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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,235 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,235
Reviews: 1,627
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.61%
Wants: 5,331
Gots: 1,701 | FT: 35
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,235 | Reviews: 1,627 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of justme
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

justme, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Inflatablechair supplied this one at a recent tasting.... badass... finally, I got to try Heady topper.

Pours a hazed yellow.... nice lacing and retention.

Wow... the nose is pretty damn good... citrus zest... grapefruit... tangerine... maybe some lemon.... balanced just slightly by a light pale malt presence.... smells very fresh and very yummy.

Big bitterness up front quickly moves to a palate blast of citrus hops that have a touch of pine in there.... even some tropical fruitiness is accentuated by a slight pale maltiness... very good.

Body and carbonation are spot-on for the style.

Pretty damn good.... If I could get this regularly, it would be a fridge staple.... Thanks a ton Sammy.


JohnGalt1, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of charlzm
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Consumed October 4th, 2013 from an undated can. Poured into a Samuel Adams "perfect pint" glass.

Beer is slightly hazy light yellow. Lots and lots of happy little bubbles rising energetically from the glass's nucleation point. An off-white/pale yellow head erupts three fingers high. It slowly subsides, leaving behind fluffy, splotchy lacing. Some little floaties in the bottom of the glass. To be honest, not the best looking DIPA I have ever seen.

Aroma is sweet with lemon, mango and pineapple and spruce. Good, good stuff, except for that fleeting whiff of onion...

Flavor is similar to the aroma, but with a strong note that's almost, but not quite, lacquer. Slightly tingly with a nice, modulated bitterness on the finish. This beer is in no hurry to finish up the flavor of each sip, so it's one to savor slowly. It comes on strong but not sharp and finishes smooth but not fast. Each sip is a little experience of its own.

Mouthfeel is slightly thin (though with a little extra body - a trace of oatmeal to thicken it up, perhaps?) and tingly with carbonation. Just a few sips will reveal the alcohol in the form of some heat.

I find it quite an impressive achievement, but I let my non-beer-drinking girlfriend try some and she said it tasted like "pine-scented poison".

charlzm, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

I've had Heady Topper many times at either the pub or the VT Brewers Fest. None of those occasions really allowed me to do a review. Recently, a friend moved to VT and got me a special release bottle of this wonderful beer.

Heady Topper pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger wide, creamy white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thin sheet on the beer leaving behind a fair amount of lines of lace on the glass. Unfortunately, the bottle had many 'floaties' in it that hung in suspension for quite a while.

The strong hoppy aroma has notes of pine and grapefruit citrus with a little grass mixed in. A little bit of pepper and apricot is also present.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is dry with moderate carbonation. The flavor begins with lots of pine, grass and grapefruit citrus. In the background pale malt and light fruit (apricot) help balance out the hops. Once gone the pine and grapefruit linger on the palate.

This is one of my favorite beers from New England that I wish I could get more often. But then, I'd be too spoiled.

WanderingFool, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of adrock7309
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Received a couple cans of fresh HT from BaconSausage as extras in a recent Trade.

Poured both into a Surly pint glass and a bells tulip on two different occasions with varying results.

In the first sampling - one was extremely cloudy and much darker red than i was expecting based on other reviews. The second can was much more orange and clear. Both were adorned by nice white caps

The appearance was the main difference between the two as they both had huge hop blasting noses with heavy citrus/mango pine wafts coming at you.

Flavors i picked up were much different than the nose. I picked up a bit of stale malt hidden behind large grassy citrus hop characteristics.

Overall a great beer and one i wish i had access to.

adrock7309, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of dank203
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Really enjoyed this but I do think it is slightly overrated. The initial burst of hop flavor is something I will always remember. But the thrill only seemed to last halfway through the can, or my palate just got used to it. Its an aggressive beer for sure and really well crafted.

dank203, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of Seabass1964
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Seabass1964, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of Viciousknishs
4.3/5  rDev -9.1%

A- pours a medium amber color with a finger of off white long lasting head.

S- huge dank rediculous hop aromas. Big woody floral pine hop aromas blend with a high alpha hop oil aroma. Big cat piss and a note of lemon zest. Finishes with the tiniest touch of honey and malt sweetness.

