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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,130 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,130
Hads: 11,897
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 8,665
Gots: 4,297 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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: 2,130 | Hads: 11,897
Photo of Dopen993
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can into pint glass.

Hazy yellow, light orange in color with 1 inch head. Lots of sticky lacing, covers the whole pint glass.
Good amount of grapefruit and lemon on the nose, with a hint of sweetness at the end.
Very much hop forward, with some citrus (I'm getting a lot of lemon with a little orange). Lots of bitterness on the finish.
Medium body, with a really nice mouth feel. No taste of alcohol.

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Photo of VTwoodie
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew is as good as everyone says it is. On a recent trip to Burlington, VT I spent a good hour in hopes of finding some. I was able to score a 4pack in store and a single can with dinner on Church Street. This beer is the standard which all other IPA's are judged against nowadays, and with good reason.

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Photo of tonytiger27
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Easy to see why this is the world's best IPA. Crisp, super hoppy, citrus and pine notes make for an interesting flavor profile. The aroma is out of this world. Traveling to Vermont for this beer makes for a truly unique experience. A must for any beer lover

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Loose crusty off white over slightly cloudy orange. 3.75
Tangerine, pineapple, and herbal oil nose. 4
Toffee, peach, more pineapple than mango, orange rind, lemon zest, and some herbs. 4.5
Tropical fruit smoothie end and forever lemon.
Medium, a bit of heat, clingy, oily. 4

Feels like you only start tasting it when you swallow - possibly the longest citrus linger I’ve ever had. But as it opens, it shifts gears entirely to tropical fruit - it can be different with every sip. A kaleidoscope that way: there’s kiwi that I picked up, I suspect you could find nearly whatever aspect of hops you looked for.

At the same time, I was surprised how unfiltered, hot, and not especially delicate-bodied it is: I expected more finesse. I can see how this would certainly be worth exploring over many cans, so I get the fuss, but not a world beater on first encounter. 4.5

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Photo of mklever42
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: pineapple, citrus, pine, little bit of onion
Appearance: Nice, bright orange. Hazy and chunky
Taste: tropical fruits, pine and some onion.

Now that New England is booming with some serious hops, Heady is one that I won't track down anymore. I would rather drink Trillium, TreeHouse and HF IPAs.

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Photo of mswatpup293
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you can ever get your hands on one. Enjoy it. Cause they are so hard to find. Roumor has it people have sold one can of that wonderful bliss in DC for around $50. That's crazy. But I've payed $9-10 for one.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With respect to John Kimmich, most of the time, I have drank this out of the can. However, for reviewing purposes, one must understand that as beer geeks we need to see this as it is.
With that in mind, I have poured this into a snifter and as I gaze upon it, I realize why John always wants his drinkers to drink this out of the can. Oh boy, the floaties, oh snap, yes, I get it, John, most of the world gets it who have had it poured. A solid burnt golden color forming a one finger white foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves some lacing to be desired.
The smell wraps up bitter juicy dry pine slapping around a big bouquet of floral, grassy and citrus hops bleeding into a wonderful nose zapping aroma. With that in mind, I go to taste this and the flavor is spot on in cueing up the previously mentioned flavors to lead the charge into the feel of this beer. Do you think this is good? I know this is good as the slick oily coat just bends my tongue over backwards arranging an unprecedented sharpness succumbing my tongue down.
My last question and I will start with this: I've only lived in Vermont for less than a year, do you think I like this beer? Just check my numbers.

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Photo of jared-beer
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is the best I have had the few times I have been (legally) drinking. After pouring a can (which I know you're not supposed to do), I believe that IT IS TRULY BETTER FROM THE CAN! This beer OUT OF CAN appearance is amber in color and slightly cloudy (similar to a micro-brew high ABV cider). However In the can it's one of the best IPA locally produced.

Heady topper is heavy in flavor and ABV. The initial mouth flavor begins as a traditional IPA but QUICKLY overtakes you with a hoppy, citrus taste masking any indication of its relatively high ABV. This beer is truly a must try at least 2x to understand the flavor, because as most people will find it develops over time.

