Blithering Idiot | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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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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Reviews: 904 | Ratings: 2,164
Photo of Brad_Ford
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a snifter 8/15/2015. Pours dark rose with a bubbly head that dissipates to a thin line around the glass.

Aroma: Strong bouquet of assorted fruits with alcohol

Taste: Brown sugar, plum, and various berries up front with a flat alcohol finish with lingering fruitiness

Mouthfeel: Very creamy upfront, smooths out to be little thinner on the finish. Very pleasant and satisfying.

Overall: Very good barleywine overall. Would like to see a little more balance to the fruitiness with lingering hops or a warmer alcohol finish. The creamy, satisfying mouthfeel makes up for it.

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Photo of CHickman
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was at least a year old and poured a cloudy red copper that resembled beach water with sand in it as the brew had some many tiny yeast particles that it looked like sand. The head was 1-2 fingers creamy tan color with brown speckles throughout; it faded slowly and left good lacing that mostly slid back down into the layer on top.

Smells of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, tin metal or a penny, grains and some dark fruit. Seems to have yeast and aspirin come out more as it sits, with the metallic and caramel notes staying the strongest.

Tastes sweet and fruity up front, with cherry, dates and plum mixed with brown sugar, metallic yeast, caramel and grainy flavors that have the penny again, some peat moss, tree bark and toffee. It's sweeter than the nose and hides the high ABV very well, but the metallic notes just send it the wrong way for my palate. I enjoyed the initial sweetness and hoped more would follow, but it leveled out and leaned more towards a Belgian style brew. Some herbs or tea leaf show up late for some added complexities.

Mouthfeel is slick and on the thin side with very mild carbonation, a medium to thick chewy body, and a sweet, grainy aftertaste that is as much yeast as it is caramel and fruity notes. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 11.1% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep plum color, with a two finger head fast to dissipate. Very hazy.

Smell- Dark fruit aromas of plums and raisons. Slight bit of oakiness as well.

Taste- Sweet and adhering to the darker fruit nots just as in the nose. Plums and raisons continue into the taste and are well evident. Sweet bready flavors also come in along with spices of clove and nutmeg. The beer finishes slightly bitter yet has a cherry tartness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body, good carbonation, finishes hot from the alc.

Overall- I was not expecting this beer to surprise me but it did. Similar to a Quad IMO. The alcohol is evident (says the stomach more than the mouth). The dark fruit flavors really came through though and were balanced and complex. Many flavors in the right amounts. Solid brew for sure.

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Photo of Roguer
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nearly transparent caramel reddish-brown brew, filled with sediment and topped with a short-lived cream colored head.

Aroma almost leans more toward Belgian Quad than English Barleywine: sweet, dark fruit; nuts; dark bread; a touch of spice; Belgian yeast. There's a certain sharpness that's elusive, almost medicinal.

Flavor actually follows. Initial taste is caramel grains, slightly nutty, followed quickly by sweet brown sugar and yeast, and finished off with a boozy kick and sweet fruit. There's a lingering sweetness from the yeast. It certainly straddles the line between Quad and EBW.

Slightly hot, but for the high ABV, not at all bad.

Not sure exactly how old this bottle is, but I think it's at least 2 years at this point. It tastes quite good, although it doesn't quite mesh with what I would expect for an English Barleywine. That may be partly due to the yeast, and partly due to the age. (There's no mention of Belgian yeast, and that's not a claim I'm making; it's merely an impression I get from the flavor profile.) But I rather like this big, sweet brew; it's pretty smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Brown body with a decent white head fades quickly leaves no lacing.
S - Dark fruit, raisins, figs, etc. Molasses, brown sugar.
T - Caramel, brown sugar, dark fruit, alcohol. Only an eight month old bottle. Burn has settled a little, b ut I imagine it'd be smoother with another six months.
M - Thick body, low carbonation. Coats the palate and doesn't leave.
O - A good barleywine. Worth trying especially if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of stcules
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color, totallly full of thn floating thingies. Half finger of foam, scarce.
In the smell a wall of maltiness, with light note of american hops. Dry fruitiness, molasses, raisins, dry figs.
Full taste, malty and honeyed notes, and fruit, too. Dry figs and nuts, overal. Then some hop, just for the balance.
Some alcohol is perceptible.
Full bodied, liquorous finish.
Quite malty aftertaste.
Not bad.

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

While I wouldn't use the phrase "sugar bomb," this is a REALLY sweet barleywine, almost cloyingly so but not quite. Oddly, the sweetness became less offensive as it warmed up.

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Photo of Towen69
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

This was my first barley wine. I was reluctant to try barley wine because I'm not a huge wine fan. The first sip tasted like wine, but from past experience I drank on. By the end of the first bottle my palate had adjusted and I was liking the flavor. I ended up drinking all 4 and felt like crap the next day, but, all in all a good experience for my first barley wine.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.18/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Chestnut brown colored with a fingernail of beige head covering a majority of the top. Aroma is virtually nonexistent despite repeated attempts. The flavor is a boozy, malty, alcoholic assault. There's a light nutty element Intwined. The mouth is boozy and gently burns on the aY down.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a laser etched wine glass. Freshness date is 12/19/2014.

