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Heresy - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.


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very good

1,705 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1705
Reviews: 940
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: 1,705 | Reviews: 940 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Beerlover


3.16/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This is an average bourbon aged stout, not the worst one i've tried but pretty average for this style, leaves a lot to be desired.

mainly in the mouthfeel and in the taste, the bourbon notes are there but slightly minimal for my bourbon desirous palate. slight notes of vanilla, chocolate, roast malts and bourbon, sweetness is a little les than normal and there is a very nice dry finish. the mouthfeel is not nearly as thick, slick and heavey as normal. the price point on this on the other hand is a definate plus at around 12 bucks for a four pack of 12 oz bottles, can't really beat that for a bourbon barrel age imp stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 03:13:24 | More by Beerlover
Photo of BA_Berto

New York

4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, at a price that you can't beat! Is this the next BCBS? No. If you get your hands on a bottle or two, you'll thoroughly enjoy it! I am now looking to set a bottle or two aside to see how this brew develops, but this in my opinion is an undiscovered Gem!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 02:55:11 | More by BA_Berto
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque black color. The head is a one finger tan shade that retains surprisingly well for a barrel-aged RIS (though perhaps not given its ABV). A good ring of lacing is left on the glass.

S: There's a bourbon character here - and it's a wholly decent one at that. Notes of vanilla, charred oak, and coconut complement the chocolaty, roasty base.

T: Wow, I'm surprised how heavily the barrel character comes through. The opening chocolate sweetness is quickly supplanted by vanilla and coconut in the middle. It finishes with strong charred oak and a returning hint of powdered chocolate. This one lacks complexity - great chocolate character, though.

M: Tannic with a capital T. The lighter body and dry finish means this comes out more strongly than, say, BCBS. However, there's still a lingering sweetness on the aftertaste. If I have a (big) problem, it's that the texture seems almost inadequately thin and angular on the palate given the sweetness level. The good drinkability can't compensate, either.

O: This is a poor man's BCBS in every sense of the word. It's not as decadent, not as big, not as flavorful, not as hard to find, and not as expensive. The mouthfeel is underwhelming, but I can really see this as a great introduction to barrel-aged imperial stouts. Hell, I'd gladly pick it up again myself.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 03:30:58 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pokal. Jet black, showing deep red in light. Thin tan head that sticks a bit. Smell; it has that "old banana" bourbon smell that BCBS has. Taste is coffee/chocolate stout taste up front, finishing with bourbon sweetness. In this way, it's sort of the opposite of the BCBS, where the bourbon came first and dominates. Alcohol not noticeable. As the second barrel-aged stout I've had, it's no match for BCBS, but it's good.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 23:42:15 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of Givemebeer


4.53/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I know that this is crazy - but I almost prefer this to KBS. Possibly it's because it presents itself with more of the bourbon than the KBS which is mostly coffee and chocolate (and overhyped yet still very good). Great bourbon barrel aged stout especially for the price. Definitely check it out. Don't understand the lack of love on this site for it.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2013 18:12:24 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of Jt1234


3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance - pours pitch black. Head and lacing are almost non existent. There's not much to look at here.

Smell - the dominant smells are dark chocolate, oak and vanilla. I also picked up some cherry and licorice.

Taste - dark chocolate, oak and dark fruit. The alcohol does come through at the end, but it isn't too intense.

Mouthfeel - medium body and medium carbonation. A nice touch of heat at the end from the bourbon

Overall - this certainly isn't the best barrel aged stout I've had, but its probably the best value. You really can't go wrong with this one at $3 a bottle. I wasn't the biggest weyerbacher fan initially, but after having Old Heathen and Heresy I am beginning to change my mind.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 01:09:13 | More by Jt1234
Photo of mverity


4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is superb, pitch black with a light brown/tan head. The aroma is wonderful, full of licorice, leather, dark malt, and a pleasant smell of dog breath. Taste is of vanilla, burnt oak, a touch of bourbon, and roasted malt (duh). Mouthfeel is chewy and viscous. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 05:41:37 | More by mverity
Photo of Stevedore


4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottle julian code 0723, 2013 vintage poured into a Bell's snifter and consumed today 4/20/13.

