Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,949 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,949
Hads: 10,954
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,140
Gots: 3,469 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,949 | Hads: 10,954
Photo of kawilliams81
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the can, but a few oz. poured into a tasting glass to see the beer's appearance.

A- Light caramel colored, hazy, with 1 finger white head and good lacing.

S- Loads of sweet citrus and pine hops. I could smell the citrus when I opened the can a arm length away from me!

T- Fairly sweet malts and a lot of citrus in the beginning. Nice blend of citrus, spices, and pine hops with a very good pine hop finish.

M- Medium bodied. Medium carbonation and very drinkable.

O- Like the the can says, "So drinkable it's scary." It that is no lie. I could drink 3 or 4 of these over a a course of night, and not be tired of it at all. Love the aroma, taste, and lower abv (for a DIPA at least). Will try and get more whenever possible! (741 characters)

Photo of squaremile
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So excited that I got my hands on this. Pours a dark amber/orange with a frothy head and bubbles of all sizes. Good retention and some lacing. Smell is excellent, dominated by pink grapefruit, powerdy pine, and vines. Beautiful. Taste accomplishes what the bottle said was the goal: amazing complexity. Reminds me a bit of Mikkeller Ten in that you can find almost every hop flavor in the taste. Waves of different hops flow and ends with a biscuity malt finish, then hops linger for days in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness but intense hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium-light bodied. Drinkability is ridiculous and I could have glass after glass, zero etoh.

I have had almost every major IIPA in the world, this is easily in the top tier, and deserves all the hype. By far the best IIPA not made on the west coast, and blows 99% of those away. Awesome awesome beer. (883 characters)

Photo of alexrufio666
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as advised, to say the least this was a phenomenal DIPA. And to be honest it was exactly what I expected it to be. Wether or not it belongs at the number 1 spot is not for me to decide but it is a great beer defiantly worth a try! Cheers! (257 characters)

Photo of Ungertaker
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from the can, as instructed! (poured a little into a pint glass to get an accurate review. (reviewed from notes) Thanks to TimmyJ21 for this can!

A- hazy yellow/orange with a head that is foamy and white.

S- Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya), citrus peel, faint pine

T- complex- a great blend of tropical fruits and a bitterness that has both pine and citrus peel.

M- smooth and refreshing with just enough carbonation to know it is there.

O- This is up there with all my favorites in this category (Pliny, Abrasive, etc.). I will definitely try to obtain some more of this. (594 characters)

Photo of HopHead_44
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Took ski trip this weekend to burlington area with a stop at the hunger mountain coop to grab a few cases to take back to new york. Hunger Mountain Coop is the place to go for Cases but generally sells out in a few hours so you have to time it right.

This Stuff is the real deal, believe the hype cause this stuff is awesome. So many complex flavors that roll through the entire palete from start to finish. This is one of my favorite beers right now with lawsons double sunshine right there. If you can get your hands on some you are a lucky person. (552 characters)

Photo of Sterby
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from can as recommended and from tulip glass. Preferred the tulip glass as way more aroma was present.

Appearance - poured a golden yellow, cloudy. Slightly off white head, with nice retention and lacing.

Smell - Ripe Citrus, mostly pink grapefruit, orange, and pine.

Taste- Layers of citrusy hops followed by some pine, and an almost unoticealbly smooth malt backbone. The hops really shine in this beauty.

Mouthfeel- well carbonated, the flavors bring multiple mouthfeels if that makes any sense.

Overall- #1 IPA for good reason. This beer is as described. Not the hoppiest, not the strongest, just a damn good, super flavorful ipa that hits all the senses. The most pungent aroma I've ever sensed in a beer. Pink grapefruit, pink grapefruit, a little pine, and more pink grapefruit. In the aroma and in the taste. Cheers! (839 characters)

Photo of zbellino
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A delightful deep orange, even the head, which was two fingers of irregular froth dithering to an uneven lace (really a sloppy cobweb) has an orange hue. Sediment chunks that float about make this the Goldschlager of DIPAs.

S - The Topper doesn't mince words ... it's like smelling a bag of tropical skittles. It smells unreal and fruity, with a hint of pine. Or perhaps like a nice fruit taffy, because there is a bit of cooked sugar in there. Not quite caramel. There aren't too many beers that would appeal to that sense so viscerally. This is select.

T - Imagine biting into a starfruit that grew from a balsam fir. That is about it. Juicy and amazing, with a pitchy taste. OK, so pine aromas are normal. But starfruit is something else. Impeccably balanced. All of the aromas deliver. No false scents.

