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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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1,899 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,899
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 49
Gots: 228 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,899 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of psinderson
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful medium amber with a thick light caramel head. It appears nice and thick as the bubbles and head took a moment to settle.

Smell: All malt. Lots of spicy brown sugar and caramel malts. For a fleeting moment, I detected a mild fruitiness, like apples.

Taste: Very strong molasses flavor that is evident throughout the taste. Very slight alcohol warming, but not too much so. There are some mild resiny hops in the middle. There is a real spicy finish and aftertaste that lasts for some time.

Mouthfeel: Nice fuller body. I like the spicy feeling in the mouth. Carbonation is good for this type of beer.

Drinkability: This is quite complex but not as over-the-top as some barleywines. It finishes relatively smooth.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is dark fruit and caramel, with a mild hops background and a note of banana, which I found surprising.

T: The taste is malty but not quite as sweet as the smell makes you expect. There are flavors of caramel, dark fruit, spice and a significant alcohol sting. The hops presence is pretty decent but it has a hard time breaking through the heavy malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink a couple of and relax with, but I would to drink too much more than that in one night.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet style glass.

A: Deep clear ruby brown in color. Minimal white head quickly dissipates into a thin white layer of bubbles and healthy white perimeter ring. Very little (if any) lacing.

S: Very light smells of candied fruit and minimal whiffs of alcohol

T: Sweetness quickly takes over the palate with a very refined grain malt taste combined with something on the order of rock candy; sort of a fruity flavor similar to that of a sweet wine.

M: Very heavy and sweet. Light but persistent carbonation keeps the sweetness from cloying on the tongue. There is definite warming but no real intense alcohol presense. Goes down easy but catches up to you quickly.

Barley wine style. Definitely. Blithering Idiot is deceptive in that it is quite sweet in both nose and mouth and manages to hide that serious kick with the exception of some enjoyable warming at the end. Awesome. And that color! Almost like a ruby colored port. So long as you aren't put off by the sweet profile, you will probably like this. Recommended.

Photo of Homerbag
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber with pleanty of yeasties floating around. Head was about an inch thick before it dissapeared a small ring.

Smell is heavy on figs with some dark fruit aroma creeping in. Alcohol is prevalent in the aroma.

On first sip the alcohol makes is presence known. This is like drinking rum that had dark fruit soaking in it. Very sweet and some what thick. Alcohol is all over this and it almost makes the flavors a little hard to detect. Some hop bitterness does creep in, not hop flavor, just some alpha bitterness, odd for an English barleywine.

Feel is thicker with low carbonation. Has the feel of a cask/real ale at first.

This is not bad, but it is not great. I wish I had aged this longer than six months. But it is cold outside and thought this would be a good treat. This would be a good treat if the alcohol was a bit more subtle.

Photo of findlayfan
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Third of the aging beers from my cellar. No freshness date, but it's been down there for three years or so. Seemed like a good time to try this (it's 6 degrees F, with wind chill of -15).

Poured red/amber with LOTS of sediment mixed in and a modest head that dissipated quickly. Sediment, however, stayed in suspension for more than 45 minutes (yeah, I sipped this one).

Smelled rather sweet, with a bit of spice. Interesting.

First taste was massive amount of caramel - with plenty of alcohol thrown in. Almost like candied figs soaked in alcohol (a bit much, from my standpoint).

Mouthfeel was good - perhaps a bit thin, considering all the sediment floating around!

At 11.1%, it's hard to imagine having more than one of these in a sitting - thus the low drinkability. In fact, I felt some help was needed for just the one, so I got a few stronger cheeses our of the fridge. The Stilton was good but the best match seemed to be a well-aged gruyere.

Certainly nor a bad beer, but not one I'd make a great effort to find.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle and a tulip glass. Poured a cloudy amber color with a little bit of a tan head. The heas stayed around for a bit as a nice coating on top of the beer.

A nice big citrus aroma with some spice and sweet malt notes. Interesting aroma of clove and even dark cherries. Nice.

The taste starts with hints of the clove spice and citrusy hops, and then quickly turns warm with alcohol that is mixed with a nice deep malt character. Bitter ho finish intertwined with the slight alcohol burn that fades slow.

