Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,242 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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:
2,242
Ratings:
12,626
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,057
Gots:
4,924
For Trade:
68
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 12,626
Photo of Nhens0016
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a can like it says on the can so my look I just gave a 4.

I will say that it is always hard to live up to the hype. I have had many beers in my 5 years of enjoying craft beer (27 currently) and enjoyed many different styles. I was blessed to get a 4 pack of this beer and can easily say it is a top 3 IPA/Double IPA for me. I never like to say this is the best beer I ever had so that is why I will never say that about this beer but it lived up to the hype. This beer has everything I want in an IPA and it has that mouthfeel that many IPAs don't have. This beer is incredible. If you get the honor, TRY TRY TRY!

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Photo of simont1
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Glowing hazy yellow with a thick head.

S – Very pungent piney, citrusy aroma. Pineapple, over ripe fruit, hop forward.

T – Taste does not disappoint, again straight forward hops, no crystal malt, very dry. The amount of hop taste The Alchemist actually gets is very impressive.

M – Mouthfeel fills your mouth, lively carbonation with an abrupt bitterness finish, quite oily

O – The amount of hop taste The Alchemist actually gets is very impressive, the aroma, especially if you smell out of the can is very very intense, but the taste completely mimics it.

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Photo of anteater
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can, poured just a sip or two to see what it looks like.

A: murky straw yellow, medium head.

S: super strong dank hops, floral, tropical.

T: incredible. perfect balance between tropical fruit and bitterness. slightly more malt backbone than i expected. the drinkability is absolutely ridiculous, no hint of alcohol.

M: one of the best parts about the beer in my opinion. the drinkability is on a level i've never experienced before. its almost as though the beer just goes down and then you taste an explosion of flavors that linger on your palette afterwards.

O: no doubt that this is an absolutely incredible beer.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper is at the top of most DIPA lovers lists or beer aficionados lists and for good reason.

A - Poured half into a snifter and left the other half in a can each of the four times I drank this to compare. Beautiful bright sunshine orange with pale highlights and a half inch creamy foam head.

S - smell is by far the best smelling IPA i have had a chance to try. Fresh fruits, grapefruits, flowers, pine. Not to overpowering hoppy smell.

T- My favorite DIPA to date as it taste like it smells. THe balance between the fruit and the hops is perfect.

M - Overall amazing mouthfeel. THe alcohol is hidden perfectly within this monster.

O - Found a reliable source in Vermont to pick these up for me and will be buying more when the time arises. Now that it's getting colder its time to stick to the world class stouts! This is the cream of the crop of DIPAs!

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Photo of mr-jj
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can purchased at Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury. Drank the first can in my hotel room and poured the second into a snifter just to see the color.

Poured a hazy straw color with a thick head of creamy foam.

The aroma was grapefruit and floral hops. And hops, And more hops. Wow.

Flavor is grapefruit rind and floral hops which almost, but not quite, hide the malt . Hop bitterness that lingers through the finish. Not a beer to be quickly quaffed.

Body was medium with a ton of hop resins left behind to coat my mouth. Its rare that I've tasted this much lingering hop presence. Maybe only on some of the Green Flash beers.

Overall, this is a great DIPA. Definitely deserves to be in the conversation of my top beers.

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Photo of MoorBeerPlz
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the can into a tulip glass...

This can was bought in mid-September. Poured a hazy rich goldorange with over 1 finger of off white head. This faded to nice lacing on the glass. Light carbonation noted.

First whiff is hops and then the citrus presence, namely grapefruit, pine and some other hints. So nice on the nose but it doesn't give away anything about what's coming in the tasting....

Remembering that this has been sitting in the fridge since mid-September I figured there would be some difference between this and the one I had at the brewery. I wasn't too far off. The hop profile has softened slightly but the first notes are the hops, then the citrus, other fruit hints and pine. The beer is still so balanced there wasn't one flavor that stood out above the others. Certainly the malts haven't taken over and dumbed down the flavor profile, it's just a bit mellower than when fresh.

Medium body for me with a clean, fresh taste and a dry, hop finish. Smooth all the way through. Lower carbonation than what I remember but I don't mind a bit.

