Alchemy Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

125 Reviews
Alchemy AleAlchemy Ale

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by csiewert on 12-27-2010

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Reviews: 125 | Ratings: 868
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 6/19/13.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pineapple, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and pineapple flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid fruity hop presence that makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose—grapefruit and oranges stand out in particular.
T: Following the smell, the taste has flavors of citrusy hops along with hints of caramel malts and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and has a nice amount of citrusy aromas and flavors for an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled April 22nd, 2013. Acquired as part of a "Best of the Brothers" Widmer variety box at my local Von's grocery store. 5.8% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic label art and branded standard pry-off cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a three finger head of white/beige colour. Slight cream. Decent thickness. Above average to nice (~3-4 minute) retention. No bubble show.

Body colour is a clear vibrant translucent copper. No yeast particles are visible. Pretty appealing for the style, overall.

Not unique or special. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Nice pale malts and floral hops with a bit of grapefruit zest. Light nectary hops. A biteen of hop bitterness. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A bit of oily hop character. Light hop extract. A pleasant aroma of mild strength. Clean and inviting.

T: A clean pale malt body with decent floral hop character. A bit oily and nectary. Some limited grapefruit zest. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Pleasant and refreshing, if simple. Lacks subtlety. Decently balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth, oily, and wet. Overcarbonated. Decent thickness. Nice presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile in a general sense. Not a lot of depth here.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but also a bit forgettable. Well priced for what it is. One of Widmer's more mainstream offerings. I'll enjoy drinking the three that came in the box, but I doubt I'd get it again otherwise. Many will enjoy it. Would pair well with food.

Low C+

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/6/2013. Pours lightly hazy orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of orange zest, grapefruit, lemon zest, pineapple, caramel, biscuit, floral, grass, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good complexity and well balanced hop/malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, pineapple, caramel, biscuit, toast, floral, grass, light pine, and floral earthiness. Light floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest, pineapple, caramel, bread, toast, and floral on the finish for a bit. Good balance and robustness of hop and malt flavors; with a balanced hop/malt profile and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale ale. Good balance and robustness of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of oberon
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a standard pint glass a clear rich bronze with tightly formed half finger lacey white head atop,good clarity and a nice head.Leafy and mild citric hops over top of a biscuit malt base,the aromas don't jump out at ya but are nice.Buttery caramel flavors at the onset with just a hint of toast,leafy/herbal and mild citric hops in the finish.This isn't half bad,it's not a big hopped up assertive APA but the subtle flavors are pretty nice.

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Photo of jlindros
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

According to the cap, "Happiness is next to Godliness", words to live by. NIce creamy looking smaller head fades fairly quickly, light layers of lacing, semi hazy golden slight orange honey colored beer.

Nose light malts, sweet candy like malts, wants to be sweet syrupy but not quite and wants to get to caramel but doesn't seem to, hops bring a nice sweet hop character as well, light floral and slight candied orange peel. Light citrus spicy hop character, and nice malty balance.

Taste brings a nice malt character, light toasty pale malt, light sweetness and touch of caramel. Then hops kick in and dominate, with floral hops, into a light citrus and faint pine, candied orange peel again, quite a bit of bitterness as well. Finish is dry but sticky, very bitter and slight spicy quite piney hops, little lingering candied orange peel, and citrus.

mouth is med bod, decent carb, little sticky.

Overall not bad, decent drinking tasty APA, def not an IPA but good for an APA, grassy piney earthy hops with some candied orange peel citrus, nice malty balance, etc. Nice overall balance.

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Photo of chinchill
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz May 2013 bottle served in a snifter.

Pour is a very orange amber, with a small and short-lived head. Spots of lacing are left on the glass. Crystal clear and no sediment in the glass.

Slightly earthy, moderately strong aroma of citrus, pine and herbal hops with a hint of sweet malt. The flavor too is nicely hoppy, but the hops are less piney and the malt load is more apparent, particularly in the very mild bitterness. Has the unusual dynamics of seeming more bitter mid-taste than in the fnish. Hints of grapefruit, orange and starfruit.

Medium-light body; well carbonated; semi-dry finish.

O: It's easy to like this very drinkable APA. Recommended.

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Photo of mactrail
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Handsome medium amber color with a nice foam. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel and long-lasting carbonation. Aroma of bread with a hoppy zing.

More dry than sweet with a light but malty body. A pleasant modest bitterness. All in all, this seems more like an English pale ale than the American style, with the fruity hops and the interesting mineral taste that goes along with the toasted malty taste.

