Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,348 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: 2,348 | Ratings: 13,237
Photo of Spfarner
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW... if this review would accept just a WOW and not making me use 250 characters! WOW is all you need to know!

As soon as you crack the can, you would think you died and went to Hop-Heaven! The nose of this is outstanding, with very high potent citrus and all around American hops! Since the can specifically tells you to drink from the can, that's what i did, So cant really give you an actual perspective of the DIPA! But the taste is out of this world! When drinking this you will encounter a hop bliss! Very very hoppy taste, loads of citrus and pine notes! When i scored this beer i wished i could of scored it higher!

My overall experience with Heady Topper, HOP HEAVEN!
To people thinking of trying this beer, don't think, JUST GET SOME!

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

My first review of a beer I choose this one, kindly sent fresh from the northeast. I preface, this offering is being tasted on an afternoon where, sometime following this review i will be trying my first Pliny TE (having arrived simultaneously).. Heady Topper: As a lover of American craft brew for 3 years and having tried, in my mind, a good deal of DIPA's (considering I didn't become a craft beer advocate until relocating to Texas oddly enough), I am more than enthusiastic about this tasting.The hop bouquet is blowing my mind, and in a well-balanced way. Expectations of this beer are met and slightly exceeded (they were phenomenal expectations prior to sampling). Pineapple/ citrusy greatness abounds. With this beer it seems as if I've never appreciated the mouthfeel of this style until now. There is no drawback here. Tasty beyond belief. Balance is impeccable, yet i need to stress how the hops flourish here... is this Simcoe and Citra? Well i dont know, that I wonder though. Anyway out of curiosity I poured a bit less than 1/4 of the can into a Chimay chalice for a visual. I really appreciate an unfiltered IPA made well (prior to this my affinity was for the now-shelved DFH Squall). Im liking the look of murky golden when I know everything else about it is sublime. The lacing with Heady is incredible, and again lacing is something I continue to appreciate but with this beer in a glass it was sticky city (and this from a beerman who spot cleans his glassware well). But yes I have to agree with the brewmastery of Alchemist where the recommendation is to drink from the can. Yes you will surely love it in glassware, but if you love true hop heaven, you will be best to press lips to aluminum.

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

A buddy of mine brought this beer down from Vermont.. I AM COMPLETELY IN LOVE. The HOPS are fully vibrant and tasty. I have never drank anything as full bodied, as at times I did not believe that a beer so wonderful could be crafted in the USA. However, I am in love with this beer.. I am hoping to have it again one day.

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Photo of Lkell30
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a useless review, I'm no critic but I love heady topper. Got a case the last canning day at their current location. No refined palate here, but I appreciate great beer and I consider ht a leader of the pack. I love the can, I prefer drinking out of a can across the board, and I am no stranger to Budweiser or miller lite. To me all these beers have a place, but as far as double IPA's go, this is my favorite so far.

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Photo of Bigbri2085
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The hype is real. Tried my first heady last weekend. There is not much I can say that has not already been said. So, I will say that you have not tried an IPA until you drink one of these bad boys. I was in heaven from the start with the amazing floral smell. The taste is perfect it's crazy. I thought all the hype would ruin it. But no way...Like I said in the beginning the hype is real.

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

Poured into an IPA glass. Directly contrary to what the can says, I know, but it would be a shame not to see this beer. Super hazy pale orange color, with tons of bubbles rising up through the liquid, and a super thick off-white head that blankets the glass in lace as it slowly fades.

Aroma is an amazing array of hop flavors - pineapple, grapefruit, evergreen, cat pee, onion grass, etc. etc. etc. It seems like pretty much every descriptor of hop aroma could be attributed to this beer. A tiny bit of a light biscuity flavor makes itself known as well.

Follows the nose - just an amazing array of hop flavors. It really has every hop flavor you could desire in an IPA all rolled up into one, with none of the flavors overpowering any of the others. There is the perfect amount of biscuity malt to keep it from careening over the edge of hoppiness. Finish is just bitter enough, with a little less bitterness than the palate might suggest, and the aftertaste is pleasantly citrusy.

