Beelzebub | The Alchemist

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Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Beelzebub is an American Imperial Stout. The intensely smooth and rich roasted flavor is complemented by the unmistakable presence of hops. The bitterness is held in check, preserving the flavors of dark chocolate. This ale is aggressively dry hopped with Citra to cut through it all. Hail Santa.

Added by NEhophead on 03-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 381
Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can. Unknown date, but likely 6-8 months as that was the last release. Served in a stemmed glass.

Pours a thick dark black body, one finger brown head, fair retention, not much lacing. Smells of grapefruit and roasted malt, dark fruit, citrus, dark chocolate. Very nice complexity. This is a potently roasty beer. Flavour is similarly roasty; intense roasted malt to the point of char; lots of grapefruit, raisins, bitter dark chocolate, milk chocolate sweetness. Fairly nice complexity, and a very minimal alcohol burn. Full of flavour. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, good carbonation, substantial and a very nice sipper. Overall, fairly tasty stout with a fair amount of citrus hops to it. It's interesting; not something I'd drink on a regular basis but it is certainly a nice change of pace.

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Photo of MalibuKenny
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pitch darkness; no light is coming through this glass (after pouring from the can obviously)

N: Roasted chocolate and Citra hop

T: A very balanced harmony between roasty and malty and hoppy flavors; not too chocolatey, not too bitter.

M: creamy on the tongue, and the hops coat the inside of your cheek; taking sips after sips, you can start to appreciate each characteristic even more

O: Very impressive offering from The Alchemist (as if they can do any wrong!) I know everyone chase of that Heady fade, but if you have someone ping you that say "Hey I don't have Heady but I have other Alchemist offering" don't pass up on Beelzebub.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The pour is a dense deep brown that allows a bit of light to pierce the edges. The hear was a thick brown foam.

The nose is a hoppy pine but some roast, char, coffee and a malty chocolate are very apparent.

The flavor is a roasted coffee, cocoa powder, charred ember and a finish of pine, hops and lupilin.

The feel is inappropriately thin, despite the viscous appearance. It's not to distracting but not as thick as a stout should be.

I like this beer a lot but it seems too piney and hoppy for a stout. If I were told it was a Black IPA it would seem much more likely.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the brewery that brought us Heady Topper, expectations are set high heading into their Imperial Stout that's laced with "citra" overtones.

Onyx-like in its opaque and dark mirror sheen, the frothy ale releases an extremely bold roasty scent. Campfire notions waft above aromas and flavors of burnt espresso, cocoa, smoldering embers and connected with beautifully burnt sugar.

The middle palate is rewarded with a dry roast, nearly ashy texture but also along side of creamy malted milkshake. Balanced with burnt citrus and pinecone, a coffee-type bittering also comes to life and reinforces a slight acrid taste and texture.

Its finish is highly roasted and dry with a slight chalkiness of charcoal. Its burnt wood, grass, fruit and scorched earth character plays a highly focused game, even if somewhat one-dimensional. Yet on its own, its "bigness" creates its own complexity.

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Photo of RocketCityVol
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Super black, almost like motor oil, with a thin whit lace head.

S: Hoppy-tobacco aromas with hints of chocolate.

T: Slightly hoppy with a heavy tobacco, with a coffee and chocolate finish.

M: light bodied and does not stay on the tongue for long.

O: Pretty good stout. I like the tobacco, chocolate, amd coffee flavors. I was a little dissapointed with the mouthefeel.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is a motor oil pitch black with a brown half finger head.
aroma is almost like a black ipa. Super hoppy with a Roasty smell.
taste is hops up front with a mocha finish. That's pretty much it. Some light roast flavors
mouthfeel is crisp and medium. Not much lingering bitterness or flavor.
it's more of a black ipa than a stout but it's enjoyable.
I'm glad I got to try it

as this warms the hop flavor and aroma dissappears and a tobacco roast comes through. Much much better as it heats up and it was great to begin with.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.17/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml can received in trade with iguenard - thanks!!

Appearance - Dark brown/black colour with an above average size frothy light brown head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also quite a bit of hops and some grapefruit flavours.

Overall - Like an American Black Ale due to the hops and fruity flavours. ABA's are one of my favourite styles and I really enjoyed this one. This brewer has got a good thing going on, wish I had regular access to their products.

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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, maximum respect and thanks to walderek for this gem.

