The Alchemist

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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #14
Ranked #313
4.43 | pDev: 7%
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 850 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.79/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can about 3 months old, poured into a snifter. Pours pitch black with a medium tan head. Minimal lacing. Aroma and flavor feature dark malts, coffee, vanilla, bitter chocolate, molasses, and a hint of rich tobacco and dark fruits. Not too sweet. The 9.2% alcohol is completely hidden. Impressively drinkable. Mouthfeel is thick and viscous with zero alcohol burn. Overall a delicious and complex RIS.

May 19, 2020
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Whyteboar from Michigan

4.79/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

For a non BA Imperial Stout, this one checks all the boxes. The aroma was almost molasses like, warm, malty. The appearance was black as used motor oil with little head and persistent lacing. The flavor though, that's what pushes this to the top of the pile, excellent balance of hops and malts with a discernible chocolate nuance to it. Left me wanting more, no doubt. The mouth feel - if I didn't know better, I would have guessed from this alone that it was BA. The viscosity was spot on, just excellent. I must again thank @Mikexw for sending me this very tasty stout. Thanks Mike!

Apr 08, 2020
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BeerBaronBear from New York

4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite sweet stouts. Picked up a 4-pack from the brewery in late 2019. Planned to save a can or two to let it age, but it was so good I couldn't work up the patience to not drink it right away. Taste was the highlight, with rich balance of chocolate and roasty malts. The mouthfeel was great too - frothing it in your mouth a little bit released a lot of extra flavor and texture.

Apr 05, 2020
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Johncnh from New Hampshire

4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

800th beer.Excellent Stout, Very smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden,not overly sweet chocolate taste. Like a liquid brownie. Special thanks to my nephew Brian for picking this up for me.

Mar 29, 2020
Photo of jbertsch
jbertsch from Massachusetts

3.59/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours like motor oil. An aggressive head gives you a khaki head. Aroma is fine, but a bit muted. Taste is rich but without much depth. Slick mouthfeel. I appreciate this is free of adjuncts but wish it was a bit drier and more earthy. Still drinks well enough overall and I'll enjoy the 4 pack but wouldn't buy again.

Mar 21, 2020
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Dakin from Utah

4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Okay so this is a chocolate stout. First sip tastes like a velvety liquid chocolate river rushing over the side of a cliff. Insanely smooth. Heaps of chocolate. Dark cherry chocolate on the front transitions to smooth satisfying milk chocolate that fades into oblivion. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with no discernible bitterness even after swallowing. Aftertaste fades fast and gets sweeter as the sip fades. Massively bodied feel to this beer. This is definitely one of the best stouts I've ever had. It's basically a blended up brownie in beer form. If you're a fan of sweet stouts, you'll enjoy every sip of this. I'm probably going to hold on to one of these cans and see how it tastes in a year or two of cellaring.

Feb 06, 2020
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp 16 oz can poured into my snifter. The beer is a gift from my friend Erik. Thank you!
Beer pours oil black color with a dense tan head of 2 cm foaming up, even after my gentle pour. the foam is slowly fading to a sturdy surface layer. These bubbles remain throughout the rest of my sampling.
The aroma is dark chocolate and roasted malt with a bit of burnt tobacco and some charred wood notes. there is a little bit of grassy hop character, but the ABV is hidden here and the nose basically says dark malt.
First sip reveals a fairly thick body and fine very tingly carbonation that bounces across my palate with each sip. texture is smooth and coating of my mouth after each mouthful. Pretty big and bold beer on the physical attributes.
Flavor is a good amount of roasted malt and charred notes up front, with also some dark chocolate, but this rolls to an unexpected molasses and raisin note in the middle, then this moves back to some roasted character and a bit of dark chocolate that lingers after each swallow. I dont get any hop notes and the booze is well hidden here as well. Im glad to have tried this one and would recommend, especially if you like big roasty stouts.

Jan 20, 2020
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Jesterr44 from Canada

4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Generally speaking, Russian Imperial stout not among my favourite styles, but when the flavours are as mild as this & it just tastes like a flavourful stout, I'm ok with it. Rarely have I had a stout where the flavours shine through as exceptional & as much as I love the Alchemist, that holds true with Luscious. Still, quite enjoyable to drink, make sure you don't drink it cold to enjoy the full flavours.

Jan 10, 2020
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can purchased at the brewery mid-September 2019. Opened 1-7-20.
Dark as can, ha - just learned that one. Huge and dense 3 finger dark chocolate milk colored head. Amazing retention...moved about 1/8" in the last few minutes. Leaves some good lacing.
Sweet roasted malt and coffee with cream...the nose is unexpected initially. Some earthiness and nuttiness (almost peanut butter-like) and a hint of minerality. After 15 minutes there's a hint of Foreign Export Stout type of sour twang in the nose - appealing.
Roasted malt, light char, licorice, smoke, coffee...café au lait... Rich and flavorful.
Silky smooth mouthfeel. Low to medium carbonation. Full bodied and creamy. Long, rich roasted malt finish.
Very good to outstanding. Dang. Delicious...1 can left, planning to open at the 6 month mark.

