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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,081 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,081
Hads: 11,597
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 7.08%
Wants: 8,449
Gots: 4,020 | FT: 58
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: 2,081 | Hads: 11,597
Photo of bvdubn
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been meaning to review Heady Topper for a few weeks now but this seems like as good of a time as any. Thanks to my brother (Mitchell) for going way out of the way to pick up a case while in Vermont. While I will agree with many that Heady will not be winning any awards for appearance, it certainly deserves ever bit of its rating on BA. Heady Topper is definitely one of the best IIPA’s I have ever drank in my life. The hops come in waves and while it never overpowers you it continuously lets you know you are drinking an IIPA. It is scary because it is so drinkable that I could throw back a few of these without hesitation but at 8% is will definitely let you know you have been drinking. It starts off with wave after wave of piney citrus hops in the nose. The hops are present but very drinkable with the same piney citrus mouth feel. This beer is unbelievable as sip after sip coats your mouth with a wave of hops. This beer is definitely better cold as it looses some of the wonderful characteristics as it warms. Follow the instructions on the can and drink it fresh, cold, and from the can and you will not be disappointed!

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Photo of match1112
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big ups to OsNJCB for sending this as an extra!

a: cloudy orangeish yellow, some floaters and a thin off white head that disappears.

s: big tropical citrusy bubblegum aromas. lots of orange, lemon, mango and a touch of earthy grassy piney goodness.

t: sweet tropics and citrus. touch of pine to keep it in check. and loads of hops!

m: medium body. oily feel. a mouth watering dry finish, if that makes any sense.

o: awesome! my only gripe, i wish it was filtered and had more carbonation, for appearance sake. i know, i know, if i would drink from the can it wouldnt matter.

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Photo of zunit6503
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Heard great things about this beer, so when i finally made my way to the brewery i bought an entire case to bring back home because they don't distribute in my area. anyhoo, it was one of the greatest beers I have ever had. What really got me was the aroma, i was practically drinking with my nose. I also love how it comes in a four pack of 16 ounce cans, not a 22 ounce bottle like most of those world class beers. I am definitely making another trip up for some more. The only thing I thought can be a bad thing or good thing i guess is you will have that delicious taste in your mouth for a while. So if you are having any other beer, it may taste like Heady Topper!

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz can into a tall snifter

A: Pours a hazy golden color with two and a half fingers of white head. Retention is not bad.

S: An equal mixture of juicy tropical fruits and pine. All hops, though. Extremely clean aroma, clean and simple. Maybe a light pineapple sweetness.

T: The taste starts out with moderate bitterness accompanied by light, clean pineapple juiciness. The hop flavor then kicks in with mostly pine - very pleasant. The balance here is wonderful between bitterness and light sweetness and a great, strong hop flavor. No hint of ABV.

M: A tad on the thick side with great carbonation.

O: There is great balance in this beer. It's certainly quite hoppy, but it's not overly bitter, not overly sweet, and not overly watery. The hop flavor and aroma is in your face, too. I suggest leaving a couple ounces in the can, though - otherwise there is lots of yeast.

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Photo of zac16125
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1pt can poured into a snifter (sorry, I could not drink this straight out of the can, no matter how much persuasion is written on it.  I have one more and maybe I will.  It just seems wrong though)
No born on date 

Big thanks to nutter for sending this one over in a trade

A: Pours out a yellowish amber, think apple cider colored, with 1.5 fingers width of sea foam white head, with decent retention but after a min or two dissipates down to a thin film. There is just an absurd amount of sedimentation suspended in the glass.  Some may find it gross, but I actually don't mind it.  That how I know it's made from the good stuff!  Leaves a fair amount of lacing, but could be more, especially compared to some others in the style.  

S: Very aromatic.  Holy hell the citrus notes are out of this world! Peach, orange, lemon, grapefruit, apricot, mango.  There are also some accompanying piney hops, and some floral notes.  I get almost no malt presence (and I like it!), just a faint subtle sweetness.  Malts be damned.  I may have found a beer that smells better than Hopslam (maybe).

