Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,262 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:
2,262
Ratings:
12,732
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,079
Gots:
4,992
For Trade:
67
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Reviews: 2,262 | Ratings: 12,732
Photo of anteatr23
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden orange and hazy and chalky. Smells like fruit with some hops and sweet malts. Taste is like a breath of fresh air. Bitter and crisp, with citrus and dry bready finish. Fantastic malt flavor and so perfectly balanced. I was prepared to be critical of this beer as I figured it had to be over-hyped. It's not. This is certainly the tippity-top-tier of IPAs/Double IPAs. Incredible flavor and drinkability from start to finish.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
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 +2.6%
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 +2.6%
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 +2.6%
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 sberberick1
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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 +2.4%
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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Photo of MikeB1984
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I took a trip to Vermont with my brother and a friend of mine from Boston for a guys day out. This beer was well worth the 3 hour drive. Normally prefer bottles over cans but this beer was outstanding.

I am not normally a big fan of IPAs but i loved this one. One of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Greggio
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer reminds me of fresca for some reason. It smells great and has a strong citrus taste and a perfect amount of bitterness to it.
Nothing special to look at, but I don't buy it for it's looks.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can. Did not pour into a glass, so I can not say what it looks like, but the can is very cool. My dad will love this addition to his beer can collection. Bittersweet grapefruit and dank hop resins dominate, I can already tell this drinks like juice. A bit of pineapple and mango are noticeable on the nose as well. On the first sip, I couldn't believe how complex a one dimensional beer could be. This beer really doesn't need a malt backbone, what a use of hops. Drinks so easy from the can.

Overall: If I lived in Vermont, I would buy this every week. What a treat.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first go with the one, the only, Heady! Super stoked right now. Fresh 16oz can poured into a tulip (what's the big deal about all the "DRINK FROM THE CAN" stuff anyway?) a super hazy, almost totally opaque pastel orange with an initial 2 finger bright white head that recedes quickly to a ring that leaves moderate lacing. A little hop sediment is visible floating around. Great looking beer.

Basically a tropical and stone fruit hops explosion in the nose. Big grapefruit and grapefruit rind, blood orange, mango, peach, and some earthy, dank herbal hops with a slight hint of sweet caramel malts. Truly remarkable aroma...I wish they made Heady Topper air fresheners. I could just smell this all day.

The dank, piney hops give a nice kick in the mouth in the front, but quickly gives way to huge, juicy citrus; mango, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, maybe even some slight apple and pear, a little lemon zest. Sweet caramel malts kick in towards the finish, giving this nuclear hop bomb great balance. Leaves a beautiful, sweet, juicy hop aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness. There's so much citrus that there seems to be an almost tart-like note to the beer, like fresh grapefruit dusted with sugar (which also happens to be one of my favorite fruits). Just straight up delicious.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Velvety and inviting.

I'm always interested in seeing if the beer lives up to the hype when it comes to "whales" like Heady. In this case, Alchemist deserves all the praise it gets. Enjoy By DIPA by Stone has just been replaced. Beautiful hop bouquet, great looking and even better tasting. Amazing hop depth with just the right amount of bitterness (which is quite low for a DIPA). Alchemist really needs to start distributing outside of VT! Best beer in the whole world? Not sure about that, but best DIPA and one of the best beers I've ever had? Indeed. So glad I have 4 more of these.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can picked up straight from The Alchemist Cannery. This specific can is a bit more than a month old. I enjoyed two out of glasses over the last few weeks. As the can suggests, I am reviewing this directly from the can.

A: Well I can't really tell now can I? From the picture of one I took a few weeks ago into my Russian River goblet. Muddy orange brown pour with a pretty thick white head.

S: The hops smack you right upside the face on your first sip. Metal hints from the can seem to bolster the big piney hoppiness, but certainly a caramel malt backbone is noted.

T: Honestly, the taste is not entirely different than it was out of the glass. Big hit of piney hops up front, citrus and other tropical fruits. Bitter, but the fruitiness is pretty formidable as well. The malt backbone from the smell is only slightly noticed, this one is all about the hops. The balance between bitter hops and fruity hops is phenomenal.

MF: Carbonated very well, medium body, very crisp dry finish. The booze is noted every so slightly.

O: Best beer I have ever enjoyed straight from a can, and one of the better ones I've had period. I've had Pliny this fresh and they are both phenomenal in their own regards.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can served in a can.

L - I have no idea what this beer looks like so I gave it a 4.

S - tropical fruits and pine.

T - tropical fruits and pine resin, you can tell there's a malt backbone holding things together but the hops are dominating.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation for a smooth feel.

O - an excellent example of the style, very well done.

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Photo of DrewskiWhit
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a chug into pint glass just to see what it looked like. Drank rest out of can.

A very cloudy but love it.
S pine and grapefruit dominant but complex. Not as pungent as i was expecting
M very nice malt backbone compared to some ipas and still very drinkable
T excellent. Maybe perfect. Reminds me a lot of fff permanent funeral but with more citrus
O this actually lives up to the hype. Im only docking slightly b/c it didnt improve imo as it warmed. Also i think ill drink the next one from the glass as the can did nothing for me

Thanks BA ironchefmiyagi

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Photo of kawilliams81
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the can, but a few oz. poured into a tasting glass to see the beer's appearance.

A- Light caramel colored, hazy, with 1 finger white head and good lacing.

S- Loads of sweet citrus and pine hops. I could smell the citrus when I opened the can a arm length away from me!

T- Fairly sweet malts and a lot of citrus in the beginning. Nice blend of citrus, spices, and pine hops with a very good pine hop finish.

M- Medium bodied. Medium carbonation and very drinkable.

O- Like the the can says, "So drinkable it's scary." It that is no lie. I could drink 3 or 4 of these over a a course of night, and not be tired of it at all. Love the aroma, taste, and lower abv (for a DIPA at least). Will try and get more whenever possible!

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Photo of squaremile
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So excited that I got my hands on this. Pours a dark amber/orange with a frothy head and bubbles of all sizes. Good retention and some lacing. Smell is excellent, dominated by pink grapefruit, powerdy pine, and vines. Beautiful. Taste accomplishes what the bottle said was the goal: amazing complexity. Reminds me a bit of Mikkeller Ten in that you can find almost every hop flavor in the taste. Waves of different hops flow and ends with a biscuity malt finish, then hops linger for days in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness but intense hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium-light bodied. Drinkability is ridiculous and I could have glass after glass, zero etoh.

I have had almost every major IIPA in the world, this is easily in the top tier, and deserves all the hype. By far the best IIPA not made on the west coast, and blows 99% of those away. Awesome awesome beer.

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Photo of alexrufio666
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as advised, to say the least this was a phenomenal DIPA. And to be honest it was exactly what I expected it to be. Wether or not it belongs at the number 1 spot is not for me to decide but it is a great beer defiantly worth a try! Cheers!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,732 ratings.
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