Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,230 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: 2,230 |  Reviews: 922
Photo of HopsYeast
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this at a weyerbacher pairing dinner. this was paired with the dessert which was a chipoltle chocolate bourbon custard sauce. very wine like and not something you can pound. this is a beer for slow drinking during relaxed times. great for the winter.

a-poured with no head and a dark copper body. has an almost reddish tint to it.
s-smells fruity and floral with the sweetness of the fruits and some caramel malts coming through.
t-malty sweetness again almost burnt sugar like. fruity but not too sweet. very clean finish that washes off your palate quickly.
m-has a nice smooth velvety mouthfeel. carbonation is low to almost non existent.
o-def a good beer for colder weather. has a nice warming touch at the end which it welcome when the temps drop.

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Photo of imbibehour
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Snifter indisposed...

A good large caramel foamy cap of a head, off tan perhaps, sits on a great orange amber body. Lots of snapping noises from the bubbles, but a very nice color I must say.

Smell seems off. Something feels like rotting and sour grain. Not digging this.

Taste is actually considerably better. Soft cherries and malt backbone with a good full texture in the palate. Sweet soft sugars and maple with a creamy texture. Lightly carbonated but just a touch. Even some mushy over ripe banana.

Overall this surprised me I was expecting a disaster but this turned out alright. Certainly not the best I've had though.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Bronze golden brown/tan. 1/4 inch creamy head and some mild lacing,

Smell - Malts, carmal, hops, barley. Lots of candy sugar and some syrup.

Taste - As i figured, lots of sweetness. Malts, added sugars really turn this into a candy-like flavor. The alcohol sneaks in but not as strong as you'd figure. Hint of sweet fruits like apricot and lemon even make up some flavor.

Mouthfeel - Its thin but really sticky sweet on tounge and palette. ALcohol warms up mouth slighty. Aftertaste is very sweet and malty.

Overall - Really sweet and smooth. This one is for sure occasional drink, as its just too sweet. You would become a blithering idiot of not careful from its 11% alcohol and as easy it is to drink. Would like to try this one age a few years to maybe lesson the sugars?

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006. Served at cellar temperature and consumed on 08/20/2008 via over sized wine glass.

The pour was very nice, rich dark amber, bordering on a light brown in texture. Nearly opaque with a ton of haze in this one. A smallish light tan head then came up over the top and settled down lightly with just a ood amount of side glass coating.

THe aroma was a malty monster. RIch notes of candied sugar, caramel, and a touch of light bready malt. Some light fruit notes coming through now as it warms, well light in nature, but not in substance. Raisins, plums, some light figs, this was getting very complex. Flavor was very full, with lots of raisin like flavor dominant and a good bit of light alcohol in the back. THis was spicy with hints at nutmeg or something that was tingling on the tongue underneath it all. Light woody character as it warmed now aas well, really rounding it out nicely. Nice medium feel was very well done with not too much carbonation, but just enough to really get it going. A goo sipper, though I found myself chugging it down quicker as time went by.

Overall, this was a very soilid beer. Easily one that should be sought out as it was readily available and somewhat affordable. I would have no issue in trying this one again any day.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Murky mahogany reddish/brown with a nice tan head on the pour. decent lacing at first, but it fades away rather quickly.

S- Fresh caramel candy apple, banana's, cinnamon sticks, black pepper, fig jam, raisins and a bunch of alcohol in the nose. Nice sweet maltiness, with just a hint of piney citrus.

T- Chewy sweet caramel sticky buns... yeasty banana/cinnamon/clove and maple syrup. A touch alcohol hot, but it kinda brings out the flavors.

M- Nice and creamy and sticky, but the alcohol cuts thru and thins it a bit. I really can't wait to try some of the stuff I have stored away over the next couple of years and see how it mellows.

O- A really well built English BW. Very available, and I wish I could afford to drink this daily. You can definately get where Insanity gets its backbone from before the barrel aging. I can't wait to try some with a few years on it!

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Photo of claspada
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served almost room temperature from a bottle at the brewery (they kicked the tap so the party had to keep going).
Aromas of caramel and toffee with some lesser dark fruits. English barleywine grassy and earthy hops are also noted. A little darker fruits emerge as well. Also, a slight booziness because of the temperature.
The tastes begin with the sweet caramel malts again and sweet fruitiness. Dates, figs, orange, and lesser plums. As it opens up more you get a great deal of toffee and complex maltiness; lesser brown sugar notes. Slight earthy, maybe a little citrus hop flavors and bitterness but it stays true to it's English style. The mouthfeel is full with adequate carbonation. More carbonation than most which makes the ABV less detectable, and raises the drinkability for me. Overall a great English Barleywine, and remains under-appreciated in my opinion. Weyerbacher continues to deliver great beer after great beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - What a dense head I am seeing a full inch and a half that doesn't really stick with lacing. Color is a deep brown with tons of small specks of yeast making it have a haze.

S - Smells of plums and figs mostly overripe with nice touches of caramel and toffee. Pleasant really.

T - Not bad. Not bad at all. Starts with a bit of caramel sweetness and turns to a nutty taste with plums and figs in the taste. No real burn in the flavor and mostly sweet with no hop bitterness.

M - Pretty heavy since the high ABV but it drinks like a 9% beer meaning no burn.

Overall I like this beer since the ABV is well concealed, the flavors are good, and it's pretty cheap for a barleywine.

The only negative being it's english is hardly no hop bitterness but it's forgiven since the alcohol is well concealed. A very nice beer.

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Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle was part of the Big Beers Variety Case from Weyerbacher.

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature glass.

A - Pours a rather cloudy reddish, amber color. A one to one and a half finger foamy head on the pour that fades quickly to a light haze on top of the beer. Beer appears very thick since as you swirl it, the beer coats the side of the glass and very slowly slides down.

S - A rather sweet smell, almost like raisins or figs.

T - Wow, this is a strong tasting beer. The main thing that hits you right away is overwhelming sweetness and the high ABV of this beer. The flavors you get as the beer warms up are of caramel, malts and some type of fruit like raisins or figs. Very little hop bitterness. A true sipper.

M - A really thick, syrupy beer. The beer coats your entire mouth in sweetness.

O - I've only had one other Barleywine and that was SN's Bigfoot, which I thought was outstanding. This beer, since it's an English Barleywine taste totally different. I don't think this is a style I'd necessarily drink all the time. This is a beer to enjoy every so often and one that needs to be savored. Perhaps aging this would settle it down a bit.


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Photo of Heischman
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer/Brewery - Blithering Idiot/Weyerbacher Brewing
City/State- Easton, Pennsylvania
STYLE – English Barleywine
ABV – 11%
IBU – 20
DATE – 13 JUN 2011
SERVING TYPE – 12oz Bottle
GLASSWARE – Australian Doubled Walled Upside Down Bottle Glass
APPEARANCE –Has the color of a dark brewed ice tea with a reddish brown hue, poured with a nice head of tiny bubbles at about 1 inch and that settled down to 1/inch, no lacing
AROMA- Roasted malts with a bit of an alcohol smell flowing behind
TASTE – Sweet and bitter all at the same time, good roasted malts and a nice bite of the alcohol
MOUTHFEEL – Very creamy with a burning sensation in the through from the high grav of this brew
CONCLUSION – I like this beer a lot, it is not one I would drink every day, but it is a nice treat. I do not recommend drinking this in the heat though as it will sneak up on you real fast

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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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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,230 ratings