1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,685 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,685
Reviews: 821
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
Wants: 41
Gots: 138 | 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: 1,685 | Reviews: 821 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avylover
avylover

Virginia

4.85/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this brew is about top notch. Very nice clear mahogony with a 1/4" head that hangs around and provides good lacing. Aroma is heavy the fruit, with peaches, grapes, and a good whiff of alcohol. Actually reminds meof westy12 a bit, to be honest. The similarities don't end there, suprisingly!! Grape taste along with apple, pears - just alot of fruit. The malt is more of an afterthought to this onslaught of great hoppy fruit flavors!! This suprised the hell outta me. Mouthfeel is not to thick, with a light foamy ness that makes for a great drinkability. The best barleywine I've ever had...hands down.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 23:15:38 | More by avylover
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am sampling a 12 oz bottle bought at the brewery. Pouring into a snifter at cellar temp. The beer pours a clear amber color with a tightly packed creamy eggshell white head. The head fades quickly to an edge layer. ARoma is caramel and red grapes mixing with mild piney hops and a hint of ripe pears. Overall I dig the nose. First sip reveals gentle rolling carbonation with a thick syrupy body that leaves a pleasant coating on my tongue. Flavor is malty sweet with toffee, pears and maple syrup, some caramel and general fruitiness as well. A fairly sweet barleywine that I enjoy. It is very easy and smooth to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 16:19:52 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle served slightly chilled...pours a rusty brown w/ very minimal head, tan in color. A ton or carbonated lace coating the glass...the beer looks quite cloudy.
The aroma is not drawing me in...the "rum-like" alcohol hits the nostrils first and I can actually smell the bitterness. Hints of spiced vanilla also present.
Taste is also bitter w/ a very unbalanced feel to it.
A bit too carbonated and fairly thin, yet the alcohol is almost overwhelming.
I am typically a big fan of Weyerbacher brews, but this one is just not wowing me...I'll let the other age and try it in a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2005 01:46:06 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of Fish113d
Fish113d

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring into a tulip glass at room temp, it pours a cherry color w/ 1/2 inch of white, frothy that dissipates to a slight surface layer and a difinitive edge layer. Aroma is mainly of berries and alcohol. Slight carmelized malts found also, but not overly complex. Great aroma however! Taste is cherries on the sip and a feel of smooth vanilla. Full bodied, some sweet chocolate if found on the finish. Carbonation is minimal, but the alcohol whacks ya good on the finish along with the chocolate taste. makes for a slightly dry experience. I'd really like to age this one a year or two to get more out of it. Great brew!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2005 23:45:03 | More by Fish113d
Photo of Wonka
Wonka

Maryland

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 fl. ozs
(I’d love to see a bottled date)

Appearance – opaque red/brown body; reasonable white head at pour dissolves down to a fine line; sparse lace

Smell – resembles burnt plum; a bit of spice; a bit of the alcohol sneaks in

Taste – fig flavor abounds; ripe plum; hops weave in and out; caramel and a touch bitter late

Mouthfeel – paradoxical oily and full opening moves to crisp and lighter close; there’s a certain Jekyll and Hyde vibe here; enjoyable

Drinkability – the alcohol doesn’t overwhelm; light warming close; pleasant

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2005 23:12:27 | More by Wonka
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

looks nice- red as can be, starts off with a thick, dense head which completely dissapates.. leaves spotty lacing on a tulip glass.

scent is intriguing, aged wood and dark fruits.. plums, cherries. slight hop aroma and some sourness detected as well.

the taste is pretty smooth- not as much flavor and a bit too much alcohol burn. what flavor i can detect is a mix of the wood and a sugar cookie. interesting, just not enough. buttery aftertaste and mouthfeel is a big plus, but the way the alcohol overwhelms the flavor is mildly disappointing.

insanity is the essentially the same beer with more flavor, and its worth the money. wont be buying this again, but ill have one if you give it to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2005 14:37:19 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey copper color with a quick-fading off-white head. A fair amount of fruity esters ranging from melon to fresh fig to plum. Lightly biscuity malt profile, fusel alcohols are at a moderate level. Some flowery hops. Delicately carbonated. Initially sweet on the palate, it has an odd scorchy flavor (like raisins sautéed in rum) in the middle and finishes a little dry from the alcohol burn at the end. Certainly not a bad barleywine, just not my favorite. I seem to recall liking this a bit more when it first came out.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 04:27:56 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of FormatKid
FormatKid

