Heady Topper | The Alchemist

BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,336 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:
2,336
Ratings:
13,163
Avg:
4.65
pDev:
7.1%
 
 
Wants:
9,166
Gots:
5,430
For Trade:
69
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,336 | Ratings: 13,163
Photo of Tmyhre802
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Am very lucky to have a steady supply due to my proximity to Waterbury. Due to that I am always looking forward to cracking the next heady that brings that delicious hoppy not to citrusy ipa smell to your nostrils. The taste is the most memorable i've ever had with the perfect bite to accompany it's 8% abv, making it impossible to not savor the last taste. Believe the hype.

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Photo of LANDRY
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A. Not sure I followed directions and drank it strait
S. Fresh cut grass, springtime in a can
T. Grapefruit, apricot, very dry and bitter, scorched earth excellent
M. Creamy, biting light and malty
O. Excellent beer, almost lives up to the hype, lol a must have for any IPA lover big thanks to HBJ for procuring it!

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Photo of Sandbarunner
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured a tiny bit into a glass just to get a look at it. Its unfiltered so it is meant to be cloudy and not too clean.

I followed the directions and drank it from the can. Perfect balance of Aroma and bitterness.

Worth the drive to Vermont to get it!

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Photo of Triplesnake
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic Double IPA. It does however have a very sweet after taste. The reason this beer is rated so well is the genius marketing from the Alchemist Team. Cheers to you for that John! I am drinking this beer out of a glass right now, and I do have to say that they are deadly serious about it being better in the Can.

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Photo of Shockmaster88
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Taste and mouthfeel were spectacular. Hits your nose like a hammer straight to your olfactory senses. Do NOT pour this beer into a glass as it is to be enjoyed fresh from the can, doing so will result in little white specs in your beer leaving it to seem much less appealing.

Overall, one of the best IPAs out there!

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Thanks to Elkevo for this!

A- This was very interesting to me. When I poured it from the can it looked a lime green. But once it's in the glass it is a dark yellow, off gold color. The head is about an inch and is off white. The head goes away after a few minutes but maintains a nice lace that covers the whole top of the beer.

S- When I first popped the tab I got hit in the face with tropical fruits. There's so much grapefruit, orange, lemon, pineapple, and apricot. There's a sticky sweetness in the back of the nose that is similar more to a syrup more than a sugar, if that make sense. The hops are huge in this beer. There's an excellent mix between bitterness and grass, floral characters in there. There's even a lightness in the smell.

T- I tasted this from both the can and the glass to decide which tastes better (there's an ongoing debate regarding this). First from the can; the hops hit first with a bitterness which then changes into tropical fruits with pineapple, grapefruit and apricot as the most prevalent. The malt is way more detectable in the taste (as it should be probably) which tastes really sweet. It finishes with a bitterness on the back of the tongue and a floral grassy, taste that remains for a long long time. The longer it sits the better it gets. Now, from the can; The fruits are the first thing I taste from the can. Then the malt sits in and smooths out the taste with a bit of syrup and then the bitterness hits. The aftertaste is very similar to the glass.

M- thick, bitter and fruity. It's not bitter enough to make it hard to drink but just enough to cut up your mouth a little bit. In a really good way. The bitterness escalates as it sits on the tongue after the swallow.

O- An awesome beer. Probably my favorite IPA now, It's between this and sucks. This beer has a great balance between hops and malt. The hops are great and everything from top to bottom is great in this beer. I honestly think though that the beer is better in the can than the glass, you get a much higher concentration on flavor and aroma.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 500ml can into a stemmed tulip glass (beer was 6 days old)

A: Very cloudy (murky?) with some large-ish sediment floating around. Heady is an unfiltered beer, but this this seems excessive and other similar unfiltered DIPAs do not have this problem. The beers pours a nice orangey color and forms a huge, thick white head and leaves nice lacing behind.

**Edit: Having a few more cans of Heady, I have found the sediment to much less in other cans leaving the pour very hazy/cloudy which is fine by me! Therefore, increased the appearance score from 3.25 to 4.0 to 4.25**

S: To die for! A massive hop nose dripping of pine tar and grapefruit.

T: Hops again with big grapefruit and other citrus flavors (sweet oranges and tangerines) as well as though classic American bittering hops drying the beer out a bit. Complimenting this heavy hops regiment is the perfect malt profile balancing out the brew. A long dry clean finish.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Very clean and round.

O: This is just a great balanced beer! It is not the hoppiest beer nor the maltiest, but it achieves perfect balance and is incredibly easy drinking. One of the few double/imperial IPAs that leaves your primed for a second!

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Photo of VTEno17
4.97/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: My god, crack a can and you can smell it across the room. Immediate grapefruit, then pine, I can't detect the alcohol

A: The can is clean and simple in design and appeals to my OCD engineer side. Pour it into a glass and it is a nice hazy caramel color.

T: Hops pure, unadulterated hops! Grapefruit again, lots of pine . . . Hey but where is the bitterness, just enough to clean the palate or the next gulp. No real alcohol, just citrus and pine.

M: This is the genius of this beer, too many DIPAs leave a syrupy film in your mouth, but with each gulp of this you get a smooth feel followed by a slight crisp that leaves your mouth refreshed and ready, no begging, for the next.

O: So far the best I have ever had, maybe stupid but this beer has been life altering, I have been searching for HT's equal for 3+ yrs. A couple times I have thought to myself "wow this is kinda like heady!" but a few sips later and they all become too bitter or too sweet/syrupy. I have been lucky enough to do a side by side camparo of heady and Pliny but it was not even close and I had to assume that something was wrong with the Pliny, maybe it was old? Anyway, hope to try it again some day.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Citrus hits you hard when you crack open a can. The juicy hop flavors are layered in an interesting way so as to get something a bit different with every sip.

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Photo of derise
2.98/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Typical Double IPA. Had a great crisp citrus taste to it. It was not as smooth as I thought it was going to be. Notice the hops more on the after tastes. cloudy appearance. In my opinion not worth all the hype. I can easily say there are so many better IPA's out on the market.

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Photo of Matty123
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say that hasn't been said already? Best beer in the Country. Often imitated, never fkn duplicated. I've had all the "best" x times and none of them are the Topper. This beer leaves you feeling like you just ate a fresh grapefruit. It leaves you wanting to crack another. I've had it out the can and out of a Tulip, and its just as good either way! GOD BLESS THE ALCHEMIST! You want the beer You're drinking now to be like this but just admit it... It's not!

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Photo of N_Schleret
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a cloudy orange/yellow color with a half finger white head that dissipates to a light film, light lacing.
S: Citrus, and floral, not as big on the nose as I was expecting.
T: WOW! This tastes amazing, with grapefruit, orange, pine. Well done.
M: Medium body, light carbonation, sticky, and dry. Perfect.
O: Lived up to the hype, now I know why they have a hard time keeping up with demand. Seek this out!

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Photo of Eurso16
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

been a member for a while now and visit the site frequently but have never written a review so i figured why not start here, after finally getting my hands on this gem.

like others, i was a skeptic, wondering how much better could this beer really be compared to dirt wolf, hopslam, other top knotch ipas, etc. Well for me, the hype is real. IMO, this is a perfectly crafted, well executed representation of a DIPA. Now that i have began home brewing, i have a new appreciation for what it takes to craft a delicious beer. From the nose right on through to the mouthfeel, this brew is outstanding. sip after sip you continue to taste just the most absolute fresh, juicy, dank, hop flavor. mouthfeel is sticky, medium bodied and almost creamy.

definitely my new favorite beer. well done Alchemist, Well done.

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Photo of Chilly444
4.83/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A long time coming for this review. Two of my great friends brought back 2 cases. I went into this the same way it sounds like a lot of people do. very excited BUT somewhat skeptical. How can everyone agree that this is one of the best beers no matter what your personal preference in style is? Well...just because it is. Luckily my favorite beers are imperial IPA's. The can says Heady Topper, but I almost instantly nick named it 'rolling thunder' for two reasons. 1. Its got a high ABV in a 16 oz serving. 2. because its rolling waves of super deep hop, after hop, after hop. Each wave releases a different flavor that ignites your mouth with an assertive force and refuses to leave after you're done drinking it. It takes about 5-10 minutes for it linger away. My favorite part of this wonder is the very middle. There becomes a blast of grapefruit dryness in the middle that is incredibly apparent. You might say its sweet because its a very bright flavor but its not sweet in any sugary artificial way. I think the moment when the middle grapefruit blast hits is the best because of the waves of pine and floral hops that come on the front, and back ends before you reach that middle peak explosion. It has an awesome body that you can really feel on your palate, and has an aromatic smell that you can not ignore.

SO. that all being said.

A - Awesome. really cool looking (slightly funny) can. I poured a tiny bit out to see what it looked like for real. Musky greenish/deep brownish yellow. Almost completely non-transparent.

S - A piny hoppy blast straight to the dome that is noticeable from the moment you crack the can.

T - Insanely awesome. Rolling waves of hops that include pine, grapefruit, and slight floral notes.

M - A medium body on the heavier side. Lacing up your mouth with goodness.

O - You know you want one...or 10. Its awesome. Do your self a favor and make the trip to buy a case!

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Photo of Hamerica
4.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was expecting a party in my mouth when I had this beer. All I ended up with was just some good beer, no GREAT beer. I think the hype of this beer hurt the chances. I prefer a nice florally west coast IPA over this one note beer.
If you want a nice double ipa, grab a Palette Wrecker or a Southern Tier 2X

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Photo of tony11
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok so the beer is perfect. I have been drinking it for a while and it never disappoints nor does it become old. the flavors are always fresh tasting and always exciting. the first time I drank it it I poured it into a glass because I thought the "Drink out of the can" was hype. Incredible as the taste out of the glass was, it was otherworldly out of the can. The initial whiff of the hops when you pop it open is Ecstasy. The promise of a great beer to come delivers on your first sip and then the magic happens as each sip brings out different flavors from bitter to sweet back to bitter all in different stages.

I received the new IPA glasses as a gift and drank the Heady Topper from it. Sacrilegious I thought to myself. The glasses do a great job as the initial aroma is less dramatic and more subtle which is not a bad thing. Now I get to admire the color of this golden nectar.

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Photo of RobertHolley
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I do not like to "believe the hype" but Heady Topper did not disappoint. Did not drink out of the can. The color when poured in a glass is beautiful. The smell is very unique and the flavor holds true. One of my most important factors in tasting beers is the after taste. Heady just keeps going and going. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of controlfate
4.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Received a 4-pack in a trade. Served chilled in the can, as per the manufactures instructions.

A: I drank it out of the can, so it's hard to assess the appearance.
S: The smell is outstanding, very fruity, citrusy, and piney.
T: The taste follows the aroma with notes of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, pine, and mango. The taste starts out citrusy sweet, with a piney bite that tapers into a smooth fruity finish.
M: A medium bodied mouthfeel that leaves the tongue salivating for more.
O: I have been searching for this beer for a while and it did not disappoint! I will have the next one in a glass to compare the taste. Heady Topper is a must try for any IPA and IIPA fans!

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Photo of Celtics76
4.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The smoothest and easiest to drink 8%+ abv beer I've ever had. A magical experience - the pungent bitter hop flavor lingered long after finishing. There's a nice subtle grapefruit presence on the back end as well. Lucky me I have 12 more of these!

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Photo of pants678
3.66/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow/orange body with a fluffy white head.

A honey-like sweetness and very floral.

Bread and not quite grapefruit but still a tangy fruit flavor. Spicy and not quite as sweet as the nose. Not bitter, as advertised, but a little metallic (or maybe alcoholic). I saw it's a combination of six hops, the only one I'm sure of is simcoe. After that, possibly cascade, possibly amarillo.

