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 raydogfresh
4.16/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Really wanted to love this. Maybe something happened on the long trip from VT to CT, but man was it just...okay. Smells fantastic, looks good enough, but it just doesn't taste as good as other IPAs I've had. I hope to give it another shot soon. It probably tastes better than I'm giving it credit for, I think I just got my expectations too high...you know for the #1 rated beer here.

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

Drank 1-31-13
Free the hops snifter

A- golden light amber. Hazy but massive dry hopping causes haze. Small head

S- wonderful hop burst. Definitely pickup american hops citrussy resinous but balanced by earthy maybe piney background

T-awesome. Hop heavy but not overly bitter as many others are. Malt backbine to support hops but not overpower them.

M-good carbonation not excessive but enough to be effervescent and release the hops.

O-wonderful beer. Top iipa i have tried. Unfiltered is the only way to do iipa's. Will love to get my hands n more.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks again to Rutager.

A: cloudy and resiny amber liquid and very minimal cream colored head. A ridiculous amount of solutes floating around and settling at the bottom of the glass.

S: grass, lemons, tangerines, earth and leaves.

T: the taste came in three waves. First wave of lemon, grass and aspirin. Second wave of earth, leaves and grapefruit. Third wave of lemon and oranges.

M: thick resinous viscosity and a medium level of carbonation.

O: a religious experience. I keep coming back for another palate wrecking sip of wave after wave of citrus and forest hop flavors.

Photo of KYGunner
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Does appearance include the can? Canned beer with a message "Drink from the Can" on it and you know you have a brewer with a sense of humor. If I did that than how do I know what the true appearance is? Pour it into a glass and see the beautiful iridescent orange and a bright white head.

The scent is pungent, strong and pure hops.

The taste is so incredibly interesting that I truly can't articulate what I found. No citrus, just pure hop flavor. No complexities, per se, but the hops flavors are diverse within themselves. It's as if you taste each and every hop variety yet its perfectly blended. If my palate were talented enough I believe I could name each hop variety this is so distinct. This is a truly special IPA!

Photo of Davihaw
4.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Drinking directly from the can as instructed.

A: I poured this once and remember it being really cloudy and not very pretty. It says drink it out of the can so I am doing it, therefore I can't see the beer. The can is beautiful though.

S: Smells of citrus and fruit initially and finishes with a pine bite.

T: A great piney flavor at first, followed by an amazing assortment of tropical fruits.

M: Good even carbonation that helps aid in the piney bite you taste.

O: Currently ranked the #1 beer in the world and I can not disagree. There are a few beers that I would consider perfect, and this is one of those. Perfect example of a delicious DIPA.

Photo of CTJman
4.96/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best dipa around. The nose punches you in the face. I could drink this beer all day

Photo of tectactoe
4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Ataraxia, I finally get a chance to slay this one! The directions say "drink from the can" but, at least for the first one, I have to pour it out and get a good look at it. Pours a golden-orange color, some straw around the very edges - mostly opaque and hazy. Many people bring up the unadulterated, unfiltered look of Heady Topper, though mine doesn't have the liberal amounts of sediment that would showcase this. Rather it appears quite clean, with maybe a tiny bit of very small particles that have seemingly vanished five minutes into this one. Either way, a nice looking beer with a super foamy, just-off-white head that leaves pretty tremendous lacing atop the glass.

The aroma - simply fantastic. It's fruity, all right. Huge amounts of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, citrus. Very interesting - the fruit has a nice, pithy aroma along with the typical component of juicy, tropical sweetness. Despite being so vibrant and powerful, it's almost difficult to say the fruit component "stands out", seeing as how the hops are nearly just as amped up. Heavy, heavy pine, super slick and resinous oils, grassy and floral, with a dank weed aroma following it all up. The bitterness can be spotted from the nose, but is combated by the fruity goodness. Definitely one of the most unique smelling beers out there, the aroma is doing nothing but getting me excited to finally bring this one to my lips.

HT glides through my palate; across my tongue and against every corner of my mouth, with a medium, slick body, pumped full of carbonation. The flavors explode all at once, like a time bomb of hop-filled citrus fruits going off inside my jaws. From the fruit-side of things, you've got the intense grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and some other tropical fruit that is hard to identify, but clearly stands out - I want to say maybe guava? Either way, very tropical and exploding with fruit. "Juicy" would be a good way to describe the fruit profile. Mouth-watering juiciness.

