Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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BA SCORE
100
world-class
2,258 Reviews
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,258
Ratings:
12,724
Avg:
4.66
pDev:
16.74%
 
 
Wants:
9,078
Gots:
4,987
For Trade:
67
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,258 | Ratings: 12,724
Photo of WoodBrew
4.29/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was able to get a can of the Heady Topper through a new acquaintance out of J'Town, PA. I traded Two Bros Night Cat and Side Kick for it. The beer poured a hazy straw color with white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is mostly sweet malt....and I was hoping for more pine and citrus. The taste was a good balance between sweeter malt and bitter hops there is presence of some pine and a touch of apricot like citrus all bolstered by an oily resiny base. The mouthfeel is medium in body with smooth carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer....but not the best IPA I've had (IMO). It's great...don't get me wrong...but the original Zombie Dust before is was massed produced was better.

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

Finally, I got my hands on this. Here we go. I'm going to drink from the can, as instructed on the can, but I will pour a bit so I can comment on the appearance. Aromas on popping the can are strong and abundant. Beautifully balanced oregano-spiced hops roll out, with a strong resiny background and malty sweet backbone. Smells amazing. I poured about a half a tumbler so I could see any head formation, and boy is there. The beer is a slightly hazed, unfiltered, goldenrod coloring with a tall, frothy, big bubbled, off-white head that is an inch and a half and doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Flavors are roasted in the backbone, with a rich, resiny, bitter hops presence that just overflows the palate. The hops spicing is more subtle than the nose was, which works out very well in the total package. Citrus characters roll out across the palate the more you drink, with an undertone of grapefruit tart and bitterness. Delicious. Wet hops flavors are abundant from the initial taste across the board into the aftertaste. Rich, full bodied, and extremely smooth, which supports all of the flavor profiles. The finish is bitter and slightly drying, with a clean overall feel. This beer is fantastic. The more you drink, the more layers of hops flavor reveal themselves. Amazing. This is a tremendous brew!

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Photo of Billolick
4.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Can purchased at the source one week ago, canned two days before that, so yeah its fresh...

Decanted into a New Belgium tulip. Its clouded darker tangarine, off white head, leaves a lasting collar and a super fine film and again fine bits of lacing.

Nose is loaded with pineapple, mango and fruity/spicy hop goodness.

More of the same on the tongue and palate, pineapple and citric hops seem to dominate. Flavorful, fresh and pleasingly complex DIPA. As advertized this is not designed to blow away your senses with overwhelming loads of hops, but instead dominates your palate with wave after wave of hoppy goodness.

Fine creation in brewing..Every self respecting BA should pick up a case of this nectar everytime they find themselves in the general area of the cannery.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.74/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Thorpe429, thanks Mike. This IPA has gotten so much buzz in the past year, it quickly became my biggest beer ambition to get some, after having some of the bottle last night, it remains one of my biggest wants. I have to make it up to the alchemist the next time this is on tap.

Beer is yellow to amber with some haziness to it. Head is soft, white, and thin made up of a very small bubbles and some medium ones that stick to the glass leaving a little lacing. Carbonation is moderate to low, it looks good, looks like a hazy IPA.

The aroma is beautiful, absolutely wonderful. No alcohol or heat, minimal malt sweetness, complex mixture of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, with citrus layers of lime and orange. It smells wonderful.

Beer is light in body and quite carbonated in the mouth. Interesting, probably due to the carbonation, the first thing I notice in this beer is the hop profile. A floral and fruity explosion of hop flavors, again tropical fruits and some citrus that gives way in the late palate to some moderate bitterness. I think they could have gotten away with more bitterness but overall it is a truly amazing IPA. Hard to top.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted and smelled from the can as per the directions. Poured for a appearance afterwards.

A - Hazy apricot cider.  Great head; a creamy cap of bone white foam with great retention and lace.

