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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,825
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 174
Gots: 327 | 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: 1,825 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mistofminn


4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this with Ben, aka the Mothman.

Pours a clear amber-copper-mahogany color. Tan head with below average retention. Eventually shrinks to a small thin ring around the outside of the glass. Displays some thin lacing.

Smell is oak, sweet malts and a slight warming alcohol. Smell is pretty typical of a English style Barleywine. Sweet malts, wood aged and the alcohol bite.

The taste is pretty spot on the nose. Oak, vanilla, sweet malts, toffee and of course, our warming friend alcohol. The lack of hops lets you know this is indeed an English style Barleywine. In the aftertaste, there is a slightly fruity character, similar to dried plums.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, low carbonation. A sipper for sure, this is one tasty brew. Drinkability is about as high as a beer north of 11% ABV can get.

Overall, this is one tasty beer. I am very glad I shared this bomber with a friend, as this one could put most grown men on their ass.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 21:56:53 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another curiosity of Brad. Thanks to you sir!

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass.

Pours a 2 finger slight tan head. Decent retention with some nice lace rings. Color is dark murky brown mixed with ruby cherry.

Aroma: Big oak flavor with a ton of raisins and cherries. Big malt profile. Some vanilla notes.

Taste: Big raisin taste, then some oak and vanilla. Some dark dried fruits, cherries and plums. Wow this is a malt bomb. No dominate hop profile.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, a tad bite, and a little hot. Fairly full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a hot, dark fruit flavored aftertaste.

Overall, it may be a tough time finishing my portion of the beer. There is just a big amount of booze and way to many malts. A big profile for this beer. Caution: Don't drink alone!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 23:40:06 | More by mothman
Photo of adamette


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

Live review. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber purchased at Heinen's in Willoughby Hills, Ohio last week for $8.99 into my Chimay silver rimmed goblet.

A Moderate to actually dark brown opaque body with a short lived but creamy light brown head that leaves great lacing. It is impressive, inviting, interesting looking. Really, it looks like a great Belgian (and not just because of the goblet!) I do not know how the appearance can be improved. 5.0

S Barley malt is sweet, oak is noticeable to the nose. Not a strong smell but good. 4.0

T Huge malt sweetness with a nice oaken "earthy" feel. The sweetness is pretty big to the point that there is even a sweet citrus peak to it. It calms down into a nice oaken maple syrup sweetness. There may be a bit of Belgian yeast as well. Really complex, multiple waves of tastes of the malt, oak, yeast. 4.5

M This is a big beer with big ABV and big, sweet malt tastes. 4.0

D I will finish the bomber and it will not be difficult but that will be all that I could do. For the style it is a bit above average due to the interesting tastes. 3.5

Notes: Interesting offering from Weyerbacher, a brewery that I have a lot of respect for.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 22:31:55 | More by adamette
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. While there's no date that I could find on the bottle, I know I've had it for more than two years.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of strong alcohol, caramel, brown sugar, malts and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste starts off sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel and citrus. Then there's a strong alcohol burn that comes in but it's not as boozy as the smell indicates. The malt character is very hearty. The hops presence is toned-down from the age but it's still strong enough to bring some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, I'm not sure that it's much of an improvement on Blithering Idiot but it has certainly stood up well with age. Overall, it's a good high-powered beer to sip on for a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 04:07:15 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of wyattshotmaker


3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

mmm...oak aged barleywine.yes please.

poured into a snifter with a medium sized head that dissippated somewhat quickly.it's a nice opaque amber brown.however,there was some sediment in the beer which i can't help but dock a little bit for :(

nose is dark fruit,alcohol,oak,slight bready/biscuit,a little bit of nuttiness.overall i'd say the oak/alcohol is dominant,which i'm not complaining about.

this beer has a very smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation.oak and dark fruity esters dominate with a slight nutty and biscuity note in the finish,followed up by a nice little alcohol burn.

had this beer with some white stilton that had dried apricots in it,pretty quality beer.not my favorite oak aged barley wine,but this is an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 01:59:21 | More by wyattshotmaker
Photo of Deus1138


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

I went to the store looking for something cold that I could enjoy as soon as I got home. Saw this, remembered seeing the name somewhere, probably the Brick Store's chalk board, so I picked it up.

Ironically, I was a on a big Barleywine kick last week. I had no idea this was a Barleywine until I got home.

Poured into a pint glass. Color is deep brown with reddish hues. Frothy 1/4" of head. Smell is mostly of sweet malts, some oak.

