Focal Banger IPA – The Alchemist

From Vermont USA’s The Alchemist comes their “Focal Banger IPA”.  The beer pours a cloudy golden colour with sediment and a white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, citrus, melon, resin and grassy hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruits, pineapple, melon, citrus, grapefruit, citrus rind, resin, earth, caramel and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7%.  Well much like their extremely popular beer Heady Topper this beer is awesome and should be sought out if you find yourself in Vermont.


Second Fiddle Double IPA – Fiddlehead Brewing Company

From Fiddlehead Brewing Company out of Vermont comes the “Second Fiddle Double IPA”.  The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of fruity notes, earth, caramel and bready malts and floral hops.  The flavour is of resin, earth, citrus, sweetness, caramel, pine, bitterness and has an almost chewy body.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.2% with an IBU of 80.  Don’t let this beer play second fiddle to Heady Topper also from Vermont as this is also an epic Double IPA with a rating of 99/100 on Beer Advocate and 100/100 on Rate Beer.  I wish I had more of this beer but it came as part of a trade.  I look forward to the day when I can get another tall can or more of this beer!

Commercial Description:  This double IPA is packed with plenty of hop bitterness and tons of citrus hop aroma. Dry hopped for over a month with nearly three pounds per barrel. Enjoy in moderation.


Heady Topper Double IPA – The Alchemist

From Vermont USA’s The Alchemist comes on of the most highly sought after Double IPA’s “Heady Topper”.  Rated 100/100 on both Rate Beer and Beer Advocate you can get an idea of what people think of this beer!  The Alchemist only cans one beer and it is Heady Topper (if it was not so good I would question why).  The beer pours a golden orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of melon, orange, grassy and floral hops and some caramel.  The flavour is of hops bitterness up front with, orange, citrus rind, resin, caramel and a sweet finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 8% and a reported 119 IBU.  If you are into Double IPA’s then this is a beer that you must put on your bucket list much like Russian River’s Pliny The Elder.  Sadly unless you are lucky enough to get this beer in a trade your only hope to try this beer is probably to head to Vermont.  I would like to point one thing out though as for all the brewing talent this brewery has they miss the buss completely with their statement to drink from the can!  Why would you want to remove the aroma from the beer thus crippling your full enjoyment of the beer?  I hope in the years to come they drop the slogan from their cans as it is misguided and downright wrong!

Commercial Description:  We love hops – that’s why our flagship Double IPA, Heady Topper, is packed full of them. Heady Topper was designed to showcase the complex flavors and aromas these flowers produce. The Alchemist has been brewing Heady Topper since 2003. This Double IPA is not intended to be the strongest or most bitter DIPA. It is brewed to give you wave after wave of hop flavor without any astringent bitterness. We brew Heady Topper with a proprietary blend of six hops – each imparting its own unique flavor and aroma. Take a big sip of Heady and see what hop flavors you can pick out. Orange? Tropical Fruit? Pink Grapefruit? Pine? Spice? There is just enough malt to give this beer some backbone, but not enough to take the hops away from the center stage.



#9 (Not Quite Pale Ale) – Magic Hat Brewing Company

From South Burlington Vermont’s Magic Hat Brewing Company comes their “#9” the Not Quite Pale Ale.  This beer pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of sweet malts, orange, apricot and other fruits.  The flavour is not far off of the aroma with sweet malts and fruits including orange and apricot.  The alcohol content of this brew comes in at 5.1% and the IBU is 20.  This is a very interesting not quite pale ale and would be a great summer sipper!

Commercial Description:  A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there’s never been anything else quite like it.