Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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2,274 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: 2,274 | Ratings: 12,784
Photo of barnzy78
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, poured into a glass for the purposes of reviewing in comparison to other DIPAs, even though they say to drink it from the can.
Cloudy, cloudy tangerine body with a thin, white head that fades to a layer of foam atop the ale, leaving a little lace on its way down. Super fresh aroma, with orange rind, grapefruit, juicy fruit gum, mango. Taste is super fresh again here, with loads of mango, orange rind, mandarin, bitter grapefruit juice, grassy, a little nutty as it warms. Creamy and smooth medium-full body, lower carbonation, finishes bitter but not overly - more like grapefruit juice. Insanely balanced and drinkable. I'll need to get a hold of this again....for my wife. First ever IPA or DIPA she liked! I'll have to try it directly from the can next time.

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Photo of Gatch
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Hazy, golden yellow with a fluffy, white head. Gets lumpy with some head retention. Some good lace.

S: Massive, dry citrus. Pine sap, fresh hops, freshly cut grapefruit. Huge citrusy, American hops. Don't know what else to say other than...Breathtaking. Unbelievable. Brings a smile to your face. Begs you to take a sip.

T: H-O-P-S! Huge, dry, resiny, piney, citrusy, earthy hops. It's honestly just a heavy hop rush. But never too much. A beer like this isn't supposed to be this smooth and balanced. It's supposed to be too dry or too cloying. But it isn't!

M: Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Everything a beer and a DIPA should taste like. Just crazy.

O: The hype is absolutely real. I don't want to stop drinking this.

Edit: had on draft at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury, VT. If you didn't think Heady could get any better...try it on draft! WOW! Absolutely unbelievable. The pinnacle of a hop journey through craft beer.

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Photo of JordanPhraczek
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank out of a can because it told me to, canned the day before. huge shoutout to bringing this to Boston after a depressing news release from alchemist.

A - would have gave it a 5 and actually had no standing to give a rating but just the mystique and the can itself deserves praise.

S - wow hop nectar and resin galore. I feel like music is playing in my head to the beat of this beer. Frank ocean to be precise.

T - not overly bitter just perfect piney hop taste. does it taste like I thought it would? even better somehow. the bottom of the can held the greatest depth of flavor but the beer is never bitter. Bravo.

M - frothy dry hop slime. almost feels oily its so hoppy but the carbonation adds a maturity to it.

O - thank god I finally tried this beer just enjoy it if you can. worth going to Vermont for.

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Photo of Carpentiere
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I kept reading the hype but finally got some of this. What an incredible beer. The aroma from the can is full....but not overpowering. The taste....is refreshing. So refreshing. The aftertaste is a wonderful complement. The ranking of this beer is not hype. I am half way through the can and know I would drive a far distance to load up on this.

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Photo of CharlatanSin
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review from notes accumulated while going through a case of HT over 4 weeks. First can was 4 days old, last can was right around a month. Mostly poured into tulips, but had a few straight from the can, too.

A: There's no two ways about it, guys -- the floaties in this beer are ugly. I don't care much about them, and I guess it gives the beer a rustic characteristic, but I've got to ding HT on the pure appearance score. Perfectly attractive beer otherwise. Nice golden amber with a big, puffy off-white head and lots of lacing.

S: The aroma of fresh HT is just wonderful. A complex and unique hop blend. Big pine, tropical fruit, citrus. A bit of caramel malt provides sweet balance. I'm almost having trouble describing it because it's basically perfect (to my own taste). A month in, the aroma is a bit less intense, but no less complicated or outstanding. I'd rank it a 5 after 4 days and a 5 after a month.

T/M: Incredibly juicy. More fruit-like and less pine compared to the nose. Tropical fruit is dominant -- pineapple, mango, what have you. Some of the more traditional citrus -- grapefruit mainly. Also getting a distinct apricot flavor, which somebody once told me was from the proprietary yeast but I'm not sure. Decent amount of caramel and biscuity malt to balance. Like the aroma, it gets a little less intense over a month but no less wonderful. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation's a little on the high side. Decently bitter but insanely drinkable. Not a hint of the ABV.

