Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,242 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,242
Ratings:
12,623
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,053
Gots:
4,919
For Trade:
70
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,242 | Ratings: 12,623
Photo of Overlord
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Really nice of Rpstevens to send me a bottle of this. I owe him.

Pours an interesting amberish orange with a lighter, golden color on the outside. Interesting. Big white frothy head.

Smells like tropical mango, pineapple, and papaya, with some grapefruit ... no real pine to it, this smells mostly sweet with a hint of orange husks. Incredible aroma. Really nails the tropical/sweet aspect, without smelling cloying.

Taste is more bitter than I expected, with fresh white and red grapefruit washing over me, a hint, just a hint of bittering pine and earth, and a muted, sweet tropical overtone. It's really nicely done. Not quite as incredible as the aroma, but an excellent, top notch DIPA.

Mouthfeel is light and refreshing; great drinkability.

Well done Alchemist. Well done.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16 oz can poured into snifter.

A- Pours a darker yellow brown color, ½ finger to one finger off white head dissipates quickly, nice lacing, good looking IPA.
S- Wow big hoppy aroma, peach, grapefruit, pine, citrus slight mango tropical fruits, nice malt backbone to balance it out.
T- Really tasty beer, sweet citrus, peach, mango, grapefruit, slight pine, grassy flavors, nice malt characteristics to balance it out, this is a well-balanced DIPA, love it.
M- Medium mouth feel, well carbonated, love the sediment that was flowing throughout the beer, smooth drinking, dry finish.
O- Really impressed, been waiting a while to try this one and I was not let down. So tasty and well balanced, hop bomb but not too over the top, one of the best DIPAs I have had the privilege to enjoy.

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Photo of Myotus
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank straight from the 16oz can (no date) at 48°F. Consumed on 05May16.
SMELL: Very strong aromas of mango, guava, papaya, peach, and apricot entangle with strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine aromas along with subtle piney hop aromas. There are subtle amounts of white bread aromas that leave this with hardly any malt balance, but it remain extremely desirable.
5 out of 5
TASTE: The palate is immediately nuked by strong flavors of mango, papaya, guava, peach, and apricot. Strong grapefruit, orange, and tangerine flavors quickly follow as the previous fruit flavors grow much stronger. Mild piney hop and subtle white bread flavors flow in next to simultaneously amplify the hop profile and introduce a malty presence. Mild bitter hop flavors along with a whisper of alcohol finish off the taste theatrical as all previous flavors push on.
4.75 out of 5
NOTE: This was near perfection in a can. Hands down, the best IPA--whether double, Belgian, English, etc.--that I have ever had. The hop profile provided gargantuan waves of fruit that would satisfy any hop head. There was not a significant malt presence, which was perfectly acceptable with this specific brew. The only aspect that I would change to make this beer perfect, in my opinion, would be to have the bitterness more subtle. Although it was not strong, it still managed to somewhat take away from the wonders of the fruity goodness.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great friend for sharing with me.

Nice frothy snow white head, leaves brief sheets of lacing down glass. Opaque orangish hue with a charming rustic feel to it.

WOWY WOW WOW WOW! This is a citrus bomb in a can, me likey. Orangey pineapple mango piney resony goodness.

This like an adult version of a creamcicle, abundant sweet orange grapefruity goodness. Packs a wallop on the bitterness too. Touch of booze (in a good way) gives way to a hint of grainy malt. Long citrus finish and smoooth bittering.

Creamy smooth with excellant carbonation.

Loved it, ranks up with the exsellant boyking batches and the pliney I had last fathers day. I need a friend in that part of the country to ship.

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Photo of noob
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In my opinion, this might be the most drinkable double IPA I have ever had! Color is a nice golden hue, and then the aroma... oh, the aroma. Heady Topper STINKS of cascade, I love it! Goes down really smooth, hoppy, but not too hoppy, totally balanced. I look forward to trying more beers by the Alchemist.

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Photo of phisigben
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my Fraternity brother Devin who lives out in VT now for sending me two 4 packs of HT.

I drank part from the can and part poured into a snifter. After pouring it into a glass it produces a nice 2 finger width white head that leaves nice lacing with each drink. It is opaque orange/copper color. The nose is amazing great fruit smells first grapefruit, lemon, and a hint of sweetness from a fruit like mango also there is a good piney smell along with the fruit smell. Great bitterness up front but it balances well with the sweetness form the malt the bitterness is a good combination of fruit bitterness like grapefruit and a piney bitterness. All round great balance of flavors that you find in DIPA's. Mouthfeel is medium, carbonation is on point for the style. Over all this is an amazing beer If I could buy this off the shelves where I live I would have two 4 packs on hand at all times.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Alchemist Heady Topper

Thanks to Jackie for the opportunity to give this one a go.

