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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

8,772 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,772
Reviews: 1,686
rAvg: 4.73
pDev: 8.25%
Wants: 5,727
Gots: 1,936 | FT: 36
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: 8,772 | Reviews: 1,686 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of therobot
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of mmtroop1218, much appreciated.

Joint review with pintglassjon.

A. A nice deep tangerine, an TON of Sea-Monkeys seriously swimming all over the place and thick, can't see through the glass. Very light, quickly dissipating head.

S. Prominent citrus, mainly grapefruit, and a little pine. Slight malt odor.

T. Taste follows the smell almost exactly. Great, refreshing level of citrus bitterness and lingers mid tongue with the pine. Great depth of hop flavors. Moderate level of dry malt sweetness, is present but not overwhelming.

M. Light carbonation, slightly in the thin side.

D. Very high, extremely pleasant to drink. Refreshing, enjoyable, a wonderful example of style. Could sit and down these all night, unfortunately geographically impossible.

Overall, great beer and would seek out again.

Thanks again mmtroop1218.

therobot, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of Cisco619
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz pint can poured into a newly acquired Weyerbacher tulip(against the can's behest). Thanks to DaveHack for the beer & the glass.

A: Hazy amber hue with a dark core that pushes the light out to the edges of the beer. Bubbly eggshell white head that fizzes out to a soft film that clings to the edges of the glass & leaves a disc shaped ring with frayed edges in the center of the glass. I haven't seen many dipa's that look like this & I am entranced by the murky elixir that is swirling in my glass.

S: Incredible. Intense tropical fruit aroma that dominates, mainly mango with soft pineapple undertones. A nice zesty citrus kick that brings in the finish that ends with a hint of sweetness. Easily one of the most amazing smelling beers I have had the pleasure to stick my nose in. The smell does lose a bit of intensity after it is poured in the glass, but still retains the same character.

T: A bit of mango mixed with pineapple that ends with a zesty, grapefruity flavor. It's all brought together by a mellow hop biterness that tingles the front of the tounge.

M: Sticky & sweet with a hop biterness that lingers on the front of the tounge while hop oils coat the back of the tounge & roof of the mouth. A bit heavier than most dipa's but excellent balance that ties together all the elements.

O: Amazing aroma & captivating appearance. This is truly an experience that any hop lover should seek. Huge thanks to DaveHack for helping me cross this off my list & for the awesome glass.

Cisco619, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of chrisgalvin
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Living in San Francisco (a couple of miles from Toronado) I've been privy to a lot of "West Coast IPAs," PtE, PtY, etc. The Heady Topper defiantly can hold it's own in this category and tak ehte top spot in the Top 250.

The HT has a fantastic smell, great mouthfeel with wonderful malt and hop balance and a nice finish. Seriously, once of the best DIPAs.

chrisgalvin, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of Rampage1
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look forward to this being canned.

Appearance: This one has a nice deep, hazy golden color to it with little traces of hops throughout the pour. Nice pure white head follows. I noticed that after having one of the bottles for over a week what originally was some slight residual hops in the bottle turned into a heavy amount of hops in the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: This has all the great tropical smells to it -- mainly citrus- orange rind with some pineapple,grapefruit and a little mango. No pine notes here which is fine by me. I'm all about the Tropical citrus smells in my IPA's. I can tell you from having this once before that this beers smells change completely in a weeks time. Kind of has this funky- strong smell now after it being another week old. Unique in the smell. Drink em up now guys!

Taste: Its like drinking orange juice with a nice bitter finish. I like that there is not a ton of malt to the taste yet it still has enough to keep the bitterness somewhat in check. There is a slight biscuit flavor on the end of the taste as well.

Mouthfeel: Nice amount of carbonation to keep the hop flavors swirling around on the palate to deliver the great,fresh flavor to be had in this beer.

Drinkability: Great beer and am very happy to have got to try it. I will be seeking this one out when it hits in cans which now looks like it will be a while. IPA's are my favorite and this is another to add to the list.

Rampage1, May 17, 2011
Photo of mcallister
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Completely unfiltered with tons of yeasty delicious sediment. An off copper translucent with a small white head.

Huge bops on the nose piney and resiny as can be and then a burst of citrus at the end, some light cereal grain and coffee eaters as well.

