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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,072 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,072
Hads: 11,563
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,437
Gots: 3,997 | FT: 56
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 (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,072 | Hads: 11,563
Photo of 311bulldog
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased during almost monthly trips to Vermont. Drink out of can and out of tulip and occasionally from tap.

Appearance - golden-orange hue.

S - citrusy, pine notes. Hop aromas galore. One of my favorite smells in the world.

T - world class taste from beginning to end.

M - nice feel, good level of carbonation

Overall - Definitely one of my favorite beers in the world and very accessible for me. I tend to think some of the Hill Farmstead brews are slightly better, but I stock-up on Heady 4-6 times a year. I feel lucky to get to imbibe Alchemist brews frequently!

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Photo of TheBiercast
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Mysterious. No, I’m not trying to be cheesy. We drank it straight from the can, as suggested. Could see a little bit of golden liquid on the rim of the can as I drank it.
(Andrew did later pour one into a pint glass to solve the mystery. It is a very cloudy, deep golden yellow. There. Mystery solved, but this beer is obviously not about how pretty it looks.)

Smell: From the little punch top opening, upon popping, fragrant floral and slight citrus notes filled my immediate plane of smell-o-vision. It was very strong and helped make sense in why The Alchemist doesn’t want you to pour from the can to help contain those beautiful esters for the flavor you’re about to consume.

Taste: Upon the first sip, my very first reaction was that this beer is not intentionally wrecking my taste buds like a Bell’s Hopslam. This is what I thought I was getting into and was slightly disappointed until the hops slowly creeped in and engulfed my entire sense of taste. Heady Topper is every bit of hoppy as Hopslam, but nowhere near as harsh making this extremely drinkable and enjoyable to the novice IPA drinker. As the nose suggests, there are tons of floral notes, and as the more a drink it, there are a lot of citrus notes, but they are not bright. The citrus comes from more of the oil from an orange rind to add slight sweetness and mellow out the big floral notes. As it warms up, I started noticing some honey sweetness, so you have that to look forward to as well.

Mouthfeel: This is the best part! It’s so smooth for how intensely hopped it is! It’s creamy, but it is not to the point that it’s dictating how fast you can enjoyably drink this beer. It’s so enjoyable for a hoppy, relatively higher ABV (8.0%) beer that I was quoted saying, “I could drink this on a hot, summer day after mowing the lawn.”

Overall: Overall, I’d say this might be my favorite IPA, in general. For how balanced it is, I could always enjoy one. This is not to say that if I had to choose, there would be times that I would much rather have a more harshly bitter beer as a Bell’s Hopslam or a Founder’s Double Trouble. It really comes down to how something can be so hoppy and so drinkable at the same time. Just remember, drink it from the can. It’s worth it.

I’ll give Heady Topper a 4.8 on the ol’ trusty 5.0 scale.

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Photo of mrz200
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Does HT really need another review saying how equally good and unattainable it is? Well I thought so, so here it is.

If you are a craft beer fan with any level of affinity for hops, you will love this beer. I say that because there is so much more to it than the "DIPA" classification suggests.

Is good cold, is good a little warmer, is good as an IPA, is good as citrus-ey hop blended ale, oh and it's incredibly drinkable for a high ABV... If you could actually get your hands on enough of them to have a HT session!

If you've never had it, or fear you never will, take solace in the fact that HT gets less unique every year of this craft beer era. Sure, I've still never had this perfect combination of flavors and craftsmanship, but you've tasted everything in HT before. Ithaca, Lagunitas, Maine Beer, all of them seem to owe a tip of the glass to HT with some of their IPA's.

