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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,206 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,206
Ratings:
12,366
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
8,948
Gots:
4,705
For Trade:
56
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,206 | Ratings: 12,366
Photo of birderbeerer
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a glass with about a third from the can.

Very pale yellow with a foamy, two-finger white head. Very small flecks of yeast float around.

The aroma from the can is an exceptionally concentrated hop. Just potent hops. Mostly pine, musky, with a citrus edge. Maybe a little grass in the back. I get no malt in the aroma. A glass tames the smell--same stuff at lower concentration.

Tastes like a musky, piney grapefruit--but not a red grapefruit. It lacks the sweetness and lush, tropical juiciness of the best of the best. Still, it's a great hoppy taste. Very bitter, minimal malt that's only in the back end, which is just the faintest bit of biscuit. It's all that great bitter hop.

It's fairly thin, though. That was disappointing. Red's Rye and Sierra Nevada Celebration are thicker, and they're singles. I expected more from a double. It's nicely carbonated, but finishes thin. It tastes more full from the glass and thinner and more single-noted from the can.

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Photo of cps98
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a 4-pack from a friend who just returned from Waterbury. Probably as fresh as it comes directly from the cannery.

I did drink ½ of the beer directly from the can as advised but wanted to see the beer color and head so I poured the second half in to a Three Floyds pint glass.

A – A wonderful hazy orange, you can tell right away this bad boy is unfiltered. Poured with a really nice 2 finger white head that hung around for a while. Good lacing was seen all the way around the glass.

S – Smells like freshly trimmed Christmas trees. Pine notes are really heavy, along with fresh cut grass. I do get some citrus in there as well and I would peg it as grapefruit. If you love the smell of fresh hops off the vine then breath deep and enjoy!

T – I was puckered at both ends on this one. Bitter, bitter, bitter…a hop heads dream. After that initial piney bitterness the hop flavors were very smooth. I have no idea what kinds of hops go into this beer but they all played very nicely. There was a light alcohol warmth at the back end that was very pleasing. The malt in the beer is shadowed by the hops but it is there non-the-less.

M – I couldn’t get over how smooth this beer was. A very nice well balanced medium bodied brew. Carbonation was on point and added nicely to the hop explosion.

O – Overall a very impressive beer, so happy I got to try it and glad I have 3 more to enjoy. Not going to share these with anybody. I wish I was able to head to VT more often so I could get this on a regular basis. When they talk of hop shortages I know where they all went, into a can of Heady Topper!

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Photo of Qwest_35
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks has to go to nedvalton, a most generous BA'er for hooking me up with my first Heady Topper. As soon as I popped the top on that shiny silver and black can I got blasted with the dankest, hoppiest, fruitiest, hop bombiest goodness I have ever experienced. There's just so much going on with the smell, that I am having a hard time nailing it down. Here goes nothing, grapefruit, pineapple, citrus, Bubblegum surf wax, I swear I'm getting that. This stuff smells exactly like I imagined it would after reading so many of the reviews on here, an absolute delight. I poured about half into a tulip glass so that I could get a good look at it. Pours a super hazy and resinous golden orange hue, minimal head and lacing. It smelled amazing in the can, but the complex aroma really opened up once poured, now I'm even more intrigued. My first sip and all I can say is, YES! Worth all the hype, 100 percent! I've had a few other beers that come real close to this, but the mouthfeel and balance along with the juicy aftertaste make this an absolute work of art in a can! With each sip it gets better and better, the bitterness isn't overwhelming at all, and couple that with the citrusy/fruity/floral undertones that coat your tongue, it's easy to forget that theres alcohol in there. Just like it says on the can "so drinkable, it's scary" Overall I can see why this beer is ranked #1, because it just became my #1 as well. Thank you nedvalton, and thank you Alchemist!

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Photo of busterthecat
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to have a friend give me a can after stopping by the brewery this past weekend. Pouring a little less then half into an Allagash chalice and will drink the second half from the can, as commanded.

A- Pours a cloudy pale amber color from can. Sits an opaque hazy orangey gold hue. A slight white head forms, then quickly fades to a wispy cap. Not much carbonation.

S- A good dose of both sweet and zesty citrus fruit. Really good. The crisp tang of ripe grapefruit is met by sweet sun ripe orange slices. No malt really detected under all these hop aromas.

T- GREAT! Loads of fresh juicy hop goodness. Sweet orange meets mellow pink grapefruit. A touch of drying caramel malt on tongue. Very hop forward, but not very bitter or abrasive. Really good. A little bit of pine on back end. Sips from the can are different. The flavor profile has shifted slightly and the mouthfeel is different and more bitterness comes through. I prefer the glass, so pouring the rest in.

