Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,348 Reviews
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
Reviews:
2,348
Ratings:
13,235
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,192
Gots:
5,487
For Trade:
66
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,348 | Ratings: 13,235
Photo of Auracom
3.36/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I knew I'd tick this one eventually without having to actively seek it out. Success! Thanks Dan for the share on your extra. 2 oz. into a tulip so I could mark the visuals and aroma, another 3-4 oz. straight from the can on June 14th, 2013.

A - Lightly cloudy, murky medium-golden color with an enormously bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Deeply resinous, pine-sol, rouge, slightly burnt caramel, touch of peach and herbs.

T - It's really better balanced than I thought it would be. That being said, the hops are sharp, overly-acidic, and disappointingly simple. Grapefruit rind, toasted almond, and lemon peel.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, very dry (even sour-like) finish.

D - I'm a bit stunned in a bad way. There are scores of other IPA/DIPA's I would choose over this particular can. Another revisit? I don't know.

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a cloudy orange/yellow color with a half finger white head that dissipates to a light film, light lacing.
S: Citrus, and floral, not as big on the nose as I was expecting.
T: WOW! This tastes amazing, with grapefruit, orange, pine. Well done.
M: Medium body, light carbonation, sticky, and dry. Perfect.
O: Lived up to the hype, now I know why they have a hard time keeping up with demand. Seek this out!

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Photo of MrKennedy
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16oz can, huge thanks to Chris for sending this out here. Canned 15 May.

Murky appearance, really light milky golden orange colour. Nothing much to write home about. Nice white foam on top that gradually reduces over the time of drinking but always staying at a level just above film. Nice lacing as it slowly recedes.

Brilliant aromas of pine, pineapple, mango and grapefruit. The pine is temporary and the grapefruit and other fruits take over. Lots going on. Well integrated and a delight to smell.

Tastes of the grapefruit and pine with a touch of the mango and pineapple there as well. Even a little bit of apple oddly as i get to the end of it. Very impressive, but probably a touch below what is delivered with the smell.

HIgher carbonation than most. Doesn't get gassy, nor does it get harsh with the higher levels. Solid bitterness throughout and finishes with a bit of a kick and this is just enhanced with the added carbonation. Very drinkable, 16oz disappears all too soon.

Brilliant. Amazingly drinkable, beautiful beer. I can see why people grab their full 6 case allocation at the cannery. The 8% ABV isn't noticable until you finish it and get a bit of a glow. Really impressive beer!

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Photo of Matty123
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say that hasn't been said already? Best beer in the Country. Often imitated, never fkn duplicated. I've had all the "best" x times and none of them are the Topper. This beer leaves you feeling like you just ate a fresh grapefruit. It leaves you wanting to crack another. I've had it out the can and out of a Tulip, and its just as good either way! GOD BLESS THE ALCHEMIST! You want the beer You're drinking now to be like this but just admit it... It's not!

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Photo of fiver29
4.54/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can shared by Mike. Thanks! Pours dark golden with off white head. Aroma is sick. And by that I mean awesome. Wet resiny sticky hops dominate the nose. Flavor follows the nose and has a great meaty malt backbone to back it up. Medium mouthfeel. This tastes amazing. Its worthy of all the praise it gets. Just awesome.

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Photo of MWolverines66
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was very excited to try this beer and wanted to see if it could live up to the hype. Obeyed what the can said and drank this out of the can, but poured a little out to see the color. It was a golden color with a little cloudiness.

Smells of pine, citrus and tropical fruits with a huge wave of hops. It smelled completely different than anything I have had before. The taste followed the smell as it was a complex combination of sweet, sour, bitter hops. That's as detailed as I can get because I can't really explain what it was. From sip to swallow the flavor was constantly changing.

Overall I don't know if this would be the best tasting beer in the world for me, but it was definitely the most complex and interesting tasting beer I've ever had.

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

im finally in possession of one of these again. used to live off this stuff when brewery was allowing no limits. I poured this and did not drink from the can. after I let the floaties settle I notice nice hazy light orange with minimal head retention. nice fresh nose of orange rind and tangerine. taste follows nose with up front grapefruit and pineapple with some pine floating around somewhere. mouth is a little thin but does not retract from the beer. the initial taste is followed by a surprising increase in flavor that creams your palate and works all the way to the end with dry finish. this beer is phenominal and has tons of flavor from start to finish. bright citrisy notes are abundant and my mouth puckers as the beer goes down. im drinking this after doppleganger from treehouse and dopple gets the nod. heady may not be what I remember it to be but still a world class beer that is worthy of the hype.

