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

BA SCORE
84
good
696 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay
Read the review
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
696
Reviews:
280
Avg:
3.73
pDev:
15.82%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
42
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 280
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.

 263 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 3 finger thick mail chocolate head. black with redhues and light getting through. Tons of lace.

S: roasted malt with wine like, cinnamon and brown sugar notes.

T: roasted malt and some chocolate up front with a dark fruit/prune/apricot finish and lingering alcohol taste.

M: thick bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: I find myself buying a lot of imperials but I actually dont care for them. This is a very nice looking beer, the aroma is on but the alcohol is high, even for an imperial for my tastes. I have had plenty of imperials that are able to mask the alcohol content better than this one.

 619 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a very dark brown color, the head was a decent size and tan in color. The smell of the beer was loaded with peated malts and some caramel sweetness on the nose. The taste of the beer wan't as good as I was hoping for, It's a little bit on the burnt/smokey side. I feel like the flavor mellows the more I drink it but the taste wasn't my favorite. The mouthfeel was pretty good though. The feel was oily and thick. There was a good level of carbonation in there also. Overall this beer wasn't bad, I had been looking forward to trying it for a really long time and finally had the chance last night. I can't say that it was mind blowing in anyway but I am glad that I finally found a bottle and gave it a shot. I might buy it again if it were on draft or something, but I wouldn't get a case of it.

 811 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love me some Sam Adams, had to give this one a try. One of my favorite styles to boot so here it goes.

Pours a dark, almost blood-like color, nice little head to it. Aroma is of figs or dark fruit. Taste is medium to heavy bodied, nice creamy mouthfeel. This beer is 10% ABV and the alcohol can definitely be detected. The dark fruit really comes through, doesn't really strike me as a 'wee heavy' though. There isn't the usual smokiness in it, I would relate it to more of a Belgian or strong ale almost. A little bit of a rough finish, but for the most part a nice beer to sip and savor. Not my favorite Sam Adams by any means and they missed the style a little bit, but glad I gave it a try.

 696 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of nice tan colour, good cream, good thickness, and decent retention for the high ABV. Colour is a solid black. It's quite appealing indeed.

Sm: Nice light milk notes, caramel, chocolate, and malt. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Some alcohol comes through, but it's an excusable amount. A problem I have is that the notes are vague and indistinct: chocolate, caramel, and a sweet milky light cream finish are all present, but they feel scattered and tentative. In any case it's well balanced; I just wish the build were more bold and confident.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but also very thick. I don't think it should be this thick when the flavours are so light. The smoothness is right on the money, though.

Dr: It's drinkable for the ABV, but the flavours just aren't present with enough temerity to justify another purchase.

 1,005 characters

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

 623 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a dark, burgundy color with golden highlights. It had a two-finger, tan head of foam that left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet maltiness, slightly fruity with some smoke. There was a touch of booziness, too.

T - It tasted of dark fruits and rich bready malt. Some mild smokiness and peat with a boozy sweet taste.

M - It was crisp and fairly smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice wee heavy. Another solid entry in Sam Adams Imperial Series.

 501 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark caramel color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of caramel malt with light toffee notes. Taste is a mix between some caramel malt notes with some toffee notes also noticeable. I can’t say that peat notes were really noticeable or played a big role in the flavour profile. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall but lacking complexity.

 471 characters

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.

 1,345 characters

Photo of mothman
2.4/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a layer of beige head. Color is a dark caramel copper brown.

Aroma: peat, caramel, chocolate, and lots of malt. Some smoky flavors.

Taste: Huge peat and smoked flavors. Very roasted. Chocolate, caramel, and some vanilla. Lots of malts.

Mouthfeel: Smoky and roasted. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends kind of clean, but really malty.

Overall, the smoke and peat overpowered this one. Not so drinkable. I wasn’t a big fan and dumped this one.

 483 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's a whiff of smoke and a hint of brown sugar as you raise Samuel Adams' almost-black but still mahogany brown Wee Heavy to your nose. As you swirl it in the glass, the dark khaki-colored and creamy head spins, releasing additional notes of dark bread and dark-skinned fruit. It's a nice looking glass of beer, and although the head doesn't hold particularly well, it does leave behind tiny spots and craggy splashes of lace.

