Old Heathen Imperial Stout | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout
Very Good
1,652 Ratings
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Rich, velvety and deliciously complex, Old Heathen (8% ABV) is a truly distinctive stout. We use seven types of malt and two varieties of hops to bring forth this big brew. Quite robust and roasty on the palate, Old Heathen Imperial Stout has a wonderfully fruity nose and a moderately dry finish. The taste is highly complex. Perhaps you’ll even discern notes of espresso or chocolate.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 1,652 |  Reviews: 831
Reviews by avylover:
Photo of avylover
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Newer bottle than pictured in BA photo. (2003) New label with a silouhette of a ranger against a night sky. Paid $10.50 for a six pack. Pours very thick & slow with a smallish deep tan head that died quick, not suprisingly for the style. This is one of those beers you could put a spotlight behind and still it's just straight black. Aromas of black current, butter, black coffee, some malted milk and alcohol.First thing I notice about this beer is the fact that it is a bit too carbonated for the style. Bubbles fizz up on my tongue, REALLY detracting from the strength of the taste. Alcohol is quite evident here, not masked well compared to some other imperial stouts.Honestly it's hard to get some taste notes past this carbonation.There is definitely a bitter fruity taste, almost like fruitcake. A coffee flavor pokes through in the bitterness and roasted malt, but not much else. Mouthfeel is not smooth like I would expect, but sizzly from the carbonation. No major lingering stickyness, which is nice. Drinkability is just OK.

summary: Fruity Imperial Stout, with too much fizz and a high price. There are way better brews out there. If you like imperial stouts, try a bottle before you pick up a sixer at this price.

 1,230 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Bone53
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

Poured from a bottlle into a snifter at around 50°F

Appearance (4.25): Great looking stout; Oil black with a two finger light brown head

Smell (4): Roasted malts, molasses, caramel, leather

Taste (4): Mainly roasted and caramel malts and dark fruits. Wish the roasted malts were more prominent. It does taste good, just a little weak for a RIS with little complexity.

Mouthfeel(3.75): Certainly on the lighter side for the style

Overall (3.9): I was expecting more from this offering. Its just above average for me, considering its a RIS, and nothing that stands out to warrant a revisit. Both the taste and mouthfeel are subdued. It seems more like a regular stout, and i would've probably rated it a little higher if it was rated as such. Maybe a good starter RIS, but for someone like myself who regularly indulges in world class stouts, this misses the mark by quite a bit.

 883 characters

Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pitch black with no head to speak of,aroma is softly sweet and I also got a light peppermint aroma (Iam glad Iam not the only one who got that).Taste is lightly chocolaty with an alcolic sweetness to it kinda hard to explain,the alcohol is very prevelant there is a nice earthiness in the finish as well.A real nice complex Imperial Stout here a nice one to savor.The big beers from Weyerbacher are very good I have to say.

 431 characters

Photo of Marty
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this as part of Weyerbacher's "Big Beers" sampler case. It wasn't outstanding compared to others in its category. Poured very dark... darker than a black steers tuckus on a moonless prairy night. Sweet, malty, smoky, with a tart aftertaste (not my thing). Hops are very subtle but they're there. This is not a bad beer, but it definitely ain't no Storm King.

 365 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Solid black in color with a nice, very tight, tanned head that showed some good retention.

Smell – What a lovely bouquet! This is indeed “imperial.” The roasted malts form the backbone here, but they are complimented by a plethora of smells. The deep, dark fruits are among the highlights. The big Rainier cherries are especially appealing, as are the tobacco and dates.

The espresso is prominent as well, nicely encouraged by the raw sugars and alcohol. All in all, this has a very complex nose, and I’m sure I haven’t done it justice.

Taste – The espresso from the nose steps it up a bit here, as this is the prominent flavor that I found. The malts of course make up the base, and all the sugar and fruits from the smell find their way to the tongue. I really liked the fine cocoa powder that introduced itself to me here.

Mouthfeel – Impeccably smooth and very bitter. This medium to full-bodied Imperial Stout was a joy to hold in the cheeks.

Drinkability – My wife and I had some good unexpected work-related news to celebrate tonight, and I couldn’t have wandered into a nicer ale. This one will close the evening, as I can't imagine chasing it with anything else. Guten nacht!

Comments – Curses to Jason for sending this to me. I’ll never be able to get the flavors out of my mind and will trade and spend foolishly trying to get another.

 1,389 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of ExtraStout
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in a 12oz. glass. It pours nicely black, with a good head, but it fades quickly. Alcohol hits the nose first quickly followed by lots of coffee. Chocolate, and roasty malts, as you would expect, quite subtle, which i liked, nice balance and slightly too thin mouthfeel, with nice bitterness. This was the last one of the night and it still stood up nicely overall.

 380 characters

Photo of Marklaker
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tbryan5
3.89/5  rDev -1%

Photo of TimBeaulieu
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours very dark brown, with a heavy, almost viscous appearance. Decent light brown head of a couple fingers width that dissipates relatively quickly to a heavy ring around the glass. Surprisingly good lacing down the glass.