T: The citrus hop bouquet is not quite there in the taste.  Don't get me wrong, this is still a hop bomb, but the citrus profile is not to the degree that the nose implies.  The biggest hop presence in the taste is a biting piney hop bitterness.  On the citrus side I do get orange, lemon zest, grapefruit, and peach.  Unlike the nose, there is a malt presence, which acts to balance things out nicely.  Some sweetness comes out as it warms.  Really good, but not quite as good as the nose.

M/D: So very smooth, which to me is one of the big things that separates the great DIPAs from the just good ones.  It has a very subtle carbonation, which I appreciate and prefer.  There is an impressive drying quality that acts to wipe the palate clean quickly after each sip. Does a great job of masking the ABV.  Drinkability is very high as well, this pint went down way too easily and fast. Just about perfect for the style in this area.

O: Overall, one of the best example I have tried of one of my favorite styles.  I still think fresh Hopslam is the epitome of the DIPA style, and this one doesn't knock the king off it's thrown, but I think it's fair to say its my #2.  Blows Pliny the Elder out of the water if you ask me, and that's saying something.  Definitely a beer all hop heads need to try. For the next one, I think I will drink it out of the can.  And I can't wait.  

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY! Thanks Dave! Pours a hazy/cloudy golden-orange color with a small-medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is just what anyone would want in a DIPA...such lovely hop aroma! Tropical hops with intense, bitter pine notes. Smells so fresh and hoppy...pineapple, grapefruit, melon, pine sap, guava, orange, lemon...SO INVITING. Taste is lacking in the malt profile...which is GREAT! Being from the west coast, this is just what I like. A little bit of malt, but not enough to make this delicious brew lose any points. Lovely citrus and tropical fruit flavors with just the right amount of bitterness. No lingering bitterness with this beer...crisp and clean. The palate is miraculously wiped clean after a few seconds of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of flavor, and crisp finish. Drinkability is Very High. ABV not even noticeable. Overall, this was a great experience. I am very impressed considering this drinks like a west coast style DIPA...love the lack of malt. I wish I had regular access to this so I could drink it like the can recommends... straight from the can. Brilliant beer!

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Photo of DevilsCups
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What needs to be said about this beer that hasn't already? Popped out of a can into my tulip.

A - Ugly! It's the girl in high school that had the most desirable personality but wore an eye patch and was overweight. You just need to love it. Super cloudy with all sorts of shit hanging out in the body. Who cares? I can already smell it.

S - Wowzas. HUGH hop notes. Smells like pineapple, citrus, hop-oils and a bag of weed. It's completely unique. There's malt in this?

T - Fucking amazing. The best way I can describe it is like a sort of dank citrus fruit. Pineapple, mango, grapefruit and something that would taste like the resin leftover if you were to smoke hops in a bong. If you've had Heady, you know what I'm talking about. No malt, that simple.

M - This is where this beer stands out. There is basically no bitterness to this beer, it's all sweet, sweet flavor. I don't know what the hell Alchemist is doing to achieve this witchcraft, but I love it. Creamy as hell and pretty decently carbed. This drinks much like a cask ale, just a tad more carbonated. Honestly, if you like hop flavors and hate bitterness, you'd be in heaven with this.

O - Stop reading this review and buy/trade for this beer. it's the bees-knees.

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Photo of phishphorce
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Thanks to dude from PT

16 oz can. I had the first few sips from the can and then decided to pour this one into a glass to do get a proper score on appearance. I'll drink any future ones right from the can, I promise.

It poured an orange amber color with a thin but sticky white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head faded a little but left some great lacing as it did.

The aroma is bright and juicy with some notes of peach, pineapple and grapefruit coming out in it. I love the juicy, tropical fruit notes in it. Fantastic hoppy aroma overall.

The taste sows more of the bright, juicy, tropical fruit notes to it up front. Towards the finish some of the bitter, citrus rind and grapefruit flavors start to mix in and linger through the finish. Hop Bomb, excellent balance though.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a fantastic beer, I loved the bright, juicy hoppiness. It had a great range of flavors to it and was very drinkable. Possibly the best beer I have had in my house and def out of a can.