O: This is not going to be my highest rated beer, because of the appearance score, but I think it's my favorite. It's worth every bit of the hype. Make some good friends in Vermont, kids.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drinking from a 16 ounce can, per the can's request. Thanks for this one Cheesemoose. No freshness date. I'm told that this is a "fresh" can. Still not sure why everyone isn't dating their beers. Popped the can, aroma is bursting out of the little hole, pine, grapefruit, packed full of hops, awesome aroma. Taste is resinous and flavorful. Mainly grapefruit but notes of grass and pine. Totally juiced with flavor. Even the burps taste good.

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Photo of Omnium
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can > 2xIPA Glass

A - Pours an off color amber, 2 finger white head, minor lacing. Lots of yeast floating around.
S - Very dank hop aromas, some pine & spruce, citrus peels, grapefruit, white grape juice.
T - Those dank hops are intense, lots of white grape flavor, pine, spruce and earthy tones, tart apple, and a little sweet malt.
M - Full and well carbonated, easily drinkable.
O - While I'm not on par with the appearance, everything else is solid about this beer, though its not my favorite, nor do I think its worth all the hype. Compared to Pliny, its a no-contest situation, its thoroughly better. This actually delivers, lots of good aroma and the taste is solid, love the big grape flavor in this. Its a shame Alchemy is being too hipster to expand and make other things, or even distribute more.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to have this both right out of the can (as suggested) and poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Huge thanks to my buddy Doug and my co-worker Zach for hooking me up two separate times with this gem. This review is from a 5 day old can that was consumed half in a glass and half in the can...

A - Pours a very murky, honey color that is quite obviously NOT filtered in any way. It's a slighlty darker color at times than I would've thought. An eggshell white head forms about 2 fingers thick and hangs on for quite a bit befre it recedes leaving gloriously sticky lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is strong the second you crack the can! HUGE hits of juicy, citrusy fruits. Mango, pineapple, orange, and strong aromas of grapefruit jump out of the can. I LOVE how juicy this smells! Bitter notes jump in and out as the citrus really has me entranced. As it warms a bit, there is an undercurrent of buttery malts that really rounds out the aroma here.

T - The taste is superb. Sae juicy citrus flavors all mixed together perfectly. Orange, grapefruit and pineapple stand out the most with mango and some lemon zest coming through as well. The favor is so smooth and buttery it is almost unreal. Bitter, piney hops come through and onloy add to the onalsught ofhop perfection.

M - Smooth, even carbonation on the tongue making this one extremely pleasant on the tongue. The body is medium bodied, but because of the richness of the beer, it can feel full at times. A bitter, dry fnish rounds things off nicely.

O - This beer is SO FREAKING DRINKABLE!! That is really what stands out the most to me. It doesn't overpower with hops, but puts them on an evenly mixed display that allows you to enjoy every single sip. There is a reason this is on the top ofthe food chain (on this site anyway). Either way, this reallh does deserve the accolades it has received thus far.

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

Had an unexpected opportunity to buy this from someone so jumped on it. Never thought I'd get a chance.

Drank 1/3 from can, then rest from pint.

A - Cloudy, nice full head. Very foamy head with lots of lacing.

S - An amazing aroma, with tons of citrus/grapefruit/lemony and herbal smells. You could find yourself just sniffing the can or glass for . . . minutes. But then you have to drink.

T - Without a doubt, the least hoppy and bitter DIPA I've ever had. Extremely smooth. Not too carbonated. While this isn't my favorite style, if this were the only IPA I ever drank, it probably would be a favorite style. Almost tastes like a sparkling beverage that's been spiked. But better.

M - Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

O - I can understand why people rave about this beer. I found myself saying several time, "Mmm, this is quite good. I'm really impressed" I rarely say that about IPAs. I'll happily drink this again. And again.

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Photo of JonRogers
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I didn't see the beer in a glass as I drank it from the can as recommended, but I imagine it is beautiful judging from the smell. I also drank it a little on the cold side... to thirsty to wait. Taste is fruitful and as smooth as in Imp IPA gets. Hoppy as hell in the best way. Again, very smooth. I drink IPA's 90% of the time and I cant say I have had a better beer.

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Photo of thegoon55
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Heady is the real deal.

