Blithering Idiot - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

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853 Reviews

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Reviews: 853
Hads: 1,979
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.86%
Wants: 50
Gots: 280 | FT: 7
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
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Reviews: 853 | Hads: 1,979
Photo of Thezapper
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (796 characters)

Photo of BeerDocT
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (1,407 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of brewmasterbrown
3/5  rDev -18.5%
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... (559 characters)

Photo of schwemjw
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
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 (480 characters)

Photo of Chris_Ferry
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (731 characters)

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (602 characters)

Photo of Apellonious
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (645 characters)

Photo of jifigz
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
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. (1,021 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
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. (880 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (763 characters)

Photo of deeznuts420
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
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 (557 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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. (904 characters)

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Cigar City snifter at Brewskis in Coral Gables, FL.

A- Pours a rubyish brown color with a 1/4 inch light tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass with a sheer patch of film on the surface.

S- Notes of sherry, dark fruit and a slight whiff of booze.

T- More notes of sherry bordering on wet cardboard with some mild spice, raisin and some booze. Still, with all these somewhat unpleasant characteristics, it manages to be balanced and smooth.

M- Moist, with a slight sharpness from the booze. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- With all its pitfalls, this is a very drinkable barleywine. Not as incredible as Insanity, but it holds its own. (727 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from Total Wine in Tampa. From notes.

A - Poured dark copper with a one finger off white head. Bright. Mild carbonation, no lace, no retention.

S - Dark fruit, port, lot's of rich dark malt, brown sugar.

T - Booze, boozy plums and fruit cake. Sugar. Opens up richer with sugary fruits.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, boozy finish. Body was a bit odd.

O/D - There are good things about this beer. You can really tell it's 11% though, and not in a subtle way. The body is odd too. Not a bad barleywine, but probably needs time. Has potential, just needs to mellow out the boozy character. Lacked complexity for its ABV and style. (644 characters)

Photo of DMXLOX22
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Poured the 12 ounce in a traditional pint glass. Lets see how this matches up.

Appearance: pours a solid, dark brown, copper coloring that seems quite inviting. Head is about an inch high, but dissipates quite quickly. Nice lacing on the way down, but not when it's finished. Quite nice overall though.

Smell: first aromas don't bring much hop presence, but as standard with English barleywines. The alcohol is pretty much filling the aroma area, not much else is detected upon first check. More reveals a slight hint of cherries and mild figs. Not much else is detected in that department. Slightly disappointed. Some things could be improved.

Taste: the first sips reveals at first a heavy rush of alcohol. Sort of hard to detect any other flavors in the first tastes. Upon more and more sips, it's not entirely as flavorful, but keep in mind the style. Malts are now apparent and is rounded out by wild cherries, slight orange and slight figs. These flavors are makes by the 11.1 percent ABV. Not too bad, but not to be taken lightly.

Mouthfeel: lightly carbonated with a slightly above average body. Not too bad, but has a syrupy after taste. Finishes somewhat dry.

Overall: coming into this beer, I was surprised by the alcohol content. A little intimated was another feeling also. Opening and pouring were normal, but the flavors and mouthfeel were slightly disappointing. The mild flavors were not impressive. I doubt I would try again, but would recommend only if someone wanted low hops and high ABV. Cheers! (1,606 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter
No bottled on date. Its the new label though, which I think makes it Vintage 2013.

A: Pours a brown with reddish hues, maroon when held to light. Approximately 1/2 fingers width of light tan head builds then quickly recedes. Leaves effectively zero lacing. Pretty color though.

S: Ripe dark fruits, with sweet plum and black cherry notes. Red grape juice. Hints of woody/herbaceous notes, candied sugar. Very nice aroma but pretty one dimensional with sweet dark fruit notes dominating.

T: Follows the nose with big sweet dark fruits hitting the palate right from the first sip. There is a good amount of yeast characters and some spice. Honestly this tastes a lot like a Belgian Quad. I also get notes of green apple, grape, a nice complementary booziness, some maple syrup sweetness, and a hint of baker's chocolate bitterness. I like.

M/D: Medium bodied, on the thinner side of the spectrum, carbonation is very low. I dont think Ive ever said this about a Barleywine, but I think this one would benefit from a higher carbonation (its too thin to support such a low carbonation). ABV is very well integrated though, and drinkability is good.

O: Overall, I quite enjoyed this one. I think the palate profile is very similar to many Belgian Quads Ive had, but the taste and aroma are both real nice. The mouthfeel leaves a bit to be desired, but this is still a beer I would gladly drink again. Seems like a pretty nice base beer for barrel aging. Insanity is up next. (1,506 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: A clear darker amber with a slightly darker orange to white head rising to maybe 1/4" off the body.

