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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,136 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,136
Hads: 11,914
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.52%
Wants: 8,670
Gots: 4,309 | FT: 65
Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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 (9) | 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: 2,136 | Hads: 11,914
Photo of Ajs345
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Always been an IPA fan. Amazing taste till the last drop in the can. Some IPAs tend to be too hoppy or bitter, but this one has the perfect balance. Listen to the words on the can and drink it straight out of the can. Really seals in the flavor. Made my Christmas in Vermont with or without the snow.

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Photo of twiens77
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had the priviledge to enjoy this all the way in Canada over Christmas. In brief, the beer was good, great even. But ... wait for it ... Pliny the Elder fresh from the source is THE #1 DIPA for me. Meaning if I choose between one or the other - Pliny!!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.07/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive thanks to Brandonhelvie for hooking me up with this long-time want! Time to pop that cherry now!

Pours a murky golden color. You know how people say Heady is ugly? It is. Heady Topper couldn't find its aesthetic ass with a searchlight. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Retention isn't fantastic, and the relative softness of the head means little lacing sticks to the glass.

No real surprises here. The aroma hits me with notes of grapefruit, grass, flowers, and pine. It's a fairly typical nose for a DIPA, actually...instead, where this succeeds in how delicate it smells. It has all those classic hoppy qualities without any harshness. Subtle malt notes of cracker, white bread, and caramel helps tie things together. While it doesn't really bowl me over, the balance and sophistication is top-notch.

It's a little more bitter tasting than I anticipated. Not overtly so by any stretch, however. Pine, grapefruit, and flowers open it up nicely. The hoppiness of this beer is front-loaded, though it never fully vanishes past the mid-taste (thankfully!) It ends slightly malty - think white bread drizzled with a little caramel. After a few sips, I start to notice the Conan yeast. It seems subtly farmhouse-y, and delivers additional flavors of sesame seed, black pepper, lemon peel, and fresh-cut grass. This strikes an excellent blend of complexity and balance, but it doesn't have a facet that screams "WOW!" Who cares? It's perfectly balanced yet assertively flavored, and that's what matters.

This has a soft, full texture, but it finishes dry. In a way, it reminds me of a saison's texture (a GOOD saison, mind you). Actually, the finish is VERY dry, and seemingly clean despite the turbidity. "So drinkable, it's scary" - John Kimmich and co. aren't lying. It's bitter, but in that pleasant way a good DIPA is supposed to be.

To me, this is the love child of Pliny the Elder and Saison Dupont. It's not the end-all be-all of beer, but it's still ridiculously delicious regardless. Of course, I'm not drinking this from the can, I poured it into a glass like an effete wuss (even worse, it was a fucking teku - pinkies out!) Come to think of it, the fact that no one singular quality fails to blow the mind is its greatest strength. Beer is meant to be drunk, after all, and the best beers get better as more is consumed. Just like this! Yeah, I'll definitely trade for this again in the future.

4.07/5: This beer put Vermont on the beer map for a reason

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

Bottle share (or can share) from redBeard. Beautiful aroma, heady indeed. Nice robust, slick body, hoppy notes dominate without distracting. Clean finish.

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Photo of Foggy_Memories_Beer
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was one of my favorite beers. I've only had one so far. Wish I could get them in cali. I had some from proper glassware and some from the can. Both amazing flavors, completely different tastes. I am in beer love!

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Photo of mnj21655
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Straight from the can I get lots of hoppy aroma; citrus, grapefruit, some mango, and pine/resin. Taste is grapefruit with lots of slick resiny pine. Finish has a bit of alcohol but not out of line for the style. The slick hops knock down the body a bit but I'd still call it medium, moderate carbonation.

When poured into a tulip the aroma is very muted with only faint citrus and pine notes. The beer pours a hazy orange in color with a minimal white head, looks a bit like OJ. Flavor is more tropical and juicy from the glass with lots of mango and some pineapple and grapefruit, pine notes linger in the background. Mouthfeel is a bit slick from the hops but retains a medium body and carbonation.

Overall a great beer, I've had this a few times before but never quite enjoyed it this much. I won't deny that this an excellent beer but I'm not as enamored with it as most here on BA.