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Photo of Abilow33
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I went to the beer shop in Waterbury and tried this beer. There is a reason this beer is rated as the best beer in America. It is the best beer I have ever had. It had a great taste. I wish everyone could try this beer. I wanted to buy a case but the were sold out.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. aluminum can with two pours into a snifter glass

A- This beer pours a cloudy, hazy golden color slightly tinged with amber, but still very much light for an IPA- an Imperial IPA at that. It looks more like a Hefeweizen. A nice, slightly uneven inch and a half head that lasted about two minutes before settling down to an eighth of an inch. Nice fluffy lace coatings slide down the snifter with every movement

S- Remarkably the aromas of this bold flavored ale don't stand out as much as the taste. It smells like a well balanced IPA. Some floral hop aromas, grapefruit, The scent although not complex does smell very fresh and very good

T- I can see why this has such a following. It is like drinking liquid hops of the most delicious and highest quality. These hops are very tasty and pungent in a good way. This is a bitter DIPA. But it's also a sweet DIPA. Other than the POW! of the hops, the beer is actually very well balanced.

M- The mouthfeel is just spot on. It is smooth and creamy, yet refreshing and drinkable with just the right amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I can see why there is so much hype with this beer although I think a huge part of it is that it's only distributed in just a couple of towns in the state of Vermont. I will say it's one of the best DIPAs I have tasted, although fresh from the tap Enjoy By is right up there too. My buddy got me a four pack of this for my birthday and I am very grateful. It's a great beer to drink on a summer night and the 16 oz. serving just enough. A little more than your typical 12 oz. home serving, but much easier to finish than a 22 oz. bomber. I don't know about the hype, but I would say the ratings are pretty accurate. This is a legendary brew to say the least!

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Photo of BuckKY
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is simply a great beer.
It didn't feel like 8.00% and as a person that doesnt care for needlessly high ABV I love it.
The aroma on this beer is by far the best part. It smells of grass and happiness. Its white head is thick enough for a mustache. But feels light. You could sip or slop this beer and both would taste great. Although it isnt as complexe as I had thought for a Rate 1 beer it is, by all accounts, excellent.

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Photo of ggell100
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Long-awaited taste of this beer was well-worth the wait. To put it simply: This is an awesome brew! It is much hoppier than I expected, but this was a pleasant surprise to be sure. It was a great overall experience right from the can. I highly recommend this one, along with virtually everyone else who has had the benefit of enjoying it.

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Photo of Beer4B
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful hazy and golden light orange. The nose jumps out of the can as soon as you crack it open. A bouquet of hops tickle your nose hairs. Wave after wave of hops delicately balanced with malts overtake your palate. Drinks really easily for 8% and has a fantastic finish.

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Photo of BrewDudeRay
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Received as an extra, (thanks Buford), and was excited as I was looking for this beer.

Worth the wait and oh so good! Pours as an IPA should. Aroma of hops and tastes clean and hoppy, but nothing like you'd think, refreshing and makes you want more!

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Photo of TTAmod
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the DreamWeaver. Word on the street is this can is approximately 3 weeks old. Not ideal, but I'm not complaining (too much.)

A: I'm drinking it from the can (like they suggest.) However, the can is pretty badass. I'll give it a 5.

S: Nice wave of citrus smelling hops are released upon popping the can. Bringing the can up to my nose gives me a really, really strong dose of ruby red grapefruit. It smells extremely sweet and citrusy. I also pick up a bit of alcohol and pine. Smell is pretty good, but not perfect. For comparison, Zombie Dust, in my opinion, has pretty much the perfect IPA smell.

T: Way more going on the nose will lead you to believe. Starts of slightly sweet. Melon and guava are fruits most present in the beginning. I get that ruby red grapefruit that was in the nose somewhere in the middle. It gets slightly piney and bitter toward the end with a distinct caramel taste. Slightly bitter and alcoholic on the way out.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect. Minimum carbonation. Unbelievably smooth. The body just seemlessly allows the waves of hop flavors to hit the palate unhindered. Alcohol isn't very noticeable in the taste, but it's very, very sneaky.

O: I've been blessed with amazing IPAs over the last couple of weeks (DirtWolf, Abrasive, this..) Is this the best beer in the world? Probably not. Is it the best DIPA? In my opinion...probably. What's great about this is that it's not a hop or IBU assault...the hop flavors are a bit more subdued than you'd believe, but that's a actually a good thing because it allows you to experience such a huge range of hop flavors. The malt base is really sweet, too. Normally, I like drier IPAs, but I don't seem to mind the sweetness here.

