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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,070 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,070
Hads: 11,558
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,429
Gots: 3,989 | FT: 55
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 (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: 2,070 | Hads: 11,558
Photo of UA8
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- pours a hazy golden color with a one finger white head which recedes into chunky, nearly opaque lacing on the glass.

S- huge notes of mango, pineapple, and citrus. Backnotes of caramel malts balance things out.

T- grapefruit, mango, orange rind, caramel.

M- medium viscosity with a full but soft carbonation.

D- I don't care about the national hype train this is the best dipa I've had and the includes pliny. The only thing I've had that's better than topper is topper on cask.

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Photo of kingston2
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am a stout lover at heart. I have never taken to the hop head beers out there... well that was until I got my first taste of Heady Topper. It is absolutely deserving of the number one beer on beeradvocate.

Hazy yellow appearance when poured into glass.. of course they tell you right on the can to drink it out of the can but I wanted to see the beer.

Smell is GLORIOUS!! Pine, grapefruit, citrus... Just gorgeous. I could smell it all day.

Drinks so smoothly considering the high IBUs. Has a great malt backbone that offsets the hop punch. The hops never seem to overwhelm your palate. They push your senses just to the edge and then back off due to the malt.

I love this beer. I am making a pilgrimage to Vermont later in the summer and I hope I luck into a couple cases. It is truly one of the best brews I have ever had.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%

First beer I had in my trip to Vermont. From very recent notes.

A: Looks like every other DIPA I had. Hazy yellow/orange with a strong pure white head. Strong lacing and retention.

S: I still can smell it. It is very sweet, juicy and home made pink lemonade-ish. In the sense it smells like a sweet red grapefruit, some notes of lemon rind, orange juice and peach. Some hops dry-ness in the shape of lemon rind.

T: It's just like the smell. First, you get the grapefruit and the hop punch (citrus peel, grass), then you get the sweetness with the orange juice, peach and very ripe pineapple. And a taste that lingers on and on and on. Actually a bit sweeter than expected.

M: Medium body with a light amount of stickiness.

D: This is extremely drinkable and is a summer beer. You can down this one very easily. The sweetness helps to balance the hops punch in the long run, but this is still sweeter than what I prefer.

This IS an amazing beer, but, to me, this is not my favourite beer in the world. But, I do see how it must pleases highly to everybody and makes it so everyone gives it a really high score. Still, it feels slightly over rated, very slightly, but this is an amazing brew.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Side by side tasting with Pliny the Elder and it wasn't even close, Heady by a mile. The aroma is nothing short of amazing and the taste is so hoppy and complex. Absolutely fantastic beer!

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Photo of StormKing47
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle in trade from beerometer, enjoyed with Jwiss22, from my notes for once...

A- A ridiculous color for a DIPA. Where is the hazy golden, amber color? No where, it has succumb to the light brown/dark caramel color similar to freshly brewed sun tea. I am almost transported back to summer time and the innocence of child hood. A wild looking color with a crazy amount of yeast swirling around and bouncing off the carb bubbles. This one is all capped off with a medium, fluffy white head. Astounding!

S- A barrage of pine, pine resin, grapefruit, citrus fruits and tropical goodness all come through at once. The aromas have staggered me, but I can't give up this one smells too incredible. It's a West Coaster that has found a home on the East Coast. A slight warming and the tropical, citrus and piney aromas are still leading an onslaught of my senses, but is accompanied with the sweet smell of caramel to balance this monster out. Amazing aromas, just want to keep sniffing and sniffing!

T- This one is all about the hops and does not disappoint. After all the smelling and anticipation here it comes...a smack of hops right upside my head. Pine, bitterness, pine resin, bitterness, citrus juice, grapefruit, more bitterness and some tropical hints to keep it all together. It's a crazy balance of hops that continue throughout each sip and seem to just keep coming. Oh yea there is a slight caramel sweetness quivering in the background to try and herd all of the hop nuances from spinning out of control and murdering your taste buds.

