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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,877 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,877
Reviews: 958
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 91
Gots: 228 | FT: 13
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: 1,877 | Reviews: 958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flagmantho


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: body is almost entirely black with a little red around the edges. Head is a thick finger of dark tan foam with a decent staying power. Pretty standard RIS, I'd say.

Smell: rich fruity aroma; cherries and plums along with a little apple and pear. There's also a nice roasty chocolate component here; really, quite delightful.

Taste: big, roasty flavor mixed in with all those alcoholic fruits. There's a bit of a tartness present which I don't feel works incredibly well, but the overall flavor is still quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-big body with a very well integrated carbonation and a pretty darn silky mouthfeel to boot. Creamy and silky ... just smashing!

Drinkability: tasty and relatively low alcohol for a RIS. I'm quite enjoying the one in front of me, thank you very much.

09-23-2010 02:09:08 | More by flagmantho
Photo of irishgurl4


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

Mmmm, RIS .... *drool*. Again, huge thanks to sefus12 for this awesome brew. Ya just can't get this goodness in Cali.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A: Pours black with a three finger thick tan head that dissipates to a thin layer on top given enough time.

S: Smells of coffee and chocolate.

T: Coffee sweetness upfront that finishes with a smooth bitter chocolate roastiness. Alcohol says hi but isn't all in your face about it. Oh how I would love some Belgian chocolates to go with this.

M: Flows silky smooth across the tongue with just enough carbonation to keep the sweetness from being cloying.

D: This baby is definitely a sipper on a chilly autumn night.

I'm gonna have to give this baby a tasty noms.

09-15-2010 01:54:37 | More by irishgurl4
Photo of BrewCrew2010


4.83/5  rDev +22.3%

A: A perfect example of how a RIS should look like. A black body with a massive 4 finger head, light brown in color, that is puffy in texture. Great lacing and head retention.

S: A sweet aroma of chocolate, caramel, molasses, are balanced with toasty malts and coffee.

T: Absolutely delicious. A roasted malt flavor with hints of bitter coffee and dark chocolate is balanced with sweet caramel and vanilla (from the oak obviously). Bourbon notes are evident as well as some smokey flavors.

M: A smooth, rich, creamy mouthfeel with a full bodied and little carbonation.

D: One of the best D**M beers I've had in a long time. If HERESY was a woman, I would divorce my wife and marry her.

09-10-2010 00:55:52 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of mdwalsh


4.03/5  rDev +2%

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.

09-07-2010 21:05:33 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of Lukafer


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours black with 2-3 fingers of dark tan head. Smells are booze, oak, dark fruits like figs and hints of chocolate. I taste oak and bourbon at the front, with some vanilla and spice and everything nice, man this is good! Mouthfeel is chewy and drinkability is great. Old Heathen is a really good beer, but this is a great beer! Man, I wish I could get this in Indiana!

09-04-2010 06:52:33 | More by Lukafer
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

2.3/5  rDev -41.8%

On tap in a shaker pint. Black body with a modest but dense creamy tan head. Decent sticky lacing.

Smells of boozy sweet oak, cocoa and vanilla. Lacking in the roasted department. The bourbon flavor is quite strong, and doesn't really go well together with plentiful tangy raisin and sweet rich fig. A little chocolate in the swallow. Really boozy, even at a manageable 8% ABV. Again, quite lacking in roasted malt character, with a touch showing up only in the aftertaste. A good deal thinner than anticipated.

Overall impression: Forgettable, could use a few tweaks. Not recommended.

09-02-2010 19:59:27 | More by PDXHops
Photo of beerwolf77


4.55/5  rDev +15.2%

Poured from a bottle into my imperial pint glass.

A: dark brown/black, Tons of cascading bubbles ascend creating a full two fingers of tan head. Thick cap rests on top and won't leave.

S: sweet chocolate and molasses, bourbon is very pronounced but not in a heavy boozy way, dark fruits come to mind as well, hardly any bitter black coffee or roast malt like you usually find in RIS, very nice

T: there's the roasted malt I was looking for, smooth chocolate and bourbon meld together seamlessly, light black coffee, molasses, black licorice, great flavor profile

M: smooth full body, very light carbonation, maybe a touch thin

D: Overall a surefire hit in my book. Perfect balance of flavor and bourbon. I will have to pick up more of this soon.

