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:
12,623
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,054
Gots:
4,920
For Trade:
70
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 12,623
Photo of jaytothen
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The hype is real. Pine, grapefruit, earth, citrus zest all compete in a no holds bar cage fight in your mouth were the only winner is you. Like a synchronize swim team every flavor plays its roll and comes together in harmonious crescendo that leaves angels agape of the marvels they witness. Dry finish yet creamy mouthfeel. Hop bitterness to an extreme that somehow is as smooth as a freshly waxed Lamborghini. This beer is the quintessential definition of polar opposite. I don't care how it's done. Just keep doing it.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I have had this a couple times now....always fresh within 7 to 10 days from VT to my mouth. I did a blind tasting with heady, pliny the elder and sip of sunshine and heady and pliny were the top performers. All very strong beers....I have then done straight out of the can and as weird as it sounds it does add something. Are pliny or heady worth the effort.....if you love hops, and you want the experience....100% yes. If you love beer I think experiencing beers from those who love what you do is key....and The Alchemist love beer and what they do.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can

Look - Poured a little out in a glass to get a look at this bad boy (don't worry, drank the rest from the can). Pours a beautiful hazy golden orange color.
Smell - As soon as you crack the can open the aroma jumps out at you. Tons of grapefruit, orange and pine on the nose. Just a wonderful fresh hop smelling beer
Taste - HOP HEAVEN! Huge amounts of grapefruit, citrus, orange and pine overtake the taste buds. A slight bitterness throughout but nowhere near as aggressive as I thought it was going to be. Drank every last drop out of that can and was legitimately sad when it was gone.
Feel - Awesome chewy/creamy'ish mouthfeel with a super dry finish that pretty much forces you to take another drink.....which is a good thing because it's so damn good!

Overall - This was my first Heady experience and let me tell you, my mind is blown. Understandable why this is one of the top beers in the world! I will seek this out every chance I get.

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Photo of W_Des
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden orange color. The nose contains citrus fruits, pine and some breadiness. The taste is really well balanced and juicy. A really soft bitterness fades quickly on the dry finish.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden amber color with a nice white head and good lacing, hazy with white flaky sediment

S-grapefruit, floral, and light pine, vey fragrant

T-citrus flavor with predominance of grapefruit and floral nots with a nice bitter hop,finish, great balance of flavors

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp mouthfeel

O-great DIPA with a nice balance of flavors and a great example of the style

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Photo of gp60
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been looking forward to this for a long time. Drove up to Vermont to get me a case. Yes it was worth the trip. Had one on Tap when in Waterbury. I had my first one from the case out of the can as directed the next day I had one from a tulip glass. was impressed with the smell or nose both ways. The appearance is the weak link here. Not ugly but a little hazy you might say. Dose not effect my felling towards the beer at all though but I scored it a 4,25 to be true.

I enjoyed the Heady Topper very much. It is a wonderful beer. One I can not recommend enough. I am enjoying my case with a select few and will drive back for an other when needed.

gp

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can't really tell what it looks like until you pour it out, comes out a hazy witbier (now with bigger chunks!) looking beer, but the vibrancy of the golden color is still nice, ample head size.

Aroma was just green vegetal hop madness. Lush and rich. Simcoe, amarillo for sure. Not really picking up bitterness, thankfully. Taste was more of the same, super awesome hop mouthfeel. Carbonation was just right. Take your pick you can taste and smell all the usual good hop adjetives. . . piney, grapefruit, citrus, green etc. . . this is dank. So nice, bitterness is so soft, hop taste so big. Seems like every other east coast ipa out there (not literally every) just makes an ipa with a shit ton of bitterness and no dry hop aroma or hop mouthfeel. Heady Topper takes a back seat to no one. Its not unique, it might as well be an uglier looking Pliny clone, tastes so similar.

Why try and reinvent the wheel when you can just mimic it and do a damn fine job doing it?

