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Heady Topper - The Alchemist

Not Rated.
Heady TopperHeady Topper

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,070 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,070
Hads: 11,559
Avg: 4.66
pDev: 16.74%
Wants: 8,431
Gots: 3,991 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
The Alchemist visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottum on 03-27-2004

"An American Double IPA" 75 IBU 8.0% abv
View: Beers (9) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Heady Topper Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,070 | Hads: 11,559
Photo of DavidBart
4.93/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally got my hands on some HT, and in one of the most unlikely places of all. A cheese and wine shop. Through word of mouth I got the scoop that there's some HT a few doors down, so I had to take the rest of the afternoon to dabble.

It is definitely a standout beer. Just the hype surrounding it makes it difficult to be impartial. In a few words, it's a very well balanced DIPA with a massive citrusy blast . In my opinion the citrus is what makes it unique. Would I put it @ #1?... not sure, it's definitely up there. In any case, it's definitely worth a try. Massive hype aside, this beer will not disappoint even the most picky beer snob.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They manage to shove an EXTREME amount of hoppy flavor without the aftertaste of licking a bail of hay that most extreme IPA's give. It is good, but I just can't force myself to join the extreme IPA crowd. If that is your thing, drink this beer.

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Photo of duracell
4.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had the 3/4 straight from the can, then poured the rest into a snifter.

A (last 1/4 of the can) - Surprisingly super clear, dark gold color. Small head disappearing quickly without leaving much of lancing.
S - Very intense herbal, fresh, piney, mango, citrusy aromas. Extremely aromatic and quite balanced by some malt.
T/M - Big hops flavors. Lemon zest, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruits sustained by a lively carbonation. Very juicy. Leads you to a nice fruity bitterness at the end that lingers forever.
O - Definitely one of the best DIPA I was given to try! Tons of flavors and complexity. A must try!!

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straw colored DIPA, with great head. The beer is incredible, so aromatic and floral. The hop profile is incredible but the beer is also very well balanced.

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Photo of mschantz
4.5/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque lemon yellow color with a huge fluffy bright white head. Lemon, celery and cucumber with a bit of pine on the nose. Taste is bright and lemony up front with a juniper hop bitterness on the back.

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Photo of shadetree67
4.98/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Many thanks to shawnp for hooking me up with this one.

Appearance - A very cloudy straw colored beer. The cloudy appearance is expected as this is an unfiltered beer.

Smell - Hops, not much in the way of malts. Like citrus and grapefruits - smells fresh.

Taste - A perfect level of hops and the taste is similar to the smell - citrus and grapefruit. It is more sweet than bitter. Sometimes IIPAs can be overwhelming, but this is a very well balanced example of the style.

Mouthfeel - Medium amount of carbonation and it goes down smooth

Overall - This one lives up to the hype. It is very well balanced and quite drinkable. Would love to try it side by side with pliny and abrasive

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Photo of TheDudeRules
3.65/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very hazy amber pour. Sediment is suspended throughout. Two fingers of pillowy off white head. Scant lacing is left behind on my glass. Hops and citrus collide in my nose. Looks and smell are living up to the hype. The first striking character upon taste is the creaminess. Incredibly so especially for an ipa. Pine and grapefruit up front. Sweetness to finish the swallow. Ends lightly bitter. Honestly it is not as hoppy as I expected. Very easy to drink regardless that it is an imperial.

I find I had a preconceived notion on what it was going to be. Pure greatness. Well, it isn't. It's damn good but not as much so as the hype train says. I'm trying not to have a mind explosion right now. All hail the king of imperial, Abrasive from Surly.

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Photo of JayAre46
4.62/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Joe you are the man and thank you for this one. alright from notes i reviewed this one at a christmas party, which i ran away to a dark corner to review like a zero. have to start off with the awesome can, silver and black tall boy with the alchemist on the front lovin life. pours a deep transparent amber with a big off white head and it shows great retention. solid in the nostrils very citrusy with light pine and lemon peel dryness. very fresh hops and minimal malt sweetness, pale and biscuty. the taste is absolute cash, very fresh hop resin, again the citrus peel with an amazing bitterness that cuts the palate. bone dry finish. medium bodied and lightly carbonated and flows really easy without any "spiking" to my surprise. this is the one that will make your gf not want to kiss you, the one where your breath still reeks of hops the next morning. flying hop dragons punching babies, can't stop em'. what a brew!

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Photo of Vogie
4.21/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank this beer straight from the can. Aromas of grapefruit, tropical fruit, pomegranate, mango, kiwi, oranges, pine. Taste is wave after wave of hops. Tropical fruits upfront followed by a piney resinous bitterness on the back. Medium body, carbonation is moderate, extremely refreshing at 8.0% abv.

I can see why hopheads flock to this beer. Even long after I finished my can the hop flavors were still lingering on my tongue. Its impossible to appreciate the complexity of this beer if you don't like hops. I am not a hophead myself but this brew deserves its world-class ranking.

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Photo of mnphish
4.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been trying to track this one down for a long while, finally scored a solo can. Enjoying from the Can as the can instructs you to. This is my first review.

A: Didn't get to see what was inside but the can is a gorgeous pint with a sweet black/grey color scheme. Definitely one of the coolest designs i have seen.

S: This thing just reeks of fruit, getting some mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and passion fruit all combined into an orgasmic aroma.

T: Holy cow, one of the most refreshing, fruity, drinkable IPA's i have ever had. Loads and Loads of Citrus on the palate along with notes of mango, pine, and orange apricot. Has a sweet malt backbone in the middle that leads to a fruity bitterness aftertaste. Wow.

M: Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, with medium carbonation. This beer is extremely drinkable. One of the smoothest beers i have had, and enjoying it from the can certainly helps.

O: Well i would say this is the best DIPA i have had, and i have had a lot of the top competitors offerings of this style. I was most blown away by the Citra hop presence, balance perfection, and drinkability. This is a must have!

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Photo of da_beers
4.84/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It just hit #1 on BA yesterday, and today he local shop sold out in two hours. Jmscowcroft was able to get a four-pack and set me up but when I went at lunch it was sold out.

A - Supposed to drink from the can, but poured a bit to see. Cloudy burnt orange color. Good head of a finger and a half. Can tell that it is unfiltered but looks great.
S - Smell is amazing. Really adds to the taste in a big way. Floral like a bouquet of smells and really hoppy. Also a piney fragrance towards the end. A little citrus at the very end.
T - This one tastes great. Obviously very hoppy but surprisingly smooth. Definitely a citrus taste, it seems bitter but ends so smooth. This beer is so evolving across the palate its hard to put a name on it.
M - It feels very smooth and buttery, but has a way to remind you it's their, it's very "sippable" however. The aftertaste doesn't dominate as some can, but you can taste it in your mouth in a good way.
D - Drinkability was its only downfall. As far as taste, it was great, but I personally didn't want to have multiples. Great for enjoying it smaller quantities. But overall very drinkable.
O - Overall a great beer. The way the smell and taste mingle is artistic. It confuses and makes sense all in one sip. It deserves the efforts to obtain it.

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Photo of CayseyW
4.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Given the new rating system, I felt compelled to add a review to my score, even though this beer speaks for itself by now.

L: Well, it looks great in the can because of the great art, but when poured out into the glass its very rustic, cloudy brew. I actually love when beer looks like this, and I think it perfectly embodies the New England style.

S: Sometimes I get fresh-cut grass, spruce or pine, and other times it smells like slicing into a grapefruit.

T: Juicy citrus mouthful with piney notes. This is a super delicious beer, but you probably already knew that.

F: Ridiculous; the bitterness of this beer should be overwhelming but it's just so smooth on the front and backend. No booziness at all. Amazing carb, and a nice full mouthfeel, but also extremely drinkable.

O: While it's not my personal favorite DIPA, this beer deserves to be in the conversation for the best in the world. It's revolutionary and nearly flawless.

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Photo of chilly460
4.3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a straw yellow, very hazy, with a foamy two finger white head. Speckled lacing clings nicely.

S - Smells like concentrated hops, very pungent. Got quite a bit of clean smelling pine, with a unique citrus edge to it. Couldn't put my finger on it, but goes beyond normal orange/grapefruit. No real malt could be picked up in the aroma.

T - Grapefruit hits immediately, nice full ripe taste. Quite bitter, definite clean pine tones in there too for sure. Flavor hits hard in this beer. Malts are there, very dry biscuit.

M - Typical for the style, medium body with midrange carbonation.

O - Really enjoyed this one, just bursts with flavor.

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Photo of Bill69
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Happiness lives up to the hype! Rose early for a rural, winding trek to a small grocer on The Alchemist's delivery route during my first trip to the Green Mountain State. Scored a case (cans only) which makes the trip worth all the effort! Pours a rich, moderately cloudy golden orange, like fresh nectar, with a medium head and tight lacing. Notes of mango and citrus reach out and smack the nose hairs immediately. Taste is powerfully citrus, cream and pine with a semi-sweetish flowery, tropical tenor; hoppiness finishes fast with no lingering bitterness. Careful - it begs to be gulped, but this should be savored. Bring your stopwatch. I have a case though, so perhaps a grandfather clock ;)

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Photo of abuliarose
4.87/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Heady Topper pint glass, revealing hazy caramel body under a few fingers of thick white head. Some lacing. Smells deliciously hoppy with an unctuous meaty caramel malt backbone. Lots of sweet honey floral smell. Holding up well post-release.

