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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,844 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,844
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.9%
Wants: 85
Gots: 219 | 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: 1,844 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrbosworth

Rhode Island

4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Oak aged Imperial Stouts are instant favorites for most, but this one really pushes it's way to the front. When poured into a wide mouth chalice and tipped to see the color, well...there is none. It's a black hole that invites you to dive in with an alluring vanilla/coffee scent. So smooth. Sweet and bitter flavors, extremely drinkable but you'll want to savor this one at 8.2% abv. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 19:43:01 | More by mrbosworth
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

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

From what I understand, this particular brew was created by Weyerbacher aging their outstanding Old Heathen in oak-barrels... the result is a superb step-up from an already fantastic brew... Old Heathen tinged with vanilla, bourbon, and whiskey notes that is extremely complex, rich, and flavorful, and a level up from a typical RIS... Pours a deep, dark, jet-black, ebony hue with a reddish, modest tan head that soon dissipated... smell is absolutely wonderful, with rich, dark, burnt-chocolate, espresso, and cocoa... taste couldn't more strongly complement the aroma, with rich latte-like, bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, chocolate, and strong cocoa and espresso notes... just about the perfect rendition of the style... can't get much more thick, rich, or complex than this one... one of my favorite beers from Weyerbacher... this one is a real winner with myriad flavors that tingle the tongue and delight the pallate... certainly a winner where aroma and flavor are concerned... this one hits home... one of the better depictions of the style... a top American brew... Definitely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 02:15:13 | More by dsa7783
Photo of LeftyBWS


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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Black in color, no doubt about that. Light brown head that is bubbly and huge; requires two pours to avoid overflow. The head slowly fizzes away. Slippery sheets of lacing, leaves sprinkles on the sides of the glass and a nice creamy layer of head atop the beer.
S: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, grains. Quite nose-filling. A bubbliness tingles the nose too. Some sweetness and maybe honey or cream?
T: Nice maltiness to it. Bitter chocolate, alcohol, and warm, soft malts. Dryness and choclate in the finish, pretty muted. Oaky and bready overall.
M: Little bit of alcohol but otherwise pretty good. Malty fullness to it with a slight bitter tingle. Satisfying for the style.
D: I like this. Quite drinkable for an imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 06:47:48 | More by LeftyBWS
Photo of sraimondi


3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very excited to pop this one, as I'm a big fan of Weyerbacher stuff (This past year's Autumnfest was remarkable!) and I have read the many positive reviews on this one.

Poured with a very large brown/cream head which collapses slowly. Very nice sheet lacing. Quite opaque brown/black.

Major oak/whiskey hits you first, with definite chocolate overtones which take over. Some toffee as well in the background.

Taste is oak/whiskey-like. For my taste this is overdone--too extreme on the whiskey side; this is a beer afterall, right?? Throws the beer out of balance.

Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth; rounded as well.

Elevated ABV is definitely present. Overall, I'm a bit disappointed in this one. Just too whiskeyish for a beer. Too bad, as this is a very complex brew otherwise, but the oak barrel involvement is way over the top and provides for an unbalanced beer in the end IMHO. Dialing back the extreme qualities of this one would have given me a better experience.


Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 03:25:02 | More by sraimondi
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in my DFH snifter. Poured the color of tar with absolutely no light penetration. Luscious, dense mocha-colored head with consistent lacing throughout the tasting. Strong scent of oak, coffee and molasses. Taste similar to nose with the addition of chocolate; heavy presence of alcohol and oak at the finish. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Very smooth, but not quite silky as there is a bit of carbonation detectable on the tongue and a little too oaky for my taste (strong bourbon undertones). This is a definitely a complex brew that should be savored slowly. Would have been better bottled as a 12oz. because 22 is just too much oak for a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 02:39:57 | More by Jwale73
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, served in a tulip glass.

A - black as the ace of spades with a light brown head that hung on for most of the ride, leaving bits of lacing all down the glass.

S - rich, roasted malts and oak aromas.

T - I could really taste the oak in this one, delicious roasted flavors all the way through.

M - full bodied, light carbonation, good and chewy in the mouth.

