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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,729 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,729
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 15.11%
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: 1,729 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FormatKid
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%

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.

FormatKid, Jan 28, 2005
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

BeerResearcher, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of emericanchaos
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%

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.

emericanchaos, Jan 14, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%

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.

clvand0, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

beveragecaptain, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

kmpitz2, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.33/5  rDev +19%

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!

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.

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.

blitheringidiot, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of AlexJ
4.65/5  rDev +27.7%

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!

AlexJ, Nov 27, 2004
Photo of Hhawk06
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%

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!

Hhawk06, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of twelvsies
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

twelvsies, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of danadeny
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%

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.

danadeny, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%

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.

abcsofbeer, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of winomark
2.75/5  rDev -24.5%

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.

winomark, Nov 03, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
3.13/5  rDev -14%

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.

Rastacouere, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

ppoitras, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of bultrey
3.53/5  rDev -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.

bultrey, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%

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.

far333, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.7/5  rDev +29.1%

A great example of barleywine for those who've never had one before. Poors a very deep, rusty color with hardly any head. The nose is fruity and sweet with a hint of toffee but smells mainly of liquor, which is definitly acceptable consider the alcohol content. The taste is out of this world. Ridiculously complex with tastes of prunes, raisens, toffee, caramel and so much more. Incredibly smooth for how potent it is. The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy but not at all in a bad way. And as for the drinkability, I could drink this all day. A sipping beer that will get you tanked. :-) Enjoy.

santoslhalper, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
2.53/5  rDev -30.5%

What an appropriate name for a barley wine, definitely fits the description of my disposition after too much of the style. This pours out a deep amber color with a tall off white head that quickly collapses to a covering of foam and bubbles. The aroma is filled with the scent of sweet ripe fruit joined by a sharp but not overpowering scent of alcohol. Sweet malts greet the tongue first with fruit flavors and molasses. The finish is a bit tongue numbing with alcohol and slightly sweet. Mouthfeel is full and syrupy will sufficient carbonation. This takes a hit on drinkability from the alcohol taste that numbs my tongue, I dare not have another one or I might not be able to feel my tongue at all. Fresh I don’t care too much for it but I will have to age a bottle of this and see how it turns out. If the alcohol mellows this could turn into something much better.

meathookjones, Aug 18, 2004
Photo of TinusTime
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%

Pours a dark copper with little to no head. Smell is fairly sweet and malty with notes. Toffee and liquor soaked dark fruits are also on the nose. Taste is a bit thin for something this potent. Rich malt and toffee, with more brandied fruits on the tongue. Alcohol is disguised well. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky however with almost a cotton candy type feeling. Drinkability isnt bad, however I can think of several other barleywines I would rather have a go at.

TinusTime, Aug 03, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.53/5  rDev +24.5%

Aroma of sweet fruits...blackberries, plums, perhaps some peaches...very nice...also some molasses on the aroma...

Cloudy orangish brown color...no head...very low carbonation in the mouth..feels a bit watery because of it...I'd call it as medium bodied...

Sweet flavor...toffee....molasses...sweet fruit....a hint of caramel...has some English qualities to it...earthy hop flavor...

I like this....very easy drinking for the ABV..deliciously sweet...earthy...very nice...best of the Weyerbachers I've had...

ZAP, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%

On tap at MacGregor's in Hennrietta. So I go in and I see Blithering Idiot on special, so I figure I have waited long enough, I might as well get a glass.
The appearance was much like an apple cider. Murky bronze in colour with no head to speak of.
The aroma was very alcoholic with hints of figs and butterscotch.
The taste was much like a red wine. I would say a merlot. It had a grapey taste with a strong figgy background.
The mouthfeel was a little off. Kind of chalky at first, but got easier to drink as it went down.
Not a bad barley wine, but not something i would make a habit of buying.

CBFanWish, Jul 23, 2004
Photo of malthead
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%

Born less than two months ago, from a Weyerbacher "Big Beers" case, most of which is going into my celler (i.e., the closet of my college dorm room...)
Poured into an etched Duvel tulip.

A nice, deep clear ruby color, with a ~.5 inch fine beige head. The smell is very complex, with malt, grapes, almost smells like wine. Taste is strong and rather raw, as it's not even two months old... very malty, but with strong alcohol overtones and more hops, especially in the finish, than many English barley wines. Ends a little sweet, almost cloying. Mouthfeel is dominated by a noticable alcohol presence, but it's not enough to be unpleasant - rather is a very nice warmer.. almost feels a little creamy, too. Drinkability is a tough question with an 11% ABV... this one's going very well, a good sipping drink, but I'm not sure I'd want more than one at a sitting, even accounting for the high ABV.
Definitely a brew with great cellar potential - it's nice to have one now, to see a fresh sample, but I'll be waiting until winter before reaching for the next one in the 6pack, and I'm looking forward to it already.

malthead, Jul 10, 2004
Photo of aracauna
4/5  rDev +9.9%

This was one of the guest taps at 5 Seasons in Atlanta for the July 1 celebration (yay bigger beer!) A very nice barleywine and one that I think is better for the style than the wimpy for style Old Heathen. This is on the dark side of the brown specturm wiht an ok head. It’s got that big barleywine fruitiness in the aroma backed up with a healthy does of sweet malt and leafy, grassy hops. The caramel-like malt is sweet, but not cloying and blends nicely with the dates and fig fruitiness.

aracauna, Jul 02, 2004
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,729 ratings.