Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,949 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,949
Hads: 10,953
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,140
Gots: 3,468 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,949 | Hads: 10,953
Photo of ChadlyG
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can poured into oversized CBS snifter.

Big thanks to greenmonstah for the trade!

A: Pours a hazy golden orange color with a fair amount of suspended particulates. Quarter finger brilliant white head with small tight bubbles clinging to the side of the glass.

S: Talk about an absolute hop bomb. As soon as I cracked the can the pungent aroma of hops came pouring out. Strong earthy, piney resin aroma with plenty of citrus fruits coming through. Slight sweet malty notes in there as well. Absolutely one of the best smelling beers to come across my olfactory system.

T: Very strong hop presence on the front of the tongue. Extremely aggressive bitterness. Piney/earthy hops. Middle of the tongue turns into a sweet breadiness and followed by another wave of pungent hops. Wow.

M: Medium bodied, not thick but an almost oily feel. Absolutely no alcohol presence. The can is right; scary drinkable. Good amount of carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Absolutely deserving of being deemed ‘world class.’ One of, if not, the best DIPA I’ve had to date. (1,060 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag, and dsgolovin for this brew.

Poured into my Roosters true pint glass a very nice cloudy golden orange color, lots of floaties also, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger thick creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The second I popped this open I could smell hops, the nose is hoppy, with a nice little malt blend, a very nice citrus note, and some nice pineyness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some nice citrus notes, and pines. Medium body, with a nice slightly bitter/dry finish, pretty chewy also. Just had a side by side comparsion with a fresh bottle of Pliny the Elder and this brew (fresh also), looks and taste are a HUGE difference, no comparision at all, the PtE wins hands down. I cannot go with the hype on this brew at all, nice but no where near the hype, sorry. This is a nice DIPA in a can, and I have another can also, LOL Thanks Ben and David. (951 characters)

Photo of jaasen64
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from 16oz can from a 4-pack as instructed to get maximum hop flavor.

A- Reviewed from Can. Second can: poured into a glass- very hazy brownish yellow, average carbonation, 2 fingers of white head that dissipates fairly fast, layered lacing left around glass while drinking.

S- HOPS!!! Immediately hit with very piney hops and a sweet grapefruit smell. Very aromatic, could smell immediately right when I cracked open the can. Definitely one of the best and most intense aromas from an IPA I've encountered.

T- Very sweet piney hops, a little bit tangy/citrusy, one of the best tasting experiences I've ever encountered in a beer. Leaves a great sweet aftertaste that delights the palate.

M- Very very drinkable, medium bodied, not much carbonation, can barely detect any alcohol. Extremely well balanced.

O- Absolutely Awesome! This is probably the most well balanced, best DIPA that I have ever drank. This is one of the most hoppy beers I've encountered but it has a perfect balance between the hops, sweetness, citrus flavors, etc.. Would most certainly buy again. Great beer highly recommended if you are ever in Vermont. This is a perfect example of everything you want in a DIPA. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. A must have. (1,243 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Many, many thanks to BAs hoppymcgee and jedwards for sending Heady Topper cans within mere days of each other; as this is one from a 4-pack sent by hoppymcgee, I'm reviewing it.

16 oz. can, poured to an imperial pint glass.

A: What??? A lovely caramel/butterscotch pour with a SERIOUS problem of floaties. I'm talking suspended chunky bits from top to bottom... Decent lace, sticking in places. At first glance from afar, it looks pleasing enough, a nearly two-finger white crown of dense fluff atop. From askance, I'm giving at least a '4'; on closer inspection, it's a '2' for all the debris. '3' would be a compromise, but I can't go there... maybe the 'Drink from the Can!' admonishment on the label is less recommendation, more requirement! Yuck!

S: A nano-second past the crack of the can, I smelled the hop-sweetened goodness: if that doesn't warrant a '5', I don't know what does. The scent is magical, all the best of an IPA - sticky toffee and orange-laden hops, biscuity grains and full-on pine. It's a juicy and drippy noseful of sweetness and spice. I'm sold.

