Heresy | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
2,256 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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,256 |  Reviews: 1,009
Photo of GoGators
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of closisinthehouse
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of laxer8811
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of daniel27
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jayp82
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Stobin
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of Greywulfken
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: good start with black beer under a dark tan head

S: oak barrels - almost a dry, woody, wine-like smell (which is weird for a stout)

T: doesn't taste much like other RIS I've had - it is not sweet, has a definite wine-like and woodsy flavor (from the barrels, 'natch) - I also get some hints of anise; missing (relatively speaking) a lot of the flavors I look for in RIS beers. Didn't get much by way of espresso, chocolate, or roasted malt.

M: fairly light-tasting - I'd say medium-bodied; not bitter, but it does have some astringency which I don't usually like to associate with RIS beers.

O: the barrel-aging process gives this beer a different taste than others in its genre - and this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely overpowers a lot of the attributes I expect in a stout. I appreciate the barrel aging more in stouts where there was more balance between that and "typical" RIS flavors.
All that being said, I basically liked the beer - it almost made me think of a black ale or an Akevitt Porter I've had before. A unique tasting RIS, and probably not to everyone's taste.

 1,102 characters

Photo of fullmetal1381
4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled I-know-not-when. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A: Dark brown stream from bottle to glass. Vigorous pour yields a mere half finger head at best. Deep brown almost-black in the glass.

S: Smells like bourbon. Faint chocolate wisps and the ghost of coffee, but overall bourbon. I happen to like bourbon. I am officially excited.

T: Fricken' fantastic choco-bourbon, emphasis on the bourbon. Despite the fact that I've never had the combination before, I happen to like choco-bourbon. Good stuff.

M: Here is where Starscream fails me yet again. Thinner than I'd like, but then again I'm judging this against stouts like Ten FIDY and Hunahpu, which are viscosity incarnate and therefore not entirely a fair comparison.

O: Do you like bourbon? Choco-bourbon, perhaps? Pick this up.

 782 characters

Photo of banglin
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black color with a very large head (I think my personal skills are lacking in this essential beer drinking skill) which dissipates slowly. Head is a mocha color with nice lacing.

S: Very malty aroma and slight bourbon smell

T: Strong bourbon flavor without the burn. The bourbon flavor overpowers all other flavors.

M: Very smooth and perhaps a little lacking in carbonation - probably because of the extra large head I poured.

O: A good beer but the bourbon taste overpowers the rest of the flavors. I enjoy a good bourbon, so I think this beer is excellent. But you should be warned the bourbon flavor is strong.

 634 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of onetodave
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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

Pours a very dark oily brown into my pint glass - no light shines through. A very fizzy light brown head comes and goes until only a thin ring around the glass is left. Aroma is rich with an obvious bourbon scent, roasted malts, creamy chocolate, and molasses. After a big sip I can taste the bourbon, a figgy sort of flavor, and a splash of hops. There is an initial graininess that disappears quickly. The finish adds some complexity as it reveals the earthy barrel flavor. It does indeed leave me wanting more. This beer really coats the mouth in an ideal fashion - it has a milky or oily characteristic that sticks. It warms the belly on its way down. While this is very good, I could go for turning up the chocolate and roasted malt and a little toned down bourbon for a higher score.

 789 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jacri for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a viscous black with a two finger beige head. Aroma of dark fruit, roasted malt, and a bit of alcohol. Roasted malt with a very slight sweetness dominates the taste, very dry finish with very slight understanded notes of oak. Very creamy, heavy medium to full body. Overall, I enjoyed this brew but expected the oak and whisky notes to come through a bit more and expected a bit fuller body for an imperial stout. Especially enjoyed the balance between the slight sweet tones early and dry finish.

 572 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Hunahpu snifter. Bottled 2/22/2011.

Appearance - Pours slightly lighter than black with a mocha head that doesn't quite fit in my glass. No real retention and no real lacing.

Smell - Hops and bourbon. Chocolate malt. I don't get a whole lot more, but it smells promising. The first time I drank this, I didn't notice the bourbon at all. It says aged in oak barrels, but I don't get a lot of wood/barrel character. Just some bourbon flavor. Smells boozy as a result.

Taste - Chocolate and hops. Not a lot of caramel or sweet malts. Dry tasting. The stout comes through as very roasty, but has difficulty standing up to the bourbon flavor, even though it's light. Not a lot of barrel notes again. Very boozy finish for 8%. Like 10-12% booze feeling.

Mouthfeel - Feels really thin. Nothing in the back end to withstand the bourbon. Dry finish. No bad flavors, but just very thin and inappropriate for the style.

Overall - A really thin stout with not a lot of barrel. What is there? Not a lot, I guess. The flavors I get are light but nice. Easy drinking, but hot as hell, which is strange since it's so low in alcohol.

 1,149 characters

Photo of rderedin
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of whatname
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of klink40
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged in Jim Bean barrels this year from what I've been told by my Weyerbacher rep.

Pours a near black amber, From what I can tell good clarity, but its kind of too dark to tell. Brown head that dissipates rather quickly but leaves behind some good lace.

Rum raisins on the nose. Underlying notes of chocolate covered espresso beans, you can definitely pick up the bourbon and oak.

Big bourbon finish, if you don't like bourbon this ain't for you. Chocolate raisins, and bitter coffee up front, big viscous body rolls over the tongue revealing drying oak around mid palate and juicy bourbon flavors on the back on the tongue with a touch a smoke. Oddly these layers of flavors all work together and balance eachother really well. Hop presence still strong enough to prevent cloying sweetness and impart that RIS feel to the beer.

Unfortunately the big bourbon part of this beer imparts a bit of alcohol heat to the beer.

I can see this beer benefiting from age extremely as the flavors in it now are all extremely aggressive and pull at you a bit. I'll come back to one in another year and look for improvements.

 1,116 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this with some friends the other night...

Pours like motor oil, boozy aroma but get some bourbon notes as well. Taste is full bodied, taste is of chocolate and roastiness, some vanilla tones from the bourbon aged barrels. A really good imperial stout, tons of flavor and the bourbon barrels add a good touch.. would definitely try again.

 356 characters

Photo of RepMichigan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

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%

Heresy from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 2,256 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.