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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

7,357 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,357
Reviews: 1,553
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 7.19%
Wants: 4,742
Gots: 1,295 | FT: 38
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 (10) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,357 | Reviews: 1,553 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Yoonisaykul
Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2010 19:27:33 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of output01x
output01x

Ohio

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.

Serving type: can

02-25-2012 08:13:50 | More by output01x
Photo of OldIronLungs
OldIronLungs

Massachusetts

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

Mr. Topper, we finally meet. Via Fluke828 and AleLovinRuskie.

I will initially be tasting you straight from your container, per your request, but you will make it into a glass for the rest of the analysis.

Crack the can and a rush of flowery citrus and slightly piney hops punch me in the nose.

A sip is akin to making love for the first time. So long as that coitus involved a basket of assorted pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, and a frisky roll atop a bale of grassy hops. Beautiful creamy mouth feel with just the right amount of bite against the sweeter caramel malt. 8% ABV? Where? This is dangerously drinkable. I need a cigarette, darling...

After pouring it into a pint glass, I failed to notice the label -- there is a ton of hop sediment. I'm not adverse to this, but it's a little surprising to me that it's not a little cleaner, given that if I finished this from the can, I'd be enjoying a big gulp of pulp. The light caramel color is nice and a smooth head laces well.

Finally! A hyped beer that did not disappoint! Better than Pliny? Firstly, who cares. But also yes, it's made on the East Coast!

Serving type: can

10-13-2011 01:39:10 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of kbuzz
kbuzz

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 16 oz can into a schooner-style glass. Can't come up with one single advantage of drinking from the can...plus I can't review the appearance that way (did take a sip or two from the can in between refilling my glass and it didn't affect the taste at all). No date found anywhere.

A: The appearance isn't overly impressive, really. Pours a cloudy light orange/copper color. A half finger off-white/eggshell colored head fades rapidly, but there is plenty of carbonation bubbling up through the beer. There are floaties! My favorite thing to see in beer...not that I doubted it would be, but it's definitely unfiltered.

S: Smells very juicy and absolutely hop forward. Lots of citrus - orange, lemon, grapefruit primarily.

T/M: Despite the description, this is a very bitter IPA...definitely smacks you with it up front...then gives way to hop flavor with plenty of citrus - mostly grapefruit and lemon notes. A bit of pine in the finish. I'm glad not to get the orange in the taste that I got in the nose though - not my favorite flavor. If I didn't know how to make beer, I'd never guess that there was any malt in this whatsoever. Finishes with a near perfect dryness for an IPA.

O: This is a raw, down-and-dirty, throwback beer. Haven't had one like this in a good long while. My favorite thing about it is that it's different from the other big DIPAs that everyone gushes over. The market is begging right now for a more traditional, citrusy, good ol' Imperial Hop Bomb - which is what this is.

Serving type: can

04-28-2012 17:34:29 | More by kbuzz
Photo of airohead2001
airohead2001

Illinois

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

I cannot believe that this beer is in front of me. I've dreamed about it forever. In fact, I've even considered making a trip out to Vermont simply to try it. Thanks, glazeman, and thanks to the trader that got this one done for him, and thanks to the trader that hooked me up with Matt in order to reel in the infamous Heady Topper.

A - Cloudy, dark brown/ruby/murky with a one finger head that quickly fades to a few bubbles. Unfiltered for sure - floaties abound.

S - Words cannot describe. Overwhelmingly the finest IPA I've ever sniffed. BIG, juicy citrus hops up front with tangerines, oranges, limes, and a hint of lemon. Warm booze in the finish. Perfect.

T - Just incredible. Biscuit malts, piney hops, citrus hops, with a harsh bitter/boozy bite in the finish. I love the biscuittiness that carries this entire beer, but it would be even better if it were only the tiniest bit sweeter.

M - Very good. Nice carbonation and appropriate chewiness without being syrupy. Great for a DIPA.

D - For me, Heady Topper is a whale of all whales. I wish I could drink it all the time. I could easily drink more than the 11 oz. that I had in this serving, unfortunately, I'll probably never have it again unless The Alchemist decides to make it more available.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 02:12:09 | More by airohead2001
Photo of StormKing47
StormKing47

Pennsylvania

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

Got a bottle in trade from beerometer, enjoyed with Jwiss22, from my notes for once...

A- A ridiculous color for a DIPA. Where is the hazy golden, amber color? No where, it has succumb to the light brown/dark caramel color similar to freshly brewed sun tea. I am almost transported back to summer time and the innocence of child hood. A wild looking color with a crazy amount of yeast swirling around and bouncing off the carb bubbles. This one is all capped off with a medium, fluffy white head. Astounding!