Overall this beer lives up to its name. As I compare it to other DIPA, this one is still at the top of my list, even one that's a little older and less-fresh than right out of the brewery. Awesome job Alchemist and hopefully I'll come by some more of this down the road.

Cheers!!!

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There's quite a lot of hype surrounding this beer, and it is my favorite style, so I was very excited to finally be able to pick some up while in Vermont recently. I drank my first one last night from the can like it says, but this time I'm pouring a whole can into a 16 oz Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass for the review (and yes I will drink the remaining two from the can!)

A - Pours a very hazy golden orange with about 1 1/2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Some very small but noticeable particulates floating in the glass. Much cloudier than your typical DIPA.

S - As soon as the pressure inside the can was released, the room was enveloped in an amazing hop/tropical fruit aroma. Diving further into the head you'll notice TONS of grapefruit and sweet bready malt. Peaches, mango and tropical fruit are also there. A nice earthy, grassy hop aroma comes through as well but the fruits dominate.

T - Initially sweet and fruity, it rides out to a spectacular grassy and piney finish. There is so much citrusy hoppy goodness packed into this can. The freshness of the hops is really unparalleled, it is by far the "juiciest" DIPA I've been able to track down. The hops are complimented by a sweet bread malt backbone and it is extremely well balanced. Dry, bitter, and slightly boozy aftertaste. Very little booziness in the taste however, just loads of super fresh and pure hoppy goodness.

M - Chewy and full bodied with somewhat low carbonation, but it's spot on. A little oily and sticky on the lips, as expected.

O - Are there more insane DIPAs out there? Of course. But this has to be one of the freshest and "purest" tasting DIPAs I have ever had. It's near flawless and quite remarkable, and totally warrants the $12 price tag for the 4 pack. If you're a true hophead like me, you really have no choice but to seek this out. It warrants the hype and I'm hoping it will propel this brilliant brewer to future success and more releases.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a fresh 4-pack at the Healthy Living Market in Burlington, Vt. Definitely one of the more beautiful cans I've ever purchased.

A: Pours a slightly hazy bronze-copper colour with a marshmallow-like creamy foam head. Decent retention and very good lacing down the glass.

S: Amazing. Damp earthy moss funkyness, lumberyard pine, a big grapefruit and mango element, and creamy walnut. Incredibly smooth and well integrated aromas.

T: Buttered biscuit-like malt serves as the backbone, with an earthy pine bitterness and tart grapefruit and sweet mango upfront. An earthy damp wood and mushroom-like elements are present. The taste screams fresh. Smooth, creamy, and very well balanced. Alcohol pretty much undetectable.

M: Full body with a moderate carbonation. Quite oily (welcoming) with a slightly resiny and grainy texture.

D: One of the best IPA's I've ever tasted. What else can I say?

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Photo of ixodus
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy, hop particle filled, reddish-orange color with a thick billowing white head that slowly retracts to a couple centimeters. Leaves a ton of lacing as sipped down.

S: The smell of this beer is simply amazing. At the first whiff it reminds me of a fresh bag of hops or hop pellets. Juicy mango, luscious grapefruit, and juicy pineapple, a long with some resinous pine.

T: Bursting with flavor! Pineapple, grapefruit, apricot, mango, orange and a slight bit pine resin. The taste lives for minutes beyond the sip. Even though this is brewed in Vermont, it tastes like Hawaii. Definitely balanced towards this bitter side.

M: Smooth, medium bodied, soft carbonation, juicy.

O: Hand down best IPA I have ever had. Previous IPA World Champion went to Pliny E/Flower Power but this just blows them away. All I gotta say is MOAR!!!!

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Photo of travMI13
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeRanger for this one.

2012 vintage. No canning date, but likely less than 1 month old. 16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

A: Incredibly hazy orange body with a finger of fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Tons of sediment. In fact, I've never seen so much sediment in a fresh DIPA.

S: Huge citrus hop notes. Straight up orange and grapefruit. Very straight to the point here.

T: Wow. Incredibly hoppy, but not overpowering. The orange is the most dominant citrus note on the palate. It almost has a fresh orange juice flavor to it. The hop bite hits up front, but it's short-lived because it's quickly followed by the citrus sweetness.