Very piney earthy aromas thick drying in the middle with only a bit of that citrus on the finish. Oily and resiny with caramel and cereal quailities. Toffee is there as well a bit of sweetness with a forever finish. Great ipa and not one that falls into the everyday category

mcallister, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of b3shine
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jnorton00 for this brew. It's better than Pliny (the Elder), but I'm not quite sure if it's Dreadnaught status (my gold standard). However, given it's abv, it's remarkable. The quintessential camping beer (and yes, the can contributes to this moniker). Everything you want and nothing you don't. Better price point and more convenient than Dreadnaught; just can't decide if it's as good or better. I guess it'll take another night of "research" to come to a conclusion :)

Update: After a 1 for 1 comparison the next day, this beer edges Dreadnaught. And for the value, it blows it out of the water.

b3shine, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of sherm1016
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle in trade with Glouglouburp. Thanks! Pours a hazy amber color with a big white head and nice lacing. Aroma is citrus, grapefruit hops. Medium on the palate with average carbonation. Excellent citrus hop flavor with a nice malt balance and a nice bitter hop finish. Very similar to some west coast DIPAs I have had the pleasure to try. A very good beer.

sherm1016, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to KristinCooks for this one in a trade! I'm enjoying this while pre-gaming for a Phish show - my first Heady Topper and my first Phish show... I'm officially a ... hippie?

It pours with a short head and lovely lacing. I'm a bit late in drinking this - and I will have to make it to the brewery to have it freshly brewed - because this one is from the bottle release back in November. It's amber and rich, hazy and with some sediment in it. Lacing sustains throughout the glass. The smell is richly hoppy, with some excellent malts coming through in the nose too. Straight pine and rich goodness.

Taste follows the nose, and is remarkably smooth. The cleanest finish I've had in a while, and I can definitely say that this is one East Coast IPA ready to take on the West Coast big guys. Not sure if it tops them - for that I'll have to drink it fresh.

UPDATE: had this on tap 2/23/11 at Blind Tiger. Thank you, Alan. This beer on tap looks better, smells more complete with more citrus and malts, and tastes just as hoppy and thick. I will never reject a Heady Topper. Definitely raising my review score on this. A- to A.
With a smooth medium body and drinkable crispness, The Alchemist Brewpub's Heady Topper is certainly a top IPA. Cheers to 2010!

afksports, Dec 31, 2010
Photo of easong
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank it from the can as advised (6 days old) and also poured into pint glass. Lived up to the hype. Lugged some back to CA, drank it side-by-side with Pliny. In that pantheon. Loved visiting the brewery in Waterbury -- simply evil that it is essentially next door to Ben and Jerry's. Evil.

easong, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of AltBock
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. tall silver bullet can with a sweet ass picture. The label is that of a bearded scientist chugging a beer with his hair bursting with hop buds. It's something you need to see for yourself. The back of the can has a lengthy paragraph about the beer and the Government warning. A brewed on or canned on date would have been very helpful. Poured into a Cycle Brewing Snifter.

Out of the can came an Imperial IPA that was pale golden amber in color with a small tint of lemon yellow at the bottom. There's gold in this beer. Not the precious metal. Hop gold!There was a ton of hop particles floating around this beer. The writing on the can warned me of the hop particles, but toward the bottom of the can. This is from the top of the can and there is already a huge amount of hop particles. I didn't get much a head of foam on this beer. I got a small skim of foam that was about 1/4 of an inch in height and paper white in color. Fast retention that left behind a miniature string of rings along the side. If I was lucky, maybe a spot or two around the glass. The head of foam wasn't much to look out, but I loved the hop particles.

As soon as I popped the lid, the strong aroma of pine came pouring out. It was so strong that I almost thought I popped the cap on a bottle of Pine Sol. It's drinking time. Not cleaning time. Not only was the pine strong, but the fruits as well. It had a wide range of citrus and exotic fruits. I smelled grapefruit, mango, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even tangerine. Smelled like a top notch fruit punch. The hops in the aroma were on the grassy side with a whiff citrus hops. No malt backbone in the aroma. The pine and the wide variety of fruits covered it up. I could live without the malts in the aroma. I loved the pine and fruits. Nice!

The taste came out swinging! The strong taste of pine and grapefruit comes washing in like a hurricane on my taste buds. It was all of those hop particles in the appearance that did that. The front of the taste housed all the pine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grassy/citrus hops. Then all the hops and fruits settled down and the beer then finishes up with a nice malty backbone. The malts were kicked out of the aroma, but they made a nice appearance in the taste. No doubt about it. This was a great taste. Not overly hoppy, but hoppy enough to keep hop heads entertained. If they didn't like the hops, they were sure to enjoy the malt backbone. Not much more you can ask for from an Imperial IPA.

It was light to medium bodied with a nice not overly hoppy aftertaste. This hoppy aftertaste doesn't linger. You won't need a gallon of water to get rid of the hoppy taste in the back of your mouth. Despite being an 8% ABV Imperial IPA, this is a highly drinkable beer. It also helps that it comes in a can and it's a year round beer and not a once in a blue moon type of beer that you need to trade your first born for. Would I drink it again? I would if I could find a steady supply of it. I have to thank my good friend Vince for hooking me up with this treat.

AltBock, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of kjyost
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the one and only. No clue how old, but definitely my most anticipated beer I got from phyl21ca in CanBIF 2012. Took a sniff and a mouthful from the can as directed, then poured into a tulip. 

