Insanity (Ale Aged in Oak Barrels) | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

2,489 Ratings
Insanity (Ale Aged in Oak Barrels)Insanity (Ale Aged in Oak Barrels)

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bourbon barrel-aged "Blithering Idiot"

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2004

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,489 |  Reviews: 948
Photo of match1112
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i dont know how to describe the color of this drink, it all depends on which angle i look at it from. the are hues of red, orange, pink, copper and bronze. a thin sand colored head quickly disappeared leaving a very still body. huge rum and bourbon aromas fill the room as it sits and warms. my tastebuds are greeted by vanilla and caramel with a big sugary punch. there is a nice oak presence that helps to smooth the rough edges of the high abv. mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. i would say they nailed the carbonation level in this one. my belly and throat are now officially warmed thanks to weyerbacher and laxer8811!

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Photo of C20Percent
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a golden-red-copper with .25 finger of less-than-bubbly dark eggshell color head on top. The foam was actually better than I expected. The beauty here, though, is in the body. Wow, what complexity. Dark colors at the top of the glass that get subtly lighter. Little pieces of sediment swimming around. It's really beautiful. Truly.

S: Some Hoppiness. Caramel. Toffee. Vanilla. Actually getting a flash of candied-earthy-vanilla. Really is very nice -- that candied vanilla aroma is addicting.

T: Wow -- just wow. Full disclosure. This is my first bourbon-barrelled anything. This is so amazing. There's a lot going on. A beautiful balanced complexity. As you hold the beer in your mouth you get a wash of vanilla-caramel, which is followed by a sweet malt almost-citrus-spice flavor before a nice blast of warm bourbon. Super tasty. Perfect.

M: A semi-syrupy, lightly carbonated smooth and creamy brew. Not much chewiness to it. Can't say enough about the smooth character of this brew. You would think the beer would cut a bit, but not at all. Another really good characteristic.

O: This beer is so close to perfect that it's not even funny. My expectations were tempered before drinking this, and it blew them into another world. Why is this the first time I'm trying a beer mixed with bourbon. It's incredible -- this is the standard for me. Fabulous.

 1,368 characters

Photo of HopsJunkiedotcom
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of smerrell
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A deep amber with a slight head and heavy lacing on the glass

S: Strong cherry and bourbon aroma- very pleasant

T: Toasted nuts, caramel, toffee and dried fruits

M: rich and heavy, this barleywine has a pleasant thickness to it

O: Having enjoyed the Blithering Idiot, I was not surprised to find that Insantiy meets expectations. This 12 oz bottle is best shared, as it is certainly not a light beer,

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Photo of dbossman
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown but with a very red tint--almost cranberry-red (like cherry tea) with a one-inch head that fairly quickly retreats to the edges; the lacing is minimal but to be expected with the style

S: Lots of oak of course but also sweet candied sugars, fruits like cherry, raisins, and oranges, and a bready, biscuity, toasty malt base; this smells awesome so let's do this

T: Up front there is a sweet fruitiness that is followed up by the bready, toasty malts and then the beer finishes with a balanced oaky quality; while boozy--even a touch of bourbon flavors--this is such a smooth, balanced beer

F: Medium body and sticky but perhaps a touch thin on the finish

O: This is a fantastic beer that will hold up to many years--I look forward to that; it is balanced and smooth and the alcohol is well hidden, which is scary at 11.1%; another gem from Weyerbacher

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Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of elec
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Chugs13
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of beagle75
3.2/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy, medium amber color with a fine ring of peripheral white bubbles. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Spirituous and very estery. Sweetness is suggested. All qualities are evocative of fruitcake.

T: Begins sweet, with chewy cakey malt that matches the smell well in that it suggests a baked good that was previously soaked in alcohol. Acidity is high for the style and treatment. The middle shows some sharp anise that stands out ahead of bubblegum yeast esters. The finish is distinctively boozy, though not overly so.

M: Medium viscosity, warm and evaporative on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a decent barleywine with a traditional English sensory profile. Boldly boozy, the barrel influence seems shy compared to the pure alcohol notes.

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Photo of HappyBoy411
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to a snifter glass

A. It looks fresh and a little dark - not unexpected. It is slightly cloudy with a darker orange and cream colored head - maybe 1 -1.5. Some fluff but leaves beautiful even trails as the level goes lower in the glass. Excellent.