S- A barrage of pine, pine resin, grapefruit, citrus fruits and tropical goodness all come through at once. The aromas have staggered me, but I can't give up this one smells too incredible. It's a West Coaster that has found a home on the East Coast. A slight warming and the tropical, citrus and piney aromas are still leading an onslaught of my senses, but is accompanied with the sweet smell of caramel to balance this monster out. Amazing aromas, just want to keep sniffing and sniffing!

T- This one is all about the hops and does not disappoint. After all the smelling and anticipation here it comes...a smack of hops right upside my head. Pine, bitterness, pine resin, bitterness, citrus juice, grapefruit, more bitterness and some tropical hints to keep it all together. It's a crazy balance of hops that continue throughout each sip and seem to just keep coming. Oh yea there is a slight caramel sweetness quivering in the background to try and herd all of the hop nuances from spinning out of control and murdering your taste buds.

M- This one is not syrupy, but kind of oily in a way. It seems to stick to everything and coats every area of the mouth that can taste. It actually feels balanced in a way. The carb is not to tingly, the hops aren't to sticky and the slight sweetness keeps it all in check.

D- A definite hop bomb that is incredibly drinkable. Could drink this for any meal, brush my teeth with it and use it as mouth wash. High abv says no, no, no, but everything else says yes, yes, yes.

My first try of this one and sad to say it was a bottle, would love to try the draft and can't wait for the cans. Looks like the West Coast has found a little bit of competition.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 04:51:24 | More by StormKing47
Photo of iadler
iadler

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to exitmusic00 for giving me one of these. Very generous of you sir! Tried directly from can as well as poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a slightly hazy sunset orange with a ton of sediment. There is a one finger head that dissipates leaving some tiny spots of lacing.

S- Right when I open the can, the smell was powerful and bursting with mango, peach, pineapple, melon, apricot and passion fruit, basically a fresh tropical fruit salad. A great deal of floral hops are there as well as a bit of pint and biscuit malt. An amazing aroma.

T- Biscuit malt is more present as well as some citrus notes such as pink grapefruit and lemon zest. Still some tropical fruit such as peach and mango, but not as tropical as the aroma. Orange marmalade in the middle with some citrus bitterness at the end.

M- Medium carbonation and body with a crisp mouthfeel that finishes dry.

O- Extremely drinkable with a great aroma. The only issue I had was that it was a little less complex in the taste and a little malty, but a fantastic DIPA that can compete with the best.

Serving type: can

10-03-2011 05:54:10 | More by iadler
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Alex for sharing this one, again. He had shared one with me before, but I was drunk and kept falling asleep and don't feel like a review based on that experience would do this justice.

A - Copper colored beer with a nice, foamy head that dissipated to a solid cap, and left a bit of intricate lace.

S - Purly on the nose, this one blows you away. Huge hop aroma, with citrus, grass, pine, floral, and some awesome tropical notes. Not sure how they packed so much into this nose, but it is great.

T - Great tropical fruit, citrus, and floral taste with some bittering on the end. There is a strong carmel malt base to this beer. The taste is great, although not quite as good as the nose.

M - Medium bodied and crisp, it got a little sugary for me at the end, but still quite good.

D - One of the top DIPAs I've ever had. It really lived up to the hype and was a pleasure to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 07:14:16 | More by AgentZero
Photo of northbywest
northbywest

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's heady topper... everyone wants a piece of it. Here in burlington, people still stand in line for it and it sells out quite quickly when it hits the shelf.

A great beer- I don't do the whole 5 point review- but it's a top-notch beer. Best in the world? That's a really tough claim to validate. Scarcity drives demand, however wonderful a beer it may be.

People are definitely feeding the demand down south- the demand drives those lines at the stores around here- people are shipping it out/transporting it down to the metropolitan areas (obviously).

As far as aroma- solid, almost like pot-like. Flavor is wonderful, it hangs in your mouth, rolls off the tongue with weight but not too much. Definitely a fun beer.

As comparison, I'm partial to Lawson's double IPA (yeah, even harder to get). Never tried the Pliny's, but I'm guessing it's a toss up.

One thing my buddy -a true brewer/connoisseur- more so than myself- pointed out: the whole "Drink from the can" thing is somewhat BS- because the obvious reason is that the appearance/color is, well, pretty mediocre for beer, and somewhat crap for a beer this highly regarded. Who really cares about aesthetics, though?

