Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,339 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: 2,339 | Ratings: 13,176
Photo of drumrboy22
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from GoGriz.  Poured from 16oz. can into a Stone snifter.  Beer was a clear, orange color, with a one-finger, white head.  Head quickly faded, leaving behind some faint traces of lacing around the glass.  Moderate carbonation.

Aroma was hops.  Holy citrus hops!  Some pine and sweet malt.  Smells amazing! 

Taste was bitter and hoppy, but not overly so.  Some biscuit and bread notes, along with a touch of caramel sweetness, but bitter hops throughout. 

Slightest warming of alcohol in the finish, followed by a long lingering, delicious, hoppy finish. 

Very tasty beer.  Thanks to GoGriz for the hookup with the fresh cans.  I would definitely recommend and seek out again. 

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Photo of JayAre46
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Joe you are the man and thank you for this one. alright from notes i reviewed this one at a christmas party, which i ran away to a dark corner to review like a zero. have to start off with the awesome can, silver and black tall boy with the alchemist on the front lovin life. pours a deep transparent amber with a big off white head and it shows great retention. solid in the nostrils very citrusy with light pine and lemon peel dryness. very fresh hops and minimal malt sweetness, pale and biscuty. the taste is absolute cash, very fresh hop resin, again the citrus peel with an amazing bitterness that cuts the palate. bone dry finish. medium bodied and lightly carbonated and flows really easy without any "spiking" to my surprise. this is the one that will make your gf not want to kiss you, the one where your breath still reeks of hops the next morning. flying hop dragons punching babies, can't stop em'. what a brew!

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Photo of LaChupacabra
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can poured into tulip.

A: Cloudy golden color. Lots of sediment. ...Pretty ugly. I know why they want you to drink this one straight from the can.

S: Juicy/ripe tropical and citrus fruits. Sweet malts.

T: Mildly bitter with a lots of citrus and tropical fruit. A bit of caramel/honey sweetness.

M: Very smooth and drinkable. Chewy and creamy. Has a long, crisp finish.

O: Fantastic DIPA. The appearance brings this one down a bit. It's an amazing beer in every other aspect.

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Photo of sleuthdog
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great friend Tut2528 for giving me my first HT! Really appreciate it my man!

Appearance:??? Enjoyed from the can.

Smell: How can this smell so incredible from a can? Huge pine and citrus hop coming from the mouth of the can in sticky sweet waves. There is grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango along with some piney hop. I'm getting the sweetness that's bringing forth a caramel and maybe a brown sugar.

Taste: Unbelievable amount of citrus with grapefruit and tangerine, mango and pineapple, an unripe orange peel and a honey sweetness. This is followed by a pine hop bite that does linger well after the sip and swallow. Phenomenal aftertaste on this one with no alcohol present.

Mouthfeel: I'd call it creamy and drying with a light body. Don't seem to get too much carbonation but just enough to round out the feel.

Overall: My first ever experience with this beer is one that is memorable to say the least. Simply an intimidating beer with the warnings on the can but in the end the beast is not as scary as you'd think. A surprisingly easy drinking DIPA that I'm delighted I got to try.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank from 16oz can from a 4-pack as instructed to get maximum hop flavor.

A- Reviewed from Can. Second can: poured into a glass- very hazy brownish yellow, average carbonation, 2 fingers of white head that dissipates fairly fast, layered lacing left around glass while drinking.

S- HOPS!!! Immediately hit with very piney hops and a sweet grapefruit smell. Very aromatic, could smell immediately right when I cracked open the can. Definitely one of the best and most intense aromas from an IPA I've encountered.

T- Very sweet piney hops, a little bit tangy/citrusy, one of the best tasting experiences I've ever encountered in a beer. Leaves a great sweet aftertaste that delights the palate.

M- Very very drinkable, medium bodied, not much carbonation, can barely detect any alcohol. Extremely well balanced.

