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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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2,277 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: 2,277 | Ratings: 12,797
Photo of SkiBum22
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16 oz. can brought straight from the brewery. Drank first half from the can as per the instructions and then second half I had to pour into my dogfish snifter to take a look at this great brew.

A: Pours a hazy, particle filled, reddish-orange with a thick white head that slowly retracts to a couple centimeters. Leaves a ton of lacing as sipped down.

S: The nose on this is incredible. Tropical fruits, oranges, grapefruit, and resiny hop aromas dominate the nose. Insane citrus nose.

T: Hoppy and complex, citrus and tropical hops stand out right away and are nice complemented with good bitter piney and resin hops, nice malt backbone.

M: Smooth, medium body, a little creamy.

O: This lived up to the hype. My second favorite IPA behind Pliny. I'm glad I will be making another ski trip to Stowe so I can pick up another case of this amazing brew.

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Photo of Will0792
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing beer, I have about two 4 packs left over from my trip to Burlington left over. I don't have enough time on this site to post a trade, but am willing to do so. The beer is as good as claimed and I have enjoyed them since returning home to Toledo, OH where these beers are not available.

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

Finally trying the famous Heady Topper, thanks to an awesome gift from Ljudsignal!

Poured half into a tulip, drinking the other half from the can to get both experiences.
Pour is translucent bright orange-yellow, like orange juice, with a fluffy white head that leaves slick lacing. Smells AMAZING. Waves of flowers, mango, pineapple, passionfruit, melon, grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, pine...best smelling beer I've ever had. Now the taste...
Taste is perfect. Sweet malt backbone quickly bows out of the way to seemingly infinite hops. Tropical fruit, melon, berry, citrus, pine, herbal/leafy, bitterness...it's all perfectly balanced and in harmony with itself, the malt, the mouthfeel...this is a perfect beer. Amazing!
As far as from the can, it's a slightly more concentrated experience and is amazing in its own way as well. It's somehow simultaneously managed to taste complex and amazing while being incredibly refreshing as well. I know now why this is the only beer The Alchemist makes...it's because they've perfected it.

Thanks again to Ljudsignal for sending me this amazing beer and giving me the opportunity to try the [currently] best beer on BA!

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Photo of AMcT22
5/5  rDev +7.3%

The best IPA, EVER. Worth the 2 1/2 hour wait. I recommend all Hop heads to try this if they can get their hands on some. This brewery knows what supply & demand is all about. Two thumbs up!

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

Do believe the hype, but the difficulty of getting ahold of some (having to stake out stores or plan your day around procuring a 4-pack) gets frustrating.

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

Appearance: Poured a little into a snifter to see what it looked like. Hazy orange/gold. I like the haziness of the beer. foretold of the great things to come.

Smell: Grapefruit, hops, oranges, grass, floral, and piney.

Taste: Wow this one just gives and gives flavor. Lots of the floral tastes mixed with the bitter hops and citrus notes. everything balances really well. Swishing this around in your mouth is like a resiny hop and citrus explosion and then you start to taste the other flavors at play like a mild caramel. The best part is the aftertaste. It just goes on an on. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied a little stickiness but not too much. The carbonation is the perfect amount to tingle the taste buds but without overpowering anything.

Overall: Wow. The hype is real. This can got delivered to the store and I am drinking it only 5 days later. I hope my friends in VT will continue to ship this out to me ocassionally because I am addicted!

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Photo of KyleCabral31888
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- amazing honey color hazy with a tinge of orange very little head little glass lacing one of the prettiest beers ive ever looked at

S- sweet fruity piney strong pineapple notes mild citrus

T- as claimed not too big and not overly hoppy mild sweetness mildly fruity starts strong sweet pineapple notes throughout finishes piney perfectly balanced

Mf- mildly carbonated slight toungue tingle lighter than appears stays with you for some time after every sip 10 minutes after drinking and i still have a piney hoppy sweet taste in my mouth

O- lives up to the hype i drove from southern MA to stowe VT for a small chance to find what is a beer milestone in my books and well worth the trip it is as good if not better than i anticipated scarily drinkable and very refreshing you can taste the attention to detail and appreciate the desire to keep the brewery closed the public to perfect their craft deserving of the hype

