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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,816 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,816
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.51%
Wants: 173
Gots: 325 | FT: 14
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: 1,816 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Boto


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Bottle: This beer pours a dar, caramel color. Kind of like a thick coke with no bubbles. There was a limited amount of carbonation. There was a very small head that died off rather quickly. The nose was very nice. There are notes of bourban, oak and floral to go along with a rich malt sweetness. The taste is very rich: almost sherry-like. A well balanced caramel malt sweetness, with some hints of the bourbon. There are also notes of some chocolate in the taste also. Malty, smooth, and the alcohol is well hidden. This is really nice!

Thanks to my son for sharing this one with me!

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2004 20:55:48 | More by Boto
Photo of Wildman


4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This latest edition of their specialty line poured a very dark clear copper amber color and formed a foamy off white head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma heavy of elements of malt, caramel, and red wine. The flavor consisted of malt, caramel, wood and red wine. The body was medium with the finish being slightly astrigent with vinous characteristics. The overall combination of characteristics of this beer really made it stand out. Drinkabilty of barley wines/old ales like this is always tough to measure.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 07:04:39 | More by Wildman
Photo of maltydog


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

One of my favorites in 2004. I have always enjoyed Weyerbacher's "Big Beer" sampler case. They have elevated the Blithering Idiot barleywine to new heights by cask aging it in bourbon barrels. The appearance is dark amber with garnet hightlights. Head is opaque and shows nice traces of lace as the beer is enjoyed. The nose exhibits traces of vanilla with strong hints of bourbon. The flavor develops as the ale warms. Starts out with luscious vanilla and woody notes with stronger hints of bourbon the longer you enjoy it. This is a serious beer that is seriously delicious. I highly recommend it!!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2004 05:00:05 | More by maltydog
Photo of soulfly967


4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a great dark reddish amber with an off white head that fell to a film after a few minutes and left some lacing, but not much. The smell was of oak, burbon, and a beautiful fruity sweetness, the alcohol is masked nicely. The taste started off fruity and caramel sweetness , then moved into a vanilla and whiskey flavor, and finished with a smooth touch of alcohol and oak. Acutally, there was a touch of oak across the entire taste experience. The mouthfeel was smooth as slik, perfectly carbonated and had excellent body. WOW! This is one bad ass beer! I will be looking for this again REALLY soon!

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 03:59:28 | More by soulfly967
Photo of meathookjones


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

This review was from a 22oz bottle. This poured out a deep reddish brown with about an inch of tan foam on top. The head sticks around for an unusually long time and leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma is of ripe dark fruits with a malty sweetness. Notes of vanilla, woodiness and alcohol are also in the mix. Quite a full and complex aroma that might take me a few bottles to figure out. Taste starts off with sweet fruits and a touch of caramel. There are some notes of vanilla and bourbon characteristics as well. Quite a mix of flavors going on here and every thing seems to balance each other out quite nicely. There is also some toasty malt in there as well and it ends with a light alcohol burn. Simply awesome. Mouthfeel is full, thick and creamy with a slight warmth to it. Excellent drinkability here, I could drink this all night or as long as I could stay awake. I am very impressed by this offering and plan to pick more of this up to keep around for the cold months ahead.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 15:01:20 | More by meathookjones
Photo of DunkelFester


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

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle. No bottled on or freshness date, but this is almost a non-issue for a beer this big, particularly one so new.

Appearance: Deep garnet w/ warm ruby highlights when backlit. Tiny bubbles rising slowly; hinting at a slightly viscous brew. I poured this a bit on the hard side into a large snifter, yielding more than an inch of dense mousse-like head. Excellent retention. From the top, it looked like pancake batter (you know, the way the smaller bubbles merge and give rise to larger ones that linger at the surface?). Superb. It didn't budge until I took my first sip. After that, the head settled to a creamy 1/4". Nice lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Huge vanilla and bourbon. Oak all over the place. I don't know how some reviewers missed this. I don't mean to imply that it's overpowering, but it's certainly right there in front of you. The alcohol is there too, but it's more something you 'feel' on a deep inhale than something you can 'smell' outright. Extremely pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, ever-so-slightly viscous. Slides down beautifully. Surprising for a beer with >11% abv. Carbonation is moderate, but seems just right.

Taste: Whiskey, vanilla and slightly sweet malt. Sweetness is greatly reduced over last year's Blithering Idiot. The oak barrell aging seems to have worked wonders in converting BI to Insanity: imparting big whiskey & oak characteristics while mellowing the alcohol bite and sweetness just enough.

Notes: Put simply, this is a huge brew. A truly great beer, to say the least. Warming effects are instantaneous, and the flavor is complex yet instantly satisfying. I was a big fan of Blithering Idiot, but Insanity takes it to another level altogether. My distributor gave me this bottle for free (gotta love a good relationship with one's local beer store!!). I can't wait to pick up some more. I just know that there's more flavors to explore in this one.

Fireside philosophers take note: Grab this one if/while you can! Winter just got a whole lot warmer.


