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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,201 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,201
Ratings:
12,342
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
8,932
Gots:
4,685
For Trade:
56
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,201 | Ratings: 12,342
Photo of FrancisSmooth
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Right place right time. Randomly at the J Wakefield Brewery in Miami by the house just doing a flight of some of their delicious offerings when a Heady Topper emerges from the back room. Apparently a friend of a friend dropped some off to the staff and I was lucky enough to snag a nip. Sharp is the word that comes to mind. If this IPA was a person it would be well dressed in an Armani suit. Clean and crisp, sessionable if you can come across enough of them. 8% feels like 4%. Excellente.

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

Pours yellow, hazy with a very nice white foam head (I poured it to share it, even though it says it´s better from the can). Aroma is great, hoppy, citric, flowery, fruity, delicious. Taste is amazing, hops and malts are very well balanced and tasty. Amazing beer, getting one of these in Mexico is nearly impossible. Cheers

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Photo of Rothobinide
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady is one of those beers that I heard nothing but hype about for years before I finally ever tried it. I can comfortably say that it's fantastic, and that it by no means lands anywhere in my personal top beers. Aroma is an orange grove. Flavor is a forest of zesty hops and fluffy citrus. Surprisingly, to me, drinking it from the can is better than pouring into a glass. A world-class beer that might have amazed me more if I had tasted it a long time ago.

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Photo of yumbeer
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Big, bright, hop bomb. I've had it many times and each time I tend to feel the same way. It's not my favorite IPA (or even in the top 5 - I tend to lean more toward piney IPAs) but I do really enjoy the brightness and the fruit, especially in the nose.

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Photo of beerfinder
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My cousin from Maine from Maine brought me home a can of this. Wow this is one of the smoothest IPAs ever had. Nice Pinny taste can taste the floral hops. One big plus, it comes in a can.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn. Thus is quite a good ipa. It's hard to go in with an open mind. I, honestly, think that I was trying to under rate it to off set my inherent bias, but i kept going back for more and more. It is quite unique and delicious. Here goes:

I'm drinking it out of the can, as instructed, but the last one I had, was out of a glass, so I will judge the visual aspect from memory. It was very cloudy, which I really loke, and I remember it had a pretty decent head. The aroma is a little tricky to get from the can, so although it is very nice, I am docking it a bit. Strong citrus juice notes. Tangerine, orange juice, peaches, mango, mild pepper, and quit a faint malt presence. The flavor is delicious as well. Candy orange, fruit juice. There is a mild lingering bitterness that is so subtle that it doesn't bother. It's just there to let you know that your drinking beer. The mouthfeel is really a knockout with this beer. It is thick and creamy, for an ipa, but it still has plenty of that oiliness that I look for in a hoppy beer. Thus truly is a phenomenal beer. Is it worth the hype? Of course not, it is just beer. However, it is fucking good.

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

Don't want to be to technical with reviews so here goes MY take on this beer.

Look is really good, I like them clean, not into the cloudy/hazy stuff that seems the rage atm. Smell is what I expect from a hoppy beer. Good clean hop smell that is, not dank (not that dank is bad). Taste is pretty spot on too. Nice bite, but not to bitter that lingers on the tongue just long enough for you to want more Everything about this beer screams hops. This is, imho, a beer that deserves its standing as world class!! Thanks to my buddy that tossed me one of this after his trade!!

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

I don't know how a beer could be more perfect.

When you die, I'm pretty sure this is what Jesus serves at the pearly gates to remind you of all the good things you ever did in your life.

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Photo of curtis6290
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far the best of the best. I've been looking for a beer to top this, but have yet to find it. I beleive all the hype, and know that this is worth making the trip. The BROS' review is an understatement, you must try this beer.

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Photo of richj1970
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz can into snifter. No visible date but was told this was canned about 5 weeks ago.

A: Cloudy pale yellow with 2 finger white head. Long retention and leaving some chunky lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange zest with big dose of floral hops.

T: Mix of citrus with grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon with floral and earthy hops.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Finish is soft with hop resins lingering.

