Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,940 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,940
Hads: 10,927
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,121
Gots: 3,434 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,940 | Hads: 10,927
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from unknown production date:

Smell: Strong smell of orange and some pineapple. Stronger smell than most brews.

Appearance: I started drinking this out of the can as recommended, but couldn't help myself and finally poured it in my trusty beer glass. There is a ton of shit floating around in this beer! Damn! A nice two finger head with shaving cream thick foaminess is prominent. The head thins as you drink the beer, but this is more than made up for by the awesome lacing that lines the glass till the beer is gone.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat chewy with a bit of weight to it, yet this is a good thing for me as I will drink a lot of any beer, be it light or heavy, long as it tastes good.

Taste: I honestly must say, this is unlike any IPA I've ever had. It has this unique, sweet thing going on in the beginning that I can't quite put my finger on(combo of grapefruit, orange and apple?) and then balances itself out in the end, with a slightly bitter finish that is expected of an IPA.

Overall: Definitely a unique IPA. The beginning of this thing's taste is what sets it apart from the rest for me. It starts off with that unique flavor, then finishes with it gently, and fades out nicely. Give credit to The Alchemist for producing a unique brew that leans toward the heavy side but is definitely drinkable. Good stuff. (1,330 characters)

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

First of all this is my favorite beer definitively. Its in the top 5 best things about living in Vermont for me (I still lovermont) so take this review with a grain of salt if you must

Can to HFS sniffer but I went ahead and drank one straight from the can because the paragraph on the back tells me to.

A:Pours like an DIPA should hazy cloudy orangey honey with plenty of hop floaters and completely opaque with a nice fluffy white head.

(rest of review is direct from the can)

S:citrus hop smells are more powerful then any beer I've ever smelled its overwhelming and fantastic at the same time. There is definitely hints of pine resin from the blast of hops but other then hops there really isn't anything else but in a DIPA thats all i need.

T: This stuff is liquid hop juice there really just aren't many beers that can even compare. There is just a massive amount of hop flavor (citrus orange pine resin) and bitterness with a wide range but they do not overpower one another and still maintain balance. This thing is the hop bomb of all hop bombs and it still tastes balanced. WTF?!?!??!

M:Oily and dripping with resin you can feel it in your mouth for a long time after just a single sip. It is very pleasant though and I consider it the proper bitterness feel as it is good and matches the tremendous amount of hops used

O: LIke I said I love this beer, I don't know what I will do if/when I leave VT it really is that good it makes my day every time I pick it up and never lets me down I can't recommend it enough. Get it if you like ipa's it is the top of the mountain. (1,590 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Cloudy and ugly peach colored body with tons of floaters. Head is a big frothy white color that leaves a ton of lacing. It makes sense that they want you to drink this out of a can.

S- Huge aroma of hop resin. Tons of citrus fruits with grapefruit coming through the most. Definitely a pine and herbal note in the nose as well. Tough to get better than this aroma.

T- Hops, hops and more hops. Grapefruit up front that gives way to huge tropical fruit flavors like pineapple and guava.

M- Medium to high carbonation levels with a huge bite. Flavor allows it to be very drinkable.

O- Certainly one of the best IIPAs out there. Surprisingly different from Pliny and Hopslam in a good way. (693 characters)

Photo of SirBentham
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance – Drank straight from the can.

Smell – I would have liked to smell this in a glass, but the smell of hops and citrus jump out just sniffing out of the can.

Taste – Huge hops are incredibly well balanced with a sweet malt. A little bit less piney/citrus than a Pliny. More of a slightly toasted hop than the Pliny as well.

Mouthfeel – Perfect amount of carbonation. Medium body.

Overall – Excellent Double IPA. A slight step above Pliny The Elder and Alpine’s Pure Hoppiness for me. (511 characters)

Photo of nelson4
4.37/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy and overall not a deterrent but it is cloudy. It depends on your expectation for a great IPA. Pliny is clear, heady is cloudy. So what. What do you want

S - Grapefruit and citrus. Very clean. Not over the top but prevalent. Overall it has a great aroma and it's not about the intensity but rather the completeness.

T - If you don't like it, you are just wrong. It is a very balanced blend of bitterness and sweetness. It isn't sweet, but it is balanced in the sense that the sweetness is not ever overpowering.

M - Very smooth and perfect carbonation. This is not up for debate.