Big bodied and noticeably viscous. Lightly carbonated. This beer is a nice sipper for a cold windy winter night. It's not 7pm yet and surely this will be my nightcap today.

Photo of Nipitato
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: The beer has a dark amber hue topped with a patchy, wispy-thin head. Glowing, semi-opaque clarity.

S: A quite pleasant sweet malt aroma. Some light alcohol. Bready caramel malt with treacle/sugar highlights. No fruity esters.

T: The taste here is similar to the nose. Very sweet with caramel, treacle, and sugar characteristics. Some dark fruit esters are also in play. The taste is boozy but not overpowering. Just enough hop bitterness is included to provide balance.

MF: Low carbonation. A full chewy mouthfeel. Definite alcohol warming.

D, notes: A good sipping smooth barley wine. It is probably overly sweet and would improve with age but I had no problem drinking it fresh.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A = No head, hazy, maroon brown, no lacing.

S = Dense smells of tobacco, ripe prunes, esters, roasted grains, slight bite of alcohol.

T = Nice full malt flavor with hints of pipe tobacco, ripe dark fruits, some hops floral notes, very slight bitterness is apparent (may be there in IBUs but, if so, the malt is hiding it well).

M = Medium bodied, good mouthcoating, light enjoyable elvel of carbonation.

D = A good drinkable American made barley wine, not outstanding, but definitely something I will try again.

Photo of LeftyBWS
4.24/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Clearish orange/amber color. Smooth white head. Kinda bubbly for a bit. Head settles slowly, leaving a thing layer. Lacing is spotty.
S: Very nice. Fruity/citrus bouquet, nose-filling, with a note of sugary sweetness, maybe honey? Caramel malts and floral hops, mostly.
T: Slightly sweet, but mostly floral hops and then a bittery aftertaste. Nice clean malty flavors, caramels and rye. Pretty good overall.
M: Soft and easy to drink. Bitter tingle in the finish, but really not that much, given the 11 %.
D: Very good. I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of SpencerT
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

The appearance of this ale was of cider with the suspension of little brown bits. The head was thick and creamy in appearance with the same color but at the other end of the color palette.
The smell is sweet and fruity with a hint of citrus notes. Those of you who have eaten Paw-Paws on a regular basis may discover this scent.
The taste starts sweet and wow... alcohol. There is little if no bitterness. The mouth-feel is Thick almost Porter-like with the cooling of the alcohol evaporation.
If you buy six of these I would recommend inviting five friends over to help out.

Photo of theformula
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer #20 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 1/20.
I've been sitting on this one for 2 yrs. now, so I'm very curious to taste this one.

A: Pours a dark amber body into a snifter. A 2", light-tan head dissipates quickly as expected w/ minimal lacing left over. There's some sediment.

S: Big, powerful malts in the English style are what this is about. Hops are barely apparent if at all which the 2 yrs. aging probably ironed out. It's still big and brawny with toffee, caramel and vanilla coming through strongest as well as fusel alcohol notes. Raisins and dates give it a nice fruit character.

M: Medium body, low-med. carbonation, pretty smooth and creamy. The alcohol w/ the carbonation give it a strong bite.

T: More of the aroma here, and that huge alcohol bomb detonates on the first sip. This is a very big, fumey barley wine and one to sip very slowly. After 2 yrs. this Idiot is still formidable. The big toffee and dark fruits are nice but overshadowed by the 11.1% ABV.

D: Very tasty and not a bad B.W., but rough around the edges and the alcohol is too present. I have to say it's average overall. A couple of these really will make you a Blithering Idiot.

Photo of waddsworth
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Beautiful copper color with amber hues. Decent head formation with little effort.

S - Nothing much really. Just some malt scent like a subtle waft of freshly baked bread.

T - The 11.1% ABV is apparent from the front of the palate to the back. Starts with roasted malt and slight caramel flavor and finishes with a pungent alcohol punch that just wants to hang long after your belly's been given the heat. If you are looking for hops, forget about it.

M - Good. The carbonation is spot on with this one. I usually prefer slightly higher carbonation, but this seems well matched for the style.

