Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,196 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: 2,196 |  Reviews: 911
Photo of ChadQuest
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
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 +3.3%
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 -19.4%
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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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I miss having Weyerbacher readily available. This offering pours a mostly clear amber ruby topped by a short-lived finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, mandarin oranges (in syrup), and some fairly pronounced alcohol. The taste is very similar, though some toffee and biscuits sneak their way in as well without really subduing the oranges (but the alcohol seems diminished a touch). The body is a fairly hefty medium, with a light carbonation and a kinda syrupy feel. Overall, a solid b-wine, a bit on the boozy side, but not too bad at all.

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Photo of Jayli
2.78/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Held on to since 2008...
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep amber/copper color with a 1/2 inch of khaki colored head. Head recedes quickly leaving spotty lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is extremely sweet and extremely boozy. Brown sugar, and dark fruit - raisin permeate the nose on this one.

T: Taste starts extremely sweet. Caramel, toffee, sugary sweetness. Dark fruits comes through in the middle - raisin, and dates really take over the middle. Finish is somewhat grainy, and very boozy. Odd blend on this one.

M: Heavier side of medium body, medium carbonation, reamy body with a sticky finish.

D: Goes down ok, good kick, ok representation of style, slightly boozy on this one even with a bit of age. I would opt for others of the style.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Pours a dull, semi-translucent plum with a loose, half inch, tan-colored head that quickly disperses towards the shoulders. Nose reveals dark fruit - raisins, prunes, and a slightly vinous quality, as well as a hint of alcohol in the mix. Taste consistent with nose, with the addition of pleasant malty backbone (toffee), as well as a light bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a carbonation that falls short of lively. There's also a slightly oily character to the mouthfeel. An easy drinking barleywine, perhaps a little closer in character to an American than an English, with a very well-hidden abv. A pleasant and accessible sipper.

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

Nice barleywine, might benefit from a bit of aging to round it up, but all in all a good ale.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Above average label design for Weyerbacher standards with the image of a court jester (the blithering idiot...) pointing with his index finger up. Notes Alc. by Vol. (11.1%), and neck is stamped with what could be bottling and best by codes (061010 061015)

A - Deep amber lingering on an amber brown pour, good initial head, with medium to low retention, nice surface memory ring and some tiny touches of lacing.

S - Caramel and toffee nose with a hint of a hoppy bitter sense in the back. Lightly fruity sense coated in a boozy current.

T - Nice caramel and malty sense coating the hop range, hefty and cogent.

M - Medium-full body with a somewhat creamy feel and a medium-low carbonation that picks up nicely the finish with a tingly sense.

D - Nice sipper, good take on the style, leaning on its English qualities.

Notes: A bit short of magnificent but pretty pleasing.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured out a deep copper color. Looks like a nice caramel. Had about a half inch head with a fair amount of lacing.

S - Sweet to the nose. Big fruit smell. I would say there is a real "Alcohol" smell to it.

T - For an 11% I thought it would be overpowering but its actually quite nice. You definitely get the alcohol in the back of the throat but its fairly smooth.

M - Creamy. Makes the palate tingle with the alcohol content.

D - You don't really taste the alcohol content but its there. I would have maybe one or two but a few will get you toasty.

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Photo of mgabrielayersu
4.62/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

something i saved from 2007. clearing out the cellar for the next cross country move. it definitely mellowed out,but still really good. looks like a barley wine snowglobe in my glass. lots of sweet malt flavor, caramel, juicy hops, happy i found it before i moved.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours a deep caramel brown, transparent, with a mildly thin fizzy tan colored head.

S-the nose is quite sweet and boozy, notes of brown sugar with plums and prunes that are starting to go bad. alcohol lies underneath and is there throughout with a light spice in back.

T-the taste is quite burnt and sweet. a bitter burnt brown sugar leads off, burnt toast, fruity esters take over but they seem slightly rotten, rotten plums and prunes, notes of solvent alcohol covers the fruit esters.

M-creamy feel to it but the body thins out in the back and it is slightly overcarbonated.

D-seems quite straight forward and simple, flavors are burnt and rotten with no hop presence to balance. not a prefered choice.

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Photo of Bonis
4.4/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pour is amber with a half inch of white head. Typical barleywine look... Nice.

S - Cherries, raisins, apples, lots of malt, and a little booze.

