Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,322 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:
2,322
Ratings:
13,089
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,148
Gots:
5,351
For Trade:
67
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Reviews: 2,322 | Ratings: 13,089
Photo of Beechner719
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from the can. Aroma is very strong, lots of floral hops. Pours a nice golden color and white head. Taste is very strong hops that take over the more you sip it. It is one of the cloudiest beers I have ever seen. You can taste the resin right away and it is not a bad thing! This is my favorite DIPA to date.

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Photo of oldsailor
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from the can as requested by The Alchemist. The anticipation of getting this beer lead to a little bit of an expectation that I didn't necessarily get from drinking this; however, I still think this is a stellar beer and will never turn it down!

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Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Mrebeka for grouping this with a trade… I owe you one!

A – A lot darker than I thought it would be. Very hazy with a lot of funky floaters. The off-white head quickly dissolved, but a small ring of bubbles remained. A huge sticky lacing on the edge of the glass is left behind after each sip. Fugly brew.

S – Some sweet caramel, pineapple, and pine oh my! Some tropical fruit is sticking with me for a while.

T – Great forbidden fruits… Hop resin/bitterness hits big in the finish; once again… I know I’m drinking a DIPA.

M – Super easy to drink, medium bodied with a slight alcohol burn. Nice amount of carbonation.

O - My first craft can. Delicious… I am going to have to seek more of these out. I wish I would have done a side-by-side with Pliny, but for right now, I’m leaning towards Heady. A great IPA.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Can

Appearance - Golden tan, burnt yellow with a nice, foamy 1 inch head and lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Upfront blast of piney, grapefruit hops. Floral note, lemon, banana, tangerine. A slight amount of caramel near the end.

Taste - Ok so here go's, I am drinking about 6oz in a glass, the rest out of the can. At first sip, piney, grapefruit hops. Very smooth, not so much bitter, a little mix of lemon and honey smoothness. Floral and citric , has a little grassy flavor from the hops. Minimal caramel malt is noticed at the finish. Nice hop bitterness with slight alcohol warmth at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Hops coat the tongue with pine and grapefruit. Tongue gets a nice floral, herbal flavor, with some honey and minor caramel malts. Aftertaste is Hop bitter and a little dry.

Overall - Well, The #1 dipa has been conquered. I'm surprised at how smooth, and easy drinking this is. This reminded me of a more smooth, balanced and less alcohol version of hopslam. IMO, which honestly means nothing to anyone else other then me, this is not the best dipa ive ever had. I can think of 2 or 3 locals ive had that I enjoy more. And a few other ipa's ive had that I liked more. I did enjoy It moreso then the other highly ranked, hyped dipa pliny but there's no way id travel a long distance to buy it or I wouldnt trade for it again but,,,,if it was available at local shop id pick it up for sure in when I want a change up from my favorites. I did enjoy this more from glass, as I always do for any canned beers.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing straight from can to mouth per the request of the brewer. Poured a small amount in a Duvel tulip to assess appearance.

A: Poured a cloudy straw yellow color with small to moderate lacing and glass retention. I see some yeast particulate suspended in the air. About average, which is why I suspect we are directed to consume from the can.

S: As I first crack the can, a geyser of hop propelled CO2 assaults my face. After I regain my senses, essences of pine, dank moss, pineapple, orange, fresh flowers. It presents itself surprisingly sweet, but make no mistake, it oozes with fresh hop aroma.

T: Everything an DIPA should be. My palate is ravaged by concentrated hop juice. The balance of pine, honey toasted biscuit, grapefruit, orange, and lemongrass intertwine to create a symphony of hop magic. It has a relatively light malt backbone.

M: Chewy and juicy, medium body, balanced carbonation. The balance of the elements only serve as a conduit to facilitate the coating of more hop resin in my mouth. The finish is incredibly smooth with no indication of the 8% ABV. Extremely drinkable.

O: A perfect example of the style, this was a treat from start to finish. Do I want more? Yes.
World Class.

