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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,848 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,848
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 85
Gots: 222 | FT: 12
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 (bourbon) barrels.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,848 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dasenebler


3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 12oz. bottle (2010) Heresy pours jet black with a tan head. Not terribly viscous, with decent retention and lacing. This beer is aged in oak, but it's oak that was used for bourbon, so really, it's a bourbon-barrel stout.

Rich nose of sweet bourbon, vanilla, overripe dark fruit, and caramel.

Flavor is complex, with lots of boozy bourbon flavors floating around in a malty, roasty stout. There is a buttery/diacetyl character that seems to be the Weyerbacher signature. I get that flavor with many of their beers, and sometimes it's off-putting. Here though, that signature works quite well. Finish is warming, with a touch of hop bitterness. This is a good stout with a lot going on. The mouthfeel could have been more full and creamy. Medium carbonation.

I feel that Heresy might benefit from a year in the cellar, but fresh, it's still a tasty offering from Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 03:33:56 | More by dasenebler
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle with label as pictured.

A: Pitch black with a nice fluffy dark tan head that falls quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

S: Burnt cherries or dark fruits and an overpowering alcohol scent are initial aromas. Some sweet roasted caramel and chocolate after further tries.

T&M: Smooth crispness. Thick bodied. Quick roasted bite with apparent oak aged flavors. Malt sweetness with some mild hops. Finishes with a tangy, fruity flavor that I can't really describe.... maybe dark fruits.

The oak character is mild and the alcohol is masked well in the flavors. Not anything I would try again, only because I am not a stout fan, but this is a quality stout. The flavors remind me a belgian dubel brew. Definitely worth a try if you are a stout fan.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 22:38:16 | More by cdizinno
Photo of Mistofminn


4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the regular Old Heathen before, and wasn't all that impressed. Maybe throwing it in some old Kentucky bourbon barrels will make it better.

Pours a deep black, with a half finger of brown sugar colored head. Decent retention and leaves some nice lacing. Starts out strong.

The nose starts out strong with roasted malts and chocolate. The barrel notes are soft, but I pick up light bourbon, oak and vanilla characters. This smells pretty good, much better than the base beer.

The taste is, much like the normal Old Heathen, very muted. I get light roasted malt, chocolate, an earthiness and woodyness from the barrels as well as a very light bourbon note. It's good, but definitely not as strong as it could be.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a low carbonation. Drinkability is great, alcohol isn't a problem in this one.

Overall, a much better beer than the base Old Heathen. It has more complexity and depth, more flavor and less alcohol. All around, it's a better beer and one I enjoyed much more after it had been aged in barrels.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 04:10:40 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up at Knightly Spirits a few days ago, and now I am in Daytona for Bike Week...and it is time to enjoy this one.

Appearance: Pours a super black color with no light visible when held to the light. There is a 1/4" head of creamy tan bubbles on top of the beer and even a minute or so after the pour, there is still a solid offering of foam on top of the beer.

Aroma: I initially got the required roasty malt character but I could also pick up the dry wood from the aging process. There is a little bit of Chocolate in here, but it plays a supporting role.

Taste: The flavor has significantly more chocolate than I thought from the aroma. The malt is the key player in here, but there is also some hops in the flavor that were hidden in the aroma of the cold beer. The beer itself is medium to full bodied with ample carbonation, so that the beer goes down pretty smooth despite its 8%ABV.

Opinion: This is a pretty darn good beer. I like the malt complexity and how the wood aging adds a significant amount of character to the beer. That said, you could nit-pick the beer by saying that it would be nice if it had more alcoholic presence, more age, etc...but regardless, it is a good beer and one that I wouldn't mind drinking again.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 08:10:34 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of branimal9

South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Current vintage, poured into my trusty New Belgium tulip glass...

appearance - poured out a dark, rich brown with a sweet looking sandy brown head, about an inch or so.

aroma - bourbon hits you pretty quick, followed by some chocolaty sweetness.

taste - bourbon flavor is not overpowering, but restrained a bit compared to the aroma, as well as some of the other barrel-aged braws I've had lately. Flavors of dark chocolate dominate.

mouthfeel - full bodied and creamy. very pleasant.

drinkability - quite drinkable for the style, naturally so because it's not quite as big as some of those more aggressive BA stouts popular right now, but also because it is nicely balanced. sort of a quasi-sessionable BA RIS, if you will.

overall, I quite liked this little guy. packed full of flavor, but at 8%, it won't make your head spin. it'll just make you nice, warm and happy.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 03:47:55 | More by branimal9
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, opaque black-brown with a fairly thick and fine-bubbled light tan head, quite appealing. Aroma is strong, smoky and fruity with a good alcohol ting like brandy and a subtle hint of unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is more like a barleywine than a stout, fruity and chocolaty with a brandy-like bite. The fruit and chocolate aspects actually complement each other rather than fighting it out on the tongue. There are also hints of smoke or charcoal and licorice. Texture is smooth as milk, yet edgy and a little tingly.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2010 02:47:43 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of jzeilinger


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a motor oil black with no light getting through. Nice one finger tan head. It's impossible to tell if there's any carbonation because it's so dark, but there are bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass midway down.

