Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,775 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,775
Reviews: 2,153
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 6.98%
Wants: 8,014
Gots: 3,334 | 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 (13) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,775 | Reviews: 2,153
Photo of kguard
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straight from the can.
Poured a little into a glass for appearances. More caramel than anticipated.
Smell: sweet hops, grapefruit, floral.
Taste: definition of what and IPA should taste like. Citrus hop, slightly bitter but fades fast to a clean finish. Sweet like honey without being dominant.
Feel: smooth, light to medium-light. Great carbonation, not to the point of champagne or a Duvel by any means.
Overall: Has the right to hold down the top spot. Beautifully crafted, makes me want to plan a trip to Vermont so I can more. Simple but the complexities keep coming the more you drink it. More you drink, more you love it.

Photo of jsearley3364
4.81/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was hoping to find the Holy Grail of beers but it wasn't quite there. Doing as they say and drinking it from the can, you can't really gauge the appearance. Quite smooth and complex but I find Stone's Enjoy By a bit better to my taste. Heading to San Fran in the summer. Hoping that Pliny the Elder can match the hype.

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first Heady Topper

Poured into a snifter (will drink from the can next time)

Appearance: beautiful golden copper in color with a fairly large amount of sediment. A good amount of lacing as the sediment sits rather still during the session. Slight haziness.

Smell: as soon as I started pouring it into the glass, an array of aromas hit me like no other beer ever has. Pineapple consumed me followed by grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical fruit, pine, and every citrus scent imaginable. Too complex for words!

Taste: all of the aromas above were ever present on the palate. Fresh hops and pine explode across your tongue after each sip. A very delightful bitterness and sweetness together follows each time swallowed. Wonderful to say the least!

Mouthfeel: light carbonation with a medium-bodied, viscous feel. Lighter in the mouth than I would expect from a DIPA which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall: Surely lives up to the hype! I could only imagine what this tastes like on tap fresh from the brewery. I will have to consume the other three I have soon as not to lose any complexity this beer has to offer.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: poured from a 16 oz can into a tulip glass, orange amber with a huge white head that lingers leaving great lacing, very cloudy with floaties

S: amazing hop smells, floral, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, pine, stick your face in it good

T: absolute hop explosion, great bitterness, flavor follows above smells, pine, mango, great malt profile, delicious

M: full and creamy, no alcohol presence, perfect

O: an amazing beer, on par with the hype, delicious, thanks Jeff for hooking this one up

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

Happy to say I'm no longer a Heady Topper virgin. I live in CT and a friend made the trip to VT recently and grabbed ONE can for me. Best IPA I've ever had. It set the bar impossibly high for any other IPA out there. The freshest and most incredible hops in this brew. Amazing stuff.

Photo of blakelive784
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kojevergas for this one!

Reviewed live directly from the 16 fl oz can:

S - Vibrant fresh fruits including pineapple, mango, orange and grapefruit. The tropical fruit notes are fantastic. Light pale malt body. Juicy. It's moderate in strength but I'm certain there'd be more if I poured it.

T - Fresh, raw floral hops notes open, followed by the juicy citrus and tropical fruits notes I'd found on the nose, though the grapefruit's the most dominate. I wish more of the pineapple was present. Woody/grassy hops on the finish provide a touch of bitterness. Caramel malts provide a sturdy backbone, but it's far from sweet. Impeccable balance, and the layering of the hops is superb. The alcohol's never present. This one's a real treat.

M - Oily. Medium bodied, crisp, and a little thick. Pretty much perfect.

D - The best IPA I've had, hands down. I could kill a few of these easily. Definitely a treat and I'm glad I was able to try it.

Photo of TriageStat
4.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Not following the instructions listed on the can, I poured into a tulip. Canned within the week.

A: Poured a hazy, copper color with two fingers of rapidly receding head. Large bubbles. This beer is a hazy mess with tons of floaters, but then again, with the amount of hops they use...

S: Amazing. Its a grapefruit and citrus explosion on the nose. If you think the beer smells good, you should walk into the cannery. It's like high diving into hop nirvana.

