Luscious - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
LusciousLuscious

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

53 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 53
Hads: 346
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 528
Gots: 68 | 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: 53 | Hads: 346
Photo of nilesschmidt
2.67/5  rDev -39.2%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.74/5  rDev -14.8%
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 Arenbeer
3.8/5  rDev -13.4%
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! (547 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.81/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (1,101 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (337 characters)

Photo of jegross2
3.96/5  rDev -9.8%
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 JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -8.9%
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 oline73
4.03/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (822 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to yourefragile for sharing this bottle. Served in a snifter. 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 in the background. Touch of milk chocolate as well. The flavor falls off from there with a decent amount of booze to go alongside the barrel character. Body is medium with average carbonation. Pretty good, but the flavor could have used as much depth as the nose. (505 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Many thanks go to Kegatron for sharing this brew with me. Poured from a bomber into a tulip, this brew appears a solid black color. A brown frothy head sits atop that slowly fades producing some leggy patches of lace that collectively form a webby pattern on the glass. A light swirl revives a rich layering of brown across the top.

The smell of this brew is rich and inviting with noted of chocolate and cocoa brownie batter. Under the sweet chocolate scents are some earthy roasted characteristics of coffee, charred grain and something like burnt oats. There is a fruity hint of raisins meets plums included. As the brew gets warmer, more of a hop presence is felt that is lightly vegetative.

The taste is bitter from a generous inclusion of hops that gets further enhanced from the bitterness imparted by the level of roast to the grain. Flavors of strong coffee meets citrus and herbal hops. There is a fruited quality from the alcohol that tastes somewhat like plum. The fruited character is accented with bold zesty hops.

This is a medium to full bodied brew that is rich and creamy with a slick feel. Dare I say this really is a lucious brew that is well rounded and enjoyable. At times the bold quality of the hood seemingly made this brew flirt into the black ipa category but other sips really focused on the roast and slick feel that was very enjoyable. This one is worth seeking out. Thanks again Heath. (1,419 characters)

Photo of maximum12
4.17/5  rDev -5%
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 ryan1788a5
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
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 birchstick
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
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 jmarsh123
4.26/5  rDev -3%
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 -2.7%
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 BeerMaverick
4.32/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black beer that looks similar to motor oil. Brown 1/2" head that lasts throughout most of the session. A good amount of lace is splayed around the Alchemist pint glass.

S - Strong coffee bean aroma from the copious amounts of roasted malts. Chocolate is a major player here as well along with some wisps of caramel.

T - The aroma doesn't lie...this RIS has anything that one could ask for. Plenty of coffee, bittersweet dark chocolate, and a faint maltiness to fill in the gaps. The hops aren't directly detectable, but their presence is felt from their contribution to balancing this beer perfectly.

M - The coffee and chocolate notes last after each sip...and that is all that's needed.

O - This is a top-notch representation of this style and I wish I could attain/afford more of it, but unfortunately only 700 bottles were saved from the Alchemist flood that destroyed the pub and brewery. (907 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ICCULIS for this bottle! Thanks Jim!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: dark black beer with medium brown head that pours to nice small cap of head. Thick lacing.

Smell: roasty and sweet malts. charred wood and earthy. Dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, molasses and tobacco also noted.

Taste: Semi-sweet milk chocolate, charred wood and vanilla. Mild smoke and earthy. Might even be getting a hint of dark fruit. Caramel sweetness is there as well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low carbonation. carbonated perfectly. Silky and creamy. Rediculous how drinkable this beer is; it super smooth.

Overall: Fantastic RIS. Great story too. Too bad that only 700 bottles survived. Grab it if you can! I would drink this over a Dark Lord any day! Its a great RIS. (787 characters)

Photo of madrivervt
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
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 WanderingFool
4.38/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Luscious pours black into the glass with a big, creamy tan head on top. The foam dissolves very slowly leaving behind a coating of lace on the glass.

The aroma isn't as strong as I thought it would be. Notes of roasted malt, molasses, dark fruit (cherry) and alcohol.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is very smooth and creamy, slightly oily with low carbonation. The flavor is rich and malty with a bitter finish. Roasted malt, chocolate, toffee, oak, smoke and dark fruit are followed by a pine bitterness. A touch of alcohol heat appears at the end. Once gone the chocolate and pine lingers on the palate.

Wow! This is very tasty and easy to drink. You'd almost not know it's an 11% beer. (695 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split the bomber with angrybabboon.

Appearance: Pitch black. Some deep red hues at edges when held to direct light. Head is rich crema. Fluffy, creamy, and it lingers in a small ring throughout the drinking process. Very still, sits there and looks sexy. Minimal carbonation.

Smell: Cocoa, burnt malts, chocolate malts. Some char and tobacco. Lots of cocoa. Slight minerality lingers in the back. Some sweetness. Lots of burnt and roasted malts. Stale coffee and fresh espresso. Malts are off the chain. Loads of depth, but all in good measure. Balance is insane. Slight citrus hop notes flit through the back.

Taste: Cocoa. Burnt malts and bakers' chocolate. Minerality runs through the back.Nice dose of roasted malts. Some caramel sweetness. Some milk chocolate after the beer warms a bit. The malts blend well with the faint touch of rocks and earth. Citrus lingers somewhere in the back. Sweet, roasted, and rocky all in good measure.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full without crossing the line to syrupy. Just enough carbonation to hold things together and give it some lift. Clean on the finish. So smooth it's silly.

Overall: Easily one of the best English takes on the style. The hints of minerality really make this beer shine. Loads of malts and with a well-hidden ABV, it's scary drinkable. Very glad to have this in the collection. (1,340 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to jedwards for popping this one. 22oz. bottled capped with a Rock Art pry-off. Pours an inky black hue with a half inch mocha-colored head that dissipates into a thin film. Nose expresses dark chocolate, a roasted quality, brewer's licorice, herbal notes and ethanol. Taste follows nose - herbal bittering comes out at the back, but the chocolate/roasty quality expressed in the nose forms the backbone of the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a lively carbonation and a semi-dry finish. This is an awesome RIS with a great balance between roast, bitter and chocolate. The mouthfeel could use a bit more body; however, this is probably one of the best examples of the style I've had to date; a true RIS archetype. (739 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.4/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Treebs
4.41/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle served a Deschutes snifter. Big thanks to Gushue3 (Mike) for this bottle.

A: Pours a very dark, viscous black color with a great solid brown, 2 finger head. Great retention throughout the whole drink and leaves great sticky lace.

S: Wonderful smells are wafting out of my glass. Dark fruits, boozy licorice, dark chocolate and a nice vanilla sweetness.

T: Coffee grounds, dark chocolate and subtle stone fruits all appear up front. As the beer warms the bready malts and subtle roast start to show their form and it becomes more creamy. There is a slight heat on the finish that blends with a sugary vanilla sweetness.

M: Heavy bodied and creamy. Great coating chocolate and creamy finish. Subtle carbonation.

O: This was a delicious beer. The malt bill really gave it a creamy and roasted feel that played really nicely with the sweet chocolate flavors. (873 characters)

Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.43/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (636 characters)

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Luscious from The Alchemist
95 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.