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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,219 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,219
Ratings:
12,452
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
8,988
Gots:
4,756
For Trade:
58
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,219 | Ratings: 12,452
Photo of Auror
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Canned on Tuesday, Drank on Wednesday (from the can, naturally).

Appearance- Poured some out of a 2nd can for friends so I glimpsed the appearance. Hazy, a little more amber than most IPA's. Looks like a serious beer (whatever that means).

Smell- Pine, hops, and some fruits..can't exactly pick out which ones

Taste- Unlike any beer I've had. Some sips, it has powerful cirtusy and piney hops that challenge the drinker with bitterness and leave with a very dry finish. Then other sips, it's got a refreshing sweetness coming from juicy fruits...kind of like juicy-fruit gum (maybe not quite that sweet) with a very clean finish. It's bizzare, but makes it super flavorful AND insanely drinkable, which is a potent and marvelous combination.

Mouthfeel- It's very creamy with full carbonation. Coats the mouth nicely and lingers.

Overall- I already mentioned how drinkable this is for how hoppy and bitter it is. Why am I trading half this case again?

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Photo of drseamus
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice golden amber body. Slight amount of white head. I only poured about 2 ounces into the glass because the can specifically advises to "DRINK FROM THE CAN!"

S: If this smell eminated from my apartment the DEA would show up with cuffs. It is some dank shit. Tons of resiny hops and a good bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes like it smells. The natural thing to compare this to is Pliny. It is sweeter and more resiny than Pliny but on the same level for sure.

M: Thick and resiny. It sits heavy but leaves light. It is probably a bit heavier than I would like but definitely acceptable.

D: It's 8% so it's not exactly an all day drinker. That said, I would drink it all day if I could.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 pint can from recent trade with mountainsnow 1010--a big thanks!
No can dating.
The inscription implores "DRINK FROM THE CAN!".
Started that way, then realized I would not be able to comment on the appearance-Duh!.
Golden-orange, clear elixir poured into SA glass. Thin, white head, quickly dissipates. Nice lacing.
From the can, huge hop resin and floral notes--heaven to this hophead. After the pour, grapefruit, lime, sweet and tangy fruit explode. Wow.
This is all about the hop. Full bittersweet hop all over the tongue, smooths out to leave a nice tingling sensation across the landscape. Grapefruit to lemon aftertaste but the sweet hops do not die! Awesome!
Medium body, plenty of bubbles, alcohol hidden (cannot believe 8%).
This is a keeper and one that all hopheads should seek. The standard for DIPAs. Now you can argue that Hopslam is sweeter, but really, for those that crave the hops and all of its glorious characteristics, this is the one. And in a can. The debate is dead.

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Photo of wburch1967
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My buddy grabbed me two four packs from the Brewery in VT. Fresh canned two days ago!!

The appearance is a can. It says drink from the can. The can is an attractive can.

Smells of hoppy yumminess and the taste is a well balanced cascade of hoppy goodness.

the hype is deserved!!

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Photo of gp60
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been looking forward to this for a long time. Drove up to Vermont to get me a case. Yes it was worth the trip. Had one on Tap when in Waterbury. I had my first one from the case out of the can as directed the next day I had one from a tulip glass. was impressed with the smell or nose both ways. The appearance is the weak link here. Not ugly but a little hazy you might say. Dose not effect my felling towards the beer at all though but I scored it a 4,25 to be true.

I enjoyed the Heady Topper very much. It is a wonderful beer. One I can not recommend enough. I am enjoying my case with a select few and will drive back for an other when needed.

gp

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can't really tell what it looks like until you pour it out, comes out a hazy witbier (now with bigger chunks!) looking beer, but the vibrancy of the golden color is still nice, ample head size.

Aroma was just green vegetal hop madness. Lush and rich. Simcoe, amarillo for sure. Not really picking up bitterness, thankfully. Taste was more of the same, super awesome hop mouthfeel. Carbonation was just right. Take your pick you can taste and smell all the usual good hop adjetives. . . piney, grapefruit, citrus, green etc. . . this is dank. So nice, bitterness is so soft, hop taste so big. Seems like every other east coast ipa out there (not literally every) just makes an ipa with a shit ton of bitterness and no dry hop aroma or hop mouthfeel. Heady Topper takes a back seat to no one. Its not unique, it might as well be an uglier looking Pliny clone, tastes so similar.

Why try and reinvent the wheel when you can just mimic it and do a damn fine job doing it?

