1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
HeresyHeresy

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,832 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,832
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 85
Gots: 217 | FT: 11
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heresy Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,832 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjc410
mjc410

Vermont

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz bomber

Appearance: Poured into a snifter, a deep, rich tan head develops. Unfortunately, it leaves all too quickly. Still, the still, pitch black, mysterious liquid beneath is awesome to look at. It coats the sides of the glass very nicely when swirled, and oozes back to the bottom very slowly.

Smell: Roasted, smoky character. Also bourbon, oak, vanilla.

Taste: Tastes like it smells, which is just about perfect. The alcohol is SO well hidden in this beer.

Mouth: Thick and creamy. Very syrupy, slides down the throat just like it does in the glass. Wonderful.

Drinkability: So easy to drink a bomber of this by oneself! Should really be shared. Just great.

Old Heathen is much better when those oak barrels turn it into Heresy.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2005 23:56:14 | More by mjc410
Photo of cro250klr
cro250klr

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad try by the 'bacher brewers. Certainly not the best Russian I've had but I put quite a bit away when I did have it. It was had at a local beer festival and was the last brew that I sampled. It was offered on tap and was a bit warm. Most of the other brewers were pulling out and this was pretty much all that was left. I did like the chocolaty coffee, malty, oaky taste that Weyerbacher achieved. Definetly not a 'true' Russian but a pretty good variation of one. It was really creamy with a little bitter finish to it. This stout would make a nice compliment to a dessert or a good steak but I can't see making a full session of this one. Average and worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2005 16:03:24 | More by cro250klr
Photo of avylover
avylover

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pitch black with a pretty decent foamy head. Aroma reeks of bourbon, along with some vanilla and spicy alcohol.Taste is equally heavy on the bourbon (nice) while infusing some dark fruit, coffe, and vanilla beans in there, along with some rather unwelcome alcohol. Mouthfeel is slick and actually a bit dry in the finish. The barrels really make an impact here..nice. drinkability is good for an imp stout. Dominion Oak Barrel on steroids...very nice

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2005 21:21:38 | More by avylover
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark black (ink) beer. Has a large brown head. The smell of alcohol and whiskey permiates the aroma. With hints of coffee and vanilla hidden in the background. The flavor starts out with anoticable vanilla note. Followed by some roasted malt bitterness. Then the alcohol and whiskey characters kick in. All ending in a coffee and licorice finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2005 01:09:30 | More by ybnorml
Photo of ski271
ski271

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I remember having this beer back at the State College Microbrewer and Importers Expo last July. I had it late in the session, so I didn’t really anything about it except “woke my taste buds up, then wanted to go to sleep” and rated it 8 1/2 out of 10. I was excited to find a bottle of this stuff.

Appearance: Black with a small, brown, rapidly-diminishing, creamy head. Not really any lacing, but it had an alcohol cling like a wine.

Smell: Big, as an Imperial Stout should be. Bourbon-like and sweet. Chocolate, brown sugar, and a slight licorice flavor among its complex aroma. After it warmed up a bit, it smelled a little like an oatmeal cookie in some ways.

Taste: Oak, bourbon, chocolate and alcohol with hints of vanilla, dark fruit and licorice. The finish is long and relatively sweet with the alcohol warmth standing out quite a bit. I actually was surprised that the ABV wasn’t higher, because it feels like the kind of beer that would make you sleep like Rip Van Winkle.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied of course, but not quite as full as I expected. The texture is good, not overly thick and syrupy like a lot of imp. stouts I’ve had. Hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely no shortage of character here, but it’s a bit rougher than I remembered from before, and rougher than I think an imperial stout should be. Definitely worth a try, but I doubt I’ll seek out this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 16:50:21 | More by ski271
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a wonderful beer... poured out a very dark brown, almost black, with a three finger tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin film of foam.

The aroma was massively complex... the first thing I got was bourbon, which was to be expected. But underneath was a blend of dark fruits, mainly raisins and perhaps cherries... oak tannins... a hint of sweet vanilla... no real chocolate notes to speak of... the more I sniffed, the more I could detect, but so much was so subtle I couldn't put names to it all.

The taste was incredible... initially a vinous taste with roasted malts, a bit of bourbon working in... some oak character... a hint of sweetness, a bit of dark chocolate... very well-balanced and subtle. The alcohol was very slightly noticeable, but not much... it was quite well restrained and worked in nicely.

The mouthfeel was just right.. not too chewy for the level of flavors. And as for drinkability, well, I will definitely get this one again.

I don't know how they do it... first Insanity, now Heresy... but keep them coming, Weyerbacher!

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2005 02:21:23 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark buh-lack pour with zero I mean zeee-roh! Light escaping from the Imperial Stout topped off with a sticky dark khaki thick statuesque head leaving spotty lace.

Deep piercing bourbon oak notes which overtakes the nose. Some other vanilla bean but any other notes are prevented from detection. Hmmm…add this to the equation…

First swigs: Plenty of sweet bourbon and sugary thick syrup. Black espresso coffee. Mucho coffee ice cream notes. A bit hot in the finish down the gullet. Some buttery cocoa notes follow. Lingering black coffee and pumpernickel bread finish.
Thick (like Old Heathen) with plenty of lush carbonation. Mega chewy thick.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Irish Coffee. Whiskey and coffee. Drinking this feels like a detective in a film noir gumshoe flick. The nose deceives the palate, as the bourbon in the bouquet is lessened in the licks. Finally settles when the temp comes up off of fridge cool.

Beer is good. Happy BIG 8.0 % beering.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2005 15:04:34 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours an incredibly thick black with a thing collar beige head.

Smell: The smell is incredibly woody with huge roasted nut and chocolate notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Excellent!! Wow. This is great. This is just how I want my stouts to taste. Rich, creamy, full of life and energy, but still somewhat humble and incredibly balanced. The complexity is perfect. Not too much for the taste buds. The addition of oak to this was a glorious thing, as it was with the Insanity.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a wonderful beer. It's just about perfect. Thank God for Weyerbacher, they really do have some great beers, and this is one of them. One of the best Stouts you'll ever have.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 05:40:08 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of Fish113d
Fish113d

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown or black into a tulip glass, leaving a 1 inch tan head w/ lots of edge lacing on the glass and a nice surface layer after dissipating just a bit. Aromas are lots of chocolate and bourbon. The oaken barrel smell comes through also. I also get some slight caramels on the nose; it kinda reminds me of a Werther's Original candy. Taste is brown roasted malts w/ some chocolate flavors up front and some bourbon tones on the finish along with the overall alcohol feel. Nice balance between the sweetness and the alcohol. Feel is great! The carbonation is well balanced with a full-bodied brew and the alcohol throughout. Awesome in my opinion. Drinkability is nice. Full-bodied and tough to "slug" but a great great brew!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2005 04:02:05 | More by Fish113d
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a faint traces of cherry wood. Big foamy, dark tan head on the pour that fades but leaves uneven swirls of lace on the glass.
Aroma has a strong chocolate note on the backbone of the oaky/vanilla hints. Also detected were some dark grapes, black currant and a molasses note.
Flavors of semi-sweet chocolate attack the plate first followed by a caramel sweetness that is quickly driven aside by the noticeable oak and vanilla flavoring. Slightly peaty/whiskey aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is full and sweet yet this beer is not overpowering or overfilling. Perpetual sweetness is layered in between the oak, vanilla and peat notes. Hint of charcoal towards the finish along with just a bite of alcohol fuel. Well done without going over the top.
Drinkability is good. Somewhat less that I expected as far as complexity, yet it was refreshingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 18:15:50 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent stout with a bourbon like flavour, syrup rather than thick flavour, a tad sour. Black, roasty smell, not too creamy. First taste is wood. Then some chocolate, and roast, bit of vanilla and spot of coffee, sugar. Well carbonated. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly less in a tasting a few weeks later.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2005 05:33:20 | More by Sammy
Photo of Risser09
Risser09

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from a case bought at the brewery. Poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance - Deep, dark brown with ample viscousity. Very little head and small traces of lace which floated on the surface. Note that the oak aging has effects on otherwise more effervescent beers.

Smell - Strong, comfortable stout smell sprung from the glass upon pouring. Very little alcohol smell with hints of expresso and vanilla.

Taste - Definitive bourbon flavor coupled with hints of vanilla. Starts as a stout and ends as a whiskey minus the high alcohol content. It is still very apparent that it was cask aged.

Mouthfeel - Pleasing as the stout that it is. I happen to like the warming alcohol finish that lingers with coffee.

Drinkability - Definitely a tasty beer that is more complicated than it's younger brother, Old Heathen. Would serve better as an apiritif, digestif, or as an after dinner drink than an every day drinker. I was given a case as a gift and I expect to hold on to half of it for more experiences in the next few years.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 01:48:07 | More by Risser09
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Cornboy for this offering from Weyerbacher.
Pours a huge caramel head w/ no effort whatsoever...looks like a rootbeer float at this point.
Sweet malty aroma w/ chocolate and toffee to complement. A hint of alcohol (brandy-like) in this oak aged beauty.
Flavor is one heck of an extreme stout...thick yet refreshing. Very well balanced w/ some hops in the finish, along w/ a touch of alcohol. I have to rate drinkability just below average...I would enjoy again, but probably not right after this one.
Weyerbacher is really making a name for itself in my book.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2005 01:13:06 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of isubsmith
isubsmith

Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Minimal head that quickly dissipated. Pitch black, opaque liquid.

Malty, toffee, chocolate-y, and sherry notes on the nose. Perhaps some vanilla there too.

Very light body for an imperial stout. Lots of chocolate and malt. Perhaps some coffee there as well. The alcohol is more present than a typical imperial stout. Not too bad, just more present than I'm used to. A lot of malt without much hops.

Very interesting beer. Worth a try certainly.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2005 05:13:32 | More by isubsmith
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Knocked off my feet by the nose on this beer. Usually that is what I find least impressive about any beer. But this beer's aroma just makes you think youcrawled into the oak barrel it was aged in. I know it is not there, but I was also thinking there could've been some raspberries just in the aroma. It poured a rich and deep chocolate brown in color, with two inches of head on it. Lace would form, but then slide down the glass. The flavor is rich in toffee, coffee and chocolate. A touch of oatmeal and raisins. And something else, almost dried apples. The mouthfeel is also a little dry. After my 22oz bottle I was craving another.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2005 02:46:57 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber pours an ebony, opaque body with a tightlyknit, one inch light brown head that exhibits some garnet hues on the fringes. Good head retention eventually gives way to some attractive sheet lace.
Aroma was somewhat restrained. I first detected a woody note of fresh sawdust(not in a bad sense), followed quickly by Hershey's chocolate kisses, graced with a note of hazelnut.
Mouthfeel is silky and rich, with a creamy low medium carbonation. Good body.
Taste is creamed, hazelnut coffee with a dollup of cocoa and some roasted, shaved hazelnut. Dark, dried prunes and raisins are in the background, along with an earthy hops bitterness. The woody sawdust taste is present throughout.
I liked the brewery's base imperial stout more than this one. Heresy is well balanced, and very drinkable, but the oak aging only adds a fresh sawdust wood component here. Some whisky barrel oak wood would have made this a bit more interesting.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2005 23:22:34 | More by merlin48
Photo of mattcrill
mattcrill

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An imperial stout aged in oak barrels. I've had other beers aged in oak and this could go either way...let's see...

Appearance: Pours thick and black as night. Has a beautiful pillowy and fluffy tan head that slowly gets eaten away by the carbonation. Looks absolutely impressive in my snifter.

Smell: oak up front. Almost chardonnay-like which is very cool. The woodiness dominates but there is some chocolate malts sneaking through.

Taste: an oaky sweetness up front with sweet vanilla, cocoa, and hershey's chocolate that follow up with woodiness. Finishes nicely with a warming alcohol presence that is nicely blended.

Mouthfeel: Thick and velvety. Very full and coats the palate nicely.

Drinkability: definitely one to be sipped. Don't rush this monster. Perfect after dinner or for a night cap.

This one is very interesting and very well done. I don't think the oak or the alcohol dominated which was what I was afraid of initially. Very drinkable due to it's complexity. I will definitely be back.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2005 21:05:20 | More by mattcrill
Photo of EPseja
EPseja

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had 11oz. of this 22oz. bottle on a full stomach of sushi (shared the othre 11oz. with my friend Dave). Not the best of scenarios for rating a stout... Served in a chalice at slightly cooler than cellar teperature.

Appearance: Pours dark chocolate brown with magenta tones around the edges. Drink is opaque black in the glass. Thick head rises the color of dark chocolate with raspberry highlights, with the consistency of a foam cushion or ocean tidal foam.

