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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,135 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,135
Hads: 11,907
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 7.08%
Wants: 8,669
Gots: 4,309 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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: 2,135 | Hads: 11,907
Photo of Coleybeerman
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Welcome to Massachusetts The Alchemist Heady Topper!

A - Poured into a Duvel glass with a hazey orange color and a thick head that dissapated quicker than I expected.

S - Piney, Ctrus, Resinous Herb like nose if you know what I mean!

T - Spicey hop bitterness. Warm alcohol, with a resinous piney Citrus flavor that lingers.

M - Full body with a bitterness that imparts an almost chewable mouthfeel.

O - I really enjoy the aggressiveness of the hop aroma and abv/hop forward flavor and mouthfeel.

When it comes to beers of this caliber I am not looking for smoothness.. I like my senses to be awoken and this beer delivers.

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Photo of drgarage
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from a can with a small glass pour to get a sense of its appearance.

A: Very light golden to pale yellow appearance with vigorous carbonation. Big head with minimal lacing. Bubbles constantly rising toward the surface and then plunging down deep. Much less cloudy than I had been led to believe.

S: Huge pine hops, sweet citrus overtones. As big a hop nose as I have ever encountered with none of the harsh or onion esters that can ruin a really nice thing.

T: Damn. This is a world-class DIPA. Is it better than Elder? I'm not sure. It's definitely in the same class. Big, rich citrus and pine out the wazoo. Totally love this stuff. Can't believe this doesn't have wider distribution while Lagunitas goes everywhere. I like the Lags, but they've never bottled a beer this good. If Sucks tasted like this, I wouldn't drink any other IPAs.

M: Perfect for an IPA, a little bit of stickiness but mostly just crisp and refreshing with a lot of lingering big hop flavor.

O: As good as hyped. Seek this out if you can find it, and then hoard what you get your hands on.

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Photo of kbuzz
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 16 oz can into a schooner-style glass. Can't come up with one single advantage of drinking from the can...plus I can't review the appearance that way (did take a sip or two from the can in between refilling my glass and it didn't affect the taste at all). No date found anywhere.

A: The appearance isn't overly impressive, really. Pours a cloudy light orange/copper color. A half finger off-white/eggshell colored head fades rapidly, but there is plenty of carbonation bubbling up through the beer. There are floaties! My favorite thing to see in beer...not that I doubted it would be, but it's definitely unfiltered.

S: Smells very juicy and absolutely hop forward. Lots of citrus - orange, lemon, grapefruit primarily.

T/M: Despite the description, this is a very bitter IPA...definitely smacks you with it up front...then gives way to hop flavor with plenty of citrus - mostly grapefruit and lemon notes. A bit of pine in the finish. I'm glad not to get the orange in the taste that I got in the nose though - not my favorite flavor. If I didn't know how to make beer, I'd never guess that there was any malt in this whatsoever. Finishes with a near perfect dryness for an IPA.

O: This is a raw, down-and-dirty, throwback beer. Haven't had one like this in a good long while. My favorite thing about it is that it's different from the other big DIPAs that everyone gushes over. The market is begging right now for a more traditional, citrusy, good ol' Imperial Hop Bomb - which is what this is.

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Photo of superdan73
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's as good as advertised. Period. If you're lucky enough to find a can, don't pass it up. I could go on and on about the nose, head, color, mouthfeel and finish but everyone else has already said it. In my book, this is the king. It ruined me for other IPAs and until I can find more I'm drinking Sculpin and Deviant Dales.

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

Got in the Master's LIF from Number45forever. Thanks for the awesome beer. Been drinking for the last few days. This is the first review.

A-drank from the can as stated and also poured into a tulip once. The color is a really great yellow pale. Right what i would be looking for in DIPA. the second pour came out with the chunks. Probably the hop resin that is supposed to be left in the can,

S- Opening the can produces a hop bomb. It can be smelled across the room. Putting your nose u to it is quite glorious. Citrus and a really great pineyness come out. Delicious

T- Holy hops Batman. The hops are certainly there. It is bitter but not over bearing. It is fruity and piney, and citrusy and really delicious. It puts the hops at the forefront but so gracefully. It's not like a bitter bomb, but also not to malt forward. Really incredible

M- So good for the beer and the style. I love the Elder but I always felt like it lacked in mouth feel. Great in taste and smell, but the mouth feel wasn't there. Not with HT. It is long and lingering. It feels full bodied without getting the extra maltiness. Wonderful

O-I They say to drink from the can and i say yes(though it is awesome out of a glass as well). I think this is an exceptional imperial Ipa. Something to be duplicated, and sought after. I have had and love some Pliny, but I am taking the Topper side. Both great beers but the Alchemist takes the top spot in this battle.

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Photo of lucas1801
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not my first go-round with this great beer but my first review of it.

A: Even though poured into a glass and it has it's cloudy/chunky look I won't penalize here as it is meant for can consumption. Plus I look at those chunks and smile as I know what awaits me.

S: Yes there are some hops in this bad boy; resins, pine and some tropical fruits.

T: This is where this beer shines, perfect balance for the style. Solid upfront bitterness that is followed by a great hop flavor profile, and the bitterness gently lingers the whole time and for a time afterwards.

M: It is a DIPA and it is dry as it should be while maintaining a solid malt presence that is very clean.

O: Get it and drink it, it is worth the hype. If trading for it make sure it is fresh as it does lose it's hop profile faster than most other DIPA's I have had.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for tossing a couple of these in as extras in a trade.

Only poured half the can into a tulip since it advises to drink from the can.

A: Pours a very cloudy light sunburst color with a small creamy white head. The head quickly reduces to a thin film on top. Some spotted lacing is left behind.

S: The hop profile aroma is very good. It starts off with tropical fruits (grapefruit, pineapple, mango), then moves onto a light dank, resiny smell. There is also a bit of pine.

T: Like the aroma, but much more bold. The tropical fruits are lighter in the taste than the aroma which lets the other hop flavors come through more. Much more balanced hop profile.

M: Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated to allow the flavors to dance across the palate. It finishes with a slight bitterness.

O: This is definitely one of the best DIPA's out there. Just as good as my beloved Pliny. Highly recommended.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy yellow/orange. 2-3 fingers of fluffy white head.

S - Tons of Pine (even from the can), malt, a bit sweet.

T - Tons of bitter/piney hops at first. Some citrus. Malt and a bit of sweetness in the finish. No alcohol to speak of.

M - Smooth, nice clean carbonation.

An amazing DIPA. My favorite for sure.

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Photo of mdurkee11
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper is simply the best Imperial IPA I have ever tasted. Pours out of the can with an aroma of citrus and hops. The unfiltered appearance of this beer works so well with the aroma and adds quite a bit to the experience. The taste is a complex mix of heavy citrus and light hoppy flavor. Very well balanced with a crisp, enjoyable finish. A world class beer out of a can.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Drank from the can as was suggested by the can.

S: Even without pouring into a glass I got a little aroma as I brought the can to my face! What I got was hoppy tropical fruity heaven.

T: Massive tropical fruits up front. Mango, Grapefruit and even a little unripe bitter Pineapple. Next come the hops that balance out the beer perfectly and leave a slight lingering bitterness on your palate. Alcohol is nonexistent even at 8%. Could drink this when I wake up until I go to bed

M: Light to medium carbonation and mouthfeel. Perfect for a double ipa

O: Perfect double IPA. Flavors are spot on and drinkability is perfect. Awesome!

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Photo of mooseo
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Half a pint poured into tulip. Sampled the rest from the can.

A - Hazy sunset orange with a small bubbly white head.

S - Enormous citrus aroma of tangerine, orange peel, mango, grapefruit, and pine resin. Extremely inviting and pleasurable.

T - A blast of grapefruit, mango, and piney hops. Fresh, raw orange. Mild bitterness throughout, but sweet at the same time. Finishes with earthy pine, honey, and tropical fruit flavors. Robust with nice complexity.

M - Medium-full body with decent carbonation. Very thick for a double IPA. Smooth with a dry finish.

O - This just might be my favorite double IPA. Incredibly delicious and highly drinkable. I hope Philadelphia starts to gets a steady supply of this stuff.

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

Can poured into a 12oz pils glass at the Hulmeville Inn 4/24/2012

A: hazy gold unfiltered you can see the resin floating in the glass.

S: Just fresh citrus grapefruit

T: Not so hoppy where you get that bitter taste. But just a in your face grapefruit citrus lemon. You can not taste the 8%abv

MF: This beer is so smooth if your not careful you can drink it real fast.

Overall WOW!!!! This just might be the perfect IPA style beer. Its better then pliny the younger its better then hopslam and its better then 120. I am impressed by this. And its not filtered so all that beautiful hop resin is just floating around. If you have a chance to try this by all means get it!!!

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

A: Poured into an Alchemist Willy glass (Sorry Alechemist, I won't have it from the can again). It pours a cloudy orange with a finger white head. I tried to hold back on the yeast with a gentle pour.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, orange, and citrus. There's a pleasant zest to it.

