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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
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: 1,746 | Reviews: 825 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of foureyedgeek
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to an oversized wine glass.

This pours as an orange-brown body, small off-white head falls to a ring of foam, minimal lacing, some light carbonation present.

Smell is fruity with a little bubblegum or candied fruit, notes of alcohol.

Taste is quite sweet, brown sugary. Very obvious alcohol presence, this is a _hot_ beer, in that sense. This is a tasty, simple barley wine that's not too out there. A sit in the cellar may do this beer well.

Mouthfeel is somewhat closer to light bodied than medium, slightly drying and an obvious alcohol warming.

Drinkability is pretty good, definitely a sipper as its kind of 'hot', though I think if you had more than a couple of these, in short time you'd be much like this beer's namesake.

foureyedgeek, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of EStreet20
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Hazy reddish orange copper color with about a half finger of light tan head. Glows when held up to light without letting the light pass through it.

S - Big fruity, solvent alcohol smell. Some candy aromas in there as well.

T - All alcohol and fruit flavors come through initially. The alcohol gets really dominant and rides through into the aftetaste quite a bit. Hop presence is lacking here, and would definitely help to balance the flavors.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Really suffers from the fact that this brew is all alcohol. Maybe some age would help the flavors pull together.

EStreet20, Jan 21, 2007
Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty golden amber in the glass with a nice tan full two finger head that slowly melts to sticky ring lacing.
Aromas are sweet and fruity with a touch of alcohol.
Nice clean balanced flavors. Not overpowering or dominated by hops like an American Barley wine would be. Sweet malts, fruity accents, lightly citrus hops on the end.
This is a wonderfully delicious brew.

IntriqKen, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has an amber body that is clear but dense with a wave of microbubbles gently cascade to the surface where a creamy light tan head sits. The head last and last with a bit of lacing with each sip.

S- This beer has a light sweetness of toasted malt with a hint of caramel and a faint banana note. There is a soft spice in the finish when it warms a bit.

T- This beer has a sweet caramel malt flavor that is cut by a soft bitter hop note that is spicy. The hops bitterness is a punch that gets stronger as it warms. There is a nice alcohol taste in the finish that blends with the hops. As it warms there is a soft circus peanut candy flavor with the malt which is very pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a very soft alcohol heat in the finish the dries out the beer nicely.

D- This beer has a smooth flavor with good depth and makes a big beer very drinkable.

rhoadsrage, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

Pours ruby with a thin head that becomes a small patch that lingers for a bit.

The smell is of dark fruits and brown sugar. Alcohol comes through, as expected for abv level.

The taste is of sweet, dark fruit with some graininess. Peppery alcohol makes itself known. Hops are virtually non-existant. Slightly medicinal. Boozy character.

The body is medium to full. The alcohol leaves a bit of a burning sensation and wipes out some of the flavors. Sweetness also sticks around.

This is a raw one. I didn't mind the high abv - expected for style - but it's too sharp to really enjoy and there is some flavor, but not enough to cover the persistant alcohol. An ok slow-sipper, but not as rich and complex as other barleywines out there.

jwc215, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of nriech
4.53/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one for a little over a year cellared.

Appearance: Golden copper, very light but still dark enough not to confuse with a macro ricer. No head but good lacing.

Smell: Smells of a little alcohol, barley, banana, caramel. Pleasing as they all seem to meld together like a good beer should.

Taste: Pretty sweet but not more than expected for the style. Waming from the alcohol but not overpowering, actually very good like a bourbon with just a cube of ice. Carbonation is pleasant. Not entirely complex though.

Overall I really enjoy this one and will always pick up if I see it. A good representation of the style without going way off in left field with strange flavors.

nriech, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of NEhophead
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in an oversized wine glass.

Cloudy oak in color with highlights of dark peach. Creamy, off-white head that swirls around the glass in whispy designs. Spotted and layered lacing with decent strength.

Sweet caramelized brown and Belgian candied sugar. Prominent fig, date, and raisin with complex whaffs of alcohol. Vinous fruit: apple, plum, and grape.