In the mouth it's medium-full in body with a bit of a dextrinous edge. The carbonation is restrained, as it should be for the style, and it's quite creamy and smooth across the palate.

The flavor is all that you'd wish for and everything that your nose has promised you! The peat-based smokiness comes through clearly over the almost-burnt sugary caramel and "dark bread" maltiness. A combination of red and dark berry-like fruitiness from the yeast steps in, and in combination with the dark malts, it gives the suggestion of dark skinned fruits - or perhaps, simply the skins of some dark fruits without the juicy, sugary fruit attached. I find raisin and prune to be sure, although there's a suggestion of fig as well. Grassy hops also appear, more towards the swallow, and together with the fruitiness and the very firm, but mostly background bitterness, it's nicely balanced. It finishes dry with a puff of light smokiness, some residual grassy hops, and a bit of long-lingering dull bitterness.

Overall it's clearly an American take on the style, but that lends even more charm to it. Where the Scottish might downplay the yeasty fruitiness, Samuel Adams has bumped it up, giving it quite a bit of additional character, and more complexity. Charming, to say the least!

 1,708 characters

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)

 550 characters

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

Pours a creamy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly, with a bit of lacing, over a very dark chocolate brown color with hints of rosy light coming though.

Nose brings plenty of dark malts, tons of dark crystal, caramel, bit of roast and chocolate, a creamy like essence, light herbal earthy hops, hint of peat smoked malts, a bit of booze, some other bicuity malts, a bit of cocoa and caramelized brown sugar.

Taste starts a bit rich and heavy, creamy malts, plenty of dark malts again, a bit of chocolate and cocoa, hint of roast, some earthy charred malt flavors, a smoked malt with a bit of peat, caramelized brown sugar and caramel, a hint of earthy and light herbal hops, fairly bitter more from the malts at first, but then some bitter hops later, a slight minerality, some boozy flavors and warmth bringing a slight boozy phenolic taste. It finishes with a bit more warming booze, still slightly sweet, some cocoa, and light earthy bitter hops.

Mouth is heavier bodied, some warming booze and decent carbonation.

Overall pretty good, a decent wee heavy, and I'm glad to see a wee heavy that actually is wee heavy, not a measly 6.5% kinda thing, it does get a bit of boozy phenols, and I'm not a huge fan of the herbal hops but that goes with the style, overall pretty good.

 1,283 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, some chocolate, some dark fruit, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a little bit of smokiness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, caramel and dark fruit. There’s a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence that creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly smoky.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are other beers in the style that I would chose before this one it’s still a solid beer to drink for a while.

 951 characters

Photo of mactrail
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rich and powerful smoky ale.

Very dark with some red color around the edges of my tall Aventinus glass. Beautiful head to go with it. Nice lacing as you sip. Long malty sweetness but completely balanced by a full and complex hoppiness. Bitterness underlays the malt and takes over for a long aftertase of hops and caramel.

As a highly flavored barley wine, I think it's great. My second time tasting a bottle. It may not be on the style button but it's exremely drink-- I mean sippable.

 488 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of russpowell
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a garnet tinged mahogany with a finger of tan head. decent lacing & some head retention

S: Faint dark fruittyness & dominant peat scent once warm

T: Smokey caramel, a touch of figs & a bit of herbal hops up front. Peatyness & cakey notes are the main feature as this warms, along booze warmth & some figgy & prunny notes, along with dryness. Finishes slightly boozey, smokey & slight dry, oaky notes

MF: Chewy with fairly firm carbonation

Serviceable enough, but a touch off style & just not as well put together as I hoped.

I remember the old/original (bottled at least) SA Scotch Ale & I believe it was better, but it's been more than a few years...

 663 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off with the classic Sam Adams two-finger head with some staying power. Leaves streaky lace on the glass. The color is deep ruby brown and appears to be clear.

Mild smell of chocolate ice cream. None of the typical elements of a Wee Heavy is present. Some cocoa, that's it.

The flavor is much improved. Good chocolate notes with a heavy alcohol influence. There's some bitterness that is likely from hop rather than black patent malt as there is no coffee flavors. The alcohol is very present, perhaps on the high side. Rich bodied but not quite syrupy.

 563 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.73 out of 5 based on 696 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.