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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

7,449 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,449
Reviews: 1,564
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,822
Gots: 1,347 | FT: 37
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:
"An American Double IPA” 75 IBU 8.0% abv

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004)
View: Beers (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,449 | Reviews: 1,564 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive DIPA. The hop aromas, very C-hop, are very satisfying and very fresh as if I am at the brewery now , as if hand bottled. Great lacing and head. Unfiltered look and taste, a full mouthfull. A little astringent. Grea carbonation. Bottle from Fred.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 15:51:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

02-28-2013 02:43:59 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

Canned 2/2/12.

Pours a murky honey yellow with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is fantastic with citrus zest, citrus fruit, and tropical fruit aromas. Taste is the same with citrus fruit, citrus zest, and tropical fruit up front with a malt finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an exceptional DIPA with some amazing aromas and flavors.

Serving type: can

03-19-2012 00:12:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -15.4%

11-14-2011 18:14:10 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.72/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn, this is hoppy. That's about my first impression immediately upon popping the cap off of this. With that, I should say huge, huge thanks to rpstevens and kingcrowing for sending me bottles of this, the latter of which was a complete surprise. One bottle to be consumed tonight, the other to be shared with friends this weekend.

This bottle is shared with Amyliz4 and poured into two of our larger, unbranded tulips. The pour yields a slightly-hazed bright peach body with a two-finger head. Pretty good retention and plenty of spotty lacing as it makes its way down to a bit of rocky foam sitting atop the brew. A fairly-thick collar remains on the brew throughout as more spots settle on the sides of the glass.

As previously stated, the aroma on this is damn near epic and remains amazing throughout. The initial whiff slammed my nostrils with dominant notes of tropical fruit, citrus rind, and a bit of pine. Each swirl kicks up another bit of aroma with some mango skin and passion fruit taking hold at first. Behind that is a flock of citrus and an overload of ripe peaches. Following behind all this when you sniff really hard is a nice finish of some piney resin.

The flavor picks up where the nose left off, though doesn't quite dominate my senses like the nose did. With that said, this is some really, really incredible stuff. I'll start off with one of my only complaints, which is that the hop flavor isn't quite as pungent as the aroma is. Still, there is some fairly-radical hop flavor to balance the hop bitterness. Did you hear that many makers of East Coast IPAs? Malt sweetness doesn't provide balance to bitterness in a fantastic double IPA, lovely and luscious fruit flavors do.

Mango, passion fruit, and guava make their way into the mix. The strong, strong bitterness levels really elevate the citrus presence and make me think of some good grapefruit rind. The body on this does an absolutely remarkable job accentuating the hops. There's not an ounce of sweetness, but there's enough body to really pull everything together. The bitterness in the finish is uber-high and leaves my mouth quite dry. There's certainly a solution for that--have some more.

I've been waiting a long, long time to finally try this one. Unlike an unfortunately-large percentage of other beers with so much hype, I have enjoyed this immensely. Huge, huge thanks again to Ryan and Nick for the chance to finally try this. Cheers to both of you.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 01:28:20 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.65/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has some hints of amber hues. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass. There is a slight amount of carbonation visible along with some fine particles floating in suspension.
S: There are strong aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with some hints of pine resin. As the beer warms up, the piney hops become replaced by aromas of mangoes and other tropical fruits. I poured a little from the can into a snifter glass to give due justice to evaluating its appearance and aroma, but the smell is so strong that you can get most of it by simply sniffing the mouth of the can.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by flavors from the hops—grapefruit really stands out in particular and contributes a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers into the finish. There are also some interesting hints of tropical fruits such as mangoes, which lend to the complexity and become a little stronger as the beer warms up. The hops also taste extremely fresh and seem a somewhat reminiscent of a wet hopped beer.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Despite being an Imperial IPA, this beer is a citrus hop bomb that drinks more like a regular IPA and has no traces of alcohol whatsoever in the taste. If I could find a four pack of this, I would have no problem knocking back each one of the cans in a single sitting.

Serving type: can

01-08-2013 03:33:39 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presents a slightly hazy honey color capped by a couple of inches of foam; swathes a few strands of lace

Smell: Bursts with citrus, pine and pith; rather tropical, with orange, pineapple and mango

Taste: The intense bitterness jutts forward from the get-go, with the tropical citrus flavors featuring prominently in the middle, bringing orange, pineapple and mango flavors, along with ruby red grapefruit; the sweetness from the malts builds into the finish, balancing the bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A great DIPA; while it is big on the hops, there is a lot of malty sweetness, too and that is necessary to balance the intense bitterness

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

Serving type: can

12-23-2012 00:20:08 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-25-2011 03:24:03 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally made the long trek up here to be able to taste it in person. Reviewed from notes after my trip, I am finally getting around to getting these all caught up. Served in a pint glass.

