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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: 247 | 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 rickmick
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, slightly brown, with a large head that halves in a minute. The smell is very nice, and there is a strong, dominant note of oak.

The taste is complex, smooth for the most part with a slight bite at the end, with hints of vanilla and a strong oak component. Mouthfeel is fantastic: the brew is both thick and chewey, but also nicely carbonated.

For an imperial stout, the smooth oak and nice mouthfeel make it relatively drinkable.

rickmick, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of Magpie14
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour presented deep dark browns, strips of black, and chunks of crimson hues. The body houses a somewhat heavy pour with minimal lacing and a deep mahogany cap that fizzled away quickly

S: this brew boasts big roasted black malt, some coffee, and unsweetened chocolate. Sweetness smells of brown sugar and some soft booze. Very nice!

T: dominant taste of toasted black malt paired with unsweetened chocolate and coffee. The beer is also tinged with dark fruits and light coconut tastes that are coated with vanilla-like flavors. Overall things are tasty and mix well
Upon drinking I was a bit disappointed by the fuzzy bubbly feel and mild body

M: thinner for an RIS and rather bubbled. The feel is slick in some regards but misses the mark overall, needs more bottom end. This kind of beats up the brew

D: i tell you what...this beer holds its own and needs a bit of work at the same time, some elements are awry within (especially for an RIS). In any event, the flavors are nice and tasty. I would buy again...but would reach for others before settling on this

Magpie14, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a four pack I bought a month or so ago that I've been "aging" (meaning I just havent gotten around to popping one yet.

Appearance: As I pour it, I'm concerned that it looks pretty thin. In the glass though, it looks pretty good. Opaque with a thin brown head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell: A little whiff of oaky bourbon, but mostly bitter chocolately and coffe-ey roasted malt. Its decent, but you kind of have to work for it.

Taste: Definitely more bourbon taste than smell, and I like the fact that it doesnt overpower the RIS flavors completely. The roasty chocolate and coffee are much more apparent in the taste than the smell. Its quite good.

Mouthfeel: Too thin. Like I suspected when I poured it, it feels a little watery. A good score in this style for me requires the beer to be thick, syrupy, creamy.

Drinkability: This is a really good beer when compared to the broad category of "beer". When compared to RISs, its more like average. The bourbon hints make this more interesting than the regular Old Heathen for me. My main problem with this is the less than aggresive smell and the too-thin mouthfeel. I'll let the rest of these age.

rapidsequence, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose is chocolaty malty with rich dark roast and mildly tart/sour hops. Smells good.

Pours jet black with mild head. Looks good.

Rich chocolate roast, deep malt, ripe raisin. Soft hints of alcohol. Soft bitterness. Notes of dark chocolate. Soft carbonation. Soft herbal spiciness. Dark non-sweet chocolaty stout. Sadly no indication of oak, but still quite good. Tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

MrHungryMonkey, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Blackish pour with dark red highlights. Two fingers of foam dissipate relatively quickly, and, like Old Heathen, not much sticks to the glass.

Aroma is a bourbony-boozy version of Old Heathen. The bourbon and vanilla add to the sweetness from the dark fruits...the dark chocolate and roasted espresso provide a nice balance.

In my Old Heathen review, I mentioned the initial sweetness being a bit of a turn-off when I first started drinking it. There are no such turn-offs in Heresy. Great flavor. The aroma led me to believe there may be some boozy heat, but that's not the case. All of the flavors from Old Heathen are still here...the sweet malts and dark fruits, the bittersweet chocolate, the light roast from the espresso. Just add sweet bourbon, oak, and vanilla.

Unfortunately, the body could put on a few pounds, much like Old Heathen. All of the great imperial stouts I've had have had this really thick, chewy texture. The lesser stouts are thin and watery. This is somewhere in between. It's still better than the average stout, but just barely.

I'm rather pleased with my mini Weyerbacher imperial stout tasting. Good stuff, and I'll hopefully be picking up more for cellaring.

