Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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very good

1,988 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,988
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 96
Gots: 250 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Old Heathen aged in oak (whiskey/bourbon) barrels.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,988 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of black13
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours pitch black with a decent sized mocha colored head that lingered around until half the beer was gone. Left a decent amount of lacing until the very end.

S- Quite a bit going on here. I get chocolate, malts, coffee, and some pleasant alcohol tones. All are pleasant and work well together. As it warmed up the bourbon booziness became pleasantly apparent.

T- All the aromas above are present on the palate, but in different qualities. The coffee and bourbon blend very well and are the dominant flavors, although the chocolate and malts are not entirely subdued or lost. A very good balance.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied, which fits the flavor profile quite well. It's not overpowering, but lets you know its there. No syrupy aftertaste is left.

D- A very drinkable RIS. At first it's just an OK beer, but give it some time to warm up and it starts to become a better beer. I could drink a couple of these no problem, I would just let them warm up first.

This is my first Weyerbacher and I look forward to tasting some more.

Photo of HimerMan
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Mahar's in Albany, NY. Tried with Flannery - was the suggested Imperial Stout on the extensive beer menu.

Definitely worth the aging from its initial Old Heathen state.

Pour - exceptionally dark with a very nice deep brown head, that quickly goes away.

Taste - a bit harsh on the alcohol flavor, even with the beer being on the low-end of russian imperials. Notes of coffee and chocolate come though, and as the beer warms you the flavors slightly change to a bit of hops.

Overall - Good stout, definitely worth a try if you have the option.

Photo of boomer31
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've enjoyed everything I've tried from Weyerbacher including Insanity which leads me to believe the barrel ageing will be just as good.

A - What you would expect from a RIS. Dark black with a deep tan loose head that dissapates quite quickly.

S - I get bourbon and roasty malts all the way here. The bourbon is not overwhelming though its there but not blowing me away like many barrel aged beers.

T - Again the bourbon is present but not over the top compared to others. Coffee is almost as present as the bourbon and a little cocoa in the back. Some bitterness here but mostly from the coffee and cocoa. I also sense some alcohol here as well. Nice aftertaste of bourbon and bitterness

M - Compared to other RIS I've had this is perhaps a bit 'thin' but the flavor is definately there. The carcbonation is light

D - Any bourbon beer is a sipper and this is no exception. The 8% seems to be generous as the alcohol is present in the front and back.

Overall a nice barrel aged stout and for the availability (seasonal and relatively inexpensive) a good RIS to enjoy periodically though now that I've tried it I'm not sure I'd seek it out again.

Photo of jcartamdg
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my ccb pint glass, brownish black with no head or lacing at all. Aroma of the oak right away, then malts and sweetness. Taste follows the nose, vanilla and butterscotch are also there, finish is a bit medicinal. Mouthfeel is nice, moderate carbonation. Not a bad ris.

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty black, tannish head. Pretty standard for an Imp Stout.

S: Coffee, toffee, alcohol and fruity dark malts. Very nice. Second time around with this beer and I am noticing a much larger amount of oak and burnt wood aromas.

T: One of the sweeter imp stouts I've had, very rich and full of coffee and caramel. Nice toasty flavor. Good amount of oak as well.

M: Thin, but sticky.

D: Wouldn't have more than one or two. ABV is 8 so be careful.

Photo of jhicks12
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured dark black and thich with a dark chocalate tan head.

Smell: Nice roasted chocolate coffee aroma and a vanilla, oak smell as well

Taste: Nice roasted creamy chocolate taste at first then a vanilla oak, bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice velvety, creamy mouthfeel

Drinkability: I find the old heathen to be a better more drinkable beer. But I am not a huge bourbon fan. but all in all a nice change up and great flavors...I just need to get my palate to appreciate bourbon!

Photo of B33R501
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kinda reminds of their Tiny (great beer one of this years favorites) without the black licorice and Belgian bubblegum twist, obviously not as big a beer.

