Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,350 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:
2,350
Ratings:
13,243
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,193
Gots:
5,497
For Trade:
65
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,350 | Ratings: 13,243
Photo of MTLDOG
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer lives up to the hype. I drank it from the can except for a small amount I poured into a Tumbler glass to check out the color and look etc. Straw yellow to gold, 1 finger of head with some lacing. A little carbonated looking. Smell was outstanding. Hops and citrus peel. Extra ripe mango, a little cannabis even. Taste was hoppy, spicy and a little bitter. Citrus and sweet very well balanced. Just outstanding. One of the best beers I have ever had. Mouthfeel was medium and the aftertaste is tart and bitter, in a good way. World class

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Photo of KMcG
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After I had a few sips from the can, as suggested by the brewery, I poured it into a tulip glass to have a look.   I'm glad I did! It's an attractive one!  A nice finger of head develops and the color is that of dried apricot fruit. There is a small amount of sediment floating about, but not much and it doesn't detract.  The head dissipates to nearly nothing, but some ultra fine lace remains that sticks to the glass with every sip. 

Big citrus and piney hop aromas. Tangerine!

For such potent nose the taste is quite well balanced for a DIPA.  It follows the nose to some extent with grapefruit citrus, but a hint of slightly sweeter fruit as well.  The malty backbone is there, subtle, but clearly balancing.  The finish is prickly bitterness although not overwhelming.  After it warms, every taste brings something new, oranges, lemon, honey suckle, peach...very interesting and complex!

For 8% ABV this one is quite drinkable.  The body is medium and the carbonation mild but a nicely done complement to the hoppiness. 

Thanks to Dr. B for sending this one.  What a treat!

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Photo of jimmy82063
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass for appearance...the rest of the review is from the can as the brewer intended.

A) Hazy orange with a very nice fluffy head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S) From the can pineapple galore. One of the most aromatic beers that I have tried.

T) Pineapple, Lemon Zest, Grapefruit dominate. The malt is there to balance off a clean finish. This is a delight.

M) Smooth, not overly carbonated.

O) This beer is outrageous...would like to spend a lifetime of deciding which I liked better...this or PTE.

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Photo of Bluepitt1010
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Needless to say...Alchemist lived up to the reputation. This was a the first time experiencing Heady. Tried it in a glass at first in the brewery. Then drank another the next day in the can as it said to. It was rather smooth to be honest with you. Flavors of citrus was well balanced with the hoppy taste. Overall very happy I was able to get my hands on some.

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Photo of nc41
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to satchboogie on shipping this one in a trade. Phenomenal nose, as good as Pliny or Hopslam. I really would say for my taste these 3 would b interchangeable as far as which one I like best. Number ratings don't tell how even they are. I drank from a glass on the first one can the next two. Looks great as fresh world class DIPA should, nice foam and you can get lost with your nose in the glass. Citrus, and lost of it, smooth hops, and a lot of that too, On my 1st can I was thinking of Pliny in a way to compare, but after having a few over the last few days I'm changing that up a bit. It comes on first sip like Pliny, then somewhere along the line the overwhelming hops kicks in and it's more similar to Alpines Pure Hoppiness. Nicely bitter, but not crushingly so, balanced as hell. Just a tremendous brew, surely equal to anything brewed anywhere that's a DIPA. It this was easily available I'd be 300 lbs.

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Photo of gopens44
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't think I have rated anything as high as this one. I honestly looked for defects in this as to not let the legacy of the beer sway my review and suck all objectivity out but damn, it really is worth every penny of hype it receives. What I look for in an IPA is balance. Typically when I get into DIPAs, I tend to relax my search for balance as it is typically replaced by too much sweetness or a touch too much heat (and that's in the best DIPAs I've had) The reason I believe that Heady deserves the critical acclaim is that it has re-written the rules so to speak, for me in approaching the DIPA. Yes, it CAN be well balanced and brilliant within the style. This one opens up with a great nose full of citrus AND pine somehow, without overwhelming on either. Taste follows identically until the sweetness in perfect harmony with the perfectly balanced malt backbone join in and combine every sensation together for one, again, very well balanced taste that finished with just a tiny touch of heat that reminds you that it is a DIPA. Full bodied, well balanced, pretty much every superlative that you can find in describing a great experience in drinking a beer belong here.

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Photo of Guillaumeprovost
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To the eye. A beautiful blonde color pale somewhat orange but hardly. Beautiful thick and aerated sparkling collar very great remarkable effervescence in this following to the observation of the beautiful big bubbles rising quickly towards the top of the glass. Color rather cloudy but not completely opaque.

On the nose

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A christmas present from duffextra cold.

