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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,231 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States | website

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: 2,231 | Ratings: 12,560
Photo of Beerasaurus
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had it out of a can at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Poured a little into a taster just to check out the look, cloudy and straw colored. A nice hoppy aroma, but more subtle, not a punch to the face like other doubles.
Great taste, very smooth and well balanced for a double. Not an overpowering hop taste at all. A very drinkable double IPA, though my personal preference gives the nod to Sip of Sunshine.

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Photo of Technate
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer has lived up to the hype for me. It is a great drink all the way through the can. We are a community of samplers, and this one is atop the list. I don't have a bunch of foofy words and feelings about the hop and feel. It is a great beer and I would have it again and again.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
5/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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

Stunning beer. Cloudy pale gold with a nice white head and moderate sticky lacing. The nose is grapefruit and pine with a sweet aroma in the back. The taste is amazing. Medium body, sweetness, citrus fruit and bitter pine. Really great beer.

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Photo of Nhens0016
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a can like it says on the can so my look I just gave a 4.

I will say that it is always hard to live up to the hype. I have had many beers in my 5 years of enjoying craft beer (27 currently) and enjoyed many different styles. I was blessed to get a 4 pack of this beer and can easily say it is a top 3 IPA/Double IPA for me. I never like to say this is the best beer I ever had so that is why I will never say that about this beer but it lived up to the hype. This beer has everything I want in an IPA and it has that mouthfeel that many IPAs don't have. This beer is incredible. If you get the honor, TRY TRY TRY!

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Photo of ftla69
3.97/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't believe the hype. Is it a good Imperial IPA? Yes? Is it worth all the hullabalo no. Is it the best? Not even close. Honestly don't understand the big deal with this beer. There are many better imperial IPA's out there. I think it being hard to get adds to the mystique of it but honestly there are other Vermont beers that are just as good. Do I regret buying it? No because going to this store allowed me to select a bunch of other delicious choices.

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

Pours a rich orange with a nice white finger of foam. Smell is layers of citrus and some pine. Taste is similar. Super medium feel with just the right carbonation. Dry, somewhat bitter finish that sticks around. Like many IPAs, this one seems to change a lot depending on its age. The first time I had it it was light yellow and kind of tart. I think this one hits the sweet spot, as it's pretty amazing. As the can says, not the biggest beer, but the way it puts it all together is artful.

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Photo of Mgree909
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this sent from a friend up north and they did a number on the box which obviously gave me some questions to if it was altered or not....as soon as I opened the can the smell was amazing and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. Like so many say, a little hazy with a one finger head, amazing smell. Love the citrus flavor, too many IPAs go way to Malty for me. Love this brew, lives up to the hype!

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I know! "Drink From The Can!" they say... but I HAD to pour a small amount to a sniffer :)
The beer is a little hazy, yellow with a one finger high, white head.

Nose: A lot of fruity hops! Orange, mandarine, grapefruit, pear, citrus, pine and honey.
Taste: So good! An explosion of tropical fruit. Citrus, orange, grapefruit, pine, grass and malt.
Mouthfeel: Full body. Crisp carbonation. Oily feeling. Dry, bitter ending.

This IS a great beer but we do have a little bit to much hype here...

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Photo of smb
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours cloudy and bright radiant gold with huge 3-finger head that eventually settles to 1. Sticky and bubbly lacing remains along the top and sides of the glass. (Yea, didn't drink from the can... but wanted to be able to look at it).

Aroma is a rainbow of tropical and citrus flavors. Tangerine, grapefruit and pear come through as well as grassy dankness.

Taste follows the nose, minus the dank, and the drink down is incredibly light and smooth with grapefruit juiciness and hops lingering forever.

The OG VT tropical IPA. By far one of the most balanced and delicious I've had. The hype is real. It doesn't really get much better than this.

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Photo of TrojanRB
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color, 2 inches of clean white foam.

Big time citrus, a bit of crisp pine,

Citrus and grassy notes. Pinecone bite in the finish.

Moderately carbonated, very drinkable.

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Photo of Caput_H_lupulorum
4.22/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Lightly cloudy, straw color. Thin white foamy head leaving little lacing.
S- Grapefruit and other citrus, pineapple.
T- Plenty of citrus with immediate and persistent hoppy bitterness.
F- Great lively mouthfeel with fine effervescence.
O- A great beer, but there are others in this style that just do it slightly better.

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

I see why people go nuts for this beer. The smell hits ya but isn't too much. It moves like a fresh bit of flowers. Nice straw/golden color with a bit of haze. Very nice taste...crisp with a bit of bitterness and bite. It is one of the better beers I have ever had. Would certainly like to give it another go

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

From the can. Wonderful complexity in the taste profile - so much citrus flavor and aroma (especially grapefruit) in the beginning, then the sweet/bitter hoppy taste as the sip goes down. When fresh, this, in my opinion, is the epitome of Double IPA VT. beers.

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Photo of donspublic
4.44/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into spiegelau ipa glass. Nice 3 finger head which turns into a sea of foam. Nice lacing. Hazy yellow in appearance. Smells great, picking up pine and citrus. This beer is great, picking up pine and grapefruit on the taste. Nice malt in the beginning with a slight bitter finish. What lingers on my palate after taking a sip is the grapefruit. Not bad. I thank my daughter for rooming with someone on the East Coast and bringing this to me. Great beer, but sad that I don't have constant access to it

 526 characters

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

The beer that changed beer drinking for me. This is by far my favorite beer. Complex hop flavors that hit you over and over! I can't get enough of it! Every time I crack one open its like the gates of Heaven are opening for me, while simultaneously my scalp is exploding off the top of my head. Delicious!! Quite difficult to come by, luckily my Grandma lives in Vermont and is able to get a "somewhat" steady supply to me. Salud!!