T: Freshly cut green hops and amply-grainy baked bread, perfect spiciness and equally perfect squeezes of lemon zest and grapefruit with a finish of cracked pepper. This beer takes one on a journey through all the flavors an IPA can hold and expands upon them. I went into this beer thinking 'meh, I know IPAs and this'll be a good one' to thinking 'wow, this captures magic in a bottle... er, can!'. Pretty amazing stuff.

M: For an 8% (D)IPA, drinkability is scary (yeah, it does say that almost verbatim on the label, but I concur!). Medium-heavy feel, but smooth body and looong-lasting finish.

O: Very good. Very, very good. Forget the weird, goopy/brackish appearance and it's among the best I've tried, overall. OK, it IS among the best I've tried, regardless. Worthy of the 'hype', extremely tasty and sensual in all aspects. Gotta have one... but then you'll just want more. (1,961 characters)

Photo of Seakyden
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Un. Real.

Waited patiently for this to hit Boston and got the first can at a bar in JP tonight.

Believe the hype. Tasted like Pliny, but with more bite. This beer was fresh as can be. Smell was so powerful, taste was robust. It's a slow sipper to be sure. I savored every sip.

Looking forward to seeing this around Boston more. (332 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok I will admit it - I did not believe the hype. So many times beers that are hyped up so much let me down, but this absolutely delivered.

Drank from the can at The Independent in Somerville.

Can't comment to much on the appearance since i drank it from the can, but I did pour a bit into a glass for a look. Nice hazy goldb orange.

Smell is unreal. I think I am going to dump a can of this over myself next time I go on a date. Smells like the hops were literally plucked in front of me and placed into my beer.

Taste is ridiculous. I had to slow myself down. It is truly that good. Fresh hops, perfect bitter and sweet mix - truly remarkable. Even when I burp it tastes good. Wow.

Mouthfeel complements the beer perfectly.

Overall this is amazing. Hands down the greatest beer I have ever consumed. I cannot recommend this enough. Find it fresh, and drink it. Now!!!! (878 characters)

Photo of Number45forever
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed my first two Heady Topper's today. Purchased from Woodstock Hops N Barley in Woodstock, VT.

The first I drank from the can. The instant you crack it open you get an explosion of grapefruit, slight pine, and pure IPA magicallness. It's without a doubt the best smelling beer I've ever had. It smells exactly how I want IPAs to smell. Whatever has been missing or off in any other IPA's smell is here. You have to experience this to believe it.

Taste was amazing. I got waves of hops, a bit of sweet balance (which I like) and then more waves of hops. There's so much going on here. For an dIPA, the ABV is REALLY hidden.

Mouthfeel was the most surprising thing to me. This particular 4-pack has very light carbonation. I wonder if it may be on the older side of fresh? I can't believe the can doesn't have a born on date...

It feels almost TOO smooth. It's in my top-5 beers ever, no doubt. But smelling it, I expected a sharper hop forward flavor and more carbonation to open everything up.

I poured my second can into a pint glass and saw that it had only a small head that vanished quite quickly. This is in contrast to what others have said, so I'm guessing this 4-pack is not a REALLY fresh example of the beer...

That said, this tastes INCREDIBLE. As soon as I can, I will drive to Waterbury, VT to pick some up from the Alchemist Cannery...I want to try this beer as fresh as possible.

Heady Topper is far and away the best IPA I've ever had. And I'm not even sure I'm having it fresh. If you ever have the chance to try this - do it.

BTW, the store I purchased this from is no more than 150 yards from my work, so I pretty much have an endless supply of Heady Topper available to me going forward. This does not suck.

Cheers!

(This is my first review. As a Vermont guy, this has to be where I start!) (1,825 characters)

Photo of adrock7309
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a couple cans of fresh HT from BaconSausage as extras in a recent Trade.

Poured both into a Surly pint glass and a bells tulip on two different occasions with varying results.

