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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,812 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,812
Reviews: 955
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 85
Gots: 213 | FT: 11
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: 1,812 | Reviews: 955 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigIrishman

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours dark as night and thick as motor oil, caramel 1 finger head which dissipates slowly and leaves little lace.

Smell: Wow, a whole bunch of flavors here. I get a ton of bourbon and slight amount of vanilla. Also very malty and a touch of alcohol comes through.

taste: Coffee comes through here but the oak barrel aging comes through a lot. Very malty and overall very nice.

Mouthfeel: Extremely heavy, exactly what you would expect out of a RIS.

Drinkability: Overall pretty good, but please, no more than 2-3 of these b/c it's just too heavy and powerful.

Notes: Barrel aging completely changed old heathen into a monster, very nice and I'll be back for more. Another extremely flavorful weyerbacher creation.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 04:33:17 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of Reagan1984


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with and aggressive creamy head that starts dark and lightens to a light brown color.. The beer is thick looking and really black in color... As the head fades it starts clinging all along the glass. Later it's confirmed... Tons of lacing.

The aroma is fairly light....A bit muddy... reminds me of cedar wood chips. I know that doesn't make sense, but that's what I thought of. Slight vanilla... but it comes across a little like wet cardboard. cinnamon?

Flavor is nice.... Quite innocuous.... Bit of oak. Bit of vanilla... Bit of roasted malt... bit of malt grains... Have to admit it's growing on me a bit...

Mouth feel is smooth and creamy... carbonation is about as Light as it could be....
A bit like you are drinking milk after a while.. Body is a little lighter than I enjoy... I like thicker bodied stouts... Especially barrel ages versions...

Very drinkable...

In the end, I enjoyed it more than at first... It definitely grew on me.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 23:40:31 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of Jayli


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

This beer pours almost black, but there are red tinges on the edges when held to the light. Head is mocha colored, fizzy and fades immediately to a thin layer, very little lacing left on the glass. Nose is of dark chocolate, coffee and malt with a hint of alcohol. Mild flavor upfront with chocolate malt and a bit of roasted coffee flavor. The finish is smooth with dark chocolate flavors - it's in the finish that you can pick up the oak taste, and some smokiness.Carbonation is medium and tingly and body weight is medium-heavy. Overall, not a bad Stout - I would definitely pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 15:28:54 | More by Jayli
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was a perfect black, 100 percent opaque. It also had a solid tan head to it. The scent was alcoholly and grape. Very strong.

The taste had an oak barrel feel to it, has a metallic taste to it and is extremely heavy...to heavy. It certainly a strong stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 04:30:52 | More by Amalak
Photo of OtherShoe2


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

Pours black with very little foamy head that is gone quickly. Tiny bit of lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malt, some dark chocolate, maybe a hint of coffee, some blackstrap molasses.

Smooth creamy dark roasted malt flavors, including dark bitter chocolate, some vanilla and cream hints. Alcohol is not even noticeable. Very very nice.

Nice full body with minimal carbonation. This was a very drinkable stout. Not overly boozy, and no cloying flavors. As I type this, it has been about 10 minutes since I took the last sip, and I still have a very nice aftertaste. One of the better purchases in this style that I've made in long while. Awfully glad I grabbed a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 00:53:24 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black. No light comes through. A frothy, bubbly two-finger chocolate brown head, with pretty good retention. Left a decent bit of lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, and alcohol. This doesn't hide the alcohol particularly well.

Taste: A bitter chocolate/coffee bite right away, and then the heat of the alcohol moves in. The oak aging isn't that noticeable - only hints of it are present in the aftertaste. After the initial coffee/chocolate bitterness subsides, a nice creamy chocolate/roasted malt taste comes through. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: A very good Imperial Stout. The oak notes aren't that noticeable, but I can't really hold that against this beer. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will have it again. An excellent beer for those cold nights by the fireplace.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 20:56:49 | More by StarlightSeraph
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fully opaque black color with zero differentiation throughout, big and frothy head upon the pour with plenty of big ole bubbles, lots of lacing and languidly slow to dissolve. The nose is super-rich sweet coffee ice cream, milk chocolate and carob, soft and creamy presence with raisin and maraschino cherry fruit accents, impressive staying power if monochrome. Full-bodied and even more dependent on coffee, buttered toast, chocolate, caramel flavors. The raisin, date, fig flavors keeps the sweetness coming. The roast subordinate to the toast. Hard to tease out any hop influence. Carbonation could stand to be a little higher. That said, moves well and never gets "stuck." Smooth like a road grader came through. Would like more flavor variety but quite satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 17:42:59 | More by farrago
Photo of HitokiriNate85


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Pours about a one-finger, mocha head that dissipates pretty fast. There's a fair amount of slow-moving carbonation. Blackest of the black, and leaves lots of coating on the glass.