M - It has legs in the mouth. Perhaps it's one chink, it's a hair thicker than perfect for me. But perhaps that is good, because if it weren't I would drink it too quickly.

O - Only rivaled, not beaten. This is the best DIPA you can get, or at least that I've tasted.

This is one of those beers that makes you want to quit tasting beers, and just drink a whole lot of beers. (1,193 characters)

Photo of Auror
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Canned on Tuesday, Drank on Wednesday (from the can, naturally).

Appearance- Poured some out of a 2nd can for friends so I glimpsed the appearance. Hazy, a little more amber than most IPA's. Looks like a serious beer (whatever that means).

Smell- Pine, hops, and some fruits..can't exactly pick out which ones

Taste- Unlike any beer I've had. Some sips, it has powerful cirtusy and piney hops that challenge the drinker with bitterness and leave with a very dry finish. Then other sips, it's got a refreshing sweetness coming from juicy fruits...kind of like juicy-fruit gum (maybe not quite that sweet) with a very clean finish. It's bizzare, but makes it super flavorful AND insanely drinkable, which is a potent and marvelous combination.

Mouthfeel- It's very creamy with full carbonation. Coats the mouth nicely and lingers.

Overall- I already mentioned how drinkable this is for how hoppy and bitter it is. Why am I trading half this case again? (955 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice golden amber body. Slight amount of white head. I only poured about 2 ounces into the glass because the can specifically advises to "DRINK FROM THE CAN!"

S: If this smell eminated from my apartment the DEA would show up with cuffs. It is some dank shit. Tons of resiny hops and a good bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes like it smells. The natural thing to compare this to is Pliny. It is sweeter and more resiny than Pliny but on the same level for sure.

M: Thick and resiny. It sits heavy but leaves light. It is probably a bit heavier than I would like but definitely acceptable.

D: It's 8% so it's not exactly an all day drinker. That said, I would drink it all day if I could. (687 characters)

Photo of CaptCleveland
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 pint can from recent trade with mountainsnow 1010--a big thanks!
No can dating.
The inscription implores "DRINK FROM THE CAN!".
Started that way, then realized I would not be able to comment on the appearance-Duh!.
Golden-orange, clear elixir poured into SA glass. Thin, white head, quickly dissipates. Nice lacing.
From the can, huge hop resin and floral notes--heaven to this hophead. After the pour, grapefruit, lime, sweet and tangy fruit explode. Wow.
This is all about the hop. Full bittersweet hop all over the tongue, smooths out to leave a nice tingling sensation across the landscape. Grapefruit to lemon aftertaste but the sweet hops do not die! Awesome!
Medium body, plenty of bubbles, alcohol hidden (cannot believe 8%).
This is a keeper and one that all hopheads should seek. The standard for DIPAs. Now you can argue that Hopslam is sweeter, but really, for those that crave the hops and all of its glorious characteristics, this is the one. And in a can. The debate is dead. (992 characters)

Photo of wburch1967
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My buddy grabbed me two four packs from the Brewery in VT. Fresh canned two days ago!!

The appearance is a can. It says drink from the can. The can is an attractive can.

Smells of hoppy yumminess and the taste is a well balanced cascade of hoppy goodness.

the hype is deserved!! (281 characters)

Photo of kidrogers
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Was everything I hoped it to be. Thank you Danny Mac for sharing! I wish I had just one more sip, then one more can. Everyone can write more descriptive reviews, I just wanted to tell about the experience. Read a ton of opinions and this was one of the few that I whole heartedly agree with. If you have it, I am jealous, if you can find it, count yer blessings! If you have an extra share it with a friend. Drink, be fat and happy all! (436 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to gtreid for sendin me home after our tasting with a can of this! Pours a clear honey orange color first followed by all the yeast towards the bottom of the can. The floaties are everywhere! Looks like a gelatin almost. Smells like a tropical Christmas tree - big pine sap, pineapple, mango, and sweet malts. Hop bomb from the get go, but not so bitter, just really delicious citrus hop characters. Not incredibly complex, but just brewed to near perfection. This has to be my favorite DIPA next to Pliny the Elder. If you haven't had it, you've got to get some. (574 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Huge blast of peach, citrus, passionfruit. Unbelievably fruity and bright, faint maltiness.

L: Cloudy, murky dark orange, eggshell white head that dissipates slightly.

