Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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:
12,555
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
9,035
Gots:
4,854
For Trade:
63
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,231 | Ratings: 12,555
Photo of squaremile
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So excited that I got my hands on this. Pours a dark amber/orange with a frothy head and bubbles of all sizes. Good retention and some lacing. Smell is excellent, dominated by pink grapefruit, powerdy pine, and vines. Beautiful. Taste accomplishes what the bottle said was the goal: amazing complexity. Reminds me a bit of Mikkeller Ten in that you can find almost every hop flavor in the taste. Waves of different hops flow and ends with a biscuity malt finish, then hops linger for days in the aftertaste. Moderate bitterness but intense hoppiness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and medium-light bodied. Drinkability is ridiculous and I could have glass after glass, zero etoh.

I have had almost every major IIPA in the world, this is easily in the top tier, and deserves all the hype. By far the best IIPA not made on the west coast, and blows 99% of those away. Awesome awesome beer.

 883 characters

Photo of alexrufio666
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as advised, to say the least this was a phenomenal DIPA. And to be honest it was exactly what I expected it to be. Wether or not it belongs at the number 1 spot is not for me to decide but it is a great beer defiantly worth a try! Cheers!

 257 characters

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

Drank from the can, as instructed! (poured a little into a pint glass to get an accurate review. (reviewed from notes) Thanks to TimmyJ21 for this can!

A- hazy yellow/orange with a head that is foamy and white.

S- Tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, papaya), citrus peel, faint pine

T- complex- a great blend of tropical fruits and a bitterness that has both pine and citrus peel.

M- smooth and refreshing with just enough carbonation to know it is there.

O- This is up there with all my favorites in this category (Pliny, Abrasive, etc.). I will definitely try to obtain some more of this.

 594 characters

Photo of HopHead_44
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Took ski trip this weekend to burlington area with a stop at the hunger mountain coop to grab a few cases to take back to new york. Hunger Mountain Coop is the place to go for Cases but generally sells out in a few hours so you have to time it right.

This Stuff is the real deal, believe the hype cause this stuff is awesome. So many complex flavors that roll through the entire palete from start to finish. This is one of my favorite beers right now with lawsons double sunshine right there. If you can get your hands on some you are a lucky person.

 552 characters

Photo of Sterby
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Drank from can as recommended and from tulip glass. Preferred the tulip glass as way more aroma was present.

Appearance - poured a golden yellow, cloudy. Slightly off white head, with nice retention and lacing.

Smell - Ripe Citrus, mostly pink grapefruit, orange, and pine.

Taste- Layers of citrusy hops followed by some pine, and an almost unoticealbly smooth malt backbone. The hops really shine in this beauty.

Mouthfeel- well carbonated, the flavors bring multiple mouthfeels if that makes any sense.

Overall- #1 IPA for good reason. This beer is as described. Not the hoppiest, not the strongest, just a damn good, super flavorful ipa that hits all the senses. The most pungent aroma I've ever sensed in a beer. Pink grapefruit, pink grapefruit, a little pine, and more pink grapefruit. In the aroma and in the taste. Cheers!

 839 characters

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

A - A delightful deep orange, even the head, which was two fingers of irregular froth dithering to an uneven lace (really a sloppy cobweb) has an orange hue. Sediment chunks that float about make this the Goldschlager of DIPAs.

S - The Topper doesn't mince words ... it's like smelling a bag of tropical skittles. It smells unreal and fruity, with a hint of pine. Or perhaps like a nice fruit taffy, because there is a bit of cooked sugar in there. Not quite caramel. There aren't too many beers that would appeal to that sense so viscerally. This is select.

T - Imagine biting into a starfruit that grew from a balsam fir. That is about it. Juicy and amazing, with a pitchy taste. OK, so pine aromas are normal. But starfruit is something else. Impeccably balanced. All of the aromas deliver. No false scents.

M - It has legs in the mouth. Perhaps it's one chink, it's a hair thicker than perfect for me. But perhaps that is good, because if it weren't I would drink it too quickly.

O - Only rivaled, not beaten. This is the best DIPA you can get, or at least that I've tasted.

