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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,032 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,032
Hads: 11,338
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,330
Gots: 3,812 | FT: 54
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,032 | Hads: 11,338
Photo of AshleyMiller
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally getting around to reviewing this. about 10 days since its canning. poured into my hill farmstead pint glass.

a - pours a cloudy orangeish-golden, too cloudy to see through, with a beautiful finger-width thick creamy head with great lacing as well

s - total hop blast to my nostrils, with some sweetness hidden in there. very pleasant aroma. some pine, grapefruit, herbalness, and a hint of marijuana as well

t - very balanced and representative of the smell - all those flavors are in there. balanced exceptionally by malts. quick bitterness that doesn't last long

m - medium to full-bodied, moderate carbonation, alcohol hidden very well, as I know from experience

o - is it homerism? maybe, but I think this is about as good as it gets. definitely right up there in drinkability and quality with fresh pliny on tap. is it better from a can? maybe, certainly doesn't get worse, but figured it was worth reviewing out of the glass. simply amazing and i'm so lucky to have this so readily available.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hazy gold with a frothy head and nice lacing
S grassy hempy pineapple just begins to describe it
T smells like it tastes and a solid bitterness
M crisP and clean
D three or so would be great

Short review from iPhone but this beer is so delicious


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Photo of lokieman
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours hazy, golden. Lighter color than I expected but still beautiful. Reminds me of a dank heffeweizen...haze for days. Very little head that dissipates quickly.

S: The aroma smacks you as soon as you pop the top. Tropical, pungent hops embed themselves in your nostrils and have no intention of going anywhere soon. This might be the best smelling beer I've ever had the pleasure of laying my lips on. Absolutely delicious aroma...can't wait to dive into this one.

T: Taste is an exponent of the aroma. Fruity, piney and dank...wow! So smooth even with all the IBU's, very bitter at first but then an inviting sweetness envelops your mouth and everything blends together so well. As this beer warms the tropical notes take center stage and surprisingly this beer becomes easier to drink as it warms. Not harsh at all at 8% and 120 IBU's...just amazing.

M: So rich and creamy in the mouth. The carbonation is a little lighter than I was expecting but it makes sense as you work your way through the beer. With all those hops a light carbonation doesn't wreck your taste buds...allows you to enjoy the depth of the hop profile. Well done...

O: I got a 4 pack of this bad boy from a buddy who lives in the Boston area. I've had many IPA's and DIPA's but there's something different about this one. Every sip you take invites you back for several more. I received a box with a 4 pack of Heady Topper, 4 pack of FBS, 3 Expedition Stouts and a FW 14th anniversary bottle and i honestly would have been more than content drinking the Heady Topper all night. Absolutely lives up to it's rep...I just wish I had more. I've never had Pliny but if it's better than Heady Topper then it's the world's 8th wonder. Absolutely delicious...get some if ya can.

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Photo of evanforbeer
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A friend gave this to me out of nowhere, he said it was canned within the week.
pours an odd, murky brownish orange with lots of sediment chunks floating around and a think white head

aroma- mango, peach, pineapple, fresh grains, some rose, spicy hop zest

taste- sweet citrus hits the palate up from with tangerine and lemons, fresh tropical fruits mango/pineapple, a little hop spice with subtly sweet bready malt. Some berries in there. Finishes with a grip of pine/hop spice and a bit dry-malty

feel- medium bodied, drinkable, mild booze, delicious, juicy, zesty, dry

this is a great beer. Obviously a lot of hype, probably mostly due to its limited availability, but this is probably one of the best IPAs out there. Juicy, resinous, clean. I'm glad I got to try it!

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

Four pack courtesy of beertruth, via younger35, long story. Either way I am extremely glad to have it.

I normally would pour this type of beer into a snifter but I drank it out of the can as recommended by the brewer, hence my 4.0 rating on appearance. The smell is exceptional with a huge pineapple, grapefruit and piney aroma hitting my nose a few inches before the can even reaches my mouth. The taste is tropical fruit and major dry, piney blast to the taste buds. The beer is quite bitter but exceptionally drinkable and I am savoring every sip. Mouth feel is awesome with spot on carbonation. The pine taste is very dry but it works for me.