Enjoyed directly from the can, as recommended by the brewer. This was chilled to optimal temperature.

A) Poured about an ounce into a sampler glass to get a look at this brew. A hazy golden amber, with a small white head. Looks nice...

S) Very impressive... I've opened quite a few beers in my time, but this was something new. Upon cracking this one open, there was just an explosion of hops aroma. I'm so accustomed to pouring a beer into a glass, and getting my nose in there, but that is simply not necessary with this beer. Plenty piney/citrusy , and some tropical fruits too.

T) Very nice balance... The hops is the main attraction, but it is never overly bitter. Layers of hoppy goodness, piney, grassy, grapefruit, mango, a little lemon zest. Absolutely no indication the ABV is 8%.

M) A solid medium body, with light carbonation. A good jolt of hops, yet remarkably smooth. This is easy drinking, and finishes so clean.

O) Glad I was finally able to board this hype train. It took a long time to finally get the opportunity, but this one is worth seeking out for any hop lover. Only got one can, so staring at it now completely empty is a bit of a bummer. Anyone in Vermont looking to get their hands on some New Glarus beer?

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Photo of Bthirt
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Still really enjoy this piece of heaven, however the one I had on Christmas was not nearly as good as the first one , your first is always the best. thanks to family living in Burlington, can get it pretty regularly and fresh.

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Photo of THECPJ
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes over Christmas break. Many thanks to the sister-in-law for making our Christmas amazing with this surprise under the tree!

A: fantastically hoppy with a citrus overtone.

Ap: golden amber hue, fairly transparent. 2 finger white head with amazing lacing that lines the glass from top to bottom.

B/T: mildly carbonated, with a smooth and quite refreshing tongue feel. It lingers on the tongue for just the right amount of time to be considered perfect.

Af: hits the tongue with a punch of citrus hops, but also a faint sweetness undertone. Leaves the mouth a little dry.

Overall: definitely gives Pliny the Elder a run for the money in the DIPAs. If only it were more readily available, it would be a staple in our fridge!

Cheers!
The CPJ

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Photo of rhartogsq
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty stoked to have this beer. Poured some into a glass so I could see it, and the rest I drank out of a can.

A. Orangy hazy. Nice.
S. nice pine and grapefruit, citrus back end.
T. Good, damn, good. Hope forward that doesn't linger. Citrus back bone.
M. Medium level carbonation, but otherwise smooth.
O. Really good, well above average DIPA. Best beer out of a can that I have had.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FINALLY! Thanks Dave! Pours a hazy/cloudy golden-orange color with a small-medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is just what anyone would want in a DIPA...such lovely hop aroma! Tropical hops with intense, bitter pine notes. Smells so fresh and hoppy...pineapple, grapefruit, melon, pine sap, guava, orange, lemon...SO INVITING. Taste is lacking in the malt profile...which is GREAT! Being from the west coast, this is just what I like. A little bit of malt, but not enough to make this delicious brew lose any points. Lovely citrus and tropical fruit flavors with just the right amount of bitterness. No lingering bitterness with this beer...crisp and clean. The palate is miraculously wiped clean after a few seconds of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, full of flavor, and crisp finish. Drinkability is Very High. ABV not even noticeable. Overall, this was a great experience. I am very impressed considering this drinks like a west coast style DIPA...love the lack of malt. I wish I had regular access to this so I could drink it like the can recommends... straight from the can. Brilliant beer!

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Photo of JayWhitson
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best IPA's I've had. Those Trillium brews have really skewed me on what is THE BEST though. Great look and aroma and awesome blend of citrus with a piney bite. Nice blend of new wave hazy and flavor of traditional standard. Got much better as it warmed up.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can, Sam Adam's Perfect Pint and red wine glass, canned 12/6/11. Huge, big thanks to Jayli in Secret Santa 2011!

It's quite hazy in sunset oranges and yellows. The head is white, but there isn't much of it.

MMMM, passionfruit, marijuana, tangarine, orange hard candies. Explosive fruity aroma all over the place. Fleeting alcohol heat.

Orange peel bitterness, grapefruit, dank and resinous hops abound. A sexy hop tango between grapefruit and orange bitterness and tropical and resinous flavors. There is the sweetness of significant caramel malts tempered by the bitterness and mellowed by alcohol.

It's really soft in the mouth. I would say a bit undercarbonated, but it's got that nice softness that transfers bitterness so wonderfully. A little slippery with wonderful alcohol integration.

World class is right. The hops are so vibrant. It has a much more substantial malt base than, say, Pliny the Elder, but it is so tasty. I rarely give fives.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 ounce can poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a nice white bright head that did not last, lots of lacing, not seeing much carbonation, it looks like orange juice with a white head, clearly unfiltered.

