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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

6,189 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6189
Reviews: 1468
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,189 | Reviews: 1,468 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boy oh boy oh boy. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Heard the hype for months and finally picked one up locally in SoCal. Yeah, imagine that. I bought a can of this in L.A. at retail. 1 pint aluminum can served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 8.00% confirmed. Consumed in celebration of completing my grad school applications. I don't see canned-on date, but my local beer store guy informed me it was two weeks old when I bought it yesterday.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I went back on forth on whether to pour this one into a glass because the label advises me not to. I'm compromising and taking my first sip from the can, but then pouring some of it into a glass and leaving some in the can for later consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

T (Early):On the first sip I get delightful grapefruit and citrus esters, with pale clean malts and lovely floral hopping. Oily hops abound, with hints of pine. Boy, this is going to be interesting.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and decent retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant burnt orange-auburn. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not the best IPA appearance I've seen, but pleasant.

Sm: Grapefruit, pale malts, citrus esters, floral hops, and heavy oily hops - but surprisingly little pine. Quite light in strength, but appealing.

T: Perfectly balanced; never too bitter. Grapefruit zing but not in an overbearing way. Floral hops and heavy hop oils (a component I think is rather unique and special to this beer; I've never experienced it quite like this). Citrus, tropical fruit on the back end. I even get pinapple and mango. Maybe apricot too. Passion fruit? (I'm never sure; I've never had an actual passion fruit). Pale malts a are a perfect complement to the hop choices. No alcohol or yeast comes through. That's tasty stuff. I'm shocked at the lack of bitterness; I don't even remember Pliny The Younger (let alone Elder) mitigating the bitterness this well. There's some (very very little) on the climax, but just enough to add a welcome dimension. Well layered and quite subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head like most beers in the style. No metallic taste despite being from a can. Perfect sweetness to suit its hoppiness.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with perfect crispness and coarseness to coax out the subtler flavours. Fresh, refreshing, and perfectly carbonated. Oily. A bit buttery.

Dr: This is probably the most drinkable IPA (not just Double IPA, but IPA as well) I've ever had the delight to consume. It's refreshing as hell, the 8% is nowhere to be seen, and I imagine it would pair brilliantly with any food. A master class in balance and what an IPA should be. I hate to buy into the beer versus beer debates, but in my book this is clearly better than Pliny The Elder. I expected something different based on the hype, but this surprised me with its balance and sophistication. Wow. This is definitely one of the best beers in the style that I've had. I look forward to trying more beer from the Alchemist and to one day having this on-draught. If you see this, buy it. I'm not a big IPA fan and I'm loving this stuff. Brilliantly built. I could easily down this one all night. If there's a better IPA out there, I have yet to find it.

This beer is nearly perfect in its style. The main thing holding it back is its appearance.

A+

Serve cold. Drink cold.

Would pair well with anything. Even chocolate.

Serving type: can

12-02-2012 07:03:23 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE want delivered to me by surprise from leschkie (thanks so much!) poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Hugely turbid gold with a close to a finger of white head and some lacing...hey, its supposed to be drunk out of a can right? Who cares what it looks like...

S: Huge tropical fruit and pineapple nose right up front. Fruity and citrusy for sure. Moderate bitter notes, no pine or pungent resiny notes, just fruity goodness.

T: Big-time floral taste; tons of papaya and mango, tangerine and loads of pineapple. No malt detected here, but the bitterness is still very manageable. That floral taste blends so nicely with the ripe citrus and tropical fruit.

MF: Medium bodied, with perfect carbonation, perfect subdued bitterness, and moderate dryness - just the right amount of everything in my book.

O: Taste and smell are both extremely fresh on this beer - Kurtis said it was a week and a half old and I believe him. Mind-boggling fresh floral fruitiness. Great DIPA and something I could drink a TON of if I had access to it.

Thank you so much Kurtis!

Serving type: can

12-17-2012 15:08:45 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of WesM63
WesM63

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky mustard yellow with a 1 finger off white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Faint smell of grapefruit, mango, pine/resin and floral.

T: Very close to the nose, bitter floral and citrus hops up front, followed by some pine/resin and dry finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Some heat trails down at the end.

O: Excellent DIPA. Very well balanced and super drinkable. It's fairly faint in both smell and taste, not bad but I prefer more.

