Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

905 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 905 | Ratings: 2,170
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boozy whiskey great aroma. Taste sharp whiskey and then mellowed by the barley. Very finishable. Fig date licorice chocolate malt essence and sharp sour plum soaked for a while. Wow, 11% warming. A 55 degree room temperature offering. Amber ruby colour.

 253 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin half finger head on a garnet and crimson murky body with excellent lacing. Nice sweet aroma with mostly bubblegum, plum, grapes and vanilla. Flavor is malty with citrus, pine, molasses and figs. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall a mild barley wine which isn't as sharp or difficult to get used to as many which helps its drinkability however the flavors are understated slightly effecting it's complexity.

 422 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.61/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Jnorton00 for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly murky orange-brown with a 1/2 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and some metallic aromas. Taste is of malt, metal, and burnt brown sugar. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with some off aromas and flavors.

 474 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is an interesting beer, suitable for holiday time. the pours is a copper to red color, mostly clear but with some yeast floaters hanging around under a short white head. the aroma is heavy on the honey, with notes of dried cherries, english caramel malt, and a touch of holiday spice. the alcohol is toxic in this beer though, its at the forefront in the nose and taste, and really burns through any subtle flavors that might make this a better beer. one bottle is more than enough of this one i though. the body is full and the bubbles are plentiful, but its just not something anyone could handle too much of. my least favorite of the weyerbacher big beers case, i just thought the alcohol potency overshadowed the intended flavor profile.

 746 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a deep brown color, with a white head. The aroma is sweet smelling with some piney hops in the mix. The flavors are there but not in the biggest way. It's a bit watery on the mouthfeel. This beer could be a lot better, I know a lot of people who love this beer for it's strength. Whenever I talk to people about strong beers they ask me about this one. It's a decent barley wine but it's not the greatest. I think people from around here like it so much because It's local and that cool to show support for the home team.

 537 characters

Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy orange in color and poured with a thin creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving lacy patterns floating in the center of the glass. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are aromas of alcohol and dark fruit in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of caramel, dark fruits and toffee; there are some hints of sweetness in the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and somewhat syrupy on the palate with a light amount of carbonation.
D: Considering its strength, this beer is not that difficult to drink, although there's no way I could have more than one of these at a time.

 663 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whoa, this is a big strong, beer for sure. The first I've had from this brewery and I found it to be an above average barleywine. It's no Bigfoot or Old Horizontal for sure, but it's pretty damn good. Does have a little too much of an alcohol flavor and not enough of a "beer" taste to balance it out for me. This affects the drinkability but overall its a good beer and worth a try.

 383 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best Barley Wines out there. Strong alcohol and thinly sweet malts throughout. From the onset, gives the sensation of warming and lightly fusal, yet pleasant. Boldly sweet with syrup, molassas, and brown sugar. Hopped for balance and light bittering. Moderately thick and silky to the palate. Finishes with a light sweetness, light drying, and palate clensing bitterness. I will be drinking quite a bit more of these. It's certainly an Enlish Barley Wine with a subtle American twist.

 495 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours with a three-fingered head that caps the clear burnt orange liquid; plenty of lacing

Smell: Cherries, fig, dates, treacle and nuts

Taste: Treacle, fig, dates and nuts, up front, with a developing spice cake aspect; the sweetness builds, after the swallow, along with a boozy, spicy aspect

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation and considerable warmth in the gullet

Overall: Just not that excited by this beer; would have preferred a bit more hop elements even though I recognize that this is in the English barleywine style

 554 characters

Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belated thanks to markgugs for sending this in a trade a few years ago. Decided to cellar it, and here we are today.

Pours into a Duvel glass a bright ruby tone, didn't quite manage to keep all the sediment out, so there's a flurry of suspended particles. Lasting cream colored head that lingers with good retention. Very deep malty aroma, with some rum raisin at room temperature. Not especially complex, a note of alcohol comes out when swirled, but it's not a deal breaker, this is a 11+% Barleywine after all.

Viscous body with some lush toffee/caramel flavors, spicy rum, and dried fruit. Oxidized and bready like some Euro beers. Alcohol seems somewhat tamed yet still perceptible. Rich and sticky. Low carbonation, full bodied. A nice late evening sipper. Thanks Mark!

 779 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber looking ale with a medium head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is quite sweet with some great malt also noticeable. Taste is very warming which is probably due to the high content of alcohol, which is not easily discernable. Quite sweet throughout with some caramel and light bitterness at the end. Overall, this is very pleasant stuff and looking forward to try the Insanity.

 404 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to ChrisPro in Blind BIF #4. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a dark copper color with a good white head. Starts out with two fingers and fades down into a moderately-sized collar with some film on top. The nose is fairly sweet with a bit of dark fruits. Quite a bit of sweetness coming through along with some cherries. Taste is mildly sweet with a bit of malt and caramel. A bit of yeastiness comes through as well. Difficult to pin down. The yeast reminds me of Harpoon's house ale yeast. Drinks pretty well, though there's nothing too noteworthy about it. I don't get much other than the yeast, though that portion is distinctively American.

