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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

7,443 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,443
Reviews: 1,562
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,816
Gots: 1,343 | 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 (11) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,443 | Reviews: 1,562 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz. can poured into a Duvel Tulip Glass (despite the instructions to drink it from the can....well maybe I had one sip). Orange/amber/brown sugar/gold in color. Very hazy, certainly unfiltered. Not quite white, almost orange creamcicle in color head. It erupts at first and sticks around for a little bit, decent lacing.

Like many Double IPA's, it's a hoppy brew. Hard to completely clarify it, but there's something unique about this one. Big time citrus hops on this one; orange, tangerine, grapefruit and maybe even a little lemon, a little bit of zest/peel. A sweet aroma from it, could be from the tangerine smell, but like slightly tart at the same time; similar to a strawberry that isn't quite completely ripe yet. Not grainy, but steady malt presence, sort of a natural orange bread. Doesn't smell of alcohol, but it does warm your nose a little Really good aromas overall.

Taste is truly outstanding. Every hop lover would love this one, but believe it or not it's really well balanced. ALL of the above mentioned citrus detected in the hops with some slight honey-suckle nectar sweetness. Starts a little sweet (with again the slightest hint of tartness) and has a nice bitter end from hops and zest. Cant stress enough the balance here, very good.

In my opinion it's fairly thick and full bodied. The carbonation level is perfect. Silky smooth from start to almost finish, clean crisp bitter finish. Leaves a long lasting warm feeling from your mouth to you're stomach. I generally like my IPAs/DIPAs in the summer, but I could drink this Bad Larry all year round!!! What a wonderful beer, lived up the the hype and then some for me!

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 03:34:27 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of ms11781
ms11781

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can courtesy of nas5755. Many thanks to Nick for the chance to try this one. 16oz can poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy, brillant orange color with a bit of sediment floating in the glass. A nice 3/4 finger white head develops and settles as a soap-like cap. Wispy foam lacing is left on the glass.

The nose is incredible. Enormous amounts of tropical fruit assault the senses and don't let up. Pineapple stands out above the rest for me but there is also some melon, oranges, tangerine and grapefruit. There are also some floral notes that cut through the tropical goodness as the beer warms a bit. Surprisingly, there was a slightly sweet malt aroma that came through in the background. But really this beer is just dripping with tropical hop aromas.

The taste is a slight step down from the nose but the nose was so over the top excellent that a step down is still quite potent. Definitely more balanced than the nose. The hops do still dominate but the malt comes through more. The full tropical hop profile is in full force again, pineapple, mango, orange, tangerine, grapefruit. The floral notes are a bit tougher to pick up in the taste than they were in the nose. A bit of pine is present in the taste as well. A touch of bitter hoppiness at the finish dry it out a bit.

The beer feels exceptionally crisp for a high ABV DIPA with low carbonation. In fact, the carbonation is almost non-existent by the end of the glass. Never feels slick or oils as a lot of beers with this amount of hop character do.

Overall, this is an exceptional beer. Definitely in the upper echelon for the style. I'm not sure I've had a beer that has smelled as good as this, regardless of style. Dangerously drinkable for an 8% ABV beer. I'd love to have this one readily available to me.

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 01:19:18 | More by ms11781
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
RBassSFHOPit2ME

California

4.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1,000 thanks to Harrymel for being the most generous BA I've ever came across since joining this site 2 and 1/2 years ago.

A - Murkey Blood Orange - average head retantion and lacing. Not much activation going on in both the Tulip and Guiness perfect pint glass I poured them in, lots of floaties.

S - Very pungent upon semi-agressive swirl as do most top notch IPAs/DIPAs. The citric notes I pick up are primarily Guava and the Grapefruit I pick up is a ruby red grapefruit. Some orange and faint strawberry. Mauna Lai Juice! The Pine and Earth component remind me a little of PTE.

T - Much the same as the nose. The citrus really reminds me of Mauna Lai Juice cut with some Orange juice backed by earthy pine. Finishes juicy yet dry at the same time. Pretty damn close to perfect bitterness in this. I can see where some may complain too bitter but I found it to be solid. ABV nowhere to be found. Way to easy to session this beer.

M - Crisp, clean, dry earthy finish. Beggs you to keep sipping. Juicy upfront, bitter and dry in the finish. Pretty fantastic.

