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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,919 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,919
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 52
Gots: 244 | 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: 1,919 | Reviews: 849
Photo of Stunner97
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Copper amber brown with a thick white foam head that thins in time to be very light bodied, slight carbonation to be seen up that glass

Smell- Chocolate and caramel with heavy sugary malts on the nose, slightly alcohol breaking through

Taste- A pretty well balance malty flavor with definite chocolate notes and strong malty tones in this barley wine, a slight alcohol taste or burn on the finish

Mouthfeel- Very soft smoothy and creamy feel on the tongue

Drinkability- A tasty beer that enjoy and will look for once in a while again, very high alcohol which for the most part is pretty well hidden, but not one that you should be polishing a pack off of in a nite, a good nite cap and beer to end your evening

Photo of abents
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes:
Pours a ruby brown with an off white head and not much lacing. Smells sweet malt, nutty, with a fuitty hints. Tastes like everything in the book: fruitty start with a nice citrus hoppiness to it, figs, raisins, rich velvety smooth finish. Very nice well rounded brew, very drinkable for barleywine. Nicely done, not the greatest bw, but a solid offering that's for sure.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a hazy amber with minimal head. The aroma is full of dark fruits soaked in rum. The taste follows the nose, but the alcohol is more prominent. The finish liners a bit and is of sweet alcohol. The beer is creamy, medium bodied and light carbonation. The beer is a slow sipper, because if you drink it too fast, its 11% abv will make you a blithering idiot.

Photo of angelmonster
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 1 finger off white head, clear amber in color. Head retention and lacing were minimal.

Smells of sweet malt, bit metallic and some hops and fruit as the beer warms up

Tastes of sweet malt, bit of caramel and hops. After taste is of warm alcohol.

Good balance of carbonation, full bodied with a syrup like consistency

Drink ability is good, for 11 percent abv the alcohol isnt too apparent. Could drink acouple of these at a time but then i'd have to lie down after that.

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this promising offering was a cloudy amber color with lots of sediment. The one-finger head of tan bubbles displayed moderate retention as a skim and decent lacing. The aroma was big and very sweet, pineapple, peaches and spices all atop pungent alcohol. The flavors were luckily not as sweet as the aroma. I still got the caramel, tropical fruits and brown sugar out of it that one would expect but along with that I got oak, vanilla and some alcohol bite similar to a cognac that helped it be less-than-cloying. The heat was well-concealed but as it warmed I began to taste the punch. In many ways it was what one would expect from a barleywine but it did lack hops presence and needed finesse. Still, for a compact uppercut, it had the biceps and delivery.

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 16 Nov 2008.

Poured into 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Medium peach colored head. Slightly hazy chestnut brown color. Smells of strawberry jam, molasses, ethanol and ripe banana. Lots of alcohol up front. Caramel, prunes, figs, raisins. Sweet and alcohol throughout. Aftertaste of mulled cider spices and slight hop bitterness.

Tasty but drinkability suffers from very assertive alcohol.

Photo of bowersdm
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

A - dark orange color, almost brown. The head was just a thin film of carbonation.

S - fruits: raisins, apples, cherries(?), caramel malt, alcohol, and a little bit of hops

T - caramel malt and some more of the fruits that the nose suggested. a little hop "kick" in the end, but nothing like an American Barleywine. Alcohol predominates.

M - a tad on the carbonated side. The alcohol tingles and burns as it goes down.

D - ehh...it was an alright beer. It just had wayyy too much alcohol in it.

Photo of TooleBurger
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

a: pours a light brown/orange with very little head

s: had a nice citrus smell with a ton of booze, and I mean a ton...

t: the alcohol really overpowered the beer, specifically the after taste; had a good taste for a barley wine, but not as smooth as others

m: went down smooth, more like an after dinner drink than a barley wine in my opinion

d: while overall I thought it was a good barley wine, the alcohol content was a little much. I would recommend having two a the most in one sitting, unless you are looking to get lit up big time.

Photo of tigg924
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: medium head..medium carbonation..cloudy with a color that is equal pieces yellow/orange/and brown

Smell: malt, cherries, and a big whiff of alcohol

Taste: raisins and plums with brown sugar and a strong dose of alcohol

Mouthfeel: oily and slick, a sweet start, bitter middle and a sweet finish

Drinkability: Due to the high alcohol content, you probably only want one in a sitting. To me this is a slightly above average barleywine. I will probably pick up another single at some point--not a full pack

Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark coppery color with a creamy compact tan head. Aroma is sweet and very English, with rummy dark fruits and lots of caramel. Flavor has some overripe apple to go along with the raisin/fig. Very sweet but there's enough variety in the ester notes to keep me interested. Thick mouthfeel, not overly alcoholic.

Photo of bosco7
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/garnette color with minimal white head.

Smells of dried fruit and caramel. Oh and booze.

Tons of fruity flavors up front, banana, fig and some raisins. There are some cherry flavors in there as well. Finishes with plenty of astringent bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little thick with plenty of carbonation. There is an astringent quality to this beer too. Drinkability is affected by this.

