The Alchemist

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The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #1
Ranked #2,857
4.27 | pDev: 4.92%
Mar 05, 2021
Oct 01, 2018
Notes: None
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4.3 by LoudRed from Massachusetts on Mar 05, 2021
Photo of smcolw
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by smcolw from Massachusetts

Rocky two-finger beige head. Relatively light on the lace, through. The color is ruby-brown where bright light passes easily through the center of the glass.

Mostly chocolate malt aroma. I get some semisweet chocolate with a touch of chalkiness. There's a the smell of toasted wheat bread in the background. Attractive. It approaches the aroma of a Porter but comes up just short, good for a Schwartzbier.

Similar to a Brown Ale but with a little more crispness in the mouth. There's a solid hop presence, but the dominating flavor is the aforementioned chocolate malt. The swallow is a pleasant 60-40 blend of the two. I get a smidgen of alcohol in the aftertaste, which is surprisingly long and chocolatey.

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of jrc1093
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by jrc1093 from Connecticut

No canning date (purchased at the brewery on 10/7/20, so presumably canned within a week or so of that date); consumed on 11/29/20

Pours a deep mahogany/blood-red hue topped with a towering head of fluffy, creamy, tan foam; good retention leaves a finger of equally creamy cap, a massive, frothy collar climbing the walls to meet a dense coating of lacing covering the glass.

Aroma opens with bready malts meeting a firm minerality atop a solidified, underlying yeast character and deep, floral hop accents; hints of milk chocolate come through over the middle before deeper heavily toasted brown bread/bread crusts and tones of smoked toffee develop into the close.

Taste features a dusting of semi-sweet cocoa contrasting a grassy hop tinge upfront as a yeast profile imbued with delicate, malty roast becomes steadily apparent over time; floral, earthy hops and spent coffee grounds over the mid-palate give way to a touch of smoke and nuttiness forming into dry cocoa and ashy char on the finish.

Mouthfeel brings a medium-light body with a fluffy, higher end carbonation settling to a creamy texture with a subtle, oily accent giving way to a steadily encroaching malty grit past the mid-palate; peaking in dryness on the back end, the finish is crisp with malty textures and a delicate bitterness.

Clean execution at the highest of levels, and a commitment to the style in its rawest form; a subtle deluge of minerality accents every aspect of this Schwarzbier, allowing the malt profile to present both cleanly and quietly detailed, with a firm hop presence for a deftly executed American-styled twist.

Nov 29, 2020
Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by johnnnniee from New Hampshire

Can shared with Todd, thanks for the opportunity!
Dark brown with faint garnet at the edges and a tightly bubbled tan head that slowly dissipates. Rich toasty crusty maltiness with hints of chocolate and just enough earthy floral hops to keep it from cloying. Nice Schwartz!

Nov 14, 2020
Photo of Bartleby91
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by Bartleby91 from Wisconsin

I love a good Schwarzbier and this is without a doubt the best one I've ever had.
A: Poured black with some ruby when held up to the light. Had a fluffy three finger tan head that lingered well.
A: Notes of chocolate, roasted malt, a bit of smoke, and nuttiness along with some spice from the hops.
T: Rich and layered with chocolate malt sweetness up front along with roasted malts, some coffee and some slight bitterness.
F: Just sublime with a lingering mineralty that hits the spot. The dry finish makes you want to keep drinking.
O: This is one of the best lagers I have had and makes me want to try and get more Alchemist sooner than later. An amazing beer.

Oct 24, 2020
Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Siriusfisherman from Vermont

L: Black with hints of Ruby/amber on the edge of the glass. Thick, foamy head dissipates leaving some moderate lacing.

S: Sweet melanoidins and caramel, a touch of roast, spicy hops and yeast.

T: Robust flavors of caramel and roast, good breadiness, moderate spice from hops and a clean malty finish.

F: Medium/light body, crisp finish.

Overall: A delicious lager, definitely good for anyone craving a dark beer on the lighter side. Perfect balance of flavors.

Oct 16, 2020
4.25 by eddiefl from New York on Oct 09, 2020
Photo of Manta200
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Manta200 from Kentucky

courtesy of brentk56!!!
This is an excellent Schwarzbier to have.
Almost completely black (schwarz as we Germans say) with a nice khaki head that has good retention.
Lively carbonation raising to the top supporting this lovely head.
Very smooth and full mouthfeel.

