Heady Topper | The Alchemist

2,336 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

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

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Reviews: 2,336 | Ratings: 13,162
Photo of AmarilloBrewing
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just tasted Heady Topper from the can as instructed. Hop aroma of citrus, piney and some dank. Tastes explodes with carbonation bitterness. This dies down and the hop flavors explode, peach, mango and grapefruit. WOW ! ! ! What just happened ? Another taste and WOW ! ! ! ! !

Second Heady, I poured a little in a glass. Cloudy as expected as is unfiltered and fermented with Conan yeast. But still WOW ! !

This is the best craft beer I have ever tasted.

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Photo of kw_pip
4.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can into glass. Golden honey color with minimal head and medium bubbles. Smells of bitter citrus but with something a little off. Mouth feel is slightly syrupy. Tastes like a hoppy fresh cranberry and a little malty.

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

This is the beer that i base other other beers upon. I may be a touch bias, i live 3 hours from Burlington and can get this beer semi regularly if needed. but, for the money this thing is the benchmark of everything else and until something else hits my lips this is my unicorn.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed straight from the can as directed. Not sure on the date, but I know it was canned over a month ago.

A: Enjoyed from the can, so no appearance rating.

S: Mostly hop notes of pine, resin, as well as tropical fruit notes of pineapple, mango, and peach. Light citrus notes of grapefruit and orange.

T: Straight hoppy showcase of pine and resin accompanied by light citrus and tropical fruit notes. Hides the ABV well.

F: Light, smooth, with good carbonation.

O: Overall, a great DIPA. Love the choice of hop blend and the ABV is hidden very well. Very drinkable. Would love to try a fresher can!

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

This is the best beer I have had the pleasure of drinking. The aroma was thick with hoppy goodness. First drink did not carry as much hop flavor as the nose indicates, but that is okay. No bitterness whatever with this beer. There are no other adjectives that I can assign....all I can say is this is what all IPAs should aspire to be.

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.87/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this about a year ago, can't believe I haven't reviewed it yet. Pour is a golden, nearing straw yellow hue. Frothy tight white bubbled head, excellent lacing on the glass. With the aroma, I have no other way to explain it other than the perfect array of hops. A certain dankness in the back end, back door with a tropical sweetness of mangos, pinneapple, guava. No maltiness detected. Taste follows the nose well, with a burst of tropical resinous hops, even a funky yeast presence with a burst of piney, palate coating goodness. Pretty much the perfect IPA, nothing gimmicky or typical "NE hazy"-like. It's in its own lane, and deserves every bit of hype.

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Photo of daudelin2000
4.8/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The mighty Heady Topper! Been drinking it for years now. Finally reviewing it. Golden yellow in appearance. Haze for days. Smells like a combination of grapefruit, freshly cut grass, and pine. Taste mostly follows the nose. The finish is incredible. The leftover hop flavors that cling to your tongue are delightful without over doing it.

Heady, at one point, was my favorite beer and was THE beer that pushed me to try other ridiculously hopped beers. There are others I prefer nowadays. However, it is still in my top 10 for sure and I've still yet to have another beer that tastes like Heady.

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Photo of NyBeerBro
4.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What a treat to drink a beer like Heady Topper that lives up to it's reputation. Imperial IPA's are my favorite style so I have had plenty and this has to be a top 3. If you ever have the opportunity to drink one of these bad boys don't pass it up.

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

Heady Topper is by far my overall favorite. Its been a while since I have actually looked at the color since I drink Heady directly from the can when I can. I live in Florida and Vacation during the summer in Vermont I highly recommend the whole immersive cultural experience of getting Heady Topper fresh by any means possible which may include stalking the beer truck on delivery day, or waiting online at one of the delivery locations in close proximity to their brewery in Waterbury Vermont. Upon popping open a Heady Topper the smell is intense and Hoppy as is the taste, there is a slight bitterness with your first sip which dissipates quickly leaving your palate yearning for more. With balanced carbonation the mouth feel is that of pure refreshment.