Appearance was grand. An oily mahogany blessing. Head of an inch or so. Frothy malt powdered head.

Smell, hoppy yet roasted, slightly peaty malt that hints at chocolate but then backs away to earthy notes. Like a hint of rich dark soil in the forest.

Taste melds the hops with what I've enjoyed from Impy Stouts of old, (before bourbon barrel aging, etc...)a slightly peaty, roasted coffee meets earthy, even leathery, notes. Some smoke.

Mouthfeel is spot-on. Slightly chewy. Hints at oily. Not as much as I expected from the pour.

Finish is more of the earthy, peaty, and smokey, with some hop notes lingering. Really nice.

And it's from a can. Hellz Yas. Solid offering. hanks again walderek.

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Photo of Beejay
3.86/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Dr. DmanGTR for this brew!

A: Dark black with a nice tan head.. Looks great.

S: Definite chocolate aroma in there as well as a very piney hop smell. Rich malt, blends with earth and pine.

T: Not as hoppy as I would think from the smell, but still some nice hop character in there.. Burnt caramel, chocolate and earthy pine goodness, with more caramel rounding out the finish. A long lingering bitterness trails behind.

M: Thick and creamy smooth, medium carbonation and a killer linger.

O: Overall a touch hoppy for my tastes in an Impy stout, but still very good. Nice mouthfeel, and excellent flavor overall. Very nice.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this recently and realized I haven't reviewed it yet so a year later from the can in a snifter chilled:

The appearance is dense looking black with a thin tan head with fine bead and copious lace. The smell is definitely hop dominant with a lot of citrus yet there is a sort of chocolate base to shadow the hop aroma. The feel is very intense both with malt and bitterness with a perfect amount of carbonation and mild sweetness with mostly dry bitter finish-the alcohol is practically undetectable.

The flavor has me torn do I base my rating strictly on how 'stout-like' it is or simply on how my enjoyment level is based on the taste. I have had some American stouts that are very hoppy so the taste is simply taking that to an extreme with citrus fruit and bitter dark chocolate that work in tandem to create a rich zesty and fruity flavor with a nice sweetness and moderate roast level. Overall I think it is very hoppy but over a year of sampling cans of this I have enjoyed it more even though the hops are still extremely fresh and up front in aroma and flavor both. This is a stout for a true hop fan.

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Photo of jegross2
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing the Beelzebub, an imperial stout from The Alchemist out of Waterbury, Vermont.

Score: 97

05/24/14 vintage can served in a Kate the Great snifter and enjoyed on 06/15/14 while BBQ hamburgers for our Father's Day dinner.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black color with a half finger of khaki head that settles to a thick ring around the glass and foggy coating. Crazy awesome lacing and retention. This is your ideal looking stout. 5/5

Smell: Big, bold dark chocolate, figs and dates, char/roast, a hint of syrup, milk chocolate and a faint hop character define the nose while the brew is on the colder side, straight out of the fridge. As it warms up though, a perfectly integrated assault of citrusy and slightly grassy hops emerge to create a delightful mix of chocolate and fruitiness. The aroma develops from lovely, traditional stout to a more complex stout that perfectly embraces all the things I love about citra hops. 4.75/5

Taste: Dark chocolate covered dates with a light burnt/char character and roastiness that linger long in the finish. Aggressively bitter, with so much chocolate flavor lingering. As it warms up, as with the nose, a big tropical fruity hop character comes through. Bitter grapefruit and orange zest explode towards the back half, pairing nicely with the bold dark chocolate flavor. The hop character melds perfectly with the chocolate and roast and dark fruit. Who knew a hoppy stout could be this delicious? 4.75

Mouthfeel: Medium/medium-light bodied, low carbonation. Very, very, very bitter (but I like that). Juicy mouthfeel, dry (and lasting) finish. Thin bodied for the style, but not in a way that ruined the brew. 4.5/5

Overall: One of the best new beers I have had had in a long while. I had never heard of this beer until I received it as an extra from a very generous friend who was sending me some northeast IPA's, but given its quality, I am shocked there are not more people talking about this brew and seeking it out. Although I am not a fan of black IPA/Cascadian dark ales, I was blown away by this beer. I guess we should expect nothing less than this degree of mastery from The Alchemist, one of America's hop masters. If you like grapefruit and oranges and bitter, bitter dark chocolate, you need to seek this beer out.

