Heresy | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Very Good

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.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,014 | Ratings: 2,263
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Phone flashlight test allow zero light through. The mocha-colored head is larger than expected given the age of this beer, it was purchased in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2012. About a half an inch swells up with a variety of bubble sizes, which settle into about half the surface of beer being covered with an extremely thin layer of foam that looks like a map. The inky, blackness looks like motor oil underneath. Again, a bit of a surprise, but lacing does adorn the backside of the glass as the beer goes down.

S; Dark chocolate and a light, coffee roast are all that's left on the nose. If I strain, I can get a touch of vanilla. Not very aggressive anymore.

T: Still delicious. Ironic? No, maybe coincidental is more accurate, that it tastes like Hershey's Dark Chocolate. There's a mild, black coffee flavor underneath along with a touch of vanilla. When the beer was first poured there was a little bit of that Cheri note from an overly ripe beer, but after a few sips it goes away and some wonderful flavors, already described above, become more intense.

M: Carbonation is minimal, but present and noticeable. While I would expect sweetness in this big, bourbon, barrel-aged Stout with some age on it, it's actually pretty dry. The roast and dark chocolate combine for a nice bitterness, especially on the end, that keeps you wanting to come back for that next sip.

O: This one aged very gracefully. I should have consumed this a few years ago, but it got lost in the back of the cellar and didn't happen until now. Still, it's gorgeous. Wayerbacher always comes through for me...even when I don't come through for them. My grading will be done with an acknowledgement of age in mind.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 2/3/2015. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light dark fruit, and roast/oaky earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light dark fruit notes; with great strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light dark fruit, and roast/oaky earthiness. Light roast/oaky bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, light dark fruit, and roast/oaky bitterness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and slightly bready/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barrel aged imperial stout. All around great complexity, balance, and robustness of dark/roasted malt, bourbon barrel, and light dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. The barrel character is very pronounced, but not overdone. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Czarkazm
3.07/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours cola colored and collects in the glass looking fairly black with mahogany highlights along the edges. Thick khaki colored head with loads of bubbles streaming up. Smell seems a bit off for an imperial stout. I get very mild roast, a touch of dark fruits, faint coffee acidity, and it all gets clouded out by a tart lacto funk. This bottle is from feb., 2014, the last of my 4 pack and they all had this quality. Recalled this same phenomenon in half of my 4 pack from 2013. Will not be buying a 4 pack this year. Thin mouthfeel and overly carbonated. Taste is dominated by sour notes. Tart apples, vinegar, black currant, a nuttiness maybe, sour cherry. It's not undrinkable if you convince yourself its supposed to taste like this. I had Cantillon's Gueuze Lambic Bio recently and this one reminds me of that blended with a porter, but this could not have been the brewer's intention.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with no light penetration and a frothy tan colored head that leaves nice lacing, a menacing looking stout. Smell is breathtaking, big cocoa aroma with hints of coffee, currant, vanilla, oak and alcohol, very intriguing. The taste begins with many shades of fine chocolate, coffee, vanilla, oak, a hint of diacetyl, and finishes dry, bitter and with a winey, alcoholic finish that warms. A very complex brew, the oak aging has really done this beer well. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with low carbonation but the drinkability is somewhat low because of the wine-like alcoholic finish.

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

Pours a very dark brown with a wet ecru head. Distinct oaky aroma with chocolate and a woody smokey note. Flavor is dark chocolate, coconut, licorice, and a decent roasted coffee note with some bitterness. Silky smooth mouthfeel, maybe a little thin. Pretty good.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours jet black. No light penetration. Good coffee and cream head retains so-so.

Smells of caramel and toasty smokey malts.

Taste is of toasty brown sugar malts, a bit smokey.

Feels is moderate, minimal carbonation.

Good stout, classic flavors, a bit more buttery than average. Exactly what you want from a stout.

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Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - motor oil with a finger width head that fades into a thin sudsy film. As it warms, caramel begins to appear. And if there were ever such a thing as a "sticky sugary aroma", this has it.

S - coconut hits your first followed by vanilla, and then some booze - kinda like spiced rum. extremely faint malt in the background.

T - coconut, vanilla, chocolate up front and some autumn spices seem framed by a mild bitterness on the front end, the sides of the tongue, and in the finish. alcoholic warmth builds from inside the chest. And then chocolate returns in the finish. So much character. Even the booze has depth.

M - full bodied and thick; soothing

D - I'm not sure what is meant by "drinkability". I like taking big gulps of this. And, as I write more of this review, I reach for the glass to take another gulp. I guess the drinkability is good, maybe better?

I like this. I got a single from Hop City for $1.99 and they seem to have many, many six packs of this stuff stacked up front. This Friday, I'm getting me some. Delicious!

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Photo of CreightonSM
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Steimie
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of Lukass
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Dilbert65
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

surprisingly very good considering the price,Which was cheap at 12 bucks a 4 pack. Not quite to the standard of their sunday morning stout,but that isnt really a criticism. tasty stout with the definite taste of whiskey barrels which gives this beer a surprising tart fruit finish.

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

Very dark with nice light tan head with lacing. Smells if light caremels, chocolates and throw in some nice oakiness. Smells are not strong at all. Tastes of vanilla oak, chocolate and alcohol. Finishes with sweet after taste. Good medium bodied which takes away with it the main flavor components, but leaves behind rich warming oaky chocolates flavors.

This is very drinkable.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of KGarrett
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jborg
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of jpd7374
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of tellish33
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of KevinGordon
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of ArdyExfor
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with just the edges barely showing through when held to the light. Small tan head that dissipates quickly leaving a slight collar.

S: Oaken bourbon. Chocolate, vanilla. Dark fruit. Slight alcohol.

T: Mirrors the aroma. Very smooth. Nice bit of roast at the end.

M: Medium/full mouth feel. Very low carbonation.

O: Not the best BA stout I've ever had but very drinkable.

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Photo of ralph-pine
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Balanced, delicate, exquisite, soul hovering whiskey all the time about the character of this beer.

99 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger creamy tan head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured burnt grains, dark chocolate and a touch of lactose.

The taste consisted of a sweet caramel, burnt grain and bitter chocolate.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty RIS.

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Photo of BigJTrucker
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this 22oz bottle as part of the Summer Sipper 2007 BIF. Pours a pitch black color, thick brown head that settles fairly quickly. Has somewhat of a grape aroma when poured cold, but as it warms to the proper temp, taste and aroma of coffee, baker's chocolate, possibly even tobacco become apparent, was expecting more oak-aged taste, but it is hidden somewhat behing the other flavors. Mouthfeel is just south of full bodied, nice and silky smooth. Drinkability is incredibly good. I don't recall having a "russian imperial stout before", I expected it to be alot harsher. I love being pleasantly surprised by a beer. Very good indeed.

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Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - poured into an oversized snifter. silky black with a creamy tan head that left some souvenirs on the side of the glass as the head subsided a bit, but never went completely away.
S - Deep and strong roasted malts with a hint of grape. has a fresh type of smell which makes me think of the oak barrels. alc is pretty tame.
T - oh wow. really comes alive in the flavor dept. i'm a big fan of RIS and this one was a pleasant surprise since i had never tried it before. roasted malts, oak tames the flavor. the alc is really well blended and not in your face at all.
M - pretty medium bodied. very smooth and not overly rich and filling. leaves a pretty fresh feel in your mouth.
D - dangerously drinkable. good gateway RIS for folks who aren't fans of the style (yet).

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 2,263 ratings