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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,372 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,372
Reviews: 1,755
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.82%
Wants: 6,204
Gots: 2,229 | FT: 39
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)
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,372 | Reviews: 1,755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Steve for sending this out.

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1 finger of beige off-white head. Color is a burnt golden orange. Sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Dank, weedy hops. Onion flavors from what I think is summit hops. Grapefruit citrus. Very hoppy. Very weed-like. Massive hop attack.

Taste: Starts out with a big dank weedy hop bite. Huge hops. Hop resin. A bit of malt shows, but hardly any. Grapefruit citrus. Sticky goodness.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky with a lot of hops.

Overall, this is a really solid DIPA. It is pretty drinkable. A lot of great flavors and very fresh. I had no problems with my glass of this. Good stuff. Thanks Steve!

Photo of GarrettMD
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy light orange with a thin layer of white head made of extremely small bubbles. Fades to a ring almost instantly.

S - Hops, hops, hops. Smells like I'm sticking my nose in a fresh bag of hops from the homebrew store. Lemon and orange citrus, hints of pine, lots of grapefruit. A touch of caramel malts in the distant background.

T - Right up front, extremely bitter. All the IBUs come right at you from the get-go and it fades to let the more subtle flavors come through. The sweet malts first, then the pine hops, followed by a quick citrus taste and right back to the caramel.

M - Medium boded, good carbonation, slightly sticky, slightly drying finish. Sweet malts coat the mouth while the bitterness sticks to that.

O - I'm not sure how I would rate it in comparison to having it on-tap, but still very good. Nice flows with the flavors, nice balance overall.

Photo of MatthewWilde
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample: 1 can 2012

A: Party cloudy, light orange-yellow with a small foamy head that quickly becomes nice lacing and pretty strong internal carbonation

S: Heavy citrus, hops of course, pineapple, grapefruit, quite fragrant and appetizing as a result

T: Mimics the nose, citrus, hops, tropical fruits, even granny smith apple is present, deliciously bitter to finish but great balance

M: Intense in flavor but very smooth, aftertaste is minimal and is as pleasing to the palate as the taste

O: An excellent hop crazy beer, easy to drink, decent abv and refreshing as well

Photo of mjyoung
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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 busterthecat
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky enough to have a friend give me a can after stopping by the brewery this past weekend. Pouring a little less then half into an Allagash chalice and will drink the second half from the can, as commanded.

A- Pours a cloudy pale amber color from can. Sits an opaque hazy orangey gold hue. A slight white head forms, then quickly fades to a wispy cap. Not much carbonation.

S- A good dose of both sweet and zesty citrus fruit. Really good. The crisp tang of ripe grapefruit is met by sweet sun ripe orange slices. No malt really detected under all these hop aromas.

T- GREAT! Loads of fresh juicy hop goodness. Sweet orange meets mellow pink grapefruit. A touch of drying caramel malt on tongue. Very hop forward, but not very bitter or abrasive. Really good. A little bit of pine on back end. Sips from the can are different. The flavor profile has shifted slightly and the mouthfeel is different and more bitterness comes through. I prefer the glass, so pouring the rest in.

M- A medium bodied DIPA that is full of hop flavor. Some bitterness on palate but rather mild and soft for a DIPA. Drinking from the can affects the mouthfeel. Makes it a tad harsher. Not much carbonation on palate, pretty flat.

O- An awesome DIPA. Very smooth in the body, yet completely hop forward. Top notch. Completely worthy of being my side beer as I brew my first batch tonight (Nobel Trappist ale). Will need to get more of this beer.

Photo of kdb150
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed as drank from the can, as it is made abundantly clear that this is the way to drink it.

A - Since I've had this before and poured it into a glass, and I'm forced to give an appearance score, AND I'm not inclined to base an appearance score off of can art, I recall it being good as far as head, color, and lacing, but a bit cloudy, likely since the can makes it hard to see when to stop pouring to keep the sediment out of the glass.

The rest of this review is from the current can.

S - You get a hint of complex hop aroma from the mouth of the can that smells quite good, but it is obscured by the metallic smell of the can. Points off for that.

T - Whoa. This is the best tasting IPA I've had. It manages to be dank, resiny, citrusy, bright, and with enough of a backbone to not have the hops overwhelm. The hops linger for a minute or so, and then they give way to the honey malt flavor, which lingers a good while longer. You can't really peg a particular hop flavor on this one; the hop profile is far too complex, but it melds together so well that you get all of the flavors without anything sticking out as unbalanced or out of place. Truly remarkable.

M - Nice carbonation, not thick by any means. Perfect mouthfeel to deliver the experience.

O - This is a wonderful beer, head and shoulders above any other IIPA I've had. It loses points for the can thing not really being my bag, and because the amazing flavors don't quite translate to the nose, but this is still the IIPA that beats all the others. Totally worth the hype, and worth seeking out. This beer was painstakingly crafted to not be too boozy, nor too hoppy, nor too malty, and they've absolutely nailed it. The taste is incomparable for the style.

