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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,681 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,681
Reviews: 821
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.07%
Wants: 40
Gots: 135 | FT: 5
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: 1,681 | Reviews: 821 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of longpondbeerman


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

A fellow BA (John) treated me to one of these potent puppies at the Rochester BA gathering this past weekend, held at the intown MacGregor's Grill and Tap Room (see beerfly review). This was the perfect brew to cap off an evening of warm comraderie before we all headed out into the deep sub-zero chill of an upstate New York winter night. It poured a glistening deep amber with a thin white head, and as soon as I imbibed its powerful and sweet aroma, I knew I would be deliciously sipping this for a while. And I was right. The alcohol content is not equivocal, but it did not oppress the nutty malts and the floral esters. An hour later, I was still happily meandering my way through this barley wine, content to enjoy any excuse to hang out and talk beer (hence: high drinkability).

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2004 23:01:51 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of RoyalT


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

Appearance – This was a dark, orangish brown with a gorgeous cascading nitro-looking head a la Guinness. The head consisted of fairly large bubbles that hung over the fluid like a drizzling nimbostratus.

Smell – The sweet malt base dominates the nose of this one. It’s pretty laid back but consists of tons of sugar and some ripe fruits like apricots along with a noticeable warning of alcohol.

Taste – This one has a deep, malt base that is laden with big sugars. It is very wine-like, consisting of big, dry, chardonnay grapes along with lots of fruity notes. The alcohol blends right in with the winey character and is hardly detectable.

Mouthfeel – This was smooth enough but could probably benefit from cellaring. It was a little heavier than medium-bodied and ended pretty dry.

Drinkability – Very good now, probably better in two years or so.

Update – I can’t believe that it’s been seven years since I last had this BW, but now that I’ve moved back to the Midwest I was able to find it in a local beer store. It’s a lot less sugary than I noted on my original review and I thought the alcohol was a bit more prominent but otherwise a terrific sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2004 02:33:19 | More by RoyalT
Photo of yankeeheel


3.13/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps the best name for a beer, ever?

Pours a burgandy amber with a minimalist caramel colored head. Quickly recedes to a small ring around the edge of the chalice. Smells quite smoky and medicinal. The tatse is a big rush of leathery malt with a bit of that smoky afterhue. Definitely has some grape and unripened apple that borders on the cusp of an acidic twang. Ends quite medicinally with a hint of that alcohol half-masked by the malt. Not really balanced. Not really great. I have another that I'll let sit until next winter. Time can only help this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 00:54:18 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of PSUDREW


3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am NOT a fan of the barleywines, but the beer we got here might, JUST MIGHT, grow on me.

It pours a deep dark red, nice in so many ways. It has some head, nothing really prevalant.

Smell nice, light and fruity-sweet, good mix in my book.

The taste is overly sweet, to a fault. It has some somkey sub-texts, whic aid it, but it is still to sweet, there are hints of fruit here and there, but to me, nothing decernable. Alchohol is the prevelant flavor, with some light malt hints

Not my favorite, but it ain't tooo bad, but it is still has some way to go

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 04:39:14 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of Ellbert


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

I have just started to dabble in the world of Barleywines. This is only my third one and I enjoyed it a lot.

The apperance was very nice. It was deep red and very clear. There was an off white head that lasted for a little while and laced the entire 12oz.

The smell was of sweet chewy raisins, and alcohol. It smelled pretty potent.

The taste was much more mellow than I would expect at 11.1%. It was very sweet and then very alcoholic. All of this mellowed about halfway through the glass.

The mouthfeel was thick and chewy. I left a coating on my tongue. The carbonation was subtle but desireable in this brew.

Overall drinkability is I want another one but I know I shouldn't have one.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2004 15:50:37 | More by Ellbert
Photo of stewart124


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

There is very little head on this amber colored brew after pouring. With a strong smell of alcohol and a sweet fruity presence this beer is quite different from any I can recall. I'm not too impressed with the lack of head on this beer and overall appearance.

The taste is sweet malty flavor with a fruity feel. The alcohol is quite noticable and could maybe be too present, it outweighs any other aspect of the brew. The mouthfeel isn;t very pleasant. A good beer to start the night out with as long as you plan on going all the way.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2004 01:44:13 | More by stewart124
Photo of Jables


3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep dark amber with almost no head.

