Heretic | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
89
very good
75 Ratings
THE BROS
-
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 jmarsh123
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy light brown with a 1 finger white bubbly head.

Pleasant citrus hops along with a little caramel/toffee malt backbone and some pine as well. Smells very nice.

An onslaught of citrus and pine hops hits the palate up front. There is still a lot of malt in this one though. Rich caramel malts blend with the hops. Finishes with a resiny dry flavor.

Decently thick mouthfeel with good carbonation. Slight alcohol burn, but for the most part hidden well.

Definitely a thicker beer than most DIPA which is what it says on the label even though the bw description on here isn't exactly wrong either. Reminds me a bit of the Stone Bastard series as there are loads of both hops and malts that tend to balance in the end. Dinged a bit for drinkability. I tend to like most of the flavors, but they became too much toward the end of the glass along with the alcohol burn.

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Photo of BeerMaverick
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 out of 700 bottles sold at the Alchemist. I am extremely happy that I and my girlfriend were each able to obtain one. The alchemist pub was flooded and only this beer and an imperial stout were saved and bottled.

A - Listed as a DIPA on the bottle, but as a barleywine on BeerAdvocate. I'm gonna have to agree with BA in terms of appearance. Brownish/amber beer with an off-white head...much too dark to be any DIPA that I've ever seen and pretty characteristic of a barleywine. Some lace present on the alchemist glass.

S - Very hoppy as assumed, but has an almost overwhelming malt profile to balance out the bitterness and add some surplus sweetness.

T - The hops are there, but again the strong malt presence takes over. Some darker fruits are here such as plum, raisin, and faint hints of grape. Due to the sweet character, some licorice and fig comes through too.

M - Almost no lasting hop bitterness, which is distinct in my barleywine experience. Not too much to elaborate on here minus the obvious lingering sweetness.

O - Overall a decent barleywine and a horrible DIPA :D. Presents all of the basic elements of a barleywine and lacks all the facets of a DIPA that hop-heads desire. Very happy that I was able to try it, but I'm only happy I spent the $15 on it in order to support the Alchemist.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a Duvel tulip; enjoyed side-by-side with a can of Heady Topper. Reviewed as a DIPA, since that's what it was marketed as; seeing it listed now as an American Barleywine does not surprise me, though.

A: Clear, deep chestnut body under an inch of off-white foam. Good retention + lacing, especially for the strength. Quite dark [for a DIPA], but attractive.

S: Pine, grapefruit, toffee, and light booze. Good, not great [same goes for it as a b-wine: enjoyable, but not complex enough for that style].

T: Big, pungent hops up front, with some tasty toffee lending sweetness toward the end. Grapefruit and brown sugar stand out, with huge bitterness on the finish. Solid [whatever you want to call it].

M: Very soft, finely carbonated medium body. Delicate, smooth, and lovely [but perhaps not hefty enough for a b-wine].

O: This one really straddles the style boundary between American Barleywine and DIPA; fresh I'd say it could just as easily be the latter, but it certainly has the malt backbone to develop into a tasty example of the former. Perhaps I should hold onto my last bottle to see how it is in a couple years...

Cheers!

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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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Photo of ICCULIS
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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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Photo of seeswo
4.45/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to a great BA - cavedave. Thanks!

Pours a clean malty, fairly dark brown with a nice off-white head. Looks good. Strong scent of piney-orange hops comes off the top of this. Sticking my nose in deeper, there is a very light flavor of caramel malt. The look is American Barleywine, the nose is DIPA. Regardless, is smells good. The taste is really fantastic. Like Bigfoot, but with good tasting hops. Orange and pine aggressively emerge up front (the hop profile seems like Heady Topper, the beer I finished before this) with a very clean finish of balanced caramel malts and a less intense burst of hops. No booziness to speak of and highly drinkable. The mouthfeel is that effervescent, hoppy DIPA up front, with a fair amount of sweetness in the body. This is beer is really fantastic regardless of classification. My favorite American Barleywine that is substantially AMERICAN, OR a really good version of a malty DIPA.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased at the Harvest Event a few weekends back. Special thanks to cagiaur! 9.99abv. Bottled sometime right before 10/7/11?
Poured into a Deschutes snifter.