Photo of 4thmedbn
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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 tjkinate
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasty brew and my first form The Alchemist.

Poured out of the can for one tasting and left in the can for the other. I preferred in the can, probably why the brewery recommends this.

A: 2 fingered, soapy, slightly off white head that exhibited good retention. Murky orange body with a deep orange core.

S: Wow, those hops are strong. Lots of floral, pine, grapefruit, lemon, and grassy notes. Sweet malts were also evident. I usually can't identify so many different smells!

T: Quite hoppy, with loads of grapefruit. Not as sweet as the smell led me to believe. However, the rest of the scents were evident in the tasting and were well balanced. Delicious.

M: Medium light, crisp yet silky.

O: A great brew, what else can I say.

Photo of inlimbo77
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into Deschutes snifter glass. No canning date, but they just started doing it so it's pretty darn fresh!

A: Pours a reddish orange color. Barely any head, but whats there is white. Swirl gets a small off white froth. Some mild lacing and alcohol feet. Good carbo bubbles rolling from bottom of glass.

S: Great nose on this one. I get some pine, some fruit (grapefruit), some cat pee, and some mild breadiness. With the swirl, you get a lot of CP astringency and overripe peachy smells.

T: You get an immediate hop assault on the tip of the tongue. I like it. In the middle of the tongue you get those fruity hop notes and that astringency. Nice crisp finish. A little alcohol warmth in back if throat, but you don't taste the booze in the sip.

M: It's a medium bodied DIPA. Good mouth coat and bitterness.

O: A beer for sure bordering on A+. Still love Furious and Abrasive more, but this runs right up there with them as the King of the Cans.

Photo of hardy008
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber orange color with a two finger off white head with settles down to 1/4 inch and stays. Very nice tropical aroma with pineapple. mango, and grapefruit.

Nice tropical flavors with pineapple, mango, grapefruit, caramel malt, and a little citrus zest. Both sweet and bitter at the same time, with the caramel malt backbone keeping the bitterness a little bit in check. Classic style DIPA flavor.

Medium bodied with average carbonation and a bitter grapefruit zest aftertaste. A very nice DIPA which I like a lot. I would buy this fairly regularly if available in MN.

Photo of abrand
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to hooliganlife for hooking me up with this. 16 ounce can poured into New Belgium globe glass

This pours a deep copper color with a nice retaining head that lines the glass. The pour is very hazy but appealing. Smells of huge citrus fruits including oranges, pineapples and melons. Some earthy smells come through with pine needles. Nice hop presence as well on the nose. Taste is very sweet up front with a delicious hop finish that balances on the palate. Very enjoyable tasting beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is amazing. Very drinkable DIPA with 8% and the taste is amazing. Thanks again Scotty!

Photo of mwrecording
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Mielbeer for these 4 cans!

Drank mostly on the can as per instructed, I did pour a little of my 2nd can into a glass to be able to judge the appearance. Poured a very cloudy, floaty golden color. Fun to look at all the carbonation.

The smell is great, very grassy and hoppy...smell sort of makes me feel like I'm at an all jam band outdoor festival, if that allusion is properly created. The smell opened up and was EVEN more enjoyable for me when in the glass, which goes against what the can says but hey...they made it, they can make guidelines.

Taste is an explosion of hops, very grapefruit-y although the reviews prior made me expect a little bit more of a fruity smell/taste to it...I may be off on my fruits though, admittedly. There is a slight malt sweetness after the initial hop explosion. Nicely done.

Mouthfeel is where the beer takes its only turn I have a little trouble with, both from a can and glass(though glass helps a bit with this) its just a bit too carbonated for me. Which may be a good sign as I think these cans would go a 15 minutes faster if I could drink them any easier.

Overall: This is what I was expecting and it merits the hype. I'll also have it be known this is the first or second 'hard to get' beer that I've got my hands on that was truly, truly worth it for me. Pliny was a much harder got and for 2 years spent longing for it, wasn't what I wanted it to be(though great)

This is more of an DIPA up my alley...punch you in the face hops, with what I consider a better backbone or foundation.

Try to get a hold of 2 or x amount cans of these and you won't be let down. Great stuff.

Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured. Floaties, as you know. Cloudy medium amber with a thick resinous depth and minimal head but thick frothy residual on the sides

S: Can't do better than this. It's like boring your nose into mother earth's hop vagina. Heaven. Best clean citrusy smell of any IPA I've come across (Ephraim's smell is quite an experience too but not citrusy per say, more like it's alive like a luscious liquid swamp thing)

T: Sharp bittering attack up front and definitely the dominant component of the taste. Slowly transitioned some deafened citrusy flavors, hit with another punch of bitterness, then lulled out with a dampening dryness that lulls the taste buds into enjoyment of their anesthesia. Slightly lacking dimension wise (I know, I know).

M: Very very neutral for a big IPA, minimal dryness and residue. Appropriate carbonation - slightly above average.