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Photo of dhitchcox
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

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Photo of Rob_pbr81
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent double IPA, there is a reason why this beer is #1. The smell, the taste, and the feel of this hoppy conconction of godliness are all there and do not disappoint. I'm hoping to get my hands on another 1 soon. Definitely worth the hype, cheers to Alchemist!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

appearance: poured a bit into a glass to get a look and drinking the rest from the can as advised. Cloudy medium gold. Nice enough white head, messy lacing that doesn't stick around long. Pretty enough though I guess looks aren't what this guy is all about.
smell: now that is a rich, creamy, citrusy nose. Orange, pine, mango....just bursting with citrus.
taste: Even better. I have to restrain myself from gulping. All those citrus flavors so perfectly melded. Damn.
overall: Extraordinary. I went back to poring in a glass. The can just didn't open the flavors like the glass pour. Maybe i'm not doing it right. Also notice the hop intensity dulls the mouth a bit. I'm not tasting as much as I drink more. In any case...wow.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, orange body. Small fizzy bubbles. Moderate retention.

S: Pine. Floral hops. Mangos. Citrus.

T: Tons of piney hops. Virtually zero malt character. Loads of mango, grapefruit. Hype - exceeded.

M: Oily. Medium body. Prickly. Booze completely hidden.

O: This is incredible. Enough said.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I feel like trying this beer is a craft beer lovers rite of passage and I was finally able to cross this one odd my list. I really enjoyed it and found it to be extremely drinkable and not overly hoppy for a DIPA. At the same time I can't say it was the cathartic experience I was hoping for, but rather just a very good beer. Will habe again if given the opportunity, but this will probably be my last time hunting it down

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer isn't perfect, but it's damn near perfect. Smell is dank and tropical, but the taste is just remarkably better. Sweet mango, tropical fruits, followed by a pine dankness that's just amazing. A lingering amazing darkness that I've never really tasted like this before. The mouth feel is creamy and full, yet extremely drinkable still.

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Photo of Derek
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A=4: Hazy gold with plenty of yeast floaties, nice white head with plenty of retention, some lacing.

S=5: Just opening the can releases a plethora of grassy aroma that's a bit dank. Poured into the glass and it's still very dank, with mango, nectarine and candied pineapple.

T=4.5: Solid bitterness, but it's not overbearing. Initial hit is a bit briny, but that subsides to mango, papaya and candied pineapple... nectarine, tangerine, sponge toffee and hints of biscuit round out the flavour.

M=4.5: Slightly off-dry and very smooth, with some hop acidty.

O=4.5: Overall this is a really great brew. It doesn't have the assertive, piny, resiny bitterness of some, it's just a pleasant hop bomb. Low cohumulone hops?

HUGE thanks to Rutager!

I've had a couple more cans that were even fresher (without the yeast floaties), and I have to upgrade this review. Although cloudy, it pours with a nice head. Despite the amount of hops, body is incredibly smooth. Best thing in a can?

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Photo of grrrah
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint can, 1/2 drank from can, 1/2 poured into a tulip. Probably about a month old, so could be fresher.

A - golden/orange with lots of sediment bits floating around. Man I hope things go well tomorrow.

S - Floral/piney dankness that you get from most double IPAs, Some slight tropical fruits and mango from the can. I let the tulip warm up a bit, and more of the fruits come out.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp and clean, with a slight dryness. The hoppy bitterness comes out followed by the fruits. Fruity sweetness but not the malty sweetness that turns me off of a lot of double IPAs.

O - Great double IPA, which is my favorite type of beer. First east coast IIPA that meets its hype. I guess I'm more of a fan of the west cost IIPAs. It is different from the bigger pure hop bombs, and I would say have more character. Not sure that its tops, but its probably in my top 3 that would take turns with each other.

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Photo of carmike813
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this out of the can as the can directs the drink er to do.

It didnt have an appearance as i didnt see it, excellent beer that is dangerous. The 4 pack was gone in an hour. The bitter grapefruit taste makes Heady spectacular. Like stated before, dnagerously easy to drink.

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Photo of DaveAnderson
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off, many thanks to SammyJaxxxx who sent me some of this out of the blue.

This may be the most hyped beer I have ever tried. The can instructs me not to put it in a glass. I put some in a glass anyway, because I want to compare. It tastes great in both, but the glass reveals the true reason for the warning. This is one ugly beer. But seriously, who cares?

Back to what matters. It smells great, both in and out of the can. It tastes like it should be the IPA reference type. As I drink it, I can't imagine a way to improve it. Carbonation is good, it's not a sticky mess -- in short, this lives up to the hype.

