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Heretic - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
HereticHeretic

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

69 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 69
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
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)
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Ratings: 69 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sidebordz
Sidebordz

New York

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-18-2011 20:29:27 | More by Sidebordz
Photo of Vermonthiker
Vermonthiker

Vermont

4/5  rDev -2.4%

12-10-2011 13:30:33 | More by Vermonthiker
Photo of ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

3/5  rDev -26.8%

12-02-2011 03:27:28 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 22:35:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of nathanjohnson
nathanjohnson

Vermont

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-28-2011 02:13:28 | More by nathanjohnson
Photo of mnbearsfan
mnbearsfan

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -26.8%

11-25-2011 04:39:15 | More by mnbearsfan
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 04:04:00 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:41:01 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of Khazadum
Khazadum

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-22-2011 00:20:03 | More by Khazadum
Photo of zgunder
zgunder

Vermont

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

11-19-2011 21:52:39 | More by zgunder
Photo of Desaparecido
Desaparecido

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

11-16-2011 17:34:33 | More by Desaparecido
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 15:33:11 | More by Kegatron
Photo of caguiar
caguiar

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +22%

11-16-2011 08:14:41 | More by caguiar
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-15-2011 16:19:04 | More by aasher
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

11-15-2011 02:44:37 | More by imperialking
Photo of ejl4
ejl4

Vermont

5/5  rDev +22%

11-14-2011 14:31:56 | More by ejl4
Photo of Arenbeer
Arenbeer

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 03:19:45 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 02:40:46 | More by stakem
Photo of Gushue3
Gushue3

Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 00:57:32 | More by Gushue3
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 00:26:48 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of BeerMaverick
BeerMaverick

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 03:05:51 | More by BeerMaverick
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip; enjoyed side-by-side with a can of Heady Topper. Reviewed as a DIPA, since that's what it was marketed as; seeing it listed now as an American Barleywine does not surprise me, though.

A: Clear, deep chestnut body under an inch of off-white foam. Good retention + lacing, especially for the strength. Quite dark [for a DIPA], but attractive.

S: Pine, grapefruit, toffee, and light booze. Good, not great [same goes for it as a b-wine: enjoyable, but not complex enough for that style].

T: Big, pungent hops up front, with some tasty toffee lending sweetness toward the end. Grapefruit and brown sugar stand out, with huge bitterness on the finish. Solid [whatever you want to call it].

M: Very soft, finely carbonated medium body. Delicate, smooth, and lovely [but perhaps not hefty enough for a b-wine].

O: This one really straddles the style boundary between American Barleywine and DIPA; fresh I'd say it could just as easily be the latter, but it certainly has the malt backbone to develop into a tasty example of the former. Perhaps I should hold onto my last bottle to see how it is in a couple years...

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 15:17:51 | More by woosterbill
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 11:38:20 | More by papat444
Photo of ICCULIS
ICCULIS

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 19:25:35 | More by ICCULIS
Photo of seeswo
seeswo

Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 01:06:34 | More by seeswo
Heretic from The Alchemist
91 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.