O - I had high expectations for this beer. It did not exceed them nor did it fall below them. It was GREAT, just as I suspected. World Class DIPA, just how I like them. It's a beer that belongs in the same discussions as the other overly Hyped ones and holds it's own. There are a few I prefer over HT but make no mistake about it...HT does not dissapoint. Need to revisit on tap.

Serving type: can

09-24-2011 00:38:42 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
Photo of brewdan
brewdan

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light orange. Has a few floaties...

Smells incredible. Fresh tropical floral citrus hop goodness.

Tastes incredible. Fresh tropical fruits with a touch of citrus. Think Papaya, mango, maybe even pineapple. Has a touch of orange but not zest. Very balanced and smooth.

Very creamy and smooth.

An outstanding DIPA at the lower end of ABV spectrum for DIPAs (yea!) Packed with fresh hop flavors but not at all bitter or astringent. Smooth juicy hoppy goodness in a can!

Cheers John!

Serving type: can

09-23-2011 22:00:44 | More by brewdan
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

4.7/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can given as an extra by SpdKilz, you rock man. Ridiculous extras as always, I've never had anything but great exchanges with that BA. Thanks again!

Poured into generic tulip.

A: Murky brown, bit darker than I'd expect for the style. Tree stump core with some give towards light wet wood yellows. Water drenched woods really nails the visual for me, raw honey stored at a cold temp. Thai iced teas that are light on the soy. Definitely a darker/cloudier dipa.

S: grapefruit rind, honeydew melon with rind, and some real pungent passion fruit. Guava doesn't hit me here as much as other citra (assuming citra, seems very apparent) in the nose. A little bit of green mango makes for a nice fruit cocktail in the nose.

T: First of all, this is a really balanced dipa. tropical, melon, and citrus with it being difficult to tell who's winning. Light cantaloupe with repeat sips. Alcohol really accentuates the melon as it warms. flavors come off dry and crisp. Drying fruit juice flavors really implies a fresh pineapple. The alcohol in this really makes me think fruity desserts. Scorched sugar tropical fruit, tropical fruits and rum. Really nice flavors, extremely well integrated; even the alcohol.

M: Soft mouth with a medium body and fair amount of chewiness. Alcohol puts a candy shell coating on the mouth throughout the course of drinking. Satin glove on the mouth with some really fine textures. Some dryness that limits the wetness of the alcohols, and keeps it drinking crisp in all temperatures. Really well done.

O: Simply, this is an outstanding DIPA. One of the very best that I've had, and easily the best from the east coast I've had to date. This has the type of balance I long for in a DIPA, and it delivers in the flavor. Seemed to have more of a sweet character than I'd expect to find, but it's really balanced. Alcohol is perceivable, but it's well integrated. Outstanding from Alchemist

Serving type: can

09-23-2011 05:15:43 | More by Cavery
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a lightly cloudy apricot color with good carbonation and a small dirty white cap which turns into a small thing bubbly layer

S: Fresh bread, a little caramel, pine, grapefruit, apricot

T: Pine, apricot, dash of orange peel, liight melon, pineapple; a nice breadiness, hints at caramel with a nice persistent bittering from beginning to end.

M: Very clean, bitter, medium body, flavor persists

O: Heady is a solid IIPA indeed and extremely easy to drink

Serving type: can

09-23-2011 03:55:14 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to baconsausage!

this pours a cloudy dirty brownish orange. fluffy creamy white head, great lacing and puffy lacing.

citrus on the nose, bigs of grapefruit and orange. a slight sweetness.

lots of citrus with a faint hint of pine and earthy resin bitterness. the citrus blend is rather interesting as here is pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, and a touch of pine.

for a DIPA, the body is easy drinking, a bit slick. i want to say watery but i do not mean it in a bad way. mild carbonation, which i would reckon would add to the lighter body.

drinks sooo easy. i would NEVER guess this was 8%.

Serving type: can

09-22-2011 23:49:00 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.9/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of fluffy white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Just amazing. Herbal and citrus hops smack you in the face. Some pineapple and pine tree in there as well. Super fresh.

Taste: Just like the smell, thank God. Bitter hops throughout, but there is a decent amount of malt to back it up. Lots of grapefruit and apricot with more mild herbal and pine notes. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation on the mild side and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: I wouldn't change a thing. You're damn right I'm going to have it again.

