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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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2,010 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,010
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 192
Gots: 377 | FT: 17
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: 2,010 | Reviews: 855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meatyard
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
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
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
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
4.32/5  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
4.34/5  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
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
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
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
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
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
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 +7.7%
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.

Photo of westweasel
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a cloudy roan (it's a color someone told me about) with a thin beige head. Floaties seen throughout the glass - appears to be yeast sediment.

The aroma was alcohol - front & center. Hints of caramel and bready malt are also around but take some work to pick up.

The taste was caramel and nuts. It also had a tartness and "cherry-like" character to it, probably from the oak aging. The mouthfeel is pretty full.

This is one very drinkable and enjoyable barleywine. It's definitely a sipper and it's tasty.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured the color of cloudy pumpkin brown from a 22 oz. bottle. I poured it cautiously, so no major head developed with

The malty nose smells almost of a Scotch ale mixed with floral notes. Upon first sip, I was blown away by its originality of flavor and overall texture.

The mouthfeel is substantial, though not overpowering, and the taste comes off malty on the tongue, but swallows smooth with the overarching taste of alcohol and burnt vanilla.

In this bottle I taste the feeling of a warm fireplace inside as the cold crisp winds whip at the windows.

Photo of Pencible
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy mahogany with light tan head. It smelled fairly complex, like vanilla oak, roasted honey wheat, dark caramel, prunes and alcohol. It tasted like brown sugar and dark caramel with aged vanilla oak, fresh plumb, prominent alcohol, and a hint of pineapple. It was somewhat thick with no carbonation, and had a lasting bittersweet aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was a big beer with big flavor and body, and big alcohol. It was fairly tasty, but lacked subtlety. There was no year on the bottle, so I'm not sure if this was fresh, but I think a couple years of age could really help mellow this beer out. Otherwise, it was generally a clean and interesting drink, certainly enjoyable to sip.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a goblet.

L - murky brown/red color with a good sized tan head, carbonation bubbles were pretty constant throughout the entire drinking session.

S - bourbon/alcohol aroma is most of what I'm getting from this one.

T - bourbon flavor hits upfront and then there is a nice sweetness of malt before the warming brings back the bourbon taste.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

D - it's a pretty good slow sipper.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review number 350!

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into oversized snifter. I let it warm up to slightly under room temperature for maximum flavor.

A - Orangish brown, nearly opaque. Quarter inch of light brown, almost peach-colored head rises and has some surprisingly good retention for the ABV, with some equally impressive lacing.

S - Huge vanilla character jumps out at first, with something citrus, like tangerine, backing this aroma. Sweet and slightly sour smelling berries pull through, like a combination of blackberries, blueberries, and black cherries. Earthy and woody aromas pull through faintly in the back, followed by a whiff of hot alcohol.

T - Unfortunately, I'm having the same problems here that I had with Blithering Idiot. All of the wonderful vanilla and fruit from the nose are very fleeting in the taste. After this quick burst of fruity and quite indistinct flavor, the oaked character takes hold briefly with an ample bitterness erasing any vestige of decadent sweetness. In the finish and aftertaste, things get quite ugly with the ill-hidden alcohol. Bitter, hot, and nearly overpowering alcohol takes over and leaves nothing on the palate.

M - Medium to full bodied, certainly too thin for my liking. The carbonation is also a little high. Both of these contribute to the overwhelming alcohol and lack of sweet character. Again, problems that Blithering Idiot had.

D - I wanted to like this beer, and while it's certainly not bad it misses the mark in a lot of ways. The alcohol makes this quite the chore.

Photo of Reino
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for the bottle Paul!

Appearance- Deep, vibrant red when closer to light and orange-brown when kept away from it. This beer looks dense like syrup. There was around a fingers worth of yellow tinted white head, that ran off pretty quickly without leaving much in terms of lacing. The nice color of the beer keeps this score from dipping too low.

Smell- This is by far the highlight of this beer for me. I sat and smelled this beer for 10-15 minutes before taking a sip because I kept getting different aromas in every whiff I took. The first smells I picked up were sweet, juicy malts with an undertone of pecan pie and pie crust. There is definitely some booze in the nose, and it quickly started to mix and mingle with all sorts of different fruit smells giving it the smell of a sweet liqueur like Triple Sec, or maybe even a raspberry vodka. For a few seconds I thought I smelled rhubarb pie, even though I haven't had that type of pie in 10 or more years. This beer's smell is taking me weird places. I also get some vanilla notes and I think even some sour/tartness. I think the best way I can put it is that it smells like a boozy pie filling/topping, and the type of pie changes every time you smell it. Awesome.

