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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,985 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,985
Hads: 11,128
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 8,224
Gots: 3,620 | FT: 58
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 (11) | 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: 1,985 | Hads: 11,128
Photo of animortician
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 of 6 beers we tried in a blind taste test made possible by some awesome trades.
Pliny, Hop stoopid, heady, sucks, abrasive and hop slam

A: Great clarity, golden yellow. We poured it even though the can says not to. Would have been quite the give away if we hadn't. Light head no lacing.

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth and satisfying. Kind of syrupy though.

O: Great Beer, I would drink it regularly if I didn't have to trade for each and every one of them. (503 characters)

Photo of willjschmidt
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz can into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip glass.

A: Pours a very cloudy orange color. 1/4" head, tons of sediment in this beer.

S: Loads of glorious hops. Citrus, a hint of pine, lots of floral accents as well.

T: An outstanding IPA. Waves upon waves of hops in the form of some citrus, lots of floral flavors. Only slightly bitter, mostly in the finish. A tad bit sweet. Fairly well balanced with some pale malt.

M: Medium- full bodied, slightly viscous, average carbonation.

O: A top notch IPA, it lives up to the hype. One of the best I've ever had. (570 characters)

Photo of kwjd
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sammy for getting this bottle into Ontario! Pours a bright orange colour with thick white head. Lots of lacing coats the side of my glass. Some hop floaties in the beer, which I think just adds to this. I can smell the hops before I even lift the glass off the table. Lots of resiny pine and citrus hops in the aroma. Very nice bitterness, but there seems to be a malt balance as well. This is certainly one of my favourites. (432 characters)

Photo of MrGootwin
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious beer. Part of the fun of this is how hard it is to get. I lucked out when we happened to be in Stowe, VT on the day they get their shipment. While it was one of the best double IPA's I've had, I can't call it the best beer in the world as some do. In my humble opinion, I'd put Pliny neck & neck. Cheers. (314 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

DRINK FROM THE CAN! All caps, all bold, and topped off with an exclamation point. How does one disregard such a declaration? Furthermore, how do you rate appearance on a beer you can't see? Well, I cheated and poured some out. Nice, rich orange body, not too much head. But since it's the can that's truly making the appearance, let's talk about the can. The can is awesome. The dude with the outburst of hops from his cranium: terrific. And I'm partial to the message on the back: "Don't Be A D-Bag, Recycle This Can."

Once you crack Heady open, sniff it immediately. Like you're President Skroob in Spaceballs, hungry for fresh oxygen. The smell is wonderful. It's fresh, full of grapefruit and bitter pine. I love it!

Heady's a bitter bomb from front to back. Again, grapefruit and pine are piled onto the palate (oh, the alliteration). Oddly enough, the taste is not quite as fresh as the smell.

A bit syrupy on the mouthfeel. Heady doesn't drink as cleanly as, for instance, Hill Farmstead or Maine beers.

Overall, I think Heady Topper deserves to top the 250. Is it the best beer I've ever had? I don't think so. But it didn't disappoint me one bit. (1,162 characters)

Photo of AshleyMiller
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally getting around to reviewing this. about 10 days since its canning. poured into my hill farmstead pint glass.

a - pours a cloudy orangeish-golden, too cloudy to see through, with a beautiful finger-width thick creamy head with great lacing as well

s - total hop blast to my nostrils, with some sweetness hidden in there. very pleasant aroma. some pine, grapefruit, herbalness, and a hint of marijuana as well

t - very balanced and representative of the smell - all those flavors are in there. balanced exceptionally by malts. quick bitterness that doesn't last long

m - medium to full-bodied, moderate carbonation, alcohol hidden very well, as I know from experience

o - is it homerism? maybe, but I think this is about as good as it gets. definitely right up there in drinkability and quality with fresh pliny on tap. is it better from a can? maybe, certainly doesn't get worse, but figured it was worth reviewing out of the glass. simply amazing and i'm so lucky to have this so readily available. (1,012 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from the can itself, but served a portion of it unto a 3 ounce snifter for appearance purposes.

