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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,005 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,005
Reviews: 972
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 99
Gots: 251 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

Old Heathen aged in oak (whiskey/bourbon) barrels.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,005 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dizknee24
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of MikeyMikee
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of BeerConnoiseur
4.4/5  rDev +12%
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.


Photo of Stinkypuss
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
4.32/5  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!


Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.02/5  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.

Photo of tigernipples
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of garuda
3.97/5  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.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of Jesse13713
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The most chocolaty looking head I've ever seen. It looks almost like chocolate milk in the froth. An airy volumized full four fingers of head. The beer itself is pitch black. Very impressive lacing.

Smell - A large alcoholic nose with chocolate and barley in the backround. Hints of toasted malts and a very faint coffee hint as well. Dark fruits and smoked oats linger as well. An overall very impressive complex smell. A bit of a candy smell to it as well.

Taste - Way more coffee in the taste than the head predicts. A very smooth imperial stout. Coffee beans and malts linger in the background. Picked this up the first day I saw it; it taste very fresh. Chocolaty and rich. Slight cinnamon on the finish that I'm perhaps confusing with the bourbon burn.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - A good sipping brew. I'd enjoy having this one in the morning. Resembles more of a cold coffee taste with an alcohol spike. A delicious imperial stout and one that I have been looking forward too.

Photo of AwYeh
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into snifter, bottled 2/10/11; thanks to Jesse13713 for this one.

A: Dark brown/black, one finger of fine, creamy tan head which dissipates quickly but is easily replenished through swirling. Spotty lacing.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate, oak; hints of smoke, coffee, dark fruits, and ethanol.

T: Rich milk chocolate flavor, with accents of oak and a long, lingering, bittersweet finish. Complexity and some richness actually seem to drop off as it warms, becoming more watery/thin.

M: Medium-bodied, with light carbonation. Smooth with a lingering, palate-coating stickiness.

D: Enjoyable but not as great as some other barrel aged stouts out there; still, at its price point, definitely worth a try.

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

Bottle dated Feb 10 2011 poured into my Victory Tulip.

A: Black Hole black with a one finger brown head that dissapates quickly

S: Good blend of bourbon,dark fruit, woody oak and vanilla. sweet

T: Bourbon upfront then dark fruit with coffee and oak

M: Medium bodied

D: Overall, a very solid beer from Weyerbacher. Everything blends together well and i could easily have a few of these in a sitting. Ive had this 4 years ago and i find this vintage much more drinkable than the former.

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

This one year old bottle poured pitch black in color with a brown head that has a cherry red hue to it. Head stood two fingers tall following my fairly aggressive pour, but has now settled to a thin layer with a good amount of stick.

WOW! Very nice aroma on this one. The bourbon and oak come through nicely. There's also a slight fruity quality...maybe raisins or dates? The typical roasty smell is also there, but it's a bit buried.

Full flavored and smooth. This beer is blowing my expectations out of the water. You get the oak, the bourban, and maybe a touch of bitterness, but not much. Surprisingly smooth and rounded finish.

Medium body with a medium to low carbonation. Maybe just a touch thin for the style.

I could probably drink a couple...maybe 3.

Morey's Bottom Line: One of the more surprising and exciting beers that I've had in a while. It takes Old Heathen up several notches. It may not be as good as KBS, but it isn't too far off IMO. And for the money, it's well worth it.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.13/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours nearly opaque dark brown color. The head is a half inch of tan foam that recedes quickly into a thin ring of lacing around the edges of the glass. The aroma is of chocolate, oak, roasted malt, graham cracker, and vanilla extract. There is some nice complexity to the aroma, but for some odd reason I just don't find it to be all that appealing. The taste is of roasted malt with a hint of wood, and cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a texture that comes across as watery for an Imperial Stout. Overall, this beer just doesn't do it for me. I can't see myself drinking it again.

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Black as night with a thin tan head that settles quickly. Not much for lacing, as is expected.

S: Almost vinous, with a Bordeaux-like quality. Roasted malts and chocolate make up the rest of the aroma.

T: Much like the smell, but that vinous character is much stronger. A bit of oak is present, but more wine barrel character than Bourbon. Flavors consist of coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, and toast, along with a Claret character lingering in the backround. The finish is smooth, sweet, and lasts a while.

Notes: Heresy is a good beer, but I wonder if the brewery got the barrels from a reliable source. Were these charred American oak barrels or French Oak purchased from Chateau Latour? This full bodied brew is decent, and is a great offering. I just expected something a bit different.

Photo of billab914
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured black in color with a thin tan head keeping to the edges of the glass.

The barrel flavors come through in the aroma right off the bat. I get a lot of the woody oak along with a bit of the vanilla and bourbon. Some sweeter, malty, chocolate, brown sugar and molasses notes come through as well.

