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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,665 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,665
Reviews: 1,676
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 5,635
Gots: 1,878 | FT: 36
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
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Ratings: 8,665 | Reviews: 1,676 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

dwmetsfan13, Mar 11, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

mps, Mar 11, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Spessyquist, Mar 11, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

barnesy, Mar 11, 2014
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5/5  rDev +5.7%

stevehagy, Mar 11, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

dsigmon, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of gio540
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

gio540, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd forgotten about the ranty feeling-sorry-for-myself review from last August (Reposted below.) But I am here to report I finally hit Heady paydirt. That is, my friend BigStein88 gave me two precious cans.

I HATE drinking beer out of cans, so I defied the recommendation from the brewer and poured my first can into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass, self-serving at just under fifty degrees fahrenheit out of my beer fridge. Not sure how fresh, but BigStein88 visits his old home state of Vermont fairly often, so I doubt if it's more than two months old.

a: Hazy dark gold, not as hazy as I expected though, although I do see some tiny floaties. Two inch tall white head receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Intense citrus and pine. Later, lawn mower grass clippings. (!)

t: Do not find this as citrusy as on draft. In fact grassiness is the most prominent and persistent flavor, much stronger even than any wet hop ale I have had (yes I know this is not one of those). Moderate hop bite, but little in the way of lingering bitterness as the brewer's text on the can seems to suggest. Blindfolded, I'd have said this is the freshest wet hop IPA ever. 8% alcohol is well concealed in any event.

m: As on draft, moderate, slickish.

o: I want to say this is The Best I've Ever Had. But truth is, and heretical though it is for a New Englander to say, at this point the Pliny the Elder I had last night was even creamier and more enjoyable. Might be my own fault for not following the other part of the brewer's instructions, and pouring it all out into the glass at once rather than saving the yeasty last ounce for a final savory pour.

The intense grassy flavor is different and very good. Definitely unlike any DIPA I have had, but not what I expected, especially in light of my previous, citrusy rather than grassy taste experience with it fresh at the cannery last August and on draft at the Prohibition Pig in Waterbeery (sic).

Will add more to this essay on Heady when I crack the other can. I'll probably bite the bullet and drink at least part of that out of the can to see if it makes a difference.

In view of the above, am changing my original review ratings: a: 3.5-3.75; s:4-4.25; m: 4.5-4.25


8 oz. draft at the Prohibition Pig pub in Waterbury VT and several ounces more in a mini-snifter at the brewery the same day.

a: A hazy gold with a finger thick white head which dropped to a surface film.

t: Sweet citrusy goodness. Alcohol well hidden. Not as hoppy as I had expected, but very tasty indeed.

m: Moderate, slickish and almost chewy, an impression no doubt reinforced by the cloudiness. Probably why the brewer recommends drinking it straight from the can. Oh if only I had had that opporunity! But alas "CANS SOLD OUT" greeted me at the end of the entrance and the front door at the brewery.

o: Excellent, appealing, refreshing, all those good things. Whether I would concur it is the best I can't say for sure. I do feel a bit troubled by the fact that I liked Double Sunshine better at the same sitting at The Pig. But I had that first, and they were different.

I know you know this already, but the friendly gal who poured my sample at the brewery said weekdays are the time to get some in cans. This week they sold out on Thursday. Usually it's Friday. I was there on Saturday, after dinner, around 6 P.M. I had figured they'd be out. But I also visited half a dozen stores where HT was supposed to be available, and even saw two places had hanging signs which read stuff like "Head This Way To The Heady." Nope.

And Lawson's or Hill Farmstead anything? Forget that too. Trek up to Greesboro in the middle of Nowhere Vermont (sorry, I am sure it is very wonderful up in that part of the Kingdom, it just looks like Nowhereland on my maps) and buy Hill Farmstead at the farm if you want some (and I know you do, I can hear your heavy breathing). Call ahead to make sure they have some. Preferably from across the street.

Lawsons might show up at the Warren Store on Thursdays. You may have to haunt the place or get a job there. Or go early on the second Saturday to the Waitsfield Farmers Market. Get a ticket from the Lawson's booth. And Waits in the Field until your turn. Are we getting a bit frustrated with limited availability and frantic buying from craftier-than-thou beer connoisseurs yet? After driving a six hour round trip and coming home empty-handed, Yes.

scotorum, Mar 11, 2014
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5/5  rDev +5.7%

Polvo626, Mar 11, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

sixtyminute, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of BoardwalkBock
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What is there to say about this beer that hasn't already said a million times?

I don't know the appearance because under strict orders from the can, I am gulping this sucker down out of the can. I don't care. Its that amazing. The aroma is explosive. Resin, pine, grapefruit, citrus, anything and everything you can imagine..and can't imagine. Same goes for the flavor. Huge hop explosiveness perfectly balanced by a huge malt backbone. Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect. This beer is so good I just want to ramble on all day about it.

All in all. Best DIPA I've ever had. Lived up to and beyond the hype.

BoardwalkBock, Mar 11, 2014
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Keananmichael5, Mar 10, 2014
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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,665 ratings.