A: pours a really pretty amber color. I get about s finger of off white head. I get some alcohol feet and some lacing. Its a nice looking beer.

S: Smells intoxicating. You get the pine. You get the floral. You get some fruit. And you do get some alcohol. Predominantly I get over ripe peach and alcohol. It smells really fresh and should be being bottle so recently.

T: Tons of hop bitterness from the front of the tongue to the middle of the mouth. It's an assertive beer for sure. Lots of pine. There is some alcohol there in the back of the throat. A solid malt bill helps to balance out the beer. It's awesomely smooth.

M: Medium to full bodied.

O: Going with an A on this one. Along with Heady Topper, the boys at the Alchemist know their IPAs. Solid work! Glad I helped contribute to the re-build of that brewpub!

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Photo of cavedave
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review

A finger of beige head relaxes on a clear but thick looking dark amber beer. Lace sheets clutch my glass, and are slow to sink.

Pine and caramel lead the aroma parade of a medium strength bouquet that also has lighter notes of bitter herbs, grassy and citrus hop, and even lighter floral perfume.

It says it is a IIPA but I am going with the BA tag of barleywine, as it is surely the new American BW style. Lots of candy and dark caramel hold hands with some righteous pine bitter in a sip that crests in deep dank and soft floral, gains a bit of citrus pith, to end with a soft avalanche of bitter and pine resin.Very clean flavors in exceptional balance make this a treat.

Highly viscous but easy drinking, a hallmark of Alchemist, low/med. carb., and a killer finish make this heaven on the palate

It's unlikely this will come your way, but it is certainly a wonderful and luxurious elixir that I recommend highly.

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle from the Hell or High Water fundraiser. Poured into a large snifter.

A - Pours a dark, cloudy ruby with copper hues. Nice amount of head for a 10%, it covers the top of the beer in a thin layer. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Heavy hop character, with pine, earthy, and grassy notes, along with some grapefruit. That said, it is much maltier than Heady Topper, and the sweet caramel base come out strong. It is more of a Barleywine than anything (The Alchemist calls it an DIPA, I believe). Some sweet fruit, perhaps a cherry note.

T - Taste is heavy with sweetness. Malts don't quite dominate, but the hops are much, much subtler than Heady Topper. Hop bitterness makes a very strong showing -- the finish is very bitter. Additionally I can pick out a touch of grapefruit and plenty of pine and earthy hops. Some fruit flavor mirroring what I picked out in the aroma to be cherry. Maybe some orange or tangerine. Barelywine, again, is the style I think of while drinking.

M - Sharp as razors. Not as smooth and mellow as I tend prefer my barleywines. I'm going to let it warm a bit and see if it improves. The carbonation is high for such a strong beer, and it makes the beer a bit sharper. EDIT: It does indeed mellow a bit, but remains somewhat sharp anyway. Not the best part of the beer, but it is still... fine.

O - Well if you have to save just two beers from a flood, this may as well be one of them. A really awesome barleywine, this beer is complex and really damn tasty! Nice combination of flavors that perfectly match the nose -- no surprises here. The mouthfeel is a bit too sharp, but I have to let it warm -- which should hopefully round it out a bit. Notably the alcohol is perfectly hidden, so much so that few 10% beers can keep up .

What a tragedy to have occurred to The Alchemist. I first visited in February 2011 and can truly say it was the best brew-pub I ever visited. I was crushed to hear what had happened to them, and couldn't wait to visit and help support them at the Hell or High Water event. Good luck to you Mr. Kimmich as you rebuild. I'll do everything I can to be there on day one when you open the doors again.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Alex for this one. 22oz bomber into Narke tulip.

A - Pours a mirky copper color, spotty lace, thin collar, no cap.

S - Really dank-forward, lots of bitter hops, touch of sugary sweetness, slight pine. Very big dank nose that is very powerful.