Black, nice head, good looker. Smells just ok roasted chocolate malts. Taste follows with a nice fruity grape flavored white wine type dry finish, more sweet than bitter, little thin but drinkable and overall pretty tasty. Hints of wood, vanilla and bourbon add to the complexity, I like that the bourbon is more subtle than others I've had, but my preference is probably more in your face.

Would I get this again? I don't know, it's good but i'd put out the extra couple bucks and go with Tiny, which is such a massive beer (I like the pun of "tiny" for such a monster) or just get something like central waters bb stout or Williamsburg bb porter, which both have more boozy bourbon flavor.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bourbon barrel stout, somewhat thin but with a pleasing taste and a fine profile overall.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Black and blue label with a white glowing fonts under a thunder going across them. (Weyerbacher, please, find a good designer urgently. You need it badly. I´ll even do it if I have to.) Lacks any visible bottling or freshness date, and shows Alc. by Vol. (8%). Served in a snifter.

A - Black pour broad brown edges, short bubbly head that fades quickly, minimal lacing, and a fair surface memory ring.

S - The initial kick of the smell is outstandingly beautiful, with a bourbon oak and vanilla range riding roasted malts. Unfortunately it fades a bit too much, and a bit too quickly, but still leaving a pleasing whiff.

T - Rich bourbon range over roasted malts, with chocolate notes, a touch of coffee, and back to the bourbon and its vanilla-oak touches, with a warming boozy tone in the finish.

M - Medium body with tingly carbonation. Feels a bit light at times and the bubbles help it a bit but do not quite make the trick, all in all providing a nice but not too remarkable finish.

D - Fair sipper, a bit short of being significantly memorable but in the right direction.

Notes: Pity, this starts hitting all the right notes, and mind you it remains pretty good, but the expectations of something truly remarkable subside a bit as soon as the aroma goes shy and the body feels not as sturdy as it could.

Photo of justintcoons
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a tulip pint.

Almost black with 1/2 finger of head that dissipates quickly. There is some light penetration around the edges.

Blended whiskey, dark chocolate and Cola. A tad boozy.

Light notes of blended whiskey and dark chocolate. Caramel and Cola. Overripe plum and concord grape. Hints of medium roast coffee and vanilla.

Medium bodied, smooth and subtly creamy.

Certainly a bang for your buck! HERESY: The Economy BBA Stout.

Photo of Wluper
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really excited about this beer as I'm a huge fan of almost any beer aged in a Bourbon Barrel. THIS beer was aged in a Whiskey Barrel though. It had a really good start, but it doesn't have the sweetness that a bourbon barrel stout finishes with. This one was a bit drier, but it still was a welcome surprise in my birthday six pack. I would definitely recommend it because it IS delicious, but I would probably only drink one or two glasses at most if I was out.

Photo of rwinzing
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured my beer into a DFH snifter. Very dark with almost not head at all

A - Midnight Black

S - smells very oaky

T - Strong oak flavor is present and then a sweetness appears finishes with some slight bitterness

M - Feel a little thin

O - I enjoy this beer as a drinker in my rotation. Not the best Imperial oak stout but very solid beer. I buy a four pack once a month. Encourage people to try this one.

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured with a nice caramel head and deep dark body. great roasted malts to it. lacking a little in the body for my liking, but overall a good beer.

Photo of shbobdb
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well, I'm trying to not let the fact that my girlfriend dumped most of this beer.

Despite these tragic circumstances, I really like this beer.

It tastes like a very rich, full stout with an extra dose of vanilla and oak.

I'm not gonna lie, this is a very robust stout. Gone are the subtle fruit flavours I associate with imperial stouts -- this is all about the roasted barley. The oak plays a weak second fiddle.

It's freakin' genius!! I'm not sure I'd want it regularly, but I love it for now!

Thanks Muenchenerkindl! This is awesome!

Photo of presscaught
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Spirits Unlimited in Redbank, NJ (highly recommended liquor store!). Served from a refrigerated (~50F) bomber, in a Smuttynose pint glass.

A: Very HARD pour…unintentionally hard…overflowing head. Once things settle down about three fingers of creamy brown that slowly diminish to an eighth inch ring that remains throughout. Beer itself is Ink black with no light transmission. As drank some lacing.

