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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,794 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,794
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 174
Gots: 322 | FT: 15
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: 1,794 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Janderson91


4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 12/21/10. Enjoyed on 07/31/11.

A - Pours a slightly hazy dark amber color with a small white head. Leaves little to no lacing.

S - Sweet, bourbon, vanilla aroma backed up by some good caramel, dark fruity notes. Excellent smelling beer.

T - Tongue numbing alcohol up front. Pretty strong bourbon vanilla and a huge caramel sweetness. Some cherry and plum taste as well. Layers of flavors.

M - Mouthfeel is good and creamy with just a hint of carbonation.

O - Overall, I think this is really a great beer. Not too far behind Abacus in the BBBW category. Great job, Weyerbacher.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 01:08:27 | More by Janderson91
Photo of leschkie


4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of trxxpaxxs poured into a tulip.

Thanks Tom for this generous treat! I've been eyeing it everyday since you sent it over, and finally decided to crack it open. The name perfectly describes my current mental state after having to work all day despite it being a Saturday.

Pours a translucent deep ruby red when backlit against an incandescent light bulb with a short-lived ecru-color head. I think this head retracted faster than George Costanza's junk on the swimming pool episode of Seinfeld. Damn dude, not even the faintest sign of lace. And this is only 11.1% ABV? That would be something I'd expect for a 14%.

Oh wow, this smells and tastes fantastic! Reminds me of a Belgian strong dark actually. Well-integrated flavors of dark fruits, rum-soaked sugar raisins, dark sweet caramel, sweet malts, biscuits, yeast, subtle brown sugar, and slight oak that finishes with a pleasant warm boozy sensation which takes nothing away from the flavor profile. And it just keeps getting better as I let it sit and aerate a little bit.

Mouthfeel is medium- to full-bodied with an excessive amount of carbination at the start. However, the carbination settles down quite nicely as it warms and opens up.

This is actually my first English Barleywine. If this offering is standard for the style, I think I've found myself a new favorite. This is an outstanding offering by Weyerbacher. For the past week and a half I've had beers that have done nothing but disappoint. So I am so happy to finally have something that I've thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish. I can't wait to trade for more bottles!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 01:45:09 | More by leschkie
Photo of Bfarr


4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Hazy red with medium tan frothy head and good retention. Caramel barley, yeast and bourbon oak. Sweet bourbon caramel with light barley and a bready finish. Notes of oak and vanilla. Light fuzz, slick and dry but overall a very heavy body.

Great flavor but it sits very heavy on the palate and stomach. Alcohol is well incorporated with the taste. Nothing is overpowering but it’s overall a heavy barley-wine making it a tough decision whether it’s a fantastic beer or just a plain ol’ great beer *sarcastic*. It was certainly a great compliment (especially in name) to go with the end of the 4th season of Dexter.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 02:01:36 | More by Bfarr
Photo of DrStiffington

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I've had Blithering Idiot several times, but I always had a hard time pulling the trigger on Insanity, which is the more expernsive oak-aged version. It pours a thick, hazy brownish color into my glass. A small head disappears fairly quickly. Man this smells great. I get some oak(natch), along with some malty caramel sweetness. The taste is very smooth, even though it's followed by a slight alcohol burn. Nice stuff. I really like Weyerbacher. Along with Victory and Troegs, PA has some awesome beers! Glad I live nearby!

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 00:33:01 | More by DrStiffington
Photo of Mario61Aler


4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Poured aggresively from a 12 oz into a tulip and got 1", of tan head, that left in seconds but laced nicely. The color was a medium to dark amber that was clear, with a good amount of "falling" carbonation.

The aroma is raisons, dark cherries, vanilla and "BANG" in your nose BOURBON! WOW!

The taste was not complex, just like it smelled, then comes a little alcohol taste and a dry finish! Glad it finished dry because upfront this is sweet but not coyingly so.

The Mouthfeel is medium to slightly thick, but clean and warming and dry at the end.

Overall, try this one! You won't know what your missing until you do. It has an 11% ABV so one is all you'll need to go with a sirloin or a filet mignon, potatoes and a citrus fruit laden salad with bitter greens and a raspberry vinegrette. I opened this one cooking the above and finished it at supper. I was NOT disapointed. I will revisit it often.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 23:57:00 | More by Mario61Aler
Photo of AleWatcher


4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from 2dogbrew.
Thanks Russ!

Served in New Belgium Globe.

Deep plum color, creamy tan head. Awesome retention and legs thick like a milkshake! Strong lacing forms blobs from opaque curtains.

