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 harrymel
1.44/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bottled: 08/05/10
Best by: 08/05/15
Cheers to bwiechmann for helping me decipher the dates!

A: Pours an apricot-hazel ale. Excellent clarity. Single finger fine light cream foam head dissipates nearly immediately to leave a thin, fine sheet of the same.

S: Banana, clove, yeast. Very sweet. Not reminiscent of many barleywines at all. Alcohol. Nougat sweetness. Copper. Apple skins.

T: Alcohol, light malts, but mostly alcohol. Sharp fusel flavors. Wow, this is shit.

M: Thin, watery, medium carbonation. Slicks the mouth.

D: I have poured this beer out. Trash.

 568 characters

Photo of xtavior
1.66/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This was easily the WORST thing i have EVER drank. It was like someone took a cheap red wine and mixed it with a cheap American lager (ala bud light). I bought a pack weeks ago and can't even get drunk enough to stomach it. Just. Frigging. Terrible.

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Photo of tjd112
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured into Chimay goblet

Appearance - Poured a ruby colour with off-white fizzy head that quickly dissipated, no lacing to be found

Smell - Like cherry cough syrup

Taste = Like cherry cough syrup

Mouthfeel - Very sticky feeling, lingering bitterness, though not that good type of bitter

Drinkability/Overall - Awful, just, awful

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Photo of Jesse13713
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Two and half fingers of head that is quick to diminish. A very cloudy orange and caramelized brown. Poor lacing and dainty looking.

Smell - Smells of light grapes and cherries. Light citrus. Smells sweet and aged.

Taste - This beer tasteS really, really old. Hints of cherry and grape as the nose suggested; but they just taste quite rotten. A very nasty barley taste.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - A very unpleasant, musky and old tasting beer. Wheat and fruit domiinate the taste, but are combined poorly. Overall a very dissapointing barleywine.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.89/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: The beer pours an amber color with a very thin layer of khaki/off-white foam.

S: What is wrong with the nose? Nothing like a barleywine (English or otherwise). Cough syrup and corn with a lot of sugar, alcohol, and maybe some fruits. Slightly floral, but otherwise not much redeeming going on here.

T: Blech. Sugar and alcohol with cough syrup notes. Surprisingly bitter and astringent. A very harsh flavor overall. Some grape and burnt grain flavors on the back end as well. It's also sort of watery on top of it all.

M: The body is thin and watery with a low carbonation.

D: Jesus this was bad. I have no desire to try this again.

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Photo of Bartrob6
1.93/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

cloudy orangish brown. small head but disappears very soon. i can see a few big bubbles floating to the surface.

smells extremely fruity and sweet with alcohol. not very inviting.

tastes like it smells. very fruity and sweet. i'm not enjoying this one at all. maybe i've got a bad bottle?

extremely thick and syrupy mouthfeel.

barely drinkable.

i won't be buying this again.

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Photo of LesStewart
1.93/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Gosh... and I was looking forward to this beer.
The pour is pretty standard for a barleywine, red to brown and cloudy in color with a white to tan head that diminished in a minute or two. The nose was pears and sweet malt. The first taste put the nail in the coffin for me though; red cherries and butterscotch rule this beer. And the sweet to syrupy full mouthfeel makes sure that the taste lingers eventually giving way to a small amount of fusals on the end. I could see someone enjoying this beer, but that person isn't me.

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Photo of phattysbox
2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a tulip glass. Poured pretty vigorously and got a great 2 inch head but this receded to nothing - no lace. Has a murky reddish/clay-like hue clearly demonstrating the yeast remaining in the bottle. Not the best looking beer.

Smell: Spicy solvent alcohol first hits the nose and stays throughout. No hop character whatsoever but the fruity esters are very apparent. Harsh nose is similar to taking an overripe fig/date and aging it in rubbing alcohol.

Taste: More of the same from the nose. Extreme alcoholic warmth and harsh astringent flavors followed by uber sweet malt profile - raisins, dates, figs and cranberries. Again no hops are detectable. Even though its an english barleywine, there should be SOME hop character, perhaps earthy that an english varietal would bring. Mouthfeel is big and creamy while the carbonation fizzled out early in the brew. Warming the brew to RTP reveals some cardboard and diacetyl notes.

Drinkability is pretty low in my opinion. The solvent-like alcohol really detracts from the beer and makes it one-dimensional. Could not finish the whole bottle, just not worthy in my opinion.

