Heady Topper - The Alchemist
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Ratings: 8,058 | Reviews: 1,610 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev -3.2%
Thanks Alex for sharing this one, you generous SOB.
Slightly hazed orange due to it's unfiltered nature, and the bottle was approaching it's end. In a tulip glass, there initially was a solid finger's width of white foam, fading to a wispy skim dotted with minor spotty lacing.
Huge tropical aroma, fresh hops galore, sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit, mango, resiny dank herbals. Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity.
Flavor is similarly fruity, with a big grapefruit presence, moderately bitter, lush and packed with resinous hop flavor and a slight undercurrent of pale malt sweetness. Sticky and dank. Body is fairly light, and with no trace of the abv, it's almost too easy to drink. "Carbonated to pub draft levels" as the label states. A bomber or two of this hop nectar would be awesome, on tap even better. Thanks again Alex!
12-29-2010 15:24:40 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev -15.4%
Huge thanks to bring for the bottle. Bottled on 11/30/2010, consumed 12/13/2010.
Heady Topper pours a murky, rusty copper hue. Nearly opaque from sediment, and showing fairly weak head retention, this isn't the most visually impressive beer.
The aroma, on the other hand, is an outstanding display of juicy citrus and tropical fruit. Mango and papaya, pineapple and grapefruit, the hop profile has impressive depth. Malt is barely perceptible, almost imaginary.
Malt is more noticeable on the palate, lending a bread-like backbone that's quickly washed away by an assault of hop flavor and bitterness. Grapefruit, pineapple and papaya flavors try their hardest to balance a huge resinous hop bitterness. This is dry and light, decidedly West Coast style, with a lower to moderate level of carbonation. The bitterness grows astringent after a while, and while I do appreciate high IBUs, I feel that in this case it's out of balance with the hop flavor. It's an excellent DIPA nonetheless, and one of the best hoppy beers I've had from the East Coast.
12-15-2010 21:51:51 | More by largadeer
4.46/5 rDev -5.7%
16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?
This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.
It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.
The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.
A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.
09-13-2013 23:51:10 | More by biboergosum
4.9/5 rDev +3.6%
Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a murky gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma contains a lot nicely blended of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.
T: The taste starts out with a very strong grassy hops bitterness along with a big fruity citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates an excellent balance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.
M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.
D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this beer is exactly what you look for in a 2IPA and is worth drinking for a whole evening.
10-30-2011 17:29:57 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.75/5 rDev +0.4%
It's hard to be number one, and only be sold in Vermont...thanks again to cwelsh55 for the beer trade. Stand up dude, who drove 7 hours each way from outside of Philly to track down this highly sought after beer. Looks great in a glass took sip from the can but didn't think it would do the beer justice after that first sip.
Pours into a chalice with a semi hazed golden peach/apricot hue with a bright white head, forms nice even layered lacing down the sides of my glass. I love the can the label the huge paragraph on the back, but the DRINK FROM THE CAN! I just can't figure it out.
Aromatics, beautifully dank hop explosion from the minute you crack the can. Resinous hop oils, dank Mary Jane, lemon pith, slightly vegetal even dare I say garlic note in the tail end of the nose.
Flavor has the perfect light malt base to provided biscuit bready notes without ever touching into the caramelized sugar realms, leaving each sip of this stuff right into an assault of hop character with a bone dry finish. I would honestly brush my teeth with this stuff, it's so good. No hype train here, a highly drinkable completely unique DIPA. Is it the best DIPA I've ever tasted? Certainly not but it's Fuckin' Good!!! A really resinous complex hop explosion on the palate remaining quite balanced and extremely effortless to consume. I would be dangerous if I had access to affordable cases of this stuff. The highlighted hop notes are as follows: dank hop resins, lemon pith, pine, and that vegetal garlic note I picked up on the nares. Usually offended by that trait in a hop profile, that's not the case here.
Mouthfeel is perfect, like I said way to easy to consume this stuff. Oily slick with those hop resins, medium bodied carbonation is soft and caresses the palate, bitter drying hop bitterness finishes each sip...with hop burps soon to follow.
