Heresy | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
1,009 Reviews

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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,009 | Ratings: 2,255
Photo of connecticutpoet
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a wonderful beer... poured out a very dark brown, almost black, with a three finger tan head that slowly dissipated to a thin film of foam.

The aroma was massively complex... the first thing I got was bourbon, which was to be expected. But underneath was a blend of dark fruits, mainly raisins and perhaps cherries... oak tannins... a hint of sweet vanilla... no real chocolate notes to speak of... the more I sniffed, the more I could detect, but so much was so subtle I couldn't put names to it all.

The taste was incredible... initially a vinous taste with roasted malts, a bit of bourbon working in... some oak character... a hint of sweetness, a bit of dark chocolate... very well-balanced and subtle. The alcohol was very slightly noticeable, but not much... it was quite well restrained and worked in nicely.

The mouthfeel was just right.. not too chewy for the level of flavors. And as for drinkability, well, I will definitely get this one again.

I don't know how they do it... first Insanity, now Heresy... but keep them coming, Weyerbacher!

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Photo of drgonzo3705
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a pretty black with a nice fluffy tan colored head that leaves nice lacing in my snifter.

S: Mmmm. Chocolate, molasses, and oak all tie together very nicely as it hits your nose.

T: Chocolate again not so much of the molasses in the taste but the oak aroma fills your mouth, very enjoyable.

M: Thick, creamy, mild carbonation, and a bit of hops.

D: Very drinkable. Being only 8% for this big of a stout is fantastic. I could easily polish off a 4 pack in.a night (have done it and will again). I look forward to this again next year!

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Photo of psuimpreza
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This year's rendition of Hersey is amazing. It pours a beautiful brown head and has a nice lasting burn. The head remains throughout the entire beer. It is better served warm than cold.

It is currently one of my top 5 beers and one of the best oak aged beers around that I have tried.

If you like Russian Imperial Stouts this is a must try if you can find it.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.92/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pretty dark amber...almost black.
Two fingers of a milk chocolate colored head melts to a sticky lace with a quarter of an inch left on top.

Smells like coffee and chocolate...chocolate and coffee....followed with a bit of the oak barrel and bourbon.

Tastes like it and chocolate and bourbon LOVE the bourbon tastes in it. Lots of sweet vanilla comes through from the oak barrels as well. More vanilla than I've experienced before in a beer. Love it all.

This is an incredibly balanced Oaked Imperial Stout. Nothing overpowers...everything just plays against each other and then finishes clean in the mouth.

Love it.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
4.92/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served into a snifter at about 45 degrees.

The Weyerbacher Heresy pours a viscous black in the glass with a thick, creamy brown froth, good lacing, and good retention. Pronounced aromas of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses, oak, cinnamon, espresso (mocha), some subtle dark berries, roasted hazelnuts, & did i mention chocolate? Full, rich, sweet, and perfect for a cold winter evening! Everything found on the nose is present on the palate with a well integrated alcohol presence, slight hop bitterness, definite roastiness, creamy mouthfeel, & long finish. The overall brilliance of the beer is that it's full, rich, sweet, balanced, and everything that anyone could look for in a RIS! An absolute triumph! Highest recommendation!

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Photo of LizT
4.92/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I think this is my favorite for the money. The color (dark, but warm) and the smell (sweet & carmel-rich) set the tone for the taste. If old english toffee covered in chocolate were a beer, I think this would be it.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.87/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a great Russian Imperial Stout. Appearance is jet black with a milk chocolate-colored head and some patchy lacing on the side. Aromas are wicked strong with a rich, milk chocolate smell wrapped in a woody/alcohol texture. Taste is really, really sweet. We are talking tons of chocolate, coffee, cocoa, sugars, vanilla, malt. Exceptional mouthfeel allows this to be really creamy; great desert-oriented drink. Overall, a great, great stout.