Want more.

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

unsure of when it was canned, but it sure smells fresh. part of a trade with gn0sis - thanks! poured into a Deschutes snifter a bit warmer than I needed to (I got home, saw the box, and pulled it straight out instead of giving it any time in the fridge. Couldn't wait!).

pours a lighter straw-yellow than I was expecting with a huge wallop of hops right out of the can. there's a lot of sticky lacing and the beer settles into a cloudy sun-orange. aroma of, you guessed it, hops - candied orange peel-and-pine hops. it smells just a little like the orange-wedge shaped gummy candies from my childhood and fresh spring pine shoots.

the flavor is a bit more pine than citrus, like the new green needles on a fir or spruce (minus the resiny bitterness). it's what a DIPA is supposed to be - a flavorful combination of hops with enough malt to cut the acid and bitterness, allowing you to taste it all the way through. it's complex but straightforward and to the point. possibly one of my favorite DIPA's - up with Pliny and Hopslam, but stands apart due to it's bitterness (in comparison) and complex hop flavors. I'm a major fan, now if only I could get it more often...

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Photo of Steasy66
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drinking from the can because the can said so. Poured 25cl into a Boulevard tulip so I can judge the appearance and try it from a glass.

A- Wheaty yellow, lots of floating particles, 1 finger thick white head.
S- Very floral, sweet, a bit earthy.
T- Dank hops, somewhat floral, citrus, bitter but ballanced by a light sweetness.
M- Right consistency, a bit lumpy, could use a bit more carbonation.
O- Looks like homebrew gone bad, but smells and tastes amazing. Only thing I would really change is to up the carbonation just a bit.

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

Served from a can into a tulip. I won't drink from the can, instructions be damed.

A - A soft yellow/orange hue with a bubbly white head that stick around for a bit. Little cloudy, but looks good.

S - Tangerine, citrus hops dominate with a incredibly nice floral aspect that rounds this aroma out nicely. While some IIPA's can have hop crazy smells, which I usually like, this one is quite subtle but it works. It's quite appealing.

T - Those citrus hops hit up front, with a big blast, but just like the smell, piney hops poke through here and there. Makes the taste pop, and quite assertive in a good way. Taste is unrelenting, hoppy from the beginning to well into the aftertaste. Well balanced and complex.

M - Mouthfeel is very smooth, aside from the assertive hop. Very drinkable, which could be dangerous. Carbonation is good, and not too high which could make those hops overload possibly if too high.

O - One of the best northeast IIPA's I've had. A great job of taking some floral, piney hops and integrating a wonderful citrus flavor that keeps you coming back. Very drinkable and delicious. Overall, I can't really find many holes in this beer. It hit all the spots that it should, and then some. Well done.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bentwookie for this big want. Tulip glass.

A: Pours a hazy, light, orange-tinted golden, with two fingers of straw hued head. A little lacing, and very good retention, with a thick ring and some surface foam lasting the entire glass.

S: Really big aroma of hops wafts out from the glass: citrus (sweet tangerine and pink grapefruit), and an interesting malt profile (some caramel but it's not the dominant one).

T: Tangerine, grapefruit, and malt, with a mild bitterness and earthy note on a long finish.

M: Goes down really easy. Medium body and carbonation.

O: Delicious citrus flavors, interesting malt profile. Exceedingly drinkable, esp. for such a big beer.

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

Oh my god!!! they really hit this one out the park, smells like citrus, grapefruit,and pine. just had a zombie dust the other day and this one is just as nice of a tasty beer. one is not enough, makes you want to have more and more again. and this all comes from a can WOW.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very hazy peach color with loads of sediment floating around and white ring. The nose has a fair bit of citrus and notes of grapefruit. Faint undertone of a sweet caramel malt. The flavor is nice, sweet hops and malts blend together but seems well attenuated. Light grapefruit and bitter citrus round off the dominant hop presence as the bitterness lingers for a moment but doesn't disrupt the drinkability. The body is very inviting with a gentle tingling carbonation and a smooth soft feel to it.

