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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,167 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,167
Reviews: 1,976
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 7,367
Gots: 2,893 | FT: 47
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 (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,167 | Reviews: 1,976
Photo of axeman9182
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two 16 oz cans (one direct from can, one poured into a glass) courtesy of Kadonny, and poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Heady Topper pours a hazy slightly dull orange. There are some tangerine highlights, and visibility is minimal. There's about a finger and a half of cream colored foam crowning the beer, and head retention is just OK. Lacing is fairly nice though, more of the glass is left covered in it than not. The second pour does result in plenty of sediment hanging in suspension. The nose is absolutely wonderful. Tons of mango and pineapple, with some more overtly citrusy grapefruit present in more of a supporting role. The flavor profile leads off with a bit of candied sugar sweetness. The bitterness that rolls through next is surprisingly mild/smooth. I kind of wish it was a little bit more intense/attention grabbing. The hoppy close though is just as fantastic as the nose though, with tons of tropical fruit and just a ittle bit of citrus. The mouthfeel is spot on. The body's not quite Belgian style brew dry, but it has just a little bit more heft to support it. Meanwhile, the carbonation explodes on my palate, helping the potent hoppy flavors to come alive. Heady Topper's a stunning beer, and one of the abslute best double IPAs I've had to date.

Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 16ox can into Duvel Tulip - No best by date visible

A: Poured a cloudy dark orange with brown hues , Three finge head that descended into thin frothy lacing , webbing follows as it lowers in the glass, decent carbonation.

S: Tropical fruit , pine , bitter hops, lemon.

T: Citrus with bitter hops upfront with a sweet malt backing , slight pine bite with hints of lemon.

Overall a very good D/IPA that I would drink often if available to me.

Photo of emtprincess
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love a good hoppy beer and this one is delicious.

Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of JamesStreet
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured it (I know) into a Parish mini snifter
A- Absolutely gorgeous beer! Somewhat cloudy yellow-orange pour with a fat, foamy off-white head that left a good bit of lacing down the glass.
S- Big citrusy smell like grapefruit coming to the forefront the most. A little resiny dankness as well
T- Citrus, piney bite, nice bitterness throughout with a good balance of malt.
M- Light-medium side with a slight prickly carbonation.
O- Huge expectations with this. Honestly though, not the best DIPA I've ever had. A great beer, no doubt. I would always take it if available but not over EVERYTHING.

Photo of biboergosum
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?

This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.

A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.

Photo of tempest
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple six-pack at the cannery. I'm told they were packaged just a week ago.

I wasn't sure what to make of this beer at first, which says a lot because DIPAs aren't usually a surprising style with a lot of leeway. It's most easily described as "hop juice," not an IPA. The balance of hops is unique in that the flavor is huge, but it's never over the top, where overly-hoppy beers become perfumey messes (I'm thinking of Weyerbacher's Hop Explosion).

The aroma has a clean and clear floral grapefruit character with an earthy, citrus seed edge—think about when you're eating an orange and you get a seed on your tongue. The flavor is intense but manageable. In addition to the vivid grapefruit and orange peel citrus, there's a vague grassiness, tropical notes, and an odd (and thoroughly unexpected) touch of barbeque sauce that fades as the beer warms.

I approached this beer as a skeptic, but it's easily one of the most complex beers I've tried, and one of the most drinkable at that. I should have bought a case.

Photo of emalc
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jtcolella
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of neutralaction
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mkhartnett
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chrischarniak
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 22oz bottle with a very generous friend.
Served in Delirium goblets.
Pours a hazy pale orange color with a fluffy, but fading white head. Lots of sticky and patchy lacing rims the glass.
A big whiff of pine and wild flowers blast out of the gate. A resinous hop aroma rises and pulls a dry malty smell, along with some perfumy citrus and a little mellow rum.
The tastes follow the aromas very closely. Very hoppy, with bright orange zestiness, yet held in check by a solid caramel malt with some honey sweetness.
So flavorful, yet so drinkable!

Photo of swanfungus
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Flounder57
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 0z can was poured into a tulip glass. I have had it out of the can plenty of times and respect the brewery to drink it out of the can except for this one time.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head. It is a pale orange yellow color with some clarity and signs of carbonation coming up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Lots of citrus on the nose. Plenty of grapefruit and tangerine aromas from the hops. Bready and caramel notes in there to balance it off as well.

Taste: Super citrus flavors. Tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mangos, etc. The breadiness and caramel malts balance this beer out well where there is a subtle lingering bitterness and the alcohol is not at all detectable.

Mouthfeel: silky smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, some nice subtle bitterness, and easy to drink.

Overall: Pretty solid DIPA. This is one a person should not pass and order one at the bar or buy a can or four pack. Very delicious and loved by all.

Photo of mobius387
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BIG thanks to kalvarez for this

poured into a snifter

appearance: an opaque golden color, very unique, nice clean looking 1" white head, chunks of yeast that pour out at the end. very unique looking for an ipa

aroma: delicious nose of grapefruit, pine, honey. not super strong, but crisp

palate: medium bodied, medium carbonation, heavy alcohol feel to it, and yet this beer feels pretty smooth and very crisp

taste: big citrus flavors, a true DIPA in taste, a bit flowery too, huge kick

overall: definitely one of the best DIPAs ive had in my life, but it didnt quite live up to my expectations. dont get me wrong, this beer is great, and if i lived in NE USA id be drinking it all the time. but theres just as good (some better like zombie dust, odell) ipas/dipas that i can get my hands on much easier.

all in all, loved this beer, wish it was easier to get for me.

