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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,071 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,071
Hads: 11,561
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,435
Gots: 3,994 | 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 (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: 2,071 | Hads: 11,561
Photo of marcdalke
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I was going to just do a quick "had" review. That was until I popped the can open and took a whiff. Whoa man...this is perfection in a tall boy can!

The color is lighter than I would have guessed. It's a nice butterscotch color with not much of a head to be found. Its a bit hazy. And the nice hop particles floating in the glass let me know that my hop cravings will quickly be satiated.

The smell is pure heaven. If it tastes even close to what it smells like, I'll be in nirvana.

The taste just blew me away. Hands down the best brew I have had in quite some time. It is incredibly well balanced. Just like the can says: it's not super bitter. The hops just dance on your tongue. Citrus notes abound. I crave more with every sip. Damn my brother for only giving me two cans! I am trying to figure out when I can make it to Vermont to get more...this turned me into an addict needing my next fix! I want to eat it. I want to bathe in it. I want to use it as a shampoo. I want it as a cologne. I want to put it into a humidifier and infuse my bedroom with it so I can fall asleep to Heady Topper dancing through my head.

Overall: must try, must try again...must have on hand Always!

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Photo of shand
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into an imperial pint. But not the whole can. Just a bit of it for appearance testing. Big thanks to BA redbird on this one.

This beer is a hazy yellow-orange. Tons of hop floaties in there. No head. Yet another reason to drink it from the can! The aroma is sublimely hoppy. Citrus, pine, and resin aromas dominate on the nose. Taste? Oh dear god. HOPS. I could say that there's a light amount of caramel malts, but it's really a secondary flavor to the absurd amount of DELICIOUS hops in here. It's nowhere near overly bitter, instead just providing an absolutely delicious, resiny hop experience with so many layers. The mouthfeel is fairly light and goes down very easily. The drinkability is absurdly good, I can crush this down like it's a 5% pale ale. If you like IPAs, you HAVE to experience this beer, at any cost. It's absolutely fantastic. World class. And yes, it is better from the can.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can (thanks Stephen): Poured a cloudy light yellow color ale with large chunks of protein floating around and a large foamy head with good retention. Aroma of super intense pine hops notes with some citrus and resin notes. Taste is also a super intense mix of pine, resin and light citrus undertones hops with a dry malt backbone that is hard to distinguish from the hops attack. The floral aromas are huge end very enjoyable. Body is full with great carbonation. I must admit the hype is totally justified for this one, truly one of the great IIPA.

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

A: A bright tangerine orange is dense with large, bran colored floaties. Dancing yeast cake is evidence of a good swirling carbonation. Frothy cream colored head sits well with a respectable amount of lace. One, I love a ipa that stays true to tradition and stays pale, without the influence of toasted specialty grains. Two, I love the extra visual of dancing yeast floaties, like a snow globe adding not only a visual sense but some vitamins as well.

S: The nose was of a sweet tropical fruity nature, mangos, fresh wet pine and some sweet orange/citrus mix. A dash of peppery spice is light along with some passion fruit. Very soothing, clean and polished.

T: The flavor was sweet and citrusy pine and oranges with a dash of peppery spice. Dried tropical fruitiness of pineapple-orange. Dry pale grains are crisp and clean, free from specialty grain coverup providing a nice base. Spicy citric elements, cypress, hoppy, but not over the top bragging rights, but rather a smooth, eloquent and jazz filled refinement providing an even flow of hoppy flavors from start to finish that was highly respectable, but never overbearing and obnoxious. Very sweet, tropical and citrusy.

M: Medium bodied, nice dryness of citrus with a dash of peppery spice sits well on the tongue.

O: Overall is very, very drinkable. An ideal tropical island drink with an ideal tropical and citrusy hop nature. Very even flow of hoppiness, refined and smooth with citric elements, peppery spicing and keg worthy. Would be my go to IPA if demand and market allowed. Again love the fact that it has a clean pale grain base, strong hop presence and junk in the glass for a visual bonus.Gentle lingering spicy west coast hops provide an invite for the next sip. Didn’t want this beer to be finished.

