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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,032 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,032
Hads: 11,331
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.95%
Wants: 8,321
Gots: 3,795 | 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 (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: 2,032 | Hads: 11,331
Photo of nas5755
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Chris.

A- Cloudy, hazy, chunks of yeast or hops. Pale golden orange color.

S- Pineapple, citrus, navel oranges, lots of pine and pine sap. Very Dank.

T- So awesome. Very clean, lots of citrus, tangerine and pineapple lead the way with a brisk move towards a very nice piney resin finish. Nice and dry. The hop profile is balanced in the sense that the progression from citrus/tropical fruits to piney bitterness is just amazing. The malt and sweetness levels are present in this beer yet they dont overshadow the hops, they just provide a nice background to let the hops play.

M- Good carbonation levels. Nice hop resin notes. Clean tasting.

O- This is one amazing dipa. As the label says this is not the most bitter or most insanely dry-hopped dipa. It is however one of the best that I have ever had. The hop profile as I mentioned above is perfectly balanced. The hops are present from start to finish and each hop element has depth. A very awesome beer.

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tulip with a foamy white two finger head. Hazy straw colored body.

Smells like a bag of hops. Citrus, pine, passion fruit and candy.

Taste is fairly complex with notes of citrus, pine, juicy fruit and light earthyness.
I'd like a bit more hop flavor but that's a minor point. Quite bitter, dank and lingering.

Medium bodied and fairly high carbonation keeps this one quite drinkable for an 8% hop bomb.

Overall this is a fantastic beer. I love a touch more hop flavor and nothing more. The beer drinks very easy for such a high hop load and high abv. I'll easily order this again next time I'm in the area.
$6.50 12oz at the Prohibition Pig in Waterbury VT

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

I just came back from a 3 day mini vacation from Vermont, I talked my wife into going to see this "beautiful state" we dragged our 16 year old boy with us, after 1 day in Vermont it was pretty obvious why we were there in the summer.... dad's lust for the "Holy Grail " The Alchemist brewery and heady topper.. We stayed at Green mountain inn ( very nice ) and did enjoy the mountain views at smugglers notch, anyway Heady topper was everything I hoped it would be. I was at the hotel's pub when I got my long awaited first can, my wife and son were looking at me like I was nuts, I cracked open the brew and low and behold it was liquid gold. Sorry for the not very scientific review, but it's that good!!

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Photo of MatthewWilde
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample: 1 can 2012

A: Party cloudy, light orange-yellow with a small foamy head that quickly becomes nice lacing and pretty strong internal carbonation

S: Heavy citrus, hops of course, pineapple, grapefruit, quite fragrant and appetizing as a result

T: Mimics the nose, citrus, hops, tropical fruits, even granny smith apple is present, deliciously bitter to finish but great balance

M: Intense in flavor but very smooth, aftertaste is minimal and is as pleasing to the palate as the taste

O: An excellent hop crazy beer, easy to drink, decent abv and refreshing as well

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

A: (Sure, Alchemist tells you to drink straight from the can, but how can you review appearance when you do that? I'm a f**king rebel. I drink it from my IPA glassware) If kept in proper temp, this should look translucent and dark orange to you. No suspension, no settlement (if you see protein settlement, you kept it for too long!)

N: Take a big whiff as soon as you pop the top, and you'll get a noseful of sweet malty and some prominent but not at all overpowering hops

T: Not straying too far from the nose. Just perfect balance of what IPA should be. Malts. Hops. Water. Sweet, then bitterness, then sweet + bitterness. It's complicated without feeling complicated.

M: If you take it in all too quickly, you can feeel that 8% ABV burn on the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat; take it slowly, and you'll see how magical it is to blend the bitterness of the hops from last sip with the sweetness on the front of your tongue from the next sip.

O: In the past 2-3 years of my trading years I've had probably a case worth of Heady. I'm happy that I've got friends in high (latitude) places that can keep sending me a 4-pack or two every drop. It's definitely worth the chase folks.

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Photo of regspeir
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I can't report much on appearance because I tried this as directed - from the can. Nose was citrus - grapefruit, mango and pineapple along with some pine, grassiness and floral elements. Taste followed with big citrus flavors, especially grapefruit and orange, but with a biscuity, caramel malt for balance. Bitterness was there but not overwhelming. It predominates in the aftertaste as well, along with pine oil and honey. Mouthfeel was medium and mildly carbonated. There is little to no alcohol burn. I can understand why so many people love this beer…it was great…just not my all-time favorite, as it is for so many.

