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Luscious - The Alchemist

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Luscious
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BA SCORE
96
world-class

57 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 366
rAvg: 4.4
pDev: 7.95%
Wants: 536
Gots: 71 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-09-2011

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 366
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 ounce can into an oversized tulip.

Pours like motor oil, thick, black and viscous. Glugs out of the can. The head that forms is humongous in height and burly in its composition, appearing to have some real weight to it. The dark khaki color sets a gorgeous contrast to the pitch-black body which, despite it's color and opacity, still manages to show a relentlessly surging carbonation. As I take notes, the head recedes and rings of laces and a downward wall of lace develop. This is a beautiful sight to behold. 5

I took a few whiffs from the can and got some coconut notes. From the glass, coconut is either gone entirely or simply subdued, here by a deep, layered roastiness and bitter hop combination. It's like charred wood, I suppose, in that there's a smoky quality as well. Dark chocolate lends a note or two as do occasional hints of caramel and the coconut I noticed before. It's an assertive nose and more challenging than inviting. 4

I was bracing for something harsh given the roasty and bitter nose, but I'm greeted by a sweeter chocolatey and caramel flavor, light molasses and brown sugar, and a finish of plums/prunes and light, lingering smokiness. A slight taste of booze mixed with everything else develops a red wine-like flavor, which I enjoy. Overall, I like the medley and interplay of flavors. 4.25

There's a smooth velvety feel that introduces each sip and is pretty charming and really sets the tone for this beer. Sweet and bitter are in perfect balance, the booze is subtle and lends a vinous touch that adds dimension, as does the occasional roasty smokiness. I'd say the feel of this beer is the real star. 4.5

This is a standout for sure. As I gear up to drink a lot of RISes and barleywines and other beers of the higher ABV over the next several months, this has set a high bar for those that follow. (1,858 characters)

Photo of WoostaBia
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very well made stout. Great thick mouth feel, toasty malty goodness with light sweetness, dark fruit, small alcohol heat when going down, taste and texture gets better with warmth. Would definitely look out for this amazing beer. (229 characters)

Photo of Hop_God
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was quite a stellar beer. Coffee, but very subtle. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, and even notes of berry, namely raspberries. This was extremely enjoyable and worthy of its rating IMO. (186 characters)

Photo of aabuhanna
4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The name says it all with this beer. I've cracked open three bottles so far, one on release, one two months later, and one two weeks ago. This beer evolves insanely well over time. Dangerously drinkable, incredibly smooth

The first there was much more of a coffee flavor, small hints of chocolate and berry. By the third one I have had, the coffee became slightly hinted with heavy chocolate and berry flavors. (411 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the moon & back to Joe_Grizzly for sending me 9/24 of a case of this stuff, which popped me upright in a hurry as they kept emerging from that big box. Already had a couple, so the stock is falling rapidly. Tall 16 oz. silver can with a minimalist sticker. Dig.

The pour is dyed black with a pretty feisty head after a hard pour. It’s one of those fairly rare beers that you can smell the instant the liquid hits the glass – a washout of big black malts with a side of licorice, plus a healthy helping of chocolate milk. The crowd starts a slow clap.

Luscious is a cocky-ass name for a beer, eh? I’ve had a few beers that should have been sued for malpractice in my day, right after they were burned at the stake. A nice big gulp brings out chocolate as bitter as Alex Forrest, & much more attractive. Intermission features a mild roast, sharp night-born licorice, creamy nuttiness. As it warms the line between sharp chocolate & hop roughage blurs. I swear I can taste wood. Full, rich, creamy, thick, you could attach all or any of the nicest descriptors to this puppy. And a sipper, if you mean, I just lost my train of thought.

As a straight-up old big stout this hits every cylinder. Excellent. (1,222 characters)

Photo of mdlb44
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What more can be said about the Alchemist? While I am sad that Beezlebub is retired, this stout is fantastic. Very well balanced and hides the ABV very well. Get it! (169 characters)

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.42/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great alternative from The Alchemist. Great rich chocolate and coffee flavors that you expect in a Imperial Stout. Seems like The Alchemist can brew anything and its gong to be great (182 characters)

Photo of MikeM417
4.72/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite stouts I've ever had. I am not a fan of BA beers, and am mostly a hop fan. With that said, this stout was right up my ally. Alchemist hit another home run with this one. (199 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cans purchased at the Alchemist truck sale in early December, 2014. Sampled several since then but never given a review.

