Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,350 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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Reviews: 2,350 | Ratings: 13,242
Photo of Jshbrown40
3.9/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cloud orange pour ( N.E. IPA normal) with decent amount of fuzzy, white head
smells of citrus and dank weed
tastes matches aroma with decent carbonation and a ton of hops bite to it

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Photo of Griffin2
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 16 oz can into a pint glass.
L - Pours a hazy orange with a significant white head.
S - Smells of citrus and hops.
T - Tastes matches the Ames, very citrusy.
F - Nice soft mouth feel.
O - Awesome IPA.

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Photo of Guillaumeprovost
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To the eye. A beautiful blonde color pale somewhat orange but hardly. Beautiful thick and aerated sparkling collar very great remarkable effervescence in this following to the observation of the beautiful big bubbles rising quickly towards the top of the glass. Color rather cloudy but not completely opaque.

On the nose

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Photo of Kriztofuhr
4.12/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Pours a hazy honey color, two fingers of bone white head. Great retention, lacing all the way down the glass. Worthy of a picture.

Aroma - Citrus dominant. Sour grapefruit, pineapple, hint of pine, keef. Hop potpourri.

Taste - Bitter grapefruit, tangerine sweetness, papaya, grassy. Thin cracker like malt body, low sweetness. All 75 IBU's are alive and kicking. Bitter.

Feel - Medium bodied, ample carbonation. No alcohol warmth, drinks smaller than it is.

Overall - A hop heads dream and a malt maniacs nightmare. I thought it was very good but I wouldn't pay an arm and a leg to try it.

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Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

drank straight from the can so look is from memory as I've had this beer several times and look varies depending on age. I'm guessing this can is 6-8 weeks old.

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Photo of DrGonzo
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome, awesome beer from a great brewer. Everything from Alchemist is terrific, but this one is special. Drink it right from the can, like the can suggests, and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Funkycollardgreens
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can definitely testify to the validity of this ale. A friend of mine was extremely emphatic about it and got some for me after visiting Vermont. Definitely one one of the best I've ever had

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Photo of SuperRevs96
4.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had a customer from Vermont at the store I work at in Rhode Island bring this in for me. I'm a big fan of citrusy IPA's.
Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass.
Looks a little hazy orangey-gold color.
Smells of pine hops, orange, and citrus.
Big hop taste, bitter with orange, citrus notes.
This customer really hyped this beer up and he was right. Too bad it's not available here in Rhode Island. It was fantastic, but for geographic reasons, I'm still partial to Grey Sail Pour Judgement.

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Photo of alos31
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is more than just a beer but an event HAHA. The color is amazing bright hazy yellow. The flavors on the pallet are grapefruit, orange peel, lemon. Lots of citrus, with a ton of bitter flavor.

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Photo of kool-aid
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is an overall consensus from having drank easily over a hundred Headys since the canning inception. We have a saying around here, if there's nothing exciting on tap: "Fine, I'll bitch out and have a Heady." I've had it on draft locally as well as sampled from the old cannery and the new brewery. I've had a year old Heady that was crystal clear and absolutely spectacular. Unless it's poorly kept or somehow oxidized, it never sucks. The recipe has changed over time but the enjoyment never fades!

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Photo of Buck89
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit into the glass but drank this from the can as directed. A hazy bright yellow-golden color with a resilient white head. Big aromas of grapefruit, pine, tangerines. Huge hops on the palate, similar to the nose. A nice bitter mix of the citrus and the resiny, piney earth tones. Medium-bodied and perfectly carbed. Awesome beer.

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Photo of MMP126
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from the can. Poured a bit into a tulip to see the color.

L: slightly hazy. Not too much. Yellow with a bit of orange. Can popped well when opened. Good carbonation in the glass

S: hard to pick out for me. Hops in general. I get some pine. And "freshness" in a sense. Not sure how to explain it. Not a juice bomb to me.

T: bitter hops. Lovely. Just a hop bomb, but bomb in the most wonderful sense. Grapefruit pith for sure. Nice malt on the finish. Not sweet but bready and maybe a tiny tiny bit pretzely. Flavor lasts and lasts. Long sipper and wonderful. Maybe a little bit of alcohol. Not much at all though.

F: good carb. Soft. Pillowy. Not dry. Amazing.

O: the hype is real. Definitely world class. Glad I have 2 more!!

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Photo of daddieo
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have had the pleasure of drinking this former #1 several years in a row now. 2017 now and it still lives up to the hype every year. Gave it a 5 on look cause I never have poured it out to look at it, so I rated the awesome can art. I will be awaiting next year's tasting .