Cost: $13 for a four pack of 16 oz cans.

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Photo of cp31bucsfan
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into HF stemware

A- poured jet black, with a tan head that disappears very quickly.
S- A lot of roasted malt, with some chocolate and coffee notes
T- a tremendously smooth imperial stout that has a lot going on. I definately pick up the usual suspects, i.e. Chocolate and coffee, but the kicker is the hops! That truly sets this one apart from a lot of other stouts.
MF- Very smooth, a little thin for an imperial stout but solid!
Overall- an amazing one of kind imperial stout that I would highly suggest!

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Photo of RobbDogg
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jet black and creamy appearing pour with a thin tan head that leaves quickly. Nearly black in the glass. Very attractive. Tastes mainly as expected, of dark chocolate and coffee notes. The surprise is a the hop bitterness, which is subdued yet persists. A bit more carbonated than I expect from a stout, and while an interesting quality, I do not feel contributes positively. Overall a unique stout with plenty to offer, and we'll worth a try.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beelzebub pours black into the glass with a small, thick creamy tan head on top. The foam fades away slowly leaving some spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is loaded with pine, roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, nuts, and a little smoke.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation. This full flavored beer begins with burnt roast malt, smoke, chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, and nuts. Lots of pine hops throughout. It finishes bitter with lingering milk chocolate and nuts.

Lots of flavor in this beer. As it warms even more flavors come through. The piney hop flavors are dominant, but balance all the rich malt. The beer reminds me a lot of Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet black IPA.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a snifter, the beer is a jet black coloring, with a dense, low profile, bubbly, light tan head that settles into a thin, filmy coating. Aromas of heavy resin, mossy wood, smoke, char, bitter coffee, and an overall campfire characteristic. Heavy, robust, and layered nose. Flavors are heavy campfire, beachwood, cocoa nib, dark roast coffee, charcoal, bitter and piney hops, and smoke. Wow, this is a beast on the palate. Bitter and smoky throughout. The body is smooth and robust, with a smoky and bitter aftertaste. The finish is smooth, slightly dry, with a campfire smoke linger.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can from MrBarleywine, thanks for the opportunity Mike!
Pours a solid black color with a decent sized frothy tan head that persists for a while. Aromas of pine and citrus dominate with a solid caramel and chocolate roastiness to counter. Light brown sugar and molasses with a hint of prune round out the nose. The flavor is chocolate and roasty up front before a huge does of citrus and pine sweeps in. Lingering hop bitterness and bits of roasted grain long after each sip. Medium body with a light level of carbonation and a creamy oily mouthfeel. Huge hops and lots of chocolate in this stout right here. The flavors are fairly simple, and the hops are a bit too present for my tastes, but it is a great drinking beer. I also would have liked just a touch more body, but I can make it work without that.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.83/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Solid black pour with a wispy layer of tan head that held at a ringlet. Aroma thick with roasty dark malts and green piney hops. The taste was pretty much a disaster. Blackened malts, lots of roast to the point of essentially being burnt...which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing in a stout, but then the hop profile came in, bringing in a wave of intensely clashing pine and citrus. The hops might have worked in a black ale, but this was definitely not a black ale. It was a very messy and unbalanced stout. Body was about medium, mouthfeel was awkward and harsh. I understand what they were going for here, but it just didn't work.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Sneakily, perhaps the blackest beer I have ever seen. The light on my phone won't penetrate this. It's laughably black. The head is also super dark. It's a modest cluster of dark brown, individual bubbles. It leaves speckles of lace. Such a five.

S-My first thoughts are "Black IPA". Sweet chocolate, sweetened coffee and blatant roast accompanied by a pungent warning of pine, tropical and overall bitter hops.

T-Imperial Black IPA. It's goddamn hop-laden. It's a 50/50 mix of dark and hoppy. It starts off with pure, bitter hops, which are resoundingly bitter. Then comes the fullness of the roast, darkness, black chocolate and coffee. After that, the hops finish with a bitter downward neck-chop that remedializes my palate.

M-Pretty full bodied. Softer bubbles. Bitter as sin. I pick up the alcohol. Dry, lingering finish.

O-I should have known this was going to be a hop bomb. I wouldn't have minded seeing this beer being more of a stout-stout as opposed to an IPA-stout. It was still very formidable. And the appearance was a perfect 5.

