Monday, June 9, 2014

The Alchemist Heady Topper Review

Name: The Alchemist Heady Topper
Style: Imperial IPA
ABV: 8%

Last week, I received some beers through a trade and one of the beers I received was something that I have been meaning to try for a considerably long time and I even included it as one of the beers on my bucket list. That's right, I'm talking about Heady Topper from The Alchemist, based out of Waterbury, Vermont. Needless to say, I've been looking forward to having this for quite a while.

This is one of those beers that seemingly every beer geek on the internet has tried except for myself and had it not been for r/beertrade on Reddit, this never would've been possible so a big shout out to such a supportive community.

Now on the can it tells you to drink it straight from the can as opposed to pouring it into the glass because supposedly you are able to experience more of the flavor and aroma by drinking it straight from the can (Don't worry, I have!). However, I think the rules in this case are meant to be broken so into the glass it goes!

Heady Topper pours an extremely hazy golden color with a soapy head that has pretty good retention. The lacing is soapy, which gives it a clean finish and I can see some mild visible carbonation.

The nose has a pungent aroma of piney hops, grapefruits, toffee sweetness, and caramel. For an Imperial IPA, the aroma is very balanced.

The flavor has some very strong piney hops compounded with some fairly strong strong citrus hop notes that give it an almost mango like taste. The caramel & toffee sweetness do provide some excellent balance throughout the drinking experience. The aftertaste however is a very bitter resiny flavor, which is a stark contrast to most of the components of the flavor.

Palate-wise, this possesses an extremely heavy body with some moderate carbonation. It's enough to help one enjoy the flavors this has to offer.

Do I think the hype surrounding Heady Topper is warranted? Honestly, I think it is. It's got an extremely nice and robust hop profile and some great maltiness to help balance it out. As for the whole drinking from a can vs. glass debate, I didn't notice any difference between the two what-so-ever. Bottom Line: anyone who appreciates the Imperial IPA style owes it to themselves to check this out.

The Alchemist Heady Topper - 9.5/10

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