Gyle41386, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of Martin2D
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with a huge dark tan head that retains well. Perfect looking beer

S - Oaky, almost vanilla like with roasted malts

T - Hints of roasted malts predominated by hints of oak and vanilla. Leaves a roasty aftertaste.

M - Medium-heavy carbonation and thick in body.

D - While the body is thick, the taste is somewhat watery and not roasty enough to be a great stout. However, this is a great beer. If they reclassified this, it might be better. However, don't hesitate to try, but don't expect a stout.

Martin2D, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of deapokid
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From what I gather, this imperial stout is an oaked-aged version of Weyerbacher's Old Heathen... and not a bad one at that.

Beer pours a candy bar black with a reddish/tan head and limited carbonation. Liquid is impossible to see through, making it seem imposing and impenetrable.

Coffee aroma with faint wood scent and a hint of licorice is present, but not overpowering.

Taste boasts big, pronounced vanilla and oak flavors. Unfortunately, the big ending is met with a rather small beginning. There is very little stout character to be found in this beer and the opening seems flavorless compared to the massive finale. A minute amount of character comes out as it warms (mostly bourbon), but that might be too little, too late. This major flaw turns what could have been a great beer into a good one.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery (especially on the initial sips), with a mild sizzle at the end that matches the sweet dessert flavor well. The well-masked carbonation slowly rolls out over time.

Surprisingly (especially for the style), the ABV isn't high enough to make this a problem beer and it's relatively easy going down. I'm not usually a fan of Weyerbacher's beers, but this is really one of their better models.

A good budget edition of the barrel-aged stout.

deapokid, Aug 31, 2009
Photo of beerbully
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle that has been aged for a few months

A-Dark as night with a half inch head that slowly disapears

S-Roasty, Vanilla, Caramel, whiskey barrel,

T-Tastes simlar to it's smell. Alot of vanilla and the wood comes through pretty strong. Very tasty brew. Some black licorice

M-slick, little to no carbonation

D-Given the style which I don't think is meant to be a session beer, this beer goes does rather easy 2 or 3 three tops for me me but the style dictates that. Really good beer

beerbully, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of u2carew
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
A) Pours with a brown creamy head. Sticky lacing. Opaque.
S) Chocolate. Coffee. Roasted grains. The overall aroma is fairly subtle.
T) Chocolate. Smoky. Caramel sweetness. Hops linger just below the surface and in the finish.
M) Smooth with some grit. Full bodied. Mellow alcohol effervescence.
D) A decent brew but not a standout.

u2carew, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of schoolboy
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In most categories, this beauty exceeds expectations. Unlike many of this breed, this one doesn't ooze booze and it doesn't need you to wait a year before it smooths out.
there too.
Truly a concoction from a skilled brewmaster, this is one I hope I can find regularly. It would be great to se this in bars. Or how about ON TAP. That would be amazing.

I think this one benefits from not being so strong, but they also have a nice balance here. That oakiness is just barely

schoolboy, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of kiddynamite920
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty black, tannish head. Pretty standard for an Imp Stout.

S: Coffee, toffee, alcohol and fruity dark malts. Very nice. Second time around with this beer and I am noticing a much larger amount of oak and burnt wood aromas.

T: One of the sweeter imp stouts I've had, very rich and full of coffee and caramel. Nice toasty flavor. Good amount of oak as well.

M: Thin, but sticky.

D: Wouldn't have more than one or two. ABV is 8 so be careful.

kiddynamite920, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of Nibbley
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black,black with a mocha colored head that fades quickly.
Aroma is dark ripe fruits and well toasted rye bread.
This brew has a nice big mouthfeel and great malty sweetness. Not much in the way of hops profile and the alcohol is surprisingly mild for 8.00ABV.
First time I've tried this one but it wont be the last,way above average Russian Imperial Stout.

