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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
InsanityInsanity

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,949 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,949
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 188
Gots: 357 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
A bourbon barrel-aged English-style Barleywine.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,949 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by roadhouse:
Photo of roadhouse
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

roadhouse, Dec 13, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poures a deep,rich amber color with a slightly off white head,aromas are very woody with some vanilla and high octaine alcohol kick ur nostriles hard and lets you know this is big and bad ass.Thick and chewey mouthfeel makes this beer a sipper one to savor,very warming alcoholic beer, oak flavors are very prevelant with some butteriness as well,almost like a vanilla flavored spiced rum.Iam glad I got a chance to try this,its a sipper or one to share with friends like I did tonight,very rich and flavorful.

oberon, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of don1481
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Mr. Pint Glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark caramel with a brisk amount of carbonation and a thumb-width khaki colored head that lingers for a few moments.

Smell: A little bit of bourbon, but more bready and fruity - get quite a bit of figs and raisins here. Some vanilla notes, caramel and toffee too. As it breathes, it gets more complex.

Taste: Bourbon, but much deeper than just the heat. Caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, and raisins abound in the taste. It's a pretty complex dance that's going on in this one.

Mouthfeel: Much more warming than some of the other barleywines I've had lately. The alcohol burn, especially during the first few sips, lingers a bit longer. It gets cleaner as I drink more, but the lingering first few sips really came as a bit of a surprise compared to other barleywines of late. Medium-bodied for sure.

Overall: I'll be aging this to see how it progresses. Lots of potential, but it's a notch below CW's amongst the recent ones I've had.

don1481, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This ABW poured a light brown orange in color, which was strange for the style. The head was modest but lasted well.

Smell – The nice malty bourbony backbone dominated the smell, which was pleasing but lacked the complexity that I’ve come to expect from the style.

Taste – The thick, malty flavor here is mixed with booze and some light red wine.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied Barley Wine had a nice mouthfeel but the booze was a bit too “stingy” for my tastes.

Drinkability – I enjoyed this Weyerbacher offering but thought it could have been handled with a bit more finesse.

RoyalT, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

DanGeo, Apr 04, 2014
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Another brew I've been highly anticipating....pours from the menacing bottle a dark brown with just a hint of red and a nice thick pillowy khaki head on top. A nice syrupy pour that yields some nice lacing as well. We're off to a good start! Rich caramels and toffee bathed in oaky bourbon on the nose. I get more oak than bourbon in the nose. Hints of vanilla and nice fruit tones waft up into my nose as well. Quite nice.

First sip....wow....a delectably rich mix of deep nutty caramel malt melding into a lovely bourbon oak flavor. A nice shot of vanilla comes through with a sweet fruitiness. Quite sweet overall, but not cloying. The oak and bourbon flavors work perfectly here and take the Blithering Idiot to a whole new level. Simply an awesome oak aged barleywine.

Mouthfeel is full and thick...slightly syrupy, this brew coats the palate and makes its presence known. Perfect for the style...just the way I like it. This is definelty a sipping brew....take some time out...sit and savor this brew for maximum enjoyment. Cheers to Weyerbacher for brewing this beauty and cheers to blitheringidiot for allowing me the opportunity to sample it!

orbitalr0x, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of blitz134
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice garnet red semi-transparent body. A thin ring of white bubbles around the edge of the glass was all that formed, but is typical for a barleywine, so no deductions there. Nice color though.

A malty sweet aroma with hints of candy coming through. Also, a fruity background makes its appearance in the form of maraschino cherries and cherry starburst candy. Some citrusy hops might be adding to this as well. Aroma is a bit weak when cold but presents itself more as it warms.

There is definitely a unique flavor with this which I’ve never had with a barleywine. Flavor is very sweet, but not in an artificial way. Initially the malt shows through and finishes very spicy and peppery which almost burns the throat. Finishes a touch bitter at the end. Flavor is hard to pick up on, but seems to have some tart cherry and other ripe fruits in the mix. Some of the oak peeks its way through as well. Insanity is a good name for this as the flavor profile is quite eclectic and hard to pick up on. I’ll give credit to Weyerbacher for coming up with this.

Mouthfeel is nice and thick as expected. The nice flavor on this makes it go down easy. A little too easy considering the alcohol content which is nearly completely hidden.

A well made barleywine which doesn’t try to dominate any particular flavor and unique as well with its more fruity flavor profile. Its nice to have a barleywine which doesn't have to be aged to be enjoyed.

blitz134, Jun 08, 2005
Photo of Outchillen
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this in a 12oz bottle at our home session tasting
Carmel colored with thin white head, faded fast, aroma was strong bourbon and molasses, very little hop aroma, the taste was like sweet bourbon, reminded me of malty jack dainels or jim beam, only one thought the alochol was a little overwhelming, nice body, not syrupy, malty, with hints of vanilla from the barrel ageing

For a beer this strong, above 11%, it was worth trying, Its a beer I could only have one of, and it would be as a winter warmer, a must try though from a great brewery

Outchillen, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of JasonA
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Light carmel, almost amber. Fairly clear, though not transparent. Little head into islands as expected with ample lacing.

Almost carmel. Wow. There is a lot here that Im not used to smelling. Not sure I could place all of it. Sweet, though floral. Extremely appealing. Wow, I could smell this all day. If the taste is anything close to the smell, this is gonna be one heck of a brew. I can smell the ABV and its quite enticing.

Malty smooth. Wow, lots and lots of creamy carmely malt. Not heavy at all. Its sweet, yummy really, but more smooth than typical malt. The only tiny detractor is some of the ABV creeps up into the taste and can overwhelm. Overall, this is amazing. True to style with little to no hops. I need to find this receipe.

Awesome balance for a BW. I would love to know how they made this so smooth. Malty aftertaste is great.

A++++ would buy from again. This is everything I want in an English BW.

JasonA, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bottle served in a pint glass. This was an amber colored beer with a fairly thick head that left some nice lacing. I wasn't too impressed with the aroma, reminded me of oatmeal with brown sugar. Fortunately it tasted much better than its aroma. Vanilla, vinous, great hops presence, mellow. Noticeably warming alcohol later in the taste. Wonderful beer that packs a bit of a punch.

lordofthewiens, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of thetommo
4/5  rDev -3.8%

thetommo, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

DaftPatrick, May 27, 2014
Photo of BlitzShadow
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This barleywine was poured from a 22 oz. bottle at cellar temperature into a red wine glass.

Appearance: This beer is deep amber in color with a 1/2" beige head.

Smell: I can actually smell the bourbon! This is cool! There is a slight hint of vanilla with a malty overtone.

Taste: This beer is so complex in taste. The alcohol is dominant in the initial sip! (maybe b/c I was looking for it, though) The bourbon and vanilla up the ante, too. There is a nice fruity, malty taste to finish. The bitterness is there, but balanced within.

Mouthfeel: This is an incredibly smooth beer with a thick-bodied, creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This is one awesome barley wine!! The taste and mouth-smell are huge and complex. I would have this whenever possible!

Notes- This is definitely a beer that will drive you MAD! This is potent stuff that demands respect and very delicious.

Edit - This was one of my first reveiws ever (over four years ago) and Weyerebacher was the brewery that introduced me to barrel-aging. Hence, you can understand my excitement.

Minor score adjustments to recalibrate since I'm now much more familiar with this style.

BlitzShadow, Feb 24, 2006
Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle date; purchased August 2011

A - Pours a clear garnet/brown with one finger of off-white head. Head doesn't last long and leaves very little lacing. Some suspended material.

S - Somewhat subtle sweet bourbon with vanilla being more prominent than any oak notes. Toffee, some sugar and some alcohol.

T - Sweet but not distractingly so. Nice bourbon presence, with both vanilla and oak being quite prominent. Toffee and caramel malts, and a bit boozy. Also a bit of raisin and fig. Faint citrus.

M - Medium mouthfeel is a bit sticky, with some numbing alcohol on the finish.

O - Nice bourbon barrel-aged barleywine. Not as complex as some, and a bit too much noticeable alcohol, but a very nice beer for the price, and 12 oz bottles are certainly appreciated.

warnerry, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Afroman, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of Todd
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm … a Barleywine aged in bourbon wood.

Slightly hazy brown with bright orange and ruby hues, crowned with a tan cream head that settles into a thin ringed lace.

Surprisingly subtle in the aroma, not as big as I expected. Raw hop leaf and wood aromas, some alcohol spice, and a soft fruity / malty sweetness. Light fruity esters and fusels hit the eyes, watering them slightly, and reminding you that this is not a beer to be underestimated.

Full and even in the body. Flavors are deeply complex, with plenty of bourbon nuances. Raw leaf, chocolate powder, aggressive spicy alcohol, burnt caramel, sugary sweet backbone, deep vanilla, oaky wood, dark juicy ripe fruits, slight vinous port-like character beneath, some chalkiness on the palate, and a touch of date sugar.

Recommendation: allow to warm to room temperature and enjoy in a wide-bowled snifter. This will allow all of the malt and wood complexities to really pull through, as well as enhance the alcohol presence.

