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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,074 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,074
Hads: 11,572
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,440
Gots: 4,007 | FT: 56
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:
Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004

"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% abv
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,074 | Hads: 11,572
Photo of theBeebo8
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Made the trip up to VT to snag a case of this, and it was worth the drive time. I understand how this beer has stayed on the top of the charts for so long. Great orange color, with citrus not only in the smell but throughout the taste. Definitely a world-class beer

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Photo of Rope
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bright orange, good sticky head.

Bubblegum, with a bright citrus.

Follows the nose very well, and really explodes into different flavors of tropical fruits.

Wonderfully carbonated, refreshing, and instead of lingering invites you to drink more.

Incredibly happy to taste it and find another beer that lives to its hype. Big thank you to Dark Lord goers for being great sharers.

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Photo of duracell
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 3/4 straight from the can, then poured the rest into a snifter.

A (last 1/4 of the can) - Surprisingly super clear, dark gold color. Small head disappearing quickly without leaving much of lancing.
S - Very intense herbal, fresh, piney, mango, citrusy aromas. Extremely aromatic and quite balanced by some malt.
T/M - Big hops flavors. Lemon zest, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruits sustained by a lively carbonation. Very juicy. Leads you to a nice fruity bitterness at the end that lingers forever.
O - Definitely one of the best DIPA I was given to try! Tons of flavors and complexity. A must try!!

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass.

Look: Hazy bright/light orange yellow. Said to drink out of the can, but nah.

Smell: Somewhat musky, citrusy, heavy on the pine.

Taste- Hops hit first, which cascade into an insanely well balanced hit of pine and citrus. Lots going on here with grapefruit and citrus. Hard to get a hold on because everything is so well balanced, but above all else- delicious.

Feel- Dry finish with a medium body that leaves you wanting another sip

Overall- Had been looking for this for a few years now and was very excited to have a chance to try it out. I mentally prepared myself to combat the hype around it and try it objectively, which was difficult to do after the first sip because its so damn good. Hands down one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of BigJdizzle
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had out of a can. Drank partially from can and partially from glass. More bite out of the can, but great taste either way. Everything you'd expect an ipa to be....straight fire!

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man was I glad to score one of these! I poured a little into a glass to see what it looked like; nothing special but you're supposed to drink it out of the can so..not applicable?

About halfway through opening the can mango, grapefruit, and honey filled the room and that's before the damn thing was even open! The aroma is just outrageous. The flavor is incredibly tropical, filled with ripe melon, pine, lemon and more candy-like grapefruit juicy sweetness. Ridiculously unique and delicious. Some serious craftsmanship went into this shit. Bone dry finish beckons you for another sip.

Mouthfeel I found a bit flat; I guess some people like that, but I prefer lively carbonation and I think this would benefit from that--again, a preference thing. Overall I'm blessed to have had the #2 IPA on here and feel it's worth the hype. Bell's Hopslam is very similar to this and is another excellent beer that will suffice quite nicely til The Alchemist and I again cross paths.

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Photo of RoddyMedina
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got around to trying this beer from The Alchemist and it definitely lived up to its hype. Unfortunately I only had one during a bottle share but i hope to get my hands on more. I first poured a little to try it in a tulip but left some to compare because on the can it literally states in bold "DRINK FROM THE CAN" and it honestly tasted way better from the can.
The look was a little light compared to most DIPA's I've had, but it still had a nice light orange color to it, it didn't leave much head either. The smell was very citric, oranges with a slight grapefruit scent to it. The taste from the can was super crisp and smooth, it didn't leave kick in the back of your throat like a Maharaja would, which isn't bad either. Overall I'm really hoping to score more of these to give it another go as one can wasn't sufficient.

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Photo of fox227
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First, thanks to the nameless one in Vista for the can I got to share with my girlfriend, I got to try Heady without having to either trade for it or go to Vermont. :) I have had so many wonderful DIPAs that I knew right from the first sip that nothing would shock me with greatness ever again; but drinking this beer, I could definitely understand why it's (currently) the top rated beer.

Pours cloudy but not ugly, as I did not drink from the can, as suggested. The nose was rife with tropical fruit and a slight hard to pinpoint 'musty' quality that I assume was from the yeast. The flavor gloriously followed the nose, with a very big pineapple flavor lingering. The mouthfeel provided just enough body and bitterness on the tongue to let you know that this is a real DIPA, and the alcohol flavor is nowhere to be found.

Would I call this the greatest DIPA I've ever had? I'm pretty sure I've liked others more in the past, but the fact that I have to dig deep into the memory banks says a lot about Heady Topper's quality.

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Photo of Muhly
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the can (oops) into a dimpled mug. Pours a cloudy orange-straw colour with a foamy white head.

Smells of alpine grasses and minty herbs. Pungent hop stank.

Tastes of orange and lemon citrus hops, floral hops, grassy hops, hops hops.

Creamy and ebullient in the mouth.

It's a hop bomb that pushes the envelope and manages to stay within the bounds of good (great?) taste.

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Photo of mattbk
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An orange, almost amber color. Quite cloudy. Limited carbonation.

S - Amazing smell. Rich and full of fruits. I immediately get pineapple (SImcoe?), mango, and pine. THe smell is luscious almost.

T - Same as the smell, with just a bit of hop bitterness, and a little bit of alcohol warming. But all very well balanced, with hop flavor taking center stage. The malt sweetness is there to balance it out also. This almost like eating a slice of peach pie - but also nothing like that. Frankly, it's delicious. There are no flaws at all.

M - Medium, definitely low carbonation, I would have preferred the carb just a tad higher; but maybe that would have masked the flavor.

O - If you can, please try this beer. I live on the right coast and don't trade, so I haven't been privy to Pliny, but it would be hard for me to imagine it being any better.

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Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got to try this beer. It's an IPA alright. It was like that special Crest toothpaste that kept tingling in your mouth long after you were done brushing your teeth. I think it got recalled for poison or something. This beer was not poison. It was very good.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

*- Since it says to drink it from the can, this is a moot point as far as their presentation of it goes, I suppose. Nonetheless, I don’t think it looks bad at all (I had read that is wasn’t pleasing to look at).

Pours a greenish, slightly cloudy orange with a fat creamy white head. Good retention; good lacing.

Green. Stanky citrus, crisp twinge of astringency (it kinda tickles something inside you) and bold resinous hops. Hits you square in the face upon opening the can.

Waves of piney, medicinal, skunky, grassy, and citric hop flavors with the same weird twinge of astringency as the smell; pineapple, grapefruit, weed, and hops of all stripes intermingled with rich odorous grass flavors. If hops have the flavor, it is here in varying degrees.

Good carbonation, medium body very slightly creamy with a finish that manages somehow to both linger and disappear quietly.

I hate hype and I think that oftentimes it does a disservice to otherwise enjoyable things. As such, I was not expecting HT to live up to the myth created around it. Boy was I wrong. I had multiple audible gasps while trying it and have savored it every time since.
Part of what skewed my expectations was the general tendency towards intense IPAs that a lot of breweries have. Because of this, I assumed that it would be the bitterest hop-bomb to ever destroy my taste buds. However, it is so good because it is so restrained. It tastes like hops; no question about it, but it tastes like little else. This means that it can be as hoppy as it is without being needlessly ‘confrontational’ in its flavors and aromas. Actually my girlfriend (who can’t stand hoppy beer) tried it, liked it and sneaks tastes of it when I drink it now.
Anyway, I am gushing.
It is a world-class beer for what it is. Is it the best beer in the world? I honestly don’t think so. Is it one of (if not the) best double IPA in the states (and possibly the world)? Without a doubt.
Would fight to be able to try again. A must-have for any beer enthusiast.
With apologies to Chuck D, do believe the hype.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a medium bright orange golden color. Not quite brilliant, but far from dull in color. Big, frothy head that retains and laces tremendously. Hazy and beautiful in the glass.

S- Big, resinous, piney hops are the foremost and only scent on this one. Kind of sticky in the nose with all the hops. Slight hint of underlying mild sweetness.

T- Bitter hops flavor off the bat. Sticky, resinous hops are upfront and foremost on the palate. Towards the middle of the drink, a slight sweetness of the base malts come through. Hops make a comeback at the end with a primarily pine flavor that really stings the back of the tongue. Ends with the lingering hops bitterness.

M- Thick, sticky, and smooth as hell. This thing drinks more like a stout than an IPA, but goes down quite smooth. The weight is on the heavier side, but man it goes down easy.

Overall, do I think this is the best IIPA or IPA I've ever had? Probably not. The hype train oversells this one a bit, but it is a damn good beer. I will seek it out again in trades and savor this one while I have it.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this guy. A bit poured into a pint glass, rest enjoyed out of the can.

A - pours a hazy yellow, fluffy white head.

S - amazing nose, tons on citrus fruit - orange, pineapple, lemon, followed by piny finish

T - more subdued than the nose, but still excellent. Piny bitterness come through more than the sweetness of the nose, but still a good amount of pineapple. Well balanced relatively with some bready malt backbone, with a bitter, lingering hop finish.

M - smooth, lingering bitterness in the end

O - again, I'm glad to have had the chance to try this one. Definitely one of the best double ipa's out there that I've had, more balanced than I expected, great hop profile.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Ataraxia, I finally get a chance to slay this one! The directions say "drink from the can" but, at least for the first one, I have to pour it out and get a good look at it. Pours a golden-orange color, some straw around the very edges - mostly opaque and hazy. Many people bring up the unadulterated, unfiltered look of Heady Topper, though mine doesn't have the liberal amounts of sediment that would showcase this. Rather it appears quite clean, with maybe a tiny bit of very small particles that have seemingly vanished five minutes into this one. Either way, a nice looking beer with a super foamy, just-off-white head that leaves pretty tremendous lacing atop the glass.

The aroma - simply fantastic. It's fruity, all right. Huge amounts of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, citrus. Very interesting - the fruit has a nice, pithy aroma along with the typical component of juicy, tropical sweetness. Despite being so vibrant and powerful, it's almost difficult to say the fruit component "stands out", seeing as how the hops are nearly just as amped up. Heavy, heavy pine, super slick and resinous oils, grassy and floral, with a dank weed aroma following it all up. The bitterness can be spotted from the nose, but is combated by the fruity goodness. Definitely one of the most unique smelling beers out there, the aroma is doing nothing but getting me excited to finally bring this one to my lips.

HT glides through my palate; across my tongue and against every corner of my mouth, with a medium, slick body, pumped full of carbonation. The flavors explode all at once, like a time bomb of hop-filled citrus fruits going off inside my jaws. From the fruit-side of things, you've got the intense grapefruit, pineapple, mango, and some other tropical fruit that is hard to identify, but clearly stands out - I want to say maybe guava? Either way, very tropical and exploding with fruit. "Juicy" would be a good way to describe the fruit profile. Mouth-watering juiciness.

But it doesn't stop there, just like in the aroma, the hops match the fruit on the palate as well; thick and heavily resinous hop oils cascade over your taste buds, pine needles left and right, wet, dank weed, grass, flowers and intense floral flavors. Bitterness is abound and definitely resounding far into the aftertaste. The malts bring a bready and somewhat sweet character to the table, but don't do much else than that. From a DIPA this highly acclaimed, though, you don't really expect much from the malt, do you? Super bitter, piney, resinous, and citrus peel-y aftertaste.

