Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,260 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:
2,260
Ratings:
12,729
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,079
Gots:
4,987
For Trade:
67
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Reviews: 2,260 | Ratings: 12,729
Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 CommanderOfAwesome
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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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Photo of cooler4life
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing straight from can to mouth per the request of the brewer. Poured a small amount in a Duvel tulip to assess appearance.

A: Poured a cloudy straw yellow color with small to moderate lacing and glass retention. I see some yeast particulate suspended in the air. About average, which is why I suspect we are directed to consume from the can.

S: As I first crack the can, a geyser of hop propelled CO2 assaults my face. After I regain my senses, essences of pine, dank moss, pineapple, orange, fresh flowers. It presents itself surprisingly sweet, but make no mistake, it oozes with fresh hop aroma.

T: Everything an DIPA should be. My palate is ravaged by concentrated hop juice. The balance of pine, honey toasted biscuit, grapefruit, orange, and lemongrass intertwine to create a symphony of hop magic. It has a relatively light malt backbone.

M: Chewy and juicy, medium body, balanced carbonation. The balance of the elements only serve as a conduit to facilitate the coating of more hop resin in my mouth. The finish is incredibly smooth with no indication of the 8% ABV. Extremely drinkable.

O: A perfect example of the style, this was a treat from start to finish. Do I want more? Yes.
World Class.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Broke the can's rules to properly review. Pale cloudy orange juice. 1 finger soft head but a light film sticks. Good lacing. I don't know what's in here but smells fantastic. Beautiful bouquet of hops. Great balance of citrus and bitterness. Strong carbonation but smooth and yet great mouthfeel. Like a 5 gum commercial. Can't go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of Eurso16
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

been a member for a while now and visit the site frequently but have never written a review so i figured why not start here, after finally getting my hands on this gem.

like others, i was a skeptic, wondering how much better could this beer really be compared to dirt wolf, hopslam, other top knotch ipas, etc. Well for me, the hype is real. IMO, this is a perfectly crafted, well executed representation of a DIPA. Now that i have began home brewing, i have a new appreciation for what it takes to craft a delicious beer. From the nose right on through to the mouthfeel, this brew is outstanding. sip after sip you continue to taste just the most absolute fresh, juicy, dank, hop flavor. mouthfeel is sticky, medium bodied and almost creamy.

definitely my new favorite beer. well done Alchemist, Well done.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Perfect looking unfiltered IPA. Completely opaque due to dense haze - the color is a beautiful blend of sunshine and orange juice. A nice, slightly off white head coats the top of the beer and leaves great sticky lacing.

S: Holy shit - has so many layers of flavors. I have never experienced an aroma fly out of the bottle/can before like this - smacks you in the face. Incredibly clean and fresh. Sweet pink grapefruit, bitter grapefruit rind, outrageously fresh pine and a touch of resin. Some orange juice and mango that blends with the sticky astringency. So much going on, I am not able to do it justice through my description. Just overwhelmingly fresh and clean, balanced with bitterness and astringency.

T: Huge, full, intense, completely fulfilling. I actually find drinking from the can is notably better, just too bad you can't look at it that way. A blast of fresh pine, sweet pink grapefruit and bitter grapefruit, much more astringency than on the nose and decently bitter. Incredibly balanced and outrageously flavorful.

P: Hard to say this, but almost the best part. Smooth and creamy - fullest bodied IPA I've come across, and one of the smoothest beers in general.

O: I, as all who haven't had this beer before, have had this on the top of my wants. Almost always this type of hype gets in the way of truly enjoying the beer as an unreachable mark has been set. Well, this destroyed any mark I could have imagined for myself. Truly an amazing beverage and one of the best tasting anythings I've ever had.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Amber, hazy, 2+ inches big thick fluffy head, light patchy lacing, light carbonation rising, large amount of yeast.

S - Huge citrus, lemon, orange, lovely grapefruit, carmel

T - Dry grapefruit, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. finish: bitter (8/10), med/high acidity

M - Creamy, super frothy, full body, certainly a piney grapefruit lingerer, excellent carbonation

O - Phenomenal grapefruit, just about perfect IPA mouth. zero booze, love the pine. my only preference happens to be a sweeter opposes to drier IIPA.

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Photo of nkersten
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very happy I finally get to try this one, straight from the tap into my pilsner glass. Pours yellowish orange with a slight haze, small off white head with good retention and some nice lacing. As soon as this beer hits the table I can smell the hops. This is up there with some of the best smelling IPAs made. Pineapple, sweet malts, tropical fruit, not a hint of bitterness - just wonderful aroma hops. Taste is surprisingly different from the smell, and this isnt a bad thing. Pineapple and tropical fruit flavor but with a bit more bitterness then I was expecting, some biscuit malt (not a lot, just enough to provide balance), a slightly spicy, earthy hop finish. The lighter side of medium body with a medium light carbonation, finishes very clean. This is an excellent IPA and hands down the best one to come from anywhere east of California. Very different then the west coasters in terms of flavor, but much smoother and more drinkable then Pliny or some of the other notables. I wanted to try everything at the Alchemist and this was my first, and then my second beer. Wish I could drink this every night.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Heady Topper is absolutely lives up to the hype is is one of the world class IPAs without question. Fresh resinous hops with tons of flavor. What is not to love. Cheers!

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Photo of morimech
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy amber color, dirty juice look with a lot of particulate, with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Surprising lack of lacing is left down the glass. The beer is nothing great to look at.

All hop aroma with mostly tropical fruit and citrus smells. It is a very good hop aroma, but not the best of the style.

Not the best aroma but it is the best tasting DIPA I have had. It is bitter but not brutal. Hop dominant but malt does add some sweetness and flavor. Alcohol is warming but is not too hot or distract from the hop goodness. This goodness comes in the way of tropical fruit, citrus, and herbal flavors.

Wonderful texture thanks to a solid body and perfectly matched carbonation. It is lively but not harsh and far from dull.

Arguebly the best DIPA out right now. Even if I had ready access to this beer I am not sure I would want to drink more than one can at a sitting. But I would love to have more than one can a year of this great beer.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lives up to the hype. Great dipa. Hazy golden. 2 fingers of head, lacing sticks forever. Spicy fruit, loads of hops. It's a world class beer. Glad to have tried it

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Photo of jsanford
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to THE CPJ for the beauty, been wanting to try it for some time. Drank from the can as instructed, except for a tiny 2oz pour to grade appearance.

A - Pours a hazy golden-amber with a creamy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring.
S - Oh boy. This is right up my IPA alley. Fresh hop aromas of grapefruit, pine resin, mango, and peach with a very subtle malt backbone.
T - Similar to the nose, lots of fresh pine resin, grapefruit peel, and tropical fruit flavors with a light malt profile. Excellently bitter finish, with just a little bit of heat from the 8%.
M - Smooth and crisp, with a touch-over-medium body and good carbonation. You can really feel the hop oils.
O - A superb DIPA, almost exactly what I look for in the style. Insanely drinkable, this would get dangerous if I had regular access to it!

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/19/11- Review of a 16oz can marked 10720A2BB.
A: Hazy amber orange, steady cream head with decent lacing.
S: Great hops character! Love that earthy-grapefruit-fresh-hops-cones smell! Behind is pineapple and caramel sweetness with tropical punch type backbone.
T: No surprises here, it tastes like the aroma with a gin earthy pine finish... creamy with a rustic hops tea character.
M: Medium body, creamy near-froth, ends crisp like refreshing juice.
O: A new bar has been set for DIPAs.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,729 ratings.
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