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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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very good

2,070 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,070
Reviews: 989
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 99
Gots: 291 | FT: 16
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: 2,070 | Reviews: 989
Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown color with good initial head and retention.

The roasted malts in this beer are more reminiscent of chocolatey and licorice notes.

Taste is similar to the nose. I've begun to notice imperial stouts can go on a sort of porter or stout route in my opinion. Sometimes I notice more roasty/coffee flavors, but sometimes I notice more chocolatey/licoricy flavors as I do in this one.

Very slick mouthfeel and excellent drinkability. Had at a bar, so no detailed review.

Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served into a snifter at about 45 degrees.

The Weyerbacher Heresy pours a viscous black in the glass with a thick, creamy brown froth, good lacing, and good retention. Pronounced aromas of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, oak, cinnamon, espresso (mocha), some subtle dark berries, roasted hazelnuts, & did i mention chocolate? Full, rich, sweet, and perfect for a cold winter evening! Everything found on the nose is present on the palate with a well integrated alcohol presence, slight hop bitterness, definite roastiness, creamy mouthfeel, & long finish. The overall brilliance of the beer is that it's full, rich, sweet, balanced, and everything that anyone could look for in a RIS! An absolute triumph! Highest recommendation!

Photo of Minotaur
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from 2009 release.

Probably the single most opaque beer I have poured; pitch black with a thin cream colored head. This vanishes quickly leaving very little carbonation in the beer.

The aroma is an explosion of coffee, chocolate, sweet malts, liquor. It reminds me of chocolate-coffee cake.

The taste follows suit. It is like a liquefied dessert: whiskey and espresso with roasted malt. Just a hint of cream and vanilla. The flavor of liquor is very subdued and the blend is very well balanced despite the possibly overwhelming nature of the ingredients. Just a hint of bitterness but not enough to disrupt any of the confection qualities.

The mouthfeel is smooth, soft and milky. This all leads to a very drinkable beer for those who favor deep, rich stouts.

Photo of scottyshades
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours an abyss black color that creates a small mocha colored head that retains for a second or two, then fades away. Just motor oil consistency. Really solid looking, but the style tends to have beers with better pours than this.

S: Lots of coffee, vanilla, espresso, toffee, chocolate, oak, lactose, and mocha. The bourbon barrels really add a whole new set of aromas to this already monster of a brew. I cannot really pick up any bourbon notes, but the barrels add some good flavors.

T: Exactly similar to the nose. No hops at all for me, although a slight bittering note appears towards the end. All malts and oak goodness. Molasses, chocolate, and lactose are very abundant. Really rich, chocolaty and lactose-infused.

MF/D: Motor oil, velvety, not dry at the finish like I thought it would be.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.52/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, not terribly thick. Small beige head. Light lacing.

Aroma is roasted malts, some oak, raisins, coffee, chocolate.

Flavor is chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, raisins, and whiskey. A little sweet. Some alcohol.

Mouthfeel is thin for the style, low carbonation.

Reminds me more of a baltic porter than an imperial stout. Good, but not outstanding.

Photo of drowland
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter (2009). Straight pours deep opaque black with a 1.5-finger tan head that is thick but somewhat soapy that doesn't stick around much and could be darker. The aroma is a bit of harsh bourbon and some oak - some alcohol, not super deep or complex, but with obvious vanilla, wood, and tannins. The flavor is big sweet malt up front with a hint of sour followed quickly by mild oak and bourbon characteristics including vanilla, wood, and tannins. This is then followed by stout flavors including mild dark chocolate and an obvious dose of coffee flavors. I really enjoy the mouthfeel and general way this beer goes down - really smooth and just feels great in the mouth for some reason - perhaps addition of oats or maybe the aging?

Photo of oldbarrel
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Black w/ 1/4-1/2 head depending on pour.

Smell: Bourbon and Coffee. Nice deep relaxing smell.

Taste: Oaky Bourbon, finishes with hints of vanilla.

Mouth: Not as heavy as I expected, similar viscosity as a natural fruit juice such as pomegranate.

Drinkability: Not so high. Have a glass, and leave it at that. The high bourbon taste will wear out it's welcome if you drink this one too fast.

This one took me by surprise. The first sip had me wondering what I got myself into. By the 4th sip I realized what this was meant to be: A sipping beer. If any of you are cigar affectionados, this will go great with one.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: black and little head retention

smell: deep dark roasted coffee and loads of bourbon, oak, vanilla aromas

taste: bourbon was highly present and lots of vanilla notes

mouthfeel: heavy syrupy, poured like medicine

drinkability: a solid imperial stout, intresting flavor, way to heavy though. solid beer.

Photo of kegger22
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark, thick brown with almost no head that dissipated to nothing. The aroma was sweet with a medicinal quality. The taste was coffee, some chocolate and that medicine thing (may have been alcohol or the oak, but off turning none the less) . The feel was full bodied with a lot carbonation. Drinkability was reasonable good. If not for the medicinal quality, I think Heresy would have ranked up there with Old Raspy and Stone RIS. I did buy a four pack, so I think the next one may sit in the cellar for about a year before I try again.

