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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,885 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,885
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 175
Gots: 350 | FT: 16
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: 1,885 | Reviews: 842 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks johnd513! This is goood!
Poured a murky, cloudy deep orange with s amall white head. Nose was malty, well hopped and plent of bourbon, oak and vanilla. The taste was nice and followed the ose. It is much lighter and thinner than I expected. ABV was wel hidden and all of this plus damn good taste gave it high drinkability. AWESOME! Wish I had another bottle to age.

barleywinefiend, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of pvsob
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a rusty brown color that turns a lovely ruby when held up to the light. Half an inch, off-white head that dissipates slowly leaving a thin film and some lacing.

S- Dark fruit everywhere; dates, prunes, figs, etc... Burnt brown sugar and caramel. Spicy alcohol aromas come out as the brew warms.

T- Lots of sweet malt, molasses, and dark fruits. Alcohol comes through and dries everything out, leaving a smooth finish. Characteristics become more prevalent as the beer warms.

M- Medium to full with some carbonation.

D- An excellent American version of an English Barleywine. My alcohol tolerance will dictate when it's time to stop. I have a feeling it will be long before my taste buds are ready to give up. Great job Weyerbacher. Cheers!

pvsob, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of Scoobydank
3.18/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

L:Bright white head that dissapears quickly. Light brown caramel toffee color.
S:A very light maple syrup on first smell. Some kind of steely tin as well. A touch of sweet caramel matliness.
T:A maple syrup caramel toffee mix right away. Slight alcohol burn. Sweet roasted caramel.
M:Sharp tiny little bubbles yet it still is nice round and warming.
D:Ok. Not the best Barleywine I have had. Certainly good though.

Scoobydank, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy chestnut with very little head. What head there is fades to nothing fairly quickly. Hmmm. What a strange beer! To me this tastes almost like a scotch and soda. Very boozy, lots of oak, and very firm, dry malt with almost peaty overtones from the tea-like tannins, and a bit of a sweet finish. The smell is similar. I think I like it, but it definitely took me a bit by surprise. A bit thick in the mouth with very pronounced tannins on the finish that help dry it out. Pretty interesting, and definitely different. I especially like the minerality that creeps in on the finish as it warms.

Georgiabeer, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. serving into an Imperial pint glass.
The lable does not state the style, but it's aged in oak barrel's.

This is a cloudy, brownish-amber color, the color is dark but the carbonation is still obvious. The crown is an impressive thick, creamy brown-ish white color, dissipates quick but leaves plenty of lacing left-over.

This nose is heavy on the sweet malt and fruity aroma's with fruits like appricots and figs, hot whiskey-like heat and candy-sweet malt. This one has a big aroma, very nice.

The feel of this is not very heavy, it's more crisp, medium to heavy feel though. The malt is HUGE right off, toffee and honey currents and belgian-like sour yeastiness that is pretty unique. HOT, whiskey-hot! but the malt has enough complexity to make it work. There's a balance of spicey hops that comes out right at the end. high on the complexity scale.

Sip it!

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into an imperial pint, allowing the sediment into the glass, pours a dark crimson color bearing on reddish orange, not much head, a thin film for the most part. The aroma is hot, all 11 odd percent this is and more. After regrouping, I get lots of red skinned fruits, raisin and plum and cherry, etc. Caramels, oak, bourbon, hot.

And then to taste, which also, is hot. The alcohol doesn't hide. doesn't detract, but just be wary. Which brings on the bourbon, with oak and vanilla notes, caramels and sweet fruits, less dark skinned and more juicy, plus some brown sugar. The mouth is pretty good, could be creamier but is plenty full, carbonation is good, body is good. In all... Take. This. Slow. Both because its not shy and it will bite, and because it deserves a slow, steady imbibing. Thanks to DarkerTheBetter for this one.

objectivemonkey, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this beer, the packaging telling me that it was an "oak aged ale." Now that I learn that it is a Blithering Idiot Barleywine, this makes a lot of sense to me, as I thought this beer to be a nice barley wine of the not-overly-hoppy variety with some good vanilla notes. Good.

Color was a fairly opaque orangey hue with moderate head. Aroma was caramel, sweet maltiness, and alcohol esters. Flavor was very like that of a non-hoppy barley-wine...significantly malty and sweet with some searing alcohol mouthfeel. Mouthfeel was warm and pretty good.

Quite a good beer if you like this sort of barley-wine, and worth seeking out. I bought this beer at a Whole Foods near Fair Oaks mall in Fairfax County, VA.

BeerBelcher, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So in reminiscence this is a beer i tried 3 years ago which was way too advanced for my tastes at the time, so now im coming back to it and see how it tastes

A- Copper brown, with a very light amber head that didnt last long but wouldnt really expect it to. pretty strong carbonation

S- smells of rum and bourbon to me, very strong lightly fruit character to it. very light hops but not very sweet, probably a mix between the alcohol balancign out and the hops themselves

T- huge malt characters with lots of alcohol all over the place, very very nice. huge oak character all over as well. just a wonderful beer in my opinion,

M- strong carbonation, thick body, lingering on the body.

D- i love this beer as a sipper

Atron67, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber hue with two finger head. The carbonation is nice and the retention is wonderful.

S: Nice bourbon aromas with hints of oak and vanilla. Nice malty quality rounds things out. Very nice smelling barleywine.

T: Wow wonderful flavors. Tons of oak and vanilla. Hints of ripe fruit and sweet malt. Wonderful flavors, a barleywine to be proud of.

M: Medium in body, wonderful carbonation. Very enjoyable.

D: One of the more drinkable barleywines.

Overall: Weyerbacher took a wonderful barleywine and kicked it up to new extremes. The oak ageing made a good barleywine great. The taste and character of this one is overthetop. I really like it. Wish I had another to age. YUM!!

tpd975, May 29, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle - poured into a snifter:

Pours hazed orangeish caramel-colored with a thin tan head that becomes a bubbly patch, though subequent pours produce a thin creamy even cover. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with oaky vanilla, light cinnamon - oak plays a big role here - I'd say a dominating role, even.

The taste is of sweet vanilla with strong bourbon, woody. The bourbon and oak dominate. Alcohol is pretty well-covered in first few sips, but becomes quite apparent as it progresses. I had a hard time grasping the beer base, which didn't really make itself known, though caramel came through as it warmed. I liked it, but more for the oak aspect, which I think is really well done, more than the barleywine aspect with seemed like just caramel (maybe a hint of fruitiness). Finishes with a moderately boozy sweetness.

The fell is very creamy with a full (ish?) body. Soft carbonation gives it an almost cask-like feel. Interesting. I do like the creaminess of it - almost like a caramel, creamy bourbon.

Very smooth for a bourbon, rather smooth for a beer. As it progresses the caramel becomes more apparent, so does the warmth. Flavors do not hang on long into the aftertaste - a mixed feeling about that. The oak-aged aspect of this beer makes this one a winner, and an interesting brew for that. Still, not something I'd want to keep on drinking, especially as I enjoyed the first three-quarters of it more than the last quarter. Good use of oak here! My gut instince tells me that this would go well with spare ribs...will have to try it.

jwc215, May 29, 2008
Photo of AltBock
2/5  rDev -52%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a cool label of a person freaking out in the doorway of a red/black room. Below the picture is the name of the beer in blood red letters. In between the picture and the name of the beer is a sentence you want to see on a beer bottle, "Ale aged in oak barrels." The only other things on the label is all the mandatory US information, like the Government warning. Weyerbacher doesn't date their bottles and this one is no different.

Appearance: I decided to pour this Weyerbacher beer into a Chimay Chalise. It seemed fitting for the style. What came out of the bottle and into the glass was a beer that is the same color and texture of swamp water. It was truly that murky. It looked so much like swamp water that I swear I saw a crocodile emerging from the beer. Sitting on top of this murky liquid was a white head of foam that was less than 1/2 inch in height. This head of foam quickly dissipated into a handful of white rings along the edge and a spot or two of white lace around the chalise.

Smell: "Insanity" was very fruity with a hint of toasted malts, a quick splash of charred oak, and tons of medicinal alcohol. To me, medicinal alcohol is something you can find in cough syrup and other liquid medicines that contain alcohol in them. Why it's in this beer is my question. It's OK to have alcohol in the aroma, but not medicinal alcohol. Sometimes the alcohol was so bad that it burned my nose and I had to quickly turn my head in disgust to get it out of my nose. Other times, it was fruity and that to me means that it was trying not to be boozy all the time.

Taste: The taste starts and ends with the same flavor, medicinal alcohol! I was honestly expecting more flavors to make an appearance, but instead I received one big taste of medicinal alcohol. I guess the taste wanted to be like the aroma. That's just sad! I did happen to notice a few flavors behind the alcohol, but they were all too tiny in size. Those tiny flavors I found were black cherries, oak, and bitter citrus hops. I would have loved to see each one of those flavors come out from the back and into the front, but the medicinal alcohol would have cut them down where they stood. I can understand why they didn't want to come out. If you can't tell already, the taste was just way too powerful with medicinal alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Yeah, it was a full bodied beer, but of course the aftertaste had to be filled with nothing but alcoholic medicine. Enough with the alcoholic medicine already! It got boring in the aroma.

Drinkability: You can probably tell already that I had hard time drinking this one. If there were more flavors than just medicinal alcohol, then it might have not been all that bad. In every aspect of this beer, the medicinal alcohol ruled over it like it was a dictator. I only take medicine when I'm sick, I shouldn't have to take it when I crack open a beer. I wouldn't touch this one again! If you're feeling sick, take 2 spoon fulls of "Insanity" and call the doctor in the morning.