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Photo of codysjb
4.37/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Heady Topper
Poured from a can into a pint glass
A: Cloudy orange brown with hop resin through out. Little head but I tried extremely hard to pour with no head so I could divide a can between my glass and my girlfriends glass.
S: Lemon, grapefruit and HOPS! Lots of hops.
T: Water up front molds into a nice hops character that become full bodied and leaves a hop note on the tongue for a long time.
M: Lots of well rounded hops all throughout the mouth.
O: Great, wish I could get this as a regular everyday beer.

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Photo of CayseyW
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Given the new rating system, I felt compelled to add a review to my score, even though this beer speaks for itself by now.

L: Well, it looks great in the can because of the great art, but when poured out into the glass its very rustic, cloudy brew.

S: Sometimes I get fresh-cut grass and other times it smells like slicing into a grapefruit. So complex and inviting.

T: Juicy citrus mouthful with piney notes. This is a super delicious beer, but you probably already knew that.

F: Ridiculous; the bitterness of this beer should be overwhelming but it's just so smooth on the front and backend. No booziness at all.

O: While it's not my personal favorite DIPA, this beer deserves to be in the conversation for the best in the world. It's revolutionary and nearly flawless.

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Photo of Hophead21
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolute perfection in a can. Strong grapefruit aroma, and taste does not deviate from the scent. Mouthful loaded with grapefruit and sweet hop goodness, with a smooth finish. Beer actually gets better with each passing sip and is extremely drinkable. Straight from the can is the way to go as instructed .

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Photo of Tbub18
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

As we all know this beer is incredibly hard to get your hands on. I had this in college a few years back when I didn't truly appreciate good beers. I was fortunate that my local bar in Brooklyn got some for an event and I (overpaid) got a few.
A--Out of the can as directed
S--Hops galore, super dank. Oranges and grapefruit
T--super bitter but incredibly well balanced. The hops are present throughout but never overwhelmed. I love my hops but I would guess someone who isn't the typical hophead could enjoy this. I dont think other DIPAs could say this.
M--This is where Heady gets it done. So smooth--creamy, yes, but just the appropriate amount.
O--The hype is real. I was planning on making a trip up to Vermont soon and even though I had a couple in NYC I still plan on it. Its an experience that every beer drinker should enjoy. I know some will downgrade based on its cult-like following and limited accessibility but seriously this is the best IIPA I've tasted--I cannot compare it to Lawsons or Pliny though as I haven't had the chance yet to try them.

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Photo of BilbosNuts
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for tossing a couple of these in as extras in a trade.

Only poured half the can into a tulip since it advises to drink from the can.

A: Pours a very cloudy light sunburst color with a small creamy white head. The head quickly reduces to a thin film on top. Some spotted lacing is left behind.

S: The hop profile aroma is very good. It starts off with tropical fruits (grapefruit, pineapple, mango), then moves onto a light dank, resiny smell. There is also a bit of pine.

T: Like the aroma, but much more bold. The tropical fruits are lighter in the taste than the aroma which lets the other hop flavors come through more. Much more balanced hop profile.

M: Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated to allow the flavors to dance across the palate. It finishes with a slight bitterness.

O: This is definitely one of the best DIPA's out there. Just as good as my beloved Pliny. Highly recommended.

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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

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Photo of bobbypaulson
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

had this beer many times both from the can and poured out into a glass. I really hope I can get the chance to try this brew on tap (if they do that). I have to be honest, I love the smell you get when you pour the beer into a glass and the color is spectacular, however I like the taste better straight out of the can. I wish their was a happy medium that could be found. So poured out of the can it is a golden copper color with a nice cream colored head. The smell is floral hops and very inviting. The taste is very crisp and hoppy but not overpowering. I love how balanced this IPA is.

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Photo of BastardFromABasket
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

When it's fresh it's truly amazing. Liquid hop candy. Sweet but not cloying with with notes of resin, pine and grapefruit. Like drinking a liquid forest. As it ages it loses it's sweetness and grassy notes begin to dominate.

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Photo of Justin8mypants
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Heady is so aromatic. Lots of citrus including Juicy grapefruit, tangerine and dank hops. Very slight hints of hay as it warms.

Taste follows the nose. Heavy grapefruit and hops. Lasting bitterness. This is a hop Bomb. Not a delicately balanced IPA like Julius. I pick up on some lemon zest and orange zest.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Carbonation is perfect.

