Heady Topper | The Alchemist

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
2,244 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,244 | Ratings: 12,632
Photo of richj1970
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 16 oz can into snifter. No visible date but was told this was canned about 5 weeks ago.

A: Cloudy pale yellow with 2 finger white head. Long retention and leaving some chunky lacing.

S: Grapefruit, pineapple, and orange zest with big dose of floral hops.

T: Mix of citrus with grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon with floral and earthy hops.

M: Medium body with average carbonation. Finish is soft with hop resins lingering.

O: Extremely well executed DIPA. If I had regular access to this, it would be a staple on my fridge.

 549 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.24/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Obviously was excited to try this, even as someone who isn't a fan of ipa's, so glad i tracked a can down. Orange looking with a very nice tropical fruit aroma. Taste was bitter up front, then into those subtle fruity tones with a dry finish, but it actually imprived as it warmed and became very drinkable and enjoyable towards its finish. Overall its obviously a well crafted and tasty ipa, but best beer in the world?it maybe the best ipa but i find it hard to say an ipa is the best beer you could find. Enjoyable though and glad i got to try it.

 550 characters

Photo of SebastRain
4.11/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I enjoyed this beer, not as much as I thought I was going to. Very hyped for what I thought was just a nice Double IPA. Was this beer the best DIPA 8 years ago, probably. Not anymore. So many great beers out there.

I poured it into a snifter glass contrary to the suggestion to drink it out of the can, I can't imagine why one would not want to try and smell this beer, isn't that one of the major points of a DIPA?

Nice citrus zest on the nose, floral and some spice. Beer is well balanced, juicy and citrus flavor. Very clean. Improved as the beer increased slightly in temp.

Enjoyed the beer, but do not believe this is a top beer in the world any longer.

 663 characters

Photo of emount91
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

the beast. this ones really hard to review. smell is so complex, tropical here, piney there, fruity over there, citrusy under there. malt? what malt? taste is even more complex than the smell. just about every hop taste there is, all over a juicy fuzzy bed. this one is killer. need to get my hands on focal and more of this!

 325 characters

Photo of SaulFox
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L-Hazy naval orange flesh color. White fluffy head.
S-Papaya funkiness, pineapple, peach, citrus, piney.
T-Fruity sweetness upfront, tropical fruits, grapefruits, resin, pine. Very enjoyable lingers with fruity notes.
F- thicker than most hoppy beers. Mouth coating beauty. Sticky!
O- As a hop head, this is one of the best beers I have had. I keep coming back for more and each drink provides the same amount of intensity! Drools

 430 characters

Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.99/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very light and cloudy. Straw colored murky beer with particles floating around.

Aroma: Citrus fruits, primarily grapefruit and orange juice. Tropical elements are certainly here along with fresh pine / hop scents. Very very enjoyable and pleasing smell to this. Not really any bready malts to speak of.

Taste: It's been a little over a month since my last can so this description will not do the brew justice. I remember it being magical yet very confusing. An extremely delicate, soft and gentle beer on the palate but the amazing flavors still awaken all of the taste buds. The finish is a thing of beauty, the bitterness and tropical hop flavors linger and make your mouth water. The aftertaste is the most striking characteristic of this beer, it's hard to think of a beer that makes your palate beg for the next sip so aggressively. Dangerous beer. Doesn't drink like an 8 percenter.

Mouthfeel: soft, velvety, medium-ish body. Creamy hop juice.

Overall: This is one the best IPA's I have ever consumed. Hope to have it fresher or even on tap some day.

 1,073 characters

Photo of leighton
4.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cans shared at the Craft Beer Co., London, many thanks to Mike. This stuff is totally rad. Out of academic interest I poured a small amount into my glass to find that this liquid is cloudy, glowing gold with a small, white foam head. Otherwise, slammed it straight to my face. Heady as shit, big and resinous, though not too big, or abrasively bitter. Huge pine character, ridiculously well balanced. Full bodied with fine carbonation. Big sticky finish, moderate earth. Just outrageous stuff.

 493 characters

Photo of BierRunner
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let me say that my usual preference is a West Coast IPA. However, it is really nice to be able to explore the complexities of the hops without all the fruit. The earthy pine taste really comes through. While complex, the taste is balanced and the inevitable blast of hoppiness is very pleasant.

 294 characters

Photo of ChrisMon02
4.46/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review number 1000. Lucked out getting this. Sometimes the stars align...drank half from the can and poured half into a snifter.