Overall heady topper is everything I had hoped it would be. In my opinion it lives up to the hype and is certainly one of the best doubles I have had to date. The hop flavors and drinkability are amazing. I wish I could get this on a regular basis but I can't so it looks like I will be trading more often. If you like the hops do not miss this brew because its exceptional. Thanks again Adam and Dan, I owe you both!

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Photo of jIsh
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The silo can opens with a satisfying crack; almost immediately, massive hop aromas begin to make their way through the mouth. As directed, I take sips directly from the can.

Wow this beer is good. What I really enjoy about it is that it is exactly as it is advertised on the can - it's not the biggest or most bitter IIPA in America, what it is, however is the purest, most honest expression of hops in a beer (that I've ever had).

I can literally taste the extremely high concentration of hops with every drink. I feel the resin sticking to my tongue and I almost feel as though I'm chewing on a bud (of hops). This dense feeling lingers in my mouth for quite some time, but with only the slightest amount of bitterness accompanying it. My only complaint is an ever so slight metallic taste that accompanies the long lasting finish.

It's amazing how drinkable this beer is being 8% abv. I feel like I could easily throw back a sixer of these (probably a bad idea).

This is perfect camping/skiing beer, I wish I could get it regularly. I poor a small amount into my half-pint glass just to study the appearance, but quickly decide that the brewer is right, this beer is meant to be enjoyed out of the can...

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Photo of Adrianized
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy, opaque light orange with floating sediment. Thin head quickly settles. 4

Very fruity citrusy nose. Mostly tangerines and clementines, also some lemon-lime. Piney, earthy hops in the background. 4.5

Taste follows the nose. I initially get a very strong citrus hop taste, almost tastes like I'm drinking orange-grapefruit juice. Very well balanced with a light caramel malt. Aftertaste transforms from delicate tangerine, to bitter grapefruit, and builds to a "west-coast" piney, resiney hop profile. Eventually, the piney hops dominate. 4.5

Taste from the can: hoppier, more bitter, stronger pine. More aggressive DIPA. ...better. 5

Mouthfeel is full bodied, just the right carbonation. Spot on for the style. 5

Overall, an excellent, superbly balanced DIPA. Certainly worth seeking out. 4.5

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Photo of B33R501
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

finally. a beer that lives up to the hype.

drank the first out of the can as suggested, the second, dumped the bottom half into my tulip. love the unfiltered look. thick, hazy, yellow gold, beautiful. thick, fresh, hop aromas all over, tropical and fruity, very pungent. those 2 cans smelled great long after the beer was gone. tastes like it smells, wave after wave of huge hoppy flavor, tropical, citrus, even a little pine. there must be malt in this beer, and its probably perfect, i dont detect any but this is perfectly balanced. fantastic mouthfeel, one of the most drinkable beers ive had, and would make the perfect by the pool beer.

what else to say? definite candidate for if you could drink one beer, and one beer only.

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Photo of badgustav
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Though I don't follow the IPA craze, this beer, especially fresh, is the best balanced use of heavy hops I've ever encountered. It deserves it's high place

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Photo of jmasher85
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had to drink a few cans of this (yeah, I got a case!) before I felt like I was ready to write a review. After all, this is the legendary Heady. I didn't go gaga over it at first sip so I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my palate. Maybe I was missing something. Or maybe it is all just hype. I've decided it's probably a combination of the two. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it is admittedly one of the most interesting examples of the DIPA style I've had.

Lots of fruity, floral, chewy resinous hops in the nose and taste. It sticks in your mouth and makes your lips smack. It's a potpourri of every flavor that a hop knows how to impart - apart and simultaneously. Sweet at some points, bitter at others, and not always at the same time. This beer is like a Mozart symphony - full, busy, in perfect harmony and yet sometimes bewildering. It's a complicated beer, and yet, I just can't bring myself to fall in love with it. Oh well, more for everyone else. Worth getting a 4-pack and trying if you can, and sure, go nuts, get to the store early, hang out with some groovy hopheads like I did, and score a case to gift you friends - everyone wants some, believe me! Only downside is that it says to drink from the can, so I have no idea what it looks like...

