Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,323 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,323
Ratings:
13,096
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,151
Gots:
5,360
For Trade:
67
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,323 | Ratings: 13,096
Photo of dhitchcox
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

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Photo of Rob_pbr81
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent double IPA, there is a reason why this beer is #1. The smell, the taste, and the feel of this hoppy conconction of godliness are all there and do not disappoint. I'm hoping to get my hands on another 1 soon. Definitely worth the hype, cheers to Alchemist!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: poured a bit into a glass to get a look and drinking the rest from the can as advised. Cloudy medium gold. Nice enough white head, messy lacing that doesn't stick around long. Pretty enough though I guess looks aren't what this guy is all about.
smell: now that is a rich, creamy, citrusy nose. Orange, pine, mango....just bursting with citrus.
taste: Even better. I have to restrain myself from gulping. All those citrus flavors so perfectly melded. Damn.
overall: Extraordinary. I went back to poring in a glass. The can just didn't open the flavors like the glass pour. Maybe i'm not doing it right. Also notice the hop intensity dulls the mouth a bit. I'm not tasting as much as I drink more. In any case...wow.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, orange body. Small fizzy bubbles. Moderate retention.

S: Pine. Floral hops. Mangos. Citrus.

T: Tons of piney hops. Virtually zero malt character. Loads of mango, grapefruit. Hype - exceeded.

M: Oily. Medium body. Prickly. Booze completely hidden.

O: This is incredible. Enough said.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I feel like trying this beer is a craft beer lovers rite of passage and I was finally able to cross this one odd my list. I really enjoyed it and found it to be extremely drinkable and not overly hoppy for a DIPA. At the same time I can't say it was the cathartic experience I was hoping for, but rather just a very good beer. Will habe again if given the opportunity, but this will probably be my last time hunting it down

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer isn't perfect, but it's damn near perfect. Smell is dank and tropical, but the taste is just remarkably better. Sweet mango, tropical fruits, followed by a pine dankness that's just amazing. A lingering amazing darkness that I've never really tasted like this before. The mouth feel is creamy and full, yet extremely drinkable still.

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Photo of Derek
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A=4: Hazy gold with plenty of yeast floaties, nice white head with plenty of retention, some lacing.

S=5: Just opening the can releases a plethora of grassy aroma that's a bit dank. Poured into the glass and it's still very dank, with mango, nectarine and candied pineapple.

T=4.5: Solid bitterness, but it's not overbearing. Initial hit is a bit briny, but that subsides to mango, papaya and candied pineapple... nectarine, tangerine, sponge toffee and hints of biscuit round out the flavour.

M=4.5: Slightly off-dry and very smooth, with some hop acidty.

O=4.5: Overall this is a really great brew. It doesn't have the assertive, piny, resiny bitterness of some, it's just a pleasant hop bomb. Low cohumulone hops?

HUGE thanks to Rutager!

I've had a couple more cans that were even fresher (without the yeast floaties), and I have to upgrade this review. Although cloudy, it pours with a nice head. Despite the amount of hops, body is incredibly smooth. Best thing in a can?

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Photo of grrrah
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can, 1/2 drank from can, 1/2 poured into a tulip. Probably about a month old, so could be fresher.

A - golden/orange with lots of sediment bits floating around. Man I hope things go well tomorrow.

S - Floral/piney dankness that you get from most double IPAs, Some slight tropical fruits and mango from the can. I let the tulip warm up a bit, and more of the fruits come out.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and clean, with a slight dryness. The hoppy bitterness comes out followed by the fruits. Fruity sweetness but not the malty sweetness that turns me off of a lot of double IPAs.

O - Great double IPA, which is my favorite type of beer. First east coast IIPA that meets its hype. I guess I'm more of a fan of the west cost IIPAs. It is different from the bigger pure hop bombs, and I would say have more character. Not sure that its tops, but its probably in my top 3 that would take turns with each other.

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Photo of carmike813
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this out of the can as the can directs the drink er to do.

It didnt have an appearance as i didnt see it, excellent beer that is dangerous. The 4 pack was gone in an hour. The bitter grapefruit taste makes Heady spectacular. Like stated before, dnagerously easy to drink.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, many thanks to SammyJaxxxx who sent me some of this out of the blue.

This may be the most hyped beer I have ever tried. The can instructs me not to put it in a glass. I put some in a glass anyway, because I want to compare. It tastes great in both, but the glass reveals the true reason for the warning. This is one ugly beer. But seriously, who cares?

Back to what matters. It smells great, both in and out of the can. It tastes like it should be the IPA reference type. As I drink it, I can't imagine a way to improve it. Carbonation is good, it's not a sticky mess -- in short, this lives up to the hype.

Just don't look at it.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed straight from the can as directed. Not sure on the date, but I know it was canned over a month ago.

A: Enjoyed from the can, so no appearance rating.

S: Mostly hop notes of pine, resin, as well as tropical fruit notes of pineapple, mango, and peach. Light citrus notes of grapefruit and orange.

T: Straight hoppy showcase of pine and resin accompanied by light citrus and tropical fruit notes. Hides the ABV well.

F: Light, smooth, with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great DIPA. Love the choice of hop blend and the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable. Would love to try a fresher can!

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Photo of Brabander
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer during a very nice tastingsession at doopiedoopiedoo's house where a bunch of Dutch BA came together.

Heady Topper is a very spectacular beer to start with.

All has been written before about this beer on this site....the only thing i can say is WHAT A FREEKIN BEER!!!

Cloudy yellow with a supersmell and dito taste and mouthfeel. Pineapple and other fruits all over the place!

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Photo of TallSaint
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

April 14th, 2013

In the nose pungent grapefruit, citrus, mango and other tropical fruits dominate. There's a bit of biscuit-y malt underneath.

On the palate the hops are very bright; layers and layers of hops barrage the palate. Grapefruit upfront then a bit of pine in the midpalate, then citrus with nice clean, sweet malty finish. The sweet malt balances out the hops and their bitterness excellently. It's dense and extremely well rounded on the palate.

Absolutely incredible. Best DIPA I've ever had, hands down. It has a hop profile like no other, its so vibrant and juicy.

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Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

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Photo of JBowenGeorgia
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Finally acquired a couple cans in a trade. It was quite tasty! Had the first can from a glass, beautiful hazy orange gold, nice hoppy aroma, citrusy piney taste but a little weaker than expected. Second can from the can and definitely much better, taste lingered on the palate, very smooth texture. A very good brew!

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Photo of sberberick1
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an incredible IPA. I am not sure it's worth the hype. There are others that are just as good. Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Wachusetts Larry, Bells Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, ADK Super Dort and Foley Brothers Fair Maiden are all equally good. Hard to tell for certain which is best. They are all good in there own right.

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Photo of Stigs
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can, huge thanks to Kevin (thebouch01) for scoring this at the Jackie O's release and handing it over to me!

drinking from the can (as instructed) and poured a few oz's in the middle to a taster glass

A - VERY hazy, on the darker side of gold in color. half finger, loose fluffy head settles to a thin film.

S - hop aroma hit my nose immediately when popped. well balanced citrus: candied oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit meets some wet pine and a hint of biscuity sweetness.

T - gentle sweetness for a split second before the big wave of hop flavors rush in. flashes of peach and pineapple turns very resinous and piney for a second before floral and juicy hops finish up. as advertised "wave after wave of hoppy goodness will creep up on you". bitterness is abundant but not at all overpowering, and just the faintest bit of booze wakes everything up.

M - medium bodied, perfect amount of creaminess while moderate carbonation livens the bitterness and hop flavors. nice and oily through the finish, yet somehow still a touch dry. not much to improve on here.

O - a stellar DIPA worth all the hype. i was leery about this as I've been a bit burned out by hops lately, but this delivired and ten some. the real magic here is the myriad of hop flavors taking turns, and absolutely INSANE drinkability. this can is going wayyy too fast. must. get. more.

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Photo of sbrotschul
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a fun can of beer! It is great that we can zip up to Vermont and bring a couple of cases home for sharing over the summer. Of course, the warning "drink from the can" does make a difference. I did pour some in a snifter, but you lose some of the smell and the creaminess.

Appearance (4.5). The can hides the yellow color of the beer -- which isn't all bad. Can't tell about lacing, and the change of color over time.

Smell (5.0). Citrus explosion, with some hints of mango-like sweetness.

Taste (4.5). Hops, citrus tickles the tongue. Mmmmm.

Mouthfeel (5.0). Love the creaminess of the beer. Not too bubbly.

Overall (4.75). A world-class beer. It is no surprise that this beer has been moving up the charts over the last year.

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Photo of CTEmmons15
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: You should definitely drink this out of the can.

Smell: Big citrusy and pine aromas.

Taste: Grapefruit, citrus, with a nice smooth, floral finish. Does not taste like a traditional Double IPA. So smooth, not boozy at all.

Feel: Crisp to the core. Delicious.

Overall: Excellent beer, worth the hype.

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Photo of Bwag
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So much hype, but almost worth it. An amazing beer - certainly one of the best I've ever had. Not sure I'd wait in long lines for a 4-pack, but I'd also never turn one down!

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Photo of spicelab
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on-tap and in can numerous times during East Coast trip in May/June. This review is for the canned version.

Pours a light apricot, downright turbid, with a healthy near-white head that abates lazily until a raised curtain and lattice remains.

Tropical assault of pine-lime, guava, orange-mango and tangerine held together by a crisp backbone of light and biscuity malts.

Hops are initially so intense I struggle to identify a dominant flavour - just big, green, dank hoppiness. Gradually the palate adjusts and the full array of fruit-salady tropical notes opens up. Hop profile is still predominantly tropical fruits but a good dose of grapefruit joins in.

Palpably chewy and oily but without any hint of heaviness, thanks to silky carbonation which very effectively distributes it across the palate. Finishes with a robust, green, resinous kick.

