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
Reviews: 2,529 | Ratings: 14,523
Photo of gmcmillan67
4.63/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been waiting to get my hands on some for a bit and finally did at the beverage center in Winooski. Can’t judge on appearance since I drank from the can but seemed like a hazy amber color. Has a present hoppy taste and smooth finish that sticks with you; feels like the flavor is glued to the inside of your mouth. No bitterness noted however alcohol is present in the smell. Overall great beer glad I was able to get my hands on it!

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Photo of farrago
4.49/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finger plus of clean white foam, settles into an even surface, looks dense but it sizzles off quickly before your eyes, minimal lacing, a random splotch here or there. Deep yellow and hazy liquid, however, much more translucent than opaque, you can see enough bubbles to suspect there’s even more there you can’t see. while there is an initial whiff of dank marijuana to the nose leading up to the super-juicy tangerine, pink grapefruit citrus, mango, peach, apricot and melon fruit scents, solid underpinning of cocoa and vanilla bean malts, croissant flakes, well balanced and not bitingly hoppy, lasts well without coming off as brawny for brawn’s sake. Medium-bodied, dry mouth entry with a momentary tacky sensation. Quickly switches gears to pine sap, mint and all of that grapefruit and orange citrus. Odd in that it is indeed very hoppy but in such a way that all the rough edges have been burred off. More of a burnt character to the mocha, cocoa here, malts less sweet. The papaya, mango, pineapple to apricot fruit offers equal parts sour and sweet. Carbonation tends towards the fluffier side of things. Shows balance and poise for its scale, a reputation well earned.

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Photo of chuckakhan
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Been waiting to try this elusive beer for a while now. Finally got to do so today while visiting home in Boston. Pours a rich dirty gold. Upon the first sip, I didn't notice anything that spectacular, and then it hit me. Lots of awesome hoppy goodness with no juice-bomb BS that characterizes most IPAs now (thank you, beer gods). I can see why this beer is legendary. The only reason I did not give it a 5 is specifically because my taste buds want more flower power in my IPA. Excellent beer. Try it for yourself (if you can!). I definitely hope to do so again soon.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.89/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Having had this beer multiple times over several years now, this is my first time officially reviewing it; and, every year it's a steadfast, yet mind-blowingly impressive beverage. Even though I can grab this locally on consistent basis I still leave room in my cooler every time I visit VT. So, while maybe not worth the drive anymore, it's a beer I'd never pass up. Onto the tasting which was picked up from Stowe 1 wk ago.

A: Golden Apricot. Mythic color...the stuff you'd imagine a cave of treasure to look like. Clarity borders on a chilled haze; not transparent, but not murky or milkshake like. Head is an off-color cream...very nitpicky here but I'd prefer pure white. Mousse top with consistent bubble lattice below. Nice lacing.

S: Bursts from the can like the genie out of the golden lamp (or silver in the can's view). Floral wildflower honey, tree sap and piney, citrus rind, tropical green papaya and fresh cut mango; green stalks of hay, herbal apple mint.

M: Luscious, juicy and med-full body. It also has a firm texture bounded in by its crisp effervescence and bitterness, so it samples quite refreshing as well. A bit of alcohol ether in their too.

T: Sour tangerine and ruby red grapefruit. Fruity esters give off the impression of a tropical cornucopia: mango and pineapple. Then some temperate spicy, herbal, earth tones: pine, mint, stone fruit, gingery warmth. Good balance provided by a caramel maltiness.
Overall, I can't get out of my head how similar in taste this is to another cult fave of mine, NEBCO G-Bot. It parallels it very closely with the exception that this just has a bit more malt background, which makes it a little less bitter overall and more lush.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.34/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured just enough into a glass (2oz) so I could look at it, will drink the rest from the can. Fairly clear (I'm sure there are floaties in the can) honey yellow with a white head. Aroma is citrusy, hoppy, piney. Flavor is sweet and hoppy up front and has more malt backbone than I was expecting. Medium body feel. Very nice beer, would love to have it super fresh (not sure the age of this one) and/or on tap at the source.

