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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,848 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,848
Reviews: 834
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.34%
Wants: 47
Gots: 195 | 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: 1,848 | Reviews: 834 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

Photo of Melchizedek
3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a rich amber with almost champagne-like carbonation that supports a nicely-formed beigish head that subsides into a clingy lace.

The smell is strong in dark fruit with nutty and vanilla notes. Alcohol is noticeable and if you sniff too hard kind of burns - they ain't kiddin' about the 11.1%. Actually, the alcohol is pretty strong in the mouth as well, making the mouthfeel seem a bit thin and dry. Flavors are less distinct than they seem from the nose, though the spice, vanilla and some dark fruits come through. Finish is slightly sticky and burns a bit.

You know, maybe this one needs to age some or something - I don't think I'd go for this in lieu of more flavorful 'wines. The alcohol's just too strong and too prominent - if it mellowed a bit, I think it'd be a different experience.

Photo of TrickKnee
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at an Oktoberfest and glad that i did cause i dont think i would have tried it anywhere else. Poured a deep chocolate color with hints of red in it. Dont quote me on this though, i had a few beers in me at the time. Not being a big barley wine person i was amazed on how smooth and good this beer was. Would definetly try again.

Photo of Backer2004
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

All four beers I've tried from Weyerbacher have been fantastic, and Blithering Idiot is no different. Tried at the Charlotte Oktoberfest and though my brother disliked it, it was his first barley wine. I would like to review it further with a bigger sample, but it was worth saying to spend the money if you see it out there.

Photo of bort11
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for getting this one off of my of my want list.

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. Solid caramel color that doesn't let much if any light through. Mild tan head, about a 1/4 inch that slowly recedes to a wispy lace.

Smell is spicy and floral, with a bit of sweetness. Taste is mild and balanced, and complex at the same time. The spice is almost like a allspice flavor, with bright floral notes. Very mild bitterness with the hops. Very warm aftertaste. Mouthfeel is veery full, almost chewy, quite pleasant.

Blithering Idiot is right, at least after more than one of these. It's a very tasty and I would want more in the future, but there's no way I would want to do more than one in a sitting. I'm feeling very happy and complete after just one.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an almost perfectly clear reddish brown color with a very thin head of off white bubbles that disappeared really quickly. After the head fell, it was gone and wasn’t maintained by the few bubbles rising.

Aroma: It has a really assertive and fruity aroma with lots of spices that is obviously from the alcohol. There is a mild hop presence, but it isn’t nearly as much as some other Barley wines. As the beer warms up some, there is a sweet caramel like aroma becoming noticeable.

Taste: The flavor of this beer is much more bold than the aroma suggested. There is plenty of fruitiness in here to add complexity to the mild aromas. The balance of this beer is pretty amazing because it goes down so smooth for being such a strong beer. There is a really sweet base to this beer, but the hops manage to balance it out. You would never pick up the 11% ABV in this beer. You can tell it is big, but I would suspect about 9% from the flavor. As the beer warms a bit, there is a cherry flavor coming out. This is really nice.

Opinion: I am really impressed with this Barley Wine. It is really easy to drink and has a drinkable hop balance. It is really balanced for this style…especially for an American version. The whole thing comes across as a tad heavy, but what can you expect from a beer that is strong and tastes this mild. This is a really good barley wine, and I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of lpayette
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Minimal head. Red Copper in color with a slight haze. A surprising amount of unfilitired larger particles that sink to the bottom.

Smell- Complex fruit, harsh alcohol esters... the fruit smell is mostly grapes. A lot of malty smells are thrown in there as well. Hops seem to be completely covered by strong alcohol.

Taste- Again, complicated alcohol and fruit. Slight taste of vanilla bean and coffee bean.

Mouthfeel- A bit yeasty and unfiltered. Finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability- A little too intense on the alcohol. Many other barleywines are able to cover up the high ABV much better than this one.

Other notes- Not bad, but will probably get better with some age. I'll lay aside the rest of them for a year or so.

Photo of martymoat
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher blithering idiot

A: poured in a snifter glass, pours a cloudy dark amber and brownish color with a cream color bubbly head that disappears quickly

S: strong smell of alcohol followed by a thick sweet malt smell

T: very strong spicy malt taste with some caramel to it, followed by this is strong alcohol taste almost to the point that it is rum like

M: heavy in the mouth, tingly almost numbing sensations, falls to both sides of the mouth leaving you with a slight sweet after taste.

