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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,030 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,030
Reviews: 1,606
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.4%
Wants: 5,218
Gots: 1,628 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA” 75 IBU 8.0% abv

(Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,030 | Reviews: 1,606 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

So here it is. Never thought I'd get a chance to try it, or if I did I'd have to pay a ton to get it, which I wouldn't at this point, so I guess this makes this a rare and valued occasion, for which I am indeed grateful.

Appearance: Though I'm trying to drink some out of the can, I'm also pouring it into a North Brewery snifter / tulip glass to get what's coming from all the supposed eye candy. Retention is decent, though not spectacular, but what's great about this beer is the haze within the color of it. Pour at least some in a glass, people. I imagine you are. It's a gorgeous yellow-orange-copper hue, hazed up beyond belief, looking more like a dirty Witbier than a DIPA.

Smell: An amped up and balanced bouquet of effervescent fruit, being orange, lemon, pineapple, and probably many tropical indigenous fruits I've never had or may never have. There's definitely a good amount of sweetness going on here too. Not sure if that's from any additional sugars or honey malt, but they're there. Really, though, the heady rush of beautifully crafted ingredients is there. Each whiff reminds of this or that or this or that, but either way, this is up there.

Taste: What gets me most about this beer is how this isn't necessarily a hop bomb, as I maybe thought it would've been. I guess even if the IBUs are up, the point, as with, I imagine, all good beers are, is that it IS balanced. That said, again, there is sweetness, and not the point of being cloying, but man, it's there. But I imagine it's there because of necessity. And again, honey malt? Honey? Brown sugar? Anything else added here to quell the said monumental hops? The finish is insanely long, the good and balanced sweetness is there, and the fruits are monumental without being overpowered by bitterness.

Mouthfeel: One of the best if not the best things about this brew. Heavy enough, yes. But insanely velvety overall. Not perfect, but close.

Drinkability: It's impossible to say what's the best, but as far as DIPAs go, this is up there, at least in my top three. Many are, I imagine, saying the same thing, versus some you've reviewed and have in your mind, with matching characteristics and equally good balanced. Don't pay an arm and a leg for this, I'd say, but I'm thrilled I got to try it, and if it comes across again, I'll definitely be one who's ready to crack it open and enjoy it.

08-22-2013 22:01:50 | More by asabreed
Photo of DakotaRules


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

This beer Ive had several times.

Can and poured into a glass.
THe head is white like it came with batteries.
The aroma isnt as intense as i thought it would be but, hop aroma with out senses being overwhelmed.
The color is a solid amber-orangish. Not light penetrating. haze.
The flavor is strong hop, spicy, dramatic, and pronounced. The mouth feel is smooth, coating the tongue.
Overall this is a solid example of an IPA.

03-15-2012 02:59:10 | More by DakotaRules
Photo of blakelive784


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Thanks to kojevergas for this one!

Reviewed live directly from the 16 fl oz can:

S - Vibrant fresh fruits including pineapple, mango, orange and grapefruit. The tropical fruit notes are fantastic. Light pale malt body. Juicy. It's moderate in strength but I'm certain there'd be more if I poured it.

T - Fresh, raw floral hops notes open, followed by the juicy citrus and tropical fruits notes I'd found on the nose, though the grapefruit's the most dominate. I wish more of the pineapple was present. Woody/grassy hops on the finish provide a touch of bitterness. Caramel malts provide a sturdy backbone, but it's far from sweet. Impeccable balance, and the layering of the hops is superb. The alcohol's never present. This one's a real treat.

M - Oily. Medium bodied, crisp, and a little thick. Pretty much perfect.

D - The best IPA I've had, hands down. I could kill a few of these easily. Definitely a treat and I'm glad I was able to try it.

03-22-2013 23:07:28 | More by blakelive784
Photo of beerdrifter


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Picked this baby up from a great friend at the Borefts Bier Fest! It's a little over a week since it was canned so it's super fresh. Cloudy amber-orange pour with a huge 2+ finger fluffy white head with decent retention and lacing. Fresh, dank, resiny hops totally dominate the nose along with some great perfumey, floral and citrus notes. This is one of those really special smelling beers that you'll always remember. The taste is just as big and bold. It starts off like the nose as a total fresh hop monster, full of resiny pine and bitter grapefruit along with some nice tropical notes. About midway through there's a measure of balance as some of the caramel malt sweetness emerges along with some orange peel, tangerine, and a bit of grassiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oddly creamy for an IPA. Surprisingly balanced and incredibly drinkable for such a big, hoppy beer. Overall, not sure it lived up to all the hype, but still one hell of a beer!

