Heretic | The Alchemist

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HereticHeretic
BA SCORE
4.08/5
Exceptional
HereticHeretic
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.99%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The first Barleywine brewed at The Alchemist. This is currently aging in the brewery, and will be introduced on 9/9/09.

99.9 IBU

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
75
pDev:
10.54%
 
 
Wants:
101
Gots:
11
Trade:
1
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 75
Reviews by ICCULIS:
Photo of ICCULIS
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the wife and I cracked this open last night. damn fine beer I say. 22oz poured into 2 DFH snifters.

Appearance: copper/amber in color. more roasty amber I'd say. creamy head about 3/4 inch - lots of tiny bubbles in the head as well as on the side of the glass

Smell: amazing! crisp, citrus fruits on the nose. grapefruit & hops are most prominent. Faint pine notes.

Taste: outstanding. clean, crisp and very hp forward. exactly the taste I was hoping for after experiencing the nose.

Mouthfeel: light - medium bodied w/ great carbonation. fresh and crisp mouthfeel.

Overall: not sure of the confusion on the BW vs DIPA classification. Label states it is DIPA and in all my years drinking IPA's, I'd say that is accurate. This is a great brew - a bigger brother to Heady Topper. Darker, bolder and stronger - although the ABV is well hidden. Outstanding beer...wish I had more!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of WanderingFool
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to be in VT the weekend Heretic was released. Great coincidence for me!

Heretic pours a hazy dark amber color, with a small white head. The foam dissolves quickly to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on glass.

The aroma is very hoppy with strong notes of orange and pine citrus. Hints of caramel malt and alcohol are also present.

Each sip of this medium boded beer is dry, slightly syrupy with mild carbonation. The flavor is loaded with hops. Strong notes of pine, orange and lemon citrus with a balancing malt flavor of caramel malt. There's a touch of garlic and pepper in there too. It finishes bitter with a linger citrus hop flavor.

I'm glad I was able to try this beer. It's very tasty, but no Heady Topper. It hides it's 10% abv very well.

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Photo of Vermonthiker
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a nicely stacked head that sticks a few gobs of lace behind

Smell: Citrusy and piney with a big dose of shortbread

Taste: Shortbread cookie dough, up front, with a tremendous dose of citrus and pith arriving by mid-palate; a bit of vanilla and wintergreen join into the mix, after the swallow, leaving a fresh Vermont character lingering in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A most unusual DIPA; I agree that it doesn't fit into the barleywine box, but the malt profile and the vanilla/minty character set this up in its own hybrid category; kudos to the collaborating brewers

And thanks, bobertkuekn, for the opportunity

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep dark amber colorwith a massively thick, and creamy three fingered head.

S - Aromatic and pungent tropical fruit: pineapple, oranges, passion fruit, grapefruit, pine, light floral boquet, and some caramel malt (though, not much at all).

T - Pineapple, oranges, and a heavy dose of pine and grapefruit bitterness. With the caramel malt lying somewhat low, it opens the door for the hops to build starting with a subtle frutiness which peaks past midway before an earthy peppery spice and alcohol effervesence takes over. At the end, the grapefruit bitterness resurfaces with a peppery lingering vengeance.

M - Heavy medium body, a little oily, some boozy effervesence, and a lingering bitter finish.

O - This is an exeptional Double IPA, I feel fortunate to have acquired this bottle and if you can get it, it's really worth the effort if your a big IPA fan. It's a little pricey for a bomber, but considering the awful circumstances the brewery had to endure recently, I'm very happy to pay the price (which is why I bought an additional two bottles of this and another two of Luscious. Here's to you for a speedy recovery after the disaster, cheers!

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Photo of yourefragile
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle shared with a few BAs, reviewed from notes. Thanks Ashley!

Pours a hazy dark orange with a light tan frothy head with some clumps of lacing. Very "green", balanced aroma of pungent earthy and pine hops blending with a strong malt backbone, sugary and sweet. Flavor is similar to nose, not overly bitter or sweet at any point, but a balanced blend throughout. Dank earthy hops, resiny and pine provide contrast to the sugar and molasses malt body. More resiny and pulpy than bitter. Calling this a DIPA draws immediate comparisons to Heady and having them side by side highlights how different they are. More of a strong ale or barley wine, and not as exceptional as Heady but excellent regardless.