D - smooth with a meal or as an after dinner sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 23:08:19 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of RblWthACoz


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

Pours a pitch black with a higher rising tan head that falls fairly quickly. Nose is thick molasses malts with mild coffee on there. The malts are the thickest character here though. Flavor is malty and thick. I get a touch of alcohol as well. Feel is about standard for the liquid, though it seems to fall off on the end to a more watery and thin feel. Carbonation is typical. Overall this is a good brew in the essence that it is even and smooth. There isn't anything overly interesting going on here. Just an even keeled experience.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 04:24:22 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of trill


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

Pours black, completely opaque, with a toffee-colored head, about 1/2", that hangs. Smell is espresso, rich dark chocolate, and soft caramel malt. Taste is fantastically rich, smoother than many RIS, with heavy notes of espresso, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, cola, and a hint of figs. Lacing is fairly heavy and mouthfeel is wonderfully rich and thick. Not as powerfully bitter as Bell's Expedition, which works to its advantage. A dessert by itself.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 03:49:33 | More by trill
Photo of Biscuit033


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

A: Poured a viscous blackness, with a large light brown dense head with little lacing.

S: Vanilla, oak, bourbon, and a roasted malt sweetness.

T: Cream, smoke, chocolate, and vanilla. Similar to a rocky road ice cream with some smokiness.

M: Thick, creamy, mellow carbination, more viscous than most beer but not syruppy. The flavors linger in your mouth for a long time. Not to much of a bitter feel.

D: This goes down very easy for its ABV and is well balanced between bitter chocolate, sweet malts, and smokiness.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 02:41:02 | More by Biscuit033
Photo of akorsak


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from Stateline. I last reviewed this beer almost two years ago. Admittedly (see the previous review caption below), I was not big on barrel aging back then.

A: The stout is black. One word, plain and simple. Nothing escapes its depth. Atop the beer is a latte-colored head, large on pour (2+ fingers) that laced nicely before I refilled the glass.

S: The nose is dark malts, full of chocolate and burnt toast, and a lot of barrel. The barrel has added bourbon aromas, vanilla and booze.

T: The ale is far more oak than stout. Vanilla mixes with butter and pepper to create an intoxicating flavor. Buried within the swirling oak flavors are stout notes. Thick coffee and chocolate, along with dark roasted grains provide the bitter compliment to the oak's sweet softness. The stout qualities leaving a lasting impression of dark roasts and burnt flavors in the back of the mouth.

M: The silky soft oak flavors are nicely paired with the stout here. Neither flavor overwhelms the other, making this a pleasing sipper.

D: Thank God for evolving tastebuds. While I once found this to be offensive, I have come around. The flavors blend nicely, a signature of Weyerbacher's barrel-aged line. This is a quality stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 01:36:09 | More by akorsak
Photo of riversider76

New York

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin tan head. Decent retention,and nice lacing. Smell is of smokey,roasted malts,and maybe some coffee. Medium bodied,with a bit of carbonation. Taste is roasted,and chocolately, with a bit of a dark fruit edge. Lighter than I expected. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 02:35:50 | More by riversider76
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz 2006 bottle (no date), sitting in my cellar for about 13 months poured into a pint glass

A: First, this beer looks amazing, though I don't quite remember being so impressed last year. Liquid is opaque pitch black. Very large, fluffy coffee colored head that dissipates very slowly and leaves enormous amounts of lacing down the glass. Pretty much looks perfect to me.
S: Complex, smoky, malty aromas. Becomes richer as it warms up and of course can also detect bourbon.
T: This is where I felt a little let down in this beer. Still delicious, but not quite as complex as I remembered it and the alcohol has been subdued. Begins with roasted malt flavor and finishes with a vanilla sweetness, almost too sweet, especially in aftertaste. As it warms up can taste hints of the bourbon, but not as strong as it was when fresh. Eventually as you finish drinking the sweetness overwhelms everything else.
M: Starts off lightly carbonated and has a full bodied, very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.
D: A very interesting beer, but I think I enjoyed this more the first time around when it was fresh, or maybe I had just built up my expectations for this too much from last year.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2007 19:39:02 | More by yourefragile
Photo of dickieb

Rhode Island

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours pitch black with a toffee colored head. The lacing is their, but not as present as with other of the style. The oak aging sticks out in the nose with a big wiff of vanilla and bourbon. The flavor is also strong with the oak aging, with some roasted malts and chocolates coming through. The alcohol can be detected, but is well complimented. The mouthfeel is light for an IS, and this beer is not incredibly drinkable. Overall worth a try, not the best IS but by no means bad.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 01:03:54 | More by dickieb
Photo of Kendo

New York

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

A: Poured from the bomber into a Sam Smith's nonic. Body is black with a 2-finger chocolate-colored head that settles quickly. Some splotches of lacing cling to the side of the glass, but not a lot.