Tennessee

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

I’m making it a barleywine evening tonight. Next on the list is Blithering Idiot, picked up in MD while I was on the East Coast for the holidays. When I crack the bottle my nose is greeted by rum like notes of alcohol. The body of this beer is visually dense and hazy and a garnet/ruby brown. A hearty eggshell head forms upon pouring but receds to a thin frosting on top with a crusting around the outer rim of the pint. Taking a whiff of this beer I get the impression that this is more of an English style barleywine than American. Some hoppiness is in the nose, but it is dominated by rum-soaked raisons, and a vinous aroma. The English Orientation of this beer is confirmed upon tasting, tell-tale flavors of rum-soaked fruit, and grape-skin alongside the typical malt flavors of toffee and caramel . Bitterness levels are solid for the style, the hop flavors are a bit more subtle though I do pick up on some levels of piney and grapefruit hop flavors. The mouthfeel is great, perfectly coating. A great barleywine, which I think will come together even more with age. I’m anxious to try the oak-aged version now.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2005 03:29:32 | More by FormatKid
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

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

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
Poured into a Corsendonk tulip-shaped glass.
It pours a murky brown leathery color with a 2 finger fading beige head.
It smells like a typical Barley Wine, with rummy alcohol fuminess and sweet caramel candy nose upfront and a light citrus peel nose in the background.
The substantial sweet malty body houses sugary sweet malt, along with tastes of caramel and distant banana.
Lemon and orangey citrus zests provide a nice tartness to counter the malty sweetness. Warming golden rum-like alcohol bathes the throat and beyond. A peppery spiciness is noticed throughout, but more so in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2005 01:49:59 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of emericanchaos
emericanchaos

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Cobblestones in York, PA. Poured a dark dark amber. Interesting color honestly. Almost ruby in color but very clean and clear. Small sudsy head, minimal lacing.

Faint smell. Can't pick up much but cherries and lots of alchohol. Yum.

CHERRIES IN SYRUP CHERRIES IN SYRUP CHERRIES IN SYRUP. Strangely sweet like a chocolate covered cherry without the chocolate. Alchohol covers your mouth and nose almost like liquor..

Feels soft and creamy in the mouth. Easy to hold, doesn't burn, great flavor helps as well.

I had about five in two hours. Great flavor makes this beer deadly drinkable. My favorite of the barleywines i've had so far.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2005 18:36:36 | More by emericanchaos
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this one many times and finally picked one up. Pours an amber color with a very small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet from dark fruits and a hint of alcohol. The flavor gets most of its character from the dark fruits, but there is a lot of alcohol in there. It could use a little more aging (at least the one I had). Good beer, but the drinkability suffers from the unmasked alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 14:21:09 | More by clvand0
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours a deep dark brown color with a nice looking, large head, which unfortunately dissipates rather quickly. After the initial sniff, I thought this beer smelled incredible, a rich aroma of dark chocolate and bananas, as well as other fruits. However, this is also an off aroma lurking that becomes increasingly noticable as the beer warms. Starts out with a big, malty flavor, followed by the flavors of dark fruits and vanilla. The hop presence is low, but that fits in fine for the style. Smooth mouthfeel. The high alchol detracts slightly from the drinkability.

This beer has a lot of potential, and I feel that with a little tinkering, it could be great. Of course, that may just be the Insanity I had a couple days ago talking.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 02:10:50 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice ruby color with a small head that rings the beer. The nose is dark fruit and sweet cherry. Very rich and full. The flavor is a blast of alcohol up front, mellowing out to be a bit of fig. This beer is a bit hot. The feel is thick, almost a bit syrupy. Drinkability suffers from the alcohol on the beer. After having the Insanity, this is much less mellow than the aged version. Not a bad beer at all, but the Insanity is much better.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2005 07:36:00 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

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

Mini-Vertical tasting Winter 2003 vs. Winter 2004 poured into two separate WEYERBACHER Merry Monks wide mouthed goblets.

Label Lingo and bottle babble: 2003 opened with more of a shoosh and 2004 was a fsst!

