Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,141 Reviews
THE BROS
96
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,141
Hads: 11,927
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 8,668
Gots: 4,314 | FT: 64
Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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 (9) | 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: 2,141 | Hads: 11,927
Photo of YoudownwithABV
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

BELIEVE THE HYPE!

Being more of a Stout guy I was simply amazed.

Appearance: Orangish-Yellow

Smell: I about fell out, so damn good. They should make an air freshner that smells like this.

Taste: Hoppy Goodness. Citrus shines over piney flavor. Love it.

Mouthfeel: Great, perfect carbonation. Light on the palate on the front and back end.

Overall: I'm a believer.

 370 characters

Photo of Stolenface1
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light cloudy orange with adequate frothy white head. Aroma of tropical fruit, pine, slight floral and herbal, pineapple, mango and melon with tropical fruit esters (pear/peach)from the yeast. Flavor matches the aroma and add a very slight malty sweetness that is just enough to play off of the perfect amount of bitterness in this beer. A touch of wheat also.Mouthfeel is light but with almost a creamy fruit juice feel to it... Overall definitely in my top 5 DIPA's.

 475 characters

Photo of tarheels86
4.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz, thanks to ygtbsm94.

A- The pour is a clear, light amber orange with a thin, white head.

N- Massive fruity hops, big fresh Centennial and Cascade pellets, fresh grapefruit, pineapple, fresh pine, caramel. Really just a super dank hop nose.

T- Astringent, dry, resinous, loads of nutty bitterness piling on.

P- Dry, bitter, biting palate.

Sort of one dimensional.

 376 characters

Photo of MA_hops
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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 Ghrymm
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well after many years and having tried over 300 IPA's i finally got my hands on a can of Heady Topper.
The hype is real its as good as people say i have to rate it just about Pliny the Elder (I have not tried the Younger yet) and i am a West Coast guy.
An outstanding Double IPA,no need to say more.

 300 characters

Photo of emsjf
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing aroma of the can! Definitely drink out of the pour a little in a glass so you can remember what the best brew looks like : )

Wonderful citrus with clay earthy notes in the background. Nice carbonation - tastes awesome but smells out-of-this-world. Best IPA, in the running for best brew ever.

Seek it out!

 316 characters

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

Poured a chug into pint glass just to see what it looked like. Drank rest out of can.

A very cloudy but love it.
S pine and grapefruit dominant but complex. Not as pungent as i was expecting
M very nice malt backbone compared to some ipas and still very drinkable
T excellent. Maybe perfect. Reminds me a lot of fff permanent funeral but with more citrus
O this actually lives up to the hype. Im only docking slightly b/c it didnt improve imo as it warmed. Also i think ill drink the next one from the glass as the can did nothing for me

Thanks BA ironchefmiyagi

 566 characters

Photo of cooler4life
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing straight from can to mouth per the request of the brewer. Poured a small amount in a Duvel tulip to assess appearance.

A: Poured a cloudy straw yellow color with small to moderate lacing and glass retention. I see some yeast particulate suspended in the air. About average, which is why I suspect we are directed to consume from the can.

S: As I first crack the can, a geyser of hop propelled CO2 assaults my face. After I regain my senses, essences of pine, dank moss, pineapple, orange, fresh flowers. It presents itself surprisingly sweet, but make no mistake, it oozes with fresh hop aroma.

T: Everything an DIPA should be. My palate is ravaged by concentrated hop juice. The balance of pine, honey toasted biscuit, grapefruit, orange, and lemongrass intertwine to create a symphony of hop magic. It has a relatively light malt backbone.

M: Chewy and juicy, medium body, balanced carbonation. The balance of the elements only serve as a conduit to facilitate the coating of more hop resin in my mouth. The finish is incredibly smooth with no indication of the 8% ABV. Extremely drinkable.

O: A perfect example of the style, this was a treat from start to finish. Do I want more? Yes.
World Class.

 1,215 characters

Photo of Willytee3
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pick up as much as you can when visiting the Brewery in Vermont!

Pours a light golden orange with 1 finger of creamy white head. Reduces to thin film which clings to edge of glass, good lacing.

Best smelling beer of all time! Gobs of tropical fruit, Mango, Passion, orange citrus balance with some pine hops. A touch of grapefruit too and a faint bread chocolate.

Taste is a tropical fruit paradise balanced by a chalky restrained bitter. Juicy mango, peach, passion fruit balanced by lemon juice turns to a grapefruit and pine hop finish. Juicy flavors throughout balanced by a light bitter.

Fine champagne like bubbles fade away to a pine hop finish and lingering juicy grapefruit peal with no trace of alcohol.

 720 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 Hesscabob
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 1,100 characters

Photo of cfalls
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My favorite IPA. (Second place being Maine Lunch, which is somehow more sessionable.)

