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Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,198 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: 2,198 |  Reviews: 912
Photo of Rschis16
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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 -8.2%
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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Photo of quine
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a hazy reddish amber with little head.

S: Smells fruity, sweet, and a little alcoholic.

T: Similar to the smell, tastes fruity and sweet, and fairly alcoholic.

M: Rather syrupy, and only slightly carbonated.

D: Alcohol is fairly noticeable. A good sipping beer.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking medium to deep copper with a fluffy off white head. Aroma is of dried fruits, some caramel and a hint of alcohol. Taste is sweet, fruity, more malty than hoppy. Some alcohol is definitely present in the taste. Mouthfeel is thick, sweet, and a bit sticky. Carbonation is low, but adequate. Not my favorite barleywine, definitely could benefit from a bit of hop presence.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a tall glass,
pours a cloudy almost two tone fire red color. genuinely impressive, that i have never seen something like this before. has a pinky sized hued caramel head that seems to settle and dissipate. Leaves a slight lace, not too much.
Smells of sweet malts. resembles the smell of rum. almost vanilla is. molasses and slightly bitter
Tastes deeply malty with hardly any bitterness. Burns as it goes down. tastes almost like rum as well as it smells. warm and inviting to the palate. every drink gets more complex and desirable. but the burn hinders that just a little bit.
considerably warm and fuzzy. the alcohol seems to come out a lot in this one. right amount of carbonation and slight bitterness makes this a decent tasting and drinkable beer. However the burn seems to catch up with you, hindering the experience.

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Photo of Aiptasia
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another fine offering from Weyerbacher. I really do like this one and find it to be a little more balanced for a strong alcohol beer, along the same lines as some of the strong Belgians. If you're looking for a less dank, less bitter barleywine with a lot of fruity depth without any of the sweetness of a lambic, this one is a good choice.

A: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into my ziggy zudsmug retro glass beer stein. Pours a deep ruby red with an excellent, fast dissipating head with little to no lacing. This is a non-foamer.

S: Smells of raisins, rum, fig, caramel, brown sugary goodness.

T: A Mt. Arrarat sized flood of matured dry fruit flavors with dark malt sugars up front and apricot residue on the tongue. The alcohol esters are sharp and pallete cleansing with the hops floating around in there like noah on the boat, searching for dry land.

M&D: The alcohol content on this one is everpresent and you are reminded of it on every exhale. I, for one, kinda like this as it's also relatively low on bitter hops. The carbonation is slight, making it easy to drink. It's a very dangerous beer as it's so tasty without bitterness, you could easily wind up the buffoon pictured on the bottle... a blithering idiot.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Ty1erC
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.*

a: it's amber in color, with a slightly orange hue. there's lots of sediment suspended throughout. a slight amount of head is maintained, light lacing.

s: it smells very sweet. almost candy-like.

t: my experience with barleywine is limited to 2 brews: dogfish head's olde school and sam adams' mile high (longshot series). compared to those 2 beers, blithering idiot is aggressive as hell. where the aforementioned beers were subtle, this thing is in your face. it's very, very sweet. very, very alcoholic. quite spicy.

m: full-bodied, almost syrupy. low carbonation.

d: it's not horrible, but i wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of womencantsail
1.89/5  rDev -48.4%
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 Bouleboubier
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

(the bottle was maybe around 6 months old)

Pours with a seemingly typical head - small, fleeting, though a thin ring clings...extremely hazy/cloudy/murky w/ lots of sediment - dank, reddish amber color. I'm a big fan of unfiltered beer, but this just does not inspire. Looks like ya dipped your glass into a puddle of rust and crust.

A bland-malty, thick-worty foundation to the nose. No hop aromas and some mellow fruitiness - like dates - rounded out by a spicy yeast or booze, or both. The alcohol presence is blended well within and hardly hot. Smells young altogether.

The taste steps up. Thick malty, caramel spice cake w/ dried apple or raisin-type fruit. Booze is present a good bit - though not harsh - a soft burn, late medicinal surge - weak, mixed well, however... What a smooth silky caramel roll to it! - feels bloody velvet sick lovely. Dextriny? - not chewy, just fullish - fills out. Fairly exquisite fluid fruit oil.

