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

696 Ratings
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hazel brown with a nice one inch head that slowly faded lacing up the sides. Much visible carbonation and a noticeable hissing sound. Smell was very nutty, and I mean that literally. Smell was of nuts and caramel with a hint of hops and just a touch of alcohol, smells like its gonna warm you up. The taste was very very sweet, syrupy and lots of dark fruit flavors. Very sugary sweet, no real taste of alcohol, which at 10%abv is a nice touch.

another great beer in the imperial lineup. i am seriously getting impressed with their releases

 542 characters

Photo of Snow81
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours black as night yet the little light that passes makes it a super dark amber

Head: Rich malty brown head

Smell: Little coco with a bit of heat, roosted sweet malts, caramel and nut on the back

Taste: Rich dark toasted malts with a flavors of a nut shell, very mild, smoke comes out very nice and a small amount of a tin note is there in their back

Weight: Medium to light body with a low carbonation

Finish: Heat pulls up front on the back then lingers to a roosted malt with a little stickiness on the back

 529 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3.13/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased as part of a 4-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into a Harpoon LE tulip, formed a 1/2" orangey tan head over the cloudy burgundy brew. Head isn't going anywhere fast, with thick, slow-falling lace. Aroma is fruity and boozy.

Taste is creamy sweetness upfront, a peek of chocolate int he middle, and closes with the alcohol power and cherry notes. Almost acrid alcohol aftertaste coupled with numbing lingering sensation. Mouthfeel is smooth, but the close just isn't nice, and drinkability is okay. Too harsh for me overall.

 565 characters

Photo of bpw28
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two finger caramel head, Ruby/Blood Red (about a 33 SRM), Good Lacing

Nose: Turning Milk (surpisingly not really a bad thing), Barnyard, Smoky, Floral, Some Sweetness

Taste: Earthy, Roasty, Smoky, Whisky like, Honey, Floral, Wonderful strong hop bite, Good Fullness, Alot of Carb

Final Thoughts: Very interseting. I wouldn't say this is a everyday beer but its very much worth a return. In Sam Adams style, they produce a good example of the style, but thats all. It's great, but I'm sure there's better. If your looking for a good base line, Sam Adams has you covered.

Food Pairing: Meat, Potatoes, Ham, Sausages, Biscuits, Lamb, Strong Cheeses

 661 characters

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

I like the Imperial series and what Boston Beer attempts on these brews. The Wee Heavy pours a dark mahogany. Smaller tan head than other Sam offering than again the corbonation is alittle low on thisone but the beer itself is thick. Makes sence to me that lace to world be lite.

Aromas of dark roasty malts, earthy hints and wood smoke.

The taste carries thoughs dark roasted malts with a kick of sweetness. Sugars of brown, raw cane like. Earthy peet and smoke linger in back as a alcohol suttles the taste.

Mouthfeel is hindered by the sweetness.

Overall an ok Scotch ale. I like the style and this brew borders the drinkability with the sweetness while it hides the ten% abv. I'd repeat bye if I need to.

 713 characters

Photo of OliverTweek
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark, with a beige head. Even held up to the light, it is nearly impossible to see through, but has a slight mahogany color.

Smell: A surprisingly mild smell. The odor is a little musky, or wood-like, very sweet. Pleasant, but unlike the taste of the beer.

Taste: For an imperial stout, it doesn't have a "heavy" taste, but is still full flavored. It is smokey, with hints of tobacco and chocolate, and a "nutty" overall taste. It is a little bit too sweet for me, but no so much that it ruins the beer. A very pleasant, lingering after taste.

Mouthfeel: A heavy mouthfeel, but altogether smooth. Quite enjoyable, and my personal favorite part of the beer.

Other/Overall: I haven't had many Imperial Stouts, but it this was noticeable lighter than they were in everything except color. Despite having an ABV of 10%, it doesn't taste like that much.

 872 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 mithrascruor
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: A very dark pour, but dark ruby through the light. Nice light tan head with a bit of retention and some lacing.

Smell: Good roasted aroma with some noticeable sweetness and smoke coming through. A bit subdued from a rauchbier, though.

Taste: Again, roast malts and sweetness. Still, it maintains a sort of dank earthiness. The smokey flavors come in towards the finish, and linger, along with a hint of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy-bodied for this style, but still smooth. Very mild carbonation.

Drinkability: ABV is a lot stronger than I imagined while drinking it, so I suppose the alcohol is hidden pretty well. The sweetness can get to be a tad much, though.

For a beer, this is pretty decent, although perhaps a bit too sweet. But, I believe it is a pretty poor interpretation of the style. If I was given this with no introduction, I'd have to say it was trying to be a rauchbier. Honestly, a bit of a disappointment.

 981 characters

Photo of BelgiumBill
2.18/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a 12oz bottle at Total Wine for $2.99.

I poured it into a tulip glass. It was a dark mahogany brown with a thick light brown bubbly head.