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

22 oz. circa 2005

One of the best bodies I've seen on a stout - so pure and refined. Great fluffy, medium-tan head with plenty of retention and lacing. Magnificent.
Mild oak front end with vanilla/chocolate/mild burnt accents. No alcohol to note, but plenty of rich coffee to keep me satisfied.
Taste is extraordinary. A complete liquid symphony harmoniously in duet with oak & balanced stout, to crescendo into a gloriously made drink that I wish would never end. Seriously, Weyerbacher has made it's way onto my radar. Bless the creators of such a fine drink.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

#BOTG 59! Thanks to Mike for the chance to taste this one. Poured from bottle into CBS snifter. Paired with brownie a la mode! Poured a pitch black color, nice thickness, nice rich tan/brown color head. This looks like an evil one. I like. Smell- roasted toffee, some coffee, milk chocolate, dark chocolate. Taste- vanilla from the oak, milk chocolate, roasty notes. This is so smooth, and so mellow. I also cant believe how well this pairs with the brownie, esp the vanilla ice cream. The vanilla notes and the oak is really what makes this stout a standout. The complexity of the roast, oak, and coffee/chocolate that you get from a RIS is all there, but this is unique. This is a home run. Fantastic, getting a 5 on most fronts.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Opaque pitch black with a one finger light brown head that slowly settles to a thick rim along the glass.

Thick and roasty bitter malt aromas with a bit of hoppiness in the background to add some balance. Chocolate and coffee work their way in.

Heavy and roasty malts dominate the flavor, with some of the chocolate and coffee that is present in the aroma. Full bodied, with a coating feel. The finish is the lingering roasty grains.

What an enjoyable beer. The malts are bitter, yet smooth. There are no overzealous hops to mask the complexity that the malts carry on their own. The %ABV is about 8%, which increases the drinkability. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Phatz
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Weyerbacher has the coolest (well maybe=) labels. The bomber presentation is simply cool. The important thing is the beer inside. I LOVE this beer. It is certainly my favorite Weyerbacher beer.

Appearance: Dark black body worth mahogany around the edges. Nice head with great retention.

Smell: Beautiful dark roasty malt, currants chocolate, with a hint of smokiness. Very enticing.

Taste: This beer is so thick and creamy and yet not the biggest Russian Imperial that I’ve had it maybe the most drinkable RIS. The roasty flavor leads into a chocolaty malt with hints of oak and vanilla. I love the hint of bourbon flavor and the espresso in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body could have been bigger, but on the other hand that may reduce it's drinkability a bit. The medium body is remarkable smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Dangerous. I love the flavor so much I could put down the whole bomber twice over and regret it =) Fortunately, I was sharing with friends.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Hop2it
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I hid this bottle from myself about four months ago. Damn, a lot has happened in those four months. I hope it's aged as gracefully as I have.

This is a beauty of a pint: Jet black and the head has the look of a cup of hot chocolate. Seriously this feels like I'm about to down a tall glass of motor oil.

Smell's like s'mores. Roasted chocolate and subtle almond 'olfactory hues' invite me in with a powerful force.

The flavor lives up to the aroma. It coats my tongue in a thick lather of a melted and alcoholic Hershy's bar. As I review this live, I must admit that I am really impressed with this beer. I love a good stout, especially on these lonely winter nights, and this has delivered. I'm not new to Heresy either; I've had several of both this and last year's editions, but what I am drinking now and reviewing for the first time is a magnificant work of brewing art.

I understand that Heresy is a bourbon barrel-aged version of the "Old Heathan," which unfortunately I have not tried yet. Its brother beer, Insanity, is quite possibly the best beer I've ever tried, and this pint is refusing to live in its brother's shadows.

With both Insanity and Heresy, the extra aging really is where the beer comes to its own. Try one in the fall when they are first released, and then try one from the same batch a couple months later - I noticed a major difference.

For such a thick, heavy beer, it's goes down easy... a little too easy. My only knocks against its drinkability is that it is a force to be reckoned with.

What would another year of aging produce?...