This is one of those beers that makes you want to quit tasting beers, and just drink a whole lot of beers.

 1,193 characters

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

Canned on Tuesday, Drank on Wednesday (from the can, naturally).

Appearance- Poured some out of a 2nd can for friends so I glimpsed the appearance. Hazy, a little more amber than most IPA's. Looks like a serious beer (whatever that means).

Smell- Pine, hops, and some fruits..can't exactly pick out which ones

Taste- Unlike any beer I've had. Some sips, it has powerful cirtusy and piney hops that challenge the drinker with bitterness and leave with a very dry finish. Then other sips, it's got a refreshing sweetness coming from juicy fruits...kind of like juicy-fruit gum (maybe not quite that sweet) with a very clean finish. It's bizzare, but makes it super flavorful AND insanely drinkable, which is a potent and marvelous combination.

Mouthfeel- It's very creamy with full carbonation. Coats the mouth nicely and lingers.

Overall- I already mentioned how drinkable this is for how hoppy and bitter it is. Why am I trading half this case again?

 955 characters

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

A: Nice golden amber body. Slight amount of white head. I only poured about 2 ounces into the glass because the can specifically advises to "DRINK FROM THE CAN!"

S: If this smell eminated from my apartment the DEA would show up with cuffs. It is some dank shit. Tons of resiny hops and a good bit of sweetness.

T: Tastes like it smells. The natural thing to compare this to is Pliny. It is sweeter and more resiny than Pliny but on the same level for sure.

M: Thick and resiny. It sits heavy but leaves light. It is probably a bit heavier than I would like but definitely acceptable.

D: It's 8% so it's not exactly an all day drinker. That said, I would drink it all day if I could.

 687 characters

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

1 pint can from recent trade with mountainsnow 1010--a big thanks!
No can dating.
The inscription implores "DRINK FROM THE CAN!".
Started that way, then realized I would not be able to comment on the appearance-Duh!.
Golden-orange, clear elixir poured into SA glass. Thin, white head, quickly dissipates. Nice lacing.
From the can, huge hop resin and floral notes--heaven to this hophead. After the pour, grapefruit, lime, sweet and tangy fruit explode. Wow.
This is all about the hop. Full bittersweet hop all over the tongue, smooths out to leave a nice tingling sensation across the landscape. Grapefruit to lemon aftertaste but the sweet hops do not die! Awesome!
Medium body, plenty of bubbles, alcohol hidden (cannot believe 8%).
This is a keeper and one that all hopheads should seek. The standard for DIPAs. Now you can argue that Hopslam is sweeter, but really, for those that crave the hops and all of its glorious characteristics, this is the one. And in a can. The debate is dead.

 992 characters

Photo of CayseyW
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Given the new rating system, I felt compelled to add a review to my score, even though this beer speaks for itself by now.

L: Well, it looks great in the can because of the great art, but when poured out into the glass its very rustic, cloudy brew. I actually love when beer looks like this, and I think it perfectly embodies the New England style.

S: Sometimes I get fresh-cut grass, spruce or pine, and other times it smells like slicing into a grapefruit.

T: Juicy citrus mouthful with piney notes. This is a super delicious beer, but you probably already knew that.

F: Ridiculous; the bitterness of this beer should be overwhelming but it's just so smooth on the front and backend. No booziness at all. Amazing carb, and a nice full mouthfeel, but also extremely drinkable.

O: While it's not my personal favorite DIPA, this beer deserves to be in the conversation for the best in the world. It's revolutionary and nearly flawless.

 941 characters

Photo of wburch1967
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My buddy grabbed me two four packs from the Brewery in VT. Fresh canned two days ago!!

The appearance is a can. It says drink from the can. The can is an attractive can.

Smells of hoppy yumminess and the taste is a well balanced cascade of hoppy goodness.

the hype is deserved!!

 281 characters

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

 656 characters

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?

 969 characters

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.

 554 characters

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!

 265 characters

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.

 727 characters

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.

 295 characters

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

 423 characters

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.

 343 characters

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?

 982 characters

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.

 935 characters

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.

 278 characters

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.

 644 characters

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.

 445 characters

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!

 605 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe