Heady Topper | The Alchemist

13,245 Ratings
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

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

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Reviews: 2,350 | Ratings: 13,245
Photo of Buck89
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bit into the glass but drank this from the can as directed. A hazy bright yellow-golden color with a resilient white head. Big aromas of grapefruit, pine, tangerines. Huge hops on the palate, similar to the nose. A nice bitter mix of the citrus and the resiny, piney earth tones. Medium-bodied and perfectly carbed. Awesome beer.

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Photo of MMP126
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank from the can. Poured a bit into a tulip to see the color.

L: slightly hazy. Not too much. Yellow with a bit of orange. Can popped well when opened. Good carbonation in the glass

S: hard to pick out for me. Hops in general. I get some pine. And "freshness" in a sense. Not sure how to explain it. Not a juice bomb to me.

T: bitter hops. Lovely. Just a hop bomb, but bomb in the most wonderful sense. Grapefruit pith for sure. Nice malt on the finish. Not sweet but bready and maybe a tiny tiny bit pretzely. Flavor lasts and lasts. Long sipper and wonderful. Maybe a little bit of alcohol. Not much at all though.

F: good carb. Soft. Pillowy. Not dry. Amazing.

O: the hype is real. Definitely world class. Glad I have 2 more!!

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Photo of daddieo
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I have had the pleasure of drinking this former #1 several years in a row now. 2017 now and it still lives up to the hype every year. Gave it a 5 on look cause I never have poured it out to look at it, so I rated the awesome can art. I will be awaiting next year's tasting .

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Photo of Znice21
2.06/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This legendary eastern ipa is what inspired my signing up to ba to launch this bashing..err review. I like Maine beers, I like knee deep beers, i like mosaic hops. Honestly I was ecstatic when my buddy brought home a plethora of alchemist beers. Focal banger should be right up my alley but its so over the top i have to blend it but when i do i still enjoy big mosaic hops. Heady is just foul. I realize my opinion is an outlier but when I tell you I struggled to finish a can (ipa drinking wife included) Im very serious. I had it on 2 occasions to cement my feelings on it and they are this beer is soooooooooooooooo overrated I'm in awe of how lousy it was for me, really nothing redeeming to say other than at 8%abv if you can hold your nose and slam a few of these i guess you'll be in a happy place but i can give you myriad other options to better get you there.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Can from Dave. Poured the "middle third" into a goblet; the rest drank from the can.

LOOK: from the part i poured in the goblet, the color is golden yellow; small, but lasting head, slightly hazy.
AROMA: hops, pine, fresh air.
TASTE: metallic hops, leaves, something hinting on citrus but not quite. Some tropical fruit in the finish.
FEEL: medium body, middling carbonation; but there is a freshness.

There is something about this beer that makes it greater than the sum of its parts (hence I have Overall higher than Taste). I am not big on IPA's in general, but certain ones I really enjoy. This is obviously well crafted and I would be honored to have this again. Enjoyed this much more than Focal Banger. Strangely (to me), I did enjoy the portion from the can better than the portion I poured.

Looks like can is about 9 months old, so maybe this is stellar when fresh; but it is still very good when a little old.


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Photo of Stephenmheadley
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic beer and a rare find. The beer lives up to its reputation as being one of the best around. For a tousle IPA, it has a subtle hoppy finish with a very complicated taste. Definitely drink from the can, its intriguing and complex.

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Photo of IPA24
4.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The anticipation was enormous, the taste was pretty good. A friend had to take two work days off to drive to Vermont to pick up two cans for me. It was pretty good, but so are others right here in Ontario, CAN.

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding IPA, very tropical, grapefruit, orange and pineapple. It's juicy and pithy with tons of pine. The bitter finish lingers for a bit longer than I'd like, but overall I can't complain about this beer. It's absolutely world class.

