Heresy | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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2,261 Ratings

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
We take our Old Heathen and age it in oak bourbon barrels. The result is our silky smooth Heresy, 8% ABV. The aroma is filled with vanilla, cocoa and roasted coffee. Notes of oak, whiskey, roasted barley and vanilla dance across your taste buds.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,261 |  Reviews: 1,014
Photo of TheDoctor
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle
Bottled: Oct-28-2016

This beer pours a thick pitch black with three fingers of very active brown head that immediately settles to a ring around glass leaving no lacing.

The aroma is predominately sweet caramelized malt scents. Maple, brown sugar, vanilla whiskey notes, tobacco and a whiff of oxidation.

The flavor follows with rich, sweet malt roast flavors with some dark fruits and nutty roast flavors, vanillins, oak, really mellow whiskey notes (almost like what you get out of cooking with whiskey), kind of a vinous quality to it.

Thick and vinous, coating sweetness, light carbonation, warming finish.

A nice beer that has aged gracefully. It is very nice to sip on and see how it warms up. It is neither super roasty nor super whiskey-ey. There is a nice brown sugar sweetness on top of mellow whiskey, faint dark fruits and a little touch of oxidation that I actually think added to it a little. This was a nice beer. I like how restrained it was and enjoyed the fruitiness from the yeast (something I'm usually not huge on in a stout).

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 12 fl oz bottle on July 2, 2018. Old Heathen aged in oak bourbon barrels. The aroma is vanilla, cocoa and roasted coffee. The taste is oak, whiskey, roasted barley and vanilla. Feel is very light for the style.

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Photo of kkmiller76
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Roberto11232
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jjamadorphd
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher never disappoints, and Heresy falls into that category for them..

A beautifully dark almost black beer with a dark tan head, little staying power and no lacing. I was very impressed with the smell, it was sweet, boozy, and just a touch of hops to the nose. Where the smell was impressive the feel was less than stellar. It was an experience in astringent-ness...Nonetheless, the taste was very flavorful, and overall I found it to be another good offering from the Weyerbacher stable.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a slim finger’s worth of tan to off white foamy head that dissipated within less than about forty seconds. Slim clingy slightly foamy lacing roams around the glass nicely. The smell starts with rich dark fruits with a good amount of rich sweet milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate. All three meld really nice. A dry sweet semi-chocolatey aftertaste runs into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a fairly decent sipping quality about it. Carbonation comes across really nice and low. The dryness hits my tongue the hardest but not overbearing. Overall, this was a pretty good Russian Imperial Stout but not a lot of whiskey barrel shows up. Maybe it was my timing but I wouldn’t mind trying again fresher.

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Photo of Shade1951
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Strange. For this beer, the parts are greater than the whole. I like it well enough, and yet there is something disappointing.

I like the oil-black color. The head dissipates very quickly, leaving the glass looking as if there's ice coffee in it. I really had to work at getting the smell. I had to angle the glass just right against my nose and inhale deeply. I did get some fragrance of the barrel with tones of bourbon. I would have preferred more on the nose.

The taste definitely provides some bourbon, along with hints of... maybe cocoa and leather. It's solid, if not very memorable. The feel is rather creamy - nice - but just a bit under carbonated for my taste. Maybe that's the style? I don't know - but I've had Imperials that were tasty and creamy but with more pizzazz.

This offering from the brewery is fine. I prefer Old Heathen, though.

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Photo of PrestigeWorldwide
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JamesLeung
4.44/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OldManMetal
3.13/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Heresy is an effervescent, nigh-impenetrably black beer with sullen orange footlights and a large, brief-lived, slightly pebbly brown head that leaves scant spots of lacing. The nose is a lying harbinger of great things to come: a medium-big aroma that leads with ephemeral whiskey notes that are quickly overtaken by a tasty blend of butterscotch, light-complected caramel, and hints of toffee and toast, all topped by moderate alcohol overtones. The palate leads with a whiskey character that is as assertive as it is fleeting on the nose. The absence of the full, sweet midrange and low-end flavors characteristic of bourbon make me wonder what type of barrels were used for aging; the flatness/evenness of the flavor profile from top to bottom is much more suggestive of Canadian whisky. This flavor is not too strong, nor overbearing, but it somehow manages to completely overshadow the dark malt character of the base beer, leaving it no more differentiated nor strongly expressed than would be the case in an average Schwarzbier. In fact, that is a perfect description of how this beer tastes: an anonymous Schwarzbier mixed with the dregs of a Cutty Sark on the rocks. The finish is a modest hit of whiskey and dark malt, and is somewhat warming; the linger is a watery whiskey flavor that lasts for a few minutes. Mouthfeel is watery as well, and is thin for the full body; the texture is slightly creamy and very slightly peppery from the underexpressed carbonation. Unfortunately, this beer is incapable of acting like an imperial stout, and has allowed the barrel treatment to get the upper hand, completely losing its soul in the process. (12 oz bottle, 116 days after pkg)

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Photo of scotorum
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75


We get this brewer's products but this is the first time I've seen this one in my state, although I'd seen it occasionally in the state next door and regretted not buying some. Surprised to find it since it's supposed to be retired.

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

a: Opaque black with slight ruby hints at the bottom, tan inch thick head receded slowly to even surface foam and a little patchy/spotty lacing.

s: Whiskey and slight dark roasty malt.

t: Follows the nose with moderate hop bite. Black coffee notes in the finish and aftertaste fade later.

m; Light to medium, ok body with slight watery notes and some carbonation tingle.

o; Love their Insanity BBA barleywine but this is rather weak and thin feeling for an imperial stout. The booze flavor carries it.

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Photo of Davit
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Timtac
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BKast409
4.83/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of Dragginballs76
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours dark mahogany with mocha colored head that lasts for a bit. not much lacing.

Aroma - Whiskey and chocolate are up front. Roasted malts and hints of vanilla, nutty finish.

Taste - Whiskey and chocolate forward much like the aroma. The flavor of the whiskey is there but not the strong alcohol that usually accompanies, vanilla and roasted malts as well.

Feel - Very smooth and velvet like well carbonated sight burn from the alcohol.

Overall - Very sold WBA stout good flavors and depth.

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Photo of BFCarr
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/21/16. Poured into tulip glass on 1/11/17. Pours black with 1/2" tan head that fades quickly. Aroma has light roasted notes and light whiskey notes. Not an overpowering amount of whiskey, which is refreshing. Taste is mostly whiskey, but not excessive, the imperial stout side is background player, but the overall effect is tasty. Feel is somewhat silky but not great for an imperial stout. Overall, a nice take on a whiskey barrel aged brew.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark tarry black, with a brown-beige head of 1 finger.

Aroma of sweet bourbon barrel, whiskey, some cocoa and dark coffee ground.

Flavors of mocha, dark coffee, sweet bourbon, very slight medicinal alcohol, and then hot chocolate/cake on the finish.

The feel is very carbonated, yet still smooth. Hot booziness up the middle that continues the burn to the finish.

Overall, this was much better than I thought it would be. I was expecting a whiskey bomb and what I got was some real nice chocolate notes, coffee, and a polite whiskey character. I'll be buying more of this soon.

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Photo of akopczyk
4.49/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of drone
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Futbolmanby
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chrismattlin
3.89/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jahbless
3.71/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of travelguy
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Marklaker
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 2,261 ratings