Cinnsanity Barleywine Ale
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Cinnsanity Barleywine AleCinnsanity Barleywine Ale
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
English Barleywine
Ranked #188
ABV:
13.3%
Score:
88
Ranked #17,712
Avg:
3.88 | pDev: 15.21%
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
126
From:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
 
Pennsylvania, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  4
Gots
  24
SCORE
88
Very Good
Cinnsanity Barleywine AleCinnsanity Barleywine Ale
Notes: Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cinnamon
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by bshiban:
Photo of bshiban
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. "Cinnsanity"
on tap

I'm assuming that this is the regular Bourbon Barrel aged Insanity barleywine with cinnamon added, hence the name.

It's a hazy deep amber-copper in color beneath a thin head of yellowed off-white. As might be expected the head retention and lacing are a bit limited. That could be due to the spice, the alcohol, a limited carbonation level or a combination of those things but when the first pour doesn't deliver much foam there's a pretty good chance that what's there isn't going to stick around for too long.

The aroma is loaded with cinnamon, strong sweet cinnamon. Fortunately it appears completely natural, as if you were holding the bark in your hands ~ natural, fresh cinnamon. If you nose around, periodically giving your nose a break, you'll find caramelish malt, baked bread, cake, and vanilla. It's really impressive, especially if you like cinnamon, and this is one of those beers that you can almost just sit there and smell and get as much enjoyment out of it as if you drank it.

The flavor follows. The cinnamon carries over into the flavor and it's not too full or harsh. Cinnamon itself, in large quantities can be bitter, but that's not the case here, and the median hop bitterness is a bit restrained as well. The trade-off to the cinnamon is that the oak, and any Bourbon character that might have been with it, is masked except for a little bit of oak that comes through in the dry finish (there is a slight hint of coconut as well across the middle). The alcohol also seems to be masked by the cinnamon, or perhaps it's just very well cloaked to begin with. With that said, you'd be a fool not to suspect that the cinnamon lingers in the dry, spicy (but not hot) finish ~ and it does.

It's syrupy in the mouth, not quite full bodied, but seemingly sugary; and fortunately smooth and creamy with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation because any more carbonic bite might enhance the spicy bite of the cinnamon and take it over the top, or at least to the edge.

It's a really interesting beer, and quite satisfying on many levels, but at the same time, over time, the cinnamon becomes a bit too much. That's not to say I won't buy it again, because I will, but I'm thinking of it as a beer that I have after dinner, as a night cap while reading before bed ~ a beer that I just sip at occasionally, and where 4 to 6 ounces will take me an hour or more. The question then becomes, what to do with the rest of the bottle? Well I'd hope that if I pour it and then stop it back up it'll hold its carbonation. Or I could share it, but it's a little bit of a specific beer for sharing.

One final note. From my very first learning of it I'd questioned how much cinnamon would be there, and how much would be enough. As I was tasting it, and long after I tasted it, I pondered whether or not there was too much cinnamon, and whether they should dial it back or not. My conclusion is, that although it is intense and very much a total niche beer at this point, I don't think it would work well with less cinnamon unless it was really just a dusting - which would leave it as a completely different beer, and most likely, something that would almost instantly be forgotten. As it stands it's completely memorable, and although it's somewhat limited in its drinkability, I'll rate it for what the first four ounces gives you, which is something special!

p.s. - it just occurred to me that this would make a great dessert beer, either served on its own in a small amount, or used in a dessert (perhaps poured over a pice of vanilla cake and then served with vanilla-cherry ice cream on the side).

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Photo of Shade1951
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I don't like this as much as Insanity. But it's interesting. The cinnamon is a bit too strong for my tastes, but there is enough of the barleywine flavor so that it's not off-putting.

I probably shouldn't have bought this, because for me, cinnamon is something to use sparingly on things like French toast - not in beer. So I can't say I wasn't warned and wasn't aware of what the taste would probably be like.

All told, I am enjoying this sipper, though I won't get it again. The ABV is so high that after a couple of ounces, even puke flavored beer might start tasting pretty good.

