Tasting: November 21, 2014
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer # 654
Mastermind by Fiddlehead
Ask any craft beer geek about the Vermont trinity of craft brewers and it flows in seconds – Hill Farmstead (Greensboro Bend), Lawson’s Finest Liquids (Warren) and The Alchemist (Waterbury). However, any trip to secure some of the spoils from each brewery needs to be planned out as the beers from these three brewers are highly sought after and in short supply. The Alchemist’s Heady Topper for example, follows a regular schedule of delivery at local stores and each drop is greeted by lines of people, limitations and rapidly vanishing inventory.
This past summer, the website “First We Feast” posed to its audience some Heady Topper alternatives. Read the article here However, each of these beers are hard to come by in their own right and this article set demand skyrocketing for a few beers on the list. For example, following the article I was regularly asked by beer traders if I could get some 077XX from Carton Brewing. One other brewery featured in this article is Fiddlehead. They too are a Vermont brewery, located south of Burlington. I have to admit that I too began to search trade sites to try and get my hands on either Second Fiddle or Mastermind by Fiddlehead – but to no avail.
Today is my birthday and wouldn’t you know I got a text from a friend earlier today asking if I’ve ever had Mastermind and that he had a fresh (canned just two days ago) chilled can waiting for me. As a bonus – he gave me a fresh Heady Topper. Happy Birthday to me – Nice.
Fair or not, I followed Mastermind by Fiddlehead with a Heady Topper by The Alchemist. My impressions – Mastermind by Fiddlehead is certainly worthy to be in the same company as Heady Topper. Mastermind has a better crispness and has a brighter citrus lemon quality. Heady Topper’s sweet nectar and raw hop resin flavor clearly come out on top. I’ll put Mastermind by Fiddlehead at 95 points.