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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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very good

2,004 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,004
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: 2,004 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Naugled
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served in sampling flute

a: jet black opaque, deep brown head, silky surface but no legs

s: all sweet, prune and raison

t: nice sweet bitter balance but a little on the sweet side. again prune raison and some tobacco. I like this. it's not an over powering RIS, its drinkable

m: rich smooth feel, heavy mouthfeel but not cloying

d: good drinkability

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

Deep brown pour, settles much like ink in the glass with a nice darkly tanned foam of small to medium porportion. Great thin sheeting of lace is displayed as it settles and then splotches out as its consumed.

Aroma is fairly lush and tethered in a chocolate meets bourbon mix within the heart of a muffin or cupcake. Hints to vanilla, molasses, cherry rum, and roast.

Flavors aren't quite as bold but it is in a decent enough supply for a better then average taster. Nicely rounded with chocolateyness and some tender roast and caramel sweetness mixing with some cherry, fig, and vanilla hints as the middle shifts to its slightly bourbon-esk nudge of tang and twang. Subtle drying of cocoa and roast level off well with touches to the warmth from the bourbon. At first it seems kind of dull or OK, but grows quickly on you as it stays well within the memory and on the palate.

Body is slightly lighter for what any RIS might be. Fairly creamy and milding with a nice rounded tang of dark sweetness of fruits and bourbon. Just missing quite a bit of bolder, lasting tone, and thickness. Seemingly more like an OK porter then an RIS.

Drinkability is straight up easy going and warm with bourbon and with sweetened/tinted fruity chocolate. Not bad at all, but there's better. The bourbon is quite nice, its just missing out some on body.

Photo of drtth
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle was purchased in January of 08 and so has about 15 months of bottle age.

Appearance: Like its younger brother, Old Heathen, this pours dark brown, almost black, with a full foam head about ¾" thick which is dark tan in color. The head recedes slowly and sipping leaves a nice layer of foam with trails of lacing down to the ring of foam around the liquid. A fine layer of foam remains on the surface.

Smell: The aroma leaves no doubt this is a bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon and vanilla show up most strongly with hints of the dark roasted malts, and bittersweet chocolate which eventually come forward. Faint but still detectable are the dark fruits, some coffee, but no remaining trace of the hops that might have been present when the bottle was new.

Taste: The dominant flavor in the Old Heathen was dark roasted bittersweet chocolate malt, with some traces of sweetness popping out here and there, this one leads off with a vanilla sweetness that then leads into the bittersweet chocolate and coffee. While I really don't taste any hops here at all there are definite dark fruit flavors in the mix. What a complex mix of flavors this is.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is smooth, thick and almost oily and the carbonation is minimal. The finish is long and balanced between dryness and bittersweet flavor from the roasted malt, with traces of vanilla going on and on. Again there seems to be no strong hop presence.

Drinkability: While I had thought that the Old Heathen had a complex flavor Heresy trumps it easily with the additional complexity introduced by the bourbon barrel aging. At 8% ABV this is a one a night beer to sip slowly and savor. I'm looking forward to next December when I'll be sampling both Old Heathen and Heresy with another 9 months of bottle age.

Photo of IronCitySteve
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A very nice dark brownish black color. No light coming through. Provides an ample brown foam head. Some moderate and spotty lacing.

S: Lots of thick oak, vanilla, bourbon with some vague chocolate and coffee. Oak and bourbon dominate this sweet smelling beer.

T: A decent amount of oak and bourbon delicately blended together so neither overpowers the other. Throw in a little vanilla to round out the flavor.

M: Lots of carbonation, reminds me of soda or pop. This takes away from the feel a little too much.

D: A really well put together Imperial Stout, definitely a must try if you enjoy this style and enjoy bourbon.

Photo of Douglas14
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep black with a nice brown head, which leaves ok lace but doesnt have much retention. The aroma is immediately of alcohol, and maybe bourbon...i wonder if the oak barrels were formerly used for bourbon? The tatse is similar, but has a great vanilla touch to it. Love the oak aging. Good beer.

Photo of damienblack
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very lively looking beer. Very dark brown, nice beefy tan head, nice time on the head, cool lacing and bubble patterns. A nice looking stout. Smells boozey, the barrel aging is really the only thing that comes through on the nose, which is disappointing.

Taste is an enigma. Has great flavor, the oak aging really smooths everything out. Some licorice, some vanilla, a bit of coffee and nice smooth roastiness. Oaky, a bit of chocolate as well. Pretty sweet all the way through, not a huge grain sugar sweetness like some, but it's more on the sweeter side than the roasty bitter side. I don't really get that bitter kick in that respect. However, it's really on the lighter side for a big stout. Kinda thin, if not watery. The flavors are great, but there isn't much depth to them, they don't linger to any great extent. It's like stopping after the first 3 acts of a 4 act play. Medium body, very light for a stout. Very drinkable though, top notch. Goes down smooth and easy. The flaws are overlookable for me, and I will try this again. A very sessionable imperial stout.

Photo of cjgator3
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with some hints of bourbon from the oak aging process. There is also some notable notes of coffee and chocolate in the aroma as well.

T- The taste like the aroma features dark malts and a touch of bourbon flavors with some roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate.

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. It is a little more on the light and watery side than I was expecting.

D- The drinkability isn't too bad considering the high ABV. It's a sipper, but a tasty one at that. Recommended!

Photo of BARFLYB
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a plain pint glass.

A- A steady downward slope produced a fairly strong off white head that reached an inch in height. It left rather quickly leaving no lace. This is barrel aged so I understand. The liquid is a nice shade of black.

S- A big presense from the oak barrel giving off some faint vanilla. Behind that was the RIS or old heathen with dark chocolate and roasted malts plus some fruits here and there. Some roast in the end.

T- A great taste that I was not expecting. The oak is greatly placed and does not step on toes. The barrel gives a nice vanilla taste plus slight wood. The chocolate is smooth and my favorite part of this. I have not tried Old Heathen yet but Heresy intices me to try that.

M- Is good but at some times lacking. As I drank more and quicker this had a slightly thinner feel, but this was not noticed on sips here and there, weird I know. Other wise this is on the low side of medium bodied with light carb. A smooth ride.

D- Off the charts, while usually weary before drinking weyerbacher products, I liked this on first sips and loved it after the bottle was done. A bit light in alcohol for an RIS with a thinner body as well but the taste is there. Will be getting again.

Photo of tigg924
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black, nice one inch head, high carbonation

Smell: chocolate, cream, coffee, oak, and whiskey

Taste: cream, caramel, burnt coffee, and oak in the finish

Mouthfeel: sweet start, coming to a sharp middle, and a sweet end. Medium body, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: The high abv makes this a couple then done. The alcohol is well hidden though. This is a sipper and one of Weyerbacher's best offerings. I think this blows away Old Heathen based off of taste. I will have this again.

Photo of UA8
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an opaque coffee black with a tall mocha colored head.

S- Sweet malts, a touch of bourbon, vanilla, and dried dark fruit.

T- Leads with sweet heavily roasted caramel flavors, vanilla, and a touch of oak.

M- silky could be a touch more viscous but not light by any means. Carbonation is very low.

D- I like this beer and it's worth a try however its a touch on the sweet side for me to want more than one at a time.

Photo of bonbini26
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On Cask @ the Ginger Man 04-10-09

Pours solid black with minimal head very little lacing. Smells of Roasted coffee, oak, a little bourbon and chocolate notes
Big bourbon flavour with a touch of oak. Alcohol also comes through somewhat. The mouthfeel is little on the thin side due to the cask conditioning, i would really like to try this beer on tap or from the bottle. A pretty solid RIS and quite drinkable.

Photo of number1bum
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I reviewed Old Heathen a couple of months ago and did not care for it at all, but figured what the hell, let's try Heresy anyway.

Pours dark brown, not quite black, with almost two fingers of tan head. It settles to just a thin lace and really doesn't leave much stick.

