Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
13,246 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
Reviews:
2,351
Ratings:
13,246
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,193
Gots:
5,504
For Trade:
65
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,351 | Ratings: 13,246
Photo of zeledonia
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to n2185 for the can. Canned 11 October 2011, from what I hear. Enjoyed 21 October 2011, reviewed from notes. I followed the instructions on the can and tried it before I poured it - delicious, and as described, more of the hop aromatics still in the flavor.

Pours a hazy deep amber with a yellowish tone. One-finger whitish head, great retention and lacing.

Smells fantastic. Hops, hops, and more hops. Starts out with potent resiny pine, then kicks up the citrus with some grapefruit. Layers of fantastic smells just keep coming. Wow.

Taste is not quite on the level of the smell, but really really good. Hops come heavy, with sticky pine as the most prominent piece. The bitterness is strong, a little more than I'd like, though it doesn't take much away from the beer. Supported well by a nice malt base, but this one is all about the hops. Note: I let it warm up some, and it became a very different beer - less bitterness, smoother, and still quite delicious.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied, sugary IPA stickiness, medium-high carbonation. A tingly bite from the bubbles and the hops. Finish is long, straight, and true.

This is a darn good beer. Heavy on the hops, but dominated by what I call the positive hop characteristics - pine, citrus, and floral. Up there with Surly Abrasive as one of my favorite DIPAs. Really freaking good all around, and probably the best example I've encountered for showcasing pine hops on top of a bed of others.

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Photo of Erik_Stewart
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the best DIPA i have ever tasted. poured a little into a snifter glass to view appearance: very hazy almost imposable to see through. smells very dank. the mouthful is very heavy and filling. finish is perfect! if you can get your hands on this beer it is a must have!

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can courtesy of Drazzamatazz from the Nice Cans III BIF. Even though the can says to drink it from the can, I'm gonna pour this into a NB Globe (I've got 3 more cans to try straight out the can).

A: Hazy amber color with a bone white head, about half an inch thick or so, sticks around nicely, and leaves a nice ring of lacing as it slowly recedes.

S: Tons and tons of hops, citrus, tropical fruit, pine, you name it, its got all of the hop characteristics that I love. Juicy hops even. Just smells absolutely fantastic. Pineapple and mango. A lot like opening a bag of hops. Spot on here.

T: Oh man, this is worth every bit of the hype that it's received. Tons of hop flavor, no other way to describe it. Just like sucking on a Citra hop cone. Pineapple, mango, grapefruit rind, and passion fruit all are hugely present, it's almost like a slightly bitter malty tropical fruit cocktail. Just loaded with hop flavors. Bitterness is there, but is not overbearing, just enough to keep things in check, tons of hop resins as well. Malt profile, no need to worry about a malt profile with all this hoppy goodness, there isn't much there, and I'm not missing any malt. Easily the most flavorful DIPA I've had in a long time.

M: Excellent, just the right amount of body, lower carbonation, slight warmth, finish is dry, but not annoyingly so.

O: Yeah, easily the best DIPA I've had in a long time. Huge aroma, even bigger flavor, not overly dry or over carbonated or too heavy or boozy. More and more I'm liking DIPA's to be in the 8.0% to 9.0% range, because the hops seem to get lost in the huge amount of malt it takes to push a beer over that 9.0% threshold, this beer hits everything right on. Great beer, completely worth the hype.

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Photo of Sideswipe
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, the legendary Heady Topper arrives in California. Sent to me courtesy of rowingbrewer. Huge thanks Mark!

Bomber poured into my Alpine pint glass (A receptacle worthy of this hoppy rarity). A hard pour produces a finger and a half of fluffy white head which recedes gradually. Decent lacing. The beer is a hazy orange, amber color.

Smell is of pure hoppy goodness. Citrus peel and pine. Heavy on the pine.

Taste follows the nose. Grapefruit rind and piney bitterness threaten to erode the enamel from my teeth. Mid pallet the beer balances almost perfectly with a malty sweetness, before plunging into a chasm of piney, hoppy bitterness. Finish is dry and leaves me craving more.

Feel is full, a bit viscous, and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability is exceedingly high, given the well hidden ABV and the incredible taste of this beer.

I found his brew to be eerily reminiscent of, dare I say it?, Alpine's Exponential Hoppiness, which I dearly love. For me, this beer totally lived up to the hype. Glad I had he opportunity and hope I'll be able to enjoy this again. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of Duff27
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inch tal white head. Spotty lacin, average head retention.

Citrus aromaright from the crack of the can. Oranges, grapefruit.

More outratgeous citrus. Leaves the mouthwatering. Wonderful malt backbone. Well hidden ABV!

Thicker mouthfeel than the average DIPA.

Excellent excellent wxaple the style. Presents the citrus aspect as well as any other. Thanks a ton bhollas!

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Photo of Scott17Taylor
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding IPA, very tropical, grapefruit, orange and pineapple. It's juicy and pithy with tons of pine. The bitter finish lingers for a bit longer than I'd like, but overall I can't complain about this beer. It's absolutely world class.

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Photo of youbrewidrink
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This review is long overdue, I have been drinking this beer since the beginning.

The head on this beer is always ample and sturdy (hence the name), it's a nice cloudy straw color.

The nose is pure hop and cleanly so. You really need to spend some time inhaling this before you taste this beer.

The taste is all that you expect and more. The hop profile is complex, so describing this as piney or citrusy is not an accurate way to describe this beer. The malt backbone is light and present, yet not in the way.

Considering the abv & amount of hops this is a very drinkable beer. I'm glad to see that John was kind enought to bottle a few of these so that BA's from beyond have a chance to give it a try.

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Photo of DevilsCups
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What needs to be said about this beer that hasn't already? Popped out of a can into my tulip.

A - Ugly! It's the girl in high school that had the most desirable personality but wore an eye patch and was overweight. You just need to love it. Super cloudy with all sorts of shit hanging out in the body. Who cares? I can already smell it.

S - Wowzas. HUGH hop notes. Smells like pineapple, citrus, hop-oils and a bag of weed. It's completely unique. There's malt in this?

T - Fucking amazing. The best way I can describe it is like a sort of dank citrus fruit. Pineapple, mango, grapefruit and something that would taste like the resin leftover if you were to smoke hops in a bong. If you've had Heady, you know what I'm talking about. No malt, that simple.

M - This is where this beer stands out. There is basically no bitterness to this beer, it's all sweet, sweet flavor. I don't know what the hell Alchemist is doing to achieve this witchcraft, but I love it. Creamy as hell and pretty decently carbed. This drinks much like a cask ale, just a tad more carbonated. Honestly, if you like hop flavors and hate bitterness, you'd be in heaven with this.

O - Stop reading this review and buy/trade for this beer. it's the bees-knees.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smell: tropical fruit notes grapefruit orange pine floral grassy.
Taste: upfront a big hit of grapefruit bitterness and a big juicy orange juice flavor middle of the mouth a syrupy sweet breath malt taste comes in and balances the initial bitterness out mellow tropical fruit note fnishes with a Floral hop perfume flavor more orange juice some dankness and a grassy sharp pine needle bitterness.
Feel: thick syrupy chewy big bodied beer.
Overall: I love the body on this beer so full and chewy. This beer is crazy it pretty much has everything you would look for in a dipa. Awesome stuff!

Note: I don't know if it's just me but I poured some in a glass and drank some from the can. There almost two different beers it's crazy! Way more citrusy and hoppy out of the can. Better out of the can!

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Photo of Seanem44
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Probably the best smelling IPA I have ever come across. Comparing to Pliny the Elder, Heady is more "In your Face". The taste is bold and the Hops hit you all at once. Its almost an overload, but that's a good thing. Do drink it from the can as it tells you. This deserves its spot amongst the best.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Canned May 1, reviewed May 4. Poured into HF stemware and also had a few straight from the can. From notes. Minor updates from mid-November. Minor updates added in November.

A - Nice cloudy burnt orange colour. Three finger white pillowy head. Good carbonation, good spotty lace with lot's of rings and a full finger of retention.

S - Great juicy hops. Pine, orange, mango. Boozy pineapple. Hops, hops, hops. Lot's of hop oils, trees. Smells outdoorsy. Mango and pineapple juice.

T - Orange, tons of citrus, pine, hop juice. Really delicious stuff. Tons of tropical sorta fruits. Sweet fruits. Dank hop juice is something I kept saying.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, strong bitterness with lot's of citrus. Goes down insanely easy, especially from the can.

