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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,231 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:
2,231
Ratings:
12,559
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
9,036
Gots:
4,859
For Trade:
63
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,231 | Ratings: 12,559
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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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!!

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Photo of SmittyinNY
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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Photo of jsearley3364
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was hoping to find the Holy Grail of beers but it wasn't quite there. Doing as they say and drinking it from the can, you can't really gauge the appearance. Quite smooth and complex but I find Stone's Enjoy By a bit better to my taste. Heading to San Fran in the summer. Hoping that Pliny the Elder can match the hype.

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

Poured into a tulip, no I didn't leave it in the can.

A - A beautiful golden copper hue. It liberated a 2 finger width white head, that slowed disappated and left a sparse crown of lace. Plenty of protein floating that eventually settled at the bottom of the glass.

S - A great hop blast, with citrus and pine. I just keep wanting to smell it. Awesome.

T - Damn, the hoppiness that you expect, but very well balanced. Bitter, but not overly so. Fantastic hop dose with a tasty citrus component to it.

M- Smooth, light/medium bodied. Finishes crisp and delicious.

O - Man, what a beer. I love my D/IIPA's and this is the best I've had. It certainly had a lot of floaties, but that didn't bother me, but I can see how it might be off putting to people. I got this in a trade and I'm glad that I have 2 left, but I would love to taste this on tap. Amazing beer, one you must try. I can see why it is numero uno.

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

Drinking this beauty on a lazy Saturday afternoon and figured I should have reviewed this a long time ago.
Review is mainly based on a 2 weeks old can, but with comments from other tastings I had before.
First, I think it's useful to have the debate on the best way to appreciate Heady Topper. It took me half a dozen cans to figure out the "drink from the can / review from a glass" thing, but now, it turned as a well-oiled ritual. Flavors and aromas on Heady Topper are really volatile (more than on any other hoppy beer I have had so far), yet, the nose is so great it would be a pity to drink it from the can. So what I do is pouring it in my de Heeren van Liedekercke glass (which is a small, not too wide wine glass, more or less a white wine glass) 2oz. by 2oz., it enables me to enjoy the nose but have the beer rest in the glass with not too much contact with the air. I'm very proud of this technique, it makes me consider myself a professional Heady Topper drinker :-/ And now, let's review it:
A: Everything has been said of how bad-looking this beer is, hazy as hell with lots of sediments floating around (it will be hazy however you pour it, but a gentle pour can avoid the sediments to come to the glass), yet I really love the look of it. Hazy straw / orange in color, with a foamy white head, quite lingering, this looks very juicy, like a fresh pressed grapefruit.
S: This is the best part of it, fruity, juicy, with a resinous scent, very complex and appealing with aromas of mangos, peaches, oranges, passionfruits, grapefruits and pineapples.
T: Taste is very fruity also. If drunk very fresh, one can taste the fresh hops, grassy and floral aromas, which do mellow after a week or so and leave fruity waves of hoppy, fruity goodness flooding from the front end of the tongue to the back end of the throat, with a lingering, resinous aftertaste and a bittersweet dryness on the finish (which also mellows with time). No heavy sweetness, no over-malting defect, no alcohol is to be felt. I could drink 5 liters of this on a single night.
M: Mouthfeel is smooth with a high carbonation and a dangerous dryness on the finish, calling for the next mouthful.
O: Contrary to many DIPAs, Heady Topper is not so focused on hops, but has a real yeasty liveness, light on the malt side but very well balanced, not at all as bitter as expected from the IBU, but still very smooth and fruity. It evolves gracefully (probably at it peaks after one month, but it can be enjoyed even one year after canning, regarding my own experience, being really focused on the yeast quality). One of the best DIPAs I have been able to try, and one I really love revisiting on a regular basis.

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

What is most striking to me about Heady Topper is the smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The hop aroma and flavor are fresh, bright and juicy. The bitterness is about perfect. But to me it's that mouthfeel that is most distinctive. Well, that and the large amount of beautiful yeast sediment that you can culture from any can.

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

Drank from the can as instructed on the can.

Look: No clue as drank from the can

Smell: Awesome, citrusy, hoppy

Taste: Absolutely delicious - it lives up to the hype.

Feel: I felt it was a near perfect mouthfeel - very balanced

Overall: 4.75 - absolutely delicious and lives up to it's high rating. I want more!!!

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Photo of Jmc181
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mouthfuls of fluffy hoppiness. Super smooth and delicious. It's more hoppy than words can describe, and yet, not too much so. Worth drinking every chance you can get your hands on it.

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

A true double IPA. Hard to get unless you wait in line for around an hour or better during the week. Smooth from start to finish and be sure to listen to the can and drink from it

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

Heavenly. The stuff you dream about. Like anything else in VT, very, very fresh. I had it at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury on tap. Haven't stopped thinking about it since. I'll be with everyone else, on the road to VT just to get some as it's only available there. It's that good.

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Photo of Dopen993
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can into pint glass.

Hazy yellow, light orange in color with 1 inch head. Lots of sticky lacing, covers the whole pint glass.
Good amount of grapefruit and lemon on the nose, with a hint of sweetness at the end.
Very much hop forward, with some citrus (I'm getting a lot of lemon with a little orange). Lots of bitterness on the finish.
Medium body, with a really nice mouth feel. No taste of alcohol.

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Photo of rareif
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of the best beers i have ever had. Made a trade and pulled some strings and was able to have one for myself within a week of it being canned.

Big Piney, Citrusy, Hoptastic DIPA. With some malt. Dont forget the malt

A fantasic brew that plays on the montra; "If you can only do one thing, at least be the best at it"

All in all, if you are a IPA/DIPA fan, and you do not enjoy this brew, you may want to look into your past... remember that licking a cheese grater moment as a kid, dont you!?!

 507 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Alchemist in Waterbury, VT. $4 for a 12 oz. pour. Can't beat that.

A - Hazy orange body with a delicious white head. The beer sticks and leaves lacing all down the side of the glass. This looks delicious.

S - Waves of hops. Unbelievably delicious citrus and floral hops. It has the strongest citrus hop aroma I've ever smelled. It's wonderful.

T - Great hop flavor up front that just lasts and lasts. Somewhere in the distance is a slight sweetness to balance it out. There is hardly any bitterness, so it only takes the slightest bit of malt to keep this guy balanced.

M - Slick and easy to drink. A gulpable IPA. I put back 3 of these easily. The low bitterness with such a strong hop character is remarkable and allows this beer to be quaffed with ease.

O - The best IPA I have had and a great endnote for my east coast beer trek. Worth the drive and something I hope to get once it is canned!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,231 ratings.
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