Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,937 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,937
Hads: 10,921
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,115
Gots: 3,428 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,937 | Hads: 10,921
Photo of Axnjxn
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

can <7 days old.

pours a cloudy yellow with a mild head. smell is in your face huge with juicy hops...wow. the taste is extremely juicy and fruity ...OMG. amazing citrus flavors, Damn. so so juicy. extremely easy to drink. medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall THE best east coast IPA. (294 characters)

Photo of METALBOOZESOLID
2.85/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Easily the most overrated beer I have ever tasted. Though it isn't bad, it really is just a $12 hop bomb. So many better IPA's out there, it's shocking to me that this is the "top rated" beer on BA.

Pours a hazy light orange color with a light white head, and immediately fills your nose with hops. It has a mild sort of carbonation and goes does easily. If you like hoppy beers, this is a good one for you.

Good, but not that good. Does not live up to hype (460 characters)

Photo of ktblue22
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down the most amazing experience I have ever had with a beer. My first taste - likened to the first time I ever...well you know....I don't think I have to elaborate

Can't say much about the appearance because I drank it out of the can (like you are supposed to) but I could smell a plethora of earthy spice, as well as crisp grapefruit and dank moss all at once.

The first sip really throws you on your ass, so I recommend sitting down. I can't even explain it really, its just a beautiful array of almost too-much goodness, but crafted in a way that expands over your palate and changes and grows as you drink the beer.

I recommend getting it fresh - which is really the only way you can get it, they sell out at their cannery the day of canning usually!! I also can't contain my pride and excitement that it is from Vermont. (836 characters)

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. (1,032 characters)

Photo of Rockinhippo
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On a recent trip to Burlington went to American Farmhouse which had it.... By luck we were able to do live taste tests with some other DIPAs most notibly Stone 4/1 enjoy by
While bot were outstanding beers they were very different. I'll focus on the heady as we just couldn't believe All the hype. Smell out of the can was amazing couldn't believe this was a can, poured a bit, sunshine orange you expect from a unfiltered ipa not that dark. First sip begs another. Holy Moly this was good . Was expecting a letdown after the hype nope outstanding. Big citrus up front, wow second sip brought the earthiness pine grass, not nearly as big of a hop blast as expected. Was very impressed. I like unfiltered beer, my stomach not so much. But wow just wow (750 characters)

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

Finally!

Pours a very light straw/orange color with a finger of white head. Sticky walls of lace.

The nose is full of dank, oily, hop resins. Pineapple, mango, apricot, guava. In-your-face with a V8 Splash of tropical fruits. The ABV comes in modestly with a big quaff.

Yes! Absolutely living up to the hype here! (completely ignore the review below. Must have been an old can). The cornucopia of fruits noticed in the nose explodes on the palate and really is more like a fruit juice. There is only a bit of sharpness towards the end of each sip which makes this one easy drinking.

The mouthfeel is crisp with medium carbonation. Clean and refreshing.

Overall, this was worth the wait and has all of the components I look for in a DIPA. Seek it! (753 characters)

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

A-the overall appearance of Heady isn't perfect but when does that matter when the beer is this fabulous, poured a golden honey color slightly cloudy with a monster head that refused to dissipate!

S-the smell of Heady is just gorgeously perfect, smells of piney citrusy freshness, Nuff Said!!

T-The taste of Heady is not what I expected but more, Taste's of citrus, pine, and even a faint taste of honey. Very refreshing and palatable and not dry or overly bitter by any means

M-The mouthful is great for a beer of this ABV, I honestly can't believe its that smooth. First tastes are of pine and earth with a sweet aftertaste of citrus fruits and I still get a honey taste!

O-This beer definitely deserves all the hype! I have tried multiple double IPA's and none go down quiet as smooth as this one, but some are very close! (829 characters)

Photo of banglin
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Enjoyed a Heady a few weeks ago poured in a glass (from same batch) and wrote down notes on appearance. Poured a white foam which dissipated slowly with excellent lacing. Nice golden color and a bit cloudy.

S: Strong hops smell. Perhaps a bit sweet. Excellent.

T: The hoppiness sits in the mouth, building in intensity, until you swallow and get a rush of the flavor.

M: Carbonation is great.

