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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

1,745 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,745
Reviews: 825
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 45
Gots: 165 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,745 | Reviews: 825 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by TheBrewo:
Photo of TheBrewo
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We crack a bottle of 2011 stock (with the original label!!), pouring a brew of deep cherrywood into our ¾ sized tasting snifters. It puts up a quick half finger tall head of suntanned foam, showing brief retention, although it is easily reproducible. Soft wisps of lacing are left around the glasses. A thick haze cuts clarity, with large chunks of sediment locked throughout the liquid. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma stings with fusel booziness, but otherwise offers notes of raw honey, thick syrupy fruitiness of plum, red apple, and white pear, buttery diacetyls, vinyl plastics, mineral water, black pepper and clove spiciness, cooked maple sugar, lightly toasted caramel malts, metallic adjuncts, white corn, and a heavy Weizen-style dark wheat maltiness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is much more subdued than you would expect to follow that nose, most noticeably in its lack of heat and fruity complexity. As we sip, the taste begins with cloyingly sweet caramel and brown maltiness, cooled banana breadiness, mineral water, watermelon and apple fruitiness, dried waxiness, plastic and medicinal phenols, and soft buttery diacetyls. The middle comes to a peak with straight caramel sugar cloy, soy sauce saltiness, salted caramel, plum and apple juiciness, clover honey, sweet tea, and the faintest grassy hops. Washing through the end comes the final, albeit similar, mixture of white and brown sugar sweetness in the form of simple syrup, black peppery heat of booze, frank apple juiciness, iced tea-lemonade sweetness, soft plastic twinges, faint metallics, and dusty granite. The aftertaste breathes of tannic breakfast tea, dried apricot, white sugar, banana esters, cloven phenols, adjuncty and metallic graininess, caramel malt sweetness, sumptuous cherry juiciness, waves of fusel booze, spicy cracked black pepper, and mint julep sweetness. The body is on the light side of medium, but with hearty thickness of residual sugar to each slurp. The carbonation is near nonpalpable. Otherwise, the mouth is met with okay foam, cream, froth, or smack. It is left basted with a thick, sugary coat, with little eventual dryness or astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips decently.

Overall, the best thing about this brew is its aroma. This aspect of it is actually rather boastful, with each component taking a big stand, looking for all the attention. It was, however, disproportionate when followed by that flavoring, with huge booziness in the nose that was extremely dampened in the finished product on the palate. Perhaps this was to its benefit, hoping cloy would be more appealing to people than harshness. So that said, nothing was really offensive about this beer, it just came across as quite simple and light to the touch. Perhaps the nearly three years we put on it was to its detriment, but according to the brewer, they are confident that it improves up to five years in the bottle. We’d have to do a vertical to find out, but that just doesn’t seem very appealing at present. On a happy/interesting/mostly unrelated note, this is our first review since getting engaged earlier this week, so huzzah!!

TheBrewo, Dec 23, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

oberon, Sep 29, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

RoyalT, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +9.6%

OhioBobcat, May 29, 2014
Photo of Zakk
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Zakk, Aug 14, 2012
Photo of JacobMutberg
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

JacobMutberg, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of SIRIUS2
4/5  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.

SIRIUS2, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of wrycon
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
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

wrycon, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of rwinzing
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
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

rwinzing, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of JasonA
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

JasonA, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of BigMarty1980
4/5  rDev +9.6%

BigMarty1980, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

lordofthewiens, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of thetommo
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

thetommo, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%

DaftPatrick, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of warnerry
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

warnerry, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of sponberg
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

sponberg, Sep 18, 2002
Photo of nstroup
4/5  rDev +9.6%

nstroup, May 10, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

SmellsofMahagony, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of bigdipip
4/5  rDev +9.6%

bigdipip, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of TimoP
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

TimoP, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Doomcifer
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of megamass
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

megamass, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Jason
2.75/5  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.

Jason, Oct 22, 2001
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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,745 ratings.