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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,074 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,074
Hads: 11,574
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,442
Gots: 4,009 | 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 (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: 2,074 | Hads: 11,574
Photo of Trifecta1
4.21/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dear beer drinking community,

Never understood the hype behind this beer. Yeah, it's good, but there are so many better IPAs out there, at least to my palate. Fresh Pliny and Blind Pig are examples. What rogers your jollies so ferociously that you would put this into such lofty heights as being the ranked 1 beer? Maybe I'll never understand, maybe it's the exclusive market, or the story behind it, or maybe it is the fact that you probably over-traded for this, and you're quietly lying to yourself on a site to make yourself feel better and the sensation that it gives you makes you jizz uncontrollably, but that does not make a beer taste better. After all, now there's jizz in your beer. Get over the ego-trip of having a beer people have had thousands and thousands of times over.

Sincerely, a hype hater.

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Photo of Mississipping
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint tall can poured into a fantome tulip glass.  I, too, could not bring myself to drink straight out of the can, but I have another one that I will give it a whirl with.

A: Pours a hazy, darker copper color with a two finger off-white head that rises quickly from a violent pour and settles slowly and gently to almost nothing but a thin ring.  Heavy, frothy lacing is left behind on the glass.

S: Delicious red grapefruit, tangerine, and orange rind right up front.  Very nice pine resin and resiny and floral hops along with a touch of sweet caramel are a little more subtle but quite present.  There's a very, very slight hint of a grassiness that hides in the background, that offers just a bit more complexity to the aroma.  Really nicely balanced between resiny bitterness and sweetness. 

T: Juicy and fruity up front with some plenty of citrus fruits bursting out of the glass.  The orange and tangerine are a little more prominent in the flavor, with the grapefruit making itself known, but taking backstage.  The pine resin and hops compete with the fruitiness, but can't quite put up a fight.  There is a subtle sweetness that sneaks in here and there that manifests itself in the form of caramel, which is a great dimension that isn't overly sweet.  The finish is comprised of floral hops, a touch of orange zest, and a slight grassiness.  Delicious!

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and slightly sticky on the tongue.  Starts out mostly sweet with juicy citrus fruits and then transitions to a slightly bitter finish.  Really well balanced, though, without an overwhelming quality on either end.  Just a little drying at the finish. 

D: This is a really, really tasty and really well balanced DIPA.  Like the can says, it's not the most hoppy, but it's really tasty and really well balanced.  A real treat to get to try this and one that can stand up to some of the best from out west.  I look forward to getting a few more cans down the road.

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Photo of danedelman
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-I drink from the can but have poured into a glass and it is an amber with tons of sediment.

S-mango, pineapple raw hoppiness with a caramel maltiness. So good. So good.

T-holy poop. Not a hop bOMB like I thought. Very citrusy hopped but has a great balance to it with the Pearl malt. Wow! My favorite ever.

8%abv!!!! It drinks like a 5%er. Man this is smooth. So good.

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Photo of BrokenStones
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A day when a box of gems and treats arrived from some friends. A Variety of Russian River Brews, KBS, Parabola, BA Old Raspy.

A: Great clarity, golden yellow. We poured it even though the can says not to. Would have been quite the give away if we hadn't. Light head no lacing.

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth, big and satisfying.

O: Great Beer, I would drink it regularly if I didn't have to trade for each and every one of them.

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Photo of RoninTK3
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Extremely murky. You can barely even see light through this beer. A bit of head. Really something unusual here.

S - Hops.

T - Hops. Really, that's about it, but it's incredibly drinkable. This is so good it makes me not want to finish it.

M - Medium bodied and sticky, almost chewy. Average carbonation. Leaves your whole mouth tingling.

This is the best IPA I've ever head. I'm a hop fanatic, but I've had beers that are just hop juice and this isn't one of them. This is very drinkable and not just hoppy for the sake of being hoppy. More please.

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Photo of imhoudinibitch
5/5  rDev +7.3%

I have only had this beer a handful of times.... ok, I lied, I've had it twice... This is a beer a plan my day around to drink because it is just that good and that rare I get to drink it, regardless of how hard I try to get it.
Every time I drink it though, I drink it straight from the can, because that's the right way to drink this beer "says the can", but next time I'll be sure to pour it into a glass.