The mouthfeel is shockingly creamy and buttery. Moderately thick with lots of carbonation. Perfect for the flavor profile.

Overall, I feel a little ridiculous to be giving it a perfect 5, but there's really nothing I would change about this beer, and it embodies everything I love about IPAs. It definitely lives up to the hype, although I do have to admit I was disappointed on my first sip because I expected it to be God. And then I took another couple sips and all my disappointment faded away. I should mention that this was pretty fresh - cans purchased on 4/25/14, so I imagine they were brewed pretty soon before that, but unfortunately, there's no date.

 1,650 characters

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

While drinking a lovely IPA from "Fiddlehead," the waiter presented an ice cold can (I'd never seen) and instructed, "If you think that was good, try this." With the latency of lightning came a surprise the likes of which I had never before experienced and have yet to duplicate since. Like the picture on the can, simply mind blowing. For a hop loving homo sapient such as myself, there is no beer I would rather have in hand, no commercial graphic that signals ultimate gustatory pleasure is imminent. Across look, smell, taste, and feel, as Billy Crystal might say, "Simply mahvelous, darling." I'd give it a 6, if I could.

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Photo of ajramirez1
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Received this can from my good friend DWitt. Good looking out, even though u r a g damn Sander.

Poured 3oz into a taster and drank the rest from the can. Initial taste is awesome, get that nice hit of hops. Aftertaste, smooth as fluck. Wow. Very well balanced iipa. Very impressed, lived up to the hype like PtY.

I need to get my hands on more of this amazing beer...



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

This is the sweetest nectar to touch my lips with the exception of my beautiful wifes love juice. I have 6 more of the nectar of the gods that I will enjoy only on the most special occasions.

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

There is a reason this is #1. What an epic DIPA. Worth the trip, the cost, the everything. Still, remember it is just beer. Some people hype it up to be god in a can. Too much hype can be a bad thing. Still, what an amazing brew. Cheers to The Alchemist!

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Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;)

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Photo of Ri0
5/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

 835 characters

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

Had this a few years back and did a 5 rating, back when you could just scroll an select a single rating. Got a 4-pack via trade. Gotta say, the 5 stands. This beer is soooo good. Immediately after finishing the last one, I was scheming on how I could get some more. The beer is very hazy in color, golden almost. Smells like a helicopter crashed in a gigantic field of hops and the blades spun around for 10 minutes. Taste is so unique: You do, as the can says, get wave after wave of hop flavor washing over your palate. Man, it is so delish. Feel is also fantastic. I can't wait to get me some more of this.

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Photo of Casey10
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am giving this review for both the can and on tap. I was able to go through Waterbury for a vacation through Vermont.

On a side note if you have a chance to take a trip up through Vermont do it beautiful country fantastic people.

So I picked up a case of Heady, it's cold cant wait to try it, 2 hours later I have to wait while it chills when we arrive at our destination.

Everything about this beer is awesome.

A - 5
S - 5
T - 5
M - 5
O - 5

Well worth the trip.

If you wish a great beer trip check out Waterbury. A lot going on their as well !!

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Photo of cackerman76
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although the can directs not pour I couldn't do that. After taking a sip or two from the can I poured out and got the full hop aroma which I have to have with an IPA. This is beer is talked up so much I feared I would be let down but even with lofty expectations this beer exceeded them. Best IPA in northeast, Hands down.

 322 characters

Photo of RoninTK3
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Extremely murky. You can barely even see light through this beer. A bit of head. Really something unusual here.

S - Hops.

T - Hops. Really, that's about it, but it's incredibly drinkable. This is so good it makes me not want to finish it.

M - Medium bodied and sticky, almost chewy. Average carbonation. Leaves your whole mouth tingling.

This is the best IPA I've ever head. I'm a hop fanatic, but I've had beers that are just hop juice and this isn't one of them. This is very drinkable and not just hoppy for the sake of being hoppy. More please.

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Photo of Hophead21
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolute perfection in a can. Strong grapefruit aroma, and taste does not deviate from the scent. Mouthful loaded with grapefruit and sweet hop goodness, with a smooth finish. Beer actually gets better with each passing sip and is extremely drinkable. Straight from the can is the way to go as instructed .

