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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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1,919 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,919
Reviews: 849
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 52
Gots: 244 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,919 | Reviews: 849
Photo of NCSUdo
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Murky brown under a slightly off white head. OK lacing and retention.

S: Caramel, sweet malt, some roasted malt, alcohol and some dark fruit and bread. Good aroma.

T: Some sweetness and breadiness up front but is followed quickly by a quick burst of bitterness and apparent alcohol, warming all the way down. Left with a slight roasted, malty after taste that isn't very strong. I was kind of undecided on the taste at first, the warming really seems to give this one a nice kick, but overall is slightly cloying.

M/D: Creamy, full body, carbonation may be a touch too high however. Sipper, sipper, sipper, but good drinkability none the less.

Overall this is a pretty decent barley wine in my opinion.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was very happy to receive this as an extra in a trade with VWCraig, thanks! The pour was a nice dark orange with a frothy head that died pretty quick. The smell was candy and caramel and sugars, yum. The taste was also like candied fruits and was pretty delicious. The alcohol was not overt but I could easily tell this beer was a powerhouse. Excellent brew from Weyerbacher and restores my faith after that raspberry imperial stout mess I had two nights ago. While I definitely prefer American style Barleywines (especially West Coast) this was a winner.

Photo of number1bum
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours into my tulip glass a murky brown with some ruby in it. Some bubbles rising to the top can be seen through the murk, and the one finger of tan head on top recedes to pretty much nothing.

Smell is quite fruity, with cherry, plums, and other dark fruits. It's also sweet and malty, and there is some Belgian candi sugar in there, too.

The fruits from the smell are there in the taste, as well; primarily dark fruits which I'm not the best at identifying. The malt sweetness, highlighted by caramel flavor, takes over halfway through and dominates through the finish. Also some brown sugar/candi sugar flavor. Not much in the way of hops. What is really bothersome for me is that the alcohol is way too noticeable. It burns the throat and makes its presence know too much for me.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, and it's quite creamy. Drinkability is hurt by the high abv but more so by how noticeable and burning the alcohol is. Overall, this is a tasty brew, but it's a sipper for sure.

Photo of irishkyle21
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a light off white head. Has decent retention as well as lacing. The color is a lightly hazy orange amber.

Smells of fruits, a lot of licorice, and a bit of spiceness. I really enjoyed the nose on this barley wine.

Tastes of fruits ( dates and prunes come to mind), caramel, malts and a huge warming alcohol. A solid EBW and I am glad I bought a six pack.

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark ruby with off-white head. The aroma smells like a concentrated cherry and fruit punch mix. The flavor starts with a big sweet, light caramel candy taste. The flavor is balanced a bit by earthy hops, but the malts dominate. Overall, this beer is tasty, but not that complex and the alcohol heat catches up with you as it warms. Still worth trying if you're into English barleywines.

Photo of asabreed
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Though I love Insanity, I've yet to actually have Blithering Idiot all by its lonesome. Here goes. 12 oz. bottle into a Val-Dieu oversized wine glass.

Appearance: A bit lighter than a nice red wine, with some interesting highlights in a stream of light and some maneuvering of the body. Lots of thick bubbles around the edge of the top of the brew, and with some swirls there are some round spots of lacing all over the glass.

Smell: At the forefront are aromas of fruit and malt. I'm getting cherry and strawberry the most, with some citrus both from the hops, I'm guessing, and the malt complexity. Dark berries. Hints of unsweetened chocolate and burnt coffee. Bread Crust. And some welcoming hints of alcohol. Luckily the alcohol isn't pervasive as it warms, as it actually becomes more complex.

Taste: One of the best things about this brew is the long finish, where not only the hops start to come out a bit and balance some more of the malt flavors and sweetness, but it lingers, allowing much of the fruit complexity to come out, adding tenfold to the enjoyment of the experience. It starts, though, with flavors of watermelon, strawberry, cherry, then to some oily orange hops, with a bit of vanilla sweetness, maple, dough flavors, and then with the finish. Great stuff overall, and much to admire.

Mouthfeel: Thick without feeling cloying, and enough of a rich bust of carbonation to make it a more than pleasurable sipper. Too many from the style are either too thick or too watered down somehow, and I imagine it's not easy to get right. But this is definitely right on.

Drinkability: I figured there was a reason I had to like Insanity so much, and it makes sense given that Blithering Idiot is the forefront. A wonderfully complex English Barley Wine, and I do say that I'm more of a fan of this style than some of the more greener and raucous American Barley Wines. Not so much hops that it's assaulting, and wonderful fruity characteristics abound. Keep it up, Weyerbacher.

Photo of JamesS
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good stuff. It poured out smooth, although with very little head (normal with barleywine) and absolutely no lacing as I drank it. BI has a very nice deep brown/copper color. It had an excellent scent, strongly hoppy and for some reason it reminded me of raison-walnut pie. For such a high ABV beer, it went down smooth, although it was a little rough in the mouth. It had an excellent strong flavor, not as bitter as I would have thought. A nice balance of bitter and sweetness.

Photo of russpowell
3.52/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in NC, late July

Poured an effervescent amber/chestnut with 2 fingers of white head & loads of floaties??!?? Average head retention& above average lacing

S: Bready, fruitty & caramel

T: Bready with caramel & alcohol hotness up front. More caramel & candy sugar as this warmed . Finishes with loads booze burn & more caramel

MF: Medium-bodied, slick & low carbonation

Drank like a 11%+ abv barley wine, maybe this ages gracefully? Not impressed

Photo of saintwarrick
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As solid looking brew, pours a very hazy orangish brown with an OK head that soon leaves only a lace around the ring of my snifter. Aroma is very sweet, brown sugar and caramel and those characteristics carry over to the taste, mixed in with some run, raisins and prunes. Some big alcohol backing up this brew, but the sweetness helps this brew become more drinkable. Goes down fairly smooth with the alcohol not becoming too overpowering.

Photo of Risser09
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a large snifter - 2007 bottling

Appearance: An aggressive pour leads to a very slightly hazy beer. It is ruby red in appearance, with a slight sienna color. The head is Ivory, close to tan with 1" to its height. Moderate lacing is left behind by the tiny ilttle bubbles that it is composed of.

Smell: Alcohol burn in the nose. Followed closely by plum, fig, raisin and some anise. Malt.

Taste: Sweet figs and a tartness almost like a crumb crisp of fruits. Overripe cherries and plenty of malt are there also. I don't think the flavor is complex enough to warrant good scores. The alcohol presence is duely noted.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol burn throughout the experience. Carbonation at first, then it passes and retains that tiny bubble feeling throughout. Sugars and esters. Great warming belt through the mouth, esophagus and belly. Indicative of what a winter beer should be.

Drinkability: Have a few on a wintery day, or if you have to go shovel snow. It will certainly be more enjoyable. This beer would do well with more complexity in the taste department, which I think Insanity provides, through oak aging. However, it is an afforable barleywine that could seal the deal with 2 or 3 in one night. Nicely done.

Photo of fitzy84
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This shocked me when I first drank it. The smell was very strong. I was able to get used to it and the typical barley wine drinker would probably too. However, this is not the faint of heart. I felt its thickness and sharp, ultra-malty taste was welcomed but very strong during first sips. One or two bottles of this drink is far enough due to its strong alcohol volume. More than that will probably make you into an idiot.

Photo of Absumaster
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jasonm for this beer.

A brown, dark copper beer with a thin head and slight viscous pour.

Smell is malty and full-bodied, and has a sweet smell. The alcohol is nicely hidden, no trace of that in the smell.

Taste is very malty and sweet. The alcohol can be tasted and leaves a nice warmth in my throat. Bitterness just succeeds to balance the sweetness and develops during the glass. In the end it is a bit sharp and raw, but not in a bad way. I can also taste some citrus in here, probably the hops. The yeast leaves a nice fruity taste and reminds me of an English yeast strain. Although I feel this is a nice brew, I found it to be a little too sweet, which made it a bit one-dimensional and inhibited the drinkability.

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

I got this one in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks again, John!

It pours from 12oz bottle a cloudy orange-brown with a very small head of foam that shrinks to a few small islands near the center of the glass and there's no lacing to speak of.

The smell is a strong dose of caramel malt and some hop bitterness.

The taste has a good malty flavour...the caramel is big and in your face. I can taste some bittering in the background and it cuts the sweetness a bit but the malt sweetness is *still* king here and I can't deny that it isn't tasty.

A few more sips in and I'm starting to notice the alcohol both in the taste and in the swallow. Very warming indeed. Maybe this is too fresh a bottle(no dates on label or bottle) and it needs some aging but whatever, I opened it and I'm going to finish it, even if it takes me all day. ;^) Oh and don't get me wrong, this is far from a drain pour, it's just not at the stage where I want a BWSA to be. Same thing happened with the most recent Bigfoot that I now have tucked away..

Bottom line: This one has potential to be a really good BWSA. From what I sampled, it's just a tad too "hot".

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean deep amber, with a light tan head, that did not last. Aromas of alcohol and a dry fruit. Tastes of dry dark fruit, with an alcohol end. A dry alcohol aftertaste, also a fruit presence is left behind as well. Big alcohol, another big beer, yet a great sipper, better as it warms up by not being so abrasive.

Photo of smcolw
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy with a muddy brown color; very nice head with equally impressive lace.

Sweet, malted barley aromas--brown sugar!

The malt sweetness is powerful. Good hop presense to create balance. Surprisingly, the alcohol content doesn't show up because of the strong flavors. Creamy body with light carbonation.

This is a powerful beer that is deceptive because of the flavor profile. The balance is the most attractive part of this offering--most barley wines are overpoweringly sweet or alcohol-laden. This beer lands like a nice double bock, ale style.

Photo of macster
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a viscous amber-brown with a tight, but thin off-white head. Rich, complex aromas of dark, dried fruits, raisin bread, molasses, caramel and toasted malts along with a definitve red wine character. Mouthfeel is pleasingly full, round, smooth and chewy. An explosion of complex flavors greet the tongue; figs, raisin, dark rum, brown sugar, dark caramel and malt. The alcohol nicely accentuates the array of flavors and the BW’s complexity. Finishes long and sweet with just a touch of hoppy bitterness at the very end. A big brew made to sip and enjoy slowly

Photo of Glazed144
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot of bbbles, very minimal head, big bubbles though. Murky, cloudy opaque amber-brown color. Possibly apricot in the flavor? Good mouthfeel, slight alcohol afterburn. Alcohol is hidden quite well though for its content. Also a distinct malt-sweetness, fruity taste. Good brew but nothing to get all that excited about.

Photo of maddogruss
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an awesome barley wine.

A: A dark, blood-colored body with no head or lacing of significance.

S: Smelled sweet, almost like Robitussin.

T: A rather sweet taste with berry tones. Seemed a little filling, like a bock. But, despite the high alcohol content, you could not really taste it.

M: A nice, full-bodied beer.

D: Pretty drinkable despite the high alcohol content. The sweet, malty taste does a good job of shielding your palette from the large amount of alcohol. The only downside is that it is kind of filling.

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

Nice release from the bottle as it was opened. Good crdonation.
The beer had a decent head, with minimal lacing.
A nice dark, amber color was visible. Very clear...nice.
Smelled of malt and kind of a dried fruit. Plums and or figs are what came to mind.
The taste was nice. Very full, slick mouthfeel. Heavily malted, with the taste mimicking the nose. A cooling alcohol was noticed as the beer swirled around in the mouth and in the finish.
Good beer.

Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacker Blithering Idiot pours a ruby red with a nice creamy head that lingers. Aroma is dark fruity esters and plenty of sweetness. Flavor is malt sweetness with tons more dark fruit flavors. Caramel and toffee give way to a sharp, slightly hot alcohol flavor with mild bitterness. The abundance of alcohol detracts from the beers drinkability, but it is delicious none the less. I was waiting for a cool summer night so I could pretend it was winter and enjoy a nice barley wine.

Photo of Tomas77
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was an easy drinking barleywine. Copper-brown in appearance with some garnet highlights when held up to the light. Good carbonation. Small bubbles. Small, tight head with lace that sticks well.

Some fruitiness from the hops in the aroma. Malts are deep dark fruit tasting. Raisons,prunes, plums. Light but hot alcohol from the middle through to the end.

Big body but not huge which I think is why I had an easy time drinking this one.

Very good beer overall.

Photo of MTNboy
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A brownish color with just a hint of amber. It took a second for the off white head to develop but when it did it was thick.

Smell- A deep sweetness is the first thing that you notice. Then there will be some fruity esters.

Taste- Very sweet the yeast flavor is present but not overwhelming. There is not much for bitterness. It is semi fruity with an alcohol presents.

Mouthfeel- A very smooth brew but full bodied.

Drinkability- A very relaxing sipping beer. It has a lot of class like a cognac or brandy.

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

Pours a murky and strained mud brown that has a slight clay red to it. Slight tinged head that dissolved to a rotating film. Not picking much out int he nose--just some candy aromas.

Flavor is a plethora of conglomerations for an English barleywines. Molasses and syrup. malt sweetness. Wheat even. Even some odd candied sugars. Interesting flavors for the style. Also picking out some fresh sprigs of spruce for hops. Full mouthfeel that is very oily and cloying. Very easy to drink but the alcohol sure sneaks up on you. Fairly well concealed--I was surpised that it is above 10%--but it hit m awfully quick.

Thanks to Eyedrinkale for this bottle.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Nice translucent dark amber/brown body with thin 1/2 creamy off-white head. Perfect head retention and leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass.

S- robust malty smell with plenty off dark fruit. The nose is sweet yet dry.

T- Plenty of malted barley upfront with hints of dark fruit in the background. Finish is a balance of alcohol, dark fruit, and barley. Aftertaste is dry with alcohol lingering.

M- Low carbonation and thick body. Uniform throughout.

D- The alcohol is not well hidden (which I expected) but this is still an enjoyable brew. This is a breakthrough brew for me because I was turned off completely to barley wine by a different brew. I would have this again and am now open to trying other barley wines. Nice job Weyerbacher.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased at the Brewery during their March 2007 Open House.

A: The barleywine is a lighter brown color, think iced tea that has been steeped for a slighter longer period of time than normal. The head was larger, requiring two pours to empty the bottle.

S: Aroma-wise, the ale adheres to the English varient, showing off a big malt aroma that is concentrated to the point of fruitiness.

T: Mmmmm, maltiness! The flavor packs a punch, grain-wise. The flavors do not overwhelm but they are omnipresent, unrelenting in their caramel and biscuit maltiness. The malts do allow a mid-sip blast of grapefruit hops and a great deal of alcohol warmth at the back end. A lingering green tart grape and grapefruit hop element nicely round out the taste.

M: The nose makes one expect all malts, so the mid-beer hop blast is a nice change of scenery.

D: The alcohol is huge in this beer; just sitting here I can feel the effects of it. The malts don't disappoint and there is a surprisingly strong hop body midway through. Having had a fresh bottle, I realize that my previous review was of an old bottle that sat in the bottle shop too long.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,919 ratings.