Heady Topper - The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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1,942 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,942
Hads: 10,938
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,124
Gots: 3,451 | FT: 56
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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,942 | Hads: 10,938
Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
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)

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

On a Trip to Vermont with the Family... I had to stop here. I got my first taste of this beer on Tap and it was amazing. Of course they were out of cans, luckily on my way out of town they were restocked and I picked up some (definitely not enough).

A - I drank a little from the can and poured there the rest into my Duvel glass to get a good look at it. It was hazy/cloudy light orange color with pieces floating in it

S - A big, fresh aroma of bitter citrus and piney hops. There is also a hint of orange and grapefruit.

T - Wow. Very similar to the aroma. Dry and piney with a rush of citrus hops. Bitter with a semi-sweet malty balance

M - Good carbonation and medium bodies. It drinks relatively smooth for the ABV and hop content.

O - Definitely recommend this beer if you can get it. Definitely recommend driving to get this beer if needed. I enjoyed it. I didnt mind the fact that deliciousness was floating in the beer when poured out of the can, probably why the recommend drinking from the can. Awesome stuff either way. (1,037 characters)

Photo of cradke
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review is done on can that was picked up from Alchemist and delivered with less than 2 weeks on it. Ratings are done from beer out of can as is intended to be drank.

Appearance: I think the can logo is pretty sweet... (only knock is because it's not 'beautiful' as some beers are. I know it's unfiltered and 'floaties' are part of the reason it's supposed to be drank which would normally knock appearance.)

Smell(Can): Pure, unadulterated sweet pine. Holy. Buckets

Taste (Can): Wow. Just pure hoppiness. So much more sweet and balanced, lively almost.

Mouthfeel: Light, Air-y. Great Carbonation. Damm.

Overall: Wow. I just can't even put to words how good this beer is. Just, perfect almost. The hop level is amazing (724 characters)

Photo of LaCoursiere
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mtardiff for sending me a 4 pk. No canned on date. Against the recommendation on the can, I poured into a snifter.

A - A slightly aggressive pour yields a dirty tangerine color with a 1-finger head. It's quite hazy, and you can't see any carbonation. The head retention isn't great, and very little remains once it dissipates. Minimal lacing does not stick.

S - Boom! It's a tropical fruit storm. Lots of pineapple and grapefruit and a hint of lime. So much fruit it's tough to detect any malt character.

T - Juicy grapefruit and orange with honey sweetness, a whisper of malt, then a pine bitter onslaught. Yum.

M - Lighter bodied and slick with light carbonation. The hop oils really coat and there is a slight alcohol warmth.

O/D - I had heard alot about this beer and read outstanding reviews. In my opinion it really lived up the hype. I was able to savor a four pack. Too bad it's not easier to get because I will always want this beer. (957 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The first words I heard about this from a cicerone buddy was "please, don't drink it from the can like they say." So, I poured 80% into a glass and left the rest in the can. After it hit the glass, I understood the desire for the can. The unfiltered, resin-floating view was less than flattering. But, I figured, two million people can't all be wrong. So I took a whiff, and enjoyed the crisp, apricot notes coming back at me. Nothing piney, no citrus, just clean. Next was where the rubber meets the road - the taste. My wife summed it up best, when she said "wow, an IPA I wouldn't have to pair with food to drink!" I absolutely agree. It's perfectly brewed, and is surely the best, most balanced IPA I've ever had. First taste threatens to turn into piney hops in your mouth, yet never does. It just slides away, leaving you with a tasty, refreshing treat that doesn't stay past its welcome. Now I know why this is such a revered brew, and why people love to have more than one at a time. It's just that inviting, and one I wish was closer to me in availability. (1,065 characters)

Photo of beagle826
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Per their request, drank it out of the can. Guess I'll have to rate the appearance of the can. Silvery and tall, not the best logo I've ever seen but not too bad.

Incredible aroma hops hops hops, most aromatic beer I've ever smelt.

First sip and...nice...not too bitter, not too floral, just the right balance of sweet, citrusy hops.

Nice finish, but as I progress into the can, the bitterness begins to build up a bit.

Overall, I loved this beer. Do I think it lived up to the epic hype? Probably not, they never do. It was an incredible IPA, maybe not the best I've ever had though. Does make me wish I lived in VT. (623 characters)

Photo of Glennlawless
3.56/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from the can as instructed...

Smell wise I just got an abundance of pine and your typical grapefruit.

Taste was just a SUUUPER bitter pine bomb with some malt sweetness.

medium mouth feel and well carbonated...

Overall....Is this beer good? Yes.
Is this beer hoppy? Extremley
Does this perfectly describe the definition of an east coast style IPA? Yes
Does it deserve to be world class and rated 100 - Absolutely not. The only reason I could see it maaaaybe recieving this rating is because for a higher abv ipa...it is CRAZY drinkable. (546 characters)

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured half into a snifter to get a good look at it, left the other half to be consumed from the can as is suggested by The Alchemist.

