Crusher | The Alchemist

207 Reviews

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

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: 207 | Ratings: 1,655
Reviews by bahnfire:
Photo of bahnfire
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank 1/2 from HF balloon glass, 1/2 from the can.

A: Pours a hazy orange, minimal head. Looks similar to Heady/Focal

S: Hops, lots of hops. Some citrus, some pine, some I can't describe.

T: Holy hops. Taste follows the nose. The first sip tasted very, very bitter, but after that it seemed to balance out and was straight hop deliciousness. Somehow very bitter but also balanced.

M: Mouthfeel similar to other Alchemist IPAs. Good carbonation and very drinkable. I am guessing it is conan yeast like Heady/Focal, but it doesn't come through like it does in those two.

O: I wasn't sure how I'd like it given the description. I didn't know if it would be super bitter or a little boozy/sweet due to the ABV. Its neither. While very bitter, especially initially, I actually find it quite balanced. It doesn't taste like Heady at all to me, which is neither good nor bad, but I found Focal (which I love) to taste very similar to Heady, so the fact that this doesn't is a nice surprise.

UPDATED: After working my way through my remaining cans of this, I feel this might just be my favorite DIPA ever. It is perfect to me.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Damian
3.94/5  rDev -12.2%
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 BEERchitect
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mastering the art of making India pale ale only leads to hop-heads wanting more. And its that push of the envelope that causes the Alchemist brewer to go absolutely ballistic with the scarce cones. Using the most irresistible hops on the planet with the techniques that allow the beer to have a succulent upstart and a gripping dry finish gives The Crusher a taste that linger much longer in memory as it does on the palate.

The imperial IPA pours a turbid, tapioca hue of peach and gold. Capped with a creamy off-white meringue, the lacy beer lures the senses with teeth-churning scents of tropical fruit juices, citrus juices, an bright herbal complement, and an underlying candied sweet scent of saltwater taffy. Its taste is juicy with hops, fruit and angel-food cake maltiness. Its sweetness is tangy and offers an ideal reprieve from the brunt of hop onslaught to come.

The taste explodes on the middle palate as the tropical taste of mango, apricot, pineapple, kiwi, passionfruit and dragon fruit blend seamlessly with lemon, red grapefruit, blood orange and lime. With the tethers of malt lingering behind, its sweetness rounds the fruit hop impressions for a decadent sherbet-like finish. Albeit bitter, the ales lasting moments are smooth with fresh grassiness, herbal and light cannabis charm.

Medium-bodied, the beer's gripping bitterness and drying trek carries the drinkability of standard American IPA, but it's elevated alcohol suggests another, slower plan. As the ale trails with the resinous bite of fresh pine shavings, fruit peel and herb, its quite evident that IPA making doesn't get better than this.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

no denying this is amazing beer, tough one to come by, thanks to my homie for shipping a can out for me. i really like this, its about what i expected it to be, and is right there with the others they make in terms of how awesome it is, worthy of its hype. the appearance is odd, at first its perfect, a hazy orangey honey colored dense beer with a tall white head that rises above the rim of the glass and holds on long, super pretty, but a closer looks reveals some really fishfoody sediment, unsexy, sloppy, chunky, and lots of it. hazy is cool with me, but this kind of obvious particulate in the beer is a problem. the aroma and flavor more than make up for that, heavy hops all the way, both oily and bitter as can be, but also with a biting orange citrus element to it, and a grassy herbaceous freshness, green tea sort of, powerfully alpha intense, and really the essence of the hop cone itself, its gorgeous. freshness is on point here, the citrus is distinct, and it packs a good bitter punch in the finish, and the burps are bitter too. very much an ipa, not a juicy bomb or a pure dry hop thing, whatever the kids are calling them these days, its a more balanced and overall more complete and better beer than anything that is trying to be its peer out there. some pine and orange in the finish too, oily and dank on the tongue, fluffy though, and absolutely wholly satisfying. this is famous for a reason, and while i wish my can wasnt all chunky, the flavor of these hops is what its all about! crazy its as strong as it is, it put me over the edge, but i ever detected it in the least. this was my first hoppy beer after a little beer hiatus, and man oh man it reminded me why i love beer so much. not sure i am prepared to call it better than heady or focal banger, but it certainly belongs on the same table. a rare treat to have ipa this well done!

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Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
2.5/5  rDev -44.3%

Not very good.

14 characters

Photo of king75
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Hazy gold with orange hues with resinous clinging lacing, looks like a killer DIPA. Smell is of earthiness, pine, pineapple, grapefruit trace amounts of orange zest and bready malt sweetness. Taste is killer! Tons of hops perfectly blended with the malts this one could easily be too sweet or too hoppy but the balance here is pure symmetry. You get a ton of tropical fruits-grapefruit, pineapple and hints of mango throughout with a light bit of pineyness and dry malt sweetness in the tailend. Nice dry cloying finish leaves you begging for more. Overall, I had high expectations for this beer which and am usually let down but this beer lives up to the billing, A truly stellar example of the style and worth seeking out.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange. Hazy. Nice white head and some wisping. Medium collar.

Smell - Very citrusy. Sharp citrus and a little booze. Some cracker malt and pale malt.