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Photo of snilsen13
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish I had poured this out, but my host insisted we drink it from the can. Despite this, it smells full of hops with fantastic nose from THE CAN! Other canned beers (Oscar Blues, Hazed and Infused) can't touch this!

Simply put this is an awesome double IPA and is something brewers around the country need to measure themselves against.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge, huge thanks goes out to aasher, one of the best BA's out there for hooking me up with this beer. Not only am I grateful to Al for this can but I'm also grateful for the Surly Darkness snifter I poured a sampled into (the rest being enjoyed from the can per the brewery's guidance).

Poured a hazy yellow with a thin crop of white foam sitting on top. Lacking head retention although some lacing clings to the glass.

My favorite part of this beer was the nose which showcased intense citrus hop aroma with an initial burst of grapefruit and then some lemon wedged between a back-end of tangerine. Detecting some grassiness as well. Cleanly fermented.

Prominent grapefruit in the flavor combining with an herbal/grassy component. Very high level of bitterness that I find somewhat harsh and detracting from drinkability. Finishes a touch sweeter with a mandarin-like fruitiness.

Medium-light in body, moderately carbonated. Slightly viscous mouthfeel was unexpected, perhaps due to hop oils. Also picking up some astringency and a warming sensation.

Layered complexity in the hop aroma is a real treat here but the bitterness is somewhat harsh and hinders drinkability. Wishing for something smoother. Certainly a very good beer but there's definitely room for improvement.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16 oz can poured into a pint glass at slightly warmer than fridge temperature.

L - Deep gold color, very hazy with hop resin floaters, with a 1 finger bubbly white head. Pretty nice retention, nice carbonation, and pretty good lacing. Definitely the weakest part of the beer and it makes sense why they say "Drink from the can."

S - Lots of hops. Very piney, some floral and citrus notes as well. The slightest scent of sweet malt.

T - Tastes great and amazingly balanced. Sweet malty caramel flavor followed by very piney and again slightly floral and citrus hops. Nice refreshing bitter finish but not overpowering at all.

F - Medium-bodied, nicely carbonated, crisp and dry bitter finish. Bitterness stays around for a little while, especially on the tongue, but is not overbearing. No sign of alcohol at any point.

O - This beer was delicious and one of the most unique DIPAs I've had. First of all, it looks very different, with a very hazy appearance and lots of floaters. Despite this, it smells and tastes terrific and very different than most other DIPAs. It has lots of piney aromas and flavors while a lot of others have mostly citrusy and grapefruit smells and tastes. It is very unique, very tasty, and if you can get your hands on it, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed. Except for the appearance, this is very close to perfection.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours an orange color with a fairly thin white head. This beer is pretty ugly with a lot of hop leaf/pellet junks floating around. Head leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

S- A huge amount of tropical fruits with a very light touch of pale malts.

T- A very light toasted grain. Then the hops move in with a good amount of pine, herbal and very strong tropical fruit. A very nice amount of bitterness here too.

M- Medium in both carbonation and body.

O- A very good DIPA, but I'm not quite sure what makes this one so much better than any other.

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Photo of ccarney2
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Pale cloudy body that pours little head. Decent lacing on the small amount that I poured into a glass.

Smell - Potent stuff. Very crisp, sweet citrus aroma up front, gives way to a more piney resin smell. Really nice.

Taste - More of the citrus here with notes of grapefruit, and sweet hop flavors. Malt character is present but is very harmonious with the hops throughout. Fades to a very bitter finish that lingers around on the tongue for some time.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation level and thickness here.

Overall - Great DIPA, aroma is through the roof and the malts stand up to the super hoppy beer very well without being dominant. Definitely worth trading for if you can.

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

Sample: 1 can 2012

A: Party cloudy, light orange-yellow with a small foamy head that quickly becomes nice lacing and pretty strong internal carbonation

S: Heavy citrus, hops of course, pineapple, grapefruit, quite fragrant and appetizing as a result

T: Mimics the nose, citrus, hops, tropical fruits, even granny smith apple is present, deliciously bitter to finish but great balance

M: Intense in flavor but very smooth, aftertaste is minimal and is as pleasing to the palate as the taste

O: An excellent hop crazy beer, easy to drink, decent abv and refreshing as well

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

16oz can my friend had shipped from a VT hook-up. Served in a snifter. 

