Heady Topper - The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,934 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,934
Hads: 10,908
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,104
Gots: 3,412 | FT: 57
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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,934 | Hads: 10,908
Photo of jrenihan
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Papat444 for this one. Very excited to try it!

Beer is a very cloudy orange/yellow. Small white head, dissipates quite quickly.

Wow, the nose is huge and juicy. Mango, orange, pineapple. Pine as well. A real hop monster. Terrific scent.

Taste does not disappoint the lovely aroma. Pine is more upfront than in the nose, although the citrus and tropical fruit flavours are in full effect. The citrus comes out a bit more than the tropical, whereas I found the reverse in the nose. Grapefruit, orange, some pineapple. Aftertaste has lots of citrus and tropical fruit. Quite bitter. Very drinkable at 8%- the alcohol is there but not aggressively. Very, very good.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, oily. Really nice feel. Not overly heavy, goes down very smoothly, but still has a real heft to it.

Overall, truly terrific. Does not disappoint a bit. My wife tried it, her eyes went wide and she remarked "this is delicious!"... and she is not even much of a beer fan. That says it all to me. (1,013 characters)

Photo of harperman69
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Andrew84 for this one

First gulps from the can an then poured into a standard pint glass.

Poured an opaque light golden with tons of bits floating all around, totally unexpected. Less than a finger head leaving light tracing as it was drank.

Smell was overpowering of grapefruit hoppiness with slight pine nose. Seriously could have smelled this all night, someone at Yankee Candle make this a fragrance!

Mouthfeel was slightly thick and resiney that perfect for the taste that was to follow.
Cannot believe how stinking good is. Grapefruit wallop with other citrus flavors following, most prominently orange. Solid malt backbone that stays out of the way but providing the necessary balance to make this every bit as deserving as its ranking.

Overall this is one of the best beers I've had. Pliny the Elder was somewhat of a disappointment to me so East Coast wins this round. IMO that doesn't happen often in the hop realm. (953 characters)

Photo of Penguin3200
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ashley for the trade again for some fresh heady. Poured from the can into a snifter, amber golden color with nice initial head that recedes quick with sticky lacing rim. Cloudy and chunky but so damn inviting. Nose is great with hops hops and floral aromas. Taste is the king on the heady. Explosion of hops and bitterness that is balanced on initial hit to the palate and then the hops and piney bitterness builds. The finish on this beer is amazing.

The balance factor is not quite up to the Pliny and abrasive level, but is definitely in my third favorite dipa.

Bill (580 characters)

Photo of Mikeypnh
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drinking straight from the can. Have poured it into a glass before, but definitely prefer the can. As soon as I crack it open you smell all the hops. Pine. Citrus. Big grapefruit aroma.I miss going to the brewery and smelling all the hops. Smells so fresh. A ton of hops on the flavor. All the stuff in the aroma comes through and coats the tongue with a wave of pine and citrus. So resonious. Nice carbonation, as well. Mouthfeel is where this beer shines. Such a great beer and absolutely worth seeking out. (509 characters)

Photo of Erockruns
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%

Not much more to say than what's been said. Stands tall in the world of DIPA's and is amazing on tap and excellent in the can. Not my favorite DIPA but in the top 10. (168 characters)

Photo of SlobGoblin1837
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh specimen canned on Monday October 8. We quickly developed an intimate rapport with this beer.

A- A murky golden flow cascades from the can, creating a formidable head of about two fingers length. The lace clings to the glass like snow crystals upon a frosted window-foreboding and glorious.

S- We dip our noseys into the glass and are enveloped into a miasma of tropical fruit. The perfumed citrus beckons us onward. We heed its call and take our first sips of this delectable concoction.

T- A hoptastic journey, notes of citrus balance the hop sensations

M- A dense body caressed our cheeks and raised our spirits. The carbonation was sheer perfection.

O- Surely topped off my day! (695 characters)

Photo of Keyportnick
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can of deliciousness served into a tall tulip.

A- pours golden pale with a lot of sediment floating around giving a very unfiltered look.

S- big huge hops orange and citrus floral notes.

T- the taste pairs right up to the nose.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very smooth week rounded body for such a big beer.

0- heady is a great offering. Big bold hops and great drinkability make this beer great. The only problem is never having enough of it! (458 characters)

Photo of 4ster
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap in VT and from cans. Review from both glass (tulip/large wine glass) and also from the can. Was canned around 2nd week, December 2012.
As always, after 800+ reviews, I think everyone knows what to expect from this beer but just for reference here's my review. Thanks to papat444 for the 4 pack :D

(from glass)
A: Pours light straw colour, but extremely opaque, possibly do to hop resins. (if you pour out the end of the can into another glass it is even more cloudy.. with resin?)...not chunky at all, just a fine mist. Light bubbles and light head as well that doesn't build up too much but leaves a slight lace around the rim of the beer as it goes down.

