Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

9,426 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,426
Reviews: 1,767
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 6,290
Gots: 2,268 | FT: 37
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: 9,426 | Reviews: 1,767 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.76/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can. Did not pour into a glass, so I can not say what it looks like, but the can is very cool. My dad will love this addition to his beer can collection. Bittersweet grapefruit and dank hop resins dominate, I can already tell this drinks like juice. A bit of pineapple and mango are noticeable on the nose as well. On the first sip, I couldn't believe how complex a one dimensional beer could be. This beer really doesn't need a malt backbone, what a use of hops. Drinks so easy from the can.

Overall: If I lived in Vermont, I would buy this every week. What a treat.

Photo of bilhelm
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of maximus_rebel
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of beer-thirty
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Yeti1979
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Boozecamel
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of ksodemann
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of BeersAndBears
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of bodhi185
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

--Update-- thanks to a second from 'dorsch'...this beer is way better out of the can. the green comes out, the dry-hop is more prominent, and it really is a different beer. both good, but like pbr...better in the can.

Canned...pour into a pint glass...although i know this violates the first seven unwritten vermontonian beer laws.

A: Hazy orange with a thin bubbly head. No floaters. I have to admit I was hoping for some resin and shake hanging out in the glass. But, too new, too fresh. I have a feeling I'll find a way to get through it.

S: A little citrus on top of an aromatic double ipa-ness.

T: Bitter, piney, and hop-sweet with lingering grassy kind of notes. This is a great beer. It reminds me of an earthy Double Jack or what a Double IPA version of Two Hearted would taste like. Seriously tasty beer.

M: Sticky with a super long linger and a little bit of lupulin kicking in now. I'd be willing to bet a second or third would still taste pretty good though.

O: Fantastic beer. One that I'm hoping finds its way past NPH into ready availability. I know that Northwest Indiana could support a steady influx. No doubt that this one beer is all that the Alchemist needs...although, in case the northern vermontarians felt like branching out, a fresh hop version would probably be pretty epic.

Photo of jschott75
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of skoenemann
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"... :)

Photo of waltonc
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Manicone
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of charlzm
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".

Photo of JDM44
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Infiniteingest
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)

Photo of LI_PO12
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of tsauce2
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of x_Khalix_x
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of HopHeadRaleigh
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!

Photo of E_wood
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of jaredlook
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of JJH1018
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of rbrefbeerman
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of ALBuff
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,426 ratings.