Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

2,178 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,178 |  Reviews: 908
Photo of Moradin
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Caramel and dried cherries. Alcohol is well hidden. Good mouthfeel with lasting molasses sweetness and dried dark fruits

120 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Murky deep rust color; lots of sediment floating around.

Thin offwhite head; no lace.

Nose is of subtle, sweet caramel.

Thick mouthfeel.

Taste of artisan candy; sweet but not cloying. Booze is present but palatable. As it warms this becomes more delicious & subtle. A nice beer for dessert.

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Photo of Benish
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LiquidSwords1201
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of robebo44
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Muss42
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Marraybay
2.1/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Yuck: Not a fan. Pours a cloudy amber cider-esque color, with little to no head. Very little carbonation. The nose is syrupy-sweet vinous fruit and alcohol and the taste follows suit in onenote. Desperately cries for some counterbalancing citrus bitterness, but there's none to be had. Almost comes off literally as wine not beer. Couldn't finish the pour.

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Photo of chiefz1
4.41/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SawDog505
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass bottled on 8/17/16. Pours a very attractive murky deep amber, with a solid one inch off white head.

Smell is dark fruit, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, booze, and bubblegum.

Taste follows toffee, brown sugar, vanilla, dark fruit, bubblegum, and some hints of boooze.

Mouthfeel is a little less than medium, very mild carbonation, a little dry, and a sipper that goes down pretty easy.

Overall this is a very solid English Barleywine. Drinks like a strong ale.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This barley wine pours a deep, dark red with a very thin foamy white head. The smell is pretty sweet with some mild dark fruit notes and an obvious alcohol scent (it is 11% alcohol), like most barley wines. The flavor is extremely strong, like basically all barley wines that I’ve tried. There are very strong and complex fruit notes with dates, raisins, grapes, and apples being most prominent in that order. One criticism though would be that they are a bit artificial and a little cloying. There is a sweet burnt sugar flavor as well. In the aftertaste some mild bitterness as well as a noticeable alcohol flavor take over. The body is on the high end of medium. This is definitely a bold fruit-oriented barley wine with some aspects reminiscent of a Belgian Quad, while still maintaining a clear barley wine identity. Barley wines are a pretty diverse style, and I also don’t drink them frequently, so I have some trouble identifying what the status quo is. To my tastes though this is a decent example and I feel that it is underrated. To be fair I agree with most that it is a big, heavy handed beer, but I kind of like that sometimes.

 1,145 characters

Photo of Newbeergeek1
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thought I'd try it because I like a lot of their brews. This is, for my tastes, OK. Certainly not even close to bad but just OK. I'm glad I tried it but most likely would not buy it again. A little sweet for me.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks. Golden ruby with a thin, tan head.
Smell. Pleasant aroma of fuzzy fruit (apricot?), honey, caramel, brown sugars, touch of yeast; more high toned than earthy which seems odd given the richness.
Taste. More balanced than the aroma would lead you to expect. Very nice mix of sweet malts, toasted barley, and controlled hops. A rich complex blend of the malty, the toasty, the muted hoppy.
Feel. Chewy, full bodied, a bit tangy with a mildly dry finish, and mild bubbly sparkle.
Overall. Really nice, well balanced Rich favorite genre.

 565 characters

Photo of Klister
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Soneji75
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I really wasn’t planning on reviewing this beer until I got to about the middle of the glass… hence the half-drank picture.

I am not a barleywine person. I’ve always found them syrupy, sticky and too sweet for my taste. But I can’t say that I’ve had many. I don’t believe barleywines should come in pours or containers larger than 4-6oz as you really don’t need more than that before they become overwhelming. Barleywines have always felt more of a digestif; to have in small quantities after dinner. Or with a nice cigar, the way I am enjoy this now.

Blithering Idiot pours a very reddish-brown and notes of dark cherries and plums immediately hit your nose. It has a decent head with some thin, but nice lacing that sticks around for a bit until about mid-glass. On the nose you’ll get an overwhelming scent of dark fruit, namely black cherries, prunes and plums. There was a faint “mediciny” scent I couldn’t shake after several sniffs.

