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)

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 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 BostonHops
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a nice chestnut tone with ruby hightlights, yields a foamy, tan head with decent retention and good lacing. nice presentation. nose is lead by caramel malts, a discernible smokiness with a touch of peat, and some light woodiness; also a bit of a metallic note in the background.

wow, flavor is extremely assertive, really packs a smoky, malt-forward punch; the metallic element that was a secondary note in the aroma is more pronounced here. the first sip is a bit abrasive, but as the beer warms it definitely improves, with the caramel malt, peat, and woodiness opening up. still, the beer never really finds its way, and in the end winds up as a middle of the road wee heavy. definitely a good dose of booze, primarily in the finish. mouthfeel is a strong point: medium-bodied and creamy... average carbonation.

overall i think this is an OK brew. (E for effort?) some elements about it are worthwhile while others i could do without, but ultimately it just doesn't rise to challenge some of the better scotch ales/wee heavies out there.

originally reviewed: 04-10-2011

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Photo of StuartCarter
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: incredibly dark brown with a thin fluffy head that quickly collapses to a thin ring of foam.

Smell: fairly bland. Generically sweet, not a lot of complexity.

Taste: oh wow. Malty, caramel, smokiness, a little booze, lots of fruitiness. Wonderful!

Mouthfeel: prickly carbonation, a lot of richness and thickness.

Overall: a really good beer, nice to drink, but it doesn't really hide its ABV. The booze is there, as is the body - this isn't a bad thing *at all*!

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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 Greywulfken
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: dark brown pour looks black in the glass, brief head thins to a collar

S: slightly smoky malt, brown sugary sweet

T: caramels and brown sugar, mild smoke, maybe a hint of peat on the back-end

M: full, lush, thick

O: being compared to Skullsplitter and Backwoods Bastard is not easy, and this style of beer reminds me of some barleywines, too (of which I've had my share of exceptional beers), but I'd have to say it holds its own. A worthy beer - Sam Adams' Imperial line keeps the brewer in the periphery of the craft beer drinker's eye.

As you'd expect, it warms really well, and by the time I was 2/3 done (about 30 minutes later), I was sure I was drinking a much more elite beer than I was (hey, maybe the abv had something to do with it, too, but who cares?). If the style (scotch ale, old ale, barleywine, strong dark ale) is to your liking, give it a buy.

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Photo of FlemingVSKing
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had no idea what to expect out of this one, but I'm a fan of scotch and wanted to find out.

Simply put, it's smokey, and I love it.

It pours well and honestly I don't know how to describe the background flavors, but in short they provide a great texture to compliment the predominant taste of the smoked Pete.

It is very reminiscent of a quality scotch and so if you're a fan of the highland malts I would certainly highly recommend diving right into this one.

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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 brewskifan55
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark brown with a tan, half finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. Some lacing.

S: Malts, smoky peat, leather

T: Intense! Heavy duty malts with a smoky overture. Caramel. Sweet. A dry, chocolate finish. Alcohol slowly invades, dulling the senses.

M: Heavy, creamy. Good carbonation; lots of bubbles playing bagpipes on my tongue.

O: Sip it and be wowed! Would go well with a cigar. Decent with cheddar. A memorable drink.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color with less than one finger of tan head that remains throughout the beer.

The scent is of sweet caramel malt with some notes of alcohol.

The taste is of toasty caramel malt, pretty sweet, very noticeable peppery alcohol presence.

Full bodied, smooth and creamy feel, low to moderate carbonation.

I thought this beer was very enjoyable, the alcohol may have been a little overbearing but it was tasty all the same.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.62/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Wee Heavy has a very thick, pillowy, beige head and a dark brown appearance, with lighter brown around the edges and tiny streaming bubbles. There is a little bit of lacing. The aroma is of dark-roasted, sweet malt, dark cherries, licorice, dark fruits, coffee, and fudge. The flavor is similar, with a rich smokiness and bitterness at the middle to end of the sip. Mouthfeel is heavy and syrupy, and Samuel Adams Wee Heavy finishes surprisingly easy going and pleasant. Certainly, this is a sipper and not a gulper. It’s an outstanding beer!


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

A: Pours really dark brown with a bit of a cream colored head

S: Lots of dark fruit, berries, toffee, caramel, and a sherry sort of booziness.

T: Super malty, caramel, toffee, hints of chocolate, and a bit of woody smoke.

O: Pretty nice for a wee heavy. Quite tasty, would definitely buy again.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2" pretty mocha brownish head with decent life. The body is dark raw umber brown, almost coffee. The smell is far milder than I was expecting but it does hint at rich malt to follow. The taste is where this really shines - a complex rich smooth malt. My only complaint is it's a little yeasty.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very deep reddish brown with minimal dark tan head that didn't hang around very long and left some mild lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet malts. Some of the sweet dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and figs. Caramel, and some mild smokiness.

T- Sweet, roasted malt flavor up front. Kind of Chocolaty. A hint of dark roasted coffee taste.

M- Thick. Kind of boozy but enjoyable, the warming feeling is pleasant.

O- A good selection. Picked it up to try something new. Was not disappointed. A very nice sipping beer.

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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 CornholeBeer
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: really dark, almost black. Reminded me of Guinness.

S: Aooo .. it's a .... brick ... house.

