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Luscious | The Alchemist

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Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-09-2011

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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 427
Photo of aabuhanna
4.93/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The name says it all with this beer. I've cracked open three bottles so far, one on release, one two months later, and one two weeks ago. This beer evolves insanely well over time. Dangerously drinkable, incredibly smooth

The first there was much more of a coffee flavor, small hints of chocolate and berry. By the third one I have had, the coffee became slightly hinted with heavy chocolate and berry flavors.

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Photo of StevenGlansburg
4.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color with a deep brown, thick and heavy looking head. Swirling the glass brings out rich milk chocolate and some roastyness. There is am underlying, slightly sweet element similiar to that of licorice. It tastes great, coffee and dark chocolate take the front seat along with cocoa. There are also very well intergrated hop flavors that work great with the other flavors. Mouthfeel is very rich, it coats the mouth wonderfully. Good, subtle hop bitterness and perfect carbonation.

Overall great beer. It's unfortunate I only got 2 bottles. Can't wait to see what some age does to this.

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Photo of skivtjerry
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My share of a bomber into a Duvel tulip:

A: Black, totally opaque when held up next to a 60W bulb. A very thick brown head lasts forever.

S: Roasty chocolate dominates with vanilla and sweet malt also demanding attention. A bit boozy but in a good way, blends perfectly with the vanilla.

T: This beer is a meal; tastebuds are totally overwhelmed with chocolate, vanilla, dark fruit and sweet malt. Hop bitterness is hard to find beneath the chocolate. A firm, smooth alcohol presence that advertises the barrel aging. Flavors linger forever, still smiling 15 minutes after the last sip.

M: Smooth,full, deceivingly gentle for a beer of this strength. Moderate carbonation. Balanced in every way.

O: Wow.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.8/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Pours black as night in the glass, with ½ fingers worth of burnt looking chocolate colored head. This retains with a robust ring of froth, which flares up to nearly a ½ finger again when swirled, and throws up a rich cascade that descends down the sides of the glass into patchy swathes of lace and light gooey brown oils. The aroma is full and in control in the nose, with notes of cocoa, espresso, green citrus, and a touch of dark fruit. There is a bold spicy alcohol presence across the back here but it doesn’t get too warming in the nose. A bit more smokiness from the roast begins to emerge as this warms, adding just a smidge of acrid character to the proceedings. I just the love the power and balance of this in the nostrils. This is how an Imperial Stout should smell.

The taste is equally rich and strong feeling on the palate, with notes of bittersweet chocolate, dark burnt grains, flavorful green citrus, and like the nose, some light dark fruit character that comes out as this warms. The ABV has a big part in the profile as well, with a flush of fusel alcohol across the back that trails a warm spiciness into the finish, where it lingers with a mostly dry and charred feel. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a thick feeling silky chewiness that fills the mouth with flavor. This lays just enough of crispness on the tongue to help draw out the hops and roast, but this really does have an overall smooth and luscious feel to it. As mentioned before, I just love the alcohol presence here, as it add so much to the flavor profile and yet is only mildly warming. That 11% ABV is just beautifully hid here.

This might be one of the best Imperial Stouts that I’ve had in some time. I mean, just everything worked here. The hops, roast, and chocolate flavors were all in tune with each other and were perfectly complimented by the dark fruitiness of that English yeast. And the imperializing of the style didn’t hurt this in the slightest, instead adding an extra flavorful layer of bold alcohol character that really took this to the next level for me. It was just a joy to sit down and split this with a good friend of mine. Luscious indeed. This beer was awesome and really speaks to the quality of the beers from the Alchemist.

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Photo of mynie
4.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cans purchased at the Alchemist truck sale in early December, 2014. Sampled several since then but never given a review.

Poured into a chalice, because I'm not going to drink an RIS from the can because that is just how I was raised. Opaque with a chocolate brown head, a bit fizzy for the style.

A month ago, it tasted like fresh Darkness. Now, it still tastes like fresh Darkness. Only better. It's still a relatively hop-forward, lightly vinous and chocolatey RIS, only all the separate flavors are more robust and rounded, nothing blots anything else and nothing becomes overwhelming.

Starts with hops and chocolate, moves into a middle of red wine, coffee, and peat, ends with a more hoppy chocolateness that lingers perfectly bittersweet until long after the sip has been swallowed.

A handful of dullards are dismissing this as unexceptional, most likely because it's not barrel aged and their pallets were formed within the last 1-3 years. Personally, I thank god that this was not barrel aged, as its smoothness and balance is so exceptional I'd hate to see it ruined by whiskeyfication. My only complaint is the aroma--it's fine, but aggressively hoppy, and it belies the balance and complexity of the flavor.

