Heady Topper
The Alchemist

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IPA - New England
Ranked #1
Ranked #5
4.76 | pDev: 6.93%
The Alchemist
Vermont, United States
Heady TopperHeady Topper
Notes: Heddy Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale. 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
Reviews: 2,677 | Ratings: 15,002 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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hreb from Washington

4.02/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can of Heady-Topper dated 06/05/21. Served in a can glass, because I want to. Pours slightly hazy and with a nice white head, though not quite as cloudy or murky as Focal Banger. Aroma is not the most potent, but it has a more traditional pine hop profile than I expected. Inhaling deeply I do get a bit of sweet juice. Flavor is big on those tropical juicy flavors. Guava, mango, grapefruit zest. Where Focal Banger has considerable IBUs and conventional alpha bitterness, Heady Topper has the strength and even a hint of the 8% ABV is actually present on the palate. But this is really only a comparative defect; compared to millions of other IPAs the alcohol is still very well hidden.

Tasting this side by side with Focal Banger I appreciate the differences but confirm my initial impression from 4 years ago in Burlington -- I prefer FB. Both have an excellent mouthfeel, with very fine carbonation, which by itself might be remarkable for an American IPA in a can. But this beer is quite literally heady -- and I'm not one to shy away from heavy beers in the 8-12% range or even higher. But the balance and flavors in Focal Banger are just better in my opinion, even better than this unarguably great beer.

Potentially this is Heady Topper's 15,000th review??

Jul 31, 2021
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ATL6245 from Georgia

4.65/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, light amber (unfiltered) with fluffy white head with good retention

Aroma: Layered with pine leading, then Citrus & Tropical with a trailing woody/musty (some call it dank) note.

Flavor & Aftertaste: Alcohol is noticeable. Citrus & resinous pine prominent with spicy notes mixed in. Aggressive bitterness on a low to moderate sweet malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Highly astringent with a lengthy dry finish. Bitterness builds and lingers well into the finish.

Overall: Rated this versus other DIPA's. Thank you to BA advocate buddy for providing. I can see what the hype is all about. For fans of a DIPA, this one is top tier. Terrific layered aromas starting with pine, then citrus & tropical fruit ending with a note of woodiness/mustiness (dankness) as you work you way through it. It is aggressive bitter & astringent, so beware of that if you are adverse to those characteristics. The finish is dry and lengthy with the bitterness lingering well into the finish.

Jul 16, 2021
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Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas from Texas

4.97/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Other breweries that arent focusing on making pine the central-flavor of their IPAs aren’t doing it right.

This and MBC Dinner are THE IPAs to be drinking. Everything else is just a tie-over until the next tome this glorious beverage hits my lips. CHEERS!

Jul 14, 2021
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Falcon91Wolvrn03 from California

4.19/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I finally had a chance to try this East Coast IPA and compare it to the West Coast Pliny The Elder, as it is now being sold in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Look: Pours a cloudy golden color. Doesn't quite have the had that Pliny does, but a tasty looking beer.

Smell: Fresh hops, pine, and maybe light hint of grapefruit.

Taste: Hoppy. Maybe a little too hoppy for my personal taste, though not nearly as strong as others I've had.

Feel: A very easy drinking beer, with a light carbonation.

Overall: Overall, I'd call this an above average IPA, but perhaps a bit hoppy for my personal liking.

I prefer Pliny, though my personal favorite IPA is Dogfish Head.

Jul 10, 2021
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Chris7482 from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally had a chance to taste this. I wasn't disappointed, just a great beer. It had a bit more bitterness than I was expecting. Would love to have it fresh from the brewery to see if my thoughts would change.

Jul 10, 2021
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BlanBarry from Oklahoma

4.77/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours only slightly hazy with a good carbonation. The overall taste is smooth and slightly sweet. it has a slight lean toward orange and mango with good mouthfeel. It defies the 8%.

Jul 09, 2021
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BrotherDylan from California

4.89/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Genuinely one of the best beers in the world. I have no idea how they managed to say the beer has "waves and waves of hop flavor" and then actually accomplish that. There is without a doubt sorcery involved here but I'll take it. It is worth selling your soul for on at least six days of the week.

Jul 04, 2021
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lucius10 from California

4.15/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 6/21/21/Poured on 7/2/21...Sweet, tropical hoppy, slightly malty, and sweet piney-dank nose on this one! Taste follows with a malty-sweet, and prominent piney-hoppy bitter finish...some mild nuttiness shows up on the backend as it warms. This is an old-school, tasty brew...and I am glad I finally got to try this!