AltBock, May 25, 2008
Photo of blackbearywheat
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz.bomber into a tulip style gobblet

I love everything about this one it is my absolute favorite. I just bought 7 bottles of this one for it is a seasonal and is now out of stock!

Taste hints of vanilla,mapley bourbon malt sweetness. Love the smell and taste this one you need to let sit a little bit so you can get the true taste out of it. Only need one of these a night high alcohol 11.1%, which amazingly is very easily drinkable! I recomend every ale or barleywine drinker to try this one! I give this one a A++

blackbearywheat, May 25, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
2.83/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle courtesy of DRINKNDRIVE, thanks. I was looking forward to this after having Weyerbacher's Blitehring Idiot which is excellent. Sadly, this is nowhere near excellent. It is orange and looks good but the smell is just ominous. Nothing but scary boozy demons. The flavor was overdone barrel, wood, and then alcoholic booze as a finale. If this is truly barrel-aged Blithering Idiot then they need to stop because they had it right the first time.

ArrogantB, May 23, 2008
Photo of TheBCrew
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber split into two goblets. Somewhat cloudy mahogany color, thin tan had that vanishes quickly. Aroma of vanilla, maple syrup, plums and a hint of lemon. Taste to match with a heavy hand on the vanilla and maple. Slick finish and surprisingly smooth. I didn't perceive the typical oak flavor I was expecting - I guess this came through as the vanilla and maple which was definitely a nice touch. Medium bodied mouthfeel. Surprising drinkability for such a high ABV beer. Great flavor complexity!

TheBCrew, May 14, 2008
Photo of Donnie2112
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thin lingering cap of disipated head and quick to dissapear lacing over a deep, translucent,
burnt orange

smell: sweet, raisins, peaches, rum and a touch of citrus

taste: raw cane sugar, peaches, an amazing spicyness that reminds me of red hots candy but very different, a bit of black pepper, raisins, a bit of alcohol and some butter

mouthfeel: just a bit thin, a little oily, astringent, nice carbonation, slightly tannic. Not what I expect from a barley wine

drinkability: The large ammount of flavor diversity within this brew makes it so interesting that I can't wait for another sip.

I was really caught by surprised by this bad boy. Insanity is the only thing that you could call this beer. I like!

Donnie2112, May 14, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber split with atsprings.

Insanity pours a copper-amber body, relatively clear but stratified with yeast particles. A well-retained wisp of sandy taupe head sticks around as long as the beer does (which wasn't long!). It's probably just me, but I haven't found too many oaked beers to be overly appealing aroma-wise. This one, however, was the exception to the rule, as its smell was drenched in sweetened vanilla-oak complimented by a background of sherry and caramel malts. Absolutly intoxicating.

The flavor was excellent as well. It may have been a bit too sweet, but the vanilla character was delicious. Oaken notes brought a nice dryness to the body that balanced out the oily hops and sticky candied malts. A bittersweet, boozy mouthfeel delivered a medium-thick body and a somewhat oily finish, while the alcohol warmed the back of the palate. Overall, this was a great beer, and as far as English barleywines are concerned, it may be one of the finer interpretations of the style.

wagenvolks, May 13, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to kplynch for the trade.

Wow do I like this one. Pours a deep ruby/brown cloudy color with a very nice off white head. Nose reeks of plum, raisin, date, sugar, brown sugar. Taste follows. Awesome dark fruit with raisin, candy plums, brown sugar, caramel, date, some spices, vanilla, maybe nutmeg, Wood on the finish. Sweet maltiness dominates here, but it is refreshingly smooth. Fruit and sugar lingers on the aftertaste. Alcohol is limited to none. mouthfeel is a touch thin I would say, but still good. Ever so slightly over-carbonated. Drinkability is pretty damn incredible in this one. 11% isn't even within my sphere of comprehension when drinking this. dangerous. Overall I am very impressed with this beer. Reminds me slightly of some good belgian strongs ala rochefort. Fantastic brew. Defenitley my favorite beer from weyerbacher so far. Can't wait to see how the other bottles age! Excellent. Exceptional. Extreme. Extra special. Extravagant. Insane.

AKBelgianBeast, May 10, 2008
Photo of Jmamay22
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Previously enjoyed, but finally reviewing.

Careful poor lets loose a good amount of sediment. Other than the suspended chunks of yeast it is an attractive beer with a tan colored head that settles to a thin cap. The beer itself is a dark ruby red. Some webbed lacing is left behind down the walls of my glass.

Very sweet smelling, faintly fruity and boozy. The bourbon barrel influence should not be understated. The wood, alcohol and vanilla mix with a fig sweetness that is very rich in scent.

