Heady Topper | The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center

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BA SCORE
4.71/5
World-Class
14,346 Ratings
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Vermont, United States
alchemistbeer.com

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

Added by scottum on 03-27-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6
Reviews:
2,496
Ratings:
14,346
pDev:
7.01%
 
 
Wants:
9,510
Gots:
6,283
Trade:
68
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 14,346 |  Reviews: 2,496
Photo of Heady_timmyy
4.52/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of ZenBeer
4.74/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

There are so many good IPA's on the market now, this was one of the best at inception

85 characters

Photo of ajmarohn
4.33/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of J10Murphy
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of TommyM96
5/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As close to a “perfect” beer as I’ve ever had. The gold standard for New England IPAs, it truly lives up to its hype. Wish it was easier to get but oh well. Can’t wait to have it again.

 193 characters

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

Photo of ragwing82
4.99/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of mpyle
3.94/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep golden color, a bit of hoppy haziness. Pours a nice white head, creamy and lingering.

Complex hop aroma with pine and citrus, but not a big malt aroma.

Big hop flavor with a nuttiness in addition to the great pine and citrus noted in aroma. Surprisingly prominent alcohol flavor in the finish, which detracted the experience for me. Bitterness in finish is pretty gentle, but is drying.

Medium body and carbonation, a bit of alcohol warming.

I might have killed it by pouring it into a glass instead of drinking from the can as ordered, but while I expected an 8% beer that would drink like it was 6%, it tasted more like 10% to be. Too boozy for my taste.

----

Original review above. As warmed it seemed less boozy. Original avg rating of 3.79. Boosting some scores slightly based on the end of the can.

 826 characters

Photo of kpachla02
4.56/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bob_123
4.99/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unfiltered, drink straight out of the can, fruity aroma and juicy flavor with just the right feel to make you have to make another swig

135 characters

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

Photo of daelron
4.65/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Can:
A bit of a haze from the stream creates a nice light-diffusing body. A fluffy white head falls slowly, attempting to cling to the inner wall, but leaving only white indentations and scratches. The beer has a yellow hue in proper light, but a slightly burnt orange with different lighting.

The nose didn't jump out at me as I poured the beer like Focal Banger did. The aroma starts with a significant dankness with a nice herbal aspect. There's also a note of peach in my first sniffs, but it didn't remain as obvious as I searched for additional aromas. Secondary notes include grapefruit pith and lemon rind on the citrus side, and a hint of green onion on the herbal side, more the former than the latter.

A malty opening yields or leads to a very soft, creamy mouthfeel. The good thing about the feel is that it comes without the higher thickness of many a NE IPA. The malt has a honey biscuit sweetness that borders on being a little strong and I'll go with a bit of a papaya flavor. The flavor takes a nice turn, starting with a little bit of tangerine (and later, a return of some peach), but then it really brings the herbal aspects of the hops. The herbal notes slowly sneak forward in the taste as the beer warms, lingering on my palate between sips with a low level of dankness to help carry that sensation along. The back end gains a more wooden herbaceousness, and even a bit of light juniper note.

A really nice beer to drink, soft, creamy malt backbone to carry an herbal bitterness that has a dank side to it. Not as dank as I expected from impressions of other's thoughts, but a more subtle, easy to enjoy level of said characteristic.

 1,670 characters

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

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

This beer revolutionized what a beer can be. I will never forget the smell when i first cracked a can it was unlike any beer i have ever had. I continue to think this is the gold standard for New England IPAs.

 209 characters

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

Photo of avk59
4.87/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Dcwbba
4.91/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Gerred
3.58/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of WhaleSlayer85
4.5/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of drtth
4.31/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The hazy (but not cloudy) amber colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1 1/2” fluffy off-white head that recedes slowly but visibly until it eventually becomes a thin irregular island of foam on the surface with a ring around the glass and having left a webbing of patches and irregular streaks of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates a couple of arch shaped patches of foam with some small patches and legs of lacing between the two.

The fruit aromas are fairly strong here and filled with citrus and citric zest, some tropical fruits and a bit of resin. In the background there’s some crackery and caramel malt.

Much as expected from the nose there’s lots of citrus, mostly grapefruit and zest, plenty of tropical fruits in the background along the pine resin and malt. The crackery, light caramel malt sweetness softens and smooths out the bitterness from the hops so that the bitterness is there but as a background element. The alcohol is well concealed here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly smooth and only lightly crisp with some moderate persistent carbonation. The finish begins as the crackery, caramel sweetness begin to fade and allow the fruit flavors to move forward a bit as they too begin to fade with the bitterness closing out the fairly long semi-dry ending in the back of the palate.

Overall quite drinkable and enjoyable. I will think the reputation of this beer is well deserved and I look forward to having it again. For this beer the focus is on the hops and a range of hop flavors and with the bitterness being noticeable but almost incidental. I would also say that the beer is fairly temperature sensitive in that the tropical fruits become more noticeable as the beer warms a bit. As for drinking this beer from the can, as requested on the can, I chose not to do so since my interest was in the full range of sensory experience offered by the beer. (Also the beer was enjoyed from the glass by many for years before the beer was ever canned and I’m an occasional traditionalist.)

 2,063 characters

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

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Beer rating: 4.71 out of 5 with 14,346 ratings