Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,221 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,221 |  Reviews: 917
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.34/5  rDev -9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. A vigorous pour into a snifter gained me a little less than a finger of head that went as quickly as it came. Body is a light brown with a tinge of orange.

S. I get raisin and wine grapes in the nose and a light caramel maltiness.

T. Caramel malt flavor is big up front on this, and gives way to the taste of raisins and a hint of dried apricots. Alcohol pops in near the end just to say hi.

M. Medium bodied but sticky going down. Slightly drying at the end. The alcohol provides just a little hint of bite if you take a big sip.

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Photo of abraxel
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark reddish-orange, with lots of haziness and suspended sediment. A finger or two of slightly tan head, which doesn't really leave lacing. Looks fine.

S - At first sniff, just some sweet, slightly fruity malts and a hint of alcohol, but as it warms up all these complex, tasty caramel and toffee flavors come out to mingle with the sweet malts and alcohol. Rather nice.

T - Primarily that tasty caramel/toffee, with a bit of nuttiness, followed by a strong showing of that sweet, fruity malt. The alcohol also shows up, just to let itself be known. Quite tasty.

M - Medium-full and rather smooth. Only a hint of carbonation.

Overall, this is quite a tasty barleywine. I'm looking forward to the Insanity I have in the fridge...

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Photo of domtronzero
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Hazy orange brown with a short lived, thin, tannish head. No lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, rich stone fruits, light apricot and a light boozy aroma.

F/M - Similar to the nose, with rich sweet malts, and a nice dark stone fruit flavor. Moderate bitterness and sweet finish. Medium full bodied with moderate carbonation.

O - Ok, but a little too rich and sweet for me. Lingering caramelly malt flavors are just over the top.

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Photo of Auracom
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle on May 25th, 2011 in a Dogfish Head tulip glass. Interesting name, hopefully it doesn't allude to my behavior after I drink it.

Pours a medium dark brown coloring that is quite murky. Very little head as I'd expect for the style.

Aroma is mainly caramel malt sweetness, some sugar, a little yeast, some fruit that I can't quite discern, and spices. Relatively complex without having too much alcohol in the nose.

Taste is virtually identical with much more caramel that isn't overly or cloyingly-sweet. A little bit of the booze make an appearance in the drink portion.

Mouthfeel is poor, with not enough carbonation to carry the drink and a thin body. Some alcohol warmth in the finish.

Drinkability is similarly just okay, good I guess for the gravity, but I feel like I'd need to revisit it when the bottle has more age just to see if anything more can be pulled out of it. I would lean towards saying no. The main flaw (mouthfeel) can't really be corrected with age.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle pours a murky brown with hints of orange. Half finger of head that recedes to a thin collar.

Nose is loaded with sweet toffee and bready malt, real boquet of floral esters. Taste offers a sweet bread malt, toffee, dark fruits, strong ethanol in the finish bordering on solvent, brown sugar, raisins, bit of earth, some dryness in the finish. Proper flavors but the booze is overbearing, especially considering the body is a little thin for the ABV. Nice smooth carb, decent beer but simply too boozy and solventy for any more than a bottle.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, nice opaque amber color with very light head that dissipates quickly. Presents as many other barleywines.

Smell is raisany, carmely sweet malt flavor. Obviously changing as it warms. The flavors mix well.

Taste is malt sweetness, with the raisan, fig in the front with caramel notes.

Mouthfeel is very good, nicely balanced and just enough carbonation.

Just the right drinkability for a barleywine, flavors are not not overpowering and sticky but complex enough to want another.

Separate review of an older bottle:

A gifted uncellared brew, I think this is a 2008 vintage of blithering idiot:

I chilled this one for a few months after a friend gifted an old bottle of one they had: poured into a pint glass, presents with nice 1/2" head and a lot of floating yeast/sediment, I like this as a unique feature of the aging process.

Smell is smooth malt, light raisany/plum scents and slight hint of ester, but not strong. very mellow, very nice.

Taste is resiny malt, with caramel sweetness, hints of ester and raisan.

Mouthfeel is a touch cloying, but expected for as old as this is, nice balance otherwise with good smooth sweetness and alcohol presence.

