Crusher | The Alchemist

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118 Reviews

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Crusher is an American Double IPA that I started making years ago at the old pub. Hop heads were constantly asking for more hops. So, in the words of Frank Zappa, "Did you say you want some more? Well here's some more." While I enjoy hops with the rest of them, I still try to maintain some semblance of balance and drinkability. This beer is oozing with hop flavor and aroma with a very dry finish. Enjoy responsibly, this one can sneak up on you.

Added by ThatsThatDude on 03-05-2014

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Reviews: 118 | Ratings: 1,133
Photo of John_M
3.87/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Considering how much I liked Heady and Focal Banger, I figured for sure I'd love everything about this as well. Not so much...

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose, I was surprised right off by how sweet the beer smelled, with considerable graham cracker aroma. Yes, there's some noticeable white pepper and dry citrus as well, but the predominant aroma is sweet graham cracker. The flavor profile is more of the same, though there's some aggressive bitterness from the avalanche of hops on the finish. It helps to dry the beer out on the finish very well, and was probably the best thing about this beer. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel otherwise, and I felt the alcohol was pretty well integrated into the flavor profile.

Shrug. This isn't a bad DIPA, but my expectations for anything made by Alchemist are much higher than "not bad." So at least for me, this was something of a disappointment.

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Photo of larryi86
4.59/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thank you jhavs for this
16 oz can poured into a teku

A- A hazy orange copper with a three finger white head.

S- Slightly sweet tropical goodness, getting some pineapple and mango, mandarin oranges, some grape fruit, some pine/resin balance out the nose, very fruity in a good way.

T- Citrus, grapefruits, tropical fruits, hints of oranges, touch of malt, nice bitter finish, pine and resin.

M-Smooth, dry, medium to full body.

O- A fanatic DIPA, great balance of fruity and bitter, minimal malt sweetness, very drinkable for 9% ABV. If you have a hack to try this you need to, been too long since I've had Heady to compare but it is better than Focal Banger.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.71/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Didn't even bother pouring it into a glass. Amazing DIPA - such a complex flavor profile despite the big ABV chassis. Citrus, pine and big bitter hops lean against a supporting malt backboard that's neither too sweet nor detracts from the hop showcase. Crisp, clean, bright and bitter, this beer should be a sipper but it's easy-drinking; it goes down quick and crushes not only your palette but also your tolerance. Remind yourself to slow down and enjoy it. It's unreal how there's a subtle cascade of flavors with a near 10% ABV.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Props to BierRunner who scored me a 4 pack of all three from Stowe and kept it nice and cold -- there really needs to be more Alchemist south of the Mason-Dixon. No surprises here -- big huge hop flavor -- mostly resin, but a few hints of citrus at the end. As with Heady and Focal, delivers that huge bite but doesn't leave you feeling like you just smoked a cigar and need to scrape your tongue. Very drinkable - maintains a balance even with the hop explosion. 9.6 ABV very much hidden. Another superior product from the folks at Alchemist. A great way to start the weekend,

Which is better? Who cares? - Go to Stowe and pick up all three.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.97/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a Surly teku.

This one's juicy and sappy on the nose. The label doesn't like. It's a hop farm in a can. Notes of citrus, pine, sap and resin. The fruit balances the astringency nicely but this one's certainly over the top. Beer opens citrus, grapefruit and cane sugar. There's a huge malt body to balance a boatload of hops. Hints of bark, grass and sap in the back with resiny hop bitterness all around. Again, this is a big beer for sure... but I'm not sure how I feel about it. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and slick in the mouth and goes down bone dry. Gotta love the feel of the beers The Alchemist puts out.

The immediate comparison you make with The Crusher is Heady Topper, and in that comparison, its no contest. This beer lacks a certain balance where the sweetness is overpowering on the palate and the hop bitterness is overpowering in the aftertaste. Its still solid, but easily the weakest of the Alchemist pale ales.

