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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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very good

2,073 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,073
Reviews: 990
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 99
Gots: 291 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

Old Heathen aged in oak (whiskey/bourbon) barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,073 | Reviews: 990
Photo of Rhody1
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of timontheroad
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured very dark, almost black, opaque. Nice half-inch head. Aroma has touches of chocolate, vanilla and just a hint coffee and alcohol. Flavor was lots of dark roast malt, vanilla, and some dark fruit. Mouthfeel was somewhat thin from what I had expected from an Imperial Stout. Overall, pretty tasty, but not outstanding. Very drinkable.

Photo of dacrza1
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: April 20, 2014... GLASSWARE: Corsendonk tulip... OCCASION: Easter Sunday--another humbling, dry Lenten offering completed... APPEARANCE: intimidating black body with a one-finger, fuzzy brown head; consistent, well-tempered lacing... AROMA: thick peat, smoke and sweet chocolate scents; some licorice and candy too...PALATE: intense, impactful punch at the teeth; mellow at the mouth and warming at the throat--full-bodied...TASTE: sweet, sharp vanilla and milk collide with a mild whiskey breath that invigorates, if not inspires--a bit hot, but not much of a deterrent... OVERALL: the whiskey is subdued but the ABV is significant enough to attract attention; otherwise, a complicated combination that leaves a sweet, warm aftertaste....

Photo of TheTaylorman
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Martin2D
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with a huge dark tan head that retains well. Perfect looking beer

S - Oaky, almost vanilla like with roasted malts

T - Hints of roasted malts predominated by hints of oak and vanilla. Leaves a roasty aftertaste.

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and thick in body.

D - While the body is thick, the taste is somewhat watery and not roasty enough to be a great stout. However, this is a great beer. If they reclassified this, it might be better. However, don't hesitate to try, but don't expect a stout.

Photo of ediaz
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a CCB Snifter

A: Black with a light tan head that leaves a thin ring and delicate lacing. whats left really hugs the sides.
S: Earth, sweet, vanilla, chocolate, wood. The barrel doesnt come out much, or at least not for me.
T: A sweetness that resembles whiskey into a chocolatey woody finish. Still get a lot of the earthy taste that was noticeable in the smell, but the vanilla is absent. It has a smokey peat character to it, almost like a scotch.
M: A little more carb than I'd like, and it doesnt coat the mouth like I'd expect from a stout - kind of light (not what i expected from the appearance)
O: It's not bad. There isn't a huge barrel profile which was a let down. I cant say these are hot, but I'm going to lay two bottles of the 4 pack down for a bit and see if it improves. I think I was hoping for the magic of Weyerbacher Insanity in a stout form, but this didnt quite live up to the bill. Regardless, it IS enjoyable, but if you are looking for a big barrel profile, I'd recommend you look elsewhere.

Photo of biga7346
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - rich turbid chocolate brown to black

N - peat, very rummy, some sweet bourbon, caramel, like a real sugary pastry like baklavah, some buttery notes but balanced with crisp hop oil.

T/M - velvet like vanilla and bourbony notes at first, love the buttery notes in the finish, light in the body but a consistent velvet like texture; some vanilla ice cream, heavy cream, vanilla bean and raisin, pastry, candi sugar; I can see how this could be overly sweet to some people but oak and bourbon peatiness are very present.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Big chocolate head that fades into a thin layer of tan. Beer is black and opaque

S: Soft chocolaty aroma, no hops, not very coffee either as is often the case. Slight bready-caramel aroma, but I really just get a chocolate roast.

T: More chocolate toast. There's a slight roasty bitter dryness that I don't find great. As it sits and warms I get an almost creamy vanillaness. It's very good, but not sufficiently pungent/complex.

M: Smooth, lighter and less syrupy than many examples of a RIS, but maybe too light and not hearty enough.

Photo of ppoitras
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle purchased at Town & Country Spirits, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head is dense and seemingly long-lasting, with bits of foamy lacing left here and there. Aroma reminds me of cake batter, for what its worth. So I guess that's strong vanilla notes, with touches of grains and alcohol. is strongly of buttery toasted caramel, overpoweringly so, leaving little room for other notes to present themselves. Flavor is pretty powerfully of vanilla, dark fruits, dark malts, and alcohol. nutty caramel malts, with a slight sour and/or fruity underlying taste that I didn't expect. Mouthfeel is good, and the drinkability's a but lower, with the strong flavors just limiting the experience a bit. Check this one out for the vanilla...

