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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,887 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,887
Reviews: 958
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 90
Gots: 232 | 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:
Old Heathen aged in oak (bourbon) barrels.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,887 | Reviews: 958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%

biegaman shared this bottle with me. thanks jan!

bottle had been aging for about 9 months since purchase.

pours an inky black with a huge dense brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves lots of lace. the lace really clings too, and was tough to rinse out after finishing the glass.

aroma is nice. strong oak and vanilla presence. roasty. bready malt. alcohol, but not over the top. espresso. bittersweet chocolate.

taste is good. lots of oak and vanilla. bittersweet chocolate. espresso. roasty, but less than i expected from a RIS. bit of alcohol. nice biscuit malt.

mouthfeel is good. nice thick body and a good carbonation level. often a RIS will be low on the carbonation, but this one has no issues there.

drinkability is good. fairly balanced and enjoyable. the aging has done this one some good, and i'd be curious to try a sample with even a little more time. i had a fresh bottle almost two years ago and the oak and whiskey were overpowering. i remember thinking 'hey, did someone pour some stout in my whiskey'. the alcohol was much more prominent then too. now i think it has mellowed alot into a nicer (but still strongly oaked) stout. definitely worth a try, especially if you can lay one down for a year.

12-12-2006 13:49:18 | More by grub
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.1/5  rDev -21.5%

this is from the big-beers-made-bigger-and-more-complex-by-aging-in-oak-bourbon-barrels line. i wasn't a big fan of old heathen, but i'm willing to be open-minded (i have liked the bourbon barrel beers i've tried)

not a chance of light escaping this bad boy. if the black won't get ya, the dark head will. released form this head (which tries to die, but for the reinforcing bubbles) is an intense whiskey aroma layered over the deep roastiness. if i could draw this, i would picture something long and pointy sitting on something with considerable mass (washington monument atop st. peter's basilica in rome). i'm not offended by the potency of the whiskey smell (heck great lakes' version smells very heavily of bourbon) but i don't think it meshes well enough with the beer

meh...same for flavor (and boy, this is the driest RIS i've ever tasted), though i can't taste the booze as much as i can feel it. like its unadulterated cousin this beer isn't very complex, which isn't the end of the world, but something i expect from an imperial stout. it does not taste bad...just uninspiring. the finish is anticlimactic, as well

12-06-2006 03:43:55 | More by bruachan
Photo of Shiredave

New York

3.8/5  rDev -3.8%

Great bottle and lable - black w/ Heresy in large Frankenstien like letters with an electric blue bolt of lightning in the background. Even if you were illiterate, you would know this was a beer to be feared.
A huge brown head billows up and receeds into an intensly black liquid so opaque it defys the beam of my Mag-lite.
Aromas are awsome - sherry and chocolate, oak and dates, black malt and whiskey all hang inside the goblet - too heavy to rise beyond the lip of the glass.
Flavors are of a classic dry stout on steroids - roasted barley flavor and dryness dominate. Some sour cherry notes and burnt chocoalte add some sweet character but it lacks any real malt backbone and the rough scorched flavors arent balanced by caramel / malty sweetness I'd hoped for. The alcohol is very well folded into the chalky dryness and interseting whiskey notes.
Body is thinner than most Imp. Stouts - very dry and over attenuated. The barrel aging has given this beer some excellent flavors and aromas but the beer on a whole was not overly impressive.

*This bottle was probobly 1 +/- years old, and stored @ +/- 60 deg. F, and I'm remebering this beer was better when I had it fresh a year ago. I'll try my other bottle in another year and see if it comes full circle.

12-02-2006 16:52:31 | More by Shiredave
Photo of Callenak


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured from a bomber into a maudite tulip.

Pours jet black with a two inch mocha head. Smells lovely. Chocolate, oak, and roasted barley.

The taste follows the smell. Oak is very forward in this one which is to my taste but I could see it as to much for some. Loads of chocolate and coffee to follow with a hint of vanilla. Alcohol is at a perfect balance. I don’t really pick up on any bourbon or whiskey though. Not sure if they just used a plane oak barrel or just added oak into the fermenter.

