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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,663 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,663
Reviews: 1,675
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 5,635
Gots: 1,878 | FT: 35
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,663 | Reviews: 1,675 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikefuski17
5/5  rDev +5.7%

mikefuski17, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of wdarcy77
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

wdarcy77, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Agold
4.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heady topper is ridiculously cloudy with a nice head they yields a bit of lacing. There is some beer dandruff floating around as well. Aroma is very fruity and citrus pine explosion. There's a huge pungent aroma, this beer doesn't fuck around. Flavor is Lindy and citrusey. Very nice but not quite as pungent as the aroma and a bit sweeter. The sweetness however does not increase the mouthfeel at all. Light and dry. Very frighteningly drinkable. Definitely happy to have traded for this.

Agold, May 15, 2012
Photo of appetiteforparis
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

appetiteforparis, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of Kaveman
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

Kaveman, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of Kadonny
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, somehow PA finally got some fresh Heady Topper directly from The Alchemist via Origlio Beverage. I will say the announcement was made it was coming and it showed up at stores 2 days later. This beer is fresh! So glad to have a chance to drink this liquid gold (know where my review is going??)

Poured from a can directly into my mouth, just as the can states. I will drink the next one from the glass to see if there is actually a difference.

A: Not entirely sure since I drank it from a can, but the little I poured out after I had finished most of the can was a very cloudy sediment riddled medium golden color with some orange hints.

S: Wow, the smell just oozes from the can opening up to your nostrils. Huge tropical fruit up front with grapefruit, mango and others with some slight caramel sweetness. Tropical fruit is huge and you get an idea what's coming next.

T: The tropical fruits just pop. Huge waves of hoppy goodness with grapefruit, pineapple, mango and passion fruit. There is this sight malt sweetness that is sort of there, but never really comes out. Towards the back of the flavor I am getting some pine which I did not pick up on the nose. Finish is dry and clean but not bitter. There was some slight bitterness coupled with the pine but it does not finish bitter. Absolutely no alcohol present. Wow, fan-freaking-tastic.

M: A thing of beauty. Medium mouthfeel with some slight bitterness and a crisp dry finish and no alcohol. The mouthfeel is hurt just a little in that it does not linger on too long.

O: This beer lives up to the hype and will stand as one of the greatest IPAs out there, just awesome. It helps that this one is super fresh, but there is no question about the quality of this beer. Wow.

Overall this beer is one for the ages. Those that have not tried it yet, this is a must. I'm a hug fan of Pliny, my only perfect "5" I ever reviewed, but this beer comes real close to perfection, real damn close. Amazing beer.

Kadonny, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of jriggins6
5/5  rDev +5.7%

jriggins6, Dec 09, 2012
Photo of dubdrop
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

dubdrop, Aug 06, 2012
Photo of mecmd
5/5  rDev +5.7%

mecmd, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of Artjsantos
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Artjsantos, Jul 11, 2014
Photo of Westyn
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Westyn, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

WYVYRN527, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of fmccormi
4.8/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Straight pour from a 16oz can to a straight-lipped Ommegang flute (the glass included in the 2011 gift packs), but sampled partly from the can for tasting and aroma notes as well. No date on the can, but one week ago the (very, very good) friend who gave this to me said he bought it the weekend prior, so my guess is this is 2 ½ - 3 ½ weeks old at the most. I’d say it’s pretty fresh. And yes, I did drink this from the can first!

Appearance (4.0): One and a half fingers of very light tan head sticks around for a while, leaving some good lacing on all sides of this glass—thought I still want more, and I still want a chewier head. Body is the color of unfiltered honey, a slightly tan-orange. And this is the definition of hazy—almost opaque. Very lovely.

Smell (4.5): From the glass, it’s all sweet citrus fruit—super-ripe pineapple, some passion fruit, grapefruit, mango, etc. From the can, it’s all resin and pine with a grassy background, some tobacco in the back and some light caramel tones help smooth it out. Very, very intense pine and grapefruit tones. Goddamn beautiful.