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Photo of Brad007
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer all the way back in 2008 at the old Alchemist Pub and Brewery. I'm happy to see that it has returned in cans. One key difference is that this version is 8% while the original version was 7.6%.

Pours a pitch black hue with a thin brown head into my glass. Blacker than black.

Roasted coffee, dark fruit and cocoa come through in the nose. These aromas are complimented by the generous hop bill.

Not as hoppy as it once was. The "juiciness" of the hops compliments the coffee and cocoa flavors imparted by the malt bill.

FInish is nutty, roasty and clean.

I would love to see this available as a winter seasonal. I know this is a long shot, but I would love to taste a version infused with wet hops.

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Photo of N_Schleret
3.55/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with a half finger chocolate head that dissipates to a light ring.
S: Hop forward stout with pine and grapefruit, burnt malt.
T: Hop/malt mixture followed by a grapefruit flavor, hints of chocolate.
M: Medium body and carbonation. Lots of hoppy bitterness.
O: Very hop forward stout.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 16oz can into a Crooked Stave tulip. Cellar temps.

Appearance- Black black black with big two finger mocha head that left great lacing. Such a nice looking beer to come out of a can.

Smell-Big roasted malts with lots of piney malts. Some mild booze aromas. Smells like coffee and and black IPA had a baby.

Taste- Roasted malts, lighter piney malts, some light booze, coffee, pine. It doesn't taste like Citra hops.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation with medium body. Very light booze heat, but the hops even it out.

Overall- A good Imperial Stout with nice hop notes, but falls a little flat in flavor and body. Overall, very nice though.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to NHBeerGuy for this as an extra!

A- Dark black hole, coffee lacing no legs.

S- Sort of a void here; the hop presence is here before the malt backbone which is interesting for a double stout/imperial.

T- Again, hop is there before malty backbone; this is very interesting. Not bad, but a change of pace for me.

M- Very smooth and creamy. Minimal carb compared to the appearance.

O- A great imperial stout; very happy to have tried it!

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Photo of jaasen64
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a Gandhi-Bot tulip. Thanks Anthony (BarofGold) for including this as an extra. Tried this once right after it was released and now trying again a month afterwards.

A- Pours a very opaque black with a thick creamy dark mocha head that has great retention receding to a thin layer and leaving layered mocha lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Aromas of roasted dark malts, hints of pine and grapefruit hops, just a very faint hint of a metalic aroma. Not overly complex, was a lot hoppier when it was first released, about average aroma strength. Decent aroma, when it was first released was definitely on the hoppy side especially for a stout, overall not bad but not mind blowing.

T- Thick roasted malts, creamy chocolate, piney hops with a hint of citrus, bitterness restrained but definitely present. Again the hops have faded quite a bit leading to a much more balanced stout, the bitterness also balances perfectly with the roast. When it was first released this drank more like a black IPA.

M- Medium bodied, rich and creamy, nice carbonation, very easy drinking, perhaps the best aspect of this beer.

O- Beelzebub is a very good stout especially if you like your stouts a bit on the hoppy side. It's not going to blow you away by any means but is solidly crafted and well executed for what they were going for. In my opinion this tastes better with a month on it with the hops still very present but starting to take a backseat to the roast and malts. I wish I had another can to continue aging to see how it develops in another couple months.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can pour shared at the Ithaca Luminous release.

Pours a deep dark black, with a small, short-lasting head, and sheets of lacing.

Smells like dark chocolate, roasted malt, espresso, and piney hops.

The taste is similar. Not as hoppy as advertised, for whatever reason, I got more roasty, burnt pine needles out of this one, with tons of dark bitter chocolate, vanilla, a little bit of toffee, maybe, and a bit of citrus.

Thick bodied, creamy, viscous mouthfeel, very drinkable for the ABV.

Didn't expect to see this one, there was a goddamn embarrassment of riches today.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, 8oz pour into snifter. No dating. Solid silver can with green, round sticker. A huge thanks to RyanMcFly1985.

Black, opaque elixir, huge brown head, thick lacing.

Dark chocolate, licorice, char, dank hops.

Complex stout starts with a base of roasted malt balanced by a nice hop undertone and coffee.
The hops linger providing a nice compliment to the dark malt.

Medium body, oily, pleasant.

Well done stout. The can is an extra bonus.

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Beelzebub from The Alchemist
4.23 out of 5 based on 381 ratings.
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