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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,241 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,241
Reviews: 1,628
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 5,342
Gots: 1,705 | 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: 8,241 | Reviews: 1,628 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BobZ
4.08/5  rDev -13.7%

16oz Can poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Very cloudy yellow near opaque, short initial head of about 1" which receded to abut 1/8" cap. Nice lacing.

Smell: Floral hops, big, big citrus, over some pine.

Taste: Massive grapefruit hoppiness, the most dominant flavor by far. Any pine resin flavors are subservient to the power of the citrus. This is what a "hop-bomb" should be. No hint of alcohol. The finish is (pleasantly) bitter tasting like you just finished a glass of grapefruit juice.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth albeit with the strong bitter finish. In fact I found this to be the creamiest IPA/DIPA I have ever had, unique and well done.

Overall: I can see why this beer is so loved, extreme flavor, excellent mouthfeel. Not highly complex and verging on one dimensional. Still a well crafted beer and a very good example of the style

BobZ, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of beerborn
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

beerborn, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of Quanz_Kitty
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Here I thought Hillfarmstead was a winner! This beer is by far the best kind of brew prolly in the world! If you have not tried Heady Topper, you are nuts. OMG. It made me a believer of hops and the magic is provides when it comes to sleep. Heady Topper is drinkable. I'm telling you right now, it doesn't taste like 8%. So, if you are a fast drinker, a 4 pack should do ya!

Quanz_Kitty, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of AlexFields
4.56/5  rDev -3.6%

Thanks to baconsausage for sending me a four pack as extras (thanks to him for the glass and the other six or seven extras too).

Pours an amazingly thick pine colored syrup with tons of floaties. This looks like crystallized pine sap and I'm surprised it even moves when you tilt the glass. I wouldn't call this "pretty" exactly but it's pretty damned impressive in its own way.

Smell is ridiculous. Just a wild bouquet of every imaginable fruit. Pineapples, mangos, oranges, peaches, bananas, candy sugar. Almost no bitterness or pine in the nose, smells pretty sweet really. This smells as good as any IPA there is.

Taste is a but different. Plenty of fruit still, but focused on pineapple and orange and somewhat less variety. Definitely more bitter than the nose suggests, and hints of line that weren't in the nose. Aftertaste is mostly bitter. Great beer obviously, but not as mind blowing as the nose would suggest.

Mouthfeel is interesting, very thick and syrupy but still pretty drinkable.

Excellent IPA. Not the best in the world IMO, but damn good.


AlexFields, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of wilfonzo
5/5  rDev +5.7%

wilfonzo, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of Prost76
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Prost76, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of Newbiebeer
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Newbiebeer, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of BeerSnob1022
5/5  rDev +5.7%

BeerSnob1022, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of gigoat
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

gigoat, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of RoninTK3
5/5  rDev +5.7%

A - Extremely murky. You can barely even see light through this beer. A bit of head. Really something unusual here.

S - Hops.

T - Hops. Really, that's about it, but it's incredibly drinkable. This is so good it makes me not want to finish it.

M - Medium bodied and sticky, almost chewy. Average carbonation. Leaves your whole mouth tingling.

This is the best IPA I've ever head. I'm a hop fanatic, but I've had beers that are just hop juice and this isn't one of them. This is very drinkable and not just hoppy for the sake of being hoppy. More please.

RoninTK3, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of Seanniek91
4.95/5  rDev +4.7%

Shared with RoninTK3. Served from a pint can into a Smuttynose glass.

Appearance- Looks like a witbier it's so cloudy. Can't see shit through it!

Smell- Just hops. Not floral or fruity. Just straight up hops.

Taste- Hop bomb! Straight hop bitterness (in a great way). Very vegetal and drinkable. Don't know how else to describe it.

Mouthfeel- Makes my whole mouth tingle. Not just a lasting flavor, but a lasting mouth tingle. So smooth and strangely drinkable.

Overall- Wow. Never had anything else like it.

Seanniek91, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of BeerCosmonaut
5/5  rDev +5.7%

BeerCosmonaut, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of caponeduke
4.13/5  rDev -12.7%

I took the first few pulls from the can as instructed .... then I poured into a cigar city Tulip glass. I did not enjoy from the can really. I like my IPAs in a glass so I can enjoy the nose.

A: A golden mess of hops. Some moderate lacing. Beautiful!

S: Huge tropical fruit and pineapple nose right up front. Not too piney and as it warmed a bit I got a lot of Orange peel.

T: A hop BOMB! I mean I love IPAs but this but others to shame. It was surprisingly drinkable and I did enjoy the clean finish.

MF: Medium bodied, with good carbonation.

O: Smell is better than taste and this is a top twenty for me but I have had better IPAs. A great IPA glad I got to try it finally!

caponeduke, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of greid
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

greid, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of 4ster
4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

Had on tap in VT and from cans. Review from both glass (tulip/large wine glass) and also from the can. Was canned around 2nd week, December 2012.
As always, after 800+ reviews, I think everyone knows what to expect from this beer but just for reference here's my review. Thanks to papat444 for the 4 pack :D

(from glass)
A: Pours light straw colour, but extremely opaque, possibly do to hop resins. (if you pour out the end of the can into another glass it is even more cloudy.. with resin?)...not chunky at all, just a fine mist. Light bubbles and light head as well that doesn't build up too much but leaves a slight lace around the rim of the beer as it goes down.