M- A medium bodied DIPA that is full of hop flavor. Some bitterness on palate but rather mild and soft for a DIPA. Drinking from the can affects the mouthfeel. Makes it a tad harsher. Not much carbonation on palate, pretty flat.

O- An awesome DIPA. Very smooth in the body, yet completely hop forward. Top notch. Completely worthy of being my side beer as I brew my first batch tonight (Nobel Trappist ale). Will need to get more of this beer.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 ounce can poured into a snifter. Big thanks to st9647v3 for this opportunity.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a 2-3 finger head, excellent lacing, and some suspended sediment.

S: Citrus, piney, and floral hops abound with a hint of sweet malts.

T: Tons of hops up front with some sweet malts and a slight grassy flavor. Quite bitter.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: What an amazing brew!! Super tasty, easy to drink, and hides the alcohol almost completely. Lives up to the hype for sure.

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

A: Straw on edges to orangish gold. Super hazy, not sure if it's from hop haze or unfiltered. Small white head that fades quickly. Some lacing around the edges.

S: Huge tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, peach, nectarine and some caramel. Awesome. Tropics in a glass.

T: Pineapples, mango, citrus, grapefruit, assertive hop bitterness but really smooth finish. Everything is balanced. Malt is caramel and sweet.

M: Sweet start to a finish drying finish.

O: This beer is amazing. Super assertive hops but not overwhelmingly bitter. Could just be the bitter factors of the hops used. This is the Hoptimum of tropical fruit hop flavors. Exceptional.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers that lives up to the hype. The smell is similar to other DIPA's but the taste is fantastic. The smooth citrusy hops stand out on their own and is something I will compare all other's in this category.

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Photo of Boccu
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy citrus aroma. Hoppy start, citrus, pineapple almost a light pineapple. Very complex yet sooooo smooth. Exceptional well made. Light pepper finish.

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Photo of zshaft
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

im finally in possession of one of these again. used to live off this stuff when brewery was allowing no limits. I poured this and did not drink from the can. after I let the floaties settle I notice nice hazy light orange with minimal head retention. nice fresh nose of orange rind and tangerine. taste follows nose with up front grapefruit and pineapple with some pine floating around somewhere. mouth is a little thin but does not retract from the beer. the initial taste is followed by a surprising increase in flavor that creams your palate and works all the way to the end with dry finish. this beer is phenominal and has tons of flavor from start to finish. bright citrisy notes are abundant and my mouth puckers as the beer goes down. im drinking this after doppleganger from treehouse and dopple gets the nod. heady may not be what I remember it to be but still a world class beer that is worthy of the hype.

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Photo of McGee666
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yum...what a fantastic beer that totally lives up to the hype! The first time I had it in the can at a bar and found the whole experience rather odd. I finally picked up a few more cans at a random line trade and had a chance to sit down and really enjoy what I consider to be one of the best beers in the world.
This beer looks amazing in a glass so for everyone drinking it out of the can...you are missing out!
The smell is an explosion of grapefruit and tropical fruits combined with just the right amount of dank pine...this beer smells ridiculous. The taste/mouthfeel is as explosive as it gets leaving me wanting more and more...out of control good! There is a reason this beer gets so hyped...because it's f**king amazing!

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Photo of BillDon
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Crack open the can and smell the hops then take a sip, heaven.

Appearance the can is well done with nice artwork. It fits nicely in your hand. I put a koozie on the can to prevent heat transfer from my hand, it doubles to keep my hand warm. Since it's opaque you can't see what the beer looks like.

Smell: piney, citrusy, resiny, that quickly drops off. Drink this one quick.

Taste : hop forward with lovely malt backbone. So balanced.

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated gives the back end a little tingle to match the front end hops.

Overall: I guess this is a pretty good beer. Maybe even a top ten beer but I haven't tried them all yet so I want to keep my options open. :-)

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MBAcoach for sending this my way.

P-Like the scientist on the can and nice long story on the beer and how it should be drank on the back.

A-Well this beer pours a cloudy and foggy orange peel. Keeps about a finger of head. Not much.

S-No lie, this beer smells like straight up sweet hops, pure and simple. Just imagine a bunch of hops in your hands and shoving your nose into it.

T-Sweet man. Very sweet. Nice hops and well, more hops. Has a sweet malt presence that seems to stick. Grapefruit and green grapes along with pineapple.

M-This is a more full bodied IPA. Not too full though or heavy. Really smooth man. Great flavor. Has a quick dry finish.

