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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 Stoutfan23DJ
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Snifter. Bottle dated 12.08.2012.

Appearance: Pours a deep black color with a finger of brown head that resides down to a ring of lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Chocolate, creamy caramel, fruit sweetness, toasted malts, bourbon, oak, and slight vanilla. Alcohol is slightly there but is masked pretty well by all of the flavors.

Taste: First I'm getting some nice bourbon, toasted oak and vanilla characteristics upfront. Then I'm getting some chocolate sweetness, roasted malts, caramel, smoked malts, licorice, and some coffee bean qualities. This stout also has some sweeter characteristics to it like raisins, brown sugar, and cocoa covered cherries/red fruits that come through very nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, a fair amount of carbonation, and very easy to drink.

Overall: Very enjoyable and a fairly complex imperial stout. All of the flavors come together very well and none are overly dominant. I will be buying at least a four pack of this every year and I will be introducing a couple of bottles to my cellar for a year or so. I would recommend picking up at least a 4-pack if you can track it down.

 1,142 characters

Photo of fpreh1957
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of kevgod
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of csustar001
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Lang44
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

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.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Phelps
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent by tobelerone, poured into a snifter.

This stuff is THICK. It pours from the bottle like syrup, the viscous ink settling in the glass like dark matter. A brown sugar-colored head gets about a half-inch tall, then fizzles away gently.

Hey there. Big, enticing sweetness in the nose. Tons of toffee balanced by milk chocolate, a touch of toasted coconut, and some dark fruits. Fig, perhaps. A touch of graham cracker and butter as well. Very nice.

The flavor reflects the nose fairly well. Big molasses and dark chocolate, followed quickly by a flash of scorched bread. Very sweet, figgy and pruny. Touches of butter, vanilla and toffee as it warms. Sweet, lingering finish.

As the appearance suggested, the brew has a creamy medium body that’s fairly heavy on the palate. Larger-than-expected carbonation levels lead to a fair amount of silky fizz. Alcohol comes through the nose and numbs the tongue a bit.

Heresy’s quality stuff — big, sweet, thick. I could use a little more roast in this stout, but the oak has imparted nice toffee notes that work well with the RIS sweetness.

 1,105 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance –Served a black brew with a small brown head. The head had a moderate level of retention and once faded gave way to a good level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma of milk chocolate is heavy and delicious and is mixed with an ever so light aroma of bourbon.

Taste – The taste is of a sweeter chocolate up front. There are hints of vanilla and caramel sweetness mixed in with the chocolate. While a bit sweeter at first, it bitters up a bit more toward the middle as coffee flavors begin to pull from the sweeter flavors. Toward the end, the little bit of bourbon in the smell becomes present in the taste as well. Overall the taste transitions from sweet to more bitter to more boozy are really quite smooth and well done. Its quite nice.

Mouthfeel – A good creamy body with a lower level of carbonation. The smoothness and low carbonation allow the brew to sit on the tongue and allow for all the taste transition flavors to really permeate the tongue.

Overall – Very nice. The beer is pretty good for those that both like more bitter or more semi-sweet stouts as it spends time as both. Not the best of either, but if you can’t decide this is one I would suggest.

 1,219 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heresy pours a dark complete black color, with a tan head that dispated quickly. The smell isnt strong, but has a nice wood order. The taste has a nice smokey malty flavor, strong oak flavors, nice earthy undertones. Very nice to drink, great flavors, full flavors, yet easy to drink. Overall i found this a great beer, enjoyed it greatly.

 339 characters

Photo of TonyTalon
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of musicforairports
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottle in a small snifter.

Black. Nice head develops and sticks around a bit. No lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malt, oak, vanilla, bourbon.

Flavor is bitter roasted coffee, chocolate, black licorice and a decent amount of bourbon, oak and vanilla flavors. Not as heavy on the barrel notes as some. Quite balanced in the flavor profile. Alcohol goes pretty much unnoticed, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is lighter for a robust stout, but typical for a barrel-aged offering.

