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Heretic - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
HereticHeretic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 106
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:
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

(Beer added by: UA8 on 10-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of klipper
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

klipper, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Kelp, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle shared with a few BAs, reviewed from notes. Thanks Ashley!

Pours a hazy dark orange with a light tan frothy head with some clumps of lacing. Very "green", balanced aroma of pungent earthy and pine hops blending with a strong malt backbone, sugary and sweet. Flavor is similar to nose, not overly bitter or sweet at any point, but a balanced blend throughout. Dank earthy hops, resiny and pine provide contrast to the sugar and molasses malt body. More resiny and pulpy than bitter. Calling this a DIPA draws immediate comparisons to Heady and having them side by side highlights how different they are. More of a strong ale or barley wine, and not as exceptional as Heady but excellent regardless.

yourefragile, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of Mrpickles
3/5  rDev -26.7%

Mrpickles, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of Sidebordz
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Sidebordz, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of Vermonthiker
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Vermonthiker, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of ChrisPro
3/5  rDev -26.7%

ChrisPro, Dec 02, 2011
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -2.2%

nathanjohnson, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of mnbearsfan
3/5  rDev -26.7%

mnbearsfan, Nov 25, 2011
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.

angrybabboon, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by yourefragile, thanks Michael.

The caramel to toffee color with a ring of white head. Sort of lighter in color than normal barleywine color, but not quite a DIPA color either.

S: Almost like a little old DIPA, reminds me of old Dreadnaught. Nice vegetable and plant notes with some old school hard candy, toffee and brown sugar.

T: Not bad, not great. Some hops of dry lemongrass and some malts of a caramel variety, it's just not super complex and it lacks a lot in the mid palate flavor. Decent. Some spice and yeasty-ness.

M: Thinner than I like but nice and slick over the palate.

O: Overall this is ok, but nothing special.

Dreadnaught33, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Khazadum
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Khazadum, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of zgunder
4.5/5  rDev +10%

zgunder, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of Desaparecido
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Desaparecido, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Kegatron, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of caguiar
5/5  rDev +22.2%

caguiar, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -2.2%

aasher, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

imperialking, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of ejl4
5/5  rDev +22.2%

ejl4, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Arenbeer
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
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!

Arenbeer, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

stakem, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of Gushue3
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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

Gushue3, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of jmarsh123
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

jmarsh123, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of BeerMaverick
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 out of 700 bottles sold at the Alchemist. I am extremely happy that I and my girlfriend were each able to obtain one. The alchemist pub was flooded and only this beer and an imperial stout were saved and bottled.

A - Listed as a DIPA on the bottle, but as a barleywine on BeerAdvocate. I'm gonna have to agree with BA in terms of appearance. Brownish/amber beer with an off-white head...much too dark to be any DIPA that I've ever seen and pretty characteristic of a barleywine. Some lace present on the alchemist glass.

S - Very hoppy as assumed, but has an almost overwhelming malt profile to balance out the bitterness and add some surplus sweetness.

T - The hops are there, but again the strong malt presence takes over. Some darker fruits are here such as plum, raisin, and faint hints of grape. Due to the sweet character, some licorice and fig comes through too.

M - Almost no lasting hop bitterness, which is distinct in my barleywine experience. Not too much to elaborate on here minus the obvious lingering sweetness.

O - Overall a decent barleywine and a horrible DIPA :D. Presents all of the basic elements of a barleywine and lacks all the facets of a DIPA that hop-heads desire. Very happy that I was able to try it, but I'm only happy I spent the $15 on it in order to support the Alchemist.

BeerMaverick, Nov 07, 2011
Heretic from The Alchemist
90 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.