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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,032 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,032
Hads: 11,336
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,330
Gots: 3,810 | FT: 54
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 (10) | 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: 2,032 | Hads: 11,336
Photo of YieldToNothing
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured half into a mini tulip, drinking the rest from the can.
i first tried this beer a couple of days ago and was blown away, now i'm having my second one and last for a while....
pours a copper orange, with a foamy head. not the prettiest beer in the world.
smells fantastic, citrus notes, like all good DIPAs, but the taste...
like biting into a grapefruit. i personally prefer it out of the can, it retains a certain crispness that just isn't there when i sip from the tulip.
this is a great beer. believe the hype

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Photo of welldigger888
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great friend for sharing with me.

Nice frothy snow white head, leaves brief sheets of lacing down glass. Opaque orangish hue with a charming rustic feel to it.

WOWY WOW WOW WOW! This is a citrus bomb in a can, me likey. Orangey pineapple mango piney resony goodness.

This like an adult version of a creamcicle, abundant sweet orange grapefruity goodness. Packs a wallop on the bitterness too. Touch of booze (in a good way) gives way to a hint of grainy malt. Long citrus finish and smoooth bittering.

Creamy smooth with excellant carbonation.

Loved it, ranks up with the exsellant boyking batches and the pliney I had last fathers day. I need a friend in that part of the country to ship.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A massive "thank you" to optimator13 for this 16 ounce can from my "Want" list. Archaic date code reads "1 07 20A2 B B" though I'm at a loss for how to accurately convert that to a canning date. Ignoring the "drink from the can" instructions near the lip, this one is poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

The copper/orange/brown body pours much darker than anticipated, and is perhaps as dark as a DIPA can get before it begs consideration as something else. White unfiltered particles give the appearance of a colloid, and when observing closely, the body does appear to have a gel-like nature because of these particles. About an inch of off-white, foamy, bubbly head develops but subsides quickly to a ring and patches of bubbles. Legs of wet, gooey lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is phenomenal, consisting of grapefruit, mango, orange, lemon, and a host of other citrus fruits all masterfully balanced with a piney, earthen, resinous hop character. Some grasses, hay, and a touch of malt round out the nose beautifully. It tastes of spicy, earthen hops in the front, followed by pine, grass, loads of citrus (grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon) in the middle. The rear brings the bitterness of the hops and a glimpse of caramel from the malt. Very well done here.

Mouthfeel is crisp through and through, the carbonation dancing off the tongue, and finishes a touch dry, leaving one wanting for another sip. Overall, a phenomenal DIPA that is truly deserving of its “world-class” status. Do not hesitate to seek out this one if given the opportunity.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold from a 16 oz can into a 7 oz taster. This is contrary to instruction from the brewer to drink straight from the can.

Pours with light-medium body and a modest white head. The room fills with fresh hop aroma as you pour!

Nose is hops. Perfect hop perfection. Usually the nose of an IPA is citrusy, piney, grapefruity, catty, grassy--describable. Heady Topper smells in the glass (or straight from the can) exactly like when you take cones and rub them between your palms! I've never smelled another beer like it; no other beer effuses that overwhelming essence of fresh cones ready to brew with.

Color is hazy straw, almost green, suggestive of a white ale or hefe.

Taste is hop forward but not overwhelming. I've sampled and brewed IPAs with extraordinary flavoring hops, this one does not deaden the tongue, instead it excites the tongue! Neutral to dry finish, no sweetness to mar the hop-forward nectar.

Edit: Myoriginal review sadly sufferd from grade inflation. Tasted side by side with Pliny, the Toppa is missing the clarity and bitterness that make a more perft beer.

Mouthfeel is light-moderate, smooth, easy-drinking, with no evidence of alcohol warmth or fusels. Bitterness is light.

As it warms in the glass, it perfectly maintains its balance. It is a pleasure to drink from start to finish, goes down very easy and smoothly. Wish it had a hint more bitterness, but flavor and aroma are dead on.

Overall an amazingly drinkable beer, one that I enjoy again and again. Literally, because you can actually buy this--any time you want as much as you want (well I saw somebody buy 10 cases the other day--I suppose you could want more...)

I must taste this head to head with PtE--have case will travel, need to hook up with BAs when The Elder is on tap.

12/22/11 edit:
Quoting from the can: "Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more."

