Holy Cow IPA - The Alchemist Pub & Brewery

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Holy Cow IPA
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BA SCORE
95
world-class

47 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 6.62%
Wants: 17
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.16% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottum on 12-23-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 37
Photo of brewdan
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
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 BigCheese
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On Tap at Brewpub.

Served in a trendy, stemless snifter. Quite dark in color, relatively clear, nice thin plush head that sticks around until the end, and leaves lacing.

Smell was very citrus/sweet hops, some light bready/malty notes too.

Taste: WOW. I cant believe how much flavor this packs for the abv, its really incredible. So complex/rich in flavor. Tons of hop presence on par with an DIPA. Maltys are rich almost porter like in flavor initially, a hint of chocolate and caramel. Then the hops, citrus, grapefruit, tropical, sunshine, summer and glory.

Incredibly sessionable for the flavor profile. Very well made.

Best beer under 6% abv I've ever had.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Looks a lot like Rapture. Pretty darker color. Great head. I'm surprised at how dark the color is. I dig it. Lacing everywhere. Great presentation in the glass too.

S-The Alchemist does not play around with the hops. They mean business. This one is incredibly hoppy too. Tropical hoppiness. Decent balance too. Aromatic and fragrant.

T-Flavor for days. Hoppy and fresh, but still a delectable malt backbone. There is a bunch of fresh cut grass in the flavor. Herbal and delicious. Quite like Rapture. I can tell by one glass how incredibly sessionable this flavor is. Simply delicious and cut out of the Alchemist's mold.

M-Still pretty big for a %5.2 brew. How did they pack this much flavor into this? A bunch of bubbles and a dry aftertaste. Good, lasting bitterness.

O/D-Don't let the bigger brews fool you. This one is an absolute ace on its own. Would kill to have this regularly. Tropical and grassy hops blow me away. Cannot say enough about this brewery and their amazing IPA. And once again, cheap for a glass.

Photo of ChrisPro
4.25/5  rDev -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 ggilman
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Damian
3.85/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Satchboogie
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the source

A: Pours bright orange, very hazy, with nearly 2 fingers of slightly off-white head (foamy). Leaves a lot of lacing covering most of the glass.

S: Holy Cow! Citrus and tropical fruits are bursting out of the glass: tangerine, mango, grapefruit, etc. Really "orange" and bright smelling with a touch of floral and herbal qualities. It's like opening a fresh bag of really citrus-forwards hops.

T: Does the nose follow over? Yep! Just short of an all out hop assault: tons of that great citrus with good balance (floral and herbal notes) and enough pine resin to give a good wallop of bitterness. The malt base is lightly toasted with a decent amount of crystal malt. The hop flavors last long through the finish without really budging. Fairly dry and bitter finish with an awesome hoppy aftertaste.

M: Medium body, slightly high carbonation, very resinous. Has a fairly crisp finish, but does have a bit more sweetness than a really dry IPA. A little balance.

O: I've heard a lot about these big, citrus-forward killer IPAs, but they for the most part have been fairly elusive. This really fits the mold for my perfect IPA. Stone IPA I find too herbal, Alesmith wasn't intense/bitter/citrus enough, etc etc. This was one the spot. The most amazing thing to me is that ABV. I could drink this baby all day if I had easier access.

Photo of spinrsx
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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 Reagan1984
4.08/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first pint I enjoyed at “The Alchemist” before switching to Mortal Sin (a superior beer) Don’t get me wrong, this is a fine IPA and one I would gladly enjoy again, but if Mortal Sin is on the next tap.. the choice is clear.

The pint came with a creamy bright white head that stood about 2 fingers tall. Nice retention and quite a bit of thick lace. The beer was a hazy dull amber color with a orange sunset quality to it.

Aroma was fresh, light grassy and very herbal.

Flavor was interesting. Lots of components with a bready base at it’s core. Also notes of grape, grapefruit pith with lots of grassy & herbal notes.

Medium bodied, a light spritz of carbonation. Almost oily. Nice.

A good IPA.

Photo of musicforairports
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Gosox8787
4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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 PicoPapa
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
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 mavbrew
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Alchemist.

A: Dark caramel color with a slightly off white head that slowly dissipates leaving some nice lacing.

S: The smell is what you would expect from an 85 IBU beer, hops. Although the hops dominate the nose, the sweet malts come through as well.

T: The citrus hops are present up front and they are followed by the sweet malts that balance the beer nicely. The slight bitters last throughout and the finish is a bit malty.

M: Medium bodied with average carbonation. Slightly bitter feel with the malts taking over.

D: This is a great session beer, probably one of the bests I've had. Very well balanced with the bitters and malty backbone. Although I came for the Heady Topper, I enjoyed Holy Cow quite a bit.

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 Jwale73
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Alchemist on 1/5/2011. Pours a dull orange with a hazy clarity and a rocky, half inch bright white head that gradually dissipates into a fairly consistent skim. Thick, textured bands of lacing were revealed during the tasting. Nose expresses huge, sweet citrus aromas with a barely detectable kiss of earthy bitterness at the back. Flavor profile starts with a strong, earthy bitterness that reasserts itself at the finish. Middle reveals some citric acid with just the merest suggestion of citrus sweetness. There's also a slightly grassy quality interspersed in the mix. Mouthfeel is light-medium in consistency with an even carbonation and some astringency that lightly stimulates the salivary glands along the cheeks. This is a top notch IPA; one of the most memorable I've had to date. Slightly on the bitter side of the spectrum for my normal tastes; however, this is an extremely drinkable IPA nonetheless.

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 rowingbrewer
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the alchemist brew pub on 11/3/2010

This beer pours a golden straw color, with a fingers worth of head that dissipates leaving lacing on the glass. The smell is earthy hops with a hint of citrus. The taste is a little more hop flavor leaning towards the pine and less towards citrus notes. it almost makes my mouth water just thinking about how this beer tasted, and how easily it went down. if your at the alchemist definitely try this beer before heady or it just won't taste the same.

Photo of DNICE555
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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 Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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 IronCitySteve
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Alchemist this past Thursday.

A: Pours a hazy orangish brown color with an off white foam head. There is more than sufficient lacing.

S: Lots of hops, mostly citrus and pine hops. The beer also has lots of bready malt and caramel malt. Bitter and sweet smelling.

T: A wonderfully balanced beer. There is plenty of hop character up front that lasts throughout the tasting, but the malt backbone is plenty sufficient so the beer is balanced.

M: Leaves a slightly bitter and slick feel ont he palate.

D: This has a low ABV and it quite balanced that makes it extremely easy to drink. This is a must try for anybody who appreciates great beer.

Photo of mdfb79
4.37/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 08/28/10 notes. Had on tap at the Alchemist in Vermont.

a - Pours a murky golden-amber color with one finger of white head and light carbonation evident.

s -Smells of citrus, as well as fruity malts. Hint of pine, very good. As it warms up, got some floral hops.

t - Tastes of citrus, with a tiny but of bitterness, but not as bitter as the Heady Topper. Also some fruity malts, caramel malts, and more grapfruit.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, smooth and easy to drink.

d - A very nice IPA. At 5.1% it was very easy to drink, and had a lot of nice citrus in the smell and taste. Would love to have again,.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.57/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a pretty hazy orange/copper, nice colour, very thick white head forms and settles down to a chunky layer, very rocky looking, big chunks of lace stick all the way through, great retention.

Smell is great, fresh and hoppy, intense pine notes, grapefruit, big nose on this one, caramel and biscuit maltiness, floral, tons of resinous pine, a bit of fruit, lightly herbal, great balance, very hoppy.

Taste is nice too, malty up front, caramel and some biscuit, crackery, floral, grapefruit, pine, lots of citrus, nice malty middle, big herbal bitterness in the finish but perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, very smooth. This is a great IPA.

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

Consumed at the Alchemist in Waterbury VT on 7/3/10.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange to amber with a nice 2 finger crown that displays some retention and lace.

Smell: Medly of hops...some earthy, some floral, and others herbal.

Taste: Same as the nose but with a transition note of sweetness and an herbal almost garlic finish.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied with good carbonation.

Drinkability: A really perfect session IPA.

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.

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