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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,021 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,021
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 101
Gots: 263 | FT: 15
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: 2,021 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, with a dark tan head. In the aroma, roasty malt, oaky, and a small coffee presence. In the taste, big roasty malt, coffee, and a whiskey note. A smooth, big body mouthfeel, and a semi dry roasty malt aftertaste. A very smooth and big beer, and a nice coffee presence. Very nice.

Photo of ewright
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Thin layer of khaki head on top of a dark black (just shy of inky) beer.

S: Dark vanilla scent over top of thick oaky smoke. Faint hint of dark cocoa underneath.

T: Notes of weak coffee, brown sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract. Wonderful complexity in there.

M: Thick and creamy with a very smooth finish. Fine carbonation cuts through the sweet malts.

D: A good after-dinner drink, but not something I'd want most times of day. Just a bit to sweet and heavy to drink other parts of the day. However, it's a nice example of oaked IS.

Photo of EddieSTL
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Very good. Jet black.
S - Very good. Vanilla, butterscotch, some oak, no hops detected.
T - Very good. Roast character present, not overwhelming. Blends well with the vanilla/butterscotch flavors.
M - Great. Full, silky.
D - Very good. Slight alcohol, smooth bitterness, slightly sweet.

Overall a great beer, drinkable especially w/ desert. Recommended!

Photo of largadeer
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark opaque brown with a tan head that lasted for a few minutes.

Smell: Tart dark fruit, dark chocolate, raisin, oatmeal, iron. Mellow barrel character, a bit of soy sauce oxidation.

Taste & mouthfeel: Semi-sweet with dark chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookie. A dash of vanilla and dark fruit. This is fairly viscous for being 8%. Dry, mildly oaky finish with a firm but smooth bitterness.

Overall: Somewhat weak nose, but the palate is good. Not exceptional by any stretch, but enjoyable.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a treat, the first time I bought this the bottle broke on my flight back home. This one was shipped from a friend who felt my pain and showered pity upon me.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug. The brew is jet black with no light passing through. It looks viscus, interesting and almost begs me to drink it. There is a dark khaki, thick creamy head that rises a full 2 inches above the beverage and coats everything it touches. I practice restraint and just settle for smelling it... for now.

The nose is just short of exceptional. It is of dark roasted malts, heavy dark chocolates and dark roasted coffee. Anyone see a dark pattern here?

The taste is exceptional. Smooth and creamy with a initial malt pop to the tongue. Sweetened dark chocolate eclipses any java flavors that might have been present in the scent. Very robust full flavors that are very distinct. The only thing subtle is in the aftertaste. There is a light organic, smoked woody flavor that reminds me of scotch. It has to be the oak aging process which is nice. Its not over powering just a gentle touch or layer of extra flavor.

Amazing mouthfeel. This beer is smooth and easy to drink. A perfect balance of flavor and carbonation. I could drink this forever and the the only thing stopping me from giving it perfect scores is the moderate hop profile. I think it could use a little more bite from some hops. A dazzling beverage and a must try.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black liquid with thick, creamy head of dark foam.

S - Lots of roast and wine, cocoa, some fruit. Oak/woodiness.

T - Sweet with strong dark fruitiness and coffee. Somewhat medicinal. Quite malty, and lots of toastiness and a sharp oaky bite. Some hops bring up the back end, but mostly a malt-dominated beer.

M - Chewy like toffee. Lower than expected astringency.

D - Quite drinkable for a large beer. Avoids being too heavy despite the mouthfeel. Flavours are good, but no super strong.

Photo of russpowell
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from melbatoast93, Cheers Hart!

Pours an ebony tinged mahogany with a pinky of mocha colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Coffee, roasted & charred grain

T: Roasted grain, cocoa, bourbon & vanilla up front. Coffee, dryness & boozed-up baker's chocolate as this warms. Finishes dry with chocolate, vanilla, booze, a bit more richness & little less booze, & you have a 5.0 here

MF: Medium bodied to chewy, oily, very sticky with a bit of carbonation, rich

Drinks great for the style & delivers a boatload of flavor for the ABV! Another winner from Weyerbacher!