A: Lots of citrus, like crushed grapefruit and orange peels, hint of garlic/onion like aroma, hint of resin, definitely getting more citrus aromas than pine, it's a big smell, solid aromas, very nice. I am not getting any alcohol on the nose, very impressive.

T: It is as if someone took grapefruit and orange peel, crushed them, then blended them into orange juice, grapefruit like bitterness mixed with some orange juice/peel sweetness/bitterness, there is a hint of onion/garlic like flavor in the middle, some citrus forward bitterness, hints of pine and resin, aftertaste of grapefruit peel, amazingly drinkable, amazingly smooth.

M: Big juicy mouthfeel, very smooth on the palate unlike other IIPAs I've tasted that leave a raked feeling on my palate, this doesn't, it's smooth like orange juice, not sure if it being unfiltered adds this layer of smoothness, but it's very nice.

O: Very impressed, Heady Topper is amazingly drinkable, smooth, not a big bitter beer, has a nice balance of bitterness with lots of citrus notes and flavors, hints of pine and resin, very easy on the palate, a world class beer. I was expecting a big bitter beer but it's not, full of flavor, if you have a chance, pick it up, it's worth it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally made the long trek up here to be able to taste it in person. Reviewed from notes after my trip, I am finally getting around to getting these all caught up. Served in a pint glass.

The pour was what dreams are made of. All big IPA's should look this way. Seriously. Intense dark amber in color, nearly brown when all is said and done as it really just was darker then I ever would have thought. Big head of white caps it perfectly, two to three inches in height with a rocky and cratered appearance that really seem to hang on forever. Really just a tremendous looking beer I have to admit. The lacing coating the sides alone is enough to make you quiver, but then you decide to reach forward and try and take a big whiff, and that's when you will nearly fall over. It is just sublime. Huge citrus aroma here, tart and bitter as can be with pungent orange and pineapple mixing with the pink grapefruit aroma we come to expect in our big double IPA's. Huge nose, warming brings out a touch of butter malts underneath and a light, but discernable grain note. Each sip is like a step into hop heaven. Unreal freshness here. No hint of the ABV at all, in fact it was so smooth I could have sat here all day and drank this one, just remarkable. Rich orange and grapefruit tear at the taste buds, ripping every ounce of moisture from your palate and replacing it with a wonderful buttery flavor that is second to none. Smooth even carbonation and a rich medium body stacks it all up to being just a tremendous double IPA.

Overall I am just floored. I have been able to try this twice now and each time I am more impressed then before. Simply amazing and I wish more people would get to try this one. It can hold its own with any of the big boys any day of the week.

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Photo of jmaharaj
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Went to the brewery to get this one, only to find they had sold out. Luckily a local pub had it on tap and all the travelling was well worth it. Appearance wise it is cloudy with a grainy foamy head. Not overly pretty but i know this is meant to be drunk straight out of a can, so i wont hold that against them. Hops hit the nose straight away in a big american way, citrusy, piney, tropical, but underneath it all is a reasuring earthy malt base. Tastes a lot like it smells. A bunch of wonderful things coming together in a way that isnt completely cohesive, but complimentary enough that you can enjoy everything together or pick out the various delicious elements, like a farmers market salad. Really, really like this. its got a nice oily mouthfeel, lively carbonation and finishes clean and moreish. taste well rounded, complete, refreshing a little raw, but in a surprisingly endearing way. Would drink a lot of these, but i dont live in Vermont so i can't.

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Photo of surfcaster
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Gift from a fellow BA in NC

A: Enjoyed in a glass--hazy appearance with lots of sediment. Not pretty but knew that going in.

S: A grapefruit in a Christmas tree farm. Very pungent.

T: A powerful citrus and pine bomb. Don't taste tropical fruit flavors. Taste on the tip of the tongue is consistent with the smell from the glass and rewarding. Malts very subdued. No alcohol burn.

M: I found the mouthfeel about perfect--not syrupy in any way. Slightly on the drier side which is my preference.

O: Unique beer. Not blown away but certainly for something so hyped, not surprised. Rarely does something live up to that degree of buildup. I found it delicious and something I would like to get again. It is a world class IPA but scarcity lends a lot to the mystique. Worthy of the praise.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%

Poured with Jake_ramrod on Halloween. Thanks for the scary share.

I'll keep it short.

Moderate copper color with a frothy egg shell head. Out of the can smell of resin to pineapple to a light malt base. The taste follows with sharp bite of pine hops. Next is a light malt base, sharp pine, with a strong resin finish.

Damn good beer. Glad to try. This was more resin/pine profile than expected.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can thanks to juliusseizure. Enjoyed from the can, because my mother taught me to follow directions.