Todd, Jan 04, 2005
Photo of marvin213
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

marvin213, Dec 16, 2012
Photo of shapudding
4.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Promo bottle from one of the crazy brewers at the Lehigh fest!
Amber and dark cider colored, unclear and beautiful. Khaki ring of head on the sides. Amazingly wonderful scents of whiskey, rum, vanilla and caramel... yummm... The first sip hits you on the sides of your tongue. Creamy and medium, or maybe a bit more heavy, but perfect. Tastes of warm alcohol, whisky, maltiness. Dark and lovely and smooth. So freakin' lovely!!! The oaky woodsyness comes through so nicely. They did such a beautiful job with this! Great drinkability as a sipper, not as one you want to throw back huge quantities of, but man i could sit back with a few bottles of these for a damn fine evening! Love this stuff!!!

shapudding, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of bigdipip
4/5  rDev -3.8%

bigdipip, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of mverity
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle into snifter. Nice hazy amber brown color with good amount of light tan head that held well and faded into a medium collar. Earthy sweet caramel aroma. Taste is slightly boozey, but otherwise an enjoyable woody hop pines, some toffee, and a slight vanilla character. A bit lighter body than I would like from a barley wine. Medium carbonation.

mverity, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Doomcifer
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Pours a rich golden brown into the glass. A one-finger head of really tight ecru foam dissipates rather quickly to leave a sheen of very fine lace across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a rich rosewood, with shades of apricot at the edges, and moderately opaque. A generous column of tiny bubbles rises from the bottom through the center. The beer also shows lots of legs along the sides of the glass as I drink it from the rich malt sugars.

S - Big, luscious, rich caramels accented by booze and notes of toffee. Lightly toasted malts and brown sugar bourbon. As it warms in the glass, notes of vanilla and orange rind appear against hints of stacked firewood. I could spend an hour just smelling this beer trying to pull all the nuances out of it.

T - Lots of caramel malts surrounded by bourbon. There's just enough bittering hops to strike some balance, but this is a boozy caramel malt bomb. As it warms, dark fruits appear in the background, like raisins and dates, and the oakiness from the barrel aging creeps into the back end.

M - Pretty fizzy and mouth-filling carbonation to start, but smooth on the way down. Moderate body with a rich, almost extravagant structure. Finish is on the sugary side, but not cloying on the tongue, and thinned from the ABV. Mouthfeel is well constructed for savoring this beer.

O - Wow. Now this is a big, rich, luscious beer. Absolutely delicious. Would make an excellent after dinner drink paired with a lighter-bodied cigar. Phenomenal caramel malts really shine without being sugary sweet as a result of the barrel aging, and the ABV, while certainly a noticeable component, isn't at all hot or overbearing. What a really amped-up barrel aged Imperial Scotch Ale would be like, and somewhat similar to a couple of my other barrel-aged favorites. This beer is a blue-ribbon winner and a must have when released, both for enjoying right away and laying down to see what some aging will do.

BuckeyeSlim, May 08, 2013
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -3.8%

megamass, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber with no freshness date.

A- Very nice lacing effect on the glass, hazed reddish amber.

S- Head aroma of bourbon, vanilla, wood, caramel, alcohol ... mildly solvent and fusel oil from the barrel.

T&M- 11.1% abv where? Oh ...wait a minute, here it comes. There it is, that warming alcohol laced with fusel oil from the barrel. Wood flavor is snappy with a richly dense maltiness underneath. Mellow hoppiness, lots of malt sweetness which is balanced by the slow but steady alcohol, bourbon, and wood.

D- I slapped this beer at some good funky Stilton cheese ... wow, what a pairing. A sipping beer for sure, if you love bourbon barrel laced beers then this one is a must.

Jason, May 29, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Jungle Jim's, just north of Cincinnati. Initial pour into a tulip glass, is a chill hazed, garnet orange body with a one finger beige head that hangs around for several minutes. Second pour produced an immense, foamy, head that required several patient minutes before retasting. Body was clear on the 2nd pour, and crystal clear orange mahogany. Lacing is immense and sticky, clinging in island chain lace patterns all around the glass. Appearance is exceptional on both pours.
Aroma, to my surprise, was subdued, yet classy. Toffee, vanilla, woody oak, orange pulp, Bing cherries, and a hint of Makers Mark bourbon. Lovely, but understated.
Mouthfeel was truly sublime. Full bodied, creamy, and smooth, with just a nick of bourbon warmth. I give mouthfeel a 5 only when it's so nice that I catch myself swirling it around in my mouth for several seconds before swallowing. This one qualifies.
Taste is complex to the nth degree, justifying the "Insanity" name. No hop monster, this one. Very unique flavor profile compared to other barleywines I've sampled. This one is smooth and creamy, satiny, in fact, without any rough edges. Vanilla and oak tones are prominent, with a kiss of premium Kentucky bourbon warmth. Cherries, raisins, and toasted caramel apple notes add to the intrigue. Alcohol harshness is totally missing other than the bourbon warmth. Damn! This one leaves me at a loss of descriptive words. It is so complex, that Insanity is all I can come up with. Incredible, sums up the experience of sipping this one for over an hour. Very drinkable, but in a very slow manner. Take your time with this one. It is foolish, nay, insane, to try more than one of these a month. Weyerbacher has produced a classic with this one.

merlin48, Jan 04, 2005
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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.