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
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Ratings: 2,256 |  Reviews: 1,011
Photo of IdrinkGas
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No bottle date but I think its from 2010.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a darkness snifter.
Pours a pitch black with about a finger of quickly disappearing head.
Oak, bourbon and chocolate in the nose.
Lots of woody oak flavor, sweet chocolate and even some vanilla. Very tasty.
Medium body and carbonation. A nice change of pace from all the big viscous bourbon barrel aged stouts.

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Photo of zrab11
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark oil color with a nice 2 finger tan head

S- Has the smell of chocolate and roasted coffee, also get some wood aroma and maybe a touch of alcohol

T- Has a creamy coffee flavor beginning and then moves on to a woody roasted malt flavor and then finish's with a alcohol bitterness to it

M-Medium to full bodied with good carbonation

D-Overall this brew smelled good and it started out good. A good russian imperial stout flavor in the beginning but then near the end i got to much of a alcohol bitter flavor that made it not as enjoyable. Still a good brew but need to have a little more balance to make me reach for it again.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. From notes. Reviewed 24 June 2011.

A: Mocha, creamy head tops an impenetrably dark, aptly-named beer. The head fades fast, leaving only blackness in its wake.

S: Creamy chocolate with coffee notes. Quite sweet.

T: Vague grapey alcohol. Also present is the expected malty-sweet chocolate milkiness, but the sweetness doesn't last through the end. Vanilla! The aftertaste is neutral (the sweetness having been almost completely balanced/neutralised by dryness). This beer is good, but not great.

M: Silky-smooth and delicious. Really nice.

O: A good beer consumed in good company. Not the best imperial stout, but tastier the more I drink (this is not my first beer of the night). Vanilla-soft.

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Photo of Brabander
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this RIP in my fridge for a while and i have fotgotten completely which BA i traded this one with. Who ever it is; thanks for this real treat.

This is one of the few RIS you can drink even if you are not a RIS lover.

Poured in my Struise glass this beer is perfect. Pitchblack or superdarkbrown head with millions of tiny little bubbles. Perfection in a glass!

Good smell of coffee and chocolate (not much). Very soft and well balanced RIS. I am not sure but i believe there is a bit vanilla in it. The alcohol is very well hidden. Great brew.

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

Pours almost black with a tan head that quickly diminishes to nothing but a ring around the glass.
Ok aroma, some malt, I do get oak, and bit of chocolate.
Lots of chocolate flavors, I get less coffee than I'd expect from this style. No bitterness at the end, all around pretty sweet.
Mouthfeel is pretty interesting, lots of carbonation, kind of a watery finish, feels more like a porter.
I'm a big weyerbacher fan but I think I will stick to their barleywines.

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Photo of deg
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice, dark, almost black beer. There was a head, but not quite what I expected. It was a chocolate color and faded fast. There was carbonation in the beer when I drank it. I couldn't quite identify the smell. However, the taste was great. Roasty, coffee, some chocolate. A little vanilla. A pleasant warmth from the alcohol.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Pinocchio's (Media, PA) snifter glass.

A: Pours almost completely black. There are some reddish hues on the edges of the top of the glass. Almost no head on this one. Some tan hints on corners but that is it. Definitely some alcohol feet on the sides of glass.

S: A good amount of Oak on the nose. Obviously, deep roasted malts are in there. Toffee? Caramel? Dark fruit notes as well.

T: Some bite on tip of tongue. Lives in the mid mouth, coats the tongue with the deep roasted malts. Definitely tasted the Oak flavors. Little burn in the back of throat from alcohol burn.

M: Medium to full bodied.

O: B. This one was just good, not great. But for the price, you really can't beat trying it.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured into dimpled mug, smell of oak from bottle as well as a maltiness that also comes through very thin lacy caramel colored bubbles around rim of mug. I was initially worried how the oak would influence this beer, but it blends well, it's presence evident without being overwhelming. Great mouth feel where the abv is noticed on the finish. Very good beer I would get again as well as more to try from the Weyerbacher brewery.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter. No freshness date.

A - Pours black with a 1 finger tan head which leaves sparse lacing.

S - Roasted malts mixed with a nice alcohol smell.