Brilliantly constructed from the ground up. Probably the best IPA I've ever had, and I've had a few. "Party in your mouth" seems a pretty apt term for this beer.

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Photo of fmccormi
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Straight pour from a 16oz can to a straight-lipped Ommegang flute (the glass included in the 2011 gift packs), but sampled partly from the can for tasting and aroma notes as well. No date on the can, but one week ago the (very, very good) friend who gave this to me said he bought it the weekend prior, so my guess is this is 2 ½ - 3 ½ weeks old at the most. I’d say it’s pretty fresh. And yes, I did drink this from the can first!

Appearance (4.0): One and a half fingers of very light tan head sticks around for a while, leaving some good lacing on all sides of this glass—thought I still want more, and I still want a chewier head. Body is the color of unfiltered honey, a slightly tan-orange. And this is the definition of hazy—almost opaque. Very lovely.

Smell (4.5): From the glass, it’s all sweet citrus fruit—super-ripe pineapple, some passion fruit, grapefruit, mango, etc. From the can, it’s all resin and pine with a grassy background, some tobacco in the back and some light caramel tones help smooth it out. Very, very intense pine and grapefruit tones. Goddamn beautiful.

Taste (5.0): Blindingly bitter, but not astringent, with enough malt sweetness to lend it some gravitas—from both the can and the glass. The hops are like a wad of fresh-cut grass stuck in a big, warm glob of pine sap, on top of half of a red grapefruit. The malt is relatively light—pale, enough to be inconspicuous, but thick enough to anchor the hop profile—and has a very subtle, sweet caramel note in the back. From the glass, there’s an interesting tobacco note that pops up in the body that’s actually very enjoyable. From the can, it’s just a hop explosion slowly taking over your brain. Yeast character? Typically neutral American ale yeast probably, but who could tell with this ridiculous hop load. A little booze in the finish, but it blends so seamlessly with the long, grassy, piney, extremely grapefruit-pithy finish that it’s integrated perfectly with a nice drying effect.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Ugh. So nice and dry. Just on the heavy side of medium, maybe, definitely a full-feeling beer, but damn you don’t want to take it slow. It invites you to keep going way too easily. Carbonation is nice and smooth, with the finest prickliness mixed in—it’s like hop cones are giving my tongue acupuncture.

Overall (5.0): What’s interesting about Heady Topper is that I can fully recognize that this is just one point on the spectrum of (d)IPAs, in terms of the flavor profile and perhaps more specifically the hop profile. But, it seems almost inherently clear that this is more or less the pinnacle of one of those points in the spectrum. There’s undoubtedly other beers at least as enjoyable with different flavor and aroma profiles, maybe more citrusy and fruity or whatever, but they’re not better or worse so much as different. Like a pantheon of pinnacle (d)IPAs. And this almost certainly has a seat in that pantheon. Waxing poetic, maybe, so let me put it differently: this beer is totally tits. Go out and buy it, because especially at $12-13/ 4-pack, it’s worth every penny. Long Live The Alchemist.

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Photo of Johnnyhitch
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Everything about this beer screams Hop bomb from the beginning

A - Cloudy copper hue

S - HOly $hii! Huge tropical tones overwhelm the nose pineapple resin sticky hops very pungent

T - This has to be one the best IPA i have ever tasted. The bitterness hits down hard enough to be an imperial but then vanishes and becomes delicate tropical fruity flesh and pit rinds. I want to bathe in this heavenly beer.

M - Huge sticky resin balance is something that cannot even be mentioned. Its flawless. You cant ask for anything more.

O - Picking up 2 cases of this was the best investment ever. One of the best IPAs i have ever had and im sure it will be for a while. Drink it fresh!!! This one degrades FAST and tastes better than most also when its a couple weeks old. DRINK IT FROM THE CAN!!!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Paid almost $13 for a single can of this beer. Worth it? We shall see.

Finally a beer that demands you drink it from the can! I cheated and poured a little in a glass to get a better look. Hazy, funky with a nice head and good lacing.

Smell is hoparific. Pine citrus hops oh my!

Taste is exceptional. This is one delicious beer. Bitter without being bracing, balanced without being tame. Absolutely great.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of creamy with enough prickly carbonation and dryness to bring you hack for me.

Overall, I'd say 13 bucks is highway robbery, but this beer almost makes extortion worthwhile. I'll justify by saying this is a limited tough to find release that easily trounces a bomber of other DIPAs at the same price. I won't pay that again, I'll trade instead. But I love canned beer and I had to try this one. It lives up to the hype.

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Photo of BeerBellyBrew
4.77/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured a white foam which dissipated slowly with excellent lacing. Nice golden color and a bit cloudy.

S: Nice Strong hops smell. Perhaps a bit sweet. Very intense

T: Hoppiness stays in the mouth, increasing in intensity then you swallow and get a rush of the flavor.

M: Carbonation was just right.

O: Overall this is a great beer with a hops flavor that builds and builds.

Serving type: can

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,096 ratings.
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