Appearance: From the small portion served in the glass it's a semi-cloudy gold with a thin white head rising to 1/3" settling quick without touching the glass.

Smell: heavy citrus skin, strong wet hops. I admit it disappears quick but it's super unique.

Taste: Strong bitterness, hardcore citrus does it live up to the hype...really depends on your palates. If you life floral this brew delivers. On top even more grapefruit, coming off a hint sweet.

Mouth: Heavy carbonation, with bubbly texture all over. Best move on this take your time, letting it sit in the can still after minutes upon minutes carbonation still there with a heavy floral finish. A rarity, a beer when served unto the glass; it actually loses property...I compared this to the small portion I had sitting here in the glass and the glass was much "flatter". Doesnt hurt for you to try the same method.

Overall: Awesome...is it my favorite ipa? Definitely not but probably maybe my top 10 but considering what I want in DIPAs. Thank you to Tap and Barrell here in Smithtown for carrying this gem. Salud! (1,185 characters)

Photo of Sandbarunner
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a tiny bit into a glass just to get a look at it. Its unfiltered so it is meant to be cloudy and not too clean.

I followed the directions and drank it from the can. Perfect balance of Aroma and bitterness.

Worth the drive to Vermont to get it! (252 characters)

Photo of raynmoon
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overall an outstanding beer. Not perfect but very good. The first few sips may have you thinking " disappointed" but if you are like me you'll have yourself smelling the can afterwards. Such a complex mix of resin, earth, and pine. Very well done. Better than pliny? They are on the same tier. (293 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can poured into a pint glass. HUGE thanks to kingcrowing for this MAJOR want!!! Reviewed side by side with Pliny the Elder

A: Darker orange than Pliny and hazy, Pliny was super clear. One finger off white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Huge citrus hops with dominate grapefruit. Tangerine, and orange zest. Just a touch of caramel malts coming through. Would be nicer if the grapefruit was more subdued.

T: Huge grapefruit bitterness with a slight orange zest in the middle. Caramel comes through in the end to mellow it out. A touch acidic in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied. Slick. Very very dry. Nice.

O: Definitely an exceptional DIPA. Not on par with Pliny, and I'd have to do a side by side with Dreadnaught and Double Trouble to really classify all these tasty beers. But yes, TOP notch. (820 characters)

Photo of FrostBlast
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Cracked a can which was about 2 months old. Poured into a tulip glass.

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Hazy golden orange, with a reasonably thick, fluffy, pleasingly appetizing head. Looks like those good-weather-clouds over a lazy sunrise, but only briefly, as the head is rather quick to die out almost entirely, leaving some lacing that looks like it won't stick around so much either.

SMELL : First nose is fresh hops, fresh hops, fresh hops and more fresh hops, with a thin but solid malt foundation. Very tightly packed, richly textured but somewhat indistinct. Second nose has some very sharp herbal aromas, tons of citrus (mostly grapefruit) and pineapple and some mango and other tropical fruits. The third nose releases hints of strawberries which, once noticed, become more obvious and extremely pleasing. Some dusty earth as well.

TASTE : Small impression of sweetness, but really, really faint. Almost imperceptible. Definitely honey-like. The mouth follows the nose and releases the strawberries even more, with some mango and even watermelon notes. Some kind of barnyard funk also comes out in the mouth. The whole thing lasts and lasts and lasts. I took a sip when I started to write this paragraph a minute ago and I still feel some aromas.

MOUTHFEEL : Very round, pleasing texture. Carbonation is a touch too active for me, but a few swings around the glass and it's down to something more to my taste. Leaves a pleasing wet tropical fruit punch sensation after swallowing. Impressive.

