Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

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

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Reviews: 905 | Ratings: 2,169
Photo of ElCommodoro
5/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the most perfect beers I've ever enjoyed. I'm not entirely sure it can be beat and this isn't even one of my top 10 styles of beer. Maybe I should make some room because this is phenomenal.
How to describe the smell besides overpoweringly delicious? It's sweet, alcoholic Can something smell red? I think it can because that's what I smell. What that means to me is that there are scents in there I generally associate with red ale. Similar malts are probably used. There are also hints of apricot, red apples, fresh grass, and hay. Some yeast smell too, as you'd expect.
The taste is mesmerizing. I can't properly convey what the taste is in words. The constituent parts wouldn't properly explain anything. What they are isn't important. It's how they come together in the perfect amounts that creates perfection. Or maybe it's just brewed with immense amounts of love. It's hard to say. Anyway, it has the intensity, smoothness, and complexity of a very old, aged whiskey. Which is not to say it tastes like one. There's no whiskey flavour. It's very strong. The alcohol is up front for sure, along with the smooth sweetness. It's a very sweet beer. But there's a lot going on in the background for you analysis connoisseurs. I'm not good with this part of the review, but it's definitely spicy. That apple flavour present in the nose is definitely there. Not green apples, but sweet apples. The hops are mostly spice hops, but there's some astringency on the finish as well. There's a bit of that apricot I detected on the nose in there as well, with about of that straw flavour. The rest is all malt complexity. It's too complex for me to understand, but there must have been several malts used in this. All I can say is they are all excellent and used in perfect proportion. Now I'm going to stop annoying myself by trying to analyze this for this review and sit back and enjoy this perfection, because that's what this beer is. It's pure perfection. You don't have to be a blithering idiot to appreciate it. But you'd have to be one not to give it a try. Beware the bite though. This stuff bites like 19th century cough medicine. So be warned, but if you're into that sort of thing, enjoy the hell out of it. I know I will.

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Photo of ggroller
4.87/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ya know, I've drank this beer so many times it's time I give this beloved brew it's proper due.

Blithering Idiot. What a namesake. It is in fact the reason I decided to try this beer for the first time.

Poured into a tulip, the beer is a burgundy, mahogany, and dark brown in color.

It smells like bubblegum, cotton candy, beligan dark candy sugar. Hints of vanilla, brown sugar, and cardamom.

Tastes sweet. But not sweet like sugar or candy. Sweet like a piece of baklava. Brown sugar, vanilla, honey, and oven browned cinammon. The complexity of the taste is almost overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is huge. Sticky and chewy.

Drinkable for a Barley Wine indeed. Especially on those cold Pennsylvania winter nights. Sit by the fireside with this one. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of avylover
4.85/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of this brew is about top notch. Very nice clear mahogony with a 1/4" head that hangs around and provides good lacing. Aroma is heavy the fruit, with peaches, grapes, and a good whiff of alcohol. Actually reminds meof westy12 a bit, to be honest. The similarities don't end there, suprisingly!! Grape taste along with apple, pears - just alot of fruit. The malt is more of an afterthought to this onslaught of great hoppy fruit flavors!! This suprised the hell outta me. Mouthfeel is not to thick, with a light foamy ness that makes for a great drinkability. The best barleywine I've ever had...hands down.

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Photo of peppermo
4.77/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer looked good in a glass. Not great but good.
I liked the deep aroma.

Very tasty brew. Found it to be smoothe with a long finish.

Even with the high ABV, I could manage to drink a few of these babies.

The barley beer is a reall good one. Hats off to Weyerbacher.

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Photo of jimbomill
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a thick, reddish dark offering, with little foam. The nose was rich- not necessarily spicey, but warming and inviting - a nice barley presence was detected.

The taste is simply outstanding - richer perhaps than Samichlaus for gawsh sakes; I'd say the Sami is a tad smoother, though. Right now, my top 3 favorites are Samichlaus Bier, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA and this Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot. Perhaps I like the Barley wine style, but this one is special.