Poured a gorgeous pale cloudy color with a super fluffy tight bubbled head that lasts forever. Reminds me of a Belgium beer.

Smell is similar to a saison. Spicy hops, light sweet malt, lemon, orange and pineapple.

Taste is big hops at the front of the tongue, semi-sweet malt in the middle and a dry bitter finish. The malts become more prominent and sweeter as it warms. I get a slight pepper taste as the hop bitterness builds after each swallow. Quite unique for the style. Hides the 8% ABV really well.

Very smooth and easy to put down. Everything works well here.

A very well crafted brew. Tasty and approachable. It is worthy of the hype? Maybe, maybe not. In a world of diverse hop profiles and a ton of awesome DIPAs that are readily available, it certainly fits in with the best of them. Stocked that I got my hands on one.

 972 characters

Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.69/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Did not drink from a can. Large tulip SARA glass.
A: Cloudy straw with plenty of head. Surprisingly pale.
S: A little dry hopping with mostly light yeast, very similar to a hopped saison. Strange vegetal smell.
T: Very odd flavors coming through. There's an almost peppery vegetable odor that reminds me of something unpleasant but interesting. Very light on the citrusy hops, no real pine to speak of. Light overall with some hop bitterness on the back end.
M: Easy to drink; crisp with small carbonation and a finish that gets longer as you drink.
O: A very drinkable but weirdly flavored beer that reminds me more of a hoppy saison than an IPA, let alone a DIPA. Very unique but disappointing considering the hype. Won't need to revisit this one. Better the second time around; the first time was a real let down.
Thanks for hooking it up, Joe!

 850 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.9/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I can't believe this finally happened. Snagged a partial can at The Site in Corning. Poured into a sample glass.

Look: Cloudy yellow with a thin fluffy white head.

Smell: Juicy red grapefruit, pulpy orange, lemon peel, bitter pineapple and unripe mango, papya, yeast, pine needles.

Taste: Sweet upfront. Honey, biscuit, and clover. Then a huge punch of grapefruit, orange, lemon, pineapple, papaya, and pine cone his the palate. Finishes fairly clean, but grapefruit and delicate pine coats the mouth and lingers.

Feel: Medium, filling, just carbonated enough, lingering sticky finish.

Overall: Ecstatic to finally be able to try this! It's so worth the hype!

 669 characters

Photo of LordViggo712
4.83/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first few times I had Heady Topper, it was love at first, second, third, and fourth taste. Since then, I've become hyper-critical (but that often stems from boredom). The feel of the Heady is my favorite part, a creaminess with bite that just reminds you with every taste that you are taking in something of such high quality that you feel almost blasphemous drinking it out of a can. I'd prefer the look to be a shade darker (but really, who cares), and the taste has just a touch too much bite on the front end to cry 'perfection'. But perfection is an endless pursuit, and since Heady is probably the best beer I've ever had, it gets a 5 overall. I love it and hopefully always will.

 695 characters

Photo of Beerasaurus
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had it out of a can at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Poured a little into a taster just to check out the look, cloudy and straw colored. A nice hoppy aroma, but more subtle, not a punch to the face like other doubles.
Great taste, very smooth and well balanced for a double. Not an overpowering hop taste at all. A very drinkable double IPA, though my personal preference gives the nod to Sip of Sunshine.

 409 characters

Photo of Technate
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer has lived up to the hype for me. It is a great drink all the way through the can. We are a community of samplers, and this one is atop the list. I don't have a bunch of foofy words and feelings about the hop and feel. It is a great beer and I would have it again and again.

 286 characters

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

All right, got this as a Christmas present from my nephew and I am oh so grateful.

Poured into my 14 oz. pint glass (!!), the beer had a two finger head of fine bubbles atop a hazy, rich yellow body. Exactly what I wanted to see for the style.

Aroma was mostly of pine hops, with a little bit of sweet floral character. Some bready notes were underneath. Overall, nothing was overpowering and it all worked well together. I have had hop monsters that make your eyes water from the hoppiness... no way I would have guessed 75 IBU.

Taste was awesome. There was a nice, powerful bitterness that was very well restrained. Smooth light malt flavors held the hops in check and kept everything very well balanced. The alcohol was well hidden. After several swallows, I was better able to characterize the hops as more toward the pine end of the spectrum with some grassiness.

Mouthfeel was perfect. Smooth and creamy and deceptively easy drinking. Not overly carbonated with just the right body to support the hops.

