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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,400 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,400
Reviews: 1,760
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 6,252
Gots: 2,247 | 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 (14) | Events
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Ratings: 9,400 | Reviews: 1,760 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Orange
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of SrMonkey
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of itsthepleats
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of kojevergas
4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boy oh boy oh boy. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Heard the hype for months and finally picked one up locally in SoCal. Yeah, imagine that. I bought a can of this in L.A. at retail. 1 pint aluminum can served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 8.00% confirmed. Consumed in celebration of completing my grad school applications. I don't see canned-on date, but my local beer store guy informed me it was two weeks old when I bought it yesterday.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I went back on forth on whether to pour this one into a glass because the label advises me not to. I'm compromising and taking my first sip from the can, but then pouring some of it into a glass and leaving some in the can for later consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

T (Early):On the first sip I get delightful grapefruit and citrus esters, with pale clean malts and lovely floral hopping. Oily hops abound, with hints of pine. Boy, this is going to be interesting.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and decent retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant burnt orange-auburn. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not the best IPA appearance I've seen, but pleasant.

Sm: Grapefruit, pale malts, citrus esters, floral hops, and heavy oily hops - but surprisingly little pine. Quite light in strength, but appealing.

T: Perfectly balanced; never too bitter. Grapefruit zing but not in an overbearing way. Floral hops and heavy hop oils (a component I think is rather unique and special to this beer; I've never experienced it quite like this). Citrus, tropical fruit on the back end. I even get pinapple and mango. Maybe apricot too. Passion fruit? (I'm never sure; I've never had an actual passion fruit). Pale malts a are a perfect complement to the hop choices. No alcohol or yeast comes through. That's tasty stuff. I'm shocked at the lack of bitterness; I don't even remember Pliny The Younger (let alone Elder) mitigating the bitterness this well. There's some (very very little) on the climax, but just enough to add a welcome dimension. Well layered and quite subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head like most beers in the style. No metallic taste despite being from a can. Perfect sweetness to suit its hoppiness.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with perfect crispness and coarseness to coax out the subtler flavours. Fresh, refreshing, and perfectly carbonated. Oily. A bit buttery.

Dr: This is probably the most drinkable IPA (not just Double IPA, but IPA as well) I've ever had the delight to consume. It's refreshing as hell, the 8% is nowhere to be seen, and I imagine it would pair brilliantly with any food. A master class in balance and what an IPA should be. I hate to buy into the beer versus beer debates, but in my book this is clearly better than Pliny The Elder. I expected something different based on the hype, but this surprised me with its balance and sophistication. Wow. This is definitely one of the best beers in the style that I've had. I look forward to trying more beer from the Alchemist and to one day having this on-draught. If you see this, buy it. I'm not a big IPA fan and I'm loving this stuff. Brilliantly built. I could easily down this one all night. If there's a better IPA out there, I have yet to find it.

This beer is nearly perfect in its style. The main thing holding it back is its appearance.


Serve cold. Drink cold.

Would pair well with anything. Even chocolate.

Photo of Hugonaut13
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of BYOFB
4.25/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Chunksofgunks
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had read a lot about this beer before i tasted it. It lived up to the hype! A bitter, flowery beast of perfection.

Appearance= Golden ruby
Smell= best smelling beer I've ever tasted
Taste=bitter heaven
Mouthfeel =smooth viscosity
Overall= I drove round trip 9 hours for this beer. It was worth the trip!!

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4/5  rDev -15.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of loony4lambic
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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

I have the wonderful pleasure of living 10 minutes away from The Alchemist cannery, and was a long time patron of their restaurant/brewery before the flood. A skeptic at first, I was amazed at the first run. Not being a huge fan of anything canned, it was such an incredible surprise when I took my first sip. HOPSSS, and such an incredible punch to the mouth of amazing flavors. This is everything a beer should be, and more. Others have written much better/professional reviews. If you question any of them, shoot me a message and let's trade because this brew speaks for itself.

5/5 with no doubt in my mind.

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of hoppytobehere
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired a 4-pack from a trade. No date on this, but it was picked up last week from the brewery. Should only be a couple weeks old at this point.

A: Yeah I poured it in a glass. So what. Very cloudy, dull orange color. Lots of crap floating around in there. Great head, excellent retention though. Lacing covering the glass as I drink more.

S: Pungent aroma. Freshly squeezed orange juice, dank piney hops, grapes. It fills the entire room with hop aroma. Ridiculous.

T: Hop flavor on this one is ridiculous, in the best of ways. Waves and waves of it (quoting the can), and it never gets too bitter. Perfectly balanced. There's malt in there, but it stays behind the scenes and does its job.

M: Like a warm blanket in the winter. Feels great.

O: I'm currently using google maps to find my way to Waterbury, VT. Might even scour craigslist for jobs up there. This beer is a hophead's dream.

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Amalak
4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. It has a lovely deep orange color. Fairly opaque, some sediment. It has a big foamy white head that leaves a good deal of lacing.

S. Fruity scent. Citrus and lemon, some hops.

T. This is just a gorgeous fruity IPA. Some dark fruit. Grape and watermelon. A hint of citrus. There's a nice floral hop taste.

M. Carbonated with a tingly bitter bite.

O. Definitely the best IPA I've had out of a can. Nice complex with a fruity kick.

(I bought a four-pack recently, and this is definitely my favorite IPA...can or no can.)

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

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5/5  rDev +5.7%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,400 ratings.