Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,242 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:
2,242
Ratings:
12,622
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,052
Gots:
4,917
For Trade:
70
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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 12,622
Photo of biboergosum
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

16oz can, thanks to Phyl21ca for getting this across the continent to me. If we are entreated to "Drink from the Can!", then why does the label illustration show the dude getting his mind literally blown ('heady topped?'), using a GLASS?

This beer pours a cloudy medium apricot amber hue, with three fat fingers of puffy, billowy, and chunky off-white head, which leaves some thickly rendered, sudsy webbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of sharp, bitter grapefruit and orange pith, acrid pine resin, musty forest floor detritus, a crackery sourdough maltiness, and a hint of spicy yeast. The taste is still bitter, but in a more leavened sense, as the grapefruit, tangerine, and other muddled tropical fruit display a modicum of their sugary, fleshy nature, with the pine needles still pleasantly in neutral, the yeastiness going native and ethereal, a caramel essence attaching itself to the steady bready (and, why not - heady) honey-tinted malt sweetness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back, manifesting mostly in a mild frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and smooth like unfiltered orange juice. It finishes off-dry, the slightly yeasty, and now toasty bready malt faring surprisingly well amongst the hovering hipster hops. Still no alcohol notes readily perceptible.

A DIPA worthy of its stature, but for reasons I did not quite expect - this is a hop bomb, sure, but more of the neutron variety - the attack leaves the infrastructure (i.e. my tastebuds) intact. It's all about flavour here, rather than overt bitterness or astringency, and while my mind remains unequivocally unblown, I can surely admit that this is the best combination of tasty and easy-drinking that I have ever encountered in the style. Oh, and I took a sip out of the can before I poured it - seemed the same to me.

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Photo of emerge077
4.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks Alex for sharing this one, you generous SOB.

Slightly hazed orange due to it's unfiltered nature, and the bottle was approaching it's end. In a tulip glass, there initially was a solid finger's width of white foam, fading to a wispy skim dotted with minor spotty lacing.

Huge tropical aroma, fresh hops galore, sweet citrus, bitter grapefruit, mango, resiny dank herbals. Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity.

Flavor is similarly fruity, with a big grapefruit presence, moderately bitter, lush and packed with resinous hop flavor and a slight undercurrent of pale malt sweetness. Sticky and dank. Body is fairly light, and with no trace of the abv, it's almost too easy to drink. "Carbonated to pub draft levels" as the label states. A bomber or two of this hop nectar would be awesome, on tap even better. Thanks again Alex!

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Photo of kojevergas
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boy oh boy oh boy. I've been waiting a long time for this one. Heard the hype for months and finally picked one up locally in SoCal. Yeah, imagine that. I bought a can of this in L.A. at retail. 1 pint aluminum can served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 8.00% confirmed. Consumed in celebration of completing my grad school applications. I don't see canned-on date, but my local beer store guy informed me it was two weeks old when I bought it yesterday.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. I went back on forth on whether to pour this one into a glass because the label advises me not to. I'm compromising and taking my first sip from the can, but then pouring some of it into a glass and leaving some in the can for later consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

T (Early):On the first sip I get delightful grapefruit and citrus esters, with pale clean malts and lovely floral hopping. Oily hops abound, with hints of pine. Boy, this is going to be interesting.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of nice thickness and cream, and decent retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a fairly vibrant burnt orange-auburn. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not the best IPA appearance I've seen, but pleasant.

Sm: Grapefruit, pale malts, citrus esters, floral hops, and heavy oily hops - but surprisingly little pine. Quite light in strength, but appealing.

T: Perfectly balanced; never too bitter. Grapefruit zing but not in an overbearing way. Floral hops and heavy hop oils (a component I think is rather unique and special to this beer; I've never experienced it quite like this). Citrus, tropical fruit on the back end. I even get pinapple and mango. Maybe apricot too. Passion fruit? (I'm never sure; I've never had an actual passion fruit). Pale malts a are a perfect complement to the hop choices. No alcohol or yeast comes through. That's tasty stuff. I'm shocked at the lack of bitterness; I don't even remember Pliny The Younger (let alone Elder) mitigating the bitterness this well. There's some (very very little) on the climax, but just enough to add a welcome dimension. Well layered and quite subtle. It doesn't beat you over the head like most beers in the style. No metallic taste despite being from a can. Perfect sweetness to suit its hoppiness.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with perfect crispness and coarseness to coax out the subtler flavours. Fresh, refreshing, and perfectly carbonated. Oily. A bit buttery.