Poured into a chalice, because I'm not going to drink an RIS from the can because that is just how I was raised. Opaque with a chocolate brown head, a bit fizzy for the style.

A month ago, it tasted like fresh Darkness. Now, it still tastes like fresh Darkness. Only better. It's still a relatively hop-forward, lightly vinous and chocolatey RIS, only all the separate flavors are more robust and rounded, nothing blots anything else and nothing becomes overwhelming.

Starts with hops and chocolate, moves into a middle of red wine, coffee, and peat, ends with a more hoppy chocolateness that lingers perfectly bittersweet until long after the sip has been swallowed.

A handful of dullards are dismissing this as unexceptional, most likely because it's not barrel aged and their pallets were formed within the last 1-3 years. Personally, I thank god that this was not barrel aged, as its smoothness and balance is so exceptional I'd hate to see it ruined by whiskeyfication. My only complaint is the aroma--it's fine, but aggressively hoppy, and it belies the balance and complexity of the flavor.

Wow. I figured this was going to be an also ran, the Bill Richardson to Focal Banger's Obama. Turns out it was one of the very best beers I had in 2014, an absolute classic you should seek out immediately. (1,438 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a trillium tulip. Thanks to a buddy of mine.

A: pours dark and oily looking... Thin dark mocha colored head... Looks like viscous dark chocolate. delicious.

S: roasted malts, dark chocolate... And as the beer warms a sweet black licorice aroma. Hint of vanilla.

T: Nice roastyness with decadent dark chocolate flavors along with some bitterness and vanilla. Alcohol comes through very slightly on the finish along with a touch of licorice ... Particuarly when the beer reaches room temp.

M: viscous and creamy medium heavy body w/ below medium carbonation. Coats the mouth with slightly bitter chocolaty goodness.

O: this is an excellent RIS, all the right characters are in play here w/excellent balance. Alcohol is present but well hidden, just the right amount of roastyness. Really and excellent beer, hope I cross paths with this one again someday. (889 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a very good beer. Above all its one of the better standard stouts I have ever had. Its not as good as some BA or Imperial stouts, but as a standard stout. High marks. My one complaint is that this beer has no description on the can other than giving the name of the beer. It doesn't even have a government warning on it! I am not sure that is even legal? I received this one on a trade that supposedly came in from the "Truck Sale" at the beginning of December.

Appearance: Like pouring used motor oil out of the can. Black as night, decent amount of head but not a huge amount either!

Smell: Chocolate was what predominated. Dark chocolates and malts. Some molasses and maybe the lightest amount of coffee.

Taste: Very nicely done here. Melds the dark chocolate and coffee notes into a stout beer. The amalgamation of flavors blend perfectly to make this beer what it is. The mouthfeel is spot on!

Overall: I was hesitant about this one because there was absolutely no information on the can. I traded with a new trader and I was skeptical. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but you never know, but once I poured out this nectar all hesitancy went out the window. Solid stout! One of the best standard American stouts I have ever had! Its classified as an RIS on here. But since there is no description I am just going to say this is an American style stout! Call me wrong. It doesn't have some of the tell tell signs of an RIS. Which can be a good thing really! (1,480 characters)

Photo of nilesschmidt
2.67/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One of the most unbalanced stouts I've had.
A - over carbed but a good looking head once it settles down

S - smell is solid. Lots of dark chocolate

T - very disappointing. All I get is intensely bitter chocolate and more bitter on top of that. I imagine this designed to be barrel aged due to the overwhelming bitterness and no balance.

F - hard to get past the bitter to even feel this

O - no way this was what alchemist intended. Drain pour. It needs to be aged a long time. (483 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.19/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a globe. Purchased at the pop-up sale 12/6/14. this version didn't touch wood.

A: Very dark brown, nearly black. Four fingers of nutty brown head retain forever. Thick and foamy collars of lacing.