Wow. I figured this was going to be an also ran, the Bill Richardson to Focal Banger's Obama. Turns out it was one of the very best beers I had in 2014, an absolute classic you should seek out immediately.

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Photo of WoostaBia
4.75/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very well made stout. Great thick mouth feel, toasty malty goodness with light sweetness, dark fruit, small alcohol heat when going down, taste and texture gets better with warmth. Would definitely look out for this amazing beer.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.71/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a very good beer. Above all its one of the better standard stouts I have ever had. Its not as good as some BA or Imperial stouts, but as a standard stout. High marks. My one complaint is that this beer has no description on the can other than giving the name of the beer. It doesn't even have a government warning on it! I am not sure that is even legal? I received this one on a trade that supposedly came in from the "Truck Sale" at the beginning of December.

Appearance: Like pouring used motor oil out of the can. Black as night, decent amount of head but not a huge amount either!

Smell: Chocolate was what predominated. Dark chocolates and malts. Some molasses and maybe the lightest amount of coffee.

Taste: Very nicely done here. Melds the dark chocolate and coffee notes into a stout beer. The amalgamation of flavors blend perfectly to make this beer what it is. The mouthfeel is spot on!

Overall: I was hesitant about this one because there was absolutely no information on the can. I traded with a new trader and I was skeptical. He seemed like a nice enough fellow, but you never know, but once I poured out this nectar all hesitancy went out the window. Solid stout! One of the best standard American stouts I have ever had! Its classified as an RIS on here. But since there is no description I am just going to say this is an American style stout! Call me wrong. It doesn't have some of the tell tell signs of an RIS. Which can be a good thing really!

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Photo of stoutluvr420
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with a nice tan head. Good retention and some nice lacing on the way down. The nose carries a nice dose of bourbon and oak with a bit of vanilla-hops in the background. Touch of bittersweet chocolate and leather as well. Flavor is toasty and hoppy along with awesome dark chocolate and molasses notes and a good amount of booze to go alongside the barrel character. Body is medium-heavy with average carbonation. Pretty good, but I'd really like to see how this one ages.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.7/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black, such a viscous ooze, tan head, leaves to tan ring. Lots of cling.

S - Soy and cocoa out the gate, sweet malt is making my mouth water.

T - Fuck! Creamy loads of thick chocolate, small anise, small soy, lingering milk chocolate/hot chocolate/chocolate chip cookies. I am in love.

M - Heavy body, great carb, wonderful balance. So creamy.

D - Dangerous. So good I have to slow myself down. Oh, yeah, I am having the whole thing!

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Photo of sendsilk
4.69/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was fortunate enough to have been able to trade for the original 22 oz. bottle of this beer from right after their located was flooded due to hurricane Sandy. This beer is so thick and delicious! I've had the canned version of it and although it's very nice, it can't touch this bottled batch.

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Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
4.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer has a slick deep angry pallor that pours BP thick. Deep black inkiness with mahogany coating on the glass. The head looks amazing with dark cocoa bubbles like frothed chocolate milk.

S: This is out of this world complex and amazing. I love the cocoa and chocolate notes up front, supported by some nicely acidic coffee at the back. The waft of subtle vanilla and toffee alcohol makes this all too inviting.

T: It packs all of the foregoing into a multilevel experience that I have to delve into like strata. The sweetness is swift and supported by a great coffee acidic dryness. The sweetness returns in an alcoholic waft that is like if chocolate rain, parabola, and GI Rare had a love child. It has the sweetness from one, the nice coffee notes from the other, and a prickly warmth from the latter.

M: Great coating without being overly expansive. The taste just lingers and you can truly sip on this judiciously. It gets even better when it warms up, just outrageous top to bottom. I just want to get my mouth all on it.

D: This is an incredible beer. Of course, it has to be one of the only 700 bottles saved from that jerk Irene. Thank god I obtained 2 bottles, this is something that I will savor later on in life, like when I pass the postal exam or break 200 in a game of bowling, you know. Monuments.

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Photo of mdlb44
4.66/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What more can be said about the Alchemist? While I am sad that Beezlebub is retired, this stout is fantastic. Very well balanced and hides the ABV very well. Get it!

