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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 BeerTheater
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As good as it gets, this beer makes you smile from ear to ear. As soon as it gets close enough to your face you know something worthwhile is about to hit the fan; shit the golden goose would be envious to produce and all the hyperbole I can write in the name of an awesome beer. From the smell to the initial taste on your lips, it's a fall in love experience that very few beers can replicate. I advise you to seek out this beer and have at it. Unfortunately, i've only had a few to the head but i've sampled it a often enough and it's always the same reaction--Good, good god, it's good.

The appearance if you defy the makers and pour it into a glass is nice and expected with a great DIPA like the Dow chemical company and a Bangladeshi Theravada Vipassana teacher. Golden, slightly hazy and with big porno head it looks inviting. One thing you'll notice are white snowflakes floating abound as if this were the ghost of Christmas present's snow globe. You will be compelled to drink it now and save it never.

The smell is a sweet bouquet of hop, pine and fruity citrus. Oh, it's fresh too, like the wet morning dew on a blade of grass. Each whiff is getting in close with the incarnation of Carmen Miranda. The aroma is memorable.

The taste is what will reel you in big fish. It's hop, it's floral and fruity, it's bitter yet sweet. Bitter sweet since living in Florida keeps me forlorn from its ambrosia. Citrus and fresh grass swirling in a vortex of hop is what I get, maybe a hint of vanilla in it. A splash of orange flavor, and you can throw in a grapefruit taste too. It's welcome to the jungle with guns of the Navarone.

Great drink ability is the lovely conclusion to a great tasting and fragrant beer. I feel this beer will make true believers out of anyone fortunate to drink it. I'm usually a stout guy, I love the malt, the semi-sweetness with coffee and chocolate flavors, the thick hearty nature of it's character and yet I find myself thinking this beer is easily in my top three beers ever. It's drinkable, it's drinkable now, later and between, in any pocket of the multiverse and moment in the time continuum; but i'd drink it now... what are you waiting for?

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

Have had this plenty of times in a can and in a glass.

Notes from 11/10 after drinking blind pig and pliny previously

A: Golden deep orange with a small fluffy off white head. Awesome lacing that clings to the side of the glass.

S: Easily the best smelling beer period. Lots of herbal pine and resinous hops mixed with fruity tropical citrus. The cans still smell great weeks after being drank. (Yes I some times keep cans around that long)

T: Easily the smoothest tasting hop juice you can imagine. Tons of hop flavor. Crisp with lots of pine, resin, and grapefruit/orange hops up front. Slightly bitter at first that transitions into the best tasting sweet tropical citrus hop flavor that stays with you after your done drinking. Slightly sweet malt profile balances the hop bitterness very well.

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

O: This is the standard for me in comparing other beers. This is my DIPA benchmark and very few beers come close to this with the exception of IPAS from HF. Easily the best beer made to date and can't wait for it to become more accessable in the coming years.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured (partially) from a 16-oz. tallboy can into a tulip-shaped Relic Brewing Co. Belgian snifter.

A: Poured a hazy, golden yellow color with an amber tinge and a thin veil of wispy lace that settled to a fine coating. Leaves a nice, sticky ring of lace on the glass.

S: Holy hops; sweet, fragrant tropical fruits, orange rinds and grapefruit juice, backed by spicy, herbal, grassy and catty hop aromatics. This DIPA really has it all.

T: Light, juicy malt sweetness up front primes the palate with some fruity esters before digging the hop sickle into the tongue. Truthfully, the bready and juicy hops lay a nice foundation for the waves of hop complexity that roll across the palate. It begins light, with lemon and orange zest, segueing into a grassy, peppery complexity before melding into the somewhat hot, prickly resins that wash the brew back with sticky, grapefruit rind and hop oils. The bittersweet, juicy and hopped out aftertaste is icing on the cake.

M: Medium-bodied and super-smooth for such a bitter brew. The hops tingle, burn and resonate their way throughout the experience, all the while retaining a high probability that you'll go back soon for another sip.

O: A very tasty, smooth and bitter hop bomb wrapped in the juicy, malted arms of an extremely well-crafted, 8% ABV DIPA. Heady-Topper is that beer you lust after when you want to satiate your desire for complex hop acidity but don't want rubber-tongue the rest of the night. That's not to say the hops won't burn you, because they will. It's just that this beer offers so much more and balances things well with light, delicate, yet effective, usage of malts. Won't you come to Waterbury, CT, Alchemist?