OVERALL : Among the best brews I've had. I probably wouldn't go so far as to call this the best beer in the world (too much amazing stuff out there) but it's definitely up there, way up there. I bought a 4-pack 3 days ago on-location at the brewery and I'll probably review this one tomorow, for the sake of comparison. And also to give me an acceptable excuse to drink another one. (1,975 characters)

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into an alchemist pint glass

A - inviting hazy dark orange body. big vanilla colored head two fingers deep forms off a not too hard pour. sticks brilliantly with very good retention. this thing looks like the real deal.

S - big whiffs of hops grapefruit orange peel some peach in there. a hint of a doughy malt backdrop.

T - orange peel and dough malts battle at the start. grapefruit edge comes in after giving the bigger hop bite but is quickly countered again by the malts. finishes dry and not too harshly. phenomenal.

M - medium bodied with lots of carbonation. light feel of alcohol on the throat and light hop puckering (for the style).

O - this is the best double ipa i've had to date and was very much worth the visit up north. can't wait to be able to get this in the store on a regular basis. (825 characters)

Photo of mjtiernan
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can - Started drinking right from the can and then poured into an oversized stemmed tulip.

A: Orange color with medium haze. Solid finger of white head on top. Quite a bit of spotty lacing.

S: Tons of citrus and sweet-smelling tropical fruit. Such a nice mixture of hop aromas. Couldn’t be more inviting.

T: First few sips from the can were very flavorful, but I preferred drinking it from a glass. Mostly citrus (grapefruit) and tropical fruit (mango). Some residual sweetness and finishing with a nice bitterness, but not too strong. The bitterness does linger on your tongue for a while. Just awesome.

M: Starts sweet and then finishes dry and biting. Hop oils coat your mouth. Medium carb.

O: To be honest, I didn’t want to bother with this review. Just wanted to drink the beer. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to love this, but no worries....it’s delicious. (882 characters)

Photo of miromanyth
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours in the typical DIPA fashion with a nice creamy haze.

S: Absolutely incredible! Smells like "freshness". Tons of tropical fruits, grass, citrus. Smells like a garden of delights! This is easily one of the best smelling beers I've ever had!

T: The beer follows the powerful aroma, with just a touch more grassiness. Not terribly sweet - a bit dry and truly "heady". So much going on in this one!

M: Creamy and zippy on the tongue.

O: I like this better than Hopslam. Yeah I said it. But for real, a beer available in cans all the time with this much going on? What more could you ask for???!! (603 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can # 10720A2BB

Graciously given to me by Rochefort10nh.

price - $12.00/4-pack (16 oz cans)

I've been dying to try this one and I finally did over the weekend. We actually went up to the Alchemist pub this past summer but it wasn't on tap at the time which was a bummer.

I didn't drink it from the can as is suggested but with my Duvel glass which is probably my favorite glass in the cabinet and well suited for big IPA's.

The appearance is a hazey shade of orange with a thin off-white head that fades within a minute to a creamy ring. Dots of lacing decorate the glass.

The aroma is absolutely amazing with tropical fruit and pine resin balanced out to perfection. The nose stays strong throughout the experience which is delightful.

The flavor is certainly based on a pine backbone with sweet tropical fruit flavors sprinkled over the top. As it warms the fruitiness becomes more prominate which adds some much needed balance.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. A medium body followed by a blast of bitterness but finishing silky smooth. This is the recipe for drinkability and I could drink this all night long with a smile from ear to ear.

Overall this was well worth the wait and lives up to the hype. By far the best canned DIPA I've ever had.

**Edit 12/18/11**
Buying this regurarly and it's still kick-ass (1,327 characters)

Photo of KingCobra686
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I never get tired of drinking this. Drinking this against most other popular IPA's and Double IPA's will make them taste too harsh or malty or grassy. (151 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy bronze hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was excellent retention and excellent lacing.

The smell featured waves of balmy pine, grapefruit and pineapple.

The taste was nothing short of a hop laden punch in the mouth. Puckering pine and grapefruit assault the palate initially, with a secondary and somewhat soothing tropical fruit and grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was full and round with a drying bitterness.

