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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,382 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,382
Reviews: 1,757
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 6,219
Gots: 2,235 | FT: 39
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 (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,382 | Reviews: 1,757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of arburt02
4.4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of MWolverines66
4.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was very excited to try this beer and wanted to see if it could live up to the hype. Obeyed what the can said and drank this out of the can, but poured a little out to see the color. It was a golden color with a little cloudiness.

Smells of pine, citrus and tropical fruits with a huge wave of hops. It smelled completely different than anything I have had before. The taste followed the smell as it was a complex combination of sweet, sour, bitter hops. That's as detailed as I can get because I can't really explain what it was. From sip to swallow the flavor was constantly changing.

Overall I don't know if this would be the best tasting beer in the world for me, but it was definitely the most complex and interesting tasting beer I've ever had.

Photo of not-mel-brooks
4.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this tonight for the first time . poured from can at a beer tasting at http://goo.gl/P2J7P .(good time,) one of the 3 best beers i have ever had . very floral aroma. nice bite. clear. clean. hoppy. favorable comparison to Stone Ruination IPA . this is my first review . i felt compelled to write it.

i will look for this

Photo of Mora2000
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to mar for trading me this can.

The beer pours a dirty yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very heavy on the grapefruit, but I also get a little bit of orange citrus and some biscuit malt notes.

The flavor is more intense than the aroma. I get some huge grapefruit and orange citrus notes, as well as a little bit of pine and some pineapple. Mixed in with all of the hop notes is a little bit of biscuit malt. The bitterness is low to medium.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of OTB
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved in a trade along with fresh Hopslam from NDAK, thanks man, we will swap again.

First off the can thing, I was told to drink it from the can so I am.I like good canned craft brew, Caldera IPA is IMHO world class in a can.So I forgo the appearance to be loyal. Wow ! Not what I was expecting. Huge bitter hops, the first wave is insanity, then the tropical fruits come into play, grapefruit is the most predominant initially, then wave after wave of mango, bitter orange, huge mint, and fresh ground black pepper. The finish goes on for ever ! This is one complex beer, each sip reveals more layers of fruit and bite. I am digging this bad boy big time.

I have one more can to play with and I think I may split it between my glass and the can for a more traditional experience and to see what this delicious brew looks like.

I am so glad I have finally been able to get a taste of east coast goodness, it really lives up to the hype, truly unique and original.

Photo of nataku00
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh can poured into a tulip glass (even if the can tells you to drink it straight out of the can, maybe for the next one). Thanks to AshleyMiller for the fast trade. Beer pours a dark bronze, very very hazy with lots of particles suspended in the beer making it so that you cannot see through the glass. Initial finger of off white bubbly head, mostly small and medium bubbles, recedes to a nice collar of bubbles and wispy film across the surface. Lots of gentle carbonation visible near the edge of the glass, floating slowly up.

Cold out of the fridge, it wasn't too impressive an aroma. It improved a little after it warmed up closer to room temperature. Nose is a good amount of sweet grapefruit, bitter grapefruit peel, with some sweet orange and floral hops as well. Good strong malt presence to balance it out, toasted grains, caramel, toasted bread.

Nice balanced flavor profile over all. Grapefruit and orange peel and pith bitterness initially, but not so strong as to kill your tongue, some lighter floral and pine hop notes as it sits on your tongue. Then midtongue, the malt balance really comes through, good amount of toasted grain and bread and caramel sweetness to complement the hop flavors and bitterness. A fairly dry finish with light lingering citrus and floral hop flavors. Alcohol is non existent in the flavor.

Medium body with light carbonation contributing to a smooth velvety liquid that somehow coats your tongue while in the mouth, but still finishes cleanly so your tongue is ready to taste the next sip. Very easy to drink as the bitterness is not overwhelming at all, but still very much there. Excellent imperial IPA, though the weaker than expected aromatics knocks it down a small tick for me.

Photo of coleton90
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Thomahs
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The legends are true. This is an especially tasty, and dense IPA.

Gobs of hops (grapefruit, orange, pine) burst out of the can upon the first sip. Drinking it from the can (as they keep demanding you do) adds to it's mystique. It causes you to focus entirely on taste and smell, and this beer does not let up.

