Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA is good. How good? Well, since it was first brewed in 2008, the beer has been called one of Draft Magazine’s top 25 beers in the world, racked up prestigious awards (including a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival, first place in the National IPA championship and the gold at the West Coast IPA championship) and even earned a mention in a Sports Illustrated article. That’s the stuff of champions right there!
So, when Fat Heads announced that the beer would be bottled, there was no doubt that the first run of the legendary liquid would sell-out quickly. Lasting just over 24 hours, over 900 bottles flew out of the North Olmstead brewery back in early January to make their way home with happy (and lucky) beer lovers who were quick on the draw. Those who didn’t make it on time were disappointed, but assured that more would be on the way.
Well, Fat Heads is making good on that promise, and more Head Hunter IPA will go on sale once again at the brewery in the afternoon on Saturday, January 22nd. And, as if that wasn’t enough good news to make every hophead’s cranium combust, Double Head Hunter is in the tanks and will make its debut on tap soon. When I asked him about the delightful sounding double-IPA, Head Brewer Matt Cole humbly smiled and told me it should be good. My bet is that it will follow in the steps of Head Hunter and be nothing short of spectacular.
So how does the beer actually stack up? Well, I’ve tried both the regular and cask versions. To my tastes, the regular was slightly better overall, so that’s what I’ll discuss here. But please try both if you have the chance – the cask version certainly had a legendary appearance complete with an immaculate fluffy, white head. Back to the beer at hand: Headhunter indeed appears worthy of being named the flagship beer of Fat Heads. It is orange with some light copper and gold around the edges. While the draft version I rated had little head, the beer has excellent lace and a great overall disposition.
One sniff of this aborigine elixir will have you hooked. The huge notes of pine and citrus carry you into a deep tropical forest full of dank herbal odors, and the bouquet is multi-faceted and alluring. Some orange peel and even a touch of wild green onion make this both lush and lewd in all the right ways. To me, the mark of a great IPA is how the smell carries over to the taste. Well, for Headhunter, that’s no problem – the taste is packed full of citrus hops that dance atop a slightly sweet but rather transparent pale malt base. Notes of pine resin, pineapple and perfume pummel my palate thanks to the Simcoe, Centennial and CTZ hops. Just when the bitterness peaks and I think of crying uncle, the sweet malt steps in and the surge subsides. While I found an earlier version of Headhunter to finish a bit sharply (like a flavor drop-off down a cliff), the recent batches have more than made up for the lacking linger with long lasting lusciousness. It’s much more of a leisurely stroll down the mountain than a free fall these days. Finally, one of the best parts of this beer is the insane drinkability. The lack of stickiness, oil and other ruinous sensations really make this a winner for the entire evening.
Does Bobby Like Fat Heads Headhunter Ale?
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