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 MickeyD
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 oz bottle into a clean tulip glass.

Appearance: this brew is black as pitch and looks almost thick when poured. The head is thick and tall and dissipates at a moderate rate. Good lacing was noted.

Smell: dark roasted coffee and caramel. No noticeable hops.

Taste: sweet and smoky caramel and coffee with a bit of hop bite but not much.

Mouth feel: leaves a great velvet smooth feeling in the mouth, and it was carbonated moderately.

Overall: This is the first Scottish ale so I have nothing to compare to except the description and according to that it seems to be spot on. I really like this style however. It was a bit sweet but really liked the roasty caramel taste.

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Photo of Raime
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours an extremely dark, almost impenetrable reddish-black with a massive mocha head that forces you to stop and continue the pour multiple times. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

S - Starts off fairly sweey, with cherries and dates. A bit of nuttniess comes through along with some caramel malt which smells lightly toasted.

T - This one is sweet. Cherry starts iff the flavor along with a lot of toasted caramel malt. The flavor stays sweet all around and the finish allows a small amount of alcohol to come through

M - Light, slighty watery and creamy bodied with light carbonation.

O - Overall, this was a solid beer. And a soild Scotch Ale. Better than Skull Splitter and Dirty Bastard, But it doesn't compare to Scotty Karate.

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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 kaufmaal
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with a 1/4 in head that held its own for a while. Lots of sugars and maltiness on the nose - brown sugar, dark rum, some chocolate notes. This is a beer that stays with you, as the taste (and smell) lingers for some time, and I'm not too sure that that is a good thing. For me, it is a bit too syrupy and chewy, and the intense sugars and alcohol tend to overpower at times. There's a faint pine and peat taste, and a hint of basil, but these get lost amongst the front-loaded barrage of sugary booze.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a snifter glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown color with highlights of a ruby red shinning through when held up to the light. Upon pouring there is only a fine film on the top of the brew. This fades fast with little lacing. Upon swirling the beer in the glass its thickness can be seen with the brew clinging to the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big and sweet. It consists of a load of caramel and toffee with some sweet smells of a dark fruit nature (mainly cherry and plum). Mixed with these aromas are a light chocolate smell and a decent presence of a scotch aroma.

Taste – The taste is not nearly as sweet then you would expect from the nose. The flavor begins with a big malty and bready taste mixed with a lighter caramel sweetness. Other sweet flavors of a buttery toffee and some cocoa come to the tongue more toward the middle of the flavor. Along with the toffee and cocoa also comes the forefront of the alcohol taste. It begins rather mild and of a more rum like nature. As the taste advances toward the end however the boozy taste gets quite a bit stronger and take on a more whisky like flavor with smoky notes and some woody flavors coming to the tongue. The taste is rather dry and boozy at the end, leaving a very warming and smoky and roasty malt flavor to linger in the mouth.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thicker side, but for a 10% abv wee heavy it may be a little light to average with a carbonation level that is quite light. Quite appropriate for the style and fitting for the whisky and malty flavors of the brew.

Overall – A nice smoky brew that is good to sit back with and sip slowly while being warmed by all the boozy and roasty flavors.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a real dark copper ruby with a 1 finger dense slightly tanned head. The head sticks around for a few minutes leaving a thin covering and some lacing on the sides. Light only gets through the edges of this beer.

S: Carmely sweetness blends with dark fruits and roasted malts. Smells like a full bodied brew. Can get a hint of alcohol at the end as a whisky scotch like aroma.

T: Dark fruits come to the forefront of this beer. Reminds me of a doppelbock. Loads of malts and a strong booze presence. Lingers with a roasty malt.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. A little hot with some bite from the alcohol. Is just a touch sticky from the carmely malts.

Overall this is a pretty bold beer by Sam Adams. Takes the style by the horns and really amps up from their usual selection.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a Drak brown/black color. Off white creamy head.
smells like sugar boiling with some dark fruits. Some kind of offsmell of described as a little "dank". Tastes of smoky coal mixed with extremely over-sweet malts. Some alcoholic flavors. I bit wee-heavy on the sugars! Almost as if the sugars could have fermented much much longer.
But, overall a decent flavor. Very thick, chewy, and mouth coating feel. Nicely carbonated! A sipper for sure. Not bad, not great.

