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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,985 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,985
Hads: 11,142
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 3%
Wants: 8,227
Gots: 3,636 | 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 (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: 1,985 | Hads: 11,142
Photo of nc41
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of tylerprince
4.89/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,163 characters)

Photo of jbone78
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Later (380 characters)

Photo of Cmack15
4.42/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Heady Topper from Alchemist. I had this on tap at the brewpub and was very eager to finally have gotten a chance to experience this beer. This beer is awesome in so many ways. First its great to see an east coast brewery making a super hoppy beer. The aroma is piney/citrusy hops that blast your face(but in a good way). The taste has a nice malt backbone to help let the hops shine but not destroy you. A really excellent beer from a great brewpub.
Cheers (461 characters)

Photo of ratedz
4.14/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received a couple cans as extras from GoGriz. I've read a lot about Heady Topper, so I'm really excited to try this!

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a fair amount of sediment floating around, which is a little off-putting. A finger or two of slightly off white head dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves a thin layer of foam on top and a lot of lacing.

S - Citrus fruits - pineapple, orange, and grapefruit. Some pine notes are in there too.

T - Starts with a piney bitterness. The citrus fruits are slightly present, but not as much as they were in the nose. The bitterness lingers all the way through the finish, which is slightly dry.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation.

O - A very enjoyable DIPA. Surprisingly easy to drink for a relatively big beer. The hops grab you from the first sip and do not let go. Definitely worthy of the attention it receives and would never turn down more! (904 characters)

Photo of TheDinger
4.29/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let me preface this by saying, I'm not much of an IPA hop head. But a buddy scored this and I had to try it out of the can followed by in a glass. I actually like the glass offering better, but here goes: Poured from can into DFH snifter. Great looking light pale yellow beer with an inviting 2 fingers of head. Straw hues and a bit of cloudiness. Smell is awesome. Citrus hops meet earthy/pine hops. Getting grapefruit and apricot on the nose. Taste was pretty balanced and smooth for such a strong announced IBU. For not a big fan of the style, I was glad it went down as easy as it did. More pronounced fruit as it warmed. The can offering just seemed a bit less flavorful? to me than the glass. Feel was great with a medium heft and carbonation that was pleasant. Overall: The best IPA I have had, but again it's not my wheelhouse. I liked the citrus frontend and balance. I can see where those who love the style would really like this. I would drink again and think it's a must try. (988 characters)

Photo of drrone
4.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip, no I didn't leave it in the can.

A - A beautiful golden copper hue. It liberated a 2 finger width white head, that slowed disappated and left a sparse crown of lace. Plenty of protein floating that eventually settled at the bottom of the glass.

S - A great hop blast, with citrus and pine. I just keep wanting to smell it. Awesome.

T - Damn, the hoppiness that you expect, but very well balanced. Bitter, but not overly so. Fantastic hop dose with a tasty citrus component to it.

M- Smooth, light/medium bodied. Finishes crisp and delicious.

O - Man, what a beer. I love my D/IIPA's and this is the best I've had. It certainly had a lot of floaties, but that didn't bother me, but I can see how it might be off putting to people. I got this in a trade and I'm glad that I have 2 left, but I would love to taste this on tap. Amazing beer, one you must try. I can see why it is numero uno. (917 characters)

Photo of bbeerman
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Received a can from a neighbor that hales from Vermont. As instructed by the can, I did NOT pour but drank directly from the can.

A..No idea, I didn't pour it.

S..Great goodness this was full of hops. Almost over the top hops (if there is such a thing). To be as descriptive as possible, it smells like a very good 420 session.

T..Beautiful hops obviously. Some citrus tastes as I recall. There was a bit of maltiness, but faint as you'd expect from such a hoppy brew.

M..Quite easy to drink. No problems whatsoever. I had no feeling this beer was 8% abv; could enjoy 3-4 easily.

O..Great beer. I'm in debt to my neighbor for that can! (640 characters)

Photo of ggilman
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at the alchemist! 12oz. pour in a smaller tapered pint glass.

Super creamy thick frothy shaving cream head sits atop a hazy apricot body. Sticky lace clings like crazy. Smell is cut wet grass and fresh hop leaf. Taste is pure delicious citrus hop infused goodness. Bitterness climbs in from behind. Slight malt backbone with a little roasty alcohol. Oily and resinous hop mouthfeel, yet crisp. Citrusy and grassy the whole way through.

Lived up to every expectation. Excessively fresh & delicious. (507 characters)

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

Poured from a can into a pub glass.
Excited to finally try this beer.

A- Pours a murky orange about two fingers of head that settles to just a small top layer. They say to drink from the can but I am one of those people who prefer an unfiltered beer that is cloudy. Im not a big clear beer person so this gets high scores for me. Such a beautiful beer.

S- Hop bomb. Tropical citrus fruit notes, Big bold Peach, Little bit of resiny pine/grass. Everything seems to be in perfect balance. This beer smells like the creater brewed it hundreds of times just to get the right smell ratio.