A- standard golden color, big white head disappears into little lacing.

S- wow. Grapefruit bomb. I love.

T- massive grapefruit notes, pipe, little bit of bitter hops. Lovely.

M- medium perfect body medium carbonation

O- understand why this is the number one beer in the world. Is it the best or my favorite beer? No. But there is nothing wrong with it.

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Photo of skyout
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth on the mouthfeel with excellent golden color. Very complex flavors, including a slight metallic taste which is common to IPA's of this type. Overall, excellent in all categories. The brewer encourages one to drink from the can, which isn't typical, but definitely adds to the experience.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Amber, hazy, 2+ inches big thick fluffy head, light patchy lacing, light carbonation rising, large amount of yeast.

S - Huge citrus, lemon, orange, lovely grapefruit, carmel

T - Dry grapefruit, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. finish: bitter (8/10), med/high acidity

M - Creamy, super frothy, full body, certainly a piney grapefruit lingerer, excellent carbonation

O - Phenomenal grapefruit, just about perfect IPA mouth. zero booze, love the pine. my only preference happens to be a sweeter opposes to drier IIPA.

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Photo of RyanCave
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: Pours beautiful pale with a red/orange hue. In my opinion the best color for an IPA, the word majestic comes to mind..

Smell: As soon as I cracked it open it was like some smacked me in the face with a pine tree. Incredible amounts of pine. Reminded me of sitting in the forest.

Taste: lots of pine, not too bitter, balanced well in my opinion. Starts piney sweet with some orange with a small bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Nothing remarkable, what you'd expect from an Imperial IPA

Overall: This is probably one of the best DIPA's I've had, perfectly balanced, and a beautiful experience. I'm in the process of securing a case from a friend of mine now.

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for hooking me up, you're the man!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Managed to get 2 cans of this thanks to the kindness of another BA. This is a quick review based on drinking the first one straight outta the can, as directed by said can. I'll review again out of a glass with the next one. No discernible freshness or 'drink by' date to be found.

UPDATE: Had the second can on 7/16/2013 and poured into a 22 oz snifter glass

Appearance - Can't really rate this in fairness, since I drank it straight out of the can. I do like the image of hops literally blowing a guy's mind, but alas I cannot judge the beer's appearance. That being said, I have to score it something, so I'll dock it just a little bit from the overall. UPDATE: Tons of floaties. It looks like extra pulp orange juice--not joking. I love a good unfiltered beer, but the particulate here is just too much and gives a slightly unpleasant impression of the beer. Lowering score to 3.75 because it's just not a pretty beer, as tasty as it is.

Smell - I will be interested to see how this one smells in a glass, because even out of the mouth of a can, it's intoxicating. Pine, grapefruit, citrus zest, herbal. UPDATE: the appearance of pulpy orange juice is fitting, because the smell is so aromatic and citrusy. A bit more orange and balance now that I'm getting to inhale fully with my nose. So floral and aromatic.

Taste - Delicious and balanced. Grapefruit, pineapple and more resinous pine characteristics. Bitterness is almost absent, until the beer is gone, and there is an lingering essence of hop bitters. Refreshing in spite of it's high gravity and pronounced hop presence. UPDATE: no appreciable change in taste out of the glass. Bitterness comes on a bit quicker perhaps.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with pronounced but not overpowering carbonation. Finish is clean, with lingering but faint bitterness.

Overall a highly drinkable and flavorful beer. I was admittedly skeptical given the level of praise surrounding this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. The beer was pretty damn close to the hype that preceded it. UPDATE: in the future, I would follow the advice on the can. The taste suffers little to none, and even though the aroma is a little more restrained straight out of the can, looking at the floaties is more of a negative than the lack of smelling out of a glass.

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

I wish this beer was a fruit or a vitamin. I wish it was a soap. I wish it was my girlfriend. I wish it was my job. I wish I needed it to live. I wish it wasn't so hard to come across. I want a swimming pool full of Heady Topper that I can freeze in the winter and skate on. I would move to Vermont for this beer. If there is a better beer regularly available on this planet, please by all means let me know of it.

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Photo of Zbyler
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got to try this for the first time last night at an Allagash tasting event at Decicco's in Brewster.