Oct 05, 2020
4.29 by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania on Oct 04, 2020
4.02 by Ben1313 from New Hampshire on Oct 03, 2020
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by StonedTrippin from Colorado

what a sensational example of the style from an american brewery, downright impressive, and the highlight of my little session last night. massive thanks to my buddy back east for sending this out, always a treat to drink beer from these guys, and this one seems just perfect for a cool early fall evening with some earthy vegetable stuffed mushrooms for dinner. its got a creamy tan inch of lasting foam atop a clean satin luster near black body, no real density to it, looks gorgeous in the glass. the aroma is slightly smoked to me, but well short of burnt without any bitter or astringent charred character to the grain. there is an obvious german lager yeast to this coming through, similar to some of the oktoberfests ive been drinking over the last few weeks, a deep nuttiness through it as well, wet soil, minerals, toasted bread, simple but not boring. the flavor is also excellent, nice espresso bean roastiness to the grain, still very european with the lager yeast coming through, and a velvety smoothness of texture unexpected in the style, drinkable but slightly fuller than is common i reckon, and extremely dry too, which i love for session drinking. this is real well refined, very obviously professionally done, the fermentation profile is awesome, the way this is so classic but also subtly distinctive is hard to do, and overall, this really is a beer of immense quality. an awesome fall drinker, stoked to have been able to enjoy this one! a gold standard, especially for american brewers!

Oct 02, 2020
4.18 by Quarantinehobby from Massachusetts on Sep 22, 2020
4.19 by Knapp85 from Pennsylvania on Sep 14, 2020
4.37 by Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania on Sep 13, 2020
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

16oz can

Pours two fingers of light brown head into my willi becher, a little pillowy. Retention is pretty nice and a finger remains after a few minutes. Initial lacing doesn’t want to grab onto anything. Body is jet black. Looks pretty nice so far.

Nose is very dry, has a faint mineral aroma. A little roasty. Chocolate comes out as it warms. Aroma starts subtle, but opens up with time.

Flavor follows suit with a nice roast character, some chocolate peaking through at times. A little bitter, but has a nice sweetness to balance it out. Really wonderful flavor.

The mouthfeel brings everything home and knocks it all out of the park. Carbonation is high, not really mineral though. Body is on the lighter side. Bitter malt is modest, but perceived bitterness is higher. Sugars are also modest, but it balances the slight dryness and bitterness perfectly. Wonderful mouthfeel.

Drinkability is stupid good here, it’s light and very tasty.

Lacing turned out poor, but the head was nice. I’m starting to think this bad lacing is due to this travel willi glass not rinsing completely clean of detergent.

Overall a wonderful beer. Tasty, flavorful, balanced, and really easy drinking.

Sep 06, 2020
Photo of Bierman9
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Bierman9 from New Hampshire

Picked up a 4-pack from the Alchemist while visiting with Alewife at the end of July (~$13.50 or so). Finally getting around to a can today, out in The 'Zebo...

Drained the entire can into a 0.5l Willi Becher glass.. Is almost fully black save for some slight touches of chestnut near the edges and bottom. Has a prodigious, rocky beige head, which sits at 1" easily. The fluffy foam went through a very slow ebb, with lovely lacing on the glass. Aroma has roasty notes, with choco and dry cocoa powder. Nothing in the way of hopping here. Has a smooth feel and a solid medium body.

Taste has more roasty malts at the outset, along with some semisweet dark choco. There is a hint of bitterness with the cocoa powder aspect, but very subtle. Has a suggestion of tobacco and earthy hops in the finish. Solid! Prosit!!

4.18/5 rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Sep 01, 2020
4.08 by jcoleMA66 from Massachusetts on Aug 23, 2020
Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany with a pillowy beige head that builds with a cascade to the full three fingers; excellent retention and shards of lacing

Smell: Roast, bordering on char, with black bread and chocolate tones

Taste: Charred black bread forward with a touch of chocolate and brewer's licorice; through the middle, the flavors touch on acrid but hold back with a bit of lager twang in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I little more burnt than I would like but over, quite enjoyable

Thanks, jpm05401, for the opportunity

Aug 23, 2020
3.76 by ScaryEd from New Hampshire on Aug 21, 2020
4.28 by M4CDO from Massachusetts on Aug 09, 2020
Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by jlindros from Massachusetts

Thanks to Drew for bringing this back. Planned to share with rudzud.
Pours a large darker foamy frothy almost 2 finger head with great retention, foamy lacing, dark basically black color

Nose brings plenty of dark chocolate and some roast, dark roasted coffee, almost char like, cocoa, chocolate-marshmallow-nougat character, hint of baking spices, touch of spicy hops

Taste brings super dark malts again, lots of roast and some char, bordering acrid as it goes into burnt coffee, earthy dark coffee, with some roasted chocolate, cocoa, a bit of fluffy nougat-marshmallow like, some bitterness half from roasted malt and half mild spicy hops, drier finish, a bit of soft lager but not a lot

Mouth is med bod, a bit creamy with med foamy carb

Overall it's a decent lager, but the level of roast is more like a foreign export stout than schwarzbier, but it's still tasty, and it's better than a brown lager passing as a schwarzbier

Aug 06, 2020
Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Super dark, black with a tint of brown. Frothy creamy head.
Smell of toasty crackers.
Very little hop presence, but what has become a familiar (to me at least) Alchemist yeast as a backbone. Roasty chocolate taste, a sweeter kind of chocolate with very low bitterness. Not too sweet, just perfect.
Medium body, a sort of thin creamy-ness that leads to a very drinkable beer.
I'm a fan of this style and this is up there with the best I've had. Versatile beer - the body isn't too heavy and it would be fine on a hot day but also great for a fall or winter as well.