T - A strong presence from roasted malts up front. A chocolate taste follows which lingers. A nice warming alcohol finish.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

I really enjoyed this beer though I did not appreciate any oak aging on the smell or taste.

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Photo of jduffy21
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this from a 12 oz bottle in to my Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. This pours dark black, can't see any light through this one. A thick brownish head forms, and it reduces a bit to a nice lacing.
Smells a bit smokey, and I get just a tad odor of alcohol.
Mouth feel is smooth, but thick
Tastes of chocolate, light alcohol flavor and a hint of vanilla bean at the end. Heresy is my favorite from Weyerbacher! I really am becoming a fan of Russian Imperials.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrids glass on 9/8/11
*From notes

A: A standard pour yields a lone finger head and so-so lacing. It's motor oil black in color.

S: Woody, creamy vanilla. Lovely - I really think the nose is the highlight of the beer.

T: Damn fine. A good amount of untoasted, creamy wood balances the darkly charred grains. There's a decent malt backbone here that handily balances the wood veneer.

M: The beer's only real downfall. It's as sharp as a two sided blade. Rough as all get-out, and needs some serious refinement. Thin. It's lacking body and proper texture.

O: Weyerbacher's Heresy label may suck, but the beer inside is a winner. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it, and was kicking myself for letting it linger in the back of the fridge so long. I'll be sure to snag a few more of these next year, and hope they can touch up the rough and tumble feel of an otherwise well done RIS.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours like a typical imperial stout with just an ok head for this style.

Smell - Very chocolatey and alcohol/whiskey scented.

Taste - Its decent for an Imperial Stout but nothing really world class here at all. It has a bourbon oak barrel flavor to it but its not necessarily a great taste for this style of beer. Not very complex or smokey like others in this style.

Mouthfeel -actually for an IS its kinda watery more like a regular stout

Overall - A good sipping warmer, but there are several other RIS or IS's that I prefer over this one.

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

An extra received from msubulldog25 in a recent trade. Thanks Brian.

Pitch black with a creamy, dense tan head. Good head retention.

Sharp, roasty aroma with some mild fruitiness. Oak.

This starts off as chocolatey sweet malt with some mild roast. Nice alcohol note and some really good oak. This is really, really nice.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Solid.

A really nice Imperial Stout that stands up against some of the best. Understated but very easy drinking.

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Photo of rel
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured very dark with a thick tan head.

Smell is of burnt caramel, lots of roasted malts, deep coffee, and some spiced rum.

Taste is very sweet. Lots of roasted malt, a nice woodiness, and strong burnt sugar. Like a flambe dessert.

Thick molasses feel.

It's perfect for a comforting night around a fire on cold night. Like an adult s'more. Not that it tastes like marshmallows and chocolate, but it's that kind of feeling.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks to jbck109 for this one.
A: Pours black with a very minimal dark brown that. Head retention was low as it quickly faded into a faint collar leaving a few tiny spots of lace.
S: Strong notes of rich and thick smelling chocolate syrup and fudge. There is a touch of spice to the nose, perhaps the bourbon barrel, and strong notes of toasted nuts. As the beer warms I get more notes of bourbon and a hint of vanilla.
T: Big notes of chocolate and bourbon. The finish is full of fudge and the aftertaste has spicy notes of bourbon barrels and vanilla. The flavors are good just not very potent.
M: Mouthfeel is fairly soft due to a medium-thick body and lively but not tingly carbonation. I wish it had more "chew" to it however.
O: This beer is rather straightforward and underwhelming for a RIS aged in bourbon barrels. It’s good though, and easy to drink. I just wish there was more to it.

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Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.56/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown with ruddy highlights good creamy head. Not a very malty aroma. Tasted like burnt chocolate and sour raisins.Very bitter aftertaste.Higher and obvious alchohol content, which is expected in an Imperial. Perhaps this beer is a touch too hoppy!

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Photo of rarbring
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is BLACK, a brown good head with some lacing and good curtains.

Smelling vinous, marzipan, licorice, arrack and some ripe cheese.

The taste is very sweet, caramelized sugar, vanilla, chocolate covered cherries, liqueur. An alcohol presence.

