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Insanity - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,120 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,120
Reviews: 882
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 197
Gots: 442 | 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
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Ratings: 2,120 | Reviews: 882
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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

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3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of paulys55
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of BeerBucks
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

An impressive beer from Weyerbacher. The only problem I had was the abundance of alcohol presence. Even so, the complexity, feel, and craftsmanship here are strong features. I feel that with a little aging and moderation of the booziness, this could be an outstanding brew. I still enjoyed it much and plan to pick up some more to hold on to. Very glad I tried this. It's big, though. Very big.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can Raul get a "hells" to the "yeah!"? This hot dog son of a gun is making Raul feel it! Beautiful raison textures, silky like silk, and just all around sexy! Like a lap dance at Spearmint Rhino, can Raul have another!?

Raul does this like whoa!

Photo of wyatt13
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"If we lose our sanity ...
We can but howl the lugubrious howl of idiots,
the howl of the utterly lost
howling their nowhereness."
- D.H. Lawrence

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a teku glass.

A - Pours a tawny color, with a one-finger head that dissipates rather quickly. A high amount of carbonation shoots around the glass like bubbles gone mad; I find the carbonation level pretty surprising for the ABV. Some pretty serious alcohol legs that seem to defy typical properties of chemistry with their stickiness.

S - Huge amounts of caramelized malt and dark fruits, especially raisins. The oak barrel-aging plays a big role as well, with a wooden quality and a hint of mellow vanilla hanging around in the background. This smells pretty boozy to me, but it actually works with the style and with everything else that is going on in the aroma.

T - The first taste is of a rounded sweetness of something like a combination of spicy raisins, earthy maple syrup and caramelized sugar. After that, the oak barrel characteristics take over, bringing their vanilla undertones with them. The finish is alcohol warmth and a vague hint of wooden char. The length of this aftertaste is impressive.

M - Medium-full bodied, with a bit of an oily quality. The high level of carbonation that was present in the appearance shows up here as well. The lips and inside of the mouth are coated with a sticky residue that remains between sips.

O - This beer is definitely a sipper -- between the 11.1% ABV and intense flavors, this is a beer to enjoy over the course of at least an hour. Not for the faint of heart, or someone that is looking for a conventional barleywine.

Photo of Nachos4two
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

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

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Pours a very murky and hazy brown. Very dark in the glass. A little off white head with some alcohol legs.

S- A very nice dark fruit. A Burnt caramel and candy sugar. Sweet molasses. A touch of bourbon and oak.

T- A smooth flavor profile. A big sticky caramel. Burnt sugars and a sweet molasses. A chewy candy feel. A nice bit of vanilla in this beer as well. A candied raisin and a slight plum in this beer. A nice bourbon flavor to the beer, A sour mash and a touch of oak to dry out the palate. A sugary, sticky and bourbony flavored brew.

M- This beer is thick as hell. Hides the ABV very well to. A sticky beer and pretty sweet.

O- I had high expectations and was still surprised. A very under the rader brew. If this said "Founders" on the label it would sell out in a day.

Photo of MinorThreat
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Michigan
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 22oz snifter.

A- dark burnt orange with a 2 finger brown/white head. Settles into a thin layer.

S- Cheap hot Bourbon barrel. Oak. Vanilla. Sugar. Booze. More barrel. Like a really cheap plastic bottle bourbon.

T- it tastes like an 11% bourbon barrel barleywine. It's kind of a sugary and boozy mess. Maybe it's just the wrong weather for this. It would work well around a fire in mid-fall in northern michigan.

M- it lingers but its pretty thin. It has some heat from the barrel as it warms. Cheap whiskey sting.

O- I think it could take some age but it wouldn't bring out any hidden gem flavors. Overall, it was OK. I'm glad I tried it, but I wouldn't trade for it.

Photo of Brenden
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Insanity is a massively murky and extremely thick medium brown with a heavy burnt orange hue going a bright medium red in the light. The light tan head reaches 1/2 a finger or so, though the retention is good. It's strong enough to stick to the glass in a leggy, broken ring up top and some patchier lacing following behind.
I think the key to opening this beer up is letting it warm. Malts are sweet and bready with lots of caramel and vanilla. I don't know if oak is the wood used, but the impression I get, and there's plenty of wood, is that it's oak. Not focusing exclusively on malts to the exclusion of the hops, there's a balancing touch of herbal and floral bitterness just peeking out. Alcohol certainly does come out, but not too heavily. This aroma doesn't punch in the face, but it sure gives off its complexities within just a couple of moments.
I love all the flavors and the big, rich complexity to this beer. At first, I feel that the alcoholic presence is too heavy and gives off too heavy a fusel note, but when everything comes together, it works so well. Raw, leafy bitterness is gentle, and there's enough hops presence to balance and add depth while never trying to convince me it's an American version of the style. Wood is big here, oaky and dry, and that dryness serves to further balance this heady brew. Sweetness is in the hugely bready malts and consists of notes of cherry, vanilla, fig, and caramel, and there's some nut in here as well. The key is that the bourbon is really a flavor in play here; it's not just a fusel note, or nondescript flavor of alcohol, but easily distinguished as bourbon. While pretty heavy, and definitely a sipper, there's no denying it's delicious.
The feel is thick and rich in a full body. While a crisp bite comes up front, it develops a smooth creaminess right off. Alcohol doesn't thin the body out, and it's a pleasure to sip.

Photo of rboinski
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Russian River -tion Glass

Appearance: Pours an amber with an orange, no head and just the faintest little wisp of lacing on the edge.

Smell: It has the smell of bourbon and sweetness. Loads of vanilla with some cherry and brown sugar.

Taste: The taste has some bourbon notes and has some alcohol heat to it. Sweetness on the finish, and some fruit character.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is similar to a spirit with a light carbonation. Sticky.

Overall: Very good beer but I don't have much experience with barrel aged barleywines so it is hard to do a detailed review. Nice beer and a style I need to get more familiar with!

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

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4/5  rDev -3.6%

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3/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of Apellonious
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - 4 pack

A - ruby red with brown undertones. Little to no head on the pour. Very thin lace.

S - dark fruit, fig, sugary malt. Slight waft of bourbon.

T - brown sugar, bourbon, dark fruits. Hints of banana and vanilla.

M - thick, moderately sticky, coats the back of the tongue and throat. Carbonation is light.

O - great offering. This is my first 'barrel aged' barleywine, so nothing really to compare it to, though reminds me of a Belgian ale, or maybe Ol Curmudgeon. Something good comes out of PA.

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Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 2,120 ratings.