1. One Hundred Mags (Rule). Check out the sneak peek of BeerAdvocate magazine #100, plus some of the changes coming your way.

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,421 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,421
Reviews: 2,055
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 7,650
Gots: 3,079 | FT: 48
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004

"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% abv
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 10,421 | Reviews: 2,055
Photo of BigAl18
3.68/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Admittedly, I'm not a huge DIPA guy, but I don't get it. Cloudy and not as smooth as I thought it would be. Aftertaste lingers forever. Not horrible but I expected much more.

Photo of sirhair
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer I judge all by.

Photo of Growler71
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just untouchable. Must be the water in Vermont.

Photo of Thomas_Picton
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drove up to Barre, VT to pick up a case to bring to my Dad in Mississippi--retiring after 39 years teaching. And this beer is as good as they say.

Photo of fox227
4.71/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First, thanks to the nameless one in Vista for the can I got to share with my girlfriend, I got to try Heady without having to either trade for it or go to Vermont. :) I have had so many wonderful DIPAs that I knew right from the first sip that nothing would shock me with greatness ever again; but drinking this beer, I could definitely understand why it's (currently) the top rated beer.

Pours cloudy but not ugly, as I did not drink from the can, as suggested. The nose was rife with tropical fruit and a slight hard to pinpoint 'musty' quality that I assume was from the yeast. The flavor gloriously followed the nose, with a very big pineapple flavor lingering. The mouthfeel provided just enough body and bitterness on the tongue to let you know that this is a real DIPA, and the alcohol flavor is nowhere to be found.

Would I call this the greatest DIPA I've ever had? I'm pretty sure I've liked others more in the past, but the fact that I have to dig deep into the memory banks says a lot about Heady Topper's quality.

Photo of tlema1
4.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lives up to the hype...excellent DIPA

Photo of wildfire275
2.65/5  rDev -44%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Let me begin with a precursor: I've had Heady on several occasions, my first being almost four years ago. I'm writing this review because this batch from early February when I purchased a case is simply a shell of its former self and must have something wrong with it (and not because it's been 3 months since it was canned; because it tasted the same right after I bought it and it's been refrigerated ever since and should still be plenty drinkable at this stage). Cracking a can brings an overwhelming smell and subsequent taste of peanut butter, peanut oil and peanuts. As I am not a homebrewer, though I work in beer retail, I do not know how to pinpoint this off-flavor/smell (i.e. diacetyl), but it is certainly not the Heady that blew my mind when I first had it four years ago. My main motivation in writing this review is to alert others to the possibility that clearly not all batches of Heady are created equal now. If this can be chalked up to mishandling (exposure to heat), and is not a fault of The Alchemist, I would certainly understand. But as I purchased this case in the midst of a bone-chilling winter, I find that possibility not very plausible. And don't get me wrong; this is not intended to throw The Alchemist, John and Jen or their staff under the bus. They are working tirelessly to bring this beer to the masses of VT, the U.S., and now--yes--the world. Hopefully this is simply an anomaly and their quality control only improves with further batches, yet now with their increased production and the new Stowe facility, this may only become more difficult in the future. As a die-hard craft drinker and one who knows where Heady belongs in the upper echelon of DIPAs, I hope this does not prove to be the case.

Photo of CA-J27
4.96/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious IPA. Incredibly well balanced while still juicy (lots of tropical notes) and a great hoppy finish that lingers w a citric bitterness. Love this beer.

Photo of Tankmass
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I make trips frequently to northern Vermont and I always search for this beautiful creation in a can. I'm very happy about the breweries newest adventure with their beer room facilities opening soon.

Photo of jow_42
4.96/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16oz can poured into a stemless Heady Topper glass

A - Hazy, orange. Not quote opaque, but its tough to see much light through it. People say this beer isn't great looking in a glass, but I beg to differ. Bright white, fluffy head with that pour.

S - Explosive fruity hops. Peaches are huge in this can. There is citrus too - orange, slight grapefruit. Sweet mango, passion fruit underneath. Killer smelling beer.

T - This beer lives up to the hype. An awesome DIPA. Sweet hops up front - peaches, mango, stone fruits. Very hoppy, but amazingly balanced. Middle of the mouth you get grapefruit bitterness, and the back end breadiness balances this amazingly. This is 100+ IBUs? You'd be hard pressed to know that if you were drinking this blind. Awesome stuff.

O - this was my first NE DIPA, and still one of the best. After drinking this from a can, there isn't a huge difference from the glass to the can. Highly recommended.

Photo of jhavs
4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up case max last Tuesday while looking for Sip Of Sunshine. Great drinkability and balance. As I have heard, the flavor does change as you move through the layers. Hop flavor and bitterness come at you from all different angles.

Photo of BigBadBaptist88
3.58/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was such a let down. I've had almost every beer on the top 250 list and I can name 10 beers that are better than this one. Womp.

Photo of BostonBrewRu
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dry, bitter, slightly sticky. Definitely good but definitely not worth freaking out over.

Photo of Monktastic7
4.47/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I never get tired of this beer. It's one of the fluffiest DIPAs ever with such a wonderful punch of hops that linger. The finish is super clean and leaves you dying for another sip. Too bad it's such a pain to get :)

Photo of Belgeko
4.91/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Revived a 4 pack from a trade.
very happy with it.
Everything I can say has probably been said before.
But worth trying to get your hands on some.

Photo of Rammed96
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

5's all across the board. Best smelling, tasting and finishing beer. I have ever had.

Photo of Ccagno15
4.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Can poured into glass I'm almost positive that they tell you to drink it in the can because In a glass it does not look so great but in this case looks are definitely deceiving nice tropical fruit aromas that also come through in the flavor with a nice bitter hoppy finish outstanding ipa that lives up to the hype

Photo of Jwburns75
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can't find flaws in this one, or too many better double IPAs for that matter. There are better, but they are few and far between. There's really nothing negative to say - the look, smell, taste, feel, and whatever else you care about are damn near perfect. It's not the best beer I have ever had but it's pretty damn close

Photo of beerchic
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I finally got to try this thanks to a coworker who got some in a trade. I drank it from the can as directed. It was very good, however, I feel this beer should not still be at #1. I had Pliny the Elder a week ago and liked it a lot more. But, fwiw, I think I like FW Double Jack more than this, so do what you will with this review.

Photo of garyloveman
4.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What can I say, awesome piny hop nose, just keeps coming at you. sweet malty start then just a dank hop explosion on the tongue. Outstanding beer.

Photo of mirp1
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At this point, reviewing Heady Topper is analogous to rating the character of Derek Jeter. Everything great has been said, everything said has been great, and that standard is not going away. So, we are no longer worthy of trying to compare this IPA to anything else on the market. A reviewer below writes that although Heady is "an incredible IPA, there are others equally as good." I think they are claiming that there is no better beer being brewed in the world right now, than what is being produced here in the US. I almost completely agree. The only exception is maybe Belgium, and their exotic ales, however, Brewery Ommegang has made the gap very small these days. Anyway, USA is killing it, and the beer buffet out there has something great for everyone. The only criticism of the referenced blog below would be that a reader could get the impression that they were placing Heady head-to-head with the likes of Rogue Dead Guy Ale. That would be like comparing an 18 year aged cheddar to light orange ballpark nacho melt. Not that there is anything wrong with either. We all have our favorites, and it's nice that the writer below is proud and loyal to the other great beers out there, and publishes their support. This makes the world go round, and keeps all of these committed brewers thriving. I enjoy them all too.

Photo of justinneg
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The benchmark everything else. Truly in a class of it's own.

Photo of WineGuy3000
4.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. There's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said. This brew is a classic for a reason, one of the very best IPA offerings that I've tasted.

Photo of VTBeerDrinker
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the greatest IPA on the market. Only bummer is that even though I live in West Rutland, VT, I have drive north to find it as well as making sure I hit the store at the right time. All in all, it's worth the drive and the wait. This beer is definitely worth the top of the list rating it enjoys.

Photo of sberberick1
4.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an incredible IPA. I am not sure it's worth the hype. There are others that are just as good. Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Wachusetts Larry, Bells Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, ADK Super Dort and Foley Brothers Fair Maiden are all equally good. Hard to tell for certain which is best. They are all good in there own right.

to view more.
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,421 ratings.