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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,414 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,414
Reviews: 1,557
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,792
Gots: 1,333 | FT: 38
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:
"An American Double IPA” 75 IBU 8.0% abv

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004)
View: Beers (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,414 | Reviews: 1,557 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djre4orm


5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-04-2012 15:56:38 | More by djre4orm
Photo of powdersoldier


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

05-31-2014 01:16:26 | More by powdersoldier
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME


4.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1,000 thanks to Harrymel for being the most generous BA I've ever came across since joining this site 2 and 1/2 years ago.

A - Murkey Blood Orange - average head retantion and lacing. Not much activation going on in both the Tulip and Guiness perfect pint glass I poured them in, lots of floaties.

S - Very pungent upon semi-agressive swirl as do most top notch IPAs/DIPAs. The citric notes I pick up are primarily Guava and the Grapefruit I pick up is a ruby red grapefruit. Some orange and faint strawberry. Mauna Lai Juice! The Pine and Earth component remind me a little of PTE.

T - Much the same as the nose. The citrus really reminds me of Mauna Lai Juice cut with some Orange juice backed by earthy pine. Finishes juicy yet dry at the same time. Pretty damn close to perfect bitterness in this. I can see where some may complain too bitter but I found it to be solid. ABV nowhere to be found. Way to easy to session this beer.

M - Crisp, clean, dry earthy finish. Beggs you to keep sipping. Juicy upfront, bitter and dry in the finish. Pretty fantastic.

O - I had high expectations for this beer. It did not exceed them nor did it fall below them. It was GREAT, just as I suspected. World Class DIPA, just how I like them. It's a beer that belongs in the same discussions as the other overly Hyped ones and holds it's own. There are a few I prefer over HT but make no mistake about it...HT does not dissapoint. Need to revisit on tap.

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 00:38:42 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of JamieDuncan


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

11-05-2013 00:13:25 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of Rempo


5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-20-2011 16:41:22 | More by Rempo
Photo of hopley


5/5  rDev +5.7%

09-11-2013 18:49:21 | More by hopley
Photo of Blanco


4.05/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank most of this from the can, but also poured enough of it out to see what it looked like and to see what it's like in the glass. Honestly not sure which I like better. It does seem like the aroma is almost too potent in the glass, making the can a nice step back.

Appearance is golden and hazy. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is pure piney hops. I'd hoped for more tropical fruit or citrus, but it's almost one-note piney, though those notes are there. Just not upfront.

Flavor is bitter, very bitter. Dry and woody, it's attack to the palate is relentless. The citrus missing in the aroma appears a little bit in the taste (grapefruit). Malt backbone balance is almost non-existent. I've certainly had hoppier, but the ones I enjoy the most are more balance. Still, the hop presence is impressive and the flavor really opens up and bitterness subsides as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is actually where the beer stands out. The intense bitterness really creates a lively mouthfeel, with a strong aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA. I've had others I prefer, but that in no way is a knock on this beer as the reason I prefer others is balance. I also prefer more hop emphasis on aroma and taste rather than bitterness. That's just personal preference.

Serving type: can

04-22-2012 04:04:27 | More by Blanco
Photo of gillagorilla


4.51/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A regular at Max's brought in a can each day of Max's Hopfest (from notes, 8/16-18/13)

A: Cloudy golden blonde.

S: Sweet, citrus and floral.

T: Strong flavor. As unique as it smells. Even and nuanced. Flavorful. Lots of freshly mown grass and pine with malt sweetness. Big aftertaste.

M: Crispy and prickly and coarse. Nice mouthfeel. Smooth at the end.

O: One of the IPAs that tastes as good as it smells. I think a key component of any great beer, especially IPAs is the mouthfeel/carbonation/body and this one is great for conveying the flavors here.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2013 07:19:19 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of Kramerbarthomer


4.74/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade from Liquidswordz. Thanks!

A - Drank this one straight from the can, but poured out the last 4 oz. to see it. Golden-orange in color

S - Hops, hops, and more hops

T - Floral hoppy taste. Slight bitter finish

M - As good as it gets, perfect for a DIPA

I really enjoyed this beer. One of the better DIPAs I've had.

