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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,030 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,030
Hads: 11,323
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,319
Gots: 3,787 | FT: 54
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 (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,030 | Hads: 11,323
Photo of ajcuster89
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer too many times to count, and it never fails to disappoint. To consistently brew something this flavorful is crazy. The beer is hazy golden, with nary a floatie in it. The taste explodes with tropical and citrus, but enough hop bitterness to keep it from being a juice bomb. A fantastic beer that everyone should try at least once.

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Photo of Artdaube
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Floral burst as soon as you open the can. Piney taste is forward. A youch of citrus follows. Slo-fade bitterness through the finish. It is a classic that is consistent from can to can.

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Photo of Kailuabrewingco
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A- straw nyellow, hints of gold
S- citrus packed with hints of grapefruit , tangerine , pineapple, passionfruit
T- fruity, hoppy, slightly bitter...packed with citrus tang
M- light and not overlly malty sweet
O- great Imperial IPA would highly reccomend for people looking for the more citrusy IPA

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Photo of MrGootwin
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of BNLTandem
3.91/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a pale straw yellow color, which is interesting because my friend, another drink it from the can rule breaker said his poured almost orange. A very fine bubbled head that dissipates quickly to a thin line where beer meets glass.

Aroma: whoa. A fruity smell. Almost like apricot nectar or pineapple juice followed with spruce.

Taste: there's that fruitiness again. Maybe a bit tart compared to the nose. A "fresh" flavor. Bitter but not gratuitously so. Not much discernable yeast or malt notes. This is ipa all the way. Hops are the star.

Feel: a thin, somewhat slick, almost oily feel on the pallet. Possibly explains the anemic head. Not off putting, but not rich at all. Again, ipa, period. No nod to head retention or mouth feel necessary. Thats not what this beer is.

Overall: nice balance between that trendy bitterness and some really pleasing, unusual hop flavors. I love the unique flavors and nose this beer shows. Would have preferred a richer experience, but I get it. It's disappointing actually. Such interesting flavors but so little attention to the overall experience. Just guessing these brewers could do even better if they weren't pandering to one dimensional hopheads.

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Photo of cl3
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the most beautiful looking beers I've ever poured. Cloudy golden orange color with a bright white head. Nose is very fruity with loads of hop. Flavor was not what I expected. I didn't expect as much pine flavor as I got, especially given the citrusy nose. I got more fruit flavor as it wamed though. Feel was spot on. Great carbonation almost champagne like. Good beer but not sure it lived up to the hype.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks beautiful. Hazy Orange smells just like pulped Orange Juice. High amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit bitterness. Excellent beer, best double ipa? Doubtful

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.18/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the can (this gimmick annoys me but for brewer suggestion I will comply)
A: it's in a can dammit what do you think
S: good intense aroma of hoppy bitterness, a tad tart but only ever so slightly
T: quite bitter, if i'm being honest I find the level of bitterness unpleasant in this beer, I suppose a bit piney and earthy, most of the DIPA's that I have had don't truly impress me with the amount of bitterness they claim to have, hint of melon, decent malt presence here but not overpowering, the bitterness is the strongest element present, sweet on the finish after the beer settles out a bit, at this point the hops help the beer remain crisp though the bitterness has dissipated, malt will come through more the more that it sits
M: silky, dry and clean
O: not bad but I really don't see what all of the fuss is about. This is a good DIPA but there are many that are better. Snake Handler from Good People comes to mind immediately. It is quite refreshing though, and of all of the beers that claim to be hoppy and bitter, this is one of the few I've had that actually lives up to the claims it makes in that regard. The flavor evolves (improves if you ask me) gradually as the beer settles, leaving less pine and more citrus notes. Not bad but tremendously over rated (I should note that if you are a hop head you will very much enjoy this beer), I'm sorry but I'll say it again, just not great

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Photo of jcarlham
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While drinking a lovely IPA from "Fiddlehead," the waiter presented an ice cold can (I'd never seen) and instructed, "If you think that was good, try this." With the latency of lightning came a surprise the likes of which I had never before experienced and have yet to duplicate since. Like the picture on the can, simply mind blowing. For a hop loving homo sapient such as myself, there is no beer I would rather have in hand, no commercial graphic that signals ultimate gustatory pleasure is imminent. Across look, smell, taste, and feel, as Billy Crystal might say, "Simply mahvelous, darling." I'd give it a 6, if I could.

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Photo of mttaylor
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass:

This beer changes greatly when poured from the can into a glass.

In the glass, the beer has a slightly subdued citrus nose that's hard to place. Pineapple, some say. Grass, others say. Orange rind and crushed orange fruit is what I say.

On the palate it is a heavier beer than other DIPAs... an indication of its quality yeast, IMHO. It has the backbone bitterness needed to balance the malt. Finishes a bit dry and without the fatigueing bite of many DIPAs. You can have two cans of this stuff pretty quickly.

From the can:

From the can the aroma is much fruitier, more orange fruit than orange peel. I was more likely to take constant sips when drinking from the can.

When I score more Heady Topper, it's going from the can to my tongue.

Good stuff, not life-changing, but very well made.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing Heady Topper. The beer we are asked to drink from the can. It is a very nice can, but I pour just a small amount of it into a glass to see the hazy straw, pale lemon yellow body with very little head to speak of. But since the beer's appearance is not supposed to be a part of the experience, I won't grade harshly on that.
As soon as I pop the tab of the tall boy, I immediately get hit with loads of fresh and juicy hops. Smells of sticky pine, orange, pineapple.
The taste is magnificent. A perfect balance of the quintessential hop flavors. Pine needles, fresh pineapple, orange, grapefruit. The flavors only develop as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is great, it has a pretty full body for any type of IPA, maybe the resin contributes to this. Overall, it's probably the best beer I've ever had. Certainly meets the hype and was worth waiting for.

