Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
13,305 Ratings
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

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
Ratings:
13,305
Reviews:
2,357
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,200
Gots:
5,547
For Trade:
66
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,305 |  Reviews: 2,357
Photo of VaTechPhilly
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of timmy2b
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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

Big Thanks to spwalshesq for the trade. Huge want of mine! And so worthy...
Cheers Shaun!

Notes from 09/27/11
Tried w/ pint as well as straight from the can.

A: Heady Topper is exactly that. Pours a darker gold color with an orangish hue and just a great big 3 finger head of pure white foam. Amazing retention with a cascading lace all down the glass.

S: Huge grapefruit and massive mango attack at immediate pop of the top. Awesome Awesome Awesome aroma. Very fruity with hints of kiwi and lime. Barely pick up some light sugary sweet bits of malt.

T: Fruity tropical blasts of hop goodness. Spikes with bitter melon, grapefruit and mangoes. Nice hop bitterness overall. Resinous and lingering sticky-icky deliciousness. Some caramel malt background but light and sugary pronouncing the hops. Slight alcohol flavs. Really danky stuff. This is true hop juice.

M: Great creamy texture. Nice carbonation. Lighter body and an oily slick mouthcoat with a refreshingly crisp finish.

D: A fantastic exhibition of hops with great balance. Enough caramel sugar base but just superhoppy and very drinkable. Really great stuff.

Glad to have the chance to try and will definitely be seeking out again. Highly recommended. A contender with Abrasive for sure.

 1,256 characters

Photo of number1bum
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing a bottle of this last night. What a treat.

Poured a semi-dark copper color with about two fingers of tan head. Kept a pretty good lace with some decent stick on the sides. A bit darker than most IPAs.

Smell absolutely leaped from the glass and was bursting with citrus hop aromas. I could smell it from 3 feet away as I was still pouring. Incredibly fruity, with grapefruit, orange and lemony citrus, juicy and intoxicating. The fruitiest, juiciest IPA nose I can ever recall. Really impressive.

Taste also had a ton of citrus hop flavor. Maybe not quite as dripping with citrus as the nose was, but lots of grapefruit and orange going on. Somewhat tropical as well. There's just a touch of sweet malt to provide a backbone, with moderate bitterness. Tons of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel was a creamy medium body, well carbonated and very smooth. A nice slick, oily feel from the hops.

In terms of drinkability it doesn't get any better than this. So smooth and flavorful, and with so much juicy hop flavor I didn't want to put the glass down. I need to make it to this brewery and just sit at the bar drinking this for an entire evening. Awesome stuff.

 1,190 characters

Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of FrankHammer
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

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

**
03/21/2017

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

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

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

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

**

 957 characters

Photo of leftoverburrito
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Viperman1316
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of RobertColianni
4/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Mikecap
4.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Finally got my hands on a 4-pack of cans. Enjoying my first as I write this review. I think I'm in love.

Appearance: Pours a hazy light amber, huge white head. Yes, I poured into my IPA glass despite what it says on the can. Beautiful look to the eye. Can't wait to sip.

Smell: So much going on here. Hops, hops, and more hops. Also smell the grapefruit, orange, and citrusy aromas. Even out of the can, this beer brings a lot right to the nose. This is a DIPA that's for sure. I could smell this forever...

Taste: Just what I would expect. A ton of hops, but balanced well with the malt. Very citrusy on the tongue, so much flavor to compete with the hop abundance. Just a joy to drink and my tongue begs to go back for more.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, not too light. Somewhat bready, but not too heavy. Very easy drinking and enjoyable for the ABV and the amount of flavor.

Overall: I was a bit unsure about the hype and somewhat figured the high rating was due to the rarity of this beer. Now I know that it is for real. The taste, aroma, and overall character of the beer beg me to come back for more. Thank God I've got three cans left.

Absolutely worth seeking out if you can. I do hope their distribution expansion plans come to light and we see this in the Boston area soon.

 1,287 characters

Photo of Spreetaper
4/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Jlabs
4.36/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Big_Dave
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of BabaBeer
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of TrojanRB
4.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color, 2 inches of clean white foam.

Big time citrus, a bit of crisp pine,

Citrus and grassy notes. Pinecone bite in the finish.

Moderately carbonated, very drinkable.

 186 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY! Thanks Dave! Pours a hazy/cloudy golden-orange color with a small-medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is just what anyone would want in a DIPA...such lovely hop aroma! Tropical hops with intense, bitter pine notes. Smells so fresh and hoppy...pineapple, grapefruit, melon, pine sap, guava, orange, lemon...SO INVITING. Taste is lacking in the malt profile...which is GREAT! Being from the west coast, this is just what I like. A little bit of malt, but not enough to make this delicious brew lose any points. Lovely citrus and tropical fruit flavors with just the right amount of bitterness. No lingering bitterness with this beer...crisp and clean. The palate is miraculously wiped clean after a few seconds of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of flavor, and crisp finish. Drinkability is Very High. ABV not even noticeable. Overall, this was a great experience. I am very impressed considering this drinks like a west coast style DIPA...love the lack of malt. I wish I had regular access to this so I could drink it like the can recommends... straight from the can. Brilliant beer!

