Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
83
good
2,178 Ratings
THE BROS
64
poor
Read the review
Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
weyerbacher.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-20-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,178
Reviews:
908
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
14.95%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
414
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,178 |  Reviews: 908
Reviews by 2Shaws:
Photo of 2Shaws
5/5  rDev +35.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of mirp1
4.44/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Some of the ratings below must be from pretentious beer snob pretenders. Here's the point, it is a Barley Wine. Barley Wine, along with English Old Ale, some of the better Scotch Ales, Imperial Stouts, are supposed to taste alcoholic in nature. That is the point of doing it. Brewers want to blend in as much balanced malt and complexity, while achieving a high abv. To accomplish that, along with a sound recipe, you need great fermentation, with the latter being huge. Getting beer to ferment down to 11-12 % abv is not an easy thing to do, unless you cheat of course. There is no cheating at Weyerbacher, this beer is a malt bomb, and is supposed to be. So, relax out there. If a non-warming, thin bodied beer is what you prefer, you have no case in rating Barley Wine. Some beers and brewers are negatively effected by unduly harsh reviews, so please, do not be over intoxicated by your anonymity. No, I do not work or have any formal connection with Weyerbacher. I merely subscribe to common sense.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 edition 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights, and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with strong aromas of toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted English muffins, followed by some notes of brown sugar, toffee, dried stone fruit such as raisins, figs, prunes, and a touch of maple syrup.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit, and a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but leaning a little towards the thin side. It’s a very smooth beer as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 11.1%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very, good barleywine! Excellent, in fact! It has great flavors of malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit and a touch of hops. The only thing keeping this barleywine from being world-class is the slightly less than perfect mouthfeel. If it had a chewier mouthfeel, it would be world-class.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass bottled on 8/17/16. Pours a very attractive murky deep amber, with a solid one inch off white head.

Smell is dark fruit, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, booze, and bubblegum.

Taste follows toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit, bubblegum, and some hints of boooze.

Mouthfeel is a little less than medium, very mild carbonation, a little dry, and a sipper that goes down pretty easy.

Overall this is a very solid English Barleywine. Drinks like a strong ale.

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Photo of Jason
2.74/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz brown longneck bottle, no freshness date to be found but with its strength this beer will last perhaps years adding to the complexity. Light powdery sediment does not stay still when pouring.

Appearance: Light brown with cranberry red hues in the colour. The head was awesome at first with a big fluffy and think meringue look, unfortunately it dissipated to almost nothing.

Smell: Humongous esters of ripe dark fruit, dates and figs come to mind obviously as well as some brown sugar. Within the alcohol aromas comes a solvent and spicy aroma that tells you to beware cause this is a kick in the ass strong beer.

Taste: Huge creamy body, low carbonation though the creaminess does just fine to hold the mouth feel together. The creaminess looses ground as the malt tries to gain, all seems lost as a juggernaut of alcohol engulfs the taste buds with mammoth fists of fruity esters and solvent alcohol. Sweetness is big and hardly budges. Hops are pummeled to desperation and struggle to hold on, barely can balance this big beer. Complex flavours of rum raisin, figs, and dates soaked in alcohol. Brown sugar and coffee make their way to the palate and add to the cruel mix of flavours, soft husk flavour cover the tongue and the alcohol faded and leaves a prominent warming feeling through the mouth, throat and chest. Husk gains ground in the finish as well as some veggie hop flavour.

Notes: Not aged enough to quell the huge alcohol character, hops are lost. Alcohol seems a bit out of control. This is still a fun beer to drink and it shows you that it is a strong brew without a doubt. If you have a bottle of this don’t drink it yet, wait another year or so.

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Photo of tkolterman
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer has good taste from begining to end. On my third six pack. I went to the the Weyerbacher Brewery, nice operation. Blithering is a high ABU beer.
I am a D-beer kinda guy. I enjoy it every bottle I drink.