S - There's a roasty scent that sticks out first, followed by some dark fruits. Cherries, I think. There's a bit of alcohol noticeable as well. There's an oak scent, but it's really light and I actually had to give the glass a swirl before I could pick it out.

T - Lots of roasted malts up front. As with the nose, I'm getting the same cherry taste and some alcohol in the follow-up. I've experienced this in an RIS before, and I think I described it as brandy-soaked cherries. Definitely getting the same thing here. The aftertaste has more roasted malt with some coffee flavor to it. Mmm. The oak taste is surprisingly absent from this as a whole. It's been warming for a while(and did before I poured it) and I'm only picking up a really faint oak taste. It comes in at the end and sort of smooths things out, though, which is nice.

MF - Smooth and thick and offset a bit by the carbonation. Fantastic. I'm not sure if I prefer a little less carbonation or not, but regardless, this is great.

D - I've had RISs that were more and less drinkable than this. So yeah, pretty middle of the road for the style. $3 for a 12 oz. bottle, which I think is a pretty good price.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2009 04:16:11 | More by HitokiriNate85
Photo of TMB0424

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber poured into snifter.

Poured a dark chocolate colored body with a tan, mocha colored head that very quickly reduced to a cap. Clings to glass fairly well.

Smells of sweet chocolate, sugary molasses. Darker fruits in the background, with roasted malts and a tinge of alcohol. Roasted coffee beans as well. Vinous, fresh, sweet smelling, although somewhat subdued. I'm not picking up an oak or woody scent so far.

Taste is of dark, bitter chocolate and sweet molasses. Good contrast, very nice. Starts off with that, pangs of roasted coffee and smokey malts, then finishes with honey, wine-dipped dark cherries. A very vinous feel to it - no hops. There is a sense of oak that binds everything together. VERY nice.

Medium-full bodied, but feels somewhat light in the mouth. Very slick and has a little bit of a watery feeling, but it's leaning towards the syrupy side. Lacking a little bit, especially for an RIS. Could be a lot creamier. However, the bitter chocolate aftertaste is really enjoyable - a high point in this brew.

It's drinkable and extremely enjoyable, but the mouthfeel brings this brew down a little bit. It could be bigger... if you know what I mean. I really wouldn't know this was oak aged if it wasn't printed on the label, also. It's packed chock full of flavors, however, so it's definitely worth a try. Very interesting for an RIS... it kind of has a Belgian dark feel to it.

Note: as this warmed, the chocolate and coffee flavors began to fade away (aside from the aftertaste), and the dark cherry/vinous flavors really came out. Made it a little more interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2009 03:46:43 | More by TMB0424
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

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

Heresy pushes up a big, dark coffee, creamy lather over an opaque dark-brown beer in a snifter glass. The lather drops to a quarter-inch blanket and leaves lacing coating the walls of the glass.

Smells of sweet, iced coffee with a hint of bitterness, wheat bread, caramel and molasses.

Well balanced, between bittersweet chocolate, coffee and sweet butterscotch.

A dense, creamy body is punctuated by fizzy carbonation and the alcohol is well tamed.

Pull out a bottle of Heresy for its own sake or with dessert. This is a nice subtle treat to accompany a good book, light conversation, or to top off the night.

Date consumed: 8 September 2008

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 21:32:32 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of Brianmerrilyn

New York

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at Skibbo's on East Tremont. I wanted something heavy and dark for the inclimate weather and figured Weyerbcher should do the trick. I was very impressed with their Quad and reckoned their verison of RIS plus the oak aged barrel addition could not fail. 1 pint 6oz bottle with no date so this is the 08 version I reckon.

A: Poured into a Skibbo's pint glass to reveal a almost jet black body, dashes of brown around, with a bubbly one finger coffee tan/brown head, dissolving to minimul lace and hair-pin ring and no cap.

S: The nose was oak, coffee, yeast, dark fruit, preview of the abv, roasted black malt, and chocolate all in a mild delivery.

T: Pallet receives flavor of more roasted black malt, dark fruits in form of thick syrup followed by bourbon winks, mixed with vinilla, and bitter dark chocolate. It was sweeter than i expected but the abv catches up with ya after each passing quaf.

