Heady Topper | The Alchemist

13,307 Ratings
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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Ratings: 13,307 |  Reviews: 2,358
Photo of garuda
4.92/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16oz aluminum tall boy. Coded, looks like canned on 1/23/12

I get slammed with a whiff of tropical fruit hops as soon as the can is cracked. Proceeds to pour a bright tangerine color, murky, with a one finger white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is just insane. It feels like I'm holding actual pineapples, mangos, and grapefruits up to my nose. No hints of malt in there. Taste follows the nose, with the mango hops a bit more prevalent. This is fabulous. As it warms, a bready, biscuit malt sweetness backs up the hops mid palate. The full body, medium carbonation feel finishes on the dry side, nice and bitter, with lingering pine and grapefruit.

Can't say much more other than this being one of my top 3 DIPAs to date. Splendid, dangerously drinkable, and I need to get more.

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Photo of bmwats
4.2/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500 ml bottle into a Heady Topper becker.

A: Cloudy dark amber color. Slight head. No real lacing to speak of.

S: A little malt, very piny.

T: Very piny...the hops pretty much rule the day here. Very subtle sweet note.

M: Pucker-inducing hoppiness. Lingers throughout, very dry.

D: Definitely of the sipping variety.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Decent appearance, nose is not complex for full. Flavor, the same... not complex, but if you like hops, this is it. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of GJ40
4.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a can in a standard pint glass. Thanks surge1311!

A - Yellowish, light golden color and very hazy with minimal head. Not all that appealing if the aroma didn't hit me as fast as the visuals.

S - Wow! This thing cranks out aroma like nothing else I've had. Wonderful notes of pineapple, orange, grapefruit, ...

T - This is my kind of IPA. It's all about the hops and specifically late addition hops. There's enough malt there to prop it up but it gladly takes a backseat. The hop flavors follow the aroma closely. There's also a firm fruity flavor and a mild bitterness. The 8% alcohol is completely unnoticed.

M - A moderate consistency with a low carbonation. Nothing special but it supports the flavors nicely.

O - Wow, what a brew. As for the Pliny vs HT debate, no comparison in my mind. They're two different but very special things. It's like trying to say which one of my kids is my favorite.

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Photo of bum732
4.76/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Huge blast of peach, citrus, passionfruit. Unbelievably fruity and bright, faint maltiness.

L: Cloudy, murky dark orange, eggshell white head that dissipates slightly.

T: Raw, fresh hoppiness up front with a slightly sweet malt accompanying. Medium high spicy and citrus bitterness with loads more of citrus and tropical hop flavors. Little malt flavor, just hops upon hops. Finishes semi-dry with resiny, oily, spicy hops.

M: Medium carbonation, medium high body. A prominent "spiciness". Not sure if its the hops or alcohol.

Just amazing, neck and neck with Pliny as far as DIPAs go. A must try.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a stark white bubbly head. The aroma is great. The second the can pops you can smell the hops. The aroma is of piney hops and floral hops. It smells like an earthly flower shop. The taste follows suit, there is no ripe your face of bitterness just a great blended flavor. The malts are there as the backbone, but the hops play out with piney earthy hops up front before a floral and citrus hop flavor comes through at the end. The mouthfeel is perfect. Overall this beer is as good as advertised. A great beer a must try.

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Photo of Wayne17
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been craving this beer ever since I heard about and through the generosity of fellow BAs, I am able to enjoy it multiple times.

Yes, I gave it a 5 for appearance, because I don't see anything wrong with the hazy, sediment filled brew. I would rather that than have them filter it and alter it to make it more 'aesthetically appealing'. The aroma is pungent hops, juicy grapefruit and light toasty malts that all work together in total harmony and synchronization. Flavor is smooth and glides gracefully along the palate. It's such a pleasant and soft mouthfeel, giving it dangerous drinkability.

I can honestly say this was a perfect beer for me. Everything worked together and nothing was over or underpowered. Simply amazing.

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Photo of warrendietrich2001
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sad that I tried this, because I know I will never have again. Is it the best beer in the world I did not think so but it was a GREAT beer and deserves to be thought of as one of the best.
Did not pour so can not comment.
Smell. I was overwhelmed it was such a strong orange smell followed by a pine scent. If I could wear this smell as a cologne I would.
Taste. The hops hit me at first but settled down quickly. Very balanced and very drinkable.
I am sad to say goodbye to Heady Topper but unless it falls from the sky I most likely not be tasting again which is too bad as this is a great beer and should be have a wider distribution.

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Photo of Rekrule
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Sellen
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.86/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites. I've had this many times, but finally doing a proper review.

Appearance - A hazy golden orange-yellow with a white fluffy head.

Aroma - Fruity, hoppy, and fresh. Citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit can be smelt. Also, a floral and resinous hop flavor comes through as well. A light malt flavor can be detected in the back ground.

Taste - A fresh hop blast hits you with every sip. Orange, grapefruit, pine, and resin. A malt backbone is there too.

Mouthfeel - Easy drinking and super smooth. Not overly bitter. A perfect balance for a DIPA.

Overall - Always a favorite of mine and I love being close to getting it when I have the chance. Easy drinking and very flavorful. Can't get enough!

