Heady Topper - The Alchemist
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Ratings: 6,189 | Reviews: 1,468 | 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:
3.21/5 rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
I had one of these in Burlington, Vermont at a bar straight from the can.
I was pleasantly surprised that they had it.
I only care about taste so here it goes. I generally don't like IPAS because they are bitter. Some bitterness is OK. There are two things to know. 1) This one is not bitter at all. 2) this is very hoppy.
Having said that, this is one of the best IPAs that I have ever had. But it is in all honesty, just a good version of Budweiser. A very good version. Point being that I don't understand all the fuss. I could name 20 beers that I'd rather have than drink this ever again. It's honestly not all that special unless you prefer IPAs above all else..
Serving type: can
04-18-2014 21:22:51 | More by kfh227
4.74/5 rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Although residing in the west coast, I've had the pleasure of trying this beer multiple times due to awesome friends. The first time I had this beer it was split three-ways, poured into glasses. At that time i felt that this beer was overhyped and couldn't stand up to the likes of PtE. However upon having a can to myself, straight from the can, I can definitely see why HT is so highly regarded.
Serving type: can
04-17-2014 23:36:45 | More by jsunj
4.81/5 rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Lucky enough to find a local shop that gets it shipped by a Vermont local. This beer is amazing a few weeks old, I can only imagine how good it tastes fresh! Even though it says to enjoy out of the can I prefer it poured into a glass. Helps me capture the amazing aroma.
Serving type: can
04-17-2014 02:38:22 | More by Kramerwtmf
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 6,189 ratings.