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Photo of Junkforadam
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, smells very citrusy, has a hazy yellow color, tastes of citrus with a great malt balance. Excellent imperial pale ale would certainly recommend this if you love DIPA.
I'm from Oklahoma, I'd like to recommend you try the Hoptometrist DIPA from Roughtail Brewing, also a great DIPA!

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Photo of OCT4VIOUS
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was one of the best beers I have ever had and undoubtedly the best IPA. Very well balanced and complex the smell is much more different than the taste. The citrus and hop flavor cascades over your tongue and down your throat wonderfully, and has an indescribable complex flavor. Truely a beer lovers beer

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

The best - bar none! This IPA lived up to its legend and exceeded my expectations. I would not have words to do it true justice. Also to note that I enjoyed this beer most when drinking it from the can for a little more of a fresh and piney hop quality.

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

This beer is truly flawless. Unfortunately, I now compare every IPA/DIPA to this and none can replace it (although I've yet to try Focal Banger). I like it better than SOS, Pliny, Julius, Zombie Dust as well as any other beer I've ever had (although SOS is a close second). I'm not going to get technical on every aspect since there are plenty of those types of reviews. I will say that this beer smells amazing, has a fruity taste (grapefruity) and goes down smooth. I almost wish I never tasted this because now I am going obsess over acquiring as much as possible. Good luck! Cheers.

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Photo of MonkeyKnfeFight
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hand-picked from a market in Waterbury, VT I highly recommend this beer. Flying from CA to VT for a day to pick up fresh cans instead of trading for them is highly-recommended no matter the expense. Treat yourself to the experience.

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Photo of RoddyMedina
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got around to trying this beer from The Alchemist and it definitely lived up to its hype. Unfortunately I only had one during a bottle share but i hope to get my hands on more. I first poured a little to try it in a tulip but left some to compare because on the can it literally states in bold "DRINK FROM THE CAN" and it honestly tasted way better from the can.
The look was a little light compared to most DIPA's I've had, but it still had a nice light orange color to it, it didn't leave much head either. The smell was very citric, oranges with a slight grapefruit scent to it. The taste from the can was super crisp and smooth, it didn't leave kick in the back of your throat like a Maharaja would, which isn't bad either. Overall I'm really hoping to score more of these to give it another go as one can wasn't sufficient.

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Photo of Lobina
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got my hands on 4 cans. Thanks Mike and Mary.
Look nice cloudy east coast IPA.
Aroma. Great orange scent one even my wife liked.
Taste. Extremely smooth for a dipa. Could have drank several more
Feel. Pleasant and quenching. Again could have had more.
Will need to make a trip to Vermont. Still have one left and will consume with much appreciation.

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Photo of Ebla
3.78/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Nice golden orange color, good lacing, but has the clarity of Yak Wool.
Smell - Uplifting orange blossoms!! Citrus/earth/sunshine/springtime, tiny bit of caramel.
Taste - Similar to the smell; almost overpowering hop profile. Grapefruit, tropical snorkeling. Pineapple juice gives way to an earthy, minty, BOOZY finish.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, lightly malted with good carbonation. Ineffable, enigmatic texture that starts off abrasive but has a dry finish and leaves me wanting to sip again, sip again, sip, sip, chug!
Overall - Scored last in a blind taste test with Pliny and a small army of comparable local brews (DuganA, Mercenary, Raja, Maharaja, Drydock IIPA). I was surprised it even lost to Dales Deviant. I would compare it more to Vortex, but I don't think this east coaster holds a candle to any of the west coast IIPA's any better than it did against Colorado's finest. Now that I've enjoyed many cases of Heady, I place it high on the list of tasty IIPA's; perhaps top 50, but certainly not top 20. Definitely better from a glass like any beer. I feel like the brewers recommend drinking from the can because it's unfiltered and looks like a homebrew in the glass, but no self respecting beer nerd can abide drinking from a can! Here in Colorado we have many superior double IPA's. I would call heady an old-school, low-brow IIPA that gets laid based on it's irresistible pheromones but causes some coyote mornings when the lights come on.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Canning date unknown, but purchased on October 23rd, presumably from the 10/22 delivery day.

Appearance - Poured a few ounces into a glass to give a description of the appearance, but the rest of the review will be from the can as requested to be drank by the brewer. The brew is hazy and kind of a dull golden orange color, like watered down orange juice. Very little head that is quick to dissipate, leaving a mostly barren surface and thin ring around the edge of the glass. Lace consists of a few small spots around the glass, with fair stick.

