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 fiver29
4.54/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can shared by Mike. Thanks! Pours dark golden with off white head. Aroma is sick. And by that I mean awesome. Wet resiny sticky hops dominate the nose. Flavor follows the nose and has a great meaty malt backbone to back it up. Medium mouthfeel. This tastes amazing. Its worthy of all the praise it gets. Just awesome.

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Photo of MWolverines66
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Was very excited to try this beer and wanted to see if it could live up to the hype. Obeyed what the can said and drank this out of the can, but poured a little out to see the color. It was a golden color with a little cloudiness.

Smells of pine, citrus and tropical fruits with a huge wave of hops. It smelled completely different than anything I have had before. The taste followed the smell as it was a complex combination of sweet, sour, bitter hops. That's as detailed as I can get because I can't really explain what it was. From sip to swallow the flavor was constantly changing.

Overall I don't know if this would be the best tasting beer in the world for me, but it was definitely the most complex and interesting tasting beer I've ever had.

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

Regretfully the brewery got hit hard by Hurricane Irene and only the cannery remains, and thank hop god that it was not impacted.

The first thing I think of with the aroma is straight hops in the face. The aroma is very crisp and refreshing, I could sit and smell this for a while.

The flavor is very hoppy and juicy, like biting into a hybrid hop fruit of all the aromas in one. There is the right amount of bitterness and a nice sweetness that cuts through it.

The mouthfeel is smooth, a little more creamy and thicker then I was expecting, moderate carbonation. Though, as a whole everything works well together.

This is an incredible beer, the best DIPA/IPA I have had in a long time and possibly ever.

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Photo of abrand
4.42/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to hooliganlife for hooking me up with this. 16 ounce can poured into New Belgium globe glass

This pours a deep copper color with a nice retaining head that lines the glass. The pour is very hazy but appealing. Smells of huge citrus fruits including oranges, pineapples and melons. Some earthy smells come through with pine needles. Nice hop presence as well on the nose. Taste is very sweet up front with a delicious hop finish that balances on the palate. Very enjoyable tasting beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Overall this is amazing. Very drinkable DIPA with 8% and the taste is amazing. Thanks again Scotty!

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Photo of StormKing47
4.44/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle in trade from beerometer, enjoyed with Jwiss22, from my notes for once...

A- A ridiculous color for a DIPA. Where is the hazy golden, amber color? No where, it has succumb to the light brown/dark caramel color similar to freshly brewed sun tea. I am almost transported back to summer time and the innocence of child hood. A wild looking color with a crazy amount of yeast swirling around and bouncing off the carb bubbles. This one is all capped off with a medium, fluffy white head. Astounding!

S- A barrage of pine, pine resin, grapefruit, citrus fruits and tropical goodness all come through at once. The aromas have staggered me, but I can't give up this one smells too incredible. It's a West Coaster that has found a home on the East Coast. A slight warming and the tropical, citrus and piney aromas are still leading an onslaught of my senses, but is accompanied with the sweet smell of caramel to balance this monster out. Amazing aromas, just want to keep sniffing and sniffing!

T- This one is all about the hops and does not disappoint. After all the smelling and anticipation here it comes...a smack of hops right upside my head. Pine, bitterness, pine resin, bitterness, citrus juice, grapefruit, more bitterness and some tropical hints to keep it all together. It's a crazy balance of hops that continue throughout each sip and seem to just keep coming. Oh yea there is a slight caramel sweetness quivering in the background to try and herd all of the hop nuances from spinning out of control and murdering your taste buds.

M- This one is not syrupy, but kind of oily in a way. It seems to stick to everything and coats every area of the mouth that can taste. It actually feels balanced in a way. The carb is not to tingly, the hops aren't to sticky and the slight sweetness keeps it all in check.

D- A definite hop bomb that is incredibly drinkable. Could drink this for any meal, brush my teeth with it and use it as mouth wash. High abv says no, no, no, but everything else says yes, yes, yes.

