass

Pours a dark color, but when the light hits it right, I see deep red. Small head

Smoky caramel smell

Sweet dark fruit (kinda raisiny) with toffee and caramel. A tad smoky but just a tad. Nice hop character to it. I thought I'd sense the alcohol more but its nicely masked within the complexities of this flavor. Smooth malt front, spicy hop middle to a lasting malty flavorful finish. Leaves a layer on my tongue almost. Alcohol presents itself as I finish the glass. I taste the highlands.

Heavy to medium mouthfeel. Alcohol at 10.0 was smooth. Very pleasant.

Overall this is great beer. Sweet, but good. I'm going to enjoy the 4 of em.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass

The smell was some nice toffee and some dried dark fruits. A little green grape and some raisin flavor. Nice chocolate as well.

The taste is some nice chocolate flavor with some nice sweet malty flavor. There was a bit of a bitterness as well but it lead into a toffee flavor that completed the whole sip till it went down.

The feel was not too heavy, it did have a bit of a bit but went down well and had little aftertaste. A good beer for an experimental beer.

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Photo of beerguru15
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When pouring the beer, the color is a dark brown-red color with a lingering tan head that starts out big and gradually decreases over time.

When smelling the beer, you're aware of the roasted malt flavor with a slight smokey after scent, though not as prevalent as initially expecting.

When tasting the beer, it's quite evident that this is a heartier/bolder beer that has a strong malt and smoke-like flavor that continues to build the more sips that is taken, almost giving a fuller taste at the end

the mouthfeel is very strong, and has a medium to no carbonation feel to it.

Overall this beer would be perfect for a cold day and is quite tasty. I actually like this one a little better than their other Scotch ale, which though is good, this has a little more "umfph" to it which makes it more enjoyable. Only thing I would change would be the overall smoke flavor to make it more prevalent but was happy I seeked out this beer

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Photo of kennylopez
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams pint. Has a dark black color with a small about quarter inch head.

Smells: like caramel and sweet sugary toffee. A slight scotch nose.

Tastes: Sweeter than the smell insists. A roasted flavor with touches of hops that come through with a little bitter bite. I taste coffee notes that are faint.

Mouthfeel: has a low carbonation fizz that seems to froth again as it sits in the mouth. little bit of burn from the high alcohol content, but it settles on the taste buds with the layers of flavors.

Overall: a unique ale that is definitely a sipper. worth its weight and well worth the price.

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Photo of Knecht
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful, thick mahogany color, but almost no head. It smells primarily of smoked oak and malt, with some hints of vanilla.

Dark, rich malt dominates the front end, but then the more complex and interesting characteristics start to emerge. Subtler flavors of vanilla, caramel and even banana appear before peaty smoke takes over and carries out the back end. The mouthfeel rides the comfortable middle-ground it should, carbonated without overwhelming the tastebuds.

This beer wins some major bonus points with me because of my love for peaty scotch. I usually take a "scotch" ale to actually mean a "Scottish" ale, but in this case "scotch" is the more applicable term. My only complaint is the occasional banana presence. I don't get it on every sip, but when I do, it is somewhat off-putting... it's like a little bit of Belgian yeast slipped into the beer during fermentation. It adds a little too much sweetness to the beer. If Sam Adams could dial back the sweetness a bit and escape the banana notes, this beer could achieve the nirvana of the peaty scotch goodness in the drinkable form of beer. In it's current form, however, while it is an interesting, flavorful, enjoyable and powerful beer, its flaws prevent it from achieving true greatness.

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Photo of tdm168
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - dark brown amber with a soft, thin lacing of off white head

S - earthy, vanilla, candy sugar, alcohol

T - alcohol, diacetyl, sugar, caramel, peaty

M - smooth, warm, medium to full bodied

This was a very nice scotch ale. If I were to have one complaint it would be that it was slightly too sweet. Beyond that this was a really solid beer. It had great malt character and for the ABV it had great drinkability. I will definitely have this again.

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Photo of Mdog
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, small head.

Smell: Fruity, raisins, leather, molasses.

Taste: Nice dark fruits, burnt sugar, raisin, caramel sweetness. A little earthiness keeps it from being too sweet.

Drinkability: The alcohol is well hidden, I thought this wasn't quite this strong. Not too expensive to have again.

I used to follow Sam Adams pretty closely but haven't in the past couple years, so I was surprised to see a new imperial series beer. Eventually I found a single to try of the wee heavy. I like it, it is sweet without going overboard. Not a whole lot of peat to my taste buds, seemed more like an English barleywine to me. As long as it tastes good, it's fine with me.

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Photo of BeerBoss
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served out of a bottle into a glass and allowed to warm slightly to room temp.

A: A nice deep dark caramel/amber color.

