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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

9,440 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,440
Reviews: 1,770
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 6,327
Gots: 2,287 | 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)
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,440 | Reviews: 1,770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jones153
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of vizzionman
4.64/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm honestly not sure what all the hype is about. I think the fact that it's hard to get and really hoppy makes it a winner in most people's books. For me though it had a weird background taste every sip that I wasn't really used to I guess. After about the 3rd or 4th can though I started to like the beer a lot more.

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

Drank from the can.

Nose is awesome on this beer.

Immediate hop explosion after a tiny bit of sweetness upfront.

Golden strawlike appearance.

Mouthfeel is full with taste buds going crazy.

Finish leaves great hop residue on the tongue begging for more.

Recycle the can and repeat!

Photo of cpcraftenthusiast
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Williaar
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Marti403
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of crashdavisinoh
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of jimillies
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of dbrelsfo
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Duffman79
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving: Out of the can as instructed by Alchemist Brewery

S: Hits you like a ton of hop bricks. Overwhelmingly citrus, very nice.

T: Is amazing and totally lives up to the hype.

M: Thick enough to leave a nice hop resin coating on your tongue, but not chewy.

O: Yes, I had to drive about three hundred miles to get this beer. But, once I was in VT... I consumed over a dozen cans (I was there for five days) and brought two cases back with me.

Many people say that THEIR regional IPA is "better than Heady", I've heard it said about Hopslam, Gandhi-bot, Zombie Dust, Pliny the Elder, Jai Alai, etc. But when put head to head (no pun intended) it is (A.) Heady Topper that it is being compared to and (B.) the Heady Topper that comes out on top (given the taster is unbiased).

Photo of starny
3.5/5  rDev -26%

Photo of Flyingpond
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of insidetheoutside
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Fasiculus
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Bucknak3d
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of jcris5882
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of joepenrice
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of MACO
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Dan114
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold from a 16 oz can into a 7 oz taster. This is contrary to instruction from the brewer to drink straight from the can.

Pours with light-medium body and a modest white head. The room fills with fresh hop aroma as you pour!

Nose is hops. Perfect hop perfection. Usually the nose of an IPA is citrusy, piney, grapefruity, catty, grassy--describable. Heady Topper smells in the glass (or straight from the can) exactly like when you take cones and rub them between your palms! I've never smelled another beer like it; no other beer effuses that overwhelming essence of fresh cones ready to brew with.

Color is hazy straw, almost green, suggestive of a white ale or hefe.

Taste is hop forward but not overwhelming. I've sampled and brewed IPAs with extraordinary flavoring hops, this one does not deaden the tongue, instead it excites the tongue! Neutral to dry finish, no sweetness to mar the hop-forward nectar.

Edit: Myoriginal review sadly sufferd from grade inflation. Tasted side by side with Pliny, the Toppa is missing the clarity and bitterness that make a more perft beer.

Mouthfeel is light-moderate, smooth, easy-drinking, with no evidence of alcohol warmth or fusels. Bitterness is light.

As it warms in the glass, it perfectly maintains its balance. It is a pleasure to drink from start to finish, goes down very easy and smoothly. Wish it had a hint more bitterness, but flavor and aroma are dead on.

Overall an amazingly drinkable beer, one that I enjoy again and again. Literally, because you can actually buy this--any time you want as much as you want (well I saw somebody buy 10 cases the other day--I suppose you could want more...)

I must taste this head to head with PtE--have case will travel, need to hook up with BAs when The Elder is on tap.

12/22/11 edit:
Quoting from the can: "Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more."

This is a no b.s. warning to the wise. If you're drinking old Topper, you're not really drinking Topper. It changes character so much in just a few weeks, loses a lot of the raw-hop-cones-shoved-up-your-nostrils sensation.

Vinnie counsels regarding Pliny the Elder: "Drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a historical figure, don't make the beer inside this bottle one ... Age your cheese, not your Pliny ... Pliny is for savoring, not for saving! ... Respect hops, consume fresh!"

This admonishment for Pliny the Elder applies likewise to Heady Topper.

Photo of jons911
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of CRJMellor
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of DerekQXQX
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of DavidHume
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of jerichobear
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,440 ratings.