An extraordinarily complex use of hop additions makes this one a world class experience. Believe the hype. (546 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Phyl21ca for sending a 4 pack of these out together with some other awesome beers in a great trade. Review #200 - and some amazing beers left to try!

A: Solid with hazy and a dusty apricot colour, the head is bone white with just a micro film that skiffs the top. Do yourself a favour and leave it in the can.

S: Bright and citrus with floral scents that develop to a sweet malty backbone. Sweet orange and pineapple juice with scents of fresh crisp apples and pears, and a familiar soapy smell similar to floral candies.

T: Smooth creamy malts wash through up front teasing the palette with rock sugar, but then takes a left turn a runs headlong into delicious bitters, piney resins and grapefruit pith that sucks onto the tongue and palette. A unique and delicious note of fresh cracked white pepper on the finish. The flavours are dialled up to 11, without challenging or taxing the drinker - its enjoyable from start to finish.

M: A mid range carbonation that supports both the hops and the malts expertly. The smooth creamy malts up front lend way to a enjoyable and bitter pucker on the back end.

O: Heady Topper truly holds it's own in the upper echelon of incredible brews. The scent and flavours are dialled up as intensely as could be possible, while still offering the drinker a fresh hoppiness and sweet malts. The lingering bitters hold onto the tongue like a drowning man to a life raft. A treat for any hop head looking for a stunning mix of hops and malts. (1,496 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to sixthglass for this one. Tim came into my store on Friday to share this then came back on Monday to share a Westy 12 and gave me this can of Heady Topper for a Ten Fidy. Great BA, thanks Tim!

This one pours a muddied and cloudy dark gold in color with a soapy white head that clings to the rim of my snifter. The nose is phenomenal. You get a lot of grapefruit, pineapple, citrus fruits, with a light malty sweetness. It is very pungent and very, very aromatic. The flavors too are a combination of grapefruit and pineapple with a moderate amount of bitterness and a clean finish. It's just so intensely hoppy. Like the description says, it is wave after wave of hoppy goodness. It drinks well, both from a glass or out of the can. It's just a really nice beer through and through. I'm really glad I got to try this one. (836 characters)

Photo of Shagtastic
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to cbeer88 for this one!

Drank from the can on a chilly night.

A: I poured a bit into a cup and it poured an interesting light shade of orange.

S: I love the smell on this beer. It really comes through huge even from the can. I get bits of pine and fruitiness.

T: Lots of pine and hints of citrus. This is such a tasty beer it is hard to do it justice.

M: This beer holds its carbonation well and really doesnt show a 8% abv.

Overall: What a tasty beer that I was not expecting in the slightest. This is one that I'd go back to over and over again if available. Thanks again to cbeer for this awesome brew! (619 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1pt can poured into a snifter (sorry, I could not drink this straight out of the can, no matter how much persuasion is written on it.  I have one more and maybe I will.  It just seems wrong though)
No born on date 

Big thanks to nutter for sending this one over in a trade

A: Pours out a yellowish amber, think apple cider colored, with 1.5 fingers width of sea foam white head, with decent retention but after a min or two dissipates down to a thin film. There is just an absurd amount of sedimentation suspended in the glass.  Some may find it gross, but I actually don't mind it.  That how I know it's made from the good stuff!  Leaves a fair amount of lacing, but could be more, especially compared to some others in the style.  

S: Very aromatic.  Holy hell the citrus notes are out of this world! Peach, orange, lemon, grapefruit, apricot, mango.  There are also some accompanying piney hops, and some floral notes.  I get almost no malt presence (and I like it!), just a faint subtle sweetness.  Malts be damned.  I may have found a beer that smells better than Hopslam (maybe).

T: The citrus hop bouquet is not quite there in the taste.  Don't get me wrong, this is still a hop bomb, but the citrus profile is not to the degree that the nose implies.  The biggest hop presence in the taste is a biting piney hop bitterness.  On the citrus side I do get orange, lemon zest, grapefruit, and peach.  Unlike the nose, there is a malt presence, which acts to balance things out nicely.  Some sweetness comes out as it warms.  Really good, but not quite as good as the nose.

