Review: Blithering Idiot, Weyerbacher

Blithering Idiot
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. — Easton, PA

  • Style:  Barleywine
  • Bitterness:  Not provided
  • ABV: 11.1%
  • Malts:   Not provided
  • Hops:  Not provided
  • Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
  • Price:  $10.99 (six-pack) at liquor store

Description:  "Our barleywine is made in the British tradition of balanced hearty ales. Blithering Idiot is a deep-copper ale with intense malty notes of dates and figs on the palate that follows a pleasurably malty aroma to your taste buds. The finish is warm and fruity, and begs for the next sip. Enjoy Blithering Idiot in a brandy snifter or wine glass with full-flavored meats and cheeses, or as an after-dinner drink.  Lay a few down. Aging only helps a barleywine develop more complexity. At 11.1% ABV this fine ale will keep for years. We feel comfortable setting our “Best By” date out to five years past the bottling date." — Weyerbacher Brewing Co. 

Random thoughts:   I've sampled four of the five beers in Weyerbacher's year-round beer lineup, which is comprised of an Imperial Stout, a Belgian Trippel, two IPAs, and this Barleywine.  Weyerbacher makes big beers (which I love) and I expect their target customer is a serious craft beer drinker.  I think it's a great niche.

The tasting:  Copper in color (hazy) with a white head that quickly dissipated into a small ring around the glass.  Big fruity aroma of plum, raisins, and dates, along with brown sugar and alcohol.  The strong fruits dominate the flavor and don't allow the malts to come through.  I've heard people use the words "bubble gum" as a flavor descriptor.  I've never experienced that flavor until now.  This beer has a slight bubble gum sweetness to it.  I didn't notice the hops in aroma or flavor.  The 11.1% ABV is prominent throughout, but not as strong as I expected it to be.  Medium to heavy in body, it's lightly carbonated and has a creamy mouth feel.  If finishes with flavors of dried fruit and alcohol. 

Rating:  3 star.  Good.  I would drink this again if someone gives it to me.   I liked Blithering Idiot, but found it to be one dimensional.  I didn't experience the layering of flavors that I've tasted in other Barleywines.  I'm curious to see how it would age, and if I had an extra bottle I'd cellar it and taste it again after a year or two.

Have you tried Blithering Idiot or any other Weyerbacher beers?

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  1. i had this beer one time in Charleston SC, i thought it was delicious!

  2. I bought a case of this beer a few years ago and it does improve tremendously with age. I really enjoyed the first few bottles I drank but the ones I left age and drank a couple of years or so later were even better! Most big beers will age well and actually improve like 6 months to a year later and this one is no exception.


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