A: Surprisingly light and rather clear in color, I expected it to be a little darker given the aroma when cracking the can (I don't really know why, just my mind at work I guess). Thin, light head that dissipates quickly.

S: The nose is very strong, indeed. Heavy pine and hops and a light floral note set a nice precedent for the rest of the experience.

T: I will have no problem agreeing that this is the cleanest, most well refined example of the style I have ever had. It is super fruity (grapefruit and other citrus fruit), and super hoppy. Not terribly complex, but it ends with a nice peppery spice. Everything is super bold and well defined. Simply beautiful.

F: Feels just heavy enough and features great carbonation. Certainly nothing bad here.

O: This one is pretty hard to sum up. I've been waiting a long time to try this beer, as have many others. I went into this knowing that realistic expectations would lead to an overall better experience. It's an absolutely fantastic beer, no doubt about it. I don't, however, feel I need to go crazy to obtain more. As great as it is, in the end it is simply another beer I guess. I just can't help but wonder, will the second can really feel as special? Super glad to be able to cross it off my list, though.

Oh, and just for the record, it's good out of the can AND a glass......but make sure it's cold! (1,501 characters)

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pounded my first HT on my break at work today in fifteen minutes since it was consume on premises only so this review might be a little muddled, but hey, at least I got some Head.

A: Drank it right out of the can like it says to. The dude next to me drinking it had a cloudy honey straw color with a little bit of sediment. No time for a glass for me. Right down the hatch it went.

S: Holy monkey fuck this smells amazing. Take a really nice piney/citrus/grapefruit IPA and times it by a hundred. Smells like freaking heaven. I still have the can and every time I walk by it I give it a whiff and it still has a potently delicious aroma even though it's all gone.

T: Instant punch of citrus and grapefruit with a hell of a hop punch, but without the bitterness. Although the people next to me didn't agree with this, I got a slight bready aftertaste. Not overwhelming, just soft and pleasant. Like the can says, this is dangerously drinkable. I could drink this stuff all day it's so damn good and it goes down so easy. Pounding a pint in 15 minutes was no trouble at all.

M: Hop resins stick to the palette like glue and linger long after the sip is finished. Super smooth.

O: I've always been afraid of trying whales like this sometimes, because they never seem to live up to their names. This definitely lives up to its name. I'm so happy I got a chance to try this. This is probably the best beer I've ever had. (1,421 characters)

Photo of RyanPollock
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
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 airohead2001
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I cannot believe that this beer is in front of me. I've dreamed about it forever. In fact, I've even considered making a trip out to Vermont simply to try it. Thanks, glazeman, and thanks to the trader that got this one done for him, and thanks to the trader that hooked me up with Matt in order to reel in the infamous Heady Topper.

A - Cloudy, dark brown/ruby/murky with a one finger head that quickly fades to a few bubbles. Unfiltered for sure - floaties abound.

S - Words cannot describe. Overwhelmingly the finest IPA I've ever sniffed. BIG, juicy citrus hops up front with tangerines, oranges, limes, and a hint of lemon. Warm booze in the finish. Perfect.

T - Just incredible. Biscuit malts, piney hops, citrus hops, with a harsh bitter/boozy bite in the finish. I love the biscuittiness that carries this entire beer, but it would be even better if it were only the tiniest bit sweeter.

M - Very good. Nice carbonation and appropriate chewiness without being syrupy. Great for a DIPA.

D - For me, Heady Topper is a whale of all whales. I wish I could drink it all the time. I could easily drink more than the 11 oz. that I had in this serving, unfortunately, I'll probably never have it again unless The Alchemist decides to make it more available. (1,264 characters)

Photo of abriggs1
3.46/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Here it is folks, the single most overrated beer in drinking history. I've been a beer fanatic for a decade and a half, and the beer drinking world has a lot to answer for on this one. The best beer in the world? What a joke. I wouldn't even put this in the top 10 of IPA's let alone beers of any style.

I'm not saying this is a bad beer. It's just criminally over-hyped and overrated.

Let's start with the obvious; drinking this beer out of the can as it says to do on the very can you're supposed to drink this out of = a bad idea. It's much better in a glass, and the right glass with a tulip shape will make the aromas even better. I guess the whole drinking from the can thing is little more than a hipster ideal. I certainly hope this trend doesn't continue.

The hops are right in your face, but ultimately unbalanced. Anyone can throw way too many hops into a beer. But it takes real skill and finesse to create a hoppy beer that's balanced and drinkable. There are heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds on the front. And then heaping amounts of grapefruit, pine, and lemon rinds in the aftertaste. The malt backbone is there, but it's too faint to balance out the assault of hops.

