Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,187 Reviews
For Trade:
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,187 | Ratings: 12,248
Photo of SeanGC
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh, how I tried not to love this beer...

I've heard a lot of great reviews about Heady Topper from a few of my homebrew club members and quickly drove out to pick some up. Needless to say, the beer easily surpassed my expectations.

The IIPA poured hazy, with visible hop material that settled to the bottom of the glass. The haze makes it impossible to see through the beer, and the color is similar to that of caramel candy (dark gold).

The aroma is hard to miss, and it hit me as soon as I opened the can. However, the smell is not overwhelming, but instead very smooth, inviting you to drink up. The hop aroma reveals the complex hop character of the beer.

The hop flavor creeps up on you after swallowing. However, it doesn't have that drink-with-caution bitterness that can overwhelm the palate. It takes all of the tastiness one would love about hops while leaving some of the bite behind.

Medium body, leaving some bitterness laying on the tongue and throat, but still enjoyable.

It's one of those beers that everyone should drink at least once!

 1,058 characters

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

Nice loose and tall head over a straw colored body.
The aroma is great, a soft papaya like tropical fruit nose, with tangerine and grassy notes playing their part. More dry then juicy on the nose. well done.
The clean, dry, and tropical fruit notes continue here but with a more citrus lean to them. A touch of honey like sweetness to complement the bitterness, and a touch of cracker.
mouthfeel is moderate, not dry or sticky.


 437 characters

Photo of powder245
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

purchased on ebay, and after arriving i quickly purchased again!

one of the best tasting and smoothest ipa's i have ever tasted... my fridge currently has bells hop slam, pliny the elder and just finished the last of the hoptimum, but this is now the can i reach for!

first can i poured, despite the cans instructions, in to a tulip glass. the head was a nice off white, but nothing too heavy. color was exactly what you want in an ipa, orangish amber. the smell was really fresh and lovely! even my wife said it smelled good! :)
it's all up hill from here... the first taste lets you know your drinking something special. your second drink assures you you weren't delusional, and by the third your already checking if you have more!

buy this beer! buy it by the case if you can! keep this beer in your fridge all year round!

 832 characters

Photo of Derek
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A=4: Hazy gold with plenty of yeast floaties, nice white head with plenty of retention, some lacing.

S=5: Just opening the can releases a plethora of grassy aroma that's a bit dank. Poured into the glass and it's still very dank, with mango, nectarine and candied pineapple.

T=4.5: Solid bitterness, but it's not overbearing. Initial hit is a bit briny, but that subsides to mango, papaya and candied pineapple... nectarine, tangerine, sponge toffee and hints of biscuit round out the flavour.

M=4.5: Slightly off-dry and very smooth, with some hop acidty.

O=4.5: Overall this is a really great brew. It doesn't have the assertive, piny, resiny bitterness of some, it's just a pleasant hop bomb. Low cohumulone hops?

HUGE thanks to Rutager!

I've had a couple more cans that were even fresher (without the yeast floaties), and I have to upgrade this review. Although cloudy, it pours with a nice head. Despite the amount of hops, body is incredibly smooth. Best thing in a can?

 982 characters

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

Pounded my first HT on my break at work today in fifteen minutes since it was consume on premises only so this review might be a little muddled, but hey, at least I got some Head.

A: Drank it right out of the can like it says to. The dude next to me drinking it had a cloudy honey straw color with a little bit of sediment. No time for a glass for me. Right down the hatch it went.

S: Holy monkey fuck this smells amazing. Take a really nice piney/citrus/grapefruit IPA and times it by a hundred. Smells like freaking heaven. I still have the can and every time I walk by it I give it a whiff and it still has a potently delicious aroma even though it's all gone.

T: Instant punch of citrus and grapefruit with a hell of a hop punch, but without the bitterness. Although the people next to me didn't agree with this, I got a slight bready aftertaste. Not overwhelming, just soft and pleasant. Like the can says, this is dangerously drinkable. I could drink this stuff all day it's so damn good and it goes down so easy. Pounding a pint in 15 minutes was no trouble at all.

M: Hop resins stick to the palette like glue and linger long after the sip is finished. Super smooth.

