Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Insanity | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
931 Reviews
InsanityInsanity
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
931
Ratings:
2,415
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
17.87%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
583
For Trade:
32
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 931 | Ratings: 2,415
Photo of Stolenface1
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours amber brown with next to no head. Aroma of caramel, vanilla, fig, dried dark fruits, oak, bourbon, toffee. Flavor is dead on with the aroma with plums, cherries, slight sweetness. Big booze. This is a little hot right now, should definitely age longer for full enjoyment. Wish I would have waited. The feel is medium and creamy. Light carbonation. Could be a winner, but this glass is just too hot. Needs to mellow.

 422 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of dark plum and cherry in the nose, with vanilla, oak chips, and simple syrup on the tongue. A strong, rich malt backbone anchors this solid barleywine, along with a full body and exceptionally smooth mouthfeel that helps it go down easy. This is disappearing from my glass alarmingly quickly.

 299 characters

Photo of K-Dog
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Excellent barrel aged barley wine. This one was in my basement for about a year and aged nicely. Nice cooper reddish color. Smells of bourbon and vanilla and tastes the same. Highly recommend for any barley wine fan.

 217 characters

Photo of MJSFS
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 1/6/15 - 1/6/20 poured into a snifter. L: hazy caramel color with no head or lacing A: dark fruits, oak barrel, and booze T: vanilla, oak, raisins, alcohol finish M: light, thin, moderate carbonation O: good representation of the style, but a little boozy even with more than a year in the bottle. I have two more bottles that I will age for awhile longer.

 370 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Classic deep red brown barleywine hue.
S- Great bourbon notes. Oak, coconut, and solid malt backbone.
T- The barrel and hefty maltiness work great together. Similar to the nose.
M- Light carbonation and slick coating mouthfeel.
D- Pretty stout at 11%. Great sipper.

 269 characters

Photo of pollocwr
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden amber in color. Light head. Aromas are mostly the barrel. Taste is light with little carbonation. Oak and Bourbon are strong on the palate.

Good beer. Not worth the hype.

 179 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on date of January 2015 and drinking it with about 10-11 months of age on it. Brown and murky. Very intimidating beer to look at. A lot of sweet dark fruit, caramel, molasses and smoke in the nose. Taste is sweet honey, some bourbon and boozy. Thought with 11 months it would mellow but still has some heat to it. A very decent English style Barleywine and recommend to anyone who enjoys the style.

 412 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Werk Force snifter.
A - Pours a clear dark orange/brown with really no head at all.
S - Aroma is sweet, dark fruit and boozy.
T - This is a big, boozy sipper. May be a little hot right now, which makes it hard to pick out the underlying flavors. The bourbon is right there for ya.
M - Low carbonation, medium mouth feel.
O - I bought a 4-pack, and 3 went in the cellar to age. Tried this one now to set expectations. If you are in the mood for a bourbon forward beer, then this is a good one. But I expect this beer will be better in 12-24 months.

 566 characters

Photo of Czarkazm
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle 2/11/2013. Pours a dull amber color with ruby-orange highlights when the sun hits the glass. Not much of a head or visible carbonation but an insane amount of sediment got kicked up from the bottom of the bottle after popping the top that was poured and consumed. The nose is mainly sweet caramel and toffee, dried dark fruits, lots of vanilla and oak, ESB nuances, sour green grape, and the slightest hint of cocoa powder. For some reason, I always get a strange, vinous, soured quality to a majority of Weyerbacher's barrel aged beers that I've opened. The mouth feel is more on the medium side but smooth, and I still get a little bit of the alcohol burn on the back end, but it's nowhere near the level of boozy this beer is fresh. Taste has a lot of vanilla, clover honey, rum, caramel, nougat, raisins, and fig.

 830 characters

Photo of Mshea805
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle. Booze or barrel flavor was very minimal, extremely smooth and easy drinking for 11%. Belgian like dried fruit flavor with the oak, vanilla and typical sweetness of an English Barleywine. After receiving an infected 4-pack im very glad I had a chance to try this beer as it was meant to taste.

 309 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really just an around terrific English Barley wine. Dare I say probably my pick for a non barrel aged barleywine. The thing that's the most impressive is for 11.1% I can't detect any boozy qualities. This is such an easy drinking and smooth big beer it simply has to be consumed to be believed how good this is.

 311 characters

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear copper with a light wispy head. This one has been a want for some time and the anticipation was to be rewarded. Beautiful nose of caramel and vanilla. No overlying booziness, great creamy mouthfeel. Really everything you look for in a barley wine, up there as one of the best I've had. Thanks to @zappoman for hooking this one up

 341 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Teku glass from a 12 oz bottle on July 28, 2015. Look is dark amber with a thin head and moderate lacing. Smell is dried fruits and rich caramel malts. Taste is sweet malts with complex oak, bourbon and bitter hop notes. Feel is thick and heavy.

 261 characters

Photo of KYGunner
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This started with a shocking amount of medicinal alcohol flavors. I let it settle and it began to open up. I would like to try it a second time with this in mind. It has a interesting mixture of caramel and citrus sweetness. Some butterscotch, oranges and honey toffee candy.

 275 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a strong beer with some good taste to it. BA Barleywines, when done right, are some of the best beers out there. While it could have really used a bourbon kick to it, it was a solid beer none the less.

 212 characters

Photo of deadsincebirth
3.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet Spicy oak tannins. Smell a bit better than the taste and mouthfeel is thick. Overall a bit young for me but at only 7 months that's understandable.

 153 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a thin layer of off-white foam.

Caramel malt, dark fruits, cherry, oak, and leather.

Oak, vanilla, earthy hop bitterness, candied malt, and bourbon spice.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, bitter and fruity.

Overall, not too shabby.

 257 characters

Photo of Prasm
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great balance in this beer, sour mash nose and up front taste but it's balanced very nicely by a creamy mouth-feel and lengthy finish - excellent beer.

 151 characters

Photo of EEscobar
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: caramel colored with whitish tan head
Smell: caramel bourbon malt
Feel: thick and sticky coats the tongue nicely which enhances the flavor absorbtion
Taste : caramel bourbon butterscotch
Overall: I was surprised how good this beer tasted. I highly recommend it

 270 characters

Photo of jimbomill
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As much as I love Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot, I'd cheat on it every chance I can with Insanity. The wood aging just imparts enough succulence to take it to the next step. I've had it many times, so I won't go through the standard pour, look, et cetera categories.

 267 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice deep amber with a thin one finger head, which breaks quickly, leaving little lacing behind. The nose is bourbony and woody with malts and dark fruits coming through as well. I pick up traces of leather as well. The taste is caramel malts, fruits and boozy on the tail. Despite the booziness, it is an incredibly smooth beer with a medium feel and carbonation.

All in all another winner from Weyerbacher. The ABV is enough to make this a very slow sipper, and it is quite enjoyable as it warms.

 505 characters

Photo of JPowell712
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This was a strong brew! It had almost a whiskey aroma off the pour. It was aged in oak barrels so I am thinking it is close to the aging style of a whiskey. Anyway, the odor alone gave away it's alcoholic strength, but when I tasted it, it was surprisingly smooth! I expected it to be harsh but it wasn't at all. I got a lot of vanilla and caramel notes. Very smooth, but the alcohol was definitely there. It warms you up. This is a great offering!

 454 characters

Photo of EMV
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a dark, dark mahogany... almost black with a finger or two of off-white head.

S: Boozy and rich... malts and dark fruits... bourbon.

T/F: Delicious taste... malty sweets with a nice backdrop of boozy bourbon. Complex dark fruits... cherries and figs. Oak and vanilla. Smooth and silky.. very rich. Love the mouthfeel. Alcoholic warmth and it gets better as it warms.

O: One of Weyerbacher's best and sticking it in a bourbon cask is a lovely thing to do with a Barleywine. Age it for 6 months and it's even better (about half my case made it that far). One that I will seek out again.

 650 characters

Photo of BethanyB
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The head may be low, but it is also smooth and solid, giving cause for the assumption that a higher ABV is what has forgivably stunted its growth. This khaki cap sits atop a slightly hazy body of medium copper coloring.

Smell: The true-to-style smell is of vanilla bean, slightly charred French toast, dark dried fruit, and rum raisin. Not as much liquor in the perfume as other oak barrel beers, but less boozy can certainly be better, as this allows the other elements of the flavor profile to come through.

Taste: Rum-soaked plums and cherries--a beer fiend's sangria. Earthy hops make a decent effort to subdue the alcohol flavor, which is more apparent on the tongue than it is on the nose. There is a good amount of nutty malt, which when mixed with the "rum punch" taste, takes on the flavor of coconut shavings. The oakiness decreases as the beer warms, causing the elements to come further into alignment.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel and carbonation, with a hearty, yet cautious level of alcohol warming. The finish is smooth other than a very slight stickiness from residual sugar.

Overall: An laudable beer, particularly in that it presents itself as a very drinkable example of the style, without losing its complexity. Sip slowly and allow it to warm up, as it becomes more balanced as the time to savor it goes on.

 1,344 characters

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as a part of a build-your-own-sixer at my local grocer. Bottled on date states it's five months old. Poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.

L: Pours a deep rusty copper with about an inch-and-a-half of off-white head that stays for a bit and leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Plenty of visible carbonation.

S: Raisin bread, spice, butterscotch, and molasses notes in the nose. There's definitely some clear alcohol/bourbon coming through, as well. Sweet and boozy.

T: Sweet caramel malt at the front end exhibiting some butterscotch quality. A bit of more toasted malt underneath. There's just a bit of molasses/black licorice in the mix. The creamy middle has more of the sweet malts, with more of a suggestion of raisin bread than the front. There's a rising bourbon flavor that emerges and carries through to the finish. The back end continues the sweet but has a more decidedly bourbon taste. The aftertaste leaves just a bit of bitter. With that said, I'm amazed at how well this one hides the alcohol.

F: Medium-bodied--smooth and creamy for most of the ride on the palate. Just the slightest stick, but certainly not a syrupy brew.

O: Thumbs way up for this one from Weyerbacher. I'm utterly impressed with how little clear alcohol comes across on a beer with an ABV this high. I highly recommend giving this one a try.

 1,355 characters

Insanity from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 931 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe