Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,241 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:
2,241
Ratings:
12,619
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,049
Gots:
4,910
For Trade:
69
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,241 | Ratings: 12,619
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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Photo of JoeBloe
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I mentioned to a co-worker that I was just in Vermont and found nothing (good) locally other than 'Long Trail' and he hit me with a pint can of Heady Topper - Thanks Will !!! - I poured some into a tulip and left some in the can whilst alternating sips - and before I knew it - it was all gone !! - and i wished I had more - poured hazy and light orange with suspended spherical globules (of the hop resin?) - like a little universe of it's own in my glass - a 1 finger head that dissipated into a slight film reaching out to a 1/4 inch ring - the hops were in the air as soon as i 'pulled the pop-top' - the zing and zest of hops resin was immediate and awesome - just sticky enough with a mildly sweet finish - this beer is amazing for all the right reasons - hype be damned!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 oz can courtesy of tommyguz pours an uber-hazed gold color with a stubborn, sticky off white head. It's money on retention and lacing.

Nose is juicy citrus and tropical hop aroma. Bubblegum dank with pineapple and mango. As Borat would put it - That's a very nice!

Pretty amazing they can pack this much hop flavor into a beer these days. Lots of bitterness here too. You can tell there is malt in there, but good luck finding a flavor description to attach to it. Just a massive tidal wave of hops - citric, tropical, piney; you name it hop-wise, its here. ABV is well hidden and the flow is nice from the hop flavor to the bitter finish...not halting at all. Definitely a world class beer, good enough to say that if I was transferred to Vermont for work, regualr access to this would be one of the first things to pop into my mind.

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Photo of Danismaximus
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. An outstanding beer. This really lived up to the hype (which is really saying something). I felt like I could truly taste the varietals of hops and it was magnificent. I am sold on this beer. One of the best I've had. My favorite part about this is that it says in the can to drink this straight from the can! This place is progressive and has fully embraced the superioriority of the can to the bottle.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark straw yellow in color with some hints of golden yellow and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense and creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of citrus and tropical hops - lots of citrus/grapefruit along with pineapple, mango, and peach tropical aromas. The smell of this beer makes me want to drink it, and want more and more of it.

T: Just like the smell, the taste of this beer is completely dominated by the hops. Moderate to strong flavors of grapefruit/citrus, pineapple, mango, and peach hops with a light amount of bitterness that does not linger. Upfront there is a light amount of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy.

O: Poured half the can into a glass for my review and drank the other half from the can as recommended on the can. This is definitely a world class DIPA, great aroma and great flavor...and it comes in a can to top it off. This beer is super easy to drink but I think it could really sneak up on you because the alcohol is very well hidden. Delicious!

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Photo of brewmine
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Only beer ever that made my whole body tingle after a few sips. Somehow hits you on the chin, although not extremely strong, but at the same time has a long lasting, complex feel. I'm not articulate in the sommelier language, more like "this be real good, gotta stock cave" kinda guy: in my way I recommend it without hesitation. Travelling to Vermont over the Memorial Day weekend I planned on buying it because of the hype (I live in Massachusetts where it's not available) and stood in a line for nearly 3 hours to get a 24-can case. Time well spent.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

God damn this stuff is good. pretty much lives up to the hype in my opinion, one of the best beers ive had. very easy drinking and refreshing, especially for a double. ridiculously dank smell and taste, love it!

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Photo of DaveHack
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a can into RR tion glass.

A very cloudy coppery, orange color comes from the can. Its not a very pretty color. Decent head quickly dissapates, leaving some sticky lacing behind.

This beer smells like the heavens. The image I get in my head when I smell this is a large hop, just dripping oil. Words have trouble describing the fanatastic aroma of this beer.

First taste is a delicious bitter hop bite. That bite lasts all the way through the swallow. It tastes like a pine cone had sex with a tropical fruit and Heady Topper flavor was born.

This stuff is awesome in the mouth. Again, excellent hop oil abounds. It is definately on the heavier side of medium body.

Overall, the beer is just great. It smells freakin' awesome and tastes excellent. The alcohol is really hidden in this gem. By all means get this beer and consume!