D: very drinkable and surprisingly smooth considering its 11.1 %. drinking one is no problem, drinking two would have you warn and toasty, and more than 3 and you would be well on the way to becoming a
“ blithering idiot” …

Photo of mjc410
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle comes from the same variety case as my previous review. After over a year in the cellar, we have some nice changes. The beer forms a half finger light tan head in my snifter, which fades quickly to a ring of large bubbles over a murky ruby-brown body filled with yeast sediment. The nose is still highly alcoholic, with sugar, caramel, and strong malt. The taste has mild caramel, and is mildly fruity. It's mellowed a lot, and hides the alcohol much better. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side, with low carbonation. It should be chewier. A nice, easy BW.

Photo of hoppymeal
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an inviting medium brown and copper color and clear with a small cream colored head which fades back quickly. Great aroma of dried cherries, a little bit of sweet grape, toasted coconut with marshmallow, and a little pineapple juice. A very rich barleywine aroma with nice complexity, one you can't stop sniffing. The taste wasn't quite as complex but was still enjoyable and had some malty breadiness and caramel flavors. Decent alcohol presence in the taste and nice drying finish. Also a decent amount of hop bitterness for the style. Enjoyable barleywine.

Photo of kirok1999
4.45/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Becoming more enamored of barleywines lately so thought I'd give this one a try.

A- Dark, ruddy amber with a minimal white head.

S- Very fruity and sweet. Malts take over but there is a little hops coming through.

T- Huge fruits, raisins, figs, cherries?, all dominate. Malt sweetness comes through in the middle along with a huge alcohol warming. Very mild carbonation made up for by the alcohol warmth. Lingering fruits take over the finish along with alcohol.

M- Very creamy and smooth.

D- Really like this one. I like alcohol warmth and fruit sweetness so this is right up my alley. Along with Bells Third Coast Old Ale this is a very, very nice barleywine.

Photo of acrawf6
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a slightly murky, but rich reddish auburn with a small tan head.

Smell. Nice sweetness, caramel and a touch of apple. I also get a small citrus aroma i did not expect. But overall i'd say a sweet caramel.

Taste. Quite a sweet beer! Initially it has a strong yeasty flavor to it, with a small waxy taste, but warms up a sweet aged fruits soaked in alchohol- cherries and a little prune. I also get a nice hopness to it similar to the american version. finishes very warm with alcohol and moments later fruits.

Mouthfeel. Nice creaminess, yet still crisp carbonation exists. body is full. quite a nice balance.

Overall. Quite enjoyable. A sipper for me, but still quite drinkable.

Photo of burnstar
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark coppery orange with a nice white head. Very sweet aroma with some fruit notes - apples and oranges. Very sweet malt flavor with some citrusy and spicy hops that leave a lingering bitterness - nicely balanced. Alcohol is also noticable. Heavy mouthfeel and very carbonated, perhaps a bit too carbonated. Pretty drinkable for the alcohol content

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper amber with an off-white head that dissolves to clingy lace. Easy drinker despite the high ABV. Very well concealed strength. Flavor and aroma are largely one dimensional and port like. That port quality consists largely of booze soaked dark fruits and spices that tend to indicate high alcohol presence. Hops are much lighter than expected indicating that this barley wine follows the English tradition rather than the American. Mouthfeel is rather warming and light for a barley wine. Flavor and aroma greatly improve as the beer warms to room temp but it remains rather dull and lacking in complexity. Still very drinkable and in fact dangerously easy to gulp down. Many thanks to expatsteve for the sample.

Photo of watermelonman
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This porued to a deep dark brown with minor hints of red. Head and lace a present but minimal.

The smell is strong, with hefty malt and alcohol. The taste is also powerful. Dark malt dominates with some caramel flavor. Alcohol comes through while hops are lightly present in the finish. The mouthfeel is solid and full. Drinkability is very good, especially considering the alcohol content.

Photo of Vancer
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another fine BW with the famous cherry amber pour, thin head of tan, not much lacing.

Aromas of cherry wood and subtle pine. Quaff of same, alone with a somewhat medicine cough drop, not unpleasant though. Actually, pretty darn tasty, even with a tad harsh bite to it. The alcohol does surface now and then, but overall, a good sipper for the fall and cooler weather.

Wait, I’m drinking it in August’s 90 weather, and I likey.

Thanks to BeerBeing for another fine brew.

Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,848 ratings.