T: Raw, fresh hoppiness up front with a slightly sweet malt accompanying. Medium high spicy and citrus bitterness with loads more of citrus and tropical hop flavors. Little malt flavor, just hops upon hops. Finishes semi-dry with resiny, oily, spicy hops.

M: Medium carbonation, medium high body. A prominent "spiciness". Not sure if its the hops or alcohol.

Just amazing, neck and neck with Pliny as far as DIPAs go. A must try. (604 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can from pushkinwow, thanks a ton for sending this one over Steve. 16oz can into a tulip, canned January 23, 2012. 700th review.

Poured an orange brown, severely unfiltered with large particles that sit in suspension and on the base of the tulip. Good retention and spotty lace however. Nose is brilliant, but slightly more right out of the can (is this why they want you to drink it right out of the can?), loses a bit when poured into the glass. Tons of mango, pineapple, resiny, juicy and oily. Light dankness. A good amount of malt to balance. Taste has loads of grapefruit, mango and passionfruit. Chewy sweet malt character reasserting the "East Coast-iness" of this DIPA. Solid bitterness in the finish and some sweetness to lightly offset it. No alcohol to be found, and this was incredibly poundable. I can only imagine having access to this locally - a quintessential East Coast DIPA and fully lived up to expectations. (930 characters)

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Gold in color, hazy, clingy white head sticks to the glass.

Mango and citrus hops. Pineapple. Very little malt flavor or aroma.

Bitter but not lingering.

Medium mouthfeel.

Excellent mango flavor, nice hop aromas. Very well balanced beer with a lot of complexity. (269 characters)

Photo of MartzMimic
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy orange with two fingers of white head. Big aroma of pineapple, mango, and dank floral notes. Tastes of grapefruit, sweet tropical fruits and then finishes with piney bitterness. Medium mouth with some carbonation. This is such a well-made DIPA. (257 characters)

Photo of WantonFaun
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Yup. The hype gets so intense that there is often a rogue wave of backlash to counter its momentum. It was in this mind frame of slightly lowered expectations that I had my first sip of this admittedly outstanding beverage.

It's not that the beer is intensely rich or bitter, but that its profile is one of the most layered I have ever tasted, especially in an IPA, a style which can often times seem very one dimensional, no matter how hoppy you may like it.

Appearance - Silver with black highlights. Beautifully shaped cans. ;)

Smell - Marijuana. No joke. Pineapple. Caramel. Pine. Flowers. Wow.

Taste - Soft bitter pine, malt, pineapple and a variety of consumable greens. Very consistent with the smell.

Mouthfeel - Creamiest IPA I've ever tasted. Chewy even.

Finish - Stays with you all day.

Overall - Yup. It's the best IPA I've ever had, knocking the citrus-heavy Lagunitas Sucks off of its perch. Having tried other great double IPA's like Triple Sunshine, Enjoy By, Focal Banger, The Crusher, Lunch, Abner, and Society & Solitude #4, I think I have enough comparison to justify my reaction.

Now time to hunt down those west coast IPA's .. (1,157 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Date: 02/13/2013
Type: 16oz. Can
Glass: Southampton Large Tulip (I know this is against the rules, per the can!)
Canned: 01/15/2013 *Pretty fresh, but not uber fresh.

I cannot believe it took me this long to get around to sampling the mighty Heady Topper! Ranked #1 in the world on BA, only one way to find out the truth. Thanks to BA ajfa531 (Joe) for providing me this 16oz. can to sample.

Poured this brew from the can into a Southampton large tulip glass, breaking the rules written on the can, in order to give a more accurate review of appearance and nose. Future samples will be consumed straight from the can in accordance w/ the rules.

Poured a burnt orange to light brown mahogany in color w/ a skim coat white head that produced light lacing. I did not realize this brew had huge amounts of remaining yeast in the can that soon entered the glass due to me pouring it too quickly. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, and citrus fruits (mandarin orange, cantelope, and nectarine). The flavor started off w/ big, sweet citrus flavors of mandarin orange/grapefruit in your face, transitioning to a blast of piney bitterness, finishing with floral notes. Medium bodied and lush w/ moderate carbonation that suits the beer well. Drinkability? I was done with the 16oz. can & starting the 2nd before I even finished writing out the review. Insane!