Weyerbacher makes some GREAT stuff. And seriously, even this is good - if you really like cinnamon. But you'd *really* better like cinnamon before splurging for one of these.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$ 13.00 (Including tax)/four pack ($ 0.271/oz) at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA.
Bottle dated 03/07/17, 03/17/22. Stored and served at 65 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma- cinnamon buns and barley.
Head – small (Maximum 2.8 cm, aggressive pour), off white, low density froth, short retention diminishing to an irregular one to three mm ring and a thin island.
Lacing – none.
Body – medium amber, slight haze.
Flavor – Cinnamon all the way. The cinnamon is definitely in charge and is the dominant flavor, although not overpowering. Think of a cinnamon bun soaked in alcohol. The alcohol doesn’t really become evident until I allow the brew to warm in my mouth. There is no hint of hops or malt or diacetyl.
Palate – medium, creamy approaching syrupy, soft carbonation.

Very nice. A cinnamon beer that tastes like cinnamon but doesn’t burn off your oral epithelial cells. I’m going to buy all of this I can find and stash some away for future tasting.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4, Overall 4.5.

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Photo of jvgoor3786
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 3/3/17. The beer pours the color of apple cider with a little fizz but no head, ring, or lacing.

The smell is tons of cinnamon and with some apple, a little alcohol, and some dark fruits along with a nice sweetness

The taste is loaded with cinnamon, alcohol, and a little off that dark fruit. The alcohol is a bit overwhelming. I'd to get another of these and age it for a couple years.

The mouthfeel is thin and very effervescent.

Overall, I love the cinnamon, but the beer needs to age to reduce the alcohol burn.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sulldaddy
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling this beer as a gift from my brother Brian. Thank you!
I love Insanity so I figured Id go for this one for review #1700!
Pouring a cellar temp 12 oz bottle into a snifter, the beer pours a relatively clear mahogany color with some deep ruby highlights when I hold the glass to the light. There is a bit of suspended sediment and a few lazy streams of carbonation rising to the surface. A beige foamy head of 2 cm rises on the pour and has faded to a pencil thin edge layer very quickly after sitting my bottle down on the table.
The aroma is cinnamon, and cinnamon, fairly sweet and real cinnamon. Not an artificial scent like big red gum. I also get a bit of brown sugar and some raisin, plus a decent hit of booze that warns of the seriousness of this brew.
The first sip reveals a sticky textured beer with very fine and prickly carbonation. The body is fairly thick and all the physical traits remind me this is a big beer.
The flavor is also dominated by cinnamon. there is a bit of brown sugar and caramel buried underneath that shows briefly at the first touch to my palate. The cinnamon takes over and tingles and warms my mouth, throat and belly. I do get a good dose of warming booze, which pairs with the cinnamon to make this a night cap perfect for a cold winter evening in front of a raging fireplace. Here in May, it is not quite the same benefit, but a very enjoyable beer nonetheless.
Be ready for a sipping experience and some fresh breath with this bottle. I think the cinnamon is a nice touch and is probably just at the precipice of being too much, but it works here IMO. Especially if you know what you are getting into. Id drink again only at bed time and maybe as a dessert after a meal. This is not a daytime beer.
enjoy!

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Photo of RickS95
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am just continuing to wade through the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody as beers come to the surface for drinking and reviewing. I am back on an Odds & Sods kick, clearing out some loosey goosey bottles before embarking on the next long brewery horizontal. What will it be? That would be telling!

From the bottle: "Aged in Bourbon Barrels with Cinnamon".