But it doesn't stop there, just like in the aroma, the hops match the fruit on the palate as well; thick and heavily resinous hop oils cascade over your taste buds, pine needles left and right, wet, dank weed, grass, flowers and intense floral flavors. Bitterness is abound and definitely resounding far into the aftertaste. The malts bring a bready and somewhat sweet character to the table, but don't do much else than that. From a DIPA this highly acclaimed, though, you don't really expect much from the malt, do you? Super bitter, piney, resinous, and citrus peel-y aftertaste.

Guuuhh. Well all you people certainly weren't kidding. Heady Topper is a delicious fucking beer and if I was in Vermont, it's probably all I would drink. How does it compare to my other favorite hop monsters, like Pliny the Elder, Hopslam, or DRIPA? Well, it'd be hard to say whether I like HT "better" than any of them, because despite being a Double IPA, it is still vastly discernible from the rest. Nevertheless, the acclaim Heady Topper receives is deserved - this beer is fantastic. A true hop-head's wet dream. Next time, I will drink from the can.

Photo of DocJitsu
4.21/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, pale, wheat golden color with a cottony, stubborn white head. Flecks of barley and vegetable matter float all around the beer. Juicy grapefruit with some pine on the nose. ONce the beer settles, sweeter fruit breaks through. Grapefruit up front then grass and pine emerge. But, the flavor suddenly falls of a cliff for an abrupt finish. Alcohol and unami get picked up right away and pervade throughout. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style. It dries a little toward the finish. Pretty big disappointment. Pliny, Abrasive, Sucks, all way superior in my opinion.

Photo of THANAT0PSIS
4.97/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Alchemist Heady Topper

Appearance: This quasi-legendary brew pours a pale, almost pilsner-like golden orange but much cloudier. The beer is almost entirely opaque and the yeast floaters are everywhere. Upon the initial pour there is a finger and a half of nearly pure white head. It has decent retention, but nothing spectacular. The lacing is spotty and there are no alcohol legs. I have never seen such plentiful sediment in a beer before. It is not a perfect appearance, but it is extremely close.

Aroma: Outrageous. This is everything it should be, based on the hype. Grapefruit is incredibly pungent, backed up by a cornucopia of tropical fruits. Orange, pineapple, mango, tangerine, peach, lemon, rinds of all sorts, there may even be a bit of pear here. The diversity is astounding, and is backed up by a slight malty sweetness and a ton of yeast, which should be expected based on the visual. The hops are, as evidenced by the can art and the reputation that precedes the beer, the star of the show, and are juicy to the point of impossibility. This is perfection.

Taste: Follows the taste to a “T”, with a clean, slight, and sweet malt bill. The yeast shows up just slightly as well, but it only supports the brilliance of the hops. Every tropical fruit imaginable with brilliant hop bitterness and astringency, plenty of rind, and outrageous juiciness. Taste-wise, this could be a tropical fruit smoothie, and blindfolded, the drinker would have no idea. The aftertaste is so perfectly clean and evanescent that the drinker must constantly keep drinking to keep the taste in his or her mouth. Again, perfection.

Mouthfeel: Perfectly carbonated, just syrupy and thick enough to keep from being watery, but thin enough to be ridiculously refreshing, and with great astringency. The 8% ABV is slightly warming. This is the height of IIPA (and beer in general) mouthfeels.

Overall: Why…Why God? Why must The Alchemist be based in Vermont and have an extremely small distribution range? The drinkability and refreshment paired with the brilliant hop profile and clean, sweet malt bill make this the stuff a hophead’s dreams are made of. The necessity to continue drinking to keep the taste in my mouth makes this akin to meth. This is beer meth. Get addicted. 19.5/20

Photo of cjoc83
4.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first go with the one, the only, Heady! Super stoked right now. Fresh 16oz can poured into a tulip (what's the big deal about all the "DRINK FROM THE CAN" stuff anyway?) a super hazy, almost totally opaque pastel orange with an initial 2 finger bright white head that recedes quickly to a ring that leaves moderate lacing. A little hop sediment is visible floating around. Great looking beer.

Basically a tropical and stone fruit hops explosion in the nose. Big grapefruit and grapefruit rind, blood orange, mango, peach, and some earthy, dank herbal hops with a slight hint of sweet caramel malts. Truly remarkable aroma...I wish they made Heady Topper air fresheners. I could just smell this all day.

The dank, piney hops give a nice kick in the mouth in the front, but quickly gives way to huge, juicy citrus; mango, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, maybe even some slight apple and pear, a little lemon zest. Sweet caramel malts kick in towards the finish, giving this nuclear hop bomb great balance. Leaves a beautiful, sweet, juicy hop aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness. There's so much citrus that there seems to be an almost tart-like note to the beer, like fresh grapefruit dusted with sugar (which also happens to be one of my favorite fruits). Just straight up delicious.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Velvety and inviting.

