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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,229 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

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Reviews: 2,229 | Ratings: 12,548
Photo of Jeffacarp
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer changed DIPAs for me. Its Juicy, dank, and has the perfect amount of bitterness to balance out the malt profile. The 8% is well disguised behind layer after layer of tropical aroma and flavor. I definitely prefer the "drink it from the can" philosophy. Although I love the hop flavor, I find it unappealing to see the particulate floating in the glass.

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Photo of fireazzi
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the beer that started it all for me. First hoppy beer I ever had where I was just blown away by the taste. It is a great beer and I always try to share it with people to see if they will like it. Great beer to get someone into craft beer with if you can find it. Luckily I'm in the North east and have some access to it. Love this beer my all time classic double IPA, hop bomb!

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

Luckily I was able to get 1. Believe the hype. This American IIPA is arguably the best overall in its class.

Had it straight from the can (poured just enough to peek at the color).

Too bad there is no distribution in NY/NJ.


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Photo of SuperChugLosAngeles
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my favorite beers since I most recently started drinking them. I've drunk about 8 of them in the past 5 months. I recommend this beer, it is the best NE IPA in the world.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Gold color, massive amounts of sediment throughout it, not turbidity, but rather a decent beer with chunks, rather than finer particulates uniformly dispersed throughout the beer.

Aroma was plenty hoppy, plenty green, plenty pungent. Im getting a lot of amarillo and simcoe out of it.

Drops all the usual pine, grapefruit and tangerine descriptors, a malty, earthy vibe underneath it all. Pretty dank, bitterness not grating, supportive. A great east coast dipa, easily 1st tier, world class, there is no argument.

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Photo of md1313
4.37/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well worth the wait, being aself decribed non-IPA this was very drinkable beer.
L-Hazy, light head.
S-Floral smell, a bit tart
T-Hops punch you in the mouth, somewhat bitter.
F- As expected.

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

A- poured really hazy with a decent white head. Really hazy

S- smelled really juicy and a little floral. Smelled like grapefruit juice.

T- huge hop flavor hits you like a brick wall right off the bat (in a good way). Huge citrus fruit (strong grapefruit with a bit of orange or tangerine) and the intense bitterness follows and continues to linger long after your last sip And longer than in any other beer I've ever encountered.

F- this beer had a bright character and although it technically probably finished really dry, the hop resins were so apparent and numerous, that bit actually seemed to add body to the beer.

O- I can see why this is such a highly regarded and sought after beer. Really really good.

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

This beer changed my life. I used to just drink beer. Now I experience beer. First time I had this it was like an explosion of hop flavor went off in my mouth. I poured it into a glass contrary to the instructions on the can. Flavors were like nothing I had ever experienced. Such complex citrus, pine and malt flavors combined to produce a brew that is truly life changing.

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

With such hype and such high expectations, it seems inherent to grade this DIPA more critically and harsher than others. Even in doing so, this is an absolute one of a kind brew and the definition of a world class, perfectly balanced, hop explosion. An unreal drink. From aroma to taste to feel, it is truly unique and incredible. I am trying to compare it to pliny (elder) because I drink it so often and it has been my undisputed favorite imperial, but this is just so different that there is no way to compare. Both are as good as it gets and I cant wait to include Heady as a regular brew to mix up my usual pliny evenings. If you havnt had Heady, you need to.

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Photo of JMD
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy cloudy golden yellow with foamy white head. I only poured a small amount out since its meant to drank right from the can

S: All hops. Big citrus with pineapple, mandarin orange and tangy lemon zest. Some pine and earthy hop resin as well.

T: A hop explosion. Think of every adjective used to describe a hoppy a beer, and this has it. Citrus, pine, floral, earthy, you name it, its in this beer.

M: Juicy, oily and delicious.

O: This beer lives up the hype. Worth seeking out if you have the opportunity.

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Photo of austinbeersnob
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Absolutely delightful double IPA. Consumed directly from the can about two weeks old (unconfirmed). The blast of hops in the mouthfeel after a fantastic nose was just unreal.

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

16 ounce can into tulip glass, no can dating. Pours fairly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense foamy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange rind, light pepper, pine, cracker, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange rind, light pepper, pine, cracker, bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Large amount of pine/citrus rind/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, papaya, mango, melon, lemon/orange rind, pepper, pine, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely amazing DIPA style. All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/piney hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A insanely delicious offering.

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Photo of J5iel
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After hearing all the hype surrounding this one I finally got my hands on a case (less than a week old). Upon first opening the can I was immediately drawn in by the juicy aroma, after tasting I felt a little bit let down as in my mind THIS was THE BEER to try! The typical IPA notes are all there and in fact this was far smoother than most I have tried. In closing it's a great VT beer and definitely in my top 10 but is it the end all of beers? I don't think so.

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Photo of krs0123
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The best IPA that i've had. Period. Citrus and pine accompany the hops. A very serious but not distracting malt backbone results in the most balanced ipa i've had. Perfect.

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

Bought two cases up in Burlington, Vermont. The best IPA I've ever had. I prefer the taste of IPAs because of their huge flavor and hoppiness. One thing I'll tell you, you don't get the after taste of typical IPAs. You can drink this 8.0 ABV as a session beer.... You'll be passed out of you drink t as a session beer though. The unpasteurized canning feels like it's more potent than typical IPAs. I love it. Don't miss this one. Take the trip to Vermont.