The pour was what dreams are made of. All big IPA's should look this way. Seriously. Intense dark amber in color, nearly brown when all is said and done as it really just was darker then I ever would have thought. Big head of white caps it perfectly, two to three inches in height with a rocky and cratered appearance that really seem to hang on forever. Really just a tremendous looking beer I have to admit. The lacing coating the sides alone is enough to make you quiver, but then you decide to reach forward and try and take a big whiff, and that's when you will nearly fall over. It is just sublime. Huge citrus aroma here, tart and bitter as can be with pungent orange and pineapple mixing with the pink grapefruit aroma we come to expect in our big double IPA's. Huge nose, warming brings out a touch of butter malts underneath and a light, but discernable grain note. Each sip is like a step into hop heaven. Unreal freshness here. No hint of the ABV at all, in fact it was so smooth I could have sat here all day and drank this one, just remarkable. Rich orange and grapefruit tear at the taste buds, ripping every ounce of moisture from your palate and replacing it with a wonderful buttery flavor that is second to none. Smooth even carbonation and a rich medium body stacks it all up to being just a tremendous double IPA.

Overall I am just floored. I have been able to try this twice now and each time I am more impressed then before. Simply amazing and I wish more people would get to try this one. It can hold its own with any of the big boys any day of the week.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2010 01:45:38 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can (thanks Stephen): Poured a cloudy light yellow color ale with large chunks of protein floating around and a large foamy head with good retention. Aroma of super intense pine hops notes with some citrus and resin notes. Taste is also a super intense mix of pine, resin and light citrus undertones hops with a dry malt backbone that is hard to distinguish from the hops attack. The floral aromas are huge end very enjoyable. Body is full with great carbonation. I must admit the hype is totally justified for this one, truly one of the great IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 18:20:29 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -15.4%

11-20-2011 19:54:43 | More by acurtis
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So if your beer tastes like this, maybe you only need to make one. There's likely no way that you'll ever out do Heady-Topper so just stop right there!

With a controlled and creamy pour of medium gold elixir, this hazy and glowing ale constructs a creamy, cottony white head with substantial retention and islands of lace. Overall, this is one sexy beer!

Seductive and mouthwatering citrus aromas abound from from the rim of the glass. The straight-up juicy fruity scent of the freshly squeezed pulp of ripe ruby red grapefruit with elements of citric acids, fruit sweetness that seems of thin honey, and some softer tropical notes of mango and apricot. It's impossible to put your nose so close to the glass without taking a sip.

The delicious delight of a beer delivers the straight forward grapefruit flavor just as the nose promises. The sweet pulp of fresh-picked ruby reds couldn't be more spot-on. Resiny as the citrus flavors seem to coat the mouth while the stripping of enamel commences. Soft caramel malts support the hops with the supple and elegant sweetness of powdered sugar and honey, but do so without contrast- make no mistake about it, this is a hop-forward ale with the likes that rarely seen. A very delicate yet hop-dominant balance throughout. Any estery fruitiness would weave into the hop matrix and inform the beer with complementary notes of tropical mangoes, apricots, and pineapple. Succulent and savory throughout, even as the beer's elegant hop flavor develops into soft resiny bitterness that grips the gullet with kid gloves in finish and aftertaste. Only the strong taste of alcohol for moderate 8% that reminds me of super glue is the only slight defect in taste.

Very creamy and delicate on the palate from the initial sip and deep into the middle portion of the palate. All the while coating the mouth with citrusy acids, diluted pine resin, and light sticky honey. The beer's carbonation develops a malty-dry finish that retains its soft malty body while contributing pleasant alcohol warmth and an extended citrusy bitterness.

When you're convinced of the impossibility of ever tasting a better IPA, something like this comes along and shows new possibility in flavor intensity, dryness, drnkability, and absolute elegance and finesse. It's hard to keep this beer off of the "perfect" line score.

Serving type: can

03-15-2012 02:18:50 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.47/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Drew.

A: The pour is a cloudy dark orange with a finger's worth of white head.

S: The nose is intensely perfumey with lots of grapefruit, mango, pine, and lemon zest. There's a pretty nice pine aroma, and just an overall fruitiness to it.

T: Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon zest give this a big fruitiness. Though it does have a lot of fruit notes, it's also pretty intensely bitter and piney, which is very nice.

M: The body is medium with a pretty lively carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

D: Certainly a very, very good IPA. Actually reminded me a lot of Sculpin, but more bitter. Would definitely like to have this one again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2010 10:00:08 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

01-19-2012 07:13:50 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

5/5  rDev +5.7%

12-05-2011 18:10:03 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, light yellow-orange body strewn with fine particles and topped with a barely off-white head.