Taste- The taste sticks with the liqueur theme to an extent, but brings in some different flavors than the nose suggested. I initially get figs and golden raisins surrounded by heat. Insanity sticks with the fig/raisin family of fruits flavor for awhile, but as it gets really warm, I start to taste pomegranate juice concentrate, caramel syrup, and some citrus fruit, orange I think, that lingers on the finish along with the alcohol. This beer is really sweet, and really hot, but Weyerbacher melded them quite well. A little more or less of either and this beer would be shit. There is a lot more going on in this beer than I can describe, or would want to try to describe after the first glass is finished. The abv makes notes seem a bit of a pain once the bottle is half gone.

Mouthfeel- This beer has high carbonation for the style, but I am sensitive to the sweetness of English Barleywines and think I would have found this beer to be like overly sweet, syrupy liquor in my mouth if not for the extra bubbles. If you like the feeling of heat surrounding your tongue (I do), then you will enjoy how this beer feels. Alcohol heat really hammers the sides of your tongue while the carbonation tingles the top.

Drinkability- As a man who has a love/hate relationship with English BW's, I was able to drink the entire 22 ounces without getting sick of the sweetness or heat. This is a great beer for cool evenings to have alone, or with friends, after dinner.

Photo of beveritt
3.47/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured form a 22 oz brown bomber into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours with very little head, just a ring around the glass of off-white foam. The beer itself is the color of tarnished copper with a not insubstantial chill haze. Last glass of the bomber has a lot of sediment with just a little remaining in the bottle.

Smell: Dominant aromas are byproducts of barrel aging. Vanilla, cherry and other oak accompaniments abound. Slight alcohol sweetness.

Taste: Decent carbonation bite upfront. Flavors of vanilla and cherry mix with a fairly sweet malt base to deliver what could be described as an after dinner cordial.

Mouthfeel: Higher than average carbonation level. Body is average.

Drinkability: Interesting, but the dominant flavors of the barrel seem to overwhelm the basic beer.

Photo of kmeves
3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a semi cloudy copper with a medium beige head that remains for half the session. Aroma is medium sweet vanilla, alcohol, caramel, oak and light plum. Flavor is vanilla, alcohol, caramel, oak and some cherry. Creamy Full body, creamy texture. Long oakey sweet finish.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

22-ounce bomber bottle poured into a small tulip glass yields a hazy deep orange copper body with a finger of creamy ecru foam atop. The head reduces to a fine-bubbled collar and leaves a few freckles of lacing on the glass.

The smell is darkly fruity and brown sugar-malty, with a woody sweetness I assume is a remnant of the oak barrel aging. The aroma is fruitier and boozier as the drink warms a bit, but not obnoxiously so.

The taste is big and malty with a savory buttered-biscuity note and plenty of sticky vanilla caramel. The malty character manifests itself in varying degrees of savory, sweet, and dry flavors, with sweet and syrupy notes leading the parade, for sure, but doing so without dominating the supporting cast of gastronomic characters. As the drink warms, essences of hearty brown nut bread with sourwood honey, or perhaps Bisquick pancakes with raisins and unsweetened molasses collide with quite a bit of alcohol disguised as orange-infused vanilla extract that cleanses the palate and gently warms the drinker. A dry and earthy malty syrupiness wins my vote for the backbone of this multifaceted drink.

Weyerbacher's Insanity is a full-bodied and silky sipper with a potent ABV % that presents itself with a surprising degree of gentility. It's a very big brew that is quite pleasant to sip at on a cool, rainy day when the work is all done, but no session brew, for sure!

Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured half a bomber into a tulip glass. An interesting deep amber color, with a tan head that fades from two finger to a thin film over the course of a couple minutes. Minimal lacing. The beer is clear when held to the light, beautiful amber color, but at first glance appears to be murky...

Aroma is sweet with malt, and some spicy hops, with some alcohol to wake up the nasal passages. Ripe granny smith apples and spice. Taste is similar, the spice coming through strong, but backed by sweet malt/ripe pears, and a down-home earthy hop profile. There is some vanilla and bourbon notes but not overwhelming. Complex and interesting. A big alcohol warmth tops it all off.

Big bodied,and highly sip-able. I will enjoy this one for a while.

Photo of russpowell
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to melbatoast93, thanks Hart!

Pours caramel/orange with 1 finger of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Oakyness, vanilla & bourbon

T: Dryness, some booze, raisins, plums & vanilla up front. toffee, booze soaked figs, caramel, pecans & dryness as this warms. Finishes with pecan, oak & dryness

MF: Chewy with low carbonation with a touch of ghost booze, super balance

Drinks a bit slow, due to the ABV & style; damn fine English Barley Wine!

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.89/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was all over the place for me, but I loved it.

A golden caramel color with a thin white head set it up nice. The smell was crazy. It basically burned my nostrils, I was actually somewhat turned off by the smell, comparable to rubbing alcohol. The first sip was so strong, the alcohol punched me in the mouth. The hoppy bite was there and it was everything I didn't want but I gave it another shot. Every drink after that got better and better. The hops smoothed out but you still got the spiced flavor, the malts left a caramel taste and texture. But my favorite part was the oak, woody taste. The aftertaste was great and left me wanting more.

The beer bottle I drank from had been aged a year so that might of had some effect on the taste.


Photo of Redwood21
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark wood stain oaky, with a thin tan head on top that rings the glass

S: vanilla and oak, the smell seams pleasant but portends a disturbingly unbalanced beer!

T: ok ill have to thrw out a caveat, if you crave oak bombs or melted vanilla ice cream in your beer, than you might cream your pants for this brew. for me it is way too overwhelmed by the vanilla flavor that comes from the oak aging. its not bad, its just way too overpowered.

M/D: very creamy but the taste kills the taste and oh well

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From DIM way back in February and enjoyed tonight as my ongoing cellar clearing project... enjoyed immensely from my Kasteel tulip.

1" head atop a murky burnished copper brew.. nice collar.

Aroma is very rich malts.. quite a bit of caramel and I swear I am getting wood notes, but it may be my imagination... fruitiness and boozy.. but boozy in a good way.

Wow! Flavor is the aroma tenfold... caramel and malts with more than enough wood... vanilla .. and more caramel... not getting much in the way of hops except a little spiciness that could just be the alcohol... body is nice an thick.. Waaay more complex than my feeble palate can put together right now... but I must say, I am hugely impressed.

Dan is an outstanding trader.. one of my favorites for sure.. I love this brew and must order a bunch more or break down and trade for a bunch.

Photo of maximum12
3.61/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to genog for sending this one my way in an early spring trade.

Insanity is amber with a flotilla of suspended gunk floating in the beer; literally, it neither falls or rises until I move it. Bizarre. Flat, with a smell or sweet fruit & booze.

Smell is nose-hair scorching alcohol, whiskey, with a backup of sweet sweet nothing, like candy gone to the dark side. The alcohol & whiskey is just a touch overwhelming, making anything else that might be coming out. I believe this beer would be better in 2009 - 2010.

Beer is fairly flat, but seriously warming. I've been working on the glass for about 45 minutes & I think it'll be an hour before I put it down, the definition of a sipper.

Photo of fitzy84
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, Weyerbacher continues to impress me. Dark, reddish-amber color in appearance with patchy lacing on the head and side. Aromas are intense and thick: alcohol, malts, hops, cream, vanilla, woody, slight dark fruit. Taste is really rich in vanilla, syrup, caramel, toffee, and predominant alcohol. Mouthfeel gives the drink a creamy, heavy feeling with a slight, carbonated crispness to the aftertaste. Overall, very powerful but if you are a drinking a barleywine anyway, you should be expecting this strength. Very, very good.

Photo of Tilley4
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice barleywine here.... Can't remember who sent me this but I know I got it in a trade somewhere...

This pours a very murky brown with a small head...very opaque...

Very boozy malty aroma...the oak is prevalent and sort of gives this a whiskey-type smell... There's some dark fruit in this as well but the most prevalent aroma is that of booze...

This tastes just as boozy as it smells... This is quite hot. The malts are there but this one is just too young right now. If the booze was toned down on this a little, it would be excellent..

This ones a sipper, for sure... This puppy picked up a little too much whiskey flavor if you ask me. I love whiskey but this is just too unbalanced..

Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,010 ratings.