My first try of this one and sad to say it was a bottle, would love to try the draft and can't wait for the cans. Looks like the West Coast has found a little bit of competition.

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Photo of BeerZombies1
4.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

American double/Imperial IPA
8% ABV
75 IBU

APPEARANCE: drink from the can like I was told right on the top!

AROMA: once I cracked the can I got my nose as close to in it as I could. Lots of hops, dark pine, more earthy and vegetal then the bright citrusy west coast ipa's I've been tasting.

TASTE: the hops for sure hit your mouth like a punch from Mike Tyson. Dank, grassy bitterness in there. Herbal spiciness, lite citrus and floral notes.

MOUTHFEEL: medium to heavy body, oily and slick that coats your mouth with a hop resin. Has a very creamy texture to it.

OVERALL: I do believe this is a great IPA and understand the hype behind it. For my palate personally I still put this right under Pliny the Elder.

RATING: 4.9/5 Zombie Heads!

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.98/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a very murky, glowing orange color, similar to a hefeweizen. looks very pulpy. The aroma is similar to smelling a handful of fresh hop pellets on a brewery tour. resinous, out of control sharp hop notes of grapefruit, pine, some pineapple maybe and fresh cut peaches. Really great nose. The taste is much of the same as the aroma but with a big juicy feel to it that makes this drinkable. not overly bitter as i would have expected which adds to the drinkability. The mouthfeel is medium bodied since its unfiltered and has a chewy character to it. Really great beer, perfect for all seasons for sure.

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

Poured from a 16oz can into my Alchemist tumbler. (14oz poured into the glass). Purchased from the cannery on 10/9/11.

A: Pours a hazy light amber colour. 1.5 fingers of off white frothy head. Minimal lace.

S: Floral hops, pine, orange peel, grapefruit, some malts. Perfect!

T: Just like the can says "wave after wave of hoppy goodness!" All the notes from the nose come through in the taste. This is a hopheads dream. Pure joy in a can. Every sip makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside! Long lasting hoppy finish that I wish would never end!

M: Heavy body/moderate carbonation. Bitter and hoppy throughout the mouthfeel. Couldn't ask for anything more.

Overall this is the best DIPA and best beer I've ever had the pleasure to enjoy! Every sip is filled with amazing hoppy goodness! I would make the 6 hour trip to Waterbury every month if I could, just for this beer! Thanks to the folks at The Alchemist cannery for being friendly awesome people and for making this truly wonderful beer!

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

They hype was not false. This was absolutely divine!

At the crack of the can, which I drank from, the hops were on attack and when I began to drink it, the onslaught didn't stop at any time.

By far, one of if not the best I have had. Definitely happy I waited to make this beer #200!

If I could get this regularly, I would be buying everything I could!

Don't fear the hype. It is all true!

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Photo of jcflorian
4.32/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Is it a very good beer? 100% yes.

Is it the best imperial ipa out now. In the ball park, but cannot say it def is.

There are prob 10 other imp ipas I would say are just as good.

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

Pours a hazy, light tangerine with a two-finger bright white head. Good lacing and head retention. Aroma, wow. Fresh pineapple, mango, grapefruit and orange and just a touch of pine that is outdone by the huge, fresh fruity notes. This beer is so refreshingly hoppy. Big tropical fruit notes, pineapple is giant. Juciy, fresh grapefruit and orange notes. Nice pine notes add some bitterness too. Hugely hoppy, but with the perfect amount of bitterness. Get different hop notes with each sip and they keep coming. Awesome drinkability, the hop blend goes down like a Gatorade. Overall, the best DIPA I've had to date. Really tough to make this big of a beer this easy to drink while maintaining absolutely huge flavor.

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Photo of berkshire413
4.82/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

from the can, this beer is just incredible, what can be said that hasnt already been said. If you love hops jump right in and take a bath. great complexity pineapple up front, citrus galore, piney and juicy all they way through. every sip makes you think of something different, there is so much going on with this beer its impossible to capture in words or in one sip, so grab a few cases.