Overall a decent barleywine, I'm not sure I would pick this up over Anchor or Sierra Nevada but still a nice beer.

Photo of skizziks
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle is not helpful in judging when to drink this. I guess this to be about a year old, I've had it for several months.

Clear amber with ruby highlights. Hard pour fails to kick up much head, but what there is sticks around as an even skim of fine beaded tan foam that leaves just a little lace on the glass.

Aroma shows abundant alcohol first and foremost over raisins, brown sugar, caramel. Fairly hoppy but not as much as many other American barleywines. Would be pretty nice if it weren't for the the overriding fusels.

Caramel and raisins greet the tongue followed quickly by a hoppy middle. A little piney, suggestion of astringency. Fairly dry finish with plenty of warming alcohol.

Medium full body with medium low carbonation provides a nice creamy mouthfeel. Not too sticky. Dry finish should make this dangerously drinkable, but the fusels really slow me down.

Not bad at all but could be better. It's possible that another couple years of age would smooth this out, but I'm tempted to suggest that Weyerbacher drop the ABV by a couple points.

Photo of jpaltan
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy burnt orange with a thick, foamy head that seems will stick around for a bit. Nose is piney with a hint of citrus and brown sugar. Some tobacco there too. Taste is immediately hot with alcohol that burns the back of the throat when it goes down. finish is all brown sugar, a bit cloying. some notes of dark fruits in the front and then a hoppy bitterness comes and try to balance the sweetness. This one seems like it be great in the glass after a couple of years, but fresh seems to be a bit hot. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and chewy, but with plenty of carbonation.

Photo of taylor714914
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This barley wine was poured into a tulip glass. It's a rich redish amber color, reminiscent of a light cherry color.

S- Alcohol was definitely present in this brew. Upfront, but not overbearing. Sweet smelling with a hint of fruit.

T- Taste wasn't what I was expecting. This brew has an upfront alcohol flavor. Notes of sweet fruit, sweet malts, and a flavors which were wine like also lingered in the background. Finish was somewhat sweet with a faint hops note.

M- Great mouthfeel. Thick, but not overly viscous. Carbonation was a bit on the heavy side, but not overbearing.

D- One, maybe two would be quite sufficient.

A decent barleywine for the money. Definitely opens up as it warms. Started drinking this around 55 degrees and finished it around 65. Much better at the warmer temp.

Photo of sholland119
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Medium amber, slightly hazy with a thin sticky ring around the glass.

S-Sweet malt with a discernible amount of alcohol, maybe some sweet cherries. I hope the taste is not as hot as it smells.

T-Surprisingly balanced and tasty. Sweet dark fruits in the front, malty sweet with a very nice hop bite in the finish. Alcohol warmth appears at the very end but does not overpower the rest of the taste. Nice.

M-Oily slick with lingering bitterness and moderate alcohol.

D-Very nice for one. I mean, hell, it's a barleywine, how many would you have?


Photo of bataround
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - This was a dark, orangish brown with a gorgeous cascading nitro-looking.

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.

Photo of jsp2
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the name and artwork on the bottle. Deep caramel color with a thick creamy foam that is slow to diminish.

Terrific Smell of caramel, banana, and cherries with vanilla.

Taste of malty sweetness with a smooth fruitiness, and slight bitter dryness at the end. Great malt flavor, delicious sweetness. I drank this one pretty cold and it is very smooth. Hops flavor is detectable on the aftertaste and finish. Very sweet.

Sweet and syrupy texture with moderate carbonation.

The sweetness would make it tiring on the taste buds. The alcohol is well complimented by the other attributes and would not impede drinkability other than any discretion it might cause in the drinker.

A delicious, well rounded and fortifying beer. Like drinking a banana split with lots of caramel.

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

Pours a thick and hazy cranberry orange with a thin layer of white head that doesn't take the time to rest.

Aromas of sweet caramel malts, peach, some alcohol sneaks through. Some red grapes come through as well. Yeast is apparent, very bold scent.

unbelievably smooth and refined, with an aged taste. Great sticky caramel taste feel all the way through. Light fruit accents, in addition to some darker grapes that add some sweetness. Honey. Very clean taste, but a little hot on the end.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ugly, cloudy, dull orange/brown. Smells fruity with alcohol notes present in the nose with no hop aroma whatsoever. First sip is sweet fruits, pears and plums, that quickly morphs into a heavy bitterness. Surprisingly light bodied considering the high ABV. Good and easy to drink just not great.

Photo of TheDeuce
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot....

Appearance-deep dark brown color, minimal thick head, heavy active carbonation.

Smell-molasses, deep sugar aroma, alcohol warmth.

Taste/Mouthfeel-sticky sweetness, alcohol and molasses as well, alcohol comes through a little harshly at the end, brown sugar and caramel notes.

Drinkability-no problem as a sipper and will warm your heart. A little sweet and syrupy.

