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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,855 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,855
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 86
Gots: 224 | FT: 12
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 (bourbon) barrels.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,855 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bort11


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

received one from Audiohero in trade and one from unclejedi for the BA Anniversary Bomber BIF.

22 os bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Very tall head for an RIS, 2 1/2 to 3 fingers tall with some moderate legs. Lacing was not too sticky, but did create a coating for the glass with each sip.
Smell had a mild vanilla/chocolate sweetness. Mixed in was a dry cocoa powder. Taste follows smell, but then pops a little with the oaky woodiness.
Mouthfeel has a nice medium/full body. A little more on the thick side, which is something I like in an RIS. I really enjoyed this beer, another good one from Weyerbacher

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 11:07:58 | More by bort11
Photo of deg

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice, dark, almost black beer. There was a head, but not quite what I expected. It was a chocolate color and faded fast. There was carbonation in the beer when I drank it. I couldn't quite identify the smell. However, the taste was great. Roasty, coffee, some chocolate. A little vanilla. A pleasant warmth from the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 01:08:46 | More by deg
Photo of sonicdescent


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and black with a nice mocha colored head of about a half inch.

Immediate smell is that of heavy alcohol, but that quickly subsides with some chocolate coming to the forefront. Very very faint hint of fruit and coffee are present as well.

Taste is very nice, big hits of chocolate and oak. No sign of hops at all.

Mouthfeel is probably where this falters a bit, while the thickness is nice, it is probably a tad overcarbonated.

Drinkability is high, I would order again, but I think it is too rich to do more than one in a row.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 02:57:23 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours black but the light mildly penetrates. I like to see how the beers looks as it pours into a tilted glass (when it ricochets off the glass you can see how black it truly is). This was on the brown side of black. Head is burnt tan and it recedes to nearly nothing. Well laced.

S-Strong Hershey's Syrup aroma. Quite attractive. Cold dark roast coffee. Bourbon is shallow but it is a nice addition to the overall aroma. Bittersweet dark chocolate. Not very charred or burnt, which I am happy about.

T-Chocolate syrup is stressed and very pleasing. Bourbon is very light. The bourbon adds light wooden vanilla notes. Iced coffee with light cream and sugar. Bourbon reappears and it is very welcome. Spicy tobacco and some deep, nearly vinous dark fruits. Very complex. Honestly, quite delicious.

M-Tickling carbonation. Big body. As full as some beers with 4-5% more alcohol. Very dry with some boozy sting. Round, creamy and hefty.

O/D-For $3 a single, I didn't really expect too much, but this is a great beer. Don't let the word 'bourbon' on the label fool you, this brew is only slightly enhanced by the barrel aging. It is not completely dependent upon the such aging. A legitimate Imperial Stout that flirts with excellence but can't quite pull itself over the ledge.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 02:10:02 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber.

A: Pours jet black with a tan head. 1 finger tan head.

S: Coffee, roast, some chocolate in the back

T: Toffee coffee roast. chocolate in finish

M: thick body syrupy. Very nice example of style.

d: Super drinkable for the style. Goes down much smoother than you would think. The barrel aging really did this beer wonders.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 02:34:24 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of billab914


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured black in color with a thin tan head keeping to the edges of the glass.

The barrel flavors come through in the aroma right off the bat. I get a lot of the woody oak along with a bit of the vanilla and bourbon. Some sweeter, malty, chocolate, brown sugar and molasses notes come through as well.

The taste shows a lot of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it, along with some big, roasty, burnt, coffee like flavors. The real draw here though is the woody, oak, vanilla and moderate bourbon that the barrel aging gives it. Everything comes together and integrates very nicely. Excellent flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is a little above average for a barrel aged imperial stout. Drinkability was very good, I really enjoyed it this evening. I particularly liked that the barrel characters complimented the imperial stout, instead of overpowering it. Everything came together very nicely to make an excellent beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 00:59:16 | More by billab914
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black liquid with thick, creamy head of dark foam.

S - Lots of roast and wine, cocoa, some fruit. Oak/woodiness.

T - Sweet with strong dark fruitiness and coffee. Somewhat medicinal. Quite malty, and lots of toastiness and a sharp oaky bite. Some hops bring up the back end, but mostly a malt-dominated beer.