Taste...I have a new favorite Barleywine. I didn't pay attention to how much I paid for this. I hope it's not expensive, because I want a lot more of it! Superb flavors! Sweet caramel malts, the oak aging comes through nicely along with some vanilla notes. Mild bitterness from the hops. Cherry, plum. Wow! This is great! So many flavors and so well balanced! 11% alcohol?? Really?? You don't taste it. The alcohol has warming presence.

Full bodied mouthfeel, nice and smooth.

Drinkability is excellent. This is my new favorite Barleywine, and one of my new favorite brews!

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2009 03:07:04 | More by Deus1138
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

1.78/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle. Pours a clear amber/brown with a small off-white head. Aroma of alcohol, sweet sweet malt, medicinal cough syrup. Flavor of sweet malt, raisins, and super booziness. Some oak flavors but really this is just a boozy, sweet, sticky mess. This is really nasty. More than a couple sips is too much for me...

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 14:29:08 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of joerodiii

New York

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

Amber with moderate head and lacing.

Oak is at the front of the aroma and is followed by caramel maltiness and alcohol. Alcohol warmth almost overwhelms the flavor, but soon gives way to malty sweetness, mild bitterness, and eventually a lingering oakiness. Mouthfeel is nicely balanced by full body and just-right carbonation. Only the slight astringency kpt me from scoring higher.

This is quite drinkable for what it is. It is intended to be a sipper and fulfills its role.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2009 23:58:10 | More by joerodiii
Photo of LauraAlberts

South Carolina

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

Appearance: Ruby/Tawny/Burnt Orange appearance with about two fingers worth of head retention.

Smell: Sour Apple, Blackberry, Ripe Cherry, Pumpkin, Alcohol

Taste: Sour Apple, Blackberry, Cream (from the oak), Cherry, hint of Pumpkin Pie, Hops, Citrus, Alcohol - it doesn't hide very well in this one.

Mouthfeel: My favorite part of this beer. Full bodied, feels like a belgian quad in the mouth. Smooth, Soft, Tannic, tingly from alcohol and oak aging

Drinkability: Sipper - Savor this beer. It's over the top and well done by Weyerbacher - this is a trend I've seen with their beers. Almost too set in the style - dead on - I highly recommend.

Not for wussies!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 01:05:38 | More by LauraAlberts
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

MY 100th REVIEW!! got this ON TAP at Common Market in Charlotte NC.

Appearance is a body that is hued red and lightly brown. A beautiful sparse tan tall head and good carbonation.
Smell is mostly caramel malts with hints of green raisins, prunes, musty hops and a little floral hop essence.
Taste is sour and sweet malts, caramel, prunes and dates. Very tart malty finish. Very slight notes of curants and dried cherries. Oak notes underlying the whole taste experience.
Mouthfell is smooth as silk.
This beer ages great and very approachable for big beer drinkers. Eaiser to take than most American barleywines and not so malty like many english barleywines.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2009 13:26:36 | More by chaz410
Photo of ZAP


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

A-Pours a muddied burnt orange color..

S-Great aroma...a candy bar like sweetness of vanilla, caramel, and nougat in front but also some oak..

T-Great flavor very similar to the aroma....liked drinking a candy bar...that may sound sickly sweet but it isn't...it works...loads of caramel, vanilla, and nougat....minimal heat but just enough to keep this on edge..

M-Full but not immense...has almost a spritzy champagne like feel...that keeps the sweetness in check too...

D-Great tasting barley wine....the barrel aging never overwhelms but complements..

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 03:28:29 | More by ZAP
Photo of rye726


4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amberish brown with a thin tan head. Aroma has oak, bourbon, caramel malts, ripe fruits and a hop presence that seems to go against the grain. Taste has young alcohol, whiskey, old wood, bitter hops, sweet malts and ripe pitted fruit. Medium body heavy on the carbonation. Good stuff, but needs some time to let the hops mellow.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 03:39:17 | More by rye726
Photo of matty


3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is dark fruits.Taste is bourbon,dark fruit,butter and sugar cane.Very warming in the mouth and stomach.It's a beer that you have to sip slowly to enjoy.I would recommend and will be purchasing again shortly.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 04:15:48 | More by matty
Photo of Mdog


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

Appearance: Cloudy brown-amber, good head.

Smell: Sweet, dark fruits, booze.

Taste: Sweetness continues, vanilla, caramel, a little tart fruit. Sweet, but not overbearing.

Drinkability: Might have to pick this up again for a cold winter's night.

