freekyp (1545) - Thomasville, North Carolina, USA - NOV 25, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
A stunning accomplishment! Strong whiskey notes in the nose portend a flavorful ride. They do not lie! Sweet and malty with ample hop bite, the fine whiskey overtone kept this brew in check by muting the sweetness to an acceptable level. Pouring deep reddish brown, and sporting an enormo tan reddish tan head, Insanity is the perfect brew for pairing with a strong flavored Thanksgiving dinner. Smoother and definitely more drinkable than standard Blithering Idiot, which is saying a lot!
VA Homebrewer (525) - Portsmouth, Virginia, USA - NOV 23, 2004
3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Wonderfully beautiful cherrywood colored beer with a short lived, fluffy head. Aroma is somewhere between Southern style overcooked vegetables and vanilla. Oak, molassas sweetness and a pronounced bourbon aroma backing up the vegetable/vanilla aroma. I never could get over the overcooked vegetable/vanilla aroma and my enjoyment of what is an otherwise fine beer was greatly diminished. It seems as though the brewer wanted a pronounced vanilla aroma, but it didnít quite work out in my bottle. Mouthfeel is terrific, finish is beautiful and the alcohol is fairly well hidden. This has enormous potential, and probably will improve with age. The overcooked vegetable aroma ruined it for me.
biznizness (1121) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - NOV 17, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2006 Wow. This something else. Deep red color with a smallish head, one of the best looking beers Iíve seen in a while. You can smell the bourbon. This beer is elusive... it really took me a while to get a grasp on it. Not just complex... COMPLICATED. Nice bitter finish. I will definitely have to drink some more of this in order to understand it. Awesome. Update Jan 06: Docked a few points due to the overwhelming flavor. After spending some time with this beer, I just canít handle much of it.
sallad (115) - USA - NOV 16, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle. Deep brown with bright ruby highlights and a creamy light tan head. Roasted malt aromas, earthy and woodsy, over hints of pineapple hops. Creamy sweet malt and crisp bitterness balance upfront and giveway to toast, oak and bourbon. Intense pine and alcohol in the finish. Definite alcohol warmth and lingering sweetness on the way down. A minute or 2 after a sip, there is still a woody tannic flavor, like chewing on autumn leaves.
zathrus13 (1728) - Mount Laurel, New Jersey, USA - NOV 12, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 13, 2004 Beautiful copper/red color witha white/tan head. Aromas of caramel, whiskey, fruit, and alcohol. Flavor starts sweet, with fruit, whiskey and vanilla. It gets a little more bitter towards the end. Very complex, but also seems edgy and young. Aging should do wonders.
chandernagor (39) - Oak Park, Illinois, USA - NOV 11, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Red and transparent, with a white head. Aroma is very fruity with some caramel and alcohol, especially after it warms up a little bit. Light carbonation and a sticky/chewy texture. Flavor is sweet at first, with fruits and vanilla, then this warming feeling of bourbon that leads to a hoppy citrusy bitterness (humm, grapefruit!) and finally ends up on a tannins-like taste coming from the oak barrels. A smooth, complex, well balanced beer. This is defenitely growing on me, every sip tastes better than the previous one!
Jine (896) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - NOV 11, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 29, 2005 I am honored to be the 10th rating for Insanity. From the label it looks as if the jolly figure on the blithering idiot label has been imbued with unholy demonic power and is screaming his insane ramblings to the sky before he searches out his victims. Those victims being you and I.
First off, pours a deep reddish brown with a head that fades quickly yet sticks to the sides of the glass (in this case an ommegang chalice). Smells like alcohol and fruit. Tastes like....the same delicious barleywine as it was before but now a little more full and mellow. Also has gained the flavor from the bourbon casks. Going to the store tommorrow for another bottle to cellar. Stupendous. Everything I hoped it would be.
Update, 4/30/05: Six months later, six months in my cellar...this has....matured...into an amazing beast. I want to rate it higher, but it almost seems impossible to do so....the palate is so much more refined...not nearly as sharp in its alcohol taste...six months later this is an even more amazing beer.
Kinz (3376) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - NOV 4, 2004
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Fascinating to see what the bourbon cask did to the Blithering Idiot. Deep reddish orange, very hazy, head faded away rapidly. Aroma was washed in molasses, caramel, and alcohol, with a fruit note. Flavor was of warm caramel, some apricot fruitiness, and vanilla flavors. Alcohol not as prevalent as I expected from the nose, instead acting simply to turn this into a warming sipper. Much more full bodied than I recall Blithering Idiot to be, and quite complex. This should age beautifully. Thanks to Sue for the sneak preview!
SETANTA (582) - Bangor, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer was awesome... plenty of vanilla extracted from the whiskey barrles, mellows out the Blithering Idiot quite a bit... bitterness is present, but subdued, alcohol is also toned down
mkobes (2142) - paramus, New Jersey, USA - OCT 24, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle at LV Fest. Orange and slightly cloudy. Malty aroma. Smooth. Full bodied. Sherry like aroma. Enjoybale. Tasted like a well aged barleywine. Its good.