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Photo of homebrew311
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well I am following the instructions and drinking this one from the can. I did previously have one poured into a glass.... which the apperance is hazy gold with hop leaves floating around and white sticky head. Sicne I'm reviewing this from the can, I will be generous with appearance since the can has a pretty cool look. The aroma is bright and citrusy with loads of apricot, grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine. The aroma emanates freely from the mouth opening which gives me a nice bit of aroma (which I was expecting to be restrained from the can). The taste is delicious... the hops all come together and features a nice fruity/citrus profile. Notes of mango, apricot, and grapefruit come through with minimal bitterness. A touch of cream even comes through which really unifies the flavors. Almost no bitterness on the finish. The 8% ABV is dangerously undetectable. The mouthfeel is mildly carbonation which makes for a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, a delicious IPA. I recently had a less than fresh can...and I must say the fresh can really shines and pops with flavor. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BA share, DenverBeerDrinker (thanks man!)

A - I'm drinking straight from the can as requested by the can itself

S - pungent grapefruit, slick pine, notes of orange, plenty of hops

T - wow, this is delicious; my first words are, "oh my"; there is plenty of hop character here; lightly grapefruit in flavor; floral; tropical fruit and sweet; dank; pineapple as it settles

M - dense; resiny; smooth as can be; perfect carbonation

O - top shelf DIPA, easily one of the best I've ever had; really well-balanced; not too bitter; perfect!

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Photo of RuckusDu
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get to do a full review of this. I did pour it out of the can however. Body is cloudy and some brown/orange in the amber. Head is maybe a finger tall any only slightly off-white. Smells amazing like citra hops. There is a sweetness to it, but that blends in so well with the hops that you almost miss it. Lime and grapefruit. For flavor, it is very similar to the aroma. Nice lime and pine. A little white sugar. Mouth is great with strong carbonation and decent body.

Overall, this is an excellent beer that cures your hop fix (which could come back at any time between a couple minutes and a couple months). So smooth and delicious.

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Photo of LaChupacabra
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can poured into tulip.

A: Cloudy golden color. Lots of sediment. ...Pretty ugly. I know why they want you to drink this one straight from the can.

S: Juicy/ripe tropical and citrus fruits. Sweet malts.

T: Mildly bitter with a lots of citrus and tropical fruit. A bit of caramel/honey sweetness.

M: Very smooth and drinkable. Chewy and creamy. Has a long, crisp finish.

O: Fantastic DIPA. The appearance brings this one down a bit. It's an amazing beer in every other aspect.

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Photo of bum732
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Huge blast of peach, citrus, passionfruit. Unbelievably fruity and bright, faint maltiness.

L: Cloudy, murky dark orange, eggshell white head that dissipates slightly.

T: Raw, fresh hoppiness up front with a slightly sweet malt accompanying. Medium high spicy and citrus bitterness with loads more of citrus and tropical hop flavors. Little malt flavor, just hops upon hops. Finishes semi-dry with resiny, oily, spicy hops.

M: Medium carbonation, medium high body. A prominent "spiciness". Not sure if its the hops or alcohol.

Just amazing, neck and neck with Pliny as far as DIPAs go. A must try.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from unknown production date:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(rest of review is direct from the can)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appearance – Drank straight from the can.

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

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

Mouthfeel – Perfect amount of carbonation. Medium body.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of rodkin
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is a hazy orange with a nice fluffy head and excellent lacing. It does kind of look like there's dandruff in there, though (can says it's hop resins).

Huge hoppy smell. Orange, pine, pineapple, bit of peach, strong citrus. Some sweetness, too. No sign of malts. Really just a giant hop bomb.

Taste is similar. Ridiculous amount of hops, piney, grassy, then some citrus, a bit of orange, lemon, some light sweetness. No sign of malts at all.

Mouthfeel is great, medium thickness, decent carb, but not a ton. Might be better if it was just slightly thinner, but still excellent.

This thing is a hop monster. A top two DIPA for me. Will definitely be seeking this out again in the future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel - great

Overall - very very good. I hope everyone has a chance to try this beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

O- This beer is not sold in NJ, nothing's perfect!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On tap in a snifter at the cannery in Vermont.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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