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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

1,985 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,985
Hads: 11,138
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 8,227
Gots: 3,629 | FT: 57
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 (11) | 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: 1,985 | Hads: 11,138
Photo of Heady978
4.96/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Heady Topper. This is it. This beer in my hand is truly the best DIPA, and maybe the best beer period. Pouring this beer into a brand new tulip glass seems blasphemous given the clear instructions to drink form the can, but I've done that enough, and can't miss an opportunity to enjoy the full sensory experience of HT.

A: Just gorgeous. Sunset orange with a bright white head that dissipates quickly but sticks around for the whole glass. Unfiltered to the max, which IMHO is a plus, especially when we're talking about DIPAs.

S: Smell is off the charts. Massive citrus and pine notes assault your nasal cavities from the moment you crack a can until the moment you take your last glorious sip. If only they made HT air fresheners...

T: 120 IBUs never tasted so good - a hopheads wet dream. Once the initial punch of hop bitterness passes, you are left with bright, cleansing grapefruit and overripe orange which fades into a subdued but present malt sweetness that leaves the beer tasting rather balanced (although this beer is not mean't to be balanced, so I'm puzzled as to why so many people criticize it for being too hop forward)

M: Brilliant. Smooth, almost creamy carbonation that pops the palate open and readies you for the onslaught of goodness.

O: Those who find themselves disappointed by HT, IMHO, simply do not possess the necessary knowledge of the DIPA style or the requisite love of American hops. This beer fires on all cylinders and I feel truly blessed to be able to drink it regularly. John Kimmich & company really have it figured out and I couldn't be happier for the heady people that make this heady beer come to life. (1,653 characters)

Photo of CayseyW
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Given the new rating system, I felt compelled to add a review to my score, even though this beer speaks for itself by now.

L: Well, it looks great in the can because of the great art, but when poured out into the glass its very rustic, cloudy brew.

S: Sometimes I get fresh-cut grass and other times it smells like slicing into a grapefruit. So complex and inviting.

T: Juicy citrus mouthful with piney notes. This is a super delicious beer, but you probably already knew that.

F: Ridiculous; the bitterness of this beer should be overwhelming but it's just so smooth on the front and backend. No booziness at all.

O: While it's not my personal favorite DIPA, this beer deserves to be in the conversation for the best in the world. It's revolutionary and nearly flawless. (778 characters)

Photo of clake
4.84/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16oz can purchased on 7/20 and poured (yeah, yeah, yeah) into a Spiegelau glass. Pours a beautiful hazy, orange color with about a finger of head dissipating to a nice ring. Smell is citrusy grapefruit and the taste does not disappoint. Near perfect mouthfeel and finish. Definitely this hop lover's favorite DIPA. (317 characters)

Photo of mikem0487
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy went up to Vermont this past month and was lucky enough to pick up a 6pack for himself and gave me one!

A-Two finger head dissipated quickly back into the beer. Not to much lacing going on either. Unfiltered beer with a off amber brown color. Looks heady for a unfiltered double IPA!

S-Earthy grapefruit aroma dominates. Mild lemon/citrus notes with the caramel malts behind it all. Smells great!

T-Get hops throughout the whole palate. The hops arent too overwhelming however. Everything is cohesive until the end where the hops hit the back of the tongue. Leaves great after taste. Get all that earthy citrus hops found in the nose. Has a nice caramel malt profile to help subdue the hoppiness in this beer!

M-Has great mouthfeel. Love unfiltered beers. Slighty chewy. Good carbonation in this.

O-Great beer. Has everything you are looking for in a double IPA! Only thing that its lacking is in the appearance with the minute head retention. As long as the beer smells appetizing and taste good I am happy so nothing to worry about in this beer! (1,061 characters)

Photo of camil1mj
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh can. I did not follow the instructions on the can. I poured it at fridge temp into an imperial pint glass at.

A: Cloudy, brownish-orange. Minimal white head. You can tell this one us unfiltered.

S: Lots of fruity, floral hops. Wonderful!

