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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,727 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,727
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 45
Gots: 161 | 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: 1,727 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.55/5  rDev +24.7%

This beer pours a brilliant clear amber with orange and cherry highlights. The quarter inch head was a light tan and yellow and it actually stayed around for a while.

Smells out of this world! I’m getting chocolate cake, ginger bread and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. There’s also a little bubble gum and a bit of green grapes.

The flavor is initially an oak hop that fades into an intricate molasses, cola, dark caramel, dark dried fruits and ginger. This then fades back into a woody grassy hops. 11.1%? Yeah right! If it wasn't for the buzz, I'd say that was a misprint.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy with a light easy carbonation.

I really liked the oak characteristics of this beer. The dryness just added to the dynamics and made this a hands down delicious beer.

DarkerTheBetter, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of ashleyshalyn
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Deep caramel/amber with little to no head at all. Nice and thick viscosity evident in the pour.

S: Caramel/toffee with a sweet smell of Easter lilies and a big whiff of alcohol

T: Big on the alcohol the sweet malts cut it well though. There was a light caramel taste with wheat/grain on the mid palate.

M: Full bodied and filling with little carbonation.

I’m a Dirty Martini girl (absolute up, Extra dry, extra garbage incase any of you ever run into me and care to get me a drink lol) so the obvious alcohol flovors for me were welcome. I love a beer that I know can kick me in the rear if I don’t treat it right. This is certainly not a beverage for the beginner. Really great representation of this style.

ashleyshalyn, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of SupaCelt
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%

Blithering Idiot. Imagine my surprise when I found a beer named after me. The pour revealed a crimson tinted caramel coloured brew. There was minimal head off the pour and barely a rim ring in the moments to follow. Not unexpected with such a beastly concoction. A few scattered springs release their fare in a skyward direction.

The nose is somewhat candied in essence. Crystalized. Caramel apple comes to mind like usual whence a barley wine crosses my olfactory network. This has some fruit cake qualities to it as well. This is starting to persuade me toward a "winter warmer on crack" description with the alcoholic undertones swirling underneath these fruity cakeries...

The taste is surprisingly unabusive to my sweet hypersensitivities. This is really quite a decent little drank. The initial feel is just a vaporous alcohol flash that completely carries any unpleasantries away on flaming wings. All that remains is a light and unintrusive caramelesque sweetness lingering on the taste buds. There is a dry and bitter aspect somewhere within this hasty progression, but it may well be just the alcohol displaying another of its blessed characteristics. Time seems to reveal more of the fruit aspects, apple qualities in particular, but the taste always remains very pleasant and not the least bit harsh. Powerful, but utterly tame and palatable.

Mouthfeel just crosses into medium territory. The alcohol tends to disguise the thickness and cause a lighter feel on the palate, but when this thing crash lands in my gut it feels a bit more hefty.

Drinkability is good. I could easily bludgeon my brain with a few glasses of this one. It is not a lightweight. I could also imagine how this one earned its name when I consider the drinkability here. Not bad at all.

SupaCelt, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%

One of the best Barley Wines out there. Strong alcohol and thinly sweet malts throughout. From the onset, gives the sensation of warming and lightly fusal, yet pleasant. Boldly sweet with syrup, molassas, and brown sugar. Hopped for balance and light bittering. Moderately thick and silky to the palate. Finishes with a light sweetness, light drying, and palate clensing bitterness. I will be drinking quite a bit more of these. It's certainly an Enlish Barley Wine with a subtle American twist.

BEERchitect, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of psugrad98
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%

Rich brown/amber. Pours think and creamy with little head or lace.

Sweet aroma of molasses and ripe fruit, with slight trace of hop bitterness.

Rich full mouth feel that coats the mouth. The flavors are complex and start syruppy sweet and ends with a little hop bitterness. Full bodied and strong with strong alcoholic backbone.

psugrad98, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of snilsen13
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%

Like most barley wines, this pours smoothly with minimal head. Drank at room temperature.

There is very little aroma, I didn't think it had anything in particular. I smelled the pewter of my mug. The flavor is nice and smooth, there's nothing specificly strong in it, caramal but not sticky. I think this is quite an acomplishment, for the alcohol to be so well mased in such a mild flavor.

The mouthfeel is stupendous. Rinsing this around the mouth gives a great tingling sensation that beckons more swishing about each swollow. I think the mild flavor, carbonation and high alcohol may contribute to this nifty feeling. Highly recommended for this experience alone.