Smell - Strong citrus and minty/leafy character. Light pine. Very subtle caramel note.

Taste - Follows the nose. Caramel malt underbody is more noticeable, and play wonderfully off the prominent, but controlled hop profile. Leafy/minty hops nearly outshine the citrus, grapefruit punch, while undertones of pine pop through. There's also a hint of pineapple zing, though it's quick and fading. Finish is leafy and slightly minty with a touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Texture is smooth, oily slick and dangerously chuggable with a semi-dry finish. Possibly the best attribute here.

Overall - I can see how this is a popular beer, but it's nearly impossible to live up to the legendary expectations that precede it; an awesome brew with very little distribution makes for a hell of a whale. That's what I've found. If this were more widely distributed I don't think it'd quite have the fanatical following it has, but by that same token it's one of the better DIPA's I've had. My advice: don't go Ahab for it.

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Photo of Tdillon207
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best beer ive ever drank,and was also a cool experience buying it up in Vermont waiting in line with 60 people at a gas station before the beer truck even showed up. Love everything about this beer, hoping to get a 1/6th keg for the kegerator!!

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

First time pouring it from the can. A very hazy, bright, golden yellow body with a snowy white head. The hops make themselves known the moment you crack the can. Lot of ripe citrus, lemon zest, tropical fruits, papaya, mango, a hint of melon, peach, and pine resin. There's an excellent underlying sweet maltiness to this beer that I suspect is partially thanks to the conan yeast strain. The mouth feel is very cream, medium-full, washed down by nice carbonation, followed by a pleasant sweet tropical lemon aftertaste. On the flavor, sweet lime, grapefruit bitterness, lemon candy, peach, pine sap, some grass, papaya, honey malt, and melon.

I've been able to score some heady on occasion at some craft beer bars but this is the first time I was able to enjoy a can at home. It's clear why this brewery has gotten so much hype over the years but I think there are some newer breweries currently closing the gap. I need to make a trip up to VT eventually because even for this world class DIPA, the $11/can prices around here makes it a one and done purchase for me.

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

From the can, at the beerlin beer week. Wonderfull and powerfull hop aroma, Peach, papaya and ananas, little caramel, some dank nessuno presence and a little bit of Pine needless. Complex, sweet bready mlt with ananas, stone fruit, some citrus and piney. Imbelievable, wonderfull beer.

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

It is great to have kids who live in Burlington VT, and take care of their Dads. I can never decide if I like this or SOS better. What a great beer!

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Photo of Marius
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this one from De Hopduvel in Ghent, BE. The next one I will drink from the can, but this one I had to dissect. No idea how fresh it is.
Golden-orange pour, hazy, with very little head and no retention. It does give way to a very fine and sticky lacing, but is in no way impressive looking - the focus must be on the taste.
The smell is like a typical west-coast IPA, lots of pine, citrus (grapefruit mostly, and some lime) and tropical fruit aromas, some dankness, maybe some green apples, a bit of honey and a slight funkiness.
Moderately complex and balanced taste. Pine notes up front, citrus (grapefruit and lime again), followed by the sweeter notes of pineapple, papaya, mango. Bitter-sweet aftertaste, and a surprisingly light body. On the down side, it does have a strong herbal bitterness in the end, and the alcohol is a bit too present in the aftertaste, but maybe I had an old can, not sure.
Decent beer, definitely one I would try again, but not the best IPA out there.

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Photo of anonymoose
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer has a hazy orange color. The aroma is tropical fruits, resin, and light malt. The taste is creamy, medium bitterness, light malt, tropical fruits, and resin.

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Photo of burlyegg
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smells about the best ever! Full of flower notes. Super bitter, at first I thought it was kind of thin, but turns out it's complex as hell and moves around.

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

Just barely beats out the Elder Pliny for both aroma/bouquet and overall taste... I loved both but head2head, I would choose the Heady over the Pliny. They were so close (different tastes and complexities of pretty equal yum) that in my uneducated mind all I could think was that the water used by Heady made the difference in the end... might be wrong but seemed logical at the time.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,130 ratings.