Serving type: bottle

12-16-2004 01:20:08 | More by DunkelFester
Photo of 99bottles


4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Into a tulip glass, this beer exhibits an immense and deep ruby color, near mahogany. A clumpy head of off white rises to an inch and quickly falls to a sporadic cover on the surface.

Smell: Sweet malt and lots of it. This smells like corn syrup. I wish I could elaborate on the smell, but there isn't much to it. I'm surprised at the lack of oak, considering the barrel aging and all. You might twist my arm to say I detect some alcohol and some ripe fruit scents like that of figs. But in all honesty, I mostly detect corn sugar and tons of it, much like Heavyweight's Old Salty.

Taste: Huh. I'll dissect this. First of all: Great job on the the oak barrel aging. This is exquiste. But to affront such accolade, I must say that the beer being aged (Blithering Idiot) is so weak that the oak is the most dominant flavor in there. Actually, screw it. This has an awesome flavor. It tastes like an old barrel. It tastes like whiskey and water, but with that great malted body of a beer. This continues to impress as slight subtle flavors rise from under the oak. Light cherry, some faint liquer taste, vanilla and maple syrup. They've paired a great style of aging with a beer that wasn't overwhelming in complexity. Thus, the effects don't mix into a mess, they settle in line and present themselves neatly. This is an ass-kicking oak ale. They call it a Barleywine? It's unlike many others I've had. Oak Ale? A New category? Now that is a better classification. This is very good. Tough luck for most because I know this is limited in its availability. The best beer I've ever had from Weyerbacher, hands down.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: Decent. The strong oak character makes it difficult to drink unihibited, but the allure of the flavor itself makes it difficult to resist. I'm a huge fan of whatever they did to transform a simple Blithering Idiot into this demented robot genius from hell. It's that good.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 16:07:46 | More by 99bottles
Photo of Starchild

New York

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured Insanity vigorously into a large Rapscallion snifter. The head slowly settled into a quarter inch of foam with lacing. The beer was a deep ruby color. No one scent dominates the nose, but malt, oak, and some hops cover any scent of alcohol.

The first sip reveals a very complex beer and I let it sit on my tongue. First, there’s vanilla, malt, and hops. Then, it’s chewy, oaken, with some alcohol providing a little kick. The alcohol/oak/spice create a bourbon flavor comparable to Wild Turkey, but with the ripe sweetness.

I enjoyed Insanity with Crater Lakes Blue cheese from the Rogue Creamery on water table crackers. This cheese/beer pairing was fucking amazing. Try it and send me a beermail about how good it was.

Weyerbacher defines Insanity as extremely foolishness (an extreme oak aged Blithering Idiot, who is also foolish), but they don’t achieve their goal because anyone buying this product is rewarded. Honestly, it’s worth the life of a blithering idiot.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 01:02:13 | More by Starchild
Photo of Suds


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

This one was poured from 22 ounce bottle with a laughingly insane idiot, silhouetted in red. The color is a deep, dark ruby, with a respectable off-white head (especially considering the ABV). It’s aroma is complex and satisfying: thick malt, wood, alcohol, caramel, raisins, and spice. The smell isn’t quite as intense as some barleywines, but it’s certainly multi-dimensional. The taste is simply extraordinary. “Fullness of flavor” is an understatement…you’re almost consumed by the taste. Malt, alcohol, whiskey and wood, touch of yeast, dab of hops, over-ripe fruit, molasses, and on and on. Superb flavor with an alcohol bite. Thick, full, heavy body. Unbelievably drinkable…creamy, warming. I need another one of these!

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 19:35:52 | More by Suds
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle was a nice portion for this belly warming brew. Pours a amber bronze color with a 2" creamy head. Thick lacing develops. The aroma is very pleasant oak, malt and alcohol. The flavor is of thick maltiness, oak, plum, raisins, bourbon, and alcohol. A little bitterness adds to the "insanity" of the flavor.

The mouthfeel starts smooth and ends with a light crisp finish. The alcohol and oak laden malt rides the tongue well after the finish. One bottle was just enough to enjoy over a long period, so drinkability score is just below good.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 00:29:02 | More by Gavage
Photo of blitheringidiot


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

Stormy caramely orange & brown hues with a thin sand collar from a "promo bottle."

Whiskey bottle & wood overtakes the nose. Some rum cake malts stick out.

First swigs: Like rum & cherries. Warm apertif. A treat. Sherry or vanilla ice cream warmed up to the point where recognizeable Blithering Idiot shows up. Some rye bread yeastiness meets chocolate chip cookie dough.

Feel: Plenty of carbonation. Warm awl-kee-hawl burn down the gullet.

If the weather is like today's, cold & dreary, this is excellent. Feel is smooth and bubbly. Tacky sugars.

Last swigs: Would never have guessed that this is Blithering Idiot. It's a sipper. Put on a fire and go to town. No dissapointments! Every sip is discovery! Thanks to BA Shapudding for the sample.