I'll take a crappy appearance (don't tell us to hide it, Alchemist) for great nose!

Again, the #1 beer in the world ranking is recognized, at least around here by people that sell the stuff, as somewhat inflated by hype and scarcity- we all love it, but it's almost a hysteria for the stuff...

edit: the girlfriend made a point- 2 cans of heady topper is the max you want to drink- diminishing returns on the pleasure of drinking this scarce commodity of a beer. Two leaves you satisfied.

Serving type: can

09-21-2013 01:34:25 | More by northbywest
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

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

So I was trying not to drink for a couple of weeks and then I get one of these as an extra from a very generous starrdogg. Thank you, Matt.

Pouring a hazy amber with a dense off-white head with excellent lacing and retention. Going in without reading reviews in a while, I expected this to be clearer and less hazy, but hey, I don't really mind. The nose is big, juicy and very hoppy. Juicy with candied orange, ripe oranges, ripe pineapple, moderate floral and lemon, a little honey. I can't pick up much malt here, as there's so much juicy hop sweetness that it hides any malt on the nose. Quite excellent.

While the nose is solid, the palate is outstanding. Incredibly juicy hop character with oranges, tangerines, Meyer lemons, a touch of orange and grapefruit pith. Along with it is a moderate tropical fruit character, especially on the finish, with some pineapple, mango and yellow peaches. Bitterness is moderate here, and the malt character is moderate with a little bit of honey and a touch of caramel. The finish is excellent, with a lingering tropical fruit character, moderate orange and a mild bitterness. Medium-light in body with soft carbonation, this beer is great. Pleasing resin character as well, this is very good. Excellent stuff, I would love to have this again. Thanks for the chance to try this beer, Matt!

**Edit 06 Dec 2011**

I'm getting a chance to revisit this right after drinking a Pliny, and boy, is it still glorious. It looks cloudy and ugly, though, so I'm docking the appearance down by 0.5. can is fresher, so the nose is more pungent and more dank, hiding the caramel sweetness. I'm upping the nose to a 4.5. The palate is just a hair too sweet, and the more I drink, the less I enjoy it, and I'm dropping the taste to 4.5. Just a touch boozy, too. Still, a fantastic DIPA.

Serving type: can

10-01-2011 00:36:35 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of taylor714914
taylor714914

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 ounces of perfection. Amazing head and deep copper body. Smells of sticky hops and strong sweet malty goodness.

Taste follows suit with an abundance of hoppy delightfulness paired with a strong malt backbone.

The price is right and the taste is too. Absolutely a world class beer. Glad I can get a steady stream of this because for a dipa it can't be beat.

Serving type: can

06-18-2013 23:01:24 | More by taylor714914
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

For the love of all that is holy!!!

Please drink this beer out of a glass, not the can. I swear they just put that on there as a joke to fuck with beer nerds who’ll believe anything. This beer smells amazing, and deserves to be enjoyed in a glass.

And for the record, I bought a full case of it at the brewery. Had it on tap fresh at the Alchemist(WHERE THEY SERVE IT IN A GLASS), then in can’s at bar’s in Burlington, then back home out of the can, and also back home in a glass. After all those experiences I can say beyond a doubt the glass version is 100 times more enjoyable than drinking out of the can. Seriously, don’t do it. Or at least try it both ways and judge for yourself.

Ok, on to the beer…

This beer pours a cloudy tan yellow body with an off-white head.

Nose has a strong citric and fruity hop smell.

Taste is medium to full bodied, and yet surprisingly light for a DIPA. Loads of fresh cut grassy citrus and fruit. A lot of strong orange, melon and grapefruit hop flavors, with a touch of black pepper and some mild lemon peel. The hop taste in this one is really dominated by the fruit flavors, and reminds me a lot of Wormtown’s Hopulance. A nice present malt flavor. I’d say just your typical fresh grain, not a lot of distinction since it’s covered up so much by the hops. Bitterness is there, but well balanced and in fact actually takes a back seat to the hop flavor. Not overly bitter at all, and even ends with a very clean aftertaste without a long hop numbness. Very clean beer from start to finish.

So… the elephant in the room is that this beer is basically the current holy grail, circle jerk, of beers.