D - Ummmm, it packs a 11.1% wallop. Its a pleasant sipper for sure, but if you can hang with more than that, than more power to ya.

As a final note, and not to bash this creation of Weyerbacher in any way, but all I can think of when drinking this is that its like an American macro on steroids.

Photo of dsa7783
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As like many Weyerbacher brews, this was over-the-top, very eccentric, and really a sipper... the hefty 11.1% ABV must be treated with caution... it will sneak up on you without a doubt... appearance was appealing... ruby-red, copper appearance with minimal frothy head... smell was thick, with strong nutty, toffe aroma... very, very rich, thick, creamy toffee, caramel, brown sugar taste that is really strong and powerful... this brew is certainly one to be reckoned with... malty, full of dark, brown Belgian sugars and creamy flavors... a dominating and powerful brew that you have to take easily... interesting brew... worth a try and typical of many Weyerbacher samples...

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish copper in color, impressive head with incredible retention and massive lacing down the sides of my pub glass. The on-tap version seems to be much better than the the bottled version. Aroma is typical of a barley wine, woody, musky and kind of citrusy. Taste is perfect; I would not change a thing. Plenty of barley and a nice hop/yeast balance. You must try this one.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color with decent head and lacing, some floaties in the glass.

Smell is very malty with hints of caramel and possibly even some fruitiness, slightest hint of alcohol.

Taste is dominantly malty, very sweet in the vain of an English Barleywine, medium to soft carbonation adds some creaminess.

I can feel the warmth of this beer. Unfortunately, this decreases the drinkability as I can make out the alcohol and it is sometimes difficult to complete even the 12oz bottle. The barrel aged version is much better as it adds a few levels of complexity that masks the heat.

Photo of stuckonhops
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ill start by saying this was a great beer IMO...

A-- typical barleywine.. im noticing that a lot of barleywines have this deep reddish copper color to them with amber hues on the edge of the glass when light hits it...quite pretty if i say so myself...

S--definetly banana in there somewhere...also dare i say a musky woody smell similar to a mushroom? alcohol sings off the tip of the nose.

T--i expected to get hit with some hops but it was not as bitter as i expected. i guess the hog heaven put me on to belive all bwines should be bitter but this is sweeter...not everly sweet though...a bit tart so im thinking cherry...

M-- smooth..as it warms becomes stickier...alcohol definetly warms your throat and stomach if its near empty so be careful

D-- i will buy this again or try it again as i did enjoy it...but i dont think i could have more than one or else i would become a blithering idiot...11.1abv is definetly noticeable after the first half of the glass

Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, allowed to warm up near room temp. Pours a nice warm honey almond, clear, under a puffy medium tan head, showing respectable retention and then leaving thick sticky sheeting. Intense nose of fruit, alcohol, and clearly cherries and banana peels. Warming, rich, buttery with notes of more fruit, leather, butter. Intense and bold brew. Fine quality night capper/sipper. I put a bottle of this nectar away to let it soften up a bit. Well worth a try.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fully clouded brown that has orange/red hues. Nose is definitely fruit-like. Minor cherries mostly. Flavor is influenced by alcohol. I can tell that right off the bat, but it does stay mild enough so as to not ruin the whole thing. Mild fruity edge. Mild raisins on the end as it warms. Not a lot of complexity, but definitely full bodied. Feel is typical. This is very drinkable since it is so smooth. But like I said, not a whole lot of complexity at this point.

3.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky brown amber body hossts a light tan head that fades down to a half inch of skim joam in just a minute or so. Nose is creamy sweet with hints of vanilla bean ice cream, spicey fruit, and yeast doughnuts. Very sweet mix of yeasty spice and rich maltieness dominates the tongue on first sip. Sweet candied alchol warms the belly and tingles the tongue when mingled with the zesty spice. Nice dark fruit notes twords the end of the palate. Mouthfeel is almost taffy like. Overall sweetness does hurt the drinkability a little.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a single of this on my latest beer run to Jungle Jim's (Fairfield, OH... Just north of Cincinnati). The brown bottle had no "bottled on" date. I poured it into my pint glass to produce a 1/2" head of off-white foam that settled down to a thin cap fairly quickly leaving no lacing to speak of. The one thing that leads to a higher appearance score is the tiny particles that hang in suspension in the beer and the mesmerizing carbonation bubbles that continuously rise to the surface feeding the thin cap. The beer is a orangey/copper color.