M: Medium to heavy with slippery smooth delivery, retaining more carbonation that I would prefer from a Russian Imperial Stout.

D: A bittersweet vicsous stout if I've ever had one. Big sections of dark fruit along with coffee and malts and boozy to boot. A different batch each year and different taste as well, so will keep on trying to compare.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 23:52:44 | More by Brianmerrilyn
Photo of sonicdescent


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours thick and black with a nice mocha colored head of about a half inch.

Immediate smell is that of heavy alcohol, but that quickly subsides with some chocolate coming to the forefront. Very very faint hint of fruit and coffee are present as well.

Taste is very nice, big hits of chocolate and oak. No sign of hops at all.

Mouthfeel is probably where this falters a bit, while the thickness is nice, it is probably a tad overcarbonated.

Drinkability is high, I would order again, but I think it is too rich to do more than one in a row.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 02:57:23 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of paco1029384756


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

Bottle thanks to ericwo.

Pours black with one half inch of tan head and good lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, chocolate, oak and a hint of smoke. Nice strength and good balance make for one good scent.

Taste of chocolate, roasted malts, smoke, molasses and oak. There is a nice strength and balance to it, but nothing too impressive.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, but somewhat flat.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 03:14:21 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Oxymoron


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I her'sesy good. Pours a rich black color, very dark. A very fizzy head with ok retention that hid to the side of the glass and next to no lacing.

The nose has some nice RIS notes but also some noticeable phenolics and alcohol notes. To start there is big fruity nose with cherries, figs and definite oaky characteristic. Some fusel notes but does lighten as it warms. Nice chocolate notes but not much beyond that on the malt side.

The taste is similar. The malt notes come out a bit more but still limited for a RIS. The chocolate notes are there mostly but some minor bready notes. Big phenolics again, plums, cherries, and a light fig note. Some extract/honey/molasses thing comes out as well. The oaky notes are very present but does mix with a off fusel heat.

The body is moderate to full. Would like more depth. The carbonation is a bit high as well. Overall I would like a bit more malt and the phenolics and fusels are over the top. But some nice oak characteristics and chocolate notes are a plus.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2008 04:20:47 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of mdcrouser


3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Completely opaque black, with a rich and frothy mocha-colored head that begins at about half an inch and decreases to leave only that much thick lace atop the glass. Malty on the nose, and then intially sweet and thick to the mouth, but then it seemly wicks the moisture from your tongue, becoming increasingly dry, carrying with it a mild bitterness - oddly very little indication of the oak aging.

It does though come around to invite the tongue back to the party, holding the malty bitterness for minutes afterwards. Hints of powdered cocoa accompany the maltiness, creating a slick mouthfeel that outlasts the rest of the beer. Impressively heavy malts, but a bit of an odd mouthfeel and few other exceptional qualities.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 03:09:34 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours black with a thick, chocolate colored head. Aroma predominantly of oak. Quite woody! Flavor of more oak, some chocolate, and some roasted malt. Not bad but this is heavily oaked. However, it was better than I had expected.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 18:40:25 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Amsterdam


4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a beautifully tanned head that quickly flattens and vanishes. Caramel chocolate and oak bouquet. Flavor is of black and sour cherries and burnt malt. Leaves a lingering bitter coffee taste. While the beer seems to become more and more bitter the more I have, I can't quite shake the feeling that this is quite an interesting and wonderful beer. There is a darkness here I can appreciate, but I wish they could get it up to around 10% to really get the flavors rocking.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2008 22:57:53 | More by Amsterdam
Photo of roadhouse


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

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a snifter. Received this as an extra in a trade from kryptic I think. Huge thanks!

The appearance is pitch black in color with a one inch tan head. It sinks down to a skim and leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is chocolaty, with a heavy dose of dark fruit. Oak, coffee, and vanilla all make appearances as well.

The taste is very chocolaty up front and it stays that way overall with different layers showing up throughout the sip, swallow, and finish. At first the chocolate flavors come in but are quickly joined by vanilla, raisins, and oak upon the start of swallowing. The oak and vanilla linger into the finish but still the chocolate is most prominent. Dries a bit towards the end to bring out some more coffee roast flavors. I'm stuck between a 4 and 4.5 but since I'm feeling generous I'll round up.

Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, quite smooth and creamy.