The smell of this beer is of floral and citrussy hoppy goodness and the taste fills your entire palate and stays there for a good bit and sends you to heaven if not for a short while

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Photo of controlfate
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Received a 4-pack in a trade. Served chilled in the can, as per the manufactures instructions.

A: I drank it out of the can, so it's hard to assess the appearance.
S: The smell is outstanding, very fruity, citrusy, and piney.
T: The taste follows the aroma with notes of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, pine, and mango. The taste starts out citrusy sweet, with a piney bite that tapers into a smooth fruity finish.
M: A medium bodied mouthfeel that leaves the tongue salivating for more.
O: I have been searching for this beer for a while and it did not disappoint! I will have the next one in a glass to compare the taste. Heady Topper is a must try for any IPA and IIPA fans!

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.94/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of amphion1065
2.88/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had many a can of Heady Topper over the past few months, and with each one I'd hoped that my opinion of the beer would change for the better. I'll review my inaugural taste here, as it hasn't changed at all really. 16 oz. can poured into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly dark orange with nice clarity, in spite of the small bit of suspended yeast. A one-finger white head recedes pretty quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

The nose is very, very nice. A lot of citrus fruits, bright oranges and mangoes. But there is an off-putting, lingering aroma of quasi-rotten fruit that I just can't shake. It's a very curious sweetness that just seems unnatural.

Hops seems oddly dead in the taste. Waves of malty sweetness seems to obscure any bitter hop bite. At the same time, a very strange vegetal flavor throws the balance of this beer out of whack. It seems disjointed, and though this can was very fresh, it just feels faded.

The carbonation is too low, and the mouthfeel is too heavy. Perhaps some more carbonation would help the flavors open up.

As a rejoinder, I'll add that I've drank Heady Topper straight from the can, though I didn't find that that method of presentation impacted the taste at all. In the end, I suppose it's just not for me, though certainly not terrible.

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a couple Spaten glasses. Thanks so much to Azdback for sharing this with me!

The head is about 1 and a half fingers, slightly off-white, and creamy. Fades down but has really nice sticky lacing and leftover 'foamyness.' The color of the beer is a cloudy bright orange with some sediment floating around (not much though).

The aroma is REALLY nice! Fresh bright citrus fruits, blood orange, pungent grapefruit, tangerine, mango, just a plethora of those types of aromas, along with piney, bitter, leafy hops. Really great smelling!

The taste is really quite similar and very nice. Fresh citrus, blood orange, and really overripe citrus flavors, tropical fruits, grapefruit, mango, and maybe passionfruit, along with some bitterness and piney, wet, and hop cone flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, almost luscious. Nice creamy consistency, medium carbonation, body is medium (maybe closer to the lighter side), and the finish is nice and light and dry. Superbly drinkable!

Overall this is a really damn good beer. I'm not quite sure where I rank it amongst my top DIPAs but actually I get to have a bottle of Pliny and can of Abrasive right after this haha. And after having all three, I honestly can't pick a favorite. I'd give Pliny the edge when on tap, super fresh bottle, or fresh growler. But Pliny really does seem to drop off after 2 weeks. If I had to rank them from this tasting, I'd say Abrasive > Heady Topper > Pliny. Thanks again for sharing these, Paul!

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Photo of 311bulldog
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Purchased during almost monthly trips to Vermont. Drink out of can and out of tulip and occasionally from tap.

Appearance - golden-orange hue.

S - citrusy, pine notes. Hop aromas galore. One of my favorite smells in the world.

T - world class taste from beginning to end.

M - nice feel, good level of carbonation

Overall - Definitely one of my favorite beers in the world and very accessible for me. I tend to think some of the Hill Farmstead brews are slightly better, but I stock-up on Heady 4-6 times a year. I feel lucky to get to imbibe Alchemist brews frequently!

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Photo of thequeen711
4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not being an ipa fan this beer is awesome. The hops are so well balanced. Highly revcommend dor the non ipa lover. I bought a 4 pk and can kick myself for not getting a case . Next visit I will get at least 1 case! A definite option for the non IPA oriented consumer.

