Heady Topper | The Alchemist

13,315 Ratings
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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Ratings: 13,315 |  Reviews: 2,360
Photo of IckyT2012
4.59/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of basto
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DIM
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A gift from regular customers, sweeeeeet.

This was a hazy, muddled straw color. It poured with a large, dense looking, sticky head.

A nice hop bouquet was evident as soon as the can was cracked; a delicate fruit salad aroma consisting of mango, pineapple, and juicy oranges. There was little in the way of malt balance, just a hint of sugar cookie.

Tastes as the smell suggests it would, just a wall of juicy hop layers. Fresh, pungent, sticky; wonderful. As big as this tastes, the fruit flavors come across as delicate. I guess because so many different flavors are discernible. There was a nice bitter bite at the end.

A great DIPA for sure and at reasonable price. If I had access, I drink tons of this one. Thanks guys!

 728 characters

Photo of SpicyHippo73
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Nparee813
3.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Good brew but a little overrated

32 characters

Photo of cducap
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of csaxon128
4.24/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

This is my first BA review, but it's definitely not my first beer. I got lucky and went to Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia in search of Pliny the Elder and found out that they were serving Heady Topper. The line for the beer went out the door. It lived up to the hype in a big way. Everything about this beer was phenomenal. The first sip was almost magical. Like the beer was massaging my tongue. Every sip after that got better and better. The only disappointment was when I realized my can was empty. Perfect beer.

 522 characters

Photo of chris_martinsen
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Beard19
4.54/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fulcrumbs
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is great... but a little too much hop/bitterness on the finish. Have drank out of can, tulip, and wide mouth. Great smell and look... but not as smooth as I hoped. A bit overrated with the new era of imperials... there are a lot out there that are going to give HT a run for the top spot in the next 12-18 months if production from these micros can get up to speed with demand.

 387 characters

Photo of blassor
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Ian_Alexander
4.73/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A few sips in a tulip, majority from the can. Color is slightly opaque gold. It really is very smooth for a double IPA. Nice hoppiness without just being punch-you-in-the-face bitter. Mouthfeel is really nice; creamy foam, not too carbonated.

I can't pick up some of the more subtle notes others have highlighted, but perhaps it's because I don't drink quite enough IPAs to be sensitive to them.

 402 characters

Photo of iSkiCO
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of SpeedyGee
4.19/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not that great. With exclusivity comes high ratings

51 characters

Photo of epyon396
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lyonsm2
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DanielGJ0
1.45/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Honestly, I have either received two of the worst cans in the history of mankind, possibly infected, who knows but let's be honest, I tried this once before Sip of Sunshine and Once the following day after drinking Sip of Sunshine. The absolute worst double IPA I have ever had, and this is my favorite style!

Hops are barely existent, there is an inherent smoothness to the beer but it tastes of wet cigarettes. I wish I could say better things, but it almost tastes like a homebew that was not properly sanitized. But two cans from a two week old batch? What in the world. Now Sip of Sunshine from Lawsons was incredible, but this, not a chance. just awful.

 660 characters

Photo of tritz18
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a can today at City Tap House (Logan Sq). Drank most of it from the can. Poured off about 4 oz into a taster glass.

The first thing that struck me was how damn smooth it is. Almost like real-life silk drawers. Pretty fantastic.

It's light on the palate for 8%, dry, but not sharp or crisp. The booze is real soft and very well balanced by the hop silk and its soft static hum of bitterness.

In the glass, it's a pale, faded shade of yellow, and hazy. Bit of a ring of foam, but no magic in the head stand.

Flavor-wise, I feel like green tea was the first impression, biting in the middle and aftertaste. Not just that, but a lovely concentrated, soupy fog of citrus - first orange, with lemony highlights, then later grapefruit in the finish and aftertaste... Perhaps a dash of pine in the background... Not terribly spicy... After the first few sips, some graham-crackery malt seems to sneak in there on the tail end of each swig. It's but a peep, though.

The aroma in the glass brings it home. It's kinda straight-up-the-gut West Coast IPA. Fragrant, but subtle.

Overall, it's one of the more elegant hoppy ales around. The execution is impressive. But I have to say that I find the raw flavors of Sculpin or some of the Green Flash IPAs, et al, to be something that I would go back to again. Not so this. It's just one in a long line of scarce beers that, while quite good, never melt my brain or make my body quiver in ecstasy.

Thanks CTH for only charging $7. It was worth it.

 1,494 characters

Photo of JMS1512
4/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of goodfella9000
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of vig180
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can served directly at a release (I assume quite fresh).

L: Poured a bit into a glass to share (though I agree with the can that was a mistake--see below for differences). Standard IPA look: orange-ish with good head retention, haziness.

S: Smells like a lovely pine forest. Different varieties of pine too--not just one-note, with a bit of floralness and orange mixed in.

T: An outstanding IIPA. Piney, but not overwhelmingly so. The taste from the can was a bit more bubbly and crisp than the bit I put in a glass--I recommend keeping it in the can. As I drank, I got more and more floral notes, though the taste was still strongly pine bitters. A hint of bubblegum showed up about halfway through--no fruit though. As the can says, the taste comes in waves--but they're more restrained than the sharpness of, say, a PtE. No hint of the 8% ABV. Only slight negative note--the aftertaste was a bit too strongly bitter. No other flavors left on the tongue, just a moderate dry, lingering bitterness.

F: Creamy, yet crisp. No lingering resin, but when it's in your mouth it feels less like pine needles and more like pine brulee. One of the biggest differences between this and other IIPAs is this mouthfeel.

O: Worth waiting 2+ hours for even though I'm not the biggest fan of hoppy beers. Better than PtE, though I'd be interested in putting the best of Alpine or Societe up against it. The freshness of the can really shone through here and for the price (only $7!) I couldn't ask for much more. A great beer and a great beer experience.

 1,550 characters

Photo of justincourts
4.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,315 ratings.
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