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Photo of Suds
2.04/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Based on reading the other reviews, I'm inclined to believe that I've drawn a bad six-pack. The bottles pour like wet trub rather than beer....nearly saturated with yeast and, I believe, flecks of hop petals. Zero head and zero carbonation. Smells intensely of alcohol. Tastes of syrupy sweet malt and yeast. Alcohol presence is dominating. The bottles I bought are irrevocably flawed. However, I'd be willing to try this beer again in the hopes that this was a one-time quality control oversight.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
2.08/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Murky tea colored. Very little head.

It's almost impressive how they got so little aroma out of so much malt. I mean maybe my nose is off tonight...*reads other reviews*...nope not my nose that's the problem.

Flavor follows aroma. Some vague malty notes a bit of alcohol spice, not much going on here. Mouthfeel and finish are, whatever I'm done here.

Bought this with hopes of ageing some but I guess I'll be getting a good buzz tonight instead.

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Photo of aasher
2.09/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked this bottle up in Florida a couple weeks ago. It pours a medium bodied, cloudy dark orange on the verge of amber. It looks kind of thick and syrupy. It smells of some serious sweet carmel malts, pale malts, and seriously faded hops. It's a let down from that perspective. For a barleywine this sure hasn't held up well, even over the past five or six months. It tastes of pale malts, syrup, brown sugar, carmel malts, and honey. It is a malt BOMB! There is ZERO hop presence. It drinks pretty syrupy and is overly sweet and leaves the sweetness behind in the aftertaste. Booo! This beer is not a good representation of the style. It's just malty syrup. Drainpour....

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Photo of Vierenner
2.09/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I did not enjoy this beer. Smelled like a ripe banana after popping the cap ... even more so in the glass. Probably the strangest smelling/tasting beer I've ever had. I like the lack of hops, but I can't seem to like anything else. Again I'm reminded to do a more detailed analysis before I make a blind purchase.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Yuck: Not a fan. Pours a cloudy amber cider-esque color, with little to no head. Very little carbonation. The nose is syrupy-sweet vinous fruit and alcohol and the taste follows suit in onenote. Desperately cries for some counterbalancing citrus bitterness, but there's none to be had. Almost comes off literally as wine not beer. Couldn't finish the pour.

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Photo of quasimoto
2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Hazy reddish brown with a small off-white head.

S - Vinous, with citrus and malty hints.

T - Strong malts of red wine, and hints of citrus folloed by hops.

M - Sharp on the palette, tart almost

D - definilty not a session beer, A little of for its desired target.

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Photo of ghengisflan
2.28/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a dark copper with a little bit of opacity and a very small, quickly disappearing tan/copper head.

Smell: Something smells sour or old, but as a sour beer fan this smell does not appeal to me.

Taste: One note of something between cherry and earthy, which is too sweet for my palette.

Mouthfeel: There isn't much to say about mouthfeel. It's average?

Overall: I like barleywine; I was disappointed.

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Photo of DarthVorador
2.29/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Looked & smelled great, but went all down hill from there. Couldn't get past the strong cough syrup flavor. This one definitely needs to be aged, otherwise it's damn near undrinkable.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
2.36/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

served into a tulip glass from a 12oz brown bottle,cellered for a year.

Cloudy,still able to see thru,dark copper,ambery with a glowing red hue. Lively sounding and looking,strings of tiny bubbles rising from the sides of the glass.A creamy off-white head dissapating to a collar of foam around the side of the glass throughout the beer.Nice apperance.
The aroma was very fruity, smells of raisins/figs/dates. The aroma of alcohol was very appearant throught the aromas,also a bit of some woodyness.
The taste was a blast of alcohol,a bit much for me,ruined the overall taste of the beer.The taste was of the aromas very fruity,raisiny/figs/dates,a bit nutty,with a woody feel. Sour,tart with a sweet light cloying feel to the finish.
A medium mouthfeel,very sticky,a very grainy texture a bit too harsh for me.
Had a rough time finishing one beer,not a beer I would care to drink again.

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Photo of tone77
2.36/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

From a brown 12 oz. bottle. Pours a brownish/red color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, slightly sweet. Taste is mostly of alcohol, some maltiness , and finishes sour. Feels creamy in the mouth. Definatly not a beer I could spend the evening drinking. Overall not really to my liking.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.36/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Paid $2.99 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a snifter to review as the first barleywine I've had of the season.

Leaves a small half inch head after an aggressive pour that dissipates quickly leaving minimal retention. Head is somewhat fizzy and of a beige color. Brownish orange in color with light passing through only when held to a light. Appears to be lightly carbonated and of a thick consistency. A few lines of thin lacing.

Aroma is strong and boozy with sweet caramel malts, candied fruit, molasses. Warming rum-like alcohol rather detectable to the nose.