This is one of the few times that a beer has met the hype.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a hazy yellowish orange with a white head.

S: Tons of fresh fruits, orange, tangerine, tropical fruit, papaya in an incredible nose.

T: Lots of orange, grass, pine, tangerine, tropical fruit, papaya.

M: Somewhat typical of an IPA, but a bit smoother, which is nice.

O: An incredible IPA. Not my favorite, but BA inflates their ratings, and they don't weight them how I personally would, so it might look that way. I don't know. I'd give it a 95.

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Photo of DIM
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A gift from regular customers, sweeeeeet.

This was a hazy, muddled straw color. It poured with a large, dense looking, sticky head.

A nice hop bouquet was evident as soon as the can was cracked; a delicate fruit salad aroma consisting of mango, pineapple, and juicy oranges. There was little in the way of malt balance, just a hint of sugar cookie.

Tastes as the smell suggests it would, just a wall of juicy hop layers. Fresh, pungent, sticky; wonderful. As big as this tastes, the fruit flavors come across as delicate. I guess because so many different flavors are discernible. There was a nice bitter bite at the end.

A great DIPA for sure and at reasonable price. If I had access, I drink tons of this one. Thanks guys!

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Photo of warrendietrich2001
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sad that I tried this, because I know I will never have again. Is it the best beer in the world I did not think so but it was a GREAT beer and deserves to be thought of as one of the best.
Did not pour so can not comment.
Smell. I was overwhelmed it was such a strong orange smell followed by a pine scent. If I could wear this smell as a cologne I would.
Taste. The hops hit me at first but settled down quickly. Very balanced and very drinkable.
I am sad to say goodbye to Heady Topper but unless it falls from the sky I most likely not be tasting again which is too bad as this is a great beer and should be have a wider distribution.

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Photo of Misfit2209
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure how old the can I drank was at time of consumption. I gave "smell" a 4.25 however I have to believe a beer this big has a big aroma when fresh. With that said, please take the 4.25 aroma as suspect. Taste and Feel live up to the hype for sure!

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Photo of phuntasy
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best Double IPAs I've ever tasted.

Hoppy. Clearly. But not too bitter or over powering. You will like this even if your not an IPA/Double IPA fan.

Citrus notes such as orange and grapefruit. Little bit of pine as well.

I enjoy road trips to have you!

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Photo of OGFGabv
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just an all around show stopping beer. Lots of tropical fruit that comes in wave after delicious wave with a touch of a lemon grass in there. Bitterness not overwhelming, but a nice balance . A truly great beer.

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Photo of PatrickSullivan
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours cloudy and orange with a thick white foamy head. The head has a little staying power but leaves some great lacing behind.

S: Great hoppy nose. Tons of grapefruit and citrus (I catch some hints of lemon), with a touch of pine.

T: Less hoppy than expected on first taste. The maltiness hits me first. Sweet but not overly so. But then the hops kick in. Tropical and citrus with some grapefruit intertwined. Toss in a shot of pine at the end. Very balanced throughout.

M: Medium in body, medium to low in carbonation. Yet still creamy and silky smooth. Fits the taste very well.

O: A perfect example of how a DIPA should be. Really glad I got an opportunity to try this.

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Photo of usurping
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! I received a four pack as a gift this weekend. Had heard about the beer before but put it in the fridge and continued the night. Had two last night and one tonight. What an amazing beer. Every aspect of this beer- down to the clear instructions to drink it straight from the can (cant truly rate the appearance because I drank em from the can)- make it a very special beer. After having three and checking the reviews I was not surprised to see that it is so highly rated.

Smell is delightful with hints of mango.

Taste is not over the top hops. They are there and you are expecting it but I think the amazing thing about this beer is that the taste is over powered by the hops.

I could go on but many others have done it already with some very elaborate and detailed descriptions.

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Photo of dertyd
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

what an amazing beer starts off with flavors of pine very very piney and then out of nowhere comes a huge grapefruit presence and is very smooth such a great great beer Thank You alchemist you are amazing

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pourer from a 16 oz can into a tulip and also drank from the can- poured a hazy light orange color with almost no head very little retention and no lacing.