T: sweet, roasty, smoky, toasty, chocolaty, nutty, caramelly, biscuity, with hints of licorice, coffee, sugar, anise, and banana. Very alcoholic.

M: I chewed on the biscuit for a while.

Loved the peat moss flavoring they added. I highly recommend this whilst eating pork loin or brussel sprouts.

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Photo of steev420
5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dear Jim, please offer Wee Heavy in kegs. Today is my Birthday and Heavy is one of my favorite beers. Wee Heavy is strong, tasty, and heavy as f*@#. Grab a spoon and drink as much of this beer as you can get your hands on.
This wonderful brew not only is delicious but will lay your ass out. Throw caution to the wind and drink a four pack today. and then tomorrow. and then tomorrow. repeat and be in beer heaven.

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Photo of Lionheart
4.7/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok,I disagree with many of the other reviewers who admidaly have little or no experiece with scotch ales and do not know what a Scotch ale or a Wee heavy should really taste like.
This pours a dark brown with huge smoked peat malt and nice alcohol warming with a balanced plum/fig sweetness.
I have drank many american and european versions of Wee heavy, This is by far one of the best wee heavy's I have ever drank.
I would enjoy this beer with beef or lamb with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes.

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Photo of DM1293
2.52/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nice brown color...but thats where my enjoyment of this beer stopped. The smell is so...light. Just faint smoky peet and malt. The taste is pretty rowdy, with up-front smoky peet and malt doing nothing about it but letting it work. Nothing really after though, it sort of comes and goes on a bland note. For a 10%, its not as bitter as you think, but its definitely got an alcoholic tinge you can notice.

These beers are meant to be had semi-warm aren't they? I'm fairly sure I had near the right temperature for these (not too cold but not room-temperature warm), and it just wasn't...much of anything great. I was expecting something malty and strong, with smoky and earthy tones. What I got was just earthy tones with a watered down malt.

I'll admit this is my first Scotch Ale, but even so, I was expecting much more from this.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from tasting notes.

A. Very dark opaque brown with reddish highlights, receding foam collar and minimal lacing.

S. Dark fruit, raisins, peaty smoke, soy sauce, toasted whole grain bread, earthy hops in the background.

T. Salty smoked figs and sweet rich plum preserves. Not quite enjoying the saltiness levels on this one. Sweetness can also get overwhelming if you sip this one too fast. As it warms I can taste something quasi-horehound flavored in the mid palate.

M. Hefty swampy thick body with a medium level boozey blast in the finish, can get phlegm-y if you don't take the time to rinse with water from time to time.

Holy hell this is a big beer, but for some reason it doesn't feel quite balanced or assembled quite right. It's probably the salty-sweet overload on this one that holds it back and makes me feel like I need to drink loads of water between each sip. But if you are in the mood for an intensely flavorful sipper to savor slowly across an evening, this could be the one for you and your fine smoking jacket / fez combo to enjoy together by the hearth with the bear skin rug.

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Photo of nimrod979
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from who knows when. I bought this beer back in 2011 when it first came out. Just now getting to the review..

Pours a deep mahogany with a big two finger tan head. Pretty good head retention and some lacing to go along with it.

Aroma is mostly dark fruit and a bit of smokey burnt caramel malt.

Taste follows straight along that. Dark dried fruity flavors, think raisins and dates. Good roasty caramel malt base. You get a bit of the peat smoke but honestly this beer was a bit sweeter than I expected... And I kinda like it. You wouldn't think this was 10%. That much is hidden pretty well... until it starts getting a bit warm.

Full bodied, thick, with good carbonation. I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Great depth of flavor.

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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 Blueribbon666
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, almost black into dimpled mug with very little head. Smells of raisins, plums, bread and malt. Wow, another BIG flavored, full bodied beer in their Imperial Series, Wee Heavy indeed, velvety thick that coats the tongue with the aforementioned sweet raisin and plums with the alcohol fully evident that warms deep with a smokey peat like finish. Another BIG beer sipper that I liked more than the Dopplebock in the series as I thought it was a little heavy in the mouthfeel for that style it seemed closer to this Wee Heavy, which is a thick, sweet sipper. The Imperial Series is a good 4-pack series for $9.99 that finds its way into more mainstream outlets like grocery stores.

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

Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark filtered rootbeer brown brew.. subtle finger of light tan head which has quickly fizzed down to a medium ring, and a thin island over the brew.

Smell: (3.0)
- Nice roasty caramel, earthy, woody and chocolatey grainy malt.. bit of strong alcohol aromas, a little like rubbing alcohol. Overall smells like a Wee Heavy blended with a little stout or porter.

Taste: (3.5)
- Smokey caramel, smokey chocolate, and overall quite smokey in the flavor. The smoked malt doesn't quite show like this in the aroma. Sweet esters, little fig, and some alcohol. Not too bad but seems to be outside of what I feel the style is.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- Medium bodied, bit syrupy, slightly dry, regular ale yeast-like carbonation. Bit cloying as well.. not too bad.

Overall: (3.0)
- Can't say this is really that great of a beer, but it is a nice strengthy offering from Samuel Adams. I was hoping it would turn out better than my opinion of their other beers.. but it really hasn't. It seems to be unique for sure, but doesn't touch what I think the style should be. Wouldn't really buy this again I think.

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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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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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