In the first sampling - one was extremely cloudy and much darker red than i was expecting based on other reviews. The second can was much more orange and clear. Both were adorned by nice white caps

The appearance was the main difference between the two as they both had huge hop blasting noses with heavy citrus/mango pine wafts coming at you.

Flavors i picked up were much different than the nose. I picked up a bit of stale malt hidden behind large grassy citrus hop characteristics.

Overall a great beer and one i wish i had access to. (728 characters)

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

This was canned freshly last week and was sent to me through the mail. Something everyone on this website must try, my pallate was in heaven during the consumption of this hoppy yet amazing beverage

A: Had a hazy orangish yellow color. I personally loved it, I homebrew and I love hazy type beers because it usually is due to particles in the beer which causes higher amounts of flavor

Aroma: smelled like heaven, if you've ever brewed with fresh hops, this beer has the amazing smell of fresh hops through the nose, just an amazin beer to smell before consuming. citrusy yet heaven!

Mouthfeel: it had a very typical and awesome DIPA mouthfeel. It wasn't to light but not too heavy, just perfect for an awesome

Taste: the beginning taste is a beautiful hoppiness(citrusy) like armarillo hops taste. As it moves past your palate, it goes from hoppy to a very balanced flavor that goes down very smooth, dangerously smooth.

Overall: I've had ple and sculpin, zombie dust, just many many IPA's, and this is by far the best DIPA I've ever encountered. If you haven't tried this beer, it's a must have at $4 a can.

Cheers!! (1,127 characters)

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

16oz can with "1 12 23A 2 BB" stamped along the bottom of the can. Not sure what this means, but I'm assuming the 1 if for January and the 12 for 2012?

Pours an extremely hazy orange-yellow color and is topped by two finger worth of white colored foam. It's been several minutes and the head has settled to a thin layer, but there's lacing all over my glass.

Smell is definitely an indication that this is an upper tier DIPA. Orange and grapefruit are the dominant citrus fruits that I am getting. Maybe a bit of pineapple as well. Very nice!

Taste: Citrus fruits and sticky hops flood the taste buds immediately. It's bitter, yet there's enough sweetness to balance it out. Not overly malty mind you, it's more like the sweetness you'd get from an actual orange. The fruit and hop flavors both linger on well after you swallow inviting you to take another sip.

Medium bodied with a sticky-hop-juice mouthfeel. Carbonation in middle of the road.

A world class Ipa, no doubt about it.

Morey's Bottom Line: Well, this is my first HT, and I can honestly say that I wasn't let down at all. I've had Hopslam and Double Trouble within the last week, and this is a notch above both IMO. Seek this out! (1,200 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Rogue shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to apollokim for this can!

The big guns keep on showing up for this Super Bowl party! This one pours a rusty tawn topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit zest, yellow grapefruit peel, orange zest, strong pine resin, light leek, and buttery toffee (think Crunch 'n' Munch). The taste brings in more of the same, though the pine, leek, and citrus peels come through stronger, taking things in an ever-so-slightly bitterer direction. Things are still very well-balanced, though. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a damn fine, nicely-balanced DIPA. Good times. (Note: We tried this both in the glass and straight out of the can. There was no consensus, as about half preferred the can and half preferred the glass. I was in the latter, though it wasn't a strong preference by any means.) (936 characters)

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Mrebeka for grouping this with a trade… I owe you one!

A – A lot darker than I thought it would be. Very hazy with a lot of funky floaters. The off-white head quickly dissolved, but a small ring of bubbles remained. A huge sticky lacing on the edge of the glass is left behind after each sip. Fugly brew.

S – Some sweet caramel, pineapple, and pine oh my! Some tropical fruit is sticking with me for a while.

T – Great forbidden fruits… Hop resin/bitterness hits big in the finish; once again… I know I’m drinking a DIPA.

M – Super easy to drink, medium bodied with a slight alcohol burn. Nice amount of carbonation.

O - My first craft can. Delicious… I am going to have to seek more of these out. I wish I would have done a side-by-side with Pliny, but for right now, I’m leaning towards Heady. A great IPA. (848 characters)

Photo of Hophead717
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A pint can, poured into my DFH Signature Glass. I'll enjoy this beer in a glass-just like every beer is meant to be drank.

