Heady Topper
The Alchemist

Heady TopperHeady Topper
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The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
Imperial IPA
Ranked #1
Ranked #5
4.71 | pDev: 7.01%
Friday at 01:06 AM
Mar 27, 2004
Heady TopperHeady Topper
Notes: Heady Topper is an American double IPA. 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 American hops will creep up on you, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in you 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 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 in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have work 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 while 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. -- John Kimmich

75 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of J_Brew_99
Rated by J_Brew_99 from Colorado

4.89/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Amongst the upper echelons of beers! Super smooth and very drinkable
Friday at 01:06 AM
Photo of Anders91
Reviewed by Anders91 from California

4.46/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look: nice golden straw like color with a medium white head

Smell: basically all hops, nice citrus notes with some pine as well

Taste: fantastic balance of citrus, pine, and just a little bit of malt on the background. Very clean flavor

Feel: just the right amount of carbonation
Dec 01, 2022
Rated: 4.45 by HarlotBronte from District of Columbia

Nov 27, 2022
Rated: 4.54 by DomingoOrtiz from Massachusetts

Nov 26, 2022
Photo of Hobbs87
Reviewed by Hobbs87 from New York

4.49/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Never heard about this and it was recently recommended out of the blue. Excellent IPA but very difficult to find if not in Vermont. I believe they keep supply purposely low outside the area. Was able to track down and local shop said they don’t put out on the shelves since it would be sold out as soon as it’s up. Delicious tasting. It’s not too bitter nor sweet. Just a smooth enjoyable IPA and can see why it’s rated as one of the best.
Nov 24, 2022
Rated: 5 by dkawalski from Massachusetts

Nov 20, 2022
Rated: 4.47 by drews240 from Rhode Island

Nov 18, 2022
Rated: 4.93 by Nyabok

Nov 08, 2022
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
Reviewed by MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
16oz can. Can bottom is stamped 'Canned On 09-29-22'.
For reference, a couple of ounces have been poured into a glass. The body is partly cloudy, and is straw colored. Looks to be a strong one finger white head. The couple of ounces in the glass left behind a generous ring and other spots of lacing.
Aroma is hop driven - citrus dank and pine resin. Solid toasted malt base.
Taste is grapefruit and orange pith, which melds into the pleasant bitterness. Pine resin is there and expresses more at the end and in the aftertaste. Solid malt base. There is also a resin sweetness that exists more in the front part of the profile.
Mouth feel is more than medium, and has a softer quality. Excellent carbonation in the mouth.
This beer is world class, and will be especially attractive to those IPA drinkers who like some pine resin and bitterness. The beer is truly expressive in the mouth, and is a big reason why it is so well regarded. Really a great tasting IPA.
Nov 02, 2022
Photo of te99912_123
Reviewed by te99912_123 from Switzerland

4.43/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Canned a bit more than 2 months ago, maybe not optimal, but kind of hard to get it here in Europe, so I can't complain.

Hazy yellow-gold, very foamy. Not extremely hazy though.

Onions, pine, dank, you can already smell the bitterness.
Grapefruit, oranges, citrus. Similar to the nose, though opens up a bit and gets a little more tropical, pineapple, and a super tiny hint of mango.

The IBU highly noticeable. I have no idea how high it is though, I've seen numbers from 70 to 120.
Oct 27, 2022
Rated: 5 by Beergod420 from Michigan

Oct 24, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by mjsullivan86 from Pennsylvania

Oct 21, 2022
Rated: 4.54 by DesMoinesMike from Iowa

Oct 18, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by Bryan-K from Pennsylvania

Oct 18, 2022
Photo of BigIronH
Reviewed by BigIronH from Michigan

4/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a dull and hazy straw gold with some strange hues. A finger of white foam rises and falls to a thin cap, not much lacing. Nose is over ripe pineapple and melon, dank herbal notes and pine. Taste follows suit with a bitter hop finish. Feel is full but crisp. Overall, well above average and glad to finally have tried it.
Oct 14, 2022
Photo of VALIS666
Reviewed by VALIS666 from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75
I've been waiting over 10 years to try this, and while I never went too far out of my way to try and acquire it, recently a 3-day weekend vacation in Vermont finally provided me with a case of pints from a quiet local liquor store in the middle of nowhere.

And maybe this is 10 years of anticipation talking, but: eh. Well, no, it's not "eh," it's incredibly well made for the style, but I'm a "juicy" NEIPA guy, the piney intensity of most DIPAs usually turn me off and it does here as well. The look is a typically nice yellow haze, and the smell is the best thing about the beer -- full of different aromas with pine leading the charge, followed by lemon rind and white pepper.