A softer finish, kind of a sticky beer.

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Photo of Chrisfarleywine
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to have this a few times and it's consistently one of the best IIPA's I've had. It's not some revelatory flavor that doesn't exist in any other beers, it's the combination of those flavors and how everything is perfectly balanced. It's the Goldilocks soup of beers, just right.

The hop blend is a perfect balance of dank, fruity and floral and the alcohol has a nice drying effect without being overly hot.

I do believe the Conan yeast gives it's a unique fruity character as well.

Vermont is quickly becoming the best beer producing state in the country.

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Photo of BigMurph
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: pours an orangeish hazy color with a finger high head that leaves great lacing

S: get a huge smell of citrus hops mixed in with some floral hops

T: the taste is like the smell the citrus hops comes through. it's an amazing taste. it has the hop taste without the overwelming bitterness.

M: medium body with a good amount of carbonation

D: this is a very easy drinking beer. it goes down way to easy for its alcohol content = DANGEROUS

Serving type: Poured from can to glass.

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Photo of blaje
4.91/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First of all, and I certainly won't be the first to say this, but I HATE drinking beer in cans. You do not see, you cannot smell correctly and it looks cheap! Anyway, I did obey what the can says and I did drink it out of the can.

Tasted in two serving, first time is out of the can, as prescribed, and second time is poured into a glass. No big difference in smell/taste between the two servings. But at least I could appreciate its golden slightly orange colour. Looks hazy and forming a nice head with some lacing.

N- Immediately at opening, a delightful smell emerged from this can. How this amazing smell comes out of this? Mesmerised, totally impressed! Explosive notes of hops resins, very citrusy, pink grapefruit, tropical fruits upfront with herbal undertones (cannabis). Very floral. WOW

M &T-mouth is extremely pleasant, more dry the expected as from the nose revealed at first. Bitterness is biting strong at the very beginning but not overshooting. Feeling is slick, almost creamy. Tremendous amounts of flavours are released on firsts sip. Explosive taste of hops resins, citrus and tropical fruits, pink grapefruits. Carbonation is moderate/low which is perfect for a DIPA. Perfectly balanced, Highly drinkable.

Overall, a PERFECT DIPA ! Perfectly balanced on all levels. Would enjoy over and over again. A definitely must have for all hophead.
Thanks to the Church Street beverage manager who point this beer out and picked it up for me, because I would have skip this beer while making my choices the last time I was there. Today, I can tell you I would have made a great mistake. I regret that I only had one four-pack!

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Photo of BrewsforBreakfast
4.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't know how beer can taste any better than this. I thought there was no way this could live up to the hype. Wrong.

I drank from the can, as instructed.

The smell crushes your nose with all of the citrus fruits. You almost don't think its beer.

The taste is a hop utopia with the perfect amount of bitter. Finishes very clean. Wide-mouth + tall boy can makes the gulps large and satisfying. You don't want the beer to end and it doesn't. The last sip was better than the first. Everything balances. Taste sensations come on in waves.

Mouthfeel is perfect. I don't know how else to describe it. Not thin, not thick. Medium carbonation. Dangerously drinkable.

Completely sober, this gave me a solid buzz but I never tasted the alcohol. There is a reason this beer is so loved. It is joyously good.

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Photo of WellRested518
4.61/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- although I drank this gorgeous elixir from the can, I watched as it was carefully poured into a tulip. Perfect orange-salmon haze with a prominent head and steady lacing.

ยง- straight hops, done right. Citrus and pine are prominent with a light hit of alcohol at the end.

T- once again... large, delicious, beautiful, hopsss. It's not like most double ipa's though. This has real flavor. I can tell that the brewer used his skills meticulously. A nice sweet grapefruit prevails, amongst the likes of pine and pride.

M- by far my favorite thing about this brew. Perfect carbonation leads to a buttery bouquet that clings to the pallet.

O - lives up to it's title.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,163 ratings.
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