Another Wiscoland buy, Weyerbacher Insanity is a very tasty and sweet barrel-aged brew. A nice treat and something of a special occasion beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2009 17:56:57 | More by Mdog
Photo of glid02


4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend.

Pours a clear dark honey-copper color with a two-finger buttermilk head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with a good amount of vanilla and bourbon. As it warms sugar-coated fruit aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined shortly by bourbon and vanilla flavors. Again, as it warms some fruit flavors come out, but the malt is still leading things. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness with mild carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished the bottle without a problem, and against the wishes of my liver I could probably have had another.

Overall this is a tasty oak-aged barleywine, but I'd prefer a bit more evidence of the oak-aged. That said, this is still a very good beer that's worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2009 23:25:16 | More by glid02
Photo of drtth


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

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle was purchased in January of 08 and so has about 15 months of bottle age.

Appearance: Like its younger brother, Blithering Idiot, this pours a hazy russet brown with ¼" light tan head that recedes quickly leaving a small ring of foam. Sipping leaves a nice speckled lacing pattern on the side of the glass.

Smell: The effects of the bourbon barrel aging are immediately detectable as the aromas of bourbon and vanilla begin to spread out in the room even before taking a sniff. Underlying the aroma of vanilla is the sweet malt with little trace of the high ABV or of hops.

Taste: The flavor is mild, mellow, balanced, rich and sweet with a mixture of bourbon, vanilla and malt, the traces of mixed fruit found in the Blithering Idiot are here as is the trace of alcohol but in the background as the effects of the bourbon barrel add a new dimension of flavor. Overall the flavors are balanced but with the vanilla sweetness showing up as a major player. What bitterness there is hardly shows and the impression is of light, vanilla sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with light carbonation. The finish is medium long and ends on notes of bitterness alternating with soft sweetness and a bourbon chaser.

Drinkability: This is very very drinkable. It goes down easily and I'm enjoying it greatly, but with this level of ABV (11%) it is definitely a one a night beer. Having just tasted and reviewed the Blithering Idiot (which is the version of this beer not aged in bourbon barrels) two nights ago it is possible to compare this beer with recent memory of that one. The effects of bourbon barrel aging show in increased depth and complexity of flavor and aroma and with the addition of a clear vanilla presence.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 01:16:05 | More by drtth
Photo of Proteus93


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

Found this gem at In Vino Veritas here in Charlottesville. With a slow turnaround, things move slowly... and for items like this, that's a plus!

A: Somewhat hazy reddish amber. Head is a bit unsubstantial, with some patchy lacing.

S: Bourbon, woodiness, and vanilla. Malts and caramelized sugar. Alcohol is modest, and mellowed out.

T: Warm oak flavours, vanilla, lighter dark fruit notes, and alcohol - it's nowhere near as hot as it was, but it's still there.

M: Smooth, almost creamy, even. Carbonation is mild to moderate, allowing some softer notes of the body to come through.

D + notes: I'm amazed at what this beer has become. I did not hold the Blithering Idiot in high regard, but this suddenly changes things... the time on the shelf likely played a role in things, as well. This has becomes a very good brew, with a lot of subtle nuances in flavour. The alcohol is big as always, so it needs time to drink it all back... but it's worth it. This leaves me wanting to revisit the Blithering Idiot.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 03:39:10 | More by Proteus93
Photo of damienblack


3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light amber, almost pinkish in hue. Creamy looking head lingers for a while, constantly leaves great lacing wherever the beer's touched - also crackles with carbonation. Smells strongly of plum, tropical fruit soaked through with alcohol - sweet, strong and boozey.

The first thing you notice is that the alcohol really isn't hidden well, at all. A slightly sour heavy bourbony booziness is the first thing you notice. Then, the big sweetness, almost like a tropical cocktail's worth of fruit and a bunch of sweet malt. Finally, with a bit of hops (but not enough to really lessen the impact of the others) coating the way, a huge sharp crack of wood alcoholic bite. That crack is both the most noticeable sensation, and the biggest drawback. Mouthfeel is solid, appropriately carbonated, overall medium in body, not real chewy at all, and doesn't cloy on the palate. Drinkability takes a huge hit from the big alcoholic bite. The baseline flavors are excellent, the sweet fruit mixed with the bourbon oaky edge. But when that bite kicks in, it is what takes this down from the awesome to very good but hard to drink. A great occasional sipper, though, especially when you need warming.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 05:49:15 | More by damienblack
Photo of UA8


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

A- Pours a dark ruby/ amber hue with a thin creamy tan head.

S- Hot with alcohol and sweet. Scents of pineapple, sweet oak, and coconut.

T- Leads sweet with pineapple, coconut, and yeast twanged toffee malts. Hides it 11.% abv well besides it lending some warmth to the belly.

M- Moderate carbonation and viscosity.

D- I really enjoy this beer quite a bit and would be happy putting a few back. Followed directly by a nap.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 02:08:50 | More by UA8
Photo of Yesac


4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber/ruby with a thin white head. Sloppy lacing.

S - Sweet dark cherries

T - One complex brew. Vanilla, bourbon, dark cherries and oak. Nice hidden bite from the ABV.

M/D - Thick bodied.. nice coating on the palate... so smooth. Great brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 03:20:06 | More by Yesac
Photo of BigIrishman

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into tullip

Appearance: Deep amber with big fluffy white head, leaving a bit of lace.

Smell: Sweet bourbon and a bit of dried fruit, maybe a faint hop presence but it's not overwhelming.

Taste: Big bourbon flavor and the dried fruits are also there. A nice vanilla twinge and a hint of hops round out the taste.

Mouthfeel: Heavy

Drinkability: While a great beer it's getting harder and harder to finish the glass, that taste is wearing me out.

Notes: A respectable brew but like I said, not one to be enjoyed for any long period. An occasional one of these is nice though.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 04:35:40 | More by BigIrishman
Photo of nickfl


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

A - One and a half fingers of dense, light brown head settles slowly and leaves light lace in its wake. The body is amber brown with good clarity.

S - Big, sweet malt note. Lots of raisins, figs, toffee and dark caramel. Some wood notes come out behind the malt, toasted oak, vanilla, and spicy, tobacco/ hops.

T - A powerful malt note upfront with lots of wood character. Lots of caramel and toffee with spicy toasted oak and some cedar notes. Alcoholic heat and spicy hops in the middle with moderate hop bitterness. The finish is long and very complex with notes of oak, vanilla, toffee, figs, tobacco, chocolate, and much more. A smooth, malty caramel note lingers on the palate long after the beer is gone.

M - Moderately thick oily body, medium carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Big complex, boozy malt bomb insanity (an appropriately named beer as it turns out). It looks good, it smells better, and the flavor is absolutely exceptional. This is one of the most complex beers I have ever had, and despite the huge sweetness it never becomes cloying or overwhelming. As it warms it only gets better and I can say I honestly wouldn't mind drinking this at near room temperature. I have not been overly impressed with many of the Weyerbacher beers that I have had so far, but I must say that this is spectacular. Very reminiscent of J.W. Lees Harvest Ale, maybe even better.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2009 04:02:06 | More by nickfl
Photo of CoalCellar


2.9/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my glass.

a: Pours a deep golden color, builds almost no head to speak of, small traces of lace on the glass.

s: sweetness, is that bourbon? Tough to tell, not as much going on here as I would have liked.

t: Watery, with a light sweetness. Where is all the oak, bourbon, malt, and vanilla?

m: syrupy and thick

d: Due to the lack of flavor, this is much more drinkable than it should be. I expected alot more from this. Weyerbacher is usually dead on, but not with this one. I'll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 22:54:24 | More by CoalCellar
Photo of cjgator3


3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color wtih a nice light tan colored head that leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

S- The aroma is sweet malt, dark fruits and a touch of oak and it is very hot from all the alcohol in the nose as well. This is a fresh batch, the nose could definitely benefit from a year or two of aging to mellow this one out. The oak barrels this beer is aged in gives off very hot bourbon-like aromas with some vanilla as well.

T- The taste features a lot of malt, dark fruits, vanilla, oak and bourbon flavors with a warm boozy finish. The taste like the aroma is definitely a little harsh due to it's freshness and would benefit greatly in my opinion with another year or two of aging to mellow out a little bit and get rid of the harsh boozy finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is not a bad beer but it is a little hot and rough around the edges when fresh. I can imagine this this beer will improve significantly with some age on it. Right now, it's a little hot with a bit too much bourbon characteristics but this will definitely get smoothed out after a year of so.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 03:53:14 | More by cjgator3
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

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

Aged 2 years in the beer fridge.

Pours a very nice dark brown with little to no head, but lots of intial carbonation. No lacing.

Nose is all about the oak. Picks up fruit, wood esthers, and a certain chewiness. The nose is very intense.

Hits the tongue smooth, but the fire quickly builds from the high alcohol content. You really taste the alcohol here, maybe even more than you feel it. Extremely bright in the mouth. Some may find the fire here a little too hot, but this one tastes really great to me.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 00:47:07 | More by beer2day
Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,825 ratings.