The vanilla and oak tones are calling to be tasted. Still very sweet and maybe cloying for some, but enjoyable in my glass. The sweet dark fruits are balanced a by a strong alcohol spiciness. The fussel alcohols seemed to have subdued in the past few months as the vanilla and bourbon characteristics have come through wonderfully. Very port like. The vanilla creates a mellow smoothness from which the fruity alcohol esters bloom into a one of a kind experience.

Mouthfeel is rightly syrupy and this brew is dangerously drinkable. I can't speak enough about the depth and complexity the bourbon barrel aging has provided. I'm looking forward to the bomber I'm letting age.

Jmamay22, May 04, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this in Batavia, New York when I was there on business. Split with my dad and poured into two pint glasses. Pours a murky brown with no head. A good amount of carbonation. Smell is dried fruit and alcohol. Tastes alot like BOOZE. Good lord this is alcoholic. Aside from the alcohol, the dried fruit and sugar becomes more pronounced. I'm sure this beer is better in the Winter, but for 75 degree weather, it's not ideal.

jdubjacket, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label fairly represents this. The mysterious opaque mahogany elixir lurks below an almond head and draws it down to a fine ring of minimal lace.

Holy bourbon barrels Batman! But don't let that fool you, there are notes of plumb pudding waiting to tickle you olfactory too.

Aside from the obvious oak and malts, there is butter caramel and it keeps evolving across the tounge, and long after swallowing.

Fine carbonation compliments the syrupy silkiness.

Bring it on baby, 11% be dammed. This is one tasty brew, alluring and quite frankly worth the consequences.

SLeffler27, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into Cab glass watching a torrential downpour and Sox-Yanks...

Apple cider body. Bready head - not much visible carbonation. Very rustic, moderately translucent. Looks like a caramel-apple sundae.

Apple, ginger and cloves dominate aroma. Moderate alcohol, copious caramel malt and candied ginger. Slight carbonation sting. Not a huge amount of hops here, but what's there set off piney aroma. Bourbon-oak-vanilla feel. Slightly unbalanced, but not to the detriment of enjoyment - wife says, "It smells like Christmas."

First wallop is quite alcoholic - bourbon-vanilla oak sting comes through with great deal of same spices from aroma. Again, lots of apple and ginger ale. Sweet and creamy. Not picking up a lot of bitterness here - mostly some pine in the hop presence. Complex and all over the place.

Warm and tingly mouthfeel with deep comfortable finish. Ginger ale-ish tingle up front, deep malt depth throughout.

This stuff is an absolute pleasure. Definitely something to sip, maybe in front of a fireplace for a special occasion.

IBUnit63, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours with very little head and is a golden amber color.

Smell- Suprisingly aromatic, rather fruity too with strong alcoholic presence.

Taste- Pretty sweet beer, fruity and sugary, has some bitterness in the finish, a delightful beer to sip and ponder.

Mouthfeel- Good palate coverage, but doesnt leave much aftertaste.

Drinkability- A very solid brew, a delicious barleywine.

Bowdoinbeerboy, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of dnichols
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to abankovich who parted with this brew in a great trade. I poured the capped 22 ounce bottle into a tulip at a tasting event held with friends on a dock on the Columbia River.

A: It poured a classic brown and orange tinged body with a nearly amber head that was at most half a finger high before receded and leaving a layer of lacing in its place.

S: It had a rich malt and sweet bourbon aroma followed by a sweet sugary and alcohol smells. There were hints of smoky oak and earth hops but they were very subtle and almost not there.

T: This beer was all about the sugar. There were dominant flavors of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and sweet bourbon. The bourbon and oak came through without being overly dominant. There was a thickness to the sweet malty flavors that was similar to a diluted syrup.

M: It was a medium-bodied beer with a watery mouth feel and a warm clean finish.

D: I enjoyed the beer but it was fairly one dimensional and lacked the depth of character needed to offset the sugary flavors. I would gladly try this again but I doubt it will become a standard in my collection.

dnichols, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Flyer
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour. It's the color of maple syrup, but with crystalline highlights, and lots of gorgeous swirling bubbles. Aroma of bourbon and sweet malty grain. Huge tastes of vanilla, bourbon, oak, and also a little port wine, with just-sweet-enough caramel malt, and an undercurrent of classic barleywine flavor. Though the mouthfeel is creamy, the alcohol presence is perfect, just sharp enough. Complex, bracing, and delicious.

Flyer, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.2/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by MiguelMandingo on BA. Definitely enjoyed this more than the blithering idiot. Poured a medium amber to caramel color with almost no head. Smell was spicy,cedary, oaky and a light alcohol presence as well as some notes of malt and vanilla. Taste is nice and strongly oaked, spicy, but still somewhat hot and grain like alcohol flavored. Still not very easily drinkable, but not bad at all, and more complex than expected.

JDV, Mar 26, 2008
Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,885 ratings.