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Focal Banger - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Focal BangerFocal Banger

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,026 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,026
Reviews: 76
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 7.91%
Wants: 631
Gots: 95 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
An American IPA , hopped judiciously with Citra and Mosaic.

(Beer added by: hillvt4me on 01-30-2014)
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Focal Banger Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,026 | Reviews: 76 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of kscaldef
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Pretty tasty, but not as good as heady. Last 4oz of the can was undrinkable due to floaties & sludge.

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of eawolff99
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Gobzilla
3.75/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Brenden
4.49/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a very murky medium yellow, completely opaque except at the edges. The head is a fluffy, rocky and very dense one that's very close to pure white with the slightest yellow tint. IT finally rests at no less than 1/4 finger but it's a thick and heavy pillow that remains, dropping lace in a blend of spotting and netting as it does.
The bouquet is very nice, lots of citrus and earth, even a bit of must with, interesting, a crackery sort of note. There's even a touch of nut and herbal leaf riding underneath. It's very well hopped with no harshness resulting, more and more raw greenery developing as it sits. IT seems to develop a bit of acidity as time passes, dry and mildly sharp.
The taste brings out that herbal green right up front, and this beer's balance while relying on hops to carry the flavor meets expectations. A not-quite-piney note grows with the earthier undertones. The finish shows just a little rind and lingers with some dryness and a flash of wood.
The body is as firm a medium as it could be, lots of balance between crisp and smooth while running semi-dry from very beginning to lingering finish.

Photo of Dicers
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BGsWo22
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pour is reasonably hazed peachy gold with a tight white head. Nose is loads of citrus hops with grapefruit and peach. Taste follows the nose, loads citrus, peach and grapefruit. Very dry and clean, well carbonated and lighter body. A lot like a slightly lower alcohol heady with a bit more fruity punch but less bright hop flavor.

Photo of BMart
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of smartassboiler
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of outoffocus
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of maximum12
4.05/5  rDev -11%

Thanks again to Joe_Grizzly for drowning me in Alchemist, really looking forward to this one. I got your Silver Bullet right here, mother….16 oz. can dumped into my purty Kuhnhenn glass.

The thing I love about Alchemist IPAs is that when you pop the top, the smell hits your nose at the speed of light. No need to suck in copious amounts of air, wet your nose, or otherwise search for the aroma. It is PRESENT. Filet knife sharp citrus, honeysuckle, bunch of airy tropical notes. The brew is a light, dull orange, with a head that appears focused on sticking around until the weekend arrives.

Focal Banger is an underhanded, dishonest brew. My first sip I thought “What kind of sweet, malt-driven-ass IPA is this…” & then my thoughts scattered. A malty base of sweetness, clover, & honey gives way quickly to the mid-palate of hops that stick close to the nose. A moderate bitterness rides along with the tropical punch, roaring citrus, bit of spiciness, fragments of lemon & perhaps banana. The end is interesting, as the bitterness builds with every sip, until the top of my mouth is wallowing in spite. Grassy. Light. I would have to say this is one of the easiest-drinking beers I have ever had, I’m drinking this about twice as fast as I would a ‘normal’ brew.

I like to compare stuff, so I’m going to say this isn’t quite in the same league as All-Stars Heady & Crusher. Which is to say this is merely excellent, rather than amazingly superior. I’ll take that kind of third-string any day.

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.28/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
4/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of mynie
4.31/5  rDev -5.3%

Apparently BA's "Phone friendly" interface refuses to post reviews written on iOS? Whatev...

Nutshell: this is like if Heady were a Citra bomb.

It's super intense and delicious: "decadent" is probably the best word. And while that's great, the lack of depth of hop profile holds it back from excellence. Heady can get away with its largeness because the hops come at you with wave after wave of cascading variegation. The relative simplicity of Focal makes its heft more salient, and finishing a can is a bit like trying to eat half a cheesecake in one sitting.

Photo of FosterJM
4.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1785th Review on BA
Can to Stemless Alchemist Glass
16 oz tall boy

Thanks to Jake and Mike

App- When I crack the can on this one, I do get a good solid IPA pour. The color reminds me of a orange and pineapple color combo with some decent orange and light yellows and a bit of gold. A smaller head was there and the disappears. The cling is nice down the glass and its a mix of bubbles and sediment coming towards me.

Smell- This was a good mix of tropical bursts from the hop combinations and then trails off into a bit of forest like pine and resin with a little bit of a skunk aroma to me. The prevailing citrus note is that of pineapple.

Taste- I will say I am quite enjoying this beer and I am aware its not meant to be a Heady. This was good and rated as such. The fruit and citrus forward taste from the hop combo is delicious. Prevailing fruits of orange, tangerine, pineapple dominate the front and the pine take center stage in the back.

Mouth- A creamy and airy medium body with a good medium carbonation behind. Silky like a stout, but bubbly like a DIPA. I enjoyed the balance quite a bit.

Drink- This was a treat. I never expected to land a can, because I dont trade that much, but that you fellas. This was a great tick. I love the dont be a Dbag sticker because they ran out of stickers. A good beer, could be great if not to be outdown by another beer from the same brewery.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a murky, pale yellow color. Looks like fruit juice. Smaller head sits atop the hop oil-laden body. Very light lace.

S-Oh my goodness, Mosaic and Citra blow the skin off my face here. Full citrus bouquet, peaches, sweet pineapple. Some earthy and viny hoppiness. Papaya! Pure, ripe fruit-juice medley of hops. I would wear this as cologne.

T-The flavor just rolls over the tongue and the hoppiness oozes into my taste buds. Mango, papaya, peach, pineapple and medley of citrus. Some bitter flower stems. Even a bit of lemon. The malt is tasty in its own right; it provides a pleasurable sweetness that pairs so convincingly with all the juicy hop goodness. Citra and Mosaic in perfect harmony.

M-Resiny. Bitterness doesn't melt the palate. Lingering flavor. Medium bodied and a bit creamy. Very drinkable; it was made to be in my mouth at all times.

O-An obvious gem. The brewery that does hops the best nails an IPA, what a surprise. So lucky to try a can of this. It is simply stellar. I love this goddamn beer.

Photo of Holland
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Focal Banger from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,026 ratings.