Heady Topper - The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper

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1,941 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,941
Hads: 10,935
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,124
Gots: 3,444 | FT: 56
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: 1,941 | Hads: 10,935
Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade from Liquidswordz. Thanks!

A - Drank this one straight from the can, but poured out the last 4 oz. to see it. Golden-orange in color

S - Hops, hops, and more hops

T - Floral hoppy taste. Slight bitter finish

M - As good as it gets, perfect for a DIPA

I really enjoyed this beer. One of the better DIPAs I've had. (337 characters)

Photo of Jmamay22
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer pours a pumpkin hued orange that is very cloudy. Ecru colored head is well maintained with thick gobs of sticky lacing left with each sip. The scent is overwhelmingly hoppy and seems to span the entire hop spectrum without becoming muddled. Notes of pineapple, pine, orange citrus, pear and some background general scent of yeast. Very heady experience.

The taste is a wonderful progression and balance. This isn't a bitter IBU bomb, but a cascade of hop flavor. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel that doesn't thin out or dry out the palate. The flavor begins with the citrus hops and gives way to a more fruity impression of peach and apple. Finishes with an assertive bitterness that refrains from overpowering. Obviously the beer heavily favors hops rather than malts, but gives an impression of balance rather than being overly hop agressive.

I was wary to review this very hyped beer without careful consideration. I was lucky enough to have a case from a recent trip to Vermont to mull over the different aspects of this beer. Difficult to call any beer #1 in the world, but very appropriate to call it outstanding. (1,129 characters)

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Lightly chilled 16 oz. can. Picked up last Wendesday outside Burlington, VT. Poured a couple oz. into a shaker to get a look at it, the rest stayed in the can as per the brewer's printed plea.

Look- Hazy straw, a ~2 oz pour gives me three fingers of foamy off-white head that falls slowly, very nice lacing.

Smell- Dank, resinous, herbal with a buried citric quality. Whoof. Pungent. Mild sweetness, rosemary comes to mind. In your face, but not astringent or abrasive. Excellent.

Taste- Nothing too flashy, but ready to wow you nonetheless. Fresh, pungent hops explode on the taste buds. Bitterness is low, much lower than anticipated- just gobs and gobs of hop flavor. Herbal, nondescript tropical fruit, fresh pine, ginger, light sweetness that lingers. Light white toast backbone with a touch of honey. Lingering fresh, light feel.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full body, juicy, soft but present carbonation. Goes down easy... too easy? Cool, clean finish, light dryness. Did I mention clean? This stuff begs to be drunk. I could chug this- and I'm pretty sure that's a bad thing.

Overall- Very, very nice. Easy to see how they'd limit it to 12 cans/person even with a year-round release. Not the most flavor-blasted or bold DIPA on the market, but it's... quality. Don't know how else to put it- these guys aren't messing around, it's one of the freshest and most well put-together beers I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Unique mellow-ish flavor balance- perhaps the most "balanced" DIPA I've had, who knew that was a thing? Drool-worthy. (1,542 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429, thanks Mike. This IPA has gotten so much buzz in the past year, it quickly became my biggest beer ambition to get some, after having some of the bottle last night, it remains one of my biggest wants. I have to make it up to the alchemist the next time this is on tap.

Beer is yellow to amber with some haziness to it. Head is soft, white, and thin made up of a very small bubbles and some medium ones that stick to the glass leaving a little lacing. Carbonation is moderate to low, it looks good, looks like a hazy IPA.

The aroma is beautiful, absolutely wonderful. No alcohol or heat, minimal malt sweetness, complex mixture of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, with citrus layers of lime and orange. It smells wonderful.

Beer is light in body and quite carbonated in the mouth. Interesting, probably due to the carbonation, the first thing I notice in this beer is the hop profile. A floral and fruity explosion of hop flavors, again tropical fruits and some citrus that gives way in the late palate to some moderate bitterness. I think they could have gotten away with more bitterness but overall it is a truly amazing IPA. Hard to top. (1,178 characters)

Photo of CraftyJoseph
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank it straight out of the can!

You definitely get hit with an intense Hop aroma once you open the can!

Perfect balance of bitterness and hops

Definitely one of my favorite beers!

Can was about 2 weeks old, no hops had dropped off yet!

Can't wait to drink it again (271 characters)

Photo of malty
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gifted to me from eyebrews, one outstanding beer lover and guy.