S - Beautiful, fresh, leafy green hop aroma with lemon zest and orange accents.

T - Sweet caramel malt sets the stage for a full bodied, rolling herbal bitterness, and a center loaded with bitter citrus fruits.  Woody hops linger long after the sweetness of the malt subsides.

M - Full bodied for the style with nice carbonation.

O - An outstanding DIPA that's worth the hype imho. 

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Photo of ShanePB
4.73/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A: Golden honey brown colored body with a bubbly, rocky and creamy looking head. A nice retention ring is left behind, along with sticky lace on the walls. Unfiltered floaties are unmistakable in the body, as mentioned there might be should you pour this out. Really, they're just ugly and kill the looks of the beer. I can't help but think this is part of the reason they recommend drinking from the can (other than the hop aroma retention).

S: Piney and earthy hop notes rocket from the glass. Hop resin and oils, orange and lemon bitter peels are next. Towards the end is a crisp bready element and caramel & pale malts. Touches of bitterness dance around the entire nose.

T: Bitter hop resin and oils wrestle the palate with a gentle nature. Pine and earthy hop notes again come through. Mid-palate are sweet orange and pink grapefruit oils, a generic citrus and rich sweet caramel malts. Finishes sticky and bitter.

M: Bubbly and creamy, perhaps a bit thin for a medium-bodied beer, though. Sticky bitter pine and sap on the palate in the linger.

This is easily in the top five Imperial IPAs I've ever had to date. It's extremely balanced, flavorful and never lets up on the delicious hop abuse.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Heady Topper pours a turbid orange with a soft white, two finger head. An early pour is relatively hazy while the last dregs contain flocculants that reintroduce themselves into suspension.

The smell is glorious! A cornucopia of hops produce notes of pine resin, fresh basil, ruby red grapefruit sweetened with sugar, wet grass (the kind you smoke;) and candied orange zest.

The taste is in your face fresh, fresh hops. A remarkable combination of all the scents, with a fantastic paradoxical blend of slight candied sweetness and a long dry finish. This is one clean beer with no trace of alcohol whatsoever.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Low to moderate carbonation fits this beer to a T. A creamy lush softness again shows the chameleon-like aspects of this top-notch DIPA.

This beer is exceptional and very deserving of the accolades that have come it's way so far. If I could get this locally, it would be a once-a-week purchase and I think a lot of people would think the same way. In this day and age of johnny-come-latelys and ticker mentalities, that really says something!

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

Canned on Dec 13, 2011. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Murky orange colour with one finger of thick, foamy off-white head and some very good lacing.

S - Huge pine and citrus aromas up front with a big bitterness evident. Grapefruit, tangerine and some light peach and lemon zest aromas along with a slightly sweet caramel malt bill in the background.

T - Massive bitterness up front. Grapefruit rind, pine and orange zest flavours come through with a very fresh and juicy hop bitterness. There are some tropical fruit flavours present as well - some mango, peach and pineapple. The malt bill is almost non-existent and provides a touch of sweetness to compliment to the big hop bitterness. The finish is dry and bitter with the hop resin lingering on the tongue. The ABV is extremely well hidden.

M - Light to medium body with a big chew. Light to moderate carbonation. Resiny, oily, tongue coating.

O - A great example of the style.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one drew

Poured golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left some bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was quite piney, grassy, earthy, and hoppy with a good malt prsence but had lots of fruitness as well. I was able to detect a little citrus. Candied sugar. and wood character. The taste was really grassy piney with woody, caramel, and citrus zest accents but did have good sweetness from the malts to balance out the bitterness. The brew was medium in body with a good amount of carbonation which had a sweet, slighty fruity, woody, earthy, hoppy, bitter, and crisp dry finish. It drank above average and was glad to have been able to try this beer. Hopefully this stuff makes it to the west coast some day. Have to say it was a solid IPA from the east coast.

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Photo of tempest
4.45/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple six-pack at the cannery. I'm told they were packaged just a week ago.