Appearance: weird orange color with hints of red. Amazingly clear, there was a fluffy head that lasted for about 1.3 seconds, now nothing. Alcohol content maybe, my glass was just cleaned.

Nose: bland, kinda stale aroma of some hops and malt. Wet dog maybe...

Taste: hot alcohol, solvents, dried fruit, very low carbonation, minor hops bitterness but mostly the malt and alcohol come through.

Overall: age me please. I'll see you in a year.

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Photo of benloho
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle has been in the cellar for a couple of years to help smooth out the strong alcohol feel and flavor.

Very sweet smelling and tasting, but very pleasant. Rich and creamy. Great after dinner beer and certainly a sipper. Not much bitterness at all which causes it to be a bit too malty for me, but that's what one would expect from an 11% beer. Nice alcohol warmth but not overpowering. Could definitely get into trouble on a colder day drinking this one too quick.

Not the greatest barleywine, but certainly one worth trying if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of synapseprolapse
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Amber, slightly hazy, half-finger head that dissipates rather quickly.
S: Malty, spicy
T: Very malty, finish reminds me of Belgians.
M: Flat, super thick.
O: I enjoyed it. The mouthfeel lets you know that it's going to be a heavy beer. It's very much a Belgian beer, and could probably be labeled as such since the finish has a strange twist that ping-pongs my taste buds (think: malty, malty, malty, twang). One hell of a way to get drunk fast, since my mouth numbed up pretty quickly, and I only noticed the malt towards the end. Lacks breadth, but has depth, if that makes sense.

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Photo of xtavior
1.66/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This was easily the WORST thing i have EVER drank. It was like someone took a cheap red wine and mixed it with a cheap American lager (ala bud light). I bought a pack weeks ago and can't even get drunk enough to stomach it. Just. Frigging. Terrible.

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Photo of tkolterman
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer has good taste from begining to end. On my third six pack. I went to the the Weyerbacher Brewery, nice operation. Blithering is a high ABU beer.
I am a D-beer kinda guy. I enjoy it every bottle I drink.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. I've been working my way through the Weyerbacher lineup and I thought it was time to give this Barleywine a try, so lets see how it goes. Bottled on 2/15/15. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's got a nice design to it and it's eye catching. It poured an amber red color that took on of a ruby red hue when held to the light with a half a fingers worth of bubbly light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish the head and retention were just a little better.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with a fruity aroma being the first to show up and it imparts a mixture of apples and light dark fruit aromas with no single aspect sticking out the most. Up next comes a slight alcohol aroma that leads into the malts which are on the lighter side and they impart some sweet malt, caramel malt, caramel and grainy aromas. This beer has a nice aroma, but I wish it was a little more complex.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with very high amount of medium sweetness with the same fruity aspects that I got in the aroma being the first to show up, but this time they aren't as bright and they are just a little lighter. Up next comes a noticeable alcohol flavors that isn't too warming and it's followed by the malts which are lighter like they were in the aroma and they impart the same aspects with caramel and sweet malts seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's no bitterness with some sweetness and booze taking it's place and it had a fruity aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but just like aroma I wish it was more complex.

M- Fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, on the very thick side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. This beer has a nice mouthfeel that works well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and I thought it was it a nice example of an English Style Barleywine, but In the end it didn't turn out as great as some of the better ones I've had, it just lacked the complexity and big mouthfeel that some of that better ones seem to have and it left me wanting more. This beer has nice drinkability, it's fairly smooth, not too cloying, slightly crisp, a little filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I think one is a good amount for me, I don't really have the urge to drink another one in a row. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was, besides lacking it complexity it had pretty much all the things that I look for in the style. What I like the least about this beer is the lack of complexity, that aspect could use some work. I would buy this beer again, but I'm not going to go out of my way to stock up on it and I would say it worth a try if you are a fan of the style. All in all I liked this beer, but I didn't love, it needs a little work, but I think it has potential. IT's not a favorite Weyerbacher beer and it's right about average for the style. Nice job guys, but I think with a little more work this could be a very nice Barleywine.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.38/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

11.1% ABV, Original Gravity: 26.2p, 34 IBU's.
Hopped with Northern Brewer (B), Perle (B), Hallertuaer.
12oz bottle.
Pours out to a medium amber, forming a soft yellow head with good retention and solid lacing. Carbonation is moderately brisk, ~2.75 carbs or so. The nose is ripe with figs, dates, belgian candi sugar, grape juice, plums, cherries and apple juice. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with a dense body. Tastes like a fruit salad, lots of grapes, fugs and dates. Modestly strong oxidized wet cardboard flavor half way through with moderate higher alcohols and soy sauce like yeast autolysis with mild herbal bitterness.

The oxidation and higher alcohols definitely ruin this for me. Not a very good or very well brewed beer. I definitely wouldn't buy this again. Drain pour. Blithering indeed,

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Photo of larryarms847
3.15/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper and slightly hazy with a solid finger of light khaki and creamy foam.