S: Floral, more in the range of sweeter hop smells, some citrus fruit... I don't get as much pine/resin type of hop smell as with some out DIPA's/IIPA's. Otherwise just a lot of endless hops. When you stick you nose in the tulip you get hit with a wonderful green bouquet and know what you're in for!

T: As others noted, aromas lead right into flavours...more floral hops at the start, citrus, and what you don't get so much of in the nose, bitterness and resin, which comes out as it rushes to the back of your throat & explodes back into your mouth...superbly balanced compared to some other super hopped beers. Bitter enough to be a IIPA but not over the top... it just keeps going and because it is so well balanced you just want to keep going...where as some super hopped beers keep piling on the bitterness to where you can't taste anything afterwards for days... this one is like a clean slate each sip....and just a note, if you are savouring it, it will get more resin/bitterness as it warms but still no hint of malts really.

T / M: (from can): Almost like a nitrous injection of hops. As you drink from the can you get both the beer and the hop aromas at once, which is nice. Out of the can it seems to carry a bit more resins and more intense hops... you might also not get as much bitterness because you get a bit more carbonation on your tongue than from drinking out of the glass, so it is more sparkling and refreshing which makes the flavours jump around a little more, but does emphasis the hops for sure... overall it was interesting drinking out of the can.... not sure I'd say it tastes all that much different to be honest, (and I didn't do back to back in 1 shot), but it certainly doesn't diminish the quality of this beer. I'd say glass is probably fine, but you're good either way. Drinking out of the can might be a little closer to what you get on tap (minus the Guinness toys..) but again, didn't do that comparison either.

M: Pine resin stickiness...you'll be tasting this all night on your palette... incredibly balanced... like a hop oil slick, smooth upon entry and as it goes down, no hint of the ABV at all. Perfect amount of carbonation to keep it fresh but not attacking your tongue to distract.

O: What can I say that hasn't already been said before. Best IIPA ever? I haven't tried all the other ones. Best one I've tried so far? definitely. Drink-ability for this amount of hops is outstanding. Hard to get to all the hop flavours in such a complicated hopped beer, but that is ok, this isn't about sipping an Imperial Stout till you get to the bottom of the complexity.... the Alchemist set out to make a perfectly hoppy, drinkable IPA and have surely succeeded where many others fail. For a IIPA this is near perfection. I don't go back to a lot of beers but I would drink this often if I lived in VT... (3,519 characters)

Photo of Huffs
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass and a nice fluffy head developed which lasted through the drink. Aroma was very hoppy with flower and citris notes. Appearance was a cloudy straw color with nice sediment chunks. Tast was super hoppy with strong flower and hop notes with grain on the back. Mouthfeel was light but with a hint of creamyness. Aftertaste was dry and bitter on the end. (374 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can with sample poured into goblet. From the brewery.

A: Pours a very hazy orangish amber with a 1 finger white head. Quick to dissipate it is easily resurrected with a swirl. No lacing on the sides. A few bits of debris visible in the body.

S: Loads of citrus hops up front. Simply amazing. Grapefruit, orange and pine in there as well. Sweet fruit like malts become noticeable as it warms up.

T: First sip is a delicious blend of floral and citrus hops. Very clean hop flavor with mild malt in the background. Unlike other hop bombs its not as much of a slap in the face but a delicious blend of tasty hops.

M: Very easy drinking for something with so much hop taste. Nice nectar like quality, on the low end of carbonation. Doesnt leave a sticky film in your mouth either. The 8% alcohol is hardly noticeable. But hard to tip back a few in a row.

Overall I'd say this beer is worth the hype surrounding it. One of the easiest drinking and tastiest Double IPA's hands down. Still hoping some day I can get this locally. (1,032 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I drank from the can so it's hard to judge appearance, but the can looks super sexy.

The nose is heavily fruity, but there's a piney quality to the hops too. A second whiff gives me some floral hints and.... more hops. What can I say? It's intensely hopped up, but it smells delicious.

Interesting. It's citrusy and grapefruit-like, but doesn't possess that dry bitterness that I usually find. There's still something fruity and berry-like going. Mid-palate there's a breakthrough of sweet, caramel-like malt, some breadiness, and more earthy hops. This provides an excellent balance.

Initially, the beer was drinking rather mellow-like, but with successive sips the intense bitterness overtakes my tongue. This thing is a beast. There's a good bit of carbonation and a medium-body that allow for some enjoyment before the brutally dry, long finish. I only get a hint of astringency on this towards the finish and that contributes to the dryness.

The fruitiness in this beer is what makes it most impressive. It's not excessively grapefruit heavy while still offering citrus and it's not overly piney either. It's deceivingly easy-to-drink and that would mean trouble if I had access to more. (1,200 characters)

Photo of Rope
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance-
Bright orange, good sticky head.

