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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

7,505 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,505
Reviews: 1,568
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,849
Gots: 1,374 | FT: 38
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 (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,505 | Reviews: 1,568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheBungyo
TheBungyo

Washington

3.26/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

When a beer reaches the lofty heights of a Heady Topper it feels almost unfair to pen a review. After all, how could I possibly review it based solely on it's merits and deficiencies? Most everyone will either praise it's strengths whilst ignoring the faults or harp on flaws and turn a blind eye toward the many amazing things this drink does so superbly.

If I'm honest, and I'm certainly making a valiant attempt, the color is spectacular. It really is the perfect color for a double IPA. Any darker and it'd be obvious this beer would be far too sweet. Sadly though, it's just too damn cloudy. I can't express the amount of pride I feel as a homebrewer when I pour something I brewed and the body is the proper color and you can see through it like a window. This doesn't happen with this one. Great? Yes. Flawed? Well, that's a second yes.

Fortunately the nose ups the game even more. The malt is assertive, whilst the hops fight for dominance. It's nothing short of a tapestry of aromas: orange, peach, pineapple, and maybe some mango. A sip reveals some pleasant booze, while maintaining hop presence. Lots of tropical notes dance seductively alongside malty sugary caramel. The big problem arises in the finish. Where it should be bitter the sweetness slams on the gas floods the palate like an uninvited guest. After half a can or so, the sweetness becomes overpowering for me.

One of the great things about this brew is the price. The Alchemist could have taken the opportunity to charge through the nose for a beer with this reputation but it certainly is fair. I'm sure if I lived in the distribution area I'd come back to Heady Topper again since the price is very reasonable. That's despite the fact that it doesn't wow me like it does most people. Certainly worth a shot to see if it ever clicks with me.

Serving type: can

11-18-2013 16:35:54 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of Auracom
Auracom

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I knew I'd tick this one eventually without having to actively seek it out. Success! Thanks Dan for the share on your extra. 2 oz. into a tulip so I could mark the visuals and aroma, another 3-4 oz. straight from the can on June 14th, 2013.

A - Lightly cloudy, murky medium-golden color with an enormously bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Deeply resinous, pine-sol, rouge, slightly burnt caramel, touch of peach and herbs.

T - It's really better balanced than I thought it would be. That being said, the hops are sharp, overly-acidic, and disappointingly simple. Grapefruit rind, toasted almond, and lemon peel.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, very dry (even sour-like) finish.

D - I'm a bit stunned in a bad way. There are scores of other IPA/DIPA's I would choose over this particular can. Another revisit? I don't know.

Serving type: can

06-21-2013 15:20:04 | More by Auracom
Photo of greg1973
greg1973

California

3.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had side by side with Surly Abrasive and Pliny. By far finished last! Sorry, good for an east coast IPA, but no match for west coast. Pours a cloudy opaque orange color, odd chalky mouthfeel, and a little thick for the style. Prefer a cleaner, crisper, more bitter, hop forward IPA. I see why they want you to drink from the can, not a good looking beer at all! Taste not too far off. Not even in my top ten. Sorry.

Serving type: can

11-15-2013 04:44:16 | More by greg1973
Photo of LSx
LSx

California

3.35/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from the can into Duvel tulip.

A - I understand why they want you to drink it from the can, pretty bad appearance for such a highly rated beer - cloudy light gold color, lots of sediment/dregs that float around in the glass.

S - Definitely interesting smells, peach, banana, not so much pine as is common with the big IPA's.

T - Moderate bitterness, good malt background but the fruit notes overpower the traditional citrus and pine.

M - Good carbonation level

O - Hate being harsh on such a well reviewed beer that I had trouble acquiring, but the three of us tasting this beer at the same time were all quite disappointed in just how mediocre it was. Once you take into account the terrible appearance and odd fruitiness, it's definitely a beer that I will not look to get again.

Serving type: can

04-24-2013 17:36:54 | More by LSx
Photo of leftde18
leftde18

Massachusetts

3.4/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a can from the Warren Store

A-N/A, Drank from the can

S-Piney and herbaceous but without pouring it out, definitely underwhelming in my opinion

T-Hops on hops on hops, so much so that it obscured the hoppy nuances I was hoping for. Bright, fresh pine sap overwhelms at first, it followed by a pleasant bitter finish. There are other notes of citrus under the sappiness but my pallet was overwhelmed quickly by hop-power before I could pick them out

M-Viscosity trumps its carbonation and it feels sticky, like a liqueur. I didn't really like it, especially towards the end.

O-I could not find this beer's finesse, there were TONS of hop flavors but they didn't sing in symphony. I would buy it again, but I would not seek it out.

Serving type: can

06-09-2012 23:07:44 | More by leftde18
Photo of abriggs1
abriggs1

Connecticut

3.45/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Here it is folks, the single most overrated beer in drinking history. I've been a beer fanatic for a decade and a half, and the beer drinking world has a lot to answer for on this one. The best beer in the world? What a joke. I wouldn't even put this in the top 10 of IPA's let alone beers of any style.

