Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,218 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,218 |  Reviews: 916
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes.

A - this brew pours a clear purplish red color. There is a brief white foam that dissipates to a thin film pretty quick.

S - very complex. Sweetness of toffee and caramel malts. Spicy hops. And a ton of fruit enters such as cherry, fig, and apples.

T - flavor is much more mellow. Still mostly fruit esters, mostly figs. As well as some spicy hop notes. Some alcohol warming on this finish.

M - a very smooth and slick. Fuller medium bodied. Low in carb.

D - it is a strong zipper but its a damn tasty one. Very little alcohol makes this amazingly easy to drink and the flavors are awesome. Very tasty barelywine.

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Photo of herman77
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy burnt orange/rust color with a light tan head. Surprisingly a bit of lacing.

S: Tons of deep, rich toffee malt. Caramelized sugar

T: Toffee malt, carmel malt, sweet malt, malt, malt, malt. A bit of spicy hops, or at least I think its some hops. Lots of unfermented sugars, more sweet toffee malt and booziness at the finish.

M: Medium to fuller body. Very low carbonation.

D: Pretty low. Its damn boozy, malty and sweet.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a slightly hazy, redish/brown color. It did pour wiht a nice large head, that faded over time(Camera issues). As the brew was drank, it left a nice lacing down the glass.

The aroma is great. It has a nice dark fruit and caramel like forefront. It followed with a nice hops background. I think I also detected a bit of banana and dates in there as well.

The first sip is quite malty, but it is not as sweet as the aroma makes you think it is. The flavors in the front are caramel,k dark fruits, and a nice alcohol punch. There was a nice date/plum flavor that gave this brew some wonderful flavor. It gives a tart, but sweet taste that makes you want more.

This brew has a medium to heavy body. The flavors of this brew make it nice and smooth, with a wonderful texture and a nice crisp bite. It has a medium carbonation, that gave this brew a bit of a sticky finish.

This brew has a great taste. It does down pretty well, but is a very filling brew. It also has a nice punch as well. A wonderful representation of the style, but a person who doesn't drink barleywines very often might have a hard time with this brew. I enjoyed it to the very end. I am also glad I purchased a 4 pack so I can enjoy the rest.

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Photo of nkersten
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a mini imperial pint. Hazy burnt orange liquid with a creamy off white head that fades quickly to a ring at the edge of the glass. Smell is a nice balance of fruity hops and sweet malt, some alcohol in there as well. Taste is very sweet cherries, tropical fruit, some hop bitterness, alcohol warmth, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is a heavy body with a medium/light carbonation - maybe a bit more carbonation then the style usually gets but I found it helped the finish be a bit cleaner rather then sweet and sticky. Drinkability is good, not my favorite barleywine, but a decent example of the style.

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Photo of Brewmeist
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very drinkable high alcohol content barley wine that i was content with drinking. I'm no expert on the physics involved with deciphering specific ingredients, but for an 11%'er it was damn good, with a grapey flavor to it almost. Reminded me of a belgian style ale, minus the bavarian yeast and booziness. The best i've had thus far from this brewing company. Not a big fan of barley wines, but highly recommend trying one of these bad boys.

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Photo of Chaney
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I remember fondly last year when I drank an entire 4-pack as I was cleaning house. Needless to say, my wife laughed at me, but I didn't find it amusing the next day. However, I'll bet the brewers at Weyerbacher did!

A: Poured a nice taupe brown color with about an inch worth of head that disappeared instantaneously. The carbonation was there, but definitely not in spades.

S: Caramel first, followed by mild brown sugar, and then there was a huge butterscotch wallop. That's right.... BUTTERSCOTCH!

T: For me, this was one big Payday bar: Nutty, roasty, caramely, and then of course a nice salty overtone with the butterscotch.

M: Thick, but I guess it should be for this style. This was flat in terms of carbonation, but definitely not in terms of taste!

D: I'm not a big Weyerbacher fan. However, this one really works for me, I don't taste ANY alcohol in it, and find it "gulpable," especially for a Barleywine. I'll go out on a limb here and say it's Weyerbacher's best beer...

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Photo of gopens44
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - I loved the look of this beer. Mostly translucent and colored like really sweet ice tea. Some head at pour but it disappeared pretty quick.

S - Lots of grape in the nose, but not much else.

T - A lot like the nose with a heavy grape presence. Boozy enough, but not too distracting. A little faint nuttiness on the finish.

M - Smooth with very little aftertaste. Medium to low carbonation.

I enjoyed this quite a bit. Great value, and fairly easy to find.

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Photo of radioscooter
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With Barleywines, I think a lot of the experience is the mouthfeel. that's what she said. OH!

But srsly - I need to feel that treacley syrup hitting the back of my throat and warming me down and this effort does not disappoint. Don't review this beer if you aren't versed in Barleywines. Because they don't behave like other styles.

First - they're better flatter. This one has just the right amount of carbonation.

Initial taste is great, vapory, apricot and light fruit as expected.

Great, light flavor. Kudos to an American company that doesn't think that Hops need to be in every single style they make.