O: Extremely well executed DIPA. If I had regular access to this, it would be a staple on my fridge.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Obviously was excited to try this, even as someone who isn't a fan of ipa's, so glad i tracked a can down. Orange looking with a very nice tropical fruit aroma. Taste was bitter up front, then into those subtle fruity tones with a dry finish, but it actually imprived as it warmed and became very drinkable and enjoyable towards its finish. Overall its obviously a well crafted and tasty ipa, but best beer in the world?it maybe the best ipa but i find it hard to say an ipa is the best beer you could find. Enjoyable though and glad i got to try it.

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Photo of SebastRain
4.11/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this beer, not as much as I thought I was going to. Very hyped for what I thought was just a nice Double IPA. Was this beer the best DIPA 8 years ago, probably. Not anymore. So many great beers out there.

I poured it into a snifter glass contrary to the suggestion to drink it out of the can, I can't imagine why one would not want to try and smell this beer, isn't that one of the major points of a DIPA?

Nice citrus zest on the nose, floral and some spice. Beer is well balanced, juicy and citrus flavor. Very clean. Improved as the beer increased slightly in temp.

Enjoyed the beer, but do not believe this is a top beer in the world any longer.

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Photo of emount91
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

the beast. this ones really hard to review. smell is so complex, tropical here, piney there, fruity over there, citrusy under there. malt? what malt? taste is even more complex than the smell. just about every hop taste there is, all over a juicy fuzzy bed. this one is killer. need to get my hands on focal and more of this!

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Photo of SaulFox
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L-Hazy naval orange flesh color. White fluffy head.
S-Papaya funkiness, pineapple, peach, citrus, piney.
T-Fruity sweetness upfront, tropical fruits, grapefruits, resin, pine. Very enjoyable lingers with fruity notes.
F- thicker than most hoppy beers. Mouth coating beauty. Sticky!
O- As a hop head, this is one of the best beers I have had. I keep coming back for more and each drink provides the same amount of intensity! Drools

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Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very light and cloudy. Straw colored murky beer with particles floating around.

Aroma: Citrus fruits, primarily grapefruit and orange juice. Tropical elements are certainly here along with fresh pine / hop scents. Very very enjoyable and pleasing smell to this. Not really any bready malts to speak of.

Taste: It's been a little over a month since my last can so this description will not do the brew justice. I remember it being magical yet very confusing. An extremely delicate, soft and gentle beer on the palate but the amazing flavors still awaken all of the taste buds. The finish is a thing of beauty, the bitterness and tropical hop flavors linger and make your mouth water. The aftertaste is the most striking characteristic of this beer, it's hard to think of a beer that makes your palate beg for the next sip so aggressively. Dangerous beer. Doesn't drink like an 8 percenter.

Mouthfeel: soft, velvety, medium-ish body. Creamy hop juice.

Overall: This is one the best IPA's I have ever consumed. Hope to have it fresher or even on tap some day.

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Photo of leighton
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cans shared at the Craft Beer Co., London, many thanks to Mike. This stuff is totally rad. Out of academic interest I poured a small amount into my glass to find that this liquid is cloudy, glowing gold with a small, white foam head. Otherwise, slammed it straight to my face. Heady as shit, big and resinous, though not too big, or abrasively bitter. Huge pine character, ridiculously well balanced. Full bodied with fine carbonation. Big sticky finish, moderate earth. Just outrageous stuff.

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Photo of BierRunner
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let me say that my usual preference is a West Coast IPA. However, it is really nice to be able to explore the complexities of the hops without all the fruit. The earthy pine taste really comes through. While complex, the taste is balanced and the inevitable blast of hoppiness is very pleasant.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review number 1000. Lucked out getting this. Sometimes the stars align...drank half from the can and poured half into a snifter.

Poured a gorgeous pale cloudy color with a super fluffy tight bubbled head that lasts forever. Reminds me of a Belgium beer.

Smell is similar to a saison. Spicy hops, light sweet malt, lemon, orange and pineapple.

Taste is big hops at the front of the tongue, semi-sweet malt in the middle and a dry bitter finish. The malts become more prominent and sweeter as it warms. I get a slight pepper taste as the hop bitterness builds after each swallow. Quite unique for the style. Hides the 8% ABV really well.

Very smooth and easy to put down. Everything works well here.