Smell is definitely better than I remember Old Heathen being, but still it seems to be lacking in the malt department. It has a nice bourbon aroma, woody with some vanilla, but really just minimal chocolate malt and negligible roastiness. At least some of the weird fruit aromas I remember from Old Heathen are masked by the bourbon.

Taste is a step backward from the smell and reveals the same wateriness that Old Heathen does. There's just not much here. The bourbon flavor is nice and is not overdone, which is a plus, but it's severely lacking in terms of malt flavor. There's some nondestinct sweetness but nary any roasted flavor is to be found. I recall the Old Heaten having a cola sort of sweetness to it; the bourbon masks that a bit and just makes it a bland sweetness. It's basically just blah; not offensive, but not interesting either.

Mouthfeel is just far too watery for an imperial stout. It's a medium body at best. Carbonation is a bit overly aggressive which makes it feel thinner because it detracts from any creaminess that might be there. It's a hair better than the Old Heathen mouthfeel, but only a hair.

This is an improvement over Old Heathen, but it's still not a very good beer. The bourbon helps but underneath it's still a watery, uninteresting stout. It's not terrible and the bourbon seems to mask some of the funky off flavors I found in Old Heathen, but I certainly wouldn't call it good. Like most Weyerbacher beers this embodies mediocre. Actually, in a style with so many top notch beers, this is at the bottom of the barrel.

Photo of scottoale
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown longneck poured into a snifter an ebony brown with a 1/4" light brown foamy head. Fairly active carbonation, yet the head dies quickly.

Sweet chocolate, some roasty coffee, earthy hops and alcohol greet the nose. A bit of oats come through as it warms. The taste is much the same with sweet chocolate, black licorice, bitter roasted coffee and oats wtith some alcohol in the finish. It really tastes more potent than 8% ABV...nothing wrong with that for this style.

Medium-full body with some tingle on the tongue from the carbonation. Overall very tasty and quite drinkable...yes I'd like some more. Thanks to leftmindedrighty for this tasty extra!

Photo of WilliamD
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Very dark- almost black but with a slight, brownish hue on the edges when placed in front of the light.Thin, tan head that quickly dissolves, leaving some patched here and there.
Smells up front of coffee, roasted malts. Two interesting aromas accompany- something akin to strawberry-chocolate and a surprisingly strong and sweet vanilla presence. Very nice.
Very smooth imperial stout. Oaky, vanilla tones, with mild coffee and chocolate presence following. Mild bitterness.
Very smooth for a stout. Medium level of carbonation. Thinner than a typical imperial stout- somewhat crisper as well.

Photo of ffejherb
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into half pint on 4/1/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a very dark brown/almost black body with plenty of active carbonation and a billowy burnt tan head that settled into a quarter inch of rocky retention and left a bit of lace around the glass.

S - Oak and bourbon notes up front with vanilla, sweet caramel and subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. Very well-balanced and not too heavy on the bourbon or woody notes.

T - Lots of oak and woody flavor in the initial flavor with a warm dose of bourbon that is complemented by a sweet vanilla character. Borubon presence is not overbearing at all. Everything works well together here.

M - Medium bodied and somewhat oily, but the carbonation is a little too lively and prickly for the style, which in turn really thins out the body.

D - Mouthfeel aside, Heresy is one of the best offerings I've had from Weyerbacher. The bourbon isn't overdone, resulting in an excellent, highly drinkable barrel-aged stout.

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

Awesome light brown head--five fingers wide. So dark that light does not shine through. Lumpy lace all over the glass.

Very dry. I'm reminded of Cocoa Pebbles but without the sugar.

Lots of cocoa. Do you remember taking some of the Hershey powdered chocolate and placing it on your tongue? Here it is. Relatively thin body but the light carbonation gives this a decent mouthfeel. The aftertaste is similar to the flavor of dark chocolate after the swallow.

