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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,940 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,940
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 5,161
Gots: 1,584 | 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)
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: 7,940 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of williamjbauer

West Virginia

4.99/5  rDev +5.5%

Served in a nonical pint glass just for appearance. Drank 1st from the can, the way it is meant to be drank.

A - Pale amber slightly opaque with 2 finger frothy white head with excellent retention and good lacing.

S - One of the best smelling beers out there. You almost feel you are smelling the true essence of grassy, citrus, peach, grapefruit hops with a touch of bready malt, but not much. It is all about the hops here.

T - Once again, I cannot believe the level of hop aroma and flavor this beer has resolved. All the presence of hops in the nose is here from the beginning and develops even further with chiefly citrus and grassy hops but also a touch of spicy and piney notes. The alcohol is present, but just barely for balance and that is just how big the hops are in a beer with 8% you really don't notice the EtOH. This is simple, unadulterated hops fun.

M - Medium body, moderate-high carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O - I think this is easily my favorite beer in a can and among the best ever. I like this as much as Pliny the Younger. Where that beer was complex, rich, and subtle at the same time, this beer just does one thing, but does it PERFECTLY. It captures the soul of the hops.

06-22-2012 10:23:19 | More by williamjbauer
Photo of Pjev11

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

06-22-2012 03:28:52 | More by Pjev11
Photo of Teleweizen2

New Jersey

4.64/5  rDev -1.9%

A - pours a slightly hazey marigold color. A fingers worth of froathy white head which quickly dissipates to just a white ring around the rim. No lacing.

S - the aroma just permiates from the can as soon as its opened. The nose is bright and intoxicating in itself. Bright grapefruit, orange and lemon peel lead the charge followed by a basket of tropical fruit filled to the brim with candied pineapple and fleshy mango. The nose is rounded out by notes of fresh cut grass, and crusty bread.

T - taste follows the nose for the most part. At first it seems more on the dry side but seems to get sweeter as it warms. Dough and bread crust are first detected on the tip of the tongue. Lots of sweet fruit and malt character aid in keeping the grapefruit bitterness balanced. Pineapple and banana peel seem to be the predominant tropical fruits while the grassy flavors keep the flavors well rounded in the middle of the palate. A strong bitterness in the long finish as well as a touch of lemony acidity.

M - slick textured medium verging on full bodied with a light bubbly carbonation.

O - excellent. Almost everything I love about IPAs in a single can. Alchemist really hit the nail on the head with this one.

06-22-2012 01:54:25 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of erlenmeyer


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-22-2012 00:41:36 | More by erlenmeyer
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

thanks to egrace84 for sending this can my way! Thanks elliot!

tall boy can into duvel tulip.

Appearance: yellowish/orange opaque bodied beer with alot of white floaties. 2 to 3 fingers of white head that drops down to a small thin cap with some decent staying power. Spotty thin lace everywhere that the head touched the glass. I love how it says to drink the beer out of the can. I think its purpose for saying that is to hide all the floates in this beer. HA! Classic tactic right there!

Smell: This smells amazing! Big dank resinous hop oil upfront. Big citris notes mostly oranges. Some mangos and peaches too. Also has a little bit of sweetness in the nose, similiar to honey.

Taste: This beer tastes very hoppy without being over the top bitter. Thats a great trait for any hoppy beer to have; I dig it for sure! Very nice balance between the malt and hops! The hops have a fairly complex profile here, probably the best that I have ever tasted. Oranges, tropical fruits(mango and pineapple), melon, grassy, herbal, hint of pine resin, and all the hops taste really juicy. The beer finishes with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Not a hint of booze at all...very nice! Semi-dry finish, yet still juicy and dank thanks to the hops!

Overall: Wow what just happened, this beer is so good its disorienting! This im my favorite hoppy beer I have ever drank! This is my new favorite DIPA! Added bonus...its in a can the best beer vessel that there is with added convience factor of not needing a bottle opener to get into this nectar! Bravo Alchemist! I am moving to VERMONT!

