Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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1,968 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,968
Reviews: 864
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 50
Gots: 271 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,968 | Reviews: 864
Reviews by Shooter1960:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffreysan
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 edition 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights, and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with strong aromas of toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted English muffins, followed by some notes of brown sugar, toffee, dried stone fruit such as raisins, figs, prunes, and a touch of maple syrup.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit, and a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but leaning a little towards the thin side. It’s a very smooth beer as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 11.1%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very, good barleywine! Excellent, in fact! It has great flavors of malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit and a touch of hops. The only thing keeping this barleywine from being world-class is the slightly less than perfect mouthfeel. If it had a chewier mouthfeel, it would be world-class.

Photo of northbastard
2.59/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First review, irony? let's hope not.
A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, fluffy two inch head. Ruby red-orange. Looks more like an ipa than a barleywine. Nice retention an lacing, stays till the last drop.

S- Lots of fruit aroma in here, however the alcohol still overpowers. Some plum and berry. Kind of reminds me of one of those B&J wine coolers.

T- Goes right along with the smell. Black currant, plum, raspberry, and then straight alcohol. One of those you drink and your first reaction is to shake your head violently because the alcohol is so pervasive. Probably would be better after a few years in the cellar.

M- Smooth, velvet along with the fluffy head, little carbonation. Saves the beer.

D-The alcohol overpowers all, could think of a lot of beers around the same abv where there is no alcohol to be sensed. This beer has promise, it just needs to store for a few years. Friend of mine shared a bottle with me and he could not finish his half so it ended up down the drain. I pushed through and it is fair to say this isn't a repeat selection.

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Spring House Drafting Room,poured a medium brown with some amber tones with a light but somewhat creamy head,aroma was of burnt fruit and alcohol.Taste was very rasiny and of dried fruit definently sweet and chewy and gets better as it warms.A pretty nice brew I think the best I have had from Weyerbacher.

Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was a dark, orangish brown with a gorgeous cascading nitro-looking head a la Guinness. The head consisted of fairly large bubbles that hung over the fluid like a drizzling nimbostratus.

Smell – The sweet malt base dominates the nose of this one. It’s pretty laid back but consists of tons of sugar and some ripe fruits like apricots along with a noticeable warning of alcohol.

Taste – This one has a deep, malt base that is laden with big sugars. It is very wine-like, consisting of big, dry, chardonnay grapes along with lots of fruity notes. The alcohol blends right in with the winey character and is hardly detectable.

Mouthfeel – This was smooth enough but could probably benefit from cellaring. It was a little heavier than medium-bodied and ended pretty dry.

Drinkability – Very good now, probably better in two years or so.

Update – I can’t believe that it’s been seven years since I last had this BW, but now that I’ve moved back to the Midwest I was able to find it in a local beer store. It’s a lot less sugary than I noted on my original review and I thought the alcohol was a bit more prominent but otherwise a terrific sipper.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper amber with an off-white head that dissolves to clingy lace. Easy drinker despite the high ABV. Very well concealed strength. Flavor and aroma are largely one dimensional and port like. That port quality consists largely of booze soaked dark fruits and spices that tend to indicate high alcohol presence. Hops are much lighter than expected indicating that this barley wine follows the English tradition rather than the American. Mouthfeel is rather warming and light for a barley wine. Flavor and aroma greatly improve as the beer warms to room temp but it remains rather dull and lacking in complexity. Still very drinkable and in fact dangerously easy to gulp down. Many thanks to expatsteve for the sample.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet style glass.

A: Deep clear ruby brown in color. Minimal white head quickly dissipates into a thin white layer of bubbles and healthy white perimeter ring. Very little (if any) lacing.

S: Very light smells of candied fruit and minimal whiffs of alcohol

T: Sweetness quickly takes over the palate with a very refined grain malt taste combined with something on the order of rock candy; sort of a fruity flavor similar to that of a sweet wine.

M: Very heavy and sweet. Light but persistent carbonation keeps the sweetness from cloying on the tongue. There is definite warming but no real intense alcohol presense. Goes down easy but catches up to you quickly.

Barley wine style. Definitely. Blithering Idiot is deceptive in that it is quite sweet in both nose and mouth and manages to hide that serious kick with the exception of some enjoyable warming at the end. Awesome. And that color! Almost like a ruby colored port. So long as you aren't put off by the sweet profile, you will probably like this. Recommended.

Photo of wrycon
2.94/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark orangish- brown in color, slightly muddled complexion. Nose is full malt, with maybe some plum or raisin. Drinks thick. Initial rush of caramel, that exits quickly. Middle is malty / watery and leaves a carpet of malt on the tongue. Expecting more from the end, but it simply finishes unceremoniously.

