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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,229 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:
2,229
Ratings:
12,540
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
9,036
Gots:
4,841
For Trade:
62
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,229 | Ratings: 12,540
Photo of smooth_aleing
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Long awaited, and well worth the wait! A friend brought me back a can from a trip to Vermont...a very good friend indeed!

Drank 1/3 or so in a tulip glass, the rest from the can.

Poured into the tulip, there's a nice golden, straw color, that pours a rich and frothy two-finger head that takes a bit of time to settle down; lacing is very nice. Smells immediately of citrus, and a hell of a lot of hops. The taste...yum! The hops are even more pronounced, but not in an overwhelming fashion. They certainly linger on the tongue, but it's evenly balanced enough to not become tart or bitter. Maybe grapefruit, very light floral and spice notes that provide a nice balance to the hop-fest that is this Double IPA. Also getting a bit of passion fruit and tropical fruit notes. Mouthfeel is great, solid carbonation and doesn't attack one particular part of the palate.

If you're lucky enough to find one, it's well worth a taste!

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Photo of Doodler
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can from Dr Greg - grazie amigo! Shared with buds. Poured a cloudy orange with a decent white head Nose is lemon / grapefruit citrusy and huge on the hops. Taste is slippery sweet and well integrated among the hop resins and citrus / fruit flavors. Finished off with a nice bitterness and soft bite. The lasting finish is well balanced. Loved this one.

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

Pours golden orange with a head that is thick and fluffy and retains. Aroma of bold citric and piney hops that is in your face in a good way, generous malts to back it up. Taste follows nose, so good so amazing. Smooth and easy to drink, I love this beer, it will perpetually stay in my wants!

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First time pouring it from the can. A very hazy, bright, golden yellow body with a snowy white head. The hops make themselves known the moment you crack the can. Lot of ripe citrus, lemon zest, tropical fruits, papaya, mango, a hint of melon, peach, and pine resin. There's an excellent underlying sweet maltiness to this beer that I suspect is partially thanks to the conan yeast strain. The mouth feel is very cream, medium-full, washed down by nice carbonation, followed by a pleasant sweet tropical lemon aftertaste. On the flavor, sweet lime, grapefruit bitterness, lemon candy, peach, pine sap, some grass, papaya, honey malt, and melon.

I've been able to score some heady on occasion at some craft beer bars but this is the first time I was able to enjoy a can at home. It's clear why this brewery has gotten so much hype over the years but I think there are some newer breweries currently closing the gap. I need to make a trip up to VT eventually because even for this world class DIPA, the $11/can prices around here makes it a one and done purchase for me.

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Photo of vicinandp
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I was never a fan of IPAs before I had heady and now I can't get enough hops. Great crisp double IPA, tons of floral hops, great mouth feel and finish.

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Photo of FrankLloydMike
4.15/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After hearing so much about it and enjoying a visit to the Alchemist last fall when it was not on-tap, I finally got to try Heady Topper the evening before the Vermont Brewers Festival.

A: The beer arrived in a 12 oz. glass, a luscious, deep, hazy orange-amber with a big foamy head as implied, which dissipated slowly leaving sticky rings along the edges. Certainly a looker.

S: Grassiness, maybe even a hint of floral, lead the nose followed by tropical fruitiness--I wouldn't quite call this grapefruit, but I'm not sure what it is. Very pleasant and inviting.

T: Malts are much more predominant than I had expected with the hops tending more toward citrus and pine than the grass the nose had suggested. Much sweeter and less bitter than I had imagined or would prefer, the hops and malts seem well-balanced but neither seem to take a lead. It's a matter of personal preference, but I definitely prefer IIPAs that tend toward drier, less sticky-sweet. That said, this was quite tasty.

M: The taste is dry, but the mouthfeel is quite sticky and oily. The beer is medium-bodied and pleasant to drink, but really begs a glass of water to replenish following the glass.

O: I'm glad I finally tried this beer, but for me it didn't really live up to the hype. It was good and I wish I'd noticed that it was on cask as I'd love to try that, but personally I think the Alchemist IPAs I've had--Rapture and Holy Cow--are better than Heady Topper. That said, I'd gladly order this again (especially for the bargain $4, which probably makes this the best IIPA I've had per dollar) and am looking forward to trying it from the can.

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Photo of mcintire78
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: Pale gold to deep gold in color, with a significant, long lasting head. A small amount of carbonation and a bit of lacing.

s: Strong smell of and citrus up front (with a bit of pine nuts), in the middle and in the end.

t: Citrusy taste up front that fades into a bit of a hoppy bite at the very end, which lingers. Not too much malt to balance it out, but a bit.

m: Good, but the bitterness is a limiting factor (depending on what your tastes are). Not too carbonated.

d: A very good beer, and one I have the good luck to live close enough to Vermont to get it pretty regularly. Best fresh, and this one was a few weeks old.