Pours cloudy orangey gold with with 2.5 fingers pale head that fades quickly. No lacing.

Sweet tropical fruit hoppy aroma. Really nice. 

Great mix of hop flavors. Pineapple, piney and orangey with a hint of sweet biscuit. The malts are there in perfect balance to give body while allowing the hops to shine. Alcohol isn't noticeable. 

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet tongue-coating feel with a long dry bitter hop aftertaste. 

A very well executed imperial IPA. Having tried a fresh Pliny the Elder recently I have to say this blows it away. Totally worth seeking. I'll be looking for more in the future. 

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pourer from a 16 oz can into a tulip and also drank from the can- poured a hazy light orange color with almost no head very little retention and no lacing.

Smells incredible but very subtle- grapefruit and tangerine with a little spice of hops at the end.

Tastes even more incredible- full, round hop flavor. A little malt at the beginning and then the hops take over. A little grapefruit at first and then soft piney notes with a nice medium dry finish. Superb.

Mouthfeel is also exceptional. Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Get this if you can!!

PS- Flavor is more direct out if the can but I prefer it in the glass. Give both a try.

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Photo of Adrianized
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy, opaque light orange with floating sediment. Thin head quickly settles. 4

Very fruity citrusy nose. Mostly tangerines and clementines, also some lemon-lime. Piney, earthy hops in the background. 4.5

Taste follows the nose. I initially get a very strong citrus hop taste, almost tastes like I'm drinking orange-grapefruit juice. Very well balanced with a light caramel malt. Aftertaste transforms from delicate tangerine, to bitter grapefruit, and builds to a "west-coast" piney, resiney hop profile. Eventually, the piney hops dominate. 4.5

Taste from the can: hoppier, more bitter, stronger pine. More aggressive DIPA. ...better. 5

Mouthfeel is full bodied, just the right carbonation. Spot on for the style. 5

Overall, an excellent, superbly balanced DIPA. Certainly worth seeking out. 4.5

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

Canned 2/2/12.

Pours a murky honey yellow with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is fantastic with citrus zest, citrus fruit, and tropical fruit aromas. Taste is the same with citrus fruit, citrus zest, and tropical fruit up front with a malt finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an exceptional DIPA with some amazing aromas and flavors.

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Photo of travMI13
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeRanger for this one.

2012 vintage. No canning date, but likely less than 1 month old. 16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

A: Incredibly hazy orange body with a finger of fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Tons of sediment. In fact, I've never seen so much sediment in a fresh DIPA.

S: Huge citrus hop notes. Straight up orange and grapefruit. Very straight to the point here.

T: Wow. Incredibly hoppy, but not overpowering. The orange is the most dominant citrus note on the palate. It almost has a fresh orange juice flavor to it. The hop bite hits up front, but it's short-lived because it's quickly followed by the citrus sweetness.

M: This is about the perfect amount of carbonation. Just the right amount of dryness and sweetness, as well. Resinous, but not a palate killer.

O: This beer is well-deserving of the hype it receives. The drinkability is incredible. I was a little put-off at first by all the hop sediment, and I do wonder how it impacted the flavor. I also probably should've had a couple of tastes straight from the can. I guess I will just need to track down more. One of the best DIPA's I've ever had.

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Photo of jsh420
4.04/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours cloudy yellow gold with lots of sediment small head faded fast left no lacing

smells of grapefruit little pine tropical fruits and caramel malt

taste was almost perfect - with all the hop flavors hop resin the beer still has the malt to balance all that bitterness

mouthfeel - needs more carbonation - felt flat and boring

overall - yes this beer tastes great and its worth seeking out to try once - i will drink my last one out of the can as the brewer intended if my opinions change so will this review

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took the first sip from the can to get the full affect.

A: Poured from the can to my glass this brew pours like your average IPA. Murky golden hue with a white capped head.

