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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,987 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,987
Hads: 11,147
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 8,227
Gots: 3,646 | FT: 56
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 (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,987 | Hads: 11,147
Photo of Das_Reh
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, getting to try the legendary Heady Topper. Sent to me by BigStein here on BA. Thanks!

Canned less than 10 days ago, reviewed 8/31/2015

A = Hazy bright orange color, 1 finger of off white head, visible hop sediment in suspension

S = Oh my god... I can smell this from 3 feet away. Popping the tab on the can immediately filled the air with the aroma of sweet fruit juice. Resinous, orangey, piney hops, so juicy and sweet, lots of tropical fruit notes such as mango, papaya, pineapple, maybe some tangerine. This is heavenly.

T = If you had told me this was fruit juice, I would have believed you. Orange, pine, more tropical fruit, coating your tongue in waves of oily, resinous hoppiness. Bitterness is restrained, letting the flavor and aroma of the hops shine through. Malts take a backseat in this beer for sure. Estery alcohols shine through at the end.

M = Slick and wet, super juicy, soft medium mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

O = The hype is real, folks. This beer deserves it's cult status, and I am so happy I was sent not one, but two of these. Worth seeking out and trading for, it's like losing your virginity all over again! (1,161 characters)

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

Absolutely amazing...up until now Pliny the Elder was my fave ever...recently a friend and his wife were passing thru Vermont at the right time and I got 36 of these bad boys...opened my first yesterday...just a beautiful beverage. Hoppy, smooth and with an incredible nose, lots of pine and nice lingering hoppy flavour with just a touch of bitterness out the back. I followed the rules and drank from the can...but the next one will be in a glass... (451 characters)

Photo of DSWeller
4.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 ounce can compliments of a beer trade! Poured into a pint glass. (I couldn't drink it from the can, OCD got the best of me). The first thing I picked up on was the incredible aroma! It smells like juice. Easily one of the best smelling beers I have ever had. It poured a perfect golden/orangish, with a nice solid white head. This was fantastic! Great citrus taste balanced by hops and a hint of creaminess. Easy to see why this has such great reviews. You would never know this way 8.00%. I'm glad I got to try this and even happier that I still have one left in the fridge! (578 characters)

Photo of Roland7792
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Great beer. Shame its so hard to get. Aroma is fruity with resin and pine goodness. The flavor is more pine to me and I think the label is spot on here with...."dense hoppy finish in your mouth. I think that dense and oily mouth feel is the best I've ever had! One of the smoothest and easy drinking IPAs I've had. I'm drinking this side by side with Todd the Axeman and its such a tough choice. I'm not ashamed to say I think I prefer the aroma and taste of Todd slightly more but the feel of Heady a bit more. I wouldn't turn down either tho. (549 characters)

Photo of ABhatia
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

gold standard for any beer. Excellent hoppy characteristic, perfectly balanced, perfect taste and feel. This beer changed by drinking preference from Scotch/wine to beer (170 characters)

Photo of Derek564
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Such an amazing beer! It's so hard for a beer like this to stand up to the hype, but it does.
Beautiful pour, thick head.
Amazing aromas of citrus and pine.
Great mouthful, coats your entire mouth with hoppy goodness
Overall, probably the best beer i have ever had. (266 characters)

Photo of tkrane
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad I was able to enjoy this great beer. Pours great and has a wonderful cloudy orange color. Has a nice juicy pop up front with a smooth creamy finish. Can't wait to get it again. (182 characters)

Photo of theBeebo8
4.71/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Made the trip up to VT to snag a case of this, and it was worth the drive time. I understand how this beer has stayed on the top of the charts for so long. Great orange color, with citrus not only in the smell but throughout the taste. Definitely a world-class beer (268 characters)

Photo of CMIKEHUNT
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sublime. .
Might be the best beer I've had in my life.
So drinkable it's crazy is an understatement.
Great color.
Great smell of citrus . pine and floral notes.
Smells of straight buds..
Awesome. . just awesome. . World class action here boys and girls. (257 characters)

Photo of K4550
3.98/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this a few times, solid brew but a little bit inconsistent (tasted slightly different each time). Would love to go up to VT and get it fresh within hours of it being canned (most of what my beer group brings down to PA is around a week old. (244 characters)

Photo of TheBottleMuse
4.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The myth, the legend, the Heady Topper. Finally got to try some and I can see the mass appeal.

