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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

6,205 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6205
Reviews: 1469
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)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,205 | Reviews: 1,469 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LSx
LSx

California

3.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into Duvel tulip.

A - I understand why they want you to drink it from the can, pretty bad appearance for such a highly rated beer - cloudy light gold color, lots of sediment/dregs that float around in the glass.

S - Definitely interesting smells, peach, banana, not so much pine as is common with the big IPA's.

T - Moderate bitterness, good malt background but the fruit notes overpower the traditional citrus and pine.

M - Good carbonation level

O - Hate being harsh on such a well reviewed beer that I had trouble acquiring, but the three of us tasting this beer at the same time were all quite disappointed in just how mediocre it was. Once you take into account the terrible appearance and odd fruitiness, it's definitely a beer that I will not look to get again.

Serving type: can

04-24-2013 17:36:54 | More by LSx
Photo of greg1973
greg1973

California

3.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had side by side with Surly Abrasive and Pliny. By far finished last! Sorry, good for an east coast IPA, but no match for west coast. Pours a cloudy opaque orange color, odd chalky mouthfeel, and a little thick for the style. Prefer a cleaner, crisper, more bitter, hop forward IPA. I see why they want you to drink from the can, not a good looking beer at all! Taste not too far off. Not even in my top ten. Sorry.

Serving type: can

11-15-2013 04:44:16 | More by greg1973
Photo of leftde18
leftde18

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a can from the Warren Store

A-N/A, Drank from the can

S-Piney and herbaceous but without pouring it out, definitely underwhelming in my opinion

T-Hops on hops on hops, so much so that it obscured the hoppy nuances I was hoping for. Bright, fresh pine sap overwhelms at first, it followed by a pleasant bitter finish. There are other notes of citrus under the sappiness but my pallet was overwhelmed quickly by hop-power before I could pick them out

M-Viscosity trumps its carbonation and it feels sticky, like a liqueur. I didn't really like it, especially towards the end.

O-I could not find this beer's finesse, there were TONS of hop flavors but they didn't sing in symphony. I would buy it again, but I would not seek it out.

Serving type: can

06-09-2012 23:07:44 | More by leftde18
Photo of abriggs1
abriggs1

Connecticut

3.45/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Here it is folks, the single most overrated beer in drinking history. I've been a beer fanatic for a decade and a half, and the beer drinking world has a lot to answer for on this one. The best beer in the world? What a joke. I wouldn't even put this in the top 10 of IPA's let alone beers of any style.

I'm not saying this is a bad beer. It's just criminally over-hyped and overrated.


Let's start with the obvious; drinking this beer out of the can as it says to do on the very can you're supposed to drink this out of = a bad idea. It's much better in a glass, and the right glass with a tulip shape will make the aromas even better. I guess the whole drinking from the can thing is little more than a hipster ideal. I certainly hope this trend doesn't continue.

The hops are right in your face, but ultimately unbalanced. Anyone can throw way too many hops into a beer. But it takes real skill and finesse to create a hoppy beer that's balanced and drinkable. There are heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds on the front. And then heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds in the aftertaste. The malt backbone is there, but it's too faint to balance out the assault of hops.

So far, the best IPA I've had was another Vermont brew; Lawson's Hopzilla, which I gave a perfect score. It's the perfect DIPA. When I die, I want to be embalmed with it.

Other IPA's that are better than Heady Topper: Ballast Point's Sculpin. Hooker's Hop Meadow IPA. New England Brewing's Gandi-Bot, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, Southern Tier's 2xIPA, Southern Tier's Hoppe, Southern Tier's Unearthly, 21st Amendment's IPA, Hill Farmstead's Abner, Rock Art's Belgo American IPA, and others that I'll probably think of later.

I've never been so embarrassed for the beer community for rating this so highly. My fear is that the beer scene is being overrun by a bunch of hipsters who think that exclusivity is more important than the art of brewing. Heady Topper is hard to get. That doesn't make it the best beer in the world. People are rating this beer so highly because they want to brag that they drank it. In a blind taste test of the world's best IPAs, Heady Topper would lose miserably.

Serving type: can

10-18-2013 01:15:39 | More by abriggs1
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger slightly-yellowed clingy head over a cloudy and particulated puke-tan liquid. Smells of green onion and wild garlic (Summit hops) with pine and sharp grapefruit pith. Baby aspirin and lemony tropical fruits. Comes across as a blast of very fresh Summit hops.

