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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,033 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,033
Hads: 11,342
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,331
Gots: 3,815 | FT: 54
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 (10) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,033 | Hads: 11,342
Photo of brydeen
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 2Xmd
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Doing this from memory so my rating counts. Haven't had this in a year. But from what I remember the smell when you open the can is heavenly. Tropical fruit and pine. The taste is a mix of citrus fruits and peaches with a nice resiny pine bitterness. I'm a huge fan of both the fruitiness and pine mix so this is perfect for me. Fresh Heady is great but it gets better if you wait a month or so to consume.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Against the demands written on the can I poured it into two wine glasses and shared with Steve 28/4/13

A golden orange with a shitload of sediment but not many visible bubbles but a two finger head that hangs out long enough to leave a couple partial ring of lace

S tropical notes of mango, sweet orange, pineapple, grapefruit, and tangerine, lots of pine with just a little caramel giving some balance even though its pretty lopsided, some Flintstone vitamins as it warms, smells great

T even more pine and more rind then the fresh flesh I was smelling, other then that it mimics the smell and that's a good thing for sure

M has a nice weight to it, big bitter snap, a little grit left behind on the gums and a very strong and long finish of rind and pine

O gone in seconds, very drinkable, a great example of the style from start to finish, I want more

one of those beers where even your burps taste good after drinking it, I don't know if its the best in the World but its one of the best DIPA's I've encountered in recent memory and would go far out of my way to acquire more.

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Photo of FlyManFly
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The beer is excellent overall. A phenomenal nose of citrus starts it off, smooth citrus flavors, cooling and slightly sweet touch the front and mid palate with a trumpet of hoppiness on the finish. A very inviting, thirst quenching, taste-bud delighting IPA.

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Photo of alaimoa
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is hard to get but well worth it if you can. Pours cloudy golden (yes I know you should drink from the can). Smell is spicy fruit and woodsy. Taste has unreal with banana, pine, peppery but with a great mouthfeel and aftertaste that lingers in a good way. A bit more carbonation and aftertaste than Pliny but in a good way. I think it slightly edges out Pliny but both are amazing

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

Bright orange, good sticky head.

Bubblegum, with a bright citrus.

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

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

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.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange almost amber or brown with a frothy off white two finger head leaving supreme lacing down the glass. Smells of pineapple, tropical fruits and a little bit of caramel. Everything about this beer is fantastic so far. Strong citrus flavors hit at the front of the tongue balanced out in the middle with some caramel malt. Finishes with a light piney resin bitterness. A little bit sappy and good carbonation levels.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Heady Topper-The Alchemist-Vermont. Ale. Alc. 8% by Vol.,1 pint.

"Heady Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest of most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of American hops will creep up on you, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it scary.
Sometime I wish I could crawl right into the can. Fresh ness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the can? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, hop experience. The act of pouring it into a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom --leave them in the can when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at it's best when young, fresh, and hazy. Keep it cold but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately we are always making more. --John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont."

Bullcrap, it's going into a glass, because I MUST.

It's a hazy one, a deep orange/apricot color, not bright, not golden, but clearly it's own thing. It is what it is. The head is a gigantic, prodigious, brogdignagian thing, mushroom capped, blooming with chalk white froth, lace-leaving and slow to leave. Gorgeous look on it.

Aroma: funky, musty, wicked, and weird. I'm at a loss. Thinking about Belgian yeast, thinking about putting a mare to bed. And then the typical hop aromatics creep out, some orange, some mango, grapefruit. None too bitter, either, not too brash, bold or out of control. Juuust right. A delight for the nose.

Taste: Jumps on the tongue and spills out brilliant hoppy flavor. Tingles the tongue in all right ways. Trickles over the palate, leaving happy hop deliciousness everywhere. …"from the can!"…not as complex, not as …gosh, is there a difference? or are we fooling ourselves? From the can, you get the hop blast, you get the flavor, you get the buzz, it's creamy and palatable…but you don't get everything. It's like having sex with a sock on your man, it's just not bringing it all home, if you know what I mean. I wonder why The Alchemist wants to cover this beer up, hide it in a can? Are they trying to elude the look of the brew, do they think people will dislike the chaos and disarray, the multitude of floating particles, as if it's unnatural and ugly?