O: Overall this is a great beer with a hops flavor that builds and builds. (475 characters)

Photo of smcnulty1981
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: drank most of it from the can poured a small amount to see what it looked like Poured a golden color with a sight haze about 1 finger of bright white head with a good amount of lacing

S: lots of resin dank earthiness and pine on the nose finished with bright citrus

T: taste has much of the same notes as the nose bitter dank hop flavor up front followed by juicy citrus good warming sensation at the back end only defect that I can get is a bit of hop astringency

M: full bodied with a good amount of carbonation very smooth dangerously easy to drink for 8% abv

O: well worth all of the high scores and praise its a shame that I can't get it on a regular basis (670 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit into a tulip, had most straight from the can

Appearance: 1/4 inch head that goes quick, orange-gold in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: big citrus hops, pineapple, earth, and rind

Taste: big citrus hops, pineapple, earth, rind, and some grapefruit at the back

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, lightly bitter with a sharper bitter end, medium bodied

Overall: Really happy to have found this. When I think of the best IPAs I have had, I think of Pliny, Hill Farmstand's Double Galaxy, and Mama Masala. I personally would choose any of those over this one as my favorite IPA. That said, the shear raw hoppiness of this one merits that it is in the discussion of the best. This one is a delightfully hoppy beer, but not one that kills you with high intensity, more like a gradual roll up of juicy flavors. I appreciate the complexity and quality flavor without the excessive bitterness. I would get this again if I can find it. Well worth the hype. (976 characters)

Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

9 day old can poured into a snifter for inspection (inductions be damned!). Very hazy, between straw and copper in color. Fluffy head which recedes to a thin cap. Pretty.

Smell is out of this world. Freshly opened bag of hops. Tangerines, mangos, and lemon grass.

Taste follows the nose but emphasises the citrus and grassy notes instead of the tropical aromas. Sweetness gives way to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. Too dry for my preference.

Overall a really nice beer but not one that would be worth the 16 hour round trip or trading expenses to me. (569 characters)

Photo of MusicaleMike
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, while everyone else in Philly is drinking Pliny the Younger today, I decided to avoid the crowds and review this beauty. I sampled this a few weeks ago, and really wanted to NOT like this beer so much. But that is impossible. Anyone who likes beer would fall in love with this...

From the can into a tasting balloon glass. Thanks to monitorpop for this beer!

The beer is a muddy unfiltered ochre color topped by a massive off-white head that stays around for a long time and leaving its scarred lacing all over the glass. Not the prettiest of beers, but what's appearance when you taste this good right?

The aroma is just overwhelmingly filled with fresh hops. It reminds me of when I was on a tour of Victory Brewing Company, and walked into their hop cooler. It is just fresh, juicy hops in every direction. Filled with notes of fresh pine, peaches, and mango.

The flavor is of hops thrown in a blender and pureed. Mild bitterness, like a pale ale, but with more hop flavor that expected in a double IPA. Solid solid beer. Floral, citrus/tropical fruit, pine and lightly sweet malts in the background. But the hops just dominate the flavor and aroma. There is zero hint of alcohol in this beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy in nature. Robust body, but not too heavy. This beer does an amazing job of covering up the alcohol. Only a slight bite midway through the sip indicates any abv at all.

I can't believe how tasty this IPA really is. As a DIPA, I think this does so well because the abv is not crazy high and yet it delivers just a fresh punch of hops. I would 100% purchase a case of this beer. In fact, I will probably now make that trip north this month if possible. I mean, what a fantastic beer. I wanted to hate it because no one likes the hype train, but this beer has earned its stripes in my opinion. Highly recommended...thank you again to monitorpop for the chance to review this beer!! (1,925 characters)

Photo of troegaarden
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I reviewed this beer out of a can without pouring it so I do not having any appearance notes. I have had a sampling of this once before, poured into a glass and the color was a deep orange or amber. Pretty hazy as well.

Appearance: This time around, it's N/A. BA obviously wanted this field filled in above so I did so accordingly.

Aroma: The aroma on this bad boy is very floral and fruity. I get hints of pineapple, mango, and pine. This beer smells AWESOME!

Taste: This beer is just as it is described on its label. It's not super over powering, it just provides you with unrelenting hoppy flavors. This beer is well balanced and just like the can says, very drinkable. After each sip, it leaves you with a slight bit of dryness with lingering hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this beer is solid. It's also very smooth and refreshing.

Overall, this beer is out of this world! It's no wonder that this beer has 100 scores on BeerAdvocate. Cheers! (962 characters)

Photo of Treb0R
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have tasted this by glass and from the can...

Orange, slightly hazy body. Appears to be 8 SRM. Thick foamy head with tons of sticky lacing. Carbonation is on the low side.

Smells dank, fruity, peachy, and citrusy. Lots of orange and pine.

