Wee Heavy | Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

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Wee HeavyWee Heavy
61 Ratings
Wee HeavyWee Heavy

Brewed by:
Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Full-bodied Scotch-style ale with a distinct malty-sweet and fruity aroma and flavor. A light smokiness lurks in the background from the use of peat smoked malts.

40 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-20-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of chinchill
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewpub in Media, PA.
Pours with a red-copper body that has good clarity and highlights. Very good head and a good bit of sticky lacing.

Good bitter-sweet balance leans slightly sweet. No sour or other off notes. Some faint peat and vanilla notes and a touch of smoke in the finish and aftertaste. A touch too boozy.
Medium body and soft carbonation.

 372 characters

Photo of richj1970
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml into Double Bastard glass.

A: Chestnut brown with 1-2 finger off white head. Decent retention, and settled to a thin cap with some sticky lacing.

S: Roasted malts, caramel, nuts, and some light smokiness. Aroma reminds me more of a brown ale than a wee heavy.

T: Light caramel, smokey peat, and pecans. Not near as sweet as I was expecting which was nice.

M: Full bodied with a creamy texture although it's a bit thin for the style.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Thinking that I need to try a few more from Iron Hill.

 546 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

1/7/17...pours murky brown, dark, with fast fizzy foam that settles out. Light malty smell, slightly earthy. Mostly malt flavor, some peat moss tones. Chewy. Thick heavy mouthfeel. Some smokiness. Rich hearty - heavy beer.

 222 characters

Photo of Minotaur
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This pours from a 750ml bottle (which has aged for about a year) into a pint glass.

It is a hazy light brown-copper color with a one finger head that quickly vanishes to only a thin bit of hazy white atop the beer.

The aroma is unique: slightly toasty malts with a bit of sour hops. But there are two predominant flavors of slightly smokey peat and a floral-honey like scent that hints at heather.

The taste follows the aroma with a strong honey-floral (almost mead like) flavor supported by bready and yeasty malt. There is a slight bit of hops bitterness that offsets the honey very well. The peaty smokiness is a nice compliment to an alcoholic finish.

It has a full, vigorous mouthfeel. There is a bread-like quality typical of Belgian ales but without the usual estery flavors. It is a very drinkable and smooth beer.

 826 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 mL corked and caged bottle purchased at Iron Hill West Chester over a year ago. Since then, it has been aging quietly in my cellar.

A: The wee heavy has a dark tawny color, more brown than red. The ale has a bit of a cola appearance, white head notwithstanding.

S: The nose malty, livened by a touch of peaty smokiness. The aroma is strong but not Bamberger strong; nonetheless it is very enticing.

T: Subtle smoked malts really define the ale. They are oh-so-soft, flicking at the tastebuds with burnt, cured flavors. They never rise to the meaty, smoked bacon level but do just fine on their own. The mouthfeel has a noticeable lack of carbonation that mutes the flavor a touch. The grainy, smoked malts leave a pleasant taste in the mouth long after the sip is gone.

M: The cured flavor is tough to beat, thick with a tasty meaty body.

D: The alcohol is well-hidden, allowing the malts to take charge throughout. The smokiness is divine.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a wine taster glass at the DC bottle share. Much thanks to jeff for the bottle.

A good off white head, slightly tan colored with thin contained bubbles. Real nice walnut brown body and large red hues along the edges. Very nice.

Boquet has a first mild nutty sensation, more like a brown ale. Some sweet subtle cream and soft bodied. Not much caramel or large malt sweetness, but still inviting and very enjoyable.

Palate brings a matching soft texture and taste. Soft malts, with a hint of char and caramel. Light brown sugar rolls around nicely in a somewhat thin mouthfeel.

Overall a bit thin and wet for a wee heavy but with some very solid enjoyable qualities nonetheless.

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Photo of BrewMan13
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, and had the pleasure of visiting the IronHill brewpub. They were out of most of the stuff I wanted to try on tap (after looking at their website) but this more then makes up for it. I'm drinking this after raking the entire lawn for the 1st time at my 1st house!
It comes in a corked 750ml bottle (boy was that cork on there!). Cant tell the year it was brewed, but based on the condition of the label, I'd say its at least a year or 2 old. Stats: OG: 1.085, 16L, 35 IBU, 8.3% abv (note: the OG and the the alcohol content were lower then actually listed on the specialty beers menu it was ordered from...perhaps newer vintages have a different recipe?).
I finally get the cork off and pour a healthy amount into my snifter. It pours a light brown with a decent off-white, almost tan head, ~2 fingers worth which slowly dissipates. A small amount remains for the duration.
Hints of toffee and caramel in the nose...also something else. Seems to be a contribution of the yeast (not fruity really, just 'yeasty'). Says it's brewed with peat-smoked malt, but I'm not really picking up on it in the aroma.
Taste is very impressive and not too over the top. Sweet, but not too much so. Still not really picking up on the peat smoked malt, which is a tad disappointing as I love it...so my guess is that they must have been very conservative with it. I can maybe convince myself I get a faint hint in the finish, but if I wasnt looking for it, I wouldnt think it was there at all. No alcohol (thankfully) or hop presence (as you would expect) to speak of in the taste. Actually has a slightly dry finish. I am impressed with the carbonation level: it's not out of control and it doesnt detract from the mouthfeel(like some bottle conditioned beers) but it seems to be a good balance. Body is just on the hefty side of medium. Not nearly too heavy to quaff a lot of the stuff.
I can tell this was made with great care and attention and has been (presumably) aged very well at the brewpub.
If it wasnt so pricey (18.50...but it was also a gift from my mother-in-law) and I actually lived close enough to procure it regularly, I might get it once a year, but this is likely the only time I'll ever have it. I would probably put it in my top 3 scotch ales.

