Vermont - Day 1 - Part 1
Off to Waterbury, VT we went. The traffic was rather heavy and our ez pass wasn't being detected properly. We didn't let it hold us back. It took about 3 hours and some change to reach Waterbury.
It was foggy on the way, but when we reached Waterbury it started to rain harder. With the Jeep top off, we were ok on the highway, but once we slowed down, we started to get wet. So, we pulled into a gas station and put on the top (Yes, we were topless).
After getting settled in the hotel, we ventured off to the Alchemist. We quickly located it at the center of the town. Once entering, we could tell that it was a local hang out. The bar and dining area are separated by a half wall and there was a pool table located in the back. It was rather busy, so we decided to take a seat at the bar.
We decided to share a pizza and taste their beers. Here's what they had to offer and our informal review...
Grote Bruin (ABV 7.9% IBU 8) 12 oz - A Belgian Style brown ale that gets it's unique flavor from our house strain of Belgian yeast and a delicate blend of spices.
This dark brown ale was poured into a shaped glass (12oz serving) containing a fully diminishing off white head that left a very small trail on the glass. The aroma was similar to a geuze and smelled wild yeast like, sorta like sour grapes and vinegar.
With an active burst of carbonation on the palate, it tasted modernly sweet initially with a light bitter finish. Light in body, it was a little water. The palate was left wanting more. Amber and I agreed that this was a decent offering.
(Unofficial score 21-7-3-7-4)
Heady Topper (8.0% ABV/120 IBU) 12 oz - Is our double I.P.A.! Loaded with hops, this one will put hair on your chest.
The menu describes this as an American Double IPA brewed with pearl malts and a hugh amount of hops. The Heady Topper pours a dark yellow - light amber color with a hazy body topped off with a good size head and great lacing. The nose immediately danced for joy when detecting the strong spruce/piny hops with hints of lemon.
The initially harsh bitter taste mellowed out over time for a moderately bitter finish over a long duration. Softly carbonated, with a medium body, the creamy feel was enjoyed by the palate. The power of the hops reminded us of the Ruination IPA. It was stronger than the taste of fries with garlic ketchup.
(Unofficial review 24-8-4-8-4)
Rapture (7.77% ABV/77.7 IBU) 12 oz - An American Double IPA for those of us left behind. Brewed with nugget and simcoe hops. Jesus is coming, look busy. Release date 07-07-07
The Rapture pours a dark amber murky color with a overflowing white creamy mostly diminishing head. A Strong sprucy aroma was noted along with a strong bread malt presence. Also detected were strong citrus hops with grapefruit and a presence of alcohol. The lively carbonation feel was unable to mask the initially bitter taste that finished the same for a long duration. Creamy in texture and leaving a oily feel on the palate. It wasn't as bitter as the heady topper, but the Rapture was very enjoyable.
(Unofficial review 23-8-4-7-4)
Holy Cow IPA(5.2% ABV/85 IBU), session IPA. For hops lovers - this bitter ale is pale colored and made with a blend of 6 different malts and 5 different hops. This ale is dry-hopped for extra flavor and aroma.
We enjoyed the Holy Cow from the cask. The light amber body was topped by a great white head that lasted for a while left behind a great trail. Similar spruce hops were noted, as were hints of grapefruit, but the nose also detected buttery notes.
The mouth enjoyed the moderately bitter initial taste that lessened to a light bitter finish over a long duration. We enjoyed the creamy grapefruit feel on the palate.
(Unofficial review 22-7-4-7-4)
Donovan's Red ABV 5.16% IBU 28 - Named after Donovan's, a 19th century Irish restaurant in downtown Waterbury. This medium-bodied, red-colored ale has a nice hop flavor and aroma.
Donovan's Red pours a dark red - murky body with a large white head. After diminishing, it left behind beautiful lacing. It was very different the a typical red. The malty presence was strong, but the nose also detected a pleasant hop aroma. Much hoppier than a typical red. The initial moderately bitter taste moved into a sour finish for an average duration. Light in body and with lively carbonation, the creamy texture made the mouth happy. This was very different. I would definitely drink this again.
Pappy's Porter ABV 5.42% IBU 45 - Is a dark mahogany ale with great malt depth and balanced with supple bitterness.
Pappy's Porter pours a dark, muddy body with a large creamy head. It diminished over time and left good lacing. The burnt malt aroma was similar to coal. The moderately bitter initial taste was buttery. The bitter finish perked up our palate like a lemon would do. We were surprised and pleased with the hoppy feel on the palate. It was creamy and butter with a chewy feel. It was a very unique porter- yum yum.
(Unofficial review 19-6-3-7-3)
Light Weight ABV 4.33% IBU 14 - Our lightest beer. German pilsner malt and American hops gives this beer a light, crisp finish. Made with the light beer drinker in mind. Bronze Medal Winner 2006 World Beer Cup
After chatting with Ian the bartender, he recommended that we try the light weight. He feels that anyone can make an over the top beer and it's difficult to make an enjoyable light beer. We agree.
The light weight pours a typical thin light yellow color, but that's where it stopped being typical. It was very aromatic with a malty, light bread aroma and buttery notes. Initially sweet with a light bitter taste, it was very clean with a slight hint of hops. It was mouth watering goodness with a creamy refreshing feel on the palate. I would drink this light weight again.
(Unofficial review 19-6-3-7-3)
OK, I can't say enough. Sorry if I repeated myself over an over again. This place is awesome. Excellent service and atmosphere. The prices of the food/drinks is reasonable and the menu had many tasty choices. We give Ian and Kenny, the bartenders, four thumbs up. We definitely want to return and bring our friends/family.