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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,969 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,969
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 94
Gots: 249 | 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: 1,969 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of KAP1356
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Weyerbacher tulip glass. Pretty sure this has been aging roughly 6 months after a trip to the brewery...

A - Dark as expected for a RIS. There was a gorgeous dark burnt caramel colored 2 finger head that receded quite quickly.

S - The smell is a well rounded nose of oak, bourbon, vanilla, choclolate and a slight coffee aroma.

T - The bourbon/vanilla/oak flavor stands out amongst everything else that is going on here. The chocolate and coffee appear more towards the back of the palate. I must say that there is a slight alcohol presence that I have not experienced with an 8% beer before.

M - A little thin for what I expected. Thicker than the Old Heathen, but still a little thin for a barrel aged RIS. However, it is still smooth and creamy and is quite easy on the palate.

D - Quite drinkable as the mouthfeel and flavor keep you coming back for more. For an 8% beer, this one did slow me down a little more than I expected from sip to sip.

A great barrel aged beer from a great brewery. This was my first beer craft beer I ever experienced and I love coming back to it again and again.

KAP1356, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from msulinski- thanks man! Been wanting to try this one for a while, here we go. Poured into Stone Levitation tulip.

A: pours thick, pitch black, 1 finger of cocoa colored head, decent retention

S: nice mellow bourbon notes on the front, huge vanilla, mellow oak, melds into sweet dark chocolate, smells delicious!

T: the front features some sweet malts, molasses, followed by chocolate syrup, vanilla, big notes of oak. Does not taste quite as balanced as the nose would suggest. The flavors are bolder, the bourbon is more prominent and adds a wonderful element to the beer, but the base beer seems to be lacking some balance of its own.

MF: creamy, silky mouthfeel, thick body

D: another delicious bourbon aged stout. Not as balanced as some of the heavy hitters in the bourbon aged beer world (i.e. KBS, BCS, BCBCS) but good nevertheless

homebrew311, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of boomer31
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've enjoyed everything I've tried from Weyerbacher including Insanity which leads me to believe the barrel ageing will be just as good.

A - What you would expect from a RIS. Dark black with a deep tan loose head that dissapates quite quickly.

S - I get bourbon and roasty malts all the way here. The bourbon is not overwhelming though its there but not blowing me away like many barrel aged beers.

T - Again the bourbon is present but not over the top compared to others. Coffee is almost as present as the bourbon and a little cocoa in the back. Some bitterness here but mostly from the coffee and cocoa. I also sense some alcohol here as well. Nice aftertaste of bourbon and bitterness

M - Compared to other RIS I've had this is perhaps a bit 'thin' but the flavor is definately there. The carcbonation is light

D - Any bourbon beer is a sipper and this is no exception. The 8% seems to be generous as the alcohol is present in the front and back.

Overall a nice barrel aged stout and for the availability (seasonal and relatively inexpensive) a good RIS to enjoy periodically though now that I've tried it I'm not sure I'd seek it out again.

boomer31, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of entisgood
2.42/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

at first i was blown away by how much this smelt like alcohol out of the bottle. this had a very dark, almost black pour. big head left some lacing as i drank it.
i thought this beer was close to undrinkable. the only flavor i got from it was whiskey. had a creme feeling in my mouth but it was overwhelmed by the taste of alcohol.
I found this beer harder to drink than weyerbachers quad and will definitely be avoiding it.

entisgood, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of Tomdee74
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is not the best stout i ever had but it's enjoyable. it's not terrible by any means..

A - Poured into my favorite glass.. a smuttynose big beer series tulip glass with an inch and half head.. head dissipated quickly.. a little lacing but not much there.. it is black but it is a tad bit thin....

S - smell a tiny bit of maybe bourbon in there i guess. a faint smell of alcohol... perhaps a tiny smell of chocolate.. not much...

T - actually don't taste the alcohol. this is pretty smooth.. it is an enjoyable stout.. this is one i do enjoy.. it doesn't blow me away but certainly doesn't let me down and it's calming a stout craving i have right now. but it's not a hoppy stout.. it's not like a yeti or smuttynose or founders stout loaded with hops..

M - Decent carbonation. don't taste the abv's here.. it's a little thin... not too hoppy at all..

D - i hope my review doesn't come off to look like i'm bashing this because i am not.. this is probably the 5th four pack of these i've bought.. sometimes i just want a smooth stout and it's perfect for a hot summer nite like tonite.. but most nites i probably want a little more flavor... a little more hoppiness.. but this is okay.. good job weyerbacher!

Tomdee74, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark murky brown, tan head, okay lacing.

S: Nice dark and roasted malty smell, a little booze in there. A little chocolate, not unappealing.

T: I don't know if it's because this is too fresh, or what, but the taste is underwhelming. There is a good amount of roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. As far as the "barrel aged" part goes, can sense a little smoky taste, but not much at all. Enjoyable, though.

M: Kind of on the thin side with not much carbonation. Not nearly as smooth as I'd like,

D: I've been wanting to try this for a while, and the price doesn't match the taste. But, this is a mediocre to decent attempt.

mostpoetsdo, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.7/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Great brewery, terrible labels. Opaque black with a muddy tan head. Eh retention leaves a few lacey splashes.

I've had 2 bottles of this over the last couple weeks and the first one had an unmistakable scent that initially escaped me. Now I know: it's fresh paint. This beer smells exactly like fresh paint. At first I liked it as one of those good-bad smells like gasonline or the smell of one's own fart. But then it really got to me and ruined my whole Heresy experience.

Smooth and reserved Heresy is an introvert in the double stout world. Alcohol and roasted malt is kept in check by barrel aging which is further smoothed over by oats. Dark fruity highlights.

