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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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

1,969 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,969
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 94
Gots: 247 | 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 (whiskey/bourbon) barrels.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,969 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IntriqKen
4.93/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty dark amber...almost black.
Two fingers of a milk chocolate colored head melts to a sticky lace with a quarter of an inch left on top.

Smells like coffee and chocolate...chocolate and coffee....followed with a bit of the oak barrel and bourbon.

Tastes like it smells...coffee and chocolate and bourbon LOVE the bourbon tastes in it. Lots of sweet vanilla comes through from the oak barrels as well. More vanilla than I've experienced before in a beer. Love it all.

This is an incredibly balanced Oaked Imperial Stout. Nothing overpowers...everything just plays against each other and then finishes clean in the mouth.

Love it.

IntriqKen, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of beerhawk
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really interesting and great for someone who wants to see how much a burbon barrel can transform a beer. It has a great vanilla, nut-oak aroma. Pours thick and screams complexity. I chilled it a bit to much but let it warm up in my brandy glass a little longer after my first sip. The body is great and mouthfeel was perfect for a beer of this magnitude. I could drink about tow per session, but after that the ABV gets in the way not the taste. Try one is you have a chance and like big beers.

beerhawk, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: Huge creamy dark coffee colored head. It takes it time and leave lacing down the glass. Body is absolutely black.

S: Typical sweet coffee and chocolate, and a nice vanilla fruit in the background.

T: Taste the malts and some alcohol up front. Can taste the vanilla flavor from the barrels on the finish. A good amount of sweetness, and not much hop balance, but it doesn't bother me.

M: Creamy, filling, pretty thick. Good carbonation, not too much.

D: Leaves the palliate pretty clean. Can't find much to complain about here.

I love big malty beers, especially RISes and this was no exception.

51mmz0rz, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep black with a 3 finger bubbly tan head.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, oak, roasted malt, chocolate and toffee. Smells just like my homebrewed bourbon porter (heavy on the bourbon).

T - Bourbon and vanilla up front and then you get slammed in the face with a wet, woody, oak taste that is a little overbearing (this taste settles down as the beer warms). Caramel and roasted malt appear in the background and then the aftertaste that lingers is back to bourbon and vanilla.

M - Medium bodied but highly carbonated that creates a bubbly, full, biting sensation on the tongue that does not flow very well with the beer.

D - This beer would be fabulous with better carbonation. Bourbon lovers dream though with very complex bourbon notes mixed in. I enjoyed it.

brewcrew76, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Almost black with light tan head that dies down to a ring and leaves little lacing.

S- Wonderful. Dates, raisins, dried plum, molasses, oak, roastiness, anise, graininess. No hop aroma, no alcohol aroma, surprisingly. Very complex and smells soooo alluring...

T- Thick and sweet flavor. Heavy. Dark. Don't know how to describe it in flavor terms, only in density terms. Many of the flavors are the same as the aromas listed... has some cocoa and some mild hops in the finish, and a small amount of acohol, just for good measure. Aftertaste is the same as the taste, and lasts forever.

M- Thick, syrupy, low carbonation, but not overpowering or disappointingly flat. Smooth and satisfying with a long, smooth finish.

D- A whole bottle would be easy to drink. This is probably the only imperial stout I could drink a lot of... but it's not thin. Just really good.

khiasmus, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of wingman14
2.95/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours jet black with a dark tan head that stays for a bit. The smell is very sweet with a strong dose of hard liquor. The taste is very similar, sweet up front, alcohol going down that over powers the beer. This one isn't very high in ABV (for an Imperial), yet the flavor reveals so much in the taste, probably because they are aged in bourbon barrels. The mouthfeel is ok, it was hard to get past the flavor. I don't like that I bought this in a growler, the description was deceiving, I can't see having more than one of these. Check it out if you really like the Imperials.

wingman14, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pitch black and very little carbonation. There was a coffee 2 finger head.