This is a no b.s. warning to the wise. If you're drinking old Topper, you're not really drinking Topper. It changes character so much in just a few weeks, loses a lot of the raw-hop-cones-shoved-up-your-nostrils sensation.

Vinnie counsels regarding Pliny the Elder: "Drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a historical figure, don't make the beer inside this bottle one ... Age your cheese, not your Pliny ... Pliny is for savoring, not for saving! ... Respect hops, consume fresh!"

This admonishment for Pliny the Elder applies likewise to Heady Topper.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

9 day old can poured into a snifter for inspection (inductions be damned!). Very hazy, between straw and copper in color. Fluffy head which recedes to a thin cap. Pretty.

Smell is out of this world. Freshly opened bag of hops. Tangerines, mangos, and lemon grass.

Taste follows the nose but emphasises the citrus and grassy notes instead of the tropical aromas. Sweetness gives way to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. Too dry for my preference.

Overall a really nice beer but not one that would be worth the 16 hour round trip or trading expenses to me.

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Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;)

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into an Alchemist Willy glass (Sorry Alechemist, I won't have it from the can again). It pours a cloudy orange with a finger white head. I tried to hold back on the yeast with a gentle pour.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, orange, and citrus. There's a pleasant zest to it.

T: Citrus, caramel and hops. Wonderful, wonderful hops.

M: Carbonation, not too light and slightly sticky. Lingers for a bit, which is nice.

O: This is an all time favorite. The balance is amazing and you can't tell one bit that it is an 8% beer. A trip to VT is incomplete without going to the Alchemist.

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Photo of 01001111
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very light orange, almost yellow, and quite cloudy.

S: Heavy tropical fruits and flowers: mango, pineapple, lychee, and jasmine. There's very little hint of hop bitterness in the nose.

T: The fruits are not present in the flavor. Instead it's a wash of hop resin; bitter but not overpowering. The finish is sweet and boozy. The aftertaste is strikingly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with some astringency.

O: Good. Not the best tasting DIPA but perhaps the best smelling.

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Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady topper pours a hazy golden orange (I prefer it from the glass, despite what is written on the can). Smell and taste are citrus and some bitterness, less tropical fruit than other New England style ipas. Mouth fee is spot on. Overall, deserving of its high ratings.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straw colored DIPA, with great head. The beer is incredible, so aromatic and floral. The hop profile is incredible but the beer is also very well balanced.

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Photo of zoolzoo
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ The Alchemist..

Two half pints arrive at the table, hop aromas literally fill the air. Heady is so wonderfully pungent I might have been able to smell the waiter coming. Fat juicy hops fill my nose, no malt is detectable.

Hop dominance carries right into the taste. Heady is unique in that it comes off as juicy, citrusy, bitter, grassy, and earthy...all at once. Flavors bounce around with vigor, so incredibly vibrant. Think layers of differing hop profiles to explore, all presented perfectly. Mouthfeel is right on the mark as well; a silky "medium", well carbonated. Drinkability is off the charts for a beer with so much flavor. I finially found an IPA that I enjoy more than Pliny, my previous favorite.

Get to The Alchemist, try this beer, period.

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Photo of tubbnik
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can thanks to youbrewidrink.

3/4 of the can into a Duvel tulip. 1/4 from the can. I actually liked that there was a significant change in the beer's profile glass vs can. Both treatments were very nice.

I can't believe it's been over two years since the last time I got to drink Heady. This can was a long time coming. Pours a brilliant golden orange with a mad amount of hop floaties (the only part of the beer I wasn't thrilled with). Aroma is out of this world. My favorite kind of red grapefruit juice and tropical fruit candy. Flavor matches the nose in a pretty straight forward but completely complementing way. It's a whole mouth filling fruit forward hop flavor that I really dug. The slightly viscosity of the liquid was very nice in the mouth and carried the flavor well. Overall I'm just thrilled. Good show.

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Photo of Roland45s
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

for not being an IPA guy this definitely hit the top of my list of favorite IPAs. it's lived up to the hype in my mind. I haven't tried the infamous Maine Lunch. But it's solid....

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Photo of Vogie
4.21/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank this beer straight from the can. Aromas of grapefruit, tropical fruit, pomegranate, mango, kiwi, oranges, pine. Taste is wave after wave of hops. Tropical fruits upfront followed by a piney resinous bitterness on the back. Medium body, carbonation is moderate, extremely refreshing at 8.0% abv.

