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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,714 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,714
Reviews: 822
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 44
Gots: 156 | 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: 1,714 | Reviews: 822 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of clabaugh


3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

Appearance: Pours a red amber, filled with yeast sediment. Presents a billowing head with faint peachy color. Retention is superb, and lacing is phenomenal.

Smell: Hops, alcohol, grapes, and pear. Flowery hop presence accompanied by a rich, winelike aroma. Ripe fruits, and perhaps some caramel malts.

Taste: Very dry with some hoppy bitterness. The hops come through rather resiny. The alcohol is certainly not shy in introducing itself. Tastes of grapefruit, pastry dough, and caramel as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth. A bit of a tingle, and some lip-smacking stickiness. About what I'd expect from a barleywine.

Drinkability: Too big a beer for continuous consumption, but not bad at all. Packs a rich milieu of flavor, and goes down rather easy. Fairly well-balanced, and the alcohol doesn't really smack you across the face despite expectations. A winner in my book.

04-22-2006 21:07:40 | More by clabaugh
Photo of Zorro


4.38/5  rDev +20%

Pours a good clear extremely dark amber to red colored beer with a good tan head.

Sweet and fruity with a fairly strong plums and banana smell. Extra aromas of cherries and spice develop after a while and I am reminded more than a little of a slice of cherry pie. After setting this aside for a few minutes I can detect the odor of limes also.

Taste is fairly sweet and fruity. There is the standard Weyerbacher tutti fruity taste that I like but some others do not. Flavors of cherry and figs and raisins too. Minimal hops in the flavor this is very much a malty and fruity barley wine. Milder flavors are nuts, slight coffee and stronger smoked malt flavors that remind me a little of a Scottish Wee Heavy ale.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

For the alcohol punch this is one dangerously easy to drink Barley Wine! Smooth and pleasing to the tongue in the extreme you will never detect the potency of this one by the taste. This must be what Romulan Ale tastes and kicks like!

12 Oz bottle provided by Thaichile.

04-16-2006 04:03:10 | More by Zorro
Photo of Contra

New York

4.22/5  rDev +15.6%

There is a reason why they call it "Blithering Idiot", and it has to do with the 11% alcohol content. You wouldn’t know it from the flavor though, which hides the alcohol better than other Barely Wines I've had. Strong flavor of dates, carmel, and a general dried fruit undertone. Rich amber color.

I could imagine drinking this on a cold fall day, or in the middle of winter after the driveway has been shoveled. What makes this stand out is that it is balanced better than many other Barley Wines, but this may be personal choice. Some may prefer certain flavors to stand out moreso than others.

04-14-2006 17:05:40 | More by Contra
Photo of TastyTaste


2.93/5  rDev -19.7%

Dark maroon body, lack of a very large head. Alcohol and sweet fruits in the nose, small hoppiness, toffee. Taste is sweet and alcoholic, the two seem to define the beer. The lack of a huge hops presence easily identifies this one as English style. Not my favorite style of beer, but not a bad beer versus others in the style.

04-11-2006 18:28:36 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of riversider76

New York

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a brownish red. Very thin head,with no retention,and only a bit of lace. Smell sweet, molasses, suryp, and alchol dominate. Body is thick,and not much carbonation. Taste is sweet like the smell from start to finish. This beer is a little sweeter than the other barleywines I've tried. For me it's a bit to sweet to drink on a regular basis, but still a very good beer.

04-10-2006 23:15:45 | More by riversider76
Photo of sinstaineddemon


3.2/5  rDev -12.3%

A - a syrupy dark blood red, the small amount of visible carbonation struggles to reach the surface, it wells up s thin wispy white head that dimininshes quickly

S - a swwet aroma, like a combination of figs and red licorice, a typical barleywine aroma

T - i am totally surpised, this is one for the the barleywine lovers. not wellbalance, very sweet, too sweet even. drowns out any hops flavors. a slight malty at the finish

M - a little to syrupy for my taste, but thats to be expected for a good barleywine, definitely quality but too sweet for my palate

D - a good apertif, in a small glass with a sweet molasses based dessert, like shoo-fly pie.

03-23-2006 04:09:28 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of oelergud


3.78/5  rDev +3.6%

A very beautiful pour into a dark ruby and mahogany body, low to moderate carbonation. Creamy tan head with decent lace and retention.
Sweet molasses and suryp with some spiced clover honey.
Very intense sweet flavor like the smell. molasses, sugar, suryp and honey all mixed together. Some faint overripe red apple and banana. Not that much aftertaste for a brew so flavorful. It is there though and the hops almost manage to stand equal with the malts but only almost. Alcohol not all that apparent as one might have thought it would be.
Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Plenty of coating.
Decent drinkability, certainly not a session brew but if one 1 is considered then very drinkable.