Tastes sharp bitter with flat oily bitter to complement. Nice malt sweet that blends with the green onion flavor. Juicy hops. Tin, no esters, but nice barley grain flavor. Acidic sour from the hops almost comes across as lactic. Finishes with baby aspirin (Simcoe hops) and a very resiny pine aftertaste. Very grassy rich in cohumulone. Too strong of carbonation. Carb and clean alcohol sting lift the beer from the tongue early. Creamy body is interrupted by rough hops and clean alcohol sting.

A decent beer, but would be *much* better with different hops. I find Summit hops sickening and can't wait for the trend to pass on by. Big disappointment. Judged to style, so scored higher than my palette would offer. The can says "drink from the can!" It was not as good from a can as from a glass.

Serving type: can

07-04-2013 06:07:56 | More by mentor
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

3.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can generously shared by colonelforbin. Thanks Mike. Pours a very cloudy light amber with a small light tan head that has decent retention and leaves a good lacing on the glass. The aroma is big mango, floral notes, light caramel, a bit of pineapple, and some sugar cookie. The initial taste is sweet with mango and pineapple going into a bit of caramel, sugar cookie, and some light dankness. There is a very light bitterness on finish along with some lingering mango. Light bodied. Low carbonation. I definitely could use a bit more bitterness and a bit less sweetness. Not bad, but certainly not in the class of the best west coast IPAs.

Serving type: can

05-08-2012 21:31:21 | More by jethrodium
Photo of Beardcore
Beardcore

Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0) Poured from a can into a pint glass. Hazy, straw yellow color, with a one inch head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: (3.0) Hoppy and fragrant, though not floral.

Taste: (3.5) Hoppy flavor that is pervasive though-out the flavor profile. Not as well balanced between malty and hoppy as I have come to expect from DIPA’s, but still a fresh, citrus flavor that is easily drinkable, not even seeming like a “sipping” beer even though it has high alcohol.

Mouthfeel: (4.5) Nice medium body with good medium carbonation. Very easy to drink in that sense.

Overall: (3.5) Good beer. Seems more like an IPA than a DIPA, but maybe that is a bonus, more alcohol with the IPA flavor. Regardless, very smooth and drinkable with a long lingering hop flavor on the back of the tongue.

Serving type: can

07-21-2013 00:02:26 | More by Beardcore
Photo of Glennlawless
Glennlawless

New Jersey

3.59/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from the can as instructed...

Smell wise I just got an abundance of pine and your typical grapefruit.

Taste was just a SUUUPER bitter pine bomb with some malt sweetness.

medium mouth feel and well carbonated...

Overall....Is this beer good? Yes.
Is this beer hoppy? Extremley
Does this perfectly describe the definition of an east coast style IPA? Yes
Does it deserve to be world class and rated 100 - Absolutely not. The only reason I could see it maaaaybe recieving this rating is because for a higher abv ipa...it is CRAZY drinkable.

Serving type: can

12-21-2013 03:57:29 | More by Glennlawless
Photo of TheDudeRules
TheDudeRules

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very hazy amber pour. Sediment is suspended throughout. Two fingers of pillowy off white head. Scant lacing is left behind on my glass. Hops and citrus collide in my nose. Looks and smell are living up to the hype. The first striking character upon taste is the creaminess. Incredibly so especially for an ipa. Pine and grapefruit up front. Sweetness to finish the swallow. Ends lightly bitter. Honestly it is not as hoppy as I expected. Very easy to drink regardless that it is an imperial.

I find I had a preconceived notion on what it was going to be. Pure greatness. Well, it isn't. It's damn good but not as much so as the hype train says. I'm trying not to have a mind explosion right now. All hail the king of imperial, Abrasive from Surly.

Serving type: can

11-27-2011 22:00:01 | More by TheDudeRules
Photo of BStalf21
BStalf21

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

not sure what all the hype is about. A really good beer but not even in my top 10 of imp ipas let alone top overall. Seemed like a good one dimensional hop bomb. I tried a Hop Henge from Deschutes in the same night and i have to say I was more impressed with that beer then heady.

Serving type: can

02-27-2013 18:03:10 | More by BStalf21
Photo of pants678
pants678

California

3.7/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow/orange body with a fluffy white head.

A honey-like sweetness and very floral.

Bread and not quite grapefruit but still a tangy fruit flavor. Spicy and not quite as sweet as the nose. Not bitter, as advertised, but a little metallic (or maybe alcoholic). I saw it's a combination of six hops, the only one I'm sure of is simcoe. After that, possibly cascade, possibly amarillo.

A softer finish, kind of a sticky beer.

Serving type: can

03-21-2014 03:48:40 | More by pants678
Photo of Wetpaperbag
Wetpaperbag

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Orange in color, with a good clingy IPA head.

