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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:
12,888
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,105
Gots:
5,167
For Trade:
65
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 12,888
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 Meyers1023
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

So this is supposed to be the Holy Grail of beer! I'm drinking from the can first like it says to. As you open the can you can smell sweet hops, very fruity but then comes the pine. Exactly what you'd expect from such a hyped beer. Took the first few sips from the can and its hard to explain how good this beer is. I will fall into the category of people who may overhype this beer but it was delicious! I feel it taste better when poured into a good IPA glass. I will be making trips to Vermont any chance I get to have this and anything else The Alchemist have to offer.

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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 Laxmanjohn
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I liked the beer, but did not think that the taste was enough different than many others to get such a great review. But I will take a case of them at any time!!

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

I was lucky enough to try my first Heady thanks to a very generous fellow BA(mojosly!!)

A: not sure because I "drank it out of the can!" Like it says to do but I gotta believe it looks like all great DIPA's do.. Hazy orangish with a cream head and a good amount of lacing?

S: smells of citrus.. I got alot of lemon and even a little flower bouquet.. Not much pine which was a bit surprising

T: citrus.. Less lemon than the smell.. More sweet.. Zero pine and no bitter after taste.. Devine!

M: medium

O: very very good.. Is it better than other amazing DIPAs that I've had? Maybe? Either way it is damn good and I am stoked to get some more and try it out of a glass to see if it changes anything for me.. Thanks again for the hookup Nat!

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Photo of dee4maine
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank it both ways. From the can and in a glass (aroma is a big part my drinking experience and I was happy drinking from the glass. No surprise to the hype and cult iconic character. Well deserved. Did head to head with MBC Dinner, BB Swish and Foundation Epiphany. Personally I felt that Heady was a tad more on the bitter aspect. Nonetheless a solid solid DIPA.

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Photo of HopStoopid120
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from notes. Consumed on 12/12/10.

Pours a very surprisingly dull, murky, tan leathery, apricot/peach golden color. This is quite different than I remember it on tap. In the past it was the clarity of this beer that had me so impressed before I even brought it to my nose. Two fingers of bright white creamy head sit atop this monster. The lace starts to appear as the head dissipates, sparatic rocky all over my tulip. Thin streams of bubble trickle to the top, showing its moderate carbonation.

Hops, hops, hops. Tons of fruit, mainly grapefruit. This beer is DANK. Somehow it actually smells sticky. Hint of malt sweetness is buried in there. Maybe slightly herbal. I'm impressed.

Follows the nose. Great hop bitterness and crazy fruitiness. The bitterness lingers after every sip. There is a sweetness the starts to show as it warms, almost caramel like.

Medium to full bodied. A slight prickle on te tounge. Light carbonation, but just enough to keep you drinking.

This brew is amazing. I could drink it all day everyday. The only real draw back to this was the color, it just wasn't what I remembered from it on tap. Still amazing though. Glad I was able to drink and share several of these bottles last winter. Now I'm just waiting for those cans... Now that's a game changer. Damn.

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Photo of embass
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Followed the instructions given…drank from the can and recycled.

A: I will update the appearance upon my next review (edit of). I plan on pouring my next one in a glass.

S: Had a very strong hoppy, citrusy, tropical-fruity smell up front. Also got some sweet(ness) notes intermingled in there as well.

T: Starts with citrus, moves to sweetness, then a light bitterness which gives way to more of a mild-to-medium level of bitterness. Left a nice balance of piney sweetness in mouth (aftertaste).

M: Had a light-to-medium body and a low level of carbonation.

O: Fantastically balanced. Not sure that I have tasted the level of complexity that this one offers between the smell and taste (from initial to aftertaste).

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for sharing this one at the post Bruery Reserve Society party bottle share!

Canned 2/2/12.

Pours a murky honey yellow with a white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is fantastic with citrus zest, citrus fruit, and tropical fruit aromas. Taste is the same with citrus fruit, citrus zest, and tropical fruit up front with a malt finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an exceptional DIPA with some amazing aromas and flavors.

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

Canned only 3 days ago (!), this was an incredibly generous trade surprise from mtomlins and a beer I've been hoping to try for ages. It is just plain stunning and actually lives up to my (unduly high) expectations...

Pours a hazy golden orange colour with a respectable white head that has good retention. As the instructions are clearly not to pour it all, am rating appearance mostly on that very attractive can. The aroma is a brilliant blend of my favourite hop-forward elements; resiny pine and citrus with an initial alcohol burn that dissipates dangerously quickly.

The taste is the epitome of its style and I believe it to be the first "5" I can remember giving?! This may well be the ultimate DIPA. A hop-centric ride from start to finish that is strangely well balanced, despite being so hop-forward. The malt backbone respectfully supports the hop lover's ride and that finish is one to savour. It has a delightful blend of bitterness and citrus that lingers...

It's been often discussed, but we may now be well enough motivated to make that pilgrimage trek to Vermont!!

 1,087 characters

Photo of SmittyinUpstate
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Simply put....delish.

Enjoyed fresh...maybe 2 weeks canned. The aroma poured out as soon as the can was cracked.
Mouthfeel was great on the front to the back. Yum!
Citrusy/Tropical...hides the 8%ABV
One dangerously drinkable DBL IPA.

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

You simply cannot beat this beer. It looks very cool in the silver can, it tastes amazing, hoppy with low bitterness, it smells gloriously fresh and somewhat citrusy. Smooth. One of the best IPA's I've ever had. It's quite delicious. At first I thought it was over ratted by the time I finished my can, I was converted.

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Photo of Tmyhre802
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Am very lucky to have a steady supply due to my proximity to Waterbury. Due to that I am always looking forward to cracking the next heady that brings that delicious hoppy not to citrusy ipa smell to your nostrils. The taste is the most memorable i've ever had with the perfect bite to accompany it's 8% abv, making it impossible to not savor the last taste. Believe the hype.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,888 ratings.
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