Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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very good

1,988 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,988
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 96
Gots: 250 | 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: 1,988 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sweemzander
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Produced an awesome brown colored frothy head. Some great retention behind it with some lacing here and there.

(S)- A nice dry rich profile. Some oaky wood, raisin, cocoa, molasses, and baked bread. A mild roastedness.

(T)- Similar to the smell in every way just about. A rich roasted profile. Creamy cocoa, molasses, raisin, and an interesting baked bread component. Finishes nicely dry and an overall mellow oak character.

(M)- A great mellow carbonation level. A superb balance too. So rich and malty, yet smooth with a really nice complex oaky finish.

(D)- A world class stout that is severely underrated in the world that consider "bigger is better" high gravity, boozy stouts. This is what I like to see in a great stout. I daresay this has more (and better) flavor that alot of the big, heavy, popular Imperial Stouts lack. Excellent stuff to say the least.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a cola brown, sits an opaque black; aggressive pour yields ~ 1" khaki toned head. middling retention but outstanding lacing. great presentation.

nose is everything you look for in an imperial stout. roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate. secondary notes of oak and vanilla. ultimately it's a very good aroma; my one criticism would be it's could be a little bolder.

flavor is right in line with the nose. not overwhelmingly good but very solid with the coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts all pulling thrugh. the oak and vanilla are muted but present also.

mouthfeel is easily the worst element of this beer. very thin, surprisingly so. not what you expect in a RIS.

overall this is a solid RIS, but also a flawed one. personally i look for my (russian) imperial stouts to be bolder and thicker.

Photo of beer1018
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- midnight black with a large carmel color head.

Smell- charcol and oak up front with coffee and chocolate taking a back seat.

Taste- mainly taste the charcol flavor, I wish the coffee and oak flavor was stronger

Mouthfeel- it is thin like others have said but still coats your mouth like a good stout does, I thought I would get some carbonation burn because the head was so big but there was none.

Overall- its no oak yeti or bbcs but for the price it is one of the better deals on oak aged imps.

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

The basics: no idea on price, thanks to great trader Brian44556; 8% ABV...

It's haiku madness:

Darker than the night
Rimmed by rich creamy goodness
Lacing is awesome

Robust aroma
Hints at bigger things to come
Oakey subtleness

Huge and flavorful
Chocolate malt is the King
Finish is warming

What I like most: The huge, chocolate malt flavor profile

What I like least: Not super unique and the barrell aging is a tad subdued

Verdict: excellent beer, worth tracking down

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 lawlerj
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into, what the heck, a large wine glass.

A - pours oily and thick looking - solid two finger head but doesn't last long. Leaves speckled lacing as it's being drunk.

S - alcohol and roasted malts, maybe a bit of espresso. I can get a hint of the oak barrel aging - not a hugely complex aroma but all of the elements seem to blend in a pleasing way.

T - vanilla and oak flavors, with coffee and milk chocolate on the back end. A bit of an alcohol burn on the finish, but nothing too strong. Overall, well balanced and the oak aging really adds a nice touch, more so than what I expected.

M - definitely on the moderate side, but the flavor is what really holds this up.

D - great, interesting flavor - a bit different than I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it. I will definitely come back to this when i have a chance.

Photo of DBoone
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head snifter.
A Straight poured into snifter with nice khaki brown head that recedes quickly, light carbonation, little to no lacing.
S Dark fruits, figs, crusty dark malt smells. Some oak coming through with light bourbon
T More bourbon in taste, with oak, malt and fruits noticeable.
M Pretty light on the mouth, some edges hanging on in cheeks and tongue.
O Excellent beer that I will buy over and over again.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours deep dark brown into a tulip glass with a fluffy tan head that dissapates rather quickly. Not much in the way of lacing... just a little bit sticking to the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of vanilla from the oak, sweet milk chocolate, coffee, toffee, charleston chew candy. A little bit of wood, and just a hint of alcohol.

T- Vanilla and oak... sweet malts. Alcohol up front with a bitter bite of charred coffee and roasted nuts. A little bit sweet, but not so much that you couldn't enjoy a couple.

M- A bit thin for a stout, but leaves a ton of flavor behind. Vanilla, chocolate, Roasted nuts, and coffee.

O- I've always enjoyed this brew. I wish I had saved a couple from a few years ago so that I could try them side by side.

Photo of zeledonia
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, basically black, and fairly thick. The two-finger latte-colored head is thick and pillowy, lots of small bubbles, and recedes fairly quickly to leave some good lacing.

Smell is kinda boozy. Something like whiskey, which I think is the un-whiskeyed oak barrels. Some vanilla, some smoky earthiness, and of course the dark roasted malts (though they're not quite as up-front as they often are with imperial stouts).

My first thought on the taste is that it's a bit thin for an impy. The malts are again kinda soft, though they're present. The oaky vanilla that's present in the smell is there in the taste, too, though there's nothing whiskey-ish about it. Has some lingering sweetness that reminds me a lot of a milk stout. But mostly I'm wanting more from it. More oomph, more flavors, more something. Maybe my expectations are too high.

Feel is kinda weird, much more like a milk stout than a RIS. Slippery and coating, with that filmy feel you often get from milk stouts. Surprisingly light in the mouth, and doesn't feel as thick as it looks. Not what I was expecting.

Overall, this drinks more like a sweet milk stout than an imperial. The flavors are decent, though I was left wanting more. A decently drinkable beer, though I'd put it in the mid-range of imperial stouts.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of psuimpreza
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This year's rendition of Hersey is amazing. It pours a beautiful brown head and has a nice lasting burn. The head remains throughout the entire beer. It is better served warm than cold.

It is currently one of my top 5 beers and one of the best oak aged beers around that I have tried.

If you like Russian Imperial Stouts this is a must try if you can find it.

Photo of Gushue3
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black with medium/large mocha head with good retention. smells good already. leaves small amount of lacing

S- this ones a stinker. i'm getting chocolate and malt off the bat with a minor dark fruit hanging out in there and subtle alcohol traces laced in there.

T- very nice. im getting lots of roast and and malt with a subtle sweet chocolate. minor bittersweet taste lingers after the sip is gone Well rounded but might be missing something

M- has a medium feel to it with smaller carbonation.

O- nice beer everything works well together

Photo of veinless
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Jesse13713 for this beer, just one of many awesome brews Jesse sent in our trade.

Pours oily black with a healthy three-finger billowing tan head that dissipates at an average rate without leaving any lace. A thin layer remains as a cap on the beer after dissipation.

The first smell I get is licorice and oak - and lots of it. Some slight bubblegum and dark fruit fill in the spaces where roasted, toasted malt don't. A touch of vanilla adds some sweetness to the picture. This is a bit too much of a departure from good ol' malts for me, but it's still solid.

Roasted malts, bordering on charred, combined with oak and slight fruitiness dominate the beginning. Rich and almost milky, this beer has a very bitter kick from the burnt malt and a funky weird buttery character throughout. It's too sweet in parts and too bitter at others - not the greatest balance. I do enjoy it, but not nearly as much as I thought I would.

Mouthfeel is more carbonated than expected and creamy at the same time. Booze hits at the back as well, which is unwelcome in this as it amplifies the overly rich buttery flavor and feel in the middle. Overall though it's a very decent mouthfeel. Drinkability is tough to gauge - it's a good sipper, and a very bad drinker. I find myself enjoying most when I have a glass of water nearby to clean my palate in between sips. I guess this is a good, but not great beer in my eyes, but I'm more of a chocolate and coffee guy anyways.

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

Bottle into a pint glass. Beautiful 1" tan stout head.

The first hits of aroma on this one are chocolate, more chocoalte and malt. Maybe a bit of yeast.

First taste bears this out. very chocolatey, super-subdued barrel flavor, but yeah, it's there. A little semisweet, very little booziness.

This style usually rewards the stronger flavored contenders.

Some people who are put off by stong flavored, robust stouts may like this one. A little bland for me.

Good effort from a great local brewery.

Photo of soze47
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black and quite active on the pour, developing a healthy mocha colored head. It left some nice lacing initially, but not after the beer warmed a bit.

Aroma: I get a lot of alcohol right after the pour, but that almost solvent quality diminishes as it warms. Dark fruits, raisins, notes of port complement a nice host of roasted malts that are balanced.

Taste: There are some interesting developments in this beer. There is a malty sweetness that gets balanced out by an almost woody, hoppy dryness on the finish. Notes of roasted malt, dark fruits, and spiciness from the hop/alcohol combinations.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The finish combined with the surprisingly loose flavorful mouthfeel keep this beer from being too rich or cloying. The flavors of this beer could be oppressive if it was more viscous or heavy.

Overall: Not a bad option to go for, but I'd be hard pressed to put this at the top of my shopping list anytime soon. It has admirable traits and unique aspects that make it a worthy drink, but it loses out against my other favorites in the style.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at MiKro Beer Bar in Hamden, Conn.

A: Black with amber-brown highlights shone through the glass held to the light. A creamy, dense cap of tan foam leaves decent, soapy lacing on the glass .

S: Robust, charred malts and bittersweet, dark chocolate combine with an assertive, herbal and earthy hop aroma. Hints of anise and coal mix in the nose.

T: Burnt black malt and a spicy, herbal malt flavor resonate through a creamy, yet bitter American hop profile. Candied fruits lend flavors of plum and raisin to the bittersweet chocolate and charcoal flavors of the brew before it washes down herbal, bitter and sticky sweet.

M: Full-bodied, robust RIS with a slightly creamy mouthfeel that could stand for a bit more drying balance in the finish.

D: A nice RIS from Weyerbacher with their trademark attention to hops and higher ABV, 8% in the case of Heresy. It's got a lot of potential for doctored spin-offs, like bourbon and oak aged versions. As it stands, not a bad choice if Old Rasputin isn't available.

Photo of prg1976
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black and viscous pour. Tan head dissipates quickly, with a small ring left behind.

Smell is oaky with some chocolatey malt mixed in. A hint of vanilla in there too.

Taste is sweet, chocolate with some vanilla from the oak.

Mouthfeel is good. Nice and smooth, not over-carbed. Medium bodied.

Overall, pretty tasty. I haven't had too much from Weyerbacher, even though they're a local. I'll be seeking out some more from them in the future.

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

A - Pitch black body, nice medium brown head.

S - Dark roasted grains. Some light smoke. Chocolatey and rich.

T - Very rich, roasted chocolate. Sweet dark chocolate syrup. Some toasted, or possibly smoked dark grains.

M - Silky and syruppy on the tongue. This beer's body isnt thick but the flavor is. Its packed with all the typical Russian Imperial tastes but sweeter and smoother than you would expect from one. Mildly carbonated and smooth.

O - A great choice for anyone who enjoys dark beer. Tons of flavor but not harsh in its body or warmth.

Photo of rwinzing
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured my beer into a DFH snifter. Very dark with almost not head at all

A - Midnight Black

S - smells very oaky

T - Strong oak flavor is present and then a sweetness appears finishes with some slight bitterness

M - Feel a little thin

O - I enjoy this beer as a drinker in my rotation. Not the best Imperial oak stout but very solid beer. I buy a four pack once a month. Encourage people to try this one.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

Photo of uustal
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of Jesstyr
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of dk83022
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,988 ratings.