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The Crusher | The Alchemist

40 Reviews
For Trade:
The CrusherThe Crusher

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Crusher is an American Double IPA that I started making years ago at the old pub. Hop heads were constantly asking for more hops. So, in the words of Frank Zappa, "Did you say you want some more? Well here's some more." While I enjoy hops with the rest of them, I still try to maintain some semblance of balance and drinkability. This beer is oozing with hop flavor and aroma with a very dry finish. Enjoy responsibly, this one can sneak up on you.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 03-05-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 677
Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -12.9%

Ugly silver can shared by MrBarleywine, thanks for the opportunity!
Slightly hazy pale with a decent sized long lasting head. Huge pine and resin with hints of earth and onion. Faint maltiness barely balances here. Resinous hop flavor with just enough crackery malt and a firm level of bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Fantastic brew!

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Photo of cambabeer
4.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a trade, probably the only way I could get it here in Florida. This beer has a ton going for it and not much going against it.
Nice white head, and lace on the glass. Head dissipates somewhat fast but lace hangs on. There are visible floaters in there, which I really like, that were all sitting at the bottom of the can. Nose is sweet and bourbon mollassesy with some bubble gum and pecan nuttiness and toastiness. Hops and citrus smells are there. Taste is the same for the most part. Very crisp and yet creamy, oddly smooth and alcohol very present. Hops all over the after taste. This is extremely good. My only regret is I can't go to the store down the street and pick up some more.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My least favorite of the Alchmesit hoppy beers. The crusher is an accurate name as I felt this beer was overpowering in terms of hops and malt. Very bitter beer that was not as balanced as their other offerings

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Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev -5.2%

Huge thanks to Joe_Grizzly for sending me a tanker full of Alchemist brews, I actually hopped up & down in excitement when the UPS truck stopped in front of the house today. Slightly dented 16 oz. silver bullet, going down.

The pop & pour features a light orange beer with heady carbonation. A wave of calypso hits the nose before the I even get the tab all the way down: massive tropical fruits, sweet bread, mango, a whole island full of ripened fruit. Beautiful.

The Crusher hands your nose sweets while hiding the predator van keys in the other hand. Fallen fruit litter the palate, & there’s a nascent sweetness, but they’re accompanied by a razor of cleansing bitterness storming hard on its heels, very reminiscent of Heady (please ignore my stupid review of Heady, which was from the initial ‘bottling’ & not that great). Hard, searing citrus burns away the fruit like a morning fog off of Lake Minnetonka (“yeah, but that’s not Lake Minnetonka”). End-game is a quick peck of sweet malt, touch of pine, alcohol that grows as it warms. Sticky, gooey, dry. Which seems odd. Glad they put this in 16 oz. cans, & glad I didn’t have to share this one.

Was thinking of bringing cans to Darkness Day later this week, but I’m not sure there’s anyone out there I like enough to share this with. Yeah, I mean you. I usually despise “balanced” IIPAs, but The Alchemist got this one right. Not quite on the level with the elites, but a damn excellent brew.

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Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

16oz can purchased on 10/4/14 at The Alchemist's truck sale. Poured into a snifter tasting glass.

A - Solid golden amber.

S - Big juicy fruity hop aroma. A little dankness. Very intense and inviting. You can't help but smile after getting your nose in the glass.

T - Lots of citrusy, bitter hop flavor up front with a nice, resiny finish. It definitely packs a punch of hop flavor. Pushes hop flavor to a nice limit.

M - Nice medium-bodied mouthfeel until the end when you get a hint of the true ABV. Still finishes dry enough that you don't hesitate for more.

O - Fantastic beer. Really big on hop flavor while still being very drinkable and not muddling the hoppy goodness with malt sweetness. The aroma is very nice. I think of this one could arguably be classified as a "Triple IPA". I drank it fairly fast and I'm feeling the ABV. More flavorful than Heady, but at the cost of some drink-ability.

