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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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 changeup45
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber color with a off-white head that settles down to small patches and a thin ring around the glass. Aroma is caramel, woody with some alcohol surfacing. Much of the same in the flavor with the addition of sweet malts, toffee and some spiciness. Some alcohol shows towards the finish, although not as alcoholic as I was expecting. A solid barleywine.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized brandy snifter.

A - Very clear brown/caramel color. Small brownish head recedes quickly into nothing, with minimal lacing.

S - Brown sugar, prunes, grapes, and butterscotch. Lots going on with dark fruits and burnt/unrefined sugar.

T - Currants, overripe pears/apples, grapes, and a hint of berries with a sprinkling of Demerara sugar. Unfortunately, this flavor quickly subsides into an onslaught of alcohol, making for a very harsh finish.

M - Highly carbonated for the style, though the body is fairly thick and syrupy.

D - This would be a beautiful beer if not for the nearly intolerable alcohol presence. The strength and prevalance of the alcohol make this one tough to stomach.

Photo of Drew966
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blithering Idiot pours a brownish orange with a thin off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is sweet with some fruit. The flavor is also fruity, sugar - either brown or candy seems quite strong. Alcohol is lurking in the background. This beer was very carbonated and I kept thinking to myself when I was drinking this that it tastes like a mediocre Belgian beer, the problem being it's supposed to be a barleywine. Not bad, not great, it's probably worth a try.

Photo of Thunderball
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I'm sure glad I finally decided to try this offering. Poured into Brandy snifters, left no distinguisable head. Beautiful burnt orange color. My brother and I drank the whole six-pack in one sitting! The smell is of brown sugar,dates, and caramel. The mouth feel,devine. The taste is ambrosia. I have found that all the barleywines I have had the pleasure of tasting lately, I have been very satisfied with all my selections. Don't you be a "Blithering Idiot", give this gem a try!

Photo of happygnome
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a dark copper color with about an eigth inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a slight ring of lace around the edge of the glass
s: dark fruity aroma as well as alcohol and brown sugar
t: sweet fruity taste alcohol warmth
m: medium bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, wow i really like this, the malty flavor really sticks out and is not discuised by a hop bomb like other barleywines

Photo of jdubjacket
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep, amber brownish color with a quarter-inch head. No lacing on the glass. Smells like dried fruit and brown sugar. Taste is interesting. Starts off with brown sugar, figs, dried fruit, and becomes a sort of musty taste for lack of a better word. Alot of alcohol in the taste. Overall, not a bad barleywine. It's not my favorite, but it's certainly not a bad example of one.

Photo of steelcutoats
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Blithering Idiot review

Well, it's been a few months since I've posted a review and figured its time to get off my ass and put down a few meaningful words, hopefully the end result being that someone will take my advice. I am very familiar with Blithering Idiot and was surprised to see that I hadn't yet reviewed it. I poured a 12 oz. bottle straight from the fridge into my tasting snifter. Right off I can tell I should have let it set on the counter to warm a bit, a cold beer will never release the aroma you're looking for when first poured. The color is almost a dark, rusty orange; it kind of reminds me of a glass of apple cider. The small opaque head disappears almost as soon as the entire beer is poured. The aroma is a reminiscent or other Barleywine I've had in the past. It's got a heavy does of hops and fruit, along with a little citrus. The taste is awesome...not too hot and not overly boozy. There is a pleasant after taste, but it is dismissed largely due to the cigarette that I'm enjoying as well. Overall this is a great beer from a brewery in my home state of Pennsylvania...one of these days I'm going to have to take the long haul out to the Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton and get a fresh growler full. Cheers!

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

Bottle courtesy of EGledhill, thanks again!

Pours a bright and clear amber color with a faint white head.

Aromas are light but pleasant. Some sweetness, sugars, caramel, and brewed tea.

Taste is fairly light as well. Some lighter creamy malt flavors, brewed tea, sweet dark fruits, and a touch of oak as well. Finish is also sweet, but with a warm alcohol bite and a touch of mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Full feeling, thick, and well carbonated.

Drinkability is good. This is an easy drinking barleywine that is tasty enough to be worth drinking again. I wouldn't make a huge effort to track it down, but I'd be pleased to have a bottle of this again some time.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks oneeye Bob for splitting this case.