09-29-2013 22:34:11 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

thanks to egrace84 for sending this can my way! Thanks elliot!

tall boy can into duvel tulip.

Appearance: yellowish/orange opaque bodied beer with alot of white floaties. 2 to 3 fingers of white head that drops down to a small thin cap with some decent staying power. Spotty thin lace everywhere that the head touched the glass. I love how it says to drink the beer out of the can. I think its purpose for saying that is to hide all the floates in this beer. HA! Classic tactic right there!

Smell: This smells amazing! Big dank resinous hop oil upfront. Big citris notes mostly oranges. Some mangos and peaches too. Also has a little bit of sweetness in the nose, similiar to honey.

Taste: This beer tastes very hoppy without being over the top bitter. Thats a great trait for any hoppy beer to have; I dig it for sure! Very nice balance between the malt and hops! The hops have a fairly complex profile here, probably the best that I have ever tasted. Oranges, tropical fruits(mango and pineapple), melon, grassy, herbal, hint of pine resin, and all the hops taste really juicy. The beer finishes with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Not a hint of booze at all...very nice! Semi-dry finish, yet still juicy and dank thanks to the hops!

Overall: Wow what just happened, this beer is so good its disorienting! This im my favorite hoppy beer I have ever drank! This is my new favorite DIPA! Added bonus...its in a can the best beer vessel that there is with added convience factor of not needing a bottle opener to get into this nectar! Bravo Alchemist! I am moving to VERMONT!

06-21-2012 02:52:47 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours a cloudy, unfiltered burnt orange color with a white soapy head. Pillowy foam.The aroma, well it is quite hoppy with floral, pine and citrus notes. Hints of honey and citrus oil.

In the taste, big grapefruit, dank herb, a wall of bitterness, and a fruity ale yeast strain. Papaya, pine, sap, menthol, eucalyptus, citrus. Wood, earth, but still fruity.

Fruit flies appeared quickly after opening the can and pouring, possibly the best scent this species has ever experienced in nature. I felt much like the flies, in a drunken stupor and following the smell by instinct.

08-06-2014 23:37:00 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of jhartley


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured from a pint can to a poco grande style glass; just enough to look at the body, drank the rest straight from the can. Hey it's right on the can to enjoy it that way!

Cloudy orange-gold body light skim of a head on top. Didn't pour enough out to really let one form or allow any lacing. A slight swirling of the glass brings it back to life; small tight bubbles.

Smells...Holy Sheeet! Citrus. Grapefruit. Lemon. A dank hoppy aroma on the end. Some malt sweetness.

Tastes...Wow! Can see why this is so highly rated. I just fills the mouth with hops and a great amount of carbonation that fills the whole mouth with hoppy goodness. A dry finish.

Drank it out of the can and out of the glass and I gotta say...I prefer it out of the can! It seems to retain a nice bite to it. This isn't to say that I would refuse to pour it into a glass to enjoy it either. An all around great DIPA, no doubt in my mind as to why this is on top!

(Thanks again to jzeilinger for the hook-up!)

10-10-2013 21:47:38 | More by jhartley
Photo of Powderhornphil


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

I tried this from the can and poured. As the can advises, the taste is better from the can. Poured it is hazy orange, very little head and minimal lacing.

Smell is of abundant hops. Smells of pinaeapple, mango, grapefruit and a little peach.

Starts with a grapefruit resiny hop flavor. Finishes with a big hop oil, grapefruit bitterness. Quite bitter but the bitterness is well incorporated. Taste from the can comes in waves. Poured it is a little less dynamic.

Mouthfeel is of course resiny.

10-13-2012 21:19:48 | More by Powderhornphil
Photo of sben88


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Though a very good IPA, I wouldn't consider HT in the same breath as either Pliny. I think with this beer we have an extreme case of confirmation bias. I can think of 5 or 6 other beers I'd rather drink. I drank my first HT a couple hours after it was canned.

03-30-2013 17:09:02 | More by sben88
Photo of Pintofbrown


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Served in a becker pint glass. Second dance with this highly regarded beer, reviewed from notes.

