Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,348 Reviews
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: 2,348 | Ratings: 13,237
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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Photo of Harrison8
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pouring Heady Topper from the "Drink from the Can" pint can reveals a hazy, fiery orange liquid with a foamy, tightly laced, white head. Head foams up quickly, peaking at 3 fingers with an aggressive start and conservative finish. Retention on the head is great, lasting even through a half dozen sips. Lacing bubbles around the glass, with great retention. Aroma is steeped in layers of citrus, with notes of orange, lemon zest, and papaya. Biscuit malts bunch up just behind the hops to form an assertive, but refreshingly delicate hoppy aroma. Flavor profile opens with a smooth crescendo of citrus, orange, lemon zest, and biscuit malts. A hoppy start flexes and reshapes itself into a malty finish - with a little resin hop at the end to stick to the palate. Mouth feel is smooth and somewhat filling with a medium thickness. Feel certainly has a presence, but is still light enough to be enjoyed swiftly on a blisteringly hot day. Overall, a sublime IPA with plenty of flavorful body, and presence. The lack of a bitter stinging finish makes this an easy beer to enjoy for folks both new to IPAs and old.

Served in a 20oz Heady Topper glass.

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Photo of Ark500
4.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have one a few times a year, always great beer and each time I had a different experience.
Age of beer, enviorment and mood change this beer.
Gotta love it.

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Photo of mpavao71
4.14/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Undoubtedly a very good DIPA; however, it did not live up to the hype as one of the best beers in the U.S. for me. In my opinion, it is not even the best beer by The Alchemist (an excellent brewer).

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Photo of r_love
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

New England DIPA. 8% ABV.

Hazy, unfiltered hay color. Incredible nose of hop-derived tropical and citrus fruit. On the palate, orange, grapefruit, and pineapple flavors carried by an intense hoppy bitterness that nonetheless is balanced by the big flavors. This comes across with little apparently alcohol; could drink all day.

Incredibly clean and crisp with intense yet balanced hoppy bitterness. A nearly perfect DIPA.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured to a tulip glass.

A: The body just a bit hazy, not like the New Englad IPA styles, not terribly juicy but hazy enough to provide some presence in the glass. The head, when poured, had a thickness of 1 finger but after the beer settled, it got very minimal showing yet lots of retention. No lacing.
S: The aroma is more fruity than expected. There's lots of mango and pineapple instead of the regularly expected earthy and resinous aromas. This is really cool for an intro. It smells a lot better coming from the can than when poured into a glass.
T: The taste is incredibly as it has a good fruity profile of almost no citrus but lots of mango and pineapple. After the first sip you finally the earthy and resinous profiles of this beer but they're not that strong. The hoppiness is awesome.
M: The mouthfeel of this beer is actually the thing that caught my 'eye'. It's incredibly smooth, being very very velvety, having an also perfect carbonation. Bitterness is not as high as expected but this beer has at least 4 weeks. Yet, it's just perfect.
O: Overall, it's not my favorite IPA but you can feel the hype on the mouthfeel. It's easily a Top5 though.

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

Ah, heady topper. Had several times but this is my first time writing a review. Ignored the advice on the can, of course, and poured into a tulip.

Nice foamy white head, a little golden tinge to it. Retention is pretty good, and lacing is excellent. Nice little bubbles streaming up from the bottom. Golden orange-yellow and really hazy, though not thickly opaque.

Feathery floral smell with pine and light fruit. Some kind of citrus and other tropical aroma.

This beer is damn smooth, that’s for sure. Juicy, a little thinner than might be expected, but nice mildly sharp presence on the tongue.

Far from an aggressive beer, there is no strong bitterness or overpowering flavors. Starts fruity, becomes piney, then citrus, finishing with a little malty sweetness aftertaste. Well-rounded, with unobtrusive flavor and great complexity. Very nice.

I had a few cans of this, some from a month ago and one that I forgot about from mid-October. I don’t know which this is, though if it’s the October one, that’s certainly pushing it in terms of freshness, and perhaps that has some impact on the relatively light aroma and slightly thin texture.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Mostly drank out of can as instructed. Pours hazy gold with a medium head that is foamy doesn't last

Smells of citrus, lemon, light malt, light pine, light grassy

Tastes great. Very well balanced. Citrus mostly lemon and Orange with nice malt. Light grassy. Finish is mostly dry with a pine linger. Medium body with creamy medium carbonation.

This is the juiciest double I've ever had

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Photo of weakascheese
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy sweet mother of pearl that's exceptional. It's a bigger beer than Focal Banger? I get so... 7% vs 8%.

Balance. Super soft on the palate. Sweet citrus, particularly orange and clementines. Floral and subtle pine.

Freakin delicous and unfortunately crushable... because I only have one.

If I had one beer to drink for the rest of my life it would undoubtedly be...... i don't know..... but the fabled Heady would almost certainly come to mind.

I'm in Jersey so I had to twist a few arms to get my hands on this gem. I guess to get Heady you have to give it....

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Photo of austinparker
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honestly, best beer I've ever had and I didn't even have it fresh. My aunt who lives in Ireland bought some in the states and she saved some for me when I went and visited her in Ireland.

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Photo of Skrat45
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply one of the best! My number one of any style beer. Not even going to try and describe it you just have to try it! Just drink it fresh it does loose a little something over time. Best right off the truck or go to the brewery

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Photo of JBC5
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After a great family day, of finally skiing with my southern born family, due to military life. I asked for a plain beer...then a great buddy said I had to try this one. I declined, stating I just need any beer. He refused, presenting me the Heady Topper. I was blown away. Taste, Smell, Sight,...Best Ever. Been around the world, drank lots of famous beers. Amazed at the taste of Heady Topper. Only problem, I am not the only one who agrees and it's very hard to get. Impossible down south.

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Photo of 413
3.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not one for IPAs, so I had to check my bias, but I can see why Heady Topper is hyped like it is. I first drank it straight from the can as recommended, ice cold at a restaurant in Burlington. It goes down unbelievably smooth for a Double IPA, and it finishes just as clean. The flavor is filled to the brim with high quality hops. Not my cup of tea, but for the IPA freak, it's worth the trip to cozy Vermont.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,237 ratings.
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