T- a touch of cracker pale malt flavor hits the palate at first. Huge hop flavor of wood, pine sap, yellow grapefruit and fresh hop oil. Smooth round bitterness with a touch of alchohol on the finish.

MF- slick oily mouthfeel with a medium body and soft fine carbonation.

D- very drinkable and rediculously hoppy. Don't think I'll be able to taste much after this :)

Overall a great east coast DIPA.

Viciousknishs, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of 1Adam12
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%

Finally. Pours a hazy light orange. Crazy hoppy smell, citrusy. Taste is really nice. Hoppy, but light for the style. Citrusy. Mouthfeel is really nice n creamy. Overall, over rated. Very solid DIPA, top 5 for sure, but over rated. Num 1 in the world, I think not. Not as hoppy as most from 3 floyds. Seek out 3 floyds before you seek this out.

1Adam12, Jun 28, 2013
Photo of KYGunner
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%

Does appearance include the can? Canned beer with a message "Drink from the Can" on it and you know you have a brewer with a sense of humor. If I did that than how do I know what the true appearance is? Pour it into a glass and see the beautiful iridescent orange and a bright white head.

The scent is pungent, strong and pure hops.

The taste is so incredibly interesting that I truly can't articulate what I found. No citrus, just pure hop flavor. No complexities, per se, but the hops flavors are diverse within themselves. It's as if you taste each and every hop variety yet its perfectly blended. If my palate were talented enough I believe I could name each hop variety this is so distinct. This is a truly special IPA!

KYGunner, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of bodhi185
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%

--Update-- thanks to a second from 'dorsch'...this beer is way better out of the can. the green comes out, the dry-hop is more prominent, and it really is a different beer. both good, but like pbr...better in the can.

Canned...pour into a pint glass...although i know this violates the first seven unwritten vermontonian beer laws.

A: Hazy orange with a thin bubbly head. No floaters. I have to admit I was hoping for some resin and shake hanging out in the glass. But, too new, too fresh. I have a feeling I'll find a way to get through it.

S: A little citrus on top of an aromatic double ipa-ness.

T: Bitter, piney, and hop-sweet with lingering grassy kind of notes. This is a great beer. It reminds me of an earthy Double Jack or what a Double IPA version of Two Hearted would taste like. Seriously tasty beer.

M: Sticky with a super long linger and a little bit of lupulin kicking in now. I'd be willing to bet a second or third would still taste pretty good though.

O: Fantastic beer. One that I'm hoping finds its way past NPH into ready availability. I know that Northwest Indiana could support a steady influx. No doubt that this one beer is all that the Alchemist needs...although, in case the northern vermontarians felt like branching out, a fresh hop version would probably be pretty epic.

bodhi185, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of brydeen
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%

A: Pours a rich orange color, with a nice inch thick white head. Tons of sediment floating in the glass. Gives the appearance that they're suspended in a jello mold. Not the most appetizing start.

S: A tropical paradise. Loads of mango and pineapple right off the bat, with a faint piney aroma in the background. Very sweet smell.

T: A nice bitter hop bite on the initial sip. Nice juicy sweetness follows, with mango being the most noticeable fruit flavor. Really nice balance between the sweetness and bitterness.

M: Rich, creamy, full bodied DIPA. Carbonation is very subtle. Much thicker than you'd expect. Almost chewy. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering.

O: Extremely tasty, flavorful brew. Doesn't jump out as the "best beer in the world" to me however, as the ratings show. Very good, but visually unappealing, and heavier than I'd prefer, but that's just nitpicking

brydeen, May 01, 2013
Photo of kenstogie
4.31/5  rDev -8.9%

So I must say I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and it packs a deceiving kick. Though I do think this is a great beer for hop heads and I do enjoy massive doses of that piny spicy flower I am not sure I could give this a 100. Great yes but a 100 no. The best beer not to me.