Smell - A nice smooth creamy chocolate with oak, raisins, and black currants.

Taste - Roasted chocolate and some raisins are balanced with some coffee, black currants, and vanilla. The oak is a nice addition.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability - A nice solid Russian Imperial.

stereosforgeeks, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.85/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured into a flaired tulip glass from a brown long neck bottle with a crimped cap.

Black,opaque 2" mocha/tan head with good retention and decent lacing.

Very roasty nose with a big charred wood aroma and some molasses,dates,nutty and some slight sweet booziness. Good aroma somewhere between moderate and faint.

Smokey,burnt chocolate tastes,very carmelly,nutty,and earthy.A clean sweet mid-taste finished with a warming alcohol effect.

Thick,syrupy, mouthfeel with a grainy, rough on the palate feel seems to be from the alcohol.Not much drinkability the very sweet booziness was too much for me to want more than one bottle.

jcdiflorio, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of Hautacam
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brew with a big rusty head that laces and lasts.
Smells of vanilla and bourbon.
Tastes very sweet , heavy bourbon flavor ...some vanilla and dates.
Pretty boozey...hops are there, but not dominant.
Heavy mouthfeel. Moderate smooth carbonation.
Pretty good stuff.

Hautacam, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

AP: Deep black, totally opaque with a two-finger thick, tight, frothy but bubbly at the top; mocha-brown colored head. Really good retention like a big stout should have.

Nose: Very roasty malt with vanilla and molasses and a big alcohol heat tingles the nose. A very pleasant herbal and very spicey hop scent rounds it out.

Flavor: This is a dark, roasty and smokey flavored malt with a jack Daniel's-like oak'ed flavor and just enough heat to make you feel it. There is a creamy and mildly chocolate under-current that adds to the complexity. The hop flavors are very spicey for a stout, finishing herbal and bitter.

Feel: big-ass body, Thick and hefty feel. The constant head, gives it a nice creamy feel on the lips.

DA: The oak aging seems to mellow out the malt flavors a bit, becoming less sweet and caramalized than some, but certainly adds a more roasty and wood-like flavor. The hop is very zesty and adds some interest to this one. This is a brew you want to enjoy slowly.

GratefulBeerGuy, Mar 15, 2007
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Which Brew in Easton. Appears a very deep brown with a finger of dark tan head. Smells of chocolate, woody oak, alcohol, and roasted malts. Tastes of boozy, whiskey spiked coffee with a dose of cocoa and vanilla. The dark chocolate notes become more dominant and the alcohol burn fades as the beer warms up. A little thin in both mouthfeel and carbonation. A nice dessert sipper.

ClockworkOrange, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of Jcdolan
3.33/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 22oz bomber aged in oak barrels.

Poured a dark black chocolate color with a rising brown head that clears out quickly. Not much carbonation to be had after the initial pour.

Smells of chocolate and deep roasted barely. Coffee and a sweet sent can be detected after the powerful roasted barely.

Alcohol hits the mouth first with a sweet taste followed by a strong after taste of roasted barely and malts. A slight coffee taste can also be detected.

This is a medium bodied brew and is on the dry side. I am not the biggest fan of stouts and would not be able to drink this all night but I could deffinately see myself enjoying this brew with a meal such as steak and potatos.

Jcdolan, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of Freshie
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is dark as crud, with dark tan head. Laces nicely.

Smell is very earthy and surprisingly clean. Toffee sweetness.

The taste is rich with molasses, chocolate, coffee like flavors. Warming spice comes after. Chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste.

Creamy textures are present as well.

Very and tasty RIS. Though its only downside is lack of hop bite.