Nibbley, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Weyerbacher Heresy is a solid black ale with a huge, creamy, light brown head that has outstanding retention and leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. There is coffee, salmiakki, chocolate and wood in the aroma. It's pretty full bodied, smooth and creamy with a crisp finish that has a little graininess to it. It's pretty delicate for an imperial stout. There's lots of wood resin in the flavor and not a lot of sweetness. There is a note of coffee and a hint of licorice. It has super balance. This beer is downright chuggable.

yesyouam, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of DoubleJ
3.08/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One of the treasures I brought back home from Philadelphia. 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

No explanation needed for the color of the beer. Okay, so the edges are cola colored. The semi-tanned head don top is 1/2 inch thick initally, slowly drops away and settles. Lots of oak in the aroma at first. The oak dissipates and some old bitter chocolate underneath, and chocolate malt. Not an overpowering imperial stout, its body is medium...one of the weaker bodies I've felt in an RIS (that's Heresy!). Mild notes of oak create a fruity cherry flavor. Slight perfumy chocolate. Alcohol is hidden in the body, but it will warm the stomach.

What would this beer be like without the oak? I bet the lighting bolt found on the label of the beer had something to do with zapping the beer of its power potential.

DoubleJ, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of montageman
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark as night, very ominous pour. The aroma is oaky with lots of vanilla and a touch of coffee, but the taste falls short. Not as big as I would like. There are some definite notes of coffee and vanilla, but there is also an off sour taste that is off putting. Mouthfeel is light and doesn't coat the mouth the way a powerful stout should. All of that said, this is easy to drink. It's not bad by any means. Recommended.

montageman, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of Kadonny
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a tap at the Craft Ale House into their 9 ounce drinking glass.

A: A dark brown almost black color with a one finger light brown head. Nice full lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla.

T: The chocolate flavors come forward first with a nice deep sweetness and a hint of charred coffee, molasses and oak flavors. The creaminess then follows with a nice mellow vanilla flavor that follows through to the finish. Finish is sweet and lasting with a bit of bitter chocolate at the very end. Very nice barrel aged beer.

M: Full, creamy, low carbonation and very little alcohol flavor. Other reviewers talked about alcohol burn, I got none from this tap version.

D: Per my above comment, drinkability is very good. The only thing for me was the sweetness. This is a great one or two glass beer.

Overall a very nice barrel aged version of their Old Heathen that adds lots of complexity. I really dug this beer and would be glad to drink it anytime. Very good from tap.

Kadonny, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer about 6 weeks ago at Sam's in Chicago. Nice stuff. Poured with an off-white to light tan head and a bit of lace. Opaque brown. Heavy dark chocolate aroma rounded out with coffee, toffee, caramel, malt, barest hint of hop. Flavor's similar. Body is good- natural carbonation, decent mouth. finish is easy. Session beer but for the sneaky alcohol

drpimento, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of sonicstylee
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

birthday beer is always good beer! this one pours out almost like motor oil, very dark and thick. holds onto it's dark chocolate tan head all the way down. smells were of bitter hops, chocolate, and alcohol. nice creamy and chocolate tones mixed in with roasted nuts and a small dose of alcohol heat. this is one for a cold new england evening for sure.

sonicstylee, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of tatoodkelt
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint glass.

A- Almost pitch black, little hints of brown peeking through. About a quarter inch cocoa head that fades pretty quick. Not much in the way of lacing.

S- The oak aroma hit me as soon as I opened it. Smelled like fresh split firewood. Once I was past that I picked up some dark fruits and molassas.

T- Oaky again, chocolate, molassas and hints of what seemed like black licorice.

M- Very little carbination, pretty smooth and sticky.

D- This one's a sipper for sure. I'll have the next one with a steak or something else from the grille.

tatoodkelt, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of Buebie
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this 4 pack of 12 ounce bottles up this morning in Hudson WI.

Poured from the brown 12 oz bottle into a pub glass.
No freshness date on the bottle.
A semi-rigerous pour produced a 2.5" head that billowed over the edges of the glass. The head itslef is a tanish brown, it has now receeded to leave a thin cap and medium lace stickage all the way around.
The brew is black in color, no light penetration.

Aroma of dark fruit, figs, currants, malted milk balls, chocolate, molasses with a more of a black triacle type of old ale aroma, aged leather, and a mild distant rose pedal floral purfumy aroma.