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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 nitemarebrewer
4.7/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured dark amber, slight effervescence, laces around the glass
Aroma is sweet, alcoholic, and inviting.
Taste is sweet, but well balanced to me. Tastes like raisins or dates. Mouthfeel is thick, but I can take another sip after just having one. Like I've been doing thoughout this review. Yum.
Quite drinkable. This bottled one is almost as good as the one on tap.

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Photo of tbrown4
4.67/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz., slightly cooler than room temp -> snifter

A - Clear deep ruby. Thin quickly escaping head. Little carbonation. Coasts glass like a smooth whiskey

S - Spiced sweet bread/muffin. For some reason I kept coming back to the thought of carrot cake with sweet cream icing.

T - Toasted pumpernickel bread, candied dark fruits, slight hop notes. Sharp sweet after taste.

M - Viscous and coating. No carbonation after two minutes of settling makes it very easy. Alcohol warmth. Feels exactly like an un-distilled whiskey would.

D - Excellent to sip. Wasn't difficult to finish by myself in two six ounce pours. Would be excellent to share with another. Absolutely going to be one of my annual pick ups, one pack to drink, one to age.

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Photo of greengorilla
4.67/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into an oversized snifter. It is a hazy caramel color with a decent tan head that dissipated somewhat quickly.

It has a fruity and malty scent.

The taste is awesome. Very little hops, but a great malt taste. The alcohol is masked well.

The mouthfeel is great too.

This is just a great beer. I was a little surprised at how good this beer is, from the reviews that I had read. I love it though. At $12 for a four pack, I think this is a real good deal.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A great example of barleywine for those who've never had one before. Poors a very deep, rusty color with hardly any head. The nose is fruity and sweet with a hint of toffee but smells mainly of liquor, which is definitly acceptable consider the alcohol content. The taste is out of this world. Ridiculously complex with tastes of prunes, raisens, toffee, caramel and so much more. Incredibly smooth for how potent it is. The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy but not at all in a bad way. And as for the drinkability, I could drink this all day. A sipping beer that will get you tanked. :-) Enjoy.

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Photo of mschofield
4.65/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a striking dark cherry red, thin tan head, the color is rather nice, no lacing with the 11.1% ABV.
Very fragrant beer, malt and cherry with a strong alcohol note.
The dark fruits come out again in the taste, cherry and plum, almond, roasted malt and brown sugar. Rather tart
Full bodied, a different kind of session beer, in that I could sip one, savoring it as it warms and grows in complexity. Two of these warming brews could make a nightime session. Half this sixer is going in my cellar. Weyerbacher just started showing up around here, and it's becoming a favorite brewer of mine.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.64/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1999 vintage bottle (old lable). I will begin by saying that I have been a fan of this beer since it's beginning. It is very good fresh but really benefits from cellar aging. When young it is tasty, but lighter-bodied, the hops still taste green, and the malt profile is still grainy rather than rounded. Even 1 yr. make a notable differance.
-Pours a deep mahogany topped by velvet-smooth beige head. Good clarity with minimal lacing.
-Aroma is transcendant, mouth-watering. Deep candied citrus-peel, plum, raisen and other dark fruits followed by clove, cinnamon and oak. The tinge of alcohol almost burns my nose.
-Taste is better than the smell-all of the aromas carry through and more! Lots of gooey fruits and spices as well as a superbly subdued piney hop character, which is surprising. Lots of vanilla and oak here too. This is so complex. Finish is long, smooth and lip-smacking good. Bittersweet hops tingle the tongue. Warming all the way to my toes!
--I urge any lovers of barleywine to pursue this one. Buy a whole case (about $35-40 in PA) and cellar them. Drink a few every winter and enjoy with patience. This bottle was nearly 6 years old was the best I've had. I would say it's at it's peak, but could still go a few years too. Cheers!