M - Chewy like toffee. Lower than expected astringency.

D - Quite drinkable for a large beer. Avoids being too heavy despite the mouthfeel. Flavours are good, but no super strong.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 01:32:43 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of nickd717


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle shared by mfielden. Thanks, Mark.

Pours jet black with a small fading than head. Decent, but not great, looking beer.

Aroma is chocolate, roast, and caramel. Really smells excellent. The oak and bourbon from the -bal aging are just barely noticeable.

Flavor is typical imperial stout notes of chocolate, coffee, roast, and caramel. Very subtle oak and bourbon, along with maybe a touch of vanilla. Balanced and tasty.

Somewhat thin on the palate for the style. I'd like a little more heft to it. Smooth mouthfeel though.

Very drinkable for the style, and especially a bourbon -bal aged version. I have two more of these in the cellar and would like to see what this beer does with a little age.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2010 22:49:57 | More by nickd717
Photo of musicforairports

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle in a small snifter.

Black. Nice head develops and sticks around a bit. No lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malt, oak, vanilla, bourbon.

Flavor is bitter roasted coffee, chocolate, black licorice and a decent amount of bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors. Not as heavy on the barrel notes as some. Quite balanced in the flavor profile. Alcohol goes pretty much unnoticed, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is lighter for a robust stout, but typical for a barrel-aged offering.

The price is great--$13 or $14 for a 4-pack. That makes this one a very easy to find and affordable barrel-aged beer, and it's a pretty good one. Worth a try if you tend to like bourbon-barrel beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 23:58:25 | More by musicforairports
Photo of scottoale


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown longneck poured into a snifter an ebony brown with a 1/4" light brown foamy head. Fairly active carbonation, yet the head dies quickly.

Sweet chocolate, some roasty coffee, earthy hops and alcohol greet the nose. A bit of oats come through as it warms. The taste is much the same with sweet chocolate, black licorice, bitter roasted coffee and oats wtith some alcohol in the finish. It really tastes more potent than 8% ABV...nothing wrong with that for this style.

Medium-full body with some tingle on the tongue from the carbonation. Overall very tasty and quite drinkable...yes I'd like some more. Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this tasty extra!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 07:36:14 | More by scottoale
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with a friend. Crazy cheap for a RIS ($4.99 for a bomber). Poured a pitch black color, no highlights to speak of, with an off-white head that dissovles quickly and leaves very little lacing. Nose is roasted malt and almost winey-grapes and other dried fruit. Some oakiness in there too. A touch of alcohol. Very strange, but not bad. Flavor is likewise. Smooth, and highly fruity, with some chocolate, tons of roasted malt and cookies. That wine sits there in the oak barrels as well. Body is a little thin for a RIS, but the carbonation is mellow and appropriate to the style. Overall, this one is quite a tasty unique RIS, although maybe not one of the best. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 16:47:04 | More by soupyman10
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heresy on tap at Shorty's in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

Appearance: Served in a 16-oz pint and filled to the brim, Heresy comes with barely a line of mocha-colored head crowned with some serious bubbles. Good retention and lacing, head lingers for a while. Color is a super-deep black with mahogany overtones. I like the full pint (a good deal), but a snifter would have been more appropriate.

Smell: Lots of wood, vanilla at the end along with bourbon and booze. Milk chocolate, sugar, dairy.

Taste: More oaky wood, some mild chocolate, lots of vanilla. Dry bitterness at the end. Coconut sweetness. Bourbon, prickly booze. Perhaps thinner than the bottled version, but much more drinkable, smooth and rounded.

Mouthfeel: A bit underwhelming, but good nonetheless. Very smooth and creamy, with wood all over the lips and an oaky finish. Sticky sweet, a lil' bitterness at the end.

