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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,294 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

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:
2,294
Ratings:
12,891
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,106
Gots:
5,173
For Trade:
66
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,294 | Ratings: 12,891
Photo of mickmanhattan
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, when a friend offered to sell me 12 fresh cans at face price, I had to jump on it. I was surprised to see the disclaimer on the can that encouraged one to drink it directly from the can. I'm actually a fan of that practice. Overall, this beer is very well-balanced. It's excellent. I would drink it again. I probably wouldn't drive 12 hours to get it though. Not sure I understand how this is #6 on the all time list.

The mouthfeel and overall balance are transcendent. The hop aroma is middle of the road, IMO. IDENTICAL to the hop plant I bought at Meijer superstore and planted by our back door. The execution was definitely there though. The fresh aroma was preserved perfectly. I feel I've accomplished something by trying this.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.25/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Unknown vintage; drank 2/7/15 @ California Split.

Poured from the can into a glass (sorry John).

Cloudy pineapple appearance.

Bright white head; frothy lace.

Fresh soap, mild pine & tangerine nose.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Pine, soap & bitter grapefruit flavors; a resin-y dankness emerged as this warmed. Not my DIPA profile, but nice enough.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.04/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Citrusy, herbal, hoppy flavor. FULL of hops, in both it's aroma and flavor. Behind the citrusy, bitter, grassy, herbal, dank hops, it has notes of pear and light tropical fruit. Creamy, almost foamy mouthfeel. It was a great tasting, enjoyable beer, but with all the great IPA's out there, I don't see exactly what sets this one so far above the rest.

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Photo of Kdouble
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this at Manhattan Pizza in Burlington from a can.

Lots of white head and lacing which hung around.

The smell was fresh and sweet. Grapefruit and some pine with some other citrus.

Very complex taste that blended together fantastically. The flavors were layered and rather difficult to describe.

Nice clean finish and left me wanting one more.

Overall one of the best double IPAs I have ever had.

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Photo of aquabears
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Orange! Smells sweet and piney and fresh. Taste is sweet grapefruit and herbal, resinous, mild bitterness on the back end, very smooth. Lighter bodied and moderate carbonation

...as I drink, more citrus is coming through. So well balanced and delicious.

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Photo of Respect_For_Saaz
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a phenomenal IPA, but falls short of all of the hype it receives in my opinion. Each time I have had it, I am expecting to be completely wow'd, however, it ends up being just a beer that I greatly enjoy drinking.

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Photo of CRyan603
4.94/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Waited in a gas station convenience store in the middle of nowhere Vermont on a Wednesday afternoon in a line that was 50 people deep to get one case of this stuff. Let me tell you, worth the wait and it lives up to all the hype. I've had a lot of hoppy IPAs, but this is unique and the only way I can describe it is that it is very floral. You immediately smell the hops, like you took a big handful of the freshest hops and crushed it up in your hands and stuffed your nose in it. The taste matches it, very floral and bright, but not too bitter in the back. Smooth finish and makes you crave more. Guess I'm going to have to head back up to the middle of nowhere Vermont to get some more as soon as it's gone, definitely worth it.

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Photo of JonCorbett
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Hazy cloud of dark lemon yellow to orange with a generous two fat fingers of fluffy white head and plenty of lacing and retention is amazing dissipates like a giant tortoise makes love.

Aromatics: Super sweet, fresh, juicy, green hops. Pine and grapefruit and some mellower citrus' and some pine without the raw earthiness that usually comes with it.

Taste: There is a stupendous complexity, it is full of a number of flavours. Incredible layers of hop with a sweet dank funkiness, orange and grapefruit juices, thinned honey, and fresh grass under it all that make simultaneously sweet and bitter.

Mouth: An excellent balance of carbonation and a heftier medium body with a delicate resinous quality that compliments it's juiceiness. A little bit of acidity but hardly noticeable, I call it a clean finish as well even though their is a bitterness to it, the palate is in a constant orgasm of sensations to even notice it, and definitely does not feel like an 8% either.

Overall: Superb. I now know what all the fuss is about. And have a great benchmark now to compare future DIPAs to. A magnificent and super palatable brew. I am in awe - and have Greg (@GJKerr) to thank. Best breakfast ever!

Pairing: Don't. Well not your first one anyways... This is one of those rare occasions where I am left speechless and enjoyed all the complexities of the brew itself that to try and match it to a food the first go around would not be prudent. I may add and edit at some point if I ever get another one of these. But for now I am supremely content with just the beer itself.