T- Oranges, Grapefruit,Peach,lemon, slight pine/grass aftertaste. Sweet malt backing up all the hops. This beer is a showcase for the hops, nothing more nothing less. You get everything from the smell except even better. If I could give this a 5.25 I would.

M-Substantial high end of medium bodied. fruity, then bitter. Not a harsh bitterness though this is a carefully calculated bitterness. It's very pleasant. Is the bittering addition all hop extract?

O-Some reviews may be skewed because the hype behind this beer. It has a lot to live up to before you even try it. That may seem unfair but this beer surpassed my expectations. This is the Michael Jordan of beers circa 89-97 It is going to score 30 a night on you and not give a shit if you planned on stopping it. Is it the best beer in the world? I have no clue I haven't tried every beer yet. I do know its the best beer I have ever had, and I've had a lot of them. John is a Hop Whisperer and I will drink his beers anytime I get a chance to. (1,593 characters)

Photo of Mikefriedman90
5/5  rDev +7.1%
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 (435 characters)

Photo of MikeDL
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (248 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.86/5  rDev +4.1%
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! (353 characters)

Photo of Nachojon
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank one from can, one from glass, liked it from the glass better so I will review from glass.

A- Great light copper color. One finger white foamy head dissipates into thin layer. Not much lacing. Nice haze, floaties, which I don't mind.

S- Nose crusher with those big dank hops. Piney aroma, the fruit is in the background here, love that big dry hop taste that explodes when you crack the can.

T- Mouth crusher. Leads you in with nice grapefruit, like real grapefruit juice, dry, bitter but juicy. This leads into big pine resiny flavors. Yum love the dankness chewwwy.

M- Nice and crisp. Just love that mouth burn dry mouth just took a hit feel. Perfect carbonation for the flavor.

O- One of my favorite beers ever. Beers like this are why I love IIPAs. Delicious. Great. (781 characters)

Photo of phuntasy
4.73/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best Double IPAs I've ever tasted.

Hoppy. Clearly. But not too bitter or over powering. You will like this even if your not an IPA/Double IPA fan.

Citrus notes such as orange and grapefruit. Little bit of pine as well.

I enjoy road trips to have you! (265 characters)

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.18/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the can (this gimmick annoys me but for brewer suggestion I will comply)
A: it's in a can dammit what do you think
S: good intense aroma of hoppy bitterness, a tad tart but only ever so slightly
T: quite bitter, if i'm being honest I find the level of bitterness unpleasant in this beer, I suppose a bit piney and earthy, most of the DIPA's that I have had don't truly impress me with the amount of bitterness they claim to have, hint of melon, decent malt presence here but not overpowering, the bitterness is the strongest element present, sweet on the finish after the beer settles out a bit, at this point the hops help the beer remain crisp though the bitterness has dissipated, malt will come through more the more that it sits
M: silky, dry and clean
O: not bad but I really don't see what all of the fuss is about. This is a good DIPA but there are many that are better. Snake Handler from Good People comes to mind immediately. It is quite refreshing though, and of all of the beers that claim to be hoppy and bitter, this is one of the few I've had that actually lives up to the claims it makes in that regard. The flavor evolves (improves if you ask me) gradually as the beer settles, leaving less pine and more citrus notes. Not bad but tremendously over rated (I should note that if you are a hop head you will very much enjoy this beer), I'm sorry but I'll say it again, just not great (1,405 characters)

Photo of naproxen
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My new favorite DIPA, if not my new favorite beer overall right now! Extremely lucky to have been in VT while this was tapped. Enjoyed multiple times after SIPtemberfest with BeerTruth on 9/26/09. Unfortunately, the cask was already gone.

The Alchemist is dimly lit so as to the color, I can not speak with entire authority, but it is definitely a bit on the hazy side, medium amber/orange.

Oh the smell! Sitting infront of the taps, we could smell it being poured and like Pavlov's pooches, salivation started. It's all hops right in your face, very citrus and grass, a touch sweet as well.

The first sip was like heaven in a glass. The body is not too heavy and the malts are there to stand up to the hops no doubt. The hops are so abundant though that it leaves a sticky residue in the mouth....mmmm. This never came off as an unbalanced hopbomb though! I got a touch of caramel from the malt, maybe a hint of roast as well. This is extremely smooth and creamy, no bitter hop face was made while enjoying this beer :)

Easily drank one of these, a good portion of another, and seriously had to order one of the 3oz samples before leaving just to get that final taste. If I wasn't driving to Waitsfield on dark route 100 right after I easily would have had two more. Easily. Get this while you can folks, it is indeed that good. (1,335 characters)

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

A - Only because I poured the first can, I can report that the Heady Topper pours into a chalice the color of straw, hazy, and an ample white head.

S - From the freshly opened can...grass aromas, fresh...just harvested hop aroma, JUST CUT, mixture of oranges and other citrus...grapefruit.

