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

696 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of cratez
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Siciliano's Specialty Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a dark brown hue, basically black, with deep ruby edges, a sliver of cream-coloured froth, and several strands of lacing on the snifter. Good appearance for a high gravity brew.

Smell is raisin, peaty smokiness, dark fruit (plum, red grape), fire wood, Scotch whisky, seaweed-like earthiness, yeast esters, and sherry. Intriguing aromas.

Taste is raisin, red grape, and dark plum sweetness upfront, toffee and roasted malt mid-palate, very subtle peaty and earthy smokiness transitions to a mild bitterness with some burnt wood on the cough. Rich, satisfying flavours.

Mouthfeel is full side of medium bodied, higher than average carbonation, moderate bitterness precedes a drying finish with a little heat in the throat.

Overall, Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is a balanced and warming sipper with an enticing smokey character. While the palate is a little thin for the style, it also increases the drinkability. I would recommend this beer to anyone who enjoys Highland whiskies and bold, contemplative scotch ales.

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

12 oz bottle, purchased from a very reputable bottle shop, date code on bottle, but unknown, however it is 2011 production.

Poured into a Dogfish Head Snifter (Signature glass)

Pours a nice ¼” head, which quickly reduces to a thin cap. Nice lace though.
Very, very deep amber, all but black, color.

The aroma is one of rich malt, with that distinct Scotch Ale yeast, then there is some noticeable smoke, but not overdone, IMO good. A somewhat complex aroma.

Very rich, full bodied, malty entry on the palate, followed by smoky malt, a sense of very full body, and medium sweetness, which seems in balance with this ale. Nowhere is the 10% ABV noticeable.

Long finish of rich, faintly smoky malt.

Somewhat of a surprise from this brewery, which certainly is not known for cutting edge brews, and while this is not breaking new ground, I have to appreciate what they are trying to do here. Good job Samuel Adams.

The bottom line is that this is a good example of the style. In particular I like the very balanced and well integrated smoke component of this ale. Very drinkable, and yes I would like another.

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Photo of jar2574
4.4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very, very dark brown beer that looks ruby red when held directly up to light. Two finger tan head dissolves into a thin lacing. Good coating on the way down.

Smell is sweet, malty, green (peat?), and some roasted character.

Love the mouthfeel. Thick, creamy. Milky, but even thicker. Literally the consistency of cream.

Taste is unique - at least for me - and quite nice. Some spiciness, some alcohol. Malts, not as roasted as you'd think for being so dark. A hint of smokiness? The most scotch-like beer I've ever had. The other scotch ales I had were watery and tasteless compared to this.

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Photo of Boto
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours an opaque, dark brown color. There was a small tan head that didn’t linger or leave much lacing. Lots of malts to the nose. Caramel, dark fruits are the most dominant. Some of a smoky peat aroma also. The taste is quite good. Subdued malt sweetness, with a hint of a peaty-smokey taste. Slight hint of chocolate. Full bodied. A bit dry to the finish.

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Photo of Mscarpen
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first exposure to Samual Adams specialty beers and I was very pleasantly surpised. Quite a remarkable beer, all things considered.

Appearance: deep mahogany. Dark but not black with just a small layer of head. Lacing is almost nonexisttent.

Smell: served cold, the beer has very little nose,nut from what I can smell, mild milk chocolate and hops.

Taste: what a surprise! Bold smoke notes, hints of soy and beef jerky. Hops on the back end with deep malt favors.

Mouthfeel: medium body and light carbonation. Just a slight bit of creaminess.

Overall: a surprising beer with a smoky punch. Not bad for this brewer.

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Photo of gpogo
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with ruby highlights, moderate sized tan colored head. Head dissipated to a foam cap.

A- Sweet caramel and dark fruit aroma.

T- Bitter up front, but with a sweet caramel/molasses malt flavor. Slight roastiness may be where the malt bitterness is coming from. I get some fruity esters as well. Alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium to full bodied, quite thick and sticks to the mouth. Moderate carbonation.

D- Quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong, malty flavor has notes of caramel, molasses and miso. It pours a barely translucent dark brown with a fairly thick light tan head that doesn’t stick around too long but leaves some lacing. Strong flavor has an overtone that mixes molasses with caramel but is only slightly sweet. There is a touch of hoppy bitterness and a hint of toffee. Thick, full-bodied texture has a little fizz and leaves a malty, molasses, slightly woody finish.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A decent attempt at the style. As others have stated a welcome additon to an otherwise overpriced, underwhelming series of beers. Pours a very dark brown with some amber hues. 1/2" head with very little hold or lacing. Smells of malt, smoke and dried fruits. Taste reflects the aroma, with a little mineral background as well. Alcohol is not overpowering, but I felt the mouthfeel to be a bit on the weak side. Not a bad beer, but couldn't help but feel with a little tweeking could be an excellent beer.

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Photo of BeefyMee
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a copperish hue when held to light. Probably the darkest wee heavy I've ever seen and I'm diggin it. Great head and lacing.

S: Roasted malt, burnt toffee and alcohol. Also a little smoke as it warms.

T: Fairly brash upfront, yet not as much as I expected. Booziness is only about a 5 out of 10. Rich brown sugary sweetness dominates right through to the finish. The roasted character kicks in somewhere in the middle but never comes to the forefront. Some notes of dark fruit comes through in the aftertaste.

M: This is where the alcohol is most evident as it tickles the palate.

A welcome addition to an underachieving series by SA.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Smithwick's pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown...almost a root beer color. About a half finger of head. Not the greatest looking thing.

S: Notes of currant and burnt coffee.

T: Hits fairly heavily (not at all betraying the style name) with some chocolate coming through above everything else.

M: The 10% ABV does not hide itself at all with some lingering bitterness (though some of that is likely due to having burned my mouth pretty badly earlier in the day eating soup too fast).

O: Given all the hoopla over RIS's as of late I wanted something dark and strong and though the style is different this hit the spot for that, but it's probably not something I'd have more than once a month.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in a Pilsner glass

A: Not very impressive tan, finger width head with short retention time. Dark ruby-red color is nice though.

S: Subtle coffee smell, roasted malt. Smells rather nice actually.

T: Chocolaty, bitter malt, lingers on the palate.

M: Nice and thick, not the smoothest, I detect bits of graininess but not badly.

O: Nice job Sam Adams.

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Photo of Swim424
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a anchor bar pint glass

A-very deep brown. small head. some carbonation. retains thin head. creamy colored head.

S-smells of maybe some toasted malt. sort of like a slight oatmeal/coffee but for subtle. not much hops to it. can smell slight alcohol in it.

T- definitely taste some coffee/oatmeal upfront and through. finishes very smooth. a hint of chocolate at the end. not much hops. pretty straight forward.

MF- creamy. leaves a good creamy residue.

O-very good. nothing exceptional. might not get again due to the price but very good and worth this try.

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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.

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Photo of Ilovesuds
3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful dark mocha brown color. Minimal head even with an aggressive pour. Head dissipates quickly but nice lacing rims the glass as the brew disappears. The nose is peat-like. Almost like I dropped a single malt depth charge into my glass. Flavor is heavy peat/malt. Since I never had a Scotch Ale I was taken by surprise on this one. I can appreciate the style but would be hard pressed to recommend or try again. Sorry Sam.

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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.

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Photo of Durge
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A dark, somewhat cloudy mahogany colored brew with a fair light tan head that dissipates to a ring pretty quickly. Lacing is decent. The smell offers blackberry currant malt and alcohol with a subtle smoked peat that I find to be pretty pleasing overall. The flavor is a tad elusive upon first sip, malty licorice settles in after a moment and gives way to a warming prune brandy idea at the finish. Second sip brings a little bit of chocolate and perhaps more of a dark cherry hint to the fruits that come through here. The smoke and peat I detected in the aroma seems to disappear in the flavor of this heavy bodied, thick but drinkable wee heavy. There's a fizzy contribution of carbonation that almost seems in contrast the velvety feel of this 10% ABV brew. Borders on a resinous feel. Looking at the history of this brew here on BA I was expecting something more of a train wreck here, but I can say I liked it for a try. Probably could have done without the entire 4-pack for my money though. I can see where the potential here just doesn't balance out. While you can detect a few nice ideas, it just doesn't blend and I seem to come out with a mere sharp malty thing that just doesn't quite hit the spot other than a little alcohol burn. Would have profited from a goodly hunk of cheddar.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.92/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

black as night. opaque. thin, barely-there brown head, yet good lacing. there are ruby high lights.

rich malt aroma. rich caramel aromas. there seem to be some ester aromas present, some prune/raison. no hop aroma. no peat. no smoke.

flavor is immediately deeply malty, rich caramel and sweet. peat flavor is pronounced in the finish. finishes sweet. no discernible hop flavor. very subtle hop bitterness in the finish. cant really taste the alcohol, its much too sweet for that.

viscous. smooth. medium carbonation. medium bit in the finish.

very, very good. its reassuring that sam adams can make a solid beer when they want to and arent complete sell outs.

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Photo of corcoranjc
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: very dark head, minimal lacing.

smell: dark fruits, alcohol, sweet syrupy malt.

taste: more dark fruits. i'm not getting much more than a hint of the peat here...quite boozy, but not necessarily in a bad way....with 10 percent alcohol i suppose that's often a given...still, it's a bit much.

mouthfeel: better than expected...not sticky like i thought it would be.

overall: glad i tried it, but this is probably a one timer for me...this beer is nice enough, but drinking it makes me want to crack a barleywine.

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Photo of jwc215
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted at the beginning of this summer - reviewed from notes:

Pours dark brown with a thin head that doesn't hold up long before becoming wispy. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of cola and cocoa with the slightest nod towards peat.

The that is sweet with an earthy touch and slight peat. Alcohol is noticeable though not overpowering. It has a rooty, sweet-ish finish.

Initially it is slightly spritzy but soon mellows to soft-to-medium carbonation. The alcohol gives a slightly raw burn in the aftertaste.

I had been impressed with their Scotch ale, but this one barely compares. It's slightly too sweet and not very complex.

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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 haywire77
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a SA perfect pint glass.

Brew poured a super dark brown, almost black, with mahogany tints around the edges. A 1" frothy light brown head faded to a light ring in a few minutes.

Smell is very good with roasted caramel malt and dark fruits, mostly prunes. Brown sugar and sweet scotch.

Taste is very smokey right out of the gate with that "wee heavy" flavor. No mistaking that one because it's unique to the style. Prunes and cough syrup and boozy sweet alcohol heat. I like it!

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied with a decent carbonation and a lingering alcohol finish.

Overall I really liked this beer. The first time I had it at IX beerfest in Cleveland, Ohio I was very impressed and I knew I needed to revisit it. Thanks to my wonderful wife for picking this out for me on a whim. The only problem I have is that I want to drink more of it and if I do...10% = FAIL

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a dark copper color with a creamy khaki colored head.

S: Very, very sweet, almost syrupy. Lots of caramel and toffee, some brown sugar. There is a bit of smoke and peat to it, and some miscellaneous dark fruits.

T: Sweet, sweet, and more sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, and table sugar. Some weird dark fruit notes, maybe some figs and prunes. A touch of raisin, light smoke and peat.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Way too sweet and the smoke was just sort of off.

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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 thain709
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a darker shade of copper with some very attractive ruby highlights...the tan head stood two fingers tall and slowly receded to a full, yet thin cap...nice lacing

S - Sweet as expected, but overall the aroma was light...alcohol was really present...some roast, smoke, and caramel lingered

T - The sweetness lingered all around never went away but was covered up by the other flavors at times...there was a big smoke aspect to the beer as well...I'm guessing that it's from the peat that was added...the alcohol, again, was very detectable and almost gave off an oak flavor...caramel and dark fruits (dates, raisins) kept adding to the sweetness as it would come back through the smoke

M - Medium bodied...a little syrupy at times...roasted malt gave off some chocolate...lots of smoke

O - I've somewhat enjoyed the other beers in the Imperial Series, but I'd have to say this one has been my least favorite...the high ABV really stands out in this smokey, malt bomb

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

Pours a dark mahogany brown, slight ruby hues with a one finger beige head that fades quickly, very little lacing.

Aroma of of sweet molasses, malt and alcohol.

Taste begins sweet with dark fruits, molasses, vanilla which is quickly balanced with earthy malts, oak and some alcohol.

Mouth Feel was full body light carbonation, very syrupy and slick, alcohol was well hidden.

Overall an OK above average beer a little too thick and just a little too sweet and malty. There are better Scotch Ales, not one of Boston Brewery's best.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.73 out of 5 based on 696 ratings.
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