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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,943 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,943
Reviews: 964
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 91
Gots: 242 | 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: 1,943 | Reviews: 964 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle at the Farmhouse for $6. This was a simple, but relatively drinkable RIS. There was an interesting chocolate banana flavor as the beer warms, otherwise, there's a balanced toasty vanilla and caramel, cocoa roast. It's not the most complex imperial stout, but it's smooth and makes a pretty decent dessert beer.

tempest, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet Black with a nice tan head that looks very creamy. Lacing swirls on the sides of the glass as well.

S: Nice mature oak smell entwined with coffee roast, vanilla, dark cherry, chocolate. Very good.

T: Smell with a massive addition of roast at the back of the palate. Oak is very nice and not overpowering. Milk chocolate with a little vanilla shines through as well.

M: Medium-heavy creamy feel. Awesome.

D: Very good for a barrel aged beer, pretty easy to drink but I couldnt get through more than a bottle in one night.

Dreadnaught33, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a wonderful pour with a very assertive head that works its way downward into the black and forms as the bubbles come up to about three fingers. nose of chocolate and bourbon malt. palate is a mild baltic sour hiding in a deep core of malt bourbon bitter warmth.

rtepiak, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into large wine glass

Pours a midnight black with a nice toffee brown head which retains well while leaving some filmy lacing on the glass.

Roasted dark malt, some sweetness, and a bit of warmth in the nose. Fairly subdued for a bal aged stout.

Dark sweetness with caramel and molasses in the beginning, giving way to dark chocolate and some bitterness. A bit of boozy warmth slices through with notes of vanilla and oaked bourbon, although somewhat light. Finishes with tingly dryness, a bit of bourbon and vanilla.

Heavier body although slightly light for the style, some dry feel and bitterness linger on the palate. Drinks pretty well for the style, although there's definitely better examples out there.

xnicknj, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of ColdPoncho
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep brown/black. No light comes through this beer. It's got a small but very dark head that dissipates quickly.

S - Chocolate and coffee notes hit me first, with a strongly oaky booze following.

T - Doesn't really seem to line up with the smell that well. There's a predominant oatmeal/caramel malty flavor, with hints of coffee and some vanilla and oak on the finish.

M - It's a thick and dry beer that's not really too heavy.

D - There's a nice warming quality that this has, and it's pretty easy to drink.

ColdPoncho, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, opaque body. Two finger brown sugar colored head. Head works its way back rather quickly leaving only slight lacing.

The aroma is largely set around the bourbon. The whiskey is strong but not overly boozy. Dark bitter chocolate and roasted malt set underneath. Though the aroma is slightly lopsided in favor of the bourbon it is pleasant.

Roasted malt and chocolate roll across the tongue. The bourbon does not really shine until midpalate. The back of the palate picks up some caramel before transitioning back to bourbon.
Slight charred malt and oak flavor linger on the back of the tongue.

Full bodied and a bit more viscosity than I expected, especially given a lower abv for the style. Smooth and creamy texture with moderate carbonation. Flavors dig deep into the tongue for a long finish.

Very enjoyable and rather smooth. Booze is slightly warming but not obstructive. Solid beer and definitely recommended.

kzoobrew, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a black color with a tan head. The aroma is chocolate, roasted malt and licorice. It smells almost exactly like Old Heathen. I don't get any bourbon-aged notes in the aroma.

The flavor is a different story. I get a lot of bourbon, maple, vanilla and oak notes - as well as some chocolate and roasted malt. Not sure where all of these components were in the aroma, but they are present in the flavor and work very well together.

Full mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I believe this is a better beer than Old Heathen.

Mora2000, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a black viscous liquid that disappears in an instant. Minimal lacing. Aromas of chocolate and roasted malts. A nice coffee smell as well. Taste has a dark chocolate flavor to it. A bit of a coffee aftertaste. Not picking up on too much of an Oak flavor. This brew has a nice heavy quality to it. A good sipper and the flavors blend together nicely. Certainly worth a try.

PicoPapa, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of errantnight
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2008 bottle that just hasn't held up particularly well. What tastes like an excellent overall beer when young has gotten a bit muddled and faded in the time since, even if oxidation hasn't gotten out of control.

Tasted in a Spiegelau tulip during a RIS tasting (with plain crackers and water for palate cleansing between tastings).

