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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,688 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,688
Reviews: 821
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 41
Gots: 140 | FT: 5
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blithering Idiot Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,688 | Reviews: 821 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoldering cherry-bronze with orange juice trim. Man, I love the way most barleywines look in the glass! The lid is a looker as well. It's orange-tinted ivory in color and is as frothythick as whipped eggnog. Since it has no desire to deflate in the next hour or so, my lace assessment will have to wait. At the moment, it appears as if the glass will be pretty well covered. (Note: in the end, very little lace ends up sticking).

The nose is pretty standard for an English barleywine. It's a little lax in the power and depth departments, there isn't much hoppiness, and there's a wee bit too much undisguised alcohol. That whole 'cherries and figs macerated in brandy' smell is present and accounted for, but it fails to impress due to the faults noted a few lines up.

The flavor is much more agreeable than the aroma. The beer is nicely malted, with muscular flavors of black cherry, orange, dark rum-soaked dates and English toffee. It isn't as complex as some of my favorites of the style, but it's still pretty tasty beer. I have no doubt that it's hard to completely neutralize an 11.10% ABV. Given the circumstances, this big ale is just about as mellow as possible. Cellaring it for 18 months, as I've done, was a good choice.

I won't say 'with warming' since I started the bottle out at cellar temperature, but with time the various members of the flavor profile knit together more completely and the alcohol becomes even more rounded and smooth. On second thought, the latter may be due to nothing more than tongue numbing. I love how the boozy cherry flavor hangs on seemingly indefinitely.

The mouthfeel, while unquestionably full, is still roughly average for the style (in terms of girth). I'll call it lightly syrupy at most since there's barely a trace of heaviness or stickiness. The carbonation is appropriately subdued and does its work without fanfare, or even notice. The mouthfeel makes drinking quickly a breeze, even as the ABV makes drinking too quickly dangerous. Respect is a must.

This Weyerbacher offering is one of the better examples of an English barleywine that I've run across. I will never like malt-dominant versions of the style as much as I like balanced or (especially) hop-dominant versions, but I've had a good time with this one. It's solid all the way around. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the Blithering Idiot.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2005 21:47:52 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown and purple-ish with a small head that fades to nothing. Nose is dark fruits like crazy, sweet caramel alcohol, and a faint balancing roasted nuttiness. Taste is packed full of purple fruits with an alcohol punch to the face. A few of these and I'll definitely be pacified. Overall mellow and full of various fruit. The bitterness is countered by thick grape sweetness. Low carbonation lends itself to the mellow sweetness. Drinkable, but you need to takes your time with this.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 03:00:46 | More by tastybeer
Photo of ggroller


4.88/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ya know, I've drank this beer so many times it's time I give this beloved brew it's proper due.

Blithering Idiot. What a namesake. It is in fact the reason I decided to try this beer for the first time.

Poured into a tulip, the beer is a burgundy, mahogany, and dark brown in color.

It smells like bubblegum, cotton candy, beligan dark candy sugar. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar, and cardamom.

Tastes sweet. But not sweet like sugar or candy. Sweet like a piece of baklava. Brown sugar, vanilla, honey, and oven browned cinammon. The complexity of the taste is almost overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is huge. Sticky and chewy.

Drinkable for a Barley Wine indeed. Especially on those cold Pennsylvania winter nights. Sit by the fireside with this one. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 00:05:38 | More by ggroller
Photo of Phatz


4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours out dark and syrupy like King's Syrup (for you PA Dutch) for the rest of you it is almost exactly the color of 100% pure Maple Syrup.

Smell: The smell has strong suggestions of dark fruit like dates & berries mixed into a sweet brown sugar base. It is FULL of flavors!! … "You know what really Grinds My Gears" is boring ass beers! This beer is NOT boring. It has tons of aromatic and taste bud stimulation. I love that.

Taste: It does a magnificent dance on the tongue; slides down the throat very easily, and leaves behind a GREAT after taste similar to a dark cider. This was great with Shoe-Fly-Pie (for my PA Dutch comrades). I tried it with cheddar cheese, which really cuts out the bite of the beer, *IF* of course, you don’t like the bite that will make it perfect. I however like the bite (as a whiskey fan); so I decided to skip the cheese. I then tried it with (homemade) pumpkin pie. WOW!! That was amazing! The flavors work together to multiply the experience into sheer bliss! I highly recommend.

