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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,295 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:
2,295
Ratings:
12,900
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,107
Gots:
5,179
For Trade:
66
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Reviews: 2,295 | Ratings: 12,900
Photo of CharlatanSin
4.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Review from notes accumulated while going through a case of HT over 4 weeks. First can was 4 days old, last can was right around a month. Mostly poured into tulips, but had a few straight from the can, too.

A: There's no two ways about it, guys -- the floaties in this beer are ugly. I don't care much about them, and I guess it gives the beer a rustic characteristic, but I've got to ding HT on the pure appearance score. Perfectly attractive beer otherwise. Nice golden amber with a big, puffy off-white head and lots of lacing.

S: The aroma of fresh HT is just wonderful. A complex and unique hop blend. Big pine, tropical fruit, citrus. A bit of caramel malt provides sweet balance. I'm almost having trouble describing it because it's basically perfect (to my own taste). A month in, the aroma is a bit less intense, but no less complicated or outstanding. I'd rank it a 5 after 4 days and a 5 after a month.

T/M: Incredibly juicy. More fruit-like and less pine compared to the nose. Tropical fruit is dominant -- pineapple, mango, what have you. Some of the more traditional citrus -- grapefruit mainly. Also getting a distinct apricot flavor, which somebody once told me was from the proprietary yeast but I'm not sure. Decent amount of caramel and biscuity malt to balance. Like the aroma, it gets a little less intense over a month but no less wonderful. Mouthfeel is slick. Carbonation's a little on the high side. Decently bitter but insanely drinkable. Not a hint of the ABV.

O: This is not going to be my highest rated beer, because of the appearance score, but I think it's my favorite. It's worth every bit of the hype. Make some good friends in Vermont, kids.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.66/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Drinking from a 16 ounce can, per the can's request. Thanks for this one Cheesemoose. No freshness date. I'm told that this is a "fresh" can. Still not sure why everyone isn't dating their beers. Popped the can, aroma is bursting out of the little hole, pine, grapefruit, packed full of hops, awesome aroma. Taste is resinous and flavorful. Mainly grapefruit but notes of grass and pine. Totally juiced with flavor. Even the burps taste good.

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Photo of Omnium
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can > 2xIPA Glass

A - Pours an off color amber, 2 finger white head, minor lacing. Lots of yeast floating around.
S - Very dank hop aromas, some pine & spruce, citrus peels, grapefruit, white grape juice.
T - Those dank hops are intense, lots of white grape flavor, pine, spruce and earthy tones, tart apple, and a little sweet malt.
M - Full and well carbonated, easily drinkable.
O - While I'm not on par with the appearance, everything else is solid about this beer, though its not my favorite, nor do I think its worth all the hype. Compared to Pliny, its a no-contest situation, its thoroughly better. This actually delivers, lots of good aroma and the taste is solid, love the big grape flavor in this. Its a shame Alchemy is being too hipster to expand and make other things, or even distribute more.

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Photo of KAP1356
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to have this both right out of the can (as suggested) and poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Huge thanks to my buddy Doug and my co-worker Zach for hooking me up two separate times with this gem. This review is from a 5 day old can that was consumed half in a glass and half in the can...

A - Pours a very murky, honey color that is quite obviously NOT filtered in any way. It's a slighlty darker color at times than I would've thought. An eggshell white head forms about 2 fingers thick and hangs on for quite a bit befre it recedes leaving gloriously sticky lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma is strong the second you crack the can! HUGE hits of juicy, citrusy fruits. Mango, pineapple, orange, and strong aromas of grapefruit jump out of the can. I LOVE how juicy this smells! Bitter notes jump in and out as the citrus really has me entranced. As it warms a bit, there is an undercurrent of buttery malts that really rounds out the aroma here.

T - The taste is superb. Sae juicy citrus flavors all mixed together perfectly. Orange, grapefruit and pineapple stand out the most with mango and some lemon zest coming through as well. The favor is so smooth and buttery it is almost unreal. Bitter, piney hops come through and onloy add to the onalsught ofhop perfection.

