Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,308 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% ABV. "Drink from the can."

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

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Reviews: 2,308 | Ratings: 13,006
Photo of gonzowestwood
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on Tap at the Blind Tiger some months back... from notes

A- a cloudy pale straw unfiltered delight

S- juicy, fruity, hops, hops and more hops. Pine, some grapefruit and a little orange peel. Also a touch of malt

T- just simply unbelievable. a hop head's wet dream

M- This is were this beer shines. Its so unbelievably smooth and well balanced

O- This is a perfect beer. Nothing else comes close. Was lucky enough to have side by side with Lawson's 'Double Sunshine', Hill Farmstead 'Galaxy' and 'Society #3' and Heady is better hands down.

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Photo of ZBR101
4.93/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours beautiful hazy orange (I've poured it out and drank from that can, as advised). Amazing two finger head with slight lacing around the glass. A real work of art.

S - heavy citrus and floral notes. I got a slight pine cleaner scent.

T - the king of the double IPAs. Perfectly hopped. Was very surprised that it was everything and more than expected.

M - the most quaffable well balanced of the style (I've had)

O - A beer that truly lives up to the hype. Can't really add anything that hasn't been said. Big time beer! Perfect.

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Photo of ncketchum
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on this guy. A bit poured into a pint glass, rest enjoyed out of the can.

A - pours a hazy yellow, fluffy white head.

S - amazing nose, tons on citrus fruit - orange, pineapple, lemon, followed by piny finish

T - more subdued than the nose, but still excellent. Piny bitterness come through more than the sweetness of the nose, but still a good amount of pineapple. Well balanced relatively with some bready malt backbone, with a bitter, lingering hop finish.

M - smooth, lingering bitterness in the end

O - again, I'm glad to have had the chance to try this one. Definitely one of the best double ipa's out there that I've had, more balanced than I expected, great hop profile.

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Photo of BumpkinBrewer
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle acquired from the release in VT

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a thin white head

S - A cornucopia of citrusy and piney hops. As if you pulled the cones from the bines yourself, very dank. I could live in this glass.

T - Continues from the smell; citrusy hop bitterness that finishes very smooth

M - Low carbonation (bottle says "pub draft levels"), coats the mouth with more hops

D - As the bottle states it is insane how easy this goes down especially at 8%ABV

I know this review is not poetry but it's the best I can do for now. This beer was worth the frozen fingers and toes

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Photo of SeaOfShells
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can directly from the vessel to my mouth. I poured a fraction for appearance.

A: Golden honey color with a white head. Pretty typical for the style.

S: A remarkable achievement in the aroma department. This is the beer that I will use to judge all others on aroma. Pungent, stinging hops, with a balanced biscuity, bready backbone. Pure citrus hops, and dense pine. A pleasure for the senses.

T: You know, being from Southern CA, I see a lot of IPAs come and go. We have quite a few to chose from after all. Most don't live up to the hype, but a few do. This is one of those few. I haven't experienced grapefruit bitterness like this in a beer before. It's honestly like biting into a ripe grapefruit. I love my IPAs bold and pungent, and this delivers more than any other. A bitter assault.

M: Again, this is average for the style. Medium bodied and good carbonation helps to scrub the palate, but in the end, the hops win. Leaves a hop coating.

O: yeah, it's as good as they say, and maybe even better. And I still have a can left.

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Photo of modidia
4.35/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

its good, its hoppy but has less of a harsh hop finish. typical grapefruity hop profile but nicer finish. i like ipa's but don't love them. higher carbonation which i believe is increased because you have to drink from the can...so i poured half of it into a glass. i like it better since it's easier to drink. i got to say, for me its a 4.5 out of 5. (maybe less but i think i will be thrown out of any bar if i say that)

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Photo of wrogers19971
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Would I stand for several hours in line hoping to grab a case of the highly sought after The Alchemist#HeadyTopper... No! However, this imperial IPA may be one of the best IPAs I have tried from the Northeast. The aroma reminds me of fresh squeezed orange juice & the palate is an assassination of hops! Grapefruit, orange, mango, lemongrass & fresh resinous marijuana. This IPA's personality is vibrant, flavorful, assertive and bone dry. But somehow, the danky aroma & the aggressive bitterness find a way to coexist as one. If a friend or someone offers one up.. Take it because it worth trying and experiencing. #craftbeer

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

This is an exceptional beer. As instructed on the can, I drank it out of the can. It was delicious. For my second one, I opted to drink it out the glass. I would recommend the glass.

This beer deserves its rank as one of the best beers in the world.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper is a world class IPA. Although the turbidity isn't as strong as Hill Farmstead or Tree House, Heady is somewhat translucent yellow. I smell some oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. The taste has some medium bitterness up front with a slightly tart, lemony note following. The taste hits early on and falls off rather quickly and cleanly for great drinkability for 8% abv. Overall, fabulous beer. Nevertheless, I think Julius surpasses Heady due to its creaminess.