So far, the best IPA I've had was another Vermont brew; Lawson's Hopzilla, which I gave a perfect score. It's the perfect DIPA. When I die, I want to be embalmed with it.

Other IPA's that are better than Heady Topper: Ballast Point's Sculpin. Hooker's Hop Meadow IPA. New England Brewing's Gandi-Bot, Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, Southern Tier's 2xIPA, Southern Tier's Hoppe, Southern Tier's Unearthly, 21st Amendment's IPA, Hill Farmstead's Abner, Rock Art's Belgo American IPA, and others that I'll probably think of later.

I've never been so embarrassed for the beer community for rating this so highly. My fear is that the beer scene is being overrun by a bunch of hipsters who think that exclusivity is more important than the art of brewing. Heady Topper is hard to get. That doesn't make it the best beer in the world. People are rating this beer so highly because they want to brag that they drank it. In a blind taste test of the world's best IPAs, Heady Topper would lose miserably. (2,203 characters)

Photo of cjoc83
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first go with the one, the only, Heady! Super stoked right now. Fresh 16oz can poured into a tulip (what's the big deal about all the "DRINK FROM THE CAN" stuff anyway?) a super hazy, almost totally opaque pastel orange with an initial 2 finger bright white head that recedes quickly to a ring that leaves moderate lacing. A little hop sediment is visible floating around. Great looking beer.

Basically a tropical and stone fruit hops explosion in the nose. Big grapefruit and grapefruit rind, blood orange, mango, peach, and some earthy, dank herbal hops with a slight hint of sweet caramel malts. Truly remarkable aroma...I wish they made Heady Topper air fresheners. I could just smell this all day.

The dank, piney hops give a nice kick in the mouth in the front, but quickly gives way to huge, juicy citrus; mango, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, maybe even some slight apple and pear, a little lemon zest. Sweet caramel malts kick in towards the finish, giving this nuclear hop bomb great balance. Leaves a beautiful, sweet, juicy hop aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness. There's so much citrus that there seems to be an almost tart-like note to the beer, like fresh grapefruit dusted with sugar (which also happens to be one of my favorite fruits). Just straight up delicious.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Velvety and inviting.

I'm always interested in seeing if the beer lives up to the hype when it comes to "whales" like Heady. In this case, Alchemist deserves all the praise it gets. Enjoy By DIPA by Stone has just been replaced. Beautiful hop bouquet, great looking and even better tasting. Amazing hop depth with just the right amount of bitterness (which is quite low for a DIPA). Alchemist really needs to start distributing outside of VT! Best beer in the whole world? Not sure about that, but best DIPA and one of the best beers I've ever had? Indeed. So glad I have 4 more of these. (1,941 characters)

Photo of travMI13
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeRanger for this one.

2012 vintage. No canning date, but likely less than 1 month old. 16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

A: Incredibly hazy orange body with a finger of fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Tons of sediment. In fact, I've never seen so much sediment in a fresh DIPA.

S: Huge citrus hop notes. Straight up orange and grapefruit. Very straight to the point here.

T: Wow. Incredibly hoppy, but not overpowering. The orange is the most dominant citrus note on the palate. It almost has a fresh orange juice flavor to it. The hop bite hits up front, but it's short-lived because it's quickly followed by the citrus sweetness.

M: This is about the perfect amount of carbonation. Just the right amount of dryness and sweetness, as well. Resinous, but not a palate killer.

O: This beer is well-deserving of the hype it receives. The drinkability is incredible. I was a little put-off at first by all the hop sediment, and I do wonder how it impacted the flavor. I also probably should've had a couple of tastes straight from the can. I guess I will just need to track down more. One of the best DIPA's I've ever had. (1,147 characters)

Photo of Darth_Ryan
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer deserves to be at the top of the charts. An incredible refreshing double IPA. As soon as you crack the can open you are delighted with a burst of great smell, taste and hops. Citrus smell and flavor comes through well. The fact it taste so good out of can gets a big thumbs up. (287 characters)

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 (435 characters)

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

There is a reason this is #1. What an epic DIPA. Worth the trip, the cost, the everything. Still, remember it is just beer. Some people hype it up to be god in a can. Too much hype can be a bad thing. Still, what an amazing brew. Cheers to The Alchemist! (254 characters)

Photo of dowen17
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter.

Well, here goes nothing.

Pours an extremely hazy golden yellow. No chunks as I've seen some people say. Poured a little light so I only received a one finger head. But it has nice retention.

This beer smells so so so fresh. I can't describe how fresh it smells. Tangerine and grapefruit on the nose. I can smell this beer from the other end of my table. No alcohol presence. Smells wonderful.

Taste is of fresh hops and citrus. Very well balanced. Fruit esters at the forefront. As soon as the beer hits my mouth it's tangerine and grapefruit. Very very fresh. Hops dominate the rest of the taste. The middle and end of the sips are all hops. Very fresh and balanced. Not too bitter. Very earthy.