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Photo of Boccu
4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hoppy citrus aroma. Hoppy start, citrus, pineapple almost a light pineapple. Very complex yet sooooo smooth. Exceptional well made. Light pepper finish.

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

Regretfully the brewery got hit hard by Hurricane Irene and only the cannery remains, and thank hop god that it was not impacted.

The first thing I think of with the aroma is straight hops in the face. The aroma is very crisp and refreshing, I could sit and smell this for a while.

The flavor is very hoppy and juicy, like biting into a hybrid hop fruit of all the aromas in one. There is the right amount of bitterness and a nice sweetness that cuts through it.

The mouthfeel is smooth, a little more creamy and thicker then I was expecting, moderate carbonation. Though, as a whole everything works well together.

This is an incredible beer, the best DIPA/IPA I have had in a long time and possibly ever.

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

Huge thanks to hooliganlife for hooking me up with this. 16 ounce can poured into New Belgium globe glass

This pours a deep copper color with a nice retaining head that lines the glass. The pour is very hazy but appealing. Smells of huge citrus fruits including oranges, pineapples and melons. Some earthy smells come through with pine needles. Nice hop presence as well on the nose. Taste is very sweet up front with a delicious hop finish that balances on the palate. Very enjoyable tasting beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is amazing. Very drinkable DIPA with 8% and the taste is amazing. Thanks again Scotty!

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Photo of StormKing47
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle in trade from beerometer, enjoyed with Jwiss22, from my notes for once...

A- A ridiculous color for a DIPA. Where is the hazy golden, amber color? No where, it has succumb to the light brown/dark caramel color similar to freshly brewed sun tea. I am almost transported back to summer time and the innocence of child hood. A wild looking color with a crazy amount of yeast swirling around and bouncing off the carb bubbles. This one is all capped off with a medium, fluffy white head. Astounding!

S- A barrage of pine, pine resin, grapefruit, citrus fruits and tropical goodness all come through at once. The aromas have staggered me, but I can't give up this one smells too incredible. It's a West Coaster that has found a home on the East Coast. A slight warming and the tropical, citrus and piney aromas are still leading an onslaught of my senses, but is accompanied with the sweet smell of caramel to balance this monster out. Amazing aromas, just want to keep sniffing and sniffing!

T- This one is all about the hops and does not disappoint. After all the smelling and anticipation here it comes...a smack of hops right upside my head. Pine, bitterness, pine resin, bitterness, citrus juice, grapefruit, more bitterness and some tropical hints to keep it all together. It's a crazy balance of hops that continue throughout each sip and seem to just keep coming. Oh yea there is a slight caramel sweetness quivering in the background to try and herd all of the hop nuances from spinning out of control and murdering your taste buds.

M- This one is not syrupy, but kind of oily in a way. It seems to stick to everything and coats every area of the mouth that can taste. It actually feels balanced in a way. The carb is not to tingly, the hops aren't to sticky and the slight sweetness keeps it all in check.

D- A definite hop bomb that is incredibly drinkable. Could drink this for any meal, brush my teeth with it and use it as mouth wash. High abv says no, no, no, but everything else says yes, yes, yes.

My first try of this one and sad to say it was a bottle, would love to try the draft and can't wait for the cans. Looks like the West Coast has found a little bit of competition.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured to a tulip glass.

A: The body just a bit hazy, not like the New Englad IPA styles, not terribly juicy but hazy enough to provide some presence in the glass. The head, when poured, had a thickness of 1 finger but after the beer settled, it got very minimal showing yet lots of retention. No lacing.
S: The aroma is more fruity than expected. There's lots of mango and pineapple instead of the regularly expected earthy and resinous aromas. This is really cool for an intro. It smells a lot better coming from the can than when poured into a glass.
T: The taste is incredibly as it has a good fruity profile of almost no citrus but lots of mango and pineapple. After the first sip you finally the earthy and resinous profiles of this beer but they're not that strong. The hoppiness is awesome.
M: The mouthfeel of this beer is actually the thing that caught my 'eye'. It's incredibly smooth, being very very velvety, having an also perfect carbonation. Bitterness is not as high as expected but this beer has at least 4 weeks. Yet, it's just perfect.
O: Overall, it's not my favorite IPA but you can feel the hype on the mouthfeel. It's easily a Top5 though.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

American double/Imperial IPA
8% ABV
75 IBU

APPEARANCE: drink from the can like I was told right on the top!