 659 characters

Photo of mothman
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light layer of off whte head. Color is a caramel brown.

Aroma: Sweet and malty. reminds me of other Weyerbacher beers I have had recently. Molasses, cherries, raisins, caramel malts. Not to bad.

Taste: Rich and malty. Some booze showing. Caramel and toffee. Cherries, raisins, and molasses. A lot like the aroma. I like this for an English bwine since it has more than just malts to it. Has some flavors like the quad had to it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, warming, and creamy. Medium bodied with a low amount to medium carbonation. Ends sweet and malty with lots of dried fruit flavors.

Overall, not a bad English bwine, especially for the price. Slowing sipping this one. Drinkability is very similar to the other Weyerbacher beers I have had. Some what drinkable. Not very hoppy, but fits the style.

 811 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 5/10/2012. Pours lightly cloudy reddish orange color with a nice 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big cherry, raisin, prune, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, banana, light clove, bread, earth, and light herbal spiciness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of maltiness. Taste of cherry, raisin, molasses, caramel, toast, fig, bread, herbal, clove, earth, and banana. No bitterness at all on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, dark fruits, molasses, caramel, toast, banana, light clove, bread, earth, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malty flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy and very slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Definitely a sipper at 11.1%. Overall this is a very nice English Barleywine style. Very nice flavor complexity and balance of malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering. I enjoyed this much more than my first rating; not sure what went wrong with that bottle.

 1,291 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small, light brown head that quickly recedes to a thin ring of lace. The body is a somewhat hazy, reddish brown with ruby highlights.

S - A deep, malty aroma of toffee, plums, toasted malt and caramel.

T - Lots of caramel and toffee, followed by smoky notes and a hint of bitter chocolate. There is a little bit of hop flavor and bitterness in the finish.

M - The body is thick and syrupy, medium low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Drinkable would be stretching it a bit for a beer this big and thick, but it is pretty enjoyable. The malt complexity is excellent, and the beer is very smooth for something so strong, but I don't know if it quite manages to justify its extraordinary price.

 725 characters

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.

 329 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Even older bottles of this seem to pour hazy. I'm not sure of the year since they don't mark them, but this is the older label (burgundy w/ gold letters... just letters, no jester) so it must be at least a year old, maybe two. It's aged well; no defects. The color has a nice organge cast to it and the aroma is pretty bold. Very full, sweet, caramelish malt. No hops in the aroma, but that's expected for an English-style barleywine. The flavor, however, is much more restrained than the malt suggests. Alot of drinkers view this in a negative light, but I feel it's perfectly acceptable. It's not as malty or hoppy as most American versions, but keep in mind that this is based on British barleywines, many of which are more along these lines. The flavor that is here is very well balanced, and very drinkable, rounding up the usual suspects: malty, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, alcohol. Not alot of hop flavor or bitterness, but just enough to balance very well. I think this is also a beer best served English-style - at a cellar temperature of 50 - 55 F - as more of its character is revealed. A bit of an underdog in the barleywine race, but still an excellent beer!

 1,177 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle.

Hazy copper body is topped by a tan head that has great retention, especially for style.

A load of sweet and medium roasted malts in the nose along with less pronounced alcohol esters. The alcohol is more evident in tasting where it is joined by notes of toffee, figs, and other dark fruits.

Feel: a bit more heat than ideal but quite smooth.

 363 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 2/17/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is dark fruit and caramel, with a mild hops background and a note of banana, which I found surprising.

T: The taste is malty but not quite as sweet as the smell makes you expect. There are flavors of caramel, dark fruit, spice and a significant alcohol sting. The hops presence is pretty decent but it has a hard time breaking through the heavy malt character. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink a couple of and relax with, but I would to drink too much more than that in one night.

 909 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange to copper in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation and a fair amount of sediment floating in suspension (I would guess this is yeast). The beer has a quarter finger tall creamy light beige head that quickly reduces to a patch of very thin film in the center of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: The smell of this beer is quite sweet, bordering on cloying sweetness. There are some light amounts of malt and lots of dark fruits and alcohol presence.

T: The taste follows pretty closely to the smell with the malts upfront with their own sweetness (caramel and toffee), followed by the dark fruits, and finally there is some alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly syrupy. Just a touch of alcohol heat.

O: This beer is a just a hint to sweet for me to consider it an easy to drink beer. Also, the high ABV makes this a sipping beer and definitely not a session beer (there is no way that I could have more than one of these in a session). There is just a hint of too much alcohol presence for me to really enjoy.

