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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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1,877 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,877
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 49
Gots: 215 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,877 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kernalklink
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this departure from some of the other barleywnes on the market- sweeter but still very drinkable. Poured hazy dark, dark amber with sticky head and lacing. Ripe fruits, very sugary malt aromas with a spicy alcoholic whiff. Molasses- pure and simple. Thick, slick fruity molasses but still smooth and not overly sweet. Finished with an almost roasted character and a slight piney hop punch. I can hardly taste the big alcohol, though the bottle is more than a few months old. Highly recommended.

Photo of markgugs
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass

A: Pours a murky golden apricot, like overripened amber-hued fruit. Very little head that disappears almost instantly and leaves no lacing to speak of.

S: Strong ripened fruit aromas, I detect hints of banana, raisins, a very bready overall scent. Smells delicious!

T: Initially, this leaves no doubt of the present alcohol, intermingled with some roasty, malted caramel flavoring. As the beer warms, more & more fruity flavors emerge, beginning with some subtle pear and peach, and then developing spiciness is added to the mix. Even a dash of warmed brown sugar bursts forth. Certainly not one-dimensional, that's for sure. Tasty!

M: Very nice, a distinct crisp carbonation underlies the entire mouthfeel, but blends well with an overall full-bodied creaminess.

D: Pretty much an ass-kicker, not for the faint of heart. Drink more than is reasonable, and well, it ain't called Blithering Idiot for nuttin'!

A very nice barley wine style from a vastly underrated brewery.

Photo of Braudog
4.04/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I finally took the leap and purchased this wonderfully-nomenclatured beverage at a local beer purveyor, not because I’m any type of Barleywine lover, but because I love Weyerbacher and I love the name. It poured a rusty brown, with the visual luster of African pond water, and hardly any head. The flavor was characteristic for a barleywine ... stinging and alcoholy, caramel and malty. On the first swallow, I must say, I was not floored the way I expected to be. This was relatively mellow, although warming in my throat. The 11% is more than evident, but well balanced within a fig cookie, a prune shake, a sugarplum. If I need to cozy up to the fire this February with a barleywine, this will top my list. (#2678, 2/3/07)

Photo of jhicks12
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a beer tasting.
The appearance was a cooper, rust, orange color, Really didn't pick up much of a smell, a little piney, and some sweet malt. Initial taste was a nice warm malt with quality hop character. Even thought it didn't pour with much of a head it did have a nice mouth feel. Not the best of the Barleywine style but it is a nice balanced warming beer that I really did enjoy.

Photo of perfectkaos
3.59/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was introduced to this beer via JC's 100 Beer club ad Fuel and Fuddle a few years ago. Ran into it again in Atlantic City at the Trop, both times the beer was sandwiched in between a bunch, and all i remembered from it was the 11%.

Picked it up in the form of the Weyerbacher Big Beers mixed case. Poured into a wine glass, it shows a full golden brown color, with almost no head whatsoever. Not too much in the way of aroma either.

The beer has a complex taste, malty, but the hops are noticable... as is the alcohol. This beer isn't the best barleywine i've ever had, but it serves its purpose. Its good to sip on during a cold night, maybe after dinner.

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks bennetj17 for this one.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, a nice creamy tan head appears with some nice islands and sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is of sweet malts, hops, bubblegum, pineapple, and caramel. The taste is sweet/malty, slight alcohol warming effect, nice slight bitter clean finish. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, I really like this one, some what different than other BWSA I've had in taste. Highly recommended.

Photo of aluskungs
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much of a head, look ma it’s gone! Brown ruddy color with yeasty beastys in suspension, almost too many.

Smells nice. Cherry, Dates, Pineapple? No hop smell probably covered by the alcohol smell.

The complicated taste includes fruit and alcohol, very strong date taste. Some sweet caramel sweetness. Rum like with alcohol and some hop bitterness to take away the sweetness.

Big mouth feel with a dry finish. Nice alcohol balance, you can sense it but it doesn’t burn. Makes this beer smooth and drinkable with low carbonation.

I don’t know how to improve this beer except it could use a little more filtration. All that yeast weighs down this great beer.

Photo of foureyedgeek
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured in to an oversized wine glass.

This pours as an orange-brown body, small off-white head falls to a ring of foam, minimal lacing, some light carbonation present.

Smell is fruity with a little bubblegum or candied fruit, notes of alcohol.

Taste is quite sweet, brown sugary. Very obvious alcohol presence, this is a _hot_ beer, in that sense. This is a tasty, simple barley wine that's not too out there. A sit in the cellar may do this beer well.

Mouthfeel is somewhat closer to light bodied than medium, slightly drying and an obvious alcohol warming.

Drinkability is pretty good, definitely a sipper as its kind of 'hot', though I think if you had more than a couple of these, in short time you'd be much like this beer's namesake.

Photo of EStreet20
2.46/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Hazy reddish orange copper color with about a half finger of light tan head. Glows when held up to light without letting the light pass through it.

S - Big fruity, solvent alcohol smell. Some candy aromas in there as well.

T - All alcohol and fruit flavors come through initially. The alcohol gets really dominant and rides through into the aftetaste quite a bit. Hop presence is lacking here, and would definitely help to balance the flavors.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Really suffers from the fact that this brew is all alcohol. Maybe some age would help the flavors pull together.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.58/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty golden amber in the glass with a nice tan full two finger head that slowly melts to sticky ring lacing.
Aromas are sweet and fruity with a touch of alcohol.
Nice clean balanced flavors. Not overpowering or dominated by hops like an American Barley wine would be. Sweet malts, fruity accents, lightly citrus hops on the end.
This is a wonderfully delicious brew.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has an amber body that is clear but dense with a wave of microbubbles gently cascade to the surface where a creamy light tan head sits. The head last and last with a bit of lacing with each sip.

S- This beer has a light sweetness of toasted malt with a hint of caramel and a faint banana note. There is a soft spice in the finish when it warms a bit.

T- This beer has a sweet caramel malt flavor that is cut by a soft bitter hop note that is spicy. The hops bitterness is a punch that gets stronger as it warms. There is a nice alcohol taste in the finish that blends with the hops. As it warms there is a soft circus peanut candy flavor with the malt which is very pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a very soft alcohol heat in the finish the dries out the beer nicely.

D- This beer has a smooth flavor with good depth and makes a big beer very drinkable.

Photo of jwc215
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

Pours ruby with a thin head that becomes a small patch that lingers for a bit.

The smell is of dark fruits and brown sugar. Alcohol comes through, as expected for abv level.

The taste is of sweet, dark fruit with some graininess. Peppery alcohol makes itself known. Hops are virtually non-existant. Slightly medicinal. Boozy character.

The body is medium to full. The alcohol leaves a bit of a burning sensation and wipes out some of the flavors. Sweetness also sticks around.

This is a raw one. I didn't mind the high abv - expected for style - but it's too sharp to really enjoy and there is some flavor, but not enough to cover the persistant alcohol. An ok slow-sipper, but not as rich and complex as other barleywines out there.

Photo of nriech
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one for a little over a year cellared.

Appearance: Golden copper, very light but still dark enough not to confuse with a macro ricer. No head but good lacing.

Smell: Smells of a little alcohol, barley, banana, caramel. Pleasing as they all seem to meld together like a good beer should.

Taste: Pretty sweet but not more than expected for the style. Waming from the alcohol but not overpowering, actually very good like a bourbon with just a cube of ice. Carbonation is pleasant. Not entirely complex though.

Overall I really enjoy this one and will always pick up if I see it. A good representation of the style without going way off in left field with strange flavors.

Photo of NEhophead
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in an oversized wine glass.

Cloudy oak in color with highlights of dark peach. Creamy, off-white head that swirls around the glass in whispy designs. Spotted and layered lacing with decent strength.

Sweet caramelized brown and Belgian candied sugar. Prominent fig, date, and raisin with complex whaffs of alcohol. Vinous fruit: apple, plum, and grape.

Sweet brown sugar and molasses; nutmeg, light toffee. Sweet and creamy malt character. Dark, vinous fruit flavors: apple, grape, raisin with a swarming, but not over the top, alcohol presence. Caramelized brown sugar and raisin in the aftertaste. Very tasty.

A full, medium in body; creamy and quite smooth with a bit of a slickness on account of the alcohol character.

A flavorful, high octaine barleywine. A sipping ale to be enjoyed with friends in the colder months, or by yourself in the dead of summer. Either way, a delicious offering!

Photo of terrabyte
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blithering Idiot

Pours a very cloudy, dark chestnut brown with a large head. Lacing is evident.

Aroma is a boozy caramel with a dark sweet fruit like plums and dates.

Flavor is complex, but they had to travel through a fog-like haze of alcohol. Burned caramel, plum, dates, and sugar. Flavor reminded me of some quads I've had. Looks like I need to brush up on my styles.

Mouthful is thick and syrupy. Quite tart after swallowing while your mouth recovers. Coats the tongue thickly, allowing for a few more swallows before it's all gone.

Drinkability is not terrible. It's just slow. I enjoyed the flavor enough to want to finish the bottle, and the enjoyed the alcoholic bite. A real winter warmer, and I think I'll find another one to cellar for a couple of years. This one needs time to blend and mellow into perfection. I had a lot of sediment by the time I got to the bottom of the glass -enough to make a tornado of it while swirling the glass- and this beer was made to soak in that a while longer.

Photo of jhollick
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a burnt sienna color, with lots of orange and red hues gleaming through. Minimal head that quickly settled to a ring, but nice lacing throughout the beer.

This has a strong plum aroma. Some caramely malty smells, ripened fruits and figs, and a bit of phenol.

This one is thick and cloying in the mouth. It is definitely a heavy barleywine.

And the taste....pow! Super-ripened fruits, a slight tartness, and a heaaavy dose of alochol hit very quick-like. Rum, fig, and a strong spice come through for a bit along with the malt character, but they are quickly beaten down by the alcohol. There is a lot going on here, but damn that alcohol is strong. Nothing going on with hops that I can detect, which unbalances things a good bit. A sharp dryness hits comes in at the end. Maybe it has something to do with the 11%+ ABV :)

Blithering Idiot wins in the first round by TKO. The alcohol beat me into submission. Right now this one is rather unbalanced. I don't know if that is necessarily bad, but I'm going to cellar a few of these to see what becomes of them. With any luck this badass will mellow out a little bit. I look forward to encountering it again.

Photo of pavandal
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my pint glass from a bottle. Looked just like iced tea, so much that the other people in my house wondered where I got tea from.

smell is of raisins, grapefruit, and a slight orange peel scent. A wonderfully complex smell here.

Taste is full of fruity malt! Grapefruit, orange, slight cherries and a raisin aftertaste. Good stuff. Alcohol is there, but it's very very well masked.

Mouthfeel is very thick, but the alcohol warms as it goes down.

High ABV, savor this at the end of your day by the fire!

Photo of nitemarebrewer
4.7/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark amber, slight effervescence, laces around the glass
Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, and inviting.
Taste is sweet, but well balanced to me. Tastes like raisins or dates. Mouthfeel is thick, but I can take another sip after just having one. Like I've been doing thoughout this review. Yum.
Quite drinkable. This bottled one is almost as good as the one on tap.

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

Opened up this bottle after having aged it for two years. Still a strong beer witha nice light head from the poor, and a great smell in the nose. Lots of dark fruit, raisins, and caramel. Musty, old ale smell with the strong alcohol rising up to grab you. But the taste is a bit oxidized and doesn't improve the beer. I really liked it fresh (same batch of bottles), but the aging didn't improve this one. Head somewhere else for something to cellar.

Photo of Foxman
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy orange amber. A finger of beige head slips away soon to spits of surface froth. Brows of lacing arch along the inside of the glass.

The aroma grants a sweet toasted malt air with thin stripes of caramel, blueberry, and melon. A quick flip of citrus hops is washed out by a dense thicket of alcohol.

Upon sipping, in oozes a sticky, sugar sweet maltiness, with cherry, berry, caramel, and green apple. A feather of citrus and floral hops gird a steely shaft of alcohol. Another touch of syrupy sweet malt joins a draft of very muted pine. The finish dries and crisps nicely to linger along with some tongue-tingling esters. The result is a warm, comfortably enjoyable beer.

Full bodied, the thick grain is viscous and treacle slick on the palate, coating and leaving a pleasant memory behind.

Yet another barleywine with an entertaining name, this one is as fun to drink as it is to say. The ABV is heavy duty and in your face, and it's also very warm, maybe even hot, but it doesn't distract so much as it joins in making the whole presentation seem big. It drinks cautiously but well. It seems blithering like an idiot can indeed be a good thing.

