Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

1,948 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,948
Hads: 10,951
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,136
Gots: 3,465 | 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: 1,948 | Hads: 10,951
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. (1,003 characters)

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! (885 characters)

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. (155 characters)

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.

Bravo! (1,113 characters)

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. (1,500 characters)

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! (546 characters)

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. (312 characters)

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. (799 characters)

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. (1,028 characters)

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. (479 characters)

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. (1,531 characters)

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. (984 characters)

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. (453 characters)

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+ (268 characters)

Photo of Rinkor16
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I've had Heady Topper before. Figured I'd finally review it. This review is going to be pretty harsh since I drink PtE regularly on tap at the pub.

A: Very cloudy and hazy orange. Nice head that dissipated slowly.

S: Tons of citrus, hops and pine.

T: Taste is mostly what I expected. Huge hop bomb with lots of citrus and pine. Extremely well balanced and no out of place tastes.

M: Very smooth and medium bodied. Right amount of carbonation.

O: I love this beer. It definitely is worth of the top 10. Now is it worthy of number 1? Ehhh that is definitely debatable. (574 characters)

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.87/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can poured into my snifter. Huge thanks to Urbancaver for sending four of these, along with some KRE and HF. Good trade, let's do it again. Can is seventeen days old.

A - yeah, it's godawful looking. Of course, if the instructions on the can were followed, to drink it straight from the can, repeated emphatically around the top, then I'd have nothing to say in this category. Two sips from the can, not much nose, so into the glass it went. Opaque, murky, pissy, orange-yellow with some lingering foam on the forced pour. Sediment is pervasive and really disgusting, but not unprecedented (thinking specifically of Weyerbacher Insanity). My score would be lower, but as I drink it, I realize that the appearance really doesn't affect my opinion, but as a monolithic category, it deserves the hate. The brewery should really take it as a compliment that it's so highly rated despite this.

S - the first thing that pops up is honey, followed by some resinous, floral notes. Fruit comes at the very end, but it's weak on the nose, more prominent in the taste.

T - not a great balance, as I've heard it described. The bitterness overwhelms the fruity flavors, including the citrus. Bitterness recedes to resin, resin to stickiness, and things are capped off by another lingering bitterness. Points for a progression of tastes, but the hop profile isn't to my liking.

M - bitter and sticky, but not totally unpleasant. Can't find any alcohol, but I didn't expect to at only 8%.

O - worth the hype? Not at all in my opinion. I know how often this comparison is made, but fresh Abrasive really blows all other DIPAs out of the water, including this one. Very glad I got to try it for the tick (I'm not a ticker, I swear!), but I won't be seeking it out regularly. (1,770 characters)

Photo of DaveAnderson
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, many thanks to SammyJaxxxx who sent me some of this out of the blue.

This may be the most hyped beer I have ever tried. The can instructs me not to put it in a glass. I put some in a glass anyway, because I want to compare. It tastes great in both, but the glass reveals the true reason for the warning. This is one ugly beer. But seriously, who cares?

Back to what matters. It smells great, both in and out of the can. It tastes like it should be the IPA reference type. As I drink it, I can't imagine a way to improve it. Carbonation is good, it's not a sticky mess -- in short, this lives up to the hype.

Just don't look at it. (644 characters)

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

"Grapefruit Bomb" is a highly overused term, yet it pretty much nails the flavor of Heady Topper: so many of the super hopped-up ales have a strong bitter aftertaste.HT has just the right combination of pleasant bitterness on the palate and carbonation, making it a superbly brewed DIPA, one that is very drinkable,and most enjoyable from start to finish.

The unpasteurized unfiltered Heady drinks like a meal, is chewy and not suited to chugging, but is completely satisfying

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on a 4 pack, you may well find yourself enjoying each can more than the last one (like myself), especially after making the rounds with other DIPA offerings in between tastings. Wait until at least can #3 before writing a review, and try other DIPAs in between: you may agree that Heady Topper comes out on top!

HT has become one of the few elite DIPAs by which all others are judged, worth the legendary Pliny status (though completely different in character). This top notch DIPA is readily available to me fresh from the "cannery" and I am looking for someone with fresh Hopslam and/or Zombie Dust to trade. (1,133 characters)

Photo of bcm75
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I will agree with what's been said - this isn't the prettiest beer. But of the reviewing categories, it's certainly the least important factor to me. Drank mostly from the can, but poured a bit into a tulip to see what it looks like. Wonderful hop aroma and taste. It's easy to be disappointed by heavily-hyped beers but this doesn't disappoint. (345 characters)

Photo of YieldToNothing
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured half into a mini tulip, drinking the rest from the can.
i first tried this beer a couple of days ago and was blown away, now i'm having my second one and last for a while....
pours a copper orange, with a foamy head. not the prettiest beer in the world.
smells fantastic, citrus notes, like all good DIPAs, but the taste...
like biting into a grapefruit. i personally prefer it out of the can, it retains a certain crispness that just isn't there when i sip from the tulip.
this is a great beer. believe the hype (519 characters)

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

16 oz. can directly from the vessel to my mouth. I poured a fraction for appearance.