Full-bodied, long bitter finish. Really tasty, very satisfying and delicious. Best IPA of all? Naaah…

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Photo of hopheadbulldog
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured it into a tulip, glad I did even with the floaties.. It was quite tasty, I even drank the protein globs. Worth it. Would love to get a hold of another can asap.. I would drink it from the can itself on the next try. I love this beer, it deserves the 100 rating it has earned.

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Photo of Dforbes
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I know nothing of reviews. All I know is that I heard about this beer a month ago. I live in NY and decided to take a road trip to get some at 4+ hours away. To find out they were sold out. Sold out. What brewery sells out? One that has great beer! Had a sample, it was good, went home. Returned a month later, bought a couple of cases, sent some to friends, all are happy. I've tried from both can and glass. From the can, it has a bit sharper taste/feel. What I didnt like from the can is that you couldnt smell it as well. From the glass, a bit less carbonated, much better smell, and an excellent drink. Color? Who cares? Cloudy, very little sediment. You dont look at it, you drink it! You CANNOT have just one to make a review. Give your palette time. Have 3 or 4 (yes, its ok!!) and then review it. This beer gets better each and every time. As someone else said, its like biting into a grapefruit, and like the can says, its wave after wave of hoppyness. Hands down the best beer I've ever had. Be patient, get a 4 pack, and do an informed review. You wont be disappointed! I can't wait for my next road trip! And... they are compassionate! They are donating some beer to my tribute race to a late friend. I will never forget that. Nothing like a company with a heart and compassion and PASSION!

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So freaking excited to finally try this!

A: Pours a super, super hazy dark golden color, a deeper brown around the edges. A 1/2 finger foamy white head shows good retention.

S: In a word- amazing. Mango, papaya, pine, mint, biscuity malt, pine, and juicy grapefruit all jump out. Sweet, but with a piny edge.

T: So....good... Hits you with a big hit of citrus and pine, then that fades into some bready malt. Then some resin, grapefruit pith and more pine. The mouthfeel is almost chewy, but the carbonation is perfect and keeps the flavors popping. I can feel the hop resin on my teeth after each sip. An absolute experience. Perfectly balanced and well deserving of the hype.

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Photo of MattXT
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a combo review since I've had the privilege of tasting this on-tap at the cannery, from the can, and from The Alchemist-branded IPA glass.

A: A pour from the can the day after it was canned is a bit murky, not surprising. After a couple of weeks, the particulates really settle down and a pour is much clearer.

N: A very approachable blend of citrus, light pine, and a touch of sweetness. I'm not a fan of the aggressive hop in some IIPAs, so this is a very pleasant mix.

T: Fantastic, for being a stout guy, this really takes the cake for me in terms of the genre. Grapefruit, general citrus, and light pine. Acceptable malt profile lends to a good balance.

M: There isnt an offensive aftertaste that many IIPAs exhibit. Perfect carbonation, crisp and clean.

O: The best of the genre in my opinion. This will certainly be my go-to on a hot day sitting on the deck. I really wanted to dislike it, because its a 6-hour round trip to the cannery, but alas I will be making some return visits.

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Photo of ASXL41
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was a bucket list beer for me that was well worth the hype. I really hope to get some more in a future beer trade.

A - It means what it says. Drink it from the can! It's not that it looks bad, but it's not what you expected. I did drink this from the can and then just poured some out at the end for a peek. Hazy as hell, but still a nice light, sunrise orange.

S- Tropical hop bomb! This smells so good, that you won't want to move your nose away from the can. Massive pineapple, mango, citrus.

T - So smooth and tropical. The flavors are blended so incredibly well. No real hop bite at all. Everything you would expect from a great DIPA.

M - No real alcohol kick or any type of bite from all the hops. Slight astringency.

O - A beer that I want again soon! Incredible beer that has yet to be duplicated or overtaken. If you are any type of hophead, get yourself at can!

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Photo of thampel09
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

beer is heaven. It's fantastic on tap and one of the best canned dipas out there. Makes my Vermont pilgrimage to my grandmoms place in vt that much better.

