Sunday, February 19, 2012

THE ALCHEMIST "HEADY-TOPPER"

Did something the other day I'd once said I wouldn't do. I bought beer on eBay. Yep, eBay. After all the shouting last year about how unethical it was that four or five people were selling rare bottles for markup prices on this site, instead of this trade slinking away into its hole, it absolutely exploded. Go ahead, search on eBay for a beer you can't find and want to try. Is it there? Is bidding through the roof, or are things still within the realm of the sane? I bet on the latter, now that the market is settling into something approaching normalcy. I decided to emulate Dave over at Drunken Polack and try to bring some things into my home that I'd never taste otherwise. Top of my list was one of the most-hyped imperial IPAs I've ever seen, "HEADY-TOPPER" from small Vermont brewer THE ALCHEMIST.

I bid on a batch of four highly-regarded IPAs that we can't get on the west coast, with the others being from Bell's, Surly and New England Brewing. You'll be reading about them here in due time. I'm totally delighted to tell you, in case you didn't know it already, that Heady Topper is the real deal. What a great IPA. Not boozy at all - just a creamy, hoppy, yellowish-orange study in balance and flavor. It's fruity and smooth like you wouldn't believe. Even comes in a can. Currently #7 on the Beer Advocate Top 100 list. (I'm ready to sell a kidney for #8, the Kern River Citra DIPA). A total credit to a sometimes paint-by-numbers style; you'll know upon smelling this and tasting it that it's something special. Time to start stockpiling that Paypal account. 9/10.

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