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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,294 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:
2,294
Ratings:
12,884
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,104
Gots:
5,162
For Trade:
65
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 12,884
Photo of Rifugium
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.

Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.

The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.

 959 characters

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

Searching for the holy grail of beer, brought me to Vermont. Found 12 cans at hunger mountain coop, will taste from the can as well. Continued the pilgrimage to the prohibition pig. Ordered heady toppers for me and son #2 whilst waiting for a table.

Tap poured into a snifter. Hazy yellow with a nice white foam cap.

Citrus and pine hop aroma.

Taste of the hops but without a bitter start. Slight bitter aftertaste and that is what sets this beer apart. More flavorful without the explosion of bitter taste . Citrusy with a hong of pine. Even the college son appreciated this beer over his preferred Budweiser, Great beer , flavorful, well balanced but doesn't club your senses. Rewards you with a great taste that warms as it settles to room temperature.

 759 characters

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

This is the beer that got me into hops. Honestly was under the belief that all IPAs were supposed to be so bitter and gross. It made me realize that I just had bad hoppy beers before. This is a Hop aroma bomb, this its got great balance between the massive hoppiness and malt backbone with little to no hope bitterness.

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

Hand-picked from a market in Waterbury, VT I highly recommend this beer. Flying from CA to VT for a day to pick up fresh cans instead of trading for them is highly-recommended no matter the expense. Treat yourself to the experience.

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Photo of RichKent
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Heady is delicious - no doubt about it. I wouldn't say it lives up to the hype like Double Sunshine or Abner, but it's definitely not a disappointment either. I'm drinking my 8th can as I type this FYI.

Pours a perfect orange-peach color if poured (I prefer it in a tulip) with 1 finger head if poured carefully. lacing on the glass is thorough - lots of foam left when done.

The smell is bright, juicy, and citrusy with lots of melon, mango, and other tropical fruits. Surprisingly little grapefruit, and next to no pine/grassy.

Taste follows the nose. Delicious as I said, and a combination of cantaloupe, mango, and guava, with incredibly smooth bitterness on the back end. I get something slightly sharp - you might call it onion if you think hard about it, but it's a nice balance to the fruit. Very little in the way of malts on the taste. I do get a little alcohol - especially in older cans (month+). It's not an issue - , and far less than in a DFH 90min. This is a juicy, fruity hop bomb. Awesome.

It's also perfectly carbonated, although it's slightly more syrupy than I prefer. It coats your mouth and takes a minute to disperse. Again, not an issue, but slightly more than I prefer.

Heady is close to a perfect double IPA - but it's still a solid notch down from the best offered by HIll and Lawsons. Still a delicious beer and for the price it's tough to beat ($4/16oz can).

My biggest knock on Heady is the Alchemist's attempt at keeping it exclusive and hard to find. I've visited liquor stores that had plenty of Heady, but couldn't sell me any due to agreements to only sell it on specific days. It's a pain, but visit the Alchemists website and go to the stores recommended on the days recommended and you'll have no problem buying as much Heady as you can afford. I've always found as much as I wanted without an issue.

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

On my visit to Chicago, I stopped by Beer Temple with my companion and got an opportunity to meet the famed Christopher Quinn. As we approached the counter to inquire about any rare beers in his store a silver can caught our eye. Needless to say what luck to have walked in on this tasting.

Pours a dark orange with some haze, medium head that dissipates.
Smells immensely of citrus -- specifically grapefruit -- flowers/pines.
Initial taste profile was amazing; executed as one of the most balanced IPA's I have come across. Its on the level of Pliny the Elder if not surpassing that. It was a mix of just the right amount of hops, citrus and pines.

I appreciate IPAs and DIPAs that are beautifully executed as such; I don't partake in IBU pissing contests because sometimes being the bitterest is not better.

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Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady topper pours a hazy golden orange (I prefer it from the glass, despite what is written on the can). Smell and taste are citrus and some bitterness, less tropical fruit than other New England style ipas. Mouth fee is spot on. Overall, deserving of its high ratings.

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

The beer is excellent overall. A phenomenal nose of citrus starts it off, smooth citrus flavors, cooling and slightly sweet touch the front and mid palate with a trumpet of hoppiness on the finish. A very inviting, thirst quenching, taste-bud delighting IPA.