A: I understand now why they say to drink from the can--this beer is ugly! A hazy, putrid, light orangy color, with a thin head that disipates instantly. Hop resin clearly visible in the bottom of the glass, despite a careful pour.

S: Out of this world: juicy pinapple, light orange, and fresh lightly piney hops. Amazing.

T: Hop bitterness upfront, with the same pinnapple-orange interplay mid-sip. Strong bitterness in the finish--just what I want from a DIPA!

M: Supremely drinkable. Medium-thin body, with moderate carbonation.

O: One of the best beers I've ever had. Probably my favorite IPA. I want more! (738 characters)

Photo of malty
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gifted to me from eyebrews, one outstanding beer lover and guy.

Poured out of the can, even though it says "drink from the can" on the top of the label. Pours a hazy antique gold with a tinge of rust. The bone white head quickly diminished into my pristinely clean stemmed chalice to a mere 1/16". Barely enough to completely blanket the surface. No visible uprising carbonation. Looks very rich and theres lots of fine suspended particles just begging to be quaffed. Fine unbroken rings of delicate lace all the way down. But first...

Probably the most erotically citrus infused hoppy splendor I've ever whiffed. Intoxicating layers of sweet, luscious dripping hopsation to ever grace my nostrils. Damn, I wish I didn't fill my glass so full as I'de like to bury my schnoz in it. (okay, I'll admit it, I just took a big gulp to make for headroom to further my smell test). A few swirls evoke a familiar tamarind-like scent I also detected in Pliny the Elder when I first tried it (fresh) a few years ago. And I like it as much right now as I did then. Mounds, heaps and booming crests of hop goodness for sure.

The taste is just as expressive as the smell. Tropical fruit epic hop collision. Bitter, sweet, lightly sugary, peach skin basking of the gods. You can't take away my Heady-Topper! Get away! Get away! Is there enough to bathe in it? Surely there must be. *WAIT* *WAIT* Sorry about that, I was transported into some crazy dream for a spell. I hope that made sense.

Mouthfeel is silky with the softest ultra fine carbonation I've felt in a Dbl. IPA. It sits so still, but it moves like a school of barracuda, swift and undetected. Magically drinkable. Slightly chalky and tenderly bitter finish.

Overall I am so very grateful for this unexpected can of Dbl. IPA royalty. I ws waiting for the 7th anniv. of New Beer Sunday to try it, and I'm glad it lived up to the hype. I feel like this ale gives me spinach-to-Popeye strength. I think I'm slipping back into a dream. I'll stop here before I do. (2,011 characters)

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

WOW... if this review would accept just a WOW and not making me use 250 characters! WOW is all you need to know!

As soon as you crack the can, you would think you died and went to Hop-Heaven! The nose of this is outstanding, with very high potent citrus and all around American hops! Since the can specifically tells you to drink from the can, that's what i did, So cant really give you an actual perspective of the DIPA! But the taste is out of this world! When drinking this you will encounter a hop bliss! Very very hoppy taste, loads of citrus and pine notes! When i scored this beer i wished i could of scored it higher!

My overall experience with Heady Topper, HOP HEAVEN!
To people thinking of trying this beer, don't think, JUST GET SOME! (751 characters)

Photo of ASUGeog
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

heady thanks to heelsn02 for the can. unexpected after he gave me a blind tasting of this, Pliny, and hopslam.

a. well, I drank the first third from the can, as directed, and the appearance there is not shocking-quite metallic, with wook overtones. quite shiny. (okay, rest of review will be conducted as I pour this heaven into a glass).

a2. thick, chunky, translucent, with something floating around- just like I like my women.

s. I smell dank hops, to the max. seriously. this stuff has aroma down. pretty sure someone should get a Nobel prize for the smell I'm hearing here. what?!?!

t. the first sip is an explosion. and by that, I mean straight hops. to the face. I'm shocked like a monkey. this holds up with Pliny.

m. as expected, it's got the perfect thickness, as in, I could drink this by the case. the look of it makes you think t could feel thicker, but it's perfect.

o. it's great, and worth finding fresh. easily one of the finest beers I've ever had. would be great if the alchemist decided to retire inside the beltline and start a Raleigh brewery. not hating, but the Raleigh area breweries have yet to attack this style, and I wish they would. (1,169 characters)

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

A day when a box of gems and treats arrived from some friends. A Variety of Russian River Brews, KBS, Parabola, BA Old Raspy.