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Photo of vizzionman
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I'm honestly not sure what all the hype is about. I think the fact that it's hard to get and really hoppy makes it a winner in most people's books. For me though it had a weird background taste every sip that I wasn't really used to I guess. After about the 3rd or 4th can though I started to like the beer a lot more.

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Photo of JaredSammy
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L - Orange with edges fading to yellow. Cloudy but not overly. I see why they say drink from the can.
S - First few smells are straight pine, the next few had more peach and orange with less pine.
T - Wonderfully bitter, juicy, fresh tasting, zero off flavors. Orange, apple, citrus zest and huge pine that builds. Sweet when it needs to be and bitter overall.
F - Extremely smooth and well balanced. You can tell there is a nice carbonation and you can feel the oils layer the tongue.
O - I've had about 10 cans to really narrow my thoughts down. This is absolutely a perfect beer. The heaviness from the hopping gives way to amazing juicy flavors and then those fade away leaving you with a coating of amazing hop flavors to remember your last sip by.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L-Hazy naval orange flesh color. White fluffy head.
S-Papaya funkiness, pineapple, peach, citrus, piney.
T-Fruity sweetness upfront, tropical fruits, grapefruits, resin, pine. Very enjoyable lingers with fruity notes.
F- thicker than most hoppy beers. Mouth coating beauty. Sticky!
O- As a hop head, this is one of the best beers I have had. I keep coming back for more and each drink provides the same amount of intensity! Drools

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Photo of SirElton
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank this right from the can as I was instructed. The nose smells like beer candy and the beer is creamy and hoppily delicious. This beer just does everything right, and honestly gets better with every sip. While it's not my favorite IPA I've ever had (Double Citra from Hill Farmstead currently wears that crown), this is absolutely wonderful and I would drink this every night if I could.

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Photo of Qwest_35
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks has to go to nedvalton, a most generous BA'er for hooking me up with my first Heady Topper. As soon as I popped the top on that shiny silver and black can I got blasted with the dankest, hoppiest, fruitiest, hop bombiest goodness I have ever experienced. There's just so much going on with the smell, that I am having a hard time nailing it down. Here goes nothing, grapefruit, pineapple, citrus, Bubblegum surf wax, I swear I'm getting that. This stuff smells exactly like I imagined it would after reading so many of the reviews on here, an absolute delight. I poured about half into a tulip glass so that I could get a good look at it. Pours a super hazy and resinous golden orange hue, minimal head and lacing. It smelled amazing in the can, but the complex aroma really opened up once poured, now I'm even more intrigued. My first sip and all I can say is, YES! Worth all the hype, 100 percent! I've had a few other beers that come real close to this, but the mouthfeel and balance along with the juicy aftertaste make this an absolute work of art in a can! With each sip it gets better and better, the bitterness isn't overwhelming at all, and couple that with the citrusy/fruity/floral undertones that coat your tongue, it's easy to forget that theres alcohol in there. Just like it says on the can "so drinkable, it's scary" Overall I can see why this beer is ranked #1, because it just became my #1 as well. Thank you nedvalton, and thank you Alchemist!

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

A: I did pour a little out to review :) Beautiful, crisp, clear yellow. Thick bright white head. No lacing.

S: Mango. Citrus bomb. Orange rind. Grapefruit rind. Tangerine. Pineapple, and pine resin.

T: Super citrus. Grapefruit, grapefruit rind, and grapefruit again. Pineapple. Less is more; that is, this is a one sided tasting brew!!!!

M: Thick and chewy. Nice foam. Coats the tongue brilliantly!!!

O: I could drink this all day and all night!!! I was fearing a let down, but I am more than impressed.

thanks Wil (The Beer Store).

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Photo of Heatwave33
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can to a Cigar City Snifter.

Color: A murky gold with lots of sediment. An off colored white head.

Smell: Hops, citrus (grapefruit, lemon) and malts.

Taste: Hops, citrus (grapefruit, lemon, pinapple) and malts.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation and smooth.

Overall: The drinkability is out of the world. My brother and I enjoyed every aspect of this brew. The smell and taste were phenomonal! Would love to get a direct line to this. Cheers!

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Photo of kdb150
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed as drank from the can, as it is made abundantly clear that this is the way to drink it.

A - Since I've had this before and poured it into a glass, and I'm forced to give an appearance score, AND I'm not inclined to base an appearance score off of can art, I recall it being good as far as head, color, and lacing, but a bit cloudy, likely since the can makes it hard to see when to stop pouring to keep the sediment out of the glass.

