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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,229 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,229
Ratings:
12,538
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.52%
 
 
Wants:
9,035
Gots:
4,839
For Trade:
62
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,229 | Ratings: 12,538
Photo of Doc_Hops
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Trevor at Pinnochio's for this very surprising gift!

A- (I only poured a little at see what it looked like but most was enjoyed from the can, as instructed) Heady Topper pours a glowing, cloudy yellow/ orange with a nice, bubbly white head that is leaving moderate lacing.

S- Big bursts of citrus in the nose! Lots of grapefruit and lemon with fantastic pine resonating. Not much malt to speak of here. The nose is pretty much exclusively dominated by the hops, and I'm perfectly okay with that.

T-Holy shit! Huge wave of citrus in the beginning! It's crisp and biting and lip-smacking. There's an unexpected smokey character as well. It's faint but it's noticeable. All the hop resins are incredibly present and I can clearly see why the say to drink it from the can. The finish is resinous, tart, and bitter... but not overly bitter; it's just right.

M- Just like the can says, so drinkable it's scary. I'm trying not to drink it too fast, as I only have one, but damn, this is so good. Medium to full bodied but still drinks with incredible ease.

O- So good, just, just so so good. This beer has lived up to the hype for me. It is incredibly well crafted and incredibly delicious. Heady Topper is a powerful brew that doesn't over power you. I am so glad I got to try this and i absolutely cannot wait to have it again.

Serving Type- 16oz can. Thank for reading.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

After much searching I finally got a can of this at The Churchville Inn. Poured into a tulip, a very hazy golden color with alot of hop sediment at the bottom of the glass. Left a nice two finger heading with soapy rings left over after every sip. A non-stop fizzing action from the bottom of the glass to the surface.

I'm getting alot of mango and tangerine at first. Solid piney hop notes with really no sugary or hot alcohol aroma's. Finishes with a pineapple touch of zestiness.

Taste is explosive... Hoppy resins attack the palate immediately, a second wave of a more tropical fruit and juicy flavors come into play. A final wave of a bitter hop lingers on the palate for a big green finish.

Medium bodied, excellent balance. Dry finish.

Not bad...not bad at all. A great balance of bitter hops,fruitiness and light malts. Not a heavy IPA and the alcohol is extremely well hidden. This rates in my top ten for IIPA's but numero uno in all styles ??? I don't know that's for you to decide.

Re-review 7/29. After a friend recently visted Vermont he bought a few cases of heady and wasn't all that greedy and let me have some. Anyway this stuff very fresh is amazing. I left it in the can a big no no for you beer geeks. LOL. All I can say is yes this is the best IIPA on the market today and yes beats my beloved hopslam. Embrace the hype !Tremendous beer.

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Photo of luckyluke1184
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

After receiving this in a generous pre-wedding gift-box of beers from a friend, I too neglected the bold warning to only drink this straight out of the can. I really wanted to see the beer I was drinking so I busted out a frosted mug for the occasion.

Appearance: A very pleasant golden-wheat color, not the alarming looking orange associated with some less subtle IPAs. As others have noted, there was quite a bit of particulate floating through the beer but I'm assuming that is part of its charm (and flavor).

Aroma: As much as a smell can be crisp, this was. Very up-front, fruity notes and you could sort of smell the bubbles over the top of the glass like you might with a fresh glass of champagne - speaks to the great carbonation of a can.

Taste: Oh man, oh man. After the first small sip I was really tempted to take a backyard PBR-sized gulp of this stuff - that crisp, pleasant hopped fruit taste was really the first wash of flavor and it had an excellent mouthfeel. I'll drink anything, but the IPAs that leave a bubblegum film aren't my thing; the Heady Topper does not have that. It's a clean flavor burst that then leaves you, as I said, ready for a nice big follow-up gulp. So many high-end beers aren't necessarily drinkable, this one is. In terms of other flavor notes, you could really pick out a dry, honey-ish malt flavor throughout and a not-quite lemon peel zestiness on the hop. It's quite possible I just made that up, but that's what comes to mind...