O: I've always been afraid of trying whales like this sometimes, because they never seem to live up to their names. This definitely lives up to its name. I'm so happy I got a chance to try this. This is probably the best beer I've ever had.

 1,421 characters

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's quite a lot of hype surrounding this beer, and it is my favorite style, so I was very excited to finally be able to pick some up while in Vermont recently. I drank my first one last night from the can like it says, but this time I'm pouring a whole can into a 16 oz Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass for the review (and yes I will drink the remaining two from the can!)

A - Pours a very hazy golden orange with about 1 1/2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Some very small but noticeable particulates floating in the glass. Much cloudier than your typical DIPA.

S - As soon as the pressure inside the can was released, the room was enveloped in an amazing hop/tropical fruit aroma. Diving further into the head you'll notice TONS of grapefruit and sweet bready malt. Peaches, mango and tropical fruit are also there. A nice earthy, grassy hop aroma comes through as well but the fruits dominate.

T - Initially sweet and fruity, it rides out to a spectacular grassy and piney finish. There is so much citrusy hoppy goodness packed into this can. The freshness of the hops is really unparalleled, it is by far the "juiciest" DIPA I've been able to track down. The hops are complimented by a sweet bread malt backbone and it is extremely well balanced. Dry, bitter, and slightly boozy aftertaste. Very little booziness in the taste however, just loads of super fresh and pure hoppy goodness.

M - Chewy and full bodied with somewhat low carbonation, but it's spot on. A little oily and sticky on the lips, as expected.

O - Are there more insane DIPAs out there? Of course. But this has to be one of the freshest and "purest" tasting DIPAs I have ever had. It's near flawless and quite remarkable, and totally warrants the $12 price tag for the 4 pack. If you're a true hophead like me, you really have no choice but to seek this out. It warrants the hype and I'm hoping it will propel this brilliant brewer to future success and more releases.

 1,949 characters

Photo of leftde18
3.4/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a can from the Warren Store

A-N/A, Drank from the can

S-Piney and herbaceous but without pouring it out, definitely underwhelming in my opinion

T-Hops on hops on hops, so much so that it obscured the hoppy nuances I was hoping for. Bright, fresh pine sap overwhelms at first, it followed by a pleasant bitter finish. There are other notes of citrus under the sappiness but my pallet was overwhelmed quickly by hop-power before I could pick them out

M-Viscosity trumps its carbonation and it feels sticky, like a liqueur. I didn't really like it, especially towards the end.

O-I could not find this beer's finesse, there were TONS of hop flavors but they didn't sing in symphony. I would buy it again, but I would not seek it out.

 745 characters

Photo of theo871
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank straight from the can as instructed.

The aroma on this beer is incredible. I found myself just sticking my nose down to take another sniff. Unbelievable piney notes, grapefruit notes too.

Taste is just wave after wave of citrusy piney hops that coat your tongue and linger pleasantly.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth, low carbonation with hop bitterness that dance on your tongue.

I can't recommend this beer enough. If you are a hophead and haven't tried this one, you are missing out!

 495 characters

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

Thanks to Mielbeer for these 4 cans!

Drank mostly on the can as per instructed, I did pour a little of my 2nd can into a glass to be able to judge the appearance. Poured a very cloudy, floaty golden color. Fun to look at all the carbonation.

The smell is great, very grassy and hoppy...smell sort of makes me feel like I'm at an all jam band outdoor festival, if that allusion is properly created. The smell opened up and was EVEN more enjoyable for me when in the glass, which goes against what the can says but hey...they made it, they can make guidelines.

Taste is an explosion of hops, very grapefruit-y although the reviews prior made me expect a little bit more of a fruity smell/taste to it...I may be off on my fruits though, admittedly. There is a slight malt sweetness after the initial hop explosion. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel is where the beer takes its only turn I have a little trouble with, both from a can and glass(though glass helps a bit with this) its just a bit too carbonated for me. Which may be a good sign as I think these cans would go a 15 minutes faster if I could drink them any easier.