Aroma: Sticky sweet molasses, a little bit of vanilla, some toffee and caramel with a good bit of bourbon heat. Pungent even at the end. (4)

Colour: Very nice thick dark brown, nearly black. Pours with a nice 2cm fluffy brown head that dissipates within a minute into a thin brown film and a decently thick brown collar that itself disappears over time. Lacing is nice, nothing to write home about but overall a very nice appetizing stout that gets me excited to slurp it up. (4)

Flavour: Definitely doesn't disappoint. Straight up, I get sweet molasses and caramel. No roast malt. And then I absolutely get a nice kick of vanilla which is one of my favorite things about BBA beers. It finishes with an earthy, oak bitterness. A nice complex beer that's not difficult to drink at all. (4)

Mouthfeel: Definitely thick bodied, perhaps on the thinner side of thick. Good carbonation. Thick, resinous and syrupy. I don't feel the heat at all even at room temperature. The aftertaste is vanilla and oak, with sweet molasses. This is both quaffable and sippable, whatever you may be in the mood for. I'm impressed with this aspect of the beer. (5)

Overall: Seems to be an underrated bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout. I don't know how long they age in barrels for but its got a nice thick, sweet molasses mouthfeel that's different than most others I've had which tend to be more thinner but creamy vanilla. I'm starting to question whether I prefer the former or the latter. At the price point ($10/4pk), its really hard to argue with the value of this brew. I would recommend it for people who are interested in a cheaper but incredibly tasty bourbon barrel stout that isn't overwhelming with the bourbon heat, i.e. a cheaper, slightly more sessionable weekday night option. (4)

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 03:14:40 | More by Stevedore
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured into a snifter; pours pitch black with a small dark tan head that reduces to a ring around the glass, short lasting lace

S- dark roasted chocolaty malt, a bit of charcoal, dark cherries with vanilla-oak character, faint licorice and just a hint of bourbon. Nothing profound but a nice blend of aromas.

T- dark, roasty and chocolaty. Dark cherry flavors resemble aroma as well as a bit of licorice flavor, they privideca slight tartness. A bit of vanilla sweetness is complimented by woodsy and earthy oak barrel, the finish has a good bourbon linger with some warmth at the end

M- medium body, moderate carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and finish. Lacking the creamy body expected from such a rich stout. Nice, warming bourbon warmth at the finish

O- at less than $3 a bottle, this is a great bargain. The bourbon is definitely noticeable and has some complex flavors. Doesn't march up with the world class examples, but definitely worth trying. Going to out a couple away for a while to see how they hold up.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 02:56:25 | More by Treyliff
Photo of ediaz


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a CCB Snifter

A: Black with a light tan head that leaves a thin ring and delicate lacing. whats left really hugs the sides.
S: Earth, sweet, vanilla, chocolate, wood. The barrel doesnt come out much, or at least not for me.
T: A sweetness that resembles whiskey into a chocolatey woody finish. Still get a lot of the earthy taste that was noticeable in the smell, but the vanilla is absent. It has a smokey peat character to it, almost like a scotch.
M: A little more carb than I'd like, and it doesnt coat the mouth like I'd expect from a stout - kind of light (not what i expected from the appearance)
O: It's not bad. There isn't a huge barrel profile which was a let down. I cant say these are hot, but I'm going to lay two bottles of the 4 pack down for a bit and see if it improves. I think I was hoping for the magic of Weyerbacher Insanity in a stout form, but this didnt quite live up to the bill. Regardless, it IS enjoyable, but if you are looking for a big barrel profile, I'd recommend you look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:49:23 | More by ediaz
Photo of themind

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An 89??? this stuff is awesome! I try tons of BA stuff and I really like this. Deep dark in color with a nice small head when poured into the goblet. This brew has good balance and I am shocked it's not rated higher ( I say this a lot) If you like BA stuff this is a steal at $12.00 bucks a four. Really just a quality brew!

Bottom Line: Tasty BA stout worth the price tag twice over.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 23:29:39 | More by themind
Photo of Wluper


3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was really excited about this beer as I'm a huge fan of almost any beer aged in a Bourbon Barrel. THIS beer was aged in a Whiskey Barrel though. It had a really good start, but it doesn't have the sweetness that a bourbon barrel stout finishes with. This one was a bit drier, but it still was a welcome surprise in my birthday six pack. I would definitely recommend it because it IS delicious, but I would probably only drink one or two glasses at most if I was out.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 00:23:04 | More by Wluper
Photo of harrymel


3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Jan, 2012

Black, little ring of tan foam about the beer. Smells like licorice, blackberry, malt, graham, some toasted oats, and a touch of oak. Nice flavor, lots of roasted and toasted malts, some raisin, plum, oats, oak, licorice, booze and molasses. Medium on full bodied with a tight, moderate carb and a semi dry finish. It's a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 08:15:03 | More by harrymel
Photo of templar316


4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Want to point out the head: khaki colored which rose to two fingers with a strong pour and has been taking awhile to settle. This is the first I've seen from this year's batch but the brewery is right around the cornor. Best by Nov18 13 date which I assume to mean a Mar. 18 bottle date. Only the slightest hint of cola colored highlights when held to the light. Nice oak nose, with vanilla, allspice and coffee hints. There's alot of lacing lingering on my selinsgrove tulip. It's thin for RIS, but it's smooth and drinkable. The flavor starts with oaky vanilla, a hint of bourbon, black licorace finishes with a roasty malt char. There's not the slightest bit of harshness from the bourbon but a hop bitterness which I expect would fade away.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 02:59:08 | More by templar316
Photo of DMXLOX22


3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's. Let's see how it matches up. Looked pretty good from a random recommendation.

