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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,473 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,473
Reviews: 1,567
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,831
Gots: 1,357 | FT: 37
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: 7,473 | Reviews: 1,567 | Display Reviews Only:
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 Tom-Peters


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

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

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%

03-27-2014 00:59:12 | More by JoeMans
Photo of adam42381


4.91/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16 ounce can into a Spiegelau tulip - no, I didn't follow the rules and drink it out of the can. No freshness date printed on the can.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark honey blond with orange highlights and a 3 finger fluffy eggshell white head which dissipates very slowly leaving a 1/2 finger puddle of foam gently resting on top. Decent lacing.

Smell: The nose is huge. I got a blast of hops as I poured it from the can into the glass. Huge citrus aroma with resinous pine, floral sweetness, pineapple, a touch of honey and just a bit of bready malt in the background .

Taste: Sweet citrus, pine and grapefruit dominate throughout. The flavors aren't overly complex, but it's incredibly well-balanced. The aftertaste is bitter, but not overly so. There are hints of sweet orange in the aftertaste as well. This beer just does what it intends to do: give waves and waves of hoppy goodness on your palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Insanely high drinkability. I wish they still counted that toward the score here on BA. Goes down so smooth, I can't believe it's 8% ABV.

Overall: Amazing beer overall. There is a reason this is considered amongst the world's best beers. It's phenomenal. Honestly, I don't think there's one thing I would change about this beer. This is a beer to seek out. If you ever get the chance, you must try it. It's world class.

Serving type: can

12-05-2013 21:31:11 | More by adam42381
Photo of TKEbeerman


4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took the first sip from the can to get the full affect.

A: Poured from the can to my glass this brew pours like your average IPA. Murky golden hue with a white capped head.

S: The aroma is delightfully hoppy fresh. Resinous hops take over. This brew is a little less fruity than a normal DIPA.

T: The flavor is near perfect. Very well balanced and not over sweetened in the process. The flavor is fresh, raw hops.

MF: The carbonation is great, my pallet isn't torn up, the after taste isn't offensive.

Overall, a great beer, deserving of the top 10 on BA? Maybe not, but an incredibly drinkable IPA

Serving type: can

03-18-2012 00:23:14 | More by TKEbeerman
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 pjs234


5/5  rDev +5.7%

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


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

03-01-2013 05:27:58 | More by grumpygerman
Photo of chefduff2

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%

09-25-2012 12:48:17 | More by chefduff2
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
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.66/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from the can itself, but served a portion of it unto a 3 ounce snifter for appearance purposes.

Appearance: From the small portion served in the glass it's a semi-cloudy gold with a thin white head rising to 1/3" settling quick without touching the glass.

Smell: heavy citrus skin, strong wet hops. I admit it disappears quick but it's super unique.

Taste: Strong bitterness, hardcore citrus does it live up to the hype...really depends on your palates. If you life floral this brew delivers. On top even more grapefruit, coming off a hint sweet.

Mouth: Heavy carbonation, with bubbly texture all over. Best move on this take your time, letting it sit in the can still after minutes upon minutes carbonation still there with a heavy floral finish. A rarity, a beer when served unto the glass; it actually loses property...I compared this to the small portion I had sitting here in the glass and the glass was much "flatter". Doesnt hurt for you to try the same method.

Overall: Awesome...is it my favorite ipa? Definitely not but probably maybe my top 10 but considering what I want in DIPAs. Thank you to Tap and Barrell here in Smithtown for carrying this gem. Salud!

Serving type: can

05-06-2013 21:33:42 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of ironchefmiyagi13

New York

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

Ok, so I never give out 5s, but I had such an amazing experience with this beer I felt I had to. I have been craving this beer ever since I heard about and through the generosity of fellow BAs, I am able to enjoy it multiple times.

Yes, I gave it a 5 for appearance, because I don't see anything wrong with the hazy, sediment filled brew. I would rather that than have them filter it and alter it to make it more 'aesthetically appealing'. The aroma is pungent hops, juicy grapefruit and light toasty malts that all work together in total harmony and synchronization. Flavor is smooth and glides gracefully along the palate. It's such a pleasant and soft mouthfeel, giving it dangerous drinkability.

I can honestly say this was a perfect beer for me. Everything worked together and nothing was over or underpowered. Simply amazing.

Serving type: can

06-19-2013 23:01:15 | More by ironchefmiyagi13
Photo of BKBassist

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-22-2013 14:45:42 | More by BKBassist
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

09-03-2013 03:19:07 | More by GeorgiaBeerGuy


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

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.

Serving type: can

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


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-31-2012 21:25:11 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of FreshZ


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-09-2013 15:34:03 | More by FreshZ
Photo of Tschnab

New York

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

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.

Serving type: can

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


4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can my friend had shipped from a VT hook-up. Served in a snifter. 

Pours cloudy orangey gold with with 2.5 fingers pale head that fades quickly. No lacing.

Sweet tropical fruit hoppy aroma. Really nice. 

Great mix of hop flavors. Pineapple, piney and orangey with a hint of sweet biscuit. The malts are there in perfect balance to give body while allowing the hops to shine. Alcohol isn't noticeable. 

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet tongue-coating feel with a long dry bitter hop aftertaste. 

A very well executed imperial IPA. Having tried a fresh Pliny the Elder recently I have to say this blows it away. Totally worth seeking. I'll be looking for more in the future. 

Serving type: can

03-21-2012 02:22:00 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of megamass

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +5.7%

01-11-2013 04:23:49 | More by megamass
Photo of BrownAleMale


3.5/5  rDev -26%

08-11-2013 06:37:03 | More by BrownAleMale
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,473 ratings.