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Beer Review: The Alchemist – Heady Topper

Heady Topper isn’t the most complex of IPAs, but that’s a good thing. The Alchemist nailed down this recipe and mastered it.

The Alchemist Heady Topper

Today I have a review I am VERY excited for. Heady Topper by The Alchemist is a beer I’ve seen all over the internet and heard amazing things about. But there has been one problem, it’s not located anywhere around Chicagoland. This is a beer that as far as I know is brewed out of Vermont and located only in the Northeastern United States. Currently, Heady Topper receives a 4.6/5 on Untapped and is rated at the #1 overall IPA on Beer Advocate!

I opted to pour the majority of Heady Topper into a glass, even though the label demands that you drink it straight from the can. I left probably about four ounces in the can to try out.

Heady Topper pours a light yellow gold that is slightly hazy. It yields a solid inch of frothy head that laces nicely on the glass. The aroma is HUGE on wonderful pine on floral tones. I started off by drinking it out of the glass and those massive pine and floral hops come through on the taste. It comes off as mostly bitter with just a small amount of malty sweetness found on the back end.

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Even though Heady Topper hails from the Northeast, this is not what I would describe as a current NE IPA. This is more of an old-school type of IPA that is all hops and bitterness. There isn’t much juiciness that one would come to expect from the current trend of NE IPAs. Drinking straight from the can, I didn’t find much of a difference as opposed to drinking out of the glass, but that may just be because I started with the glass and there is so much hop explosion lingering around on the palate already. When I get my hands on another one, I’ll have to go straight with the can.

I can absolutely see why Heady Topper receives so much praise. It’s not the most complex of IPAs, but that is a good thing. The Alchemist nailed down this recipe and mastered it. Tomorrow, I am going to be trying out another one of their popular beers, Focal Banger, so be sure to check that one out as well.

Happy Drinking!


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