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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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1,918 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,918
Reviews: 848
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 52
Gots: 242 | FT: 7
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: 1,918 | Reviews: 848
Photo of DefenCorps
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle from last years' release. I've had this a while, just getting around to drinking it.

Mildly hazy with a gorgeous dense beige head that recedes to a disk and then a ring, leaving a little lace.

The nose is rather simple, with a sweet sugar syrup character with toffee and caramel. It doesn't have the depth and complexity that I've found in the best beers of this style. Mild honey floral character is present as well.

The palate is one dimensional, sweet and syrupy with a touch of burnt sugar and alcohol burn on the finish. For a beer as sweet, the body is paradoxically thin, it doesn't have the expected heft. This really is rather mediocre, lacking in depth and finesse.

Medium in body while managing to feel light, this is a disappointment. The finish is all sugar and alcohol. On the bright side, the carbonation is quite stunning - soft, suffuse, and lush

This really is a chore to drink, and I'm not going to bother.

Photo of eljefe21
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Ice tea like in color. Pours to a thin light tan head that is quickly gone. A liquidy trace of lacing.

S: Heady, sweet aroma fills the nose. Nothing distinctive about the sweetness.

T: Sweetness starts on the front and side of the tongue, disappears and finally reappears in the middle of the tongue at the finish. Pretty much all sweetness, in a good way.

M: Body is thick and sticky. Not much carbonation. Very smooth.

D: It's a cool night and this is a warm treat. I haven't had many Barley wines, but this compares well to the few I have. This one definitely is not for everyday consumption, but is a nice treat at the right time.

Served: in an oversized wine glass.

Review from notes taken on: 9/9/09

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very murky dark brown, nice light brown head that dissipates quickly. Nose was a bourbon type flavor I thought, seemed like a barrel aged, joined by the malts and well hopped and well balanced. Start is malt sweet, the middle creamy and a medium body, the finish dry, somewhat tart, pleasantly hopped and smooth as an be. Liked this ALOT!!!
2007 vintage
Poured a deep, cloudy orange color, with a small white head, good carbonation, some bubbles and sediment. Nose bubble gum, fruits, candy. Taste is candied and dried fruit, bubble gum, brown sugar, maple and very sweet. Nice alcohol bite and warming. Mouthfeel is sticky and sweet. Phenom!!!

Photo of glid02
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a clear honey-copper color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with hints of butterscotch and toffee. As the beer warms mild amounts of alcohol and fruit flavors waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Big sweet caramel malt flavors up front with hints of toffee. Midway through the sip a bit of fruitiness makes itself apparent - mostly apricots - before giving way to a mildly bitter ending. The hops aren't terribly apparent but it remains well-balanced. As it warms alcohol becomes slightly apparent and a very light hint of milk chocolate flavors meld with the caramel malts.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with light carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and despite the high ABV I could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer that hit all the right flavors but they weren't quite large enough to be great. Worth a shot.

Photo of nickd717
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Liquors in DC, poured into wine glass.

A - Nice reddish-amber appearance with a small white head.

S - Aroma is caramel malt, dark fruits, and brown sugar.

T - Lots of caramel malt, not too sweet, with toffee, raisin, spice, grain, alcohol, and some hops. Not quite as intense or complex as I'd like for the style, but certainly not bad.

M - Body is medium-full and a little syrupy but not as much as you'd expect for the high ABV.

D - Pretty high for the style.

Overall, an average barleywine. This was my last beer of the night, and it was a long night, so I lived up to the name and was a real life blithering idiot after this.

Photo of botham
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a tasting glass. pours an orangish amber with a minimal head and a soapy rim after half a minute or so.

aroma is rich and thick with malt notes, including caramelized malts, a light spice, some alcohol and some thick grain in the background.

taste is good. rich with caramelized malts and crystalized malts and sugars. very rich on the palate with a finish of residual, sticky caramel and crystal malts.

mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy in texture. thick and rich on the palate with a finish of residual caramel and sticky malts.

drinkability is good. this is a nicely composed barleywine with a drinkable character and well masked alcohol. cheers!

Photo of Florida9
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, the label indicates this is a "Barleywine Style Ale," which is a bit of a concern. Is this a barleywine or not? Can't Weyerbacher just call it a barleywine or is this ale missing some sort of legal requirement to be considered an official barleywine?

A: Hazey, red-orange in color polk-a-dotted with suspended floaties. About 2 fingers of small bubbled head reduces quickly to a surface coating leaving no lacing on the way down.

S: Fruity, malty and bubblegum.

T&M: Creamy smooth mouthfeel with sweet malts and a huge alcoholic finish. Sort of a sour twang over the tongue at the end. Medium in body with lower carbonation.

