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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.


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

1,707 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1707
Reviews: 941
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.62%

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)
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Ratings: 1,707 | Reviews: 941 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.39/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

P: Pitch black body with a dollop of espresso froth that dissipates to a thin edged cap. Micro bubble lacing.

S: Aroma is similar to a fart or a hair salon giving perms. Wood, sour mash, musty dirt. Also is similar to the aroma in Hobby Lobby.

T/M: Sour mash, dusty wood, sweet dark fruits, white grapes, cheap caramel chocolates, old cigars, sticky molasses, prunes, apple peels and finishes like flat Dr. Pepper. Finish gives off an odd linger similar to refried beans. Metal and buttered toast shows up once warmed. Carbonation is on the flat side and the body is medium-full.

O: At first the aroma really was a no go cuz I'm not into drinking farts but as it opened up it became more like musty craft store floral aroma than ass seepage. The flavors were muted but decent. I really expected much more from this. Glad I tried this but not one I will revisit in the future.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 22:49:31 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of Thads324


3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black brew with fizzy dark tan head this dissipates very quickly and loudly.
Aroma of berries, wood, chocolate and hints of roasted malts. Smells sweet and big.

Taste begins with a hint of dark malts. Big woody oak hit with very subtle bits of earthy hops, oaky vanilla and tabacco leaf. Towards the tail end I get some coffee and sweet toffee, a hint if chocolate and a tiny bit of pine hops that bite. The overall taste is oak, like chewing on bark, with tons of different flavors beneath.

Mouthfeel is heavier side of medium with next to no heat. Smooth feel and peppery sharp finish.

A really nice brew. The berry smell is a bit off putting but the flavor is great. Peel back the oak bark and there are layers of delicious flavor. Very nice, a beer I will return to in the cold winter months

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 17:35:47 | More by Thads324
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is an older bottle, probably 2007. Kept in cold storage most of the time, cellar temp rest of the time. Popped it open for 2013 NFL kickoff!

Pours a dark dark brown, almost black. Not much in the way of head, about 1 finger. Probably lost some carbonation. Beige collar

Aroma of faint raisins and vanilla. Sweet-ish. Faint yet rich mocha/coffee. Some chocolate

flavors are good, if a bit muted. I think the lack of full carbonation affected the flavors a bit. Chocolate is lighter than the nose, but still there. Raisins are more prominent and whiskey/barrel comes through more without a boozy taint. It's quite smooth if thin. No off flavors here and may be a good intro to ba beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 05:34:06 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of Rish907


3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra. Was expecting much worse.. but super drinkable and smooth.. much better than most stouts this abv or similar i've had. Awesome mouthfeel and goes done very nicely. A bit light but actually enjoyed that feeling for a change. Super impressed for what it's worth.. A solid B in my books. If you get this, definitely try it!!

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 05:53:17 | More by Rish907
Photo of BeerDawgs


4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle picked up in a mix pack

A - Pitch black, with a nice brown head, and lots of head and sticky lace on the glass. Perfect looking stout!

S - Rich chocolate, faint aroma of oak and bourbon.

T - Delicous and well balanced. Slightly sweet but not too much, just the right amount. Faint taste of oak and bourbon. Just perfect

M - Thick bodied, well carbonated. Goes down right

O - An amazing stout. One of the better bourbon barrel aged ones I have had. Sometimes the bourbon is overwhelming. This was just the right touch. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2013 01:16:13 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of Nugganooch


3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to brooklynbrews for this extra!

Notes from 08/04/13 – served in my FW snifter glass

A: Dark cola black body with more of a browner edge to it. Visible carbonation and a thin light brown sugar cap that fizzles out to a halo rather quickly. Low hang time, low retention, and low on the stick power.

S: Smells roasty with dark malts, some licorice, and a bit of leathery aromatics. Dark fruity esters of plum and dried fruits abound. Light dashes of vanilla and oak mixed in with some alcohol noted. Pleasant aromas overall albeit the barreling seems somewhat muted in the nose.

T: Darkened malts collect with some abundant dark fruit likeness. Flavors open up to more of the oak and vanilla with some burnt caramelized sugars, molasses, and a dash of soy sauce. There is some moderate bitterness to the beer and the alcohol is really well masked in flavor. Fruity dark plums reassert with a bit of chocolate brownie, coffee, and toasted marshmallow layered in. Pretty tasty little brew here.

M: Thinner feel to it yet frothy and smooth. Definitely on the lighter side for a barrel aged stout. Mostly watery with a slight drying finish. Clean exit.