T - Wow, this is nice for 11%. Very sweet and malty, some fruits are there, but none that I can pinpoint. They fuse to give a somewhat medicinal quality. I get a lot of burnt sugars and caramel. This tastes like candy in liquid form, and makes me feel funny at the same time. Awesome.

M - Sweetness coats the mouth. Pretty big bodied (but not 11% big), medium carbonation. Pretty good here.

D - Extremely drinkable for it's alcohol level. I'll have it again for sure. Masks the alcohol to perfection and it is definitely the best barleywine I have tried.

Note: Updating this after reading some other reviews. I just wanted to comment that I didn't taste any alcohol burn that others describe. I'm guessing I got a bottle with some age on it because it came from a shop without much traffic. This was probably the most mellow 11% beer I have ever had.

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Photo of BigMike
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled on 7/9/10
Pours a pretty ruby red color with a nice eggshell colored two finger head.
Tons of sticky caramel on nose. Lots of roasted nuts and astringent alcohol.
Lots of caramel sweetness, nuttiness and alcohol warmth. Not much hop present but I guess that's the English barleywine vs. American.
Nice medium mouthfeel. Pretty sticky and coats my entire mouth and lips. Smooth though.
Very drinkable for 11%. An enjoyable BW. Would drink again.

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Photo of haazer
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours a mixture of colors including mohagony, amber, maroon and light brown. Slight carbonation. Two fingers worth of of head appears quickly, but dissapears almost as quickly as it came to nothing. Barely any lace left anywhere.

S- Smells of fruits, apricot comes to mind. You can smell the alcohol slightly but it's very well masked.

T- Tastes like caramel, brown sugar and sweets. The fruity smell brings a berry taste. Towards the end you taste the malts and bready yeast.

M- Very very smooth and creamy. Almost like chocolate milk. Has a doughy feel also.

D- With the alcohol content this high, I have to ask where is it? I mean seriously where is it??? If you notice it wasn't included in my taste description. This beer tastes good and packs a punch that you don't see.

Notes: My 2nd stab at barleywines and I gotta say I like them. I stand up after reviewing this and discover where the alcohol is.

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Photo of bierguru
4.36/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - dark in color close to brown head is a thin lace even from pour

S - sweet maybe of apple and dates there is also a heavy booze smell

T - very complex taste of sweet fruits apple, plum, dates, i do also want to say guava the beer also has a heavy booze taste slight bitterness you need to let the beer warm up a bit before you start to taste everything

M - thick feel very sweet and very boozey

D - at 11.1% abv its not a beer you can easily drink a lot it literally is a punch in the face but it is awesome

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Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark and hazy amber that borders very closely to brown. Not much head nor lacing.

S - Caramel malts are predominate with a touch of sweetness and booze. Getting some scents of dark fruits such as figs or dates.

T - The sweet malts blast you in the face with flavors of a plethora of fruits; apples, cherries, dates, plums as well as hints of caramel and toffee. A touch of bitterness from the hops on the back end, but this is definitely no American style. It just tastes very rich.

M - Light and refreshing, coats the mouth with a slick layer of tasty fruit and malt.

D - 11.1%??? Wow! I cannot taste that much booze in this beer. Usually barleywine seems rather hot and boozy but this one is done nicely. A surprise favorite for me.

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Photo of evilkalla
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Poured a clear dark amber/brown color with not much of any head. Carbonation is overall on the low side.

S: Has a sweet malty smell to it.

T: Up front this beer has a sweet malt taste to it with a slight hoppiness to offset it, with a fair level of alcohol burn to it. The booziness does detract from the overall smoothness, I'd rate it higher otherwise.

M: A little on the thicker side, not a lot of carbonation.

D: I dislike the alcohol burn of this one, it does detract from its drinkability. A sipper, for sure. I don't think I would buy this one again.

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Photo of Lukafer
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium to dark red, with a finger of off white head. Smells like alcohol, prunes, raisins and molasses. Tastes like it smells, dark fruits, malty, some caramel and brown sugar, pretty good. Not as complex as I'd like to taste in a barleywine, but still pretty damn good, and I'm glad it was in a 12 oz bottle instead of a bomber! Good stuff!

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

12oz bottle, shared so i have about 8oz of it. served in a mini snifter glass

A - half a finger of light brown, loose foam. eventually settles to a floating ring with some minor random lacing. the beer is hazy, dark ruby in color.

S - rich tobacco, molasses, brown sugar, dark fruits, and slightly fruity/slightly grassy hops.

