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Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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2,279 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: 2,279 | Ratings: 12,804
Photo of Rifugium
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this enough in a can to be able to appreciate it, but it was nice to have had the opportunity to get it straight from the source and as fresh as possible.

Poured a very cloudy, gold-peach-yellow color with a healthy puff of white head; nice retention and lacing. No worries about floaters on tap. As in the can, big aroma of hops, lemons, and an afterthought of pine needles. Taste is equally laden with juicy hop goodness, lemon, grapefruit, more lemon, pith and pleasant bitterness, light notes of pine and pineapple. Medium body, juicy and fresh up front, crisp and drying in the finish; excellent beer as always.

The Cannery makes for a nice easy diversion and is a quick jaunt from Burlington. Since we can't review breweries here for whatever reason, I'll just quickly note that they have a nice simple set-up, plenty of cans for purchase, sample-sized pours on tap, and lots of neat merch, as well as a self-guided tour. Worth checking out.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finally made the long trek up here to be able to taste it in person. Reviewed from notes after my trip, I am finally getting around to getting these all caught up. Served in a pint glass.

The pour was what dreams are made of. All big IPA's should look this way. Seriously. Intense dark amber in color, nearly brown when all is said and done as it really just was darker then I ever would have thought. Big head of white caps it perfectly, two to three inches in height with a rocky and cratered appearance that really seem to hang on forever. Really just a tremendous looking beer I have to admit. The lacing coating the sides alone is enough to make you quiver, but then you decide to reach forward and try and take a big whiff, and that's when you will nearly fall over. It is just sublime. Huge citrus aroma here, tart and bitter as can be with pungent orange and pineapple mixing with the pink grapefruit aroma we come to expect in our big double IPA's. Huge nose, warming brings out a touch of butter malts underneath and a light, but discernable grain note. Each sip is like a step into hop heaven. Unreal freshness here. No hint of the ABV at all, in fact it was so smooth I could have sat here all day and drank this one, just remarkable. Rich orange and grapefruit tear at the taste buds, ripping every ounce of moisture from your palate and replacing it with a wonderful buttery flavor that is second to none. Smooth even carbonation and a rich medium body stacks it all up to being just a tremendous double IPA.

Overall I am just floored. I have been able to try this twice now and each time I am more impressed then before. Simply amazing and I wish more people would get to try this one. It can hold its own with any of the big boys any day of the week.

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

Thank you, thank you, thank you profusely to akorsak for sharing this great beer with me last night 1/9/11. Poured slightly cool into a cervoise glass.

The beer pours clear and golden with a skosh toward amber with a fairly large amount of ecru cap which rises and retains well. The lace clings amply with a tight bead. Carbonation is visibly moving gradually at a moderate pace upward. The beer is very attractive and exemplifies the color of Imperial Ipa's I tend to enjoy. The aroma is intense, a plethora of aromas - pine and strong pineapple greet my nostrils instantly. The smell of herbs, mild sweet grass and elements of citrus which could be tangelo and mellow mango. The floral elements work with a juicy grapefruity scent and lots of tropical notes join the fray so fresh smelling, so intense it is just jammed with beautiful hop aroma. The feel is smooth and very moderately carbonated which is nice as it doesn't push the bitterness to the forefront. There is lots of juicy and resinous texture with slightly sweet finish -not quite oily and not tangy just fits the style perfectly showcasing the depth of hop presence.

A wondeful taste experience - the exceptionally smooth citric bitterness blends with a juicy lightly tangy tropical quality and slightly sweet malt cushions the impact ever so slightly and not intruding at all. the juicy grapefruity and piney flavor is there in abundance it does have a mild mango aspect too with subtle acidic taste and mild resinous edge. I like that the fruity, semi-sweet passionfruit and honey like malt and green grassiness compliment each other so well. It has pineapple without all the acidity and tangy light astringency of grapefruit without going over the line with pithy rind notes. The citrus is like sweet less bitter lemon, maybe meyer lemon with a clementines juicy quality. I sipped on this and was dreading swallowing the last drops since it had such a delicious array of hop flavors I didn't want it to end.