Photo of boxofepilepsy
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Easily recognizable 22 oz bottle.
Pours jet black with a fine mocha colored head which dissipates quickly. Already, I'm waiting for the alcohol.
The smell is definitely interesting. Roastiness and chocolate is present, but downplayed in comparison to the strong bourbon notes. A little bit of vanilla and some toasted wood. A little ethanol. The taste is pretty congruent. Wow-- whiskey up front, but in balanced. It's the strong alcohol that throws it off slightly. This is a full beer, but not as huge in body as some of its style. With its high ABV, it's definitely a sipper. This is nice, but not my typical style.

No doubt about it, this one wants a year or two of age to mellow and come together before it's ready.

Photo of Yesac
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Jet black color.. medium sized light brown head.

S - Oo big dark roasty aroma. Woody. Vanilla. Boozy like bourbon.

T - Not as complex as I'd hoped. The oak tastes great. The flavor

M/D - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Thin on the palate. Easy drinker.. so smooth.

Photo of Teeter
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer took two hours to drink, only because I purchased a single bottle and never wanted it to end.

If you enjoy a sweet aromatic mocha like flavor this is it. Dont let the menacing label scare you, it's my newest guilty pleasure.

cheers, Teeter

Photo of whitehouse50
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Andys. This pours very dark with a slight lite tanish head.

Aromas of vanilla and sweet dark malty notes. I could smell this all day.

On the first sip this is very smooth, you can't taste the alcohol that much, there are hints of more vanilla that are pleasant and not overbearing which brings a nice balance to the sweet flavors.

M & D are great. This almost reminds me of a milk stout the way the body is somewhat creamy.

I would definitely buy this again.

Photo of drgonzo3705
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a pretty black with a nice fluffy tan colored head that leaves nice lacing in my snifter.

S: Mmmm. Chocolate, molasses, and oak all tie together very nicely as it hits your nose.

T: Chocolate again not so much of the molasses in the taste but the oak aroma fills your mouth, very enjoyable.

M: Thick, creamy, mild carbonation, and a bit of hops.

D: Very drinkable. Being only 8% for this big of a stout is fantastic. I could easily polish off a 4 pack in.a night (have done it and will again). I look forward to this again next year!

Photo of nhudson
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Appearance is a very dark brown or black color with little to no head and some lacing in the glass. Looks very yummy in the glass.
S- Smell is of bourbon and oak with a hint of roasted malt
T- This beer was way better tasting than I thought it would be. Right up front it hits you with a oaky, bourbon chocolate taste but then finishes with a nice roasty chocolate taste with a hint of vanilla that lingers in your mouth.
M- Mouthfeel is very nice, velvety and not to "thick"
D- The price of the 4 pack will keep me from drinking too many of these but if I had unlimited funds I would pick this up everytimeI went to the store.

Photo of Nowhereman529
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown to black from the bottle with a reasonably dark tan, creamy head lining the top. The foam reduces to a fine rim within a few minutes and leaves just a bit of lace as the beer disappears.
S: Smell is complex: chocolate, bourbon, a hint of coffee and molasses. Averall a sweet smell with the promise of a little hoppy bitterness at the end.
T: This beer is big on taste upfront and subtle in the aftertaste. The chocolate and dark malt shine through pretty strikingly with the bourbon and a little oak and vanilla coming out in the aftertaste.
M: This brew has a very velvety feel to it. The combination of small bubble carbonation and thick beer make for easy drinking.
D: This is an all around solid russian imperial stout. Personally at 8% I could only take maybe two of these a night, but the go down easy and are a good example of the style.

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

I did not expect this beer to be as good as it was. Awesome overall, the price was steep but I would glady get this guy again. Pours a black color with a decent tan head. Smells of sweet malts and chocolate. Taste of sweet chocolate in the background and sweet malts from the oak barrels.. a nice flavor. Mouthfeel has no complaints, very smooth and goes down great. I want another.

Photo of iasanlee
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black opaque color with a modest tan head. Nose is of roasted malts and mild coffee/dark chocolate. A light raisin and oak aroma. Flavor is again roasted malts (coffee). Vanilla bean/oak, but very watery. Body is medium with a low carbonation feel. This beer is boring. It lacks all the adveture and depth a good RIS. Someone hook them up with some unfermentables and complexity.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,004 ratings.