T: Citrus, caramel and hops. Wonderful, wonderful hops.

M: Carbonation, not too light and slightly sticky. Lingers for a bit, which is nice.

O: This is an all time favorite. The balance is amazing and you can't tell one bit that it is an 8% beer. A trip to VT is incomplete without going to the Alchemist.

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

Cloudy golden yellow with a short pale white head. Pale malts, light citrus, fresh and dry hops, lighter fruits grapefruit, pineapple and even tones of peach on the aroma. Fruity and floral from the nose. Rich, smooth fruity and nectar-like hop flavor on the first sip. Rolls into a more floral body with big hits of hops, grapefruit, peaches and dry bitterness. Dry, hoppy, sour finish. Heavily carbonated with a medium body. Intensely impressed with this, easily the best brew I could ever dream of having out of a can.

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Photo of dgugliuzza
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from can into a snifter

This beer has a massive pour: Half beer, half head in the glass. Sticky white head that wants to last forever. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass. Burnt orange body.

The smell is an explosion of citrus and piney hops. Grapefruit, pineapple, mango and pine resin. Earthy, bitter hops follow the initial floral/tropical sweetness. What a well balanced, well crafted aroma.

The first sip yields a burst of citrus and piney hops just as the nose promised. Each flavor is distinct and well placed. Grapefruit and pine up front followed by earthy, bitter hops and sweetness. Tropical flavors are mixed in as well. Finishes bittersweet. Outstanding.

Medium soft mouthfeel with excellent creaminess. Carbonation is spot on. Assertive, but not overly done. Amazing drinkability.

Heady Topper blew my mind just like the dude on the can. This is right up there with all the best DIPAs. I would seek this out whenever possible.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from the can, as instructed! (poured a little into a pint glass to get an accurate review. (reviewed from notes) Thanks to TimmyJ21 for this can!

A- hazy yellow/orange with a head that is foamy and white.

S- Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya), citrus peel, faint pine

T- complex- a great blend of tropical fruits and a bitterness that has both pine and citrus peel.

M- smooth and refreshing with just enough carbonation to know it is there.

O- This is up there with all my favorites in this category (Pliny, Abrasive, etc.). I will definitely try to obtain some more of this.

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

Followed instructions and drank from the can, a first for me with an IPA. As a result, I can't judge the appearance, so I gave it an average. Smell was fantastci, grapefruit and pine and grass; hops galore. Taste was intensely citrus and hops, but no super bitter like most DIPA's. Much of tre hoppiness is on the mouth and tongue, but doesn't so much linger down your throat. The grapefruit, orange, grass, pine flavors are huge and awesome. What a great combination of ingredients!
Mouthfeel was not noteworthy; having it from the can. The taste is so good I didn't have time to notice anyway. What a great beer. Only the ABV would prevent me from drinking my entire 4 pack in one sitting. Next one will be in a glass...

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Photo of Blanco
4.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I drank most of this from the can, but also poured enough of it out to see what it looked like and to see what it's like in the glass. Honestly not sure which I like better. It does seem like the aroma is almost too potent in the glass, making the can a nice step back.

Appearance is golden and hazy. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is pure piney hops. I'd hoped for more tropical fruit or citrus, but it's almost one-note piney, though those notes are there. Just not upfront.

Flavor is bitter, very bitter. Dry and woody, it's attack to the palate is relentless. The citrus missing in the aroma appears a little bit in the taste (grapefruit). Malt backbone balance is almost non-existent. I've certainly had hoppier, but the ones I enjoy the most are more balance. Still, the hop presence is impressive and the flavor really opens up and bitterness subsides as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is actually where the beer stands out. The intense bitterness really creates a lively mouthfeel, with a strong aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA. I've had others I prefer, but that in no way is a knock on this beer as the reason I prefer others is balance. I also prefer more hop emphasis on aroma and taste rather than bitterness. That's just personal preference.

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

Heady Topper pours a very cloudy honey color, hints of orange and soft brown, lots of sediment floating around the glass, much of it sinks to the bottom, a faint head pops up but doesn’t stick around too long, not much of a residual film and some mild soapy lacing sticks to the glass. The aroma is fantastic, big notes of citrus, heavy on the grapefruit, but with a nice amount of tropical fruits, mango, papayas and pineapple come to mind. A healthy amount of grassy and dirtier pine-like hops come through as well, very bitter that cuts the brightness and sweetness very well, almost no malt presence to speak of, some faint biscuit hides in the shadows of huge hoppy aromas. The flavors are wonderful, huge bright notes of citrusy hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, the tropical sweeter flavors are there, some pineapple and mango, but again, a wonderful bitterness from some dry pine and weedy flavors, just a super dank hop profile. Like the aroma, only the faintest biscuity malt can be detected underneath a potent hop forward palate. Nice full body, coats the mouth really well, goes down super easily, remains wonderfully dry and bitter, keeps you coming back without leaving an unpleasant cotton mouth experience.

Verdict: Sublime IPA, I still like Pliny a bit more, but this is just an incredible beer. I like everything that’s happening here, great hop profile, the flavors are balanced exceptionally well, certainly one of those beers where you suddenly look down and the glass is empty, it’s that good. Cheers to The Alchemist, I will definitely have to get a lot more of this.

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

I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.

Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.

The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an uber-cloudy golden orange with 2 fingers of head that reveals thick bubbly lacing. A lot of yeast sediment is suspended throughout the glass.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, papaya, tangerine and mango. Navel orange and lemon. Nice bready aromas along with caramel.

T: Juicy tangerine, papaya and mango with touches of peach and pineapple upfront. Mid-palate has big bready malts drizzled in caramel with notes of lemon juice and navel orange. Finishes initially with the breadiness taking over and transitions to pine needles and maybe some grapefruit pith.

M: Medium-full bodied, juicy, smooth, dry and slightly sticky. Carbonation is light.

O: The tropical notes are out of this world. Nicely balanced with bread and caramel and not aggressively bitter. Very easy drinking with no hint of the 8% abv. This is a beautiful beer.

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Photo of Dools9
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Can split with a friend.

A: Hazy orange, lots of sediment, finger of off white head, minimal lacing some alcohol legs.

S: God this smells good, loads upon loads of citrusy fruity flavors, mangos, pineapple, lemons, just a touch of piney resin. Modest sweet bready malt backbone.

T: Tropical fruits, pineapples, citrus fruits, grapefruits resinous pine. Decent touch of sweet malt, just excellent.

M: I really could not believe how smooth and drinkable this was for 8%. Medium bodied, pretty well carbonated, hop oil coats the mouth and leaves a long lasting hop finish.

O: What can I say, privledged to have tried it, and I think this is probably the best IIPA I have had. Too bad its so hard to get.

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

A: I did pour a little out to review :) Beautiful, crisp, clear yellow. Thick bright white head. No lacing.

S: Mango. Citrus bomb. Orange rind. Grapefruit rind. Tangerine. Pineapple, and pine resin.

T: Super citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and grapefruit again. Pineapple. Less is more; that is, this is a one sided tasting brew!!!!

M: Thick and chewy. Nice foam. Coats the tongue brilliantly!!!

O: I could drink this all day and all night!!! I was fearing a let down, but I am more than impressed.

thanks Wil (The Beer Store).

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I journeyed North into the Green Mountain state to get it, and I would say the trip was well worth it.

This beer is everything that I expected it to be.

Had a sample glass right when I got to the Alchemist, showed a nice darker unfiltered yellow.

The smell it outstanding, so fresh. Strong hops. What I really liked was how even though its a douple IPA, the hops are not overpowering.

There is such a smooth texture to this beer. A raw texture which makes it far from watery. And oh my goodness!! It is easy to drink.

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Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heady Topper came out the can looking like a muddy stream but settled in the glass looking reasonably presentable. Its complexion really varies depending on the angle and closeness of the light, ranging from clear straw yellow to thick mango smoothie. Heady does not have much head, nor does it show any signs of carbonation.

The aroma has such a floral and fruity bouquet that you'd think it was designed by a gardener. That being said, there's a little bit of butterscotch and nutty-sweet malt that can't be ignored. Still, the bouquet's most prominent feature is likely the flower petals or the citrusy pineapple notes. There's a bit of white wine grape too.

The flavor is far from overwhelming but there is a notable absence of any alcohol. The soapy, pungent bitterness that lingers is the smoking gun for some early kettle hop additions. For something so strong and so hoppy the beer is incredibly manageable and composed. Warming unties things slightly, but that is to be expected.

I think anyone who's graduated past pale lagers should be able to appreciate this IPA. It tastes like a combination of grapefruit, orange, papaya, and lime, and leaves a distinctly floral aftertaste. Hints of pine bark pop up here and there as well. The malts taste like some kind of caramel and almond biscuit and have an almost nougat-like sweetness.

If one believed all he read on Beer Advocate then so he would think Heady Topper the best DIPA in the world - and so he would be wrong. I don't wish to take anything away from the fine people at The Alchemist - this is a damn fine brewsky - but there are many out there just like it. Seek it out, by all means, but don't trade the stars and the moon.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,135 ratings.