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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

9,684 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,684
Reviews: 1,846
rAvg: 4.74
pDev: 6.96%
Wants: 6,671
Gots: 2,511 | FT: 40
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 (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,684 | Reviews: 1,846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BostonHops
4.57/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can divided between a snifter and the can.

pours a golden / medium amber tone with some haze to it while yielding a finger and a half of a creamy, off-white head. excellent retention and lacing. nose offers a nice, fragrant bouquet of hops, heavy on the tropical / citrus, some floral and some grass notes and a hint of sweet malt.

flavor follows the aroma. lots of tropical / citric hoppiness - lemon zest, grapefruit, and mango among others - with a little malt in the background. medium bitterness. nice, medium bodied mouthfeel with average carbonation.

overall an outstanding beer. i'd probably be enjoying it even more had my expectations not been so incredibly sky high. and while it's not the best IPA/DIPA i've ever head, it's certainly up there - it just works. world class brew.

(originally reviewed: 01-09-2012)

Photo of cnbrown313
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mrcraft
4.75/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of jroberts8811
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Wobbly
4.28/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Hophead717
4.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A pint can, poured into my DFH Signature Glass. I'll enjoy this beer in a glass-just like every beer is meant to be drank.

A: I understand now why they say to drink from the can--this beer is ugly! A hazy, putrid, light orangy color, with a thin head that disipates instantly. Hop resin clearly visible in the bottom of the glass, despite a careful pour.

S: Out of this world: juicy pinapple, light orange, and fresh lightly piney hops. Amazing.

T: Hop bitterness upfront, with the same pinnapple-orange interplay mid-sip. Strong bitterness in the finish--just what I want from a DIPA!

M: Supremely drinkable. Medium-thin body, with moderate carbonation.

O: One of the best beers I've ever had. Probably my favorite IPA. I want more!

Photo of mscudder
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rihup
4.25/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Ncpogs
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Pahn
4.82/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can into Duvel tulip (drank small amount from the can--prefer it in the glass, *as with every beer*). No freshness info, but my friend just bought it for me when a stray case hit Boston a couple days ago. Sold out in a day at 1 can per customer.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 3/4 inch fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Pours an opaque orange-ish yellow. Some spotty lacing. I quite like the solid yellow color; gives a real nectar impression.

Smell: Grapefruit, mango, and lemon, with a slight pungency and some pale malt. With time, it's all grapefruit and lemon--dankness disappears as does the malt. Bursting with bright citrusy hop aromas.

Taste: Up front, beautiful citrusy hops with a tinge of tropical fruit. Finishes with just enough bitterness along with some subtle pale malt.

What a simple, direct, but genius beer. Every sip is that succulent citrus and mango hop explosion up front, leading to a sort of soothing balance of slightly toasted malt, alcohol heat, and bitterness. The latter three all read as "soft", and the hop flavor persists on top of them through the dryish finish into the aftertaste. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Just right. Medium bodied and smooth, juicy with a slight creaminess. Low to moderate carbonation comes across as an occasionally noticeable tingle. Perfect dryness, bitterness, heat.

Overall: This beer reminds me of a great jazz band. The malt, heat, IBU, and mouthfeel are all playing wonderfully subdued parts, supporting the hop oil virtuoso soloist. DIPAs don't get much better than this.

Photo of Stevie_Janowski
4.75/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of litheum94
4.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can. No canning dates. Poured into a glass, despite the fact the can tells me not to.

Murky amber body with tons of floaties (unfiltered!). Small, tan tinged head. Mostly bubbles and a ring around the glass. Moderate lacing.

Pine, citrus and some menthol on the nose. Some caramel and biscuit malts. A floral aromas appears as well.

Lots of pine and citrus hops attack the tongue right away. Some brown sugar and biscuit malts form a base, but this is destroyed by a bracing bitterness. Very floral on the back end. The bitterness lingers in the mouth for quite a while.

Lives up to the hype. Wish I could drink this all the time.

Photo of AMCimpi
5/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of marine1975
4.75/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of gwiedman1
3.25/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of polopaul20
4.75/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of scotorum
4.37/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd forgotten about the ranty feeling-sorry-for-myself review from last August (Reposted below.) But I am here to report I finally hit Heady paydirt. That is, my friend BigStein88 gave me two precious cans.