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

A: Copper color. Large fluffy white head. Sediment floating.

S: Grapefruit. Tropical fruit. Some pine.

T: Nice balance. Fruity flavors and some maltiness balance bitterness. Finishes quite dry.

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation.

O: Quite good. About as good as IPA's get. And actually drinkable!

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Photo of Gfunk720
4.92/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Adrian for this one.

A- A beautiful golden amber color. Healthy white head that clings all over the glass. The beer is extremely clear, and bubbley.

S- Like sticking your face in a bag of hops. Notes of grapefruit, lemon, and mango. A distinct piney scent is present, as well as some fresh grassiness. SOOOO hoppy

T- Very smooth initially, but then the hops just go crazy. Piney hops and citrus just pound your taste buds. Lots of pineapple and fruity notes, with strong floral piney flavors as well. It's just so fresh tasting, and the flavor goes on for ever. Nice hoppy aftertaste as well.

M- Pretty much spot on. A bit dry at times, but carbonation and body are perfect.

O- Grade A DIPA all the way. This stuff is incredibly tasty, and tastes just like it did at the brewery. After drinking a significant amount of this, it really ruined most other IPA's for me. Nothing else I've had really compares to the smell and depth of flavor. Pliney tasted pretty boring next to Heady. If you are a hop head, this is a must have


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Photo of Mcvs1507
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got a case from zrab11! Cheers!

This beer is great! As most other reviews will tell you.

More importantly the can is the best part! You can drop it and beat the heck out of the can but the beer will still taste just the same!!! You should really only drink from a can! And please recycle and don't be A D-Bag!

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Photo of Ready4aHeady
5/5  rDev +7.5%

The Benchmark!
Say what you will about hype, supply and demand, etc., it has nothing to do with that. If that's what you think then it is just not to your taste- it happens, own up to it!. This is one perfect beer for hop-heads like me. The look is classic- a cloudy light apricot color. Nose is all citrus, pine, and dank-weed. Flavors are similar with that funky dank flavor predominating- a unique flavor seldom repeated and hard to qualify- a creamy texture, very mild bitterness, just enough malt to balance (in that regard belongs in the same category as MBC, TG, HF, RR and Lawson's), and a long lingering finish.
Overall-- One of a kind, my only perfect score (although I haven't officially rated Abner (its a 5), nor tried King Sue- love PS).

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Photo of stercomm
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My son brought this home after a trade for a 4 pack of this for a Dark Lord.

What a great brew, you get a lot of hoppy scents so you are thinking a real hoppy brew, then you taste it and while the hops are very prevalent the finish on this is absolutely unbelievable, a very floral finish with a really nice after taste.

This is one of the best IPA's I've tasted.

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Photo of Misfit2209
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure how old the can I drank was at time of consumption. I gave "smell" a 4.25 however I have to believe a beer this big has a big aroma when fresh. With that said, please take the 4.25 aroma as suspect. Taste and Feel live up to the hype for sure!

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

In all honesty this beer is #1 for a reason, hype alone it's still the most complex beer that i've ever had. In one sip it goes from citrus bomb to dank, back to citrus and then finishes dry with pine like hops. So many flavors and the hop aroma smell should be a scented candle! The only beer to come close, complex wise is "SWISH" by Bissell Brothers!

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Photo of tuowl74a
4.42/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As good ad advertised. Poured out of the can into glasses because I wanted to see what a legend looks like. Really excellent. We are living in the golden age of brewing. Enjoy.

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Photo of KingdomBobcat
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-Drank from the can per Alchemist's suggestion, but I'm sure it looks fine.
S-Hops, hops, hops are booming out of the can, which give it an aroma of citrus or grapefruit.
T-Beautifully bitter like unrequited first love, but with a fruity sweetness that keeps you coming back for more.
M-Feels like a very hoppy double IPA and you can taste it afterwards too.
O-Very glad that I can find this locally every week.

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Photo of cl3
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the most beautiful looking beers I've ever poured. Cloudy golden orange color with a bright white head. Nose is very fruity with loads of hop. Flavor was not what I expected. I didn't expect as much pine flavor as I got, especially given the citrusy nose. I got more fruit flavor as it wamed though. Feel was spot on. Great carbonation almost champagne like. Good beer but not sure it lived up to the hype.

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Photo of dickieb
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first poured a few OZ off to get a look then drank the rest from the can. Pours a hazy amber/straw in color with a pretty standard white head and pretty good lacing, points for the cool can as well. The smell fills the room even from the can resiny, piney, and citrus hops with tropical notes, pretty much any hop smell you can think of rolled into one. Taste of pure hop juice for me, not overly bitter but the can describes it best "wave after wave of hop goodness", there are also some malts in there if you try really hard to notice them. The mouthfeel is not all that heavy, the 8% abv is not noticeable at all and if you have access to this one it can be drank can after can. This can was exactly 1 week old.