D: Drinkable and very approachable stout. Not really heavy on the barreling but flavorful none the less. Somewhat thin and watery body.
Pretty tasty little shelf turd otherwise.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 22:43:35 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of brewcifix


3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Heresy pours dark opaque black with a thin cream colored head.

The nose is dominated by roasted malts, caramel, sweet cream- with notes of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits and vanilla. The dark fruits and vanilla are reminiscent of whiskey.

This stout greets the palate with roasted malts sweet cream and chocolate. The finish turns to bitter cocoa, vanilla, burnt malts and some oak. Charred oak, vanilla, and warm alcohol linger long somewhat like a good bourbon.

This is a medium weight stout with medium carbonation. There's more carb than the typical stout. This combined with lighter tongue weight make this a great session stout.

Overall, this stout isn't bad. I'd like to see what a little aging will bring to the plate- but, sadly, I've finished the four pack. If mixing your two passions into one glass is your thing- this is definitely a brew that you need to try.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 21:50:33 | More by brewcifix
Photo of dar482

New York

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a black color with a light brown head.

The aroma has tons of bourbon, coffee, roasted malt, some chocolate, and vanilla.

The flavor follows with those classic flavors. It's a very drinkable and creamy beer, but also quite think. There's lots of coffee, oak, vanilla, chocolate. It combines really well to be a lighter, yet still deeply flavored barrel aged stout. You get some bourbon in there too.

This beer surely tastes a ton bigger than it is. I was guessing it was 11 to 12%, but is actually 8%. A pleasant surprise for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 03:36:03 | More by dar482
Photo of JoEBoBpr


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

Pours a nice viscous black liquid with a nice quarter inch head that is light tan and dense. Almost like espresso. Retention is low and the head recedes down to a thin ring.

Aroma is delicious. Starts off with nice rich cocoa sweetness followed by a nice smooth malty and oat laced grain note. Dark malts with some nice slight roast i the nose. Quite inviting. Nice slight woody notes. Love the oat notes in this brew.

Flavor starts off with that smooth oatmeal stout note. Then there is a nice cocoa sweetness. Powdery and sweet with some nice slight bitterness to it. The brew is dryer than expected. There is a nice roasted note but its not overpowering because the oats balance it out very nicely. The finish is dry and bitter with nice cocoa notes. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky, very nice.

Im very impressed by this brew. Nice oat notes with a good balance of the roast and cocoa notes.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 23:18:55 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the Owl House in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, opaque black, with a one inch fizzy mocha colored head. Small little dots of lacing on the glass.

Smells pretty woody and bourbony up front, with some chocolate and vanilla in the background.

This beer is very barrel forward, lots of wood and oak up front, a good amount of slightly sour bourbon, with some chocolate, vanilla, and a little bit of espresso in the back. The alcohol is fairly present with the bourbon so up front in the flavor profile.

Medium bodied, but a bit thin for the style, I'd say. More carbonated than I'd expect for a BA stout. Creamy mouthfeel.

An interesting BA stout that falls short in a few places, but is overall satisfying.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2013 13:51:04 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of PorterLambic


4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrives a tulip full of black with a dark tan hat on. No lace, little retention.
Smell is alcohol soaked dark fruits, roasted malt, and maybe molasses. Nice.
Taste is toasted malt, dark fruit, burnt caramel, whiskey and cocoanut (?). Good balance.
Extremely smooth, rich, full bodied, barely carbonated. A delicious brew that drinks heavier than the 8.2% listed on the board behind the bar. Seriously good.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2013 00:30:38 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of ubenumber2


3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tulip , midnight black with a thin tan head with little to no lacing

The smell is a dark chocolate , sweet malt flavor with a hint of vanilla and bourbon coming in at the end

The mouth on this beer is a little weak for a stout in my opinion and slightly over carbonated

The taste is more of a normal stout than that of a BA Stout to me , the normal punch you in the face characteristics of a BA Stout just are not there , it is still a good tasting brew , just not one I would actively seek out again

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 01:24:47 | More by ubenumber2
Photo of sixerofelixir


3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle. I see no code on the bottle, but there is some Da Vinci-esque sketch artwork on the label. 8% so I'm gonna crack it now rather than wait for any alcohol to mellow. Poured into a snifter.

Pours deep and dark brown, with a minimal ring of tight, small-bubbled head. Smell is raisin and sweetened chocolate. The taste isn't too far off from the aroma, but with a tart and very dry (wood) finish. The finish is definitely the most prominent thing I'm experiencing, along with an unexpected mild sourness. I wonder what brand of whiskey barrels this was aged in?

In conclusion, an odd specimen of a barrel-aged imperial stout, with little of the expected bold, cacao/coffee of an imperial stout, but rather a dry and milky characteristic of a dry stout or sweet stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 01:45:54 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of champ103


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House in Charleston.

