Jul 14, 2011

Weyerbacher Insanity

Weyerbacher InsanityInsanely good barelywine

Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot is a hell of a barleywine. In fact, it’s one of my wife’s favorites to steal from me enjoy during the year’s colder months. It ages wonderfully and, in my opinion could only be improved by doing something like, you know, barrel aging it.

That’s exactly what the Pennsylvania brewery has done with Insanity (a beer I’ve only just found recently). They’ve taken a very tasty 11.10% ABV barleywine and aged it in retired bourbon barrels. Luckily for me, the wife doesn’t like bourbon so the other bottle should be safe for some time.

The additional barrel aging doesn’t so much as redefine the barleywine so much as it augments the already existing character while adding a little something extra. Having tried this beer fresh (2011 bottling), I can see it improving that much more with some time in the basement.


Insanity pours a brilliant copper with a quickly descending tan head.


Wow. Dark fruits, hops, sweet malts, a touch of vanilla, oak and booze all combine for a nose that entices and teases. It’s not overly bourbon-y smelling which makes for a fairly balanced nose.


There’s the bourbon. The taste of this beer reflects the nose almost to a tee. A full, slightly viscous mouthfeel carries notes of raisin, oak and leafy hops around the tongue as waves of bourbon come and go as they please. This is a richly complex beer with hints of caramel and vanilla to accompany a trailing warmth that glows in the chest with each sip. Served at 55°, the beer only got better as it warmed to room temperature.


Again, wow. I’m not entirely sure how long the Blithering Idiot is aged in the barrels, but I can’t imagine the beer coming out any better than this. Weyerbacher already had a tasty barleywine on their hands, but have completely hit a home run with this bourbon barrel aged version. I can’t wait to see how the last bottle ages.

Rating: 4.5/5

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