Like It? Have Had Better

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish amber with really no head to speak of. The smell is caramel covered fruit with plenty of piney, earthy hops coming out as well. Not too overpowering.

The first taste is a candied fruity, hoppy punch in the mouth, with just enough caramel maltiness to keep it all together. Biterness and alcohol sting the back of the palate on the way down. A little off balance, but I do love the hops so I won't complain.

Mouthfeel is good with a nice full body and good consistency. Drinkability is good as well, but after a few of these you'll end up looking like the joker on the label. I think this one could've used some more time in the cellar...but it's good fresh if you're looking for a hoppier taste. Check this one out if you like barleywines. Thanks to, ironically enough, blitheringidiot himself for the chance to partake.

Photo of rwinzing
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into my Duvel tulip

It poured hazy amber with barley any head. Gentle lacing on the side of the glass

Smell was sweet but not over powering. Expected some hop aroma but did not get any

Taste - Sweet through out. Very well balanced and not bitter. A little hot but not overwhelming nice to the style

mouthfeel was not overly full but not thin either

overall not a bad barleywine very enjoyable and balanced

Photo of JasonA
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single from Cooridor Wine and Spirits. Excited about having this beer, huge WYB fan. I think the label is funny with the huge UPC bar code up front. Are they trying to tell us something?

Pours almost a grapish translucent copper. Good amount of lacing, even from this smally bottle. Head pours 1.5 fingers and settles. While the head has no staying power, lacing does which makes it 'pretty'.

Taste is not what I expected from a Barley Wine. Dare I say watery alcohol initial. Settles in with mild fruit and barley. Warming through from alcohol. Not a biting alcohol, but warming, much nicer.

I gave a 4.5 on the mouthfeel. Im not exactly sure why. While taste is definatly coupled to the MF, setting taste aside I like the way this settles in my mouth. Carbonation runs a nice smooth course. Very settling.

I am interested in having this again, just not quickly. Not a bad beer, but I would like to try some more BW before this again.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle poured into a snifter, this is an attractive beer. Red/orange color, small head, nicely carbonated. It had a dark fruit, malty aroma. The taste showed a strong malt presence, with little, if any, hops . This was a mild beer, not at all aggressive. I thought it to be very drinkable, even at 11% ABV.

Photo of sponberg
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't describe the appearance much as I had no glassware at the campsite, but it looked pretty good when I poured a bit into a plastic cup. Had this bottle in my beer cellar for about 6 months or so waiting for the first night on the Cape. The one I had when "fresh" was rather unbalanced and screamed for aging.

Aroma was ripe fruit & alcohol - sweet apple, figs, plums, and fumes of alcohol. Started out with a big fruity malt assault - the same three as above, with caramel & toffee-like sweetness joining the fray. Somewhere way in the background a hop raised its hand for recognition by the chairman, but it was never recognized by the floor so it left the meeting with reserved bitterness. The alcohol remained well in check until it hit mid sip and bellowed loudly but briefly. The finish was sweet, sugary, alcoholic, but not at all cloying, with a lingering toffee apple aftertaste. Hugely drinkable for its potency after aging.

Photo of Jason
2.74/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz brown longneck bottle, no freshness date to be found but with its strength this beer will last perhaps years adding to the complexity. Light powdery sediment does not stay still when pouring.

Appearance: Light brown with cranberry red hues in the colour. The head was awesome at first with a big fluffy and think meringue look, unfortunately it dissipated to almost nothing.

Smell: Humongous esters of ripe dark fruit, dates and figs come to mind obviously as well as some brown sugar. Within the alcohol aromas comes a solvent and spicy aroma that tells you to beware cause this is a kick in the ass strong beer.

Taste: Huge creamy body, low carbonation though the creaminess does just fine to hold the mouth feel together. The creaminess looses ground as the malt tries to gain, all seems lost as a juggernaut of alcohol engulfs the taste buds with mammoth fists of fruity esters and solvent alcohol. Sweetness is big and hardly budges. Hops are pummeled to desperation and struggle to hold on, barely can balance this big beer. Complex flavours of rum raisin, figs, and dates soaked in alcohol. Brown sugar and coffee make their way to the palate and add to the cruel mix of flavours, soft husk flavour cover the tongue and the alcohol faded and leaves a prominent warming feeling through the mouth, throat and chest. Husk gains ground in the finish as well as some veggie hop flavour.

Notes: Not aged enough to quell the huge alcohol character, hops are lost. Alcohol seems a bit out of control. This is still a fun beer to drink and it shows you that it is a strong brew without a doubt. If you have a bottle of this don’t drink it yet, wait another year or so.