Smells incredible but very subtle- grapefruit and tangerine with a little spice of hops at the end.

Tastes even more incredible- full, round hop flavor. A little malt at the beginning and then the hops take over. A little grapefruit at first and then soft piney notes with a nice medium dry finish. Superb.

Mouthfeel is also exceptional. Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Get this if you can!!

PS- Flavor is more direct out if the can but I prefer it in the glass. Give both a try.

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Photo of nimrod979
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No can date but I know it's pretty fresh from the source. Drank about half from the can as it says to do so numerous times. Poured the other half into a DFH snifter.

Appearance: Quite hazy unfiltered orange-ish color. Plenty of sediment. Medium sized white head. Decent retention. with some sudsy lacing.

Aroma: Good blend of citrus and pine lead it off and carry all the way to the finish.

Taste: Juicy hops, Mandarin oranges, grapefruit, and a tropical blend followed by layers of pine resin. delicious well done DIPA. Fresh flavor. Pretty much perfection. Delivers on hops, bitterness and flavor all while being completely drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with an exceptional drinkability. Never comes across as too bitter. Carbonation is soft though perfect for what this beer needs. Glad & thankful I finally got an opportunity to try this one. Something I would look forward to drinking for years to come.

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Photo of Bills453
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you so much to Jzeilinger for sending me this in return for absolutely nothing. You sir are truly awesome!

I'm drinking from the can as I am instructed to by it...

Appearance - can art is awesome. The dood's head is exploding hops!!!

Smell - I was worried I wasn't going to be able to smell the full aroma through the can, but I can! A lot of hops filling my nose through this small can hole.

Taste - really does live up to all the hype for me, an amazing representation of hops in this beer.

Mouthfeel - great

Overall - very very good. I hope everyone has a chance to try this beer.

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Photo of JulioH
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this a few times. This is the most bitter thing I have tasted, but surprisingly you quickly get accustomed to it, and actually enjoy it.

Pouring it reveals a normal yellow beer, nothing spectacular about the color, but the aroma that comes out of the can immediately after opening it is crazy. It releases a very strong aroma of pine and hops. Taste is very bitter, very piney, but refreshing and thin. You could drink a few of these and just think of how amazing this beer is.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%

Case purchased 8/8/14 at Hunger Mountain Co-Op. Gave away half, drank half. Not much variation between cans, which is what they strive for.

Drank all from can as directed, had tried a sampler at brewery in 2013 so I have a rough idea what it looks like. Can does focus nose, but a good tulip glass will do the same. You can definitely tell the difference between a fresh and month-old Heady, but the month-old is still fantastic.

Nose to me is mostly grapefruit with some lemon. Subdued floral component as this isn't quite a West Coast (or quite an East Coast) style DIPA. Subdued malt profile as this is about the hops.

Taste is all citrus and hops, as much as one could possibly want in a beer.

Medium to full-bodied, strongly carbonated, incredible balance, dry finish.

Had to leave some room in my rating for something better to come along (hope to grab one of their other beers at a truck sale sometime, for example).

I do a round-trip drive from VA each August to get my case (or as much as I can get). Very difficult to get if you aren't willing to travel to VT and not easy to get unless you plan before you get there. I recommend the Heady Spotter website to maximize your opportunities. Worth the trouble, though. There's nothing quite like it.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Straw on edges to orangish gold. Super hazy, not sure if it's from hop haze or unfiltered. Small white head that fades quickly. Some lacing around the edges.

S: Huge tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, peach, nectarine and some caramel. Awesome. Tropics in a glass.

T: Pineapples, mango, citrus, grapefruit, assertive hop bitterness but really smooth finish. Everything is balanced. Malt is caramel and sweet.

M: Sweet start to a finish drying finish.

O: This beer is amazing. Super assertive hops but not overwhelmingly bitter. Could just be the bitter factors of the hops used. This is the Hoptimum of tropical fruit hop flavors. Exceptional.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,072 ratings.