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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,915 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,915
Reviews: 1,904
rAvg: 4.74
pDev: 6.96%
Wants: 7,061
Gots: 2,692 | FT: 40
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 (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,915 | Reviews: 1,904 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of N8ego
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of mjyoung
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Split w/ bbb099. Thanks to scottfrie for this one! Consumed on 12/17/10.

A: Poured a nice copper color with a nice, thick, off-white head (roughly one finger). Left very fine lacing on the edge of the glass.

S: Overwhelmingly smells of fresh, citrus-y hops with a hint of sweetness running behind it, presumably from the malt.

T: Very fresh. The taste closely follows the nose, but in the best possible way. The malt and hop tastes make quite the combination. A little bit of herbal/grassy taste comes through with a bitter finish.

M: Very good, the level of carbonation was nice and it sat on the tongue quite nicely. It was ever-so-slightly dry, but all that did was enhance the flavor.

D: Very good. I finished my half of the bottle more quickly than I meant to, and I was disappointed that there wasn't any more. A very fine beer, and it's a shame that I probably won't get my hands on another anytime soon.

Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of CTFalcon
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Kamui_2004
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of themaj
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dogbones
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Duvel Tulip

Appearance: A bit more orange than amber with noted opacity. Nice 1.5 inch white head, that quickly streaks the side of the glass with beautiful lacing.

Smell: Very piney with a citrus peel nose pucker that makes my lip curl. Cannabis abounds. Very nice!

Taste: Taste follows smell nicely. There is plenty of pine resin and citrus. The bitterness lasts at least a minute after you swallow and the alcohol is undetectable.

Mouthfeel: There is an obvious tingle once the beer touches your tongue. It's very smooth but a bit thin.

Overall: This is an amazing IIPA. I wish it was more readily available!!!

Photo of arburt02
4.4/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of GOBLIN
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of OTB
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recieved in a trade along with fresh Hopslam from NDAK, thanks man, we will swap again.

First off the can thing, I was told to drink it from the can so I am.I like good canned craft brew, Caldera IPA is IMHO world class in a can.So I forgo the appearance to be loyal. Wow ! Not what I was expecting. Huge bitter hops, the first wave is insanity, then the tropical fruits come into play, grapefruit is the most predominant initially, then wave after wave of mango, bitter orange, huge mint, and fresh ground black pepper. The finish goes on for ever ! This is one complex beer, each sip reveals more layers of fruit and bite. I am digging this bad boy big time.

I have one more can to play with and I think I may split it between my glass and the can for a more traditional experience and to see what this delicious brew looks like.

I am so glad I have finally been able to get a taste of east coast goodness, it really lives up to the hype, truly unique and original.

Photo of not-mel-brooks
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this tonight for the first time . poured from can at a beer tasting at http://goo.gl/P2J7P .(good time,) one of the 3 best beers i have ever had . very floral aroma. nice bite. clear. clean. hoppy. favorable comparison to Stone Ruination IPA . this is my first review . i felt compelled to write it.

i will look for this

Photo of woodychandler
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievable! 537 CAN reviews with my CANQuest (TM) entry as # 538. I CANnot remember any other craft CANs with this many reviews! Impressive.

From the CAN: "DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]"; "Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it's scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom - leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont"; "Don't be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!".

My apologies to Mr. Kimmich, but a basic tenet of The CANQuest (TM) is to deCANt the beer into a glass. I do not tell him how to do his job, I would appreciate if he did not tell me how to do mine. I hear from too many people that "CANned beer tastes metallic", mostly because they are French Kissing the goldanged CAN. I may pour some and drink some from the CAN, but how CAN I review it without seeing it in all of its glory, which is another tenet for inclusion in The CANQuest - review only, no "Hads". The last tenet is to drink it all, no matter how vile. This is to separate the men from the boys, hear me, Minhas?!?

At last, after all of that transcription, it is Crack & Glug time! Anticipation, it's makin' me wait! Man, but Carly Simon was a babe in her prime. Still in all, I would not kick her out of bed for eating crackers in the sack, even today. It's like I was telling the young honey honey the other day, we all age and if you think you will be the hardbody you are now in twenty-five years, you got another think comin'. But I digress, as I am often wont to do.

Wow, but the room smelled dank! I had just under two fingers of dense tawny head that was creating the kind of lacing that would require a jackhammer to remove as it fell. The amber liquid was hazy, dense, viscous and I wanted to dive into it just to see where it would lead. Nose was resinous, if that adjective may be applied to a liquid. Pine, wintergreen, menthol, green, baby! Holy overwhelming, Batman! Mouthfeel was sticky and in the way that napalm was sticky. Man, you get that burning craziness on your skin and you start running down the road stark naked. Phan Thi Kim Phuc, I feel your pain. I suddenly got the urge to strip down and run up the street with my tongue lolling out of my mouth in the hopes of some cooling action. It is a good thing that people are used to this sort of thing from me or there might have been real trouble. I'm back and to great applause as the late-1960's and early-1970's are making a comeback and streaking is again fashionable. This is some groovy weed, I mean, beer. Finish was so gaspingly dry that I am reaching for my asthma inhaler. Let's do this again, real soon. No, really, man, how soon CAN I score some more? I mean, you're always growing, I mean, making more, right?