Photo of jameaterblues
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that I was just kinda blown away by....I am a really big advocate of the idiot and although it is labeled as an English style Barley Wine I really think that it crosses into both styles of the BW.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark copper in color, ruby and orange hints around the edge of the glass....Cappuccino colored head that filled the pint glass.

S- Alcohol. Big sugary malts and fruit....raisins, plum, cherry, and raspberry. Light crisp hops...that seem to make up the background of this beer.

T- I like to pour my BW cold and sip on them and let the flavors change as it warms up. This beer starts off in the English style...Big red fruits and sweet malts....raisin(similar to raison d'etra) plum, and cherry...as the beer warms though it comes more into the american style and the hops take the forefront....big and bitter resiny...citrusy finish and the bitterness grows as it warms...I feel that it takes a really unique approach.

M/D- Extremely complex, and changing all the time...many flavors in a thick hearty ale....a beer I enjoy and at an extremely reasonable price $2.99 for 12 oz at my local store.

Photo of billybob
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a one finger tan color head which fades quickly very little lacing and a slightly cloudy amber color. smell sweet, fruity, you can smell the alcohol you know you have some serious beer here. taste is sweet of ripe peaches with rum or brandy other fruity taste there. mouthfeel is medium, syrupy but enjoyable. this is my first time for this type of beer and i enjoyed it but i would not drink to many at one sitting.

Photo of xtacyturbo
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

NOTE: THIS BEER BEING REVIEWED HAS BEEN AGED 2 YEARS. YOUR RECENTLY-BREWED BOTTLE MOST LIKELY WILL TASTE DIFFERENT! And on that note... put a few away and see how they age... I promise you won't be disappointed. ;)

This 2 year old bottle of Blithering Idiot poured out a deep red, almost brown color with very small head, which dissapated quickly. Looks pretty murky and mysterious.

Smell reminds me of red grapes, with a very slight hint of something else fruity that I can't quite put my finger on. Strong alcoholic odor creeps in as well. Also picking up a hint of nut. And dare I say a tiny smell of... banana?

Taste- when I tasted Blithering Idiot 2 years ago, I remember a wild, untamed beer, almost TOO sweet, and with a very strong alcoholic flavor. If memory serves correctly, that is. Well... after 2 years in the cellar, this Blithering Idiot has mellowed out. Flavor is very solid and balanced, nothing out of control here, just a blending of flavors to create a delicious, well-balanced beer. I'm glad I followed the bros' advice and put this one away, it was well worth it.

So what's it taste like already? Very hearty. I'm tasting a hint of raisins and/or dates, with a slight hint of hops. Yes, the hops actually rear their head this time around! A little bit of breadiness, but not much. Slight bit of a nutty flavor in the finish, ever so subtle. Got halfway through the glass before I noticed it. That wild alcoholic flavor that I experienced when this beer was young? Almost gone. It's definitely still there, but isn't by any means overpowering, and blends well with the beer's other flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Carbonation isn't very strong, but a few prickles on the tongue remind you that it's still there. The chewiness makes this a slow-sipping beer. Overall very smooth and a pleasure to drink.

No doubt about it, this is a beer to be savored, one to drink slowly. It's very drinkable for its strength, to the point I almost forgot it was such a strong brew. Creamy and smooth, I could put away a couple of these on a cold winter's night... and I think I'd be quite satisfied after that.

Photo of loren01
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark cloudy amber color, 1finger width white head, no lacing
S: Sweet, dark fruity scents
T: Bitter/dry taste, lots of alcohol
M: Goes down easily but would not drink too fast due to 11% ABV
D: Good barleywine, a little too bitter for me in the taste catergory though

Photo of mnwags
4.18/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first review and hopefully there will be many following.

a: A nice pour of a dark amber color with good carbonation. Had a strong 3/4" off white head that I couldn't wait to dip my nose into.

s: Hints of dark cherry liquor. A little toasty smell with a fine liquor background.

t: Fruity(cherries and grapes) Strong liquor which was very appealing.

m: The mouthfeel was average with a good carbonation. Although it was high on the ABV scale it still was delicate on the taste buds.

d: I had a great time enjoying this drink and hope to enjoy it again. Gave me some odd flashbacks of Robo-tripping. ha!! Have 1 to many though and I may become the blithering idiot!!

Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,877 ratings.