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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,032 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,032
Hads: 11,338
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,330
Gots: 3,812 | 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 (10) | 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: 2,032 | Hads: 11,338
Photo of putnam118
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been an IPA nut for years now and nothing has compared to Heady Topper. The combination of hop bitterness and citrus flavor with a great mouthfeel make it nearly a perfect beer. I first tried HT back in December and since then have been yearning for more. I have tried to consume more available IPAs but nothing has compared, even other world class beers such as Double Trouble and LagunitasSucks. So today I went up to VT with some friends and picked up 6 cases. No more worrying for me. Its a shame more cannot try this great beer.

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

A buddy of mine brought this beer down from Vermont.. I AM COMPLETELY IN LOVE. The HOPS are fully vibrant and tasty. I have never drank anything as full bodied, as at times I did not believe that a beer so wonderful could be crafted in the USA. However, I am in love with this beer.. I am hoping to have it again one day.

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

Finally got my hands on a 4-pack of cans. Enjoying my first as I write this review. I think I'm in love.

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber, huge white head. Yes, I poured into my IPA glass despite what it says on the can. Beautiful look to the eye. Can't wait to sip.

Smell: So much going on here. Hops, hops, and more hops. Also smell the grapefruit, orange, and citrusy aromas. Even out of the can, this beer brings a lot right to the nose. This is a DIPA that's for sure. I could smell this forever...

Taste: Just what I would expect. A ton of hops, but balanced well with the malt. Very citrusy on the tongue, so much flavor to compete with the hop abundance. Just a joy to drink and my tongue begs to go back for more.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. Somewhat bready, but not too heavy. Very easy drinking and enjoyable for the ABV and the amount of flavor.

Overall: I was a bit unsure about the hype and somewhat figured the high rating was due to the rarity of this beer. Now I know that it is for real. The taste, aroma, and overall character of the beer beg me to come back for more. Thank God I've got three cans left.

Absolutely worth seeking out if you can. I do hope their distribution expansion plans come to light and we see this in the Boston area soon.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from a Charity Auction with the proceeds going to "Open the Taps": A grassroots organization of Texas craft beer consumers.

Even though the can says to drink out of the can, which I did with the first can, I poured this one into a duvel tulip glass so that I can see what it looks like. Now I know why they want you to drink it out of the can . . . it is a murky nasty yellow. It's just not an appealing looking beer. With that, it does pour out with a good three finger white head with good retention and great lacing.

The scent is amazing. I have a bad nose and often can get any scent off a beer. After pouring I set this glass down next to the computer, walked away, and then when I came back I could smell the aroma of green hops. If my nose can catch a scent without putting my nose in the glass, it gets a 5.

If we're grading this off the style . . . then I have to say this, I don't know if this is an true Double / Imperial IPA. I would expect the best of the style would have to be a well put together hop bomb. This isn't a hop bomb by any measure . . . but it IS well put together. There is the hop punch, but it's well balanced by orange flavor and pine. The bitterness finishes the flavors very well.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated. I would have to say I'd like the body to be just a tad heavier. There is a noticeable alcohol burn for only 8%.

Overall, this was well worth the extra money I spent for three reasons: this is a high quality brew, the rarity of it in Texas, and for the GREAT things orgainizations like Open the Taps has done for Texas Craft Beer Consumers during this Legislature session. PROSIT, Ya'll!!!

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Photo of mynie
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent in a manner I don't need to explicate, since everyone else has already done that. It's not, however, the beer beer I've ever had, nor even the best recent-vintage IPA. The hop profile is wonderfully vareigated and citrusy, but also gets a bit unpleasantly heavy in the back end. The malt is totally subordinate to the hops--as is customary for this new style of IPA--but in order for this to work the hop profile must balance itself perfectly. Heady's doesn't. It comes close, and the beer is still a joy, but it's not quite perfect.

In sum, very good. Excellent, probably. But Zombie Dust beats it.

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Photo of mriley1984
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely love me some Topper. This is by far one of the best beers that I have had. The only other beer in my opinion is the triple play ipa from Lawsons. They upped their production so its pretty easy to get. Still sells out the day of delivery though..

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Photo of sbxx
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 5/15
Big thanks to wyatt13 for sharing a can!

Appearance - Hazy, light yellow. Nice and fresh. Light head that disappears fairly quick. Didn't pour much in the glass. Just enough for a quick look. Drink from the can!!!

Smell - Big. Lots of pine. Background grapefruit, and a little bit of orange peel.

Taste - Massive hops, as expected. More of the citrus comes through in the taste. Astringent pine as well. Big bitter aftertaste that lingers. Packs one hell of a wallop too. Halfway thru the can, I was already buzzed.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body (for a DIPA), medium carbonation, semi-dry, semi-sticky finish

Overall - A damn fine beer, yes. #1 beer ever? Probably not. It tastes very natural, very raw and overall, very nice. If you love hops, you'll love this. Keep your expectations in check though. It's simply an awesome DIPA. Nothing more, nothing less. Don't compare it to Pliny. Two totally different beers, in my opinion. And both are great!

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Photo of Rizalini
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade from Jeremy6566. Thanks for letting me get my first taste of Heady, greatly appreciated. Poured a little from the can just to see what it looks like, and consumed the rest from the can as advised.

A - Pours a very hazy golden yellow color with 1 finger of white head that hangs around for a while.

S - Smell is pure hoppy goodness! The majority of the hop smell is of the tropical fruit variety... mango, passionfruit.

T/M - The taste of citrus is very dominant on the first taste. On second taste, I get the mango and papaya. Get combination of flavors, and a great resinous hop flavor left on my tongue. Medium mouthfeel, really good carbonation.

O - Winner winner, chicken dinner! This beer is the real deal for any hop head out there. This brew hits all the right notes with me, and I have a hard time finding any flaws with it. Great smell, amazing taste, no alcohol burn. If I could only have 1 IPA to drink for the rest of my life, this would be the one. Cheers to you Jeremy, for without you this awesome expierence would not be possible.

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Photo of tittymcj
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a few cases from the brewery this morning. Had first can with my dad this afternoon.

A: Tall, aluminum can, perfectly sized for an adult male hand. Good graphics, and distinctive black pull tab with large mouth opening. Drank from can, as demanded by can.

S: Hop smell upon opening is intoxicating. You can smell it from feet away, literally. Very citrusy, very heavy, almost overbearing.

T: Extreme hoppiness is a shock to your mouth on first sip. Gives way to a more mellow hop flavor after a few seconds. Tons of citrus and bitterness, offset slightly by some malty bread notes.

M: Thick, due to the hop overload. Pleasant though, as the coating it leaves has a beautiful aftertaste.

O: 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. 5. Great beer.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, poured into a glass for the purposes of reviewing in comparison to other DIPAs, even though they say to drink it from the can.
Cloudy, cloudy tangerine body with a thin, white head that fades to a layer of foam atop the ale, leaving a little lace on its way down. Super fresh aroma, with orange rind, grapefruit, juicy fruit gum, mango. Taste is super fresh again here, with loads of mango, orange rind, mandarin, bitter grapefruit juice, grassy, a little nutty as it warms. Creamy and smooth medium-full body, lower carbonation, finishes bitter but not overly - more like grapefruit juice. Insanely balanced and drinkable. I'll need to get a hold of this again....for my wife. First ever IPA or DIPA she liked! I'll have to try it directly from the can next time.

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Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

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

Drank out of a can because it told me to, canned the day before. huge shoutout to bringing this to Boston after a depressing news release from alchemist.

A - would have gave it a 5 and actually had no standing to give a rating but just the mystique and the can itself deserves praise.

S - wow hop nectar and resin galore. I feel like music is playing in my head to the beat of this beer. Frank ocean to be precise.

T - not overly bitter just perfect piney hop taste. does it taste like I thought it would? even better somehow. the bottom of the can held the greatest depth of flavor but the beer is never bitter. Bravo.

M - frothy dry hop slime. almost feels oily its so hoppy but the carbonation adds a maturity to it.

O - thank god I finally tried this beer just enjoy it if you can. worth going to Vermont for.

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

Wow. I kept reading the hype but finally got some of this. What an incredible beer. The aroma from the can is full....but not overpowering. The taste....is refreshing. So refreshing. The aftertaste is a wonderful complement. The ranking of this beer is not hype. I am half way through the can and know I would drive a far distance to load up on this.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review from notes accumulated while going through a case of HT over 4 weeks. First can was 4 days old, last can was right around a month. Mostly poured into tulips, but had a few straight from the can, too.

A: There's no two ways about it, guys -- the floaties in this beer are ugly. I don't care much about them, and I guess it gives the beer a rustic characteristic, but I've got to ding HT on the pure appearance score. Perfectly attractive beer otherwise. Nice golden amber with a big, puffy off-white head and lots of lacing.

S: The aroma of fresh HT is just wonderful. A complex and unique hop blend. Big pine, tropical fruit, citrus. A bit of caramel malt provides sweet balance. I'm almost having trouble describing it because it's basically perfect (to my own taste). A month in, the aroma is a bit less intense, but no less complicated or outstanding. I'd rank it a 5 after 4 days and a 5 after a month.

T/M: Incredibly juicy. More fruit-like and less pine compared to the nose. Tropical fruit is dominant -- pineapple, mango, what have you. Some of the more traditional citrus -- grapefruit mainly. Also getting a distinct apricot flavor, which somebody once told me was from the proprietary yeast but I'm not sure. Decent amount of caramel and biscuity malt to balance. Like the aroma, it gets a little less intense over a month but no less wonderful. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation's a little on the high side. Decently bitter but insanely drinkable. Not a hint of the ABV.

O: This is not going to be my highest rated beer, because of the appearance score, but I think it's my favorite. It's worth every bit of the hype. Make some good friends in Vermont, kids.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drinking from a 16 ounce can, per the can's request. Thanks for this one Cheesemoose. No freshness date. I'm told that this is a "fresh" can. Still not sure why everyone isn't dating their beers. Popped the can, aroma is bursting out of the little hole, pine, grapefruit, packed full of hops, awesome aroma. Taste is resinous and flavorful. Mainly grapefruit but notes of grass and pine. Totally juiced with flavor. Even the burps taste good.

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Photo of Omnium
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can > 2xIPA Glass

A - Pours an off color amber, 2 finger white head, minor lacing. Lots of yeast floating around.
S - Very dank hop aromas, some pine & spruce, citrus peels, grapefruit, white grape juice.
T - Those dank hops are intense, lots of white grape flavor, pine, spruce and earthy tones, tart apple, and a little sweet malt.
M - Full and well carbonated, easily drinkable.
O - While I'm not on par with the appearance, everything else is solid about this beer, though its not my favorite, nor do I think its worth all the hype. Compared to Pliny, its a no-contest situation, its thoroughly better. This actually delivers, lots of good aroma and the taste is solid, love the big grape flavor in this. Its a shame Alchemy is being too hipster to expand and make other things, or even distribute more.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to have this both right out of the can (as suggested) and poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Huge thanks to my buddy Doug and my co-worker Zach for hooking me up two separate times with this gem. This review is from a 5 day old can that was consumed half in a glass and half in the can...

A - Pours a very murky, honey color that is quite obviously NOT filtered in any way. It's a slighlty darker color at times than I would've thought. An eggshell white head forms about 2 fingers thick and hangs on for quite a bit befre it recedes leaving gloriously sticky lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is strong the second you crack the can! HUGE hits of juicy, citrusy fruits. Mango, pineapple, orange, and strong aromas of grapefruit jump out of the can. I LOVE how juicy this smells! Bitter notes jump in and out as the citrus really has me entranced. As it warms a bit, there is an undercurrent of buttery malts that really rounds out the aroma here.

T - The taste is superb. Sae juicy citrus flavors all mixed together perfectly. Orange, grapefruit and pineapple stand out the most with mango and some lemon zest coming through as well. The favor is so smooth and buttery it is almost unreal. Bitter, piney hops come through and onloy add to the onalsught ofhop perfection.

M - Smooth, even carbonation on the tongue making this one extremely pleasant on the tongue. The body is medium bodied, but because of the richness of the beer, it can feel full at times. A bitter, dry fnish rounds things off nicely.

O - This beer is SO FREAKING DRINKABLE!! That is really what stands out the most to me. It doesn't overpower with hops, but puts them on an evenly mixed display that allows you to enjoy every single sip. There is a reason this is on the top ofthe food chain (on this site anyway). Either way, this reallh does deserve the accolades it has received thus far.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had an unexpected opportunity to buy this from someone so jumped on it. Never thought I'd get a chance.

Drank 1/3 from can, then rest from pint.

A - Cloudy, nice full head. Very foamy head with lots of lacing.

S - An amazing aroma, with tons of citrus/grapefruit/lemony and herbal smells. You could find yourself just sniffing the can or glass for . . . minutes. But then you have to drink.

T - Without a doubt, the least hoppy and bitter DIPA I've ever had. Extremely smooth. Not too carbonated. While this isn't my favorite style, if this were the only IPA I ever drank, it probably would be a favorite style. Almost tastes like a sparkling beverage that's been spiked. But better.

M - Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

O - I can understand why people rave about this beer. I found myself saying several time, "Mmm, this is quite good. I'm really impressed" I rarely say that about IPAs. I'll happily drink this again. And again.

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Photo of JonRogers
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I didn't see the beer in a glass as I drank it from the can as recommended, but I imagine it is beautiful judging from the smell. I also drank it a little on the cold side... to thirsty to wait. Taste is fruitful and as smooth as in Imp IPA gets. Hoppy as hell in the best way. Again, very smooth. I drink IPA's 90% of the time and I cant say I have had a better beer.

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Photo of thegoon55
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Heady is the real deal.

A- standard golden color, big white head disappears into little lacing.

S- wow. Grapefruit bomb. I love.

T- massive grapefruit notes, pipe, little bit of bitter hops. Lovely.

M- medium perfect body medium carbonation

O- understand why this is the number one beer in the world. Is it the best or my favorite beer? No. But there is nothing wrong with it.

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Photo of skyout
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth on the mouthfeel with excellent golden color. Very complex flavors, including a slight metallic taste which is common to IPA's of this type. Overall, excellent in all categories. The brewer encourages one to drink from the can, which isn't typical, but definitely adds to the experience.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Amber, hazy, 2+ inches big thick fluffy head, light patchy lacing, light carbonation rising, large amount of yeast.

S - Huge citrus, lemon, orange, lovely grapefruit, carmel

T - Dry grapefruit, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. finish: bitter (8/10), med/high acidity

M - Creamy, super frothy, full body, certainly a piney grapefruit lingerer, excellent carbonation

O - Phenomenal grapefruit, just about perfect IPA mouth. zero booze, love the pine. my only preference happens to be a sweeter opposes to drier IIPA.

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Photo of RyanCave
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: Pours beautiful pale with a red/orange hue. In my opinion the best color for an IPA, the word majestic comes to mind..

Smell: As soon as I cracked it open it was like some smacked me in the face with a pine tree. Incredible amounts of pine. Reminded me of sitting in the forest.

Taste: lots of pine, not too bitter, balanced well in my opinion. Starts piney sweet with some orange with a small bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Nothing remarkable, what you'd expect from an Imperial IPA

Overall: This is probably one of the best DIPA's I've had, perfectly balanced, and a beautiful experience. I'm in the process of securing a case from a friend of mine now.

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for hooking me up, you're the man!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Managed to get 2 cans of this thanks to the kindness of another BA. This is a quick review based on drinking the first one straight outta the can, as directed by said can. I'll review again out of a glass with the next one. No discernible freshness or 'drink by' date to be found.

UPDATE: Had the second can on 7/16/2013 and poured into a 22 oz snifter glass

Appearance - Can't really rate this in fairness, since I drank it straight out of the can. I do like the image of hops literally blowing a guy's mind, but alas I cannot judge the beer's appearance. That being said, I have to score it something, so I'll dock it just a little bit from the overall. UPDATE: Tons of floaties. It looks like extra pulp orange juice--not joking. I love a good unfiltered beer, but the particulate here is just too much and gives a slightly unpleasant impression of the beer. Lowering score to 3.75 because it's just not a pretty beer, as tasty as it is.

Smell - I will be interested to see how this one smells in a glass, because even out of the mouth of a can, it's intoxicating. Pine, grapefruit, citrus zest, herbal. UPDATE: the appearance of pulpy orange juice is fitting, because the smell is so aromatic and citrusy. A bit more orange and balance now that I'm getting to inhale fully with my nose. So floral and aromatic.

Taste - Delicious and balanced. Grapefruit, pineapple and more resinous pine characteristics. Bitterness is almost absent, until the beer is gone, and there is an lingering essence of hop bitters. Refreshing in spite of it's high gravity and pronounced hop presence. UPDATE: no appreciable change in taste out of the glass. Bitterness comes on a bit quicker perhaps.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with pronounced but not overpowering carbonation. Finish is clean, with lingering but faint bitterness.

Overall a highly drinkable and flavorful beer. I was admittedly skeptical given the level of praise surrounding this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. The beer was pretty damn close to the hype that preceded it. UPDATE: in the future, I would follow the advice on the can. The taste suffers little to none, and even though the aroma is a little more restrained straight out of the can, looking at the floaties is more of a negative than the lack of smelling out of a glass.

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

I wish this beer was a fruit or a vitamin. I wish it was a soap. I wish it was my girlfriend. I wish it was my job. I wish I needed it to live. I wish it wasn't so hard to come across. I want a swimming pool full of Heady Topper that I can freeze in the winter and skate on. I would move to Vermont for this beer. If there is a better beer regularly available on this planet, please by all means let me know of it.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.