I Pop!ped the cap & began a gentle pour, in keeping with my New Year's Resolution. Aggro pours from bottles are now (mostly) a thing of the past. I am really coming to embrace a vigorous in-glass swirl since it is much less likely to bungle things up. This action was sufficient to create a finger of dense, foamy, fizzy, deep-tan/light-brown head with good retention, slowly falling away to wisps. Color was a slightly hazy Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27). Nose smelled initially redolent with cinnamon, but the coconut smell of the bourbon barrel was lurking just beneath the spicy surface of the cinnamon. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite thick yet, but bottle conditioning will undoubtedly cause this to become a big beer. The taste was a velvet fist wrapped in an iron glove. The cinnamon came at me like I had said something untoward about its mother. This was closely followed by the coconut woodiness that bourbon-Bbl. aging always seems to impart. Phew! I was sweating like a rat bastid under the hot, bright lights of the fuzz. The cinnamon was FAR too intense at this youthful age, but there was no doubt in my mind that this is going to smooth out wonderfully. In the interim, I was having a tough time getting around the heat of the cinnamon. Sweat on my brow, on the bald spot of my crown, my eyes were watering & my tongue was reaching the upper limit of my antics. Whew! Finish was hot, spicy & strangely cool as I took a deep breath. On the extreme finish, the coconut flavor of the bourbon barrels returned. This is definitely one of those Now 'n' Later beers - buy one to drink now & one to age & drink later. MUCH later.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kinglouix
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

This didn't sound good to me when I saw it but I trusted Weyerbacher. That trust has waned. Is it me or is Weyerbacher going down hill. This and their subpar Sunday Morning Stout. Even the original insanity doesn't taste the same to me as its initial offerings. The closest taste and smell that I can liken this too is mouthwash. The cinnamon is predominant and completely drowns out the desired bourbon taste. The only thing going for it is the high alcohol content which makes you forget how bad it is while you are drinking it. How the mighty have fallen.

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Photo of EMV
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip.

L: Cloudy dark mahogany brown pour. Thin off-white head. Spotty lacing.

S: Cinnamon... candy as in red-hots or cinnamon bubble gum cinnamon. Lots and lots of cinnamon. A little booze and bourbon sneaks in, but mostly cinnamon.

T/F: This is more familiar. Big malty sweetness from the barleywine base. Lots of dark sugars and caramel. Vanilla and some booze... very rich and thick, and super warming. The cinnamon provides a strong presence mid-sip. Well carbonated, and a bit of a spicy tingle on the tongue in the aftertaste. Not hot... just... cinnamon.

O: Damn is this a big beer, and I've never had one quite like it. The cinnamon flavor works with the barleywine base... and added to the barrel character makes this a flavor bomb. Not one I could drink often (or at all quickly) but a solid enough brew and the flavor combo works pretty well. Still.. one I'd rather half a half-pour of. It gets overpowering quickly.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.49/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Immediately, I am surprised by the amount of cinnamon in the nose of this beer. I was expecting a malty barleywine with some barrel notes and a touch of cinnamon. In contrast, the cinnamon absolutely dominates the aroma. The taste is malty sweet up front, with the cinnamon building and lingering into the boozy finish. The cinnamon is not nearly as dominant in the taste but it is definitely prominent. The warmth from the alcohol is pretty heavy too. Overall, the cinnamon and warmth may be a little too much fresh but I am looking forward to seeing how this one ages as the cinnamon drops off a little more. Fresh, I'm not a huge fan.

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Photo of rydev24
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of metter98
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at The Brewer's Kettle, High Point, NC

A: The beer is murky brown in color and appears to have a moderate amount of carbonation from the rising bubbles on the surface. It poured with short off-white head that died down and left a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.  
S: Moderate aromas of cinnamon are present in the nose. 
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of cinnamon along with underlying hints of the barley wine. No bourbon is perceptible. 
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with a touch of warming. 
O: This beer can be intense, but if you are a cinnamon fan this can be an interesting sipper. 

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a murky, ruddy amber with a medium head that hangs around for a bit. nose; strong crisp cinnamon, & perhaps sweet malt; the cinnamon is full force here. taste; rich bready caramel malt, sweetened cinnamon, toffee, brown sugar, touches of oak & vanilla, with a tiny pop of warming ethanol on the end. the monstrous 13.3% abv is masterfully tamed. heavy carbonation & heavy, silky mouthfeel. i can certainly understand the 'fireball' and breakfast cereal comparisons - the sweetened cinnamon here is definitely on display, but somehow i think it pairs well with the english barelywine base. i'm one to knock a point or two off for sweetness, but i like it!

