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Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Alchemist Heady Topper

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  • Brewery: The Alchemist
  • Country: USA
  • Style: Imperial IPA
  • ABV: 8 %
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: Online, ~8 euro
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer

 

Time to try another highly rated IPA (ranked number 3 all-time on Beer Advocate and the 5th best Imperial IPA on RateBeer) I recently acquired: The Alchemist’s Heady Topper. Alchemist are a craft brewery from Vermont, USA, currently only brewing a single beer (Heady Topper, their Imperial IPA). The reason for this is that their brewery was destroyed with Hurricane Irene last year, and they have now just recently reopened. They produced a wide range of beers before, but are now only concentrating on brewing their flagship beer perfectly. The new brewery also features a canning line, so this IIPA should be extra protected from UV light and oxygen. Alchemist are very secretive about this brew, so I have no information on the ingredients used to brew it. The website states that the beer is 120 IBU. The can suggests you should drink the beer directly out of the can, but I wanted a look of it as well, so I poured it into a snifter. Let’s see if this lives up to the hype!

Alchemist Heady Topper
Appearancewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The beer pours with a hazy golden-yellow color (some hints of orange), and a slight white head is formed, that collapses quickly leaving some lacing along the glass. There are hop particulates floating around in the beer, suggesting that this is gonna be a really hoppy beer. The surface is oily as well.
Smellwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
Wow, you can smell this beer from a couple of meters away. The aroma is extremely hoppy, with tones of grapefruit, mango, tropical fruits, resin, grass and lemon zest. As a hop-lover I can say this is the best smelling beer I've ever had.
Tastewww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The flavor is as hop-dominated as the aroma. There is almost no sign of any maltiness, as the flavor begins with a citrusy and resiny hoppiness, featuring tones of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, pine and earthy herbs. The flavor clings onto the every exposed surface of the mouth, and it finishes with a bitter and quite dry finish. This beer is balanced completely towards the hops, but the bitterness is not over the top, and it still is enjoyable to drink. In fact, I really like this beer. Maybe not the tastiest beer I've had, but definitely top 3. You really have to like hop flavors to like this one though
Mouthfeelwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
The beer has a medium-light body and a medium carbonation level. The beer is a little sticky and oily because of all the hoppiness, and the bitterness withdraws some points. This is still surprisingly easy to drink!
Overallwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A fantastic beer, filled with amazing hop aroma and flavor. This beer is concentrated solely on the hops, but the beer still manages to be interesting and tasty. The hoppiness is complex, and features a wide range of flavors. Definitely lives up to its hype. If you ever get the chance to try it, do it! Beware though, you have to love hops!

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Suregork Loves Beer » Blog Archive » New book and yeast culturing from Alchemist Heady Topper

  2. Pingback: Suregork Loves Beer » Blog Archive » Double Brewday: Imperial IPA and Ginger-Lemon Mead

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