Freshie, Mar 07, 2007
Photo of GimpyCane
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber

appearance: poured jet black with a slight brown rim that had a thick creamy 2 inch mocha brown head. The head mostly diminished and left no lacing.

smell: roasted malt, hint of smoke, molasses, and dark bread. Also got a whiff of perfume from the hops.

taste and mouthfeel: medium to full body, watery, fizzy carbonation. Starts off slightly sweet, somewhere in the middle I got a sour milk taste and ended with a slight dark chocolate bitter.

drinkability: smooth and easy

Overall, I found this brew to be just OK. Love the extreme dark pour but did not find it to be as bold and intense as other RIS. The oak never shined on my palate as well as the alcohol that is so noticable in other RIS.

GimpyCane, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Poured a deep jet black, with about two fingers of thick , bubbly, coffee brown head. Head dissipated quickly into a thick ring in the glass. Smell was of oak, strong vanilla, roasted malt and rich roasted coffee beans. Not too shabby. Taste was rich with vanilla, bourbon ,oak, and dark chocolates , with a smooth warming alcohol finish. Little carbonation. Seems to be a pretty solid brew. Mouthfeel was thick and full with a creaminess to it. Drinkability was great. Smooth and complex. Good beer i will be getting again.

jaxon53, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of MSchae1017
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tonight, timtheenchanta and I brought our Weyerbacher Old Heathen and Weyerbacher Heresey (oak aged Old Heathen) together for a little side by side comparison. The Heresey pours into the snifter black as night with a full creamy head that holds nicely leaving lace down the glass. The head certainly holds better than the old heathen, and that had a much harder pour. The aroma is dominated by the oak, which gives it a woody and vanilla like smell. Buried in there though, is the faint smell of roasted chocolate malt. In comparison, the Old Heathen, has the aroma of very sweet chocolate. Once the beer hits the mouth, the woody oak hits once again followed by a nice balance of vanilla and roasted chocolate. The woodiness also balances out the sweetness of the Old Heathen. There is a full thick mouthfeel with this one; a bit thicker than the Old Heathen. Overall, very drinkable. A great Imperial stout that uses the oak in moderation. The oak shines through without letting the beer become undrinkable.

MSchae1017, Mar 02, 2007
Photo of tonytuffnuts
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber purchased at Kraig's Kegs in Sherrill, NY.

Pours a opaque, dark brown--maybe even black--with a full one-finger frothy, rosy-brown head (like redwood), which slowly dissapates to a ring. It's a model look for RISs.

Smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt, and faint alcohol. When I breath deep, it think oak woodchips.

The taste doesn't exactly follow the aroma's advertisement. Caramel, roasted and chocolate malts, of course, but it's much smokier than I expected. I wanted a lot more chocolate out of this, instead I taste more vanilla bean. A little sugar soaked fruit or candied cherries, and a fleeting hop-bitter massage at the back of my tongue. A lasting bourbon bite encases every flavor, and oak finishes the job.

Moderately chalky, however the carbonation feels so relaxing in my mouth. When I'm done, I'm left with vanilla on my mind. This feels like a really bad review, but it's a really drinkable beverage. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't feel like I can throw back a bunch of RISs in one night. It just lacks the body this style should offer.

tonytuffnuts, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of Neehan
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the most interesting beers I have had, incredibly complex and it changes as you drink probably more than any beer I have had. The appearance remains jet-black throughout its enjoyment, but the head goes from massive to thin, from no lacing to decent retention. The smell is of dark plums, light chocolate, and light coffee. The taste is thick and dark with a very strong bourbon presence. The bourbon presence subsides as you drink it, but begins as very strong and mellows with each sip. Again changing, the mouthfeel goes from thick and creamy to thin and watery, very interesting. This is not the best beer I have ever had but definitely worth revisiting for its superior complexity. Not the greatest in any rating category but you will notice something different and it will hold your interest with each sip. Not for everyone, but a highly recommended beer to mix things up a bit.

Neehan, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of crwills
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black into a Sinha glass, with a big fluffy head that fades to a film. Aroma is fascinating mix of espresso, oak, vanilla, and something tha treminds me of ocean water. Flavour is oaky, smoky, woody, with hints of unsweetened chocolate and charcoal and a sour cherry nose. Bitter, dry coffee bean and vanilla aftertaste. Very well-hidden alcohol.