09-02-2010 01:37:34 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of jsanford


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

12oz bottle poured into my Stone IRS tulip

A - Pours a dark black with a creamy mocha head that settles to a nice cap, leaving sheets of lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark malt, dried fruits, and chocolate with wonderful aromas of vanilla, caramel, and oak from the barrel aging. Smells nice and creamy, almost like a milkshake.
T - More roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with a touch of ash and stone fruits, followed my oak, caramel, and vanilla. Finish is long and intense with lots of bitter roasted qualities.
M - Moderately creamy, but a touch thinner then I like, probably about medium-bodied overall. Carbonation is fairly low.
O - Really nice oak-aged Stout, not on par with KBS but a nice substitute nonetheless.

08-31-2010 04:23:59 | More by jsanford
Photo of Cylinsier


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%


Pours jet black. No light penetration. Good coffee and cream head retains so-so.

Smells of caramel and toasty smokey malts.

Taste is of toasty brown sugar malts, a bit smokey.

Feels is moderate, minimal carbonation.

Good stout, classic flavors, a bit more buttery than average. Exactly what you want from a stout.

08-30-2010 23:49:52 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of teamizm


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%

Thanks to autumnaldave dave for this one.

Pours a cola black with a nice 2 finger head (man, this never gets old...) that recedes fairly quickly. Initial aroma is an almost astringent chocolate, coffee nose. Its not a smooth nose off the bat, it has a bite to it, and not necessarily in a good way. Taste is of chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, and a hint (just a hint) of licorice. Mouthfeel, I have to say this is where this beer falls off. It's just too thin for an oak aged imperial stout. It has almost a cola like mouthfeel with the carbonation that quickly withers away. There's just not a lot complexity here and I was really hoping and wanting more.

08-28-2010 06:19:34 | More by teamizm
Photo of herman77


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

A: Black as black with a creamy, dense brown head. No light gets through this one. Nice small bubble lacing splattered around.

S: Oak, vanilla, bourbon, a touch of smoke. Roasted malt, coffee and a little chocolate. Nothing is too strong the, all the aromas meld together.

T: A lot like the nose. Lots of vanilla, toasted malt characteristics are the main flavor staples. Chocolate, oak, bourbon and licorice are more secondary. Long finish that is oaky and a little sweet from the bourbon. Not sure on the age of this, but it seems like everything is blended together very nicely. The bourbon influence seems perfect, not too much, not too little.

M: Medium body, thought it would be more full bodied and thicker. Moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty good drinkability for a barrel aged RIS. Alcohol/bourbon is slightly noticeable in the finish, nowhere near hot though.

08-24-2010 01:26:45 | More by herman77
Photo of cbak999


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

A: Pours a deep black into a Chimay glass...no light passing through the beer. A nice tan head sits atop the beer.

S: The overwhelming smell is bourbon from the aging. Otherwise, some chocolate notes come through.

T: There's a lot going on here. It lacks a bit of hops for my liking. I think a bit more bitterness would balance out the liquor taste that is quite strong. Other than that, this thing is tasty!!

D: This is a sipper, as most Imperial stouts are. But the barrel aging ensures that you won't slam a 4 or six pack down in one session. A very nice treat. Would love to drink this around a camp fire in the winter! A great treat from Weyerbacher.

08-20-2010 19:54:31 | More by cbak999
Photo of Spica66


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Got this one from randomdanger. Thanks, Will!

Poured a 12oz bottle into Weyebacher snifter (also from Will).

A: Black, medium thick pour. Excellent head formation and retention. Very nice looking in the glass.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, even slightly sweet. Just what an RIS should smell like.

T: Complex, oaky, boozy, roasted. Very nice experience.

M: Excellent balance. No syrupy feeling during or afterwards.

D: No problem drinking this one and I am very glad that I have two more in the cellar!

08-13-2010 13:33:05 | More by Spica66


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%

Thanks to Zerosignal for this one.
Poured a 12oz bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a deep, demon black, with a tan head. Head retains shortly to a thin ring around the glass and a small circle of head in the middle.
S: A sweet, roasted aroma is presented by the brown sugar underlining note. A hint of port wine is also found.
T/M: Great flavors, that are layered in complexity. The nose gives off the notion that this is going to be a sweet brew, but the taste, I find is nothing like the aroma. The taste is a smooth, rich roast of nuts and peppers. A subtle spice is shown, just before a slight whiskey burn from the pleasant ABV. A very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
D: I would drink this plenty if I could get it easily. A easy drink for the appearance and ABV. Also good flavors that call the palate back for more.

