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Heresy | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Very Good
2,258 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,258 |  Reviews: 1,012
Photo of jsanford
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Stone IRS tulip

A - Pours a dark black with a creamy mocha head that settles to a nice cap, leaving sheets of lacing as it recedes.
S - Dark malt, dried fruits, and chocolate with wonderful aromas of vanilla, caramel, and oak from the barrel aging. Smells nice and creamy, almost like a milkshake.
T - More roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee with a touch of ash and stone fruits, followed my oak, caramel, and vanilla. Finish is long and intense with lots of bitter roasted qualities.
M - Moderately creamy, but a touch thinner then I like, probably about medium-bodied overall. Carbonation is fairly low.
O - Really nice oak-aged Stout, not on par with KBS but a nice substitute nonetheless.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a large tan head that holds well. Lace is sparse, but what is there, holds and sticks to the glass well.
Rich dark chocolate covered cherries and of course bourbon in the aroma. In fact there is much more boubon in the smell than I expected.
Strong chocolate flavor with lot's of bourbon flavor. Reminds me of those chocolates that have the liquer in them. Slightly bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is good, but a bit light for the style and the flavor profile.
This is a good beer. Are there better out there? Sure, but this one is worth your time and your dollar.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn snifter. The beer is very dark mahogany. Not quite black. There is a huge well-sustained chunky tan head. I did not think this beer was thick and viscous at all. The nose has some nice notes of sweet chocolate, oak, and vanilla. It makes me think of cake batter.

The beer is quite sweet and tasty. There is nice roasted malt and chocolate sweetness in the front of the palate. As the flavors develop you start to get more oak and vanilla tones, which linger a bit on the finish. For an imperial stout, there isn't much bitter roastiness at all. It's as if the barrel-aging has rounded out the beer and made it more smooth and mellow and drinkable. There's no bite and no trace of alcohol. My only knock on it is that the mouthfeel, while complementing the soft flavors nicely, is a bit thin for the style. It drinks more like a porter than a stout.

Those looking for an extreme beer should definitely look elsewhere. This beer is not over-the-top and it doesn't blow you away with power or intense flavor. It is a nice beer with mellow flavors that complement each other well. It doesn't explode on your palate like some barrel-aged stouts, but it's extremely drinkable. Consider me a fan. I'll buy it every year.

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Photo of ACinSC
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Heresy will take you a bit off guard if you are inexperienced with stouts.

Poured into a stout glass, the tan head quickly subsides. The aroma is of roasted malt and sour grapes.

Tastes much the same. It has a slightly milky texture and the sourness of this stout fills the nose quickly. It has an oaky flavor from being aged in whiskey barrels.

The aftertaste is not too bitter, which is a plus. Heresy is a strong beer that takes time to appreciate properly as the flavors are complex and I'm still becoming acquainted with this one (only had one glass so far). I may re-rate after a second try.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome light brown head--five fingers wide. So dark that light does not shine through. Lumpy lace all over the glass.

Very dry. I'm reminded of Cocoa Pebbles but without the sugar.

Lots of cocoa. Do you remember taking some of the Hershey powdered chocolate and placing it on your tongue? Here it is. Relatively thin body but the light carbonation gives this a decent mouthfeel. The aftertaste is similar to the flavor of dark chocolate after the swallow.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Poured a deep jet black, with about two fingers of thick , bubbly, coffee brown head. Head dissipated quickly into a thick ring in the glass. Smell was of oak, strong vanilla, roasted malt and rich roasted coffee beans. Not too shabby. Taste was rich with vanilla, bourbon ,oak, and dark chocolates , with a smooth warming alcohol finish. Little carbonation. Seems to be a pretty solid brew. Mouthfeel was thick and full with a creaminess to it. Drinkability was great. Smooth and complex. Good beer i will be getting again.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is definitely a powerful beer, and despite its reasonable ABV, there were many times while drinking that my first thought was "boozy". Enjoyed with a steak in a chalice.

Pours pitch black with a thin brown head that lingers fairly well throughout the drink, despite little lacing. Nose is boozy first and foremost, but with a good deal of malt which comes across as coffee.

I actually get quite a bit of the oak, something that reminds me of whiskey/bourbon, a definite plus for this drink. Otherwise some maltiness with some coffee and chocolate tones. Medium body, a little oily, but tough to take more than one of these, as might be typical of the style.

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Photo of jhartley
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of herman77
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black as black with a creamy, dense brown head. No light gets through this one. Nice small bubble lacing splattered around.