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A perfect example of how a RIS should look like. A black body with a massive 4 finger head, light brown in color, that is puffy in texture. Great lacing and head retention.

S: A sweet aroma of chocolate, caramel, molasses, are balanced with toasty malts and coffee.

T: Absolutely delicious. A roasted malt flavor with hints of bitter coffee and dark chocolate is balanced with sweet caramel and vanilla (from the oak obviously). Bourbon notes are evident as well as some smokey flavors.

M: A smooth, rich, creamy mouthfeel with a full bodied and little carbonation.

D: One of the best D**M beers I've had in a long time. If HERESY was a woman, I would divorce my wife and marry her.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 22 oz bottle.... slightly aged.

Heresy may very well be my favorite brew from Weyerbacher!!! The oak aging adds notes of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and vinous fruit to an already excellent Imperial Stout.

It pours an opaque body with a thin glint of mahogany at the base of the glass. The head starts as a two-fingered head of frothy dark tan foam that drops quickly to a creamy 1/4" surface covering, and then dissolves to a razor thin surface covering, leaving little more than spotty lace abot the glass.

The nose offers toasted chocolate; a berry-like yeasty fruitiness; vanilla; oak; cherries; vinous fruit; coconut; and some alcohol.

The body is medium-full, and it's silky smooth in the mouth with a low-level, very fine and natural carbonation from bottle conditioning that gently caresses the tongue before sliding silkily away.

The flavor delivers dark fruits and a touch of bourbon floating atop a dark malt and bittersweet chocolate maltiness. It has a soft roasted edge to it, and it's backed by a bold bitterness with some drying alcohol in the finish.

It finishes fairly short considering the drama that takes place in the mouth; with some residual vinous characeristics, milk chocolate, a light touch of mocha java, and some mild, lingering bitterness.

There are clear variations in this beer, maybe coming from barrel to barrel or batch to batch; but they just lend it that much more charm. Some bottles are more chocolatey, and some offer more vinous fruit. Some have more alcohol, and some have more wood.... it's all good! This is a really pleasant, easy to drink, very rich, and satiating brew that deserves far more mention than it gets! KUDOS!

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Photo of DomingoOrtiz
4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best stouts I have ever had. I had not had too much experience with Weyerbacher prior to this. I had it on tap at a place called Pico. They have an amazing selections of beers on draught.
Why must you type in a 250+ length comment to rate a beer?
Do you like beer? I do!

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Photo of canucklehead
4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another Malto trade, this beer was top shelf. Jet black with a tan head, I could smell the boozy old plum nose combined with the scent of oak. The beer is burnt malt and oak aged goodness wrapped in a velvet glove. The smoothness was off the charts for such a big beer. The complexity was added to by the oak aging yet no one flavour stood out over the others. Like Storm King, Rasputin and Stone Impy this is a near perfect stout.

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Photo of shapudding
4.73/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Grey Lodge in Philly. Beautifully dark and luscious with a creamy khaki head that reduced down to a little ring and thin covering. Scents of portwine and sherry, yummmm.... Wonderfully creamy but not heavy, not too rich at all. Served at the perfect temperature. Very minor amount of carbination. It just feels so good and smooth, almost like a cask conditioned. Dark and coffee flavors, but no burnt flavors. Great flavor without being overpowering. Beautiful oakiness. More of a vanilla extract flavor than of vanilla beans, most likely due to the 8% alcohol. This is such a great freaking stout and man is this just so easy to drink!

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.73/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a thin layer of light brown head. Oak comes through strong in the nose, as well as toasty barley, and some faint chocolate notes. The bourbon comes through quite well, and is quite tasty against the other scents. The flavor is very deep. Bourbon comes through first on the taste, followed by robust roasted notes at the end, very tasty. The mouthfeel is fairly light considering the ABV and complex flavors going on. This beer coats the mouth quite well, and leaves a pleasant after taste. Overall, this is a great beer.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Double WOW!

I had no Idea! Poured from the big 22 oz. bomber to a nice steamed glass. What a well refined beer. Still with good but light carbonation, a dark tan 2 finger head that fades to a respectable lace over a dark dark liquid.

