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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,073 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,073
Hads: 11,568
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,439
Gots: 4,001 | FT: 56
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 (9) | 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: 2,073 | Hads: 11,568
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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Photo of Tilley4
4.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a recent trade and I'm stoked to be able to finally try this beer...

I drank 3 of these from the can and poured one into a glass... Very hazy and full of yeast particles, this definitely isn't the most attractive brew... Now I know why they want you to drink it from the can...

Probably the highlight of the beer... Very pungent citrus hop aromas... Pineapple, orange, lemon... the aromas coming out of the can are ridiculous... They are deep and juicy and dank... Crazy aromas... Not much in the way of maltiness in the background but that's ok to me...

Hop flavors are citrusy in nature with the pineapple and orange holding the forefront... The flavors are good but don't really hold up in measure to the pungency of the aromas... I don't detect any booze whatsoever so that's a good thing... This is a good Imperial for sure... It's not overly boozy as some are and the bitterness is held in check quite nicely..

I liked this beer a lot and would buy it if available locally... Would I trade for it again? I'm not so sure about that... It was good but just not world class level... at least to me...

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Photo of rodlavers
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this several times, attempting my first review of the renowned Heady Topper.

I cheated and poured less than a shot into a small glass, just to get a sense of what I was dealing with. HT pours a pale and hazy yellow/gold color, with a thin bright white head. The color is unspectacular, but the beer has a general texture to it that lends it a particular quality.

Sweetness, malt, and grapefruit citrus aromas explode from the can the second it is cracked. It seems to be balanced perfectly. The smell fades somewhat as the beer is consumed, but never disappears entirely.

Taste is amazing. I get everything on the nose, plus some pine, all in an explosion of hops, hops, and more hops. On top of that, it's smooth as can be, with refreshingly crisp and somewhat biting body to it that wreaks of balance. The hops "creep up on you" and stick around for awhile, as declared on the label. It really is an excellent, excellent beer.

Overall fantastic. Everybody needs to try Heady Topper.

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Photo of duracell
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 3/4 straight from the can, then poured the rest into a snifter.

A (last 1/4 of the can) - Surprisingly super clear, dark gold color. Small head disappearing quickly without leaving much of lancing.
S - Very intense herbal, fresh, piney, mango, citrusy aromas. Extremely aromatic and quite balanced by some malt.
T/M - Big hops flavors. Lemon zest, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruits sustained by a lively carbonation. Very juicy. Leads you to a nice fruity bitterness at the end that lingers forever.
O - Definitely one of the best DIPA I was given to try! Tons of flavors and complexity. A must try!!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boy oh boy oh boy. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Heard the hype for months and finally picked one up locally in SoCal. Yeah, imagine that. I bought a can of this in L.A. at retail. 1 pint aluminum can served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 8.00% confirmed. Consumed in celebration of completing my grad school applications. I don't see canned-on date, but my local beer store guy informed me it was two weeks old when I bought it yesterday.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I went back on forth on whether to pour this one into a glass because the label advises me not to. I'm compromising and taking my first sip from the can, but then pouring some of it into a glass and leaving some in the can for later consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

T (Early):On the first sip I get delightful grapefruit and citrus esters, with pale clean malts and lovely floral hopping. Oily hops abound, with hints of pine. Boy, this is going to be interesting.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and decent retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant burnt orange-auburn. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not the best IPA appearance I've seen, but pleasant.

Sm: Grapefruit, pale malts, citrus esters, floral hops, and heavy oily hops - but surprisingly little pine. Quite light in strength, but appealing.

T: Perfectly balanced; never too bitter. Grapefruit zing but not in an overbearing way. Floral hops and heavy hop oils (a component I think is rather unique and special to this beer; I've never experienced it quite like this). Citrus, tropical fruit on the back end. I even get pinapple and mango. Maybe apricot too. Passion fruit? (I'm never sure; I've never had an actual passion fruit). Pale malts a are a perfect complement to the hop choices. No alcohol or yeast comes through. That's tasty stuff. I'm shocked at the lack of bitterness; I don't even remember Pliny The Younger (let alone Elder) mitigating the bitterness this well. There's some (very very little) on the climax, but just enough to add a welcome dimension. Well layered and quite subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head like most beers in the style. No metallic taste despite being from a can. Perfect sweetness to suit its hoppiness.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with perfect crispness and coarseness to coax out the subtler flavours. Fresh, refreshing, and perfectly carbonated. Oily. A bit buttery.