Serving type: can

01-24-2014 03:53:16 | More by Kramerbarthomer
Photo of braican


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-14-2014 13:31:04 | More by braican
Photo of kirok1999


4.08/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a weak gold with tons of sediment and a dense head that lingers through the whole glass.
Smells fantastic of resiny pine, mild herbal notes and just a hint of citrus.
Taste is just a bit off of the smell. Slightly thinner but has an incredible lingering finish. Pine is the dominant note and the malts hang through the finish.
Feels smooth and creamy and is very nice to sip and appreciate the dominant pine notes.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 23:58:51 | More by kirok1999
Photo of mtbdonn


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-04-2013 18:31:28 | More by mtbdonn
Photo of projectflam86


4.63/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra in a trade with Plenum. Cheers buddy!

16oz can. Poured about 4oz in a small snifter for color and aroma. The rest was had from the can.

A- Pours a hazy golden/orange color with a thin white foam that leaves a few rings of lace.

S- The nose on this is incredible. Tropical fruits, oranges, grapefruit, and resiny hop aromas dominate the nose. Insane citrus nose.

T- Very bitter initially with loads of hop flavor. Orange and grapefruit flavors lead the way with a touch of pine. A very small amount of malt sweetness and alcohol in the finish. Anything but balanced in terms of flavor, but as a hophead I don't mind in least.

M- Medium bodied with good carbonation. I've had a few big DIPAs that seemed a little syrupy but this beer is surprisingly dry and crisp. Helps to enhance the hop flavors and bitterness. Ridiculously drinkable.

O- Very happy I got the chance to try this. Certainly a must have for any true hophead.

Serving type: can

12-08-2011 23:04:28 | More by projectflam86
Photo of aquazr1


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

01-26-2014 23:58:11 | More by aquazr1
Photo of rbrefbeerman


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-04-2013 04:41:11 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of patm1986

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thank you.

A--the first time i had this beer it was actually on tap at blind tiger several months ago.
i was meeting a friend who works up the street from the tiger, and i had been at some museums all day fucking around.
i had no idea that the tiger did VSK on mondays; that is, a very special keg--had i known, i would've had my ass in there a lot earlier.
i was five or so minutes late to meet my buddy for 6pm, so when i entered he was already there, set up close to the door as it was crammed in the joint.
entering i noticed two things: 1) it was SO PACKED. it's near a happy hour of sorts probably, and everyone is still in here drownin' a glass or five, i thought. and 2) everyone, i mean EVERYONE, was swirling, smelling, even quaffing, what looked like a flame held within a lantern. it was, however, a tulip of some cloudy, intensely bright orange liquid.
my friend, as well, was holding one, and before salutations, he just stuck it in my face, "drink!"
i could not, however, get over the color, which really looked like a flame lantern.
i did the obligatory swirl and sniff. and drank. it altered, startled me. he said, "heady topper!"
i tell this story, because, since that day, i've had a lot of this beer, yet each of those subsequent experiences were from out of the can.
i have not viewed the appearance of this beer ever since, and due to that amazing experience and the brewers' directions, unless it's tapped, i will not ever again.

S--MANGO. mangoes gone mad; over-, over-ripened lemons and oranges; the earthy rinds of oranges and lemons; grass and grass; the hop madness of chinook, simcoe, centennial. potent.

T--it's like juice. it's so unbelievably refreshing. i'd have this after a run. not too bitter, earthy, piney, biting, aggressive, yet it is all of those things at the same time. it is one of the most pleasant IPAs i've had despite being one of the most hoppy. citrusy, like lemon, grapefruit galore, orange. the mango, tropical flavor profile rocks your shit, too.

M--Smooth. so refreshing. not a hop milkshake, which is the definitive separation in comparison with the west coast DIPAs. they are so thick, they're fatty--i have found this to be true with MAINE BREW CO., LAWSON'S, etc also. this is smooth as silk despite its profile. amazing.