Appearance:
2003 poured with more scrod chunkers and less head cap. Just a ring of a thin collar. A brown muddy hue. No lace left.
2004 poured with a ¼” khaki spotted head that retained its composure with a clearer ruby hue. Tight tiny bubbles rise up. Somewhat sticky head cap lace.

Aroma:
2003 prune peeks out over the sweet sugary malts. Marashino cherry.
2004 nose settled into the malt center with aromatic ester notes centered around vanilla ice cream and caramel.

First Swigs:
2003 dry biscuit hops and cherry citrous notes. Short lingering aftertaste of liquer and bananas. Became a bit twinged with sour slightly sherry notes.
2004 hotter fusel hops profile. Softer gentle carbonated feel. Fruitiness revolves around over ripe bananas and rye flavor malts. Lasting aftertaste of cherry and vanilla. Some awl-kee-hawl fruity flavors become detectable towards the warmed finish. Extremely more softer and more cushy feel than ’03.

Feel & Drinkability:
Drinkable to the extent that this is made for cold winter nights like tonite and slid back quite easily.

Last Swigs: Thanks Dan. Black cherry sugary malt barleywine. Its 11.1 % ABV is barely detectable. This does fall more onto the English side than American. My 2003 bottle has been passed around like a drunk girl at a frat party. My bad. And in that vain, probably suffered a similar fate. Prefered the 2004 which has been settled only six months. Part of a bargain mixed case of Merry Monks, Raspberry Stout, Old Heathen 4 x 6 for $38. Chose to review my nemesis appellation upon my first BA anniversary date as my 365th review. Happy BA beerthday to me. 124/3.77

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 07:43:10 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 vintage bottle (old lable). I will begin by saying that I have been a fan of this beer since it's beginning. It is very good fresh but really benefits from cellar aging. When young it is tasty, but lighter-bodied, the hops still taste green, and the malt profile is still grainy rather than rounded. Even 1 yr. make a notable differance.
-Pours a deep mahogany topped by velvet-smooth beige head. Good clarity with minimal lacing.
-Aroma is transcendant, mouth-watering. Deep candied citrus-peel, plum, raisen and other dark fruits followed by clove, cinnamon and oak. The tinge of alcohol almost burns my nose.
-Taste is better than the smell-all of the aromas carry through and more! Lots of gooey fruits and spices as well as a superbly subdued piney hop character, which is surprising. Lots of vanilla and oak here too. This is so complex. Finish is long, smooth and lip-smacking good. Bittersweet hops tingle the tongue. Warming all the way to my toes!
--I urge any lovers of barleywine to pursue this one. Buy a whole case (about $35-40 in PA) and cellar them. Drink a few every winter and enjoy with patience. This bottle was nearly 6 years old was the best I've had. I would say it's at it's peak, but could still go a few years too. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2004 20:08:25 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Hhawk06
Hhawk06

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering poured with a light brown body that could be considered as having a slight tint of orange. The head is not much more than a thin layer of film on top, and even that disappears fairly quickly. The nose is intriguing and tempting; caramel, clove, and a candy sweet aroma perk the senses. The taste has a quite a few intermingling flavors. I'd say the overall tone is set by a brandy-like quality, but it is surrounded by licorice and caramel notes. The mouthfeel is certainly full bodied but very smooth. My favorite part of the beer is the finish. All those pronounced flavors transform into almost a full cocoa feel and for a split second its almost like you're drinking some chocolate milk. Love that! Everything is tied up nicely with a small amount of bitterness at the very end. Love this barleywine, highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 11:11:35 | More by Hhawk06
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a VERY murky and dirty looking light brown, tough to see through. Smells like wine, very alcoholic and fruity with some noticable sweet malts. Something about this taste definately says English style, rather than American barley wine. Very sweet and complex with lots of flavors... brandy, dried fruits. Definate alcohol taste. I know a lot of people frown upon this in beers but I don't really find anything wrong with alcohol taste in an alcoholic beverage, it only makes sense. This beer could use more of a hop kick, that would make it great. As of now it's just passing as good. Smooth and sticky in the mouth. Not as drinkable because of the ABV and alcoholic taste, but a fine "put me to bed on a slow Thursday" beer. Night night folks.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2004 04:27:55 | More by twelvsies
Photo of danadeny
danadeny

Colorado

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

Ruby brown body, no head, decent carbonation. Cinnamon and spice smell, but very faint. Flavor is malty up front with a red wine finish, a little caramel in the middle. Drinkability is average. The red wine charactoristics are interesting, have yet to experience that flavor in a barleywine berfore.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2004 18:21:29 | More by danadeny
Photo of abcsofbeer
abcsofbeer

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light brown color about the same look as apple cider. Cloudy brown with apparent yeast sediment. The head is somewhat thin and tannish, leaving trace amounts of lace.

