Lunacy | Heavyweight Brewing Co.

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Very Good
169 Ratings

Brewed by:
Heavyweight Brewing Co.
New Jersey, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 03-04-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 169 |  Reviews: 165
Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of pavpav12
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rab53
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of kmo1030
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazed gold with a titanic white head that is squishing out the top of my snifter.
the nose contains light fruits mostly candied pineapple. it's also got a little bit of bubblegum, corriander, bready yeast,sulfur, and some powdery herbal hops. a very distinct lemon rind aroma comes out when it gets warmer.
the flavor is more of the same, fruity with a lot of pineapple sweetness, but has a good balancing component middle to back. it is pretty dry which does a lot for this beer, because as a sugar bomb this would be gross.
medium bodied with tingly carbonation.
good drinkability, and very solid american version of the style.

 633 characters

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

This poured a hazed golden colour with a creamy eggshell head. Nice lacing and good retention after the head fell to thinly cover the top of the beer. Phenolic, spicy aromas with a bready, yeasty backbone and mild citrus. These characters carry over into the flavour, but the spiciness is a little more pronounced in the finish, giving it a little bit of a peppery bite. There's candy sweetness and a hint of bubblegum as well as some pineapple fruitiness. Solid. Medium bodied and a bit dry in the finish, with carbonation that's just a little lively. As it warms, there's some alcohol warmth too. This beer hits all the right notes for me and I quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review # 900...hard to believe that I've never reviewed this for as many times I've had it over the years.
Appears a hazy deep gold with a fluffy, velvet foamy white that slowly fades out. Lovely scattered lacing left all around the glass.
Smell is of citrusy candy, Belgian yeast, bubble gum, phenolic esters, spices highlighted by coriander. Slightly reminescent of Duvel perhaps with a more yeasty profile., which is a good thing by American standards.
Taste is of the same aromas with a sugary yeasty blend.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly sweet up front, slick, and rousing along the palate.
I'll miss this one.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Small but dense foamy white head, which quickly fades to lace that sits on top. Beautiful opaque golden color with specs of yeast that catch the light.

S: Citrus and yeast spiciness with slight malt sweetness.

T: Big bold complex sweet flavors and some sourness up front. Not expecting this from the smell. Residual sweetness followed by slight bitterness. Great malt aftertaste and bitterness on the back of the tongue.

M: Full with good carbonation, warming alcohol in the back of the throat. A little dry.

D: The dryness and the abv might prevent me from having too many of these, but it is really delicious.

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Photo of ism
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am downing this with sadness, knowing it is some of the last through commercial distribution, but comforted that it will probably be available at the brewpub. It's changed over time and always in a good way. This particular bottle housed a hazy gold-orange body topped with a bright, dense, white, 2-finger head. Good retention for the ABV, with lush lacing. Sweet pale malt with spice, fruits, and a healthy dose of yeast in the nose, mellow and inviting. Mild carbonation and a medium-thin body carry a nice mix of fruits -- berries, pears -- along with the pale malt and yeast base, with coriander and orange peel and a bit of citrus hop freshness. Finishes dry with a good yeastiness in the aftertaste that lingers just long enough to the next sip. Hides the alcohol well. Manages to balance complexity with refreshingness.

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Photo of Phatz
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a frothy white cap and heavy sheets of lacing.

Smell: Big flavors in the nose. Sharply sweet malt aroma with a healthy serving of yeast and lots of fruit and spices.

Taste: Spicy yeast flavor with plenty of orange and coriander. Pleasant, but the phenolic character doesn’t excite me a lot. The alcohol shows through a bit and the sweetness is a bit sharp.

Mouthfeel: Very tiny bubbles of carbonation give this beer a light fluffy feel in the mouth but the aftertaste clings with a very bold bitterness lingering on the palate.

Drinkability: This is not my favorite Belgian but a decent one representation of the style from Heavyweight. A suitable sipping beer.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of hero27
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
7.7% abv.

Labeled as a "Belgian-Style Golden Ale"

Hazy peach color...modest white head. Nice flavors blend orange peel, Belgian yeast, lemon, & honey with a solid pale malt foundation..even some spices tagged onto the end. Another darn fine American interpretation of a Belgian ale that hits the mark pretty well.