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Photo of Znice21
2.06/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This legendary eastern ipa is what inspired my signing up to ba to launch this bashing..err review. I like Maine beers, I like knee deep beers, i like mosaic hops. Honestly I was ecstatic when my buddy brought home a plethora of alchemist beers. Focal banger should be right up my alley but its so over the top i have to blend it but when i do i still enjoy big mosaic hops. Heady is just foul. I realize my opinion is an outlier but when I tell you I struggled to finish a can (ipa drinking wife included) Im very serious. I had it on 2 occasions to cement my feelings on it and they are this beer is soooooooooooooooo overrated I'm in awe of how lousy it was for me, really nothing redeeming to say other than at 8%abv if you can hold your nose and slam a few of these i guess you'll be in a happy place but i can give you myriad other options to better get you there.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Can from Dave. Poured the "middle third" into a goblet; the rest drank from the can.

LOOK: from the part i poured in the goblet, the color is golden yellow; small, but lasting head, slightly hazy.
AROMA: hops, pine, fresh air.
TASTE: metallic hops, leaves, something hinting on citrus but not quite. Some tropical fruit in the finish.
FEEL: medium body, middling carbonation; but there is a freshness.

There is something about this beer that makes it greater than the sum of its parts (hence I have Overall higher than Taste). I am not big on IPA's in general, but certain ones I really enjoy. This is obviously well crafted and I would be honored to have this again. Enjoyed this much more than Focal Banger. Strangely (to me), I did enjoy the portion from the can better than the portion I poured.

Looks like can is about 9 months old, so maybe this is stellar when fresh; but it is still very good when a little old.


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Photo of Stephenmheadley
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic beer and a rare find. The beer lives up to its reputation as being one of the best around. For a tousle IPA, it has a subtle hoppy finish with a very complicated taste. Definitely drink from the can, its intriguing and complex.

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Photo of IPA24
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The anticipation was enormous, the taste was pretty good. A friend had to take two work days off to drive to Vermont to pick up two cans for me. It was pretty good, but so are others right here in Ontario, CAN.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding IPA, very tropical, grapefruit, orange and pineapple. It's juicy and pithy with tons of pine. The bitter finish lingers for a bit longer than I'd like, but overall I can't complain about this beer. It's absolutely world class.

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Photo of CraftBeerRunner
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really just a perfect beer. Enjoyed first in Burlington at a Nepalese restaurant and recently thanks to a generous friend who sent a 4 pack of this and Focal. Really just a standout beer.
Burlington, VT, May 2015 and Oakland CA Feb/Mar 2017

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Photo of Phineasco
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: Orange, hazy, with a two inch head.
Smell: Grapefruit, citrusy, piney with a touch of honey.
Taste: Piney, grapefruit, great drinkability with gentle bitterness.
Feel: Goes down real smooth. Complex.
Overall: The standard for double ipa's, their is quite a bit of batch variation with this beer, but it never fails to deliver.

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Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out to share with a friend. Cloudy golden yellow color with a small white head. It smelled of tropical fruits and caramel sweetness. Good balance of bitter and sweet.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Can of course

Pours a cloudy lemony golden, sugar white head retains indefinitely.

Smells of cracker malt and orange and grapefruit citrus, juice and malt.

Tastes of cracker and biscuit, citrus juice and spice and citrus hops.

Medium body, tingly carbonation in the tongue.

I understand how this beer got it's reputation, it is really good and an innovator in the juicy ipa style. I feel like it's somewhat overrated which is to say it's only excellent and should be tried, but not world-ending.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 PINT can
Served in a tulip glass, directions be damned

This beer pours like pineapple juice and is topped with two inches of fluffy beige head that leaves little lacing on the glass.

In the aroma I get orange, grapefruit and pine.

The taste is all grapefruit and pine. The bitterness builds the more I drink.

Medium mouthfeel

The smell indicated a juicy IPA, while the flavor was quite bitter. This is the third time I have gotten the opportunity to try this beer, and it was the first full can that I consumed. I cannot say that it lives up to the hype. I'll take Hop Juju all day, everyday over this. Some day when I make it to Vermont, I will have some guaranteed fresh and see if that changes my mind. I have no idea how old this can is. It was given to me by a friend over the weekend. I can't believe it's more than 2 or 3 weeks old, but I could be wrong.

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Photo of peemoney
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the sweetest nectar to touch my lips with the exception of my beautiful wifes love juice. I have 6 more of the nectar of the gods that I will enjoy only on the most special occasions.

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Photo of Greyvtrayn
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks for the trade Ross! Color is a vibrant yellow-straw with minimal haze....I had to pour a few ounces into a tasting glass despite the command to drink from the can. Didn't pour enough to get any discernible head. The smell is outrageous with lemon, orange, hop resin...it really is a delightful smell. The taste is very juicy and it doesn't get washed out by the carbonation or hops. I am getting an orange rind and piney dry finish. A medium-full body with a soft mouth-feel, again the carbonation is present but not overpowering, this is particularly applicable when consumed from the can.
Do yourself a favor when you get your hands on Heady Topper and follow the instructions. Drink it from the can. The look is the least impressive facet of this beer and when consumed outside of the can it does take away from the smell, taste and feel. However, with good reason this is a truly world-class beer. Anyone saying otherwise is not being objective. Thanks again, Ross.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,242 ratings.
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