Heady Topper | The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center

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Heady TopperHeady Topper
BA SCORE
4.72/5
World-Class
13,728 Ratings
Heady TopperHeady Topper
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
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
Ranking:
#3
Reviews:
2,408
Ratings:
13,728
pDev:
6.99%
Bros Score:
4.34
 
 
Wants:
9,313
Gots:
5,886
Trade:
72
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,728 |  Reviews: 2,408
Photo of DevinK
1/5  rDev -78.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Photo of DanielGJ0
1.45/5  rDev -69.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Honestly, I have either received two of the worst cans in the history of mankind, possibly infected, who knows but let's be honest, I tried this once before Sip of Sunshine and Once the following day after drinking Sip of Sunshine. The absolute worst double IPA I have ever had, and this is my favorite style!

Hops are barely existent, there is an inherent smoothness to the beer but it tastes of wet cigarettes. I wish I could say better things, but it almost tastes like a homebew that was not properly sanitized. But two cans from a two week old batch? What in the world. Now Sip of Sunshine from Lawsons was incredible, but this, not a chance. just awful.

 660 characters

Photo of FAT_mike
1.65/5  rDev -65%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

I live in Vermont and have had Heady Topper many times, mostly when its the only thing to drink at a party. I remember the first time, I gagged and I thought that someone had given me a beer and spiked it with fresh cut grass clippings. I know I'm in the minority up here but I'm tried of all the craft breweries trying to cram as many hops as they can into a can of beer.

 372 characters

Photo of Klister
2/5  rDev -57.6%

Photo of Jacob007
2/5  rDev -57.6%

Photo of leojhartiv
2/5  rDev -57.6%

Photo of SuperDavidC
2/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Znice21
2.06/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This legendary eastern ipa is what inspired my signing up to ba to launch this bashing..err review. I like Maine beers, I like knee deep beers, i like mosaic hops. Honestly I was ecstatic when my buddy brought home a plethora of alchemist beers. Focal banger should be right up my alley but its so over the top i have to blend it but when i do i still enjoy big mosaic hops. Heady is just foul. I realize my opinion is an outlier but when I tell you I struggled to finish a can (ipa drinking wife included) Im very serious. I had it on 2 occasions to cement my feelings on it and they are this beer is soooooooooooooooo overrated I'm in awe of how lousy it was for me, really nothing redeeming to say other than at 8%abv if you can hold your nose and slam a few of these i guess you'll be in a happy place but i can give you myriad other options to better get you there.

 878 characters

Photo of KGilmour
2.11/5  rDev -55.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Photo of ourzeke
2.4/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

highly overrated...try JVP (Joseph Vincent Paterno) instead of this

67 characters

Photo of rchristopherm
2.44/5  rDev -48.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Overrated. Ommegang's Nirvana and Long Trail's Limbo are much better IPAs and they don't require you to drink them "in the can" to taste good.

142 characters

Photo of azorie
2.5/5  rDev -47%

Photo of Pyedog
2.5/5  rDev -47%

Photo of klipper
2.5/5  rDev -47%

Photo of JScoot
2.5/5  rDev -47%

Photo of HoppyBastard1
2.56/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Murkiest beer I've ever poured. I can see why they want you to drink from the can.
Smells of a used dirty ashtray. Not pleasant.
Taste is on par with most mediocre DIPA's as well as mouthfeel.
So many amazing beers out there, no way this should be rated best beer.

 266 characters

Photo of Sheepdog6
2.6/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of wildfire275
2.65/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Let me begin with a precursor: I've had Heady on several occasions, my first being almost four years ago. I'm writing this review because this batch from early February when I purchased a case is simply a shell of its former self and must have something wrong with it (and not because it's been 3 months since it was canned; because it tasted the same right after I bought it and it's been refrigerated ever since and should still be plenty drinkable at this stage). Cracking a can brings an overwhelming smell and subsequent taste of peanut butter, peanut oil and peanuts. As I am not a homebrewer, though I work in beer retail, I do not know how to pinpoint this off-flavor/smell (i.e. diacetyl), but it is certainly not the Heady that blew my mind when I first had it four years ago. My main motivation in writing this review is to alert others to the possibility that clearly not all batches of Heady are created equal now. If this can be chalked up to mishandling (exposure to heat), and is not a fault of The Alchemist, I would certainly understand. But as I purchased this case in the midst of a bone-chilling winter, I find that possibility not very plausible. And don't get me wrong; this is not intended to throw The Alchemist, John and Jen or their staff under the bus. They are working tirelessly to bring this beer to the masses of VT, the U.S., and now--yes--the world. Hopefully this is simply an anomaly and their quality control only improves with further batches, yet now with their increased production and the new Stowe facility, this may only become more difficult in the future. As a die-hard craft drinker and one who knows where Heady belongs in the upper echelon of DIPAs, I hope this does not prove to be the case.

 1,740 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.73/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Wow - given 100 score on BA was expecting so much more, just an avg+ 2×IPA for me. Will try again, certainly not bad though.

126 characters

Photo of theduffster
2.78/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of acostuhhh
2.85/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Sorry guys, the smell was good but I just do not like IPAs. I need some other flavor and after taste besides bitter hops. It wasnt smooth at all. ABV isnt noticeable though.

 173 characters

Photo of EmeraldMist
2.86/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Look - Pours a hazy honey color, two fingers of bone white head. Great retention, lacing all the way down the glass. Worthy of a picture.
Aroma - Citrus dominant. Sour grapefruit, pineapple, hint of pine, keef. Hop potpourri.
Taste - Bitter grapefruit, tangerine sweetness, aspirin, papaya, grassy. Malt is an afterthought, Vague cracker like malt body, low sweetness. All 75 IBU's are alive and kicking. Bitter.
Feel - Medium bodied, ample carbonation. No alcohol warmth, drinks smaller than it is.

Overall - Tastes like a glass of fruit juice with pine.

 558 characters

Photo of mindfulmead
2.87/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Ok, another double IPA. Hoppy, we get it right? So what is so great abut THIS Ipa? If you were to break the rules and not "drink it IMMEDIATELY out of the can" you end up with a foggy IPA with chunks of hop pellets to chew on while they add to the hoppiness. As it sits, the trub gathers as gravity wins the battle to the bottom of my glass. Don't get me wrong, the hop particles that are suspended add a decent profile to the beer, but at what cost? I think it would be great as a "harvest IPA" if vegetal matter was the intention but there are another 11.5 months to use your hops in that case.

To me it seems like an unkept hop room. Interesting, nice, and Hoppy with some funkiness growing somewhere. I know from reading the can before I drink it I need to follow rules. I broke them all. I think that any homebrewer can create an equitable beer with a draft keggery and one weeks time.

J&J's Robust Porter in their restaurant was much better for my dollar and I just don't see what all the hubub is about. I think they should concentrate on making beer instead of money but I appear to be in the minority here. I do like the beer but know for a fact that there is more talent behind the curtain.

 1,204 characters

Photo of amphion1065
2.88/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I've had many a can of Heady Topper over the past few months, and with each one I'd hoped that my opinion of the beer would change for the better. I'll review my inaugural taste here, as it hasn't changed at all really. 16 oz. can poured into a Duvel tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly dark orange with nice clarity, in spite of the small bit of suspended yeast. A one-finger white head recedes pretty quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

The nose is very, very nice. A lot of citrus fruits, bright oranges and mangoes. But there is an off-putting, lingering aroma of quasi-rotten fruit that I just can't shake. It's a very curious sweetness that just seems unnatural.

Hops seems oddly dead in the taste. Waves of malty sweetness seems to obscure any bitter hop bite. At the same time, a very strange vegetal flavor throws the balance of this beer out of whack. It seems disjointed, and though this can was very fresh, it just feels faded.

The carbonation is too low, and the mouthfeel is too heavy. Perhaps some more carbonation would help the flavors open up.

As a rejoinder, I'll add that I've drank Heady Topper straight from the can, though I didn't find that that method of presentation impacted the taste at all. In the end, I suppose it's just not for me, though certainly not terrible.

 1,303 characters

Photo of McKinley
2.93/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After all the hype, I expected more....too much? Pretty much like drinking grapefruit juice. I also question the instructions to drink from the can, a good beer should be able to be appreciated from a glass.

 209 characters

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center
Beer rating: 4.72 out of 5 with 13,728 ratings
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