S: Woody, nutty, heavy toast. Unsweetened chocolate and brown cocoa. Whiffs of prune, black raspberry, and raisin. Lightly grassy. Quick whiff of oily hops. Bakers chocolate. Dry on the nose.

T: Very nutty and toasty. Brown molasses. Hazelnut fudge. Medium roast coffee beans. A bit earthy. Prune and black raspberry fruitiness. Quick oily and leafy hop character. Very lightly smokey and leathery. Pretty dry for the style. Long and nutty finish.

M: Medium-thick body. Creamy and silky in texture. The higher attenuation lets this glide gracefully in the mouth rather than weigh the palate down with that sludgy and oily feel that many imperial stouts revel in.

O: Old school. This is more of a throwback English-style Russian Imperial Stout. It drinks like a giant, rich, dry porter. You don't always need a bombastic, overly-roasty, sludgey, adjunct-laden imperial stout to turn heads. (1,115 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into Oxbow tulip. Hell & High Water release from the 2011 flood of the old brewpub.

A- Pours a dark black with a nice thick mocha head that fades to a thin layer, nice carbonation level. Looks perfect for being 3 years in e bottle.

S- Dark fruits, hint of molasses, raisins, slight oxidation. Fairly aromatic and holding up well despite the slight oxidation.

T- Molasses, dark fruits, cocoa powder, some light roast, dark chocolate, picked up just a hint of acidity with age but almost no oxidation in the taste.

M- Medium bodied, nice carbonation, very smooth and drinkable.

O- Holding up great for 3 years although probably wouldn't age it much longer. Definitely one of the better non barrel-aged beers I've had and still worth seeking out. (767 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

mkabull hooked this rarity up in a great trade. Alec is a fantastic trader and you should search him out. This bottle was shared at our annual RIS tasting and didn't disappoint. Pours a sorta thick looking black, short lived dark brown head... lacing retention. Really standard/no-flaw RIS... big roast with nice balance from the residual sugars... dark cherry essence is present, but light.. bittersweet chocolate with warmth... nice body and bubble. Thanks again Alec, we should stay in touch.

All 4's (504 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, licorice, and spice aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa, char, and licorice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with interesting licorice and spice qualities. (613 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from AshleyMiller. Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - Generous mocha foam settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and spotty lacework. Near-black body with ruby-brown glints at the edge of the glass.

S - A superb blend of oaky vanilla, anise, dark chocolate, roast, biscuit, caramel, and dark fruit. No discernible alcohol, and extremely well-integrated.

T - Again, it's a wonderful mix of dark chocolate, licorice, biscuit, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, and oak. Perfect balance of sweetness, roast, and bitterness.

M - Smooth, chewy, melted chocolate texture, with a bit of roast and oaky dryness in the finish. No alcohol presence at all.

D - This is one of those beers where the descriptors seem similar to many other beers of the style, but someone the balance and integration of flavors takes things to a completely different level. It's as if John Kimmich knew exactly how much of each flavor I'd want in this beer and tailored things exactly to my specifications. I could easily drink 22oz of this on my own. (1,034 characters)

Photo of birchstick
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black color without much of a head on it. Nose is a beautiful mix of dark and milk chocolates, cocoa, and dark fruits - pretty solid aromas on it. The taste starts off with milk chocolate malts that hold strong for the first half of the palate. These move on to dark fruits. The fruits are quickly pushed aside by a nice mixture of roasted malts/coffee and dark chocolates. Very rich and full of flavor - solid tasting stout. Mouthfeel is full and smooth. Overall, this is a great chocolaty, roasted malt RIS. Really glad I got to try this and very much recommend it. (575 characters)

Photo of stoutluvr420
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head. Good retention and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose carries a nice dose of bourbon and oak with a bit of vanilla-hops in the background. Touch of bittersweet chocolate and leather as well. Flavor is toasty and hoppy along with awesome dark chocolate and molasses notes and a good amount of booze to go alongside the barrel character. Body is medium-heavy with average carbonation. Pretty good, but I'd really like to see how this one ages. (495 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.96/5  rDev -10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing Luscious from the Alchemist out of Vermont. The Alchemist is best and primarily known for their flagship double IPA, Heady Topper. The genesis of this beer is detailed on the back of the beer label:

"On the evening of August 28th, 2011, I witnessed the destruction of The Alchemist Pub and Brewery. Moments before the flood waters rolled across the dining room floor, I could hear my tanks bobbing against the floor from underneath my feet. 18 tanks of beer were poured down the drain, two survived. Through an unprecedented collaboration of Vermont brewers, I am pleased to offer you a one-of-a-kind beer release."