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Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;)

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Photo of Alequine
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Words are barely adequate to describe the range of this beer. Pours a golden orange color. Cloudy but the brewery advises you to drink from the can so you don't have the sediment in the glass. If you drink from the can you miss all the citrus at the nose. This is a perfectly balanced DIPA that is crisp, drinkable and balanced in hops and bitterness.

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Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As if anyone needs another review of this beer. Stood in line for 3 hours in Winooski VT to get this.
A - Pours an opaque golden orange color.
S - The nose is all citrus.
T - Flavor is tropical fruits with some bitterness at the finish.
M - Medium carbonation.
O - This is my favorite DIPA. Flavor is outstanding. So fresh, crisp and drinkable. It's just perfect. Wish I lived closer to VT so I could get it more often.

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Photo of Ghrymm
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well after many years and having tried over 300 IPA's i finally got my hands on a can of Heady Topper.
The hype is real its as good as people say i have to rate it just about Pliny the Elder (I have not tried the Younger yet) and i am a West Coast guy.
An outstanding Double IPA,no need to say more.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 oz. can. Pours cloudy yellow, thick white head. Fruity bready aroma. Grapefruit and earthy hops throughout the sip, super juicy and perfect balance. Creamy soft mouth. Dry finish with clean crisp sweetness. Overall this one deserves the high ratings, phenomenal.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 4-pk of large cans at bottle shop in Winooski, VT in mid-October 2014...delivered that day from the brewery.
Drank chilled in the can (as instructed...!?)

Aroma is very citrusy and pungent...great start.
Taste doesn't disappoint. Well....it wouldn't if not for all the hype. "The best IPA in the world" ?! Who's smoking the crack?
I've had several west coast IPAs and DIPs that are better than this one. It is nice to have a high-quality beer brewed in the untouched purity of Vermont...I get it...but let's not lose our minds.

A very good beer. I liked it, and I'd buy more. But I probably won't drive a full day specifically to buy it....again.

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Photo of Shorthillsbrewer
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has been a while since I had this one, A good friend brought some up from Vermont when I lived in Quebec, and it didn't dissapoint, it might be overhyped, but credit is due for an exceptional balance to a insane tropical fruit hop blast that is refreshing, and not lingering or vegital.

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Photo of Nicole15
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours almost orange with a bit of haze. The aroma is amazing. I get lots of pine from it. At first sip you get pine quickly followed by tropical fruit. So balanced, so drinkable. You honestly don't realize it's 8%.

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Photo of JaredSammy
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Orange with edges fading to yellow. Cloudy but not overly. I see why they say drink from the can.
S - First few smells are straight pine, the next few had more peach and orange with less pine.
T - Wonderfully bitter, juicy, fresh tasting, zero off flavors. Orange, apple, citrus zest and huge pine that builds. Sweet when it needs to be and bitter overall.
F - Extremely smooth and well balanced. You can tell there is a nice carbonation and you can feel the oils layer the tongue.
O - I've had about 10 cans to really narrow my thoughts down. This is absolutely a perfect beer. The heaviness from the hopping gives way to amazing juicy flavors and then those fade away leaving you with a coating of amazing hop flavors to remember your last sip by.

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Photo of vicinandp
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I was never a fan of IPAs before I had heady and now I can't get enough hops. Great crisp double IPA, tons of floral hops, great mouth feel and finish.

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Photo of OmahaKF
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rating is based on drinking from the can (with the look rating from an earlier can I poured into a glass). Smell is heavily floral, citrus, and pine with just a hint of malt sweetness. Taste is tropical fruit with fairly little hop bitterness. Some double IPAs leave an increasingly bitter aftertaste with each sip, but Heady feels fresh every sip. Taste is extremely balanced, making the beer exceptionally drinkable. Mouthfeel is interesting, with an almost creamy feel. One of the only beers I've ever had that completely lives up to the hype. Wish I had regular access to it!

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Photo of mltwatson
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try some. Drank out of the can, as per instructions. Big smell of pine. Very easy drinking for a double Ipa. All around a delicious beer. Probably not the best beer in the world though.

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Photo of jmasher85
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had to drink a few cans of this (yeah, I got a case!) before I felt like I was ready to write a review. After all, this is the legendary Heady. I didn't go gaga over it at first sip so I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my palate. Maybe I was missing something. Or maybe it is all just hype. I've decided it's probably a combination of the two. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it is admittedly one of the most interesting examples of the DIPA style I've had.

Lots of fruity, floral, chewy resinous hops in the nose and taste. It sticks in your mouth and makes your lips smack. It's a potpourri of every flavor that a hop knows how to impart - apart and simultaneously. Sweet at some points, bitter at others, and not always at the same time. This beer is like a Mozart symphony - full, busy, in perfect harmony and yet sometimes bewildering. It's a complicated beer, and yet, I just can't bring myself to fall in love with it. Oh well, more for everyone else. Worth getting a 4-pack and trying if you can, and sure, go nuts, get to the store early, hang out with some groovy hopheads like I did, and score a case to gift you friends - everyone wants some, believe me! Only downside is that it says to drink from the can, so I have no idea what it looks like...

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this beer. Wow is it good. Was expecting a bit more wow from all the hype but didn't get it. Pliny blew me away but heady just delivered. But by no means am I disappointed. Cannot wait to get more of this.

The thing falling short for me is smell and feel. Taste and look are perfection.

Smell is not much different from other brews and feel was rather carbonated. Sorta foamed up on the tongue where I was hopping for a clean finish.

Overall an amazing beer and wish it was offered here so that I could drink this gold year round.


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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,030 ratings.