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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,911 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,911
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.74
pDev: 6.96%
Wants: 7,052
Gots: 2,688 | FT: 40
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 (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,911 | Reviews: 1,903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elgiacomo
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can...supposedly canned on Feb 14th 2012, but no date noted on the can. Served at around 45F. Big thanks to Ryan for this trade!!!

Pours very hazy if not a bit chunky orange with a one finger off-white head that retains well and leaves some rings of lacing behind.

Aroma is fresh orange, tangerine and grapefruit citrus, pineapple and peaches, some sniffs tend more toward a dank and piney hop profile. Overall a citrus and fruity hop bomb. Malt? Why bother... Very good to excellent strength.

Flavor is an onslaught of all the things that make a great IPA. Tons of orange, tangerine and grapefruit citrus, pineapple, some pine, resinous and a little dank, minimal malt backbone, fantastic strong bitterness on the finish and a bit of alcohol. Super JUICY!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and sticky with good carbonation.

An incredible, world-class Double IPA that is more than worthy of all the praise it receives. Very complex for the style, it’s got a little of everything a hophead desires. While I should be going slow and savoring my only can, this is dangerously drinkable and going down pretty fast. Fantastic!

Photo of juhl31
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewing the taste 1st out of the can as suggested before i pour in a glass to review the rest.

-pours a light orange color with a good looking white head on top. it leaves both above average retention and lacing. there is a good amount of hop sediment lingering within

-big time grass, weed mix with a hint of grapefruit

-big time hop flavor right off the bat. the hop flavors for me are grass mainly with a bit of grapefruit following behind. after this some malt sweetness rolls in to balance out the big hop flavor leaving a lot of hop resins, but not a big lingering bitterness

-there is a good body on this one with a lot of hop oiliness that coats the mouth tools

-i got a 4 pack of this on tuesday. drank the 1st the night of and it was pretty epic. i was a bit bummed to find by friday that the hop smell and flavor had changed so much. most of the flavor and smell was still there, it had just gained some soapy, harsh accent. for this i cant give it a 5 in both those categories. that being said, this is a great IIPA and i would put it right behind both plinys and citra. it just didnt have an unbelievability to it in certain areas like those

Photo of beesy
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a Sam Adams nucleation glass. Thanks DonFrap for including it in the last trade.

A - pours a light orange with a one finger eggshell colored head that dissipates within minutes. It's really cloudy and looks more like chill haze cloudiness than non-filtered cloudiness. A fair bit of sediment apparent.

S - this is where this beer shines in my eyes. A hop explosion filled with tropical notes dominating(mango, pineapple and grapefruit) with a touch of pine. Oranges. A fair amount of alcohol/booze detected in the aroma.

T - hop dominated/hop forward as apparent in the nose. Same hops(appears to be lots of Simcoe) in the taste as in the nose. A fairly clean, firm bitterness lingers. Slightly boozy. A little letdown compared to the aroma, but still an excellent hoppy beer.

M - on the medium-light side.

D - not as easy to drink as I expected. The hight bitterness and boozy aspcect hinder the drinkability.

Overall, a very fine beer. I think the hype factor drives up the ratings of this guy a little, but it's very very good. A little more boozy than I liked for the fairly low IIPA 8%abv. The appearance turned me off a bit - it's almost like the brewery knows they hit on all the other aspects and got lazy with the visuals. Glad I got to try it and will pick some up when I have the opportunity.

Photo of corby112
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to mkabull and AutumnBeerLove for sending me fresh cans(on the same day)!

Pours a hazy golden orange with tangerine hues and a 1.5 finger white foam head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.

Dank, uber-fresh hop aroma with lots of resinous hop oils and grassy pine along with a ton of citrus and tropical fruit character. Spicy with hints of pine needle, orange peel, grapefruit, mango and pineapple as well as a subtle biscuity malt presence.

