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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,816 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,816
Reviews: 1,588
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 5,068
Gots: 1,517 | FT: 33
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,816 | Reviews: 1,588 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tom-Peters


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

08-30-2012 20:27:09 | More by Tom-Peters
Photo of Blanco


4.05/5  rDev -14.4%

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.

04-22-2012 04:04:27 | More by Blanco
Photo of moonknight31


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

05-16-2013 16:48:56 | More by moonknight31
Photo of qcbrewer

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-15-2013 22:20:09 | More by qcbrewer
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.47/5  rDev -5.5%

Thanks Ted!

Had out of the can, and in a glass.

Pours bright orange with white head. Theres bits of hops floating around, some are green and some are bright white.

Actually smells better out of the can. All the aroma hops of pine needles, fresh grapefruit, and hints of lemon.

Taste is pretty much exactly what the nose leads you to believe. Grapefruit takes the lead, but dont forget about pine needles and lemon zest. Unlike Pliny, there is a pervading bitterness that just goes about a full-frontal assault on your tongue.

01-22-2012 22:56:49 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of yamar68


4.68/5  rDev -1.1%

I decided to go for this long awaited treat from The Alchemist for my 200th review.

Poured from 16oz can to imperial Surly pint glass...

Pours a hazy honey gold, gorgeously unfiltered. I like my orange juice with pulp, I like my beer with floaties. A big, rocky off-white head swells to fill the 20oz glass. Spotty, sticky lacing. Great looking beer, I don't really understand why this beer is suppose to be hidden inside of a can.

The nose is stuffed with fresh hop aromas - tangerine, orange peel, fresh floral bits, plenty of evergreen harshness to balance the heavy citrus. Not really any detectable malts here.

On the tongue... hop abrasion like I've never really experienced. Grapefruit, orange peel, massive flavors. Exceedingly hoppy and bitter. The super dry, bitter afterburn keeps me going for more. What a delicious thing this is.

Overall, I can see why people go nuts over this stuff. A unique, aggressive, very satisfying drink.

06-02-2012 22:10:23 | More by yamar68
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom


5/5  rDev +5.7%

02-08-2014 22:12:54 | More by Cloaked_Phantom
Photo of BKotch


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

07-09-2013 05:00:04 | More by BKotch
Photo of alamode


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

09-30-2012 16:28:33 | More by alamode
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.73/5  rDev 0%

16oz can with sample poured into goblet. From the brewery.

A: Pours a very hazy orangish amber with a 1 finger white head. Quick to dissipate it is easily resurrected with a swirl. No lacing on the sides. A few bits of debris visible in the body.

S: Loads of citrus hops up front. Simply amazing. Grapefruit, orange and pine in there as well. Sweet fruit like malts become noticeable as it warms up.

T: First sip is a delicious blend of floral and citrus hops. Very clean hop flavor with mild malt in the background. Unlike other hop bombs its not as much of a slap in the face but a delicious blend of tasty hops.

M: Very easy drinking for something with so much hop taste. Nice nectar like quality, on the low end of carbonation. Doesnt leave a sticky film in your mouth either. The 8% alcohol is hardly noticeable. But hard to tip back a few in a row.

Overall I'd say this beer is worth the hype surrounding it. One of the easiest drinking and tastiest Double IPA's hands down. Still hoping some day I can get this locally.

05-02-2012 01:28:49 | More by CloudStrife


4.74/5  rDev +0.2%

This has been on my wants list for almost 2 years. I am going to try to be as open minded. If you would have told me 5 years ago that the #1 beer in the world would be from a can I would have said you were crazy. Lets see.

A strong pour generates two fingers of foamy thick yellow tan head. Retention is very good and spotty lace is left behind barely. Body is a hazy honey orange in tone. Really pretty standard for the style. Just hard to get excited about this tone.

Nose is prickly and piney all in one. Citrus rind and sweet marmalade play all surrounding a generally musky tone that carries this wonderful scent. Truely sweet nose in terms of what you usually expect from a big IPA.

And then you get it. With first sip you immediately are greeted by such a unique hop profile. Bold hop goodness attacks the mouth. Its almost like sucking on a whole hop cone. Full of dynamically bitter hoppines from the moment it hits the tongue all the way through the nicely long lingering mouthfeel. Pineapple and musky pine play in the entire palate.