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Photo of LarryV
3.35/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Straight up hops mishmash, not much more going on - certainly not what I would call a balanced brew. Artificial rarity factor keeps prices high. I've had plenty of DIPA"s that I liked better than this one. Not to say it's not good, but the price is insane. Aroma: hops, hops and more hops. Taste: Hops, hops and more hops.

I don't get the whole drink out of the can thing, 80% of our taste comes from aroma which you don't get from drinking out of the can. Gimmicky at best - the 100 rating baffles me.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.62/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from GoGriz.  Poured from 16oz. can into a Stone snifter.  Beer was a clear, orange color, with a one-finger, white head.  Head quickly faded, leaving behind some faint traces of lacing around the glass.  Moderate carbonation.

Aroma was hops.  Holy citrus hops!  Some pine and sweet malt.  Smells amazing! 

Taste was bitter and hoppy, but not overly so.  Some biscuit and bread notes, along with a touch of caramel sweetness, but bitter hops throughout. 

Slightest warming of alcohol in the finish, followed by a long lingering, delicious, hoppy finish. 

Very tasty beer.  Thanks to GoGriz for the hookup with the fresh cans.  I would definitely recommend and seek out again. 

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.49/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured with a good bit of head, definitely looks like there is some wheat malt in there. Beer itself is almost an orange color and is completely opaque. If I were to look at this without knowing what it was I would guess it was a hefeweizen. This isn't even a weakish opaqueness, this beer is opaque right up to the edge of the glass!

The nose here is a bit more subdued than I had expected. I get some mild citrus notes and just a hint of bitter hop funk, not much else going on than that.

This beer has a very strong malt backbone (it is an 8% abv afterall, that alcohol has to come from somewhere!) but is well balanced with citrusy hop bitterness. Definitely not the most grapefruity beer I have ever had (that would be MBC Lunch) but its quite good. The hop bitterness really lingers on the palate and is quite pleasant. The aftertaste is the most bitter bit.

The moutfeel here is great. Very smooth, fills the palate, its just wonderful.

This is a great beer, its not my favorite IPA, but it sure is close. Additionally, for the price, this beer is tough to beat. Very tasty IPA with lots of bitterness and moderate citrus. Definite buy if I can get my VT cousin to bring me back more.

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Photo of macher0
4.68/5  rDev +0.6%

Poured with Jake_ramrod on Halloween. Thanks for the scary share.

I'll keep it short.

Moderate copper color with a frothy egg shell head. Out of the can smell of resin to pineapple to a light malt base. The taste follows with sharp bite of pine hops. Next is a light malt base, sharp pine, with a strong resin finish.

Damn good beer. Glad to try. This was more resin/pine profile than expected.

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

L - Kate Upton in a glass. In other words, a 20-something babe who's voluptuous and will never look this good again. Yet, here's the difference: Heady Topper will always look this good because Alchemist has gone to great lengths to perfect this beer. Super turbid, excellent head retention and brilliant variations of orange when held to the light. Only poured to extract a true interpretation of the look. This isn't my first dance with Heady. Drink from the can!
S - I want to apologize to my daughter's mother in advance, because I've never smelled anything like this. I used to smell her when I was at work; I could smell her on the pillow weeks after she was gone. This f*cking beer. Where do I even begin? People brag about opening something and smelling it clear across the room. I have gotten hints of that before, yet not on this level. You crack the can and it consumes your area. It doesn't exist in your space; you exist in the confines of it, which is far reaching. The absolute perfect blend of grapefruit and grass character. The best smelling beer of all-time, period.
T - Let's be real, if the nose doesn't hit the tongue equally, the beer isn't shit. This beer caresses the palate like young lovers exploring each other for the first time. The grapefruit character is the first thing that hits your tongue, along with faint hints of grainy cracker. Mid-palate I get the slightest dose of pineapple, with a gentle wisp of orange peel. The entire time it's so fucking balanced that Mary Lou Retton keeps texting me about her gold medals. Relax, girl. They aren't going anywhere! I could literally drink this for the rest of my life.
F - Tongue smacking bitterness, yet mastered. It's not a full on assault; actually, every time I reach for that OMG moment, there's a soft pillow of excellence that caresses my head to remind me how much effort was put into this beer.

