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

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series)
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 696 |  Reviews: 280
Photo of trappistlover
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle). Pours a dark mahogany-almost burnt caramel. Khaki colored head. Aroma has caramel, peat, and with a hint of chocolate. Taste is sweet with some light hop bitterness and great peaty smoke. Medium bodied with slick texture. Smooth finish. This is a very nice beer.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with a light tan head. Overall I thought the beer was tasty and technically on point, but not as deep and complex as the great wee heavys. The aroma was a bit hot, but otherwise the flavor was a tight mix of bready fruit (like jam on dark toast) with caramel and fruit. I appreciated that it wasn't too thick or sweet, but was also surprised that the ABV hit double digits.

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

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness/bottling date info.

Pours a rich, dark shade of glowing auburn amber, frothy medium khaki head, stays, then a thicker film, collar, with light sheeting and ample blobs and spots of lace.

Nose of caramel, toffee, smoldering peat.

Maltolicious, flavorful and complex. Waves of caramel, with a dry chocolate layer, and a smoked up/spiced up alcohol infused layer all dancing somehow together. Boozyness keeps this one from reaching upper registers of enjoyment.

Quality sipper/night capper.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a black to dark brown that has some lighter brown highlights to it when the light hits it. A finger of tan head leaves a lot of lacing and dissipates slowly.

S: figs, a bit leathery and a lot of dark roasted malts.

T: surprisingly fruity, in a dark sort of way. Figs, dates and prunes make the first appearance in the mouth followed in shortly by an earthy tone that mellows things out. The hops are pine like and have a resin quality to them. There is a nice leather quality that is left on the tongue.

MF: heavy, chewy and warm. Little carbonation with good astringency. A tad dry on the back which is actually nice.

O: a good beer that I would buy again if the mood for a good wee heavy struck, but not one I'll be getting everyday.

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

Dark plum color with a tawny head of spongy foam. Very carbonated. I'm used to the style from the hand pump a little more still than this.

Soft, floral character in the nose. Dates, brown sugar and fresh rubber are also present.

Smokey, peaty, a little roasty and has a moderate-high bitterness. Very sweet for the style.

Thick and heavy, though bitingly carbonated. I'm used to a silkier mouth for this style.

Pretty good. I like that it has that peat-like quality, but if you are going to do it, it should be all out and this one plays it a little safe.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured at basement temp in snifter

A: solid black, ok head, not much carb., very nice lacing
S: malty with molasses
T: true to its advertisement: great, classic imperial series; smoked peat is very strong, dominant over the roasted malt; scotch character subdued

Fantastic beer, and I suspect it ages well. I'll check back after a couple of years

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Photo of silentjay
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep brown, almost black, with a smallish khaki head that quickly settles, but leaves some lacing.

kind of a faint aroma with some smoke, herbs, and sweet sweet malts bringing some molasses, brown sugar, and a touch of soy sauce.

light smoke hits first with a bit of meatiness, some herbs come through a bit, but then it quickly goes sweet and oily. molasses dark caramel, brown sugar, sweet, sweet, sweet. not too boozy, though.

smooth and pretty full bodied with subtle carbonation works well for the style with a syrupy feel left on the back of the tongue after the swallow.

not bad. not great. I've been kind of disappointed in the Sam Adams Imperial Series, it almost seems like they shouldn't even bother if they are going to play their "imperial" beers safely.

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Photo of Rizalini
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Deschutes tulip...

A - Pours a very dark mahogany color, with a foamy 2 finger off-white head. Leaves a little spotty lacing.

S - The smell is very lacking. I'm struggling to get anything. I get some dark fruits, and I can smell the hops, but that's about it.

T - Slight plum, and rum raisin flavor is there, but the alcohol taste is definately present. There are some sweet notes as well.

M - Medium mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O - I should know better than to expect great beers from Sam Adams, and this one confirmed my expectations. Unfortunately, this beer lacks character, and flavor profile. Maybe cellar-aging this one might do it some good.

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Photo of dahlen22
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearace: Dark with a small lacy head that faded.

Aroma: Malt and some breadiness.

Taste: Eh...well I LOVE Scotch Ales, but this version of this style failed to meet expectations. In fact, I believe that most beers from Sam Adams are average at best (sans a few styles). The beer had huge amounts of malts and sweetness, but lacked in the smokiness and peat moss that is standard for a wee heavy. The finish had (to quote the Bros.) a tart oilyness, syrup, and almost a sour after taste.

