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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,664 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,664
Reviews: 820
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 40
Gots: 129 | 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: 1,664 | Reviews: 820 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark amber color with about one finger of off white head. No lacing or real retention.

s - Smells of dark fruits, booze, and sweet malts.

t - Taste follows the nose; plum, raisins, dark fruits, booze, and sweet malts.

m - Low carbonation and full body. Booze taste makes it kind of hot.

d - Wasn't the biggest fan of this barleywine. Decent dark fruit smell and taste, but it was overpowered by a lot of booze. This one might be a little better served cellaring for a bit. Have one bottle left I'll be holding onto for a bit.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 01:35:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of beertunes


3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured a reddish-mahogany color with just the faintest amount of head, that somehow left a little bit of lacing. The aroma was typical for the style, sweet and malty, but on the subdued side. The flavor followed the the same track, subdued malty sweetness, and didn't really stand out in a good or bad way.

The body and drinkability were also average for the style, good but not great, and certainly not terrible. Overall, an average Barleywine, give it a shot if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 19:45:28 | More by beertunes
Photo of cdbooth219


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pilsner glass

A: Pours a reddish brown color with about half a finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing

S: Smells of alcohol mixed with dark fruit, cherries, plums and raisins. Also a sweet caramel malt smell comes in as well

T: Tastes of sweet caramel malt, with undertones of cherries, plums, raisins and honey. Has a bit of an alcohol taste as well. The finish is that of alcohol warmth. Not really any hop presence to be found. This is a very sweet beer

M: Rather heavy and warming because of the heavy alcohol presence

D: This is quite a challenge to drink. The complexity and high alcohol content make it difficult to drink more than one bottle, but its quite a good sipper.

Overall, i enjoyed this beer. Its very complex and a great sipping beer. I had it with a slice of apple cake and it was quite enjoyable. I will probably pick up another bottle of this again.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 01:54:59 | More by cdbooth219
Photo of AtlasBrew


4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When you think 11% alcohal you think fusal, solvent type flavors dominating a sub-par Barley Wine. However, that is not the case with B.I. Granted that first sip punches you in the throat and kicks you in the stomach but it gets much better from there. Hops are minimal at best but not really expected. HUGE malt flavors and aromas carry you through to a slightly dry finish but it is NOT overly dry. There is a nice balance between the sweetness and the alcohol. Not bad at all, give this one a shot.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 07:40:09 | More by AtlasBrew
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A tall pour gave this beautifully clear candy-apple red-amber beer a stout little one-finger cream-colored head. Low retention from the high percent level I'm sure which resulted in a ring of loose bubbles and tiny bits of lace.

S - For a barleywine the nose is rather timid. A deep whiff reveals lightly toasted caramel malts with a predominantly sweet aroma. Honey, deep fruits of cherry, plum, and a light citrusy splash of maybe pineapple. Almost no hop nose or alcohol for that matter.

T - The timid smoothness of the nose directly translates to the flavor of this barleywine. It almost seems aged although I know it just recently came to the store. A smooth caramel malt backbone is pretty biscuity with a strong, unchallenged sweetness of caramel, honey, and a kiss of fruit. A faint hop finish kicks in a the very end.

M - Really smooth with an ever-so-slightly modest carbonation trickle and a really well-balanced malty sweetness that's got a soft counteraction of light hop dryness and bitterness to the finish. Smoooth too with a warm finish but not at all distracting and a creamy, almost silky feel.

D - A better drinking barleywine than most, it's mellow across the board. I wonder if this is aged cause it seems like it. This barleywine crosses the border from sipper into decently drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 02:04:33 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Morey


3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This thick brew pours a hazy brownish-red color. Some suspended sediment floating in the middle. Two finger tannish-cream head that is slowly settling to a thin lace, but is still possessing lots of stick.

Smell is a pleasant mix of malts, fruit, and alcohol with not one overpowering the other.

Taste is sweet and malty with a somewhat candied medicinal taste. Slight hop flavor, but it's definitely mild and on the back end.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and slightly syrupy with a low carbonation level.

Alcohol is noticeable, but I like that in a Barleywine. If I was really in the mood, I could do two of these, but that would probably be about it. Definitely a sipper, but an enjoyable one.

Morey's Bottom Line: This is a winter beer that you want to bust out when the flakes are falling from the sky. If you're in the mood for a high alcohol beer, Blithering Idiot won't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 23:53:45 | More by Morey
Photo of joemeister


3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy, reddish copper. About an inch of frothy beige head. If you look closely you can see a few strands of upwardly mobile bubbles. I love the way the carbonation "moves" to form the head. Very entertaining to watch, at least to me.