Photo of ahalloin
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle I had stashed over a year ago....or was it two years ago? Too much beer in my basement...too little time to drink it! Pours a fluid black liquid with brown highlights around the edges. Doesn't seem as thick as some RISes from the pour but the mouthfeel will tell for sure. Generous three fingered head appeared from a fairly aggressive pour. The head is a dull tan color and receded over the course of five or so minutes as I let the beer warm. Currently the beer is sporting a thick ring around the top of the fluid.

The smell carries a big smack of sweet molasses, oak, dark cherry and chocolate with burnt figs, and coffee kind of hanging around the perimeter. No discernible hop aroma... probably mellowed with the aging.

The taste is dominated by sweet flavors. Molasses, chocolate, toffee, raisins, figs all cluster together at the nose. The finish has marks of coffee and some roastiness and maybe some slight hop flavoring. Delicious to be sure, but not an overwhelming RIS.

The mouthfeel is slight silky, but not as thick as I would normally like from an RIS.

Because it doesn't wallop you upside the head with roastiness, hops, and sweetness, it is very drinkable. I could easily forsee drinking two or three pints in a row without getting sick of it.

Overall, a great beer!

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours out black as night with a 4-finger head that has really good retention with some nice lacing. The head was so big I couldn't pour a 12 once bottle in a glass that will easily fit a 16 once can with a head, Really nice lacing.

Smell is sweet vanilla, a little chocolate, some nice toffee, and a tiny bit of booze.

Taste is sweet toffee, a little vanilla, a TINY bit of booze although it is very subdued and hard to taste, and pretty sweet maybe some molasses or something but just seems more sweet than that. Hard to put a finger on the sweetness, maybe some sweetness from the malt.

Mouthfeel is sort of thin for an imperial stout. It's just a little thin.

Overall this is a really nice tasting beer that I love and would buy over and over again. I have a hard time finding things to complain about but if I'm being honest it could be a little thicker, have more dark malts. Just really a nice beer but pretty sweet and not much bite for a barrel aged beer. That being said I would love to drink this all day.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark as any stout. Pours with a huge cascading head that looks pretty cool.

S - Sweet malts, oak and booze are all prominent. There are some dark fruits and cocoa in the background.

T - Chocolate, oak and booze are the primary flavors. There are some fruity flavors there too, also some coffee and the roasty malts leave a subtle chalkiness.

M - Medium body and carbonation but light in body for the style.

D - If you're looking for an easy drinking barrel aged beer then look no further. The low abv and accompanied lack of any kind of burn leave the flavors open to be enjoyed.

Photo of Houser
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jamescain
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to texasclimber for sharing this one

Appearance: Black with reddish hues and a mocha colored head about a centimeter high that fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong notes of chocolate, roasted grain with hints of vanilla, coffee and alcohol. Overall a well rounded and complex aroma.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, a touch of licorice, vanilla and oak with a nice alcohol warming sensation. The taste is not as dynamic as the aroma is, but it is still complex enough to hold your attention and keep you trying to find more flavors.

Mouthfeel: A little thin then what I prefer for the style, but that does add to its drinkability. Low carbonation doesn’t do anything to help boost the perceived body.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer a lot; it will be nice to see how it changes with a little age on it. If I could improve anything it would be the body of the beer.

Photo of CruzWilder
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of johnniemarg
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours black with an inch and a half dark brown frothy head. The head dissipates after a couple of minutes, leaving a brown crust on top of the beer. I'm not seeing any lacing

Smells of chocolate and oak. Although I don't know if the barrels were previously used to age bourbon, the smell is bourbon-y to me anyway. A little fruity cherry scent as well. This smells exquisite.

The flavor isn't really in line with the aroma at first (but I've had this before and I thought it was...gonna let it warm up.) There's a sour, almost wine flavor to it at first. Yes, as it warms, that sourness fades. Chocalte and vanilla up front, then bourbon-y oak on the back of the tongue as it goes down. I feel a warming alcohol burn down my throat into the stomach. This leaves an aftertaste of a cognac or brandy.

Slick mouthfeel is thin for an Imperial. I prefer a thick, creamy imperial stout.

Thoroughly drinkable at an appropriate temperature. This beer, maybe more than any other I've had, really needs to warm for 15 minutes or so out of the fridge.

Photo of ajaxivan
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated Feb 10 2011 poured into my Victory Tulip.

A: Black Hole black with a one finger brown head that dissapates quickly

S: Good blend of bourbon,dark fruit, woody oak and vanilla. sweet

T: Bourbon upfront then dark fruit with coffee and oak

M: Medium bodied

D: Overall, a very solid beer from Weyerbacher. Everything blends together well and i could easily have a few of these in a sitting. Ive had this 4 years ago and i find this vintage much more drinkable than the former.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured oil slick opaque black with a creamy 1 inch head that setlled down to a 1/2 layed. Depp lace and thick look overall, very nice. Smell was coffee and caramel. Maybe some toffee mixed in, earthy hints at the back but slight with a spice that tingled the nose. The taste was coffee and oak, with oak being a big played. Slight alcohol warming as well. Very unique taste, somewhat bitter as well, may do some good to lay down for a bit. Thick tasting, but not too much. This was a good RIS, and I think the oak age benefited it, will be cellaring a couple to see how they go down the road.