I'm always interested in seeing if the beer lives up to the hype when it comes to "whales" like Heady. In this case, Alchemist deserves all the praise it gets. Enjoy By DIPA by Stone has just been replaced. Beautiful hop bouquet, great looking and even better tasting. Amazing hop depth with just the right amount of bitterness (which is quite low for a DIPA). Alchemist really needs to start distributing outside of VT! Best beer in the whole world? Not sure about that, but best DIPA and one of the best beers I've ever had? Indeed. So glad I have 4 more of these.

Photo of Beerandboards
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've enjoyed this beer both on tap and in a can, review based on the can

A - The can says to drink it straight from the can, and I'll agree that tuis is the best way to do it. But I've poured it into a glass as well, and the appearance is a murky orange semi opaque appearance with a medium density head. Looks like somebody blended up some orange slices in a beer.

S - best smelling beer I've ever encountered. Tropical pineapple mango citrus goodness. Smells like a juicy bunch of tropical fruit.

T - largely follows the nose. Pineapple is a dominant flavor. First and only beer where I've really been able to pick that out. Lots of tropical and citrus notes. Tangerine, mango, orange. Just the slightest hint of bitterness. Perfect.

M - medium carbonation, nice presentation of oily hops, leaves plenty on the palate for copious amounts of aftertaste.

O - the best IPA I've ever had, period.

Photo of mjr333
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

WOW---a clean crisp ipa that deserves to be on top!

The smell, taste, mouth-fell and overall ipa greatness is in this c
an!!!

Ive heard that they are now offering 22oz glass for this???

This is by far the BEST dIPA i have sipped!!!

fresh fresh fresh is the vermont way--THANKS!!!

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

Well being an advocate for Pliny The Elder as the best beer on the planet I was reserved about the hype behind this brew. I do not really know what to say or explain the comparison. Heady Topper is a magnificent massive hop bomb that is amazingly balanced. This brew is World Class and lives up to the hype. I will now travel to Vermont to get more!!! I could drink these one after another enjoying every sip....really just an amazing beer! The bottom line is this is a World Class, top notch, killer IPA that leaves you wanting more.

I drank it from the can as instructed and WOW! just crazy good! The alcohol is so well hidden that Waldo couldn't find it.

Bottom Line: Sell your home, sell you car and hitch hike to Vermont to attain this beer!

Photo of Dirtinabottle
4.96/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I followed the rules and drank from the can. The can appearance is intriguing by itself.

This beer is what got me into craft beer and specifically doubles. The smell was bright and citrusy. It kept coming before, after, and during every sip. I may have spent more time smelling the beer than actually drinking it. Totally unique.

Like biting into an explosive, carbonated starfruit. So many citrus and floral flavors going on.

More carbonated than I am used to in a beer. This, however, allows more taste to penetrate the palate.

Overall, this is my favorite beer of this style. I look forward to every opportunity to have another. Please allow access to this hop combination for a long, long, time. A blind tasters dream.

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

As soon as I opened the can,the fresh aroma of tropical fruits hit me in the nose. The best hop beer ive ever had. Its well balanced aroma is amazing.Just the right amount. The 8.0 abv is perfect too...If you havent tried this beer,seek it out. Its well worth it

Photo of BarRoomHero88
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

So, my first review! Had it a few times, and it's surely the best beer I've had.

A: Hazy, cloudy orange

S: Dank, Citrusy sweetness. Just ridiculously hoppy

T: Surprising malt backbone. But the hops are crazy. Piney, floral, tropical. So perfect!

M: I'd say medium bodied. Superbly drinkable. Delicious.

O: Maybe I'm biased, since it's semi local, but I cannot get enough of this. Easily the best beer I've ever had.

Photo of bobhits
4.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

So lucky to have gotten a 4 pack of this...so selfish that I've only got 1 can for sharing purposes left.

L. Pours a dense hazed yet bright yellow/gold body. Very bright even for an IPA yet there's clearly a LOT of yeast left in here. This looks big and dense, it looks wonderful. Though I guess I should be looking at a silver can according to said can.

S. Tropical fruits are just blowing this one up. There's a slight and I mean slight alcohol note in here, but beyond that this is one of the smell well balanced aromas I've ever smelled. It hits the line between sweet and tropical fruits in a way that neither seems too strong nor too light. You really have to experience this to fully grasp how perfect it is.

T. Best hoppy beer ever made? Well, that's always a hard one to claim, but we're talking upper upper level. Head-topper doesn't attempt to blow you away with bitterness, instead it nails once again a perfect middle ground that is simply out of this world. A mix of citrus hops with intense passion fruit and pine apple all pushed to perfection with a malt bill that dreams are made of.

