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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,985 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,985
Hads: 11,128
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 7.28%
Wants: 8,224
Gots: 3,620 | 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 (11) | 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: 1,985 | Hads: 11,128
Photo of Spfarner
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

Photo of ASUGeog
4.95/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of BrokenStones
4.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth, big and satisfying.

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

Photo of 4thmedbn
4.41/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of GlassFreeek
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of PeterIngemi
4.32/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of animortician
4.65/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

S: Very Fruity. Crisp.

T: Fruity, balanced, Tart apple, pine

M: Smooth and satisfying. Kind of syrupy though.

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

Photo of nezelrac
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of acread
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

Photo of Ninjabrew
4.85/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer that can hold its own with Pliny!

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

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

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

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

Photo of Nachojon
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of sjverla
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz can into Piraat tulip glass

Nose: Tone of pine resin. Prickly, sugary grapefruit with a hint of prune.

Appearance: Hazy amber-copper with perfectly sustained head and great lacing.

Taste: Just a downpour of hops. Very bitter and herbal. Almost medicinal in a tasty, holistic way. A touch of lemon, a very slight hint of strawberry. Lively carbonated feel and a super-long bitter finish.

Overall: Just ridiculous. An inordinate, unprecedented amount of hops. However, it does fall off quickly. These cans are about 10 days old. The first one I had two days ago was slightly more citrusy. Absolutely no complaints though. Totally fantastic. HUGE thanks to my brother Mike for the Christmas gift. (703 characters)

Photo of spdyfire83
4.59/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

132nd Review
Can to snifter (and mouth)

From notes. I've enjoyed this several times, but this review comes from notes from bspringer's birthday celebration. An epic night to celebrate his golden day of birth!

A: Dark tan. Single (frothy white) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Oh so good! Pine, earthy hops, citrus fruit, and nice malt character.

T: Sweet malt up front to very earthy and aromatic hops. Complex citrus fruit, pine, and oak. Very nice. Quite sweet, but not too sweet.

M: Medium bodied/carbonation.

O: Thick and coating. Delicious! Just a really nice DIPA that everyone should try. I love that it is in a can. Highly recommend drinking it from that if you can - simply heavenly! (701 characters)

Photo of ales4baldo
4.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MBAcoach for sending this my way.

P-Like the scientist on the can and nice long story on the beer and how it should be drank on the back.

A-Well this beer pours a cloudy and foggy orange peel. Keeps about a finger of head. Not much.

S-No lie, this beer smells like straight up sweet hops, pure and simple. Just imagine a bunch of hops in your hands and shoving your nose into it.

T-Sweet man. Very sweet. Nice hops and well, more hops. Has a sweet malt presence that seems to stick. Grapefruit and green grapes along with pineapple.

M-This is a more full bodied IPA. Not too full though or heavy. Really smooth man. Great flavor. Has a quick dry finish.

O-Very impressed with these beer. Man, i think it might be better than the Pliny, I dont know though, thank god i got more to figure out this crazyness. (832 characters)

Photo of heelsn02
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

scored a 4 pack from jamvt via trade. thanks a ton for the swap Jeremy

awesome looking can. love the mad-professor looking guy, reminds me of my buddy Luke. Luke, if you're reading this, take it as a compliment.

says DRINK FROM THE CAN!, so i'm drinking from the can (at least for the first 2/3). no idea what it pours like (at least initially), but i'd imagine it's beautiful

smells glorious, hoppy as vince carter, smells bitter, incredibly floral and fruity. bouquets of bada$s flowers.

taste is outta this world. about as great as it smells. massive hop flavor obviously, slight rauchbier hints?... some smokey notes and aftertaste for sure (which I love). carbonation is spot on.

Wow. 4 bones a can? are you kidding me? absolutely love this stuff. really makes me want to take a trip to the northEast. will have to see Rustic Overtones while i'm there. amazing stuff. CHEERS.

