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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,969 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,969
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 94
Gots: 248 | 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: 1,969 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

bucklemyshoe, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Minimal head when poured and dissipates to leave a light lacing. Both the head and lacing are tan. The beer pours a dark black color, which reminds me of a dark chocolate black rather than a pitch black coffee color.

Smell: The bourbon is the dominant smell but it doesn't mask the other ingredients. I can detect traces of oak, sweet chocolate and dark malts.

Taste: Wonderful. The bourbon does not detract from the beer at all and complements the other ingredients very well. The other ingredients are somewhat masked by the alcohol but you can still get to them. The chocolate used is either slightly dark or chocolate syrup. All I know is that chocolate is sweet enough to contrast with the bourbon. I get hints of coffee and dark malts in the aftertaste but I would say that the bourbon and chocolate are the ones that people would notice.

Mouthfeel: Delicate carbonation to none. The beer goes down pretty smooth without any problems and feels pretty good on the tongue.

Drinkability: I would say that this a pretty drinkable beer. The bourbon doesn't dominate the beer like some other barrel aged beers. The bourbon itself adds a nice touch to the beer. I just wish I had found this earlier in the winter such as December rather than March. I can't really see myself drinking this in the springtime unfortunately.

HattedClassic, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to JM03 for this!

Very dark brown/black. Light tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is sweet with nice oak and bourbon, coffee and malts.

Taste is a wonderful oak ands bourbon combo with nice sweetness chocolate and some coffee notes.

Feel is creamy more medium in body than full, slick and nicely carbonated.

Drink is pretty good. Nice oak characters, and overall a nice brew!

EgadBananas, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of uustal
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark black with a one-finger brown head that's not long for the world. Nice aroma. Chocolate syrup! Roasted notes, a hint of coffee and the oak barrels. Begins with a crisp mini-hit of dark fruits, quickly fades to the more dominant flavors of this beer. Sweet chocolate syrup, not overpowering, dominates the middle before the barrel aging takes this beer home. Awesome cherry and vanilla flavor at the back end. Again, well done and not too in your face. Bourbon and oak mixed in to a lesser extent. This beer is surprisingly crisp and drinkable for the style. It's subdued, but in a very positive way. One of the better chocolaty beers without being gimmicky.

Only negative- Weyerbacher's terrible labels. Theses are no doubt the worst looking beers on the shelf. They are redesigning their labels and with good cause. Hideous.

uustal, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of Jesstyr
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely a powerful beer, and despite its reasonable ABV, there were many times while drinking that my first thought was "boozy". Enjoyed with a steak in a chalice.

Pours pitch black with a thin brown head that lingers fairly well throughout the drink, despite little lacing. Nose is boozy first and foremost, but with a good deal of malt which comes across as coffee.

I actually get quite a bit of the oak, something that reminds me of whiskey/bourbon, a definite plus for this drink. Otherwise some maltiness with some coffee and chocolate tones. Medium body, a little oily, but tough to take more than one of these, as might be typical of the style.

Jesstyr, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of dk83022
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Jet black stout with creamy brown head

S- Roasted malt, melted caramel with hints of roasted coffee.

T- Rather light for an imperial stout. Lacks some body and flavor fizzles out.

M- Smooth, but has some bite.

D- Great conversational beer. Ideal for room temperature.

dk83022, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of nhindian
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a globe.

A - This pours an almost pitch black color, with slight brown highlights around the edges. The head is a spectacle to behold; a light tan, 2.5-fingered head, formed of tightly-condensed bubbles to resemble a foam barrier between the beer and head. Retention is moderate, lasting a few minutes but it gives way quick. Lacing is great, as it leaves a thin lace film around most of the glass.

S - Surprisingly, the smell in this beer is quite faint, with hard to distinguish notes interspersed throughout. It is slightly fruity, as if Belgian-inspired, as some grapes and raisins come through at first. It's a bit metallic as well. Next comes the bourbon barrel, which provides more oak and vanilla than much bourbon. Besides the fruit and oak, it's hard to get much else out of this beer, unfortunately.

