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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,078 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,078
Hads: 11,592
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 7.08%
Wants: 8,448
Gots: 4,021 | FT: 57
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 (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,078 | Hads: 11,592
Photo of Eurso16
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

been a member for a while now and visit the site frequently but have never written a review so i figured why not start here, after finally getting my hands on this gem.

like others, i was a skeptic, wondering how much better could this beer really be compared to dirt wolf, hopslam, other top knotch ipas, etc. Well for me, the hype is real. IMO, this is a perfectly crafted, well executed representation of a DIPA. Now that i have began home brewing, i have a new appreciation for what it takes to craft a delicious beer. From the nose right on through to the mouthfeel, this brew is outstanding. sip after sip you continue to taste just the most absolute fresh, juicy, dank, hop flavor. mouthfeel is sticky, medium bodied and almost creamy.

definitely my new favorite beer. well done Alchemist, Well done.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Perfect looking unfiltered IPA. Completely opaque due to dense haze - the color is a beautiful blend of sunshine and orange juice. A nice, slightly off white head coats the top of the beer and leaves great sticky lacing.

S: Holy shit - has so many layers of flavors. I have never experienced an aroma fly out of the bottle/can before like this - smacks you in the face. Incredibly clean and fresh. Sweet pink grapefruit, bitter grapefruit rind, outrageously fresh pine and a touch of resin. Some orange juice and mango that blends with the sticky astringency. So much going on, I am not able to do it justice through my description. Just overwhelmingly fresh and clean, balanced with bitterness and astringency.

T: Huge, full, intense, completely fulfilling. I actually find drinking from the can is notably better, just too bad you can't look at it that way. A blast of fresh pine, sweet pink grapefruit and bitter grapefruit, much more astringency than on the nose and decently bitter. Incredibly balanced and outrageously flavorful.

P: Hard to say this, but almost the best part. Smooth and creamy - fullest bodied IPA I've come across, and one of the smoothest beers in general.

O: I, as all who haven't had this beer before, have had this on the top of my wants. Almost always this type of hype gets in the way of truly enjoying the beer as an unreachable mark has been set. Well, this destroyed any mark I could have imagined for myself. Truly an amazing beverage and one of the best tasting anythings I've ever had.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Amber, hazy, 2+ inches big thick fluffy head, light patchy lacing, light carbonation rising, large amount of yeast.

S - Huge citrus, lemon, orange, lovely grapefruit, carmel

T - Dry grapefruit, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. finish: bitter (8/10), med/high acidity

M - Creamy, super frothy, full body, certainly a piney grapefruit lingerer, excellent carbonation

O - Phenomenal grapefruit, just about perfect IPA mouth. zero booze, love the pine. my only preference happens to be a sweeter opposes to drier IIPA.

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Photo of nkersten
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very happy I finally get to try this one, straight from the tap into my pilsner glass. Pours yellowish orange with a slight haze, small off white head with good retention and some nice lacing. As soon as this beer hits the table I can smell the hops. This is up there with some of the best smelling IPAs made. Pineapple, sweet malts, tropical fruit, not a hint of bitterness - just wonderful aroma hops. Taste is surprisingly different from the smell, and this isnt a bad thing. Pineapple and tropical fruit flavor but with a bit more bitterness then I was expecting, some biscuit malt (not a lot, just enough to provide balance), a slightly spicy, earthy hop finish. The lighter side of medium body with a medium light carbonation, finishes very clean. This is an excellent IPA and hands down the best one to come from anywhere east of California. Very different then the west coasters in terms of flavor, but much smoother and more drinkable then Pliny or some of the other notables. I wanted to try everything at the Alchemist and this was my first, and then my second beer. Wish I could drink this every night.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Heady Topper is absolutely lives up to the hype is is one of the world class IPAs without question. Fresh resinous hops with tons of flavor. What is not to love. Cheers!

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Photo of morimech
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy amber color, dirty juice look with a lot of particulate, with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Surprising lack of lacing is left down the glass. The beer is nothing great to look at.

All hop aroma with mostly tropical fruit and citrus smells. It is a very good hop aroma, but not the best of the style.

Not the best aroma but it is the best tasting DIPA I have had. It is bitter but not brutal. Hop dominant but malt does add some sweetness and flavor. Alcohol is warming but is not too hot or distract from the hop goodness. This goodness comes in the way of tropical fruit, citrus, and herbal flavors.

Wonderful texture thanks to a solid body and perfectly matched carbonation. It is lively but not harsh and far from dull.