A great beer by Weyerbacher that I would love to try again.

11-29-2006 00:04:26 | More by Callenak
Photo of AaronHomoya


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Black color with a nice tan head.

Smells of coffee, roasted malt and toffee.

Taste is sweet, vanilla, and chocolate with a slightly bitter finish of coffee and hops at the end. Big, complex and really rounded out with the oak aging. One of the best-tasting RIS's I've had.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, medium-thick with very little carbonation.

This is a great RIS that may not be quite as huge and intense as some (Dark Lord), but is really nicely rounded-out and full of tasty, complex flavors.

11-22-2006 19:15:34 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

2.4/5  rDev -39.2%

Cellared for the better part of a year, this baby is ready for a review. 22 oz. bomber served at cellar temperature in a huge brandy snifter.

Appearance- A loud *pfwssss* as the cap comes off... what a great looking beer. Dark cocoa on the eyes, it has a creaminess unlike any other imperial stout I've seen... seriously viscous and mature, the barrel aging has definitely influenced the appearance. Big, spotty lacing is splattered all over the inside of the glass, while the remaining outer ring of bubbles continues to slowly pop and disintegrate. A powerlifter on the eyes.

Smell- This aroma lives on another planet when it comes to imperial stouts. Wood, chocolate, and the most amazing fullness with regard to the barrel aging in oak. So phenomenally unique that my nose refuses to back out of the glass. Truffles, vanilla, cordialesque notes abound. English Stilton cheese is clearly there. Wildly exciting.

Taste- I'm shocked to find a sour astringency gripping my tongue and ruining any chance of going on... this should not suffer from cellaring so this is really disappointing. The beer simply self-destructs upon entry, exhibiting a harsh bite that envelops the mouth and sends me reeling. This is really impossible to further sample.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Flat and boring... it doesn't stay together for even three seconds. I love most everything from Weyerbacher, especially their latest efforts... but this bottle of Heresy is terrible.

11-05-2006 05:20:14 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Georgiabeer


2.78/5  rDev -29.6%

This stout on first appearance appears to be perfect- a beautiful pour, inky black with a thick creamy head.

The smell is heavily of oak- new oak at that. This beer smells like an anejo tequila with the undertones of the stout in the background. You get some of the rich roastiness of the stout on the nose, but the oak just buries it.

The taste is more new oak- it even tastes like an old tequila. There are some beautiful stout notes, but once again buried. This is like a fine wine that has been turned into an oak bomb by too much time in the wrong kind of barrel. A shame.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, with some creaminess, but the tannins make the aftertaste too sharp.

Overall not very drinkable. I liked certain nuances here, but way out of balance. My least favorite of the usually wonderful Weyerbachers.

11-05-2006 00:36:55 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of msubulldog25


4.6/5  rDev +16.5%

Tried a 12 oz. bottle (no date) which was recently acquired in a trade with melbatoast93. A simply-designed label with the word "HERESY" superimposed over a bolt of electricity. Some other text, too, though most of it is a long-winded legal disclaimer...

A: Poured to my Widmer Bros. pint glass. Creamy mocha-colored crown - 2 fingers tall. Great retention and creamy lace. Color is black as midnight and pours like oil.

S: Mmmm...smells like brown sugar and rum raisins with chocolate and oak notes. Some vanilla, honey, and ripe cherries all splashed with a shot of bourbon. Smell improves and deepens as it warms...

T: Semi-sweetness of dark roasted malts (coffee, chocolate), raisins, and mellowed smoky oak barrel. Hints of vanilla and a little sourness. Nice alcohol warmth without being too boozy. All the flavors are very well balanced. Like the smell, the taste gets even better as the beer warms. I started with a grade of '4' for this one, though after letting it sit for 20-30 minutes, the last few ounces of this pour could have ranked a '5'. My wife agreed that it was more delicious the warmer it got...