A- Considering I drank it right from the can (as it so boldly suggests right on the rim) I cannot comment on the appearance. The can is large and silver with a quirky drawing of a mad scientist on the front. It also says "Don't be a D-bag, recycle this can" on the back which I found amusing.

S- Great nose on this beer. Huge citrus hop aroma, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, pine, all mixed together for a lovely bouquet of smells.

T- WOW. Even better than the smell leads on! Fantastic resinous hop flavors, citrus notes, lots of tart grapefruit and pineapple in there as well. Moderately bitter finish, extremely refreshing as well.

M- Amazing mouthfeel on this beer. Moderately carbonated, thick, resinous, oily feel on the tongue.

O- I have had many of the top 250 beers in the recent months and in most cases they did not live up to the hype. This is not one of those cases. Amazing from when you first pop the top to when you take your last sip. Absolutely outstanding beer and it deserves its #1 rating hands down. I had one when I first got to the tasting and then went beer shopping and had to stop and have another on the way out because it makes you crave its deliciousness. Easily my favorite beer that I have had to date.

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

I had a customer give me a can of Heady last year. Split it with one of my coworkers and we both just looked at each other with mouths open before both exclaiming how good it was. I picked up my share at the brewery little over a week ago and now it's time for a full review.
I know it says to drink from the can, but for this review it will be poured into a Sam Adams 'perfect pint' glass. Later I'll have one from the can and if I notice anything different enough to comment on I'll edit this review.

AP: Colour like a dark shade of apricot or orange marmalade. Can't really see through this when held to the light, it's pretty damned thick. Foamy dense white head, about 1" that settles to 1/2" with moderate lacing.
AR: Like fresh green pine needles after a rain. Fruity hop aromas of orange, peach, grapefruit, mango and guava. Bready cereal grains from the malts.
T: Just very well balanced between the malts and hops. The hops are there and prominent but don't overpower and take over. The hops are lush and juicy, which to me is the mark of a really great IPA/DIPA. On the finish it's soft green pine with the rinds of orange and tangerine. I love how it's flavourful from start to finish. So easy to drink and a moist long aftertaste.
M: Creamy with a fairly hearty full body, low to moderate carbonation, crisp clean finish that though the juicy hops leave a moistness behind that coats your cheeks/gums, it's off dry on the tongue.
OV: An exceptionally well done brew. Flavourful, balanced and a bit chewy for a DIPA, which I like about it. Good lingering flavours that make you want to keep drinking and the ABV is well hidden. At this point, I would say Heady Topper and Lawson's Double Sunshine are the best DIPAs I've had so far. I'm not going to say which I think is better as I like each for different reasons and am just glad I got to try them both. In a perfect World, I'd have access to both whenever I wanted instead of having to drive 7hrs to Vermont to get a limited amount.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can with about the first 1/4 drank out of the can, the rest poured into a FFF teku glass and consumed today 5/10/13. Thanks to shagens for the opportunity to drink this 1.5-2 week old Heady.

Aroma: Holy smokes. Soon as I pop the can: tons of sweet honey, toffee, caramel and biscuits.. followed by quite a bit of tropical fruit- mango, papaya with a bit of grapefruit. Big, big whiffs of tropical fruits. If it drinks anywhere as good as it smells, it's a winner. (4.75)

Colour: Can't tell when it's in the can, but once I pour it into the teku, it looks good. Burnt orange, like the University of Texas' school colours. Pours with a nice thick 2cm white head that slowly fades into a bubbly collar that persists. There are bits of lacing that doesn't really stick around, but otherwise a good looking DIPA. At the end of the drink, I poured out the last ounce of the can to see what the floaties looked like- and its nasty. I see why they recommend drinking it out of the can. (4)

Flavour: I get a big malt kick up front, with caramel, toffee, honey and sweet bread. But that only sets the stage for a nice-sized blast of tropical fruit which eventually fades away into a bitter citrus finish which is also accompanied by a mellow backend that balances the hoppiness. Nice complexity to it, very hoppy and tasty. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Definitely not lacking in the department. Thicker side of medium body, excellent carbonation, resinous and coats the palate pretty well with the bitter finish- which is mostly citrus and a bit of tropical fruit. I don't feel any heat at all drinking this. (4.5)

