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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,064 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,064
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 99
Gots: 292 | FT: 16
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: 2,064 | Reviews: 988
Photo of bkilpatr
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 07/07/08.

Pours pitch black with a large three finger creamy brown head. The head dissipated slowly leaving some nice lacing behind. The aroma is heavily chocolate and roasted malt, with a lot of sour whiskey and slight cherry also.

Taste starts with a lot of creamy chocolate and slightly sweet malt, with a hint of vanilla. Finishes with lots of roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate. Within all of this is a solid oak and alcohol/whiskey flavor. There is also a slight metallic taste that I get every few sips, not sure where it comes from. If the metallic taste were gone, the taste score would be at least half a point higher.

The feel is a lot better than the non-oaked version. The body is a lot fuller and the carbonation is lower. It's still a bit on the thin side, but the feel is much improved. Drinkability is still good, due to it's slight thinness.

Pretty good for an oak-aged stout. Much better than the non-oaked version.

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

Black in color with a creamy brown head. Aroma consists of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and there's also some vinous notes to it. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Roasted malt and chocolate upfront. Vanilla oakiness follows with hints of creamed coffee toward the back. This is very smooth for an Imperial stout.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Double-deuce bomber with a lighting bolt on it, probably bound for some Heretic, poured into a pint glass yields a deep ebony body impervious to light is crowned with two fingers of puffed-up toffee-swirled mocha foam with stubborn retention. Fine, patchy lacing clings to the glass as the foam recedes to a ring and the beer level drops in the glass.

Smell is chocolatey and roasty with winey coffee and a woody note of oak.

Tastes richly mocha-chocolatey, made creamy by nice fine carbonation, bittered a bit with burnt coffee and a pleasantly acrid note of dry wood. There's a fruity flavor that refuses to identify itself to me, but whatever it is, it's something tropical and spicy... with maybe cola nuts? Good-good. Drippy caramels laden with savory alcohol soften and enrich a prickly, peppery, instant-coffee-powdery, cocoa-dry finish. Nice drinkability in this medium-full bodied treat.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into oversized snifter.

A - Black and opaque, with nice 1/2 inch brown head. Decent retention and great lacing.

S - A burst of licorice, chocolate, and coffee. Some wood and smoke as well, all heavily backed by caramel.

T - Initial cocoa and coffee bitterness hit, followed by a vanilla/caramel sweetness. Sweetness quickly gives way to the aged character, where the brew mellows out into a woody dryness. Alcohol is hidden well, and aftertaste lingers with vinous and coffee notes.

M - Moderate carbonation and medium bodied at best. Pretty off base for the style, but it works nonetheless. Carbonation is managable, but body needs more thickness.

D - Very drinkable for an RIS, partially accentuated by the lighter mouthfeel. I don't think I'll have a problem getting through all 750ml this evening.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I thought this Imperial Stout had a lot of vanilla and bourbon character in addition to some nice chocolate notes. However, it also had a quite a watery mouthfeel which was remiscent to me of Yoohoo, which I did not greatly appreciate.

This beer poured black as tar with abundant tan head. Aroma was chocolate and alcohol. Flavor was more chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon, but watered down. Mouthfeel was watery.

I'd recommend this beer, but in a crowded world full of Imperial Stouts, I thought this one was pretty average.

I bought this bottle at the Whole Foods near Fair Lakes, VA.

Photo of animal69
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours jet-black w/ a creamy brown head that takes a moment to subside leaving a decent lacing in my snifter ; a strong, sour, woody aroma backed by a burnt toast, dark fruits, and brandy, maybe even a touch of smoke ; a slightly tart and sweet vinous woody flavor, not as bitter or dry as other RIS's which i think is a downfall, some roasted malt and hints of choc. and raison present as well, an overall flavor that seems a bit light, except for the almost overwhelming oak making it a bit out of balance ; a rich, full body and good carbonation on this one ; a very good and drinkable brew, though the wood can be a bit much...

Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from sholland119, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a tanish head. Aroma is roasted barley, a bit of dried fruit, a bit vinous. Taste is vinous, has some roasted malts mixed with some vanilla, and oak. Mouthfeel is thick and a bit creamy. light carbonation. Leaves a bitter oak/roast aftertaste. Nice Impy Stout, definitely a sipper, well I wanted it to be a sipper....

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a black-cola body w/ a huge head that was faintly tan colored. Roasted malt first hit my nostril, along w/ other malts and a dark fruit smell. Extremely creamy and thick with a somewhat sharp backbite. Still retains some sweetness and flavor in the body while having that dry stout finish. The ABV is hidden well, but so is the unique flavor. A good stout nonetheless.

Photo of Donnie2112
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

appearance: black with quickly dissapearing head. Badass lightning on the bottle.

smell: coffee notes, and a sweetness that I'm having trouble placing. Maybe hunny suckle?

taste: lots of dark roasted coffee or grain notes that pull through and transition into a slight sourness that is something like grapes or raspberries not completely sure, some definate alcohol warmth, finishes clean with just the slightest hint of citrus.

mouthfeel: medium in body, quite a bit of carbonation for the style and bit of astringece at the end with some alcohol warming

drinkability: pretty drinkable for the style, although it surprises me that this much alcohol creates so much warming.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pour was very dark. The head was a finger and a half. It dissipated quickly and gave a nice thin coating above the beer. There was a nice delicate amount of lacing on the glass.

S- Jim Beam. That should be enough said. I took a whiff of the brew and it brought me back to my college days when we took pulls off of the bottle.

T- Coffee, vanilla are very present, it also tastes like a piece of wood has been liquidized and added to the taste, the Jim Beam taste is cutting in and out of the flavor. The aftertaste is dry and of burnt coffee, almost like I was just sucking on an oak Popsicle.

M- Pretty thick and oily.

D- Easy to drink. The Beam smell is a slight put off, mostly due to my own personal experiences with it.

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.

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,064 ratings.