T: Immediate punch of hops followed by wonderful fruit notes.

M: Perfect to the style. Medium body and carbonation. Refreshing.

O: Great DIPA. Lives up to the hype. Would love for this to be available at the local store. (469 characters)

Photo of sbxx
4.52/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 5/15
Big thanks to wyatt13 for sharing a can!

Appearance - Hazy, light yellow. Nice and fresh. Light head that disappears fairly quick. Didn't pour much in the glass. Just enough for a quick look. Drink from the can!!!

Smell - Big. Lots of pine. Background grapefruit, and a little bit of orange peel.

Taste - Massive hops, as expected. More of the citrus comes through in the taste. Astringent pine as well. Big bitter aftertaste that lingers. Packs one hell of a wallop too. Halfway thru the can, I was already buzzed.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body (for a DIPA), medium carbonation, semi-dry, semi-sticky finish

Overall - A damn fine beer, yes. #1 beer ever? Probably not. It tastes very natural, very raw and overall, very nice. If you love hops, you'll love this. Keep your expectations in check though. It's simply an awesome DIPA. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't compare it to Pliny. Two totally different beers, in my opinion. And both are great! (960 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.89/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: golden yellow with orange hues, white fizzy head, very hazy

Aroma: explosion of citrus and slight pine on the nose, biscuit notes, clean yeast

Taste: wonderful. Simply wonderful. Awesome balance of citrus hops with solid and noticeable biscuit notes, which are much more noticeable than in most DIPAs. The bitter but not overly so finish completes a great swig.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, big, but very drinkable. Medium finish which is nice, makes you able to come back for more drinks more often unlike some DIPAs that's are so bitter that you can only really take one sip every 5-10 minutes medium carbonation.

Overall: without question one of the best DIPAs I've ever had. Very balanced and very flavorful with huge notes of citrus and biscuit balancing each other. Medium finish and drinkable body makes for an incredibly well made beer. (857 characters)

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

its good, its hoppy but has less of a harsh hop finish. typical grapefruity hop profile but nicer finish. i like ipa's but don't love them. higher carbonation which i believe is increased because you have to drink from the can...so i poured half of it into a glass. i like it better since it's easier to drink. i got to say, for me its a 4.5 out of 5. (maybe less but i think i will be thrown out of any bar if i say that) (422 characters)

Photo of beardown2489
4.25/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not the best IPA I've ever had, but it's something every beer fanatic should try. It revolutionized the beer game and for that I am thankful. An excellent beer (159 characters)

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

Oh, What a beautiful buzz, what a beautiful buzz. Special beer, from a special place. Truly not much more needs to be said. Drink it from the can and drink it in Vermont. (173 characters)

Photo of Walken
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Alchemist: Heady Topper, IIPA (Tasted 11/28/08)
Tap @ The Alchemist [Waterbury, VT] : Poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours out orange with golden hues, puffy white head leaves sticky lace down the glass as the beer disappears
Odor: Sticky fresh-pressed pineapple juice, pine sap, dank dank nuggets with sweet floral aromas in the background.
Consistency: On the low end of medium bodied, slick and oily with a refreshing dryness in the finish. Carbonation is moderate to low.
Taste: Wowee. The beer is built on a simple, subtle and sturdy malt frame. Dashes of caramel here and there but not much else. Restrained fruity ester profile. Bitterness is certainly firm, but by no means aggressive, at most prickling the palate with some grapefruit/pine. Hop flavor is immense, echoing the diversity in the aroma. Finish is very clean and as dry it possibly could be for style, leaving a coating of bittersweet hop flavor all over my mouth.

This is a rarity on the East Coast. A well attenuated IPA with a unique, diverse hop character that you can drink all night long. It's a shame that the Alchemist doesn't do growlers so more people can try this beer. (1,168 characters)

Photo of mpedara429
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Christmas came early this year and I was finally able to get my hands on a Heady Topper in MA! My brew supply store randomly had a 4-pack and the owner was kind enough to give me one.