 1,115 characters

Photo of spw109
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of AltBock
4.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. tall silver bullet can with a sweet ass picture. The label is that of a bearded scientist chugging a beer with his hair bursting with hop buds. It's something you need to see for yourself. The back of the can has a lengthy paragraph about the beer and the Government warning. A brewed on or canned on date would have been very helpful. Poured into a Cycle Brewing Snifter.

Out of the can came an Imperial IPA that was pale golden amber in color with a small tint of lemon yellow at the bottom. There's gold in this beer. Not the precious metal. Hop gold!There was a ton of hop particles floating around this beer. The writing on the can warned me of the hop particles, but toward the bottom of the can. This is from the top of the can and there is already a huge amount of hop particles. I didn't get much a head of foam on this beer. I got a small skim of foam that was about 1/4 of an inch in height and paper white in color. Fast retention that left behind a miniature string of rings along the side. If I was lucky, maybe a spot or two around the glass. The head of foam wasn't much to look out, but I loved the hop particles.

As soon as I popped the lid, the strong aroma of pine came pouring out. It was so strong that I almost thought I popped the cap on a bottle of Pine Sol. It's drinking time. Not cleaning time. Not only was the pine strong, but the fruits as well. It had a wide range of citrus and exotic fruits. I smelled grapefruit, mango, lemon, orange, pineapple, and even tangerine. Smelled like a top notch fruit punch. The hops in the aroma were on the grassy side with a whiff citrus hops. No malt backbone in the aroma. The pine and the wide variety of fruits covered it up. I could live without the malts in the aroma. I loved the pine and fruits. Nice!

The taste came out swinging! The strong taste of pine and grapefruit comes washing in like a hurricane on my taste buds. It was all of those hop particles in the appearance that did that. The front of the taste housed all the pine, grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and grassy/citrus hops. Then all the hops and fruits settled down and the beer then finishes up with a nice malty backbone. The malts were kicked out of the aroma, but they made a nice appearance in the taste. No doubt about it. This was a great taste. Not overly hoppy, but hoppy enough to keep hop heads entertained. If they didn't like the hops, they were sure to enjoy the malt backbone. Not much more you can ask for from an Imperial IPA.

It was light to medium bodied with a nice not overly hoppy aftertaste. This hoppy aftertaste doesn't linger. You won't need a gallon of water to get rid of the hoppy taste in the back of your mouth. Despite being an 8% ABV Imperial IPA, this is a highly drinkable beer. It also helps that it comes in a can and it's a year round beer and not a once in a blue moon type of beer that you need to trade your first born for. Would I drink it again? I would if I could find a steady supply of it. I have to thank my good friend Vince for hooking me up with this treat.

 3,068 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle thanks to Drazzamatazz.

Pours a cloudy orange color with a small, smooth white head.

Scent of resin, sugar, mango, apricot, orange peel, pineapple, dry, leafy hops, and a hint of caramel. A truly phenomenal scent, very hop forward and surprisingly complex. I love a strong tropical fruit presence in my IPAs and this one has more than enough to spare.

Taste of apricot, leafy hops, grapefruit, pineapple, orange peel, mango, resin, and sugar. Finishes slightly dry with more tropical fruit and some resin. As with the scent, the tropical fruit characteristics dominate the taste. The resin is a bit more prevalent in the flavor making it slightly less impressive than the scent, but this is still one damn incredible beer.

Mouthfeel is clean and smooth with medium carbonation.

 788 characters

Photo of Kyrojack
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of mgr78704
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of TWStandley
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok I will admit it - I did not believe the hype. So many times beers that are hyped up so much let me down, but this absolutely delivered.

Drank from the can at The Independent in Somerville.

Can't comment to much on the appearance since i drank it from the can, but I did pour a bit into a glass for a look. Nice hazy goldb orange.

Smell is unreal. I think I am going to dump a can of this over myself next time I go on a date. Smells like the hops were literally plucked in front of me and placed into my beer.

Taste is ridiculous. I had to slow myself down. It is truly that good. Fresh hops, perfect bitter and sweet mix - truly remarkable. Even when I burp it tastes good. Wow.

Mouthfeel complements the beer perfectly.

Overall this is amazing. Hands down the greatest beer I have ever consumed. I cannot recommend this enough. Find it fresh, and drink it. Now!!!!

 878 characters

Photo of Zaximus
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I thought my first full review should follow my first can of Heady. Thanks to patric11 for the trade on this one. Was told it was picked up from the brewery on 8/2/2013.

A - Aggressive pour into New Glarus Fat Squirrel pint yields a strong three finger head. Cloudy, peachy color persists.

S - Love the nose on a fresh IPA and this one about knocks me over. Intense floral nose. Grass. Something sweet. Just fantastic.

T - And there it is. I get sweet at first followed by a nicely balanced bitterness and perhaps a little alcohol at the end. Delicious. Though I do get a little alcohol I get the feeling I could drink quite a bit of this on a hot summer day. Subtly different from many of the IIPAs I've had. Not sure what that taste is but it's delicious.

M - Full. Almost a little creamy with just the right amount of carbination.

O - Fantastic. Very well balanced. Not overly hoppy. Just very well done. As advertised.

 927 characters

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,305 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe