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Insanity | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

927 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbon barrel-aged "Blithering Idiot"

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 927 | Ratings: 2,395
Photo of tbryan5
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Classic deep red brown barleywine hue.
S- Great bourbon notes. Oak, coconut, and solid malt backbone.
T- The barrel and hefty maltiness work great together. Similar to the nose.
M- Light carbonation and slick coating mouthfeel.
D- Pretty stout at 11%. Great sipper.

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Photo of pollocwr
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden amber in color. Light head. Aromas are mostly the barrel. Taste is light with little carbonation. Oak and Bourbon are strong on the palate.

Good beer. Not worth the hype.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on date of January 2015 and drinking it with about 10-11 months of age on it. Brown and murky. Very intimidating beer to look at. A lot of sweet dark fruit, caramel, molasses and smoke in the nose. Taste is sweet honey, some bourbon and boozy. Thought with 11 months it would mellow but still has some heat to it. A very decent English style Barleywine and recommend to anyone who enjoys the style.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Werk Force snifter.
A - Pours a clear dark orange/brown with really no head at all.
S - Aroma is sweet, dark fruit and boozy.
T - This is a big, boozy sipper. May be a little hot right now, which makes it hard to pick out the underlying flavors. The bourbon is right there for ya.
M - Low carbonation, medium mouth feel.
O - I bought a 4-pack, and 3 went in the cellar to age. Tried this one now to set expectations. If you are in the mood for a bourbon forward beer, then this is a good one. But I expect this beer will be better in 12-24 months.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle 2/11/2013. Pours a dull amber color with ruby-orange highlights when the sun hits the glass. Not much of a head or visible carbonation but an insane amount of sediment got kicked up from the bottom of the bottle after popping the top that was poured and consumed. The nose is mainly sweet caramel and toffee, dried dark fruits, lots of vanilla and oak, ESB nuances, sour green grape, and the slightest hint of cocoa powder. For some reason, I always get a strange, vinous, soured quality to a majority of Weyerbacher's barrel aged beers that I've opened. The mouth feel is more on the medium side but smooth, and I still get a little bit of the alcohol burn on the back end, but it's nowhere near the level of boozy this beer is fresh. Taste has a lot of vanilla, clover honey, rum, caramel, nougat, raisins, and fig.

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Photo of Mshea805
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle. Booze or barrel flavor was very minimal, extremely smooth and easy drinking for 11%. Belgian like dried fruit flavor with the oak, vanilla and typical sweetness of an English Barleywine. After receiving an infected 4-pack im very glad I had a chance to try this beer as it was meant to taste.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really just an around terrific English Barley wine. Dare I say probably my pick for a non barrel aged barleywine. The thing that's the most impressive is for 11.1% I can't detect any boozy qualities. This is such an easy drinking and smooth big beer it simply has to be consumed to be believed how good this is.

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Photo of Canada_Dan
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear copper with a light wispy head. This one has been a want for some time and the anticipation was to be rewarded. Beautiful nose of caramel and vanilla. No overlying booziness, great creamy mouthfeel. Really everything you look for in a barley wine, up there as one of the best I've had. Thanks to @zappoman for hooking this one up

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 12 oz bottle on July 28, 2015. Look is dark amber with a thin head and moderate lacing. Smell is dried fruits and rich caramel malts. Taste is sweet malts with complex oak, bourbon and bitter hop notes. Feel is thick and heavy.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This started with a shocking amount of medicinal alcohol flavors. I let it settle and it began to open up. I would like to try it a second time with this in mind. It has a interesting mixture of caramel and citrus sweetness. Some butterscotch, oranges and honey toffee candy.

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a strong beer with some good taste to it. BA Barleywines, when done right, are some of the best beers out there. While it could have really used a bourbon kick to it, it was a solid beer none the less.

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Photo of deadsincebirth
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet Spicy oak tannins. Smell a bit better than the taste and mouthfeel is thick. Overall a bit young for me but at only 7 months that's understandable.

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Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a thin layer of off-white foam.

Caramel malt, dark fruits, cherry, oak, and leather.

Oak, vanilla, earthy hop bitterness, candied malt, and bourbon spice.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, bitter and fruity.

Overall, not too shabby.

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Photo of Prasm
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great balance in this beer, sour mash nose and up front taste but it's balanced very nicely by a creamy mouth-feel and lengthy finish - excellent beer.

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Photo of EEscobar
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: caramel colored with whitish tan head
Smell: caramel bourbon malt
Feel: thick and sticky coats the tongue nicely which enhances the flavor absorbtion
Taste : caramel bourbon butterscotch
Overall: I was surprised how good this beer tasted. I highly recommend it

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Photo of jimbomill
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As much as I love Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot, I'd cheat on it every chance I can with Insanity. The wood aging just imparts enough succulence to take it to the next step. I've had it many times, so I won't go through the standard pour, look, et cetera categories.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice deep amber with a thin one finger head, which breaks quickly, leaving little lacing behind. The nose is bourbony and woody with malts and dark fruits coming through as well. I pick up traces of leather as well. The taste is caramel malts, fruits and boozy on the tail. Despite the booziness, it is an incredibly smooth beer with a medium feel and carbonation.

All in all another winner from Weyerbacher. The ABV is enough to make this a very slow sipper, and it is quite enjoyable as it warms.

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Photo of JPowell712
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a strong brew! It had almost a whiskey aroma off the pour. It was aged in oak barrels so I am thinking it is close to the aging style of a whiskey. Anyway, the odor alone gave away it's alcoholic strength, but when I tasted it, it was surprisingly smooth! I expected it to be harsh but it wasn't at all. I got a lot of vanilla and caramel notes. Very smooth, but the alcohol was definitely there. It warms you up. This is a great offering!

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Photo of EMV
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark, dark mahogany... almost black with a finger or two of off-white head.

S: Boozy and rich... malts and dark fruits... bourbon.

T/F: Delicious taste... malty sweets with a nice backdrop of boozy bourbon. Complex dark fruits... cherries and figs. Oak and vanilla. Smooth and silky.. very rich. Love the mouthfeel. Alcoholic warmth and it gets better as it warms.

O: One of Weyerbacher's best and sticking it in a bourbon cask is a lovely thing to do with a Barleywine. Age it for 6 months and it's even better (about half my case made it that far). One that I will seek out again.

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Photo of BethanyB
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The head may be low, but it is also smooth and solid, giving cause for the assumption that a higher ABV is what has forgivably stunted its growth. This khaki cap sits atop a slightly hazy body of medium copper coloring.

Smell: The true-to-style smell is of vanilla bean, slightly charred French toast, dark dried fruit, and rum raisin. Not as much liquor in the perfume as other oak barrel beers, but less boozy can certainly be better, as this allows the other elements of the flavor profile to come through.

Taste: Rum-soaked plums and cherries--a beer fiend's sangria. Earthy hops make a decent effort to subdue the alcohol flavor, which is more apparent on the tongue than it is on the nose. There is a good amount of nutty malt, which when mixed with the "rum punch" taste, takes on the flavor of coconut shavings. The oakiness decreases as the beer warms, causing the elements to come further into alignment.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel and carbonation, with a hearty, yet cautious level of alcohol warming. The finish is smooth other than a very slight stickiness from residual sugar.

Overall: An laudable beer, particularly in that it presents itself as a very drinkable example of the style, without losing its complexity. Sip slowly and allow it to warm up, as it becomes more balanced as the time to savor it goes on.

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Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a part of a build-your-own-sixer at my local grocer. Bottled on date states it's five months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a deep rusty copper with about an inch-and-a-half of off-white head that stays for a bit and leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Plenty of visible carbonation.

S: Raisin bread, spice, butterscotch, and molasses notes in the nose. There's definitely some clear alcohol/bourbon coming through, as well. Sweet and boozy.

T: Sweet caramel malt at the front end exhibiting some butterscotch quality. A bit of more toasted malt underneath. There's just a bit of molasses/black licorice in the mix. The creamy middle has more of the sweet malts, with more of a suggestion of raisin bread than the front. There's a rising bourbon flavor that emerges and carries through to the finish. The back end continues the sweet but has a more decidedly bourbon taste. The aftertaste leaves just a bit of bitter. With that said, I'm amazed at how well this one hides the alcohol.

F: Medium-bodied--smooth and creamy for most of the ride on the palate. Just the slightest stick, but certainly not a syrupy brew.

O: Thumbs way up for this one from Weyerbacher. I'm utterly impressed with how little clear alcohol comes across on a beer with an ABV this high. I highly recommend giving this one a try.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 12/16/2013 into a Teku at cellar temp.

Look: absolutely gorgeous burnt orange with a beautiful offwhite head.

Smell: oak, creme brulée, vanilla.

Taste: ridiculous creamy sweetness up front, but with harsh alcohol quickly coming to dominate.

Feel: medium body, creamy feel.

Overall: the first half-second of the taste was divine, and the rest of the beer is good to great, but the harshness that defines the taste knocks this down a fair bit. I don't remember this being so harsh when I had it fresh, so the age may not have done it any favors.

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Photo of mlockman
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bourbon flavor is perfectly balanced; a serious improvement from the standard Blithering Idiot. This is phenomenal, and I can't wait to lay a few down and see how they age over time.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at ~40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a nearly opaque ruddy bronze-brown, and forms a thin head of off-white foam that quickly dies to a ring, and evaporates completely by halfway through the snifter. There is no lacing.

Smell: Boozy caramel malt suffused with raisin and cherry wells out of the glass, alongside a bready scent.

Taste: Caramel suffused with fruits, specifically cherry, fig, and date, opens the flavor palate. Breadiness joins in as it moves along the palate, and there's more than a hint of boozy liquor along for the ride as well. Touches of oak appear, alongside a faint mix of spice and smoke, and very vaguely, vanilla. The finish leaves a vaguely boozy, vaguely medicinal residue clinging to the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thick, rich, creamy, sticky, and silky-smooth.

Overall: Of late, I've been chased away from the world of barleywines by experiencing too many American barleywines that triggered my hop sensitivity, and had forgotten how much I enjoy a potent, complex English barleywine. This beer reminded me that I place a solid English barleywine up in my pantheon of beers alongside a good doppelbock, eisbock, wee heavy, and quad. Well done, Weyerbacher. Well done.

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Photo of muchos
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 11/11/14
Consumed 5/25/15
Dark brown with a hint of red. Small foam head which reduces quickly.
Not much in the nose. Sweet bread, mostly booze.
Taste starts alcohol, then sweet. Caramel, dates, figs, vanilla. Surprisingly smooth. Alcohol finish, like straight vanilla extract. Pretty delicious.
Feels smooth with slight alcohol sting. Medium body.
Overall a sweet, smooth, boozy treat.

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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.