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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,735 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,735
Reviews: 824
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 45
Gots: 163 | 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: 1,735 | Reviews: 824 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mentor
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this with absolutesites a while back and it tasted justlike tequila. I hope this bottle is better. Thanks to orbitalr0x for providing this as part of BIF33. Pours a one finger tan head over a cloudy and particulated amber-rust liquid. Smells minty duringthe pour. Creamed corn to the nose. Caramel and a touch of pine. Oxidized sour and a bit mediciney. Raisin and cherry.

Tastes vanilla and caramel, toffee, and sherry oxidation. A bit hot in the alcohol, but it's a clean burn. The alcohol is covered by a wet fruity and sweet. Actually, there are quite a few dark fruit flavors in here like I find in St Bernardus Abt 12. Chocolate covered plum and raisin with a touch of cherry sour. Thick mouthfeel and mild carbonation. Consumed cellar temp and allowed to warm.This was a deliciousmalty treat.

mentor, Jul 03, 2006
Photo of jmz62565
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark reddish orange with a small white head. Not bad for a barleywine,but nothing really special. The smell is lighter than other barleywines with only a small aroma of dark fruit and alcohol present. The taste is creamy with dark fruit and alcohol,this beer packs a punch, and leaves your mouth with a slightly bitter hop aftertaste. The m/f is heavy with all the flavors mixing OK,but the alcohol taste does dominate this beer making this less complex than other barleywines. A decent beer,but I really expected more.

jmz62565, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a near opaque orangeish brown. A sparse tan head with persistent lacing. Smells of rich nutty malt. Strident alcohol aroma with hints of oak and raisin.

Tastes of rich malt and oaky vanilla. Lots of alcohol, overpowers the other flavors a bit. Some biting hops in the finish as it warms. Lightly sticky mouth. Big beer. Some hops linger, builds as you get further down the pint. This could use a bit of age, it's a little hot right now. Loads of potential though.

ViveLaChouffe, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of gbontrag
4.58/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

smells of caramel and calvados; autumn leaves and cordial cherries. The carbonation seems to only rise with a shake, and then it climbs the side of the glass in fine beads.
The taste is astringent at first, and numbing, but not puckering. However, this barleywine provides its own salve by way of a huge caramel malt backbone that is crafted like a spun sugar sculpture: Beautiful. Dark spots of charred grains are reminiscent of wood and tannin, and toasted peanut brittle. There are pithy pits of cherry and peaches. This is sticky and fragrant like a local, and strange, honey, and like a homemade fruit cordial. This is 100% barley wine.

gbontrag, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher hasn't done me wrong yet, and this is my first time meeting the Blithering Idiot. Pleased to make its acquaintance. Now pour!

Only a very thin head was formed, and it settled to a mere halo of foam around the edges. Halo retains well, anyway. Good carbonation, mostly seen in the edges, with a beautiful candied apple/caramel color blend. Gets the beer appetite going just looking at it.

Smells strongly of sweetened malts and candied dark fruits soaked in alcohol. An almost bourbon-ish essence rounds out the nose.

Flavor-wise this shows the balance tilted toward the malt, with a candy-like bittersweetness being round and full in the mouth. Earthy, grassy, brown sugar, raisins, molasses, sharp spices...in some ways reminiscent of Trappistes Rochefort 10 (I know, that ain't a barley wine, but there are parallels). Even the very present alcohol is subdued, or at least not overpowering, keeping this from having that too-hot sensation of some higher ABV beers.

I love the ultra-hopped US barley wines, they're almost worth dying for, but it's nice to experience something different, with more balance. But drink it too fast and it'll knock your socks off just the same.

Metalmonk, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher- Blithering Idiot

Appearance- caramel brown with no head.
Smell- caramel and biscuit malt with cherry, plum, and raisin hints.
Taste- sweet fruit. Cherry, raisin, prune, with a balanced touch of caramel malt.
Mouthfeel- surprizingly smooth for an 11% abv beer. Slight alcohol burning in the aftertaste.

Overall- a nice "light" barlywine. This one doesn't cause you to pucker your mouth or whip your head about. Nice and mild. A good choice!