Aug 05, 2020
4.18 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Aug 02, 2020
4.17 by bubseymour from Maryland on Aug 01, 2020
4 by acurtis from New Jersey on Jul 24, 2020
4.23 by MDDMD from Pennsylvania on Jul 22, 2020
4.21 by TheEpeeist from Pennsylvania on Jul 19, 2020
4.12 by mdfb79 from New York on Jun 19, 2020
Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

This beer & a couple of others were recently brought back & gifted (!) to me by someone who had been up that was & knew of my CANQuest (tm). I am deeply grateful for their generosity. Many, many thanks!

From the CAN: "Dark Schwarzbier Lager"; "Solar Powered Brewery"; "Certified B Corporation"; "100% Independent - Family Owned".

I beCAN by Crack!ing open the vent & followed that with a slow, gentle C-Line Glug into the awaiting glass. It surprised me with a pseudo-cascade that formed just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, light-tan head with decent retention. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 27, < 34) with cola highlights. Nose had a lightly-smoky roastiness with notes of bittersweet chocolate & treacle. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, about on par of a Lager. The taste had hardly any perceptible bitterness, hops or otherwise. Instead, it had a light smokiness with a semi-sweet chocolatiness & notes of anise & treacle. Mmm. This site's Style Guide suggests it as a Winter beer, but I was finding it just fine on this hot, humid, late-Spring day. Finish was semi-dry & highly refreshing. Mmm. YMMV.

Jun 10, 2020
Photo of Jwale73
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Jwale73 from Rhode Island

16oz. can served in a pilsner glass. Pours a deep mahogany with a translucent clarity and ruby highlights when backlit. Head is two fingers, tight and khaki-colored. Nose reveals hints of roast and a trace of bakers chocolate. Taste consistent with nose; however, more pronounced. Mouthfeel is light in body with a lively carbonation. Overall, a solid example of the style.

Jan 01, 2020
4.19 by Barleycorn from Pennsylvania on Nov 28, 2019
4.25 by smb71481 from Vermont on Nov 04, 2019
Photo of musicsherlock
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by musicsherlock from New York

Can from the brewery into pint glass

Pours dark as the name implies, midnight black even. Tan one finger head that dissipates
Smells rich and malty, licorice, yeasty, get me salivating
Tastes borderline stout, wow more licorice.
Full mouthfeel, creamy, slightly cloying. Heavier than the abv would lead you to believe
Overall a little heavy for the style but tastes great

Oct 31, 2019
4.4 by liquorpig from Massachusetts on Dec 15, 2018
4.35 by heerboth from Pennsylvania on Nov 19, 2018
Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

since ice cream style pour with a sand like fluffy head, smell light roasted malt taste is crisp and smooth at same time like toasted cracker, this is so hard to put down and stop drinking. With so many pastry stouts and think NEIPA is a treat to drink and enjoy. Whish I had a more then a four pack

Nov 18, 2018
4.25 by BEER88 from Washington on Nov 08, 2018
Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

L-The beer pours black with brown edges. The head rises to about a finger and a half of tan bubbles. The head recedes to a thin film leaving tons of coating lace.
S- The nose is roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, and a touch of black coffee.
T-Up front you get that roasty malt presence which borders on coffee. The longer I sip the further the roastiness fades into the backround. This allows the dark chocolate to rise, but the beer never reaches sweet. Spicy, earthy hop flavors balance out the beer beautifully.
M- Mouthfeel overall is medium. Carbonation is on the lighter side of medium.
O- Like it's sister beer Light, this is a flawlessly executed lager. If you put a german label on it I'd be none the wiser. If your a schwarzbier fan you'll love this. Highly recommended.

Nov 04, 2018
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by BEERMILER12 from Maine

A: Pours a darn brown color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap that leaves good lacing

S: Roasted malt, toffee, caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of nuttiness

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malt, toffee, dark chocolate, and nuttiness. Quite mild, not very sweet at all. Finishes with lingering toffee and nutty notes

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A solid schwarzbier that is very easy to drink. Definitely one for the malt lovers out there

Nov 04, 2018
Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by BoldRulerVT from Vermont

Poured from the can into a tulip.
Pours nice robust dark dark brown. Only a little light on edges gets through. Low head.
Aromas are a ton of roasted malt, some coffee, notes of chocolate. Yeast.
Flavor is really nice...lots of roasted malt and good lager yeast.
Mouthfeel is good. A touch thin but right for style.
Overall, really nice beer.

Nov 01, 2018
Dark from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 46 ratings