Overall, awesome beer. Lives up to its hype. Not a delicate ipa. It's supposed to be a hop Bomb and it is just that. Really nice tropical favors and intense hop bitterness make this a beer any hop head would love.

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Photo of Jefe73
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jsvt for sending a 4 pack down my way. Drank from the can like instructed. Haha. Guess I'll have to review one from the glass next.

A - Good looking can.

S - Upon cracking you get an intense burst of hops! A few people who had been standing nearby could even smell the floral bouquet from this one. Very prominent pine and citrus notes, smells like hoppy fruit punch.

T - Not as bitter as I thought it was going to be based on the nose. Loads of tropical and citrus fruits...pineapple, mango, papaya and grapefruit. Very balanced with a strong malt base. This is a hop-heads dream...wave after wave of resiny flavors wash over your tongue from start to finish.

M - Medium bodied and sticky. Light carbonation. Hop flavors definitely linger.

O - A top notch DIPA. Really glad I've got three more of these in my fridge. Definitely seek this one out.

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Photo of bigaltemple
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you to pokesbeerdude for sending this as an extra in his portion of the Willpower LIF.

Not one to take orders from a can, I poured it into a NB globe.

A - A great looking burnt orange color. Big, soapy, off-white head slowly dissipates leaving lots of lacing.

S - Wow! Just a huge blast of hops. Not just typical citrus aroma. You get a little of everything. Just when the grapefruit, pineapple, orange rind, and tropical notes fill your nose, some resinous pine floats up behind.

T/M - Much the same as the nose. Seems to touch all the bases. I did get just an inkling of a malt base, but really wasn't looking for or missing it. Seems to be just enough to not make this a mouth-scraper. Medium to full bodied.

O - Flat out delicious! I definitely look forward to having some more of this.

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

Pours a hazy honey orange with 2 finger white head. Smells floral, orange/grapefruit. Tastes of sweet orange blossom,grapefruit, sweet malt and pine. Silky medium/full body with medium carbonation. Leaves a great hop resin in mouth and lips and back of throat. Incredible beer.

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

Had this in a can (well, a couple of cans) in Burlington, VT. Stores all around were completely sold out but there were a few pubs on Church Street that still had them in stock.

Anyway, I ordered one with a glass not realizing that the can COMMANDS you to drink straight from it. I tried it both ways, and it is one great beer. Hell, you could drink this off the floor with a straw and come to the same conclusion.

Golden in color, and hazy (as is my memory after a few). The taste is amazingly well balanced between the sweetness and bitterness. It is a mighty brew, full of complex flavors that I can't begin to describe accurately. Needless to say it is relentlessly drinkable, but will put you right to sleep if you are not careful. Goodness gracious, it truly lived up to the hype.

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Photo of DannyS
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Consumed right from the can, because The Alchemist told me to, and I'm not about to second guess that magnificent man.

A - ok ok, I poured a little bit into a taster glass. Came up bright hazy yellow with lots of particulate in it. This beer is rustic and untamed, and it shows. But I just put a 5 because how this looks is irrelevant. DRINK THIS FROM THE CAN, DANGIT!

S - imagine sticking your head into a refrigerated bucket of hop pellets and taking a deep whiff. Pretty much. Pine, grapefruit/citrus, malt sweetness, grass, mint

T - first taste is bracingly bitter and smacks you right in the face with its hops. Subsequent sips mellow out but still leave that lightly resinous aftertaste. It's like drinking straight hops.

M - First sips are bright, clean, and fizzy on the tongue, As you continue drinking, the now stirred-up hop particulate really begins to coat the mouth and significantly dry up the mouthfeel. Personally I don't mind it at all but some people might be turned off by the change halfway through. Expect this one to morph a bit as you're drinking.

Overall - I love this beer. Not just because it's a damned drinkable brew at 8% and a blast of hops with every sip. No no, I also love this beer for the values it represents. In this world of pasteurized brews that'll stay good for a long time and change little in the bottle, this is a meticulously crafted product designed to be the best at its youngest. Like Pliny the Elder, this demands vigilance in finding it and drinking it while the time is still right, rewarding one's diligence with an experience hopheads, and beer fans in general, would give their eye teeth for.

Keep this refrigerated. Treat it like a perishable product. Take a road trip to VT with friends and ravenously track this down. Just took my last sip of the can, and it's still a bitter, sweet, hoppy, resiny, beast of a brew. Is it my favorite beer I've ever had? I'm not entirely sure, but I can safely say this deserves BA's #1 spot on the rankings.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mr. Topper, we finally meet. Via Fluke828 and AleLovinRuskie.