M: Very smooth with just a slight tingle of carbonation. Velvety mouthfeel with sweetness, bitterness and alcohol all clinging pleasantly - giving a full mouthfeel and a medium-full body.

D: An excellent RIS...terrific flavors and great balance. I'm glad I got to try this one, I'd gladly have more of these! Thanks Hart!

10-30-2006 20:26:48 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of scott


4.85/5  rDev +22.8%

22 oz. circa 2005

One of the best bodies I've seen on a stout - so pure and refined. Great fluffy, medium-tan head with plenty of retention and lacing. Magnificent.
Mild oak front end with vanilla/chocolate/mild burnt accents. No alcohol to note, but plenty of rich coffee to keep me satisfied.
Taste is extraordinary. A complete liquid symphony harmoniously in duet with oak & balanced stout, to crescendo into a gloriously made drink that I wish would never end. Seriously, Weyerbacher has made it's way onto my radar. Bless the creators of such a fine drink.

10-22-2006 23:07:28 | More by scott
Photo of bwyker

New York

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

One of the best I’ve had from Weyerbacher. Pours a deep, dark chocolate black with about two inches of rust colored foam. Settles to a thin ring quickly, with light lacing. Smells like licorice and dark fruit. Taste is very similar, raisins and hints of rich chocolate in the start. Finishes with a potent, layered oaky flavor – grimy and burnt, then smooth. Mouthfeel is full bodied, yet silky smooth. Highly drinkable. Lots of alcohol, but enticingly delicious and complex. I’m completely satisfied with it as is, but I think I may add a bit of Jim Beam to see how it changes. Good stuff.

10-14-2006 23:10:39 | More by bwyker
Photo of beerphan


3.13/5  rDev -20.8%

12oz bottle -> imperial pint
no date

Poured jet black with a large thick light brown head, off a semi-aggressive pour. The head settles to a fine layer of chocolate milk suds. Patchy thin lace which runs slowly down the glass. A few sporadic spots actually stick to the glass, but most return to where it came from.

Nose: I don't remember adding a shot of bourbon to the glass but it sure smells like i did. Raisens also make an appearance, but the bourbon has a firm hold on the nose.

Taste: Just too much bourbon flavor for me. Raisens, chocolate, and burnt malt are also present, but this bottle most of came from the bottom or the barrell. .

Mouth: Mouth feels medium, but seems watery for a imperial.

Drinkability: I'd much rather session the old heathan than this. Oh yeah, by the way, i don't really care for bourbon.
I had a sip of this at Monster Bridge the other day and it was much more balanced and complex. Would of gotten quite a good rating that night. But this one is just too much bourbon. I will leave this review now, but I reserve the right to adjust it at a future tasting.

10-08-2006 16:53:16 | More by beerphan
Photo of Zorro


4.55/5  rDev +15.2%

Sampled due to BIGsBIF and the kindness of BeerBeing.

This is a jet black colored beer through which light shall never pass. Light brown head form but not that much of it and it doesn't last.

Smell is sweet and more than a bit like whiskey. Chocolate and Bourbon are the major scent components here. Chocolate cover cherry aroma practically mugs you by the nose in a good way. As this warms up I can smell the aroma of coconut.

Taste is sweet with a fairly strong bourbon flavor to it. Chocolate covered cherry taste makes from the smell to the taste wonderfully. Bourbon, chocolate, cherry and vanilla with a couple of shots of Kahlua THAT is what this tastes like! Very little hop contribution to the taste. After this gets really warm the flavor of berries joins the party.

Mouthfeel is good, maybe a little lighter than some.

Super freaking drinkable, I could sip this all night but I am running out; pity that. A REALLY great RIS that I wholeheartedly recommend.

10-07-2006 02:33:19 | More by Zorro
Photo of tattooedtolley


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

Appearance: Black in color with a dark brown head.

Smell: Great aroma of chocolate and a bit of coffee/expresso.

