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Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Educational use only; do not reuse.

862 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 862
Hads: 2,014
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 22.89%
Wants: 50
Gots: 311 | 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: 862 | Hads: 2,014
Photo of SmashPants
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: pours a deep ruby-brown with plenty of fine sediment throughout the profile. A thin beige head drops quickly to a solid ring, leaving a light lace. A nice-looking beer.

Appearance: a quite strong aroma of maraschino cherry and heavy sherry alcohol. Not much more than that - a little one-dimensional.

Aroma: once again fairly one-dimensional with the sherry alcohol up front. Lacks the complexity of a usual barleywine.

Taste: a slight heavy fruit joins the sherry alcohol. Still a little dominated by the alcohol, but certainly a big flavour.

Aftertaste: a fairly heavy body with light, fine carbonation.

Mouth feel: at over AU$170 a case, this one is a no-go.

Overall: I have quite a sweet spot for a decent barleywine - this one falls a little short of the mark though. It is a bit one-dimensional, but still a worthwhile drink every now and then.

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Photo of 57md
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a brownish copper with a half finger of head. The head dissipated rather quickly. The nose had the slight hint of sweetness. The malt flavors are not nearly as hearty as they should be considering the style. The lightness of the malt makes the alcohol tastes strong and intrusive. The only real highlight of this offering is the trace of dark fruits in the flavor.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased from Leura Cellars in the Blue Mountains. No freshness date.

Pours a very hazy brown amber, and despite what I thought was a careful pour, leaving the dregs in the bottle, there are stacks of floating bits in the glass. Head forms a tight ring after bubbling up initially. Body feels heavy, carbonation is fine, but minimal. No lacing. Looks okay.

Nose is sweet but dry, with sherry characters and a slight oxidised note coming through. Booze is certainly noticeable, as is a slight dusty pepper character that's almost the memory of hops. It's decent enough, but not very complex, and smelling a little tired.

Taste is similar in many ways. Papery oxidation comes through a fair bit on the front and mid-palate, more sherry notes, booted along by a strong alcohol kick. Sweetness is actually pretty minimal: at the very least, it's tied heavily to the booze, which is pretty dominating. Bitterness on the back, partly medicinal from the booziness, and perhaps partially from hops. Feel is almost astringent and burning like hot cognac.

Pretty hard to drink, and without the complexities or flavours that warrant the level of booziness. It's a big beer, but it doesn't justify being as big as it is.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this with dinner at Brass Rail in Hoboken. Pours a deep beautiful red color, clear, with a nice creamy half finger head on top. Aroma is subdued with toffee, caramel, sweet brown sugar, some dark fruit. Flavor is big time malts: toffee, caramel, molasses maybe, some sweet sweet dark fruits like plums and figs. Very sweet brown sugar, heavy thick mouthfeel with low carbonation. Very solid barleywine and now looking forward to trying some Insanity.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: a mix of clear caramel and ruby red. minimal head that is more of a lacing - off white. big legs on this one

s: tons of caramel and toffee upfront. then your hit with a bunch of sugary sweetness - candied strawberry, and sugary caramel. this smells like a candy. i also am picking up something like a coconut macaroon - i don't know. smells like desert in a bottle mixed with sweet malt

t: sweet caramely syrup. loads of caramel and toffee malts that tastes like a syrup. again following the nowise, its candied sugar, and strawberry candies. right away, i also want to say that there is almost no hint of the 11+% in the flavor here. also some figs, plums, and raisins in here as well. there is a slight earthy tea-like flavor in here as well..not bitter at all

m: medium mouthfeel that coats your mouth and feels like syrup. no carbonation to speak of

o: definitely a tasty English Barleywine. i would have liked the fruits in here to pop a little more, but for an 11+% beer, this drinks incredibly smooth. this is definitely a sweet beer that is a sipper. i think its worth picking up (i love sweet beers, and the English style barleywines)