I can see why hopheads flock to this beer. Even long after I finished my can the hop flavors were still lingering on my tongue. Its impossible to appreciate the complexity of this beer if you don't like hops. I am not a hophead myself but this brew deserves its world-class ranking.

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Photo of BradC
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Don't know how it looks, following the directions and drinking from the can! Smells of hops, pine, grapefruit, kind of muted coming from the can. Taste is as advertised, wave after wave of hops, juicy citrus and some resinous pine but just enough malt to keep it balanced. Moderately carbed and medium body keeps this pretty easy drinking. Overall, good IPA, still not sure it deserves all the hype, a lot of others out there that are just as good.

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Photo of Streetcore
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a sample in a glass and drank the rest out of the can

A: Pours a hazy orange

S: Tropical fruit, fresh cut grass, lemon zest, pineapple, lots of herbal hops, musty hop smell

T: Pineapple, herbal hops, grass, grapefruit, some light pine

M: Light, crisp, lingering tropical fruit hop bitterness

O: Easily one of the best DIPAs out there. The smell of this beer alone is unbelievable. I can't wait until The Alchemist can get Topper in to the Boston market regularly. Cheers!

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Photo of Tbone2131
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally got my hands on a couple cans of it and it didn't dissapoint. Poured the last of my can into a pint glass just to get a look at it. One of the few beers that lives up to the hype! A crushable dipa for sure.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to the DreamWeaver. Word on the street is this can is approximately 3 weeks old. Not ideal, but I'm not complaining (too much.)

A: I'm drinking it from the can (like they suggest.) However, the can is pretty badass. I'll give it a 5.

S: Nice wave of citrus smelling hops are released upon popping the can. Bringing the can up to my nose gives me a really, really strong dose of ruby red grapefruit. It smells extremely sweet and citrusy. I also pick up a bit of alcohol and pine. Smell is pretty good, but not perfect. For comparison, Zombie Dust, in my opinion, has pretty much the perfect IPA smell.

T: Way more going on the nose will lead you to believe. Starts of slightly sweet. Melon and guava are fruits most present in the beginning. I get that ruby red grapefruit that was in the nose somewhere in the middle. It gets slightly piney and bitter toward the end with a distinct caramel taste. Slightly bitter and alcoholic on the way out.

M: The mouthfeel is pretty much perfect. Minimum carbonation. Unbelievably smooth. The body just seemlessly allows the waves of hop flavors to hit the palate unhindered. Alcohol isn't very noticeable in the taste, but it's very, very sneaky.

O: I've been blessed with amazing IPAs over the last couple of weeks (DirtWolf, Abrasive, this..) Is this the best beer in the world? Probably not. Is it the best DIPA? In my opinion...probably. What's great about this is that it's not a hop or IBU assault...the hop flavors are a bit more subdued than you'd believe, but that's a actually a good thing because it allows you to experience such a huge range of hop flavors. The malt base is really sweet, too. Normally, I like drier IPAs, but I don't seem to mind the sweetness here.

This is one of the few times that a beer has met the hype.

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

Poured from a chilled can into my iced Cigar City pint glass. I know the rage is to drink this delight from the can, but I will offer another perspective.

A: Pours an amber like hue with a lovely white, frothy head that recedes awfully slow. Lacing just sticks to the glass and stays there for a long time.

S: Smells of a tropical fruit delight, pineapples, mangoes and grapefruit over whelm the nose. I also detect some sweet malt in there as well.

T: Talk about a sweet hop wallop, this beer is a hop lover's dream. The sweet malt backbone balances the hops brilliantly.

M: Very smooth and easy drinking. Has a nice oily, resinous aftertaste to it.

O: Just sprung to the top for me. What a delight to try this beer and I would have this in the fridge at all times if I could.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They manage to shove an EXTREME amount of hoppy flavor without the aftertaste of licking a bail of hay that most extreme IPA's give. It is good, but I just can't force myself to join the extreme IPA crowd. If that is your thing, drink this beer.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Was lucky to have a weekend trip up to Stowe, VT planned when Heady was tapped. Settled in for two.

A- Heady looks gorgeous. Cloudy, and a crazy greenish/hazy/yellow color that was invented with the first tapping of this beer. Beautiful head that holds up well.

S- Strong... the hops bite the nose right off the bat.