Arguebly the best DIPA out right now. Even if I had ready access to this beer I am not sure I would want to drink more than one can at a sitting. But I would love to have more than one can a year of this great beer.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lives up to the hype. Great dipa. Hazy golden. 2 fingers of head, lacing sticks forever. Spicy fruit, loads of hops. It's a world class beer. Glad to have tried it

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Photo of jsanford
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to THE CPJ for the beauty, been wanting to try it for some time. Drank from the can as instructed, except for a tiny 2oz pour to grade appearance.

A - Pours a hazy golden-amber with a creamy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring.
S - Oh boy. This is right up my IPA alley. Fresh hop aromas of grapefruit, pine resin, mango, and peach with a very subtle malt backbone.
T - Similar to the nose, lots of fresh pine resin, grapefruit peel, and tropical fruit flavors with a light malt profile. Excellently bitter finish, with just a little bit of heat from the 8%.
M - Smooth and crisp, with a touch-over-medium body and good carbonation. You can really feel the hop oils.
O - A superb DIPA, almost exactly what I look for in the style. Insanely drinkable, this would get dangerous if I had regular access to it!

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/19/11- Review of a 16oz can marked 10720A2BB.
A: Hazy amber orange, steady cream head with decent lacing.
S: Great hops character! Love that earthy-grapefruit-fresh-hops-cones smell! Behind is pineapple and caramel sweetness with tropical punch type backbone.
T: No surprises here, it tastes like the aroma with a gin earthy pine finish... creamy with a rustic hops tea character.
M: Medium body, creamy near-froth, ends crisp like refreshing juice.
O: A new bar has been set for DIPAs.

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Photo of RyanCave
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: Pours beautiful pale with a red/orange hue. In my opinion the best color for an IPA, the word majestic comes to mind..

Smell: As soon as I cracked it open it was like some smacked me in the face with a pine tree. Incredible amounts of pine. Reminded me of sitting in the forest.

Taste: lots of pine, not too bitter, balanced well in my opinion. Starts piney sweet with some orange with a small bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Nothing remarkable, what you'd expect from an Imperial IPA

Overall: This is probably one of the best DIPA's I've had, perfectly balanced, and a beautiful experience. I'm in the process of securing a case from a friend of mine now.

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for hooking me up, you're the man!

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Photo of meson13
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Firsttime reviewing heady! its more of a stupid list of simple opinions/ facts, cause like, its all been said. Here we go...

L- Heady is gorgeous!
S- Heady smells bomb!
T- Heady is delicious!
F-Heady invented cream!
O- Heady is the tits!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

We visited The Alchemist's cannery today, and the pair we are cracking for this review were canned today. We will obey the demands from the can and drink straight from the vessel, but we first decant off an ounce or so to assess its appearance. The brew shows a hazy straw coloring, putting up a quick one finger head of lemon meringue colored foam, showing variability of bubble size, and nice retention. Lacing is tight and ridged, snaking the circumference of the glass. Haze is thick, but no outright sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is pungent, even from the hole in the can, giving fresh pineapple, white grape, apricot tang, fresh earthiness of clayed dirt, raw honey, clover flower, wet moss, cucumber skins, soft plastic bite, and distant farmhouse muskiness. These blend atop a solid base of crisp pale malts and raw barley, powdered sugar, and hop varietals of sticky nectars, citrics, and herbal depth. With warmth the booze comes out as well, but it is sweeter rather than burning and fusel. Our first impression is that the hops are explosive, fresh, and tangy, with drinkability for years, and an insanely cleansing and balanced finishing that leaves your mouth dripping wet with salivation for that next sip. As we taste, the flavor opens with raw honey sweetness, white sugars, sweet pear, pineapple, tangerine, and golden delicious fruitiness, brightly citric and bitterly herbal hops, flashes of lemon juiciness, faint brandy booziness, and pale, lightly toasted and powdered malts. The middle comes to a peak with dill weed, vegetal pepper metallics, biting plastics, and continued pear and blueberry fruitiness, along with the sweetest, most nectary hops of the sip. Tannic lemon teas and those crisp pales also rides high across the palate, pulling us into a finish with a hop profile most similar to the beginning of the sip, when held in the mouth. Here you get that fresh earthy and herbal hop bite, with black pepper and continued dill herbals, dripping pine sap, clove honey, honeysuckle florals, green twig, lemon rind tang, bready pales, faint rye crustiness, coiny metallic yeast, and light parsnip vegetals. The aftertaste breathes of crisp bready toastiness, clean pale malt sweetness, light rye twang, graphite, chalked yeastiness, aromatic mossy and musky rumbles, toasted pistachio nuts, bitter herbal hoppiness, and those sticky sweet nectary and lightly resiny hops. The body is medium, and carbonation is high, but not offensive or overly prickled. Each sip gives soft and syrupy slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The mouth is left foamy, coated, and dripping wet with salivation. There is mild puck from the hoppiness of it all, added to by alcohol, especially as the beer warms. The abv is appropriate, hardly noticed, and nicely contributory, and the beer drinks like water.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its flavoring. The balance that is struck between the hops alone is incredible and beautiful, with sticky sweet fruity nectars and citrus battling, blending, and then giving way to a stronger herbal component through the finish shows variability throughout the sip, punch at each stop, and precise progression along the palate. The fact that it took us over an hour to rate this guy, and across several cans no less, speaks to both its complexity and depth, as well as to its utterly simple and remarkable ease of drinkability. The mouthfeel is smooth, frothy, sticky to the lips, and coating, striking just the right combination to keep your mouth and buds wanting more, more, and more. While every aspect of this masterpiece shines, it is the taste that stays with you the most, and will, at least for the next few nights to come, keep us up at night thinking about it.

