Heady Topper - The Alchemist
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Ratings: 7,194 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by deadonhisfeet:
4.88/5 rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
My deepest thanks go out to Urbancaver. Because of his thoughtfulness and good nature, I was given the rare opportunity to try this beer. I'm told it's about 5 days old at the time of this review.
I did NOT pour this beer from the can into a glass. I suppose it's a decision every beer drinker makes for him or herself, but I decided to respect the brewer and drink it the way they want me to drink it. Therefore, I simply had to give it an average rating on appearance (well, slightly above average since I liked the look of the can so much). Trust me, it was the only thing ``average'' about this beer.
After popping the top I took a whiff of the contents and was treated to a powerful salvo of ripe tropical fruit notes. The nose is dominated by oranges, peaches, pineapples, and grapefruit, all supported by a cake-like richness. There are also faint traces of lemon and pine. It simply smells awesome!
The body seems full for this style and the mouthfeel is firm and somewhat creamy. Almost syrupy. The flavor is simply off-the-charts good. If there's one thing I don't like in a big IIPA, it's excessive sweetness. For me, sweetness and extreme bitterness combine to create a medicinal flavor that I find unappetizing. This beer seems to have ZERO sweetness, even as it warms. There's just barely enough malt sweetness to smooth out the hoppy bitterness.
As for that hop bitterness, the flavor starts off as a smooth apricot-like taste and gradually builds in hop intensity. There is no place on the palate where the flavor just dies on you. Instead, it just keeps growing in intensity all the way across the palate, developing so quickly that I can hardly process it. To the best of my ability, I detect soft floweriness up front, crisp citrus-like notes of orange and grapefruit at mid-palate, and stringent pine-like notes in the back. There is no trace of booze on the back of the palate either. There is just a lingering finish that seems to involve every hop flavor you've ever tasted. The drinkability is amazing for such a flavorful IIPA. You KNOW it's very bitter, but it tastes so good that you don't care. You just sip it and marvel at the flavor.
What can I say? This beer is amazing and, as usual, I can see why beeradvocates love it so dearly. Truth be told, it doesn't taste all that different than, say, Stone Ruination. It is just so damn perfectly dialed-in. There is no excess sweetness, a perfect balance of hop flavors, and it pushes every button on your palate. How a beer this bitter can be this drinkable is beyond me. I wish I could somehow do a head-to-head comparison between this and Pliny the Elder (it's been so long since I've had it), but living in Kentucky makes it nearly impossible to get both beers fresh at the same time. Heady Topper is probably one of the 3 or 4 most enjoyable beers I have ever had.
Serving type: can
08-31-2012 01:15:10 | More by deadonhisfeet
More User Reviews:
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,194 ratings.