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Photo of eman4golf
3.97/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drank out of the can outside ohare international airport with the love of my life on our way to Vegas baby! A little bitter/hoppy for my palate but I understand the hype. Not as juicy as I thought it would be but still enjoyable.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours - Cloudy orange color super thick foamy white head with tons of lacing.

Smell - Nice grapefruit and pine citrus notes very sweet and lots of resin.

Taste - Possibly the best IIPA I have ever tasted, for sure the smoothest, very hoppy but not bitter hoppy, nice pine resin and grapefruit flavors. At 8% this thing goes down smooth. I have heard about this but did not think it would taste this good.

Feel - Medium body very smooth for a IIPA, no hint of the 8% alcohol just slightly dry on the finish.

Overall - Wow is all I can say best IIPA I have had, excellent flavor and feel.

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Photo of DTalley33
4.65/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had Heady several times. I do think it is a really good beer, don't get me wrong. It is a world class beer. It is by far the best beer that Alchemist brewery has to offer. I just feel like there are a lot of beers in New England that gives heady a run for its money without the hassle of trying to get your hands on it.

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Photo of phillyfan9
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It was a few weeks ago so I won't get too specific here in terms of looks smell taste feel, but this is an amazing beer. I have been searching for it for a long time, and a friend came through for me. The can I had was probably a little older than it ideally should have been, if that had not been the case I may have to go 5 on this... hard to imagine a better beer of this style.

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

Honey, lemon juice, cloudy in texture with little visible carbonation. Topped with 3 fingers of white, foamy head.

Fresh hoppy goodness like opening a bag of hops, or walking by the hops in a brewery, or brewing store. Amarillo, citrusy, piney and fresh malts all at once. It has a slight sweetness to it, as well as deep dankness from the hops.

Oh my. Rich sweetness, with fresh hops coming in layer upon layer. So fresh and floral and fruity, but finishing with a solid bitterness on the end. Amarillo, citrus, pine some layers of perhaps of Saaz. Hints of barnyard. Big, fresh, juicy honeydew melon. Some cantaloupe at times as well. The sweet and bitter balance out perfectly. Some fish as well, perhaps from the can. Tastes sweeter and more melon like when enjoyed from a glass.

Medium thick, syrupy but resinous body, with moderate, soda like carbonation. Balance of sweetness and dry hop qualities.

Got this at the New Alchemist Brewery in Stowe, Vermont Sept 28th, 2016. Drank Sept 30th (1am) in Etobicoke, Toronto. I had a taste first at the brewery, and in the glass at home it tastes the same. In the can, its not as sweet or melon like, but intense and fresh, with an unadulterated hop quality. A sure winner. No wonder its so highly rated.

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Photo of joeboe2001
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Last Friday and Saturday I visited the new brewery/tasting room/sales center in Waterbury and enjoyed HT on tap, and, subsequently, poured into a standard pint glass and then, as recommended, directly from the can. Try it for yourself, but I thought it tasted much better in a glass, where the wonderful blend of hops opened up. We were in NE for a wedding, and the extra ten hours we drove to partake and purchase were well rewarded. The wait was not bad on Friday, but there was a longer line on Saturday. Sufficient product was available both days.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can

Pours cloudy hazy gold with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like mango, papaya, passionfruit, guava, pineapple, orange citrus, grapefruit, toasted bready crackery malt, with bitter resinous pine and floral earthy herbal grass. Tastes like mango, papaya, passionfruit, pineapple, guava, orange citrus, grapefruit, some toasted bready crackery malt, with dank floral earthy herbal grass and bitter resinous pine. Feels medium bodied, slick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice and balanced DIPA.

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

From last night.

Well, it's my birthday and what better way to celebrate than by having my first Heady. A huge thanks to Jon Hand for setting me up with this.

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass. (Sorry , can't bring myself to drink from the can) Very hazy yellow body with a few small floaties. White bubbly head, leaves decent lacing. Good carbonation. Became clearer over the course of my drinking it.

Aroma is of hops, hops, hops, and citrus fruit.

Took my time over this one, but the taste on this is really top notch. The citrus, the pineyness, the hoppiness, the ever so faint alcohol burn at the end are as good as it gets. It's a beer that literally makes your mouth water as you're drinking it.

Mouth is closer to full than medium. Nice hop bite around the edge of the tongue that lingers.