Heady Topper pours with about a finger's-width of white foam, bubbly and cratered. It does not stick around long, becoming a ring around the glass, exposing the lid of the hazy, unfiltered golden body with auburn highlights.

Loads of grapefruit in this bouquet, a little grassy, a bit of herbalness. And a sweet malt scent barely coming through. Very nice foundation of tropical fruit.

Heady Topper leads with that grapefruit, tropical quality on the palate. It gets a little diluted by a bit of earthiness, and a really nice bitter kiss of resin in the finish. Not quite balanced, there certainly is a sweet malt poking through, but the hops are so far ahead in the flavor department.

Very, very smooth for a DIPA. And very creamy, runs right over the tongue. Obviously dry on the finish, because of the very bitter hops on the back of the tongue. And it is also impressive how long the flavors stick around on the cheeks.

What needs to be said? This is obviously a world class beer. Is it worth the hyperbole that is said in the same breath as the name of this hallowed DIPA offering? Maybe. There are other DIPA's that manage to squeeze more clean citrus qualities onto the palate. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one again Hawkeyenation! Good luck on your hunt for this one, and enjoy!

12-30-2013 03:39:57 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of Phelps


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Shared by ejyoung. Poured into a tulip.

Cloudy grapefruit in color. It’s like a sunset, with many varying shades of orange. One finger of fuzzy off-white head becomes a moderately-sized ring that leaves some spatters of lace.

Holy jeebus. This is one of the dankest, grassiest, most resinous noses I’ve encountered. It’s not bright; it’s absolutely FUNKY with hops. Behind the blend of liquified weed and grass blades, I get saltine crackers, a touch of burnt sugar and orange cream. The crackers crumble under the weight of the hops, and I love it.

The resinous character can be read in the flavor, but a little bit is lost in the translation. The dank funk is still there, but the bitterness behind them is huge. Sugar-dusted orange slices and grass mix with sticky alcohol, a little caramel, and perhaps even some mango. It gets better and better as it warms and as the malt sweetness improves. By the bottom of the glass, it’s nearly perfect.

Medium in body with nice creaminess. Carbonation is moderately high and pinching, breaking the beer into just a touch of fizz. Velvety. Though the alcohol’s a little more noticeable than I’d like, the bitterness and malt strike a nice balance.

The hype...is well-deserved. Heady Topper’s one of the dankest, funkiest IPAs I’ve ever put in my mouth. And it comes in a can?! I’m in love.

03-07-2012 04:43:37 | More by Phelps
Photo of elgiacomo


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

16oz can...supposedly canned on Feb 14th 2012, but no date noted on the can. Served at around 45F. Big thanks to Ryan for this trade!!!

Pours very hazy if not a bit chunky orange with a one finger off-white head that retains well and leaves some rings of lacing behind.

Aroma is fresh orange, tangerine and grapefruit citrus, pineapple and peaches, some sniffs tend more toward a dank and piney hop profile. Overall a citrus and fruity hop bomb. Malt? Why bother... Very good to excellent strength.

Flavor is an onslaught of all the things that make a great IPA. Tons of orange, tangerine and grapefruit citrus, pineapple, some pine, resinous and a little dank, minimal malt backbone, fantastic strong bitterness on the finish and a bit of alcohol. Super JUICY!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and sticky with good carbonation.

An incredible, world-class Double IPA that is more than worthy of all the praise it receives. Very complex for the style, it’s got a little of everything a hophead desires. While I should be going slow and savoring my only can, this is dangerously drinkable and going down pretty fast. Fantastic!

02-25-2012 03:09:33 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of beesy


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured from a 16oz can into a Sam Adams nucleation glass. Thanks DonFrap for including it in the last trade.

A - pours a light orange with a one finger eggshell colored head that dissipates within minutes. It's really cloudy and looks more like chill haze cloudiness than non-filtered cloudiness. A fair bit of sediment apparent.

S - this is where this beer shines in my eyes. A hop explosion filled with tropical notes dominating(mango, pineapple and grapefruit) with a touch of pine. Oranges. A fair amount of alcohol/booze detected in the aroma.

T - hop dominated/hop forward as apparent in the nose. Same hops(appears to be lots of Simcoe) in the taste as in the nose. A fairly clean, firm bitterness lingers. Slightly boozy. A little letdown compared to the aroma, but still an excellent hoppy beer.

M - on the medium-light side.

D - not as easy to drink as I expected. The hight bitterness and boozy aspcect hinder the drinkability.