03-18-2006 21:36:20 | More by oelergud
Photo of edskirk3


4/5  rDev +9.6%

12oz bottle given to me by a friend, who received a case as a Christmas gift. So as far as I know, this has been sitting around for almost a few months.

Poured into an Orval goblet, reddish brown with a thin white head which doesn't stick around. There is a little lacing.

The aroma is complex. Alcohol, assorted fruits, caramel, wood.

The taste is equally complex. The caramel, alcohol, and wood stand out, in that order. The fruits come in the aftertaste. I'm reminded of Fig Newtons, raisins and cherries. There is also a graininess that lingers.

Mouthfeel is heavy, creamy and nearly uncarbonated. Lipfeel is stickier with each taste.

This is the only barley wine that I've ever had to date. I would love to try more (or try another one of these aged for a year), this was a great introduction to the style for me.

I say this ale is perfect for Shakespeare, Christmas, Dickens, and Monty Python.

03-17-2006 06:22:02 | More by edskirk3
Photo of Crosling


4.65/5  rDev +27.4%

Very rich and vibrant aroma, which hints of brandy soaked malts and loads of fruits, cherries, grapes, along with wine, caramel anc chocolate. Just a great, refined malt aroma. Perfect dark red color. Monstrous body, which seems to elevate all the juicy malt flavors. Doughy, pastry like malt flavors initially, which on the mid-palate transform into rich layers of vinous fruits, which hints of blueberries, plums, figs and cherries. On the finish, another complete transformation comes into play and toffee, caramel, vanilla and more vinous fruit flavors linger. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wowwowwowowowowowow. What balance. One of the best barley wines I’ve ever had and without a doubt, the best English barley wine ever.

03-13-2006 23:09:41 | More by Crosling
Photo of Hibernator


3.03/5  rDev -17%

Weybacher Blithering Idiot
12 oz brown bottle
Served in an oversized brandy snifter

Pours a hazy light brown color with a thin film of transparent lace.

Complex nose with whiffs of sweet malts, caramel and prunes soaked in alcohol.

Juicy and zesty mouthfeel with a sharp rubbing alcohol sharpness on the finish. Slight hop presence with some flavors of dark fruits, cherries, brown sugar and caramel malt sweetness.

The drinkability level on this beer was pretty average and I really appreciate barleywines. Maybe this beer needs to sit longer? There is a vicious alcohol bite flavor that really takes away from the enjoyment of this beer. Reminds me of a cheap vodka mixed with a heavly malted brew. I'd like to try this again in the future to see if it had different results after maturing.

Overall, I'd say this is average for the style. I just wish it was balanced more evenly.

03-01-2006 22:46:25 | More by Hibernator
Photo of 3Vandoo

Quebec (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

A dark ruby robe with some hues of golden lights with small head retention that stick itself on the glass.

Smell malted, molasse, hoppy with a cherry hint finish.

Taste was quite caramel followed by a malty touch, and a hoppy finish.

Not my usual Barleywine but it was an interesting experience.

02-26-2006 21:52:43 | More by 3Vandoo
Photo of mcallister


4.58/5  rDev +25.5%

I must say I really enjoy this barley wine. I am a wine lover first and this has some very tawny port similarities. Woodsy notes with molasses, maple syrup, choclate, and caramel in the mouth. One of the better noses on a brew I can remember. Would love to try it on draft.

02-26-2006 21:49:40 | More by mcallister
Photo of taez555


3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

This beer poured an slightly opaque brown body with a tiny almost no existence white head. It looks like a barley wine.

Nose has a strong pungent alcohol and big sweet barley smell to it. Dark ripe fruits, sort of smells like dates or prunes mixed with malt.

Taste is full bodied with a fine carbonation. Big sugary sweet malt syrup taste. A pronounced, woody, earthy, slight aspirin like, hop taste. Dark raisins, dates, plums, prunes, dark fruits, hints of black cherries. Bitterness is present but sits slightly in the rear letting the big malt shine through.

I've spoken poorly of weyerbacher before, but I take it back, or at least will give them another try after trying this beer. Although nothing overly original, a note for note, almost perfect example of a textbook english style barleywine. Very nice.