Bottle acquired from ski271 via trade. Thanks again!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy dirty yellow ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of floral malt is quite powerful and very enjoyable. Taste is very refreshing with a nice dose of floral malt, Belgian yeast and a medium hoppy finish. Definitely not a great beer but a good golden Belgian ale that can be served as a refreshing drink during hot summer days.

 377 characters

Photo of joeskirkie
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky gold body topped with a nice looking white head.

Aromas are not hard to pick up, yeasts, pale malts, a fruitiness, maybe berries.

There is a sweetness that lingers throughout the palet, accompanied by some spiciness that balances everything out pretty well.

It has a pleasing carbonation and a light-bodied feel. One or two of these on a summer afternoon would no doubt hit the spot.

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Photo of beertravel
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tom has changed this beer many times over the years, though many would never know it. He has also made it the base beer for a lot of other things. But, basically, Lunacy has been the best-selling HW beer and allowed him to brew a lot of other things.

It is a golden, spicy Belgian ale that is very refreshing despite its 7.7% abv. Its color has wavered from very light to almost amber at times but the flavor has been fairly constant even with yeastb changes. The head is always a large white froth that wafts the coriander spice into the olfactory senses and leaves a beautiful lace curtain on the glass.

His final batch should be out very soon. Buy some to enjoy this summer.

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Photo of edskirk3
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold/orange with a sizeable white head, which does not last long in the goblet. The smell is fruity with medicinal notes. I can't really place the fruit. Banana? Citrus?

Once I taste it, I'm reminded more of very light honey (it's sticky like honey, too). Also there's the taste of pepper and the mild bitterness of hops. There could also be some bitterness from orange peel or coriander but it's not strong enough to stand out on its own. And despite the 7.7% abv, there is no detectable warming.

Great for summertime, great for a nightcap. A good ale all around. It's really a shame that the Heavyweight Brewery is closing down, or so I've heard.

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Photo of sponberg
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it 20 minutes ago and the head's still there. Aroma of Belgian estery yeastiness with coriander and faint earty, spicy hops.

The brew just seems to bloom one you drink it - starts with faint coriander and honeyish malt, then the hop bitterness wraps the tongue while aromatic, fruity (bananas, apples, pears) goodness takes care of the rest. The alcohol arrives near the end, lending a pleasant warmth to the finish, which is dryish, slightly bitter, and quickly replaced by the next sip.

Nice tingle on the tongue from this one - the body says "drink more" but there's only so much to go around so I'm savoring every last drop. Hope this one shows up as a one-timer when the BP gets off the ground.

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Photo of ski271
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy medium amber with a small, white, foamy, quickly diminishing head. Smell is crisp and biscuit-like with citrus, grape & pungent yeast. Very nice Belgian yeast in the taste & excellent balance between the yeast, citric hops and sweet candy-like malt. It has a medium body, lightly dry texture and low carbonation. Very interesting beer. Nothing fantastic, but one I definitely look forward to having again.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was picked up at Fathead's in Pittsburgh. It poured a mild amber/gold with a sad-looking thin white head. Nothing to write home about. Mediocre lacing. The aroma knocked me back at once. Is that a Hefeweizen? No, it can't be. But you definitely have some wheat and citrus in there, balanced rather well I might add. Maybe some clove.
Taste was much of the same, but more sweet fruits come through. Bananas, citrus, wheat and sweet malts(mild), maybe some vanilla. The mouthfeel was interesting, less acidic than I expected. I was thinknig it was going to be highly carbonated and acrid but instead it was rather smooth, creamy and light.
Overall it was pretty damn drinkable and a good suprise.

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Photo of nickg902
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle

A: Pours hazy orange/amer color with a large, foamy head. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass

S: Very recognizable belgian strong pale ale smell. Hints of bananas, some citrus, and some light spices (pepper?)