Overall: I think the hoppiness quotient is where it needs to be- which balances out the sweet maltiness that predominated the older can. It does come together in a better way which I definitely appreciate. It's hoppy as hell though in a very non-subtle manner, though not as much as Abrasive is. Pliny is hoppy in a more subtle way- mainly in the aroma and flavour (intense grapefruit and citrus), but not so much the bitter aftertaste like Heady gets that starts burning off my palate. Very excellent DIPA, just a bit behind Pliny and Abrasive in my book. (4.5)

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can - Started drinking right from the can and then poured into an oversized stemmed tulip.

A: Orange color with medium haze. Solid finger of white head on top. Quite a bit of spotty lacing.

S: Tons of citrus and sweet-smelling tropical fruit. Such a nice mixture of hop aromas. Couldn’t be more inviting.

T: First few sips from the can were very flavorful, but I preferred drinking it from a glass. Mostly citrus (grapefruit) and tropical fruit (mango). Some residual sweetness and finishing with a nice bitterness, but not too strong. The bitterness does linger on your tongue for a while. Just awesome.

M: Starts sweet and then finishes dry and biting. Hop oils coat your mouth. Medium carb.

O: To be honest, I didn’t want to bother with this review. Just wanted to drink the beer. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to love this, but no worries....it’s delicious.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer out of the can and now straight from the can. Less than 2 week old can.

The beer is slightly hazy when compared to other world class DIPAs as noted by it being unfiltered with a foamy white head.

The beer explodes out of the can. So much citrus and pine in every drink. Effortlessly drinkable with no sign of the 8% alcohol. Juicy but balanced with the piney bitterness. Full flavor while completely chilled as well, which can be rare for some heavily hopped beers.

Simply put, this is the best DIPA out there. Do what you have to do to get some if you haven't had it, and if you have had it I'm sure you're acquiring trade bait to get more. Find a trade partner in Vermont because this stuff is unmatched.

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Photo of schnarr84
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pint can half poured into sam adams perfect glass and half in can.
cant believe i finally get to try this. only about 4 weeks old too.

Tons of sediment when poured. no shit, with the amount of hops in this im sure their filter room is working overtime.

SIck aroma. crazy hop flavor. literally tastes like the hop storage room at the brewery i work at smells like. great mouthfeel, feels like such a light beer. almost a different experience drinking straight from the can. same mouthfeel but a bigger hop blast. this beer is obviously insanely hyped and for good reason. i could drink a case. even at 8% it feels like a sessionable ipa

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Photo of MRsojourner
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the look outside of the can is super hazy....but what do you expect with this many hops! the foamy light head persisted till the end of the glass.
the smell is citrus and a strange musty aroma.
the taste is not that bitter at all....it's like super hop orange juice that is very drinkable. it keeps you coming back. very easy to drink given the abv level and hop usage. very glad I got to try this and will drink it out of the can next time to see if there is any difference given there recommendation.

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Photo of basickness
4.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 1 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i searched low and high for this bad boy. i listened to the directions and drank straight from the can. no idea how old it was when i got it. IPA's are my go to all the time, and this thing is awesome. i will say not worth the $15 a can ive seen charged for it, but i'd drop an easy $8 on it.

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Photo of IrishKevin
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a real hard time getting this beer. A friend hooked me up with 1 can from his 4 pack.
My expectations were really high to finally try this. Split it with my brother who was also trying it for the first time.

Poured into a pint glass out of can.

Grapfruit and citrus hop aroma jumped out of the glass which was awesome.

Taste followed the nose extremly hop forward, which was to be expected. Citrus notes stood out the most to me. Hard time tasting the malt. Very fresh with extremly long aftertaste.

Overall, I was not that impressed, maybe because my expectaions were too high. Still a great beer, especially if you love this style. Need to try directly from can.

For what it is worth my brother absolutly loved it.
Edit: Tried a second time from the can.
THis time I purchased straight from the brewery so the freshness was insured.

This beer is very good, I think having it in a glass and getting it third hand had effected it the first time.

It is easy drinking for such a hoppy beer, I would almost call it juicy. Really kicks ass.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,784 ratings.
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