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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
InsanityInsanity

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

1,911 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,911
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 183
Gots: 354 | FT: 18
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: 1,911 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice head in pour, lasts throughout. Creamy mouthfeel. Unique yeast. Woodyness did something, I guess mellowed the barleywine flavour. Aroma of rum and alcohol. Malty, vanilla, and also chocolate malt. A bit better in a bottle had all to myself later on.

Sammy, Apr 04, 2005
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

t0rin0, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch fizzy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of brown sugar, caramel/toffee, vanilla, bourbon, and some nice woody aromas. Taste is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, wood, and some citrus zest. An alcohol warmth in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has a medium body and a low level of carbonation. Smooth and slightly sticky in the mouth. This is a good barrel aged barleywine but the mouthfeel knocks the overall score down a bit.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -3.8%

djrn2, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

zestar, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

spycow, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Served in a snifter.

Pours an orange-copper color with a short white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a decent amount of bourbon along with light vanilla and oak. Sweet caramel and brown sugar there as well. Flavor is fairly sweet with some nice barrel notes in the background. Medium-full body with slight carbonation and a nice chewiness. Solid brew.

Thorpe429, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

acurtis, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

nmann08, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear mahogany in color and has a thin ring of off white bubbles lining the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of bourbon and vanilla in the nose.
T: The taste is rather complex and has flavors of bourbon, fruits, malty sweetness, oak and vanilla.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is dangerously drinkable because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

metter98, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Texasfan549, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of brentk56
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy chestnut color with a decent head that drops to a foamy surface covering with some splashes of lace

Smell: Whoa Nellie, is this a bourbon or a beer; loads of vanilla and oak; lots of fusel alcohol

Taste: Immediately hits the palate with an oaky vanilla bourbon aspect that starts to warm the mouth; significant dried fruit (dates) in there as well; after the swallow, the tannins dry out the mouth and leave a bitterness on the sides of the tongue; long, hot finish, with some hints of chocolate and cherry

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy with moderate carbonation; extreme warmth

Drinkability: A must for a Bourbon lover

brentk56, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other."

--Mark Twain

Minimally murky cranberry-infused orange beneath half a snifter of caramel mousse colored foam. I love the spongecake-like texture of the head and the amazing amount of lace (given the ABV) that is being laid down. This is how an American barleywine should look.

On the pour, the room was filled with the scent of bourbon. Now that I'm concentrating on the nose for real, aided by the sloping sides of the snifter, that aspect is a more balanced, more incorporated portion of the whole. Caramel and boozy maraschino cherries lead the assault, although boozy makes it sound like the alcohol is harsh or raw. It isn't.

My best guess is that this bottle is two years old. Looks like I picked the perfect time to crack the crown because it's still a beast, but it's a manageable beast. That's exactly how I like my barleywines. In addition to a little age, I think the fact that the alcohol portion of the flavor profile tastes like bourbon helps immensely.

Insanity favors the caramel-toffee family of flavors and is a better beer for it. Whereas I like my DIPAs and American IPAs to be pale malt-dominant (to keep the hops in the center of the spotlight), I like my barleywines to feature flavor from the barley side of things. There's plenty of hop bitterness to go around and it keeps things from becoming too sweet and sticky.

In case you hadn't heard, this beer is Blithering Idiot aged in oak barrels that had previously held bourbon. If it's done right, I haven't yet met big beer that didn't benefit from such aging. Since bourbon (along with single malt Scotch) is my favorite liquor, I might be a little biased. The classic flavors of burnt sugar and vanilla are front and center, giving this big ale the nudge that is needs to enter the realm of greatness.

How in the world can a beer that weighs in at 11.1% be so damn drinkable? Again, softening due to the passage of time has a lot to do with it. Another reason is a mouthfeel that is softly carbonated and isn't a big, gooey mess. I occasionally like big, gooey messes, but I also like barleywine mouthfeels that are built for speed. Like this one.

I need to acquire another bottle of Blithering Idiot because I don't remember it as being nearly this good. It's hard to imagine that bourbon barrel aging is completely responsible for the outstanding ale that sits before me, but I guess it's possible. Insanity just shot to the top of my 'must have' list when I travel to Ohio next month. Insane is right. Insanely delicious.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Insanisty lives up to its name as utterly cavity-inducing sweetness and spicy alcohols weave together in an orgy that ignores anything mild or timid.

The beer's hazy ruby body projects the color of plum syrup but also releases a creamy foam structure that constructs a dense blanket of froth, retaining throughout the session and lacing with clumping pockets as the beer falls.

Its aromas build a malty-rich scent of maple, vanilla, caramel, almond, toffee and light molasses. As the alcohol weaves in, a sense of fruit and booze rise with port, sherry and cognac.

