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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,295 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:
2,295
Ratings:
12,897
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,106
Gots:
5,177
For Trade:
66
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,295 | Ratings: 12,897
Photo of gabedivision
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured/drank from a 16 oz can (poured a bit in goblet to test the contrast)

A- pours a murky hazy deep golden orange with a thin white lace and a touch of lacing

S- the smell is just incredible pungent sweet citrus all the way, massive grapefruit and orange juice, mango, lemon peel, tangerines, so floral sticky, resiny and dank.

T- kicks off with a blast of grapefruit, followed by sweet orange juice, mango, just hops hops hops so good finishes with a rise of bitterness that ends with a nice sublte lingering grapefruit peel resin.

M- Medium bodied, soft, light, dangerously too easy to drink, i cannot keep the can from my mouth, low to moderate carbonation

O- This beer lived up to the hype, its hop blend is just absolutly perfect, subtle sweet malt base on the back, just so well put together. Flowery and floral, blasts of citrus, not one single off flavor or feeling, i gotta say this is as close to perfect to a beer that ive ever tasted

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Photo of Cvescalante
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- this beer is quite ugly, but like an ugly puppy and you still love it

S- fruity fruity hops. it smells fantastic!

T- heaven on the tongue. citrus and tropical fruit

M- light-medium bodied, perfect carbonation

O- best ipa I've ever had... period

..apparently my review wasn't long enough, so I have to continue writing lol

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

I tried this from the can first and then poured a second can into a pint glass in order to rate look. Got one finger of short-lived head but with lacing. Color was golden orange and murky, due to unfiltered nature. Actually looks much better than some would lead you to assume. Aroma from can was stronger compared to the glass; hops are giving me citrus, grapefruit, and pine notes. Taste matches to perfection - I would call this a great juicy IPA. Nice, subdued bitterness on finish. Feel is definitely medium; a bit more body than many of the style. Nice carbonation. Overall, this one lives up to the hype.

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

Drank on-tap at The Alchemist, Waterbury, VT
Served in a mini-pilsner glass

The beer poured a hazy, burnished yellow color with a creamy, bright white, one-finger head that slowly faded to a persistent ring of froth. Small blocks of lacing stuck along the sides of the glass, lasting long after the beer was finished.

The aroma was possibly the best I have ever experienced in a double IPA. Hoppy and amazingly potent. Semi-sweet. Super peachy with loads of apricot and citrus. Orange peel came through strong. Some tropical fruits were noticeable as well.

Flavorwise, this beer was nearly flawless. Super hoppy with just enough malt balance to keep things in check. Citrus notes dominated. Peaches and apricots came through strong. Mango and pineapple notes were also quite apparent. Somewhat tart and lemony in the center. The finish was slightly piney. Crisp and semi-dry. All in all, fantastic.

The mouthfeel was slick, creamy and smooth with a fine moderate effervescence. The only thing that kept this beer from earning a perfect score was its slightly thinner that expected body.

Although this DIPA was packed to the brim with hops, it was still balanced and drinkable. The 8% ABV was also remarkably well masked by the complex hop profile.

Many have compared this beer to the almighty Pliny the Younger. I wholeheartedly agree with this comparison. Heady Topper is for certain one of the greatest beers I have ever had the pleasure to try.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With respect to John Kimmich, most of the time, I have drank this out of the can. However, for reviewing purposes, one must understand that as beer geeks we need to see this as it is.
With that in mind, I have poured this into a snifter and as I gaze upon it, I realize why John always wants his drinkers to drink this out of the can. Oh boy, the floaties, oh snap, yes, I get it, John, most of the world gets it who have had it poured. A solid burnt golden color forming a one finger white foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves some lacing to be desired.
The smell wraps up bitter juicy dry pine slapping around a big bouquet of floral, grassy and citrus hops bleeding into a wonderful nose zapping aroma. With that in mind, I go to taste this and the flavor is spot on in cueing up the previously mentioned flavors to lead the charge into the feel of this beer. Do you think this is good? I know this is good as the slick oily coat just bends my tongue over backwards arranging an unprecedented sharpness succumbing my tongue down.
My last question and I will start with this: I've only lived in Vermont for less than a year, do you think I like this beer? Just check my numbers.

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Photo of lic217
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: hazy and light orange, nice lingering head
Smell: Tropical fruit, floral, sweet,orange
Taste: Sweet start and finishes dry/bitter, bitterness does not linger, tropical fruit, dank,floral, slight citrus,orange
Feel: Perfect, soft, full bodied, outstanding
Overall: It is a sought after beer for a reason. Incredible.

