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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,948 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,948
Reviews: 1,601
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 5,167
Gots: 1,586 | 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: 7,948 | Reviews: 1,601 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ungertaker


4.8/5  rDev +1.5%

Drank from the can, as instructed! (poured a little into a pint glass to get an accurate review. (reviewed from notes) Thanks to TimmyJ21 for this can!

A- hazy yellow/orange with a head that is foamy and white.

S- Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya), citrus peel, faint pine

T- complex- a great blend of tropical fruits and a bitterness that has both pine and citrus peel.

M- smooth and refreshing with just enough carbonation to know it is there.

O- This is up there with all my favorites in this category (Pliny, Abrasive, etc.). I will definitely try to obtain some more of this.

04-22-2012 21:28:56 | More by Ungertaker
Photo of Jahsteve


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-22-2012 19:04:13 | More by Jahsteve
Photo of CADMixes


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-22-2012 17:07:28 | More by CADMixes
Photo of Ajax84


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-22-2012 16:22:11 | More by Ajax84
Photo of BeTheBall


4.78/5  rDev +1.1%

Followed instructions and drank from the can, a first for me with an IPA. As a result, I can't judge the appearance, so I gave it an average. Smell was fantastci, grapefruit and pine and grass; hops galore. Taste was intensely citrus and hops, but no super bitter like most DIPA's. Much of tre hoppiness is on the mouth and tongue, but doesn't so much linger down your throat. The grapefruit, orange, grass, pine flavors are huge and awesome. What a great combination of ingredients!
Mouthfeel was not noteworthy; having it from the can. The taste is so good I didn't have time to notice anyway. What a great beer. Only the ABV would prevent me from drinking my entire 4 pack in one sitting. Next one will be in a glass...

04-22-2012 12:31:52 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of DelicateDelirium


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-22-2012 04:51:28 | More by DelicateDelirium
Photo of Blanco


4.05/5  rDev -14.4%

I drank most of this from the can, but also poured enough of it out to see what it looked like and to see what it's like in the glass. Honestly not sure which I like better. It does seem like the aroma is almost too potent in the glass, making the can a nice step back.

Appearance is golden and hazy. Moderate carbonation. Aroma is pure piney hops. I'd hoped for more tropical fruit or citrus, but it's almost one-note piney, though those notes are there. Just not upfront.

Flavor is bitter, very bitter. Dry and woody, it's attack to the palate is relentless. The citrus missing in the aroma appears a little bit in the taste (grapefruit). Malt backbone balance is almost non-existent. I've certainly had hoppier, but the ones I enjoy the most are more balance. Still, the hop presence is impressive and the flavor really opens up and bitterness subsides as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is actually where the beer stands out. The intense bitterness really creates a lively mouthfeel, with a strong aftertaste.

Overall, this is a very good DIPA. I've had others I prefer, but that in no way is a knock on this beer as the reason I prefer others is balance. I also prefer more hop emphasis on aroma and taste rather than bitterness. That's just personal preference.

04-22-2012 04:04:27 | More by Blanco
Photo of kevanb


4.7/5  rDev -0.6%

Heady Topper pours a very cloudy honey color, hints of orange and soft brown, lots of sediment floating around the glass, much of it sinks to the bottom, a faint head pops up but doesn’t stick around too long, not much of a residual film and some mild soapy lacing sticks to the glass. The aroma is fantastic, big notes of citrus, heavy on the grapefruit, but with a nice amount of tropical fruits, mango, papayas and pineapple come to mind. A healthy amount of grassy and dirtier pine-like hops come through as well, very bitter that cuts the brightness and sweetness very well, almost no malt presence to speak of, some faint biscuit hides in the shadows of huge hoppy aromas. The flavors are wonderful, huge bright notes of citrusy hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, the tropical sweeter flavors are there, some pineapple and mango, but again, a wonderful bitterness from some dry pine and weedy flavors, just a super dank hop profile. Like the aroma, only the faintest biscuity malt can be detected underneath a potent hop forward palate. Nice full body, coats the mouth really well, goes down super easily, remains wonderfully dry and bitter, keeps you coming back without leaving an unpleasant cotton mouth experience.

Verdict: Sublime IPA, I still like Pliny a bit more, but this is just an incredible beer. I like everything that’s happening here, great hop profile, the flavors are balanced exceptionally well, certainly one of those beers where you suddenly look down and the glass is empty, it’s that good. Cheers to The Alchemist, I will definitely have to get a lot more of this.

04-22-2012 03:46:54 | More by kevanb
Photo of Rifugium


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.

Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.

The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.

04-22-2012 02:30:25 | More by Rifugium
Photo of jwat


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-21-2012 23:52:31 | More by jwat
Photo of azureoval


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-21-2012 23:49:12 | More by azureoval
Photo of redliner8


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-21-2012 22:40:01 | More by redliner8
Photo of justintcoons


4.85/5  rDev +2.5%

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an uber-cloudy golden orange with 2 fingers of head that reveals thick bubbly lacing. A lot of yeast sediment is suspended throughout the glass.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, papaya, tangerine and mango. Navel orange and lemon. Nice bready aromas along with caramel.

