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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

8,623 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,623
Reviews: 1,672
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 5,616
Gots: 1,859 | FT: 34
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:
"An American Double IPA” 75 IBU 8.0% abv

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,623 | Reviews: 1,672 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KevBot89
5/5  rDev +5.7%

KevBot89, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of beautato
4.89/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: amber or even an off gold colored, not really cloudy, just opaque enough not to be able to see through.

Smell / Nose: Smells strongly of fresh cut grass, rich hops, pine and citrus tones.

Taste: Big Grapefruit flavor, apricots, smooth creamy, but hoppy finish. The can is right, its very drinkable.

Mouthfeel: It has a slight mineral taste, like spring water. Each sip leaves your mouth clean and extremely pleasant, your pallet is fresh after every sip making it very drinkable.

Overall: Would enjoy over and over again. I am not so much of a hop-head, but this was a very enjoyable beer I would always have again.

beautato, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of Wayne17
4/5  rDev -15.4%

Wayne17, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Saudereth
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Saudereth, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of jebrew
5/5  rDev +5.7%

jebrew, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Erick_G
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Erick_G, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Murph-Dawg
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Murph-Dawg, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Uhler
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Uhler, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of Pelican5
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Pelican5, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of Brick_Frog
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Brick_Frog, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of delgotit99
5/5  rDev +5.7%

delgotit99, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of zackward
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

zackward, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of tpaetow
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

tpaetow, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of Zack_B
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Zack_B, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of mewanderinghome
4.23/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Heady Topper. Yes, the 'holy grail.'

Well, the can orders you to drink from the can, so I did that first. Okay, I can see why this has a following. And not just because of the obvious: yes it's ridiculously hard to get hold of outside Vermont. Or inside Vermont, frankly. At least as of this date in early 2014- I drove to the Hunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier VT on an early spring Friday and dutifully waited in line with folks from all over (like literally- the couple from Switzerland standing next to me included) for 3pm to roll around.

People who know me know I don't taste hard-to-get beer haphazardly. I do this scientifically. This is my 107th IPA I've formally reviewed (I've only posted a handful of reviews here on BA..but they are comprehensive :), and I always have a control IPA I know well as a taste reference. My usual control, Two Hearted, was sadly not available at Hunger Mountain. I went with one of my fave SD brews they had available, Green Flash West Coast. For good measure, I threw in a Maine Lunch that happened to be available at the Coop (effing score!)

On to the head-to-Heady review (after pouring into Worthy glasses):

Appearance: quite yellow for an IPA. Clarity: not cloudy...impossible to see through. Very little head on the Heady

Nose: hops, pure and unadulterated. I'm getting hardly anything else. Maybe a hint of citrus, but it may just be left over in my nostrils after the West Coast (or Maine Lunch, which has similar color, a bit more clarity, and a really sweet fruity nose).

Now to where it counts, down the gullet: Overwhelmingly full mouthfeel. Creamy. More creamy full hop than I think I've ever tasted. Which is saying something.

And the verdict: Honestly? Too much. Weedy. Here's the jist of it: IT TASTES LIKE YOU'RE DRINKING PURE HOPS & KIND BUD WHIPPED UP IN A BLENDER WITH PURE O2 AND MOUNTAIN SPRING WATER.

Yes, I know that statement may now drive a whole new wave of people to consider this beer the unattainable holy grail. It's definitely not a bad beer. Not at all. But in reality, after the first few sips, vs other really good IPAs, it's maybe A LITTLE MUCH. As a drinkable beer, the Maine Lunch I'm having beside it wins. Solidly. But this shiz is def worth trying sometime. Holy crap.

UPDATE: Despite losing in the head-to-head with Maine's Lunch IPA in my initial review, there really is something about the incredible mouthfeel and DRINKABLE intense hoppiness that keeps calling me back to the fridge for another can instead of trading. It really is a surprisingly unique IPA experience and not just a case of scarcity helping ratings. After several more, I feel I need to give Heady even better scores in a couple areas.

It's quickly becoming an addiction, and not the right addiction to have for those of us living on the opposite side of the country. Damn you, Alchemist.

mewanderinghome, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of hail_seitan
4.99/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed from a 16 oz can as instructed.

A - Poured some out into a shot glass to see what it looks like. Pale pilsen color. The body is hazy from the yeast and hop resin. I enjoy the minimalist design approach of the can as well.

S - The smell of hops wafts tremendously from the open can. Scents of peaches, flowers, grass, and a touch of resin fill the nostrils. Delightful.

T - Even better than the smell. A rush of tropical fruit and ripe orange taste assaults the tongue. Just a touch of pine to remind you that the flavors come from hops, not actual fruit. Compared to other famous DIPAs, there is no discernible onion/garlic/savory taste at all. The malt backbone is appropriately sweet and balanced, but really serves as a showcase for the amazing hops. A touch of bitterness hits the palate toward the end, but astoundingly does not linger. The aftertaste is of the tropical fruit and honey.

M - Wonderfully creamy with enough viscosity to remind you of the 8% ABV. Carbonation is present but inconspicuous so as not to distract from everything else going on.

O - This beer is seriously good and perhaps the best DIPA I have ever tasted. Whereas there is usually something lacking in even the best of beers, there is nothing I can think of to make this beer better. Believe the hype.

hail_seitan, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of kimjongill
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

kimjongill, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of 16hourdrive
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off a big thank you to my friend Jim for this beer! I live in San Diego so this is really hard to find.

I absolutely love Sculpin IPA and have been looking for a beer that exceeds the aroma, taste and feel. I found it and surpassed it with this beer!

Smell is excellent and the taste is excellent. I love the aftertaste that is still on my tongue as I'm typing this out. Lots of citrus and pine and all the great things I love in a double IPA.

This wins over sculpin and Pliny IMO.

Just wish I had another can!

16hourdrive, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of pdonovan16
5/5  rDev +5.7%

pdonovan16, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of alangarrett
5/5  rDev +5.7%

alangarrett, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of CSpoons
5/5  rDev +5.7%

CSpoons, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of tjdrewry
5/5  rDev +5.7%

tjdrewry, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of kess_419
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I went into my first Heady Topper with great expectations. My friend, whose beer opinion I've trusted since the 7th grade, really talked great things about this beer. It really intrigued me about how good he said it was. So I decided to get my Google on and do some research. Every rating site I found gave it tremendous reviews. Thousands of reviews and all of them were extremely high ratings. I found myself determined to track this brew down!

Long story short. So, somehow, I eventually managed to get my hands on The Alchemist Heady Topper. (Thanks Zach!) Any who, here is my opinion:

Appearance - Couple things. I love the book, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coehlo, and I love the appearance of this can. Haha! The head exploding with hops is a great symbol of what this beer is capable of.

Smell -The fresh aroma of hops released when this can opens makes my mouth water in anticipation.

Taste - I loved the taste. Delicious hoppy taste that really resonated on my tongue with each and every sip. Probably the best beer I've ever tasted.

Mouthfeel - A smooth and creamy feel that made me cherish each sip. Drinking this beer fast is a crime in my opinion. A nice slow drawn out sip will bring forth the flavors and delight fullness that beer advocates have craved since the cavemen discovered fire.

Overall - I'm drinking my 3rd ever Heady Topper as I type this and all I can think of is how honored this beer makes me feel. The Alchemist Heady Topper was only meant to be drank by a chosen few. Because, by Odin's beard, this is the mead of gods!!!

kess_419, Apr 05, 2014
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,623 ratings.