The aroma is much like a red wine with a fruity background. There are small amounts of alcohol in the smell as well. The taste is at first, like wine and fairly fruity. There is a bit of apple spice and a mild alcoholic taste as well. The label did not give an abv %, but you could definitely tell it was there.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 01:17:11 | More by abcsofbeer
Photo of winomark
winomark

Missouri

2.75/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy medium copper with a quickly fading light tan head. Sweet candy and spice dominate this rich smelling beer. Very inviting. Malty sweetness quite strong also. Lots of malt and spice control the palate. Surprisingly light finish. Mouthfeel is not as thick as I was expecting. Somewhat disappointing. Wish this was thicker and richer than it is. Smelled like it would be much more flavorful. No need to try this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2004 04:57:38 | More by winomark
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep amber, clear with a rather generous head, off-white and with decent lacing, but dissipating after a couple of seconds. Mostly malty sweet nose, but not as rich as most barley wines I’ve had. It consists mainly of brown sugar and vinous fruits (plums, grapes) with notes of vanilla and an obvious if not overwhelming alcohol presence. Thin-Medium bodied, quite smooth, with a tad more carbonation than usual in the style, but somehow, there are peaks where it seems a little boring, too easy going and just not particularly captivating.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 22:19:48 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

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

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light tan head above a murky, orangey-amber brew. Head is not particularly long-lasting, and lacing is minimal, but not so out of line with the style. Aroma is of sweet malt and strong alcohol notes. Taste is all about the sweet malts, with strong alcohol at the outset. However, even the strong alcohol notes in this case aren't overpowering, even for such a high abv. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good for the style. Worth a try for a barleywine, the English interpretation gives a more approachable product in this case.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 23:50:12 | More by ppoitras
Photo of bultrey
bultrey

New York

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

I'm just not feelin' it with many of these American barley wines. I definitely like the more delicate and understated English versions better. And I know this is classified as "English" style, but it's not like the ones that I've had. This pours a nice maroon color with a thin wispy head, and it smells incredibly vinous and fruity -- almost like raspberry wine. The taste just whacks you over the head with a fruitiness that I just don't like. It's sweet and juicy, and the actual malt sweetness seems lost. The hops are strong, no doubt, and hit your palate on the way down, leaving more bitterness than flavor. Drinkability suffers, even as a sipping beverage. Maybe this is better in the bottles, and maybe it needs to be at room temperature, but this just isn't for me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2004 16:48:57 | More by bultrey
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

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

Pours a deep reddish amber with really no head to speak of. The smell is caramel covered fruit with plenty of piney, earthy hops coming out as well. Not too overpowering.

The first taste is a candied fruity, hoppy punch in the mouth, with just enough caramel maltiness to keep it all together. Biterness and alcohol sting the back of the palate on the way down. A little off balance, but I do love the hops so I won't complain.

Mouthfeel is good with a nice full body and good consistency. Drinkability is good as well, but after a few of these you'll end up looking like the joker on the label. I think this one could've used some more time in the cellar...but it's good fresh if you're looking for a hoppier taste. Check this one out if you like barleywines. Thanks to, ironically enough, blitheringidiot himself for the chance to partake.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2004 01:47:51 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque burnt orange color with chunklets suspended. Thick and fine beige head rises up a full inch and sinks every so slowly. Aroma rises up from the glass before I'm even done pouring. It's thick and rich and sweet, smelling of rich malts and honey, plus pear and apple. Very inviting. Mouthfeel is a little watery, but gives way to a wallop of pungent flavor. Pine and citrus with sweet malts and fruit riding beneath. Finish is an alochol burn followed by a lingering tingle. That full 11% makes itself known, and probably hides many other interesting flavors that would normally surface.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2004 04:28:30 | More by far333
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,685 ratings.