This is a pretty damn good beer. The chocolate flavors remind me a lot of ST Choklat, though it's better with the added complexity of the oak aging.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2008 07:36:40 | More by roadhouse
Photo of dirkweep


2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I pick this up in S Jersey this weekend while visiting from the left coast; never having tasted a Weyerbacher beer. I have recently jumped on the oak aged bandwagon, and Stouts are always welcome. Color was fine, red tinged edges but mostly black, aroma was nice, sweet and a bit smokey. Taste and mouthfeel left me slightly dissapointed, a bit thin, sugary, not in the "classic imperial stout" style. Perhaps the oak ageing allowed fermentation to continue. Also suprised to see it's only 8%, just creeping into the Imperial range. Drinkable, average, didn't knock my socks off like I hoped it would. I'll definatly try other brews from Weyerbacher, may even grab a few to fly back West with.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 04:17:33 | More by dirkweep
Photo of eagles22


3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: nice rich black with a tan head

Smell: hint of whiskey and roasted malts and toffee

Taste: very sweet...kind of to sweet for me...but at first i get that hit of whiskey but its good than it ends a little bit to sweet for my liking but its still very good

Mouthfeel: not bad at all...very chewy and great aftertaste

Drinkability: not high at all...but its worth a try

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 03:59:43 | More by eagles22
Photo of hondo2160

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend bout me a CASE of this. A dark, dark, tan head...thick and viscous. Fantastic smell, like a jack and coke on 'roids. Malty, but with a that 'aged' overtone which seems to cut the sweetness. Smooth flavor, but a syrupy mouthfeel. A bear for a session, but a beautiful sipper. One of the most interesting beers from Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 04:20:54 | More by hondo2160
Photo of kevd193213

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber, poured into a snifter. Dark brown pour with a nice medium coffee colored Aroma of coffee and molasses. Taste of almonds, sweet chocolate and faint coffee. Really sweet for an imperial, almost to a fault. Mouthfeel is velvety with a lingering faint bitter chocolate finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 15:26:36 | More by kevd193213
Photo of CoalCellar


4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as night, no light passes through. It pours into my glass with only the fantest trace of a dark lace around the edge of the glass.
S: Bourbon and oak and chocolate, oh yes, this is the good stuff.
T: Strong notes of oak, caramel, chocolate, figs, and raisons accented with a roasted coffee finish.
M: Thick and syrupy
D: As a R.I.S. fanatic, I could sip this stuff all night. A delicious treat that isn't too heavy on the alcohol burn, try this one if you get a chance.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:30:58 | More by CoalCellar
Photo of spointon


4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This stout poured a deep black color with cola colored highlights around the edges. The head started at 1.5" and quickly settled to a skim/cap that retained throughout. Lots of lace down the glass.

S= Completely balanced and mild aromas of bourbon and oak barrel start things off before the underlying sweetness and malts kick in. Some vanilla and toffee in there as well. Moderate alcohol near the end.

T= Very similar to the nose, the flavors are a wonderful balance of bourbon and oak up front, followed by sweet molasses, vanilla extract, and some sweet malts. The long finish starts out creamy and sweet and eventually rolls into a long fade of bourbon. Outstanding!

MF= Heavy body with a relatively low carbonation and soft feel. Very appropriate for a stout and struch the perfect balance between tongue coating thickness and drinkability.

D= This was a real surprise for me. I picked this up in a trade and had zero expectations. Boy was I surprised to find a fantastic flavor profile, great aroma and excellent mouthfeel. Though this is not a "huge" RIS, it is no slouch at 8% ABV. Very drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 05:20:07 | More by spointon
Photo of jamie2dope


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

I tend to pick this beer up very rarely, but after sampling it tonight at Winchester Wine and Spirits during their weekly beer tasting, I felt the need to purchase a bottle. The sample I tasted there had this wonderful and unusual flavor of chocolate and peanut butter (ala Reeses). The bottle was poured in to a Duvel snifter. No light could penetrate this beer, black as hell with one fingers worth of light tan head. Dark bitter chocolate, mild whiskey, subtle dark fruit, marshmallow, and a hint of coffee bean come through in the nose. Vanilla is the first flavor to hit the palate, followed by powdered chocolate, black strap molasses and an oak complexity unmatched by some of the best examples of this style. Mouthfeel is hefty, but perhaps a tad light for an oak aged Imperial Stout. Very little hop bitterness comes through, but the malt and oak characteristics make themselves very known. Drinking is good on this beer, although certainly one to sip, as the alcohol is there and will bite you if you're not careful. This is an exemplary stout from Weyerbacher. It might not blow you away, but I would be surprised if it did not at least impress you. Grab a bottle, drink it now, or cellar it, I imagine it will be excellent either way. Cheers

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 03:55:47 | More by jamie2dope
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,812 ratings.