Heady Topper | The Alchemist

13,302 Ratings
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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Ratings: 13,302 |  Reviews: 2,357
Photo of j0hnc2468
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Blazer22
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Tracker83
4.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bump8628
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of HumanParaquat
4.89/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of mpalestino
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of swierczt
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of xdtfx
5/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of StArnoldFan
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.58/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16oz cans, love 'em! First beer I've sampled from The Alchemist. Hazy golden yellow/orange pour with a nice creamy white head on top. Lots of hop sediment so be careful on the pour. Aromas are a blast of deep fruity, tropical hops. Such a wonderful, juicy, resinous hop blend that I could easily sit and inhale all night long. I would advise to drink this hoppy treat as fresh as possible.

First sip brings a rush of bright, pungent hops. Huge fruity, tropical flavors with resinous hop oils all over the place. Sweet crisp malts take their rightful place as it flows down with a bitter hop blast. Love that this is unfiltered and unpasteurized. An amazing fresh hop experience that is incredibly tasty!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with great carbonation. Medium bodied. This ends up being an extremely drinkable hop monster of a beer. Go ahead and drink this one from the can. Well worth seeking out if you're a hop lover. I'm really happy to have had the opportunity to try this. I have to get to Vermont one day!

 1,020 characters

Photo of CraftFan5
4.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of cd34
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Chris-1911
4.26/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gopens44
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't think I have rated anything as high as this one. I honestly looked for defects in this as to not let the legacy of the beer sway my review and suck all objectivity out but damn, it really is worth every penny of hype it receives. What I look for in an IPA is balance. Typically when I get into DIPAs, I tend to relax my search for balance as it is typically replaced by too much sweetness or a touch too much heat (and that's in the best DIPAs I've had) The reason I believe that Heady deserves the critical acclaim is that it has re-written the rules so to speak, for me in approaching the DIPA. Yes, it CAN be well balanced and brilliant within the style. This one opens up with a great nose full of citrus AND pine somehow, without overwhelming on either. Taste follows identically until the sweetness in perfect harmony with the perfectly balanced malt backbone join in and combine every sensation together for one, again, very well balanced taste that finished with just a tiny touch of heat that reminds you that it is a DIPA. Full bodied, well balanced, pretty much every superlative that you can find in describing a great experience in drinking a beer belong here.

 1,181 characters

Photo of vrbulldog22
4.25/5  rDev -8.6%

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

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!

 247 characters

Photo of mentor
3.48/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a two-finger slightly-yellowed clingy head over a cloudy and particulated puke-tan liquid. Smells of green onion and wild garlic (Summit hops) with pine and sharp grapefruit pith. Baby aspirin and lemony tropical fruits. Comes across as a blast of very fresh Summit hops.

Tastes sharp bitter with flat oily bitter to complement. Nice malt sweet that blends with the green onion flavor. Juicy hops. Tin, no esters, but nice barley grain flavor. Acidic sour from the hops almost comes across as lactic. Finishes with baby aspirin (Simcoe hops) and a very resiny pine aftertaste. Very grassy rich in cohumulone. Too strong of carbonation. Carb and clean alcohol sting lift the beer from the tongue early. Creamy body is interrupted by rough hops and clean alcohol sting.

A decent beer, but would be *much* better with different hops. I find Summit hops sickening and can't wait for the trend to pass on by. Big disappointment. Judged to style, so scored higher than my palette would offer. The can says "drink from the can!" It was not as good from a can as from a glass.

 1,076 characters

Photo of smutty33
4.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of meehandennis
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of jbertsch
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Soto
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of Corson
4.71/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.46/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had a can today at City Tap House (Logan Sq). Drank most of it from the can. Poured off about 4 oz into a taster glass.

The first thing that struck me was how damn smooth it is. Almost like real-life silk drawers. Pretty fantastic.

It's light on the palate for 8%, dry, but not sharp or crisp. The booze is real soft and very well balanced by the hop silk and its soft static hum of bitterness.

In the glass, it's a pale, faded shade of yellow, and hazy. Bit of a ring of foam, but no magic in the head stand.

Flavor-wise, I feel like green tea was the first impression, biting in the middle and aftertaste. Not just that, but a lovely concentrated, soupy fog of citrus - first orange, with lemony highlights, then later grapefruit in the finish and aftertaste... Perhaps a dash of pine in the background... Not terribly spicy... After the first few sips, some graham-crackery malt seems to sneak in there on the tail end of each swig. It's but a peep, though.

The aroma in the glass brings it home. It's kinda straight-up-the-gut West Coast IPA. Fragrant, but subtle.

Overall, it's one of the more elegant hoppy ales around. The execution is impressive. But I have to say that I find the raw flavors of Sculpin or some of the Green Flash IPAs, et al, to be something that I would go back to again. Not so this. It's just one in a long line of scarce beers that, while quite good, never melt my brain or make my body quiver in ecstasy.

Thanks CTH for only charging $7. It was worth it.

 1,494 characters

Photo of Shawner
4.4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Heady Topper from The Alchemist
4.65 out of 5 based on 13,302 ratings.
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