T - Dank bitter hops, resin, slight malty sweetness, slight detectible booze. Again, lots of dank hoppy notes with a decent amount of detectible alcohol and light malty sweetness.

M - Light to medium, good carbonation, oily finish.

O - This was good, but not as high as I would have thought after drinking can after can of Heady Topper. A decent DIPA, but not as mind-blowing as Heady is to the DIPA category.

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

A - Dark brown beer with a tan head that left some solid lacing.

S - Very wet smelling beer. Grass and earth notes with some herbal scent. Good malts in there as well.

T - Taste is much like the nose, and pretty enjoyable. The herbal and grass tastes bring the sweetness of the malt backbone down a little and make this seem like a nicely hopped barleywine.

M - Medium bodied with lower carbonation and a dry finish.

O - Good beer. As Alex stated, not sure exactly what it is, but it's very good with a good hop profile and nicely bitter finish.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bigger version of Heady Topper with less juicy fruit to it.

Extremely bitter...if tropical or citrus fruit was bigger here, the bitterness would have been better accepted.

Very drinkable...not near barleywine territory as some before have mentioned...malt non-existent until warms up.

So -so beer big DIPA here. Vermont has impressed me so far with Ephraim, Heady Topper and this one but not sure if worth all the latest hype surrounding them. Very fortunate to have experienced and thankful. Would have again but not go out of my way for...

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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.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
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 doughanson78
3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to kingcrowing for sharing this one of a kind beer. Contrary to BA's style listing the bottle actually says this is a Double IPA.

A: Dark amber/brown with lots of floating sediment. One finger tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: Citrus and earthy hops, pineapple, grapefruit, earth, and grass. Light caramel backbone.

T: Touch of caramel upfront taken over by the earthy hops with nice citrus notes. Decent bitterness in the middle mellowed towards the end by malts. Very earthy and grassy finish.

M: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Crisp, refreshing and dry.

O: A very good DIPA or Barleywine, however you want to classify it. Great story of what happened at the brewery with the tropical storm, told from the beers perspective.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a dark amber/brown with a small brown head, nose is hopy, malty, a bit fruity and sweet, there's a malty dark sugar.
Taste is very hoppy, malty and crisp earthy caramel flavor rs. Lots of chewy herbal notes. Hard to say if it's an iipa or a barleywine but either way it's awesome.

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Photo of SABERG
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
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 SpeedwayJim
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As stated, this is actually a double IPA so I'm reviewing it as such. 22oz bomber poured into Lost Abbey stemware.

Pours a .5 finger coarse white head with moderate to low retention. Beer is a clear rusty copper. Lacing is patchy and stringy with nice stick. Average for the style.

Nose is tree sap and resin hoppiness with a mellow backbone of dried tea leaves. Some light cane sugar and citrus pushed far into the background. Nicely aromatic with aromas that are very on point.

Opens caramel and brown sugar. Citrus and sap hop bitterness combine with a wave of creamy dark malt flavors. Dried leaves and cane sugar with a slight booziness right at the end. Finishes spicy and sweet with a sticky, lingering resin hop sweetness. Definitely an east coast style offering. Robust and very full flavored.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Smooth in the mouth and goes down with some warmth. Finish is messy with a long, lingering aftertaste. Nothing special. Very smooth though.

A very solid offering from the Alchemist. What else could be expected from the makers of Heady Topper? Definitely worth a try if you're into the IIPAs with a pronounced malt bill.

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

Had this on tap at the Alchemist yesterday during my day trip to Vermont. Sweet. This one is reviewed from my notes. The pour delivers a finger of off white head that sits on top of a hazy copper body with thin lacing. The smell is full of bitter hops, oak and orange zest. The smell is very rich, certainly reminds me of Autumn. The taste is piney hops, light orange zest with earthy and woody undertones. The body is medium and the carbonation is pretty light, this had a really clean bitter finish. I think this one is a little boozey but it sure didn't stop me from finish this one in no time.

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Photo of koopa
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
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 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.

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Photo of UA8
4.88/5  rDev +18.7%
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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Heretic from The Alchemist
4.11 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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