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Photo of StronglyTyped
4.81/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I actually agree with the "Bros" review, which I felt described my experience when I drank this beer. However, what he saw as negative qualities, I saw as positive qualities.

Each sip of Blithering Idiot feels like an explosion of flavor in my mouth - an assault on my taste buds - and I love it. It's balanced in the sense that all of the huge flavors and aromas are slugging it out, like they're in a cage match, each fighting to win the attention of my palate and nose. This could possibly be the most interesting and engaging beer I've ever had the privilege to enjoy.

I respect and embrace this beer for what it is. I appreciate its wild, bold, uncontrolled flavors, and the roller coaster ride it takes me on each time I drink it. It has so much going on, and I feel like I can find something new I like about it with each bottle. I'm looking forward to having my next one.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark brown pour with just a tan ring on top. Aroma tells me I'll enjoy - cooked sugar, dark fruits, and a hint of booze. Flavor follow similarly but more intense all around, very sweet from start to aftertaste and boozy with some woodiness in the finish. A little less alcohol burn and more dark fruit flavors would have ramped this up considerably. Still a very solid offering for the style. I'll have it again for sure.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. I've been working my way through the Weyerbacher lineup and I thought it was time to give this Barleywine a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 2/15/15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a nice design to it and it's eye catching. It poured an amber red color that took on of a ruby red hue when held to the light with a half a fingers worth of bubbly light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish the head and retention were just a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a fruity aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a mixture of apples and light dark fruit aromas with no single aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes a slight alcohol aroma that leads into the malts which are on the lighter side and they impart some sweet malt, caramel malt, caramel and grainy aromas. This beer has a nice aroma, but I wish it was a little more complex.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with very high amount of medium sweetness with the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma being the first to show up, but this time they aren't as bright and they are just a little lighter. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol flavors that isn't too warming and it's followed by the malts which are lighter like they were in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with caramel and sweet malts seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and booze taking it's place and it had a fruity aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but just like aroma I wish it was more complex.

M- Fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, on the very thick side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer has a nice mouthfeel that works well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and I thought it was it a nice example of an English Style Barleywine, but In the end it didn't turn out as great as some of the better ones I've had, it just lacked the complexity and big mouthfeel that some of that better ones seem to have and it left me wanting more. This beer has nice drinkability, it's fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is a good amount for me, I don't really have the urge to drink another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was, besides lacking it complexity it had pretty much all the things that I look for in the style. What I like the least about this beer is the lack of complexity, that aspect could use some work. I would buy this beer again, but I'm not going to go out of my way to stock up on it and I would say it worth a try if you are a fan of the style. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love, it needs a little work, but I think it has potential. IT's not a favorite Weyerbacher beer and it's right about average for the style. Nice job guys, but I think with a little more work this could be a very nice Barleywine.

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Photo of CHickman
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was at least a year old and poured a cloudy red copper that resembled beach water with sand in it as the brew had some many tiny yeast particles that it looked like sand. The head was 1-2 fingers creamy tan color with brown speckles throughout; it faded slowly and left good lacing that mostly slid back down into the layer on top.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, tin metal or a penny, grains and some dark fruit. Seems to have yeast and aspirin come out more as it sits, with the metallic and caramel notes staying the strongest.

Tastes sweet and fruity up front, with cherry, dates and plum mixed with brown sugar, metallic yeast, caramel and grainy flavors that have the penny again, some peat moss, tree bark and toffee. It's sweeter than the nose and hides the high ABV very well, but the metallic notes just send it the wrong way for my palate. I enjoyed the initial sweetness and hoped more would follow, but it leveled out and leaned more towards a Belgian style brew. Some herbs or tea leaf show up late for some added complexities.

Mouthfeel is slick and on the thin side with very mild carbonation, a medium to thick chewy body, and a sweet, grainy aftertaste that is as much yeast as it is caramel and fruity notes. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look : Toffee caramel colored body; 90% opaque; head is fleeting but 2 fingers initially. Mild lace left.

