Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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1,937 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,937
Hads: 10,921
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,114
Gots: 3,426 | FT: 54
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: 1,937 | Hads: 10,921
Photo of Ahaller
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I live in Bridlington vt and would call this brew no more than a fad. I've had people I don't even know (friend of a friend) hit me up just to help them get an extra case to bring home wIth them to New York. It's good, yeah, perhaps my pallet is discerning, but I'd love to see something new from the alchemist or hill farmstead uproot this silly phase (352 characters)

Photo of mschantz
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque lemon yellow color with a huge fluffy bright white head. Lemon, celery and cucumber with a bit of pine on the nose. Taste is bright and lemony up front with a juniper hop bitterness on the back. (212 characters)

Photo of Jmc181
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mouthfuls of fluffy hoppiness. Super smooth and delicious. It's more hoppy than words can describe, and yet, not too much so. Worth drinking every chance you can get your hands on it. (186 characters)

Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After hearing the hype surrounding this beer, I went on an adventure to obtain it in upstate Vermont. After taking off a day from work, I traveled almost 4 hours to hop in the lines at the venues where this was being delivered that Thursday. I was accompanied by a whole bunch of craft beer lovers. Without disappointment, I was able to obtain several cases of this elusive gem! Following directions, I drank this straight from the can and what a surprise it was... by far one of the best double IPAs in the country. I can realistically see why this beer is so sought after. If you haven't already, do your best to obtain a fresh can of this beer... it will change your thoughts about craft beer. Cheers! (704 characters)

Photo of Brondeau
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious. If I fall into some more I will happily drink it, but probably not differentiated enough from readily available double IPAs to make the hassle worth it. (164 characters)

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. (264 characters)

Photo of Hockeyschtick
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer changed my life. It changed what I thought about beer and what a hoppy beer could be. There are several other great DIPAs that rival it (Second Fiddle, Dbl Sunshine, Pliny, ...) but Heady has a special place in my heart. (230 characters)

Photo of CoffeePorter
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was honestly hoping that this beer was too hyped, but boy was I wrong!
A: I drank it from the can, but I did pour a little bit for a friend. It was dark orange with a thin, white head.
S: Floral, herbal, orange, peach, mango, very tropical, some pine, hoppy.
T: Similar to nose, however this beer seems to have just about every kind of taste that an IPA can possibly have…pure brilliance! It starts off very dry and then explodes mid sip with citrusy/tropical goodness and then fades into bursting hops.
M: Hops are somewhat prickly to the tongue, extremely balanced with the sweetness, dryness, mild bitterness and overall complexity.
O: A perfect 5!! I have given a few 5's in the past, but this beer is the best!! (720 characters)

Photo of Sparty1224
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Serving: 16 oz. can poured into a tulip. No canned on date, but picked this up recently in a trade and was told it's "as fresh as can be", so I'm assuming no more than 2-3 weeks old at this point.

A: Pours a very nice, hazy, golden-yellow color. Leaves a nice 1/4-finger bubbly white head at the edges. Almost looks like fresh-squeezed orange juice without the pulp. The haze and unfiltered appearance here is really how I like my DIPAs, as it gives off that appearance of depth and character that you just don't get with clear, filtered IPAs.

S: Huge orange and tangerine notes up front. After that, pineapple and a touch of banana. Definitely some mango in there as well. Surprisingly, no grapefruit, as this nose comes off more sweeter fruit smelling and less citrus or acidic. Almost has a Pina Colada thing going on with some coconut in there. Very nice.

T: Again, large orange and tangerine notes up front. Aftertaste is almost like licking the inside of an orange rind. In the middle you get a nice mix of pineapple and mango. Taste is all hop flavors here, very little bitterness or piney notes to it.

M: One word for this would be "juicy". It's just full, rich, creamy and juicy. Great carbonation, alcohol hidden well. Perfectly balanced. Just the right amount of malt so that it's appropriately in the background here, because this is all hops all the way. Aftertaste is just a touch bitter, and it does coat your tongue, but I wouldn't call it a palate-wrecker by any means. Very, very dry on the finish. Maybe a little too try.

O: Reviewing a beer that is already known as the #1 beer on BA is very difficult. There's a lot of preconceived notions that go into it. I've had this beer several times now, in three waves. First time was "woah! best beer ever!". Second time was a little more down to earth, especially after having tried many other top DIPAs in the interim. Now my third approach to this legend, and I'm somewhere in between. I have more respect for this beer and what's able to do consistently. It certainly is ONE of the top DIPAs on this planet. Not naming it #1 isn't a diss, it's just that I think that's impossible. When you're this good, the only way to truly decide is with a blind taste test, and I don't have the time nor the resources for that. This beer really does have everything you want in a DIPA, and I guess any beer in general. It's smooth, drinkable, balanced, and explosive. Explosive as in it just hits you with hops over and over, but never really fatigues you. An example of fatigue would be Stone. They just go really hard, but at the end, you're exhausted and your tongue hurts. Here, you can go all day and it's still really enjoyable. Pliny, Heady, HF, Double Sunshine, Perm Funeral, Square Grouper, doesn't matter. They are all elite. Any of them can be 5's and #1 on any given day. Heady is up there and they should be proud.