Dr: This is probably the most drinkable IPA (not just Double IPA, but IPA as well) I've ever had the delight to consume. It's refreshing as hell, the 8% is nowhere to be seen, and I imagine it would pair brilliantly with any food. A master class in balance and what an IPA should be. I hate to buy into the beer versus beer debates, but in my book this is clearly better than Pliny The Elder. I expected something different based on the hype, but this surprised me with its balance and sophistication. Wow. This is definitely one of the best beers in the style that I've had. I look forward to trying more beer from the Alchemist and to one day having this on-draught. If you see this, buy it. I'm not a big IPA fan and I'm loving this stuff. Brilliantly built. I could easily down this one all night. If there's a better IPA out there, I have yet to find it.

This beer is nearly perfect in its style. The main thing holding it back is its appearance.

A+ (4.6) [3 / 3.5 / 4.75 / 4.75 / 4.75]

Serve cold. Drink cold.

Would pair well with anything. Even chocolate.

***
10/01/15: I've had this at least 7 times since my initial review, and significant batch inconsistency has forced me to lower my rating from an A+ to an A-. Some batches have been as low as a High B, whilst some have remained an A or A+. Unfortunate, but true.

A-

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn, this is hoppy. That's about my first impression immediately upon popping the cap off of this. With that, I should say huge, huge thanks to rpstevens and kingcrowing for sending me bottles of this, the latter of which was a complete surprise. One bottle to be consumed tonight, the other to be shared with friends this weekend.

This bottle is shared with Amyliz4 and poured into two of our larger, unbranded tulips. The pour yields a slightly-hazed bright peach body with a two-finger head. Pretty good retention and plenty of spotty lacing as it makes its way down to a bit of rocky foam sitting atop the brew. A fairly-thick collar remains on the brew throughout as more spots settle on the sides of the glass.

As previously stated, the aroma on this is damn near epic and remains amazing throughout. The initial whiff slammed my nostrils with dominant notes of tropical fruit, citrus rind, and a bit of pine. Each swirl kicks up another bit of aroma with some mango skin and passion fruit taking hold at first. Behind that is a flock of citrus and an overload of ripe peaches. Following behind all this when you sniff really hard is a nice finish of some piney resin.

The flavor picks up where the nose left off, though doesn't quite dominate my senses like the nose did. With that said, this is some really, really incredible stuff. I'll start off with one of my only complaints, which is that the hop flavor isn't quite as pungent as the aroma is. Still, there is some fairly-radical hop flavor to balance the hop bitterness. Did you hear that many makers of East Coast IPAs? Malt sweetness doesn't provide balance to bitterness in a fantastic double IPA, lovely and luscious fruit flavors do.

Mango, passion fruit, and guava make their way into the mix. The strong, strong bitterness levels really elevate the citrus presence and make me think of some good grapefruit rind. The body on this does an absolutely remarkable job accentuating the hops. There's not an ounce of sweetness, but there's enough body to really pull everything together. The bitterness in the finish is uber-high and leaves my mouth quite dry. There's certainly a solution for that--have some more.

I've been waiting a long, long time to finally try this one. Unlike an unfortunately-large percentage of other beers with so much hype, I have enjoyed this immensely. Huge, huge thanks again to Ryan and Nick for the chance to finally try this. Cheers to both of you.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 16 oz can, nice hazy orange color. Smell is of sweet hops. Taste is medium bodied, great balance to it. Not overly hoppy (as warned by the outside of the can) and has a great maltiness to it that most IPAs (specifically double IPAs) are missing. Delicious aftertaste.. I can see why this has such a high rating. Felt lucky to try this beer, definitely worth seeking out if you get a chance.. one of the better imperial IPAs I've gotten to try.

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Photo of oline73
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a finger of fluffy white head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Just amazing. Herbal and citrus hops smack you in the face. Some pineapple and pine tree in there as well. Super fresh.

Taste: Just like the smell, thank God. Bitter hops throughout, but there is a decent amount of malt to back it up. Lots of grapefruit and apricot with more mild herbal and pine notes. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation on the mild side and an extremely dry finish.

Overall: I wouldn't change a thing. You're damn right I'm going to have it again.

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Photo of oberon
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big thanks to Roger at Bestway for GIVING me this beer on Sunday.I know it's snobbery but I can't drink beer out of a can,I hate myself but I just can't.Pours a murky kind of lemony tea looking with a thin white head,the color was hard to pinpoint.Pure hops in the nose,tropical fruit, citrus rind,deep pine resin,and sweet alcohol,all make for a volitile mix.Just hops and lots o' hops on the palate,pine resin,deep overripe tropical fruits,and some bitterness in the finish.It's oily as all get out and slick in the mouth.This beer is pretty damn raw and complex in the hop department to the hilt,bad ass.I love the hop burps!