Poured out of the can, even though it says "drink from the can" on the top of the label. Pours a hazy antique gold with a tinge of rust. The bone white head quickly diminished into my pristinely clean stemmed chalice to a mere 1/16". Barely enough to completely blanket the surface. No visible uprising carbonation. Looks very rich and theres lots of fine suspended particles just begging to be quaffed. Fine unbroken rings of delicate lace all the way down. But first...

Probably the most erotically citrus infused hoppy splendor I've ever whiffed. Intoxicating layers of sweet, luscious dripping hopsation to ever grace my nostrils. Damn, I wish I didn't fill my glass so full as I'de like to bury my schnoz in it. (okay, I'll admit it, I just took a big gulp to make for headroom to further my smell test). A few swirls evoke a familiar tamarind-like scent I also detected in Pliny the Elder when I first tried it (fresh) a few years ago. And I like it as much right now as I did then. Mounds, heaps and booming crests of hop goodness for sure.

The taste is just as expressive as the smell. Tropical fruit epic hop collision. Bitter, sweet, lightly sugary, peach skin basking of the gods. You can't take away my Heady-Topper! Get away! Get away! Is there enough to bathe in it? Surely there must be. *WAIT* *WAIT* Sorry about that, I was transported into some crazy dream for a spell. I hope that made sense.

Mouthfeel is silky with the softest ultra fine carbonation I've felt in a Dbl. IPA. It sits so still, but it moves like a school of barracuda, swift and undetected. Magically drinkable. Slightly chalky and tenderly bitter finish.

Overall I am so very grateful for this unexpected can of Dbl. IPA royalty. I ws waiting for the 7th anniv. of New Beer Sunday to try it, and I'm glad it lived up to the hype. I feel like this ale gives me spinach-to-Popeye strength. I think I'm slipping back into a dream. I'll stop here before I do. (2,011 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy yellow/orange. 2-3 fingers of fluffy white head.

S - Tons of Pine (even from the can), malt, a bit sweet.

T - Tons of bitter/piney hops at first. Some citrus. Malt and a bit of sweetness in the finish. No alcohol to speak of.

M - Smooth, nice clean carbonation.

An amazing DIPA. My favorite for sure. (314 characters)

Photo of Jas45678
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Finally able to try this, thank you lucas1801. Pours a hazy golden orange color. Smells is heavy citrus, orange and tangerine. Taste is very citrusy kinda like the citrus notes in Jai Alai, not overly hoppy. Overall this beer is worth seeking out and unlike any other IPA I have had. (283 characters)

Photo of pixieskid
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just here to say that this thing is definitely worth the hype it always recieved and I am thrilled that they took the leap to start packaging it (cans...awesome!) and thus making it available to everyone.

Pours a dark orange color with a solid white head, good retention...not sure how I ended up with so many floaties in this thing; doesn't bother me though.

The aroma; killer. Tons of tropical fruit passion fruit, mango, definitely some citrus in there as well.

Upfront, the taste is the same; tropical all day with undertones of lemon grass, candied orange, and more tropical fruitiness!

Finishes with a clean piney bitterness and a solid caramel back to round it out

Overall; I absolutely love this beer, will be seeking more of it out and can't wait until they start distributing in states that I visit ofter. This is definitely everything that it was said to be, if not more and is the East Coast's answer to Pliny/Sculpin! (935 characters)

Photo of paul_db
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

it doesn't take alot of words to describe this beer because it's near perfect.

Traded for this, advertised as 1 week old, by the time i got it i'm assuming closer to 1 month old… however i'd find it hard to be any better fresh than it was a few weeks old.

the smell is very attractive.

The first sip blew me away with the perfect blend of the tropical citrus and hops built into a body that is a bit more full than your average dipa ... few sips in you get more of the hops. After taste sticks with you for a while.

You easily forget that this is an 8% beer, and it'd be nice if they could bump it up a notch more but this is still a creeper. This is so drinkable it's dangerous.

Thank you to the dude in PA that shipped me this amazing stuff. Cheers (759 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this in a can (well, a couple of cans) in Burlington, VT. Stores all around were completely sold out but there were a few pubs on Church Street that still had them in stock.

Anyway, I ordered one with a glass not realizing that the can COMMANDS you to drink straight from it. I tried it both ways, and it is one great beer. Hell, you could drink this off the floor with a straw and come to the same conclusion.

Golden in color, and hazy (as is my memory after a few). The taste is amazingly well balanced between the sweetness and bitterness. It is a mighty brew, full of complex flavors that I can't begin to describe accurately. Needless to say it is relentlessly drinkable, but will put you right to sleep if you are not careful. Goodness gracious, it truly lived up to the hype. (789 characters)

Photo of SchluessMuenster
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Super hoppy, super good. Part of the fun is the adventure up to VT and how hard it is to get your paws on it - but gotta love that this is always soo worth it. (159 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Here's one I never thought I'd be drinking. 22oz thanks to Drazzamatazz. I owe you big time. Poured into oversized tulip.

