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Old Heathen Imperial Stout | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Old Heathen Imperial StoutOld Heathen Imperial Stout
Very Good
1,653 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,653 |  Reviews: 831
Photo of montageman
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Surprisingly thin pour that has a huge 3 finger head that dwindles slowly leaving some awesome lacing and stickiness all over the sides of the glass. Huge roasted notes on the nose - chocolate and coffee with a little bit of alcohol creeping through - odd for only 8%. Taste is dominated by coffee, which is nice - there is also a bit of roasted malt and a slight hoppy character. Mouthfeel is thin for this style almost watery, in fact. Regardless, this is quite drinkable lighter than other Imperial stouts I've tried. Recommended.

Thanks to markgugs for this bottle.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrived in a shaker glass a rich deep brown color with about an inch of dark tan foam. No lacing to speak of. Smells of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and mild hints of coffee and a touch of smoke. Tastes of bittersweet cocoa, mild roasted coffee, molasses and vanilla. Medium in both body and carbonation. An overall decent Imp. stout.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this beer at my local Whole Foods along Route 9 in Greenfield Ma. It poured a black complexion, with a small tannish white lace head. Smell had all the characters of an imperial stout that i like, dark fruit (prune and cherry) and dark chocolate. Taste had some smokey charcoal up front, followed by some molaases sweetness, and a baked chocolate cake flavor in the end. The body of this beer seemed pretty light surprisingly. After the second glass, I needed to take a break despite the fact that I could drink this beer all night long. The alcohol is not very apparent in the taste, but it is there for sure. The last time I had this beer, it was really awful. Flavors were all over the place, and in all it just seemed like it was a really poor stout. Maybe they have changed the recipe, or I just received a bad sample. Either way, I highly recommend this brew. Oh, and one final thought: After going a while without trying any Weyerbacher beers, I can say that they are extremely under appreciated. Cheers

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Photo of blakesell
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Black as night, no clearity whatsoever, smooth white head.

smell- Very roasted non-malted barley smell, homebrews have as much scent as this micro (and that is a compliment).

mouthfeel- creamy, rich, malty, dark, black as night (again), this is what stout should taste like. Sweet aftertaste of black licorice. Slight hop presence. Could drink this one all day.

Overall- I will buy a 6'er of this one, a very rare thing for me, but this is one that will improve with age. I'm suprised that it doesn't rate as highly as blackout stout or other great stouts of it's ilk. Weyerbacher is a very underrated brewery.

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Photo of rsyberg01
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

S - 12 oz. bottle courtesy of Doppelmeup in SS'06

A - Pours black with a sticky chocolate head that stays as a thin unbroken cap on the beer.

S - roasted malts, slightly smoky, sweet cherry and fig, caramel, hits of dark chocolate.

T - Roasty, smoky, slighty tannic, choclate, caramel, delicious.

M - hoped for more viscosity.

D - good. for being what it is I dont get tired of it and the lighter body helps as well.

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

12oz bottle -> pint
no date

Pours solid black, no light is getting through this baby. A small tan head fades quickly. Light sporadic lace.

Nose: Chocolate, port, dark fruit, alcohol.

Taste:Burnt coffee up front with some nice dark fruit flavors. Currant, raisens, black molasses along with nice bitterness on the smokey/burnt finish. Slightly astrigent but not too annoying. I think this one would smooth out nicely in the cellar.

Mouthfeel is smooth like an oatey and only slighlty chewy.

Usually a couple of these are all i can handle. But a fine handle it surely will be.

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

This beer is black as coal and there is a fair head that quickly dissipates. The smell is coffee like and also somewhat like the candy section of a general store. Cinnamon I guess. The taste is very malty, with oatmeal and coffee flavors dominate. The mouthfeel is smooth with a smokiness that is a nice finish. The drinkability is good. One of the better of the style I have had. I don;t usually go for this style or even this brewer but this is tops. Brewers best and best of the style I have had.

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Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured extremely dark brown. Tasted strong chocolate malt flavors. Had a nice dry finish. I could taste some additional alcohol flavors that reminded me of a fine aged wine. Some have reviewed this beer as having a strong hops flavor but I tasted little to no hops (which is a good thing to me). This was a very good beer and would defineately buy this one again.

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

Poured into the glass with a distinctly slick oil look, and settled with a 1 finger dark tan head and impenetrably dark color. The smell was slightly sweet with a roasted quality to it. The taste was at first slightly sweet and malty with a mild chocolate quality, and transitioned into a well balanced hoppy finish that the higher alcohol level contributes nicely to. What really suprised me about this IS was the very pronounced coffee/chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Although I reviewed this beer completely sober, even much later in the evening when I was pretty inebriated, those coffee notes in the aftertaste really stood out. The mouthfeel was great, nice and smooth with a lower level (but very satisfying) level of carbonation. Drinkability was incredibly easy. Even for being a full bodied beer, it went down easy the entire night. I'll have to review this beer again to see if there's anything I dislike about it, because it was honestly just a great beer. In fact, I think I'll go have one right now.