Mouth Feel: This beer feels think and heavy in the mouth. I almost wanted to start chewing it. You really know its a good beer you have in your mouth, not like that watery crap with no substance to it.

Drinkability: It is VERY sweet so you will probably not pound them down one after another in your college Frat Party style. But to sip on after you’ve undone that button to relax after Thanksgiving dinner, this is perfect! I also suggest not drinking this on an empty stomach or it’ll sit quite heavy, (and that 11% alcohol will sneak up on you) but it is fantastic with desert! Enjoy!

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 06:14:13 | More by Phatz
Photo of MaltyGoodness


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a hazy dark amber. Almost appears brown. Cream colored head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma of fruity sweet malts. No detectable hops in the aroma.

Taste is sweet and malty upfront followed by a sweet and fruity aftertaste. In case I'm not clear, this guy is sweet.

Nice full body to match the boisterous flavor.

A little too sweet to enjoy more than one in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 03:07:34 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of dirtylou


4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, got from blacie in Raleighwood in some sort of exchange for stone imp stout...been sittin in the cellar fridge since august

appearance: clear, ruby tinted copper, nice beige head that subdues into some nice lacing...pretty lovely looking bwine

smell: nice aromas here...bready malts, toasty, vanilla, alcohol (spiced rum), caramel, earthy

taste: strikingly similar to the new glarus barleywine i think...very smooth. toasted maltiness, lovely dark fruit, rum like alcohol, sweet hop bitterness, raisins, slight spiciness

mouthfeel: medium bodied, quite smooth

drinkability: for the style, quite

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 03:49:51 | More by dirtylou
Photo of DrJay


3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep orange, clear except for a few yeast flecks floating around. Short beige head composed of small bubbles that produced a bit off lace. Malt and alcohol dominate the aroma. It's also a bit vinous, with some prune character, which gives it a kind of rum raisin smell. Alcohol is apparent in the flavour from the start. Moderate bitterness with a big vinous, caramel malt taste. Some toffee and ripe fruit kick in mid-point, leading to a caramel sweet finish. Dry and slightly astringent, the texture is fair and the carbonation is on the light side. An interesting barleywine. If the alcohol wasn't quite so forward (read "hot and solvent-like" in the flavour and aroma), it would be a lot more enjoyable. I can't rate it down too far though, because the rest of the character is actually quite nice. Maybe some aging would do this some good.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 02:38:33 | More by DrJay
Photo of Schwarzbart


3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looked thick almost like really cold country apple cider but darker. There debris floating throughout the beer with it being more concentrated at the bottom. Smell was sweet, fruity, yeasty and some alcohol aroma. Fruit aroma of dates. Taste was much like it smelled, but the alcohol got much stronger as the beer sat and also seemed to get sweeter as it sat which gave it a more complex dark fruit flavor. A mild fresh grass hop flavor was also present. Mouthfeel was really thick with low carbonation, but this is my first barley wine, so I don't know how it compares to others. I don't think I could drink more than one of these and still enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 00:24:15 | More by Schwarzbart
Photo of jakester


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a big beer sampler case I bought at The Beer Mart in Reading, Pa. I drank it in a pilsner glass.

Pours a mostly clear copper with a one finger head of beige foam. Head drops to islands and a ring, with intermittent splotches of lacing.

Aroma is huge bready malt, diacetyl, rum, something spicy (hops?), and faint alcohol. Smells sweet and strong.

First flavor is intensely sweet caramel, followed by heat from alcohol, a pretty good whack from hop bitterness, then notes of rum soaked raisins, currants, black pepper, and a very late solventy taste. Aftertaste is very long, bitter, and hot.

This beer is a mouthful. Huge body, lips stick together from sugar, and a strong warming at the back of the throat. Carbonation is soft to medium.

I'm not sure how "drinkable" this beer is, but it sure is good. Very well made English barleywine. It's more balanced between malt and hops, compared to American barleywines. Delicious, ass-kicking, and yummy. What a combination!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 12:52:27 | More by jakester
Photo of quasimoto


2.3/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Hazy reddish brown with a small off-white head.