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%

Reviewed from notes. Sixteen ounce can shared by Dan - thanks.

A: Pours a slightly hazed yellow with a nice one-inch thick white head which lingers and settles to a thin cap yielding splotchy lace.

N: Juicy grapefruit, tangerine, orange fruits, floral.

T: Resiny, citrusy, mildly sweet malt for a good balance, some faint dankness.

M: Moderate body and medium carbonation. Dry, bitter, citrusy, sticky and resiny finish.

O: Well, after having this a few times I've noticed some variation from can to can probably due to factors such a travel to west coast, temperature, etc. This is definitely a top DIPA, but I'm just not convinced it is the best. The ABV is well hidden and is a creeper, though I'd love to have another and continue the research.

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Photo of jlindros
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was so excited when I got the cans a few weeks ago, I completely forgot to review the damn beer. Anyways, I know it's awesome, and esp in a tall boy can! Tasty crack cans!

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with some soapy lacing, over hazy golden orange-red nectar colored beer.

Nose explodes with fresh hops, plenty of fresh squeezed grapefruit, over ripe musty orange as its freshly sliced into and spraying mist ala the opening credits for Dexter, tropical fruit like papaya, mango, tangerine, and even passion fruit, with the slightest hint of fresh musty hop aroma. There is also a slight malt in there somewhere, hidden way behind the gushing hops. Very late as it warms, a bit of a candy earthy hop kick tries to poke it's head out but gets quickly knocked back down by another wave of tropical fruit.

Now comes the taste, yay! Juicy fruit, it's like mounds of tropical fruit was compressed into 1/10 the original size and 10x the fruit concentrate and ground into a liquid, then carbonated and you have this beer. The tropical fruit comes out and runs amok, lots of mango, tangerine galore, papaya, passion fruit, grapefruit, pineapple, it has it all. Also some citrus playing with the other hops, some musty orange rind and again fresh squeezed orange juice blended with pink grapefruit. The taste brings more of the fresh musty resinous hop flavor, must have added some nice dry hops. The hops are so juicy it literally is like drinking tropical fruit juice. Finally some malts weigh in, giving a nice rounded body and big mouth fell. Malts bring a slight sweetness and touch of booze to help balance the huge hop blast. the bitterness is decent at first, and ramps on the finish as it dries. It plays with your tongue, teasing on bitterness and tickle of almost astringency but before it gets there it leaves like a balk by a pitcher. A slight musty hop flavor lingers with all the tropical fruit and citrus orange rind that never wants to fade, but at the same time clean finish. It seriously lingers in my mouth for about 10 minutes after I finish (and it was hard not to crack another can in that 10 minutes). Damn, even the burps taste awesome.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied, full bodied, decent carbonation, slightest hint of booze warmth.

Overall just friggen awesome. So far the best IPA on this side of the Mississippi, and probably best I've every had. So full of awesome hops, tropical fruits of all shapes and sizes, citrus orange rind, a bit of musty resinous hop, and all that with a nice big malty balance that takes the way back seat and still lets the hops take the show. A nice dry and clean finish that lingers forever. All that and it comes in a can, I mean who doesn't like it in the can. If I could get this all the time...

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Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can pour straight into the mouth. Thanks go to Funkel81 for this generous extra in a recent trade.

No pour here, since I decided to follow the directions on the can and sip straight from it! We’ll skip right to the nose. The aroma is lush with bright smelling hop character, as pine and bitter smelling grapefruit are funneled up the nose. There are some leafy herbal tones and tropical fruit notes here as well, along with some spiciness, and a firm malt sweetness across the back that gives the hops something to bounce off of. This is full and bright feeling in the nose.

The taste has a fresh feeling vibrancy to it, with a blast of grapefruit and sticky resinous hops. This is tempered on the edges by a ripe and juicy tropical fruitiness and a sweet malt character that almost honestly seems like an afterthought compared to the bulk of this hop onslaught. The finish is dry and piney with some lingering bitter pith that sticks to the tongue. This has quite the aggressive finish on it. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller, with a big creamy crispness to it that blows up in the mouth. Some slick and oily textures weave in and out with this, really keeping things overall smooth for 8% ABV. There is some gentle warmth to the body that mostly adds some extra boldness to those hop flavors.