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Photo of Lumens66
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent IPA, and I'm acutely aware of its cult like status among beer aficionados - amplified because it's only available during a harvest moon of a leap year and only in Vermont (I kid... mostly). It is not the best I've ever had. It's missing what I really appreciate from an IPA, which is bright and complex flavors. It's well balanced, but that makes the fruit notes muted. It's also loaded with hop resin which makes it rather unattractive (they tell you to drink it from the can). As much as I love this, I would recommend "Sip of Sunshine," by Lawson's Finest Liquids instead.

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Photo of LouZ
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I tried this from the can first and then poured a second can into a pint glass in order to rate look. Got one finger of short-lived head but with lacing. Color was golden orange and murky, due to unfiltered nature. Actually looks much better than some would lead you to assume. Aroma from can was stronger compared to the glass; hops are giving me citrus, grapefruit, and pine notes. Taste matches to perfection - I would call this a great juicy IPA. Nice, subdued bitterness on finish. Feel is definitely medium; a bit more body than many of the style. Nice carbonation. Overall, this one lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Bthirt
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Still really enjoy this piece of heaven, however the one I had on Christmas was not nearly as good as the first one , your first is always the best. thanks to family living in Burlington, can get it pretty regularly and fresh.

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Photo of EMV
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a can into a Chimay tuip.

L: Pours a semi-transparent deep golden color. 2 fingers of creamy white head... gorgeous lacing.

S: Citrusy... grapefruit and orange zest... pine notes underneath.

T/F: You get one heck of a one-two punch with this beer. Sweetness touches the tongue first... with tropical fruits and citrus teasing the palate before the bitter hops come roaring in to remind you that you are drinking an Imperial IPA. I absolutely loved the hop profile on this one... tropical fruits and just a hint of evergreen. Oily and resinous and entirely delicious. Surprisingly smooth for such a big beer... almost delicate.

O: A thing of beauty, and easy to see why this brew has such a dedicated following. The only question now remains... how does a Pennsylvanian acquire more?

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Photo of DogfishAdam84
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

My favorite DIPA of all time! I did not even know it existed until someone gave it to me for my 30th birthday, and then had it many more times on a vacation in Vermont. The way it tastes and the bitterness are just amazing.

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Photo of Wadetrain9
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only reason I gave no perfect score is because the beer looks a bit cloudy. That's why it says to drink it from the can on the label. However, the hoppy smell and taste are one that has you saying "that's good" after the first sip. Then you have another sip and another and just keeps getting better. Delicious.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.26/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: cloudy; orangish gold in color; 2 finger ivory head that receded to a splotchy cap; nice lacing;

S: pine, with tropical fruit and caramel behind it; much more distinctive in a glass;

T: from the can, it follows the nose; moderate bitterness on the finish; aftertaste is somewhat sweet;

in a glass, the flavor, while still nice, isn't nearly as complex as it is from the can; sweeter all the way through;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: having tasted these side by side, I definitely favor drinking from the can;

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

Loved everything about this beauty besides the fact that it is not readily available in south Florida, or at least the last time I checked. I knew there was something exceptional about this slice of heaven because I basically asked for it in code and it was retrieved from the back as if we were back in the 20's in an undisclosed speakeasy. Maybe the rarity of this beer in south Florida warrants this hush hush conduct. Drank straight from the can so unable to see, smelled of hops, citrus perfect hops, tasted like more. I definitely did not get my fill of Heady Topper although some might argue my thirst is never quenched. Overall I loved it and it was perfect for me. Would not change a damn thing.

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

Finally got to try this over the holiday from a friend of a friend and drank from the can, as instructed. By far one of the best DIPA I have gotten the pleasure to try. Hoppy, Citrusry... maybe I'm weird because I think the difference between this beer and say, Nightshift Santilli is not large, but I rate both extremely extremely highly.

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

Finally got a chance to try this (Thanks Will and Ian at Grapes and Gourmet for the sweet trade).
Definitely lives up to the hype. This is a West Coast floral bomb that compares favorably to Captain's Daughter. So far, this is the best DIPA I've ever had.

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Photo of dee4maine
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank it both ways. From the can and in a glass (aroma is a big part my drinking experience and I was happy drinking from the glass. No surprise to the hype and cult iconic character. Well deserved. Did head to head with MBC Dinner, BB Swish and Foundation Epiphany. Personally I felt that Heady was a tad more on the bitter aspect. Nonetheless a solid solid DIPA.

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4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Ok. Here I go. Got this from beerme330, big ups dude. Thank you. Drank it from the can other than a small amount poured to get a look at it. Looks like a floaty filled home brew. Smell was hops, tho they didn't eminate from the can as other have stated. Taste was quite hoppy with a bit of bitterness but it had an overwhelming booziness to it I didn't expect for 8%. Some citrus and tropical fruits present, but not nearly the life altering menagerie of lupulin I expected/hoped for.
Feel and carbonation were spot on for DIPA. OVERALL A VERY GOOD BEER, but not something I'd kill someone, in front of they own grandma for. Maybe I'm in the minority but...

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Photo of SmittyinNY
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Simply put....delish.

Enjoyed fresh...maybe 2 weeks canned. The aroma poured out as soon as the can was cracked.
Mouthfeel was great on the front to the back. Yum!
Citrusy/Tropical...hides the 8%ABV
One dangerously drinkable DBL IPA.

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Photo of TonyLuvsBeer
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as instructed on the can.

Look: No clue as drank from the can

Smell: Awesome, citrusy, hoppy

Taste: Absolutely delicious - it lives up to the hype.

Feel: I felt it was a near perfect mouthfeel - very balanced

Overall: 4.75 - absolutely delicious and lives up to it's high rating. I want more!!!

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Photo of starclassic21
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was the best hoppy beer I ever tried, UNTIL I tried Tree House's hoppy beers.

Poured half in a glass, drank the rest from the can. 2 week fresh can. Yellow and haze for dayz. Smell is VERY potent, grapefruit/tropical fruits and dank/herbaceous hops. A bit of pine as well. Wow this beer smells potent.

Taste is what the nose offered: citrus/tropical/dank/herbaceous/pine. So complex but so balanced. It got better with every sip as the beer warmed up a bit. The dank/piney notes became more pronounced, and that certainly didn't bother me.

This beer is INSANELY hoppy but not too terribly bitter. Very, very balanced and well made. Alcohol was very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium. Middle of the road, nothing to write home about. Honestly if this beer had the mouthfeel that Tree House hoppy beers had, I'd give it the perfect 100 score.


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Photo of mrtomatohead49
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank from the can as suggested. Poured a bit into a snifter just to see the beautiful orange color and there were definite floaters in there. Smelled incredible. A multitude of citrus notes with grapefruit seemingly the strongest. Tasted lighter than other DIPAS recently and got more piney notes as the beer warmed. Overall lived up to the hype

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

so this is it.....been looking for you for some time, almost had you but missed by inches. look was the yellow unfiltered look that the better IPA's possess, must admit I put some in a glass just to savor the look and feel. smell was exquisite and with loads of citrus and hops, taste was a differentiator and had the heady topper flavor all to itself (just what i had waited for) flavor was long - sophisticated and real, w hops and citrus and the feel was silky and smooth, did not feel or taste the Double IPA or alcohol level. just pure goodness, hope to see you again!

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Photo of Catracho5
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 ounce can poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a nice white bright head that did not last, lots of lacing, not seeing much carbonation, it looks like orange juice with a white head, clearly unfiltered.

A: Lots of citrus, like crushed grapefruit and orange peels, hint of garlic/onion like aroma, hint of resin, definitely getting more citrus aromas than pine, it's a big smell, solid aromas, very nice. I am not getting any alcohol on the nose, very impressive.

T: It is as if someone took grapefruit and orange peel, crushed them, then blended them into orange juice, grapefruit like bitterness mixed with some orange juice/peel sweetness/bitterness, there is a hint of onion/garlic like flavor in the middle, some citrus forward bitterness, hints of pine and resin, aftertaste of grapefruit peel, amazingly drinkable, amazingly smooth.

M: Big juicy mouthfeel, very smooth on the palate unlike other IIPAs I've tasted that leave a raked feeling on my palate, this doesn't, it's smooth like orange juice, not sure if it being unfiltered adds this layer of smoothness, but it's very nice.

O: Very impressed, Heady Topper is amazingly drinkable, smooth, not a big bitter beer, has a nice balance of bitterness with lots of citrus notes and flavors, hints of pine and resin, very easy on the palate, a world class beer. I was expecting a big bitter beer but it's not, full of flavor, if you have a chance, pick it up, it's worth it.

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

I've bought into the hype full on. At first, I wasn't sure this was a perfect IPA, but after a case...and a year later, I'm sold. The grassy, dank hops wave that blasts you in the face with each sip, damn...just perfect.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,136 ratings.