08-08-2010 02:34:38 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of bsp77


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Black with thin tan head and some light lacing.

Smell: Strong vanilla from the oak aging, with some licorice, molasses and milk chocolate.

Taste: Vanilla and oak drives the taste as well, with some chocolate covered coffee beans, molasses, roasted malt and licorice. Light bitterness on the finish.

Feel: Low carbonation, very smooth and creamy full body, slightly dry and warming finish.

Drinkability: Really like the oak-aging on this one, as it really elevated the base Old Heathen. First Weyerbacher brew I have had to really impress me.

08-03-2010 00:10:12 | More by bsp77
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

First off - Two year old bottle. If you can get your hands on a bottle today, with this year's date, cellar it for 2-3 years, if you can bare it. You will be rewarded.
Pours a dark black color with a huge brown head, decent retention for the style, minimal lacing. Smell is of dark roasted grains supported by mild whiffs of bourbon and barrel influenced sweet vanillas and burnt caramels joined by a nice dry wood, faint touch of chocolate and dried fruit.
Taste is a harmonious blend of roasted grains, dark chocolate, bourbon, dried fruit and the slightest hint of vanilla/toffee. I wish I could add more to that previous statement but that is really an exact descriptor of the flavors.
Slightly creamy, no boozy aftertaste, dangerously drinkable. Full bodied with pleasant medium carbonation, which I appreciate in a heavy dark beer much as this. Weyerbacher is improving each and every year as they grow/expand and I have enjoyed growing up/developing my beer appreciation/enjoyment in parallel with their development.

07-27-2010 18:17:20 | More by claspada
Photo of Tilley4


4/5  rDev +1.3%

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass...

Pours a viscous thick coal black with a thick foamy but quickly gone head... Splotchy lacing throughout... Very dark and thick looking...

Dark roasted malt and chocolate aromas mingle with an earthiness that I assume comes from the oak... As it warms, the oak becomes more pronounced and the brews begins to smell better and better...

Thick creamy mouthfeel that gives way to the taste of dark chocolate and vanilla... A touch of booze but nothing overpowering... Very smooth actually... A real easy drinking RIS from Weyerbacher here...

I found this one to be quite tasty.. Not a world class brew but still a dang nice beer..

07-25-2010 00:56:40 | More by Tilley4
Photo of jera1350


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours a very viscous dark brown/black with a brown head that is about a half inch thick.

Lots of chocolate with some black licorice and touch of oak.

A good malt roast, but has a sourness to it. Probably from the oak aging? Getting good doses of chocolate and coffee as well. Mild oak and bourbon presence at the end. Has a chocolatey aftertaste with some roast that lingers.

It is only 8% for a RIS. Pretty low for the style and it shows in the body. I would call this below full and just a bit thin. The finish is extremely dry.

A pretty average RIS. The oak aging doesn't add much. It seems the base for this could use some refining as well. Drinks fine, but to me not worth the price tag. Way too many better brews in this category. Glad I only picked up a single bottle.

07-21-2010 23:44:16 | More by jera1350
Photo of TMoney2591


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to jdiddy via the Heavy Metal BIF for this bottle (paired with Pantera's "Heresy")!

The heresy is so egregious that lightning splits the sky above. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Ahem... This beer pours an opaque black-brown topped by a quickly dissipating finger or so of ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, roasted malts, vanilla, molasses, oak, and a tinge of bourbon. The taste emphasizes the vanilla, roasted malts, and bourbon, while the chocolate is toned down and dried out. There is an ever-so-slight sour-ish tinge at the end, possibly the by-product of the barrel and some age. The body is a very light heavy (or a heavy medium...it's tough to decide), with a light carbonation and a silky smooth feel. Overall, a solid barrel-aged stout: not the finest, but certainly nowhere near bad. Get some!

07-05-2010 07:36:19 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of KAP1356


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Weyerbacher tulip glass. Pretty sure this has been aging roughly 6 months after a trip to the brewery...