Taste - Lots of citrus. Orange. Nothing sweet about it, really. Almost abrasive in its hop profile. Maybe astringent, too.

Mouthfeel - Very dry. Accentuates the alcohol. Light bitterness lingers. Medium carbonation and body.

Overall - As described, it's REALLY hoppy and citrusy. Nothing balanced about it at all.

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Photo of senglish7
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is special. Dank nose. Weed and grapefruit. Not sure there's a beer with a better hazy, yellowy/golden look with bits of debris floating all over. Taste is as bitter as I've had. Makes this a palate destroyer-thus the 4.0 rating on the "feel". Not the smoothest that I've had but definitely a special beer.

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to mymrnngjckt for the hookup on this. A pounder can poured into a tulip shaped pint appears hazy copper in color with a foamy off-white cap resting atop that fades leaving stringy lace.

Aroma has some citrus zestiness that gets herbal and almost minty with some fruity hop feel. The alcohol creeps forward with a touch of its own fruitiness.

Taste is almost sugary at first but really dries out and becomes pithy/pulpy with a hint of grapefruit. The hop oils linger on the tongue bringing out some fruity alcohol notes.

This is medium to lighter bodied with a moderate to lower level of carbonation. This brew goes down pretty easy to the extent of almost inducing a head rush. Woah, this really grows on you as you work through it.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.71/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Pours a cloudy orange with huge thick off white head that lasts forever. Excellent lacing trailing all down the glass.

Smell - Huge hop smell, nice grapefruit and pineapple. Mostly hop notes with some tropical fruit thrown in as well.

Taste - Wow really big hop favor, orange peel, grapefruit, mango but mostly hops!! Orange peel and pine.

Feel - Medium body very well carbonated and pretty dry on the finish.

Overall - A really amazing beer, loaded with hops and a splash of tropical fruit. Smell is amazing an almost perfect beer.

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Photo of BubbleBobble
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick into a tulip glass, orange haze, three very frothy fingers of white head. Some fair chunks of sediment here settling to the bottom. Leathery hops, hemp oil, pineapple, mango, the faintest whiff of alcohol. Bomb of bitter hops off the bat makes this a bit of a palate wrecker, though I get some resinous oils, burnt citrus peels and the like in there. Very full mouthfeel, clean finish, but dangerously delicious at 9%.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can from the recent truck release. Poured into a Lawson's Finest snifter 7/26/2014.

A- As expected, beautiful hazy light copper body with a two finger foamy and effervescent white head that lingers for quite a long time. Rings of lacing remain as I drink the beer. Typical but welcome Vermont IPA appearance.

S- As soon as I cracked the can, waves of mango, grapefruit and floral scents bursts out, and has a lot of staying power even when poured into a glass. Quite simply put, this is a very intense and complex nose. Grapefruit, passion fruit, floral noses combine with a nice sweet caramel and bread pale malt backbone. Simultaneously aggressive on all fronts yet balanced together; this beer has a nose that comes in Double Sunshine proportions.

F- Almost just as good as the nose promises. Grapefruit and passion fruit notes hit up front, becomes balanced by a nice honey and caramel pale malt sweetness which is then buttressed by a strong floral and citrus finish accentuated by a floral bitterness that lingers. Very nice profile, excellent complexity and balance despite the ginormous amount of hoppiness. Well-executed.

M- Medium in body, straddles dry and resinous perfectly, almost creamy and close to the perfect amount of carbonation. For the strong, slightly boozy malt backbone that this beer has, it's incredibly drinkable.

O- An incredibly hopped up beer with a strong pale malt backbone; all components are rich and strong enough to balance each other out but without sacrificing any of the good qualities that each individual component of the beer brings. I prefer Focal Banger as far as Alchemist offerings go, but I actually enjoy this more than Heady Topper. Damn fine liquid.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
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 Beers-es
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
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 dadplusbeer
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

First off, this beer is amazing. Best one to date of all my BA ratings.

L- beautiful orange color. bright deep color.

S- hops, orange peel, earth, tarragon

T- bitter beauty, hop notes parking themselves in my retro olfactory, lemon peel, sticky green

F- thick, flavor explosion lasts and lasts, maintains a lasting flavor without it being simply bitter.

O- this beer is awesome. I am blown away with the quality and craftsmanship of this beer. This beer has everything I could want from a DIPA. wow, wow, wow.... exceptional balance...

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Photo of SawDog505
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a 22 oz pilsner holiday glass not sure of the date. Pours a very attractive orange with a 2 inch sticky white that leaves plenty of lace.

Smell is guava, apricot, papaya, piney, dank marijuana, and grapefruit.

Taste follows dank powerful hops, pine, grapefruit with some tropical guava, papaya, apricot, and tangerine.

Mouthfeel is pretty darn big, almost sticky from all the fresh hops, light carbonation, a tad dry, and excellent drinkability.

Overall this is everything I was hoping for and I was hoping for a lot.

 536 characters

Photo of beaver69693
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DanGeo
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mulzicus
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of tbryan5
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Damn near perfect. Hazy and smells very dank. Pine needles and citrus on the palate with moderate bitterness. Very crushable despite the almost 10% ABV. Would smash again!

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Photo of Krafty34
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

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Crusher from The Alchemist
4.49 out of 5 based on 1,655 ratings.
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