Jul 03, 2021
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BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.59/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This one is a throwback to the good old days of pine flavored IPA's. Pine and resin are the main aromas followed by citrus, and tropical hops in the foreground. Candy malt backbone to support the beer. Slight astringency. Strong bitterness that last for a while. Despite it's strength and bitterness I still find it very drinkable and the malts do a good job of supporting the more powerful flavors. Very good.

Jun 30, 2021
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jcastro002 from New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

OG of IPAs…. By today’s standards don’t think I’m giving it 100, but definitely need to have at least once in your life! Not the palate review ya’ll we’re expecting

Jun 30, 2021
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ANIMOUL from Vermont

4.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 16 oz can dated 5/21/21. Golden opaque yellow with decent initial foam - poured partially into a glass to observe color. Very pleasant albeit strong and thick - good feel. Not sure I can really add to what's already been posted. Worthy of the hype.

Jun 20, 2021
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Jaasoares from Virginia

4.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a clear golden color with a big fluffy white head which lingers for a while. There’s some sediment which drops to the bottom. Big tropical fruit especially pineapple, apple with pine, grass and hops on the nose. Taste is outstanding...well balanced sweetness on the front of tropical fruit with some dankness which turns to a dense hopslam of bitterness which isn’t overpowering but lingers. As advertised! Brilliant brew!

Jun 11, 2021
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Purchased as a 4 pk from a chilled case. Consumed about 1 month after brew date. Nice gold color with moderate haze/no floaties, beautiful white voluminous head that lasts a awhile and leaves some nice lacing. Smell was more muted than I expected given the advertised emphasis on the hops, but the flavor was very nice and complex with no single flavor dominating. This is like a whole bunch of ingredients mashed up together, but in a good way so that nothing slaps you in the face as a single ingredient carrying most of the load. Yes, I did drink some from the can but no big difference from the flavor in the glass, and this one looks so nice it is a shame not to take in the visual pleasure. Overall really nice but the cost ($18/4pk) is off-putting since other darned good IPAs can be had for significantly less.

Jun 06, 2021
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BrewsOverHoes from Georgia

4.64/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A; I was a bad boy and poured a touch into a glass to see what I was drinking. Pours a beautiful golden hazy orange/yellow, small amount of white head dissipating quickly.

S; This smells incredible. Tropical fruits, grapefruit, dank/grassy notes.

T; Massive onslaught of dank, earthy, weedy notes, with bright citrus and tropical fruits mixing in.

M; Unbelievably smooth, medium body, excellent carb, great!

O; So glad I got a chance to try this after all these years, shout out to @tasterschoice62 for giving me the chance. Lives up to the hype for sure. Just had the perfect balance of hop onslaught, mouthfeel, bitterness.

Jun 06, 2021
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simonrgilbert57 from California

5/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Worth the hype. Pretty much everything that can be said has been: great, complex flavor, with an especially outstanding dry hop finish. Really an excellent, excellent brew. Note: I gave the look a 5 even though I couldn’t see it, since I drank it from a can like a proper citizen.

May 28, 2021
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KT3418 from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was exciting to a try, and I definitely recommend doing so if you have the opportunity, I feel like I wasn't necessarily mind blown as I've had a few NE style IPA's now but this was definitely really solid.

May 22, 2021
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Whyteboar from Michigan

4.75/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Okay, got this the first time from a BIF and @JayORear and while I thoroughly enjoyed that, I didn't have the experience to rate it. So while in Colorado last week visiting family, imagine my surprise to see this on the shelves. I live in Michigan and we never see this!
In any case, I had to try it again, and so glad I did. This is the real deal - no froo froo additives or quadruple dry hopped monster, just sheer goodness in the way of The Alchemist and their double IPA. The look is raw honey, and the aroma a clearly Citra led hop parade. Very pleasant. The taste though, excellence in the NE IPA genre - just outstanding in flavor and feel. Apparently one is meant to drink this from the can and going forward I will, but for this round I wanted to see what I was drinking.
Anyway, the more beers I am exposed to, the more I appreciate the basics, the ones that strive to be the best in category by pure skill and ingredients, not the latest hop or adjunct. This would be a regular in my beer fridge if it were available in Michigan.

May 20, 2021
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minterro from California

4.69/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer has always been one that I have admired from afar. I remember when I first joined this site over a decade ago, this beer was #1. Out of the blue, we got a shipment in CO. No idea if this is a one-off shipment or not, but I was elated to find this one hanging on at my local store. Bought at Hazel's in Boulder, CO on 05/13/21. 4 pack of 16 oz cans for $18.49 before tax. Canned 05/08/21, consumed 05/16/21.

