1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

8,695 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,695
Reviews: 1,679
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 5,654
Gots: 1,905 | FT: 35
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: 8,695 | Reviews: 1,679 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shuntstout
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a small amount in a glass to see this. Bright golden color with a small white head for as much as I poured. Drank the rest out of the can.

S: Smells like a bag of fresh hop pellets. Concentrated hop aroma mixed with pineapple, orange and wet pine. A superb example of what a DIPA should smell like.

M: I noticed the hops coating my mouth with with a thick layer of greatness which stuck around for what seemed like forever. The flavor of hops lingered in my mouth until I drank something else.

T: By far one of the most delicious DIPA's I have ever had. Starts out with a beautiful upfront pine flavor followed by an almost marshmallow like sweetness. As the can states, not much bitterness just layers and layers of hops. Citrus, passion fruit, and pine blast the palate with flavor. No alcohol present, I could enjoy these all day.

O: Incredible "drinkability" I think someone should give up their slogan. Haha. Really glad I got my hands on one of these, thanks to ixodus for throwing in this amazing extra. It was so good im going to have to get more at some point.

shuntstout, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of Fargin
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Fargin, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of sdaly3
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

sdaly3, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of mdimeglio
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

mdimeglio, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of mikeywtc
5/5  rDev +5.7%

mikeywtc, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of wesley14
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

wesley14, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of jacewg
4.54/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Here we go. Taking a shot at reviewing this beast. Had many times before, first review of it.

Appearance: I generally drink from the can, but like most, I had to pour at least a little in the glass for comparison purposes. It is cloudy (unfiltered), but pours a beautiful pale orange color with great head and lacing.

Smell: Seriously dank. Tropical fruit. Big citrus. Some pine. Big peach notes. Serious depth and complexity. Pale, sweet balancing malt. Rivaling Surly Abrasive for best smelling beer ever.

Taste: Just wonderful. Maybe the slightest hair behind the nose, but very close. Big citrus and pine. Some Columbus-like vegetal notes. Big dankness again. Quite bitter, but the hop flavor dominates. Enough malt to balance, but this is a hop bomb.

Mouthfeel: Very long, dry finish. The hop flavor lingers on your palate forever. Carbonation is on point. Lifts the beer off the palate easily. Has to be the most drinkable 8% beer on the planet. All I can think about when I finish a can is opening another one.

Lives up to the hype and then some. Between Abner and Heady, I think I'll start searching for jobs in Vermont.

jacewg, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of jiboo22
5/5  rDev +5.7%

jiboo22, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of mctizzz
4.9/5  rDev +3.6%

mctizzz, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of barczar
4.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to a very kind individual who brought this back from vacation.

Pours a hazy golden peach color with a solid 2 finger head that dissipates slowly into a thick bubbly film on the surface. Leaves thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is heavily grapefruit based, with dank resin and slightly sweet caramel malt giving a rich, decadent balance. By far one of the hoppiest beers I've smelled. Pine and mint surface as it warms, adding to the complexity.

The flavor is delicious! Tropical fruit, mangoes, pineapple, and a grapefruit tang assault the mouth, with a bready malt backbone providing a transition into pine, resin, and a slightly bitter finish. Apricot and tangerine add more depth of flavor to this fruit salad of a brew.

Body is moderate, with a fairly high level of carbonation and a warming alcohol finish.

Overall, the best dipa I've had to date. It's hop nectar to the extreme. I don't want the experience to end!

barczar, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of Thickfreakness
3.98/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Chunks and chunks of floating shit in this brew. Looks like a lava lamp, or the Long Island sound during late summer. Nice foamy head at first, fades away and leaves a nice ring of lacing. I have never seen a beer this disgusting to look at. Looks like a bunch of lugees floating in my beer.

S- Fresh harvested honey, some hints of citrus, mostly orange and tangerine. Smells of wet hay, pineapple, mango and some funkiness. I really like this! It's not IIPA so to speak, but it's really fantastic! Lots of sweet maltiness.

T- Green tea, honey, mulch, and a ton of pineapple, mango, and citrus. Might be old, or maybe it's supposed to be this way.. not sure. Reminds me of Hopslam... lots of honey sweetness, with some citrus character. No real definition to this brew. Sweet and citrusy. It wishes it was DFH 120 without the balls to be such!

M- Caramel, rotted citrus peel and wet hay. By far the thickest IIPA I've ever experienced.

O- Horrible to look at, AMAZING to sit and smell... tastes sweet and has a nice honey citrus flavor. Almost too sweet for an IIPA. Not enough citrusy punch for my liking. Very unusual and glad I tried it. Big thanks to Ubufan2112 for hooking me up! I'd certainly love to try this one again. This woulda scored much higher if it weren't for the appearance.

Thickfreakness, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of OtisCampbell
5/5  rDev +5.7%

OtisCampbell, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of durkle
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

durkle, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of uustal
4.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, light tangerine with a two-finger bright white head. Good lacing and head retention. Aroma, wow. Fresh pineapple, mango, grapefruit and orange and just a touch of pine that is outdone by the huge, fresh fruity notes. This beer is so refreshingly hoppy. Big tropical fruit notes, pineapple is giant. Juciy, fresh grapefruit and orange notes. Nice pine notes add some bitterness too. Hugely hoppy, but with the perfect amount of bitterness. Get different hop notes with each sip and they keep coming. Awesome drinkability, the hop blend goes down like a Gatorade. Overall, the best DIPA I've had to date. Really tough to make this big of a beer this easy to drink while maintaining absolutely huge flavor.

uustal, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of calcio360jrd
4/5  rDev -15.4%

calcio360jrd, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of BrittEBurke
5/5  rDev +5.7%

BrittEBurke, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of marcdalke
5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, I was going to just do a quick "had" review. That was until I popped the can open and took a whiff. Whoa man...this is perfection in a tall boy can!

The color is lighter than I would have guessed. It's a nice butterscotch color with not much of a head to be found. Its a bit hazy. And the nice hop particles floating in the glass let me know that my hop cravings will quickly be satiated.

The smell is pure heaven. If it tastes even close to what it smells like, I'll be in nirvana.

The taste just blew me away. Hands down the best brew I have had in quite some time. It is incredibly well balanced. Just like the can says: it's not super bitter. The hops just dance on your tongue. Citrus notes abound. I crave more with every sip. Damn my brother for only giving me two cans! I am trying to figure out when I can make it to Vermont to get more...this turned me into an addict needing my next fix! I want to eat it. I want to bathe in it. I want to use it as a shampoo. I want it as a cologne. I want to put it into a humidifier and infuse my bedroom with it so I can fall asleep to Heady Topper dancing through my head.

Overall: must try, must try again...must have on hand Always!

marcdalke, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of iL0VEbeer
5/5  rDev +5.7%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of shand
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into an imperial pint. But not the whole can. Just a bit of it for appearance testing. Big thanks to BA redbird on this one.

This beer is a hazy yellow-orange. Tons of hop floaties in there. No head. Yet another reason to drink it from the can! The aroma is sublimely hoppy. Citrus, pine, and resin aromas dominate on the nose. Taste? Oh dear god. HOPS. I could say that there's a light amount of caramel malts, but it's really a secondary flavor to the absurd amount of DELICIOUS hops in here. It's nowhere near overly bitter, instead just providing an absolutely delicious, resiny hop experience with so many layers. The mouthfeel is fairly light and goes down very easily. The drinkability is absurdly good, I can crush this down like it's a 5% pale ale. If you like IPAs, you HAVE to experience this beer, at any cost. It's absolutely fantastic. World class. And yes, it is better from the can.

shand, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of xxcarpxx
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

xxcarpxx, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can (thanks Stephen): Poured a cloudy light yellow color ale with large chunks of protein floating around and a large foamy head with good retention. Aroma of super intense pine hops notes with some citrus and resin notes. Taste is also a super intense mix of pine, resin and light citrus undertones hops with a dry malt backbone that is hard to distinguish from the hops attack. The floral aromas are huge end very enjoyable. Body is full with great carbonation. I must admit the hype is totally justified for this one, truly one of the great IIPA.

Phyl21ca, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of Scout11
5/5  rDev +5.7%

Scout11, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of beerthulhu
4.85/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: A bright tangerine orange is dense with large, bran colored floaties. Dancing yeast cake is evidence of a good swirling carbonation. Frothy cream colored head sits well with a respectable amount of lace. One, I love a ipa that stays true to tradition and stays pale, without the influence of toasted specialty grains. Two, I love the extra visual of dancing yeast floaties, like a snow globe adding not only a visual sense but some vitamins as well.

S: The nose was of a sweet tropical fruity nature, mangos, fresh wet pine and some sweet orange/citrus mix. A dash of peppery spice is light along with some passion fruit. Very soothing, clean and polished.

T: The flavor was sweet and citrusy pine and oranges with a dash of peppery spice. Dried tropical fruitiness of pineapple-orange. Dry pale grains are crisp and clean, free from specialty grain coverup providing a nice base. Spicy citric elements, cypress, hoppy, but not over the top bragging rights, but rather a smooth, eloquent and jazz filled refinement providing an even flow of hoppy flavors from start to finish that was highly respectable, but never overbearing and obnoxious. Very sweet, tropical and citrusy.

M: Medium bodied, nice dryness of citrus with a dash of peppery spice sits well on the tongue.

O: Overall is very, very drinkable. An ideal tropical island drink with an ideal tropical and citrusy hop nature. Very even flow of hoppiness, refined and smooth with citric elements, peppery spicing and keg worthy. Would be my go to IPA if demand and market allowed. Again love the fact that it has a clean pale grain base, strong hop presence and junk in the glass for a visual bonus.Gentle lingering spicy west coast hops provide an invite for the next sip. Didn’t want this beer to be finished.

beerthulhu, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of snilsen13
4.8/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish I had poured this out, but my host insisted we drink it from the can. Despite this, it smells full of hops with fantastic nose from THE CAN! Other canned beers (Oscar Blues, Hazed and Infused) can't touch this!

Simply put this is an awesome double IPA and is something brewers around the country need to measure themselves against.

snilsen13, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of augie
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

augie, Mar 22, 2012
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,695 ratings.