S: Black licorice and french vanilla coffee at first, with something sweet I couldn't quite put my fingers on. As it warmed it smelled more of booze, and that's when I concluded that the unknown scent was bourbon and vanilla.

T: First impression is wood. Beyond that I get vanilla and oak over a faint bit of roasted malt. Lingering sweetness reminds me of cream soda at times. As it warms, the bourbon taste becomes more obvious. But sweet vanilla overwhelms even that heat, and it closes with a cloying, lingering sweetness.

M: Fairly creamy in feel, but too light in heft for an imperial stout. Thin, and almost watery, in fact.

D: Not good. I let it warm for a substantial amount of time (OK, I didn't really "let" it warm; I had trouble drinking it, so it sat in the glass and got warmer), thinking maybe it would improve as it warmed. No such luck. This is the first time I've purposesly poured a portion of a beer down the drain in a very long time. I don't think I made it through much more than 14 oz or so, and even that took close to 2 hours. . . .

Notes: This one's been in my cellar for a pretty long time. Not sure how long, and with no dates on the bottle, I have no way of guessing just how old this one was. . . . Think Jack Daniels and Vanilla Coke -- flat Vanilla Coke -- and you have the idea. Not recommended, especially not in large quantities. Maybe this would be interesting in a 5-6 oz-sized serving in a snifter -- i.e., split the bomber 4 ways -- but trying to drink a bomber of this was a chore. I couldn't do it.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 19:45:33 | More by Kendo
Photo of Stoneman78


3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured at the BA/RB table at the 2007 Strong Ale festival
A- Dark brown/black hue, minimal biege head mostly dissipating, not much lacing
S- Dark fruits, brown sugar and molasses, licorice, alcohol
T- Initial taste is wood and bourbon, vanilla, raisins, plums, coffee, alcohol
M- Light/medium bodied, watery texture, low carbonation
D- Decent but somewhat uninspiring IRS, lacks boldness and complexities found is many of the bigger offerings in this genre

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 01:09:43 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of davidt


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

Poured into a brandy snifter. Dark black with a large beige head. Coffee aroma with some chocolate Not bitter at all. Rich and creamy, the beer goes down smoothly. Very nice beer for a cool Fall evening by the fire. This is one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts I've tried, and it's easy to find a well.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 17:26:12 | More by davidt
Photo of PlaywrightSam

New York

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

22 oz bomber into tulip glass. A: Black oil, tan head that goes down pretty quickly. Not much lacing. S: Bitter chocolate, dark fruit, some earthy hops in there. Very enticing. T: Moderately sweet, chocolate, bourbon, oak, really nice layer of earthy/mild citrus hops on the wonderfully long finish. Beautifully balanced. M: Smooth, chewy, delicious. D: I am not by any means an expert on RIS, but I think this has to be one of my favorites out of the ones I've had. Really brilliant, complex flavors, none of them too intense as to detract from each other. I picked this one up knowing nothing about it, I think I'll definitely pick it up again.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 03:43:00 | More by PlaywrightSam
Photo of Dubbercody


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

Decided while prepping the turkey for brining...decided a keep it for a special occasion beer was in order. The occasion, the lady making pumpkin Crème brûlée... and all I have to do is donate my brewing pot to an overnight turkey home. Black brew, good fluidity in pour. Sweet and sour beer. Quite a fantastic combination. Something I don’t think I would have liked in the beginning of my beer education, ore even membership of with BA, or possibly when I received this in a trade over a year ago, but now, quite nice. I don’t know how this aged bottle compares to the fresh ones, but if this is any indication, age on people, age on. Really smooth, I’m glad I had the ’hold onto’ mentality with this one. Very slight alcohol taste right at the end is the only heat this one brings at it’s age.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 06:41:35 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher- Heresy

A- Pitch black with a huge creamy tan head. Heavy lacing.
S- Light, but notes of charcoal and whickey.
T- Sweet bourbon whiskey. Big flavor of charcoal with a touch of sugary chocolate in the end.
M- Sweet and boozy. Burnt charcoal and ash coat the mouth.

Overall, This is quite boozy tasting for 8%! Pour JD into a pint of stout, that's what this is.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 21:36:50 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

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

Reviewed from a 12oz bottle I've been sitting on since tis past February. No freshness info found on the label.