Overall, I really really like this DIPA I can't explain why but I do. I'm willing to make a pilgrimage at some point, also to checkout fine beers like Lawson's, and Hill Farmstead both of which I've never consumed. Not earth shattering but so unique there's just no other canned/bottled/draft DIPAs with these traits they built they're brewery around this recipe and I can see why. No let's see more innovation and how about some distribution outside of Vermont.
06-14-2014 01:40:34 | More by WVbeergeek
4.47/5 rDev -5.5%
16 oz can pour straight into the mouth. Thanks go to Funkel81 for this generous extra in a recent trade.
No pour here, since I decided to follow the directions on the can and sip straight from it! We’ll skip right to the nose. The aroma is lush with bright smelling hop character, as pine and bitter smelling grapefruit are funneled up the nose. There are some leafy herbal tones and tropical fruit notes here as well, along with some spiciness, and a firm malt sweetness across the back that gives the hops something to bounce off of. This is full and bright feeling in the nose.
The taste has a fresh feeling vibrancy to it, with a blast of grapefruit and sticky resinous hops. This is tempered on the edges by a ripe and juicy tropical fruitiness and a sweet malt character that almost honestly seems like an afterthought compared to the bulk of this hop onslaught. The finish is dry and piney with some lingering bitter pith that sticks to the tongue. This has quite the aggressive finish on it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller, with a big creamy crispness to it that blows up in the mouth. Some slick and oily textures weave in and out with this, really keeping things overall smooth for 8% ABV. There is some gentle warmth to the body that mostly adds some extra boldness to those hop flavors.
This is my third different time reviewing this beer and it still holds up even here in packaged form. I still feel that it shows just a tad too much alcohol to really go the full monty on the style for me but there is no doubt that this is a DAMN great DIPA. The fact that this beer is now available in cans is just mind-boggling to me. I see many more of these in my future.
11-16-2011 20:19:47 | More by Kegatron
4.59/5 rDev -3%
A big thank you to markgugs for this one! Looks like this was canned 4-29-14
Pours a hazed apricot with 2 fingers of rocky pearl colored head. Not gonna detract for haziness, apparently they aren't going for this dropping bright. Sheets of lacing, very good head retention
S: Leafy hops, breadyness, pears; maybe the only short coming in this beer, not getting any citrus pop
T: Pineapple, white grape, bread fruit, breadyness, slight honey malt notes, a touch of peach & apricot, with leafy hops layered underneath. Tea-like notes mix with grapefruit, breadyness, & woody hop notes; just gets better as this warms. Finishes with some honey, caramel & toffee, sneaking past the woody, leafy & citrusy hops, a touch dry too; much pineapple & a little mango too
MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & superb balance, some tingly acidy pineapple notes as well
Drinks too damn easy, now I wish to drink from the tanks, because although is very good/super complex, I sure this is mind blowing a few days old...
06-25-2014 02:56:16 | More by russpowell
4.68/5 rDev -1.1%
Thanks to both SneezyAchew and stowehop for bottles. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 11/30/10, and consumed on 12/09/10.
A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that features great retention and glass-coating lace. Slightly hazed golden peach body.
S - Huge tropical fruits, peaces, tangerine zest, dankness, a touch of chive or green onion, and a light sugary note that reveals that there is a bit of malt in there somewhere after all.
T - The taste isn't quite as amazing as the smell, although it's still quite good. A bit more malt presence contributes sugared citrus mixed with tropical fruits, and maybe a faint hint of pine and leafiness. It finishes with present but well-attenuated bitterness, although it mounts over time.
M - Carbonation is spot on - lively, but not enough to be harsh. Smooth medium body that is more than adequate for 8%. Goes down very smooth and easy, with a slightly dry finish. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden.
D - This beer is beyond drinkable. I'm looking forward to getting to my other bottles because this is going to make for a great Christmas. Thanks John, for finally caving to the pressure and making this available to all (or at least some). Now about that canning line...
12-16-2010 04:03:14 | More by MasterSki
4.28/5 rDev -9.5%
Heady Topper-The Alchemist-Vermont. Ale. Alc. 8% by Vol.,1 pint.
"Heady Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest of most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of American hops will creep up on you, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it scary.
Sometime I wish I could crawl right into the can. Fresh ness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the can? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, hop experience. The act of pouring it into a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom --leave them in the can when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at it's best when young, fresh, and hazy. Keep it cold but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately we are always making more. --John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont."
Bullcrap, it's going into a glass, because I MUST.
It's a hazy one, a deep orange/apricot color, not bright, not golden, but clearly it's own thing. It is what it is. The head is a gigantic, prodigious, brogdignagian thing, mushroom capped, blooming with chalk white froth, lace-leaving and slow to leave. Gorgeous look on it.
Aroma: funky, musty, wicked, and weird. I'm at a loss. Thinking about Belgian yeast, thinking about putting a mare to bed. And then the typical hop aromatics creep out, some orange, some mango, grapefruit. None too bitter, either, not too brash, bold or out of control. Juuust right. A delight for the nose.
Taste: Jumps on the tongue and spills out brilliant hoppy flavor. Tingles the tongue in all right ways. Trickles over the palate, leaving happy hop deliciousness everywhere. …"from the can!"…not as complex, not as …gosh, is there a difference? or are we fooling ourselves? From the can, you get the hop blast, you get the flavor, you get the buzz, it's creamy and palatable…but you don't get everything. It's like having sex with a sock on your man, it's just not bringing it all home, if you know what I mean. I wonder why The Alchemist wants to cover this beer up, hide it in a can? Are they trying to elude the look of the brew, do they think people will dislike the chaos and disarray, the multitude of floating particles, as if it's unnatural and ugly?
Full-bodied, long bitter finish. Really tasty, very satisfying and delicious. Best IPA of all? Naaah…
04-27-2013 08:10:54 | More by feloniousmonk
4.72/5 rDev -0.2%
Bottle shared by Thorpe429, thanks Mike. This IPA has gotten so much buzz in the past year, it quickly became my biggest beer ambition to get some, after having some of the bottle last night, it remains one of my biggest wants. I have to make it up to the alchemist the next time this is on tap.
Beer is yellow to amber with some haziness to it. Head is soft, white, and thin made up of a very small bubbles and some medium ones that stick to the glass leaving a little lacing. Carbonation is moderate to low, it looks good, looks like a hazy IPA.
The aroma is beautiful, absolutely wonderful. No alcohol or heat, minimal malt sweetness, complex mixture of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, with citrus layers of lime and orange. It smells wonderful.
Beer is light in body and quite carbonated in the mouth. Interesting, probably due to the carbonation, the first thing I notice in this beer is the hop profile. A floral and fruity explosion of hop flavors, again tropical fruits and some citrus that gives way in the late palate to some moderate bitterness. I think they could have gotten away with more bitterness but overall it is a truly amazing IPA. Hard to top.
12-13-2010 16:55:28 | More by drabmuh
4.88/5 rDev +3.2%
Thank you, thank you, thank you profusely to akorsak for sharing this great beer with me last night 1/9/11. Poured slightly cool into a cervoise glass.
The beer pours clear and golden with a skosh toward amber with a fairly large amount of ecru cap which rises and retains well. The lace clings amply with a tight bead. Carbonation is visibly moving gradually at a moderate pace upward. The beer is very attractive and exemplifies the color of Imperial Ipa's I tend to enjoy. The aroma is intense, a plethora of aromas - pine and strong pineapple greet my nostrils instantly. The smell of herbs, mild sweet grass and elements of citrus which could be tangelo and mellow mango. The floral elements work with a juicy grapefruity scent and lots of tropical notes join the fray so fresh smelling, so intense it is just jammed with beautiful hop aroma. The feel is smooth and very moderately carbonated which is nice as it doesn't push the bitterness to the forefront. There is lots of juicy and resinous texture with slightly sweet finish -not quite oily and not tangy just fits the style perfectly showcasing the depth of hop presence.