Aroma is dark roasted malt with a hint of caramel. If this beer has any weakness, it's the nose. For an Imperial Stout, I was expecting a much bolder aroma. Heresy lost some points here, unfortunately.

Taste is strong bourbon presence around half way through that sticks around for the remainder of the sip. Dark roasted malts eventually give way to a slightly coffee-like aftertaste. Vanilla, caramel, bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, and traces of plum and figs. Starts out sweet and migrates to a strong bourbon finish that warms the throat and as it goes down, warms the stomach as well. The hops do surface for a brief moment at the very end.

Mouthfeel is medium body, but again, not the typical Russian Imperial Stout character. Texture is very smooth on the tongue and finishes dry and sticky. Very drinkable for a Russian Imperial.

Had a small sample of this at the Weyerbacher Brewery and it didn't really appeal to me. Had a full glass tonight and now have a greater appreciation for it once my taste buds started to settle in. A very noteworthy beer, worth checking out.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2010 05:01:20 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of DrDemento456


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black and viscous. Awesome.
S - Smells of toffee, chocolate, and coffee malts
T - Warming alcohol and oak with slight chocolate tones.
M - Heavy but delicious. A nice RIS.
D - Well if it gets cheaper I will have more of it but founders IRS it's my go to beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 03:57:55 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of fairdinkum2


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just tasted a Paradox Islay oak barrel stout and wanted to try something in the same vein.

Problem is that Heresy and Paradox are almost night and day as stouts. Paradox is cold, brooding and mysterious. Heresy is warm and inviting.

Poured in to a tulip glass from a 12 oz. bottle, the stout formed a thick, lumpy, dark sand colored head, which dissipated to a thin collar with medium lacing.

Gentle chocolate and vanilla nose warmed by malt and alcohol notes.

Impressive flavor. Very inviting, rich milk chocolate, malt and sweet alcohol notes with a long finish. Alcohol does not predominate, but noticeable as I empty the glass.

Very nice mouthfeel. Definitely a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 01:22:29 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of bamadog


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to my buddy Ross for picking this up and offering it at a recent dinner and tasting. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass and the review is from notes taken on 3/1/10.

Appearance: Pour is black and starts with a one finger creamy and dark tan head with nice retention that fades to a thick and full skim; body is entirely opaque and glugs out like a thinner oil; nice washes and spots of lacing are left along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Big whiff of alcohol at first, but then it really mellows out and the dark chocolate and burnt roasty malts sneak in with a mild dark cherry fruitiness underneath it all; slightly oaky vanilla here and there.

Taste: Quite nice -- very dark and roasty malts with the dark bittersweet chocolate; the mild cherry-like presence is definitely underneath everything; slight woodiness to it, but it's minimal; alcohol is present at the end and could be blended a bit better, or perhaps if this sat for 6-12 months it might smooth out a bit.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, thick and creamy; almost a grittiness is left on the palate; nice sticky/dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth and the gums are left a little tingly; belly is left quite warm.

Drinkability: A great stout, to be sure; smell, flavor and mouthfeel are all there, but the ABV is too high for too much and it could be blended just a bit better; definitely worth picking up though.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 00:22:07 | More by bamadog
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Not fully black on the pour. Big fluffy sticky sand colored head sticks around for a long time as it throws lots and lots of lacing.

S- Sweet caramel, vanilla, chocolate, raisins and lots of oak. It is very delicious but it is not very strong.

T- Like the nose the taste isn't very strong, but whats there is very delicious. Oak and cocoa dominate. Mostly sweet and heavily malty but there is a quick flash of hops towards the end, right before a cocoa finish.

M- Very very very dry. Body is not quite as full as I would like but the finish on this beer is very good. I like a dry beer and this is one of the driest Ive ever had.

D- Lower ABV for the style, not completely heavy on the stomach and quite smooth and well balanced all make this beer pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2010 17:36:18 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of ABOWMan


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a fluffy caramel colored head of fine bubbles nearly two fingers thick which dissipated within a relatively short time period. Still better than most stouts of similar ABV.

The aroma reminded me of a good bourbon (read Makers Mark) with added vanilla plus a hint of chocolate.