A: Pours dark brown, with some red highlights around the edges. A thin, bubbly tan head rises, but recedes to nothing in a second. No lace either.
S: Baker chocolate, light roasted malts, dark fruits and vanilla. A pretty standard Imperial Stout nose.
T: Bakers chocolate, molasses and syrup. Some roasted malt and light coffee. Dark fruits and vanilla sweetness lingers.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation, and a bit thin overall. Something to sip on, and not something I can take a lot of.

Not bad, just pretty standard and by the books. I enjoyed my half pint for what it was, but probably not going to get any more than that.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2013 19:35:47 | More by champ103
Photo of MaineBrewing


4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A - poured with vigor into chalice an opaque black body with dark tan one finger head. It left some lacing and the remaining head formed an ever present cap.

S - big malt forward aroma with notes of bourbon, vanilla, molasses. The sweetness is intense and almost brings on a fruity character.

T - the taste is a pleasant sweet and mellow fruitiness up front with a wall of bakers chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon rounding it out. The finish has ample bitter, with a nice drying roasted barley character, this character lingers on the palate and is quite pleasant. The bakers chocolate sort of stands out with the BA character sort of hanging on in the fringe not taking center stage.

M - the mouth feel is medium, almost a little bit lighter than what I would expect, ample carbonation.

O - this is more on the subdued BA stout side, more mellow than other examples. This doesn't impact my view of this beer by any means. It is enjoyable, has a great taste and looks and smells great. Was a little on the watery side and to be honest I wish it had a little more intense flavor and higher abv.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 02:37:15 | More by MaineBrewing
Photo of Jeffreysan


3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance: Pours completely black and devoid of all light, like tar, without practically any head or lacing to speak of, just an extremely thin, almost invisible halo of lacing gripping the glass. This beer is gorgeous! Exactly what an Imperial Stout should look like!

Aroma: Dark bread, slight roasted coffee beans, and dark chocolate. Hints of vanilla. Oak. Subtle alcohol aroma

Taste: This is a very strong tasting beer, much stronger than its little brother the Old Heathen. Definitely getting alcohol here, whereas in the Old Heathen I had to really, really search hard to get any alcohol. Here the alcohol practically slaps you in the face! Almost too much too, as I’m finding it pretty harsh. The alcohol completely overwhelms the other flavors of the beer to the point that I couldn’t taste much else, except some hoppy bitterness at the finish. Not a good balance.

Mouthfeel: Smoooth, like a creamy coffee, with almost no carbonation to speak of, which leaves a smoothness that’s very, very pleasing. Very chewy, thanks to the alcohol, which clocks in at 8%, and you taste it all here.

Overall: I didn’t like this stout anywhere near as much as I liked Weyerbacher’s Old Heathen. Actually, out of all the Weyerbacher beers I’ve had, which I’ve liked very much, I rate this one really low, taste-wise. Not my stout at all. Love the name, in fact, it’s one of my favorite names for a beer, but I don’t like the beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 22:15:42 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of bcsbeer


3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pulled from the ice box and sat on the counter 30 minutes before serving.
Visually it was a midnight brown with a generous tan head. ( aggressive pour) The head reduced to a ring after a few minutes. No lacing to speak of, the suds could not hang on. Not a lot for the nose, baring a light whiskey aroma with some dark fruits. Taste was boozy flavored with raisin, fig, molasses and black licorice. It had a nice alcohol warmth on the big gulps. Mouthfeel was in the middle, somewhat oily and low carbonation.
If you like a shot of Crown Royal with your fruit cake you should do well with this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 04:31:29 | More by bcsbeer
Photo of lunarbrew


3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured hard with a small 1 finger head that fell down as quickly as it appeared. Beer seems to have a medium viscosity. Pours jet black.

Smell oak and roast on the front end. Lacking the sweet nose I was hoping for. There is a lot of acidity in the smell, which is a bit of a turn off for me. There are notes of black currant, raspberry, and fig. Def. some bourbon present, but nothing that wows me here.

Flavor is more mellow than I expected. Still not sweet enough, and I find that berry acidity in the backend. There are some nice flavors going on here, but nothing seems to mesh like I want it to. Some light toffee, a little vanilla, and a good about of oak flavor. Generally, the beer doesn't pack a big enough punch.

Mouthfeel is fine, but a little lighter than I like. Medium with medium-heavy carb. Shmeh.

When I want a BA stout, but not one I'll miss, this is the perfect candidate. It's good. Ok. Decent. Fine. So-so.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 02:31:11 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of stephenjmoore


4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pitch black body, sticky tan head that stays around for a while.