A wondeful taste experience - the exceptionally smooth citric bitterness blends with a juicy lightly tangy tropical quality and slightly sweet malt cushions the impact ever so slightly and not intruding at all. the juicy grapefruity and piney flavor is there in abundance it does have a mild mango aspect too with subtle acidic taste and mild resinous edge. I like that the fruity, semi-sweet passionfruit and honey like malt and green grassiness compliment each other so well. It has pineapple without all the acidity and tangy light astringency of grapefruit without going over the line with pithy rind notes. The citrus is like sweet less bitter lemon, maybe meyer lemon with a clementines juicy quality. I sipped on this and was dreading swallowing the last drops since it had such a delicious array of hop flavors I didn't want it to end.
Thanks Adam, really it brought a little sunshine to a cold winter's eve - the wonderful big IPA is a treat. You have to monitor yourself because the hops are so juicy you might forget you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. It is supremely drinkable and met every expectation, I just dind't have any idea how good it could be. I consider this possibly one of the best of the style, it is very near a perfect Imperial Ipa to me. Mr Korsak, thanks again for sharing this Heady topper with me.
01-10-2011 17:48:35 | More by Slatetank
4.7/5 rDev -0.6%
I was so excited when I got the cans a few weeks ago, I completely forgot to review the damn beer. Anyways, I know it's awesome, and esp in a tall boy can! Tasty crack cans!
Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with some soapy lacing, over hazy golden orange-red nectar colored beer.
Nose explodes with fresh hops, plenty of fresh squeezed grapefruit, over ripe musty orange as its freshly sliced into and spraying mist ala the opening credits for Dexter, tropical fruit like papaya, mango, tangerine, and even passion fruit, with the slightest hint of fresh musty hop aroma. There is also a slight malt in there somewhere, hidden way behind the gushing hops. Very late as it warms, a bit of a candy earthy hop kick tries to poke it's head out but gets quickly knocked back down by another wave of tropical fruit.
Now comes the taste, yay! Juicy fruit, it's like mounds of tropical fruit was compressed into 1/10 the original size and 10x the fruit concentrate and ground into a liquid, then carbonated and you have this beer. The tropical fruit comes out and runs amok, lots of mango, tangerine galore, papaya, passion fruit, grapefruit, pineapple, it has it all. Also some citrus playing with the other hops, some musty orange rind and again fresh squeezed orange juice blended with pink grapefruit. The taste brings more of the fresh musty resinous hop flavor, must have added some nice dry hops. The hops are so juicy it literally is like drinking tropical fruit juice. Finally some malts weigh in, giving a nice rounded body and big mouth fell. Malts bring a slight sweetness and touch of booze to help balance the huge hop blast. the bitterness is decent at first, and ramps on the finish as it dries. It plays with your tongue, teasing on bitterness and tickle of almost astringency but before it gets there it leaves like a balk by a pitcher. A slight musty hop flavor lingers with all the tropical fruit and citrus orange rind that never wants to fade, but at the same time clean finish. It seriously lingers in my mouth for about 10 minutes after I finish (and it was hard not to crack another can in that 10 minutes). Damn, even the burps taste awesome.
Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, full bodied, decent carbonation, slightest hint of booze warmth.
Overall just friggen awesome. So far the best IPA on this side of the Mississippi, and probably best I've every had. So full of awesome hops, tropical fruits of all shapes and sizes, citrus orange rind, a bit of musty resinous hop, and all that with a nice big malty balance that takes the way back seat and still lets the hops take the show. A nice dry and clean finish that lingers forever. All that and it comes in a can, I mean who doesn't like it in the can. If I could get this all the time...
10-18-2011 23:03:36 | More by jlindros
4.48/5 rDev -5.3%
an affordable can at farmhouse tap in burlington. they say drink it from the can, but i poured it for more careful study. it looks lovely, hazy, definitely unfiltered. radiant hay color with thick white suds floating on top that leave some mean lacing as it drinks. smells like quite the hop bouquet. grapefruit and spruce are the most prominent hop esters im picking up, but there are many. it tastes like it smells, deep and complex, worthy of patient consumption. its fruity, in addition to citrus there is also nectarine and mandarin orange on my tongue. its got upbeat carbonation which keeps its oily medium taffy sticky body moving along. the aftertaste is long and bittersweet, as it should be. alcohol is well hidden in taste, but can certainly be felt. this is one hell of a big ipa, and i dont want to hear anymore debate about pliny/heady, because both are outstanding and distinct brews, and that should suffice for all of us.