M- This one is not syrupy, but kind of oily in a way. It seems to stick to everything and coats every area of the mouth that can taste. It actually feels balanced in a way. The carb is not to tingly, the hops aren't to sticky and the slight sweetness keeps it all in check.

D- A definite hop bomb that is incredibly drinkable. Could drink this for any meal, brush my teeth with it and use it as mouth wash. High abv says no, no, no, but everything else says yes, yes, yes.

My first try of this one and sad to say it was a bottle, would love to try the draft and can't wait for the cans. Looks like the West Coast has found a little bit of competition.

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

Having not logged into BA for the past few months, I've managed to miss the hype of Heady Topper. I went to the release with lpayette just for the heck of it and got to try the beer... so I imagine this review is pretty hype-free.

The appearance was perfect, two finger light sparkling head. It smelled and tasted like fresh hops, in a way that other IPA's try to acheive, but never really make it. I could taste a malt backbone, but it really was all about the hops, as the style should be.

The mouthfeel was incredible... so light and so exciting on the palate. However, I like a little more body. It was very similar to pliny the younger in its body and that just isn't how I would have liked it (although I realize it appeals to most others).

The drinkability was fantastic. I could have had glass after glass after glass and not tired of the brew. It went down so easily and once its in cans, it may be the only IIPA that I buy (up to this point I haven't bought any in the past few years because I've been disappointed since moving out of san diego... this tops the ones I used to drink back then for sure).

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, while everyone else in Philly is drinking Pliny the Younger today, I decided to avoid the crowds and review this beauty. I sampled this a few weeks ago, and really wanted to NOT like this beer so much. But that is impossible. Anyone who likes beer would fall in love with this...

From the can into a tasting balloon glass. Thanks to monitorpop for this beer!

The beer is a muddy unfiltered ochre color topped by a massive off-white head that stays around for a long time and leaving its scarred lacing all over the glass. Not the prettiest of beers, but what's appearance when you taste this good right?

The aroma is just overwhelmingly filled with fresh hops. It reminds me of when I was on a tour of Victory Brewing Company, and walked into their hop cooler. It is just fresh, juicy hops in every direction. Filled with notes of fresh pine, peaches, and mango.

The flavor is of hops thrown in a blender and pureed. Mild bitterness, like a pale ale, but with more hop flavor that expected in a double IPA. Solid solid beer. Floral, citrus/tropical fruit, pine and lightly sweet malts in the background. But the hops just dominate the flavor and aroma. There is zero hint of alcohol in this beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy in nature. Robust body, but not too heavy. This beer does an amazing job of covering up the alcohol. Only a slight bite midway through the sip indicates any abv at all.

I can't believe how tasty this IPA really is. As a DIPA, I think this does so well because the abv is not crazy high and yet it delivers just a fresh punch of hops. I would 100% purchase a case of this beer. In fact, I will probably now make that trip north this month if possible. I mean, what a fantastic beer. I wanted to hate it because no one likes the hype train, but this beer has earned its stripes in my opinion. Highly recommended...thank you again to monitorpop for the chance to review this beer!!

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Photo of glazeman
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Sisuspeed for sending this my way in a recent trade! The bomber was split with a friend and poured into two snifters.

A: The color was more pale than I had anticipated. The beer poured a very murky pale amber and is clearly unfiltered. There was a nice 1 finger fluffy white head that had moderate retention and nice lacing.

S: A very intense and beautiful smell. Citrusy hops dominate, in particular tangerine. Probably the most intense tangerine smell I have encountered in a beer actually. A little bit of biscuty sweetness as well.

T: Truly a celebration of hops. The only way I could possibly knock this beer is to say that there is not quite enough balance, but the taste is amazing! Bitterness comes through from start to finish, which I like, as some DIPAs I've recently had the bitterness too focused on the finish. The middle of the drink has more of the citrus flavors, particularly tangerine and a bit of grapefruit, but not much. The finish has some earthiness to it, but is still mostly the citrus and bitterness. Only a faint malt presence, that I really had to search for.

