Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,948 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,948
Hads: 10,951
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,134
Gots: 3,464 | FT: 56
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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,948 | Hads: 10,951
Photo of mcintire78
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: Pale gold to deep gold in color, with a significant, long lasting head. A small amount of carbonation and a bit of lacing.

s: Strong smell of and citrus up front (with a bit of pine nuts), in the middle and in the end.

t: Citrusy taste up front that fades into a bit of a hoppy bite at the very end, which lingers. Not too much malt to balance it out, but a bit.

m: Good, but the bitterness is a limiting factor (depending on what your tastes are). Not too carbonated.

d: A very good beer, and one I have the good luck to live close enough to Vermont to get it pretty regularly. Best fresh, and this one was a few weeks old. (632 characters)

Photo of BeTheBall
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Followed instructions and drank from the can, a first for me with an IPA. As a result, I can't judge the appearance, so I gave it an average. Smell was fantastci, grapefruit and pine and grass; hops galore. Taste was intensely citrus and hops, but no super bitter like most DIPA's. Much of tre hoppiness is on the mouth and tongue, but doesn't so much linger down your throat. The grapefruit, orange, grass, pine flavors are huge and awesome. What a great combination of ingredients!
Mouthfeel was not noteworthy; having it from the can. The taste is so good I didn't have time to notice anyway. What a great beer. Only the ABV would prevent me from drinking my entire 4 pack in one sitting. Next one will be in a glass... (722 characters)

Photo of jman42
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

A quick review as I didn't take tasting notes and had a few days ago. Drank from a 16 ounce can poured into a pint beer glass and drank with friends after a 10K race.

I loved it... understand that. But my underlying belief came true: more hype than anything else. It is an extremely good double IPA, but there are others out there (Breckenridge 571?) that I've also enjoyed thoroughly.

Great citrusy (grapefruit?) overtones, but as one friend put it, a bit sweet.

If I get to Vermont this winter and can call a liquor store to reserve a case, I'll certainly pick some up. However, I won't be skipping a morning's skiing to drive from store to store to see if they happened to have gotten any in overnight and if they happen to have any left (which is what I've been told I'll have to do). Too many other quality beers out there that I won't have to jump through hoops of fire to get my hands on. (906 characters)

Photo of pfhanlon
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Brother bought me a case for my fiftieth birthday. He drove up three hours one way to a store in Northern Vermont as the truck was arriving. They had sold out before he left with his share.

Shared with family and friends and was a huge hit. Save 11 for myself. I think I'll enjoy savoring these for quite some time. (318 characters)

Photo of rjengelking
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

I still prefer Pliny, but this IPA still blows me away. It is better straight from the can, but I usually like getting the aroma from a beer while drinking it. (159 characters)

Photo of BeerForHokie
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Poured half into a tulip glass to see the color and drank the other half from the can as instructed by the can itself. The color is a beautiful bright orange/dark yellow. Floating sediments...looks like champagne.

S-Oranges. And you can really smell the hops, anticipating it to be super bitter.

T-Mouth full of grass and sour grapefuit and oranges. HOPS HOPS HOPS

M-Quite a bitter after taste, dry.

O- Thought I had tasted them all when they came to IPAs and DIPAs but whatever your opinion is on this one...it's truly unique. Just very very bitter, hoppy and grassy but very enjoyable (592 characters)

Photo of Thia417
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I have driven 3 and half hours just to get this beer. That's saying enough about how awesome it is. I just can't get enough of it!

I went to the Alchemist's new brewery a couple months back and bought as much as they would let me. This beer is in high demand and in general not distributed very far as they're still a small brewery. But it's definitely worth the trip.

This is extreme hop heaven. But unlike some it is not too overwhelming as it is perfectly blended. The smell and taste are like heaven. (506 characters)

Photo of scray24
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed last night as the first in a multi beer tasting in a small (8-10oz) snifter, split with multiple friends, last couple ounces left in the bottle still had some hop flakes and yeasty dregs in it.

A: Clear copper to a burnt orange, beautiful and as perfect as I could see for an IPA. Head settled to less than a quarter inch of whitish foam but left nice lacing on the glass.
S: Have to say this one topped all others I've had, including PtE, as the nose (even ~1.5m old) reached out of the glass and crossed the room. Huge piney nose with notes of grapefruit and other citrusy hops with underlying earthy notes.
T: Damn good DIPA... phenomenal balance of just enough malt to counter the hop bitterness but not so much its cloying or overly astringent/bitter. Hop contribution to flavor is more of the same with citrusy notes taking the front stage and the piney/earthy ones slightly subdued. Taste is exceptional but isn't quite as strong/phenomenal as the smell.
M: Carbonation is a little on the low end (intentionally - note on the bottle indicating carbonation at pub draft levels) but is damn near perfect for this style and brew. Makes for easy drinking and keeps you wanting for more.
D: Could have kept this whole thing for myself and then some and would definitely be a standard stock in the fridge f it was available.