O-Very impressed with these beer. Man, i think it might be better than the Pliny, I dont know though, thank god i got more to figure out this crazyness.

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Photo of sprat1960
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: I drank most from the can, as directed, but did cheat and poured into a glass.
Deep golden color; cloudy (opaque); rich creamy white head with thin lacing on the sides of
glass. Visually very appealing.

Smell: Mild hoppy aroma, slight amount of malt and citrus. Smelled delicious and rich.

Taste: Delicious mild hoppy taste, some malt flavor and some citrus/acidic flavor. Very nice.

Feel: Medium body. Rich, substantial and velvety feel. Medium, but smooth, carbonation.
Starts off smooth then progresses to slight tingle from the carbonation and ends with a
slightly dry finish.

Overall one of the best IPA that I have ever had. Delicious. I could drink this over and over
when reaching for an IPA.

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Photo of brydeen
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a rich orange color, with a nice inch thick white head. Tons of sediment floating in the glass. Gives the appearance that they're suspended in a jello mold. Not the most appetizing start.

S: A tropical paradise. Loads of mango and pineapple right off the bat, with a faint piney aroma in the background. Very sweet smell.

T: A nice bitter hop bite on the initial sip. Nice juicy sweetness follows, with mango being the most noticeable fruit flavor. Really nice balance between the sweetness and bitterness.

M: Rich, creamy, full bodied DIPA. Carbonation is very subtle. Much thicker than you'd expect. Almost chewy. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering.

O: Extremely tasty, flavorful brew. Doesn't jump out as the "best beer in the world" to me however, as the ratings show. Very good, but visually unappealing, and heavier than I'd prefer, but that's just nitpicking

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Photo of mattbk
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An orange, almost amber color. Quite cloudy. Limited carbonation.

S - Amazing smell. Rich and full of fruits. I immediately get pineapple (SImcoe?), mango, and pine. THe smell is luscious almost.

T - Same as the smell, with just a bit of hop bitterness, and a little bit of alcohol warming. But all very well balanced, with hop flavor taking center stage. The malt sweetness is there to balance it out also. This almost like eating a slice of peach pie - but also nothing like that. Frankly, it's delicious. There are no flaws at all.

M - Medium, definitely low carbonation, I would have preferred the carb just a tad higher; but maybe that would have masked the flavor.

O - If you can, please try this beer. I live on the right coast and don't trade, so I haven't been privy to Pliny, but it would be hard for me to imagine it being any better.

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Photo of SplitsAtoms
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

This is a work of art. Big thanks to metsfan1 for the trade. this is now the standard bearer for me for any ipa from the east coast. Or damn near anywhere for that matter. Believe the hype.

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Photo of TheBeer
4.07/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed once before and once after an 8 mile mountain trail run.
A: Reminds me of someone throwing up Keystone Light on an empty stomach. Hazy appearance that is not very appetizing. The appearance is not judged on the can/bottle as many of the other reviews seem to think, which just adds hype to this beer.
S: Very potent odor given off by this beer. Strong scents of pine and citrus.
T: Tastes like a hop bomb on the forward palate and then subsides into a pleasant taste. The forward taste is however to overpowering for the aftertaste and makes you want to take another drink to wash away what's on your mind. The aftertaste is actually very pleasant and worthwhile, but the forward taste kind of ruins it for me. Granted I enjoy stouts and prefer a strong malt backbone which this beer fails to deliver, I have had much better than this.
M: Very amazing body to the beer. Reminiscent of a stout's body. Very thick and coats the palate. Best aspect of the beer in my opinion.
O: Was it worth the 4 hour drive? No. Will I ever seek out this beer again? No. Over hyped beer that is not worth your effort to obtain. It is not bad by any means, but it is not a top tier beer. Even Lawson's Double Sunshine IPA(sold in Vermont) is better than this beer. I prefer Surly Abrasive Ale and Stone Double Bastard Ale over this any day. Turns out even the piss taste of Corona Light is satisfying after a physical adventure.

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First time pouring it from the can. A very hazy, bright, golden yellow body with a snowy white head. The hops make themselves known the moment you crack the can. Lot of ripe citrus, lemon zest, tropical fruits, papaya, mango, a hint of melon, peach, and pine resin. There's an excellent underlying sweet maltiness to this beer that I suspect is partially thanks to the conan yeast strain. The mouth feel is very cream, medium-full, washed down by nice carbonation, followed by a pleasant sweet tropical lemon aftertaste. On the flavor, sweet lime, grapefruit bitterness, lemon candy, peach, pine sap, some grass, papaya, honey malt, and melon.