Dr: This is probably the most drinkable IPA (not just Double IPA, but IPA as well) I've ever had the delight to consume. It's refreshing as hell, the 8% is nowhere to be seen, and I imagine it would pair brilliantly with any food. A master class in balance and what an IPA should be. I hate to buy into the beer versus beer debates, but in my book this is clearly better than Pliny The Elder. I expected something different based on the hype, but this surprised me with its balance and sophistication. Wow. This is definitely one of the best beers in the style that I've had. I look forward to trying more beer from the Alchemist and to one day having this on-draught. If you see this, buy it. I'm not a big IPA fan and I'm loving this stuff. Brilliantly built. I could easily down this one all night. If there's a better IPA out there, I have yet to find it.

This beer is nearly perfect in its style. The main thing holding it back is its appearance.

A+ (4.6) [3 / 3.5 / 4.75 / 4.75 / 4.75]

Serve cold. Drink cold.

Would pair well with anything. Even chocolate.

10/01/15: I've had this at least 7 times since my initial review, and significant batch inconsistency has forced me to lower my rating from an A+ to an A-. Some batches have been as low as a High B, whilst some have remained an A or A+. Unfortunate, but true.


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

I had read a lot about this beer before i tasted it. It lived up to the hype! A bitter, flowery beast of perfection.

Appearance= Golden ruby
Smell= best smelling beer I've ever tasted
Taste=bitter heaven
Mouthfeel =smooth viscosity
Overall= I drove round trip 9 hours for this beer. It was worth the trip!!

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Photo of gnl-weirdness
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have the wonderful pleasure of living 10 minutes away from The Alchemist cannery, and was a long time patron of their restaurant/brewery before the flood. A skeptic at first, I was amazed at the first run. Not being a huge fan of anything canned, it was such an incredible surprise when I took my first sip. HOPSSS, and such an incredible punch to the mouth of amazing flavors. This is everything a beer should be, and more. Others have written much better/professional reviews. If you question any of them, shoot me a message and let's trade because this brew speaks for itself.

5/5 with no doubt in my mind.

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Photo of hoppytobehere
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired a 4-pack from a trade. No date on this, but it was picked up last week from the brewery. Should only be a couple weeks old at this point.

A: Yeah I poured it in a glass. So what. Very cloudy, dull orange color. Lots of crap floating around in there. Great head, excellent retention though. Lacing covering the glass as I drink more.

S: Pungent aroma. Freshly squeezed orange juice, dank piney hops, grapes. It fills the entire room with hop aroma. Ridiculous.

T: Hop flavor on this one is ridiculous, in the best of ways. Waves and waves of it (quoting the can), and it never gets too bitter. Perfectly balanced. There's malt in there, but it stays behind the scenes and does its job.

M: Like a warm blanket in the winter. Feels great.

O: I'm currently using google maps to find my way to Waterbury, VT. Might even scour craigslist for jobs up there. This beer is a hophead's dream.

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

A. It has a lovely deep orange color. Fairly opaque, some sediment. It has a big foamy white head that leaves a good deal of lacing.

S. Fruity scent. Citrus and lemon, some hops.

T. This is just a gorgeous fruity IPA. Some dark fruit. Grape and watermelon. A hint of citrus. There's a nice floral hop taste.

M. Carbonated with a tingly bitter bite.

O. Definitely the best IPA I've had out of a can. Nice complex with a fruity kick.

(I bought a four-pack recently, and this is definitely my favorite IPA...can or no can.)

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Photo of bonkers
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to my cousin Jeff for picking this up for me from the cannery. Even though it says to drink it from the can, I prefer it from the glass. The first thing you notice as you pop the top is the wonderful aroma, ton of oranges, citrus, pine and tropical fruit. It pours a deep orange, moderate white head, big chunky floaters. The flavor is fresh citrus, tropical fruit, bitter pine. IMO the hoppiest beer I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. The body is medium, some noticeable booze, decent carbonation. Great DIPA, pretty much lives up to hype.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,073 ratings.