The smell was not strong - it had smoke and malts typical to the style.

I was very surprised upon my first sip. It had a dominant medicinal taste with smokey notes below. It was medium bodied and not as thick as I would have expected. There was an alcohol warmth on the back half of the finish and had a very boozy quality.

I don't know if I had a bad bottle, but it really had an unpleasant medicinal taste. I hoped it would improve as it warmed a bit but just the opposite. I ended up pouring almost half down the drain.

I am really surprised at this. Probably my favorite Sam Adams offering is the Scotch Ale so I don't know how this sibling could have been so off.

 821 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle for $2.65 at Beertopia.

When I opened the bottle I saw the ultra-dark red I welcome of scotch ales along with the tan cap. The aroma by itself was almost enough to knock me back into my chair, thick with whiskey and caramel. The taste is similarly robust, with the whiskey being the main characteristic blending in caramel and maybe some pine and melon. The body is overly thick for the style. There's an alcohol sting that lingers mid-tongue that I find distracting. In summation, this brew is over-engineered, having more ingredients and complexity than necessary. It was good to try but I don't see myself going out of my way to get another one.

 656 characters

Photo of mgoblue5743
2.69/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Smelled/tasted like malts and scotch. On the one hand, I suppose that is what should be expected of this style, on the other, it was a bit over the top and wasn't overly drinkable. If I am going back to this category, for the same money, I'll go for Founders Dirty Bastard each and every time. I was disappointed here because I really like most of Sam Adam's lineup... maybe with some age this would improve.

 408 characters

Photo of ChugginOil
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my cousin SirBenton for this one!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

When piured, the honey brown liquid settles a deep dark brown with reddish hues when held to the light. Two fingers of cream colored head sits for a shot while before dissipating. Bubbly and oily lacing clinging.

The nose is very sweet and malty. Some vanilla and caramel notes are noticed. A bit of chocolate is also observed in the nose.

The taste is sweet and caramel like with a bit of booze and smome on the end. The backyard bbq ready smokiness would be great with a burger or some ribs. However, to get to the smoke you must survive a very sweet palate blanket.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn thick. It sticks to my lips and palate, holding a long aftertaste.

Overall, Sam Adams might be the biggest craft brewery but they are still putting some consistant great flavors into their beers (well this one at least). Pretty solild scotch ale. Thanks Benny

 949 characters

Photo of beerbully
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

A-An aggresive pour yields a two inch slightly off colored head that last for a while giving way to thick lacing Beer is the color of coca-cola Looks like an ice cream soda

S-not very aromatic faint malty smell

T-Malty, scotch, caramel, sweet, syrupy, mild alcohol for the ABV, brown sugar, molasses

M-mild carbonation, fills the mouth up with the beer flavor. after taste lasts for awhile

O-not a very attractive beer nor is it very aromatic. The tsate is fine but a bit on the sweet side. Not bad. This is not a style that I drink often so I have few scotch ales to compare

 605 characters

Photo of JayS2629
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Big, robust, rude, and aggressive beer. Black with red hints, thin tan head with little lace.

The aroma is full of dark fruit, raisins and plum with hints of caramel and notes of chocolate. Subtle vanilla notes with a smoke tinge. Whiffs of spiced rum.

The taste is upfront on the black raisins and ripe plums, rum like tones. Sweet toffee dominates. The taste is a malt bomb up front with tons of toffee and caramel, dark fruits, raisins and plum, hints of chocolate and hints of roasted malt. Smoke on the back end with a definite aggressive rum burn. Earthy hops with some herbal notes of black pepper reflecting off a harsh alcohol burn in the back of the throat that makes itself known. Complex.

The body is creamy and full bodied, thick, cloying and syrupy. Woody tones in the finish. Heavy indeed. Quite cloying. A tssty overboard sweet malt bomb burning sipper. If you can ride this bull keep your tounge in check for the burn. Probably more enjoyable before drinking too many others. It can easily put you on your ass.

 1,033 characters

Photo of keeganfrank
3.72/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark red-brown beer with caramel-colored head. Almost the color of cola, but even darker. Smells earthy and of caramel and florals. Smoky caramel and peat flavor, sweet sassafras and fruit as well. Very thick and creamy, no harshness from the high alcohol content.

 270 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 allengarvin
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a squat snifter, this is a very dark, almost black beer, with a substantial, dense head atop it. The nose has features a nice peatiness. However, there's not much malt complexity in the aroma, and it's a tad "hot" as well. The flavor is a bit better. Alcohol is present, but not as as warm as I had feared. However, it lacks the malty complexity of a good wee heavy. It's drinkable, but rather one-dimensional.

 422 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.09/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass. i tried this the first time out at EBF and enjoyed it.

A- this one pours out a deep mahogany colored body body with a modest khaki colored head on top. the head lasts for a while before falling, and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the first thing i pick out of the nose is toffee and caramel malts. a familiar smoked peat smell is also in here. a little bit of the alcohol shines through.