There was a time when PtE and HT were compared to each other. Then the new wave IPAs started to appear. This isn't my first encounter with Heady, nor my last. I, for one, am a fan of the modern day interpretation of the IPA and it begins and ends with this one. I haven't had them all, but I've had enough to know what I like and don't like. This is a masterpiece. They will never have to release a 2.0 or modify the recipe slightly. It doesn't stand toe-to-toe; it stands above anything I've ever drank.

Can you hear that sound? It's the f*cking angels singing. Or maybe it's Lauryn Hill. Heady-la-la. That's the way Kimmich sound when he's doing his thing!

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

I can't believe this finally happened. Snagged a partial can at The Site in Corning. Poured into a sample glass.

Look: Cloudy yellow with a thin fluffy white head.

Smell: Juicy red grapefruit, pulpy orange, lemon peel, bitter pineapple and unripe mango, papya, yeast, pine needles.

Taste: Sweet upfront. Honey, biscuit, and clover. Then a huge punch of grapefruit, orange, lemon, pineapple, papaya, and pine cone his the palate. Finishes fairly clean, but grapefruit and delicate pine coats the mouth and lingers.

Feel: Medium, filling, just carbonated enough, lingering sticky finish.

Overall: Ecstatic to finally be able to try this! It's so worth the hype!

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straw colored DIPA, with great head. The beer is incredible, so aromatic and floral. The hop profile is incredible but the beer is also very well balanced.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.55/5  rDev -2.2%

First beer I had in my trip to Vermont. From very recent notes.

A: Looks like every other DIPA I had. Hazy yellow/orange with a strong pure white head. Strong lacing and retention.

S: I still can smell it. It is very sweet, juicy and home made pink lemonade-ish. In the sense it smells like a sweet red grapefruit, some notes of lemon rind, orange juice and peach. Some hops dry-ness in the shape of lemon rind.

T: It's just like the smell. First, you get the grapefruit and the hop punch (citrus peel, grass), then you get the sweetness with the orange juice, peach and very ripe pineapple. And a taste that lingers on and on and on. Actually a bit sweeter than expected.

M: Medium body with a light amount of stickiness.

D: This is extremely drinkable and is a summer beer. You can down this one very easily. The sweetness helps to balance the hops punch in the long run, but this is still sweeter than what I prefer.

This IS an amazing beer, but, to me, this is not my favourite beer in the world. But, I do see how it must pleases highly to everybody and makes it so everyone gives it a really high score. Still, it feels slightly over rated, very slightly, but this is an amazing brew.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.5/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought from a Charity Auction with the proceeds going to "Open the Taps": A grassroots organization of Texas craft beer consumers.

Even though the can says to drink out of the can, which I did with the first can, I poured this one into a duvel tulip glass so that I can see what it looks like. Now I know why they want you to drink it out of the can . . . it is a murky nasty yellow. It's just not an appealing looking beer. With that, it does pour out with a good three finger white head with good retention and great lacing.

The scent is amazing. I have a bad nose and often can get any scent off a beer. After pouring I set this glass down next to the computer, walked away, and then when I came back I could smell the aroma of green hops. If my nose can catch a scent without putting my nose in the glass, it gets a 5.

If we're grading this off the style . . . then I have to say this, I don't know if this is an true Double / Imperial IPA. I would expect the best of the style would have to be a well put together hop bomb. This isn't a hop bomb by any measure . . . but it IS well put together. There is the hop punch, but it's well balanced by orange flavor and pine. The bitterness finishes the flavors very well.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated. I would have to say I'd like the body to be just a tad heavier. There is a noticeable alcohol burn for only 8%.