Serving type: can

09-22-2011 23:08:58 | More by oline73
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed 9/22/11

Note: My 150th BA Review

Batch 2, canned 9/7/11

Appearance: After ignoring the "Drink from the can!" instruction, this beer pours an interesting copper/amber color - perhaps not as orange as I anticipated - small head, which is typical for the style, fades quick to some good lacing, maintains a nice level of carbonation - a simply legendary amount of hoppy sediment at the bottom

Smell: Excellently complex - oily, wet hops - very floral, very dank and weed-like - tons of pine, resin - orange, tangerine, and sweet grapefruit flesh, some zest, some pineapple and some mango - the malt base shines through with some bready sweetness, caramel - despite the sweet fruitiness and sweet malts, it doesn't become cloying

Taste: Horrifyingly balanced - this is my fourth can, and I still find this mind-blowing - hops are everywhere, but this beer doesn't kick you in the face - as the smell suggests, there is a lot of pine, resin, orange flesh, sweet (ruby red?) grapefruit flesh, sweet pineapple - definitely bitter, but not ridiculously so - a strong, wet, weedy presence - very, very juicy - malts provide a great backbone - lots of caramel, pale malts - sweet, but not too sweet that it clashes with the bitterness - again, a nonsensical amount of balance

Mouthfeel: Stupid good - among the best I've encountered for the style - insanely smooth, silky, almost creamy - medium bodied, low carbonation, juicy, but finishes dry

Overall: I'm moving to Waterbury and living off this stuff

In my humble opinion, Heady Topper is one of the extremely rare beers that not only meets the hype, but exceeds it. This is one of the best DIPAs I've ever had, and it's hard to compare to anything. While it definitely fits the style, it's a totally different beast than something like Pliny the Elder. I'll be buying cases.

Additional comment (6/23/12): Well, I claimed I would buy cases, and I have been buying cases. But due to some unfortunate mistakes, I am currently drinking a 6-month old can. It's still good. The hops taste old, and it's sweeter, but it's still worth drinking. This is canned happiness.

Serving type: can

09-22-2011 06:11:50 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of 05Harley
05Harley

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can # 10720A2BB

Graciously given to me by Rochefort10nh.

price - $12.00/4-pack (16 oz cans)

I've been dying to try this one and I finally did over the weekend. We actually went up to the Alchemist pub this past summer but it wasn't on tap at the time which was a bummer.

I didn't drink it from the can as is suggested but with my Duvel glass which is probably my favorite glass in the cabinet and well suited for big IPA's.

The appearance is a hazey shade of orange with a thin off-white head that fades within a minute to a creamy ring. Dots of lacing decorate the glass.

The aroma is absolutely amazing with tropical fruit and pine resin balanced out to perfection. The nose stays strong throughout the experience which is delightful.

The flavor is certainly based on a pine backbone with sweet tropical fruit flavors sprinkled over the top. As it warms the fruitiness becomes more prominate which adds some much needed balance.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. A medium body followed by a blast of bitterness but finishing silky smooth. This is the recipe for drinkability and I could drink this all night long with a smile from ear to ear.

Overall this was well worth the wait and lives up to the hype. By far the best canned DIPA I've ever had.

**Edit 12/18/11**
Buying this regurarly and it's still kick-ass

Serving type: can

09-21-2011 23:16:32 | More by 05Harley
Photo of dboon
dboon

Florida

4.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can, thanks Seth! Hazy burnt orange pour with an off white head. Pine and citrus aromas. Outstanding balance, with smooth pine and resiny hop notes off set by a sturdy caramel malt backbone. Light citrus and floral undercurrents. Just a great freakin’ DIPA, and from a can. Kudos to the Alchemist Pub and Brewery...

Serving type: can

09-21-2011 01:13:22 | More by dboon
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

HUGE thanks goes to Spdklz for this!! Thanks Carelton!

"Drink from the can!" It says. So I did. Though, I did pour an ounce or two into a glass to assess appearance.

Pours a light amber, very hazy. With a light off-white colored head. Can't argue with that. Aroma is chock full of pine, flowery hops, and a good grazing of citrus notes. It's bustling, and it's wonderful. Perfectly balanced bitterness on the tongue, with big resinous, pine hop notes, tinges of citrus and healthy amounts of floral hoppiness. There's so much awesome hoppiness going on here, who cares about a malt profile. Body is full, rich, with a pleasant carbonation level. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, drinkability abounds.

The amazing resinous pine and floral notes makes this almost easily one of the greatest Imperial IPA's I've had the pleasure to drink! Guess I'm moving to Vermont!

Serving type: can

09-21-2011 00:54:45 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the can, but a few oz. poured into a tasting glass to see the beer's appearance.

A- Light caramel colored, hazy, with 1 finger white head and good lacing.

S- Loads of sweet citrus and pine hops. I could smell the citrus when I opened the can a arm length away from me!

T- Fairly sweet malts and a lot of citrus in the beginning. Nice blend of citrus, spices, and pine hops with a very good pine hop finish.

M- Medium bodied. Medium carbonation and very drinkable.

O- Like the the can says, "So drinkable it's scary." It that is no lie. I could drink 3 or 4 of these over a a course of night, and not be tired of it at all. Love the aroma, taste, and lower abv (for a DIPA at least). Will try and get more whenever possible!

Serving type: can

09-20-2011 01:52:31 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Did a side by side tasting of this one and Kern Citra dipa

Look: Orangish yellow in color with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention it has some floaties which I dont like but it has some nice lacing

Smell: Very nice floral hop aroma not much else going on but the smell is wonderful

Taste: Upfront is the floral hop notes which is pretty nice and is backed up by a candy like sweetness and finishes off with a lot of malt. Very good flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation and goes down wonderfully smooth

Overall: Great DIPA but on my side by side tasting Kern citra was the clear cut winner but this might be the second best DIPA I have ever had

Serving type: can

09-19-2011 02:11:21 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy caramel color with a bubbly white head with medium retention and low lacing.

Nice bright and fresh floral hopped nose with an underlining mild sweet malt presence

Very nice flavor and balance. Nice fresh floral hop character balanced very well with a subtle candy-like malt character. Notes mild fruit and citrus hidden here and there.

Mouthfeel is light, fresh and fairly crisp yet creamy. Medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice DIPA. The best I've ever had outside of Cali. IMO better than PtE and close to Alpine and Citra. Overall great nose, flavor and balance. Highly recommended.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 22:29:34 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.75/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

9/17/2011

I'm enjoying my fourth or fifth can as I write this review. Snifter.

A: Dark orange with some cloudiness and a finger of white foam. Lacing is scattered and retention is good.

S: Bright citrus notes, with tangerine, orange, grapefruit, and a dash of pine. There's quite a bit more malt in this can than I found in the bottle I tried, imparting some bread and caramel.

T: Smooth moderate bitterness with no evident alcohol. Malt imparts bread, biscuit, and caramel. Once again, this is quite a bit maltier than the bottle I enjoyed last year, and decidedly less bitter. I get orange, grapefruit, and a little melon. Dank pine is evident throughout.

M: Medium in body with an upper low level of carbonation. The general theme seems to be lower carbonation with these cans.

Overall: This is good, but it's not on the same level as the bottle I had in 2010. This seems much maltier and the hops aren't as vibrant. It's also a bit heavy on the palate due to the low carbonation.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 04:17:45 | More by HopHead84
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can shared by Whitemomba-- thanks Jason!
Served in tulip pint.

Really hazy... Small particulates floating around... Creamy tan head, decent retention, thick legs leave nice bubbles.
Smells waaaay more piney than I remember... Nice grapefruit, some grassy and floral notes too. There's a little earthy dank quality on the back of the nose that has an odd character to it...
The taste follows the nose; dry, bready/crackery malts with big hops at the back end. Citrusy grapefruit, big pine, some floral and grassy notes.
The dank note I got on the nose translates to a VERY strange hint of cedar chips/hamster cage substrate... It is a combination of the hops character blending with the dry malts. It hurts the overall and flavor a bit, but still doesn't make the beer undrinkable.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 02:06:45 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can provided by MrBarleywine, thanks for hooking me up Mike!
Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden color with a stingy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of pine, resin, and a slight bit of citrus and dankness. If there's any malt in here I can't find it, but I really don't miss it because I could smell this all night. Taste is mildly sweet bready biscuity malt being assassinated by an onslaught of hops. Resinous dank pine hops barely let any malt come through, but some do find their way in. Medium to thin body and level of carbonation, resinous bitter mouthfeel. This one is all about the hops, no shit right its a DIPA. There is a bitterness here, but its pleasant, aromatic and not harsh. This is a damn fine beer!

