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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,201 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,201
Ratings:
12,346
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
8,936
Gots:
4,687
For Trade:
56
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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Reviews: 2,201 | Ratings: 12,346
Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OK, while everyone else in Philly is drinking Pliny the Younger today, I decided to avoid the crowds and review this beauty. I sampled this a few weeks ago, and really wanted to NOT like this beer so much. But that is impossible. Anyone who likes beer would fall in love with this...

From the can into a tasting balloon glass. Thanks to monitorpop for this beer!

The beer is a muddy unfiltered ochre color topped by a massive off-white head that stays around for a long time and leaving its scarred lacing all over the glass. Not the prettiest of beers, but what's appearance when you taste this good right?

The aroma is just overwhelmingly filled with fresh hops. It reminds me of when I was on a tour of Victory Brewing Company, and walked into their hop cooler. It is just fresh, juicy hops in every direction. Filled with notes of fresh pine, peaches, and mango.

The flavor is of hops thrown in a blender and pureed. Mild bitterness, like a pale ale, but with more hop flavor that expected in a double IPA. Solid solid beer. Floral, citrus/tropical fruit, pine and lightly sweet malts in the background. But the hops just dominate the flavor and aroma. There is zero hint of alcohol in this beer.

The mouthfeel is smooth, almost creamy in nature. Robust body, but not too heavy. This beer does an amazing job of covering up the alcohol. Only a slight bite midway through the sip indicates any abv at all.

I can't believe how tasty this IPA really is. As a DIPA, I think this does so well because the abv is not crazy high and yet it delivers just a fresh punch of hops. I would 100% purchase a case of this beer. In fact, I will probably now make that trip north this month if possible. I mean, what a fantastic beer. I wanted to hate it because no one likes the hype train, but this beer has earned its stripes in my opinion. Highly recommended...thank you again to monitorpop for the chance to review this beer!!

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

I reviewed this beer out of a can without pouring it so I do not having any appearance notes. I have had a sampling of this once before, poured into a glass and the color was a deep orange or amber. Pretty hazy as well.

Appearance: This time around, it's N/A. BA obviously wanted this field filled in above so I did so accordingly.

Aroma: The aroma on this bad boy is very floral and fruity. I get hints of pineapple, mango, and pine. This beer smells AWESOME!

Taste: This beer is just as it is described on its label. It's not super over powering, it just provides you with unrelenting hoppy flavors. This beer is well balanced and just like the can says, very drinkable. After each sip, it leaves you with a slight bit of dryness with lingering hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel on this beer is solid. It's also very smooth and refreshing.

Overall, this beer is out of this world! It's no wonder that this beer has 100 scores on BeerAdvocate. Cheers!

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Photo of Treb0R
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have tasted this by glass and from the can...

Orange, slightly hazy body. Appears to be 8 SRM. Thick foamy head with tons of sticky lacing. Carbonation is on the low side.

Smells dank, fruity, peachy, and citrusy. Lots of orange and pine.

Tastes way more piney and dank than the aroma fortells. It's richer/juicier/hoppier than Pliny the Elder with a tad more residual sweetness (1.012-1.014 FG). Hop heaven in a can.

Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and a perfect medium-body, probably more because of the sheer amount of hops and malt used, and less because of a high FG.

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Photo of AltBock
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. tall silver bullet can with a sweet ass picture. The label is that of a bearded scientist chugging a beer with his hair bursting with hop buds. It's something you need to see for yourself. The back of the can has a lengthy paragraph about the beer and the Government warning. A brewed on or canned on date would have been very helpful. Poured into a Cycle Brewing Snifter.

Out of the can came an Imperial IPA that was pale golden amber in color with a small tint of lemon yellow at the bottom. There's gold in this beer. Not the precious metal. Hop gold!There was a ton of hop particles floating around this beer. The writing on the can warned me of the hop particles, but toward the bottom of the can. This is from the top of the can and there is already a huge amount of hop particles. I didn't get much a head of foam on this beer. I got a small skim of foam that was about 1/4 of an inch in height and paper white in color. Fast retention that left behind a miniature string of rings along the side. If I was lucky, maybe a spot or two around the glass. The head of foam wasn't much to look out, but I loved the hop particles.

