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

Classic Scotch-ale features. Very good.

Appearance is quintessential scotch ale- very dark, not cloudy. Head disappears quickly. The smell is full molasses and suggests a sweetness. Tastes just the same- molasses overload, and a little sweetness that leads to a good roasty malt taste. The balance is awesome and the booze is all-but-invisible. The mouthfeel is awesome- fat and sticky. Nice warmer @ 10%. It's just what I expected. If you're looking for a readily-vailable Scotch ale with an especially big kick, this is a solid one.

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Photo of Dave1999
4.27/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came out the bottle very dark almost black with a reddish tint. Nice white head with quickly dissipates.

Smells peaty and malty almost like a fine scottish whiskey, toffee, caramel.

Powerfull stuff, you can taste the malts, smokiness, peatyness. Slight taste of alcohol a very interesting taste.

Feels pretty smooth, a very slight carbination. Feels thick and creamy.

Overall a heavy and interesting beer, I've never had a beer like this before. I'd probably buy this again.

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Photo of bigdeuce
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Beer is a dark amber color with high carbonation. The soapy head dissipated rapidly. Scents were all true except very "rusty" scents came through, making it somewhat unappealing. Some nice peat on the nose. Taste is decent but way too syrupy. The sweetness is not balanced by good hop flavor. It is too cloying and not something I will go back to. The Boston Beer company has always defended by me, but in the past 3 years, they a) have gotten rid of most of their more enjoyable styles b) change the recipes of styles that were great 5 to 7 years ago and c) are way off on their new attempts.

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Photo of Stunner97
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- really really dark brown with thin white head that has pretty long retention, no carbonation to be seen,

Smell- slight peat, loads of malt, raisins, brown sugar and molasses, chocolate, very malty nose

Taste- a lot of the sweet malts up front with a bit of a spicy drying finish, not quite as much peat on the flavor as i remember a few years ago, kind of drowned out a bit, its not super complex but has nice balance

Mouthfeel- medium to heavy in body, very drying in texture on the finish, some warmth from alcohol

Drinkability/overall- I have to say this beer feel short a bit from the last time that I had tried it where i felt the peat and scotch characteristics were far more pronounced, it has decent balance and though pretty drinkable you can definitely notice the alcohol, while this beer wasnt bad it fell way short of my last tasting and on this tasting just simply an okay beer

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Color was black. Probably about ¾ inches of head. White lacing on the top with bubbles in the middle. Cobweb film on the sides.

Smelled smoky dark malts. Roasty malts, too. Somewhere between dark chocolate and coffee. Smells like a smooth beer.

Pretty similar to the nose. Tasted smoky dark malts, but not too smoky, which I was fearing after having their Bonfire Rauchbier awhile back. As far as comparing dark chocolate and coffee, where it was 50-50 on the smell, I’d say dark chocolate leads, 60-40. Alcohol kick at the end, but very smooth.

Medium body. Slick texture. Lively (above average)-to-average carbonation. Smooth long finish.

I enjoyed this beer a lot. It’s strong taste doesn’t overwhelm you. It’s so smooth and I actually feel it going over my body. I liked it.

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Photo of TuffNut87
2.18/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass with very little head. Very dark brown with a constant light stream of bubbles. It seems more mellow than stout at first. Smell is very unique-coffee, vanilla and chocolate mixed. Smooth on your tongue, sweet with a coffee-like aftertaste that become syrupy. After a couple gulps, the sweetness and the increased alcohol content are not pleasing.

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Photo of JayAre46
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

reviewed at the saucer in houston on draft. a deep rootbeer brown with a finger of head sitting on top that fell rather quickly to just a ring around the tulip. leaving amazing lace. the nose is of light molasses, woody, earthy tones and some sweet dark fruits in the back. the taste is of cooked sugar, earthy tones are dominant, a scotch influenced mint flavor with toasted malts. absolute malt bomb. not much of an alcohol presence considering the 10%. as it warmed it became almost undrinkable. the mouth feel is very creamy and easy to drink for the abv as long it avoids approaching room temp. not bad, not great and will never drink again.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.74/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pint glass.

a - pours a murky, deep garnet color. forms a thin cap of tan head that dissipates quick leaving only a thin film behind. no lacing.

s - heavy on the carmel, faint peat, notes of raisin, apple, sherry.

t - big, sweet carmel malt up front with notes of smokey peat and dark fruits. has a sort of grassy hop character and the smokiness lingers well into the finish. no trace of the 10% in the taste.

m - full bodied and bordering on syrupy. medium co2 profile contributes to the syrupy quality.

o - pretty enjoyable, though i don't think i'd ever drink more than one in a night. halfway through the glass and i feel the 10% abv kicking in. seems to hit all the style points as well. worth a try for sure.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep mahogany with light brown head - good retention.

Smells of peat, barley, and sweet brandy.