kenstogie, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of codysjb
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Heady Topper
Poured from a can into a pint glass
A: Cloudy orange brown with hop resin through out. Little head but I tried extremely hard to pour with no head so I could divide a can between my glass and my girlfriends glass.
S: Lemon, grapefruit and HOPS! Lots of hops.
T: Water up front molds into a nice hops character that become full bodied and leaves a hop note on the tongue for a long time.
M: Lots of well rounded hops all throughout the mouth.
O: Great, wish I could get this as a regular everyday beer.

codysjb, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of WoodBrew
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

I was able to get a can of the Heady Topper through a new acquaintance out of J'Town, PA. I traded Two Bros Night Cat and Side Kick for it. The beer poured a hazy straw color with white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is mostly sweet malt....and I was hoping for more pine and citrus. The taste was a good balance between sweeter malt and bitter hops there is presence of some pine and a touch of apricot like citrus all bolstered by an oily resiny base. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer....but not the best IPA I've had (IMO). It's great...don't get me wrong...but the original Zombie Dust before is was massed produced was better.

WoodBrew, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of dboon
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Can, thanks Seth! Hazy burnt orange pour with an off white head. Pine and citrus aromas. Outstanding balance, with smooth pine and resiny hop notes off set by a sturdy caramel malt backbone. Light citrus and floral undercurrents. Just a great freakin’ DIPA, and from a can. Kudos to the Alchemist Pub and Brewery...

dboon, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of chilly460
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

A - Pours a straw yellow, very hazy, with a foamy two finger white head. Speckled lacing clings nicely.

S - Smells like concentrated hops, very pungent. Got quite a bit of clean smelling pine, with a unique citrus edge to it. Couldn't put my finger on it, but goes beyond normal orange/grapefruit. No real malt could be picked up in the aroma.

T - Grapefruit hits immediately, nice full ripe taste. Quite bitter, definite clean pine tones in there too for sure. Flavor hits hard in this beer. Malts are there, very dry biscuit.

M - Typical for the style, medium body with midrange carbonation.

O - Really enjoyed this one, just bursts with flavor.

chilly460, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Yet another brew I had, but for some reason didn't rate it right after I had it. Pours a hazy amber color with a big white head and nice lacing. Aroma is citrus, grapefruit hops. Medium body with average carbonation. Excellent citrus hop flavor with a nice malt balance and a nice bitter hop finish. Taste is similar to some west coast DIPAs. Which is not a bad thing! This is Delicious.

beergod1, May 09, 2012
Photo of Steasy66
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Drinking from the can because the can said so. Poured 25cl into a Boulevard tulip so I can judge the appearance and try it from a glass.

A- Wheaty yellow, lots of floating particles, 1 finger thick white head.
S- Very floral, sweet, a bit earthy.
T- Dank hops, somewhat floral, citrus, bitter but ballanced by a light sweetness.
M- Right consistency, a bit lumpy, could use a bit more carbonation.
O- Looks like homebrew gone bad, but smells and tastes amazing. Only thing I would really change is to up the carbonation just a bit.

Steasy66, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Gobzilla
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Thanks for sharing this one drew

Poured golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was quite piney, grassy, earthy, and hoppy with a good malt prsence but had lots of fruitness as well. I was able to detect a little citrus. Candied sugar. and wood character. The taste was really grassy piney with woody, caramel, and citrus zest accents but did have good sweetness from the malts to balance out the bitterness. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slighty fruity, woody, earthy, hoppy, bitter, and crisp dry finish. It drank above average and was glad to have been able to try this beer. Hopefully this stuff makes it to the west coast some day. Have to say it was a solid IPA from the east coast.

Gobzilla, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of PeterIngemi
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Drank from a 16oz can... Thanks to Brett for giving me this can

A- the can looks beautiful, and clearly states to drink it from the can, which is what i did, the one other time I tries this we split a can between 4 people, I remember it looked nice, but it was too long ago to be specific, and for the review I felt it best to follow the brewers instruction.

S- Smells awesome, grass, resiny pine, a bit of citrus, a very pleasant aroma.

T- piney and resinous just like the nose, a bit of grass and citrus tastes very fresh!!! Very nice balance of flavors working here, delicious hops throughout.

M- medium bodies with medium carbonation, extreemly drinkable, with a slightly bitter finish, kinda chewy on the end too, which i like.
the only part of this that imam not a fan of is the lingering bitter aftertaste, seems to coat the mouth with bitter resins.

