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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,201 Reviews
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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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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Reviews: 2,201 | Ratings: 12,343
Photo of DirtyDawg10
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The look of this beer is very nice, a slightly hazy yellow wheat in color with a full white head. The smell is amazing, fruity, citrus, lemon peel. The taste is even better. Starting with the fruity and citrus flavor and ending with a little more bitter pine flavor. Definitely not overly bitter for my palate and it hangs on the tongue for the perfect finish. Mouth feel is very close to perfection and extremely smooth. Overall this is one of the greatest IPAs out there. It still holds its own against the newer "juicy" style of IPA. It is a must try for any beer lover.

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Photo of mattmarch
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Yep, I cheated and poured 1 of my 4 cans into glasses.
Last one ;(
Still so awesome.
Love the malty breadiness to it.
Smells somewhat dank, but like an aged cheese with honey.
Tastes like grapefruit, orange and pine.

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Photo of sakayus
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

So I tested this, julius, haze, and SOS at the same time and these were the results (with all being canned within 7 days of each other)
Heady topper was 2nd from the bottom with most people preferring haze followed by julius and SOS last.

Heady's taste is very well balanced yet it wasn't very extraordinary in any field. In terms of smell, the other's were greater, in terms of taste it was rather muted compared to the rest. It did excel in the after taste as it didn't last too long nor to short (as in SOS). The smell is in the middle of the bunch, but wasn't of particular note. The smoothness was near the top, but overall for whatever reason I would have preferred any of the other more.

I think I disagree on the malt to hop balance and I don't taste any of the malt and am left with only hops and the taste of the yeast.

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Photo of beerwolf72
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Only a couple days old, poured into a pint glass. Cloudy with about an inch of white. This is the best smelling beer ever. Flowers, cut grass/pine, citrus. Substantial mouthfeel without being syrupy. Extremely well-balanced hop/malt profile. Extremely well-done.

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Photo of longarm
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've had it both in the can and in a glass. For a review I guess I need at least a bit of a look....it has a nice yellow haze with a decent head. Aroma from the can, however, is truly outstanding. Fresh hops, perfectly balanced betweeb pine and citrus. Flavor has a nice bite that leans more towards the bitterness end of a hop flavor profile. Wish there was just a little more malt, but then it would probably be even higher in alcohol. Mouthfeel a little cloying....and I mean little. But why complain? This is a great beer, thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth the hype. So many great IPAs, so little time.

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Photo of TomAllen
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Classic for a reason. Lots of fruit showing, and juicy mouthfeel. It is worth tracking this one down. Had it from the can, as advised to do. Slightly cloudy orangey color. Not quite as hoppy as Focal Banger.

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Photo of illpass78
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint can. Poured most into a tulip, had a little from the can as per the instructions. Paired with Maine potato vegetable soup, Vermont sharp cheddar, and some crusty bread with garlic.

Appearance: Pours a glowing, hazy orange with a big white head. Ringed lacing. Great presentation.

Aroma: Citrusy bouquet with lemon, tangerine, grapefruit. Tons of hops.

Taste: Big, fruity, hoppy IPA. Excellent flavor profile. Tangerine seems to lead.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable, as people tend to say. Great pairing with the sharp cheddar.

Overall: Great beer. As DIPAs go, it's one of the best. I like MBC's Dinner just a touch more, but am equally excited whenever I can get a hold of either.

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Photo of d3brewing
3.93/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another all hype beer in my opinion. Do t get me wrong, it's a tasty beer and not your typical malt forward East Coast IPA but I was left wanting more. More body, more aroma, more hop flavors, he'll even more bitter hops. It all seemed a little muted to me. I'll definately try it again, maybe mine were older or didn't ship well?

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Photo of jas0n02
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank during a blind taste test with other top notch beers. Very solid IPA, but doesn't live up to the hype IMO. Pours light gold color with not much head. Very crisp and smooth.

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Photo of Myotus
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank straight from the 1 pint can (no date) at 48°F.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of mango, guava, papaya, peach, and apricot entangle with strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine aromas along with subtle piney hop aromas. There are sublte amounts of white bread aromas that leave this practically unbalanced, but still extremely desirable.
TASTE: Strong mango, papaya, guava, peach, and apricot flavors nuke the palate. Strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine flavors immediate follow as the previous fruit flavors grow stronger. Mild piney hop and subtle white bread flavors flow in next. Mild bitter hop flavors along with a whisper of alcohol finish off the taste theatrical as all previous flavors push on.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down somewhat smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness.

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Photo of JayWhitson
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best IPA's I've had. Those Trillium brews have really skewed me on what is THE BEST though. Great look and aroma and awesome blend of citrus with a piney bite. Nice blend of new wave hazy and flavor of traditional standard. Got much better as it warmed up.

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Photo of dee_el
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

had about 10 cans of topper over the last year or two.

easily one of my most favorite beers. would love to be able to get this more easily.

juicy, hop bomb. the standard vt iipa

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Photo of zshaft
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

im finally in possession of one of these again. used to live off this stuff when brewery was allowing no limits. I poured this and did not drink from the can. after I let the floaties settle I notice nice hazy light orange with minimal head retention. nice fresh nose of orange rind and tangerine. taste follows nose with up front grapefruit and pineapple with some pine floating around somewhere. mouth is a little thin but does not retract from the beer. the initial taste is followed by a surprising increase in flavor that creams your palate and works all the way to the end with dry finish. this beer is phenominal and has tons of flavor from start to finish. bright citrisy notes are abundant and my mouth puckers as the beer goes down. im drinking this after doppleganger from treehouse and dopple gets the nod. heady may not be what I remember it to be but still a world class beer that is worthy of the hype.

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Photo of gutbuster
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very murky pale gold in color with a billowing frothy white head that seems to hang on forever. A significant amount of lacing on the glass. Very pleasing to the eye.

Very pine forward on the aroma. Hints of grapefruit and orange seem to support the resinous pine and while more subtle, still seem to be easily distinguishable.

Holy shit snacks. This is amazing. In fact it's so amazing that in my excitement to pour the last half of the can i spilled a good portion of it all over my damn keyboard and desk! One moment while I lap it up........ OK an amazing balance of pine and citrus with each sip. Just a hint of bread. Truthfully I feel like I can pick out a continuous amount of hop profiles that seem to change from each sip. piney and earthy to tropical and floral. Heady is more complex then I expected.

To me personally this is creamy but finishes dry with a low amount of carbonation.

You should have one of these. Seriously. Like.... A lot of these. Absolutely spectacular.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had out of a can at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury, VT. Drank out of the can but I poured some into a cup to get a better look at the beer. The beer had this medium tone yellow appearance with great retention. Aromas were great with this slightly cooked pine and orange peel with a citrus balance that was really mouth watering. Taste follows the nose with this sharp hoppy flavor mixed with citrus of mostly orange and grapefruit. Excellent carbonation to this beer, which makes it really drinkable. Overall, a really good DIPA.

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Photo of EMH73
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can so I can't say much about how it looked other than it was deep golden in color. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, lemon and orange. Tastes absolutely incredible and follows the aroma perfectly, very slightly bitter and a slight floral presence. Medium bodied and carbonated. It took me a very long time to find my first can, hoping it wont take nearly as long to find more.

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Photo of CTEmmons15
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: You should definitely drink this out of the can.

Smell: Big citrusy and pine aromas.

Taste: Grapefruit, citrus, with a nice smooth, floral finish. Does not taste like a traditional Double IPA. So smooth, not boozy at all.

Feel: Crisp to the core. Delicious.

Overall: Excellent beer, worth the hype.

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Photo of Slack
4.06/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep Gold in color and cloudy with little head and no lacing.

Aromas of resin, pine, and citrus - grapefruit & lemon.

Taste is initial minor sweetness, followed by grapefruit and lemon, and finishes extremely resinous.

Mouthful is medium and smooth with average carbonation. Finish lingers awhile.

Another IPA that falls into the purist category (not a negative). The citrus and Hops are balanced on the nose but more hop forward on the taste. Mouthful is spot on. This isn't one for me and reminds me of La Cumbre but may be for you, give it a shot.

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Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow color with a 1" head that falls to a thick surface covering. Mild lace develops during the session.

Smell: orange, grapefruit, lemon zest, fruit sweetness and some floral notes rise from the glass.

Taste: caramel, orange, grapefruit, lemon zest, pear, and a floral bitterness create a superbly balanced beer. Alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish, with a light dryness late.

Overall: took a while for me to get my hands on this, but it was really good and refreshing. Definitely a great beer.

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Photo of Apathy
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Harder to get every year but always worth getting. Easily one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth. Aroma is wonderful. Taste is unbeatable. Love this beer.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Against the wishes of the brewers, this comes out of the can a very light creamy yellow, but then darkens in the glass to a partially opaque yellow orange. The carbo-pillar in the center is still visible, supporting the large foam head well. Heady Topper retains an unbelievably soft, fluffy thin blanket, with spotty fluid lacing throughout.

Aromas of bright lemon, citrus, and the strongest fresh green pine I've experienced in a beer present themselves up front. This is really the first time both citrus and pine combine in this pleasant of a way for me. I'm surprised to not get any cannabic, sticky dankness, but it's a welcome absence, since that's becoming more and more prominent in the beer scene. The fact that they can hit the notes that are there so powerfully without the dank is well done.

There is more orange and grapefruit in flavor, with a very well balanced bitterness and citrus juiciness, all at once. Heady is refreshing, crisp, and dry with some bite and tang.

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Photo of joeren
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best DIPAs on the planet. We first experienced this at the brewery, when it was open to the public. On tap, it is unbeatable and in a can still one of the finest.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper is a world class IPA. Although the turbidity isn't as strong as Hill Farmstead or Tree House, Heady is somewhat translucent yellow. I smell some oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. The taste has some medium bitterness up front with a slightly tart, lemony note following. The taste hits early on and falls off rather quickly and cleanly for great drinkability for 8% abv. Overall, fabulous beer. Nevertheless, I think Julius surpasses Heady due to its creaminess.

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Photo of Jay_P22
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Drank half from the can and half from a snifter. I prefer it from the glass.

Looks like yellowish everyday IPA in a glass, with a nice foamy head and great lacing. It looks like a beer is supposed to look.

Smells great. Citrus and hops, oranges, peels, Grapefruit. Smells incredible.

Tastes amazing. Once you take a sip you know it was worth the hype. Incredibly smooth for a DIPA but just enough bite and citrus to stand out.

Mouth feel is solid...smooth drinking beer with perfect foamy head.

Overall it right up there with one of my favorite beers. Definitely worth searching this out if you can. Glad I had the chance to drink a few.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.34/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the first sip out of the can because I can't completely ignore directions. Tons of grapefruit. It pours cloudy with nice head which doesn't linger very long or leave a ton of lacing. No hop chunks in this can. Smell is very good but it didn't fully live up to my very high expectations. Taste is great and easily one of the best DIPAs I've had with the bitterness only coming in hard in the aftertaste. Crazy drinkable at 8%. That said, I'm still not sure it lived up to my expectations since I definitely prefer some much easier to get IPAs.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,201 ratings.