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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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2,002 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,002
Reviews: 853
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 190
Gots: 372 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

A bourbon barrel-aged English-style Barleywine.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,002 | Reviews: 853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cjgator3
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

Photo of beer2day
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of everetends
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber I picked up last time I was at Green's off Ponce in Atlanta, GA. I have heard a lot about this beer and I was elated when I saw the cases stacked up. Weyerbacher has been good to me so far. Served up in my Free the Hops snifter.

A: Pours a pretty nice dark brown that has these beautiful copper/orange hues to it. Held to the light, more of that orange finds its way out. A pretty aggressive pour did not yield much head . . . initially. A very slow, creamy biege head bubbled its way up. It falls in due time to a thick bubbly ring. This beer appears to be pretty oily because the foam just slides back into the glass allowing zero lace. Even when held to the light, the dark brown is pretty much opaque. Can't see my finger on the other side.

S: Smells are pretty straight forward barleywine. Lots of big time malt in here with brown sugar and caramel goodness. There is a bit of bread hiding in there as well. The hops are pretty nice and floral. Smells very wholesome and clean. Dark fruit is floating around in there, but can't figure them out right now. Touch of alcohol presence in the form of some bourbon. Pretty good.

T: Damn this is good. The malts are damned near perfect. They are there but somehow keep from being TOO sweet. Lots of caramel and molasses. The bread is once again barely there, but it is there. The hops are light with just a touch of bite to cut through the malt. Slight floral and citrus flavor, but it still adds to the sweetness. There is a really nice wood and vanilla coming out here as well. Behind that is a bit of buttery sweet cream. Then you get what I can only describe as honey roasted cashews. This is fuggin tasty.

M: Full bodied brew that keeps it smooth. This is such a creamy ass beer. Really fluffy on the palate but still coats with a cooling creamy goodness. I can not believe this beer sits over 11%. It doesn't burn whatsoever, just smooth wonderful beer. Carbonation has a bit of jump to it, keeping this slightly crisp and easy down the throat. Aftertaste is that slight bitterness from the hops fighting with that caramel malt. I almost gave this a 5 because the feel is so awe inspiring.

D: I have the feeling this beer is dangerous as all hell. I mean all these great flavors that are sweet and enjoyable and then no alcohol reminding you to slow down. So friggin good. I found this beer amazingly drinkable. This is probably the best Weyerbacher offering I have had to date. Great flavors that create this amazingly complex yet balanced flavor profile. Damned good. Get you some.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper orange body with reddish hues, a behemoth tan head, creamy, and tightly bundled, leaving a generous sticky lacing to grasp the inside of the glass.

The aroma is molasses sweet with vanilla and wood (oak, increasingly noticeable as it warms) with a bourbon like flavor and raisins or other dark fruit.

Whoa, the label is appropriate, and I now feel like the creature on the label! Big time malt/bourbon/oak/slightly sweet/intense alcohol all at once. Perhaps even some bread and almost a banana like aftertaste with a spice/alcohol burn on the throat. The sweet malt and bourbon flavors become more prevalent as the beer warms.

On the heavy side of medium bodied, slightly syrupy, medium carbonation.

This is one heck of a bold beer. Tons of strong, but diverse flavors, easy to drink, more character as it warms. Great brew.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep amber color with a thin white head with decent lacing.

S: Nice sweet caramel malt with some oak and a bit of a burn from the alcohol.

T: Again with the sweet maltiness and there's that alcohol burn too.

M: Thick and creamy pretty well carbonated.

D: I could enjoy a bottle or two of this in an evening but I do have to say that fresh it is pretty hot. I had this last year a few months after if came out and thought it was great so don't be afraid to lay this one out for a little while.

Photo of gford217
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a slightly hazy brownish amber with a rocky off-white head that lingers as a cap for a while and leaves good lacing. A constant stream of bubbles comes to the top.

The aroma is sugary sweet with some decent caramel sweetness and molasses. Cherry fruit sweetness in the nose along with tons of other dark fruits as it warms, especially plums and raisins.

The taste is bigger and more boozy than the aroma with the huge caramel malt backbone. Good bourbon presence in the finish which leaves a significant burn going down. There is a good dry oak and vanilla presence from the barrel.

Medium bodied with good carbonation for the style.

This is a very tasty barleywine with tons of dark fruits and lots booze in the taste. Not the best I've ever had, but a very good beer.

Photo of farrago
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Two fingers settle into a dense one finger head, dark cream to brown in hue, mostly tightly woven tiny bubbles except for a larger swell in the center, plenty of sticky lacing, almost messy. Complete murkiness in the brick red to brown color, like water from a rusty pipe. Thick, treacly nose that slugs its way forward inch by inch, rum raisin, fruitcake, banana bread, black licorice, brown sugar, maple syrup, you name it, it's sweet, whiskey oak barrels, apricot to green grape scents, compression makes it semi-difficult to parse out individual elements. Full-bodied, heaves itself into the mouth like a cannonball leap into a pool, no alcohol burn but you know it's potent with each sip. Feels like three sumo wrestlers in a coma reclining on your tongue, it can move, but fleetingly and with effort. The brown sugar, molasses, banana bread, licorice, whiskey, crème brûlée and tiramisu flavors slathered on you. Much to its credit the carbonation is able to at times offer safe haven. While the malts definitely in charge the hops do slip in some corn, field grass, mandarin orange and pine. The pineapple, apricot, fig, date fruit never too sweet, erect enough posture to form a bridge to non-sugar based components.