The taste shows a lot of dark, bitter-sweet chocolate flavor to it, along with some big, roasty, burnt, coffee like flavors. The real draw here though is the woody, oak, vanilla and moderate bourbon that the barrel aging gives it. Everything comes together and integrates very nicely. Excellent flavor overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is a little above average for a barrel aged imperial stout. Drinkability was very good, I really enjoyed it this evening. I particularly liked that the barrel characters complimented the imperial stout, instead of overpowering it. Everything came together very nicely to make an excellent beer overall.

Photo of haazer
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Philly Winter Beerfest. After some of the taps had run dry Weyerbacher broke out some bottles to sample. This was one of them.

A- A nice tan, frothy head forms a top the pitch black brew.

S- Wonderful aroma's of bourbon and vanilla. A very well balanced oak aroma follows suit, is very noticeable but not unbearable. Chocolate and caramel malts round out the smell.

T- I should find my Old Heathen link from my review on it and post it here. All the flavors are there but add vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The chocolate flavor is punctuated more so when throwing O.H. in the barrels they use. A win win for sure.

M- Medium to full bodied. Very creamy brew.

D- Absolutely delicious. Well done from Weyerbacher. Granted all they did was throw Old Heathen into a barrel but it turned out for the better. The added flavors and the heightened chocolate taste is great. A good example of how barrel experimentation changes a beer. Would be interesting to put this side by side with regular O.H.

Photo of phillybeer7779
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 batch poured from a bottle into an oversized snifter.

Appearance- Pitch black with decent amount of head, nice lacing.

Smell- Aroma is of bourbon and vanilla, lots of maltiness.

Taste- Full bodied taste with hints of chocolate and vanilla. Bourbon is present, but nicely integrated into the beer, not too dominant, brings a tasty dimension to this beer.

Mouthfeel- Very roasty and full bodied, a little bit of alcohol heat on the way down.

Drinkability- A very enjoyable beer, but would probably not want to have several of these in one night. Still, a little more drinkable than the average bourbon aged stout.

Photo of FosterJM
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

245th review on BA
bottle to snifter

App- An almost carbon copy pour of Expedition. Very dark brown with a dark tan almost brown head.

Smell- Not a whole lot going on here. Lots of malt and mostly booze.

Taste- Complete 180 from the nose. Chocolate, malts that end up a bit sweet and a touch bitter.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carb level. Has a nice taste of a sweet malt finish.

Drink- For an extra this was an awesome thing to get. An RIS from the east coast that was easy to drink, flavorful and enjoyable.

Photo of CPeterson
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A -- An intensely black/brown brew that pours into a one finger head a dissipates quickly into a skim of light foam. No light can be seen through, completely opaque.

S -- Smells strongly of dark chocolate, raisins, figs, coffee, and wood.

T -- Huge chocolate and vanilla tones, burnt toffee, caramel, dark fruits, molasses, light essences of espresso and earth to mellow the sweet malts and a slight bitterness that results from those flavors.

M -- Huge body, but light on the palate. Fairly crisp and dry on the finish considering the sweetness.

D -- Definitely worth picking up, not for everyone everyday; but very solid.

Photo of theBubba
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep chocolate fudge-like color into my stem glass. A good head with decent retention and a bit of lace that lasted 'til the end.

Presented the aroma of chocolate, malt and coconut.

Mouthfeel was exeptional. Decent body and carbonation for the style.

Taste was smooth, malty, fruity (as in dried fruit) and lacked any over hopped bitterness. Delicious. One of my favorite Imperial Stouts. But...

Drinkability suffers from a sweetness that sets in after half a bomber. Not noticeable in the beginning, but very much apparent towards the end. At which point you reach for a Heffeweizen to clean your palate.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance -- Pours dark brown with a slim

Smell -- The nose is inviting: cocoa, dark fruit, toasted coconut, whiskey, vanillin wood sugars, and dry oak planks.

Taste -- After that nose, the taste leaves me wanting. Taste is a bit thin, but what is present includes chocolate malt, sour mash whiskey, and dry oak. The mellow oak and coconut so strong in the nose have vanished. Whiskey character is minimal, but what is there is a bit harsh and sour. Lingering flavors of woody oak and cocoa.

Mouthfeel -- A bit thin with gentler carbonation. Over time the oaky wood tannins become more present and somewhat distracting. Not bad, but not very noteworthy.

Drinkability -- It's not bad, but this beer gets edged out by so many other BA Imperial Stouts. I'm normally a fan of Weyerbacher, but this was a bit of a dud for me.

Photo of phiberoptik
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Auto-junkies will understand when I say this pours like used 5-w20. Its very dark with a hint of red as you pour. I got a good amount of caramel colored head that's leaving a nice lacing as it dissipates.

I smell a lot of the oak along with some caramel and a tinge of alcohol.

I taste a lot of oak, and I really get a sense of bourbon in it. To me it almost takes over the characteristics I expect from a non-oaked stout. The alcohol is not as prevelent for being 8% but its there. I get some smokiness and maybe some dark chocolate as well.

Mouthfeel is nice and robust but not too much. Definitely a sipping beer for me so I wouldnt consider it highly drinkable as if I was going to drink 4 of them, but very drinkable to enjoy one or two over the course of an evening.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,005 ratings.