Holy Cow | The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center

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Holy CowHoly Cow
263 Ratings
Holy CowHoly Cow

Brewed by:
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Vermont, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Holy Cow is an old favorite being revisited. When we opened our doors for business at the old pub, this was one of the initial offerings. Back then, I was testing the waters to see how people would respond to a truly hoppy IPA. Funny, right?

We soon started to refer to it as a Session IPA, as most of my other IPAs came in above 7% ABV. Through the years, Holy Cow went through countless changes before settling into a groove near the end. In that spirit, I am wiping the slate clean for this new recipe.

The malt bill is the same, but the hops are most defiantly different. Columbus and Amarillo are now joined by Huell Melon, a new and unique hop from Germany. So sit back, relax, and get into a little sesh with Holy Cow. Enjoy..

Added by ThatsThatDude on 04-16-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 |  Reviews: 35
Reviews by JTomczak:
Photo of JTomczak
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ScaryEd
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz can into a spiegelau glass.

Pours a lightly cloudy golden orange color with 3 solid fingers of soapy, effervescent white head. The head has modest retention, leaving a good amount of sticky cobweb lacing before settling into a foam. Lots of suspended sediment but that is to be expected.

The aroma brings a wave of lemon and sweet orange citrus, followed by grapefruit and pineapple. The back end is earthy, piney, and surprisingly dank, like your grandmother's closet.

The taste starts off with grapefruit, orange, and honeydew melon. Then comes the complex and protuberant malt bill, bringing flavors of freshly baked bread, caramel, and honey grains leading into an earthy, piney finish. Exceptional flavor and balance.

The mouthfeel is actually the best part of this beer. It's medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Crisp, yet exquisitely soft, smooth and creamy. The only negative is the slightly oily and astringent finish. Otherwise, perfection.

Overall, this beer blew past my expectations like Usain Bolt running leisurely past myself running at full throttle. This is easily one of the most flavorful 5% beers I've ever had, and certainly one of the most balanced IPA's I've had.

 1,220 characters

Photo of papposilenus
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 16oz can, undated, of course. Served in an imperial pint pub glass.

Pours an only slightly hazed amber-orange with a finger-and-a-half of soft, soapy suds. Retention is very good and leaves scattered wads of clumpy lacings.

Aroma of sharp, clean citrus, lemon peel, orange peel and crackers.

The taste starts out in accordance with the nose, bitter lemon, seville orange, grapefruit pith and straight-on, old school crackery malt, followed by sappy pine, shredded tobacco, grape skin and a bit of spicy yeastiness near the end. Nice sharp bitterness.

Feel is clean, crisp and drying, no more than medium bodied and brightly carbonated.

Overall, a fun little IPA that actually drinks like a seriously over-hopped, amped-up English bitter, the sort of thing that would make a proper Englishman piss himself. Recommended.

 830 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium copper colored pour.

S - Spicy, earthy, citrus aroma.

T - Spicy citrus rind with a delicate hint of onion and finishes with a lingering spicy, earthy citrus pine.

M - Solid heavy medium body, very dry on the top of the tongue and very wet on the sides of the mouth.

O - This beer is blowing my mind because the nose, taste, and mouthfeel mimic that of a much bigger beer without the ABV. If I had easy access to this beer? Would be my "go-to". I love how this low ABV IPA comes off as something much bigger. NICELY done, Mr. Kimmich!

 553 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
2.13/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Photo of JakerLou
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Rand_Schoeb
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 4nimal
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of dacrza1
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE: August 31, 2018... OCCASION: watching more Battlebots with Shan and the kids... GLASSWARE: HopDevil nonick... another gift from Jeff, though after a night of Heady Topper and Focal Banger, I am not sure how fairly I can appreciate "just" the Holy Cow... pours a cloudy, fleck-suspended orange brown body that permits some light at its base... its head is nice and white, fluffy, puffy, and creamy, with bubble clusters stacked high at the glass--a picture-perfect IPA... immediate, thick melon, mango, and orange, with brightly toasted bread malts, oats and caramel--as the label proclaims, this one desires variety... a gentle creaminess imparts smoothness and easy drinking, despite its complex aroma... its aftertaste resonates well at 85 IBUs, providing a salve to the notable crunch at the teeth... a beer that one could either lose himself or the beer in--a pub setting could find me three deep within an hour, without any malicious intent, it's that drinkable... its bitterness raises mango, pineapple, and tropical citrus, while the caramel malts make this a m more balanced offering than HT or FB.... the toasted malts make a strong end statement, leaving a beer whose coast is decidedly undecided... the glass drains with attractive lacing...I may go through both four-packs Jeff sent and not find a weak one--but this brewery has garnered serious attention for a reason....

 1,390 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alrighty then, so it's 4-20-....2018. I've got a nice collection of hop scentric brews to get through....Im starting my extensive session with Holy Cow.

Slightly hazy combo of amber and color. Classicly substantial white foam cap holds on tight.

An earthy hop aromatic delight, supple citrus fruity tones and some pretty heady earthy one's. The malty aroma is what I noticed right off, becaue it has a much more west coasty, caramel/amber sweetness to it.

The flavor is also much more balanced than some of the lighter malty, juicy hop dominated ipa's from the Alchemist. Sharper edges of earthy bitterness, citrus sour and long strands of burnt caramel and brown sugar style maltiness, more than a "backbone" to this malty ride. Balance is more even as the hops remind me more of some old school, west coasty ipa's.

My favorite aspect of most New England style ipa's are the light but tasty malt charecter with heavy, juicy, earthy hop complexity. Holy Cow is a flashback to, well...5 or 6 years ago ad the bitter, amber west coast ipa's dominated the share for this style. This is not a bad thing, but not what I'm "into" right now, dig? Still, quality.

 1,162 characters

Photo of blaje
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of whatname
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of fthegiants
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of grahuba
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.71/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep orange body. Small white head and a medium collar. Wispy surface.

Smell - Musty hops. A little lemony. Pungent pine. Mild toasty malt.

Taste - Much more pine hops. Again a little lemony. Toasty malt. Caramel sweetness. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, maybe medium heavy. Bitter, but drinkable.

Overall - Dramatically different hop profile from the other Alchemist IPAs, and not to its advantage.

 460 characters

Photo of sjones5045
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of robgage
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Joemama73
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great session ale

17 characters

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.07/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up last Tuesday, May 29th from the brewery.
Went through all four cans and only decided to say something after the last one.
This was in a becher pint glass, figured only 5.0%, so a becher is worthy.
The appearance was a semi-clear ruddy golden color. Some carbonation could be seen rising at a moderate pace. Nice speckled lace ran around my glass.
The aroma spoke of unspeakable deathly muddy to dirty hops slaying a oniony/chive-like spiciness. It's hard to muster a bit in the nose, but with a bit of warmth what I just said continues to come out ever so strong.
The flavor was semi-danky sweet with a stifled bittering dose of earthy hops. Ample amount of spiciness lingers in fairly hard. Aftertaste was very earthy, spicy, muddy and dirty.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a bold spicy yearning to peck at it's ability to distract from the sessionability. This is a sipper because of the spicy harshness imparted. Carbonation felt fine. Finish was semi-oily with some earthy spicy harshness.
Overall, am I the only one on beer advocate seeing this as a cleaned up English IPA? Eh, don't mind old farts like me, maybe it's time for me to hang all of this up.

 1,194 characters

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.46/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of VABA
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a hazy dirty orange color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has citrus and piney hints
T-The taste follows the nose with citrus and piney flavors
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decently made NE IPA

 225 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard1
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of TheGent
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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Holy Cow from The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 263 ratings