Overall: Very drinkable for such a good beer, and a pleasure on tap. I wish this brew were a bit bigger, with the flavors more pronounced and the body a bit more robust, but at 8%, it is unimpeachable. The bottle is probably stronger overall, but the tap is fresh and woodsy and delicious. It grew on me. The first pint was a tad disappointing, with later servings being round and fulfilling.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 02:01:23 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of BEERchitect


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm really impressed with this beer. Most of Weyerbacher's oak aged beers don't turn out as well as they should, but this one is different. A heavy Imperial Stout with Milk Stout and Oatmeal Stout sweetness and creaminess. The grains contribute a solid roasted character, with chocolates, berries, cherries, and grapes. Black and as opaque as you get with a brown frothy foamstand. Balanced well and increadibly easy drinking. Milk and lactose flavors smooth the beer, but become a bit too dominant. Otherwise, a joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2006 17:44:35 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of zeff80


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque jet black color with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oak, wood and mild bourbon notes. There was a nice roasty presence, too.

T - Good bourbon flavor with oak, raisin and a malty backbone. There was some chocolate and molasses flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry , clean finish.

O - This is a very nice oaked RIS. Weyerbacher continues to make good beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 21:55:35 | More by zeff80
Photo of hyland24

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass with a loaded moxley.

This beauty poured black with the consistency of a thin pancake syrup. Formed a brown 1 inch bubbly head with a nice sheet of sticky lacing. Smelled like charred wood, smokey coffee and chocolate. Hints of alcohol with a strong malt presence. Taste was rich with bitter coffee, smoke and toffee finishing with light alcohol taste and cocoa. Nice thick mouth coat that left behind a sticky glaze. Delicious beer that was not overpowering for an imperial. Definitely a must try.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2008 15:53:57 | More by hyland24
Photo of CochonKing

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep black with almost no head, but it is beautiful. The smell is reminiscent of oatmeal and chocolate with large amounts of coffee. The whiskey barrels are on the end of the nose giving a complex finish of oak. Drinks smooth with strong coffee notes in the beginning. Finish is long. It is clearly a full bodied beer. Creamy on the palate and very well balanced with almost no carbonation. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2014 04:05:02 | More by CochonKing
Photo of Mistofminn


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the regular Old Heathen before, and wasn't all that impressed. Maybe throwing it in some old Kentucky bourbon barrels will make it better.

Pours a deep black, with a half finger of brown sugar colored head. Decent retention and leaves some nice lacing. Starts out strong.

The nose starts out strong with roasted malts and chocolate. The barrel notes are soft, but I pick up light bourbon, oak and vanilla characters. This smells pretty good, much better than the base beer.

The taste is, much like the normal Old Heathen, very muted. I get light roasted malt, chocolate, an earthiness and woodyness from the barrels as well as a very light bourbon note. It's good, but definitely not as strong as it could be.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a low carbonation. Drinkability is great, alcohol isn't a problem in this one.

Overall, a much better beer than the base Old Heathen. It has more complexity and depth, more flavor and less alcohol. All around, it's a better beer and one I enjoyed much more after it had been aged in barrels.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 04:10:40 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of damienblack


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very lively looking beer. Very dark brown, nice beefy tan head, nice time on the head, cool lacing and bubble patterns. A nice looking stout. Smells boozey, the barrel aging is really the only thing that comes through on the nose, which is disappointing.

Taste is an enigma. Has great flavor, the oak aging really smooths everything out. Some licorice, some vanilla, a bit of coffee and nice smooth roastiness. Oaky, a bit of chocolate as well. Pretty sweet all the way through, not a huge grain sugar sweetness like some, but it's more on the sweeter side than the roasty bitter side. I don't really get that bitter kick in that respect. However, it's really on the lighter side for a big stout. Kinda thin, if not watery. The flavors are great, but there isn't much depth to them, they don't linger to any great extent. It's like stopping after the first 3 acts of a 4 act play. Medium body, very light for a stout. Very drinkable though, top notch. Goes down smooth and easy. The flaws are overlookable for me, and I will try this again. A very sessionable imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 05:30:09 | More by damienblack
Photo of tjkinate


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Underrated IMO, i really enjoyed this unbalanced beauty.

A: Single fingered brown head with decent retention fading into a thin film atop this black brew. Some lacing.

S: Molasses and bourbon, lots of bourbon. Rich chocolate malts and coffee accompanied by notes of vanilla and dark fruits.

T: Bourbon aged or infused? Don't think I have ever tasted a beer with such a strong bourbon flavor before. Like I said, not balanced, other flavors follow the smell almost exactly, but are more subtle than anticipated.

M: Medium bodied, nice burn from the booze, dry.

O: I would gladly except this again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 00:42:54 | More by tjkinate
Photo of Litterbean

New York

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time experiencing an oak-aged beer, and let me tell you, the smell is amazing. Hints of vanilla and oak. This smells reminiscent of a fine whiskey. Delicious.

Appearance is typical. Black with a tan head.

Tasty! The oak aging is apparent in the taste. Hints of vanilla hovering over a dark chocolatey malt base. A certain amount of hoppiness is present on the tip of the tongue. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. This is a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 02:07:01 | More by Litterbean
Photo of rdilauro


4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice jet black pour with a small off white head. Looked good in a Sam Adams beer glass.
The aroma was pleasant, what I would expect from a stout, I was anticipating some of the whiskey bouquet, but I couldn't detect any.

The first sip was real nice, big and full, good round stout, with a slight hint of a whiskey.
The mouth feel was super... Big, lush , round , filling my entire mouth with goodness.

With the aftertaste is when I first really detected the whiskey. At first I wasn't sure but after the second sip, no question about whiskey here. But it does not seem to be bourbon, this was too smooth for that.

Very enjoyable beer, something to have one for a night.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 01:46:01 | More by rdilauro
Photo of r0nyn

New York

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my DFH snifter.

Pours a super, super dark inky black. There's a big thick tan head that dissipates slowly into a minute cap. Some loose, wispy lacing. I really love how RIS's look and this is one of the prettiest ones I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. Smell is rich and chocolatey, wow. Very sweet smelling! There's also quite a bit of coffee, malt, vanilla and some hints of bourbon. One of the better smelling beers I've experienced.

Chocolatey coffee sweetness up front that permeates the entire flavor profile. There's also roasted malts everywhere, as well as some vanilla nuances, ostensibly from the oak barrels. Towards the back end is a slight bit of bitterness, but it's from the dark chocolate and coffee, not hops. The bitterness and sweetness from the chocolate ride long into the aftertaste. Really quite delectable, if not overly complex. Alcohol gets more detectable as the brew warms, but it's not boozy by any stretch of the imagination. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a smooth finish and minimal carbonation. Not as weighty as some other Russian Imperials I've had, but still very good.

Drinkability is awesome. The delicious smell and the pleasing taste meld together to create a very pleasurable drinking experience. The ABV, while present, is never obtrusive and serves to complement the overall flavors of this brew. From previous reviews, it would seem that Heresy benefits from the mellowing effects of aging. Not sure how old mine was, but I'm glad it seems to have a least a few years on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 04:22:48 | More by r0nyn
Photo of sonicstylee

New York

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

birthday beer is always good beer! this one pours out almost like motor oil, very dark and thick. holds onto it's dark chocolate tan head all the way down. smells were of bitter hops, chocolate, and alcohol. nice creamy and chocolate tones mixed in with roasted nuts and a small dose of alcohol heat. this is one for a cold new england evening for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 20:21:19 | More by sonicstylee
Photo of fairdinkum2


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tasted a Paradox Islay oak barrel stout and wanted to try something in the same vein.

Problem is that Heresy and Paradox are almost night and day as stouts. Paradox is cold, brooding and mysterious. Heresy is warm and inviting.

Poured in to a tulip glass from a 12 oz. bottle, the stout formed a thick, lumpy, dark sand colored head, which dissipated to a thin collar with medium lacing.

Gentle chocolate and vanilla nose warmed by malt and alcohol notes.

Impressive flavor. Very inviting, rich milk chocolate, malt and sweet alcohol notes with a long finish. Alcohol does not predominate, but noticeable as I empty the glass.

Very nice mouthfeel. Definitely a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 01:22:29 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 50 degrees into a Duvel tulip.

A: It pours pitch black with a finger and a half of light khaki head that holds and laces very well.

S: Dark chocolate, char, molasses, and some sweet dark fruits.

T: Bittersweet chocolate, sweet and juicy dark fruits, some charred oakiness, and toasted almonds. This blend of flavors creates and very unique and delicious stout.

M: It has medium body thickness with a slick, oily feel and average carbonation.

D: Unlike Insanity, barrel-aging certainly did this one well.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 15:47:41 | More by bucklemyshoe
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,855 ratings.