O- Absolutely Awesome! This is probably the most well balanced, best DIPA that I have ever drank. This is one of the most hoppy beers I've encountered but it has a perfect balance between the hops, sweetness, citrus flavors, etc.. Would most certainly buy again. Great beer highly recommended if you are ever in Vermont. This is a perfect example of everything you want in a DIPA. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. A must have.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to ubrewidrink and jedwards for the opportunity to try this bad boy.
Appears a cloudy deep honey color with a nice off white head that falls to a skim and stays. Mild lacing.

The smell is of grapefruit, topical fruit. A juicy fruity nose with some nice rich malt lingering in the mix.

The taste is really wonderful. This is a great DIPA. It's wet and juicy, tropical fruit, mild bitterness. Really damn good.

I loved the mouthfeel of this brew. Light/medium in body it is wet and refreshing...and it's 8%!

So this is a delectable brew and should be sought out if you are into IPAs at all.

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Photo of peensteen
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Liam for hooking up a few cans of this bad boy

Hazy peach-ornage colour, ring of white head with some spots of lace as well. Smell is all out tropical fruit, orange, peach flesh, light pine and some floral earthy points with a touch of malt in the back as well, nice fruity hop nose though. Taste is a mix of citrus fruit, tangerine, orange grapefruit, a little bit of white grape, assertive bitterness throughout but never tastes to bitter, certainly more hop flavour here as opposed to hop bitterness, a light sweetness present before a long dry hoppy finish. Lightly carbonated, oily and quite slick, medium-full body. Incredible stuff, insanely drinkable and something I would love to have a fridge full of as I could drink this daily and probably never get tired of it.

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Photo of bigaltemple
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thank you to pokesbeerdude for sending this as an extra in his portion of the Willpower LIF.

Not one to take orders from a can, I poured it into a NB globe.

A - A great looking burnt orange color. Big, soapy, off-white head slowly dissipates leaving lots of lacing.

S - Wow! Just a huge blast of hops. Not just typical citrus aroma. You get a little of everything. Just when the grapefruit, pineapple, orange rind, and tropical notes fill your nose, some resinous pine floats up behind.

T/M - Much the same as the nose. Seems to touch all the bases. I did get just an inkling of a malt base, but really wasn't looking for or missing it. Seems to be just enough to not make this a mouth-scraper. Medium to full bodied.

O - Flat out delicious! I definitely look forward to having some more of this.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Revolution Kitchen, a primarily vegan restaurant in Burlington. I'd heard all the hype about Heady and was, to say the least, cynical. Well, put me down as a believer.

Kind of a hazy gold color. Nice white head, good deal of lace.

Mostly citrus aroma, but also pine and a bit of floral hops. Sweet malt.

Amazing taste. Grapefruit hits first, then the resiney pine, followed by a flowery taste. All this superimposed on a caramel malt background.

Hop-forward, but not aggressively so. Just a fun beer to drink.

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Photo of Justin8mypants
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Heady is so aromatic. Lots of citrus including Juicy grapefruit, tangerine and dank hops. Very slight hints of hay as it warms.

Taste follows the nose. Heavy grapefruit and hops. Lasting bitterness. This is a hop Bomb. Not a delicately balanced IPA like Julius. I pick up on some lemon zest and orange zest.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Carbonation is perfect.

Overall, awesome beer. Lives up to its hype. Not a delicate ipa. It's supposed to be a hop Bomb and it is just that. Really nice tropical favors and intense hop bitterness make this a beer any hop head would love.

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Photo of MatthewHopHead
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz recent can release.

Look: Goldish yellow, slight haze, with a very large head that dissipated a lot quicker than expected.

Smell: Pretty aromatic. Citrus and white wine grapes. Very interesting aroma on this beer.

Taste: Is more subdued compared to the aroma. Again citrus and white wine grape sourness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to lighter body, right there in the middle. Less carbonation than I expected, nice nice balance of palate coating hops.

Overall: World class, but not all its hyped up to be. There are definitely better DIPA's out there, but I would never complain if given a HEady, I just wouldn't drive all that way for it. I gonna say like a 97.