M - Smooth, even carbonation on the tongue making this one extremely pleasant on the tongue. The body is medium bodied, but because of the richness of the beer, it can feel full at times. A bitter, dry fnish rounds things off nicely.

O - This beer is SO FREAKING DRINKABLE!! That is really what stands out the most to me. It doesn't overpower with hops, but puts them on an evenly mixed display that allows you to enjoy every single sip. There is a reason this is on the top ofthe food chain (on this site anyway). Either way, this reallh does deserve the accolades it has received thus far.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had an unexpected opportunity to buy this from someone so jumped on it. Never thought I'd get a chance.

Drank 1/3 from can, then rest from pint.

A - Cloudy, nice full head. Very foamy head with lots of lacing.

S - An amazing aroma, with tons of citrus/grapefruit/lemony and herbal smells. You could find yourself just sniffing the can or glass for . . . minutes. But then you have to drink.

T - Without a doubt, the least hoppy and bitter DIPA I've ever had. Extremely smooth. Not too carbonated. While this isn't my favorite style, if this were the only IPA I ever drank, it probably would be a favorite style. Almost tastes like a sparkling beverage that's been spiked. But better.

M - Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

O - I can understand why people rave about this beer. I found myself saying several time, "Mmm, this is quite good. I'm really impressed" I rarely say that about IPAs. I'll happily drink this again. And again.

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Photo of JonRogers
4.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I didn't see the beer in a glass as I drank it from the can as recommended, but I imagine it is beautiful judging from the smell. I also drank it a little on the cold side... to thirsty to wait. Taste is fruitful and as smooth as in Imp IPA gets. Hoppy as hell in the best way. Again, very smooth. I drink IPA's 90% of the time and I cant say I have had a better beer.

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Photo of thegoon55
4.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Heady is the real deal.

A- standard golden color, big white head disappears into little lacing.

S- wow. Grapefruit bomb. I love.

T- massive grapefruit notes, pipe, little bit of bitter hops. Lovely.

M- medium perfect body medium carbonation

O- understand why this is the number one beer in the world. Is it the best or my favorite beer? No. But there is nothing wrong with it.

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Photo of skyout
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth on the mouthfeel with excellent golden color. Very complex flavors, including a slight metallic taste which is common to IPA's of this type. Overall, excellent in all categories. The brewer encourages one to drink from the can, which isn't typical, but definitely adds to the experience.

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Photo of weonfire
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
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 RyanCave
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
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 LambicPentameter
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Managed to get 2 cans of this thanks to the kindness of another BA. This is a quick review based on drinking the first one straight outta the can, as directed by said can. I'll review again out of a glass with the next one. No discernible freshness or 'drink by' date to be found.

UPDATE: Had the second can on 7/16/2013 and poured into a 22 oz snifter glass

Appearance - Can't really rate this in fairness, since I drank it straight out of the can. I do like the image of hops literally blowing a guy's mind, but alas I cannot judge the beer's appearance. That being said, I have to score it something, so I'll dock it just a little bit from the overall. UPDATE: Tons of floaties. It looks like extra pulp orange juice--not joking. I love a good unfiltered beer, but the particulate here is just too much and gives a slightly unpleasant impression of the beer. Lowering score to 3.75 because it's just not a pretty beer, as tasty as it is.

Smell - I will be interested to see how this one smells in a glass, because even out of the mouth of a can, it's intoxicating. Pine, grapefruit, citrus zest, herbal. UPDATE: the appearance of pulpy orange juice is fitting, because the smell is so aromatic and citrusy. A bit more orange and balance now that I'm getting to inhale fully with my nose. So floral and aromatic.

Taste - Delicious and balanced. Grapefruit, pineapple and more resinous pine characteristics. Bitterness is almost absent, until the beer is gone, and there is an lingering essence of hop bitters. Refreshing in spite of it's high gravity and pronounced hop presence. UPDATE: no appreciable change in taste out of the glass. Bitterness comes on a bit quicker perhaps.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with pronounced but not overpowering carbonation. Finish is clean, with lingering but faint bitterness.