Taste: Great roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee flavors. Very great balance, its not overly sweet at all. I can taste the hops in here but they do not get in the way. The alcohol is somewhat apparent, but hey I like alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Big bodied, surprisingly somewhat crisp, it was served a bit too cold for my liking in the bar so maybe that made it a bit more "crisp".

Drinkability: I did have this during lunch to celebrate my recent promotion, so I could feel it a bit. However, I would have had a few if I didn't need to go back to the office.

10-05-2006 13:47:42 | More by tattooedtolley
Photo of Toddv29424

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

This beer pours a deliciously dark brown color, thats hardly transparent except when heald up to light. The smell is really big, like coffee beans and dark malts. The taste is similar, with a syrupy consistancy that is pleasant all the way down. I must say the best part about this beer is that it is not huge, but a great size for a wonderful tasting big beer without the cringing. There is a sweet vanilla taste toward the end of it that washes it down very nicely. A great beer.

09-24-2006 02:01:48 | More by Toddv29424
Photo of jmz62565


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

This beer pours a jet black oil with a large frothy chocolate milk type of head. This is what I like about Imperial Stouts, they look beautiful. The smell is a potent mix of dark fruit, wine, chocolate, and a bourban oak aroma. Very nice. The taste is a milky creamy chocolate. cherry, dark fruit, with a mix of bourban. The m/f is medium and a little thin,my only complaint with this. A damn good beer from a brewery that I discovered only recently and has become one of my favorites.

08-31-2006 03:51:24 | More by jmz62565
Photo of phisig137


3.83/5  rDev -3%

Poured from a bottle with a tacky label a thick ink black, with a one finger head. Foam falls slowly into a thick blanket over top of the glass, with a bit of lacing.

Aroma is sweet, plumy, roasty, buorbon like, and has a distinct hint of almonds. Chocolate is also present, along with huge waves of vanilla.

Flavor here is big. Massive amounts of vanilla, backed by chocolate and roasted grains. Slightly sweet finish, this seems to be almost absent of hops. You can really taste the barrel aging on this one, as it tends to overpower most of the stout flavors. Still, this tastes pretty damn good. Mouthfeel is heavy, oily and chewy. Drinkability is relatively high.

Another winner from Weyerbacher, who rarely dissapoints. I think this could use a little more time in the cellar, and a little less time in the oak barrels. That being said, this is still a very enjoyable stout.

08-31-2006 02:33:22 | More by phisig137
Photo of frazbri


3.7/5  rDev -6.3%

Weyerbacher Heresy poured coal black topped by a creamy, mocha head. Cocoa, cherry, and cinnamon aromas. Flavors of chocolate, espresso, and kirsch. Full bodied and chewy with medium carbonation.

Heresy is a good imperial stout that had just a little heat. There is a lot to like about Heresy, but it isn't a top 10 impy in my book.

08-24-2006 02:08:29 | More by frazbri
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%

A - THIS is black, very black, with a chocolate milk colors half finger thick head, obviously too dark to note any carbonation

S - i love my stouts, the way this one smells, it doesnt seem like its going to disappoint, alcohol up front, with a great espresso and chocolate body to the aroma, smells good

T - hmm. good, too much alcohol up front, but that quickly melts away to reveal the great stout taste, those typical chocolate coffee flavors, man this is damn good

M&D - the alcohol presence is a bit too high, needs a bit more balance, but otherwise is very very good, a high quality RIS, expected no less from Weyerbacher

08-24-2006 01:54:22 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of watermelonman


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%

This poured to a fairly dark black with a ring of head. There's just a line or two of lace.

The smell is deep and full of good flavors. Roasted malts dominate with a hint of oak. Oak comes though stronger in the taste, alongside more roasted malts and just a hint of chocolate. Vanilla is stronger than any other stout I've had. The mouthfeel is fairly light but brings a nice alcoholic burn. Drinkability is good.