In my opinion don't listen to the can, pour it in a glass as the complex and powerful aroma is the best thing going here and needs to be experienced.

Now we get to the less favorable parts, which is the mouthfeel and aftertaste. Powerful, mouth coating pine, which is what some people look for but not me. But the worst part is the intense carbonation and gassiness. I'm burping after two sips and bloated by the time the can is done.

To close out on a good note, it has one of the top-5 labels in beer.
Oct 07, 2022
Rated: 4.3 by BeerWasp from Germany

Oct 04, 2022
Photo of jzeilinger
Reviewed by jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Canned on: ???? (Picked up fresh from the brewery, though.)

A - Very hazy medium orange gold color with a dense ring of creamy white lacing.

S - Bright citrus, citrus rind, dank pine, and earthy peppery citrus rind. ,

T - Juicy floral, citrus, citrus rind, a slight bit of peppery spice with some resiny pine bitterness on the back end. Finiand shes on the balanced side with a lingering mix between earthy juicy citrus and resiny pine.

M - Big medium body with prickly carbonation and bone dry on the back of the tongue.

O - Not, sure why I've never reviewed this before because I've had alot of it in the past. Final verdict? Enjoying this beer equally as much today as I did when I first had it. This Classic never gets old (IMO), just total all around class. One of my all time favorites.
Sep 18, 2022
Photo of izraelc
Reviewed by izraelc from New York

4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours a hazy gold. Thick foam. Juicy sweet hop aroma. Loads of dank hop flavors. Some sweetness. Some bitterness. Loads of juicy goodness. Not for the beginner but definitely very drinkable and a must have if you love IPAs.
Sep 02, 2022
Rated: 5 by skizzy92 from New Jersey

Aug 28, 2022
Rated: 4.92 by T_Hill97 from Vermont

Aug 28, 2022
Photo of jdhops
Reviewed by jdhops from Tennessee

4.74/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Canned 8/18/22. Purchased that day at the brewery.

L: Normally kept in the can, this one pours a hazy dark orange with a big head that quickly thins to a film with splotches on the cap and a thicker ring around the glass. Lacing is minimal but attractive.

S: Huge aromas of everything good. Floral, citrus, tropical, mixed berries, and pine. Incredible.

T: Strong hop character in your face up front. Mellows a bit in the middle to reveal some delicious juicy fruit and berries, but the hops never take a back seat. Finishes dry, but not as bitter as the hop punch would suggest.

F: The hop onslaught provides a sticky, resinous mouthfeel, which is not a criticism.

O: Heady Topper takes no prisoners. An absolute hop smackdown that also showcases a wide variety of aromas and flavors. This is the DIPA for those who think west coasts are too bitter and hazies are too juicy.
Aug 28, 2022
Rated: 2.5 by bkwagie

Aug 19, 2022
Rated: 4.47 by cdarezz

Aug 14, 2022
Photo of Amendm
Reviewed by Amendm from Rhode Island

4.74/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
I opened a pint can, bright citrus (mostly pineapple), pine and herbal hops greeted the nose. Bready malt and citrus juice give the impression of sweetness, alcohol is noticeable. I drank out of the can for a few sips, bitter, semi-dry and boldly flavored. Hops are way out in front, juiciness masks the malt flavor. Bitterness rises throughout the taste.

Next, I poured most of the rest into a mug. Pale orange-straw body, very hazy with a rich creamy white head that quickly shrunk to a cap that lasted leaving rings of lacing. The taste is best this way and represents a well-made Imperial New England style IPA.

Next, I added in the dregs, and I can see why this is not recommended. The haze changed to cloudy and turbid, the taste changed to peppery bitter with a slight funky juiciness. I don't mind the dregs; the white pepper bitterness hides the alcohol and keeps the sweet juice taste in check.

Medium bodied with plentiful carbonation, bold, bitter and still balanced but I wouldn't call it smooth. Lightly colored for the style and begs the question "Should there be an Imperial NEIPA category?"
Following of the pouring guidelines is highly recommended.

Canned on 7-25-22
Aug 12, 2022
Photo of Yogary
Reviewed by Yogary

4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
My second favorite beer of all time. Absolutely nothing but awesome deliciousness throughout. Unfortunately I live in Wisconsin, and have to pay my brother to send me 4 packs. I love the somewhat malty hopped taste, when you open a can it’s aroma is almost as good as the taste. It’s been around for years, yet with all the new brews coming and going, it has rarely met it’s match.
Aug 12, 2022
Rated: 3.95 by Tcsox from Massachusetts

Aug 05, 2022
Rated: 5 by LAM01833 from Massachusetts

Aug 02, 2022
Photo of SaCkErZ9
Reviewed by SaCkErZ9 from South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I’m not understanding the hype around this one. My buddy from MA sent me a four pack for my birthday so I have been dissecting this for a week now.