PS - poured the last 6 or so ounces out into tulip. golden orange chunky and amazing. (973 characters)

Photo of Penguin3200
4.7/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ashley for the trade again for some fresh heady. Poured from the can into a snifter, amber golden color with nice initial head that recedes quick with sticky lacing rim. Cloudy and chunky but so damn inviting. Nose is great with hops hops and floral aromas. Taste is the king on the heady. Explosion of hops and bitterness that is balanced on initial hit to the palate and then the hops and piney bitterness builds. The finish on this beer is amazing.

The balance factor is not quite up to the Pliny and abrasive level, but is definitely in my third favorite dipa.

Bill (580 characters)

Photo of Finatic
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a chilled can into my iced Cigar City pint glass. I know the rage is to drink this delight from the can, but I will offer another perspective.

A: Pours an amber like hue with a lovely white, frothy head that recedes awfully slow. Lacing just sticks to the glass and stays there for a long time.

S: Smells of a tropical fruit delight, pineapples, mangoes and grapefruit over whelm the nose. I also detect some sweet malt in there as well.

T: Talk about a sweet hop wallop, this beer is a hop lover's dream. The sweet malt backbone balances the hops brilliantly.

M: Very smooth and easy drinking. Has a nice oily, resinous aftertaste to it.

O: Just sprung to the top for me. What a delight to try this beer and I would have this in the fridge at all times if I could. (782 characters)

Photo of juhl31
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

reviewing the taste 1st out of the can as suggested before i pour in a glass to review the rest.

-pours a light orange color with a good looking white head on top. it leaves both above average retention and lacing. there is a good amount of hop sediment lingering within

-big time grass, weed mix with a hint of grapefruit

-big time hop flavor right off the bat. the hop flavors for me are grass mainly with a bit of grapefruit following behind. after this some malt sweetness rolls in to balance out the big hop flavor leaving a lot of hop resins, but not a big lingering bitterness

-there is a good body on this one with a lot of hop oiliness that coats the mouth tools

-i got a 4 pack of this on tuesday. drank the 1st the night of and it was pretty epic. i was a bit bummed to find by friday that the hop smell and flavor had changed so much. most of the flavor and smell was still there, it had just gained some soapy, harsh accent. for this i cant give it a 5 in both those categories. that being said, this is a great IIPA and i would put it right behind both plinys and citra. it just didnt have an unbelievability to it in certain areas like those (1,162 characters)

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

Picked up in Burlington, before a gig at the Radio Bean...

Says to drink from the can, which looks awesome btw.

Smells like a clean dIPA, pineapple, grapefruit, just really sweet hops in general

Just an extremely well balanced dIPA, drinkable as stated by everyone before, you taste what you smell and its consistent. Every sip offers another angle, this is complex as hell. Taste amazing right out the can.

MF is incredibly smooth..

Not as crazy as I expected, but just a ridiculously hoppy, sweet, clean, smooth and drinkable dIPA... by far the greatest beverage I've ever had out of a can. (599 characters)

Photo of xensure
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank straight from the can, but I poured a small amount in to a snifter to rate the appearance even though I feel like it is tough to rate on that since the brewer clearly wants it to be drank from the can.

A - it pours a great orange amber with a small head. Lots of particulate in suspension, yeast and hop resin. Again the beer doesn't look bad, but I feel it is tough to rate because of how the brewer intended it to be consumed.

S - This beer smells fantastic. Hops, orange, pine, lemon, citrus, I even get some mint. So many complex scents coming from this beer it is amazing. I want to bury my nose in the can and get high off the fumes.

T/M - This beer taste even better than it smells. All of the scents come through in the flavor. Notes of orange, piney-citrus, and mint roll across the tongue so smoothly. And of course there is the hops. The hopping is done so well in this beer you get the giant hop flavor with out giant hop bitterness. This is the first and only beer I have ever had that has pulled this off. There is so much hop flavor, but the bitterness you experience isn't overwhelming at all. The hops flavor comes in waves of slight bitterness that build as you roll the beer through your mouth. I am just bewildered as to how they accomplished this amazing and delightful experience.