Overall a highly drinkable and flavorful beer. I was admittedly skeptical given the level of praise surrounding this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. The beer was pretty damn close to the hype that preceded it. UPDATE: in the future, I would follow the advice on the can. The taste suffers little to none, and even though the aroma is a little more restrained straight out of the can, looking at the floaties is more of a negative than the lack of smelling out of a glass.

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Photo of ClintBEERME
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wish this beer was a fruit or a vitamin. I wish it was a soap. I wish it was my girlfriend. I wish it was my job. I wish I needed it to live. I wish it wasn't so hard to come across. I want a swimming pool full of Heady Topper that I can freeze in the winter and skate on. I would move to Vermont for this beer. If there is a better beer regularly available on this planet, please by all means let me know of it.

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Photo of Zbyler
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got to try this for the first time last night at an Allagash tasting event at Decicco's in Brewster.

A- Considering I drank it right from the can (as it so boldly suggests right on the rim) I cannot comment on the appearance. The can is large and silver with a quirky drawing of a mad scientist on the front. It also says "Don't be a D-bag, recycle this can" on the back which I found amusing.

S- Great nose on this beer. Huge citrus hop aroma, grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, pine, all mixed together for a lovely bouquet of smells.

T- WOW. Even better than the smell leads on! Fantastic resinous hop flavors, citrus notes, lots of tart grapefruit and pineapple in there as well. Moderately bitter finish, extremely refreshing as well.

M- Amazing mouthfeel on this beer. Moderately carbonated, thick, resinous, oily feel on the tongue.

O- I have had many of the top 250 beers in the recent months and in most cases they did not live up to the hype. This is not one of those cases. Amazing from when you first pop the top to when you take your last sip. Absolutely outstanding beer and it deserves its #1 rating hands down. I had one when I first got to the tasting and then went beer shopping and had to stop and have another on the way out because it makes you crave its deliciousness. Easily my favorite beer that I have had to date.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a customer give me a can of Heady last year. Split it with one of my coworkers and we both just looked at each other with mouths open before both exclaiming how good it was. I picked up my share at the brewery little over a week ago and now it's time for a full review.
I know it says to drink from the can, but for this review it will be poured into a Sam Adams 'perfect pint' glass. Later I'll have one from the can and if I notice anything different enough to comment on I'll edit this review.

AP: Colour like a dark shade of apricot or orange marmalade. Can't really see through this when held to the light, it's pretty damned thick. Foamy dense white head, about 1" that settles to 1/2" with moderate lacing.
AR: Like fresh green pine needles after a rain. Fruity hop aromas of orange, peach, grapefruit, mango and guava. Bready cereal grains from the malts.
T: Just very well balanced between the malts and hops. The hops are there and prominent but don't overpower and take over. The hops are lush and juicy, which to me is the mark of a really great IPA/DIPA. On the finish it's soft green pine with the rinds of orange and tangerine. I love how it's flavourful from start to finish. So easy to drink and a moist long aftertaste.
M: Creamy with a fairly hearty full body, low to moderate carbonation, crisp clean finish that though the juicy hops leave a moistness behind that coats your cheeks/gums, it's off dry on the tongue.
OV: An exceptionally well done brew. Flavourful, balanced and a bit chewy for a DIPA, which I like about it. Good lingering flavours that make you want to keep drinking and the ABV is well hidden. At this point, I would say Heady Topper and Lawson's Double Sunshine are the best DIPAs I've had so far. I'm not going to say which I think is better as I like each for different reasons and am just glad I got to try them both. In a perfect World, I'd have access to both whenever I wanted instead of having to drive 7hrs to Vermont to get a limited amount.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can with about the first 1/4 drank out of the can, the rest poured into a FFF teku glass and consumed today 5/10/13. Thanks to shagens for the opportunity to drink this 1.5-2 week old Heady.

