Heady Topper gone bad?

Discussion in 'New England' started by eb1610, May 3, 2014.

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  1. meefmoff

    meefmoff Devotee (418) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    Huh, that is super interesting. I have a friend with a year old can in his fridge that we're planning on taste testing the next time we get our hands on fresh cans. I'm even more excited to do the comparison now.

    Will be interested to hear the results of your other couple of old cans.
  2. brother_rebus

    brother_rebus Champion (878) Jul 28, 2014 Maine

    I've got it "warm" from HMC twice. It was still fine and delicious and gone in two weeks.

    That being said, I also enjoy the beer with some time on it. First ten days is my preference. Then I've noticed that it starts to fade and sour almost around three-four weeks. But right around six-eight weeks it rebounds with the malt taking the reigns and finishing sprucy and crisp. Kept cold the whole time obviously. In my experience there really is something to be said about the longevity of the beer for an unfiltered double ipa.

    Oldest one I had was probably eight months and it was still drinkable. It was heaven compared to 95% of other ipa's with 50% of the time on them.
  3. hopalot

    hopalot Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2014 Massachusetts

    On August 10 we bought two cases of HT from Beverage Baron and as we are drinking the cans now we are dismayed to find that the beloved rich layered Heady flavor profile and amazing piny aroma is missing. My wife and I have been Heady drinkers from the same time the Cannery opened and we find it sad that if the quality continues to be as mediocre as this batch is we will no longer make the drive from Mass to Vt. We did a blind taste test yesterday between Captains Daughter and Heady and I simply couldn't tell the difference. This was astounding. Once in the past the brewer admitted that a problem had occurred in the canning line. What has gone wrong this time? Or is there no correction...has Heady fallen from its once well deserved reputation?
  4. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (524) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Just opened one, purchased in Waterbury today, so there's a good chance it was canned yesterday. I won't say it's worse than my last one, but definitely different, seems to have less pine and citrus as noted. There are also some tropical fruit and berry notes I don't remember but the pine/grapefruit/mango flavors that usually figure prominently may have masked them in the past. Some of the hop flavors seem a little oxidized too (a condition I'm sadly familiar with due to a few of my homebrew IPA's that weren't quite right). My wild speculation is that some hops they contracted for were not what they expected. John will probably tell me I'm full of shit if he reads this, and that could well be the case, but it will be interesting to see what the 2015 crop brings.
  5. Jbrews

    Jbrews Aspirant (272) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    Here was the response I got when I shared my experience. In no way am I complaining, just wanted to share what I had tasted. Figured it might help if other notice it.

    "Hello- Thank you for the feed back. We have not changed our recipe or how we brew Heady Topper, so the Heady you purchase and drink now is made the same way as it was two years ago. Heady is an unfiltered and unpasteurized beer that is always changing and evolving. It is not always going to taste exactly the same. The beer that we sell in stores is so fresh, it is literally sold straight off of our canning line and brought to stores leaving it absolutely no time to settle out a bit. You can surely drink Heady immediately, but I always advise folks to try and wait a bit to let those flavors settle because it is canned so fresh. I am sorry Heady did not taste exactly how you remember. We really appreciate your feed back and always take comments about our beer very seriously. We hope you and your taste buds can enjoy it how you remember again some time soon!"
  6. HeyHayward

    HeyHayward Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2013 New York

    Had a fresh can earlier this week that was better than those I've tried over the last few months.

    I've been having Heady at least a few times a year since the brewpub and while I do think it's changed, I don't rule out part of that being on my end. Tree House & Trillium have taken things to another level, simply didn't exist back then.

    At this point I'm much more interested in the Stowe facility and what that'll mean for John being able to release small batches of his many other beers. I remember quite a few very good beers from the brewpub that haven't been released as cans yet.
    skivtjerry and Horbar like this.
  7. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,156) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I'll just say I don't quite understand the “we have not changed our recipe or how we brew Heady Topper” given that the last bunch I purchased had absolutely none of the floaties in it that the beer used to have tons of. Whether or not that’s the reason the beer is not as stellar to me these days is another conversation I don’t want to get into. Just saying, visually, it looks noticeably different to me now.
  8. Jbrews

    Jbrews Aspirant (272) Aug 6, 2013 New Hampshire

    I have yet another 2 yr old can I am willing to stack up against a new or 1 year old can. we opened one up on Sunday(2 yr old) with my good friend I did the taste with the first time. It tasted awesome still, very citrusy and great. I think something is different now.

    But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Also lets face it, the Alchemist responding back to me that it has changed would start a shit storm and potentially hurt them. IF it has changed and it becomes that much of an issue I'm sure they will disclose the news in a very controlled and PR type of way.

    Imagine the will power I have holding on to these cans for so many years just to try this..... :slight_smile:
  9. Sean802

    Sean802 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 Vermont

    I wouldn't doubt part of the inconsistencies could be from the hops they received (freshness, quality) as well as the generation of yeast they're on. I remember them saying the profile can change depending on how old the yeast they're using is. Not to say this is the end all answer, but certainly plays a role. :confused:
  10. celfan

    celfan Aspirant (225) Jul 4, 2004 Vermont

    I have to say the last two Hill Farmstead DIPAs I had looked (and tasted) completely different as well. Abner and either
    SS4 or 5 (can't remember) were clear without the haze. I wouldn't have guessed either were Hill Farmstead. I actually enjoyed the Prohibition Pig Bantam DIPA as much or more than both of them.
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