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

This is the beer that got me into hops. Honestly was under the belief that all IPAs were supposed to be so bitter and gross. It made me realize that I just had bad hoppy beers before. This is a Hop aroma bomb, this its got great balance between the massive hoppiness and malt backbone with little to no hope bitterness.

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Photo of Ajs345
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Always been an IPA fan. Amazing taste till the last drop in the can. Some IPAs tend to be too hoppy or bitter, but this one has the perfect balance. Listen to the words on the can and drink it straight out of the can. Really seals in the flavor. Made my Christmas in Vermont with or without the snow.

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Photo of twiens77
4.08/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had the priviledge to enjoy this all the way in Canada over Christmas. In brief, the beer was good, great even. But ... wait for it ... Pliny the Elder fresh from the source is THE #1 DIPA for me. Meaning if I choose between one or the other - Pliny!!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.07/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Massive thanks to Brandonhelvie for hooking me up with this long-time want! Time to pop that cherry now!

Pours a murky golden color. You know how people say Heady is ugly? It is. Heady Topper couldn't find its aesthetic ass with a searchlight. The head is two fingers high and white in shade. Retention isn't fantastic, and the relative softness of the head means little lacing sticks to the glass.

No real surprises here. The aroma hits me with notes of grapefruit, grass, flowers, and pine. It's a fairly typical nose for a DIPA, actually...instead, where this succeeds in how delicate it smells. It has all those classic hoppy qualities without any harshness. Subtle malt notes of cracker, white bread, and caramel helps tie things together. While it doesn't really bowl me over, the balance and sophistication is top-notch.

It's a little more bitter tasting than I anticipated. Not overtly so by any stretch, however. Pine, grapefruit, and flowers open it up nicely. The hoppiness of this beer is front-loaded, though it never fully vanishes past the mid-taste (thankfully!) It ends slightly malty - think white bread drizzled with a little caramel. After a few sips, I start to notice the Conan yeast. It seems subtly farmhouse-y, and delivers additional flavors of sesame seed, black pepper, lemon peel, and fresh-cut grass. This strikes an excellent blend of complexity and balance, but it doesn't have a facet that screams "WOW!" Who cares? It's perfectly balanced yet assertively flavored, and that's what matters.

This has a soft, full texture, but it finishes dry. In a way, it reminds me of a saison's texture (a GOOD saison, mind you). Actually, the finish is VERY dry, and seemingly clean despite the turbidity. "So drinkable, it's scary" - John Kimmich and co. aren't lying. It's bitter, but in that pleasant way a good DIPA is supposed to be.

To me, this is the love child of Pliny the Elder and Saison Dupont. It's not the end-all be-all of beer, but it's still ridiculously delicious regardless. Of course, I'm not drinking this from the can, I poured it into a glass like an effete wuss (even worse, it was a fucking teku - pinkies out!) Come to think of it, the fact that no one singular quality fails to blow the mind is its greatest strength. Beer is meant to be drunk, after all, and the best beers get better as more is consumed. Just like this! Yeah, I'll definitely trade for this again in the future.

4.07/5: This beer put Vermont on the beer map for a reason

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Photo of stevoj
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle share (or can share) from redBeard. Beautiful aroma, heady indeed. Nice robust, slick body, hoppy notes dominate without distracting. Clean finish.

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Photo of Foggy_Memories_Beer
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was one of my favorite beers. I've only had one so far. Wish I could get them in cali. I had some from proper glassware and some from the can. Both amazing flavors, completely different tastes. I am in beer love!

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Photo of mnj21655
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Straight from the can I get lots of hoppy aroma; citrus, grapefruit, some mango, and pine/resin. Taste is grapefruit with lots of slick resiny pine. Finish has a bit of alcohol but not out of line for the style. The slick hops knock down the body a bit but I'd still call it medium, moderate carbonation.

When poured into a tulip the aroma is very muted with only faint citrus and pine notes. The beer pours a hazy orange in color with a minimal white head, looks a bit like OJ. Flavor is more tropical and juicy from the glass with lots of mango and some pineapple and grapefruit, pine notes linger in the background. Mouthfeel is a bit slick from the hops but retains a medium body and carbonation.

Overall a great beer, I've had this a few times before but never quite enjoyed it this much. I won't deny that this an excellent beer but I'm not as enamored with it as most here on BA.

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Photo of Lumens66
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is an excellent IPA, and I'm acutely aware of its cult like status among beer aficionados - amplified because it's only available during a harvest moon of a leap year and only in Vermont (I kid... mostly). It is not the best I've ever had. It's missing what I really appreciate from an IPA, which is bright and complex flavors. It's well balanced, but that makes the fruit notes muted. It's also loaded with hop resin which makes it rather unattractive (they tell you to drink it from the can). As much as I love this, I would recommend "Sip of Sunshine," by Lawson's Finest Liquids instead.

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Photo of LouZ
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I tried this from the can first and then poured a second can into a pint glass in order to rate look. Got one finger of short-lived head but with lacing. Color was golden orange and murky, due to unfiltered nature. Actually looks much better than some would lead you to assume. Aroma from can was stronger compared to the glass; hops are giving me citrus, grapefruit, and pine notes. Taste matches to perfection - I would call this a great juicy IPA. Nice, subdued bitterness on finish. Feel is definitely medium; a bit more body than many of the style. Nice carbonation. Overall, this one lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Bthirt
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Still really enjoy this piece of heaven, however the one I had on Christmas was not nearly as good as the first one , your first is always the best. thanks to family living in Burlington, can get it pretty regularly and fresh.

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