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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

7,835 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,835
Reviews: 1,590
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 5,083
Gots: 1,525 | FT: 33
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
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Ratings: 7,835 | Reviews: 1,590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -12.3%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Unknown as we drank from the can as demanded by the can.

SMELL: Macerated oranges, minty, herbal, estery alcohol, excessively hoppy

TASTE: Raw, sweet, super bitter, semi-dry, kernel of malt sweetness, hop oil, orangey, mouthful of grass

Hop insanity in a can! Lots of talk about this brewski finally being canned. The greatness forgives the sheer rawness it brings to the palate. In our opinion, this is what sets it apart from other highly hopped ales in the US. Keep it tamed in the can, as pouring it out will only show the extreme rustic measures to make this beer.

04-06-2012 13:46:58 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev -1.7%

So if your beer tastes like this, maybe you only need to make one. There's likely no way that you'll ever out do Heady-Topper so just stop right there!

With a controlled and creamy pour of medium gold elixir, this hazy and glowing ale constructs a creamy, cottony white head with substantial retention and islands of lace. Overall, this is one sexy beer!

Seductive and mouthwatering citrus aromas abound from from the rim of the glass. The straight-up juicy fruity scent of the freshly squeezed pulp of ripe ruby red grapefruit with elements of citric acids, fruit sweetness that seems of thin honey, and some softer tropical notes of mango and apricot. It's impossible to put your nose so close to the glass without taking a sip.

The delicious delight of a beer delivers the straight forward grapefruit flavor just as the nose promises. The sweet pulp of fresh-picked ruby reds couldn't be more spot-on. Resiny as the citrus flavors seem to coat the mouth while the stripping of enamel commences. Soft caramel malts support the hops with the supple and elegant sweetness of powdered sugar and honey, but do so without contrast- make no mistake about it, this is a hop-forward ale with the likes that rarely seen. A very delicate yet hop-dominant balance throughout. Any estery fruitiness would weave into the hop matrix and inform the beer with complementary notes of tropical mangoes, apricots, and pineapple. Succulent and savory throughout, even as the beer's elegant hop flavor develops into soft resiny bitterness that grips the gullet with kid gloves in finish and aftertaste. Only the strong taste of alcohol for moderate 8% that reminds me of super glue is the only slight defect in taste.

Very creamy and delicate on the palate from the initial sip and deep into the middle portion of the palate. All the while coating the mouth with citrusy acids, diluted pine resin, and light sticky honey. The beer's carbonation develops a malty-dry finish that retains its soft malty body while contributing pleasant alcohol warmth and an extended citrusy bitterness.

When you're convinced of the impossibility of ever tasting a better IPA, something like this comes along and shows new possibility in flavor intensity, dryness, drnkability, and absolute elegance and finesse. It's hard to keep this beer off of the "perfect" line score.

03-15-2012 02:18:50 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev -0.2%

Damn, this is hoppy. That's about my first impression immediately upon popping the cap off of this. With that, I should say huge, huge thanks to rpstevens and kingcrowing for sending me bottles of this, the latter of which was a complete surprise. One bottle to be consumed tonight, the other to be shared with friends this weekend.

This bottle is shared with Amyliz4 and poured into two of our larger, unbranded tulips. The pour yields a slightly-hazed bright peach body with a two-finger head. Pretty good retention and plenty of spotty lacing as it makes its way down to a bit of rocky foam sitting atop the brew. A fairly-thick collar remains on the brew throughout as more spots settle on the sides of the glass.

As previously stated, the aroma on this is damn near epic and remains amazing throughout. The initial whiff slammed my nostrils with dominant notes of tropical fruit, citrus rind, and a bit of pine. Each swirl kicks up another bit of aroma with some mango skin and passion fruit taking hold at first. Behind that is a flock of citrus and an overload of ripe peaches. Following behind all this when you sniff really hard is a nice finish of some piney resin.

The flavor picks up where the nose left off, though doesn't quite dominate my senses like the nose did. With that said, this is some really, really incredible stuff. I'll start off with one of my only complaints, which is that the hop flavor isn't quite as pungent as the aroma is. Still, there is some fairly-radical hop flavor to balance the hop bitterness. Did you hear that many makers of East Coast IPAs? Malt sweetness doesn't provide balance to bitterness in a fantastic double IPA, lovely and luscious fruit flavors do.

Mango, passion fruit, and guava make their way into the mix. The strong, strong bitterness levels really elevate the citrus presence and make me think of some good grapefruit rind. The body on this does an absolutely remarkable job accentuating the hops. There's not an ounce of sweetness, but there's enough body to really pull everything together. The bitterness in the finish is uber-high and leaves my mouth quite dry. There's certainly a solution for that--have some more.

I've been waiting a long, long time to finally try this one. Unlike an unfortunately-large percentage of other beers with so much hype, I have enjoyed this immensely. Huge, huge thanks again to Ryan and Nick for the chance to finally try this. Cheers to both of you.

12-09-2010 01:28:20 | More by Thorpe429
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mrob460

Vermont

5/5  rDev +5.7%

I love this beer.