Has a heavy barely broth taste up front, followed by a sweet syrupy taste that leans towards cherry cough syrup. Ends with a roasted peat that lays too heavy to be dry.

All the flavors come across too heavy and don't seem to mesh well. I will cellar the rest of this four pack to see if it improves with age.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a deep brown with purple hues. A large tan head settles into a half inch crown. Good retention, thin blanket of lacing.

S: Caramel, bread, slight alcohol, candy apples, pear. A good layer of smoke.

T: Bready malts with hints of caramel. Estery with flavors of candy apples and baked apples with cinnamon. A bit of spicy alcohol. Faint cocoa. Peaty smoke kicks in toward the end. Finishes sweet with lingering caramel and smoke.

M: Medium bodied, chewy/syrupy. Creamy and smooth. Fairly high level of carbonation considering the style, but I guess it works.

O: Pretty good. It isn't as layered and complex as the better examples of the style, but it's solid enough.

Notes: The Imperial series hasn't really done much for me. I enjoyed the Double Bock, but the other entries are just sort of "good but not great." There's better out there for the money.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours a completely blacked out deep brown with a finger or so of medium mocha colored head that is creamy with some large bubbles and lingers only shortly then dissipates, leaves a very small amount of spotty lacing
S: strong notes of chocolate malts, dark fruits, and a slight scotch bite although this could be completely in my head
T: begins with nice dark malts then moves into a bit of smokey flavor kind of like smoked meats and slight wood, leaves a slight burnt notes on the palate, nice overall complexity on the palate and a definite depth
M: medium carbonation tingle, drinks syrupy thick, and leaves a bit of a smoked like feeling on the palate, slight alcohol burn right at the end of the sip
O: a nice drinker, really helps to wind down at the very end of a very long day

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark caramel color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of caramel malt with light toffee notes. Taste is a mix between some caramel malt notes with some toffee notes also noticeable. I can’t say that peat notes were really noticeable or played a big role in the flavour profile. Body is slightly fuller then average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad overall but lacking complexity.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbnooshay for the bottle.
Deep mahogany with a reddish hue; almost opaque. Two finger tan head has good staying power and leaves decent strings of lace that reduce to small dots.
Sweet malty caramel nose.
Flavor also sweet and malty as expected, but with a smokiness that I wasn't expecting (I didn't read the label stating the addition of peat-smoked malts until I was well into the session). Smoke flavor is well done without too much of that plastic Band-Aid flavor that some of the poorly done smoked beers have (Samuel Adams Rauchbier for example). A touch more roasty than your average Wee Heavy. Sweetness lingers in the finish but roasted bitterness lends a bit of balance. Alcohol is obvious and warming (maybe a little too much so).
Mouthfeel is thick and full.
Should really be called a "Smoked Scotch Ale." Other than the ABV being over-the-top, it's not bad. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mixed and Matched this one in the Oakmont Carnivores.

A - Darkest rep of the style I ever seen. Almost pitch black with a slight ruby hue in the base. A very impressive half inch of creamy tan colored head atop.

S - Smells not too boozy. Caramel, touch of toffee, vanilla, and a touch of bourbon.

T - Kind of impressed I expected it to be a booze bomb but I mostly get slight bourbon, then sweetness of caramel and toffee, touch of hops, and clean finish.

M - medium bodied a bit thin but I am not complaining.

Overall I believe this might be one of the best Wee Heavy's I have had to date. Nice beer Boston Brewing!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head, that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains bourbon, vanilla, some chocolate, some dark fruit, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a little bit of smokiness that is quickly followed by sweet flavors of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, caramel and dark fruit. There’s a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and there’s a mild but complementary hops presence that creates a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly smoky.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, although there are other beers in the style that I would chose before this one it’s still a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of hardy008
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a two finger creamy tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel, toffee, smoke, and peat. Smells like it should be very sweet.

The flavor is very sweet. There is caramel, toffee, smoke,peat, and some nut flavor as well. Could use something to balance the sweetness at least a little.

Medium to full bodied, average carbonation, the alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 % abv, and there is a sweet and smoky aftertaste. I like sweet beers, but wish there was some bitterness to balance it out. Otherwise I enjoyed this quite a bit.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out as a very dark brown color, the head was a decent size and tan in color. The smell of the beer was loaded with peated malts and some caramel sweetness on the nose. The taste of the beer wan't as good as I was hoping for, It's a little bit on the burnt/smokey side. I feel like the flavor mellows the more I drink it but the taste wasn't my favorite. The mouthfeel was pretty good though. The feel was oily and thick. There was a good level of carbonation in there also. Overall this beer wasn't bad, I had been looking forward to trying it for a really long time and finally had the chance last night. I can't say that it was mind blowing in anyway but I am glad that I finally found a bottle and gave it a shot. I might buy it again if it were on draft or something, but I wouldn't get a case of it.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.06/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark cola brown, with a light brown head that settles quickly.

S- Smells of heavy peat smoke, otherwise very medicinal & herbal. Not what I consider an inviting aromatic presentation.

T- Smoky, burnt peat moss sod, roasted malt, stout-like carob and toffee.

M- A touch sticky, andCO2 moderate, with the ABV well concealed.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.45/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle with no apparent date, just a batch, poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance - Black body. Light brown head with tons of retention and low stick.

Smell - Bread and coffee. Dark fruit. Thankfully no off or sharp scents. Some noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Slight astringent metallic finish. Other than that, it's extraordinarily smooth.

Mouthfeel - Clean. Slightly acidic. Has an understated effervescence like Westy 12.

Overall Drinkability - Absolutely fantastic. No major flaws. Sum is better than the parts.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown hue with plenty of haze. Head poured a rather inconvenient four (!) fingers of rich tan foam. Nice.

Smell: big malt with a huge smoky, medicinal character. Is this an Islay Scotch ale? I like it a lot, if it is a bit one-dimensional.

Taste: big malt flavor with some Imperial Stout-like roasty and alcoholic fruit flavors. The smoke remains heavily evident -- a bit much, I would say, even for the style. Still, quite tasty -- I don't see enough real smoke in big beers; I like it.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good carbonation and a silky smooth creaminess. It works well for me.

Overall: this is a huge beer with a giant smokiness which is really too much for the style. That said, it's a smooth, smoky, malty monstrosity which, style be damned, I personally really like. Kudos to Boston Beer Co!

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Photo of RickS95
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks a bit darker than others of the same type I've had, which I like. Exceptionally dark brown with some lighter shades of red trying to sneak through. The head is beige and huge. Retention is amazing. When it finally starts to fall, it's a creamy foamy mess on top with sticky lacing all over.

There are some notes of rye in there, but it's not dominant like other beers. Mostly it's roasty scents and caramel and wood. Very earthy.

Caramel and toffee and smoke and licorice and alcohol. I'm not a fan of the style, but this is not bad. In the grand scheme of beer, I would not give this a 3.5 for taste, but for the style, it's one of the best ones I've had.

Mouthfeel is very creamy. A lot of sweetness that isn't quite as subdued as I'd like. It's got a spirit taste and feel to it, which I don't really care for, but it's par for the style. A little heat and bitter in the swallow, but the sweetness is slightly too much.

As I mtntioned, I'm not a fan of the style, but this is something I could tolerate. It's sweeter than I can appreciate, but overall, it's a good rendition of what it's supposed to be.

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Photo of barleyroad
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark, no really dark. Ok this is brown. Smell is smooth with hints of smoke. Mouthfeel, sits well and leaves the mouth very smoothly. Taste is special for a dark brew. The flavors blend well and leave you wanting to have a little more. Overall for an Wee Heavy style of Imperial is good. While this maybe a one and done it is a must have. Say cheese...

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a really dark brownish red color from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label. Once in the glass, the beer was almost pitch black with hints of light penetration along the surface of the beer.
One finger off-white to khaki color head that dissipates fairly quickly.
Aroma has a lot of malt notes, with hints of smoke coming through upfront. Lots of malt variations in the nose. Hints of dried fruits; like dates and raisins with hints of sweetness. Some molasses and licorice notes were also coming through intermittently.
Taste is oh so malty. Layers upon layers of malty goodness. Sweet caramel notes upfront coating the palate very nicely. In the middle the sweet caramel notes turn to a slightly roasted/burnt caramel. The mouthfeel is almost of burnt brown sugar mixed with smoke residue from a bonfire. The finish is almost dry, which is a stark contrast to the full-bodied mouthfeel. This is a hugely complex, yet delicious brew from Sam Adams. One of the best takes on a Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale. Perfect sipper on a freezing cold evening. However, I must admit, the alcohol is hidden so well, that it is hard to tell it has 10% ABV and I found it really hard to actually sip it considering how tasty this brew is.
I would definitely recommend this beer, especially if you enjoy a good scotch ale which has a lot of malt complexities.

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

This Wee Heavy pours a deep caramel brown color with a slight creamy head. A muted aroma of malt, peat, oak and a tad of alcohol. Creamy on the palate, with some prickly alcohol. That alcohol warms the chest. Mostly malty flavors mix with that alcohol to provide some balance. Sweetness is extensive, but not overpowering.

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Photo of DavidST
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a goblet. This pours a thick dark brown which doesn't much light through with a short lived tan head. The smells are very malts, some caramel, molasses and other malts. The feel is medium to thick. The taste seems a little off, I'm not sure how to describe it, the other reviews say peat, there is also some alcohol present along with lots of excessive malts caramel and molasses. I definitely like the old chub more than this.

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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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