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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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2,061 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,061
Reviews: 867
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 195
Gots: 417 | FT: 20
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: 2,061 | Reviews: 867 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber picked up at Belo Vino in Ann Arbor 05/06. Nothing like a bomber of an 11% ABV beer to nurse all night. Pours a clear orange-ish copper with nice half inch tan head. The aroma seems like sticking my head into a recently emptied oak whiskey barrel. I get whiskey, oak, grain alcohol, maple leafs and just a hint of dark fruit like raisins, figs and grapes. The taste starts sweet with some light dark fruitiness from dark grapes, raisins and maybe some plums. Then the oak and whiskey flavors take over and carry the experience into the finish. There are brief moments of sweet dark fruitiness and even some faint caramel. At the finish is a noticeable warming that borders on hotness. Not the type of brew I crave 22oz of. But it was an interesting experience.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22-oz bottle poured into tulips. Thanks to thechrislife for this bottle.

A = Maple with a reddish tint, fairly clear, slight haze, small bone white head with great retention, eventually settling into a light layer of foam.

S = Strong smalls of oak,vanilla, even some coconut, maple syrup.

T = Oak and vanilla are strong as in the smell, those lie on top of a base maple syrup taste, quite a bit of spice is present, too.

M = Medium-heavy body, good mouthcoating, carbonation and alcohol sting a bit at first but by mid tongue a smoother feel has set in, though the alcohol warmth remains throughout.

D = Though tasty, this is really a sipper and the oak may even be just a tad much for it in the drinkability department.

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

Josh was shocked enough to hear that I'd never had this beer, so he gave me a bottle at the Graduation tasting. Now that it's a pleasant 60 degrees outside, I'm very receptive to the idea of a 11% barleywine.

A: What a gorgeous pour! Hazy amber with a dense, off-white head that hangs around a long time, leaving delicate lace and foam on the sides of my snifter.

S: In many ways, it reminds me of Tyranena's Spank Me Baby. Big, rich and malty with some fruitiness, this is solid. Caramel, candy, toffee and a definite cherry-like character. Oak is present with vanilla and tannins, lending another layer to this fine beer. Woody, with a mild sandalwood-like character. While the negative effects of oxidation are beginning to show, with a little cardboard-like aroma, this is still pretty awesome.

T: Opens up with a combination of a rich sugary sweetness with a little toffee, nougat and a malt character that reminds me of a young barleywine. I'd love to see what 8-10 years does to this beer. The mid palate has some vanilla, and the tannins appear on the finish, keeping the sweetness in check.

M: Big and boozy with medium-low carbonation, soft and luscious on the palate. I'm digging the alcohol bite on this beer, it's appropriate with something this big

D: It's a sipper, something that hides its alcohol incredibly well. Well done, Dan!

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

Picked up this little buety in Hudson a few days ago.

Poured from a bomber into an oversized snifter, produceing just over an inch of frothy off white head. Receding to a solid cap. Appearance on this is pretty awsome, its definatly not filtered, showing a murky not at all see through brown, with some red glowing when held to light.

Aroma of toasted oak, juicy dark fruit and fermented berries mixing with some mild alcohol notes. Caramel doused rolls and sweet bready grains. Just a hint of nuts.

Mouthfeel is creamier then expected with a full body and subdued carbonation.
Taste is filled with sweet caramel rolls, fruity esters, very mild alcahol warming into the swallow, picking up toasted wood at this point too. Lingering with a touch of warmth, fermented fruit, drying out now and a slight hop bittering of pine.

This is amazingly drinkable. So much flavor here, enjoyable mouthfeel. Age would do troumendous things to this brew. Highly recommend.

