Thursday, September 29th 2011
(The Alchemist Cannery)
The Alchemist Cannery opened its doors on Friday, September 2nd. The first batch of cans promptly sold out. This particular can of Heady Topper came off the line on Monday, September 19th. The folks in Waterbury are saying that every batch is better than the one before. If thats the case I better plan on making a trip to Northern Vermont once a month. A quick check on the beer rating sites will tell you that this is one of the very best IPAs available in America (and the world by default). This is also the ONLY beer that The Alchemist Cannery is brewing and subsequently canning. Who needs to be prolific when you do one thing exceptionally well?
From The Alchemist site:
"Heady Topper, our flagship Double IPA, is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense, hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it’s scary."
Here we go...
Pour - when poured into a glass Head Topper is an apricot color with about a half inch of white bubbly head that fades fairly quickly but leaves some nice lacing. Its slightly hazy with some sediment settlling at the bottom of the glass. When you drink it straight from the can (I'm not crazy, read the can) it's all just a mystery - a deliciously hoppy mystery.
Aroma - pungent, citrusy, floral, sinus-clearing and downright heavenly. One of the best smelling IPAs we've come across - so fresh and so clean. Lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose. Wow. I think you can get a contact buzz off this...
Taste - one sip and you know you've stumbled upon something special. This is fresh times a thousand. Big flavors of grapefruit and hop resins abound. My mouth is puckering within seconds and my tongue is starting to succumb voluntarily to the 120 IBUs this is hop-forward beauty is packing. I'm completely surrendering to this beer. It really hits all the marks perfectly for the style and makes me wonder what I'm going to do after my last can is gone. Like hops? Like style perfection, freshness and in your face goodness? This is for you.
Overall - fantastic! One of the best big, hoppy IPAs that we've ever tasted. Big, floral aroma with tons of chewy, piny, citrusy flavor and smooth finish that keeps you wondering if you might just be able to finish one more can. The strength, 8% ABV, is hardly noticeable with this amazingly smooth and drinkable delight. When you focus all of your attention on brewing just ONE amazing beer its hard to expect anything less than greatness and this embodies just that.
Note - When you look at a can of Heady Topper it might be hard not to notice that the can actually reads along the top, "DRINK FROM THE CAN". The back of the can explains the reasoning behind this and I can honestly say that it tastes fantastic poured into a glass or straight from the can. This is an absolutely amazing beer any way you enjoy it.
Posted by Russ
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