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Photo of Keith425
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper....one of my beer drinking milestones....i've wanted to try this beer for a while,and it finally came available in my area....Poured from the can inyo an IPA glass....Absolutely lives up to the hype

A : a beautiful hazy yellow/orange... .1/4 - 1/2 finger head...pretty good good lacing

S : Citrus....grapefruit,with a slight oj/orange peel scent...very little bitterness at all

T : Hoppy upfront,followed by citrus and malty sweetness...then a little hop bitterness in the finish....very well balanced
M : medium body,with a very dry finish.not much carbonation....leaves you wanting for another sip

O : best beer i've had to date....i would absolutely recommend to anybody who loves IPAs/DIPAs....waiting to try Pliny,but so far the best beer i've ever had

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Photo of RichardMNixon
5/5  rDev +7.3%

Had it first from the can in VT, once more in PA.
As commonly stated, it doesn't look that impressive. Very pale and cloudy, decent head. For a beer this good, who cares?
Smells fruitier than some beers with actual fruit in them. If this was sold as an air freshener, I would buy it.
The fruit comes through just as strong in the taste, very tropical and sweet balanced by steady bitterness throughout the whole sip. Some crisp, snappy malt comes through later in the glass after your tongue has numbed to the hops.
Mouthfeel isn't terribly thick, but very oily, coating the tongue and leaving the flavors to chew on. Way, way too drinkable for an 8% beer, or for a beer you know you won't have again for months/years.
I've had a number of beers that didn't live up to the hype. This one does.

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Photo of Guess2814
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I FINALLY went to Vermont and I got the Heady Topper! I felt like a little kid once it was in my hands. This beer is the best thing since slice bread.. If you haven't had the Heady Topper find a way to get this beer in your hands...I went on Saturday October 26. They were sold out of the cans.. The lady who was handing out the samples told me on Monday they will have more for sale.. Once I walked in to the brewery on that Monday... Wowww!! You can smell the hops once you walk in.. The machines were cranking! Bottles we're being filled and my smile grew. I bought myself two 4 packs.. I'm happy with what I bought BUT something is telling me I'm going to have to drive from Boston back to VT - this time I'm grabbing a case.

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

Ok, I have been waiting to taste this one for a long time now. One of customers, who has in in depth knowledge of all sorts of beers, brought one 4 pack in for me to try. He was heading up to Vermont, so he was going to buy some more.

Once I opened the can, the room came alive with citrus, grapefruit, banana and so many other perfect hoppy aromas. It was grassy and so alive. It was at a point that I was more than satisfied with the bouquet, I need not take it any further.

The first sip (from a glass) was fullness in my mouth of hops, cream, grapefruit and lots of smooth body. The after taste was just as pleasant.

From that point on, I drank it from the can. I was really surprised at just how smooth it was considering the IBU count (120)

I so enjoyed this beer, but now, I will have to wait until a second tasting of it (which should be tomorrow) Was it the best beer I've tasted? Did it have everything a hoppy IPA should have?
I dont know, but I will re- review this one tomorrow.

For now, I am 100% satisfied, that I was able to taste a legend (Dino, Thanks!)

Got to re-taste a fairly fresh one....If there was a 6 rating, this would be the beer I would give it to.

This one was less than a week from brewing! Fantastic, even better than the ones I have had before. I guess the best way to describe this is that it is liquid GOLD

Lucky to get my hands on 10 day old Heady. Better and better, cant see how anything can get better, but this one was so far over the top. LOVE IT....
1 4pk remaining then I will hold back for 4 or 5 months before getting my next haul

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Photo of Mgree909
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this sent from a friend up north and they did a number on the box which obviously gave me some questions to if it was altered or not....as soon as I opened the can the smell was amazing and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. Like so many say, a little hazy with a one finger head, amazing smell. Love the citrus flavor, too many IPAs go way to Malty for me. Love this brew, lives up to the hype!

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

Perfection. The best. Anyone who likes beer must drink this before at least once. I am lucky enough to have family near Waterbury, Vermont. I'm not a big IPA fan, but this is certainly the best beer you will ever hope to try. I especially love that it is only in cans.

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

I was honestly hoping that this beer was too hyped, but boy was I wrong!
A: I drank it from the can, but I did pour a little bit for a friend. It was dark orange with a thin, white head.
S: Floral, herbal, orange, peach, mango, very tropical, some pine, hoppy.
T: Similar to nose, however this beer seems to have just about every kind of taste that an IPA can possibly have…pure brilliance! It starts off very dry and then explodes mid sip with citrusy/tropical goodness and then fades into bursting hops.
M: Hops are somewhat prickly to the tongue, extremely balanced with the sweetness, dryness, mild bitterness and overall complexity.
O: A perfect 5!! I have given a few 5's in the past, but this beer is the best!!

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Photo of DSTUR001
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best IPA I have ever had! I mouthful of hops and a dry bitterness that stays in your taste buds minutes after each sip.

Living right across from Burlington, VT in Plattsburgh, NY makes it a mission every time I'm in Burlington to find this genius work of craftsmanship!

Props to The Alchemist brewery on achieving a 100 rating. You guys/girls deserve it!

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Photo of spacecake9
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As if anyone needs another review of this beer. Stood in line for 3 hours in Winooski VT to get this.
A - Pours an opaque golden orange color.
S - The nose is all citrus.
T - Flavor is tropical fruits with some bitterness at the finish.
M - Medium carbonation.
O - This is my favorite DIPA. Flavor is outstanding. So fresh, crisp and drinkable. It's just perfect. Wish I lived closer to VT so I could get it more often.

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

Lives up to the hype. Had it in can as instructed. Also worth trying in an IPA glass if you have enough of them to experiment. High alcohol content without losing its smoothness is one of its many impressive traits. Listen to the advice to drink asap. I had one several months old and the decline was noticeable. Enjoy.

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Photo of dahlen22
5/5  rDev +7.3%

To be fair, my buddy and I drove up to VT to get our hands on this beer that is in high demand and only sold in VT.

Appearance: Would not know as we drank them in the can.
Aroma: Citrus fruits, mint, hops.
Taste: Wow. This beer is a wonderful balance of fruit and massive hops. It starts off with the citrus fruits that are in the nose, and then the name of the beer comes into play as the hops just do not stop. I would say it is a bit on the dry side in the finish.
Overall: AMAZING!! The can says it all, "so drinkable it is dangerous." My only knock on this beer is the availability. I understand the buzz that is created with the elusive factor of beers like this, Pliny, Founder's KBS, etc. And while the brewer John Kimmich has every right to keep this limited, I would suggest he brew more and make it available to more states (just a business take IMO). Nevertheless, we ended up getting four cases between four people and have enjoyed this all summer down here in New Jersey, and will be back in VT next summer to get more (or sooner if we ski). And while we had other great IPA's in Vermont such as Lawson's and Hill Farm Stand, this one (to me) is just so drinkable it is scary in a good way. Cheers!!

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

Harder to get every year but always worth getting. Easily one of the best things I've ever put in my mouth. Aroma is wonderful. Taste is unbeatable. Love this beer.

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

Poured from a can into a pub glass.
Excited to finally try this beer.

A- Pours a murky orange about two fingers of head that settles to just a small top layer. They say to drink from the can but I am one of those people who prefer an unfiltered beer that is cloudy. Im not a big clear beer person so this gets high scores for me. Such a beautiful beer.

S- Hop bomb. Tropical citrus fruit notes, Big bold Peach, Little bit of resiny pine/grass. Everything seems to be in perfect balance. This beer smells like the creater brewed it hundreds of times just to get the right smell ratio.

T- Oranges, Grapefruit,Peach,lemon, slight pine/grass aftertaste. Sweet malt backing up all the hops. This beer is a showcase for the hops, nothing more nothing less. You get everything from the smell except even better. If I could give this a 5.25 I would.

M-Substantial high end of medium bodied. fruity, then bitter. Not a harsh bitterness though this is a carefully calculated bitterness. It's very pleasant. Is the bittering addition all hop extract?