The nose is simply a straight follow up to the palate; all dark cherries. As expected, very sweet and sticky with little to no hop bitterness to speak of. You can certainly feel the warmth of the booze in your mouth and as it makes its way down your system. At 19F outside, this was definitely the right choice of beer to end the evening. This beer is big, you can practically chew it. The lingering aftertaste is very sweet and reminiscent of brandy or cognac with a very faint , dry grain finish.

As I am halfway through my 12-oz pour, I truly wished Weyerbacher (and others) would offer barleywines in smaller presentations as this style would be ideal as a nightcap or an after-dinner conversation piece. I do find a certain level of elegance to this drink; imagine sitting in an elgant room filled with mahogony and oak furniture and some guy in a fancy suit talking about how his stock went one iota higher while you sip your barleywine from a fancy snifter and go… “what a blithering idiot”.

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Photo of lastmango
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a deep brown with a one finger tan fizzy head that dissipated quickly to none after one sip. No lacing. Aroma is caramel and dark fruit. Tastes the same of malt, caramel and dark fruit. Very sweet and boozy. Heavy feel, smooth and oily with low carbonation. I do not feel any burn like some others, but the back of my tongue is getting numb. :)

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Photo of mcrawford
4.32/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hop_God
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A : deep mahogany to wine red. Clear

S: dark fruit. Caramel. Sweet plum.

T: sweet fruit. Brown sugar. Candied orange. Rum.

F: soft but crisp

O: quite good. Nice sweetness. Not much heat. Not cloying.

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Photo of rdoggg
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Paoloboston
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wer34truh
4.46/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this the other night, so this is not be a fully comprehensive review - which I also blame the ridiculous ABV.

I'm still getting used to the style, and have yet to have a barleywine I've truly loved. Well, up to yesterday that is. This is a marvelously nuanced barley wine, with just enough of malt sweetness to counteract the in an other beer extreme bitterness. A+.

 371 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Bottled on 5/26/15
Best before 5/26/20

Purchased at the brewery and cellared for about a year. Ruby brown with a small off-white head. Sweet caramel aroma, fig, raisin, brown sugar. No hops. A little alcohol heat in the flavor, but mainly a tame and straightforward English barleywine. Full bodied, smooth, and warming.

Overall, I'll shell out the couple of extra bucks any day for it's barrel aged cousin Insanity. The difference between the two is quite striking.

 480 characters

Photo of scotorum
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Accidental purchase thanks to an inconsiderate blithering idiot who unbeknownst to me had replaced two bottles in my Insanity fourpack with this before I bought it.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English tulip.

a: Nearly clear copper with a four inch thick offwhite head which receded slowly to a thick, dense, even foam.

s: Caramel malt and dark ripe fruit such as plum. Aroma is evident from first pour.

t; Follows the nose along with a significant throat burn from the high ABV. Finish is similar with evident alcohol.

m: Full, oily smooth, some carbonation tingle.

o: A powerful barleywine, high octane all the way. Might even prefer this BBA-less version over Insanity, since it seems to have a smoother body, and my rating ended up being significantly higher than the 4.32 I gave Insanity. Considering that, I should probably thank the blithering idiot who pulled that switcheroo.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have watched Weyerbacher from afar and finally had an opportunity top pick up one of their offerings - a very good choice as it turned out...

There was a head but it dissipated as quickly as it appeared and there was no lacing to speak of. I will say, the brew has an appealing reddish hue with highlights of yellow, very nice. The smell was distinctly honey to me, not sure why, but definitely honey. The beer was so smooth, only lightly carbonated (the way I like it) but still with an astringent bite on the tongue - not oppressive, but certainly there and not something to be ignored. The taste was bold, a definite tang to the the 11% ABV, but not so much it was distracting or taking away from the overall experience. (I've had 10%s that were so overpowering it just took away the enjoyment and flavor of the beer, but not here). A very good brew, my first barely wine and I'll be looking for others in the future.

 929 characters

Photo of Marklaker
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark ruby with a 1 finger head on agressive pour that quickly goes to nothing. Aroma is of caramel, Applejacks cereal, red grapes, plum. Taste, more darker fruits, tootsie roll, bourbon/alcohol. Lots more caramel too. Mouthfeel, just holding the liquid in your mouth you can feel it bubble like a soda. Very agressive. Overall, okay barley wine, okay beer.

 364 characters

Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,178 ratings.
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