Smell-
Bubblegum, with a bright citrus.

Taste-
Follows the nose very well, and really explodes into different flavors of tropical fruits.

Mouthfeel-
Wonderfully carbonated, refreshing, and instead of lingering invites you to drink more.

Overall-
Incredibly happy to taste it and find another beer that lives to its hype. Big thank you to Dark Lord goers for being great sharers. (427 characters)

Photo of duracell
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 3/4 straight from the can, then poured the rest into a snifter.

A (last 1/4 of the can) - Surprisingly super clear, dark gold color. Small head disappearing quickly without leaving much of lancing.
S - Very intense herbal, fresh, piney, mango, citrusy aromas. Extremely aromatic and quite balanced by some malt.
T/M - Big hops flavors. Lemon zest, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruits sustained by a lively carbonation. Very juicy. Leads you to a nice fruity bitterness at the end that lingers forever.
O - Definitely one of the best DIPA I was given to try! Tons of flavors and complexity. A must try!! (610 characters)

Photo of YeahRightt
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass.

Look: Hazy bright/light orange yellow. Said to drink out of the can, but nah.

Smell: Somewhat musky, citrusy, heavy on the pine.

Taste- Hops hit first, which cascade into an insanely well balanced hit of pine and citrus. Lots going on here with grapefruit and citrus. Hard to get a hold on because everything is so well balanced, but above all else- delicious.

Feel- Dry finish with a medium body that leaves you wanting another sip

Overall- Had been looking for this for a few years now and was very excited to have a chance to try it out. I mentally prepared myself to combat the hype around it and try it objectively, which was difficult to do after the first sip because its so damn good. Hands down one of the best beers I've ever had. (769 characters)

Photo of BigJdizzle
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had out of a can. Drank partially from can and partially from glass. More bite out of the can, but great taste either way. Everything you'd expect an ipa to be....straight fire! (177 characters)

Photo of HossMcGraw
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man was I glad to score one of these! I poured a little into a glass to see what it looked like; nothing special but you're supposed to drink it out of the can so..not applicable?

About halfway through opening the can mango, grapefruit, and honey filled the room and that's before the damn thing was even open! The aroma is just outrageous. The flavor is incredibly tropical, filled with ripe melon, pine, lemon and more candy-like grapefruit juicy sweetness. Ridiculously unique and delicious. Some serious craftsmanship went into this shit. Bone dry finish beckons you for another sip.

Mouthfeel I found a bit flat; I guess some people like that, but I prefer lively carbonation and I think this would benefit from that--again, a preference thing. Overall I'm blessed to have had the #2 IPA on here and feel it's worth the hype. Bell's Hopslam is very similar to this and is another excellent beer that will suffice quite nicely til The Alchemist and I again cross paths. (978 characters)

Photo of fox227
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First, thanks to the nameless one in Vista for the can I got to share with my girlfriend, I got to try Heady without having to either trade for it or go to Vermont. :) I have had so many wonderful DIPAs that I knew right from the first sip that nothing would shock me with greatness ever again; but drinking this beer, I could definitely understand why it's (currently) the top rated beer.

Pours cloudy but not ugly, as I did not drink from the can, as suggested. The nose was rife with tropical fruit and a slight hard to pinpoint 'musty' quality that I assume was from the yeast. The flavor gloriously followed the nose, with a very big pineapple flavor lingering. The mouthfeel provided just enough body and bitterness on the tongue to let you know that this is a real DIPA, and the alcohol flavor is nowhere to be found.

Would I call this the greatest DIPA I've ever had? I'm pretty sure I've liked others more in the past, but the fact that I have to dig deep into the memory banks says a lot about Heady Topper's quality. (1,031 characters)

Photo of Muhly
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the can (oops) into a dimpled mug. Pours a cloudy orange-straw colour with a foamy white head.

Smells of alpine grasses and minty herbs. Pungent hop stank.

Tastes of orange and lemon citrus hops, floral hops, grassy hops, hops hops.

Creamy and ebullient in the mouth.

It's a hop bomb that pushes the envelope and manages to stay within the bounds of good (great?) taste. (386 characters)

Photo of mattbk
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An orange, almost amber color. Quite cloudy. Limited carbonation.

S - Amazing smell. Rich and full of fruits. I immediately get pineapple (SImcoe?), mango, and pine. THe smell is luscious almost.

T - Same as the smell, with just a bit of hop bitterness, and a little bit of alcohol warming. But all very well balanced, with hop flavor taking center stage. The malt sweetness is there to balance it out also. This almost like eating a slice of peach pie - but also nothing like that. Frankly, it's delicious. There are no flaws at all.

M - Medium, definitely low carbonation, I would have preferred the carb just a tad higher; but maybe that would have masked the flavor.