S: Floral, more in the range of sweeter hop smells, some citrus fruit... I don't get as much pine/resin type of hop smell as with some out DIPA's/IIPA's. Otherwise just a lot of endless hops. When you stick you nose in the tulip you get hit with a wonderful green bouquet and know what you're in for!

T: As others noted, aromas lead right into flavours...more floral hops at the start, citrus, and what you don't get so much of in the nose, bitterness and resin, which comes out as it rushes to the back of your throat & explodes back into your mouth...superbly balanced compared to some other super hopped beers. Bitter enough to be a IIPA but not over the top... it just keeps going and because it is so well balanced you just want to keep going...where as some super hopped beers keep piling on the bitterness to where you can't taste anything afterwards for days... this one is like a clean slate each sip....and just a note, if you are savouring it, it will get more resin/bitterness as it warms but still no hint of malts really.

T / M: (from can): Almost like a nitrous injection of hops. As you drink from the can you get both the beer and the hop aromas at once, which is nice. Out of the can it seems to carry a bit more resins and more intense hops... you might also not get as much bitterness because you get a bit more carbonation on your tongue than from drinking out of the glass, so it is more sparkling and refreshing which makes the flavours jump around a little more, but does emphasis the hops for sure... overall it was interesting drinking out of the can.... not sure I'd say it tastes all that much different to be honest, (and I didn't do back to back in 1 shot), but it certainly doesn't diminish the quality of this beer. I'd say glass is probably fine, but you're good either way. Drinking out of the can might be a little closer to what you get on tap (minus the Guinness toys..) but again, didn't do that comparison either.

M: Pine resin stickiness...you'll be tasting this all night on your palette... incredibly balanced... like a hop oil slick, smooth upon entry and as it goes down, no hint of the ABV at all. Perfect amount of carbonation to keep it fresh but not attacking your tongue to distract.

O: What can I say that hasn't already been said before. Best IIPA ever? I haven't tried all the other ones. Best one I've tried so far? definitely. Drink-ability for this amount of hops is outstanding. Hard to get to all the hop flavours in such a complicated hopped beer, but that is ok, this isn't about sipping an Imperial Stout till you get to the bottom of the complexity.... the Alchemist set out to make a perfectly hoppy, drinkable IPA and have surely succeeded where many others fail. For a IIPA this is near perfection. I don't go back to a lot of beers but I would drink this often if I lived in VT...

4ster, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of TheChiefBrews
4.98/5  rDev +5.3%

My friend was in VT skiing over Christmas and was able to get his hands on 6 four-packs. Needless to say it was an amazing New Years!

A: Poured from the can yielding an opaque dark gold beer with about a finger of bright white head (I made sure to leave the sediment in the can as best I could). I have never seen a beer of this color so opaque, l could not see anything through the beer! My only complaint about this beer, which in minor, is that the head retention was poor.

S: This may be the best beer I have had the privilege to smell. Liquid hops. Huge grapefruit and tropical fruit notes dominate the smell. No malt or alcohol that I could detect.

T: Amazing, the taste follows the smell. Huge grapefruit and tropical fruit tastes. I did not taste any alcohol or malt in this one. A bitter beer that fades nicely into pineapple and citrus rind sweetness.

M: Medium carbonation with a sticky mouthfeel. Slightly astringent.

O: This is absolutely in the top three IPAs for me. I am about to retry some Pliney here in a couple of days and once I do that I think I will be able to place it. If you like IPAs then this is a must have beer that is worth seeking out.

TheChiefBrews, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of bigd03
5/5  rDev +5.7%

bigd03, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

16oz CANS, served in various goblets over christmas

Ah yes, Heady Ticker...Thanks @blackie for the CANS. I'm sorry folks, but I just couldn't get myself to drink this from a can, despite their wishes. That just doesn't make any sense to me - drank from some nice glassware with no issues! If they had told you to drink it out of a shoe, would you? Bright hop profile - oily, fragrant citrus, tropical, tangerine, pineapple. Really liked this - deserves most of the praise it receives.

dirtylou, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of Buttermilk
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Buttermilk, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of KWMiles
5/5  rDev +5.7%

KWMiles, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of dickieb
4.83/5  rDev +2.1%

I first poured a few OZ off to get a look then drank the rest from the can. Pours a hazy amber/straw in color with a pretty standard white head and pretty good lacing, points for the cool can as well. The smell fills the room even from the can resiny, piney, and citrus hops with tropical notes, pretty much any hop smell you can think of rolled into one. Taste of pure hop juice for me, not overly bitter but the can describes it best "wave after wave of hop goodness", there are also some malts in there if you try really hard to notice them. The mouthfeel is not all that heavy, the 8% abv is not noticeable at all and if you have access to this one it can be drank can after can. This can was exactly 1 week old.

dickieb, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of MacTeo
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

MacTeo, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of RandyKemka
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

RandyKemka, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of Tony412
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Tony412, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of TabulaRasa
5/5  rDev +5.7%

TabulaRasa, Jan 02, 2013
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,241 ratings.