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Photo of Bsquirrelbrewer
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Straight from the can. Purchased today in Burlington.

No color observations because it was consumed from the can. The can looks nice though.

Smell is floral with a solid hop aroma.

Taste brings strong hops without any overpowering bitterness. The hops have staying power that linger on the palate. Dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

Excellent beer that lives up to the hype!

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Photo of number1bum
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing a bottle of this last night. What a treat.

Poured a semi-dark copper color with about two fingers of tan head. Kept a pretty good lace with some decent stick on the sides. A bit darker than most IPAs.

Smell absolutely leaped from the glass and was bursting with citrus hop aromas. I could smell it from 3 feet away as I was still pouring. Incredibly fruity, with grapefruit, orange and lemony citrus, juicy and intoxicating. The fruitiest, juiciest IPA nose I can ever recall. Really impressive.

Taste also had a ton of citrus hop flavor. Maybe not quite as dripping with citrus as the nose was, but lots of grapefruit and orange going on. Somewhat tropical as well. There's just a touch of sweet malt to provide a backbone, with moderate bitterness. Tons of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel was a creamy medium body, well carbonated and very smooth. A nice slick, oily feel from the hops.

In terms of drinkability it doesn't get any better than this. So smooth and flavorful, and with so much juicy hop flavor I didn't want to put the glass down. I need to make it to this brewery and just sit at the bar drinking this for an entire evening. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of blockdude
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Definitely lives up to the hype. From the first sip, I noticed some very subtle pine and citrus, which developed into this beautiful buttery-toffee finish. It has sort of an organic mouthfeel which I really dig; could be the fact that it is unpasteurized and unfiltered. Just the right about of bitterness and unique hop flavor to make this extremely satisfying. Killer IPA.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Consumed from a 16 ounce can. Canned 6 March 2013. I poured an ounce or two into a Glencairn glass for purposes of appearance and smell.

A: Clearish, milky, hazy, with light white head and sticky lace. But I suppose it's irrelevant since most of it is in the can.

S: Fresh-cut grass, tangerine and honeysuckle, rich and sweet and delectable.

T: Okay. Yeah. It lives up to the hype. If I could get this regularly, I would drink it almost exclusively. It's perfectly balanced...complex, fresh hops; sweetish, alluring, honeyish malt; crisp, clean, lingeringly citric-bitter finish. There is nothing bad to say about this beer, but it's not overwhelmingly delicious.

M: It's so creamy! Rich and luxuriant and rewarding.

O: If you can drink this beer, absolutely do so. It's maybe the best IPA I've ever had (though the first batch of Mikkeller's Invasion IPA could give it a run for its money). Not as fruity as perhaps I'd like, but it avoids any 'off' quality that hugely popular (D)IPAs (e.g., Pliny the Younger) seem to share.

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Photo of PatandDavid
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had more than one of these during our visit to the brewpub. Nice and orangey amber, I dove right in and picked up on an intriguing woody-earthy character in the aroma. There was also a nice new mown hay essence and candied hoppyness as well. That is a lot of excitement to live up to, but luckily, the beer delivered all of this in the taste as well. The earthiness was also pretty present in the finish. This is an excellent double IPA which will keep you ordering more. I can't say any more than that even at 8% abv...I still wanted to keep drinking. No taste fatigue or wobbliness in the legs after one. Nice beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Day old can picked up at the new cannery. Despite the advice of the can, poured into a nonic.