Taste (5.0): Blindingly bitter, but not astringent, with enough malt sweetness to lend it some gravitas—from both the can and the glass. The hops are like a wad of fresh-cut grass stuck in a big, warm glob of pine sap, on top of half of a red grapefruit. The malt is relatively light—pale, enough to be inconspicuous, but thick enough to anchor the hop profile—and has a very subtle, sweet caramel note in the back. From the glass, there’s an interesting tobacco note that pops up in the body that’s actually very enjoyable. From the can, it’s just a hop explosion slowly taking over your brain. Yeast character? Typically neutral American ale yeast probably, but who could tell with this ridiculous hop load. A little booze in the finish, but it blends so seamlessly with the long, grassy, piney, extremely grapefruit-pithy finish that it’s integrated perfectly with a nice drying effect.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Ugh. So nice and dry. Just on the heavy side of medium, maybe, definitely a full-feeling beer, but damn you don’t want to take it slow. It invites you to keep going way too easily. Carbonation is nice and smooth, with the finest prickliness mixed in—it’s like hop cones are giving my tongue acupuncture.

Overall (5.0): What’s interesting about Heady Topper is that I can fully recognize that this is just one point on the spectrum of (d)IPAs, in terms of the flavor profile and perhaps more specifically the hop profile. But, it seems almost inherently clear that this is more or less the pinnacle of one of those points in the spectrum. There’s undoubtedly other beers at least as enjoyable with different flavor and aroma profiles, maybe more citrusy and fruity or whatever, but they’re not better or worse so much as different. Like a pantheon of pinnacle (d)IPAs. And this almost certainly has a seat in that pantheon. Waxing poetic, maybe, so let me put it differently: this beer is totally tits. Go out and buy it, because especially at $12-13/ 4-pack, it’s worth every penny. Long Live The Alchemist.

fmccormi, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Phobicsquirrel
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Phobicsquirrel, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of ThreeFishes
5/5  rDev +5.7%

ThreeFishes, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of Smileitsfreetobehappy
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Smileitsfreetobehappy, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of scottum
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served a pale amber with a small light head. Hops are the flavor of choice here, but they are done right. Such a yummy bite. Actually does live up to it's name as the hops are strong enough to give off the heady within the buzz. Hops are not overly complex, yet not too simple either. This is one of the best IPAs I've ever had. Served only in 12oz glasses, the abv is not at all apparent. Sooo smooth. I'm sad that El Jefe is no longer on the menu, but I'd take the Heady Topper over the chief anyday.

scottum, Mar 27, 2004
Photo of bootdown21
5/5  rDev +5.7%

bootdown21, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of imyourhero21
5/5  rDev +5.7%

imyourhero21, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of ChipMurray
5/5  rDev +5.7%

ChipMurray, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Murchmac
3.85/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to masterhomebrewer to try this beer. I really wanted to compare it to PtY

Pours an orangey amber with yellow highlights and a white head.

Piney and citrusy, smells not overwhelming but pleasant.

Taste follows the nose, almost really fresh sweet taste that hangs in your mouth,

Not resinous like a good DIPA should be, and really really light and thin.

Although pleasant was like drinking hop water. It was good but not worth trading the farm away. PtY is a lot better.

Murchmac, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of juicebox
5/5  rDev +5.7%

juicebox, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of Hopheadhiker
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Hopheadhiker, Apr 25, 2013
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz. can poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass (despite the instructions to drink it from the can....well maybe I had one sip). Orange/amber/brown sugar/gold in color. Very hazy, certainly unfiltered. Not quite white, almost orange creamcicle in color head. It erupts at first and sticks around for a little bit, decent lacing.

Like many Double IPA's, it's a hoppy brew. Hard to completely clarify it, but there's something unique about this one. Big time citrus hops on this one; orange, tangerine, grapefruit and maybe even a little lemon, a little bit of zest/peel. A sweet aroma from it, could be from the tangerine smell, but like slightly tart at the same time; similar to a strawberry that isn't quite completely ripe yet. Not grainy, but steady malt presence, sort of a natural orange bread. Doesn't smell of alcohol, but it does warm your nose a little Really good aromas overall.

Taste is truly outstanding. Every hop lover would love this one, but believe it or not it's really well balanced. ALL of the above mentioned citrus detected in the hops with some slight honey-suckle nectar sweetness. Starts a little sweet (with again the slightest hint of tartness) and has a nice bitter end from hops and zest. Cant stress enough the balance here, very good.

In my opinion it's fairly thick and full bodied. The carbonation level is perfect. Silky smooth from start to almost finish, clean crisp bitter finish. Leaves a long lasting warm feeling from your mouth to you're stomach. I generally like my IPAs/DIPAs in the summer, but I could drink this Bad Larry all year round!!! What a wonderful beer, lived up the the hype and then some for me!

AndyAvalanche, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of mcdsports
5/5  rDev +5.7%

mcdsports, Oct 07, 2014
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,663 ratings.