Old Heathen Imperial Stout | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,653 Ratings
Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
weyerbacher.com

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,653
Reviews:
831
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
11.51%
 
 
Wants:
73
Gots:
197
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,653 |  Reviews: 831
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather sourish stout, cushioned by malts to make it more drinkable through a smoother finish. Was OK with food, have had better in this style. Completely dark appearance. Not as roasty fragrant as many other stouts. Burnt roasts, mellow coffee, licorice.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger tan head on a near jet black body. Very nice lacing. Vanilla and milk chocolate dominate the flavor with some dark fruit mostly raspberry and cherry. Roasted malt, vanilla, brown sugar as toffee form the smooth flavor. Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. A very nice flavorful stout but doesn't quite stand out in the genre.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wonderful stout, kind of a best of both worlds sort of vibe, with the sweet creamy vibe of a milk stout, and that burnt malt bitterness of a nice coffee forward stout. pours thick and dark, with an inch of tan foam hanging around awhile. the nose is bitter, very dark roast on the grains here, and a hint of dark chocolate and black coffee as well. the flavor starts a little sweet, akin to a left hand milk stout, im pretty sure i can identify lactose sugars here, but the sweetness is short lived and gives way to the bitter malt in a powerful way. the finish is long and complex, with more and more coffee coming into the picture. great feel on this too, smooth like an oatmeal stout, full bodied like the russian imperials should be, and a well disguised alcohol kick that can be felt but not tasted. one of the better stouts ive had this season, and one i look forward to revisiting again soon. the best weyerbacher beer i have had to date.

edit: boy does this age well!

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Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is ultra black when pouring it into a glass the look of oil always comes to mind. The few bubbles it had rise to the top and fade shortly after. The lacing wasn't too bad, kind of scattered about. The aroma was pretty strong with deep roasted malts and chocolate. The taste wasn't too bad either resembling similar characteristics of the aromas with the addition of some tasty hops in the finish. The Mouthfeel is thick without a doubt. The only other thought I have is that I would pass this one up if Heresy was right next to it.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Haven't had an imperial stout so gave a new one a try. Pours a get black color, tan head to it.... pretty appealing beer. Nice roasty aroma to this one. Taste is odd to me; for the style there is very little hops, a whole lot of malt, and a huge dose of hot alcohol flavor. I found it a bit thin for the style too, along with a funky sort of aftertaste. Man, I love this style but this one just doesn't cut it for me. I mean it isn't BAD, and it's drinkable.. but it's way too strong and doesn't have enough taste or mouthfeel for my liking.

 541 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin mocha-colored head that died down rather quickly and left a thin ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of licorice and roasted malts in the nose. Some notes of chocolate also become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has flavors of roasted malts along with hints of bittersweet chocolate. The licorice isn’t apparent in the taste.
M: It feels full-bodied and slightly viscous on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes strong, but the alcohol is well masked from the taste. It is a good beer to sip.

 660 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Considered to be one of the godfathers of Imperial Stout, Weyerbacher's Old Heathen remains true to its rich English roots but weaves in an American twist here and there.

The massive stout starts with a rich and creamy pour- its slow separation of beer and foam eludes to its viscous creaminess. Once settled, its onyx-like deep "bark" brown hues are just shy from black but shows a depth of ominous clarity. Its tall column of foam is lightly mocha-stained and long lasting like mousse. Light speckled lace may be hindered because of its bold alcohol beneath.

Bold roasty alcohols portray a confident scent that borrows a slew of earthen character- cocoa, molasses, roasted walnuts, french-press coffee and burnt pine needles all contribute to a rich and roasty scent. There's a burnt dark fruit character that rises as the beer warms and tingles the nose ever so slightly.

Equally as bold are its verbose and roasty flavors- again, its the blend of espresso, bitter chocolate, roasted nuts and overall burnt taste that guide the taste over the tongue en route to finish. All the while, its underlying black-strap molasses sweetness slowly releases until the ale is malty-dry and mildly ashy tasting from that burnt pine-type resiny bitterness. A tinge of roasted currant and aniseed pronounces slightly as the ale warms and gives an extra tart taste to accompany its roasty dry finish.

The ale makes a lot of headway as it travels across the taste buds- creamy and viscous early, the ale fades consistently into a powdery-dry finish with mild roast-derived astringency and spicy bitterness. Certainly warm to close, the ale follows with a slim aftertaste of ash and burnt cinders.

Starting off very rich and creamy, Old Heathen shows its American influences with its somewhat naked dry finish that exposes rougher edges of its roast, along with a certain citrus pith and pine-like bitterness as the ale closes.

 1,917 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a tar black body with a tan head; nice lacing

Smell: Chocolate and coffee tones

Taste: Starts out with a chocolate base that in the mid-palate is joined by caramel, coffee and a bit of hops; closes with a slightly harsh, grainy character

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a little thin for the style

Overall: Haven't had this one since my original review in 2006 (thanks then to BeerBeing, one of the great BAs from the old days) but this is a much better beer than I remember so I am going to consider this one a re-review

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Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a thick, firm, long-lasting head of tan foam. It left some nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled very roasty with subtle coffee (expresso) notes. There were chocolate smelled and some mild floral notes.

T - Great dark chocolate and roasted caramel malt flavors. It had a bitter hop bite to match to sweet chocolate and caramel taste.

M - It was smooth and crisp with a somewhat dry finish. A medium bodied ale with just a touch of alcohol warmth.

D - This is a very good RIS that is fairly easy drinking with an ABV that isn't over-the-top like many other imperial stouts.

 620 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a thick black color stout with a small dark head with good retention. Aroma consisted of roasted malt and light coffee. Taste is dominated by the roasted malt and isn’t too bitter which I appreciated. Coffee and chocolate are bit too subtle for my liking but were still identifiable. Body is full and texture is real creamy and alcohol is not discernable. Good stuff and way better IMHO then the barrel-aged version.

 432 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of largadeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pitch black with a mocha head. Retention could be better.

Smell - Vinous and burnt. Chocolate, raisins, plums. Lacking a bit in aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel - Charred and dry, vinous, almost red wine-like in texture. Flavors of espresso and unsweetened chocolate shine through. Very bold despite the somewhat low (for the style) ABV. I like that this beer maintains a full body without tons of sweetness or alcohol.

Notes - Very good stuff that manages to stay true to the style but still stand out from the pack.

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Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 12/07/2010; so over a year old now. Pours thick opaque black color with a nice 1 finger dense tan head with decent retention that reduces to a thin cap. Nice bits of lacing clinging to the glass as well. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, coffee, light dark fruits, and a bit of spiciness. Some pretty nice aromas with good strength. Taste of caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, nuttiness, light coffee, dark fruit, and spiciness. Hardly any bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, and light spiciness on the finish for a bit. Some pretty nice balance of flavors here as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a nice creamy and smooth mouthfeel that goes down nicely. Alcohol is pretty well hidden with only a warming on the finish. Overall a very nice and enjoyable imperial stout. Nothing that will blow you away though.

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Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.91 out of 5 based on 1,653 ratings.
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