Overall-an ok barleywine, flavor is take it or leave it but it fulfills its purpose, an ok sipper.

Photo of jdoncbus
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-brown into a tulip. Thin head with some hazing, an almost orange hue to it when held up; more carbonation then expected.

Nose is sweet brown sugar, almost caramel. Notes of sweet tarts, molasses, butterscotch, wood, grass, and lemon. The tail end of the whiff reveals some serious hooch.

The beverage is smooth and oily on the tounge where it heads into a sugary malt flavor. Hops are present with a strong bitterness then the butterscotch, sherry, and dark fruit appears. The mouth is left somewhat dry with a waxy film of booze and sour grass.

This offering is a sipper and pretty bold. A bit unbalanced though it's interesting enough to enjoy. On the pricey side of things and I think I am going to age one to see if it rights the ship.

Photo of AMoceri7
2.64/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lets get straight into it.

A: Pretty amber mahogany, orangeish hue. Very pretty. Hard to make a beer look ugly. Great head, surprisingly. Wonderful lacing lasting throughout.

S: Bubblegum, malt and some hop. Thats a boot it. Screams weird and sets me up for something very different. Not too excited. Some astringency sticks out as well.

T: Exactly the smell. Bubblegum (completely fake grapelike flavor), hops balance the sweetness and alcohol is present and accounted for. All flavors dissipate quickly but dont keep you begging for more. Hoping for it to be gone, some medicinal like flavors seep through but nothing comes close to the barleywine spot, well...maybe the screaming alcohol. Flavors only boosted the alcohols arrogance.

M: Sloshy and a bit ghastly to say the least. Brings you back to the days mom shoved grape flavored flu medicine down your throat. Eh...Plenty of carbonation that wouldnt take away from the taste if the flavors werent already appalling.

D: With a barleywine that constitutes all things below barleywine tastes...LOW. Grab a single if you are still curious as I did and save some cash.

Overall: Sad part is someone suggested this. Nice to try, but wouldnt buy again as it is a poor ambassador for a barleywine.

Photo of northbastard
2.59/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First review, irony? let's hope not.
A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, fluffy two inch head. Ruby red-orange. Looks more like an ipa than a barleywine. Nice retention an lacing, stays till the last drop.

S- Lots of fruit aroma in here, however the alcohol still overpowers. Some plum and berry. Kind of reminds me of one of those B&J wine coolers.

T- Goes right along with the smell. Black currant, plum, raspberry, and then straight alcohol. One of those you drink and your first reaction is to shake your head violently because the alcohol is so pervasive. Probably would be better after a few years in the cellar.

M- Smooth, velvet along with the fluffy head, little carbonation. Saves the beer.

D-The alcohol overpowers all, could think of a lot of beers around the same abv where there is no alcohol to be sensed. This beer has promise, it just needs to store for a few years. Friend of mine shared a bottle with me and he could not finish his half so it ended up down the drain. I pushed through and it is fair to say this isn't a repeat selection.

Photo of jettjon
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz bottle with no freshness date into a chalice, it's a plum wine color with a small fizzy cap and ring. Any hint of carbonation quickly fades leaving only a tracing around the edges of the pour. On the nose there are hints of alcohol and yeasty banana bread. In the mouth, it's immediately clear that alcohol will be a major factor as it's warm right up front, preceding the sweet malt and bananas flavor with some cherries or other dark fruit muddled in there. Fairly dry with a healthy dose of warming alcohol that blankets any other flavors. Definite alcohol burn at the end. Mouth is smooth with a hint of thin syrup and fine carbonation, but a bit too watery overall. Drinkability is so-so; other than the alcohol there's not much to bring me back.

Overall: I'm sure this barley wine would age well, but I don't cellar beer so it's lost on me. As it is, alcohol is too pervasive and overwhelming, killing what might otherwise be a very good brew. Worth a try.

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

It pours to a burnt cherrywood color, glinting more peach around the edges. The head is a squat rise of ecru, and fades quickly only to endure as a nebulous skimming and collar.
The nose is a heavily caramelized fruit punch of cherries, dates, figs, bananas, and golden raisins, spiked mightily with brandy. There is a bready backing, but it is predominantly fruit and booze.
This breadiness is noticed first on the mouth, and likewise, it is merely a canvas. Fruit cascades in, all stewed in brown sugar. Dates, figs, grilled plantains, plums, black cherries, This last one really gains dominance as it progresses. A small musty yeast interlude precedes the grapey, grappa-like alcoholic finale. Hopping is negligable both in bittering and flavor.

This is a cooked fruit, malt bath drenched in booze.

Full bodied with ripples of carbonation that give it a much needed perkiness.
It's heaviness and heavy sweetness make this a great occasional choice with a cigar or as a nightcap, but also preclude it from a spot in a more regular rotation. Similarly, the price (at least here in WI) doesn't help, at roughly $15 per 4-pack. I'm glad to have it as an option, but I don't foresee buying it very often.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,919 ratings.