Overall, slightly different than the past blithering's i've had from this past year; biggest difference was the yeast in suspension and the slightly cloying flavors.

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Photo of birdman200
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark caramel color, minimal head
S: Very boozy smell, dark chocolate, plum, green apple.
T: Little biscuit malt, bitter hops, and very dry/bready/floury taste. Very similar to saltines? Not much sweetness.
M: Finishes very hard and bitter
D: Not my favorite barleywine. Not much sweetness to it. The complexity was there, but not the good kind. Go get Old Horizontal or Bigfoot.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Blitheting Idiot is a decent barleywine with a very noticeable ABV.

A: Red colour and decent head that fades to lacing. 4

S: Not much nose. Some yucky barn smell. 2.5

T: Sweet with some paint stripper esters. The aftertaste is alcoholic. 3.5

M: Slightly syruppy water. Decent 3.5

O: Decent, but very alcoholic, barleywine. 3.5

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Photo of gabedivision
3.07/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a SA Imperial snifter glass.

Pours a deep reddish orange with a big thick fluffy white head that sticks and laces itself to the sides of the glass. Smells is very raisiny, very deep fig like, dark fruit indeed, nice sugary malts with a spicy kick to it. Big hot alcohol plums can be found when smelling around the glass also. Pale sugary malt taste fills the mouth, alcohol sting, sweet hops, alcohol, little chocolates and other dark sweets can be found. This is medium to full bodied sugary candy blast. It leaves the mouth dry with a lot of resin on the tongue and teeth. I had alot of problems with the feel of this beer, it was very creamy but also seemed to be almost flat at times, not very enjoyable and killed the experience of the beer for me. This beer has alot of issues that i dont think ill try again to see if they figured it out.

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Photo of aasher
2.09/5  rDev -43.1%
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 Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of ummswimmin
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 16 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The Idiot laughed at me while I poured. That guy is pretty creepy... I hope I don't look like that after drinking a couple of these. The 11.1% ABV goes a long way to putting a smile on my face.

On the pour I had a one finger head. The head dissipated quickly to leave a nice film. There is a nice coppery color.

It smells of barley with nice sweetness. The alcohol flavors stand out.

With each taste I get the nice alcohol flavors of the barley wine. The sweetness of the wine type flavors come through. This is an extremely well balanced Barley Wine.

Just after I finish the beer; I stand up too quickly and I get light headed. I have become the idiot.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

stamped with two numbers 121410, 121415, I'm assuming a bottled on and best by date.

hazy dark copper color with orange highlights, thin white head that fades fast. smells of fermented fruit, booze, burnt sugar.

tastes of malt, caramel, brown sugar, raisins, with a definite alcohol presence. thick and syrupy, lower carbonation.

overall a bit strong, I'm gonna cellar the rest to see if the heat dies down and the flavors blend a bit better.

** Update at 2 years aged:
basically no head. still a boozey fruity aroma. Alcohol is still in the taste too, although maybe a bit more suppressed than fresh. Still needs more time.

** Update at 6 years aged:
clear, dark amber, not much head. nice malty flavors in the aroma - raisins, burnt sugar, still a touch of booze. similar flavors in the taste, slightly sweet. sticky mouthfeel. Overall - definitely still improving even more than a year past the 5 year best by date

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Thanks to a generous BA for a sweet Weyerbacher hook-up!

This liquid is a medium-to-almost-dark shade of amber with some mild crimson tinting. It is mid-level in it's haziness. A light tan colored head, almost a full finger thick, forms then recedes to a thin, filmy, surface covering. The lacing is is in dots and tiny strand-lets which are nicely sticky.

Lots of maltiness comes forth in the nose. Big fruit notes; some orchard/white fruits and dark fruits, as well. Candi sugar sweetness. Treacle and buttery caramel. Light hints of fusel alcohols.
This is a nice nose, but I've had to search to pull out the individual elements of it. It's rather muted, overall.

This is a big, malty monster. Just like it should be. Tons of maltiness, drizzled with hot buttered rum caramels, spooned onto medium level toast points, topped with a paste of figs, dates and raisins and sprinkled with golden brown sugar that has a touch of cinnamon and ginger added to it. This is garnished with mango and peach slices.
This absolutely benefits (opens up) from some minutes of letting it 'rest' and 'breathe'. It's getting better and better as it goes along.