S- Smells spicy in hop aroma. Definitely an East Coast IPA in that the hops aren't bright and citrusy, but more earthy and vegetal.

T- Tastes of an EC IPA. It tasted solid, but I don't like the hop profile.

M- Solid mouthfeel, I like a good thick IPA.

0- Overall it wasn't a bad beer. Would I want to buy more, no not me personally.

Serving type: can

01-12-2014 21:20:05 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

9/17/2011

I'm enjoying my fourth or fifth can as I write this review. Snifter.

A: Dark orange with some cloudiness and a finger of white foam. Lacing is scattered and retention is good.

S: Bright citrus notes, with tangerine, orange, grapefruit, and a dash of pine. There's quite a bit more malt in this can than I found in the bottle I tried, imparting some bread and caramel.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with no evident alcohol. Malt imparts bread, biscuit, and caramel. Once again, this is quite a bit maltier than the bottle I enjoyed last year, and decidedly less bitter. I get orange, grapefruit, and a little melon. Dank pine is evident throughout.

M: Medium in body with an upper low level of carbonation. The general theme seems to be lower carbonation with these cans.

Overall: This is good, but it's not on the same level as the bottle I had in 2010. This seems much maltier and the hops aren't as vibrant. It's also a bit heavy on the palate due to the low carbonation.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 04:17:45 | More by HopHead84
Photo of leschkie
leschkie

California

3.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can poured into a tulip. Courtesy of huadog (thanks Russ, you rock buddy).

Pours a vibrant burnt apricot with a white frothy head. Moderate lacing decorates the glass as I continue to guzzle this baby down. Smells of citrus fruits, grapefruit, and malt. Piney hops I was looking for seem to be mellowed down quite a bit in the nose. Taste is very smooth, pretty much zero bitterness whatsoever. Hops (thank goodness) makes its appearance as the beer rolls around my tongue. I was tempted to call in a search party to look for any bitterness from the hops, but it appears it will just remain on the missing persons report. Mouthfeel is quite impressive. Overall, it's a good DIPA. However, I have had better.

Serving type: can

10-07-2011 01:22:15 | More by leschkie
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 16oz tallboy to my Hess Imperial pint glass on 12/15/11
*From notes

-- Many thanks to the multiple BA's who've hooked me up with generous pours and fresh cans of this over the last few weeks. --

A: It looks like a really dingy cider. A good pour yields a fluffy 1.5 finger white head and solid retention. It should be noted that there are large white gobs floating around in the beer. Some settle. Some don't.

S: Wonderful bouquet. Juicy hop oil, it's got that island fruit vibe all over it.

T: It's hoppy alright, yet it's quite bready and rather bitter too. There's not a massive amount of complexity to it, it's simply an easy drinking beer that comes off more like a low key IPA then an Imperial.

M: Meh. It feels alright, but it's not gonna blow any skirts up or anything.

O: Having had large amounts of this at three separate tastings in a six week period, I can honestly say that Heady Topper is a grossly overrated beer. It's not bad, in fact it's a very pleasant brew. It simply doesn't reach the heights one would expect from it's rDev. Don't go out of your way to attain this. I know I won't.

Serving type: can

01-10-2012 23:21:02 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of pepsican
pepsican

Iowa

3.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like dirty sewer water dumped into a light beer, smaller off white head. Aroma is tropical fruit, marijuana, onions. Similar flavor, lots of onions, garlic, tomato, juicy fruit, papaya, and orange. Bitter finish, pretty dry for the ABV. Reminds me exactly of what Toppling Goliath is doing around here.

Serving type: can

10-19-2012 04:23:47 | More by pepsican
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a really dark, murky shade of dark orange with a one finger offwhite head. Looks....ugly, actually

S- nice aroma of tropical fruits, getting a lot of mango out of this

T- taste is a little muted, so I'm not sure how fresh this is...nice bit of citrus with a slight bitter finish. But man, is it muted. Can't be fresh

M- medium bodied. Fine for a DIPA

O- I was assured this was fresh...with no dating, I can't be sure. It's still good, but is it world class? Not in this state, it's not

Serving type: can

11-01-2011 01:26:12 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's in a can. It appears as a silver can. I got the last bit of the can at a tasting, and at the can's insistence, consumed it out of the can.

Powerful fresh grassy hops are immediately apparent despite the can.

Bitter, powerfully grassy west-coast US hops. Slight undertone of honey, but not nearly enough to balance. One dimensional, perhaps, but good at that dimension.

Decent but a bit fizzy, almost prickly.

Well, it's an IPA, and it's a good one.