Chewy fully body with a blast on dry, oily hops that linger over the sweeter fruit notes and subtle malt backbone into a nice dry finish. The hop profile is pretty complex with dry, earthy pine needle flavor countered by sweet citrus and tropical fruit notes. Hints of papaya, mango, pineapple, grapefruit and orange peel give this beer some nice sweetness and great balance without overpowering the bitterness. In fact, these two flavors continuously bounce off of each other back and forth throughout. In addition, there is a faint malt presence which gives the beer a good backbone, again without taking anything away from the hops. Toward the finish there is slight boozy heat but overall the ABV is very well masked and this beer is dangerously quaffable.

This beer is legit, living up to the hype I wish that I had easier access so I could add it to my regular rotation.

Photo of Dools9
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Can split with a friend.

A: Hazy orange, lots of sediment, finger of off white head, minimal lacing some alcohol legs.

S: God this smells good, loads upon loads of citrusy fruity flavors, mangos, pineapple, lemons, just a touch of piney resin. Modest sweet bready malt backbone.

T: Tropical fruits, pineapples, citrus fruits, grapefruits resinous pine. Decent touch of sweet malt, just excellent.

M: I really could not believe how smooth and drinkable this was for 8%. Medium bodied, pretty well carbonated, hop oil coats the mouth and leaves a long lasting hop finish.

O: What can I say, privledged to have tried it, and I think this is probably the best IIPA I have had. Too bad its so hard to get.

Photo of Mississipping
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint tall can poured into a fantome tulip glass.  I, too, could not bring myself to drink straight out of the can, but I have another one that I will give it a whirl with.

A: Pours a hazy, darker copper color with a two finger off-white head that rises quickly from a violent pour and settles slowly and gently to almost nothing but a thin ring.  Heavy, frothy lacing is left behind on the glass.

S: Delicious red grapefruit, tangerine, and orange rind right up front.  Very nice pine resin and resiny and floral hops along with a touch of sweet caramel are a little more subtle but quite present.  There's a very, very slight hint of a grassiness that hides in the background, that offers just a bit more complexity to the aroma.  Really nicely balanced between resiny bitterness and sweetness. 

T: Juicy and fruity up front with some plenty of citrus fruits bursting out of the glass.  The orange and tangerine are a little more prominent in the flavor, with the grapefruit making itself known, but taking backstage.  The pine resin and hops compete with the fruitiness, but can't quite put up a fight.  There is a subtle sweetness that sneaks in here and there that manifests itself in the form of caramel, which is a great dimension that isn't overly sweet.  The finish is comprised of floral hops, a touch of orange zest, and a slight grassiness.  Delicious!

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly sticky on the tongue.  Starts out mostly sweet with juicy citrus fruits and then transitions to a slightly bitter finish.  Really well balanced, though, without an overwhelming quality on either end.  Just a little drying at the finish. 

D: This is a really, really tasty and really well balanced DIPA.  Like the can says, it's not the most hoppy, but it's really tasty and really well balanced.  A real treat to get to try this and one that can stand up to some of the best from out west.  I look forward to getting a few more cans down the road.

Photo of tjfilippo
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Coleybeerman
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Welcome to Massachusetts The Alchemist Heady Topper!

A - Poured into a Duvel glass with a hazey orange color and a thick head that dissapated quicker than I expected.

S - Piney, Ctrus, Resinous Herb like nose if you know what I mean!

T - Spicey hop bitterness. Warm alcohol, with a resinous piney Citrus flavor that lingers.

M - Full body with a bitterness that imparts an almost chewable mouthfeel.

O - I really enjoy the aggressiveness of the hop aroma and abv/hop forward flavor and mouthfeel.

When it comes to beers of this caliber I am not looking for smoothness.. I like my senses to be awoken and this beer delivers.

Photo of jcartamdg
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden orange with a head that is thick and fluffy and retains. Aroma of bold citric and piney hops that is in your face in a good way, generous malts to back it up. Taste follows nose, so good so amazing. Smooth and easy to drink, I love this beer, it will perpetually stay in my wants!

