Heady Topper | The Alchemist

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Heady TopperHeady Topper
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Brewed by:
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States

Style: New England IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American Double IPA. Drink from the can.

75 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 2,530 | Ratings: 14,536
Photo of beerbellydaddy
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The Alchemist recommends that you drink Heady Topper straight from the can, which I did with the first one. Glad I poured the second, as this beer looks nearly perfect when released into a glass - a bright pineapple juice color, cloudy, with a fat head. Lacing remained in the glass throughout. The smell is a strong grapefruit and hops scent, which is echoed in the taste. It offers a citrus and bready flavor while being very refreshing and easy to drink. Each sip finishes with a punch of bitterness. Yet the mouthfeel is clean, not dense, refreshing and a little creamy. It is a great beer that lives up to its lofty reputation.

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Photo of Bill_D
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can be very critical— and there is nothing to criticize here. I guess that makes it perfect. With the hype, I was ready to be underwhelmed— but it lives up to 15000 opinions of greatness.

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Photo of pmoersch
4.87/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The can says “Drink from the can!” But given the limited supply I had to try both from the can and a glass. Neither was disappointing. The flavor has an artfully smoky taste and a clean finish. This is a beer I have been looking forward to and I was afraid the expectations would be tough to live up to This was not the case Find it and enjoy it.

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Photo of Pearlyp
4.98/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The best part to me is the intense smell you get when you open a can. I could just sniff this stuff all day straight out the can. It’s suddenly become more readily available in my area of the world over the past week or two. Overall a good beer!

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Photo of ZipDipper
4.39/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Although I generally prefer west coast IPAs, this was an amazing beer. I resisted the temptation to pour it into a glass and instead enjoyed it directly from the can. Too bad Stowe is on the other side of the continent or I would plan to have another Heady soon!

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Photo of KettleBellFreak
4.78/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The quintessential DIPA. Hits all the marks you can think of wanting when you want a non-hazy hop monster. A nearly perfect beer.

Great color (I poured in a glass finally), pearl head with lots, lots, lots of legs. Smell is strong hops and citrus. Taste is wave after wave of hops, smooth bitter finish and refreshing. Thick rich body, but not chewy or excessive.

Timeless IMO. And way better than Pliny

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Photo of Imakoniver
3.18/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I am disappointed with this beer. I just don’t find that it lives up to the hype. Give me a Second Fiddle anytime. If you area fan of very bitter DIPA’s, this beer is for you. I love IPA’s and DIPA’s but I don’t care for this. It finishes like it was brewed with hockey pads.

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Photo of jrc1093
4.44/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No canning date (bought at brewery on 3/8/19; presumably canned within a week or two prior)

Pours a cloudy golden orange topped with a massive head of white fluff; spectacular head retention leaves a tapestry of thick, soapy lacing as well as a thick mound of frothy cap.

Aromas of dank orange peel, passionfruit, grapefruit rind, and sweaty pine all bursting from the forefront, with clean, crisp grainy malt bringing up the backbone; aggressive at first, but smooths out very nicely over time.

Taste brings plenty of citrus, dank pine, and clean malt in sync upfront, with herbal hops only gaining steam as they build to a finish straight from the forest floor: dank, bitter pine, sweaty, earthy hops, and malty red berries; superior depth and intensity to this profile, with that little bit extra to push it over the edge while maintaining an overall harmony.

Mouthfeel shows a medium-heavy body that is thick yet carries itself very well, and is topped off with a perfectly balanced medium carbonation. Dense but balanced hoppiness is evened by malt to make for a semi-bitter but still primarily juicy finish. Remains incredible in its weight on the palate, while never becoming downright unapproachable.

This brew keeps an intensity only rivaled by its balance, while there’s a ton of depth here that doesn’t challenge its overall drinkability; a uniquely flavorful and relentless hop experience that has me understanding why it’s a classic.

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Photo of Dmullz
4.69/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very Hazy and cloudy look.
Smell is heavy with pine, hops and citrus.
Taste is surprisingly refreshing and tasty for the heavy amount of hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth for an unfiltered beer with a lingering hoppy taste.
Delicious and drinkable beer. If you ever see it, give this one a try.

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Photo of ninjy_chop
4.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Pours a dark amber-orange color that's hazy with a fine, white frothy head to headdy top it off. (Pun intended)

Smell: Where to begin. This thing smells like what you'd imagine the beer flowing from the hills of Valhalla would smell like. So many fruity, citrus, floral scents that are fresh and crisp radiate from this pint. This is what an IPA should smell like.

Taste: The best part. It takes a refined pallet to taste all of the fresh, fruity flavors that this can has to offer. It starts with an explosion of fruity ,hoppy goodness and ends with a smooth, crisp finish. Not too bitter, not too sweet. It's just perfectly balanced.

Feel: That being said about the flavor, this beer is smooth and packs a punch at a whopping %8 ABV. It drinks like a light beer.

Overall: I'm willing to move to Vermont to drink more of this beer. I was lucky enough to try one that a great friend of mine gave me as a Christmas present. Hopefully it wont be my last. Cheers, m8.

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Photo of Ale_Lover
4.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Oh so excited as I open this can of Heady.

It pours a gorgeous golden colour with amber notes and a two fingers head.

Aroma is of honey, melon, pine resin and mango. Clean and somewhat more crisp than I was expecting.

The taste damn near perfect and is perfectly balanced. The bitterness is forward as you would expect and a nice compliment the powerful flavours. The hops are upfront with mango, pine needle, citrus, melon, passionfruit, weed. Also picking us some peach notes which is likely from the yeast.

Semi-dry with a moderate carbonation. Reminds me alot of Double County.

Definately love this beer. Very dangerous as I could drink pint after pint of this beer.

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Photo of RockHop
4.25/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden with slight amber hue. Good foamy head and rich hop aroma. Mostly pine, with nutty, malty notes. Same flavor profile. Piney, lightly bitter and well balanced. Not especially complex.

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Photo of maxarvo
4.19/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Paid $10 for a can, and it doesn’t blow us away with flavor, so it’s hard not to have that sway the rating.
Basically, it does very well what it says it will. It’s a classic and it tastes great. I’ve had a bunch of more interesting, more flavorful beers recently. Not sure what to think- it’s obviously very good, just not as mindblowing as I hoped.
Edit- is it even that hoppy? I swear there’s so much better stuff than this... not that it isn’t great, just so much is good now...

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Photo of ericstin
4.27/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I used to think this was juicy when I first tried it a few years ago. Now I am a bit more versed and I don't think it's too juicy at all. Tends to be earthy on the pallet, almost a nutty aftertaste. Great beer though - especially for the price. The OG NE DIPA.

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Photo of osheamatth
4.73/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

What accolades can you bestow upon this beer that haven't been said? I keep thinking I'll find a better crafted IPA somewhere and some come close but none have matched it. What everyone says...I concur.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.54/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Review #500

So I’ll be the first to admit that my expectations for this highly-regarded and well-lauded beer were already sky-high. I always had this at the top of my list of beers to try, and when the opportunity came to buy it online and have it shipped to me I couldn’t pass it up. I first tried pouring a little bit of this beer carefully into a glass in order to examine the appearance, knowing full well to leave the residual hops residue in the can for maximum aroma. The beer poured a hazy orange-yellow color with some nice fluffy white head and very nice-looking spotty lingering lacing. Not quite as much lacing as I would’ve expected but still very nice nonetheless. The smells initially did not overly excite me, however. Smells surprisingly faintly of some dankness, a combination of citrus zest hops and floral hops, more faint herbal and piney hops, and then some malt, caramel and vanilla in the background. The taste was mainly of muted grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, guava and a little passionfruit fruity hops. In the background was some much weaker herbal, floral and piney hops along with some caramel, bread, vanilla and a well-balanced malt backbone. I think I must’ve tried the beer too quickly and eagerly when it was too cold, straight out of the refrigerator, because as the beer warmed the flavors came to life and the aromas intensified as well. Approximately 10 to 15 minutes after I took the beer out of the fridge and opened it I experienced greater depth and complexity of both the aromas and flavors. This is when I stopped being so disappointed and realized what some of the hype was all about. Smooth, mild, slightly creamy mouthfeel which was slightly sticky. Great amount of carbonation. The aromas and taste straight from the can were very similar except maybe there was a little more dankness and hoppy bitterness along with a sharper bite; perhaps the can warmed the beer up more rapidly. It was just so dangerously easy to drink and the higher ABV is completely hidden as this almost felt like a sessionable regular IPA. Juicy, flavorful and crisp. A truly outstanding beer, one worthy of its great reputation, and I am very happy that I bought multiples from the online store. I would rate this one of my top IPAs ever. Oddly enough, although the can states “Drink from the can!,” “This beer is perishable, and at its best when it is going, fresh and hazy” and “Drink this beer immediately,” I couldn’t find a bottled/canned date anywhere. Strange.