M. 8% is so perfect for this kind of beer. Strong enough to give it intense flavors, but no so strong that an over abundance of hops and malt are needed to balance it all out. This one goes down like the liquid candy it is.

O. I love deadnaught. I love Pliny. I don't think either are this good. This is easily one of the best beers ever made and without a doubt proof canned beer works. Seek this one out, even if a weird guy at a bar asks you go behind the bar for a surprise....maybe it'll be Heady-Topper, it was for me!

Photo of Huffs
4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass and a nice fluffy head developed which lasted through the drink. Aroma was very hoppy with flower and citris notes. Appearance was a cloudy straw color with nice sediment chunks. Tast was super hoppy with strong flower and hop notes with grain on the back. Mouthfeel was light but with a hint of creamyness. Aftertaste was dry and bitter on the end.

Photo of Frddymck
4.62/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have really been enjoying this beer. Its easily available to me and I find that I'm picking up a four pack of it at least a couple times a week. Seems to be the beer that everyone wants to trade for as well. Overall, it's become my go-to beer. Just like many others, I have tried this poured in a few different glasses but prefer it out of the can.

Photo of doughanson78
4.65/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can poured into a pint glass. HUGE thanks to kingcrowing for this MAJOR want!!! Reviewed side by side with Pliny the Elder

A: Darker orange than Pliny and hazy, Pliny was super clear. One finger off white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Huge citrus hops with dominate grapefruit. Tangerine, and orange zest. Just a touch of caramel malts coming through. Would be nicer if the grapefruit was more subdued.

T: Huge grapefruit bitterness with a slight orange zest in the middle. Caramel comes through in the end to mellow it out. A touch acidic in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied. Slick. Very very dry. Nice.

O: Definitely an exceptional DIPA. Not on par with Pliny, and I'd have to do a side by side with Dreadnaught and Double Trouble to really classify all these tasty beers. But yes, TOP notch.

Photo of jknutsen09
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I've ever tasted. The balance and aroma is top notch. The can is inviting to just grad and take one big long sip. The taste is smooth and full of hoppy goodness. The smell once can is cracked just invites you to drink its deliciousness. My vote for beer of the year!!!

Photo of babbules
4.94/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this in a glass at lunch and in the can for dinner. Since the brewer recommends drinking directly from the can, that's how I'll rate it....although I will say it's coppery and cloudy in the glass. First off, the aroma is BRILLIANT. This is an awesomely hoppy-smelling beer with notes of candy and tropical fruit (maybe even peach?). The first thing I tasted was the roasty, nutty malts followed by a bitter punch in the mouth! The finish is fruity, falling somewhere between papaya and peach. What I found most surprising was the creamy, soft mouthfeel. This is to date the best beer I've ever had. It's well worth the hype and the drive to VT (since you can't get it anywhere else).

Photo of Trilogy31
4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very few brews make bring a shit eating grin to my face - wow this is good! Starts with a hazy belgian blond hue with a slight finger of creamy white cap that quickly dissipates leaving just a few small islands of foam. Nose brings bright juicy citrus (mandarin, grapefruit) pineapple, slight floral pine, very juice and a hoppy earthiness. This beer reminds me alot of Nelson - big tropical notes and juicy with pine dankiness play a small secondary roll. The taste brings bitter papaya, lime rind, light caramel malts and some pine needle covered forest floor - as it warms almost an herbal, minty licorice note comes out. The mouthfeel is creamy and lush but is quickly balanced by a strong hop bitterness. Best beer not sure about that but at least top 3 ipa's i have ever had and well worth trading for.

Photo of codysjb
4.37/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Heady Topper
Poured from a can into a pint glass
A: Cloudy orange brown with hop resin through out. Little head but I tried extremely hard to pour with no head so I could divide a can between my glass and my girlfriends glass.
S: Lemon, grapefruit and HOPS! Lots of hops.
T: Water up front molds into a nice hops character that become full bodied and leaves a hop note on the tongue for a long time.
M: Lots of well rounded hops all throughout the mouth.
O: Great, wish I could get this as a regular everyday beer.

Photo of Malty_Matty
4.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a hazy amber with little head. Almost no lacing.

S- so complex. Hops abound, wave after wave of aromas, spicy, fruity, earthy. Slight bit of malt sweetness.

T- a simple grain bill leaves a little to be desired. The hop complexity strikes again, the citrus strikes last after the spicy grassy notes have made the first advance.

M- slightly thick, but very drinkable.

Big thanks to jmmy3 for the trade.

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