Photo of NiceGuyMike
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark with nice light tan head with lacing. Smells if light caremels, chocolates and throw in some nice oakiness. Smells are not strong at all. Tastes of vanilla oak, chocolate and alcohol. Finishes with sweet after taste. Good medium bodied which takes away with it the main flavor components, but leaves behind rich warming oaky chocolates flavors.

This is very drinkable.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black. No light comes through. A frothy, bubbly two-finger chocolate brown head, with pretty good retention. Left a decent bit of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, and alcohol. This doesn't hide the alcohol particularly well.

Taste: A bitter chocolate/coffee bite right away, and then the heat of the alcohol moves in. The oak aging isn't that noticeable - only hints of it are present in the aftertaste. After the initial coffee/chocolate bitterness subsides, a nice creamy chocolate/roasted malt taste comes through. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: A very good Imperial Stout. The oak notes aren't that noticeable, but I can't really hold that against this beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will have it again. An excellent beer for those cold nights by the fireplace.

Photo of John_M
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I figured Weyerbacher would probably do a pretty good job with this style of beer, and sure enough they make a very good RIS.

Pours an impressive dark color, with decent foam retention and fairly good lacing. On the nose I get a lot of coffee and chocalate, with a touch of sweet vanilla. On the palate this is a very nice beer indeed. It is not particularly heavy or intense, but with nice soft, smooth, sweet chocolate/coffee flavors. Although sweet, there is just a hint of dryness on the mid palate, which makes this beer all the more drinkable. On the impressive finish, I even pick up a trace of cherry along with the chocolate and coffee. The beer is surprisingly drinkable, and I have to say I appreciate the fact the abv. is "only" 8%. With an abv. like that, I might even be able to have a second glass. A winner from Weyerbacher.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: beautiful crude black body with a brown thick frothy head that is about 1/4 inch

s: dark chocolate; coffee; raisins; rum; prunes;

t: dust; dark chocolate; coffee; raisins; rum; prunes;

m: light carb; thick body; creamy and chunky

d: very strong and intense flavors but very good

Photo of nukem5
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost black color rich and thick with a nice tight cap of tan foam. Nice legs all the way down the glass.

S: First is the earthy tones and chocolaty with heavy undertones of bourbon.

T: Warm and rich almost a decadent feeling when the taste-buds get their first blast of chocolate, oak, raisins, dark cherries with an earthy tone laying under all the others.

M: Again a warm rich feeling with a full body and great smooth taste.

O: Very drinkable in a snifter with a fine Grasshopper Tiramasu the tastes were very complimentary to one another.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at Knightly Spirits a few days ago, and now I am in Daytona for Bike Week...and it is time to enjoy this one.

Appearance: Pours a super black color with no light visible when held to the light. There is a 1/4" head of creamy tan bubbles on top of the beer and even a minute or so after the pour, there is still a solid offering of foam on top of the beer.

Aroma: I initially got the required roasty malt character but I could also pick up the dry wood from the aging process. There is a little bit of Chocolate in here, but it plays a supporting role.

Taste: The flavor has significantly more chocolate than I thought from the aroma. The malt is the key player in here, but there is also some hops in the flavor that were hidden in the aroma of the cold beer. The beer itself is medium to full bodied with ample carbonation, so that the beer goes down pretty smooth despite its 8%ABV.

Opinion: This is a pretty darn good beer. I like the malt complexity and how the wood aging adds a significant amount of character to the beer. That said, you could nit-pick the beer by saying that it would be nice if it had more alcoholic presence, more age, etc...but regardless, it is a good beer and one that I wouldn't mind drinking again.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heresy pushes up a big, dark coffee, creamy lather over an opaque dark-brown beer in a snifter glass. The lather drops to a quarter-inch blanket and leaves lacing coating the walls of the glass.

Smells of sweet, iced coffee with a hint of bitterness, wheat bread, caramel and molasses.

Well balanced, between bittersweet chocolate, coffee and sweet butterscotch.

A dense, creamy body is punctuated by fizzy carbonation and the alcohol is well tamed.

Pull out a bottle of Heresy for its own sake or with dessert. This is a nice subtle treat to accompany a good book, light conversation, or to top off the night.

Date consumed: 8 September 2008

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.