Weyerbacher-Blithering Idiot Barley-Wine Style Ale

Type: Bottle

11.1% ABV

35 IBU


One of the best Barley-Wines in America, Blithering Idiot showcases the two things which Weyerbacher does best: high alcohol content and smooth drinkability.  Idiot pours a dark brownish red and the head is fluffy, but thin.  As it hits the glass, the brew exposes the scents of plums, figs, and honey.  If you’ve never had a Barley-wine (or Barley-Wine Style Ale), the first sip can be shocking.  It’s got a big kick of alcohol, which thankfully emerges from a smooth creamy sweetness.  Slight citrus hops sustain throughout, as the beer manages to balance the alcohol of the dark fruits with full bodied notes of coffee, caramel, walnuts, and molasses.  You can definitely taste the influence of sweeter Barley-wines, but Weyerbacher has found a way of grounding this ale in a dense bouquet.  Blithering Idiot is a solidly priced Barley-Wine, at around 12 dollars a four pack.  I’d give that an A-.  There are comparable Barley-Wines on the market, but Blithering Idiot is definitely one of the stand outs  due to its mosaic of dark undertones. My only complaint is that, if it’s not aged long enough, the alcohol can overwhelm the subtle intricacies. For a first time Barley-Wine drinker, this might be a big step.  However, for those who fiend for the sweet warmth that comes from a night of sipping yeast by a fire, look no farther than this strong, hearty, excellent American ale.

In Conclusion: Blithering Idiot is very drinkable for a beer which harkens back to the flavors of an English Barley-Wine, and it’s great for aging.   The longer you age it, the more vibrant the notes of the hops, fruits, and nuts will become (Weyerbacher says the best by date is 5 years after bottling, so they aren’t goofing around).

Food Pairing: Roasted meats, bacon, and bleu cheese.  Anything you would pair with figs, dates, and raisins, you can pair with this.

“Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today.”

-Edgar Allen Poe


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