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Photo of McGee666
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yum...what a fantastic beer that totally lives up to the hype! The first time I had it in the can at a bar and found the whole experience rather odd. I finally picked up a few more cans at a random line trade and had a chance to sit down and really enjoy what I consider to be one of the best beers in the world.
This beer looks amazing in a glass so for everyone drinking it out of the can...you are missing out!
The smell is an explosion of grapefruit and tropical fruits combined with just the right amount of dank pine...this beer smells ridiculous. The taste/mouthfeel is as explosive as it gets leaving me wanting more and more...out of control good! There is a reason this beer gets so hyped...because it's f**king amazing!

 731 characters

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

Look: for the little bit that I did pour from the can, its hazy like the NE DIPAs, but its a little ugly
smell: straight dank hops, resiny, pinecone
taste: matches the smell, resiny, like a liquid pine cone, but in a good way
feel: damn near perfect, super smooth and drinkable

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Photo of clayrock81
4.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Received a four pack as a surprise from my wife as an early Valentine's Day present so my ratings might be a little eschewed going up as simply put, how could one not enjoy trying this beer when they opened up the fridge and saw a surprise waiting for them (on Super Bowl Sunday no less)? (I tried both from can and glass so my review is kind of a compare/contrast review of the two methods)
Poured a cloudy orange body with two finger head that slowly died and left lace ring down glass. I like the aroma better in the glass as beer has a condensed citric, piney hop aroma w/ hint of medicinal quality in can but out in open, as expected, more floral hop notes along with grapefruit and minor malty sweetness come out. Smooth, fuller bodied beer, I find that it's a little more smooth and easy drinking out of glass than can, however, a little bit more piney and dry out of can in terms of hops. Out of glass, I still get a piney, earthy, bitter, dry citric hop presence but I find that the hops aren't as strong/tastebud nuking by a slim degree and there is a touch more of grapefruit/tropical fruit and malt bite out of glass over can.
Honestly, I don't think this is the greatest or most unique IPA that I've ever had; however, it is the most consistent and easily enjoyed IPA that I've had, meaning it's not too sweet or hopped up for style nor any funky out-of-character additions, and the best way I can sum up this IPA is that I drank my four pack in one sitting without a problem and wanted more, more and more.

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Photo of MTLDOG
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer lives up to the hype. I drank it from the can except for a small amount I poured into a Tumbler glass to check out the color and look etc. Straw yellow to gold, 1 finger of head with some lacing. A little carbonated looking. Smell was outstanding. Hops and citrus peel. Extra ripe mango, a little cannabis even. Taste was hoppy, spicy and a little bitter. Citrus and sweet very well balanced. Just outstanding. One of the best beers I have ever had. Mouthfeel was medium and the aftertaste is tart and bitter, in a good way. World class

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.23/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep gold with heavy haze. Almost reminds me of pineapple juice though a shade darker. 1 finger off white head is sticky and fairly dense. Leaves heavy lacing behind.

Heavy grapefruit and pine hop aroma. Get orange, mango, pepper, and lemon zest, too. Light biscuit-y malt. Just tons of hops. Orange really grows.

Get the orange and grapefruit in particular on the first sip. A bit of grassy and earthiness. Pine hops next, strong but still overshadowed by the orange and grapefruit. Some biscuit-y, doughy malt. Noticeable, but not enough to balance the hops.

Oily, sticky mouth feel. Medium carbonation. Hop bitterness all over the place. Lingering orange notes. Despite the overwhelming hops, still has a decent smoothness.

Big, bold, classic DIPA. Huge hop flavors.

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

finally got my hands on a 4 pack of this. pretty much lived up to my expectations. very well made beer. great smell when I opened the can. good color and great taste.

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

Look: hazy, pillowy head (poured into spieglau for sharing)
Smell: floral, vegetal
Taste: not too bitter at all, grassy undertone, citrus peel
Feel: a thick ipa

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Photo of kitch
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A 1 pint can canned on 15th December 2015 (I would have drank it earlier but was very sick for a long period of time) and tried from the can at first then poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a hazy golden yellow orange colour with a two finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly but left nice sticky lacing.

Aroma: As soon as I opened the can the tropical aromas immediately came pouring out, but there was still a hint of the metal from the can. After pouring it into the glass, the aromas were not as strong but better with a mix of tropical pineapple, mango and citrus mandarin, orange peel and lemon zest. There was also a hint of pine.

Taste: Strong juicy citrus grapefruit and pine with a hint of tropical mango and pineapple. Nice front loaded bitterness which continues into the aftertaste. On the can it says “drink from the can” so I tried that as well. I have to say that taste is just as impressive from the can.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: An excellent DIPA. Must buy and taste fresh if possible. I only wish I wasn’t very sick when I received it… but I know I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy it as much if I drank it a month ago as I wouldn’t be able to taste or smell much. Although it says to drink from the can, which I did try, I still prefer to pour it into a glass to enjoy. It allows you to enjoy its look and gives a clearer aroma. Well worth the hype.

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Photo of LordSMAF
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Believe the hype. Heady Topper is the real deal.

A crazy amount of hops with nice piney and citrus-y notes. Medium mouth feel and surprisingly smooth for 8%.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,231 ratings.
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