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Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

884 Reviews
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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 884 | Ratings: 2,107
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boozy whiskey great aroma. Taste sharp whiskey and then mellowed by the barley. Very finishable. Fig date licorice chocolate malt essence and sharp sour plum soaked for a while. Wow, 11% warming. A 55 degree room temperature offering. Amber ruby colour.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Jnorton00 for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly murky orange-brown with a 1/2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and some metallic aromas. Taste is of malt, metal, and burnt brown sugar. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with some off aromas and flavors.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin half finger head on a garnet and crimson murky body with excellent lacing. Nice sweet aroma with mostly bubblegum, plum, grapes and vanilla. Flavor is malty with citrus, pine, molasses and figs. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall a mild barley wine which isn't as sharp or difficult to get used to as many which helps its drinkability however the flavors are understated slightly effecting it's complexity.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is an interesting beer, suitable for holiday time. the pours is a copper to red color, mostly clear but with some yeast floaters hanging around under a short white head. the aroma is heavy on the honey, with notes of dried cherries, english caramel malt, and a touch of holiday spice. the alcohol is toxic in this beer though, its at the forefront in the nose and taste, and really burns through any subtle flavors that might make this a better beer. one bottle is more than enough of this one i though. the body is full and the bubbles are plentiful, but its just not something anyone could handle too much of. my least favorite of the weyerbacher big beers case, i just thought the alcohol potency overshadowed the intended flavor profile.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy orange in color and poured with a thin creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns floating in the center of the glass. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are aromas of alcohol and dark fruit in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of caramel, dark fruits and toffee; there are some hints of sweetness in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and somewhat syrupy on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
D: Considering its strength, this beer is not that difficult to drink, although there's no way I could have more than one of these at a time.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep brown color, with a white head. The aroma is sweet smelling with some piney hops in the mix. The flavors are there but not in the biggest way. It's a bit watery on the mouthfeel. This beer could be a lot better, I know a lot of people who love this beer for it's strength. Whenever I talk to people about strong beers they ask me about this one. It's a decent barley wine but it's not the greatest. I think people from around here like it so much because It's local and that cool to show support for the home team.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Barley Wines out there. Strong alcohol and thinly sweet malts throughout. From the onset, gives the sensation of warming and lightly fusal, yet pleasant. Boldly sweet with syrup, molassas, and brown sugar. Hopped for balance and light bittering. Moderately thick and silky to the palate. Finishes with a light sweetness, light drying, and palate clensing bitterness. I will be drinking quite a bit more of these. It's certainly an Enlish Barley Wine with a subtle American twist.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours with a three-fingered head that caps the clear burnt orange liquid; plenty of lacing

Smell: Cherries, fig, dates, treacle and nuts

Taste: Treacle, fig, dates and nuts, up front, with a developing spice cake aspect; the sweetness builds, after the swallow, along with a boozy, spicy aspect

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation and considerable warmth in the gullet

Overall: Just not that excited by this beer; would have preferred a bit more hop elements even though I recognize that this is in the English barleywine style

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber looking ale with a medium head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is quite sweet with some great malt also noticeable. Taste is very warming which is probably due to the high content of alcohol, which is not easily discernable. Quite sweet throughout with some caramel and light bitterness at the end. Overall, this is very pleasant stuff and looking forward to try the Insanity.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to ChrisPro in Blind BIF #4. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a dark copper color with a good white head. Starts out with two fingers and fades down into a moderately-sized collar with some film on top. The nose is fairly sweet with a bit of dark fruits. Quite a bit of sweetness coming through along with some cherries. Taste is mildly sweet with a bit of malt and caramel. A bit of yeastiness comes through as well. Difficult to pin down. The yeast reminds me of Harpoon's house ale yeast. Drinks pretty well, though there's nothing too noteworthy about it. I don't get much other than the yeast, though that portion is distinctively American.

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Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belated thanks to markgugs for sending this in a trade a few years ago. Decided to cellar it, and here we are today.

Pours into a Duvel glass a bright ruby tone, didn't quite manage to keep all the sediment out, so there's a flurry of suspended particles. Lasting cream colored head that lingers with good retention. Very deep malty aroma, with some rum raisin at room temperature. Not especially complex, a note of alcohol comes out when swirled, but it's not a deal breaker, this is a 11+% Barleywine after all.