The rest of this review is from the current can.

S - You get a hint of complex hop aroma from the mouth of the can that smells quite good, but it is obscured by the metallic smell of the can. Points off for that.

T - Whoa. This is the best tasting IPA I've had. It manages to be dank, resiny, citrusy, bright, and with enough of a backbone to not have the hops overwhelm. The hops linger for a minute or so, and then they give way to the honey malt flavor, which lingers a good while longer. You can't really peg a particular hop flavor on this one; the hop profile is far too complex, but it melds together so well that you get all of the flavors without anything sticking out as unbalanced or out of place. Truly remarkable.

M - Nice carbonation, not thick by any means. Perfect mouthfeel to deliver the experience.

O - This is a wonderful beer, head and shoulders above any other IIPA I've had. It loses points for the can thing not really being my bag, and because the amazing flavors don't quite translate to the nose, but this is still the IIPA that beats all the others. Totally worth the hype, and worth seeking out. This beer was painstakingly crafted to not be too boozy, nor too hoppy, nor too malty, and they've absolutely nailed it. The taste is incomparable for the style.

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Photo of emount91
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

the beast. this ones really hard to review. smell is so complex, tropical here, piney there, fruity over there, citrusy under there. malt? what malt? taste is even more complex than the smell. just about every hop taste there is, all over a juicy fuzzy bed. this one is killer. need to get my hands on focal and more of this!

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Photo of birderbeerer
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a glass with about a third from the can.

Very pale yellow with a foamy, two-finger white head. Very small flecks of yeast float around.

The aroma from the can is an exceptionally concentrated hop. Just potent hops. Mostly pine, musky, with a citrus edge. Maybe a little grass in the back. I get no malt in the aroma. A glass tames the smell--same stuff at lower concentration.

Tastes like a musky, piney grapefruit--but not a red grapefruit. It lacks the sweetness and lush, tropical juiciness of the best of the best. Still, it's a great hoppy taste. Very bitter, minimal malt that's only in the back end, which is just the faintest bit of biscuit. It's all that great bitter hop.

It's fairly thin, though. That was disappointing. Red's Rye and Sierra Nevada Celebration are thicker, and they're singles. I expected more from a double. It's nicely carbonated, but finishes thin. It tastes more full from the glass and thinner and more single-noted from the can.

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Photo of cps98
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a 4-pack from a friend who just returned from Waterbury. Probably as fresh as it comes directly from the cannery.

I did drink ½ of the beer directly from the can as advised but wanted to see the beer color and head so I poured the second half in to a Three Floyds pint glass.

A – A wonderful hazy orange, you can tell right away this bad boy is unfiltered. Poured with a really nice 2 finger white head that hung around for a while. Good lacing was seen all the way around the glass.

S – Smells like freshly trimmed Christmas trees. Pine notes are really heavy, along with fresh cut grass. I do get some citrus in there as well and I would peg it as grapefruit. If you love the smell of fresh hops off the vine then breath deep and enjoy!

T – I was puckered at both ends on this one. Bitter, bitter, bitter…a hop heads dream. After that initial piney bitterness the hop flavors were very smooth. I have no idea what kinds of hops go into this beer but they all played very nicely. There was a light alcohol warmth at the back end that was very pleasing. The malt in the beer is shadowed by the hops but it is there non-the-less.

M – I couldn’t get over how smooth this beer was. A very nice well balanced medium bodied brew. Carbonation was on point and added nicely to the hop explosion.

O – Overall a very impressive beer, so happy I got to try it and glad I have 3 more to enjoy. Not going to share these with anybody. I wish I was able to head to VT more often so I could get this on a regular basis. When they talk of hop shortages I know where they all went, into a can of Heady Topper!

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Photo of spacebear09
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Hazy darkish yellow coloration. Strong white foamy head, but dissipates quickly.
Smell- Grassy with some floral characteristics.

Smell- Grassy, dank and floral.

Taste- Very piney taste, notes of citrus, a lingering earthy bitterness. I was surprised by the strong biscuity backbone of pale malts here.

Mouthfeel- This beer is resinous but surprisingly easy to drink. Carbonation and consistency are both very good.

This is a very good beer but not a traditional double IPA. Still, it grows on me every time I come back to it and it really is exceptionally tasty.

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

Lucky enough to have a friend give me a can after stopping by the brewery this past weekend. Pouring a little less then half into an Allagash chalice and will drink the second half from the can, as commanded.

A- Pours a cloudy pale amber color from can. Sits an opaque hazy orangey gold hue. A slight white head forms, then quickly fades to a wispy cap. Not much carbonation.