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Photo of JamesStreet
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured it (I know) into a Parish mini snifter
A- Absolutely gorgeous beer! Somewhat cloudy yellow-orange pour with a fat, foamy off-white head that left a good bit of lacing down the glass.
S- Big citrusy smell like grapefruit coming to the forefront the most. A little resiny dankness as well
T- Citrus, piney bite, nice bitterness throughout with a good balance of malt.
M- Light-medium side with a slight prickly carbonation.
O- Huge expectations with this. Honestly though, not the best DIPA I've ever had. A great beer, no doubt. I would always take it if available but not over EVERYTHING.

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Photo of Dcunicelli
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Lucky for me, a co-worker brought me a case back from vacation.

Appearance: I have no idea. I read and followed the directions on the can. So, I drank from the can. In terms of can aesthetic, it is cool.

S: floral and citrus. Very clean.

T: I love the taste. The most even tasting beer I have yet had. From the first opening taste, it doesn't let go. It is bitter but not overwhelming. Each mouthful is crisp, even and really delicious.

M: some doubles leave a resin tar like coating in my mouth. Heady has a full bold flavor but doesn't have that honey like weight which accumulates after each successive sip. Heady drinks easy and smooth.

O: so, my first heady was great, but not my far and away favorite But a day later after my second, I believe that this is fantastic brew. I don't know if this is the greatest beer ever. But I know if it was available to me everyday, I would pick it every time.

Find it. Drink it. Decide for yourself. It is worth it.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Poured a little of this out into a snifter just to see color and get some smells. The rest will be drank from the can as demanded.

Pours a hazy, golden straw color. Outer edge is a pale straw, with more golden orange dominating in the center. Lighter colored than I was expecting. Fluffy white head that lingers slightly. Excellent lacing.

Smell is so forward with juicy hops. Lots of citrus: orange and grapefruit dominate. Slight minty smell coming through as well as a good herbal, almost medicinal notes. Great enticing IPA smell.

Taste is gushing with fresh oranges right up front. Amazing hop bitterness. The flavors dance in and out with a huge lingering flavor of citrus and herbs. Orange blossom, lemongrass, other earthy undertones. Slight astringency and alcohol burn, but it somehow only amplifies the hop bitter flavors. Resin begins to dominate on the finish. Man does this beer linger on the palatte. Sticky,piney resin and woody, cedary, chewy hops mellow out as the finish continues to linger.

The mouthfeel is a flash of crisp citrus right up front, but quickly fades into something that I can only compare to a mix between a creamy belgian wit and pulpy orange juice. Probably my least favorite part of the beer so far.

Overall I have to thank a Friend for just gifting me this beer. He knew I was into good beer and has family at The Alchemist. He asked if I had heard of Heady Topper, then asked if I wanted some that they had brought down for Thanksgiving. Aways grateful for some southern hospitality.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 3/31/13

This is my last can from my first Heady haul, so I finally am reviewing this! I poured a small amount into a snifter for appearance and aroma purposes, but it drinks better from the can IMO.

A- Pours a hazy orangish yellow/straw color with a medium sized white head of tight, sticky bubbles.

S- The aroma is wonderful, with loads of thick, dank hops assaulting your nose! There's tons of rich nectar and pine resin present, tropical fruits, tangerine, and fresh cut grass. Some malt backbone can also be detected, which is a bit more bready than caramelly.

T- The first, and most interesting thing noticed about the taste and mouthfeel is how juicy it is. It's almost as if they made "hope juice" rather than beer! The flavor mostly follows the nose, with pine and tangerine dominating, though not in an unbalancing way. I do wish there was a bit more tropical fruit in the flavor, but this is only a minor complaint!

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and again juicy, almost pulpy. The oily hop resins coat the mouth and leave a moderately bitter aftertaste.

- Overall this is an outstanding beer, and one of the best representations of the style! Just be sure to drink it within ~2-3 weeks of canning.

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Photo of ILMbrew
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a glowing orange somewhat hazy tint. One of the brightest beers I've ever seen in the glass. Smell is unlimited sweet citrusy hops. So incredibly sweet on the nose. Like hoppy candy. The taste is awesome. Great bursts of citrusy west coast hops but also a good bit of pine. Surprisingly balanced in terms of hop profile. Mouthfeel is pretty standard of a DIPA. Smooth and well carbonated. Overall this is such a great beer. Maybe not the greatest beer of all time but defimtiely something I wish I could keep in my fridge at all times.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Headed across the lake to Winooski Beverage to grab some of these bad boys. Needed to know if this beer lived up to the reviews. It did!