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Photo of GuyfromGB
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was a sucker for the hype of this beer. I had tried a full gamut of attempts to acquire it from Wisconsin, but alas all of my attempts failed. Until roughly a month later my wife let me know she had a friend whose family was in Vermont at the time and that they were willing to pick some up and drive it back for me. After visiting 3 liquor stores that were completely sold out they found the miracle brew and brought back 16 cans in a cooler of ice they repeatedly replenished to ensure it never got warm. When it arrived my wife, my friend and I took a moment to enjoy the moment and shared 1 can. Despite being directed to drink it only out of the can we each poured a glass and were in awe of its hazy golden body. The first sip told us everything we needed to know. The rich full bodied taste was complimented with a smooth finish for an IPA bragging a bold 8.0% abv. I won't get into the specifics because there are many others more qualified to do so, but what I will say is that everyone who can appreciate the complexities and flavor of real beer needs to have this at some point in their life.


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Photo of wyatt13
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This particular can was sent to me by JSBILK, after he picked it up at the cannery six days ago. Poured from a 16 oz. tallboy can into a tulip glass. I know I know, I'm supposed to drink it from the can, but I never was very good at following directions.

A - Pours a beautiful hazy peach color. Two and a half fingers of yellowish white head explode off the top of the beer & almost spill out of the glass. Energetic bubbles all around, leaving behind sticky lacing through the entire can. People always give this beer grief for its appearance, but I don't get it.

S - Absolutely immense peach and mango notes; incredible sweet fruit character here from the hop blend. Some aromas like melon or maybe a fresh coconut water as well. This smells absolutely divine. It would be dangerous if someone designed a perfume that smelled like this.

T - As soon as it hits the tongue there is a giant hop bite, but that is quickly brought back to Earth with a surprising amount of balance. All of the fruits that come through in the nose assert themselves even more in the taste. Mango, passionfruit, grapefruit -- like a Hawaiian fruit salad.

M - Fuller mouthfeel than your typical DIPA, and also not very sweet; rather, it is pretty drying and compels me to drink it much faster than I would like.

O - Incredible beer, and I'm very grateful that I was able to try this (and fresh too!). Drive to Vermont, trade for it, do whatever you need to do. This is something every hophead should try at least once.

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Photo of klythjohan
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Glorious murky dark amber pour, with big white rocky head that held for a bit. This is what a DIPA should look like!

S:The aroma is absolutely glorious. Huge citrus aroma, tart with a strong orange and pineapple mixing.

T: Unreal. The freshness and rich orange and grapefruit notes hide all of the ABV. This is a beer I could seriously sit and drink all day.

M: Smooth moderate carbonation with a very nice medium body, ends on a nice dry note.

O: This beer is just exceptional, I'm really not sure what else to say other than more please!

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Photo of MegandSaminVT
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful local beer! Its wonderful to be able to go to the brewery to purchase it, so much more personal than just picking it up in the grocery store. The beer is super hoppy and only comes in a can. The second you enter its brewery, you can just smell HOPS! This is the best double IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having Maine Brew Co. Lunch, I just don't get why this is #1

A- Light golden honey, thick fluffy white cloud head, medium retention; lacing has good legs.

S- Dirty sock lemon (not a bad thing, seems impossible not to think bad), then malt backbone; but not too harsh with the malt. Some piney hop characteristic.

T- I guess the best thing that I have to say about a fresh Heady is that it is very sessionable. Nothing outstanding to my palate, but my palate may not get what everyone else's is getting on this one. Some lemon zest, some piney qualities.

M- Very creamy, best part of this beer for me is the M. Nice carb fluffy feel to this brew.

O- My palate does not get why this is rated so high, not that I am right or anyone else is wrong, I just don't get the high average score.

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Photo of douginromeo
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my second - thanks to SDStoneEnthusiast! The first I poured into an English pint glass and followed directions for the second (drank from the can). I understand now why they are so adamant about drinking from the can - such a difference.

Appearance - beautiful, hazy gold with no floaties since I didn't swirl the last little bit to get the dregs. Looks very nice.