Now directly from the CAN: Oh yeah, it's an epiphany! I CAN rap with my late Pops while going bowling with Jesus. Dude, you CANnot pick up the 7-10 split to save your life, CAN you? That, and now I got this metallic taste going on that was not present before. Wow, baby, wow! Groovy.

Hey, dig this, hep cats, this is what'll send you (and I don't mean via FedEx, in fact, the less the feds are involved, the better). Stamp help out. Lenny Bruce is not afraid. I am now going to operate a heavy crane near an orphanage. That, or procure a tank and drive that around. It all makes sense now. Say, who left murph the surf on my ceiling?

Photo of mbfolk
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great beer but this is a litle over hyped.

Photo of route66pubs
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a good orange color with very few bottles, and miniscule what head that quickly fades away. not bad, but unimpressive.

S - huge pine aroma that is quickly and easily enjoyable. massively beautiful from the get-go, with underlying citrus notes. a perfect, varied aroma that promises wonderful delights within

T - slight pine taste, bit of grapefruit, pure hops abound. I wish I knew them better to know what they were exactly, but they are marvelous.

M - hops present an extremely bitter mouthfeel and extreme crispness, presenting a cleansing of the palate. very enjoyable, but perhaps a bit too much crispness lacking balance.

D - very nice, but perhaps lacking a bit of malt balance making this a bit more difficult to enjoy. still, having this EVERY night would never cause me a problem

Photo of UnderJoath
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh can given to me by Beermefitz, a complete stranger until today. Thank you so much for the generous gesture. Good beer karma shines down on you this day.

Drinking out of a Pipeworks Brewing goblet. Pours a cloudy golden hue with a fingers worth of bubbly white head.

Smells great. A nice balance of resin and citrusy fruit.

Speaking of balance, wow. First taste knocked me on my butt. Sweet and bitter tangoed on my tongue both getting a turn at lead.

Not too sticky on the mouthfeel, but leaves behind a bit of hop to bring you back for another drink. Carbonation tickles the throat as she goes down.

Overall, fantastic beer that completely lives up to the hype and well deserving of my first review. Hope I didn’t let it down.

Photo of 4thmedbn
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can given to me by andrewinski1. Much gratitude. Poured into a large snifter, consumed at cellar temp.

A - A really vibrant straw to grapefruit rind sort of color. Really surprised by the appearance on this, as it is cloudy, but even with the haze, still very striking and brilliant in the glass. Beautiful stuff.

S - A nice resiny grapefruit aroma, to match the grapefruit rind appearance. The grapefruit is dominant, but it is more of an almost candied grapefruit, as it is sweeter than normal.

T - Not as malt heavy as a dIPA might be. Extremely clean, with a slight touch of booze, but mostly just super solid clean hop flavor. A slight astringency, as well. Lots of juicy citrus, and a nice pine backup. I feel like this does a better job showcasing the extra hopping than other dIPAs that I've tried. Doesn't tend to the syrupy side, nor does it stray into the abyss of biterness without beautiful hop flavor. A nice bit of spiciness in there as well.

M - Again, not so syrupy as you sometimes find with Double IPAs. It's a much more approachable, drinkable beer. It's got a fairly effervescent feel to it, which I feel helps on the citric/spice bite of the hop. But it's certainly not harsh. Almost seems to follow the Belgian idea of the digestibility of a beer. Really quite nice.

O - A beautiful IPA that in some ways makes me question if this truly a dIPA, or if it's just a really tasty IPA with a little extra kick. Super accessible for those out there who think they don't dig IPA, but also hoppy enough to keep the hopheads happy. A really refreshing dIPA, which isn't a way I'd characterize many of the others I've had. Full of bright, exciting flavor. Find some, put it in the glass (or keep it in the can, if you like), and eat it.

Photo of flannelman808
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

no date on the can...

A: Yellow/amber with lots of little uniformly sized particles floating around. Thick off-white seafoam head forms and retains quite well. Good lacing also.

S: Recently fallen pine needle dominates as well as a resinous punch of a cannibisian nature. Subtle biscuit cookie shows as an afterthought.

T: Pine and grapefruit pith wash over the palate as well as that resinous quality aforementioned in the aroma. This is quite bitter I must say, and evokes a nice tingly sensation on the middle of the tongue which sort of amplifies that quality. Sticky tobacco leaf tar like flavors creep into the finish in an interesting sort of way. Great stouts often carry "layers" of flavor and usually they revolve around chocolate. This carries layers of hop driven complexity. Overall I find it to revolve around herbaceous flavors. Not much citrus and what's there resembles more pith than zest. Overall this is bitter however there is a sort of burnt sugar cookie quality which provides some sweet balancing notes. This is not quite as dry as pliny overall.

M: Despite the prickle, this is very sticky on the back-palate contributing to a nice long finish.