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Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an opaque, golden orange with a thick off white head.
S - Clearly a double as the hops are cranked up and dominate.
T - Mango/orange on the front, a little bready, then the bitterness comes in. But none of this is jarring because it is so well balanced.
M - A bit sticky like all good DIPA's, medium carbonation.
O - While I like Focal and Heady more, this is a great beer. Drink them in order and enjoy.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from a 16oz can to an oversized wineglass—Jester King stemware, as usual. This was purchased at the Stowe brewery about two weeks prior to consumption, and refrigerated consistently since. Must be two to two and a half weeks old, max, at the time of consumption.

Appearance (4.5): Three to four fingers of custard-colored foam rise off of the pour, capping a hazy but not quite cloudy, deep orange body. The head dies down very, very slowly, like annoyingly slow. It leaves a cratery, meringue-like cap and wide, splotchy arcs of lace. This is beautiful, and right on the nose for the style.

Smell (4.25): Overripe pineapple, toasted country bread with honey on it, light grassy and strong floral notes jump out at the start. A touch of pine and weird spicy tones paired with very rich peach and nectarine scents follow—the peach and pine combination really does it for me.

Taste (4.5): Holy cow, this is rich and intense! Honey sweet, sugar cookie-like malt is paired with sweet pineapple and mango, but any sweetness is then promptly torn apart by intense grapefruit bitterness—pith, zest, and a combo of sweetened and unsweetened juice. Jesus, that’s a great, bitter finish. It’s got resinous undertones as well, which help mask some of the heat inherent to a beer of this size. It’s fairly smooth, but there’s no hiding its size at 9% ABV. The pineapple upside-down cake and grapefruity, citrusy, resinous bitterness are juxtaposed in a way that offers a surprisingly smooth transition for such a stark contrast. More and more resin in the finish as the drink goes on.

Mouthfeel (4.75): Full-bodied but not heavy, the body is almost shockingly smooth, boosted by tingly (at first) carbonation that then spreads out nicely across the palate with a smooth, velvety blanket. It gives way to extreme dryness, thanks to an intense wave of hop oils. It’s somehow rich and smooth, but dry and inviting at the same time. I love it.

Overall (4.5): This is an outstanding “East Coast” type of DIPA with lots of the New England (D)IPA influence. It feels and drinks appropriate to its size, but it’s still so much fun to drink at the same time. That said, it’s no Heady—but, they are different beers for a reason. This is richer and more satisfying in a way that Heady is lighter and more nimble. If you ask me, this is better considered a companion to something like Heady, in a slightly different peer group of DIPAs. Definitely recommended if you like world-class DIPAs that come at you a little bigger, fuller, and harder, and ask for slower, more thoughtful consumption.

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Photo of ryno6616
4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Crusher is another exceptional brew from The Alchemist.
While I prefer Heady and Focal over Crusher, it is still a home run.
If it was from another brewery, it would be their flagship for sure.

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Photo of kylesobrien
4.14/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up at the brewery, enjoyed three days later.

Relatively translucent but fairly opaque pour. Yellowish orange, sort of looks like an Arnold Palmer colour-wise. Stark white head, persists for a bit then recedes. Fairly low carbonation, wouldn't mind a little bit more of the bubbles.

Hop aroma less intense than either Heady Topper or Focal Banger; nice and hoppy but not overwhelming. Next time will drink from the can and compare.

Intensely hoppy in flavour. Pine, citrus, mango, guava, peaches. Fruity but resinous and sticky with a (really) lingering bitterness, this is a hop lover's beer. The alcohol is well hidden here, doesn't taste boozy at all to me.

The description on the can suggests the finish is dry, but I really don't agree. The smooth maltiness is robust enough to stand up to the hops, and leaves you with a slightly sweet aftertaste.

Overall, a well made, bracingly hoppy IPA.