The flavor is bust'n out wonderful. Roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate with a nicely balanced bitter/sweet profile.

Mouthfeel is as rich and full as the color (Which is nearly opaque).

A wonderful sipping ale that is neither too full or light for a full bodied stout with a respectable ABV. If all stouts were like this, I think I could really fall in love with them for everyday enjoyment.

Great job Weyerbacher! Keep up the good work.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 20:54:14 | More by ABOWMan
Photo of m1ked


4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another WF Bowery beer room pick up.

A- Pours blackness, with a good 1 inch moussey sand colored head that has a uniform tight appearance except for a couple of large bubbles that pop here & there. Head slowly shrinks down and leaves a foam moustache around the entire glass.

S- Richness, vanilla, woody, soft bourbon, subdued coffee, some raisin, and rich dark chocolate. Smells delicioso.

T- I get some cocoa, chocolate, vanilla and the bourbon hit that lingers in a good way. There is a little smokey, woody throughout. After taste of slightly burnt marshmallow that leaves a lingering sweetness.

M- Not as heavy/full as I thought it wold be. Medium-moderate body, creay smooth mouthfells, a little oily after the swallow.

D- This is a great treat of a beer. Out of the BA Impy's, this has to rank up there in the top 5 for me. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 03:32:50 | More by m1ked
Photo of Mavajo


3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours jet black with a moderate tan head - light lacing. Taste and aroma were predominantly a charcoal/burnt sensation - I had trouble getting past it. Behind that assault, there were notes of bourbon and maybe vanilla. Honestly, the charcoal/burn taste (presumably from the roasted malts?) was completely overwhelming. Body is fantastic - smooth, full and almsot velvety.

All in all, it took me an hour to finish this thing. Maybe my tastebuds were whacked, or maybe I got a bad bottle, but this really wasn't very tasty. I had a similar experience with Peche Mortel, but upon trying again, the second bottle was much better -- so maybe I'll do the same thing with Heresy and give it a second chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 14:18:00 | More by Mavajo
Photo of AlFromBayShore


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - motor oil with a finger width head that fades into a thin sudsy film. As it warms, caramel begins to appear. And if there were ever such a thing as a "sticky sugary aroma", this has it.

S - coconut hits your first followed by vanilla, and then some booze - kinda like spiced rum. extremely faint malt in the background.

T - coconut, vanilla, chocolate up front and some autumn spices seem framed by a mild bitterness on the front end, the sides of the tongue, and in the finish. alcoholic warmth builds from inside the chest. And then chocolate returns in the finish. So much character. Even the booze has depth.

M - full bodied and thick; soothing

D - I'm not sure what is meant by "drinkability". I like taking big gulps of this. And, as I write more of this review, I reach for the glass to take another gulp. I guess the drinkability is good, maybe better?

I like this. I got a single from Hop City for $1.99 and they seem to have many, many six packs of this stuff stacked up front. This Friday, I'm getting me some. Delicious!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 02:05:59 | More by AlFromBayShore
Photo of david18

New York

3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at the Amsterdam Ale House on New York's Upper West Side.

A very good example of the style, less hoppy and a little less strong than an American Imperial Stout. Great dark color, very good roasty flavor and aroma. I would like to drink this one late at night if I can find it in bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 22:31:07 | More by david18
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

G – Tulip

A – Big crude color, moderate head, plastered lacing.

S – Big stout; oxidized cocoa aromatics, vanilla bean and a definite element of musty oak.

T – Huge oak and burnt cocoa flavors; eventually the burnt cocoa segues into a rich milk chocolate impression, the oak remains pleasantly strong. There are also suggestions of vanilla and tobacco. Phenomenal richness. Exquisite pairability. And, not surprisingly, it gets better as it warms up. I am floored by the deliciousness, and the huge value ($3 singles) as well.

M – Very creamy velvety mouthfeel with a long finish.

D – One of the best stouts I've had in a while. In a crowded field (RIS), full of spectacular examples, this beer is definitely worth savoring.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 00:44:45 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of HeyItsChili


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Pours pitch black with a medium dark brown head.

S - Vanilla really pops, extremely creamy and sweet, with some roast malt aroma in there with the chocolate and the what not.

T - The barrel aging imbues it with vanilla and oak flavors that almost give it a coconutty essence. Really fantastic sweetness mixing with burnt malt and dark chocolate bitterness. Strong alcohol aftertaste.

M - Nice and bubbly while still being velvety smooth.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 04:34:07 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of moz9

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stout glass with a nice viscous black and thick pour. Full two fingers brown head with the smell of chocolate and molasses. This is a very smooth stout and has the sweetness and depth that we all love, without the overwhelming taste of any one element (i.e. not too much coffee or nutty flavor, etc).