Obviously its rarity and the lengths you need to go to obtain it help the myth. But, and I humbly apologize for saying this, but this beer doesn’t live up to the hype. It is amazing, don’t get me wrong, definitely deserves to be in the top 100 of BA, but no way in the top 10, let alone #1. It’s on par with other stellar DIPA’s like Hercules or Pliny or Hopulance or Kiwi Rising, but isn’t vastly better than any of the others. But as they say, that’s just my opinion. Still an amazing beer, but… the hype and shortage of this beer have made it more popular than it probably should be. Oh well… I’m still going to enjoy the rest of the case I bought. :-)

Serving type: can

07-24-2013 22:50:12 | More by taez555
Photo of BeerResearcher
BeerResearcher

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 22oz bottle with a very generous friend.
Served in Delirium goblets.
Pours a hazy pale orange color with a fluffy, but fading white head. Lots of sticky and patchy lacing rims the glass.
A big whiff of pine and wild flowers blast out of the gate. A resinous hop aroma rises and pulls a dry malty smell, along with some perfumy citrus and a little mellow rum.
The tastes follow the aromas very closely. Very hoppy, with bright orange zestiness, yet held in check by a solid caramel malt with some honey sweetness.
So flavorful, yet so drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 20:59:20 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of axeman9182
axeman9182

New Jersey

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

Two 16 oz cans (one direct from can, one poured into a glass) courtesy of Kadonny, and poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Heady Topper pours a hazy slightly dull orange. There are some tangerine highlights, and visibility is minimal. There's about a finger and a half of cream colored foam crowning the beer, and head retention is just OK. Lacing is fairly nice though, more of the glass is left covered in it than not. The second pour does result in plenty of sediment hanging in suspension. The nose is absolutely wonderful. Tons of mango and pineapple, with some more overtly citrusy grapefruit present in more of a supporting role. The flavor profile leads off with a bit of candied sugar sweetness. The bitterness that rolls through next is surprisingly mild/smooth. I kind of wish it was a little bit more intense/attention grabbing. The hoppy close though is just as fantastic as the nose though, with tons of tropical fruit and just a ittle bit of citrus. The mouthfeel is spot on. The body's not quite Belgian style brew dry, but it has just a little bit more heft to support it. Meanwhile, the carbonation explodes on my palate, helping the potent hoppy flavors to come alive. Heady Topper's a stunning beer, and one of the abslute best double IPAs I've had to date.

Serving type: can

05-01-2012 02:51:17 | More by axeman9182
Photo of InebriatedJoker
InebriatedJoker

Ohio

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

Poured from 16ox can into Duvel Tulip - No best by date visible

A: Poured a cloudy dark orange with brown hues , Three finge head that descended into thin frothy lacing , webbing follows as it lowers in the glass, decent carbonation.

S: Tropical fruit , pine , bitter hops, lemon.

T: Citrus with bitter hops upfront with a sweet malt backing , slight pine bite with hints of lemon.

Overall a very good D/IPA that I would drink often if available to me.

Serving type: can

10-29-2011 20:25:50 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of flannelman808
flannelman808

California

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 09:06:40 | More by flannelman808
Photo of Flounder57
Flounder57

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 0z can was poured into a tulip glass. I have had it out of the can plenty of times and respect the brewery to drink it out of the can except for this one time.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head. It is a pale orange yellow color with some clarity and signs of carbonation coming up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Lots of citrus on the nose. Plenty of grapefruit and tangerine aromas from the hops. Bready and caramel notes in there to balance it off as well.

Taste: Super citrus flavors. Tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, mangos, etc. The breadiness and caramel malts balance this beer out well where there is a subtle lingering bitterness and the alcohol is not at all detectable.

Mouthfeel: silky smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, some nice subtle bitterness, and easy to drink.

Overall: Pretty solid DIPA. This is one a person should not pass and order one at the bar or buy a can or four pack. Very delicious and loved by all.

Serving type: can

08-27-2012 19:47:43 | More by Flounder57
Photo of CurtFromHershey
CurtFromHershey

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

9 day old can poured into a snifter for inspection (inductions be damned!). Very hazy, between straw and copper in color. Fluffy head which recedes to a thin cap. Pretty.

Smell is out of this world. Freshly opened bag of hops. Tangerines, mangos, and lemon grass.

Taste follows the nose but emphasises the citrus and grassy notes instead of the tropical aromas. Sweetness gives way to a dry finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet dry. Too dry for my preference.

Overall a really nice beer but not one that would be worth the 16 hour round trip or trading expenses to me.

Serving type: can

03-03-2013 02:10:49 | More by CurtFromHershey
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?

This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.

A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.