S: Alcohol. Whisky or Bourbon. Can’t get past the whisky, scotchy, bourbony nose.

T: Nutty, Oaky, Sweet Vanilla, Alcohol (scotch again), and roasted malts

M: Medium mouthfeel but still has a creamy characteristic at swallow (does that make sense?). Carbonation is just right.

D: Medium drinkability. Not a bad beer but definitely not my favorite Stout…don’t think it would crack the top 15.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark, nearly pitch black. Thick tan foamy head. Great head retention, but not much lace. Strong roasty, oak, smoke, vanilla nose. Hints of bourbon. Good roasty character, dominated by the oak. Sweet and smoky. Oak character really comes out when it warms. Alcohol presence is somewhat noticable. Seems a bit thin for a stout of this magnitude. Very interesting, but maybe slightly overwhleming. Still, very good in small doses.

Photo of fx20736
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 4/25/14. Poured into a pint glass, served cool.

appearance: Bituminous black with 3 finger mochaccino head.

smell: chocolate, brown sugar, malt o meal, faint Bourbon.

taste: burnt brown sugar, alcohol solvents.

mouthfeel: a little spritzy but ok.

overall: not bad but lacking complexity and heft.

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a midnight black with a two-finger foamy tan head. Light sticky lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts, vanilla, & bourbon.

T - Follows the aroma. Dark roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and bourbon. Finish has some faint alcohol in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation. Light watery mouthfeel. Dry finish.

O - Not a bad BA Stout, but it's definetly lacking in body. Not something I'd search out, but definetly drinkable.

Photo of jduffy21
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 oz bottle in to my Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. This pours dark black, can't see any light through this one. A thick brownish head forms, and it reduces a bit to a nice lacing.
Smells a bit smokey, and I get just a tad odor of alcohol.
Mouth feel is smooth, but thick
Tastes of chocolate, light alcohol flavor and a hint of vanilla bean at the end. Heresy is my favorite from Weyerbacher! I really am becoming a fan of Russian Imperials.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours deep dark brown into a tulip glass with a fluffy tan head that dissapates rather quickly. Not much in the way of lacing... just a little bit sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of vanilla from the oak, sweet milk chocolate, coffee, toffee, charleston chew candy. A little bit of wood, and just a hint of alcohol.

T- Vanilla and oak... sweet malts. Alcohol up front with a bitter bite of charred coffee and roasted nuts. A little bit sweet, but not so much that you couldn't enjoy a couple.

M- A bit thin for a stout, but leaves a ton of flavor behind. Vanilla, chocolate, Roasted nuts, and coffee.

O- I've always enjoyed this brew. I wish I had saved a couple from a few years ago so that I could try them side by side.

Photo of phisig137
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle with a tacky label a thick ink black, with a one finger head. Foam falls slowly into a thick blanket over top of the glass, with a bit of lacing.

Aroma is sweet, plumy, roasty, buorbon like, and has a distinct hint of almonds. Chocolate is also present, along with huge waves of vanilla.

Flavor here is big. Massive amounts of vanilla, backed by chocolate and roasted grains. Slightly sweet finish, this seems to be almost absent of hops. You can really taste the barrel aging on this one, as it tends to overpower most of the stout flavors. Still, this tastes pretty damn good. Mouthfeel is heavy, oily and chewy. Drinkability is relatively high.

Another winner from Weyerbacher, who rarely dissapoints. I think this could use a little more time in the cellar, and a little less time in the oak barrels. That being said, this is still a very enjoyable stout.

Photo of seeswo
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a cocoa-tan head. Nose is roast and coffee, maybe the faintest touch of vanilla/oak. I'm pretty torn on the flavor. Some sips it comes together and some it doesn't. When it's good, the vanilla and oakiness, meld well with the roast and chocolate and go down smooth and easy. When it's not working for me, there is a bit of booziness/faint bitterness or oak astringency in the finish that is unpleasant. The mouthfeel is affected negatively by that oakiness that sits on the tongue and a somewhat thinner than expected body. Overall, this is pretty good with moments of greatness and a slight upgrade for the can't miss price.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: black and little head retention

smell: deep dark roasted coffee and loads of bourbon, oak, vanilla aromas

taste: bourbon was highly present and lots of vanilla notes

mouthfeel: heavy syrupy, poured like medicine

drinkability: a solid imperial stout, intresting flavor, way to heavy though. solid beer.