M: This is about the perfect amount of carbonation. Just the right amount of dryness and sweetness, as well. Resinous, but not a palate killer.

O: This beer is well-deserving of the hype it receives. The drinkability is incredible. I was a little put-off at first by all the hop sediment, and I do wonder how it impacted the flavor. I also probably should've had a couple of tastes straight from the can. I guess I will just need to track down more. One of the best DIPA's I've ever had.

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After years of hearing all the hype about this brew, and wondering if I'd ever get the chance to try it without making a special trip to Vermont, I finally hold a can of this "whale" in my hand. I'd like to give a special thanks to Jason for this amazing gift. My excitement is mounting, time to crack it open...

Poured a small amount into a sample snifter for appearance, I will enjoy the rest from the can as instructed.

A: Pours a hazy golden straw color, with a beautiful foamy white head.

S: Very intense and pleasant hoppy, and fruity aromas immediately bombard the nostrils. Fresh citrus rind, grapefruit, blood orange, mango, and other tropical fruits meld perfectly with a dank herbal hoppyness. I also pick up some slight hints of sweet bread like malts, honey, and even fresh mint. It's pretty incredible how quickly the smell dominates the senses immediately as the can is cracked open, it instantaneously wowed me. This is quite possibly the best aroma I have ever gotten from an IPA especially considering the fact that you get so much of it even when drinking from a can. This is unprecedented for me.

T: Holy f**k! I have been drinking some absolutely savage IPA's lately, but this is on a whole other level. Big Flavors of citrus and tropical fruits blast your taste buds, and follow the mold the aromas lay out for you. Grapefruit, blood orange, apricot, lemon, mango and papaya blend together perfectly with grassy herbal, and resiny pine hop bitterness, and a subtly sweet malt backbone. This is one of the best tastes to have ever graced my tongue. I am beyond impressed, I didn't think it could be this good, damn was I wrong.

M: Full bodied with a nice juicy character. Medium to high amount of bubbly carbonation. Very slight hint of alcohol warmth. Rediculously drinkable with a crisp refreshing finish and pleasant lingering bitterness.

O: Wow! I must say this transcended all of my expectations, and surpassed the hype. I may legitimately shed a tear when I take my last sip. I wish I could get this regularly because I would drink it everyday if I could. I have had probably well over a 1,000 brews and this is one I would easily put in my top 25. It may take the cake as far as IPA's go. Obviously there are still some great ones I have yet to try, but at this moment in time this is my new benchmark IPA. If you ever have the chance to try this DO IT! Truly a nectar of the Gods beer.

Thanks again Jason!

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Photo of Fubar1453
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured about 3oz into glass. Murky golden yellow, small head disipates quickly.

S:Lots of hops and citrus. Really mouthwatering.

T: I get a ton of hops mixed with orange, pineapple and grapefruit. So unbelievably drinkable.

M: Not as sticky as most DIPAs, leaves a citrus rather than bitter aftertaste.

O: I was afraid this wasn't going to live up to the hype but it absolutley did, I've never had a DIPA with pineapple characteristics before and it mixed with the other fruits and hops so well. I couldn't be happier with this beer.

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Photo of JAFoley
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just got back from vacation and still had some Heady that I could review. Even as someone who lives close to the Heady delivery locations, this is unnecessarily difficult to get a hold of. Certainly a great beer, but I would recommend any of those dishearted to find this sold out to seek Lawson's Sip of Sunshine. It's just as good imho but much more available.

L - Cloudy amber body with nice foamy white head. Great retention and lacing.

S - Nice hoppy citrus

T - Strong bitter hop, floral, pine, citrus, and peppery. Malts are earthy and smokey in the background. Aftertaste leaves you with fresh bitter hop.

F - Medium body with moderate fine carbonation. Resinous and sticky.

O - Yep, a fantastic IPA. The hype may be over the top, but it is an exceptional beer and I'd drink it frequently if I could. Certainly worth the effort for a taste.

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Photo of sans
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites ... I buy a case every other month or so.

Appearance - is a cloudy, golden orange and small amounts of debris in suspension. Lots of speculation on what is is, but we all seem to agree it tastes pretty damned good! I always wish for more head.