Overall, have been looking forward to this one for some time, and it did not disappoint. Have 3 other Alchemist beers in the fridge courtesy of Jon, looking forward to getting into those as well.

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Photo of ryno6616
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Gave it a 5 for looks, simply because I wasn't going to give it less when I have no idea what it looks like since I drink it from the can as instructed.
What can I say that hasn't been said before.
Top notch - not much if any thing better out there.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally got the chance to try Heady courtesy of a buddy who shipped me a can. Probably 2+ months old, poured into a tulip glass. Look is a golden-straw color, slightly hazy, well carbonated, with a fluffy white head that holds well and laces gently. Smell is initially fairly subdued, with grapefruit rind and citrus, dank, dank grassiness, light biscuit, sweet tropical fruit, and a little onion. As the beer warms those aromas intensify greatly and wonderfully, especially the sweet tropical fruit and dankness. Taste is honestly more mellowed than I expected. Definitely juicy and fruity and citrusy, but not really uniquely so. But so damn drinkable. Soft bitterness, grassy herbalness, and light biscuit to go along with the citrus and tropical fruitiness. Goes down so damn easy. Feel is fuller than it looks, quite silky and luscious. Really wonderful beer. The hype would be hard for any beer to live up to, especially one that is intended to be extra-crushable. Certainly will drink it any time I can, and will continue to seek out opportunities for it, but not sure I would say it's the best IIPA I've ever had in a world where many brewers are pushing the sensory envelope. But man I wish I had easier access to it, because this is one you'd love to have on hand at all times.

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Photo of thatche2
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16 of can into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a hazy yellow/light brown with two finger thick head.

Smell is a plethora of hops with peach, biscuit, earthy, herb (thyme), hay, grapefruit, and yeast flavors. There is also a hint of pine and general juicy notes.

Taste also has a ton of hop flavor with peach/mango and earthy hop flavors leading the way. Pine is slightly mlre present the in the aroma. This beer has some lingering bitterness, but I acclimated to it the more I drank.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and soft up front and through the mid palate with a nice crisp finish (medium full in body).

Overall this is an incredible double ipa. Hops are clearly the focus but there is a nice malt backbone that is light in sweetness hiding in the background. The mouthfeel, which is incredibly soft yet effervescent, puts this beer over the top. This is one of the best beers that I have had the pleasure of tasting.

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Photo of hgw605
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: murky hazy orange. Big head and retention.
S: Can smell this beer from miles away. Crazy pine and citrus notes.
T: Pretty fantastic. Bitter, resinous, slightly tropical. Lingers for a while. Nice at first but eventually overwhelms.
F: Incredibly full. Probably medium carbonation but feel likes my whole mouth is full of hops.
O: Fantastic beer. Not sure it is the best out there as hype suggests but pretty damn good for a beer that has been around this long.

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Photo of Mbaldyga
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Loved it! Had the opportunity to share with some friends that have tried every IPA. They all said it is fantastic. Taste is great. Drinking out of the can works as well as in a glass. This one will not dissapoint.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Hazy orange with two fingers of white head

S - Dank hop juice, some grapefruit and lots of pine

T - Tropical juices and then delicious hop oils. Pine needles and a dank finish. Bitterness isn't overly intense and this is sweet at times. Drinking from the can envelopes the entire beer with that dank quality.

F - Perfect. Good carbonation, never syrupy. Drinks lighter than 8%.

O - A nearly perfectly-balanced beer filled with all of those unfiltered goodies and is still drinker-friendly.

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Photo of jfitzbrew
4.07/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rarely if ever had a beer with such aroma from a can that it permeates the entire space. That being said, that is the best part about this beer. Too sweet, alcohol is quite present, and has a lingering bitterness that some people love but I find overwhelming. Still great but not worth the hype. Focal Banger is more deserving of this.

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

Clearly, the best beer ever brewed. Love it! First tried it in the Burlington Airport. Friends talked me into trying it. I thought, well, it is another beer. News flash: It is not any other beer, but the best beer. The hops seem to wrap around your brain and you float away to another world.

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

For me, just a perfectly balanced IPA. Fresh, herbal, piney, just enough citrus, crisp, but soft enough to be juicy. Love it all around, and one of those beers that deserves the hype. That being said, I'll probably very rarely drink it unless I happen to be in Vermont and happen to be at some place that actually has it- and that's okay. As good as it is, just drink fresh and local when it comes to IPAs- there are plenty of amazing, or at least very solid ones out there, and all over the place.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,891 ratings.
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