Tastes way more piney and dank than the aroma fortells. It's richer/juicier/hoppier than Pliny the Elder with a tad more residual sweetness (1.012-1.014 FG). Hop heaven in a can.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and a perfect medium-body, probably more because of the sheer amount of hops and malt used, and less because of a high FG. (575 characters)

Photo of BStalf21
3.66/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (280 characters)

Photo of AltBock
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. tall silver bullet can with a sweet ass picture. The label is that of a bearded scientist chugging a beer with his hair bursting with hop buds. It's something you need to see for yourself. The back of the can has a lengthy paragraph about the beer and the Government warning. A brewed on or canned on date would have been very helpful. Poured into a Cycle Brewing Snifter.

Out of the can came an Imperial IPA that was pale golden amber in color with a small tint of lemon yellow at the bottom. There's gold in this beer. Not the precious metal. Hop gold!There was a ton of hop particles floating around this beer. The writing on the can warned me of the hop particles, but toward the bottom of the can. This is from the top of the can and there is already a huge amount of hop particles. I didn't get much a head of foam on this beer. I got a small skim of foam that was about 1/4 of an inch in height and paper white in color. Fast retention that left behind a miniature string of rings along the side. If I was lucky, maybe a spot or two around the glass. The head of foam wasn't much to look out, but I loved the hop particles.

As soon as I popped the lid, the strong aroma of pine came pouring out. It was so strong that I almost thought I popped the cap on a bottle of Pine Sol. It's drinking time. Not cleaning time. Not only was the pine strong, but the fruits as well. It had a wide range of citrus and exotic fruits. I smelled grapefruit, mango, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even tangerine. Smelled like a top notch fruit punch. The hops in the aroma were on the grassy side with a whiff citrus hops. No malt backbone in the aroma. The pine and the wide variety of fruits covered it up. I could live without the malts in the aroma. I loved the pine and fruits. Nice!

The taste came out swinging! The strong taste of pine and grapefruit comes washing in like a hurricane on my taste buds. It was all of those hop particles in the appearance that did that. The front of the taste housed all the pine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grassy/citrus hops. Then all the hops and fruits settled down and the beer then finishes up with a nice malty backbone. The malts were kicked out of the aroma, but they made a nice appearance in the taste. No doubt about it. This was a great taste. Not overly hoppy, but hoppy enough to keep hop heads entertained. If they didn't like the hops, they were sure to enjoy the malt backbone. Not much more you can ask for from an Imperial IPA.

It was light to medium bodied with a nice not overly hoppy aftertaste. This hoppy aftertaste doesn't linger. You won't need a gallon of water to get rid of the hoppy taste in the back of your mouth. Despite being an 8% ABV Imperial IPA, this is a highly drinkable beer. It also helps that it comes in a can and it's a year round beer and not a once in a blue moon type of beer that you need to trade your first born for. Would I drink it again? I would if I could find a steady supply of it. I have to thank my good friend Vince for hooking me up with this treat. (3,068 characters)

Photo of SadMachine
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 3/31/13

This is my last can from my first Heady haul, so I finally am reviewing this! I poured a small amount into a snifter for appearance and aroma purposes, but it drinks better from the can IMO.

A- Pours a hazy orangish yellow/straw color with a medium sized white head of tight, sticky bubbles.

S- The aroma is wonderful, with loads of thick, dank hops assaulting your nose! There's tons of rich nectar and pine resin present, tropical fruits, tangerine, and fresh cut grass. Some malt backbone can also be detected, which is a bit more bready than caramelly.

T- The first, and most interesting thing noticed about the taste and mouthfeel is how juicy it is. It's almost as if they made "hope juice" rather than beer! The flavor mostly follows the nose, with pine and tangerine dominating, though not in an unbalancing way. I do wish there was a bit more tropical fruit in the flavor, but this is only a minor complaint!

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and again juicy, almost pulpy. The oily hop resins coat the mouth and leave a moderately bitter aftertaste.

- Overall this is an outstanding beer, and one of the best representations of the style! Just be sure to drink it within ~2-3 weeks of canning. (1,245 characters)

Photo of grrrah
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can, 1/2 drank from can, 1/2 poured into a tulip. Probably about a month old, so could be fresher.

A - golden/orange with lots of sediment bits floating around. Man I hope things go well tomorrow.

S - Floral/piney dankness that you get from most double IPAs, Some slight tropical fruits and mango from the can. I let the tulip warm up a bit, and more of the fruits come out.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and clean, with a slight dryness. The hoppy bitterness comes out followed by the fruits. Fruity sweetness but not the malty sweetness that turns me off of a lot of double IPAs.

