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Holy Cow IPA - The Alchemist Pub & Brewery

Not Rated.
Holy Cow IPAHoly Cow IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 6.62%
Wants: 16
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.16% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: scottum on 12-23-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by skivtjerry:
Photo of skivtjerry
4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has changed a little over the last couple years. It has gone from 5.1% ABV and 65 IBU to 5.6% and 85 IBU and gotten a little rougher around the edges - in a good way.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy, with a moderate head.

Smell: Wonderful American hop aroma backed up by pale and crystal malts (maybe a little Munich??).

Taste: Hoppy and malty all at once, with a big hoppy finish. A lot of hops but still very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Substantial. A good one to chew on for a bit - something often missing in lesser IPA's.

Drinkability: I could drink this all night, except, a) I have to go home at some point and b) there are too many other great brews here to stick with this.

More User Reviews:
Photo of helmdog525
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this wonderful IPA on my way to this year's Vermont Brewer's Festival. In a pint glass the beer was an amber color with a thick white head and some decent lacing. Big hops aroma: citrus and floral. Mostly a grapefruit taste, a little pine, and a good malt background. A well-balanced beer.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap poured into a 4oz sample glass.

Pours a nice pale amber that's a bit hazy with a small white head and thin white lacing. Nose is light, hoppy and malty. Quite floral and fruity.

Taste is great and hoppy, ita hard to remember this is an ipa not an iipa, it's very tasty and citrusy with a good malt backbone. Super drinkable, very tasty ipa.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Five hops and six malts undisclosed. Big head, nice bitter. 85 IBU. A choice of a session ale. Bitterness offset by malt in a nice smooth balance. Better than average IPA and finishes crisp and clean as all of this pub's beers.

Two and a half years later and still as great, with even more good looks from a white soapy head on cloudy orange.

Photo of musicforairports
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Cloudy amber in color. A fluffy 1-inch head on top leaves some lacing down the glass.

Smell is all hops. Lots of tropical fruit aromas and some pine.

Taste is very hoppy but not very bitter. Mango, papaya, grapefruit flavors dominate. I'd say this is a Simcoe/Amarillo mix, perhaps some Citra. No really malt flavors to speak of besides a mild sweetness in the background that never really comes out much. Finishes dry.

Lightly creamy on the mouth with the right level of carbonation.

This is a fantastically drinkable IPA, and given the ABV I could drink a lot of them. The Alchemist does hoppy beers very well.

Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap

Appearance - hazy copper colour with an average size frothy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, oranges, pine

Taste & Mouth - There is a slightly below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and a decent amount of hops. There is also quite a bit of a citrus fruit juiciness - oranges and grapefruits and a touch of pine. The beer finishes with a fruity sweet aftertaste with lingering dry hop bitterness.

Overall - A better than average IPA that i would be happy to have again any time. It reminded me a little bit of a better tasting Dale's Pale Ale. Worth seeking out.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tap at The Alchemist

A - hazy golden yellow, bug white head.

S - lots of orange and grapefruit along with some peach/apricot.

T - little honey and then a perfect light bitterness. Tons of hop flavor without overpowering bitter finish.

M - medium, but feels super light. Nice carb.

O - I may like this better than heady. Not as complex, but I could drink this all day every day. Tons of flavor for 5%

Photo of phingdong
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of TangTKE402
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange-Brown with a thick haze and a nice 1-finger head. Great lacing. Had on tap in a 16oz. pint glass.

S: Pine cones with daffodils and some sweetness at the end.

T: Great smooth easy hoppiness. This isn't "hit you over the head" hoppy. Instead, a nice mellow pine and citrus flavor eases you in and lets you enjoy it bigtime. Balanced with enough sweetness to make it very long on flavor.

M: A litte nappy in chewy with a bright finish and a dry, bitter aftertaste.

D: I really enjoy this beer a ton, and the drinkability is very high. However, the overpowering dryness on the swallow may turn me off over the course of a session.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask. Pours a cloudy orange color with a thick head. Tons of lacing. Aroma is of pine and hoppy grapefruit. Flavor is a nice piney bitterness with some citrus, thinking maybe orange. Creamy mouthfeel thanks to the cask. I'd be interested to have this one on tap rather than cask but I'm digging the cask and couldn't pass up the chance. Overall it's a very good IPA and has a nice bitter citrus quality too it but it is very subtle. Reminds me of DFH Johnny Cask but not quite as good. Worth having again for sure.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub on November 4, 2010.

Pours a nice, slightly-hazed orange color with a three-finger off-white head and an explosion of lacing as it goes down my glass. Then, the nose--holy crap are there a lot of hops in this way. The nose itself is incredibly bitter and brings forward a strong force of citrus hops with a bit of pine as well.

The flavor backs off a bit. There is just an unending amount of bitterness coming through in the feel, though the taste doesn't quite hit the high not belonging to the mouthfeel and the aroma, as the hop flavors don't really pop and it turns into a bit of an IBU bomb without the flavor to back it up. Still, a really nice beer and a pretty good substitute for not getting to try Heady Topper, though I'll be back looking for that.