Photo of TWStandley
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok I will admit it - I did not believe the hype. So many times beers that are hyped up so much let me down, but this absolutely delivered.

Drank from the can at The Independent in Somerville.

Can't comment to much on the appearance since i drank it from the can, but I did pour a bit into a glass for a look. Nice hazy goldb orange.

Smell is unreal. I think I am going to dump a can of this over myself next time I go on a date. Smells like the hops were literally plucked in front of me and placed into my beer.

Taste is ridiculous. I had to slow myself down. It is truly that good. Fresh hops, perfect bitter and sweet mix - truly remarkable. Even when I burp it tastes good. Wow.

Mouthfeel complements the beer perfectly.

Overall this is amazing. Hands down the greatest beer I have ever consumed. I cannot recommend this enough. Find it fresh, and drink it. Now!!!!

Photo of DearthVader
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured to my La Fin Du Monde tulip.

Thanks for the shot at this one Oreo!

Pours a musty Orange that sizzles at the top for no longer than 10 seconds and the small bubbles fade to nothing. No lacing is left behind on this one.

Smell is of juicy pineapple, wildflower, pine, and some good citrus-y hops with the sweet caramel malt finish.

Taste is outstanding. Everything you could ask for in a DIPA. Extremely well balanced between the malt and aggressive hops in this one. Big fruity body with citrus shining through the most.

Mouthfeel is dangerously good. This stuff is too easy to drink. It's a good thing this is hard to get ahold of for me, otherwise I'd be drunk for the majority of my days. Creamy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. It coats your mouth with some great juicy hops and an orange pulp film.

My expectations for DIPA's were raised the other day after having Ephraim, but this one put up a good fight with it. Very glad I got to try this and I'm happy this happened to fall on my 100th review. Thanks again cookie!

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had an unexpected opportunity to buy this from someone so jumped on it. Never thought I'd get a chance.

Drank 1/3 from can, then rest from pint.

A - Cloudy, nice full head. Very foamy head with lots of lacing.

S - An amazing aroma, with tons of citrus/grapefruit/lemony and herbal smells. You could find yourself just sniffing the can or glass for . . . minutes. But then you have to drink.

T - Without a doubt, the least hoppy and bitter DIPA I've ever had. Extremely smooth. Not too carbonated. While this isn't my favorite style, if this were the only IPA I ever drank, it probably would be a favorite style. Almost tastes like a sparkling beverage that's been spiked. But better.

M - Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

O - I can understand why people rave about this beer. I found myself saying several time, "Mmm, this is quite good. I'm really impressed" I rarely say that about IPAs. I'll happily drink this again. And again.

Photo of airohead2001
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I cannot believe that this beer is in front of me. I've dreamed about it forever. In fact, I've even considered making a trip out to Vermont simply to try it. Thanks, glazeman, and thanks to the trader that got this one done for him, and thanks to the trader that hooked me up with Matt in order to reel in the infamous Heady Topper.

A - Cloudy, dark brown/ruby/murky with a one finger head that quickly fades to a few bubbles. Unfiltered for sure - floaties abound.

S - Words cannot describe. Overwhelmingly the finest IPA I've ever sniffed. BIG, juicy citrus hops up front with tangerines, oranges, limes, and a hint of lemon. Warm booze in the finish. Perfect.

T - Just incredible. Biscuit malts, piney hops, citrus hops, with a harsh bitter/boozy bite in the finish. I love the biscuittiness that carries this entire beer, but it would be even better if it were only the tiniest bit sweeter.

M - Very good. Nice carbonation and appropriate chewiness without being syrupy. Great for a DIPA.

D - For me, Heady Topper is a whale of all whales. I wish I could drink it all the time. I could easily drink more than the 11 oz. that I had in this serving, unfortunately, I'll probably never have it again unless The Alchemist decides to make it more available.

Photo of RutgersEng
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of daveosf
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a can today at City Tap House (Logan Sq). Drank most of it from the can. Poured off about 4 oz into a taster glass.

The first thing that struck me was how damn smooth it is. Almost like real-life silk drawers. Pretty fantastic.

It's light on the palate for 8%, dry, but not sharp or crisp. The booze is real soft and very well balanced by the hop silk and its soft static hum of bitterness.

In the glass, it's a pale, faded shade of yellow, and hazy. Bit of a ring of foam, but no magic in the head stand.

Flavor-wise, I feel like green tea was the first impression, biting in the middle and aftertaste. Not just that, but a lovely concentrated, soupy fog of citrus - first orange, with lemony highlights, then later grapefruit in the finish and aftertaste... Perhaps a dash of pine in the background... Not terribly spicy... After the first few sips, some graham-crackery malt seems to sneak in there on the tail end of each swig. It's but a peep, though.

The aroma in the glass brings it home. It's kinda straight-up-the-gut West Coast IPA. Fragrant, but subtle.

Overall, it's one of the more elegant hoppy ales around. The execution is impressive. But I have to say that I find the raw flavors of Sculpin or some of the Green Flash IPAs, et al, to be something that I would go back to again. Not so this. It's just one in a long line of scarce beers that, while quite good, never melt my brain or make my body quiver in ecstasy.

Thanks CTH for only charging $7. It was worth it.

Photo of Dybasi
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Colby8938
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,167 ratings.