O - Buy this beer! That is all I can recommend. I know that it doesn't get very far south of Burlington, but if you ever find it, buy it. This is not just the best IPA I have ever had; this is the best beer I have ever had. (1,537 characters)

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper from can into a snifter. 3 day old can from cannery, reviewed from notes.

A- Really nice golden orange with a nice hop haze. 1/2 finger white head with really nice lacing.

S- huge citrusy, piney, earthy, resiny characters coming off this beer. Really pungent hop aroma that just flows out of the glass like a hop scented yankee candle would. Pick up some bready malt but the hops are the main character in this feature. Love it.

T- Big bitterness right from the gates, then the grapefruit and pine come into view. Nice malt back bone to round it all out. Its really almost chewy and creamy at the same time. Very well balanced for a beer with 120 IBU's.

O- This is one of my favorite DIPAs you get everything here. Big huge hop aroma and flavor showing off the citrus and pine with a really nice malt balance. Really great drinkable Dipa. Go to the Alchemist cannery and get yourself a case. Thats what I did and Im riping through it like Hulk Hogan through his Hulkamania shirts. John stand up and take a bow sir, You have crafted a master piece. A+ (1,068 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.39/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy brownish orange body with tiny floaters. The head is brief and thin.

Pungent pine and dank aroma, followed by a floral perfume and tropical fruit.

Juicy and fresh citrus hop profile with pine reason and slight caramel and honey. It's very bitter.

Low carbonation and medium body. Mouthfeel is fresh and clean.

This has a great hop profile and the smell and taste are extremely clean. A great DIPA. (409 characters)

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.47/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ted!

Had out of the can, and in a glass.

Pours bright orange with white head. Theres bits of hops floating around, some are green and some are bright white.

Actually smells better out of the can. All the aroma hops of pine needles, fresh grapefruit, and hints of lemon.

Taste is pretty much exactly what the nose leads you to believe. Grapefruit takes the lead, but dont forget about pine needles and lemon zest. Unlike Pliny, there is a pervading bitterness that just goes about a full-frontal assault on your tongue. (529 characters)

Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Adrian for this one.

A- A beautiful golden amber color. Healthy white head that clings all over the glass. The beer is extremely clear, and bubbley.

S- Like sticking your face in a bag of hops. Notes of grapefruit, lemon, and mango. A distinct piney scent is present, as well as some fresh grassiness. SOOOO hoppy

T- Very smooth initially, but then the hops just go crazy. Piney hops and citrus just pound your taste buds. Lots of pineapple and fruity notes, with strong floral piney flavors as well. It's just so fresh tasting, and the flavor goes on for ever. Nice hoppy aftertaste as well.

M- Pretty much spot on. A bit dry at times, but carbonation and body are perfect.

O- Grade A DIPA all the way. This stuff is incredibly tasty, and tastes just like it did at the brewery. After drinking a significant amount of this, it really ruined most other IPA's for me. Nothing else I've had really compares to the smell and depth of flavor. Pliney tasted pretty boring next to Heady. If you are a hop head, this is a must have

-GFunk (1,048 characters)

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

This is a really good beer. The can says to drink from the can, so who am I to disobey a direct order. I can't really judge the appearance this way, but the can has a cool design. The smell is a certain citrusy aroma with hints of the can mixed in the smell. The taste is perhaps the most balanced DIPA. the hops are not overpowering, and the flavor is exceptionally complex. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, and a sour hop flavor come to the forefront. The most remarkable element is the smooth mouthfeel. One might even say it goes down soft. The aftertaste does not limit the experience, but takes it in a different direction. The citrusy flavors sweeten like candy. Most DIPAs express punch of bitter hops at this point, so this was surprising and refreshing. This beer is definitley worth the hype. (799 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,985 ratings.