O--and out of the coolest tall boy i've ever seen.

Serving type: can

08-02-2012 18:30:20 | More by patm1986
Photo of marine1975

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

01-12-2013 21:55:59 | More by marine1975
Photo of BillHilly


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

02-01-2012 02:33:02 | More by BillHilly
Photo of Beerbuddy21


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

01-18-2014 04:05:18 | More by Beerbuddy21
Photo of pjs234


5/5  rDev +5.7%

11-21-2012 19:42:22 | More by pjs234
Photo of M1A2


4.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Hazy pale orange with all sorts of floaties in it but who cares?

S - Wow! giant hop notes. Smells like pineapple, citrus, tropical fruits, and a big bag of weed! It's completely unique.

T - Unreal! The best way I can describe it is like citrus fruits, mango, and grapefruit. If you've had Heady, you know what I'm talking about. No malt what so ever.

M - There is basically only a little bit of bitterness to this beer, it's all sweet flavor and hops from here on out and i love it. Creamy and pretty decently carbonated. if you like hops this is your beer.

O - You need to seek this out right now.

Serving type: can

05-25-2012 22:45:58 | More by M1A2
Photo of grumpygerman


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

03-01-2013 05:27:58 | More by grumpygerman
Photo of deadonhisfeet


4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My deepest thanks go out to Urbancaver. Because of his thoughtfulness and good nature, I was given the rare opportunity to try this beer. I'm told it's about 5 days old at the time of this review.

I did NOT pour this beer from the can into a glass. I suppose it's a decision every beer drinker makes for him or herself, but I decided to respect the brewer and drink it the way they want me to drink it. Therefore, I simply had to give it an average rating on appearance (well, slightly above average since I liked the look of the can so much). Trust me, it was the only thing ``average'' about this beer.

After popping the top I took a whiff of the contents and was treated to a powerful salvo of ripe tropical fruit notes. The nose is dominated by oranges, peaches, pineapples, and grapefruit, all supported by a cake-like richness. There are also faint traces of lemon and pine. It simply smells awesome!

The body seems full for this style and the mouthfeel is firm and somewhat creamy. Almost syrupy. The flavor is simply off-the-charts good. If there's one thing I don't like in a big IIPA, it's excessive sweetness. For me, sweetness and extreme bitterness combine to create a medicinal flavor that I find unappetizing. This beer seems to have ZERO sweetness, even as it warms. There's just barely enough malt sweetness to smooth out the hoppy bitterness.

As for that hop bitterness, the flavor starts off as a smooth apricot-like taste and gradually builds in hop intensity. There is no place on the palate where the flavor just dies on you. Instead, it just keeps growing in intensity all the way across the palate, developing so quickly that I can hardly process it. To the best of my ability, I detect soft floweriness up front, crisp citrus-like notes of orange and grapefruit at mid-palate, and stringent pine-like notes in the back. There is no trace of booze on the back of the palate either. There is just a lingering finish that seems to involve every hop flavor you've ever tasted. The drinkability is amazing for such a flavorful IIPA. You KNOW it's very bitter, but it tastes so good that you don't care. You just sip it and marvel at the flavor.

What can I say? This beer is amazing and, as usual, I can see why beeradvocates love it so dearly. Truth be told, it doesn't taste all that different than, say, Stone Ruination. It is just so damn perfectly dialed-in. There is no excess sweetness, a perfect balance of hop flavors, and it pushes every button on your palate. How a beer this bitter can be this drinkable is beyond me. I wish I could somehow do a head-to-head comparison between this and Pliny the Elder (it's been so long since I've had it), but living in Kentucky makes it nearly impossible to get both beers fresh at the same time. Heady Topper is probably one of the 3 or 4 most enjoyable beers I have ever had.

Serving type: can

08-31-2012 01:15:10 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of cnbrown313


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

11-06-2013 14:28:22 | More by cnbrown313
Photo of gpawned


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

12-01-2012 15:36:18 | More by gpawned
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,414 ratings.