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a Heady Topper as an extra from Stakem and then the next day a box landed from Tanger that had another one of these cans, I can't tell you how pumped I was to recieve these. Thanks a bunch guys.
I poured about 3-4oz. of the beer into a glass just so I could see what it looked like and give it a sniff, the rest I drank straight out of the can as directed and it felt great.
The beer that was poured came out a hazy almost murky gold with a fairly small white head that left some lacing.
The nose was dominated by sweet citrus notes with orange, grapefuit, pineapple and cumquat.
The tast was also pretty intense with citrus juice and pine flavors that did not present themselves on the nose. There was a slight malt presence that brought it all together.
This beer has insane drinkability with a smooth and creamy body followed with good carbonation.
This is a great DIPA that lives up to the expectations and belongs at the top with the best of them.
Huge thanks again Stakem and Tanger for giving me a chance to have some of this.
Oh and I am going to be a D-bag and not recycle this can because I'm saving it. Love it.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an affordable can at farmhouse tap in burlington. they say drink it from the can, but i poured it for more careful study. it looks lovely, hazy, definitely unfiltered. radiant hay color with thick white suds floating on top that leave some mean lacing as it drinks. smells like quite the hop bouquet. grapefruit and spruce are the most prominent hop esters im picking up, but there are many. it tastes like it smells, deep and complex, worthy of patient consumption. its fruity, in addition to citrus there is also nectarine and mandarin orange on my tongue. its got upbeat carbonation which keeps its oily medium taffy sticky body moving along. the aftertaste is long and bittersweet, as it should be. alcohol is well hidden in taste, but can certainly be felt. this is one hell of a big ipa, and i dont want to hear anymore debate about pliny/heady, because both are outstanding and distinct brews, and that should suffice for all of us.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks merc for sharing this, super stoked to try this.

The beer pours a hazy golden amber with a white head that fades quickly. There is some thin lacing, but I'm not really letting it sit long enough to cling to the sides. The nose is potent, orgasmic citrus hops with some potent ethanol. The beer drinks like a sweet hop elixer with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slightly lingering bitterness. Excellent beer for a reasonable price, and yes, this one is definitely worth the hype.

Photo of indiapaleale
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here we go...

Pour - when poured into a glass Head Topper is an apricot color with about a half inch of white bubbly head that fades fairly quickly but leaves some nice lacing. Its slightly hazy with some sediment settlling at the bottom of the glass. When you drink it straight from the can (I'm not crazy, read the can) it's all just a mystery - a deliciously hoppy mystery.

Aroma - pungent, citrusy, floral, sinus-clearing and downright heavenly. One of the best smelling IPAs we've come across - so fresh and so clean. Lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose. Wow. I think you can get a contact buzz off this...

Taste - one sip and you know you've stumbled upon something special. This is fresh times a thousand. Big flavors of grapefruit and hop resins abound. My mouth is puckering within seconds and my tongue is starting to succumb voluntarily to the 120 IBUs this is hop-forward beauty is packing. I'm completely surrendering to this beer. It really hits all the marks perfectly for the style and makes me wonder what I'm going to do after my last can is gone. Like hops? Like style perfection, freshness and in your face goodness? This is for you.

Overall - fantastic! One of the best big, hoppy IPAs that we've ever tasted. Big, floral aroma with tons of chewy, piny, citrusy flavor and smooth finish that keeps you wondering if you might just be able to finish one more can. The strength, 8% ABV, is hardly noticeable with this amazingly smooth and drinkable delight. When you focus all of your attention on brewing just ONE amazing beer its hard to expect anything less than greatness and this embodies just that.

Note - When you look at a can of Heady Topper it might be hard not to notice that the can actually reads along the top, "DRINK FROM THE CAN". The back of the can explains the reasoning behind this and I can honestly say that it tastes fantastic poured into a glass or straight from the can. This is an absolutely amazing beer any way you enjoy it.

Photo of NeedBeerHere
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a nice orange in color in color with a small white head that dissipated quick. Smell is really fruity with orange, mango, and pineapple with a little a tiny bit of malt but it is so in the background that the hops are the forefront. Taste is really fruity with all that was in the nose but there is a tiny bit more bitter hops in the background that sits in the mouth and really meld well with all he other stuff going on. Mouthfeel is actually quite thick for the style and really adds a lot to the beer. Overall this is an amazing beer that is hopped so well that it's a very hard beer to beat for the style. It is world class!!!