Appearance: pours a dark, almost black, deep purple. Virtually no head, nor not much lacing. Somewhat disappointing. But upon further inspection, my last experience with a Russian imperial stout didn't offer much of the same. Enjoyed the darkness. Still yearning for a little lacing though.

Smell: the aroma was definetly what I was hoping. Dark, roasted malts. Great hints of dark chocolate also fill the scent. A mild brown sugar Aroma is also detected. Contains also a nice toffee smell. Mild alcohol also is detected, but barely noticeable.

Taste: the taste itself is definitely something that I can get used to. Dark chocolate fills the main palate with an undertone of coffee and other dark, deep fruits, possibly raisins and grape. The fact that this is aged in whiskey barrels adds something slightly interesting to the mix. Slight hints of vanilla are dected upon. Roasted malts round out the overall taste. Pretty damn delicious if you ask me.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, above average body. Goes down slightly well, but leaves a nice, warm feeling in your throat.

Overall: upon hearing good things about this beer, I had to check it out. And I was glad I did. The overall complex and taste was fitting and quie delicious. Minor booziness was detected and enjoyed. Not much hop aroma, but its fitting for this type of brew. I would definely try again and would recommend to a friend. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2013 00:58:38 | More by DMXLOX22
Photo of rdilauro


4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice jet black pour with a small off white head. Looked good in a Sam Adams beer glass.
The aroma was pleasant, what I would expect from a stout, I was anticipating some of the whiskey bouquet, but I couldn't detect any.

The first sip was real nice, big and full, good round stout, with a slight hint of a whiskey.
The mouth feel was super... Big, lush , round , filling my entire mouth with goodness.

With the aftertaste is when I first really detected the whiskey. At first I wasn't sure but after the second sip, no question about whiskey here. But it does not seem to be bourbon, this was too smooth for that.

Very enjoyable beer, something to have one for a night.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 01:46:01 | More by rdilauro
Photo of Jonada

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pitch black in color. Some light tan foam and collar sits on top of the liquid, but no real head to speak of.

Smell: Vanilla, roasted malt, chocolate, whiskey, dark fruit.

Taste:Whiskey, vanilla, coffee, black cherry, dark chocolate. Slight roasted coffee bitterness in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with low/medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Overall: Doesn't measure up to some of the elite bourbon barrel aged stouts, but it's a good easy to find option at a reasonable price. Worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 01:39:30 | More by Jonada
Photo of cindyjeffsmith


3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

appearance: Almost 100% dark, some ruby highlights. Thick frothy tan head on the pour that mostly settles down.
smell: Vanilla is up front. Some chocolate too. A very nice nose but quite "small" for a BA imp stout.
taste: Mellow and much like the nose. Again, very nice but not the richness I've come to expect from a BA imp stout.
overall: Insanity is one of my fav beers and had high hopes for Heresy. Good but not in the same league.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 22:19:13 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of Gatch


4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There are two dates on the bottleneck so I'm guessing the first is the bottle date and the second is the "best by" date. Oops.


A: Midnight black with an impressive, bubbly, frothy, medium brown head leaving behind good lace and good retention.

S: Rich, boozy fruits, roasted malt, wet wood, some dark chocolate. A strange metallic aroma but it doesn't detract too much from the nose.

T: Although it's past-date, the flavors are still pretty strong and enjoyable. Roasted malt, dark fruits, wood, some metallic/lake water flavors, a bit of booze.

M: Very smooth but a bit cloying. Great roasted malt finish. Flavors balance well.

O: I was very excited about this but slightly disappointed that it was "past-date." Nonetheless, a delicious beer that seems to benefit from the barrel-aging.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 22:10:07 | More by Gatch
Photo of gillagorilla


3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Terrapin pint glass

A: Viscous crude, opaque, tiny bubbles, light carbonation, started with a 1 inch mocha head that dissipated to nothing but a ring around the edge after about a minute

S: Reminds me of a breakfast of burnt toast and old, cheap black coffee that is heated up on the drip machine, then a dash of whiskey is added to your cup. However, it is a very light smell, not overpowering with hints raisins, almost like from a soaked rum or brandy fruit cake.

