Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,349 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: 2,349 | Ratings: 13,241
Photo of Adrianized
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy, opaque light orange with floating sediment. Thin head quickly settles. 4

Very fruity citrusy nose. Mostly tangerines and clementines, also some lemon-lime. Piney, earthy hops in the background. 4.5

Taste follows the nose. I initially get a very strong citrus hop taste, almost tastes like I'm drinking orange-grapefruit juice. Very well balanced with a light caramel malt. Aftertaste transforms from delicate tangerine, to bitter grapefruit, and builds to a "west-coast" piney, resiney hop profile. Eventually, the piney hops dominate. 4.5

Taste from the can: hoppier, more bitter, stronger pine. More aggressive DIPA. ...better. 5

Mouthfeel is full bodied, just the right carbonation. Spot on for the style. 5

Overall, an excellent, superbly balanced DIPA. Certainly worth seeking out. 4.5

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Hazy orange with two fingers of white head

S - Dank hop juice, some grapefruit and lots of pine

T - Tropical juices and then delicious hop oils. Pine needles and a dank finish. Bitterness isn't overly intense and this is sweet at times. Drinking from the can envelopes the entire beer with that dank quality.

F - Perfect. Good carbonation, never syrupy. Drinks lighter than 8%.

O - A nearly perfectly-balanced beer filled with all of those unfiltered goodies and is still drinker-friendly.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500ml can 8,0% ABV.
Two cans both served chilled, one in an over sized wine glass and one straight from the can as recommended.
No canning date (WHY????)

Appearance: Murky, golden-orange body topped by a large white head. The head displays good retention and leaves some great looking lacing as it slowly recedes.

Smell: Thank the pope, this smells fresh!!! Wonderful juicy fruit aromas (orange, peach, passion fruit, mango and tangerine) combine with grapefruit, pine resin, and a dank leafy character.

Taste: Mmmmm, this is absolutely delicious! Sweet, juicy citrus (orange and tangerine) dominates, with mango, peach, grapefruit, resiny pine and a dank herbal character all well noted. With this much hop flavour, the beer is surprisingly balanced - moderate bitterness and sublime drinkability.

Mouthfeel: For my personal tastes, this is just about perfect! Medium bodied and quite oily, with a medium-high level of smooth carbonation.

Overall: Heady Topper certainly lives up to the reputation! This is a phenomenal IIPA that (unlikely as it seems) DOES taste better out of the can than out of a glass! Initially the difference between can and glass is quite small, however as the beer warms the can certainly comes out on top!

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured (partially) from a 16-oz. tallboy can into a tulip-shaped Relic Brewing Co. Belgian snifter.

A: Poured a hazy, golden yellow color with an amber tinge and a thin veil of wispy lace that settled to a fine coating. Leaves a nice, sticky ring of lace on the glass.

S: Holy hops; sweet, fragrant tropical fruits, orange rinds and grapefruit juice, backed by spicy, herbal, grassy and catty hop aromatics. This DIPA really has it all.

T: Light, juicy malt sweetness up front primes the palate with some fruity esters before digging the hop sickle into the tongue. Truthfully, the bready and juicy hops lay a nice foundation for the waves of hop complexity that roll across the palate. It begins light, with lemon and orange zest, segueing into a grassy, peppery complexity before melding into the somewhat hot, prickly resins that wash the brew back with sticky, grapefruit rind and hop oils. The bittersweet, juicy and hopped out aftertaste is icing on the cake.

M: Medium-bodied and super-smooth for such a bitter brew. The hops tingle, burn and resonate their way throughout the experience, all the while retaining a high probability that you'll go back soon for another sip.

O: A very tasty, smooth and bitter hop bomb wrapped in the juicy, malted arms of an extremely well-crafted, 8% ABV DIPA. Heady-Topper is that beer you lust after when you want to satiate your desire for complex hop acidity but don't want rubber-tongue the rest of the night. That's not to say the hops won't burn you, because they will. It's just that this beer offers so much more and balances things well with light, delicate, yet effective, usage of malts. Won't you come to Waterbury, CT, Alchemist?

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy copper-orange with a fingers worth of white foamy head on top. Leaves waves of lacing down the pint glass.

Mmmm... I get a nice wave of hops before I even bring the glass up to my nose. Lots of grapefruit citrus and pine. Smells very aromatic and fresh. Beautiful nose.

Sticky hop juice on the tongue with some grapefruit citrus and sweet caramel malts in the background. Lots of bitterness up front that continues throughout. Pine-laden hops.

Mouthfeel is resiny and sticky. Good carbonation and a substantial body. You can feel the hops in this one.

Drinkability is exceptional. This beer goes down so easy. Packed with a good helping of hops and lots of citrus. The nose is very aromatic. An enjoyable drink all around and the ABV is unnoticeable. I might be in the minority, but I think I actually enjoy this more out of the bottle than on tap, even though a fresh pint is still excellent. I'm really hoping this comes to cans soon, because this really is one of the best DIPA's out there.

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Photo of koopa
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask tonight at the Alchemist with beerloco who is now snoring like a maniac on a motel room floor because the stupid owner gave our room with 2 beds away to somebody else...note he is passed out while I'm currently drinking a Foothills Baltic Porter :)

Appearance: Pours a cloudy fender vintage sunburst orange to amber with radiant honey streaks and a 3 finger off white hop tinged crown that displays good retention and lace.

Smell: Loads of fresh hoppy goodness. A bit less bitterness than the tap version but much stronger notes of orange, grapefruit, and grassy herbs.

Taste: Same as nose but with the tiniest supporting bit of caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with soft carbonation.

Drinkability: So sessionable for a big DIPA.

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Photo of joeland
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: pours an orangeish hazy color witha finger high head that leaves an amazing lacing

S: get a huge smeel of citrus hops mixed in with some flora hops

T: the taste is like the smell the citrus hops shine threw. it's an amazing taste. it has the hop taste without the overwelming bitterness.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbnation

D: this is a very easy drinking beer. it goes down easy .

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer, and a gold mine for hop heads! Thanks to TCassel1 (Todd) for the trade for this!

A: Dark Orange with lots of sediment floating around, which I like (unfiltered is great IMO). Small ring of head and some lacing cap it off.

S: AWESOME Smell, huge hops and bready malts to boot. Tropical fruit, pine, citrus all appear.

T: Awesome flavor, really great. Huge hop to malt ratio- Dry biscuit with floral and citrus hops presiding. Really tasty juicy center with dry finish and bitters. Great, complex flavor that just falls short of a 5.

M: Great feel, man its great. Says pub level on the bottle, and thats how it feels. Low carb, smooth and huge palate of flavor.

D: Insanely drinkable, wish I could live at the pub and get this on draft!! Great stuff.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

scored a couple 4-packs and smuggled them back to PA. pint can into flying dog tulip. no canned on date.

A: a very hazy body that is a pale orange color. head is white, but not bright. big bubbles. good retention and lacing. almost too hazy, but i guess it must be fresh then.

S: pine. grapefruit. very inviting. kiwis. melon. but mostly pine. lots and lots of pine. very good.

T: a very american hop profile is thorough. the palate is actually sticky. enough sweet malt/caramel flavor is back there, but just detectable towards the finish. a little vanilla? bitterness lingers into the finish but is not over-cloying.

M: mild carbonation on a full bodied IPA.

D: like the can says, dangerously drinkable. hands down top 3 DIPA's i can just pick up and enjoy several without being overwhelmed. just lovely.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mountsnow1010. Cheers!

A careful pour reveals a clear apricot colored body. This beer is definitely unfilter, plenty of sediment and hop resin ready laying on the bottom of the can. A full pour will leave you a cloudy, murky DIPA. Three finger white lacing is set atop. The retention is fairly impressive. As the head recedes, the glass is covered with lacing.

The aroma is straight up hops. Massive citrus and tropical fruits. Tangerine, orange and pineapples. There is an underlying pine aroma which is fairly subtle but provide a bit of balance. There is a touch of malt which is picked up in the nose. Soft pale malt finds itself buried requiring a bit of searching to find. This may be the best smelling DIPA I have had to date.

I am not certain the flavor live up to the aroma, but that should just speak to how amazing the aroma is. the flavor is all about the citrusy, fruity hops. Tangerine, guava, pineapple and a bit of grapefruit. The fruity hop flavors are bright and assertive. A fair amount of pine and pith develop just behind. The bitterness is just high enough to provide a bit of balance and deliver a little bite.

Medium bodied DIPA. The carbonation is on point for the style. Very smooth and soft texture. The finish is rather dry, slight citrusy flavor left lingering on the tongue.