What really impressed me is how the last sip hit me just as hard as the first. Usually with these really big double IPAs, my pallette gets overwhelmed about halfway through (I'm looking at you, Palate Wrecker), and I no longer really taste as much as I did at first. I did not have this sensation with Heady Topper. Its a very well balanced, complex, and huge, double IPA.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Ryan for hooking me up with this stellar double IPA. I have had it a couple times now, both directly from the can and decanted into a pint or tulip on various occasions.

This beer is a hazy brownish amber color covered by wisps of sticky foam after the pour. Some lacing, but not nearly as sticky as I have seen on my favorite-looking imperial IPAs. Looks significantly better in the glass than it does in a can...go figure!

The aroma right out of the can is unreal. Concentrated mango, pineapple, and grapefruit, as well as a hint of pine. When decanted, it gets a but more citrusy and brings out some sweet stonefruit and toasted coconut aromas. On the palate, the pine is certainly more assertive, and it does drown out the citrus to a good extent, but the grapefruit and orange notes remain. The bitterness is kept in check, but that which does come through is a dank bitter flavor...my favorite. The alcohol is masked completely, and there is almost no malt backbone present. Just delightful.

While not as sticky or resinous as other DIPAs, the nearly perfect carbonation level makes this an extremely enjoyable beer to drink. One of the most enjoyable "new" DIPAs that I have had in a long time!

Photo of KevSal
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this guy this morning thanks to gueshue3, thanks buddy! I've been thinking abou this alll day at work.

16oz can into a SN imperial pint glass (love this guy for 16oz cans) leaving the last sip in the can. can says "drink from can" around the lip, I first thought it was a shot at surly but gueshue informed me it's because of sediment (hence the leftover in the can, thanks for the tip)

a- nice 2 inch off white head. very dark hazy orange hue. looking good!. good thing I left the floaties in the can.

s- ohh man this one smells delicious. Very reminiscent of the first six-pack of the year of SN celebration ale. rich hops aroma. screams west coast to me. nice maltiness behind the hops.

t- taste follows closely with the nose. not overly bitter with a fantastic hop flavor! seriously this guy feels likes celebrations big brother. nice maltiness mid palate, perfect amount if sweet. very crisp with fantastic balance.

m- medium bodied on the thinner side of dipas but very juicy. not overly carbonated ( maybe less than usual dipas) but it helps to coat the mouth.

o- the drinkability on this guy is Insane!! it gies down super easy, and at 8% could get you buzzed mighty fast. I could seriously drink this all day long. the beauty of this beer is it's balance, and I believe thats why it's been getting attention. back of can says it the best "not intended to be the biggest or most bitter, it is mean to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness" and it indeed delivers.

this is what I was hopin SN hoptimum was going to be like, a bigger badder celebration which is exactly what this guy is. deserves the attention. I never thought I'd get a chance at this guy. thanks gueshue for the chance!

Photo of spinrsx
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can - thanks to zuma for this

Appearance - Hazy amber colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with hops. It also has a wack of citrus flavours - lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines. Juice and zest. It ends with a sweet and bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall - It reminded me of a pliny meets rad racer taste wise. It's got a lot of lemony citrus flavour that almost makes it seem more like an IPA than a DIPA. I consider this the pliny of the east - worth seeking out.

Photo of Lostcarkeys
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a must try if you fancy yourself a beer drinker... I really was impressed by this beer when I first tried it six or so months ago and I have been buying a few 4 packs a month ever since.

A- DRINK FROM THE CAN (its a golden sunshine yellow if you are curious)

S- Delicious

T- A strong bite of hoppy heady goodness. The sourness grabs the tongue and the bitter flavor resonates in a soft aftertaste that will make you take a second sip. The strong alcohol by volume content seems to fade into the flavor of the beer, but caution to those who drink all 4, you might soon to loose taste of the flavor!

MF- A strong first buzz similar to a 9 volt battery soon fades into a softer aftertaste, not my favorite but the beer's flavor should speak for itself!

Too bad its not everywhere, but for those of us living in VT its a treat. Make your way up to see the factory in Stowe is worth a visit If you can get your hands on some then you will understand!

Photo of Cmack15
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Heady Topper from Alchemist. I had this on tap at the brewpub and was very eager to finally have gotten a chance to experience this beer. This beer is awesome in so many ways. First its great to see an east coast brewery making a super hoppy beer. The aroma is piney/citrusy hops that blast your face(but in a good way). The taste has a nice malt backbone to help let the hops shine but not destroy you. A really excellent beer from a great brewpub.

Photo of circlenine
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle on 12/18/10 (bottle was acquired at the Dec. 4th Heady release).