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Photo of Hootie159
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Broke the can's rules to properly review. Pale cloudy orange juice. 1 finger soft head but a light film sticks. Good lacing. I don't know what's in here but smells fantastic. Beautiful bouquet of hops. Great balance of citrus and bitterness. Strong carbonation but smooth and yet great mouthfeel. Like a 5 gum commercial. Can't go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of Eurso16
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

been a member for a while now and visit the site frequently but have never written a review so i figured why not start here, after finally getting my hands on this gem.

like others, i was a skeptic, wondering how much better could this beer really be compared to dirt wolf, hopslam, other top knotch ipas, etc. Well for me, the hype is real. IMO, this is a perfectly crafted, well executed representation of a DIPA. Now that i have began home brewing, i have a new appreciation for what it takes to craft a delicious beer. From the nose right on through to the mouthfeel, this brew is outstanding. sip after sip you continue to taste just the most absolute fresh, juicy, dank, hop flavor. mouthfeel is sticky, medium bodied and almost creamy.

definitely my new favorite beer. well done Alchemist, Well done.

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Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Perfect looking unfiltered IPA. Completely opaque due to dense haze - the color is a beautiful blend of sunshine and orange juice. A nice, slightly off white head coats the top of the beer and leaves great sticky lacing.

S: Holy shit - has so many layers of flavors. I have never experienced an aroma fly out of the bottle/can before like this - smacks you in the face. Incredibly clean and fresh. Sweet pink grapefruit, bitter grapefruit rind, outrageously fresh pine and a touch of resin. Some orange juice and mango that blends with the sticky astringency. So much going on, I am not able to do it justice through my description. Just overwhelmingly fresh and clean, balanced with bitterness and astringency.

T: Huge, full, intense, completely fulfilling. I actually find drinking from the can is notably better, just too bad you can't look at it that way. A blast of fresh pine, sweet pink grapefruit and bitter grapefruit, much more astringency than on the nose and decently bitter. Incredibly balanced and outrageously flavorful.

P: Hard to say this, but almost the best part. Smooth and creamy - fullest bodied IPA I've come across, and one of the smoothest beers in general.

O: I, as all who haven't had this beer before, have had this on the top of my wants. Almost always this type of hype gets in the way of truly enjoying the beer as an unreachable mark has been set. Well, this destroyed any mark I could have imagined for myself. Truly an amazing beverage and one of the best tasting anythings I've ever had.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Golden/Amber, hazy, 2+ inches big thick fluffy head, light patchy lacing, light carbonation rising, large amount of yeast.

S - Huge citrus, lemon, orange, lovely grapefruit, carmel

T - Dry grapefruit, lemon, citrus, tropical fruit, pine. finish: bitter (8/10), med/high acidity

M - Creamy, super frothy, full body, certainly a piney grapefruit lingerer, excellent carbonation

O - Phenomenal grapefruit, just about perfect IPA mouth. zero booze, love the pine. my only preference happens to be a sweeter opposes to drier IIPA.

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Photo of nkersten
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very happy I finally get to try this one, straight from the tap into my pilsner glass. Pours yellowish orange with a slight haze, small off white head with good retention and some nice lacing. As soon as this beer hits the table I can smell the hops. This is up there with some of the best smelling IPAs made. Pineapple, sweet malts, tropical fruit, not a hint of bitterness - just wonderful aroma hops. Taste is surprisingly different from the smell, and this isnt a bad thing. Pineapple and tropical fruit flavor but with a bit more bitterness then I was expecting, some biscuit malt (not a lot, just enough to provide balance), a slightly spicy, earthy hop finish. The lighter side of medium body with a medium light carbonation, finishes very clean. This is an excellent IPA and hands down the best one to come from anywhere east of California. Very different then the west coasters in terms of flavor, but much smoother and more drinkable then Pliny or some of the other notables. I wanted to try everything at the Alchemist and this was my first, and then my second beer. Wish I could drink this every night.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Heady Topper is absolutely lives up to the hype is is one of the world class IPAs without question. Fresh resinous hops with tons of flavor. What is not to love. Cheers!