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Photo of jykleo
4.18/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16OZ can @Coals/NY
Not Bad at all. But,,,. felt  as if "Old school type" NEIPA.
1st sip left me strong alcohol on the palate.
Slightly strong bitterness insist existence before fruity and juicy notes.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.35/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz about 2 yo can. Pours deep golden with tall, long lasting, fluffy white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of citrusy hops, bready malt and ripe fruit. Body is full and crisp. Herbal, citrusy hops dominate the palate with bready malt and tropical fruit in the background. Finish is long and very hoppy. I liked the brew this mellow. Fresh one probably would be too hoppy for me.

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Photo of Hettithefool
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My personal favorite beer to date. When I had my first can I was surprisingly disappointed. Living in Michigan I had tried many New England IPA's in the past couple years and I had enjoyed lots of them with some being super bug juice bombs like the beers from old nation. I had decided to go to Vermont for some snowboarding at store and to also visit the alchemist and bring some nice cases back! I had brought my expectations up very high for this beer and couldn't wait to try my first heady topper. When I took my first sip I guess I was expecting too much and just seemed like it was another good beer nothing to blow your mind about. But as I continued to sip it the flavors began to reveal themselves and by my 3rd heady topper I was hooked and in awe of the quality of beer I was getting and still to this day every time I drink a heady topper I'm blown away with every sip! (On a side note I have recently tried many of tree houses beers and still am most impressed with heady topper)

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Photo of nealien
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lucked out and got a leftover can from a NYE event at a Boston restaurant and it lived up to the hype. Drank from the can, so I didn’t get to see the color, but the taste and smell were both a 5. A solid Double IPA, just the right amount of hoppiness and bitterness while still being smooth.

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Photo of IkelovesDeb
4.94/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

looked forward to trying this beer for a long time and it did not disappoint. i was afraid the beer would not meet the hype, but it actually surpassed it. i followed orders and drank from the can so my look score is an educated guess. ive had several great beers in this style and HT is by far the best. it has a wonderful mouthfeel and an equally wonderful aroma. in my opinion its the standard for this style. a classic. it definitely deserves its high ranking!

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Photo of leantom
4.2/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Very good, but a little overrated. Here goes:

A: Cloudy yellow. Pours a large head, however, and leaves great lacing. Very, very fluffy head.

S: Very pungent. Grassiness pervades the scent - lots of flowers in this. Also lots of lemon peel, some orange, and grapefruit.

T: Good, but somewhat vegetal. It's very, very grassy - the hops are really overwhelming. Floral flavors combine with lemon and grapefruit. However, while the floralness of this beer is quite overpowering, but it's still somewhat nice.

F: Not as soft as other Vermont beers, but still great.

O: A good beer, but somewhat overrated.

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Photo of AleManDan
4.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Finally, I got my hands on one of the beers I’ve wanted to try for years. And guess what? It’s good, but I would have been head over heels had I tried it three years ago.

Look: hazy, bright orange.

Aroma: pungent hops, acidic citrus and funky dank hops.

Taste: follows nose—pungent, sharp hops with lots of citrus rind flavors. Bitter but balanced—definitely a dank, funkiness which is distinct and good. On the finish it cleans up and ends dry with some lingering hop oils.

Mouthfeel: heavy and wet, tingly, but ends medium/dry.

Overall: really distinct flavors that remind me of a mix between NEIPA and Belching Beaver’s style IPAs such as Hop Highway or Phantom Bride.

Glad I tried it and I have several cans left. I’ll enjoy it but I won’t be seeking it out and paying the $6 per pint can price. There are too many other great beers that abound...but still a great hazy DIPA!

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Photo of Thundermuscle78
4.59/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the beer that started it all for me. The poster child for NE IPA. Amazing look, smell and an extremely hoppy taste. With a great balanced finish.

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Photo of Karpuk
4.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Such a classic, defining the genre of the NE IPA. This hazy brew has it all, from the powerful aroma, the dry and hoppy feel, to the bitter yeasty finish. One of the most recognizable cans in the style.

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 4.71 out of 5 with 14,536 ratings