Note: I have consumed a few of these Heady Toppers since their bottling and even two weeks later it still holds up as it did on day one.

A: Pours a burnt orange/apricot color with approximately 1 1/2 finger head. The frothy goodness was sustained for more than two minutes, then it started to slowly dissipate with a modest lacing.

S: Hoppy to the core! Smells of fresh hops and citrus. Enough said, start drinking!

T: Phenomenal. As soon as this beer hits your lips you begin to taste the exact taste your nose was smelling as you lifted the glass to your mouth. Hops and citrus, grapefruit to be most exact. Wonderful after taste that lingers long enough, but doesn't bother your next sip.

M: Not overly carbonated, expected more of a bite considering the amount of head on the pour.

D: Awesome. It's both a blessing and a shame that I share my bombers with my wife. This is one I would have loved to enjoy all by lonesome. (And just because the room is dark and I'm listening to the Doors, it doesn't mean I'm an alcoholic.)

Comments: This beer lived up to expectations when I had it off the tap on release day and it continues live up to the hype two weeks later. I'm willing to bet the 12/31 drink by date is simply a suggestion... tempted I am to drink this beer even later just to see how it holds up. Can this Heady be Topped?

Photo of MisterClean
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - cloudy with chunks, yellowish-red in color.

S - caramel, floral, pineapple, aromas very nice.

T - malty breadiness, some caramel, lt bitterness, flavor of pineapple and light floral notes. Very good.

M- nice balance between malts and hops. Little to no warmth. Light carbonation, really good.

D - very nice beer. Not the prettiest to look at, but would like a fresher can. Will seek out. Thanks Abecall and Marc.

Photo of suspect
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Duvel Tulip - totally ignoring the instructions to drink from a can (I'll drink the next one from the can). Thanks to rhong187 for the hookup.

A: Cloudy burnt orange color. Careful/yet still aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger fluffy white head that dissipates over a the course of a few minutes and leaves sticky white lacing down the sides of the glass. Lots of floaties and very slow carbonation bubbles rise from below.

S: Citrus hops hit the nose first and foremost followed by spicy-piney notes and finally the malt backbone makes it's way through letting me know that strong balance is to be expected.

T: Follows the nose directly. Sweet and sour grapefruity notes dominate the palate. Mango and bitterness find their way in as well followed by the malt that was present in the nose balances nicely. ABV is well hidden.

M: Perfectly carbonated, medium body. Hop oils coat the mouth and leave a long, lingering aftertaste that leaves me wanting more and more, even after the can is finished. Sticky mouth coating lasts for what seems like forever. Most definitely a palate killer.

O: A fantastic beer - world class DIPA. Extremely happy that I had the chance to try it and I will never turn it down. I probably will seek this out a few times a year for the fact that it's freaking delicious.

Photo of Jayli
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at Track 84 10/28
poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy, rudy amber brown color with tons of floating sediment. A 1/4 inch of khaki head that recedes immediately.

S: Nose is tons of pine and orange peel with a mild undertone of caramel malt.

T: Taste is pine upfront with slightly bready malt. Mild caramel malts make their way in with a bit of fruitiness. Big notes of orange peel come through and the finish is pure grapefruit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, pretty dry bodied at first with a sticky finish.

O: Goes down easy, very tasty, not too filling, well hidden kick, great representation of style. I highly enjoyed this beer and look forward to trying more from this brewery.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1/2 OF A 16OZ CAN poured into a regular pint glass, while drinking the other half out the CAN. Excited to see this in Philly. I bought it with ease. Purchased a single at Capone's and a 4-pack from the bottle shop at Local 44. Props to Origlio for pulling in a great brewery, it's about time you guys found some new blood.

A silver can, the liquid dispersed in the pint shows a golden orange glaze that haze some hazy within the liquid. Floating particles seen throughout suspended. Not much of a head or even a cap, just a small white ring around the collar.

Smell is pretty bold with a lot of citrus and high dry hopping scent. The funny thing is there is a weird scent that I cant describe that's either a distinct hop variety (im thinking summit) or a odd malt type. Kinda reminds me of the Ephraim scent. The scent while not my thing, is lingering.

Taste on the other hand is right up there with the big boys. Out of the CAN, the finish is a bit crisper, while the glass version comes off smother. Either way, a whole lot of dry hopping with citrus, grapefruit, mango, with a sharp pine taste as well. Bitter, but not over the top. Some grassy taste lingers on the tounge with warming.