Poured into a small snifter, the liquid is a solid, completely opaque, engine-oil black. Head is a rich tan, starting out at about 1/2" though quickly ebbing to a thin, fine layer of tight bubbles. Doesnt't leave much lace behind, though. Nose has inviting roasty aspects, with semi-sweet choco notes also wafting up and out. Feels quite velvety on the tongue; smooth and silky, all the while being a smidge above medium in the body area. Almost gets into the chewy arena, though not quite.

Taste kicks off with a combo of some semi-sweet choco malt and some coffee-ish, roasty, bitter flavors. It then comes forth with some dark fruit characteristics, like black currant and a subtle hint of raisins. Finish comes around with a bit of floral hoppiness lurking in the shadows, and it gets dry at this point, too. I don't really pick up anything in the way of oak, as the label suggests. Also, the 8% abv is well hidden, as I can't pick up any "heat" at all here. Fairly decent, all-in-all.


overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 21:47:03 | More by Bierman9
Photo of vtfan77


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Very, very dark, almost black, topped with a generous coffee-colored head that actually sticks around for a while. Very attractive.

S- The oak aging contributes a lot to the aroma of this beer. Bourbon and vanilla are extremely prominent. They're very nice, but are almost too strong; they overshadow the stout aromas, which are definitely present with some roasted malt, but kind of weak.

T- More bourbon and oak. The malt is more prominent with a distinct coffee-ish roasted flavor. The 8% ABV makes itself known as well. The beer is quite dry and finishes with a mild bitterness.

M- Velvety smooth, medium-full body with a low level of carbonation.

D- This is a very rich beer, and although the ABV is not particularly high for the style, it seems higher. As such, I would definitely stop at one, and that one would have to be drunk slowly.

I haven't really had a bourbon barrel-aged beer before, and I guess the bourbon flavor was a bit more than I was expecting. It seemed to overshadow the actual "beer" aspect rather than complement it. It was still quite enjoyable, but this "flaw" keeps it from competing with the upper echelon of the style. Recommended, especially for fans of bourbon barrel-aged beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2007 05:54:00 | More by vtfan77
Photo of brantadid

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with no light passing through. Wonderful tan, frothy head which diminished to nice lacing.

Not much in the nose. Smells like dark chocolate and tar.

Tastes of burned malt, but that could be the oak. Really reminds me of a cabernet sauvignon or a zin. Lots of dark fruit and some blueberry. A lot going on in this beer.

Lower carbonation makes for a very drinkable beer with a nice silky mouthfeel.

I will be searching this beer out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2007 19:10:54 | More by brantadid
Photo of panamabchc

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass. Poured nicely with a thick brownish head almost resembling the crema of an expresso. Nice aromas, coffee,dark berries. Extremely smooth , you can definelty pick up on the oak, it smooths out the flavor. Left a bit of a tart taste on the pallet perhaps from the oak. Over all good brew would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2007 01:44:26 | More by panamabchc
Photo of HugoGrim


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

Jet black body with toffee head. As it pours I notice how syrupy this is.

Aroma is very rich and sweet. Right out of the bottle the smoky wood character is quite strong, but as it sits in the pint glass this becomes more subdued, and the sweet chocolate notes come forward. Smells like dark chocolate cake.

The flavor has a much more subtle wood flavor than many of the other wood aged beers I've tried, which I like very much. It is not over-stated at all. Bakers chocolate, alcohol is slightly noticeable, freshly cut wood.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 02:07:18 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of NCSUdo


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice dark brown head. Opaque black body. Great looking head with bubble on top of bubble. Slowly dies down with some decent lacing through out.

S: Roasted, chocolate, malty sweetness, hints of some vanilla and licorice. Could begin to pick up on a little alocohol near the end of the glass.

T: Roasted finish. Chocolate and a slight coconut like hint. A little bitter in the finish with a slight hint of alcohol that is slightly warming. Really a nice sweetness up front. Bitter chocolate taste borders on coffee like.

M/D: Robust full body with a good amount of carbonation. A little sticky. Although alcohol is concealed fairly well, this is still a sipper. Not quite smooth enough for higher drinkability. 8% is definately felt if not tasted. Something that is best enjoyed on a cold night.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2007 00:50:49 | More by NCSUdo
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,844 ratings.