While there is the chocolate and a hint of vanilla, there isn't the musty and nutty flavor that you see in some stouts (tenfidy et al).

I would definitely try this--well worth it.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 01:56:59 | More by moz9
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black/dark brown color and a thick texture. There was a small amount of foamy, tan-colored head that quickly dissipated. OK lacing.

S: Smelled of roasted malt, coffee, and vanilla. A sharp, tangy aroma.

T: Taste consisted of coffee, vanilla, molasses, roasted malt, and a wood-like flavor. A solidly constructed taste.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Full-bodied, but not quite as thick as some Russian Imperial Stout.

D: A rock solid, drinkable, well made beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 13:23:28 | More by avalon07
Photo of vacax


4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Slight case of foaming out the top of the bottle I didn't expect in this type of brew. Black beer with about a finger of brown head. Not a lot of retention, but a nice ring of superfine bubbles persisted nicely next to a small coating on the surface. The nose, despite the carbonation, was not too large. Black roasted malts, traces of bourbon, licorice, and a bit of raisin. While the aroma lacked depth, the flavor delivers nicely.

The taste has plenty of toffee and toasty malts and a load of oak, bread pudding, bourbon, cocoa, cookie, and herbal notes. Moderately full bodied with low-medium carbonation. While this is only 8% ABV, even with lower carbonation this feels a touch thin for such a robust taste. The feel doesn't live up to the robust flavor after the barrel is done.

That said, I really enjoy the flavor of this beer, and despite the "technical" non-perfection I find it to be quite delicious. I would happily drink some more, and hope to some time.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 04:28:52 | More by vacax
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an imperial pint glass, pours a deep dark brownish black with a nice inch of creamy tan head. Lasts for a while, then settles into a thick film, and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is kind of weak, but you can definitely smell some nice bourbon, some oak, vanilla and its a bit vinous.

Taste and mouth pick this back up. The body is quite smooth, not the thickest impy stout, but not a slouch in the least. Indeed, this isn't the biggest, thickest, baddest assed impy of them all, but a more staid expression, and I can appreciate that. This is an impy stout that drinks easy, bourbon be damned. It doesn't assault the senses, just pleases them, and pleases well. There is the bourbon, oak and vanilla laid plain, a solid roasted malt base, just the slightest bit vinous and resinous, some vague, shadowy dark fruits, not overly bitter. Sticks around but doesn't wight down the tongue. Basically, like I said, an easy to drink but still vigorous imperial stout.

Much thanks to thechrislife for this extra.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 02:01:23 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of cpetrone84


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark black liquid that is only shades from jet black. the head is a coffee color, quite tight and thick. there is some solid retention, it lingers for almost a minute or teo. there is a thin lace on the glass that completely coats it as the head slowly works its way down the glass.

S-the nose is average in strength compared to other RIS'. It brings hints of dark chocolate up front followed by a vanilla oak aroma. hints of bourbon and a touch of alcohol come through at the very back.

T/M-wow! this is really good and I was not expecting that it would be quite this good! Sweet dark chocolate hits first, a touch of oak and hint of bourbon. a roasted malt base finishing with a big taste of sweet dark fruits, dark cherries and plum! so smooth, pefrectly carbonated, medium to full body (a little thicker and this could have been right up there with the best of them imo).

D-this is so smooth on the palate, one of the smoothest beers i've ever had. a thick body would have given this a few fives and might have even uped the taste (for some reason I thick a chewy mf would have made this tastier). I want more and more!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 02:48:42 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of DmanGTR


4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes (9/22/09)

A - extremely dark brown with a lasting tan head. Excellent lacing and retention. Beautiful. 4.5

S - creamy chocolate, blackberries, caramel and rich bourbon. Hmm.. I didn't think this was bourbon barrel aged but I could be wrong. Smells great though. 4.5

T - intense roastiness and a hint of toffee. Bourbon is apparent in the finish. Excellent! 4.5

M - rich and creamy, warming finish but not sticky at all. Light and smooth carbonation. 4.0

D - wow. give me another. stat. 4.5

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2010 14:57:59 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of zdk9


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours black- well brown under the light, but a pretty impenetrable brown. Basically no head and no lacing.

S- An amazing smell. Really amazing. Dark fruits, cherry. Delicious dark milk chocolate- fudgy. Slight manifestations of sweet manderine orange.

T- Delcious chocolate. Delicious barrel aging. Delicious all around

M- Actually lighter than I expected, maybe a little underwhelming.

O- An incredible smelling and tasting beer, but not quite perfect on the mouthfeel. Still a really awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 01:50:33 | More by zdk9
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,848 ratings.