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Photo of nezelrac
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from can into Ithaca Beer pub pint glass (I don't know what the real name is...) as I prefer to see the beer I am drinking even though they say to drink it out of the can

while some folks found the floaties off-putting, I find them a sign of authenticity and appreciate their presence

I was tempted to just put 5's across the board, but I feel there is always room for improvement - the overall score if 5 is indicative of how good this beer is to me

A - hazy straw orange with a lot of little chunks swirling about, buoyed by lazy CO2 rising in the glass; nice creamy dense white head that lasts and lasts leaving generous lacing

S - dank; citrus and pine and candied citrus with moments of earth and flowers followed close by more of the same - there is definitely malt in there somewhere, but not on the nose

T - so very well crafted - balancing hops and malt in a beer of this size is no easy feat; layers of hops are clearly the point here and success is achieved, but there is precisely enough malt sweetness to keep it in line; excellent length and persistence of flavor; the finish is a reprise of the nose only on the tongue and soft palate - waves of delicious hops

M - creamy and rich and light and firm and...just perfect; CO2 is also spot on

O - this is probably one of the best beers I have ever had; I only wish I wasn't on the third of my four-pack; bravo!

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Photo of dougfur
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This one pours pretty cloudy, with little bits floating around. If you pour it into a glass (which I prefer, but the brewery discourages), leave the dregs, as you would a homebrew.

The hop aroma is intense and wonderful.

Taste is intense and wonderful, but with just a bit of a sourness.

Mouthfeel is perhaps the weakest aspect of this beer to me, it's pretty resiny and while I appreciate the flavor/aroma of the hops, this one's a little sticky.

Overall, this beer deserves the attention it's getting and is very, very, very good. Perhaps the coolest aspect of it is that for all its hype and popularity, it doesn't cost any more than the regular DIPA's you get off the shelf. Kudos to the Alchemist for that!

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Photo of wburch1967
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My buddy grabbed me two four packs from the Brewery in VT. Fresh canned two days ago!!

The appearance is a can. It says drink from the can. The can is an attractive can.

Smells of hoppy yumminess and the taste is a well balanced cascade of hoppy goodness.

the hype is deserved!!

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Photo of Dawgboned37
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The one definitely lived up to the hype. Tried it on a "can-share" with some friends. Nose was incredible, despite my initial distaste for IPA's. This helped me cross over to the hop side because the taste was not overwhelmingly bitter, but rather pleasant with pine and citrus flavors. A beer I hope to have another opportunity to sip on soon!

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

Wanted my 50th rating to be a good one. Had a good amount of this brew last year but only shared one since. Hard not to rate it as a 5 across the board. Ridiculously drinkable. An honor to partake!

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Photo of MA_hops
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

In all honesty this beer is #1 for a reason, hype alone it's still the most complex beer that i've ever had. In one sip it goes from citrus bomb to dank, back to citrus and then finishes dry with pine like hops. So many flavors and the hop aroma smell should be a scented candle! The only beer to come close, complex wise is "SWISH" by Bissell Brothers!

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Photo of Seakyden
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Un. Real.

Waited patiently for this to hit Boston and got the first can at a bar in JP tonight.

Believe the hype. Tasted like Pliny, but with more bite. This beer was fresh as can be. Smell was so powerful, taste was robust. It's a slow sipper to be sure. I savored every sip.

Looking forward to seeing this around Boston more.

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Photo of Fubar1453
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured about 3oz into glass. Murky golden yellow, small head disipates quickly.

S:Lots of hops and citrus. Really mouthwatering.

T: I get a ton of hops mixed with orange, pineapple and grapefruit. So unbelievably drinkable.

M: Not as sticky as most DIPAs, leaves a citrus rather than bitter aftertaste.

O: I was afraid this wasn't going to live up to the hype but it absolutley did, I've never had a DIPA with pineapple characteristics before and it mixed with the other fruits and hops so well. I couldn't be happier with this beer.

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Photo of spacebear09
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Hazy darkish yellow coloration. Strong white foamy head, but dissipates quickly.
Smell- Grassy with some floral characteristics.

Smell- Grassy, dank and floral.

Taste- Very piney taste, notes of citrus, a lingering earthy bitterness. I was surprised by the strong biscuity backbone of pale malts here.

Mouthfeel- This beer is resinous but surprisingly easy to drink. Carbonation and consistency are both very good.

This is a very good beer but not a traditional double IPA. Still, it grows on me every time I come back to it and it really is exceptionally tasty.

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Photo of nc41
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to satchboogie on shipping this one in a trade. Phenomenal nose, as good as Pliny or Hopslam. I really would say for my taste these 3 would b interchangeable as far as which one I like best. Number ratings don't tell how even they are. I drank from a glass on the first one can the next two. Looks great as fresh world class DIPA should, nice foam and you can get lost with your nose in the glass. Citrus, and lost of it, smooth hops, and a lot of that too, On my 1st can I was thinking of Pliny in a way to compare, but after having a few over the last few days I'm changing that up a bit. It comes on first sip like Pliny, then somewhere along the line the overwhelming hops kicks in and it's more similar to Alpines Pure Hoppiness. Nicely bitter, but not crushingly so, balanced as hell. Just a tremendous brew, surely equal to anything brewed anywhere that's a DIPA. It this was easily available I'd be 300 lbs.

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Photo of Gfunk
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Heady Topper is by far one of my favorite beers ever sampled. I've had it probably over 20 times, very hard to get, but they always happen to show up at our beer tastings. I'm not a huge fan of the amount of yeast/sediment in the bottom, but if you pour it just right into a pint glass you can avoid most of the sludge. Very hoppy and very flavorful.

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Photo of Mikefriedman90
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thank you to my friend Matt for bringing this down to nyc. What can I say that hasn't already been said? This is one of the best beers I've ever had and clearly it's one of the best ever made. Mine was 6 days old. Sensational hoppy taste with some fruity notes, strong but drinks very easily. I poured a tiny smidge into a glass just to see the golden/amber beer- but of course drank the rest from the can. Can't wait to drink another

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

Dare I call this beer perfect? Without a doubt one of my favorites. I've never had the pleasure of having one on tap, but upon cracking a can, the smell of hops overpowers everything within arms length - it's really quite impressive. While John Kimmich recommends drinking out of the can, I drank one from the can, one from the glass.

After a gentle pour, I was unimpressed by this beer's head. With a hard pour, however, I'm sure that it would live up to its name. Either way, it does provide a beautiful lacing. Resins float throughout the body of the beer; hazy yellow/orange color.

It tastes clean, with piny undertones. There's a good amount of sweet malt in the middle, but it starts and finishes all hops. For me, the standard for an imperial IPA.

It feels smooth, with a fairly mild amount of carbonation. Despite the power of the hops, drinkability is incredible. Not to deamean such a tasty beer, but if I were still in college I think I might just shotgun one of these.

In short, the Kimmichs reported that after Hurricane Irene, their goal was to brew one beer perfectly. In doing so, they have set the gold standard for what a DIPA should be.

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Photo of MikeDL
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An absolutely amazing beer. The Double IPA on this beer tastes like no other. I am in NY and my friend brought me back a can from Vermont. All I can say is you really need to try this brew because it is completely unique and tastes like none other.

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Photo of jbone78
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I visited the brewery several months ago. I was impressed with the area. I think I could live there for a little while. The can says to drink it out of the can; so you can get the full deal. I agree, I did smell the beer better while it was in the can. Everyone claims to get a ton of peach flavor, but I really didn't. I got more pineapple/citrus. But Still a great brew.


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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.