S: Oak, vanilla, bourbon, a touch of smoke. Roasted malt, coffee and a little chocolate. Nothing is too strong the, all the aromas meld together.

T: A lot like the nose. Lots of vanilla, toasted malt characteristics are the main flavor staples. Chocolate, oak, bourbon and licorice are more secondary. Long finish that is oaky and a little sweet from the bourbon. Not sure on the age of this, but it seems like everything is blended together very nicely. The bourbon influence seems perfect, not too much, not too little.

M: Medium body, thought it would be more full bodied and thicker. Moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty good drinkability for a barrel aged RIS. Alcohol/bourbon is slightly noticeable in the finish, nowhere near hot though.

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Photo of Angerhaus
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tavernjef
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown pour, settles much like ink in the glass with a nice darkly tanned foam of small to medium porportion. Great thin sheeting of lace is displayed as it settles and then splotches out as its consumed.

Aroma is fairly lush and tethered in a chocolate meets bourbon mix within the heart of a muffin or cupcake. Hints to vanilla, molasses, cherry rum, and roast.

Flavors aren't quite as bold but it is in a decent enough supply for a better then average taster. Nicely rounded with chocolateyness and some tender roast and caramel sweetness mixing with some cherry, fig, and vanilla hints as the middle shifts to its slightly bourbon-esk nudge of tang and twang. Subtle drying of cocoa and roast level off well with touches to the warmth from the bourbon. At first it seems kind of dull or OK, but grows quickly on you as it stays well within the memory and on the palate.

Body is slightly lighter for what any RIS might be. Fairly creamy and milding with a nice rounded tang of dark sweetness of fruits and bourbon. Just missing quite a bit of bolder, lasting tone, and thickness. Seemingly more like an OK porter then an RIS.

Drinkability is straight up easy going and warm with bourbon and with sweetened/tinted fruity chocolate. Not bad at all, but there's better. The bourbon is quite nice, its just missing out some on body.

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Photo of farrago
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fully opaque black color with zero differentiation throughout, big and frothy head upon the pour with plenty of big ole bubbles, lots of lacing and languidly slow to dissolve. The nose is super-rich sweet coffee ice cream, milk chocolate and carob, soft and creamy presence with raisin and maraschino cherry fruit accents, impressive staying power if monochrome. Full-bodied and even more dependent on coffee, buttered toast, chocolate, caramel flavors. The raisin, date, fig flavors keeps the sweetness coming. The roast subordinate to the toast. Hard to tease out any hop influence. Carbonation could stand to be a little higher. That said, moves well and never gets "stuck." Smooth like a road grader came through. Would like more flavor variety but quite satisfying.

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Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Opaque. Light tan head. Huge oak influence in the aroma giving hints of bourbon, vanilla, cream, cocoa, chocolate and roasted malt. Very complex flavor. Layers upon layers of flavor. Notes of bourbon soaked malts, vanilla, oak, roasted malt and chocolate. I’m starting to enjoy these bourbon barrel aged beers. A lovely beer.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oily black color in the glass but lets a bit of light through in the pour. Thick and frothy head that lasts almost the entire glass. Decent lacing as well. The aroma smells strongly of Merlot or Shiraz, with coffee and malt too. Rich bodied and kind of sharp on the tongue. Malt, sherry, fruit and coffee are the predominant flavors. The finish is roasty and vinous. I like Old Heathen pretty well but honestly this barrel-aged iteration doesn’t really seem to add too much.

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Photo of xShoWTeKx
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ebon hue, nearly all light is trapped inside, with mere crimson glimmers at the cracks...nice, though brief, cocoa-colored head
Aroma is a bit on the shy side, not quite unfolding all the delights I anticipate from a top-of- the-line IS. Molasses, maple, anise, espresso, the usual suspects.
Taste: nice, and rich, and very good in the mouth, but fairly underwhelming, compared to the better IS's out there. Cocoa gets thicker in the texture...gets Alcohol, also, seems humble at first, though speaks up later in the game.
A bit hoppier than I expected, as well, and it all feels on the whole, mellow and smooth, despite the jumped-up flavor characteristics. Tasty, and not too overbearing. Gets thicker, richer, tastier as we go further in, but not too much so. A milder, mellower, balanced IS than those I'm used to, but there's nothing wrong with that, is there? I didn't think so...
the more I drink of this, the more I like it. Doesn't blow me oway, but that's okay...

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes

A: Pours a dark brown, practically black with a small tan head that had decent retention. Not much lacing.

S: Coffee, roasted malts, a good bit of vanilla and some light milk chocolate. No sign of alcohol.