T - rich malts...brown sugar, caramel, some toffee...darkish fruits (plums, grapes) peek their head in. turns slightly hoppy at the end, emphasis on grass and some melon-like fruits before cut into by alcohol.

M - medium bodied with present yet controlled carbonation. slightly chewy, finishes a little dry with lingering alcohol burn, bitter hops, and molasses sweetness.

D - one of those "good" beers, all around. nothing stands out, though everything is done well, makes it a good example of the style for newbies. my girlfriend loves this stuff, i dont mind.

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Photo of Spica66
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this an extra from randomdanger. Thank you, Will!

This is the base beer from which comes barrel-aged Insanity.

A: Dark amber color with some viscosity noticeable when pouring. Decent head formation with little retention.

S: The malts are definitely the star of this show. The smell is of crystal/caramel malts like when you are brewing. I did expect some hops, but got none.

T: Very complex malt profile. Nothing dark, just intertwining, sweet, medium-malt flavors. Again no hops to speak of. Also, almost none of the wonderful coconut aftertaste of the Insanity.

M: Full-bodied but not cloying. The good level of carbonation helps with this. The alcohol does not interfere, it just gives that nice warm feeling.

D: Excellent balance and very nice complexity make this an easy drinker.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

blithering idiot

a 3.5 clear amber, short light beige head doesn't stick around. partial whispy cap and thin ring. final pour adds a million little chunkies, which i think actually improves the look of this one. lacing is still nonexistent.

s 3.5-4 sweet dark malt, figs, dates, hints of alcohol. aromas could stand to be more intense. only the alcohol fumes seem to intensify with warming. doesn't deserve a 4 but since both smell and taste are in between this one will get it.

t 3.5-3.75 big, dark, toasted caramel, etoh, touch of molasses. nothing bright or vibrant, this one plods along like a slow-witted cretin ... like a blithering idiot almost.

m 3.5 tongue coating, tongue numbing. sharp alcohol cuts right through a fullish body. liquid bread dough that's gone and fermented--might as well bottle it!

d 3.5 not an unpleasant sipper. a beverage to fall back on once you or i have lost most of our brain cells.

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

Poured a dark red with a two finger tan head. Fruity aroma. Malty with brown sugar and figs. Slight alcohol finish which is more prominent as it warms. You just gotta love the name of this one. Overall another really great beer from the Weyerbacher Brewery.

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Photo of Marcrates
2.96/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a cherry, brownish color. The head vanished fairly quickly

S - Smells very inviting, actually. I'm smelling a lot of fruit..some citrus and other that I can't figure out. I can definitely smell the 11% alcohol that I'm about to taste..

T - I'm a little torn on the taste. My first sip was great-- I could taste the alcohol pretty heavily, but the malt seemed to cover it up fairly well.. My next few sips were a little less forgiving though. There is no doubt that I feel like I'm drinking 11% alcohol with this one..I wish it were a little more balanced.

M - Definitely heavy. The alcohol burns.

D - I couldn't have more than one of these at a time. The balance just isn't there.

I don't hate this beer--but it definitely isn't something I'm crazy about. It's worth a try though.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a clean reddish tan color with a nice head. Smells of dark fruits including raisin. Sweet smell of malts. Light to medium mouthfeel. The taste is similiar to the aromas in that you get dark fruits. Not as hoppy as I thought it would be for a BW. Not too bad.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A- Pours a dark brown with a nice 2 finger off white almost yellow head.

S- Real sweet barley with a slight hop presence.

T- Smooth and sweet. Barley and malts up front with a good hop bitterness to top it off. Slight alcohol as it warms but not bad. Also kind of has an almost coffee finish.

M- Full body, real smooth on the tonque, and just the right amount of carbonation makes this brew so easy to drink and worth having more.


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Photo of boomer31
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Stub and that place. I loved Insanity so I figured I should try the un-bourbonized version.

A - Carmamely light brown with no head. No haze just a transparent caramel.

S - Sweet nose with some fruit. Mostly sweet malt.

T - Sweet caramel malt, dark fruit and some almost belgian yeasty taste but tough to pin down. A nice flavor for an english b-wine. Light on the hops but very smooth and sweet malt.

M - Almost no carbonation which worked well for the style. I love hoppy american b-wines but like the change of pace from an english style.

D - No alcohol heat at all and very sweet. Weyerbacher does a great job with this high ABV b-wine.

Overall pretty nice. Perhaps a bit underwhelming but still a good beer.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 2,196 ratings
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