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

2,485 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: 2,485 |  Reviews: 947
Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Served in a snifter.

Pours an orange-copper color with a short white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a decent amount of bourbon along with light vanilla and oak. Sweet caramel and brown sugar there as well. Flavor is fairly sweet with some nice barrel notes in the background. Medium-full body with slight carbonation and a nice chewiness. Solid brew.

 422 characters

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter at cellar temp.

Tiny head that fades quickly over a slightly cloudy orange body. No lacing.

Deep, rich sweetness in the aroma. Sweetbread. Some fresh gingerbread spice. Light pine hoppyness.

Rich and very, very smooth on the palate. Sweetness continues into the flavor. Lots of ripe peaches and banana. Caramel syrup, monkey bread, and vanilla come to mind next. Virtually no carbonation - rich and somewhat cloying, but not so syrupy and sweet that it distracts.

Great English-style Barleywine - but ONLY if you're into sweet beers. Hop heads should stick with American variety Barleywines.

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Photo of Lang44
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza P for their barleywine thing. Served in a snifter, beer is sort of copper / red and mostly clear. Thin almost non-existent head, low carbonation, no lacing, basically this beer is still.

Aroma is sweet, mild oakiness and a little liquor, smells nice really good.

Beer is nice, smooth, sweet, good finish, and nice malt backbone, this beer is a huge improvement on Blithering Idiot, quite an amazing version of a barleywine. I'd have it again.

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Photo of BeerzMcKenzie
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of shangwang
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish snifter.

Poured with over a finger of foamy white head, and a clear reddish color. The foam dissipated quickly and left a thin ring on the surface. Smelled great- like bananas foster. A boozy banana with vanilla extract and carmelized sugar. Tasted great as well- definitely a bourbon booziness and lots of vanilla sweetness, with a malty finish. Not very subtle, but the tastes work well together. Light mouthfeel with a little carbonation, which goes down easy.

Overall, I really dug this one. It was a very straightforward beer, and usually I like more complex tastes, but it worked very well for this one. Definitely no hiding the ABV, but very enjoyable. Can't wait to have another one!

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Photo of mrsdrabmuh
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DaveHack
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of jtmartino
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in my Bruery snifter.

Pours a rich red gold. Healthy micro-bubbles yeild a nice fluffy off-white head. Not as much lacing on the glass as I had expected. Full of suspended yeast.

Smells incredible. Rich caramel, vanilla and oak. And booze. I'm getting hint of caramelized apples.

Taste starts with carmelized apples, vanilla and oak. The acetaldehyde apple flavors meld well with some banana esters to produce a nice fruity tartness that lasts through the carmel, vanilla, and oak that enhance this beer.

Mouthfeel is think and creamy. Almost a syrup-like consistency, only cut by the high ABV and fruity notes.

Overall this is a fantastic barleywine. A definite treat, and I'm lucky enough to have another one that I can age and try again in a year.

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Photo of leantom
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer with lofty expectations. You see, I had drank the base beer for Insanity (i.e., Blithering Idiot) previously and, having enjoyed it, decided to give its bourbon-aged successor a try. Here goes:

A: The beer gives off a reddish-brown hue in the presence of light. It looks very nice, actually. Depending on how you pour the beer, it also produces a large, thick head. It's a beautiful color overall. My only problem with it was that it appeared to contain some solid particles floating in the solution.

S: Again, very nice. I detect the presence of black cherries, oak, vanilla and caramel. The oak and vanilla were imparted from the bourbon-barrel aging.

T: Wow! Delicious! It's much better than the Blithering Idiot. The vanilla and oak work wonders on the taste. Rather than mask the beer's taste, like in other bourbon-barrel aged beers, the imparted vanilla and oak compliment the beer perfectly. And I mean perfectly. It's like a large hole in the Blithering Idiot (i.e., the base beer) was filled by being aged in bourbon barrels. Other flavors include toffee, caramel and black cherries, but the last of these three predominates.

M: Nice and thick. I had it warm and really enjoyed it. You want to drink beers of this style warm so you don't miss out on any of the flavors.

O: I love it. Extremely good beer. Get it before the stores run out.

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Photo of pschul4
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Peyton5410
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of jaidenjb
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of teromous
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As it pours, it is a light shade of brown. In the glass it is only slightly darker, the color of sun tea. There is a very small white head on top...but not much. It is only slightly transparent around the edges. Light lacing.

S: I pick up a slight metallic scent, like iron. I can smell very faint notes of caramel and vanilla. It has a sweet aroma. I pick up an oak scent.

T: I get a wealth of flavors. There's everything from caramel to vanilla. There is a spiciness to the beer which is very nice. It has a kind of earthy spiciness, like pepper and bay...pretty cool. I taste some oak flavors, but it's not overpowering. The more I drink this, the more I like it.

M: It is very malty and smooth at the beginning, but retains a light puckering astringency at the's not negative, it just lends to the complexity of the mouthfeel.

O: Overall I really liked this beer. It has a delicious sweet taste to it, which is very pleasant to drink. If you are a fan of any barleywine style, I think you would be pleased with this beer. It is very good.

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Photo of JSkone09
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of PeteRiz
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of MordorMongo
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of kennylopez
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a DFH goblet.

Appearance: a dark amber with a slight off white fingers worth of head that fades to less than a film leaving little spots of lacing.

Smells: a vanilla and dark fruit like plums and cherries through a bourbon barley front.

Tastes: as the nose insists...there is a sweet fig/cherry like sweetness with the generous amount of amber malts and floral hops to balance. The bourbon plays a big role in the taste giving off a caramel, vanilla, and toffee note especially as it warms up a little.

Mouthfeel: at just a tad above 11% there is a slight burn. I wouldn't call this hot even fresh, because the barrel aging really mellowed this ale out and added layers of flavor. The carbonation was actually more than I expected for the style but very enjoyable.

Overall: I am happy to try this one. I like everything I've tried from Weyerbacher, but this is by far one of my favorites.

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Photo of cps98
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a sixer from a buddy who happened across an entire case at the distributer. I’d never had this before was I was unsure what to expect. It was a really nice smooth drinker but watch out for those ABV’s

A – Pours a nice dark brown but as the light hits it some deep reddish hues come out. An off white two finger head was present which dissipated quickly to a ring of bubbles in the glass. Really nice lacing on this one.

S – Lots of malty sweetness come through right away. Also had some hits of cherry and charred oak, maybe even a little bourbon was present in the nose.

T – The first thing I noticed was the mix of tart cherry and plum mixed with heavy malts. The oak was on the back end along with some minor hints of vanilla.

M – A really nice full bodied brew, with all the flavors going it made sense this would be slightly heavier. Good carbonation added to the beer nicely. A little warpth on the throat from the ABV’s was nice on this cold winter day.

O – Definitly not my favorite style but I really enjoyed this and I think the barrel aging on this beer worked really well.

Thanks for the sixer Frank!

 1,144 characters

Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Hopstimatic
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ThunderEagle
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorite beers. Smooth, rich ,full flavor, with a hint of cherry and no bitter aftertaste. Fell in love with it on tap 1 year ago, and bought a case of it to enjoy the year round.

The only downside is that it is a limited brewing and only available for a VERY short time.

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Insanity (Ale Aged in Oak Barrels) from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 2,485 ratings.
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