08-20-2014 00:06:18 | More by mrob460
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scottum

Vermont

4.97/5  rDev +5.1%

Served a pale amber with a small light head. Hops are the flavor of choice here, but they are done right. Such a yummy bite. Actually does live up to it's name as the hops are strong enough to give off the heady within the buzz. Hops are not overly complex, yet not too simple either. This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Served only in 12oz glasses, the abv is not at all apparent. Sooo smooth. I'm sad that El Jefe is no longer on the menu, but I'd take the Heady Topper over the chief anyday.

03-27-2004 01:09:10 | More by scottum
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apbaj

Guam

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-21-2014 10:49:18 | More by apbaj
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JefferyLaGrow

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-21-2014 10:29:35 | More by JefferyLaGrow
Photo of EPpy
EPpy

California

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-21-2014 04:11:51 | More by EPpy
Photo of mdlb44
mdlb44

California

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

08-21-2014 03:17:14 | More by mdlb44
Photo of bcaputo99
bcaputo99

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

08-21-2014 03:16:45 | More by bcaputo99
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wethorseblanket

California

4.65/5  rDev -1.7%

Reviewed from notes. Sixteen ounce can shared by Dan - thanks.

A: Pours a slightly hazed yellow with a nice one-inch thick white head which lingers and settles to a thin cap yielding splotchy lace.

N: Juicy grapefruit, tangerine, orange fruits, floral.

T: Resiny, citrusy, mildly sweet malt for a good balance, some faint dankness.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, bitter, citrusy, sticky and resiny finish.

O: Well, after having this a few times I've noticed some variation from can to can probably due to factors such a travel to west coast, temperature, etc. This is definitely a top DIPA, but I'm just not convinced it is the best. The ABV is well hidden and is a creeper, though I'd love to have another and continue the research.

08-21-2014 01:19:25 | More by wethorseblanket
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BuchananStude

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

08-21-2014 00:38:10 | More by BuchananStude
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real_human_bean

Ontario (Canada)

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

08-21-2014 00:36:13 | More by real_human_bean
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alexjc1991

New York

4.95/5  rDev +4.7%

08-21-2014 00:34:16 | More by alexjc1991
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Brew-Topia


4.8/5  rDev +1.5%

08-21-2014 00:02:53 | More by Brew-Topia
Photo of Amwilk86
Amwilk86


5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-20-2014 23:20:39 | More by Amwilk86
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Ready4aHeady

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%

The Benchmark!
Say what you will about hype, supply and demand, etc., it has nothing to do with that. If that's what you think then it is just not to your taste- it happens, own up to it!. This is one perfect beer for hop-heads like me. The look is classic- a cloudy light apricot color. Nose is all citrus, pine, and dank-weed. Flavors are similar with that funky dank flavor predominating- a unique flavor seldom repeated and hard to qualify- a creamy texture, very mild bitterness, just enough malt to balance (in that regard belongs in the same category as MBC, TG, HF, RR and Lawson's), and a long lingering finish.
Overall-- One of a kind, my only perfect score (although I haven't officially rated Abner (its a 5), nor tried King Sue- love PS).

08-20-2014 22:12:19 | More by Ready4aHeady
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CReid64

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

08-20-2014 22:09:13 | More by CReid64
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costanzo_mike

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-20-2014 21:57:34 | More by costanzo_mike
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morecowbell2001

Colorado

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-20-2014 20:49:19 | More by morecowbell2001
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Larry6799

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

08-20-2014 20:22:04 | More by Larry6799
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Charlottaye

Maryland

4.2/5  rDev -11.2%

08-20-2014 18:30:45 | More by Charlottaye
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SLthe2nd

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-20-2014 17:17:14 | More by SLthe2nd
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rstenson

California

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-20-2014 16:54:34 | More by rstenson
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Consumed directly out of the can as directed on the labeling. No canned on or best by date present. Purchased at Bueno Y Sano (Burlington, VT).

A: Unknown other than the little dribbles on the brim of the can which is golden.

S: Aroma is readily assessed through said can opening with a gamma ray like propulsion of tropical fruit including passionfruit, mango, and pineapple topped off with grapefruit and lime citrus and finished with a blast of pine and some floral notes as well. Pale maltiness is one-dimensional and a bit crackery without much residual sweetness. (4.5)

T: An extremely well-executed beer with a mirror of the aroma, yet intensified with tropical fruit and citrus notes blending with pine resin, floral, and a bit of grassy-herbal honeysuckle in there as well. Pale maltiness is light caramel and crackery, but it mainly serves as a vehicle for abundant hops assault. No yeast or alcohol and bitterness is surprisingly medium -- I think I consumed the entire tallboy in about 12 minutes. It is a very good American DIPA, but I still think there are a few more unique (ST Oak Aged Unearthly) and more aromatic and flavorful (KR Citra DIPA). (4.5)

M: Extremely smooth without being creamy, more slick related to the medium body and lowish carbonation. (4.5)

O: I really enjoyed my first experience with Heady Topper -- it is an exceptional beer and I trust it was fresh since I was close to the source. It was worth the trouble to track it down, and I found it in an off-the-beaten-path place in Burlington. Check it out for sure.

08-20-2014 01:41:38 | More by argock
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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,835 ratings.