Medium low carbonation, soft and oily, a bit alcoholic, a slightly dry finish.

It looked and smelled super, but the rest was a bit too evident sugar and alcohol for me.

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Photo of atr2605
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours black with a tan creamy head with very good retention
S-caramel, chocolate, roasted malt,vanilla, subtle oak
T-sweet caramel up front, followed by the vanilla and chocolate flavor, with the oak flavor lingering in the background throughout the whole tasting. The oak is very well done, it's not overbearing and instead adds a really nice touch to the beer. Hops add balance without contributing a great deal to the flavor
M-full bodied
O- A very enjoyable big beer with lots of flavor and great balance.

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Photo of bronco94
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass

A - pours dark black with a finger of tan head

S - roasted/smoky malt, oak, wood, hints of chocolate

T - very roasty, oak is very prominent, bittersweet chocolate, a good bit of alcohol taste, more so than the ABV would indicate.

M - thick and creamy, medium carbonation

O - Very good for an easy to get barrel aged imperial stout. The appeal of being able to go into the store and buy this after work certainly adds to my overall opinion of it. It's nice to be able to get a good wood aged RIS without having to stand in line for 36 hours or offer your entire cellar for.

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Photo of dtivp
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black with a half finger dark mocha head that fades slowly into a thin ring with moderate lacing.

Aroma of roasted malts, oak and hints of bourbon.

Taste followed the nose with roasted malt, vanilla oak, dark roasted coffee and a very nice bourbon finish.

Mouth Feel was medium body with light carbonation, silky smooth with a very nice warming at the end.

Overall this is a very nice RIS, the alcohol feels more than the 8% ABV, so pace yourself and enjoy.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque jet black color with a small, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of oak, wood and mild bourbon notes. There was a nice roasty presence, too.

T - Good bourbon flavor with oak, raisin and a malty backbone. There was some chocolate and molasses flavors, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry , clean finish.

O - This is a very nice oaked RIS. Weyerbacher continues to make good beers.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Black. Not much else going on. Just a thin medium-brown head of foam on top that quickly dissipates into a faint ring around the glass. Impenetrable to light.

S - Big boozy aroma. Lots of oak, a touch of vanilla. Some burnt brown sugar sweetness comes through as the beer warms. Underneath it all is a bittersweet chocolate aroma with just a hint of spent coffee grinds.

T - Bitter chocolate and lots of oaky vanilla. A sweetness comes through as the beer warms but the bitter chocolate with the boozy oak is the dominant flavor throughout. The burn sugar in the nose isnt really noticeable in the taste.

M - Medium bodied with a touch too much carbonation. Very lively on the tongue; not quite as thick as I like out of an RIS.

O - A typical American barrel aged stout. A good beer but nothing spectacular. They certainly know what they are doing with their stout and their barrels though unlike some brewers out there who think throwing beer in a barrel makes it great. Wroth checking out and if you are a big stout fan this is probably one you will enjoy.

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Photo of nandemo1
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown to black with a thin brown head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing.

Smell is sweet with woodiness, fruitiness (cherry) and some chocolate notes. Upon tasting, I'm getting much more roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee with a bit of vanilla from the oak. Not getting much alcohol.

Mouthfeel is very thin compared to other RIS examples I've tried. A bit of carbonation is coming through.

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

i poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a black body with a nice tan 2" head. The smell is of roasted malts and i get chocolate. The taste has chocolcate hints, roasted malts and some coffee on the back of the tongue. I even get a hint of vanilla. It has a nice mouth feel, medium body. Overall a good beer.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a FW pint glass...

A - Pours black with a two finger brown head that dissipates very quick. Next to no lacing to be had...

S - Vanilla, oak, chocolate, and some roasted malts. Pick up a little heat in the scent, but nothing over the top. Very inviting...

T - Roasted malts, and dark chocolate up front with some coffee in the mix. Vanilla/oak and a smooth Bourbon warmth come through in the finish. This one is very well balanced. Nothing is out of place or over the top...

M - Extremely smooth, but a tad light for the style. On the higher side of medium bodied with a mid level amount of carbonation...

O - A little thin for my likings, but still very enjoyable. Definitely something that I will be looking to trying again in the near future...


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