The price is great--$13 or $14 for a 4-pack. That makes this one a very easy to find and affordable barrel-aged beer, and it's a pretty good one. Worth a try if you tend to like bourbon-barrel beers.

 678 characters

Photo of jackrodgers77
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of MDDMD
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown to black color with a small head and little lacing

S-roasted malts and chocolate with hints of vanilla and whiskey

T-coffee and chocolate with vanilla and some oak coming through, mild bourbon notes well-integrated into whole flavor profile

F-medium body with light carbonation, not as rich and mouth filling as other stouts

O-a nice RIS, but not in the upper echelon

 384 characters

Photo of danielp215
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of dborginis
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Photo of Chugs13
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Rifugium
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First had: ?
Not sure when/where I first had this, but this review is from a recent tasting at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Have they changed the recipe? Seemed a lot better recently than the last time I had this one. Served in a snifter, a dark black color with a thin but dense mocha head. Aroma of dark chocolate, roasted malts, notes of bourbon and red wine. Taste of dark chocolate and rich caramel, some vanilla, more of the boozy bourbon and wine notes from the aroma, tinges of roasty malts and coffee. Very very silky smooth, nearly full-bodied, and a very enjoyable sipper overall.

 588 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger dark tan head on a near jet black body with excellent lacing.

S: chocolate, raisin, roasted malt and vanilla.

T: More of the same as the aroma with initial coffee bitterness and roasted malt transitioning into a vanilla/sweet chocolate finish.

M: smooth, thick bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: a drinkable, smooth stout with the booze well hidden.

 373 characters

Photo of Pantera10
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another solid offering from Weyerbacher.

A: pours jet black. No light passing thru here. Looks like RIS.

S: chocolate, oak, and a really pleasant bourbon smell. Really,really inviting.

T: an average old heathen comes to life. This is one of the best barrel aged RIS I've tasted. Nicely balanced with just the right amount of oak and bourbon flavors.

M: a little thin and watery, especially considering the style. Gotta be careful, I could easily down 4 of these.

O: a quality oak aged RIS. Would like to see future offerings with a little more body, but the taste is top-notch. Highly recommended.

 603 characters

Photo of SFC21
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of CloudStrife
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into snifter. Bottled 01/26/12.

A: Pours a fairly thick black with minimal head despite a somewhat aggressive pour. Head fleets to the edges within a minute. No light makes it through this beer. Swirling the beer livens the head to a frothy covering that stays for a minute.

S: You can smell the oak right off the bat. Vanilla and wood with sweet/roasty malts and dark fruits. Little bit of alcohol in there too.

T: One of the most balanced tasting oak aged RIS I have had. There is the obligatory oak up front with bourbon and vanilla. In the background you can pull some of the roasty chocolate malt. Even a little hop chiming in at the end.

M: Medium bodied with minimal carbonation. Really smooth and fills your mouth. Certainly much more drinkable than most beers in this category. Has the warming you would expect.

Overall a tasty, smooth refreshing beer. Not as extreme as many of the other options but I'm not complaining. Could actually drink a few of these in a reasonable time. Weyerbacher strikes again!

 1,042 characters

Photo of rydev24
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jminch
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of muletrane
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 2/9/12

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of tan head. Tight bubbles with decent retention and a little bit of lace.

S: A nice blend of sweet chocolate, coffee, gingerbread, vanilla and a touch bourbon. Nicely balanced nose!

T: Vanilla and chocolate notes come out first. Then the roasted malts and a touch of bourbon. The finish is pretty dry with some lingering bitterness and bourbon. Good balance!

M: On the thinner side of a moderate bodied brew. Medium to light carbonation. Feels prickly in the tongue. Goes down very smooth. Quite dry overall.

Overall this is another great beer from Weyerbacher. They really make some lovely barrel aged beers. Nicely balanced and easy to drink.

 762 characters

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