Appearance: Yeah, yeah... I know. Its just a can, But I truly enjoy the way this can looks. The glossy metallic with only black is pretty badass in my opinion.

Smell: Tough to get a whiff out of that little opening, but what does come out it so inviting, Huge grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. A little bit of pine, but just ever so slightly. Nice honey sweetness supports.

Taste: Incredible grapefruit, orange juice, and pineapple. A pretty supportive caramel sweetness bolsters the juicy affair, but lets the hops shine. A light resin and citrus lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel: This is so utterly drinkable. Incredibly juicy, with a wonderful prickly carbonation. A pretty substantial bitterness that I don't remember the last time I reviewed this.

Overall: I have no idea how old the can I reviewed the last time was, but this one blows it away, and I know it was less than a week old. Incredible stuff, lives up to the hype, and blows Pliny out of the water in my opinion.

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Photo of Kodama78
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

First time with Heady. Have to say that the stand out part of it is the smoothness. I've had other IPA's with more flavor, other's with more happiness, but never any so smooth that goes down that easy. Truly a great IPA.

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Photo of ericj551
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I know I'm supposed to drink from the can, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Heady pours a hazy light copper with a fluffy head that lingers as beautiful lacing on the glass. Pine, citrus and fresh cut grass fill the aroma. Especially when fresh, this beer is the closest thing to sticking your nose into a handful of hops. Thick, resiny hops fill the flavor, but there is almost more sweetness than bitterness upfront. Delicious light malt rounds out the intense, fruity, citrusy hops. The resiny, piney character lingers on the tongue in the after taste, and begs me to take another sip.

A friend was kind enough to bring me a 4 pack, and despite being around three months old, the beer is still delicious.

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Photo of ThomasJ25
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hmmm, what can I say? It's one of the best beers I have had the joy of drinking. Everything from the presentation of the can, the four pack little plastic holder thingy, to the fact that it's a pounder can, just makes it that much more special.

I was lucky enough to make a trip to Montpelier, VT and purchase three cases of this delicious beer. I listened to the instructions and I have drank every single one from the can. That is the only reason I couldn't really judge the appearance that much as I can only see it in the bowels of the dark can.

The smell gets you immediately. My nose lights up as I take my first sip. You are hit with a wall of amazing hop flavor. I have come to expect this from double IPA's but what I was caught off guard by was the extreme smoothness at the end. I mean this in the best possible way when I say it ends with little to no drama. It's deceptively easy to go down and would be very dangerous if you didn't know what you were drinking.

Definitely in my top two or three beers...

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Photo of VsXsV
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can. Hazy, yellow/straw liquid small to medium white/light off-white head. Aroma of fresh hops, grapefruit, citrus, cereal malt, lemon grass, orange peel, tangerines and blackberries. Awesome. Taste is dry and medium to high bitter with lots of fresh, hoppy notes of grass, grapefruit and tangerine. Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Very well brewed DIPA. Love the fresh hoppy notes.

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Photo of nezelrac
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured from can into Ithaca Beer pub pint glass (I don't know what the real name is...) as I prefer to see the beer I am drinking even though they say to drink it out of the can

while some folks found the floaties off-putting, I find them a sign of authenticity and appreciate their presence

I was tempted to just put 5's across the board, but I feel there is always room for improvement - the overall score if 5 is indicative of how good this beer is to me

A - hazy straw orange with a lot of little chunks swirling about, buoyed by lazy CO2 rising in the glass; nice creamy dense white head that lasts and lasts leaving generous lacing

S - dank; citrus and pine and candied citrus with moments of earth and flowers followed close by more of the same - there is definitely malt in there somewhere, but not on the nose

T - so very well crafted - balancing hops and malt in a beer of this size is no easy feat; layers of hops are clearly the point here and success is achieved, but there is precisely enough malt sweetness to keep it in line; excellent length and persistence of flavor; the finish is a reprise of the nose only on the tongue and soft palate - waves of delicious hops

M - creamy and rich and light and firm and...just perfect; CO2 is also spot on

O - this is probably one of the best beers I have ever had; I only wish I wasn't on the third of my four-pack; bravo!

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured into an Alchemist Willy glass (Sorry Alechemist, I won't have it from the can again). It pours a cloudy orange with a finger white head. I tried to hold back on the yeast with a gentle pour.

N: Very tropical with pineapple, orange, and citrus. There's a pleasant zest to it.

T: Citrus, caramel and hops. Wonderful, wonderful hops.

M: Carbonation, not too light and slightly sticky. Lingers for a bit, which is nice.

O: This is an all time favorite. The balance is amazing and you can't tell one bit that it is an 8% beer. A trip to VT is incomplete without going to the Alchemist.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.
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