A: Cloudy amber in color with two fingers of off white head. Good retention and heavy lacing.

S: Big, big nose that was heavy on pine. Other scents included grapefruit and tropical fruit.

T: Very similar to the nose with an earthy character as well. A good amount of bitter hoppiness but it is so balanced and drinkable.

M: Medium heavy body with a light to medium carbonation. It is pretty oily and sticks to the palate pretty well.

O: There are many beers that could have the same looking review, but very few like Heady Topper. All of the parts do not equal the whole here. For a DIPA, I could drink these all night and that is a good, but scary thing. It is simply one of the best beers I've ever had. (895 characters)

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

Poured out of a can, 1 day after canning.

A- A hazy Apricot color. Not too much head.

S- A sweet hoppy aroma, not too bitter on the nose

T- A lot of things going on. Fresh Hops, and a lot of them! Grapefruit, a mild citrus, finished off slightly bitter.

M- Very crisp, good amount of carbonation, a little bit of bitterness on the back end.

O- A great DIPA. One of the best I have ever had. This needs to be drank fresh. It does make a difference. (453 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
4.66/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to JOSHMAN for this one (and three others)!

As best I can tell from the information I have, this was canned on June 3rd, 3 weeks ago.

First review of Heady Topper on a "Drink from the can!" experience:

Poured from a can into my mouth.

A: Silver, black. Picture a guy drinking beer from a glass, but his head is exploding with hops. That's about what this looks like. Clean and shiny. Not really sure how I can even grade this. I'm resigned to just giving it whatever my "overall" is.

S: Sweet, sweet hops. Earthy and citric aromas come strong out of the can immediately upon opening. A little spiciness lingers, almost like the faintest hint of a cologne, but in a good way. Strong citrus aromas of pineapple dominate. I could sniff this beer all day, but I've resigned to drinking it.

T/M: Follows the nose pretty closely. A little more carbonation up-front than through the rest of the sip is delivered... maybe the can, maybe just my perception. Lots of sweet citrus on the body, with a little dank earthiness following. A lingering bitterness follows along with a little more earthy flavor and feel. The bitterness in this emerges almost after all other flavors have begun to die off but doesn't dominate the flavor profile while sipping. Body has nice, sweet malt character that doesn't dominate the beer, but does provide a sweetness to this that is very nice with all of the citrus. Alcohol doesn't show up much at all in the taste. The mouthfeel overall is just about perfect for the style in terms for gravity, but the lingering finish feels just slightly off, like I'm trying to get something out of my mouth rather than keep it there. Still very pleasant. Really drinkable.

O: Really happy with this beer. I will need to try it side by side with Pliny to really sort out the nuances of each, but each is great in its own right. I'm finding myself drinking this dangerously quickly -- I am pretty glad I don't have enough of these to just enjoy at will and open in series, or I could end up very drunk very quickly. I was worried that this beer would be a little too dank for me, but that really hasn't been the case at all. I don't suspect that the beer has "lost" this since canning, so I think perhaps I just had unfounded worries. Great beer. (2,270 characters)

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

Long awaited, and well worth the wait! A friend brought me back a can from a trip to Vermont...a very good friend indeed!

Drank 1/3 or so in a tulip glass, the rest from the can.

Poured into the tulip, there's a nice golden, straw color, that pours a rich and frothy two-finger head that takes a bit of time to settle down; lacing is very nice. Smells immediately of citrus, and a hell of a lot of hops. The taste...yum! The hops are even more pronounced, but not in an overwhelming fashion. They certainly linger on the tongue, but it's evenly balanced enough to not become tart or bitter. Maybe grapefruit, very light floral and spice notes that provide a nice balance to the hop-fest that is this Double IPA. Also getting a bit of passion fruit and tropical fruit notes. Mouthfeel is great, solid carbonation and doesn't attack one particular part of the palate.

If you're lucky enough to find one, it's well worth a taste! (930 characters)

Photo of iJyuken
4.55/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Drank from the can, very nice artwork!

