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 Guess2814
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 Inca64
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have drank almost everything from #1 to #25 and others on the list. I drive to VT every so often to pick up 2 cases and drive back to MA. Why? Simply said, this is the best beer (DIPA) in America. I also drive to the TH and drink all their beers too. I have not had Pliney The Younger so I can't comment on that, but it's only in a keg form and can't get the CA to try it. I have had Pliney the Elder though. Heady, as it's affectionately called, when fresh, far exceeds anything in its class. I have had many of the Tree house beers, and they are really good and deserve spots on the list but no IPA or DIPA from TH is as good as Heady. King Julius is close. I have both Heady and TH beers in my frig at all times and enjoy them all. I wont comment on what I taste or how it pours because it's different for most people. Find someone that has fresh heady and trade with them and you will see why a large majority of people think it's the best they ever had.

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Photo of Mgree909
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 haveā€¦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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%

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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 +7.5%
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 JBC5
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After a great family day, of finally skiing with my southern born family, due to military life. I asked for a plain beer...then a great buddy said I had to try this one. I declined, stating I just need any beer. He refused, presenting me the Heady Topper. I was blown away. Taste, Smell, Sight,...Best Ever. Been around the world, drank lots of famous beers. Amazed at the taste of Heady Topper. Only problem, I am not the only one who agrees and it's very hard to get. Impossible down south.

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

I had read a lot about this beer before i tasted it. It lived up to the hype! A bitter, flowery beast of perfection.

Appearance= Golden ruby
Smell= best smelling beer I've ever tasted
Taste=bitter heaven
Mouthfeel =smooth viscosity
Overall= I drove round trip 9 hours for this beer. It was worth the trip!!

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

I never liked IPA's until I had a Heady. Now, I'll never go back to flat tasteless beers. This beer is just bursting with fresh hoppy goodness, there is nothing like it.

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Photo of 1fortypoint6
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2nd time trying this one and even better than I remember. The balance is amazing. Was fortunate enough to try a couple PTE's last year as well, but Heady beats it no contest. Can't wait to get back East in the spring and hopefully track some more down!

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

I won't make this a complicated review. I will tell you that his beer lived up to the hype for me. We all have different palates so I'm not going to try and tell you what I smell and taste other than the fact that this beer, to my palate was ridiculously smooth, incredibly drinkable, and had a great finish. Continue your mission to find it. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Reds76
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Amazing hop nose and surprisingly smooth drinking. Grapefruit throughout with a dry finish. The abv hides behind how tasty it is and then it punches you in the face after your second.

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Photo of jtierney89
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into glass despite what the can said, super hazy with lots of bits and what looks like hop bits floating around in a bright orange glow. Sticky bright white head. Tons of resinous hops on the nose. Grapefruit pine citrus and floral.

A wonderful delivery of hop flavor. Not overbearing, but full of flavor, balance is beautiful. Flavor is like the nose, malt bill extremely well hidden and really showcases the hops.

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

Keeping it simple, this is a fantastic beer worthy of the praise it gets. Great job Alchemist on brewing a single beer perfectly. Please don't change that focus. You can't miss with a singular objective like that!

Smell, taste, and appearance sum up to be a beautiful thing! I made it up to Waterbury at the brewery where I picked up some stock and had an excellent experience. Stopped by the Prohibition Pig afterwards for a full serving and lunch, which was epic.

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