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, allowed to warm up near room temp. Pours a nice warm honey almond, clear, under a puffy medium tan head, showing respectable retention and then leaving thick sticky sheeting. Intense nose of fruit, alcohol, and clearly cherries and banana peels. Warming, rich, buttery with notes of more fruit, leather, butter. Intense and bold brew. Fine quality night capper/sipper. I put a bottle of this nectar away to let it soften up a bit. Well worth a try.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle served slightly chilled...pours a rusty brown w/ very minimal head, tan in color. A ton or carbonated lace coating the glass...the beer looks quite cloudy.
The aroma is not drawing me in...the "rum-like" alcohol hits the nostrils first and I can actually smell the bitterness. Hints of spiced vanilla also present.
Taste is also bitter w/ a very unbalanced feel to it.
A bit too carbonated and fairly thin, yet the alcohol is almost overwhelming.
I am typically a big fan of Weyerbacher brews, but this one is just not wowing me...I'll let the other age and try it in a year or two.

Photo of tigg924
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: medium head..medium carbonation..cloudy with a color that is equal pieces yellow/orange/and brown

Smell: malt, cherries, and a big whiff of alcohol

Taste: raisins and plums with brown sugar and a strong dose of alcohol

Mouthfeel: oily and slick, a sweet start, bitter middle and a sweet finish

Drinkability: Due to the high alcohol content, you probably only want one in a sitting. To me this is a slightly above average barleywine. I will probably pick up another single at some point--not a full pack

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nearly opaque deep amber. Fast-disappearing tan-colored head seen only at the edges of the glass. Only a little sheeting action on the sides of the glass. Aromas other than the medicinal alcohol scent (notably dark fruit, sweet molasses, toffee) are only barely detectable, being bullied aside from the -OH. Flavor was almost unbearably sweet. Liquid cotton candy in the mouth, thick and syrupy. Hardly anything else can be noted. Alcohol-drenched dark and ripe fruit detected. Hops? We don't need no stinkin' hops. Badly "out-of-balance" for me. Mouthfeel very creamy and palate-coating. No carbonation really makes this a thick-feeling beer. Drinkability for me was really tough. The flavor just turned me off. As a result, the beer sat for quite some time. Before I finished off the last ounce or two, I noticed a fly had managed to land in the beer. I was actually quite amused by this. He skittered around the top of the beer, creating a neat ripple of tan-colored foam that was amazing to watch. He tried and tried, but...sadly....didn't make it. Still, one hell of a way to go! I wonder if he liked it more than I did...

Thanks to TwelveVoltMan for this one.

Photo of jakester
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a big beer sampler case I bought at The Beer Mart in Reading, Pa. I drank it in a pilsner glass.

Pours a mostly clear copper with a one finger head of beige foam. Head drops to islands and a ring, with intermittent splotches of lacing.

Aroma is huge bready malt, diacetyl, rum, something spicy (hops?), and faint alcohol. Smells sweet and strong.

First flavor is intensely sweet caramel, followed by heat from alcohol, a pretty good whack from hop bitterness, then notes of rum soaked raisins, currants, black pepper, and a very late solventy taste. Aftertaste is very long, bitter, and hot.

This beer is a mouthful. Huge body, lips stick together from sugar, and a strong warming at the back of the throat. Carbonation is soft to medium.

I'm not sure how "drinkable" this beer is, but it sure is good. Very well made English barleywine. It's more balanced between malt and hops, compared to American barleywines. Delicious, ass-kicking, and yummy. What a combination!

Photo of bsp77
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Beautiful red mahogany with very thin head and only minor lacing.

Smell: Plum, caramel, butterscotch, cherry, figs and English spicy & floral hops. Great malty aroma.

Taste: A sweet malt bomb with butterscotch, caramel, plum and cherry dominant. There is a decent counterbalance of spicy English hops (likely Fuggles or Goldings).

Feel: Very syrupy with a full body and low carbonation. Quite warming and smooth, but slightly cloying.

Drinkability: Nice sipper when a malty shot of alcohol is desired. Speaking of alcohol, at 11.1%, it is remarkably well hidden, making this brew somewhat dangerous.

Photo of jcdiflorio
2.36/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

served into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle,cellered for a year.

Cloudy,still able to see thru,dark copper,ambery with a glowing red hue. Lively sounding and looking,strings of tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass.A creamy off-white head dissapating to a collar of foam around the side of the glass throughout the beer.Nice apperance.
The aroma was very fruity, smells of raisins/figs/dates. The aroma of alcohol was very appearant throught the aromas,also a bit of some woodyness.
The taste was a blast of alcohol,a bit much for me,ruined the overall taste of the beer.The taste was of the aromas very fruity,raisiny/figs/dates,a bit nutty,with a woody feel. Sour,tart with a sweet light cloying feel to the finish.
A medium mouthfeel,very sticky,a very grainy texture a bit too harsh for me.
Had a rough time finishing one beer,not a beer I would care to drink again.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a nice brown with a very thing light brown head mostly around the rim. Nose is surprisingly light, malty and sweet with a tinge of hot booze.