Smell: Heavy, heady resins, staunch florals, crushed aspirin tablets, and a squirt of white grapefruit juice over a thin cracker-toned malt base.

Taste: Lightly bready, lightly crackery malts with just a little bit of honeyish sweetness. Strongly floral, heavily resinous rounded with a fruity kick of grapefruit. Medium-high bitterness. Dry, citrusy, pithy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel.

Overall: Not bad. Not bad at all.

Serving type: can

04-05-2012 15:49:05 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Drank from the can as was suggested by the can.

S: Even without pouring into a glass I got a little aroma as I brought the can to my face! What I got was hoppy tropical fruity heaven.

T: Massive tropical fruits up front. Mango, Grapefruit and even a little unripe bitter Pineapple. Next come the hops that balance out the beer perfectly and leave a slight lingering bitterness on your palate. Alcohol is nonexistent even at 8%. Could drink this when I wake up until I go to bed

M: Light to medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Perfect for a double ipa

O: Perfect double IPA. Flavors are spot on and drinkability is perfect. Awesome!

Serving type: can

04-25-2012 04:24:55 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

10-18-2013 00:11:25 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-15-2011 05:11:20 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to Roger at Bestway for GIVING me this beer on Sunday.I know it's snobbery but I can't drink beer out of a can,I hate myself but I just can't.Pours a murky kind of lemony tea looking with a thin white head,the color was hard to pinpoint.Pure hops in the nose,tropical fruit, citrus rind,deep pine resin,and sweet alcohol,all make for a volitile mix.Just hops and lots o' hops on the palate,pine resin,deep overripe tropical fruits,and some bitterness in the finish.It's oily as all get out and slick in the mouth.This beer is pretty damn raw and complex in the hop department to the hilt,bad ass.I love the hop burps!

Serving type: can

05-30-2013 21:09:06 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-23-2011 20:59:27 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is incredible stuff, this beer was drank mostly from the can... only poured a sample of it out to enjoy the orange yellow color of it with a nice looking white head on top. Had a nice unfiltered cloudiness to it also. The smell of the beer is very hoppy, lots of pine aromas in it with the delicate floral and citrusy notes in there as well. The taste is probably worthy of a 5.5 honestly. There is no doubt that this has some of the best transitions of flavors I've had from any IPA. There is a huge rush of floral sweet citrus notes on the tongue in the very beginning, as the liquid settles there is a very subtle burst of malts on the tongue right before the aggressive pine resin starts to claw away at your taste buds. The mouthfeel is smoothly carbonated making this beer very easy to drink, it's medium bodied and has a nice dry finish to it. Overall this is something very special, The people up at Alchemist aren't screwing around here, they are setting out to make the best IPA in the world and I would say that they just might have it. This is a beer I would drive to Vermont to get cases of. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Looking forward to drinking the next 3 in the pack.

Serving type: can

08-02-2012 03:14:41 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Rogue shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to apollokim for this can!

The big guns keep on showing up for this Super Bowl party! This one pours a rusty tawn topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit zest, yellow grapefruit peel, orange zest, strong pine resin, light leek, and buttery toffee (think Crunch 'n' Munch). The taste brings in more of the same, though the pine, leek, and citrus peels come through stronger, taking things in an ever-so-slightly bitterer direction. Things are still very well-balanced, though. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a damn fine, nicely-balanced DIPA. Good times. (Note: We tried this both in the glass and straight out of the can. There was no consensus, as about half preferred the can and half preferred the glass. I was in the latter, though it wasn't a strong preference by any means.)

Serving type: can

02-06-2012 22:26:26 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Alex for sharing this one, you generous SOB.

Slightly hazed orange due to it's unfiltered nature, and the bottle was approaching it's end. In a tulip glass, there initially was a solid finger's width of white foam, fading to a wispy skim dotted with minor spotty lacing.

Huge tropical aroma, fresh hops galore, sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit, mango, resiny dank herbals. Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity.

Flavor is similarly fruity, with a big grapefruit presence, moderately bitter, lush and packed with resinous hop flavor and a slight undercurrent of pale malt sweetness. Sticky and dank. Body is fairly light, and with no trace of the abv, it's almost too easy to drink. "Carbonated to pub draft levels" as the label states. A bomber or two of this hop nectar would be awesome, on tap even better. Thanks again Alex!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 15:24:40 | More by emerge077
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?

This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.

A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.

Serving type: can

09-13-2013 23:51:10 | More by biboergosum
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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,449 ratings.