Heady Topper - The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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10,755 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,755
Reviews: 2,148
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 6.98%
Wants: 8,012
Gots: 3,320 | FT: 53
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,755 | Reviews: 2,148
Photo of Nachojon
4.94/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of phuntasy
4.73/5  rDev 0%
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!

Photo of Tmyhre802
4.81/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Am very lucky to have a steady supply due to my proximity to Waterbury. Due to that I am always looking forward to cracking the next heady that brings that delicious hoppy not to citrusy ipa smell to your nostrils. The taste is the most memorable i've ever had with the perfect bite to accompany it's 8% abv, making it impossible to not savor the last taste. Believe the hype.

Photo of naproxen
4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of mjyoung
4.4/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of Michael-Poppe
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
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

Photo of KELPAK
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of LeoPanna
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Evahflow
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of sprat1960
4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of CoffeePorter
5/5  rDev +5.7%
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!!

Photo of Beardcore
3.51/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: (4.0) Poured from a can into a pint glass. Hazy, straw yellow color, with a one inch head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell: (3.0) Hoppy and fragrant, though not floral.

Taste: (3.5) Hoppy flavor that is pervasive though-out the flavor profile. Not as well balanced between malty and hoppy as I have come to expect from DIPA’s, but still a fresh, citrus flavor that is easily drinkable, not even seeming like a “sipping” beer even though it has high alcohol.

Mouthfeel: (4.5) Nice medium body with good medium carbonation. Very easy to drink in that sense.

Overall: (3.5) Good beer. Seems more like an IPA than a DIPA, but maybe that is a bonus, more alcohol with the IPA flavor. Regardless, very smooth and drinkable with a long lingering hop flavor on the back of the tongue.

Photo of MVotter
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of cradke
4.92/5  rDev +4%
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

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This review is long overdue, I have been drinking this beer since the beginning.

The head on this beer is always ample and sturdy (hence the name), it's a nice cloudy straw color.

The nose is pure hop and cleanly so. You really need to spend some time inhaling this before you taste this beer.

The taste is all that you expect and more. The hop profile is complex, so describing this as piney or citrusy is not an accurate way to describe this beer. The malt backbone is light and present, yet not in the way.

Considering the abv & amount of hops this is a very drinkable beer. I'm glad to see that John was kind enought to bottle a few of these so that BA's from beyond have a chance to give it a try.

Photo of LaCoursiere
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of beagle826
4.52/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of Glennlawless
3.56/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Photo of Hesscabob
4.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Acquired via trade at DLD. Shared witha buddy.

A - Looks as promising as all the folk lore. Perfect golden hue, right amount of carbonation and lacing around the sides of the glass.

S - Big floral, citrusy, pine notes. Was expecting more concentrated hop aromas as this is coming from a can. When tasted from a can did not make as much difference as the multiple warnings of drink from the can would elude to. 90% for aroma. Better DIPA aromas out there for sure.

T - Nothing wrong with the taste from beginning to finish. No lingering lupilin tangy taste as other can IPA's have, great malt body and neither the hops or malt outweigh the other. Was hoping for more hop presence though.

M - Mouthfeel, carbonation, coating the tongue all perfect. Well executed and this was possibly the best part of the beer. (Which is why it is not the #1 brew in the world)

O - Awesome not worth the hype or what people trade for it. On that note, although its not the best, nothing is wrong with it just built it up too much in my head. Hope to try again in the future to try and reverse my original opinion.

Photo of ZebraCakez
4.95/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of airohead2001
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of RyanPollock
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Photo of ccnorthwest
4.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very well balanced IPA. Drink fresh and enjoy it, if you can find it.

Photo of abriggs1
3.46/5  rDev -26.8%
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.

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,755 ratings.