S: Sticky resin. not a hop bomb but layers and layers of sticky hops. lots of grass and citrus.

T:Bursting with citrus, citrus and bitterness stick around the whole way through.

M: Great body for an 8% abv beer. well carbonated and highly drinkable..

O: A great DIPA. I can see where all the hype comes from, definitely an easy drinking, tasty beer. (395 characters)

Photo of von_kaiser
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2 months old
A: I don't know. It's in a can. Staying in the can. (Remember it being unfiltered golden brown)
S: this hop scent is nothing like I've ever smelled before. Like cotton candy
T: cotton candy. So sweet and bitterly good. Perfect balance of everything.
M: just stays with you. The resin is sweet. Hop sweet. I get no citrus. Just a sapy hop resin
O: prior to this I had coriolis. Coriolis was unbelievable! Heady Topper...god damn! This is by far the greatest beer I've ever had. Hands down. (501 characters)

Photo of jcartamdg
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden orange with a head that is thick and fluffy and retains. Aroma of bold citric and piney hops that is in your face in a good way, generous malts to back it up. Taste follows nose, so good so amazing. Smooth and easy to drink, I love this beer, it will perpetually stay in my wants! (293 characters)

Photo of ZBR101
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (539 characters)

Photo of vizzionman
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm honestly not sure what all the hype is about. I think the fact that it's hard to get and really hoppy makes it a winner in most people's books. For me though it had a weird background taste every sip that I wasn't really used to I guess. After about the 3rd or 4th can though I started to like the beer a lot more. (318 characters)

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

A: very cloudy pale. Nice white head but very minimal lacing
S: very fruity. Lots of tropical fruits i get a lot of pineapple, then the resin/pine backend follows up.
T: where this beer reigns king. Incredibly juicy with tons of tropical fruits coming through, still has a great hop/bitter bite with that "dankness to it. the aftertaste is amazing, and leaves the hop taste on your tongue. It's also incredibly drinkable with almost no taste of alcohol.
F: carbonation is spot on and very refreshing. It has a bit of a sticky finish to it but that makes it awesome with that hop aftertaste

O: Juicy balanced and some good hop bitterness. (642 characters)

Photo of gkatsoris
4.69/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: I did pour a little out to review :) Beautiful, crisp, clear yellow. Thick bright white head. No lacing.

S: Mango. Citrus bomb. Orange rind. Grapefruit rind. Tangerine. Pineapple, and pine resin.

T: Super citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and grapefruit again. Pineapple. Less is more; that is, this is a one sided tasting brew!!!!

M: Thick and chewy. Nice foam. Coats the tongue brilliantly!!!

O: I could drink this all day and all night!!! I was fearing a let down, but I am more than impressed.

thanks Wil (The Beer Store). (537 characters)

Photo of Doodler
4.6/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can from Dr Greg - grazie amigo! Shared with buds. Poured a cloudy orange with a decent white head Nose is lemon / grapefruit citrusy and huge on the hops. Taste is slippery sweet and well integrated among the hop resins and citrus / fruit flavors. Finished off with a nice bitterness and soft bite. The lasting finish is well balanced. Loved this one. (352 characters)

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

Drank this right from the can as I was instructed. The nose smells like beer candy and the beer is creamy and hoppily delicious. This beer just does everything right, and honestly gets better with every sip. While it's not my favorite IPA I've ever had (Double Citra from Hill Farmstead currently wears that crown), this is absolutely wonderful and I would drink this every night if I could. (391 characters)

Photo of Heatwave33
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can to a Cigar City Snifter.

Color: A murky gold with lots of sediment. An off colored white head.

Smell: Hops, citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and malts.

Taste: Hops, citrus (grapefruit, lemon, pinapple) and malts.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and smooth.

Overall: The drinkability is out of the world. My brother and I enjoyed every aspect of this brew. The smell and taste were phenomonal! Would love to get a direct line to this. Cheers! (459 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,985 ratings.