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

Received a 1 PINT can of this from mdvatab in a recent trade (fresh!). Poured from the silver can w/ the "Alchemist", HEADY TOPPER, & DRINK FROM THE CAN! all in black into a 16oz pint glass (but only half the can). Enjoyed the rest straight from the can so I could review half and enjoy "how it should be" the rest. Has 11020B2BB on the back but no sign of freshness date.

Aroma- Has the biggest citrus, piney hop aroma I've ever experience! Reminds me of a FFF brew. Grassy as well. Packed with more hops than can describe. Try for yourself!

Appearance- Pours a 3 finger, bubbly head that lasts for great time. Has a nice orange/reddish copper body with no haziness. Leaves suds down the glass (but only got to see what 1/2 a pint did).

Flavor- VERY fresh and perfect complexity. Mango and citrus hit the palate hard and then has a piney flavor. Sweet nectar, this thing rocks! Medium-High Bitterness and finishes rather sweet. Can't get enough...

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Smooth, Pure sweetness, and then grapefruit actually came out on the ending, leaving the palate with pure pleasure.

Overall Impression- And this is why I was looking for this one for the past year! Unbelievable! Thanks for sharing Mark. Both drinking from the glass and the can were enjoyable but from the can was very fun! Intense, fruits like crazy, and great amount of hop all kept this one above many I've ever had. Will be looking for this again! HIGHLY recommend.

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Photo of douginromeo
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my second - thanks to SDStoneEnthusiast! The first I poured into an English pint glass and followed directions for the second (drank from the can). I understand now why they are so adamant about drinking from the can - such a difference.

Appearance - beautiful, hazy gold with no floaties since I didn't swirl the last little bit to get the dregs. Looks very nice.

Smell - amazing citrus and pine: honestly, I could sit and smell this beer all day long. I also detect a hint of sweetness underneath the hops.

Taste - follows the nose. Fantastically balanced and rich: it has the perfect amount of sweetness and bitterness with a nice amount of citrus thrown in. As John Kimmich says, "I wish I could crawl right into the can."

Mouthfeel - oily and smooth - very pleasant

Overall - I wasn't sure about this beer in the glass, but after drinking it out of the can, I can honestly say that it is the best overall IPA that I have ever had, and I have had quite a few. I understand the hype now, and it is well deserved.

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Photo of daudelin2000
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The mighty Heady Topper! Been drinking it for years now. Finally reviewing it. Golden yellow in appearance. Haze for days. Smells like a combination of grapefruit, freshly cut grass, and pine. Taste mostly follows the nose. The finish is incredible. The leftover hop flavors that cling to your tongue are delightful without over doing it.

Heady, at one point, was my favorite beer and was THE beer that pushed me to try other ridiculously hopped beers. There are others I prefer nowadays. However, it is still in my top 10 for sure and I've still yet to have another beer that tastes like Heady.

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Photo of biglobo8971
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from can into glass ( I did not heed the cans direction )
have had this beer several times and love it more each time I have it. Absolutely delicious.
pours a golden amber orange, nice 1/4 inch head with lacing present the whole glass. The smell is purely of hop, nice dank sticky hops. Taste is hop forward with a great balance of sweetness and bitterness. The mouthfeel is incredible, dances off the toungue.
Will seek this beer often, good thing I have a regular hook up for it or I do believe I would go into withdrawels.

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

A: Poured some into a glass just to see what it looks like. It's a super cloudy pale sort of orange. Good solid offwhite head. Retention is quite good too. Decent lacing.

S: Wow, stunning aromatics - just an explosion of fruit. Grapefruit, citrus and pineapple. Mango and apricot too. A bit of resin too maybe?

T: Again, hop mania. As in the nose it's all citrus and the tropical fruits mainly. A bit of resin and pine in the aftertaste. It's sweet but not overpowering, just compliments all the fruit nicely. Bitterness abound but NOT as harsh as other big IPAs like maharaja or ruination. Not even close. It's also not too sweet like a double crooked tree or a 120min. This is a big DIPA that's actually balanced. Long lasting residual taste that sticks with you forever.

M: Medium bodied, carbonation is just about right. A bit drying from all the hop oils.