02-26-2006 01:27:17 | More by taez555
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.55/5  rDev +24.7%

This beer pours a brilliant clear amber with orange and cherry highlights. The quarter inch head was a light tan and yellow and it actually stayed around for a while.

Smells out of this world! I’m getting chocolate cake, ginger bread and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. There’s also a little bubble gum and a bit of green grapes.

The flavor is initially an oak hop that fades into an intricate molasses, cola, dark caramel, dark dried fruits and ginger. This then fades back into a woody grassy hops. 11.1%? Yeah right! If it wasn't for the buzz, I'd say that was a misprint.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy with a light easy carbonation.

I really liked the oak characteristics of this beer. The dryness just added to the dynamics and made this a hands down delicious beer.

02-23-2006 19:04:51 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of ashleyshalyn


4.28/5  rDev +17.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Deep caramel/amber with little to no head at all. Nice and thick viscosity evident in the pour.

S: Caramel/toffee with a sweet smell of Easter lilies and a big whiff of alcohol

T: Big on the alcohol the sweet malts cut it well though. There was a light caramel taste with wheat/grain on the mid palate.

M: Full bodied and filling with little carbonation.

I’m a Dirty Martini girl (absolute up, Extra dry, extra garbage incase any of you ever run into me and care to get me a drink lol) so the obvious alcohol flovors for me were welcome. I love a beer that I know can kick me in the rear if I don’t treat it right. This is certainly not a beverage for the beginner. Really great representation of this style.

02-17-2006 19:59:47 | More by ashleyshalyn
Photo of SupaCelt


4.2/5  rDev +15.1%

Blithering Idiot. Imagine my surprise when I found a beer named after me. The pour revealed a crimson tinted caramel coloured brew. There was minimal head off the pour and barely a rim ring in the moments to follow. Not unexpected with such a beastly concoction. A few scattered springs release their fare in a skyward direction.

The nose is somewhat candied in essence. Crystalized. Caramel apple comes to mind like usual whence a barley wine crosses my olfactory network. This has some fruit cake qualities to it as well. This is starting to persuade me toward a "winter warmer on crack" description with the alcoholic undertones swirling underneath these fruity cakeries...

The taste is surprisingly unabusive to my sweet hypersensitivities. This is really quite a decent little drank. The initial feel is just a vaporous alcohol flash that completely carries any unpleasantries away on flaming wings. All that remains is a light and unintrusive caramelesque sweetness lingering on the taste buds. There is a dry and bitter aspect somewhere within this hasty progression, but it may well be just the alcohol displaying another of its blessed characteristics. Time seems to reveal more of the fruit aspects, apple qualities in particular, but the taste always remains very pleasant and not the least bit harsh. Powerful, but utterly tame and palatable.

Mouthfeel just crosses into medium territory. The alcohol tends to disguise the thickness and cause a lighter feel on the palate, but when this thing crash lands in my gut it feels a bit more hefty.

Drinkability is good. I could easily bludgeon my brain with a few glasses of this one. It is not a lightweight. I could also imagine how this one earned its name when I consider the drinkability here. Not bad at all.

02-14-2006 14:54:26 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of BEERchitect


4.33/5  rDev +18.6%

One of the best Barley Wines out there. Strong alcohol and thinly sweet malts throughout. From the onset, gives the sensation of warming and lightly fusal, yet pleasant. Boldly sweet with syrup, molassas, and brown sugar. Hopped for balance and light bittering. Moderately thick and silky to the palate. Finishes with a light sweetness, light drying, and palate clensing bitterness. I will be drinking quite a bit more of these. It's certainly an Enlish Barley Wine with a subtle American twist.

02-14-2006 13:13:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of psugrad98


3.78/5  rDev +3.6%

Rich brown/amber. Pours think and creamy with little head or lace.

Sweet aroma of molasses and ripe fruit, with slight trace of hop bitterness.

Rich full mouth feel that coats the mouth. The flavors are complex and start syruppy sweet and ends with a little hop bitterness. Full bodied and strong with strong alcoholic backbone.

02-04-2006 19:43:56 | More by psugrad98
Photo of snilsen13


4.13/5  rDev +13.2%

Like most barley wines, this pours smoothly with minimal head. Drank at room temperature.

There is very little aroma, I didn't think it had anything in particular. I smelled the pewter of my mug. The flavor is nice and smooth, there's nothing specificly strong in it, caramal but not sticky. I think this is quite an acomplishment, for the alcohol to be so well mased in such a mild flavor.