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Photo of dhitchcox
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

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Photo of Rob_pbr81
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent double IPA, there is a reason why this beer is #1. The smell, the taste, and the feel of this hoppy conconction of godliness are all there and do not disappoint. I'm hoping to get my hands on another 1 soon. Definitely worth the hype, cheers to Alchemist!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: poured a bit into a glass to get a look and drinking the rest from the can as advised. Cloudy medium gold. Nice enough white head, messy lacing that doesn't stick around long. Pretty enough though I guess looks aren't what this guy is all about.
smell: now that is a rich, creamy, citrusy nose. Orange, pine, mango....just bursting with citrus.
taste: Even better. I have to restrain myself from gulping. All those citrus flavors so perfectly melded. Damn.
overall: Extraordinary. I went back to poring in a glass. The can just didn't open the flavors like the glass pour. Maybe i'm not doing it right. Also notice the hop intensity dulls the mouth a bit. I'm not tasting as much as I drink more. In any case...wow.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, orange body. Small fizzy bubbles. Moderate retention.

S: Pine. Floral hops. Mangos. Citrus.

T: Tons of piney hops. Virtually zero malt character. Loads of mango, grapefruit. Hype - exceeded.

M: Oily. Medium body. Prickly. Booze completely hidden.

O: This is incredible. Enough said.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
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

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer isn't perfect, but it's damn near perfect. Smell is dank and tropical, but the taste is just remarkably better. Sweet mango, tropical fruits, followed by a pine dankness that's just amazing. A lingering amazing darkness that I've never really tasted like this before. The mouth feel is creamy and full, yet extremely drinkable still.

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Photo of Derek
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A=4: Hazy gold with plenty of yeast floaties, nice white head with plenty of retention, some lacing.

S=5: Just opening the can releases a plethora of grassy aroma that's a bit dank. Poured into the glass and it's still very dank, with mango, nectarine and candied pineapple.

T=4.5: Solid bitterness, but it's not overbearing. Initial hit is a bit briny, but that subsides to mango, papaya and candied pineapple... nectarine, tangerine, sponge toffee and hints of biscuit round out the flavour.

M=4.5: Slightly off-dry and very smooth, with some hop acidty.

O=4.5: Overall this is a really great brew. It doesn't have the assertive, piny, resiny bitterness of some, it's just a pleasant hop bomb. Low cohumulone hops?

HUGE thanks to Rutager!

I've had a couple more cans that were even fresher (without the yeast floaties), and I have to upgrade this review. Although cloudy, it pours with a nice head. Despite the amount of hops, body is incredibly smooth. Best thing in a can?

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Photo of grrrah
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can, 1/2 drank from can, 1/2 poured into a tulip. Probably about a month old, so could be fresher.

A - golden/orange with lots of sediment bits floating around. Man I hope things go well tomorrow.

S - Floral/piney dankness that you get from most double IPAs, Some slight tropical fruits and mango from the can. I let the tulip warm up a bit, and more of the fruits come out.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and clean, with a slight dryness. The hoppy bitterness comes out followed by the fruits. Fruity sweetness but not the malty sweetness that turns me off of a lot of double IPAs.

O - Great double IPA, which is my favorite type of beer. First east coast IIPA that meets its hype. I guess I'm more of a fan of the west cost IIPAs. It is different from the bigger pure hop bombs, and I would say have more character. Not sure that its tops, but its probably in my top 3 that would take turns with each other.

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Photo of carmike813
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this out of the can as the can directs the drink er to do.

It didnt have an appearance as i didnt see it, excellent beer that is dangerous. The 4 pack was gone in an hour. The bitter grapefruit taste makes Heady spectacular. Like stated before, dnagerously easy to drink.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, many thanks to SammyJaxxxx who sent me some of this out of the blue.

This may be the most hyped beer I have ever tried. The can instructs me not to put it in a glass. I put some in a glass anyway, because I want to compare. It tastes great in both, but the glass reveals the true reason for the warning. This is one ugly beer. But seriously, who cares?

Back to what matters. It smells great, both in and out of the can. It tastes like it should be the IPA reference type. As I drink it, I can't imagine a way to improve it. Carbonation is good, it's not a sticky mess -- in short, this lives up to the hype.

Just don't look at it.

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Photo of anteatr23
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | 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.

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Photo of Brabander
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer during a very nice tastingsession at doopiedoopiedoo's house where a bunch of Dutch BA came together.

Heady Topper is a very spectacular beer to start with.

All has been written before about this beer on this site....the only thing i can say is WHAT A FREEKIN BEER!!!

Cloudy yellow with a supersmell and dito taste and mouthfeel. Pineapple and other fruits all over the place!

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Photo of TallSaint
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

April 14th, 2013

In the nose pungent grapefruit, citrus, mango and other tropical fruits dominate. There's a bit of biscuit-y malt underneath.

On the palate the hops are very bright; layers and layers of hops barrage the palate. Grapefruit upfront then a bit of pine in the midpalate, then citrus with nice clean, sweet malty finish. The sweet malt balances out the hops and their bitterness excellently. It's dense and extremely well rounded on the palate.

Absolutely incredible. Best DIPA I've ever had, hands down. It has a hop profile like no other, its so vibrant and juicy.