A very well crafted brew. Tasty and approachable. It is worthy of the hype? Maybe, maybe not. In a world of diverse hop profiles and a ton of awesome DIPAs that are readily available, it certainly fits in with the best of them. Stocked that I got my hands on one.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.69/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Did not drink from a can. Large tulip SARA glass.
A: Cloudy straw with plenty of head. Surprisingly pale.
S: A little dry hopping with mostly light yeast, very similar to a hopped saison. Strange vegetal smell.
T: Very odd flavors coming through. There's an almost peppery vegetable odor that reminds me of something unpleasant but interesting. Very light on the citrusy hops, no real pine to speak of. Light overall with some hop bitterness on the back end.
M: Easy to drink; crisp with small carbonation and a finish that gets longer as you drink.
O: A very drinkable but weirdly flavored beer that reminds me more of a hoppy saison than an IPA, let alone a DIPA. Very unique but disappointing considering the hype. Won't need to revisit this one. Better the second time around; the first time was a real let down.
Thanks for hooking it up, Joe!

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

I can't believe this finally happened. Snagged a partial can at The Site in Corning. Poured into a sample glass.

Look: Cloudy yellow with a thin fluffy white head.

Smell: Juicy red grapefruit, pulpy orange, lemon peel, bitter pineapple and unripe mango, papya, yeast, pine needles.

Taste: Sweet upfront. Honey, biscuit, and clover. Then a huge punch of grapefruit, orange, lemon, pineapple, papaya, and pine cone his the palate. Finishes fairly clean, but grapefruit and delicate pine coats the mouth and lingers.

Feel: Medium, filling, just carbonated enough, lingering sticky finish.

Overall: Ecstatic to finally be able to try this! It's so worth the hype!

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Photo of LordViggo712
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first few times I had Heady Topper, it was love at first, second, third, and fourth taste. Since then, I've become hyper-critical (but that often stems from boredom). The feel of the Heady is my favorite part, a creaminess with bite that just reminds you with every taste that you are taking in something of such high quality that you feel almost blasphemous drinking it out of a can. I'd prefer the look to be a shade darker (but really, who cares), and the taste has just a touch too much bite on the front end to cry 'perfection'. But perfection is an endless pursuit, and since Heady is probably the best beer I've ever had, it gets a 5 overall. I love it and hopefully always will.

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Photo of Beerasaurus
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had it out of a can at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Poured a little into a taster just to check out the look, cloudy and straw colored. A nice hoppy aroma, but more subtle, not a punch to the face like other doubles.
Great taste, very smooth and well balanced for a double. Not an overpowering hop taste at all. A very drinkable double IPA, though my personal preference gives the nod to Sip of Sunshine.

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Photo of Technate
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer has lived up to the hype for me. It is a great drink all the way through the can. We are a community of samplers, and this one is atop the list. I don't have a bunch of foofy words and feelings about the hop and feel. It is a great beer and I would have it again and again.

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

All right, got this as a Christmas present from my nephew and I am oh so grateful.

Poured into my 14 oz. pint glass (!!), the beer had a two finger head of fine bubbles atop a hazy, rich yellow body. Exactly what I wanted to see for the style.

Aroma was mostly of pine hops, with a little bit of sweet floral character. Some bready notes were underneath. Overall, nothing was overpowering and it all worked well together. I have had hop monsters that make your eyes water from the hoppiness... no way I would have guessed 75 IBU.

Taste was awesome. There was a nice, powerful bitterness that was very well restrained. Smooth light malt flavors held the hops in check and kept everything very well balanced. The alcohol was well hidden. After several swallows, I was better able to characterize the hops as more toward the pine end of the spectrum with some grassiness.

Mouthfeel was perfect. Smooth and creamy and deceptively easy drinking. Not overly carbonated with just the right body to support the hops.

Overall this is the best example of the style I have had to date. Now I really want to try Pliny the Younger and see how they interpret it. Although I have been to Russian River, they're across the country and I was not there when Younger was available, just had Pliny the Elder.

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

Stunning beer. Cloudy pale gold with a nice white head and moderate sticky lacing. The nose is grapefruit and pine with a sweet aroma in the back. The taste is amazing. Medium body, sweetness, citrus fruit and bitter pine. Really great beer.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,201 ratings.