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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,813 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,813
Reviews: 829
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 48
Gots: 184 | 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: 1,813 | Reviews: 829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of terrabyte
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blithering Idiot

Pours a very cloudy, dark chestnut brown with a large head. Lacing is evident.

Aroma is a boozy caramel with a dark sweet fruit like plums and dates.

Flavor is complex, but they had to travel through a fog-like haze of alcohol. Burned caramel, plum, dates, and sugar. Flavor reminded me of some quads I've had. Looks like I need to brush up on my styles.

Mouthful is thick and syrupy. Quite tart after swallowing while your mouth recovers. Coats the tongue thickly, allowing for a few more swallows before it's all gone.

Drinkability is not terrible. It's just slow. I enjoyed the flavor enough to want to finish the bottle, and the enjoyed the alcoholic bite. A real winter warmer, and I think I'll find another one to cellar for a couple of years. This one needs time to blend and mellow into perfection. I had a lot of sediment by the time I got to the bottom of the glass -enough to make a tornado of it while swirling the glass- and this beer was made to soak in that a while longer.

terrabyte, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of jhollick
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a burnt sienna color, with lots of orange and red hues gleaming through. Minimal head that quickly settled to a ring, but nice lacing throughout the beer.

This has a strong plum aroma. Some caramely malty smells, ripened fruits and figs, and a bit of phenol.

This one is thick and cloying in the mouth. It is definitely a heavy barleywine.

And the taste....pow! Super-ripened fruits, a slight tartness, and a heaaavy dose of alochol hit very quick-like. Rum, fig, and a strong spice come through for a bit along with the malt character, but they are quickly beaten down by the alcohol. There is a lot going on here, but damn that alcohol is strong. Nothing going on with hops that I can detect, which unbalances things a good bit. A sharp dryness hits comes in at the end. Maybe it has something to do with the 11%+ ABV :)

Blithering Idiot wins in the first round by TKO. The alcohol beat me into submission. Right now this one is rather unbalanced. I don't know if that is necessarily bad, but I'm going to cellar a few of these to see what becomes of them. With any luck this badass will mellow out a little bit. I look forward to encountering it again.

jhollick, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of pavandal
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my pint glass from a bottle. Looked just like iced tea, so much that the other people in my house wondered where I got tea from.

smell is of raisins, grapefruit, and a slight orange peel scent. A wonderfully complex smell here.

Taste is full of fruity malt! Grapefruit, orange, slight cherries and a raisin aftertaste. Good stuff. Alcohol is there, but it's very very well masked.

Mouthfeel is very thick, but the alcohol warms as it goes down.

High ABV, savor this at the end of your day by the fire!

pavandal, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of nitemarebrewer
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark amber, slight effervescence, laces around the glass
Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, and inviting.
Taste is sweet, but well balanced to me. Tastes like raisins or dates. Mouthfeel is thick, but I can take another sip after just having one. Like I've been doing thoughout this review. Yum.
Quite drinkable. This bottled one is almost as good as the one on tap.

nitemarebrewer, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened up this bottle after having aged it for two years. Still a strong beer witha nice light head from the poor, and a great smell in the nose. Lots of dark fruit, raisins, and caramel. Musty, old ale smell with the strong alcohol rising up to grab you. But the taste is a bit oxidized and doesn't improve the beer. I really liked it fresh (same batch of bottles), but the aging didn't improve this one. Head somewhere else for something to cellar.

FightingEntropy, Dec 15, 2006
Photo of Foxman
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy orange amber. A finger of beige head slips away soon to spits of surface froth. Brows of lacing arch along the inside of the glass.

The aroma grants a sweet toasted malt air with thin stripes of caramel, blueberry, and melon. A quick flip of citrus hops is washed out by a dense thicket of alcohol.

Upon sipping, in oozes a sticky, sugar sweet maltiness, with cherry, berry, caramel, and green apple. A feather of citrus and floral hops gird a steely shaft of alcohol. Another touch of syrupy sweet malt joins a draft of very muted pine. The finish dries and crisps nicely to linger along with some tongue-tingling esters. The result is a warm, comfortably enjoyable beer.

Full bodied, the thick grain is viscous and treacle slick on the palate, coating and leaving a pleasant memory behind.

Yet another barleywine with an entertaining name, this one is as fun to drink as it is to say. The ABV is heavy duty and in your face, and it's also very warm, maybe even hot, but it doesn't distract so much as it joins in making the whole presentation seem big. It drinks cautiously but well. It seems blithering like an idiot can indeed be a good thing.