Serving type: can

12-29-2012 00:21:14 | More by WesM63
Photo of GatorLCA
GatorLCA

Florida

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sampling of it at my local World of Beer with the owners who received it from a patron

A- Too be honest it looked like a Pilsner in the 4oz sample glass I drank it out of. I really couldn't belive that something so light in color could be considered a Double IPA

S- Hoppy, but overpowering like most Doubles that I've smelled

T- Wow, now I know what the hype was all about. Very crisp, refreshing and hoppy all in the same sip. I still can't wrap my head around how this beer is even possible. It almost defies the laws of brewing (or at least the beers that I've considered Doubles)

M- Drinks like a pilsner, very light and carbonated ...I could crush these all day in 90*F and not feel weighted down by the malts

O- As stated before....I'm puzzled, I don't know how this beer exists. I wouldn't go to say that it's my most favorite Double IPAs, I prefer Pliny the Elder over this any day. However, I have never experienced beer the way this beer has. I would love to get my hands on a whole can or 2 to understand what it's like to experience 16oz of this masterpiece.

Serving type: can

08-12-2013 20:17:09 | More by GatorLCA
Photo of WellRested518
WellRested518

New York

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- although I drank this gorgeous elixir from the can, I watched as it was carefully poured into a tulip. Perfect orange-salmon haze with a prominent head and steady lacing.

§- straight hops, done right. Citrus and pine are prominent with a light hit of alcohol at the end.

T- once again... large, delicious, beautiful, hopsss. It's not like most double ipa's though. This has real flavor. I can tell that the brewer used his skills meticulously. A nice sweet grapefruit prevails, amongst the likes of pine and pride.

M- by far my favorite thing about this brew. Perfect carbonation leads to a buttery bouquet that clings to the pallet.

O - lives up to it's title.

Serving type: can

03-16-2014 18:20:54 | More by WellRested518
Photo of Shockmaster88
Shockmaster88

New York

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Taste and mouthfeel were spectacular. Hits your nose like a hammer straight to your olfactory senses. Do NOT pour this beer into a glass as it is to be enjoyed fresh from the can, doing so will result in little white specs in your beer leaving it to seem much less appealing.

Overall, one of the best IPAs out there!

Serving type: can

04-03-2014 03:50:55 | More by Shockmaster88
Photo of BeerLover99
BeerLover99

Illinois

4.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dirty orange/cloudy, finger white head,
gorgeous lacing

S: orange/mango, grassy/pine

T: mango/orange, grassy pine, light grain/malt,
long sticky/bitter hop finish

M: med/heavy body, oily/sticky mouth

O: FINALLY, got my hands on this beer!
It did not disappoint. If you are a hophead
you must treat yourself and get a hold of a can.
Dare I say it, but a "sessionable" or at least you want
to gulp this amazing Double IPA.
Well done, Alchemist brewing. Proof that
outstanding beer CAN come from a can.

DIVINELY DELICIOUS, MUST TRY!

Serving type: can

05-22-2012 16:15:01 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: tried from the can initially (mandated on the can) - "cold but not ice cold" - but then gave in - I had to see what I'm drinking (we are visual creatures): cloudy medium gold beer kicked up a couple of fingers of off-white head from a near-center pour into a tulip. Left some lace behind.

S: mostly hoppy (as expected): floral, herbal, citric, resinous; sublte pale malt in the background

T: again, hop-forward: lots of bitter citrus (is that a contradiction in terms?) and resiny pine; a little tart; bitter not sweet - some undercurrents of honey'd malt; some medicinal notes

M: crisp, slight tartness, bittering, light-to-medoim weight, moderate carbonation on the tongue

O: a good DIPA, but the best, #1 ranked beer on the site? I don't agree. I've had too many great DIPAs and IPAs to jump onboard here (*ducks the hurled vegetables and garbage*). I'd say its a good buy, a MUST try, but nothing to lose sleep over if its not available in your area.

Serving type: can

02-19-2013 22:21:46 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of SigEp
SigEp

Florida

4.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First off thanks to my cousin Michael for shipping me a case of incredible North Eastern beers that incorporated a 4-pack of Heady Topper. He is dripping with beer karma indeed.

Appearance: very light straw color with significant haze and chunk; looks a lot like the consistency of cigar city's jai alai with regards to it's floaty fish-food. Significant, firm, head.

Nose: Unique; hops-forward but very earthy, intense hops, pine and pitch/asphalt; biscuit/grainy right behind the hops

Taste: Pine resin, chewy hops, round rotund mouthfeel, up front bitterness smoothed out by a perfectly balance malt backbone; highly quaffable still; incredibly balanced, hops lingers on the tongue in equal amounts with grainy and clean malt flavor

Overall: impressive. hyped to the point of disbelief and still surprised me a little with it's uniqueness. I don't know if this is the "best beer on earth" but it is certainly unique and wonderful in it's own way.