Thanks Adam, really it brought a little sunshine to a cold winter's eve - the wonderful big IPA is a treat. You have to monitor yourself because the hops are so juicy you might forget you are drinking an alcoholic beverage. It is supremely drinkable and met every expectation, I just dind't have any idea how good it could be. I consider this possibly one of the best of the style, it is very near a perfect Imperial Ipa to me. Mr Korsak, thanks again for sharing this Heady topper with me.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.68/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had half from the can, half poured in a glass, just couldn't resist.
Looks hazy orange, a big two finger fluffy head that recedes to half-a-finger and stays like that for a longer while, with lots of traces on the glass.
Layers upon layers of hops straight from the smell, getting big citrus (grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine), also big tropical notes (mango, maracuja), but also strong pine and strong leafy hops. Light pale malts, nothing to concentrate on there.
From the get go, truckloads of hops, but not the most "painful" bitterness, just a ton of flavor. Begins with bitter sweet blood oranges, grapefruit peel, some tangerines too, peach, easing into tropical fruit with pineapple, juicy mango and maracuja. Big floral note, hinting honey, but more like sweet petals, closer to, say.. orange blossom water. The "green" part of the hops dominate the finish with pine resin, concentrated hop oils, Sweet Kush dankness, making up a big bitterness that doesn't erase all the previous flavors.
The aftertaste is hoppy, also leaving a bit of room for the grainy/bready malts. Low carbonation, medium body, incredibly smooth. No time to detect any alcohol.
It's so tasty that you don't even realise it's over so fast. Drinking it from the can tilted the balance more towards leafiness for me. Incredible show of hops. This time, do believe the hype!

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Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Drew.

A: The pour is a cloudy dark orange with a finger's worth of white head.

S: The nose is intensely perfumey with lots of grapefruit, mango, pine, and lemon zest. There's a pretty nice pine aroma, and just an overall fruitiness to it.

T: Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and lemon zest give this a big fruitiness. Though it does have a lot of fruit notes, it's also pretty intensely bitter and piney, which is very nice.

M: The body is medium with a pretty lively carbonation and a dry, bitter finish.

D: Certainly a very, very good IPA. Actually reminded me a lot of Sculpin, but more bitter. Would definitely like to have this one again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.56/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A big thank you to markgugs for this one! Looks like this was canned 4-29-14

Pours a hazed apricot with 2 fingers of rocky pearl colored head. Not gonna detract for haziness, apparently they aren't going for this dropping bright. Sheets of lacing, very good head retention

S: Leafy hops, breadyness, pears; maybe the only short coming in this beer, not getting any citrus pop

T: Pineapple, white grape, bread fruit, breadyness, slight honey malt notes, a touch of peach & apricot, with leafy hops layered underneath. Tea-like notes mix with grapefruit, breadyness, & woody hop notes; just gets better as this warms. Finishes with some honey, caramel & toffee, sneaking past the woody, leafy & citrusy hops, a touch dry too; much pineapple & a little mango too

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation & superb balance, some tingly acidy pineapple notes as well

Drinks too damn easy, now I wish to drink from the tanks, because although is very good/super complex, I sure this is mind blowing a few days old...

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16oz tallboy, purchased cans from the brewery.

Beautiful blend of hops in the nose and on the palate, bitterness toys around with the taste buds but never surpassed any kind of overkill level. Piney, citrus rind, & dank flavors. A thing of greatness.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A: Pours a hazy dark straw yellow in color with some hints of golden yellow and very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense and creamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a mottled thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of citrus and tropical hops - lots of citrus/grapefruit along with pineapple, mango, and peach tropical aromas. The smell of this beer makes me want to drink it, and want more and more of it.

T: Just like the smell, the taste of this beer is completely dominated by the hops. Moderate to strong flavors of grapefruit/citrus, pineapple, mango, and peach hops with a light amount of bitterness that does not linger. Upfront there is a light amount of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Extremely smooth and creamy.

O: Poured half the can into a glass for my review and drank the other half from the can as recommended on the can. This is definitely a world class DIPA, great aroma and great flavor...and it comes in a can to top it off. This beer is super easy to drink but I think it could really sneak up on you because the alcohol is very well hidden. Delicious!

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Rogue shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to apollokim for this can!