Really this sits somewhere between an IPA and a double IPA. I would say malts and alcohol are more at IPA levels while hops are at double IPA levels, but with a lot more grapefruit, pine, and floral scents than bitterness. Very hoppy, but not a kick in the balls like, say, Stone Ruination or Dogfish Head 120 Minute.

The finish is a little oily, and very delicious.

Update: Had another can, and compared with Dinner side-by-side. Heady had less aroma (especially tropical and dank aromas), and was more bitter, especially on its lovely long finish. Heady is also slightly sweeter and maltier. Very different beers, both great, but for me Dinner was slightly better for its dry passion fruit flavor and clean finish. Not sure if this second can of Heady was as fresh as my first, so that could have been a factor.

 909 characters

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little old, about a month, I bough two four packs on my way through VT when I went to vacation in upstate New York, so my ratings will be heavily weighted on my original impressions.

A - poured a murky orange with a slight half finger head. Leaves some nice decent lacing.

S - intense hop aroma from the can and immediately after pouring, most forward is the grapefruit, backed by slight citrus and grass notes, and a nice malt presence.

T - even after a month of age, the hop flavor is still amazing. Although noticeably less fresh. Fresh grapefruit, citrus and grass dominant matching the nose well. There is very little Bittering hops present, it does leave a bitterness afterwards but at the finish it is really smooth. There is a nice malt sweetness which provides a great balance that I think really makes this beyond great.

M - mouthfeel is medium to thick, or at least on the syrupy side, ample carbonation.

O - with a month of age, it had only lost that brewery fresh wet hop dankiness, the flavor is still huge. I feel this is excellent, but I put it at about the same level of greatness as some other great IPAs such as enjoy by and sucks. Worth the 4 hour drive to VT, but not the be all end all of IPAs.

 1,228 characters

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

After several cans, time for a review.

Pours a murky, chunky orange. For those of us who like pulp in our fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, it's perfect.

S: Explodes out of the can with juicy fresh citrus fruit, grapefruit dominant, with pine sap weaving into the citrus rinds. Some peaches there too. Bitter, sweet, fresh, all intermingled.

T: Bright, zesty, fresh, popping citrus and pine. I can't decide who's in charge, but it doesn't matter. Jordan and Pippen. Hetfield and Hammett. Farrar and Tweedy. The sweetness (peaches!) works with the resin which works with the bitterness which works with the pine which works with the fruit. Intense flavors bouncing around, all settling in their proper places on the tongue. A wonderfully choreographed dance on the palate.

M: Sticky, sweet, bitter, fresh, and clean (yes, all of those). Lingers just enough as it sticks to enamel. OK if you want to drink slowly, but I hate drinking this beer slowly.

O: I wouldn't change a thing.

 984 characters

Photo of hail_seitan
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from a 16 oz can as instructed.

A - Poured some out into a shot glass to see what it looks like. Pale pilsen color. The body is hazy from the yeast and hop resin. I enjoy the minimalist design approach of the can as well.

S - The smell of hops wafts tremendously from the open can. Scents of peaches, flowers, grass, and a touch of resin fill the nostrils. Delightful.

T - Even better than the smell. A rush of tropical fruit and ripe orange taste assaults the tongue. Just a touch of pine to remind you that the flavors come from hops, not actual fruit. Compared to other famous DIPAs, there is no discernible onion/garlic/savory taste at all. The malt backbone is appropriately sweet and balanced, but really serves as a showcase for the amazing hops. A touch of bitterness hits the palate toward the end, but astoundingly does not linger. The aftertaste is of the tropical fruit and honey.

M - Wonderfully creamy with enough viscosity to remind you of the 8% ABV. Carbonation is present but inconspicuous so as not to distract from everything else going on.

O - This beer is seriously good and perhaps the best DIPA I have ever tasted. Whereas there is usually something lacking in even the best of beers, there is nothing I can think of to make this beer better. Believe the hype.

 1,297 characters

Photo of VTEno17
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: My god, crack a can and you can smell it across the room. Immediate grapefruit, then pine, I can't detect the alcohol

A: The can is clean and simple in design and appeals to my OCD engineer side. Pour it into a glass and it is a nice hazy caramel color.

T: Hops pure, unadulterated hops! Grapefruit again, lots of pine . . . Hey but where is the bitterness, just enough to clean the palate or the next gulp. No real alcohol, just citrus and pine.

M: This is the genius of this beer, too many DIPAs leave a syrupy film in your mouth, but with each gulp of this you get a smooth feel followed by a slight crisp that leaves your mouth refreshed and ready, no begging, for the next.

O: So far the best I have ever had, maybe stupid but this beer has been life altering, I have been searching for HT's equal for 3+ yrs. A couple times I have thought to myself "wow this is kinda like heady!" but a few sips later and they all become too bitter or too sweet/syrupy. I have been lucky enough to do a side by side camparo of heady and Pliny but it was not even close and I had to assume that something was wrong with the Pliny, maybe it was old? Anyway, hope to try it again some day.