Its taste is a marvelous melange of malt complexities: its toffee-laden, maple dipped, caramelly taste is modestly cola-like and is candied with molasses-like "horehound" flavor. Somewhat of root beer and butterscotch, the ale simply lands on the sweeter side of the fence as the spicy booze balances. Slight sherry-like vinous fruit flavors add a glimmer of acidity while the brandy and port-like spices garner complexity and strength.

Its full texture is oily because of its sheer sweetness and light carbonation that allows the ale to lay blanketed on the tongue. Its wrap of spicy booze and slight creaminess lulls the palate to sleep with numbing capabilities and comfortable drunkedness.

As the last sips slide down the gullet, I'm left with the impressions that the beer is conflicted- if the sweetness and lack of hop bitterness is going to be there, then the ale has to be less spicy and offers a lesser attempt to dry. If its going to be more "Americanized", then its got to be much more hoppy to taste, texture and smell and has got to be more semi-dry.

BEERchitect, Jul 01, 2005
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

kjkinsey, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light burgundy color ale with a small dark head with pretty good retention. Aroma of sweet liquor filtered subtly through the malt and sweet hops of this beer. Taste is quite sweet but at least the bourbon aging and come well together at the end do not overpower it. Probably one of the best bourbon aging beers I had. Thanks to Beerslayer for that one.

Phyl21ca, Jun 24, 2005
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -3.8%

GRG1313, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one was for Rich. Apparently your favorite brew man and I could easily see why. Served on tap none the less, this one was enjoyed thoroughly on 02/27/2010. 

The pour was a deep, dark amber in color with a decent bit of cloudiness to it. Nice little head of white pops up and over the top, settling down into a thin, but firm coating of white that sticks to the walls decently, and evenly. Rich, deep vanilla coming through the air, enough that it was really the only thing I was detecting at first. Smooth, oak notes now coming up as well as toffee and butterscotch. Complex as could be, you could fall in and die in the aroma of this one. Then you take that first sip, and wave after wave of crashing smooth as silk flavor washes over you. Just immense and complex, it really just puts it all into perspective. Rich caramel malts that are pinned perfectly against the rich, decadent toffee and vanilla flavors. Light touch of bourbon, smooth, earthy, Sublime. There is just nothing at all about this that doesn't just scream smooth and complex.

 

One of the best BA versions of anything out there, and with its relative ease to acquire should be a staple in anyone's fridge.

mikesgroove, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

jaydoc, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Richard for sharing.

Pours a hazed copper color with a soapy off-white head. Smells a bit boozy. Lots of sweet malt, bourbon, and brown sugar. There’s toffee, and caramel, maybe some dark fruit. Not bad, but hot. The flavor is more of the same, except a bit muddled and slightly oxidized. There is good toffee and vanilla character, but quite a bit of booze and bourbon. Some mild oak notes. Medium to full body with low to medium carbonation.

womencantsail, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of kylehay2004
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very thin head which dissipates quickly on a murky amber orange body. Very strong but not overly boozy aroma with apricot, raisin, caramel, candied orange and malts. Flavor has a lot of wood and oak character up front which moves to apricot and raisin. This one is surprisingly not very boozy but the finish definitely has a whiskey like tingle. Strangely the more I drank it the less complex it seemed. Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth for the ABV and style.

kylehay2004, Oct 13, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really good beer from Weyerbacher. I know how much they enjoy their barrel aged beers from the tours I've taken. This beer is the Barrel Aged Blithering Idiot so to speak. It's got a lot of the same elements that the Idiot has but it's a little bit stronger and sweeter. It's got a very deep copper color without much head. The aroma is of dark fruits, malts and some fresh wood. The flavors are smooth and robust with a big boozey aftertaste. The mouthfeel is a bit thicker than the Idiot so that works nicely too.

Knapp85, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a bright, though murky dark-hued ruby body with a cream tan-colored head. The game is afoot!

Smell: Okay, here's the skinny. The bourbon tones are quite intense, with notes of oak, vanilla, and sugar. A captivating smell, to say the least.

Taste: Let's of things going on here. Strong toffee maltiness and a soft touch of candy sugar evolves into an immense bourbon flavor. The sweet vanilla notes mingle with a certain fruitiness to create a cream of coconut flavor. Smooth, warming bourbon finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a thick, luscious mouthfeel and almost nil carbonation.

Drinkability: Delicious! Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to deceive and delude you. Its hard not to express a deep love for this beer with the addictive furvor of a crackhouse reject.

Thanks for another fun-filled beer experience from... Weyerbacher Brewing Co.!

ChainGangGuy, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
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
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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,911 ratings.