Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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1,940 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,940
Hads: 10,926
rAvg: 4.66
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 8,121
Gots: 3,434 | 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 (11) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,940 | Hads: 10,926
Photo of W_Des
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden orange color. The nose contains citrus fruits, pine and some breadiness. The taste is really well balanced and juicy. A really soft bitterness fades quickly on the dry finish. (195 characters)

Photo of bison
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at a small pub in Stowe last summer on vacation. Didn't go looking for it, just fell in to my lap. Best I ever drank. Incredibly smooth. Rated the look only because its mandatory. This went right from the can to my mouth so I never really got a look at it. (265 characters)

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

Gold in color, hazy, clingy white head sticks to the glass.

Mango and citrus hops. Pineapple. Very little malt flavor or aroma.

Bitter but not lingering.

Medium mouthfeel.

Excellent mango flavor, nice hop aromas. Very well balanced beer with a lot of complexity. (269 characters)

Photo of Larry6767
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. There are some other beers out there that I enjoy a little more, but this is definitely worth drinking if you are afforded the opportunity. (151 characters)

Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Light and inviting, golden yellow with a slight amount of murkiness

Smell - Nothing overwhelming, a mix of citrus, pine, and hops

Taste - Unlike any IPA i've ever had, I don't even know how to describe it. Smooth and delicious.

Feel - Incredibly smooth, which is unfortunate (not really) because as good as this beer is I wish I didn't drink it so quickly.

Overall - Outstanding (390 characters)

Photo of BuccoFan
4.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

First tried this last summer, dutifully out of the can. This time, I poured it. It pours a very, and surprisingly, murky yellowish-orange hue. Plenty of pine and floral scents in the aroma. If chilled before drinking, which this can was, there seems to be a slight carbonated bite to the initial feel, which is at first, and to the last, solid-bodied. Taste is nice and piney, with a tinge of bitterness and an even slighter near white wine tang at the end. I poured this into a pint glass, and this settled into itself two-thirds of the way through--good head and a nice syrupy taste developed. I enjoyed the overall drink. It didn't quite measure up to the intense hype, but still an enjoyable brew. (701 characters)

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

Poured from the can (against instruction!) Into a wine glass.

L- hazy gold, with an off-white head that lingers seemingly forever.

S- grapefruit like whoa, but sweet make as well. A touch of other fruits. It's just a shade south of perfectly balanced

T- the taste achieves the sublime balance that the nose missed. Honey-sweet, yet juicy, yet jammy, yet bitter. It tastes like everything and nothing.

F- low-moderate carbonation, with a boost that ever-so-slightly approaches medium-full, thanks to the maltiness.

O- the great Heady vs Pliny Debate is settled, in my eyes. (577 characters)

Photo of Beern1ck
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I had this at least a couple of weeks old, would love to give a few day old a shot. Unlike other epic DIPAs, this had a more grassy dankness rather than a juicy one. It almost felt like the taste profile is grassy/earthy based (in a good way) rather than juicy/citrusy/fruity based like Maine Dinner or Carton 077xx.
Dinner remains my top DIPA but I had it 2day old. Other Half All Green follows.

I'd love to reevaluate Heady Topper when it's at its finest. It's just true that the full power of these beers is experienced in the first few days after bottling. (563 characters)

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

What is there to say about this beer that already hasn't been said. The smell is tropical citrus goodness. Could drink this beer all day long. Absolutely world class. (166 characters)

Photo of siliconalchemy
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice DIPA, though not mind-blowing like the rumor mill would suggest. I think it's particularly popular because it doesn't blow your mouth's sides out with hops - this is more influenced by English-style beers, and it shows. Very well done. (247 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed mostly from the can, but with some poured into a 4oz Sierra Nevada tulip pint style tasting glass

A: Pours hazy golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a thin layer and laces lightly.

S: Citrus, pine, tropical fruit, caramel malt sweetness, and a hint of alcohol.

T: Citrus, grapefruit and a little orange, pine, hints of tropical fruit, mango, a little spice, maybe even a bit fruity, with a solid caramel malt backbone, and a hint of alcohol. Very tasty from the glass, but for some reason it's even better straight from the can.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, really smooth and drinkable.

O: In full disclosure, my can wasn't uber fresh, it probably had 2+ months on it, but still a really good beer. That being said, it's not my #1, but still high on the list. I would love to try this one again super fresh. Who wouldn't? (867 characters)

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

this is a great beer that i tasted while visiting Boston area in dec.14... it could be the number one beer but i am waiting to give it a taste test with Santa Fe Pivitol ipa (two hoppers in my ref.)
.. i just need my son-law to be present before i drink the toppers that are calling me every day... such will power...LOL (321 characters)

Photo of Edmuzz
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I live close enough in MA to have had this beer a little over 100 times now. Each time it does not disappoint. Smell, flavor, just the right amount of bite. The DIPA all others are compared to for good reason. (212 characters)

Photo of alexrufio666
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as advised, to say the least this was a phenomenal DIPA. And to be honest it was exactly what I expected it to be. Wether or not it belongs at the number 1 spot is not for me to decide but it is a great beer defiantly worth a try! Cheers! (257 characters)

Photo of carney710
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Traveled 200+ miles to buy this beer even before tasting it. Once the first sip touched my lips and trickled down my throat i knew what i had just tasted was greatness. The after taste is literally thirst quenching, by far the best IPA ive ever had, and to top it off its a double IPA! yet soo smooth. Anyways, the fruity smell and perfect amount of hoppy taste followed by a smooth after taste is next to none. Highly recommend this beer! (439 characters)

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

An absolutely amazing beer. The Double IPA on this beer tastes like no other. I am in NY and my friend brought me back a can from Vermont. All I can say is you really need to try this brew because it is completely unique and tastes like none other. (248 characters)

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

Straight from the can. Purchased today in Burlington.

