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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,229 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,229 | Ratings: 12,538
Photo of Haydn-Juby
5/5  rDev +7.3%

The last of days arrived.
Your goodness I now deprived
Last of my splendid ale
Hazy, foamy, yet pale.
Thine lacing be most thick
But never fading soon or quick.
With head, bold as cream
caps this beer of mine dream.
Smells rich of hop and flower,
Within this beer doth tower,
With potency unknown
till confused drinker stumbles home.
Thine experience smooth,
For my gentle palate thou soothe.
Note of peach so strong
Thou make the ales tasteful song.
Can of silver thou shine
When opened; aromas slow time
Thine embrace of hops I recommend
For your can: a gift gods did send.

So yah, it's that good.

 605 characters

Photo of Rizalini
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Received in a trade from Jeremy6566. Thanks for letting me get my first taste of Heady, greatly appreciated. Poured a little from the can just to see what it looks like, and consumed the rest from the can as advised.

A - Pours a very hazy golden yellow color with 1 finger of white head that hangs around for a while.

S - Smell is pure hoppy goodness! The majority of the hop smell is of the tropical fruit variety... mango, passionfruit.

T/M - The taste of citrus is very dominant on the first taste. On second taste, I get the mango and papaya. Get combination of flavors, and a great resinous hop flavor left on my tongue. Medium mouthfeel, really good carbonation.

O - Winner winner, chicken dinner! This beer is the real deal for any hop head out there. This brew hits all the right notes with me, and I have a hard time finding any flaws with it. Great smell, amazing taste, no alcohol burn. If I could only have 1 IPA to drink for the rest of my life, this would be the one. Cheers to you Jeremy, for without you this awesome expierence would not be possible.

 1,070 characters

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

This beer was kind of hard to review. The can is stamped all over with "Drink from can" so that is how I had it. Very hard to rate appearance with a beer in a can. So, I'll give it a 4.0, assuming from the rest of the characteristics that it would look good in a glass.

Aroma coming out the can was almost all grapefruit.

Taste was full of hops, yet had a nice caramel base underneath that really added balance. Very citrusy, some pine and cut grass.

Mouthfeel was very thick. Lots of hop-oils that left a lasting sticky, dry feeling.

Overall, I liked this beer a lot - not sure about drinking from the can instead of pouring into a glass, however that is how the brewer recommended so who am I to argue?

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Photo of JMD
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy cloudy golden yellow with foamy white head. I only poured a small amount out since its meant to drank right from the can

S: All hops. Big citrus with pineapple, mandarin orange and tangy lemon zest. Some pine and earthy hop resin as well.

T: A hop explosion. Think of every adjective used to describe a hoppy a beer, and this has it. Citrus, pine, floral, earthy, you name it, its in this beer.

M: Juicy, oily and delicious.

O: This beer lives up the hype. Worth seeking out if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of Greenplastic615
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy sweet god. Thanks a ton to Kkottonmouthkngz for including two(!) of these is a random box trade. This was a huge want of mine.

Per instructions, I drank the first few sips from the can. They were amazing. Then, I poured the rest into a glass and the amazing continued.

A - Tons of hop "floaties". I was not turned off by this at all, but it's definitely not traditional for a "commercial" beer. I try avoid this when I'm home brewing, but after trying this, screw it, I'm leaving the hops in :)

S - Wow. Really...wow. Maybe the best smelling beer I've ever come across.

T - Double wow. Not the strongest or most bitter IPA I've had, but without question the best. The citrus-y flavors are off the chart, and the hops are balanced so perfectly with the strength of the beer. I could drink a lot of this really often. If only I could...

M - Perfect. A little sticky from all the hop goodness, but in a really good way.

O - Definitely the best IPA I've ever had, and maybe the best beer I've ever had overall. I can't say enough good things. Deserves its 100 rating and then some.

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Photo of r0nyn
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a can (despite the admonishments on the rim) into a Duvel tulip. Courtesy of and split with BA infi, along with BA NYManc.

Cloudy golden and translucent with a thinnish head that dissipates quickly enough. Doesn't leave too much lacing at all, but what little there is sticks in spots to the inside of the glass. Not really that chunky, but it's not that easy to see through. Smell is out of this world, holy God. It smells like someone squeezed fresh pineapple, grapefruit, mango and passion fruit straight into the glass. There's a mild peachiness that follows this initial tropical fruit onslaught, coupled with some smooth maltiness on the end. No booziness detectable.