O- an excellent dipa, very nice, great aroma and flavor , everything is spot on, the only thing negative I have to say is or the aftertaste, I feel as though this beer is excellently well rounded until that point, and not that it is overly offensive, but it sticks out to me, and seems a bit out of place, I wish there were more of a crisp clean finish.

P.s. in retrospect, I am much more impressed with this straight from the can then I was the first time when I had my portion in a glass.

PeterIngemi, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Served cold from a 16 oz can into a 7 oz taster. This is contrary to instruction from the brewer to drink straight from the can.

Pours with light-medium body and a modest white head. The room fills with fresh hop aroma as you pour!

Nose is hops. Perfect hop perfection. Usually the nose of an IPA is citrusy, piney, grapefruity, catty, grassy--describable. Heady Topper smells in the glass (or straight from the can) exactly like when you take cones and rub them between your palms! I've never smelled another beer like it; no other beer effuses that overwhelming essence of fresh cones ready to brew with.

Color is hazy straw, almost green, suggestive of a white ale or hefe.

Taste is hop forward but not overwhelming. I've sampled and brewed IPAs with extraordinary flavoring hops, this one does not deaden the tongue, instead it excites the tongue! Neutral to dry finish, no sweetness to mar the hop-forward nectar.

Edit: Myoriginal review sadly sufferd from grade inflation. Tasted side by side with Pliny, the Toppa is missing the clarity and bitterness that make a more perft beer.

Mouthfeel is light-moderate, smooth, easy-drinking, with no evidence of alcohol warmth or fusels. Bitterness is light.

As it warms in the glass, it perfectly maintains its balance. It is a pleasure to drink from start to finish, goes down very easy and smoothly. Wish it had a hint more bitterness, but flavor and aroma are dead on.

Overall an amazingly drinkable beer, one that I enjoy again and again. Literally, because you can actually buy this--any time you want as much as you want (well I saw somebody buy 10 cases the other day--I suppose you could want more...)

I must taste this head to head with PtE--have case will travel, need to hook up with BAs when The Elder is on tap.

12/22/11 edit:
Quoting from the can: "Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more."

This is a no b.s. warning to the wise. If you're drinking old Topper, you're not really drinking Topper. It changes character so much in just a few weeks, loses a lot of the raw-hop-cones-shoved-up-your-nostrils sensation.

Vinnie counsels regarding Pliny the Elder: "Drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a historical figure, don't make the beer inside this bottle one ... Age your cheese, not your Pliny ... Pliny is for savoring, not for saving! ... Respect hops, consume fresh!"

This admonishment for Pliny the Elder applies likewise to Heady Topper.

BattleRoadBrewer, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of Lillie1128
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Tasted on 7/18

A - Pours a cloudy amber with a big white fluffy head and some ridiculous lacing

S - Yeast, hops, a little citrus

T - Orange notes, BIG hop bite that actually isn't overwhelming

M - medium, lightly carbonated

D - medium

This beer is very complex, but surprisingly light and refreshing for its hoppiness

Lillie1128, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of jeastman
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Amazing beer, have had it many times as it is locally available. If it is more than 2 weeks old it quickly becomes an average IPA.

Appearance is murky, can not see through the beer though light passes through it. It is a glazen orange. No matter how cold or careful always pours with some sediment. Conan yeast gives this beer a nice creamy mouth feel.

This beer balances sweet, bitter and citrus hop qualities like no other. Great beer, will buy it as long as I can find it! The one issue is that this beer is a bit thin for my preference but the creaminess that their conan yest puts out makes up for the final gravity.

jeastman, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of jrallen34
4.33/5  rDev -8.5%

Bottle into my Narke tulip...Medium copper, not bright or sparkly enough for me. Tope head pretty good, looks good, nice retention and lacing...Aroma is really malty, lots of caramel, great to balance out the hops and alcohol. Hop presence is huge though, really good...The taste is also really malty, very different and unique for a dipa, but great to mask the hops and make it drinkable. Hops are more there in the feel.

jrallen34, Dec 28, 2010
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,235 ratings.