As soon as I popped the lid, the strong aroma of pine came pouring out. It was so strong that I almost thought I popped the cap on a bottle of Pine Sol. It's drinking time. Not cleaning time. Not only was the pine strong, but the fruits as well. It had a wide range of citrus and exotic fruits. I smelled grapefruit, mango, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even tangerine. Smelled like a top notch fruit punch. The hops in the aroma were on the grassy side with a whiff citrus hops. No malt backbone in the aroma. The pine and the wide variety of fruits covered it up. I could live without the malts in the aroma. I loved the pine and fruits. Nice!

The taste came out swinging! The strong taste of pine and grapefruit comes washing in like a hurricane on my taste buds. It was all of those hop particles in the appearance that did that. The front of the taste housed all the pine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grassy/citrus hops. Then all the hops and fruits settled down and the beer then finishes up with a nice malty backbone. The malts were kicked out of the aroma, but they made a nice appearance in the taste. No doubt about it. This was a great taste. Not overly hoppy, but hoppy enough to keep hop heads entertained. If they didn't like the hops, they were sure to enjoy the malt backbone. Not much more you can ask for from an Imperial IPA.

It was light to medium bodied with a nice not overly hoppy aftertaste. This hoppy aftertaste doesn't linger. You won't need a gallon of water to get rid of the hoppy taste in the back of your mouth. Despite being an 8% ABV Imperial IPA, this is a highly drinkable beer. It also helps that it comes in a can and it's a year round beer and not a once in a blue moon type of beer that you need to trade your first born for. Would I drink it again? I would if I could find a steady supply of it. I have to thank my good friend Vince for hooking me up with this treat.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 3/31/13

This is my last can from my first Heady haul, so I finally am reviewing this! I poured a small amount into a snifter for appearance and aroma purposes, but it drinks better from the can IMO.

A- Pours a hazy orangish yellow/straw color with a medium sized white head of tight, sticky bubbles.

S- The aroma is wonderful, with loads of thick, dank hops assaulting your nose! There's tons of rich nectar and pine resin present, tropical fruits, tangerine, and fresh cut grass. Some malt backbone can also be detected, which is a bit more bready than caramelly.

T- The first, and most interesting thing noticed about the taste and mouthfeel is how juicy it is. It's almost as if they made "hope juice" rather than beer! The flavor mostly follows the nose, with pine and tangerine dominating, though not in an unbalancing way. I do wish there was a bit more tropical fruit in the flavor, but this is only a minor complaint!

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and again juicy, almost pulpy. The oily hop resins coat the mouth and leave a moderately bitter aftertaste.

- Overall this is an outstanding beer, and one of the best representations of the style! Just be sure to drink it within ~2-3 weeks of canning.

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Photo of grrrah
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can, 1/2 drank from can, 1/2 poured into a tulip. Probably about a month old, so could be fresher.

A - golden/orange with lots of sediment bits floating around. Man I hope things go well tomorrow.

S - Floral/piney dankness that you get from most double IPAs, Some slight tropical fruits and mango from the can. I let the tulip warm up a bit, and more of the fruits come out.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and clean, with a slight dryness. The hoppy bitterness comes out followed by the fruits. Fruity sweetness but not the malty sweetness that turns me off of a lot of double IPAs.

O - Great double IPA, which is my favorite type of beer. First east coast IIPA that meets its hype. I guess I'm more of a fan of the west cost IIPAs. It is different from the bigger pure hop bombs, and I would say have more character. Not sure that its tops, but its probably in my top 3 that would take turns with each other.

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Photo of DrStiffington
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Props to my brother in law for snagging this for me. I've now had Pliny, Heady and Hoslam in one winter. Anyway, this stuff looks hazy, smells dank and piney. Tastes bitter pine and I'm not sure what else. Great stuff. Wish I could get it all the time.