Great beer and, having grown up in VT, I can attest that Waterbury is a very worthy city (aka small village) of an IPA so great. Will look forward to a chance to sample again!

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Photo of JRoth420
4.01/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I also didn't buy into the hype of "Drink it from the Can" because I wanted to see what I was working with. I can see why they wanted me to though, because there was a ton of gnarly looking sediment in my glass when it was all said and done.

Aroma was really nice, but not quite as strong as I was expecting from reading all of the reviews and hearing from friends.

Great tasting IPA for sure, but not nearly as aggressive as most of the West Coast styles that I am accustomed to like Pliny, Green Flash, or Alpine.

Certainly a decent IPA, but it definitely doesn't deserve the hype it receives. I bet it would be far better on tap than in the can, but since I live at the complete opposite side of the country from where that could happen I will just settle for the little taste that I got.

Overall, there are far better IPA's and DIPA's out there, but this one is definitely worth a try!

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Photo of Ethanol4one
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Outstanding in every respect, fresh and wonderfully aromatic. Little cloudy, so there's that.
But all in all, most of the positive stuff you'll read and hear about it is true, so get up to VT and get you sum.

Aroma: hoppy, good mild cheddar cheese, pine.
Froth: massive and abiding, beyond the empty glass.
Color: cartoonishly gold, cloudy.
Taste: hops balanced bitter to sweet, mild cheese, perfectly bittered, and balanced with malt.
Texture: rich full balanced mouthfeel.

Let's talk hops. They don't disclose what they are using, but there are several, which in combination, like 36, 24, 36, makes a winning hand. It tastes as packed with them as they claim.

If you like hops, The Alchemist is making one Brick House of a beer-- it's the winning can, right on par with other hopped monsters, such as Tall Grass' 8 Bit, Half Acres' Daisy Cutter and FFF's Zombie Dust.

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

Straight from the can.
Poured a little into a glass for appearances. More caramel than anticipated.
Smell: sweet hops, grapefruit, floral.
Taste: definition of what and IPA should taste like. Citrus hop, slightly bitter but fades fast to a clean finish. Sweet like honey without being dominant.
Feel: smooth, light to medium-light. Great carbonation, not to the point of champagne or a Duvel by any means.
Overall: Has the right to hold down the top spot. Beautifully crafted, makes me want to plan a trip to Vermont so I can more. Simple but the complexities keep coming the more you drink it. More you drink, more you love it.

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Photo of jsearley3364
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was hoping to find the Holy Grail of beers but it wasn't quite there. Doing as they say and drinking it from the can, you can't really gauge the appearance. Quite smooth and complex but I find Stone's Enjoy By a bit better to my taste. Heading to San Fran in the summer. Hoping that Pliny the Elder can match the hype.

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

My first Heady Topper

Poured into a snifter (will drink from the can next time)

Appearance: beautiful golden copper in color with a fairly large amount of sediment. A good amount of lacing as the sediment sits rather still during the session. Slight haziness.

Smell: as soon as I started pouring it into the glass, an array of aromas hit me like no other beer ever has. Pineapple consumed me followed by grapefruit, lemon zest, tropical fruit, pine, and every citrus scent imaginable. Too complex for words!

Taste: all of the aromas above were ever present on the palate. Fresh hops and pine explode across your tongue after each sip. A very delightful bitterness and sweetness together follows each time swallowed. Wonderful to say the least!

Mouthfeel: light carbonation with a medium-bodied, viscous feel. Lighter in the mouth than I would expect from a DIPA which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Overall: Surely lives up to the hype! I could only imagine what this tastes like on tap fresh from the brewery. I will have to consume the other three I have soon as not to lose any complexity this beer has to offer.