The big guns keep on showing up for this Super Bowl party! This one pours a rusty tawn topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit zest, yellow grapefruit peel, orange zest, strong pine resin, light leek, and buttery toffee (think Crunch 'n' Munch). The taste brings in more of the same, though the pine, leek, and citrus peels come through stronger, taking things in an ever-so-slightly bitterer direction. Things are still very well-balanced, though. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly creamy feel. Overall, a damn fine, nicely-balanced DIPA. Good times. (Note: We tried this both in the glass and straight out of the can. There was no consensus, as about half preferred the can and half preferred the glass. I was in the latter, though it wasn't a strong preference by any means.)

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Photo of orangesol
4.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Deuane for giving me one of his cans so I can finally taste the heady. Can poured into a standard pint.

A - Pours slightly hazed amber orange with a small half finger tall white head leaving small wisps of lace down the glass. It does have a little sediment floating around in there.

S - Smells of pungent grassy hops, rich tropical fruits; mostly mango and grapefruit; and some lightly toasted caramel malt. Still quite floral.

T - The taste is fairly similar to the nose. It starts off with a big dose of grassy hops quickly giving way to a mix of tropical fruits and sweet caramel malts. Fairly tropical flavor that is very easy to drink. The finish is a mix of light dryness and hop bitterness, lingering on the pallet for a short period of time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderately low carbonation. Smooth, hoopy, feel with plenty of hop bitterness lingering through the finish.

O - Very nice IPA. I had no problem finishing my glass and I was left wanting more. The balance of juicy fruit and grassy hops to the slightly sweet malt is very nice. I hope to try this one on-tap some day soon.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Beefy for this can.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a two finger white head. Very foamy with good retention and sticky lacing all around the glass.

S: Very fresh. Lots of citrus and tropical fruits - some pineapple, grapefruit, and lots of grassy hops. Some lemon and a little bit of orange pith/zest. There is a little bit of pale malt, but the hops dominate, as they should.

T: Fantastic. Heavy tropical fruit flavors with some grapefruit, mango, and a bit of tangerine. A little more zest/pith going on as well. Very faint pale malts give it a slight backbone. Very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Great level of bitterness, spot on. Drinks very easy and extremely smooth. Scary drinkable in fact. No sign of 8% whatsoever.

O: Lives up to the hype surrounding it. Could drink this beer all day everyday.

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Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry, I had to pour into the glass despite the can's pleading to drink directly. Thick, slowly receding head. Leaves plenty of chunky, blanketing lace. Cloudy, dark gold color.

Very strong evergreen hop smell. Prickly with a touch of citrus rind. Like smelling a bag of hop pellets.

Extraordinarily bitter. Starts off fairly neutrally with a bit of mild pale malt. Still this is a bitter, bitter hop bomb. Be prepared to pucker up. Hop heads shall rejoice, but I think this might be too much of a good thing (and I lean towards more hoppy beers). The body is predictable and appropriate for the style.

I was very excited to find this beer in Boston, but its hype exceeds my expectations.

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Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can. I had the first few sips from the can and then decided to pour this one into a glass to do get a proper score on appearance. I'll drink any future ones right from the can, I promise.

It poured an orange amber color with a thin but sticky white head barely covering the top of the beer. The head faded a little but left some great lacing as it did.

The aroma is bright and juicy with some notes of peach, pineapple and grapefruit coming out in it. I love the juicy, tropical fruit notes in it. Fantastic hoppy aroma overall.

The taste sows more of the bright, juicy, tropical fruit notes to it up front. Towards the finish some of the bitter, citrus rind and grapefruit flavors start to mix in and linger through the finish. Great range of hoppy flavors to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a fantastic beer, I loved the bright, juicy hoppiness. It had a great range of flavors to it and was very drinkable. Great beer overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.6/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From 08/28/10 notes. Had on tap at the Alchemist on my trip up to Vermont. Review number 600!

a - Pours a golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells very heavily of pine hops; very dominating. Also smells of citrus hops, grape fruit, tropical fruit, and faint, sweet fruity malts. Hint of floral hops. A very nice mix of pine and fruit in the smell.

t - Tastes of citrus and grapefruit, fruity malts, pine hops,and a hint of floral hops. Some nice bitterness in the initial sips that fades as you drink it.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation, very easy to drink.

d - Overall, I thought this was a great DIPA. I was a little worried it wouldn't live up to the hype, but it pretty much did. Personally I think I might rank HopSlam and PTE a bit higher, but this is a great IPA I would love to have again. I got a lot of pine in the smell and a nice mix of fruit and pine in the smell and taste, and I thought it was really easy to drink at 8% ABV. If I was up in Vermont again, I would definitely go back to the Alchemist for this beer.

