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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,933 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,933
Reviews: 964
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 90
Gots: 240 | 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: 1,933 | Reviews: 964 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of teamizm
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

teamizm, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of herman77
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

herman77, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

cbak999, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Spica66
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Spica66, Aug 13, 2010
4.43/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

GDBEERMAN, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of bsp77
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

bsp77, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

claspada, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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..

Tilley4, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of jera1350
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

jera1350, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

TMoney2591, Jul 05, 2010
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,933 ratings.