Smell - grapefruit avalanche with spots of other citrus ... minimal but present pine and perhaps a little lemongrass.

Taste - the gift that keeps on giving. waves of aromatic hops roll to the back of the tongue and crash on the shoreline of the pallet. Huge bitterness balanced with mingling sweetness. Maybe a little diacetyl buttery inbetween??? Very complex beer ... I may never fully understand its beauty.

Mouthfeel - rich, thick, and slippery. Very modest carbonation.

Overall - a very rich and rewarding beer. The kind of beer that spoils you and makes you question others that you liked a month ago ...

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a beer!!!
Could not help, but to pour it for a review.
It has a cloudy medium gold color and builds a creamy white head, witch leaves good lacing.
The smell is full of citrusy, fruity and flowery hops.
The taste is an incredible abundance of hop flavors, yet balanced be just enough malt, not to be overpowering. Great mouthfeel and drinkability makes this one probably the best I have tasted yet.
Fantastic beer and I think my personal beer high score!!!

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Photo of silentjay
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally made the 3 hour drive to get some Heady Topper.
I'm going to drink some out of the can, as they suggest, and some out of a snifter, as I tend to prefer.

pouring half(ish) of the can into an oversized snifter gives a glowing golden orange body and a pure white head that is not too oversized, but sticks around and laces well.

tropical fruits slam my nose with tons of citrus, juicy and bitter, and some pine, lemon zest, some earthy/floral hops and some light malts. very aromatic.

tons and tons of resiny hop flavors with tropical fruits, juicy and bitter citrus, tons of pine, a good amount of bitterness, and a sweetness that comes in for a visit before it finishes resiny and bitter. (when I took a 1 ounce sample at the brewery, I tasted it the whole 3 hour drive home!) what a tasty, intense beer.

medium bodied and over-the-top resiny with just enough carbonation to add a prickly feel. it starts and ends as pure hop resin though.

oh my god. definitely meets the expectations. I'm glad I spent my Christmas money to buy an entire case. I was going to share a lot of it, but I have a feeling I'll be drinking a lot of this the next week!!! Happy new year to me!!!

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Photo of Pahn
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can into Duvel tulip (drank small amount from the can--prefer it in the glass, *as with every beer*). No freshness info, but my friend just bought it for me when a stray case hit Boston a couple days ago. Sold out in a day at 1 can per customer.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 3/4 inch fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Pours an opaque orange-ish yellow. Some spotty lacing. I quite like the solid yellow color; gives a real nectar impression.

Smell: Grapefruit, mango, and lemon, with a slight pungency and some pale malt. With time, it's all grapefruit and lemon--dankness disappears as does the malt. Bursting with bright citrusy hop aromas.

Taste: Up front, beautiful citrusy hops with a tinge of tropical fruit. Finishes with just enough bitterness along with some subtle pale malt.

What a simple, direct, but genius beer. Every sip is that succulent citrus and mango hop explosion up front, leading to a sort of soothing balance of slightly toasted malt, alcohol heat, and bitterness. The latter three all read as "soft", and the hop flavor persists on top of them through the dryish finish into the aftertaste. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Just right. Medium bodied and smooth, juicy with a slight creaminess. Low to moderate carbonation comes across as an occasionally noticeable tingle. Perfect dryness, bitterness, heat.

Overall: This beer reminds me of a great jazz band. The malt, heat, IBU, and mouthfeel are all playing wonderfully subdued parts, supporting the hop oil virtuoso soloist. DIPAs don't get much better than this.

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Photo of berkshire413
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

from the can, this beer is just incredible, what can be said that hasnt already been said. If you love hops jump right in and take a bath. great complexity pineapple up front, citrus galore, piney and juicy all they way through. every sip makes you think of something different, there is so much going on with this beer its impossible to capture in words or in one sip, so grab a few cases.

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Photo of Amgarnier
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in the can for the smell and taste then poured rest in glass for appearance.

A: Hazzy dark straw almost orange. nice finger head that persists and a lacing on the glass.

S: Intense citrus fruit aroma Grapefruit, orange, and lemons lead to a biscuity malt backbone.