A - Medium yellow, very light in color for a DIPA. Lot's of carbonation visible, and some fizz stayed for the duration of the sipping. Nice, large head with lot's of residual left behind.

S - Lot's and lot's of quality hops! Such a strong aroma. Very fruity, immense amounts of grapefruit, also some lemon, lime, and even an ever-so-slight hint of pineapple. Some dankness as well, but in the good way we all know and and love. Also hints of pine and MORE hops. DANK with hops!

T - It lives up. I was partly expecting this beer to be incredibly bitter, just for the sake of being able to say "there is a ton of hops in here." Not the case. The hoppy taste is there in abundance, sure, but there's more to it than that. Huge amounts of flavorful hops. Big blasts of grapefruit, and a good amount of lemon. Hints of pineapple and lime, plays off the heavy grapefruit flavor so well. So much hop taste present, that it almost has a "nutty" taste. People have said this beer is so hoppy it's almost juicy. That's 100% true. So much fruitiness going on, (although I know this isn't the case) that I wouldn't be shocked in the least to learn fruit was actually added to this beer during fermentation. An outstanding tasting DIPA. Editing here - I've noticed once the beer is a couple weeks old, the nutty taste is more prevalent. Not a bad thing by any means. I enjoy when a beer ages and different tastes can be noticed.

F - Dangerously drinkable. Does sting a bit, slightly dry (but not as dry as many IPA's, so that's a plus), but the "juicyness of the hops make up for that I think. I liked that it seems to have a bit more carbonation than most IPA's, which helps with the dryness. This stuff is so easy to drink, I could easily picture myself drinking several in a short time, then being more buzzed than I planned!

O - It lives up the reviews. One of the best beers in the world, and my 2nd favorite beer of all time. So much hoppy taste, but not just for the sake of being big and bitter. The hops are full of flavor, they make you want to drink this fast. So tasty, yet so dangerously drinkable. Certainly a world class beer, it deserves all the praise it gets.

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Photo of Rinkor16
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I've had Heady Topper before. Figured I'd finally review it. This review is going to be pretty harsh since I drink PtE regularly on tap at the pub.

A: Very cloudy and hazy orange. Nice head that dissipated slowly.

S: Tons of citrus, hops and pine.

T: Taste is mostly what I expected. Huge hop bomb with lots of citrus and pine. Extremely well balanced and no out of place tastes.

M: Very smooth and medium bodied. Right amount of carbonation.

O: I love this beer. It definitely is worth of the top 10. Now is it worthy of number 1? Ehhh that is definitely debatable.

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Photo of lunarbrew
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to writing the full review of this guy. I'm glad I waited; now I have a full mode of comparison after trying some of, what I consider to be, the best iipas out there (DS, S&S4, Ephraim, and Abner). Beer pours hazy amber into a Duvel tulip. Has a slight red glow.

Heady is certainly aromatic, but it doesn't quite stack up to the others in this regard. For some reason, the nose is a tad muted. Notes of pineapple, mango, honey, and candi sugar. A bit of pine, but mostly citrus. I can almost smell that this is a Vermont ipa. What is it about these damn Vermont beers!? What's the secret!?

Taste is rich and just as delicious as the others. Where it falls sort is on complexity. I get a lot of sweetness from all of the tropical fruit flavors, but it isn't quite dry enough for my taste. I think it could be a tad more balanced with a bit less sweetness or more bitterness (which is such a ridiculous thing to say! This is Heady Topper!) Nonetheless, the flavor is brilliant and so tasty.

Mouthfeel ranks up there with the rest. Creamy, medium-full bodied (especially for an iipa). Extra-drinkable.

Overall, this falls just short of the aforementioned brews for me. However, it does edge out Pliny in my book. I get the hype and I love its [relative] accessibility. It's always a treat to drink this, and I plan to have some in my fridge as long as it's being brewed!

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Photo of daledeee
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A can traded to me by a fellow BA. What a nice gesture! A 16 oz can of the top rated beer and they tell you to drink it from the can.