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Photo of blackie
4.62/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of this ale is a dark amber, and the viscous pour into the glass produces an off white head of which 2 centimeters remain throughout the experience. There is only a slight lacing that clings to the walls of the glass. As the snifter is drained, the sides of the glass become all sticky with malty goodness.

First smell is of sweet, dark, fruity barley malts with just the right amount of hops. I have had some barleywines lately in which the hops were kind of overdone, but that is not the case here. Also present are underlying notes of well cured tobacco, slight banana bread, dark tree fruits, red apples, and maybe some yeast. The ethanol is not immediately evident, but upon taking a deep noseful the 11.1 percent becomes apparent; especially as the beer warms.

The carbonation is very well done, low to medium low while being pleasantly effervescent on the tongue. The liquid is slick and silky smooth on the tonge, with a medium heavy body.

The first taste I notice is of course the sweet malt. Then comes the ethanol...not too assertive, but definately noticeable. Very light hints of tobacco are present, along with some of the banana and tree fruits that were also present in the nose. Notes of old leather and wood are present (in a good, earthy way). Finish with a perfect amount of hop bitterness on the tongue shadowed by a lingering dark sweetness. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Phatz
4.62/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours out dark and syrupy like King's Syrup (for you PA Dutch) for the rest of you it is almost exactly the color of 100% pure Maple Syrup.

Smell: The smell has strong suggestions of dark fruit like dates & berries mixed into a sweet brown sugar base. It is FULL of flavors!! … "You know what really Grinds My Gears" is boring ass beers! This beer is NOT boring. It has tons of aromatic and taste bud stimulation. I love that.

Taste: It does a magnificent dance on the tongue; slides down the throat very easily, and leaves behind a GREAT after taste similar to a dark cider. This was great with Shoe-Fly-Pie (for my PA Dutch comrades). I tried it with cheddar cheese, which really cuts out the bite of the beer, *IF* of course, you don’t like the bite that will make it perfect. I however like the bite (as a whiskey fan); so I decided to skip the cheese. I then tried it with (homemade) pumpkin pie. WOW!! That was amazing! The flavors work together to multiply the experience into sheer bliss! I highly recommend.

Mouth Feel: This beer feels think and heavy in the mouth. I almost wanted to start chewing it. You really know its a good beer you have in your mouth, not like that watery crap with no substance to it.

Drinkability: It is VERY sweet so you will probably not pound them down one after another in your college Frat Party style. But to sip on after you’ve undone that button to relax after Thanksgiving dinner, this is perfect! I also suggest not drinking this on an empty stomach or it’ll sit quite heavy, (and that 11% alcohol will sneak up on you) but it is fantastic with desert! Enjoy!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of mgabrielayersu
4.62/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

something i saved from 2007. clearing out the cellar for the next cross country move. it definitely mellowed out,but still really good. looks like a barley wine snowglobe in my glass. lots of sweet malt flavor, caramel, juicy hops, happy i found it before i moved.

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Photo of Crosling
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very rich and vibrant aroma, which hints of brandy soaked malts and loads of fruits, cherries, grapes, along with wine, caramel anc chocolate. Just a great, refined malt aroma. Perfect dark red color. Monstrous body, which seems to elevate all the juicy malt flavors. Doughy, pastry like malt flavors initially, which on the mid-palate transform into rich layers of vinous fruits, which hints of blueberries, plums, figs and cherries. On the finish, another complete transformation comes into play and toffee, caramel, vanilla and more vinous fruit flavors linger. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wowwowwowowowowowow. What balance. One of the best barley wines I’ve ever had and without a doubt, the best English barley wine ever.

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Photo of mcallister
4.59/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say I really enjoy this barley wine. I am a wine lover first and this has some very tawny port similarities. Woodsy notes with molasses, maple syrup, choclate, and caramel in the mouth. One of the better noses on a brew I can remember. Would love to try it on draft.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.58/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty golden amber in the glass with a nice tan full two finger head that slowly melts to sticky ring lacing.
Aromas are sweet and fruity with a touch of alcohol.
Nice clean balanced flavors. Not overpowering or dominated by hops like an American Barley wine would be. Sweet malts, fruity accents, lightly citrus hops on the end.
This is a wonderfully delicious brew.