 1,183 characters

Photo of beerbully
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Dogfish IPA glass

A-hazy golden tint, fluffy white head, very thick lacing that clings to glass

S-Bursting with citrus tropical hops...grapefruit, orange

T-follows the nose with some slight pine to it. lots of grapefruit with a somewhat bitter finish

M-more carbonated than other DIPA's, creamy medium bodied,

O-very drinkable, smooooth, very sessionable despite ABV, completely balanced no one aspect of the beer dominates

 441 characters

Photo of caponeduke
4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I took the first few pulls from the can as instructed .... then I poured into a cigar city Tulip glass. I did not enjoy from the can really. I like my IPAs in a glass so I can enjoy the nose.

A: A golden mess of hops. Some moderate lacing. Beautiful!

S: Huge tropical fruit and pineapple nose right up front. Not too piney and as it warmed a bit I got a lot of Orange peel.

T: A hop BOMB! I mean I love IPAs but this but others to shame. It was surprisingly drinkable and I did enjoy the clean finish.

MF: Medium bodied, with good carbonation.

O: Smell is better than taste and this is a top twenty for me but I have had better IPAs. A great IPA glad I got to try it finally!

 681 characters

Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nose comes out of the can . . . piney with an explosion of mixed citrus, also mildly tropical. Characteristics I've had before, but extremely well done here.

Nothing I've ever had tastes or feels like this perfectly balanced, sweet, aromatic, tropical citrus party. So effing balanced. I didn't know hops could dance so well. So absurdly drinkable. I don't have words for this work of art.

I just don't know what to say. This is the first perfect beer I've ever had.

Appearance: it was out of the can like they recommend, but I gave it a 5 because I love the can art.

 572 characters

Photo of Ian_Alexander
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A few sips in a tulip, majority from the can. Color is slightly opaque gold. It really is very smooth for a double IPA. Nice hoppiness without just being punch-you-in-the-face bitter. Mouthfeel is really nice; creamy foam, not too carbonated.

I can't pick up some of the more subtle notes others have highlighted, but perhaps it's because I don't drink quite enough IPAs to be sensitive to them.

 402 characters

Photo of anteatr23
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden orange and hazy and chalky. Smells like fruit with some hops and sweet malts. Taste is like a breath of fresh air. Bitter and crisp, with citrus and dry bready finish. Fantastic malt flavor and so perfectly balanced. I was prepared to be critical of this beer as I figured it had to be over-hyped. It's not. This is certainly the tippity-top-tier of IPAs/Double IPAs. Incredible flavor and drinkability from start to finish.

 445 characters

Photo of BeTheBall
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Followed instructions and drank from the can, a first for me with an IPA. As a result, I can't judge the appearance, so I gave it an average. Smell was fantastci, grapefruit and pine and grass; hops galore. Taste was intensely citrus and hops, but no super bitter like most DIPA's. Much of tre hoppiness is on the mouth and tongue, but doesn't so much linger down your throat. The grapefruit, orange, grass, pine flavors are huge and awesome. What a great combination of ingredients!
Mouthfeel was not noteworthy; having it from the can. The taste is so good I didn't have time to notice anyway. What a great beer. Only the ABV would prevent me from drinking my entire 4 pack in one sitting. Next one will be in a glass...

 722 characters

Photo of fsvan
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can, part poured into tulip, part sampled from the can as suggested. Thanks to Titosupertramp for this one.

A- Murky, dark orange with unfiltered yeast. Bright in the light, but the murkiness dulls the color. A 6 oz or so pour gives 2-3 fingers of white head.

S- Very dank hops punch you in the nose. Mango fruitiness upfront with a good amount of pine that fades into the mango seamlessly to make it almost a spicy mango. Really wonderful, with nothing about it to knock.

T- Taste starts off in line with the nose, with fruity hops. Finishes with a punishing pine bitterness. As expected, the hops take center stage, pushing any malt notes deep in the background.

M- Pretty heavy with a big thick hop bite throughout.

O- I gave this 4.5 across the board. Smell could be a bit higher, but I wasn't willing to give it a 5, taste could be slightly lower, but not a 4. This is a damn, damn good beer.

 909 characters

Photo of JulioH
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this a few times. This is the most bitter thing I have tasted, but surprisingly you quickly get accustomed to it, and actually enjoy it.

Pouring it reveals a normal yellow beer, nothing spectacular about the color, but the aroma that comes out of the can immediately after opening it is crazy. It releases a very strong aroma of pine and hops. Taste is very bitter, very piney, but refreshing and thin. You could drink a few of these and just think of how amazing this beer is.

 488 characters

Photo of Sheppard
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank straight from the can. Pleasant hop aroma. Dank grassy flavors, creamy mouthfeel. Finish is slightly earthy. Overall, this is a tried and trued DIPA. One of the best I've had.

 181 characters

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,141 ratings.