Only negative is a little bit of a preservative aftertaste.

Otherwise - top notch.

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased as 4-pack at Beer Run (Charlottesville, VA) for $13.99.

A: Garnet with 2.5 finger, off-white head that falls away pretty quickly but leaves some lace here and there.

S: Malty all the way with caramel, toffee, and plenty of figginess, lightly fruity yeastiness with soft berbal hops and cherry-ish alcohol

T: The alcohol is pretty well-hidden here as it drinks very easily for the ABV. The maltiness is less sweet and more robust than the aroma although the grape and fig character is accenteed by plenty of caramel and brown sugar flavors tool. Alcohol is berry-cherry in nature and creeps in but doesn't detract from the overall experience at all.

M: I thought the mouthfeel was the best part of this beer with a cool smoothness that enhanced the drinkability a ton. The carbonation is low-medium and the aftertaste is caramel and grape-fig with some alcohol burn thrown in.

D: I liked this brew, but I liked Insanity (the barrel-aged version) more for its complexity and mellow greatness. I still think this is underrated and will look forward to trying this from the cellar in years to come.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a snifter to one finger of tan head. The beer is a murky orangish brown. The aroma reminds me of spiced cider. It has a fruitiness and alcohol is in there as well. The taste is alcohol, spice and sweet caramel malt. The mouthfeel is quite viscous. This is a definite sipper.

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

Poured into the large wine glass. The body is very cloudy brown. The head is decent and easily restorable. Some lacing.

Nose is caramelized sugar for a little bit. Then you must swirl it to get the odors to come forth. I got some floral notes with brandy and fruit.

Taste is really mellow. Got some sweetness and malt with some some apricot and hops. The mouth feel is really creamy. There is a strong fruit and caramel aftertaste which is quite appealing. Overall an especially easy strong beer to drink.

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

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a dirty cloudy caramel color, with a light tan head. Head is fluffy and creamy, head is about a pinkie width, then settles to a pocketed lace island. Leaves decent lace. Good looking brew.

Brew smells of barley and fruits, a little booze as well. A bit understated nose. Decent smell.

Brew is smooth and creamy, slightly spiced. Barley flavor, caramel malts as well. Some fruitiness in there too. Finishes smooth and dry, some warming from the alcohol. A bit bitter from the booze as well. The sweetness from the fruits is the more dominate flavor. Good easily approachable barleywine. Drinks easy and tastes pretty good.

This is a tasty barleywine, not the most flavorful but good and goes down really easy. Good stuff, just not complex as I would like.

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Photo of pburland23
3.01/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark, deep red and produces a thick head that leaves a delightful film in the glass.

The smell is underwhelming. It's a little boozy and you get a hint of figs and maybe dates. The tasty is malty, but fairly well balanced. It sips like a brandy in my estimation. The mouthfeel is good, you end up getting a little alcohol burn around the edges.

Blithering Idiot is not the best barleywine I have ever had, but it's not the worst either. It's great as a digestif, but could use some time in the cellar to straighten out its complexities. I'll stick one in the cellar and re-review in a year or so.

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Photo of thetomG
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark brown/slightly reddish color with a bit of tan foamy head. Very malty but not too overly sweet. Mouthfeel is leaning towards the thicker side, but again - not too thick or syrupy.

This one is a bit too intense to have more than one of in a sitting, and its not one of my top barelywines, but I'm happy to have tried it nonetheless.

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Photo of alkemy
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark burnt orange hue. Cream colored head was not substantial, but remained as a tightly packed veil. Lots of dark dried fruits in the aroma (figs, plums, and cherries.) There's also some apple. Some sweet booziness to it, but pretty faint. Not a lot of hops in the taste. The fruits really come through. Cherries, apples, plums. There's a bit of caramel and a slight bitter chocolate in the finish. Feels slick in your mouth and has a bit of viscosity. Goes down really easy for such a high ABV. I just didn't notice the alcohol that much. The alcohol taste that was present seemed to match well with the overall taste.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy light amberish color. When held to the light, it looks a murky copper color. Keeps a nice little layer of head with some suds clinging to the sides of my snifter. Lots of complex aromas: rock candy, vanilla, banana, plum, caramel, raisins, fig. Oddly though, the hops don't seem to be evident. Really has a syrup-like complexion. Very sweet tasting. It's like dipping your tongue into a can of malt extract. Wish it had more hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt sugars. It has a rather thick, full tasting mouthfeel. This is one to sip for a nightcap. Not bad, but overall I wish they added more hop character.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I knew I was in for a surprise when I saw the color. It is a reddish brown and comes the closest to a 22 on the SRM chart, but it has a little more red than the sample. The pour resulted an a two finger head that started small, then built and then settled to a wispy lace. Smells like fruit. I can smell cranberry, prune, date, raisin, apricot, and brown sugar. The taste throws me back! A sweet mixture of flavors all shouting to be in the front! Currant, date, and prune are in the forefront of the battle, with brown sugar, raisin, and fig trying to keep up. There is a washing of alcohol in the mixture that makes me take notice to the kick this brew is going to give me. Somewhat average feeling in my mouth, some tingle on my soft palate. I don't think I would like to drink more than one of these at a sitting, just too sweet for my liking...good flavor, but just too sweet. I think a few of these would give my a bad headache.