Jan 08, 2020
Photo of Gatch
Gatch from Rhode Island

4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No canning date but a proper Christmas gift from my brother so it’s definitely fresh. An outstanding, easy-drinking, massively flavored imperial stout. Soooo much heavily roasted malt and dark chocolate and creamy, rich, charred feel and body. Simply incredible!

Dec 26, 2019
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DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black. Two fingers of dark brown head. Medium lacing.

Nose is smoky malt, dark chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit.

Taste follows the nose. Big smoky notes transitioning to sweet candied fruit and dark chocolate. This has a nice dessert quality to it. Rich flavors. Very nice. The sweetness slowly builds as you drink.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation. The carbonation keeps it from being too dense. A mildly sticky quality.

This is a fantastic adjunct free stout. Just the use of hops and malt to paint the picture. A nice brew to go alongside a meal.

Dec 01, 2019
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Crowheadhopper from New York

4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Overall this is basically a 4.95! Extreeeeemely easy to drink and a smorgasbord for the senses. Drink with friends a wax poetic about this beer and the brewery. It's a fine time to be alive and be a beer drinker. I count my blessings with every beer.

Nov 15, 2019
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I snagged a 4-pack of this in mid-September at the brewery. Cost, I believe was $12.50 plus tax and deposit. Digging in now on a cold Veterans Day evening.

Poured most into a large snifter, it's an oily, dense black. Head is a creamy layer of mocha hued foam. The fine, tight bubbles leave a thin covering with some decent lacing. Aroma has dark choco, subtle roasty malts, molasses and some espresso. Nice! Body is medium to medium-plus, and it's exceedingly smooth.

Flavor has some lovely sweet choco as well as dark choco, a bit of vanilla, espresso, and light roasty notes. Am not finding any bitterness at all, just Bosco-like chocolatey sweetness. Hard to find the 9.2% ABV as well, which makes this scarily drinkable. Luscious indeed! Prosit!

4.4/5 rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5


Nov 11, 2019
Photo of Benish
Benish from Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pitch black and highly viscous appearance. Nice thick beige head but disappeared quickly.

Aroma: desert-like and sweet with milk chocolate and vanilla. Slight smoked malts, off playing the chocolate, keeping it interesting.

Taste: very sweet and fudgey. It’s robust and rich with milk chocolate, burnt sugar and vanilla. While listed as a Russian Imperial Stout, contrary to its style, the beer does not have the slightest bitterness from the hops. It’s liquid desert, yet not too sweet, very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: super thick and creamy. Almost chewy.

Overall: an imperial stout only at 9.2% abv, this packs a ton of flavor with a huge body. Well done!

Oct 25, 2019
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can from egrandfield
Calusa Snifter

Deep, inky black with a creamy khaki head of 3 fingers, receding to 1/2 finger with a mossy beige top.

Aroma is general dark roastiness, dark chocolate, earth, lacquer, chopped wood, and espresso.

Flavor is slightly tannic and ethanol-y, but that's the only flaw. What follows is tons of dark chocolate, berry syrup, campfire, black cherry, molasses, cherry coke, earth, fudge brownie, marshmallow, graham, soy sauce, burnt brown sugar, slight perfume, and piney hop.

Super sticky, super thick, just tons of residual sugars on the flavor and feel, burning alcohol at a near perfect level, with tons of roastiness, cabernet-like smooth velvet puckering, and pleasant residual alcohol scrape.

Overall, easily my favorite from this brewery who is already renowned... this is just an incredible and enjoyable execution of the Russian Imperial Stout. Dare I say one of the top 5 to style of all time. It's sticky, it's dark, it's semi-sweet, it's slightly dank, it's earthy, it's motor-function-imparing. Doesn't need a barrel to flaunt its complexity in spades. Very good stuff.

Oct 03, 2019
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FFreak from Vermont

4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From the looks of this in the glass you'd think its one of the heavy, viscous stouts, but it's really not. It's really drinkable and just delicious. Love this beer!

Sep 02, 2019
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5toutman75 from Illinois

4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It looks amazing and heavy on the pour. I love these motor oil stouts! Things hangs up there with the best from Perennial, Surly, or Goose. Smell wise I’m getting a sweet milk stout scent. As you drink it, it’s bitter up front but finishes sweet. Not cloying at all, it’s very well balanced. There’s some more carbonation than normal for a heavy stout, but I really like the feel that lends to it. The 9.2%abv is well hidden for me. Overall this is up there for a regular Russian IMperial. I’d kill to taste this after sitting in some bourbon barrels for a year. Purchased a few days ago at the brewery in Stowe, but I don’t see a canning date. I shall age at least one to see what happens as well. Don’t miss this if you see it!

