1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,716 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,716
Reviews: 822
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 44
Gots: 156 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blithering Idiot Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,716 | Reviews: 822 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of winomark


2.75/5  rDev -24.7%

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.

11-03-2004 04:57:38 | More by winomark
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -14.2%

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.

11-01-2004 22:19:48 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of ppoitras


4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

10-17-2004 23:50:12 | More by ppoitras
Photo of bultrey

New York

3.53/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

10-17-2004 16:48:57 | More by bultrey
Photo of orbitalr0x


4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

10-15-2004 01:47:51 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of far333


4.03/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

09-30-2004 04:28:30 | More by far333
Photo of santoslhalper


4.7/5  rDev +28.8%

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.

09-13-2004 23:46:35 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of meathookjones


2.53/5  rDev -30.7%

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.

08-18-2004 01:43:26 | More by meathookjones
Photo of TinusTime


3.55/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

08-03-2004 15:41:26 | More by TinusTime
Photo of ZAP


4.53/5  rDev +24.1%

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...

07-29-2004 05:14:34 | More by ZAP
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

3.33/5  rDev -8.8%

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.

07-23-2004 05:28:16 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of malthead


3.68/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

07-10-2004 03:11:46 | More by malthead
Photo of aracauna


4/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

07-02-2004 05:53:09 | More by aracauna
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.13/5  rDev -14.2%


Slightly cloudy, reddish-brown with no head.


A mild malt aroma reminiscent of a bock.


Slightly unpleasant, diacetyl dominates, with mild malt characteristics and a bitter finish.

Note: I think this one needs some time to mature (at least I hope that's the explanation). I've set aside a few, and will review again at a later point.

06-21-2004 14:26:15 | More by cbl2
Photo of connecticutpoet


4.43/5  rDev +21.4%

I got this one mainly for the name, before I even knew it was a barleywine. I am especially fond of barleywines, so I had high hopes for this one. And I was not disappointed.

It was a nice clear red color, and there was not a lot of head, as I expected from the high alcohol content. The aroma was of sweet malt, unsurprising for the style. But there was a generous hint of apples and a bright hop overtone as well.

The flavor was of very strong malt with the alcohol coming through noticeably, but not overpoweringly. Just enough to let you know that you would be on your way to becoming this beer's namesake if you had more than one. It was not bitter, and it had a nice fruity aftertaste.

I liked this one a LOT.

06-18-2004 04:11:16 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Maestro


3.45/5  rDev -5.5%

This barley wine is not one of my favorites. I have had it several times, but I decided to wait to review a bottle from last winter that has had time to sit. It is more mature but still not great. The appearance is a brown cloudy mix with a thin, tan head. The nose is very fruity, likes raisins and dates. The taste is pretty much raisins and dates. That is the only way I can describe this. The only other way is to say that it is like drinking a fig newton. The alcohol is strong. But it isn't very drinkable. Definitey a one-dimensional barley wine.

06-07-2004 18:41:19 | More by Maestro
Photo of LarryV


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Pours a nice reddish amber color with a thin head that dissipated very quickly. Very little carbonation present. Smell is kind of winey with dark fruit in the nose. Perhaps it would benefit from more aging, I found it to be too sweet. Hops are hardly present, leaning towards a big malty taste. Not a bad barleywine, but at the price of $15 for a 6 pack, I found it somewhat disappointing. Hard to drink more than one of these due to the sweetness which I found to be rather overbearing. Cheers!

05-31-2004 16:07:37 | More by LarryV
Photo of yeagerbm


3.9/5  rDev +6.8%

Bought this as part of a mixed case from the brewery. This is definately a high power brew. Pours a clear brownish red with a thin light brown head. Smell is fruity malt and alcohol, but its not overpowering. Taste is like dark dried fruit with very sweet malt and very warm alcohol. Has just enough hops to balance the sweetness. Flavors are very ripe and agressive. Definately a sipping beer. I'd like to try this one with a little age.