No color observations because it was consumed from the can. The can looks nice though.

Smell is floral with a solid hop aroma.

Taste brings strong hops without any overpowering bitterness. The hops have staying power that linger on the palate. Dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

Excellent beer that lives up to the hype! (398 characters)

Photo of Fuori_fuoco
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had two of these within 3 days. I drank from the can as recommended(therefore the color is rated lower). However it is a strange recommendation as it limits the possibility to smell the beer. It is a very hoppy beer with a strong citrus feel. It is slightly too high in alcohol as you can feel it almost immediately but I guess it is normal for a double IPA. Cannot see the date on the cans but bought one from Skinny Pancake in Montpelier and the other from the farmhouse tap and grill in Burlington, which I strongly recommend for their beer selection and food. (565 characters)

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

Only beer ever that made my whole body tingle after a few sips. Somehow hits you on the chin, although not extremely strong, but at the same time has a long lasting, complex feel. I'm not articulate in the sommelier language, more like "this be real good, gotta stock cave" kinda guy: in my way I recommend it without hesitation. Travelling to Vermont over the Memorial Day weekend I planned on buying it because of the hype (I live in Massachusetts where it's not available) and stood in a line for nearly 3 hours to get a 24-can case. Time well spent. (554 characters)

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

Let me start out by saying I'm not a lover of very hoppy beers - so going into this was interesting as I knew it would be high on hops -- but there is also the whole "trying to even get your hands on this" mystique that made me need to try it?!

Look - like many, I drank from the can so I have no clue what it looks like.

Smell - immediate floral bouquet as soon as I cracked it open. Hops factory comes barreling out into your nostrils and immediately evident this was going to be strong

Taste - the immediate bitterness and higher alcohol content is strong up front of the palette - but as it moves toward the back you really get that sweeter, more citric-type taste. I was impressed by the complexity of this and not dismissive as I am with many strong hops-laden beers

Feel - I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth this was. I was expecting very high carbonation but it was toned down yet enough to aerate the flavor of the beer

Overall -- again - I'm no lover of hops but if I step back and review this from that of a beer expected to be full of hops -- it really does meet many of the expectations you have in a beer. It's got insanely good smell/flavor/feel right from the start and it's a beer that packs a nice punch. I probably wouldn't have more than one at any given setting. I was happy I was given the chance to try this beer and quite surprised at how well they did with this. (1,404 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe that it was five years ago this week that I graduated from Columbia. It was not easy for me while I was there and the time since could have been kinder to me as well. I got to march earlier this week with the other alums and since I didn't want (or get) any gifts for graduation, a can of this that I traded for up at the Cloverleaf was all I wanted as a gift. Never before was I so excited to have a beer given the lofty ranking of this on here and even though it wasn't quite a "5" in my book, I can easily see why so many people on here enjoy this!

Even though the can said to drink from it, I had to pour it out like I've done with every beer that I've had over the nearly 10 years that I've been reviewing on this site. The golden hue had a moderate level of dankness to it and the head was as thick and frothy as any I've ever seen. Hops and grapefruit dominate in the nose with both of them being strong but not overbearing in the taste. Pine, tropical fruit, and a hint of lemon zest coalesce nicely in the taste along with a bright carbonated presence and a mouthfeel that is as resinous as any West Coast beer. I probably messed up when I poured this out and untamed it but I did leave some on the can for the end and because this beer was so potent, it's best served one mild sip at a time.

While not a session beer, it's hard not to have just one in a sitting. I didn't have a choice but if there was more here, I would have popped them open once I polished this off. The herbal aftertaste of this beer was proof at how mild this was for an American Double/Imperial IPA as the 75 IBU were just the right amount to go with the alcohol and the flavor profile. While not the best beer or IPA I've ever had, there's no doubt that this was a must-try for anyone on here looking to taste the best of what America has to offer with so many beers nipping at the heels of this on the rankings, this will no doubt remain just as sought-after once it drops from #1 on the rankings. There's nothing quite like this out there and with so much available these days, that's a feather in the cap for a brew worthy of the lofty status it has earned! (2,162 characters)

Photo of Berrymon
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Plenty of hoppy goodness. Drank from the can as instructed, but had to get a look at this beauty so I poured a little in a glass. It was cloudy and the mouthfeel was defintely not thin. Very impressed, the aroma was amazing. (227 characters)

Photo of 18CGL
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had to try it being a local of the area and having easy access to the brewery. I don't believe I am personally experienced enough to fully appreciate/enjoy this beer but It wasn't terrible. Looks and smells FANTASTIC!!!! There were too many flavors hitting me all at once for me to really enjoy it but after the tour, I saw how much thought and effort goes into making it. Definitely one of the best beers out there it was just hard for me to enjoy personally. I highly recommend for the experienced beer drinkers :D (517 characters)

Photo of SchluessMuenster
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Super hoppy, super good. Part of the fun is the adventure up to VT and how hard it is to get your paws on it - but gotta love that this is always soo worth it. (159 characters)

Photo of joberlander
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not a big IPA fan in general but a friend happened to bring some to a party. Very citrusy aroma. For taste the bitterness was not overpowering which I expected (not being an experienced IPA DIPA drinker) . I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the pine and citrus together. I will begin to try more IPAs because of this but from the few I've had, this is easily the best tasting and most enjoyable. (410 characters)

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 1,940 ratings.