If you can imagine a sweet, spray paint aroma, that's what I smell. Like an aerosol. I suspect the alcohol is playing for keeps here.

The taste is less overwhelming than I expected; malt is at the forefront, and it has a little hint of bready-ness. Actually, I taste a little bit of an alcohol-soaked dark chocolate covered cherry. The alcohol comes through strong in the mix, the aftertaste is distinctively fruity. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky but generally pleasing - this is a fully medium-bodied, creamy beer.

Overall, I'd have to say that the alcohol plays a little too much of a role in the flavor profile: it dominates both the smell and the taste. That's not to say this beer completely misses it's mark - the dark fruit undertones are there, but they are just overshadowed. If the alcohol presence was subordinated just a little bit, this beer would be great. But for now it's just ok. Bottom line: I'd drink it if you gave it to me, but wouldn't order one intentionally.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 21:35:03 | More by joemeister
Photo of mdwalsh


4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very red, though leaning brown, and quite clear. A solid but not overwhelming head of pale beige. The consistent active carbonation makes for nice play between the beer and head at the point they touch. The head also leaves some lacing, but not too much.

S: Rich baked caramel in the nose. A lot of baked smells really, cookies, bread, and just a hint, a very small hint of chocolate. I get no hops, which is maybe a drawback for an American Barleywine, but this is really more on the English Side for everything else.

T: Again, no hops and still biscuit, caramel, lots of delicious malt flavors going on. Not too sweet either, and definately no alcohol. While there is a lot of variety at play here, I don't get a lot of depth. No change in the flavors as it warms, and not many small things to notice.

M: A little light here, not nearly as much body or texture as I want. Still good, there's nothing offensive here, and it isn't "lite" by any means, but it isn't a nice creamy texture like I want.

D: However that same too-thin feeling makes it exceedingly drinkable and easy going.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 03:27:20 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown with thick off-white head. A bit hazy without much visible carbonation. A beautiful color with a nice reddish hue.

Smell starts with a nice hoppy citrus, then changes quickly to a very sweet, cherry medicinal smell with a decent toffee maltiness. Not too much in the way of ethanol smell but it's there in the medicinal character. Overwhelming at first but it seems to mellow out a bit as it sits.

Lots of malt going on in the flavor - caramel and toffee; very sweet, verging on cloying. Moves to the same cherry medicinal flavor, and finishes with more chocolate and caramel malt character. A definitely noticeable alcohol heat toward the end but it is relatively minor.

Nice medium body, a bit viscous. Comes on strong and overwhelming at first but again it seems to mellow out as the beer sits and warms a little. While quite a complex beer, the various elements seem to be a bit jumbled up at this point.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2010 20:24:32 | More by goldbot
Photo of Lerxst


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

A-Pours a cloudy copper with a thin off white head that faded quick but left decent lacing.

S-Traces of caramel, figs, cherries, booze. I know this is an English Barleywine but were hops used in the brewing process here? A complete lack of hop presence in the nose.

T-Sweet malty caramel, kind of a brandy like taste as well as dark fruit.

M-Medium body, moderate carb level somewhat dry finish.

D-One was enough. Drinkability is just average.

I'm a barleywine fan, and while this one isn't a bad one, there are others that are far superior.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 18:58:20 | More by Lerxst
Photo of tjd112

New Jersey

1.88/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into Chimay goblet

Appearance - Poured a ruby colour with off-white fizzy head that quickly dissipated, no lacing to be found

Smell - Like cherry cough syrup

Taste = Like cherry cough syrup

Mouthfeel - Very sticky feeling, lingering bitterness, though not that good type of bitter

Drinkability/Overall - Awful, just, awful

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 19:45:13 | More by tjd112
Photo of CampusCrew


3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: reddish brown, head rentention dispates quikcly though

smell: weak hop presence noticedm some caramel

taste: a tad of hops. rich and touch of caramel sweetness. kinda of weak though.

mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied

drinkability: an ok beer, just lacked power.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 02:33:25 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been sitting on this bottle for some time (almost a year now somehow), mostly because I generally find both fresh barleywines and big Weyerbacher beers to be too boozy for my liking. As a result, I don't really know what this one would taste like fresh, but it works for me now.

A slow, deliberate pour into a tulip glass produces a relatively thin cream-colored head that evaporates into a halo around the edge of the glass over the murky, reddish, caramel-colored liquid. The aroma is sweet, yeasty, and a bit bready, with only a hint of the 11% alcohol. The flavor is predominately a malt sweetness with notes of toffee, raisins, and caramel. The malt sweetness is cut a bit by a little hit of peppery spice and a big hit of alcohol. The booziness becomes more and more apparent as the beer warms, which I expected at 11%+, but it doesn't get in the way of the creamy drinkability as much as I thought it might.

