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Luscious - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
LusciousLuscious

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

333 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 333
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.28%
Wants: 518
Gots: 72 | FT: 7
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.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 333 | Reviews: 63
Reviews by ATLbeerDog:
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a simply beautiful pitch black, very thick. A creamy frothy brownish/dark tan head majestically crowns the beer and refuses to dissipate. Smells of deep dark chocolate, overly roasted malts, and booze dominate a great nose. First sip is milkshake creamy rich to the amazing point of being chewy. Bitterness from the strong coffee and dark chocolate is amazing but just a tad chalky. Along with the heavily roasted coffee and malts there is a pleasant dark ripe fruit note that is coupled with a slight splash of vanilla adding to an amazing complexity. Luscious also has a great and unique story that exemplifies the VT brewing community after a natural disaster wiped out the brewery’s well established brewpub. Mouthfeel is world class. The beer is world class too. WoW!

http://www.alchemistbeer.com/from-disaster-comes-joy/

More User Reviews:
Photo of mynie
4.79/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Photo of papat444
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

Photo of jaasen64
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Kappakoosh
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantastic beer. Pours ultra dark with a head like a dark chocolate milk. Silky smooth texture, sweet front end taste and slightly bitter finish.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a tulip.

Pours a very oily dark black with a nice one finger dark brown head with just some light lacing. Nose is sweet a bit like home brew, but still light.

Taste is sweet, sharp, vanilla, chocolate and booze, I think this needs some time to mellow, Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and chewy with a sweet finish.

Photo of skivtjerry
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My share of a bomber into a Duvel tulip:

A: Black, totally opaque when held up next to a 60W bulb. A very thick brown head lasts forever.

S: Roasty chocolate dominates with vanilla and sweet malt also demanding attention. A bit boozy but in a good way, blends perfectly with the vanilla.

T: This beer is a meal; tastebuds are totally overwhelmed with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit and sweet malt. Hop bitterness is hard to find beneath the chocolate. A firm, smooth alcohol presence that advertises the barrel aging. Flavors linger forever, still smiling 15 minutes after the last sip.

M: Smooth,full, deceivingly gentle for a beer of this strength. Moderate carbonation. Balanced in every way.

O: Wow.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.81/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jon for this one. Capped bomber poured into a Hill Farmstead snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Beer pours dense and black with a .5 finger mocha colored head with great retention. Spotty lace with little cling but thick, oily legs that really stick around. Beautiful beer.

Nose is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and cocoa. Simple but aromatic and clean. Decent.

Beer opens roasted and smoked malt, chocolate, brownie, and cocoa powder. Some creamy hop flavors at the middle. More vanilla and chocolate. Finishes cocoa and chocolate with a sweet soy sauce and fudge finish. Luscious perfectly describes this one.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Oily, filmy, and silky in the mouth and super smooth going down. Finishes slightly accented with a sticky, lingering aftertaste. Perfect.

While all other aspects of this beer need a bit of work, the mouthfeel really pulls this one through to a totally different level. One of the smoothest and silkiest imperial stouts I've ever come across. Best to lay this one down for a little while to hope the flavors continue to develop a touch.

Photo of Kegatron
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Pours black as night in the glass, with ½ fingers worth of burnt looking chocolate colored head. This retains with a robust ring of froth, which flares up to nearly a ½ finger again when swirled, and throws up a rich cascade that descends down the sides of the glass into patchy swathes of lace and light gooey brown oils. The aroma is full and in control in the nose, with notes of cocoa, espresso, green citrus, and a touch of dark fruit. There is a bold spicy alcohol presence across the back here but it doesn’t get too warming in the nose. A bit more smokiness from the roast begins to emerge as this warms, adding just a smidge of acrid character to the proceedings. I just the love the power and balance of this in the nostrils. This is how an Imperial Stout should smell.

The taste is equally rich and strong feeling on the palate, with notes of bittersweet chocolate, dark burnt grains, flavorful green citrus, and like the nose, some light dark fruit character that comes out as this warms. The ABV has a big part in the profile as well, with a flush of fusel alcohol across the back that trails a warm spiciness into the finish, where it lingers with a mostly dry and charred feel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick feeling silky chewiness that fills the mouth with flavor. This lays just enough of crispness on the tongue to help draw out the hops and roast, but this really does have an overall smooth and luscious feel to it. As mentioned before, I just love the alcohol presence here, as it add so much to the flavor profile and yet is only mildly warming. That 11% ABV is just beautifully hid here.

This might be one of the best Imperial Stouts that I’ve had in some time. I mean, just everything worked here. The hops, roast, and chocolate flavors were all in tune with each other and were perfectly complimented by the dark fruitiness of that English yeast. And the imperializing of the style didn’t hurt this in the slightest, instead adding an extra flavorful layer of bold alcohol character that really took this to the next level for me. It was just a joy to sit down and split this with a good friend of mine. Luscious indeed. This beer was awesome and really speaks to the quality of the beers from the Alchemist.

Photo of claaark13
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jedwards hooks it up bigtime here. Poured into a Darkness snifter at a slightly chilled temperature.

A - Pours pretty black with a nice 1/4" head, light brown. Looks great. Sticks well to the glass, head retention is very good. This actually looks amazing.