T - Thankfully the taste brings more to the table than the nose. Again, a strong raisin and plum, mixed with some sweetness comes through at the beginning, but it's supplemented by some smooth chocolate. Afterward comes the vanilla and wood from the barrel, but as in the nose, the bourbon is quite subdued, providing just a slight contribution. The finish is moderately short and is mostly sweet vanilla. Alcohol comes through slightly but is mostly hidden well.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with low carbonation. This is much too thin for my liking, almost bordering on watery, which does the flavors in the beer no favors. For a bourbon barrel-aged RIS, I'd like to see this be a bit more big.

D - Drinkability is moderate. I can pretty much sum this up as an inoffensive BA RIS. Great for someone trying to break into the style, but lacking much oomph to keep them coming back from more. The glaring flaw in this is the mouthfeel, and if this could be beefed up a bit, I could see it aiding the other factors more.

nhindian, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of garbercury
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter...

A--Nice deep black with beige head, good retention and lacing.

S--Tons of oak in the nose, its really dominant.

T--Not a lot of bourbon, its mostly oak tannins. Chocolate, hints of vanilla, I think this is an exceptional tasting brew.

M--Good feel.

D--I enjoy this brew as much as anything because it is all about the oak aging, not just simply a bourbon bomb. The oak presence makes it unique, a smooth sipper. I highly recommend this brew, it is top notch and this year's version is really tasty.

garbercury, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pitch black with a fluffy mocha hued head. carbonation is streaming.

S: vanilla, bourbon. roast and cocoa. smooth and rounded.

T: huge vinous oak flavors. woody. however little bit of bitterness from the roast. little bit of alcohol as it warms up. finishes with a boatload of delicious milk chocolate.

M: started out a little too fizzy, but really smoothed out after it has been in my glass for a while. at first i was worried the fizzyness would mask some of the flavor, but since it subdued this thing is shinin.

D: if you can find this stuff in a store by you, i highly recommend picking some up. im sure putting some away for a little could help, but only being 8%, the little bit of alcohol is extremely tolerable.

Jimmys, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of BB1313
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours black w/ auburn hues, alightly transparent. Nice tan head and sticky lacing up front. Flavors are nice and sweet, I'm picking up hints of chocolate, vanilla, and sweet milk. The flavors are nice, but I feel the oak diminishes the stouts natual flavors somewhat. Bourbon isn't really present. The wood gives it some smoothness, but it finishes kind flat and dry. Mouthfeel is thin as well; medium-bodied. Drinkability isn't bad, the lightness makes this easy drinking. The alcohol is masked.

I guess I was a tad let down. It lacks the X-factor, but it's worthy. Maybe I just expected more being a fan of Weyerbacher.

BB1313, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

Looks a little thing coming out of the bottle and is very carbonated. Makes a lot of noise creating a nice chocolate brown head which disappears quite quickly. Body is a dark walnut brown. It looks thin for a stout.

This really smells like a weak barleywine, with candy and cigarette tobacco. Some beef jerky smells as well which is kind of interesting.

Thin bodied, lacking in depth and really wet. Real unfortunate, this seems like this beer is too young or something, it really needs more body. It's not horrible but for this style this is a very weak beer. There isn't even much taste or sensations you get from the nose and it almost gets into a cola finishing light bodied milk stout territory.

Drinkability is not good enough for me. If this were perhaps an American Stout then I would rate it higher but this is just weak and lacking flavor and depth for this style. I will admit though the abv is hardly noticeable, but that's probably due to how weak in general the brew is. Too bad, was hoping for some good things from this one as an avid whiskey bourbon fan. This thing was in whiskey barrels? Could have fooled me...

smakawhat, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of chilly460
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a shiny black with a creamed coffee head that keeps climbing out of the glass. This is what I want out of a beer.

S - The barrel flavors come through in the aroma right up front. I get a lot of vanilla and bourbon along with pure oak. Definitely some sweet malts, chocolate, and brown sugar in there as well.

T - Wow, bourbon and vanilla hit hard, followed by chocolatey/coffee roasted malts. Follow that up with a sweet dark fruit profile. This is one interesting beer.

M - Nice medium to heavy body with lower carbonation, this is about perfect. I've had "chewier" beers, but this one makes an easier drinking beer.

D - Great for the style, easily could go back for more. Flavors are mixed and delicious but don't wear on you, mouthfeel and booze are moderate to the style. Finally, a RIS with some complexity without being overpowering, some balance, and not so "huge" as to be a gut buster...and it's relatively inexpensive to boot.

chilly460, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on 01/17/11. Enjoyed on 3/03/11.

A - Pours pitch black and opaque. Nice one finger tan head. Leaves some decent lacing. Good looking beer.

S - Aroma is chocolate, wood, vanilla, coffee, roasted malts, maybe a dark fruitiness.

T - Coffee, chocolate, roasty, with a smooth vanilla and oak flavor throughout. Finishes with a roasted bitterness and some alcohol burn.

M/D - Mouthfeel could be a little more full for the style. Not the most drinkable beer ever, alcohol on the finish shows itself a little much.

My first beer from Weyerbacher was a good one. Wouldn't mind seeing what this will do after some age, maybe the alcohol will mellow nicely.

Janderson91, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour from growler into tulip for nice creamy (orangish) two-finger head. Completely opaque black body. Elegant. Libreral lacing.

Nose is heavy liquorice with dark cocoa.

Taste follows the nose, liquorice and cocoa and some malt, smooth and rich, slightly bitter, faint lingering banana aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with carbonation sufficient to balance the heavy stout body.

Drinkability is good for such a heavy, flavorful stout, but for those averse to liquorice, might just be one to sip.

zaphodchak, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of dizknee24
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark pitch black. this is a black hole no light will ever escape!

S - boozy but a bit with chocolate and roasted nuts

T- also a bit boozy but a stronger taste of those roasted nuts we just talked about.

M- perfect nice and smooth

D- another RIS in my bank. i love it i love it. but cmon lets update this label. its so...pedestrian for the contents inside.

dizknee24, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of MikeyMikee
3.1/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 3/02/11

The body is JET black, but the head is not so impressive. Its a little small and not as dark as I had hoped, very light brown in color. Not too good of a retention but a nice lacing after swirling for a bit.

Smells of vanilla and oak with a little bit of bourbon hidden in the back. The vanilla is really upfront and gives the aroma kind of a fresh feel to it. There is also a strong semi-sweet dark chocolate influence towards the end that adds to that fresh, crisp sort of smell. It's not too roasty smelling though.

Taste is strong vanilla and light oak with almost no bourbon taste which is nice I must admit. The semi sweet chocolate is pleasant but I am not getting much else out of this. There is no alcohol burn, no hop bite and even if there was a slight bit of it, the carbonation is probably killing it.

The mouth feel is way too carbonated. Its so uncomfortable that I cant get much of the taste out of it. After swirling and as the beer warms the flavors may come out a little more but now the beer is too thin. There is almost no happy medium which is sadly disappointing. When the beer loses its carbonation however, as thin as the mouthfeel may be it coats the entire mouth with a velvety feel to it which is really nice. If the body was a little fuller and slightly less carbonated it would be really great.

Heresy doesnt have a "poor" drinkability..the carbonation just needs some taming. Perhaps with some age this might be a great beer, hopefully the carbonation will decrease and the viscosity will increase. Ill be sure to review it again sometime in december.

MikeyMikee, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

a - Pours a black color with one finger of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two minutes or so and leaves no lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, sweet dark fruits, light smoke, oak, and coffee. Not getting any real bourbon in the nose, but it's still pretty enjoyable.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, vanilla, coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and light wood. Also some light alcohol. Again, no real bourbon here at all, but still very enjoyable.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy.

d - A very good RIS. While there is light alcohol in the smell and taste, I didn't get a lot of wood/oak or bourbon. That being said, I still really enjoyed this one and it was nice to have a barrel aged RIS under 10% ABV that comes in a 12 oz. bottle. Would certainly pick this up again.

mdfb79, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of BeerConnoiseur
4.45/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a bottle Friday night after a long work day, and shared a bottle the following day with my good friend and fellow BA member BuxMontBeerLover.

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature glass.

A - Deep black color pour. About a one finger, creamy, coffee colored head reducing to a thin layer of foam during drinking. A fair amount of lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S - A combination of coffee, bourbon, and chocolate....beautiful bouquet.

T - A very creamy stout with a dominating chocolate, bourbon, and coffee taste. The aging on oak gives a smooth boozy flavor, and the alcohol at 8%, is smooth.