Smells sweet, smoky, actually strangely smoky with alcohol all over the nose.

Body is nice and full. The smoky undertones are present throughout but sweet malt and an even slightly sour fruity note is present. Alcohol becomes a pretty big player in this one.

The finish is actuallly pretty clean and crisp.

The alcohol is not masked very well and that hurts the drinkability but the flavor is quite good. This doesn't top my list of barleywines (bigfoot, Avery Hog Heaven), but it's pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 00:32:36 | More by Jables
Photo of BigSipper


4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep clear amber; nice head. Smell is malty, sweet, with hints of banana and blatantly obvious alcohol. Burnt flavor with plenty of alcohol, a bit sweet. Almost makes your tongue numb -- and certainly does the same to the rest of your body if you choose to have more than a couple.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2004 00:23:08 | More by BigSipper
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy ruby-amber body. Voluminous oranged-tinged tan head fades to a uniform 1/8" cap with smatterings of lace.
Smell: Sweet caramel/toffee malt with candied fruits and carmelized sugars, pronounced ripe banana, and a goodly whiff of alcohol.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Rich, creamy, medium-full-bodied malt and drunken, dark fruits to start. Top is a combination of light carbonation and alcohol tingle. Hops attempt to dry this bad boy and almost succeed leaving a semi-dry plum, raisin and slightly bitter/acidic nutty aftertaste.
Drinkability: A less hoppy barleywine is a refreshing change.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 22:38:28 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of rdrummer

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The best part of the beer for me is the appearance. It is a very different looking dark reddish-brown. It looks almost like a wine that has been made from fermented dates and figs. There is such a wine but I forget the name of it.

It has a fruity smell that is okay but not really very strong. I tried to drink it warmer than usual to see if that helped the aroma, but it is still just average.

I like the taste but it's not outstanding. The one characteristic that comes through is the alcohol. It almost over powers all the other flavors. That said, there is a maltiness, and I assume the graininess is barley but it is hard to distinguish. I don't get any hops flavor from this at all.

It has kind of a weird mouthfeel. You expected a really heavy, creamy texture, but I find it thin with not enough body. It is a very strong beer that reminds you of that from beginning to end. I find this maybe the weakest effort from the brewer of what I've tried. It could be a beer before its time since the carbonation was so low.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2003 22:51:32 | More by rdrummer
Photo of AbePhroman

New Jersey

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

Bought a 6 pack for $11.99. Kind of expensive I guess but I heard alot about it and wanted to finally try it. Poured my first bottle 1 minute ago and it is a very dark amber body with a creamy tan head.

Hoppy taste with hints of fruit. The 11% abv taste is reminiscent of a rum flavor. Smells strong of a burnt sweet aroma. Much better than I expected.

Looking back it was definitely worth the money. I should be able to find it cheaper around here in South Jersey. The brewery is only 1.5 hours away.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 00:26:34 | More by AbePhroman
Photo of PhantomVodoo


4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazed brownish red in color with a tan head.
Deep, rich, sweet malt aroma that also shows a lot of alcohol.

Taste is dominated by the rich, sweet, caramel malt flavors. Somehow it's not overly sweet, though despite the hops not really showing themselves. Alcohol is present, especially at the finish, but is not overbearing by any means. Relatively smooth for a barleywine. Lacks the complex character of an Old Horizontal, but still tastey and quite enjoyable.

Creamy mouthfeel with lots of body in this beer.
Very drinkable for an 11% ABV barleywine style ale. While the beer lets you know it can't be taken for granted, it still goes down with relative ease.
Overall, this is a good barleywine that's rating doesn't do it justice IMHO.
Big thanks to TwelveVoltMan for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2003 05:47:35 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

