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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,986 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,986
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 96
Gots: 249 | 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: 1,986 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had hit or miss experiences with Weyerbacher this I would say is a hit,poured a ink black with a dark mocha colored 1/2 finger creamy head.The oak its aged in shows thru in the nose with a vanilla-like tone along with some molasses and iron,a real nice mellow mouthfeel for a bigger brew really slides down easy.Not huge in my mind for the style but very good flavors vanilla tinged with molasses and rum soaked raisins finishing somewhat woody and cola-like.A nice impy stout not overly big to me,its approachable with out any flavor loss or character.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a dark black with almost no head at all but eventually a very thing dark brown head forms and fades. Nose is really strong and boozy right from the pour. You can smell the bourbon from far away.

Taste is surprisingy not too boozy, it's very rich and complex with an initial sharp bite that actually finishes very cleanly. There is a light woody flavor and subtle bourbon that's not as strong as the nose would lead on to. Mouthfeel is decent although a bit light.

Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black like coffee with a thick and foamy espresso-foam brown-colored head; the lacing is great, especially for the style

S: Strong roasted malts with subtle dark fruits, chocolate, and licorice as well as a strong oak presence--some booze lingers at the end, as well as a strange yet appealing herbal and slightly medicinal quality

T: Rich dark fruits mingle with coffee and semi-sweet chocolates; plus the oak seems to mellow out the booze well; this is a nicely balanced, mellow imperial stout

F: Such creamy texture--much of the beer stays with you long after it's down the throat

O: A really fine oak-aged imperial stout--definitely a sipper but still so balanced with no overwhelming boozy quality

Photo of gregshead
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 4/29/11. Thanks to NickD717 for this one.

A: Pours a slick thick black with a little head. A little bit motor oil/viscous looking.

S: Roasted smells. Maybe hints of tobacco. Good amounts of oak/vanilla.

T: Tastes of vanilla stand out the most. Some roasted notes keep the sweetness from running crazy.

M: Nice lighter feel. Some carbonation but mostly a slick oily feel.

O: A great beer if you like the vanilla taste especially. very tasty. need to get more of it.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. What a tremendous pour thankyou. Opague black very fizzy and thick light brown heading. One inch thick heading leaves great lacing as well.

Smell has a very heavy caramel and chocolate overload.Bourbon notes are there and dancing in the background and not an all out assault of bourbon either.

Taste starts out quick with a zing of alcohol,and as it gets a little warmed up the cocoa nibs and darker fruits begin to take hold. I didn't get too much oak but just enough to make it's presence felt and stick around for the finish.

Mouth is full bodied slight chew,but no way syrupy.Silky smooth until the last drop and very rich in which hurts the teeth.

Very nicely done.

Photo of mulder1010
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip
thanks to Biglite351 for the beer

A-- Poured a dark cola color, settled black. No head, just a light brown film. Swirling the glass got a one finger head but that quickly went back to film. Just a small bit of carbonation shown.

S-- Bourbon and oak. Very nice smell. Not overpowering but very obvious. A little bit of chocolate and vanilla. Good nose.

T-- Oak and more oak. Just a bit of bourbon.

M-- Medium feel and low carbonation. Bourbon comes out more in the mouth but in a way it is watered down. Not a bad thing as it is much more smooth and not just overpowering as other BA that are higher ABV. Little hints of chocolate milk and vanilla. Finishes very dry due to the oak.

D-- Quite nice. Well hidden ABV and not a massive bourbon bomb. Like that the bourbon more secondary and the oak is more obvious. Now how the heck do I get more of it.

Photo of martyl1000
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is after my 3rd bottle of Heresy over a period of two weeks at home in a quiet environment. It's a beautiful pour into a snifter. Mostly opaque black, topped with a inch of khaki head. Almost no lacing to speak of, as if it were much higher abv.

The aroma is a serious flaw. I can't pinpoint the problem, but the barrel aging and the burnt coffee are not working well together, at all. It's more like burnt paper and leather.

The flavors in the mouth are perfectly complex enough, dark chocolate, bitter-sour cherry, oak, and molasses. But certainly not sweet enough for a likable Russian Imperial Stout.

Medium-bodied, w/ a sharp not entirely welcome carbonation, yet still very creamy.

UPDATE: 4/3/2014

It's been a year, I thought I'd give this another try.

I'm not getting the barrel-aging flavors, at all.

If you like a strong cherry stout, you'll like this. I've never liked cherry in a stout. I love the sound of it. But then again, I've never had a chocolate-covered cherry that I've really liked.

Same score as last year.

Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black in color with a thin 1/2" head. Not any lacing other than a few dots on the glass. The aroma is nice as roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol dominate and some mellow vanilla extract tones linger in the background. The flavor is most of the same in the aroma, except add a mellow port wine floating in the background.

The mouthfeel was smooth with a touch of a creamy texture, and ended smooth. The tastebuds had roasted malts and chocolate lingering for a bit after swallowing. Nicely drinkable and the alcohol isn't overpowering with this imperial stout.

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as black can be, with a real thick and creamy dark tan head. The head stays put a long time, and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Oak is in the aroma along with some roasted dark malt, dark fruit, and coffee. The smell is rich and bold but at the same time delicate. If you told yourself you were smelling a fine oak Chardonnay you could almost believe it.

This is a real complex Imperial stout. You can taste the oak, with smooth creamy chocolate and coffee, followed by some hop bitterness and an alcohol finish.

Heresy is medium bodied, thick and creamy in the mouth, surprisingly easy going down. A nice sipper on a cool night.

Photo of claytong
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 i believe, could be 2010

appearance - one thousand bubbles, black, nice mocha head with great retention.

smell - when cold i can get raisins and figs as it warms heat...impressive for 8 percent, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, coffee

taste - follows the nose

mouthfeel - thin for an imp. a bit overcarbonated but very drinkable

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Vancer
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ya know, when the first whiff is strong bourbon sour mash, I think one knows it’s gonna be good – a high point for me. Of course, the coffee and pops (well a lot) of anise help tremendously.

This oak aged is killing me, I won’t be able to drink <normal> Impy stouts ever again, the barrel aged is just the cats meow.

Just a tad harsh, though, it might need another year aging. Quick note: coal black with tan sheet lacing – nice! Mouth is dry and medium bodied.

I’m glad I popped it tonight – thanks to BeerBeing for the treat. Even in the 90 degreee heat, a real fine sipper – this would make for a GREAT fall classic while watching football.

Photo of marburg
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black with a massive, frothy brown head. Scorched plastic, withering embers of burnt newsprint, and plum/black currant highlight a deep chocolatey nose filled with the occasional sniff of rubbing alcohol and vanilla bean.

Burnt, burnt, burnt -- there's a lot of charred remains in this beer. Lots of black malt, burnt dark chocolate sauce, vanilla through mid-palate, and some notes of strong liqueor. This has a lot going on, and the alcohol plays a dominant role. But I don't know that I've ever had such a burnt flavored beer -- that really sticks out in my mind.

Photo of rye726
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with tints of ruby brown. Thin tan head.

Nose has dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla and whiskey.

Taste has dark pitted fruits, black malts, espresso, cocoa, bitter hops and oak. A bit of tartness in the finish.

Body a bit light for the style, but well carbonated

Nice stout, well balanced.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Not fully black on the pour. Big fluffy sticky sand colored head sticks around for a long time as it throws lots and lots of lacing.

S- Sweet caramel, vanilla, chocolate, raisins and lots of oak. It is very delicious but it is not very strong.

T- Like the nose the taste isn't very strong, but whats there is very delicious. Oak and cocoa dominate. Mostly sweet and heavily malty but there is a quick flash of hops towards the end, right before a cocoa finish.

M- Very very very dry. Body is not quite as full as I would like but the finish on this beer is very good. I like a dry beer and this is one of the driest Ive ever had.

D- Lower ABV for the style, not completely heavy on the stomach and quite smooth and well balanced all make this beer pretty drinkable.

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - THIS is black, very black, with a chocolate milk colors half finger thick head, obviously too dark to note any carbonation

S - i love my stouts, the way this one smells, it doesnt seem like its going to disappoint, alcohol up front, with a great espresso and chocolate body to the aroma, smells good

T - hmm. good, too much alcohol up front, but that quickly melts away to reveal the great stout taste, those typical chocolate coffee flavors, man this is damn good

M&D - the alcohol presence is a bit too high, needs a bit more balance, but otherwise is very very good, a high quality RIS, expected no less from Weyerbacher

Photo of Vogt52
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a white wine glass at 50 degrees.

A - Poured a very dark black with no chance of light escaping. A creamy, milk-chocolate colored head that left sticky lacing the whole way down. Beautiful pour.

S - Powerful combination of vanilla, raisins, burnt coffee, and the most potent - wood. Oaked-aging definitely detectable.

T - Barrel-aged alcohol really comes through in the flavors, but not overly pungent. Vanilla is more blended with cocoa flavors and it finishes with a raisin/grape sour hint. Complex flavors that develop more throughout the 'glass-life' of the beer.