O: Definitely enjoy it more poured than out of a can haha. The can restrains the aroma and taste imo. CANNOT beat the price here. I've had it on tap at the brew pub and only thought it was slightly above average. This is the most enjoyable Heady Topper I've had yet.

*Also better canned than on draft.

Photo of barnzy78
4.43/5  rDev -6.3%
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 jmosk930
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of yankeepride
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The first words I heard about this from a cicerone buddy was "please, don't drink it from the can like they say." So, I poured 80% into a glass and left the rest in the can. After it hit the glass, I understood the desire for the can. The unfiltered, resin-floating view was less than flattering. But, I figured, two million people can't all be wrong. So I took a whiff, and enjoyed the crisp, apricot notes coming back at me. Nothing piney, no citrus, just clean. Next was where the rubber meets the road - the taste. My wife summed it up best, when she said "wow, an IPA I wouldn't have to pair with food to drink!" I absolutely agree. It's perfectly brewed, and is surely the best, most balanced IPA I've ever had. First taste threatens to turn into piney hops in your mouth, yet never does. It just slides away, leaving you with a tasty, refreshing treat that doesn't stay past its welcome. Now I know why this is such a revered brew, and why people love to have more than one at a time. It's just that inviting, and one I wish was closer to me in availability.

Photo of Flip4beers
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank in the can.
Overall taste is superb. Worth the hype. Never liked it too danked or too bitter but this beer is so balanced. I wish I was alot closer so I can get access to the source but it is a pleasure to have tasted the best.Cheers! I did a trade that made me have second thoughts but I am thankful I went with it. Thanks bmx87!

Photo of jacksback
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the can into a proper glass. Since any half knowledgeable beer geek sees right past the whole "drink it from the can to trap all those hop aromas" BS. Yeah, I'd like to smell- and hence taste- my beets.

And... This beer looks bad. Everyone knows this. Turgid, beyond cloudy dull light orange color. Visually, looks like a bad homebrew hefeweizen.

But... Also as anyone who has had Heady knows... That's really the only thing wrong with this brew. Passing the appearance, one gets to the nose. The big, loud, glorious hoppy nose. Loads of sharp, bright citrus notes all over the place. A nice earthy resinous character to the aroma as well. All hops and loads of them on the nose.

As soon as you're done taking in the nose- which can be a while- you move on to the flavor. The payday. The real deal. And what a deal. The promise of the aroma is entirely and completely delivered on. Hops, hops, and more hops. Hefty, rather aggressive bitterness that starts right up front and lasts to the finish. Loads of citrus on the flavor... with a good bit of pine resin and dirty sharp earthy action. Nothing significant in terms of malt sweetness to distract from the brilliant hop profile.

mouthfeel... Yeah, it's fine. Clean enough, big bitterness that sticks on the finish. Moderate carbonation. Enough weight to make this beer noticeable without being overbearing.

Overall... Superb. What a DIPA should be... But with a more interesting and unique hop character than most. Shit, give it a quick filter to clean up the appearance, and you've easily got one of the absolute best DIPAs brewed now.

Photo of jbeahler
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of JimmyVortex
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of JasonWright3
4.44/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
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 Jason
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque apricot, very little head but it might be the pour. Kind of looks like a hefeweizen. Web like lacing. Okay.

S- Sweet marmalade/apricot spread. Smells very good but I was expecting a hoppy explosion. Alcohol almost undetectable. Really sweet.

T- I'm really trying to figure out what I'm tasting, but I'm pretty sure it's mango peach juice. Great tasting bitterness. I don't know what to say really. It's veeeerry tasty. A bit of yeast in the end.

M- Smooth, medium to low carbonation which is just right. Not very dry. A little thin but it's really not a problem...it might actually be a good thing.

D- High, very high. 8%? Where? This drinks like juice.

Great beer. Would love to have access to it back home.

Photo of output01x
4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to beerhan for this awesome extra.

Partially poured from a 16 oz. can (no date) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger cream-colored head that slowly fades after a couple minutes to a thin coating and thick foam ring. The body is a hazy orange amber with a light number of random carbonation bubbles. Some light lacing can be seen clinging sporadically to the glass throughout consumption but does not stick around long.

The nose is a delicious and even combination of citrus and pine. Sweet and tropical, notes of grapefruit, tangerine, and mango all come forward and make themselves known.

Sweet acidity cuts the tongue at the beginning of each sip. Strong tropical flavors of tangerine, mandarin oranges, and grapefruit meet a strong pine flavor. Upon swallowing, the citrus and pine flavors kick it up a notch, Emeril style. These flavors linger and slowly transform into a slight bitterness.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is easy sipping, easy swallowing, and easy to enjoy. The body is thick and coating, and allows the flavors to not only stand out but to take hold of your palate. The carbonation is barely noticeable but is certainly doing more than its fair share to contribute to the drinkability.

Consuming this beer from the can (as opposed to from out of a glass) has multiple benefits. The carbonation becomes stronger which adds to both the mouthfeel and the drinkability. The flavor becomes a bit more citrusy and loses a bit of the bitterness.

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 9,372 ratings.