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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,161 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,161
Reviews: 1,975
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 7,361
Gots: 2,887 | FT: 46
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:
Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004

"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% abv
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,161 | Reviews: 1,975
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of BA_Berto
4.1/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh beer, and one of the best of its kind. The one thing that I always look for is balance. This beer has beautiful balance! Is this the number one beer that I've ever had? I would have to disagree with it being ranked number one, but I would definitely drink again, and would rank in the top 20 of the ones that I've tried.

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of taez555
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

For the love of all that is holy!!!

Please drink this beer out of a glass, not the can. I swear they just put that on there as a joke to fuck with beer nerds who’ll believe anything. This beer smells amazing, and deserves to be enjoyed in a glass.

And for the record, I bought a full case of it at the brewery. Had it on tap fresh at the Alchemist(WHERE THEY SERVE IT IN A GLASS), then in can’s at bar’s in Burlington, then back home out of the can, and also back home in a glass. After all those experiences I can say beyond a doubt the glass version is 100 times more enjoyable than drinking out of the can. Seriously, don’t do it. Or at least try it both ways and judge for yourself.

Ok, on to the beer…

This beer pours a cloudy tan yellow body with an off-white head.

Nose has a strong citric and fruity hop smell.

Taste is medium to full bodied, and yet surprisingly light for a DIPA. Loads of fresh cut grassy citrus and fruit. A lot of strong orange, melon and grapefruit hop flavors, with a touch of black pepper and some mild lemon peel. The hop taste in this one is really dominated by the fruit flavors, and reminds me a lot of Wormtown’s Hopulance. A nice present malt flavor. I’d say just your typical fresh grain, not a lot of distinction since it’s covered up so much by the hops. Bitterness is there, but well balanced and in fact actually takes a back seat to the hop flavor. Not overly bitter at all, and even ends with a very clean aftertaste without a long hop numbness. Very clean beer from start to finish.

So… the elephant in the room is that this beer is basically the current holy grail, circle jerk, of beers.

Obviously its rarity and the lengths you need to go to obtain it help the myth. But, and I humbly apologize for saying this, but this beer doesn’t live up to the hype. It is amazing, don’t get me wrong, definitely deserves to be in the top 100 of BA, but no way in the top 10, let alone #1. It’s on par with other stellar DIPA’s like Hercules or Pliny or Hopulance or Kiwi Rising, but isn’t vastly better than any of the others. But as they say, that’s just my opinion. Still an amazing beer, but… the hype and shortage of this beer have made it more popular than it probably should be. Oh well… I’m still going to enjoy the rest of the case I bought. :-)

Photo of utopiajane
4.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks so much to Tom for this beautiful can of elusive goodness from vermont.

Pours a murky banana yellow with an orange hue and is not as ugly as everyone said.( I think) It has some floaties in it but no matter. Bone white head of foam that fell pretty fast to some decent lace. Pine and earth. Nose is pounding citrus. Pink grapefruit, and pungent with tropical notes. Stone fruits too, mango, apricot and peach. The malt is not heavy on the nose but there is plenty of honey to tempt and tease. It’s drippy, and sticky with it and I can’t wait to taste it. First sip is powerful grapefruit, enamel stripping hops with a forceful bitter that lays itself in to stay for a while. Pine resin and bitter. All the tropical fruits are flashing in evidence on the nose and on the palate. They all are there. I won’t make a list. The malt is thick with honey and balanced so well that you hardly notice it except for the sticky sweetness and the fact that it lends substantial body. A bit of spice to bite you and an almost imperceptible edge that is sharp like crushed aspirin. That edge is just a little sour.

Holy god almighty. More!

Photo of Slap_and_Pickle
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On my visit to Chicago, I stopped by Beer Temple with my companion and got an opportunity to meet the famed Christopher Quinn. As we approached the counter to inquire about any rare beers in his store a silver can caught our eye. Needless to say what luck to have walked in on this tasting.

Pours a dark orange with some haze, medium head that dissipates.
Smells immensely of citrus -- specifically grapefruit -- flowers/pines.
Initial taste profile was amazing; executed as one of the most balanced IPA's I have come across. Its on the level of Pliny the Elder if not surpassing that. It was a mix of just the right amount of hops, citrus and pines.

I appreciate IPAs and DIPAs that are beautifully executed as such; I don't partake in IBU pissing contests because sometimes being the bitterest is not better.

Photo of shamrock071521
4.84/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can; half poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass, half drank from the can

Thanks to EricDu and SammyJaxxxx for sending this beer my way

A: Poured half the can into a pint glass. A very hazy, dark orange/burning yellow color. About a finger and a half of somewhat rocky white head persisted for a couple minutes before dissipating into a thin layer.

S: [from the can]: VERY pungent citrus and piney hop aromas.
[from the glass] : I can distinguish the different citrusy hop flavors more from the glass, but the piney, resiny aromas aren’t as pungent or ‘in your face’ compared to the can, and the piney aroma is kind of lost. Mango is the first flavor that jumps out to me, but it’s really a medley of citrusy flavors.

T: [from the can]: very resiny, piney hop flavors throughout, aftertaste is a refreshing bitterness.
[from the glass]: again, the resin, pine flavors are more muted compared to from the can, with the citrus flavors dominating. The biggest similarity between the glass and can is the aftertaste, which in both cases is a very big and enjoyable hop bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation, the resiny flavors stick to your mouth, but IMO in a very good way.. It’s more bitter and stays carbonated more in the can, while from the glass it flattens a bit more as you drink it. The alcohol is unnoticed,

O: An incredible beer. I can see why this is #1 on BA. As someone who prefers and mostly drinks IPAs, this is as close to the ‘perfect hop flavor' as I've ever had. Well played Vermont.

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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3.5/5  rDev -26%

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Warlocks-Passage
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was so happy to finally taste this 'mythical' beer that seems so hard to find. My uncle brought down 6 from Vermont and we compared side by side with Pliny the Elder. I decided to split the experience, half in a dog fish head tulip and the other half out of the can.

A- hazy orange, reminds me of when pouring a racer 5..unfiltered. Nice finger and a half of white head. Great retention and lacing.
S- intense citrus, pine needle-resin...grapefruit and tangerine really shine through.
T- hop bomb! Intense grapefruit and piney resin with every sip. From the can, the hoppiness seems to be intensified...good malt backbone but the hops are clearly the star!
M- mouth is left with a reisinous, piney, gooey aftertaste. Seems to linger on...tad bit of carbonation left on the tongue.
O- overall a FANTASTIC double ipa. If you are a hop head this will not let you down. I recommend trying both from a tulip glass and the can....they are both great in their own right. Definitely worth trying to find...it took me a while but worth the wait!

Photo of Dcunicelli
4.63/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Lucky for me, a co-worker brought me a case back from vacation.

Appearance: I have no idea. I read and followed the directions on the can. So, I drank from the can. In terms of can aesthetic, it is cool.

S: floral and citrus. Very clean.

T: I love the taste. The most even tasting beer I have yet had. From the first opening taste, it doesn't let go. It is bitter but not overwhelming. Each mouthful is crisp, even and really delicious.

M: some doubles leave a resin tar like coating in my mouth. Heady has a full bold flavor but doesn't have that honey like weight which accumulates after each successive sip. Heady drinks easy and smooth.

O: so, my first heady was great, but not my far and away favorite But a day later after my second, I believe that this is fantastic brew. I don't know if this is the greatest beer ever. But I know if it was available to me everyday, I would pick it every time.

Find it. Drink it. Decide for yourself. It is worth it.

Photo of mythaeus
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 10,161 ratings.