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Photo of ljc973
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was for sure the best IPA I have ever had. Better than Pliny from the first sip to the last. Clean smell and taste, perfect balance. Carbonation was spot on. If you can get this, get it.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Now I know why this beer has a 100 rating! Popped open my first Heady Topper tonite (am drinking it right now) thanks to a great trade bonus from rudzud (thanks again!) Notes follow:

A: Hazy orange copper color, a bit of a slight head that dissapates quickly....(still very carbonated...)
S: Oranges, grapefruits, big citrus notes.
T: Nice bitter IPA! Really nice! Big Citrus, almost sweet but at the same time bitter. Very smooth with absolutely no crappy aftertaste found in cheap IPAs.
M: Silky smooth, no harshness here..
O: A really, really nice IPA. Definitely enjoy these higher-powered IPAs!!

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Photo of shangwang
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by a friend who stopped by the brewery last week - a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. Drank from the can.

I stuck to drinking from the can so I can't really remark on the appearance. Unbelievably hoppy and sweet aroma - I detected lots of citrusy grapefruit and mango, with a piny quality in very concentrated doses. It had a very tropical character, but I could already sense the bitterness that would be intermixed in the taste. Awesome smell, it literally made my mouth water. A few sips in and I was in heaven. Lots of citrus fruit sweetness, but a constant dry bitterness that I felt like I got mostly in the end of the taste. It was an amazingly complex taste that satisfied every bit of expectation I had for this beer. Mouthfeel was fairly light in weight, but had a nice zip to it and a sort of creamy quality upon swishing it around in my mouth. It brought out the best in the taste, that's for sure.

Overall, this was by far one of the tastiest DIPAs I've had. It stands right up there with the Plinys in terms of complex hoppy and sweet tastes, and it was incredibly drinkable. I'm really looking forward to the next one!

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Photo of basickness
4.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 1 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i searched low and high for this bad boy. i listened to the directions and drank straight from the can. no idea how old it was when i got it. IPA's are my go to all the time, and this thing is awesome. i will say not worth the $15 a can ive seen charged for it, but i'd drop an easy $8 on it.

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I journeyed North into the Green Mountain state to get it, and I would say the trip was well worth it.

This beer is everything that I expected it to be.

Had a sample glass right when I got to the Alchemist, showed a nice darker unfiltered yellow.

The smell it outstanding, so fresh. Strong hops. What I really liked was how even though its a douple IPA, the hops are not overpowering.

There is such a smooth texture to this beer. A raw texture which makes it far from watery. And oh my goodness!! It is easy to drink.

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Photo of SeaOfShells
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can directly from the vessel to my mouth. I poured a fraction for appearance.

A: Golden honey color with a white head. Pretty typical for the style.

S: A remarkable achievement in the aroma department. This is the beer that I will use to judge all others on aroma. Pungent, stinging hops, with a balanced biscuity, bready backbone. Pure citrus hops, and dense pine. A pleasure for the senses.

T: You know, being from Southern CA, I see a lot of IPAs come and go. We have quite a few to chose from after all. Most don't live up to the hype, but a few do. This is one of those few. I haven't experienced grapefruit bitterness like this in a beer before. It's honestly like biting into a ripe grapefruit. I love my IPAs bold and pungent, and this delivers more than any other. A bitter assault.

M: Again, this is average for the style. Medium bodied and good carbonation helps to scrub the palate, but in the end, the hops win. Leaves a hop coating.

O: yeah, it's as good as they say, and maybe even better. And I still have a can left.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this guy. A bit poured into a pint glass, rest enjoyed out of the can.

A - pours a hazy yellow, fluffy white head.

S - amazing nose, tons on citrus fruit - orange, pineapple, lemon, followed by piny finish

T - more subdued than the nose, but still excellent. Piny bitterness come through more than the sweetness of the nose, but still a good amount of pineapple. Well balanced relatively with some bready malt backbone, with a bitter, lingering hop finish.

M - smooth, lingering bitterness in the end

O - again, I'm glad to have had the chance to try this one. Definitely one of the best double ipa's out there that I've had, more balanced than I expected, great hop profile.