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Photo of beagle826
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Per their request, drank it out of the can. Guess I'll have to rate the appearance of the can. Silvery and tall, not the best logo I've ever seen but not too bad.

Incredible aroma hops hops hops, most aromatic beer I've ever smelt.

First sip and...nice...not too bitter, not too floral, just the right balance of sweet, citrusy hops.

Nice finish, but as I progress into the can, the bitterness begins to build up a bit.

Overall, I loved this beer. Do I think it lived up to the epic hype? Probably not, they never do. It was an incredible IPA, maybe not the best I've ever had though. Does make me wish I lived in VT.

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Photo of MikeB1984
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I took a trip to Vermont with my brother and a friend of mine from Boston for a guys day out. This beer was well worth the 3 hour drive. Normally prefer bottles over cans but this beer was outstanding.

I am not normally a big fan of IPAs but i loved this one. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of 80x2HopHead
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Easily in my top 5 Imperial IPA's out there- wonderful aroma every time I pop the can piney and fruity in nature. Taste matches the smell- piney undertones and strong citrus overtones- I generally pick up on grapefruit, pineapple, orange and tangerine.Just the right amount of malty goodness makes this heady retardedly drinkable. If you can get your hands on this brew do so without a second guess- no chance you will ever regret it!

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: tried from the can initially (mandated on the can) - "cold but not ice cold" - but then gave in - I had to see what I'm drinking (we are visual creatures): cloudy medium gold beer kicked up a couple of fingers of off-white head from a near-center pour into a tulip. Left some lace behind.

S: mostly hoppy (as expected): floral, herbal, citric, resinous; sublte pale malt in the background

T: again, hop-forward: lots of bitter citrus (is that a contradiction in terms?) and resiny pine; a little tart; bitter not sweet - some undercurrents of honey'd malt; some medicinal notes

M: crisp, slight tartness, bittering, light-to-medoim weight, moderate carbonation on the tongue

O: a good DIPA, but the best, #1 ranked beer on the site? I don't agree. I've had too many great DIPAs and IPAs to jump onboard here (*ducks the hurled vegetables and garbage*). I'd say its a good buy, a MUST try, but nothing to lose sleep over if its not available in your area.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 ounce can poured into a snifter. Big thanks to st9647v3 for this opportunity.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a 2-3 finger head, excellent lacing, and some suspended sediment.

S: Citrus, piney, and floral hops abound with a hint of sweet malts.

T: Tons of hops up front with some sweet malts and a slight grassy flavor. Quite bitter.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: What an amazing brew!! Super tasty, easy to drink, and hides the alcohol almost completely. Lives up to the hype for sure.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

OK, here we go. The unofficial holy grail of IPAs. Great appreciation goes out to SatlyMalty for this excellent surprise! Poured into a snifter (screw what the can says). The code on the can is apparently not a freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy amber color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains well before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a light sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing slides down the glass. Once the can is emptied into the glass, little specs of sediment are suspended in the body.

S- The hop aroma has a remarkable balance of citrus and pine but mostly citrus with bursting notes of pineapple, mango and guava. Also has a sweetness from the malts making this pretty perfect, smell-wise.

T- The flavor has much of the same: piney, earthy bitterness with a tropical fruit kick to compliment. Alcohol is well-hidden but still present and there's a graininess to the relatively sturdy malt backbone. The bitterness is stronger than I expected but is also welcome. Good hop burps. The sweetness of the malt is picked up more as the beer warms. Incredibly drinkable, even when warm.

M- A bit dry and prickly from the hops. Medium carbonation and a solid body.

O- Not as amazing as Zombie Dust IMO, but still easily one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever had. I really must say that it's a travesty to encourage the buyer to drink this from the can since the aroma is so sublime. Oh well, he has his reasons.

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

Drink it from the can...yup, follow the directions printed on the top of the can. The hops are incredible, spicy and super floral. There is plenty of malt to back up the massive amount of hops and it keeps the beer in balance. No question, this certainly ranks up there on the list of greatest beers ever enjoyed. If you are ever in the area of Northern VT and have a chance to pick some up, don't think, just buy it!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out into a glass

*First and foremost, Raul has to grade this review with an asterisk because Raul was sicker than a hound dog after eating a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich for 10 days or so, so the Heady's sat in the fridge for awhile. So without further ado...