The smell is wonderful, Smooth creamy chocolate with vanilla notes.

The taste is really outstanding, this is a well aged master piece, Hugh and delightful flavor profile. Coffee, chocolate, medium fruit, very nice, The slightest draw back could be too much vanilla.

The mouthfeel is all but perfect. Could use a little more carbonation, but everything else is complete and just wonderful.

The drinkability is excellent, no complaints I could drink this always.

Prosit, Prosit und Dobbel Zum Wohl! MK

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours an incredibly thick black with a thing collar beige head.

Smell: The smell is incredibly woody with huge roasted nut and chocolate notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Excellent!! Wow. This is great. This is just how I want my stouts to taste. Rich, creamy, full of life and energy, but still somewhat humble and incredibly balanced. The complexity is perfect. Not too much for the taste buds. The addition of oak to this was a glorious thing, as it was with the Insanity.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a wonderful beer. It's just about perfect. Thank God for Weyerbacher, they really do have some great beers, and this is one of them. One of the best Stouts you'll ever have.

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Photo of oelergud
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black body. Brown silken head with medium bubbles interspersed. Good retention and decent lace.
Strong sherrylike smell with dark chocolate and cream, very inviting.
The taste is mellow and round, smoked roasted cocoa beans and sherrylike flavor with almonds. Aftertaste is mostly almonds with some faint hop notes.
Full and dense mouthfeel with some coating and a slightly dry finish.
Very drinkable. Definitely on the repeat list.


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Photo of Citadel82
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa there.

This is one spectacular brew.

Pours black with a generous tan head that leaves a thick coating of lace on the glass as it withdraws as it is emptied.

Aroma of malt, molasses and dried fruit.

Taste of cappucino, malt, drying hoppiness and a cocoa and alcohol finish.

A medium bodied brew with light persistent carbonation.

Very drinkable not overpowering in any one aspect.

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Photo of danedelman
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting one of my 2011 lots from February

A-black as black can be with a tan head that sticks around for just a minute or so.

S-bourbon up front with some vanilla, raisins and a bit of chocolate

T-get thhe bourbon, vanilla, more of a fig or prune flavor with a hint of that chocolate note. Must be from chocolate malt. A little chalkyness to it too and some smoke but very small amounts. This is a perfect brew for in front of the campfire. Some hops are present also. Very flavorful, complex but very smooth with just a slight alcohol burn in your throat. Almost has a chile or peppery to it felt in the throat too.

M-nice medium body and well carbed.

Good beer, I will buy another 2 cases of this this year.

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Photo of Maestro
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thoroughly enjoyed this version of the Old Heathen. The whisky notes were phenomenal. I couldn't imagine a better take on a Russion Imperial Stout. I have seen this one before but put off buying it for some reason. The black beer has big flavors. Big malts, big hops and big whisky. This was a truly great beer. Find a bomber and share with a good buddy.

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Photo of ThoughtPolice
4.69/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First thing I want to say is, I hope this beer is not really retired as the BA list says. That means I got one of the last bottles at the beer store, and that I might not be able to get more when I go back tomorrow. This beverage is amazing.

Blackity black. Leaves thin layer of head, mostly in a ring around the edge. Not much lacing.

Malt (as in chocolate milk shake type malt. Not beer malt). Chocolate. Smokiness. I smell hops but can't describe their aroma.

Fan-freakin-tastic. Too much like a milk shake to exist as a beer. The malt sits in your mouth for minutes after a sip. And it tastes just like a damn smoky ass milkshake.
I normally wouldn't flip out over something this unbeerlike, but I like it a lot.

Mouthfeel & Drink:
Epic and great. Mouthfeel lingers in a creamy stout kind of way, but with a mix of that ice creamy sweetness... I could drink a lot of these.

Buy it if you can. Please for the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Buy it.
I can't believe I gave a beer two 5's

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 2,255 ratings.
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