Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,350 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:
2,350
Ratings:
13,243
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,193
Gots:
5,497
For Trade:
65
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Reviews: 2,350 | Ratings: 13,243
Photo of DovaliHops
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY! Thanks Dave! Pours a hazy/cloudy golden-orange color with a small-medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is just what anyone would want in a DIPA...such lovely hop aroma! Tropical hops with intense, bitter pine notes. Smells so fresh and hoppy...pineapple, grapefruit, melon, pine sap, guava, orange, lemon...SO INVITING. Taste is lacking in the malt profile...which is GREAT! Being from the west coast, this is just what I like. A little bit of malt, but not enough to make this delicious brew lose any points. Lovely citrus and tropical fruit flavors with just the right amount of bitterness. No lingering bitterness with this beer...crisp and clean. The palate is miraculously wiped clean after a few seconds of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of flavor, and crisp finish. Drinkability is Very High. ABV not even noticeable. Overall, this was a great experience. I am very impressed considering this drinks like a west coast style DIPA...love the lack of malt. I wish I had regular access to this so I could drink it like the can recommends... straight from the can. Brilliant beer!

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Photo of JayWhitson
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best IPA's I've had. Those Trillium brews have really skewed me on what is THE BEST though. Great look and aroma and awesome blend of citrus with a piney bite. Nice blend of new wave hazy and flavor of traditional standard. Got much better as it warmed up.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, Sam Adam's Perfect Pint and red wine glass, canned 12/6/11. Huge, big thanks to Jayli in Secret Santa 2011!

It's quite hazy in sunset oranges and yellows. The head is white, but there isn't much of it.

MMMM, passionfruit, marijuana, tangarine, orange hard candies. Explosive fruity aroma all over the place. Fleeting alcohol heat.

Orange peel bitterness, grapefruit, dank and resinous hops abound. A sexy hop tango between grapefruit and orange bitterness and tropical and resinous flavors. There is the sweetness of significant caramel malts tempered by the bitterness and mellowed by alcohol.

It's really soft in the mouth. I would say a bit undercarbonated, but it's got that nice softness that transfers bitterness so wonderfully. A little slippery with wonderful alcohol integration.

World class is right. The hops are so vibrant. It has a much more substantial malt base than, say, Pliny the Elder, but it is so tasty. I rarely give fives.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 ounce can poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a nice white bright head that did not last, lots of lacing, not seeing much carbonation, it looks like orange juice with a white head, clearly unfiltered.

A: Lots of citrus, like crushed grapefruit and orange peels, hint of garlic/onion like aroma, hint of resin, definitely getting more citrus aromas than pine, it's a big smell, solid aromas, very nice. I am not getting any alcohol on the nose, very impressive.

T: It is as if someone took grapefruit and orange peel, crushed them, then blended them into orange juice, grapefruit like bitterness mixed with some orange juice/peel sweetness/bitterness, there is a hint of onion/garlic like flavor in the middle, some citrus forward bitterness, hints of pine and resin, aftertaste of grapefruit peel, amazingly drinkable, amazingly smooth.

M: Big juicy mouthfeel, very smooth on the palate unlike other IIPAs I've tasted that leave a raked feeling on my palate, this doesn't, it's smooth like orange juice, not sure if it being unfiltered adds this layer of smoothness, but it's very nice.

O: Very impressed, Heady Topper is amazingly drinkable, smooth, not a big bitter beer, has a nice balance of bitterness with lots of citrus notes and flavors, hints of pine and resin, very easy on the palate, a world class beer. I was expecting a big bitter beer but it's not, full of flavor, if you have a chance, pick it up, it's worth it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally made the long trek up here to be able to taste it in person. Reviewed from notes after my trip, I am finally getting around to getting these all caught up. Served in a pint glass.

The pour was what dreams are made of. All big IPA's should look this way. Seriously. Intense dark amber in color, nearly brown when all is said and done as it really just was darker then I ever would have thought. Big head of white caps it perfectly, two to three inches in height with a rocky and cratered appearance that really seem to hang on forever. Really just a tremendous looking beer I have to admit. The lacing coating the sides alone is enough to make you quiver, but then you decide to reach forward and try and take a big whiff, and that's when you will nearly fall over. It is just sublime. Huge citrus aroma here, tart and bitter as can be with pungent orange and pineapple mixing with the pink grapefruit aroma we come to expect in our big double IPA's. Huge nose, warming brings out a touch of butter malts underneath and a light, but discernable grain note. Each sip is like a step into hop heaven. Unreal freshness here. No hint of the ABV at all, in fact it was so smooth I could have sat here all day and drank this one, just remarkable. Rich orange and grapefruit tear at the taste buds, ripping every ounce of moisture from your palate and replacing it with a wonderful buttery flavor that is second to none. Smooth even carbonation and a rich medium body stacks it all up to being just a tremendous double IPA.

