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

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: 695
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

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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 9/25/2012. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, light smoke, light chocolate, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, chocolate, brown bread, light smoke, herbal, and toasted/yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, chocolate, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Scotch ale style! All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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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.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic, reddish/amber color with a medium white head, light lacing. The aroma has sweet malts, hints of smoke. The flavor is sweet toffee, hints of smoke, no alchohol. The body is full, decent carbonation. A very nice beer, dangerously drinkable for a 10% brew.

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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.

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Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear deeply brown colored beer with a medium sized light brown head.

Sweet and malty scent with a good smoke note. Smells a little like Rauchbier with a strong band-aid medicine scent. Fairly strong molasses scent. Glutamate scent, it smells a little like meat.

Starts out malty and smokey with a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mildly sweet this is nicely malty and thick in texture. Alcohol can't be tasted at all but you can feel it in your chest. Not a lot of subtle flavors here it is quite straightforward, this is a Wee Heavy and nothing else. This is an excellent example of the beer type Wee Heavy.

Mouthfeel is thick, chocolate milk thick.

Drinkability is outstanding for such a big beer. I have been mostly disappointed by most of the Sam Adams "Imperial Series" beers but this one didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Brad007
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red color with a two-finger head into my glass. Beautiful color that couldn't get any better for the style.

Sweet, smoky malt with a hint of raisin upfront. Menacing and full of alcohol heat.

Packs a wallop as it lays down the law with thick, chewy malt. At first, you think you're getting another BBC beer but towards the middle? All-out assault on the taste buds.

So strong, it makes me cough. Lingering warmth fills the stomach, leaving a good amount of raisin in its' wake. Fierce and yet, loyal to the order.

Enough of the semantics here. This is a strong, highly drinkable example of the style. Some people will poo-poo it due to the fact that it came from the hands of Jim Koch. Let them do so, for they cannot appreciate a decent attempt at this style.

You may want to stash it away for 3 months or so and try it again. It will only reveal the true character within.

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Photo of cooncat
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single for $2.99 from VE in Boardman, OH.

A hard pour at 50deg. F. into a standard shaker pint glass produces what looks like a deep mahogany colored brew, with a healthy sized wheat bread colored head. When backlit, with a light, the color shows up to be garnet. Nearly opaque, but good highlights on the sides of the glass.

The nose is very malty, with lots of caramel roast notes, and just a hint of smoke.

Taste is very rich, malty and with just the right amount of smokiness. I've had a lot of brews which over-do the smoke levels, but this is right on. Its just enough to give it some accent. The 10% abv is noticeable in a bit of a warming on the swallow, but it isn't fusel. Lots of roast caramel, licorice, pumpernickel bread notes in the flavor. Hops are an after thought and not noticed. The smokey peat flavor is just right ... very very smooth.

Mouthfeel is a lucious medium-full ... almost to the level of a good RIS. Very pleasing to roll around on the palate before swallowing.

Overall, this is another impressive "Imperial Series" brew from Jim Koch and the good people at Sam Adams. Their Imperial Hallertau Pilsner, which hasn't been around for a while, was my first SA Imperial brew, and it was mighty fine ... perhaps the most impressive pilsner I've ever quaffed. This Wee Heavy impresses me a lot. If I ever decide to brew a wee heavy myself, I would hope it to come out just like this. Excellent brew, and get some any way you can. Highly recommended, and coming from me, that's high praise indeed.

Na Zdravje!

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Photo of Ammertime
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very deep, auburn brown. Very effervescent, it foamed up exceptionally and then slowly the tiny bubbles fizzed away.

Smell: Immediately blasted with a noseful of coffee, malt, and a touch of peat. Without seeing the bottle, my nose would have easily mistaken the very fragrant aroma for a stout or a porter.

Taste: Sweet but so dark and malty with bitter accents at the same time. I don't taste an exceptional amount of booze. More complex than the average Scotch ale. A rather dry yet pleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very sticky, but not particularly thick, probably due to the ABV and incredible carbonation.