I just keep sipping on this stuff. A truly drinkable Pale Ale that melts in the mouth. From the 22 oz bottle bought at Baron's Marketplace in San Diego.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear medium copper in color with significant amounts of very active carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and golden yellow + apricot highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film evenly covering the surface of the beer. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of herbal and citrus/grapefruit hops over the top of light aromas of biscuit malts.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of biscuit malts with just the slightest hint of caramel sweetness. There is a moderate flavor of herbal hops with a lighter flavor of citrus/grapefruit hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable APA - nothing out of this world but a solid offering. Not overly aggressive in the hops, but that is ok because the beer is more sessionable while still being interesting.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper in my plastic glass from the hotel room. Oh well. Still, half finger head has nice retention and sticky to the side of the glass, looks nice.
Smell of citrusy and floral hops, some grains, faint caramel.
Taste: biscuity malts, bread crust, a short flash of fruitiness (peach, apple, some sweet citrus) and then some bitter green hops balanced with caramel malts till the end.
Light bodied, tho a tiny bit buttery, medium carbonation.
Read some nice stuff about Alchemy Ale, true, but most of the time it gets trashed in reviews. I didn't find it to be bad, but not even close to impressive.

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Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on date 03-28-13

Pours an effervescent copper with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing & pretty good head retention

S: Leafy & floral hops

T: Pears, leafy hops, dryness & a touch of caramel up front. More pears, a touch of woody hop dryness along with some golden delicious apple

MF: Medium bodied, fairly firm carbonation, nice balance

Not, bad a touch too fruitty to session on, but worthy of a few bottles/pints. Was hoping for something hoppier to be honest

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Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Giant Beer Garden and eatery, enjoyed chilled from a stemmed glass.

The color is deep amber bordering on copper with mild haze with thick 2 finger white head which leaves a streaked lace pattern with small bead. The smell is great, tropical fruit, citrus and floral hop aromas with some mild malt esters. The feel is great, moderately high carbonation with moderate bitterness and the right sweetness level with no astringency and mild resinous hop texture with a semi-dry finish w/ no alcohol presence.

The taste is great, lots of hop vibrancy with moderate citrus and some slight tropical taste of grapefruit and slight orange element with a gentle malt sweetness adding some complexity to the great blend of hop flavors. The yeast adds a slight accent of toasted nuts with the finish leaving some residual bitterness on the tongue. Overall this is a great beer, I consider pale ale a great style for everyday quaffing yet the hop blend really shines in this ale. I would recommend this to those who like a more balanced Pale not an IPA in APA clothing.

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Photo of smcolw
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Good head that settles to a lasting layer of fine bubbles. Great blanketing lace. Dark gold color and clear.

Creamy grape-like aroma. Slightly sweet with a yeasty background.

Thin bodied and the flavor leans to the weak side. The malt is dry and like cardboard. The hop is light and certainly not enough to bring back the flavor. Low carbonation. Sadly, this is a miss.

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Photo of Jason
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.

Pale amber hue with a slight haziness, lacing stays for the duration. Earthy, elderberries, lemon pith and peppercorn all describe the hoppiness ... some bread and yeast in the nose as well. Near perfect smoothness with a slightly creamy medium body, more about hop flavor here than bitterness though this brew is certainly balanced. Mild toasted bread and grassiness from the malt and then the hops walk in. Herbal, berries, mint, floral, peppery, leafy and mild resin from the Alchemy hops. Hint of alcohol and fruity esters, finishes hoppy and slightly dry.

Good choice on doing an APA rather than a full blown IPA, a chance to see what this hop is really about. A great departure from the usual citrus killers that we have come to love and loath at the same time. Recommended.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Alchemy's not all that impressive. I mean, who can't turn lead into gold? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light white grapes, light honey, flowers, mild grapefruit zest, and the slightest possible intimation of biscuit way in the background. So far, this spotlight of the Alchemy hop ain't half bad. The taste brings in more of the same, but there's a firm succession of waves of grass throughout the second half, which sorta clashes with the rest of things and ruins what is otherwise a solid little hoppy thing. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, can't say I'm much of a fan here, though it's mostly pretty solid. I'm thinking about blaming the new hop, but I'm unsure if that's the whole story here. Whatever the case, I'm passing in the future.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I dropped by The Fridge tonight on the way home from a screening of "Michael Jackson: the Beer Hunter, a Documentary" as I am watching Game 3 of the BOS/Pens series. Beer + hockey = better than beer + movies.

