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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Educational use only; do not reuse.

866 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 866
Hads: 2,033
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.89%
Wants: 52
Gots: 320 | FT: 8
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Blithering Idiot Alström Bros
Reviews: 866 | Hads: 2,033
Photo of tkolterman
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer has good taste from begining to end. On my third six pack. I went to the the Weyerbacher Brewery, nice operation. Blithering is a high ABU beer.
I am a D-beer kinda guy. I enjoy it every bottle I drink.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. I've been working my way through the Weyerbacher lineup and I thought it was time to give this Barleywine a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 2/15/15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a nice design to it and it's eye catching. It poured an amber red color that took on of a ruby red hue when held to the light with a half a fingers worth of bubbly light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish the head and retention were just a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a fruity aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a mixture of apples and light dark fruit aromas with no single aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes a slight alcohol aroma that leads into the malts which are on the lighter side and they impart some sweet malt, caramel malt, caramel and grainy aromas. This beer has a nice aroma, but I wish it was a little more complex.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with very high amount of medium sweetness with the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma being the first to show up, but this time they aren't as bright and they are just a little lighter. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol flavors that isn't too warming and it's followed by the malts which are lighter like they were in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with caramel and sweet malts seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and booze taking it's place and it had a fruity aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but just like aroma I wish it was more complex.

M- Fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, on the very thick side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer has a nice mouthfeel that works well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and I thought it was it a nice example of an English Style Barleywine, but In the end it didn't turn out as great as some of the better ones I've had, it just lacked the complexity and big mouthfeel that some of that better ones seem to have and it left me wanting more. This beer has nice drinkability, it's fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is a good amount for me, I don't really have the urge to drink another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was, besides lacking it complexity it had pretty much all the things that I look for in the style. What I like the least about this beer is the lack of complexity, that aspect could use some work. I would buy this beer again, but I'm not going to go out of my way to stock up on it and I would say it worth a try if you are a fan of the style. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love, it needs a little work, but I think it has potential. IT's not a favorite Weyerbacher beer and it's right about average for the style. Nice job guys, but I think with a little more work this could be a very nice Barleywine.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

11.1% ABV, Original Gravity: 26.2p, 34 IBU's.
Hopped with Northern Brewer (B), Perle (B), Hallertuaer.
12oz bottle.
Pours out to a medium amber, forming a soft yellow head with good retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk, ~2.75 carbs or so. The nose is ripe with figs, dates, belgian candi sugar, grape juice, plums, cherries and apple juice. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a dense body. Tastes like a fruit salad, lots of grapes, fugs and dates. Modestly strong oxidized wet cardboard flavor half way through with moderate higher alcohols and soy sauce like yeast autolysis with mild herbal bitterness.

The oxidation and higher alcohols definitely ruin this for me. Not a very good or very well brewed beer. I definitely wouldn't buy this again. Drain pour. Blithering indeed,

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Photo of larryarms847
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper and slightly hazy with a solid finger of light khaki and creamy foam.

Earthy, dark fruits, cherry, toasted malt, and some spicy yeast aroma.

Spicy yeast, dark fruit, toasted dinner rolls, and slightly odd.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, spicy, astringent, not good.

Overall, this pours well and smells halfway decent, but the flavor and mouthfeel are rather bizarre and off-putting.

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Photo of Mikus
2.48/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looked good. Had some interesting aromas (some sort of spicy hop or yeast note that was interesting), along with some bready maltiness. Fell apart on the taste and mouthfeel. Really muddy, nothing distinct or stand out shining through. Would not recommend. Still haven't found a decent Weyerbacher brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.02/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottling date of 01/05/15

Appearance - Pours a relatively clear copper red color with a beige head that peaks at about half a finger's thickness. Poor retention results in a mostly barren surface with a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell - Strong cherry aroma backed by notes of caramel and banana.

Taste - Notes of cherry and caramel upfront and throughout. Distant banana undertone that peaks through mid-taste. Cloyingly sweet finish with an astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Sits somewhere between medium to full in body with a sticky texture; like maple syrup cut with water. Low carbonation. Drying finish.

Overall - People have compared this to cough syrup, and I have to agree that to an extent it does have a cherry cough syrup. Very little balance, no depth, and really just kind of a big ol' mess. Maybe it would age to something better, but I won't be the one to try it.

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Photo of EFitzsimmons
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

dark amber with a great looking head that fades to a good film on the sides and a little bit of fuzz on top maintained by the carbonation.

Very malty smell, with a sweetness to it, with a light raisin smell to me.

Nice big and sweet malt to start the taste, and then the sweetness continues with a caramel flavor, but the beer finishes with a somewhat strange bitter hop, that just doesn't sit quite right.

The carbonation is great, and the beer really seems to settle and stay on the back top part of the mouth. It has a pretty light feel for how big a beer it is.