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Photo of GarrettMD
4.42/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy light orange with a thin layer of white head made of extremely small bubbles. Fades to a ring almost instantly.

S - Hops, hops, hops. Smells like I'm sticking my nose in a fresh bag of hops from the homebrew store. Lemon and orange citrus, hints of pine, lots of grapefruit. A touch of caramel malts in the distant background.

T - Right up front, extremely bitter. All the IBUs come right at you from the get-go and it fades to let the more subtle flavors come through. The sweet malts first, then the pine hops, followed by a quick citrus taste and right back to the caramel.

M - Medium boded, good carbonation, slightly sticky, slightly drying finish. Sweet malts coat the mouth while the bitterness sticks to that.

O - I'm not sure how I would rate it in comparison to having it on-tap, but still very good. Nice flows with the flavors, nice balance overall.

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Photo of Humulus85
4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tjkinate for this one. The infamous Heady Topper! Now I can say I've had the three best DIPAs out there (Heady, Abrasive, and PtE). Served from the can with a bit poured into my Darkness snifter for appearance.

Pours a vibrant, sunburst orange. Hazy, with a very dense, white head. Killer retention and some fine lacing.

Smell is of juicy hops. A lot of citrus and tropical fruits, with some pine and grass thrown in. Not much in the way of malt, and a touch of alcohol.

I love me these juicy hop bombs! Wonderful hop profile. Tropical fruits upfront meet with some dryer piney/grassy notes in the middle. Some bready malt keeps everything in check. A bit of alcohol rounds it all out. Super clean throughout.

This is where this brew really stands out. So smooth and surprisingly light on the pallet. Perfect carbonation. By no means overly bitter or sweet or dry; just perfect. Just as smooth as Pliny.

Overall this is truly a world-class DIPA, and a damn fine beer. I now know why this beer is alway mentioned in the top five for the style. It isn't as aggressive as Abrasive, but more so than Pliny. A must have to any hop-head. Cheers!

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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can poured into a tulip for review purposes. Only available in Vermont, acquired through a trade.

L - bright yellow color, hazy and clear hue. Two finger head with lacing focused towards the top of the glass

S - aroma is slightly muted, but it seems to be a mixture of all sorts of IPA notes. Very pleasant actually

T - super smooth, it's crazy! Grapefruit all the way but no detection of booze or malt at all. Super clean and tasty

F - super drinkable and clean, like you're drinking a pale ale.

O - I can see why there's hype but some other breweries can replicate this balance. However, this is granddad of whales and Double IPAs and certainly deserves the pedestal it is on. Bucket list beer for sure, so sad to see it leave my fridge.....Cheers!

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Photo of 05Harley
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Can # 10720A2BB

Graciously given to me by Rochefort10nh.

price - $12.00/4-pack (16 oz cans)

I've been dying to try this one and I finally did over the weekend. We actually went up to the Alchemist pub this past summer but it wasn't on tap at the time which was a bummer.

I didn't drink it from the can as is suggested but with my Duvel glass which is probably my favorite glass in the cabinet and well suited for big IPA's.

The appearance is a hazey shade of orange with a thin off-white head that fades within a minute to a creamy ring. Dots of lacing decorate the glass.

The aroma is absolutely amazing with tropical fruit and pine resin balanced out to perfection. The nose stays strong throughout the experience which is delightful.

The flavor is certainly based on a pine backbone with sweet tropical fruit flavors sprinkled over the top. As it warms the fruitiness becomes more prominate which adds some much needed balance.

Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. A medium body followed by a blast of bitterness but finishing silky smooth. This is the recipe for drinkability and I could drink this all night long with a smile from ear to ear.

Overall this was well worth the wait and lives up to the hype. By far the best canned DIPA I've ever had.

**Edit 12/18/11**
Buying this regurarly and it's still kick-ass

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Photo of mikem0487
4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My buddy went up to Vermont this past month and was lucky enough to pick up a 6pack for himself and gave me one!

A-Two finger head dissipated quickly back into the beer. Not to much lacing going on either. Unfiltered beer with a off amber brown color. Looks heady for a unfiltered double IPA!

S-Earthy grapefruit aroma dominates. Mild lemon/citrus notes with the caramel malts behind it all. Smells great!

T-Get hops throughout the whole palate. The hops arent too overwhelming however. Everything is cohesive until the end where the hops hit the back of the tongue. Leaves great after taste. Get all that earthy citrus hops found in the nose. Has a nice caramel malt profile to help subdue the hoppiness in this beer!

M-Has great mouthfeel. Love unfiltered beers. Slighty chewy. Good carbonation in this.

O-Great beer. Has everything you are looking for in a double IPA! Only thing that its lacking is in the appearance with the minute head retention. As long as the beer smells appetizing and taste good I am happy so nothing to worry about in this beer!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,006 ratings.
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