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ted!

Had out of the can, and in a glass.

Pours bright orange with white head. Theres bits of hops floating around, some are green and some are bright white.

Actually smells better out of the can. All the aroma hops of pine needles, fresh grapefruit, and hints of lemon.

Taste is pretty much exactly what the nose leads you to believe. Grapefruit takes the lead, but dont forget about pine needles and lemon zest. Unlike Pliny, there is a pervading bitterness that just goes about a full-frontal assault on your tongue.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured. Floaties, as you know. Cloudy medium amber with a thick resinous depth and minimal head but thick frothy residual on the sides

S: Can't do better than this. It's like boring your nose into mother earth's hop vagina. Heaven. Best clean citrusy smell of any IPA I've come across (Ephraim's smell is quite an experience too but not citrusy per say, more like it's alive like a luscious liquid swamp thing)

T: Sharp bittering attack up front and definitely the dominant component of the taste. Slowly transitioned some deafened citrusy flavors, hit with another punch of bitterness, then lulled out with a dampening dryness that lulls the taste buds into enjoyment of their anesthesia. Slightly lacking dimension wise (I know, I know).

M: Very very neutral for a big IPA, minimal dryness and residue. Appropriate carbonation - slightly above average.

O: Definitely enjoy it more poured than out of a can haha. The can restrains the aroma and taste imo. CANNOT beat the price here. I've had it on tap at the brew pub and only thought it was slightly above average. This is the most enjoyable Heady Topper I've had yet.

*Also better canned than on draft.

Photo of FoundersPounder
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of the can, from multiple fresh deliveries in VT. Thee hops, citrus, pine, and malt come together perfectly. Not the biggest fan of drinking from cans, but it seems thats the brewers preference. Not much booze until it warms up, which makes that 8% catch up with you fast, but the cans also warns you off this. Listen. The can makes it feel like a session beer but it's far for a session beer. Def one of my favorites, but meant to be shared, paired, and part of tastings

Photo of Khaack
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of smanson56
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of crossovert
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

473ml can.

The pour is a nice hazy amber with a foamy white head that leaves a good amount of lacing. Sure, not the prettiest brew but good enough that the Brewers shouldn't be ashamed of it leaving the can.

The smell is awesome when you pour it out, better than sniffing it form the can. It has a great deal of tropical mango and cane sugar. Very resiny. Kind of one-dimensional but in a way that I love.

The flavor is really nice. It has a mellow front end with sugar and melon being the main flavors. There is a bit of pale graininess in the beginning that is that sweet biscuity type which is awesome. The finish is bitter with some nice pine. It is pretty balanced with sweetness all the way through and a nice bitterness at the end. It prob could have had a pinch more bitterness to make it absolutely perfect. I feel it actually is sweeter in the glass than in the can, odd but that is what it seemed like.

Glad I got to try this, I am often let down by hype, but this one is delicious and worth tracking down.

Photo of Keeper642
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper, $9 can at Blind Tiger in NYC, to benefit Vermont farmers affected by Hurricane Irene.

Appearance: Poured by bartender (damn!) and filled to the brim, the Topper comes with evident carbonation and about one-half finger of snow-like head. Good retention, beautiful lacing.

Dirty hazy orange color, straight from the farm, just like Hill Farmstead and other artisanal brews.

Smell: The juiciness and hops and fresh citrus comes through on the can already! On the glass is actually less pronounced. Fresh squeezed orange juice, a bit of lemon. Maybe they're right about drinking it from the can...

Taste: Follows nose, only more intensified. Clear juicy hops, bright citrus. Pomelo, candied orange. Whole-cone hops, so fresh they hurt. But never overwhelming. This is no West Coast IPA pounding you in the face.

Mouthfeel: Very well balanced, with almost full body and flavor, medium carbonation. A little watery around the edges but not terrible. Very fresh and never dry, didn't need any water.

Overall: Extremely drinkable. Extremely fresh. Extremely hoppy. Extremely WOW!

Photo of KMitch
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of WS_Transplant
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mtdewa1
4.48/5  rDev -5.5%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,911 ratings.