- Up until a few months ago, I wasn’t a very big fan of Samuel Adams. While their Boston Lager is a respectable beer, I’ve never loved it. That all changed when I tried the Noble Pils and the Latitude 48 IPA. Those two beers impressed me so much, that I am now on a mission to try as much of their line-up as possible. While I haven’t loved all of their beers, I’m keeping an open mind and giving them all a fair chance whenever I have the opportunity to try them.
- I never knew that Samuel Adams had an Imperial Series until I read a review of this beer by Kim of “Kim and Tonic”. When I read the part about this beer reminding her of smoky Islay whiskies, I knew I just had to find it.
“Samuel Adams Wee Heavy was inspired by both traditional Scotch ales and Scotch whiskies, for a combination of deep roasted flavor and earthy smoke character. Traditional Scottish ales vary in intensity with the strong ales known as Scotch Ale or “Wee Heavy”. To create our own version of the style we added peat smoked malt to bring the unique flavor of Scotland to this complex and satisfying brew. “
- Appearance: Dark walnut color with a deep red tint when held up to the light. Thick one inch head that dissipates slowly. Very little lacing left on the sides of the glass when you drink it down.
- Aroma: Rich roasted malt. You can definitely smell that peaty, Islay whisky aroma that reminds me of Lagavulin 16. I confirmed this by sniffing a bottle of this glorious whisky, which I just happened to have on hand.
- Taste: Fizzy carbonation that tingles the taste buds. Starts off with that sweet malt flavor. The alcohol and smokiness kick in towards the middle, leading up to a pleasant and warming finish.
- ABV: 10%
Regarding the ABV, Kim was right on the money, i.e. this is a deceptively smooth beer. I would have never guessed that it had such a high alcohol content. This tells me that Samuel Adams has taken great care in creating this beer, and that they have allowed the alcohol to become fully incorporated, so that you don’t get that “Whoa! That’s a really strong beer!” reaction (this has happened to me with a few Imperial beers that I’ve sampled). While I wasn’t overwhelmed by the smokiness of this beer, I can definitely taste it. Overall, I really enjoyed the Samuel Adams Wee Heavy, and am looking forward to trying some other Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies to see how they compare. I happen to have a bottle of the Stone/Green Flash/Pizza Port Carlsbad Highway 78 in the fridge, so this comparison will probably happen sooner, rather than later.