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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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very good

2,015 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,015
Reviews: 976
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 101
Gots: 260 | 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: 2,015 | Reviews: 976 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

A: Poured a dark, cola-coffee with a soft, creamy 2 finger dark, khaki head that faded slightly leaving a great film lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Fresh roasted mocha coffee, and a dry, bakers chocolate fills the nose. There was a slight hint of rum raisin as well. Nose was lighter then expected.

T: bitter black coffee, and a dark roasted chocolate. As you progress the flavor becomes much more smoother and refined. Some dark rum raisin, black licorice, black cherries are subtle but noticeable against the big roasted palate. A rich lingering roasted coffee fade finishes things out along with spicy burbon alcohol and chocolate.

M: full, creamy, and softly carbonated with a rich dark bitter coffee/chocolate flavor coming through upon warming.

D: Very easy to drink, great rich coffee finish makes this a joy to drink to the bitter end.

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter:

Pours black with a tan head that recedes to a bubbly patch.

The smell is of oak/vanilla with coffee, chocolate and a hint of anise.

The taste is of oak/vanilla that almost masks, but the chocolate/coffee and hint of anise pull through. An initial sweetness becomes balanced by a roastiness aand a fruity/peppery drying alcohol.

A bit lighter in the feel than I expected, with some slick alcohol lasting more in the aftertaste than the flavors. It is a slow sipper as it packs a punch.

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

A huge foamy three finger chocolate brown head quickly forms with a strong pour. body is black as ink letting no light escape. Nose hints of nicely robust malt, smokey meaty notes, coffee and hidden alchol. first sip is only slightly thinner than expected with hints of coco, toffee, anise and burnt malt. A short sour feel bites the back of the tongue as the beer passes by. As you continue to let it develop you also get alchol soaked sour cherries and even phenol like notes including vanilla and banana. Mouthfeel is as thick as you would expect from this style but well received. A extremely enjoyable sipper. Dry bitter bite to the tongue is also there as you continue to drink through the night. Very good underated stout.

Photo of soupyman10
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with a friend. Crazy cheap for a RIS ($4.99 for a bomber). Poured a pitch black color, no highlights to speak of, with an off-white head that dissovles quickly and leaves very little lacing. Nose is roasted malt and almost winey-grapes and other dried fruit. Some oakiness in there too. A touch of alcohol. Very strange, but not bad. Flavor is likewise. Smooth, and highly fruity, with some chocolate, tons of roasted malt and cookies. That wine sits there in the oak barrels as well. Body is a little thin for a RIS, but the carbonation is mellow and appropriate to the style. Overall, this one is quite a tasty unique RIS, although maybe not one of the best. Worth a shot.

Photo of BeerSox
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Opaque pitch black with a one finger light brown head that slowly settles to a thick rim along the glass.

Thick and roasty bitter malt aromas with a bit of hoppiness in the background to add some balance. Chocolate and coffee work their way in.

Heavy and roasty malts dominate the flavor, with some of the chocolate and coffee that is present in the aroma. Full bodied, with a coating feel. The finish is the lingering roasty grains.

What an enjoyable beer. The malts are bitter, yet smooth. There are no overzealous hops to mask the complexity that the malts carry on their own. The %ABV is about 8%, which increases the drinkability. Highly recommended.

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

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottle lists no drink by date. The appearance is very nice: with a two finger medium brown colored head, that is both rocky and creamy. There is an abundance of sticky lacing. The color of this beer is pitch black.

Aroma is of black coffee and dark chocolate mixed in with dark roasted malts and also licorice.

Taste is a nice, bitter black coffee flavor and sharp roasted malts. There is a small warming alcohol flavor that is similar to bourbon or whiskey.

Overall, an excellent stout choice.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-oz bomber poured into snifters.

A = Black, thick light brown head made up of foam and medium bubbles, very slow dissipation.

S = Oak, chocolate, spicy notes almost like a Spanish tempranillo, very interesting.

T = Creamy chocolate, coffee, malt, almost like a malted chocolate milkshake, very creamy, long bitter coffee finish while cream and sweet tastes linger on gums and lips.

M = Thick bodied, frothty, excellent mouthcoating.