I wasn't sure what to make of this beer at first, which says a lot because DIPAs aren't usually a surprising style with a lot of leeway. It's most easily described as "hop juice," not an IPA. The balance of hops is unique in that the flavor is huge, but it's never over the top, where overly-hoppy beers become perfumey messes (I'm thinking of Weyerbacher's Hop Explosion).

The aroma has a clean and clear floral grapefruit character with an earthy, citrus seed edge—think about when you're eating an orange and you get a seed on your tongue. The flavor is intense but manageable. In addition to the vivid grapefruit and orange peel citrus, there's a vague grassiness, tropical notes, and an odd (and thoroughly unexpected) touch of barbeque sauce that fades as the beer warms.

I approached this beer as a skeptic, but it's easily one of the most complex beers I've tried, and one of the most drinkable at that. I should have bought a case.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.96/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is quite the beer with the only downside being the appearance, which is probably why the brewer suggests drinking it from the can.

Pours a nice light golden/yellow. But the uneven haze and murkiness just don't look appealing. The absence of a nice fluffy white head makes it worse. Lacing is splotchy

From there things look up. A nice mango, citrus, grapefruit pairing of hops in the nose. Not all that juicy as some dIPAs, but certainly above average. Light biscuit malt

As this one warms it gets a bit buttery, although butter isn't quite the right term. Pithy? Not sure, but the sharpness of the hop flavors (citrus, grapefruit, pomelo) loses a bit after a short while. The biscuit becomes doughy. Still, the flavors are really enjoyable and quenching.

Feel is dry and sparkly. A nice summer time dIPA that hides the abv well.

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Photo of SadMachine
4.63/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes from 3/31/13

This is my last can from my first Heady haul, so I finally am reviewing this! I poured a small amount into a snifter for appearance and aroma purposes, but it drinks better from the can IMO.

A- Pours a hazy orangish yellow/straw color with a medium sized white head of tight, sticky bubbles.

S- The aroma is wonderful, with loads of thick, dank hops assaulting your nose! There's tons of rich nectar and pine resin present, tropical fruits, tangerine, and fresh cut grass. Some malt backbone can also be detected, which is a bit more bready than caramelly.

T- The first, and most interesting thing noticed about the taste and mouthfeel is how juicy it is. It's almost as if they made "hope juice" rather than beer! The flavor mostly follows the nose, with pine and tangerine dominating, though not in an unbalancing way. I do wish there was a bit more tropical fruit in the flavor, but this is only a minor complaint!

M- The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and again juicy, almost pulpy. The oily hop resins coat the mouth and leave a moderately bitter aftertaste.

- Overall this is an outstanding beer, and one of the best representations of the style! Just be sure to drink it within ~2-3 weeks of canning.

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Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: pours a hazy golden yellow color with a 1" head that falls to a thick surface covering. Mild lace develops during the session.

Smell: orange, grapefruit, lemon zest, fruit sweetness and some floral notes rise from the glass.

Taste: caramel, orange, grapefruit, lemon zest, pear, and a floral bitterness create a superbly balanced beer. Alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp from start to finish, with a light dryness late.

Overall: took a while for me to get my hands on this, but it was really good and refreshing. Definitely a great beer.

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Photo of liamt07
4.76/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can from pushkinwow, thanks a ton for sending this one over Steve. 16oz can into a tulip, canned January 23, 2012. 700th review.

Poured an orange brown, severely unfiltered with large particles that sit in suspension and on the base of the tulip. Good retention and spotty lace however. Nose is brilliant, but slightly more right out of the can (is this why they want you to drink it right out of the can?), loses a bit when poured into the glass. Tons of mango, pineapple, resiny, juicy and oily. Light dankness. A good amount of malt to balance. Taste has loads of grapefruit, mango and passionfruit. Chewy sweet malt character reasserting the "East Coast-iness" of this DIPA. Solid bitterness in the finish and some sweetness to lightly offset it. No alcohol to be found, and this was incredibly poundable. I can only imagine having access to this locally - a quintessential East Coast DIPA and fully lived up to expectations.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to mar for trading me this can.

The beer pours a dirty yellow color with a white head. The aroma is very heavy on the grapefruit, but I also get a little bit of orange citrus and some biscuit malt notes.

The flavor is more intense than the aroma. I get some huge grapefruit and orange citrus notes, as well as a little bit of pine and some pineapple. Mixed in with all of the hop notes is a little bit of biscuit malt. The bitterness is low to medium.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Duff27
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inch tal white head. Spotty lacin, average head retention.

Citrus aromaright from the crack of the can. Oranges, grapefruit.

More outratgeous citrus. Leaves the mouthwatering. Wonderful malt backbone. Well hidden ABV!

Thicker mouthfeel than the average DIPA.

Excellent excellent wxaple the style. Presents the citrus aspect as well as any other. Thanks a ton bhollas!

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

Bottle share (or can share) from redBeard. Beautiful aroma, heady indeed. Nice robust, slick body, hoppy notes dominate without distracting. Clean finish.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Hojaminbag, and dsgolovin for this brew.

Poured into my Roosters true pint glass a very nice cloudy golden orange color, lots of floaties also, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger thick creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The second I popped this open I could smell hops, the nose is hoppy, with a nice little malt blend, a very nice citrus note, and some nice pineyness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some nice citrus notes, and pines. Medium body, with a nice slightly bitter/dry finish, pretty chewy also. Just had a side by side comparsion with a fresh bottle of Pliny the Elder and this brew (fresh also), looks and taste are a HUGE difference, no comparision at all, the PtE wins hands down. I cannot go with the hype on this brew at all, nice but no where near the hype, sorry. This is a nice DIPA in a can, and I have another can also, LOL Thanks Ben and David.

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Photo of aasher
4.64/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to sixthglass for this one. Tim came into my store on Friday to share this then came back on Monday to share a Westy 12 and gave me this can of Heady Topper for a Ten Fidy. Great BA, thanks Tim!

This one pours a muddied and cloudy dark gold in color with a soapy white head that clings to the rim of my snifter. The nose is phenomenal. You get a lot of grapefruit, pineapple, citrus fruits, with a light malty sweetness. It is very pungent and very, very aromatic. The flavors too are a combination of grapefruit and pineapple with a moderate amount of bitterness and a clean finish. It's just so intensely hoppy. Like the description says, it is wave after wave of hoppy goodness. It drinks well, both from a glass or out of the can. It's just a really nice beer through and through. I'm really glad I got to try this one.

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

1/2 OF A 16OZ CAN poured into a regular pint glass, while drinking the other half out the CAN. Excited to see this in Philly. I bought it with ease. Purchased a single at Capone's and a 4-pack from the bottle shop at Local 44. Props to Origlio for pulling in a great brewery, it's about time you guys found some new blood.

A silver can, the liquid dispersed in the pint shows a golden orange glaze that haze some hazy within the liquid. Floating particles seen throughout suspended. Not much of a head or even a cap, just a small white ring around the collar.

Smell is pretty bold with a lot of citrus and high dry hopping scent. The funny thing is there is a weird scent that I cant describe that's either a distinct hop variety (im thinking summit) or a odd malt type. Kinda reminds me of the Ephraim scent. The scent while not my thing, is lingering.

Taste on the other hand is right up there with the big boys. Out of the CAN, the finish is a bit crisper, while the glass version comes off smother. Either way, a whole lot of dry hopping with citrus, grapefruit, mango, with a sharp pine taste as well. Bitter, but not over the top. Some grassy taste lingers on the tounge with warming.

Feel is pretty much medium, but it really drinks easy as hell, goes down without a burn and not a alarming overly bitter aftertaste. Carbonation is there and not overly done. After the CAN was done, my mouth is not attacked and wrecked, this is the sign of a great DIPA, one that you can drink a few of. I don't know what else to say, this is tasty beer.

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Photo of tone77
4.27/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to woodychandler for coming through big time with this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has an orange/brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is alive with hops and citrus. Taste is also very good, hoppy, citrus and tropical fruits abound, bitter but not overly so, a well constructed beer. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall was a pleasure to drink, worth seeking out.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Inflatablechair supplied this one at a recent tasting.... badass... finally, I got to try Heady topper.

Pours a hazed yellow.... nice lacing and retention.

Wow... the nose is pretty damn good... citrus zest... grapefruit... tangerine... maybe some lemon.... balanced just slightly by a light pale malt presence.... smells very fresh and very yummy.

Big bitterness up front quickly moves to a palate blast of citrus hops that have a touch of pine in there.... even some tropical fruitiness is accentuated by a slight pale maltiness... very good.

Body and carbonation are spot-on for the style.

Pretty damn good.... If I could get this regularly, it would be a fridge staple.... Thanks a ton Sammy.

4/4.5/4/4/5

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Photo of VeganUndead
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Saved my first review for my favorite beer I've ever had. Thank you grandparents for residing in Vermont and giving me an excuse to load up on Heady once a year.

A: Drank out of the can per Alchemist recommendation buy have also poured into a Sam Adams Lager glass. Very cloudy, hazy, light coloration.

S: Hits you in the nose. A little citrus along with lost of floral notes and hops. Hops over and over.

T: The gift that keeps on giving. A hop heads dream. Well blended, hoppy but not not overwhelming, just making you beg for more.

O: Favorite beer I've ever had. Give me this over any other DIPA, Pliny eat your heart out.

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

Pours a cloudy, unfiltered burnt orange color with a white soapy head. Pillowy foam.The aroma, well it is quite hoppy with floral, pine and citrus notes. Hints of honey and citrus oil.

In the taste, big grapefruit, dank herb, a wall of bitterness, and a fruity ale yeast strain. Papaya, pine, sap, menthol, eucalyptus, citrus. Wood, earth, but still fruity.

Fruit flies appeared quickly after opening the can and pouring, possibly the best scent this species has ever experienced in nature. I felt much like the flies, in a drunken stupor and following the smell by instinct.

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Photo of biegaman
4.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Heady Topper came out the can looking like a muddy stream but settled in the glass looking reasonably presentable. Its complexion really varies depending on the angle and closeness of the light, ranging from clear straw yellow to thick mango smoothie. Heady does not have much head, nor does it show any signs of carbonation.

The aroma has such a floral and fruity bouquet that you'd think it was designed by a gardener. That being said, there's a little bit of butterscotch and nutty-sweet malt that can't be ignored. Still, the bouquet's most prominent feature is likely the flower petals or the citrusy pineapple notes. There's a bit of white wine grape too.

The flavor is far from overwhelming but there is a notable absence of any alcohol. The soapy, pungent bitterness that lingers is the smoking gun for some early kettle hop additions. For something so strong and so hoppy the beer is incredibly manageable and composed. Warming unties things slightly, but that is to be expected.

I think anyone who's graduated past pale lagers should be able to appreciate this IPA. It tastes like a combination of grapefruit, orange, papaya, and lime, and leaves a distinctly floral aftertaste. Hints of pine bark pop up here and there as well. The malts taste like some kind of caramel and almond biscuit and have an almost nougat-like sweetness.

If one believed all he read on Beer Advocate then so he would think Heady Topper the best DIPA in the world - and so he would be wrong. I don't wish to take anything away from the fine people at The Alchemist - this is a damn fine brewsky - but there are many out there just like it. Seek it out, by all means, but don't trade the stars and the moon.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.66 out of 5 based on 12,724 ratings.
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