T: Juicy tangerine, papaya and mango with touches of peach and pineapple upfront. Mid-palate has big bready malts drizzled in caramel with notes of lemon juice and navel orange. Finishes initially with the breadiness taking over and transitions to pine needles and maybe some grapefruit pith.

M: Medium-full bodied, juicy, smooth, dry and slightly sticky. Carbonation is light.

O: The tropical notes are out of this world. Nicely balanced with bread and caramel and not aggressively bitter. Very easy drinking with no hint of the 8% abv. This is a beautiful beer.

04-21-2012 20:49:03 | More by justintcoons
Photo of fdig23


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-21-2012 15:38:08 | More by fdig23
Photo of Devi0us


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-21-2012 10:57:25 | More by Devi0us
Photo of breughelesque


4/5  rDev -15.4%

04-21-2012 04:13:46 | More by breughelesque
Photo of Dools9


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Can split with a friend.

A: Hazy orange, lots of sediment, finger of off white head, minimal lacing some alcohol legs.

S: God this smells good, loads upon loads of citrusy fruity flavors, mangos, pineapple, lemons, just a touch of piney resin. Modest sweet bready malt backbone.

T: Tropical fruits, pineapples, citrus fruits, grapefruits resinous pine. Decent touch of sweet malt, just excellent.

M: I really could not believe how smooth and drinkable this was for 8%. Medium bodied, pretty well carbonated, hop oil coats the mouth and leaves a long lasting hop finish.

O: What can I say, privledged to have tried it, and I think this is probably the best IIPA I have had. Too bad its so hard to get.

04-21-2012 04:01:45 | More by Dools9
Photo of CelticAleMan


4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

04-21-2012 03:24:04 | More by CelticAleMan
Photo of mtrog313


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-21-2012 00:39:34 | More by mtrog313
Photo of gkatsoris

4.68/5  rDev -1.1%

A: I did pour a little out to review :) Beautiful, crisp, clear yellow. Thick bright white head. No lacing.

S: Mango. Citrus bomb. Orange rind. Grapefruit rind. Tangerine. Pineapple, and pine resin.

T: Super citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and grapefruit again. Pineapple. Less is more; that is, this is a one sided tasting brew!!!!

M: Thick and chewy. Nice foam. Coats the tongue brilliantly!!!

O: I could drink this all day and all night!!! I was fearing a let down, but I am more than impressed.

thanks Wil (The Beer Store).

04-20-2012 23:45:41 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of davewlfpckfan29


4.63/5  rDev -2.1%

I journeyed North into the Green Mountain state to get it, and I would say the trip was well worth it.

This beer is everything that I expected it to be.

Had a sample glass right when I got to the Alchemist, showed a nice darker unfiltered yellow.

The smell it outstanding, so fresh. Strong hops. What I really liked was how even though its a douple IPA, the hops are not overpowering.

There is such a smooth texture to this beer. A raw texture which makes it far from watery. And oh my goodness!! It is easy to drink.

04-20-2012 17:07:52 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Photo of mgobrew10


5/5  rDev +5.7%

04-20-2012 16:13:45 | More by mgobrew10
Photo of adamant1912


4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-20-2012 12:06:10 | More by adamant1912
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -14.8%

Heady Topper came out the can looking like a muddy stream but settled in the glass looking reasonably presentable. Its complexion really varies depending on the angle and closeness of the light, ranging from clear straw yellow to thick mango smoothie. Heady does not have much head, nor does it show any signs of carbonation.

The aroma has such a floral and fruity bouquet that you'd think it was designed by a gardener. That being said, there's a little bit of butterscotch and nutty-sweet malt that can't be ignored. Still, the bouquet's most prominent feature is likely the flower petals or the citrusy pineapple notes. There's a bit of white wine grape too.

The flavor is far from overwhelming but there is a notable absence of any alcohol. The soapy, pungent bitterness that lingers is the smoking gun for some early kettle hop additions. For something so strong and so hoppy the beer is incredibly manageable and composed. Warming unties things slightly, but that is to be expected.

I think anyone who's graduated past pale lagers should be able to appreciate this IPA. It tastes like a combination of grapefruit, orange, papaya, and lime, and leaves a distinctly floral aftertaste. Hints of pine bark pop up here and there as well. The malts taste like some kind of caramel and almond biscuit and have an almost nougat-like sweetness.

If one believed all he read on Beer Advocate then so he would think Heady Topper the best DIPA in the world - and so he would be wrong. I don't wish to take anything away from the fine people at The Alchemist - this is a damn fine brewsky - but there are many out there just like it. Seek it out, by all means, but don't trade the stars and the moon.

04-20-2012 04:28:19 | More by biegaman
Photo of Corkpuller


4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

04-20-2012 01:37:22 | More by Corkpuller
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,948 ratings.