S- Roasted malts, sweet vanilla, oak, hint of caramel.

T- Big on roasted malts with hints of sweet caramel and earthy wood towards the finish. Vanilla and a slight hint of booze in the finish.

M- Velvety smooth, full bodied, medium carbonation.

O- A good offering, but not in the upper tier of barrel aged stouts. Lacks a little bit in flavor, but very good for the price.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 01:45:45 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

had this one on tap and it was ridiculously good - got a bottle to review it finally..

pours a deep brown/black with a finger of dark tan head which quickly dissipated. smells deliciously sweet of brown sugar, molasses, vanilla, oak, whiskey. the flavor is amazing.. a nutty/chocolatey/whiskey mix that blends so sweetly well together. a very simple but perfectly balanced flavor profile. once the beer warms up you get a lot more of the barrel flavor, which is still thoroughly enjoyable. really enjoy this one and recommend it to anyone that hasn't given it a chance. medium to full body with low carbonation, best drank at room temperature.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 09:50:40 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of ACinSC

South Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Heresy will take you a bit off guard if you are inexperienced with stouts.

Poured into a stout glass, the tan head quickly subsides. The aroma is of roasted malt and sour grapes.

Tastes much the same. It has a slightly milky texture and the sourness of this stout fills the nose quickly. It has an oaky flavor from being aged in whiskey barrels.

The aftertaste is not too bitter, which is a plus. Heresy is a strong beer that takes time to appreciate properly as the flavors are complex and I'm still becoming acquainted with this one (only had one glass so far). I may re-rate after a second try.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 06:40:04 | More by ACinSC
Photo of thebigredone


3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received this from my father in-law as an early birthday gift. No idea how old these bottles are as I cannot find a date. Also, just getting over a cold, so not tasting this at full strength.

Pours a deep blackish brown. Small tan head that dissipates quickly.

Nose is light. Some barrel aromatics, a touch of roast, but nothing really jumps out at me.

Taste is somewhat similar. Light barrel taste, a bit of whiskey, a touch of chocolate, some dark fruits, and almost no roast. Taste fades quickly and leaves a lingering hint of cheap whiskey.

Mouthfeel is quite thin.

Overall, a somewhat subpar BA stout. If I were blindfolded, I would have a hard time guessing that this was barrel aged. Almost tastes more like a poor quality Quad. I'll update this if I get a different impression from my other bottles, but I probably wouldn't ever seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 02:07:53 | More by thebigredone
Photo of Lordquackingstic

New York

4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured mostly into my rainy sunday chili, and then the rest into a mini snifter.

A: Onyx black with light slightly coming through around the edges, making the edges dark brown. Head is of medium height (which is acceptable for a barrel aged stout) and the lacing is slightly sticky.

S: Belgian chocolate soaked in oaky whiskey, sweet toffee, slightly smokey.

T: Whiskey punch upfront with coffee and chocolate malts smoothing out the rest of the taste. Definitely tasting the Old Heathen on this (which was used as the base beer for this), as the Belgian yeast comes through nicely along with the oaky, smokey whiskey notes. Slightly sweet, but nowhere close to being too sweet.

M: As many others have stated, this is pretty thin for a barrel aged stout, but I'm personally okay with that. Whiskey notes linger after swallowing.

O: I've heard this has been called the "poor man's BCBS", and I totally disagree. These are two completely different beers, especially since this is a Belgian stout. This is a very nice and drinkable barrel aged stout; it doesn't look to kick your ass like most barrel aged stouts, it just looks to be easy sipping and flavorful, which it is. Definitely worth it for the cheap price.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 20:02:12 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of larryi86


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a small two finger tan head.

S- Bourbon, oak, chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, caramel malts. Kind of boozy.

T- Chocolate, dark fruits, bourbon, charred oak, vanilla.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- Not a bad barrel aged stout, but it doesn't really wow me. I could see myself buying this again because it is affordable and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 00:34:40 | More by larryi86
Photo of brewtus


3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured black with a two finger tan bubbly head. In the nose, chocolate, a little bit of oak, slightly metallic. Some dark fruit. Taste hits you with a boozy start, some dark fruit, oaky, bourbon, tobacco, some milky chocolate. Texture is good, drinkable but not as thick as many imperials I've had. I've always taken this for granted and decided to finally give it a shot. I'm pretty glad I only bought a single, it's not bad by any means at all, it just tastes a bit immature on the oak aging. I know I hold the barrel aged stout at a high bar, but this just doesn't wow me. Again, it's pretty good, nothing more. Glad I tried it once.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2013 01:10:38 | More by brewtus
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,707 ratings.