A: Great clarity, golden yellow. We poured it even though the can says not to. Would have been quite the give away if we hadn't. Light head no lacing.

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth, big and satisfying.

O: Great Beer, I would drink it regularly if I didn't have to trade for each and every one of them. (475 characters)

Photo of 4thmedbn
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can given to me by andrewinski1. Much gratitude. Poured into a large snifter, consumed at cellar temp.

A - A really vibrant straw to grapefruit rind sort of color. Really surprised by the appearance on this, as it is cloudy, but even with the haze, still very striking and brilliant in the glass. Beautiful stuff.

S - A nice resiny grapefruit aroma, to match the grapefruit rind appearance. The grapefruit is dominant, but it is more of an almost candied grapefruit, as it is sweeter than normal.

T - Not as malt heavy as a dIPA might be. Extremely clean, with a slight touch of booze, but mostly just super solid clean hop flavor. A slight astringency, as well. Lots of juicy citrus, and a nice pine backup. I feel like this does a better job showcasing the extra hopping than other dIPAs that I've tried. Doesn't tend to the syrupy side, nor does it stray into the abyss of biterness without beautiful hop flavor. A nice bit of spiciness in there as well.

M - Again, not so syrupy as you sometimes find with Double IPAs. It's a much more approachable, drinkable beer. It's got a fairly effervescent feel to it, which I feel helps on the citric/spice bite of the hop. But it's certainly not harsh. Almost seems to follow the Belgian idea of the digestibility of a beer. Really quite nice.

O - A beautiful IPA that in some ways makes me question if this truly a dIPA, or if it's just a really tasty IPA with a little extra kick. Super accessible for those out there who think they don't dig IPA, but also hoppy enough to keep the hopheads happy. A really refreshing dIPA, which isn't a way I'd characterize many of the others I've had. Full of bright, exciting flavor. Find some, put it in the glass (or keep it in the can, if you like), and eat it. (1,754 characters)

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

I poured this and drank this out of the can, just prefer the glass anyways..

A: 1.5 finger khaki head. Hazey as hell! I don't understand the people saying this beer has clarity. It's one of the haziest IPA's I've ever seen! Awesome awesome looking stuff!

S: Wow, super pungent in your face hop aroma. Astringent, pine, citrus, slight sweetness is there. Awesome smelling DIPA.

T: Right up there w/ the nose, super hoppy and unbalanced, not much malt at all. Hop juice right here! Absolutely awesome, one of the better DIPA's I've had. Bitterness lingers.

MF: Almost perfect, reminds me of Ruination. Perfectly balanced and highly drinkable! (645 characters)

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 16oz can... Thanks to Brett for giving me this can

A- the can looks beautiful, and clearly states to drink it from the can, which is what i did, the one other time I tries this we split a can between 4 people, I remember it looked nice, but it was too long ago to be specific, and for the review I felt it best to follow the brewers instruction.

S- Smells awesome, grass, resiny pine, a bit of citrus, a very pleasant aroma.

T- piney and resinous just like the nose, a bit of grass and citrus tastes very fresh!!! Very nice balance of flavors working here, delicious hops throughout.

M- medium bodies with medium carbonation, extreemly drinkable, with a slightly bitter finish, kinda chewy on the end too, which i like.
the only part of this that imam not a fan of is the lingering bitter aftertaste, seems to coat the mouth with bitter resins.

O- an excellent dipa, very nice, great aroma and flavor , everything is spot on, the only thing negative I have to say is or the aftertaste, I feel as though this beer is excellently well rounded until that point, and not that it is overly offensive, but it sticks out to me, and seems a bit out of place, I wish there were more of a crisp clean finish.