Mouthfeel is great. Perfectly carbonated. The carbonation really keeps the flavors alive in your mouth and gives a nice bite on your tongue.

Overall this is a wonderful beer. Number one in the world? Eh... Not sure. That's something you'll have to decide for yourself. But what I can say is that it's an amazing beer and well well worth the try. If you can get it, get it. Drink it and enjoy. (1,124 characters)

Photo of PGD120
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Can drank from can with 2 oz poured into snifter for appearance rating

Appearance: hazy golden color lots of particulates. White 2 finger head

Aroma: resinous and grapfruit.

Taste: same as aroma. Finishes off a little bitter but super drinkable

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, basically just perfect

Overall: what more can I say it's heady. My favorite d ipa (359 characters)

Photo of imagineiii
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2, about 8 days in the can. Poured a bit into my mini Duvel tulip, drank the rest from the can.
A: Brilliant hazy orange. Decent head, decent retention.

S: Tropical fruits, summer grass, a tiny bit of honey and biscuit. The aroma escapes from even the small opening of the can; out of a tulip it almost unruly. It is captivating.

T: As the can says: this is not intended to be the most bitter, but there are truly waves and waves of hop-goodness. This is spot on. For those who worship at the altar of hops, this beer is a religious experience. It puts most other DIPA's to shame in the way that it dances on the palate but still packs a heavy hop punch.

M: The malt profile of this beer is so spot on that there is no way that anybody could call it "east-coast" or "cloying". It has just the right amount of weight to support the hop profile that it is carrying. Carbonation is just right, more in line with the cask version than the tap version.

O: If I were to penalize this beer for anything it would be for being just too damn drinkable. I find myself sipping it all night, and completely enjoying it, with no regard for my liver. And in a way, it has ruined other DIPA's for me because I no longer want to try them, they just wont be this good. (1,263 characters)

Photo of gcasher
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

G_d bless the alchemist.
Appears as a golden haze with a foamy white head.
Dank hops on the nose upon opening the can.
Taste of sweet malt and dank hops. No funky yeast. Yeah.
Heavy mouthfeel. Overall, bring it baby. (221 characters)

Photo of JohnnyB
4.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can see how people think of this as a trophy brew. It's very good,huge citrus smack. Like drinking a glass (yep,didn't read the instructions) of grapefruit juice. Had a slight,bitter (lemon) aftertaste. Overall,a wonderful brew. (230 characters)

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 (155 characters)

Photo of BMFR1811
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased 2 cases in barre,vt on 08/11/14

Appearance- drank it from the can- but the can is a beauty!

Smell- it's like happiness, rainbows, money, cars, puppies and everything good was condensed into the aroma wafting from the can

Taste- what can I say- perfect, not the most bitter, not the most sweet, just probably the tastiest

Mouthfeel- perfect, full bodied, not too carbonated,

Overall- so I had to drive 4 hrs, wait in line for 2 1/2 hrs and ended up securing two cases. To me, it's the experience, almost a ritual. That's what adds to the allure and that has made this beet gain a cult following. Driving through some of the most rural and beautiful country in the u.s. Just to wait in a line with people who are as fanatical about great beer as you are. Totally worth the $80.60 for 20 beers.

BMFR (814 characters)

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

First of all, and I certainly won't be the first to say this, but I HATE drinking beer in cans. You do not see, you cannot smell correctly and it looks cheap! Anyway, I did obey what the can says and I did drink it out of the can.

Tasted in two serving, first time is out of the can, as prescribed, and second time is poured into a glass. No big difference in smell/taste between the two servings. But at least I could appreciate its golden slightly orange colour. Looks hazy and forming a nice head with some lacing.

N- Immediately at opening, a delightful smell emerged from this can. How this amazing smell comes out of this? Mesmerised, totally impressed! Explosive notes of hops resins, very citrusy, pink grapefruit, tropical fruits upfront with herbal undertones (cannabis). Very floral. WOW

M &T-mouth is extremely pleasant, more dry the expected as from the nose revealed at first. Bitterness is biting strong at the very beginning but not overshooting. Feeling is slick, almost creamy. Tremendous amounts of flavours are released on firsts sip. Explosive taste of hops resins, citrus and tropical fruits, pink grapefruits. Carbonation is moderate/low which is perfect for a DIPA. Perfectly balanced, Highly drinkable.

Overall, a PERFECT DIPA ! Perfectly balanced on all levels. Would enjoy over and over again. A definitely must have for all hophead.
Thanks to the Church Street beverage manager who point this beer out and picked it up for me, because I would have skip this beer while making my choices the last time I was there. Today, I can tell you I would have made a great mistake. I regret that I only had one four-pack! (1,646 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.