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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,995 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,995
Hads: 11,168
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 8,238
Gots: 3,664 | FT: 57
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: 1,995 | Hads: 11,168
Photo of andilane
4.21/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured it into a glass, color wise pretty lack luster. Definitely a unique style of IPA I hadn't really had before. Sort of a cross between classic hoppy, bitter west cost and malt forward east coast styles. Great aroma, very balanced bitterness but for me - didn't quite live up to the incredible hype. Delicious beer, absolutely but left me wanting a little more. (365 characters)

Photo of BeerBrose
4.46/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass! Screw following the can, I need to see the beer.

Look: Light hazy mellow yellow, frothy white head and a small amount of lacing. (To style, the look is off.)

Smell: Juicy and full of lemon and citrus rind as well as some sweet sugary malt smells.

Taste: Delicious! This floral and full of hop juiciness. Very light malt sweetness and no apparent alcohol. This is where the beer shines. Unfortunately it doesnt actually fit the style its suppose to be and I'll argue anyone who says this should be called a DIPA. hence why its getting points docked in overall and not taste, because its still delicious.

Feel is extremely light bodied and finishes with naught but a light lemon peel bitterness.

Overall: This is hardly a double IPA but it IS a delicious hoppy ale. (790 characters)

Photo of Kodama78
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time with Heady. Have to say that the stand out part of it is the smoothness. I've had other IPA's with more flavor, other's with more happiness, but never any so smooth that goes down that easy. Truly a great IPA. (220 characters)

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

Can. Excellent ALE. Full bodied with an excellent taste. Smooth going down and a good smell. Yes this is worth all the hype. Can only purchase in VT and you are very limited. I had a friend give me 1 can. (204 characters)

Photo of ProfessionalJ
4.89/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I followed the can's directions so not sure how it looks but everything else is brilliant! A pure champion. Might have to take a road trip just to get some more. I'm hoping the name is a nod to Topper Headon! (208 characters)

Photo of Misfit2209
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure how old the can I drank was at time of consumption. I gave "smell" a 4.25 however I have to believe a beer this big has a big aroma when fresh. With that said, please take the 4.25 aroma as suspect. Taste and Feel live up to the hype for sure! (259 characters)

Photo of JohnnyB
4.16/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can see how people think of this as a trophy brew. It's very good,huge citrus smack. Like drinking a glass (yep,didn't read the instructions) of grapefruit juice. Had a slight,bitter (lemon) aftertaste. Overall,a wonderful brew. (230 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.51/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Purchased in Montpelier, VT on July 20, 2015 (the same day that it came off the delivery truck) and consumed with notes taken the following day. In other words, this baby was fresh.

This rating comprises notes from two cans - one poured into a tulip and the second consumed directly from the can.

Appearance is a hazy light orange color with plenty of floaties. The nose has dank notes but the real feature is the overwhelming grapefruit that comes through (especially when kept in the can). The flavor is dominated by wave after wave of hoppy goodness. The body is a bit thinner than I expected but seems to complement this beer as is.

The array of hop flavors seems to grow more potent as this offering warms.

All-in-all, a fabulous drinking experience but not quite the greatest beer every brewed. In parting I will echo the suggestion of the brewer: "Drink from the can!"

Update (Sept 2015): Saw a video made by brewmaster John Kimmich in which he stated that, at one time, his tasting notes indicated that Heady was best at 10 weeks. Ever willing to experiment, I saved the last Heady in my haul until it reached the 10 week mark (4 weeks before hitting the shelves, plus six weeks in my fridge). This offering definitely loses something with age. The strong hop notes are still there but the citrus has been dialed back considerably. It also oddly appears more boozy. My suggestion is to again listen to the can and "drink this beer immediately." (1,466 characters)

Photo of brew02
4.89/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the few Double IPA'S that deserves the hype it gets and definitely the one that set the bar. Yes, there is Treehouse and Hillfarmstead but heady in my opinion paved the way for other great New England Ipa's. (214 characters)

Photo of JonathannRobert
4.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm going to go similar to Blackboard on this review...

Every time I drink heady, I want it to meet the hype that surrounds it. Most recently I drank it 3 days after canning, and as good as it was, it was still not mind blowing. Don't get me wrong, its a great DIPA in every sense, but there is some heavy competition especially in it's neck of the woods.

Super unfiltered and cloudy/hazy orange in appearance. Super piney and bitter. The IBUs labeled don't match the flavor profile. If Heady is present, I'll never turn one down, but I won't put myself through hell to get a can. A great DIPA, but not the best in the world. (627 characters)

Photo of hutchscouter
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't throw around high scores on beers but this one totally deserves it. This does not taste like any other Double IPA I have tried before. Even with its 100 IBUs, the first thnig that washs over your palate is not 'bitter' but 'fresh'. Like drinking a newly mown lawn fresh. And smooth. It's hard to describe. The only knock is on the look which is pale and slightly cloudy but maybe that's why they encourage drinking from the can :-). Drove 900 miles from Virginia and waited in line for 90 minutes at Winooski Beverage to get my hands on a case to bring back to share with friends. (589 characters)

Photo of Blackboardbrewing
4.17/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is one of those beers that I've had on multiple occasions at multiple different freshness dates. It's fantastic don't get me wrong, but I've never had a can (even one that was canned less than 5 days old) where I was absolutely dumbfounded how good it is.