Overall: Interesting, but I could not have pegged this as a Scotch ale/Wee Heavy in a blind taste test. It is really a very dark-tasting beer that comes off as a rather sweet coffee porter. Regardless of the expected style, I was perfectly happy to enjoy a dark beer tonight, but if stouts/porters put you off, then this is not a good choice for you.

Serving type: bottle, poured into a pint glass

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Photo of shand
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

So far the two Imperial Series beers I've had (Imperial White and Double Bock) have missed the mark due to an excessive amount of sweetness. Let's see if a style that's a bit smokier and maliter can fair a bit better. This beer pours out a murky brown color with a tiny head. The aroma is actually quite nice, it's sweet, but nicely tempered by a strong amount of smoked malts, coffee, and a touch of dark fruits. The taste is very good, although it's a bit strange for the style. It almost tastes more like an imperial stout, with strong coffee, roast, and dark fruit flavors. The bit of peaty smoked malt does send it a little more to the scotch ale side, but really, this just tastes like a solid imperial stout with a twist. The mouthfeel is full, rich, and creamy. This beer's a sipper for sure, you won't fly right though this one. All said, it's a solid beer though. I enjoyed it, although it's not necessarily what I wanted from it.

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Photo of samie85
4.06/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with red edges and a medium brown head.

Smells of rich dark fruits including fig and plum with some herbal notes.

Follows the nose with big rich dark fruit notes, a slight smoky quality, and a light bitterness at the finish.

Rich and almost syrupy, mouth-coating feel with low carbonation with a full body.

The one is pretty easy drinking for 10%; it's a solid beer, but I'm on the fence as to whether I'd but it again.

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

12 oz bottle. SA pint.

A: Dark brown but lets light in. Thick and creamy head.

S: Dark chocolate, smoky peat, and some burnt coffee.

T: Sweet dark fruits, chocolate, a little spice, and more smoke.

M: Medium thick body that is somehow oily and creamy at the same time.

O: Very nice; it's like a Scotch Ale-Stout combo.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter. "Bottled 10/27/09" printed lightly on the neck of the bottle.

A- Pours a murky dark brown/mahogany. Pours with ~1/2 finger of head, which is quickly faded into a tiny islands of bubbles.

S- Caramel-sweet maltiness, with smoky, scotch whiskey-tinged, boozy notes.

T- Roasty, smoky, and sweet, with the expected scotch bent. Bitterness is fairly low. Finishes with a fairly solid alcohol note that serves well to offset the sweetness.

M- Moderate to slightly light carbonation with a medium-full feel. A bit of alcohol warming. Quite good.

O- Good. Rich and flavorful with a nice feel. Quite enjoyable.

Future outlook: Best Sam Adams product I've had in some time...probably time to try out some of their other imperial line that I've passed on for awhile...

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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 AnPiobaire
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say that I have always been a fan of Sam Adams brews I do not pray at the altar of Sam Adams. I tried this particular brew on the reccomendation of a fellow craft brew fan.

As I first poured the SA Wee Heavy it had a very rich deep dark reddish brown hue. It poured with a thin cream colored head that quickly dissipated. My initial nosing struck me that it did not smell very far off from several scotch whiskies I have nosed. The maltiness comes through with a subtle smokiness that became more evident as the brew warmed slightly. The initial taste is the sweetness of malt, but not overly sweet. Wee Heavy is surpisingly easy to knock back given it's higher ABV, and I could be in for some trouble. It was very nice and almost chewy on the palate and the higher alcohol content did not translate into that "boozyiness" that can sometimes get in the way of the other flavors. Overall this is a very nice brew that will never dissapoint.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Took me long enough, but I finally found a single bottle o' this 'round here (I'm always wary of the new stuff, no matter how tempting they may appear). It pours a solid ruby-highlighted brown topped by a lovely finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises toffee, light smoke, candi sugar, light roasted malts, honey, and light cocoa. The taste is a bolder expression of these elements, with the smoke really coming forward, edging the toffee with a nice toasted character. Some mild notes of plum, figs, brown sugar, molasses, and black grapes add some variety to the proceedings. It all works nicely, if borderline cacophonous. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a feel that borders on the lightly chewy. Overall, a very nice brew, possibly the best of SA's Imperial Series.