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

22oz bomber with a silver cap that was apparently more than 5-6 years old and well past it's prime. It was pretty sour.
A: 4, S: 3.5, T: 2, M: 4, D: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep black with a big dark brown head that fades to a ring leaving a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is full of vanilla, cocoa, coffee, and dark chocolate. Excellent smelling stuff and it begs you to take a sip everytime I smell it.

T: The taste is a blast of vanilla, molasses, and cocoa at first with a slight coffee flavor on the finish. The barrel aging has really added a ton of flavors to this stout.

M: The feel is pretty creamy and relatively thick...very nice carbonation for a RIS.

D: This is excellent stuff and I will savor the remaining bottles I have. The ABV really isn't that bad for an Imperial Stout but I wouldn't drink more than 2 in a night.

The bomber I had was very old and had gone south. This was newer and much better. Definitely recommended.

Photo of mcann2pu
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No date visible on the bottle.
My 20th review.
a- pours into my Ommegang glass a dark black color with about a finger's worth of dark tan head wth a light red hue that dissipated fairly quickly leaving behind only a small amount of lacing around the glass,
s-nose is mostly of the malt with a good wood smell coming through, the malt has a nice carmal/sweet smell that is plesent without being too overwhelming,
t- good powerful malt taste flavored by the oak, with a sweet finish,
m-not bad, slightly creamy,
d- drinkable,

Photo of apbarwood
4.62/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark as night with a creamy, tan head. Pretty minimal retention but a decent amount of lacing. Aromas of sweet chocolate with a hint of darkness to it and a subtle roasted backbone. Beautiful complexity in the flavor with chocolate, caramel, toffee, and molasses notes all interwoven and countered by a dark cherry fruit quality. The alcohol comes through perhaps a bit too much but it finishes smooth. A phenomenal representation of the RIS style and certainly up there with the best of them. It actually drank a lot like Old Rasputin in my estimation. Highly recommended. A must try for RIS fans.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice deep color,tan colored head with good lacing.oaky nose with notes of dark fruit,vanilla, and coffee.smooth taste and mouth feel,notes of cocoa,darkfruit,oak,vanilla,coffee.pretty smooth. kinda thin,but still very drinkably and a nice RIS.

would go back to this again,especially if i'm in the mood for an oak aged RIS at a reasonable price

Photo of TLove
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From Notes)

A rather offbeat RIS with some strong raisin and plum overtones. A touch sour and a little bit raw in that it is very thick, but is a bit crude and grainy. There is a strong presence of RIS features such as coffee and molasses and chocolate malts, but the raisin and plum pursue through the taste into the finish.

Creamy body with a thick and full-bodied, oaky flavors with a touch of crispness on the back end. Finishes well. Carbonation moderate with a strong balance of sweet and sultry flavors.

Photo of rye726
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with tints of ruby brown. Thin tan head.

Nose has dark roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, oak, vanilla and whiskey.

Taste has dark pitted fruits, black malts, espresso, cocoa, bitter hops and oak. A bit of tartness in the finish.

Body a bit light for the style, but well carbonated

Nice stout, well balanced.

Photo of xanok
2.41/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I was pretty psyched about trying this beer. I've enjoyed a lot of other Weyerbachers and I always enjoy a new RIS...so let's get to it. Bought from the fairgrounds in Danbury, CT.

A: Pretty standard. Near jet black with two about 1.5 fingers of toasty brown head that dissipates strangely quickly.

S: Disappointing. Smell of alcohol is getting in the way of everything. Is this beer or hard liquor? The bourbon is way overpowering. Hints of dark fruit and chocolate in the back.

T: Tastes a bit better than the smell, but still... bourbon is too overpowering, getting in the way a bit. Otherwise, tastes how it smells, dark fruits mostly, hints of chocolate.

M: If this has one thing going, its nice and full bodied. Light carbonation, smooth finish.

D: Egh. Not my cup of tea at all. Drinkable, but I will not be buying this beer again in the near future.

The bourbon was too much here, period. Will not be buying again.

Photo of Casey10
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great stout great strait up taste.

A - dark minimal head thin chocolate head.

S - good notes of grape, raisan, some chocolate.

T - really good smooth easy drink with faint notes and no noticeble alcohol taste.

M - good chocolate feel small lingering feel

D - great stout easy drinking up there as would definately have another really liked this.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: beautiful crude black body with a brown thick frothy head that is about 1/4 inch

s: dark chocolate; coffee; raisins; rum; prunes;

t: dust; dark chocolate; coffee; raisins; rum; prunes;

m: light carb; thick body; creamy and chunky

d: very strong and intense flavors but very good

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one looks pretty much like most other RIS's, dark, opaque black. Head is smallish and tan, leaving a bit of lacing. Heresy has a great aroma to it, with some wood, bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla coming through. It isn't as robust as others like BCS or KBS, however. I like the way it tastes too--a decent amount of oakiness, some bourbon, chocolate, and a bit of an herbal finish. Medium-light body that's coating, lingering aftertaste. Easy drinker for a big stout, tasty treat that's worth trying.