AROMA: once I cracked the can I got my nose as close to in it as I could. Lots of hops, dark pine, more earthy and vegetal then the bright citrusy west coast ipa's I've been tasting.

TASTE: the hops for sure hit your mouth like a punch from Mike Tyson. Dank, grassy bitterness in there. Herbal spiciness, lite citrus and floral notes.

MOUTHFEEL: medium to heavy body, oily and slick that coats your mouth with a hop resin. Has a very creamy texture to it.

OVERALL: I do believe this is a great IPA and understand the hype behind it. For my palate personally I still put this right under Pliny the Elder.

RATING: 4.9/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of LarryV
3.35/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Straight up hops mishmash, not much more going on - certainly not what I would call a balanced brew. Artificial rarity factor keeps prices high. I've had plenty of DIPA"s that I liked better than this one. Not to say it's not good, but the price is insane. Aroma: hops, hops and more hops. Taste: Hops, hops and more hops.

I don't get the whole drink out of the can thing, 80% of our taste comes from aroma which you don't get from drinking out of the can. Gimmicky at best - the 100 rating baffles me.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.98/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a very murky, glowing orange color, similar to a hefeweizen. looks very pulpy. The aroma is similar to smelling a handful of fresh hop pellets on a brewery tour. resinous, out of control sharp hop notes of grapefruit, pine, some pineapple maybe and fresh cut peaches. Really great nose. The taste is much of the same as the aroma but with a big juicy feel to it that makes this drinkable. not overly bitter as i would have expected which adds to the drinkability. The mouthfeel is medium bodied since its unfiltered and has a chewy character to it. Really great beer, perfect for all seasons for sure.

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Photo of eifster82
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from can and glass. Under week old.

Beautiful yellow hazy beer with medium foam generation for a DIPA. Smell is of pine, sap, resin and marijuana dank. Taste follows the smell but with a citrus note underlying. Aftertaste has this 'grassy/earthy' flavor at the end with nice super smooth and easy drinking finish.

Great beer. Comparing to Tree House IPAs/DIPAs, this has a much different initial taste focus (more of a North-West piney taste than typical TH citrus-tropical fruit) but the hazy look and super easy drinking finish is comparable.

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Photo of muletrane
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into my Alchemist tumbler. (14oz poured into the glass). Purchased from the cannery on 10/9/11.

A: Pours a hazy light amber colour. 1.5 fingers of off white frothy head. Minimal lace.

S: Floral hops, pine, orange peel, grapefruit, some malts. Perfect!

T: Just like the can says "wave after wave of hoppy goodness!" All the notes from the nose come through in the taste. This is a hopheads dream. Pure joy in a can. Every sip makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! Long lasting hoppy finish that I wish would never end!

M: Heavy body/moderate carbonation. Bitter and hoppy throughout the mouthfeel. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall this is the best DIPA and best beer I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy! Every sip is filled with amazing hoppy goodness! I would make the 6 hour trip to Waterbury every month if I could, just for this beer! Thanks to the folks at The Alchemist cannery for being friendly awesome people and for making this truly wonderful beer!

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

They hype was not false. This was absolutely divine!

At the crack of the can, which I drank from, the hops were on attack and when I began to drink it, the onslaught didn't stop at any time.

By far, one of if not the best I have had. Definitely happy I waited to make this beer #200!

If I could get this regularly, I would be buying everything I could!

Don't fear the hype. It is all true!

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Photo of pgrenvicz
5/5  rDev +7.5%

What can I say? This beer is the reason I joined BA today. Turned on by a friend, i am eager to begin trading for this and other great beers. Heady Topper embodies everything I look for in an IPA. Seriously, this beer has it all. Great aroma, piney, tropical fruit flavored goodness. There is an excellent balance to this machine. Kudos to all at The Alchemist, you have earned my business if you can ever get down to Atlanta!