O - Great double IPA, which is my favorite type of beer. First east coast IIPA that meets its hype. I guess I'm more of a fan of the west cost IIPAs. It is different from the bigger pure hop bombs, and I would say have more character. Not sure that its tops, but its probably in my top 3 that would take turns with each other. (935 characters)

Photo of DrStiffington
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Props to my brother in law for snagging this for me. I've now had Pliny, Heady and Hoslam in one winter. Anyway, this stuff looks hazy, smells dank and piney. Tastes bitter pine and I'm not sure what else. Great stuff. Wish I could get it all the time. (253 characters)

Photo of beagle826
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Per their request, drank it out of the can. Guess I'll have to rate the appearance of the can. Silvery and tall, not the best logo I've ever seen but not too bad.

Incredible aroma hops hops hops, most aromatic beer I've ever smelt.

First sip and...nice...not too bitter, not too floral, just the right balance of sweet, citrusy hops.

Nice finish, but as I progress into the can, the bitterness begins to build up a bit.

Overall, I loved this beer. Do I think it lived up to the epic hype? Probably not, they never do. It was an incredible IPA, maybe not the best I've ever had though. Does make me wish I lived in VT. (623 characters)

Photo of MikeB1984
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I took a trip to Vermont with my brother and a friend of mine from Boston for a guys day out. This beer was well worth the 3 hour drive. Normally prefer bottles over cans but this beer was outstanding.

I am not normally a big fan of IPAs but i loved this one. One of the best beers I've ever had. (297 characters)

Photo of 80x2HopHead
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Easily in my top 5 Imperial IPA's out there- wonderful aroma every time I pop the can piney and fruity in nature. Taste matches the smell- piney undertones and strong citrus overtones- I generally pick up on grapefruit, pineapple, orange and tangerine.Just the right amount of malty goodness makes this heady retardedly drinkable. If you can get your hands on this brew do so without a second guess- no chance you will ever regret it! (434 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: tried from the can initially (mandated on the can) - "cold but not ice cold" - but then gave in - I had to see what I'm drinking (we are visual creatures): cloudy medium gold beer kicked up a couple of fingers of off-white head from a near-center pour into a tulip. Left some lace behind.

S: mostly hoppy (as expected): floral, herbal, citric, resinous; sublte pale malt in the background

T: again, hop-forward: lots of bitter citrus (is that a contradiction in terms?) and resiny pine; a little tart; bitter not sweet - some undercurrents of honey'd malt; some medicinal notes

M: crisp, slight tartness, bittering, light-to-medoim weight, moderate carbonation on the tongue

O: a good DIPA, but the best, #1 ranked beer on the site? I don't agree. I've had too many great DIPAs and IPAs to jump onboard here (*ducks the hurled vegetables and garbage*). I'd say its a good buy, a MUST try, but nothing to lose sleep over if its not available in your area. (961 characters)

Photo of nUgZ
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 ounce can poured into a snifter. Big thanks to st9647v3 for this opportunity.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a 2-3 finger head, excellent lacing, and some suspended sediment.

S: Citrus, piney, and floral hops abound with a hint of sweet malts.

T: Tons of hops up front with some sweet malts and a slight grassy flavor. Quite bitter.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: What an amazing brew!! Super tasty, easy to drink, and hides the alcohol almost completely. Lives up to the hype for sure. (511 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

OK, here we go. The unofficial holy grail of IPAs. Great appreciation goes out to SatlyMalty for this excellent surprise! Poured into a snifter (screw what the can says). The code on the can is apparently not a freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy amber color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains well before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a light sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing slides down the glass. Once the can is emptied into the glass, little specs of sediment are suspended in the body.

S- The hop aroma has a remarkable balance of citrus and pine but mostly citrus with bursting notes of pineapple, mango and guava. Also has a sweetness from the malts making this pretty perfect, smell-wise.

T- The flavor has much of the same: piney, earthy bitterness with a tropical fruit kick to compliment. Alcohol is well-hidden but still present and there's a graininess to the relatively sturdy malt backbone. The bitterness is stronger than I expected but is also welcome. Good hop burps. The sweetness of the malt is picked up more as the beer warms. Incredibly drinkable, even when warm.

M- A bit dry and prickly from the hops. Medium carbonation and a solid body.

O- Not as amazing as Zombie Dust IMO, but still easily one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever had. I really must say that it's a travesty to encourage the buyer to drink this from the can since the aroma is so sublime. Oh well, he has his reasons. (1,453 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.