Pours a wonderful, slightly hazy dark straw color with an immaculate head.

Aroma seems a bit lacking. Sure it has hops but it isn’t overwhelming or any better than the other 100 IPAs out there. Kind of citrusy with a touch of pine.

It’s a little malty for my liking. Thick and heavy. The hop oils really coat the tongue. Bitterness is average, not too much.

It’s a good beer but not world class IMO.
Aug 01, 2022
Photo of MDArrow
Rated by MDArrow from New Jersey

4.91/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
We were in Rhode Island when I first had this beer.
Hope I can find it in other places.
Very smooth IPA.
Jul 31, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by Shiredave from New York

Jul 26, 2022
Rated: 4.53 by mpow34

Jul 23, 2022
Rated: 4.75 by GFK from Michigan

Jul 15, 2022
Photo of TheBricenator
Reviewed by TheBricenator from Oregon

4.84/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Look: Yeah, I know, I poured it out into a glass – old habits die hard. Light orange and cloudy with a silky-looking pure white head that builds up and holds as a lid, ever-so-slowly receding and leaving great lacing behind
Aroma: Ripe peaches, mango, tangerines, strawberries, cantaloupe melon, pine, some kiwi, kumquats, Cannabis, blueberries, and some sweet malt
Taste: Opens up with a barrage of citrus fruits and resinous pine sap that seemingly gain strength as they develop. Peaches, mango, and mixed berries pop up both together and separate as the journey continues and dankness also makes it presence known here and there in no-so-subtle ways. Malt sweetness tries to keep up but is continually beaten back by the hops and closes with a conifer-laden finish and a delectable, strong bite
Mouthfeel: Full, a little slick, medium-high carbonation, and felt and I’d say medium-strength dryness on the finish
Overall: Wow, this is outstanding. To me, this was the OG I heard about, here on BA, before the NE-Style IPA trend migrated West and when I saw a month-old can, I had to try it as I haven’t been a fan of the sub-style much since it took over here but figured and wished I would be. Happy to say, this is my type of beer though as it absolutely captures the amazing aromatics that the late/dry hop additions and yeast can being to the ‘hazy’ style but it drinks like a WCIPA without the chewy feel and an awesome, pithy bite, and plenty of dryness. Color me WAY impressed and I’d buy this again and again in a heartbeat. Thank you, The Alchemist, for creating this gem and props on blowing me away right out of the gate, as that doesn’t happen often
Jul 14, 2022
Photo of dano213
Reviewed by dano213 from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
16oz can purchased from the fridge as a single from a local bottle shop for $5.25. No canned on date. This must be fresh because this doesn't get distributed here very often and it usually sells out pretty quickly.

Look: Pours a mildly to moderately hazy pale yellow/golden color. The head dissipated quickly. This is very pale for an 8% ABV Double IPA.

Smell: The aroma is very expressive. Tons of dank, resinous hops. A bit of citrus thrown in too. Up front, I get a strong green bell pepper note. This yields to citrusy notes and resinous, piney hoppiness. I get notes of grapefruit and lemon hard candy, along with secondary notes of papaya and mango.

Taste: This is really good. It is actually quite drinkable given how aggressive it is. Up front, it's citrusy and dank. The finish is tooth-enamel stripping bitterness, in a good way. It has a strong bitter finish with lots of woody pine tar, grapefruit pith, and lemon rind. The finish is very dry and the bitterness lingers long.

Feel: It has a slick and oily mouthfeel with a relatively soft carbonation. Medium bodied.

Overall: This is my first time trying Heady Topper, as well as my first time trying anything from Alchemist. There is so much hype around this beer, so it was almost impossible to live up to it. But it actually manages to come pretty close. What I find most interesting about this beer is that it is so different from "New England-Style IPAs" that are made by 90% of breweries today. To me, this beer is more West Coast at heart than it is an NEIPA. This beer reminds me of Lagunitas Super Cluster, which I know is all-Citra hopped and I do not know which hops are used in Heady Topper. I would think that there at least has got to be Citra in here too though. Also reminds me a bit of Foley Brothers Prospect.
Jul 12, 2022
Photo of Acandage
Rated by Acandage from California

4.62/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
The only truly hoppy beer I have ever liked. I do not like IPAs or hoppy beers in general and headytopper is unbelievably good
Jul 08, 2022
Rated: 4.52 by mando31 from Illinois

Jul 02, 2022
Rated: 4.27 by Zanico from Ohio

Jul 02, 2022
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 15152 ratings