A - Dark as expected for a RIS. There was a gorgeous dark burnt caramel colored 2 finger head that receded quite quickly.

S - The smell is a well rounded nose of oak, bourbon, vanilla, choclolate and a slight coffee aroma.

T - The bourbon/vanilla/oak flavor stands out amongst everything else that is going on here. The chocolate and coffee appear more towards the back of the palate. I must say that there is a slight alcohol presence that I have not experienced with an 8% beer before.

M - A little thin for what I expected. Thicker than the Old Heathen, but still a little thin for a barrel aged RIS. However, it is still smooth and creamy and is quite easy on the palate.

D - Quite drinkable as the mouthfeel and flavor keep you coming back for more. For an 8% beer, this one did slow me down a little more than I expected from sip to sip.

A great barrel aged beer from a great brewery. This was my first beer craft beer I ever experienced and I love coming back to it again and again.

06-28-2010 01:48:35 | More by KAP1356
Photo of homebrew311


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

Received as an extra from msulinski- thanks man! Been wanting to try this one for a while, here we go. Poured into Stone Levitation tulip.

A: pours thick, pitch black, 1 finger of cocoa colored head, decent retention

S: nice mellow bourbon notes on the front, huge vanilla, mellow oak, melds into sweet dark chocolate, smells delicious!

T: the front features some sweet malts, molasses, followed by chocolate syrup, vanilla, big notes of oak. Does not taste quite as balanced as the nose would suggest. The flavors are bolder, the bourbon is more prominent and adds a wonderful element to the beer, but the base beer seems to be lacking some balance of its own.

MF: creamy, silky mouthfeel, thick body

D: another delicious bourbon aged stout. Not as balanced as some of the heavy hitters in the bourbon aged beer world (i.e. KBS, BCS, BCBCS) but good nevertheless

06-25-2010 03:07:01 | More by homebrew311
Photo of boomer31


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

06-23-2010 20:15:46 | More by boomer31
Photo of entisgood


2.42/5  rDev -38.7%

at first i was blown away by how much this smelt like alcohol out of the bottle. this had a very dark, almost black pour. big head left some lacing as i drank it.
i thought this beer was close to undrinkable. the only flavor i got from it was whiskey. had a creme feeling in my mouth but it was overwhelmed by the taste of alcohol.
I found this beer harder to drink than weyerbachers quad and will definitely be avoiding it.

06-19-2010 04:02:58 | More by entisgood
Photo of Tomdee74


3.58/5  rDev -9.4%

this is not the best stout i ever had but it's enjoyable. it's not terrible by any means..

A - Poured into my favorite glass.. a smuttynose big beer series tulip glass with an inch and half head.. head dissipated quickly.. a little lacing but not much there.. it is black but it is a tad bit thin....

S - smell a tiny bit of maybe bourbon in there i guess. a faint smell of alcohol... perhaps a tiny smell of chocolate.. not much...

T - actually don't taste the alcohol. this is pretty smooth.. it is an enjoyable stout.. this is one i do enjoy.. it doesn't blow me away but certainly doesn't let me down and it's calming a stout craving i have right now. but it's not a hoppy stout.. it's not like a yeti or smuttynose or founders stout loaded with hops..

M - Decent carbonation. don't taste the abv's here.. it's a little thin... not too hoppy at all..

D - i hope my review doesn't come off to look like i'm bashing this because i am not.. this is probably the 5th four pack of these i've bought.. sometimes i just want a smooth stout and it's perfect for a hot summer nite like tonite.. but most nites i probably want a little more flavor... a little more hoppiness.. but this is okay.. good job weyerbacher!

06-16-2010 01:44:58 | More by Tomdee74
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

3.45/5  rDev -12.7%

A: Dark murky brown, tan head, okay lacing.

S: Nice dark and roasted malty smell, a little booze in there. A little chocolate, not unappealing.

T: I don't know if it's because this is too fresh, or what, but the taste is underwhelming. There is a good amount of roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. As far as the "barrel aged" part goes, can sense a little smoky taste, but not much at all. Enjoyable, though.

M: Kind of on the thin side with not much carbonation. Not nearly as smooth as I'd like,

D: I've been wanting to try this for a while, and the price doesn't match the taste. But, this is a mediocre to decent attempt.

06-16-2010 01:30:39 | More by mostpoetsdo
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,877 ratings.