S - Vinous, with citrus and malty hints.

T - Strong malts of red wine, and hints of citrus folloed by hops.

M - Sharp on the palette, tart almost

D - definilty not a session beer, A little of for its desired target.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 22:54:46 | More by quasimoto
Photo of scooter231

New York

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting looking beer. Deep brownish red, almost murky, muddy. Barely there tan head with lacing- not much, but it sticks around very stubbornly. Smells very fruity- deep, rich, dark fruits. Hints of chocolate, and you definitely get an alcoholic kick. Sweet.

Alcohol certainly hits you pretty fast after the first sip, but it doesn't knock you senseless. It's controlled. And, not realizing it was 11 percent until a moment ago... well, putting it in that perspective, it barely even slaps you. That aside, fruity flavors, coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Loads of malt all over the place. Bitter near the end. Really quite flavorful.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, very nice. Overall a very drinkable beer considering alcohol content- I'd get it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 04:59:45 | More by scooter231
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall not a bad beer for the price. I was hesitant at close to 15 bucks a sixer, but I've found a place that doesn't mind breaking them up

Deep orange and red. No lacing, tons of yeast floating around. Very little carbonation, almost flat.

Tastes very fuity, peaches, apricots and of course loaded with alocohol. This beer also has a slight cinammon finishes. A major drawback is a strong metalic taste that runs throughout the body of the beer.

Some beers are very hard to judge objectivley when you can't get out of your mind what you paid for it. This overall is not a bad BW, but in no way would I seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 02:11:09 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of Chelsea


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured out of the bottle a nice dark reddish-tan color with a small off-white head that left some lacing on my glass.
Smell: Nice, sweet carmelly-fruity aroma.
Taste: Sweet malty taste with some caramel and fruity notes. Just enough hops at the end to keep it from being syrupy.
Mouthfeel: nice, full bodied mouthfeel with a little carbonation.
Drinkability: Definetely a sipper due to it's higher abv. Goes down deceptively smooth and sneaks up on me in a hurry.

Side note: When I first saw the bottle, I thought the jester was giving me the finger! Upon closer inspection, I realized I was wrong.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 20:01:56 | More by Chelsea
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange/brown/red, small white head forms, lots of lace and legs. Smell is alcohol, some citrus, acetone, some raisin and prune character. Taste is caramel, lots of alcohol, raisin and some chocolate. Mouthfeel is full bodied, medium carbonation, very hot going down. Extremely unbalanced in a not so good way, pretty rough on the senses.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2005 05:41:49 | More by Viggo
Photo of Sephiroth


3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No date to be found on this bottle. I am using the usual tulip. This beer goes from muddy brown to a clearer amber. Minimal foam, but lovely. The nose is of sweet caramel malt. Raisins and figs are strong aromas in this one.

The taste is sweet and loaded with caramel malt and some fruits. There are a lot of sugars running around, and some light hops are felt at the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated. Not as unrefined as the taste and nose. I give a low score for drinkability, only because I intend to age the rest of my bottles for at least a year.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2005 05:31:54 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Creamy, quite malty, a little bit of chocolate in the background... a smidge of hop bite but is dominated by malts. Very smooth and well balanced all around. I was expecting something a bit harsher from these folks but this is a pretty tasty creation. You can detect the alcohol in the taste but its effects are more potent than you would think. Quite sneaky. Kinda reminds me of a doppelbock on steroids.
Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2005 03:20:28 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of BeerBeing


4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 120z brown glass US generic longneck bottle,multicolored on black label

Appearance: reddish-brown in color, huge sort-lived off-white head, no lacing

Smell: strong fruitness (dates ?), brown sugar, alcohol

Taste: full body, creamy mouthfeel, strong malt, very strong alcohol, sweetness and fruitness, minor hoppiness