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Photo of morimech
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy amber color, dirty juice look with a lot of particulate, with just over one finger of head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Surprising lack of lacing is left down the glass. The beer is nothing great to look at.

All hop aroma with mostly tropical fruit and citrus smells. It is a very good hop aroma, but not the best of the style.

Not the best aroma but it is the best tasting DIPA I have had. It is bitter but not brutal. Hop dominant but malt does add some sweetness and flavor. Alcohol is warming but is not too hot or distract from the hop goodness. This goodness comes in the way of tropical fruit, citrus, and herbal flavors.

Wonderful texture thanks to a solid body and perfectly matched carbonation. It is lively but not harsh and far from dull.

Arguebly the best DIPA out right now. Even if I had ready access to this beer I am not sure I would want to drink more than one can at a sitting. But I would love to have more than one can a year of this great beer.

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lives up to the hype. Great dipa. Hazy golden. 2 fingers of head, lacing sticks forever. Spicy fruit, loads of hops. It's a world class beer. Glad to have tried it

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Photo of jsanford
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to THE CPJ for the beauty, been wanting to try it for some time. Drank from the can as instructed, except for a tiny 2oz pour to grade appearance.

A - Pours a hazy golden-amber with a creamy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring.
S - Oh boy. This is right up my IPA alley. Fresh hop aromas of grapefruit, pine resin, mango, and peach with a very subtle malt backbone.
T - Similar to the nose, lots of fresh pine resin, grapefruit peel, and tropical fruit flavors with a light malt profile. Excellently bitter finish, with just a little bit of heat from the 8%.
M - Smooth and crisp, with a touch-over-medium body and good carbonation. You can really feel the hop oils.
O - A superb DIPA, almost exactly what I look for in the style. Insanely drinkable, this would get dangerous if I had regular access to it!

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/19/11- Review of a 16oz can marked 10720A2BB.
A: Hazy amber orange, steady cream head with decent lacing.
S: Great hops character! Love that earthy-grapefruit-fresh-hops-cones smell! Behind is pineapple and caramel sweetness with tropical punch type backbone.
T: No surprises here, it tastes like the aroma with a gin earthy pine finish... creamy with a rustic hops tea character.
M: Medium body, creamy near-froth, ends crisp like refreshing juice.
O: A new bar has been set for DIPAs.

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Photo of RyanCave
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: Pours beautiful pale with a red/orange hue. In my opinion the best color for an IPA, the word majestic comes to mind..

Smell: As soon as I cracked it open it was like some smacked me in the face with a pine tree. Incredible amounts of pine. Reminded me of sitting in the forest.

Taste: lots of pine, not too bitter, balanced well in my opinion. Starts piney sweet with some orange with a small bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Nothing remarkable, what you'd expect from an Imperial IPA

Overall: This is probably one of the best DIPA's I've had, perfectly balanced, and a beautiful experience. I'm in the process of securing a case from a friend of mine now.

Thanks to SammyJaxxxx for hooking me up, you're the man!

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Photo of meson13
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Firsttime reviewing heady! its more of a stupid list of simple opinions/ facts, cause like, its all been said. Here we go...

L- Heady is gorgeous!
S- Heady smells bomb!
T- Heady is delicious!
F-Heady invented cream!
O- Heady is the tits!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