I loved this beer -- the best of any of the oak-aged Weyerbachers that I've tried.

crwills, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of jhicks12
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured dark black and thich with a dark chocalate tan head.

Smell: Nice roasted chocolate coffee aroma and a vanilla, oak smell as well

Taste: Nice roasted creamy chocolate taste at first then a vanilla oak, bourbon taste.

Mouthfeel: Nice velvety, creamy mouthfeel

Drinkability: I find the old heathen to be a better more drinkable beer. But I am not a huge bourbon fan. but all in all a nice change up and great flavors...I just need to get my palate to appreciate bourbon!

jhicks12, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of dgfair
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A - Midnight black with a large creamy chocolate milk colored head. Head dissipates quickly leaving a nice layer on top of the opaque liquid. A very nice looking stout and a nice head for a barrel aged beer.

S - Sweet chocolate all over with a solid vanilla presence and some nice sweet berry underpinnings. A little bit of a smoky oak aroma makes its way through as well. A very complex smell for an imperial stout, no doubt a product of the oak barrel aging...fantastic.

T - Smoky oak on top of chocolate with a little bit of vanilla-y bourbon making its presence known. Surprisingly, sweetness is very present even with the great balancing of the oak and bourbon. This is a nice tasting stout that really benefits from the time in the barrel. A slight alcohol taste at the swallow, but nothing overpowering.

M - A good creamy feel but the body is a tad bit thin. Nice carbonation. Finishes perfectly dry in the end, just like a nice bourbon.

D - A nice sipper for a cool evening. Easy to drink since the taste is so pleasing. Not too heavy on the alcohol, and an all-around enjoyable brew.

dgfair, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of alexskovan
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a gigantic cascading brown head. If you hold it up to bright light it is not quite opaque -- a very dark brown. (So not quite a black hole, a little light escapes: call it a neutron star :o) Aroma is sweet and rich, toasted nuttyness as well as cherries and cream. Taste is dryer than the aroma would suggest. A lot of bitter chocolate and espresso, with an oaky and sour/fruity finish.

A nice big stout. Beer with balls!

alexskovan, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of mcallister
3.18/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Midnight pour, fluffy, thick mocha head with great retention, and sticky thick lacing. This head just lasts and lasts and doesn't seem to want to dissapear.

Sweet vanilla, bourbony oak, with a thick roasty dark semi sweet chocolate malty aroma, vanilla, anise, pureed blackberry, hints of black cherry, and prune. Slight molasses with some bitter hops abound.

Man, such a promising beer through the appearance and smell but totally falls off in the taste. Thin, unbalanced and lacking any complexity. Roasty yet enamling malt, with burnt unappetizing dark chocolate flavors. An offending mouthfeel really sets it off. Hard to even place what the main proponent of dissapointment is. But I'm very saddened by the outcome of this BA stout.

mcallister, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of drumline
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a dark black, with a quickly dissipating head.

Smell - Lots of oaky/woody flavors. Slight hints of chocolate come through, but mostly oak.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy body, about medium for an impy stout. Roasted malt flavor really shines, with just the right about of hops to keep the sweetness in check. Oaky/vanilla flavor dominant throughout. Nice dry finish.

Drinkability - Very drinkable; the 8% ABV is well hidden. An enjoyable brew.

drumline, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured oil slick opaque black with a creamy 1 inch head that setlled down to a 1/2 layed. Depp lace and thick look overall, very nice. Smell was coffee and caramel. Maybe some toffee mixed in, earthy hints at the back but slight with a spice that tingled the nose. The taste was coffee and oak, with oak being a big played. Slight alcohol warming as well. Very unique taste, somewhat bitter as well, may do some good to lay down for a bit. Thick tasting, but not too much. This was a good RIS, and I think the oak age benefited it, will be cellaring a couple to see how they go down the road.

mikesgroove, Feb 03, 2007
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,969 ratings.