Based on the facts that I'm not much of a barleywine drinker, and I haven't been impressed with some of the Weyerbacher selections I've tried in the past, I didn't have high hopes for this one. I was pleasantly surprised, though, and thoroughly enjoyed the Idiot, although I have a feeling that I would score it a bit lower if had not let it mellow for so many months.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 19:48:13 | More by devilben02
Photo of sprucetip


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

Pours clear mahogany, but with so much activity that the clarity is obscured and it appears almost hazy. Short lived, thin, tan head falls fast. A few random specks of lace are all that remain after each sip.

Sweet caramel malty with cherry and raisin dark fruity tones are what I notice when I stick my nose in the goblet. I can feel a slight burn from the alcohol more than I sense it as a smell. The dark fruit and sweet malt balance each other nicely. I'd score it higher were it not for the boozy burn.

Like the nose, I taste malty caramel sweetness up front. But this time it is joined directly by fairly strong booze and moderate bitterness. The cherry and raisin influences are still there, to be sure, but they are less prominent underneath the bodacious 11% booze. Still, the nuance and complexity shine through.

Feel is light/medium carbonation with fairly strong, gradual alcoholic warming. It has a rich, full body and it is sticky and chewy. Some restrained dryness in the finish.

Cellar time would almost certainly do wonders for this one, but curiosity got the best of me. A seductive sipper, that is pretty smooth despite the booze. I can only imagine what a couple of years would do to this??? I may have to ship some home for the cellar. Quite complex and tasty, it is a solid example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 04:58:07 | More by sprucetip
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tonight continues "Galt's Broke Cellar Diving Project". 12oz bottle received from DIM way back in February of '08. Dan is an epic trader.. thanks buddy.

Poured 1/2 the bottle into my Delirium goblet... short lived 1/2" head descent cap and lace with every sip.. the brew is a polished copper amber.

Alcohol in the nose is way died down from the last time I had one of these.. but it is still present. Caramel and golden raisins.. a bit of something that reminds me of cinnamon.

English toffee and caramel .. nutty ... a bit bready mid palate smooths into a bit of alcohol bite and a lingering raisin finish... the body is very nice and carbonation may be a tad high, but is still good.

I like this one... always have... It however, really needs some time in the bottle to mesh and I think this could have gone another year no sweat.

Thanks again Dan... look me up next time you're in the mood for some PNW treats.


Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 07:15:24 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of billzee


3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. Deep amber with a thick white head, good retention. Some hop notes an alcohol in the nose. A bit of raspberry flavor, lots of alcohol. Medium body with decent amount of carbonation. Not my favorite in this style, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 18:12:09 | More by billzee
Photo of morimech


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a very small head that disappeared very quickly to just a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing is left on the glass. Average looking at best. Things pick up in the aroma department. This barleywine showcases the malt which is a bit rare since most are hop bombs. Hints of brandy and figs with the 11% ABV very much making its status known. The flavor is pleasant as well despite the strong boozy component. Hints of the dark fruit makes this enjoyable. The hops do not make any contribution that I could detect. Full bodied with smooth carbonantion. Not the easiest drinking beer with its big ABV but the alcohol does not overpower or makes things unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 23:29:22 | More by morimech
Photo of phattysbox

New York

2/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a tulip glass. Poured pretty vigorously and got a great 2 inch head but this receded to nothing - no lace. Has a murky reddish/clay-like hue clearly demonstrating the yeast remaining in the bottle. Not the best looking beer.

Smell: Spicy solvent alcohol first hits the nose and stays throughout. No hop character whatsoever but the fruity esters are very apparent. Harsh nose is similar to taking an overripe fig/date and aging it in rubbing alcohol.

Taste: More of the same from the nose. Extreme alcoholic warmth and harsh astringent flavors followed by uber sweet malt profile - raisins, dates, figs and cranberries. Again no hops are detectable. Even though its an english barleywine, there should be SOME hop character, perhaps earthy that an english varietal would bring. Mouthfeel is big and creamy while the carbonation fizzled out early in the brew. Warming the brew to RTP reveals some cardboard and diacetyl notes.

Drinkability is pretty low in my opinion. The solvent-like alcohol really detracts from the beer and makes it one-dimensional. Could not finish the whole bottle, just not worthy in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 15:29:57 | More by phattysbox
Photo of notlob


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 01/02/2010.

Aroma: Nice and malty up front, with some sweet alcohols, and light raisin and licorice.

