Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,763 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,763
Reviews: 2,149
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 6.98%
Wants: 8,013
Gots: 3,325 | FT: 54
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: 10,763 | Reviews: 2,149
Photo of Nparee813
3.58/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good brew but a little overrated

Photo of BigBadBaptist88
3.58/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This was such a let down. I've had almost every beer on the top 250 list and I can name 10 beers that are better than this one. Womp.

Photo of MrDennis
3.6/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A good beer but definitely overrated

Photo of TheDudeRules
3.65/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very hazy amber pour. Sediment is suspended throughout. Two fingers of pillowy off white head. Scant lacing is left behind on my glass. Hops and citrus collide in my nose. Looks and smell are living up to the hype. The first striking character upon taste is the creaminess. Incredibly so especially for an ipa. Pine and grapefruit up front. Sweetness to finish the swallow. Ends lightly bitter. Honestly it is not as hoppy as I expected. Very easy to drink regardless that it is an imperial.

I find I had a preconceived notion on what it was going to be. Pure greatness. Well, it isn't. It's damn good but not as much so as the hype train says. I'm trying not to have a mind explosion right now. All hail the king of imperial, Abrasive from Surly.

Photo of BStalf21
3.66/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

not sure what all the hype is about. A really good beer but not even in my top 10 of imp ipas let alone top overall. Seemed like a good one dimensional hop bomb. I tried a Hop Henge from Deschutes in the same night and i have to say I was more impressed with that beer then heady.

Photo of pants678
3.66/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow/orange body with a fluffy white head.

A honey-like sweetness and very floral.

Bread and not quite grapefruit but still a tangy fruit flavor. Spicy and not quite as sweet as the nose. Not bitter, as advertised, but a little metallic (or maybe alcoholic). I saw it's a combination of six hops, the only one I'm sure of is simcoe. After that, possibly cascade, possibly amarillo.

A softer finish, kind of a sticky beer.

Photo of BigAl18
3.68/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Admittedly, I'm not a huge DIPA guy, but I don't get it. Cloudy and not as smooth as I thought it would be. Aftertaste lingers forever. Not horrible but I expected much more.

Photo of treeslothguy
3.69/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just ok...possible I got an older can. No date listed anywhere I could see.

Photo of schuess10
3.7/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a 4 pack while driving through Vermont. Solid IPA but certainly not the best beer in the world. I don't get the hype.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.72/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- Orange in color, with a good clingy IPA head.

S- Smells spicy in hop aroma. Definitely an East Coast IPA in that the hops aren't bright and citrusy, but more earthy and vegetal.

T- Tastes of an EC IPA. It tasted solid, but I don't like the hop profile.

M- Solid mouthfeel, I like a good thick IPA.

0- Overall it wasn't a bad beer. Would I want to buy more, no not me personally.

Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

9/17/2011

I'm enjoying my fourth or fifth can as I write this review. Snifter.

A: Dark orange with some cloudiness and a finger of white foam. Lacing is scattered and retention is good.

S: Bright citrus notes, with tangerine, orange, grapefruit, and a dash of pine. There's quite a bit more malt in this can than I found in the bottle I tried, imparting some bread and caramel.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with no evident alcohol. Malt imparts bread, biscuit, and caramel. Once again, this is quite a bit maltier than the bottle I enjoyed last year, and decidedly less bitter. I get orange, grapefruit, and a little melon. Dank pine is evident throughout.

M: Medium in body with an upper low level of carbonation. The general theme seems to be lower carbonation with these cans.

Overall: This is good, but it's not on the same level as the bottle I had in 2010. This seems much maltier and the hops aren't as vibrant. It's also a bit heavy on the palate due to the low carbonation.

Photo of givemestout
3.75/5  rDev -20.7%

Don't see the big deal here. Very similar to many other citrusy DIPA's with a little creaminess to it.

Photo of leschkie
3.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can poured into a tulip. Courtesy of huadog (thanks Russ, you rock buddy).