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Photo of Fireman_RK
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark mocha hues with a thin sandy head
S: Coffee, brown sugar, and evident roasted malts
T: Dark chocolate, caramel, medium roasted coffee, and a slight milk chocolate sweetness
F: Medium to light body, but very smooth
O: Awesome interpretation of an imperial stout. The Alchemist nailed the style in my opinion and Luscious provides a slightly bitter, slightly sweet, bold, and smooth ride. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of MikeM417
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite stouts I've ever had. I am not a fan of BA beers, and am mostly a hop fan. With that said, this stout was right up my ally. Alchemist hit another home run with this one.

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Photo of MA_hops
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Motor oil black with a creamy mocha head that dissipates fairly quickly.
S: Huge notes of chocolate, brown sugar, roasted malts.
T: Similar to the nose. Roasted malts with a sweet chocolate/brown sugar finish. Hint of vanilla and coffee.
M: Moderate carbonation with a slightly bitter and dry finish. The beer is relatively creamy in it's consistency. Goes down easy with a hint of alcohol warmth.
O: Alcohol is hidden quite well. The roasted chocolate notes make it extremely enjoyable to drink. Can't say enough about this beer. Very good!

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black color with a finger of tan-chocolate frothy head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some good lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of dark roasted chocolate malts with a touch of burnt malt, sweetness, and a touch of caramel.

T - Starts off with some roasted chocolate malts with some sweet dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, and oak. Through the middle, some more oak and burnt flavor comes through with some more dark fruit and a touch of booze. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate, oak, vanilla, caramel, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice balance with some nice sweetness from the dark fruit that goes well with the big body and other flavors.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of the Alchemist Heady Topper, so I had to try this one! Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a dark black color with a finger of tan-chocolate frothy head. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some good lacing throughout. Aroma is a mix of dark roasted chocolate malts with a touch of burnt malt, sweetness, and a touch of caramel. The flavor starts off with some roasted chocolate malts with some sweet dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, and oak. Through the middle, some more oak and burnt flavor comes through with some more dark fruit and a touch of booze. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate, oak, vanilla, caramel, and a bit of booze. Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a warming finish. Dangerously drinkable. Really nice balance with some nice sweetness from the dark fruit that goes well with the big and roasty malt body!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5



A: Black as ink with an enormous mocha head that exhibits great retention and leaves much lacing on the glass as it recedes. Stunning appearance for the style.

S: Roasty with notes of molasses and licorice. Restrained dark fruit notes are redolent of plum, grape, and raisin. Smells like bittersweet dark chocolate fudge with accompanying oak and vanilla.

T: Rich bittersweet dark chocolate with light brown sugar, licorice, and a firm molasses presence. The beer is lightly oaky with a moderate earthy bitterness. The roasted malt presence is firm but doesn't dominate. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Full body with upper medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is full, sticky, silky, and chewy.

Overall: A great Imperial Stout. It reminds me of Abyss 2007 in its prime.

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Photo of Hop_God
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was quite a stellar beer. Coffee, but very subtle. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, and even notes of berry, namely raspberries. This was extremely enjoyable and worthy of its rating IMO.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Weyerbacher tulip. Shared at a tasting.

A: The body looks thick and is entirely black; above is an inch of dense, dark brown head that sticks around nicely and leaves plenty of thick lace. Perfectly gorgeous stout.

S: Huge! Brownie batter, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and char. Terrific.

T: Sweet, rich, and truly luscious. Chocolate absolutely explodes, with gooey sweet goodness washing across my tongue. Some coffee and pure roast provide a bit of balance, as does a touch of wood. Booze does show up on the finish, but much less than one might expect in an 11%+ beer. Amazing.

M: Thick, rich, smooth, and well-carbonated.

O: This blew me away fresh, and I only expect it to get better with a year or two. I'm really glad I made the 8 hour round trip to support this terrific brewery. Every bit the equal of stouts with far more hype.


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Photo of greenmonstah
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Opened precisely at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11

A - Pours pitch black with two fingers of fine dark brown head. Excellent lacing. This is simply gorgeous.

S - Chocolate in droves, largely of the bittersweet variety, but with sweeter milk chocolate too. Nicely oaked, with dark cherry/generic dark fruit and roasted malts, with a clean grainy backing.

T - Chocolate with alcohol heat and a playful vanilla flavor. Oakey with a sweet dark fruit component, mostly cherry-like. I even get faint touches of licorice and some coffee bitterness. It really packs a lot in. Roasted malts take center stage in the tail end, but the alcohol is ever-present. As it warms it gets even BETTER, as if that is possible. The chocolate and cherry/DF get stronger and a bit sweeter.