Overall: Skip this and the $10 for this 6-pack. In fact, Samuel Adam's Scotch Ale is WAY better than this, but they no longer offer that in 6 packs. My rule of thumb...pass over Samuel Adams beers because they are average at best. Cheers!!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is that of peat smoke, dark fruit and some toffee. The flavor is more complex than the aroma. I get a lot of peat smoke, cherries, grapes, plums, toffee and some alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A nicely balanced wee heavy where the alcohol is present, but not overpowering. Very drinkable.

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Photo of budgood1
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours out a nearly opaque brownish red colour. crimson highlights. thick luxurious head with good retention. deep malty aroma...burnt sugar, brown sugar, smoke and some yeast. taste is a depth of dark maltiness accentuated by the peat smoked malt...adding layers of that are wine like on one hand and sharply smokey on the other. it makes for a nice combination. there is some vanilla and blackberries, chocolate and nougat, peppery alcohol spice mingled well with rum soaked raisins. it doesn't drink hot, but there is a good deal of underlying booziness to be wary of. a small dab of floral hoppiness adds a touch of class and a hint of bitterness for good measure. massive body is a given but the surprisingly gentle and smooth mouthfeel makes this supposed sipping scotch ale dangerously drinkable.

overall this imperial wee heavy lacks in refinement, but makes up for it in depth of character and being approachable, despite it's massive ABV. it's warm, snuggly and feels good.

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Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so I had this one right out of the bottle... and it was rich, roast and the taste and smell of alcohol was pretty strong.

I like strong, but this was a little much... lacking in taste or 'good flavor' balance with the abv...

I like the roast, I like the burnt flavor...

but it's a little much.

I will drink this one again, but it won't be my first choice.

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Photo of beergod1
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid dark brown with deep ruby highlights when held to light. Small tan head dissipates slowly. Smell is very malty and sweet, I swear I smell Leather, Hints of burnt sugar & Smoke. Taste is sweet with all of the aromas accounted for in the taste. Starts off sweet with the syrupy malt and smoke, then leaves a long lingering mild alcohol burn at the end. Seems typical of the Sam Adams imperial series to be a bit hot with alcohol. Very little hop presence to be found. Pretty good Scotch Ale, there are others better, but Sam usually has "Good" not "Great" Brews.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass

A-Pours a very dark chestnut color with a rich and creamy looking two finger khaki head that has good retention and leaves lace all the way down. Great looking beer.

S-Roasted malt, dark fruit, sort of sweet cookie type aroma, earthy.

T-Big doses of roasted malt, hints of coffee (?), dark fruit, brown sugar, maybe some earthy hops too.

M-Medium body, slick and creamy. Coats the palate well.

O-A nice Scotch ale from BBC. I'd buy this again.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep espresso-color with a thin beige head that dissipates to a ring. Minimal lacing.

Aromas of dark fruit, roasted malts, smoked peat (as advertised), and molasses sweetness.

Taste follows suit with flavors of currants, dried cranberries, black cherries, roasted malts, a hint of dark chocolate and an even fainter hint of pine hops at the finish.

Full mouthfeel, sticky, almost syrupy. Tiny bubble carbonation creates a nice balance. Alcohol warmth is present.

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Photo of JamesS
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice thick copper color with a bit of initial decent head and a bit of initial decent lacing. Some nice thick malty scents, with a hint of caramel and a little toffee, but not near as much aroma as one would expect from a thick wee heavy. Decent taste, nice thickness in the malt, some caramel and toffee, just a hint of peat, a bit of nice earthy hops at the end, but overall nothing very upfront; mostly just a thick beer with quite a bit of alcohol heat. It goes down alright, but doesn't hide the 10% ABV at all. I'd drink another if given one, but there are much better Scotch/Scotch-style ales out there that aren't any more expensive.

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Photo of dinomite
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Careful pour yielded a small but dense, creamy colored head that dissipated slowly. The color below is certainly dark, but slightly red in tint against light. Smell isn't very significant, just a subdued earthiness that jives well with the flavor. The taste itself is quintessential of a basic wee heavy—earthy peatiness, a bit of spice, and an overall full-bodied flavor. The mouthfeel is quite thick, between the strong flavors and high alcohol it is exactly what is expected.

