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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 oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 14:19:26 | More by oline73
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 02:53:21 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased at the Harvest Event a few weekends back. Special thanks to cagiaur! 9.99abv. Bottled sometime right before 10/7/11?
Poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: pours a really pretty amber color. I get about s finger of off white head. I get some alcohol feet and some lacing. Its a nice looking beer.

S: Smells intoxicating. You get the pine. You get the floral. You get some fruit. And you do get some alcohol. Predominantly I get over ripe peach and alcohol. It smells really fresh and should be being bottle so recently.

T: Tons of hop bitterness from the front of the tongue to the middle of the mouth. It's an assertive beer for sure. Lots of pine. There is some alcohol there in the back of the throat. A solid malt bill helps to balance out the beer. It's awesomely smooth.

M: Medium to full bodied.

O: Going with an A on this one. Along with Heady Topper, the boys at the Alchemist know their IPAs. Solid work! Glad I helped contribute to the re-build of that brewpub!

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 13:42:16 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of cavedave
cavedave

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review

A finger of beige head relaxes on a clear but thick looking dark amber beer. Lace sheets clutch my glass, and are slow to sink.

Pine and caramel lead the aroma parade of a medium strength bouquet that also has lighter notes of bitter herbs, grassy and citrus hop, and even lighter floral perfume.

It says it is a IIPA but I am going with the BA tag of barleywine, as it is surely the new American BW style. Lots of candy and dark caramel hold hands with some righteous pine bitter in a sip that crests in deep dank and soft floral, gains a bit of citrus pith, to end with a soft avalanche of bitter and pine resin.Very clean flavors in exceptional balance make this a treat.

Highly viscous but easy drinking, a hallmark of Alchemist, low/med. carb., and a killer finish make this heaven on the palate

It's unlikely this will come your way, but it is certainly a wonderful and luxurious elixir that I recommend highly.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 03:23:57 | More by cavedave
Photo of greenmonstah
greenmonstah

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from the Hell or High Water fundraiser. Poured into a large snifter.

A - Pours a dark, cloudy ruby with copper hues. Nice amount of head for a 10%, it covers the top of the beer in a thin layer. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Heavy hop character, with pine, earthy, and grassy notes, along with some grapefruit. That said, it is much maltier than Heady Topper, and the sweet caramel base come out strong. It is more of a Barleywine than anything (The Alchemist calls it an DIPA, I believe). Some sweet fruit, perhaps a cherry note.

T - Taste is heavy with sweetness. Malts don't quite dominate, but the hops are much, much subtler than Heady Topper. Hop bitterness makes a very strong showing -- the finish is very bitter. Additionally I can pick out a touch of grapefruit and plenty of pine and earthy hops. Some fruit flavor mirroring what I picked out in the aroma to be cherry. Maybe some orange or tangerine. Barelywine, again, is the style I think of while drinking.

M - Sharp as razors. Not as smooth and mellow as I tend prefer my barleywines. I'm going to let it warm a bit and see if it improves. The carbonation is high for such a strong beer, and it makes the beer a bit sharper. EDIT: It does indeed mellow a bit, but remains somewhat sharp anyway. Not the best part of the beer, but it is still... fine.

O - Well if you have to save just two beers from a flood, this may as well be one of them. A really awesome barleywine, this beer is complex and really damn tasty! Nice combination of flavors that perfectly match the nose -- no surprises here. The mouthfeel is a bit too sharp, but I have to let it warm -- which should hopefully round it out a bit. Notably the alcohol is perfectly hidden, so much so that few 10% beers can keep up .

What a tragedy to have occurred to The Alchemist. I first visited in February 2011 and can truly say it was the best brew-pub I ever visited. I was crushed to hear what had happened to them, and couldn't wait to visit and help support them at the Hell or High Water event. Good luck to you Mr. Kimmich as you rebuild. I'll do everything I can to be there on day one when you open the doors again.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 22:53:19 | More by greenmonstah
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for this one. 22oz bomber into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky copper color, spotty lace, thin collar, no cap.

S - Really dank-forward, lots of bitter hops, touch of sugary sweetness, slight pine. Very big dank nose that is very powerful.

