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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

1,992 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,992
Hads: 11,158
rAvg: 4.67
pDev: 3%
Wants: 8,230
Gots: 3,655 | 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 (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: 1,992 | Hads: 11,158
Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;) (697 characters)

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

Words are barely adequate to describe the range of this beer. Pours a golden orange color. Cloudy but the brewery advises you to drink from the can so you don't have the sediment in the glass. If you drink from the can you miss all the citrus at the nose. This is a perfectly balanced DIPA that is crisp, drinkable and balanced in hops and bitterness. (355 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As if anyone needs another review of this beer. Stood in line for 3 hours in Winooski VT to get this.
A - Pours an opaque golden orange color.
S - The nose is all citrus.
T - Flavor is tropical fruits with some bitterness at the finish.
M - Medium carbonation.
O - This is my favorite DIPA. Flavor is outstanding. So fresh, crisp and drinkable. It's just perfect. Wish I lived closer to VT so I could get it more often. (424 characters)

Photo of Ghrymm
4.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well after many years and having tried over 300 IPA's i finally got my hands on a can of Heady Topper.
The hype is real its as good as people say i have to rate it just about Pliny the Elder (I have not tried the Younger yet) and i am a West Coast guy.
An outstanding Double IPA,no need to say more. (300 characters)

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 oz. can. Pours cloudy yellow, thick white head. Fruity bready aroma. Grapefruit and earthy hops throughout the sip, super juicy and perfect balance. Creamy soft mouth. Dry finish with clean crisp sweetness. Overall this one deserves the high ratings, phenomenal. (267 characters)

Photo of bilbobrewer
4.54/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 4-pk of large cans at bottle shop in Winooski, VT in mid-October 2014...delivered that day from the brewery.
Drank chilled in the can (as instructed...!?)

Aroma is very citrusy and pungent...great start.
Taste doesn't disappoint. Well....it wouldn't if not for all the hype. "The best IPA in the world" ?! Who's smoking the crack?
I've had several west coast IPAs and DIPs that are better than this one. It is nice to have a high-quality beer brewed in the untouched purity of Vermont...I get it...but let's not lose our minds.

A very good beer. I liked it, and I'd buy more. But I probably won't drive a full day specifically to buy it....again. (670 characters)

Photo of Shorthillsbrewer
4.74/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It has been a while since I had this one, A good friend brought some up from Vermont when I lived in Quebec, and it didn't dissapoint, it might be overhyped, but credit is due for an exceptional balance to a insane tropical fruit hop blast that is refreshing, and not lingering or vegital. (289 characters)

Photo of Nicole15
4.87/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours almost orange with a bit of haze. The aroma is amazing. I get lots of pine from it. At first sip you get pine quickly followed by tropical fruit. So balanced, so drinkable. You honestly don't realize it's 8%. (219 characters)

Photo of JaredSammy
4.94/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Orange with edges fading to yellow. Cloudy but not overly. I see why they say drink from the can.
S - First few smells are straight pine, the next few had more peach and orange with less pine.
T - Wonderfully bitter, juicy, fresh tasting, zero off flavors. Orange, apple, citrus zest and huge pine that builds. Sweet when it needs to be and bitter overall.
F - Extremely smooth and well balanced. You can tell there is a nice carbonation and you can feel the oils layer the tongue.
O - I've had about 10 cans to really narrow my thoughts down. This is absolutely a perfect beer. The heaviness from the hopping gives way to amazing juicy flavors and then those fade away leaving you with a coating of amazing hop flavors to remember your last sip by. (754 characters)

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

I was never a fan of IPAs before I had heady and now I can't get enough hops. Great crisp double IPA, tons of floral hops, great mouth feel and finish. (151 characters)

Photo of OmahaKF
4.8/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rating is based on drinking from the can (with the look rating from an earlier can I poured into a glass). Smell is heavily floral, citrus, and pine with just a hint of malt sweetness. Taste is tropical fruit with fairly little hop bitterness. Some double IPAs leave an increasingly bitter aftertaste with each sip, but Heady feels fresh every sip. Taste is extremely balanced, making the beer exceptionally drinkable. Mouthfeel is interesting, with an almost creamy feel. One of the only beers I've ever had that completely lives up to the hype. Wish I had regular access to it! (586 characters)

Photo of mltwatson
4.38/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally got to try some. Drank out of the can, as per instructions. Big smell of pine. Very easy drinking for a double Ipa. All around a delicious beer. Probably not the best beer in the world though. (200 characters)

Photo of jmasher85
4.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had to drink a few cans of this (yeah, I got a case!) before I felt like I was ready to write a review. After all, this is the legendary Heady. I didn't go gaga over it at first sip so I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my palate. Maybe I was missing something. Or maybe it is all just hype. I've decided it's probably a combination of the two. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it is admittedly one of the most interesting examples of the DIPA style I've had.

Lots of fruity, floral, chewy resinous hops in the nose and taste. It sticks in your mouth and makes your lips smack. It's a potpourri of every flavor that a hop knows how to impart - apart and simultaneously. Sweet at some points, bitter at others, and not always at the same time. This beer is like a Mozart symphony - full, busy, in perfect harmony and yet sometimes bewildering. It's a complicated beer, and yet, I just can't bring myself to fall in love with it. Oh well, more for everyone else. Worth getting a 4-pack and trying if you can, and sure, go nuts, get to the store early, hang out with some groovy hopheads like I did, and score a case to gift you friends - everyone wants some, believe me! Only downside is that it says to drink from the can, so I have no idea what it looks like... (1,305 characters)

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this beer. Wow is it good. Was expecting a bit more wow from all the hype but didn't get it. Pliny blew me away but heady just delivered. But by no means am I disappointed. Cannot wait to get more of this.

The thing falling short for me is smell and feel. Taste and look are perfection.

Smell is not much different from other brews and feel was rather carbonated. Sorta foamed up on the tongue where I was hopping for a clean finish.

Overall an amazing beer and wish it was offered here so that I could drink this gold year round.

Cheers (566 characters)

Photo of startle69
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady-Topper is best in Class period - enough said!

Though not an easy treasure to come by, the thrill of the taste is actually better than the thrill of the hunt!

Everyone must try this extraordinary brew at least once in their lifetime!

Add it to your bucket list if it isn't already!

Cheers! (299 characters)

Photo of phizzle
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is a perfect example of an east coast DIPA. So incredibly smooth yet the amazing hop bitterness is still there. The smell is that of citrus goodness and the carbonation is spot on perfect. (198 characters)

Photo of Maxwell5
4.83/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing east coast IPA. Perfectly balanced beer with piney, citrusy notes and strong hop profile. Really smooth despite the bitterness. Great beer...perfect opposite to Pliny -- a premier east coast IPA opposite of Pliny being the premier west coast IPA. (256 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.88/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks Adam for the can!
No date, but the smell and flavor seems right on, so....here's the rest.
Yeah, I poured a little bit out into a mini snifter, I had to, I wanted to see it, so sue me.
The appearance was a hazy pale orange color with a thin whimsical white foamy head. Lacing is few and far between, but I see the floaties, hmmmm....unfiltered, right? Okay, I get it, I think.
The smell started off with pure lovely grapefruit rind. Light grassy to citrusy tones amplify a really nice smooth aroma (I'm guessing because this is unfiltered, right?)
The taste rides a pure eloquent bittersweet bliss of the grapefruit. It runs the gamut on my taste buds. A slight bitter citrus rind aftertaste rides into the finish really awesome.
The mouthfeel starts with a sweet crisp refreshing feel sliding into the bittersweet grapefruit rind-like substance pummeling my tongue really nicely. Carbonation is right on par.
Overall, holy shit, this stuff is spectacular. So glad a buddy sent this to me! (996 characters)

Photo of pattyj514
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the Apple of DIPAs. It will be the one that people compare the "best beer" to for the foreseeable future. It is my favorite beer at the moment and is well worth the trip to VT (183 characters)

Photo of cr-egg
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not sure of some the the recent low 4 ratings, almost like there is a pushback against being the "cool kid" for too long. Unless some were given a random can not kept cold for the trip to whatever state they came across one in. Nonetheless this beer is truly amazing. And all the beers I've been lucky enough to have in say the top 20 on this board, it really is like splitting hairs of subjectivity. This is a big beer that can really showcase a dipa to people who think they don't like them. Extremely drinkable. Clean. Fresh. Personally I enjoy it better out of can as directed. But have had multiple times and poured in a glass as well to get a look and release a wonderful bouqet. Many master reviewers here have already described it so well in great detail. All I can say is "agreed!" I suspect the ones that demerit it have some sort of ulterior motive in trying to unseat the multi-year King. Oh well. Doesn't change the experience. And I'm sure the alchemist crew could care less what the rating is. They know they are doing a truly wonderful job. It is a bit of a circus obtaining at times, but hey, adds to the thrill of the chase. Ps. Focal banger is every bit as good. (1,187 characters)

Photo of JNPIII127
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let's start off by saying that I am not an IPA fan or a Double IPA fan. This beer however, changed my view of this particular style of beer. The first thing you notice is the fresh citrusy smell of the hops followed by the smell of pine. The beer starts off with a very hop forward taste and finishes with the customary hoppy IPA finish. I must say that this beer is unbelievably drinkable and is overall pleasing to the palate. A pleasant surprise since beers with this high of an IBU tend to be overly bitter and very hard to drink. Finally a beer worthy of its ranking. (572 characters)

Photo of Vermontcraftbrewfan
5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Taste of the beer one of the best IPA on the market
The smooth strong first sip to the last sip is just awesome with the hop scale of the charts this beer has a bit of apricot or lemon taste near the end but damn good the feel of the beer is heavy on the mouth but has a odd clean taste that makes me want to come back look of the beer is on the lighter side but noticed some cans are darker then others but normally on the light almost amber side smell of it is fresh with hints of lemon all around A+ beer if you have the chance I higly recommend this one (559 characters)

Photo of andilane
4.21/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured it into a glass, color wise pretty lack luster. Definitely a unique style of IPA I hadn't really had before. Sort of a cross between classic hoppy, bitter west cost and malt forward east coast styles. Great aroma, very balanced bitterness but for me - didn't quite live up to the incredible hype. Delicious beer, absolutely but left me wanting a little more. (365 characters)

Photo of BeerBrose
4.46/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass! Screw following the can, I need to see the beer.

Look: Light hazy mellow yellow, frothy white head and a small amount of lacing. (To style, the look is off.)

Smell: Juicy and full of lemon and citrus rind as well as some sweet sugary malt smells.

Taste: Delicious! This floral and full of hop juiciness. Very light malt sweetness and no apparent alcohol. This is where the beer shines. Unfortunately it doesnt actually fit the style its suppose to be and I'll argue anyone who says this should be called a DIPA. hence why its getting points docked in overall and not taste, because its still delicious.

Feel is extremely light bodied and finishes with naught but a light lemon peel bitterness.

Overall: This is hardly a double IPA but it IS a delicious hoppy ale. (790 characters)

Photo of Kodama78
4.68/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time with Heady. Have to say that the stand out part of it is the smoothness. I've had other IPA's with more flavor, other's with more happiness, but never any so smooth that goes down that easy. Truly a great IPA. (220 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,992 ratings.