Not a bad beer, it's just once something smells like fresh paint it can't taste good again. Anyone up for a trade?

donkeyrunner, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of thetomG
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown with a small amount of quickly dissipating tan head. Aroma is very roasty with maybe a hint of coffee and some boozy scents coming through as well.

Flavor is a medium sweetness with a little hint of sour bitterness as well. Well carbonated - seems about the right amount.

This is a strange one for me - not very much like any other stout I've had before. Unsure if there's something a bit off about my bottle or if that is just how this one tastes. Regardless, it is an interesting beer - glad I was able to try it, but not sure i'd seek it out again.

thetomG, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of illidurit
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a wet ecru head. Distinct oaky aroma with chocolate and a woody smokey note. Flavor is dark chocolate, coconut, licorice, and a decent roasted coffee note with some bitterness. Silky smooth mouthfeel, maybe a little thin. Pretty good.

illidurit, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of biglite351
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Near black with a tall tan head that lasts and leaves light lacing

S - Majority of the scent if from bourbon, but it is not too strong. There is a mild under toe of malt.

T - MIld bourbon taste that is the top flavor, not overpowering though like most bourbon brews. Some malt and chocolatem rather sweet overall.

M - Good coating with mild tingle on the front sides of tongue.

D - I could have a couple of these but not an all night drink.

biglite351, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of Naugros
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Weyerbacher brewery at the sampling bar.

Almost pitch black with a full, tan head. This was in a plastic sample cup, so I can't speak to the lacing.

This smells of coffee, chocolate and bourbon.

The taste follows the smell, but upon the first sip you understand how talented Weyerbacher's brew masters are. The balance between the flavors is amazing. The toasty malts, the chocolate and coffee notes and the bourbon extracted from the barrel all play well together in the sand box of your tongue. Amazingly executed!

Smooth and silky as a stout should be with a medium body. There is no bitterness that can be associated with some imperial stouts.

I thought Old Heathen was my favorite Weyerbacher beer, but this stuff is incredible. I bought a bunch while there and plan to cellar four bottles. They should age nicely and I can't wait to try the last one four years from now.

From reading older reviews (especially those of the brothers), I'm guessing Weyerbacher has improved the recipe through the years to create a better balance and better body.

Naugros, May 30, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty black brew, very minimal head came out on an agressive pour, little brown on the edges.

S - Toffee, soy sauce, some roasted malt backbone. A little bit of oaky smell due to the barrel aging, smells pretty nice.

T - Taste is about in line with the smell. Nicely roasty, with some sweet ginseng/soy sauce taste. Mostly toffee and caramel malts, pretty solid tasting, nothing ususual.

M - Little thin, would have liked it a bit more viscous.

D - Decently drinkable for thie style

AgentZero, May 29, 2010
Photo of Pahn
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No bottled on information (it's apparently only on the case).

Appearance: Free pour down the middle of the glass leaves a one inch, fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves small, short-lasting streaks of lacing. Pours a thick, oil black. Mild legs and spotty lacing.

Smell: From the bottle: bourbon and chocolate cake. In the glass: the same bourbon and chocolate cake, along with a touch of espresso and some vanilla. Very full and rich. A little boozy. I'm on board from the start. As the beer warms, a big bourbon note emerges and the smells gets a lot boozier, with the earlier smells sticking around but way in the background. Honestly, I love how this beer smells and could easily give it a 5.0, but I think it ends up a little too simplistic for that.

Taste: First sip is chocolate cake and espresso, with a very smooth and creamy but warm finish. Not as deep as the smell so far. The second sip brings out some bourbon in the middle, and some faint raisin in the end; still deliciously smooth, with some roasted malt in the aftertaste. After the third sip, I'm sold, as the bourbon character really starts to stand strong along with the dominant chocolate cake, roasted malt, and espresso flavors.

Unfortunately, the beer is a fair amount hotter than it needs to be. Would be interested in trying this after aging it for a couple years. Some building bitterness shows up, particularly in the finish. The flavor continues to deliver more nuances, with vanilla and some more dark fruit flavors mixing in with everything else. The flavor isn't so much well-balanced as it a complex collection of beautiful notes, complimented by a very nice mouthfeel. I don't know what would bring this beer more into balance, but I do know that the steadily building, quickly unacceptably strong alcohol heat takes away from both the balance and the individual flavors.

Mouthfeel: On the fuller side of medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Creamy and hot, with a building chocolate/roasted malt bitterness.

Drinkability: Too much alcohol in the flavor. As good as a lot of what the smell and taste provide is, it's kind of annoying to taste it and then have it disappear in a barrage of hot, solvent-like alcohol. While still an above-average beer, the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and doesn't beg me to return to the beer.

This is a confusing one. A lot of what it does is done really, really well. At the same time, the feel is a bit too light, and the alcohol is just a juggernaut that doesn't allow the numerous, beautiful flavors to shine. The boozy aroma is nice, because the bourbon character is strong and rich, while the stout notes at least stay present. In the taste, the alcohol just kind of wrecks everything. It's still an above average beer, but it leaves me wanting more (wanting *something else*).

Pahn, May 29, 2010
Photo of bgildea
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very nice dark brown/blackish color. Great tan head that stuck around, with some good lacing.

S: Smells great. Great smell of oak, carmel, roasted malts. Everything smells great. Very enticing.

T: Great flavor, matches the smell exactly. Nice sweet taste, great balance of flavors.

M: Great chew to the beer, nice thickness.

D: It's very drinkable. The beer definitely delivers.

Overall: Overall the beer is very good. The beer is very beer has a great balance of flavors that makes it extremely drinkable. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who likes a good stout.

bgildea, May 23, 2010
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.