No idea what to expect of this beer- I can't say my expectations aren't a bit high, I've heard this called a Pliny-killer and better than Pliny the Younger. Since Citra and PtY are my two highest-rated and favorite DIPAs, it's time to put this one to the test.

A- Hazy orangey brown with a big-bubbled off-white head. 2cm settling down to a finger or so. Moderately heavy lacing.

S- Off the charts fruity. I smelled it from the second I uncapped the beer. As I get closer, a bit more pine resin/nugget stank is there. Floral notes and heavy tropical fruit. Great nose on this one.

T- Taste is a lot more pine-heavy. Oodles of alpha acids. More new growth pine than resiny/octane. Mango comes through as well as a little bit of grapefruit and pineapple.

M- Very good body, malt bill is stronger than the WC counterparts, although this one isn't terribly malty. Not balanced but I don't think great IPAs/DIPAs need to be. Perfect carbonation.

D- Very high. This is a damn tasty beer and is -no question- up there with the big boys from the west coast. Of course, drinking it a week after bottling has got to be a factor... and I'm glad I did just that! Does it kill Pliny? No. Is it better than Younger? No, not in my book, but hey, that's damn hard to do. Does it exceed my lofty expectations? It's up there, man. Good stuff. (1,457 characters)

Photo of MarcWP
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from can (duh) into a belgian glass.

Appearance is murky apricot orange with big and bountiful light cream colored head. Hazy as can be for an IPA. Massive lacing, more so than any other Double IPA I can remember.

Aroma is huge orange, pineapple, pink grapefruit, pine, parsley, and star fruit. Smells very west coast with really no malts showing up.

Taste blows up with straight hop character. Big bitterness followed by a dry herbal finish. Tons of orange peel throughout with piney highlights. Little to no dank character. Almost all citrus and pine. It goes where many fail to go though, to that point of huge bitterness that actually has complexity and balance that keeps you coming back for more. Grapefruit for days in this.

Mouthfeel is heavier side of light or maybe lighter side of medium? Definitely crisp and gives the impression of being lower in abv.

Overall, this is classic. Full of fresh hop character and a masterpiece among many brewed in the same style. Doesn't break ground in any new way but just shows what something masterfully brewed tastes like. Deserves to be in the same sentence as that which contains other world class double IPA's, but to me falls short to the likes of Kern Rivers Citra, Lawson's Double Sunshine, and the stellar Alpine Bad Boy. (1,289 characters)

Photo of tubbnik
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can thanks to youbrewidrink.

3/4 of the can into a Duvel tulip. 1/4 from the can. I actually liked that there was a significant change in the beer's profile glass vs can. Both treatments were very nice.

I can't believe it's been over two years since the last time I got to drink Heady. This can was a long time coming. Pours a brilliant golden orange with a mad amount of hop floaties (the only part of the beer I wasn't thrilled with). Aroma is out of this world. My favorite kind of red grapefruit juice and tropical fruit candy. Flavor matches the nose in a pretty straight forward but completely complementing way. It's a whole mouth filling fruit forward hop flavor that I really dug. The slightly viscosity of the liquid was very nice in the mouth and carried the flavor well. Overall I'm just thrilled. Good show. (829 characters)

Photo of lordofstarside
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured about 3oz into a snifter for appearance and smell, taste, feel, and overall are from the can

Pours a very cloudy bright golden orange with a finger of foam, no transparency. Very mild carbonation, good lacing and retention. Pretty murky but not bad looking

Smell actually better out of the can. Very strong pine and grapefruit hops with undertones of floral orange and lemon. A very mild bready and semi sweet malt in the back with a touch of alcohol

Taste is with the nose- strong pine and grapefruit with a bouquet of floral citrus on the bottom of the hop profile. The malt is very sublet with a hint of caramel and just a little bit of sweetness. Again a splash of alcohol on the finish

Feel is a medium body with a dry finish. Pretty bitter, alcohol concealed well, high drinkability

Overall a really good beer. The number one all time? I disagree, definitely on the top tier though. That said I'm really looking forward to trading for some more in the future (978 characters)

Photo of SemperIPA
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Long time awaiting this masterpiece -- was the fortunate recipient of this tremendous beer from a fellow patriot and beer guy from Vermont that hand carried it back to Germany from the Northeast Craft Beer Mecca! Poured into and enjoyed from a Spiegelau IPA glass – sorry, John, I just can’t drink this White Whale from the can.