Heady Topper, this one was a long time coming and did not disappoint. Just as good as any DIPA I have ever had, perhaps the most enjoyable beer I have come across. Flavors is bright and clean. Drinkability is off the charts, there is no sign of the 8% ABV. This is one I will seek out on a regular occasion, would be a daily drinker if I lived close enough.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can with sample poured into goblet. From the brewery.

A: Pours a very hazy orangish amber with a 1 finger white head. Quick to dissipate it is easily resurrected with a swirl. No lacing on the sides. A few bits of debris visible in the body.

S: Loads of citrus hops up front. Simply amazing. Grapefruit, orange and pine in there as well. Sweet fruit like malts become noticeable as it warms up.

T: First sip is a delicious blend of floral and citrus hops. Very clean hop flavor with mild malt in the background. Unlike other hop bombs its not as much of a slap in the face but a delicious blend of tasty hops.

M: Very easy drinking for something with so much hop taste. Nice nectar like quality, on the low end of carbonation. Doesnt leave a sticky film in your mouth either. The 8% alcohol is hardly noticeable. But hard to tip back a few in a row.

Overall I'd say this beer is worth the hype surrounding it. One of the easiest drinking and tastiest Double IPA's hands down. Still hoping some day I can get this locally.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I drank from the can so it's hard to judge appearance, but the can looks super sexy.

The nose is heavily fruity, but there's a piney quality to the hops too. A second whiff gives me some floral hints and.... more hops. What can I say? It's intensely hopped up, but it smells delicious.

Interesting. It's citrusy and grapefruit-like, but doesn't possess that dry bitterness that I usually find. There's still something fruity and berry-like going. Mid-palate there's a breakthrough of sweet, caramel-like malt, some breadiness, and more earthy hops. This provides an excellent balance.

Initially, the beer was drinking rather mellow-like, but with successive sips the intense bitterness overtakes my tongue. This thing is a beast. There's a good bit of carbonation and a medium-body that allow for some enjoyment before the brutally dry, long finish. I only get a hint of astringency on this towards the finish and that contributes to the dryness.

The fruitiness in this beer is what makes it most impressive. It's not excessively grapefruit heavy while still offering citrus and it's not overly piney either. It's deceivingly easy-to-drink and that would mean trouble if I had access to more.

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Photo of Ajs345
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Always been an IPA fan. Amazing taste till the last drop in the can. Some IPAs tend to be too hoppy or bitter, but this one has the perfect balance. Listen to the words on the can and drink it straight out of the can. Really seals in the flavor. Made my Christmas in Vermont with or without the snow.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks beautiful. Hazy Orange smells just like pulped Orange Juice. High amounts of grapefruit and grapefruit bitterness. Excellent beer, best double ipa? Doubtful

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Photo of B0shes
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I must be a terrible man, but I don't drink this beer from the can. I can't say anything different or add much to the reviews below, but this may be the perfect IPA, and deserves to be enjoyed with every sense.

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Photo of theBeebo8
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Made the trip up to VT to snag a case of this, and it was worth the drive time. I understand how this beer has stayed on the top of the charts for so long. Great orange color, with citrus not only in the smell but throughout the taste. Definitely a world-class beer

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Photo of More_betterness
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed out the can

A: Silver aluminum! Poured a bit into a glass and it was a murky unfiltered glowing orange with a fluffy white head, per usual for vermont ipas. Good retention.

S: Straight hop juice. Massive pineapple, mango, and guava layered with some pine notes. Malt character isn't even registering, smells like you dumped a jamba juice smoothie on a pine tree. Just nuts.

T: Juicy pineapple, orange, and peach upfront. Resiny and bitter pine and grapefruit follows. Maybe a hint of crackery malt in the long, drying finish.

M: Incredibly soft mouthfeel with moderate, airy carbonation. The moderate body and resiny, lingering finish contributes to the juicy feel of the beer and make this insanely drinkable.

O: Just amazing. The hype is justified. Wish I could drink this literally every day.

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Photo of Rope
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bright orange, good sticky head.

Bubblegum, with a bright citrus.

Follows the nose very well, and really explodes into different flavors of tropical fruits.

Wonderfully carbonated, refreshing, and instead of lingering invites you to drink more.