Taste follows through on the smell, with all of the fruit essences making an appearance, though they do seem a bit subdued on the tongue after getting punched in the nose with all these amazing scents. Bitter hops appear next, though the flavor is balanced by the sweetly pungent fruit. There's maltiness in here, but it's definitely not the featured attraction. Mild bitterness comes through on the tail end, but doesn't ride through into the aftertaste. The finish is very, very smooth and dry, leaving you wanting more (and you definitely will). The body is just so right, equal parts smooth and gently carbonated. Very well done.

This stuff is miles above 99% of the DIPAs I've had, wow. Totally complex yet eminently drinkable, this is the new standard. Definitely deserving of the score and the hype.

 1,495 characters

Photo of jaltland
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is a treat.

A- Poured from the can. I know, I know DRINK FROM THE CAN! I wanted to enjoy the visual. It's an amazing pour. Gorgeous top of white head about two fingers. The color is the portrait of an unfiltered IPA. I like it when I can't see through my beer. The color is a thick amber-orange. It looks like an orange is smothered in a thin layer of caramel. Goin hard on the imagery.

S- So complex. Hops roll with a grapefruit citrus aroma. There's a subtle light sweetness lingering in the lacing. Great aromas.

T- It hits in waves. Hops and citrus crash followed closely by the bitterness. This reoccurs several times. It's almost as if the flavors are undulating. Closes out with a very nice balance into a strong hop finish.

M- Exceptional. Great balance in the mouth. Medium mouthfeel and a nice healthy dose of carbonation that isn't too dry and actually leaves you refreshed.

Overall I think it's expected to say this beer is amazing but I can't just say that. My first experience with this beer really has me thinking that I could drink 5 or more of these at any time during the year. It's simply a great brew. The Alchemist really knows what they're doing. Cheers!

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Photo of iTunesUpdates
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this beer. Wow is it good. Was expecting a bit more wow from all the hype but didn't get it. Pliny blew me away but heady just delivered. But by no means am I disappointed. Cannot wait to get more of this.

The thing falling short for me is smell and feel. Taste and look are perfection.

Smell is not much different from other brews and feel was rather carbonated. Sorta foamed up on the tongue where I was hopping for a clean finish.

Overall an amazing beer and wish it was offered here so that I could drink this gold year round.


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Photo of acostuhhh
2.85/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Sorry guys, the smell was good but I just do not like IPAs. I need some other flavor and after taste besides bitter hops. It wasnt smooth at all. ABV isnt noticeable though.

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Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady topper pours a hazy golden orange (I prefer it from the glass, despite what is written on the can). Smell and taste are citrus and some bitterness, less tropical fruit than other New England style ipas. Mouth fee is spot on. Overall, deserving of its high ratings.

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky golden beer with small head. Huge burst of hops flavors, lemon zest, pine in extreme amounts. Aggressive and yet highly drinkable. Lived up to the hype.

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally. Pours a hazy light orange. Crazy hoppy smell, citrusy. Taste is really nice. Hoppy, but light for the style. Citrusy. Mouthfeel is really nice n creamy. Overall, over rated. Very solid DIPA, top 5 for sure, but over rated. Num 1 in the world, I think not. Not as hoppy as most from 3 floyds. Seek out 3 floyds before you seek this out.

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Photo of More_betterness
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed out the can

A: Silver aluminum! Poured a bit into a glass and it was a murky unfiltered glowing orange with a fluffy white head, per usual for vermont ipas. Good retention.

S: Straight hop juice. Massive pineapple, mango, and guava layered with some pine notes. Malt character isn't even registering, smells like you dumped a jamba juice smoothie on a pine tree. Just nuts.

T: Juicy pineapple, orange, and peach upfront. Resiny and bitter pine and grapefruit follows. Maybe a hint of crackery malt in the long, drying finish.

M: Incredibly soft mouthfeel with moderate, airy carbonation. The moderate body and resiny, lingering finish contributes to the juicy feel of the beer and make this insanely drinkable.

O: Just amazing. The hype is justified. Wish I could drink this literally every day.

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Photo of joberlander
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not a big IPA fan in general but a friend happened to bring some to a party. Very citrusy aroma. For taste the bitterness was not overpowering which I expected (not being an experienced IPA DIPA drinker) . I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the pine and citrus together. I will begin to try more IPAs because of this but from the few I've had, this is easily the best tasting and most enjoyable.

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Photo of iadler
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to exitmusic00 for giving me one of these. Very generous of you sir! Tried directly from can as well as poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a slightly hazy sunset orange with a ton of sediment. There is a one finger head that dissipates leaving some tiny spots of lacing.

S- Right when I open the can, the smell was powerful and bursting with mango, peach, pineapple, melon, apricot and passion fruit, basically a fresh tropical fruit salad. A great deal of floral hops are there as well as a bit of pint and biscuit malt. An amazing aroma.

T- Biscuit malt is more present as well as some citrus notes such as pink grapefruit and lemon zest. Still some tropical fruit such as peach and mango, but not as tropical as the aroma. Orange marmalade in the middle with some citrus bitterness at the end.

M- Medium carbonation and body with a crisp mouthfeel that finishes dry.

O- Extremely drinkable with a great aroma. The only issue I had was that it was a little less complex in the taste and a little malty, but a fantastic DIPA that can compete with the best.

 1,071 characters

Photo of bvdubn
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been meaning to review Heady Topper for a few weeks now but this seems like as good of a time as any. Thanks to my brother (Mitchell) for going way out of the way to pick up a case while in Vermont. While I will agree with many that Heady will not be winning any awards for appearance, it certainly deserves ever bit of its rating on BA. Heady Topper is definitely one of the best IIPA’s I have ever drank in my life. The hops come in waves and while it never overpowers you it continuously lets you know you are drinking an IIPA. It is scary because it is so drinkable that I could throw back a few of these without hesitation but at 8% is will definitely let you know you have been drinking. It starts off with wave after wave of piney citrus hops in the nose. The hops are present but very drinkable with the same piney citrus mouth feel. This beer is unbelievable as sip after sip coats your mouth with a wave of hops. This beer is definitely better cold as it looses some of the wonderful characteristics as it warms. Follow the instructions on the can and drink it fresh, cold, and from the can and you will not be disappointed!

 1,143 characters

Photo of modernartblues
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed From Notes, Poured into a Tulip on 11/12/11

A: deep orange, hazy with a half inch head that recedes to a mere wisp, score was initially a 3.5, but the second pour from the can produce some hop particles in the beer than made my smile grow even larger

N: like a fresh packet of hops, beautiful, pine, pineapple, mango, georgeousness, one of the best noses ever...right up their with Hopslam and Pliney in this category

T: not quite as instantly impressive as the nose, but has a subtle complexness that grows on each sip, plenty of pine and citrus, bitterness isn't initially apparent, but also builds....

M: medium full for the style, adequate carbonation

O: excellent, doesn't displace Hopslam as the king in my personal hierarchy, but uniformly delicious and obviously elite....seems to be more typical of the NE DIPAs (closer relative to Gandhi-Bot and BIG A than the CA or Midwest versions of the style)...New England is an under-rated producer of delicious hoppy brews and The Heady Topper is Exhibit A

Other Notes: I wasn't a D-bag and did recycle the can. But, I did not drink it straight from the can, call me a traditionalist.

Huge thanks to Matt for the cans. You are truly a beautiful human being.

 1,224 characters

Photo of Trilogy31
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very few brews make bring a shit eating grin to my face - wow this is good! Starts with a hazy belgian blond hue with a slight finger of creamy white cap that quickly dissipates leaving just a few small islands of foam. Nose brings bright juicy citrus (mandarin, grapefruit) pineapple, slight floral pine, very juice and a hoppy earthiness. This beer reminds me alot of Nelson - big tropical notes and juicy with pine dankiness play a small secondary roll. The taste brings bitter papaya, lime rind, light caramel malts and some pine needle covered forest floor - as it warms almost an herbal, minty licorice note comes out. The mouthfeel is creamy and lush but is quickly balanced by a strong hop bitterness. Best beer not sure about that but at least top 3 ipa's i have ever had and well worth trading for.

 808 characters

Photo of JohnnyB
4.16/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I can see how people think of this as a trophy brew. It's very good,huge citrus smack. Like drinking a glass (yep,didn't read the instructions) of grapefruit juice. Had a slight,bitter (lemon) aftertaste. Overall,a wonderful brew.

