Thursday, February 20, 2014

Heady Topper (The Alchemist)

Last night I decided to drink my final can of Heady Topper, a beer brewed by The Alchemist located in Vermont. This beer is normally released in very limited quantities to the New York area and it's especially hard to find on Long Island. Luckily we acquired some from Shoreline Beverage in Huntington (Thanks Stuart!) and Tom and I got to finally try the perfect 100 score rated beer on

I'm going to start by saying that Heady Topper is one of the hoppiest beers, if not the hoppiest, that I have ever drank. On the 16 oz can it even demands that the drinker enjoy Heady Topper right from the can so that the hop aromas they worked so hard to get into the beer don't escape. As the rebel I am, I decided to pour my Heady Topper into a glass (I really just wanted to get a picture of what the beer looks like out of the can).

Alchemist owner John Kimmich wasn't kidding in his lengthy description on the back of the Heady Topper can. The aroma of Heady Topper is off the hop chart! I never smelled a hoppier beer than this one. Heady Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale and is meant to give you "wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate" with each sip.

It is in that regard that Heady Topper succeeds. Everything about the beer screams hops and more hops with hops added on top of those hops. In all seriousness though this beer is ridiculously hoppy, almost too hoppy. For those of you who don't like the taste of hops or beers on the bitter end of the spectrum this one isn't for you.

As Tom and I drank this beer for the first time all we could collectively think was that there was almost too much hop flavor within it. By the time both of us got to the end of our cans we didn't want any more hops taking over our taste buds.

I think Tom said it best when he described the experience as taking a handful of hops and then putting it in your mouth and chewing on it. TOO MUCH HOPPINESS even for us hop lovers.

What it's like to drink Heady Topper: putting all of this in your mouth at the same time

Tom and I appreciate a good IPA, double IPA, or even triple IPA, but Heady Topper took it to the next level. Heady Topper had an aftertaste that stuck with us long after we finished drinking the beer. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed drinking Heady Topper (it was very smooth) and I'm glad I did, it just had too much of a good thing. If you're not in the mood for a hoppy beer then by all means don't pick up a can of Heady Topper. You really have to prepare yourself for the Hoptastic experience that you will imminently meet if you decide to pour some into your mouth.
Good, but only when drank sparingly
Heady Topper was brewed by The Alchemist, a brewery located in Waterbury, Vermont. It has an ABV of 8.0% and a hop reading of a planet composed entirely of hops. If you ever see it in stores give it a try, but be forewarned of the hoppy beating your tastebuds will receive after opening a can.

My Rating: 7.5/10

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