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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
InsanityInsanity

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

2,125 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,125
Reviews: 882
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 196
Gots: 445 | FT: 23
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,125 | Reviews: 882
Photo of monkeybeerbelly
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mthomp081
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of J-Bonestradamus
3.99/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Whitey_from_Remedy
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of silverking
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Vivs85
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of glass_house
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a beautifully done barreled barleywine. Plenty of the usual English barleywine characteristics, but none of the cloying, off-putting sweetness I found in Blithering Idiot. Its time in the barrel was well-spent, as the smokey wood, and slightly boozy heat add a layer of complexity that pairs perfectly with the rich malty backbone. It's a sipper for sure, and a damn good one. Can't wait to see what a year in the cellar does for this one.

Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded pry-off pressure cap. Decent label art.

Acquired: in a trade with the gracious SlothB77. Thanks, man!

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015. Bottled: 01/06/15. Best before: 01/06/20.
ABV: 11.1%
Style: Whiskey barrel aged barleywine (per their website).
Serving temp: Cold. Allowed to warm over the course of consumption.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: Extremely high. I loved Weyerbacher's Riserva and Insanity has a great reputation.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 4 fingers wide. Khaki colour. Creamy, frothy, full, and sumptuous, with ideal thickness. Could be darker and richer. Quite soft-looking.

Retention: Superb for the ABV - easily 8 minutes. Leaves a coating of light lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Translucent deep amber. Appears well-carbonated. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Overall, it's a good looking barleywine. Suggests a toasty, malty brew with higher carbonation.

AROMA: Sweetness seems perfect. Rich Scottish malts, amber malts, caramel, some indistinct fruit, English toffee, and English brown malt. Definitely has a more English character to it - at least from the yeast. The barrel aging is more subtle and faint than anticipated, but it seems to fit the base beer, bringing into the fold notes of marshmallow, white oak and concomitant barrel sugars, a bit of authentic vanilla, and backgrounded bourbon (but strangely, not whiskey, as the vanilla is quite present but there's no spiciness).

Aromatic intensity: average.

This pleasant aroma suggests a soft, coating brew with ideal sweetness and complementary subtle barrel character. I can't wait to try it, and it never seems boozy at all.

TEXTURE: The mouthfeel is the first thing I notice; marvelously soft and creamy, it accentuates the marshmallow notes beautifully. Carbonation is perfect, it's medium-bodied to the point that drinkability is heightened, and it has the right amount of heft, thickness, and weight on the palate without ever being overbearing, sticky, or syrupy. Wow. My only criticism is that its silkiness and wetness are overdone, gutting the beer of any real flavour duration.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

TASTE: Though its flavour duration is tragically brief, this is a hell of a barleywine, with soft notes of marshmallow, faint vanilla, and light bourbon accentuating the base beer, coaxing out notes of caramel, English toffee, English brown malts, amber malts, and a kiss of fruit with some gorgeous Scottish malt sweetness in there too. Sweet but never cloying, this is a shockingly sippable barleywine whose 11.1% ABV isn't noticeable at all.

My critiques are nitpicks, and I'm forced only to look at how this beer could be better, because it has no egregious flaws. It's a bit shallow in terms of depth of flavour; the oak in particular is far too reticent and the cream mutes the flavour profile. While the balance is excellent as-is, if they could maintain that masterful balance with the intricacy and layered flavours of better barleywines, this would truly be world-class. It's a cohesive build, but lacks the complexity needed to really impress, and isn't gestalt. It errs on the side of subtlety, but I'd like for it to open up a bit; there's room for more flavour expression.

Flavour intensity: Average.
Flavour amplitude: Superb.

No yeast character, booze, or off-notes come through.

OVERALL: One of the most drinkable barleywines I've ever had that I actually like, Insanity is a brew that deserves its high reputation and hides its ABV dangerously well. Those similarly fatigued by examples of the style which are cloying and/or hide their lack of flavour underneath a bourbon barrel facade will find this refreshingly splendid, but as good as it is, there's ample room for improvement. That said, this is one of few barleywines I could see myself buying on a regular basis - if only I had ready access to it. There's a clear marriage of texture to taste, and the mouthfeel is marvelous. No one can call herself a true barleywine enthusiast without trying this at least once, and this will forever be my response to those who hold up Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot as the best widely available barleywine in the U.S.. Highly recommended.

Huge thanks to SlothB77 for the chance to try this!

B (3.48)

Photo of TypsiYpsi
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of AlphaWolfrey
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StoutHunter
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Insanity a few weeks ago for $4.09 at Holiday Market. I've been wanting to try this beer for a couple years and now that Weyerbacher is available in Michigan I thought I would give it a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 1/19/15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it goes well with the name and it's a little eye catching. It poured a dark amber brown color that took on more of darker ruby color when held to the light with a little over a fingers worth of creamy and bubbly tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, i have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart some sweet malt, caramel, toffee and slight butterscotch like aroma with a some alcohol aromas showing up in the background. Up next comes the dark fruits with a nice fruity juice and slightly grape like aromas and it's followed the oak which is on the lighter side and it imparts some light oak and vanilla aromas. This beer has a good aroma, it's pretty much what I expect from the style, but I wish the oak showed up just a little more.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with lower amount of high sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart all the nice aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect sticking out the most and they seemed to show up a little more than they did in the aroma. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol flavor that's followed by the dark fruits which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma and they are a little lighter this time. On the finish comes the oak which shows up just a little more than it did in the aroma with some nice vanilla flavors and it's followed by no bitterness with some sweet alcohol taking it's place with a nice caramel, toffee, vanilla and sweet malt like aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, but I wish it was a little less sweet and boozy.

M- Fairly smooth, the alcohol could have been hidden just a little better, a little crisp, sticky, a little warming, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer had a good mouthfeel, but I thought it could have been a little smoother.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and good example of the style, it had a lot of the aspects that I look for in an English style Barleywine and while I wish the oak showed up a little more, the aspects that did show up worked well with this beer and I enjoyed it. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, the alcohol could have been hidden just a little better, a little crisp, sticky, a little warming, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is the perfect amount for me, anymore than that and I think the sweetness and booze would start to wear on me. What I like the most about this beer this beer was how true to style it is, it's just what I expect from an English Barleywine. What I like the least about this beer was that the that the oak barrels didn't show up just a little more. I would buy this beer again and I would like to see how it changes overtime. I would recommend trying this beer, especially if you like big and malty barleywines. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I wasn't sure how this one was going to turn out, but I had high hopes and in the end it lived up to my expectations. I think it's a good beer and I'm happy to be able to buy it now. So far it's one of my favorite Weyerbacher beers and it's above average for the style. Good job guys this is one tasty Barleywine, keep up the hard work.

Photo of StoutBoi
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mJJJJJJJ
4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of s_wit
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 1KEVIN1
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Giggy
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BobbyOlson
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Petegrieco
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beefstroganoff
3.71/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jaurora80
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of nrbw23
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MrJuengling
4.31/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,125 ratings.