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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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2,294 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: 2,294 | Ratings: 12,890
Photo of willricewillsweep
4.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank out of the can, so no 'look' rating here. Heavy heavy hops, thick mouthfeel and lots of malt. Overall hop flavor is not super juicy or aromatic like a Julius or PseudoSue, but great quality nonetheless.

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Photo of dhitchcox
4.78/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

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Photo of GeeL
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, smells like hops, and tastes like heaven.
But, it's a heavy, rich beer. I have to be in the mood.
I wouldn't drink this before operating machinery, including the lawn mower. Sometimes I drink it after mowing the lawn but it's not a lawnmower beer. I always drink it after my thirst was quenched or I drink it too fast and it creeps up on me.
It's strong and hoppy with a strong and notable backbone. It is surprisingly sweet. The taste lingers.

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

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine hybrid glass from a 16.9oz can

A - A beautiful hazy copper sunset, a barely-off-white frothy head and some sugar legs/lacing

S - The hops, malt and yeast smell as fresh as a cooled boil and as crisp as a just carbed conditioned bottle. The yeast funk is awesome -- just wish I could put my NOSE on it... the sugar is awesome, nice booze, lots of live green earth, citrus (sweet and rind), pineapple, sap, the sweetest of sweet malt/grains, smells like the mountain air with island fruits and flowers.

T - Huge sweet malt/grain, vibrant pine, pineapple (pineapple tastes so fresh) and citrus, some funky (awesome) dank, bitter citrus rinds, sweet citrus and some slight island/tropics hops/flowers/green earth, clean (young soil), fresh crisp water, bread yeast and may taste better than the wine Jesus made.

M - Full bodied, awesome balance, amazing complexity, perfect carbonation, slightly over the top acidity and a joy from start to finish.

D/O - There are many things in life that are hyped and even over-hyped, this ale is not one of them -- heck, this ale is not to be reckoned with. Flavor, freshness, balance and refreshment. The can says it perfectly as well, "drink from the can", I can't tell the difference, it is that good. 365 days a year in any climate with guano you'll be stoked this is being paired with it. Legendary.

Final thoughts - The price I am unsure of as this was a gift, the 8% ABV is spectacular and the only con with this beer, I can't buy it in CA.

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

Heady Topper lived up to its name. A very well mad beer that has a strong punch. I'm glad that I tried this beer and look forward to enjoying it again.

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Photo of nola1988
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: hazy, straw
S: big sweetness, fruity
T: follows smell with risen staying around afterwards.
F: sticky, full. Medium carb.
O: What to add? I believe the hype.

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Photo of aadkins0331
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best DIPA!! My only complaint is having to drive 2hrs to get and there have been times it was sold out. When will this be distributed in NH???

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Photo of Masonz223
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Smell: tropical fruit notes grapefruit orange pine floral grassy.
Taste: upfront a big hit of grapefruit bitterness and a big juicy orange juice flavor middle of the mouth a syrupy sweet breath malt taste comes in and balances the initial bitterness out mellow tropical fruit note fnishes with a Floral hop perfume flavor more orange juice some dankness and a grassy sharp pine needle bitterness.
Feel: thick syrupy chewy big bodied beer.
Overall: I love the body on this beer so full and chewy. This beer is crazy it pretty much has everything you would look for in a dipa. Awesome stuff!

Note: I don't know if it's just me but I poured some in a glass and drank some from the can. There almost two different beers it's crazy! Way more citrusy and hoppy out of the can. Better out of the can!

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

I never liked IPA's until I had a Heady. Now, I'll never go back to flat tasteless beers. This beer is just bursting with fresh hoppy goodness, there is nothing like it.

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Photo of Nightmare1972
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Says "Drink from the can" so I did, but I also poured my next one, floral, citrus armoa, taste again is very earthy like, super bitter. Looking forward to comparing with Pliny the Elder but I feel like I will still prefer heady.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 16 oz can on May 29, 2016. Look is unknown. Smell is hoppy with ester, herb, mint and orange aromas. Taste is bitter citrus, hop oil and orange with some sweet malt flavors. Feel is medium in body with a bitter and somewhat dry finish.

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Photo of Bro-tanomyces
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank straight from the can--just superb in all the sense, the mouthfeel was rich and creamy. The perceived bitterness was immediately countered by the incredible mouthfeel, completely relaxed my palate and left me totally satisfied.

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Photo of goblue30
4.28/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A solid IPA for sure, but definitely not a top 5 beer. Had this as fresh as you could get it (and numerous subsequently) and never found this to be anything special. If I end in VT again, I will definitely drink it, but will not go out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of eifster82
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from can and glass. Under week old.

Beautiful yellow hazy beer with medium foam generation for a DIPA. Smell is of pine, sap, resin and marijuana dank. Taste follows the smell but with a citrus note underlying. Aftertaste has this 'grassy/earthy' flavor at the end with nice super smooth and easy drinking finish.

Great beer. Comparing to Tree House IPAs/DIPAs, this has a much different initial taste focus (more of a North-West piney taste than typical TH citrus-tropical fruit) but the hazy look and super easy drinking finish is comparable.