Overall, this was well worth the extra money I spent for three reasons: this is a high quality brew, the rarity of it in Texas, and for the GREAT things orgainizations like Open the Taps has done for Texas Craft Beer Consumers during this Legislature session. PROSIT, Ya'll!!!

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.21/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky, pale, wheat golden color with a cottony, stubborn white head. Flecks of barley and vegetable matter float all around the beer. Juicy grapefruit with some pine on the nose. ONce the beer settles, sweeter fruit breaks through. Grapefruit up front then grass and pine emerge. But, the flavor suddenly falls of a cliff for an abrupt finish. Alcohol and unami get picked up right away and pervade throughout. The mouthfeel is a little thin for the style. It dries a little toward the finish. Pretty big disappointment. Pliny, Abrasive, Sucks, all way superior in my opinion.

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Photo of mdvatab
4.67/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade w/ a VT BA (Cheers!)
Poured from fresh 16oz can recently purchased at the brewery.

A: STRONG piney aroma, supported by black tea leaf, and a light honey note. Simple, yet delicious aroma profile.

A: Clover honey-colored body with a decent haze and some floaties. 1 finger head with that fluorescent yellow tinge that I've come to recognize in an IIPA. Head is not quite as thick as anticipated, but then again, I should be drinking this from the can... The brew leaves decent lacing after each sip.

F: Pine up front, some nice, not overpowering, bitterness. Honey-graham sweetness to balance. Some delicious green tea on the finish. DELICIOUS!!!

M: Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Right where it should be. Some sticky tannins cling to the inside of my mouth and lips.

O: I want more of this one! I can't think of an IIPA I've had that was better than this. A great mix of aromas and flavors. Everything just seems to work well together! Highly recommended! (On a side note, I drank my second HT straight from the can, and actually enjoyed it even more this way. Contrary to what you might think, if you get your hands on this beer, you should try it from the can.

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Photo of embass
4.81/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Followed the instructions given…drank from the can and recycled.

A: I will update the appearance upon my next review (edit of). I plan on pouring my next one in a glass.

S: Had a very strong hoppy, citrusy, tropical-fruity smell up front. Also got some sweet(ness) notes intermingled in there as well.

T: Starts with citrus, moves to sweetness, then a light bitterness which gives way to more of a mild-to-medium level of bitterness. Left a nice balance of piney sweetness in mouth (aftertaste).

M: Had a light-to-medium body and a low level of carbonation.

O: Fantastically balanced. Not sure that I have tasted the level of complexity that this one offers between the smell and taste (from initial to aftertaste).

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Photo of jmasher85
4.48/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had to drink a few cans of this (yeah, I got a case!) before I felt like I was ready to write a review. After all, this is the legendary Heady. I didn't go gaga over it at first sip so I began to wonder if there was something wrong with my palate. Maybe I was missing something. Or maybe it is all just hype. I've decided it's probably a combination of the two. It's not my favorite style of beer, but it is admittedly one of the most interesting examples of the DIPA style I've had.

Lots of fruity, floral, chewy resinous hops in the nose and taste. It sticks in your mouth and makes your lips smack. It's a potpourri of every flavor that a hop knows how to impart - apart and simultaneously. Sweet at some points, bitter at others, and not always at the same time. This beer is like a Mozart symphony - full, busy, in perfect harmony and yet sometimes bewildering. It's a complicated beer, and yet, I just can't bring myself to fall in love with it. Oh well, more for everyone else. Worth getting a 4-pack and trying if you can, and sure, go nuts, get to the store early, hang out with some groovy hopheads like I did, and score a case to gift you friends - everyone wants some, believe me! Only downside is that it says to drink from the can, so I have no idea what it looks like...

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