Just don't look at it.

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Photo of anteatr23
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden orange and hazy and chalky. Smells like fruit with some hops and sweet malts. Taste is like a breath of fresh air. Bitter and crisp, with citrus and dry bready finish. Fantastic malt flavor and so perfectly balanced. I was prepared to be critical of this beer as I figured it had to be over-hyped. It's not. This is certainly the tippity-top-tier of IPAs/Double IPAs. Incredible flavor and drinkability from start to finish.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed straight from the can as directed. Not sure on the date, but I know it was canned over a month ago.

A: Enjoyed from the can, so no appearance rating.

S: Mostly hop notes of pine, resin, as well as tropical fruit notes of pineapple, mango, and peach. Light citrus notes of grapefruit and orange.

T: Straight hoppy showcase of pine and resin accompanied by light citrus and tropical fruit notes. Hides the ABV well.

F: Light, smooth, with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great DIPA. Love the choice of hop blend and the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable. Would love to try a fresher can!

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Photo of Brabander
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer during a very nice tastingsession at doopiedoopiedoo's house where a bunch of Dutch BA came together.

Heady Topper is a very spectacular beer to start with.

All has been written before about this beer on this site....the only thing i can say is WHAT A FREEKIN BEER!!!

Cloudy yellow with a supersmell and dito taste and mouthfeel. Pineapple and other fruits all over the place!

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Photo of TallSaint
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

April 14th, 2013

In the nose pungent grapefruit, citrus, mango and other tropical fruits dominate. There's a bit of biscuit-y malt underneath.

On the palate the hops are very bright; layers and layers of hops barrage the palate. Grapefruit upfront then a bit of pine in the midpalate, then citrus with nice clean, sweet malty finish. The sweet malt balances out the hops and their bitterness excellently. It's dense and extremely well rounded on the palate.

Absolutely incredible. Best DIPA I've ever had, hands down. It has a hop profile like no other, its so vibrant and juicy.

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Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

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Photo of sberberick1
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an incredible IPA. I am not sure it's worth the hype. There are others that are just as good. Dogfish Head 90 Minute, Wachusetts Larry, Bells Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, ADK Super Dort and Foley Brothers Fair Maiden are all equally good. Hard to tell for certain which is best. They are all good in there own right.

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Photo of Stigs
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz can, huge thanks to Kevin (thebouch01) for scoring this at the Jackie O's release and handing it over to me!

drinking from the can (as instructed) and poured a few oz's in the middle to a taster glass

A - VERY hazy, on the darker side of gold in color. half finger, loose fluffy head settles to a thin film.

S - hop aroma hit my nose immediately when popped. well balanced citrus: candied oranges, pineapple, and grapefruit meets some wet pine and a hint of biscuity sweetness.

T - gentle sweetness for a split second before the big wave of hop flavors rush in. flashes of peach and pineapple turns very resinous and piney for a second before floral and juicy hops finish up. as advertised "wave after wave of hoppy goodness will creep up on you". bitterness is abundant but not at all overpowering, and just the faintest bit of booze wakes everything up.

M - medium bodied, perfect amount of creaminess while moderate carbonation livens the bitterness and hop flavors. nice and oily through the finish, yet somehow still a touch dry. not much to improve on here.

O - a stellar DIPA worth all the hype. i was leery about this as I've been a bit burned out by hops lately, but this delivired and ten some. the real magic here is the myriad of hop flavors taking turns, and absolutely INSANE drinkability. this can is going wayyy too fast. must. get. more.

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Photo of sbrotschul
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a fun can of beer! It is great that we can zip up to Vermont and bring a couple of cases home for sharing over the summer. Of course, the warning "drink from the can" does make a difference. I did pour some in a snifter, but you lose some of the smell and the creaminess.

Appearance (4.5). The can hides the yellow color of the beer -- which isn't all bad. Can't tell about lacing, and the change of color over time.

Smell (5.0). Citrus explosion, with some hints of mango-like sweetness.

Taste (4.5). Hops, citrus tickles the tongue. Mmmmm.

Mouthfeel (5.0). Love the creaminess of the beer. Not too bubbly.

Overall (4.75). A world-class beer. It is no surprise that this beer has been moving up the charts over the last year.

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