Look: That typical Vermont hazy orange-ish yellow hue with a good amount of sediment, yep I am a Douchebag and poured it into a glass, I had to see what I was drinking right?

Smell: This is where I was perplexed. Big peachy citric pine notes, with a overwhelming amount of bitterness lingering in the background. Almost smells too piney. I get a big herbaceous and floral character as well. Detractor to the initial peach-like tropical notes.

Taste: More like the nose, but damn is this beer dry and long lastingly bitter. I had to look up the IBU's, seriously 75 that's all? Feels like 100+. There is also something to be said for the fact that I can taste this Vermont like yeast character that I get in this and a lot of Hill Farmstead brews, kinda drives the malt forward, especially in the older cans I've had.

Feel: Okay, this is where it wins me. Mid to full on the palate, but dissipates quickly enough to keep me coming back for another sip. Creamy per se?

Overall: An awesome double IPA. But I'm not sure it ever warranted #1 in the world. Still awesome stuff that I like to have every now and then, but I never go out of my way to trade for it because there are much better local IPA/DIPA in the midwest here. (1,488 characters)

Photo of Karibourgeois
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best IPA I have ever had. Most amazing aroma off of a beer. Lots of juiciness in the taste with citrus and pine dominating. Taste lingers with a great bitter finish. (165 characters)

Photo of winningwes91
4.9/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, here it goes. The number 1 (now 2) beer in the world. Pours a gorgeous hazy orange. Smells of citrus, pine and hoppy goodness. Tastes follows through. Awesome creamy mouthfeel. I can definitely see why this is the top beer. It's amazing, if just a hair under focal banger, due to a bit too much bitterness on the backend for my taste (but I'm just splitting hairs). Amazing stuff! (386 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 Mattymystique
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh, What a beautiful buzz, what a beautiful buzz. Special beer, from a special place. Truly not much more needs to be said. Drink it from the can and drink it in Vermont. (173 characters)

Photo of Wyurm
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was extremely lucky to be given a can recently. This is definitely an excellent DIPA and the best I've ever had. I drank half from the can as it recommends and half from an IPA glass. Honestly it was better from the glass but to each their own.

Look: Hazy amber color

Smell: Strong citrus / grapefruit pronounced. Slightly floral

Taste: Very hoppy, bitter, citrus upfront giving way to a smooth taste with a bite of bitter at the end

Feel: Perfectly carbonated

Overall: It was an easy to drink DIPA. Well-balanced and nicely hopped. While my expectations are usually too high, this was a definite exception. Heady-Topper is the real deal. (646 characters)

Photo of RyanJohnCrain
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank most from the can but the appearance from what I did pour in the glass was beautiful. So smooth with tons of Tropical fruit upfront, balanced resin finish. In the top 10 for sure. (185 characters)

Photo of beardown2489
4.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's something every beer fanatic should try. It revolutionized the beer game and for that I am thankful. An excellent beer (159 characters)

Photo of Mehinaman
4.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I feel like trying this beer is a craft beer lovers rite of passage and I was finally able to cross this one odd my list. I really enjoyed it and found it to be extremely drinkable and not overly hoppy for a DIPA. At the same time I can't say it was the cathartic experience I was hoping for, but rather just a very good beer. Will habe again if given the opportunity, but this will probably be my last time hunting it down (423 characters)

Photo of kjstharris2000
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It is the best beer I have tasted. It has a very smooth inviting aroma, great body, and what I personally like best, a great after taste. It literally lingers in my mouth for a couple hours after I finished the beer. (216 characters)

Photo of mandy_mic700
4.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had this brew for the first time the other night. I work at a homebrew supply shop in Southern PA and a customer was kind enough to get some cans for us. It is a fantastic brew, but certainly not the best I've had -- but it's all subjective! I compare this to Lawson's Sip of Sunshine, and I have to say that Lawson's beer wins this one for me. Nevertheless, if you get a chance the try this beer, do it! You certainly won't regret it. (437 characters)

Photo of OGFGabv
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just an all around show stopping beer. Lots of tropical fruit that comes in wave after delicious wave with a touch of a lemon grass in there. Bitterness not overwhelming, but a nice balance . A truly great beer. (211 characters)

Photo of rogerdandy
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was hooked at first sip. After lusting after this beer for years I finally got to try it several times recently, thanks to friends, and I have to say it really lived up to the hype. I can't think of a beer I've heard more about and the whole experience still managed to live up. I can understand know how this beer really broke the way for others like it that have come since. Also more good beer like this needs to be put into cans. (435 characters)

Photo of anteatr23
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden orange and hazy and chalky. Smells like fruit with some hops and sweet malts. Taste is like a breath of fresh air. Bitter and crisp, with citrus and dry bready finish. Fantastic malt flavor and so perfectly balanced. I was prepared to be critical of this beer as I figured it had to be over-hyped. It's not. This is certainly the tippity-top-tier of IPAs/Double IPAs. Incredible flavor and drinkability from start to finish. (445 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,995 ratings.