From the bottle: "Alchemy Ale turns hops, water, malt and yeast into liquid gold. It's the purest expression of our beliefs about great beer."; "Perfectly balanced, perfectly hopped and perfectly refreshing. [undersigned] [the brewers]".

My pour created a big, fluffy, tawny finger of head with great retention. Color was a pin-bright amber. Nose smelled deeply of pine and the question was again begged of where does and APA end and an AIPA begin? Who friggin' cares and has two thumbs? This guy! Hops keep me happy and I am anything but a style maven. Mouthfeel was medium and the intensity of the hops was just muted enough to qualify it as an APA, but just several years ago, I might have wondered. Finish was semi-dry and I was very glad with my choice as I watch the game.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks nice off the pour. I like the nose on this one; strong pine going on. Flavor brings much of the same with a resin kind of thing going on. But as this beer might have some potential, it seems to fizzle out and becomes thinner than what I would want. Carbonation is a bit too vibrant also. A pretty nice beer though.

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Photo of tdm168
3.99/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark orangish amber with a soft, thin layer of off white head

S - light grapefruit, rind, light breadiness, some alcohol

T - light malt, bread, grapefruit, light pine

M - medium bodied, well carbonated, crisp

This is a nice APA showcasing a citrusy hop character and a nice malty backbone. This is definitely a smooth drinking beer that you can drink several of. I really did enjoy this one.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Alchemy Ale is a decent ale. The beer poured a orangish copper clear with virtually no head and nolacing. The scent was malty and slightly sweet. The taste was a good caramel malt base and some bittering hops to balance. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with decent carbonation. Overall it was a good beer and easily sessionable.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.82/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. So this is the Drifter replacement? We shall see how this turns out.

A very crystal clear body, with lots of cola bubbles. Many stick to the sides, and there's also lots that rise very quickly. Head is off white, a little styrofoam consistent, makes three fingers tall and settles though to about two fingers. Sort of mish and mash of really good and bad physical characters.

Nose is odd. Strange, woody pine hop burnt needles, and soily mulch and stinking dirt. Just a bizarre smell of a strange hop angle and not even any malt presence. There's a slightly off pleasing bitterness coming from this.

Palate is just nothing to write home about here. Surprisingly, there is a very simple and nice tolerable sweet biscuity sense and caramel on the aftertaste, but that is nowhere to be found on first sip or in the mid palate. Palate has a hint of wetness but not horribly bad, and not much off putting carbonation either. Unfortunately, there's just nothing going on here, and the subsequent sips bury the malt sweetness with a real distracting hop bitterness that isn't that enjoyable.

Overall, this is a just a dumbed down beer, and not even hop wise, I am talking malt backbone and sweetness. This isn't offensive, unpleasant, or rank (except for maybe smell), it's just lifeless and boring. I'll pass, and if this is a replacement for Drifter, well that's sounds like a real bad direction this brewery is heading. So many better American Pale Ales out there.

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Photo of Billolick
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle

Pours dull looking amber, near clear, darker tan head, larger bubbles that quickly fade to next to nothing. Just parts of a film, a thin collar and minor lacing.

Malt and hops about even on the nose.

The label on this one speaks of balance and I think it has been achieved here, hops/malt in harmony and yes balance.

Easy drinking and enjoyable enough. Nothing earth shattering, but this is a good option to use to expose newbies to the world of real beer and quality ale.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a vibrant, crystal clear, copper coloring with a thin, clingy, bright white filmy coating of head. Aromas of citrus and piney hops, with a subtle caramel backbone. Very balanced and clean nose. Flavors are hop forward, with a pepper spiced bite and solid caramel backbone in almost perfect balance. Citrus tart of lemon and orange zest highlights the palate. Very resiny, pepper spiced aftertaste, with enough sweetness to remain balanced. The finish is bitter, slightly drying, and slightly effervescent from the carbonation. Very easy to drink, and very solid and balanced.

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Photo of Tone
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of pine, hops, hint of citrus, slight sweet malt, hint of sugar, and hint of pale malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a noticeable dryness. Tastes of pale malt, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hops, pine, and a hint of sugar. Overall, decent aroma and body, but blend is too sweet and appearance is lacking.

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Photo of stevoj
3.04/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Bottle from Albertsons. Faint malt aroma with unremarkable malt taste. Lightly hopped with some lingering hops on the palate. Drinkable, but not memorable.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malty, some caramel. Taste is good, balanced, not overly hoppy but enough to make a presence. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is smooth and a beer I could drink several of.

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Alchemy Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 868 ratings.
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