06-21-2012 02:52:47 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of woodychandler


4.38/5  rDev -7.4%

Unbelievable! 537 CAN reviews with my CANQuest (TM) entry as # 538. I CANnot remember any other craft CANs with this many reviews! Impressive.

From the CAN: "DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]"; "Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it's scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom - leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont"; "Don't be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!".

My apologies to Mr. Kimmich, but a basic tenet of The CANQuest (TM) is to deCANt the beer into a glass. I do not tell him how to do his job, I would appreciate if he did not tell me how to do mine. I hear from too many people that "CANned beer tastes metallic", mostly because they are French Kissing the goldanged CAN. I may pour some and drink some from the CAN, but how CAN I review it without seeing it in all of its glory, which is another tenet for inclusion in The CANQuest - review only, no "Hads". The last tenet is to drink it all, no matter how vile. This is to separate the men from the boys, hear me, Minhas?!?

At last, after all of that transcription, it is Crack & Glug time! Anticipation, it's makin' me wait! Man, but Carly Simon was a babe in her prime. Still in all, I would not kick her out of bed for eating crackers in the sack, even today. It's like I was telling the young honey honey the other day, we all age and if you think you will be the hardbody you are now in twenty-five years, you got another think comin'. But I digress, as I am often wont to do.

Wow, but the room smelled dank! I had just under two fingers of dense tawny head that was creating the kind of lacing that would require a jackhammer to remove as it fell. The amber liquid was hazy, dense, viscous and I wanted to dive into it just to see where it would lead. Nose was resinous, if that adjective may be applied to a liquid. Pine, wintergreen, menthol, green, baby! Holy overwhelming, Batman! Mouthfeel was sticky and in the way that napalm was sticky. Man, you get that burning craziness on your skin and you start running down the road stark naked. Phan Thi Kim Phuc, I feel your pain. I suddenly got the urge to strip down and run up the street with my tongue lolling out of my mouth in the hopes of some cooling action. It is a good thing that people are used to this sort of thing from me or there might have been real trouble. I'm back and to great applause as the late-1960's and early-1970's are making a comeback and streaking is again fashionable. This is some groovy weed, I mean, beer. Finish was so gaspingly dry that I am reaching for my asthma inhaler. Let's do this again, real soon. No, really, man, how soon CAN I score some more? I mean, you're always growing, I mean, making more, right?

Now directly from the CAN: Oh yeah, it's an epiphany! I CAN rap with my late Pops while going bowling with Jesus. Dude, you CANnot pick up the 7-10 split to save your life, CAN you? That, and now I got this metallic taste going on that was not present before. Wow, baby, wow! Groovy.

Hey, dig this, hep cats, this is what'll send you (and I don't mean via FedEx, in fact, the less the feds are involved, the better). Stamp help out. Lenny Bruce is not afraid. I am now going to operate a heavy crane near an orphanage. That, or procure a tank and drive that around. It all makes sense now. Say, who left murph the surf on my ceiling?

06-20-2012 02:01:54 | More by woodychandler


4.8/5  rDev +1.5%

1pt Can. A drop into a ½ glass –just for appearance & smelling- the rest direct from the can following brewer´s suggestion. Enjoyed on jun´12. Pale straw color, hazy. Off-white, small bubbled, froth. Slowly dissipated crown leaves a thin foam layer on top. Intense ripe tropical fruit, resin & sweet malt aromas. Pleasant sweet, creamy, maltiness at fist sip mixed with tropical fruits & increasing bitterness. Medium to full body, oily texture. Low carbonation. Ripe fruit in the middle cut by resiny touch lingers into the short, dry finish. Delightful. Probably one of the best AIPA I´ve ever had.

06-19-2012 23:42:05 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of pauljunk


4/5  rDev -15.4%

06-19-2012 23:10:29 | More by pauljunk
Photo of SteelCityBrewery

4.98/5  rDev +5.3%

I was at one of my favorite beer stores when I heard that they had a case of Heady Topper in the back. I decided to pick two up to see what all the buzz was about. Brought these devils home and put them on ice for a rainy day. 8 hours later I decided it was close enough.