M/D: So very smooth, which to me is one of the big things that separates the great DIPAs from the just good ones.  It has a very subtle carbonation, which I appreciate and prefer.  There is an impressive drying quality that acts to wipe the palate clean quickly after each sip. Does a great job of masking the ABV.  Drinkability is very high as well, this pint went down way too easily and fast. Just about perfect for the style in this area.

O: Overall, one of the best example I have tried of one of my favorite styles.  I still think fresh Hopslam is the epitome of the DIPA style, and this one doesn't knock the king off it's thrown, but I think it's fair to say its my #2.  Blows Pliny the Elder out of the water if you ask me, and that's saying something.  Definitely a beer all hop heads need to try. For the next one, I think I will drink it out of the can.  And I can't wait.   (2,498 characters)

Photo of WillCarrera
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can, no date, drank most of it out of the can, poured the rest into a snifter. Big thanks to Agold for sharing this with me.

A- Pours a cloudy amber color, nearly opaque, has some floaty stuff in it.

S- Huge juicy citrus aroma, grapefruit and orange, lots of resinous pine, lots of different fruits, a bit of sweet malt and caramel in the back. The aroma is huge and smells totally delicious.

T- Powerful bitterness combines with citrus and tropical fruit, some pine resin, big hops, everything is very vivid and bright but also in complete balance.

M- Medium-bodied, perfect amount of carbonation, very dry and bitter finish.

O- One of the best DIPA's I've had, insane drinkability, this definitely lives up to the hype for me, I've always been a huge Pliny fan, but this is just as good (not getting into that argument). This is the kind of beer I would drink every day forever if I could. (902 characters)

Photo of projectflam86
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra in a trade with Plenum. Cheers buddy!

16oz can. Poured about 4oz in a small snifter for color and aroma. The rest was had from the can.

A- Pours a hazy golden/orange color with a thin white foam that leaves a few rings of lace.

S- The nose on this is incredible. Tropical fruits, oranges, grapefruit, and resiny hop aromas dominate the nose. Insane citrus nose.

T- Very bitter initially with loads of hop flavor. Orange and grapefruit flavors lead the way with a touch of pine. A very small amount of malt sweetness and alcohol in the finish. Anything but balanced in terms of flavor, but as a hophead I don't mind in least.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. I've had a few big DIPAs that seemed a little syrupy but this beer is surprisingly dry and crisp. Helps to enhance the hop flavors and bitterness. Ridiculously drinkable.

O- Very happy I got the chance to try this. Certainly a must have for any true hophead. (962 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am reviewing based on a 16oz can poured into a pint glass. I regularly drink this right from the can but made the pour for purpose of this review. I've had it on tap as well.

A-Pours a very hazy light golden with a hint of orange or light copper. It is definately not amber. This pour produced a 3+ finger head, white and fluffy, that slowly tapered to a film. There is clear evidence of sediment floating about, colloids. A little lacing.

S- Wow! A citrus hop punch in the kisser! Grapefriut to me, tart. Call it lemon, orange, tropical if you want to, that's ok as well. No matter, the aroma could fill an arena as soon as the top is popped. I cannot get enough!

T-Citus hop on the lip, tongue, taste buds, etc. I pick up a bit of oily pine., but hops rule.

M- The hops just keep on coming, but they never overrun, overstate, or overpower. This is a bold, yet drinkable body, nicely carbonated, too. Smooth as well as tart, with bite without bitterness. There's a drop of pine resin. It's just right.

O- This beer is not sold in NJ, nothing's perfect! (1,060 characters)

Photo of ATCBTV
4.64/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewpub in Waterbury. I made the half hour trip to try this well reviewed beer and it mostly lived up to the hype. Nose was almost overwhelmingly floral, taste was well balanced between the hop and malt flavors compared to most IIPAs that I've sampled. Am looking forward to the cans to come later this year. (326 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,985 ratings.