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Heretic - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
HereticHeretic

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

74 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 108
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.99% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UA8 on 10-22-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

The first Barleywine brewed at The Alchemist. This is currently aging in the brewery, and will be introduced on 9/9/09.

99.9 IBU
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by Arenbeer:
Photo of Arenbeer
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a Tulip Glass

Drank at last tasting. Thanks to my good buddy Finewinemike and oline73 for bringing this bottle.

A- Pours a cloudy golden honey orange with a thin 1 finger head.

S- Lots of caramel malts, piney hops, citrus, spicy hops, and a touch of alcohol.

T- Bready yet caramel malts up front with a nice spicy earth hop presence that's pretty dank.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter hop finish.

SkÅL!

More User Reviews:
Photo of kingcrowing
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a dark amber/brown with a small brown head, nose is hopy, malty, a bit fruity and sweet, there's a malty dark sugar.
Taste is very hoppy, malty and crisp earthy caramel flavor rs. Lots of chewy herbal notes. Hard to say if it's an iipa or a barleywine but either way it's awesome.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburn colored beer, darker than your average dipa, standard sized head. Aroma was plenty fruity, hid the alcohol nice, decent hoppy presence, wasn't all bitterness, a substantial caramel presence as well.

Laying an ode to the American barleywine style just as much as a west coast dipa, this one is right down the middle. Big malt presence, but not heavy on the roasting, lots of caramel cover substantial alcohol that just isn't apparent. Passion fruitishness as well, this is like a bigger version of Sculpin I was thinking. A little sweeter.

The hops are somewhat suffocated in the mouthfeel, the malt and caramel presence really win the war of attrition, the fruity presence is still around. Some pine for good measure.

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bigger version of Heady Topper with less juicy fruit to it.

Extremely bitter...if tropical or citrus fruit was bigger here, the bitterness would have been better accepted.

Very drinkable...not near barleywine territory as some before have mentioned...malt non-existent until warms up.

So -so beer big DIPA here. Vermont has impressed me so far with Ephraim, Heady Topper and this one but not sure if worth all the latest hype surrounding them. Very fortunate to have experienced and thankful. Would have again but not go out of my way for...

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As stated, this is actually a double IPA so I'm reviewing it as such. 22oz bomber poured into Lost Abbey stemware.

Pours a .5 finger coarse white head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear rusty copper. Lacing is patchy and stringy with nice stick. Average for the style.

Nose is tree sap and resin hoppiness with a mellow backbone of dried tea leaves. Some light cane sugar and citrus pushed far into the background. Nicely aromatic with aromas that are very on point.

Opens caramel and brown sugar. Citrus and sap hop bitterness combine with a wave of creamy dark malt flavors. Dried leaves and cane sugar with a slight booziness right at the end. Finishes spicy and sweet with a sticky, lingering resin hop sweetness. Definitely an east coast style offering. Robust and very full flavored.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Smooth in the mouth and goes down with some warmth. Finish is messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Nothing special. Very smooth though.

A very solid offering from the Alchemist. What else could be expected from the makers of Heady Topper? Definitely worth a try if you're into the IIPAs with a pronounced malt bill.

Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glasses. Thanks go to funkel81 for these two Hell or High Water Alchemist beers in a recent trade.

Pours a beautiful looking clear coppery amber, with 1 ½ fingers of rich and slightly off-white looking head. This readily maintains a frothy ½ finger, throwing up a robust cascade of lacing that settles into sticky swathes down the sides of the glass. The aroma is quite beefy feeling in the nose, with fresh pine, dankness, leafy notes, and peppery spice, which all combines to give this a bit of a wet tobacco feel at times. Some sweetness is present here in the form of some softer tropical fruit character that mingles with the malt on the edges of the profile but there is no doubt that the hops and alcohol control this, as a steady stiff warmth emerges to add some extra boldness in the nostrils.

