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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: 7.08%
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 Tperrotte777
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer is one of the best I have ever had. It is strong with a bite. The biggest flavor you will taste is a heavy amount of Grapefruit!

This is only sold locally and in 4 pack cans for about $14 a pop!
It is well worth every penny you will spend on it!

Or you can come to Vermont and have some straight off the tap! Thats the best way.

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Photo of metter98
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The beer is hazy yellow in color and has some hints of amber hues. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving a thin film of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass. There is a slight amount of carbonation visible along with some fine particles floating in suspension.
S: There are strong aromas of citrusy hops in the nose along with some hints of pine resin. As the beer warms up, the piney hops become replaced by aromas of mangoes and other tropical fruits. I poured a little from the can into a snifter glass to give due justice to evaluating its appearance and aroma, but the smell is so strong that you can get most of it by simply sniffing the mouth of the can.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is dominated by flavors from the hops—grapefruit really stands out in particular and contributes a moderate amount of bitterness that lingers into the finish. There are also some interesting hints of tropical fruits such as mangoes, which lend to the complexity and become a little stronger as the beer warms up. The hops also taste extremely fresh and seem a somewhat reminiscent of a wet hopped beer.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Despite being an Imperial IPA, this beer is a citrus hop bomb that drinks more like a regular IPA and has no traces of alcohol whatsoever in the taste. If I could find a four pack of this, I would have no problem knocking back each one of the cans in a single sitting.

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Photo of BobZ
4.07/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16oz Can poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Very cloudy yellow near opaque, short initial head of about 1" which receded to abut 1/8" cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: Floral hops, big, big citrus, over some pine.

Taste: Massive grapefruit hoppiness, the most dominant flavor by far. Any pine resin flavors are subservient to the power of the citrus. This is what a "hop-bomb" should be. No hint of alcohol. The finish is (pleasantly) bitter tasting like you just finished a glass of grapefruit juice.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth albeit with the strong bitter finish. In fact I found this to be the creamiest IPA/DIPA I have ever had, unique and well done.

Overall: I can see why this beer is so loved, extreme flavor, excellent mouthfeel. Not highly complex and verging on one dimensional. Still a well crafted beer and a very good example of the style

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

Here I thought Hillfarmstead was a winner! This beer is by far the best kind of brew prolly in the world! If you have not tried Heady Topper, you are nuts. OMG. It made me a believer of hops and the magic is provides when it comes to sleep. Heady Topper is drinkable. I'm telling you right now, it doesn't taste like 8%. So, if you are a fast drinker, a 4 pack should do ya!

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Photo of AlexFields
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for sending me a four pack as extras (thanks to him for the glass and the other six or seven extras too).

Pours an amazingly thick pine colored syrup with tons of floaties. This looks like crystallized pine sap and I'm surprised it even moves when you tilt the glass. I wouldn't call this "pretty" exactly but it's pretty damned impressive in its own way.

Smell is ridiculous. Just a wild bouquet of every imaginable fruit. Pineapples, mangos, oranges, peaches, bananas, candy sugar. Almost no bitterness or pine in the nose, smells pretty sweet really. This smells as good as any IPA there is.

Taste is a but different. Plenty of fruit still, but focused on pineapple and orange and somewhat less variety. Definitely more bitter than the nose suggests, and hints of line that weren't in the nose. Aftertaste is mostly bitter. Great beer obviously, but not as mind blowing as the nose would suggest.

Mouthfeel is interesting, very thick and syrupy but still pretty drinkable.

Excellent IPA. Not the best in the world IMO, but damn good.


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Photo of RoninTK3
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Extremely murky. You can barely even see light through this beer. A bit of head. Really something unusual here.

S - Hops.

T - Hops. Really, that's about it, but it's incredibly drinkable. This is so good it makes me not want to finish it.

M - Medium bodied and sticky, almost chewy. Average carbonation. Leaves your whole mouth tingling.

This is the best IPA I've ever head. I'm a hop fanatic, but I've had beers that are just hop juice and this isn't one of them. This is very drinkable and not just hoppy for the sake of being hoppy. More please.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Shared with RoninTK3. Served from a pint can into a Smuttynose glass.

Appearance- Looks like a witbier it's so cloudy. Can't see shit through it!

Smell- Just hops. Not floral or fruity. Just straight up hops.

Taste- Hop bomb! Straight hop bitterness (in a great way). Very vegetal and drinkable. Don't know how else to describe it.

Mouthfeel- Makes my whole mouth tingle. Not just a lasting flavor, but a lasting mouth tingle. So smooth and strangely drinkable.

Overall- Wow. Never had anything else like it.

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Photo of caponeduke
4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I took the first few pulls from the can as instructed .... then I poured into a cigar city Tulip glass. I did not enjoy from the can really. I like my IPAs in a glass so I can enjoy the nose.