Highly recommend! If you didn't know better it would definitely comes across as a top notch "west coast" DIPA - Excellent work by a top notch brewer/brewery! (1,495 characters)

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

Searching for the holy grail of beer, brought me to Vermont. Found 12 cans at hunger mountain coop, will taste from the can as well. Continued the pilgrimage to the prohibition pig. Ordered heady toppers for me and son #2 whilst waiting for a table.

Tap poured into a snifter. Hazy yellow with a nice white foam cap.

Citrus and pine hop aroma.

Taste of the hops but without a bitter start. Slight bitter aftertaste and that is what sets this beer apart. More flavorful without the explosion of bitter taste . Citrusy with a hong of pine. Even the college son appreciated this beer over his preferred Budweiser, Great beer , flavorful, well balanced but doesn't club your senses. Rewards you with a great taste that warms as it settles to room temperature. (759 characters)

Photo of RichKent
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Heady is delicious - no doubt about it. I wouldn't say it lives up to the hype like Double Sunshine or Abner, but it's definitely not a disappointment either. I'm drinking my 8th can as I type this FYI.

Pours a perfect orange-peach color if poured (I prefer it in a tulip) with 1 finger head if poured carefully. lacing on the glass is thorough - lots of foam left when done.

The smell is bright, juicy, and citrusy with lots of melon, mango, and other tropical fruits. Surprisingly little grapefruit, and next to no pine/grassy.

Taste follows the nose. Delicious as I said, and a combination of cantaloupe, mango, and guava, with incredibly smooth bitterness on the back end. I get something slightly sharp - you might call it onion if you think hard about it, but it's a nice balance to the fruit. Very little in the way of malts on the taste. I do get a little alcohol - especially in older cans (month+). It's not an issue - , and far less than in a DFH 90min. This is a juicy, fruity hop bomb. Awesome.

It's also perfectly carbonated, although it's slightly more syrupy than I prefer. It coats your mouth and takes a minute to disperse. Again, not an issue, but slightly more than I prefer.

Heady is close to a perfect double IPA - but it's still a solid notch down from the best offered by HIll and Lawsons. Still a delicious beer and for the price it's tough to beat ($4/16oz can).

My biggest knock on Heady is the Alchemist's attempt at keeping it exclusive and hard to find. I've visited liquor stores that had plenty of Heady, but couldn't sell me any due to agreements to only sell it on specific days. It's a pain, but visit the Alchemists website and go to the stores recommended on the days recommended and you'll have no problem buying as much Heady as you can afford. I've always found as much as I wanted without an issue. (1,846 characters)

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

On my visit to Chicago, I stopped by Beer Temple with my companion and got an opportunity to meet the famed Christopher Quinn. As we approached the counter to inquire about any rare beers in his store a silver can caught our eye. Needless to say what luck to have walked in on this tasting.

Pours a dark orange with some haze, medium head that dissipates.
Smells immensely of citrus -- specifically grapefruit -- flowers/pines.
Initial taste profile was amazing; executed as one of the most balanced IPA's I have come across. Its on the level of Pliny the Elder if not surpassing that. It was a mix of just the right amount of hops, citrus and pines.

I appreciate IPAs and DIPAs that are beautifully executed as such; I don't partake in IBU pissing contests because sometimes being the bitterest is not better. (815 characters)

Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady topper pours a hazy golden orange (I prefer it from the glass, despite what is written on the can). Smell and taste are citrus and some bitterness, less tropical fruit than other New England style ipas. Mouth fee is spot on. Overall, deserving of its high ratings. (270 characters)

Photo of FlyManFly
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer is excellent overall. A phenomenal nose of citrus starts it off, smooth citrus flavors, cooling and slightly sweet touch the front and mid palate with a trumpet of hoppiness on the finish. A very inviting, thirst quenching, taste-bud delighting IPA. (258 characters)

Photo of adapt313
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

How many hops can you cram into a can yet still make it well balanced and insanely crushable? Pretty much the gold standard of ipas. I've tried it in every kind of glassware imaginable but enjoy heady so much more right out of the can. (237 characters)

Photo of JMB
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

If the color and head are not impressive enough, the taste is dazzling. Grapefruity, hoppy, raw, full, malty, bitter, smooth are some of the many descriptions that come to kind. A great and complex drink. I am usually jot an IPA fan, but thia beer is in a class of its own. (276 characters)

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

This is an extremely, well-crafted beer. It is wonderfully balanced and well-hopped. Truly made by an Alchemist, or the devil himself.