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Photo of adapt313
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

How many hops can you cram into a can yet still make it well balanced and insanely crushable? Pretty much the gold standard of ipas. I've tried it in every kind of glassware imaginable but enjoy heady so much more right out of the can.

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

Thanks to Craig for giving my one of these. Check this one off the list. I was sharing this with my neighbor so it was not consumed from the can per the directions.

Poured a light orange with a nice white head, hazy as hell. The nose was a wonderful combination of citrus, orange, piney, resinous hops, grapefruit, dank and delicious. A nice malty backbone supported the massive hop bloom. The taste followed the nose and was delicious. Grapefruit, orange, lemony, piney and resinous, dank and delicious. So glad I got to try this beer.

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

Finally got my hands on 4 cans. Thanks Mike and Mary.
Look nice cloudy east coast IPA.
Aroma. Great orange scent one even my wife liked.
Taste. Extremely smooth for a dipa. Could have drank several more
Feel. Pleasant and quenching. Again could have had more.
Will need to make a trip to Vermont. Still have one left and will consume with much appreciation.

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Photo of JMB
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

If the color and head are not impressive enough, the taste is dazzling. Grapefruity, hoppy, raw, full, malty, bitter, smooth are some of the many descriptions that come to kind. A great and complex drink. I am usually jot an IPA fan, but thia beer is in a class of its own.

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

This is an extremely, well-crafted beer. It is wonderfully balanced and well-hopped. Truly made by an Alchemist, or the devil himself.

I now understand why it is the #1 beer on BA. My favorites were always Pliny the Elder and Enjoy by. This one boasts them both. I immediately opened a Pliny to compare while I still had some Heady left at the bottom of my glass. To me, the Heady looks much better. The PtE is clear and the Heady is cloudy with yummy goodness. The Heady smells scrumptious and emits a better aroma. The PtE is crisp and clean and the Heady is complex tasting. PtE is a bit more carbonated than the Heady, however, I believe this Heady is nowhere near as fresh as the PtE. In the end, I love them both.

If I were to be stranded in the mountains for any amount of time and I had to select one of these to keep me company, I would have to select the Heady, and the PtE would be his backup.

Nauseatingly good.

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Photo of squarooticus
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

One does not simply quaff Heady Topper. It needs to be enjoyed with complete awareness and yet total relaxation, in the fullness of time, each sip a journey to an exotic Roger Dean-esque alien landscape, where you sit beneath a strangely geometric tree, listening to the far-off flesh-eating birds chirping, and think, "This couldn't get any weirder. Well, maybe if I were tripping, too."

 388 characters

Photo of jazzface78
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Its the complete package. Had my first can last night at One Mile House which they were serving for their anniversary. Actually ordered a Maine Lunch first upon seeing it on their extensive beer list. They have it on tap. After taking my first sip I noticed the guy next to me drinking a Heady Topper out of the unmistakable can. I was shocked and immediately order one - now double fisting a heady topper and a main lunch. The rest is between me and my taste buds, but all of the accolades here are spot on.

 511 characters

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

Finally got my hands on some of this, first off let me say this beer is awesome. The second you open the can you are hit with an explosion of hops.

Everything about this beer screams DIPA

Definitely one of the top 3 IPAS I've had!

The questions is Pliny the Elder vs. Heady

Verdict HEADY TOPPER

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Photo of BostonKyle
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Was lucky enough to take a trip up to Stowe and Burlington last weekend. As a non-hophead this is incredibly drinkable. The bitterness does not destroy your tastebuds like most DIPAs and the taste is fantastic. I came across it in a liquor store later in the day and bought the limit for an individual.

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Photo of HopBrad31
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Smuggled some Cans down to my surf lodge in Nicaragua. YEAH BUDDY!
A Perfect IPA. Perfect Bitterness, Perfect Hop Flavor and Aroma - DANK, Citrus, Piney, Resin. The creaminess mouthfeel is what puts this over the top as well. One of my favorite beers.

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Photo of jhmiv
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Out of the can as instructed. Great, consistent hoppy flavor. Terrific enhancer of sharp cheddar resting on tongue. Makes cheese pop and the finish of this ADIPA holds up. Very drinkable.