A: A golden mess of hops. Some moderate lacing. Beautiful!

S: Huge tropical fruit and pineapple nose right up front. Not too piney and as it warmed a bit I got a lot of Orange peel.

T: A hop BOMB! I mean I love IPAs but this but others to shame. It was surprisingly drinkable and I did enjoy the clean finish.

MF: Medium bodied, with good carbonation.

O: Smell is better than taste and this is a top twenty for me but I have had better IPAs. A great IPA glad I got to try it finally!

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Photo of 4ster
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in VT and from cans. Review from both glass (tulip/large wine glass) and also from the can. Was canned around 2nd week, December 2012.
As always, after 800+ reviews, I think everyone knows what to expect from this beer but just for reference here's my review. Thanks to papat444 for the 4 pack :D

(from glass)
A: Pours light straw colour, but extremely opaque, possibly do to hop resins. (if you pour out the end of the can into another glass it is even more cloudy.. with resin?)...not chunky at all, just a fine mist. Light bubbles and light head as well that doesn't build up too much but leaves a slight lace around the rim of the beer as it goes down.

S: Floral, more in the range of sweeter hop smells, some citrus fruit... I don't get as much pine/resin type of hop smell as with some out DIPA's/IIPA's. Otherwise just a lot of endless hops. When you stick you nose in the tulip you get hit with a wonderful green bouquet and know what you're in for!

T: As others noted, aromas lead right into flavours...more floral hops at the start, citrus, and what you don't get so much of in the nose, bitterness and resin, which comes out as it rushes to the back of your throat & explodes back into your mouth...superbly balanced compared to some other super hopped beers. Bitter enough to be a IIPA but not over the top... it just keeps going and because it is so well balanced you just want to keep going...where as some super hopped beers keep piling on the bitterness to where you can't taste anything afterwards for days... this one is like a clean slate each sip....and just a note, if you are savouring it, it will get more resin/bitterness as it warms but still no hint of malts really.

T / M: (from can): Almost like a nitrous injection of hops. As you drink from the can you get both the beer and the hop aromas at once, which is nice. Out of the can it seems to carry a bit more resins and more intense hops... you might also not get as much bitterness because you get a bit more carbonation on your tongue than from drinking out of the glass, so it is more sparkling and refreshing which makes the flavours jump around a little more, but does emphasis the hops for sure... overall it was interesting drinking out of the can.... not sure I'd say it tastes all that much different to be honest, (and I didn't do back to back in 1 shot), but it certainly doesn't diminish the quality of this beer. I'd say glass is probably fine, but you're good either way. Drinking out of the can might be a little closer to what you get on tap (minus the Guinness toys..) but again, didn't do that comparison either.

M: Pine resin stickiness...you'll be tasting this all night on your palette... incredibly balanced... like a hop oil slick, smooth upon entry and as it goes down, no hint of the ABV at all. Perfect amount of carbonation to keep it fresh but not attacking your tongue to distract.

O: What can I say that hasn't already been said before. Best IIPA ever? I haven't tried all the other ones. Best one I've tried so far? definitely. Drink-ability for this amount of hops is outstanding. Hard to get to all the hop flavours in such a complicated hopped beer, but that is ok, this isn't about sipping an Imperial Stout till you get to the bottom of the complexity.... the Alchemist set out to make a perfectly hoppy, drinkable IPA and have surely succeeded where many others fail. For a IIPA this is near perfection. I don't go back to a lot of beers but I would drink this often if I lived in VT...

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

My friend was in VT skiing over Christmas and was able to get his hands on 6 four-packs. Needless to say it was an amazing New Years!

A: Poured from the can yielding an opaque dark gold beer with about a finger of bright white head (I made sure to leave the sediment in the can as best I could). I have never seen a beer of this color so opaque, l could not see anything through the beer! My only complaint about this beer, which in minor, is that the head retention was poor.

S: This may be the best beer I have had the privilege to smell. Liquid hops. Huge grapefruit and tropical fruit notes dominate the smell. No malt or alcohol that I could detect.

T: Amazing, the taste follows the smell. Huge grapefruit and tropical fruit tastes. I did not taste any alcohol or malt in this one. A bitter beer that fades nicely into pineapple and citrus rind sweetness.

M: Medium carbonation with a sticky mouthfeel. Slightly astringent.

O: This is absolutely in the top three IPAs for me. I am about to retry some Pliney here in a couple of days and once I do that I think I will be able to place it. If you like IPAs then this is a must have beer that is worth seeking out.