O - There is the magic that is heady topper, but there is also the facts. The facts are that even if you want to be hater you cannot. It is a very balanced, hoppy and smooth IPA. It is hard to imagine that this is the best beer I will ever taste, but it is harder yet to imagine a beer being superior. Don't kill your first born, but don't stop trying to find it. (960 characters)

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

This it it! Years of tasting beers and I've found my favorite (thus far). Everything about this beer suits my palate perfectly. Arena, bitterness, yeast character are all flawless. Its unique yeast, plentiful hops, and generous bittering are perfect. (250 characters)

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. (702 characters)

Photo of jmaharaj
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Went to the brewery to get this one, only to find they had sold out. Luckily a local pub had it on tap and all the travelling was well worth it. Appearance wise it is cloudy with a grainy foamy head. Not overly pretty but i know this is meant to be drunk straight out of a can, so i wont hold that against them. Hops hit the nose straight away in a big american way, citrusy, piney, tropical, but underneath it all is a reasuring earthy malt base. Tastes a lot like it smells. A bunch of wonderful things coming together in a way that isnt completely cohesive, but complimentary enough that you can enjoy everything together or pick out the various delicious elements, like a farmers market salad. Really, really like this. its got a nice oily mouthfeel, lively carbonation and finishes clean and moreish. taste well rounded, complete, refreshing a little raw, but in a surprisingly endearing way. Would drink a lot of these, but i dont live in Vermont so i can't. (964 characters)

Photo of Bills453
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you so much to Jzeilinger for sending me this in return for absolutely nothing. You sir are truly awesome!

I'm drinking from the can as I am instructed to by it...

Appearance - can art is awesome. The dood's head is exploding hops!!!

Smell - I was worried I wasn't going to be able to smell the full aroma through the can, but I can! A lot of hops filling my nose through this small can hole.

Taste - really does live up to all the hype for me, an amazing representation of hops in this beer.

Mouthfeel - great

Overall - very very good. I hope everyone has a chance to try this beer. (595 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am reviewing based on a 16oz can poured into a pint glass. I regularly drink this right from the can but made the pour for purpose of this review. I've had it on tap as well.

A-Pours a very hazy light golden with a hint of orange or light copper. It is definately not amber. This pour produced a 3+ finger head, white and fluffy, that slowly tapered to a film. There is clear evidence of sediment floating about, colloids. A little lacing.

S- Wow! A citrus hop punch in the kisser! Grapefriut to me, tart. Call it lemon, orange, tropical if you want to, that's ok as well. No matter, the aroma could fill an arena as soon as the top is popped. I cannot get enough!

T-Citus hop on the lip, tongue, taste buds, etc. I pick up a bit of oily pine., but hops rule.

M- The hops just keep on coming, but they never overrun, overstate, or overpower. This is a bold, yet drinkable body, nicely carbonated, too. Smooth as well as tart, with bite without bitterness. There's a drop of pine resin. It's just right.

O- This beer is not sold in NJ, nothing's perfect! (1,060 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy amber color, dirty juice look with a lot of particulate, with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Surprising lack of lacing is left down the glass. The beer is nothing great to look at.

All hop aroma with mostly tropical fruit and citrus smells. It is a very good hop aroma, but not the best of the style.

Not the best aroma but it is the best tasting DIPA I have had. It is bitter but not brutal. Hop dominant but malt does add some sweetness and flavor. Alcohol is warming but is not too hot or distract from the hop goodness. This goodness comes in the way of tropical fruit, citrus, and herbal flavors.

Wonderful texture thanks to a solid body and perfectly matched carbonation. It is lively but not harsh and far from dull.

Arguebly the best DIPA out right now. Even if I had ready access to this beer I am not sure I would want to drink more than one can at a sitting. But I would love to have more than one can a year of this great beer. (1,025 characters)

Photo of Samichlaus82
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy gold into a Sam glass. Bright white head with excellent retention recedes to coat surface. Tropical fruit and grapefruit aromas. Full with sweet tropical fruit upfront turning to full resin and grapefruit in the lasting finish. Truly a wonderful ale from a great up and coming brewery. (296 characters)

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

Finally, I got my hands on this. Here we go. I'm going to drink from the can, as instructed on the can, but I will pour a bit so I can comment on the appearance. Aromas on popping the can are strong and abundant. Beautifully balanced oregano-spiced hops roll out, with a strong resiny background and malty sweet backbone. Smells amazing. I poured about a half a tumbler so I could see any head formation, and boy is there. The beer is a slightly hazed, unfiltered, goldenrod coloring with a tall, frothy, big bubbled, off-white head that is an inch and a half and doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Flavors are roasted in the backbone, with a rich, resiny, bitter hops presence that just overflows the palate. The hops spicing is more subtle than the nose was, which works out very well in the total package. Citrus characters roll out across the palate the more you drink, with an undertone of grapefruit tart and bitterness. Delicious. Wet hops flavors are abundant from the initial taste across the board into the aftertaste. Rich, full bodied, and extremely smooth, which supports all of the flavor profiles. The finish is bitter and slightly drying, with a clean overall feel. This beer is fantastic. The more you drink, the more layers of hops flavor reveal themselves. Amazing. This is a tremendous brew! (1,313 characters)

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

On tap in a snifter at the cannery in Vermont.

