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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,138 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,138
Reviews: 1,972
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 7,320
Gots: 2,868 | FT: 46
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 (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,138 | Reviews: 1,972
Photo of sunofneurot
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Thishops4u
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of LutherBrau
4.56/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Stimack
4.72/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was able to go over to the Alchemist yesterday while up in VT doing some snowshoeing. Was able to stop in and try the Heady Hopper, which I have heard great things about. Needless to say I was not disappointed! The pint was poured to medium golden yellow color, was somewhat cloudy and had a nice sized white head that leaves very nice, thick lacing down the entire glass. The aroma was incredible, hops all the way! When it was served all I could smell was cascade hop aroma and I was three feet away from the glass! The flavors of this brew explode in the mouth from the hops, citrus grapefruit and oranges just dominate, while you are still able to pick up the malt but it was hard and it also disappeared quite quickly! I am not sure if I have had anything else that states that it has 120 IBU’s but the hop bite was not unbearable, I am not sure if there is a level where IBU’s don’t really matter anymore but all I can say is that this brew was excellent, lived up to the hype and expectation. I honestly can say it may be one of my favorite brews of all time and by far was the best one experienced on this trip through Vermont.

Photo of kkipple
4.56/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Kinda ugly, watery deep yellow. Decent 3cm white head tho. Minor lacing. Nice silver can, which tells you to drink it from the can - I did not. Maybe another time. No canned on date that I can see - how lame. Get with the program, Alchemist, and don't advertise "drink this beer immediatly" and then neglect to tell us just how old it is.

S. Huge citrus, East-Coast style nose... Moylan's Hopsickle, Boy King. Citra. Deep fruit notes, mango, some phenols, pepper... mandarin orange, touch of booze. Lots of sweetness that's pretty well hid back behind the greenery. Spicy in places. Bold and fun.

T. Hmm... Very nice work here, Alchemist. This is a large East-Coast style DIPA; one that has the malt and hops joining hands and walking together in harmony, rather than being a pine-sap bitter wallop like a lot of its West Coast brethern are. Thickish body, too, which is fun and helps carry the hop-load.
Plenty of malt sweetness to go around here, but it frankly is tough to tease out exactly what behind the grapefruit, papya, mango, lemon-citrus flavor. There is a high-minded juniper note going on here that is welcome, and ultimately a softer bitter finish that is quite welcome and fades out along with the stalwart malt. Well balanced stuff, I think. 8% is just right, frankly I wouldn't up the booze any more as this is fine as-is.

M / O. Full-on all the way across the sky body, excellent softer, substantial carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish, long fade-to-silence flavor. Topper is quite easy to drink, which is as-advertised.

Frankly, there really isn't much to dislike with Heady Topper. When my biggest gripe is for the brewery to put a born-on date stamp on their can... they must be onto something. This isn't the absolute best DIPA I've had, nor the biggest, or booziest, or weirdest... but it is certainly one of the most balanced and, for what it is, flawless. Sigh... guess I gotta get more.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky copper/orange color with a finger of thick head and good lacing.

The aroma is a blast of fresh tropical fruit....grapefruit, pineapple, mango, etc etc. West Coast hoppiness with an East Coast blast of sweet caramel maltiness hiding deep in the background.

The flavor is full of bitter pine hoppiness and bready malts. I wouldn't necessarily call it balanced, but there is that solid malt backbone. It isn't really an assault of hops like I may have anticipated, but it is borderline...ok, after a few more sips I take that back. Definitely a hop assault. Bitterness all over my mouth and in the finish, pine resin and floral notes from front to back.

The body is medium to medium/full and carbonation is low, just how I like it.

Drinkability is solid for me, especially considering this isn't one of my top styles. I would definitely stick this beer in the upper echelon of DIPA's, although once you get past a certain point I have a tough time saying any single one is better than the other.

WOW....6 months ago when I was staring at the old BA Top 100 and trying to tick the whole thing I remember seeing a few monsters on the list that were going to be damn near impossible to get. Heady Topper was one of those monsters. Never did I think that before the end of 2010 I would be staring at a glass of it in the comfort of my own home. Thank you Jim for making this happen (and thanks to The Alchemist for bottling it!)

Photo of theminutemen
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Marco_Gtz
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of unclekeith
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Guzzle_McBrew
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of drseamus
4.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice golden amber body. Slight amount of white head. I only poured about 2 ounces into the glass because the can specifically advises to "DRINK FROM THE CAN!"

S: If this smell eminated from my apartment the DEA would show up with cuffs. It is some dank shit. Tons of resiny hops and a good bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes like it smells. The natural thing to compare this to is Pliny. It is sweeter and more resiny than Pliny but on the same level for sure.

M: Thick and resiny. It sits heavy but leaves light. It is probably a bit heavier than I would like but definitely acceptable.

D: It's 8% so it's not exactly an all day drinker. That said, I would drink it all day if I could.

Photo of MisterClean
4.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A - cloudy with chunks, yellowish-red in color.

S - caramel, floral, pineapple, aromas very nice.

T - malty breadiness, some caramel, lt bitterness, flavor of pineapple and light floral notes. Very good.

M- nice balance between malts and hops. Little to no warmth. Light carbonation, really good.

D - very nice beer. Not the prettiest to look at, but would like a fresher can. Will seek out. Thanks Abecall and Marc.

Photo of craftbeerasian
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of xJMFCx
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of WVUbrew
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Reaper16
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Kramerwtmf
4.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lucky enough to find a local shop that gets it shipped by a Vermont local. This beer is amazing a few weeks old, I can only imagine how good it tastes fresh! Even though it says to enjoy out of the can I prefer it poured into a glass. Helps me capture the amazing aroma.

Photo of ethanmc12
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Blanco
4.05/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank most of this from the can, but also poured enough of it out to see what it looked like and to see what it's like in the glass. Honestly not sure which I like better. It does seem like the aroma is almost too potent in the glass, making the can a nice step back.

Appearance is golden and hazy. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is pure piney hops. I'd hoped for more tropical fruit or citrus, but it's almost one-note piney, though those notes are there. Just not upfront.

Flavor is bitter, very bitter. Dry and woody, it's attack to the palate is relentless. The citrus missing in the aroma appears a little bit in the taste (grapefruit). Malt backbone balance is almost non-existent. I've certainly had hoppier, but the ones I enjoy the most are more balance. Still, the hop presence is impressive and the flavor really opens up and bitterness subsides as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is actually where the beer stands out. The intense bitterness really creates a lively mouthfeel, with a strong aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA. I've had others I prefer, but that in no way is a knock on this beer as the reason I prefer others is balance. I also prefer more hop emphasis on aroma and taste rather than bitterness. That's just personal preference.

Photo of moonknight31
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Not 100% sure of the age, but my trader (TPSReport...big thanks) says it is about 3-4 weeks old.

A- Deep hazy golden with a dense as can be. Intense lacing. Absolutely love the unfiltered look.

S- Wow. Can be picked up from 3 feet away. Huge citrus aroma. Grapefruit pith with biscuity pale malts.

T- Hop forward of course, but the balance impeccable. Finishes dry and bitter without roasting your taste buds. A few waves of west coast hop character dance over the tongue. Quite resinous and pith-like.

M- Mid body, creamy to a degree, with a lingering dryness with each sip.

O- A beer that my wife and I enjoyed on our second anniversary. It is a serious IPA that brings it with the hops, but remains so balanced. I would still prefer PtE and a handful of other IPAs over this one, but I can see why this one gets so much love.

Photo of sendsilk
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of stealth
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of e30todamax
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Walkerjgt
5/5  rDev +5.7%

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,138 ratings.