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

16oz CANS, served in various goblets over christmas

Ah yes, Heady Ticker...Thanks @blackie for the CANS. I'm sorry folks, but I just couldn't get myself to drink this from a can, despite their wishes. That just doesn't make any sense to me - drank from some nice glassware with no issues! If they had told you to drink it out of a shoe, would you? Bright hop profile - oily, fragrant citrus, tropical, tangerine, pineapple. Really liked this - deserves most of the praise it receives.

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Photo of dickieb
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first poured a few OZ off to get a look then drank the rest from the can. Pours a hazy amber/straw in color with a pretty standard white head and pretty good lacing, points for the cool can as well. The smell fills the room even from the can resiny, piney, and citrus hops with tropical notes, pretty much any hop smell you can think of rolled into one. Taste of pure hop juice for me, not overly bitter but the can describes it best "wave after wave of hop goodness", there are also some malts in there if you try really hard to notice them. The mouthfeel is not all that heavy, the 8% abv is not noticeable at all and if you have access to this one it can be drank can after can. This can was exactly 1 week old.

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Photo of Johnnyhitch
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about this beer screams Hop bomb from the beginning

A - Cloudy copper hue

S - HOly $hii! Huge tropical tones overwhelm the nose pineapple resin sticky hops very pungent

T - This has to be one the best IPA i have ever tasted. The bitterness hits down hard enough to be an imperial but then vanishes and becomes delicate tropical fruity flesh and pit rinds. I want to bathe in this heavenly beer.

M - Huge sticky resin balance is something that cannot even be mentioned. Its flawless. You cant ask for anything more.

O - Picking up 2 cases of this was the best investment ever. One of the best IPAs i have ever had and im sure it will be for a while. Drink it fresh!!! This one degrades FAST and tastes better than most also when its a couple weeks old. DRINK IT FROM THE CAN!!!

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Photo of WesM63
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky mustard yellow with a 1 finger off white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Faint smell of grapefruit, mango, pine/resin and floral.

T: Very close to the nose, bitter floral and citrus hops up front, followed by some pine/resin and dry finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Some heat trails down at the end.

O: Excellent DIPA. Very well balanced and super drinkable. It's fairly faint in both smell and taste, not bad but I prefer more.

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

Appearance: Poured a little into a snifter to see what it looked like. Hazy orange/gold. I like the haziness of the beer. foretold of the great things to come.

Smell: Grapefruit, hops, oranges, grass, floral, and piney.

Taste: Wow this one just gives and gives flavor. Lots of the floral tastes mixed with the bitter hops and citrus notes. everything balances really well. Swishing this around in your mouth is like a resiny hop and citrus explosion and then you start to taste the other flavors at play like a mild caramel. The best part is the aftertaste. It just goes on an on. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied a little stickiness but not too much. The carbonation is the perfect amount to tingle the taste buds but without overpowering anything.

Overall: Wow. The hype is real. This can got delivered to the store and I am drinking it only 5 days later. I hope my friends in VT will continue to ship this out to me ocassionally because I am addicted!

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Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Presents a slightly hazy honey color capped by a couple of inches of foam; swathes a few strands of lace

Smell: Bursts with citrus, pine and pith; rather tropical, with orange, pineapple and mango

Taste: The intense bitterness jutts forward from the get-go, with the tropical citrus flavors featuring prominently in the middle, bringing orange, pineapple and mango flavors, along with ruby red grapefruit; the sweetness from the malts builds into the finish, balancing the bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A great DIPA; while it is big on the hops, there is a lot of malty sweetness, too and that is necessary to balance the intense bitterness

Thanks, wildcats10, for the opportunity

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

Probably one of the best IPA's I have ever tasted!
The first can I opened I drank straight from the can as directed and it was exceptionally amazing. The first sip was an explosion of many flavors but the hoppy finish was the best. After half of the can I started feeling the buzz and the rest was history.
I will buy this in quantity next time I have the opportunity.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE want delivered to me by surprise from leschkie (thanks so much!) poured into a New Belgium Globe.

A: Hugely turbid gold with a close to a finger of white head and some lacing...hey, its supposed to be drunk out of a can right? Who cares what it looks like...

S: Huge tropical fruit and pineapple nose right up front. Fruity and citrusy for sure. Moderate bitter notes, no pine or pungent resiny notes, just fruity goodness.

T: Big-time floral taste; tons of papaya and mango, tangerine and loads of pineapple. No malt detected here, but the bitterness is still very manageable. That floral taste blends so nicely with the ripe citrus and tropical fruit.

MF: Medium bodied, with perfect carbonation, perfect subdued bitterness, and moderate dryness - just the right amount of everything in my book.

O: Taste and smell are both extremely fresh on this beer - Kurtis said it was a week and a half old and I believe him. Mind-boggling fresh floral fruitiness. Great DIPA and something I could drink a TON of if I had access to it.

Thank you so much Kurtis!