D = Good drinkability, too bad the ABV is as high as it is, because this would be an excellent beer to have a few of if you were going by taste alone. An excellent dessert beer.

Photo of atsprings
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark opaque black with a decent tan head that slowly diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma is a wonderful blend of oak, roasted barley, coffee, and brown malts. Taste is a smooth blend of oak and roasted barley. The beer is very smooth and enjoyably dry, the alcohol is very well hidden. While still not all that high on the list when it comes to the style, this is still very enjoyable.

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

22 oz bottle. Pours nearly pitch black with a tall tan head that is mostly lasting. Aroma of bitter chocolate and coffee. Initial taste of malts, dark fruits, and a hint of smoke. Flavor ends kind of dry, fruity, and bitter with a hint of alcohol. Limited lacing, light carbonation, medium to heavy body, some alcohol noted. Drinkable, but other options out there.

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

22 oz. bottle, impressive pour, served into a tulip.

A- Thick, murky, black substance- thnk the color of ink. small thin dark tan head, some lace.

S- Smell was of oak and roasted coffee beans.

T- Taste was oakey, bourbon whiskeyish, chocolate, and roasted malts.

M- Mouthfeel was thick and creamy, very full bodied and warm.

D- Awesome RIS. I would love to pair this with a chocolate cake for an after dinner treat.

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

Oak aged Imperial Stouts are instant favorites for most, but this one really pushes it's way to the front. When poured into a wide mouth chalice and tipped to see the color, well...there is none. It's a black hole that invites you to dive in with an alluring vanilla/coffee scent. So smooth. Sweet and bitter flavors, extremely drinkable but you'll want to savor this one at 8.2% abv. A must try.

Photo of dsa7783
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From what I understand, this particular brew was created by Weyerbacher aging their outstanding Old Heathen in oak-barrels... the result is a superb step-up from an already fantastic brew... Old Heathen tinged with vanilla, bourbon, and whiskey notes that is extremely complex, rich, and flavorful, and a level up from a typical RIS... Pours a deep, dark, jet-black, ebony hue with a reddish, modest tan head that soon dissipated... smell is absolutely wonderful, with rich, dark, burnt-chocolate, espresso, and cocoa... taste couldn't more strongly complement the aroma, with rich latte-like, bourbon, whiskey, vanilla, chocolate, and strong cocoa and espresso notes... just about the perfect rendition of the style... can't get much more thick, rich, or complex than this one... one of my favorite beers from Weyerbacher... this one is a real winner with myriad flavors that tingle the tongue and delight the pallate... certainly a winner where aroma and flavor are concerned... this one hits home... one of the better depictions of the style... a top American brew... Definitely recommended...

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

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.
A: Black in color, no doubt about that. Light brown head that is bubbly and huge; requires two pours to avoid overflow. The head slowly fizzes away. Slippery sheets of lacing, leaves sprinkles on the sides of the glass and a nice creamy layer of head atop the beer.
S: Chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, grains. Quite nose-filling. A bubbliness tingles the nose too. Some sweetness and maybe honey or cream?
T: Nice maltiness to it. Bitter chocolate, alcohol, and warm, soft malts. Dryness and choclate in the finish, pretty muted. Oaky and bready overall.
M: Little bit of alcohol but otherwise pretty good. Malty fullness to it with a slight bitter tingle. Satisfying for the style.
D: I like this. Quite drinkable for an imperial stout.

Photo of sraimondi
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very excited to pop this one, as I'm a big fan of Weyerbacher stuff (This past year's Autumnfest was remarkable!) and I have read the many positive reviews on this one.

Poured with a very large brown/cream head which collapses slowly. Very nice sheet lacing. Quite opaque brown/black.

Major oak/whiskey hits you first, with definite chocolate overtones which take over. Some toffee as well in the background.

Taste is oak/whiskey-like. For my taste this is overdone--too extreme on the whiskey side; this is a beer afterall, right?? Throws the beer out of balance.

Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth; rounded as well.

Elevated ABV is definitely present. Overall, I'm a bit disappointed in this one. Just too whiskeyish for a beer. Too bad, as this is a very complex brew otherwise, but the oak barrel involvement is way over the top and provides for an unbalanced beer in the end IMHO. Dialing back the extreme qualities of this one would have given me a better experience.


Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,015 ratings.