Photo of bkilpatr
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 07/07/08.

Pours pitch black with a large three finger creamy brown head. The head dissipated slowly leaving some nice lacing behind. The aroma is heavily chocolate and roasted malt, with a lot of sour whiskey and slight cherry also.

Taste starts with a lot of creamy chocolate and slightly sweet malt, with a hint of vanilla. Finishes with lots of roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. Within all of this is a solid oak and alcohol/whiskey flavor. There is also a slight metallic taste that I get every few sips, not sure where it comes from. If the metallic taste were gone, the taste score would be at least half a point higher.

The feel is a lot better than the non-oaked version. The body is a lot fuller and the carbonation is lower. It's still a bit on the thin side, but the feel is much improved. Drinkability is still good, due to it's slight thinness.

Pretty good for an oak-aged stout. Much better than the non-oaked version.

Photo of Winter
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with a creamy brown head. Aroma consists of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and there's also some vinous notes to it. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Roasted malt and chocolate upfront. Vanilla oakiness follows with hints of creamed coffee toward the back. This is very smooth for an Imperial stout.

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

Double-deuce bomber with a lighting bolt on it, probably bound for some Heretic, poured into a pint glass yields a deep ebony body impervious to light is crowned with two fingers of puffed-up toffee-swirled mocha foam with stubborn retention. Fine, patchy lacing clings to the glass as the foam recedes to a ring and the beer level drops in the glass.

Smell is chocolatey and roasty with winey coffee and a woody note of oak.

Tastes richly mocha-chocolatey, made creamy by nice fine carbonation, bittered a bit with burnt coffee and a pleasantly acrid note of dry wood. There's a fruity flavor that refuses to identify itself to me, but whatever it is, it's something tropical and spicy... with maybe cola nuts? Good-good. Drippy caramels laden with savory alcohol soften and enrich a prickly, peppery, instant-coffee-powdery, cocoa-dry finish. Nice drinkability in this medium-full bodied treat.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into oversized snifter.

A - Black and opaque, with nice 1/2 inch brown head. Decent retention and great lacing.

S - A burst of licorice, chocolate, and coffee. Some wood and smoke as well, all heavily backed by caramel.

T - Initial cocoa and coffee bitterness hit, followed by a vanilla/caramel sweetness. Sweetness quickly gives way to the aged character, where the brew mellows out into a woody dryness. Alcohol is hidden well, and aftertaste lingers with vinous and coffee notes.

M - Moderate carbonation and medium bodied at best. Pretty off base for the style, but it works nonetheless. Carbonation is managable, but body needs more thickness.

D - Very drinkable for an RIS, partially accentuated by the lighter mouthfeel. I don't think I'll have a problem getting through all 750ml this evening.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I thought this Imperial Stout had a lot of vanilla and bourbon character in addition to some nice chocolate notes. However, it also had a quite a watery mouthfeel which was remiscent to me of Yoohoo, which I did not greatly appreciate.

This beer poured black as tar with abundant tan head. Aroma was chocolate and alcohol. Flavor was more chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon, but watered down. Mouthfeel was watery.

I'd recommend this beer, but in a crowded world full of Imperial Stouts, I thought this one was pretty average.

I bought this bottle at the Whole Foods near Fair Lakes, VA.

Photo of animal69
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours jet-black w/ a creamy brown head that takes a moment to subside leaving a decent lacing in my snifter ; a strong, sour, woody aroma backed by a burnt toast, dark fruits, and brandy, maybe even a touch of smoke ; a slightly tart and sweet vinous woody flavor, not as bitter or dry as other RIS's which i think is a downfall, some roasted malt and hints of choc. and raison present as well, an overall flavor that seems a bit light, except for the almost overwhelming oak making it a bit out of balance ; a rich, full body and good carbonation on this one ; a very good and drinkable brew, though the wood can be a bit much...