M - This smooth wonderful liquid coats the tongue and mouth with a rich enjoyable flavor that is easily one of the creamiest beers I have tasted.

D - An impressive Imperial Stout. Definitely a one, maybe two maximum drinking beer due to its richness and alcohol content.

Overall: If you want to enjoy a dark stout beer on a dark wintry night, this is the brew. I highly recommend this beer.


BeerConnoiseur, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very dark brown with an off white/ brown head. Dark mocha look. Lots of lace frozen on the glass.

Smell: Chocolate, cigar box. Dark malt. Wood.

Taste: Roasted malt and some chocolate. Very little hops, strong malt. Vanilla and chocolate, with that vanilla accent from the barrels. Some alcohol and a very modest bourbon note.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slick feel, low carbonation, but for a barrel aged beer not unexpected.

Drinkability: Tasty brew, nice barrel aged flavor. A sipper, went well with aged cheddar and bleu cheeses which took it up to another level. Worth keeping a few of these in the cellar.

Stinkypuss, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Given a bottle by my buddy and fellow BA member BeerConnoiseur. Thanks, Pat for your generosity!

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature glass.

A - Pours a deep brown to black color. Totally opaque. A half to one finger, creamy, beige colored head upon pouring. This fades to a thin layer of foam on the beer during drinking. A good amount of lacing coats the sides of the glass after drinking.

S - A combination of smells dominated by burnt malts and chocolate. A nice aroma!

T - Wow! This is a fantastic stout. Very creamy with an overwhelming taste of milk chocolate, burnt malts and a hit of coffee. Well balanced. The aging on oak gives a nice, slightly boozy flavor, as well. The alcohol, even at 8%, is well disguised.

M - A velvety coating covers the tongue after each sip. This stout is super rich. One of the creamiest beers I've had. The carbonation is on the low side.

D - This beer is one of the best stouts I've had in a long time. Since it is rather rich and on the heavier side, I'd think this would be a one, maybe two, a night type beer. But they go down really easy and a pleasure to drink.

Overall: Highly recommended. This is my second beer from Weyerbacher and I was really impressed with the quality and the taste. Will be purchasing my own 4pk in the near future.
A fantastic find, Pat!


BuxMontBeerLover, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.03/5  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.

LiquidCucumber, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of tigernipples
3.28/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 12OZ. Listening to Ride - Nowhere 20th Ann. Reissue.

Pours pretty carbonated and thin and looks similar to Old Raspy. Got about a 2 finger head that quickly vanishied. pretty typical looking Stout. Roasted malts are right up front in the nose. Booze and bourbon is there as well. Picking up some dark fruits. Lets taste this.
Vanilla undertones with roasted malts again very present. A nice warming sting from the alcohol to clean the mouth and invite more of this stuff. It's not bad. Heresy is a bit thinner than I'd like but its pretty good. Creamy mouthfeel but for being thin as I mentioned, there is some feel to it. Overall i recomend this to RIS folks.

tigernipples, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

A nice pitch black pour, 1 finger head of tan foam, great lacing. Looks like a beauty.

Milk chocolate dominates the nose, some roasted malt, and a smallish nose of bourbon that grows the more whiffs I take.

Tasting milk chocolate, bourbon, coffee and roasted malt...none of which is overdone so it comes across as a *very* smooth brew. Smooth also as in the alcohol isn't obtrusive.

On the high end of medium bodied, lightish level of carbonation, a very smooth mouth feel and pretty darned easy to drink. There's no bottling date that I can find so I don't know if this is fresh or has been around a while but, no matter, I'm digging it.

Bitterbill, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of garuda
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, with a thin tan head that stays around for a little bit, and leaves some decent lace down the glass.

S - Oak aging is apparent up front, with hints of bourbon and vanilla. Roasted coffee rounds it out.

T - Vanilla bourbon flavors up front transitioning to roasted, burnt coffee beans as it warms. Just enough hops to create some bitterness and balance.

M - Medium/full body, low carbonation, oak aging helps give it a dry finish with a touch of alcohol.

D - Barrel aging is well done and not overpowering. Clean roasted and burnt malt flavors still come through, and goes down smooth.

garuda, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

TheFightfan1, Feb 24, 2011
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.