T - Dank bitter hops, resin, slight malty sweetness, slight detectible booze. Again, lots of dank hoppy notes with a decent amount of detectible alcohol and light malty sweetness.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - This was good, but not as high as I would have thought after drinking can after can of Heady Topper. A decent DIPA, but not as mind-blowing as Heady is to the DIPA category.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 17:28:47 | More by Sean9689
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 00:54:22 | More by AgentZero
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

4/5  rDev -2.4%
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...

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 00:34:15 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AshleyMiller for the hook-up. Served in a Glunz taster glass. The bottle states this is a Double IPA, for what it's worth.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. The body is a lightly hazed dark orange-brown color, and some suspended sediment (hops? yeast?) shows up in later pours.

S - Wow that is one dank beer. Weed, earthy and mossy notes, a bit of herbal character. Whatever the style, this is a very balanced beer with a hefty malt backbone of sugar and toffee. Alcohol isn't present at all.

T - The taste is similar - the hops impart a mix of herbs, dank marijuana, and perhaps a bit of citrus too, while the malt character is largely sugary with a bit of toffee. There's a mild astringency in the finish, but minimal hop bitterness. Definitely a more balanced "East Coast" sort of beer.

M - Super dry, with plenty of resinous hop oils that linger. Lower carbonation level, and a chewy medium-full body. No obvious alcohol.

D - Again, not sure that to call this one. American barleywine? Hoppy strong ale? East Coast DIPA? Regardless it was easy to drink, although it'd be in the middle of the pack of things I've had from The Alchemist. In any case, I'm glad the money is going to a good cause.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 21:24:21 | More by MasterSki
Photo of WanderingFool
WanderingFool

Massachusetts

3.98/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 20:11:12 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of doughanson78
doughanson78

Washington

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to kingcrowing for sharing this one of a kind beer. Contrary to BA's style listing the bottle actually says this is a Double IPA.

A: Dark amber/brown with lots of floating sediment. One finger tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: Citrus and earthy hops, pineapple, grapefruit, earth, and grass. Light caramel backbone.

T: Touch of caramel upfront taken over by the earthy hops with nice citrus notes. Decent bitterness in the middle mellowed towards the end by malts. Very earthy and grassy finish.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and dry.

O: A very good DIPA or Barleywine, however you want to classify it. Great story of what happened at the brewery with the tropical storm, told from the beers perspective.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 05:28:37 | More by doughanson78
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4.1/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 06:52:21 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of SABERG
SABERG

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a 22 oz into a modified tulip. Initial action with medium head. Lacing continued throughout. Deep amber color, some cloudiness.
S - Some pine, heavy nose, thick. Vanilla, and caramel interestingly not a big citrus snap.

T - Oily hop presence, a little thick and in keeping with the style. DIPA by definition and it certainly shows with a slight malt backbone.

M - Hop oil covers the palate. a nice lingering finish. A balance with the heft of the beer hop presence.

O - What a brew, big IPA from a little place in a little state. Both with big strength.

Best to them all on the rebuild

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:26:44 | More by SABERG
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.9/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 23:49:08 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 13:05:53 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Bendurgin
Bendurgin

Maine

3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Alchemist yesterday during my day trip to Vermont. Sweet. This one is reviewed from my notes. The pour delivers a finger of off white head that sits on top of a hazy copper body with thin lacing. The smell is full of bitter hops, oak and orange zest. The smell is very rich, certainly reminds me of Autumn. The taste is piney hops, light orange zest with earthy and woody undertones. The body is medium and the carbonation is pretty light, this had a really clean bitter finish. I think this one is a little boozey but it sure didn't stop me from finish this one in no time.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 17:03:45 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Alchemist yesterday. Nothing like a 5 hour drive to make the experience sincerely rewarding!

Appearance: Pours a fairly iced tea copper color with a nice 1.5 finger cafe latte crown that displays loads of retention and lace.

Smell: Worlds of (ok 5 to be exact) citrusy American hoppy goodness over some biscuit and toffee malt. Smells very west coast DIPA like but with some (almost English) fruity notes from the malt.

Taste: Same as the smell.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium bodied with great carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy but kicks you in the head a bit.

Not sure why this is considered a barleywine but its awesome. Like a strong ale and a DIPA fused perfectly.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2010 12:29:23 | More by koopa
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

4.47/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2009 21:57:25 | More by Brad007
Photo of UA8
UA8

Washington

4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2009 23:40:04 | More by UA8
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Heretic from The Alchemist
91 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.