Aroma : Lots of fermentation and alcohol. You can tell this beer is meant to wreck you. Notes of cherry, currant, fig, and plum swirl around in the snifter.

Taste : Um...in your face??? A fig/cherry punch to the palate comes first, followed by furious destructive carbonation, a wall of alcohol burn, and finally a dry, figgy finish.

Feel : Medium bodied, dry leathery feel throughout, alcohol burn very apparent. I could be sipping Vodka for all I know.

Overall : Not for the faint of heart. This beer will kill you if you aren’t careful. Super powerful, super rich, very fig-cherry-like. I’d have it again, but damn this is going to leave me sprawled on the floor.

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a very cloudy caramel amber with only a stirring of bubbles for a head. nose; massive caramel, oak, fig and toffee. this beer has a very alcoholic nose! taste; boozy caramel, dark fruit esters (fig/plum/cherry), oak, brown sugar, and yes, i pick up some earthy/leafy hop bitters here. low carbonation and approaching a heavy mouthfeel. not sure why this is rated so lowly, but i enjoyed it. the 11.1% is a little untamed, but that wears off after a bit while the fruit and wood characters start to appear. i can certainly understand a low score if barleywines aren't your style; hell, i know i give some criminally low lambic/sour scores myself on lack of style appreciation alone. for me, this is a big sipper with a nice profile worth exploring. :)

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Photo of Soneji75
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wasn’t planning on reviewing this beer until I got to about the middle of the glass… hence the half-drank picture.

I am not a barleywine person. I’ve always found them syrupy, sticky and too sweet for my taste. But I can’t say that I’ve had many. I don’t believe barleywines should come in pours or containers larger than 4-6oz as you really don’t need more than that before they become overwhelming. Barleywines have always felt more of a digestif; to have in small quantities after dinner. Or with a nice cigar, the way I am enjoy this now.

Blithering Idiot pours a very reddish-brown and notes of dark cherries and plums immediately hit your nose. It has a decent head with some thin, but nice lacing that sticks around for a bit until about mid-glass. On the nose you’ll get an overwhelming scent of dark fruit, namely black cherries, prunes and plums. There was a faint “mediciny” scent I couldn’t shake after several sniffs.

The nose is simply a straight follow up to the palate; all dark cherries. As expected, very sweet and sticky with little to no hop bitterness to speak of. You can certainly feel the warmth of the booze in your mouth and as it makes its way down your system. At 19F outside, this was definitely the right choice of beer to end the evening. This beer is big, you can practically chew it. The lingering aftertaste is very sweet and reminiscent of brandy or cognac with a very faint , dry grain finish.

As I am halfway through my 12-oz pour, I truly wished Weyerbacher (and others) would offer barleywines in smaller presentations as this style would be ideal as a nightcap or an after-dinner conversation piece. I do find a certain level of elegance to this drink; imagine sitting in an elgant room filled with mahogony and oak furniture and some guy in a fancy suit talking about how his stock went one iota higher while you sip your barleywine from a fancy snifter and go… “what a blithering idiot”.

https://agrainoftruthblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/weyerbacher-blithering-idiot-barleywine-ale/

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Photo of northbastard
2.59/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

First review, irony? let's hope not.
A- Poured into an imperial pint glass, fluffy two inch head. Ruby red-orange. Looks more like an ipa than a barleywine. Nice retention an lacing, stays till the last drop.

S- Lots of fruit aroma in here, however the alcohol still overpowers. Some plum and berry. Kind of reminds me of one of those B&J wine coolers.

T- Goes right along with the smell. Black currant, plum, raspberry, and then straight alcohol. One of those you drink and your first reaction is to shake your head violently because the alcohol is so pervasive. Probably would be better after a few years in the cellar.

M- Smooth, velvet along with the fluffy head, little carbonation. Saves the beer.

D-The alcohol overpowers all, could think of a lot of beers around the same abv where there is no alcohol to be sensed. This beer has promise, it just needs to store for a few years. Friend of mine shared a bottle with me and he could not finish his half so it ended up down the drain. I pushed through and it is fair to say this isn't a repeat selection.