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Photo of Lerxst
4.03/5  rDev +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 BeefyMee
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a copperish hue when held to light. Probably the darkest wee heavy I've ever seen and I'm diggin it. Great head and lacing.

S: Roasted malt, burnt toffee and alcohol. Also a little smoke as it warms.

T: Fairly brash upfront, yet not as much as I expected. Booziness is only about a 5 out of 10. Rich brown sugary sweetness dominates right through to the finish. The roasted character kicks in somewhere in the middle but never comes to the forefront. Some notes of dark fruit comes through in the aftertaste.

M: This is where the alcohol is most evident as it tickles the palate.

A welcome addition to an underachieving series by SA.

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Photo of Boto
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle: This one pours an opaque, dark brown color. There was a small tan head that didn’t linger or leave much lacing. Lots of malts to the nose. Caramel, dark fruits are the most dominant. Some of a smoky peat aroma also. The taste is quite good. Subdued malt sweetness, with a hint of a peaty-smokey taste. Slight hint of chocolate. Full bodied. A bit dry to the finish.

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Photo of Mscarpen
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first exposure to Samual Adams specialty beers and I was very pleasantly surpised. Quite a remarkable beer, all things considered.

Appearance: deep mahogany. Dark but not black with just a small layer of head. Lacing is almost nonexisttent.

Smell: served cold, the beer has very little nose,nut from what I can smell, mild milk chocolate and hops.

Taste: what a surprise! Bold smoke notes, hints of soy and beef jerky. Hops on the back end with deep malt favors.

Mouthfeel: medium body and light carbonation. Just a slight bit of creaminess.

Overall: a surprising beer with a smoky punch. Not bad for this brewer.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Feels like about 6 years since I've had this style. Maybe not that long, but I was due. And it looks a beaut. Blacker than probably any other beer I've had calling itself a wee heavy, the head is a washed-out tan, or dirtied white, and it doesn't last long but my oh my, the color is promising.

Plum, fig, raisin, cherry pipe tobacco and alcohol mingle in the nose. Probably a smidgen tame, for the bigness of the beer, and then with warming probably a smidgen alcohol-dominant.

Delicious. And I think what makes it delicious is not entirely a taste thing, but a feel thing. So smooth and creamy and round without any heaviness or stickiness. And it's an appropriate textural delivery for the huge fruits here (again, fig, plum and raisin dominant); smoky cherry continues to remind of pipe tobacco; a more general/generic smoke flavor nicely sneaks in with warming; and there's a milky chocolate essence entering into the flavor that I didn't detect in the smell. The only thing that keeps this from an even higher taste rating is the alcohol, which threatens to overwhelm everything else. It never totally does, but teeters a little too close.

Quite the treat, this has a burly attitude and is a definite slow sipper, but it never quite veers out of control. Well-made, well-played. Well worth a try.

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Photo of soju6
4.01/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep burgundy color with reddish highlights around the edges. Has a decent head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of dark fruit, some roasted malt and a bit of caramel.

T: Taste of dark fruit with some roasted malt, trace of caramel and hint of spice. Has a nice subtle bitterness and a clean finish.

F: fairly full body, smooth with a creamy texture. Very little trace of the 10% ABV.

O: Excellent sipper and a very good take on the style. Well worth a try

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

12 oz. One of the darker brown pours I've seen in a while from a wee heavy. Just a thin layer of very light tan head.

Aroma, large amount of toffee and peaty barrel like qualities. A little one sided.

Taste has a little more balance with some fruity tones. But mostly dominated by the toffee and smokey peat. The smoke whisky barrel quality is pretty strong in the finish.

Certainly not a light drinker on a warm night. Thick and coating, but just enough carbonation to keep it in check. Really not all that much alcohol presence for the size.

Almost like a barrel aged wee heavy. I like it, but can see how some will not.

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Samuel Adams Wee Heavy (Imperial Series) from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.73 out of 5 based on 695 ratings.
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