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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: 14
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:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2005 20:16:07 | More by Sammy
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 12:46:12 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +14.2%

11-25-2011 03:24:36 | More by nmann08
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
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,.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2010 18:02:12 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2010 19:17:27 | More by Viggo
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

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

This beer poured a nice copper/amber color with minimal carbonation. The aroma was one of citrus and hops with some grassiness. The flavor was satisfactory with a nice bitterness up front and throughout the beer. Pretty damn fine for an IPA and this goes to show that The Alchemist makes THE best damn IPAs in Vermont. Period.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2007 03:05:23 | More by Brad007
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2011 19:23:09 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 02:39:24 | More by Jwale73
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2011 19:11:32 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2009 20:47:23 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

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

This was the first bier I enjoyed during a long weekend exploring northern Vermont with Alewife. Scored a pint whilst sitting at the bar... Poured a medium golden color, perhaps a touch of copper there too. Liquid was slightly cloudy, and the head was thin, white and creamy, leaving nice lace. Aroma sugested a touch of malt sweetness along with a healthy dose of citrus. Body was a solid medium, and the bier, not being highly carbonated, passed nicely on the tongue.

Holy cow! There's lots of citrus here, and the 6 malts used did lend a nice base upon which the hops were heaped. The major force playing in the flavor is the citrus, with a super grapefruit component. Despite the hops, this is really not an unbalanced bier. The malt has a good presence with all the hopping going on. Very nice brew...

Prosit!!

4.25
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | drink: 4.5

1053

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2008 12:25:41 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

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!

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2008 06:58:18 | More by Deuane
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 21:19:49 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of koopa
koopa

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2010 23:21:41 | More by koopa
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2010 18:49:52 | More by grub
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the charismatic joint I found this beer to be a amber color, slightly hazy with some visible carbonation. White head, little retention and spotty lacing. The aromas were nice and all hops, piney hops, citrus hops, herbal hops. The flavors were spot-on, grapefruit, strong pine and resin, green grass and a solid malt backbone behind it. Superb balance. Very drinkable and a fantastic example of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2008 16:01:50 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2011 02:10:30 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -8.7%

11-19-2011 03:37:58 | More by ElGallo
Photo of NEhophead
NEhophead

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand pulled at the brewpub on 02.29.2008; served in a tumbler.

Hazy golden with auburn highlights beneath a creamy, half-inch white head. Webbed and condensed lacing with good strength. Aromas of citrus and tropical fruit: grapefruit, apricot, lemon, and orange, with hints of pine. Citrus hops initially over a stable, toasted malt breadiness. Notes of must balanced with fresh pine and tropical fruity esters. Medium in body; juicy with a mild oily character. A solid representative of what an American IPA is. Nothing excessive, but very depictive of the style.

Serving type: cask

03-01-2008 14:19:04 | More by NEhophead
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2010 22:36:34 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 04:29:30 | More by Damian
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

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.

Serving type: cask

04-30-2011 01:35:21 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of rowingbrewer
rowingbrewer

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 14:45:57 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of ChrisPro
ChrisPro

Illinois

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%

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2011 01:32:12 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2011 20:12:33 | More by Gosox8787
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Holy Cow IPA from The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.