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big shout out to my fellow Beer Advocate Mikeypnh for the hookup on this one

Appearance - Cloudy dark gold in color, almost verging on reddish orange, a creamy thick white head clung for dear life to the side of the glass and left massive residue behind

Smell - Where to even begin? The smell is just pure raw hops like I have never smelled before. Even at a decent distance from the glass the aroma was still noticeable. This is hops personified and it is just amazing

Taste - Absolutely unreal! Just a massive smack in the face of hops. Then followed up by a huge mango and grapefruit presence but the second half of the flavor experience is what really did it for me. It was almost like drinking hop syrup, as if the resin was slowly oozing through the beer down my throat. I have never experienced that before drinking an IPA/DIPA and it really sets itself apart from any other beer I've ever had. This was perfection in a can.

Mouthfeel - This is easily the best mouthfeel of any IPA/DIPA I have ever had. The cloudy thick profile of the beer itself, not to mention the syrup like elements of the hop resin just made it a liquid dream

Overall - This is without a doubt right up there as the best IPA/DIPA I have ever had. Believe the hype and accolades this beer receives because it deserves every single one of them. What John Kimmich and his crew are able to bring out of hops is something like I have never tasted in a beer before and quite frankly I didn't know was possible. This beer pushes the envelope of not only what an IPA/DIPA can be, but beer in general. This stuff is absolute liquid gold in a can and if you like hops then you must taste it sometime in your life. Amazing amazing stuff

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Photo of JNPIII127
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let's start off by saying that I am not an IPA fan or a Double IPA fan. This beer however, changed my view of this particular style of beer. The first thing you notice is the fresh citrusy smell of the hops followed by the smell of pine. The beer starts off with a very hop forward taste and finishes with the customary hoppy IPA finish. I must say that this beer is unbelievably drinkable and is overall pleasing to the palate. A pleasant surprise since beers with this high of an IBU tend to be overly bitter and very hard to drink. Finally a beer worthy of its ranking.

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Photo of boralyl
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an inch of white head which has nice retention and leaves tons of lacing. The beer is unfiltered resulting in a hazy brew with a pale orange hue.

S - The aroma is full of floral and piny hops. There is also hints of orange mixed throughout. Really awesome nose.

M - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Resiny feel and fairly dry.

T - The beer begins with some floral flavored hops followed by a wave of orange. Hints of pine pick up near the finish along with a floral bitterness. I couldn't make out much malt presence, nor detect the alcohol content.

A fantastic DIPA, and it works wonderfully in the can format. I really wish this was easier to obtain, everyone deserves to try this gem.

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Photo of thorkelson
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lives up to the hype. Thank heavens for this beer and the alchemist brewers. The only part of the beer that I felt didn't live up to the IIPA standard of greatness for me was the aroma. It was beautiful - but it was not as much of an explosion as Pliny or SoS. Otherwise - truly an experience of a beer.

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Photo of mavbrew
4.33/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Alchemist.

A: Very hazy, light caramel in color with a frothy off white head that very slowly dissipated leaving nice lacing.

S: The smell is mainly a piney hop scent with some citrus breaking through as well.

T: The taste is just like the smell, very piney hoppy flavor with the bitters sticking around through the finish and there is some citrus coming through towards the middle. This is followed by a slight malty flavor that then finishes with the bitters.

M: Medium in body with average carbonation. The feel is bitter throughout.

D: Made it a point to go to the Alchemist just for this beer, it was well worth the trip. A very solid, top tier east coast IIPA that was well balanced and the 8% ABV is hardly noticeable.

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

Paid almost $13 for a single can of this beer. Worth it? We shall see.

Finally a beer that demands you drink it from the can! I cheated and poured a little in a glass to get a better look. Hazy, funky with a nice head and good lacing.

Smell is hoparific. Pine citrus hops oh my!

Taste is exceptional. This is one delicious beer. Bitter without being bracing, balanced without being tame. Absolutely great.

Mouthfeel is on the light side of creamy with enough prickly carbonation and dryness to bring you hack for me.

Overall, I'd say 13 bucks is highway robbery, but this beer almost makes extortion worthwhile. I'll justify by saying this is a limited tough to find release that easily trounces a bomber of other DIPAs at the same price. I won't pay that again, I'll trade instead. But I love canned beer and I had to try this one. It lives up to the hype.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,229 ratings.
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