T: Very rich with a nice combination of coffee, chocolate and hints of vanilla. There is a little bit of dark fruit, hard to distinguish which ones, but a slight sweetness from it.

M: Medium bodied and very smooth with low to medium carbonation that lends itself nicely to style.

O: Very nice beer, drinks extremely smooth with no sign of alcohol in it, but even at 8% its a sipper that could easily catch up to you. Probably the best beer I have had from Weyerbacher so far.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a black viscous liquid that disappears in an instant. Minimal lacing. Aromas of chocolate and roasted malts. A nice coffee smell as well. Taste has a dark chocolate flavor to it. A bit of a coffee aftertaste. Not picking up on too much of an Oak flavor. This brew has a nice heavy quality to it. A good sipper and the flavors blend together nicely. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a small light brown head, moderate sheets of lace as you drink it.

Plenty of oak on the nose, dark roasty notes, coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste is nice, sweet and roasty with more subtle woodiness, plenty of coffee and bitter dark chocolate, well balanced bitterness from the dark malts.

Body is very full, really nice.

A rather tasty and quite easy to drink RIS, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near pitch black color with almost no head

S: Roasted malts, licorice, oak, some bourbon, and vanilla

T: Follows the nose starting off with the roasted malts that include coffee, licorice, and chocolate and then goes into the bourbon/oak profile that includes the usual suspects of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Finishes with a light bitterness and slight alcohol

M: Medium-full bodied with light-moderate carbonation. Nice and smooth

O: A relatively easy-going barrel aged RIS that doesn't over-do it or try to be something it isn't. Perfect for this time of year also

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Photo of ajr24
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- pours pitch black with a velvety mocha colored head. No lacing to speak of. When held up to the light it is pure black, no ruby or garnet highlights. This beer would be a heretic...

S- Complex aromas from this one. At first is a hint of bourbon/oak, some smokiness, alcohol and some cocoa. Lovely combination.

T- The smokiness and oak characters are up close and personal on each sip. But more and more sips reveal some toffee and chocolate flavors. Alcohol burn is there, too.

M- Creamy at first, but then the alcohol burn diffuses the smooth creaminess.

D- I'd call this a sipper- which is good because the warmer it gets, the more flavors jump out.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber into a sippy-cup (aka beer tasting glass brought home from the raleigh world beer fest)

Out bounces a deep-brown bodied stout with less viscosity than one might expect for a RIS. A dark beige head capped the glass and was retained well, but left little lacing. The aroma was the highlight of this beer, and it hit me with a strong, dark chocolate paired with fruity nuiances such as plum, raisin, and tart. The oak-aging provided a nice acidic backdrop.

The oak really showed up on the taste, giving the stout some beefy, merlot-style notes. The acidity and sugar were a bit on the heavy side, but its chocolate and coffee notes supplied a tasty balance to the flavor. Reminded me of a dessert-style port wine without the high alcohol and sweentess. Mouthfeel was thin and juicy, not what I was expecting from a RIS, but still good. All in all, a tasty, intriguing beer from the Easton, PA crew. Give it a shot.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice deep color,tan colored head with good lacing.oaky nose with notes of dark fruit,vanilla, and coffee.smooth taste and mouth feel,notes of cocoa,darkfruit,oak,vanilla,coffee.pretty smooth. kinda thin,but still very drinkably and a nice RIS.

would go back to this again,especially if i'm in the mood for an oak aged RIS at a reasonable price

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Photo of olmatty
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this from Gibby via trade

Appearance- Pours a low brown head with good lacing and low retention, beer is black

Smell-Dark fruits, brandy and creamy yeast

Taste-Dark fruits, oak wood barrel, alcohol, roasty black malts play second fiddle to wood and alcohol flavors. Kind of vineous.

Mouthfeel-Moderately carbonated. Kind of thin bodied for a big beer.

Drinkability- Heavy ABV and in my opinion not the best example of this style. Worth drinking one though.

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Photo of garuda
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black, with a thin tan head that stays around for a little bit, and leaves some decent lace down the glass.

S - Oak aging is apparent up front, with hints of bourbon and vanilla. Roasted coffee rounds it out.

T - Vanilla bourbon flavors up front transitioning to roasted, burnt coffee beans as it warms. Just enough hops to create some bitterness and balance.

M - Medium/full body, low carbonation, oak aging helps give it a dry finish with a touch of alcohol.

D - Barrel aging is well done and not overpowering. Clean roasted and burnt malt flavors still come through, and goes down smooth.

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Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 2,258 ratings
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