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

Received in trade from sholland119, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a tanish head. Aroma is roasted barley, a bit of dried fruit, a bit vinous. Taste is vinous, has some roasted malts mixed with some vanilla, and oak. Mouthfeel is thick and a bit creamy. light carbonation. Leaves a bitter oak/roast aftertaste. Nice Impy Stout, definitely a sipper, well I wanted it to be a sipper....

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a black-cola body w/ a huge head that was faintly tan colored. Roasted malt first hit my nostril, along w/ other malts and a dark fruit smell. Extremely creamy and thick with a somewhat sharp backbite. Still retains some sweetness and flavor in the body while having that dry stout finish. The ABV is hidden well, but so is the unique flavor. A good stout nonetheless.

Photo of Donnie2112
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

appearance: black with quickly dissapearing head. Badass lightning on the bottle.

smell: coffee notes, and a sweetness that I'm having trouble placing. Maybe hunny suckle?

taste: lots of dark roasted coffee or grain notes that pull through and transition into a slight sourness that is something like grapes or raspberries not completely sure, some definate alcohol warmth, finishes clean with just the slightest hint of citrus.

mouthfeel: medium in body, quite a bit of carbonation for the style and bit of astringece at the end with some alcohol warming

drinkability: pretty drinkable for the style, although it surprises me that this much alcohol creates so much warming.

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

A- Pour was very dark. The head was a finger and a half. It dissipated quickly and gave a nice thin coating above the beer. There was a nice delicate amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Jim Beam. That should be enough said. I took a whiff of the brew and it brought me back to my college days when we took pulls off of the bottle.

T- Coffee, vanilla are very present, it also tastes like a piece of wood has been liquidized and added to the taste, the Jim Beam taste is cutting in and out of the flavor. The aftertaste is dry and of burnt coffee, almost like I was just sucking on an oak Popsicle.

M- Pretty thick and oily.

D- Easy to drink. The Beam smell is a slight put off, mostly due to my own personal experiences with it.

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

A: Black with a tan head, little retention, some lace.

S: Dark chocolate, slight roasted acidity, brown sugar, sweet toffee.

T: Dark roasted malt (burnt toffee, dark bread, dark chocolate & coffee), molasses, vanilla, modest bitterness, subtle alcohol, a little wood in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate body & carbonation, slight roasted acidity.

D: A smooth drinker.

An all around good beer.

Photo of Moxley
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured an opaque black with a 1 inch tan head with sticky lacing throughout the tasting.

S - A combination of bitter chocolate, yeast and smoky coffee with toffee and malt nuances.

T - Strong bitter coffee flavor, toffee nuances. Makes you want to grind your back teeth. Great flavor.

M&D - Thick and creamy. Good beer. You certainly wouldn't think you were drinking a beer with an 8.0 ABV, then again I was pretty loaded when I tried this one so I may not have picked up on the alcohol flavor as some of you others will.

Despite my questionable state of soberness I can tell you that this was a delicious beer. I'll definitely have another. Once again, thanks to my good friend and loyal drinkin' buddy Hyland24

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle brewed Jan. 2008. Thank you goes out to Steve for delivering a case of this to me!

A: With a hard pour a wicked charcoal grey-black head rose with a fury and then settled back rather quickly. Jet black in color and definitely opaque. I feel a little drool coming as I look this one over.

S: Bourbon and vanilla beans come at me first and a mix of black currant, dark cherries and chocolate make me think of dessert. Robust roasted and burnt maltiness make for a deep complex aroma. Some ashy smoke coming through a bit too. No hop aroma penetrating through the thick black veil.

T: Dark cherries, burnt barley, and cream flavors come together for an interesting first taste. Definitely an ashy, smoky flavor not of peat but more like meat off the charcoal kind of smokiness. It is a flavor that I don't think I have ever picked up from another RIS. Further down a bit of vanilla and coffee make the palate pleased further. Started to pick up a bitter chocolate type flavor toward the end. Still some tart dried fruit like currants and cherries come through strong. Not a big alcohol punch noticeable. It is maybe hidden in there or the oak helped smooth it out more than the Old Heathen.