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Photo of benloho
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle has been in the cellar for a couple of years to help smooth out the strong alcohol feel and flavor.

Very sweet smelling and tasting, but very pleasant. Rich and creamy. Great after dinner beer and certainly a sipper. Not much bitterness at all which causes it to be a bit too malty for me, but that's what one would expect from an 11% beer. Nice alcohol warmth but not overpowering. Could definitely get into trouble on a colder day drinking this one too quick.

Not the greatest barleywine, but certainly one worth trying if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of BSiegs
3.39/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Extremely dark ruby to brown in color. One finger of light tan head. Recedes quickly to a ring around the edge, little lacing. The aroma is caramel, molasses, dark fruit, bready. Hint of spice and booziness. The taste is heavy spice, overpowering most other flavors, and some dark fruit. I get a strange metallic twang on the finish. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation. I was excited after the aroma but the taste doesn't match. A solid brew, but not a barleywine I will seek again.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Spring House Drafting Room,poured a medium brown with some amber tones with a light but somewhat creamy head,aroma was of burnt fruit and alcohol.Taste was very rasiny and of dried fruit definently sweet and chewy and gets better as it warms.A pretty nice brew I think the best I have had from Weyerbacher.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was a dark, orangish brown with a gorgeous cascading nitro-looking head a la Guinness. The head consisted of fairly large bubbles that hung over the fluid like a drizzling nimbostratus.

Smell – The sweet malt base dominates the nose of this one. It’s pretty laid back but consists of tons of sugar and some ripe fruits like apricots along with a noticeable warning of alcohol.

Taste – This one has a deep, malt base that is laden with big sugars. It is very wine-like, consisting of big, dry, chardonnay grapes along with lots of fruity notes. The alcohol blends right in with the winey character and is hardly detectable.

Mouthfeel – This was smooth enough but could probably benefit from cellaring. It was a little heavier than medium-bodied and ended pretty dry.

Drinkability – Very good now, probably better in two years or so.

Update – I can’t believe that it’s been seven years since I last had this BW, but now that I’ve moved back to the Midwest I was able to find it in a local beer store. It’s a lot less sugary than I noted on my original review and I thought the alcohol was a bit more prominent but otherwise a terrific sipper.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper amber with an off-white head that dissolves to clingy lace. Easy drinker despite the high ABV. Very well concealed strength. Flavor and aroma are largely one dimensional and port like. That port quality consists largely of booze soaked dark fruits and spices that tend to indicate high alcohol presence. Hops are much lighter than expected indicating that this barley wine follows the English tradition rather than the American. Mouthfeel is rather warming and light for a barley wine. Flavor and aroma greatly improve as the beer warms to room temp but it remains rather dull and lacking in complexity. Still very drinkable and in fact dangerously easy to gulp down. Many thanks to expatsteve for the sample.

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Photo of Marklaker
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Zakk
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of tbryan5
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of JacobMutberg
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet style glass.

A: Deep clear ruby brown in color. Minimal white head quickly dissipates into a thin white layer of bubbles and healthy white perimeter ring. Very little (if any) lacing.

S: Very light smells of candied fruit and minimal whiffs of alcohol

T: Sweetness quickly takes over the palate with a very refined grain malt taste combined with something on the order of rock candy; sort of a fruity flavor similar to that of a sweet wine.

M: Very heavy and sweet. Light but persistent carbonation keeps the sweetness from cloying on the tongue. There is definite warming but no real intense alcohol presense. Goes down easy but catches up to you quickly.

Barley wine style. Definitely. Blithering Idiot is deceptive in that it is quite sweet in both nose and mouth and manages to hide that serious kick with the exception of some enjoyable warming at the end. Awesome. And that color! Almost like a ruby colored port. So long as you aren't put off by the sweet profile, you will probably like this. Recommended.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,178 ratings.
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