Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 1388   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.62/5   EST. CALORIES: 333   ABV: 11.1%
At Weyerbacher, we prefer to brew things true to European style guidelines, so our barley wine is definitely on the malty side, without being overly sweet. Notes of date or perhaps fig on the palate follow a pleasurably malty aroma to your taste buds. The finish is warm and fruity, and begs for the next sip.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MetalNHopHead (1424) - Lincoln, Nebraska, USA - FEB 19, 2016
An English style Barleywine at its core, Blithering Idiot doesn’t come on hot and heavy like some of these brews. The alcohol heat is hidden pretty cleverly. It’s definitely not an aggressive Barleywine in terms of hops. Flavors center on butterscotch, caramel, syrup, and succulent fruit with hints of buttery chocolate. Feel is exceptionally smooth. Very little head with the pour, and the aroma is mild and malty. You wouldn’t expect the 11.1%. A few of these could most certainly reduce you to a blithering idiot.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
BrownALEx (420) - Portland, Michigan, USA - FEB 17, 2016
Dark fruit and malt dominant the nose. Deep, dark maroon pour with a thin head. Taste takes over where the nose leaves off, more dark fruit and malt. Booze also is noticeable, nice alcohol burn here. Palate is thick and lingers. Overall, a wonderful beer to sip on. Must try.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
JohnGalt1 (1663) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 16, 2016
Poured 1/2 the bottle into Beer Wars goblet short lived 1/2" head descent cap and lace with every sip.. the brew is a polished copper amber. Alcohol in the nose is way died down from the last time I had one of these.. but it is still present. Caramel and golden raisins.. a bit of something that reminds me of cinnamon. English toffee and caramel .. nutty ... a bit bready mid palate smooths into a bit of alcohol bite and a lingering raisin finish... the body is very nice and carbonation may be a tad high, but is still good. I like this one... always have... It however, really needs some time in the bottle to mesh and I think this could have gone another year no sweat.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ryecatcher (1348) - Bridgeport, Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 7, 2016
Bottle. I drank one of these out of Heather’s refrigerator after finishing a glass of whiskey and just about the time she crashed out on the couch while we were watching SNL while I was in the 216 this weekend, and she’s a big fan of the Blithering Idiot (and while I love me some barleywine, we don’t get distro from Weyerbach here in Chicago), so I finally got to try one of these. Soooo.... deep coppery reddish brown pour, slightly turbid, normal head retention for the style (i.e. minimal). Nose is candy sugar, dates, banana, caramel, toffee, orange peel, some oxidation (not a problem though). Mouth is big with a medium sweetness, pretty much tastes like everything I described in the notes with the addition of chewy pumpernickel, some ABV warmth and a pleasantly bitter finish. I love my girl and she has good taste in beer. So yeah. Double super bonus.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
GJF (1510) - Mount Vernon, Iowa, USA - JAN 31, 2016
Muddy ruby pour, thin beige head. It’s generally a sweet beer with some dark fruit flavors to it. Some good flavors, but I found the sweetness unbalanced.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
weihenweizen (3130) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - JAN 30, 2016
Refrigerated 12 oz brown bottle poured into a snifter. Hazy Amber with no head. Aroma is caramel malt, medium body, low carbonation, and no lacing. Taste is caramel malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Alengrin (4529) - BELGIUM - JAN 22, 2016
Bottle from Fontana in Sint-Niklaas (to my utmost surprise). Light gushing but slow enough to remain manageable. Thin to medium, moussy, egg-white head with good retention on the edges and leaving thin patches of foam in the middle, colour is a deep ruby copper with a haze of yeast bits divided throughout. Strong aroma of raisins soaked in brown rum, lots of caramel, chestnut, candied cherry, raw red cabbage, orange liqueur, cognac, hints of pipe tobacco, dried banana, raw brown sugar, marzipan, roasted peanuts, tea leaves, marmelade, dry tree leaves, honeyed pork chops, some oxidized sherry, ’haemoglobin’ iron. Candied sweet onset, sugared cherries, raisins, fig and dry banana paired with a deep blackberry sourishness, softish carbo, meaty accents, smooth, thick and oily body based on layers of caramelly, nutty and toasted malts with a kind of subtle chocolatey touch, warming alcohol effect already noticeable in the middle but growing in the end to the point of becoming a bit wry and tiring, liqueurish and whisky-like, with a dash of spicy hops all the way at the back. Alcohol and bittersweet, caramelly malts dominate after swallowing, with an addition of almost cloying, burnt sugar. I guess that style-wise, this holds the middle between American barley wine and English barley wine: it has the rich, resinous, smooth malt sweetness of the latter but still the hop bitterness of the first, albeit in a restrained kind of way, so that it tilts more towards the English substyle, as claimed by the brewery. Oxidation is often a good thing in barley wines but in this case it did not do this beer much good, becoming a bit obnoxious in the end. A barley wine of rather thin and straightforward structure, with the alcohol not being nearly as masked as cleverly as it could have been and lacking a bit in complexity - this clearly underachieves for the demanding style it claims itself to be. In all, an enjoyable malt sweet beer still, slow sipper for sure, but nevertheless too bad for the alcohol, which I have seen better hidden in barley wines of 3-4% stronger than this one.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
alteregoo (921) - POLAND - JAN 17, 2016
Piana drobna, sycząca, szybko znika do postrzępionej firankia. Barwa mahoniowo rubinowa, opalizująca. Aromat nie jest zbyt intensywny, zdominowany oczywiście przez słody - karmel, likier, syrop klonowy, suszone owoce. W smaku półsłodko, likierowo, powtarzają się motywy z zapachu z dominującymi rodzynkami, miodem spadziowym, karmelem, wanilią i burbonem. Goryczka niska, alkoholowo przyprawowa. Nagazowanie niskie do średniego (jak na styl), dość pełne, wyklejające odczucie w ustach. Słabo ukryty alkohol, który wyraźnie rozgrzewa i dominuje w posmaku.
Tylko dobry angielski Barley Wine z amerykańskiego browaru kraftowego z odrobinę nieułożonym alkoholem i dość ubogim aromatem. Niestety w przypadku takiego stylu to zdecydowanie za mało!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ChadPolenz (1690) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - JAN 2, 2016
Barleywine is a fairly idiot-proof style (pun intended). In fact, big beers in general tend to be good because they’ve got so much malt and hops that they create for big flavors which more often than not are pretty delectable. That’s why Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot is a little disappointing as it’s not quite the robust, complex example so many of the style tend to be. It’s big and pretty tasty, but it’s lacking in certain areas.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 4/29/2015 and cost $4.39 ($0.37 per ounce).