This is my third different time reviewing this beer and it still holds up even here in packaged form. I still feel that it shows just a tad too much alcohol to really go the full monty on the style for me but there is no doubt that this is a DAMN great DIPA. The fact that this beer is now available in cans is just mind-boggling to me. I see many more of these in my future.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.26/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Alchemist "Heady Topper"
1 PINT can, no freshness dating (but purchased on 6/6/16 so @ 3 weeks old)
$12.99/4-pk @ Healthy Living Market & Café, South Burlington, VT

This is not my first Heady Topper. I've had it super fresh and I've had it "aged" for a few weeks. I didn't understand the "drink it from the can" thing at first because it was fresh, and too aggressive. As it ages a bit I understand that better. And I have to admit, I don't like it fresh, there's too much vegetal character to it (green pepper, tomato stalk, and very grassy... but also somewhat resinous, and with some spruce). After two weeks it settles a bit, and smooths. However, without freshness dating there's no way to tell what you're getting until you've opened it.

I think what makes it work is that although it is so heavily laden with hops, and what I think of as "spent hop" character (that tobacco-like and muddy-vegetal taste) is that it's also got tropical fruit notes that pop up a bit don't really poke out, they're just threaded throughout the malt (bready, sugary, grainy), as are the rest of the hop notes (pine, pineapple, dank weed, mango, flowers, orange). So many hoppy beers seem like the hops are just resting on top of the malt, but Heady seems thoroughly amalgamated. And when it's got a few weeks on it it becomes quite smooth despite its kind of aggressive nature.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a hazy, light yellow-orange body strewn with fine particles and topped with a barely off-white head.

Smell: Heavy, heady resins, staunch florals, crushed aspirin tablets, and a squirt of white grapefruit juice over a thin cracker-toned malt base.

Taste: Lightly bready, lightly crackery malts with just a little bit of honeyish sweetness. Strongly floral, heavily resinous rounded with a fruity kick of grapefruit. Medium-high bitterness. Dry, citrusy, pithy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Oily mouthfeel.

Overall: Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
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 superspak
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no can dating. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange rind, light pepper, pine, cracker, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange rind, light pepper, pine, cracker, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Large amount of pine/citrus rind/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon/orange rind, pepper, pine, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely amazing DIPA style. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a murky gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot nicely blended of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a very strong grassy hops bitterness along with a big fruity citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and creates an excellent balance. The after-taste is hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this beer is exactly what you look for in a 2IPA and is worth drinking for a whole evening.

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Photo of mothman
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Steve for sending this out.

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1 finger of beige off-white head. Color is a burnt golden orange. Sediment in the glass.

Aroma: Dank, weedy hops. Onion flavors from what I think is summit hops. Grapefruit citrus. Very hoppy. Very weed-like. Massive hop attack.

Taste: Starts out with a big dank weedy hop bite. Huge hops. Hop resin. A bit of malt shows, but hardly any. Grapefruit citrus. Sticky goodness.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sticky. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends sticky with a lot of hops.

Overall, this is a really solid DIPA. It is pretty drinkable. A lot of great flavors and very fresh. I had no problems with my glass of this. Good stuff. Thanks Steve!

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Photo of Rifugium
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.

Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.

The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Drew.

A: The pour is a cloudy dark orange with a finger's worth of white head.

S: The nose is intensely perfumey with lots of grapefruit, mango, pine, and lemon zest. There's a pretty nice pine aroma, and just an overall fruitiness to it.

T: Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon zest give this a big fruitiness. Though it does have a lot of fruit notes, it's also pretty intensely bitter and piney, which is very nice.

M: The body is medium with a pretty lively carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

D: Certainly a very, very good IPA. Actually reminded me a lot of Sculpin, but more bitter. Would definitely like to have this one again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, thank you, thank you profusely to akorsak for sharing this great beer with me last night 1/9/11. Poured slightly cool into a cervoise glass.

The beer pours clear and golden with a skosh toward amber with a fairly large amount of ecru cap which rises and retains well. The lace clings amply with a tight bead. Carbonation is visibly moving gradually at a moderate pace upward. The beer is very attractive and exemplifies the color of Imperial Ipa's I tend to enjoy. The aroma is intense, a plethora of aromas - pine and strong pineapple greet my nostrils instantly. The smell of herbs, mild sweet grass and elements of citrus which could be tangelo and mellow mango. The floral elements work with a juicy grapefruity scent and lots of tropical notes join the fray so fresh smelling, so intense it is just jammed with beautiful hop aroma. The feel is smooth and very moderately carbonated which is nice as it doesn't push the bitterness to the forefront. There is lots of juicy and resinous texture with slightly sweet finish -not quite oily and not tangy just fits the style perfectly showcasing the depth of hop presence.