Pours a vibrant burnt apricot with a white frothy head. Moderate lacing decorates the glass as I continue to guzzle this baby down. Smells of citrus fruits, grapefruit, and malt. Piney hops I was looking for seem to be mellowed down quite a bit in the nose. Taste is very smooth, pretty much zero bitterness whatsoever. Hops (thank goodness) makes its appearance as the beer rolls around my tongue. I was tempted to call in a search party to look for any bitterness from the hops, but it appears it will just remain on the missing persons report. Mouthfeel is quite impressive. Overall, it's a good DIPA. However, I have had better.

Photo of ELS
3.77/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A good but overrated DIPA. Good hops profile and a solid malt backbone but nothing about it was overly impressive. As has been said in many other BA reviews before, I've had better IPAs and DIPAs. Maybe the cans I have aren't the freshest? Honestly, if it had a wide distribution I believe this beer would drop out of the top 10 on the BA 250. Does anybody remember Westy 12 being #1 a couple years ago? After their 12/12/12 release in the US that beer has steadily moved down to #12. I certainly won't seek out Heady again unless it's straight from the brewery.

Had another chance to drink Heady. This time I was assured that the beer was fresh. It was picked up from the brewery about two weeks before I drank it. My opinion hasn't changed. I just don't see what's all that great about this beer. It has a good hop profile but I can think of five IPAs off the top of my head I like better. I think I'll put this one to rest.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.78/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's in a can. It appears as a silver can. I got the last bit of the can at a tasting, and at the can's insistence, consumed it out of the can.

Powerful fresh grassy hops are immediately apparent despite the can.

Bitter, powerfully grassy west-coast US hops. Slight undertone of honey, but not nearly enough to balance. One dimensional, perhaps, but good at that dimension.

Decent but a bit fizzy, almost prickly.

Well, it's an IPA, and it's a good one.

Photo of pepsican
3.8/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like dirty sewer water dumped into a light beer, smaller off white head. Aroma is tropical fruit, marijuana, onions. Similar flavor, lots of onions, garlic, tomato, juicy fruit, papaya, and orange. Bitter finish, pretty dry for the ABV. Reminds me exactly of what Toppling Goliath is doing around here.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.81/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 16oz tallboy to my Hess Imperial pint glass on 12/15/11
*From notes

-- Many thanks to the multiple BA's who've hooked me up with generous pours and fresh cans of this over the last few weeks. --

A: It looks like a really dingy cider. A good pour yields a fluffy 1.5 finger white head and solid retention. It should be noted that there are large white gobs floating around in the beer. Some settle. Some don't.

S: Wonderful bouquet. Juicy hop oil, it's got that island fruit vibe all over it.

T: It's hoppy alright, yet it's quite bready and rather bitter too. There's not a massive amount of complexity to it, it's simply an easy drinking beer that comes off more like a low key IPA then an Imperial.

M: Meh. It feels alright, but it's not gonna blow any skirts up or anything.

O: Having had large amounts of this at three separate tastings in a six week period, I can honestly say that Heady Topper is a grossly overrated beer. It's not bad, in fact it's a very pleasant brew. It simply doesn't reach the heights one would expect from it's rDev. Don't go out of your way to attain this. I know I won't.

Photo of Prospero
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light in color sort of a amber straw, nice white head and good aroma, not as much aroma as I would have expected, but good citrus and flower comes through. Also drank out of the can as suggested. The taste is nice and smooth, great drinkability. Maybe not as well balanced as others, the bitterness seems to linger with this one and I think it tends to take over the thin malt base. Great beer overall, but needs a bit better balance.

Photo of riotontheroad
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure if Im just jaded by all of these wonderful west coast ipas at my disposal, or if this just doesnt live up to the hype. Either way, it was just ok imo.

Photo of Murchmac
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to masterhomebrewer to try this beer. I really wanted to compare it to PtY

Pours an orangey amber with yellow highlights and a white head.

Piney and citrusy, smells not overwhelming but pleasant.

