Heretic | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
89
very good
75 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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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

Added by UA8 on 10-22-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
75
Reviews:
39
Avg:
4.11
pDev:
10.71%
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
11
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Shared at a tasting at finewinemike's house.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a layer of fluffy, off white head and a decent amount of retention.

Smell: Quite malty and a bit fruity. Some alcohol and spicy hops. There is a mild amount of citrus in there too.

Taste: The bottle says this is a double IPA, the website says it is a Barleywine. The taste reminds me more of a barleywine for what it is worth. Malt sweetness and brown sugar notes. Citrus peel bitterness with some sweet, warm alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick side. A bit sticky with smooth carbonation. The finish is a little bit slick.

Overall: I thought this was a good barleywine. As a double IPA, it is still a good beer, but a bit heavy on the malt. The smooth, bitter finish was really nice.

 843 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
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 Thorpe429
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
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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Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
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 nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of millerbuffoon
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of stakem
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jleblanc/geuzer for the trade on this one. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, this brew appears a hazed copper to amber color with a light brown touch to it. A rich 2 fingers worth of slightly off-white head sits atop the brew. The cap maintains fairly strong but as it slowly recedes, it leaves a thick wall and patches of lacework all over the glass.

The smell of this brew is quite bright with citrus and fruity hops. It has a solid array of tropical character somewhat like mango meets pineapple and has a very light citrusy lemon/orange character as well. More sniffs reveal some grassy notes, mild herbal aspect and some pine. There is a quite a deep array of hop character to take in from this aroma, fantastic and very reminiscent of heady topper. There is a very mild toasty grain character sitting under the hops that has a touch of caramel sweetness to it that just plays a nice supporting role in accenting the fruity notes of the hops. Fantastic, these dudes at Alchemist really know what they are doing with hops... I can only imagine what this beast was like fresh out the gate.

The taste includes some toasty grain flavoring that nudges towards being like caramel or toffee but doesn't quite make it there with any sweetness. It has a faint musty aspect about it that charges right into an herbal element of hops. The hops are bold with a ton of flavoring moreso than bittering. An herbal, lightly veggie aspect is present mixed with a load of fruity flavoring. The fruity aspect comes across like pineapple, mango and some citrus like grapefruit that is quite zesty. As the hops fade towards the back of the mouth, the bitterness picks up with a bit of resinous pine-like cling. It is faintly catty into the aftertaste. Once the brew warms up, it really picks up an interesting and super enjoyable fruity character that is contrasted with almost a cheesy dank aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. For just shy of 10% this is mind blowing in how well the abv is integrated. I am a big fan of how hoppy this brew is without letting the bitterness become a distraction. It carries with it almost a minty to methol-like coolness to the back of the throat instead of the expect warmth from the alcohol. This is a fantastic brew and makes me really want to try more of their offerings. I don't understand the reasoning behind this brew being currently listed as an American Barleywine, it clearly states on the label this is a DIPA. My scores here are for this beer being consumed as a DIPA, not a barleywine.

 2,575 characters

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mklisz
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MasterSki
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 1,259 characters

Photo of IPAchris
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of dar482
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

 205 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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 jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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!

 1,175 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber colored, 1/2" off white head, the color is definitely darker than an average ipa. Aroma was hoppy fruits, no burn, caramel.

Big ass malt presence, straddling the line between barleywine and dipa, nice caramel quotient. Fruitier kind of barleywine, I like it. Mild sweetness. Lots of hops and malt going at it here, pretty nice, reminiscient of old richland from the bruery.

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Photo of Brad007
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 549 characters

Photo of markgugs
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburn colored beer, darker than your average dipa, standard sized head. Aroma was plenty fruity, hid the alcohol nice, decent hoppy presence, wasn't all bitterness, a substantial caramel presence as well.

Laying an ode to the American barleywine style just as much as a west coast dipa, this one is right down the middle. Big malt presence, but not heavy on the roasting, lots of caramel cover substantial alcohol that just isn't apparent. Passion fruitishness as well, this is like a bigger version of Sculpin I was thinking. A little sweeter.

The hops are somewhat suffocated in the mouthfeel, the malt and caramel presence really win the war of attrition, the fruity presence is still around. Some pine for good measure.

 728 characters

Photo of bobv
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of papat444
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
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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Heretic from The Alchemist
4.11 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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