The smell is almost non-existant.... I can barely pick up a bit of a fruit punch aroma. I also picked up a citrusy/orangy smell.

Taste: A bit mild in comparison with some other barley-wines I've had. Mild in comparison to "Insanity" (also by Weyerbacher). However, there is a BIG alcohol component with this Blithering Idiot. Flavors that are apparent are: ripe fruit, smokey, woodsy. some malt. But the alcohol overwhelms everything.

Mouthfeel: I never thought I'd say this.... but this could use just a little bit more carbonation. The feel on this seems a little watered down. HOWEVER... the alcohol is HUGE and yields a pronounced warming....

Drinkability: If I knew when this bottle was packaged, I would be able to guage how long I should age it.... I believe that this may mellow with time.... right now... it's a little tough to take. I would recommend letting this cellar for a year or three.

Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm. Second weyerbacher in a row that, well... Just tastes like it needs a lot more time in the bottle. In Europe it's perfectly normal to sell wine that needs to age to be appreciated. At the same time it seems that wine and beer in the US is sold to be consumed on the spot. Or, at the very least, there is usually some indication that it needs to age. And this one... Has that alcoholic bite to it...

Maybe I'll keep a few bottles for a year or two to see if that edge goes away. I'm sure it will. Until then... It's just not very good.

Photo of buzzworthy
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blithering Idiot undoubtedly is a description of someone who drinks too many of this 11% ABV brew. I have only one 12 ounce bottle so that shouldn't be any more of a description of me than usual. It's a beautiful ruby orange color in the glass with moderate lacing left at the end. The aroma is malty sweetness. There is little hops influence and mostly malt in the flavor, which favors orange, dates and toffee. There is a noticeable alcohol warming, mellow in character, that I don't mind on a December night of 12 degrees. This is my first barleywine - I enjoyed the style and definitely would drink this version again

Photo of drumrboy22
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Winterkoninkske glass. Beer was a hazy, ruby color with a small, creamy, light brown head. Left lacing around the glass.

Aroma was heavy malt, caramel and mild citrus hops.

Taste was malt up front, caramel, raisins and other dark fruits. Nutty, english style barleywine.

Full bodied beer that goes down very smooth. Pretty good beer, but also kind of average.

Photo of brantadid
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a light garnett color with an 1/8 inch, off-white head. Head diminished quickly with lacing.

Smelled of really ripe fruit. Some figs, dates, and honey. Also some citrus hints in then nose. Reminds me of a port in a lot of ways. Maybe some residual sugar smells also.

Flavor isn't as vibrant as the nose. This beer is really balanced though. Lots of sweet fruit flavors on the front palate which are flavored by a nice maltiness, and finished off by a faint but crisp hoppiness. Some heat from alcohol is present.

Incredibly smooth and creamy. This beer feels rich. A slight fizziness on the tongue followed by this really creamy texture makes this really balanced and drinkable.

Photo of tpd975
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a browinsh chestnut hue with tinges of head. Pours with a big puffy 2 finger off white head. The head lingers before dying down to a nice collar which leaves behind chunks of spotty lacing.

S: Big sweet malty aromas. Tons of brown sugar mingled in with rum soaked raisins. Big aromas of malt and alcohol, this is gonna be a big brew.

T: Yep I called it. Sweet malt smacks you right across the face with the first sip. This is one of the maltier Barleywines I have had. Tons of brown sugar, a hint of almond oil, a dash of vanilla, and plenty of alcohol to burn.

M: Medium bodied by Barleywine standards, but does leave a slight sting from the booze.

D: No barleywine is actually drinkable and this one is one of the less drinkable ones. It's a good sipper, not so good as a drinker. 12 oz bottles are perfect containers for this one.

Overall: Not the best Barleywine but far from the worse. I would call it middle of the road. If you like alcohol burn and tons of malt, you may rate this one a bit highter.

Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,899 ratings.