A: Cloudy golden orange with a small fluffy off white head. Awesome lacing that clings to the side of the glass resembling a spider web by the time you are finished.

S: One of the best smelling things on earth! It might have helped that the tasting room at the cannery was filled with sweet hoppy scents. I verified that the nose was as good as I remembered when I cracked a can later. Lots of herbal pine and resinous hops mixed with fruity tropical citrus.

T: This beer is no joke. I would classify it as the smoothest tasting hop juice you can imagine. Lots of late kettle addition hops. Tons of hop flavor. Crisp with lots of pine, resin, and grapefruit/orange hops up front. Slightly bitter at first that transitions into the best tasting sweet tropical citrus hop flavor that lingers. Slightly sweet malt profile balances the hop bitterness very well.

M: Crisp with a medium-full body. Really smooth with a nice syrupy consistency. Perfectly carbonated. I could drink this every day of my life.

O: Honestly, this beer meets all the hype. There are a lot of rarities out there that are really sought after that do not live up to their hype. This beer absolutely does. Easily the best DIPA out there that I have tried (I haven't had younger). (1,302 characters)

Photo of HossMcGraw
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man was I glad to score one of these! I poured a little into a glass to see what it looked like; nothing special but you're supposed to drink it out of the can so..not applicable?

About halfway through opening the can mango, grapefruit, and honey filled the room and that's before the damn thing was even open! The aroma is just outrageous. The flavor is incredibly tropical, filled with ripe melon, pine, lemon and more candy-like grapefruit juicy sweetness. Ridiculously unique and delicious. Some serious craftsmanship went into this shit. Bone dry finish beckons you for another sip.

Mouthfeel I found a bit flat; I guess some people like that, but I prefer lively carbonation and I think this would benefit from that--again, a preference thing. Overall I'm blessed to have had the #2 IPA on here and feel it's worth the hype. Bell's Hopslam is very similar to this and is another excellent beer that will suffice quite nicely til The Alchemist and I again cross paths. (978 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce pint can thanks to youbrewidrink, appreciate it man! Pour is bright orange with a lot of haze, some floaties, and a lot of lacing. Smell is fruity hops, some pine, smells good. Flavor is bitter, tropical fruits, definitely a good DIPA. If I didn't know better I'd guess this was a west coast IPA. I can see why this is so highly rated and I'd love to get a four pack but I know it isn't easy. (401 characters)

Photo of pepsican
3.8/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like dirty sewer water dumped into a light beer, smaller off white head. Aroma is tropical fruit, marijuana, onions. Similar flavor, lots of onions, garlic, tomato, juicy fruit, papaya, and orange. Bitter finish, pretty dry for the ABV. Reminds me exactly of what Toppling Goliath is doing around here. (308 characters)

Photo of vandemonian
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alchemist Heady Topper is a delicious DIPA. It has the delicious aroma and flavour of hops without being particularly bitter. How did they do that? I want to know so I can homebrew some.

A: Cloudy orange colour and a 5 mm head that lasts very well. 5

S: Strong grassy hops. There is some subtle sweet malt and some unusual spiciness. Some light vanilla notes too. 4.5

T: Malty and a little sweet with some delicious grassy hops. Amazingly, it's not really bitter at all. There are some light yeasty and vanilla flavours that come through in the finish. 5

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: 5 (588 characters)

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

On a Trip to Vermont with the Family... I had to stop here. I got my first taste of this beer on Tap and it was amazing. Of course they were out of cans, luckily on my way out of town they were restocked and I picked up some (definitely not enough).

A - I drank a little from the can and poured there the rest into my Duvel glass to get a good look at it. It was hazy/cloudy light orange color with pieces floating in it

S - A big, fresh aroma of bitter citrus and piney hops. There is also a hint of orange and grapefruit.

T - Wow. Very similar to the aroma. Dry and piney with a rush of citrus hops. Bitter with a semi-sweet malty balance

M - Good carbonation and medium bodies. It drinks relatively smooth for the ABV and hop content.