Good, but not great. Raul was simply reminded of a Racer 5 - and Raul likes him some Racer 5 - but he don't get Cialis excited over it like he was for Heady.

Smooth, but it had a slightly astringent aftertaste. Raul does not approve.

Raul is pumped on life, but not too much on Heady.

Peace!

*Overall, Raul graded this a 3.79. But then he tried it out of the can which changed things and made it necessary for a re-review.

Quite simply: boom went the dynamite! All of a sudden, more flavor came out; the beer was tastier, smoother, and overall, insanely drinkable.

Mass props to the Maple State.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Date: 02/13/2013
Type: 16oz. Can
Glass: Southampton Large Tulip (I know this is against the rules, per the can!)
Canned: 01/15/2013 *Pretty fresh, but not uber fresh.

I cannot believe it took me this long to get around to sampling the mighty Heady Topper! Ranked #1 in the world on BA, only one way to find out the truth. Thanks to BA ajfa531 (Joe) for providing me this 16oz. can to sample.

Poured this brew from the can into a Southampton large tulip glass, breaking the rules written on the can, in order to give a more accurate review of appearance and nose. Future samples will be consumed straight from the can in accordance w/ the rules.

Poured a burnt orange to light brown mahogany in color w/ a skim coat white head that produced light lacing. I did not realize this brew had huge amounts of remaining yeast in the can that soon entered the glass due to me pouring it too quickly. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, and citrus fruits (mandarin orange, cantelope, and nectarine). The flavor started off w/ big, sweet citrus flavors of mandarin orange/grapefruit in your face, transitioning to a blast of piney bitterness, finishing with floral notes. Medium bodied and lush w/ moderate carbonation that suits the beer well. Drinkability? I was done with the 16oz. can & starting the 2nd before I even finished writing out the review. Insane!

Overall, this beer is the truth! What can I say? This is dank, hoppy, awesomeness in a can! I now understand why this is currently ranked #1 in the world in all style categories. Take Pliny The Elder as good as it is and kick it up a notch & you have Heady Topper. The only reason it is not possible for this beer to attain a perfect score is due to the fact that it is by far the ugliest DIPA one will ever encounter. However, the ugliness grows on you and it works. Not only does the brew taste like all of the flavors that could possibly be extracted from a hop flower, but it is brewed so well that there is not very much bitterness at all. Crazy stuff!

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Photo of Cvescalante
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- this beer is quite ugly, but like an ugly puppy and you still love it

S- fruity fruity hops. it smells fantastic!

T- heaven on the tongue. citrus and tropical fruit

M- light-medium bodied, perfect carbonation

O- best ipa I've ever had... period

..apparently my review wasn't long enough, so I have to continue writing lol

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

a: orange/light amber with a creamy off-white head. from what i'd read i was scared of huge fugly floaties. instead i only see some fine particulates in this hazy beer. i can't ding it for being unfiltered.
s: wow, this pops with juicy hops. like being in an orange grove at harvest time. maybe some mango or other tropical fruit along with some fresh green notes ala citrus leaves. despite what the brewer says the aroma cums thru way more via proper glassware than from the can. i forgive him for this.
t: follows through. juicy, juicy, fresh fruity hops. not the overripe kind either-like peeling a great orange. honey sweet malts provide just enough to support these beautiful hops. finishes somewhat clean and definitely more-ish.
m: just over medium-bodied but very crushable. i want to pound this but restrain myself to small sips. carbonation is perfect. so, so smooth for a dipa. hardly any astringency and no sharp bitterness.
o: lives up to the hype. will continue to trade anything for this. em me w/trade offers anytime.
update: this fades fast for being in a can-the little floaties get bigger and darker. the fresh hops quickly turn to the overripe fruit/banana thing. still good but a different animal after a few weeks.