O/D - A great DIPA. Worthy of the hype IMO. I dunno if it's the best out there at the moment, but hell, it's good. No hint of alcohol, and a beast of a hop monster. Insanely drinkable. If I could have one IPA for the rest of my life, it would be this. Supreme drinkability.

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Photo of Resuin
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the can (broke the "rules" on this one) into a Heady Topper stemless wine glass that I picked up from the brewery. This beer was canned 30 days ago as of this review.

Appearance: A lovely honey color that leaves a finger or two of head that lingers a bit. I think the beer has a great look to it, and I see a number of other benefits to pouring this one into an appropriate glass, rather than drinking straight from the can such as better enjoying that fantastic aroma...

Smell: Grapefruit, citrus, tropical fruits and hops. Absolutely heavenly scent to the nose. I could smell this one all day. Not overpowering, but the perfect levels of fruitiness and hops, a bit piney as well. Best-smelling beer I've ever had.

Taste: The taste does not exactly match the nose, but is very pleasant. Fairly complex, not just a "hop-bomb". Plenty of hops for sure though, some pine and earthy tones, and some citrusy, fruity flavors that are hard to nail down but very tasty.

Mouth-feel: A good amount of carbonation. This beer goes down very smoothly - it is uncharacteristically smooth and balanced for its ABV.

Overall: A beer that belongs in the top tier of DIPAs and IPAs. Very well-balanced and that smell....just incredible. The Alchemist does a great job with this brew and I highly recommend it to hop-lovers everywhere.

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Photo of kevanb
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heady Topper pours a very cloudy honey color, hints of orange and soft brown, lots of sediment floating around the glass, much of it sinks to the bottom, a faint head pops up but doesn’t stick around too long, not much of a residual film and some mild soapy lacing sticks to the glass. The aroma is fantastic, big notes of citrus, heavy on the grapefruit, but with a nice amount of tropical fruits, mango, papayas and pineapple come to mind. A healthy amount of grassy and dirtier pine-like hops come through as well, very bitter that cuts the brightness and sweetness very well, almost no malt presence to speak of, some faint biscuit hides in the shadows of huge hoppy aromas. The flavors are wonderful, huge bright notes of citrusy hops, grapefruit, lemon zest, the tropical sweeter flavors are there, some pineapple and mango, but again, a wonderful bitterness from some dry pine and weedy flavors, just a super dank hop profile. Like the aroma, only the faintest biscuity malt can be detected underneath a potent hop forward palate. Nice full body, coats the mouth really well, goes down super easily, remains wonderfully dry and bitter, keeps you coming back without leaving an unpleasant cotton mouth experience.

Verdict: Sublime IPA, I still like Pliny a bit more, but this is just an incredible beer. I like everything that’s happening here, great hop profile, the flavors are balanced exceptionally well, certainly one of those beers where you suddenly look down and the glass is empty, it’s that good. Cheers to The Alchemist, I will definitely have to get a lot more of this.

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Photo of Treebs
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can and served in a DFH signature glass. Big thanks to Mike (Gushue3) for sending me a few of them!

A: Pours a dark amber color with a little light brown in the body and some orange hues around the edges. Has a bunch of floaties as well. A nice off-white head forms on the pour and recedes to a nice film ring. Leaves a nice sticky lace down the glass.

S: Grapefruits and resin with a light flower back note. Nice caramel malts and some solid breadiness as well.

T: The taste is more of the same. Nice flowery notes pop up, some candied sugar and some biscuit malt with a little toffee as well. Solid grapefruit with a little citrus pop to round it all out. There is some solid bitterness on the finish with a hint of pine needle.

M: Nicely carbonated with a nice medium to light body. Leaves a nice floral and fruit taste across the palate. Very drinkable.

O: Awesome beer. Tons of flavor and it really lingers in your mouth for a while. Glad I got some more of these guys!

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Photo of Overlord
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 LAp
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally tried it. Had (of course) in the can, though I poured an ounce or two into a teku to get the appearance. Poured a hazy yellow (thicker, and hazier than most DIPAs). Pine and citrus on the nose, though not to the incredible extreme of The Crusher. Palate is tremendously dank, bitter hops. Pine is more present than citrus, though both certainly play a role in the palate here. Solid medium mouthfeel. An exceptional DIPA, but in the world of extremely good IPAs, this one is not so singular as the hype would imply. Tremendous? Of course. Best in its class? Sadly not.

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Photo of Myotus
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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 +0.4%
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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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,246 ratings.
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