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Photo of MontclairBobbyB
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh wow... so much going on with this special brew... It's such a joy to enjoy... Heaven in a can. The color is a cloudy, deep orange amber; fruity and lively with just the right balance of hoppiness, fruitiness and boldness. And it comes from a CAN!!!

I can't recall in recent memory a beer that makes me this happy (except maybe Pliny the Elder)...

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

-reviwed from notes-

Appearance-Drank this straight from the can as instructed.
Smell-This is what all DIPA should smell like. I closed my eyes when smelling this just to intensify the experience like my sight was interfering with my sense of smell. The scents I picked up on-super-premium citra hops (rinds of citrus fruits), pine, grass.
Taste-This is where it got interesting. I swear the tastes differentiated at least 3x when I drank from the can. Not in a bad way, but the onslaught to my buds were hard to keep up with. At some times it was the perfect citrus bomb. Next sip would be mostly grass. The sip right after would be light citrus mixed with some pine.
Mouthfeel-Full mouthfeel-spot on carbonation. For a DIPA this one begs for you to continue drinking and I happily oblige.
Overall-This was probably the single best IPA I will have. When I started to drink this I thought to myself how can anyone drive a couple hundred miles for this beer-now I've pulled a 180. How can I not drive to VT for this when I'm already in upstate NY. After I drank this beer I refused to rate/take notes in the beers I had the same week-for a very simple reason. There is no way another beer can line up. This beer is perfection in a can.

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Photo of JDRomano2
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well, Heady Topper only being sold locally is both a blessing and a curse... This beer lives up to all the hype. Wave after wave of insanely fresh hops, with absolutely explosive aftertastes. I stick to The Alchemist's recommendation, and drink it straight from the can, so it's tough to comment on appearance, but that's hardly necessary for this big, fresh double IPA. In spite of being a slightly lower ABV than many double IPAs, it packs a bit of a punch, probably because the alcohol is entirely covered up by the hops. Make sure you drink it fresh, and don't fear drinking it out of the can!

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Photo of mobius387
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BIG thanks to kalvarez for this

poured into a snifter

appearance: an opaque golden color, very unique, nice clean looking 1" white head, chunks of yeast that pour out at the end. very unique looking for an ipa

aroma: delicious nose of grapefruit, pine, honey. not super strong, but crisp

palate: medium bodied, medium carbonation, heavy alcohol feel to it, and yet this beer feels pretty smooth and very crisp

taste: big citrus flavors, a true DIPA in taste, a bit flowery too, huge kick

overall: definitely one of the best DIPAs ive had in my life, but it didnt quite live up to my expectations. dont get me wrong, this beer is great, and if i lived in NE USA id be drinking it all the time. but theres just as good (some better like zombie dust, odell) ipas/dipas that i can get my hands on much easier.

all in all, loved this beer, wish it was easier to get for me.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Unknown as we drank from the can as demanded by the can.

SMELL: Macerated oranges, minty, herbal, estery alcohol, excessively hoppy

TASTE: Raw, sweet, super bitter, semi-dry, kernel of malt sweetness, hop oil, orangey, mouthful of grass

Hop insanity in a can! Lots of talk about this brewski finally being canned. The greatness forgives the sheer rawness it brings to the palate. In our opinion, this is what sets it apart from other highly hopped ales in the US. Keep it tamed in the can, as pouring it out will only show the extreme rustic measures to make this beer.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review #100! Big thanks to Fijii13 for this one. 16 oz. can poured into pint. Decided to ignore the request on the can for reviewing purposes. Had the second straight from the can.

A - Pours a very hazy pale caramel/orange color with very little off white head. More floaters than I have ever seen in any other beer. They are suspended throughout the body and I am guessing this is why they want you to keep it in the can. There is so much floating uniform sediment, that it looks impressive and intended, so I won't really dock it too many points for that.

S - Powerful tangerine and grapefruit citrus with some subtle malts. The hops are piney and spicy, but they pale in comparison to the citrus and tropical aromas emanating from the glass.

T - Fantastic tropical fruit flavor coupled with some tart citrus on the front. Once it reaches the back of the tongue, there are some piney hops that linger, but they do not detract form the forward citrus flavors. I am blown away by the flavor. The aftertaste is of nice, dry hops. Balanced and impressive. I could drink several of these in one sitting.

M - Medium body with some delicate, tingly carbonation. Extremely smooth with a dry finish. Every sip leaves me wanting more. No alcohol present here.

O - Despite the lofty expectations I had for this beer, I was not disappointed. It is not overwhelmingly hoppy for the style, but the hop flavors work very well with the dominating citrus and tropical fruits. The finish and aftertaste are a remarkable blend of bitter and sweet. I was able to keep myself to only consuming two tonight, but I easily could have drank all four. A beer deserving of its world class rating that I will certainly seek out in future trades. It is not the hoppiest or biggest, but it is damn near the best. I highly recommend it.

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

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, light yellow-orange body strewn with fine particles and topped with a barely off-white head.

Smell: Heavy, heady resins, staunch florals, crushed aspirin tablets, and a squirt of white grapefruit juice over a thin cracker-toned malt base.

Taste: Lightly bready, lightly crackery malts with just a little bit of honeyish sweetness. Strongly floral, heavily resinous rounded with a fruity kick of grapefruit. Medium-high bitterness. Dry, citrusy, pithy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel.

Overall: Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Photo of rawfish
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First shot at trying this. Poured into a plain snifter to judge appearance and aroma. Four pack got in a trade with youbrewidrink.

Pours hazy straw yellow with lumps of sediment all over the place. Nice head of white reaches 2 fingers high, decent retention with little flecks of lace.

Nice perfume aroma with a nice mixture of resin, herbaceous grasses and earthy tones. Nice malt sweetness a touch of caramel and doughy. A bit tropical and exotic interesting aroma.

Caramel malt, very doughy and chewy to balance the resinous and grassy hop profile. No citrus yet it's got tropical notes. Really herbaceous with wonderful balance and a steady bitterness.

Finishes dry and a sticky coating that leaves lasting bitterness. Perfect carbonation and the body is chewy and raw.

Very evident why you need to drink this one out of the can, it has perfect balance and comes out of the gates swinging with a unique east coast bold hop profile. Raw and resinous yet well crafted. A beer that is blue collar, steady and bold. Glad for the opportunity.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can - thanks to zuma for this

Appearance - Hazy amber colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with hops. It also has a wack of citrus flavours - lemons, grapefruits, and tangerines. Juice and zest. It ends with a sweet and bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall - It reminded me of a pliny meets rad racer taste wise. It's got a lot of lemony citrus flavour that almost makes it seem more like an IPA than a DIPA. I consider this the pliny of the east - worth seeking out.

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Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge, huge thanks to Jesse (arniepnminne) for hooking me up with this!

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Hazy golden color with lots of sediment mixed in. The head is a dirty white, very dense and produces staying power and lacing.

Very fruity and slightly effervescent nose. A mixed bag of tropical fruits with citrus standing out the most. Mouth watering scents!

Lovely hop burst up front with grassy and leafy notes to go with the marijuana hop presence. Lovely malt backbone to cut through some of the bitterness. Grapefruit lingers at the end and into the aftertaste.

Very smooth and soft all around. A medium body with a warm alcohol presence at the end.

Great beer, so glad I finally got to try it. This definitely goes towards the top of the list for the style.

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

16 oz can into my Pretty Things pint glass. Kudos to Erik for bringing this back from VT. I am eager to try it.
A - cloudy orange color, foamy head, not too vigorous. Actually the head fades quickly.
S - smell of hops as soon as the can opens. it fills the room. Sweet, very citrusy. Getting a little yeast fragrance too
T - wow. Lots of hops but there is more to it than that. Almost a citrus bite. Nice resiny bitterness, but I can still taste the grains.
M - thick and chewy, but the bitterness keeps it from being cloying. fizz comes back in your mouth
O - as the can says "so drinkable it is scary". Pretty delicious. Extra credit for local and canned. My favorite beer style, done right. How can I not give it 5's. Going to have to have a blind taste test with Resin and G'Knight.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,081 ratings.