The Malts are strong with this one. Big sweet caramel malts rock out with notes of toffee and rum-soaked raisins. Fruity notes like plums, perhaps even black cherries, that are also coming across.

A very nice warming booziness comes across on the finish, turning this beer into a wonderful little sipper. The body is nearly full with a creamy feel thanks to a wonderfully restrained carbonation level.

Overall-- this is a very nice beer. I have no idea what the availability of this is, but I'm assuming it cannot be too hard to find as I've gotten no less than 4 bottles of this from different trades. This is quite tasty and an impressive offering from Weyerbacher.
Well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2011 05:21:43 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of HopDiggityDawg

North Carolina

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

On tap at Duckworth's.
a -hazy reddish amber with a a little head, minimal lacing.

S - bourbon.

T - Bourbon, sweet after-taste

MF - has a medium to full body

O - very good, I am not a fan of Barleywines but I had a sample of this one and it led me to order one. Did not know until half way through that it was 11+% abv

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: on-tap

07-15-2011 11:01:55 | More by HopDiggityDawg
Photo of uustal

Rhode Island

4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep apple cider color, little to no head which lasts merely seconds. Aroma of grapes, tart fruits and a bit of alcohol, very much like white wine. Strong sticky toffee flavor. Hints of dark fruits and some tart fruit flavor as well. As the beer warms, these initial flavors fade to the back and the beer is dominated by big cherry, vanilla and bourbon barrel notes.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2011 22:28:38 | More by uustal
Photo of wchollif

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured in a snifter from on high generates a finger of head that dissipates rather quickly and leave a light ring around the glass. The color is a dark amber but not hazy or cloudy. Whoa Bourbon big time on the nose, it really smells like i put a 1/2 shot of bourbon in my barleywine (not that I've done that, lately). Maple and burnt sugar is lighter on the nose dominated by booze. The flavor is very light on the malt and hops, but the hoppy bitterness is present on the finish. Vanilla, charred wood (not smoke, but close) and honey. This is a very sweet beer, the overt syrupy sweetness and one note nose is keeping this beer from being a solid A. Alcohol is in check, but you know it's there with the heat and bitterness on the finish. Good beer, not great, but I'll enjoy my others.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 01:29:56 | More by wchollif
Photo of jtingue

New York

4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Reddish brown in color with a slight haze to it. Minimal head, but a nice ring of miniscule bubbles around the glass. Nice lacing as well.

Smell- Grapes and tart cherries are present. A bit of sting from alcohol. Definitely some of the oak and bourbon qualities showing already.

Taste- Flavors of cherry and vanilla are muted by stronger tobacco and leather. The cherry then almost bursts onto the palate turning very sweet and is joined by other fruits. Then alcohol warms the palate at the same time that bourbon becomes perceptible. Charred wood and vanilla leave no doubts that this was aged in bourbon barrels. The finish is another transition; it has a dryness reminiscent of a pinot grigio.

Mouthfeel- Fairly standard. Good amount of carbonation and a medium to thick body which helps to coat the mouth with the beer's wonderful flavor. It finishes with a warming from the alcohol.

Very enjoyable sipper. Plenty of layers on the taste

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 04:51:20 | More by jtingue
Photo of dtivp


4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy reddish amber with a half finger tan head very little retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma of caramelized sugar, sweet dark fruits and bourbon.

Taste was initially sweet with caramel, burnt sugar then the oak and bourbon hits yous with some vanilla.

Mouth Feel was full body very light carbonation, smooth with a nice bourbon warming.

Overall this was a very good barleywine to sip and enjoy with caution.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 17:05:22 | More by dtivp
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas begin with sweet and profound with burnt brown sugar, biscuity malts and cookie dough. As it warms you get some dark fruit, plus a delicious blend of oak/wood, vanilla and bourbon. Really light on the booze, much ligher on tap then from the bottle.

The taste follows nose, but much more intensified. It begins sweet once again with complex burnt/carmelized sugar flavors. Some earthy and oaky notes from the Bourbon; it finishes with a nice prickly booziness. As it warms yoy get more of the barrel influence with sublte vanilla and a more complex nuttiness.

The mouthfeel if quite full bodied, with ample carbonation. Barrel aging helps this finish dry despite the high ABV.

Overall this is way too drinkable and delicious. This is how barrel-aging is supposed to taste; balanced to perfection.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 18:59:41 | More by claspada
Photo of capeannbass36


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 12 ounce bottle with a rough pour into a Duvel tulip. Hazy, copper, brown with a minimal tan head that disappeared almost immediately.
Very little lacing.