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tangerine, pineapple, light mango, some resin, light bread, medium bitterness, clean sweet malt

95 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

16oz can poured into Speigelau glass

A: did not pour entire can in so was pretty clear compared to pictures I've seen a little dirty straw with some haze

S: light tropical fruit gives way to herbal smells with some earthiness and a light bread smell

T: very herbal with some earthy hoppiness it does have some light fruitiness it's fairly complex

M: wow does this have a nice creamy mouth on it so good

O: I'm disappointed after wanting to try this so bad I wouldn't consider this world class the mouthfeel is world class and while a tasty double IPA it's not as fruity or tropical as I would have liked it, it hints at fruit but it's a lot more earthy hops and herbal tasting. It is a very complex IPA, but I just have had so much better IPAs with less work. That mouthfeel though wow.

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

Wow! Big thanks to Adamdc for sending this beer to me in a trade. Sometimes a beers hype is really spot on. This is one of those times. The can says it should be drank from a can. Force of habit finds me pouring this into a Imperial Pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is a peach coloration. Major amounts of sediment floating in the beer. Not really going to knock it for clarity as those floaties tell me its going to taste great. The head of the beer is biege. Resolved to a ring of foam. Nice foamy marks line my glass as this beer rapidly disappears.

S- The aroma is a hop explosion. Lots of grapefruit and resinous pine to the nose. As the cool kids are saying the hops are really dank. Caramel wafts in the background adding some malt support.

T- Very hop forward. I am being gobsmacked by grapefruit wraped in pine. The biterness is nicely hedged in by tropical fruit notes of pineapple and mango sweetness. Still manages a bitter bite on the back end.

M- The body of the beer is pretty full nice carbonation levels. No alcohol in the present in mouth. Nicely done.

O- Very well done! Perhaps not a session ale but I could do damage in an evening if this was easily available.

 1,191 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a sunshine yellow with a very subtle orange/yellow hue. Medium-heavy carbonation and a rich lathery head of foam.

Notes of orange and citrus, abundantly resinous, slightly floral, and some mint or pine.

A bitter sweet wall of citrus, hop resins, pine, and grass.

Light-medium bodied, medium-heavy carbonation, soft, bitter, sweet and a dry earthy minty finish.

Overall, abundantly hoppy, but silky smooth, a damn well crafted brew.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks so much to Tom for this beautiful can of elusive goodness from vermont.

Pours a murky banana yellow with an orange hue and is not as ugly as everyone said.( I think) It has some floaties in it but no matter. Bone white head of foam that fell pretty fast to some decent lace. Pine and earth. Nose is pounding citrus. Pink grapefruit, and pungent with tropical notes. Stone fruits too, mango, apricot and peach. The malt is not heavy on the nose but there is plenty of honey to tempt and tease. It’s drippy, and sticky with it and I can’t wait to taste it. First sip is powerful grapefruit, enamel stripping hops with a forceful bitter that lays itself in to stay for a while. Pine resin and bitter. All the tropical fruits are flashing in evidence on the nose and on the palate. They all are there. I won’t make a list. The malt is thick with honey and balanced so well that you hardly notice it except for the sticky sweetness and the fact that it lends substantial body. A bit of spice to bite you and an almost imperceptible edge that is sharp like crushed aspirin. That edge is just a little sour.

Holy god almighty. More!

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

Brew: The Alchemist Heady Topper
Intro: Many thanks to Jet and Danica for the great surprise @ CAAS. 16 oz. can/ Served in a tulip glass and shared with a friend.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange with a fair head that subsides into lacing that lasts throughout. Although the can says “drink from the can” I couldn’t resist seeing for the first time.

Smell: Straight away hops and citrus bouquet. Reminds me of Pliny and the West Coast IPA’s. No barrel aging, no honey, nothing to get in the way. Just simple, straight away goodness.

Taste: An extension of the bouquet. Hop forward, piney, and citrus. Very clean. Very consistent with any high quality brew. Well balanced, not over the top like Palette Wrecker.

Mouthfeel: Dry, crisp, and clean. Not syrupy on the finish, not malty, just the normal hoppy aftertaste.

Overall: I’m not going to gush over the best beer known to civilized man. I believe there is a lot of hype surrounding this beer. Admittedly, it’s a great example of a DIPA. One of the best I’ve had or known about so far. It’s very drinkable and very enjoyable. Thank you again Jet and Danica for allowing me to experience this.

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Photo of PhatAtUT
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Rado
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of moarmare
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of tdmccarthy
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of AleWatcher
3.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can shared by Whitemomba-- thanks Jason!
Served in tulip pint.

Really hazy... Small particulates floating around... Creamy tan head, decent retention, thick legs leave nice bubbles.
Smells waaaay more piney than I remember... Nice grapefruit, some grassy and floral notes too. There's a little earthy dank quality on the back of the nose that has an odd character to it...
The taste follows the nose; dry, bready/crackery malts with big hops at the back end. Citrusy grapefruit, big pine, some floral and grassy notes.
The dank note I got on the nose translates to a VERY strange hint of cedar chips/hamster cage substrate... It is a combination of the hops character blending with the dry malts. It hurts the overall and flavor a bit, but still doesn't make the beer undrinkable.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - well, I drink this beer out of the can per the instructions - can is nice to look at, but going to give this the same as the overall score. Smell - Citrus (orange and grapefruit) - clean small. Taste seems to alternate between orange and grapefruit on the front. Malty finish as described.

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Photo of tedho21
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CelticAleMan
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,307 ratings.
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