O: Really a very good beer, and I would love to try more of it at the freshest stage possible. All the same, however old this was it's very good, but lets be honest, it's not deserving of a 100 rating.

Photo of barnzy78
4.41/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of Roland45s
4.41/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

for not being an IPA guy this definitely hit the top of my list of favorite IPAs. it's lived up to the hype in my mind. I haven't tried the infamous Maine Lunch. But it's solid....

Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to Roger at Bestway for GIVING me this beer on Sunday.I know it's snobbery but I can't drink beer out of a can,I hate myself but I just can't.Pours a murky kind of lemony tea looking with a thin white head,the color was hard to pinpoint.Pure hops in the nose,tropical fruit, citrus rind,deep pine resin,and sweet alcohol,all make for a volitile mix.Just hops and lots o' hops on the palate,pine resin,deep overripe tropical fruits,and some bitterness in the finish.It's oily as all get out and slick in the mouth.This beer is pretty damn raw and complex in the hop department to the hilt,bad ass.I love the hop burps!

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to mar for trading me this can.

The beer pours a dirty yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very heavy on the grapefruit, but I also get a little bit of orange citrus and some biscuit malt notes.

The flavor is more intense than the aroma. I get some huge grapefruit and orange citrus notes, as well as a little bit of pine and some pineapple. Mixed in with all of the hop notes is a little bit of biscuit malt. The bitterness is low to medium.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of 01001111
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very light orange, almost yellow, and quite cloudy.

S: Heavy tropical fruits and flowers: mango, pineapple, lychee, and jasmine. There's very little hint of hop bitterness in the nose.

T: The fruits are not present in the flavor. Instead it's a wash of hop resin; bitter but not overpowering. The finish is sweet and boozy. The aftertaste is strikingly bitter.

M: Medium bodied with some astringency.

O: Good. Not the best tasting DIPA but perhaps the best smelling.

Photo of Thomahs
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The legends are true. This is an especially tasty, and dense IPA.

Gobs of hops (grapefruit, orange, pine) burst out of the can upon the first sip. Drinking it from the can (as they keep demanding you do) adds to it's mystique. It causes you to focus entirely on taste and smell, and this beer does not let up.

What really impressed me is how the last sip hit me just as hard as the first. Usually with these really big double IPAs, my pallette gets overwhelmed about halfway through (I'm looking at you, Palate Wrecker), and I no longer really taste as much as I did at first. I did not have this sensation with Heady Topper. Its a very well balanced, complex, and huge, double IPA.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Ryan for hooking me up with this stellar double IPA. I have had it a couple times now, both directly from the can and decanted into a pint or tulip on various occasions.

This beer is a hazy brownish amber color covered by wisps of sticky foam after the pour. Some lacing, but not nearly as sticky as I have seen on my favorite-looking imperial IPAs. Looks significantly better in the glass than it does in a can...go figure!

The aroma right out of the can is unreal. Concentrated mango, pineapple, and grapefruit, as well as a hint of pine. When decanted, it gets a but more citrusy and brings out some sweet stonefruit and toasted coconut aromas. On the palate, the pine is certainly more assertive, and it does drown out the citrus to a good extent, but the grapefruit and orange notes remain. The bitterness is kept in check, but that which does come through is a dank bitter flavor...my favorite. The alcohol is masked completely, and there is almost no malt backbone present. Just delightful.

While not as sticky or resinous as other DIPAs, the nearly perfect carbonation level makes this an extremely enjoyable beer to drink. One of the most enjoyable "new" DIPAs that I have had in a long time!

Photo of KevSal
4.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this guy this morning thanks to gueshue3, thanks buddy! I've been thinking abou this alll day at work.

16oz can into a SN imperial pint glass (love this guy for 16oz cans) leaving the last sip in the can. can says "drink from can" around the lip, I first thought it was a shot at surly but gueshue informed me it's because of sediment (hence the leftover in the can, thanks for the tip)

a- nice 2 inch off white head. very dark hazy orange hue. looking good!. good thing I left the floaties in the can.

s- ohh man this one smells delicious. Very reminiscent of the first six-pack of the year of SN celebration ale. rich hops aroma. screams west coast to me. nice maltiness behind the hops.

t- taste follows closely with the nose. not overly bitter with a fantastic hop flavor! seriously this guy feels likes celebrations big brother. nice maltiness mid palate, perfect amount if sweet. very crisp with fantastic balance.

m- medium bodied on the thinner side of dipas but very juicy. not overly carbonated ( maybe less than usual dipas) but it helps to coat the mouth.

o- the drinkability on this guy is Insane!! it gies down super easy, and at 8% could get you buzzed mighty fast. I could seriously drink this all day long. the beauty of this beer is it's balance, and I believe thats why it's been getting attention. back of can says it the best "not intended to be the biggest or most bitter, it is mean to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness" and it indeed delivers.

this is what I was hopin SN hoptimum was going to be like, a bigger badder celebration which is exactly what this guy is. deserves the attention. I never thought I'd get a chance at this guy. thanks gueshue for the chance!

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,915 ratings.