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Photo of bluehende
4.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All I can say is wow. I don't know how they get a juicy DIPA at 9.6%. It would have been my first 5 except for the head that fades quickly. I would imagine that is due to all the hop oils in this beer. It might be impossible to get a 5 here, but man this is close.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sample from the brewery, the name says it all. A very intense brew yet stay drinkable for a big beer. Not for the faint of palate though as the hopping is pretty bold if not slightly harsh, in a good way.

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Take Heady and Focal and add a few more bushels of hops...
Its more of everything-- hops, bitterness, alcohol... but oh so creamy and delicious.
As JK says--- enjoy responsibly, it packs a punch!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.5/5  rDev -2%

A-Cloudy orange, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Good deal of citrus, grapefruit and grassy hops.

T-Starts with very good citrus, grass, rather tropical. Nice bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, nice carbonation with hop resins.

O-A great, must try DIPA. Not as good as Heady but damn tasty none the less.

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Photo of jjdc
4.8/5  rDev +4.6%

Mango and pineapple nose. Lovely resiny hops with notes of citrus and tropical fruits. Balance and a lack of bitterness while offering huge, juicy flavor. For my money, this could be better than Heady.

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Photo of MarcWP
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Can into Alchemist stemless wine glass.

Pours gorgeously turbid, orange juice hazy, golden amber hued light orange in color. Sports a pretty frothy two finger head that lingers nicely and leaves pretty lacing. 4.75

Aroma is full of "clean" citrus notes, mango, papaya, pungent herbs, watermelon, vanilla?(Wow), earthy peach notes like flesh that's not overly sweet , minerals, pear, and soft banana. Loving this aroma. Unique, has that New Zealand hop like kick with passion fruit even coming in briefly. Better than heady topper. 4.75

The taste presents a more bitter citrus character but with plenty of those tropical fruits that were on the nose. Also has that herbal edge from the aroma. Getting that passionfruit, underripe orange, pineapple, banana, white nectarine, rosemary, sweet spruce, guava, and even some elderflowers. Magnificent. 4.75

Mouthfeel sports a smooth, heavier light body and nice bubbly carbonation that doesn't aggress. Bitterness is well measured and keeps this double IPA in super drinkable territory. Really dry, not much residual sweetness. 4.75

This is world class. No doubt. Already liking this better than heady topper. This and focal banger I like more so that's something to say. This is F-ing delicious.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -10.7%

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange. Hazy. Nice white head and some wisping. Medium collar.

Smell - Very citrusy. Sharp citrus and a little booze. Some cracker malt and pale malt.

Taste - Lots of citrus. Orange. Nothing sweet about it, really. Almost abrasive in its hop profile. Maybe astringent, too.

Mouthfeel - Very dry. Accentuates the alcohol. Light bitterness lingers. Medium carbonation and body.

Overall - As described, it's REALLY hoppy and citrusy. Nothing balanced about it at all.

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Photo of founder26
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%

Got this thanks to a very generous fellow out of Vermont that's not on ba, but thanks matt!
im pretty sure these were canned a few weeks ago so this is very fresh, I poured half into a glass and drank the other half from the can.

Appearance: A bit lighter then heady, more of a bright citrus orange, pretty hazy but you can see through it just a touch unlike heady. looks great!
Smell: WOW! Just like having my first heady I get punched in the face with a huge amount of hops, citra to be exact. not much sweetness or booze in the nose, some malt but not too much, a touch of caramel sweetness and hop bitterness. I like the aroma on this more then heady.
Taste: : Follows the nose for the most part, very dank and more bitter then heady to my knowledge, but very smooth, the hop oils just linger in your mouth and make you crave more and more.
Mouthfeel: oily, thick, highly carbed, very nice!
Overall: I never thought I would have a beer that would beat out heady but i'll be damned if this hasn't. The only thing I can think of that would make it better is if the aroma didn't fade so quickly but that's about all I can think of. Amazing ipa something every hophead should try once in their life.