Well...the first thing I did was ignore that rule because I wanted to see it and smell it. IT didn't have much head but is the cloudiest IPA I have ever seen. A very peachy color.

Nose is along the pine side with oils and caramel. Very distinct once again.

Taste: I have had lots of IPAs like everybody else. And I have had all ends of the flavor spectrum. This one falls deeply into the citrus and tropical end in my book. At the end of the drink there is a more west coast hope profile. Very complex and very balanced but yet not with the typical malts. This is really a distinct beer and really enjoyable to drink. Isn't that what matters? Something new and different and not over the edge?

The mouth feel is quite mellow and the alcohol is warming.

I must say this beer is a nice treat and would buy it constantly if it were available around here. Definitely worthy of it's head of the class rating.

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Photo of joberlander
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not a big IPA fan in general but a friend happened to bring some to a party. Very citrusy aroma. For taste the bitterness was not overpowering which I expected (not being an experienced IPA DIPA drinker) . I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed the pine and citrus together. I will begin to try more IPAs because of this but from the few I've had, this is easily the best tasting and most enjoyable.

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Photo of NHTruBruDude
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brother brought home a few cans for Thanksgiving when he was a student at UVM. He said it was the best double IPA he had ever had. I was intrigued. The admonition to drink it from the can is one that should be heeded for the best experience of the brew, To pour it into a glass would be a discredit. For one thing, the beer is unfiltered. By pouring it onto a glass, you would see all the detritus from the hops and yeast floating around. if poured from the can into a glass, you also lose the best way to experience all the aromatic hops. Do yourself a solid, and drink it from the can.
It took a few sips to adjust to how wonderful this beer is. Notes of grapefruit, sticky pine, dank earthy tones on the nose and palate.
This is not a beer for those who prefer CCC&DB (Cheap, Cold, Clear and Domestic"Beer"). The mouthfeel is smooth, dry and lingering. After my first can, i wanted more. Then, the alcohol hit me like a 2x4 to the back of the head. It's a brew i crave often, but reserve for special occasions.

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Photo of oldmankoch
4.63/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had this tonight on tap at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury and can at my B&B in Stowe (the owner gets free misprints and gives them to guests on arrival if they're beer geeks)

The locals consider this the Miller Lite of VT but what a flipping awesome ML it is. I had this after 3 HF IPA/PAs and it still stood out as awesome on its own so that speaks to its epicness.

I have to say though the can is definitely the better route. It holds more of the hop profile that HT is known for.

Most already know the flavor specs so just thought Id share my experience and say the locals I spoke with rate this just behind Double Sunshine for the States best Double IPA...if only that wasn't an even more rare "whale." But whatever I'm just thrilled to have now had HT in my life.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16oz can - Started drinking right from the can and then poured into an oversized stemmed tulip.

A: Orange color with medium haze. Solid finger of white head on top. Quite a bit of spotty lacing.

S: Tons of citrus and sweet-smelling tropical fruit. Such a nice mixture of hop aromas. Couldn’t be more inviting.

T: First few sips from the can were very flavorful, but I preferred drinking it from a glass. Mostly citrus (grapefruit) and tropical fruit (mango). Some residual sweetness and finishing with a nice bitterness, but not too strong. The bitterness does linger on your tongue for a while. Just awesome.

M: Starts sweet and then finishes dry and biting. Hop oils coat your mouth. Medium carb.

O: To be honest, I didn’t want to bother with this review. Just wanted to drink the beer. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to love this, but no worries....it’s delicious.

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Photo of miromanyth
4.64/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours in the typical DIPA fashion with a nice creamy haze.

S: Absolutely incredible! Smells like "freshness". Tons of tropical fruits, grass, citrus. Smells like a garden of delights! This is easily one of the best smelling beers I've ever had!

T: The beer follows the powerful aroma, with just a touch more grassiness. Not terribly sweet - a bit dry and truly "heady". So much going on in this one!

M: Creamy and zippy on the tongue.

O: I like this better than Hopslam. Yeah I said it. But for real, a beer available in cans all the time with this much going on? What more could you ask for???!!

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,176 ratings.
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