Serving type: can

06-30-2013 01:54:54 | More by SigEp
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
Ineedabeerhere

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jon!!! For sending this out less than 36 hours after I sent him a message about it. Crazy. And consumed less than 48 hours after.

Pours a orangey gold, small head fades to leave some dotted lace and not much retention. A little murkier on later pours.

Aroma is great, nice assault of fruity hops, grapefruit and tropical fruits mostly, but theres a great under current of resiny goodness. It's pretty awesome. It's pungent and bright, very well done.

This really grew on me the more I drank it, the resiny hop flavor intensified with each sip and really took the perceived bitterness up a bit. At first I didn't think it was 'too' bitter, but each pour tops off the glass and revitalizes the intensity. Just huge hop flavor all throughout, excellently vibrant with juicy hop flavors and no malt presence to speak of. Medium bodied and relatively low carbonation, I had to really control myself to keep from downing the bottle. I can't say that I didn't expect it to be this good, but it was certainly a nice surprise. A really nice brew. If they can this in greater quantities, it'll be gold, Jerry, gold!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 02:26:20 | More by Ineedabeerhere
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing!

Pours a chunky and hazy copper, dark orange, thick and fluffy white head forms and settles to a thick ring around the glass, nice layer sticks, great retention, big chunky spirals stick to the glass.

Smell is intense, very hoppy, lots of sweet tropical fruit, mango and pineapple, resiny pine, some floral, strawberry, lightly herbal, whole gamut of hop aromas, lots of grapefruit, nice malt, a bit of caramel sweetness and some biscuit, candied ginger and some mint, more hops, orange peel, really nice stuff.

Taste is really nice too, huge tropical hoppiness, but still has enough malt to balance, caramel sweetness, lightly sugary, big mango and overripe pineapple, tons of grapefruit and orange peel citrus character, floral, alcohol is totally hidden, solid bitterness but well balanced, really nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, lightly acidic hoppiness. Deceptively drinkable, doesn't blow the palate away but a great mix of complex hoppiness with just enough malt to balance it. Really nice stuff, thanks grub!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 22:21:15 | More by Viggo
Photo of mountsnow1010
mountsnow1010

Vermont

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy gold with a frothy head and nice lacing
S grassy hempy pineapple just begins to describe it
T smells like it tastes and a solid bitterness
M crisP and clean
D three or so would be great

Short review from iPhone but this beer is so delicious

Epic

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2010 23:25:59 | More by mountsnow1010
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Alex for sharing this one, you generous SOB.

Slightly hazed orange due to it's unfiltered nature, and the bottle was approaching it's end. In a tulip glass, there initially was a solid finger's width of white foam, fading to a wispy skim dotted with minor spotty lacing.

Huge tropical aroma, fresh hops galore, sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit, mango, resiny dank herbals. Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity.

Flavor is similarly fruity, with a big grapefruit presence, moderately bitter, lush and packed with resinous hop flavor and a slight undercurrent of pale malt sweetness. Sticky and dank. Body is fairly light, and with no trace of the abv, it's almost too easy to drink. "Carbonated to pub draft levels" as the label states. A bomber or two of this hop nectar would be awesome, on tap even better. Thanks again Alex!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 15:24:40 | More by emerge077
Photo of SFLpunk
SFLpunk

Vermont

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My thoughts go out to the whole Alchemist crew! It is with this in mind that I raise one of the 72 cans that I just bought! Drank straight from the can!

I'm gonna give it a 5 for appearance since it's a sexy can. Nose is lovely and leafy hops all over the place. I get some sugary pale malt, maybe super-light caramel and more piney/earthy hops than you could shake a stick at.

Palate is lovely! Smooth upfront and then bracing bitterness comes flowing in. It's not aggressive in that it's not all at once. It builds up to being super bitter. Malt is very much in the background on this one. Leafy herbal hops all day.

Notes: Amazing. Simply amazing. So glad to have the option to drink this at home! And I'm really happy for them that they have this "backup" plan. I'll be sure to do (drink) my part!

Serving type: can

09-02-2011 17:20:39 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy caramel color with a bubbly white head with medium retention and low lacing.

Nice bright and fresh floral hopped nose with an underlining mild sweet malt presence

Very nice flavor and balance. Nice fresh floral hop character balanced very well with a subtle candy-like malt character. Notes mild fruit and citrus hidden here and there.