This is a pretty good beer(best served not too cold), and I usually love big hop finishes, but something about this beer just didn't sit quite right with me, which is a bit of a bummer.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 edition 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights, and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with strong aromas of toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted English muffins, followed by some notes of brown sugar, toffee, dried stone fruit such as raisins, figs, prunes, and a touch of maple syrup.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit, and a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but leaning a little towards the thin side. It’s a very smooth beer as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 11.1%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very, good barleywine! Excellent, in fact! It has great flavors of malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit and a touch of hops. The only thing keeping this barleywine from being world-class is the slightly less than perfect mouthfeel. If it had a chewier mouthfeel, it would be world-class.

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Photo of m_hall
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour from 12oz. bottle into a wine glass, Pours clear copper, capped with a 1-finger cream head that falls fairly quickly. Scant lacing.

Aroma is dominated by malts, more towards the sweet end than bread-y.Some wine-like dark fruits. There is a very distinct alcoholic tang, which at 11.1%, is unsurprising.

Flavor is sweet to bitter-sweet, with fig and apricot notes, along with a bit of caramel. Alcohol on the finish, and a great deal of it. Little to no hop bitterness or floral tones.

Mouthfeel was smooth, a trifle thick, quite pleasant.

A good representative of the style, though I think cellar aging could improve this by allowing the alcohol to settle down with the rest of the flavors. I'll give this one another look in a year or so.

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Photo of predikit
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Pours a reddish brown, leaves a thick light tan head that sticks around for an amazing amount of time.

Smell is fairly mute, slight citrus, barley and malt, orange peel.

First taste was interesting, but then it just started going downhill. Eucalyptus, caramel, the alcohol lends a great deal, could almost say that in itself is the prime flavor with the rest just acting as support. Not very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth and creamy. Medium bodied, light carbonation, goes down easy, at the least.

Had to finish off Weyerbacher's locally available at some point, I guess trudging through brews like this is inevitable, wouldn't ever go near this again.

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Photo of DarthVorador
2.29/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Looked & smelled great, but went all down hill from there. Couldn't get past the strong cough syrup flavor. This one definitely needs to be aged, otherwise it's damn near undrinkable.

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Photo of glass_house
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a sniffer

Pours a deep dark mahogany with copper highlights and one finger of creamy khaki head that leaves a wisp of a light cap. Looks thick and sticky on the sides of my glass. Aroma is intense dark caramelized malts and overripe banana peel soaked in sweet dark rum. No disguising that this is a huge, sweet English barleywine.

Taste starts with a rush of dark fruits. Figs, prunes and a touch of dried apricot. Gets even sweeter in the middle with the banana coming through, along with some molasses. The hops certainly take a backseat, but it does finish with a slightly dirty grassy note and leaves a brandy-like sweetness. It's fairly smooth, but there's a noticeable alcohol warmth. It's obvious this is a huge beer, meant to be sipped. As anticipated it's viscous and chewy, coating the palate maybe as much as any beer I've had. Carbonation is low and suits the style well.

Overall this is an intense version of the style, and one I would drink again, as I appreciate the occasional big bad malt bomb. However, I prefer to share it, as the syrupy sweetness can become a bit much.

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Photo of delta490
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a cloudy ruby-tinted copper with a barely-there white head. No lacing whatsoever. The aroma is light, but does have some nice caramel and dark fruit notes (I'm thinking dried figs). The taste is a little bit more robust, with a little more depth to the fruit and sugars and a nice warming effect from the alcohol. The body has a nice thickness to it and a little tingle to it on the finish.

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Photo of Coolcheech
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Poured from a bottle, drank from a tulip.

Appearance: Caramel color with a very thin head.

Smell: Malty in the bottle, alcohol and apples in glass.

Taste: You can taste the alcohol, but it was sweet and light. For a Barleywine I think the bitterness and floral notes of the hops are very very mild.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. The more I drank, and the more the temperature of the beer dropped, the more fuller it felt. I started drinking it very cold, and everything about it was light at first, but that could just be me.

Drinkability: It’s a bright, sweet-ish beer which I found delicious. I like hops, but my top beers have always been on the less hoppy side, and this fits the bill.

(I just read that this is an English Barleywine, which apposed to American Barleywines which are super hopped, these are more fruity. Makes sense, today I learned.)

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Photo of rdilauro
2.55/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I am slowly beginning to enjoy barleywine Ales. I have to say this wasnt one of the winners.
It had that fairly deep brownish amber hue to it with a nice frothy white head. The aroma was typical of most barleywines.
There was just something from the initial taste through the ending that just didnt sit right with me in aroma as well as taste

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Photo of GilGarp
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Old 12 oz bottle that's been sitting in the cellar for about 5 years or more.

Seved slightly chilled into a goblet, Blithering Idiot is a hazy amber brown color. It has some yeast floating in suspension. No head.

Aroma is sweet and slightly boozy but it seems to have mellowed with age.

Flavor has too but it still has some kick. Malty and sweet but fairly well balanced with the ample hops. Alcohol is really well hidden after aging.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and low in carbonation. A little oxidized but not bad.

Overall a pretty good barley wine but not exceptional.

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Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +9%

I know like this stuff but I misplaced my notes.
In retrospect this is a modern day standout as it has left me blithering like an idiot.

I hope to revisit this amazing invention at a later date, hopefully no where near a national election as that is blithering season.

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Photo of CraftyViki
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Blithering Idiot is a good barleywine. I found it to be quite drinkable. Saying that, I should also say I am not a huge fan of barleywines, so keep that in mind.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First review since BA reverted back to the attribute format! This is my first English Barley Wine. Big fan of American Barley Wines.
Pours a brown color with a big light brown foam head. Not much retention. A little bit of lacing. Nothing too out there in the aroma. Sweet caramel and bready malts. Slight hint of toffee. A bit of booze. Taste is a little underwhelming-- some dark fruits, most notably cherry and fig. Sweet malts. A ton of booze. Very poorly masked. A little bit of bitterness give it a sort of candy-like taste. Can't get over the alcohol, though. It is very offsetting compared to the slightly more subdued taste. Not a good combo. Not much carbonation. Easier to drink than you'd expect, but still not the most pleasant experience. Overall, not super impressed by my first entry into the English Barley Wine realm. Hopefully not a sign of the style as a whole.

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Photo of richj1970
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%

Bottle dated 3/3/14

A: Pours a deep golden brown with two finger white head, and fairly heavy lacing for a barley wine.

S: Sweet caramel and butterscotch. Vanilla. Toffee.

T: Sweet caramel and honey. Rich toffee. Vanilla. Ripe bananas.

M: Thick bodied and very sweet.

O: Decent barleywine but I was hoping for more spices, maybe more hops, more complexity...

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown color, with a slight tinge of red. Decent amount of carbonation with a negligible head. Only slight lacing
S: Smells alcoholic first, then wafts of dark fruits like cherry, dates and fig come through. Very faint smell of roasted winter nuts, like chestnuts
T: Tastes alcoholic, but not as much as you would think an English Barleywine would or what the smell gives off. Tastes like what it smells, with a somewhat faint taste of dark stone fruit
M: Since it didn't taste as alcoholic as it could, it came off quite crisp. Lack of carbonation give it a weird consistency, but barleywines are not supposed to have effervescent bite
O: Better beer than what previous rankings give it credit for. If you wanted a barleywine than I would recommend Third Coast Old Ale by Bell's Brewery, which is great. Even though it is an American barleywine and Blithering Idiot is English, I think the styles are similar enough. Worth trying, especially if you are interested in this kind of brew

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Photo of mthomp081
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - cranberry, plum colored, almost a red/plum wine

S - alcohol, plums, figs, dates, honey

T - very sweet, can taste the alcohol but not overwhelming, fruits are darker ones - plums and figs, maybe some berries

M - sweet, sharp from the alcohol, medium bodied, barely any carbonation

O - Very sweet, the dark fruits are nice, taste of plum and the figs/dates are rather different, but its almost too sweet at times. A sipper.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 5/7/14 best by 5/7/2019 at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of malt and honey
Head average (3.5 cm). off white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to 3 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing OK – large irregular islands of small bubbles
Body medium amber, slight haze
Flavor begins very sweet and malty; no alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl. Ends with a nice stomach burn.
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation.

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Photo of Dan_McNeely
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A- A soft copper brown color, easy and appealing. I don't find anything floating in the beer. The appearance is making me thirsty!

S- The distinct alcohol smell is a bit off putting. The is some smooth malty aroma to it after the alcohol. The smell doesn't entice me, nothing about it draws me in to want to taste it. The appearance isn't complimented by the smell for my liking.

T- The taste is very similar to the smell. I enjoy the malty bitter taste, but it quickly dissipates, leaving a feeling of hopelessness to the beer. I respect the beer and understand how someone would fit this taste, but it's just not something that clicks for me.

M- It's a nice dry feel. But it doesn't establish any real personality. It's an OK quick rush on impact but leaves you saying, "And Then..."

Overall- I love the name,it has an interesting label. (different than what is pictured, it's a bit more evil looking jester on my beer) This is really only my third or fourth barley wine style so I don't have much to compare this against. I may go on a barley wine binge over the next couple of weeks and then revist this beer to understand it better.

Take this review with a grain of salt...

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Photo of MikeWard
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottled 12/17/13.

Color was a nice deep copper color with a small thin head. However, there were a ton of floaties, so i basically let it sit for about 45 minutes until the sank to the bottom. This got it to room temperature.

Aroma was very sweet, malts and candy

Taste was ok, the candy especially came through. There was a burning warmth from the alcohol, and a faint bitterness on the side of the tongue.

In the finish, the bitterness and sweetness duked it out, and the alcohol began to rise from warm to burning, almost harsh. Mouth was a bit below medium

Overall, didn't really enjoy this. I haven't tried it for some time, and it was really my gateway beer into higher alcohol and barleywine style beers. I remember enjoying it at the time, but I guess since then, I've found so much better options in both English and American style. Still a fondness for it, and you can't beat the name.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 866 ratings.