Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Weyerbacher – Heresy

As you may have noticed, I’ve been getting a little braver when it comes to darker beer. I know that not all dark beer is the same, and I’ve begun to understand what beers I may enjoy or that I am likely to find too bitter. The fact that most dark beers don’t taste as bitter (as I once assumed they were) helps a lot when I’m gearing up to try something dark. 

This one is especially easy to dive into because it comes from one of my favorite breweries, Weyerbacher. Continuing on the religious/blasphemous theme, this aged imperial stout is named Heresy. I really liked the lightning on the label and it made me think of the brewery being “struck down” for their crazy beer ideas. This one is actually a result of Weyerbacher taking their Old Heathen and aging it to see what happens. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had an aged dark beer – let alone one aged in oak barrels (similar in fashion to Blasphemy). So here it goes!
It pours slow and syrupy with only a little bit of light getting through the darkness of the brew. There is little to no head to speak of no matter how I poured it, and holding it up its nearly impossible to see through. (Good signs, I think).
The smell on this one is hard to classify because it smells like four beers at once. It smells like an oatmeal stout, chocolate, a brown ale, a porter and if you pay attention, a bit of alcohol, too. I can’t pick up the oakiness in the smell, but that’s alright with me.
The taste on this one is out of this world. It doesn’t taste bitter at all (and no coffee taste either). It seems as if the aging really brought out some of the warmth and character that stouts are capable of. It tastes warm, inviting and complicated, not bitter and dry. This is very smooth on the tongue with little carbonation, but lots of warmth. The alcohol taste blends with some of the woodiness to make it taste earthy yet sweet – like a great piece of dark chocolate infused with a little vanilla. The end note is very sweet and lingers on your tongue very elegantly. 
 I really like this one, and I think that it’s now going to be my favorite dark beer. I would order this at a restaurant and I’d be intrigued if someone came up with a perfect pairing for it. I think as a brewery it would be easy to overdo a beer like this, maybe give it too much alcohol, too much sweet, but I have to say that this is so well executed from a brewery that tends to go so extreme. Weighing in at only 8% ABV it won’t turn you into a blithering idiot quite as fast as some other Weyerbacher fare, either.
Most women stay away from things that are exceptionally bitter, which like me, leads them away from dark beer. But being open to new experiences is what drinking great beer is all about, so give this one a shot if you’ve never enjoyed a dark beer before. If I’ve learned one thing today it is that it is definitely okay to fall in love with a stout.

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3 Comments

  1. Wicasta Lovelace

    I’ve been bitten by some of Weyerbacher’s stranger experiments, so have been on the fence about trying Heresy. I love Old Heathen, though. Your measured review of Heresy was just what I needed to give it a shot. Thanks.

  2. Matt

    Old Heathen is AWESOME! I’ve gotta try this one.

  3. B.E. Earl

    I love Weyerbacher too.

    I just tried their Double IPA called Simcoe last night for the first time. Delicious.

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