Guuuhh. Well all you people certainly weren't kidding. Heady Topper is a delicious fucking beer and if I was in Vermont, it's probably all I would drink. How does it compare to my other favorite hop monsters, like Pliny the Elder, Hopslam, or DRIPA? Well, it'd be hard to say whether I like HT "better" than any of them, because despite being a Double IPA, it is still vastly discernible from the rest. Nevertheless, the acclaim Heady Topper receives is deserved - this beer is fantastic. A true hop-head's wet dream. Next time, I will drink from the can.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very nice, dank and piney aroma and taste. Very balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Only downside for me is the lack of some tropical fruit and the alcohol being just a bit too present.

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Photo of phillybeer7779
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 1.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a can into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance- orange-ish in color, large amount of floaties in the glass. Not the prettiest beer in the world.
Smell- Pure citrus hops, mainly get simcoe on the nose
Taste- More citrus, grapefruit up front with a lemon lime aftertaste
Mouthfeel- Kinda numbs the tongue a little with the hop blast, alcohol is pretty much completely hidden.
Overall- Great beer! One of the uglier examples of the style, but appearance is probably the least important attribute of a beer. Still, anyone giving 4-5s across the board are wrong.

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Photo of SpdKilz
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, a big thanks to Drazzamatazz who sent out this special beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my Bell's Tulip with a hazy, dark caramel color. Over a finger of slight tan head is achieved with a moderate pour, that dissipates slowly, leaving nice looking lacing on the sides of my glass.

Smell - The first time I smelled this I had an initial aroma of onion...like Gubna. This scared me. Hence I waited a few minutes for the beer to breathe and was awarded most generously. Juicy citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, mango, and slight pineapple. Next comes the pines and resin, followed by a not as hoppy kick as expected, and just a hint of the aforementioned onion aroma.

Taste - Hot damn. Up front I get more pine than the citrus aroma would have led me to believe. Next come the wonderful hop flavors - not too bitter but also not so faint as to overlook their presence. The middle of the taste lends itself to the nice juicy citrus flavors which are spot on with the smell (I feel this is where it differs from PtE - a bit more citrus here). It ends with slight piney bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, very creamy (more so than PtE in my opinion) and finishes a hint dry like PtE.

Drinkability - Damn quaffable. Honestly, a freaking great DIPA. I see some lower reviews and I honestly can't understand why? Having this side by side a fresh PtE, this is so close to it. If this was readily available like PtE, I would buy this alongside it. A very enjoyable beer, and well worth the trade for it. It has its differences from PtE, but that is why I would freaking love to have both of these in my refrigerator at the same time. So similar yet so different. My first experience from The Alchemist and a hugely positive one at that. As stated, very glad I was able to try this. Again, this is not just hype in my opinion, this really is a top notch, top 5 DIPA in my book.

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange almost amber or brown with a frothy off white two finger head leaving supreme lacing down the glass.

Smells of pineapple, tropical fruits and a little bit of caramel. Everything about this beer is fantastic so far.

Strong citrus flavors hit at the front of the tongue balanced out in the middle with some caramel malt. Finishes with a light piney resin bitterness.

A little bit sappy and good carbonation levels.

Fantastic beer. Not the very best of the style I've had, but right up there.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 500ml can into a stemmed tulip glass (beer was 6 days old)

A: Very cloudy (murky?) with some large-ish sediment floating around. Heady is an unfiltered beer, but this this seems excessive and other similar unfiltered DIPAs do not have this problem. The beers pours a nice orangey color and forms a huge, thick white head and leaves nice lacing behind.

**Edit: Having a few more cans of Heady, I have found the sediment to much less in other cans leaving the pour very hazy/cloudy which is fine by me! Therefore, increased the appearance score from 3.25 to 4.0 to 4.25**

S: To die for! A massive hop nose dripping of pine tar and grapefruit.

T: Hops again with big grapefruit and other citrus flavors (sweet oranges and tangerines) as well as though classic American bittering hops drying the beer out a bit. Complimenting this heavy hops regiment is the perfect malt profile balancing out the brew. A long dry clean finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Very clean and round.