M - Creamy body with a warming sensation upon the finish.

D - I really enjoyed this beer very much. I'd definitely include it in a RIS sampling.

Photo of mattcrill
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An imperial stout aged in oak barrels. I've had other beers aged in oak and this could go either way...let's see...

Appearance: Pours thick and black as night. Has a beautiful pillowy and fluffy tan head that slowly gets eaten away by the carbonation. Looks absolutely impressive in my snifter.

Smell: oak up front. Almost chardonnay-like which is very cool. The woodiness dominates but there is some chocolate malts sneaking through.

Taste: an oaky sweetness up front with sweet vanilla, cocoa, and hershey's chocolate that follow up with woodiness. Finishes nicely with a warming alcohol presence that is nicely blended.

Mouthfeel: Thick and velvety. Very full and coats the palate nicely.

Drinkability: definitely one to be sipped. Don't rush this monster. Perfect after dinner or for a night cap.

This one is very interesting and very well done. I don't think the oak or the alcohol dominated which was what I was afraid of initially. Very drinkable due to it's complexity. I will definitely be back.

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pitch black body, sticky tan head that stays around for a while.

S- Roasted malts, sweet vanilla, oak, hint of caramel.

T- Big on roasted malts with hints of sweet caramel and earthy wood towards the finish. Vanilla and a slight hint of booze in the finish.

M- Velvety smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation.

O- A good offering, but not in the upper tier of barrel aged stouts. Lacks a little bit in flavor, but very good for the price.

Photo of babaracas
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy very dark brown with two finger medium brown head that quickly fades to a thin layer. Spotty lace left behind. Smell: a little oak character, booze, caramelized sugar, creamered coffee, whiff of vanilla. Taste: caramelized sugars, medium roast coffee, milk chocolate, a little vanilla, with earthy hop balance. It does have a really mild/watery whiskey/bourbon note near the end of the sip. Velvety feel, but lighter bodied than most, semi-dry and sweet finish. Nice. 2011.

Photo of dar482
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color with a light brown head.

The aroma has tons of bourbon, coffee, roasted malt, some chocolate, and vanilla.

The flavor follows with those classic flavors. It's a very drinkable and creamy beer, but also quite think. There's lots of coffee, oak, vanilla, chocolate. It combines really well to be a lighter, yet still deeply flavored barrel aged stout. You get some bourbon in there too.

This beer surely tastes a ton bigger than it is. I was guessing it was 11 to 12%, but is actually 8%. A pleasant surprise for me.

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - poured with vigor into chalice an opaque black body with dark tan one finger head. It left some lacing and the remaining head formed an ever present cap.

S - big malt forward aroma with notes of bourbon, vanilla, molasses. The sweetness is intense and almost brings on a fruity character.

T - the taste is a pleasant sweet and mellow fruitiness up front with a wall of bakers chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon rounding it out. The finish has ample bitter, with a nice drying roasted barley character, this character lingers on the palate and is quite pleasant. The bakers chocolate sort of stands out with the BA character sort of hanging on in the fringe not taking center stage.

M - the mouth feel is medium, almost a little bit lighter than what I would expect, ample carbonation.

O - this is more on the subdued BA stout side, more mellow than other examples. This doesn't impact my view of this beer by any means. It is enjoyable, has a great taste and looks and smells great. Was a little on the watery side and to be honest I wish it had a little more intense flavor and higher abv.

Photo of watsonmd
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark smooth pour, with a caramel cocoa head, that dissipated within a minute to a thin rim

S: typical chocolate, coffee, oaky with a nice smoky overtone

T: Similar to the nose. Nice roast/smoky malt, with oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate....background fruity note

M: nice, balanced thick feel with mild carbonation

O: better than I expected, but in keeping with Weyerbacher's excellent barrel aged offerings. The smoked feel is an unexpected component.

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours completely black with a large brown head. The bubbles have to fight through to get to the top, creating a cascading effect that doesn't last as long as Guinness, but is still cool to see. The head recedes into a thin pancake on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of vanilla and oak with hints of roasted malt.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though a bit more complex. Roasted malt flavors up front quickly give way to vanilla and oak flavors and all three are overtaken by unsweetened chocolate near the end of the sip before a solidly bitter ending. This is all good, but I was hoping for a bit more richness.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness up front with soft carbonation, but it's a bit too thin near the end.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and I'm glad I have one more left.

Overall this is a good beer to introduce barrel-aging as it's very heavy on those aspects. However, it needs a bit more balance to be a really great beer. Worth a shot.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,986 ratings.