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Photo of CraftBeerRunner
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really just a perfect beer. Enjoyed first in Burlington at a Nepalese restaurant and recently thanks to a generous friend who sent a 4 pack of this and Focal. Really just a standout beer.
Burlington, VT, May 2015 and Oakland CA Feb/Mar 2017

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Photo of Phineasco
4.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Look: Orange, hazy, with a two inch head.
Smell: Grapefruit, citrusy, piney with a touch of honey.
Taste: Piney, grapefruit, great drinkability with gentle bitterness.
Feel: Goes down real smooth. Complex.
Overall: The standard for double ipa's, their is quite a bit of batch variation with this beer, but it never fails to deliver.

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Photo of zeff80
4.35/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out to share with a friend. Cloudy golden yellow color with a small white head. It smelled of tropical fruits and caramel sweetness. Good balance of bitter and sweet.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Can of course

Pours a cloudy lemony golden, sugar white head retains indefinitely.

Smells of cracker malt and orange and grapefruit citrus, juice and malt.

Tastes of cracker and biscuit, citrus juice and spice and citrus hops.

Medium body, tingly carbonation in the tongue.

I understand how this beer got it's reputation, it is really good and an innovator in the juicy ipa style. I feel like it's somewhat overrated which is to say it's only excellent and should be tried, but not world-ending.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 PINT can
Served in a tulip glass, directions be damned

This beer pours like pineapple juice and is topped with two inches of fluffy beige head that leaves little lacing on the glass.

In the aroma I get orange, grapefruit and pine.

The taste is all grapefruit and pine. The bitterness builds the more I drink.

Medium mouthfeel

The smell indicated a juicy IPA, while the flavor was quite bitter. This is the third time I have gotten the opportunity to try this beer, and it was the first full can that I consumed. I cannot say that it lives up to the hype. I'll take Hop Juju all day, everyday over this. Some day when I make it to Vermont, I will have some guaranteed fresh and see if that changes my mind. I have no idea how old this can is. It was given to me by a friend over the weekend. I can't believe it's more than 2 or 3 weeks old, but I could be wrong.

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Photo of peemoney
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the sweetest nectar to touch my lips with the exception of my beautiful wifes love juice. I have 6 more of the nectar of the gods that I will enjoy only on the most special occasions.

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Photo of Greyvtrayn
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks for the trade Ross! Color is a vibrant yellow-straw with minimal haze....I had to pour a few ounces into a tasting glass despite the command to drink from the can. Didn't pour enough to get any discernible head. The smell is outrageous with lemon, orange, hop resin...it really is a delightful smell. The taste is very juicy and it doesn't get washed out by the carbonation or hops. I am getting an orange rind and piney dry finish. A medium-full body with a soft mouth-feel, again the carbonation is present but not overpowering, this is particularly applicable when consumed from the can.
Do yourself a favor when you get your hands on Heady Topper and follow the instructions. Drink it from the can. The look is the least impressive facet of this beer and when consumed outside of the can it does take away from the smell, taste and feel. However, with good reason this is a truly world-class beer. Anyone saying otherwise is not being objective. Thanks again, Ross.

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Photo of braker649er
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this on the Jersey Shire out of the can as suggested on the label. Very tasty. Lived up to expectations, which were on the high end. Most notable for that complex cloudy almost resinous, multidimensional flavor and look.

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Photo of TripleSun
4.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Drank from can as intended

S - Blast of tropical hops, I'm sure the aroma would be more intense when poured but I'm drinking it the way they wanted. Mango, pineapple, etc

T - Tropical like the nose but has a nice, clean malt finish

F - Not as heavy as I was imagining. Think it might be overhyped but overall a really refreshing beer that doesn't taste 8% ABV

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Photo of CommonSense
3.97/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Probably the most overrated beer I've ever had. (Have not had Pliny yet)

Picked this up fresh from the Alchemist which is an awesome setup and beautiful brewery.