 2,287 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the pleasure of recieving a grolwer of this in a BIF not too long ago, and needless to say I was thrilled. Poured out a crazy dark brown, damn near opaque with a huge tan head on the top that only gradually settled down before finally coming to a rest with at least an inch left on the top and tons of side glass lace all over it. Really full looking for a wee heavy.

The aroma was rich, lots of malted sugar and caramel aroms with a hint of some earthy tones underneath it all, really quite big here as well. The flavor was masterful, almost tasted like a stout, and definitly had the feel of one. The rich sugary notes were huge, and mixed in well with tons of caramel and earthy grains. Rich dry finish really was just the icing on the cake for me.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Easily one of the best I have ever had from the style. Truly a top notch brew if I have ever had one and I would love to be able to try this one again anytime.

 957 characters

Photo of MeLoynes
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BuckSpin
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The tapped version of this offering would, unless I had not fallen under the Siren song of its cask conditioned brother, been simply extrodinary - it has to settle for merely being fantastic.

Poured a deep, ruby amber, which was surprising difficult to see through. A head of loose, off-white foam that mildly laced topped it off.

Nose was very nice - sweet yet obviously related in aroma to a light/young single malt. Its nice, malts and dried fruits (cherries) swirl on the tongue and warm the pallete nicely with its crisp nature. These continue to dance and fade away nicely, leaving a very pleasing aftertaste. Just a wonderful example of the genre and a damn fine beer - but not as good as its cask conditioned twin.

 728 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, dark brown with a fluffy, off white head that slowly fades out. Lots of sticky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of rich caramel, toffee, hints of cocoa, light smoke, and brown sugar.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a nice, malty, caramel flavor, and ripe fruit, along with a touch of smoke and cocoa.
Mouthfeel is solid, medium bodied, chewy, semi-sweet up front, and a solid finish.

 417 characters

Photo of kernalklink
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark wee heavy- alcohol notes present straight away after the small head dissipates. Bready malt aromas back it up- not as estery as others, but still slightly spicy without huge fruit aromas. Sweet and thick malts on the taste, mild alcohol burn. Nice finish, though I did not detect a lot of the smoky character which the bartender warned me about. Great as a night-ending brew.

 385 characters

Photo of drtth
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in standard 12 oz glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Clear, dark reddish brown with thin white/beige head.

Smell: Rich sweet caramel malts and grain, no hops detectable

Taste: Sweet, crisp malt flavor that is very intense and with little or no hop bitterness. Instead there is some soft smokiness in here but it comes and goes and does not dominate the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation and a smooth, silky feel and a medium long finish.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. Could easily repeat for 3 or 4 more.

 591 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - hazy, dark brown with a nice off white head
S - caramel, toffee, slight smokey note
T - smilaro to the aroma but the malts come in with a light caramel balance, almost dry effect
M - medium / medium full bodied, lightly carbonated, nice light smokey caramel after note.
D - easy to approach and nicely complimentary to the brewery burger!

pricey at 18.50 but a nice example of the style.

 394 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 04 Dec 2010. This was a IH Newark beer served at IHLNC.

Again, a wispy head, but I was taking my time on Winter Warmer afternoon and this was simply the price that I would have to pay. The nose had a tropical bent to it, like banana and coconut. Color was a slightly hazy reddish-brown. I immediately got the smokiness of the peated malt on the nose and I then sneered at the Cheat Sheet, which characterized it as "slight". Slight like John Holmes, RIP. Mouthfeel was medium-to full and swirled around on my tongue nicely without losing any of its viscosity. Finish lingered with a smokiness that, for me, was surprisingly just right. Usually, I am the stereotypical American, striving for more or the most in just about everything. I could easily drink more of this.

 800 characters

Photo of Grouchobeer
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Oakenator
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: The pour is a dark amber, maybe amber color with a huge off-white head.

S: Surprisingly fruity on the nose. There's a lot of carbon dioxide aroma to it which sort of detracts from the other aspects. Some nice toast and toffee, though.

T: Good stone fruit flavors with a hint of smoke/peat. Plenty of toasted bread/malt with a moderate caramel and toffee flavor giving the beer its sweetness.

M: Medium in body with a very high carbonation.

O: Good, but the excessive carbonation lessens the enjoyment of the beer.

 557 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one while there for a mug club event.

Dark, dark brown with a fingers worth of khaki head. Sweet roasted malt, alcohol, and a very light smoke scent made up the aroma. The flavor was a blend of the sweet, fruity malt, alcohol twang, and a nice roasted earthy taste. Man, this was a heavy beer. Thick, creamy mouthfeel. 24oz of this one was plenty.

 359 characters

Photo of srw
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Biscuit033
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper with a fluffy one finger cream colored head and nice lacing.

S: Light notes of caramel and that is about it.

T: Nice, big chewy malts. There is caramel and toffee along with the dark malt sweetness. There was a bit of green apple in the aftertaste as well.

M: Full and creamy. I asked for something chewy and malty and the barmaid recommended this. It was just that with a creaminess from the Nitro.

D: Because of the fullness it slowed me down but I could have two or three before the sweetness caught up to me. The alcohol was not perceptible.

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Wee Heavy from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 61 ratings