A: Golden honey color with a white head. Pretty typical for the style.

S: A remarkable achievement in the aroma department. This is the beer that I will use to judge all others on aroma. Pungent, stinging hops, with a balanced biscuity, bready backbone. Pure citrus hops, and dense pine. A pleasure for the senses.

T: You know, being from Southern CA, I see a lot of IPAs come and go. We have quite a few to chose from after all. Most don't live up to the hype, but a few do. This is one of those few. I haven't experienced grapefruit bitterness like this in a beer before. It's honestly like biting into a ripe grapefruit. I love my IPAs bold and pungent, and this delivers more than any other. A bitter assault.

M: Again, this is average for the style. Medium bodied and good carbonation helps to scrub the palate, but in the end, the hops win. Leaves a hop coating.

O: yeah, it's as good as they say, and maybe even better. And I still have a can left. (1,047 characters)

Photo of cradke
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review is done on can that was picked up from Alchemist and delivered with less than 2 weeks on it. Ratings are done from beer out of can as is intended to be drank.

Appearance: I think the can logo is pretty sweet... (only knock is because it's not 'beautiful' as some beers are. I know it's unfiltered and 'floaties' are part of the reason it's supposed to be drank which would normally knock appearance.)

Smell(Can): Pure, unadulterated sweet pine. Holy. Buckets

Taste (Can): Wow. Just pure hoppiness. So much more sweet and balanced, lively almost.

Mouthfeel: Light, Air-y. Great Carbonation. Damm.

Overall: Wow. I just can't even put to words how good this beer is. Just, perfect almost. The hop level is amazing (724 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The first words I heard about this from a cicerone buddy was "please, don't drink it from the can like they say." So, I poured 80% into a glass and left the rest in the can. After it hit the glass, I understood the desire for the can. The unfiltered, resin-floating view was less than flattering. But, I figured, two million people can't all be wrong. So I took a whiff, and enjoyed the crisp, apricot notes coming back at me. Nothing piney, no citrus, just clean. Next was where the rubber meets the road - the taste. My wife summed it up best, when she said "wow, an IPA I wouldn't have to pair with food to drink!" I absolutely agree. It's perfectly brewed, and is surely the best, most balanced IPA I've ever had. First taste threatens to turn into piney hops in your mouth, yet never does. It just slides away, leaving you with a tasty, refreshing treat that doesn't stay past its welcome. Now I know why this is such a revered brew, and why people love to have more than one at a time. It's just that inviting, and one I wish was closer to me in availability. (1,065 characters)

Photo of nimrod979
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No can date but I know it's pretty fresh from the source. Drank about half from the can as it says to do so numerous times. Poured the other half into a DFH snifter.

Appearance: Quite hazy unfiltered orange-ish color. Plenty of sediment. Medium sized white head. Decent retention. with some sudsy lacing.

Aroma: Good blend of citrus and pine lead it off and carry all the way to the finish.

Taste: Juicy hops, Mandarin oranges, grapefruit, and a tropical blend followed by layers of pine resin. delicious well done DIPA. Fresh flavor. Pretty much perfection. Delivers on hops, bitterness and flavor all while being completely drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with an exceptional drinkability. Never comes across as too bitter. Carbonation is soft though perfect for what this beer needs. Glad & thankful I finally got an opportunity to try this one. Something I would look forward to drinking for years to come. (916 characters)

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

Poured into a tulip, no I didn't leave it in the can.

A - A beautiful golden copper hue. It liberated a 2 finger width white head, that slowed disappated and left a sparse crown of lace. Plenty of protein floating that eventually settled at the bottom of the glass.

S - A great hop blast, with citrus and pine. I just keep wanting to smell it. Awesome.

T - Damn, the hoppiness that you expect, but very well balanced. Bitter, but not overly so. Fantastic hop dose with a tasty citrus component to it.

M- Smooth, light/medium bodied. Finishes crisp and delicious.

O - Man, what a beer. I love my D/IIPA's and this is the best I've had. It certainly had a lot of floaties, but that didn't bother me, but I can see how it might be off putting to people. I got this in a trade and I'm glad that I have 2 left, but I would love to taste this on tap. Amazing beer, one you must try. I can see why it is numero uno. (917 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.