Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,308 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: 2,308 | Ratings: 12,993
Photo of jmaharaj
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Went to the brewery to get this one, only to find they had sold out. Luckily a local pub had it on tap and all the travelling was well worth it. Appearance wise it is cloudy with a grainy foamy head. Not overly pretty but i know this is meant to be drunk straight out of a can, so i wont hold that against them. Hops hit the nose straight away in a big american way, citrusy, piney, tropical, but underneath it all is a reasuring earthy malt base. Tastes a lot like it smells. A bunch of wonderful things coming together in a way that isnt completely cohesive, but complimentary enough that you can enjoy everything together or pick out the various delicious elements, like a farmers market salad. Really, really like this. its got a nice oily mouthfeel, lively carbonation and finishes clean and moreish. taste well rounded, complete, refreshing a little raw, but in a surprisingly endearing way. Would drink a lot of these, but i dont live in Vermont so i can't.

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Photo of Bills453
4.72/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you so much to Jzeilinger for sending me this in return for absolutely nothing. You sir are truly awesome!

I'm drinking from the can as I am instructed to by it...

Appearance - can art is awesome. The dood's head is exploding hops!!!

Smell - I was worried I wasn't going to be able to smell the full aroma through the can, but I can! A lot of hops filling my nose through this small can hole.

Taste - really does live up to all the hype for me, an amazing representation of hops in this beer.

Mouthfeel - great

Overall - very very good. I hope everyone has a chance to try this beer.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am reviewing based on a 16oz can poured into a pint glass. I regularly drink this right from the can but made the pour for purpose of this review. I've had it on tap as well.

A-Pours a very hazy light golden with a hint of orange or light copper. It is definately not amber. This pour produced a 3+ finger head, white and fluffy, that slowly tapered to a film. There is clear evidence of sediment floating about, colloids. A little lacing.

S- Wow! A citrus hop punch in the kisser! Grapefriut to me, tart. Call it lemon, orange, tropical if you want to, that's ok as well. No matter, the aroma could fill an arena as soon as the top is popped. I cannot get enough!

T-Citus hop on the lip, tongue, taste buds, etc. I pick up a bit of oily pine., but hops rule.

M- The hops just keep on coming, but they never overrun, overstate, or overpower. This is a bold, yet drinkable body, nicely carbonated, too. Smooth as well as tart, with bite without bitterness. There's a drop of pine resin. It's just right.

O- This beer is not sold in NJ, nothing's perfect!

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Photo of morimech
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy amber color, dirty juice look with a lot of particulate, with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Surprising lack of lacing is left down the glass. The beer is nothing great to look at.

All hop aroma with mostly tropical fruit and citrus smells. It is a very good hop aroma, but not the best of the style.

Not the best aroma but it is the best tasting DIPA I have had. It is bitter but not brutal. Hop dominant but malt does add some sweetness and flavor. Alcohol is warming but is not too hot or distract from the hop goodness. This goodness comes in the way of tropical fruit, citrus, and herbal flavors.

Wonderful texture thanks to a solid body and perfectly matched carbonation. It is lively but not harsh and far from dull.

Arguebly the best DIPA out right now. Even if I had ready access to this beer I am not sure I would want to drink more than one can at a sitting. But I would love to have more than one can a year of this great beer.

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Photo of Samichlaus82
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours hazy gold into a Sam glass. Bright white head with excellent retention recedes to coat surface. Tropical fruit and grapefruit aromas. Full with sweet tropical fruit upfront turning to full resin and grapefruit in the lasting finish. Truly a wonderful ale from a great up and coming brewery.

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

Finally, I got my hands on this. Here we go. I'm going to drink from the can, as instructed on the can, but I will pour a bit so I can comment on the appearance. Aromas on popping the can are strong and abundant. Beautifully balanced oregano-spiced hops roll out, with a strong resiny background and malty sweet backbone. Smells amazing. I poured about a half a tumbler so I could see any head formation, and boy is there. The beer is a slightly hazed, unfiltered, goldenrod coloring with a tall, frothy, big bubbled, off-white head that is an inch and a half and doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Flavors are roasted in the backbone, with a rich, resiny, bitter hops presence that just overflows the palate. The hops spicing is more subtle than the nose was, which works out very well in the total package. Citrus characters roll out across the palate the more you drink, with an undertone of grapefruit tart and bitterness. Delicious. Wet hops flavors are abundant from the initial taste across the board into the aftertaste. Rich, full bodied, and extremely smooth, which supports all of the flavor profiles. The finish is bitter and slightly drying, with a clean overall feel. This beer is fantastic. The more you drink, the more layers of hops flavor reveal themselves. Amazing. This is a tremendous brew!

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

On tap in a snifter at the cannery in Vermont.