I now understand why it is the #1 beer on BA. My favorites were always Pliny the Elder and Enjoy by. This one boasts them both. I immediately opened a Pliny to compare while I still had some Heady left at the bottom of my glass. To me, the Heady looks much better. The PtE is clear and the Heady is cloudy with yummy goodness. The Heady smells scrumptious and emits a better aroma. The PtE is crisp and clean and the Heady is complex tasting. PtE is a bit more carbonated than the Heady, however, I believe this Heady is nowhere near as fresh as the PtE. In the end, I love them both.

If I were to be stranded in the mountains for any amount of time and I had to select one of these to keep me company, I would have to select the Heady, and the PtE would be his backup.

Nauseatingly good. (927 characters)

Photo of squarooticus
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

One does not simply quaff Heady Topper. It needs to be enjoyed with complete awareness and yet total relaxation, in the fullness of time, each sip a journey to an exotic Roger Dean-esque alien landscape, where you sit beneath a strangely geometric tree, listening to the far-off flesh-eating birds chirping, and think, "This couldn't get any weirder. Well, maybe if I were tripping, too." (388 characters)

Photo of jazzface78
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Its the complete package. Had my first can last night at One Mile House which they were serving for their anniversary. Actually ordered a Maine Lunch first upon seeing it on their extensive beer list. They have it on tap. After taking my first sip I noticed the guy next to me drinking a Heady Topper out of the unmistakable can. I was shocked and immediately order one - now double fisting a heady topper and a main lunch. The rest is between me and my taste buds, but all of the accolades here are spot on. (511 characters)

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

Finally got my hands on some of this, first off let me say this beer is awesome. The second you open the can you are hit with an explosion of hops.

Everything about this beer screams DIPA

Definitely one of the top 3 IPAS I've had!

The questions is Pliny the Elder vs. Heady

Verdict HEADY TOPPER (298 characters)

Photo of BostonKyle
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Was lucky enough to take a trip up to Stowe and Burlington last weekend. As a non-hophead this is incredibly drinkable. The bitterness does not destroy your tastebuds like most DIPAs and the taste is fantastic. I came across it in a liquor store later in the day and bought the limit for an individual. (305 characters)

Photo of HopBrad31
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Smuggled some Cans down to my surf lodge in Nicaragua. YEAH BUDDY!
A Perfect IPA. Perfect Bitterness, Perfect Hop Flavor and Aroma - DANK, Citrus, Piney, Resin. The creaminess mouthfeel is what puts this over the top as well. One of my favorite beers. (251 characters)

Photo of jhmiv
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Out of the can as instructed. Great, consistent hoppy flavor. Terrific enhancer of sharp cheddar resting on tongue. Makes cheese pop and the finish of this ADIPA holds up. Very drinkable. (191 characters)

Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drinking straight from the can, as instructed.

A: It is a good can. The aesthetics of the font and the illustration are pleasing, and I dig the black tab. One of the best can designs I've seen for a beer, so I'm rating it accordingly.

S: Upon cracking the can open, I'm getting waves of pineapple, orange juice, lemon, piney resin, and some apricot, with no one scent overpowering the other.

T: Wow! Very juicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Citrusy notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and apricot all flow out of the can and coat the palette in a perfect harmony. There is a slight bitter hop tinge towards the finish, which is when the light, well balanced malt comes in for a smooth finish.

M: Incredibly smooth, medium bodied with a lighter carb level than I'd expect for a DIPA, but it works. The smoothness of this beer is, for me, what helps it excel to the top of the top 250. Very little alcohol presence, making this an exceptional easy drinker.

O: A superb beer that deserves it's high demand, and one that I'll be jealous of not being able to get easily once my allotment is gone. #1? Eh, maybe... I prefer Pliny, but that's just my personal taste, and I would never, ever turn down the opportunity to get more Heady in my fridge. (1,244 characters)

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

I have one person to thank for this mrKennedy what a brilliant unexpected bday present you are the man and I know they say drink out the can but this definitely deserves a glass and pours a cloudy pineapple juice hue with a fluffy cloud like three finger head and lacing everywhere looks so inviting,the smell is pineapples,piney hops,tangerines,grapefruit and a tonne of Valencia oranges,the mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated and medium bodied with tastes of pineapples,mangoes,grapefruit,tangerines and finished with a soft citrus bittersweetness and overall what a sublime AIPA it's right up there with the best I've tried and just wish this and the rest of their range was available here cheers. (699 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good beer. The can says to drink from the can, so who am I to disobey a direct order. I can't really judge the appearance this way, but the can has a cool design. The smell is a certain citrusy aroma with hints of the can mixed in the smell. The taste is perhaps the most balanced DIPA. the hops are not overpowering, and the flavor is exceptionally complex. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, and a sour hop flavor come to the forefront. The most remarkable element is the smooth mouthfeel. One might even say it goes down soft. The aftertaste does not limit the experience, but takes it in a different direction. The citrusy flavors sweeten like candy. Most DIPAs express punch of bitter hops at this point, so this was surprising and refreshing. This beer is definitley worth the hype. (799 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.