 1,191 characters

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

Pours brown/dark orange, low beige head, extremely thin ring afterwards, not so sticky with the little traces sliding back down to the beer.
Lots of dark fruit in the smell, fig and berry jam, overripe bananas, gluey toffee and caramel, dark bread and strong booze.
Taste is fruity in the start, strangely citrusy, with a lot of red grape mustiness and a touch of red apple acidity. Dark fruit jam, figs, dates, low red berries, getting sweeter and sweeter until the malts come up, with sticky caramel and molasses. A little breadiness way in the back. Lots of spices, with licorice, faint vanilla and clove, a pinch of peppercorn. Mildly bitter finish, with a bit of roasted grains and very very faint hops.
Smooth body, some nice fizz for the first 5 minutes, but not exactly what you'd want for a sipper. Alcohol is decently hidden at first, giving off some dark rum notes, but it will gang up on you after half the beer. It also clings in the aftertaste, so be sure to speak to people from a distance.
Not the most balanced barleywine, the fruitiness feels a bit chaotic, gets a bit too sweet and boozy close to the finish. Careful with this one or you'll end up talking like a "blithering idiot".

 1,201 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single from Green's on Buford Hwy in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a dark, reddish-brown body with a small, though sustaining, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, malty, boozy aroma with a rich, syrup-soaked blend of dark fruits.

Taste: Lightly toasty caramel maltiness with a good dose of sweetness (along the lines of a sip of simply syrup). Very tiny hint of cocoa powder and banana bread. There's a strong fruitiness tasting of sugared, sauteed figs. Slight earthy hop character and bitterness. Warming alcohol presence but nothing too glaring, mind you. Finishes sweet and boozey.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A predominately sweet, malty barleywine that I enjoyed fairly well. I have a few older bottles lurking the cellar that I'll be sure to check on.

 816 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoldering cherry-bronze with orange juice trim. Man, I love the way most barleywines look in the glass! The lid is a looker as well. It's orange-tinted ivory in color and is as frothythick as whipped eggnog. Since it has no desire to deflate in the next hour or so, my lace assessment will have to wait. At the moment, it appears as if the glass will be pretty well covered. (Note: in the end, very little lace ends up sticking).

The nose is pretty standard for an English barleywine. It's a little lax in the power and depth departments, there isn't much hoppiness, and there's a wee bit too much undisguised alcohol. That whole 'cherries and figs macerated in brandy' smell is present and accounted for, but it fails to impress due to the faults noted a few lines up.

The flavor is much more agreeable than the aroma. The beer is nicely malted, with muscular flavors of black cherry, orange, dark rum-soaked dates and English toffee. It isn't as complex as some of my favorites of the style, but it's still pretty tasty beer. I have no doubt that it's hard to completely neutralize an 11.10% ABV. Given the circumstances, this big ale is just about as mellow as possible. Cellaring it for 18 months, as I've done, was a good choice.

I won't say 'with warming' since I started the bottle out at cellar temperature, but with time the various members of the flavor profile knit together more completely and the alcohol becomes even more rounded and smooth. On second thought, the latter may be due to nothing more than tongue numbing. I love how the boozy cherry flavor hangs on seemingly indefinitely.

The mouthfeel, while unquestionably full, is still roughly average for the style (in terms of girth). I'll call it lightly syrupy at most since there's barely a trace of heaviness or stickiness. The carbonation is appropriately subdued and does its work without fanfare, or even notice. The mouthfeel makes drinking quickly a breeze, even as the ABV makes drinking too quickly dangerous. Respect is a must.

This Weyerbacher offering is one of the better examples of an English barleywine that I've run across. I will never like malt-dominant versions of the style as much as I like balanced or (especially) hop-dominant versions, but I've had a good time with this one. It's solid all the way around. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the Blithering Idiot.

 2,370 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this in NC, late July

Poured an effervescent amber/chestnut with 2 fingers of white head & loads of floaties??!?? Average head retention& above average lacing

S: Bready, fruitty & caramel

T: Bready with caramel & alcohol hotness up front. More caramel & candy sugar as this warmed . Finishes with loads booze burn & more caramel

MF: Medium-bodied, slick & low carbonation

Drank like a 11%+ abv barley wine, maybe this ages gracefully? Not impressed

 458 characters

Photo of billab914
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Allagash glass. It poured a deeper amber color with a thin, off-white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head it had lasted pretty well into drinking it, and left a bit of lacing as well.

The aroma has more of a malty profile with some nice raisin and cherry flavors coming out in it. The alcohol is present, but doesn't feel out of place and actually fits with the malty, fruity flavors nicely.

The taste also shows some of those dark fruit and cherry flavors to it. I get some malty sweet, caramel like flavors to it up front, while some Piny, herbal like bitterness comes through towards the finish.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being a bit below average. Drinkability was not bad, it was a pretty good beer overall. Not an outstanding beer of the style, but a good one at the least.

 861 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,170 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.