Heady Topper - The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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1,941 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,941
Hads: 10,933
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,122
Gots: 3,442 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,941 | Hads: 10,933
Photo of bigaltemple
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you to pokesbeerdude for sending this as an extra in his portion of the Willpower LIF.

Not one to take orders from a can, I poured it into a NB globe.

A - A great looking burnt orange color. Big, soapy, off-white head slowly dissipates leaving lots of lacing.

S - Wow! Just a huge blast of hops. Not just typical citrus aroma. You get a little of everything. Just when the grapefruit, pineapple, orange rind, and tropical notes fill your nose, some resinous pine floats up behind.

T/M - Much the same as the nose. Seems to touch all the bases. I did get just an inkling of a malt base, but really wasn't looking for or missing it. Seems to be just enough to not make this a mouth-scraper. Medium to full bodied.

O - Flat out delicious! I definitely look forward to having some more of this. (807 characters)

Photo of rringler
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very cloudy (mostly opaque) straw color, with 1.5 fingers of white head, composed of small and medium bubbles. The head dissolved into a think film pretty quickly. The little bit I poured did leave moderate+ lacing on the glass. Looks unfiltered, as there are some particulates in the ounce or so that I poured.

S: From the rocks glass: Floral and hoppy. Smells pretty balanced. From the can: harder to smell, but I pick up more fruity sweetness. Pineapple is the fruit I'm most reminded of.

T: Lots going on here. A moderate/moderate- sweet and slightly spicy start. Mild malt mid-taste; perhaps just a bit biscuity. Finishes with a medium dose of clean citrus hops. It's strength is in its balance. I don't notice any alcohol at 8% abv.

M: Medium- body; enough body to respect but not so much your tongue gets tired. Much closer to how an IPA should feel than a DIPA. Carbonation is great. If I could find them, I feel like I could have a couple of these on a summer afternoon.

O: Great brew, though it resembles an IPA more than a DIPA. I'm fine with this beer defining the smell, taste, and body of what an good IPA should be. I'd prefer it be a bit darker and clearer in appearance, but I'm not willing to sacrifice its smell, taste, or mouth-feel to get there. It's a great beer, and if they weren't so hard to get ahold of, I'd sit outside and enjoy a few of them on a summer afternoon.

"DON'T BE A D-BAG, RECYCLE THIS CAN!" (1,448 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of WellRested518
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- although I drank this gorgeous elixir from the can, I watched as it was carefully poured into a tulip. Perfect orange-salmon haze with a prominent head and steady lacing.

§- straight hops, done right. Citrus and pine are prominent with a light hit of alcohol at the end.

T- once again... large, delicious, beautiful, hopsss. It's not like most double ipa's though. This has real flavor. I can tell that the brewer used his skills meticulously. A nice sweet grapefruit prevails, amongst the likes of pine and pride.

M- by far my favorite thing about this brew. Perfect carbonation leads to a buttery bouquet that clings to the pallet.

O - lives up to it's title. (669 characters)

Photo of evanforbeer
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A friend gave this to me out of nowhere, he said it was canned within the week.
pours an odd, murky brownish orange with lots of sediment chunks floating around and a think white head

aroma- mango, peach, pineapple, fresh grains, some rose, spicy hop zest

taste- sweet citrus hits the palate up from with tangerine and lemons, fresh tropical fruits mango/pineapple, a little hop spice with subtly sweet bready malt. Some berries in there. Finishes with a grip of pine/hop spice and a bit dry-malty

feel- medium bodied, drinkable, mild booze, delicious, juicy, zesty, dry

this is a great beer. Obviously a lot of hype, probably mostly due to its limited availability, but this is probably one of the best IPAs out there. Juicy, resinous, clean. I'm glad I got to try it!
cheers (781 characters)

Photo of djjacobsen
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Definitely worthy of a 100 rating. Fresh hop beer consumed very soon after shipment arrived. Dank, grassy hops. Slight spice and earthy tones. Perfect carbonation and a sweet, faint malt character. Still trumped by Pliny and Enjoy By but among the top of its class. Oh, and I was a bad boy and didn't drink from the can. Hats off to the Alchemest all the way from Vermont doing the west coast ipa as good as or better than almost anyone out there. (448 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to Drazzamatazz.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a small, smooth white head.

Scent of resin, sugar, mango, apricot, orange peel, pineapple, dry, leafy hops, and a hint of caramel. A truly phenomenal scent, very hop forward and surprisingly complex. I love a strong tropical fruit presence in my IPAs and this one has more than enough to spare.