Sweet brown sugar and molasses; nutmeg, light toffee. Sweet and creamy malt character. Dark, vinous fruit flavors: apple, grape, raisin with a swarming, but not over the top, alcohol presence. Caramelized brown sugar and raisin in the aftertaste. Very tasty.

A full, medium in body; creamy and quite smooth with a bit of a slickness on account of the alcohol character.

A flavorful, high octaine barleywine. A sipping ale to be enjoyed with friends in the colder months, or by yourself in the dead of summer. Either way, a delicious offering!

NEhophead, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blithering Idiot

Pours a very cloudy, dark chestnut brown with a large head. Lacing is evident.

Aroma is a boozy caramel with a dark sweet fruit like plums and dates.

Flavor is complex, but they had to travel through a fog-like haze of alcohol. Burned caramel, plum, dates, and sugar. Flavor reminded me of some quads I've had. Looks like I need to brush up on my styles.

Mouthful is thick and syrupy. Quite tart after swallowing while your mouth recovers. Coats the tongue thickly, allowing for a few more swallows before it's all gone.

Drinkability is not terrible. It's just slow. I enjoyed the flavor enough to want to finish the bottle, and the enjoyed the alcoholic bite. A real winter warmer, and I think I'll find another one to cellar for a couple of years. This one needs time to blend and mellow into perfection. I had a lot of sediment by the time I got to the bottom of the glass -enough to make a tornado of it while swirling the glass- and this beer was made to soak in that a while longer.

terrabyte, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of jhollick
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a burnt sienna color, with lots of orange and red hues gleaming through. Minimal head that quickly settled to a ring, but nice lacing throughout the beer.

This has a strong plum aroma. Some caramely malty smells, ripened fruits and figs, and a bit of phenol.

This one is thick and cloying in the mouth. It is definitely a heavy barleywine.

And the taste....pow! Super-ripened fruits, a slight tartness, and a heaaavy dose of alochol hit very quick-like. Rum, fig, and a strong spice come through for a bit along with the malt character, but they are quickly beaten down by the alcohol. There is a lot going on here, but damn that alcohol is strong. Nothing going on with hops that I can detect, which unbalances things a good bit. A sharp dryness hits comes in at the end. Maybe it has something to do with the 11%+ ABV :)

Blithering Idiot wins in the first round by TKO. The alcohol beat me into submission. Right now this one is rather unbalanced. I don't know if that is necessarily bad, but I'm going to cellar a few of these to see what becomes of them. With any luck this badass will mellow out a little bit. I look forward to encountering it again.

jhollick, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of pavandal
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my pint glass from a bottle. Looked just like iced tea, so much that the other people in my house wondered where I got tea from.

smell is of raisins, grapefruit, and a slight orange peel scent. A wonderfully complex smell here.

Taste is full of fruity malt! Grapefruit, orange, slight cherries and a raisin aftertaste. Good stuff. Alcohol is there, but it's very very well masked.

Mouthfeel is very thick, but the alcohol warms as it goes down.

High ABV, savor this at the end of your day by the fire!

pavandal, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of nitemarebrewer
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark amber, slight effervescence, laces around the glass
Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, and inviting.
Taste is sweet, but well balanced to me. Tastes like raisins or dates. Mouthfeel is thick, but I can take another sip after just having one. Like I've been doing thoughout this review. Yum.
Quite drinkable. This bottled one is almost as good as the one on tap.

nitemarebrewer, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened up this bottle after having aged it for two years. Still a strong beer witha nice light head from the poor, and a great smell in the nose. Lots of dark fruit, raisins, and caramel. Musty, old ale smell with the strong alcohol rising up to grab you. But the taste is a bit oxidized and doesn't improve the beer. I really liked it fresh (same batch of bottles), but the aging didn't improve this one. Head somewhere else for something to cellar.

FightingEntropy, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy orange amber. A finger of beige head slips away soon to spits of surface froth. Brows of lacing arch along the inside of the glass.

The aroma grants a sweet toasted malt air with thin stripes of caramel, blueberry, and melon. A quick flip of citrus hops is washed out by a dense thicket of alcohol.

Upon sipping, in oozes a sticky, sugar sweet maltiness, with cherry, berry, caramel, and green apple. A feather of citrus and floral hops gird a steely shaft of alcohol. Another touch of syrupy sweet malt joins a draft of very muted pine. The finish dries and crisps nicely to linger along with some tongue-tingling esters. The result is a warm, comfortably enjoyable beer.