Taste follows the nose, almost really fresh sweet taste that hangs in your mouth,

Not resinous like a good DIPA should be, and really really light and thin.

Although pleasant was like drinking hop water. It was good but not worth trading the farm away. PtY is a lot better.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours a really dark, murky shade of dark orange with a one finger offwhite head. Looks....ugly, actually

S- nice aroma of tropical fruits, getting a lot of mango out of this

T- taste is a little muted, so I'm not sure how fresh this is...nice bit of citrus with a slight bitter finish. But man, is it muted. Can't be fresh

M- medium bodied. Fine for a DIPA

O- I was assured this was fresh...with no dating, I can't be sure. It's still good, but is it world class? Not in this state, it's not

Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry, I had to pour into the glass despite the can's pleading to drink directly. Thick, slowly receding head. Leaves plenty of chunky, blanketing lace. Cloudy, dark gold color.

Very strong evergreen hop smell. Prickly with a touch of citrus rind. Like smelling a bag of hop pellets.

Extraordinarily bitter. Starts off fairly neutrally with a bit of mild pale malt. Still this is a bitter, bitter hop bomb. Be prepared to pucker up. Hop heads shall rejoice, but I think this might be too much of a good thing (and I lean towards more hoppy beers). The body is predictable and appropriate for the style.

I was very excited to find this beer in Boston, but its hype exceeds my expectations.

Photo of paulmack69
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Got these via a trade with someone from New Hampshire so I'm not sure how fresh they are. I believe he bought them before he shipped them to me. My first impression was not that great for an IPA. It initially tasted just liked steeped hops. Almost like someone just made tea with a bag of hops. Maybe I was drinking it too cold. My second and third cans seemed much better. Maybe I just had to appreciate it more. I still think there are other better DIPA's out there in my opinion. If you love hops then this is the beer for you as it is all hops and nothing else.

Photo of maximum12
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to baconsausage for shipping this towards the Arctic Circle along with a slate of other great beers. The IPA fiend in me has really been looking forward to this one. 22 oz. bottle split into two pint glasses, with the floaties & several ounces left for later potential rumination.

Pour is wide-mouth orange, clear without the hop poop left in the bottom of the bottle. Smell is startlingly bitter, citrus, pine, & touches of raw onion.

Heady Topper is perhaps the oiliest IPA that's crossed my mucous barrier. Bitterness street-sweeps the senses, separating into grapefruit, citrus, & a knifeful of onion. Strangely reminiscent of Gubna. Definite tang in the back-end, astringent, before the bitterness throttles the life out of everything else in the finish. Strangely, it affects my tongue more than anything else. Bizarre.

Very drying, invitingly sippable, this is a very good beer, but not sure what all the hoopla is about. Not to say I'd ever turn one down!

Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to Johnmichaelson and Kurmaraja! 2 cans of Heady in one week! I prefer the glass, and the brewery wants you to drink straight from the can. What do you do? Have them side-by-side! This will be a combined review from a straight pint glass, and the 16oz can, switching between sips as I watched the Talladega NASCAR race.

Big piney and citrusy hops wafted out of both cans, whetting my appetite for this much hyped brew. The beer poured a very cloudy, barely translucent, orange color with about 1/2 inch of just off-white head that moderate retention and low lacing.

As mentioned, lots of citrus and pine hops upfront in the aroma, with a low, almost nonexistent malt profile. The taste was the same, tons of hops and low malts. The beer from the can seemed harsher and more bitter, not in an entirely pleasant way, than the beer from the glass. The flavors were smoother and more even from the glass.

The body was fairly typical for the style, but this is one of the driest finishing beers I've ever had. I'm almost thirsty after finishing each drink. Drinkability was dangerously good, I could see a 4-pack disappearing before you realize it. Overall, a very good brew, one that almost matches the hype that surrounds it (which is not the fault of either the beer or the brewery). Certainly a must try if given the chance. Thanks again Ryan and John!

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,763 ratings.