Been a while since I posted a beer review. Doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying different brews, but it does mean that my life has been crazy busy lately with work and the family. But when you run a casual beer blog sometimes you just need something that makes you stop and write. Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA is the beer that made me stop to write.
Fat Heads is a brewery I know very little about actually. I was at a DMB show in June in Noblesville and got to spend some time with someone from Ohio. We discussed several brews. He brought some Ohio locals and I shared with him a Zombie Dust. Sadly, the Zombie Dust was past its prime and so I made a commitment to sending him some fresh Zombie Dust. He sent some Head Hunter in return and I loved it then just as much as I loved his second shipment of it which arrived a couple days ago. It's good to have friends in other states.
This is a small brewery based in North Olmsted, Ohio...southwest of Cleveland. Head Hunter has been a medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup a few times in the past 3 years. The distribution footprint is quite small. Looks like the beer can only be found in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Let's get to it:
I don't get in to the labels much, but I love this one. A fat guys face that looks like it's about to explode from the massive flavors crammed in his hole. Awesome. First batches of this brew appear to be at 7% abv and 77 IBU's. Seems that through the years this has crept up and now weighs in at 7.5% abv and 87 IBU's. The more the merrier I say.
Choose Your Vessel: The Bells 12oz Tulip. Perfect for IPA's.
The Pour: Clear deep orange in color. A slightly darker orange hue than other orange IPA's. Nice one finger head from the pour. Lacing was outstanding as well....charting every sip on the inside of the glass as I enjoyed it.
Aroma: Pungent hops. Huge citrus on the nose from this one. It really does smell like someone squeezed some fresh grapefruit into the beer. You also get a prominent whiff of orange or tangerine. Can not smell any malt in this one. The hops are the star. The description on the bottle indicates substantial pine, but I'm not getting that at all. Mostly all citrus hops and maybe some sweet tropical fruit.
Taste: Just like it smells. Bursting with grapefruit goodness. Fantastically bitter throughout with a touch of some pineapple sweetness that barely tames this hop bomb. I'm not getting much pine in this at all, which for me is a good thing. I am sure the only sweetness I am getting in this is from the sweet pineapple notes. Also has a really nice earthy and grassy flavor. Solid dankability. Incredibly drinkable for me due to the bitter and slightly dry finish.
Overall: It has to be up there as one of the top IPA's I've been fortunate to try. Many thanks to my buddy Walt for the brew. Luckily he sent 2 more so I may go enjoy another after this review. This beer hits all the right notes for me. The label description indicates that this beer is a representation of a west coast IPA. Typically known for heavy citrus and piney hops. I have had a couple west coast IPA's like Sierra Nevada Torpedo and Green Flash West Coast IPA....and I would say that both of those beers could learn from this one. Those two, in my experience, were heavier on the pine than the citrus which makes them less enjoyable for me. This one focused more on the citrus with minimal pine which was right up my alley. Hopefully some day they are able to distribute to Indiana because this could easily be an every day drinker for me. Give me a grapefruity IPA any day....or just let me put this computer down so that I can have another Head Hunter. Seriously, if you haven't had this one, get yourself a friend from Ohio or make a road trip. This one is worth the effort. Cheers, and happy hunting!! (no pun intended).