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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 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 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 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

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Extremely dark mahogany color, small-sized head dissolves to an even thinner lacing. Lots of malt sweetness and a peppery alcohol. Syrup-like mouthfeel; the palate is grazed by some gritty crispness. Massive malt sweetness is almost cloying, and the hint of peat smoke nearly pushes it over the edge. Bitterness from the modest hopping can't even break through, yet there's some oily herbal flavor in the middle. Sweetness sticks even when the warming spicy alcohol hits the palate. A decent stab at the style, but the excessive sweetness throws it off balance a bit--still worth a try.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.16/5  rDev -15.3%
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 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.

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

Pours super-dark mahogany with only a tinge of light through the edges. A good bit of tan head settles somewhat quickly into a thin cap with a bit of lacing.

The nose is strong on dark caramel malt and molasses, full of body, hints of black cherry and raisin, and the peat smokiness lies over everything.

The first taste is powerful, the peat dominates the experience bringing the smoke up front. There's sort of a mesquite quality to it, which is unusual but interesting. Very earthy, a bit sweet through the body and has a really meaty texture. Finishes a bit astringent and dry.

Thick and rich body, chewy, lots of potent sweetness that finishes dry and has a very boozy taste through the whole thing. It's not bad and definitely worth trying, but honestly I was expecting something more refined and complex. Some of the flavors are so overpowering that it's hard to discern much beyond them.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a bubbly dark chocolate brown. has a great finger length head that fades quickly leaving alcohol legs.
Smell is a little tart, figs, and cherries. very rich and sweet.
Taste is quite bitter. Bites very hard and leaves a sour taste in your mouth. drinking more you can taste the caramel maltyness. and slighty fruits. alcohol leaves its mark after.
i would say slighty full bodied. moderate carbonation. drinks slighty like a wine.

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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 warnerry
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Pours a beautiful clear deep garnet/brown with just over a finger of tan head. Head has good retention before fading to a collar. No real lacing.

S - Big caramel malt sweetness with some smoke and dark fruits.

T - Similar to smell. Very sweet up front, mostly caramel malt. Some smoke and dark fruit in the middle. Starts to dry out on the finish, with a nice earthy spiciness, but the drying is no match for the overall sweetness. Not bad tasting, but way to syrupy sweet.

M - Mouthfeel is unpleasantly syrupy. Detracts from the overall enjoyment significantly.

O - Some good things here, but the intense syrupy taste is just too much. Many better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of haddon
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
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 stegmakk
3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured an opaque dark dark DARK brown wtith light tan head that stayed longer than I thought.
It was so dark, even holding it to a light source, only the edges I could see through.

Smell was sweet raisin some peatiness. Really more raisiny than expected.

Taste: Just a little too sweet to be right. The raisin/sweet fruity taste overpowers most of the other flavors that are so faint, I can't tell if I really tasted them, or if I imagined them. I may or may not have tasted some caramel and peatiness in there. I love smoked porters, rauchbiers, and smokey food. After reading all other reviews I was expecting to get some smokiness. I got 0...none....zilch

Mouthfeel was good. Medium/heavy.

Overall: OK...Based on reviews and style I thought it would taste different. Not a bad beer. But too one dimensional for me. I would NOT get this one again.

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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 dahlen22
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
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 ZeroSignal
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

A- Chestnut brown pour with a half-finger's worth of light beige head. Decent retention and a loose lace.

S - Malty in the nose with a peaty smoke edge to it...similar to some Scotch that I've had.

T&M - Medium to heavier bodied, definitely heavier feeling with a pronounced smokiness. Not as much as one would find in a smoke beer, but there is a peaty, smoky undercurrent throughout the entire drink. Lot's of darker roasted and caramal malts that also lend just a hint of sweetness. The 10% ABV is relatively well hidden, but makes itself known in the finish, which is a little on the sweeter side.

O - Overall a bit different then what I was expecting. I'm not typically a fan of "smoky" traits, but I think in this beer it is appropriately leveraged against the malty, sweet nature. I was glad to have tried it, but I'm not likely to revisit. It's not bad, it's just not going to be worth 10.99 a four pack.

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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 reddish....no 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 DelMontiac
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My wife picked out this 4-pk for me. I had wanted to try it for a while even though SA's Imperial Series have been mostly let downs for me.

Dirty dishwater looking brown rusty ale. slight film of bubbles that lasts for a few short seconds. No lace.

Phenolic slight band-aid smell. Sweet malts an a big alcohol aroma as well. Meh...

Taste mirrors the aromas with added caramel and chestnut malts. Some vanilla hiding in there too.

Feel is probably the best part. Fairly creamy and thick.

Next time I see this...pass.

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Photo of Arbitrationer
2.85/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark black with a thick copper head that dissipated quickly (under 2 minutes). Surprisingly a decent lace, though.

Smell - Smells malty, smoky and sweet.

Taste - Strong peaty flavor like scotch. Nutty whiskey flavor. The peat taste overwhelms the beer, not very well balanced, but that's to be expected by reading the bottle. Almost no detectable hops.

Mouthfeel - Feels very carbonated and heavy.

Overall - I was not impressed with this beer. I appreciate what Sam Adams was trying to accomplish and their tribute to the style with a twist, but I simply did not care for the flavor.

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Photo of weeheavybutdieting
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle in a snifter.

A: A dark wee heavy. The head is a light brown/tan with moderate lacing and a little bit that sticks with it throughout the drink.

S: Hello Alcohol. I rarely venture in beers under 7.5%. That said, this one surprised me by the amount of alcohol on the nose. A little roasted malt scent but definitely more of a scotch smell than malt.

T: Again you definitely catch the alcohol on the front end. There is a little bit of that malt flavor throughout the beer but it just creates sort of sweet alcohol taste almost like the flavors were added after the beer was brewed. It would serve this beer well to let some fresh bitter notes come through on the back end to clean up the palate and refresh.

M: An oily alcohol texture. Surprisingly little body for a beer this size and sweetness. If it is going to be sweet it might as well stick to my ribs.

O: I have to first say that while I might be a beer snob I don't discount Sam Adams carte blanche. Some of the beers I cut my teeth on were Sam Adams and I don't mind their beers. This one though is a one trick pony and gives into an unrefined alcohol taste over some added complexities of a beer worth sipping. I like wee heavies, their my session beer style of choice ;-) This beer is average with quite a few others that represent the style better.

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Photo of Utica_Brew_Review
2.81/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very dark with heavy head and mild carbonation. Chocolatey, caramel, malty aroma with notes of coffee beans. Burnt toasted coffee and caramel taste with heavy alcohol flavor. It's a 10% abv and you can really taste it. Really burnt taste. This is for people who ask for their hot dogs burnt.

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Photo of Rizalini
2.71/5  rDev -27.3%
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 JoeyBeerBelly
2.7/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - dark brown color with a beige head that thinned to a ring leaving a spot or two of lacing.

S - roasted malt with a hint of fusel alcohol in the background.

T - is this a smoked beer? ufaaa!

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

O - I was expecting a lot more from Sam Adams.

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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.

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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 imasloth
2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Nice dark beer, with tinge of red against light. A small, cafe-colored head. Just meh ...

S- Nice, smoky, roasted malt. A bit of alcohol astringency.

T- Sweet, then a really strong licorice and smoky flavor ... really strong. I don't like either flavor really so ...

M- Pretty thick with evident carb. Some bitter feel.

O- When I review I judge in the order they appear here and then add in any notes I notice as I finish he beer ... After my first taste I was reluctant to try it again for mouthfeel. That flavor was just way too much much of two things I don't enjoy in a beer. Was a drain pour for me ...

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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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