I'm not a fan of the unfiltered IPA look but that said, this is a fine lookin' beer. Golden amber color with some floaties swirling about in the haze. Dense head never really diminishes and rides down the glass depositing layer upon layer of foamy rings like my glass is wearing a rugby shirt. As always, bonus points for cans. Super extra bonus points for a tallboy.

Aroma is every wonderful C hop aroma smushed into one glorious beer. Like motorboating a bag of hops. Grapefruit! Pine! Passion fruit! Grass! Yowza! Gadzooks! Spongecake malt underneath. So, so fresh.

Tastes like grapefruit soaked spongecake. Creamy unfiltered mouthfeel is also prickly with hop resin. Chewy.

So hoppy I tried filling my empty glass with water to make a small beer. It didn't work.

I honestly can't think of a way to make this beer much better. I guess filtering out the floaties wouldn't hurt. And at 8% it's a lot for my sensitive self. But I'm being really, really picky and a DIPA is what it is. Hope the brewpub is up and running again soon.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was a trade from Cheezy Blaster, where he shared the best New England has to offer, and I sent along some of Northeast Ohio's best brews. This beer was among the batch, all of which came through unharmed and ready to drink!

This comes in a 16 oz silver can featuring a professorial-looking dude sippin a brew with a cloud of hops lingering around his head. The labelling exhorts you to "Drink from the Can!" I, however, wanted to see what I was drinking, so I poured this into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy mango-orange color, with a decent amount of sediment suspension floating throughout. A sticky three finger off-white head presents upon pouring, and it ever-so-slowly reduces leaving a fair amount of sticky foam down the sides.

Has an intense, floral aroma, with tons of citrus, white grapefruit, pine boughs, mandarin oranges, and nectarines. While there is evident malt from the appearance, you wouldn't know it to smell it.

Taste is simply epic. The malt, while hidden in the nose, is evident in the taste, giving this brew a solid malt backbone. Bitter and hoppy up-front, with grapefruit pith, resin, and oaky herbal tastes combining to form a hopsplosion of flavor. Though strong, the flavor is not overpowering, and it is amazing what little aftertaste is left behind.

This ale leaves the toungue and gums tingling. It is my understanding that at a certain point, beers with a high IBU begin to express that extreme bitterness with the onset of tingling and numbness; this ale is getting me to that point!

Overall, just a fantastic beer. Piney and hoppy with plenty of up-front bitterness, without the lingering dryness you'll get from a west-coast style DIPA. Moreover, while there's an evident abundance of malt, it is not so sweet as to completely kill the spiciness of the hops. What a well balanced brew from The Alchemist!

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Photo of dickieb
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first poured a few OZ off to get a look then drank the rest from the can. Pours a hazy amber/straw in color with a pretty standard white head and pretty good lacing, points for the cool can as well. The smell fills the room even from the can resiny, piney, and citrus hops with tropical notes, pretty much any hop smell you can think of rolled into one. Taste of pure hop juice for me, not overly bitter but the can describes it best "wave after wave of hop goodness", there are also some malts in there if you try really hard to notice them. The mouthfeel is not all that heavy, the 8% abv is not noticeable at all and if you have access to this one it can be drank can after can. This can was exactly 1 week old.

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Photo of GregJ
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy honey orange with 2 finger white head. Smells floral, orange/grapefruit. Tastes of sweet orange blossom,grapefruit, sweet malt and pine. Silky medium/full body with medium carbonation. Leaves a great hop resin in mouth and lips and back of throat. Incredible beer.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance is a can, I followed the instructions and I'm glad I did.
Aroma is like no other, peachy, pine, intense tropical fruits, blueberry, pineapple.
Flavor is so tropical, extremely complex and well balanced beer.
Just bitter enough but flavors of pineapple and peach linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is like a creamy ipa. It coats every corner of your mouth.
I see what all the hype is about.
I'm so thankful to be able to try a fresh one (canned on 11/11/13) here in Alabama

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Photo of Zilaniz
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It says drink from the can but I poured it anyway for appearence reasons. Very west coast style, up there with the best of IPA's I have had. Wonderfully juicy and very refreshing, if it weren't 8% I could easily drink a sixer of it. Only had once since I am living in PA but will search out again

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Photo of Beerasaurus
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had it out of a can at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Poured a little into a taster just to check out the look, cloudy and straw colored. A nice hoppy aroma, but more subtle, not a punch to the face like other doubles.
Great taste, very smooth and well balanced for a double. Not an overpowering hop taste at all. A very drinkable double IPA, though my personal preference gives the nod to Sip of Sunshine.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an uber-cloudy golden orange with 2 fingers of head that reveals thick bubbly lacing. A lot of yeast sediment is suspended throughout the glass.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, papaya, tangerine and mango. Navel orange and lemon. Nice bready aromas along with caramel.