NJpadreFan, Jun 11, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky deep amber with a very nice tan head that retains well for an 11%. The aroma is a rich amalgam of dark fruits (fig, plum, cherry, grape), caramel, toffee, toasted bread, esters, floral hops and alcohol...very british and very appealing. The taste has intense notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits (fig, plum, cherry, grape), floral hops, esters, toasted bread and ethanol. The mouthfeel is full and rich, while carbonation is light and drinkability is good for the style. A very nice interpretation of an english barleywine, structured like J.W. Lees with a sweet finish this is a definite winner.

silver0rlead, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of BeerRun13
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep amber. A nice two finger head provides great lace.
A sugar malt like quality hits the nose. Raisins, dates, citrus, pineapple, and alcohol are all showing niceley.
Flavor is not much off from the aroma. Bitter citrus notes set the two apart.
Full bodied and creamy smooth. Maybe a little dry, but nothing is wrong with that.
Okay to good drinkability. Maybe a tad to bitter for a Barley Wine.

BeerRun13, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a snifter glass.

Honey amber, pumpkin colored brew. Almost no head at all, and really not even a ring of foam around the edges. Although for a Barley Wine, this is not totally unexpected.

Strong aroma of sweet malts and candy. Reminds me of a strong doppelbock. Very little hoppiness.

Sweet, smooth, malty, syrupy. Very nice flavor. Not much hops, however. Very different from a Bigfoot (I know, Bigfoot is an American Barley Wine, but just using it for comparison purposes!!). For a beer this strong, the alcohol is very well hidden, although as it warms I know it will come through a lot more.

Syrupy sweet and thick mouthfeel. Just the slightest carbonation to tickle the tongue as it goes down.

A really like this brew, however at 11% it is quite strong so sipping is recommended.

doppelmeup, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received in a trade from Fish113d. Deep cloudy, dark copper and amber mix. The head is short but is nice and swirly with good retention. Subtle streaming carbonation is also visible. The aroma is fairly strong, mostly malty, with a nose of raisin and sugar, and a hint of alcohol. Reminiscent of a Wee Heavy or perhaps even a Doppelbock. The taste leans heavily on the malt side also, with cinnamon raisin dominating. The bitterness remains low and there isn't much hop balance to go with. The alcohol is well disguised. Mouthfeel is slightly buttery and smooth. The carbonation is again mild, but adequate. This brew had alot of flavor but seemed very one-dimensional for me, decreasing the drinkablility significantly. Worth a try...

bennetj17, May 30, 2006
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber brownish with a small biege head that leaves some spotty lace. Tried an aggressive pour some some yeast are in suspension from the start.

Aroma is big lots of caramel dripping off of grapes, apricots, cherries some hops underneath mingle with alcohol notes that belong.

Taste is big on malt, caramel some molasses mixed with good fruit. Some earthy hops mingle with yeast and a good alcohol bite. A big in your face Barley Wine an enjoyable sipper for me.

Mouthfeel is big nice feel good mellow carbonation.

Drinkability is good enjoyed every sip. A big alcohol presence but it feels right at home in this one.

mntlover, May 29, 2006
Photo of crwills
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown into a large red wine glass. Big tan head with good retention, quite bubbly.

Aroma is strongly malty with some unhidden alcohol. Some sweet toffee or caramel presence as well.

Flavour is very malty, with some warming alcohol. A big 'kick' to this beer (provided by the alc., no doubt). Mild roastiness and chocolate. A chewy mouthfeel, and much more carbonated than I expected. Mildly bitter aftertaste.

Overall a well-balanced example of the style.

crwills, May 27, 2006
Photo of Atlas1
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes I am inspired by the Weyerbacher beers, and sometimes I am not. Their Blithering Idiot barleywine-style left me somewhere in the middle. Nice pour. Rich, burnt-orange copper color. Head dissipated quickly, with little to no lace. Hearty aroma. Hints of plum, molasses, prunes. Spicy scent too, which was nice. A very settling flavor. Considering the high ABV, this wasn't an overpowering barleywine. I could see myself having two of these before realizing the alcohol content. Nice mouthfeel. Sturdy, but not too malty, not too syrupy (which many barleywines can be). Nice, clean finish. The Weyerbacher Quad is a bit strong for my tastes, but I'd come back to the Blithering Idiot for seconds.

Atlas1, May 23, 2006
Photo of rabsten
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Dark, cloudy amber with finger-thick head that just.wont.go.away. Sticks like glue to the sides of the glass.

All three of the basic components fighting it out for supremacy: malt - hops - and alcohol. A classic barleywine aroma.

