1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heresy Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,004 | Reviews: 972 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Jet black with a malted milk head, big head at that with huge lacing.

Smells of cocoa powder, alcohol, and oak. The oak is very mingled with the rest of the aroma, however, so does not stick out too much. good job there.

Flavor is a very earthy, woody semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Again, the oak balances things very nicely instead of trying to dominate anything

Highly carbonated with a drying, sour tinge.

This stout is a great showcasing of what oak can bring to a beer. Definitely recommended.

Photo of AltBock
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a slick black label of a purple lightning bolt in a completely black cloudy sky. Off to the bottom and the left side of the label is the refund values, US Government warning, and the brewery's address. Below the name of the beer are words you long to read on a beer bottle, "Imperial Stout aged in Oak barrels." Don't waste your time looking for a bottle year or any kind of date because there isn't one anywhere.

Appearance: I decided to pour this Weyerbacher into a Snifter. What came out of the bottle was beer that black as crude oil (if only I could pour it into my car). What seperated the two was the fact that this one had a good 1/2 to 3/4 inch creamy head of tan foam. This tan colored head of foam had good retention that left behind a small tan film and a few tan streaks of lace in its tracks.

Smell: There were quite a few dark aromas in this beer, but I felt that wasn't enough of them in here. It seemed like there were aromas missing. The aroma was mostly charred oak with dark fruits, dark roasted malts, raisins, and some roasted coffee beans at the end. I can't tell you what's missing, but it felt like there should have been more to it. I should also mention that it was in the aroma where the oak ran wild and free all over the place. It couldn't have been stopped.

Taste: While the dark aroma let the charred oak run wild and free all over the palce, it was here in the taste where they controlled it. The taste was dark, rich, and chewy (like an Imperial stout should be) with dark roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, controlled charred oak, a quick splash of vanilla, bitter dark chocolate, plums, raisins, and then all of this ended with dark roasted hops. It wasn't as powerful a rich dark lightning bolt hitting your tongue, but at least it was a nice rich malty Imperial Stout.

Mouthfeel: As you can probably tell, it was chewy full bodied dark beer that had a not so lingering aftertaste of raosted malts, roasted coffee beans, and bitter dark chocolate. It did however mask it's 8% ABV. I couldn't detact any of that 8% ABV. I'm surprised that no charred oak showed up here in the taste. I guess the taste kicked it into submission.

Drinkability: Not the most powerful or the best oak aged Imperial Stout out on the market, but it's still worth a shot if you can get your hands on any.

Photo of Pencible
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured pitch black with tan head. It smelled like milk chocolate, bourbon, and burnt coffee. It tasted like creamy chocolate milk and coffee, with delicate bourbon flavors and a slight alcohol taste. It was super thick with no carbonation and a very mild and sweet chocolate aftertaste. Overall this was a very creamy and sweet stout, with a complex but very easy to enjoy flavor that made the beer great to sip or gulp.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint

A huge brown pillowy head bubbled up and had some serious staying power. Had some decent guinness-like cascading action. Body is used engine oil black, completely opaque.

Smell is of roasted malts, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and coffee beans. It has a velvety cooling like smell that bodes well for the taste...

Taste is of fruit, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate. The alcohol is hidden extremely well.

Very smooth and creamy.

This is a heavy beer, but really don't have any trouble putting it down.

This beer mellows perfectly with the oak aging. Very well done, weyerbacher has come a long way in the last decade. Well done guys!

Photo of ejquin
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a nice white head that fades pretty quickly ane leaves little lacing

S: Hefty doses of chocolate and vanilla. Bourbony with some hop presence. Butter scoth and roasted malt/molasses

T/M: Espresso and dark chocolate with some vanilla notes, fading to bourbon bite and alcohol on finish. Hops just make an appearance at the end.

Photo of OKCNittany
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber

A: Poured a huge three finger dark tan head with great retention, leaving lots of lacing. Black body.

S: Coffee and vanilla - actually pretty close to their Old Heathen, but a touch light.