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Photo of markgugs
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glasses. Thanks go to funkel81 for these two Hell or High Water Alchemist beers in a recent trade.

Pours a beautiful looking clear coppery amber, with 1 ½ fingers of rich and slightly off-white looking head. This readily maintains a frothy ½ finger, throwing up a robust cascade of lacing that settles into sticky swathes down the sides of the glass. The aroma is quite beefy feeling in the nose, with fresh pine, dankness, leafy notes, and peppery spice, which all combines to give this a bit of a wet tobacco feel at times. Some sweetness is present here in the form of some softer tropical fruit character that mingles with the malt on the edges of the profile but there is no doubt that the hops and alcohol control this, as a steady stiff warmth emerges to add some extra boldness in the nostrils.

The taste is bold and resinous in the mouth, with a blast of zesty grapefruit bitterness. This is surrounded by a flush of slightly danky feeling herbal character and then ripe tropical fruit flavors that adheres to the sticky sweetness of the malt. There is maybe a touch of darker toastiness present to the malts but this is mostly exhibiting more of sweet caramel character with some light doughy sugars mixed in. The alcohol also adds a touch of extra boozy sweetness to this and some spiciness that hangs hard in the finish along with sticky notes of pine and grapefruit pith. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with crispness on the tongue that is surrounded by a slick creaminess that fills out the rest of the mouth. As I mentioned in the taste profile, the alcohol is here, and not only adds some beefy sweetness to the flavors that while not overly stinging, does put a bit of intense heat on the finish.

This is definitely more of a hefty DIPA than it is an American Barleywine but I just I wish that I could have gotten to this one sooner, as I felt the fading brightness of those citric hop flavors that I’m pretty sure were probably pretty vibrant about a month ago or so ago when this was released. I mean don’t get me wrong. This is still has a FEROCIOUS hop presence to it but it lacked just enough of a full-on brightness that would have helped balance and cover up a bit of that alcohol presence. As this stands now, it’s got an overly warm sweetness to it that clashes a bit with the assertive hop flavors that are still left. If you like alcoholic hop-bombs, I’d say this one is still worth seeking out but this full bomber was just a bit too much for me.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to AshleyMiller for the hook-up. Served in a Glunz taster glass. The bottle states this is a Double IPA, for what it's worth.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap, leaving behind splotchy lace. The body is a lightly hazed dark orange-brown color, and some suspended sediment (hops? yeast?) shows up in later pours.

S - Wow that is one dank beer. Weed, earthy and mossy notes, a bit of herbal character. Whatever the style, this is a very balanced beer with a hefty malt backbone of sugar and toffee. Alcohol isn't present at all.

T - The taste is similar - the hops impart a mix of herbs, dank marijuana, and perhaps a bit of citrus too, while the malt character is largely sugary with a bit of toffee. There's a mild astringency in the finish, but minimal hop bitterness. Definitely a more balanced "East Coast" sort of beer.

M - Super dry, with plenty of resinous hop oils that linger. Lower carbonation level, and a chewy medium-full body. No obvious alcohol.

D - Again, not sure that to call this one. American barleywine? Hoppy strong ale? East Coast DIPA? Regardless it was easy to drink, although it'd be in the middle of the pack of things I've had from The Alchemist. In any case, I'm glad the money is going to a good cause.

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Photo of papat444
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up myself at the bottle release.

Poured from a bomber.

Appearance: A brass colored, hazy body that fills half the glass and gently takes its time to recede.

Smell: Dry, tea-like a little, some fruit and hops.

Taste: Way more fruit than in the nose. Mango and peaches are very prominent as well as lush tropical fruit in the finish. Rich, like biting into ripe fruit. Some brown sugar in the finish also.

Mouthfeel: Some dryness, bitterness in check and creamy.

Overall: For a 10% beer, this drinks wonderfully. Drink it if you've got it!

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Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: Dark orange, starts off with a nice big off-white head, keeps a nice cap, nice lacing

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit rind, grapefruit flesh, cooked biscuits, very hoppy but also very malty, pretty intense

Taste: Cooked, toasted biscuits, with a blast of grapefruit - grapefruit, orange, pretty aggressive - zest, pith - a lot of grassy, herbalness - definitely some mint in here, like peppermint, or spearmint - oily pine - bitterness builds, becomes borderline brutal - malts hold things together, kind of sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium, very sticky, oily, yet dry, nicely carbonated

Overall: A quality palate destroyer

Simply put, this is a malty, herbal, grassy, minty, mouth-wrecker. It's not really balanced in any way, and it is one of the few beers I've ever had that I almost found too aggressive. Regardless, I'm glad I was in VT to pick up these Hell or High Water beers.