S- Spice, sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon.

T- Sweet and spicy alcohol. Caramel, vanilla, and bourbon. Some oak.

M- Very light carbonation. Sticky. Not all that warm, considering the ABV,

O- One of my favorite barley wines to date. Nice and smooth. Saving a couple. mmm....

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 20:55:29 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up for $3.75 a bottle in Totowa. While I'm not a huge Barleywine fan, I wanted to give this a shot since it had been a long time since I had one. Most beers of this style that I had reeked of alcohol and were tough for someone like me to appreciate and enjoy. This one was different because of it was so smooth and the strength came in the flavor itself, and not in the boozy taste!

Nice pour to this with a deep almond hue and a decent amount of carbonation for this style. There was some head and lacing and yes, there was a slight scent of alcohol to this. It was present in the taste as well but nowhere near as strong as the flavors of rye, oak, and sweet plum. The latter gave it a bit of complexity like a Belgian beer but the Bourbon stickiness tied everything together nicely. It was amazing how well balanced this was, like a good Abbey!

The alcohol is here but it isn't able to be felt until quite a bit of the bottle has been downed. While something like this would be better suited for a warm winter's night, this is so well-crafted that it can be enjoyed all year around. For anyone who's into this style, this is a can't-miss and worth the price. I wish more beers would go out on a limb and attempt this style, since it's a joy to behold a strong beer that's understated at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 21:04:59 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of sweemzander


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a deep reddish amber color. Produced a nice cap of tan froth. Surprisingly good retention considering the ABV.

(S)- A nice rich caramel and boozy oak/brown sugar aroma. Bits of honey and fig as well; awesome.

(T)- A nice richness of caramel, dry oak, booze, and brown sugar/toffee. Lots of a honeyed/candied fig character.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A great balance to it as well. not overly boozy or overly sweet either; just a superb overall richness and harmonious feel. Nowhere does this feel like 11.1% ABV.

(D)- Without a doubt, one of the finest English Barleywines readily available as well affordable. Why has it taken me this long to try this one? The perfect winter warmer for those cold nights, though it was quite excellent on this night as well!

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 03:36:17 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Shaw


4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep amber in color with a big head that reduces to a quarter-inch layer in my tulip glass.

Big whiskey aroma, no surprise there.

The taste is sweet with big bourbon notes. But the whiskey flavors aren't overpowering. They work nicely with the malt sweetness. I also note vanilla and fruit in this one.

Creamy body is just about perfect.

Overall this is one of the finer bourbon-barrel beers out there. It isn't too boozy. It's balanced.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 01:13:04 | More by Shaw
Photo of Sixofsigmas


3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Murky burnt caramel pour with very little head.
Smells of bourbon, coconut, caramel, slight tart fruit in the nose, some vanilla maybe....
Very sweet to start, nice malty oak flavors, coconut, raisiny, boozey.
Mouth is dry and resiny. Good carb, good alcohol warmth.
Could drink a few of these in one sitting, but I have a feeling that would lead to passing out. Very nice smooth ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 23:36:08 | More by Sixofsigmas
Photo of b3shine


3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks good; like a murky, barrel-aged barley wine should. Smells GREAT! Malt, cherries, and wood notes are present. Tastes good, but it's the weakest part of the brew. VERY sweet. Cherries and barrel-aging are good, but intense. Mothfeel is good; goes down easily for 9.5%. Overall, a good brew...but it doesn't hold a candle to bourbon-barreled Behemoth.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2011 22:41:07 | More by b3shine
Photo of caskstrength


2.85/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. My understanding is this is bourbon barrel aged, and what's not to love about bourbon barrel aged barleywines?

Pours a nice dark golden color with appropriate carbonation.

Smells are interesting. Coconut and sweet bananas with some alcohol. Fruits, but more light fruits (apricot, yellow raisin) than dark fruits. The bourbon and oak are in the back, not sure how much I'd pick up on those if I weren't looking. Hints of solvents. (uh-oh)

Tastes show more of the bourbon with the alcohol and the coconut/banana. It's interesting and unique, but the alcohol is ultimately too much. It has some sweetness, but more simple sugars than dark/rich toffee and caramel. Stronger bourbon notes with vanilla, oak, etc. would be appreciated and are missed here. There is a solventy vibe that comes and goes, moreso when warming.