Overall: This is what I was expecting and it merits the hype. I'll also have it be known this is the first or second 'hard to get' beer that I've got my hands on that was truly, truly worth it for me. Pliny was a much harder got and for 2 years spent longing for it, wasn't what I wanted it to be(though great)

This is more of an DIPA up my alley...punch you in the face hops, with what I consider a better backbone or foundation.

Try to get a hold of 2 or x amount cans of these and you won't be let down. Great stuff.

 1,639 characters

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

The word delicious sums up this beer quite well!
I resisted the very strong urge to pour this into a glass, it was so tough. So the appearance can't be a 5, but I thought it was a cool looking can and gave it a 4.5
What an amazing aroma! A sweet/piney/citrus aroma, that begs you to drink it down.
All these smells are transformed into taste when you start to drink this beer. It is very smooth, with a great balance of citrus bitterness.
The mouthfeel is nice. Not a strong carbonation, I would say medium to low in that area. There is a lingering bitter aftertaste after each swallow.
Overall, I would say this beer lives up to the hype quite well. I like how dry of a finish it is, makes you keep coming back for more!

 721 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, with no canning date, $17.99/4-pack at Andover liquors.

Pours hazy gold with a peachy hue and loads of chunky flakes of yeast. Seriously, a beer of this caliber should have a far better presentation! Beyond the murky, sedimentary body there is a very nice display of tattered lacing and a partial skim coat on the surface for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with fresh peaches, mango, pineapple, and sugar-dusted apricots. Very tropical in nature with lots of lush, ripe fruit.

Just short of medium bodied with a smooth but crisp mouthfeel. A bit lush and velvety.

Fresh, juicy tropical fruit start the palate. A drying, smooth bitterness quickly follows. Peaches, pineapple, mango, and melons aplenty.

Finishes with lingering fruit and a smooth bitterness.

The beer is bone-dry, extremely fruity, and has a very low bitterness for the style. The result is an insanely drinkable treat of which I wish I had a keg of.

 934 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to merc7186 for picking up a few cans of this for me...

A: Pours a wonderful cloudy yellowish pink. It reminds me specifically of grapefruit juice. There is a full finger of pure white puffy foam that settles fairly quickly. Some lacing as it drinks.

S: This beer has some serious citrus, a good amount of pine, and a mild underlying sweetness. There are some fruit notes and herbal tea in there as well. It's really pleasent.

T: Mmm. This is awesome. It's juicy citrus, herbal tea, and pine. Wow. I'm amazed by how smooth this beer is. Tons of flavor, but very little harsh hop bite or booze. It's really enjoyable.

M: Medium bodied beer. The citrus and tea envelop the palate to start, but it fades in the middle as the pine comes on strong. The finish is bitter, and it lingers for a bit, but it's never overwhelming.

O: This beer is pretty fantastic. I was expecting a lot, and it delivered. I only have one can left, and I want more immediately! Road trip to VT... anyone?

Side Note: I never took the "drink from the can" seriously, but it's legit. Maybe it's just mental, but it tastes better straight from the can.

 1,138 characters

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

Served from can.

l: hazy, really hazy. (I had to pour a bit of it up, though this was drunk from the can)

s: herbs, orangey, hops!

t: grassy, sweet botttom tones, dry on top, bitter (but only initally, nice roll off)

This is one beer I wish I could have more of. Initially when opened (straight from the fridge) it's kind of over powering in the bitterness, but some mouths in it's just so balanced and just beautiful all the way. One of the best DIPA's I've had.

 467 characters

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

16 oz can. Drank straight from the can. no freshness dating. thanks to markasparov for this one.

a- the haziest ipa i've ever seen. extremely murky and lots of floaties. Has with a nice, fluffy head. a bit of lacing.

s- out of this word. has a huge wave of piny hops and grapefruit and orange, and every other delicious thing you can imagine.

t- the juiciest ipa i've ever had. this is mind-blowing. i can taste and smell this beer even after i put it down, and putting this beer down is really difficult. this is like the biggest citrus orgasm in a beer ever. the hops in this are delicious, but the maltiness in this beer is equally insane.

m- incredibly well balanced. the perfect carbonation. i can't say anything else. But at 8%, this is the most drinkable beer I'eve ever had.

o- This is for Mark: Heady Topper...How do I begin to explain Heady Topper? Heady Topper is flawless. I hear a case of this stuff should be insured for $10,000. I hear Heady does car commercials...in Japan. Heady's favorite activity is knocking people senseless over the head with its awesomeness. One time, John Stamos drank Heady on a plane...and said it was pretty (unbelievable). One time, it punched in the face with its deliciousness...It was awesome.

