Review: Old Heathen, Weyerbacher

Old Heathen
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. — Easton, PA

  • Style:  Imperial Stout
  • Bitterness:  Not provided
  • ABV: 8.0%
  • Malts:   Not provided
  • Hops:  Not provided
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
  • Price:  $10.99 (six-pack) at liquor store

Description:  "Rich, velvety and deliciously complex, Old Heathen 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.  Old Heathen Imperial Stout is our interpretation of a beer style that originated in the 18th century. Brewed in England and exported to Germany, Scandinavia and Russia, these beers became fashionable among the members of the Czar’s court. In order to survive long voyages they were brewed with high alcohol content to prevent spoilage." — Weyerbacher Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:   This is part of my Four Weyerbachers and a Magic Hat series.  I just completed reviews of five Imperial Stouts (including Deschutes' The Abyss) and discovered that I love this style.  So I've been looking forward to tasting of more these big bad stouts.  Old Heathen is part of Weyerbacher's year-round line up. 

The tasting:  Near black with a dark brown head that dissipated very slowly.  Aroma of roasted malt, vanilla, and raisin.  Flavor of roasted malt, espresso, and chocolate with a touch of smoke.  Old Heathen is medium bodied, and feels a bit thin for the style.  It has a silky smooth mouth feel and is very drinkable.  It finishes with a light bitterness from the roasted malt and a little warming alcohol in the finish.    

Rating:  4 star.  Really Good!  I want this again!   Another impressive beer from Weyerbacher.   Old Heathen is a great "light-er" Imperial Stout.  Is that an oxymoron? Compared to others I've tasted, this beer was lighter in body and at the lower end of the ABV range for the style.  That's not a bad thing.  When you don't want a heavy, 10% + ABV beer, but still want all the roasty, luscious, deep flavors of an Imperial Stout, Old Heathen is the beer for you.

Have you tried Old Heathen or any other Weyerbacher beers?

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