Taste is pretty good and refreshing - nothing special, but I suppose it's worth trying if you're an IPA fan. Everytime I go back for a sip I think to myself, OK this is gonna be the amazing Heady Topper that has all the hype. I swish it in my mouth just praying it tastes like heaven. It never comes. Just a muted IPA. This beer has fallen behind the style over the past 10 years.

I will credit Heady and the Alchemist for starting the hazy, lightly bittered IPA but for the hype it gets, pretty disappointing overall. I would take Burlington, Foam, and HF over Heady all day.


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Photo of Oneguy73
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I poured a nice tulip half way and left some head. Great golden color. A very light hop in my opinion. Nothing stands out and smacks you in the face - that's good. A nice balance. Some fruit notes but nothing that stands out or leaves a bad or bitter taste.

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Photo of Caleb_Parent
4.91/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Poured approx. 1 to 2 oz into tulip glass for look purposes only, the rest drank from the can. Pours a light gold/yellow color. Translucent, and moderately cloudy. Leaves some small and big bubbles with a small amount of white head. Leaves a characteristic lacing around the glass.

Smell: I want to crawl and live in the can. Immediate burst of tropical hops, I get pineapple, grapefruit, mango, strawberry, peach, and even bubble gum! You can smell that this beer provides of lot of flavor from the hops, but will not be bitter, and will supply a strong malty backbone.

Taste: Taste mimics smell: Immediate tropical burst of hops which include pineapple, grapefruit, mango, and peach. With the taste you get a mild bite of hops with pine and grass which subsides as the beer takes a sweet cracker malt finish. The beer leaves almost no bitter aftertaste which I would expect from a beer of this style.

Feel: Mild carbonation allows the beer to flow freely across the palate and spread the delicious juicy hops all over the taste buds. Allows the beer to give an almost 'creamy' taste which incorporates to the reasoning this beer is considered the best in the world.

Overall: This is truly a world class beer. The best of the best. 10/10. The one and only beer I would choose if I was deserted on a remote island. Well done Alchemist!


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Photo of NickandToni
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drove to the new Alchemist and purchased the max of each beer. I've had Heady-Topper before, and was very excited to taste the joys of my 12 hour round trip drive.

L: World class
S: Hops
T: I think this is where I truly tip my hat. There is nothing like this beer. It has set the standard and leads the way in a reproducable master craft beer
F: Amazing how so much flavor can come from such an easy mouthfeel
O: I love some great efforts from many great breweries, but this is on a pedestal

A must have beer experience.

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Photo of a_andersen
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It goes without saying that this is an exceptional beer. Appearance is a cloudy gold (thank you for not turning this into a murky swamp beer like some of your peers), small and taste continues to be a tidal wave of perfectly balanced hops.

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Photo of B0shes
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I must be a terrible man, but I don't drink this beer from the can. I can't say anything different or add much to the reviews below, but this may be the perfect IPA, and deserves to be enjoyed with every sense.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: From the can, it looks like a can. In the glass, it pours a beautiful, semi-opaque, sunshiney gold with a fluffy white, rocky head that laces well.

A: It smells like honey, citrus, and some other fruit I just can't quite put my finger on.

T: Wonderful. Mango. That's what the smell was, just very subtle. It ties it all together. Honestly, again, I am having a hard time dissecting all the flavors, I can only say it blends exceptionally well together.

F: A perfect feel for an IPA. Crisp, good amount of bitterness, decent carbonation, and wonderfully smooth and easy to drink. A slightly velvety feel to it as well.

O: This, being my first time with it, was not what I was expecting. Almost like a stepping stone from the best of what the west coast style had to offer, and into the best of what the NE style offers now. A truly great IPA, and deserves the respect it gets.

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Photo of Bluepitt1010
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Needless to say...Alchemist lived up to the reputation. This was a the first time experiencing Heady. Tried it in a glass at first in the brewery. Then drank another the next day in the can as it said to. It was rather smooth to be honest with you. Flavors of citrus was well balanced with the hoppy taste. Overall very happy I was able to get my hands on some.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,245 ratings.
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