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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

8,247 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,247
Reviews: 1,628
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 5,345
Gots: 1,707 | 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: 8,247 | Reviews: 1,628 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SoManyFelix
4/5  rDev -15.4%

SoManyFelix, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of jsherlock
5/5  rDev +5.7%

jsherlock, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of BlissJunkie
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

BlissJunkie, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of blue-dream
5/5  rDev +5.7%

blue-dream, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of bpasquini
5/5  rDev +5.7%

bpasquini, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of David_C
5/5  rDev +5.7%

David_C, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
4.68/5  rDev -1.1%

Appearance- Pours up a more than a fair amount of head and seems to have pretty good retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a hazy, pale to medium amber with weak grapefruit notes which glows a pale amber with hints of orange when held up to the light. Hazy but I haven't detected any of the infamous floaters. Some lacing is left behind.

Nose- Not the strongest scent that I've encountered from an IPA/DIPA but still fairly warm and inviting. Rings with citrus- grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Mellow to moldy peach. Cherries, some honey. Nice floral and perfume notes. Some banana. Quite complex but very subtle at the same time. Some papaya after swirling.

Taste- Reflective of the nose in both complexity and subtlety. Armpit and funk start off with a mixture of citrus and honey following. Some onion with lots of grapefruit and both orange and lemon peel. Very subdued matchstick which borders on sublime. The hops are incredibly fresh (this is a 3 day old can) and well rounded. The yeast and hops lend an incredible spiciness to the finish. Honey and caramel provide a sweetness that blend well with the bold citrus, tropical fruit, and mild pine and resin of the hop profile. This is very mellow and incredibly smooth for the style. Nectar seems to be the one word which bind together the entire description of this beer. Some vinous characteristics- some white grape. As this opens up, it becomes more delightful and boozy. But the booze is warm and inviting and seems to attach the flavors to your palate (or perhaps this is more the mouthfeel which seems to coat your tongue in film). Peaches, melons, banana, orange, and lemon. So many fruits and so much juiciness with the right amount of pine and resin to balance it all out. Makes me think of a less messy 120. Not sure how this ranks against the Plinys but they're all pretty close. Some funk that evokes moldy cheese and mushrooms. A hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel- Incredibly smooth and creamy for an IPA. This is definitely a large part of the appeal of this beer. It's almost buttery, a little bit greasy with somewhat of a dry finish which does cleanse the palate but allows the spice and wood of the finish to linger. Even the middle parts of the profile linger. Good amount of carbonation. There's tons of juice and syrup on the texture- this is pretty heavy for an DIPA. Medium bodied. Somewhat silky as well. The more it opens up, the more you mouth tingles.

Drinkability- This is extremely accessible for an IPA. I had a Boneyard RPM earlier and thought that was approachable but it doesn't even hold a candle to the near sublimity that defines this beer. 3 bucks a can is a steal for this can. I feel pretty good about paying 60 bucks for the 12 cans I was able to get.

Overall- Great beer. It isn't my favorite beer in the world but I understand why it resides at the top of the rankings. If you nitpick the flavor profile, you can judge it to be just like any other world class or outstanding IPA/DIPA. However, this beer needs to be considered as more than the sum of its parts. It is constantly involving in the mouth even after a drink has been taken. It never even approaches boring- there are different notes constantly appearing. Definitely worth a try if you can get some.

artoolemomo, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of cwc
5/5  rDev +5.7%

cwc, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of AnalogErik
5/5  rDev +5.7%

AnalogErik, Sep 16, 2013
Photo of drebin8
5/5  rDev +5.7%

drebin8, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Agentveba
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Agentveba, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Jimbobebop
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Jimbobebop, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of JacobDike
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

JacobDike, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of bonsaihippie
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

bonsaihippie, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of Hacksaw99
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Hacksaw99, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of BigPapaMolar
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

BigPapaMolar, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of nova50
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

nova50, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of bosox2004
5/5  rDev +5.7%

bosox2004, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of FrostBlast
4.66/5  rDev -1.5%

Cracked a can which was about 2 months old. Poured into a tulip glass.

I never mention bitterness in my reviews, my bitterness taste buds are ridiculously under-sensitive.

APPEARANCE : Hazy golden orange, with a reasonably thick, fluffy, pleasingly appetizing head. Looks like those good-weather-clouds over a lazy sunrise, but only briefly, as the head is rather quick to die out almost entirely, leaving some lacing that looks like it won't stick around so much either.

SMELL : First nose is fresh hops, fresh hops, fresh hops and more fresh hops, with a thin but solid malt foundation. Very tightly packed, richly textured but somewhat indistinct. Second nose has some very sharp herbal aromas, tons of citrus (mostly grapefruit) and pineapple and some mango and other tropical fruits. The third nose releases hints of strawberries which, once noticed, become more obvious and extremely pleasing. Some dusty earth as well.

TASTE : Small impression of sweetness, but really, really faint. Almost imperceptible. Definitely honey-like. The mouth follows the nose and releases the strawberries even more, with some mango and even watermelon notes. Some kind of barnyard funk also comes out in the mouth. The whole thing lasts and lasts and lasts. I took a sip when I started to write this paragraph a minute ago and I still feel some aromas.

MOUTHFEEL : Very round, pleasing texture. Carbonation is a touch too active for me, but a few swings around the glass and it's down to something more to my taste. Leaves a pleasing wet tropical fruit punch sensation after swallowing. Impressive.

OVERALL : Among the best brews I've had. I probably wouldn't go so far as to call this the best beer in the world (too much amazing stuff out there) but it's definitely up there, way up there. I bought a 4-pack 3 days ago on-location at the brewery and I'll probably review this one tomorow, for the sake of comparison. And also to give me an acceptable excuse to drink another one.

FrostBlast, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of Jlu73183
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Jlu73183, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of VernonBaxter
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

VernonBaxter, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of TheBierBoutique
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

TheBierBoutique, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of carrollmel7
5/5  rDev +5.7%

carrollmel7, Sep 14, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4.46/5  rDev -5.7%

16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?

This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.

A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.

biboergosum, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of theblub25
5/5  rDev +5.7%

theblub25, Sep 13, 2013
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,247 ratings.