Blithering Idiot is an English-style Barleywine by Weyerbacher Brewing Co. that’s complex with a sugary and fruity sweetness balanced by earthy hops, pepper, and booze.

Blithering Idiot is an English-style Barleywine that’s brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Co. For the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was aged for six months and served in a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Packaging art for the Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Appearance

The Barleywine pours a clear dark amber that glows a bright ruby when held to the light. It’s topped by a finger-thick cap of frothy cream-colored foam that vanishes almost immediately. The head’s reduction doesn’t leave behind any lace or residue.

Aroma

The aroma is somewhat vinous mixed with a scent of black cherry.

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Flavor

The palate is led by a taste of bready malt that’s lightly bittered with earthy hops, peppery spice, and then a blast of booze. The tasting finishes with sweet flavors of marmalade, fig, cherry, cola, brown sugar, and toffee.

Mouthfeel

Its feel is smooth, chewy, and coats the mouth with its full body and less-than-moderate carbonation. The Barleywine finishes dryly and its high alcohol imparts a moderate warming sensation.

Label art for the Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Label art for the Blithering Idiot by Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

The Funny Story Behind the Name

Founder Dan Weirback and his first sales rep visited a brew pub for an event where the two enjoyed a few beers together. Maybe it was more than a few. Regardless, the next day, the sales rep bluntly told Weirback “You were a real Blithering Idiot last night.” And immediately he knew that would be the perfect name for their soon-to-be-released, perfectly balanced Barleywine. Only six months later, Blithering Idiot had become so popular that the demand was triple what they had originally brewed.

Overall

The appearance of the Blithering Idiot shows nice clarity and its poor head retention is common with the style. Although the brew’s aroma isn’t persistent, it is pleasant. This particular bottle was aged six months and while the booze isn’t harsh, it’s still noticeable. Regardless, the feel is right in line with expectations and supports its robust palate nicely. And speaking of palate, this one is delightful. It’s complex and sweet with just enough balance to keep it honest. Blithering Idiot is quite easy to tilt back and if you’re not careful, you’re likely to become one.

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