O - If you can, please try this beer. I live on the right coast and don't trade, so I haven't been privy to Pliny, but it would be hard for me to imagine it being any better. (857 characters)

Photo of StinkyFishBoys
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally got to try this beer. It's an IPA alright. It was like that special Crest toothpaste that kept tingling in your mouth long after you were done brushing your teeth. I think it got recalled for poison or something. This beer was not poison. It was very good. (264 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A:
*- Since it says to drink it from the can, this is a moot point as far as their presentation of it goes, I suppose. Nonetheless, I don’t think it looks bad at all (I had read that is wasn’t pleasing to look at).

Pours a greenish, slightly cloudy orange with a fat creamy white head. Good retention; good lacing.

S:
Green. Stanky citrus, crisp twinge of astringency (it kinda tickles something inside you) and bold resinous hops. Hits you square in the face upon opening the can.

T:
Waves of piney, medicinal, skunky, grassy, and citric hop flavors with the same weird twinge of astringency as the smell; pineapple, grapefruit, weed, and hops of all stripes intermingled with rich odorous grass flavors. If hops have the flavor, it is here in varying degrees.

M:
Good carbonation, medium body very slightly creamy with a finish that manages somehow to both linger and disappear quietly.

O:
I hate hype and I think that oftentimes it does a disservice to otherwise enjoyable things. As such, I was not expecting HT to live up to the myth created around it. Boy was I wrong. I had multiple audible gasps while trying it and have savored it every time since.
Part of what skewed my expectations was the general tendency towards intense IPAs that a lot of breweries have. Because of this, I assumed that it would be the bitterest hop-bomb to ever destroy my taste buds. However, it is so good because it is so restrained. It tastes like hops; no question about it, but it tastes like little else. This means that it can be as hoppy as it is without being needlessly ‘confrontational’ in its flavors and aromas. Actually my girlfriend (who can’t stand hoppy beer) tried it, liked it and sneaks tastes of it when I drink it now.
Anyway, I am gushing.
It is a world-class beer for what it is. Is it the best beer in the world? I honestly don’t think so. Is it one of (if not the) best double IPA in the states (and possibly the world)? Without a doubt.
Would fight to be able to try again. A must-have for any beer enthusiast.
With apologies to Chuck D, do believe the hype. (2,091 characters)

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A- Pours a medium bright orange golden color. Not quite brilliant, but far from dull in color. Big, frothy head that retains and laces tremendously. Hazy and beautiful in the glass.

S- Big, resinous, piney hops are the foremost and only scent on this one. Kind of sticky in the nose with all the hops. Slight hint of underlying mild sweetness.

T- Bitter hops flavor off the bat. Sticky, resinous hops are upfront and foremost on the palate. Towards the middle of the drink, a slight sweetness of the base malts come through. Hops make a comeback at the end with a primarily pine flavor that really stings the back of the tongue. Ends with the lingering hops bitterness.

M- Thick, sticky, and smooth as hell. This thing drinks more like a stout than an IPA, but goes down quite smooth. The weight is on the heavier side, but man it goes down easy.

Overall, do I think this is the best IIPA or IPA I've ever had? Probably not. The hype train oversells this one a bit, but it is a damn good beer. I will seek it out again in trades and savor this one while I have it. (1,068 characters)

Photo of ncketchum
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this guy. A bit poured into a pint glass, rest enjoyed out of the can.

A - pours a hazy yellow, fluffy white head.

S - amazing nose, tons on citrus fruit - orange, pineapple, lemon, followed by piny finish

T - more subdued than the nose, but still excellent. Piny bitterness come through more than the sweetness of the nose, but still a good amount of pineapple. Well balanced relatively with some bready malt backbone, with a bitter, lingering hop finish.

M - smooth, lingering bitterness in the end

O - again, I'm glad to have had the chance to try this one. Definitely one of the best double ipa's out there that I've had, more balanced than I expected, great hop profile. (707 characters)

Photo of OGFGabv
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Just an all around show stopping beer. Lots of tropical fruit that comes in wave after delicious wave with a touch of a lemon grass in there. Bitterness not overwhelming, but a nice balance . A truly great beer. (211 characters)

Photo of PatrickSullivan
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours cloudy and orange with a thick white foamy head. The head has a little staying power but leaves some great lacing behind.

S: Great hoppy nose. Tons of grapefruit and citrus (I catch some hints of lemon), with a touch of pine.

T: Less hoppy than expected on first taste. The maltiness hits me first. Sweet but not overly so. But then the hops kick in. Tropical and citrus with some grapefruit intertwined. Toss in a shot of pine at the end. Very balanced throughout.

M: Medium in body, medium to low in carbonation. Yet still creamy and silky smooth. Fits the taste very well.

O: A perfect example of how a DIPA should be. Really glad I got an opportunity to try this. (680 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,934 ratings.