I HATE drinking beer out of cans, so I defied the recommendation from the brewer and poured my first can into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass, self-serving at just under fifty degrees fahrenheit out of my beer fridge. Not sure how fresh, but BigStein88 visits his old home state of Vermont fairly often, so I doubt if it's more than two months old.

a: Hazy dark gold, not as hazy as I expected though, although I do see some tiny floaties. Two inch tall white head receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Intense citrus and pine. Later, lawn mower grass clippings. (!)

t: Do not find this as citrusy as on draft. In fact grassiness is the most prominent and persistent flavor, much stronger even than any wet hop ale I have had (yes I know this is not one of those). Moderate hop bite, but little in the way of lingering bitterness as the brewer's text on the can seems to suggest. Blindfolded, I'd have said this is the freshest wet hop IPA ever. 8% alcohol is well concealed in any event.

m: As on draft, moderate, slickish.

o: I want to say this is The Best I've Ever Had. But truth is, and heretical though it is for a New Englander to say, at this point the Pliny the Elder I had last night was even creamier and more enjoyable. Might be my own fault for not following the other part of the brewer's instructions, and pouring it all out into the glass at once rather than saving the yeasty last ounce for a final savory pour.

The intense grassy flavor is different and very good. Definitely unlike any DIPA I have had, but not what I expected, especially in light of my previous, citrusy rather than grassy taste experience with it fresh at the cannery last August and on draft at the Prohibition Pig in Waterbeery (sic).

Will add more to this essay on Heady when I crack the other can. I'll probably bite the bullet and drink at least part of that out of the can to see if it makes a difference.

In view of the above, am changing my original review ratings: a: 3.5-3.75; s:4-4.25; m: 4.5-4.25

ORIGINAL 8/18/13 REVIEW:

8 oz. draft at the Prohibition Pig pub in Waterbury VT and several ounces more in a mini-snifter at the brewery the same day.

a: A hazy gold with a finger thick white head which dropped to a surface film.

t: Sweet citrusy goodness. Alcohol well hidden. Not as hoppy as I had expected, but very tasty indeed.

m: Moderate, slickish and almost chewy, an impression no doubt reinforced by the cloudiness. Probably why the brewer recommends drinking it straight from the can. Oh if only I had had that opporunity! But alas "CANS SOLD OUT" greeted me at the end of the entrance and the front door at the brewery.

o: Excellent, appealing, refreshing, all those good things. Whether I would concur it is the best I can't say for sure. I do feel a bit troubled by the fact that I liked Double Sunshine better at the same sitting at The Pig. But I had that first, and they were different.

I know you know this already, but the friendly gal who poured my sample at the brewery said weekdays are the time to get some in cans. This week they sold out on Thursday. Usually it's Friday. I was there on Saturday, after dinner, around 6 P.M. I had figured they'd be out. But I also visited half a dozen stores where HT was supposed to be available, and even saw two places had hanging signs which read stuff like "Head This Way To The Heady." Nope.

And Lawson's or Hill Farmstead anything? Forget that too. Trek up to Greesboro in the middle of Nowhere Vermont (sorry, I am sure it is very wonderful up in that part of the Kingdom, it just looks like Nowhereland on my maps) and buy Hill Farmstead at the farm if you want some (and I know you do, I can hear your heavy breathing). Call ahead to make sure they have some. Preferably from across the street.

Lawsons might show up at the Warren Store on Thursdays. You may have to haunt the place or get a job there. Or go early on the second Saturday to the Waitsfield Farmers Market. Get a ticket from the Lawson's booth. And Waits in the Field until your turn. Are we getting a bit frustrated with limited availability and frantic buying from craftier-than-thou beer connoisseurs yet? After driving a six hour round trip and coming home empty-handed, Yes.

Photo of moarmare
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Knoxrb12
5/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of devilfluff
5/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cumulative review after about 5 in the past 2 weeks...

Can to tulip at about 45 degrees.

Pours with 1F of off-white head over an opaque, deep gold body with tons of floaties. Touch of lacing.

Aromas contain a tropical fruit explosion, full of pineapple, coconut, some grapefruit, and surprisingly ... plenty of charred log as it warms.

Bold and sharp on the palate. Flavors move slightly off tropical over to orange, mango, and pine, with lots of white pepper, and some young pineapple rind. Definitely a DIPA, as the hops seem to engulf the sweetness.

Crisp and full of carbonation... could be smoother for higher points here.

Not the be-all, end-all of DIPAs. I thought it was very reminiscent of Mongo (bottle variety, not draft). Sharp, hop-forward, and full of floaties.

Photo of Anonymous1
5/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of nygannon
4.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took the first sip from the can to get the full affect.

A: Poured from the can to my glass this brew pours like your average IPA. Murky golden hue with a white capped head.

S: The aroma is delightfully hoppy fresh. Resinous hops take over. This brew is a little less fruity than a normal DIPA.

T: The flavor is near perfect. Very well balanced and not over sweetened in the process. The flavor is fresh, raw hops.

MF: The carbonation is great, my pallet isn't torn up, the after taste isn't offensive.

Overall, a great beer, deserving of the top 10 on BA? Maybe not, but an incredibly drinkable IPA

Photo of dcloeren
4.75/5  rDev +0.2%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,684 ratings.