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 00:53:55 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of jamie2dope
jamie2dope

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Chris! Heady Topper pours out a hazy orange color, with just a small amount of white heading. Lively carbonation can be noticed, along with some sediment floating around. Very fruit forward nose, with passion fruit, pineapple, mango and a touch of sweet cream. Dank ass hops get things kicked off in the taste, giving off loads of fruit, spice and pine. Mouthfeel is medium in body, and the eight percent is masked perfectly. No doubt this is a world class IPA.

Serving type: can

09-18-2011 00:13:08 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of lnashsig
lnashsig

Texas

4.63/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beenitty is a total badass and a quality human being. I received this surprise package of 2 very fresh Heady Topper cans in the mail this morning, and could not wait for them to get cold to drink them. This is super fresh- about 11 days old total. What an amazing cool thing for him to do- Beenitty I will get you back man!

Poured from can into my DFH snifter. Nice fluffy head that recedes very slowly. Dank piney and sweet citrus hops announce themselves when the can pops. Smell on further inspection: resinous, piney hops, and there is a bready sweetness to it too. Taste- wow. heaven. the hop oils hit the back of my throat with a burst of bitterness, but it is followed by a tropical sweet flavor that still sits on my lips. Waves of piney and floral hoppiness all over my mouth. If I were to compare this to something, it might be Surly Abrasive. Just a huge hoppy celebration in a can. Super fresh, it probably isnt as balanced as others say it is, the hops are just so pronounced, they are definitely the focus of this beer.

Overall, this is up there with the best of them. I won't call it my all time best IIPA, but it is close. And so kickass that its in a can....I am going to try to do a trade for a full box of this soon.

Serving type: can

09-17-2011 17:53:07 | More by lnashsig
Photo of imagineiii
imagineiii

Vermont

4.95/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 2, about 8 days in the can. Poured a bit into my mini Duvel tulip, drank the rest from the can.
A: Brilliant hazy orange. Decent head, decent retention.

S: Tropical fruits, summer grass, a tiny bit of honey and biscuit. The aroma escapes from even the small opening of the can; out of a tulip it almost unruly. It is captivating.

T: As the can says: this is not intended to be the most bitter, but there are truly waves and waves of hop-goodness. This is spot on. For those who worship at the altar of hops, this beer is a religious experience. It puts most other DIPA's to shame in the way that it dances on the palate but still packs a heavy hop punch.

M: The malt profile of this beer is so spot on that there is no way that anybody could call it "east-coast" or "cloying". It has just the right amount of weight to support the hop profile that it is carrying. Carbonation is just right, more in line with the cask version than the tap version.

O: If I were to penalize this beer for anything it would be for being just too damn drinkable. I find myself sipping it all night, and completely enjoying it, with no regard for my liver. And in a way, it has ruined other DIPA's for me because I no longer want to try them, they just wont be this good.

Serving type: can

09-17-2011 02:56:29 | More by imagineiii
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to SFLpunk for another fine trade that landed this treat in my hands. Much appreciated Jeff. Poured from a pint sized can into a tulip. This brew appears a hazed copper color. Very fine particulate is stuck throughout the suspension of this brew keeping it from being clear. A solid finger of creamy off-white head sits atop this brew and hold with very solid retaining powers. As the cap slowly fades, it completely coats the entire wall of the glass with an entire wall of lace.

The smell of this brew is very fruited and so much so that it is unlike the typical fruit aromas imparted by hops. It is quite tropical smelling primarily of pineapple with a light touch of mango. Some very light leafy to grassy hop inclusion is present across the back but this is all about the fruity sweetness of the hops here. A very light tingle of alcohol helps to accented the fruited quality of this brew.

The taste of this brew is pretty darn fantastic. The fruit aromas that the hops display in the nose completely transpose themselves in the flavor of this beer. This brew is littered with tropical hop flavoring tasting of pineapple, passion fruit, mango and agave. There is a very mild herbal bitter flavoring that keeps things in check and almost a minty aspect is thrown in there as well. The alcohol is very well hidden initially but starts to make itself known with a warmth and a bit of solvent kick once the brew comes up to temperature. The aftertaste is a bit herbal and lightly grassy which is a nice contrast to the sweetness throughout the brew. There is a perfect amount of toasted malt character present in this brew to hold the hops in place. Fantastic stuff right here.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. All in all this is the perfect package. The hop inclusion is bright, fresh and fruity. The alcohol is seemingly nonexistent until it comes up to temperature. The flavors of this brew run the full spectrum of hop characteristics. I killed a pint of this brew effortlessly. As far as drinkability goes, this is perfect and dangerously so. The label boasts that this should be drank from the can but I just cant do that. To not be able to sit and sniff this brew is a crime. I had this when it was first released from a bottle and thought this beer was all hype. Sitting here enjoying a can by myself I an throughly impressed. Fantastic stuff here Alchemist!