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Photo of zshaft
4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer and had ton of floaties in it so looked nice hazy orange but floaties take some of the appeal away. not much nose to me. wierd considering the abv and hype. taste is really bitter with topper esque notes playing into the brew. overall I like topper better. this beer is quite harsh and bitter which is not bad. but the drinkability is low and although it is a good beer one at a time is plenty for me.

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Photo of eifster82
4.68/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful amber hazy appearance with descent foam head upon pour.

Earthy, dank, pine and resin will all shine in this beer. The mildly sweet malt profile compliments those ingredients quite well, yet somehow is still very easy to drink (like many NE IPA/DIPAs) with that distinct NE after taste.

Out of the 3 Alchemist beers I've had, Focal Banger is still my favorite, then Crusher and then Heady Topper... by no means are any of them anything but great beers.

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Photo of Sheppard
3.67/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a flakey biscuity head. Sweet tropical fruit aroma. This beer is like Heady on steroids and HGH. It is aggressively bitter and the sweet boozey malt is a hammer to the head. There is nothing sneaky about this. It is loud and abrasive.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From the can, pours a very hazy dark orange. Two fingers of dense, off-white foam leaves a little lacing. Smell is peaches, pineapple and some sweaty, piney dank. Taste is fruity, along with spicy herbs and some resinous bitterness on the back end. Not much alcohol taste at all. Not getting much malt either.

Feel is on the thicker side of medium, rich and creamy. A delicious and well-made beer. I'd drink Heady and esp Focal Banger every day if I could. I'd reserve this one for late weekend nights after my palate has been crushed.

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Photo of dar482
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a light gold color, very creamy and hazy looking.

The aroma hits of juicy grapefruit, orange, pineapple, very tropical, sweet candy and juicy.

The flavor follows with creamy experience and chewy breadiness. pineapple, mangoes, passionfruit, peach, dankness and herbaceous on the back. It shows itself as a huge beer towards the back of the palate.

However, as it warms, the malts and alcohol really take over.

Certainly a different animal from Heady and Focal, but just gets messy with any hit of temperature.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.49/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Juicy, dank, pungent and weedy. This is a powerhouse of a brew that does not shy when I comes to hops. Overtakes the palate with waves of tropical and citrusy fruit with weed/dank notes and some malts.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can. Pours hazy deep orange, thick white head slowly fades to a pile in the center, lots of sticky lacing. Weedy hops fill the nose. Taste is semi-sweet malt balanced so well with dank earthy weedy hops. Some citrusy juiciness in the background. The hops linger perfectly with the sweetness still there in the end. So much flavor in this brew. The to medium slick feel, ultra dry finish. Dangerously drinkable and flat out delicious. Gotta get some more.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.24/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

L - Hazy light orange with two fingers of head and some sediment on the bottom of the glass.

S - Resinous with some booze. Acidic citrus and wet hops.

T - More fruity here. Pineapples and mangoes. Noticeable sweet malts. Back end is tree bark and overall earthy.

F - Full-bodied. Resinous at times. No booze. Easily drinkable.

O - Reminds me of Stone Enjoy By Unfiltered, but not as intense or flavorful. Still good in its own right. Fruity hops outweigh dank and oily hops enough to make drinkability solid with lots of flavor.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Brandon for the share, enjoyed from the can in a glass chilled.

The color is a pale golden with hazed clarity and thin white head with lasting retention and fine bead, lace sticks in rings. The smell is great -lots of tropical fruit with citrus in the hop aroma. the feel is also excellent pure hop resins and mild bitterness for the heft of ale with a nice relatively dry finish.

The taste is great - lots of hop flavor without any malt to cloud the taste mild yeast in the taste but mostly grapefruit and dank herb from the hops with a slight peppery aspect in the back. This is a top notch Imperial IPA which focuses on the hop aroma and flavor with very little alcohol apparent that makes it very irresistible.

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Photo of DerelictPI
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Talk about tropical fruit!