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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 Beer_Runner
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottling date on the label; but, this beer has aged about one year.

A: A fairly slow pour into a standard pint glass produced one finger of head that was khaki colored and dense. This head lasted several minutes then became patchy. It also left a very good lacing as the glass emptied. The brew is a deep mahogany and just barely translucent when held to the light. There are also plenty of visible carbonation streams rising to the top.

S: The aroma is a rich blend of bready yeast and a touch of clove, grain, malt sweetness, and earthy hops.

T: The taste has some booziness and there is a good deal alcohol heat combined with some bready yeast, a bit of clove and grain, along with some malt sweetness that is balanced by an earthy hops flavor.

M: The body is toward the heavier side of medium, and there is a good amount of carbonation.

O: After aging for about a year, this beer becomes a top tier Wee Heavy. The first bottle of the four-pack from about a year ago was an absolute fireball: The overwhelming alcohol heat blunted everything else. After a year this beer is still very boozy. However, the booziness now blends with and compliments a pleasing yeast combination of breadiness and a little clove; and, the grain provides a very nice richness to the flavor. There is also a very pleasant balance of malt sweetness and earthy hops. This beer is in the top tier of Wee Heavies, but, it is somewhere is middle of that top tier.

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle in a snifter.

A: A dark wee heavy. The head is a light brown/tan with moderate lacing and a little bit that sticks with it throughout the drink.

S: Hello Alcohol. I rarely venture in beers under 7.5%. That said, this one surprised me by the amount of alcohol on the nose. A little roasted malt scent but definitely more of a scotch smell than malt.

T: Again you definitely catch the alcohol on the front end. There is a little bit of that malt flavor throughout the beer but it just creates sort of sweet alcohol taste almost like the flavors were added after the beer was brewed. It would serve this beer well to let some fresh bitter notes come through on the back end to clean up the palate and refresh.

M: An oily alcohol texture. Surprisingly little body for a beer this size and sweetness. If it is going to be sweet it might as well stick to my ribs.

O: I have to first say that while I might be a beer snob I don't discount Sam Adams carte blanche. Some of the beers I cut my teeth on were Sam Adams and I don't mind their beers. This one though is a one trick pony and gives into an unrefined alcohol taste over some added complexities of a beer worth sipping. I like wee heavies, their my session beer style of choice ;-) This beer is average with quite a few others that represent the style better.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours like cola into my Great Divide glass. A thin, tan head disappears immediately and leaves just little whisps of lacing around the glass. Nothing much to look at.

S- Smokey, malty sweet, vanilla bean, raisins, dried cherries, and hints of dark chocolate.

T- Smoked peat, chocolate covered caramel bites, toffee, dark raisins, fig jam, freshly scraped vanilla bean, and sweet malts. Damn this is nicely done! Bitter cocoa, sweet dark fruit, caramel and just enough smoke.

M- I love the subtle, smokey notes and the way they hang on the tongue. Nice bitter chocolate melds nicely with the slightly sour/sweet dark fruit... nice caramel/vanilla candy sweetness. Better than I expected.

O- I'm not gonna say this is fantastic... but it's not far off! Subtley smokey, amazing caramel sweetness, nicely cocoa bittered, deep dried fruitiness. So why did it take me this long to try this one? Well done Sam... well done indeed!

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a deep red mahogany into the glass. A one-finger head of dense khaki foam disappears at a moderate rate, leaving a thin film of very tight bubbles across the top. Beer is quite opaque, but shows a clear, deep ruby red when held to a full-spectrum light.

S - Well-toasted malts, rich caramels, brown sugar, and scorched caramels from a creme brulee. Hints of smoke and bacon along with subtle dark dried fruit. As it warms in the glass, the nose really opens up toward a peaty Scotch poured over a warm cube of caramel with almost burnt bacon on a plate somewhere in the room. This went from intriguing to distracting. I like to find myself drawn to spending time with my nose in the glass enjoying how a beer smells, almost having to force myself to drink it, and I liked doing this less the more time I spent with it.