This is a truely wonderful beer. I would easily put it up there with the top 5 I have ever had the pleasure of trying.

05-23-2014 01:43:11 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of JackieTH


4.55/5  rDev -3.8%

Thanks to Rob for acquiring this one. Really cool can, by the way, although I didn't heed the advice to drink from it.

Poured a very hazy orange with a big billowing head that receeded slowly with ample lacing.

Pine and ripe tropical fruit in the smell, and that's where the ride started and it didn't end until the glass was emptied, or nearly emptied sans the heavy sedimentation that had settled into the bottom of the glasses. Smells of pine, tropical fruits, peppery even..almost like the faint cordite that lingers in the air after fireworks.

Flavors of tropical elements, also mint, sap resin, canteloupe, star fruits, watermelon rind..this fella is chaotic, but oh it's flavorful. Hints of the alcohol poking through. Mouthfeel is firm and zesty, excellent carbonation, very well crafted.

This one takes you for quite a ride but in the end it's simply refreshing and tasty.

Very nice.

08-14-2012 21:34:06 | More by JackieTH
Photo of TheRuss9585


5/5  rDev +5.7%

03-09-2012 15:17:13 | More by TheRuss9585
Photo of BillHilly


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

02-01-2012 02:33:02 | More by BillHilly
Photo of cp45

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-11-2013 01:55:06 | More by cp45
Photo of Kyrojack


5/5  rDev +5.7%

09-01-2013 20:56:40 | More by Kyrojack
Photo of PappyVans


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

05-17-2014 18:06:35 | More by PappyVans
Photo of ericj551

Alberta (Canada)

4.66/5  rDev -1.5%

I know I'm supposed to drink from the can, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Heady pours a hazy light copper with a fluffy head that lingers as beautiful lacing on the glass. Pine, citrus and fresh cut grass fill the aroma. Especially when fresh, this beer is the closest thing to sticking your nose into a handful of hops. Thick, resiny hops fill the flavor, but there is almost more sweetness than bitterness upfront. Delicious light malt rounds out the intense, fruity, citrusy hops. The resiny, piney character lingers on the tongue in the after taste, and begs me to take another sip.

A friend was kind enough to bring me a 4 pack, and despite being around three months old, the beer is still delicious.

06-08-2014 02:24:37 | More by ericj551
Photo of carrollmel7

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +5.7%

09-14-2013 05:43:21 | More by carrollmel7
Photo of kmanjohnson


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

03-09-2014 19:49:28 | More by kmanjohnson
Photo of HollyHops


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-01-2014 14:35:38 | More by HollyHops
Photo of Mikeypnh

New Hampshire

4.71/5  rDev -0.4%

Drinking straight from the can. Have poured it into a glass before, but definitely prefer the can. As soon as I crack it open you smell all the hops. Pine. Citrus. Big grapefruit aroma.I miss going to the brewery and smelling all the hops. Smells so fresh. A ton of hops on the flavor. All the stuff in the aroma comes through and coats the tongue with a wave of pine and citrus. So resonious. Nice carbonation, as well. Mouthfeel is where this beer shines. Such a great beer and absolutely worth seeking out.

01-29-2014 06:10:36 | More by Mikeypnh
Photo of djre4orm


5/5  rDev +5.7%

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

New York

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%

Big thanks to Jason for getting me a can of this! I drank it from the can but poured some out to get a look at the beer.

A- pours a orange/copper with a slight haze and a decent sized head that dissipates to about 1/3 of an inch, a little bit of lace.

S- the second my nose gets close to the can I'm hit with an incredible punch of really fresh, piney, resiny hops that immediately bring with it citrus rind and tropical mango aromas. A feint but solid bready malt aroma is present as well.

T- this is just incredible. At first I want to call this an extreme hop bomb, but it isn't. Instead, it is the perfect display of extreme hopping and a good malt presence in one. It is ridicuously easy-drinking, and hits the bitter and sweet notes at once better than any other beer I've had.

O- I think this is the best DIPA I've had, and one of if not the best beer I've had. Really lives up to the hype.

01-09-2012 15:13:49 | More by Tschnab
Photo of BeerBeast


5/5  rDev +5.7%

08-20-2013 20:55:39 | More by BeerBeast
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,816 ratings.