Feel is pretty much medium, but it really drinks easy as hell, goes down without a burn and not a alarming overly bitter aftertaste. Carbonation is there and not overly done. After the CAN was done, my mouth is not attacked and wrecked, this is the sign of a great DIPA, one that you can drink a few of. I don't know what else to say, this is tasty beer.

Photo of muttyd
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Deep golden, almost amber body with a fluffy white head that fades into a faint ring. Lots of floaties and other things dancing around in my glass.

Aroma is big on the grapefruit / tropical fruit characteristics. Some floral / grassy notes cut through the fruity sweet aroma as it warms up. Flavor assaults (but in a good way) the palate with even more tropical fruit, citrus, and floral hop oilyness. Big chewy malty flavor in there as well to balance it all out. Some warming alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Light, less carbonated body, but for some reason it works for this beer. Leaves a sticky coating in the mouth.

Love this beer, glad I got 2 four-packs of this.

Photo of brentk56
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presents a slightly hazy honey color capped by a couple of inches of foam; swathes a few strands of lace

Smell: Bursts with citrus, pine and pith; rather tropical, with orange, pineapple and mango

Taste: The intense bitterness jutts forward from the get-go, with the tropical citrus flavors featuring prominently in the middle, bringing orange, pineapple and mango flavors, along with ruby red grapefruit; the sweetness from the malts builds into the finish, balancing the bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A great DIPA; while it is big on the hops, there is a lot of malty sweetness, too and that is necessary to balance the intense bitterness

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

Photo of match1112
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big ups to OsNJCB for sending this as an extra!

a: cloudy orangeish yellow, some floaters and a thin off white head that disappears.

s: big tropical citrusy bubblegum aromas. lots of orange, lemon, mango and a touch of earthy grassy piney goodness.

t: sweet tropics and citrus. touch of pine to keep it in check. and loads of hops!

m: medium body. oily feel. a mouth watering dry finish, if that makes any sense.

o: awesome! my only gripe, i wish it was filtered and had more carbonation, for appearance sake. i know, i know, if i would drink from the can it wouldnt matter.

Photo of mltobin
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from several weeks ago, fresh can.

Tall boy can poured into a wine glass. Appearance is orange, honey with a good sized head. Its` nose has resin, pine, grapefruit and hops. The smell is most certainly an inviting one. Upon sipping this, I taste more of the pine and resin, citrus aspects are still there, along with a good amount of hops. The hops are well balanced and it finishes with a fair amount of bitterness. With everything in mind, this is a great drinking DIPA and gets accolades with reason.

Photo of Sean9689
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into snifter. Thanks goes to Alex for this one, you be da man. Been looking forward to this tick for a while.

A - Pours a reddish/copper color, cream-colored head, lots of lacing and a nice cap on top with bubbles here and there.

S - Tropical fruits, dankness, grapefruit, bitter/hoppy, some pine. Really excellent nose. Anything with tropical notes, I'm a huge fan of. This one fit the bill.

T - Pretty much right on target with the nose (although the nose is better). Lots if pine, hops/bitterness but yet very smooth, slight malty backbone, nice citrus profile, and a bitter finish.

M - Light, good carbination, crisp, refreshing, piney finish.

D - Okay, so this beer has been hyped up and down for a long while. East vs. West, this one stands up to the best DIPA's out there. So easy to drink is ridiculous. World-class, as far as I'm concerned.

Photo of JAXSON
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange with a fluffy white head. Nose is bursting with oily hops, orange candy, pine resin. Sticky and delightful. Flavor is a collage of brightly bitter hops, grapefruit rind, orange rock sugar. Finish is long and grapefruity. Very nice stuff.

Photo of UnderJoath
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh can given to me by Beermefitz, a complete stranger until today. Thank you so much for the generous gesture. Good beer karma shines down on you this day.

Drinking out of a Pipeworks Brewing goblet. Pours a cloudy golden hue with a fingers worth of bubbly white head.

Smells great. A nice balance of resin and citrusy fruit.

Speaking of balance, wow. First taste knocked me on my butt. Sweet and bitter tangoed on my tongue both getting a turn at lead.

Not too sticky on the mouthfeel, but leaves behind a bit of hop to bring you back for another drink. Carbonation tickles the throat as she goes down.

Overall, fantastic beer that completely lives up to the hype and well deserving of my first review. Hope I didn’t let it down.

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,382 ratings.