Foxman, Dec 08, 2006
Photo of jameaterblues
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that I was just kinda blown away by....I am a really big advocate of the idiot and although it is labeled as an English style Barley Wine I really think that it crosses into both styles of the BW.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark copper in color, ruby and orange hints around the edge of the glass....Cappuccino colored head that filled the pint glass.

S- Alcohol. Big sugary malts and fruit....raisins, plum, cherry, and raspberry. Light crisp hops...that seem to make up the background of this beer.

T- I like to pour my BW cold and sip on them and let the flavors change as it warms up. This beer starts off in the English style...Big red fruits and sweet malts....raisin(similar to raison d'etra) plum, and cherry...as the beer warms though it comes more into the american style and the hops take the forefront....big and bitter resiny...citrusy finish and the bitterness grows as it warms...I feel that it takes a really unique approach.

M/D- Extremely complex, and changing all the time...many flavors in a thick hearty ale....a beer I enjoy and at an extremely reasonable price $2.99 for 12 oz at my local store.

jameaterblues, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of billybob
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a one finger tan color head which fades quickly very little lacing and a slightly cloudy amber color. smell sweet, fruity, you can smell the alcohol you know you have some serious beer here. taste is sweet of ripe peaches with rum or brandy other fruity taste there. mouthfeel is medium, syrupy but enjoyable. this is my first time for this type of beer and i enjoyed it but i would not drink to many at one sitting.

billybob, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of xtacyturbo
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOTE: THIS BEER BEING REVIEWED HAS BEEN AGED 2 YEARS. YOUR RECENTLY-BREWED BOTTLE MOST LIKELY WILL TASTE DIFFERENT! And on that note... put a few away and see how they age... I promise you won't be disappointed. ;)

This 2 year old bottle of Blithering Idiot poured out a deep red, almost brown color with very small head, which dissapated quickly. Looks pretty murky and mysterious.

Smell reminds me of red grapes, with a very slight hint of something else fruity that I can't quite put my finger on. Strong alcoholic odor creeps in as well. Also picking up a hint of nut. And dare I say a tiny smell of... banana?

Taste- when I tasted Blithering Idiot 2 years ago, I remember a wild, untamed beer, almost TOO sweet, and with a very strong alcoholic flavor. If memory serves correctly, that is. Well... after 2 years in the cellar, this Blithering Idiot has mellowed out. Flavor is very solid and balanced, nothing out of control here, just a blending of flavors to create a delicious, well-balanced beer. I'm glad I followed the bros' advice and put this one away, it was well worth it.

So what's it taste like already? Very hearty. I'm tasting a hint of raisins and/or dates, with a slight hint of hops. Yes, the hops actually rear their head this time around! A little bit of breadiness, but not much. Slight bit of a nutty flavor in the finish, ever so subtle. Got halfway through the glass before I noticed it. That wild alcoholic flavor that I experienced when this beer was young? Almost gone. It's definitely still there, but isn't by any means overpowering, and blends well with the beer's other flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation isn't very strong, but a few prickles on the tongue remind you that it's still there. The chewiness makes this a slow-sipping beer. Overall very smooth and a pleasure to drink.

No doubt about it, this is a beer to be savored, one to drink slowly. It's very drinkable for its strength, to the point I almost forgot it was such a strong brew. Creamy and smooth, I could put away a couple of these on a cold winter's night... and I think I'd be quite satisfied after that.

xtacyturbo, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of loren01
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cloudy amber color, 1finger width white head, no lacing
S: Sweet, dark fruity scents
T: Bitter/dry taste, lots of alcohol
M: Goes down easily but would not drink too fast due to 11% ABV
D: Good barleywine, a little too bitter for me in the taste catergory though

loren01, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of mnwags
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review and hopefully there will be many following.

a: A nice pour of a dark amber color with good carbonation. Had a strong 3/4" off white head that I couldn't wait to dip my nose into.

s: Hints of dark cherry liquor. A little toasty smell with a fine liquor background.

t: Fruity(cherries and grapes) Strong liquor which was very appealing.

m: The mouthfeel was average with a good carbonation. Although it was high on the ABV scale it still was delicate on the taste buds.

d: I had a great time enjoying this drink and hope to enjoy it again. Gave me some odd flashbacks of Robo-tripping. ha!! Have 1 to many though and I may become the blithering idiot!!

mnwags, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.3/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

served into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle,cellered for a year.