Often, this is pretty decent. Like most in the style, it's best relatively warm(er). A little confusion/clashing of flavors and/or sensations, but this is a mostly flavorful decent interpretation of the style. Needs a little refining or age, though.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV on the label.
Dark brown color with a reddish hue. Weak head that dissipates fairly quickly. Good carbonation, constant stream of bubbles surfacing.
Aroma is sweet and fruity. Hints of alcohol/ethanol in the aroma.
Taste is predominantly sweet and the alcohol can definitely be felt. Hints of dried and dark fruits in the taste. Very good lacing along the glass.
Mouthfeel is good though, coats the palate well.
Overall, this is a fairly good barley wine, worth a try. I am also aging one bottle hoping that it gets even better with time.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

A: medium brown color with a slight amber hue, similar to apple cider, pours with 2 fingers of fine foam that is slightly light brown in color, lingers nicely, slight lacing

S: strong wine scent, quite sweet, slight alcohol scent

T: nice complexity of medium hops and deep malts backed by a nice sweetness, slight alcohol burn

D/M: a bit intense at first, complexity is very nice, slight alcohol burn is not overwhelming, little to no carbonation tingle, sits smooth on the palate and suprisingly light in the stomach

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a ruby like amber color, that was very hazy, and small amounts of head, typical of a barleywine. There was a strong alchool smell. The taste was similar to a red wine; a strong grape like flavor, a good but not overpowering kick from the alchool. Nicely carbonated. Overall a good beer, not the best barleywine, but drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Casey10
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a nice barleywine not as hoppy as say a bigfoot but not bad and a pretty good value for this type of beer.

A - red amber color wispy head some lacing very nice for the style.

S - Almost burbon like (I know it's not a ba beer but it gives off that type of smell) ripe fruit.

T - Malty, slight syrup, caramel flavor.

M - Hot, but nice leaves a nice feel after consuming.

D - Rated a bit lower because of the strong ABV is good nonetheless and would have again.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours clear orange with a thick, creamy off-white head. Aroma is of piney hops, caramel malt and ripe fruit (some cherry and pear). Full, smooth, creamy body. Piney hops, caramel malt, ripe fruit and brown sugar are perfectly balanced on a palate. Long, bitter-sweet finish. I enjoyed this brew a lot by the fireplace.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a murky burnt orange/brown tone with ruby highlights when held up to light. nice finger of creamy, tan colored head that lapses quickly into a collar around the glass. patchy lacing.

the nose is malty-sweet with fruity notes; big alcohol presence. good aroma, though nothing really sets it apart.

flavor is a step up. definitely a malt monster with candied fruit like notes. raisin, cherry, maybe a touch of spice. some astringency to the finish, and the alcohol isn't as hidden as i would prefer. still, all in all this is a very tasty, very enjoyable barleywine.

nice medium to full bodied mouthfeel with appropriate carbonation. surprisingly drinkable for such a big beer.

3.5 / 4.0 / 4.5 / 4.0 / 4.0


re-reviewing on 1/22/12

not sure if my palate has drastically changed or if the beer has, but what i'm drinking now is nowhere near as good as what i noted in the above review. hugely malty / boozy and not too complex. not doing much for me at all; a shell of the beer those comments described.

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Photo of slowbie
4.25/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle with a bottled on date of 10/14/10.

Pours an orangish light brown with a beige one finger head that stays around for a good five minutes. Minimal lacing.

Aromas of bready malts dominate, but I'm also picking out some subdued alcohol notes. No noticeable hoppy aromas which is fine by me in an English barleywine. A swirl of the glass brings some cranberry-plumb aromas.

Burnt toffee and dark fruits dominate up front. Bready and caramel malts come through in the middle leading to a finish of sugar-coated dark fruits. Delicious.

Something is slightly off in the mouthfeel. Maybe just a tad low on carbonation. Still good, but leaves me wishing for better mouthfeel.

This one simultaneously begs me to sip it slower and drink it faster. One of the better beers in it's style that I've tried. I think it's scores are a bit lower because it's not an American hop-monster barleywine. Don't buy it if you're looking for another Bigfoot or Old Guardian, but if you're looking for a nice malty English-style barleywine, this one might suit you well.

 1,076 characters

Photo of PBoegel
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 7/9/10.

Poured into a Dogfish Head snifter. Bright amber with rich garnet highlights, very faint beach sand tinted head.

Aromas of brown sugar, marmalade and caramel. Bready doughy sweet malt. Crushed barley, orange zest, lavender and rose from the perfumy alcohol.

Rich malt, almost melanoidins warm alcohol all through to the finish, maple syrup, pine sap, toasted bread, berry jam. Some rough edges from the alcohol, but still adds dimension and depth, cognac like character. Moderate bitterness.

Medium to just shy of full bodied, finish is sweet with warming alcohol in the finish, light carbonation.

A slow sipper for sure. A good solid English Barleywine. Flavorful and warming.

