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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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 SLeffler27
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
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

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of paco1029384756
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of mdcrouser
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
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)

Photo of Amsterdam
4.4/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of roadhouse
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of dirkweep
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%
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.

Photo of eagles22
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
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

Photo of hondo2160
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of kevd193213
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of CoalCellar
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of spointon
4.58/5  rDev +16.5%
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!

Photo of jamie2dope
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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

Had this on tap, but can't remember where. Probably somewhere in Pennsylvannia. Appearance: small, dark-brown head that completely vanished. Aroma: chocolate, oak, charcoal, burnt coffee. Creamy mouthfeel, soft, no hint of alcohol. very smooth. Pretty good with respect to style.

Photo of far333
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served just below cellar temp in a crystal snifter. Brownish black with a light brown frothy head that settles quickly and leaves ringlets of lace and wiggly legs running up the sides of the glass.

Rich and inviting aroma of cocoa and dark coffee, some molasses and buttery vanilla.

Even flavor of rich coffee, some cocoa, hints of smoke and oak, molasses and darkly roasted malt. Finishes with a fine hop bite and some spiciness. ABV does not interfere.

Silky sultry mouthfeel, very smooth. Finishes a bit bubbly, tongue and cheeks slowly warm and begin to numb. Very drinkable, great sipper.

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

12 oz bottle poured into my snifter.

A- pours a very dark, deep red/brown hue. The color is almost black, but I can tell there's some red in it. Head is mocha colored, fizzy and fades immediately to a thin collar. Remarkably this one leaves traces of lacing all the way down the glass. Body is opaque and no light shines through.

S- Nose is very typical for an imperial stout. Dark chocolate malt and a hint of raisins can be detected as well as hints of oak. A hint of alcohol astringency can also be detected.

T-Mild flavor upfront with chocolate malt and a bit of roasted coffee flavor. The finish is smooth with dark chocolate flavors being the highlight and a hint of oak and roasted bitterness coming through at the end. Well balanced the whole way through. Some dark chocolate flavors and roasted notes linger.

M-Carbonation is medium and tingly and body weight is medium-heavy.

D- This is a nice, chocolaty RIS. The flavors aren't in your face and the ABV is almost undetectable. A very nice brew but not the most impressive I have had. Very similar to Old Heathen (which I have not had in awhile) and much harder to come by. I will probably have this again, but might go for Old Heathen instead because of its availability.

Photo of ph2001
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle in snifter

this one pours black, with thin layer of head that leaves quick. the smell i smild of booze and sweetness. the taste has a sweetness similar to that of bourbon. the alcohol is not noticeable however. it is creamy and drinkable.

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

Poured this creation into my favorite into my favorite Guinness glass.

What jumps out at me for this beer is definitely, the smell. I get a huge chocolate sense with the bourbon bite shining through. Being a bourbon fan I was drawn to this beer in hopes that it would shine, and boy does it. Also a bit of vanilla bean and smoked malt comes out. I think the smoked malt is a result of the oak barrels, but no problem here, just a thought.

The appearance is black as night with an espresso-like head that dissipated quickly into a sheet across the top that resembled whipped milk taking on the espresso. Not much lacing at all. If anything small circles are present.

Taste is of chocolate, malts, a bit of vanilla bean that warms up nicely and oak woodiness that stays pretty much constant throughout. As this beer warmed up, the chocolate really came through nicely. There was not much chocolate but the alcohol lingered far after.

Mouth feel is smooth, velvety. The only part that may have scored lower than most was the mouth feel because of the strong oak.

At 8.0% ABV, the drinkability of this beer is high on my list because of the fact that this style of beer is smooth going down, this version of the style is quite tasty, and it is a wonderful addition to anything from a sit by the fire or Monday night football game.

At $6.49 for 26 oz., this was a deal and a definite buy again.

Photo of Bighuge
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ap: 4.0 Oily black elixir. Creamy and thick crop of brown froth. No light gets through the body of this beer. Lacing is fairly substantial for an Imperial.

Ar: 4.5 Great aroma. Big and bold scents of milk chocolate. Plus all the other suspects: roasted malts, java, vanilla, anise oil, burnt malts. Yeah, I love smelling this one.

Tst: 3.0 Decent flavor, but doesn't seem quite big enough for the "Imperial" label. It tastes almost like an imperialized milk stout. It's got some of that milk sugar feel to it. Also burnt malt and black licorice. Some heat is realized on the palate even though this is a "paltry" 8% a/v. And some acridness as well. Too much black patent??

MF: 3.0 The carbonation level is just a little too prickly for the style and the body is not big and full enough. My belief is Imperial Stouts should damn near feel like Valvoline in the mouth...at least viscosity wise. And this isn't close.

DK: 3.0 This used to be aged in Bourbon Bbls, though I don't see anything to that effect on the label now. This is a nice smelling, but pretty average tasting stout.

Old Review from 4-1-05


Black beer with a thin brown head. Lacing is pretty good for an Imperial Stout. Decentaroma of wood, oak, vanilla, Jim Beam, highly kilned malts and chocolate. Flavor consists of milk chocolate, oak, bourbon alcohol, roasted malt tones and bitter coffee bean. Overall though, pretty light in flavor for a Bourbon Bbl Imp. Stout. The mouthfeel is a little too fizzy for the style. And a little too light in body. About medium or so.

All in all, I've seen what a Bourbon BBL Imp Stout can be (see Town Hall) and this falls way short of that level.

Photo of Doomcifer
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black with a great caramel colored head that goes nowhere fast. Good lacing. Smell is fantastic. Lots of oak and vanilla character, sweet malts, maybe some bourbon, cream. Taste is very sweet, oaky, vanilla notes, not much roastiness in there but lots of malty sweetness. I tend to like my Impy stouts more bold but this is still very pleasant. Mouthfeel is very thick and viscous. Not too much carbonation, slick. Fairly drinkable.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. This bottle is about three years old and has been kept in good condition all three years. Pours pitch black with a decent but somewhat wispy, charcoal grey colored head. A small amount of lacing with a nice, long, retention.

The aroma is where it is at with this one. I was looking for something bourbony today, since it is one of the first cool days here in the south, and that is what I got. Immediately it is oaky, bourbon, vanilla, slightly fruity, and a touch of booziness. If you are looking for a solid, barrel aged Impy, this one fits the bill to a T as far as aroma goes.

A little disappointed in the flavor of this one. There is definitely a pronounced bourbon feel to this one, but it is also kind of sweet. I would say syrupy or cloying, but it is on the sweeter side. Stick on the toungue and all over the mouth. A good dose of vanilla and plenty of booziness. The coffee malts make there way out of the shell in the aftertaste and finish. A little bit of prune juice jumps out as well.

If this wasnt as sweet, it would be near 5's in all categories. As it stands, it is still a very nice barrel aged beers. Perhaps this one isnt as sweet when consumed fresh; who knows. I plan to find out.

Photo of fitzy84
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a great Russian Imperial Stout. Appearance is jet black with a milk chocolate-colored head and some patchy lacing on the side. Aromas are wicked strong with a rich, milk chocolate smell wrapped in a woody/alcohol texture. Taste is really, really sweet. We are talking tons of chocolate, coffee, cocoa, sugars, vanilla, malt. Exceptional mouthfeel allows this to be really creamy; great desert-oriented drink. Overall, a great, great stout.

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