S: Noticably prevelent sweetness with the alcoholic content showing its way through.

T: Takes a second to stimulate the senses but a very distinct malty sweetness and a realativly smooth finish.

M: The high alcohol content can be felt but its smooth.

O: I was a little hesitant to try the Sam Adams specialty beers (as I tend to stick to the micros) but this is actually pretty good. A nice beer good for sipping but can sneak up on you very quickly.

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Photo of bramsdell
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint glass. Not my first encounter with this beer, but I have limited exposure to the Wee Heavy style, so bear with me.

A: Dark brown body with amber tint when held up to light. Very dark, very thick. Two-finger head mostly recedes to a thin floater of a head. However, the lacing on this beer is amazing. I'm not sure if this is simply the style, but this beer hung on to the side of my glass for dear life. Thoroughly impressed.

S: An interesting smell. Definitely a roasted and caramel aroma, but there is plenty of peat to be found. Overall, the smell is sweet but has some more behind it.

T: The first time I had this beer, I did not like it. The caramel flavor and the peaty-ness were too much for me. However, when I was ready to sit down again and really try this beer, I found it to be much better. I'm not a hop-head, so the enormous flavor and complexity of the dark malts provide lots of food for thought. The flavor oscillates between caramel-sweet and roasted malt, all with a bit of peat flavor in the background.

M: Very thick, low in carbonation. It feels basically like an imperial stout, with the nearly-syrupy hold. The residual flavors are surprisingly sweet.

O: Not an impulse beer at a bar, but certainly an interesting choice at a reasonable price.

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Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a two finger creamy tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel, toffee, smoke, and peat. Smells like it should be very sweet.

The flavor is very sweet. There is caramel, toffee, smoke,peat, and some nut flavor as well. Could use something to balance the sweetness at least a little.

Medium to full bodied, average carbonation, the alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 % abv, and there is a sweet and smoky aftertaste. I like sweet beers, but wish there was some bitterness to balance it out. Otherwise I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had no idea what to expect out of this one, but I'm a fan of scotch and wanted to find out.

Simply put, it's smokey, and I love it.

It pours well and honestly I don't know how to describe the background flavors, but in short they provide a great texture to compliment the predominant taste of the smoked Pete.

It is very reminiscent of a quality scotch and so if you're a fan of the highland malts I would certainly highly recommend diving right into this one.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep chestnut hue with sturdy tan froth and spotty lace.

S - The aroma is straddling the line between pungent and sublime. Rich suggestions of dark fruit, soy sauce, raisin, hardwood smoke, and molasses are noted; it all melds quite well.

T - Though the label claims otherwise, it seems like the brew is dosed with hardwood smoke in lieu of peat, and it works well. Dark fruit, toffee-caramel, and smoked meats are the mainstay and there is some herbal bitterness on finish. Perhaps the smoke may be a tad heavy.

M - Quite nice; it has a big body and a soft feel.

O - Color me impressed; it is sort of like a Wee Heavy - done Bamberg style - and it is really a successful concoction on all levels. The only knock I really have is that it is a really big beer and very full-flavored, so its drinkability is diminished.

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Photo of ubenumber2
4.11/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip glass , its what was handy

Very dark beer with one finger brown head and no lacing

Malty smell with slight smoke smell in the background , hint of alcohol there also

Kind of a weak mouthfeel for such a big malty beer , not bad but not what I expected

Deep malty taste with a smoked hint and the alcohol is very tasty at the end

Overall this is my first Wee Heavy , I enjoyed it , if this is one of the middle of the roads for this beer I'm excited to try the better ones

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

I am always on the lookout for a good Scotch ale.

Pours very dark with a medium tan head. Not too foamy, but settles about right. Clear dark coffee color, with reasonable carbonation.

Smell hints at dark candied fruits and promises a robust malty base. Taste delivers, and then midway through savoring the first sip, there is a very pronounced smoky peat flavor that just shows up out of nowhere (at least for me, didn't smell it coming). Very nice. This stuff is not nearly clean enough to make good Scotch whiskey out of, but it definitely gives a nod in that direction.

Mouth feel is not particularly thick or heavy, also a surprise, given the strength and color of this brew, and I have to bump it upward for the ease with which it went down.

Good stuff, and should be readily obtainable if it remains a regular part of the series.

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

Pours pretty close to black, but on second glance with some light behind it it's not quite black. Head is nice but doesn't stick around; some nice lacing does though.

Smells like toffee, figs and all sorts of dark fruit and dark malts.

Tastes like the nose, with alcohol surprisingly not present, and lots of robust malt flavors that draw to mind toffee, coffee, and other malt flavors.

A bit creamy on the mouth but none to thick at all to keep this from being crazily drinkable for a 10 percent ABV beer.

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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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