Photo of boxofepilepsy
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Easily recognizable 22 oz bottle.
Pours jet black with a fine mocha colored head which dissipates quickly. Already, I'm waiting for the alcohol.
The smell is definitely interesting. Roastiness and chocolate is present, but downplayed in comparison to the strong bourbon notes. A little bit of vanilla and some toasted wood. A little ethanol. The taste is pretty congruent. Wow-- whiskey up front, but in balanced. It's the strong alcohol that throws it off slightly. This is a full beer, but not as huge in body as some of its style. With its high ABV, it's definitely a sipper. This is nice, but not my typical style.

No doubt about it, this one wants a year or two of age to mellow and come together before it's ready.

Photo of AltBock
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a slick black label of a purple lightning bolt in a completely black cloudy sky. Off to the bottom and the left side of the label is the refund values, US Government warning, and the brewery's address. Below the name of the beer are words you long to read on a beer bottle, "Imperial Stout aged in Oak barrels." Don't waste your time looking for a bottle year or any kind of date because there isn't one anywhere.

Appearance: I decided to pour this Weyerbacher into a Snifter. What came out of the bottle was beer that black as crude oil (if only I could pour it into my car). What seperated the two was the fact that this one had a good 1/2 to 3/4 inch creamy head of tan foam. This tan colored head of foam had good retention that left behind a small tan film and a few tan streaks of lace in its tracks.

Smell: There were quite a few dark aromas in this beer, but I felt that wasn't enough of them in here. It seemed like there were aromas missing. The aroma was mostly charred oak with dark fruits, dark roasted malts, raisins, and some roasted coffee beans at the end. I can't tell you what's missing, but it felt like there should have been more to it. I should also mention that it was in the aroma where the oak ran wild and free all over the place. It couldn't have been stopped.

Taste: While the dark aroma let the charred oak run wild and free all over the palce, it was here in the taste where they controlled it. The taste was dark, rich, and chewy (like an Imperial stout should be) with dark roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, controlled charred oak, a quick splash of vanilla, bitter dark chocolate, plums, raisins, and then all of this ended with dark roasted hops. It wasn't as powerful a rich dark lightning bolt hitting your tongue, but at least it was a nice rich malty Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: As you can probably tell, it was chewy full bodied dark beer that had a not so lingering aftertaste of raosted malts, roasted coffee beans, and bitter dark chocolate. It did however mask it's 8% ABV. I couldn't detact any of that 8% ABV. I'm surprised that no charred oak showed up here in the taste. I guess the taste kicked it into submission.

Drinkability: Not the most powerful or the best oak aged Imperial Stout out on the market, but it's still worth a shot if you can get your hands on any.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a four pack I bought a month or so ago that I've been "aging" (meaning I just havent gotten around to popping one yet.

Appearance: As I pour it, I'm concerned that it looks pretty thin. In the glass though, it looks pretty good. Opaque with a thin brown head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell: A little whiff of oaky bourbon, but mostly bitter chocolately and coffe-ey roasted malt. Its decent, but you kind of have to work for it.

Taste: Definitely more bourbon taste than smell, and I like the fact that it doesnt overpower the RIS flavors completely. The roasty chocolate and coffee are much more apparent in the taste than the smell. Its quite good.

Mouthfeel: Too thin. Like I suspected when I poured it, it feels a little watery. A good score in this style for me requires the beer to be thick, syrupy, creamy.

Drinkability: This is a really good beer when compared to the broad category of "beer". When compared to RISs, its more like average. The bourbon hints make this more interesting than the regular Old Heathen for me. My main problem with this is the less than aggresive smell and the too-thin mouthfeel. I'll let the rest of these age.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,988 ratings.