Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
13,298 Ratings
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
Ratings:
13,298
Reviews:
2,356
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,201
Gots:
5,544
For Trade:
67
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,298 |  Reviews: 2,356
Photo of cjgcracker
3.12/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of Schlegelq1
3.16/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amazing beer, but I believe there are many that rival it's flavor, and are much easier to get your hands on.

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Photo of Kriztofuhr
3.16/5  rDev -32%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Look - Pours a hazy honey color, two fingers of bone white head. Great retention, lacing all the way down the glass. Worthy of a picture.
Aroma - Citrus dominant. Sour grapefruit, pineapple, hint of pine, keef. Hop potpourri.
Taste - Bitter grapefruit, tangerine sweetness, papaya, grassy. Vague cracker like malt body, low sweetness. All 75 IBU's are alive and kicking. Bitter.
Feel - Medium bodied, ample carbonation. No alcohol warmth, drinks smaller than it is.

Overall - A hop heads dream and a malt maniacs nightmare. I don't understand beers like this. I know they're supposed to be hop forward but there's a point where it doesn't taste like beer anymore and instead tastes like a glass of fruit juice with pine.

 723 characters

Photo of Ryps
3.16/5  rDev -32%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good beer, I was expecting more.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.18/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the can (this gimmick annoys me but for brewer suggestion I will comply)
A: it's in a can dammit what do you think
S: good intense aroma of hoppy bitterness, a tad tart but only ever so slightly
T: quite bitter, if i'm being honest I find the level of bitterness unpleasant in this beer, I suppose a bit piney and earthy, most of the DIPA's that I have had don't truly impress me with the amount of bitterness they claim to have, hint of melon, decent malt presence here but not overpowering, the bitterness is the strongest element present, sweet on the finish after the beer settles out a bit, at this point the hops help the beer remain crisp though the bitterness has dissipated, malt will come through more the more that it sits
M: silky, dry and clean
O: not bad but I really don't see what all of the fuss is about. This is a good DIPA but there are many that are better. Snake Handler from Good People comes to mind immediately. It is quite refreshing though, and of all of the beers that claim to be hoppy and bitter, this is one of the few I've had that actually lives up to the claims it makes in that regard. The flavor evolves (improves if you ask me) gradually as the beer settles, leaving less pine and more citrus notes. Not bad but tremendously over rated (I should note that if you are a hop head you will very much enjoy this beer), I'm sorry but I'll say it again, just not great

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Photo of kfh227
3.2/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had one of these in Burlington, Vermont at a bar straight from the can.

I was pleasantly surprised that they had it.

I only care about taste so here it goes. I generally don't like IPAS because they are bitter. Some bitterness is OK. There are two things to know. 1) This one is not bitter at all. 2) this is very hoppy.

Having said that, this is one of the best IPAs that I have ever had. But it is in all honesty, just a good version of Budweiser. A very good version. Point being that I don't understand all the fuss. I could name 20 beers that I'd rather have than drink this ever again. It's honestly not all that special unless you prefer IPAs above all else..

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Photo of detroitpat
3.23/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This can may have been old, but I was expecting a lot more.

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Photo of sanhedrin
3.23/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I don't get it. Maybe I'm daft but the reasons for the over-the-top love for this beer elude me. It's a very nice, refreshing, not terribly complex brew. Good quaffer on a hot summer day, with a light grapefruity bitterness and a clean finish. It's fine. It's nice. I'll drink it again for $4 a can, but I won't drive to Vermont to get it or pay a scalper $14 for it. If I don't see it again, no big deal, there are hundreds of equally good, similar brews out there.

This seems like one of those "the harder to get the better it tastes" situations.

 551 characters

Photo of Spider889
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of YoungTeach
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of PriorDoubleDark
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of DavidATX
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of gwiedman1
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%

Photo of DamienI
3.25/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SteelersX
3.28/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Since the obvious reformulation of this once great beer it has become a harsh onion flavored mess of a product.

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Photo of portisque
3.28/5  rDev -29.5%

Photo of Rage-83
3.32/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of TheBungyo
3.32/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

When a beer reaches the lofty heights of a Heady Topper it feels almost unfair to pen a review. After all, how could I possibly review it based solely on it's merits and deficiencies? Most everyone will either praise it's strengths whilst ignoring the faults or harp on flaws and turn a blind eye toward the many amazing things this drink does so superbly.