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

It's hard to be number one, and only be sold in Vermont...thanks again to cwelsh55 for the beer trade. Stand up dude, who drove 7 hours each way from outside of Philly to track down this highly sought after beer. Looks great in a glass took sip from the can but didn't think it would do the beer justice after that first sip.

Pours into a chalice with a semi hazed golden peach/apricot hue with a bright white head, forms nice even layered lacing down the sides of my glass. I love the can the label the huge paragraph on the back, but the DRINK FROM THE CAN! I just can't figure it out.

Aromatics, beautifully dank hop explosion from the minute you crack the can. Resinous hop oils, dank Mary Jane, lemon pith, slightly vegetal even dare I say garlic note in the tail end of the nose.

Flavor has the perfect light malt base to provided biscuit bready notes without ever touching into the caramelized sugar realms, leaving each sip of this stuff right into an assault of hop character with a bone dry finish. I would honestly brush my teeth with this stuff, it's so good. No hype train here, a highly drinkable completely unique DIPA. Is it the best DIPA I've ever tasted? Certainly not but it's Fuckin' Good!!! A really resinous complex hop explosion on the palate remaining quite balanced and extremely effortless to consume. I would be dangerous if I had access to affordable cases of this stuff. The highlighted hop notes are as follows: dank hop resins, lemon pith, pine, and that vegetal garlic note I picked up on the nares. Usually offended by that trait in a hop profile, that's not the case here.

Mouthfeel is perfect, like I said way to easy to consume this stuff. Oily slick with those hop resins, medium bodied carbonation is soft and caresses the palate, bitter drying hop bitterness finishes each sip...with hop burps soon to follow.

Overall, I really really like this DIPA I can't explain why but I do. I'm willing to make a pilgrimage at some point, also to checkout fine beers like Lawson's, and Hill Farmstead both of which I've never consumed. Not earth shattering but so unique there's just no other canned/bottled/draft DIPAs with these traits they built they're brewery around this recipe and I can see why. No let's see more innovation and how about some distribution outside of Vermont.

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

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

A: This DIPA appears noticeably hazier than other brews of this ilk. The beer itself is light orange in color, with a 1/4" head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: Wow! The aroma is simply amazing. A bouquet of fresh tropical fruits, to include pineapple, mango, grapefruit, guava. No alcohol or malt scents to be found, just as it should be.

T: Wonderfully hop forward and delicious. The taste is fantastic, but not quite as unbelievable as the aroma, which was absolutely world class. The flavor is all about hops, citrus / tropical fruits, and floral notes. Terrific beer.

M: Bitter and dry, in the best possible way. Hop and fruit flavors linger on the palate between drinks.

D: I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. It is absolutely worthy of all the praise it has received. I look forward to drinking some on draft the next time I visit the lovely state of Vermont.

Edit: Drank over a case of this over the summer. Simply phenomenal beer. I'm not sure how or where this beer could improve. One of the best beers I have had. Dangerously drinkable and mouth wateringly delicious. My highest recommendation.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.41/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Crack! seemed extra loud in the silence of my kitchen following yesterday's snowfall. My gentle Glug still produced a finger of fizzy, bone-white head that turned to wisps pretty quickly. Color was a hazy Golden-Amber (SRM = > 5, < 7). Nose had a grapefruit tartness underlain by a tropical fruitiness. Mouthfeel was medium. The intensity of the hops immediately began an assault on my tongue, eroding all of those weak or dead taste buds and leaving the defenses wide open for the second wave. Now, it was like hydrofluoric acid, worming its way into every pore and burning like hell. Finish was super hoppy, very dry.

Unbelievable! 537 CAN reviews with my CANQuest (TM) entry as # 538. I CANnot remember any other craft CANs with this many reviews! Impressive.