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Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

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Photo of CayseyW
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Given the new rating system, I felt compelled to add a review to my score, even though this beer speaks for itself by now.

L: Well, it looks great in the can because of the great art, but when poured out into the glass its very rustic, cloudy brew. I actually love when beer looks like this, and I think it perfectly embodies the New England style.

S: Sometimes I get fresh-cut grass, spruce or pine, and other times it smells like slicing into a grapefruit.

T: Juicy citrus mouthful with piney notes. This is a super delicious beer, but you probably already knew that.

F: Ridiculous; the bitterness of this beer should be overwhelming but it's just so smooth on the front and backend. No booziness at all. Amazing carb, and a nice full mouthfeel, but also extremely drinkable.

O: While it's not my personal favorite DIPA, this beer deserves to be in the conversation for the best in the world. It's revolutionary and nearly flawless.

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Photo of frenchblood21
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks Dan (CaptCleveland) for including this as an extra. Only bosses do that.

Date of review is 6/7/14. The Can is about 11-14 days old. I can't wait.

Appearance- I will pour just a few ounces into a small tasting cup just to get an idea, but will drink most out of the can.

Smell- WOW! Peaches, mangoes and lime blast me. I also get strawberries and mint. Hop scent takes a far backseat to other delicious scents.

Taste- Super smooth are the first two words on my mind. Absolutely no alcohol burn whatsoever. At 8% I was expecting some. Biggest two flavors I get are hops and limes.

Mouthfeel- This beer is soooo velvety. It just disappears as soon as you take a sip. I think this can is magical, because I just want to chug the whole thing. Such a unique experience. My mouth is dry and hoppy all at once.

Overall- World-class beverage. Top 3-5 best IPAs I have ever tasted. Try to get this beer!

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Photo of spider05660
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like the label says, drink fresh. The first bottle, enjoyed within 24 hours of release was a joy and virtually the same as on draft.
Enjoyed the last bottle on New Years Eve and while still very nice, noticed reduction in the intense hop nose.
A: slightly hazy, amber color, medium head.
S: Bold hops first - sweet lemon and a little pine, hint of bread
Taste - pleasing citrus, bitter and not boozy or hot - very smooth.
M - medium, soft carbonation but clean and crisp to finish.
D - not quite session, but scary drinkable for 8%

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Photo of flayedandskinned
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

No Bottle date( it is two week's old, I had a buddy pick it up at the brewery in Vermont, big thanks to IPAkindaguy)
Poured into Sierra Nevada/Dogfish's IPA glass

Appearance: Pours a breathtaking hazy sunset gold with a thick, tight bubbled 2 finger white head that sticks around forever, leaving plenty of sticky lace as it recedes at a snail's pace. You can actually see raw hop particulate floating around in the glass. Awesome!

Aroma: Woah, an absolute tropical hop monster; Overt aromas of Pineapple, mango, passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit juice, light notes of pine and just a touch of catty astringency. While the hop aromatics are of some of the usual suspects, they really take on softer, yet very raw characteristics; The hops smell very potent, yet they aren't abrasive at all like a lot of imperial IPAs. There is a soft clean malt presence in the background that becomes more apparent as the beer warms.

Taste: HOP BOMB! Absolute gigantic waves of tropical goodness hits your palate right away; Juicy pineapple, grapefruit peel, resinous pine, passion fruit. There is a ubiquitous yeast presence that manifests itself in strong essence of peach; I've never picked up that note in a yeast before. The beer has a dry, assertive bitter finish that leaves raw impressions of grapefruit, pineapple, kiwi, pine needles, and a nice bready maltiness to help balance the beer on your tongue.

Mouthfeel: Very robust, oddly creamy and oily with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: A truly mind blowing and unique IPA; Its like John Kimmich at Alchemist took the best attributes of West Coast and East Coast IPAs and combined them; Birght fruity, citrusy hops (west coast)and a sizable slightly chewy mouthfeel(East Coast) but without the super malty back bone. I've never had a beer that really harnessed raw hop character as well as this beer. Smelling this beer is really like sticking your head inside a dry hop bag after home brewing. Alchemist's house yeast "Conan", really shines with it's peach forward esters. Truly magical stuff. While I don't prefer this beer over Pliny(mainly because Pliny is just so damn balanced, crisp and refreshing), this still is a beer every Hop Head should experience. Plus it's in a can! Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of SirBentham
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance – Drank straight from the can.

Smell – I would have liked to smell this in a glass, but the smell of hops and citrus jump out just sniffing out of the can.

Taste – Huge hops are incredibly well balanced with a sweet malt. A little bit less piney/citrus than a Pliny. More of a slightly toasted hop than the Pliny as well.

Mouthfeel – Perfect amount of carbonation. Medium body.

Overall – Excellent Double IPA. A slight step above Pliny The Elder and Alpine’s Pure Hoppiness for me.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,219 ratings.