Alcohol is better hidden in the taste which is dominated by an overtly sweet orange/fig medley. Caramel malts take a backseat to the sweetness.

Medium to full body. The mouthfeel reminds me of a two liter orange soda bottle that was opened and put in the fridge overnight; slightly flat with some fizz left and all the original sweetness.

Every beer I've had thus far from Weyerbacher has been excellent. I would not put this beer in that category. I've had this one in the cellar for almost a year. Perhaps another 2-3 years would tone things down and bring the beer together.

edited and added after review:
To find out, Insanity is Blithering Idiot aged in oak barrels that had previously held bourbon. Amazing what this process can do to a beer as Insanity is perhaps my new favorite barleywine.

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Photo of LPorter33
2.37/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Purchased single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = Decent looking foggy, murky dark orange-brown-peach colord. not much head at all. Pretty good lacing.

Smell = Lots of alcohol and zest. A candy like sweetness, smell almost exaclty like Strawberry Twizzlers. Intesesting scent.

Taste = Too sweet and syrupy with the alcohol packing quite a punch to boot. An overwhelming taste that doesn't agree with me, just a bit too harsh and sweet. It could be balanced better. More bitter and more of a hops presence. I like the thick, syrupy mouthfeel as it's quite comforting but the taste gets old fast and just isn't complex. This could really be improved.

Overall = I don't have much experience with Barley wines. This one isn't recommended and I'd never try it again as it's too overwhelming and there's many other extreme beers I'd chose over this.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

11.1% ABV, Original Gravity: 26.2p, 34 IBU's.
Hopped with Northern Brewer (B), Perle (B), Hallertuaer.
12oz bottle.
Pours out to a medium amber, forming a soft yellow head with good retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk, ~2.75 carbs or so. The nose is ripe with figs, dates, belgian candi sugar, grape juice, plums, cherries and apple juice. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a dense body. Tastes like a fruit salad, lots of grapes, fugs and dates. Modestly strong oxidized wet cardboard flavor half way through with moderate higher alcohols and soy sauce like yeast autolysis with mild herbal bitterness.

The oxidation and higher alcohols definitely ruin this for me. Not a very good or very well brewed beer. I definitely wouldn't buy this again. Drain pour. Blithering indeed,

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Photo of Pahn
2.4/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Free pour yields a half inch white head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Pours a nice hazy copper. No lacing.

Smell: Sugary sweet, malty. Fruity, some almost-strawberry aroma. Faint fruity hop aroma. Candy sweetness reminds me a bit of Brooklyn's Monster Ale.

Taste: Oof, but the taste doesn't remind me of Monster Ale... What the hell is going on here? Tastes like a fruitier Glissade, with lots of solvent, and building bubblegum/medicinal notes. Tastes bready, a bit like hay smells.

I think if you blended Glissade, Midas Touch, and River Horse's abominable Tripel Horse together, it would taste exactly like this beer. Two (in my opinion) good beers that are (not just my opinion) emphatically not barleywines, mixed with what might as well be called "bad aspects of poorly made high gravity Belgian beers solution."

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, sugary, low carbonation. Not great, but wouldn't get in the way if the flavor was better.

Overall: How is this terrible beer the base beer for Weyerbacher's infinitely better Insanity?

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Photo of chefhatt
2.41/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I poured this into a pint glass, it has a dark copper body and very little head to it. The smell is sweet and malty, with a little fruit hops coming threw. The taste is like medicine and bubble gum flavored, with a hint of barley on the back of the tongue. The mouth feel is hard and not smooth. I really didn't enjoy this beer.

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Photo of bjohn84
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - 1 Finger of creamy off white head, that dissipates fairly quickly. Color is deep amber with a hint of orange. Numerous particles floating throughout glass.

S - Nothing potent. Some herbal spicy floral, dried fruits

T - Caramel sweetness, along with dark fruits. Alcohol comes through on back end fairly strong. Flavors don't come through very strong

M - Medium body here with medium-high stickiness in the mouth

O - Overall nothing too special. Taste and smell don't have a ton of character and the lingering alcohol potency is probably a bit strong.

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Photo of EStreet20
2.46/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Hazy reddish orange copper color with about a half finger of light tan head. Glows when held up to light without letting the light pass through it.

S - Big fruity, solvent alcohol smell. Some candy aromas in there as well.

T - All alcohol and fruit flavors come through initially. The alcohol gets really dominant and rides through into the aftetaste quite a bit. Hop presence is lacking here, and would definitely help to balance the flavors.

M - Medium bodied.

D - Really suffers from the fact that this brew is all alcohol. Maybe some age would help the flavors pull together.

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