T: Taste is creamy and a little sweet, yet quite balanced. Taste of bananas, mild hops and some spices, not very pronounced though. Possibly a little sweet side for my taste

M: Smooth and a little creamy, low carbonation

D: Moderately drinkable

I tried this because I was a big fan of Heavyweight's Perkuno's Hammer. I found this beer not too bad and worth the purchase. However, if you want a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, I would definitely pick one of the Unibroue's (La Fin Du Monde, Don De Dieu, etc) ahead of this. Not too bad though....give it a try

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

Pours a very cloudy gold into a large red wine glass. I poured in the yeast, not realizing it was bottle conditioned. Whoops. Oh well, I'll live with the outcome. Nice big head that sticks around, with lots of lacing as it fades.

This beer has a very interesting aroma -- it reminds me a lot of a wit. Bananas, sugar, and some spices and pepper.

Flavour is sour and fruity. Some ear-warming alcohol presence, darker, exotic spices, and maybe some cloves.

Creamy mouthfeel, and a little bit of hop bite in the aftertaste.

I like this one, and would probably pick up more if I pass through NJ again.

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Photo of walleye
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think I got this from weeare138. took this to fl. to share with bieristgut. from the bottle. poured a cloudy honey, with no head to speak of. aroma the hops jumped right out there first, than got some plums , pears, than the malts kicked in, spicey hints of grass and alcohol. flavor not as robust as I was hoping for the didn’t get as much hops as the aroma gave off, malts and alcohol along with the fruits showed up after it warmed a bit. not to bad

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Photo of dawg
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a 22oz pils glass.

Holy shit! I never saw this much carbonation spewing from a beer before. Massive amounts of carbonation is pouring from the bottom of the glass into the bottom of the head making the head puff up creamy and soft about an inch. The pils glass almost looks like a blender on high setting. I stared at this one for about 5 minutes. Only smelled it once. Nose was kind of pungent and sour. A bit like a wine or champagne. Now that the bubbles are slowing I smell some grains and alcohol. A bit grassy.

Still tons of carbonation. The bubbles are shooting up from the pils bottom along the sides and in the center of the glass forming a convex marshmallowy poof of tiny bubbles. There is lacing plastered to the side about an inch over the top of the beer. I need to look over this to see the head. I'd better get a taste.

Tastes a bit sour and sweet. Almost like the dry powder that is used for whiskey sours. Now this almost tastes like a whiskey sour with the grassy and high alcohol presence.

I'm still shoked by the carbonation. I had one of these about a week ago, opened it in my garage and had a gusher. I opened this one in the kitchen sink to prevent a cleanup. I suspected that this would be bubbly but holy smokes this was hardcore. There was so much action the carbonation was turbulent and swirly. Damn.

Mouthfeel is big. The beer foams up on the tongue.

Not too tastey but I'll have another in a pils glass just for the show. Therefore drinkability is good. The one I had from the bottle tasted better than this one.

OK now that its warming up the sugars are poking through and masking some of the prior mentioned alcohol and grassy flavors.

Next time I'll pour and wait. Much better now. Re-adjusted the taste to good from 3.5

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Photo of Contra
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice cloudy gold, as you'd expect. Reminiscant of white grapes, yeast, and somewhat peppery. Fairly decent aroma. Nothing to write home about, although I've never written home about a beer, so....

My cheif complaint would be that the alcohol stands out, rather than being subdude by a nice palate. The last beer I drank, Maharaja, was 9.9% abv, whereas this is 7.7%. If I were to do a blind taste test, I would almost certainly guess that this beer was stronger. As such, the palate is a bit too dry for me. I certainly would not pass this beer up, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it either. It's worth a try though.

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Photo of Crosling
2.76/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tangerine colored with a small white cream above the liquid. An undeniable sour cream scent, with hints of coriander, honey, Belgian malts and yeast and loads of fruit. Strange, sour, musty yeast character...too sweet and doughy. Not one of their best.

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Photo of Jacobier10
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a straw golden color with a thin fizzy white head. The head didn't stick around too long. The aroma was very nice. Tons of lemon and pepper come through the nose. The flavor is heavily spiced, maybe a tad too much. Very yeasty as well. Good mouthfeel as a result of the soft carbonation. Coats the palate rather than attacks it. Very drinkable despite the spiciness. A decent shot at a Belgian Pale, but there's better out there.

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Lunacy from Heavyweight Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 169 ratings