05-17-2004 00:35:45 | More by yeagerbm
Photo of irishmoss


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%

2004 edition ~ served around 55 degrees
This pours a nice garnet color that seems to be pretty clear. A nice rush of fizzing head that quickly dissipates to a ring and a few swirls.
The aroma is sweet caramel, alcohol, and a little vinous.
This has a big malty backbone with a faint plum flavor that quickly gives way to an astringent flavor that leaves a nice dry mouth and little after taste. Each sip is a little warming and although there is a little alcohol flavor, it’s not overpowering. But this could sit down in the cellar pretty well, and hopefully tame down some of the tannic qualities. Overall this isn’t a bad barley wine by any means, not as complex as I’ve had, but this is pretty green.

05-08-2004 04:23:21 | More by irishmoss
Photo of Running4beer


3.65/5  rDev 0%

Pours out a hazy orangish color and yeast floaties are in there as well and eventually settle at the bottom of the glass, a medium off white head almost tan and thins out. Aroma is of alcohol, raisons, alcohol, some weak malt, alcohol, figs, alcohol, a bit of spicey hops and did I mention the alcohol. Taste is pretty much the same alcohol and more alcohol and very little of all else. Very chewy and full bodied also cause of the noticeable alcohol there is a warming everytime you take a sip. This could with out a doubt sit in a dark corner for at least a year to develop into a less alcohol more flavorful beer, at least I believe with a year on the bench it can mellow out a little.

04-28-2004 21:29:50 | More by Running4beer
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours with a two-finger light brown head that fades very slowly and leaves a gobs of lace. Cloudy amber color. Good carbonation. Nose is alcohol; Starts with a good balance of malts and hops, finishes fairly smooth but the alcohol is there in the background. $2.75 for a 12oz bottle.

04-13-2004 21:42:14 | More by jdhilt
Photo of WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev +9.6%

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has an intense malty scent that seems to scream pale, crystal, and roasted malts. There is little hop aroma here. The taste is good. It has a rich, thick malt flavor that warms on the way down. It is very flavorful and smooth. There seems to be little hop qualities to it, but the malt complexity makes up for any lacking. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is as smooth a barleywine as I've had. It warms you up, but it also leaves behind a very good malt palate aftertaste. This drinks very well.

04-13-2004 00:43:03 | More by WesWes
Photo of bewareOFpenguin


4/5  rDev +9.6%

Redish pour, slight head. Hops are pretty much just background noise. I only bought a single, the price being a little steep. A good barleywine, but not one that "jumps" out at you. More mild than wild, a good drinking beer, except for the ABV.

04-12-2004 15:32:28 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.05/5  rDev +11%

Pours a deep ruby red color, and is topped by a creamy tan head. Smells of sticky malts with a bit of candy type sweetness to it. There is some alcohol in the nose as well as a bit of hop aromatics up front. This Barley Wine has a nice, thick, and creamy mouthfeel to it. This beer is sweetish but it has a nice balancing hop flavor that is subtle for an American, but it is pronounced enough that it is quite pleasing. The alcohol is not as evident in the taste, which is good. There is a bit of astringency in the finish, some fermentation by products (esters, higher alcohols, etc). These really don't take away from this beer though. This is a nice, easy drinking Barley Wine, that has a bunch of subtle competing flavors that keep this interesting.

04-06-2004 17:55:01 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of cerevisiaephilus


3.85/5  rDev +5.5%

The ethanol is really strong in the nose of this beer, with a little bit of hops and some candy kind of scents. The beer is strong. Alcohol is distinct in the taste. I also get some serious candy flavors, sweet caramel. The mouthfeel is a little lacking on this beer as well. Pretty thin for a barley wine.

thanks to blitheringidiot for sending me this (along with a 750 of golden monkey).

04-01-2004 04:28:54 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,716 ratings.