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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

7,194 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,194
Reviews: 1,543
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,616
Gots: 1,219 | FT: 35
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)
View: Beers (9) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,194 | Reviews: 1,543 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of skoenemann
skoenemann

Vermont

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Alchemist cannery is only 10 miles from my house and I have a case (or so) of this beer in my fridge at any one time... I am incredibly fortunate that it is my "regular". I frequented and severely miss the Alchemist Pub & Brewery that was destroyed by the flooding in downtown Waterbury, VT during Hurricane Irene. Heady Topper is a constant reminder of what a great brewery my good friends John and Jen Kimmich run. I hope that this beer remains BeerAdvocate's #1 beer "forever"... :)

Serving type: can

10-06-2013 00:40:03 | More by skoenemann
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-05-2013 16:35:28 | More by waltonc
Photo of Manicone
Manicone

New York

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-05-2013 04:18:16 | More by Manicone
Photo of charlzm
charlzm

California

4.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Consumed October 4th, 2013 from an undated can. Poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass.

Beer is slightly hazy light yellow. Lots and lots of happy little bubbles rising energetically from the glass's nucleation point. An off-white/pale yellow head erupts three fingers high. It slowly subsides, leaving behind fluffy, splotchy lacing. Some little floaties in the bottom of the glass. To be honest, not the best looking DIPA I have ever seen.

Aroma is sweet with lemon, mango and pineapple and spruce. Good, good stuff, except for that fleeting whiff of onion...

Flavor is similar to the aroma, but with a strong note that's almost, but not quite, lacquer. Slightly tingly with a nice, modulated bitterness on the finish. This beer is in no hurry to finish up the flavor of each sip, so it's one to savor slowly. It comes on strong but not sharp and finishes smooth but not fast. Each sip is a little experience of its own.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin (though with a little extra body - a trace of oatmeal to thicken it up, perhaps?) and tingly with carbonation. Just a few sips will reveal the alcohol in the form of some heat.

I find it quite an impressive achievement, but I let my non-beer-drinking girlfriend try some and she said it tasted like "pine-scented poison".

Serving type: can

10-05-2013 04:17:12 | More by charlzm
Photo of JDM44
JDM44

Texas

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-05-2013 02:39:48 | More by JDM44
Photo of Infiniteingest
Infiniteingest

Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, I want to say that I am excited about finally tasting this beer. It has been on my hit-list for a year and, my stars, I was gifted a can this afternoon by a co-worker (danke schön, Mike). The only potential downside is that it was canned in June, it's October, and I have been cautioned by both John Kimmich and devotees to drink it immediately after canning. Any subsequent lapses in enthusiasm are likely owing to this shortcoming.

And we're off!

Generally: Unfiltered, unpasteurized DIPA that is regarded by many as the apotheosis of ultra hoppy, high ABV IPAs. Interestingly, the can admonishes the consumer to "Drink From The Can!" I'm of the school that the color, clarity and head are a significant part of enjoying (or not) a beer. So, I poured half into a glass designed by Dogfishhead specifically for IPAs, and left the rest in the can. There's definitely more aromatic concentration in the can, but a swirl in the glass unleashes nearly the same notes.

The Pour: Especially when backlit, this is a pretty beer. Hazy golden, slightly orange in color with an excellent, though not too terribly long lasting, bone-white head. Some minimal lacing on the head.

Face in the glass: First off, I want to taste a fresh one already because my socks are still on...
In the can, it is definitely brighter and cleaner. The pineapple that everyone talks about is not subtle, which makes it awesome. It smells stinking delicious out of the can. There's a classic array of hop notes embracing that tropical fruit. Now, out of the glass: At 64 degrees it smells better than it did at 55, and it's getting close to the concentration I found in the can. The hops are more apparent here, but I'm not getting anything with the word "malt" in it. To be expected...

With Regard to Taste: I find this inexplicable, but I actually prefer it out of the can. Anyway, I drank what was left in the can so onto the poured bit! It's not quite as bright as I was expecting, but the mouthfeel is soft as a pig's nose, which is a good thing. Beautiful resinous and citric hop notes that linger for ever... for EVER... in a sea of alternately mouth watering honey notes and "my-teeth-are-stuck-to-my-gums!" bitterness. It's almost tannic. Perhaps the best thing about this DIPA is the linger... it goes on for days and keeps getting more interesting. Easily one of the most complex beers in this style that I have ever tasted.

Abstract: There's something organic and mildly anarchic about this beers personality. It's extremely interesting to me that J. Kimmich is constantly working on its recipe. I'd regard that as the only philosophy an artisan in the craft beer world could defend. Personally, I am a little tired of formerly great beers being dumbed down for mass consumption and the attendant need for mass production... no names will be mentioned.

Epitoma: Well, I haven't had a fresh one yet (send beer!) but I am impressed. It's a delicious and heady (wink wink) DIPA. For glass enthusiasts, I get the same aromas at 70 degrees that I got out of the can. Surprisingly, this huge monstah drinks nicely at nearly room temperature.