M - Creamy and full bodied, with a bit more active carbonation than I'd prefer. Finishes sticky. Not the best part of the beer, but still quite good.

O - This beer is simply phenomenal. I remembering drinking Beelzebub at the Pub, when I made the trip for Heady Topper, and thinking "My god, even his Stouts are incredible!" -- turns out I didn't even realize the half of it. You'd be hard pressed to find a more balanced and complex stout. This is honestly one of the best I've ever had. I almost regret trading two of my three bottles away! I can't imagine how amazing this would be with 2 years on it. It's already spectacular now.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.57/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review adapted from notes taken 11/13/11

Appearance: Pours heavy and black, with a tan head - average lacing

Smell: Beautifully burnt, sweet, and roasty - chocolate and coffee everywhere - some burnt bitterness well-balanced with some malty sweetness - very, very nice

Taste: Somewhat ridiculous, in a very good way - tons of chocolate, coffee, burnt bitterness - stupidly balanced - so, so roasty - mocha - some slight alcohol - some sugar, some dark fruits - good, but a little rough, will likely become magical with age

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, full and heavy body, nice carbonation

Overall: So much potential

This beer is already great, and I am sure it is only going to get better. I feel very lucky that I was in Waterbury during this beer release. And I am happy that I have another bottle of this cellaring (probably for a few years).

Update: Drinking a bottle in November, 2013

Holy crap. This has matured into a sate of epic. It's a beauty, with some epic malts. Updated the appearance from 4.00 to 4.50 and the taste to 4.75. I still have two more bottles of this, I wouldn't be shocked if the upward trajectory continues.

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Photo of cavedave
4.56/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Has the perfect appearance for a RIS, almost black, thick like motor oil, three finger, light brown, lathery head, and eventually a panoply of leggy sheets of lace and a lasting cap.

Chocolate, caramel, toffee, coffee beans, toasted bread, molasses, hints of herbal bitter, and spicy alcohol in a medium strength aroma make for a delectable bouquet.

This beer has a well blended, medium/strong taste. It starts with alcohol spice holding hands with roasty grain, semi sweet chocolate, dark caramel, candi sweet, and finally some herbal bitter and deeper roastiness join in to dry it perfectly. Please don't think the alcohol of this makes it hot, it doesn't, or that it is cloyingly sweet, it isn't, or that it has a real roasty bitter, it doesn't. As it reaches room temp underflavors, most notably lightest hints of licorice, dance in on tip toe to highlight the simple complexity of this masterpiece. It is a rich and perfectly balanced blend of wonderful flavors that create an exceptionally delicious taste.

As usual with JK's beers the mouthfeel is perfect, here a creamy, low carb. easy on the palate, super clean, fantastic finish beer of extreme drinkability.

How folks can posit this beer will improve with time is hard to fathom, as it is about as good now as an RIS can hope to be. A touch more roast and a bit stronger aroma would have made this an all 5 beer. Unlikely you will run across this future whitest of whales, but if you do you are in for a staggeringly delicious treat. Highest recommendation.

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Photo of largadeer
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, David.

Pitch black viscous body with a tall lasting head. Initially over-carbonated, but some vigorous swirling takes care of that.

Big dark chocolate aroma backed by a small note of char. Oak and vanilla follow, and dark fruit comes out more as it warms. Slightly vinous.

The palate is heavy on cocoa, roasted malt and dark fruit, with a gentle oak presence that lends a touch of vanilla. The mouthfeel is incredible - full and silky bordering on creamy, but without excessive sweetness. There's a note of char toward the finish and a touch of booze, but overall this is remarkably balanced and mellow. Truly excellent stuff.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.53/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a trillium tulip. Thanks to a buddy of mine.

A: pours dark and oily looking... Thin dark mocha colored head... Looks like viscous dark chocolate. delicious.

S: roasted malts, dark chocolate... And as the beer warms a sweet black licorice aroma. Hint of vanilla.

T: Nice roastyness with decadent dark chocolate flavors along with some bitterness and vanilla. Alcohol comes through very slightly on the finish along with a touch of licorice ... Particuarly when the beer reaches room temp.

M: viscous and creamy medium heavy body w/ below medium carbonation. Coats the mouth with slightly bitter chocolaty goodness.

O: this is an excellent RIS, all the right characters are in play here w/excellent balance. Alcohol is present but well hidden, just the right amount of roastyness. Really and excellent beer, hope I cross paths with this one again someday.

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Luscious from The Alchemist
4.4 out of 5 based on 427 ratings.
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