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We crack a bottle of 2011 stock (with the original label!!), pouring a brew of deep cherrywood into our ¾ sized tasting snifters. It puts up a quick half finger tall head of suntanned foam, showing brief retention, although it is easily reproducible. Soft wisps of lacing are left around the glasses. A thick haze cuts clarity, with large chunks of sediment locked throughout the liquid. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma stings with fusel booziness, but otherwise offers notes of raw honey, thick syrupy fruitiness of plum, red apple, and white pear, buttery diacetyls, vinyl plastics, mineral water, black pepper and clove spiciness, cooked maple sugar, lightly toasted caramel malts, metallic adjuncts, white corn, and a heavy Weizen-style dark wheat maltiness. Our first impression is that the flavoring is much more subdued than you would expect to follow that nose, most noticeably in its lack of heat and fruity complexity. As we sip, the taste begins with cloyingly sweet caramel and brown maltiness, cooled banana breadiness, mineral water, watermelon and apple fruitiness, dried waxiness, plastic and medicinal phenols, and soft buttery diacetyls. The middle comes to a peak with straight caramel sugar cloy, soy sauce saltiness, salted caramel, plum and apple juiciness, clover honey, sweet tea, and the faintest grassy hops. Washing through the end comes the final, albeit similar, mixture of white and brown sugar sweetness in the form of simple syrup, black peppery heat of booze, frank apple juiciness, iced tea-lemonade sweetness, soft plastic twinges, faint metallics, and dusty granite. The aftertaste breathes of tannic breakfast tea, dried apricot, white sugar, banana esters, cloven phenols, adjuncty and metallic graininess, caramel malt sweetness, sumptuous cherry juiciness, waves of fusel booze, spicy cracked black pepper, and mint julep sweetness. The body is on the light side of medium, but with hearty thickness of residual sugar to each slurp. The carbonation is near nonpalpable. Otherwise, the mouth is met with okay foam, cream, froth, or smack. It is left basted with a thick, sugary coat, with little eventual dryness or astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips decently.

Overall, the best thing about this brew is its aroma. This aspect of it is actually rather boastful, with each component taking a big stand, looking for all the attention. It was, however, disproportionate when followed by that flavoring, with huge booziness in the nose that was extremely dampened in the finished product on the palate. Perhaps this was to its benefit, hoping cloy would be more appealing to people than harshness. So that said, nothing was really offensive about this beer, it just came across as quite simple and light to the touch. Perhaps the nearly three years we put on it was to its detriment, but according to the brewer, they are confident that it improves up to five years in the bottle. We’d have to do a vertical to find out, but that just doesn’t seem very appealing at present. On a happy/interesting/mostly unrelated note, this is our first review since getting engaged earlier this week, so huzzah!!

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
2.08/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Murky tea colored. Very little head.

It's almost impressive how they got so little aroma out of so much malt. I mean maybe my nose is off tonight...*reads other reviews*...nope not my nose that's the problem.

Flavor follows aroma. Some vague malty notes a bit of alcohol spice, not much going on here. Mouthfeel and finish are, whatever I'm done here.

Bought this with hopes of ageing some but I guess I'll be getting a good buzz tonight instead.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Reddish orange in color. The excellent clarity showcased a flurry of bubbles that gathered to creat a creamy beige head which, while large at first, quickly dropped and remained at a one-finger width.

Smell: Abundant melanoidins, with plenty of toffee and caramel aromas. Currants and dried cherries are easy to sniff out, as is toasted malt. Could be a bit more complex.

Taste: High malt complexity: toasted malt at the forefront with some roasty notes in the background and a bready, yeasty malt aftertaste. The melanoidins remain high, but are in balance with the malt. A treacle flavor is especially strong. The fruitiness seems to take on in a bit of an unfortunate cough syrup taste when mixed with darker flavors.

Mouthfeel: The body is a bit light and smooth for the style, making the beer seem less "big." Definitely detracts from the balance. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: A decent barleywine, but not one I'd seek out again. While complex, the aroma and flavor were both a bit light, and the mouthfeel certainly didn't help in that respect.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky brown glass holds the thinnest of halos that tried to up up a few spots of lace that washed away. Beer has legs, slowly flowing down the sides of the glass when swirled.

Smell: Big, fruity, mostly fig with caramel and toffee supporting sweetness. Alcohol is a touch hot, bit of a paint thinner edge, a little rocket fuel.

Taste: Big flavor! The nice fig and toffee notes in the nose really come out. A sugary finish hides the alcohol until well after the swallow when they slowly rise like a vapor.

Mouthfeel: Big body, heavy, very low carbonation gives just a little prickle. Finish is very dry, almost puckering.

Overall: A great sipper! Bold flavor, most of it really good! Covers the 11% better than I expected. A great Christmas time beer.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of Thezapper
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer pours a deep reddish brown with little head which dissipates quickly.

S: I don't get much in the aroma. Some earthiness, dried fruit, and a little alcohol.

T: I get fruity tartness and some hop bitterness upon first taste. It finishes with just a touch of alcohol but not nearly as much as you'd think from 11% abv. Doesn't have quite enough complexity of flavor that I look for in a barleywine. It finishes very dry with just a hint of lingering bitterness.