O: This beer is all about balance. One of the best balanced yet big DIPAs I've had. I like big harsh bitter bombs but this is just a thousand times more drinkable. I feel like I could have a bunch of these. That's what really sets it apart I think.

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Photo of heelsn02
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

scored a 4 pack from jamvt via trade. thanks a ton for the swap Jeremy

awesome looking can. love the mad-professor looking guy, reminds me of my buddy Luke. Luke, if you're reading this, take it as a compliment.

says DRINK FROM THE CAN!, so i'm drinking from the can (at least for the first 2/3). no idea what it pours like (at least initially), but i'd imagine it's beautiful

smells glorious, hoppy as vince carter, smells bitter, incredibly floral and fruity. bouquets of bada$s flowers.

taste is outta this world. about as great as it smells. massive hop flavor obviously, slight rauchbier hints?... some smokey notes and aftertaste for sure (which I love). carbonation is spot on.

Wow. 4 bones a can? are you kidding me? absolutely love this stuff. really makes me want to take a trip to the northEast. will have to see Rustic Overtones while i'm there. amazing stuff. CHEERS.

PS - poured the last 6 or so ounces out into tulip. golden orange chunky and amazing.

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Photo of JimsArcade
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Notes from an April 2012 sampling)

The brewers at The Alchemist are forthright in why Heady Topper should be enjoyed from the can. While the beer pours a gorgeous ruby-amber, tan chunks of what I believe to be yeast and hop resin spread throughout the beer. They do not affect the mouthfeel in or out of the can, though. If you can stomach the visuals, I highly recommend pouring the beer in a large snifter to experience the explosion of citrus and herbal aromas from the hops. The taste: it's like an orange was cross-bred with a hop and squeezed into the can. There is a perfect bittersweet balance at play here. I could drink these one after the other if availability allowed me to,

Simply put, this is a world-class IIPA. As far as I'm concerned, it's the new flagship for the style. I'm glad I got it when I did as I'm sure future releases will reach Pliny the Young levels of insanity.

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Photo of RobbDogg
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Easily the best beer I have had the good fortune to taste, so it is appropriate that it be my first review on BA. Living in NH, my close proximity has allowed me to enjoy it fairly regularly. A wonderful smelling beer that when fresh can literally fill a room with a floral citrus hop aroma. It pours with a nice head, and has a typical cloudy appearance in the glass for the style. The alcohol is well masked. This beer has a nice balance of heavy citrus hops and bitterness. My only wish is that the alchohol content were a little less so I could enjoy more than one in an evening. However, it is the kind of beer you can drink slowly and savor each sip. If you have not had it, make a trade to get it, as it deserves the #1 rating it currently holds.

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

A: (Sure, Alchemist tells you to drink straight from the can, but how can you review appearance when you do that? I'm a f**king rebel. I drink it from my IPA glassware) If kept in proper temp, this should look translucent and dark orange to you. No suspension, no settlement (if you see protein settlement, you kept it for too long!)

N: Take a big whiff as soon as you pop the top, and you'll get a noseful of sweet malty and some prominent but not at all overpowering hops

T: Not straying too far from the nose. Just perfect balance of what IPA should be. Malts. Hops. Water. Sweet, then bitterness, then sweet + bitterness. It's complicated without feeling complicated.

M: If you take it in all too quickly, you can feeel that 8% ABV burn on the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat; take it slowly, and you'll see how magical it is to blend the bitterness of the hops from last sip with the sweetness on the front of your tongue from the next sip.

O: In the past 2-3 years of my trading years I've had probably a case worth of Heady. I'm happy that I've got friends in high (latitude) places that can keep sending me a 4-pack or two every drop. It's definitely worth the chase folks.

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

One of the beers in it's class. We are very lucky to have this beer up here in Vermont. The taste, as it should be, is the best part to this beer. It tastes great from the can or in a glass (even though it recommends drinking it straight from the can. The appears is good and the smell is great very fruity. Outstanding taste and a great overall beer. Hard to top this one!