Appearance: Deep copper-red, turbid, with about a one-finger head that dissipates quickly.

Flavor: Smooth citrus and sweet alcohols. Slightly chewy. With a nice caramel malt back-bone overly balanced with hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lower viscosity. Low-Moderate carbonation. Hot and dry in the finish.

Overall impression: Not too interesting, but a good example of an American barley wine. Greatly enjoyed in the low 50s F.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 23:31:13 | More by notlob
Photo of rustymoore


2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Getting back into the reviewing so here goes on this one...

A: Pours a orangish murky brown with a solid tannish head. Looks lighter than most barleywines that I have sampled.

S: Smell is subpar...you mostly pick up on the ethanol but there is a slight sweet note as well but definitely not appealing.

T: Taste is below average in my opinion. Nothing that sets this apart and the heavy amount of ethanol taste really kills your ability to pick up on any of the other taste notes. Pretty standard barleywine flavor however.

M: Somewhat acidic and once your allow this to warm up to room temperature is more tolerable.

D: Higher in ABV and you know it when you drink it. I don't suggest it.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 17:39:22 | More by rustymoore
Photo of steve8robin


3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Heard decent things about this brew. I finally decided to buy one...

A: Perfect look for a barleywine. Deep copper with a thick white head that never completely fades.

S: Nothing special. Hard to get a strong scent. Once you get a scent, it smells like a standard barleywine. Nothing new.

T: A little hoppy, but a slight raspberry flavor hidden in the background. Not much flavor to mask the booziness. Decent, but not great.

M: Decent carbonation, but leaves an unpleasant sticky flavor on your pallet. Eh, below average.

D: Goes down fairly easy. Kind of too easy for the wrong reasons. A little too much water. Good, but not great.

All in all, this is not a great brew. It's ok to try once, but not one to return to. My suggestion is to try an Olde School or something of higher taste value if you're trying to get into barleywines.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 04:01:52 | More by steve8robin
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip. No mention of vintage on the label, but I bought it in October 2009.

Pours a slightly hazy caramel with a half finger of yellowish tan head that recides to a scattered skim in short order, and pretty much disappears a couple of minutes later. Leaves a tiny bit of drippy lacing, but ends up looking mainly like a strong batch of tea.

Smells fairly tame- primary aromas are caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of banana? Touch of alcohol in the background.

Alcohol and brown sugar are much more pronounced in the mouth, with a yeasty tang and bit of bitterness joining after a moment. A strong raisinish flavor kicks in early and lingers clear through to the swallow and beyond. Banana present, but not as pronounced. Boozy aftertaste. Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation. Not flat, but not very lively.

Overall impression: Can't recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2009 01:14:05 | More by PDXHops
Photo of whtguitarguy


3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a cloudy brown, one-finger head that didn't disappear until the end of the glass.alcoholic smell with what seems like cherry or raspberry notes, with a bit of nutmeg. Taste is like a dry wine but pleasant with fruity notes. Mouthfeel is heavy and coating. No real aftertaste. A slightly bitter finish, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2009 21:42:11 | More by whtguitarguy
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased a 12 ounce single at the local Total Wine store...
This brew poured out dark reddish, cloudy with a decent size head that retained until the middle of my glass. I noticed strong brown sugar aromas up front with a huge wave of alcohol and following behind were hints of raisins, plums and nutmeg. Upon first taste, I figured out why this beer was called the "Blithering Idiot." Alcohol seemed to mask pretty much all of the characteristics of this brew, though I did notice the fermented brown sugar tastes with what seemed to be a strong malty backbone and a fierce, spicy finish. Even with the high ABV, this beer went down somewhat smooth and was a definite enjoyment overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2009 23:00:04 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of DougBrew


3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Looks a lovely deep amber, slightly brown. Pours with a small, but very tight head, which vanished almost as quickly as it appeared.

S- Heavy alcohol aroma. Sweet notes of dark fruits, prunes, and raisins. Hops aroma is imperceptible, if present at all.

M- Not as thick, full, and chewy as the style typically implies and is undoubtedly tempered by the high abv. Coats the mouth in warmth, but only for a moment, a moment or two.

T- Malty. Raisins dominate the bouquet. Hops are in the background, but the heat of the alcohol masks their role.

D- Very drinkable due to the light mouthfeel and subdued hop profile. Be careful as this one is quite enjoyable, but could probably lead to a crappy morning the next day. Overall, not exactly what I think of when the style is mentioned, but is pleasant and worth checking out if one has the chance.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 02:44:22 | More by DougBrew
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,664 ratings.