Beer is good. Happy Wood barrel aged Barley aged beering.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 06:32:03 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of yen157

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark ruby red body topped by a sticky, fairly creamy, beige head. The house yeast character really leaps out on first sniff. These characteristics, which worked so darn well in the Autumnfest, includes dry leaves and peanuts shells. Also, in the nose, there are notes of coconut, bourbon, alcohol (no, really?!). Wood and hop bitterness provide good balance to the sweeter points of this barleywine and the huge vanilla contributions of the bourbon barrels. Carbonation is nearly perfect, though I have let this glass sit for a few minutes to warm up to the perfect temperature and decarb. If anything it may be a little bit coarse, though this cask beer lover may be a bit inclined to think that way. Overall, the mouth feel is terrific; this beer is rich and flavor dense without the cloying viscosity of some other big beers.

Overall this is a great beer. As much as I love Heresy, this makes it look like a Flying Fish beer. Magnificent stuff! I can’t wait to see what else is up the sleeve of this seemingly revitalized brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 04:49:03 | More by yen157
Photo of francisweizen


4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The newest brew from Weyerbacher is probably the best brew that they have ever made! This is a dark ruddy, rust coloured brew with a nice head of beige/khaki. The aromas are all Jim Beam like notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and alcohol. The taste is very strong with the same bourbon notes in the mix. Vanilla, caramel, alcohol, and green green hops. The mouthfeel was nice, pretty thick, and smooth and the drinkability was very, very good for an 11.1%abv brew! Nice one Weyerbacher. Nice One!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 00:19:09 | More by francisweizen
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 fluid ounce standard looking tall thin brown glass bottle which is sealed with a simple silver colored crown cap. Dark black label with Devilish red text and silhouettes. Described as ‘Ale Aged in Oak Barrels – INSANITY’. No strength or freshness date listed.

Appearance: Poured into my trusty Duvel glass, the devilish crazy beer has a slightly cloudy looking murky ruby brown body. Slick but thin yet creamy looking light brown head with vanilla flashes that is stretched but unbroken throughout the surface. Finely attenuated carbonation.

Nose: Super fresh nose on this one, just like it was released from the Barrel straight into the glass. Lots of wood and alcohol in the aroma, backed by a powerful alcoholic base with some caramel malts fused into the back end.

Taste: Beautiful aged wood feel on the tongue and cheeks, oaky grains, chestnut body, cherrywood boldness, vanilla smoothness, biting sharp yet crisp alcohol, whisky traits, bourbon character and an overall feel of tamed power that could kick your ass if it wanted to, but this Dude is a nice guy, and would never do that, it puts its power to good use. Oh yes, this is a good guy for sure.

Mouthfeel: Feels like a lubricant more than a beer. Oily presence that has a woody warming feeling that slakes a cold throat and lines it with a cozy vanilla caramel blanket that leaches a malty high alcohol after feel. Excellent.

Drinkability: Tough one this, I hopped back and forth between a 3.5 and a 4.0, as I drank this one down, I could argue equally for both, but I guess overall I think I will go for 4.0, for the high alcohol does not diminish this one, the raw power is balanced incredibly well with the smoothness and general finesse of this fine brew.

Overall: Bloody Superb!!!!

Thanks to Gentlemen Mike, Sir Yen157 who plopped this one in my hand whilst I was in Mugs last Friday during a long weekend trip to the Big Apple with two friends from England. A total surprise and highly appreciated, as indeed was the beer itself. Thanks to Mike and Davida, Cheers to you both for this one!!! I owe ya for this, better go and raid my stash.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 05:34:30 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of shapudding


4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Promo bottle from one of the crazy brewers at the Lehigh fest!
Amber and dark cider colored, unclear and beautiful. Khaki ring of head on the sides. Amazingly wonderful scents of whiskey, rum, vanilla and caramel... yummm... The first sip hits you on the sides of your tongue. Creamy and medium, or maybe a bit more heavy, but perfect. Tastes of warm alcohol, whisky, maltiness. Dark and lovely and smooth. So freakin' lovely!!! The oaky woodsyness comes through so nicely. They did such a beautiful job with this! Great drinkability as a sipper, not as one you want to throw back huge quantities of, but man i could sit back with a few bottles of these for a damn fine evening! Love this stuff!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2004 15:44:54 | More by shapudding
Photo of xforce


4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sorry for the low drinkability rating, but it's just too rich and strong to be called a "drinkable beer". nevertheless, another incredible beer by weyerbacher. very oily appearance and mouthfeel, with a pearl white head, though quick to disappear. this is the blithering idiot aged in bourbon barrels. a fantastic follow up to the heresy. rich vanilla oaky flavors, slighty woody, back up a strong alcohol warming barleywine. slighty fruity on the nose, sort of a delicate ripe smell. nice malt flavors in the beginning, immediatly followed by slight hops (british? maybe a high alpha) and then a nice kentucky bourbon finish. the perfect nightcap, i'd love to sip this beer in the snow by a campfire. i think it comes out nov. 1st, 2004.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2004 04:05:07 | More by xforce
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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,816 ratings.