Smell: Heavy chocolate, heavy vanilla (vanillin from the oak barrels), slight bourbon, heavy caramel. Baked goods and subtle raspberry(?) syrup. Smells tremendously sweet. I would be satisfied just smelling this beer!

Taste: Super well balanced considering the showdown of heavy-hitting flavors! Big caramel/vanilla in the start followed by slight oak. Warming alcohol then becomes apparent. Oak muscles in during the middle and shares the spotlight with vanilla and chocolate in the finish. Aftertaste is lingering mocha-oak espresso. I would rate it a 4.25 if I could, but best err on the side of caution.

Mouthfeel: Does not succumb to overcarbonation that is present in so many beers of this sweetness. Creamy. Sudsy in the mouth without feeling like you're swallowing a throatful of head.

Drinkability: Definitely a dessert beer - great for unwinding by the fire or sharing with a friend. As such, this beer drinks very smoothly and is very satisfying for those who like a little oak in their beverages.

An outstanding innovation for the Russian Imperial Stout class.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 03:05:05 | More by EPseja
Photo of Citadel82
Citadel82

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa there.

This is one spectacular brew.

Pours black with a generous tan head that leaves a thick coating of lace on the glass as it withdraws as it is emptied.

Aroma of malt, molasses and dried fruit.

Taste of cappucino, malt, drying hoppiness and a cocoa and alcohol finish.

A medium bodied brew with light persistent carbonation.

Very drinkable not overpowering in any one aspect.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 02:48:07 | More by Citadel82
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep black almost light absorbing in its intensity with a thin tan head. A draping of lace is left down the side of the glass as I tip it to drink. The nose has a light roasted malt aroma with a very bright alcohol character (I mean this in a good way). It also has chocolate and something more… cherry, or black cherry. Is this coming from the oak-aging? The taste delivers a definite sweetness up front. Cherries, I detected in the nose along with a richer chocolaty taste. The roasted malt is much more subtle than I expected, and the alcohol character doesn’t show up until late, late in the finish. This has a rich, velvety mouth feel (love that in my stouts). Great drinkability. This oak-aging really brings a great character to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2005 23:40:44 | More by carln26
Photo of oracle
oracle

Indiana

2.4/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle served in a traditional english pint glass.

Beer poured an opaque black with generious very dark tan head that left minor lacing in the glass.

Smell was all coffee and dark roasted carmel.

I was disappointed with this beer. The taste of whiskey which comes from the oak barrels in which the beer is fermented lend entirely too much whiskey flavor into the beer, obliterating the taste of the beer itself. I just really couldn't taste much here except for the whiskey.

I'll pass on this one from now on.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2005 14:03:53 | More by oracle
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I left this beer around a while to let it age somewhat. Of all the bourbon-aged beers that have recently appeared, this is one of the best. The bourbon does not overpower this beer like some others are prone to do. The bourbon complements the imperial stout taste. It is married to the licorise and other flavors prominent in the imperial stout. And this greatly improves its drinkability. When I want bourbon, I'll have bourbon. I don't want a bourbon-aged beer where the aging obliterates the underlying beer's taste. This beer does not do that. And for that it should be lauded.

The smell is of the bourbon and the appearance is black as night with nice, sizeable head which goes to a good lace.

The mouthfeel is quite smooth. Not overly carbonated. Quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 18:20:09 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark color with very little head and no lacing on the glass. The aroma was mostly bourbon and vanilla. Some cherries in there as well. The flavor had a strong bourbon presence along with hints of vanilla and chocolate. Very well-done. I enjoyed this one a lot. Nice body and drinkability was ok.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 16:15:39 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a nice black color with a small head that fell to ring the beer. The nose was all about bourbon. Chocolate, vanilla, sweet cherry all hit me very strong. The flavor was much the same as the nose, lots of bourbon, vanilla with chocolate more in the background. The feel was thick and creamy. Very full feeling. Drinkability was good. I really like bourbon, but this was maybe a touch too strong. Overall, this was a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 03:20:24 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber poured into a snifter. It pours a jet black color with one finger of tan head. No lacing left on the glass. The smell hits you with a good dose of bourbon. Lots of charred oak and vanilla. The taste is malty with more bourbon and vanilla, and even a hint of chocolate. A little bit of alcohol on the finish. The mouthfeel is super thick, but is still very smooth. The drinkability is pretty nice for 8%. A nice stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 19:23:52 | More by SheepNutz
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,832 ratings.