Score: 86

2011 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 06/06/12. A huge thank you to Nick for bringing this to our tasting, and another thank you to Brian for sharing a pour of this with me at Dark Lord Day.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a finger of creamy milk chocolate colored head that slowly recedes. Amazing lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, cherry, "musty oak," honey and brown sugary molasses. 4/5

Taste: Cherry covered chocolate, burnt brown sugar, and licorice. Not very complex. Reminds me of aged expedition sans hops. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Over-carbonated, fizzy mouthfeel that finishes mildly sweet. 3/5

Overall: A solid tasting, but incredibly overrated beer that I found to be over-carbonated. Glad to have had the chance to try this beer, but it is not one I will be seeking out again in the future.

Recommendation: In terms of rare beer ticks, this is one I'd suggest forgoing for something better.

Pairings: Brownies.

Cost: $20 for a 22 oz bottle. (1,676 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.38/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the release last September.

Poured from a 22oz. bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours an almost black body with a thin head to start but really expands as the pour continues filling half the glass with an intensely brown head that has an awesome cascading effect.

Smell: Figs, oatmeal cookies, really intense chocolate, some coffee and dates.

Taste: Sweet coffee, dark chocolate, coffee liqueur, rum balls, raisin cookies, dates, nutty and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation with a real full feel that is not heavy at all.

Overall: I cannot believe this is 11%. Could have had the whole bottle to myself no problems. Hope they redo this one because if not, i'm gonna miss it! (726 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

6/23/2012

Snifter.

A: Black as ink with an enormous mocha head that exhibits great retention and leaves much lacing on the glass as it recedes. Stunning appearance for the style.

S: Roasty with notes of molasses and licorice. Restrained dark fruit notes are redolent of plum, grape, and raisin. Smells like bittersweet dark chocolate fudge with accompanying oak and vanilla.

T: Rich bittersweet dark chocolate with light brown sugar, licorice, and a firm molasses presence. The beer is lightly oaky with a moderate earthy bitterness. The roasted malt presence is firm but doesn't dominate. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is full, sticky, silky, and chewy.

Overall: A great Imperial Stout. It reminds me of Abyss 2007 in its prime. (794 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a big creamy dark brown head that is lasting leaving a thick sludge down the glass.

Smells of milk chocolate, some roasted malts with a kiss of alcohol heat.

Flavor is heavy on the cocoa and especially dark fruits. A little bit of vanilla and the slightest smoky notes come out too as warmed.

Rich and dare I say lusciously creamy mouthfeel brings it all together. Carbonation levels are medium to low overall, but on the higher side for big stouts.

A very good beer although I wish the sweetness were dialed back just a touch. Still the mouthfeel brought all the flavors together and made it better than the sum of its parts. (651 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.27/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is #19 on the "Top Beers - Russian Imperial Stout" list on beeradvocate.com. Shared by yourefragile, Thanks!

Beer is black with nearly no head, small tan / brown bubbles, low lacing, low retention, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and a little molasses and some booze.

Beer is light in body and hides the alcohol really well. It is sweet and a nice with a great finish. I'd have it again for sure. (432 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, David.

Pitch black viscous body with a tall lasting head. Initially over-carbonated, but some vigorous swirling takes care of that.

Big dark chocolate aroma backed by a small note of char. Oak and vanilla follow, and dark fruit comes out more as it warms. Slightly vinous.

The palate is heavy on cocoa, roasted malt and dark fruit, with a gentle oak presence that lends a touch of vanilla. The mouthfeel is incredible - full and silky bordering on creamy, but without excessive sweetness. There's a note of char toward the finish and a touch of booze, but overall this is remarkably balanced and mellow. Truly excellent stuff. (637 characters)

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Luscious from The Alchemist
96 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.