T: Again, I could list a single word to describe it. Amazing. Its all sexy citrus, grapefruit, and mango that dominate your tastebuds. A pleasant hop bitterness finishes it off.

M: Smooth, good carbonation.

O: If I could drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would be it. I'm not much into following the hype behind beers, but seriously, this beer is awesome.

Photo of BeerBellyBrew
4.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured a white foam which dissipated slowly with excellent lacing. Nice golden color and a bit cloudy.

S: Nice Strong hops smell. Perhaps a bit sweet. Very intense

T: Hoppiness stays in the mouth, increasing in intensity then you swallow and get a rush of the flavor.

M: Carbonation was just right.

O: Overall this is a great beer with a hops flavor that builds and builds.

Serving type: can

Photo of regspeir
4.51/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I can't report much on appearance because I tried this as directed - from the can. Nose was citrus - grapefruit, mango and pineapple along with some pine, grassiness and floral elements. Taste followed with big citrus flavors, especially grapefruit and orange, but with a biscuity, caramel malt for balance. Bitterness was there but not overwhelming. It predominates in the aftertaste as well, along with pine oil and honey. Mouthfeel was medium and mildly carbonated. There is little to no alcohol burn. I can understand why so many people love this beer…it was great…just not my all-time favorite, as it is for so many.

Photo of Andrew041180
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Instructed to drink from the can - have never viewed the beer. Appearance of can has cool illustration of man with hair on hop fire.

S - Wonderful fresh hoppy notes.

T - I would like to use some of the descriptors that I've been seeing in other reviews, but this doesn't really taste like any of the pine/citrus/dank/floral combination that I've seen before. It's unique among the IPAs that I've tasted thus far.

M - Again unique among what I have had so far. Even a small sip seems to fill my mouth with waves of goodness.

O - I've now had 11 of these and each time I am able to justify a perfect rating to myself. Can't wait for my next trip to Vermont.

Photo of mindfulmead
2.87/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok, another double IPA. Hoppy, we get it right? So what is so great abut THIS Ipa? If you were to break the rules and not "drink it IMMEDIATELY out of the can" you end up with a foggy IPA with chunks of hop pellets to chew on while they add to the hoppiness. As it sits, the trub gathers as gravity wins the battle to the bottom of my glass. Don't get me wrong, the hop particles that are suspended add a decent profile to the beer, but at what cost? I think it would be great as a "harvest IPA" if vegetal matter was the intention but there are another 11.5 months to use your hops in that case.

To me it seems like an unkept hop room. Interesting, nice, and Hoppy with some funkiness growing somewhere. I know from reading the can before I drink it I need to follow rules. I broke them all. I think that any homebrewer can create an equitable beer with a draft keggery and one weeks time.

J&J's Robust Porter in their restaurant was much better for my dollar and I just don't see what all the hubub is about. I think they should concentrate on making beer instead of money but I appear to be in the minority here. I do like the beer but know for a fact that there is more talent behind the curtain.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time I had I received it in a Reddit trade two weeks before my Vermont trip, but then consumed in glorious excess directly from the source in Waterbury.

The appearance is, well, ugly, but with a certain sense of unique beauty, if that makes sense. I can see why they tell you to drink from the can- the beer has little floaty particles moving in suspension all around. It looks straight up rustic and earthy, like I am looking at pure liquid hops.
I poured half the beer into a glass and drank half from the can- it really does taste better from the can!

The aroma is mind-blowing. This is the best smelling beer I have ever had. It's like an orange, a grapefruit and a tangerine punched me right in the face.

The taste was just as good. It feels like I'm drinking a liquid joint dumped into a glass of orange pineapple juice. The hops just keep coming in strong waves of flavor- it just never stops. I've only had this super-fresh, I can imagine the hop flavor lasts a while here.

The body is full enough to match the hop assault (hopsault?).

A truly amazing beer.

Photo of Ri0
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured 16oz can into Duvel tulip.

A - Golden orange and very hazy with a big 3 finger white head that went to the very top and peaked over my tulip. Great retention and loads of foamy lacing cling to teh glass. Who says this doesn't look perfect!?

S - So you like big juicy hops? Piney and bitter citrus hops are the show of this beer. I get some tropical and light sweetness. The smell is incredible.