Appearance: Sangria or fruit punch-like burgundy red. Dark in color, though somewhat transparent with particulates floating in suspension. Pours to a nominal, off-white, foamy head which evaporates quickly and completely (disappointing).

Smell: Plenty of sweet British-style maltiness which in turn creates for fruity notes. Though, oddly enough, the nose is rather restrained. Alcohol is present, but not distracting.

Taste: I would not use the term “mild” to describe the palette of this beer – at least not as a whole. Sure some of the individual flavors are more reserved than others, but the beer in and of itself is not mild. However, that’s not to say it’s exploding with [great] taste. Not surprisingly, there’s a strong surge of malty sweetness; plenty of treacle and toffee (which mostly emerge on the backend), but that’s about it. Perhaps a slight dark fruit and vinous character to the palette, but nothing that really stands out and is impressive. The alcohol also plays a prominent role and gives it a rather harsh, liquor-like sensation. Hops are reserved and may have faded already. Not that this is the kind of beer you drink for balance anyway. Overall it’s tasty and satisfying, but it could and should be much better.

Drinkability: I knew what I was getting into with Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot when I saw the 11.1% ABV on the label. It definitely has the body of something that big. The mouthfeel is noticeably thick, syrupy, and low in carbonation. Alcohol comes through in a strong warming sensation. In fact, it’s pretty hot and slick at first, but seems to homogenize eventually. It also hits me pretty quickly which is surprising considering how much relative age the bottle had on it at the time.

RATING: 6/10

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
c0fein (551) - Helsinki, FINLAND - DEC 5, 2015
335ml bottle @ Kokkipojat. Thanks aQ!

Dark rusty colour with no head. Alcohol, plum, dark fruits, malty. strong stuff. OK.

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