My favorite beer name ever! It's what you inevitably have to call me when you catch me at my drunkest...
Appearance: deep, dark, tawny violet color, short, rusty head.
Aroma: heady, bold, sharp, strong, fruity, with notes of leather, dates, grapes, cherries, and pure alcohol.
Taste: rather smooth on the palate at first, big fruit, highly hoppy, muge malt, but nothing too obtrusive, very mellow, actually, with a thick raisiny feel on the palate. Rich and rounded, deliciously fruity, not as harshly alcoholic as some barlwywines, but rather nice.
Of course, I took my notes with information taken from the bottle (which gives away nothing) and my own perceptions. Now that I enter this in and see that it's a whopping 11.1%....now, WOW! Why did not have a greater impact upon me? Huh! Well, to conclude this transcription from my notes, "A very nice, hot, fruity, happy little barleywine."
I'd surely like to try it again, and thank jcalbi for my first taste!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2003 08:54:55 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a nearly opaque deep amber. Fast-disappearing tan-colored head seen only at the edges of the glass. Only a little sheeting action on the sides of the glass. Aromas other than the medicinal alcohol scent (notably dark fruit, sweet molasses, toffee) are only barely detectable, being bullied aside from the -OH. Flavor was almost unbearably sweet. Liquid cotton candy in the mouth, thick and syrupy. Hardly anything else can be noted. Alcohol-drenched dark and ripe fruit detected. Hops? We don't need no stinkin' hops. Badly "out-of-balance" for me. Mouthfeel very creamy and palate-coating. No carbonation really makes this a thick-feeling beer. Drinkability for me was really tough. The flavor just turned me off. As a result, the beer sat for quite some time. Before I finished off the last ounce or two, I noticed a fly had managed to land in the beer. I was actually quite amused by this. He skittered around the top of the beer, creating a neat ripple of tan-colored foam that was amazing to watch. He tried and tried, but...sadly....didn't make it. Still, one hell of a way to go! I wonder if he liked it more than I did...

Thanks to TwelveVoltMan for this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 17:15:25 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of tavernjef


3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is very opaque chestnut brown, dark with barely a glow, fluffy finger high head of light tan hue which slowly fades down to a thin haze on top and a thick sticky ring around the edge, lace is in thin sheets. Aroma is mostly dark and fruity with plum, raisin, melon, banana, starfruit and toffee. Slight alcoholic note. Taste follows suit with slight dark fruit senses of raisin, plum, and a touch of banana, malts are chewy in the toffee with slight dark caramel. Quite smooth and creamy all the way through with some nicely done, slight piney and dried hop bitterness that enters in very subtle just after the midway point and gains some depth into the finish with some added malty thick depth as well. Feel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with a couple hollow areas, some uneven texured velevtyness and not quite as hefty or strongly flavored as I like. The alcohol in this starts to hit pretty quick though so its a major sipper, and a good one at that. Aging this may help, we will see as I acquired a few bottles from Pabobcat; whom I thank greatly for the bottles!

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 00:20:41 | More by tavernjef
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Spring House Drafting Room,poured a medium brown with some amber tones with a light but somewhat creamy head,aroma was of burnt fruit and alcohol.Taste was very rasiny and of dried fruit definently sweet and chewy and gets better as it warms.A pretty nice brew I think the best I have had from Weyerbacher.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2003 20:51:10 | More by oberon
Photo of Stopper


3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a medium-light, fairly opaque, brown, with amber highlights. The head is moderate in size and composed of mostly tiny tan bubbles. It recedes relatively slowly and stops as a ring around the edge of my glass, leaving some spotting. The aroma is dominated by a big, sweet, clean, caramelly maltiness. It evokes dried dark fruits, with a hint of alcohol. The first sip feels surprisingly light in body, but you can taste the wall of light malts and a small twinge of alcohol. Then the beer starts to reveal its true gravity as a very sweet stickiness forms, especially on the sides of the back of the tongue. Heading into the finish I get equal-sized bites from alcohol and hop spice. The alcohol fades, leaving a noticable hop bitterness that entices me to head back into another sweet sip.

This is a solid barleywine, though the fact that it's pretty moderate in all aspects of its barelywine-ness, leaves me with little impression besides that it's less than impressive.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2003 03:48:06 | More by Stopper
Photo of UnionMade