Serving type: can

09-13-2013 23:51:10 | More by biboergosum
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
Beer-A-Lot

Virginia

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: can

05-18-2013 15:59:24 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi

California

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out into a glass

*First and foremost, Raul has to grade this review with an asterisk because Raul was sicker than a hound dog after eating a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich for 10 days or so, so the Heady's sat in the fridge for awhile. So without further ado...

Good, but not great. Raul was simply reminded of a Racer 5 - and Raul likes him some Racer 5 - but he don't get Cialis excited over it like he was for Heady.

Smooth, but it had a slightly astringent aftertaste. Raul does not approve.

Raul is pumped on life, but not too much on Heady.

Peace!

*Overall, Raul graded this a 3.79. But then he tried it out of the can which changed things and made it necessary for a re-review.

Quite simply: boom went the dynamite! All of a sudden, more flavor came out; the beer was tastier, smoother, and overall, insanely drinkable.

Mass props to the Maple State.

Serving type: can

02-14-2013 20:07:11 | More by RaulMondesi
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MrIncognito

Virginia

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had at the Skinny Pancake at Burlington Airport

A - Hazy orange body with a thick white cap that leaves great lacing.

S - One of my favorite parts of the beer. Like smelling a hop bouquet. Sweet, floral hops and a bit of orange zest. Just a hint of sweet malt and a smooth alcohol aroma as the beer warms. Piney and citrusy at the same time. Love it

T&M - Tons and tons of hops but I would not say this is an overly bitter beer. A little less than moderate carbonation allows the beer to coat your mouth with each sip. Pine and citrus hops with a sweet malt backbone. Warming alcohol on the swallow but not overly forward; just enough to balance things out. Every time I take a sip I think of aromatic flowers.

O - Insanely drinkable for a IIPA. I had this at 12pm which is usually way too early for me but I couldn't pass it up. Still went down now and easy. The key to this beer's greatness is its balance. All the flavors and aromas meld so well together and compliment each other wonderfully.

Serving type: can

08-20-2013 15:25:17 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of neurobot01
neurobot01

California

4.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can from HopSynonymous.

Look: well, the can looks nice, I guess... kinda hard to see anything else when obeying the edict to drink from the can.

Smell: again, really hard to get any strong aromas. I can tell it's an IPA, and that's about it.

Taste: the initial flavor is very citrus- and tropical-fruit heavy. If it stopped there, it'd be a decent IPA, but nowhere near #1. Thankfully, it doesn't stop there, as piney, floral, and grassy notes all make an appearance. Also a very nice balance of sweet and bitter, but a bit more elemental in these tastes—it's not so much that the fruit flavors are sweet and grass flavors bitter, as much as there are those flavors, side-by-side with those basic tastes.

Feel: pretty nice; medium body, dry, good carbonation. Suffers in comparison with MBC pales.

Overall: well, there was no way this could live up to the hype. It was really solid, but it wasn't the best IPA I've ever had; nor was any of its characteristics (smell, etc) best. Still, glad to have gotten the chance to try it.

Serving type: can

06-16-2014 01:51:41 | More by neurobot01
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple six-pack at the cannery. I'm told they were packaged just a week ago.

I wasn't sure what to make of this beer at first, which says a lot because DIPAs aren't usually a surprising style with a lot of leeway. It's most easily described as "hop juice," not an IPA. The balance of hops is unique in that the flavor is huge, but it's never over the top, where overly-hoppy beers become perfumey messes (I'm thinking of Weyerbacher's Hop Explosion).

The aroma has a clean and clear floral grapefruit character with an earthy, citrus seed edge—think about when you're eating an orange and you get a seed on your tongue. The flavor is intense but manageable. In addition to the vivid grapefruit and orange peel citrus, there's a vague grassiness, tropical notes, and an odd (and thoroughly unexpected) touch of barbeque sauce that fades as the beer warms.

I approached this beer as a skeptic, but it's easily one of the most complex beers I've tried, and one of the most drinkable at that. I should have bought a case.

Serving type: can

01-20-2012 04:54:54 | More by tempest
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.47/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, huge thanks to nathanjohnson.

Pours clear copper with a two-finger white head and excellent lacing.

The aroma is really awesome. Huge floral and citrusy hop punch with sweet caramel malt. Clean and intense.

The flavor is deinitely east coast style, but probably the best in that style I've had. Sweet caramel malt balanced by a huge flavorful and bitter hop burst. Floral notes, grapefruit, and orange. Tasty as hell.

The mouthfeel is nice, medium-bodied with big hop resins and a long enamel-ripping finish.

Nice beer overall. Awesome for an east coast style DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 18:07:48 | More by nickd717
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 7,357 ratings.