The taste is bold and resinous in the mouth, with a blast of zesty grapefruit bitterness. This is surrounded by a flush of slightly danky feeling herbal character and then ripe tropical fruit flavors that adheres to the sticky sweetness of the malt. There is maybe a touch of darker toastiness present to the malts but this is mostly exhibiting more of sweet caramel character with some light doughy sugars mixed in. The alcohol also adds a touch of extra boozy sweetness to this and some spiciness that hangs hard in the finish along with sticky notes of pine and grapefruit pith. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with crispness on the tongue that is surrounded by a slick creaminess that fills out the rest of the mouth. As I mentioned in the taste profile, the alcohol is here, and not only adds some beefy sweetness to the flavors that while not overly stinging, does put a bit of intense heat on the finish.

This is definitely more of a hefty DIPA than it is an American Barleywine but I just I wish that I could have gotten to this one sooner, as I felt the fading brightness of those citric hop flavors that I’m pretty sure were probably pretty vibrant about a month ago or so ago when this was released. I mean don’t get me wrong. This is still has a FEROCIOUS hop presence to it but it lacked just enough of a full-on brightness that would have helped balance and cover up a bit of that alcohol presence. As this stands now, it’s got an overly warm sweetness to it that clashes a bit with the assertive hop flavors that are still left. If you like alcoholic hop-bombs, I’d say this one is still worth seeking out but this full bomber was just a bit too much for me.

Photo of jmarsh123
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light brown with a 1 finger white bubbly head.

Pleasant citrus hops along with a little caramel/toffee malt backbone and some pine as well. Smells very nice.

An onslaught of citrus and pine hops hits the palate up front. There is still a lot of malt in this one though. Rich caramel malts blend with the hops. Finishes with a resiny dry flavor.

Decently thick mouthfeel with good carbonation. Slight alcohol burn, but for the most part hidden well.

Definitely a thicker beer than most DIPA which is what it says on the label even though the bw description on here isn't exactly wrong either. Reminds me a bit of the Stone Bastard series as there are loads of both hops and malts that tend to balance in the end. Dinged a bit for drinkability. I tend to like most of the flavors, but they became too much toward the end of the glass along with the alcohol burn.

Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: Dark orange, starts off with a nice big off-white head, keeps a nice cap, nice lacing

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit rind, grapefruit flesh, cooked biscuits, very hoppy but also very malty, pretty intense

Taste: Cooked, toasted biscuits, with a blast of grapefruit - grapefruit, orange, pretty aggressive - zest, pith - a lot of grassy, herbalness - definitely some mint in here, like peppermint, or spearmint - oily pine - bitterness builds, becomes borderline brutal - malts hold things together, kind of sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium, very sticky, oily, yet dry, nicely carbonated

Overall: A quality palate destroyer

Simply put, this is a malty, herbal, grassy, minty, mouth-wrecker. It's not really balanced in any way, and it is one of the few beers I've ever had that I almost found too aggressive. Regardless, I'm glad I was in VT to pick up these Hell or High Water beers.

Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Shared at a tasting at finewinemike's house.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a layer of fluffy, off white head and a decent amount of retention.

Smell: Quite malty and a bit fruity. Some alcohol and spicy hops. There is a mild amount of citrus in there too.

Taste: The bottle says this is a double IPA, the website says it is a Barleywine. The taste reminds me more of a barleywine for what it is worth. Malt sweetness and brown sugar notes. Citrus peel bitterness with some sweet, warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side. A bit sticky with smooth carbonation. The finish is a little bit slick.

Overall: I thought this was a good barleywine. As a double IPA, it is still a good beer, but a bit heavy on the malt. The smooth, bitter finish was really nice.

Photo of papat444
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up myself at the bottle release.

Poured from a bomber.

Appearance: A brass colored, hazy body that fills half the glass and gently takes its time to recede.

Smell: Dry, tea-like a little, some fruit and hops.