Pale for a RIS (but still pretty dark), moderate retention and no real lacing.

Chocolate and mocha notes are present but are faint. Esters are restrained.

Vanilla and mocha hit up the palate for a one note (or, two note, as it were) experience that is pleasant, but lacking.

This beer does have great structure and smoothness, and medium-full mouth. If this had more going on, I'd be in love.

Overall this was quite enjoyable, and redeemed Weyerbacher to some degree for me, even though it wasn't a particularly great beer. I'd love to try this fresh/young.

errantnight, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the nitro blend at Als served in a snifter. Pours black in color with a finger of dark tan head that receeds fairly quickly leaving faint patches of lace about the glass.

The aroma of this brew is dark and woodsy with an immediate scent of oak, heavily roasted malt that comes across with a bit of coffee character and slight chocolate. The alcohol is noticeable as well but overall blends well together to create a very enjoyable scent.

The taste of Heresy is dark roasted malt that imparts a moderate bitterness upfront. Throughout the body are flavors of oak, slight vanilla and an alcohol presence that is not masked all that well. Infact I'd say whatever type of barrels they age Heresy in only accents the boldness of the alcohol. At no point though is the 8% abv offputting, it blends nicely with the other flavors to make a robust, very well made RIS.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a light, almost creamy feel and carbonation level. I'm not totally sold on whether having this brew via different presentations (tap, nitro, bottle) changes it all that much. In this case the feel has been altered a bit by the nitro. Overall, this is just a solid brew that I believe to be under appreciated. The list goes on for other beers in this catrgory that get hyped up and over exaggerated. I'm glad this is regularly available.

stakem, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

not the best russian imperial stout, but definitely one to try if you love the type.

A-black with a nice tan head, exactly how stouts should look

S-smells a lot like bourbon. the high abv is evident!

T-faint hint of mocha upfront with the oak after-taste within. the alcohol is not well hidden

M-medium carbonation with a watery finish

D-the alcohol hits quickly but its a quite a nice beer to sip down! the distinct taste stays and is enjoyed throughout the drink.

AdamBear, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

r0nyn, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Augustiner719
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a het black, viscous color with s light cappuccino colored head. The label reads aged in oak barrels and I get the qualities of oak. A good amount of vanilla and some bourbon too though I am not sure if this is a bourbon barrel. Either way it's got vanilla, oak, molasses, sugar cane, roasted chocolate notes. Not really coffee forward, though it does have soke bitterness onnthe backend slightly. There is a real big boozy flavor, like whiskey burn almost that is not integrated well into this beer at all. Mouthfeel is medium bodied for a ris but it's got a big dry alcohol burn on the finish. Not the most drinkable and the 8 percent abv is not hidden well at all. Nice beer, not really good on it's own, but I did pair it later with chili which was fantastic. Worth a shot, but really needs some age one it I think.

Augustiner719, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of acurtis
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

acurtis, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of domtronzero
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly murky, very dark brown with light reddish hues at the edges. Huge tannish, long lasting head. Lots of lacing.

S - Big chocolate sweet malty roastiness.

F/M - Cocoa, bitter bakers chocolate with a nice roastiness. Caramel, vanilla, oaky undertones in the background followed by a nice boozy alcohol. Moderate bitterness, accentuated by the dark malts. Dry finish, with a nice lingering chocolaty roasty aftertaste. Medium full body with moderate carbonation.

D - Ok, pretty good but this is a big beer with a lot of flavors. One glass is enough for me.

domtronzero, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black black black. Small head leave to spotty lace in short time.

S - Charred coffee, dark chocolate and booze. Almost soy sauce, but the nose is a little sweeter than that.

T - Dark roasty malt - sweet and bitter - hints of coffee and chocolate. Nice smack of bitter at the end.

M - Medium bodied, creamy with nice bite at end. Balances pretty well.

D - It's high at 8 ABV, but it tastes even higher. This one would be rough to do too much.

srandycarter, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

flagmantho, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of irishgurl4
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

irishgurl4, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

BrewCrew2010, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of mdwalsh
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

mdwalsh, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of Lukafer
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Lukafer, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of PDXHops
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

PDXHops, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

beerwolf77, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of jsanford
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

jsanford, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of Cylinsier
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


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.

Cylinsier, Aug 31, 2010
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.