Serving type: can

12-11-2011 03:43:12 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry, I had to pour into the glass despite the can's pleading to drink directly. Thick, slowly receding head. Leaves plenty of chunky, blanketing lace. Cloudy, dark gold color.

Very strong evergreen hop smell. Prickly with a touch of citrus rind. Like smelling a bag of hop pellets.

Extraordinarily bitter. Starts off fairly neutrally with a bit of mild pale malt. Still this is a bitter, bitter hop bomb. Be prepared to pucker up. Hop heads shall rejoice, but I think this might be too much of a good thing (and I lean towards more hoppy beers). The body is predictable and appropriate for the style.

I was very excited to find this beer in Boston, but its hype exceeds my expectations.

Serving type: can

07-29-2012 19:57:18 | More by smcolw
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can shared by Whitemomba-- thanks Jason!
Served in tulip pint.

Really hazy... Small particulates floating around... Creamy tan head, decent retention, thick legs leave nice bubbles.
Smells waaaay more piney than I remember... Nice grapefruit, some grassy and floral notes too. There's a little earthy dank quality on the back of the nose that has an odd character to it...
The taste follows the nose; dry, bready/crackery malts with big hops at the back end. Citrusy grapefruit, big pine, some floral and grassy notes.
The dank note I got on the nose translates to a VERY strange hint of cedar chips/hamster cage substrate... It is a combination of the hops character blending with the dry malts. It hurts the overall and flavor a bit, but still doesn't make the beer undrinkable.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 02:06:45 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of Murchmac
Murchmac

California

3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to masterhomebrewer to try this beer. I really wanted to compare it to PtY

Pours an orangey amber with yellow highlights and a white head.

Piney and citrusy, smells not overwhelming but pleasant.

Taste follows the nose, almost really fresh sweet taste that hangs in your mouth,

Not resinous like a good DIPA should be, and really really light and thin.

Although pleasant was like drinking hop water. It was good but not worth trading the farm away. PtY is a lot better.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 22:42:11 | More by Murchmac
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to baconsausage for shipping this towards the Arctic Circle along with a slate of other great beers. The IPA fiend in me has really been looking forward to this one. 22 oz. bottle split into two pint glasses, with the floaties & several ounces left for later potential rumination.

Pour is wide-mouth orange, clear without the hop poop left in the bottom of the bottle. Smell is startlingly bitter, citrus, pine, & touches of raw onion.

Heady Topper is perhaps the oiliest IPA that's crossed my mucous barrier. Bitterness street-sweeps the senses, separating into grapefruit, citrus, & a knifeful of onion. Strangely reminiscent of Gubna. Definite tang in the back-end, astringent, before the bitterness throttles the life out of everything else in the finish. Strangely, it affects my tongue more than anything else. Bizarre.

Very drying, invitingly sippable, this is a very good beer, but not sure what all the hoopla is about. Not to say I'd ever turn one down!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 03:20:31 | More by maximum12
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16 oz can, no date.

appears a hazy rust orange color with tons of floaties. bright white head that fades. obviously this is why they want you to drink from the can.

aroma is hop forward obviously. orange, lemon, cut grass, slightly earthy too. taste is super cirtusy. a touch of biscuity sweet malt, but not much. tasty though if you're looking for fruity citrus hop flavors.

medium thickness, but it coats the tongue, a bit oily. good carbonation level, but I'm not a fan about the oily feel.

good, but not sure it lives up to the crazy hype and higher price. seems quite similar to other citrusy DIPA's. still glad I got to try it though.

Serving type: can

04-29-2012 22:06:17 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Prospero
Prospero

Colorado

3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light in color sort of a amber straw, nice white head and good aroma, not as much aroma as I would have expected, but good citrus and flower comes through. Also drank out of the can as suggested. The taste is nice and smooth, great drinkability. Maybe not as well balanced as others, the bitterness seems to linger with this one and I think it tends to take over the thin malt base. Great beer overall, but needs a bit better balance.

Serving type: can

06-01-2012 16:28:48 | More by Prospero
Photo of paulmack69
paulmack69

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Got these via a trade with someone from New Hampshire so I'm not sure how fresh they are. I believe he bought them before he shipped them to me. My first impression was not that great for an IPA. It initially tasted just liked steeped hops. Almost like someone just made tea with a bag of hops. Maybe I was drinking it too cold. My second and third cans seemed much better. Maybe I just had to appreciate it more. I still think there are other better DIPA's out there in my opinion. If you love hops then this is the beer for you as it is all hops and nothing else.

Serving type: can

07-10-2013 12:24:19 | More by paulmack69
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 6,205 ratings.