We visited The Alchemist's cannery today, and the pair we are cracking for this review were canned today. We will obey the demands from the can and drink straight from the vessel, but we first decant off an ounce or so to assess its appearance. The brew shows a hazy straw coloring, putting up a quick one finger head of lemon meringue colored foam, showing variability of bubble size, and nice retention. Lacing is tight and ridged, snaking the circumference of the glass. Haze is thick, but no outright sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be moderate. The aroma is pungent, even from the hole in the can, giving fresh pineapple, white grape, apricot tang, fresh earthiness of clayed dirt, raw honey, clover flower, wet moss, cucumber skins, soft plastic bite, and distant farmhouse muskiness. These blend atop a solid base of crisp pale malts and raw barley, powdered sugar, and hop varietals of sticky nectars, citrics, and herbal depth. With warmth the booze comes out as well, but it is sweeter rather than burning and fusel. Our first impression is that the hops are explosive, fresh, and tangy, with drinkability for years, and an insanely cleansing and balanced finishing that leaves your mouth dripping wet with salivation for that next sip. As we taste, the flavor opens with raw honey sweetness, white sugars, sweet pear, pineapple, tangerine, and golden delicious fruitiness, brightly citric and bitterly herbal hops, flashes of lemon juiciness, faint brandy booziness, and pale, lightly toasted and powdered malts. The middle comes to a peak with dill weed, vegetal pepper metallics, biting plastics, and continued pear and blueberry fruitiness, along with the sweetest, most nectary hops of the sip. Tannic lemon teas and those crisp pales also rides high across the palate, pulling us into a finish with a hop profile most similar to the beginning of the sip, when held in the mouth. Here you get that fresh earthy and herbal hop bite, with black pepper and continued dill herbals, dripping pine sap, clove honey, honeysuckle florals, green twig, lemon rind tang, bready pales, faint rye crustiness, coiny metallic yeast, and light parsnip vegetals. The aftertaste breathes of crisp bready toastiness, clean pale malt sweetness, light rye twang, graphite, chalked yeastiness, aromatic mossy and musky rumbles, toasted pistachio nuts, bitter herbal hoppiness, and those sticky sweet nectary and lightly resiny hops. The body is medium, and carbonation is high, but not offensive or overly prickled. Each sip gives soft and syrupy slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The mouth is left foamy, coated, and dripping wet with salivation. There is mild puck from the hoppiness of it all, added to by alcohol, especially as the beer warms. The abv is appropriate, hardly noticed, and nicely contributory, and the beer drinks like water.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was its flavoring. The balance that is struck between the hops alone is incredible and beautiful, with sticky sweet fruity nectars and citrus battling, blending, and then giving way to a stronger herbal component through the finish shows variability throughout the sip, punch at each stop, and precise progression along the palate. The fact that it took us over an hour to rate this guy, and across several cans no less, speaks to both its complexity and depth, as well as to its utterly simple and remarkable ease of drinkability. The mouthfeel is smooth, frothy, sticky to the lips, and coating, striking just the right combination to keep your mouth and buds wanting more, more, and more. While every aspect of this masterpiece shines, it is the taste that stays with you the most, and will, at least for the next few nights to come, keep us up at night thinking about it.

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Photo of Bsquirrelbrewer
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Straight from the can. Purchased today in Burlington.

No color observations because it was consumed from the can. The can looks nice though.

Smell is floral with a solid hop aroma.

Taste brings strong hops without any overpowering bitterness. The hops have staying power that linger on the palate. Dangerously drinkable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean.

Excellent beer that lives up to the hype!

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Photo of number1bum
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to mymrnngjckt for sharing a bottle of this last night. What a treat.

Poured a semi-dark copper color with about two fingers of tan head. Kept a pretty good lace with some decent stick on the sides. A bit darker than most IPAs.

Smell absolutely leaped from the glass and was bursting with citrus hop aromas. I could smell it from 3 feet away as I was still pouring. Incredibly fruity, with grapefruit, orange and lemony citrus, juicy and intoxicating. The fruitiest, juiciest IPA nose I can ever recall. Really impressive.

Taste also had a ton of citrus hop flavor. Maybe not quite as dripping with citrus as the nose was, but lots of grapefruit and orange going on. Somewhat tropical as well. There's just a touch of sweet malt to provide a backbone, with moderate bitterness. Tons of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel was a creamy medium body, well carbonated and very smooth. A nice slick, oily feel from the hops.

In terms of drinkability it doesn't get any better than this. So smooth and flavorful, and with so much juicy hop flavor I didn't want to put the glass down. I need to make it to this brewery and just sit at the bar drinking this for an entire evening. Awesome stuff.

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Photo of dgmirelli
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

so this is it.....been looking for you for some time, almost had you but missed by inches. look was the yellow unfiltered look that the better IPA's possess, must admit I put some in a glass just to savor the look and feel. smell was exquisite and with loads of citrus and hops, taste was a differentiator and had the heady topper flavor all to itself (just what i had waited for) flavor was long - sophisticated and real, w hops and citrus and the feel was silky and smooth, did not feel or taste the Double IPA or alcohol level. just pure goodness, hope to see you again!