T: They say "stout with notes of oak, whiskey, and vanilla" - fair enough, but to me, those added flavors just distract from what was (in it's original Old Heathen form) a delicious RIS.

M: Medium to full bodied. Lightly carbonated and smooth with an aftertaste laced with whiskey and vanilla.

D: I suppose the added complexity would be a good thing for some, but why fix what isn't broken? When in Weyerbacher country, it's back to Old Heathen for me.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Heresy

This barrel aged stout pours a sleek black with a lively and thick, frothy tan head. As the head subsides, substantial lacing remains throughout the beer.

The aroma is most resembles sweet coffee, with noticeable alcohol amongst the malt and chocolate. There is an admirable candy like milkshake aroma.

Wow, this stout is packed with flavor character. Tons of chocolate and coffee, roasted malt and a faint lingering sweetness. This has so much to offer. The alcohol is much more subtle than the aroma suggested and this is very creamy on the palate.

Although there is not much carbonation in the mouth feel, the frothy head makes the beer seem almost pillowy. There is also an almost doughy or bready aspect to this stout as well.

The bomber will suffice for this barrel aged stout. Very tasty and a pleasure to relax and sip, definitely one I will revisit, but nothing I could drink many of in one sitting.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Looks beautiful: a big black gooey monster...huge fluffy tan head takes awhile to calm, and underneath sits abyss-black darkness. Big sweeping chains of lace form on the glass.

Aroma is big, creamy, milky...like liquified malted milk balls. Chocolate milk, caramel...and just a hint of alcohol, which is appreciated, as the candybar-like character gets a chance to breathe and roam around without being dominated by booze.

Well-hidden alcohol is my first impression of the flavor. It's not as big and sweet and gooey as the aroma hinted, leaning more toward figs and plums, as well as a slight hop presence, along with the more typical-of-style characteristics like roasted grains, milk chocolate and even a little coffee in the finish. Hardly even noticed the oak-barrel essence, as advertised on the label.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin...I was hoping for more chubbiness on this baby's bottom. Feels like watered down milk poured into cola, as there's enough carbonation to prop it up a little, but still, it's on the thin side.

This is an instance where I wonder if mouthfeel might affect how well flavor comes through. It seemed to mute or hold back something in the flavor profile. A weird experience: Looks Great! Smells Great! Tastes...decent. Feels...not so decent. I had no problem getting the whole bottle down and enjoying it for what it is, but it's not one of Weyerbacher's crowning achievements.

[I later went back and looked at other reviews...is this just a flawed batch? Everybody's saying how the mouthfeel is thick, and rich, and creamy...argh...]

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown/black with ruby highlights showing when held up to the light, very huge creamy tan head, tons of lacing as well. Took a while for the head to settle down, so much for a RIS.

Smell is a bit subtle, good roasted malt aroma, but is quite reserved and not overwhelming, caramel presence and only a slight woodiness considering it's been aged in oak barrels.

Taste is mostly roasted malt with a slight bourbon edge, but the bourbon aspect is downplayed quite a bit, the 8% is not evident as there is very little burn to this RIS, makes this very easy to drink for the style. Finishes with a slight coffee bitterness, decent creaminess the entire way through, good carbonation level.

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

S = Strong bourbon smell. I couldn't detect much else.

T = The initial taste was bourbon upfront and then a vanilla coffee flavor near the end. There was no bitterness or harsh coffee taste at all. The finish continued with the vanilla coffee flavor which I really enjoyed.

The alcohol was well hidden and gave a nice warmth factor to the beer.

MF = Moderate carbonation. The beer was heavy but not thick.

Overall, I grew a little tired of the big bourbon taste, but I would say this is the best "bourbon-aged" beer that I've tasted.

Photo of Lupe
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color - just about black. No light makes it through, just a lighter brown hue when held to the light. Small cocoa colored head tops the liquid and quickly disappears.

Deep roasted malty aroma full of dark chocolate and vanilla. Gentle woodiness is present, some bourbon and mild coffee. Straight-forward and enticing, much more so than the appearance.