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Photo of demdog8
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Stopped by the Alchemist cannery the other day on a recent trip to VT and sampled some freshly brewed Heady Topper. All I can say is, WOW! By far, one of the best beers that I’ve tried to date, regardless of style, and a sure ‘must-try’ for all who appreciate the finer beers of the world. Hoping that this becomes more available in MA, because as of now, there are only a few places that you can enjoy this ‘world-class’ brew. I’ve yet to try Pliny, but have read that this DIPA rivals it. If you get the opportunity to try this, it’s a must. Kudos Alchemist, looking forward to other offerings in the near future."

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

16oz can poured into a snifter

A hazy orange body with a slightly off-white cap. Head rose about a finger and faded rather quickly. Some minor lacing and a thin layer of foam left behind.

Bold tropical fruit nose. Papaya, pineapple, mango and white grapefruit leap out of the glass and attack the nostrils. Oily, resiny hops. A light pale malt backdrop does not detract from all these fantastic hops.

The flavor profile really follows the nose. Huge tropical fruit blend. Sweet papaya, pineapple and mango up front while bitter white grapefruit and pine resin carry through to the finish. The finish is highly bitter and builds with every sip. The beer is brash and in your face. Unrelenting with bursts of flavor and bitterness.

A medium body, smooth and luscious. The hops keep coming in waves and beat down on your palate. The body has a bit more heft than some of the elite.

This is a damn fine DIPA that is scary drinkable. The 8% is unnoticeable. I find this to be on the Mt. Rushmore of DIPA's that I have been able to try. It is not as clean and refined as PtY, but rather brash and in your face. Which, is both good and bad.

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

This was one of my favorite beers. I've only had one so far. Wish I could get them in cali. I had some from proper glassware and some from the can. Both amazing flavors, completely different tastes. I am in beer love!

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

Thanks to Jeff and Erik for sharing this one during the BA tasting in Utrecht. Had this one side-to-side with the Dreadnaught IPA
Look: the beer pours a golden-orange color with a nice white head
Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, other tropical fruits, freshly cut grass and pine. This is the best smelling IPA I ever had by far.
Taste: Lemon zest, mango, grass and intensively bitter, dry and piney aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium high carbonation, medium bodied.
Overall: By far the best IPA I ever had. This one, compared to most other IPAs, is not only smelling great, but has a perfect balance and doesn’t dry out the tongue. I never thought I would say this about an IPA, but can drink this any time of the day.

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

Given to me by a friend who stopped by the brewery last week - a very unexpected and pleasant surprise. Drank from the can.

I stuck to drinking from the can so I can't really remark on the appearance. Unbelievably hoppy and sweet aroma - I detected lots of citrusy grapefruit and mango, with a piny quality in very concentrated doses. It had a very tropical character, but I could already sense the bitterness that would be intermixed in the taste. Awesome smell, it literally made my mouth water. A few sips in and I was in heaven. Lots of citrus fruit sweetness, but a constant dry bitterness that I felt like I got mostly in the end of the taste. It was an amazingly complex taste that satisfied every bit of expectation I had for this beer. Mouthfeel was fairly light in weight, but had a nice zip to it and a sort of creamy quality upon swishing it around in my mouth. It brought out the best in the taste, that's for sure.

Overall, this was by far one of the tastiest DIPAs I've had. It stands right up there with the Plinys in terms of complex hoppy and sweet tastes, and it was incredibly drinkable. I'm really looking forward to the next one!

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Photo of fear025
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma:Sweet orange and grapefruit, peaches, cotton candy. Smells delightful.

Appearance:I'm drinking it from the can, so it looks great.

Taste:The foretaste is nicely hoppy with grapefruit, and peaches. It's pretty sweet, which holds up well to the hoppyness. The fruit and hop flavors fade slowly, until there is a nice nuttyness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, good carbonation. Feels a little sticky as I drink it.

Overall:This is one of the best DIPAs that I have had. It has a great complexity of delicious flavors.

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

Pours cloudy and bright radiant gold with huge 3-finger head that eventually settles to 1. Sticky and bubbly lacing remains along the top and sides of the glass. (Yea, didn't drink from the can... but wanted to be able to look at it).

Aroma is a rainbow of tropical and citrus flavors. Tangerine, grapefruit and pear come through as well as grassy marijuana dankness.

Taste follows the nose, minus the dank, and the drink down is incredibly light and smooth with grapefruit and hops lingering.

The OG NE hazy tropical IPA. This started it all, including the IPA 4-pack tall-boy canning craze, and it's still a top contender. One of the most balanced and delicious ever. The hype is real and justified.

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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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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,897 ratings.
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