Overall this is the best example of the style I have had to date. Now I really want to try Pliny the Younger and see how they interpret it. Although I have been to Russian River, they're across the country and I was not there when Younger was available, just had Pliny the Elder.

 1,305 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stunning beer. Cloudy pale gold with a nice white head and moderate sticky lacing. The nose is grapefruit and pine with a sweet aroma in the back. The taste is amazing. Medium body, sweetness, citrus fruit and bitter pine. Really great beer.

 241 characters

Photo of Nhens0016
4.82/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed in a can like it says on the can so my look I just gave a 4.

I will say that it is always hard to live up to the hype. I have had many beers in my 5 years of enjoying craft beer (27 currently) and enjoyed many different styles. I was blessed to get a 4 pack of this beer and can easily say it is a top 3 IPA/Double IPA for me. I never like to say this is the best beer I ever had so that is why I will never say that about this beer but it lived up to the hype. This beer has everything I want in an IPA and it has that mouthfeel that many IPAs don't have. This beer is incredible. If you get the honor, TRY TRY TRY!

 625 characters

Photo of ftla69
3.97/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't believe the hype. Is it a good Imperial IPA? Yes? Is it worth all the hullabalo no. Is it the best? Not even close. Honestly don't understand the big deal with this beer. There are many better imperial IPA's out there. I think it being hard to get adds to the mystique of it but honestly there are other Vermont beers that are just as good. Do I regret buying it? No because going to this store allowed me to select a bunch of other delicious choices.

 458 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich orange with a nice white finger of foam. Smell is layers of citrus and some pine. Taste is similar. Super medium feel with just the right carbonation. Dry, somewhat bitter finish that sticks around. Like many IPAs, this one seems to change a lot depending on its age. The first time I had it it was light yellow and kind of tart. I think this one hits the sweet spot, as it's pretty amazing. As the can says, not the biggest beer, but the way it puts it all together is artful.

 490 characters

Photo of Mgree909
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this sent from a friend up north and they did a number on the box which obviously gave me some questions to if it was altered or not....as soon as I opened the can the smell was amazing and I was excited to see what all the hype was about. Like so many say, a little hazy with a one finger head, amazing smell. Love the citrus flavor, too many IPAs go way to Malty for me. Love this brew, lives up to the hype!

 418 characters

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I know! "Drink From The Can!" they say... but I HAD to pour a small amount to a sniffer :)
The beer is a little hazy, yellow with a one finger high, white head.

Nose: A lot of fruity hops! Orange, mandarine, grapefruit, pear, citrus, pine and honey.
Taste: So good! An explosion of tropical fruit. Citrus, orange, grapefruit, pine, grass and malt.
Mouthfeel: Full body. Crisp carbonation. Oily feeling. Dry, bitter ending.

This IS a great beer but we do have a little bit to much hype here...

 500 characters

Photo of smb
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours cloudy and bright radiant gold with huge 3-finger head that eventually settles to 1. Sticky and bubbly lacing remains along the top and sides of the glass. (Yea, didn't drink from the can... but wanted to be able to look at it).

Aroma is a rainbow of tropical and citrus flavors. Tangerine, grapefruit and pear come through as well as grassy marijuana dankness.

Taste follows the nose, minus the dank, and the drink down is incredibly light and smooth with grapefruit and hops lingering.

The OG NE hazy tropical IPA. One of the most balanced and delicious ever. The hype is real. There's not much that's better than this.

 631 characters

Photo of TrojanRB
4.38/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color, 2 inches of clean white foam.

Big time citrus, a bit of crisp pine,

Citrus and grassy notes. Pinecone bite in the finish.

Moderately carbonated, very drinkable.

 186 characters

Photo of Caput_H_lupulorum
4.22/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Lightly cloudy, straw color. Thin white foamy head leaving little lacing.
S- Grapefruit and other citrus, pineapple.
T- Plenty of citrus with immediate and persistent hoppy bitterness.
F- Great lively mouthfeel with fine effervescence.
O- A great beer, but there are others in this style that just do it slightly better.

 324 characters

Photo of NoZeFace
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I see why people go nuts for this beer. The smell hits ya but isn't too much. It moves like a fresh bit of flowers. Nice straw/golden color with a bit of haze. Very nice taste...crisp with a bit of bitterness and bite. It is one of the better beers I have ever had. Would certainly like to give it another go

 308 characters

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,244 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.