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Photo of bacher468
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kotzbauerm
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jlindros
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 3/07/17

Pours a light fizzy head that fades quickly, a little lacing spots, decent legs less than I expected, murky dark mahogany maroon color with no real light coming through.

Nose just erupts cinnamon, fresh cinnamon like someone dumped some in the glass, also apple cider, and a little bourbon, reminds me a lot of the bourbon or brandy apple cider with loads of cinnamon I make in the winter, vanilla ice cream barrel notes, flash of oak, lots of fruit, besides the apple also cherry, cherry wood, pear, some plum, etc, sweet candy malt and syrup, base barleywine beer is overpowered by all the fruit and cinnamon.

Taste brings loads of cinnamon again, fresh cinnamon again like it was added to my glass, a little spiciness from it, big apple cider again, a hint of bourbon but not much, again like cinnamon overloaded apple cider, more fruit as well, pear, plum, cherry, lots of fruity esters, a little toasted oak, oak tree bark, cinnamon bark, a little cherry wood, some bitterness from a little earthy hop and the cinnamon. Plenty of caramel, not super sweet but a lot of caramelized sugars, candy malt, a little nutty toffee, and a touch of fusel alcohol, but not much, and not very sweet. Finish is sweeter a little sticky, a little booze lingering, more bitterness, and big cinnamon.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, a touch of booze warmth, cinnamon burn, decent carb.

Overall not bad, it definitely had loads of cinnamon, overpowering everything, very little bourbon unfortunately, and little base barleywine flavors which are nice when they are there, and tons of fruit somehow. despite the lack of sweetness and heavy malts, the booze was somehow hidden very well.

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky mahogany brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly along the edges of the glass and moderate ruby red + copper colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy off-white head that fairly quickly reduces to a medium to large sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of slightly spicy, slightly sweet cinnamon with moderate aromas of caramel + toasted oak + vanilla + bourbon.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of caramel + toffee malts which is quickly followed by strong flavors of spicy + sweet cinnamon. That is followed by moderate flavors of toasted oak + vanilla + bourbon. Light amounts of booziness, minimal amount of hop presence/bitterness, and a light to moderate amount of lingering sweet spicy cinnamon.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of booziness and a moderate amount of spicy/cinnamon burn.

O: This is a good beer and I really like the concept a little more than I liked the execution - the sweet cinnamon is a little one dimensional, though the smell is amazing. It kind of reminds me of the Fireball of beers.

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Photo of GreenMind
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of avalon07
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a growler to a pint glass. Had a medium brown color and a cloudy, murky texture. There was a small amount of off white, foamy head that quickly dissipated. Below average lacing.

S: Smelled of a whole lot of cinnamon, malt, bourbon, and caramel.

T: Tasted of a tinge of malt (overpowered by the other elements), a moderate amount of bourbon (and the accompanying barrel), tons of cinnamon, a bit of caramel, some vanilla, and dark fruit (dates, figs). A big flavor that gets bigger as you go on, to be sure. To be fair, it is kind of a one-note taste, dominated by the cinnamon, but it's still oddly complex and flavorful.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a lively finish. Full-bodied.

O: An interesting take on the English barleywine style. Well made and drinkable.

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Photo of chinchill
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Pour Taproom in Greenville, SC.

Pours with a cloudy orange-brown body topped by a semi-weak (leaves a lasting ring) beige head.

Feel: full body with medium+ carbonation. False heat from the cinnamon and some warm from the alcohol.

Aroma: cinnamon!, alcohol, baked bread, vanilla and fruitcake.

Flavor: Boozy with a high level of cinnamon but not so much as to mask hints of fruitcake and vanilla, Nicely sweet fading to mildly bitter by the aftertaste

Overall: a great choice as an after dinner beer.

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Cinnsanity Barleywine Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 126 ratings