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

A: poured from a 16 oz can into a tulip glass, orange amber with a huge white head that lingers leaving great lacing, very cloudy with floaties

S: amazing hop smells, floral, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, pine, stick your face in it good

T: absolute hop explosion, great bitterness, flavor follows above smells, pine, mango, great malt profile, delicious

M: full and creamy, no alcohol presence, perfect

O: an amazing beer, on par with the hype, delicious, thanks Jeff for hooking this one up

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

Happy to say I'm no longer a Heady Topper virgin. I live in CT and a friend made the trip to VT recently and grabbed ONE can for me. Best IPA I've ever had. It set the bar impossibly high for any other IPA out there. The freshest and most incredible hops in this brew. Amazing stuff.

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Photo of blakelive784
4.43/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kojevergas for this one!

Reviewed live directly from the 16 fl oz can:

S - Vibrant fresh fruits including pineapple, mango, orange and grapefruit. The tropical fruit notes are fantastic. Light pale malt body. Juicy. It's moderate in strength but I'm certain there'd be more if I poured it.

T - Fresh, raw floral hops notes open, followed by the juicy citrus and tropical fruits notes I'd found on the nose, though the grapefruit's the most dominate. I wish more of the pineapple was present. Woody/grassy hops on the finish provide a touch of bitterness. Caramel malts provide a sturdy backbone, but it's far from sweet. Impeccable balance, and the layering of the hops is superb. The alcohol's never present. This one's a real treat.

M - Oily. Medium bodied, crisp, and a little thick. Pretty much perfect.

D - The best IPA I've had, hands down. I could kill a few of these easily. Definitely a treat and I'm glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of TriageStat
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Not following the instructions listed on the can, I poured into a tulip. Canned within the week.

A: Poured a hazy, copper color with two fingers of rapidly receding head. Large bubbles. This beer is a hazy mess with tons of floaters, but then again, with the amount of hops they use...

S: Amazing. Its a grapefruit and citrus explosion on the nose. If you think the beer smells good, you should walk into the cannery. It's like high diving into hop nirvana.

T: Again, I could list a single word to describe it. Amazing. Its all sexy citrus, grapefruit, and mango that dominate your tastebuds. A pleasant hop bitterness finishes it off.

M: Smooth, good carbonation.

O: If I could drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would be it. I'm not much into following the hype behind beers, but seriously, this beer is awesome.

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Photo of BeerBellyBrew
4.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured a white foam which dissipated slowly with excellent lacing. Nice golden color and a bit cloudy.

S: Nice Strong hops smell. Perhaps a bit sweet. Very intense

T: Hoppiness stays in the mouth, increasing in intensity then you swallow and get a rush of the flavor.

M: Carbonation was just right.

O: Overall this is a great beer with a hops flavor that builds and builds.

Serving type: can

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

I can't report much on appearance because I tried this as directed - from the can. Nose was citrus - grapefruit, mango and pineapple along with some pine, grassiness and floral elements. Taste followed with big citrus flavors, especially grapefruit and orange, but with a biscuity, caramel malt for balance. Bitterness was there but not overwhelming. It predominates in the aftertaste as well, along with pine oil and honey. Mouthfeel was medium and mildly carbonated. There is little to no alcohol burn. I can understand why so many people love this beer…it was great…just not my all-time favorite, as it is for so many.

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Photo of Andrew041180
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Instructed to drink from the can - have never viewed the beer. Appearance of can has cool illustration of man with hair on hop fire.

S - Wonderful fresh hoppy notes.

T - I would like to use some of the descriptors that I've been seeing in other reviews, but this doesn't really taste like any of the pine/citrus/dank/floral combination that I've seen before. It's unique among the IPAs that I've tasted thus far.

M - Again unique among what I have had so far. Even a small sip seems to fill my mouth with waves of goodness.

O - I've now had 11 of these and each time I am able to justify a perfect rating to myself. Can't wait for my next trip to Vermont.