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Photo of Mo_fro
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Crusher, Poured a tulip glass.
A- Has a deep apricot color and nice haze making it non transparent. A fluffy two finger rich creamy looking head. As the head recedes it leaves behind some chunky lacing the sticks well to the side of the glass.
S- The smell is of pineapple and apricot. Not a huge nose on this beer but what is there is very smooth.
T- Up front it has a big piney taste with little alcohol burn, as the alcohol fades a smooth fruitiness takes over. Again like the smell the fruit flavors are faint and play second to the piney and resin taste.
M- Mouth feel is crisp and light. The alcohol coats the inside of your mouth and cleans the tongue between sips.
O- IMO this is a great tasting beer that is smooth all around with a great balance of sweet and bitter. I find it hard to identify a particular taste that stands out in this one. I guess that’s a good thing.

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Photo of MNishCT77
5/5  rDev +8.9%

16 oz. can gifted from GMRFx, unknown can date but purchased at the most recent Alchemist tent sale on 08/11/2014, poured into a small plastic glass at a BJCP study group, drank 08/27/2014 over an hour.

A: 3/3 - golden-orange coloration, minimal clarity (cannot see or read through), off-white head dissipates into a glass lacing that persisted throughout the drinking session, some chunky brown floaters in there but whatever; moderate alcohol legs for an imperial IPA

S: 11/12 - as expected, huge hop aroma right up front: super intense citrus and tropical fruit - mango, pineapple and papaya predominate; some alcohol and malt notes are also present but the hops are front and center

T: 19/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a slight bitterness but is quickly overpowered in the middle of the mouth by huge pineapple, mango and tangerine notes (likely a heavy handed Citra dry hopping); some background grapefruit and peach; the alcohol is present in the taste with some minor malt characters to hint at balancing

M: 4/5 - full-bodied with thick hop oils coating the tongue, 9.6% is present but not overbearing (more like a single IPA at times); high carbonation for style/ABV and moderate carbonation

O: 10/10 - one of the best Citra-forward beers that I have ever had; on the DIPA level, I think that this surpasses HT and reminds me a lot of Surly Abrasive or Pipeworks Citra Ninja - so juicy, refreshing and just damn flavorful; I would drink this until the Holy Cows come home, wow!

TOTAL = 47/50

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Photo of Beer4B
4.5/5  rDev -2%

Fantastic brew. Heady Topper on steroids. Similar flavor profile and nose as HT but beefed up with more hop presence as well as malt backbone. Still very drinkable and an amazing finish.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! The Alchemist strikes again by coming out with a great DIPA that is similar yet different then Heady and Focal. I wish that this got to the west coast!

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Photo of DCLAguy11
4.65/5  rDev +1.3%

Did a blind tasting on 8/29/14 with the recent batches of Focal Banger, Rapture, The Crusher and Heady Topper.

The Crusher was slightly darker in color than Focal Banger with a hazy/unfiltered orange color. On the nose I got cream orange, slight piney-ness and resin. Not as complex as the other Alchemist beers I tried.

The taste was amazing. Super balanced throughout between the bitterness and sweetness plus a big mouthfeel.

Overall, this was my favorite of the four beers. I found myself continuing to go back for more. At 9.6%ABV it masks and balances everything extremely well. I hope they make this part of their normal rotation going forward.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.56/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sixteen ounce can shared by Dan (thanks) via the truck sale.

A: Pours a slightly hazy straw yellow under a half-inch thick white head which lingers and leaves splotchy lace.

N: Juicy grapefruit and citrus with floral and fruity overtones.

T: Citrus and passion fruit along with mildly present malt backbone for good balance.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Finishes dry, citrusy and floral.

O: Wonderful aroma. Wish I had an entire can to myself.