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Photo of FAT_mike
1.65/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

I live in Vermont and have had Heady Topper many times, mostly when its the only thing to drink at a party. I remember the first time, I gagged and I thought that someone had given me a beer and spiked it with fresh cut grass clippings. I know I'm in the minority up here but I'm tried of all the craft breweries trying to cram as many hops as they can into a can of beer.

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Photo of Spamalot
4.09/5  rDev -12%
look: 1 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Consumed both fresh from the can and poured into a tulip glass. Review is based on from the can, which was the superior tasting experience.

L: Consumed from the can, per instructions printed extensively on the can, so not much to rate here
S: Wonderfully hoppy aroma, the smell you wish all IPA would have when you open them.
T: Hops, hops, and more hops. Hop bomb doesn't cover the half of it.
F: Nothing exceptional on the mouthfeel, just standard hoppy bitterness and pine mixed with a little fruit.

O: A very good IPA, but far to reliant on massive amounts of hops, rather then making a complex set of flavors.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The Alchemist "Heady Topper"
1 PINT can, no freshness dating (but purchased on 6/6/16 so @ 3 weeks old)
$12.99/4-pk @ Healthy Living Market & Café, South Burlington, VT

This is not my first Heady Topper. I've had it super fresh and I've had it "aged" for a few weeks. I didn't understand the "drink it from the can" thing at first because it was fresh, and too aggressive. As it ages a bit I understand that better. And I have to admit, I don't like it fresh, there's too much vegetal character to it (green pepper, tomato stalk, and very grassy... but also somewhat resinous, and with some spruce). After two weeks it settles a bit, and smooths. However, without freshness dating there's no way to tell what you're getting until you've opened it.

I think what makes it work is that although it is so heavily laden with hops, and what I think of as "spent hop" character (that tobacco-like and muddy-vegetal taste) is that it's also got tropical fruit notes that pop up a bit don't really poke out, they're just threaded throughout the malt (bready, sugary, grainy), as are the rest of the hop notes (pine, pineapple, dank weed, mango, flowers, orange). So many hoppy beers seem like the hops are just resting on top of the malt, but Heady seems thoroughly amalgamated. And when it's got a few weeks on it it becomes quite smooth despite its kind of aggressive nature.

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Photo of MamaHoney
4.3/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 1 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25


Always good to get my hands on some heady topper - whether at home in VT or away.
It packs a serious punch, but gets the job done.

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

OMG!!! Love this beer and thank god I have a friend in Burlington that can get it to me here in Florida and Maine. I've got about 1/2 of a case in my beer fridge right now and I'm nurturing it along. So easy to drink. TOO damn easy to drink actually. I've even lined up an hour early (with about 75 people in front of me) at the Winooski Warehouse for, as it turned out a half case) of FRESH Heady. Happy to get that.

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

Had this many times but nothing compares to being in Vermont and the truck pulls up and the parade of hand trucks goes into the Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury. Mouth dropped! Taste way different then ones I had back home, that where muled from Vermont. Drink from the CAN!

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Photo of MattyTibbs
4.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 1 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Lived up to the hype, for real.

L - No "look rating" b/c they even tell you to drink from the can

S - When you pull that tab, you best be ready for that hop sucker-punch to your nose... amazing

T - Pine & citrus are solid in this beer, like a great IPA is known to have. Nice balance w/ malt profile

F - Smooth, good carbonation

O - Lucky enough to have had a couple of these bad boys. Looking forward to getting more

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Photo of avas
4.53/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Updated 8/9/16; consumed from a can picked up same day from new brewery.

A: Pours a hazy straw gold with a puffy yellow-tinged white head of tiny bubbles. Thick lacing sticks to the edge of the glass.

S: Heavily citric with major notes of grapefruit and orange. Tons of green hop character, reminiscent of a fresh marijuana bud dankness. Bits of peppermint, earth, and honey underlie.

T: Straight up red grapefruit juice up front followed by a mid-mouth caramel flavor from the malt base. Resinous, earthy freshly cut flowers/grass on the finish along with a lingering honey sweetness.

M: Extremely creamy and softly carbonated, this one just rolls down off the tongue way too easily. Just the slightest touch of alcohol reminds you that you're drinking an 8% beer, but the fullness and medium- bitterness makes Heady ultra drinkable.

O: Fresh is best. I've had Heady a few times before, but drinking a can on the day I picked it up from the brewery makes a big difference. The hops take center stage; the fresh hop aromas really pop out of the glass, and the grapefruit and earth flavors is potent on the mouth. It's a bit sweeter and greener than I like my IPAs, but the unique hop profile, complemented by a thick and creamy mouthfeel, make this a fantastic beer, one very worthy of the hype it continues to draw.

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Photo of willricewillsweep
4.2/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank out of the can, so no 'look' rating here. Heavy heavy hops, thick mouthfeel and lots of malt. Overall hop flavor is not super juicy or aromatic like a Julius or PseudoSue, but great quality nonetheless.

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Photo of dhitchcox
4.78/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: Amber. Mostly translucent but a slight haze; 20% opacity. Little creamy head; most dissipated fairly quickly but held at the rim throughout the drink.
Smell: Rich caramel. Piney. Slight over ripened fruit, especially mango.
Taste: Very piney. Resinous. Just great.
Feel: Pretty smooth and creamy up front. Little bitter bite at the end but not unpleasing.
Overall: Nice to try this world class beer again and be more critical. Makes me realize how much better it is than all the tropical bombs out there right now. Best of the piney IPAs I've had.

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

Thick, smells like hops, and tastes like heaven.
But, it's a heavy, rich beer. I have to be in the mood.
I wouldn't drink this before operating machinery, including the lawn mower. Sometimes I drink it after mowing the lawn but it's not a lawnmower beer. I always drink it after my thirst was quenched or I drink it too fast and it creeps up on me.
It's strong and hoppy with a strong and notable backbone. It is surprisingly sweet. The taste lingers.

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

Poured into a snifter/tulip/wine hybrid glass from a 16.9oz can

A - A beautiful hazy copper sunset, a barely-off-white frothy head and some sugar legs/lacing

S - The hops, malt and yeast smell as fresh as a cooled boil and as crisp as a just carbed conditioned bottle. The yeast funk is awesome -- just wish I could put my NOSE on it... the sugar is awesome, nice booze, lots of live green earth, citrus (sweet and rind), pineapple, sap, the sweetest of sweet malt/grains, smells like the mountain air with island fruits and flowers.

T - Huge sweet malt/grain, vibrant pine, pineapple (pineapple tastes so fresh) and citrus, some funky (awesome) dank, bitter citrus rinds, sweet citrus and some slight island/tropics hops/flowers/green earth, clean (young soil), fresh crisp water, bread yeast and may taste better than the wine Jesus made.

M - Full bodied, awesome balance, amazing complexity, perfect carbonation, slightly over the top acidity and a joy from start to finish.

D/O - There are many things in life that are hyped and even over-hyped, this ale is not one of them -- heck, this ale is not to be reckoned with. Flavor, freshness, balance and refreshment. The can says it perfectly as well, "drink from the can", I can't tell the difference, it is that good. 365 days a year in any climate with guano you'll be stoked this is being paired with it. Legendary.

Final thoughts - The price I am unsure of as this was a gift, the 8% ABV is spectacular and the only con with this beer, I can't buy it in CA.

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

Heady Topper lived up to its name. A very well mad beer that has a strong punch. I'm glad that I tried this beer and look forward to enjoying it again.

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Photo of nola1988
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: hazy, straw
S: big sweetness, fruity
T: follows smell with risen staying around afterwards.
F: sticky, full. Medium carb.
O: What to add? I believe the hype.

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Photo of aadkins0331
4.87/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of the best DIPA!! My only complaint is having to drive 2hrs to get and there have been times it was sold out. When will this be distributed in NH???

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Photo of Masonz223
4.69/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | 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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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,162 ratings.
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