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass. Cloudy brown with a white head that recedes to the edges.

S. Fig, dark fruits, booze.

T. Initially tastes like brown sugar, followed by accents of oak and apple. Caramel malt. Light noble hop bitters. Alcohol presence is certainly known. Its good and every batch has its own unique character.

M. Rich, smooth, and creamy. A highlight is the mouthfeel.

D. As drinkable as 11.1% beer can be. I'm at home and I'm not going anywhere. Its obviously a big beer, and this big guy likes it.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a very bright red/plum color. Minimal head that leaves little lacing.

Smell is a bit of alcohol mixed in with some sweet malts and fruit. Maybe a bit of strawberry jam like notes.

Taste is sweet. As an English style barleywine this has minimal hops and very much resembles an old ale. Very malty and fruity. Again strawberry jam is the predominate flavor. Alcohol is noticable as well.

Overall this is a tasty beer. I prefer the super hoppy American barleywines, but this is a very nice beer.

Photo of kinger
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was expecting cider sweet with overpowering alcohol, what I got was sooo much more. This poured a nice amber color typical of an ale with a thin head up front which soon dissipated as should be expected. The aroma was bursting almost like a well placed bouquet. The flavor is what floored me, for as strong as this is there was no doubt that first and foremost this is an ale. Wonderful flavor and the very strong alcohol doesn't make it's presence known until you have swallowed. This reminds me of drinking scotch, not in the taste but in the effect. Well done Weyerbacher, I only hope my favorite store continues to stock your product.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The apricot colored body of this beer was slightly hazy, and was topped with a very small head. The smell was fruity and bready with a nice layering, revealing nuances depending on how deeply the vapor was inhaled. The taste was quite sweet with figs and cherries coming to mind immediately. The amount of sugar here was quite high, and would have been cloying but for the mouth drying effects of the otherwise well hidden alcohol. Richly drizzled mouthfeel was the highlight of the session. Unashamedly English in its approach, and should cellar very well.

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

Poured from a 12 of bottle to a pint glass the liquid is dirty dish water brown with ok carbonation. The head is thick, tan and leaves nice lace.

The smell is alcohol socked bread, nuts and dried fruit.

The taste is much of the same, if you like it big here you go, enjoy. Really the taste is in the good range not great but good.

The mouthfeel is good big body and ok carbonation.

The drinkability is like good if you are having one or two, at 11% go easy you would not want to taste it twice.

Prosit , MK

Photo of Keith238
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not too impressed. At 15 bucks for a 6 pack, I thought I might get a little more than just high alcohol content. This will make my B-list of beers, not bad but won't be my first choice.

Nice caramel color and flavor with white lacing. Worth trying but I'll only have 1 this evening.

Photo of maximum12
4.34/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AdamB84 for sending this Idiot as an extra in a trade.

Pours with little head & only mild carbonation, as most barleywines I've had to date. It's kind of a dirty orange color, almost appeared unfiltered. Smells holy-bat-guano good, malty & hoppy & nectar fruit sweet.

Tastes the same. Very sweet on the top of the tongue, a little tart on the back of the throat, with the well-masked alcohol not making its presence known until warming the lining of my little tummy. My wife poured a Bigfoot at the same time & is now regretting her decision. That's good. This is much better.

A little sweet to drink too much of, & the ABV is enough to scare me into just one glass (OK, that's all I have). In fact, it's the highest ABV of a beer I've reviewed to date. Good thing I only have one. I'd be tempted to have another.

Bless Weyerbacher. One of my favorite breweries.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber brown. Barely any head. Not very lively.

Aroma is mostly brown sugar, molasses, hops, and other malt flavors

Taste is very sweet. A teensy bit of bitterness (not enough). Pretty sugary.

Mouthfeel is heavy with very litle carbonation.

Easy to drink despite the high abv. Overall this is a sweet beer with big alchohol.

Photo of cjgator3
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark reddish amber with a nice off-white head. The aroma is malt with dark fruits, spice and alcohol. The taste starts out sweet and malty with dark fruits and a long warming finish from the high ABV. As sweet as this beer is from all the malt, I feel that it could use some more hops to help balance things out. I find that the high ABV and the cloying taste limits the drinkability quite a bit. Worth a shot, but I am not a huge fan of Blithering Idiot and would not likely purchase again. This one definitely needs a couple years of aging to mellow out a bit.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle

A-Pours a crips cold red amber in color with orange sparsed throughout. A half finger head comes up and laces the glass but quickly fades.