Recommendation: It's the #1 beer in the world. Get it. Drink it. Make your own opinion. (2,979 characters)

Photo of BigAl18
3.68/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Admittedly, I'm not a huge DIPA guy, but I don't get it. Cloudy and not as smooth as I thought it would be. Aftertaste lingers forever. Not horrible but I expected much more. (174 characters)

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. (1,031 characters)

Photo of wildfire275
2.65/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Let me begin with a precursor: I've had Heady on several occasions, my first being almost four years ago. I'm writing this review because this batch from early February when I purchased a case is simply a shell of its former self and must have something wrong with it (and not because it's been 3 months since it was canned; because it tasted the same right after I bought it and it's been refrigerated ever since and should still be plenty drinkable at this stage). Cracking a can brings an overwhelming smell and subsequent taste of peanut butter, peanut oil and peanuts. As I am not a homebrewer, though I work in beer retail, I do not know how to pinpoint this off-flavor/smell (i.e. diacetyl), but it is certainly not the Heady that blew my mind when I first had it four years ago. My main motivation in writing this review is to alert others to the possibility that clearly not all batches of Heady are created equal now. If this can be chalked up to mishandling (exposure to heat), and is not a fault of The Alchemist, I would certainly understand. But as I purchased this case in the midst of a bone-chilling winter, I find that possibility not very plausible. And don't get me wrong; this is not intended to throw The Alchemist, John and Jen or their staff under the bus. They are working tirelessly to bring this beer to the masses of VT, the U.S., and now--yes--the world. Hopefully this is simply an anomaly and their quality control only improves with further batches, yet now with their increased production and the new Stowe facility, this may only become more difficult in the future. As a die-hard craft drinker and one who knows where Heady belongs in the upper echelon of DIPAs, I hope this does not prove to be the case. (1,740 characters)

Photo of CA-J27
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely delicious IPA. Incredibly well balanced while still juicy (lots of tropical notes) and a great hoppy finish that lingers w a citric bitterness. Love this beer. (170 characters)

Photo of Tankmass
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I make trips frequently to northern Vermont and I always search for this beautiful creation in a can. I'm very happy about the breweries newest adventure with their beer room facilities opening soon. (199 characters)

Photo of jow_42
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16oz can poured into a stemless Heady Topper glass

A - Hazy, orange. Not quote opaque, but its tough to see much light through it. People say this beer isn't great looking in a glass, but I beg to differ. Bright white, fluffy head with that pour.

S - Explosive fruity hops. Peaches are huge in this can. There is citrus too - orange, slight grapefruit. Sweet mango, passion fruit underneath. Killer smelling beer.

T - This beer lives up to the hype. An awesome DIPA. Sweet hops up front - peaches, mango, stone fruits. Very hoppy, but amazingly balanced. Middle of the mouth you get grapefruit bitterness, and the back end breadiness balances this amazingly. This is 100+ IBUs? You'd be hard pressed to know that if you were drinking this blind. Awesome stuff.

O - this was my first NE DIPA, and still one of the best. After drinking this from a can, there isn't a huge difference from the glass to the can. Highly recommended. (946 characters)

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. (238 characters)

Photo of Monktastic7
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I never get tired of this beer. It's one of the fluffiest DIPAs ever with such a wonderful punch of hops that linger. The finish is super clean and leaves you dying for another sip. Too bad it's such a pain to get :) (216 characters)

Photo of Ccagno15
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Can poured into glass I'm almost positive that they tell you to drink it in the can because In a glass it does not look so great but in this case looks are definitely deceiving nice tropical fruit aromas that also come through in the flavor with a nice bitter hoppy finish outstanding ipa that lives up to the hype (314 characters)

Photo of Jwburns75
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can't find flaws in this one, or too many better double IPAs for that matter. There are better, but they are few and far between. There's really nothing negative to say - the look, smell, taste, feel, and whatever else you care about are damn near perfect. It's not the best beer I have ever had but it's pretty damn close (322 characters)

Photo of beerchic
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I finally got to try this thanks to a coworker who got some in a trade. I drank it from the can as directed. It was very good, however, I feel this beer should not still be at #1. I had Pliny the Elder a week ago and liked it a lot more. But, fwiw, I think I like FW Double Jack more than this, so do what you will with this review. (332 characters)

Photo of mirp1
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At this point, reviewing Heady Topper is analogous to rating the character of Derek Jeter. Everything great has been said, everything said has been great, and that standard is not going away. So, we are no longer worthy of trying to compare this IPA to anything else on the market. A reviewer below writes that although Heady is "an incredible IPA, there are others equally as good." I think they are claiming that there is no better beer being brewed in the world right now, than what is being produced here in the US. I almost completely agree. The only exception is maybe Belgium, and their exotic ales, however, Brewery Ommegang has made the gap very small these days. Anyway, USA is killing it, and the beer buffet out there has something great for everyone. The only criticism of the referenced blog below would be that a reader could get the impression that they were placing Heady head-to-head with the likes of Rogue Dead Guy Ale. That would be like comparing an 18 year aged cheddar to light orange ballpark nacho melt. Not that there is anything wrong with either. We all have our favorites, and it's nice that the writer below is proud and loyal to the other great beers out there, and publishes their support. This makes the world go round, and keeps all of these committed brewers thriving. I enjoy them all too. (1,331 characters)

Photo of MUTINY
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Quick review. There's nothing I can say here that hasn't already been said. This brew is a classic for a reason, one of the very best IPA offerings that I've tasted. (167 characters)

Photo of VTBeerDrinker
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply the greatest IPA on the market. Only bummer is that even though I live in West Rutland, VT, I have drive north to find it as well as making sure I hit the store at the right time. All in all, it's worth the drive and the wait. This beer is definitely worth the top of the list rating it enjoys. (304 characters)

Photo of sberberick1
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an incredible IPA. I am not sure it's worth the hype. There are others that are just as good. Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Wachusetts Larry, Bells Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, ADK Super Dort and Foley Brothers Fair Maiden are all equally good. Hard to tell for certain which is best. They are all good in there own right. (329 characters)

Photo of GregA135
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My buddy gave me this beer when I got back form Texas back in November 2014. This is an amazing DIPA. Amazing crisp taste with hints of citrus, orange, and grapefruit. Left me wanting more! I need to visit Vermont and grab me some Heady! (237 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.