1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,058 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,058
Reviews: 1,714
rAvg: 4.72
pDev: 8.26%
Wants: 5,935
Gots: 2,079 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,058 | Reviews: 1,714 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Eighty
5/5  rDev +5.9%

Eighty, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of joepais
5/5  rDev +5.9%

joepais, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of cosmonick
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

cosmonick, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of cp45
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

cp45, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of hopkrid
3.5/5  rDev -25.8%

hopkrid, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of browniewithnuts
5/5  rDev +5.9%

browniewithnuts, Dec 06, 2012
Photo of wonothesane42
5/5  rDev +5.9%

wonothesane42, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of qcbrewer
5/5  rDev +5.9%

qcbrewer, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of sommersb
4.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted On: 11-01-2013
Freshness: Canned on 10-29-2013
Packaging: 16 oz. can
Glassware: Tulip
Purchased: Sample brought from the Alchemist brewer

I shared a can of this during the Music City Brew Off where John Kimmich was the featured speaker.

The beer is a murky honey-colored affair, with a rich head and lacing. The aromas are delightful with tons of hop character but also a big malty presence. The hop smells are tropical fruits primarily, with also pine and citrus notes.

The taste is hop-forward as you'd expect, with a big juicy bitterness made up of grapefruit, mango and other tropical fruits. But this isn't a one-trick pony that just kills you with hops -- it's a complex and well-rounded beer despite focusing on the hops. The feel is creamy with a thick and chewy body.

The tasting we had left me wanting more of this world class double IPA!

sommersb, Nov 04, 2013
Photo of sgoro
5/5  rDev +5.9%

sgoro, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

Gatch, May 22, 2013
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.19/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

RBassSFHOPit2ME, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of Stigs
4.8/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can, huge thanks to Kevin (thebouch01) for scoring this at the Jackie O's release and handing it over to me!

drinking from the can (as instructed) and poured a few oz's in the middle to a taster glass

A - VERY hazy, on the darker side of gold in color. half finger, loose fluffy head settles to a thin film.

S - hop aroma hit my nose immediately when popped. well balanced citrus: candied oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit meets some wet pine and a hint of biscuity sweetness.

T - gentle sweetness for a split second before the big wave of hop flavors rush in. flashes of peach and pineapple turns very resinous and piney for a second before floral and juicy hops finish up. as advertised "wave after wave of hoppy goodness will creep up on you". bitterness is abundant but not at all overpowering, and just the faintest bit of booze wakes everything up.

M - medium bodied, perfect amount of creaminess while moderate carbonation livens the bitterness and hop flavors. nice and oily through the finish, yet somehow still a touch dry. not much to improve on here.

O - a stellar DIPA worth all the hype. i was leery about this as I've been a bit burned out by hops lately, but this delivired and ten some. the real magic here is the myriad of hop flavors taking turns, and absolutely INSANE drinkability. this can is going wayyy too fast. must. get. more.

Stigs, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of ATPete
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz can

a big thanks to Jason for the chance to try this awesome IIPA

What a sexy lookin can we have here. Heady Topper pours an electric yellow/orange color with a small white head. Tons of aromatic goodness booming from the glass. Resinous pine, grapefruit and tropical fruits in the taste with an amazingly balanced malt profile. This beer was unreal, and completely worth the hype around it, try it if you can.

ATPete, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of GuttaMane138
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

GuttaMane138, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of KG710
4.75/5  rDev +0.6%

KG710, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of pjs234
5/5  rDev +5.9%

pjs234, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of jayhunter357
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

jayhunter357, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of gueuzegossage
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

gueuzegossage, May 09, 2012
Photo of Schlafly33
4/5  rDev -15.3%

Schlafly33, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Jordy777
4.5/5  rDev -4.7%

Jordy777, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of laxer8811
5/5  rDev +5.9%

laxer8811, May 25, 2012
Photo of lunarbrew
4.64/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to writing the full review of this guy. I'm glad I waited; now I have a full mode of comparison after trying some of, what I consider to be, the best iipas out there (DS, S&S4, Ephraim, and Abner). Beer pours hazy amber into a Duvel tulip. Has a slight red glow.

Heady is certainly aromatic, but it doesn't quite stack up to the others in this regard. For some reason, the nose is a tad muted. Notes of pineapple, mango, honey, and candi sugar. A bit of pine, but mostly citrus. I can almost smell that this is a Vermont ipa. What is it about these damn Vermont beers!? What's the secret!?

Taste is rich and just as delicious as the others. Where it falls sort is on complexity. I get a lot of sweetness from all of the tropical fruit flavors, but it isn't quite dry enough for my taste. I think it could be a tad more balanced with a bit less sweetness or more bitterness (which is such a ridiculous thing to say! This is Heady Topper!) Nonetheless, the flavor is brilliant and so tasty.

Mouthfeel ranks up there with the rest. Creamy, medium-full bodied (especially for an iipa). Extra-drinkable.

Overall, this falls just short of the aforementioned brews for me. However, it does edge out Pliny in my book. I get the hype and I love its [relative] accessibility. It's always a treat to drink this, and I plan to have some in my fridge as long as it's being brewed!

lunarbrew, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of Roguer
4.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Two-finger white head, leaves nice lacing, fairly resilient. Almost a neon yellow-orange pour, settling into the thickest, most opaque IPA I've ever seen.*

S - Huge nose of bright citrus, possibly some tropical. Mandarin oranges, slightly sour, but very sweet. Slight toast? Absolutely incredible aroma.

T - Sweet, sweet citrus. No hint of the sourness from the nose. The intense hoppy bitterness is smoothly encompassed in the flavor itself. Malts are a definite back seat. From the can, it's even sweeter, with light tangerine and floral flavors, and a bit of a bready malt backbone. Also more of a dry hop flavor, but it's not unpleasant.

M - Medium-light and creamy, with a slight astringent dryness at the edges of the mouth. Slightly oily and coating. No stinging, minimum foaming.

O - Considering this is one of the most hyped beers in existence, it did not disappoint. Absolutely lovely beer. It's intensely sweet, and the massive amount of hops never come across as overkill or unpleasant.

*I drank half from a glass for evaluation, half from the can. I had no legendary floaties, and honestly, this beer looked damn good in the glass. 5.0 might seem high, but it's a balance between what is legitimately a great looking beer, and drinking it from the can.

Special thanks to JayORear for this gift!

Roguer, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of JimGlonke
5/5  rDev +5.9%

JimGlonke, Aug 16, 2013
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,058 ratings.