Aroma: Holy smokes. Soon as I pop the can: tons of sweet honey, toffee, caramel and biscuits.. followed by quite a bit of tropical fruit- mango, papaya with a bit of grapefruit. Big, big whiffs of tropical fruits. If it drinks anywhere as good as it smells, it's a winner. (4.75)

Colour: Can't tell when it's in the can, but once I pour it into the teku, it looks good. Burnt orange, like the University of Texas' school colours. Pours with a nice thick 2cm white head that slowly fades into a bubbly collar that persists. There are bits of lacing that doesn't really stick around, but otherwise a good looking DIPA. At the end of the drink, I poured out the last ounce of the can to see what the floaties looked like- and its nasty. I see why they recommend drinking it out of the can. (4)

Flavour: I get a big malt kick up front, with caramel, toffee, honey and sweet bread. But that only sets the stage for a nice-sized blast of tropical fruit which eventually fades away into a bitter citrus finish which is also accompanied by a mellow backend that balances the hoppiness. Nice complexity to it, very hoppy and tasty. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Definitely not lacking in the department. Thicker side of medium body, excellent carbonation, resinous and coats the palate pretty well with the bitter finish- which is mostly citrus and a bit of tropical fruit. I don't feel any heat at all drinking this. (4.5)

Overall: I think the hoppiness quotient is where it needs to be- which balances out the sweet maltiness that predominated the older can. It does come together in a better way which I definitely appreciate. It's hoppy as hell though in a very non-subtle manner, though not as much as Abrasive is. Pliny is hoppy in a more subtle way- mainly in the aroma and flavour (intense grapefruit and citrus), but not so much the bitter aftertaste like Heady gets that starts burning off my palate. Very excellent DIPA, just a bit behind Pliny and Abrasive in my book. (4.5)

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
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 PHBoiler
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer out of the can and now straight from the can. Less than 2 week old can.

The beer is slightly hazy when compared to other world class DIPAs as noted by it being unfiltered with a foamy white head.

The beer explodes out of the can. So much citrus and pine in every drink. Effortlessly drinkable with no sign of the 8% alcohol. Juicy but balanced with the piney bitterness. Full flavor while completely chilled as well, which can be rare for some heavily hopped beers.

Simply put, this is the best DIPA out there. Do what you have to do to get some if you haven't had it, and if you have had it I'm sure you're acquiring trade bait to get more. Find a trade partner in Vermont because this stuff is unmatched.

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Photo of schnarr84
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pint can half poured into sam adams perfect glass and half in can.
cant believe i finally get to try this. only about 4 weeks old too.

Tons of sediment when poured. no shit, with the amount of hops in this im sure their filter room is working overtime.

SIck aroma. crazy hop flavor. literally tastes like the hop storage room at the brewery i work at smells like. great mouthfeel, feels like such a light beer. almost a different experience drinking straight from the can. same mouthfeel but a bigger hop blast. this beer is obviously insanely hyped and for good reason. i could drink a case. even at 8% it feels like a sessionable ipa

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Photo of MRsojourner
4.18/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the look outside of the can is super hazy....but what do you expect with this many hops! the foamy light head persisted till the end of the glass.
the smell is citrus and a strange musty aroma.
the taste is not that bitter at all....it's like super hop orange juice that is very drinkable. it keeps you coming back. very easy to drink given the abv level and hop usage. very glad I got to try this and will drink it out of the can next time to see if there is any difference given there recommendation.

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Photo of basickness
4.2/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 1 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

i searched low and high for this bad boy. i listened to the directions and drank straight from the can. no idea how old it was when i got it. IPA's are my go to all the time, and this thing is awesome. i will say not worth the $15 a can ive seen charged for it, but i'd drop an easy $8 on it.

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Photo of IrishKevin
4.51/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had a real hard time getting this beer. A friend hooked me up with 1 can from his 4 pack.
My expectations were really high to finally try this. Split it with my brother who was also trying it for the first time.

Poured into a pint glass out of can.

Grapfruit and citrus hop aroma jumped out of the glass which was awesome.

Taste followed the nose extremly hop forward, which was to be expected. Citrus notes stood out the most to me. Hard time tasting the malt. Very fresh with extremly long aftertaste.

Overall, I was not that impressed, maybe because my expectaions were too high. Still a great beer, especially if you love this style. Need to try directly from can.