Mouthfeel is light, fresh and fairly crisp yet creamy. Medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice DIPA. The best I've ever had outside of Cali. IMO better than PtE and close to Alpine and Citra. Overall great nose, flavor and balance. Highly recommended.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 22:29:34 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of brewdan
brewdan

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange. Has a few floaties...

Smells incredible. Fresh tropical floral citrus hop goodness.

Tastes incredible. Fresh tropical fruits with a touch of citrus. Think Papaya, mango, maybe even pineapple. Has a touch of orange but not zest. Very balanced and smooth.

Very creamy and smooth.

An outstanding DIPA at the lower end of ABV spectrum for DIPAs (yea!) Packed with fresh hop flavors but not at all bitter or astringent. Smooth juicy hoppy goodness in a can!

Cheers John!

Serving type: can

09-23-2011 22:00:44 | More by brewdan
Photo of ms11781
ms11781

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can courtesy of nas5755. Many thanks to Nick for the chance to try this one. 16oz can poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy, brillant orange color with a bit of sediment floating in the glass. A nice 3/4 finger white head develops and settles as a soap-like cap. Wispy foam lacing is left on the glass.

The nose is incredible. Enormous amounts of tropical fruit assault the senses and don't let up. Pineapple stands out above the rest for me but there is also some melon, oranges, tangerine and grapefruit. There are also some floral notes that cut through the tropical goodness as the beer warms a bit. Surprisingly, there was a slightly sweet malt aroma that came through in the background. But really this beer is just dripping with tropical hop aromas.

The taste is a slight step down from the nose but the nose was so over the top excellent that a step down is still quite potent. Definitely more balanced than the nose. The hops do still dominate but the malt comes through more. The full tropical hop profile is in full force again, pineapple, mango, orange, tangerine, grapefruit. The floral notes are a bit tougher to pick up in the taste than they were in the nose. A bit of pine is present in the taste as well. A touch of bitter hoppiness at the finish dry it out a bit.

The beer feels exceptionally crisp for a high ABV DIPA with low carbonation. In fact, the carbonation is almost non-existent by the end of the glass. Never feels slick or oils as a lot of beers with this amount of hop character do.

Overall, this is an exceptional beer. Definitely in the upper echelon for the style. I'm not sure I've had a beer that has smelled as good as this, regardless of style. Dangerously drinkable for an 8% ABV beer. I'd love to have this one readily available to me.

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 01:19:18 | More by ms11781
Photo of musicforairports
musicforairports

New York

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking about half the can out of a small snifter, the rest from the can.

Golden and somewhat hazy in the snifter. Not much in the way of head or lacing.

Smell is detectable as soon as you crack the can open. Sweet and resinous citrus peel, pine sap and pineapple notes. A grassy aroma that reminds me of dried hop pellets also noticeable, especially from the can.

Taste is a blast of slightly sweet hop flavor. Pine and citrus all over the place, tropical fruit notes, a lot of sticky, prickly resin. I think I get some cracker-y malt in the finish, but it certainly can't rival the hop flavor. Not overwhelmingly bitter or intense. I'm always impressed with how smooth this tastes.

Mouthfeel is medium, smooth and not very carbonated. It's the perfect amount of carbonation from the can, but when poured into the glass, it lacks a bit in carbonation.

I've thought this was the best IPA made on the East Coast I've had when I first had it at the brewpub a year ago, and now that its in cans I still feel that way. Really glad I bought a whole case at the cannery. I also was surprised to find that it's a bit better out of the can.

Serving type: can

10-20-2011 00:57:06 | More by musicforairports
Photo of eclipse54
eclipse54

Minnesota

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A massive "thank you" to optimator13 for this 16 ounce can from my "Want" list. Archaic date code reads "1 07 20A2 B B" though I'm at a loss for how to accurately convert that to a canning date. Ignoring the "drink from the can" instructions near the lip, this one is poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

The copper/orange/brown body pours much darker than anticipated, and is perhaps as dark as a DIPA can get before it begs consideration as something else. White unfiltered particles give the appearance of a colloid, and when observing closely, the body does appear to have a gel-like nature because of these particles. About an inch of off-white, foamy, bubbly head develops but subsides quickly to a ring and patches of bubbles. Legs of wet, gooey lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is phenomenal, consisting of grapefruit, mango, orange, lemon, and a host of other citrus fruits all masterfully balanced with a piney, earthen, resinous hop character. Some grasses, hay, and a touch of malt round out the nose beautifully. It tastes of spicy, earthen hops in the front, followed by pine, grass, loads of citrus (grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon) in the middle. The rear brings the bitterness of the hops and a glimpse of caramel from the malt. Very well done here.