M: Perfect level of carbonation, and a great aftertaste. The beer also has just the right viscosity.

D: Well, I wish I could get more of this. Unfortunately that's probably not going to happen. I could easily have polished off two bombers of this on my own. This 5.0 is in the hopes that they can it sometime in the future.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

November 29, 2014

16 oz can, highball glass

A – Bright, but slightly darker orange, with lemon yellow highlights. Creamy white head, about a centimeter tall, with very high retention.

S – Tons of grapefruit and very clear mango aromas. Incredibly high hopping. Resiny scents shine through next, especially while the beer is still in the can (as they indicate it would.) Some slightly doughy malt is present, but the hops are the star.

T – Grapefruit is very high, and the mango is present but much more mild than in the aroma. Again, some bread dough.

M – Very well carbonated, creamy and bitter, and very well balanced. Incredibly refreshing.

O – Obviously this beer’s reputation precedes it, and it’s hard to drink it without that in mind. Regardless, this is an incredibly well-made Double IPA, that I would love to drink over and over again, if only I could get my hands on a supply. Best beer in the world? That’s debatable, but it is definitely fantastic.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks, Kristen.

I poured it into a glass. Cloudy, orange/gold/copper color. A thick, light tan head tops it off. Aroma is supper hoppy. Awesome, big piney and citrus smells. Like a bag of hops. The flavor has a light malt backbone with some noticeable caramel malt in there. This is a very smooth imperial IPA. The hop flavor does have some sour citrus rind notes, but mostly bright grapefruit and some tropical fruit sweetness. Also a bit of floral, vanilla notes.

Overall, really top notch, of course.

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Photo of pants678
3.66/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow/orange body with a fluffy white head.

A honey-like sweetness and very floral.

Bread and not quite grapefruit but still a tangy fruit flavor. Spicy and not quite as sweet as the nose. Not bitter, as advertised, but a little metallic (or maybe alcoholic). I saw it's a combination of six hops, the only one I'm sure of is simcoe. After that, possibly cascade, possibly amarillo.

A softer finish, kind of a sticky beer.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yesterday, HT was a beer I hoped to try some day. Today, after a tasting, HT is the best beer I've ever had. Thanks to Brandon for sharing a 4-pack, of which I greedily and surreptitiously consumed more than my fair share.

Utterly blown away that a beer can be this hoppy, this alcoholic, and this smooth and easy to drink. The first sip almost made me cry. There is not a lot I can add after 750+ reviews that hasn't been said. Is there such a thing as perfection? I don't know. But if perfection means a beer can't be improved on, this might be perfect. I don't know how you improve on it....except to relocate the Alchemist to Minnesota so I have easy and frequent access to it.

A day later I'm still thinking about this beer and trying to figure out how to get some. I suppose this is the way junkies feel about heroin. I wonder if that stuff's any good....

I'm agnostic, but if there is a (non-Mormon) God, may he bless the Alchemist, and watch over them so they can keep making this incredible beer.

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Photo of rodkin
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a hazy orange with a nice fluffy head and excellent lacing. It does kind of look like there's dandruff in there, though (can says it's hop resins).

Huge hoppy smell. Orange, pine, pineapple, bit of peach, strong citrus. Some sweetness, too. No sign of malts. Really just a giant hop bomb.

Taste is similar. Ridiculous amount of hops, piney, grassy, then some citrus, a bit of orange, lemon, some light sweetness. No sign of malts at all.

Mouthfeel is great, medium thickness, decent carb, but not a ton. Might be better if it was just slightly thinner, but still excellent.

This thing is a hop monster. A top two DIPA for me. Will definitely be seeking this out again in the future.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - beautiful bright light orange, cloudy, nice two finger white head and lacing all over on the drink down.