For what it is worth my brother absolutly loved it.
---
Edit: Tried a second time from the can.
THis time I purchased straight from the brewery so the freshness was insured.

This beer is very good, I think having it in a glass and getting it third hand had effected it the first time.

It is easy drinking for such a hoppy beer, I would almost call it juicy. Really kicks ass.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm so glad that angrybabboon could provide me plenty of these for the coming weeks. I've already had this once, but I'm reviewing it today 15 days since canning day - about the widely considered perfect time to drink this. For this review, I got a bit experimental. I love how this is in the can, but I poured it alongside in a glass and reviewed both side by side - half in the glass, with the other half in the can. Poured into a teku glass.

A:
Can: Has a silver label with a fun, delightful illustration showing what could be the brewmaster himself demonstrating the wonderful hoppy things to come. Not having this in the glass is the only downside of drinking this out of the can, but I can live with that.
Glass: Pours a sunset orange amber complete with a frothy as hell, bubbly head. I left the sediment in the can, so it looks slightly hazy with a good deal of floaties. Patches of carbonation streak the glass's edges, as does lacing. Head eventually vanishes, with very frothy bubbles remaining at the sides. Slightly hazy without the extra gunk. Looks very pretty and rustic, and very much near perfect in its presentation as a full-bodied, rich DIPA.

S:
Can: Huge, earthy, hoppy citrus rind zest immediately captivates my nose, with slight tropical fruits to boot. Guava, papaya, oranges, limes, lemons, hop vine mineral-y characteristics, as well as a pungent, floral finish. This has everything you'd expect in the style, only incredibly well spread out and balanced. No metallic aftertaste from the can. Yeasty phenols are all out here, in in a way that's delightfully funky yet sharp and robust. Cannot smell any alcohol, although there is a slight sweetness underneath. No malts or grains here - the hops are completely victorious. Absolutely unlike any DIPA I've ever had.
Glass: It's incredible how much this loses a lot of the hoppy, resinous profile when poured in the glass. While there's still a strong, sharp flavor of well dried citrus notes, and maybe some apricot and grassiness, a lot of the tropical flavors are pretty much gone, and the malty flavor is far more present, in a classic East Coast, caramel/toffee profile. Slightly funky and rustic for sure, but a lot of that initial earthy flavor has definitely been lost.

T:
Can: I think the first time I ever took a sip of HT straight out of the can, my head exploded. This is unbelievably good and lives up to every bit of hype. Right at the front of the tongue there's a juicy, creamy, completely refreshing cascade of hoppy and fruity flavors, ranging from oranges to lemons to mangoes to papaya and pineapple in a way that seems to last forever. TONS of grapefruit. However, rather than feel sweet and overwhelming, these fruity phenols are immediately followed by a pungent, dank, earthy flavor in the sense that takes you to the core of the hop aromas in a fresh, lively, and robust manner. Some slight butterscotch, maybe even toffee aromas follow, but the hops do their job and finish in a ridiculously astringent manner to the point of nearly tying up the tongue in knots, only to release and reveal the smoothened creaminess from the well carbonated feel of the beer, thickness of the malts and oils, and well accentuated alcohol bite that goes down well and warms up the throat in the long run. Thick, hearty, juicy, and pretty much fabulous. It's not balanced, but it's flawless as far as great drinking experiences go. Never thought I'd ever say it, but here we are.
Glass: Out of the glass, it's delicious as well, although you get far less of those earthy flavors, as expected. The only difference otherwise is it feeling a little bit more balanced and allowing the malty syrupy feel to meld with the remaining hop oils, which still gives it the impression of being a full-bodied and well integrated beer. Less tropical notes too, although there's a delightful grassy flavor that sticks around and combines very well with the citrus. Definitely more mellow than out of the can, but still world class.