08-27-2012 23:29:11 | More by StonedTrippin
4.5/5 rDev -4.9%
I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.
Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.
The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.
04-22-2012 02:30:25 | More by Rifugium
4.9/5 rDev +3.6%
Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.
Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of fluffy white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.
Smell: Just amazing. Herbal and citrus hops smack you in the face. Some pineapple and pine tree in there as well. Super fresh.
Taste: Just like the smell, thank God. Bitter hops throughout, but there is a decent amount of malt to back it up. Lots of grapefruit and apricot with more mild herbal and pine notes. Bitter finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation on the mild side and an extremely dry finish.
Overall: I wouldn't change a thing. You're damn right I'm going to have it again.
09-22-2011 23:08:58 | More by oline73
4.43/5 rDev -6.3%
Huge thanks to mar for trading me this can.
The beer pours a dirty yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very heavy on the grapefruit, but I also get a little bit of orange citrus and some biscuit malt notes.
The flavor is more intense than the aroma. I get some huge grapefruit and orange citrus notes, as well as a little bit of pine and some pineapple. Mixed in with all of the hop notes is a little bit of biscuit malt. The bitterness is low to medium.
Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
12-16-2011 03:00:45 | More by Mora2000
4.6/5 rDev -2.7%
From 08/28/10 notes. Had on tap at the Alchemist on my trip up to Vermont. Review number 600!
a - Pours a golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.
s - Smells very heavily of pine hops; very dominating. Also smells of citrus hops, grape fruit, tropical fruit, and faint, sweet fruity malts. Hint of floral hops. A very nice mix of pine and fruit in the smell.
t - Tastes of citrus and grapefruit, fruity malts, pine hops,and a hint of floral hops. Some nice bitterness in the initial sips that fades as you drink it.
m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very easy to drink.
d - Overall, I thought this was a great DIPA. I was a little worried it wouldn't live up to the hype, but it pretty much did. Personally I think I might rank HopSlam and PTE a bit higher, but this is a great IPA I would love to have again. I got a lot of pine in the smell and a nice mix of fruit and pine in the smell and taste, and I thought it was really easy to drink at 8% ABV. If I was up in Vermont again, I would definitely go back to the Alchemist for this beer.
09-03-2010 16:39:52 | More by mdfb79
4.97/5 rDev +5.1%
Heady Topper pours a turbid orange with a soft white, two finger head. An early pour is relatively hazy while the last dregs contain flocculants that reintroduce themselves into suspension.
The smell is glorious! A cornucopia of hops produce notes of pine resin, fresh basil, ruby red grapefruit sweetened with sugar, wet grass (the kind you smoke;) and candied orange zest.
The taste is in your face fresh, fresh hops. A remarkable combination of all the scents, with a fantastic paradoxical blend of slight candied sweetness and a long dry finish. This is one clean beer with no trace of alcohol whatsoever.
Mouthfeel is perfect. Low to moderate carbonation fits this beer to a T. A creamy lush softness again shows the chameleon-like aspects of this top-notch DIPA.
This beer is exceptional and very deserving of the accolades that have come it's way so far. If I could get this locally, it would be a once-a-week purchase and I think a lot of people would think the same way. In this day and age of johnny-come-latelys and ticker mentalities, that really says something!
09-15-2011 22:57:51 | More by Rochefort10nh
3.8/5 rDev -19.7%
Sorry, I had to pour into the glass despite the can's pleading to drink directly. Thick, slowly receding head. Leaves plenty of chunky, blanketing lace. Cloudy, dark gold color.
Very strong evergreen hop smell. Prickly with a touch of citrus rind. Like smelling a bag of hop pellets.
Extraordinarily bitter. Starts off fairly neutrally with a bit of mild pale malt. Still this is a bitter, bitter hop bomb. Be prepared to pucker up. Hop heads shall rejoice, but I think this might be too much of a good thing (and I lean towards more hoppy beers). The body is predictable and appropriate for the style.
I was very excited to find this beer in Boston, but its hype exceeds my expectations.
07-29-2012 19:57:18 | More by smcolw
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 8,058 ratings.