Style: Barrel Aged English Barleywine
“Insanity, 11.1% ABV, is made by aging our Blithering Idiot Barleywine Ale in whiskey barrels.
The barrel aging imparts an additional level of complexity to an already intense malt profile by adding a combination of vanilla, oak and whiskey notes.”
I figured I would make a drastic shift from the sour reviews and move over to an 11.1% ABV Barleywine from Weyerbacher Brewing. Weyerbacher is a great little brewery in Easton, PA and they pump out quite a few high ABV beers and even have a “Big Beer” 12 pack containing their beers over 9% ABV. Weyerbacher has another more widely available Barleywine that is also 11.1% called Blithering Idiot, Insanity is that same recipe, but it is aged in whiskey barrels to add some complexity to the beer.
The beer pours a dark amber with about a half inch of cream colored head. The nose is quite sweet giving off notes of dried cherries, molasses, vanilla, and caramel with a hint of whiskey. The beer is sweet with the caramel malt flavor in the foreground following up with flavors of whiskey soaked cherries and vanilla. Banana bread flavors and the strong booziness close out the beer on the palette. The beer has low carbonation with big body, however it finishes quite smooth. Overall it is a pretty good barleywine, definitely better and less harsh than its brother Blithering Idiot. The barrels really balance the beer out adding little bit more complexity and smoothness to make the booziness less harsh. I would recommend it, but I would only have one per sitting as the beer due to the high ABV. It is definitely worth a try and it isn’t too hard to find if you live in the Northeast US. I suggest it for sipping on one of the cool fall nights coming up in the near future. It will pair nicely with a strong cheese such as a blue or a strong brie. Cheers and let me know what you think.