Photo of TheDoorman
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany and releases a potent alcohol-present vanilla aroma, followed by a matching taste. Oaky, Scotchy. Sweet, sugary, molasses notes with a creamy, syrupy effervescent body. Finishes sticky and dry with alcohol noticeable throughout. Warmth. Well suited for pre or post meal drinking. Too powerful to match with food.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice clear mahogany with a thick but not persistent pale tan head. Aroma is more like a brandy than a beer, fruity with a strong alcohol overtone. Flavor is brandy-ish, strongly fruity with a hint of caramel and a strong alcohol bite. Texture is silky-smooth and very edgy - it practically burns on the way down, like hard liquor.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from the cellar - 2007 vintage. Poured into my basic snifter glass. Insanity appears a clear deep golden amber-brown color with a good two inches of light ecru foam. Nose and taste consists of toasted coconut, vanilla, oak, bourbon, rich caramel malts, brown sugar and molasses. Still a hint of alcohol coming through. Malty, sweet and quite complex. Time has been kind to this one.

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

From a 22 oz bomber, no freshness date noted. Into a wine goblet, clear chestnut brown color with no visible carbonation. A thin crown of brownish foam caps the body with little lace or retention. Nose is very sweet with buttery notes and a definite presence of alcohol. On the palate it is sugary-sweet and heavy with malt, indeed perhaps too sweet. Very little hops presence, rather in keeping with the English barleywine style. Some alcohol burn reminds you what you are drinking, but overall the 11% abv is well masked. Mouth is middle-viscous yet retains a bit of crispness; it's smooth and bubbly despite the still appearance in the pour. Drinkability is good; if anything this 11% beast is deceptively easygoing with a wonderful mouthfeel and understated flavor. Quite enjoyable.

Overall: A bit oversweet for my taste but representative of style. Cellaring would probably be beneficial. This is definitely a one-time try for me; while good, there are more interesting barleywines out there.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ive had this beer a lot but never reviewed it. This is a cellar temp 12 oz bottle of about 3.5 years in the cellar. Pouring into a snifter the beer pours a deep chestnut hue with many yeast chunkies suspended. oThin wispy amount of cream colored head foams up and recedes to a very faint edge layer. Aroma is deep caramel malt, dark fruits(plums and raisin), some bourbon and still a little fusol alcohol warmth. Hints of brown sugar and toffee mix in on the second sniff.
First sip reveals a velvety smooth body and fine yet still tingly carbonation. The brew leaves a sticky residue on my lips and coats my palate on each swallow. Fairly thick chewy body, not a lunchtime brew, this one says night time only on each sip.
The flavor is all malt with toffee, brown sugar, sweet caramel malt, very sticky, maybe molasses in there too,no hops and not any oak to detect, the alcohol is faint and not nearly as warm as the nose advertised. This is a great beer! I must get more, let some sit you wont be disappointed!!

Photo of jdg204
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of my first mixed 6 pack from Abe's Cold Beer in Bethlehem (though not the last, I've already secured the second!). Been looking to try this brew for quite some time, ever since my local Weyerbacher became one of my fav micro brewers.

A: Hazy chestnut color with a decent head that drops quickly with little lace.

S: Bourbon aroma is quickly on the nose with a ton of vanilla and oak.

T: The bourbon flavor of vanilla and oak quickly show up follwed by a nice undertone of dark fruits and caramel with a hint of hops to finish out.

M: Thick full body with moderate carbonation.

D: Another quality brew from Weyerbacher, though not one of my favorties. Even amongst their bourbon barrel offerings, I perfer Blasphemy quite a bit more. Still, this is a unique Barleywine and one I'm glad I finally got the chance to try. Clearly a must try for any bourbon lover, but also a solid choice for brew dinkers looking for something unique.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a large bottle.

Pours a hazy apple butter red. Very cloudy, almost no light penetrates.

Smells sweet like apples and very malty.

Tastes stronnng! Sweet esters and malts. Alcohol is clear in the aftertaste but pleasant. Finishes with a citrus zing.

The mouthfeel is thick and smooth. Not too bubbly but not as flat as other barleywines I've had.

My favorite barleywine that I've had so far. Seems like it'll knock the socks off of me by the time I finish the bottle. The name is appropriate.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of mothman
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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!

Photo of adamette
4.16/5  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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of Deus1138
4.38/5  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!

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.76/5  rDev -57.6%
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...

Photo of joerodiii
3.97/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of LauraAlberts
4/5  rDev -3.6%
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!

Photo of chaz410
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of ZAP
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
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..

Photo of rye726
4.33/5  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.

Photo of matty
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of Mdog
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,061 ratings.