M: Definitely on the light side for this style but with nice carbonation.

O: A tasty beverage for sure but nothing spectacular. I really want big flavor from this style of beer and this one, while enjoyable to drink, is rather lacking in that department. Not a bad brew for a cold night though, warms you up quickly.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Weyerbacher = Creepy Label Art. Yes, that has been my conclusion about this brew for years. Creepy clown on the beer label staring at me with a sinister gleam in his eye? Pass. Goofy-looking monks with weirdly curved ears giving me a disturbing look while other menacing monks fiddle in the background? Nope. However, I finally decided to ignore the poor marketing and try...THE BEER. Here are my results... .

Appearance 4.0: Pours out a really beautiful dark amber that is semi-opaque. No head to speak of, and obviously CO2 conditioned.

Smell 3.00: VERY subdued bouquet. I do smell some nice hints of grain and a light hint of sweet wort.

Taste 3.00: Front is sweet, and that is about it. Few hints of anything else. Middle is also subdued, but has a slight hint of malt. Finish is light and boozy with more of the malt and a very nice caramel taste. The aftertaste is short and dry and focuses on the treacly sweetness. Also, there is a not-so-pleasant salty taste in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 3.00: CO2ed carbonation is alright, but certainly does nothing for this beer.

Overall 3.00: This is an OK beer regarding its taste. However, that is probably not why people buy it. Regardless, this is a pretty good beer that is not recommended for sessioning, as the 11+% ABV will take you down the wobbly path to the village of Puke-Town, where you will be introduced to their leader, Mayor McToiletbowl.

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Photo of dgilks
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hazy red-brown colour with a small and short-lasted, off-white head.

Malty and toasty. Tons of raw grain. Touches of alcohol and fruit.

Grainy and sweet. Not too much else here. Touches of caramel and ester.

Medium to full body with moderately high carbonation. Quite fine.

This isn't an amazing English Barleywine. To me it lacks a complex rich, toffee malt character. Instead it is just underattenuated malt.

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Photo of brewmasterbrown
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a light copper, aggressive pour leaves 1/2" off-white head with little retention, expected. Noticeable legs.

Aroma: Alcohol and grainy malt, some esters but not as much dark fruit as I would like in this style.

Taste: Grainy, alcohol. Again, not as much depth of malt character (dark fruit, caramel, etc.) as I'd like. Balanced hop bitterness, some nice British hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Full Bodied with Low Carb.

Overall: Conforming to style, yet not an impressive example. I will drink again, but only because I bought a 4-pack...

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Photo of schwemjw
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Dirty brown copper. no head but held afirm with good alcohol legs.

S: Toffee, dates and funky moldy bread. figs and plums and booze all dance around your nostrils. a bit nutty.

T: Boozy dark fruit. a little spice such as clove and cinnamon. Raisin and figs coated with brown sugar and wrapped in a yeasty bread. Boozy spicy finish.

M: A little carbonation to it but definitely heavy.

O: Lots of booze and dark fruit on this one. its good but sort of middle of the road. /81

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Photo of Chris_Ferry
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I took a suggestion from a friend who had heard of this Barleywine Ale. I was pleasantly surprised by the overall taste and quality.

The beer starts out smooth with fruity undertones. It has a rich, dark caramel appearance and on the lower side of carbonation. I went the less refined way and drank it straight from the bottle.

I would imagine that two of these babies would be more than enought, even for the most experienced drinker. The 11.1% ABV sneaks up quickly.

My only criticism is that the finish is a little on the harsh side making each mouthful a little harder to enjoy than the last.

Overall, I believe this beer to be above average. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something on the more unique side.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish red, cloudy with no clarity, no head or sticky lace.

S - Sweet. Sugar cane. Huge alcohol whiff. Thats al that is going on

T - Like the smell, sweet and boozy. Almost overwhelming. Not very well balanced imo

M - Medium bodied.

O - Way to sweet and boozy. The alcohol lingers in your mouth, and its just not tasty enough to be worth it.

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Photo of welldigger888
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish cloudy hue that has an off white color leaving min amal lace but very good legs.

GRAINY aroma with not much else.

Very grainy with minamal hop or booze.

Very nice medium mouthfeel.

OK version. should have held my attension fermally yet failed.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, orange Brown with a substantial, light tan head. Retention is reasonable but no lace as the froth recedes from over an inch to a film.
Smell is malt, fruits (.mostly grapes, some green apple), and a hint of spices. Decently balanced.
Taste is rich, malty, grapes and a lot more spice note (pepper, clove) than the smell had. Some woodiness shows after the swallow. Really enjoying the balance here more.
Full bodied, warming from the first sip. Not refreshing but not expecting it to be. A sipping brew, for certain. Finish is a bit bitter, a little rough. Overall, a nice brew, though.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from a four pack, not sure of the bottling, but it may be 6-3-2013

A - pours a dark brownish ruby red. Little to no head or lacing.