P.s. in retrospect, I am much more impressed with this straight from the can then I was the first time when I had my portion in a glass. (1,354 characters)

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

1 of 6 beers we tried in a blind taste test made possible by some awesome trades.
Pliny, Hop stoopid, heady, sucks, abrasive and hop slam

A: Great clarity, golden yellow. We poured it even though the can says not to. Would have been quite the give away if we hadn't. Light head no lacing.

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth and satisfying. Kind of syrupy though.

O: Great Beer, I would drink it regularly if I didn't have to trade for each and every one of them. (503 characters)

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

poured from can into Ithaca Beer pub pint glass (I don't know what the real name is...) as I prefer to see the beer I am drinking even though they say to drink it out of the can

while some folks found the floaties off-putting, I find them a sign of authenticity and appreciate their presence

I was tempted to just put 5's across the board, but I feel there is always room for improvement - the overall score if 5 is indicative of how good this beer is to me

A - hazy straw orange with a lot of little chunks swirling about, buoyed by lazy CO2 rising in the glass; nice creamy dense white head that lasts and lasts leaving generous lacing

S - dank; citrus and pine and candied citrus with moments of earth and flowers followed close by more of the same - there is definitely malt in there somewhere, but not on the nose

T - so very well crafted - balancing hops and malt in a beer of this size is no easy feat; layers of hops are clearly the point here and success is achieved, but there is precisely enough malt sweetness to keep it in line; excellent length and persistence of flavor; the finish is a reprise of the nose only on the tongue and soft palate - waves of delicious hops

M - creamy and rich and light and firm and...just perfect; CO2 is also spot on

O - this is probably one of the best beers I have ever had; I only wish I wasn't on the third of my four-pack; bravo! (1,386 characters)

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

This is the most amazing beer I've ever had. The chunks in the beer are a tiny bit off-putting, but they're the result of the extreme amount of hop resins in the beer. I'll take the resins anytime if that's the trade-off.

Two hop-head friends of mine and I tried a month-old Pliny the Elder and a week-old Heady Topper side-by-side. Every one of us (after coming down from hop heaven) had to admit that the Heady was the better beer. It's better balanced (no Munich malt to detract from the hops, unlike Pliny) and has a more comprehensive hop presence. Of course, this is like picking between Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz (Salma=Heady Topper): either one is reason for a whole lot of gratitude. (697 characters)

Photo of Ninjabrew
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer that can hold its own with Pliny!

A. You should be drinking this from the can as it says. But if you happen to pour it, you will see a great looking beer you can almost see from the color how balanced it is. That said it really does taste better from the can. Weird huh? The best and the worst beers are best consumed from a can.

S. Damn fine! Smells like grass or weed. Not as much citrusy as I would have thought from such a high rated DIPA this may be the only thing Pliny has on this beer.

T. Balanced. There's sweet there and a ton of bitter too but they are balanced perfectly. Hops are abundant but not bitter nor overly sweet or spicy. Don't know how that's done but glad they do.

Mouthfeel is pretty light and drinkabilty is great for a 8 percenter. Would like another one but that wouldn't be a good idea. (829 characters)

Photo of Nachojon
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank one from can, one from glass, liked it from the glass better so I will review from glass.

A- Great light copper color. One finger white foamy head dissipates into thin layer. Not much lacing. Nice haze, floaties, which I don't mind.

S- Nose crusher with those big dank hops. Piney aroma, the fruit is in the background here, love that big dry hop taste that explodes when you crack the can.

T- Mouth crusher. Leads you in with nice grapefruit, like real grapefruit juice, dry, bitter but juicy. This leads into big pine resiny flavors. Yum love the dankness chewwwy.

M- Nice and crisp. Just love that mouth burn dry mouth just took a hit feel. Perfect carbonation for the flavor.

O- One of my favorite beers ever. Beers like this are why I love IIPAs. Delicious. Great. (781 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.