Earthy, dark fruits, cherry, toasted malt, and some spicy yeast aroma.

Spicy yeast, dark fruit, toasted dinner rolls, and slightly odd.

Medium-heavy bodied, medium carbonation, spicy, astringent, not good.

Overall, this pours well and smells halfway decent, but the flavor and mouthfeel are rather bizarre and off-putting.

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Photo of Mikus
2.48/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Looked good. Had some interesting aromas (some sort of spicy hop or yeast note that was interesting), along with some bready maltiness. Fell apart on the taste and mouthfeel. Really muddy, nothing distinct or stand out shining through. Would not recommend. Still haven't found a decent Weyerbacher brew.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottling date of 01/05/15

Appearance - Pours a relatively clear copper red color with a beige head that peaks at about half a finger's thickness. Poor retention results in a mostly barren surface with a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell - Strong cherry aroma backed by notes of caramel and banana.

Taste - Notes of cherry and caramel upfront and throughout. Distant banana undertone that peaks through mid-taste. Cloyingly sweet finish with an astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Sits somewhere between medium to full in body with a sticky texture; like maple syrup cut with water. Low carbonation. Drying finish.

Overall - People have compared this to cough syrup, and I have to agree that to an extent it does have a cherry cough syrup flavor. Very little balance, no depth, and really just kind of a big ol' mess. Maybe it would age to something better, but I won't be the one to try it.

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Photo of EFitzsimmons
3.27/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

dark amber with a great looking head that fades to a good film on the sides and a little bit of fuzz on top maintained by the carbonation.

Very malty smell, with a sweetness to it, with a light raisin smell to me.

Nice big and sweet malt to start the taste, and then the sweetness continues with a caramel flavor, but the beer finishes with a somewhat strange bitter hop, that just doesn't sit quite right.

The carbonation is great, and the beer really seems to settle and stay on the back top part of the mouth. It has a pretty light feel for how big a beer it is.

This is a pretty good beer(best served not too cold), and I usually love big hop finishes, but something about this beer just didn't sit quite right with me, which is a bit of a bummer.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of the bottle, a turbid and very dark amber color becomes deep brown/mahogany when it settles in the glass. A very minimal head soon dissipates into an ultra thin ring and lace, which in turn eventually disappears entirely.
In the nose, the sweet aroma of berries, plum, prune, raisins and figs combine with caramel malt and alcohol. There are some biscuity qualities as well.
Full, chewy and almost syrupy in the mouth. A lot of caramel malt and dark fruit sweetness at first. Later on, some bitterness from the hops and spiciness from the alcohol balanced things out. The alcohol is ever present; it is powerful, strong and provides quite the warming. It is almost medicinal in quality and a tad harsh.
Overall, an interesting brew, however, the high alcohol content overpowers a bit and renders this not the most drinkable of beers.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 edition 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, deep, dark, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights, and a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with strong aromas of toasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted English muffins, followed by some notes of brown sugar, toffee, dried stone fruit such as raisins, figs, prunes, and a touch of maple syrup.

Taste: Delicious! Strong flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit, and a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, but leaning a little towards the thin side. It’s a very smooth beer as there is very little carbonation. With an ABV of 11.1%, there is a very pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very, good barleywine! Excellent, in fact! It has great flavors of malt, brown sugar and maple syrup-like sweetness, dried stone fruit and a touch of hops. The only thing keeping this barleywine from being world-class is the slightly less than perfect mouthfeel. If it had a chewier mouthfeel, it would be world-class.

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Photo of m_hall
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour from 12oz. bottle into a wine glass, Pours clear copper, capped with a 1-finger cream head that falls fairly quickly. Scant lacing.

Aroma is dominated by malts, more towards the sweet end than bread-y.Some wine-like dark fruits. There is a very distinct alcoholic tang, which at 11.1%, is unsurprising.

Flavor is sweet to bitter-sweet, with fig and apricot notes, along with a bit of caramel. Alcohol on the finish, and a great deal of it. Little to no hop bitterness or floral tones.

Mouthfeel was smooth, a trifle thick, quite pleasant.

A good representative of the style, though I think cellar aging could improve this by allowing the alcohol to settle down with the rest of the flavors. I'll give this one another look in a year or so.

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Photo of predikit
2.91/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Pours a reddish brown, leaves a thick light tan head that sticks around for an amazing amount of time.

Smell is fairly mute, slight citrus, barley and malt, orange peel.

First taste was interesting, but then it just started going downhill. Eucalyptus, caramel, the alcohol lends a great deal, could almost say that in itself is the prime flavor with the rest just acting as support. Not very pleasant.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth and creamy. Medium bodied, light carbonation, goes down easy, at the least.

Had to finish off Weyerbacher's locally available at some point, I guess trudging through brews like this is inevitable, wouldn't ever go near this again.

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Photo of DarthVorador
2.29/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Looked & smelled great, but went all down hill from there. Couldn't get past the strong cough syrup flavor. This one definitely needs to be aged, otherwise it's damn near undrinkable.

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Blithering Idiot from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 2,164 ratings.
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