An aromatic wave of dank pine and citrus hops emerge immediately upon cracking the can open. Pours a fairly dark, dull copper/orange. Cloudy and thick with a thick cream colored head. Clumpy streaks of lacing and a thin retentive layer of bubbles throughout. Sweet, juicy, ripe aroma of grapefruit and pineapple, with grass, pine and citrus rind balancing out the profile. Thicker side of medium body, chewy and oily on the palate with a resiny and pulpy finish. Strong bready malt body hides underneath the rich, fresh, intense hop flavor. Much more resiny and pulpy than the aroma, grapefruit and pine flavors dominate. Finish is dry and remarkably smooth. Just about perfect, this is a miracle in a readily available can.

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Photo of CityofWind_brew
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Acquired in trade. Extremely easy drinking brew that packs quite the punch of flavor at the front of the tongue. Booze is well hidden. It is crazy how easy drinking this beer is. World class, but falls a close 2nd to Pliny.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to both SneezyAchew and stowehop for bottles. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 11/30/10, and consumed on 12/09/10.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that features great retention and glass-coating lace. Slightly hazed golden peach body.

S - Huge tropical fruits, peaces, tangerine zest, dankness, a touch of chive or green onion, and a light sugary note that reveals that there is a bit of malt in there somewhere after all.

T - The taste isn't quite as amazing as the smell, although it's still quite good. A bit more malt presence contributes sugared citrus mixed with tropical fruits, and maybe a faint hint of pine and leafiness. It finishes with present but well-attenuated bitterness, although it mounts over time.

M - Carbonation is spot on - lively, but not enough to be harsh. Smooth medium body that is more than adequate for 8%. Goes down very smooth and easy, with a slightly dry finish. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden.

D - This beer is beyond drinkable. I'm looking forward to getting to my other bottles because this is going to make for a great Christmas. Thanks John, for finally caving to the pressure and making this available to all (or at least some). Now about that canning line...

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks, Kristen.

I poured it into a glass. Cloudy, orange/gold/copper color. A thick, light tan head tops it off. Aroma is supper hoppy. Awesome, big piney and citrus smells. Like a bag of hops. The flavor has a light malt backbone with some noticeable caramel malt in there. This is a very smooth imperial IPA. The hop flavor does have some sour citrus rind notes, but mostly bright grapefruit and some tropical fruit sweetness. Also a bit of floral, vanilla notes.

Overall, really top notch, of course.

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Photo of jamescain
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can to a sniffer.

Appearance: Clear light orange with yellow hues and a thin white head about a centimeter thick that lingers until the end.

Aroma: My nose was just assaulted by hops. Citrus, peach, pineapple, papaya, mango and pine.

Taste: Bitterness up front, but surprisingly little lingering bitterness, just enough to keep you wanting more. Flavors of grapefruit, peach, pine, citrus, with a light caramel flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body with medium carbonation and a dry clean finish.

Overall: Amazing beer, definitely world class.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz can into a tall snifter

A: Pours a hazy golden color with two and a half fingers of white head. Retention is not bad.

S: An equal mixture of juicy tropical fruits and pine. All hops, though. Extremely clean aroma, clean and simple. Maybe a light pineapple sweetness.

T: The taste starts out with moderate bitterness accompanied by light, clean pineapple juiciness. The hop flavor then kicks in with mostly pine - very pleasant. The balance here is wonderful between bitterness and light sweetness and a great, strong hop flavor. No hint of ABV.

M: A tad on the thick side with great carbonation.

O: There is great balance in this beer. It's certainly quite hoppy, but it's not overly bitter, not overly sweet, and not overly watery. The hop flavor and aroma is in your face, too. I suggest leaving a couple ounces in the can, though - otherwise there is lots of yeast.

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Photo of gkatsoris
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: I did pour a little out to review :) Beautiful, crisp, clear yellow. Thick bright white head. No lacing.

S: Mango. Citrus bomb. Orange rind. Grapefruit rind. Tangerine. Pineapple, and pine resin.

T: Super citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and grapefruit again. Pineapple. Less is more; that is, this is a one sided tasting brew!!!!

M: Thick and chewy. Nice foam. Coats the tongue brilliantly!!!

O: I could drink this all day and all night!!! I was fearing a let down, but I am more than impressed.

thanks Wil (The Beer Store).

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Photo of MIbeerGeek84
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best IPA ive ever had the pleasure of drinking. Has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Really surprised I have yet to rate it until now.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,078 ratings.