Full bodied, the thick grain is viscous and treacle slick on the palate, coating and leaving a pleasant memory behind.

Yet another barleywine with an entertaining name, this one is as fun to drink as it is to say. The ABV is heavy duty and in your face, and it's also very warm, maybe even hot, but it doesn't distract so much as it joins in making the whole presentation seem big. It drinks cautiously but well. It seems blithering like an idiot can indeed be a good thing.

Foxman, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of jameaterblues
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that I was just kinda blown away by....I am a really big advocate of the idiot and although it is labeled as an English style Barley Wine I really think that it crosses into both styles of the BW.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark copper in color, ruby and orange hints around the edge of the glass....Cappuccino colored head that filled the pint glass.

S- Alcohol. Big sugary malts and fruit....raisins, plum, cherry, and raspberry. Light crisp hops...that seem to make up the background of this beer.

T- I like to pour my BW cold and sip on them and let the flavors change as it warms up. This beer starts off in the English style...Big red fruits and sweet malts....raisin(similar to raison d'etra) plum, and cherry...as the beer warms though it comes more into the american style and the hops take the forefront....big and bitter resiny...citrusy finish and the bitterness grows as it warms...I feel that it takes a really unique approach.

M/D- Extremely complex, and changing all the time...many flavors in a thick hearty ale....a beer I enjoy and at an extremely reasonable price $2.99 for 12 oz at my local store.

jameaterblues, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of billybob
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a one finger tan color head which fades quickly very little lacing and a slightly cloudy amber color. smell sweet, fruity, you can smell the alcohol you know you have some serious beer here. taste is sweet of ripe peaches with rum or brandy other fruity taste there. mouthfeel is medium, syrupy but enjoyable. this is my first time for this type of beer and i enjoyed it but i would not drink to many at one sitting.

billybob, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of xtacyturbo
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOTE: THIS BEER BEING REVIEWED HAS BEEN AGED 2 YEARS. YOUR RECENTLY-BREWED BOTTLE MOST LIKELY WILL TASTE DIFFERENT! And on that note... put a few away and see how they age... I promise you won't be disappointed. ;)

This 2 year old bottle of Blithering Idiot poured out a deep red, almost brown color with very small head, which dissapated quickly. Looks pretty murky and mysterious.

Smell reminds me of red grapes, with a very slight hint of something else fruity that I can't quite put my finger on. Strong alcoholic odor creeps in as well. Also picking up a hint of nut. And dare I say a tiny smell of... banana?

Taste- when I tasted Blithering Idiot 2 years ago, I remember a wild, untamed beer, almost TOO sweet, and with a very strong alcoholic flavor. If memory serves correctly, that is. Well... after 2 years in the cellar, this Blithering Idiot has mellowed out. Flavor is very solid and balanced, nothing out of control here, just a blending of flavors to create a delicious, well-balanced beer. I'm glad I followed the bros' advice and put this one away, it was well worth it.

So what's it taste like already? Very hearty. I'm tasting a hint of raisins and/or dates, with a slight hint of hops. Yes, the hops actually rear their head this time around! A little bit of breadiness, but not much. Slight bit of a nutty flavor in the finish, ever so subtle. Got halfway through the glass before I noticed it. That wild alcoholic flavor that I experienced when this beer was young? Almost gone. It's definitely still there, but isn't by any means overpowering, and blends well with the beer's other flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation isn't very strong, but a few prickles on the tongue remind you that it's still there. The chewiness makes this a slow-sipping beer. Overall very smooth and a pleasure to drink.