S - Citrus, grapefruit primarily, then some resinous piney notes and sweetness work their way in as well. Smells amazing!

T - Sweet malt is the backbone to big citrus flavor. Grapefruit dominates and the parts to reveal some tangerine, mango and lemon notes. Finishes dry, slightly bitter and piney. Layers of flavor, this is a complex IPA. Taste lingers on the tongue, the hop resins making themselves known.

M - Exactly what you'd expect. Medium toward full body and perfect carbonation. Coats the palate.

O - Amazing beer! This beer deserves the hype. Is it the best in the world? To me, yes, so far. Best execution of a popular style. I will grab it anytime I can.

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Photo of pgrenvicz
5/5  rDev +7.3%

What can I say? This beer is the reason I joined BA today. Turned on by a friend, i am eager to begin trading for this and other great beers. Heady Topper embodies everything I look for in an IPA. Seriously, this beer has it all. Great aroma, piney, tropical fruit flavored goodness. There is an excellent balance to this machine. Kudos to all at The Alchemist, you have earned my business if you can ever get down to Atlanta!

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Photo of tjkinate
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasty brew and my first form The Alchemist.

Poured out of the can for one tasting and left in the can for the other. I preferred in the can, probably why the brewery recommends this.

A: 2 fingered, soapy, slightly off white head that exhibited good retention. Murky orange body with a deep orange core.

S: Wow, those hops are strong. Lots of floral, pine, grapefruit, lemon, and grassy notes. Sweet malts were also evident. I usually can't identify so many different smells!

T: Quite hoppy, with loads of grapefruit. Not as sweet as the smell led me to believe. However, the rest of the scents were evident in the tasting and were well balanced. Delicious.

M: Medium light, crisp yet silky.

O: A great brew, what else can I say.

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

Had this beer many times, but I still pour into a glass even though Alchemist says not too.
Sometimes I even strain the floaters out of it. It's a local beer for me and in my opinion it is not the number one beer as BA notes it to be. With so many area colleges near by the students tend to over rate this beer. Far better in my opinion is Lawson's Spirits "Double Sunshine".

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired a 4-pack from a trade. No date on this, but it was picked up last week from the brewery. Should only be a couple weeks old at this point.

A: Yeah I poured it in a glass. So what. Very cloudy, dull orange color. Lots of crap floating around in there. Great head, excellent retention though. Lacing covering the glass as I drink more.

S: Pungent aroma. Freshly squeezed orange juice, dank piney hops, grapes. It fills the entire room with hop aroma. Ridiculous.

T: Hop flavor on this one is ridiculous, in the best of ways. Waves and waves of it (quoting the can), and it never gets too bitter. Perfectly balanced. There's malt in there, but it stays behind the scenes and does its job.

M: Like a warm blanket in the winter. Feels great.

O: I'm currently using google maps to find my way to Waterbury, VT. Might even scour craigslist for jobs up there. This beer is a hophead's dream.

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Photo of muttyd
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into a Portsmouth Brewery tulip. Deep golden, almost amber body with a fluffy white head that fades into a faint ring. Lots of floaties and other things dancing around in my glass.

Aroma is big on the grapefruit / tropical fruit characteristics. Some floral / grassy notes cut through the fruity sweet aroma as it warms up. Flavor assaults (but in a good way) the palate with even more tropical fruit, citrus, and floral hop oilyness. Big chewy malty flavor in there as well to balance it all out. Some warming alcohol is noticeable in the finish. Light, less carbonated body, but for some reason it works for this beer. Leaves a sticky coating in the mouth.

Love this beer, glad I got 2 four-packs of this.

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Photo of s_wit
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first shot at HT and I have to say, it wasn't what I expected. I was expecting a hop bomb being a dipa at 8% abv but it wasn't. Definitely the most well balanced ipa/dipa I have ever had. Taste and mouth feel were definitely great (alcohol was very well hidden). Appearance and smell were very good but not the best. Overall it was an awesome beer and I can't wait to have it again!

