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Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
City – State – Country: Easton, PA USA
Release/Date: February 2012
Reviewed By: Morey
INFORMATION: Insanity is made by aging their year-round barleywine (Blithering Idiot) in oak bourbon cask. It’s more of an English-Style Barleywine as opposed to an American Barleywine. This basically means that it’s intended to be more malty and sweet, as where the American versions tend to be brewed with significantly more hops. Released annually sometime during the month of February.
APPEARANCE: Poured a hazy reddish-brown color. A medium aggressive pour resulted in one finger of cream colored head that faded to a thin and spotty lace after only a few minutes. There’s decent head retention following each sip, but all of the lacing eventually falls back into the beer.
AROMA: Cherry liquor, Werther’s Original, thick caramel malts, rasins, vanilla, molasses, and the wood and bourbon became more prominent as the beer warmed up some.
TASTE: Nice caramel malt flavors up front with a touch of booze backing things up. I’m getting currants, oak, and raisins towards the middle. There’s a good amount of sweetness and bourbon character near the back-end. No hops or bitterness to speak of…this is definitely an English Barleywine all the way. Smooth finish with notes of cherry and wood. There’s a slight alcohol burn that warms the throat on the way down.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body with a sweet booziness and light carbonation.
MOREY’S BOTTOM LINE: This is a fantastic Barleywine. Taking Blithering Idiot and aging it in bourbon cask was an extremely successful experiment by Weyerbacher. While I like the base beer, it’s a bit heavy on the alcohol and kind of one-note if you will. The barrels really help to mellow the alcohol, as well as make it more complex. This was one of my first barrel-aged beers, so I have a bit of a soft spot for it. I buy at least a 4-pack every February. I love sitting on the front porch with a glass of Insanity while welcoming Spring’s first thunderstorms. Cheers!
Score: 4.25 out of 5