It's just shy of being full-bodied with a light-to-almost-medium level of carbonation. The light touch of creaminess that it has gives it an almost silky smoothness.

Very tasty and smooth, but the 11.10%abv is not very hidden. This is no surprise with a big brew like this one, though. English barleywines are not intended to be 'slammed' all night long. They are more designed as a 'sipping' drink, and this one is no exception.
Delicious....but don't expect to down a 6-pk by yourself!

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Photo of chefhatt
2.41/5  rDev -34.3%
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 Pahn
2.4/5  rDev -34.6%
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 Jesse13713
1.89/5  rDev -48.5%
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 matthewlikesbeer
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Picked up a four pack of Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot. Frankly, chose it for its high alcohol content, reasonable price, and reputable name.

A: Appears a cloudy, darkish amber with no visible carbonation

S: Smells like a really old ale. Not much to smell.

T: Bitter dark, dried fruits on the tip of the tongue. Dry barley on the leave. Alcohol not far behind.

M: Not the chewiest, certainly not thin.

D: Very tasty. 4 pack gone.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a snifter.

A: It pours a hazy dark red color with a finger of vibrant white head that has fantastic retention and good lacing.

S: Strong candi sugar, figs, dates, cherries, and caramel.

T: Mellow and savory dark fruitiness, cherries, caramel, light toasted bread, and some lurking booziness. It is not as intense as I expected with such alcohol strength.

M: The body is medium-thick with relatively low carbonation and a smooth finish.

D: This is good and shows very little alcohol.

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Photo of harrymel
1.44/5  rDev -60.8%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of KajII
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Best served in a Snifter]

Poured a cloudy reddish-brown with a very small light pink fizzy head that was fully diminishing in a matter of seconds and had virtually no lacing to speak of.

The aroma was strong up front of a nutty cookie like malt, a mild dose of flowery hops, and a strong presence of a doughy yeast with hint of dried fruit (raisins, figs and maybe plums).

It tasted moderately sweet, fruity and a little sour with a nice note of raisins in the beginning and finished with this nice bitter-sweet flavor with a hint of dried fruit and had a moderate warming sensation from the alcohol at the end. The flavor was left lying on the taste buds for a fair amount of time allowing you to savor this tasty nectar.

Mouthfeel was medium in body and oily in texture with the carbonation being very soft.

Overall a fantastic Barleywine Ale with an abundance of flavor that does an awesome job of concealing the high alcohol content.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Duvel snifter at the compound. Im the 666th person to review this, fitting..

Blithering Idiot pours in the glass looking a dark ruddy brown with some red some dark plum and red in spots. A hard pour yields a inch of tight off white/tan foam that raises and drops kinda quick. No stick, no legs.

Smell is muy English in nature with malt and barley up front and hops in the back. In fact, no hops at all, this one is a sweet one and reminds me of a big brown mixed in with BSDA.

I taste a bunch of malt up front, caramel and the like accented with some dark fruit flavor. I don't get any of the 11 percent, it's hidden very well, but a little burn is always good. Light cocco and some grain but this is mostly malty and really reminds me of a Americanized BSDA.

Feel is a big medium and goes down pretty smooth, there is no real interference. The carb is very light and is hardly making a whimper. I like my barley wines with a bit more texture and pizazz, this is a little light in the loafers.

All in all, this is a great drinker (sipper if you will) and a strong ass beer. A little misrepresented style wise, but every Brewery has a different scope of view. I had no problem with my 12oz.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep and cloudy amber hue with a quickly diminishing head leaving a little bit of lacing on the glass as you drink. Nothing huge bursts out of me with the smell but I can smell some dried fruit and alcohol. Big, inviting, creamy mouthfeel that balances out some of the alcohol taste, which is strong but not as overbearing as some 11 percent beers I've had. Alcohol tends to linger on the back of the throat though and may deter some. I would drink another one, but not too many. Probably wouldn't buy a 6 pack of it though.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,221 ratings