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Photo of Ruination2007
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this 1 month old.
A- First thing that caught my eye was the dense head. It dissipated quickly to a thin layer but clung to the sides of the glass for a short time. Held to light it was transparent ruby amber.
N- Alcohol up front, you can't miss it. Inviting dark fruit that has a ripe characteristic. I noticed a little grain in the back but it was very faint.
T- Dark fruits. Unfortunately the nose fruits were richer than the taste, but not a let down. Caramel malt that has not had time to blend with the fruit. It was sweet but the strong alcohol broke up the sweetness. And again, very alcoholic.
M- thick, almost syrupy with slight carbonation that kept it from being unpleasant. Left a malty residue in my mouth.
D- Its boozy. Its great for dessert. It could use some age though. Ill give it a year and I expect it will be pretty awesome to pair with dessert.

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Photo of cooch69
4.23/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blitherg Idiot pours a deep amber with orange hued highlights. It has a thick white two finger head that settles down nicely into a blanket.
Brown sugar, rum and raisins instantly show themselves in the nose. This beer also shows it's alcohol presence pretty well in the aroma.
Upon tasting I get dark raisins, figs. It's really got that whole fig newton vibe going on. Pretty full and heavy on the palate. It's like a desert bread. Alcohol is also easily noticable but not very strong. It ends with a sweet note that is highlighted by brown sugar.
This a really nice big beer. I can't believe that this is the first time Weyerbacher won a GABF medal. Some of their beers are pretty impressive.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cider-brown with a decent bubbly head that dissipates to a skim. Some lacing.

Sugar-candy aromas, some bourbon-cherry wood scents, vanilla, with tons of chemical alcohol and some toasted malt.

Way to goddamn hot. Alcohol up front, toasted malt, sugar, then immediate bitterness, then alcohol again, some woody notes, light fruit. Finishes sweet/bitter with alot of booze. Astringent in the finish. I'm dried and puckered right now. Not a true hint of hops, and that works here. Not too bad, but quite uneven.

Full bodied, but some active carbonation.

Fairly drinkable, with 12 oz. just right. Needs some age and some character flaws hurt this one. A bit raw. I still dug this one. At 11%, it still goes down ok.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had from a bottle at Capital Ale House in Richmond, VA

Pours a thick reddish color with minimal head (It might have been the waitress, however). It smells very fruity, especially of figs and a bit of orange and grape. The taste is a bit off. It has a fruity, grape and orange like taste to it, and the carbonation overwhelms the palate. It is definitely a bit boozy, with the alcohol taste omnipresent through out the taste. A bit of hop bitterness comes out in the aftertaste. The carbonation really does sort of overwhelm the taste of the beer. All in all its not a terrible brew, but I came away a tad bit disappointed in this one.

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Photo of beerbully
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter glass

A-Dark copper color with some reddish hue 1/2 head with thick lacing that coats the glass

S-candi sugars dark fruit

T-Boozy figs cherry some maltiness a bit sweet

M- mild carbonation

D-this is a strong boozy brew. 1 and done for me

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Photo of ChadQuest
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a cherry amber color and the head fades into a collar rather quickly. nose is strong in cherry and light in alcohol. Taste follows with cherry, which it seems like i always get in an english barley wine but this one is less like cherry nyquil then others ive had which is nice, and alcohol that difused in toffee. Im diggin it all around it's enjoyable, but probally not going to setup for it in any trades.

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

Appearance: The Blithering Idiot pours a hazy, reddish orange with a thick layer head, considering the style. Some visible sediment detracts from its appearance, but that could be from an incorrect pour on my part.

Smell: While there is some fruitiness in the nose, this one smells mostly of alcohol and bitterness. The aromas do balance out a little more, though, as the head dissipates.

Taste: Some dark fruits and malt add flavor, but not much sweetness. Again, there is a building bitterness one might expect from an American barley wine. A big taste of alcohol overwhelms the palate. Overall, it tastes good, but not as balanced as other barley wines I've tried.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation and some dryness toward the finish.

Drinkability: This one goes down fairly smooth, but the drinkability is severely hindered by the overwhelming taste of alcohol. The beer almost tastes and smells as if someone dropped a shot of alcohol into a barley wine.

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Photo of SirSketch
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - A very deep red colored beer with an off white, almost peach colored head that leaves a small ring on the edge of the glass.

S - Figs, cherries and bananas. Candied fruit smell.... and VERY boozy.

T - Sugary sweet dark fruits. Very unidirectional flavor, and so apparently alcoholic that I think I can feel my nose hairs singe when I breathe out. Some malt character reminiscent of the sweetness in a Belgian quad.

A bit hard to drink. The flavor isn't that interesting either.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,218 ratings