On the can it says that you should drink from the can to keep all of the hops aroma and flavor in the can. Of course, I had to pour a little into a glass to see what it smelled like. It had a very hoppy but fruity smell. Very aromatic like a good IPA should be. Drinking it from the glass made for a good hoppy IPA. Drinking this beer from the can made for a completely different beer. Much more of the hop character seemed to stay with the can and as for drinkability.... It was almost unfair. This is easily the most drinkable IPA I have ever had. Incredibly smooth and fresh with hints of hop "bite" that won't overwhelm. The one characteristic that supercedes all others is easily the drinkability of this beer. I have yet to try PtE or PtY but this goes down easily as the best IPA I have ever tried.

06-19-2012 20:15:59 | More by SteelCityBrewery
Photo of HeadyBroughtMeHere


5/5  rDev +5.7%

06-19-2012 14:59:01 | More by HeadyBroughtMeHere
Photo of Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%

This, indeed, lives up to expectations. Grabbed 24 cans in VT while boating on champlain lake. Also got some torpedo, founder's centennial and ruination IPA from stone, but HT is way more interesting. First one was pretty good. The 2 lasts were just delicious.

A: pretty clear golden color, a tad cloudy

S: Really nice, with smells of resin, oranges. Smells like fresh hop pellets.

T: This is hoppy, with intenity and greath lenght, but wow, it's so balanced. It's bitter indeed, without being austere. This is pretty drinkable for such a hoppy, high alc. ale.

M: pretty smooth, nice carbonation. Looong aftertaste, with total balance.

O: Really impressive. Indeed the best IPA I've tried, not cause it's the boldest, but because it's elegant in its own way. Nice one...

06-19-2012 03:22:28 | More by Caudalie
Photo of crewfan16


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

06-19-2012 03:01:58 | More by crewfan16
Photo of CruisaC


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-19-2012 02:39:03 | More by CruisaC
Photo of usurping


4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

Wow! I received a four pack as a gift this weekend. Had heard about the beer before but put it in the fridge and continued the night. Had two last night and one tonight. What an amazing beer. Every aspect of this beer- down to the clear instructions to drink it straight from the can (cant truly rate the appearance because I drank em from the can)- make it a very special beer. After having three and checking the reviews I was not surprised to see that it is so highly rated.

Smell is delightful with hints of mango.

Taste is not over the top hops. They are there and you are expecting it but I think the amazing thing about this beer is that the taste is over powered by the hops.

I could go on but many others have done it already with some very elaborate and detailed descriptions.

06-19-2012 02:16:51 | More by usurping
Photo of BiltmoreShores

New York

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-18-2012 20:31:00 | More by BiltmoreShores
Photo of acorre08


5/5  rDev +5.7%

06-18-2012 16:15:58 | More by acorre08
Photo of Odysseyalien

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

06-18-2012 14:43:38 | More by Odysseyalien
Photo of jmorris74


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

06-17-2012 18:14:02 | More by jmorris74
Photo of pburland23


4.6/5  rDev -2.7%

Thanks to my buddy for bringing two cans of Heady Topper to our college reunion.

This is the second of two. I drank the first from the can as instructed. But, I figured I'd pour the second one for the review.

Poured from a 16 oz. can into my CBS snifter.

Appearance: Incredibly hazy honeyed colored pour. Totally opaque. Thin layer of wispy white head. Not much in the way of head retention but very nice lacing.

Smell: The hops aroma just pummels you with each whiff of the beer. Huge grapefruit, mango and peach aromas along with some herbal notes. As a hophead, this is an incredibly pleasing smelly beer. It's over the top for certain but it works

Taste: Not nearly as bitter as I expected. It's rife with tropical fruit tastes including grapefruit and mango. It's dank, juicy and delicious. Dry finish with a mild booziness. A super tasty DIPA though I could stand a little more balance.