Incredibly happy to taste it and find another beer that lives to its hype. Big thank you to Dark Lord goers for being great sharers.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pouring Heady Topper from the "Drink from the Can" pint can reveals a hazy, fiery orange liquid with a foamy, tightly laced, white head. Head foams up quickly, peaking at 3 fingers with an aggressive start and conservative finish. Retention on the head is great, lasting even through a half dozen sips. Lacing bubbles around the glass, with great retention. Aroma is steeped in layers of citrus, with notes of orange, lemon zest, and papaya. Biscuit malts bunch up just behind the hops to form an assertive, but refreshingly delicate hoppy aroma. Flavor profile opens with a smooth crescendo of citrus, orange, lemon zest, and biscuit malts. A hoppy start flexes and reshapes itself into a malty finish - with a little resin hop at the end to stick to the palate. Mouth feel is smooth and somewhat filling with a medium thickness. Feel certainly has a presence, but is still light enough to be enjoyed swiftly on a blisteringly hot day. Overall, a sublime IPA with plenty of flavorful body, and presence. The lack of a bitter stinging finish makes this an easy beer to enjoy for folks both new to IPAs and old.

Served in a 20oz Heady Topper glass.

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Photo of duracell
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 3/4 straight from the can, then poured the rest into a snifter.

A (last 1/4 of the can) - Surprisingly super clear, dark gold color. Small head disappearing quickly without leaving much of lancing.
S - Very intense herbal, fresh, piney, mango, citrusy aromas. Extremely aromatic and quite balanced by some malt.
T/M - Big hops flavors. Lemon zest, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruits sustained by a lively carbonation. Very juicy. Leads you to a nice fruity bitterness at the end that lingers forever.
O - Definitely one of the best DIPA I was given to try! Tons of flavors and complexity. A must try!!

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a glass.

Look: Hazy bright/light orange yellow. Said to drink out of the can, but nah.

Smell: Somewhat musky, citrusy, heavy on the pine.

Taste- Hops hit first, which cascade into an insanely well balanced hit of pine and citrus. Lots going on here with grapefruit and citrus. Hard to get a hold on because everything is so well balanced, but above all else- delicious.

Feel- Dry finish with a medium body that leaves you wanting another sip

Overall- Had been looking for this for a few years now and was very excited to have a chance to try it out. I mentally prepared myself to combat the hype around it and try it objectively, which was difficult to do after the first sip because its so damn good. Hands down one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of BigJdizzle
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had out of a can. Drank partially from can and partially from glass. More bite out of the can, but great taste either way. Everything you'd expect an ipa to be....straight fire!

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man was I glad to score one of these! I poured a little into a glass to see what it looked like; nothing special but you're supposed to drink it out of the can so..not applicable?

About halfway through opening the can mango, grapefruit, and honey filled the room and that's before the damn thing was even open! The aroma is just outrageous. The flavor is incredibly tropical, filled with ripe melon, pine, lemon and more candy-like grapefruit juicy sweetness. Ridiculously unique and delicious. Some serious craftsmanship went into this shit. Bone dry finish beckons you for another sip.

Mouthfeel I found a bit flat; I guess some people like that, but I prefer lively carbonation and I think this would benefit from that--again, a preference thing. Overall I'm blessed to have had the #2 IPA on here and feel it's worth the hype. Bell's Hopslam is very similar to this and is another excellent beer that will suffice quite nicely til The Alchemist and I again cross paths.

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Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been craving this beer ever since I heard about and through the generosity of fellow BAs, I am able to enjoy it multiple times.

Yes, I gave it a 5 for appearance, because I don't see anything wrong with the hazy, sediment filled brew. I would rather that than have them filter it and alter it to make it more 'aesthetically appealing'. The aroma is pungent hops, juicy grapefruit and light toasty malts that all work together in total harmony and synchronization. Flavor is smooth and glides gracefully along the palate. It's such a pleasant and soft mouthfeel, giving it dangerous drinkability.

I can honestly say this was a perfect beer for me. Everything worked together and nothing was over or underpowered. Simply amazing.

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Photo of RoddyMedina
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Just got around to trying this beer from The Alchemist and it definitely lived up to its hype. Unfortunately I only had one during a bottle share but i hope to get my hands on more. I first poured a little to try it in a tulip but left some to compare because on the can it literally states in bold "DRINK FROM THE CAN" and it honestly tasted way better from the can.
The look was a little light compared to most DIPA's I've had, but it still had a nice light orange color to it, it didn't leave much head either. The smell was very citric, oranges with a slight grapefruit scent to it. The taste from the can was super crisp and smooth, it didn't leave kick in the back of your throat like a Maharaja would, which isn't bad either. Overall I'm really hoping to score more of these to give it another go as one can wasn't sufficient.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,241 ratings.
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