APPEARANCE -- Cloudy, light amber and alive w/ carbonation. Thick off-white, sticky head that left strong rings of lacing w/ each and every sip – MOTO!

SMELL – Powerful floral & herbal aroma that motivates – GET SOME!

TASTE – Wonderful citrus & flowery hop flavor that is surprisingly NOT overpowering but well balanced and unquestionably an epic DIPA – OORAH!

MOUTHFEEL – Nice smooth feel w/ a carbonized refreshing finish – GOOD PIECE OF GEAR, LAMINATE IT AND TAKE IT TO THE FIELD!

OVERALL – A Top Notch DIPA that absolutely lived up to the hype! A long time waiting for this beer, but w/out a doubt worth the wait! Would love to do a head-to-head w/ PtY and RuinTen to determine who the King of IPAs really is, but in the end a great beer that makes me proud to be an American – SEMPER IPA MAC!

It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder how I keep from going under! (1,241 characters)

Photo of TheBrewologist
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Huge beer with an enticing nose and massive, complex flavor. Ignoring the print around the top of the can, "Drink From the Can," I poured this into my usual tasting glass and enjoyed the soft aromas of bitter orange, sweet malt and citrus, with spicy and earthy notes. The flavor was intriguing and seemed perfectly balanced.

Tasting from the can I noticed more of a tingle and an edgier hop nose that settled down as it sat.

Is it worth all the hype? The Alchemist is brewing a great beer but I think the limited availability bolsters the mystique. Still, it is one heck of a delicious American Double IPA. (609 characters)

Photo of brother_rebus
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

I get all the hype. It is a delicious beer. Part of the mystique is due to limited distribution though. I get it a few times per season. Best for a crisp winter day during a pond hockey set break. (196 characters)

Photo of Jwburns75
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can't find flaws in this one, or too many better double IPAs for that matter. There are better, but they are few and far between. There's really nothing negative to say - the look, smell, taste, feel, and whatever else you care about are damn near perfect. It's not the best beer I have ever had but it's pretty damn close (322 characters)

Photo of ricknelson
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer many times, but I still pour into a glass even though Alchemist says not too.
Sometimes I even strain the floaters out of it. It's a local beer for me and in my opinion it is not the number one beer as BA notes it to be. With so many area colleges near by the students tend to over rate this beer. Far better in my opinion is Lawson's Spirits "Double Sunshine". (375 characters)

Photo of larryarms847
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a sunshine yellow with a very subtle orange/yellow hue. Medium-heavy carbonation and a rich lathery head of foam.

Notes of orange and citrus, abundantly resinous, slightly floral, and some mint or pine.

A bitter sweet wall of citrus, hop resins, pine, and grass.

Light-medium bodied, medium-heavy carbonation, soft, bitter, sweet and a dry earthy minty finish.

Overall, abundantly hoppy, but silky smooth, a damn well crafted brew. (441 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

When the can says to not use a glass you gotta wonder. Having tried it both ways, the can is right. This is a perfectly balanced DIPA. Layers and waves of hops. Strong malty backbone. Spot on carbonation and weight. A huge thanks to my great beer buddy Chris Brady for the four pack of this exceptional beer. I could drink this all day. No trace of the abv, sneaky drinkability. WOW. (383 characters)

Photo of Tbub18
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

As we all know this beer is incredibly hard to get your hands on. I had this in college a few years back when I didn't truly appreciate good beers. I was fortunate that my local bar in Brooklyn got some for an event and I (overpaid) got a few.
A--Out of the can as directed
S--Hops galore, super dank. Oranges and grapefruit
T--super bitter but incredibly well balanced. The hops are present throughout but never overwhelmed. I love my hops but I would guess someone who isn't the typical hophead could enjoy this. I dont think other DIPAs could say this.
M--This is where Heady gets it done. So smooth--creamy, yes, but just the appropriate amount.
O--The hype is real. I was planning on making a trip up to Vermont soon and even though I had a couple in NYC I still plan on it. Its an experience that every beer drinker should enjoy. I know some will downgrade based on its cult-like following and limited accessibility but seriously this is the best IIPA I've tasted--I cannot compare it to Lawsons or Pliny though as I haven't had the chance yet to try them. (1,075 characters)

Photo of IIPAHOP
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can. Excellent ALE. Full bodied with an excellent taste. Smooth going down and a good smell. Yes this is worth all the hype. Can only purchase in VT and you are very limited. I had a friend give me 1 can. (204 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,941 ratings.