Moutfeel is fine. Good heft, but not syrupy or heavy. Carbonation keeps things moving.

If I want a barleywine, I'm not choosing this.
If I want a barrel aged barleywine, I'm not choosing this. (but I do like the coconut)

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 22:07:12 | More by caskstrength
Photo of stimulus

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler, more expensive per ounce than the bottled version, but WOW. This is like candy.

A: Pours a clear amber/light brown with a 1/2 finger beige head.
S: Toffee, caramel, vanilla, bourbon.
T: Sweet sugar up front, vanilla and caramel in the middle, big boozy bourbon on the tail end.
M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation, biting and sticky finish.
O: Drinks like highly alcoholic soda or bubblegum, even moreso than the bottles, and i'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing, but for me i like it. Too boozy overall, and probably too sweet for most: it's different than the Abacus I just tried last night, but I like them both for very different reasons even though they are both barrel aged barleywines.

Serving type: growler

06-15-2011 05:27:00 | More by stimulus
Photo of bum732


4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Very rich toffee malt with moderate oak, some rum sweetness. Caramel and breadiness rounds it out.

L: Hazy reddish brown, light tan head that dissipates to a dusting.

T: Rich toffee sweetness with an undercurrent of raisins and touch of oak. Rich sweet caramel follows low herbal bitterness. Finishes quite sweet and rich.

M: Slick medium full body, low carbonation.

Very rich and sweet, definitely a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 01:31:02 | More by bum732
Photo of Blanco


3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a red/amber color with thick off-white head. bubbles of carbonation stick to the bottom of the snifter. smell is of caramel malt, fruit, slight hints of bourbon. A bit of "tootsie roll" is also apparent in the nose. taste follows similarly. Hints of bourbon. None of the bitterness associated with American barleywines and that is compliment here. Immediate chest warming. Slight tartness. Mouthfeel is extremely thick and heavy.

Overall, a solid -bal barleywine. The bourbon character is limited, but not a total knock on this brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 01:27:07 | More by Blanco
Photo of Alieniloquium


4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep red amber body with very little head. It's quite murky and looks like it has chill haze. Decent lacing around the edges as it clings to the glass.

Smell - Oh I am a sucker for the bourbon. It's not overwhelming, but it's predominant. It blends nicely with a strong vanilla aroma that fades to caramel. Definite apple aroma to it. Possibly a Belgian yeast used somewhere in this. It's tough to discern between bourbon barrel and booze, but smells just a little bit hot.

Taste - Toffee, caramel, and vanilla, oh my. All the flavors are sweet, but the beer is only a bit sweet. Fruit flavors and esters push through the sugars. It finishes nicely with some bittering hops. The barrel comes through less in the taste than it does in the nose, but it's enough to complement the flavors.

Mouthfeel - It's not as syrupy as I thought it might be. It's also not as cloying as I thought it might be. A big beer, to be sure, but it tones down the pitfalls nicely. Lower carbonation, but hey, it's 11.1% ABV.

Overall - A delicious brew that incorporates the flavors remarkably well. I've got 5 more where this came from and I will be enjoying them for months to come.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 21:58:57 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of MrOH


4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Split last night with GF, we took notes.

Hazy light brown with orange highlights, thin off-white head that stays around for a while considering abv.Streaky lace.

Toffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, bourbon, almonds, black walnuts, some dried fig and apricot. Very soothing and inviting.

Milk chocolate, almonds, vanilla, bourbon, maple, subtle pie spices, oak, touch of raisin, hint of smoke. All very well put together, nothing out of places, and tasty as hell.

Full bodied, with light carbonation and a relatively clean finish. Warming but the alcohol is well hidden.

An excellent oak-aged beer. Barrel aging accentuates the base beer's flavors instead of overpowering them to get a subtle yet extremely flavorful dram.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2011 20:40:15 | More by MrOH
Photo of abraxel


4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Looks a brownish ruby-red, with a decent amount of sediment. The finger or two of head falls quite fast to leave only the slightest ring of bubbles around the edge. I like the color.

S - Tasty, sweet vanilla, caramel, and toffee. I can definitely sense the bourbon, but there's no hint of alcohol. Quite good.

T - Ooh, I like this. Buttery smooth caramel/toffee/vanilla/bourbon. Only the slightest hint of alcohol. It's delicious.

M - Rather full, very smooth. Nice.

Overall, I'm impressed. I'm a fan of bourbon barleywines, and this is among the better of them.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 21:44:56 | More by abraxel
Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.