Ton of orange in this beer, clementines, tangerines, young citrus of all kinds. A really heavy citrus floral nose to it.

Drinks very clean and is so incredibly tasty. Glad I could try some without having to trade away half of my stash for it. (340 characters)

Photo of ajcuster89
4.61/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer too many times to count, and it never fails to disappoint. To consistently brew something this flavorful is crazy. The beer is hazy golden, with nary a floatie in it. The taste explodes with tropical and citrus, but enough hop bitterness to keep it from being a juice bomb. A fantastic beer that everyone should try at least once. (351 characters)

Photo of Artdaube
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Floral burst as soon as you open the can. Piney taste is forward. A youch of citrus follows. Slo-fade bitterness through the finish. It is a classic that is consistent from can to can. (184 characters)

Photo of Kailuabrewingco
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A- straw nyellow, hints of gold
S- citrus packed with hints of grapefruit , tangerine , pineapple, passionfruit
T- fruity, hoppy, slightly bitter...packed with citrus tang
M- light and not overlly malty sweet
O- great Imperial IPA would highly reccomend for people looking for the more citrusy IPA (299 characters)

Photo of MrGootwin
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious beer. Part of the fun of this is how hard it is to get. I lucked out when we happened to be in Stowe, VT on the day they get their shipment. While it was one of the best double IPA's I've had, I can't call it the best beer in the world as some do. In my humble opinion, I'd put Pliny neck & neck. Cheers. (314 characters)

Photo of BNLTandem
3.91/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a pale straw yellow color, which is interesting because my friend, another drink it from the can rule breaker said his poured almost orange. A very fine bubbled head that dissipates quickly to a thin line where beer meets glass.

Aroma: whoa. A fruity smell. Almost like apricot nectar or pineapple juice followed with spruce.

Taste: there's that fruitiness again. Maybe a bit tart compared to the nose. A "fresh" flavor. Bitter but not gratuitously so. Not much discernable yeast or malt notes. This is ipa all the way. Hops are the star.

Feel: a thin, somewhat slick, almost oily feel on the pallet. Possibly explains the anemic head. Not off putting, but not rich at all. Again, ipa, period. No nod to head retention or mouth feel necessary. Thats not what this beer is.

Overall: nice balance between that trendy bitterness and some really pleasing, unusual hop flavors. I love the unique flavors and nose this beer shows. Would have preferred a richer experience, but I get it. It's disappointing actually. Such interesting flavors but so little attention to the overall experience. Just guessing these brewers could do even better if they weren't pandering to one dimensional hopheads. (1,235 characters)

Photo of cl3
4.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the most beautiful looking beers I've ever poured. Cloudy golden orange color with a bright white head. Nose is very fruity with loads of hop. Flavor was not what I expected. I didn't expect as much pine flavor as I got, especially given the citrusy nose. I got more fruit flavor as it wamed though. Feel was spot on. Great carbonation almost champagne like. Good beer but not sure it lived up to the hype. (413 characters)