S- A good dose of both sweet and zesty citrus fruit. Really good. The crisp tang of ripe grapefruit is met by sweet sun ripe orange slices. No malt really detected under all these hop aromas.

T- GREAT! Loads of fresh juicy hop goodness. Sweet orange meets mellow pink grapefruit. A touch of drying caramel malt on tongue. Very hop forward, but not very bitter or abrasive. Really good. A little bit of pine on back end. Sips from the can are different. The flavor profile has shifted slightly and the mouthfeel is different and more bitterness comes through. I prefer the glass, so pouring the rest in.

M- A medium bodied DIPA that is full of hop flavor. Some bitterness on palate but rather mild and soft for a DIPA. Drinking from the can affects the mouthfeel. Makes it a tad harsher. Not much carbonation on palate, pretty flat.

O- An awesome DIPA. Very smooth in the body, yet completely hop forward. Top notch. Completely worthy of being my side beer as I brew my first batch tonight (Nobel Trappist ale). Will need to get more of this beer.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 ounce can poured into a snifter. Big thanks to st9647v3 for this opportunity.

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a 2-3 finger head, excellent lacing, and some suspended sediment.

S: Citrus, piney, and floral hops abound with a hint of sweet malts.

T: Tons of hops up front with some sweet malts and a slight grassy flavor. Quite bitter.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O: What an amazing brew!! Super tasty, easy to drink, and hides the alcohol almost completely. Lives up to the hype for sure.

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Photo of JerseyKirk
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Straw on edges to orangish gold. Super hazy, not sure if it's from hop haze or unfiltered. Small white head that fades quickly. Some lacing around the edges.

S: Huge tropical fruits, pineapple, mango, peach, nectarine and some caramel. Awesome. Tropics in a glass.

T: Pineapples, mango, citrus, grapefruit, assertive hop bitterness but really smooth finish. Everything is balanced. Malt is caramel and sweet.

M: Sweet start to a finish drying finish.

O: This beer is amazing. Super assertive hops but not overwhelmingly bitter. Could just be the bitter factors of the hops used. This is the Hoptimum of tropical fruit hop flavors. Exceptional.

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Photo of barhoc11
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers that lives up to the hype. The smell is similar to other DIPA's but the taste is fantastic. The smooth citrusy hops stand out on their own and is something I will compare all other's in this category.

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

Appearance - Had the luxury of having this on tap while visiting my hometown of Middlebury VT but I will review the can considering everyone is drinking this from a can. Appearance from pouring from a can, you will quickly notice that this brew is unfiltered, sentiment at the bottom, slight bubble carbonation, pours a nice murky orange color with a two finger head that slowly will disappear. The color is enough to tell you this is unfiltered.

Smell - Aggressively hoppy at first, when you crack open the can you will definitely smell the hops coming from the can. Grape fruit, mango, peach, nectarine, grapefruit; you can immediately tell this is an IPA, not the strongest but smells very balanced in combination with the slight breadiness and sweet tones.

Taste - Man, where do I start here? It's this great combination of grapefruit, bitterness, sweet, bready, goodness. I mean to pick apart each individual characteristic is a disservice to this brew, everything is so balanced.

Mouthfeel - A slight carbonation, if you hold it in your mouth there's not enough carbonation to burn the tongue, it is very smoothing going down the pipes and will leave this bitterness that will make you return for more.

Overall - Upon first drinking this, I thought it was extremely over hyped. But when you realize you've hit the middle of the can in 2 minutes, you'll understand it's drinkability. This isn't the most aggressive IPA out there, the ABV is a bit high; however, considering it is a DIPA, I'd say this brew is spot on. It's a great brew; however, to you that are buying this on the gray market, I strongly suggest not paying more than $8 a can. These run $12 a 4 pack in Burlington and I've seen locations out here in Los Angeles reselling them for $12 a can. This is completely ridiculous... It's a great experience to try, but don't get taken advantage of. Cheers!

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to MBAcoach for sending this my way.

P-Like the scientist on the can and nice long story on the beer and how it should be drank on the back.

A-Well this beer pours a cloudy and foggy orange peel. Keeps about a finger of head. Not much.

S-No lie, this beer smells like straight up sweet hops, pure and simple. Just imagine a bunch of hops in your hands and shoving your nose into it.

T-Sweet man. Very sweet. Nice hops and well, more hops. Has a sweet malt presence that seems to stick. Grapefruit and green grapes along with pineapple.

M-This is a more full bodied IPA. Not too full though or heavy. Really smooth man. Great flavor. Has a quick dry finish.

O-Very impressed with these beer. Man, i think it might be better than the Pliny, I dont know though, thank god i got more to figure out this crazyness.

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