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Photo of mindfulmead
2.87/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok, another double IPA. Hoppy, we get it right? So what is so great abut THIS Ipa? If you were to break the rules and not "drink it IMMEDIATELY out of the can" you end up with a foggy IPA with chunks of hop pellets to chew on while they add to the hoppiness. As it sits, the trub gathers as gravity wins the battle to the bottom of my glass. Don't get me wrong, the hop particles that are suspended add a decent profile to the beer, but at what cost? I think it would be great as a "harvest IPA" if vegetal matter was the intention but there are another 11.5 months to use your hops in that case.

To me it seems like an unkept hop room. Interesting, nice, and Hoppy with some funkiness growing somewhere. I know from reading the can before I drink it I need to follow rules. I broke them all. I think that any homebrewer can create an equitable beer with a draft keggery and one weeks time.

J&J's Robust Porter in their restaurant was much better for my dollar and I just don't see what all the hubub is about. I think they should concentrate on making beer instead of money but I appear to be in the minority here. I do like the beer but know for a fact that there is more talent behind the curtain.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time I had I received it in a Reddit trade two weeks before my Vermont trip, but then consumed in glorious excess directly from the source in Waterbury.

The appearance is, well, ugly, but with a certain sense of unique beauty, if that makes sense. I can see why they tell you to drink from the can- the beer has little floaty particles moving in suspension all around. It looks straight up rustic and earthy, like I am looking at pure liquid hops.
I poured half the beer into a glass and drank half from the can- it really does taste better from the can!

The aroma is mind-blowing. This is the best smelling beer I have ever had. It's like an orange, a grapefruit and a tangerine punched me right in the face.

The taste was just as good. It feels like I'm drinking a liquid joint dumped into a glass of orange pineapple juice. The hops just keep coming in strong waves of flavor- it just never stops. I've only had this super-fresh, I can imagine the hop flavor lasts a while here.

The body is full enough to match the hop assault (hopsault?).

A truly amazing beer.

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Photo of Ri0
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured 16oz can into Duvel tulip.

A - Golden orange and very hazy with a big 3 finger white head that went to the very top and peaked over my tulip. Great retention and loads of foamy lacing cling to teh glass. Who says this doesn't look perfect!?

S - So you like big juicy hops? Piney and bitter citrus hops are the show of this beer. I get some tropical and light sweetness. The smell is incredible.

T - Yum, yum, yum! Waves and waves of hops coat my palate. Pine hops, bitter citrus hops, and even slight notes of tropical hops. A subtle sweetness peeks in every now and then, but the hops push it back. This is a dream to drink.

M - Full bodied and sticky with awesome carbonation. It is insane how easy this is to drink!

O - It is fantastic and worth seeking out IMO. I'll score it as a perfect, because I enjoy it so much.

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Photo of brother_kenneth
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Easily one of the best DIPAs in the world. Do whatever it takes to get this beer, then be sure to enjoy it quickly!

This can was poured into my new Heady Topper glass ("Drink from the can", my ass!). This beer always pours a nice hazy, orange-ish color, with a bit of sticky head -- but you shouldn't worry about this, as you will most certainly be enjoying it from the can :)

The beer literally smells like fruit juice. Think of a grapefruit/pineapple/mango concoction, or something of the like. You will notice nothing more than this and the resinous, piney hops in the nose.

There is a distinct earthy, organic quality to Heady, but the more up-front flavors are the citrus & hops (obviously). It is juicy on the tongue, with light carbonation and a very clean finish. Tons and tons of grapefruit and pine in this one. I know reading this review makes it seem somewhat two dimensional, what with all the citrus and hop flavors. But really, are you looking for anything else in a DIPA? If you are looking for a malt bomb, GTFO.

Overall, this may be the best DIPA I have tasted, although I am not sure I will ever make that decision concrete. I constantly waver when it comes to my favorites, but this is definitely one of them. If you like hoppy beer and have the opportunity to try Heady, do it. You will not be let down, as it is one of the best examples of its style in existence, in my humble opinion.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

can <7 days old.

pours a cloudy yellow with a mild head. smell is in your face huge with juicy hops...wow. the taste is extremely juicy and fruity ...OMG. amazing citrus flavors, Damn. so so juicy. extremely easy to drink. medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall THE best east coast IPA.