D: A decent beer, but out of balance and not one of Weyerbacher's finer offerings. Of course, barleywines are supposed to be high in alcohol, but this one is really showcasing it. I guess the word "rough" could be used to describe this one. I imagine a little age could help it out, but I don't think age is going to resolve all of this beers problems.

Photo of kgs
2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seriously underwhelmed by this barleywine. It was sweet and alcoholic, but so is a Harvey Wallbanger. Heavy malts and a lot of stickiness undifferentiated by distinctive flavoring or mouthfeel. Fragrance -- mere sweetness, nothing that stands out. Not something I'd bother with again.

Photo of portia99
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet. No freshness date on this, but I've had this in my cellar for at least 6 months.

A - Pours a deep, hazy amber brown color. Lots of sediment particles floating around. Short lasting, thin off white head forms briefly before disappearing. Thin, uneven collar forms around the edge and surrounded the one bubble thick film on the surface of the beer.

S - Smell is primarily of sweet, candy like sugar. Alcohol also makes a strong showing in the aroma. A spicy, herbal aroma, maybe slightly phenolic too is present too. No hops noticed in the aroma.

T - Taste is of sweet malt and alcohol. Alcohol gives a strong warming sensation. This is quite a sweet beer - malt, candy sugar, caramel all present in mass. The spicyness in the aroma holds on here - gives a slight coolness - peppermint-like, maybe wintergreen? and some medicinal qualities...definitely in a fight with the hotness of the alcohol for control. Very unusual, not entirely unpleasant, but unusual.

M - Mouthfeel is on the syrupy side. Strange alcohol hotness and spicy coolness...now I'm thinking peppermint schnapps like. Going down, I"m thinking heartburn...think I'm going to pay for this one.

D - Alcohol is high at 11.1%. Feels harsh hot/cold going down. Think this could probably use a little more aging. Flavors and alcohol are a little much for me, even in a barleywine. Has potential, but think it needs to mellow a little with some age.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours an amber/copper color with about an inch tan head. Head retention is excellent, lacing is good. Aroma is fruity and malty, it smells like brandy, cherries, plums, raisins, brown sugar and bready malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like brown sugar, raisins, bready malt and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's rich and a bit syrupy and coating with average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's very smooth and easy to drink but it's also a sipper because of the high alcohol. If you like English Barleywines, then you would probably like this brew. I thought it was good.

Photo of tone77
2.36/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From a brown 12 oz. bottle. Pours a brownish/red color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, slightly sweet. Taste is mostly of alcohol, some maltiness , and finishes sour. Feels creamy in the mouth. Definatly not a beer I could spend the evening drinking. Overall not really to my liking.

Photo of Duhast500
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The color is a deep maroon/red with some light brown fomay head with some nice lacing.

The smell is a fruity alcohol mix with some grape flavor as well as a sugary candy flavor.

The taste is sweet with a dark fruit and surgery flavor that did make me wince a little but settled in pretty quickly. The alcohol feel does seem to slide over the tongue and latch on as the aftertaste lingers for a bit but no unpleasant.

The mouth feel is a bit heavy at first but lightens up a bit after the first contact of the flavor hits the tongue. Goes down well especially on a hot day like this when I tried it. Anything would go down well tonight.

Photo of Gatch
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aging since I bought it in 2007. It might have been bottled in 2006 like the other bottles that were with it but there is no date on the bottle.

A - Deep copper hue with a light brown, fluffy head.

S - Malt, sugar, alcohol.

T - Very sweet and sugary. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

M/D - Creamy with a slight bite from the alcohol. An enjoyable sweetness in your mouth with a great taste that lingers. I haven't drank too many barleywines but this seems to be a fine example.

Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light tan brown head, mixture of bubble sizes, the razor thin lacing holds on admirably before sliding down into the liquid below. Muddy brown orange in hue, pretty damn murky although the orange tones brighten the rims and bottom of the glass. Fruity nose of raisin bread, plum, cherry, black grapes and banana, however, doesn't come across as über-sweet, no lack of malts, mocha, brown sugar, toffee and the usuals, something close to pine resin there, relaxed hops and even the barley content to stay par of the chorus. Full-bodied, more sluggish than heavy, releases up off the tongue decently. The alcoholic booziness more apparent here, slight burn to it. Again, not as overtly sweet as many others, smoky brown sugar and caramel, mocha powder, light charred edge. More fresher cherry, plum, grape, apple than raisin, prune or date. Slightly elevated hoppiness here, particularly near the finish. Carbonation could have more verve. Gets a little smoother as it warms, curious this be.

Photo of Kendo
3.14/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured into a pint glass. First thing noticed is the sediment in suspension. Lots and lots of chunks suspended in the mahogany-amber body. Small tan head disappears fast.

S: Immediate waft of boozy fruit, with the two (alcohol and fruit -- dark fruit) dueling for control. Also some brown sugar noted in the nose.