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Photo of roger617
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original review 9/8/13:
I acquired 2 of these in a trade with abilow33 - I'll be reviewing the first which I'm drinking in the can per recommendations.

A: 4.0 I can't bring myself to give a 5 in appearance when I can't see it...
S: 5.0 Huge citrus and hop bomb immediately after opening the can.
T: 4.75 Very sweet, citrusy, floraly with pine on the back end. There is a slight dryness on the tongue in the aftertaste.
M: 4.5 Well carbed, smooth, but the dryness in the end prevents this from being perfect.
O: 4.5 Lots of hype around this one, understandable so. I can name a couple beers which I've had recently which compare to this more so than the ratings would suggest. I am very glad I was able to get a couple of these, but it's nothing that I would trade for again - not when readily available are Stone Ruination, FFF Dreadnaught and Bells Two Hearted.

Edit: rereview on 2/21/14
Acquired more via trade. While drinking and reviewing my original review, I can't bring myself to change any ratings. Surprisingly. I can however, and obviously, say that it is worth trading for more than 1 time. Having had more beer than I care to count in between my original review and now, I can say that Heady is one that I have consistently looked forward to. There just aren't any other IPAs that can capture the essence of hops the way The Alchemist does with Heady. Cheers, 'till the next one!

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from tasting notes.

A Pours a hazy copper color with a pretty good white head.

S Lots of pine and resin with a bit of grapefruit. Malt really not noticable.

T By far the best part, lots of pine and grapefruit and other citrus type fruits. There is just enough of a bready malt presence to provide some balance.

M Nice medium body that's easy to drink.

Overall this is an amazing IPA that I think is one of the best of the style and actually lived up to the hype. I wish this was easier to get here in WA

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Photo of output01x
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beerhan for this awesome extra.

Partially poured from a 16 oz. can (no date) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger cream-colored head that slowly fades after a couple minutes to a thin coating and thick foam ring. The body is a hazy orange amber with a light number of random carbonation bubbles. Some light lacing can be seen clinging sporadically to the glass throughout consumption but does not stick around long.

The nose is a delicious and even combination of citrus and pine. Sweet and tropical, notes of grapefruit, tangerine, and mango all come forward and make themselves known.

Sweet acidity cuts the tongue at the beginning of each sip. Strong tropical flavors of tangerine, mandarin oranges, and grapefruit meet a strong pine flavor. Upon swallowing, the citrus and pine flavors kick it up a notch, Emeril style. These flavors linger and slowly transform into a slight bitterness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is easy sipping, easy swallowing, and easy to enjoy. The body is thick and coating, and allows the flavors to not only stand out but to take hold of your palate. The carbonation is barely noticeable but is certainly doing more than its fair share to contribute to the drinkability.

Consuming this beer from the can (as opposed to from out of a glass) has multiple benefits. The carbonation becomes stronger which adds to both the mouthfeel and the drinkability. The flavor becomes a bit more citrusy and loses a bit of the bitterness.

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Photo of jlisuk
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Brought eight cans back from a trip to the cannery in March of 2013.

Pale yellow, slightly cloudy appearance.

Great hoppy aroma - hard to beat. Lots of citrus and pine on the nose.

The flavor is just as good. Nice clean, slightly sweet flavor. Big hop flavor, but not overly bitter and very little aftertaste.

On par with Pliny, but different flavors- sweeter, more citrus in the hop profile. In a side by side tasting, they both stood up well, although Pliny won out on appearance.

Great beer! I'm sad my stockpile is gone.

(note: I also had it on draft ate the cannery and saw no noticeable difference in quality.)

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Photo of MartzMimic
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy orange with two fingers of white head. Big aroma of pineapple, mango, and dank floral notes. Tastes of grapefruit, sweet tropical fruits and then finishes with piney bitterness. Medium mouth with some carbonation. This is such a well-made DIPA.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.