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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
HeresyHeresy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,984 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,984
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 95
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: 1,984 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent stout with a bourbon like flavour, syrup rather than thick flavour, a tad sour. Black, roasty smell, not too creamy. First taste is wood. Then some chocolate, and roast, bit of vanilla and spot of coffee, sugar. Well carbonated. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly less in a tasting a few weeks later.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 1 inch puffy dark khaki head that settles to a thin film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and some woody oak aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, vanilla, bourbon, wood, and cocoa powder on the finish. There is an alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer is a bit thin for a RIS with a very crisp mouthfeel. A higher level of carbonation on this one. Overall, this is a good barrel-aged RIS but the mouthfeel is a bit lacking.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of acurtis
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout - 12oz bottle (undated, should be 2010)
When I visited the brewery a few weeks ago they were completely out of this brew. I was looking forward to trying it so I picked up a 4 pack when I saw it at my local shop, sandy's. I love stouts but I don't like a strong alcohol taste. I have 3 different Weyberbacher Imperial Stouts in the fridge so its time to try one. This one, Hersey is 8% abv and was aged in Oak barrels.
Poured into Weyerbacher Verboten glass. Very dark with small 1/2 finger tan head. Good lacing. The bourbon is very present in this bottle. Dominates the smell. Taste wise the oak and bourbon also really come through, I just don't like it. Unfortunately not what I'm looking for in a beer although I do think that they achieved what they were out for when aging their stout in bourbon barrels.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It is very dark black and came with a thick head that quickly settled down into a thin layer of tan bubbles on the surface.
S: There are light aromas of malt, hops, and alcohol.
T: The initial flavor is very rich and malty while there is a little dryness from the hops in the finish. Overall, the malt and hop flavors are very well balanced.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and slightly creamy.
D: For an imperial stout, it's relatively easy to drink. Any traces of alcohol are very well hidden.

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.58/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (courtesy of Hopdog): Poured a pitch-black color ale with a huge dark brown head with average retention. Aroma is overpowered by whisky with small traces of vanilla that are still discernable. Taste is also overpowered by the whisky aging and leaves little place to the rest of the beer. I couldn’t find any chocolate/coffee taste that I usually like from Imperial Stout. Also, the warming alcohol feel really doesn’t do it for me. Full body and rally good carbonation, which is bit surprising from an Imperial Stout. Too bad I didn’t like that one and I probably should have started by the Old Heathen.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark mahogany with an impenetrance that is only violated by meager crimson slivers at the edges. The loud escape of gas on crown cracking was concerning since I hate bubbly beer and I loathe bubbly Imperial stouts. The harsh looking, featureless, unsticky, khaki colored head isn't impressing me. Nor is the near total lack of lace. The beer is great, the head and lace are lousy.

The nose is everything that I'd hoped it would be. For those who are unaware, Heresy is simply Old Heathen that has been aged in oak barrels that previously contained bourbon; a great idea if some of the bourbon character seeps into the stout. I can appreciate quite a bit of heavily roasted black malt, more coffee than unsweetened chocolate and a mild-moderate brown sugary booziness from the barrel.

I'm sorry to say that the carbonation is as rampant as I'd feared. The flavor itself is pretty good, or would be if it wasn't nearly ruined by fizziness and a way too light body. I don't remember what Old Heathen tasted like, but I know that I liked it better than I like this beer. Since the flavors imparted by the bourbon barrels should have done nothing but improve the original beer, I'm forced to conclude that I got a bad bottle. Not old, just poorly bottled.

The flavor profile consists of roasted black malt, bittersweet chocolate and coffee with cream. The beer is also slightly dark fruity, modestly vanilla-like and barely bourbonish. It's hard to get a firm hold on things since all those bubbles quash any sort of complexity, depth or nuance.

The mouthfeel is nowhere near as full as it should be. Ignoring all the carbonation is proving difficult, but I'd call it 'stout medium' at best. There's a respectable amount of mouthcoating, without much flavor to go along with it. Drinkabililty suffers because of... pretty much everything that I've complained about above.

I have little doubt that if Heresy reached my glass as its brewers intended, I'd like it at least as much, if not more, than Old Heathen. I love bourbon and applaud the use of bourbon barrels in most styles. Too bad that fate intervened and isn't allowing me to optimally experience what is probably a pretty good RIS. I'd love to have another crack at this one. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the final bottle of a great trade.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger dark tan head on a near jet black body with excellent lacing.

S: chocolate, raisin, roasted malt and vanilla.

T: More of the same as the aroma with initial coffee bitterness and roasted malt transitioning into a vanilla/sweet chocolate finish.

M: smooth, thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: a drinkable, smooth stout with the booze well hidden.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

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 womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour borders on black with a thin layer of tan colored foam.

S: A fairly mild nose overall with some notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and maybe a bit of coffee.

T: The flavor is a bit more robust than the nose would let on. The primary flavors are typical of an RIS with some coffee and chocolate, along with a bit of sweetness followed by the usual roast.

M: The body is medium with a fairly low level of carbonation.

D: Not a bad beer, and one of the better beers I've had from Weyerbacher. The alcohol is well hidden, so no complaints there.

Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a beast of a beer this is. The color is so dark just like it should be. There is really no light getting through this one. The head is a thick looking brown foam. The aroma of some highly roasted malts give off this burnt smell to the beer which is countered by the Barrel Aging which adds a sweetness to the nose. The taste is all imperial stout. The burnt and roasted malts kick you in the face right off the bat, then it starts to tingle with some hops and the bourbon barrel finishes it off with a very light sweet vanilla flavor and some fresh wood. The mouthfeel is nice and thick like oil. Really a nice brew!

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an inky black body with a dark, tan-colored head that quickly fell to a thin ring of lace.

Smell: A redolent aroma vast in red wine qualities; dark chocolate, black pepper, alcohol, and tart, dark fruitiness.

Taste: For me, it's more evocative of a red wine than anything bourbon based. Unfortunately, any chocolaty or roasty stout qualities are thin and tend to meander, and that's if you can perceive them beneath the excessive oakiness. As the beer warms, the alcohol goes from being glaring to overkill.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Somewhat watery texture.

Drinkability: For me, it fell short of the bold, though balanced deliciousness of some other Imperial Stouts. In fact, I preferred the simple, straight-up Old Heathen Stout.

*Vintage Update*

Let's see how its sister bottle turned out. The wine character has greatly diminished, now replaced with a vinous plum/prune combination. The oakiness has also declined, currently at a very nice level. There're malty tastes of roast and bittersweet chocolate, but they're not particularly strong and there's only a very, very minute amount of sweetness remaining. While it hasn't seen a betterment from a few years of quiet aging, it did hold up. But that's cellaring for you, it's a crapshoot.

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,984 ratings.