Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alchemist Heady Topper is a tasty, if mild, IPA. The body is a hazy lemon meringue color, and the aroma has citrus and grassy hop qualities. The flavor has more of that lemon I saw in the color, but it might have been psychosomatic. I also picked up on other sweet citrus, like tangerine and pineapple, and a bready malt foundation. Most of these hard-to-find IPAs don’t live up to the hype the first time I have them, even Pliny the Elder and Bell's Two Hearted underwhelmed me the first time. But the second sampling is always better (Pliny and Two Hearted are favorites now). So I look forward to the day I have another Heady Topper. As it is, this isn’t quite what I look for in an Imperial IPA. Keep in mind, of course, that my palate tends toward the sledgehammer approach of beers from Stone, Avery, etc. I've put my tongue through a lot over the years*, so it takes a lot to get its attention at first. Heady Topper takes a gentle approach. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not what I want the first time around.

*I used to smoke Marlboro Reds.

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