Mouthfeel : Thick and extremely resinous. Mildly boozy but quite drinkable.

Overall: This is an excellent beer but it's a little green around the edges particularly when drank from a glass. It's a taste bomb from a can. Enjoyed it very much.

06-16-2012 13:21:00 | More by pburland23
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%

I drank the first sips from the can. Wowza! That's some insane hoppiness. As a force of habit, I had to pour 3/4 into a pint glass. The pour revealed a hazy golden blonde liquid topped with a big bubbled, chunky head. A few chunks of lace cling to the glass and the head recedes a bit but never disappears. A dusting of coarse sediment lays at the bottom. I'd suggest putting this beer in a glass if only because it looks so nice.

The aroma is potent, unrestrained hops. Luscious, perfumey hop flavors abound. The taste reveals a great diversity of hop flavors - in concentrated form. Tangerine, pine, green melon, aspirin, soap, grapefruit rind all abound. Malts are detectable under the din of hop insanity, but they never even approach balance with the hops. The mouthfeel is thick with resiny, mouthcoating hop oils. Carbonation is moderate. The finish is very hoppy and the bitterness lasts an eternity.

This stuff is crack for hopheads. extremely hoppy, no hype or marketing, just a very raw and concentrated hop flavor. I highly recommend this to the discerning hophead. I'd say it might be a bit much for anyone but.

06-16-2012 04:39:56 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of cspieth


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-15-2012 22:44:28 | More by cspieth
Photo of SeanGC

New York

4.98/5  rDev +5.3%

Oh, how I tried not to love this beer...

I've heard a lot of great reviews about Heady Topper from a few of my homebrew club members and quickly drove out to pick some up. Needless to say, the beer easily surpassed my expectations.

The IIPA poured hazy, with visible hop material that settled to the bottom of the glass. The haze makes it impossible to see through the beer, and the color is similar to that of caramel candy (dark gold).

The aroma is hard to miss, and it hit me as soon as I opened the can. However, the smell is not overwhelming, but instead very smooth, inviting you to drink up. The hop aroma reveals the complex hop character of the beer.

The hop flavor creeps up on you after swallowing. However, it doesn't have that drink-with-caution bitterness that can overwhelm the palate. It takes all of the tastiness one would love about hops while leaving some of the bite behind.

Medium body, leaving some bitterness laying on the tongue and throat, but still enjoyable.

It's one of those beers that everyone should drink at least once!

06-15-2012 22:32:58 | More by SeanGC
Photo of Crimsontider22


5/5  rDev +5.7%

06-15-2012 22:09:36 | More by Crimsontider22
Photo of ChadQuest


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Nice loose and tall head over a straw colored body.
The aroma is great, a soft papaya like tropical fruit nose, with tangerine and grassy notes playing their part. More dry then juicy on the nose. well done.
The clean, dry, and tropical fruit notes continue here but with a more citrus lean to them. A touch of honey like sweetness to complement the bitterness, and a touch of cracker.
mouthfeel is moderate, not dry or sticky.


06-14-2012 17:31:13 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of powder245

West Virginia

5/5  rDev +5.7%

purchased on ebay, and after arriving i quickly purchased again!

one of the best tasting and smoothest ipa's i have ever tasted... my fridge currently has bells hop slam, pliny the elder and just finished the last of the hoptimum, but this is now the can i reach for!

first can i poured, despite the cans instructions, in to a tulip glass. the head was a nice off white, but nothing too heavy. color was exactly what you want in an ipa, orangish amber. the smell was really fresh and lovely! even my wife said it smelled good! :)
it's all up hill from here... the first taste lets you know your drinking something special. your second drink assures you you weren't delusional, and by the third your already checking if you have more!

buy this beer! buy it by the case if you can! keep this beer in your fridge all year round!

06-14-2012 16:09:05 | More by powder245
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,940 ratings.