Overall, a very fine beer. I think the hype factor drives up the ratings of this guy a little, but it's very very good. A little more boozy than I liked for the fairly low IIPA 8%abv. The appearance turned me off a bit - it's almost like the brewery knows they hit on all the other aspects and got lazy with the visuals. Glad I got to try it and will pick some up when I have the opportunity.

08-06-2012 00:00:52 | More by beesy
Photo of msubulldog25


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Many, many thanks to BAs hoppymcgee and jedwards for sending Heady Topper cans within mere days of each other; as this is one from a 4-pack sent by hoppymcgee, I'm reviewing it.

16 oz. can, poured to an imperial pint glass.

A: What??? A lovely caramel/butterscotch pour with a SERIOUS problem of floaties. I'm talking suspended chunky bits from top to bottom... Decent lace, sticking in places. At first glance from afar, it looks pleasing enough, a nearly two-finger white crown of dense fluff atop. From askance, I'm giving at least a '4'; on closer inspection, it's a '2' for all the debris. '3' would be a compromise, but I can't go there... maybe the 'Drink from the Can!' admonishment on the label is less recommendation, more requirement! Yuck!

S: A nano-second past the crack of the can, I smelled the hop-sweetened goodness: if that doesn't warrant a '5', I don't know what does. The scent is magical, all the best of an IPA - sticky toffee and orange-laden hops, biscuity grains and full-on pine. It's a juicy and drippy noseful of sweetness and spice. I'm sold.

T: Freshly cut green hops and amply-grainy baked bread, perfect spiciness and equally perfect squeezes of lemon zest and grapefruit with a finish of cracked pepper. This beer takes one on a journey through all the flavors an IPA can hold and expands upon them. I went into this beer thinking 'meh, I know IPAs and this'll be a good one' to thinking 'wow, this captures magic in a bottle... er, can!'. Pretty amazing stuff.

M: For an 8% (D)IPA, drinkability is scary (yeah, it does say that almost verbatim on the label, but I concur!). Medium-heavy feel, but smooth body and looong-lasting finish.

O: Very good. Very, very good. Forget the weird, goopy/brackish appearance and it's among the best I've tried, overall. OK, it IS among the best I've tried, regardless. Worthy of the 'hype', extremely tasty and sensual in all aspects. Gotta have one... but then you'll just want more.

02-09-2012 03:30:57 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of mz3frs


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Appearance: N/A Enjoyed from the can, as the brewer recommends

Aroma: Powerful citrus/tropical hop aroma. No trace of malt.

Flavor: Follows the nose. Very strong, lasting tropical hop flavor. Smooth bitterness and citrus hop on the back. Any malt flavor is totally overpowered by the hops.

Mouth: Lighter body for an 8% beer. Highly carbonated. Fairly dry finish.

Overall: An absolute hop-bomb. Must drink for any hop-head! Might be a 'better' beer if it had some malt flavor, but that's really not what the brewer is going for here.

02-17-2012 03:45:08 | More by mz3frs
Photo of Dools9


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured into a pint glass. Can split with a friend.

A: Hazy orange, lots of sediment, finger of off white head, minimal lacing some alcohol legs.

S: God this smells good, loads upon loads of citrusy fruity flavors, mangos, pineapple, lemons, just a touch of piney resin. Modest sweet bready malt backbone.

T: Tropical fruits, pineapples, citrus fruits, grapefruits resinous pine. Decent touch of sweet malt, just excellent.

M: I really could not believe how smooth and drinkable this was for 8%. Medium bodied, pretty well carbonated, hop oil coats the mouth and leaves a long lasting hop finish.

O: What can I say, privledged to have tried it, and I think this is probably the best IIPA I have had. Too bad its so hard to get.

04-21-2012 04:01:45 | More by Dools9
Photo of juliusseizure

New York

4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Picked up quite a few 4 packs from the Hunger Mountain Co-op on my way to the HF Harvest Festival

A - on the lighter side for DIPAs with nice 3/4" inch foam that recedes over time and continues to leave a 2mm lacing

S - fresh citrus fruit, sweetness (malt?), a hybrid of orange and grapefruit, hint of pine but not as much as most IPA/DIPAs I love

T - Perfect balance for a DIPA. Minimal bitterness, while still somehow maintaining the integrity of the hops. A nice malt backbone without making it seem bready and sweet

M - Juicy. Each sip made my taste buds release juices making me think I was hungry. Probably just my subconscious hungry for the next sip

O - A fantastic DIPA. One that if available locally, would become my go to beer. Unfortunately Vermont is not near enough and my penchant for wanting to try new beers, makes me trade half of what I bring back each trip.

10-05-2012 04:14:30 | More by juliusseizure
Photo of Coleybeerman


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Welcome to Massachusetts The Alchemist Heady Topper!

A - Poured into a Duvel glass with a hazey orange color and a thick head that dissapated quicker than I expected.

S - Piney, Ctrus, Resinous Herb like nose if you know what I mean!

T - Spicey hop bitterness. Warm alcohol, with a resinous piney Citrus flavor that lingers.

M - Full body with a bitterness that imparts an almost chewable mouthfeel.

O - I really enjoy the aggressiveness of the hop aroma and abv/hop forward flavor and mouthfeel.

When it comes to beers of this caliber I am not looking for smoothness.. I like my senses to be awoken and this beer delivers.

04-29-2012 03:35:28 | More by Coleybeerman
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

an affordable can at farmhouse tap in burlington. they say drink it from the can, but i poured it for more careful study. it looks lovely, hazy, definitely unfiltered. radiant hay color with thick white suds floating on top that leave some mean lacing as it drinks. smells like quite the hop bouquet. grapefruit and spruce are the most prominent hop esters im picking up, but there are many. it tastes like it smells, deep and complex, worthy of patient consumption. its fruity, in addition to citrus there is also nectarine and mandarin orange on my tongue. its got upbeat carbonation which keeps its oily medium taffy sticky body moving along. the aftertaste is long and bittersweet, as it should be. alcohol is well hidden in taste, but can certainly be felt. this is one hell of a big ipa, and i dont want to hear anymore debate about pliny/heady, because both are outstanding and distinct brews, and that should suffice for all of us.

08-27-2012 23:29:11 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Thanks merc for sharing this, super stoked to try this.

The beer pours a hazy golden amber with a white head that fades quickly. There is some thin lacing, but I'm not really letting it sit long enough to cling to the sides. The nose is potent, orgasmic citrus hops with some potent ethanol. The beer drinks like a sweet hop elixer with an incredibly smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slightly lingering bitterness. Excellent beer for a reasonable price, and yes, this one is definitely worth the hype.

05-25-2012 01:22:55 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of NeedBeerHere


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours out a nice orange in color in color with a small white head that dissipated quick. Smell is really fruity with orange, mango, and pineapple with a little a tiny bit of malt but it is so in the background that the hops are the forefront. Taste is really fruity with all that was in the nose but there is a tiny bit more bitter hops in the background that sits in the mouth and really meld well with all he other stuff going on. Mouthfeel is actually quite thick for the style and really adds a lot to the beer. Overall this is an amazing beer that is hopped so well that it's a very hard beer to beat for the style. It is world class!!!

12-27-2013 09:48:46 | More by NeedBeerHere
Photo of jordanimal


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

I suggest getting multiples to try one from the can, one in glass. Although most of everything you can say about this beer has been said, my take way is hugely balanced beer with great hops to malt balance, up front citrus fades to pine then to a roasty malt.

11-20-2013 15:19:55 | More by jordanimal
Photo of halo3one


4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

A - hazy yellow sunshine, moderate to heavy lacing, inch of froth

S - outdoorsy, piny, fresh cut grass

T - hops, hops, hops, pine, very clean

M - clean, good carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste

O - very very good, although I'm not a huge IPA fan, I get the hype and tried to rate according to its beer style. Get it if you can.

07-07-2014 13:31:43 | More by halo3one
Photo of FoundersPounder

New York

4.48/5  rDev -5.3%

Out of the can, from multiple fresh deliveries in VT. Thee hops, citrus, pine, and malt come together perfectly. Not the biggest fan of drinking from cans, but it seems thats the brewers preference. Not much booze until it warms up, which makes that 8% catch up with you fast, but the cans also warns you off this. Listen. The can makes it feel like a session beer but it's far for a session beer. Def one of my favorites, but meant to be shared, paired, and part of tastings

03-31-2012 17:32:30 | More by FoundersPounder
Photo of whoneeds8


4.49/5  rDev -5.1%

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!!!

05-26-2013 02:20:10 | More by whoneeds8
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,030 ratings.