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Photo of blockdude
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Definitely lives up to the hype. From the first sip, I noticed some very subtle pine and citrus, which developed into this beautiful buttery-toffee finish. It has sort of an organic mouthfeel which I really dig; could be the fact that it is unpasteurized and unfiltered. Just the right about of bitterness and unique hop flavor to make this extremely satisfying. Killer IPA.

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Photo of aquabears
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
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 TechTriumph
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

11/18/16
Live review. Consumed 32 days after bought in store. No canned date, but I imagine the time between being canned and hitting the shelf was minimal.

A - Poured fairly vigorously into a snifter glass. Billowy, egg shell colored head with a nice level of retention. Some lacing left behind, but not a ton. The color is right in that typical zone for IPA's with a lean towards the orange hues. Pretty hazy appearance which could be from my strong pour, or suspended hop resins, or both.

S - Surprisingly not overpowering, but it's certainly pure hops. Nearly like putting your face into a handful of fresh hop cones. Nice bouquet of tropical fruits, also floral, a faint touch of spice, and even fainter biscuity malts. The tropical and floral combo is divine. Pineapple, papaya, mango, grapefruit, lime, sweet candied fruits. The beauty of the aroma is not that it blows you away with strength, but in how it harmoniously comes together.

T - Big time hop flavor as advertised, but it finds a way to maintain balance, and avoid being one dimensional. Hop profile is quite complex. There's no note that truly outshines another, but it's a symphony of flavors. Tropical flavors are present, like in the nose, as are flavors of sweet candied fruits, pine, grass, freshly crushed black pepper, and a fairly big, pleasant onion-like pungency. Bitterness is moderate and lingers just a bit. Beer steps to another level as it warms. Still enjoying the bottom third of the glass as much as the initial sips.

M - Mouthfeel might actually be the best aspect of the beer. Drinkability is off the charts. Very hard to keep the glass down for long. Perfect level of effervescence on the tongue. Velvety mouthfeel that just consumes the tongue with hop oils. Overall, a fairly dry finish. Only sign of the 8% ABV is the touch of warmth, but it's not detracting. It works extremely well with everything.

O - Waited patiently for many years to get a chance to enjoy Heady Topper. It was THE beer I most wanted to try. And thanks to some fortunate circumstances, a great friend, and a little luck, the opportunity finally arrived. I can't really say that the very lofty expectations I had placed on this beer were completely met. It wasn't a total game changer as I had convinced myself it would be. Just getting that part out of the way. But I'm in no way complaining. Seriously, it's a ridiculously damn good beer. Superbly crafted. World class drinkability. Nothing else quite like it. And after reading John Kimmich's message on the back of the can, I think Heady Topper succeeds in what it was set to do, which is taking the consumer on an incredible journey to hop heaven.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Consumed from a 16 ounce can. Canned 6 March 2013. I poured an ounce or two into a Glencairn glass for purposes of appearance and smell.

A: Clearish, milky, hazy, with light white head and sticky lace. But I suppose it's irrelevant since most of it is in the can.

S: Fresh-cut grass, tangerine and honeysuckle, rich and sweet and delectable.

T: Okay. Yeah. It lives up to the hype. If I could get this regularly, I would drink it almost exclusively. It's perfectly balanced...complex, fresh hops; sweetish, alluring, honeyish malt; crisp, clean, lingeringly citric-bitter finish. There is nothing bad to say about this beer, but it's not overwhelmingly delicious.

M: It's so creamy! Rich and luxuriant and rewarding.

O: If you can drink this beer, absolutely do so. It's maybe the best IPA I've ever had (though the first batch of Mikkeller's Invasion IPA could give it a run for its money). Not as fruity as perhaps I'd like, but it avoids any 'off' quality that hugely popular (D)IPAs (e.g., Pliny the Younger) seem to share.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,089 ratings.
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