S: The aroma is delightfully hoppy fresh. Resinous hops take over. This brew is a little less fruity than a normal DIPA.

T: The flavor is near perfect. Very well balanced and not over sweetened in the process. The flavor is fresh, raw hops.

MF: The carbonation is great, my pallet isn't torn up, the after taste isn't offensive.

Overall, a great beer, deserving of the top 10 on BA? Maybe not, but an incredibly drinkable IPA

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

Canned on Monday drank on Friday. Poured into a glass.

A: very cloudy, orange with a slight red hue. Big sandy head. Not much lacing.

S: the smell omg. Piney tropical hops, a real explosion. I sense Simcoe. Very herbal dank and earthy underneath the citrus. Some Columbia perhaps.

T: super bright and citrusy, I get kiwi, mango, clementine, grapefruit. Finish is so sweet. Peaches, grapefruit all the different notes. It's really not all that bitter. Tough to pick out the malts but it's more honey than molasses /caramel. There's some earthy floral dankness hiding beneath the tropical hops, some hop oils and resins. It just tastes fresh.

M : super soft and chewy. High carbonation. No burn. A syrupy body. Resinous and oily.

O: quite possibly the best beer I've ever had. Crazy hops, the freshest rawest beer I've had. So tropical and drinkable it's insane. I could session on this. Must try, lives up to the hype.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A pale gold with a clumpy, lumpy and rocky foam that sticks and hangs around in amazing ways.

The aroma is pretty amazing with a complex fresh hop with grapefruit, pineapple, earthy notes and tangy fruits! The malt also smells really nice with gentle sweetness but not heady.

The flavor is huge! Yes it's complex with layers of hops, fruity, earthy, grapefruit, sweet fruits, you name it, if it's in the hop spectrum of flavor's it's in here!! But that's not what blows my mind, it's the balance and insane drinkabilty from this DIPA. Usually the large amounts of malt, high alcohol and massive hops keeps the "session" kinda short, but not here, It's kinda scary how easy it is to drink.

The feel is fresh, full, jazzy and slightly smooth maybe even a bit dry in the finish.

Love the can!

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

This beer Ive had several times.

Can and poured into a glass.
THe head is white like it came with batteries.
The aroma isnt as intense as i thought it would be but, hop aroma with out senses being overwhelmed.
The color is a solid amber-orangish. Not light penetrating. haze.
The flavor is strong hop, spicy, dramatic, and pronounced. The mouth feel is smooth, coating the tongue.
Overall this is a solid example of an IPA.

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

So if your beer tastes like this, maybe you only need to make one. There's likely no way that you'll ever out do Heady-Topper so just stop right there!

With a controlled and creamy pour of medium gold elixir, this hazy and glowing ale constructs a creamy, cottony white head with substantial retention and islands of lace. Overall, this is one sexy beer!

Seductive and mouthwatering citrus aromas abound from from the rim of the glass. The straight-up juicy fruity scent of the freshly squeezed pulp of ripe ruby red grapefruit with elements of citric acids, fruit sweetness that seems of thin honey, and some softer tropical notes of mango and apricot. It's impossible to put your nose so close to the glass without taking a sip.

The delicious delight of a beer delivers the straight forward grapefruit flavor just as the nose promises. The sweet pulp of fresh-picked ruby reds couldn't be more spot-on. Resiny as the citrus flavors seem to coat the mouth while the stripping of enamel commences. Soft caramel malts support the hops with the supple and elegant sweetness of powdered sugar and honey, but do so without contrast- make no mistake about it, this is a hop-forward ale with the likes that rarely seen. A very delicate yet hop-dominant balance throughout. Any estery fruitiness would weave into the hop matrix and inform the beer with complementary notes of tropical mangoes, apricots, and pineapple. Succulent and savory throughout, even as the beer's elegant hop flavor develops into soft resiny bitterness that grips the gullet with kid gloves in finish and aftertaste. Only the strong taste of alcohol for moderate 8% that reminds me of super glue is the only slight defect in taste.