O - Definitely recommend this beer if you can get it. Definitely recommend driving to get this beer if needed. I enjoyed it. I didnt mind the fact that deliciousness was floating in the beer when poured out of the can, probably why the recommend drinking from the can. Awesome stuff either way. (1,037 characters)

Photo of SlobGoblin1837
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh specimen canned on Monday October 8. We quickly developed an intimate rapport with this beer.

A- A murky golden flow cascades from the can, creating a formidable head of about two fingers length. The lace clings to the glass like snow crystals upon a frosted window-foreboding and glorious.

S- We dip our noseys into the glass and are enveloped into a miasma of tropical fruit. The perfumed citrus beckons us onward. We heed its call and take our first sips of this delectable concoction.

T- A hoptastic journey, notes of citrus balance the hop sensations

M- A dense body caressed our cheeks and raised our spirits. The carbonation was sheer perfection.

O- Surely topped off my day! (695 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - I followed directions and drank it straight out of the the can. Cool can.

S - Lots of flavorful bitter citrus and piney aromas, orange and pineapple, herbal, heavenly. Literally smells like raw pellet hops.

T - Piney bitter explosion up front mostly piney and semi dry up front, malty sweetness briefly kicks in followed by another more intense burst of citrusy hoppyness through the finish, straw/grassy finish. I've eaten a few whole hops before and its slightly reminiscent of that.

M - Medium bodied or so. Very drinkable and quenching as I find all aggressively hopped brews. Appropriate carbonation.

O - Finally, I made it to Central VT to pick up a few 4packs. It met all of the hype. No idea what it looks like but I dont care, based off of everything else this beer is perfect so its getting a 5. I have a feeling if I poured this into a can there would be a lot of hop reminents mixed in. Raw flavorful hops (925 characters)

Photo of harperman69
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Andrew84 for this one

First gulps from the can an then poured into a standard pint glass.

Poured an opaque light golden with tons of bits floating all around, totally unexpected. Less than a finger head leaving light tracing as it was drank.

Smell was overpowering of grapefruit hoppiness with slight pine nose. Seriously could have smelled this all night, someone at Yankee Candle make this a fragrance!

Mouthfeel was slightly thick and resiney that perfect for the taste that was to follow.
Cannot believe how stinking good is. Grapefruit wallop with other citrus flavors following, most prominently orange. Solid malt backbone that stays out of the way but providing the necessary balance to make this every bit as deserving as its ranking.

Overall this is one of the best beers I've had. Pliny the Elder was somewhat of a disappointment to me so East Coast wins this round. IMO that doesn't happen often in the hop realm. (953 characters)

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

I tried this from the can and poured. As the can advises, the taste is better from the can. Poured it is hazy orange, very little head and minimal lacing.

Smell is of abundant hops. Smells of pinaeapple, mango, grapefruit and a little peach.

Starts with a grapefruit resiny hop flavor. Finishes with a big hop oil, grapefruit bitterness. Quite bitter but the bitterness is well incorporated. Taste from the can comes in waves. Poured it is a little less dynamic.

Mouthfeel is of course resiny. (496 characters)

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

A - Pours a very hazy orange/yellow with nice 2 finger white head. I love the haziness here, almost pumpkin colored in tint.

S - Wow. Burst of grapefruit, mango, orange, and balanced off with some honey sweetness, some pine and grass. Very nice.

T - Incredibly drinkable, and the nose follows through in the taste here. It provides a ton of sweetness up front with fruity hop character, but remains incredibly balanced. Finishes with just a tinge of bitter, piney hop.

M - Crisp, full, and smooth. As I said, it's incredibly drinkable. Solid amount of carbonation.

Overall - Incredible. Lives up to the hype. And absolutely delicious beer. An experience every beer drinker needs to have. (691 characters)

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

Been trying to track this one down for a long while, finally scored a solo can. Enjoying from the Can as the can instructs you to. This is my first review.

A: Didn't get to see what was inside but the can is a gorgeous pint with a sweet black/grey color scheme. Definitely one of the coolest designs i have seen.

S: This thing just reeks of fruit, getting some mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and passion fruit all combined into an orgasmic aroma.

T: Holy cow, one of the most refreshing, fruity, drinkable IPA's i have ever had. Loads and Loads of Citrus on the palate along with notes of mango, pine, and orange apricot. Has a sweet malt backbone in the middle that leads to a fruity bitterness aftertaste. Wow.

M: Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, with medium carbonation. This beer is extremely drinkable. One of the smoothest beers i have had, and enjoying it from the can certainly helps.

O: Well i would say this is the best DIPA i have had, and i have had a lot of the top competitors offerings of this style. I was most blown away by the Citra hop presence, balance perfection, and drinkability. This is a must have! (1,128 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,940 ratings.