From the CAN: "DRINK FROM THE CAN! [x3 for added emphasis]"; "Heady Topper is an Ameri[CAN] Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of Ameri[CAN] hops will creep up on you and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it's scary. Sometimes I wish I could crawl right into the [CAN]. Freshness and control have always been my main concern[s] when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the [CAN]? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, [sic] hop experience. The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom - leave them in the CAN when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is young, fresh and hazy. Keep it cold, but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more. [Undersigned] John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont"; "Don't be a D-Bag, recycle this [CAN]!".

My apologies to Mr. Kimmich, but a basic tenet of The CANQuest (TM) is to deCANt the beer into a glass. I do not tell him how to do his job, I would appreciate if he did not tell me how to do mine. I hear from too many people that "CANned beer tastes metallic", mostly because they are French Kissing the goldanged CAN. I may pour some and drink some from the CAN, but how CAN I review it without seeing it in all of its glory, which is another tenet for inclusion in The CANQuest - review only, no "Hads". The last tenet is to drink it all, no matter how vile. This is to separate the men from the boys, hear me, Minhas?!?

At last, after all of that transcription, it is Crack & Glug time! Anticipation, it's makin' me wait! Man, but Carly Simon was a babe in her prime. Still in all, I would not kick her out of bed for eating crackers in the sack, even today. It's like I was telling the young honey honey the other day, we all age and if you think you will be the hardbody you are now in twenty-five years, you got another think comin'. But I digress, as I am often wont to do.

Wow, but the room smelled dank! I had just under two fingers of dense tawny head that was creating the kind of lacing that would require a jackhammer to remove as it fell. The amber liquid was hazy, dense, viscous and I wanted to dive into it just to see where it would lead. Nose was resinous, if that adjective may be applied to a liquid. Pine, wintergreen, menthol, green, baby! Holy overwhelming, Batman! Mouthfeel was sticky and in the way that napalm was sticky. Man, you get that burning craziness on your skin and you start running down the road stark naked. Phan Thi Kim Phuc, I feel your pain. I suddenly got the urge to strip down and run up the street with my tongue lolling out of my mouth in the hopes of some cooling action. It is a good thing that people are used to this sort of thing from me or there might have been real trouble. I'm back and to great applause as the late-1960's and early-1970's are making a comeback and streaking is again fashionable. This is some groovy weed, I mean, beer. Finish was so gaspingly dry that I am reaching for my asthma inhaler. Let's do this again, real soon. No, really, man, how soon CAN I score some more? I mean, you're always growing, I mean, making more, right?

Now directly from the CAN: Oh yeah, it's an epiphany! I CAN rap with my late Pops while going bowling with Jesus. Dude, you CANnot pick up the 7-10 split to save your life, CAN you? That, and now I got this metallic taste going on that was not present before. Wow, baby, wow! Groovy.

Hey, dig this, hep cats, this is what'll send you (and I don't mean via FedEx, in fact, the less the feds are involved, the better). Stamp help out. Lenny Bruce is not afraid. I am now going to operate a heavy crane near an orphanage. That, or procure a tank and drive that around. It all makes sense now. Say, who left murph the surf on my ceiling?

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

Very nice, dank and piney aroma and taste. Very balanced between malt sweetness and hop bitterness. Only downside for me is the lack of some tropical fruit and the alcohol being just a bit too present.

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Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to SFLpunk for another fine trade that landed this treat in my hands. Much appreciated Jeff. Poured from a pint sized can into a tulip. This brew appears a hazed copper color. Very fine particulate is stuck throughout the suspension of this brew keeping it from being clear. A solid finger of creamy off-white head sits atop this brew and hold with very solid retaining powers. As the cap slowly fades, it completely coats the entire wall of the glass with an entire wall of lace.

The smell of this brew is very fruited and so much so that it is unlike the typical fruit aromas imparted by hops. It is quite tropical smelling primarily of pineapple with a light touch of mango. Some very light leafy to grassy hop inclusion is present across the back but this is all about the fruity sweetness of the hops here. A very light tingle of alcohol helps to accented the fruited quality of this brew.