T - It's such a fresh hop flavor that you would swear that there are buds IN THE CAN. The most unique hop taste I have ever experienced, and, I was skeptical at first, but, there is ABSOLUTELY a discernible difference in the poured vs. can tasting option. In my opinion, the fresher "rawness" in the hop flavor is NOT as present if poured. The hop flavors tend toward bitter. It's not a grapefruit bitterness, it is the first time I'm going to say...this is a hop "extract" bitterness. It's not hops masquerading as an orange, a tangerine or a grapefruit. It's a mashed hop plant in your beer. Hop nation!

M - Medium-heavy. A little sticky. Plenty of carbonation.

O - Well. I would advise everyone who is fortunate enough to get ahold of the Heady to try it by the pour, and compare it to "straight from the can." I'm sure anyone who has had at least two cans in their possession has done this anyway. Delicious. Unforgettable. (1,221 characters)

Photo of mjyoung
4.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Split w/ bbb099. Thanks to scottfrie for this one! Consumed on 12/17/10.

A: Poured a nice copper color with a nice, thick, off-white head (roughly one finger). Left very fine lacing on the edge of the glass.

S: Overwhelmingly smells of fresh, citrus-y hops with a hint of sweetness running behind it, presumably from the malt.

T: Very fresh. The taste closely follows the nose, but in the best possible way. The malt and hop tastes make quite the combination. A little bit of herbal/grassy taste comes through with a bitter finish.

M: Very good, the level of carbonation was nice and it sat on the tongue quite nicely. It was ever-so-slightly dry, but all that did was enhance the flavor.

D: Very good. I finished my half of the bottle more quickly than I meant to, and I was disappointed that there wasn't any more. A very fine beer, and it's a shame that I probably won't get my hands on another anytime soon. (918 characters)

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

This is definately my favorite IPA.

Smell: Great aroma with a nice piny kick that lets you know that these hops mean business.

Taste: Great residual taste that stays with you for nearly fifteen minutes after you've completed the can. Certainly has a ton of hops but what i love most about this beer is it seems to have a yeast strand that i both love but am unfamiliar with.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel with alot of yeast sediment which i personaly am fond of however i know not everyone feels the same sentiment. (515 characters)

Photo of LeoPanna
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up in Burlington, before a gig at the Radio Bean...

Says to drink from the can, which looks awesome btw.

Smells like a clean dIPA, pineapple, grapefruit, just really sweet hops in general

Just an extremely well balanced dIPA, drinkable as stated by everyone before, you taste what you smell and its consistent. Every sip offers another angle, this is complex as hell. Taste amazing right out the can.

MF is incredibly smooth..

Not as crazy as I expected, but just a ridiculously hoppy, sweet, clean, smooth and drinkable dIPA... by far the greatest beverage I've ever had out of a can. (599 characters)

Photo of RyanPollock
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally had the chance to try one while skiing at Sugarbush and I must say, it is worth the hype. That first sip speaks for itself. Hints of citrus with a smooth body that is not too overwhelmingly hoppy. The beer is surprisingly refreshing while retaining a nice hoppy taste and a strong full flavour. The perfect beer to have after skiing and I was very content having only one. The next day i had another one and the quality was equally impressive. A great beer to drink slowly and enjoy as each sip reveals a unique taste. Easily the best double IPA i have tried and one of the only beers where i can honestly say that less is more. Saviour it while you drink it and you will totally be impressed! (701 characters)

Photo of Michael-Poppe
4.99/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So this is my first review as I am new to BA. I have been drinking this beer for sometime. My profile picture is off my trunk leaving Waterbury VT, I found a place that didn't have a case limit (like most do) so my trip was very productive.

I love IPAs and this is tops for me right now. It is perfectly balanced and just makes you happy while drinking.

The color is golden and hazy

Pine and citrus notes

Finish is smooth and delicious. It has staying power and doesn't dissipate anytime soon

Hit the Prohibition Pig and had it on draught, I preferred it out of the can to be perfectly honest.

Truly a must have for ANYONE. Most of the time you hear how good a beer is it never lives up to the hype...THIS DOES.

Drink on boys and girls (744 characters)

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

I was honestly hoping that this beer was too hyped, but boy was I wrong!
A: I drank it from the can, but I did pour a little bit for a friend. It was dark orange with a thin, white head.
S: Floral, herbal, orange, peach, mango, very tropical, some pine, hoppy.
T: Similar to nose, however this beer seems to have just about every kind of taste that an IPA can possibly have…pure brilliance! It starts off very dry and then explodes mid sip with citrusy/tropical goodness and then fades into bursting hops.
M: Hops are somewhat prickly to the tongue, extremely balanced with the sweetness, dryness, mild bitterness and overall complexity.
O: A perfect 5!! I have given a few 5's in the past, but this beer is the best!! (720 characters)

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.71/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got to try this beer. It's an IPA alright. It was like that special Crest toothpaste that kept tingling in your mouth long after you were done brushing your teeth. I think it got recalled for poison or something. This beer was not poison. It was very good. (264 characters)

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