O: This is just a great balanced beer! It is not the hoppiest beer nor the maltiest, but it achieves perfect balance and is incredibly easy drinking. One of the few double/imperial IPAs that leaves your primed for a second!

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Photo of weeare138
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a cloudy golden amber...looks unfiltered and super appealing with a frothy, bubbly 1 finger white head that lasts. Tons of huge, chunky bubbly lace...uhhhh, WOW.
Smell is of the hoppiest kind of orange citrus and grapefruit with pine sap.
Taste is of well blended hops with lots of resinous pine and sugar filled grapefruit saturating the palate.
Mouthfeel is well balanced kick ass malt rounding out the killer hops.
Drinkability...is this really 7.5%? Fuhget aboudit! This won't even feel like a 5%, it's so well hidden. I really wish I had gotten this on cask at the pub. Maybe next time.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a lot to baconsausage for sending me this great brew!

22oz bottle into a snifter glass

Bottled 11/30/2010 - Drank 12/12/2010

A- Pours a really strange murky orange with a real thin 1 finger white head that doesn't stick around any more than a rim around the glass. Decent lacing though.

S- Really nice strong floral and citrus hops that have a nice pine aroma to them as well. Hard to get a good feel for the malt presence due to the awesome hop amount but I'm gonna say slightly caramel and sweet. Definitely some fruitiness in there as well, more tropical oriented it seems.

T- Wow! Extremely well blended. First sip gave me a really strong floral pine bitterness up front from the hops but on the back of the tongue i was getting a nice sweet caramel malt flavor that brings it all together. I've never actually been able to taste both at the same time due to one being more over powering but these ingredients compliment each other so well. Some nice fruity citrus notes in there as well and the alcohol is pretty much non existent.

M- Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation and a really nice strong bitter finish.


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Photo of SeaOfShells
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can directly from the vessel to my mouth. I poured a fraction for appearance.

A: Golden honey color with a white head. Pretty typical for the style.

S: A remarkable achievement in the aroma department. This is the beer that I will use to judge all others on aroma. Pungent, stinging hops, with a balanced biscuity, bready backbone. Pure citrus hops, and dense pine. A pleasure for the senses.

T: You know, being from Southern CA, I see a lot of IPAs come and go. We have quite a few to chose from after all. Most don't live up to the hype, but a few do. This is one of those few. I haven't experienced grapefruit bitterness like this in a beer before. It's honestly like biting into a ripe grapefruit. I love my IPAs bold and pungent, and this delivers more than any other. A bitter assault.

M: Again, this is average for the style. Medium bodied and good carbonation helps to scrub the palate, but in the end, the hops win. Leaves a hop coating.

O: yeah, it's as good as they say, and maybe even better. And I still have a can left.

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Photo of jhavs
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up case max last Tuesday while looking for Sip Of Sunshine. Great drinkability and balance. As I have heard, the flavor does change as you move through the layers. Hop flavor and bitterness come at you from all different angles.

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Photo of ChicagoJohn
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on Tap at the Blind Tiger some months back... from notes

A- Cloudy orange appearance with some good head developed. Looks like grapefruit juice that has settled and is sitting out.

S- Tons of tropical fruit smells in the nose. This is a very good smelling DIPA.

T- Love the fact that there isn't too much of that caramel backbone in most DIPAs that I avoid and that the hops are in the forefront of the beer's taste. It's a tad bit unbalanced but I don't mind it if I'm drinking one can but I would have to stop after the 2nd can because the alcohol isn't completely hidden.

M- Heavy, almost syrupy beer. Love it.

O- This isn't the perfect beer to me. The only issue I have with it is the fact that I can taste the alcohol prominently due to the fact that they put in less malts to balance. It would have killed if it had no alcohol trace like the Pliny but at the same time the taste and nose blows virtually all other DIPAs. But it's still damn tasty but I will stop at only drinking one per session and then focus on a more balanced IPA or DIPA such as what Hill Farmstead occurs.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,074 ratings.