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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

6,157 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6157
Reviews: 1464
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%


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:
"An American Double IPA” 75 IBU 8.0% abv

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004)
View: Beers (8) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,157 | Reviews: 1,464 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Neorebel:
Photo of Neorebel
Neorebel

New Jersey

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

I scored 3 four packs of this beer thanks to my parents who had vacationed briefly in VT. Trying this out of a glass first, then out of the can for kicks and giggles... because it says so. Something about releasing the hop aromas.

The appearance is a very cloudy gold color... almost yellowish. A few flecks of very fine sediment are visible. The beer is topped with a puffy white head that is very thick at first, but later settles down to the size of about a finger. It looks just right hanging there as it clings lightly to the glass.

The vast aroma give me the chills as I take it in. My first impression is that of an exotic, fresh fruit stand. Of course pineapple, grapefruit lemon/citrus, but also strawberry and mango - all very sweet. Something about the spice reminds me of potpourri and clean linen. There is an underlying piney resin notes are detectable beneath. When I lean in to the can rather than the glass, the resiny cannabis subtleties are much more 'outspoken.'

Now for a taste! Wow - this isn't going to be easy. Very complex to say the least. From the glass - a very quick 'juicyfruit' start coats the mouth and disappears at which point a dose of strong pine flavor, almost like gin for a second pops in. Finally, a very resinous character presents itself and takes over my palate for the bulk of the experience. There seems to be a doughy malt aspect intermingled with this resinous taste as well. The finish is a giant snap of bitterness.

It's interesting that this is kind of a medium bodied beer, does not seem 'boozy' or instantly 'warming' as it goes down, but I would say that after you take a little break from sipping you 'feel the alcohol' in your gut - a good thing if you ask me.

Overall - Definitely an acquired taste but I like it quite a bit. This is the most interesting and complex DIPA I have ever had. It's not so easy to talk about or assess simply.

Now - I am going to try a second one straight out of the can instead of from the glass. *Drum roll* I like it better from the can! Never would have guessed. With this beer - picture drinking a milkshake out of a big straw vs drinking right from the glass. The can is the straw - you get more of a concentrated blast of taste vs from the glass. Perhaps it is because there is no aroma preview, so to speak. The various aspects of the flavor previously described seem more together, hitting me at once instead of in stages this way. The sweetness seems to stick around longer and the resinous aspect seems less earthy and more spicy, more organic. Delicious orange rind dominates. Changing this to a perfect score. I'm glad I have a decent amount of this - will be sharing with close friends. Get some if you can.

Serving type: can

02-16-2012 02:50:47 | More by Neorebel
More User Reviews:
Photo of standDEFIANT
standDEFIANT

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-16-2014 14:42:25 | More by standDEFIANT
Photo of SovietBear1982
SovietBear1982

Connecticut

4.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What can I say about this beer, it is everything people say it is and the hype is spot on. Although, the level if IBU's have been consistent at times I can have one where the hoppiness really comes through while other times it is more gradual and the notes are released with perfection. I know that the brewery has other brews that it releases in limited quantities, but I hope they can try and produce the other options with a bit more releases then they currently offer. But no complaints they are staying true to their brew and "Heady Topper" is always on my list of brews that I would have on any given day.

Serving type: can

04-16-2014 13:45:14 | More by SovietBear1982
Photo of funkyaudio
funkyaudio

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-16-2014 03:08:47 | More by funkyaudio
Photo of mabermud
mabermud

Washington

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

This is an extremely, well-crafted beer. It is wonderfully balanced and well-hopped. Truly made by an Alchemist, or the devil himself.

I now understand why it is the #1 beer on BA. My favorites were always Pliny the Elder and Enjoy by. This one boasts them both. I immediately opened a Pliny to compare while I still had some Heady left at the bottom of my glass. To me, the Heady looks much better. The PtE is clear and the Heady is cloudy with yummy goodness. The Heady smells scrumptious and emits a better aroma. The PtE is crisp and clean and the Heady is complex tasting. PtE is a bit more carbonated than the Heady, however, I believe this Heady is nowhere near as fresh as the PtE. In the end, I love them both.

If I were to be stranded in the mountains for any amount of time and I had to select one of these to keep me company, I would have to select the Heady, and the PtE would be his backup.

Nauseatingly good.

Serving type: can

04-16-2014 01:55:39 | More by mabermud
Photo of KornWallace
KornWallace

New York

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-16-2014 00:37:06 | More by KornWallace
Photo of Justinmatt21
Justinmatt21

Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-15-2014 23:14:09 | More by Justinmatt21
Photo of jvf1970
jvf1970

Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank Heady Topper a couple times from cans only, never on tap. I thought it was a great beer but not the best in the world. If I went out to a pub and they had HT , I would order and drink it over probably others because it's so hard to get anywhere outside Vermont.

Serving type: can

04-15-2014 20:57:44 | More by jvf1970
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sugarman


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-15-2014 19:35:04 | More by sugarman
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DanVW

Vermont

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-15-2014 17:39:01 | More by DanVW
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jmlschlee

Vermont

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-15-2014 16:31:59 | More by jmlschlee
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avalenzuela

New York

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-15-2014 15:55:14 | More by avalenzuela
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cmq103

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-15-2014 01:25:06 | More by cmq103
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59rockabilly

Kansas

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-15-2014 00:51:45 | More by 59rockabilly
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LarryMyers

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-14-2014 21:46:53 | More by LarryMyers
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RummyRedbeard

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-14-2014 21:45:49 | More by RummyRedbeard
Photo of ICMTM
ICMTM

California

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have to say this is a really good beer. I also have to say it doesn't live up to the hype of being the best beer ever. With all these hyped beers I have noticed a trend:

Limited Distribution + Good Brew = Cult Following

I did the taste test with it and Pliny and yes it's better than Pliny in my opinion HOWEVER I think there are better DIPA's than both beers out there.

O - It's a more complex IPA which I liked about it. There is a bigger malt presence and therefore not as bitter as some out there. I liked it better out of the can, which actually balanced the beer out. The beer pours like a hefeweizen. It's a great beer, but I don't know that I'd want it over some of the local options I have.

Serving type: can

04-14-2014 21:00:05 | More by ICMTM
Photo of Thebarrick56
Thebarrick56

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-14-2014 20:04:28 | More by Thebarrick56
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Fargrow

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-14-2014 19:52:52 | More by Fargrow
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Danfransisco

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-14-2014 18:34:13 | More by Danfransisco
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Gunch52

Texas

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-14-2014 17:20:02 | More by Gunch52
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abrodsky

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-14-2014 15:24:34 | More by abrodsky
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MarkOberempt

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-14-2014 13:42:45 | More by MarkOberempt
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braican

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-14-2014 13:31:04 | More by braican
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nicole309

Alaska

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-14-2014 08:03:34 | More by nicole309
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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 6,157 ratings.