Blithering Idiot
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Barleywine - English
Ranked #253
ABV:
11.1%
Score:
84
Ranked #39,351
Avg:
3.71 | pDev: 14.82%
Reviews:
951
Ratings:
2,307
From:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  70
Gots
  457
SCORE
84
Good
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
Notes:
Reviews: 951 | Ratings: 2,307 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BigIronH
BigIronH from Michigan

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

Pours a beautiful caramel amber that reduces into a finger of caramel foam that follows the whole glass down in a beautiful ring. Aroma is apple, caramel, and toasted malt. Flavor follows suit with the apple bitterness up front, followed closely by a sweet caramel and a delicious toasted/roasted malt or biscuit finish. Feel is very full, and creamy. Loved it.

Oct 16, 2021
Photo of spectru
spectru from Florida

3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

August 16, 2021 - A good looking beer, a rich deep orangy amber, maybe a little hazy - hard to tell. A nice cream colored head forms after the pouring is done, from the carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The head recedes to a nice cap with upturned edges; A rich sweet fruity smell aroma; The 11% ABV shows itself in the flavor, but it's not overwhelming. It's rich, with an illusion of thickness - a thick taste?; It comes up a little short on the mouthfeel, not as carbonated as the foaming suggested; I dunno, the jury is still out. I've only had a couple of barleywine ales before and didn't much care for them. This one's not so bad.

Aug 16, 2021
Photo of klarcbarr3
klarcbarr3 from Michigan

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

I do love a good barleywine, but seldom know how to explain what I am experiencing. I will try to stay on point. Blithering Idiot pours a coppery reddish brown. A light colored head rises two fingers in a pint glass. The nose is floral, foresty, hoppy, with a touch of alcohol, the good kind, like an old ditto machine.. lol! The taste is like a painters' pallette.. fruity, peachy and apricot, A nice hoppy, piney zing complements the dessert-like fruit presence, creating a pleasing complexity. The alcohol is strong, and every step of the way, there is a heartiness that raises this beer above the one dimensional summer lightweights that make me despise fruit lagers and lambics. The 11.1% ABV is up front and imposing.. It's a headbanger, for sure. I find this beer enchanting. It's a virtual dark and sweet oddball toolbox of fall and winter brew qualities I enjoy. I don't know fully what to make of it, but I know I love it!

Jul 20, 2021
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from North Carolina

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a single from TW-Greenville SC on 5-30-21 for $3.49. Bottling code of 14012134B10341 so presuming the best by date is 01-21-14.

Beer poured a caramel-brown with a nice tan head that has some great hang time.

Nose has hints of dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste is hot alcohol forward with some plums and cherry. Hopping is adequate and the finish fairly balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a booze forward bomb with a subtle English barleywine flavor profile. Probably not one i will pursue in the future.

Jul 13, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund from Norway

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355 ml bottle, from Vinmonopolet Jørpeland. ABV is 11.1%. Clear reddish brown colour, head goes from minimal to none. Aroma of malts, caramel, dark dried fruits, some vinous and oaky notes. The flavour is medium sweet, with the same elements as the aroma, moderate hops.

Mar 20, 2021
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BergBeer from Hawaii

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a shaker pint

Look: Opaque muddy brown with a thin tan head

Smell: Big date and molasses notes with hints of vanilla and raisins. There is a strange musty smell I can’t get over kind of like a basement. I can’t tell if I like it or not.

Taste: Molasses, dates, raisins, and whole wheat

Feel: Big but not cloying. Alcohol is quite prominent and the carbonation is very soft. No bitterness.

Overall: A fine barleywine. Nothing I’d search out but nothing really flawed either.

Mar 09, 2021
Photo of RobertB412
RobertB412 from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle into a chalice with a deep red/ruby color, minimal head and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, spice, dark fruit and toffee. Taste follows aroma with bittersweet caramel malt, raisins, figs and some alcohol. Medium body with some sticky syrup and light carbonation to balance. Overall, a decent, English style BW, with an alcohol punch.

Feb 19, 2021
Photo of officerbill
officerbill from New York

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L; red/amber with a light tan head that quickly dissolves into a ring with a few islands
S: not a lot of aroma, mostly some malts, prunes, raisons
T: kind of bitter-sweet with malts, prunes, raisins, some brown sugar, peppery spice
F: smooth and slightly sticky across the tongue with a slightly bitter, peppery finish
O: This is an okay, bordering on good barleywine. A good value if better options aren't available

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of Reef
Reef from South Carolina

3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Teku
Reddish hazy color, scant fine cream head which leaves a thick ring and small islands. Full curtain lacing.

Nice malty, prune aroma.
Raisin, brown sugar, wine grapes, light saddle and tobacco flavors.

Smooth sweet coating start, some alcohol and dryness develops. Stubborn carbonation.
Enjoyable and a screaming value considering the going rate for barley wine.

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of RUSSRGR
RUSSRGR from Delaware

3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle it is a reddish amber with minimal head. Smells of malt and raisin with some floral notes. Taste is malt, fruit and alcohol. Very heavy with a good feel for the ABV.

Dec 30, 2020
Photo of Danzifer
Danzifer from Ohio

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
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
Photo of SaltofOH
SaltofOH from Ohio

3.67/5  rDev -1.1%
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
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
Chickenhawk9932 from Pennsylvania

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
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
Photo of DanO1066
DanO1066 from Maryland

3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
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
Photo of ASoftMachineMan
ASoftMachineMan from Florida

3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
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
Photo of rudiecantfail
rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
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
Photo of jkblr
jkblr from Indiana

3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +2.2%
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
Photo of Cthulhusquid
Cthulhusquid from Washington

4.94/5  rDev +33.2%
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 +7.5%
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 -0.3%
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
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
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 -0.8%
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
Photo of NedFredHead
NedFredHead from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
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 +8.4%
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
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 2307 ratings