Overall, very very drinkable. Two guests who drank with me had the same opinion.

snilsen13, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%

from the lizard

ruddy, cloudy, dark amber
huge dark friut and pear (maybe with some raisin). i'm getting a borderline belgian vibe here. does special b do that? or high fermentation temperatures. damn fruity anyhow...i dig tasting pear in a barley wine

mos def an english style: hops aren't center or front stage
mouthfeel is nice and big. fun to gnaw on

bruachan, Jan 26, 2006
Photo of nvsblman
4.43/5  rDev +21.4%

Opaque mohogany color with a small amount of head that didn't last long. Aroma is of caramel, coffee, fruit, chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. Sweet caramel taste with some almods, raisins, toffee, and a little brown sugar. Well carbonated with a medium body. Pretty easy to drink for its strength, I had to pace myself with this one.

nvsblman, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of LPorter33
2.25/5  rDev -38.4%

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Decent looking foggy, murky dark orange-brown-peach colord. not much head at all. Pretty good lacing.

Smell = Lots of alcohol and zest. A candy like sweetness, smell almost exaclty like Strawberry Twizzlers. Intesesting scent.

Taste = Too sweet and syrupy with the alcohol packing quite a punch to boot. An overwhelming taste that doesn't agree with me, just a bit too harsh and sweet. It could be balanced better. More bitter and more of a hops presence. I like the thick, syrupy mouthfeel as it's quite comforting but the taste gets old fast and just isn't complex. This could really be improved.

Overall = I don't have much experience with Barley wines. This one isn't recommended and I'd never try it again as it's too overwhelming and there's many other extreme beers I'd chose over this.

LPorter33, Jan 14, 2006
Photo of dawg
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%

While barley wines are not my favorite, a couple of these come in a variety case from Weyerbacher that I get from time to time.

Poured this one in a stout glass. Short head diminished to nothing in a matter of minutes. Can't get too much aroma from the glass. The taste however might dominate the smell. Initial mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated and went down smooth and warm. Another swirl and a sniff revealed dark cherries soaked in sugar. While I'm not big into barley wines this one tastes good. I like how it offers a warm numbing feel. Might need to try the next one after spending some time in the cold.

Drinks like ofher barley wines I've had. This one is clearley made to enjoy slowley. Each sip of the blithering idiot remindes me what could happen if a few of these went down too fast. While there is an alcohol taste, I don't find it overwhelming. Concelaing 11% by volume would be difficult and the subtle taste is a reminder to take your time with this one.

Overall, I'm glad that the variety pack comes with a couple of these. Not sure I'd buy a whole case unless I was expecting some company.

dawg, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of akahn
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours into our wine glass a deep, dark mahogany and ruby with a half-inch brown head that recedes quickly. No lacing.

Smells of plump raisins (as in a biryani) and stewed dark fruit, plums. A hint of alcohol and caramel malt aroma.

Big sweet, hot flavor and substantial, chewy mouthfeel. Rich, sweet caramel and fruity flavors. Mild hop bitterness (instead a fairly strong, sweet vodka-like alcohol character) and pleasantly strong carbonation. Vinous as well. A lot going on here in the flavor department.

This is my first barleywine and I'm impressed. This one made a fine dessert beer. Now I really want to try an American styled one.

akahn, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of cubedbee
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%

12 oz bottle, not dated, poured into a snifter. Pours a dark plum-brown with a finger of off-white head that quickly settles to a thin cap. Moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Nose is dark and alcoholic-laced fruit--cherry, fig, prune, some sweet brown sugar, no hops. Taste has a nice big malt backbone, highlighted with the same fruits from the nose, some caramel notes, a slight alcholic bite considering the ABV. This is definitely on the sweet side, just a slight hop bite, but the sweetness never becomes cloying. Full bodied with a low carbonation, this has a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This is a pretty nice barleywine, packing a punch but easy to drink for the style, althought not nearly hoppy enough for this hophead.

cubedbee, Jan 06, 2006
Photo of wedge
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a deep plum color with a slight haze. Thin off-white head fades to a light film and then nothing at all. Leaves a clear film as it is swirled around the snifter. Aroma is rich and malty with a spicy punch of fruits and alcohol. Taste is strong and malty - some nuts, molasses, toasted characteristics, lightly sweet, dark dried fruits. No hops to speak of - no real bitterness. Mouthfeel is slick and full - almost syrupy. 11.1% abv is obvious and warming.

The aroma is more powerful than the flavor in this barleywine - perhaps a bit too vinous for my taste. Of course it is quite high in alcohol (as the not so subtle name might suggest) - I imagine it could smooth out quite a bit with time. Very much an intense, rich, malty beverage. Sip with caution...

wedge, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%

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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of tastybeer
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

tastybeer, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of ggroller
4.88/5  rDev +33.7%

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.

ggroller, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of Phatz
4.6/5  rDev +26%

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.

Phatz, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

MaltyGoodness, Nov 27, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%

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

dirtylou, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

DrJay, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Schwarzbart
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%

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.

Schwarzbart, Nov 01, 2005
Photo of jakester
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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!

jakester, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
2.3/5  rDev -37%

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.

quasimoto, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of scooter231
4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

scooter231, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Oct 27, 2005
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,727 ratings.