T - Dark caramels, molasses, and hints of chocolate on toasted, almost roasted malts. Really dark, dried cherries and raisins with a touch of vanilla and prunes. The alcohol is well-hidden. Floral and pine hops in the background are just enough to balance the sweetness. If tasting blind, I might find myself settling on a wee-heavy by process of elimination, but there's a bit too much fruit/sugar and not quite enough toasted/smoked malts for the style it claims.

M - Smooth, but not creamy. Just enough carbonation to define the body. Rich, almost velvety without being dense. Moderately short finish, where eventually some chocolate and alcohol linger. Nice construction.

O - I'm very surprised this clocks in at 10% ABV - there's no pop or heat at all that pushes through. Interesting take on the style, as the chocolate notes suggest more of a rich cocoa porter and the fruits suggest more of a Belgium strong ale than the wee-heavy Scotch ale that it is. In the end, the deep, rich caramels and dried, smokey fruits define the glass. This would make a good alternative for an after-dinner drink. It also reminds me of a deep, rich, dark chutney. It made a tasty nitecap, but it's definitely a small-quantity, sipping libation. Recommended to experience, especially if one thinks the best Samuel Adams can do is the Boston Lager the corner tavern recently added beside the Bud taps because everyone's asking for a craft beer these days.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into provided shock top hefe glass at mellow mushroom covington, LA. Pours a deep amber color with some slight off white head and nice lacing. Really strong scotch aromas...malty peat. I mean like the single malt kind. Taste is very boozey but full of peaty scotch malts. It was harsh at first, but the flavor profile really developed, still harsh, but nice flavor. Overall, a good wee but not amazing. I guess its good considring the abv.

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Photo of tewaris
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Wee Heavy. Year and a half to two years and a half old, can't say for certain. There is no date on the bottle; apparently typical of Sam Adams cellarable seasonals.

Pours a clear brown color with a good light brown head. Medium head retention and a little bit of spotty lacing; some legs too. Toast/caramel/toffee in the aroma, followed by robust liquor notes, possibly some smoke and peat. Or it could just be the suggestion on peat. Regardless, there are elements of Scotch and the maltiness is very delightful. Malts dominate the beer but it strikes me more roasty than sweet; still not as roasty as a stout, and thankfully so. The notes from the aroma are present in the taste but are nowhere as intense. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation seems appropriate and the finish somewhat roasty and medium-dry for the size of the beer. Overall this is a good beer --- anyone who thinks Sam Adams is boring should try it.

4.5, 4, 3.5, 4, 4

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Photo of SpasticKoala
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark mahogany with minimal head that reduces to thin lacing.
Smell: Malty with a spicy background.
Taste: Lots of malty sweetness. A touch of peaty smoke. Minimal amount of hops that provides a small herbal back note. Warm spicy alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a touch of syrup thickness.

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Photo of imasloth
2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Nice dark beer, with tinge of red against light. A small, cafe-colored head. Just meh ...

S- Nice, smoky, roasted malt. A bit of alcohol astringency.

T- Sweet, then a really strong licorice and smoky flavor ... really strong. I don't like either flavor really so ...

M- Pretty thick with evident carb. Some bitter feel.

O- When I review I judge in the order they appear here and then add in any notes I notice as I finish he beer ... After my first taste I was reluctant to try it again for mouthfeel. That flavor was just way too much much of two things I don't enjoy in a beer. Was a drain pour for me ...

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

Poured into a MacAndrew's thistle glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a fine one finger light brown head with good retentiona and lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, vanilla and light toasted malt. Flavor of sweet and caramel malt, dark dried fruit, light peat smoke, hint of chocolate. A hint of diacetyl. Hits all the wee heavy flavor notes, perhaps a bit on the sweet side, but complex and flavorful. The alcohol shows through a bit in the flavor, but defininately warming. Medium to heavy bodied with decent creaminess. A nice take on a wee heavy.

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Photo of bnes09
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, charcoal brown and mostly opaque. Descent head on the pour but poor retention and no lacing.

Complex aroma of smoked meats and toasted wheat bread. Also some dark fruits and pine in the mix. Probably the best aspect of the beer.

Toasted bread in the flavor complements the smoky character. Sweet dark fruits. Piney hops. Descent balance til the end when the smoky flavors dominate.

Thick feel but not syrupy. Good carbonation. Smooth finish.

