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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,239 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,239
Reviews: 1,628
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 5,336
Gots: 1,704 | FT: 34
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: 8,239 | Reviews: 1,628 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ixodus
4.83/5  rDev +2.1%

A: Pours a hazy, hop particle filled, reddish-orange color with a thick billowing white head that slowly retracts to a couple centimeters. Leaves a ton of lacing as sipped down.

S: The smell of this beer is simply amazing. At the first whiff it reminds me of a fresh bag of hops or hop pellets. Juicy mango, luscious grapefruit, and juicy pineapple, a long with some resinous pine.

T: Bursting with flavor! Pineapple, grapefruit, apricot, mango, orange and a slight bit pine resin. The taste lives for minutes beyond the sip. Even though this is brewed in Vermont, it tastes like Hawaii. Definitely balanced towards this bitter side.

M: Smooth, medium bodied, soft carbonation, juicy.

O: Hand down best IPA I have ever had. Previous IPA World Champion went to Pliny E/Flower Power but this just blows them away. All I gotta say is MOAR!!!!

ixodus, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of discord257
5/5  rDev +5.7%

discord257, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of jmalex
4/5  rDev -15.4%

jmalex, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of IrishColonial
4/5  rDev -15.4%

IrishColonial, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of DrDogbeer
5/5  rDev +5.7%

DrDogbeer, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of russwbeck
4.8/5  rDev +1.5%

Can picked up straight from The Alchemist Cannery. This specific can is a bit more than a month old. I enjoyed two out of glasses over the last few weeks. As the can suggests, I am reviewing this directly from the can.

A: Well I can't really tell now can I? From the picture of one I took a few weeks ago into my Russian River goblet. Muddy orange brown pour with a pretty thick white head.

S: The hops smack you right upside the face on your first sip. Metal hints from the can seem to bolster the big piney hoppiness, but certainly a caramel malt backbone is noted.

T: Honestly, the taste is not entirely different than it was out of the glass. Big hit of piney hops up front, citrus and other tropical fruits. Bitter, but the fruitiness is pretty formidable as well. The malt backbone from the smell is only slightly noticed, this one is all about the hops. The balance between bitter hops and fruity hops is phenomenal.

MF: Carbonated very well, medium body, very crisp dry finish. The booze is noted every so slightly.

O: Best beer I have ever enjoyed straight from a can, and one of the better ones I've had period. I've had Pliny this fresh and they are both phenomenal in their own regards.

russwbeck, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of twelveinches
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

twelveinches, Dec 15, 2011
Photo of intensify
4.93/5  rDev +4.2%

This batch was canned on December 7th, and I drank it on December 13th so it's an extremely fresh batch. Was poured into a snifter. Poured an amazing 3 finger head which stuck around for a good while. The color is a glossy orange. Smells like anything citrus. Oranges are a big aroma in this beer. The smell is intense and when you take a drink you can taste everything that you smell. Alcohol is barely present as the flavors balance the beer out very well. A bit of bitterness at the end, but like I said, everything is balanced well.
Overall this IPA is a must have and will definately acquire this again. It is an IPA that you can just sit back and enjoy every small sip of it.

intensify, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of bbrochu
5/5  rDev +5.7%

bbrochu, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of mendonjoebeer
5/5  rDev +5.7%

mendonjoebeer, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of farundrpar
5/5  rDev +5.7%

farundrpar, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of naloxone
5/5  rDev +5.7%

naloxone, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of rfraga77
5/5  rDev +5.7%

rfraga77, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -15.4%

Exiled, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of andrecrompton
4.88/5  rDev +3.2%

16oz can


I had two 8oz pours in a tulip glass.

-hazy burnt orange color with a natual white head.
-From the smell you get a citus/grapefruit scent.
-The taste is very complex with strong earthy hoppy notes. The hops are true and the after taste is one that lingers on the pallet.

One of the best IPA's I have had.

andrecrompton, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of shutyourface
5/5  rDev +5.7%

shutyourface, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Shmeal
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Shmeal, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of inflatablechair
4/5  rDev -15.4%

inflatablechair, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of slvrmon82
5/5  rDev +5.7%

slvrmon82, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jz989
5/5  rDev +5.7%

jz989, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
4.85/5  rDev +2.5%

This review is comprised from notes taken on multiple days from multiple cans consumed from either a snifter or the can itself as suggested. There really isn’t much difference between the can and glass version.

A: Pours a very cloudy iced-tea color with a finger of bright white oily head that slowly faded into a very greasy film that left soapy patches of bubbly lace down the glass.
S: Stupid powerful and bright scents of fresh citrus hops layered with sweet tropical fruits and a blast of pine. Much easier to smell out of the glass.
T: Follows the nose with very sweet and fresh flavors of tropical fruit nectars and slightly bitter citrus juice. The hops in this are just so fresh while being so flavorful and easy to drink. The finish is sweet, juicy and honey-like, and the aftertaste is very smooth with hardly any bitterness.
M: Very slick and greasy mouthfeel, oily thick body, soft and fluffy carbonation. This goes down so smooth.
O: One of the best DIPA’s in the world. Definitely top 5. Love the flavors in this. Every bit as good out of the can than the bottle. If I lived near where this beer is distributed, I would always keep my fridge stocked at all times.

scottfrie, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of dvsbizzyb
4.75/5  rDev +0.4%

dvsbizzyb, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jegross2
4.58/5  rDev -3.2%

Reviewing the Heady Topper from The Alchemist.
Score (Can): 96
Score (Duvel tulip): 92

2011 can, courtesy as an extra from FrankenBrew (BeerAdvocate trade)! Been wanting to try this forever. It's rumored to taste/smell different from a can, so I'm doing this brew half-and-half. The half I drank out a glass was from a Duvel tulip.

Appearance (Can): Silver colored can with black artwork etched on the front. The can has a thrice repeated warning around the upper edge that reads, in all caps, "DRINK FROM THE CAN!" I don't like it when beer tells me what to do. Whatever, I'll do what I want!

Appearance (Duvel tulip): Pours a super hazy orange-amber color with a finger of super foamy cream-colored head that sticks around for a couple of minutes until it settles into a ring around the glass and thin clump in the middle. Decent lacing. 4/5

Smell (Can): Huge citrus and floral aromas. LOTS of intense, fresh tropical fruits -- oranges, grapefruits, pineapple and mangoes. Fresh grass clippings and dank resin. The nose is absolutely packed with bright, floral hops. Let's be honest -- it's like a sunshine of citrus-hops. This is hands down the best IPA, potentially the best beer, I have ever smelled in my life. I wish I could buy an air-freshener that smelled just like this! 5/5

Smell (Duvel tulip): A lot of the intensity of the citrus-hops aromas is lost when you pour this out of the can -- even into the infamously aromatic tulip glass! The aroma is a lot earthier, mellower and maltier. Reminds me a lot of Zombie Dust. Still getting zesty oranges and some lemons with big whiffs. You need to smell with much more effort to get the deliciousness once its poured. This one is absolutely better from the can -- no joke! 4/5

Taste (Can): A lot more mellow and subdued than the aroma would have you believe. Very earthy, dank hop bitterness. Orange pulp and lemon hit up front too, almost like a mellowed out Zombie Dust. Malty, bittersweet citrus builds on the mid-palate as the beer layers. Alas, it's not the front or midpalate that defines this beer -- it's the finish. The finish is zesty, bitter oranges and hops, and BOY does it linger! 4.5/5

Taste (Duvel tulip): Like the aroma, a lot of the intensity of the flavors are lost when you pour this from the can. The lingering orange-citrus bitterness largely disappears, and turns into a very average IPA-like finish. Since aroma makes up a main component of taste, this is not too surprising. A lot of the bright citrus flavors are lost and replaced by dank, earthy tones. When poured from the can, Heady Topper turns into an earthier Daisy Cutter with mid-palate flavor. 4/5

Mouthfeel (Can): Medium bodied, medium carbonation. It feels a little under-carbonated at first, preventing the citrusy bitterness from popping on the tongue, but the trade-off of a heavy lingering flavor on the tongue for the finish is absolutely worth it. Finish is a little oily, a little stick, and bittersweet. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel (Duvel tulip): No difference, other than a slightly maltier finish.

Overall: This one should ABSOLUTELY be enjoyed from the can. From what I read, a lot of the volatiles that make this beer so special quickly escape from the glass, whereas the can maximizes their presence through lower exposure and retention. Who would have thought that drinking from the can could be so wonderful? Maybe those tailgaters have it right after all! If I could get consistent access to this beer, it would be my go to non-stout brew.

Recommendation: This is an absolutely must-seek out double IPA. Just make sure to drink it from the can. I wish I could pour it back in and undo the mistake I made, questioning the wisdom of the can.

Food Pairings: Kuma's Corner hamburgers. Spicy food would be pretty great with this too.

Cost: $12 for a four pack.

jegross2, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of jenray
4.5/5  rDev -4.9%

jenray, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of deadmule
5/5  rDev +5.7%

deadmule, Dec 11, 2011
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,239 ratings.