Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Blithering IdiotBlithering Idiot
2,232 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: 2,232 |  Reviews: 922
Photo of slowbie
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of PBoegel
4/5  rDev +9%
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 -7.9%
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 +5.4%
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 -26.2%
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%
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 +5.2%
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 -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received as part of the 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 -24.8%
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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Photo of vfgccp
2.71/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served on tap

A - Opaque ice tea

S - Licorice hints, warm alcohol, but otherwise mild.

T - Opens with smooth malt, but alcohol quickly rolls up and dominates the profile. Lighter white breads hang around in the background along with a touch of coriander spice and honey. I really need to give this beer a second try. In the glass I had I missed out on the caramel and syrup that a lot of the other reviewers raved about.

M - Light body with a warm alcohol finish. The booze burns a bit in your throat.

D - It's a big beer and it's not afraid to let you know it. The alcohol will definitely slow you down.

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Photo of tbrown4
4.67/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz., slightly cooler than room temp -> snifter

A - Clear deep ruby. Thin quickly escaping head. Little carbonation. Coasts glass like a smooth whiskey

S - Spiced sweet bread/muffin. For some reason I kept coming back to the thought of carrot cake with sweet cream icing.

T - Toasted pumpernickel bread, candied dark fruits, slight hop notes. Sharp sweet after taste.

M - Viscous and coating. No carbonation after two minutes of settling makes it very easy. Alcohol warmth. Feels exactly like an un-distilled whiskey would.

D - Excellent to sip. Wasn't difficult to finish by myself in two six ounce pours. Would be excellent to share with another. Absolutely going to be one of my annual pick ups, one pack to drink, one to age.

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Photo of bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been on a bit of a Barleywine kick lately, so I picked this up a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting around to trying it. Review is from notes taken on 12/29/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is a murky freshly squeezed apple juice swirled with some caramel; starts with a short 1/4 finger off-white head that is soapy and loose, and then fades quickly to nothing other than a scant and ghostly wisp and a thin, loose head around the surface; body is, as mentioned, murky and cloudy;

Smell: Much like the Alstroms state, TONS of overripe dark fruits and caramel/butterscotch malts abound; definite presence of alcohol and a bit of a musty, dank, cellar smell way underneath it all.

Taste: Well, there is definitely a lot of sweet, thick and syrupy caramel malts with a bit of a wheaty and wet graininess that adds a touch of earthiness to it; the onslaught of the overripe and dark fruits in the nose are actually fairly subdued and play more of a supporting role, but also manage to come out a bit in the aftertaste along with a firm presence of alcohol; a slight tinge of astringent and woody bitterness -- I would almost think that this beer spent some time in an oak barrel (is this the case?); an acidic and apple-like presence starts to come out as it continues to warm.

Mouthfeel: Body is heavy, thick, syrupy and the carbonation is really a non-factor (I wish it had a bit more to it to liven up this thick and slick body); a thick and sticky coating is left all over the mouth; gums and belly are left warm and tingly from the 11% ABV.

Drinkability: It's not bad, and I certainly wouldn't turn one down, but it's not likely something I'll seek out again in the near future. The smell and flavors are solid enough, but the body hurts it, and the high ABV prevents more than one being put down in a night. Worth trying, not sure if I would actually pick this up to age as the body isn't likely to improve.

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Photo of codewarrior
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from a mixed 6-pack poured into a tulip pint

Picked this up at Wegman's in a mixed 6 (still think this was a mistake on their part, oh well, I'm not complaining), I'll try anything from Weyerbacher once, especially a Barleywine.

L: Cloudy amber, bordering on mahogany. Healthy frothy head but no real lacing or retention at all. All in all, not terrible in spite of this head weakness.

S: As sweet as it is boozy. Great length here in both sweetness and booziness, but lacking in any development. Unfortunately 2-dimensional. Still the 2-dimensions are both pretty good, but nothing more than that.

T: Massively malt-forward, with the booze right out front as well. This builds slightly into a mega-fat middle and then fades into a lingering booziness. Again, flavors don't expand or evolve, just is pretty good for a long time. That said, it doesn't offend either, it's just kind of ... there.

F: Thick and syrupy. Good carbonation. All right all the way around.

D: Not bad, and definitely drinkable for the ABV, just nothing special.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle drank from a tulip...Pours a medium brown that is has lighter qualities, not crisp or attractive looking. Dark tope head that is mostly watery bubbles, decent retention though. Poor lacing...Weak and boring aroma, toffee mostly with alcohol and hops, pretty sweet...The taste really lacks flavor, its a watered down version of the aroma, feel is also extremely watered down. The alcohol is incredibly hidden though. Way too sweet without being balanced by any hops. Finish is bitter alcohol, not a good way to finish this one.

Overall, not very impressive, however if I just wanted to get messed up, not a bad call as easy to drink.

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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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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 2,232 ratings