S - figs, dark fruit, hint of booze.

T - more of the same, very malt forward, with little to no hop presence. Having a hard time picking up anything other than that. Maybe some molasses or faint vanilla.

M - carbonation is on the low side. Tends to get sticky as it warms.

O - an enjoyable beer, though I wonder if would get more complex with age. More of a fan of the bourbon aged offering from them, but I would still recommend this for fans of the English barley wine style.

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Photo of jifigz
4.4/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a beautiful mahogany reddish brown color with a pretty decent white head that rose about 1 inch to its zenith and then slowly dissipated. The aroma is rich in figs, raisins, plums, and other dried fruits mingled with the sweet smell of something akin to strawberry Twizzlers. There is a slight undertones of hoppiness that barely shine through the dense and thickly layered candied fruit aroma. Ahhh....this smells like a good English Barley wine. The flavor of this beer is rich and complex like a barley wine should be. The initial sip is very sweet and warming on the mouth. The middle changes to a somewhat coffee and toffee like chocolate candy with a touch of cherries. The finishing tastes are on the slightly bitter side which keeps the beer quite balanced and delicious. The MF is thick and viscous as soon as it hits your tongue.

Great English barley wine. I think Weyerbacher did a pretty good job on this one. English style barley wine is one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of minterro
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

So I bought this beer at this small beer shop in Ohio and it seems like the bottle was in poor condition. when I packed it up I noticed beer leaking from the top. I'm sure this will impact the rating of this beer and hopefully wont make me sick (my hope is the high abv might help kill bacterial that might have found its way into the bottle).

No sign of a head (probably because of cap problem. Very deep ruby translucent colored beer. Kinda faint smell to this beer: flowery hops, sweet bready tones, marshmellows.

Yeasty tang in the mid taste. Slight spicy and alcohol finish. Overall alcohol is well hidden for a plus 11% beer. No carbonation present, medium bodied.

Overall this beer was pretty average. My hope is that because this bottle might have malfunctioned the quality of this beer went down. I hope I get another chance to try thing one somewhere down the road.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip.

A: clear. bright/dark copper. bubbly head is slightly off-white. very frothy. retention is good, lacing is even better.

S: smells fruity. plums. figs. a bit woody. a little nutty as well. reminds me more of a Belgian quad, at first. then it gets more and more barleywine-esque.

T: a definite alcohol heat. present, but not overwhelming. sweet unfermented sugars. obviously caramel. virtually no hop presence. this thing is all grain, booze, and some mild yeast esters. tastes like velvet.

M: smooth and a sipper. full bodied.

D: definitely a sipper. could use a bit of refinement. hot, age could help. this thing can do a lot better with some bourbon and since they do that (see Insanity) go try that version. it is exceptional.

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Photo of deeznuts420
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a mediocre english style barley wine. i like american styles better so admittingly my scores may be lower. served from a bottle into a snifter with a fingers worth of head that dissipated very quickly. dark brownish red color. smells of dark rum soaked fruits, raisins, dates and fairly hot alchohol. taste follows the nose well with hardly any hop prescence with a medium fairly heavy mouthfeel. not a horrible english style bw but weyerbacher , i feel needs to use more hops to cut the sweetness. i'm sure a few years in the cellar would do this beer good

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Photo of BB1313
3.84/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent auburn which becomes hazy with some sediment; fluffy off-white head which slowly fades and leaves nice lacing. The aromas are full of cherries and caramel malts. There's a little bit of chocolate in the mix as well. Flavors are slightly boozy, but not in a negative way. The heat gives this one some character. Lots of raisins, dates, and dark fruits in the mix. It's on the sweeter side and doesn't have an aggressive hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is really nice. It's on the lighter side of full-bodied; very creamy, fluffy and smooth. Perfect amount of active carbonation. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable, but definitely not overboard. This is dangerously drinkable. Makes a nice sipper. It can be rough around the edges at times, but it's enjoyable.

This is a very solid English barleywine. It's worth checking out. This one ages extremely well too.

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Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with an off-white, 2-finger, frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Sweet fruity aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is a sweet fruity aroma – with an almost wine-like quality. Finishes slightly tart and dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Interesting take on a a barleywine – It went down smooth an easy.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.