Aug 17, 2019
Photo of gcasher
gcasher from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can from Stowe
It really doesn't get much better than this out of a can for an imperial stout.
It is black with a short khaki head that dissipates quickly.
It smells and tastes of dark roasted malt and lots of dark chocolate. The chocolate is sweet, but not overly.
There is definitely a hint of coffee as well.
The body is heavy, which I prefer for a stout.
The high abv works well with the strong flavors.

Jul 17, 2019
Photo of Jim777
Jim777 from New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a fantastic Imperial stout. Bought at the brewery in Stowe, VT. Dark black with a tan head, the mouth feel of this stout is smooth as silk. A bit of chocolate flavor to it, overall my favorite from the Alchemist.

Jul 10, 2019
Photo of Sandis
Sandis from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz. can into a glass that has a shape I cannot describe. This is slightly more carbonated than I was hoping. I do enjoy the mild chocolate flavor a great deal. Very tasty!

Jul 04, 2019
Photo of scotorum
scotorum from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Bought at the brewery 5/26/19.

Poured from the 16 oz. can into an English nonick pint.

a; Opaque black with a slight tan head which receded to a thin tan ring and patchy lacing.

s: Very mild chocolate.

t; Milk stout-smooth roasty malt followed by a moderate hop bite on a sweetish finish. High ABV is nicely covered and bitterness does not long linger.

m: Full, great body and a little carbonation tingle.

o; A superior imperial stout, flavorful with great mouthfeel. If it was identified as a milk stout I would not have questioned that. Truly Luscious.

May 30, 2019
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth from Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed a 4pk at Alchemist Stoe. Big beautiful Imp Stout. Very much like a sweet milk stout on steroids. Classic British lines in malt and hops. Some bitterness but mostly from roastiness and then subdued with lactose/milk. Not unlike a latte style stout I guess.
Enjoyable complex taste where the base stout picks up a bit of coffee; bitter chocolate; milk sweetness and some figginess. A smooth sipper that also had a bit of lactic quality. Very enjoyable

May 21, 2019
Photo of agreenman19
agreenman19 from Connecticut

4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - pours a deep, dark black with a massively fluffy mocha chocolate head. Thick, creamy, bit of jello jiggle, the gang's all here. Looks like the surface of the moon.

S - distinctly English, roasted barley, toffee, hints of metal, and raisins. There's dark cherry tart as well, along with molasses.

T - more of that cherry bitterness. Toasted English malts, baker's chocolate, and vague citrus. On the flip side, we have rich decadence in the form of brown sugar-encrusted coffee cake drizzled with milk chocolate sauce. The sweetness can actually sneak up on you and you're left wondering why everything is so sticky and heavy because the bold roastiness trains you not to expect such flavors. Wears many hats. Pretty restrained in the finish; begs a second sip. And a third... and a forth...

F - big creaminess. Such heft. Full-bodied and expansive. What little carbonation exists is just enough to zestify and electrify.

O - delicately balanced between big, bold RIS flavors and sweet, creamy coffee ice cream sugariness. Amorphous in flavor, whatever you're looking for seeps into the forefront, making it easy and enjoyable to pick out certain flavors and sensations. Neat beer; masterfully done.

Apr 20, 2019
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cherry-tinted motor oil black with two fat fingers of dark tan head that leave rings of lacing.

Roasty malts with a little plum sweetness in the nose. There’s some definite carbon dioxide in there, too.

Nice dark malt flavors: roasted malts, a little char, a little molasses, sugar, some more stone fruit, a hint of licorice, and a nice kiss of alcohol. Nice mix of dark and sweet.

Full bodied and creamy feeling with plenty of carbonation.

Maybe a touch on the sweet side, but otherwise a really solid, complex and relatively-balanced imperial stout. A pleasure to try.

Mar 31, 2019
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

No canning date that I can find. Purchased 2 weeks ago.

A: Midnight black pour with a head that's nearly indistinguishable at first. Incredibly dark. Huge head with great retention. Heavy walls of lacing as it finally fades away. Excellent.

S: Roasty malt, smells a lot like pretzels. Nice dark chocolate in there with a backing of vanilla.

T: Fudgy and creamy up front with hints of vanilla. Tiniest hint of char and burnt toast in the middle. A touch of leather in there. Chocolate turns dark and a little bitter in the finish, which helps balance it out nicely.

M: Heavy and super creamy and smooth. Really great mouthfeel.

O: One hell of a super smooth and creamy stout. Mouthfeel is off the charts which pushes drinkability to the heavens. Not a monstrously bold beer, no over the top strengths or complexities but boy is it balanced and delicious and easy drinking.

Mar 02, 2019
Luscious from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 97 out of 100 with 850 ratings