T- Sweet lord, this is delicious. Hops and more hops, and quite citrusy as well. Starts strong, and finishes clean without too much lingering bitterness.

M- Chewable, if that makes sense. Heady is impossibly dense for how refreshing it is. Unexplainable.

D- Once the shock of the first sip or two wears off, these babies go down nicely. I wish I had opted for a third.

Revisit 10/26/14
My initial review (from the tap at the restaurant) was all 5s. Unfortunately, after drinking the canned Heady many times over the past few years, I can say this beer has finally fallen off a bit. The most recent batch I sampled had a muted profile, with a heavier booziness and milder citrus flavor. The old wallop of flavor has become more of a jab. It's still delicious, it just isn't quite the same beer, and certainly isn't "perfect" any longer. Perhaps I will get a particularly good batch at some point in the future, but my days of running around trying to find Heady are over, if the quality indeed does vary batch to batch.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Perfect looking unfiltered IPA. Completely opaque due to dense haze - the color is a beautiful blend of sunshine and orange juice. A nice, slightly off white head coats the top of the beer and leaves great sticky lacing.

S: Holy shit - has so many layers of flavors. I have never experienced an aroma fly out of the bottle/can before like this - smacks you in the face. Incredibly clean and fresh. Sweet pink grapefruit, bitter grapefruit rind, outrageously fresh pine and a touch of resin. Some orange juice and mango that blends with the sticky astringency. So much going on, I am not able to do it justice through my description. Just overwhelmingly fresh and clean, balanced with bitterness and astringency.

T: Huge, full, intense, completely fulfilling. I actually find drinking from the can is notably better, just too bad you can't look at it that way. A blast of fresh pine, sweet pink grapefruit and bitter grapefruit, much more astringency than on the nose and decently bitter. Incredibly balanced and outrageously flavorful.

P: Hard to say this, but almost the best part. Smooth and creamy - fullest bodied IPA I've come across, and one of the smoothest beers in general.

O: I, as all who haven't had this beer before, have had this on the top of my wants. Almost always this type of hype gets in the way of truly enjoying the beer as an unreachable mark has been set. Well, this destroyed any mark I could have imagined for myself. Truly an amazing beverage and one of the best tasting anythings I've ever had.

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Photo of juhl31
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewing the taste 1st out of the can as suggested before i pour in a glass to review the rest.

-pours a light orange color with a good looking white head on top. it leaves both above average retention and lacing. there is a good amount of hop sediment lingering within

-big time grass, weed mix with a hint of grapefruit

-big time hop flavor right off the bat. the hop flavors for me are grass mainly with a bit of grapefruit following behind. after this some malt sweetness rolls in to balance out the big hop flavor leaving a lot of hop resins, but not a big lingering bitterness

-there is a good body on this one with a lot of hop oiliness that coats the mouth tools

-i got a 4 pack of this on tuesday. drank the 1st the night of and it was pretty epic. i was a bit bummed to find by friday that the hop smell and flavor had changed so much. most of the flavor and smell was still there, it had just gained some soapy, harsh accent. for this i cant give it a 5 in both those categories. that being said, this is a great IIPA and i would put it right behind both plinys and citra. it just didnt have an unbelievability to it in certain areas like those

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

Big thanks to gtreid for sendin me home after our tasting with a can of this! Pours a clear honey orange color first followed by all the yeast towards the bottom of the can. The floaties are everywhere! Looks like a gelatin almost. Smells like a tropical Christmas tree - big pine sap, pineapple, mango, and sweet malts. Hop bomb from the get go, but not so bitter, just really delicious citrus hop characters. Not incredibly complex, but just brewed to near perfection. This has to be my favorite DIPA next to Pliny the Elder. If you haven't had it, you've got to get some.

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Photo of shleepy
3.89/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from can into snifter glasses.

A: Golden color. Very hazy, with plenty of sediment floating around.

S: Some floral hops, but mainly tons of citrus.

T: Tastes pretty dry (in a good way). The bitterness is not extreme, though some stays in the aftertaste. The main flavors are very pleasant - floral and citrusy (though less citrusy than I expected from the smell). Any bready malt flavor is masked or balanced quite well by the hops.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Certainly not as heavy as would be expected based on the ABV.

O: Quite a nice IPA. I wasn't expecting much, given that it's an East Coast brewery (no offense, but the hoppy beers are not necessarily as world-renowned as some of the West Coast ones), but I was pleasantly surprised.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.