A: Hazy sunset orange with a giant fluffy white head that drops to a superbly lacing ring
S: Initially took a giant hit of citrus and tropical hops. Mango, passionfruit...  Some sweet malts with a hint of pine perhaps?  Incredibly strong nose for a commercial beer. 
T: A little less strong on the hops. The bitterness builds to a biting nature over some sweet bready malt. Some alcoholic heat is definitely at play. Fruity hop profile with grapefruit rind and pineapple. 
M: Spot on, although I would have preferred it drier. 
O: Really nice beer. Worth the hype?  I guess, but I can drive 3 hours for Surly so I don't see this supplanting my needs, especially at the trading cost it now asks...

kjyost, May 22, 2012
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 16 oz can, nice hazy orange color. Smell is of sweet hops. Taste is medium bodied, great balance to it. Not overly hoppy (as warned by the outside of the can) and has a great maltiness to it that most IPAs (specifically double IPAs) are missing. Delicious aftertaste.. I can see why this has such a high rating. Felt lucky to try this beer, definitely worth seeking out if you get a chance.. one of the better imperial IPAs I've gotten to try.

oriolesfan4, Jul 08, 2012
Photo of pigc
4.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to Adam for this can, you rock!

Poured into snifter. Just couldn't drink straight from the can.
---
A - Pours a murky yellowish-orange with one finger head that fades quickly.

S - Pine, citrus, melon, sweet tropical fruits.

T - Starts out with a smooth citrus burst followed by some pine and a slightly drying finish.

M - Medium with oily hops coating the entire mouth and tongue.

O - Very, very solid DIPA. Amazing how smooth yet bitter finish this beer delivers. Right up there with fresh PtE but a bit sweeter.

pigc, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of 01001111
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

M: Medium bodied with some astringency.

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

01001111, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of LinusBohman
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Tried this one first in a glass and then straight out of the can. It was definetely more aromatic drunken straight from the can, and my scores in terms of smell, taste and overall are modified with the can session.

A: White scattered foam which vanishes fast in order to leave a ring of lacing on the glass. The colour reminds me of apricot marmelade, it's quite murky and has some bubbles playing around in the delicious liquid.

S: Pine needles, cat's pee, tropical fruit such as mango, banana and passionfruit. There is also sweetness which again brings me to think of marmelade.

T: At first it's pine needles, cat's pee as in the smell. Allthough the tropical fruit is slightly different from the smell and the taste adds a dry bitterness to it. The aftertastes are at first tree sap and pine needles but after a while there is some apricot marmelade there as well.

M: Leaning more towards medium than thin. Probably the leanest mouthfeel I've got from a DIPA ever. The carbonation is light and the feel is very dry. Ace!

O: They really managed to combine a hop bomb that would satisfy most hop heads around the globe with sweetness which creates a great balance. A wonderful DIPA with great body allthough the appearance lacks some sexiness because of the lack of head. You won't notice that if you drink from the can though.

LinusBohman, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of scotorum
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd forgotten about the ranty feeling-sorry-for-myself review from last August (Reposted below.) But I am here to report I finally hit Heady paydirt. That is, my friend BigStein88 gave me two precious cans.

I HATE drinking beer out of cans, so I defied the recommendation from the brewer and poured my first can into a Samuel Smith English tulip glass, self-serving at just under fifty degrees fahrenheit out of my beer fridge. Not sure how fresh, but BigStein88 visits his old home state of Vermont fairly often, so I doubt if it's more than two months old.

a: Hazy dark gold, not as hazy as I expected though, although I do see some tiny floaties. Two inch tall white head receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Intense citrus and pine. Later, lawn mower grass clippings. (!)

t: Do not find this as citrusy as on draft. In fact grassiness is the most prominent and persistent flavor, much stronger even than any wet hop ale I have had (yes I know this is not one of those). Moderate hop bite, but little in the way of lingering bitterness as the brewer's text on the can seems to suggest. Blindfolded, I'd have said this is the freshest wet hop IPA ever. 8% alcohol is well concealed in any event.

m: As on draft, moderate, slickish.

o: I want to say this is The Best I've Ever Had. But truth is, and heretical though it is for a New Englander to say, at this point the Pliny the Elder I had last night was even creamier and more enjoyable. Might be my own fault for not following the other part of the brewer's instructions, and pouring it all out into the glass at once rather than saving the yeasty last ounce for a final savory pour.

The intense grassy flavor is different and very good. Definitely unlike any DIPA I have had, but not what I expected, especially in light of my previous, citrusy rather than grassy taste experience with it fresh at the cannery last August and on draft at the Prohibition Pig in Waterbeery (sic).

Will add more to this essay on Heady when I crack the other can. I'll probably bite the bullet and drink at least part of that out of the can to see if it makes a difference.