O-Some reviews may be skewed because the hype behind this beer. It has a lot to live up to before you even try it. That may seem unfair but this beer surpassed my expectations. This is the Michael Jordan of beers circa 89-97 It is going to score 30 a night on you and not give a shit if you planned on stopping it. Is it the best beer in the world? I have no clue I haven't tried every beer yet. I do know its the best beer I have ever had, and I've had a lot of them. John is a Hop Whisperer and I will drink his beers anytime I get a chance to.

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

I've tasted a fair amount of beer to this point in my life. This beer is by far the best beer I've had the privilege to enjoy. It has a very hoppy aroma, so strong in fact you can smell it in your car with the windows rolled up as you're arriving to the brewery in Waterbury, VT. It has a fantastic hoppy flavor as well.

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

Perfectly balanced IPA. Great Hoppy flavor, not overly bitter and very drinkable. The smell hits you when opening the can. The fruity/floral flavor hits your palate instantly and lasts. They recommend that you drink it out of the can, but I tried it both from can and glass and found no difference.

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

Acquired in a trade from member on HBT Forum.

Appearance - Drank from can so nothing to report here.
Smell - Opened the can and was immediately hit by waves of grapefruit, peach, pine, lemon, and flowers. Aroma continued throughout the entire can.
Taste - Huge hop presence upfront that is balanced very well by the sweet flavors contributed from the tropical hops. No harsh or lingering bitterness to speak of. Get tastes of orange, grapefruit, lemon, peach, pine, mango.
Mouthfeel - Smooth bitterness with a soft carbonation on the tongue. Dry finish with a medium body that makes you instantly want to go back for more.
Overall - This a wonderful beer that is deceivingly strong as you get no sense of any alcohol in it. The amazing aroma paired with the fantastic tropical and piney flavors makes any hophead rejoice. I normally pour every beer into a glass to consume butnI chose to follow the instructions on the can and I do think it makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience. I will try pouring the next one into a glass to compare. Regardless, this beer has set a new bar for all IPAs moving forward. Well done!

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Photo of nola1988
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: hazy, straw
S: big sweetness, fruity
T: follows smell with risen staying around afterwards.
F: sticky, full. Medium carb.
O: What to add? I believe the hype.

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

L - Kate Upton in a glass. In other words, a 20-something babe who's voluptuous and will never look this good again. Yet, here's the difference: Heady Topper will always look this good because Alchemist has gone to great lengths to perfect this beer. Super turbid, excellent head retention and brilliant variations of orange when held to the light. Only poured to extract a true interpretation of the look. This isn't my first dance with Heady. Drink from the can!
S - I want to apologize to my daughter's mother in advance, because I've never smelled anything like this. I used to smell her when I was at work; I could smell her on the pillow weeks after she was gone. This f*cking beer. Where do I even begin? People brag about opening something and smelling it clear across the room. I have gotten hints of that before, yet not on this level. You crack the can and it consumes your area. It doesn't exist in your space; you exist in the confines of it, which is far reaching. The absolute perfect blend of grapefruit and grass character. The best smelling beer of all-time, period.
T - Let's be real, if the nose doesn't hit the tongue equally, the beer isn't shit. This beer caresses the palate like young lovers exploring each other for the first time. The grapefruit character is the first thing that hits your tongue, along with faint hints of grainy cracker. Mid-palate I get the slightest dose of pineapple, with a gentle wisp of orange peel. The entire time it's so fucking balanced that Mary Lou Retton keeps texting me about her gold medals. Relax, girl. They aren't going anywhere! I could literally drink this for the rest of my life.
F - Tongue smacking bitterness, yet mastered. It's not a full on assault; actually, every time I reach for that OMG moment, there's a soft pillow of excellence that caresses my head to remind me how much effort was put into this beer.

There was a time when PtE and HT were compared to each other. Then the new wave IPAs started to appear. This isn't my first encounter with Heady, nor my last. I, for one, am a fan of the modern day interpretation of the IPA and it begins and ends with this one. I haven't had them all, but I've had enough to know what I like and don't like. This is a masterpiece. They will never have to release a 2.0 or modify the recipe slightly. It doesn't stand toe-to-toe; it stands above anything I've ever drank.

Can you hear that sound? It's the f*cking angels singing. Or maybe it's Lauryn Hill. Heady-la-la. That's the way Kimmich sound when he's doing his thing!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,797 ratings.
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