T- the taste starts out with some sweet caramel and toffee flavors (heavier on the toffee) before moving into the smoky pet that i could smell. earthy hops at the end. a modest amount of alcohol is tasted for such a big beer.

M- the body is a solid medium, and the carbonation is nice and subdued. a little warming from the alcohol.

O- a solid american example of the style. something im glad is made year round and available in four packs. ill be having this again.

 932 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Always happy to pick up a new bottle of Sam Adams. Review is from notes taken on 5/10/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a deep and dark cola brown with some rich, dark ruby highlights when held up to the lamp; starts with a short 1/2 finger tan head that fades immediately to nothing other than a scant, thin and uneven skim on the surface; only two small spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Quite nice and robust -- lots of big maltiness with aspects of caramel, and I'd swear a touch of butterscotch; bit of a wet, mulchy and bready scent to it; very slight touch of alcohol to it, but it's pretty well masked in the nose for something that clocks in at 10%.

Taste: It's good, and I like it -- I see it doesn't get a whole lot of love, and I can kind of see why due to the name associated with it and the sweetness, which is a tad much, but overall, I think it's a pretty solid interpretation of the style. Lots of big and sweet malts up front that match the nose to a "T," and the hearty, wheaty and mulchy breadiness; alcohol comes through clearly in the mouth, but I feel it blends pretty well with the sweetness and earthy malty overtones; bit of a cola-like sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Body is of medium weight, and comes with a thick and sticky coating all over the mouth, and I feel it's even creeping down the back of the throat; carbonation is present, but soft, kind of like a cola that's been sitting out for a little while; alcohol is warming to the belly and the gums are left a little tingly.

Overall: I like it, but the sweetness becomes a bit much and the alcohol would definitely limit too much in any one sitting, and I probably wouldn't put one away to age due to the already massive sweetness.

 1,780 characters

Photo of far333
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany brown and opaque with a low light brown head. Aroma of dark malt, some fruity esters and subtle peated malt.

Rich flavors of dark malt, hints of root beer, smoke and leather, subtle peat smoked malt, mild bitterness. Moderate mouthfeel, a bit watery, slight warming from the ABV, could use more body. Tasty overall, but lacking a bit i complexity and body.

 371 characters

Photo of vandemonian
4.37/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams Wee Heavy is an excellent scotch ale and a great sipping beer.

A: Dark brown color... like coke. Small head that fades to crappy lacing. 4

S: The smell is sweet and malty with a little bitterness 4.5

T: The taste is charcoal with smoke and sweet maltiness. Super nice. Aftertaste is Malty with some bitterness. 4.5

M: Frothy. Delicious. 4.5

O: Great for sipping. 4

 380 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A fingers worth of slightly dense moderately creamy light tan colored froth... Slight retention gives way to thick collar and mostly full lacing... A medium-to-dark brown color with a slight chilled haze... Some sluggish carbonation can be seen climbing towards to the top of the glass...

S - Malt forward, but still rather subdued... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... Some dark fruits... Slightly muddled, yet very nice... Just wish this one had a little more umph to it... It should be noted that the booze rises to the forefront as this one warms slightly...

T - Dark fruits... Toffee... Caramel... Peat... A hint of smoke... Some very subtle coffee undertones...

M - Ultra dense... Medium to full bodied... Nicely carbonation... Slightly creamy... Slightly velvety... A bit a of chalky burnt texture... A touch of a dry finish... Very nice...

D - A definite sipper of a Wee Heavy... The 10% ABV packs a pretty good punch... Slightly above average with a stellar mouthfeel...

 983 characters

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 KarlHungus
3.21/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark brown color. The head is a half inch in height, and recedes slowly into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of burnt caramel and toffee, but it is quite weak. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with a harsh alcohol burn in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a silky texture, and appropriately low carbonation. Overall, this is a beer I will probably not drink again. It is one dimensional, and the alcohol is poorly integrated.

 465 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Very deep mahogany in the glass that goes ruby red when held up to a light. The head is a khaki tan full of fine bubbles that settle relatively quickly and then lace a bit. Smell is of caramelized sugar smoky and deep. Peated malt is there as well as a bit of chocolate and black malts. The taste is of black coffee and dark malts. The alcohol is very upfront in this beer and maybe a bit too much so. I'm not getting as much of the caramel that I would expect from a Wee Heavy as this beer tends towards the dry end of the spectrum. This beer is pretty lively in the mouth the finish is a bit prickly as a combination of higher carbonation than I'm used to for this style and the alcoholic hotness leave a lasting tingle. This is a good beer but maybe not great. I guess I'm just partial to the wee heavy that I make which tends to be a bit less alcoholic and a touch sweeter with a higher caramel focus and as I'm missing those characteristics I can't rate this example very highly.

 1,019 characters

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.