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Photo of DirtyDawg10
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The look of this beer is very nice, a slightly hazy yellow wheat in color with a full white head. The smell is amazing, fruity, citrus, lemon peel. The taste is even better. Starting with the fruity and citrus flavor and ending with a little more bitter pine flavor. Definitely not overly bitter for my palate and it hangs on the tongue for the perfect finish. Mouth feel is very close to perfection and extremely smooth. Overall this is one of the greatest IPAs out there. It still holds its own against the newer "juicy" style of IPA. It is a must try for any beer lover.

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

Yep, I cheated and poured 1 of my 4 cans into glasses.
Last one ;(
Still so awesome.
Love the malty breadiness to it.
Smells somewhat dank, but like an aged cheese with honey.
Tastes like grapefruit, orange and pine.

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Photo of sakayus
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

So I tested this, julius, haze, and SOS at the same time and these were the results (with all being canned within 7 days of each other)
Heady topper was 2nd from the bottom with most people preferring haze followed by julius and SOS last.

Heady's taste is very well balanced yet it wasn't very extraordinary in any field. In terms of smell, the other's were greater, in terms of taste it was rather muted compared to the rest. It did excel in the after taste as it didn't last too long nor to short (as in SOS). The smell is in the middle of the bunch, but wasn't of particular note. The smoothness was near the top, but overall for whatever reason I would have preferred any of the other more.

I think I disagree on the malt to hop balance and I don't taste any of the malt and am left with only hops and the taste of the yeast.

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Photo of beerwolf72
4.81/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Only a couple days old, poured into a pint glass. Cloudy with about an inch of white. This is the best smelling beer ever. Flowers, cut grass/pine, citrus. Substantial mouthfeel without being syrupy. Extremely well-balanced hop/malt profile. Extremely well-done.

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

I've had it both in the can and in a glass. For a review I guess I need at least a bit of a look....it has a nice yellow haze with a decent head. Aroma from the can, however, is truly outstanding. Fresh hops, perfectly balanced betweeb pine and citrus. Flavor has a nice bite that leans more towards the bitterness end of a hop flavor profile. Wish there was just a little more malt, but then it would probably be even higher in alcohol. Mouthfeel a little cloying....and I mean little. But why complain? This is a great beer, thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth the hype. So many great IPAs, so little time.

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Photo of TomAllen
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Classic for a reason. Lots of fruit showing, and juicy mouthfeel. It is worth tracking this one down. Had it from the can, as advised to do. Slightly cloudy orangey color. Not quite as hoppy as Focal Banger.

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Photo of illpass78
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint can. Poured most into a tulip, had a little from the can as per the instructions. Paired with Maine potato vegetable soup, Vermont sharp cheddar, and some crusty bread with garlic.

Appearance: Pours a glowing, hazy orange with a big white head. Ringed lacing. Great presentation.

Aroma: Citrusy bouquet with lemon, tangerine, grapefruit. Tons of hops.

Taste: Big, fruity, hoppy IPA. Excellent flavor profile. Tangerine seems to lead.

Mouthfeel: Very drinkable, as people tend to say. Great pairing with the sharp cheddar.

Overall: Great beer. As DIPAs go, it's one of the best. I like MBC's Dinner just a touch more, but am equally excited whenever I can get a hold of either.

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Photo of d3brewing
3.93/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another all hype beer in my opinion. Do t get me wrong, it's a tasty beer and not your typical malt forward East Coast IPA but I was left wanting more. More body, more aroma, more hop flavors, he'll even more bitter hops. It all seemed a little muted to me. I'll definately try it again, maybe mine were older or didn't ship well?

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Photo of jas0n02
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank during a blind taste test with other top notch beers. Very solid IPA, but doesn't live up to the hype IMO. Pours light gold color with not much head. Very crisp and smooth.

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Photo of Myotus
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank straight from the 16oz can (no date) at 48°F. Consumed on 05May16.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of mango, guava, papaya, peach, and apricot entangle with strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine aromas along with subtle piney hop aromas. There are subtle amounts of white bread aromas that leave this with hardly any malt balance, but it remain extremely desirable.
5 out of 5
TASTE: The palate is immediately nuked by strong flavors of mango, papaya, guava, peach, and apricot. Strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine flavors quickly follow as the previous fruit flavors grow much stronger. Mild piney hop and subtle white bread flavors flow in next to simultaneously amplify the hop profile and introduce a malty presence. Mild bitter hop flavors along with a whisper of alcohol finish off the taste theatrical as all previous flavors push on.
4.75 out of 5
NOTE: This was near perfection in a can. Hands down, the best IPA--whether double, Belgian, English, etc.--that I have ever had. The hop profile provided gargantuan waves of fruit that would satisfy any hop head. There was not a significant malt presence, which was perfectly acceptable with this specific brew. The only aspect that I would change to make this beer perfect, in my opinion, would be to have the bitterness more subtle. Although it was not strong, it still managed to somewhat take away from the wonders of the fruity goodness.

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Photo of JayWhitson
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best IPA's I've had. Those Trillium brews have really skewed me on what is THE BEST though. Great look and aroma and awesome blend of citrus with a piney bite. Nice blend of new wave hazy and flavor of traditional standard. Got much better as it warmed up.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,890 ratings.
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