Huge caramel/butterscotch malt flavor with solid hop support. And alcohol. To paraphrase (or rip off) Tobin Bell in Saw II, "Oh yes, there will be alcohol." There's no hiding the 11% in this one. But that's not a bad thing. It acts as a foil to the maltiness. Mmm.

Feels a bit syrupy; very "round." Thick. Works well on a cool, wet spring night like tonight. Slight hop burn in the aftertase.

Drinkability. Well, I could go for a second, but that would do me in for the night. I mean...dang.

Bottom line: It's not quite at Old Guardian's level, but it's right there with Old Ruffian, Hog Heaven, and their ilk. Much better than the Old Foghorn '05. A fine, fine barleywine ale.

rabsten, May 19, 2006
Photo of alehopman
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Small tap sample at the brewery. Poured jet black with med. carbonation and thin head.

Aroma is of dried stone fruits. Hop aroma more typical of English BW, not overly assertive, which is nice and style appropriate.

Flavor has a strong malt profile with a good fruity element as well. Finish is a tad more bitter than the mild hop aroma would advertise, not over the top but more than I would want in a BW.

Mouthfeel is substantial without being cloying.

Above average BW.

alehopman, May 14, 2006
Photo of brewandbbq
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2000, old school label

Pours clear mahogany with burgundy hues.
Spritzy, prickly carbonation comes out of solution but never gains a head.
No trace of lacework or even a whisp of foam, but decent legging.
Aromatics are laced with whiskey-like fusels, dried fruits, and rum-soaked raisins. Exeptionally boozy with a hint of new leather.
Body is slickish and sticky, mediumish and lingering.
Pallet is loaded with alcohol infused fruits.
Cherries and figs under a huge malt foundation, and light chocolate notes.
Caramel and toffee round out the finish along with a building heat in the throat, accented by a smooth bitterness.
Despite the poor appearance, this is the best I've had this idiot.
Six years has added some sophistication and complexities that are a great surprise.

brewandbbq, May 12, 2006
Photo of marinobrew
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this in the bottle and poured into a tulip glass.
The color is a golden deep ruby with brilliant clarity. The was tight laced and off white but short lived.
The nose had hints of date, honey, caramel, cashew and a moderate dose of alcohol.
The mouthfeel was textured with a moderate carbonation. On the palate notes of creme sherry, caramel/toffee, piney resin, and fig. It fades in a long finish of toasted brown sugar and grahm cracker with a subtle hop structure that looses some balance to the maltiness.

marinobrew, May 11, 2006
Photo of rodrot
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a hazy darkish amber color with a very small head. Aroma was very sweet smelling and winey. Taste was very sweet also with notes of syrup, wine and alcohol and some caramelly notes. Hop bitterness was subdued in the finish. This beer is way too sweet and tasted like extract was used in the brewing process. Drinkability is low due to the high alcohol and overwhelming sweet taste. I like English style barleywines, notably Old Nick and Hardys, but this one was a disappointment. Perhaps this brew requires a year or 2 of aging in order to round out.

rodrot, May 09, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy amber...no head, but carbonataion is pretty active in a small Petrus chalice.
Smell is faint...caramel...steely grains..hint of vanilla.
Taste is fairly complex...very sweet and malty..some butterscotch and toffee..vanilla...mix of fruit falvors....zesty citrus hop. Alcohol very well hidden at first, but shows up big as it warms. Also, some hints of sour carmel apple near end and bitter hop aftertaste. Complex and very good.
Mouthfeel heavy, syrupy...light carbonation.
I really enjoyed slowly sipping this one and would purchase again.

Hautacam, May 09, 2006
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - 2" cream colored head. Hazy, red / orange beer. Head retains for a while at 1/4" and leaves no lacing.

S - Fruity aroma with cherries and butterscotch. Delicate malty nose.

T - Malty barleywine. Fruit. Alcohol. Earthy. Slight chocolate undertones. A little bit of citrus. Low bitterness. The hops have little more than a late effect on this B.W.

M - Full-bodied with low carbonation. Not overly sweet, but sweet.

D - Good drinkability. I like E.B.W.'s and this was a good one. Well done. Thanks to Maltygoodness and BIF Across America for this one. I am ready for BIFAA part 2!

Photo of clabaugh
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

clabaugh, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.38/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Zorro, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Contra
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Contra, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

TastyTaste, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of riversider76
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

riversider76, Apr 11, 2006
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,735 ratings.