I've been able to score some heady on occasion at some craft beer bars but this is the first time I was able to enjoy a can at home. It's clear why this brewery has gotten so much hype over the years but I think there are some newer breweries currently closing the gap. I need to make a trip up to VT eventually because even for this world class DIPA, the $11/can prices around here makes it a one and done purchase for me.

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

So excited that I got my hands on this. Pours a dark amber/orange with a frothy head and bubbles of all sizes. Good retention and some lacing. Smell is excellent, dominated by pink grapefruit, powerdy pine, and vines. Beautiful. Taste accomplishes what the bottle said was the goal: amazing complexity. Reminds me a bit of Mikkeller Ten in that you can find almost every hop flavor in the taste. Waves of different hops flow and ends with a biscuity malt finish, then hops linger for days in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness but intense hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium-light bodied. Drinkability is ridiculous and I could have glass after glass, zero etoh.

I have had almost every major IIPA in the world, this is easily in the top tier, and deserves all the hype. By far the best IIPA not made on the west coast, and blows 99% of those away. Awesome awesome beer.

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

Drank from the can, as instructed! (poured a little into a pint glass to get an accurate review. (reviewed from notes) Thanks to TimmyJ21 for this can!

A- hazy yellow/orange with a head that is foamy and white.

S- Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya), citrus peel, faint pine

T- complex- a great blend of tropical fruits and a bitterness that has both pine and citrus peel.

M- smooth and refreshing with just enough carbonation to know it is there.

O- This is up there with all my favorites in this category (Pliny, Abrasive, etc.). I will definitely try to obtain some more of this.

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

L-Hazy naval orange flesh color. White fluffy head.
S-Papaya funkiness, pineapple, peach, citrus, piney.
T-Fruity sweetness upfront, tropical fruits, grapefruits, resin, pine. Very enjoyable lingers with fruity notes.
F- thicker than most hoppy beers. Mouth coating beauty. Sticky!
O- As a hop head, this is one of the best beers I have had. I keep coming back for more and each drink provides the same amount of intensity! Drools

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, orange body. Small fizzy bubbles. Moderate retention.

S: Pine. Floral hops. Mangos. Citrus.

T: Tons of piney hops. Virtually zero malt character. Loads of mango, grapefruit. Hype - exceeded.

M: Oily. Medium body. Prickly. Booze completely hidden.

O: This is incredible. Enough said.

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

Appearance - Had the luxury of having this on tap while visiting my hometown of Middlebury VT but I will review the can considering everyone is drinking this from a can. Appearance from pouring from a can, you will quickly notice that this brew is unfiltered, sentiment at the bottom, slight bubble carbonation, pours a nice murky orange color with a two finger head that slowly will disappear. The color is enough to tell you this is unfiltered.

Smell - Aggressively hoppy at first, when you crack open the can you will definitely smell the hops coming from the can. Grape fruit, mango, peach, nectarine, grapefruit; you can immediately tell this is an IPA, not the strongest but smells very balanced in combination with the slight breadiness and sweet tones.

Taste - Man, where do I start here? It's this great combination of grapefruit, bitterness, sweet, bready, goodness. I mean to pick apart each individual characteristic is a disservice to this brew, everything is so balanced.

Mouthfeel - A slight carbonation, if you hold it in your mouth there's not enough carbonation to burn the tongue, it is very smoothing going down the pipes and will leave this bitterness that will make you return for more.

Overall - Upon first drinking this, I thought it was extremely over hyped. But when you realize you've hit the middle of the can in 2 minutes, you'll understand it's drinkability. This isn't the most aggressive IPA out there, the ABV is a bit high; however, considering it is a DIPA, I'd say this brew is spot on. It's a great brew; however, to you that are buying this on the gray market, I strongly suggest not paying more than $8 a can. These run $12 a 4 pack in Burlington and I've seen locations out here in Los Angeles reselling them for $12 a can. This is completely ridiculous... It's a great experience to try, but don't get taken advantage of. Cheers!

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Photo of Yagman3000
4.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can shared by fellow BA CosmicEvan. Consumed outbid a snifter.

Appears a mid peachy yellow gold. Very little head remains.

Smells very piney and super tropical. Do I detect tobacco?

Tastes of that same tobacco. Some hop bitterness bleeds into it to give it a double ipa edge.

Mouthfeel is very fizzy in a pleasant way. It has a thickness that's pleasing.

Overall a good time but I feel that the smoke flavor that comes through is a but odd.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,206 ratings.