T: At 8% it is quite weak for an RIS, but the alcohol comes through slightly at the end and even more so if you let it warm up (in your mouth or on the table). It's like a very viscous whiskey that hasn't aged well and is a bit smokey. It has a nice, mild lingering aftertaste, that attenuates very nicely leaving your mouth feeling like you had sucked on the burnt sugar of creme brulee.

M: Very mild. The coarse bubbles scour the inside of your mouth (tiny bubble carbonation that isn't visible, but felt).

O: I bought this because I heard it was decent and slightly hard to find. Dare I say it, but this beer is Heresy. It's not bad but it's also not good. To me it seems like a run of the mill RIS. It is also my first Weyerbacher, and so far I am not impressed. You couldn't age it long and I don't feel it would taste better aged. It is already quite mellow, and the flavor profile is already pretty integrated.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 06:12:02 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of justintcoons


3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured in a tulip pint.

Almost black with 1/2 finger of head that dissipates quickly. There is some light penetration around the edges.

Blended whiskey, dark chocolate and Cola. A tad boozy.

Light notes of blended whiskey and dark chocolate. Caramel and Cola. Overripe plum and concord grape. Hints of medium roast coffee and vanilla.

Medium bodied, smooth and subtly creamy.

Certainly a bang for your buck! HERESY: The Economy BBA Stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 20:11:04 | More by justintcoons
Photo of noel2977


4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A 12z bottle I have cellar-aged since 5/2011. Poured into a snifter.

A - Cola like. Limited to no head. if I poured a glass of pepsi next to it, you wouldnt know the difference. No residual. Opaque. Inviting.

S - wow, what a difference. There are no harsh or abrasive or incongruous smells here. Beautiful chocolate, mixed with dark fruit. Harmonious

T - Wonderfully balanced taste. Chocolate nibs and fruit blend into the malt profile like an artist's brushstroke (not 'pollock', but more sublte and gentle and blended). The oak has nicely blended into the flavor profile. The robustness of Ol Heathen has aged and 'grown up' - and not in a bad way. Beautiful carbonation brings hints of raisin and prune, into the mix. I'd like to drink this all the time. The finish goes on and on, maintaining its signature profile.

F - Carbonation is perfect, especially considering this is a bottle aged brew almost two years old in the bottle

Can Heresy get any better? I wish I had aged more...

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 02:48:05 | More by noel2977
Photo of watsonmd


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

A: dark smooth pour, with a caramel cocoa head, that dissipated within a minute to a thin rim

S: typical chocolate, coffee, oaky with a nice smoky overtone

T: Similar to the nose. Nice roast/smoky malt, with oak, vanilla, coffee, chocolate....background fruity note

M: nice, balanced thick feel with mild carbonation

O: better than I expected, but in keeping with Weyerbacher's excellent barrel aged offerings. The smoked feel is an unexpected component.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 05:42:26 | More by watsonmd
Photo of SolipsismalCat


3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter.

A: Dark black with two-finger, tan, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes and left a nice film. Great lacing.

S: Plums, dates, chocolate, Oak.

T: Moderate sweetness and moderate roasted bitterness. Chocolate, a bit of dark fruit, and oak.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Silky smooth.

O: The taste was weak compared to many other Russian Imperial stouts I've had. The mouthfeel wasn't as warm going down as I would have liked.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 03:13:00 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of BlackBelt5112203

South Carolina

3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter at room temperature.

L – Black color with a 1-finger rocky, bubbly, brown head that fades relatively quickly into a ring around the glass. There is some nice lacing, though.

S – Chocolate, molasses, plums, figs, vanilla, and a touch of Bourbon. This smells like it’s gonna be a beast.

T – This doesn’t quite live up to the “beast” that I thought it was going to be, but it’s still tasty. It starts off sweet with milk chocolate, molasses, raisins, figs, and vanilla and then shifts woody Bourbon flavors. Some roasted coffee and dark chocolate bitterness creeps in at the finish.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with decent carbonation, a velvety smooth mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter, slightly sweet, and very dry finish. Oak dryness lingers for a while along with a mild throat-warming sensation from the alcohol.

O – This is a pretty good RIS. It’s a little bit thinner and watered-down than I would like from a beer of this style but it’s still tasty. It’s also one of the more drinkable bourbon barrel-aged beers that I’ve had. Nice beer from Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 22:45:45 | More by BlackBelt5112203
Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,705 ratings.