Overall I am just floored. I have been able to try this twice now and each time I am more impressed then before. Simply amazing and I wish more people would get to try this one. It can hold its own with any of the big boys any day of the week.

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Photo of h0wdy
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Heady Topper has a hoppy smell with a hazy look. This tastes like a mouthful of hops and the feeling is a great one. Overall, I feel like this is a drink you can't pass on.

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Photo of jmaharaj
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Went to the brewery to get this one, only to find they had sold out. Luckily a local pub had it on tap and all the travelling was well worth it. Appearance wise it is cloudy with a grainy foamy head. Not overly pretty but i know this is meant to be drunk straight out of a can, so i wont hold that against them. Hops hit the nose straight away in a big american way, citrusy, piney, tropical, but underneath it all is a reasuring earthy malt base. Tastes a lot like it smells. A bunch of wonderful things coming together in a way that isnt completely cohesive, but complimentary enough that you can enjoy everything together or pick out the various delicious elements, like a farmers market salad. Really, really like this. its got a nice oily mouthfeel, lively carbonation and finishes clean and moreish. taste well rounded, complete, refreshing a little raw, but in a surprisingly endearing way. Would drink a lot of these, but i dont live in Vermont so i can't.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gift from a fellow BA in NC

A: Enjoyed in a glass--hazy appearance with lots of sediment. Not pretty but knew that going in.

S: A grapefruit in a Christmas tree farm. Very pungent.

T: A powerful citrus and pine bomb. Don't taste tropical fruit flavors. Taste on the tip of the tongue is consistent with the smell from the glass and rewarding. Malts very subdued. No alcohol burn.

M: I found the mouthfeel about perfect--not syrupy in any way. Slightly on the drier side which is my preference.

O: Unique beer. Not blown away but certainly for something so hyped, not surprised. Rarely does something live up to that degree of buildup. I found it delicious and something I would like to get again. It is a world class IPA but scarcity lends a lot to the mystique. Worthy of the praise.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured with Jake_ramrod on Halloween. Thanks for the scary share.

I'll keep it short.

Moderate copper color with a frothy egg shell head. Out of the can smell of resin to pineapple to a light malt base. The taste follows with sharp bite of pine hops. Next is a light malt base, sharp pine, with a strong resin finish.

Damn good beer. Glad to try. This was more resin/pine profile than expected.

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Photo of Luscious_Malfoy
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

drank straight from the can so look is from memory as I've had this beer several times and look varies depending on age. I'm guessing this can is 6-8 weeks old.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can thanks to juliusseizure. Enjoyed from the can, because my mother taught me to follow directions.

Appearance: Yeah, yeah... I know. Its just a can, But I truly enjoy the way this can looks. The glossy metallic with only black is pretty badass in my opinion.

Smell: Tough to get a whiff out of that little opening, but what does come out it so inviting, Huge grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. A little bit of pine, but just ever so slightly. Nice honey sweetness supports.

Taste: Incredible grapefruit, orange juice, and pineapple. A pretty supportive caramel sweetness bolsters the juicy affair, but lets the hops shine. A light resin and citrus lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel: This is so utterly drinkable. Incredibly juicy, with a wonderful prickly carbonation. A pretty substantial bitterness that I don't remember the last time I reviewed this.

Overall: I have no idea how old the can I reviewed the last time was, but this one blows it away, and I know it was less than a week old. Incredible stuff, lives up to the hype, and blows Pliny out of the water in my opinion.

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Photo of Kodama78
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time with Heady. Have to say that the stand out part of it is the smoothness. I've had other IPA's with more flavor, other's with more happiness, but never any so smooth that goes down that easy. Truly a great IPA.

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Photo of ericj551
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I know I'm supposed to drink from the can, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Heady pours a hazy light copper with a fluffy head that lingers as beautiful lacing on the glass. Pine, citrus and fresh cut grass fill the aroma. Especially when fresh, this beer is the closest thing to sticking your nose into a handful of hops. Thick, resiny hops fill the flavor, but there is almost more sweetness than bitterness upfront. Delicious light malt rounds out the intense, fruity, citrusy hops. The resiny, piney character lingers on the tongue in the after taste, and begs me to take another sip.

A friend was kind enough to bring me a 4 pack, and despite being around three months old, the beer is still delicious.

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Photo of ThomasJ25
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hmmm, what can I say? It's one of the best beers I have had the joy of drinking. Everything from the presentation of the can, the four pack little plastic holder thingy, to the fact that it's a pounder can, just makes it that much more special.

I was lucky enough to make a trip to Montpelier, VT and purchase three cases of this delicious beer. I listened to the instructions and I have drank every single one from the can. That is the only reason I couldn't really judge the appearance that much as I can only see it in the bowels of the dark can.

The smell gets you immediately. My nose lights up as I take my first sip. You are hit with a wall of amazing hop flavor. I have come to expect this from double IPA's but what I was caught off guard by was the extreme smoothness at the end. I mean this in the best possible way when I say it ends with little to no drama. It's deceptively easy to go down and would be very dangerous if you didn't know what you were drinking.

Definitely in my top two or three beers...

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Photo of VsXsV
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can. Hazy, yellow/straw liquid small to medium white/light off-white head. Aroma of fresh hops, grapefruit, citrus, cereal malt, lemon grass, orange peel, tangerines and blackberries. Awesome. Taste is dry and medium to high bitter with lots of fresh, hoppy notes of grass, grapefruit and tangerine. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very well brewed DIPA. Love the fresh hoppy notes.

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Photo of nezelrac
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from can into Ithaca Beer pub pint glass (I don't know what the real name is...) as I prefer to see the beer I am drinking even though they say to drink it out of the can

while some folks found the floaties off-putting, I find them a sign of authenticity and appreciate their presence

I was tempted to just put 5's across the board, but I feel there is always room for improvement - the overall score if 5 is indicative of how good this beer is to me

A - hazy straw orange with a lot of little chunks swirling about, buoyed by lazy CO2 rising in the glass; nice creamy dense white head that lasts and lasts leaving generous lacing

S - dank; citrus and pine and candied citrus with moments of earth and flowers followed close by more of the same - there is definitely malt in there somewhere, but not on the nose

T - so very well crafted - balancing hops and malt in a beer of this size is no easy feat; layers of hops are clearly the point here and success is achieved, but there is precisely enough malt sweetness to keep it in line; excellent length and persistence of flavor; the finish is a reprise of the nose only on the tongue and soft palate - waves of delicious hops

M - creamy and rich and light and firm and...just perfect; CO2 is also spot on

O - this is probably one of the best beers I have ever had; I only wish I wasn't on the third of my four-pack; bravo!

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into an Alchemist Willy glass (Sorry Alechemist, I won't have it from the can again). It pours a cloudy orange with a finger white head. I tried to hold back on the yeast with a gentle pour.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, orange, and citrus. There's a pleasant zest to it.

T: Citrus, caramel and hops. Wonderful, wonderful hops.

M: Carbonation, not too light and slightly sticky. Lingers for a bit, which is nice.

O: This is an all time favorite. The balance is amazing and you can't tell one bit that it is an 8% beer. A trip to VT is incomplete without going to the Alchemist.

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Photo of chefjack428
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can. Poured some into a glass to see beer itself. Hazy orange color with a lot of hop particles.
Smell from the can is mango, pineapple, pine trees and citrus zest. Quite outstanding.
Taste is really very nice, first you are hit with a pleasant sweetness and flavors of bitter citrus, juicy hops and pineapple. Finishes with a smooth bitter kick. Very creamy and nice mouthfeel. Overall a very nice IPA. Well balanced and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Duffman79
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving: Out of the can as instructed by Alchemist Brewery

S: Hits you like a ton of hop bricks. Overwhelmingly citrus, very nice.

T: Is amazing and totally lives up to the hype.

M: Thick enough to leave a nice hop resin coating on your tongue, but not chewy.

O: Yes, I had to drive about three hundred miles to get this beer. But, once I was in VT... I consumed over a dozen cans (I was there for five days) and brought two cases back with me.

Many people say that THEIR regional IPA is "better than Heady", I've heard it said about Hopslam, Gandhi-bot, Zombie Dust, Pliny the Elder, Jai Alai, etc. But when put head to head (no pun intended) it is (A.) Heady Topper that it is being compared to and (B.) the Heady Topper that comes out on top (given the taster is unbiased).

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Photo of dcmchew
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had half from the can, half poured in a glass, just couldn't resist.
Looks hazy orange, a big two finger fluffy head that recedes to half-a-finger and stays like that for a longer while, with lots of traces on the glass.
Layers upon layers of hops straight from the smell, getting big citrus (grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine), also big tropical notes (mango, maracuja), but also strong pine and strong leafy hops. Light pale malts, nothing to concentrate on there.
From the get go, truckloads of hops, but not the most "painful" bitterness, just a ton of flavor. Begins with bitter sweet blood oranges, grapefruit peel, some tangerines too, peach, easing into tropical fruit with pineapple, juicy mango and maracuja. Big floral note, hinting honey, but more like sweet petals, closer to, say.. orange blossom water. The "green" part of the hops dominate the finish with pine resin, concentrated hop oils, Sweet Kush dankness, making up a big bitterness that doesn't erase all the previous flavors.
The aftertaste is hoppy, also leaving a bit of room for the grainy/bready malts. Low carbonation, medium body, incredibly smooth. No time to detect any alcohol.
It's so tasty that you don't even realise it's over so fast. Drinking it from the can tilted the balance more towards leafiness for me. Incredible show of hops. This time, do believe the hype!

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

No date on the can, drank the first half from the can, poured second half into a snifter.

A: Drank the first half from the can like they recommend, the can is a sight for sore eyes but hard to judge a beer's appearance on that. When poured into a snifter....my god what a sloppy looking beer. Solids all over the place. Color of orange juice with tons of floaters. Didn't want to dock the beer too much, but honestly it's not an appealing looking beer.

S: Holy shit, its literally like smelling a bag of hops. I opened a bag of hops next to it to make sure my mind wasn't playing tricks on me. It's a hop bomb, like no other beer I have ever smelled in my life. When poured into a snifter, the aroma gets more floral and closer to other DIPAs on the market. In the can though, wow. Citrus and pine, along with some sweet tropical fruits, but they're all sitting backseat on Mr. toad's wild ride to the hops. Bam! Hops in your face.

T: A bitter assault on your palate. This beer is a palate wrecker like I've never seen. Bitter hop finish, pine crisp bite, along with some sweet fruit to help round it out.

M: Had side by side with a 2 day old Pliny. Made Pliny seem thin and watery by comparison. Thick, full bodied with a long lingering bitter finish that changes with the amount of breathes after a sip.

O: This beer lived up to the hype in that it blew my mind. It reminded me of the first time I had a sip of beer when I was about 10 yrs old, except that I liked it. As an avid IPA fan, I've been around the block the a few times and this was like the first time I had an IPA. Literally have tasted nothing like it before. However, my goodness, this beer made me full and bloated. Anything but drinkable. I got through the can just fine, but I did not want another. Also, the appearance of the beer in my glass is one of the worst I have seen. Even a shaken up belgium beer isn't this bad. Not sure if that's necessary to achieve the hop profile or not, but seems a bit sloppy to me. Def worth checking out and a fantastic world class brew, one like I have never experienced before. Big thanks to SanFranJake for hooking me up with 4 cans.

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Photo of Ccagno15
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Can poured into glass I'm almost positive that they tell you to drink it in the can because In a glass it does not look so great but in this case looks are definitely deceiving nice tropical fruit aromas that also come through in the flavor with a nice bitter hoppy finish outstanding ipa that lives up to the hype

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Photo of Beechner719
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from the can. Aroma is very strong, lots of floral hops. Pours a nice golden color and white head. Taste is very strong hops that take over the more you sip it. It is one of the cloudiest beers I have ever seen. You can taste the resin right away and it is not a bad thing! This is my favorite DIPA to date.

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Photo of oldsailor
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as requested by The Alchemist. The anticipation of getting this beer lead to a little bit of an expectation that I didn't necessarily get from drinking this; however, I still think this is a stellar beer and will never turn it down!

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Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Mrebeka for grouping this with a trade… I owe you one!

A – A lot darker than I thought it would be. Very hazy with a lot of funky floaters. The off-white head quickly dissolved, but a small ring of bubbles remained. A huge sticky lacing on the edge of the glass is left behind after each sip. Fugly brew.

S – Some sweet caramel, pineapple, and pine oh my! Some tropical fruit is sticking with me for a while.

T – Great forbidden fruits… Hop resin/bitterness hits big in the finish; once again… I know I’m drinking a DIPA.

M – Super easy to drink, medium bodied with a slight alcohol burn. Nice amount of carbonation.

O - My first craft can. Delicious… I am going to have to seek more of these out. I wish I would have done a side-by-side with Pliny, but for right now, I’m leaning towards Heady. A great IPA.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,243 ratings.
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