S. Smell contains caramel and a little of the dark oak overtone. Reminiscent of a Belgian variety and cherries, grapes and even prominent figs. Traditional barleywine flavor notes flow through as well. The proclaimed oak barrel was not as strong as anticipated but appears with some vanilla and oak undertones. Good Flavor and it shows itself as a premium. Very Good.

T. Yes - 11.1 ABV produces a snappy hit and it is well appreciated - excellent. I feel the caramel, vanilla and a bit of the wood - ending with a nice hit of the strength of this bad-boy... A little sweetness appears as well - one to savor and enjoy, the ABV overpowers the wood as an aftertaste.

M. Excellent as the balance of flavors and carbonation results in a easy drinkable, high-gravity offering.

O. A nice offering in the English Barleywine category - widely available, this is one of the best off-the-shelf versions. Enjoy this beer in moderation and savor it goodness - this is an excellent choice to spent time with.
Weyerbacher has done an excellent job and I will choose it again.


 1,337 characters

Photo of baybassboy
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Gww1864
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Phelps
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sent by tobelerone, poured into a tulip.

Tarnished bronze, a little murky, with a very thin, fizzy head of grayish tan.

Sweet nose. Brown sugar, cola, toffee, buttery oak. A little alcohol and a touch of overripe oranges appear upon further inspection.

Toffee and tons of vanilla-packed, buttery oak in the nose. Not much in the way of hops; just malt, mostly. Sweet.

Light pinches of carbonation in the syrupy medium body. There’s surprisingly little alcohol, which is impressive.

Smooth, sweet and very drinkable for its strength. Not a deep flavor, but a good flavor.

 586 characters

Photo of yeti123
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of KevinTK
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of dcellis
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of rwilde
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BilbosNuts
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mjw52 for hooking me up with this one.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an over sized wine glass.

A: It has a clear, dark amber/copper color. No head appears, but it has a thin white ring that clings to the sides of the glass. Small bubbles rise slowly to the top giving it an inviting appearance.

S: Sweet caramel malts are the backbone to the aroma. There are pronounced boozy aromatics that give it an even sweeter smell. Hints of the oak complete the aroma.

T: Very similar to the aroma. Sweet caramel malts pair nicely with the sweet booziness and oak barrel qualities.

M: Medium bodied and sort of a chewy feel. Finishes very smooth like a nice bourbon. It has a slight alcohol warming towards the finish.

O: The English Barleywine is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles and this one doesn't disappoint. Wish I had a few more of these to enjoy. Highly recommended.

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Photo of sjverla
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Grainy and woody. Sweet and a little boozy. Grapes and bananas and a hint of tropical fruit.

Appearance: Ruby and hazy - no head. Visible sediment.

Taste: Woody - oaky to precise. Grainy with hints of caramel. Incredibly smooth but finishes a little hot - which is to be expected.

Overall: Good. Really good, even. Just not fantastic. Not feeling compelled to buy it again.

 382 characters

Photo of BigRob329
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of vandemonian
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher Insanity is a delicious barleywine with sweet dried fruit and oak flavours. Yum!

A: Lovely red colour and a decent 5 mm head that fades slowly leaving some lacing. 4

S: Sweet raisins and malt. Not as oxidised as many other barleywines. 4

T: Malty and smooth with definate notes of wood and dried fruit. The alcohol is a little noticeable in the finish. Very nice. 4.5

M: Thick silky foam. 5

O: 4.5

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Five Points Bottle Shoppe (Athens, GA). 9.99/ 4 pk. Bottled 12/10. Served in a Terrapin snifter. 

Pours hazy burnt orange with 1.5 cloudy cream head. The head fades quickly but leaves a good bit of lacing. 

Strong bourbon smell leads. But there's plenty of burnt sugar, sweet fruit (almost bananna) and bread. 

Taste follows the nose. A good bit of bourbon, sugar, dates, bananna, spice and malts. A nice mixture that keeps the 11% abv subdued. 

Feel is medium full with a medium but sharp carbonated tingle. 

I'm not typically a barleywine drinker but this wasn't bad at all. Admittedly I bought this by mistake- I was thinking/ hoping that the vaguely labled "ale aged in bourbon barrells" was their imperial stout (why can't bottles be a little better labled?). They've already been in the bottle almost 18 months but it'll be interesting to see how the other 3 bottles develop over the next 12-18.

 928 characters

Photo of TwinLightTap
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Shilt
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of TimH
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Insanity (Ale Aged in Oak Barrels) from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,489 ratings.
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