It's clear that the full experience of this beer lies in the can, and it's definitely how I'll be drinking my Heady Toppers from now on, regardless of how pretty it looks to me. This is really an experience unlike any other, and while it remains an world class beer in the glass... Out of the can, it's utterly mind blowing with all of its flavor, earthy nuances, and scarily drinkable qualities. Do seek it out. It's simultaneously glorious and humble. It's super flavorful but never overwhelming. It's designed for anyone to enjoy of any background, if they enjoy a good beer. Absolutely brilliant.

UPDATE (1/6/2014): I pitted this against some other DIPAs of similar nature (no Pliny), and this was the loser overall. All were about 2 months old. This is really good, but best consumed fresh - it becomes more piney and funky over time, and loses a lot of its fresh squeezed juicy flavors that I enjoy in the style. Worth seeking out, but make sure you know the date!

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Photo of tastyville
4.92/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

My homeboy Javier at Vendome Wine and Spirits in Placentia had a can of this. He knows to go to the backroom where he keeps all his exclusive collection when I arrive. He brought a can of this out and I asked him what he would trade for it. He said he would take $4. What a steal! I shared it with my other homeboys at Art and Craft Brews (and homegirls). They all got excited when I showed up with it. You should have seen their eyes open up and mouth the words Oh My God! So here is my review, trying my very best not to be biased since I'm west coast and the west is the best...
It poured out a bit murky- I expected it to have been filtered, but the color was a nice golden orange. The aroma was a prelude to nice balance. Exactly what is to be expected from an exquisite IPA- rich pine, citrus and apricot all in a perfect blend- and in that order! The taste was very smooth. I only had two gulps so I had to make them count! Like I said the aromas were a prelude to the taste and it tasted very predictable (which is good) and inviting. The rich flavor profile and dynamic masks the alcohol which is very nice too. I just wish it was filtered to get a more acute, pure flavor without the murk masking anything. The aluminum in the can added to the brightness of flavor. Very close to Pliny the Younger, which nobody could help but compare it to. What makes this slightly inferior was that it is nearly 4% less ABV than Younger and not as smooth. So there. Can't wait for another can! The hunt is on.

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Photo of BenTenison
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having had this beer on multiple occasions...I can not say enough about Heady Topper. When compared to the other top DIPA's I've had there is a few traits that set this beer apart from the rest. The main two are its balance and drink-ability. It is an unrelenting wave of hops across the palate yet still has you coming back for more.

A - Appearance on this beer is perfect. Hazy, unfiltered, and loaded with yeast. While some may count such characteristics against the beer I prefer unfiltered beer. Makes the beer feel less refined and more what it truly is, just a beer.

S - The smell you pick up as you crack a can is an assault of grapefruit on your nose. It never truly fades and if drunk from the can the aroma lingers for days after consumption.

T - Grapefruit and pine, a mixture of citrus and hop bitterness that bombards your tongue with flavor but never goes overboard.

M - I chill my cans to ice cold before drinking and I like to let it warm as I drink it, the mouth feel from a heavily chilled can comes off as crisp and refreshing and it thins as it warms with a growing bitterness.

Overall - While I can understand why some people do not regard Heady Topper to be the best beer in the world or even the best double IPA, I personally enjoy Heady Topper in any and all situations. I give this beer a perfect score because no matter my mood, location, or food pairing I can always enjoy a can of HT. John Kimmich is also a super friendly hands on brewer who truly cares about the beer he brings to market.

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Photo of JerryG
4.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is one well hyped beer. Usually that would make for some disappointment, however this one lives up to the hype... Almost. I had a friend from NH ship out a 4 pack about six months ago, of which I distributed 3 and drank one. I have just had a case shipped out, and am enjoying the rare nice weather here with this beer.

Great complete hoppy nose, like the best imperial/double IPA's the hops fill the full spectrum of smell and flavor. I disagree with keeping it in the can. I think it is better served in a chalice where you can appreciate the plethora of smells.

In my opinion, the Northeast style of DPA is too malty. This one is more malty than Pliny, but not too much and is still about right to balance the bitterness of the hops.

The single most unique characteristic of this beer is the drinkabililty. Despite the strong flavors, after you are finished, you want more. It should be leaving a strong aftertaste, but it doesn't. In that respect it is a 5/5.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,900 ratings.
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