S- a malty start to the nose but has some good spices for added smell. raisins and maybe toffee if im not mistaken.

T- strong on the alcohol and spices. figs, cinnamon hints and the raisins of course. Very strong.

M- full of alcohol and a searing warmth on the way down the gullet. Thick and spicy.

D- This one will kick your ass if you try to drink 3. This is just a sipping beer and not to be guzzled, but meant to be enjoyed.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: snifter. nice clear mahogany color. Tan head, really good head retention. Mild lacing.

S: thick malty aroma. solid fig, raisins, and plums. good spice characteristics.

T: raisins, cinnamon, clove, pears, apples, figs, and plums.

M: not as thick as expected. mild carbonation. very bold and sticky.

D: at 11% one is my limit on this one, but a very nice barleywine.

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

12oz. brown bottle with no dates, poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful copper amber ale with light carbonation action. Very little head to speak of, but the color is inviting.

S: Sweet fruits and alcohol. This reminds me of my dorm days in Virginia when the agriculture students from the hills would bring in the pear and apple moonshine. Well, maybe not that strong.

T/M: Lots of sugary malts in the form of apples and raisins. Huge warming alcohol backbone is present throughtout the entire drink, but I have to admit, I began to look forward to it with each sip. This is a pretty complex beer, with a tiny dose of hops to try and dampen the sweet malts and stringent alcohol. Mouthfeel is full with light carbonation and a silky texture.

D: This is a sipper, and not something I want a lot of in one night. But I'd buy it again and share.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, brownish orange with a big frothy manila head - quick to bloom and slow to dissipate in my oversize wine glass.

Strong, fruity nose led by grape and plum and followed by freshly-baked banana bread.

This idiot mellowed pleasantly for 18 months in the bottle, yet retained enough of its bitter soul to keep things interesting. Black licorice becomes pronounced with the smooth finish. The complexity opens nicely as this one warms in the glass.

A medium body is punctuated with tingly carbonation and finishes with all the glory of a warm 11% alcohol.

This one was smooth going down and easy drinking, but, at 11% ABV, too strong for an immediate second. Definitely worth returning to another time.

Photo of mattcrill
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Big fruity esters-dried cherries, plums, dates and some low, light fusels. No hop aroma and a little carmel sweetness.

Appearance: Brilliant ruby colored pour with a low tan head. Legs coat the snifter.

Flavor: Follows the aroma. More dark fruit esters with a hidden and complex alcohol backbone. It's present but blended well. This has layers of complexity that are malt and alcohol driven. Wonderful sipping. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Definite warming on the palate due to the alcohol presence.

Overall impression: Nicely done. This reminds me of a "poor man's Thomas Hardy". Lovely balance of malt and alcohol. It's dangerously hidden. This would make for a great reduction sauce to put over some free-range duck. Probably not the best choice for a Memorial Day cookout but I could see sipping this by the fireside in about 5 months. Nice job here.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice looking medium to deep copper with a fluffy off white head. Aroma is of dried fruits, some caramel and a hint of alcohol. Taste is sweet, fruity, more malty than hoppy. Some alcohol is definitely present in the taste. Mouthfeel is thick, sweet, and a bit sticky. Carbonation is low, but adequate. Not my favorite barleywine, definitely could benefit from a bit of hop presence.

Photo of Jmamay22
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear maple syrup colored amber. The beige colored head slowly dissipates to a thick collar. A small amount of bubbles rise slowly to the top.

Extremely fruity smelling. Mostly cherry and maybe some hint of raspberry. Very sweet smelling and clearly English. The booze comes off as fruity rather than abrasive, but it is a significant part of the beer.

In short the taste is sweet and fruity. Almost cloyingly sweet. Cherry is very pleasant. Alcohol comes off hot on the back of my throat. I can't make up my mind if the alcohol is playing tricks on me or if there are some spices going on.

Mouthfeel is somewhat syrupy. Carbonation is light and adds some interest keeping the feel from being too sticky. Not what I would call drinkable, but its an enjoyable single bottle. The oak aged version, Insanity, is a completely different animal.

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