I will initially be tasting you straight from your container, per your request, but you will make it into a glass for the rest of the analysis.

Crack the can and a rush of flowery citrus and slightly piney hops punch me in the nose.

A sip is akin to making love for the first time. So long as that coitus involved a basket of assorted pineapples, grapefruit, oranges, and a frisky roll atop a bale of grassy hops. Beautiful creamy mouth feel with just the right amount of bite against the sweeter caramel malt. 8% ABV? Where? This is dangerously drinkable. I need a cigarette, darling...

After pouring it into a pint glass, I failed to notice the label -- there is a ton of hop sediment. I'm not adverse to this, but it's a little surprising to me that it's not a little cleaner, given that if I finished this from the can, I'd be enjoying a big gulp of pulp. The light caramel color is nice and a smooth head laces well.

Finally! A hyped beer that did not disappoint! Better than Pliny? Firstly, who cares. But also yes, it's made on the East Coast!

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Photo of wedgie9
3.88/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted on 11/11/11 from a can shared by ryan585, thanks Ryan. Pours murky orange with a very thin white head that leaves a thin collar of lace, with some chunky sediment. The nose is intense orange peel citrus, resin bitterness, chewable kids vitamins, caramel malt, and a touch of earthy yeast. The flavor is orange and grapefruit peel, bitter resin, chewable kids vitamins, the same earthy yeast, and just enough caramel malt to keep everything in balance. The body is medium with an oily texture, lighter than average carbonation, and a very long resin and citrus peel bitter finish.

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Photo of beerded_drunk
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Let me start this review by saying: it's been a long time coming and much anticipated to finally get my hands on this gem!!!!

LOOK: silver and black (absolutely spectacular)

SMELL: blown away, by far the best smelling DIPA I have ever been in the same room with. pine bark, pine sap, pine needles, pineapple, tangerine, orange, mango, earth, biscuits, fresh baked bread, christmas trees, fresh air, pennies, dank as fuq, there is a big, giant, humungous nose on this beer.

TASTE: this is truly the definition of a hop bomb. It's pine needles, pine sap, pine bark, tangerine, orange, pine sap, hop resin, definitely unfiltered, raw yet smooth, sweet, exact replica of the aroma, very fun to drink as you make your way down the can the flavors bounce around from sip to sip. simply genius, i finished this first Heady topper in about 13 mins and i don't regret a single impatient moment.

MOUTHFEEL: creamy, buttery, prickly, calm, very medium bodied, goes down easy and hangs out for a bit after you are done...

OVERALL: I Highly recommend this beer, there is a reason it is #1 in the country. Self explanatory, if you are researching this beer, then you already know. Its worth whatever it takes to get your hands on it. brilliant, simply brilliant!

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Photo of SayBoom
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No date of freshness on the can, approximately it was canned two month ago.
Pours yellow-orange and translucent, white sticky head, that retains well.
Smell is unreal. Powerful bouquet of tropical citrus and pine, a lot of grassy hop. Very difficult aroma.
The taste is wonderful citrus and flowery hop, hop bitterness manifested with the first sip. I would add a little sweetness.
Pleasant mouthfeel. Medium body, moderate carbonation, bitterness lingers till the finish, really drinkable.
Overall, this is a great beer, but I’m not sure that is best DIPA in the world.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured. Floaties, as you know. Cloudy medium amber with a thick resinous depth and minimal head but thick frothy residual on the sides

S: Can't do better than this. It's like boring your nose into mother earth's hop vagina. Heaven. Best clean citrusy smell of any IPA I've come across (Ephraim's smell is quite an experience too but not citrusy per say, more like it's alive like a luscious liquid swamp thing)

T: Sharp bittering attack up front and definitely the dominant component of the taste. Slowly transitioned some deafened citrusy flavors, hit with another punch of bitterness, then lulled out with a dampening dryness that lulls the taste buds into enjoyment of their anesthesia. Slightly lacking dimension wise (I know, I know).

M: Very very neutral for a big IPA, minimal dryness and residue. Appropriate carbonation - slightly above average.

O: Definitely enjoy it more poured than out of a can haha. The can restrains the aroma and taste imo. CANNOT beat the price here. I've had it on tap at the brew pub and only thought it was slightly above average. This is the most enjoyable Heady Topper I've had yet.

*Also better canned than on draft.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.