The mouthfeel is stupendous. Rinsing this around the mouth gives a great tingling sensation that beckons more swishing about each swollow. I think the mild flavor, carbonation and high alcohol may contribute to this nifty feeling. Highly recommended for this experience alone.

Overall, very very drinkable. Two guests who drank with me had the same opinion.

01-30-2006 03:44:57 | More by snilsen13
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev +17.8%

from the lizard

ruddy, cloudy, dark amber
huge dark friut and pear (maybe with some raisin). i'm getting a borderline belgian vibe here. does special b do that? or high fermentation temperatures. damn fruity anyhow...i dig tasting pear in a barley wine

mos def an english style: hops aren't center or front stage
mouthfeel is nice and big. fun to gnaw on

01-26-2006 05:37:33 | More by bruachan
Photo of nvsblman


4.43/5  rDev +21.4%

Opaque mohogany color with a small amount of head that didn't last long. Aroma is of caramel, coffee, fruit, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. Sweet caramel taste with some almods, raisins, toffee, and a little brown sugar. Well carbonated with a medium body. Pretty easy to drink for its strength, I had to pace myself with this one.

01-25-2006 03:00:39 | More by nvsblman
Photo of LPorter33


2.25/5  rDev -38.4%

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Decent looking foggy, murky dark orange-brown-peach colord. not much head at all. Pretty good lacing.

Smell = Lots of alcohol and zest. A candy like sweetness, smell almost exaclty like Strawberry Twizzlers. Intesesting scent.

Taste = Too sweet and syrupy with the alcohol packing quite a punch to boot. An overwhelming taste that doesn't agree with me, just a bit too harsh and sweet. It could be balanced better. More bitter and more of a hops presence. I like the thick, syrupy mouthfeel as it's quite comforting but the taste gets old fast and just isn't complex. This could really be improved.

Overall = I don't have much experience with Barley wines. This one isn't recommended and I'd never try it again as it's too overwhelming and there's many other extreme beers I'd chose over this.

01-14-2006 07:00:54 | More by LPorter33
Photo of dawg


3.1/5  rDev -15.1%

While barley wines are not my favorite, a couple of these come in a variety case from Weyerbacher that I get from time to time.

Poured this one in a stout glass. Short head diminished to nothing in a matter of minutes. Can't get too much aroma from the glass. The taste however might dominate the smell. Initial mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated and went down smooth and warm. Another swirl and a sniff revealed dark cherries soaked in sugar. While I'm not big into barley wines this one tastes good. I like how it offers a warm numbing feel. Might need to try the next one after spending some time in the cold.

Drinks like ofher barley wines I've had. This one is clearley made to enjoy slowley. Each sip of the blithering idiot remindes me what could happen if a few of these went down too fast. While there is an alcohol taste, I don't find it overwhelming. Concelaing 11% by volume would be difficult and the subtle taste is a reminder to take your time with this one.

Overall, I'm glad that the variety pack comes with a couple of these. Not sure I'd buy a whole case unless I was expecting some company.

01-10-2006 23:29:00 | More by dawg
Photo of akahn


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours into our wine glass a deep, dark mahogany and ruby with a half-inch brown head that recedes quickly. No lacing.

Smells of plump raisins (as in a biryani) and stewed dark fruit, plums. A hint of alcohol and caramel malt aroma.

Big sweet, hot flavor and substantial, chewy mouthfeel. Rich, sweet caramel and fruity flavors. Mild hop bitterness (instead a fairly strong, sweet vodka-like alcohol character) and pleasantly strong carbonation. Vinous as well. A lot going on here in the flavor department.

This is my first barleywine and I'm impressed. This one made a fine dessert beer. Now I really want to try an American styled one.

01-06-2006 03:35:53 | More by akahn
Photo of cubedbee


3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

12 oz bottle, not dated, poured into a snifter. Pours a dark plum-brown with a finger of off-white head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Nose is dark and alcoholic-laced fruit--cherry, fig, prune, some sweet brown sugar, no hops. Taste has a nice big malt backbone, highlighted with the same fruits from the nose, some caramel notes, a slight alcholic bite considering the ABV. This is definitely on the sweet side, just a slight hop bite, but the sweetness never becomes cloying. Full bodied with a low carbonation, this has a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This is a pretty nice barleywine, packing a punch but easy to drink for the style, althought not nearly hoppy enough for this hophead.

01-06-2006 00:05:02 | More by cubedbee
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,714 ratings.