M: Big heavy body that is kind of ashy but smooth. Can almost chew this one.

D: Big complex aroma, mouthfeel and flavor with this one that has a uniqueness from the oak aging combine to make this a must try beer for beer enthusiasts. Weyerbacher did a fine job with this beer that already had a lot going for it before the oak barrels. Get some and age it!

I found this beer so delicious I had 11 in a row at a party and had no trouble either which is amazing since I am only 150 pounds. It was a testament to the rich complex flavors!

Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of sholland119 poured into a snifter. Big thanks Scott!

A: Pours pitch black with a small dense tan head. Decent retention with a bit of lacing. Always enjoy seeing the bubbles continuing to rise in the middle!

S: Big roasted malt aroma with major dark chocolate elements. Also a definite whiff of the boozy wood in there as well as vanilla and dark fruits. Very nice!

T: Nice, smooth chocolate taste with strong roasted malts and a subtle vanilla flavor in the background. Get a slight coffee aftertaste with a faint hop bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with a serious creaminess that just coats the mouth completely.

D: I was really impressed with his beer and would rate it as one of the more drinkable RIS's I've had. Complex, rich and creamy with a hint of the wood barrels make this a must-try.

Photo of hyland24
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass with a loaded moxley.

This beauty poured black with the consistency of a thin pancake syrup. Formed a brown 1 inch bubbly head with a nice sheet of sticky lacing. Smelled like charred wood, smokey coffee and chocolate. Hints of alcohol with a strong malt presence. Taste was rich with bitter coffee, smoke and toffee finishing with light alcohol taste and cocoa. Nice thick mouth coat that left behind a sticky glaze. Delicious beer that was not overpowering for an imperial. Definitely a must try.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bomber into cab glass...
Deep, natural cinnamon-colored 2-3-finger tight yet sudsy head - nice! Good yet sparse lacing. Coke-colored body.

Alcohol layered with sugar, chocolate, coffee (cinnamon note rounds out a capuccino scent) - a little sherry scent comes out

Nice but a little shallow - not quite balanced but not off-putting in the least. Sweet, cinnamon sugar and maybe prunes? Stewed plums? Slight apple note and a small bit of austere hops. Nice smoke, almost a pleasant natural beef jerky taste back there.

Warm mouthfeel. Finish a little thick and syrupy.

Doesn't quite bowl me over but is definitely flavorful enough. Unlike a lot of notes I may have reviewed this one a little TOO warm. Solid beverage nonetheless.

Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Whole Foods NYC.

A: Pours somewhat thick; deep dark and black. The head is rather small and wimpy yet the brew did manage a bit of lacing.

S: Smell was of oak, oak, and more oak. Beneath the oak was a bit of whiskey, coffee and chocolate.

T: This one is barrel aged no doubt about. Tons of oak, bourbon, and whiskey. Nice malt with a hint of chocolate, but this is all about the barrel.

M: Medium in body, but sort of flat.

D: Not bad, but would have enjoyed a bit more malt with a little less bourbon.

Overall: Pretty good brew, with huge barrel aged character. It would have got higher marks with a bit more carbonation and malt flavor. That being said if you want tons of bourbon in your stout this one fits the bill.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams Boston Lager BL glass, the beer pours pitch black with a 2 inch frothy brown head. Head retention is good, lacing is OK. Aroma is roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a little bit of bourbon and oak (but not as much bourbon/oak as I expected). The aroma isn't strong at first, but does get more powerful as the beer sits around a little while. I can taste bourbon, coffee, oak, roasted/burnt malt and some vanilla. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and slick but not as rich as I thought it would be. Carbonation is average. Drinkability is good, it goes down easy and isn't hard to drink at all. Alcohol isn't very noticable. Overall I think this is a good, but not great RIS. I'd buy it again.

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,021 ratings.