T - Yum, yum, yum! Waves and waves of hops coat my palate. Pine hops, bitter citrus hops, and even slight notes of tropical hops. A subtle sweetness peeks in every now and then, but the hops push it back. This is a dream to drink.

M - Full bodied and sticky with awesome carbonation. It is insane how easy this is to drink!

O - It is fantastic and worth seeking out IMO. I'll score it as a perfect, because I enjoy it so much.

Photo of brother_kenneth
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Easily one of the best DIPAs in the world. Do whatever it takes to get this beer, then be sure to enjoy it quickly!

This can was poured into my new Heady Topper glass ("Drink from the can", my ass!). This beer always pours a nice hazy, orange-ish color, with a bit of sticky head -- but you shouldn't worry about this, as you will most certainly be enjoying it from the can :)

The beer literally smells like fruit juice. Think of a grapefruit/pineapple/mango concoction, or something of the like. You will notice nothing more than this and the resinous, piney hops in the nose.

There is a distinct earthy, organic quality to Heady, but the more up-front flavors are the citrus & hops (obviously). It is juicy on the tongue, with light carbonation and a very clean finish. Tons and tons of grapefruit and pine in this one. I know reading this review makes it seem somewhat two dimensional, what with all the citrus and hop flavors. But really, are you looking for anything else in a DIPA? If you are looking for a malt bomb, GTFO.

Overall, this may be the best DIPA I have tasted, although I am not sure I will ever make that decision concrete. I constantly waver when it comes to my favorites, but this is definitely one of them. If you like hoppy beer and have the opportunity to try Heady, do it. You will not be let down, as it is one of the best examples of its style in existence, in my humble opinion.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.49/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

can <7 days old.

pours a cloudy yellow with a mild head. smell is in your face huge with juicy hops...wow. the taste is extremely juicy and fruity ...OMG. amazing citrus flavors, Damn. so so juicy. extremely easy to drink. medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall THE best east coast IPA.

Photo of METALBOOZESOLID
2.85/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Easily the most overrated beer I have ever tasted. Though it isn't bad, it really is just a $12 hop bomb. So many better IPA's out there, it's shocking to me that this is the "top rated" beer on BA.

Pours a hazy light orange color with a light white head, and immediately fills your nose with hops. It has a mild sort of carbonation and goes does easily. If you like hoppy beers, this is a good one for you.

Good, but not that good. Does not live up to hype

Photo of ktblue22
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down the most amazing experience I have ever had with a beer. My first taste - likened to the first time I ever...well you know....I don't think I have to elaborate

Can't say much about the appearance because I drank it out of the can (like you are supposed to) but I could smell a plethora of earthy spice, as well as crisp grapefruit and dank moss all at once.

The first sip really throws you on your ass, so I recommend sitting down. I can't even explain it really, its just a beautiful array of almost too-much goodness, but crafted in a way that expands over your palate and changes and grows as you drink the beer.

I recommend getting it fresh - which is really the only way you can get it, they sell out at their cannery the day of canning usually!! I also can't contain my pride and excitement that it is from Vermont.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Consumed from a 16 ounce can. Canned 6 March 2013. I poured an ounce or two into a Glencairn glass for purposes of appearance and smell.

A: Clearish, milky, hazy, with light white head and sticky lace. But I suppose it's irrelevant since most of it is in the can.

S: Fresh-cut grass, tangerine and honeysuckle, rich and sweet and delectable.

T: Okay. Yeah. It lives up to the hype. If I could get this regularly, I would drink it almost exclusively. It's perfectly balanced...complex, fresh hops; sweetish, alluring, honeyish malt; crisp, clean, lingeringly citric-bitter finish. There is nothing bad to say about this beer, but it's not overwhelmingly delicious.

M: It's so creamy! Rich and luxuriant and rewarding.

O: If you can drink this beer, absolutely do so. It's maybe the best IPA I've ever had (though the first batch of Mikkeller's Invasion IPA could give it a run for its money). Not as fruity as perhaps I'd like, but it avoids any 'off' quality that hugely popular (D)IPAs (e.g., Pliny the Younger) seem to share.

Photo of Rockinhippo
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On a recent trip to Burlington went to American Farmhouse which had it.... By luck we were able to do live taste tests with some other DIPAs most notibly Stone 4/1 enjoy by
While bot were outstanding beers they were very different. I'll focus on the heady as we just couldn't believe All the hype. Smell out of the can was amazing couldn't believe this was a can, poured a bit, sunshine orange you expect from a unfiltered ipa not that dark. First sip begs another. Holy Moly this was good . Was expecting a letdown after the hype nope outstanding. Big citrus up front, wow second sip brought the earthiness pine grass, not nearly as big of a hop blast as expected. Was very impressed. I like unfiltered beer, my stomach not so much. But wow just wow

Photo of ChugginOil
4.84/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally!

Pours a very light straw/orange color with a finger of white head. Sticky walls of lace.

The nose is full of dank, oily, hop resins. Pineapple, mango, apricot, guava. In-your-face with a V8 Splash of tropical fruits. The ABV comes in modestly with a big quaff.

Yes! Absolutely living up to the hype here! (completely ignore the review below. Must have been an old can). The cornucopia of fruits noticed in the nose explodes on the palate and really is more like a fruit juice. There is only a bit of sharpness towards the end of each sip which makes this one easy drinking.

The mouthfeel is crisp with medium carbonation. Clean and refreshing.

Overall, this was worth the wait and has all of the components I look for in a DIPA. Seek it!

Photo of COWHAWK
4.76/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-the overall appearance of Heady isn't perfect but when does that matter when the beer is this fabulous, poured a golden honey color slightly cloudy with a monster head that refused to dissipate!

S-the smell of Heady is just gorgeously perfect, smells of piney citrusy freshness, Nuff Said!!

T-The taste of Heady is not what I expected but more, Taste's of citrus, pine, and even a faint taste of honey. Very refreshing and palatable and not dry or overly bitter by any means

M-The mouthful is great for a beer of this ABV, I honestly can't believe its that smooth. First tastes are of pine and earth with a sweet aftertaste of citrus fruits and I still get a honey taste!

O-This beer definitely deserves all the hype! I have tried multiple double IPA's and none go down quiet as smooth as this one, but some are very close!

Photo of banglin
4.91/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Enjoyed a Heady a few weeks ago poured in a glass (from same batch) and wrote down notes on appearance. Poured a white foam which dissipated slowly with excellent lacing. Nice golden color and a bit cloudy.

S: Strong hops smell. Perhaps a bit sweet. Excellent.

T: The hoppiness sits in the mouth, building in intensity, until you swallow and get a rush of the flavor.

M: Carbonation is great.

O: Overall this is a great beer with a hops flavor that builds and builds.

Photo of smcnulty1981
4.8/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: drank most of it from the can poured a small amount to see what it looked like Poured a golden color with a sight haze about 1 finger of bright white head with a good amount of lacing

S: lots of resin dank earthiness and pine on the nose finished with bright citrus

T: taste has much of the same notes as the nose bitter dank hop flavor up front followed by juicy citrus good warming sensation at the back end only defect that I can get is a bit of hop astringency

M: full bodied with a good amount of carbonation very smooth dangerously easy to drink for 8% abv

O: well worth all of the high scores and praise its a shame that I can't get it on a regular basis

Photo of tigg924
4.47/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit into a tulip, had most straight from the can

Appearance: 1/4 inch head that goes quick, orange-gold in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: big citrus hops, pineapple, earth, and rind

Taste: big citrus hops, pineapple, earth, rind, and some grapefruit at the back

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, lightly bitter with a sharper bitter end, medium bodied

Overall: Really happy to have found this. When I think of the best IPAs I have had, I think of Pliny, Hill Farmstand's Double Galaxy, and Mama Masala. I personally would choose any of those over this one as my favorite IPA. That said, the shear raw hoppiness of this one merits that it is in the discussion of the best. This one is a delightfully hoppy beer, but not one that kills you with high intensity, more like a gradual roll up of juicy flavors. I appreciate the complexity and quality flavor without the excessive bitterness. I would get this again if I can find it. Well worth the hype.

Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,775 ratings.