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

Got this as an extra in a recent trade with hopsleeroy. Thanks Lee!

2008 bottle poured into a Rémy Martin snifter.

Appearance: Pours out very thick and very dark. Shortly after the fill, the carbonation gathers and charges upward to form a short, brown, foamy cap. Head is short-lived however; it dies to a hair-thin halo in less than a minute. Decent web-like lacing, especially for a barrel-aged beer. As alluded to earlier, the body is totally opaque.

Smell: Dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, dairy, and maybe even peanut butter. Sweet, smooth, and creamy with a mild bourbon sting in the finish. Very fragrant and balanced. Well done!

Taste: Dark chocolate and roasted malt start things off, but vanilla bean quickly takes over from there. The actual bourbon flavor is mild for the most part, becoming most apparent in the aftertaste. Caramel and oak are definitely in there, too. Prickly hops and light charred wood finish thing off.

Mouthfeel: "Oily" and "prickly" are the first adjectives to come to find. Full-bodied with a warm, dry finish (not too warm or too dry though). Mouth-coating is okay; could be better.

Drinkability: A very tasty RIS with a nice barrel character. I didn't get too much oak or bourbon, but the vanilla was large. I definitely liked the smell the best (almost gave it a 5.0), but all in all this was a solid beer. I wouldn't mind getting this one again.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown/black that lets no light in. One finger of creamy, foamy head and lots of sticky lacing.

S: Strong malts, a little coffee, and cherry scented medicine. Also some booze. Despite these scents, there wasn't a whole lot going on here and the sweet cherry and booze smell was somewhat unexpected.

T: Coffee, roasted malt, sweet tangy fruit, raisin, cherry cough syrup, and booze. A lot of complex flavor here, but I found the alcohol and sweet tangy flavor to overpower it a bit.

M: Fully body, medium carbonation, pretty smooth.

D: As I noted above, there's a lot of good flavor here, but I feel they're a little out of balance: a little too much booze and sweetness in the flavor for a stout in my opinion. This is definitely an interesting beer and I can see some people liking the flavors found here. It's worth trying. Personally, however, I think I'll stick to more traditional stouts.

Photo of sliverX
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep light sucking black with a nice mocha colored head that lasted well into the brew
Smell is heavy roasted malts, dark fruits, slight coffee and dark chocolate hints
Taste follows the nose but with a very slight alcohol presence that grows as it warms
Mouthfeel is perfect for an Imperial Stout thick almost chewy but not an used motor oil feel
Drinkability this is about as good as it gets for a RIS this is a definite stand by in this style category for me

Photo of marvin213
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solidly black, the beer's foam cap appears overly fizzy and a bit on the bleached side. It does leave legs like a fine wine might but, in sum, it ain't much different-looking than your average-looking stout.

The smell is faintly Russian Imperial. Oak, of course, is not the most distinguished of smells, but there's even less to this beer in the nose. I'll give it credit for a French oak smell but, thus far, the beer still needs some substance to its character.

The oak offers a unique brown sour sort fo taste to the liquid. It's pungent...almost acrid, but it's not really displeasing. It's a basic RIS aged in oak barrels. It's exactly as advertised...no more, no less. This particular oak would likely influence even the most potent stout, but it's almost overpowering here. I appreciate the approach but am left wondering what this beer'd be like where it served straight from production.

The mouthfeel borders on tart. For an RIS, that's weird. For its character, I credit it. The unique sweet/sour play comes partly from oak and what sense like raisin. The liquid feels like a raisin RIS. Is that possible? It's an odd beer out of Pennsylvania that is just unique enough to be worth trying. Different, simple, and enjoyable combine to produce good drinkability for a comparatively blah beer.

Photo of GeezLynn
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black, with a moderate tan head. Decent retention. Bourbon aroma is most noticeable, followed by vanilla and cocoa. Smooth vanilla flavors, a little whiskey and a little sweet dark malt. Mouthfeel is good -fairly creamy with moderate carbonation.
No doubt this one is oak aged. It really dominates here rather than compliments this beer. Overall, good but there's plenty missing here.

Photo of bobsy
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glass at Goodbar's in Buffalo.

Beautiful looking imperial, with a pitch black body and a deep mocha head. Nice retention and lace. The aroma is muted, even after the too-cold-pour warms up. Aside from the expected roasted malt notes there's a touch of treacle and a spicy sweetness. The taste, however, is not muted, and there's nothing wrong with this. Its a by the book imperial stout, and doesn't call upon any extra bells and whistles to enhance its character. Strong roasted coffee notes dominate at first, before giving way to bittersweet chocolate, and a decently bitter, warming finish. Medium full body has a pleasant creaminess to it, and the restrained carbonation is about right. Obviously not one of the big imperials that will blow your taste buds away, but its well-constructed and I liked it.

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.