A wondeful taste experience - the exceptionally smooth citric bitterness blends with a juicy lightly tangy tropical quality and slightly sweet malt cushions the impact ever so slightly and not intruding at all. the juicy grapefruity and piney flavor is there in abundance it does have a mild mango aspect too with subtle acidic taste and mild resinous edge. I like that the fruity, semi-sweet passionfruit and honey like malt and green grassiness compliment each other so well. It has pineapple without all the acidity and tangy light astringency of grapefruit without going over the line with pithy rind notes. The citrus is like sweet less bitter lemon, maybe meyer lemon with a clementines juicy quality. I sipped on this and was dreading swallowing the last drops since it had such a delicious array of hop flavors I didn't want it to end.

Thanks Adam, really it brought a little sunshine to a cold winter's eve - the wonderful big IPA is a treat. You have to monitor yourself because the hops are so juicy you might forget you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. It is supremely drinkable and met every expectation, I just dind't have any idea how good it could be. I consider this possibly one of the best of the style, it is very near a perfect Imperial Ipa to me. Mr Korsak, thanks again for sharing this Heady topper with me.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%

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 russpowell
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big thank you to markgugs for this one! Looks like this was canned 4-29-14

Pours a hazed apricot with 2 fingers of rocky pearl colored head. Not gonna detract for haziness, apparently they aren't going for this dropping bright. Sheets of lacing, very good head retention

S: Leafy hops, breadyness, pears; maybe the only short coming in this beer, not getting any citrus pop

T: Pineapple, white grape, bread fruit, breadyness, slight honey malt notes, a touch of peach & apricot, with leafy hops layered underneath. Tea-like notes mix with grapefruit, breadyness, & woody hop notes; just gets better as this warms. Finishes with some honey, caramel & toffee, sneaking past the woody, leafy & citrusy hops, a touch dry too; much pineapple & a little mango too

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & superb balance, some tingly acidy pineapple notes as well

Drinks too damn easy, now I wish to drink from the tanks, because although is very good/super complex, I sure this is mind blowing a few days old...

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Rogue shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to apollokim for this can!

The big guns keep on showing up for this Super Bowl party! This one pours a rusty tawn topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit zest, yellow grapefruit peel, orange zest, strong pine resin, light leek, and buttery toffee (think Crunch 'n' Munch). The taste brings in more of the same, though the pine, leek, and citrus peels come through stronger, taking things in an ever-so-slightly bitterer direction. Things are still very well-balanced, though. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a damn fine, nicely-balanced DIPA. Good times. (Note: We tried this both in the glass and straight out of the can. There was no consensus, as about half preferred the can and half preferred the glass. I was in the latter, though it wasn't a strong preference by any means.)

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz tallboy, purchased cans from the brewery.

Beautiful blend of hops in the nose and on the palate, bitterness toys around with the taste buds but never surpassed any kind of overkill level. Piney, citrus rind, & dank flavors. A thing of greatness.

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Photo of orangesol
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for giving me one of his cans so I can finally taste the heady. Can poured into a standard pint.

A - Pours slightly hazed amber orange with a small half finger tall white head leaving small wisps of lace down the glass. It does have a little sediment floating around in there.

S - Smells of pungent grassy hops, rich tropical fruits; mostly mango and grapefruit; and some lightly toasted caramel malt. Still quite floral.

T - The taste is fairly similar to the nose. It starts off with a big dose of grassy hops quickly giving way to a mix of tropical fruits and sweet caramel malts. Fairly tropical flavor that is very easy to drink. The finish is a mix of light dryness and hop bitterness, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. Smooth, hoopy, feel with plenty of hop bitterness lingering through the finish.

O - Very nice IPA. I had no problem finishing my glass and I was left wanting more. The balance of juicy fruit and grassy hops to the slightly sweet malt is very nice. I hope to try this one on-tap some day soon.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark straw yellow in color with some hints of golden yellow and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense and creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of citrus and tropical hops - lots of citrus/grapefruit along with pineapple, mango, and peach tropical aromas. The smell of this beer makes me want to drink it, and want more and more of it.

T: Just like the smell, the taste of this beer is completely dominated by the hops. Moderate to strong flavors of grapefruit/citrus, pineapple, mango, and peach hops with a light amount of bitterness that does not linger. Upfront there is a light amount of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy.

O: Poured half the can into a glass for my review and drank the other half from the can as recommended on the can. This is definitely a world class DIPA, great aroma and great flavor...and it comes in a can to top it off. This beer is super easy to drink but I think it could really sneak up on you because the alcohol is very well hidden. Delicious!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.
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