And for my next trick
I will pull two four-packs of Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Beer Advocate’s third-highest-ranked beer in the world and owner of a perfect 100 from RateBeer.com, and a bomber of Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, out of my hat.
Like Zombie Dust, Heady Topper not only managed to meet the hype as the number-two double IPA in the world, I think it may have even exceeded it. Upon cracking open my first-ever can — which brewmaster/owner John Kimmich implores you to drink directly from in a lengthy screed printed on the side — I was sucker-punched by what was perhaps the most flavorful hop bomb I’ve ever had the pleasure of imbibing. The bountiful floral and citric aromas that are the hallmark of any great IPA/DIPA instantly overwhelm the senses, and after you’ve had the first sip it is impossible to resist drinking the rest of the can as quickly as possible. This is an outrageously smooth and eminently drinkable double IPA with almost no lingering bitterness, a massive hoppy taste and expertly produced malt backbone that doesn’t really come through in the flavor profile but helps balance the bitterness and alcohol content. Kimmich won’t say which hops he uses, but I have to imagine some sort of combination and/or proprietary blend of several of the classic DIPA hops — Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Columbus, Chinook, Simcoe, Amarillo — are the stars of the show. The closest thing I can think of off the top of my head that I’ve drank recently that had a similar flavor profile was Stone’s outstanding, fresh-as-hell Enjoy By 9.21.2012 double IPA.