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Photo of Dubbledown
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 14.9 nonic. Nice cream colored half-inch head. Color almost black with a ruby hue. Malt and strong peat smell. Big rich, silky mouth feel. Excellent evaporation in the palate, strong aftertaste of peat and caramel. Hints of dried fruits, particularly cherries. Long warm finish. A really superb example of the style and, in my experience, unique at 10 percent alcohol and the peat flavor. Highly recommended. Serving temperature 52 degrees.

Grade A Purchased at Stoney's -- $11.99 per 4-pack

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Photo of 619BeerLuvr
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

at first I could not place the taste, then the scotch ale flavor came through very strong. not as strong as the other SA Imperial Series have been, but a very good, very drinkable beer. got mine (4-pack) for $10.99 at the 'Mo. a complex brew, with lots of malty and barley notes.

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Photo of Pahn
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, frothy off-white head that dissipates slowly, leaving a large amount of lacing. Pours a very dark reddish brown. Leaves thin but long-lasting lacing.

Smell: Sugary, sweet, trademark American-made Scotch ale malt (my first thought was, "Yes, that smells right..."). Some cola and mild smoke underneath. Lively effervescence. As it warms, various sweet cookie / pastry aromas emerge. Not too complex, not even that well balanced, but always very enticing, and never faint.

Taste: A lot smokier than the smell. The peat-smoked malt is the star here, but it's well-restrained and works with the rest of the beer. Sadly, the malt never really reaches any of those beautiful pastry-like notes from the aroma. It's sweet, cut by great flavors of slight barbecue and smoke, with some unexpected spiciness as well... but not as malty as I want a good wee heavy to be.

This flavor is very good, and exceptionally well balanced (the finish is just dry enough, the smoke is just strong enough, etc). However, the smell promises something that I know I can get even from lesser Scotch ales like Old Chub, then the taste doesn't deliver it. If those deep, powerful malt flavors were balanced in with all the other excellent things going on, this would be a very memorable beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Very carbonated--a little too much, leaving some mild but unpleasant stings now and then. Great semi-dry finish. Sugary without being chalky or distracting.

Overall: I love the balance, the integration of peat-smoked malt, and maybe even the overall flavor, but I can't get past that I want this beer to have more (and that what I want it to have is so common among beers of this style). I'll probably even buy this again, but I imagine that I'll still think the beer isn't quite reaching its potential.

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Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep darkness of a color with a thin, but creamy tan head that delivers some sticky lace.

The nose is pretty light, but what is detected is a blend of smokey peat malt and sticky sweetness with fruit notes.

Big sweetness from the malt, some deep roasted malt, smoked peat and some hot fusel alcohol to round it out. A big beer with some well integrated big flavors.

Full bodied, creamy carbonation and a sticky finish.

A nice, nice beer here. A few months of age would help mellow the alcohol and improve the overall beer in my opinion. Right now though, this is a beer that is right on for the style and a good all around beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Maudite tulip. Pours slightly darker than cola with a creamy, half inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates in the center and disperses towards the shoulders. Head eventually settles into a thin band and some strands of lacing are evident during the tasting, but no legs. Nose suggests dark fruit and a slightly earthy character, as well as some malty sweetness. Taste is much bolder and robust than suggested by the nose - a smokey/earthy/peaty character intersperses itself in throughout the malty backbone and the dark fruit peaks through towards the front and middle. Mouthfeel is medium-light (but closer to medium), with a lively, almost prickly carbonation that lightly burns the sides of the cheeks and the back of the throat. This is a really nice wee heavy, probably my favorite from the SA Imperial series so far. I'd love to see what a couple years does for this brew.

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Photo of stephens101
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown core is surrounded by ruby red hues and topped with a prolific tan head that is, in-turn, topped by big bubbles which pop to and fro as the froth slowly settles, leaving a fine sheet of lace that covers then entire glass.

Not a lot going on aroma wise. I'm getting some caramel malts and a little sugar. Creamy mouth-feel with big sweet malts, a faint oakiness, milk chocolate and a slight peaty earthiness. Fresh stream water too? Hmmm. A slight nuttiness works its way in after a bit. Alcohol is well-hidden to the point that I couldn't tell you whether this was 6% or 10% abv.

Nice and sweet without going overboard and dangerously drinkable.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 696 ratings
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