Cheers,
Dave

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Photo of smcnulty1981
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: drank most of it from the can poured a small amount to see what it looked like Poured a golden color with a sight haze about 1 finger of bright white head with a good amount of lacing

S: lots of resin dank earthiness and pine on the nose finished with bright citrus

T: taste has much of the same notes as the nose bitter dank hop flavor up front followed by juicy citrus good warming sensation at the back end only defect that I can get is a bit of hop astringency

M: full bodied with a good amount of carbonation very smooth dangerously easy to drink for 8% abv

O: well worth all of the high scores and praise its a shame that I can't get it on a regular basis

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Photo of nmbr0ne
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 16oz can into an Alchemist pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful orange body with a two-finger-thick, white head. The lacing on the beer is great. A lot sticks to the glass and there's plenty of it on the top of the beer.

Smell: Hops hit you over the head. In a good way. No, a great way. Citrusy, flloral, and fruity hops are plentiful. You can smell grapefruit easily, followed by mango and papaya. I sense honey and caramel-like notes also. Great aroma, even right from the can.

Taste: Hoppy throughout. There is a slight sweetness at the beginning of the flavor that stretches out into a great hop fest. There is a very, very subtle bitterness in the finish that doesn't linger at all which is exactly what I look for in a DIPA.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Drinkability. Tomabilidad. Whatever you want to call it because you can easily down this beer. I'm pacing myself only because I want to enjoy the only can I have. It's fresh, crisp, and light to slightly medium-bodied. When I went to the brewpub in Vermont this past summer, my friends and I easily downed three or four of these.

Overall: My favorite beer I've ever had. It's the perfect beer. I wish I had started reviewing a few months before so that I could have reviewed the ones I had on tap. Regardless though, this beer is spectacular. The best.

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Photo of GeneralSpecific
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow I finally get to try the Topper!

Heard so much about this beer I was afraid it may have been over-hyped and the expectations would not be met but fears were gone after the first sip.

It really is an amazing beer with incredible mouthfeel, balance and aroma.

Cheers to the brewers at the Alchemist I just wish it was available in Canada.

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

Poured only a little bit in to a snifter so i could see the color, the rest will be enjoyed from the can!

A-golden yellow with a thin white head

S-tropical fruits and hoppy. not much citrus really, but a strong scent of tropical fruits.

T-comes in with an oddly bitter taste of tropical fruits and grains. the bitterness does strike hard and lasts for a long time and a faint taste of tropical goodness will arise at the very end.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-this is such a great IPA. it just has this really good rich unique flavor. the more i drink it, the more i enjoy it. it just goes down so smoothly. I wish it weren't so expensive and difficult to find. definitely amazingfrom the can though!

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Photo of wyatt13
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This particular can was sent to me by JSBILK, after he picked it up at the cannery six days ago. Poured from a 16 oz. tallboy can into a tulip glass. I know I know, I'm supposed to drink it from the can, but I never was very good at following directions.

A - Pours a beautiful hazy peach color. Two and a half fingers of yellowish white head explode off the top of the beer & almost spill out of the glass. Energetic bubbles all around, leaving behind sticky lacing through the entire can. People always give this beer grief for its appearance, but I don't get it.

S - Absolutely immense peach and mango notes; incredible sweet fruit character here from the hop blend. Some aromas like melon or maybe a fresh coconut water as well. This smells absolutely divine. It would be dangerous if someone designed a perfume that smelled like this.

T - As soon as it hits the tongue there is a giant hop bite, but that is quickly brought back to Earth with a surprising amount of balance. All of the fruits that come through in the nose assert themselves even more in the taste. Mango, passionfruit, grapefruit -- like a Hawaiian fruit salad.

M - Fuller mouthfeel than your typical DIPA, and also not very sweet; rather, it is pretty drying and compels me to drink it much faster than I would like.

O - Incredible beer, and I'm very grateful that I was able to try this (and fresh too!). Drive to Vermont, trade for it, do whatever you need to do. This is something every hophead should try at least once.

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Photo of julielynndubee
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as instructed, but I prefer it from a glass. The nose is fantastic and the tastes lines up with you smell. Hoppy, tropical and smooth.

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Photo of tonytiger27
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Easy to see why this is the world's best IPA. Crisp, super hoppy, citrus and pine notes make for an interesting flavor profile. The aroma is out of this world. Traveling to Vermont for this beer makes for a truly unique experience. A must for any beer lover

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,241 ratings.
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