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.

Photo of phantomwyse
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy, but vivid, muddy orange body with a vivacious better than two-finger tan head. Lively carbonation. It would take a geologist to fully appreciate the layers of lacing produced by this beer

S: Matured alcohol up front, like an aged Scotch. Dark fruit with plum, fig, grape, maybe some berry leading the charge. Solid ubiquitous malts.

T: Dark and fruity, with the same fruits as above, but with powdered cocoa all over them. Soft, but noticeable, alcohol -- blackberry brandy, perhaps some sherry. Pulled taffy and some hints at bubblegum Solid malt foundation supporting the heavy fruit and alcohol burden, light caramel, warm milk.

M: Medium to full bodied with a moderate creaminess.

D: Given the abv, it will sneak up on you. Despite the delightful taste, this pretty girl will take you for a wild ride.

Photo of ffejherb
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Memphis Tap Room on 3/7/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Poured a caramely copper-colored body with modest carbonation and very little head that quickly disappeared and left no lacing.

S - Very subdued nose for a bourbon barrel-aged beer, especially a barleywine. Sweet caramel malt with borubon and vanilla notes emerging as it warmed up. Some bubblegum notes reminiscent of Hubba Bubba also appeared, along with a slight waft of alcohol.

T - The sweetness of the malt and vanilla flavor creates an underlying bublegum sweetness. Hops are surprisingly scant, as is the bourbon presence. There are some oak/woody notes with a touch of vanilla that emerge in the finish.

M - Medium body with a thick, syrupy mouthfeel. While it is certainly sweet, the bourbon presence appeases any cloying aspect this would have had. Finish is bittersweet.

D - This wasn't as insane as I had anticipated. Instead, this was a very sweet barleywine with a subtle bourbon presence. I will say that it was quite drinkable for a high ABV barleywine, although one was certainly enough for me in a sitting.

Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours copper brown and hazy into a tulip with a uniform bubble of medium to small sized head about 2 fingers that fades back in due time leaving a nice continuous foamy lacing.

I smell licorice, banana bread and earth. Very root, dirt smell. Intriguing. Second smell, I get a fruit like cherry or a berry.

Tastes of banana bread and brown sugar with a little of the oak wood. Yowza! This is good. Alcohol burn as an afterthought only helps my impression.

Mouthfeel could not be improved. Creamy, smooth and easy with just a minor bite at the end to remind you that this is not a milk. Outstanding.

Drinkability - yes. More please.

I will buy this again whenever I see it and also look into more of this style.

Photo of treyrab
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks go Numbeercruncher for recommending this. I have heard much about this brew and have been anxiuously awaiting its release, so I cracked one to start my spring break. Grabbed one tonight, but I will be going back for more. Poured into my snifter...

A: Pours a thick, murky copper that is surpringly clear. A very thin skim of bone colored head appears while subtle carbonation maintains a thin head.

S: The smell is surprisingly lacking in complexity. Smell is slight oak, very light caramel and slight bourbon. The smell is nothing to get excited over as it smells very light.

T: Gladly this beer tastes incredible...way better than the scent. The beer starts with a great oaky bourbon. The bourbon is the perfect amount and is not overly done. After the bourbon notes come a nice dry oak and sweet caramel. Some slight vanilla also shows. A great aspect of this beer is the fruitiness. Some great mix of light and dark fruits blend well with the bourbon.

M: A tad light for my liking for such a big brew, but not bad.

D: For an 11.1ABV, this is incredibly drinkable. I think the thinner mouthfeel yields this, but I can definitely drink 2 or 3 of these in a sitting. I will be saving a bunch to age.

Photo of nick76
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is very fruity with tropical fruit, bourbon, caramel, vanilla, wood, and malt. The appearance is deep amber with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma and very complex. The palate is a tad thin but still smooth. Overall it's fantastic but very unusual. One of my favorite beers.

Photo of katiebecck
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, beautiful hazy medium brown color, with some lacing - has an almost syrupy look to it.

S - Really impressive aroma, oak and alcohol, also fruity and caramel-like notes.

T - similar to smell, with fruity, caramel tones, maybe raisin-y. Very pronounced oak/bourbon flavor, and some toasty bread in there too.

M - Creamy, with light carbonation

D - The most drinkable barleywine I've tried, despite the high ABV. Would normally stick with one pint of a barleywine, but I could easily go for two of this one.

Photo of bonkers
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a dark, clear caramel color with a decent white head and a bit of lacing. The aroma is heavy on booze. The flavor is more complex however. There are hints of wood, caramel, dried fruit and alcohol, the finish is alcohol. The brew is medium bodied and it is a sipper. The 11% abv is not in your face and it is a good beer. I did enjoy this slightly more than blithering idiot.

