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Focal Banger | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
4.57/5
World-Class
3,904 Ratings
Focal BangerFocal Banger
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

Style: New England IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#74
Reviews:
512
Ratings:
3,904
pDev:
7.44%
 
 
Wants:
1,818
Gots:
1,193
Trade:
15
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 3,904 |  Reviews: 512
Photo of Gmartin75
4.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zbelair
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jrc1093
4.37/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No canning date (can bought at brewery on 3/8/19; presumably canned within a week of that date)

Pours an ultra hazy gold-orange with an ample, foamy white head with very good retention; leaves a fairly comprehensive coating of thin, soapy lacing along with a thick cap of foam.

Aromas of sweet tangerine, dank orange zest, passionfruit, and pine all flow from the can and remain prominent; doughy malt spice and juicy, herbal hops build the foundation of the bouquet from the background, proving a smooth balancing factor for the aroma's more dominant fruitier tones.

Taste profile strikes with grapefruit pith and orange zest, briefly pulpy before inviting a huge dose of fruit parfait which encompasses most of the profile, and topped with some hints of dank grass in the background; one final tropical burst hit as juicy grains round out the finish.

Mouthfeel provides a supremely balanced medium body with a perfectly integrated carbonation; this glides across the tongue effortlessly and cleanly, building perfectly to a malt-backed bitter finish that’s simultaneously balanced and assertive. The overall structure of this feel on the palate is simply incredible; near peak drinkability for the style.

Awesome stuff here, with the near perfect mouthfeel and tout, bursting profile taking center stage and really bringing this to the next level. Just a seamlessly flowing, balanced NEIPA that hits the right note at every step, and resulting in world-class balance in a hazy IPA.

 1,490 characters

Photo of Jrosso
4.09/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JA_26
4.58/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Last year, a buddy of mine gave me a can of this while we were crushing a bunch of brews in a hotel parking lot, prepping for a cross-country meet the next morning (we weren't running - our kids were). Damn fine stuff, even when I already had several brews under my belt. So when my local beer shop announced it had a small shipment in, I ran right over last night and picked up a 4-pack. No canning date that I could find, but the shop had kept it chilled. As soon as I popped open a can I got that same intense hop smell that I remembered from that parking lot session. Just like then I drank it straight from the can, as suggested. Really, really good - excellent balance of bitterness and malt, not sweet like so many other beers out of New England these days. I paid $18 for the 4-pack, which I thought was a good deal. (the shop had a limit of one 4-pack per person).

 876 characters

Photo of cmdbrews
4/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Beernoobie
4.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of blaje
4.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JdubsNY
4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady Topper gets all the rave reviews, but IMO Focal Banger is the much more crushable and tasty IPA. One of the best IPA's out there.

136 characters

Photo of RCL170
4.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mojohawk21
4.19/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pest
4.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of IrishChocolate
4.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It’s pretty damn good

23 characters

Photo of Hurl4bru
4.83/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Husky-Topper
4.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of icemanls4
4.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Uconnbrewskies
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of folkstar
4.36/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KTO7106
4.84/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of egrandfield
4.61/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of gspeer711
4.09/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of beermeister9
4.81/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of QuakeAttack
4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of usernamenotinuse
4.37/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up 16 oz can at brewery, poured into pint glass.
Yellow, hazy appearance. Small amount of white, soft head with great lace.
Robust, fresh smell of spicy strawberry, grapefruit, pineapple, and honey.
Tastes of fresh right off the vine hops - grapefruit, fermented tropical fruit, sweet wild honey / lavender, as well as cracker / biscuit, spicy herb, slight rotten cabbage, bitter edges.
Medium body, smooth but bright, mouth clinging, with separate pieces of sweetness and bitterness.
Overall, to my estimation, a tamer, less garbagy, more strawberry version of Heady. A very pleasing experience.

 604 characters

Photo of Dope
4.21/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can't find a canning date, but I bought this a week ago.

A: Pours a very hazy, nearly cloudy pale straw. Medium-sized frothy white head. I tried some in a glass just so I can see it, and now I know why they want you to drink it out of a can. Pretty ugly beer, no real lacing or anything either.

S: Citrusy and tropical fruits. Sweet and VERY juicy. A little bit of crackery malt I think.

T: Very interesting. Very tropical and juicy up front. Mango and pineapple and citrus in general. Grapefruit for sure. Grapefruit is especially dry and bitter through the finish and aftertaste. Some spicy pine in there, especially in the finish and aftertaste too. Just a smidge of malt, a very saltine-like flavor that only seems to add to the dryness.

M: Medium bodied, slickly mouth-coating and dry.

O: Hell of an interesting IPA. Very juicy but very dry. Big contrast as a result. It works though, ends up quite tasty and refreshing without being too much.

 954 characters

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Focal Banger from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 4.57 out of 5 with 3,904 ratings