08-22-2006 07:29:00 | More by watermelonman
Photo of shbobdb


3.83/5  rDev -3%

Well, I'm trying to not let the fact that my girlfriend dumped most of this beer.

Despite these tragic circumstances, I really like this beer.

It tastes like a very rich, full stout with an extra dose of vanilla and oak.

I'm not gonna lie, this is a very robust stout. Gone are the subtle fruit flavours I associate with imperial stouts -- this is all about the roasted barley. The oak plays a weak second fiddle.

It's freakin' genius!! I'm not sure I'd want it regularly, but I love it for now!

Thanks Muenchenerkindl! This is awesome!

08-19-2006 01:06:16 | More by shbobdb
Photo of Vancer


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%

Ya know, when the first whiff is strong bourbon sour mash, I think one knows it’s gonna be good – a high point for me. Of course, the coffee and pops (well a lot) of anise help tremendously.

This oak aged is killing me, I won’t be able to drink <normal> Impy stouts ever again, the barrel aged is just the cats meow.

Just a tad harsh, though, it might need another year aging. Quick note: coal black with tan sheet lacing – nice! Mouth is dry and medium bodied.

I’m glad I popped it tonight – thanks to BeerBeing for the treat. Even in the 90 degreee heat, a real fine sipper – this would make for a GREAT fall classic while watching football.

08-17-2006 02:47:39 | More by Vancer
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%

I have had hit or miss experiences with Weyerbacher this I would say is a hit,poured a ink black with a dark mocha colored 1/2 finger creamy head.The oak its aged in shows thru in the nose with a vanilla-like tone along with some molasses and iron,a real nice mellow mouthfeel for a bigger brew really slides down easy.Not huge in my mind for the style but very good flavors vanilla tinged with molasses and rum soaked raisins finishing somewhat woody and cola-like.A nice impy stout not overly big to me,its approachable with out any flavor loss or character.

08-17-2006 01:56:45 | More by oberon
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.58/5  rDev +15.9%

Poured black as ink with a sand coloured head that dissolved quickly. Laced the edges of the glass wonderfully. Smell is very sweet. Almost lactic. This is the least hoppy RIS I have had in a long time. Smells delicious with lots of chocolate and coffee beans. Plenty of dark roasted malts, as well. The taste is more of the same. Almost no hops at all, with dark malts and bitter chocolate dominating. Mouthfeel is very smooth, even though it's quite heavy and thick. I'm a little surprised, quite honestly, as I was sure this would be like Old Rasputin, or Yeti, or something. No hops (citrus-pine resin like ones) here, however. Very tasty indeed. Thanks to BeerBeing for this on a trade.

08-13-2006 23:25:15 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of jaluria


4.47/5  rDev +13.2%

Poured a viscous, completely opaque black color with a frothy, mocha colored head. Rings of lacing were left behind in my goblet. A 1 cm head remained throughout the session. Aromas of cream, figs, dates, dark chocolate, wood, and sugar-covered candy. Sweet flavors dominate. Initial flavors rise to sweet, smoked malt flavors with a hint of smoke and dark chocolate. Cream-coffee finish with subtle hops. Smooth, sweet, and slightly fruity. A completely enjoyable beer with great flavors and depth.

08-07-2006 12:46:46 | More by jaluria
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.7/5  rDev +19%

Double WOW!

I had no Idea! Poured from the big 22 oz. bomber to a nice steamed glass. What a well refined beer. Still with good but light carbonation, a dark tan 2 finger head that fades to a respectable lace over a dark dark liquid.

The smell is wonderful, Smooth creamy chocolate with vanilla notes.

The taste is really outstanding, this is a well aged master piece, Hugh and delightful flavor profile. Coffee, chocolate, medium fruit, very nice, The slightest draw back could be too much vanilla.

The mouthfeel is all but perfect. Could use a little more carbonation, but everything else is complete and just wonderful.

The drinkability is excellent, no complaints I could drink this always.

Prosit, Prosit und Dobbel Zum Wohl! MK

08-02-2006 05:32:55 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.