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Photo of uustal
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, light tangerine with a two-finger bright white head. Good lacing and head retention. Aroma, wow. Fresh pineapple, mango, grapefruit and orange and just a touch of pine that is outdone by the huge, fresh fruity notes. This beer is so refreshingly hoppy. Big tropical fruit notes, pineapple is giant. Juciy, fresh grapefruit and orange notes. Nice pine notes add some bitterness too. Hugely hoppy, but with the perfect amount of bitterness. Get different hop notes with each sip and they keep coming. Awesome drinkability, the hop blend goes down like a Gatorade. Overall, the best DIPA I've had to date. Really tough to make this big of a beer this easy to drink while maintaining absolutely huge flavor.

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Photo of berkshire413
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

from the can, this beer is just incredible, what can be said that hasnt already been said. If you love hops jump right in and take a bath. great complexity pineapple up front, citrus galore, piney and juicy all they way through. every sip makes you think of something different, there is so much going on with this beer its impossible to capture in words or in one sip, so grab a few cases.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from GoGriz.  Poured from 16oz. can into a Stone snifter.  Beer was a clear, orange color, with a one-finger, white head.  Head quickly faded, leaving behind some faint traces of lacing around the glass.  Moderate carbonation.

Aroma was hops.  Holy citrus hops!  Some pine and sweet malt.  Smells amazing! 

Taste was bitter and hoppy, but not overly so.  Some biscuit and bread notes, along with a touch of caramel sweetness, but bitter hops throughout. 

Slightest warming of alcohol in the finish, followed by a long lingering, delicious, hoppy finish. 

Very tasty beer.  Thanks to GoGriz for the hookup with the fresh cans.  I would definitely recommend and seek out again. 

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured with a good bit of head, definitely looks like there is some wheat malt in there. Beer itself is almost an orange color and is completely opaque. If I were to look at this without knowing what it was I would guess it was a hefeweizen. This isn't even a weakish opaqueness, this beer is opaque right up to the edge of the glass!

The nose here is a bit more subdued than I had expected. I get some mild citrus notes and just a hint of bitter hop funk, not much else going on than that.

This beer has a very strong malt backbone (it is an 8% abv afterall, that alcohol has to come from somewhere!) but is well balanced with citrusy hop bitterness. Definitely not the most grapefruity beer I have ever had (that would be MBC Lunch) but its quite good. The hop bitterness really lingers on the palate and is quite pleasant. The aftertaste is the most bitter bit.

The moutfeel here is great. Very smooth, fills the palate, its just wonderful.

This is a great beer, its not my favorite IPA, but it sure is close. Additionally, for the price, this beer is tough to beat. Very tasty IPA with lots of bitterness and moderate citrus. Definite buy if I can get my VT cousin to bring me back more.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured with Jake_ramrod on Halloween. Thanks for the scary share.

I'll keep it short.

Moderate copper color with a frothy egg shell head. Out of the can smell of resin to pineapple to a light malt base. The taste follows with sharp bite of pine hops. Next is a light malt base, sharp pine, with a strong resin finish.

Damn good beer. Glad to try. This was more resin/pine profile than expected.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%

First beer I had in my trip to Vermont. From very recent notes.

A: Looks like every other DIPA I had. Hazy yellow/orange with a strong pure white head. Strong lacing and retention.

S: I still can smell it. It is very sweet, juicy and home made pink lemonade-ish. In the sense it smells like a sweet red grapefruit, some notes of lemon rind, orange juice and peach. Some hops dry-ness in the shape of lemon rind.

T: It's just like the smell. First, you get the grapefruit and the hop punch (citrus peel, grass), then you get the sweetness with the orange juice, peach and very ripe pineapple. And a taste that lingers on and on and on. Actually a bit sweeter than expected.

M: Medium body with a light amount of stickiness.

D: This is extremely drinkable and is a summer beer. You can down this one very easily. The sweetness helps to balance the hops punch in the long run, but this is still sweeter than what I prefer.

This IS an amazing beer, but, to me, this is not my favourite beer in the world. But, I do see how it must pleases highly to everybody and makes it so everyone gives it a really high score. Still, it feels slightly over rated, very slightly, but this is an amazing brew.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,235 ratings.
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