Blithering Idiot
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
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English Barleywine
Ranked #242
Ranked #37,445
3.7 | pDev: 14.86%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
Reviews: 942 | Ratings: 2,283 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Danzifer
Danzifer from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dirty pour, half centimeter head. It's a deep opaque reddish brown. Tons of yeast floating about. Smells like cherries. Tastes of fig, raisin, malt, caramel and alcohol. Slightly bitter, maybe 20-30 ibu. It's thicker than a snicker. Overall, it's alright. Nothing substantial except for the high alcohol content.

Apr 07, 2020
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SaltofOH from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, no visible date. Bought this six months ago. Great Lakes tulip.

A: pours a somewhat cloudy reddish amber. One finger of off-white head.

S: it’s a barleywine, all right! Sweet, figgy, plummy, almost Sherry-like character. Toffee and a hint of alcohol.

T: sweet, malty arrival. That sherry-like dried fruit sweetness is big in the mid palate. As it rolls off to the finish, there is a bit of alcohol.

M: hefty and syrupy. Slick, with relatively little carbonation. Standard for the style.

O: I’ve only had a few barleywines, and this is pretty much what I’ve come to expect. Sure, some are hoppier; this is pretty subdued in that department, but it is a syrupy sweet affair, with loads of alcohol. Reminds me of the first one I ever ordered at a bar, not knowing what it was. Oops!

There is a right moment for this beer, but every time I have had it, it has not been that particular moment. The last one was a drain pour because I was 2/3 way through, buzzed, and choking on the sweetness. Pace yourself here; settle in with a good book by the fire, and this will satisfy.

Feb 16, 2020
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Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep muddy mahogany with a tan head.

Smells of fermented plumbs, sweet malt, and floral hops.

Sweet cereal grain, fermented bread, plumb wine, with floral and bitter herb.

Jul 13, 2019
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DanO1066 from Maryland

3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle (NO date found) poured into a snifter at the Brass Tap here in Baltimore. Nice hazy dark copper body with minimal white head that disappeared almost immediately leaving NO evidence behind (due to the 11.1% ABV?). Alcohol dominates the nose, and is a major player on the tongue. Feel is medium with low carbonation & an acholol burn on the rear end. Still learning about the style, but won't be returning here at this price ($9)

Jul 13, 2019
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ASoftMachineMan from Florida

3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Undated 12 oz. poured into schooner (no tulip on hand).

Look: Pours hazy, dark amber to form a body of the same. Thin, off-white lacing and visible carbonation.

Smell: Muted nose of caramel.

Taste: Big candy sweetness forward with notes of fig and date. Some hazy spice and toffee bitterness follows.

Feel: Rich and round with lots of syrupiness on the tongue. Carbonation keeps it from being flabby.

Overall: A good, but not memorable nor outstanding, british barleywine entirely average for its class.

Jul 11, 2019
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---A fairly aggressive pour led to a thick, rich tan head. Much more than I was expecting. Head quickly faded to a thin cap, as expected. Not much lacing. Color is light brown with a tinge of orange & clear.

S---Sweet & malty. No hop presence. There's caramel and some vague spiciness.

T---No noticeable alcohol, which was a surprise for the ABV. Caramel, fig, raisin and the same vague spiciness that was in the nose. Very sweet & malty with no noticeable hops.

F---Thick & rich in general, but not too much for the style/ABV. Minimal carbonation. Smooth & coating with no alcohol present.

O---A very nice effort by an excellent brewery. I haven't had this one in about six years, but I don't want to wait that long until my next one.

Jul 07, 2019
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jkblr from Indiana

3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz undated bottle poured into snifter at fridge temp 11.1% ABV. The beer pours mostly bright medium amber with some floaties. The head is tan in color and recedes to a thin cap and ring around the glass. The aroma is faint with some caramel, dark fruit and cardboard. The taste is semisweet caramel (burnt sugar) with some raisin and light ethanol. The finish is mostly dry with medium bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with average carbonation. Overall, good. There is a little oxidation on this bottle, but I bought it off the shelf without a date. Very nice and enjoyable, but not as well made as most others (lacking English malt & hops) and bridging the gap between the American & English styles.

Jul 02, 2019
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I like the bottle label artwork. The pour is dark red & light brown. I would say that the aroma is of sweet cinnamon. The taste is caramel, figs & other dark fruits, slight booze, candied apple sweetness, & brown sugar but it's not bad it all gels smoothly. The 11.1 abv is well hidden but the sweetness becomes overwhelming overtime. Cheers! B

Mar 03, 2019
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Cthulhusquid from Washington

4.94/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: One finger white head, hazy brown body.