Overall, this beer is the truth! What can I say? This is dank, hoppy, awesomeness in a can! I now understand why this is currently ranked #1 in the world in all style categories. Take Pliny The Elder as good as it is and kick it up a notch & you have Heady Topper. The only reason it is not possible for this beer to attain a perfect score is due to the fact that it is by far the ugliest DIPA one will ever encounter. However, the ugliness grows on you and it works. Not only does the brew taste like all of the flavors that could possibly be extracted from a hop flower, but it is brewed so well that there is not very much bitterness at all. Crazy stuff! (2,005 characters)

Photo of COWHAWK
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-the overall appearance of Heady isn't perfect but when does that matter when the beer is this fabulous, poured a golden honey color slightly cloudy with a monster head that refused to dissipate!

S-the smell of Heady is just gorgeously perfect, smells of piney citrusy freshness, Nuff Said!!

T-The taste of Heady is not what I expected but more, Taste's of citrus, pine, and even a faint taste of honey. Very refreshing and palatable and not dry or overly bitter by any means

M-The mouthful is great for a beer of this ABV, I honestly can't believe its that smooth. First tastes are of pine and earth with a sweet aftertaste of citrus fruits and I still get a honey taste!

O-This beer definitely deserves all the hype! I have tried multiple double IPA's and none go down quiet as smooth as this one, but some are very close! (829 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge, huge, thanks to MrKennedy for this. Believe to be two-three weeks old max.

DRINK FROM THE CAN! , eh?

So I did, at first... drank around 1/3, then poured...

A - cloudy pineapple juice. Minimal head.

S - hops, mango, pineapple. I noted less intense than others have.

T - wallop! Pineapple, pink grapefruit, mango/peach as sweeteners, sublime and integrated. Malt backbone is solid. Citrus hops follow but do not overpower. Just the way I like it.

M - medium weight, well carbonated but not overcarbonated. On the money.

Overall - world class brew, and amazing I got the chance to try so fresh. Real downside is it goes down just so easily, you would never guess it was 8%. One day I will go to Waterbury.

Dunno about this can lark, tho.... :-0 ....having said that - it does accentuate the pine notes and makes for an overall less sweet (and maybe more archetypal) DIPA experience. I'll go the glass, thanks. (920 characters)

Photo of snilsen13
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish I had poured this out, but my host insisted we drink it from the can. Despite this, it smells full of hops with fantastic nose from THE CAN! Other canned beers (Oscar Blues, Hazed and Infused) can't touch this!

Simply put this is an awesome double IPA and is something brewers around the country need to measure themselves against. (339 characters)

Photo of Devoidb
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 1 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S- of heady grapefruit and citrus.

T- taste of heaven. Very heavy citrus notes and a clean refreshing hop bite at the end.

M- nice creamy body and very refreshing.

O- This is by far one of the best DIPA in the country. I'm thankful that I grew up in Vermont and had the privilege to drink these like water. Thank you Alchemist (330 characters)

Photo of superdan73
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's as good as advertised. Period. If you're lucky enough to find a can, don't pass it up. I could go on and on about the nose, head, color, mouthfeel and finish but everyone else has already said it. In my book, this is the king. It ruined me for other IPAs and until I can find more I'm drinking Sculpin and Deviant Dales. (325 characters)

Photo of danieelol
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

With huge, massive thanks to the exceedingly generous Owen (MrKennedy).

Believe this is two weeks or so old? Would easily have been close to my number one want.

Upon cracking the can, pine and mango pervade the room. First sips were taken from the can.

Pours into the glass a slightly cloudy pineapple juice colour. Appearance-wise, the head does dissipate a little quickly.

Smell is as mentioned: pine, mango, lots of citric fruit: oranges, mandarins, lemons. Also get a slight herbal quality, perhaps ginger/ginseng. Just such potency and solidarity in the aroma.

Taste is more pine and mango and primarily citric fruits. Taste lingers and carries an almost Tripel-esque mango sweetness in the mouth, but this is balanced by a dry hoppiness. I would say this is well balanced- it does have a lingering bitterness, but the sweetness is also easy to detect. Herbal quality grows over time.

Mouthfeel features moderate body and above average, tingly carbonation.

Could I call this the best DIPA I've had? That depends on tastes. It's certainly the freshest-tasting, with the most pronounced tropical/citric fruits aroma I've had. Similar but better version of Surly Furious, although to be fair when I had Furious my palate was a little muted.

Sadly although I am amazingly glad I've had this beer, it makes me wish I had more. Amazingly drinkable. Hopefully I am merely saying au revoir, rather than a permanent goodbye. I hope to one day meet it again.

NB: When I drank from the can, I found the pine flavour more singular and concentrated. It also seems a little maltier somehow. I find drinking from the can to be a valid alternative for this beer, and worth experimenting with. (1,690 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.