T: Juicy tangerine, papaya and mango with touches of peach and pineapple upfront. Mid-palate has big bready malts drizzled in caramel with notes of lemon juice and navel orange. Finishes initially with the breadiness taking over and transitions to pine needles and maybe some grapefruit pith.

M: Medium-full bodied, juicy, smooth, dry and slightly sticky. Carbonation is light.

O: The tropical notes are out of this world. Nicely balanced with bread and caramel and not aggressively bitter. Very easy drinking with no hint of the 8% abv. This is a beautiful beer.

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Photo of Paincane
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Orange colored pour into snifter with off white head leaving moderate lacing.
S: Tremendous nose with citrus, floral and hop aromas dominating.
T: Grapefruit flavors hit the palate first and malt backbone with a hoppy clean crisp dry finish.
M: Medium flavored with active carbonation. chewy with significant sediment including hop resins that were simply remarkable.
O: Unbelievably drinkable beer that was an experience, not simply a beer. I truly enjoyed Heady Topper.

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this beer. Wow is it good. Was expecting a bit more wow from all the hype but didn't get it. Pliny blew me away but heady just delivered. But by no means am I disappointed. Cannot wait to get more of this.

The thing falling short for me is smell and feel. Taste and look are perfection.

Smell is not much different from other brews and feel was rather carbonated. Sorta foamed up on the tongue where I was hopping for a clean finish.

Overall an amazing beer and wish it was offered here so that I could drink this gold year round.

Cheers

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Photo of goblue3509
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a stark white bubbly head. The aroma is great. The second the can pops you can smell the hops. The aroma is of piney hops and floral hops. It smells like an earthly flower shop. The taste follows suit, there is no ripe your face of bitterness just a great blended flavor. The malts are there as the backbone, but the hops play out with piney earthy hops up front before a floral and citrus hop flavor comes through at the end. The mouthfeel is perfect. Overall this beer is as good as advertised. A great beer a must try.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review is comprised from notes taken on multiple days from multiple cans consumed from either a snifter or the can itself as suggested. There really isn’t much difference between the can and glass version.

A: Pours a very cloudy iced-tea color with a finger of bright white oily head that slowly faded into a very greasy film that left soapy patches of bubbly lace down the glass.
S: Stupid powerful and bright scents of fresh citrus hops layered with sweet tropical fruits and a blast of pine. Much easier to smell out of the glass.
T: Follows the nose with very sweet and fresh flavors of tropical fruit nectars and slightly bitter citrus juice. The hops in this are just so fresh while being so flavorful and easy to drink. The finish is sweet, juicy and honey-like, and the aftertaste is very smooth with hardly any bitterness.
M: Very slick and greasy mouthfeel, oily thick body, soft and fluffy carbonation. This goes down so smooth.
O: One of the best DIPA’s in the world. Definitely top 5. Love the flavors in this. Every bit as good out of the can than the bottle. If I lived near where this beer is distributed, I would always keep my fridge stocked at all times.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm very glad I kept tabs on the reviews for Heady Topper so I knew when it was available again. A nearly 3-hour trip to the brewpub on a Sunday...

Hazy bright orange with a small white head. Turns to a swirly cap and ring and leaves some lacing. But it only got better from here.

Smell is very great and fruity. Tons of citrus, tangerine, tropical notes, grapefruit, but it does seem to fade quickly over time.

Taste exceeds the smell, easily. Still tons of hoppy citrus, tangerine and tropical notes. Warm biscuity malt and a little bit of earth, everything is balanced perfectly. Reminds me of PtE but the fruit is much more present. Aftertaste is amazing, lingers long after it's gone. The second glass was even better than the first, just excellent.

Along with the balance, the bitterness and carbonation are absolutely perfect. Drinkability is through the roof, 12 oz for $4 for the best DIPA I have had.

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Photo of BeRanger
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big shout out to SilentJay for picking me up a case of this when he was up in VT this weekend and meeting me when I flew into Boston/NH for a few weeks. A mystery box will be coming his way soon. Should have been a batch within a week, two max.

A: Following the directions of the can, I drank it straight from the can versus pouring. Perhaps my next will be into a glass.

S: Even from the small opening of the can, quite the aroma. Plenty of citrus & tropical fruits and hops.

T: This is without a doubt the most well balanced DIPA I've had. Finally a benchmark has been set for what they should taste like. The hops and tropical fruits meld together perfectly without a harsh after-taste.

M: Pretty light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

O: I was wondering if this would live up to the hype and it certainly did. It is certainly the best DIPA I've tasted. Not even because of the flavors but just because how well balanced everything was. I'll be interested to see the difference in a few weeks from the fresh one I have right now. The only disappointment is after this is gone, I won't be getting any for quite awhile.

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Photo of Nhens0016
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
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 +3.7%
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 +3.7%
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 +3.7%
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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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,243 ratings.
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