The first sip is like heaven, but then it kind of falls off. Nothing wrong with the flavor - just very impressive at first, but lacking some complexity and legs. Big roasted and chocolate malt flavors lead the way. Dark roast coffee and chocolate. Super smooth bourbon flavors, vanilla, and subtle oak. Finishes fairly clean with lingering roasted bitterness and a touch of fruit.

Medium-full in body. Incredibly smooth, creamy, and a light spicy pricking of the tongue. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't get in the way. A little more than a sipper, but gets a bit dull midway through the bomber.

Very good, not great - Perhaps would be better suited with some food rather than as a nightcap.

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

22oz bomber.

A: Pours jet black with a tan head. 1 finger tan head.

S: Coffee, roast, some chocolate in the back

T: Toffee coffee roast. chocolate in finish

M: thick body syrupy. Very nice example of style.

d: Super drinkable for the style. Goes down much smoother than you would think. The barrel aging really did this beer wonders.

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

A: Pitch opaque black with a beautiful 2-finger tan head that has great retention. A great looking beer for sure.

S: Nutty and carmelized. Malt smells rich and roasted. Not much sweetness or fruit coming through, but alcohol is apparent. Smells great.

T: Great tasting beer - main flavor is roasted malt that's just smoky enough to be bitter. There's also some chocolate in the background. This is followed by intense alcohol that suits the first flavors well. Finally, the fruit comes through, a dark slightly banana-ish flavor. The bitterness just barely lingers after swallowing.

M: Thick and rich, medium-heavy bodied. Good carbonation. Slight astringency, but barely any.

D: Pretty alcoholic - so much so that I can't help but cringe a little after swallowing. It reminds me of shooting vodka, but it's still pretty drinkable for the style. Like any Imperial Stout, it's so rich and thick that it's hard to drink too much, but it's good enough for me.

Photo of david131
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nearly pitch black with some streams of rising carbonation noticeable at the sides of the glass. The brown head is very creamy looking dimples the top of the liquid with its mass. Not the darkest beer I have seen, but the head retention makes up for it.

S- Lots of bourbon and vanilla with hints of sweet chocolate and coffee ever so slightly working their way through. Not all that complex.

T- Smooth bourbon flavors blend well with the roasty aspect to this beer. There are also flavors of chocolate, cherry, and vanilla. There is a lot to like here, but there is something just a little off here that I had some trouble putting my finger on... then I realized there was a noticeable citrus aftertaste to this, which I oddly enough attributed to the alcohol.

M- Very smooth, but not quite hearty enough to help hide the 8% alcohol presence.

D- Definitely a sipper, and for the ABV I expected this to be a little more drinkable. Not for favorite for the style, but definitely worth a shot.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 22oz bottle served in a tulip glass. Nice looking beer: black, thick mocha head, impressive lacing all the way down. It had a predominately coffee aroma, as well as some sweet fruit and vanilla. Coffee and milk chocolate taste. I thought it was a tad too sweet, which cut down the drinkability a bit.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Off the pour the dark foam holds up very well, nice lacing and a deep black color. You can definitely tell this beer was aged in a barrel. Its almost like someone just dropped a shot of Scotch into my beer.

Smells of whisky, roasted chocolate malts, vanilla, fruits and coffee.

Tastes of roasted malts, coffee, fruits, very warming whisky like alcohol and some bitterness. Not the most drinkable beer but a great one none the less.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bomber from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours completely opaque black body with well over an inch of light brown head that slowly dissipates leaving much lacing. Wood and vanilla dominate the aroma, with hints of coffee and caramel in the background. Dark pleasant roasty coffee-dark chocolate, maltiness, and woody vanilla play equal roles in the flavor initially, but wood definitely dominates the finish and aftertaste. Rich full mouth-feel, though not viscous or sticky like some, with a fair bit of carbonation, more than is often seen in the style, but by no means does it hurt the beer. The carbonation along with the pleasing near-flawless flavor make this an extremely beer considering the full mouthfeel and abv. My only complaint for this beer is that the wood flavor could be a bit more subdued. Having said that, this beer is dangerously drinkable and is a new favorite for the style.

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