Taste: Way more fruit than in the nose. Mango and peaches are very prominent as well as lush tropical fruit in the finish. Rich, like biting into ripe fruit. Some brown sugar in the finish also.

Mouthfeel: Some dryness, bitterness in check and creamy.

Overall: For a 10% beer, this drinks wonderfully. Drink it if you've got it!

Photo of stoutluvr420
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thx for the pour FiveMicsMax! Poured a darkish orage-amber in color with a thick, creamy light tan head that hung around to produce some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma was strong of citrus hops with a hint of some malty sweetness lingering in the background. Flavor was hoppy, almost as intense as a HT. Plenty of citrus/grapefruit. Initially slightly sweet before the hops come roaring in. Like a Heady with more of a malt backbone, and more alcohol on the finish. Finish is hoppy, medium bitter and clean.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on November 4, 2010.

Pours a really nice copper color with a two-finger light tan head and just bunches and bunches of lacing. The nose brings some strong citrus hops with a bit of pine as well. A slight malt component.

The feel and flavor are dominated by the bruising bitterness of this one. There are some citrus and pine notes plus a bit of malt that doesn't bring much flavor. A bit body and not too dry. This was a good brew, but the flavor didn't quite live up to the nose.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown beer with a tan head that left some solid lacing.

S - Very wet smelling beer. Grass and earth notes with some herbal scent. Good malts in there as well.

T - Taste is much like the nose, and pretty enjoyable. The herbal and grass tastes bring the sweetness of the malt backbone down a little and make this seem like a nicely hopped barleywine.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation and a dry finish.

O - Good beer. As Alex stated, not sure exactly what it is, but it's very good with a good hop profile and nicely bitter finish.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to be in VT the weekend Heretic was released. Great coincidence for me!

Heretic pours a hazy dark amber color, with a small white head. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on glass.

The aroma is very hoppy with strong notes of orange and pine citrus. Hints of caramel malt and alcohol are also present.

Each sip of this medium boded beer is dry, slightly syrupy with mild carbonation. The flavor is loaded with hops. Strong notes of pine, orange and lemon citrus with a balancing malt flavor of caramel malt. There's a touch of garlic and pepper in there too. It finishes bitter with a linger citrus hop flavor.

I'm glad I was able to try this beer. It's very tasty, but no Heady Topper. It hides it's 10% abv very well.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bomber into a heavy chalice (fit the bill here). Pours a well hazed almost murky amber pour, a frothy off-white head which dissipates to a thinner head. Aromas are a decent dose of citrusy and earthy hops, and lemony. Some touches of dough, vanilla, biscuits and pale malts poke through. Not the most complex hopping, but fairly healthy bitter nose. The flavor suggests decent hopping throughout, dry earthy hops, florals and grass, touches of lemon moving into biscuits and pale malts, some light toast. Gets a touch hot into the backfinish, a bit mellow and bland with sweet malts, moving into dry florals, biscuits a healthy dose of floral and grassy hops, lemons, a touch of faint pine, mellow sweetness. Medium bodied along with a thinner mouthfeel than what I would have liked. This beer was not very complex and somewhat uninspiring, but yet glad to have tried this one out!

Photo of UA8
4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a dark and hazy amber with a minimal white head.

S- Scents of caramel malts, citrus, fruit basket, and a floral note.

T- Leads with Sweet toffee malts and citrus hop notes, mid palates adds to the malt complexity and bring along with it some more varied fruit notes from the yeast I would suspect. Finishes with a nicely balanced floral hop bitterness and malt sweetness.

M- Perfect for a barleywine. Viscous with light and smooth carbonation.

D- I would happily drink my self into a stupor on the 9% abv beauty. One of the best barleywines I've ever had excellent balance and character. Would be very interesting to see where some age took this beer, however exceptional as is.

Photo of dar482
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Surprisingly drinking still very well. Reminds me of a well age and balanced Big Foot, without the herbal and abrasive oxidation qualities. Good sweetness and balance of those big American barleywine hops.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to angrybabboon for procuring the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy copper. Bright-white head. Rocky, clingy, sparse lace. Thin cap for the duration.