I'm not saying this is a bad beer. It's just criminally over-hyped and overrated.


Let's start with the obvious; drinking this beer out of the can as it says to do on the very can you're supposed to drink this out of = a bad idea. It's much better in a glass, and the right glass with a tulip shape will make the aromas even better. I guess the whole drinking from the can thing is little more than a hipster ideal. I certainly hope this trend doesn't continue.

The hops are right in your face, but ultimately unbalanced. Anyone can throw way too many hops into a beer. But it takes real skill and finesse to create a hoppy beer that's balanced and drinkable. There are heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds on the front. And then heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds in the aftertaste. The malt backbone is there, but it's too faint to balance out the assault of hops.

So far, the best IPA I've had was another Vermont brew; Lawson's Hopzilla, which I gave a perfect score. It's the perfect DIPA. When I die, I want to be embalmed with it.

Other IPA's that are better than Heady Topper: Ballast Point's Sculpin. Hooker's Hop Meadow IPA. New England Brewing's Gandi-Bot, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, Southern Tier's 2xIPA, Southern Tier's Hoppe, Southern Tier's Unearthly, 21st Amendment's IPA, Hill Farmstead's Abner, Rock Art's Belgo American IPA, and others that I'll probably think of later.

I've never been so embarrassed for the beer community for rating this so highly. My fear is that the beer scene is being overrun by a bunch of hipsters who think that exclusivity is more important than the art of brewing. Heady Topper is hard to get. That doesn't make it the best beer in the world. People are rating this beer so highly because they want to brag that they drank it. In a blind taste test of the world's best IPAs, Heady Topper would lose miserably.

Serving type: can

10-18-2013 01:15:39 | More by abriggs1
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger slightly-yellowed clingy head over a cloudy and particulated puke-tan liquid. Smells of green onion and wild garlic (Summit hops) with pine and sharp grapefruit pith. Baby aspirin and lemony tropical fruits. Comes across as a blast of very fresh Summit hops.

Tastes sharp bitter with flat oily bitter to complement. Nice malt sweet that blends with the green onion flavor. Juicy hops. Tin, no esters, but nice barley grain flavor. Acidic sour from the hops almost comes across as lactic. Finishes with baby aspirin (Simcoe hops) and a very resiny pine aftertaste. Very grassy rich in cohumulone. Too strong of carbonation. Carb and clean alcohol sting lift the beer from the tongue early. Creamy body is interrupted by rough hops and clean alcohol sting.

A decent beer, but would be *much* better with different hops. I find Summit hops sickening and can't wait for the trend to pass on by. Big disappointment. Judged to style, so scored higher than my palette would offer. The can says "drink from the can!" It was not as good from a can as from a glass.

Serving type: can

07-04-2013 06:07:56 | More by mentor
Photo of readicculus
readicculus

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -26%

04-26-2013 14:42:49 | More by readicculus
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Scott414

New York

3.5/5  rDev -26%

03-25-2013 17:03:53 | More by Scott414
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raymo55

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -26%

01-08-2012 00:30:55 | More by raymo55
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Sailracer


3.5/5  rDev -26%

04-27-2012 01:26:07 | More by Sailracer
Photo of charlesw
charlesw

New York

3.5/5  rDev -26%

02-08-2012 15:32:41 | More by charlesw
Photo of HoudiniRN
HoudiniRN

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -26%

04-25-2014 22:56:38 | More by HoudiniRN
Photo of GrogEqualsCourage
GrogEqualsCourage

New Hampshire

3.5/5  rDev -26%

05-18-2012 13:47:11 | More by GrogEqualsCourage
Photo of hopkrid
hopkrid

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -26%

07-20-2013 23:41:01 | More by hopkrid
Photo of Bryantnicholasoneill
Bryantnicholasoneill

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -26%

06-26-2014 02:18:59 | More by Bryantnicholasoneill
Photo of starny
starny

New York

3.5/5  rDev -26%

02-27-2014 17:32:48 | More by starny
Photo of tikk
tikk

New York

3.5/5  rDev -26%

01-01-2014 06:20:27 | More by tikk
Photo of Lantern
Lantern


3.5/5  rDev -26%

04-23-2013 20:29:55 | More by Lantern
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
Mikeluzzjr

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -26%

03-24-2014 01:16:20 | More by Mikeluzzjr
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Steimie

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -26%

05-04-2012 18:14:41 | More by Steimie
Photo of sparx1100
sparx1100

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -26%

12-10-2013 02:54:18 | More by sparx1100
Photo of JimJam10
JimJam10


3.5/5  rDev -26%

06-22-2014 19:42:07 | More by JimJam10
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jamis

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -26%

07-25-2014 17:31:36 | More by jamis
Photo of CourtneyBlum
CourtneyBlum


3.5/5  rDev -26%

07-27-2014 19:19:43 | More by CourtneyBlum
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,505 ratings.