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Photo of Halfbrother83
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drinking straight from the can, as instructed.

A: It is a good can. The aesthetics of the font and the illustration are pleasing, and I dig the black tab. One of the best can designs I've seen for a beer, so I'm rating it accordingly.

S: Upon cracking the can open, I'm getting waves of pineapple, orange juice, lemon, piney resin, and some apricot, with no one scent overpowering the other.

T: Wow! Very juicy, but not overwhelmingly so. Citrusy notes of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and apricot all flow out of the can and coat the palette in a perfect harmony. There is a slight bitter hop tinge towards the finish, which is when the light, well balanced malt comes in for a smooth finish.

M: Incredibly smooth, medium bodied with a lighter carb level than I'd expect for a DIPA, but it works. The smoothness of this beer is, for me, what helps it excel to the top of the top 250. Very little alcohol presence, making this an exceptional easy drinker.

O: A superb beer that deserves it's high demand, and one that I'll be jealous of not being able to get easily once my allotment is gone. #1? Eh, maybe... I prefer Pliny, but that's just my personal taste, and I would never, ever turn down the opportunity to get more Heady in my fridge.

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

I have one person to thank for this mrKennedy what a brilliant unexpected bday present you are the man and I know they say drink out the can but this definitely deserves a glass and pours a cloudy pineapple juice hue with a fluffy cloud like three finger head and lacing everywhere looks so inviting,the smell is pineapples,piney hops,tangerines,grapefruit and a tonne of Valencia oranges,the mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated and medium bodied with tastes of pineapples,mangoes,grapefruit,tangerines and finished with a soft citrus bittersweetness and overall what a sublime AIPA it's right up there with the best I've tried and just wish this and the rest of their range was available here cheers.

 699 characters

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

This is a really good beer. The can says to drink from the can, so who am I to disobey a direct order. I can't really judge the appearance this way, but the can has a cool design. The smell is a certain citrusy aroma with hints of the can mixed in the smell. The taste is perhaps the most balanced DIPA. the hops are not overpowering, and the flavor is exceptionally complex. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, and a sour hop flavor come to the forefront. The most remarkable element is the smooth mouthfeel. One might even say it goes down soft. The aftertaste does not limit the experience, but takes it in a different direction. The citrusy flavors sweeten like candy. Most DIPAs express punch of bitter hops at this point, so this was surprising and refreshing. This beer is definitley worth the hype.

 799 characters

Photo of rodmanfor3
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When you get the right batch, there is no beer better than Heady Topper.

In a blind taste test that included Abner, Dinner, Double Citra, Focal Banger, Gandhi Bot, Mastermind, Pliny the Elder, Second Fiddle, Sip of Sunshine, Society and Solitude #4, the Substance, and Zombie Dust, Heady Topper was crowned king.

There is great batch variability, but the right batch will reaffirm why this is considered the #1 beer in the world.

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

I finally got to try this thanks to a coworker who got some in a trade. I drank it from the can as directed. It was very good, however, I feel this beer should not still be at #1. I had Pliny the Elder a week ago and liked it a lot more. But, fwiw, I think I like FW Double Jack more than this, so do what you will with this review.

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Photo of Jfriz25
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance- Poured about 6oz into a snifter before drinking the rest from the can. Pours a hazy yellow-orange with an inch of head that quickly fades to a film of bubbles on the surface. Some sediment but this pour was off the top of the can so it isn't bad.

Smell- If my world could smell like one thing it would be Heady Topper. I get some pine up front then just waves of juicy tangerine and a little alcohol.

Taste- Again, waves of hop flavor come through to the point where it is hard to pick out individual notes. The bitterness is pretty subdued which is amazing for the amount of hops used. I don't get pine in the taste just more juicy fruit and a little sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full mouthfeel. I get stickiness that allows the flavor to linger but not necessarily the resiny mouthfeel of some other DIPA. Moderate carbonation..

Overall- I don't think there is anything quite like this. I would describe it as liquid hop extract without the bitterness. Just juicy and delicious plus with 16 ounces at 8% you have a nice little buzz afterwards. Can is right, it is so drinkable it's scary.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,884 ratings.
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