Viscous body with some lush toffee/caramel flavors, spicy rum, and dried fruit. Oxidized and bready like some Euro beers. Alcohol seems somewhat tamed yet still perceptible. Rich and sticky. Low carbonation, full bodied. A nice late evening sipper. Thanks Mark!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whoa, this is a big strong, beer for sure. The first I've had from this brewery and I found it to be an above average barleywine. It's no Bigfoot or Old Horizontal for sure, but it's pretty damn good. Does have a little too much of an alcohol flavor and not enough of a "beer" taste to balance it out for me. This affects the drinkability but overall its a good beer and worth a try.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small, light brown head that quickly recedes to a thin ring of lace. The body is a somewhat hazy, reddish brown with ruby highlights.

S - A deep, malty aroma of toffee, plums, toasted malt and caramel.

T - Lots of caramel and toffee, followed by smoky notes and a hint of bitter chocolate. There is a little bit of hop flavor and bitterness in the finish.

M - The body is thick and syrupy, medium low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Drinkable would be stretching it a bit for a beer this big and thick, but it is pretty enjoyable. The malt complexity is excellent, and the beer is very smooth for something so strong, but I don't know if it quite manages to justify its extraordinary price.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoldering cherry-bronze with orange juice trim. Man, I love the way most barleywines look in the glass! The lid is a looker as well. It's orange-tinted ivory in color and is as frothythick as whipped eggnog. Since it has no desire to deflate in the next hour or so, my lace assessment will have to wait. At the moment, it appears as if the glass will be pretty well covered. (Note: in the end, very little lace ends up sticking).

The nose is pretty standard for an English barleywine. It's a little lax in the power and depth departments, there isn't much hoppiness, and there's a wee bit too much undisguised alcohol. That whole 'cherries and figs macerated in brandy' smell is present and accounted for, but it fails to impress due to the faults noted a few lines up.

The flavor is much more agreeable than the aroma. The beer is nicely malted, with muscular flavors of black cherry, orange, dark rum-soaked dates and English toffee. It isn't as complex as some of my favorites of the style, but it's still pretty tasty beer. I have no doubt that it's hard to completely neutralize an 11.10% ABV. Given the circumstances, this big ale is just about as mellow as possible. Cellaring it for 18 months, as I've done, was a good choice.

I won't say 'with warming' since I started the bottle out at cellar temperature, but with time the various members of the flavor profile knit together more completely and the alcohol becomes even more rounded and smooth. On second thought, the latter may be due to nothing more than tongue numbing. I love how the boozy cherry flavor hangs on seemingly indefinitely.

The mouthfeel, while unquestionably full, is still roughly average for the style (in terms of girth). I'll call it lightly syrupy at most since there's barely a trace of heaviness or stickiness. The carbonation is appropriately subdued and does its work without fanfare, or even notice. The mouthfeel makes drinking quickly a breeze, even as the ABV makes drinking too quickly dangerous. Respect is a must.

This Weyerbacher offering is one of the better examples of an English barleywine that I've run across. I will never like malt-dominant versions of the style as much as I like balanced or (especially) hop-dominant versions, but I've had a good time with this one. It's solid all the way around. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the Blithering Idiot.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006. Served at cellar temperature and consumed on 08/20/2008 via over sized wine glass.

The pour was very nice, rich dark amber, bordering on a light brown in texture. Nearly opaque with a ton of haze in this one. A smallish light tan head then came up over the top and settled down lightly with just a ood amount of side glass coating.

THe aroma was a malty monster. RIch notes of candied sugar, caramel, and a touch of light bready malt. Some light fruit notes coming through now as it warms, well light in nature, but not in substance. Raisins, plums, some light figs, this was getting very complex. Flavor was very full, with lots of raisin like flavor dominant and a good bit of light alcohol in the back. THis was spicy with hints at nutmeg or something that was tingling on the tongue underneath it all. Light woody character as it warmed now aas well, really rounding it out nicely. Nice medium feel was very well done with not too much carbonation, but just enough to really get it going. A goo sipper, though I found myself chugging it down quicker as time went by.

Overall, this was a very soilid beer. Easily one that should be sought out as it was readily available and somewhat affordable. I would have no issue in trying this one again any day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single from Green's on Buford Hwy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish-brown body with a small, though sustaining, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, malty, boozy aroma with a rich, syrup-soaked blend of dark fruits.