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Photo of threeviews
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into an oversized, high stemmed, red wine/goblet glass.

A- Pours a very hazy orange with noticable sediment (i.e. yeast buds) producing nothing more than a 1-finger, soapy, white head. Personally, I prefer an appearance of other bottle conditioned IPA's like that of Dogfish Burton Baton, Lagunitas' Maximus or Founders' Double Trouble.

S- Absolutely out of this world! A piney/tacky, yet sweet orange, grapefruit, pineapple and other tropical fruit aromas are all present.

T- Despite 120 IBU's and 8% ABV, this is one easy-to-drink beer...bitteringly refreshing as a sugar-topped grapefruit. The bitterness is masked with late (flavor) hop additions and the alcohol is never present. The palate is never dominated by astringent hop bitterness...but your are always wanting more...an extremely well-crafted Double IPA. To be very infantile, I would say that this is nothing more than alcoholic citrus juice...wow!

M- The light/moderate carbonation allows the flavors to open up on your palate leaving nothing more than another taste.

O- As commented by so many others, this is an exceptional brew and no surprise that they made this their flagship (in the wake of the mess Hurricane Irene wreaked on their brewpub). If you find yourself in Vermont, search it out. In the meantime, I will be thankful that copious amounts are at my taking.

PS- Despite the instruction...No, I have never consumed from the can...Blasphemy!

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Photo of wrogers19971
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Would I stand for several hours in line hoping to grab a case of the highly sought after The Alchemist#HeadyTopper... No! However, this imperial IPA may be one of the best IPAs I have tried from the Northeast. The aroma reminds me of fresh squeezed orange juice & the palate is an assassination of hops! Grapefruit, orange, mango, lemongrass & fresh resinous marijuana. This IPA's personality is vibrant, flavorful, assertive and bone dry. But somehow, the danky aroma & the aggressive bitterness find a way to coexist as one. If a friend or someone offers one up.. Take it because it worth trying and experiencing. #craftbeer

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Adrian for this one.

A- A beautiful golden amber color. Healthy white head that clings all over the glass. The beer is extremely clear, and bubbley.

S- Like sticking your face in a bag of hops. Notes of grapefruit, lemon, and mango. A distinct piney scent is present, as well as some fresh grassiness. SOOOO hoppy

T- Very smooth initially, but then the hops just go crazy. Piney hops and citrus just pound your taste buds. Lots of pineapple and fruity notes, with strong floral piney flavors as well. It's just so fresh tasting, and the flavor goes on for ever. Nice hoppy aftertaste as well.

M- Pretty much spot on. A bit dry at times, but carbonation and body are perfect.

O- Grade A DIPA all the way. This stuff is incredibly tasty, and tastes just like it did at the brewery. After drinking a significant amount of this, it really ruined most other IPA's for me. Nothing else I've had really compares to the smell and depth of flavor. Pliney tasted pretty boring next to Heady. If you are a hop head, this is a must have


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Photo of Mcvs1507
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a case from zrab11! Cheers!

This beer is great! As most other reviews will tell you.

More importantly the can is the best part! You can drop it and beat the heck out of the can but the beer will still taste just the same!!! You should really only drink from a can! And please recycle and don't be A D-Bag!

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Photo of ZBR101
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours beautiful hazy orange (I've poured it out and drank from that can, as advised). Amazing two finger head with slight lacing around the glass. A real work of art.

S - heavy citrus and floral notes. I got a slight pine cleaner scent.

T - the king of the double IPAs. Perfectly hopped. Was very surprised that it was everything and more than expected.

M - the most quaffable well balanced of the style (I've had)

O - A beer that truly lives up to the hype. Can't really add anything that hasn't been said. Big time beer! Perfect.

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Photo of stercomm
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My son brought this home after a trade for a 4 pack of this for a Dark Lord.

What a great brew, you get a lot of hoppy scents so you are thinking a real hoppy brew, then you taste it and while the hops are very prevalent the finish on this is absolutely unbelievable, a very floral finish with a really nice after taste.

This is one of the best IPA's I've tasted.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,074 ratings.