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Photo of ktblue22
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down the most amazing experience I have ever had with a beer. My first taste - likened to the first time I ever...well you know....I don't think I have to elaborate

Can't say much about the appearance because I drank it out of the can (like you are supposed to) but I could smell a plethora of earthy spice, as well as crisp grapefruit and dank moss all at once.

The first sip really throws you on your ass, so I recommend sitting down. I can't even explain it really, its just a beautiful array of almost too-much goodness, but crafted in a way that expands over your palate and changes and grows as you drink the beer.

I recommend getting it fresh - which is really the only way you can get it, they sell out at their cannery the day of canning usually!! I also can't contain my pride and excitement that it is from Vermont.

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

Consumed from a 16 ounce can. Canned 6 March 2013. I poured an ounce or two into a Glencairn glass for purposes of appearance and smell.

A: Clearish, milky, hazy, with light white head and sticky lace. But I suppose it's irrelevant since most of it is in the can.

S: Fresh-cut grass, tangerine and honeysuckle, rich and sweet and delectable.

T: Okay. Yeah. It lives up to the hype. If I could get this regularly, I would drink it almost exclusively. It's perfectly balanced...complex, fresh hops; sweetish, alluring, honeyish malt; crisp, clean, lingeringly citric-bitter finish. There is nothing bad to say about this beer, but it's not overwhelmingly delicious.

M: It's so creamy! Rich and luxuriant and rewarding.

O: If you can drink this beer, absolutely do so. It's maybe the best IPA I've ever had (though the first batch of Mikkeller's Invasion IPA could give it a run for its money). Not as fruity as perhaps I'd like, but it avoids any 'off' quality that hugely popular (D)IPAs (e.g., Pliny the Younger) seem to share.

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

On a recent trip to Burlington went to American Farmhouse which had it.... By luck we were able to do live taste tests with some other DIPAs most notibly Stone 4/1 enjoy by
While bot were outstanding beers they were very different. I'll focus on the heady as we just couldn't believe All the hype. Smell out of the can was amazing couldn't believe this was a can, poured a bit, sunshine orange you expect from a unfiltered ipa not that dark. First sip begs another. Holy Moly this was good . Was expecting a letdown after the hype nope outstanding. Big citrus up front, wow second sip brought the earthiness pine grass, not nearly as big of a hop blast as expected. Was very impressed. I like unfiltered beer, my stomach not so much. But wow just wow

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

Finally!

Pours a very light straw/orange color with a finger of white head. Sticky walls of lace.

The nose is full of dank, oily, hop resins. Pineapple, mango, apricot, guava. In-your-face with a V8 Splash of tropical fruits. The ABV comes in modestly with a big quaff.

Yes! Absolutely living up to the hype here! (completely ignore the review below. Must have been an old can). The cornucopia of fruits noticed in the nose explodes on the palate and really is more like a fruit juice. There is only a bit of sharpness towards the end of each sip which makes this one easy drinking.

The mouthfeel is crisp with medium carbonation. Clean and refreshing.

Overall, this was worth the wait and has all of the components I look for in a DIPA. Seek it!

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

A-the overall appearance of Heady isn't perfect but when does that matter when the beer is this fabulous, poured a golden honey color slightly cloudy with a monster head that refused to dissipate!

S-the smell of Heady is just gorgeously perfect, smells of piney citrusy freshness, Nuff Said!!

T-The taste of Heady is not what I expected but more, Taste's of citrus, pine, and even a faint taste of honey. Very refreshing and palatable and not dry or overly bitter by any means

M-The mouthful is great for a beer of this ABV, I honestly can't believe its that smooth. First tastes are of pine and earth with a sweet aftertaste of citrus fruits and I still get a honey taste!

O-This beer definitely deserves all the hype! I have tried multiple double IPA's and none go down quiet as smooth as this one, but some are very close!

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