The taste of this brew is pretty darn fantastic. The fruit aromas that the hops display in the nose completely transpose themselves in the flavor of this beer. This brew is littered with tropical hop flavoring tasting of pineapple, passion fruit, mango and agave. There is a very mild herbal bitter flavoring that keeps things in check and almost a minty aspect is thrown in there as well. The alcohol is very well hidden initially but starts to make itself known with a warmth and a bit of solvent kick once the brew comes up to temperature. The aftertaste is a bit herbal and lightly grassy which is a nice contrast to the sweetness throughout the brew. There is a perfect amount of toasted malt character present in this brew to hold the hops in place. Fantastic stuff right here.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. All in all this is the perfect package. The hop inclusion is bright, fresh and fruity. The alcohol is seemingly nonexistent until it comes up to temperature. The flavors of this brew run the full spectrum of hop characteristics. I killed a pint of this brew effortlessly. As far as drinkability goes, this is perfect and dangerously so. The label boasts that this should be drank from the can but I just cant do that. To not be able to sit and sniff this brew is a crime. I had this when it was first released from a bottle and thought this beer was all hype. Sitting here enjoying a can by myself I an throughly impressed. Fantastic stuff here Alchemist!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Alchemist in Waterbury, VT. $4 for a 12 oz. pour. Can't beat that.

A - Hazy orange body with a delicious white head. The beer sticks and leaves lacing all down the side of the glass. This looks delicious.

S - Waves of hops. Unbelievably delicious citrus and floral hops. It has the strongest citrus hop aroma I've ever smelled. It's wonderful.

T - Great hop flavor up front that just lasts and lasts. Somewhere in the distance is a slight sweetness to balance it out. There is hardly any bitterness, so it only takes the slightest bit of malt to keep this guy balanced.

M - Slick and easy to drink. A gulpable IPA. I put back 3 of these easily. The low bitterness with such a strong hop character is remarkable and allows this beer to be quaffed with ease.

O - The best IPA I have had and a great endnote for my east coast beer trek. Worth the drive and something I hope to get once it is canned!

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Photo of AlexFields
4.58/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to baconsausage for sending me a four pack as extras (thanks to him for the glass and the other six or seven extras too).

Pours an amazingly thick pine colored syrup with tons of floaties. This looks like crystallized pine sap and I'm surprised it even moves when you tilt the glass. I wouldn't call this "pretty" exactly but it's pretty damned impressive in its own way.

Smell is ridiculous. Just a wild bouquet of every imaginable fruit. Pineapples, mangos, oranges, peaches, bananas, candy sugar. Almost no bitterness or pine in the nose, smells pretty sweet really. This smells as good as any IPA there is.

Taste is a but different. Plenty of fruit still, but focused on pineapple and orange and somewhat less variety. Definitely more bitter than the nose suggests, and hints of line that weren't in the nose. Aftertaste is mostly bitter. Great beer obviously, but not as mind blowing as the nose would suggest.

Mouthfeel is interesting, very thick and syrupy but still pretty drinkable.

Excellent IPA. Not the best in the world IMO, but damn good.


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Photo of johnnnniee
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz can provided by MrBarleywine, thanks for hooking me up Mike!
Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden color with a stingy white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of pine, resin, and a slight bit of citrus and dankness. If there's any malt in here I can't find it, but I really don't miss it because I could smell this all night. Taste is mildly sweet bready biscuity malt being assassinated by an onslaught of hops. Resinous dank pine hops barely let any malt come through, but some do find their way in. Medium to thin body and level of carbonation, resinous bitter mouthfeel. This one is all about the hops, no shit right its a DIPA. There is a bitterness here, but its pleasant, aromatic and not harsh. This is a damn fine beer!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Heady Topper-The Alchemist-Vermont. Ale. Alc. 8% by Vol.,1 pint.

"Heady Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale. This beer is not intended to be the biggest of most bitter. It is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. Tremendous amounts of American hops will creep up on you, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth. So drinkable, it scary.
Sometime I wish I could crawl right into the can. Fresh ness and control have always been my main concern when it comes to our beer. We are committed to providing you with an unfiltered and unpasteurized hop experience. Why do I recommend that you drink it from the can? Quite simply, to ensure a delightful, hop experience. The act of pouring it into a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked so hard to retain. If you MUST pour it into a glass, you may find that some of the hop resins have settled to the bottom --leave them in the can when pouring. This beer is perishable, and at it's best when young, fresh, and hazy. Keep it cold but not ice cold. Drink this beer immediately we are always making more. --John Kimmich, The Alchemist, Waterbury, Vermont."