 1,248 characters

Photo of dbossman
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Apricot hue with a thin head and a good amount of lacing; some sediment floating around, which is why I suppose they want you to drink it from the can--sorry, guys, I just can't do it

S: That is a tropical bouquet of awesomeness: pineapple, mango, grapefruit; spicy and awesome

T: This is a hoppy awesome beer--so fruity and fantastic: the mango, pineapples, and grapefruit are the stars here but there is a pleasant, slightly sweet malty backbone

F: Oily and sticky medium body, which is exactly what a DIPA should be

O: This is an amazing beer; hoppy and fruity and oily and so damn good

 596 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Hoppypocket for the opportunity to try this bad-boy!

Appearance. Pours a very murky straw-orange (maybe just a little blue-green??)with a massive, frothy off-white head that lasts forever, but doesn't leave much for lace. I know it says to drink from a can but c'mon, let's be civilized here ;-)

Smell. Pine needles and citrus rinds, some good toasty malt, a little floral soap-like smell as well.

Taste. Big bitter floral, grassy hops with a splash of citrus juice. Some great roasty malt is there and there's a bunch of bitter citrus rind and grass in the finish that stays on the tongue.

Mouthfeel. Just below full body with medium-low carbonation. Very nice.

Overall. Had this side by side with my (previously) favourite dipa. I still have a great love for the other one, but this has to be the best tasting dipa I've had to date. Looks kinda' iffy, but a guy gets over that after one taste.

 910 characters

Photo of Duhast500
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the can into Harpoon Limited Edition snifter.

The color is cloudy deep orange with some yellow highlights around the edges with a finger of foamy white head and some slight lacing.

The smell bursts out from the can with a bright piney aroma. Nowhere near the can and before the pour the hops are already present. The aroma is fresh hops all the way as if you had a packet of hops about to be poured into a boiling wort.

The taste is hoppy with some pine flavor sitting on top of a juicy citrus flavor. The layers of hop flavor both big and small seem to meld well here. From orange pith to the piney Douglas fur flavor to the slight bitterness toward the end. Sweetness right where is should be with some bitterness that comes in but has out the dull knives and only eases into the bite.

The feel is smooth and goes down easier then expected from a hop forward beer. It is really drinkable and seems to want to go down without a thought. This is may be the most drinkable hop-flavorful beer I have had. Worth the wait and the travel to have this beer.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Mounty4Life
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my second time having this super hyped up beer. Both times I really enjoyed it. This time I am reviewing and only poured 5 ounces out of can to see appearance and get more smell than outta can...not that you can't smell the hops as soon as you crack the can. Really hazy yellowish with minimal head. Laces but not as sticky as I was anticipating, dissipates as the head did. This beer you can smell as your drinking it, rinds, grapefruit,citrus, and don't forget the hops. Different than any dipa that I ever had. Great hop pop, Med Carb,and balance that makes you want more!! Big hop aftertaste that keeps you wanting more. Overall lives up to hype and will seek out again. Hop heads dream and really really leaves hops for days in your mouth. In my top 5 just unsure until I have access to more where it falls.

 820 characters

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

My girlfriend's brother brought us a 4 pack straight from the source. I gave it all 5s for a reason.

A: Beautiful yellow-orange sunset. It's unfiltered and various particles are visible. Note: the label recommends consuming the beer straight from the can. I tried one like this and also one that I poured into a tulip glass. Both were magnificent.

S: Incredible aroma of mango, grapefruit and guava (yes, guava). Some orange and lemon thrown in for good measure.

T: Taste follows the nose perfectly, with the mango standing out beautifully. Astonishing flavor. Important hop note: as stated on the can, this isn't supposed to be a hop explosion, and it's not. What it is, is a perfectly balanced beer.