Very creamy and delicate on the palate from the initial sip and deep into the middle portion of the palate. All the while coating the mouth with citrusy acids, diluted pine resin, and light sticky honey. The beer's carbonation develops a malty-dry finish that retains its soft malty body while contributing pleasant alcohol warmth and an extended citrusy bitterness.

When you're convinced of the impossibility of ever tasting a better IPA, something like this comes along and shows new possibility in flavor intensity, dryness, drnkability, and absolute elegance and finesse. It's hard to keep this beer off of the "perfect" line score.

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Photo of Greenplastic615
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy sweet god. Thanks a ton to Kkottonmouthkngz for including two(!) of these is a random box trade. This was a huge want of mine.

Per instructions, I drank the first few sips from the can. They were amazing. Then, I poured the rest into a glass and the amazing continued.

A - Tons of hop "floaties". I was not turned off by this at all, but it's definitely not traditional for a "commercial" beer. I try avoid this when I'm home brewing, but after trying this, screw it, I'm leaving the hops in :)

S - Wow. Really...wow. Maybe the best smelling beer I've ever come across.

T - Double wow. Not the strongest or most bitter IPA I've had, but without question the best. The citrus-y flavors are off the chart, and the hops are balanced so perfectly with the strength of the beer. I could drink a lot of this really often. If only I could...

M - Perfect. A little sticky from all the hop goodness, but in a really good way.

O - Definitely the best IPA I've ever had, and maybe the best beer I've ever had overall. I can't say enough good things. Deserves its 100 rating and then some.

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Photo of Holland
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Treebs for giving this to me as an extra(!) in a trade. Thanks!

A: looks like a homebrew - tons of sediment. Pours a cloudy light gold color with a good sized head that leaves a lacing to cover the whole top.

S: excellent tropical fruit smell smell that only gets better as it warms. Citrus, pineapple, light malt, and yeast round out this beer's smell.

T: well balanced with malt, bitterness, and fruity hops flavors. Amazing taste profile that only gets better as it warms. No alcohol presence, and the bitterness accents the taste rather than takes away from it. There is also a huge malt aftertaste along with the hop aftertaste, and it stays on my tongue the longest I have ever experienced.

M: medium carbonation and medium body. It's full of very light, fluffy bubbles, making it quite an experience.

O: my only complaint is that I don't care for the floaties, but that's likely because I didn't let it sit longer than 1 hour from the time I got it to when I drank it, and my pour was poorly executed.

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Photo of garuda
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz aluminum tall boy. Coded, looks like canned on 1/23/12

I get slammed with a whiff of tropical fruit hops as soon as the can is cracked. Proceeds to pour a bright tangerine color, murky, with a one finger white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is just insane. It feels like I'm holding actual pineapples, mangos, and grapefruits up to my nose. No hints of malt in there. Taste follows the nose, with the mango hops a bit more prevalent. This is fabulous. As it warms, a bready, biscuit malt sweetness backs up the hops mid palate. The full body, medium carbonation feel finishes on the dry side, nice and bitter, with lingering pine and grapefruit.

Can't say much more other than this being one of my top 3 DIPAs to date. Splendid, dangerously drinkable, and I need to get more.

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Photo of shangwang
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by a friend who stopped by the brewery last week - a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. Drank from the can.

I stuck to drinking from the can so I can't really remark on the appearance. Unbelievably hoppy and sweet aroma - I detected lots of citrusy grapefruit and mango, with a piny quality in very concentrated doses. It had a very tropical character, but I could already sense the bitterness that would be intermixed in the taste. Awesome smell, it literally made my mouth water. A few sips in and I was in heaven. Lots of citrus fruit sweetness, but a constant dry bitterness that I felt like I got mostly in the end of the taste. It was an amazingly complex taste that satisfied every bit of expectation I had for this beer. Mouthfeel was fairly light in weight, but had a nice zip to it and a sort of creamy quality upon swishing it around in my mouth. It brought out the best in the taste, that's for sure.

Overall, this was by far one of the tastiest DIPAs I've had. It stands right up there with the Plinys in terms of complex hoppy and sweet tastes, and it was incredibly drinkable. I'm really looking forward to the next one!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.