3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium umber brown, with a small white head. The head all but disappears after the first few sips, dying out completely about halfway through.
Aroma is mostly estery maltiness, with a bit of hops and a fairly potent, boozey alcohol. Thinnerlike phenolic feel through your nose, coupled with a potent alcohol burn. Lots of fruitiness, with a juicy, over-ripe plum, cidery apple, and some cherry and raisin. The hops are mildly citric, and well placed, riding behind the sweetness.
Flavor is very malty, with hints of raisin, plum, and something else i can't quite place. Tons of caramel sweetness. A wierd fruitiness I'm not familiar with. It's present in some bigger belgian beers I've tried. Hops are definitely present, but preside over the background and provide a compliment to the powerful alcohol in the finish. Big chewy body, with extremely mellow, smooth carbonation that barely supports the flavor.
Awesome stuff, and worth the $12 I paid for a sixer. What a great name for a beer. I'd like this much more if the alcohol was toned down a bit, and not turned all the way up to 11.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2003 06:50:00 | More by UnionMade
Photo of Darkale


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

Cheery red-brown and cloudy body, reluctant and short-lived head. Slight lacing.

Great barleywine aroma. Thick, strong, malty sweet.

Very chewy, almost rubbery in the mouth. Smooth, smoky, and burning sweet. Tastes of caramel and candy and slick malt.

It's hard to make a dreadful barleywine (though perhaps I've just not tried enough of them!). This is a solid and respectable example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2003 12:51:35 | More by Darkale
Photo of jcalabre


3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This is a reddish-brown colored ale that is cloudy and has very little head.
Aroma: The nose is very malty with lots of alcohol.
Mouthfeel: This puppy quickly slides thru your mouth. It doesn't leave a trail
Taste: it's a nice, simple straightforward (if there is such a thing) barleywine. It has a nice flavor, but it doesn't try to be over the top. It was enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2003 01:52:43 | More by jcalabre
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A murky chocolate brown/orange/gold colored brew. It looks like you mixed all the paints together and got a brown. You know the brown I am talking about. There is almost no head on top, just a small ring around the edges. The aroma is powerfully sweet, and I may be missing something, but I am really not getting that kick in the face hop bitterness that a barley wine needs. Caramel and molasses notes as well in there.

Carbonation gives a little bite at first, and it then dies to make the mouthfeel smooth and rich. Very sweet flavors of fruits and caramel. There is some bitterness, but well below the level I would expect. The body is all there, just a little bit below what I would call full. The flavor is big, but just unproportioned with a lot of sweets. It is a nice drinkable brew, but I want a barley wine to punch me in the face with aroma and flavor. I guess, in the end, it is a good beer, but could use some work as far as being a barley-wine.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2003 17:00:10 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of Dogbrick


4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is dark amber with a medium thick off-white head. Thin lacing in patches all the way down the side of the glass. Strong caramel aroma with a little fruit. Rich body, with a lot of caramel and malt in the flavor. It is pretty hard to hide that high an ABV, but this beer does a pretty good job. The alcohol flavor is not very strong. The alcohol is sweet up front and gets progressively more spicey throughout. This is a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2003 19:53:40 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


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

Great barley if I have ever had one. Poured mahogony with some red around the edges with a tan head that receded into good lacing. Smell was complex wit plenty of estery alcohol raisin, caramel, brown sugar and currants. Taste was excellent with plenty of alcohol, caramel, toffee, prunes and just a tad bit of floral hops. The alcohol was non-existent although I knew that it was lurking about. Later that night I was treated to how much alcohol was really in it. This was a great beer, however, and went very well with some danish blue roquefort and crackers. Enjoy!

As I discovered when trying the beer again, it was totally unbalanced. The word best used to describe it would be raw. I have a couple that I am going to age and see if anything turns out different.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2003 16:51:23 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of Brent


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

This year's batch, so I'm probably sampling this too young, but I can't resist any longer. More mellow than I expected under the circumstances. Fruity esters riding on bright caramel malt flavors. A bit sweet at the front, but the hops and alcohol flavors collide at the finish in an effort at reigning the sweetness in. Quite smooth, a very nice nightcap.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2003 20:27:56 | More by Brent
Photo of francisweizen


2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not totally gross, but close. This "beer" poured a dark reddish colour with almost absolutely no head. The aromas were of alcohol and many types of malts. The taste was more of the same...this is wayyyy too malty. There are no hops in the aroma or flavor of this beer! The mouthfeel was a bit too thick and the drinkability was marred by all of this beers other problems. Weyerbacher can be a great brewery and both of their imperial stouts are awesome...but some of their other brews just fall short, and sadly enough, this brew is one of those!

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2003 14:05:32 | More by francisweizen
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 1,681 ratings.