A: Cloudy golden orange with a small fluffy off white head. Awesome lacing that clings to the side of the glass resembling a spider web by the time you are finished.

S: One of the best smelling things on earth! It might have helped that the tasting room at the cannery was filled with sweet hoppy scents. I verified that the nose was as good as I remembered when I cracked a can later. Lots of herbal pine and resinous hops mixed with fruity tropical citrus.

T: This beer is no joke. I would classify it as the smoothest tasting hop juice you can imagine. Lots of late kettle addition hops. Tons of hop flavor. Crisp with lots of pine, resin, and grapefruit/orange hops up front. Slightly bitter at first that transitions into the best tasting sweet tropical citrus hop flavor that lingers. Slightly sweet malt profile balances the hop bitterness very well.

M: Crisp with a medium-full body. Really smooth with a nice syrupy consistency. Perfectly carbonated. I could drink this every day of my life.

O: Honestly, this beer meets all the hype. There are a lot of rarities out there that are really sought after that do not live up to their hype. This beer absolutely does. Easily the best DIPA out there that I have tried (I haven't had younger).

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Photo of HossMcGraw
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man was I glad to score one of these! I poured a little into a glass to see what it looked like; nothing special but you're supposed to drink it out of the can so..not applicable?

About halfway through opening the can mango, grapefruit, and honey filled the room and that's before the damn thing was even open! The aroma is just outrageous. The flavor is incredibly tropical, filled with ripe melon, pine, lemon and more candy-like grapefruit juicy sweetness. Ridiculously unique and delicious. Some serious craftsmanship went into this shit. Bone dry finish beckons you for another sip.

Mouthfeel I found a bit flat; I guess some people like that, but I prefer lively carbonation and I think this would benefit from that--again, a preference thing. Overall I'm blessed to have had the #2 IPA on here and feel it's worth the hype. Bell's Hopslam is very similar to this and is another excellent beer that will suffice quite nicely til The Alchemist and I again cross paths.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.1/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce pint can thanks to youbrewidrink, appreciate it man! Pour is bright orange with a lot of haze, some floaties, and a lot of lacing. Smell is fruity hops, some pine, smells good. Flavor is bitter, tropical fruits, definitely a good DIPA. If I didn't know better I'd guess this was a west coast IPA. I can see why this is so highly rated and I'd love to get a four pack but I know it isn't easy.

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Photo of pepsican
3.8/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like dirty sewer water dumped into a light beer, smaller off white head. Aroma is tropical fruit, marijuana, onions. Similar flavor, lots of onions, garlic, tomato, juicy fruit, papaya, and orange. Bitter finish, pretty dry for the ABV. Reminds me exactly of what Toppling Goliath is doing around here.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Alchemist Heady Topper is a delicious DIPA. It has the delicious aroma and flavour of hops without being particularly bitter. How did they do that? I want to know so I can homebrew some.

A: Cloudy orange colour and a 5 mm head that lasts very well. 5

S: Strong grassy hops. There is some subtle sweet malt and some unusual spiciness. Some light vanilla notes too. 4.5

T: Malty and a little sweet with some delicious grassy hops. Amazingly, it's not really bitter at all. There are some light yeasty and vanilla flavours that come through in the finish. 5

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: 5

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

On a Trip to Vermont with the Family... I had to stop here. I got my first taste of this beer on Tap and it was amazing. Of course they were out of cans, luckily on my way out of town they were restocked and I picked up some (definitely not enough).

A - I drank a little from the can and poured there the rest into my Duvel glass to get a good look at it. It was hazy/cloudy light orange color with pieces floating in it

S - A big, fresh aroma of bitter citrus and piney hops. There is also a hint of orange and grapefruit.

T - Wow. Very similar to the aroma. Dry and piney with a rush of citrus hops. Bitter with a semi-sweet malty balance

M - Good carbonation and medium bodies. It drinks relatively smooth for the ABV and hop content.

O - Definitely recommend this beer if you can get it. Definitely recommend driving to get this beer if needed. I enjoyed it. I didnt mind the fact that deliciousness was floating in the beer when poured out of the can, probably why the recommend drinking from the can. Awesome stuff either way.

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Photo of SlobGoblin1837
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh specimen canned on Monday October 8. We quickly developed an intimate rapport with this beer.

A- A murky golden flow cascades from the can, creating a formidable head of about two fingers length. The lace clings to the glass like snow crystals upon a frosted window-foreboding and glorious.

S- We dip our noseys into the glass and are enveloped into a miasma of tropical fruit. The perfumed citrus beckons us onward. We heed its call and take our first sips of this delectable concoction.

T- A hoptastic journey, notes of citrus balance the hop sensations

M- A dense body caressed our cheeks and raised our spirits. The carbonation was sheer perfection.

O- Surely topped off my day!

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Photo of MacQ32
4.87/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - I followed directions and drank it straight out of the the can. Cool can.

S - Lots of flavorful bitter citrus and piney aromas, orange and pineapple, herbal, heavenly. Literally smells like raw pellet hops.

T - Piney bitter explosion up front mostly piney and semi dry up front, malty sweetness briefly kicks in followed by another more intense burst of citrusy hoppyness through the finish, straw/grassy finish. I've eaten a few whole hops before and its slightly reminiscent of that.

M - Medium bodied or so. Very drinkable and quenching as I find all aggressively hopped brews. Appropriate carbonation.

O - Finally, I made it to Central VT to pick up a few 4packs. It met all of the hype. No idea what it looks like but I dont care, based off of everything else this beer is perfect so its getting a 5. I have a feeling if I poured this into a can there would be a lot of hop reminents mixed in. Raw flavorful hops

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Photo of harperman69
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Andrew84 for this one

First gulps from the can an then poured into a standard pint glass.

Poured an opaque light golden with tons of bits floating all around, totally unexpected. Less than a finger head leaving light tracing as it was drank.

Smell was overpowering of grapefruit hoppiness with slight pine nose. Seriously could have smelled this all night, someone at Yankee Candle make this a fragrance!

Mouthfeel was slightly thick and resiney that perfect for the taste that was to follow.
Cannot believe how stinking good is. Grapefruit wallop with other citrus flavors following, most prominently orange. Solid malt backbone that stays out of the way but providing the necessary balance to make this every bit as deserving as its ranking.

Overall this is one of the best beers I've had. Pliny the Elder was somewhat of a disappointment to me so East Coast wins this round. IMO that doesn't happen often in the hop realm.

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this from the can and poured. As the can advises, the taste is better from the can. Poured it is hazy orange, very little head and minimal lacing.

Smell is of abundant hops. Smells of pinaeapple, mango, grapefruit and a little peach.

Starts with a grapefruit resiny hop flavor. Finishes with a big hop oil, grapefruit bitterness. Quite bitter but the bitterness is well incorporated. Taste from the can comes in waves. Poured it is a little less dynamic.

Mouthfeel is of course resiny.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a very hazy orange/yellow with nice 2 finger white head. I love the haziness here, almost pumpkin colored in tint.

S - Wow. Burst of grapefruit, mango, orange, and balanced off with some honey sweetness, some pine and grass. Very nice.

T - Incredibly drinkable, and the nose follows through in the taste here. It provides a ton of sweetness up front with fruity hop character, but remains incredibly balanced. Finishes with just a tinge of bitter, piney hop.

M - Crisp, full, and smooth. As I said, it's incredibly drinkable. Solid amount of carbonation.

Overall - Incredible. Lives up to the hype. And absolutely delicious beer. An experience every beer drinker needs to have.

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

Been trying to track this one down for a long while, finally scored a solo can. Enjoying from the Can as the can instructs you to. This is my first review.

A: Didn't get to see what was inside but the can is a gorgeous pint with a sweet black/grey color scheme. Definitely one of the coolest designs i have seen.

S: This thing just reeks of fruit, getting some mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and passion fruit all combined into an orgasmic aroma.

T: Holy cow, one of the most refreshing, fruity, drinkable IPA's i have ever had. Loads and Loads of Citrus on the palate along with notes of mango, pine, and orange apricot. Has a sweet malt backbone in the middle that leads to a fruity bitterness aftertaste. Wow.

M: Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, with medium carbonation. This beer is extremely drinkable. One of the smoothest beers i have had, and enjoying it from the can certainly helps.

O: Well i would say this is the best DIPA i have had, and i have had a lot of the top competitors offerings of this style. I was most blown away by the Citra hop presence, balance perfection, and drinkability. This is a must have!

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Photo of clay23
4.91/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I followed the directions and drank it straight from the can- each time you take a sip the hops (citra?) really hits you!

A- I poured a little into a tasting glass- lighter than expected and cloudy

S- Awesome! Im guessing that this is dry hopped with a massive amount of hops

T- it attacks your taste buds and is a great DIPA- for a 120IBU and 8% its really easy

M- the carbonation is just right

O- the beer is extremely fresh and a great DIPA

Heady Topper really lived up to the hype and I would advise any beer lover within driving distance to make the trip- you wont regret it!!!

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Photo of Vermont-the-Trader
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer many, many times..On tap at the PIG is the best place to drink it. Also, had it straight up out of the can. And, even went against the grain and poured the can into a glass pint. This beer is so god i would recommend taking a bath in it. Tons of hop after hop his your noise from the get go. Beautiful gold color, with a creamy head that laces perfectly to the glass and your face! Mild bitter, Erich is explained on the can. 8% abv so clearly, this one can get ahead of you. Very balanced malt to bittering, creating a nice full creamy body. I live about 3hrs away from the Alchemist cannery, and do travel up there often, if, you're looking to trade, drop me you're request.

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Photo of juliusseizure
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up quite a few 4 packs from the Hunger Mountain Co-op on my way to the HF Harvest Festival

A - on the lighter side for DIPAs with nice 3/4" inch foam that recedes over time and continues to leave a 2mm lacing

S - fresh citrus fruit, sweetness (malt?), a hybrid of orange and grapefruit, hint of pine but not as much as most IPA/DIPAs I love

T - Perfect balance for a DIPA. Minimal bitterness, while still somehow maintaining the integrity of the hops. A nice malt backbone without making it seem bready and sweet

M - Juicy. Each sip made my taste buds release juices making me think I was hungry. Probably just my subconscious hungry for the next sip

O - A fantastic DIPA. One that if available locally, would become my go to beer. Unfortunately Vermont is not near enough and my penchant for wanting to try new beers, makes me trade half of what I bring back each trip.

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Saved my first review for my favorite beer I've ever had. Thank you grandparents for residing in Vermont and giving me an excuse to load up on Heady once a year.

A: Drank out of the can per Alchemist recommendation buy have also poured into a Sam Adams Lager glass. Very cloudy, hazy, light coloration.

S: Hits you in the nose. A little citrus along with lost of floral notes and hops. Hops over and over.

T: The gift that keeps on giving. A hop heads dream. Well blended, hoppy but not not overwhelming, just making you beg for more.

O: Favorite beer I've ever had. Give me this over any other DIPA, Pliny eat your heart out.

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Photo of tut2528
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big shout out to Verecund for this one! Very awesome of you man!

A: drink from can (but I had an extra one so I poured it into a glass... and the appearance is a murky/light brown with a tons of crap floating around... its actually not all that appealing looking) But since this one clearly states to drink from the can, I will grade the appearance based on the can's appearance.

S: awesome explosion of piney hops, deep tropical fruits such as mango, grapefruit, slight peach, and mega orange peel.

T: like the nose, this has an awesome balance of tropical fruits and piney hops. Orange peel, mango, grapefruit and peaches all are very well balanced together and there is a slight honey note that sits along side of this drawing away some of the piney bitterness. 5.0

M: fairly light bodied and quite light on the tongue. It leaves an awesome bitter hop note on the tongue and it finishes with a quick creaminess that quickly becomes more dry, but it is quite delightful.

O: well, this one most definitely lives up to the hype. I would love to try this side by side against PtE, Zombie Dust and Hopslam to see how they each compare to each other. But overall, I find this one just simply awesome. The big tropical fruits are very well balanced with the big piney hops aren’t overwhelming on the palate. The brew is quite refreshing and has a very high drinkability. And the bitterness that is left on the palate actually creates an urge to take another sip.

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Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

5/13/2013 - Snifter. I was told this was "4 days old" from the kind bearded man who apparently had a trunk full of this bounty.

A - hazy bronze, like a yellow Post-it note left in the dash and faded by the sun. 1 inch head, but that settles down after a bit.

S - citrus and pine all around. Mango / pineapple / grapefruit. Also a yeasty and slightly musty hint as well. Did I leave anything out?

T - Pretty much perfect. Smooth hop roller-coaster with malty loop-de-loops. Bitterness is present, but not overbearing...more of a whiffle ball bat than a Louisville Slugger. Bread and biscuit. Sugary and sweet. Hints of honey and maybe some lemon for good measure as it warms. Overall, terrific.

M - tasted like beer. Smooth with no carb issues.

O - I'm a believer in the hype. This beer gives unspeakable pleasures and I would gladly trade my wife for a case. Warning: This beer will give you the urge to hunt predatory animals. You have been warned.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can thanks to juliusseizure. Enjoyed from the can, because my mother taught me to follow directions.

Appearance: Yeah, yeah... I know. Its just a can, But I truly enjoy the way this can looks. The glossy metallic with only black is pretty badass in my opinion.

Smell: Tough to get a whiff out of that little opening, but what does come out it so inviting, Huge grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. A little bit of pine, but just ever so slightly. Nice honey sweetness supports.

Taste: Incredible grapefruit, orange juice, and pineapple. A pretty supportive caramel sweetness bolsters the juicy affair, but lets the hops shine. A light resin and citrus lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel: This is so utterly drinkable. Incredibly juicy, with a wonderful prickly carbonation. A pretty substantial bitterness that I don't remember the last time I reviewed this.

Overall: I have no idea how old the can I reviewed the last time was, but this one blows it away, and I know it was less than a week old. Incredible stuff, lives up to the hype, and blows Pliny out of the water in my opinion.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 12,993 ratings.
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