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

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)
Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 696 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of scoobybrew
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - clear, deep dark ruby color, decent head that persists in a lace

S - alcohol is very present, sweet caramel malt with a hint of smoke, moreso as it warms

T - strong sweet caramel and pale malt flavor with a strong smoke flavor perhaps from peated malt, but more likely from a Scottish yeast strain; hops are altogether absent, perhaps there are a bit for bittering, but the flavor is overwhelmingly sweet

M - fully body, moderate carbonation, slick and viscous

O - This is a strong beer with a strong malt character. It borders cloyingly sweet and you might want to share it with someone else as a full pour is probably a bit too much. That said, a lot of the Scottish beer character is here, but a bit out of balance. The alcohol is also not as subtle as perhaps desired also.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, pretty well black, with a huge head of tan foaminess. Amazing and lively lace. Very frilly! A fine place to start...

Nose is woody, earthy (I guess you'd call that 'peaty'), malty, and boozy.

Taste is heavy on the palate, but nicely balanced. Malty sweet, with hints of peat, molasses, char, and a little booze at the end.

Definitely a strong presence, and in the end, quite tasty.

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Photo of Mdog
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
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 WoodBrew
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is exactly what the name describes...A wee heavy and full bodied. The appearance a very dark opaque amber with thin to no head, which was slightly ecru in color. The scent carried a heavy peat malt. The taste was very complex started very light with good hop character and then turned malty with strong earth/peat tones. The mouthfeel is heavy and downgraded due to the strong peat flavor and full body due to higher ABV. Overall it is a decent beer and worth trying.

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Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in downtown Houston. Served in the infamous red wine glass.

dark enough that I can't see through it in the dim bar light, even when held up to said light. very little head, very little retention, lacing does stick around a while.

Smell is so light I really have to suck it in. Molasses, caramel malts.

Tastes scotchy, malty, some dark fruit(very light notes) and a surprising hoppiness.

Feels heavy and sticky. Just what one wants to expect from a wee heavy. Chewy without sediment, leaves a feeling of a little something on the tongue.

Overall, Pretty good, might just nab the attention of some Boston Beer critics. I will say I have had much better wee heavy however.

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Photo of obrendano
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - very dark in the glass, when held up to the light it's literally blood red. head is foamy but does not last

S - odd musty smell, old ripe fruits, sweet malt, a hint of booze

T - HUGE sweet caramel malt taste, dark smokiness, strawberry jam, rough alcohol edge and more strong malt as it goes on. a little too much on the thick, sweet side for me, a little cloying and lacks bite, but is also complex enough to keep my interests piqued

M - a little syrupy and thick like a really sugary soda. not awful but a little uninviting

O - not a terrible beer, tastes good and gets the job done at 10%, which isn't as detectable as you might think going in. but it's definitely a bit of a malt bomb, and a little more balance could go a long way with this.

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Photo of shoky01
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and the Saucer for the same Sam Adams beer tasting as the Utopias.

A: Very dark, bit surprising for a wee heavy. Bout a half inch of white head with good lacing on the glass.

S: Very light smell, porter or stout like.

T: Tasted like a light smoked porter or stout off hand when it was still cold. The maltiness came out more as it warmed and it eventually showed up as the scotch ale that it is.

MF: a little sticky but very smooth.

overall: I really liked it, i will have it again some time.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.16/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have always been a fan of the wee heavy style, and I was pleasantly pleased by the Sam Adams Double Bock from this series, so I have high hopes.

A: Brown with reddish tints. Maybe a finger's width of off-white head dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

S: The smell of alcohol is the first thing I notice, closely followed by sweet, syrupy malts and molasses. Not much on the complexity, but it smells good.

T: Huge malty sweetness. It hits like a bulldozer and stays around. Some peppery-ness from the alcohol knocks it back a bit, but it's still pretty overpowering. Slight oaky, vanilla taste comes through as well. The alcohol warms nicely.

M: REALLY heavy. Resembles drinking molasses more than drinking beer. Very light on the carbonation which enhances the syrup-like feel.

O: A disappointment. Not a bad beer, but not very good either. It has some good flavors, but there's just too much: too many malts, too much sweetness and too damn thick.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with a creamy thin beige head.

S - Dark molasses, sweet syrup, brown sugar. Touch of alcohol, and some faint smoke.

T - A big blast of malt sweetness, very sweet. The sweetness warms on the palate in the end with smokey spiced alcohol. A lot of sweet sugars here, almost like raw brown sugar. This reminds me of a malt monster like a high abv doppelbock but sweeter and with a smokey kick.

M - Sticky, slick mouth. Viscous and hangs around.

O - A very sweet beer. Not like other wee heavies, with a lot more malt syrup and body here.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany with good clarity but little head. Smells sweet and richly malty with a note of smoke. The taste is even more pronouncedly smokey with lots more sweet, dark malt on the back end. A bit slick in the mouth, and a bit brooding, really, without really delivering the goods. Just decent.

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Photo of Dan3279
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My second beer on tap tonight at the B Spot and I used it as my post dinner drink. The beer was served to me in a stemless snifter glass and had a deep dark brown body with a tan one inch head that left some sticky lacing around the glass.

The aroma was more mellow than I expected and main consisted of roasted malts, coffee and a few hints of sweetness.

The taste was good, I noticed the scotch first and then a bit of smoke and ends on some sweet notes. Three different flavors styled balanced together, though at the same time the taste came off as a tad watered down and really left me wanting more. I'm not sure if my pallet has been ruined by big heavy stouts and I expect too much or if this is more reflective of the style.

The body of the beer was the only bright side for me, it was full and thick with the alcohol well hidden.

Overall a decent beer but it didn't do much for me and is an easy pass if I ever comes across it again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
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!

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Photo of jondeelee
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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 Briken
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown, almost black with moderate tan foamy head with okay retention. Light peat aroma with some roasted malts. Big peat up front tempered by roasted malt with light chocolate sweetness. Some stickiness with full body and light fuzz.

Alcohol is well blended and peat is strong but not overbearing but rather one dimensional. More and more it becomes very subtly complex. Nicely balanced flavors and easy drinking. I had this with Inglorious Bastards (1970). I should have had a German beer.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown/mahogany in color with 1/2 finger of off-white head encircling the glass's circumference. A decent amount of frothy lacing slides down the sides of the glass.

S: A strong dose of roasted malts and coffee mixes with distinct aromas of butterscotch and dark fruit.

T: Very complex - strong notes of roasted malt intermingle with earthy wood notes, burnt coffee, baking chocolate and black currents. Notes of black cheery and butterscotch also come through. Very interesting, but the diverse array of flavors fails to achieve the cohesiveness of an elite brew.

M: Very thick and syrupy, almost chewy.

D: I don't have much experience with Wee Heavies, but this is a decent big beer. Really complex flavors make this an interesting brew to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of Monkey962
4.34/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours almost inky black, and light that passes through appears cherry red. Produces a tan, bubbly head about two fingers tall, which leaves thick lacing and rings down the glass.

Smell: I don't get any bitterness off this, just the malts that smell like roasted coffee and sweet maraschino cherry.

Taste: One of the most complex beer taste experiences I've had to date. The sweetness of the malts is experienced first, and is represented as a sweet cherry flavor. The smoked aspect peeks in only for a moment before subsiding into a balanced, bitter flavor that I could describe as both bready and earthy. The aftertaste is peppery and bitter.

Feel: Very silky. When the head subsides, it becomes a thick, creamy film that assists the smoothness of the feel.

Overall: Very well balanced with lots of big bold yet complex flavors. I like to think of it as an alternative for an imperial stout.

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Photo of haddon
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a deep mahogany, almost black with a creamy head that hangs around quite awhile. quite a bit of carbonation bubbles released on the pour. lots of lacing down the nonic.

smells are a little muted: malty notes with butterscotch, moss & earth smells, cola & brown sugar.

wow, this really is the tale of two tastes: it starts poorly with really off-putting flavors of metallic & band-aid. I seriously would consider drain pouring but it makes a comeback on the back end... dark fruits, roasted malts, bitter hops and a boozy bomb on the aftertaste (10% abv is really noticeable). if not for the amazing comeback on the end, I would give this beer an F!

feel is probably best part of beer: medium to full body with creamy and smooth finish

this beer really is an enigma! the front-end taste is really too much to overcome. too bad, because the aftertaste is pretty darn good but I wouldn't drink again.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.46/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, Caramel 60, Roasted malt, and Peated malt. Hopped with Zeus.
OG=24.5° Plato, 10.0% ABV – 7.7%, Calories/12 oz.: 348. $3.00 for a 12oz bottle @ Jacks.

Pours out to a very dark mahogany, forming a thin head which quickly recedes to a scummy little ring around the glass. No retention, no lacing. Moderate carbonation. The aroma is of prune juice, smoke, caramel and burnt marshmallows. The mouthfeel is oily and syrupy with a huge dense body. The taste is very nice...a great balance between the smoke, marshmallow and prunes, with a very light herbal bitterness. Sweet, but not overly so. Much smokier than any traditional scottish ale, but I like this. No perceptable off flavors or aroma.

I really liked this brew. I would buy it again and recommend it.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a mahogany with a tan head than has decent carbonation along with nice retention and really good lacing on the glass. The smell consists of apple, caramel, smoke, and oak. The taste starts out with some licorice, followed by some caramel and apple and than finishes off with some sweet maltness, smoke and oak. The mouthfeel is sticky on the lips, tongue and palate and finishes dry. Overall a decent beer that is nice when wanting a beer with an unique taste, but with 10% alcohol might want to be careful with how much you drink at one time.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter glass. Polurs a very dark brown/mahogany color, with a 1/4" ivory colored head that reduces to a thin ring around the glass, and wisps in the center.

Has a thick, peaty aroma, heavy with tangy alcohol, mild malt, and, oddly, slight astringency. The smell is almost smokey. Never had an astringent smelling beer before.

A grape-sweet grips first, clenching the tongue. A thicker, almost oily taste, hits mid-tongue, before ending dry and slightly hopped. Mild peat, even moss, with undertones of oak, vanilla, and maple.

Full bodied, with a thick, syrupy feel and a dry finish.

Tastes better than it smells, and smells better than it looks. Decent brew, though a bit heavy for a wee heavy. This is more like a sweeter old ale, but darker. Still, if you're big into SA, then give it a try, for it is certainly one of the better ones I've had from their brewery.

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Photo of Knecht
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
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 Wamesit
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep red with a light tan head that gives way to mild lacing.

S - Burnt toffee from the crystal malts leads the pack with undertones of both smoke and alcohol.

T - Sweet malts (toffee and caramel) mix with a thick smokiness from peat malts that both mix with a vapor-rich alcohol. The sweetness is kept earthy throughout, which make this Scotch Ale robust and grounded.

M - Medium/full. Lush. Carbonation is enough to keep it from turning into syrup.

O - Delicious. A well-done Scotch Ale. One of Sam Adams' best.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark brown with a good amount of tan head leaving a little lacing.

Smell: There is a roasted smell but it seems a little off from what I would expect.

Taste: There is a slight roasted bitterness but not much. It is fairly sweet with an almost nutty flavor. I pick up a little on the smokiness but it is not too pronounced.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second beer of the Samuel Adams Imperial Series.
The beer was poured into my crystal mug and produced a deep mahogany clear color. The head buds a deep tan about two fingers high and is very creamy and has good retention. Leaves some lacing on the glass.
The smell is dominated by sweetness and malt.
Tasting this beer, the front apears to be scotch, sweet malts, toffee, yet in the middle this sweetness will be checked by an addition of roasted malt and very earthy flavors. I also detectvsome coffee and dark chocolate. At the finish some of the peadmoss roasted malt gives the beer the special character.
To me this is a greatly crafted beer, even so it is a little sweet for my taste, but the beer style almost demands this sweetness.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown, red tint. Not much of a head. minor lacing.

Smell - Dark fruits, ginger, sugars, mollasses, a slight wood aroma. Coffee and some roasted malts.

Taste - Strong scotch and sweet malts up front. Alcohol is present. Smoked malts, carmel, and plenty of spices. Barrel aged whiskey flavors, some coffee and nut round this monster out.

Mouthfeel - Pretty intense. Mouth is coated with thick syrup, scotch flavors, and alcohol. Afteraste is a little weak though.

Overall - Pretty good, a bit too strong for sweet. Its enjoyable for wee fans, would be way to much for average drinker. Im a fan of wee'sso i would enjoy one and be done. Worth drinking.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 56.9% out of 100 with 696 ratings
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