Note: Bitter!! Dry!! Give me fat food to eat!

Serving type: can (old can)

Serving type: can

10-05-2013 02:10:33 | More by Infiniteingest
Photo of LI_PO12
LI_PO12

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-05-2013 01:43:24 | More by LI_PO12
Photo of tsauce2
tsauce2

Indiana

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-05-2013 01:15:26 | More by tsauce2
Photo of x_Khalix_x
x_Khalix_x

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-05-2013 00:40:25 | More by x_Khalix_x
Photo of HopHeadRaleigh
HopHeadRaleigh

North Carolina

4.91/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I just made my monthly trip to The Alchemist and figured it is finally time to write a review.

Heady Topper is getting a ton of national attention...and for good reason. This is a complex imperial IPA with great citrus smell and flavor and the right balance of hoppiness and maltyness (yes I know neither is a real word!)

This DIPA is very smooth, well balanced and very easy to drink. It's a relatively high ABV at 8.0%, but you can still enjoy a few in a sitting. While they suggest drinking it from the can you can definitely enjoy when you pour it into a glass, but it does change the flavor profile and you will notice a lot of hop residue since HT is unfiltered.

I am a hop-head and can honestly say that this is among the best I have had.

Cheers!

Serving type: can

10-04-2013 23:34:38 | More by HopHeadRaleigh
Photo of E_wood
E_wood

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-04-2013 21:31:21 | More by E_wood
Photo of jaredlook
jaredlook

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-04-2013 21:23:08 | More by jaredlook
Photo of JJH1018
JJH1018

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-04-2013 13:14:22 | More by JJH1018
Photo of rbrefbeerman
rbrefbeerman

California

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-04-2013 04:41:11 | More by rbrefbeerman
Photo of ALBuff
ALBuff

Hawaii

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-04-2013 04:32:10 | More by ALBuff
Photo of TheAnk
TheAnk

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-04-2013 00:16:46 | More by TheAnk
Photo of cliffjeckel
cliffjeckel

South Dakota

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

10-03-2013 23:57:44 | More by cliffjeckel
Photo of bt931912
bt931912

Connecticut

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-03-2013 23:55:49 | More by bt931912
Photo of maDUECEgunner
maDUECEgunner

Minnesota

4.94/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: golden yellow with small white head (only poured a little bit into a glass)

Smell: Huge hop aroma. Loads of pine and citrus.

Taste: loads of citrus and pine. Perfect combination of hops.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly really smooth for a DIPA. Still enough bitterness though.

Overall: one of the best beers I have had, if not the best. So happy another 4 pack will land on my doorstep tomorrow.

Serving type: can

10-03-2013 23:27:36 | More by maDUECEgunner
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned only 3 days ago (!), this was an incredibly generous trade surprise from mtomlins and a beer I've been hoping to try for ages. It is just plain stunning and actually lives up to my (unduly high) expectations...

Pours a hazy golden orange colour with a respectable white head that has good retention. As the instructions are clearly not to pour it all, am rating appearance mostly on that very attractive can. The aroma is a brilliant blend of my favourite hop-forward elements; resiny pine and citrus with an initial alcohol burn that dissipates dangerously quickly.

The taste is the epitome of its style and I believe it to be the first "5" I can remember giving?! This may well be the ultimate DIPA. A hop-centric ride from start to finish that is strangely well balanced, despite being so hop-forward. The malt backbone respectfully supports the hop lover's ride and that finish is one to savour. It has a delightful blend of bitterness and citrus that lingers...

It's been often discussed, but we may now be well enough motivated to make that pilgrimage trek to Vermont!!

Serving type: can

10-03-2013 23:05:13 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of VTBeerTrade
VTBeerTrade

Vermont

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

10-03-2013 17:45:34 | More by VTBeerTrade
Photo of joeponte
joeponte

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-03-2013 17:34:00 | More by joeponte
Photo of Beer21
Beer21

Florida

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-03-2013 17:27:46 | More by Beer21
Photo of BoldRulerVT
BoldRulerVT

Vermont

5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cracking open a fresh Heady...

The smell is glorious. It's piney, and citrusey...vague sweetness, beautiful hop aromas.
I take my first sip and let it wash over my tongue and swallow. Grapefruit dominates the back of my tongue, just the right level of carbonation creates wonderful mouthfeel. A second sip starts to reveal sweeter noted toward the tip of my tongue.

This beer is complex. As John writes on the can, it is not meant to dominate you with hop bitterness. There is just the right level of bitterness mixed with the right amount of sweetness. Citrus, piney, and some alcohol forward notes.

One can and I can feel this beer working it's magic in my head. It has amazing drinkability that really belies how complex it is.

It is perfect. The perfect beer.

Serving type: can

10-03-2013 17:13:16 | More by BoldRulerVT
Photo of TonyJ815
TonyJ815

Florida

5/5  rDev +5.7%

10-03-2013 13:59:35 | More by TonyJ815
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,194 ratings.