842. The Alchemist – Heady Topper

842. The Alchemist - Heady TopperIt’s a fairly lazy Sunday afternoon. I’m sitting here editing family vacation videos, and the program I’m using decided to crash. So, especially since the new diet starts tomorrow, I thought I’d grab a very good beer out of the fridge. When my dad and sister asked me for a wish list of beers for Christmas, this beer was one of them at the top. I’ve heard quite a bit about this beer, and wanted to try it for myself. Huge, huge thanks to my sister for tracking this one down and giving it to me for Christmas.

Location: Poured into a TEKU pint glass at my home in Bloomington, IL

Numbers: 8% ABV, ~250 Calories

Appearance & Aroma: It’s straw golden in color and pretty hazy. It had a huge, white, fluffy head on it, which fell after several minutes to a quarter inch thick layer over the top. The aroma is grassy and citrusy with some bready maltiness behind it.

Taste & Feel: The body is medium to full, but feels surprisingly light for such a big beer. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy from the head on it, and oily from the hops. The flavor up front is grassy and lemon-citrusy, with some breadiness underneath. In the middle, there’s a good dose of hop bitterness, which continues into the finish. There’s a mix of grapefruit, lemongrass and other grassy-citrusy hop flavors in the fairly dry finish. These hop flavors stick around for a few minutes in the aftertaste.

Food Pairing: With the grassy-citrusy hop flavors, I wouldn’t be afraid of pairing it with a salad or light fish, as they aren’t overpowering hop flavors. I think this would also go great with a seafood or creamy pasta.

Overall Impression: There’s a lot of hype around this beer, so my expectations were very high… and I’d say it nearly met those expectations.  You’d never guess it was a double IPA with light body, bright, citrusy hop flavors, and not a hint of alcohol heat (which you usually get from big beers). The hop flavors were very complex, with a lot of summer-like hop flavors. Overall, it is a very good beer, and I’m tremendously appreciative my sister was able to get one for me. If you can get one, definitely try one for yourself.

My Rating: ★★★★½

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Author: kkozlen

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