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel, but very dry finish. The flavor profile while drinking it is mango, papaya, pineapple, slight grapefruit rind, and generic candied hops.

The alcohol is VERY hidden, so the name DEFINITELY lives up to the beer. This is blowing my mind.

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Photo of Damian
3.94/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pint can
Served in a snifter
Big thanks to my friend Bill for grabbing me a few cans of this on his recent trip to The Alchemist.

Hazy, glowing orangey-amber appearance. The body was topped by a tight and creamy, two-finger tall, off-white crown. Terrific retention. The head slowly fell to a thin film. A mix of streaky, blocky and drippy lacing stuck along the glass.

The nose was pungently hoppy. Really citrusy and bright. Juicy. Orange and tangerine notes were most apparent. Slight sweetness. Almost a bit honey-like. There was a noticeable yeasty quality as well. After having a can of Heady last night, I could have sworn this was the same beer.

Citrusy hops also came through strong in the flavor profile. Orange notes dominated. Both flesh and rind. Slightly sweet up front. Nice pale malt backbone. As the liquid moved along the palate, the beer turned much more bitter. White grapefruit and grapefruit rind notes took over. Super pithy and dry. There was a subtle, chalky yeastiness. The beer finished with loads of piney, resiny bitterness and more grapefruit rind. Almost a touch astringent.

The mouthfeel was one of my favorite aspects of the beer. It was medium bodied and contained a super fine, zippy effervescence that turned frothy and supple on the palate. Really creamy, slick and smooth.

The Alchemist are true game changers in the craft beer world and are responsible for the proliferation of all the incredible New England-style pale ales, IPAs and double IPAs available today. That said, some of their highly acclaimed beers now seem a bit dated. While I have tremendous respect for these folks, I unfortunately do not love some of their offerings as much as I once did.

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Photo of Bradledj
4.95/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From the can at Lockn Fest. Enjoyed from Ice cold through room temp. Had a heady earlier in the day and this thing blows it away. Juicy, creamy mouthfeel, lots of citrus. Less pine than heady. SO easy to drink, really enjoyed this beer. Glad I had an opportunity to try it. Definitely one of the best IPAs Ive ever tasted.

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Photo of smaddock
5/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer, even better than Heady Topper. It starts with citrus and finishes with a refreshing bitterness. I drank it out of the can as the brewmaster recommends so I can't comment on the look. But the smell is wonderful and the mouthfeel is excellent -warm and smooth.

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Photo of chinchill
4.17/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared 16 oz can.
Extremely hoppy aroma with a far more balanced and drinkable flavor than this suggests. Excellent hoop mix.well carbonated medium body.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a Spiegelau stemmed tulip glass.

Dull looking satin orange color; 1-plus F white cap, gentle fade with some rings of lacing. Hop resin floated on top of the foam, and there was plenty of resin in the bottom of the glass. Beautiful and ugly at the same time. Conspicuous in its absence is the "drink from the can" command, thankfully.

Hops jump from the can a soon as the seal breaks. Lots of strong tropical and citrus fruit aromas, some pine. Underlying note of sweet malt.

Starts with slightly sweet tropical fruit flavor then the citrus takes charge and keeps the sugar in check. Dry earth and raw alcohol.

Big beer, big full feel. The can reads 9% abv and it comes on strong, a bit of booze burn. Rampage hopping leads to a clean-leaning dry finish.

A monster all the way. This review comes after trying Crusher a few times so I could review the beer rather than vice-versa. As much as I like it, one is enough - til next time.

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Photo of lic217
4.22/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: hazy, light orange, little lacing
Smell: Tropical hops, spice, resin, and citrus
Taste: Starts tropical and slightly sweet, finishes with citrus, pine, and a strong alcohol and bitter finish
Feel: Full mouthfeel, light carbonation
Overall: A big beer for sure

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Crusher from The Alchemist
4.51 out of 5 based on 1,133 ratings.
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