Photo of grub
4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at the brewpub may 31/2010. listed at 5.2% and 85 IBU.

pours hazy orangey amber with a big off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves tons of thick lace as it falls.

aroma is great. huge hop nose. orange, tangerine, grapefruit, pine. a bit resiny. white bread, cracker, hint of biscuit. light alcohol. huge mix and variety of hop character, with no one element dominating.

taste is great. orange, tangerine, grapefruit. light pine. bit of powder and resin. whole wheat bread. light cracker and biscuit. low alcohol. right around medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is great. just over medium body. slightly below medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. excellent balance, hiding most of its 85 IBUs. great hop and malt depth, with no single element being overly dominant. a damn tasty IPA.

Photo of shufon
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of GuidedByBill
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of mountsnow1010
4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper with a frothy head
S pine resin and citrus
T delicious but not as flavorful as heady most of the same flavors with a bigger malt presence

M clean great ipa
D could throw back a lot of these

Would prefer heady but I like this a lot

Apology for iPhone review

Photo of Damian
3.8/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at The Alchemist Pub & Brewery, Waterbury, VT
Served in a rounded, stemless glass

Beautiful appearance. Deep crimson-amber and quite hazy, with a one-plus finger tall head of off-white, meringue-like froth. The head slowly dissipated, leaving thick rings of lacing along the glass.

The nose was quite hoppy yet balanced. Candied orange peel was most noticeable. Grapefruit notes were apparent as well. The hoppiness was well matched by a mix of both biscuit and caramel-like malts. Some tropical fruits were also detectible.

Lots of fruity hop notes also came through in the flavor profile. The taste was initially much like the nose. Candy dipped orange peel and rich malts dominated the front end. As the beer moved along the palate however, strong, pithy, bitter grapefruit notes took over. The beer finished ultra dry and resiny with lingering notes of pine sap.

The mouthfeel was a bit weak for the style. It was lighter bodied with a finely bubbled yet semi-aggressive effervescence. The liquid felt a bit airy on my palate.

I love hoppy IPAs but the finish on this was quite harsh and really took away from many of the beer's better characteristics.

Photo of DNICE555
4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So glad I made the trip up her. Totally worth it. Another solid ipa from the Alchemist. Slightly under el jefe as far as taste is concerned but still a great ipa. Not quite as full and flavorfull especially in terms of the fruit coming through. This is being picky though. I could go through a bunch of these.

Photo of ggilman
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. pour at The Alchemist in a tapered pint glass.

Somewhat clear copper color beer poured almost to the top with one finger of tight bubbly head. Very nice lacing. Clean nose with a hit of fresh hop. Straight ahead grapefruit bitterness without much malt. Not a ton of fresh hop flavor, granted I did just have a Heady Topper. In comparison this is crisp, clean and fresh with nice bitter finish. Very refreshing and clean. Not a lot of complexity, but not a lot to complain about. A solid IPA.

Photo of Deuane
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep copper with a white head that reduced slightly and left nice lace.

S-Grapefruit and other assorted citrus aromas. A nice follow up by sweet caramel malt.

T-Five hops?? Hello grapefruit and citrus! Then a malt backbone comes in right behind. Very nicely balanced with the hops taking the lead. Nice lingering piney hop bitterness.

M-Medium body with nice drying finish.

D-All hops, all the time! Oh right, and some malt too. Bring it on....this is super nice. How could Heady Topper be any better? Holy Cow is right!

Photo of Gosox8787
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Served on tap into a pint glass at the Alchemist.

Appearance: Cloudy orange in color with a nice white fluffy head. Good retention all around.

Aroma: Big citrus and pine notes. Aggressively hoppy. Nice balance of some of the more fruity notes and a strong pine presence.

Taste: Pine notes are dominant with some nice citrus flavors in the back. Hops are dominant but there is a touch of pale malt malt in there. The aftertaste is really intensely bitter. Makes this a bit harder to drink and retracts from the beer a little in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth and a touch creamy. Very refreshing.

Overall, a really nice IPA that has a ton of hop flavors. The bitterness towards the end can be a bit much. Just a note, I had a couple sips of this on cask after having it on tap and enjoyed it a lot more. The bitter aftertaste smoothed out perfectly and really allowed the other flavors to open up. Good, but I definitely prefer my limited experience with it on cask.

Photo of Matthew
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ummmm Holy Cow! Ok I said it, but its deserved. This beer is set in front of me and is quite pretty. Burnt golden orange color with a solid inch of white frothy soapy head. After a few sips it settles and leaves a thin covering and lots of spotty lacing.
Absolutely bursting with grapefruit and orange rind. I could smell the ridiculously fresh oily citrusy hops as soon as this beer was set in front of me. Loaded with notes of tangerine and a light toasted caramel maltiness. Just incredibley fresh and potent.
Lots of flavor immediatley. Grapefruity citrus hops, orange, bit of lemon, a touch of peach and the lingering hop notes are more bitter than the immediate fruity hoppiness. Finishes with that hop bitterness and a light toasted malt flavor.
Light carbonaton with medium body.
Talk about a drinkable totally sessionable IPA. I could drink this beer all night.

Photo of brewdan
4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Holy Cow pours a dark golden color (from memory)

Fresh hoppy aroma.

Bright clean taste. Bitter finish. Just enough malt backbone to be balanced but not get in the way of the hops.

Smooth mouthfeel with ample carbonation.

Overall: excellent, especially once you consider the abv is only 5.2%. So much flavor for 5.2%.

Well-crafted indeed!!

Photo of Pamola
5/5  rDev +14.2%

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Holy Cow IPA from The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.