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

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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: 693
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.

 352 characters

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!

 586 characters

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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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 SometimesIfart
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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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.73 out of 5 based on 693 ratings.
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