T: Like the nose, this one is a malt bomb with lots of alcohol. Very sweet fruity malt up front (think black cherries, more so as it warms). Finishes with a slightly drying alcohol heat at the back. That heat is felt in the gulley and belly. Overall impression: take a shot of rum and drop it in a glass of black cherry soda and you've got the general idea. The taste seemed to improve somewhat as it warmed -- either that or I just got used to it.

M: Slightly syrupy. Heavy weight.

D: Not so good. It took me about an hour and a half to drink a 12 oz bottle. I've had bombers of beer approaching this ABV that I finished more quickly.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is not strong but is pleasantly malty with hints of apple brandy and caramel. It pours a clear, dark mahogany with a thin and not too persistent head. Flavor is somewhat malty with touches of caramel and cloves and a strong but not overwhelming brandy-like bite. Texture is smooth, a little edgy and hardly fizzy.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into an oversize wine glass.

A- Dark amber / copper color and quite hazy- seems to be loaded with sediment hanging in suspension. Barely a covering of off-white head produced by the pour, which fades quickly into a tiny island of bubbles. No lacing noted.

S- Malty and boozy, laced with dark fruits.

T- Very malty with a lot of burnt caramel and candied sugar sweetness, offset by the fairly strong notes of alcohol....just slightly solvent. Dark fruits, and even some ripe banana flavors.

M- Moderate carbonation, and fairly full feeling. Fairly high alcohol warming presence.

D- OK. The 11+ % ABV would clearly make this a one and done sipper.

Future outlook: Mediocre. Other barleywines out there that I prefer over this one....not much reason to revisit.

Photo of BarrelO
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep mahogany. Two-finger head that quickly dissipates.

S: Dark fruit overload. Smells almost like a quad.

T: Tastes like a quad too. Pretty much all dark fruits and caramel. Also a noticeable alcohol burn.

M: Heavy, appropriate for sipping.

D: If you like highly alcoholic malt bombs, you should probably stock up. Otherwise, you might want to split the bottle with someone. I wonder how this would age. Would it round out and become more complex or would it become even more sickeningly sweet? I suspect the latter.

Photo of Winter
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, reddish orange with a khaki-colored head. Aroma consists of caramel, fruit and a touch of cherry. The mouthfeel is thick - smooth and full-bodied. Taste is pretty straight forward for a barleywine. There's a blend of malt and hop bitterness throughout. This is a sipper that unfolds nicely at room temperature. Great beer to have by your side on a cold winter night.

Photo of yesyouam
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot is a cloudy, deep amber ale with a small, dense, khaki head that has good retention and lacing. It has a slightly sweet, malty aroma with notes of spicy green hops, juniper and black pepper. It is full bodied, creamy and very smooth; almost flat with a slightly gritty finish. It's pretty well balanced. The malt is a little sweet and the hops taste very green. It's very drinkable, even at 11.1% ABV.

Photo of flexinwext
2.61/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark reddish amber color. I can tell before I even take a sip that this will be uber-malty. Very sweet smelling with some fruity tones. At first sip this is definitely malty malty malty. Probably the sweetest barleywine you will ever drink. High ABV is definitely apparent. This isn't one you want to drink more than one of.

Photo of Bartrob6
1.93/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

cloudy orangish brown. small head but disappears very soon. i can see a few big bubbles floating to the surface.

smells extremely fruity and sweet with alcohol. not very inviting.

tastes like it smells. very fruity and sweet. i'm not enjoying this one at all. maybe i've got a bad bottle?

extremely thick and syrupy mouthfeel.

barely drinkable.

i won't be buying this again.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy mahogany color with a small bubbly white head.

Scent of sugars, caramel, tobacco, fruit, spices and a hint of alcohol. The small alcohol presence keeps the sweetness tame, but it still isn't that great.

Taste of caramel, sugar, tobacco, bready malts and some spices. A tasty English Barleywine, not overly sweet with well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and smooth with a small amount of carbonation.

Photo of Yesac
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Murky, thin head that almost goes away completely.

S- Bunch of sweet fruits.. like smelling a fruit basket. Punget alcohol kick just I just cracked open a can of paint.

T- Huge beer. Complex fruit profile. Sweet brown sugar. Huge punch in the face of the 11% ABV. Underlying malt trying to keep chaos from breaking out on your palate.

M- Creamy smooth. Thick bodied. Coates the palate well and leaves a decent amount of flavor.

D- The 11% ABV is way to present.. the smell and taste just isn't here.

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

Live review with some antique "Cream".
Ap. Dark amber brown with a small tan head that didn't last long. Nice color.
Sm. Toasty caramel smell, not too significant.
Ta. Caramelly, toasty, nutty and spicy. Good strong spicy flavor with a long lasting tangy finish.
Mf. Medium body, smooth with mild carbonation.
Dr. Very nice after dinner with a chocolate truffle. I think it's a "one only" beer.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,918 ratings.