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Photo of beerjunky413
4.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried a 3 ounce sample at the 2014 vermont Brewers festival. Pours a hazy yellow/light orange hue with excellent carbonation and head retention. The aroma runs the gamut of tropical fruits with a Piney undertone, slight malt nose and just a hint of the high abv present. Tastes like a creamy mix of mango, papaya with several layers of hop flavor. The beer finishes incredibly smooth even though the mouthfeel is just so viscous and chewy. Another gem from Waterbury's (soon to be Stowe's) favorite brewer. This beer is worth seeking out.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can from the recent truck release. Poured into a Lawson's Finest snifter 7/26/2014.

A- As expected, beautiful hazy light copper body with a two finger foamy and effervescent white head that lingers for quite a long time. Rings of lacing remain as I drink the beer. Typical but welcome Vermont IPA appearance.

S- As soon as I cracked the can, waves of mango, grapefruit and floral scents bursts out, and has a lot of staying power even when poured into a glass. Quite simply put, this is a very intense and complex nose. Grapefruit, passion fruit, floral noses combine with a nice sweet caramel and bread pale malt backbone. Simultaneously aggressive on all fronts yet balanced together; this beer has a nose that comes in Double Sunshine proportions.

F- Almost just as good as the nose promises. Grapefruit and passion fruit notes hit up front, becomes balanced by a nice honey and caramel pale malt sweetness which is then buttressed by a strong floral and citrus finish accentuated by a floral bitterness that lingers. Very nice profile, excellent complexity and balance despite the ginormous amount of hoppiness. Well-executed.

M- Medium in body, straddles dry and resinous perfectly, almost creamy and close to the perfect amount of carbonation. For the strong, slightly boozy malt backbone that this beer has, it's incredibly drinkable.

O- An incredibly hopped up beer with a strong pale malt backbone; all components are rich and strong enough to balance each other out but without sacrificing any of the good qualities that each individual component of the beer brings. I prefer Focal Banger as far as Alchemist offerings go, but I actually enjoy this more than Heady Topper. Damn fine liquid.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.31/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Tallboy can courtesy of Mike....what a great guy.

Dark yellow..opaque...some webbing.

Smells of sweet sweet tropicality...pineapple is noticeable. Nose is awesome...very vibrant.

Just gobs of peach, pineapple, guava, and mango smashed into a pulp. Big malt support. Sticky and boozy.

Some great flavors, nice hop notes, and a real punch in my ugly grill. Were the booze not so unrelenting this might be a real gem. As is, it's a very good DIPA that falls short of great.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.49/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can shared by Curran, thanks dude.

Pours a hazy golden blonde color, with a half inch head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like a big ol blast of tropical fruit, some slight booze, lots of grapefruit.

This is much more grapefruity and citrusy than the other two Alchemist IPAs I've had- Focal and HT. A little bit catty, lots of dankness. A bit more of a malt presence than I expected, then again, it's 9.6%. The malt is less of a taste and more of a presence, per se- you can feel the heft of this one.

Medium bodied, slightly sticky mouthfeel, but mostly dry, with a medium amount of carbonation.

Does John Kimmich brew a bad beer?

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.75/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at VT brew fest.

A-The Crusher pours a hazy, pale orange.

S-Instantaneous hop scents rises from the glass. I cannot say I am surprised by its intensity but I am surely impressed. Heavy on the citrus and grapefruit. Pungent grapefruit with some other tropical fruit and lots of pine.

T-About as heavily hopped a beer can taste. A bit more of the tropical fruit here which I like a lot. It still is unabashedly heavy on the citrus. Pine and cut grass. Peach and mango as well.

M-Booze hidden well but it does bring some heat. Resinous and bodacious lay bitter.

O-Yeah, this is one badass liquid. Elite. Hopped to near insane proportions. Another Alchemist beer that lives soars past its hype.

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Photo of papat444
4.4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a totally hazy yellow-orange body with a fat ring of lacing on the glass. Mango and papaya in the aroma but the flavor is so raw and good. Lots of fruit, some bitter, some sweet. Melon, hint of grapefruit and papaya are strong. This is so different that Heady yet almost just as good, if not as good.

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The Crusher from The Alchemist
98 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.