Serving type: can

09-17-2011 02:09:45 | More by stakem
Photo of Goblinmunkey7
Goblinmunkey7

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my local beer store for this surprise.

Appearance: Hazy copper. Pours on the heavy side with almost no head. What head there is, is bright white and slightly sticky. Lacing is decent, but not too crazy.

Smell: Resin, citrus rind/zest, faint spiciness, and a big floral push. Big juicy, oily hops. Smells like a crazy wet hop beer. The hop aromas are incredibly fresh and clean. Malts are sweet and bready, but work to flesh out the back of the big hop nose. Caramel and cotton candy as well. The sweetness is a little distracting overall, working in contrast to the hops.

Taste: Pine everywhere. Dank, resinous, and juicy. Hops are oily and spread across the mouth. The sweetness from the nose brightens the whole thing up and lets you know more is coming. I'm still getting cotton candy and caramel in abundance, but they play through the back of the hop profile. A hint of something tropical (mango?) as well. Tons of flavor, but it's shockingly non-aggressive. Big chewy malt presence helps even things out.

Mouthfeel: This might be a new standard for the style. Low carbonation and a big chewy body. Creamy, smooth, and almost silly drinkable. Coats the mouth, dries it out a touch, and then keeps on going with waves of smooth hop flavor.

Overall: The fact that this is now available in cans is crazy. I had it on tap 3 years ago and wasn't impressed. Tastes change, but I hope this beer doesn't. A great testament to the style.

Serving type: can

09-16-2011 20:53:46 | More by Goblinmunkey7
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beerfan99

Virginia

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

16oz can - Second distribution

A: Medium/dark amber in color and unfiltered. Carbonation was on the low side and produced a very small white head. Ok, I admit it, I did not follow directions and poured it into a glass. In my defense, the picture on the can is showing someone drinking out of a glass, not a can.

S: Perfect hoppy, fruity, floral, and sweet aromas. Hops smell like simcoe and amarillo to me, but I'm not sure. The smell by itself is intoxicating.

T: Taste is hoppy and sweet. For an American DIPA, this beer is very well balanced. I usually enjoy more hoppy bitterness with this style, but I cannot complain, this was very enjoyable. The flavors are very powerful and long lasting.

M: Thick, creamy, and smooth. I was not anticipating this beer to be so creamy and smooth. Perhaps a little more carbonation would enhance the mouthfeel.

O: My first beer from The Alchemist and hopefully the first of many. Heady Topper blends some of my favorite hops to produce an excellent and very drinkable American DIPA. Hard to believe that there is 8% in there somewhere. Since I tend to compare beers while I drink them, I immediately thought this beer was similar to Alpine Duet and Maine Beer Company Lunch in both smell and taste. I am looking forward to my next Heady Topper and planning an upcoming trip to VT.

Serving type: can

09-16-2011 04:40:51 | More by beerfan99
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Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. can served in my ST tulip (just couldn't bring myself to drink it out of the can). Pours a semi-hazy burnt orange with a rocky, one inch, cream-colored head embedded with tiny craters. Head eventually settles into a soapy skim with a thin, bubbly band around the edges. Some swaths and spots of lacing are revealed during the tasting. Love the nose on this beer - grassy, sweet citrus, earthy rind and a slight peppery quality towards the back; incredibly well-balanced. Taste follows nose - earthy bitterness presents up-front and sweet citrus and a suggestion of apricot follows. Finish leaves a slight residual bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a pleasant, even carbonation that is lively without being prickly. There's also a slightly oily texture. The more I drink this beer, the more I like it. Hopefully it will make it to Southern Vermont so I can get a bit more regular access. This beer is nothing short of fantastic - the balance is top notch, the alcohol is well-hidden and it is just so easy drinking. In my opinion, can tops bottle on this brew.

Serving type: can

09-16-2011 01:23:15 | More by Jwale73
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,443 ratings.