Aromas are mostly a dark fruit, similar to dates, but mixes with a modest roasty coffee smell. It's a complicated well combined aroma that is singular in nature, rather hard to pick out individual smells. Kinda cool.

On a long pull, the first thing I noticed a rather heavy, full, creamy to slick mouth feel. The flavors are rather full bodies with lots of dark fruit and fig on the front side that slowly yields to a dark bitter chocolate and eventually finishes to a coffee linger. A relatively light carbonation allows for a rather long finish.

This was not the Russian Imperial that I was expecting but it was very tasty! Definitely worth checking out.

 939 characters

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

Purchased from Ray's Liquors in Wauwautosa, WI. Pours an oily pitch black with a khaki tan head. Aroma of bourbon, oak, cream and vanilla. Full bodied and creamy with low to medium carbonation, this beer's flavors followed exactly from the aroma adding a roasted chocolate flavor to the cream, vanilla and bourbon flavors. Very drinkable, not heavy due to that subtle flavors of the bourbon. I need to get some more of this.

 424 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Deep dark onyx pour with a huge tan head that erupts to nearly three fingers with only a semi vigorous pour. Thick and creamy...easily the biggest head I've seen on any imperial stout recently..a bit too big really. No light escapes this one. Bitter chocolate and coffee aromas meld with a mellow roastiness and some burnt grains. Nice..but it doesn't have the punch of most imperials.

First sip is a nice low key mix of chocolate and coffee tones on a roasted, dark malty background. A bit dry on the way down with a hint of herbal hops. Not a bad stout...but this falls short of what I'd consider an imperial stout. Flavors are too subdued and nothing makes it stand out from your normal stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied..a bit thin actually with lots of carbonation. The abundant carbonation just doesn't work for me here and detracts from the overall experience. I'm sure I'll give this another shot in the future...but at this point I'd say to avoid this if you're looking for a good imperial stout. There are many better to choose from.

 1,049 characters

Photo of JasonA
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola with no head. Very dark. No lacing.

Smells roasted ABV. Yummy. Coffee chocolate?

Initial carbonation, roasted malts. Another deep taste I cant place.

Somewhat thin, good carbonation ... maybe a tad too much. Solid finish, pretty full. Some hops.

Very drinkable. Im not sure whats up with no head, maybe I poured it too well? Id like to have some more, though not sure its the big time RIS though.

 421 characters

Photo of BigMarty1980
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours out as dark as black coffee. The head is a beautiful rich cream brown.

S- Coffee

T- Taste is of coffee/expresso. Hints of raisin and maybe some figs.

M- Its a great full body.

O- This is by far, at this point, is one of the best Imperial Stoudts I've ever had. Perfect for a cold fall/early winter day. You will not disappointed.

 343 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Black, with a decent coffee-colored head. Mainly a coffee aroma, espresso-like. The taste was a little more on the dark chocolate side, with the coffee lurking in the background. I thought this was a little timid, compared to other imperial stouts. Nevertheless, a very good beer, and eminently drinkable.

 345 characters

Photo of thetommo
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of warnerry
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a thick, opaque black with a finger of brown head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving a trail of lacing behind.

S - Deep roasted malts along with some chocolate and earthy notes. Nice.

T - Similar to smell with chocolate and roasted malts dominating, and a slight coffee flavor. Some nice earthiness and balancing hops on the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is actually a little thin for the style, but not terribly so.

D - Very smooth with little apparent alcohol.

 473 characters

Photo of Todd
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Nice plain jane blue label. No freshness date.

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black -- pretty evil looking actually -- with a thin tightly carbonated coffee coloured creamy head.

Smell: Big chocolate, espresso, roasted, raisin, dark fruity esters/alcohol, oxidation and a bit of faint banana in the aroma.

Taste: An extremely smooth, thick and robust stout. Loads of complex flavours: coffee/espresso, astringent roasted malts, raisin, sherri, chocolate, earth, tart plum and candied fruits. A bit of oxidation (wet cardboard) can be detected. Bitterness is there, a bit leafy and raw, but it's more to balance and gets hidden in the dark roasted malt abyss. Finish is rather clean with light lingering roasted flavours and touch of dryness.

Notes: A top-notch Imperial Stout. I liked this one a hell of a lot. Very rich and complex to the point that I found myself getting lost. Oh, and extremely warming at 8.2%abv. Definitely a head numb'er.

 979 characters

Photo of nstroup
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of bishopdc0
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love the name of this beer and it was the label the drew me to it. The name fits the color, very dark, black with a thick head formation. The head is tan with mostly small bubbles. After a few sips the head begins to dissipate.

The nose is sweet malty to start. It took some deeper nose dives to get a good nose but roasted notes became prominent as the beer heated.

The taste is where this beer shines, which is great, it starts roasted with a slight carbonation, the roasted flavor continues as a malty sweetness comes to the front. The malt taste is of dark chocolate silky smooth. The taste finishes with a dry but not bitterness with a slight amount of alcohol.

The mouth is smooth with a noticeable alcohol numb on the tongue. If you let enough time sit between the numb continues to feel on the throat it is very nice makes the next sip seem that much different.

 873 characters

Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of bigdipip
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of shatnerosmotic
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 1,652 ratings