Notes: very STRONG beer, just watch out if you want to get more thn one

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 21:01:13 | More by BeerBeing
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red amber, foamy tan head. Heavy malt nose, very nutty, rich caramel, dusty hops, sticky sweet. Modest carbonation, good body. Alcohol is there, sure, this is over 11% after all, but it doesn’t get in the way. This is a smooth, malt driven barleywine, like a brown ale on steroids. Some toast, cocoa, and touch of pepper, Aftertaste of a brown ale. This drinks better fresh now than it ever has before. I think we have the larger capacity and the better boil of the new brew house to thank for that. This is a barleywine that I turn to several times a week. Good stufff.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2005 02:13:32 | More by yen157
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boozy whiskey great aroma. Taste sharp whiskey and then mellowed by the barley. Very finishable. Fig date licorice chocolate malt essence and sharp sour plum soaked for a while. Wow, 11% warming. A 55 degree room temperature offering. Amber ruby colour.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2005 03:31:24 | More by Sammy
Photo of HopHeadKen


3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber copper color, I love this color; with a thin ivory colored head of fine bubbles.

First taste is sweet and malty, soon followed by a nutty flavor and plumbs & raisins.
Soon after that is a rich alcoholic warmth without any harsh bitterness.
Rich smooth mouthfeel.

Thanks to Steelreign for the trade, I will pick up some of this again if I come across it.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2005 20:34:19 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of blackie


4.6/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of this ale is a dark amber, and the viscous pour into the glass produces an off white head of which 2 centimeters remain throughout the experience. There is only a slight lacing that clings to the walls of the glass. As the snifter is drained, the sides of the glass become all sticky with malty goodness.

First smell is of sweet, dark, fruity barley malts with just the right amount of hops. I have had some barleywines lately in which the hops were kind of overdone, but that is not the case here. Also present are underlying notes of well cured tobacco, slight banana bread, dark tree fruits, red apples, and maybe some yeast. The ethanol is not immediately evident, but upon taking a deep noseful the 11.1 percent becomes apparent; especially as the beer warms.

The carbonation is very well done, low to medium low while being pleasantly effervescent on the tongue. The liquid is slick and silky smooth on the tonge, with a medium heavy body.

The first taste I notice is of course the sweet malt. Then comes the ethanol...not too assertive, but definately noticeable. Very light hints of tobacco are present, along with some of the banana and tree fruits that were also present in the nose. Notes of old leather and wood are present (in a good, earthy way). Finish with a perfect amount of hop bitterness on the tongue shadowed by a lingering dark sweetness. Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2005 07:01:32 | More by blackie
Photo of robertp1024


3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured an amber or orange color, somewhat cloudy, with very little head. What head was there was not too thick and left quite quickly. The scent was citrus, sticky, fruity and somewhat harsh. The taste was the same, quite malty, somewhat hoppy and there was the taste of citrus and dark fruits. The alcohol does bite, so beware. Overall a nice flavor. Quite bold.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 14:09:48 | More by robertp1024
Photo of JackStraw22


2.63/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Cloudy, amber/orange body, with a half-inch head of off white head. The head didn't stay too long.

Smell: Huge, sticky sweet aroma, very citrusy. Slight hint of alcohol, and a bit of hops in the nose, slightly spicy as well. Really, though, this is dominated by the sweet malt in the aroma.

Taste/Feel: The alcohol is much more present in the taste than the aroma woud suggest. The alcohol can be a bit solventy/astringent at times and it seems to fight with the big sweetness of the malt. Nice mouthfeel. Sticky sweet, really coates the mouth. Not much hop character at all.

A decent barleywine, though I'm not sure I'll try it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 01:36:11 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of jimbotrost


3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed 12-29-04 after being cellared for 9 months. Review taken from notes. Pour is of a cloudy amber to brown with a small head and lots of sediment, non-filtered ? Rich caramel malty nose with a hint of yeasty winey-ness. Syrupy sweet flavor with thick syrupy body. Finish is long and caramel like. Very warming beverage.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2005 23:24:21 | More by jimbotrost
Photo of board45

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Pours a dark brown almost black with a very thin off white head. The smell of hazelnut and fruit are present. With a deep sip and sniff i taste strong hazelnut and slight tast of almond. It has some smoke presents to it too. It does have a medium body to it. The finish is very citrus but not sweet at all. Just accents of it. No feel of alcohol until the finish and it is just for a split second. WOW! just looked at the abv. is is 11%. No signs of this. I will be drinking loads of this.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 19:00:40 | More by board45
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.