Mouthfeel is crisp through and through, the carbonation dancing off the tongue, and finishes a touch dry, leaving one wanting for another sip. Overall, a phenomenal DIPA that is truly deserving of its “world-class” status. Do not hesitate to seek out this one if given the opportunity.

Serving type: can

10-23-2011 01:27:25 | More by eclipse54
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16oz cans, love 'em! First beer I've sampled from The Alchemist. Hazy golden yellow/orange pour with a nice creamy white head on top. Lots of hop sediment so be careful on the pour. Aromas are a blast of deep fruity, tropical hops. Such a wonderful, juicy, resinous hop blend that I could easily sit and inhale all night long. I would advise to drink this hoppy treat as fresh as possible.

First sip brings a rush of bright, pungent hops. Huge fruity, tropical flavors with resinous hop oils all over the place. Sweet crisp malts take their rightful place as it flows down with a bitter hop blast. Love that this is unfiltered and unpasteurized. An amazing fresh hop experience that is incredibly tasty!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with great carbonation. Medium bodied. This ends up being an extremely drinkable hop monster of a beer. Go ahead and drink this one from the can. Well worth seeking out if you're a hop lover. I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to try this. I have to get to Vermont one day!

Serving type: can

11-08-2011 02:36:44 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of modernartblues
modernartblues

Connecticut

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed From Notes, Poured into a Tulip on 11/12/11

A: deep orange, hazy with a half inch head that recedes to a mere wisp, score was initially a 3.5, but the second pour from the can produce some hop particles in the beer than made my smile grow even larger

N: like a fresh packet of hops, beautiful, pine, pineapple, mango, georgeousness, one of the best noses ever...right up their with Hopslam and Pliney in this category

T: not quite as instantly impressive as the nose, but has a subtle complexness that grows on each sip, plenty of pine and citrus, bitterness isn't initially apparent, but also builds....

M: medium full for the style, adequate carbonation

O: excellent, doesn't displace Hopslam as the king in my personal hierarchy, but uniformly delicious and obviously elite....seems to be more typical of the NE DIPAs (closer relative to Gandhi-Bot and BIG A than the CA or Midwest versions of the style)...New England is an under-rated producer of delicious hoppy brews and The Heady Topper is Exhibit A

Other Notes: I wasn't a D-bag and did recycle the can. But, I did not drink it straight from the can, call me a traditionalist.

Huge thanks to Matt for the cans. You are truly a beautiful human being.

Serving type: can

11-14-2011 03:37:51 | More by modernartblues
Photo of jdhende
jdhende

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to LambicKing for this one. Lives up to all the hype

Consumer right out of the can as suggested

S: This is a citrus bomb with a nice floral smell as well.

T: Maybe only making one beer at a time isn't a bad idea after all. As the can says so drinkable it's scary. Ridiculously smooth and balanced throughout.

M: Medium bodied

O: What a treat. If you are a hop head this is a must try beer.

Remember don't be a D-bag recycle the can.

Serving type: can

12-03-2011 01:47:49 | More by jdhende
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Heady Topper from The Alchemist.
Score (Can): 96
Score (Duvel tulip): 92

2011 can, courtesy as an extra from FrankenBrew (BeerAdvocate trade)! Been wanting to try this forever. It's rumored to taste/smell different from a can, so I'm doing this brew half-and-half. The half I drank out a glass was from a Duvel tulip.

Appearance (Can): Silver colored can with black artwork etched on the front. The can has a thrice repeated warning around the upper edge that reads, in all caps, "DRINK FROM THE CAN!" I don't like it when beer tells me what to do. Whatever, I'll do what I want!

Appearance (Duvel tulip): Pours a super hazy orange-amber color with a finger of super foamy cream-colored head that sticks around for a couple of minutes until it settles into a ring around the glass and thin clump in the middle. Decent lacing. 4/5

Smell (Can): Huge citrus and floral aromas. LOTS of intense, fresh tropical fruits -- oranges, grapefruits, pineapple and mangoes. Fresh grass clippings and dank resin. The nose is absolutely packed with bright, floral hops. Let's be honest -- it's like a sunshine of citrus-hops. This is hands down the best IPA, potentially the best beer, I have ever smelled in my life. I wish I could buy an air-freshener that smelled just like this! 5/5