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Photo of jacksback
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a proper glass. Since any half knowledgeable beer geek sees right past the whole "drink it from the can to trap all those hop aromas" BS. Yeah, I'd like to smell- and hence taste- my beets.

And... This beer looks bad. Everyone knows this. Turgid, beyond cloudy dull light orange color. Visually, looks like a bad homebrew hefeweizen.

But... Also as anyone who has had Heady knows... That's really the only thing wrong with this brew. Passing the appearance, one gets to the nose. The big, loud, glorious hoppy nose. Loads of sharp, bright citrus notes all over the place. A nice earthy resinous character to the aroma as well. All hops and loads of them on the nose.

As soon as you're done taking in the nose- which can be a while- you move on to the flavor. The payday. The real deal. And what a deal. The promise of the aroma is entirely and completely delivered on. Hops, hops, and more hops. Hefty, rather aggressive bitterness that starts right up front and lasts to the finish. Loads of citrus on the flavor... with a good bit of pine resin and dirty sharp earthy action. Nothing significant in terms of malt sweetness to distract from the brilliant hop profile.

mouthfeel... Yeah, it's fine. Clean enough, big bitterness that sticks on the finish. Moderate carbonation. Enough weight to make this beer noticeable without being overbearing.

Overall... Superb. What a DIPA should be... But with a more interesting and unique hop character than most. Shit, give it a quick filter to clean up the appearance, and you've easily got one of the absolute best DIPAs brewed now.

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

A: The beer pours a hazy golden body with a thin white head that quickly fades. It also las some random floaties.

S: Tons of spice and citrus hops with a nice bit of sweet malt.

T: The flavor of this beer is pretty amazing. At first it hits with a sweet fruity hop, but then quickly turns into a bittery spicy flavor. It has to be the most complex tasting DIPA I have ever had in my life.

M: There is a decent amount of crispness on the tip of the tongue and the back of the throat. It goes down rather easy and leaves a dry feeling in my mouth.

O: This is a pretty awesome beer and I am so happy to finally get to try this. I would for sure say that this is one of best DIPAs in the world.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 1.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance- orange-ish in color, large amount of floaties in the glass. Not the prettiest beer in the world.
Smell- Pure citrus hops, mainly get simcoe on the nose
Taste- More citrus, grapefruit up front with a lemon lime aftertaste
Mouthfeel- Kinda numbs the tongue a little with the hop blast, alcohol is pretty much completely hidden.
Overall- Great beer! One of the uglier examples of the style, but appearance is probably the least important attribute of a beer. Still, anyone giving 4-5s across the board are wrong.

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

There are several things that make me proud to be from Vermont. This is one of them. This is a hoppy beer, but not one that makes you choke. John Kimmich, the brewer, has somehow taken an extremely hoppy beer and made it so palatable that even people who don't typically like IPA's can enjoy it. I miss the Alchemist of old (Wild Child, Holy Cow, Ouroboros, etc) and hope that Kimmich decides to can those in the future. You can't go wrong with the Alchemist.

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

Appearance:
The beer pours a dark and cloudy orange with white head. The beer leaves some nice white lacing.

Smell:
Orange and grapefruit hop notes strongly dominate the nose with bits of caramel malt coming up.

Taste:
Strong hop taste upfront and leaves a bitter aftertaste. There are also slight hints of malt to balance out the hops and keeps it from being too overwhelming.

Mouthfeel:
Medium bodied with biting carbonation. Also the feel is a little bit syrupy.

Overall:
A very good Double IPA. My only regret is not drinking this fresher.

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Photo of adamjfrantz
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perfect in lots of ways. The explosion of hoppy goodness is over the top. I've only had it fresh and oh boy is it good. Thought about letting some age but then I read on the can drink it young so here's to all of you cheers!

Also I might add drink it from the can. the glass or plastic cup( as we were forced to drink from around the hottub at the resort in VT) is a huge mistake the flavors are lost imeadiatly and it was depressing! Drink it up, if you can get it!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,201 ratings.