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Photo of ryanonline
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep ruby/brown color with a fast dissipating off white head. And nice lacing. A bit on the clear side for a barleywine...?

Smells of rum, raisins, figs and slightly dough like yeast. Very sweet no hops.

Daaaamn! A blast of rummy, butterscotch like, cotton candy tasting sweetness. Still got them figs and raisins. The yeastiness is long gone and replaced with esthery alcohol. Im a bit pissed because I chose this and merry monk to drink with my cigar and they both were so different in flavor from their typical style that I honestly think the pairing is a bit tossed. Still no hops.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin for a barleywine. Slightly creamy and no carbonation. What's up? Where's the big barleywine presence?


For some reason I remember hearing nothing but good things about this beer, honestly im a bit disappointed. I was hoping for more of a tongue punch but I just get a super sweet malt bomb. WHERE ARE THE HOPS?

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Photo of nukem5
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a great copper color with huge foamy cap at least 3 fingers deep in my Triple Karmeliet Goblet.

S: Imediate aromas of clove and bananas with malty sweetness.

T: Taste is very much the same, bananas clove and a sweet malty base. Also some hints of honey and licorice.

M: Medium body with an alchoholic warming.

D: Very drinkable but if you are able to store and save for a year its very much worth the time and wait but awesome drinker as you buy it as well.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
2.71/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy copper with an offwhite head that drops rather quickly to a wisp of foam.

Aromas of figs and golden raisins, a hint of chalk. No real hop aroma. Some notes of hard candy. Some hints of nail polish remover.

First sip is of raisins, figs, sacharin sweetness, and solvent. For such a big beer, no real alcohol bite, but there is warmth. No hop character at all. Lingering finish is warm nail polish remover, with a touch of sacharin.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for a barley wine. A bit big and chewy. But the chemical milieu is a bit much.

I'll finish the 12 oz. bottle, but it misses the mark on many notes. Not a very drinkable beer. Hard to kick back on a winter night tasting your wife's nail polish remover.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.

A. Poured about a 1/2 finger head. Not much lacing. Had a collar of head that stuck around for quite a while. Color is red/orange copperish. Interesting color.

S. Nice barleywine smell. Caramel malt, brown sugar, molasses, maple. Smells like a traditional English Barleywine. Has some dark fruit smells to it as well. Pretty sweet overall but not overly sweet. No real noticeable alcohol smell.

T. Caramel, brown sugar, candi sugar, dark fruit, raisins. Pretty sweet tasting barleywine. Don't get a lot of hop flavor at all out of this one. Big barleywine for sure, but not overly complex in flavor.

M. Medium/full bodied. Low carbonation. Finishes with a bit of sweetness.

D. Drinkable Barleywine without a doubt. No real alcohol presence at all in this one. Not an overly complex beer in terms of flavor, but a very solid offering nonetheless.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I didn't get much of a head on this but the body color is like no other beer I have ever seen! It's a muddy brown color looking down at it. Then when it's held to the light it's very foggy with red in the middle and golden outlines on the side.

A sweet citrus malt and hop smell. Even a faint vanilla background. Smells pretty good.

A decent amount of booze is noticeable upfront but actually works well with the taste. It's quite sweet. I taste some citrus mixed with honey but this is mostly malty. There is a slight bitterness, not a whole heck of a lot. Also I taste some, maybe, amarillo hops as it finishes?

Medium body. Slight carbonation. Leaves the lips very sticky. Some alcohol warming while going down.

Drink ability is okay despite the high alcohol content. This is another sipper, though, with a medium body it isn't too filling.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.2/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of the Reddit.com beertrade, Dec 2010

Hard pour into a DFH tulip, copper color, 2 fingers of head, though less than I expected with the pour. Smells of big malt, caramel, spice and slight alcohol at the end of the smell. Big malt essence up front, but doesn't really end up being that sweet. Get a bit of spiced run in the middle to the end of the taste.

Creamy MF that lingers for a fair bit.

An adequate beer. This would have fit my preferred style back when I first started drinking craft beer- it is a pretty simple beer- sweet, a bit of spice, and a load of alcohol that is well hidden.

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Photo of thecarster1
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a tasting glass, hazelnut coloring, one inch head fades to uneven lacing and bubbles.

s- mild nose for a beer this big, figs, toast, sweet malts, a touch vanilla maybe, overall a sweet nose which is to be expected with barleywines.

t- echos nose, strong, figs, dates, a bit cloying sweetness, roasty malts, nutty, alcohol.

m- medium, slick.

d- not my style exactly but it's not terrible, i suppose it's one of the better barleywines i've had but thats not saying too much.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 2,198 ratings
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