T: Grapefruit forward flavor not too grassy or resiny. A little creamy. Biscuity malt with some honey. The sweetness fades to a lingering bitterness. Finishes somewhat sweet.

M: Medium carbonation with a medium body.

O: Amazing beer well balanced bitterness with sweetness. I like how the hops are not too harsh or grassy it makes the beer very drinkable. It seems to finish sweet which helps offset the bitterness.

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Photo of dowen17
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter.

Well, here goes nothing.

Pours an extremely hazy golden yellow. No chunks as I've seen some people say. Poured a little light so I only received a one finger head. But it has nice retention.

This beer smells so so so fresh. I can't describe how fresh it smells. Tangerine and grapefruit on the nose. I can smell this beer from the other end of my table. No alcohol presence. Smells wonderful.

Taste is of fresh hops and citrus. Very well balanced. Fruit esters at the forefront. As soon as the beer hits my mouth it's tangerine and grapefruit. Very very fresh. Hops dominate the rest of the taste. The middle and end of the sips are all hops. Very fresh and balanced. Not too bitter. Very earthy.

Mouthfeel is great. Perfectly carbonated. The carbonation really keeps the flavors alive in your mouth and gives a nice bite on your tongue.

Overall this is a wonderful beer. Number one in the world? Eh... Not sure. That's something you'll have to decide for yourself. But what I can say is that it's an amazing beer and well well worth the try. If you can get it, get it. Drink it and enjoy.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

OK, here we go. The unofficial holy grail of IPAs. Great appreciation goes out to SatlyMalty for this excellent surprise! Poured into a snifter (screw what the can says). The code on the can is apparently not a freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy amber color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains well before becoming an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a light sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing slides down the glass. Once the can is emptied into the glass, little specs of sediment are suspended in the body.

S- The hop aroma has a remarkable balance of citrus and pine but mostly citrus with bursting notes of pineapple, mango and guava. Also has a sweetness from the malts making this pretty perfect, smell-wise.

T- The flavor has much of the same: piney, earthy bitterness with a tropical fruit kick to compliment. Alcohol is well-hidden but still present and there's a graininess to the relatively sturdy malt backbone. The bitterness is stronger than I expected but is also welcome. Good hop burps. The sweetness of the malt is picked up more as the beer warms. Incredibly drinkable, even when warm.

M- A bit dry and prickly from the hops. Medium carbonation and a solid body.

O- Not as amazing as Zombie Dust IMO, but still easily one of the top 5 IPAs I've ever had. I really must say that it's a travesty to encourage the buyer to drink this from the can since the aroma is so sublime. Oh well, he has his reasons.

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Photo of Dynobolt
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing drink! Tried it with my brother in San Diego. He was able to get from a coworker that has family in Vermont. Definitely lived up to the hype.

Now the second time around.. It's 5-29-15, my brother cracks a can open, I'm nervous, still a great beer but something was missing, not Gina put to much into it, I still believe it's world class, but I have now a whole bunch more west coast ipas and dipas under my belt and they are definitely right there with heady. I rescored this drink cause I'm a little more critical with more experience. Still a top 3 I'm my book.

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Photo of beerwolf72
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Only a couple days old, poured into a pint glass. Cloudy with about an inch of white. This is the best smelling beer ever. Flowers, cut grass/pine, citrus. Substantial mouthfeel without being syrupy. Extremely well-balanced hop/malt profile. Extremely well-done.

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Photo of Speckerman
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is quite easy to get in Vermont with some planning and patience. This would fall within my top three DIPA's I have tasted. Has a great smell, color and taste and awesome finish. Not so sure about drinking it out of the can! I just prefer a snifter style glass versus the can. Only thing better than this beer is Patriots winning the Super Bowl!

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Photo of ericdavidmorris
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - More yellow-gold than other DIPAs. Not too much of a head. Nice lacing.

S - Citrus hops smell

T - Very balanced between malts and bittery hops with lovely body.

F - Smooth with a slight tingle of carbonation, good body. Smooth.

O - Yup, world class. Will need to try a fresher batch! Absurdly drinkable.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.
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