S - Dark fruits, malts, and a little bit of cocoa coming through. Smells quite nice. The aroma gives a hint of the 11.5% ABV.

T - Dark fruits, malts, slightly sweet and very smooth finish. Balanced back 1/2 of the flavor, slightly dry finish that leaves a little bit of sweet cocoa/coffee flavor on the tongue. Cocoa comes out in the middle and stays around.

M - Medium to thick body, perfect carbonation, silky and creamy feel, great presentation of flavors. I could drink this all day. Quickly, slowly, it goes well for both.

O - This is one of the best non-BA RIS I've had. The flavors are balanced yet complex enough to really enjoy. The mouthfeel is great. It looks so tempting in the glass from start to finish. I was going to save this one for a while but I'm glad I've opened it. The only regret here is that I drank it with my wife instead of sharing it with many others. Oh well.

Photo of boredalready
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle. Roasty and semi-sweet. Holding up pretty well.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -9.5%
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

Photo of jegross2
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of jmarsh123
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of largadeer
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: Pours heavy and black, with a tan head - average lacing

Smell: Beautifully burnt, sweet, and roasty - chocolate and coffee everywhere - some burnt bitterness well-balanced with some malty sweetness - very, very nice

Taste: Somewhat ridiculous, in a very good way - tons of chocolate, coffee, burnt bitterness - stupidly balanced - so, so roasty - mocha - some slight alcohol - some sugar, some dark fruits - good, but a little rough, will likely become magical with age

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, full and heavy body, nice carbonation

Overall: So much potential

This beer is already great, and I am sure it is only going to get better. I feel very lucky that I was in Waterbury during this beer release. And I am happy that I have another bottle of this cellaring (probably for a few years).

Update: Drinking a bottle in November, 2013

Holy crap. This has matured into a sate of epic. It's a beauty, with some epic malts. Updated the appearance from 4.00 to 4.50 and the taste to 4.75. I still have two more bottles of this, I wouldn't be shocked if the upward trajectory continues.

Photo of baconsausage
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark pour with a nice tan wispy head that laces nicely down the edges of the glass. Nice sweet roasty aroma with some boozy alcohol and a little mineral aroma. Taste is smooth and sweet, with chocolate, vanilla, and cold pressed coffee, balanced by light oak tannins. Oak isnt over present. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, creamy with a little alcohol on the finish. This is a great beer! Alchemist does it again.

Photo of madrivervt
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking and critiquing beer for a long time, but this is my first review on BA. Feel free to take it with a grain of salt.
I planned to open this on 11-11-11, but got delayed. 11-12-11 will have to do.

Aroma: sweet and malty. Almost cola-like.

Appearance: Opaque black. The head is dark brown, with fine bubbles. After settling, a thin layer of foam continues to float on top.

Flavor: Malty, & sweet with alcohol on the finish. Not much bitterness, neither from hops or the grains.

Mouthfeel: Thick & full. Plenty of carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fantastic beer to sit by the woodstove and sip. Which is exactly what I plan to do with the rest this evening.

Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. We had this at a tasting hosted by finewinemike.

Appearance: Pours black with a thick tan head. There is a decent amount of retention.

Smell: Roasty, sweet chocolate with some dark fruit and alcohol.

Taste: This beer is really smooth. It isn't as roasty as I would have expected it to be. Sweet with some dark fruit, dark chocolate, and mild maple notes. The finish has a bitterness to it along with the sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick body with smooth carbonation, this beer covers the mouth pretty well. The finish is slick.

Overall: I thought this was good, perhaps the sweetness could have been dialed down a notch. The roast didn't show up a whole lot until the finish. Really glad I got to try this and I know this great brewery will be back up and running in no time.

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.43/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Felt weird popping off a Rock Art cap for this.

Deep dark brown, almost black, viscous pour. Thick mocha head.

Roasty dark chocolate and mocha aroma. Lightly toasted oak. The nose hints at the sweetness in the flavor.

Bitter cocoa flavor with a velvety sweet texture. As it got warmer the dark chocolate opens up more and more, developing into dark fruit flavors. Moderately roasty/ashy on the back of the palate. Toasted oak in the background. Thickish mouthfeel. Luscious is a perfect word to describe this beer. I went in not expecting much but came out very surprised. Now I wish I bought more when I could. They should can this.

Photo of Desp59
2.58/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just nothing all that different or wonderful here.

Photo of aabuhanna
4.93/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.8/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | 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 solid black with a thin 1 finger brown head.

S- Bitter chocolate with a nice roasted burnt malt note. Hops are very noticeable. Fresh oak, tons of vanilla, dark fruits, and a slight bit of alcohol.

T- Dark roasted malts with lots of chocolate and vanilla. Behind the barrel are lots of hops to add some spice.

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

SkÅL!

Photo of Hopstamon
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a nice snifter.
This is a fantastic rendition of a imperial stout. I'm happy that I got a hold of a bottle of this after the vicious flood.
Pours out a nice dark lovefest with a tan head. The juicy malt flavors abound and a hint of vanilla and oak-e-ness slide onto my tongue in an everlasting triumph of rightesness. I am sipping this snifter quicker than I thought, and am absorbing the boozy punch of this fine concoction as a sponge in a pool of water.
Me likey... If you can get a hold of this limited brew... do it.

Photo of stoutluvr420
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Luscious from The Alchemist
98 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.