Not bad. Could use a little more balance. Descent scotch ale.

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Photo of irongator
4.9/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

THis is my favorite scotch ale and it is a heavy hitter! Brown-red color. No Head to speak of. Let it get warm, and the alcohol really comes out. Very sweet and malty with warm alcohol on your tongue. Nice dessert beer. Have 2 and you will be really buzzing. A bit pricey at 10 bucks a 4 pack, but well worth it when you get out of college and start making the big bucks!

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hadn't had a Sam Adams beers in a while and given that I could buy a single bottle of this up at Totowa. It looked strong and the bottle and packaging were not what I was accustomed to and once I had this, I knew that this was indeed different. It wasn't a bad beer but the alcohol overshadowed a lot and like most of their other offerings, this was quite accessible without standing out for any one particular reason.

This had a dark pour to it with a decent amount of head that was short lasting. Not a lot of aroma here besides booze and peat moss and that was repeated in the taste. Some creaminess to this and a cloying aspect but there wasn't a lot of body or bourbon-like stickiness to it. The strong alcoholic content of this made it tough to drink fast but it still went down relatively easily.

I wish this was just a bit weaker and more full-bodied. If it was sweeter and more sticky to the mouthfeel, this could have been really good. For now, I'll take it for what it's worth, and that's a decent interpretation of this style that won't offend or blow away anyone.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very decent representation. Dark chocolate body, with a little attractive lace and head. Toffee, nutty, mildly smokey aroma. Above average mouthfeel, good drinkability for the style and a 10%. Barleywine complexity, brown sugar, and aging of a few seasons helped.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed this just today at the local liquor store while picking up a sweet Chimay snifter. I then brought this beer home, washed the snifter, then poured this brew into said snifter. Side poured vigourously into the snifter from the bottle.

Appearance - Pours a deep, rich mahogany color, not transparent at all, with a weak one finger head that dissipates rather quickly but leaves good lacing on the sides of my new snifter. The packaging and labeling is cool, to say the least, even though this is darker than any other of the style I've ever had.

Smell - Booze. That is the primary scent I get from this brew, which isn't a totally bad thing. It's one of the things I love most about the wee heavy style, the inherent "scotchiness." Caramels, roasted malts, vanilla also make a slight olfactory play as well. As the beer warms the booze really cranks it up.

Taste - Heavy on the sweet roasted malts and scotchy booze here as well. The malts assail the palate up front, and are then finished by a caramel booze kick towards the middle and end.

Mouthfeel - Probably one of the best things about this beer. Big, rich, and creamy are the three words that describe this mouthfeel. Like a milkshake, with a lot of booze. There is a spicy alcohol kick in the finish as well, I love it.

Overall - this is certainly worth a try! I see that the brothersndidnt necessarily like it, but I thought it was a solid beer. Is it the best wee heavy you will ever drink? No. Is it worth buying and trying? Absolutely. I would absolutely drink this again, although I likely wouldn't buy it just because for the money I can get Founders just as easy, which is outstanding. Anyway, a good beer for sure, give it a shot.

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Photo of DelMontiac
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My wife picked out this 4-pk for me. I had wanted to try it for a while even though SA's Imperial Series have been mostly let downs for me.

Dirty dishwater looking brown rusty ale. slight film of bubbles that lasts for a few short seconds. No lace.

Phenolic slight band-aid smell. Sweet malts an a big alcohol aroma as well. Meh...

Taste mirrors the aromas with added caramel and chestnut malts. Some vanilla hiding in there too.

Feel is probably the best part. Fairly creamy and thick.

Next time I see this...pass.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Dark hazy brown with a brown foamy head. Tons of lacing along the sides of the glass

Smell - Caramel, Chocolate, Toffee, Peated Scotch, Burnt Malts and Yeasts.

Taste - Caramel, Peated Scotch, Whisky, Roasted Malts and Chocolate. Aftertaste is a bittersweet dark chocolate flavor and has absolutely no boozy taste. Very robust and rich flavor

Mouthfeel - Very thick like molasses; Very creamy, smooth and very easy to drink.

Overall - For a 10% ABV Beer, this is incredibly easy to drink and there is no alcohol taste what-so-ever. I'm not sure on the availability of this beer, but if you see it I would definitely pick it up

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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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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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