Photo of CraigP83
4.71/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks beautiful. Hazy Orange smells just like pulped Orange Juice. High amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit bitterness. Excellent beer, best double ipa? Doubtful (162 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.18/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the can (this gimmick annoys me but for brewer suggestion I will comply)
A: it's in a can dammit what do you think
S: good intense aroma of hoppy bitterness, a tad tart but only ever so slightly
T: quite bitter, if i'm being honest I find the level of bitterness unpleasant in this beer, I suppose a bit piney and earthy, most of the DIPA's that I have had don't truly impress me with the amount of bitterness they claim to have, hint of melon, decent malt presence here but not overpowering, the bitterness is the strongest element present, sweet on the finish after the beer settles out a bit, at this point the hops help the beer remain crisp though the bitterness has dissipated, malt will come through more the more that it sits
M: silky, dry and clean
O: not bad but I really don't see what all of the fuss is about. This is a good DIPA but there are many that are better. Snake Handler from Good People comes to mind immediately. It is quite refreshing though, and of all of the beers that claim to be hoppy and bitter, this is one of the few I've had that actually lives up to the claims it makes in that regard. The flavor evolves (improves if you ask me) gradually as the beer settles, leaving less pine and more citrus notes. Not bad but tremendously over rated (I should note that if you are a hop head you will very much enjoy this beer), I'm sorry but I'll say it again, just not great (1,405 characters)

Photo of jcarlham
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While drinking a lovely IPA from "Fiddlehead," the waiter presented an ice cold can (I'd never seen) and instructed, "If you think that was good, try this." With the latency of lightning came a surprise the likes of which I had never before experienced and have yet to duplicate since. Like the picture on the can, simply mind blowing. For a hop loving homo sapient such as myself, there is no beer I would rather have in hand, no commercial graphic that signals ultimate gustatory pleasure is imminent. Across look, smell, taste, and feel, as Billy Crystal might say, "Simply mahvelous, darling." I'd give it a 6, if I could. (631 characters)

Photo of mttaylor
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass:

This beer changes greatly when poured from the can into a glass.

In the glass, the beer has a slightly subdued citrus nose that's hard to place. Pineapple, some say. Grass, others say. Orange rind and crushed orange fruit is what I say.

On the palate it is a heavier beer than other DIPAs... an indication of its quality yeast, IMHO. It has the backbone bitterness needed to balance the malt. Finishes a bit dry and without the fatigueing bite of many DIPAs. You can have two cans of this stuff pretty quickly.

From the can:

From the can the aroma is much fruitier, more orange fruit than orange peel. I was more likely to take constant sips when drinking from the can.

When I score more Heady Topper, it's going from the can to my tongue.

Good stuff, not life-changing, but very well made. (828 characters)

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally reviewing Heady Topper. The beer we are asked to drink from the can. It is a very nice can, but I pour just a small amount of it into a glass to see the hazy straw, pale lemon yellow body with very little head to speak of. But since the beer's appearance is not supposed to be a part of the experience, I won't grade harshly on that.
As soon as I pop the tab of the tall boy, I immediately get hit with loads of fresh and juicy hops. Smells of sticky pine, orange, pineapple.
The taste is magnificent. A perfect balance of the quintessential hop flavors. Pine needles, fresh pineapple, orange, grapefruit. The flavors only develop as the beer warms. The mouthfeel is great, it has a pretty full body for any type of IPA, maybe the resin contributes to this. Overall, it's probably the best beer I've ever had. Certainly meets the hype and was worth waiting for. (873 characters)

Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;) (697 characters)

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

Words are barely adequate to describe the range of this beer. Pours a golden orange color. Cloudy but the brewery advises you to drink from the can so you don't have the sediment in the glass. If you drink from the can you miss all the citrus at the nose. This is a perfectly balanced DIPA that is crisp, drinkable and balanced in hops and bitterness. (355 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As if anyone needs another review of this beer. Stood in line for 3 hours in Winooski VT to get this.
A - Pours an opaque golden orange color.
S - The nose is all citrus.
T - Flavor is tropical fruits with some bitterness at the finish.
M - Medium carbonation.
O - This is my favorite DIPA. Flavor is outstanding. So fresh, crisp and drinkable. It's just perfect. Wish I lived closer to VT so I could get it more often. (424 characters)

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,987 ratings.