Taste: Lightly toasty caramel maltiness with a good dose of sweetness (along the lines of a sip of simply syrup). Very tiny hint of cocoa powder and banana bread. There's a strong fruitiness tasting of sugared, sauteed figs. Slight earthy hop character and bitterness. Warming alcohol presence but nothing too glaring, mind you. Finishes sweet and boozey.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A predominately sweet, malty barleywine that I enjoyed fairly well. I have a few older bottles lurking the cellar that I'll be sure to check on.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even older bottles of this seem to pour hazy. I'm not sure of the year since they don't mark them, but this is the older label (burgundy w/ gold letters... just letters, no jester) so it must be at least a year old, maybe two. It's aged well; no defects. The color has a nice organge cast to it and the aroma is pretty bold. Very full, sweet, caramelish malt. No hops in the aroma, but that's expected for an English-style barleywine. The flavor, however, is much more restrained than the malt suggests. Alot of drinkers view this in a negative light, but I feel it's perfectly acceptable. It's not as malty or hoppy as most American versions, but keep in mind that this is based on British barleywines, many of which are more along these lines. The flavor that is here is very well balanced, and very drinkable, rounding up the usual suspects: malty, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, alcohol. Not alot of hop flavor or bitterness, but just enough to balance very well. I think this is also a beer best served English-style - at a cellar temperature of 50 - 55 F - as more of its character is revealed. A bit of an underdog in the barleywine race, but still an excellent beer!

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Photo of womencantsail
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: The beer pours an amber color with a very thin layer of khaki/off-white foam.

S: What is wrong with the nose? Nothing like a barleywine (English or otherwise). Cough syrup and corn with a lot of sugar, alcohol, and maybe some fruits. Slightly floral, but otherwise not much redeeming going on here.

T: Blech. Sugar and alcohol with cough syrup notes. Surprisingly bitter and astringent. A very harsh flavor overall. Some grape and burnt grain flavors on the back end as well. It's also sort of watery on top of it all.

M: The body is thin and watery with a low carbonation.

D: Jesus this was bad. I have no desire to try this again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is dark fruit and caramel, with a mild hops background and a note of banana, which I found surprising.

T: The taste is malty but not quite as sweet as the smell makes you expect. There are flavors of caramel, dark fruit, spice and a significant alcohol sting. The hops presence is pretty decent but it has a hard time breaking through the heavy malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink a couple of and relax with, but I would to drink too much more than that in one night.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I miss having Weyerbacher readily available. This offering pours a mostly clear amber ruby topped by a short-lived finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin oranges (in syrup), and some fairly pronounced alcohol. The taste is very similar, though some toffee and biscuits sneak their way in as well without really subduing the oranges (but the alcohol seems diminished a touch). The body is a fairly hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, a solid b-wine, a bit on the boozy side, but not too bad at all.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/10/2012. Pours lightly cloudy reddish orange color with a nice 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big cherry, raisin, prune, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, banana, light clove, bread, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of maltiness. Taste of cherry, raisin, molasses, caramel, toast, fig, bread, herbal, clove, earth, and banana. No bitterness at all on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, toast, banana, light clove, bread, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malty flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and very slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Definitely a sipper at 11.1%. Overall this is a very nice English Barleywine style. Very nice flavor complexity and balance of malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering. I enjoyed this much more than my first rating; not sure what went wrong with that bottle.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle into a snifter.
The color is deep ruby w/ dark amber hues and is nestled beneath a smooth 1/2 inch ecru cap that settles to a crust. The bead is tight and carbonation is visible. Lace holds and releases as theclarity is translucent. The aroma is all malt w/ deep toffee, mild wood and slight spice w/ hints of toasted caramel and mild alcohol notes. Mouthfeel is sweet up front w/ slight spice + mild toasted dry malt feel w/ a high alcohol heat and moderately high carbonation level for the style.

The taste is a full malty blend of toasted caramel and is augmented by some slight creamy tinges which are accented by a slight cinnnamon-like woodiness which transitions to an alcohol flavor which brings a warmth and dryness on the throat + carries on to the belly with some subtle toffee that lingers after the swallow. There is a mild pine that emerges as it ners cellar temp with the fusel in the tertiary taste. Overall mot a great barleywine, but better than some in the style. I give thos props fo the aroma and taste but there is more fusel alcohol in this than I prefer for my personal taste.

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Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.

Hazy copper body is topped by a tan head that has great retention, especially for style.

A load of sweet and medium roasted malts in the nose along with less pronounced alcohol esters. The alcohol is more evident in tasting where it is joined by notes of toffee, figs, and other dark fruits.

Feel: a bit more heat than ideal but quite smooth.

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Photo of Jason
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
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.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 884 ratings.