In view of the above, am changing my original review ratings: a: 3.5-3.75; s:4-4.25; m: 4.5-4.25

ORIGINAL 8/18/13 REVIEW:

8 oz. draft at the Prohibition Pig pub in Waterbury VT and several ounces more in a mini-snifter at the brewery the same day.

a: A hazy gold with a finger thick white head which dropped to a surface film.

t: Sweet citrusy goodness. Alcohol well hidden. Not as hoppy as I had expected, but very tasty indeed.

m: Moderate, slickish and almost chewy, an impression no doubt reinforced by the cloudiness. Probably why the brewer recommends drinking it straight from the can. Oh if only I had had that opporunity! But alas "CANS SOLD OUT" greeted me at the end of the entrance and the front door at the brewery.

o: Excellent, appealing, refreshing, all those good things. Whether I would concur it is the best I can't say for sure. I do feel a bit troubled by the fact that I liked Double Sunshine better at the same sitting at The Pig. But I had that first, and they were different.

I know you know this already, but the friendly gal who poured my sample at the brewery said weekdays are the time to get some in cans. This week they sold out on Thursday. Usually it's Friday. I was there on Saturday, after dinner, around 6 P.M. I had figured they'd be out. But I also visited half a dozen stores where HT was supposed to be available, and even saw two places had hanging signs which read stuff like "Head This Way To The Heady." Nope.

And Lawson's or Hill Farmstead anything? Forget that too. Trek up to Greesboro in the middle of Nowhere Vermont (sorry, I am sure it is very wonderful up in that part of the Kingdom, it just looks like Nowhereland on my maps) and buy Hill Farmstead at the farm if you want some (and I know you do, I can hear your heavy breathing). Call ahead to make sure they have some. Preferably from across the street.

Lawsons might show up at the Warren Store on Thursdays. You may have to haunt the place or get a job there. Or go early on the second Saturday to the Waitsfield Farmers Market. Get a ticket from the Lawson's booth. And Waits in the Field until your turn. Are we getting a bit frustrated with limited availability and frantic buying from craftier-than-thou beer connoisseurs yet? After driving a six hour round trip and coming home empty-handed, Yes.

scotorum, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of Sylk
4.39/5  rDev -7.2%

Sylk, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of SethB4688
4.4/5  rDev -7%

SethB4688, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of hooliganlife
4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to baconsausage!

this pours a cloudy dirty brownish orange. fluffy creamy white head, great lacing and puffy lacing.

citrus on the nose, bigs of grapefruit and orange. a slight sweetness.

lots of citrus with a faint hint of pine and earthy resin bitterness. the citrus blend is rather interesting as here is pineapple, mango, tangerine, grapefruit, and a touch of pine.

for a DIPA, the body is easy drinking, a bit slick. i want to say watery but i do not mean it in a bad way. mild carbonation, which i would reckon would add to the lighter body.

drinks sooo easy. i would NEVER guess this was 8%.

hooliganlife, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of Vonerichs
4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy brownish orange body with tiny floaters. The head is brief and thin.

Pungent pine and dank aroma, followed by a floral perfume and tropical fruit.

Juicy and fresh citrus hop profile with pine reason and slight caramel and honey. It's very bitter.

Low carbonation and medium body. Mouthfeel is fresh and clean.

This has a great hop profile and the smell and taste are extremely clean. A great DIPA.

Vonerichs, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of thagr81us
4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to YaKnowBrady for sending me a few cans of this for the sole reason that I had never ticked it before! Thanks immensely my friend! Served from can into an oversized wine glass. Poured red-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, fruit, and fruit hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, onion hop, earth, and fruit hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly great brew. I am so excited I was finally able to try this one now that they can it. Wow! What a beer it was… It had some aspects that reminded me of Gubna, but had a huge amount of balance going on to keep your palate nice and happy so it did not succumb to a palate hop onslaught. Very well balanced and inviting after each sip. You know what… Notre Dame is playing Navy right now as I’m typing this up on my laptop, I think I will have another one of these right now straight from the can! Cheers!

thagr81us, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of k22c4
4.4/5  rDev -7%

k22c4, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of Burtonmars
4.4/5  rDev -7%

Burtonmars, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of eric5bellies
4.4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Gulden Draak tulip.

Big thanks to Nick6217

A - Pours a nice cloudy honeycomb colour with a thick frothy head that stays around. Beautiful colour.

S - Heaps of piney hop, and small green grape.

T - Nice hoppy flavour up front with a mango flavour. Reasonable malty finish with no hint of booze.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation

O - Very enjoyable beer, past its best but still very drinkable

eric5bellies, Aug 05, 2012
Photo of kingsuecac
4.4/5  rDev -7%

kingsuecac, Sep 05, 2014
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,772 ratings.