If I'm honest, and I'm certainly making a valiant attempt, the color is spectacular. It really is the perfect color for a double IPA. Any darker and it'd be obvious this beer would be far too sweet. Sadly though, it's just too damn cloudy. I can't express the amount of pride I feel as a homebrewer when I pour something I brewed and the body is the proper color and you can see through it like a window. This doesn't happen with this one. Great? Yes. Flawed? Well, that's a second yes.

Fortunately the nose ups the game even more. The malt is assertive, whilst the hops fight for dominance. It's nothing short of a tapestry of aromas: orange, peach, pineapple, and maybe some mango. A sip reveals some pleasant booze, while maintaining hop presence. Lots of tropical notes dance seductively alongside malty sugary caramel. The big problem arises in the finish. Where it should be bitter the sweetness slams on the gas floods the palate like an uninvited guest. After half a can or so, the sweetness becomes overpowering for me.

One of the great things about this brew is the price. The Alchemist could have taken the opportunity to charge through the nose for a beer with this reputation but it certainly is fair. I'm sure if I lived in the distribution area I'd come back to Heady Topper again since the price is very reasonable. That's despite the fact that it doesn't wow me like it does most people. Certainly worth a shot to see if it ever clicks with me.

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Photo of greg1973
3.33/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had side by side with Surly Abrasive and Pliny. By far finished last! Sorry, good for an east coast IPA, but no match for west coast. Pours a cloudy opaque orange color, odd chalky mouthfeel, and a little thick for the style. Prefer a cleaner, crisper, more bitter, hop forward IPA. I see why they want you to drink from the can, not a good looking beer at all! Taste not too far off. Not even in my top ten. Sorry.
Maybe I received an old can, would love to try again, but not gonna trade across the country for another one. No date, hard to determine freshness.

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Photo of Gig2828
3.33/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was lucky enough to try fresh Heady. Perhaps its all the talk or maybe it is all the beer that is available now, but I like others much better. This is a great beer just not one I would search out. I am very glad I had the chance to try it and would encourage others to do so as the beauty of beer is everyone has a different palate and even that changes over time.

 368 characters

Photo of Kchabby76
3.34/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Photo of LarryV
3.35/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Straight up hops mishmash, not much more going on - certainly not what I would call a balanced brew. Artificial rarity factor keeps prices high. I've had plenty of DIPA"s that I liked better than this one. Not to say it's not good, but the price is insane. Aroma: hops, hops and more hops. Taste: Hops, hops and more hops.

I don't get the whole drink out of the can thing, 80% of our taste comes from aroma which you don't get from drinking out of the can. Gimmicky at best - the 100 rating baffles me.

 503 characters

Photo of Boff101
3.36/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired in a trade. I was told the canned date was 10/8. I have a hard time believing this with the lack of hop aroma and taste. I could speculate what it'd be like fresh as I've had many fresh IPAs and IPAs past their prime. Rating this off of the told canned date. Doesn't hold up well at all if the canned date is 10/8. Smell and taste of fresh hop aromas was non-existent. Malty flavor, tasted like an old IPA.

 422 characters

Photo of Auracom
3.36/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I knew I'd tick this one eventually without having to actively seek it out. Success! Thanks Dan for the share on your extra. 2 oz. into a tulip so I could mark the visuals and aroma, another 3-4 oz. straight from the can on June 14th, 2013.

A - Lightly cloudy, murky medium-golden color with an enormously bubbly head. Good retention and lacing.

S - Deeply resinous, pine-sol, rouge, slightly burnt caramel, touch of peach and herbs.

T - It's really better balanced than I thought it would be. That being said, the hops are sharp, overly-acidic, and disappointingly simple. Grapefruit rind, toasted almond, and lemon peel.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation, very dry (even sour-like) finish.

D - I'm a bit stunned in a bad way. There are scores of other IPA/DIPA's I would choose over this particular can. Another revisit? I don't know.

 844 characters

Photo of SouthInTheNorth
3.36/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,298 ratings.
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