Smell: Strong vanilla and scotch scent, pretty appetizing on scent alone.

Taste: See the problem I see with this brew is that the strong alcohol overwhelms the rest of the flavor. Light malty feel, heavy alcohol with pure vanilla feel.

Mouth: Light to medium, strong scotch feel.

Overall: Good beer but in my opinion not a step above good. If you want to get buzzed quick I guess it works but I want more than just that. Definitely needs tweaking but still worth a try. Salud! (623 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - looks a cloudy brownish-amber, but upon closer inspection it is loaded with tiny particulates in suspension.. The head is a light cream color and quick to leave. There' s about a half-cover but it's holding pretty well.

Aroma - a quick whiff of cinnamon-raisin bread during the pour. Fades quickly to a grainy, less-sweet aroma. Some estery vapors emerge with warming.

Taste - good chewy and toasty malts. Mouth-filling and tasty. Not overly sweet, but enough to segue into some mildly citrusy hops. Conservative bitterness, excellent balance to the grain, at least for those who prefer a malt-forward barleywine. An alcohol presence that is up front but not brash. Warming but not hot at all. Warm, toasty, lightly bittering and dry finish. Well done.

Mouthfeel - good weight, average to slightly crisp carbonation.

Overall - not overly complex to me, but an unbelievably drinkable beer. If I sip 'er slow I could do another one or two 12-ouncers. (965 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most perfect beers I've ever enjoyed. I'm not entirely sure it can be beat and this isn't even one of my top 10 styles of beer. Maybe I should make some room because this is phenomenal.
How to describe the smell besides overpoweringly delicious? It's sweet, alcoholic Can something smell red? I think it can because that's what I smell. What that means to me is that there are scents in there I generally associate with red ale. Similar malts are probably used. There are also hints of apricot, red apples, fresh grass, and hay. Some yeast smell too, as you'd expect.
The taste is mesmerizing. I can't properly convey what the taste is in words. The constituent parts wouldn't properly explain anything. What they are isn't important. It's how they come together in the perfect amounts that creates perfection. Or maybe it's just brewed with immense amounts of love. It's hard to say. Anyway, it has the intensity, smoothness, and complexity of a very old, aged whiskey. Which is not to say it tastes like one. There's no whiskey flavour. It's very strong. The alcohol is up front for sure, along with the smooth sweetness. It's a very sweet beer. But there's a lot going on in the background for you analysis connoisseurs. I'm not good with this part of the review, but it's definitely spicy. That apple flavour present in the nose is definitely there. Not green apples, but sweet apples. The hops are mostly spice hops, but there's some astringency on the finish as well. There's a bit of that apricot I detected on the nose in there as well, with about of that straw flavour. The rest is all malt complexity. It's too complex for me to understand, but there must have been several malts used in this. All I can say is they are all excellent and used in perfect proportion. Now I'm going to stop annoying myself by trying to analyze this for this review and sit back and enjoy this perfection, because that's what this beer is. It's pure perfection. You don't have to be a blithering idiot to appreciate it. But you'd have to be one not to give it a try. Beware the bite though. This stuff bites like 19th century cough medicine. So be warned, but if you're into that sort of thing, enjoy the hell out of it. I know I will. (2,255 characters)

Photo of screamking
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours cloudy dark red, very little head which is gone instantly. 3.5

Aroma-dark fruit right off the bat, lots of plum. I'm also getting lots of yeast as well. Overall very subdued aroma. Almost reminds of a dunkel. 3.25

Taste-the plums are present in the taste, although they come with a huge dose of carbonation. A noticeable nutty flavor that comes through after the sweet plum. Then bitterness sinks in. Not too impressive. 3.25

Feel-light full bodied brew, tons upon tons of carbonation, coats palate well but for a barleywine I'm surprised it doesn't have a thicker feel. 3.25

Overall-while I haven't had many barleywines I've had enough to see that this fails to compete with any of them. As I'm sipping this I keep thinking I'm drinking a strong dunkel not a barleywine. It's not very boozy for an 11% abv beer, so it has that going for it, but that is all. 3.25 (919 characters)

Photo of AmitC
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Color is deep amber and slightly brown. Some suspensions. Very hazy. Less than half finger thick head with very little retention. Some good lacing. No bubbles.

Aroma is a lot like that of an old ale. A lot of malt. Some caramel character and a mix of slight hops. Slight booze comes through.

Taste is that of very slightly bitter malt. Hops are nice and they taste well overall. Somewhat faint. A little bit of scotch or wee heavy like flavor which is odd. Good warmth.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Low carbonation. Malty, warm and boozy.

A very average barleywine that runs off the track. (639 characters)

Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.