Cloudy,still able to see thru,dark copper,ambery with a glowing red hue. Lively sounding and looking,strings of tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass.A creamy off-white head dissapating to a collar of foam around the side of the glass throughout the beer.Nice apperance.
The aroma was very fruity, smells of raisins/figs/dates. The aroma of alcohol was very appearant throught the aromas,also a bit of some woodyness.
The taste was a blast of alcohol,a bit much for me,ruined the overall taste of the beer.The taste was of the aromas very fruity,raisiny/figs/dates,a bit nutty,with a woody feel. Sour,tart with a sweet light cloying feel to the finish.
A medium mouthfeel,very sticky,a very grainy texture a bit too harsh for me.
Had a rough time finishing one beer,not a beer I would care to drink again.

jcdiflorio, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Specail thanks goes out to blitheringidiot and thedarkerthebetter for giveing me the opportunity to try this via "Double Trouble BIF"

Appearance: This beer poured a deep mahogony red with a thin creamy tan head. This brew does not produce much laceing, but leaves spotted bubbles all arounf the glass.

Smell: The aromas are sweet malts, maple syrup, candied corn and a weak hop profile.No alcohol in the nose whatsoever. Not alot to say in descriptive words, but not bad at all.

Taste: Not much hops in the taste, but they seem to be keeping this beer from reaching the too sweet mark. Has some floral tasteing notes. Big malt bomb for sure but its nice. The alcohol is not felt too much for being so big.

Mouthfeel: Thick,chewy and smooth. Very warming. Kick ass winter beer. I have not had a bad beer from Weyerbacher yet. Drink up!!!


cheers2beers, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 12oz bottle.

This beer pours a translucent amber with a small fizzy head that holds little leaving little lace. The smell is sweet caramel with other malty aromas. Very little hops are present in the smell. The taste is very sweet with a bit of almost tea like flavor providing some bitterness. Again very little hops appear in the beer. The mouthfeel is almost a full body with nice carbonation. Overall its a decent barley wine but it does not approach the complexity and superiority that an American Barley Wine offers.

MSchae1017, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of jdoolin
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle, poured into a brandy snifter

Appearance: Pours a very deep, brownish red, with a small, but sticky head that dissipates quickly, but leaves rings of lace.

Aroma: Very fruity. Cherries and banana come to mind. Sweet caramel malt, and a warm alcohol aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very thick and syrupy. Light carbonation is just enough. The taste is sweet, malty and fruity, with that warming alcohol presence. Not much in the way of hop bitterness or flavor, which is how I like my barleywines. I found this to be pretty drinkable for a barleywine. If not for the alcohol, I could put a few of these away.

Notes: I love this barleywine. Big malt and fruity flavors with that nice, warming alcohol. Pretty easy to drink as well, for a barleywine. Probably has something to do with the low hopping rate. Gotta give props for the clever name as well.

jdoolin, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of JasonA
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz single from Cooridor Wine and Spirits. Excited about having this beer, huge WYB fan. I think the label is funny with the huge UPC bar code up front. Are they trying to tell us something?

Pours almost a grapish translucent copper. Good amount of lacing, even from this smally bottle. Head pours 1.5 fingers and settles. While the head has no staying power, lacing does which makes it 'pretty'.

Taste is not what I expected from a Barley Wine. Dare I say watery alcohol initial. Settles in with mild fruit and barley. Warming through from alcohol. Not a biting alcohol, but warming, much nicer.

I gave a 4.5 on the mouthfeel. Im not exactly sure why. While taste is definatly coupled to the MF, setting taste aside I like the way this settles in my mouth. Carbonation runs a nice smooth course. Very settling.

I am interested in having this again, just not quickly. Not a bad beer, but I would like to try some more BW before this again.

JasonA, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of jimbomill
4.78/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a thick, reddish dark offering, with little foam. The nose was rich- not necessarily spicey, but warming and inviting - a nice barley presence was detected.

The taste is simply outstanding - richer perhaps than Samichlaus for gawsh sakes; I'd say the Sami is a tad smoother, though. Right now, my top 3 favorites are Samichlaus Bier, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and this Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot. Perhaps I like the Barley wine style, but this one is special.

jimbomill, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of auntfloyd
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours a clear, bright dark ruby red, with one finger of head which quickly dissipates.

The smell is sweet: malts, caramel, some hints of banana even. A good scent, neither over- nor under-whelming.

The taste is a likewise extremely sweet: sugars, fruit, and alcohol are the most notable flavors, with a somewhat strong alcohol aftertaste. The initial flavor is fairly smooth for so strong an ale, and the aftertaste is not nearly as biting as some of the others I've tried. The taste is not very complicated though -- this would probably serve as an ok introduction to barleywines in general.

The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and thick, but that is too be expected -- ales in this style are never especially smooth. The drinkability is decent, but I cannot imagine having more than one, so it's kind of irrevelant.

Overall, this is a good, if somewhat unsurprising barleywine. Very sweet, very strong, and fairly smooth overall.

auntfloyd, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of biegaman
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Blithering Idiot" - a beer with which I sadly feel a special, personal connection.