Smell (Duvel tulip): A lot of the intensity of the citrus-hops aromas is lost when you pour this out of the can -- even into the infamously aromatic tulip glass! The aroma is a lot earthier, mellower and maltier. Reminds me a lot of Zombie Dust. Still getting zesty oranges and some lemons with big whiffs. You need to smell with much more effort to get the deliciousness once its poured. This one is absolutely better from the can -- no joke! 4/5

Taste (Can): A lot more mellow and subdued than the aroma would have you believe. Very earthy, dank hop bitterness. Orange pulp and lemon hit up front too, almost like a mellowed out Zombie Dust. Malty, bittersweet citrus builds on the mid-palate as the beer layers. Alas, it's not the front or midpalate that defines this beer -- it's the finish. The finish is zesty, bitter oranges and hops, and BOY does it linger! 4.5/5

Taste (Duvel tulip): Like the aroma, a lot of the intensity of the flavors are lost when you pour this from the can. The lingering orange-citrus bitterness largely disappears, and turns into a very average IPA-like finish. Since aroma makes up a main component of taste, this is not too surprising. A lot of the bright citrus flavors are lost and replaced by dank, earthy tones. When poured from the can, Heady Topper turns into an earthier Daisy Cutter with mid-palate flavor. 4/5

Mouthfeel (Can): Medium bodied, medium carbonation. It feels a little under-carbonated at first, preventing the citrusy bitterness from popping on the tongue, but the trade-off of a heavy lingering flavor on the tongue for the finish is absolutely worth it. Finish is a little oily, a little stick, and bittersweet. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel (Duvel tulip): No difference, other than a slightly maltier finish.

Overall: This one should ABSOLUTELY be enjoyed from the can. From what I read, a lot of the volatiles that make this beer so special quickly escape from the glass, whereas the can maximizes their presence through lower exposure and retention. Who would have thought that drinking from the can could be so wonderful? Maybe those tailgaters have it right after all! If I could get consistent access to this beer, it would be my go to non-stout brew.

Recommendation: This is an absolutely must-seek out double IPA. Just make sure to drink it from the can. I wish I could pour it back in and undo the mistake I made, questioning the wisdom of the can.

Food Pairings: Kuma's Corner hamburgers. Spicy food would be pretty great with this too.

Cost: $12 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 21:43:18 | More by jegross2
Photo of matttttYCE
matttttYCE

Arizona

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a couple Spaten glasses. Thanks so much to Azdback for sharing this with me!

The head is about 1 and a half fingers, slightly off-white, and creamy. Fades down but has really nice sticky lacing and leftover 'foamyness.' The color of the beer is a cloudy bright orange with some sediment floating around (not much though).

The aroma is REALLY nice! Fresh bright citrus fruits, blood orange, pungent grapefruit, tangerine, mango, just a plethora of those types of aromas, along with piney, bitter, leafy hops. Really great smelling!

The taste is really quite similar and very nice. Fresh citrus, blood orange, and really overripe citrus flavors, tropical fruits, grapefruit, mango, and maybe passionfruit, along with some bitterness and piney, wet, and hop cone flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, almost luscious. Nice creamy consistency, medium carbonation, body is medium (maybe closer to the lighter side), and the finish is nice and light and dry. Superbly drinkable!

Overall this is a really damn good beer. I'm not quite sure where I rank it amongst my top DIPAs but actually I get to have a bottle of Pliny and can of Abrasive right after this haha. And after having all three, I honestly can't pick a favorite. I'd give Pliny the edge when on tap, super fresh bottle, or fresh growler. But Pliny really does seem to drop off after 2 weeks. If I had to rank them from this tasting, I'd say Abrasive > Heady Topper > Pliny. Thanks again for sharing these, Paul!

Serving type: can

01-02-2012 07:22:31 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can divided between a snifter and the can.

pours a golden / medium amber tone with some haze to it while yielding a finger and a half of a creamy, off-white head. excellent retention and lacing.

nose offers a nice, fragrant bouquet of hops, heavy on the tropical / citrus, some floral and some grass notes and a hint of sweet malt.

flavor follows the aroma. lots of tropical / citric hoppiness - lemon zest, grapefruit, and mango among others - with a little malt in the background. with medium bitterness. nice, medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall an outstanding beer. i'd probably be enjoying it even more had my expectations not been so incredibly sky high. and while it's not the best IPA/DIPA i've ever head, it's certainly up there - it just works. world class brew.

Serving type: can

01-09-2012 02:53:06 | More by perrymarcus
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 6,189 ratings.