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Photo of McNealc31
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper. Aroma is extremely inviting with rich malt, rum raisins, and toffee. Tons going on here. Brown sugar, banana, raisins, toffee, even a hint of bubble gum. Plenty of the requisite malt, too. Amazingly, the alcohol only shows up warmth and dryness in the finish. And at a giant 11.1% ABV, that is quite a task! I see where the name came from. It is dangerously smooth, complex, and tasty. Deceptively potent

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Photo of gbontrag
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

smells of caramel and calvados; autumn leaves and cordial cherries. The carbonation seems to only rise with a shake, and then it climbs the side of the glass in fine beads.
The taste is astringent at first, and numbing, but not puckering. However, this barleywine provides its own salve by way of a huge caramel malt backbone that is crafted like a spun sugar sculpture: Beautiful. Dark spots of charred grains are reminiscent of wood and tannin, and toasted peanut brittle. There are pithy pits of cherry and peaches. This is sticky and fragrant like a local, and strange, honey, and like a homemade fruit cordial. This is 100% barley wine.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brilliant clear amber with orange and cherry highlights. The quarter inch head was a light tan and yellow and it actually stayed around for a while.

Smells out of this world! I’m getting chocolate cake, ginger bread and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. There’s also a little bubble gum and a bit of green grapes.

The flavor is initially an oak hop that fades into an intricate molasses, cola, dark caramel, dark dried fruits and ginger. This then fades back into a woody grassy hops. 11.1%? Yeah right! If it wasn't for the buzz, I'd say that was a misprint.

The mouth feel is medium to heavy with a light easy carbonation.

I really liked the oak characteristics of this beer. The dryness just added to the dynamics and made this a hands down delicious beer.

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Photo of scotorum
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Accidental purchase thanks to an inconsiderate blithering idiot who unbeknownst to me had replaced two bottles in my Insanity fourpack with this before I bought it.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Nearly clear copper with a four inch thick offwhite head which receded slowly to a thick, dense, even foam.

s: Caramel malt and dark ripe fruit such as plum. Aroma is evident from first pour.

t; Follows the nose along with a significant throat burn from the high ABV. Finish is similar with evident alcohol.

m: Full, oily smooth, some carbonation tingle.

o: A powerful barleywine, high octane all the way. Might even prefer this BBA-less version over Insanity, since it seems to have a smoother body, and my rating ended up being significantly higher than the 4.32 I gave Insanity. Considering that, I should probably thank the blithering idiot who pulled that switcheroo.

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Photo of aaronh
4.55/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant copper color topped by a tan head, an impressive head for a barleywine. Wonderful malty aroma, sweet and beautiful. Very sweet taste, thick caramel, strong dark fruits. Finished off by a nice hoppiness. This is an exceptional fresh barleywine. The mouthfeel is thick as expected, but it is also creamy, with the carbonation lightening the load on the tongue and sweeping away the sweetness on the finish. The drinkability is good, good enough to turn you into a blithering idiot in short order. I am impressed by this beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.54/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of sweet fruits...blackberries, plums, perhaps some peaches...very nice...also some molasses on the aroma...

Cloudy orangish brown head...very low carbonation in the mouth..feels a bit watery because of it...I'd call it as medium bodied...

Sweet flavor...toffee....molasses...sweet fruit....a hint of caramel...has some English qualities to it...earthy hop flavor...

I like this....very easy drinking for the ABV..deliciously sweet...earthy...very of the Weyerbachers I've had...

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Photo of Lordsoth
4.52/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5 you can't decide have some of this!! Pours a nice garnet color. First smell is of a fruity wine. I think someone spiked my beer! Very nice taste. The alcohol smell is somewhat deceiving. It is very smooth and easy to drink. I think the name is perfect as you can easily put a few of these down and become a "blithering idiot".

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,169 ratings.
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