Smell - amazing citrus and pine: honestly, I could sit and smell this beer all day long. I also detect a hint of sweetness underneath the hops.

Taste - follows the nose. Fantastically balanced and rich: it has the perfect amount of sweetness and bitterness with a nice amount of citrus thrown in. As John Kimmich says, "I wish I could crawl right into the can."

Mouthfeel - oily and smooth - very pleasant

Overall - I wasn't sure about this beer in the glass, but after drinking it out of the can, I can honestly say that it is the best overall IPA that I have ever had, and I have had quite a few. I understand the hype now, and it is well deserved.

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Photo of KDawg
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into a tulip. Pours a clear gold color with a very foamy head.

The nose is jam packed with aromas if grapefruit, guava, papaya, citrus, and hops. There is a lot if depth with a cleanness to the aromas a well.

The feel is extremely smooth and polished. Along with it comes great notes of guava, grapefruit, hops, and some papaya.

This is one of the best double IPAs I've had. This certainly lived up to the hype and I wish I could get my hands on it more often.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Perfect looking unfiltered IPA. Completely opaque due to dense haze - the color is a beautiful blend of sunshine and orange juice. A nice, slightly off white head coats the top of the beer and leaves great sticky lacing.

S: Holy shit - has so many layers of flavors. I have never experienced an aroma fly out of the bottle/can before like this - smacks you in the face. Incredibly clean and fresh. Sweet pink grapefruit, bitter grapefruit rind, outrageously fresh pine and a touch of resin. Some orange juice and mango that blends with the sticky astringency. So much going on, I am not able to do it justice through my description. Just overwhelmingly fresh and clean, balanced with bitterness and astringency.

T: Huge, full, intense, completely fulfilling. I actually find drinking from the can is notably better, just too bad you can't look at it that way. A blast of fresh pine, sweet pink grapefruit and bitter grapefruit, much more astringency than on the nose and decently bitter. Incredibly balanced and outrageously flavorful.

P: Hard to say this, but almost the best part. Smooth and creamy - fullest bodied IPA I've come across, and one of the smoothest beers in general.

O: I, as all who haven't had this beer before, have had this on the top of my wants. Almost always this type of hype gets in the way of truly enjoying the beer as an unreachable mark has been set. Well, this destroyed any mark I could have imagined for myself. Truly an amazing beverage and one of the best tasting anythings I've ever had.

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Photo of caskstrength
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After several cans, time for a review.

Pours a murky, chunky orange. For those of us who like pulp in our fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, it's perfect.

S: Explodes out of the can with juicy fresh citrus fruit, grapefruit dominant, with pine sap weaving into the citrus rinds. Some peaches there too. Bitter, sweet, fresh, all intermingled.

T: Bright, zesty, fresh, popping citrus and pine. I can't decide who's in charge, but it doesn't matter. Jordan and Pippen. Hetfield and Hammett. Farrar and Tweedy. The sweetness (peaches!) works with the resin which works with the bitterness which works with the pine which works with the fruit. Intense flavors bouncing around, all settling in their proper places on the tongue. A wonderfully choreographed dance on the palate.

M: Sticky, sweet, bitter, fresh, and clean (yes, all of those). Lingers just enough as it sticks to enamel. OK if you want to drink slowly, but I hate drinking this beer slowly.

O: I wouldn't change a thing.

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Photo of HoppyKilaMonster
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured out of a can, 1 day after canning.

A- A hazy Apricot color. Not too much head.

S- A sweet hoppy aroma, not too bitter on the nose

T- A lot of things going on. Fresh Hops, and a lot of them! Grapefruit, a mild citrus, finished off slightly bitter.

M- Very crisp, good amount of carbonation, a little bit of bitterness on the back end.

O- A great DIPA. One of the best I have ever had. This needs to be drank fresh. It does make a difference.

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Photo of Mattys21
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just straight up awesome.
The nose is fresh floral hops in your face...smack!!!
Then taste is straight hop central...like if you had a handful of them and just took a huge whiff...so powerful and fresh. Sweet, hoppy, bitter, citrusey.
Love this beer...bottom line. A+

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,033 ratings.