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@alchemistbeer Focal Banger: Better than Heady. I know this will rustle people with Certified BJ palates.

Whoa, whoa, let’s put the pitchforks down and extinguish those torches. BOTH BEERS ARE WORLD CLASS. Focal Banger just goes hard and crushes it out of the park in a totally different and admittedly superior manner almost across the board. Let’s start oiling those cones and get back to them entry level hoppy palate roots in today’s roots.

Gemini, Focal's Majesty

Gemini, Focal’s Majesty

Focal Banger
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.00% ABV

WE DOING HOPPY BEER REVIEWS WITH A FULL NARRATIVE TOO, can you Digglett?

WE DOING HOPPY BEER REVIEWS WITH A FULL NARRATIVE TOO, can you Digglett?

A: This has that same turbid, milky, Sunny D meets Tampico sort of radiance that the Cicerone schools gnash their teeth over: SUCH A LACK OF CLARITY. This was to be expected, as the farmhouse game is pervasive and not everyone subscribes to the crystal clear SRM of generations past. That’s chill. The carb is ample but doesn’t get in the way with excessive head or entendres connected thereto. It reminds me of how HF Double Galaxy Looks, except this shit only gots one galaxy, NEED TO UP THAT GALAXY COUNT SON.

S: This is an earth shattering limit break of olfactory delights, I am left mashing X to execute an ever expanding combo. There is of course the Citra aspects of tangerine and grapefruit zest, sure like you didn’t expect that, but HOLD UP, there is also a sort of Honeydew and a crisp watery melon profile that starts chopping up alpha rails real quick on a jewel case. This is overwhelming in scope and capacity but also adds depth to the old Bells’ hop overload formula. Balanced and excessive concurrently, a work of staggering brilliance.

You don't always need to be massive to put in work. Str8 swole. Mad hoppy striations

You don’t always need to be massive to put in work. Str8 swole. Mad hoppy striations

T: The taste is intensely bright and nimble in a way that heady feels yeasty and sluggish by contrast. If Horny Tubbler is the Tank, this is a nimble rogue casting hoppy DPS all over the place. There is lemon cirtus, peach, apricot, a watery panache that buttresses and fires shots like Ocelot Revolver right into your bittering zones on the swallow. The intense citrus closes a touch minty and herbal with a bittering juniper mixing with the pithy juiciness. I can’t eke out punchlines when beers are this phenomenal, DDB just turns into one of those basic ticker 50 hits a day fan service pages. IT IS NOT MY FAULT.

M: This is more thin and malleable than Heady by a long shot and feels dynamic as a result, closer to Pupil or Nelson really, and those are exceptional ranks to shoulder. It sallies delicately from zone to zone on your palate and cascades crisp like an Anjou pear upon the swallow, like Deadpool backflipping and laying a trail of explosive citrus clusterbombs. UR MOUTH JUST GOT DOMED UP BY DEADPOOL.

pictured above: basic tickers become cicerones overnight after discovering hops

pictured above: basic tickers become cicerones overnight after discovering hops

D: When asked how Michaelangelo created David, he replied “I looked at the marble and removed material until only David remained.” This does the same thing, except it strips down all the extraneous flabby water profiles, the excessive yeasty profiles, the overload od dry hopping, the needless crystal malt, excised honey and all the other bullshit and stripped this down like a roll-caged MR2 ready for the track. It is phenomenal without qualification and you are doing yourself a great disservice by skipping this one, even if it means dealing with rapacious Vermont traders who want Chez $4$ with cans of this, or whateverthefuck.

Narrative: Alfred Hopsdam clutched the radiant emerald amulet with trepidation as the train approached the platform, wisps of steam filling the air with wafts from the local orchards in the swing of harvest season. “Waterb…Waterburry…” Alfred stammered as he presented his entry forms to the elite Alpha Work Academy. The conductor glanced hurriedly at his pocketwatch and nodded, motioning for Alfred to pick up his forest green equipage and enter the cabin. The air inside of the Academy tram reeked of dabber oils, Jamba Juice smoothies, and herbal apertifs being decadently enjoyed by the senior members of the Hop Warriors Guild. One corpulent ranking official dropped his substantial mass onto the bench beside Alfred, “NAMES HOPSLAM, January class, BEEN AROUND HERE FOREVER, sayyyyy, you lookin a lil too thin to ride with us, you sure you on the right train bud? HAR HAR HAR!” His foul honey laden breath belied his true nature, sticky and coniferous. Alfred shook his head and gripped the amulet tightly and felt the clicking of the wheels onto adjoining rails as he watched the apricot trees buzz by with increasing celerity, he thought “they will see soon enough, I will show them all.”

PROTIP: Not everything needs to be barrel aged for you to give a fuck.

PROTIP: Not everything needs to be barrel aged for you to give a fuck.

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Bell’s Two Hearted IPA, It Takes a Lot of Heart to Make a Beer Like This, TWO HEARTS

I have been waiting and waiting for this beer for the longest time. I just anticipated it would show up some day as an extra or somehow land on my doorstep and a year later, nothing. There was something about this beer that apparently people want to drink it and not ship it across the country for free, weird I know. This is the final beer on the top 100 popular beers, so that’s also a milestone for me too. Anyway, randomly RatedZ just packed up two and shipped them to me, FOR NO REASON. The beer community’s generosity is getting out of hand.

Total eclipse of two heart

Bottled on 1/31/12, DRANKEN ON 2/23/12, the freshmaker.

Bell’s Two Hearted IPA 7% abv

A: This is a beautiful beer and is certainly worth the hype in the old looks department, this dame is a looker. Not sure about the trout on the bottle, but the carbonation is NOT FISHY AT ALL.

S: Hoppy citrus notes that feel like a westcoast throwback, super grapefruity, it hits the switches and lets the 5th wheel fall, mild pine scraper bikes are all up in the cut and supported by a mild honey but not balls out like Hopslam. The whole thing is a wonderful hop ghetto and I feel right at home.

T: The taste is very muted and gentle and imparts a slight orange rind and chinook or simcoe sort of vibe to it. It tastes bright and cheerful like an amiable old barber that happens to smell like delicious Pine Sol. The whole experience is very mild and has that balance and coercion I have come to expect from Bell’s. The hops are integrated incredibly well and doesn’t assault the palate but instead goes for a classy Oscar de la Renta tux and a modest cumberbun.

M: The wash of this beer is incredibly foamy and light, it begs for sessionability. The coating is very crisp like tongue kissing a cold pinecone covered in apricot juice. Don’t front, you’ve done it. Anyway, a very solid IPA and ranks among the best, no question. It isn’t the most offensive or gauche, but its strength is in its amiability and gentle repose. A nice hop hammock to fritter the days away.

D: If you didn’t catch the clear notes above, this is likely the most drinkable IPA out there, Hill Farmstead notwithstanding. But I ride the HF jock like a 2 Live Crew video so let’s set them aside for now. This beer is a muted lupulin ninja that strikes and disappears in an herbal cloud. It’s a classy IPA that you can take to a play, give a smooch and not try and go all the way with. Also, this beer is not of age.

Narrative: