Episode #99: Heady Topper and Surly Abrasive: The Two Highest Ranked Canned Beers in the World

Recently, Chris found himself in possession of the two highest rated canned beers on the famous Beer Advocate Top 100 list. Let’s see what he thinks of them!

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Breweries and Beers

tootiThe Alchemist Heady Topper
The Alchemist Heady Topper
tooti Surly Abrasive
Surly Abrasive

Comments 7 

  1. From "Luke" :

    Awesome review! I love both of these beers, and I just did this side by side comparison the other day. I completely agree with you about the malt profile of the Abrasive being more present and complex than the HT; however, I thought the hop profile on HT was more complex than Abrasive. Both hop bombs for sure and epic brews, but the hops spoke to me more in HT. Also, I think they say to drink it from the can because of all the gunk and hop remains left in the beer which makes it less appealing in the glass. Doesn’t bother me though! Cheers!

  2. From "Scott Linham" :

    They’re both on my must try list. Thanks again for a great review! Towards the end I thought you were going to completely forget to try out of the can! I’ve heard some people say it really is better, but I agree it seems kind of weird.

    It seems like a lot of these top rated\best in the world beers have to do with their difficulty to attain. It’s like the hype in people’s minds tells them they’re supposed to like it so they do. I know most of them are pretty awesome, but I bet a blind tasting of some of them might surprise some people. What are your thoughts, anyone?

    P.S. thanks for the ring explanation in the previous episode…finally! Way to keep me tuned in for a couple months. Now I can stop watching! 😉 JK! Love this show!!!

  3. From "ChrisQ" :

    Obviously I really liked both beers. I was hesitant about giving them both a 93, but I truly felt they were equally good, just in very different ways. Luke, I can totally see how the HT would speak to you more. It’s hop flavor in it’s rawest form, while the dryness makes it very drinkable. In general I also prefer the dry, west-coast style IPA’s. But there’s no denying that the Abrasive was also a special beer.

    As far as rankings, I think there’s little doubt there’s a direct correlation between rarity, style, and ranking. The 10 beers on BA’s list are all very hard to get, and 7 or the ten are either Imperial Stouts, or Double IPAs. Am I really to believe that Pilsners in the 95% for their style are worst than Double IPAs in the 50%? Doesn’t make sense.

    In the end, drink what you like. If that is highly rated beers, then drink highly rated beers. Personally, I think Trumer Pils is one of the best beers in the world, yet it’s rated a whopping 37 on Rate beer (and 65 for style which is also a joke!). That won’t make me stop drinking it though. Port’s Hop -15 is considered one of the best DIPAs there is, but the bottle I had recently just wasn’t good.

  4. From "castello" :

    Trumer green bottles! Yumm

  5. From "Sandro Chiavaro" :

    Tasting both with a neutral approach. I think you are spot on. I don’t remember Surly to have a maltier back bone. I do remember tones of grassyness from Abrasive as well. That CTZ resin and pine/lawn clippings is definitely more present in the Abrasive. Heady toper to me is exactly like you described with that tropical,passion fruit and tone of grapefruit. Also a sweet juicy hoppy quality that is difficult to describe. Great review of two of my top 5 DIPA so fare. Well done.

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