M: carbonation is perfect. Just enough to let the hops dance around the tongue, and not too much to overpower the hops.

O: This is, by far, the best DIPA I've ever had and perhaps the best beer I've had period. PtE, Hopslam, and Dreadnaught are incredible beers but not even in the same class as Heady Topper. HT leaves them in the dust. I've had CBS on more than one occasion, and almost all Cantillon variants. I'm not exaggerating or going overboard when I say this might be the best beer on earth. A remarkable offering. Do yourself a favor and try this brew. It's worth it and then some.

 1,299 characters

Photo of yamar68
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided to go for this long awaited treat from The Alchemist for my 200th review.

Poured from 16oz can to imperial Surly pint glass...

Pours a hazy honey gold, gorgeously unfiltered. I like my orange juice with pulp, I like my beer with floaties. A big, rocky off-white head swells to fill the 20oz glass. Spotty, sticky lacing. Great looking beer, I don't really understand why this beer is suppose to be hidden inside of a can.

The nose is stuffed with fresh hop aromas - tangerine, orange peel, fresh floral bits, plenty of evergreen harshness to balance the heavy citrus. Not really any detectable malts here.

On the tongue... hop abrasion like I've never really experienced. Grapefruit, orange peel, massive flavors. Exceedingly hoppy and bitter. The super dry, bitter afterburn keeps me going for more. What a delicious thing this is.

Overall, I can see why people go nuts over this stuff. A unique, aggressive, very satisfying drink.

 948 characters

Photo of Prospero
3.83/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light in color sort of a amber straw, nice white head and good aroma, not as much aroma as I would have expected, but good citrus and flower comes through. Also drank out of the can as suggested. The taste is nice and smooth, great drinkability. Maybe not as well balanced as others, the bitterness seems to linger with this one and I think it tends to take over the thin malt base. Great beer overall, but needs a bit better balance.

 434 characters

Photo of jduff
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer in a pint glass from the can and directly out of the can (as the label suggests). Liked it better in the glass. It is by far one of the finest beers I've ever had. Excellent pour brilliant finish. Place it up there with Pliney the Elder.

 256 characters

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

Thanks to Joe for breaking this out and sharing.

Poured a nice coppery hue with a long lasting white head. The beer itself is cloudy with particulates all over the place. Impeccable smell. Huge gobs of pine resin and orange/grapefruit rinds all over. I don't even know if words can appropriately describe this. Pine, earth, grass, and citrus fruits battle it out on my palate amongst delicate carbonation. A healthy honey-grain malt backbone keeps everything together. Wow, quite a treat.

 489 characters

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

My first can of Heady Topper. A clean snifter glass ready-to-go, but I promise I’ll take that first sip from the can.

Pours an extremely hazy yellow-amber with a lush, creamy head that is kept at bay at an inch plus. Impressive hop-haze, if that’s what it is. 4.0

Don’t think I was catching whiffs from the moment I opened the can to the moment I was typing out my appearance description. This beer has some serious hop aromatics. Pineapple, fir tree, mango nectar, tangerine, grapefruit, and herbal tea. A top three ranking for best-smelling DIPAs. 5.0

Amazing fruity hop profile. Phenomenal flavors of a cornucopia of tropical fruits; notably pineapple, grapefruit, starfruit, and mango. Mildly bitter, which works to balance some sweetness, yet not obscuring the showcase of the hop flavor profile. Hardly a malt presence other than some light syrup (as in the light syrup in canned fruit) and biscuity character. The hop character is dank and oily and complex in that it has a plethora of different varietals’ flavors. Exactly what an Imperial IPA should be. I could drink this all night. 4.5

One milky brew with heft. Pockets of bubbles in the back of the mouth. Velvety smooth and a sly strength make for an incredible mouthfeel. 4.5

Elite class. Hoisting my empty can up high to pay homage to one of the greats. 5.0

 1,335 characters

Photo of tone77
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to woodychandler for coming through big time with this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has an orange/brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is alive with hops and citrus. Taste is also very good, hoppy, citrus and tropical fruits abound, bitter but not overly so, a well constructed beer. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall was a pleasure to drink, worth seeking out.

 391 characters

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,187 ratings.