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Photo of mpedara429
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Christmas came early this year and I was finally able to get my hands on a Heady Topper in MA! My brew supply store randomly had a 4-pack and the owner was kind enough to give me one.

A: Cloudy amber in color with two fingers of off white head. Good retention and heavy lacing.

S: Big, big nose that was heavy on pine. Other scents included grapefruit and tropical fruit.

T: Very similar to the nose with an earthy character as well. A good amount of bitter hoppiness but it is so balanced and drinkable.

M: Medium heavy body with a light to medium carbonation. It is pretty oily and sticks to the palate pretty well.

O: There are many beers that could have the same looking review, but very few like Heady Topper. All of the parts do not equal the whole here. For a DIPA, I could drink these all night and that is a good, but scary thing. It is simply one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of rareif
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers i have ever had. Made a trade and pulled some strings and was able to have one for myself within a week of it being canned.

Big Piney, Citrusy, Hoptastic DIPA. With some malt. Dont forget the malt

A fantasic brew that plays on the montra; "If you can only do one thing, at least be the best at it"

All in all, if you are a IPA/DIPA fan, and you do not enjoy this brew, you may want to look into your past... remember that licking a cheese grater moment as a kid, dont you!?!

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

Smells so good I want to crawl in the can. Hoppy yet smooth and citrusy. Truly an experience for the DIPA style. I can see why this beer consistently ly gets high reviews. It's a shame it's so difficult to get. This seems to be only avilable in central VT and not the parts of VT that border NY. Bummer...hopefully they will get better distrbution.

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

Simply my favorite beer, hands down. I love the nose on this beer; the grapefruit and other citrus notes are a pleasure. Depending on the time of year and what batch you get, the flavor varies, but it's always delicious. Heck, my only complaint is that it is difficult to acquire down here in the deep south.

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

Poured one in a glass and had another out of the can. It's a pale golden color. Smells of serious oranges, grapefruit, grass, mint, pine. Sweet smelling yet means business. Big hop flavors of deep citrus with sour rind, big gulp of grass, mint, pine, grapefruit towards the finish, strong clean bitterness, booze and sweetness mingle for a vodka-feel and cheddar cheese afterthought. Heavy body with medium carbonation, prickly. Very clean and big on the palate and belly.

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Photo of Resuin
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the can (broke the "rules" on this one) into a Heady Topper stemless wine glass that I picked up from the brewery. This beer was canned 30 days ago as of this review.

Appearance: A lovely honey color that leaves a finger or two of head that lingers a bit. I think the beer has a great look to it, and I see a number of other benefits to pouring this one into an appropriate glass, rather than drinking straight from the can such as better enjoying that fantastic aroma...

Smell: Grapefruit, citrus, tropical fruits and hops. Absolutely heavenly scent to the nose. I could smell this one all day. Not overpowering, but the perfect levels of fruitiness and hops, a bit piney as well. Best-smelling beer I've ever had.

Taste: The taste does not exactly match the nose, but is very pleasant. Fairly complex, not just a "hop-bomb". Plenty of hops for sure though, some pine and earthy tones, and some citrusy, fruity flavors that are hard to nail down but very tasty.

Mouth-feel: A good amount of carbonation. This beer goes down very smoothly - it is uncharacteristically smooth and balanced for its ABV.

Overall: A beer that belongs in the top tier of DIPAs and IPAs. Very well-balanced and that smell....just incredible. The Alchemist does a great job with this brew and I highly recommend it to hop-lovers everywhere.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16 oz can into an oversized wine glass. Thank you Surge1311 for hooking me up with this in a trade.

I know the can says to drink straight from the can, but I feel that I'd be missing some key aspects of the review process (aroma, appearance, lacing, head). I don't see any bottled on date. Allowed it to warm as I sip for the full experience.

A- Pours a honey colored hazy body with a thick, bubbly off-white head with high retention. The head reduces to an uneven chunky cloud of foam.

S- Extremely inviting. Fresh baked bread, fresh citrus, clementine, grapefruit, tropical fruits, pine, resin, slight booze in the background.

T- So drinkable and sip demanding that I'm having a hard time putting it down to write this review! Grapefruit, mango, citrus, passion fruit on the start, transcending into subtle but tasty pine and resin notes. Creamy, smooth finish that I just can't find in any other DIPA on the planet, which is why this one gets a 5/5 for taste. Sweet and raw, but in a good way.

M- Medium-light body, medium carbonation. Leaves a sticky hop bitterness on the tongue.

I'm happy to say that this beer did indeed live up the the hype that surrounds it! It's huge tropical, fruity character and smooth creamy finish is in my opinion what gives it the edge over it's competitors. Hopefully Alchemist will expand it's production line so more people can experience the deliciousness of Heady Topper!

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