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Photo of stoutluvr420
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank out of the can. This is about as close to DIPA perfection as you can get. I absolutely cannot believe that beer from a can could be this good. Total fresh hop fragrance hits you as you pop the top of the can. The can says "drink from the can" but I need to pour it into a glass to appreciate the hop aroma and flavor to its fullest. really nice unfiltered murky pour with a huge off-white creamy head. The flavor is perfection: huge hop flavor with none of the bitterness. My favorite beer right now.

 506 characters

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

Heady topper has all that a hop lover would appreciate and more. The unfiltered, strong flavor of the hops overpowers the flavor of the alcohol. This beer recommends that you drink it from the can to allow unfiltered parts at the bottom to remain. The most flavorful and delicious beer of this type that I have had.

 315 characters

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

There are several things that make me proud to be from Vermont. This is one of them. This is a hoppy beer, but not one that makes you choke. John Kimmich, the brewer, has somehow taken an extremely hoppy beer and made it so palatable that even people who don't typically like IPA's can enjoy it. I miss the Alchemist of old (Wild Child, Holy Cow, Ouroboros, etc) and hope that Kimmich decides to can those in the future. You can't go wrong with the Alchemist.

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Photo of Scipio3
5/5  rDev +7.5%

For my tastes, this beer is the perfect IPA.

The Hops explode in your mouth. There is just enough citrus and alcohol flavor. If you are looking for subtlety, this is not for you.

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

All right, got this as a Christmas present from my nephew and I am oh so grateful.

Poured into my 14 oz. pint glass (!!), the beer had a two finger head of fine bubbles atop a hazy, rich yellow body. Exactly what I wanted to see for the style.

Aroma was mostly of pine hops, with a little bit of sweet floral character. Some bready notes were underneath. Overall, nothing was overpowering and it all worked well together. I have had hop monsters that make your eyes water from the hoppiness... no way I would have guessed 75 IBU.

Taste was awesome. There was a nice, powerful bitterness that was very well restrained. Smooth light malt flavors held the hops in check and kept everything very well balanced. The alcohol was well hidden. After several swallows, I was better able to characterize the hops as more toward the pine end of the spectrum with some grassiness.

Mouthfeel was perfect. Smooth and creamy and deceptively easy drinking. Not overly carbonated with just the right body to support the hops.

Overall this is the best example of the style I have had to date. Now I really want to try Pliny the Younger and see how they interpret it. Although I have been to Russian River, they're across the country and I was not there when Younger was available, just had Pliny the Elder.

 1,305 characters

Photo of recoveringmormon
5/5  rDev +7.5%

After all the trouble of getting it, I fully intended to pace my way through the case. Somehow though, I can't usually bring myself to drink something else when there's a cold Heady in the fridge.

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

Had on tap the day of the 600 bottle release

Pours a nice, murky orange tone with a thick frothy head. Great lacing with a nice sticky look as it slides down the glass.

The smell of this beer is unreal. I can smell it from a few feet away. Mango, citrus, grapefruit, dank hops, maybe a bit of pine. I couldn't help but to keep constantly smelling the beer. The aroma is so inviting and begs you to take a sip. This is the best smelling beer I have encountered to date.

The taste is similar to the smell. Maybe not quite as powerful but it goes hand and hand with the experience. Delicious citrus hops, tropical fruit, bitter hops. Very complex. As soon as I take a sip, I want another. When the beer is gone, I want more. Just one more taste...

Mouthfeel is crisp, sticky, and a bit dry but perfect for this beer.

Drinkability is off the charts for me. I want to keep drinking this until I am no longer able. At 8%, it could get me in trouble.

Such an amazing beer. It has temporarily hurt other beers for me, as all I want is another Heady Topper. Currently my favorite beer. Another trip to The Alchemist is in order.

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Photo of startle69
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady-Topper is best in Class period - enough said!

Though not an easy treasure to come by, the thrill of the taste is actually better than the thrill of the hunt!

Everyone must try this extraordinary brew at least once in their lifetime!

Add it to your bucket list if it isn't already!


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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,237 ratings.
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