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Photo of dar482
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Surprisingly drinking still very well. Reminds me of a well age and balanced Big Foot, without the herbal and abrasive oxidation qualities. Good sweetness and balance of those big American barleywine hops.

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Photo of Brad007
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Certainly a beer that's full of the 9s. Literally.

Pours a mild copper color with a minute hue of amber with a one-finger head into my glass.

Aroma is full of floral, grassy hops with only a hint of the malt underneath.

Taste is chock full of grassy and citrus-like hops with a hint of malt, followed with a bit of raisin and alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the hops. Very nice. Well-balanced here. Alcohol warmth is kept to a minimum.

Certainly a barleywine that's very drinkable. Strong but the aging makes it even more enjoyable.

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Photo of nathanjohnson
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of SABERG
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a 22 oz into a modified tulip. Initial action with medium head. Lacing continued throughout. Deep amber color, some cloudiness.
S - Some pine, heavy nose, thick. Vanilla, and caramel interestingly not a big citrus snap.

T - Oily hop presence, a little thick and in keeping with the style. DIPA by definition and it certainly shows with a slight malt backbone.

M - Hop oil covers the palate. a nice lingering finish. A balance with the heft of the beer hop presence.

O - What a brew, big IPA from a little place in a little state. Both with big strength.

Best to them all on the rebuild

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to angrybabboon for procuring the bottle.

Appearance: Hazy copper. Bright-white head. Rocky, clingy, sparse lace. Thin cap for the duration.

Smell: Grapefruit and biscuits. Big oily rind. Lots of citrus. Malts are sweet and help counter the aggressive hop profile. Some resin and tropical fruit as well. Very malty. Loads of biscuit dough. Mint and bread crust too.

Taste: Citrus rind. Straight bitterness. Pine and mint. Nice woody character as well. Some pith and zest. Oily hops. Orange marmalade. Malts are beefy and add some nice counter to the hop assault. Biscuit and some caramel malts. Nice blend of flavors. Balance is dent , but favors the hops. Malts add a great caramel sweetness to the whole thing. Oily and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Big chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation is moderate. A touch dry from what has to be intense dry-hopping.

Overall: Drinks much closer to a barleywine than a DIPA. Loads of malts and tons of depth and complexity. I look forward to an aged bottle of this to see what really happens with those malts.

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Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of koopa
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at the Alchemist yesterday. Nothing like a 5 hour drive to make the experience sincerely rewarding!

Appearance: Pours a fairly iced tea copper color with a nice 1.5 finger cafe latte crown that displays loads of retention and lace.

Smell: Worlds of (ok 5 to be exact) citrusy American hoppy goodness over some biscuit and toffee malt. Smells very west coast DIPA like but with some (almost English) fruity notes from the malt.

Taste: Same as the smell.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium bodied with great carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down easy but kicks you in the head a bit.

Not sure why this is considered a barleywine but its awesome. Like a strong ale and a DIPA fused perfectly.

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Photo of yossarian14
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of UA8
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a dark and hazy amber with a minimal white head.

S- Scents of caramel malts, citrus, fruit basket, and a floral note.

T- Leads with Sweet toffee malts and citrus hop notes, mid palates adds to the malt complexity and bring along with it some more varied fruit notes from the yeast I would suspect. Finishes with a nicely balanced floral hop bitterness and malt sweetness.

M- Perfect for a barleywine. Viscous with light and smooth carbonation.

D- I would happily drink my self into a stupor on the 9% abv beauty. One of the best barleywines I've ever had excellent balance and character. Would be very interesting to see where some age took this beer, however exceptional as is.

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Photo of Desaparecido
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub on November 4, 2010.

Pours a really nice copper color with a two-finger light tan head and just bunches and bunches of lacing. The nose brings some strong citrus hops with a bit of pine as well. A slight malt component.

The feel and flavor are dominated by the bruising bitterness of this one. There are some citrus and pine notes plus a bit of malt that doesn't bring much flavor. A bit body and not too dry. This was a good brew, but the flavor didn't quite live up to the nose.

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Heretic from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 75 ratings