Smell: Grapefruit and biscuits. Big oily rind. Lots of citrus. Malts are sweet and help counter the aggressive hop profile. Some resin and tropical fruit as well. Very malty. Loads of biscuit dough. Mint and bread crust too.

Taste: Citrus rind. Straight bitterness. Pine and mint. Nice woody character as well. Some pith and zest. Oily hops. Orange marmalade. Malts are beefy and add some nice counter to the hop assault. Biscuit and some caramel malts. Nice blend of flavors. Balance is dent , but favors the hops. Malts add a great caramel sweetness to the whole thing. Oily and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Big chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation is moderate. A touch dry from what has to be intense dry-hopping.

Overall: Drinks much closer to a barleywine than a DIPA. Loads of malts and tons of depth and complexity. I look forward to an aged bottle of this to see what really happens with those malts.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep dark amber colorwith a massively thick, and creamy three fingered head.

S - Aromatic and pungent tropical fruit: pineapple, oranges, passion fruit, grapefruit, pine, light floral boquet, and some caramel malt (though, not much at all).

T - Pineapple, oranges, and a heavy dose of pine and grapefruit bitterness. With the caramel malt lying somewhat low, it opens the door for the hops to build starting with a subtle frutiness which peaks past midway before an earthy peppery spice and alcohol effervesence takes over. At the end, the grapefruit bitterness resurfaces with a peppery lingering vengeance.

M - Heavy medium body, a little oily, some boozy effervesence, and a lingering bitter finish.

O - This is an exeptional Double IPA, I feel fortunate to have acquired this bottle and if you can get it, it's really worth the effort if your a big IPA fan. It's a little pricey for a bomber, but considering the awful circumstances the brewery had to endure recently, I'm very happy to pay the price (which is why I bought an additional two bottles of this and another two of Luscious. Here's to you for a speedy recovery after the disaster, cheers!

Photo of stakem
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jleblanc/geuzer for the trade on this one. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, this brew appears a hazed copper to amber color with a light brown touch to it. A rich 2 fingers worth of slightly off-white head sits atop the brew. The cap maintains fairly strong but as it slowly recedes, it leaves a thick wall and patches of lacework all over the glass.

The smell of this brew is quite bright with citrus and fruity hops. It has a solid array of tropical character somewhat like mango meets pineapple and has a very light citrusy lemon/orange character as well. More sniffs reveal some grassy notes, mild herbal aspect and some pine. There is a quite a deep array of hop character to take in from this aroma, fantastic and very reminiscent of heady topper. There is a very mild toasty grain character sitting under the hops that has a touch of caramel sweetness to it that just plays a nice supporting role in accenting the fruity notes of the hops. Fantastic, these dudes at Alchemist really know what they are doing with hops... I can only imagine what this beast was like fresh out the gate.

The taste includes some toasty grain flavoring that nudges towards being like caramel or toffee but doesn't quite make it there with any sweetness. It has a faint musty aspect about it that charges right into an herbal element of hops. The hops are bold with a ton of flavoring moreso than bittering. An herbal, lightly veggie aspect is present mixed with a load of fruity flavoring. The fruity aspect comes across like pineapple, mango and some citrus like grapefruit that is quite zesty. As the hops fade towards the back of the mouth, the bitterness picks up with a bit of resinous pine-like cling. It is faintly catty into the aftertaste. Once the brew warms up, it really picks up an interesting and super enjoyable fruity character that is contrasted with almost a cheesy dank aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For just shy of 10% this is mind blowing in how well the abv is integrated. I am a big fan of how hoppy this brew is without letting the bitterness become a distraction. It carries with it almost a minty to methol-like coolness to the back of the throat instead of the expect warmth from the alcohol. This is a fantastic brew and makes me really want to try more of their offerings. I don't understand the reasoning behind this brew being currently listed as an American Barleywine, it clearly states on the label this is a DIPA. My scores here are for this beer being consumed as a DIPA, not a barleywine.

