1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.43/5  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.

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 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 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
4.35/5  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,.

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 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.

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 thekevlarkid
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.

Photo of chuckd123
4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Updating my original review. I knew this was a great IPA the first time, but since then I've tried countless others, and generally prefer double IPA's for the hoppier, more flavorful taste. Now having had this one again, I am amazed at the flavor John gets out of a 5% abv beer. I love Pliny the Elder, but I swear the Holy Cow is a better overall beer, and at 5% you can realistically session this one vs. 8% Pliny. If John ever decides to bottle this one, and the rest of the BA's around the country try it, I have no doubt it would rank in the top 5 for the style. Great job John, another fantastic Alchemist brew.

Had several Holy Cow's while in Vermont skiing in January 2008. Excellent IPA overall. Very typical copper color with a head that maintained lacing all the way down the glass during the 30 or so minutes I spent drinking one. Very hoppy right away, has the flavor more typical of a double, but much more drinkable given moderate abv. Smells of hops, citrus and malt (in that order), with hops dominating. If you're an IPA fan, get yourself up to the Alchemist for one of these. They make several excellent IPA's (try the holy moly double if you want more of an alcohol kick, it's amazing). One of the top 5 IPA's I've ever had.

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 Bierman9
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

Photo of NEhophead
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.

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 Brad007
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.

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.

Photo of tubbnik
4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Have a Cow, man!

Wonderful IPA from a wonderful brewpub. Best Pale Ale in Vermont!

a - Deep copper color. Nice head that lingered for about halfway thru my drinking.

s - Grapefruit is most prominent, followed by assorted citrus essences. Deliciously balanced with a sweet malt aroma. Balanced.

t - The blend of hops gave a inital burst of citrus flavor, again mostly grapefruit. Then a wave of malt backbone comes in right on time. Followed by a slight pine flavor. Finished with an even blend of hop bitterness and malt flavor. So balanced its amazing. I couldn't go more than 30 seconds between sips.

m - felt like beer in terms of carbonation and viscosity. which is an accomlishment concidering the strong hops and malt presences. more than anything, my mouth felt satisfaction. on the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat.

d - high drinkability. After sampling their beer menu, I enjoyed two more. I couldn't get enough.

Highly praised and reccomended. Drive to Waterbury and have one.

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

Served a great full amber with a beaut of a white headskie. Tastes nice full and hoppy with a great mix of hop flavors. The malts are theree too for balance. As one would expect, the cask version of this beer has better mouthfeel and is smoother than the on tap version of the brewskie. Worth checking out for sure.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Holy Cow IPA from The Alchemist Pub & Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.