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Photo of claytri
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a dark mahogany with a tan head. The aroma is lightly of malt and has some licorice hints. The beer tastes of malt and licorice. The feel is heavy but neither oily nor dry. When I first tried this beer it was relativley fresh and the hops were overwhelming. Now having aged for 9 months it has taken a whole new character. It has gone from a harsh hop demonstration to a smooth and interesting brew. I've never run into a licorice taste before and I find it quite interesting.

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Photo of flexabull
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a nice sized tan head.

Beer smells of semi sweet dark chocolate, with some roasted coffee notes as well.

Taste is mostly sweet, and of dark roasted malts up front. Then it settles into a bitter hoppy chocolate flavor. There is a bit of an alcohol feel noted on the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but it seems to be a bit too lean and light for a Russian Imperial Stout.

Drinkability is good. This is a nice approachable RIS. It's not a really impressive beer, but it's enjoyable, and quite drinkable.

Thanks for the bottle JahNoth.

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Photo of jhicks12
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving style: 12 oz bottle

Appearance: Dark used motor oil, kinda looked like the oil in my old 92 subaru legacy after i didn't change the oil for a year in it...on a side not i put a quality 269,000 miles on that car!

Smell: Beer has a nice roasted coffee and chocolate smell with a little fruit stinging the nose.

Taste: Nice warm coffee and chocolate taste, nice hop balance.

Mouthfeel: Nice full creamy feel

Drinkability. I Love this beer, great taste to me not too strong alcohol taste. One of my favorite Imperials!

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Photo of perfectkaos
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Third of four in the Weyerbacher Big Beers case. This one pours a nice motor oil color with a dark brown head.

Smells of coffee with some fruitiness to it, but the alcohol is definitely there, too.

Definitely tastes pretty much the same as it smells. Coffee flavoring, some chocolate hints, a strong alcohol presence.

I'm not to big on imperial stouts to begin with, and as such this beer isnt really one of my favorites, but as stouts go, its probably one of the better regional offerings. Still is no Storm King, but not many things are.

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

Everytime I get an Russian Imperial Stout I make the mistake of pouring it into my Stone Imperial Russian Stout goblet. This gets me thinking about Stone Imperial Russian Stout. Ahh so good. How can I not compare now?

The color was dark as can be with a cappuccino head. Toffee, dark chocolate and expresso dominated the aroma. Flavor followed suite with a slick, resiny texture to it. Also a bit of Irish Whiskey in the flavor. I enjoyed this quite a bit more than the other Weyerbacher beers I've tried..

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Photo of n0rmann
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've recently discovered Weyerbacher, and I've been impressed with everything I've tasted from them, none more so than this imperial stout.

It pours black with a nice tan head. You can smell a slight coffee-like, tart smell.

It goes down nice smooth, and you can taste both chocolate and coffee, as well as a mryiad of other flavors, maybe a little raisin- flavor.

You can taste the alcohol, but that's not necessairly a bad thing.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liqours in Westborough, MA.

A: Deep dark mahogony. Opaque. Thin tan head. Visibly viscous.

S: Great aroma coming off this beer. Raisin and plum character dominate. Sweet malty backbone almost vanilla like. Coffee also present.

T: Strong intense fruity esters with raisin character. Toasted malt reminiscent of strong coffee. The finish is quite dry and slightly hoppy.

MF: Heavy. Has a nice creamy velvet texture. Pretty low carbonation. No alcohol warming.

D: Good stuff. It masks its higher alcohol content well.

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Photo of Jwaks
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving 12oz bottle

This dense, nearly opaque, brew shows an intense, deep brown to black color with a neat decorative yet elegant quarter finger thick layer of fine taupe colored foam. Scant patches of sticky light brown foam cling to the glass after a few quick swirls.

Resplendent aromas of mocha infused crushed dark fruits, roasted malts, mixed nuts, chocolate liquor, prunes, nougat and hints of hop bitters shine through on this beer's bouquet.

Waves of mocha-infused dark fruit esters and well roasted malts wash over the palate upon entry working into a crescendo of vinous, dry chocolate liquor and dry peanuts slowly dissovling to reveal a dry, alcoholic chocolate-malt finish. This brew exhibits laudible balance with a bit of sweetness upfront and slight mouthpuckering dryness on the medium length, increasingly hallow finish.

This full bodied beer makes a smooth entrance slowly evolving into a very creamy, dry finish.

A damn good stout! It begs for a slightly sweeter and more lengthy finish; though as anyone can see by my score this brew is an awesome, quintessential russian imperial stout.