Taste of apricot, leafy hops, grapefruit, pineapple, orange peel, mango, resin, and sugar. Finishes slightly dry with more tropical fruit and some resin. As with the scent, the tropical fruit characteristics dominate the taste. The resin is a bit more prevalent in the flavor making it slightly less impressive than the scent, but this is still one damn incredible beer.

Mouthfeel is clean and smooth with medium carbonation. (788 characters)

Photo of Triplesnake
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic Double IPA. It does however have a very sweet after taste. The reason this beer is rated so well is the genius marketing from the Alchemist Team. Cheers to you for that John! I am drinking this beer out of a glass right now, and I do have to say that they are deadly serious about it being better in the Can. (320 characters)

Photo of lonewolfcry
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Second time around with this beer in the last week.
The first I think might have been less than fresh or didn't travel well (?) - I guess I really don't care now.
Thanks to RandyKemka for hooking me up with this one.

I have to give an average 3 for appearance - although I'm drinking from the can, I owe it at least a par score for that.
The smell is what I expected - pungent grapefruit hop citrus...very nice
The taste kind of took me by surprise - a biting hop resin up front, and then WHAM...it did a disappearing act on my tongue, as if my mouth was a cloud drawing little droplets of water and nothing else.
Then just as I was focusing on the amazing nothingness - the hops came back and gave my mouth a little hop resin kick (or should I say re-kick)
The mouth feel is nothing short of amazing...medium to full body on an IPA? WoW!

Overall, I would say I will have to bow to the hype on this one. A+
It reminds me of an AIR Abrasive (if they made such a beer) - except Abrasive doesn't have the magic trick in the middle of the show. (1,044 characters)

Photo of Ljudsignal
4.61/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass. Thanks to Ben Warner for this unexpected treat.

Pours a murky orange with an impressive creamy two-and-a-half-finger head. Head fades over the course of two-three minutes to a film of foam atop the beer. Splotchy, cobwebby lacing.

In the nose--well, lean in to within about six inches of the glass and you can smell it. Big dank floral hops with a slightly peppery spice edge, citrus and tropical fruits, wet grass and a faint but persistent sweet bready malt note. Hops for days, man, hops for days.

Taste follows the nose almost to a T. Massive juicy hops from the very first sip--pineapple, mango, tangerine, and grapefruit all clamor for attention. Also present are potent floral notes--fresh-cut grass, a dank oniony note, pine sap, and again that effervescent peppery character. Sweet bready malt rounds out the equation, with a surprisingly clean phenolic bite at the very back. The balance is what really impresses here--no one flavor profile dominates over the other in this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, smooth and creamy.

On the whole... "lush" is the word that comes to mind here. From the raw hop juiciness of the flavor profile to the creaminess of the feel, this is a deceptively smooth beer for the intensity of hop flavor it packs. Delicious and well worth the effort necessary to procure it. (1,360 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Christmas Heady muled down from Vermont by my sister in law. Broke rule number one and poured it into a glass. Outstanding looking beer, not that clear watery look that many have, looks full and rich, orangish color, impressive head that stuck around and lacing was ideal. I know I am supposed to drink it from the can but it is a great looking beer. The smell is unreal, the citrus really jumps out at you. The flavor follows and is also incredible, the juicy citrus jumps out at you, real smooth except for the bitter. May be just a bit to much for me (not a hop head). Plus, the bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. Rich, full texture with great carbonation, the perfect amount. I did not notice any alcohol, it was an extremely easy to drink beer with the exception of the lingering bitterness. Not the top for me but I completely understand why the hop heads love it. (891 characters)

Photo of UDbeernut
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

can aquired from trade with shcufj. no freshness info.

pours a golden amber into my snifter capped by small head with good retention. Head reduces to a lacing cap. Aroma is of tropical fruit and light caramel. Pineapple upfront on the palate with tangerine, and canned peaches. Caramel provides the backbone. Mouth is light bodied. excellent. (343 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a customer give me a can of Heady last year. Split it with one of my coworkers and we both just looked at each other with mouths open before both exclaiming how good it was. I picked up my share at the brewery little over a week ago and now it's time for a full review.
I know it says to drink from the can, but for this review it will be poured into a Sam Adams 'perfect pint' glass. Later I'll have one from the can and if I notice anything different enough to comment on I'll edit this review.

AP: Colour like a dark shade of apricot or orange marmalade. Can't really see through this when held to the light, it's pretty damned thick. Foamy dense white head, about 1" that settles to 1/2" with moderate lacing.
AR: Like fresh green pine needles after a rain. Fruity hop aromas of orange, peach, grapefruit, mango and guava. Bready cereal grains from the malts.
T: Just very well balanced between the malts and hops. The hops are there and prominent but don't overpower and take over. The hops are lush and juicy, which to me is the mark of a really great IPA/DIPA. On the finish it's soft green pine with the rinds of orange and tangerine. I love how it's flavourful from start to finish. So easy to drink and a moist long aftertaste.
M: Creamy with a fairly hearty full body, low to moderate carbonation, crisp clean finish that though the juicy hops leave a moistness behind that coats your cheeks/gums, it's off dry on the tongue.
OV: An exceptionally well done brew. Flavourful, balanced and a bit chewy for a DIPA, which I like about it. Good lingering flavours that make you want to keep drinking and the ABV is well hidden. At this point, I would say Heady Topper and Lawson's Double Sunshine are the best DIPAs I've had so far. I'm not going to say which I think is better as I like each for different reasons and am just glad I got to try them both. In a perfect World, I'd have access to both whenever I wanted instead of having to drive 7hrs to Vermont to get a limited amount. (1,999 characters)

Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-Drank from the can per Alchemist's suggestion, but I'm sure it looks fine.
S-Hops, hops, hops are booming out of the can, which give it an aroma of citrus or grapefruit.
T-Beautifully bitter like unrequited first love, but with a fruity sweetness that keeps you coming back for more.
M-Feels like a very hoppy double IPA and you can taste it afterwards too.
O-Very glad that I can find this locally every week. (412 characters)

Photo of nas5755
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Chris.

A- Cloudy, hazy, chunks of yeast or hops. Pale golden orange color.

S- Pineapple, citrus, navel oranges, lots of pine and pine sap. Very Dank.

T- So awesome. Very clean, lots of citrus, tangerine and pineapple lead the way with a brisk move towards a very nice piney resin finish. Nice and dry. The hop profile is balanced in the sense that the progression from citrus/tropical fruits to piney bitterness is just amazing. The malt and sweetness levels are present in this beer yet they dont overshadow the hops, they just provide a nice background to let the hops play.

M- Good carbonation levels. Nice hop resin notes. Clean tasting.

O- This is one amazing dipa. As the label says this is not the most bitter or most insanely dry-hopped dipa. It is however one of the best that I have ever had. The hop profile as I mentioned above is perfectly balanced. The hops are present from start to finish and each hop element has depth. A very awesome beer. (969 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to a very generous BA for the opportunity to try this one, 22oz bomber.

Pours a bright, clear amber with a big pillowy white head with a rocky bottom fed by a steady stream of bubbles Retention is good and leaves a soapy collection of big bubbles on top with good lacing.

Aroma is wonderful and typical of a top-tier west coast DIPA. Tons of juicy citrus with oranges and pineapples mixed with a thick resinous pine aroma. Bit of biscuity malt in the background.

Flavor is just as good with an initial astringent citrus bitterness, pithy grapefruit, that flows into a more juicy citrus backbone with the oranges and pineapples coming back in. The finish is bitter and resinous, sticky with pine hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated with a wonderful stickiness clinging to the palate after each sip.

One of the best DIPAs I've had in recent memory and possibly the best east coast DIPA I've ever tasted. Super drinkable but with tons of hop character and bitterness. Really superb beer. (1,018 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at the Alchemist Cannery on a beerventure and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice, slightly hazy orange hue with a nice creamy one finger head that fades to leave a thick halo and nice clouding.

S - Smell is excellent, lots of fresh pines and grapefruit peel. There is some very light tropical fruit in the back, but mostly just pine and grapefruit.

T - Delicious. Super nice grapefruit along with good pine oil flavours. Lots of citrus and pine in this one. Not too sweet with some more light tropical (slight mango/pinepalle, but not much). Good bitter finish.

M - Really, really nice. Almost a 5, but not quite. In one sip, you cant taste the ABV, the next you get the booze. It does feel nice on the tongue.

O - Overall this stuff is dangerous. These tallboys go back so easy its easy to lose track. The price too...my goodness, under $4 a can! Stuff is just delicious. Well worth getting. (917 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 08/28/10 notes. Had on tap at the Alchemist on my trip up to Vermont. Review number 600!

a - Pours a golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells very heavily of pine hops; very dominating. Also smells of citrus hops, grape fruit, tropical fruit, and faint, sweet fruity malts. Hint of floral hops. A very nice mix of pine and fruit in the smell.

t - Tastes of citrus and grapefruit, fruity malts, pine hops,and a hint of floral hops. Some nice bitterness in the initial sips that fades as you drink it.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very easy to drink.

d - Overall, I thought this was a great DIPA. I was a little worried it wouldn't live up to the hype, but it pretty much did. Personally I think I might rank HopSlam and PTE a bit higher, but this is a great IPA I would love to have again. I got a lot of pine in the smell and a nice mix of fruit and pine in the smell and taste, and I thought it was really easy to drink at 8% ABV. If I was up in Vermont again, I would definitely go back to the Alchemist for this beer. (1,088 characters)

Photo of Doodler
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can from Dr Greg - grazie amigo! Shared with buds. Poured a cloudy orange with a decent white head Nose is lemon / grapefruit citrusy and huge on the hops. Taste is slippery sweet and well integrated among the hop resins and citrus / fruit flavors. Finished off with a nice bitterness and soft bite. The lasting finish is well balanced. Loved this one. (352 characters)

Photo of WesM63
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a tulip.

A: Pours a murky mustard yellow with a 1 finger off white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Faint smell of grapefruit, mango, pine/resin and floral.

T: Very close to the nose, bitter floral and citrus hops up front, followed by some pine/resin and dry finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Some heat trails down at the end.

O: Excellent DIPA. Very well balanced and super drinkable. It's fairly faint in both smell and taste, not bad but I prefer more. (495 characters)

Photo of chalsk
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A big, big THANKS to Damico for this can share. Pours a cloudy orange amber color with a nice white foam head. Aroma of grapefruit and earthiness, with some caramel mixed in. Has a sweet caramel taste with ridiculously perfect dank hop resiny hit. Smooth as can be. The harsh hop hit does not outlast the finish, leaving you with delicate grapefruit notes at the end of this perfection. Not overhyped. (401 characters)

Photo of Larry6767
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. There are some other beers out there that I enjoy a little more, but this is definitely worth drinking if you are afforded the opportunity. (151 characters)

Photo of dbossman
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Apricot hue with a thin head and a good amount of lacing; some sediment floating around, which is why I suppose they want you to drink it from the can--sorry, guys, I just can't do it

S: That is a tropical bouquet of awesomeness: pineapple, mango, grapefruit; spicy and awesome

T: This is a hoppy awesome beer--so fruity and fantastic: the mango, pineapples, and grapefruit are the stars here but there is a pleasant, slightly sweet malty backbone

F: Oily and sticky medium body, which is exactly what a DIPA should be

O: This is an amazing beer; hoppy and fruity and oily and so damn good (596 characters)

Photo of sjones5045
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ok so this beer says to drink out of the can, so I am reviewing this beer drinking one from the can and one poured into a glass on a separate session. So the look isn't good. Tons of grainy sediment but to be fair they do tell you to keep it in the can for smell reasons, but after seeing it in a glass I call BS and say this is why they don't want you to see it. The smell is a hoppy citrus explosion. Might be the most citrus I've ever smelled in a beer. Most importantly the taste, and the taste is pretty good and smooth on some tastes and others a little more harsh. Never bad but kind of inconsistent taste through the beer. Overall, it's a good beer but not great, or for that matter the best rating on advocate. Double IPAs is perhaps the most competitive class of beers and I have definitely had better than this.

Update: had a third now out of the can, and it was a hell of a lot better than I remember. Extremely smooth and consistent. Now I don't know what to think about this except that I need to get a 4th to see if its as good as this one. It's very smooth but interestingly enough it lacked the citrus explosion like the last one had. Still can't say it the best double IPA. Yet.

Ok, now an update on the update. All I can add is the importance of beer date labels. I've now had a few more and you have a Heady and it isn't quite consistent throughout drinking its probably old. The fresher the better. I finally admit its world class when fresh, but can't say the best. Personal preference. But now I'm just not picking.

Side note, to all brewery's please put beer dates on your labels that are easy to see. Why would you want anyone judging you beer if it's old and we don't know its old? (1,719 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass, Taste rated from the can

A- Pours a murky golden-orange color, looks like the color of the sun, with some sediment and floaties swimming around near the bottom of the glass. Big foamy and pillowy white head that has great retention and leaves a few small patches of lace as it settles.

S- LOTS of hop resin up front with a leafy and dank aroma, notes of fresh cut grass, herbal & earthy hop aromas, pine and just a hint of sugary malt sweetness

T- Right off, the first thing I notice is the freshness of the flavor of the hops, big leafy and grassy notes are complimented by some danky herbal/medicinalflavors, there's a touch of malty sweetness that kicks in mid-palalte but only as an underlying addition. The finish is piney and dry with an inviting hop linger

M- Medium body and moderate carbonation leads to a big foamy and creamy mouthfeel, finishing smooth and crisp. Probably the most drinkable DIPA I've ever had

O- We've all heard the hype, was it the best beer I've ever had? No. But it is world class and one that I would seek out again. The biggest thing that sets this and Pliny apart from other DIPA's are their amazing drinkability. The hops are packed in, but they are not overbearing. I could drink a 4pack of this in one setting, which is nearly unheard of when it comes to this style (1,336 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,941 ratings.