Taste is quite nice, it's very sweet and fruity but the mouthfeel is so thick and creamy that it's really very pleasant. Smooth and a bit syrupy, carbonation is light and sharp. Overall quite tasty and the alcohol isn't too in your face for the abv.

Photo of jondeelee
4.01/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blithering Idiot opens to a rich and malty nose, thick fruit esters, sugars, and grain aromas cascading from the bottle. The fruits and sugars are what are the most immediately noticeable, with thick swaths of grape, fig, cherry, and mandarin orange esters filling the nasal cavities in Jolly Rancher candy-like potency, and leaving a sticky rim on the bottle. The grape is especially present, coming across very much like a hard candy in strength and consistency, being somewhere between a Concord grape (tart, dry) and a standard red grape (sugary, medium). There’s also a heavy touch of molasses and brown sugar, mixed with vanilla bean, adding further sugary complexity. Add to this a touch of citrusy pink grapefruit from the hops, and the beer is notably sweet and sugary, with just enough of a range of sweet, dark, bitter, and bright sugars and esters to cover pretty much the gamut of sugary notes possible in a beer. There are also bits of bread in here, including toast crust, floury baguette, and rich and yeasty wheat dough, adding a nice countering earthy base. As a whole, the nose is fantastically complex, very nicely balanced, and offers almost everything the nose could want in a Barleywine.

On the tongue, the beer is more tart than expected, with the grape notes veering sharply towards the Concord end of the scale, joined by apple, white grape, fig, and orange. There’s also an immediately-noticeable heavy alcohol content, the fruit esters joined by a vodka-like slam that gives the beer a fruity martini overtone. The alcohol quickly overtakes most of the flavors, adding some whiskey notes to the vodka ones, and this resting atop a slightly charred layer of toast crust and brown bread. Some Grape Nuts cereal and wet hay flavors add a bit more earthiness. Molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla try to add complexity and flavor, but have a hard time getting noticed. The hops do add a bit of bitter pine and grapefruit rind, which combines with the alcohol to create even more bitter, alcoholic fuzz. Towards the end of the mouthful, the beer moves even closer to a fruity martini, the alcoholic vapors filling up the mouth and nasal cavities. The aftertaste is a heavily alcoholic remnant of the main mouthful, with some sugars and breads clinging on for dear life. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium to medium-heavy, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, there was much in the aroma that promised a full, sugary, rounded Barleywine, but on the tongue the 11.1% ABV simply overpowered everything, giving the beer a heavy liqueur overtone. Were this actually a liqueur, it would be delicious—but for a Barleywine, it comes across as overly strong and not very finely nuanced. Admittedly, I'm drinking this fairly fresh off the bottling line, so I'm going to put the rest of the four-pack in the cellar for a year or so and hope that the beer calms down.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Chestnut brown colored with a fingernail of beige head covering a majority of the top. Aroma is virtually nonexistent despite repeated attempts. The flavor is a boozy, malty, alcoholic assault. There's a light nutty element Intwined. The mouth is boozy and gently burns on the aY down.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at about fridge temp split with a friend poured into a pint glass. i believe this is a 2011 vintage.

pours out a cloudy, deep copper, red color with a nice 1-2 finger off white, almost light tan colored head. decent semi thick retention, no real lace.

initial aromas are of hot solventy alcohol, dark fruits and caramel, almost a little candied. maybe a little apple.

again, very hot and quite sweet. fruity, mostly apples and a little fig, also slightly grapey. candied caramel, toffee, slightly nutty. finishes crisp, slightly bitter and almost a little dry?

definatly hot and alcoholic, fairly big body, decent feeling carbonation.

overall, a decent english BW, but insanity (bourbon barrel aged version) was so much better. it almost tastes like a completely different beer. i would definatly recommend insanity over this. maybe this would fare a little better with some age?

Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque burnt orange color with chunklets suspended. Thick and fine beige head rises up a full inch and sinks every so slowly. Aroma rises up from the glass before I'm even done pouring. It's thick and rich and sweet, smelling of rich malts and honey, plus pear and apple. Very inviting. Mouthfeel is a little watery, but gives way to a wallop of pungent flavor. Pine and citrus with sweet malts and fruit riding beneath. Finish is an alochol burn followed by a lingering tingle. That full 11% makes itself known, and probably hides many other interesting flavors that would normally surface.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,968 ratings.