Heady Topper - The Alchemist
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Ratings: 5,895 | Reviews: 1,430 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kojevergas:
4.6/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Boy oh boy oh boy. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Heard the hype for months and finally picked one up locally in SoCal. Yeah, imagine that. I bought a can of this in L.A. at retail. 1 pint aluminum can served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 8.00% confirmed. Consumed in celebration of completing my grad school applications. I don't see canned-on date, but my local beer store guy informed me it was two weeks old when I bought it yesterday.
Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I went back on forth on whether to pour this one into a glass because the label advises me not to. I'm compromising and taking my first sip from the can, but then pouring some of it into a glass and leaving some in the can for later consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
T (Early):On the first sip I get delightful grapefruit and citrus esters, with pale clean malts and lovely floral hopping. Oily hops abound, with hints of pine. Boy, this is going to be interesting.
A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and decent retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant burnt orange-auburn. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not the best IPA appearance I've seen, but pleasant.
Sm: Grapefruit, pale malts, citrus esters, floral hops, and heavy oily hops - but surprisingly little pine. Quite light in strength, but appealing.
T: Perfectly balanced; never too bitter. Grapefruit zing but not in an overbearing way. Floral hops and heavy hop oils (a component I think is rather unique and special to this beer; I've never experienced it quite like this). Citrus, tropical fruit on the back end. I even get pinapple and mango. Maybe apricot too. Passion fruit? (I'm never sure; I've never had an actual passion fruit). Pale malts a are a perfect complement to the hop choices. No alcohol or yeast comes through. That's tasty stuff. I'm shocked at the lack of bitterness; I don't even remember Pliny The Younger (let alone Elder) mitigating the bitterness this well. There's some (very very little) on the climax, but just enough to add a welcome dimension. Well layered and quite subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head like most beers in the style. No metallic taste despite being from a can. Perfect sweetness to suit its hoppiness.
Mf: Smooth and wet, with perfect crispness and coarseness to coax out the subtler flavours. Fresh, refreshing, and perfectly carbonated. Oily. A bit buttery.
Dr: This is probably the most drinkable IPA (not just Double IPA, but IPA as well) I've ever had the delight to consume. It's refreshing as hell, the 8% is nowhere to be seen, and I imagine it would pair brilliantly with any food. A master class in balance and what an IPA should be. I hate to buy into the beer versus beer debates, but in my book this is clearly better than Pliny The Elder. I expected something different based on the hype, but this surprised me with its balance and sophistication. Wow. This is definitely one of the best beers in the style that I've had. I look forward to trying more beer from the Alchemist and to one day having this on-draught. If you see this, buy it. I'm not a big IPA fan and I'm loving this stuff. Brilliantly built. I could easily down this one all night. If there's a better IPA out there, I have yet to find it.
This beer is nearly perfect in its style. The main thing holding it back is its appearance.
Serve cold. Drink cold.
Would pair well with anything. Even chocolate.
Serving type: can
12-02-2012 07:03:23 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
4.91/5 rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
First of all, and I certainly won't be the first to say this, but I HATE drinking beer in cans. You do not see, you cannot smell correctly and it looks cheap! Anyway, I did obey what the can says and I did drink it out of the can.
Tasted in two serving, first time is out of the can, as prescribed, and second time is poured into a glass. No big difference in smell/taste between the two servings. But at least I could appreciate its golden slightly orange colour. Looks hazy and forming a nice head with some lacing.
N- Immediately at opening, a delightful smell emerged from this can. How this amazing smell comes out of this? Mesmerised, totally impressed! Explosive notes of hops resins, very citrusy, pink grapefruit, tropical fruits upfront with herbal undertones (cannabis). Very floral. WOW
M &T-mouth is extremely pleasant, more dry the expected as from the nose revealed at first. Bitterness is biting strong at the very beginning but not overshooting. Feeling is slick, almost creamy. Tremendous amounts of flavours are released on firsts sip. Explosive taste of hops resins, citrus and tropical fruits, pink grapefruits. Carbonation is moderate/low which is perfect for a DIPA. Perfectly balanced, Highly drinkable.
Overall, a PERFECT DIPA ! Perfectly balanced on all levels. Would enjoy over and over again. A definitely must have for all hophead.
Thanks to the Church Street beverage manager who point this beer out and picked it up for me, because I would have skip this beer while making my choices the last time I was there. Today, I can tell you I would have made a great mistake. I regret that I only had one four-pack!
Serving type: can
03-17-2014 01:39:53 | More by blaje
4.96/5 rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I don't know how beer can taste any better than this. I thought there was no way this could live up to the hype. Wrong.
I drank from the can, as instructed.
The smell crushes your nose with all of the citrus fruits. You almost don't think its beer.
The taste is a hop utopia with the perfect amount of bitter. Finishes very clean. Wide-mouth + tall boy can makes the gulps large and satisfying. You don't want the beer to end and it doesn't. The last sip was better than the first. Everything balances. Taste sensations come on in waves.
Mouthfeel is perfect. I don't know how else to describe it. Not thin, not thick. Medium carbonation. Dangerously drinkable.
Completely sober, this gave me a solid buzz but I never tasted the alcohol. There is a reason this beer is so loved. It is joyously good.
Serving type: can
03-16-2014 19:48:05 | More by BrewsforBreakfast
4.6/5 rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
A- although I drank this gorgeous elixir from the can, I watched as it was carefully poured into a tulip. Perfect orange-salmon haze with a prominent head and steady lacing.
§- straight hops, done right. Citrus and pine are prominent with a light hit of alcohol at the end.
T- once again... large, delicious, beautiful, hopsss. It's not like most double ipa's though. This has real flavor. I can tell that the brewer used his skills meticulously. A nice sweet grapefruit prevails, amongst the likes of pine and pride.
M- by far my favorite thing about this brew. Perfect carbonation leads to a buttery bouquet that clings to the pallet.
O - lives up to it's title.
Serving type: can
03-16-2014 18:20:54 | More by WellRested518
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 5,895 ratings.