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

One of the beers I would consider a gold standard. Classic balanced taste that never gets old. This is one of those rare things that lives up to the hype.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured into a tulip to a hazy golden yellow topped by a dense two finger white head which fades slowly and leaves excellent lacing
S: Smells of straight hops that's herbal, pithy, and smells a bit like fresh cut grass. Hints of malty sweetness in the background but you have to go searching for it behind a mountain of hops.
T: Taste is straight hops with pine resin, citrus rind, some grapefruit, and hop oils. Slight herbalness and earthy notes at times as well. Sweetness struggles to come through but it does as the sip warms. Swallow is oily and resinous hops with more pine, grapefruit and citrus.
M: The beer has a medium body with a slightly oily and slick feel. Carbonation is slightly prickly which is nice and the beer has an oily and refreshing finish.
O: Overall this beer is just insane. Just a straight punch in the face with hops. This can is a little closer to the tap experience than the first one I drank but heady from a tap is still king when it comes to an unruly amount of hops in a beer while still being drinkable. Definitely a hyped beer but it is a unique experience.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.35/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: hazy deep amber color with a hint of burnt orange. Large amount of glories and a 1 finger frothy white head

S: mango, pineapple, crackers, strawberries. Sweet citrus and apricot. Finish is tropical and fruity

T: ripe mango, pineapple and apricot. Some bitter herbal tea leaf behind that. A hint of melon and sweet orange behind that. A big hit of sweetness in here as well. Finish is a little bitter on the back of the tongue

M: medium mouthfeel with mid-low carbonation. A touch of the fluffy mouthfeel, but not as much as some of the newer NEIPAs

O: extremely smooth DIPA with good balance. Fruit, sweet, and bitter all in good harmonization. There is an obvious hype factor with this beer, but it is definitely worthy of praise.

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Photo of steve_r405
3.25/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

what am I missing? this is just a slightly above average ipa, yet they come into our market, not allowing sales of cans.. really? who needs them? there are so many outstanding ipas now being made in the northeast. I think Alchemist needs to put more effort into their beer..

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Photo of alextastic
4.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know you're supposed to drink this straight from the can, so I took a sip before pouring some into a tulip. I just had to see it, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. This is a beautiful beer. Nothing crazy or different, it just looks... right. Big, fluffy head, that takes its time to fizzle out. Smell, as everyone says, is full of citrus and pine. Flavor is right there as well, with a distinct, resinous, dankness on the finish. Not gonna blow your mind by being something no other beer is or will ever be, but absolutely deserving of being on everyone's 'must try' list.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.44/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This one a gift from outdoor7or24 who made a pilgrimage to the brewery. Pours a hazy grapefruit juice gold producing 2 fingers of glowing white, somewhat lasting head. Aroma is fruity, citrusy grapefruit, pale bready malt & spun sugar/cotton candy. Taste is similar to the nose with a perfectly balanced finish that transitions to a pleasant bitterness. The most unique thing about this brew to my mind is its mouthfeel: slick, creamy and slightly viscous with a tiny pricke that fades to an astringent bitterness. Absolutely delightful!

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Photo of StonewallSipper
4.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I finally got to taste HeadyTopper. It was at my favorite brunch spot near me. What a Fathers day surprise. I easily quaffed 3 cans with my food. This beer is all it was supposed to be. Aroma of juicy citru and piney hops, with an excellent aftertaste, smooth as can be for a IPA. This my highest rating on Beer advocate. Great job guys.

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Photo of zhrike
4.47/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good, very hyped, so my reaction is colored by expectation. Sharp, clean, nice bitterness, cloudy yellow color. Reminded me very much of Neshaminy Creek's A Shape Of Hops To Come.

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

Consumed from a can roughly 2 months old, probably a little past its prime but I doubt it matters much.

Overall a really nice beer -- flavor and aroma profile is nothing radically different from many other IPA's, but it checks all the boxes quite competently. Is it life changing? Probably not. Would I call it out as the best IPA on Beer Advocate based on my fairly limited experience? Probably not. Nonetheless, a good box to check and I don't regret it one bit!

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

I was skeptical. I was expecting just another disappointing Double NEIPA that has been unjustly hyped. Turns out, this is excellent. Excellent enough to make the trek to Vermont and stand in a long line for a 4-pack? No. But it's one of the best NEIPAs I've had.

I was also skeptical about the suggestion that this be sipped straight from the can. Being old school, I ignored this for my first one, and as it turns out, the suggestion was correct. This beer loses something when it's poured. The hops lessen and the malt sweetness comes more to the fore.

Very well balanced, but at 8% abv, it does pack a punch, though you don't notice it at first.

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

Great beer - btw you have to pour it into a glass guys to have a look rating but I have just consumed this beer out of the can which is what it wants. :-)

This beer has some interesting mineral notes on the nose. It's a good note but the the chalk, ever so slight mineralization is there (almost like a touch of oxidation). The taste has this note as well which is why my rating on it is not higher. The beer is excellent and a great IPA.

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Photo of ChrisCova619
4.43/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks a bit hazy and full. Better to drink out of the can as the aroma of hops will escape on a pour. Smells extra malty and hoppy. Full of flavor tastes great and feels smooth. Overall an Epic beer and easy drink. Hops may contain: Amarillo, Centennial, Cascade and definitely Citra.

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Photo of emyers
4.42/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.

Pours cloudy straw gold with a one inch white head dissipating fairly quickly

Nose: Pine, floral hops. Not necessarily the most potent hop-forward aroma out there, but very balanced.

Taste: very balanced. Nice bite from pine/floral hops right off the bat. Some bready malt follows. Finish is dry with a touch of bittering hops, but not overly bitter by any means. Hop character is actually not as intense as I expected, but the flavor profile is incredibly refined.

Feel: exceptional. Extremely light on the palate despite packing 8% abv. About as drinkable as a DIPA can be.

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Photo of synthxdill
4.84/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drink frosty from the can. Smooth, almost creamy front, bit of a thin, bubbly finish. Doesn't feel heavy by any means. no big hoppy hit like you might expect, more even throughout, which is probably why literally every human being likes this beer.

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Photo of FloydTurbo
4.37/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fragrances of pine, grass and notes of dankness. Smooth start with a tiny bit of hop in the middle, finish is blended well with a feel of hydration. Would recommend but definitely not rated as Many others have.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.7/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 16oz can (yes I know it says drink from the can but I have 4) into Snifter glass. No date.

L: Hazy yellow orange, finger and a half of off white head has decent retention.

S: Super juicy, mango and pineapple and orange and grapefruit with a leafy hop note. Wonderful.

T: Again an explosion of fruityness, mango, pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Leafy hop is there as well. Not overly bitter but hop flavors meld very well.

F: Light, crisp, lingering hops.

O: Stands up to its reputation.

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Photo of rmann81
4.99/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Did you like pop rocks as a kid? Well...I did.

Heady Topper rocks the palette. You may have found a favorite IPA, and it may be excellent, and you think it has taste, AND it does.
Then you find a unicorn. And this unicorn has a rainbow of carbonated skittles pouring out of it's horn. And by horn I mean ... well, just a horn.
Horns make sounds. Yeah, the horn is calling you. What is it saying, you ask? I. Don't. Know.

The moral of the story is...the Heady is named after a unicorn named Heady. Heady Topper.

Drink the RainBro.

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Photo of dafla67
4.91/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: hazy
Smell: subdued hops
Taste: incredibly smooth; very hoppy but the bitterness is well managed and balanced
Overall: worth all the accolades. Have been lucky to have it a few times a year for the last several years. Consistent taste and quality. I enjoy every can.

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

Everyone should strive to taste this beer. This double IPA is the epitome of a great beer, the taste and color are just right. Just as the can says to drink it from the can. Do not pour this beer into a glass the hoppy smell and taste isn't nearly as great.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.61/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Classic gold, thinner head that settles into a whispy pool. Softer tropical notes on the nose, ripe melon, pear, stobefruit, kiss of grassy hop. Flavor is very delicate and cajoling, more melon, grassy hops that are not too bitter, wheat grass, dry orange, cracker straw malt. In today’s world not the most flashy IPA but the balance is masterful and it remains a classic

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
Beer rating: 4.71 out of 5 with 14,523 ratings