Mouthfeel is somwhat thin for the style. Carbonation is layed back though, aiding in the somwhat watery feel for an imperial stout.
Taste has alot more of the black triacle old ale type flavors. Mixing with cocoa powder, boubon abd toasted oak, a distant flavor of mint and tobacco.
Roasted malts and a burnt grain flavor.
This finishes with bitter roasty flavors and still that overpowering black triacle taste.

I'm not really feeling this brew. It resemlbes an barrel aged old ale far more then an imperial stout. That molasses overload really cuts down the drinability of this for me. This has the worst mouthfeel for any RIS I can remember at this point. Still, its better then Old Rasputin.
A sub par imperial stout, wont be buying this again.

Buebie, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of ajr24
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pours pitch black with a velvety mocha colored head. No lacing to speak of. When held up to the light it is pure black, no ruby or garnet highlights. This beer would be a heretic...

S- Complex aromas from this one. At first is a hint of bourbon/oak, some smokiness, alcohol and some cocoa. Lovely combination.

T- The smokiness and oak characters are up close and personal on each sip. But more and more sips reveal some toffee and chocolate flavors. Alcohol burn is there, too.

M- Creamy at first, but then the alcohol burn diffuses the smooth creaminess.

D- I'd call this a sipper- which is good because the warmer it gets, the more flavors jump out.

ajr24, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Paid $10.99 for a 4pack of 12oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a snifter to review.

Quarter inch tan head that dissipates quickly. The darkest shade of brown before black in color. Some light strings of lace.

Sweet and roasted malts, bourbon and aged oak wood dominate the nose. Also hints of molasses, brown sugar, candied raisin and anise. While normally I would be turned off by the boozy nose (especially for this being an 8% RIS) this characteristic adds a unique and welcomed dynamic to the brew. The brown sugar becomes more prominent as it warms.

Taste dominated by heavily roasted malts. Dark chocolate and expresso also present in the taste. Not as boozy as the nose predicted. Malts are pushing over-roasted for my liking. This beer has good elements that just aren't tied together favorably.

The mouthfeel is rather blah on this RIS. Medium to full bodied, little carbonation and goes down a bit watery. Short to medium finish of B-level coffee and malt roast. I drank one of these pretty quickly but am looking to different beer on my next.

ibbjamin, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured an opaque black, with a really nice cascade affect and a nice big, light brown head. The head had decent retention, certainly not as much as expected and no lacing to speak of.

The aroma was almost overwhelming whisky, especially as the beer warmed, with some malted barley and chocolate.

The taste, while I am a big fan of Scotch whisky, was too much whiskey for me. It was overpowering and even more so as the beer warmed. Also, as noted in the aroma, roasted malted barley and bitter chocolate were also present as well as more than a hint of alcohol.

The beer felt good, good carbonation, but certainly lighter in body than expected, yet I don't really think that it is a negative for the beer.

The drinkability is certainly affected by the whisky, but the beer was smooth and pleasant.

PhillyStyle, Jun 19, 2009
Photo of batty
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: absolutely opaque, but doesn't seem to quite make it to black.. the darkest brown imaginable. tan decent head, little lace

S: mostly chocolate. little hop presence.

T: follows smell... straight up dark chocolate, says it's aged in oak barells, but i only catch a hint. hop is only noticed slightly in the finish. much higher carbonation than most stouts..

M: i like how the higher carbonation feels.. slightly fizzy, but not overly so. otherwise very smooth and thick, almost milky.

D: not that high, a bit sweet

batty, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A thick, dark body that I can't see any light coming through at all; it is opaque even around the edges. A small brown head that has only a bit of retention and lacing.

Smell has bitter chocolate, coffee, oak, and lots of booze.

The first flavors are some strong coffee and bitter chocolate malts, which dominate this beer. Some spicy and woody oak comes next, followed by a blast of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is good; thick and creamy.

Not bad drinkability, maybe a little boozy for 8% though. Another good Weyerbacher beer.

Hojaminbag, Jun 10, 2009
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.