A beautiful looking beer, hazed cherry coloured with just enough clarity to see a blurred finger through the other side. Little bits of yeast cling to the sides of the bottom of the tulip glass. Lovely. Responsive carbonation, bubbles rise to the top then sizzle out. A bourbon like aroma, full of alcohol and sweet sherry-like notes. Very sweet. A candy malt to the extreme. Mouthfeel is spotlessly smooth. A dense presence of malt that fades ever so gently. Like a gentle giant - too gently maybe considering how bold its flavour is. Big upfront malt flavour with no depth or resonance. Alcohol easily noticeable but not in the least distracting - drinkability is more than fair. This has some great features, I would surely recommend, but it honestly failed to get me going in ways other barleywines have.

biegaman, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of deejaydan
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours like a belgian dubble, great lacing but minimal head. Aroma and taste is mascerated fruit, and rum. Boozy and big, but in a good way. You can taste the alcohol, but it's not obtrusive. Mouthfeel is okay, not great but not bad. A good example of the style, but not a home run hitter.

deejaydan, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of grub
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

got this in a recent trade with Aprilluvsbeer. thanks april!

pours like syrup from the bottle, a slightly hazy copper colour with a bit of fine head that quickly drops to a ring.

aroma is nice. bready malt. lingering sweetness. alcohol. slightly floral hops, but at a very moderate level.

taste is nice. alcohol initially, then a nice slightly sweet malt, moderate bitterness, and a little warmth on the way down. definite raisin and vinous character.

mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation.

drinkability on this one would probably be good with a little age, but right now it's still a little hot. i can see the potential though, so i'm going to add it back onto my wants and see if i can lay one down for a while.

grub, Oct 31, 2006
Photo of Rudgers73
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice red. Froathy off-white head. Slight carbonation.

A- Hops, malty, alcohol, alcohol, umm alcohol, grapey.

T- Sweet and malty with a huge kick of alcohol. A little dry and bitter in the middle.

M- A little rough with a slight alcohol burn.

D- It warms you up, but be careful.

Rudgers73, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Props to my man, Metalmonk, for sending this all the way from VA. My first beer from Weyerbacher has this excellent name and a court jester pictured on the label. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into my Abita pint glass.

A: Toasty warm copper-amber with a slight wisp of an off-white head, fading to a clingy ring and a speck of film in the middle. An interesting pattern - looks like a big eyeball staring up from the glass.

S: Good smells of ripe fruit (cherries, plums), some sugars and toasty malt, but <wham!> a shockingly boozy alcohol nose. This could be interesting...

T: At 11%+ ABV I knew this would be high octane, but still...wow! a pretty powerful alcohol jolt. Tons of other flavors, too: dark chocolate, peat, cherries, raisins . Fairly bitter hop finish - decently balanced flavors. A pretty savory barleywine.

M: Generally smooth, but with a finish that's a bit sticky. Full mouthfeel and big bodied. Some lingering alcohol burn.

D: I really liked the beer and would have some more of this ass-kicker if it came my way. As I read other reviews, the alcohol burn is mentioned frequently - it would be nice to try after some mellowing in the cellar.

Cheers, Jeff!

msubulldog25, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 in 2006. (Cheers to DarkerTheBetter)
A- 1/4" or so light tan head when it is poured hard. Cloudy brown amber color. Basically no lacing besides a ring around glass and a little bit here and there.
S-Alcohol comes through quite a bit. Big malts are backing up the alcohol followed by some light hints of grassy earthy hops and a couple hints of plums and other dark fruits.
T- Picking up a couple notes of big malt flavor and alcohol with almost a grape taste and the grape dry finish. Big warming from the alcohol after the fact. Maybe some plums also. Get almost some earthy tones in it. Light bitterness in the aftertaste. The kind from the grassy hops not from citrus hops. As it warms the malts come through with some maybe fruits? Gets A LOT! better as warms. Wish this was a 22 not a 12.
M- Smooth with light carbonation and a medium to full body. Very dry finish too which I love in my beers.
D- It is very good. I would definitely say it is a sipper. Maybe a little better at hiding the alcohol and this beer would be very good. Would buy this again if I had it available.

BlindPig, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to aprilluvsbeer for this via trade. I like a good english barleywine! Except for the alcohol heat showing too stongly in this relatively fresh bottle, this one is a good example of the style. A downside to strong EBWs is they often need a few years of cellaring before the alcohol merges with the wonderful malts and becomes a tasty treat. This one seems to be a candidate for cellaring.

Enjoy if you can get it, cellar it for sure!

barleywinebrewer, Oct 13, 2006
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,813 ratings.