No doubt about it, this is a beer to be savored, one to drink slowly. It's very drinkable for its strength, to the point I almost forgot it was such a strong brew. Creamy and smooth, I could put away a couple of these on a cold winter's night... and I think I'd be quite satisfied after that.

xtacyturbo, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of loren01
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cloudy amber color, 1finger width white head, no lacing
S: Sweet, dark fruity scents
T: Bitter/dry taste, lots of alcohol
M: Goes down easily but would not drink too fast due to 11% ABV
D: Good barleywine, a little too bitter for me in the taste catergory though

loren01, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of mnwags
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review and hopefully there will be many following.

a: A nice pour of a dark amber color with good carbonation. Had a strong 3/4" off white head that I couldn't wait to dip my nose into.

s: Hints of dark cherry liquor. A little toasty smell with a fine liquor background.

t: Fruity(cherries and grapes) Strong liquor which was very appealing.

m: The mouthfeel was average with a good carbonation. Although it was high on the ABV scale it still was delicate on the taste buds.

d: I had a great time enjoying this drink and hope to enjoy it again. Gave me some odd flashbacks of Robo-tripping. ha!! Have 1 to many though and I may become the blithering idiot!!

mnwags, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.3/5  rDev -37%
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.

jcdiflorio, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Specail thanks goes out to blitheringidiot and thedarkerthebetter for giveing me the opportunity to try this via "Double Trouble BIF"

Appearance: This beer poured a deep mahogony red with a thin creamy tan head. This brew does not produce much laceing, but leaves spotted bubbles all arounf the glass.

Smell: The aromas are sweet malts, maple syrup, candied corn and a weak hop profile.No alcohol in the nose whatsoever. Not alot to say in descriptive words, but not bad at all.

Taste: Not much hops in the taste, but they seem to be keeping this beer from reaching the too sweet mark. Has some floral tasteing notes. Big malt bomb for sure but its nice. The alcohol is not felt too much for being so big.

Mouthfeel: Thick,chewy and smooth. Very warming. Kick ass winter beer. I have not had a bad beer from Weyerbacher yet. Drink up!!!


cheers2beers, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 12oz bottle.

This beer pours a translucent amber with a small fizzy head that holds little leaving little lace. The smell is sweet caramel with other malty aromas. Very little hops are present in the smell. The taste is very sweet with a bit of almost tea like flavor providing some bitterness. Again very little hops appear in the beer. The mouthfeel is almost a full body with nice carbonation. Overall its a decent barley wine but it does not approach the complexity and superiority that an American Barley Wine offers.

MSchae1017, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of jdoolin
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into a brandy snifter

Appearance: Pours a very deep, brownish red, with a small, but sticky head that dissipates quickly, but leaves rings of lace.

Aroma: Very fruity. Cherries and banana come to mind. Sweet caramel malt, and a warm alcohol aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy. Light carbonation is just enough. The taste is sweet, malty and fruity, with that warming alcohol presence. Not much in the way of hop bitterness or flavor, which is how I like my barleywines. I found this to be pretty drinkable for a barleywine. If not for the alcohol, I could put a few of these away.

Notes: I love this barleywine. Big malt and fruity flavors with that nice, warming alcohol. Pretty easy to drink as well, for a barleywine. Probably has something to do with the low hopping rate. Gotta give props for the clever name as well.

jdoolin, Nov 18, 2006
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 jimbomill
4.78/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a thick, reddish dark offering, with little foam. The nose was rich- not necessarily spicey, but warming and inviting - a nice barley presence was detected.

The taste is simply outstanding - richer perhaps than Samichlaus for gawsh sakes; I'd say the Sami is a tad smoother, though. Right now, my top 3 favorites are Samichlaus Bier, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and this Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot. Perhaps I like the Barley wine style, but this one is special.

jimbomill, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of auntfloyd
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours a clear, bright dark ruby red, with one finger of head which quickly dissipates.

The smell is sweet: malts, caramel, some hints of banana even. A good scent, neither over- nor under-whelming.

The taste is a likewise extremely sweet: sugars, fruit, and alcohol are the most notable flavors, with a somewhat strong alcohol aftertaste. The initial flavor is fairly smooth for so strong an ale, and the aftertaste is not nearly as biting as some of the others I've tried. The taste is not very complicated though -- this would probably serve as an ok introduction to barleywines in general.

The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and thick, but that is too be expected -- ales in this style are never especially smooth. The drinkability is decent, but I cannot imagine having more than one, so it's kind of irrevelant.

Overall, this is a good, if somewhat unsurprising barleywine. Very sweet, very strong, and fairly smooth overall.

auntfloyd, Nov 10, 2006
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.