Bullcrap, it's going into a glass, because I MUST.

It's a hazy one, a deep orange/apricot color, not bright, not golden, but clearly it's own thing. It is what it is. The head is a gigantic, prodigious, brogdignagian thing, mushroom capped, blooming with chalk white froth, lace-leaving and slow to leave. Gorgeous look on it.

Aroma: funky, musty, wicked, and weird. I'm at a loss. Thinking about Belgian yeast, thinking about putting a mare to bed. And then the typical hop aromatics creep out, some orange, some mango, grapefruit. None too bitter, either, not too brash, bold or out of control. Juuust right. A delight for the nose.

Taste: Jumps on the tongue and spills out brilliant hoppy flavor. Tingles the tongue in all right ways. Trickles over the palate, leaving happy hop deliciousness everywhere. …"from the can!"…not as complex, not as …gosh, is there a difference? or are we fooling ourselves? From the can, you get the hop blast, you get the flavor, you get the buzz, it's creamy and palatable…but you don't get everything. It's like having sex with a sock on your man, it's just not bringing it all home, if you know what I mean. I wonder why The Alchemist wants to cover this beer up, hide it in a can? Are they trying to elude the look of the brew, do they think people will dislike the chaos and disarray, the multitude of floating particles, as if it's unnatural and ugly?

Full-bodied, long bitter finish. Really tasty, very satisfying and delicious. Best IPA of all? Naaah…

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

As per suggestion I tried this out of the can "briefly" and yup, knew it wouldn't work for me. Evaluated by pouring straight down the middle very slowly into a nonic pint glass, letting the head settle, then topping up later. At first about 4 oz was only poured in the nonic pint glass, with the can to be evaluated afterwards.

Nice looking can. As for the beer, really exceptional looking slowly decanting the beer punching it through the center of the glass. Head on the bottom forms the most perfect looking microscopic nitro looking bubbles, with the top filled with creamy off white foam. Body color is textbook almost pale amber with great orange hues. Slightly hazy guessing unfiltered but just enough to see through it. Head retention is massive, you couldn't drive a mac truck through this and it hangs for a long time.

Ripping this open, man the hops just escape. Smelling the can a real dry hop pine sense, and of course my lip hits the bottom and I taste aluminum. However, when pouring about five ounces, the nose brings a giant hop pine which is tolerable and not aggressive. Small malt and tiny sugars, dry hop smelling hops and pine but also a real burnt smelling and sense of smoke. Very unique.

Tasting out of the glass, a surprising turn. Citrus angle hits first of a smooth orange, finish resin pine comes creeping in with a slow calm bitterness. The citrus angle is quite a surprise from the nose. Tasting from the can the beer is more prickly and carbonated, but nowhere as good or enjoyable. Even a second whiff brings... nothing from the can. Aftertaste just lingers on and on and on. Feel is almost creamy matching the head appearance, lightly carbonated, with a good hint of malt balance. There is also no sense of alcohol booze on this whatsoever.

Overall a great example of the style and real enjoyable, too bad my chances of trying this again are going to be slim in this area. Except when I head to Vermont! May not be my ultimate favorite but it is one dam good beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.69/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to both SneezyAchew and stowehop for bottles. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottled 11/30/10, and consumed on 12/09/10.

A - Pours with a finger-plus of off-white foam that features great retention and glass-coating lace. Slightly hazed golden peach body.

S - Huge tropical fruits, peaces, tangerine zest, dankness, a touch of chive or green onion, and a light sugary note that reveals that there is a bit of malt in there somewhere after all.

T - The taste isn't quite as amazing as the smell, although it's still quite good. A bit more malt presence contributes sugared citrus mixed with tropical fruits, and maybe a faint hint of pine and leafiness. It finishes with present but well-attenuated bitterness, although it mounts over time.

M - Carbonation is spot on - lively, but not enough to be harsh. Smooth medium body that is more than adequate for 8%. Goes down very smooth and easy, with a slightly dry finish. Alcohol is extremely well-hidden.

D - This beer is beyond drinkable. I'm looking forward to getting to my other bottles because this is going to make for a great Christmas. Thanks John, for finally caving to the pressure and making this available to all (or at least some). Now about that canning line...

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,804 ratings.
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