A&S: Not only is it marked on the cans, but I remember seeing an interview about The Alchemist where John Kimmich was super adamant about not pouring this beer out into glassware. However, I properly rate this beer, I am going to have to make a compromise. Poured a little out for look and smell, drank the rest from the can. Translucent canary yellow beer. Lively looking with bubbles of carbonation rising up. Head a bright white and pours at a little less than a finger, but retains really well in a thin layer and leaves globs of lacing. Aroma is probably my least favorite part of this beer (but still great). I get citrus (mostly lemons), cane sugar sweetness, and some resiny hops.

T&M: Spectacular and unique. Even with all the hazys on the market nowadays, this one still stands out. Even though the can clearly states that "this beer is not intended to be the biggest or most bitter", but it hits. Huge hop flavors! Most piney and resiny, but with more subdued notes of floral and citrus (grapefruit and some lemon). Slightly spicy towards the finish mostly black pepper and a little chili pepper. Bitter and dry finish. Not as "juicy" as other hazys, but it works well with this beer. To John's credit, I do think this beer is better consumed out of the can. I think it really does taste better. Fantastic mouthfeel. It is very crisp but combined with a medium body, this beer's texture is nearly perfect.

Overall: Wow! I am so glad I had an opportunity to try this one. Definitely lived up to the hype! Belongs in my top 10, and it is the best Hazy IPA I have ever tried. If you can find it, even for the price, it is amazing and well worth it.

May 17, 2021
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gooddaydiablo from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

look: light orange, just a little hazy

smell: floral,

taste: piney and bitter on first sip, some apricot and honeydew after a few more sips,

feel: smooth, medium body, finish is bitter

overall: I feel disappointed, this beer is overrated I think

May 13, 2021
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dsa7783 from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16-ounce four-pack copped from Bottle King in Livingston. Incredible pour showcasing a plethora of citrus array and lemon peel yellow. Intense aroma redolent of apricot, pear and fresh morning dew. Top-notch brew. Explosive mixture of ripe flavors.

May 10, 2021
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cyginsberg from New York

4.73/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Canned 4/12/21
Each sip just leaves you wanting another. It's incredible. It's got great aromas of citrus and pine. The taste follows and is just bursting with flavor. Each sip just takes over every bit of your mouth. Super enjoyable. I tried some from the can and some in a glass. I personally can't help from thinking that there's a tiny bit more flavor from the can but it could totally be psychological.

Overall, I'd say it's just really balanced in pretty much every way. Not too bitter, not too sweet, not to thick, not too light - it's the Goldilocks of beers!

May 03, 2021
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RacerX5k from Pennsylvania

4.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Edit 6/20 Happy Father's Day ... grabbed 2 4 paks at the ridiculous (in this area price of $16.95 then stopped up the street (guess where) grabbed 2 singles for a little more normal this area $5 per ice cold. popped one immediately, perfect like last time (circa week before Mother's Day) so i ran back and grabbed an third 4 pak for $16.95 ... so, $50 for 3 4 paks and $10 for two singles ... and, you know what, worth EVERY penny, by far, the best beer of 2021 and takes me back to the glory days circa 2014 when this beer was perfect, and from what I read, not possible to make an better beer due to the yeast. Well, 2012 Bourbon County would like to argue with that, but, you know what, this 2021 Topper is frigging amazing. easily, Beer of the Year

The Topper is back, baby. Completely agree with the previous reviewer, the 2020 cans were an disappointment. But I grabbed a mixed 4 pak, 2 Heady, 2 Banger, yesterday, for an reasonable, in this area anyways, $20. And now I can't wait to try the Banger, also an 2020 disappointment. Tough year for everyone ...

Drink from the can recommended. Aroma and taste is fresh, dry, immensely hopped and very grassy, in a good way. Like hanging down the shore, crabbing, looking out over the water at the beautiful marsh of the inlets. This is incredible tonight, Saturday, before an equally amazing dinner, wings and thighs, fresh cauliflower, the best instant mashed potatoes in the business.

This is beer.

May 01, 2021
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Spudsy from Illinois

5/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was first given to me by someone close to me as a gift. A gift from the Gods. I find it every year for Xmas with my boys. Although the cans I had for 2020 were a disappointment, nobody died from the beer. It is the mouth feel that sells this beer for me. I wonder if I should try drinking others from the can?

Apr 30, 2021
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ommegangpbr from New York

4.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at a local Shoprite liquor store! Canned on 2/21/2021. A big, New England IPA, consumed both from the can and in a glass. Excited to find this, excited to try this. It's currently the most reviewed beer of the style on BA. I don't know that I have any more to add just that I enjoyed my can of beer. Flavors I find: peach, nectarine, mango and lime zest.

Apr 26, 2021
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kms31668 from Massachusetts

4.87/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Absolutely delicious! I have been fortunate enough due to covid to buy it at many of my local liquor stores this past year(Boston area)and the taste has not disappointed. Great beer

Apr 20, 2021
Heady Topper from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 100 out of 100 with 15002 ratings