Photo of Gushue3
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really wanted to drink a stout tonite and some how came up with this one. It's been staring me down for weeks. DIPA? Barleywine?

A Very nice 2 finger head that starts off slow and really grows at the end. The body is a rusty orange and has lots of small carbonation bubbles running toward the head. Head is still comming down and has left some thick sticky lacing. Looks pretty much as good it gets.

S Big sweet floral and citrus notes come out with a touch of alcohol. A slight bit of malt is detected underneath it all.

T Lots of hops here! Grapefruit bitterness and sweet almost pineapple take charge. Bitter through to the end but the sweetness is right there. some malt is there in the back ground but definitely in the back seat. The finish lingers with a piney bite. This beer is big and alcohol is definitely hidden for the 10%

M Thicker mouthfeel that at times feels syrupy bt not too much. medium amount of carbonation that feels better after sitting out or swirling around the glass. Pretty smooth and totally easy to drink brew.

O

Photo of Brad007
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a beer that's full of the 9s. Literally.

Pours a mild copper color with a minute hue of amber with a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of floral, grassy hops with only a hint of the malt underneath.

Taste is chock full of grassy and citrus-like hops with a hint of malt, followed with a bit of raisin and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the hops. Very nice. Well-balanced here. Alcohol warmth is kept to a minimum.

Certainly a barleywine that's very drinkable. Strong but the aging makes it even more enjoyable.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nicely stacked head that sticks a few gobs of lace behind

Smell: Citrusy and piney with a big dose of shortbread

Taste: Shortbread cookie dough, up front, with a tremendous dose of citrus and pith arriving by mid-palate; a bit of vanilla and wintergreen join into the mix, after the swallow, leaving a fresh Vermont character lingering in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A most unusual DIPA; I agree that it doesn't fit into the barleywine box, but the malt profile and the vanilla/minty character set this up in its own hybrid category; kudos to the collaborating brewers

And thanks, bobertkuekn, for the opportunity

Photo of ICCULIS
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the wife and I cracked this open last night. damn fine beer I say. 22oz poured into 2 DFH snifters.

Appearance: copper/amber in color. more roasty amber I'd say. creamy head about 3/4 inch - lots of tiny bubbles in the head as well as on the side of the glass

Smell: amazing! crisp, citrus fruits on the nose. grapefruit & hops are most prominent. Faint pine notes.

Taste: outstanding. clean, crisp and very hp forward. exactly the taste I was hoping for after experiencing the nose.

Mouthfeel: light - medium bodied w/ great carbonation. fresh and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall: not sure of the confusion on the BW vs DIPA classification. Label states it is DIPA and in all my years drinking IPA's, I'd say that is accurate. This is a great brew - a bigger brother to Heady Topper. Darker, bolder and stronger - although the ABV is well hidden. Outstanding beer...wish I had more!

Photo of seeswo
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to a great BA - cavedave. Thanks!

Pours a clean malty, fairly dark brown with a nice off-white head. Looks good. Strong scent of piney-orange hops comes off the top of this. Sticking my nose in deeper, there is a very light flavor of caramel malt. The look is American Barleywine, the nose is DIPA. Regardless, is smells good. The taste is really fantastic. Like Bigfoot, but with good tasting hops. Orange and pine aggressively emerge up front (the hop profile seems like Heady Topper, the beer I finished before this) with a very clean finish of balanced caramel malts and a less intense burst of hops. No booziness to speak of and highly drinkable. The mouthfeel is that effervescent, hoppy DIPA up front, with a fair amount of sweetness in the body. This is beer is really fantastic regardless of classification. My favorite American Barleywine that is substantially AMERICAN, OR a really good version of a malty DIPA.

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Heretic from The Alchemist
90 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.