Edit: with 2 years on it the beer is amazing. Much fuller in body, more prominant bourbon. Just great

Photo of FleeVT
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown bomber into a pint glass.

A: Fairly clear burnt amber with a sprite off white head. Excellent lacing. The carbonation is generated solely with the poor as there is little to no action later.

S: Very subdued nose. Sweet malts with subtle hints of banana, breads, and a dab of alcohol in the form of bourbon (from the bourbon wood aging).

T/M: This is silky smooth when it hits your tongue then tingle with carbonation as it passes over the palate. Exceptional body. I pick up the banana and brown sugar on the front, bananas foster perhaps. Fantastic and smooth, and then you swallow. The alcohol peppers your palate and dries the back of your throat as it warms it's way down your chest.

D: A sipper for sure and a damn good one. I really like the offerings from Weyerbacher and this is exemplary of the style.

Photo of Lothore
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a clear reddish hue with a two finger head that dissapates rather quickly.

S- Very syrupy, sweet and malty, caramel, perhaps a hint of vanilla?

T- Caramely, smooth, dark fruits, raisin, sweet, a bit resiny, back end is a little muted.

M- Medium viscosity, a little low on the carbonation.

D- This is a very drinkable beer, i'd definitely have another but it's not as full bodied as id like it to be for an 11 percent barleywine (but this particular bottle has been aging about a year so that could have something to do with it.)

Photo of meatyard
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, muddy ruby color with a short, noisy head.

Smells very nicely of the bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits.

The taste is similar to the smell but not as pronounced. Certainly there is the dark fruit and the bourbon alcohol taste (and aroma) lingers and lingers in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and carbonation continued throughout the glass.

Drinkability is worth going slow on this one. I might like 2 in a row but that could be more than I would appreciate with the high ABV.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ive been waiting a while to open this little beauty.I think to myself as i crack open the bottle... tonight my little friend is not your lucky night.

pours a opaque copper brown into my glass. a nice one finger head is produced and then fades. moderate amount of lacing. and a nice little collection of sediment down bottom.

smell is nice sweet bready malt. small hop presence. mostly a nice vanilla bourbon scent.

taste is luxurious. smooth oaky tones. a nice creamy sweetness. oak, vanilla, bread, some dark fruit. and a slight burn of alcohol at the back.

mouth is creamy. thick. full. rich. like i said some burn.

very drinkable. i love me some barley wines and would love to lay a bottle of this down for a year to see what else comes out to play. so i guess im on the market for it again. ISO INSANITY

Photo of nasty15108
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt 6oz bomber into a snifter.

A - Poured a brownish/red color with a head of tan foam. Good lacing and decent head retention.

S - Aroma of vanilla, dark fruit, alcohol(Burbon)and wood.

T - Malty with a slight sweetness up front. Flavors of vanilla, caramel and dark fruit were predominant. Lot of heat from the alcohol throughout. Finishes off slightly dry. Great flavor.

MF&D - Med/Thick mouthfeel. Coated the mouth well. A sipper, but highly drinkable for 11.1% ABV. Highly recommended.

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thought I'd crack this open with the temps not reaching more than +3F and the low tonight about -10F. Windchills are -20-35F. Perfect for this beer!

A: surprisingly hazy, light copper color
S: definite barrel-aged notes
T: very, very good - sweetness was there for English-style BW and bourbon was amazing
M: not cloying, very drinkable
D: I'd definitely order another...

Photo of ncbeermonger
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

hello great beer!

This english styled barley wine pours a little hazey

The smell is a little overpowering I caught some caramel in there though!

It tastes like a barleywine should taste, a little over powering but still great!

the mouthfeel is a little odd almost slimey

This is a very drinkable barleywine!

Photo of macster
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bourbon barrrel aged 22 oz. bomber. Pours a hazy dark amber-orange with a fairly thin head which maintains as a fine film throughout the glass. No lacing noted. Assertive, luscious aromas of dark fruits, bourbon, charred wood and vanilla bean all somewhat amplified by the alcohol. Mouthfeel was a bit lighter than anticipated for such a big brew. Complex and delicious flavors of dark crystal malts, plum, dates, bourbon, wood and vanilla start things out on the sweeter side, but a mild woody/hoppy bitterness with a degree of warmth form the alcohol finishes this off nicely.

Photo of kevd193213
3.18/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber, poured into a flute. Cloudy amber pour with a medium tan colored head. Aroma of brown sugar, hops and alcohol. Nice lacing around the glass, this is a thick beer which you can almost chew. Taste of piney hops with some pepper present. Dominating flavor is apple cider with a tart full finish.

Photo of midaszero
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ran into a random bottle at Rustico in Viriginia

A - Cloudy amber with a small off white head and awesome lacing

S - Lots of malt. Oak and bourbon smells as well

T - Lots of oak vanilla and caramel

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

D - AWESOME. Totally drinkable and extremely enjoyable. A tad bit smoother and it would be pretty much perfect.

Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,002 ratings.