Smell: See below.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, mild toasted bread, notes of fig and date.

Feel: Full body, medium carbonation. A hint of sweetness followed by a slight bitterness, barely any alcohol presence.

Feb 24, 2019
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps from Washington

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty sure this is a 2015 edition. Much love to @Dragginballs76 for sending this along in his NBS BIF #8 box.

Pours a rich deep mahogany/copper with a small head that settles down to little more than a ring around the glass.

Nose is sweet with some elements of raisins and figs and other good dark barleywine type flavours. Hints of spicy tobacco and rich malts.

Still comes in sweet right off the bat, but not overwhelmingly so. A good blend of those flavours presented in the nose: Some dark fruits and some old ale qualities of leather and tobacco. Raisins and an almost vanilla sweetness drive, but there's some spice and some earth as well. Bitterness is largely subdued and dull. Some rich toffee in there as well and an alcohol kiss on the backend.

Overall it would seem I enjoy this considerably moreso than most folks here. Whether that's to do with personal preferences, or if this is indeed an older bottle and it just really benefits from aging, or some combination or what, I'm glad to have gotten a chance to try it. Thanks Mike!!

Jan 07, 2019
Photo of mpyle
mpyle from Maryland

3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber color, brilliantly clear. Pours a tight off white head, creamy and with decent retention for a strong beer.

Quite a sweet nose, somewhere between caramel and a hard candy sweetness. Alcohol in the aroma as it warms.

A fairly strong candy sweetness up front to complement the strong malt character. Alcohol is somewhat prominent in the flavor profile as well. Balances out somewhat in the finish - hops and alcohol subdue the initial sweetness. But like a British Barleywine is a malt bomb sipper. A bit of a buttery character - hints of diacetyl?

Full body and medium carbonation. Considerable warming as would be expected.

Seems a bit like an American take on the JW Lees kind of barleywine. A bit overly sweet and boozy, but that probably is the point. Happy to have gotten this one as a one off bottle rather than a multi-pack.

Dec 29, 2018
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 1/6/12: Pours hazy with particulates a bourbon brown color with a decent tan head but leaves minimal lace. Aroma is a boozy cocoa, caramel, toffee sweet malts blend. Taste is caramel, boozy dark malt, fig and other dark fruity hints with a sweet finish and mild hop bite.

Nov 27, 2018
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/12/18
Pours a light fizzy head that fades semi quickly, bit of lacing, and legs, dark murky chestnut brown color

NOse sweet candy malt, a little toffee butterscotch, and caramel, a little fusel alcohol, mild fruity aromas, toasted reddish malt and candy, touch of herbal hops

Taste brings more toffee and biscuity malts, toasted reddish malts and candy, little fusel alcohol, sweet candy and a bit syrupy, touch fruity raisiny dark fruits, little herbal hop note, touch of bitterness, finishes sweet boozy and little herbal hop

Mouth is med to fuller bod, little syrupy very sweet, boozy fusel alcohol, decent carb

Overall meh, hops are not quite what I would like for the style, way too boozy and fusel, maybe it was good years ago but not much anymore.

Nov 25, 2018
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NedFredHead from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful ruby-brown color when held to the light. Thinner feel than I expected. The taste is mostly malt, with a touch of fruit. Kinda wishing there was something else there, because the booze comes through pretty hard.

Nov 13, 2018
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Sweet bread, biscuity malt, plums.

Taste: Dark, somewhat bitter malt with little to no hop flavor. Not as complex or sweet as the nose. Lots of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and slightly carbonated. Noticeable alcohol.

Overall: Not quite as bold and complex when it enters your mouth as you’d expect.

Oct 31, 2018
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Meldanty from Michigan

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As a former homebrewer, the Barleywine I expect is something close to Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. It's what I always tried to make my Barleywines taste like. That said, after the initial disappointment of this brew not tasting anything like Bigfoot, I put aside my expectations and rated it strictly on it's overall qualities. I liked this beer a lot. A very nice dark fruit, malty flavor, with enough hops to balance that sweetness. I would buy this beer again.

Oct 08, 2018
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Samlover55 from New York

4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into Tulip
Bottled on 1/3/13 close to six years old
Pours a garnet color with thin tan head that fizzles out
Rich aroma of Caramel and fruit pudding
The taste is a chock load of dark fruit, with some plum coming in, definitely has some sweet caramel brown sugar as well, the finish is smooth with some booziness
The feel is slightly thin, but held up nicely, along with a below average carbonation, pretty smooth too for 11.1%
Overall I am over the moon with this one, while I obviously would like to have tried it fresh, it is awesome with age on it

Oct 08, 2018
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ADeDalis from Michigan

3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My first experience with an English Barleywine! My particular bottle had a little bit of age to it but, being a Barleywine, I have heard prolonged aging does wonders to this type of ale! To be honest, not my first! For someone new to Barleywine the taste is just complex enough to spike curiosity after each sip. The taste of berries, pumpernickel bread, and spices (possibly from the high alcohol content of a Barleywine) are evident. The drink is wonderfully balanced and is not too thick nor is it too light in feel to satisfy! It might take awhile but I will return to this beer with anticipation!

Consumed on: 07/09/2018
Bottled: 10/20/2016
Recommended by: 10/20/2021

Jul 10, 2018
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JPVanderbilt from Virginia

4.73/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Color: semi-dark reddish brown. Taste: plum, raisin, roasty malt, dark fruit, pumpernickel, very faint hop, touch toffee/caramel- fair bit of complexity / richness, quintessential barleywine taste, excellent quality, ABV 11.1 and it's boozy, but not out of balance - just right. "BA SCORE 3.67/5 Good" is WRONG. It's WAY better.

Jul 06, 2018
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Rogerlb from California

4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, with a 1-finger head. My god this smells like a barley wine. Enjoy the malt and the sweet toffee wafting off this.

Taste is more complicated than I expected -- sweet malt, grain boiled with fig bread and burnt caramel and raisins thrown in. Bit of pineapple. Not overly dank. It's got a spice, like ginger snaps and maybe boozey vanilla.

Bourbon over your Raisin Bran. Yet it has a cola quality. Sticky, sweet, a little too harsh.

Jun 25, 2018
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bobv from Vermont

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderate pour yields a one inch light tan head over a ruby brown body with no lacing. Head is gone in a matter of moments. Nose of diluted dark fruit, twizzlers, and not much else but some kind of sweet candy. Tastes pretty good with a weird kinda sweet candy finish. Okay feel and overall, I've never had a BW like this. Where are the hops?!?!?

May 21, 2018
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

DATE: May 13, 2018... OCCASION: Happy Mother's Day, indeed--a pleasant day will be capped by the beginning of the Cavs' fourth-straight Eastern Conference Finals... GLASSWARE: La Fin du Monde tulip... pours an intimidatingly dark ruby red body, teaming with bubbles that add to a slanted rim of white head... cranberry, fig, malty breadiness, some ethanol and turpentine that suggests abrasiveness, and a strong grape sweetness... a bit too much--brooding, thick--to call inviting... the draw is also thick, vinous, full-bodied, with a lingering sweetness... each sip brings a warming sensation... nutty fruitiness, fig, caramel apple, sugary esters, light chocolate, and earthy hops that evoke a dank mildew... not up to the drinkability of others in the style, nor is it the most flavorful... but it does move the needle with its warmth and dessert-like presence... a bit chewy too for a malt-forward representation...

May 14, 2018
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am a notorious overrater because I love (most) all beers and all styles, but I’m usually within the random distribution deviation (5 or 6%) on most beers, but not on this (IMHO) glorious beer - I’m 20.4% above the BA rating for this, but that’s okay. This scratches my barleywine itch.

It pours a rich reddish-brown with a big ol’ bubbly tan head and nearly clear. Gorgeous beer. The nose has toffee and caramel notes - and a big fruity component. I am beyond intrigued.

The taste ..... stupendous, IMHO. There’s the significant malt notes with the toffee and caramel, but the fruit comes forward even more - beyond the stone fruit, I get cherry, and tart blueberry notes that mix really well with the malt flavors.

I only wish I had a 6er of this to age, because I think it would be even better with some whiskers.

May 13, 2018
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Clear dark ruby-brown, with a small tan head that dies down quickly. A thin ring remains, leaving spotty lacing.

S: Pumpernickel bread, molasses, burnt sugar, milk chocolate, date, fig, cherry.

T: Maraschino cherry, date, fig, prune. Sweet dark fruits. Toasted pumpernickel bread, toffee, and brown sugar. Cola. Brandy-like depth and warmth. Rye/black pepper spice.

F: Moderately carbonated, smooth, slick, oily. Sweet with lots of residual sugars. Leaves the mouth coated.

O: A really nice barleywine. A great sipper and very flavorful.

Apr 14, 2018
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MECove from North Carolina

2.36/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

There's a powerful, deep berry aroma. The feel is oily, but that's to be expected with such a high alcohol content. The flavor is biting; I can hardly swallow without the cringing face. I might like it more along with bread and cheese.

I got this bottle out of curiosity because it's a barley wine. I'm curious if it's like a combo of wine-beer. I also liked the image on the bottle.

Apr 07, 2018
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 2283 ratings