Spread the Good News: Weyerbacher Heresy Imperial Stout

heresy-no-warningAs part of my ongoing excursion into dark and malty brews, I acquired a bottle of Weyerbacher’s Heresy on the same outing as the last brooding brew I reviewed.  As I pointed out in that piece, I am a sucker for a good label.  I’m also a sucker for a good name, and the word Heresy splashed across a bottle of beer is an instant attention getter.  Heretics spread a message that runs counter to the accepted and blindly-followed mainstream and so the speakers of heresy have a special place in my heart.  Plus it’s aged in whiskey barrels, and I love whiskey, so how could I say no?

This offering from Easton, PA’s Weyerbacher Brewery pours as black as used motor oil.  When held up to the light, not a single photon passes through.  This beer is as opaque as the dark in a deep underground cavern.  Immediately after the pour there was not much head  to speak of.  A thin ring of bubbles the color of lightly creamed coffee clung to the edges of the glass and quickly dissipated.  When I held the glass up to my face to sample the aroma, my olfactory glands were assaulted by a strong and complex nose loaded with coffee and booze.  The label on the bottle does not specify what kind of whiskey barrels were used in the aging process, but as soon as I took a whiff it was immediately apparent that bourbon casks were used.  The unmistakable sweet smell of bourbon dances playfully around the dominant coffee notes and warm hints of malt.  The nose of this beer is truly an experience and left me eager for my first sip.


welcome to your glass of beer

The first taste was certainly no disappointment.  Each sip slides across the palate like a satin ribbon with no residual stickiness.  The pronounced sweetness of the aroma is somewhat muted in the flavor of the beer itself, the malt seems to play a much more subtle role on the tongue.  The taste of whiskey is not so subtle, and plays off the roasty coffee in delightful fashion.  There is a ghost of bitterness that remains on the tongue after each sip is swallowed, but I could not quite tell if it came from hops or the relatively high alcohol content (8.0% abv).

I was so disappointed when I reached the bottom of my glass and very regretful that I had purchased but one bottle.  I usually cannot drink consecutive bottles of a malty beer like stout, but the flavors presented here are so perfectly married that I could drink this beer all day.  The next time I am stocking up for a cold winter’s night, I’ll make sure I’ll grab enough to see me through the entire evening.  I cannot recommend this beer more highly.  Go find yourself some right now!

~ by schlippo on February 2, 2014.

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