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Photo of IceAce
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce bottle void of freshness dating

Pours as dark as a moonless night capped with three fingers of rocky, pock-marked leathery foam. Nose is elegant with thick cocoa and alcoholic phenols. Lacing clocks in at 10%...really very good for an 8% ABV concoction.

Entry is muted with deeply roasted malts comprising the midtaste. Mouthfeel is slightly oily and warming due to unhidden alcohol. The finish is dry with a slick mocha latte front which leaves a slick roof of the mouth following departure.

This is a nice run at the Impy Stout style and would benefit greatly with a little additional bittering hop addition to help hide some of the throat-warming alcohol. Despite that minor complaint, I really like this beer...pass the peanut brittle and caramel corn!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is a dark brown, more or less black, with a brown head, a finger and a half high. Head falls to a few bubbles with minimal lacing.

Smell is kind of woody, chocolaty with only hints of alcohol and even a little vanilla.

Taste is also quite chocolaty, along with a dark nutty roastiness and a nice malty sweetness. There's a good mild booziness in the the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, though slightly astringent, perhaps a product of the alcohol, but not to the point of making this a bad beer, by any means. Not as creamy or full as other imperial stouts I've had.

Drinkability is pretty good, this isn't a knock-your-socks-off imperial stout but it is a solid beer from Weyerbacher.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a inky black body with a thin film of creamy tan head that is pretty splotchy. No sign of carbonation in that black body.

S- This beer has a dark malt aroma with great depth that is well blended. Some note of cream, graham crackers, and earthy espresso beans are just a few layers I can pull out. There is a dry note to the malt and it is not really sweet.

T- The taste of dark black malt has a very light sweetness to it with notes of dried dark fruit but they are not sweet. The notes of dark toasted malt come through as it warms a bit. The finish is a soft dark malt bitterness that is smooth.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight slippery note but there is no sign of alcohol heat even when it warms a bit.

D- This beer has a good complexity and depth but even though it is well blended it is still a big beer.

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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.

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Photo of aluskungs
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Yes, you cannot see through this beer. Pours slow and thick. Little carbonation, what little head there was is gone. Only some bubbles that look like Antarctica floating on a black south sea. Would like to see a big foamy head, but hey you can't always get what you want.

Perfect Imperial Stout smell! Alcohol nose. Burnt molasses, roasted barley, and a big malt sweetness converge in you nose so much you can taste the beer. I can't take it anymore, must partake.

Huge roasted taste! Taste just like an iced coffee (I don't drink coffee, I can only assume). A hint of dates. Can't really taste the 8% alc. Not harsh, seems aged well and not too sweet, but sweet. I've had imperial stouts that are so sweet that they make my stomach upset. Also the flavor tends to disappear, no aftertaste to chew on.

Imperial in alcohol only, not in flavor. Expecting a big full flavored beer after smelling it but couldn't live up to it's name.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, thanks expatsteve i believe

appearance: pours into a snifter...very dark mahogany - black body, foamy chocolate head with slight lacing left behind

smell: i get some dry hops immediately, dark chocolate, moderate malt structure, licorice

taste: I"m not finding this to be very good...its a bit carbonated on the tongue...dry dark chocolate, light coffee, fair amount of hops, licorice. pretty standard with no true strength

mouthfeel: sharp carbonation on the tongue, medium mouthfeel

drinkability: average

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, almost completely black with faint ruby highlights. Dense chocolatey head that shows a bit of lacing and good retention. Malty aroma with some cola, licorice, chocolate and roast. Also a bit of alcohol. Moderate bitterness with a lot of malt sweetness and cocoa. Light vanilla middle. It also has a significant nutty character, very peanutty. Finishes with some cola and alcohol. The carbonation is a bit lively and coarse on the palate, but overall the texture's decent. Slight dryness and some alcohol warmth. Not bad, fairly average stout. Fairly easy drinking though.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout pours from the bottle a deep black color with a decent, though somewhat thin, reddish-brown head. There is also some noticeable red tint shining through at the edges when held up to the light. A very nice looking beer. The thinned-out head leaves very little lace. The aroma is sweet, with notes of vanilla, chocolate, and molasses. Maybe some pear as well? This is an aroma I could grow accustomed to. It tastes nice too. Creamy vanilla, chocolate, and some coffee bitterness all appear in the flavor. Some toffee as well, perhaps. A decent mouthfeel, but not as pronounced as I would have guessed; a bit thin for an imperial stout. But overall, the Old Heathen is a job well done. Sometimes Weyerbacher, in my opinion, has a tendancy to over-do things a bit with their beers, but they hit the spot on this one. A quality Imperial Stout to add to the collection.

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Old Heathen Imperial Stout from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 1,653 ratings
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