Tastes almost as bitter as having it fresh on tap. The hop punch-to-the-jaw has started to fade a little already but it still tastes like biting into a grapefruit rind covered in burnt caramel. Lots of fresh citrus hop bitterness with a clean and juicy finish. A little meaty. Very flavorful. Mouthfeel is big and smooth, medium-bodied with a creamy soft carbonation that plumps up each sip. Very flavorful and very very drinkable. So well-balanced.

Very impressed at how this held up post-release. Wish I could have a case of it to go through over the winter holiday.

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Photo of nimrod979
4.72/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

No can date but I know it's pretty fresh from the source. Drank about half from the can as it says to do so numerous times. Poured the other half into a DFH snifter.

Appearance: Quite hazy unfiltered orange-ish color. Plenty of sediment. Medium sized white head. Decent retention. with some sudsy lacing.

Aroma: Good blend of citrus and pine lead it off and carry all the way to the finish.

Taste: Juicy hops, Mandarin oranges, grapefruit, and a tropical blend followed by layers of pine resin. delicious well done DIPA. Fresh flavor. Pretty much perfection. Delivers on hops, bitterness and flavor all while being completely drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with an exceptional drinkability. Never comes across as too bitter. Carbonation is soft though perfect for what this beer needs. Glad & thankful I finally got an opportunity to try this one. Something I would look forward to drinking for years to come.

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Photo of YieldToNothing
4.96/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured half into a mini tulip, drinking the rest from the can.
i first tried this beer a couple of days ago and was blown away, now i'm having my second one and last for a while....
pours a copper orange, with a foamy head. not the prettiest beer in the world.
smells fantastic, citrus notes, like all good DIPAs, but the taste...
like biting into a grapefruit. i personally prefer it out of the can, it retains a certain crispness that just isn't there when i sip from the tulip.
this is a great beer. believe the hype

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.79/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

With respect to John Kimmich, most of the time, I have drank this out of the can. However, for reviewing purposes, one must understand that as beer geeks we need to see this as it is.
With that in mind, I have poured this into a snifter and as I gaze upon it, I realize why John always wants his drinkers to drink this out of the can. Oh boy, the floaties, oh snap, yes, I get it, John, most of the world gets it who have had it poured. A solid burnt golden color forming a one finger white foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves some lacing to be desired.
The smell wraps up bitter juicy dry pine slapping around a big bouquet of floral, grassy and citrus hops bleeding into a wonderful nose zapping aroma. With that in mind, I go to taste this and the flavor is spot on in cueing up the previously mentioned flavors to lead the charge into the feel of this beer. Do you think this is good? I know this is good as the slick oily coat just bends my tongue over backwards arranging an unprecedented sharpness succumbing my tongue down.
My last question and I will start with this: I've only lived in Vermont for less than a year, do you think I like this beer? Just check my numbers.

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Photo of Prop28WasBetter
4.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady topper pours a hazy golden orange (I prefer it from the glass, despite what is written on the can). Smell and taste are citrus and some bitterness, less tropical fruit than other New England style ipas. Mouth fee is spot on. Overall, deserving of its high ratings.

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Photo of welldigger888
4.67/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a great friend for sharing with me.

Nice frothy snow white head, leaves brief sheets of lacing down glass. Opaque orangish hue with a charming rustic feel to it.

WOWY WOW WOW WOW! This is a citrus bomb in a can, me likey. Orangey pineapple mango piney resony goodness.

This like an adult version of a creamcicle, abundant sweet orange grapefruity goodness. Packs a wallop on the bitterness too. Touch of booze (in a good way) gives way to a hint of grainy malt. Long citrus finish and smoooth bittering.

Creamy smooth with excellant carbonation.

Loved it, ranks up with the exsellant boyking batches and the pliney I had last fathers day. I need a friend in that part of the country to ship.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.59/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A massive "thank you" to optimator13 for this 16 ounce can from my "Want" list. Archaic date code reads "1 07 20A2 B B" though I'm at a loss for how to accurately convert that to a canning date. Ignoring the "drink from the can" instructions near the lip, this one is poured into a Deschutes tulip glass...

The copper/orange/brown body pours much darker than anticipated, and is perhaps as dark as a DIPA can get before it begs consideration as something else. White unfiltered particles give the appearance of a colloid, and when observing closely, the body does appear to have a gel-like nature because of these particles. About an inch of off-white, foamy, bubbly head develops but subsides quickly to a ring and patches of bubbles. Legs of wet, gooey lacing cling to the glass.

The aroma is phenomenal, consisting of grapefruit, mango, orange, lemon, and a host of other citrus fruits all masterfully balanced with a piney, earthen, resinous hop character. Some grasses, hay, and a touch of malt round out the nose beautifully. It tastes of spicy, earthen hops in the front, followed by pine, grass, loads of citrus (grapefruit, orange, mango, lemon) in the middle. The rear brings the bitterness of the hops and a glimpse of caramel from the malt. Very well done here.

Mouthfeel is crisp through and through, the carbonation dancing off the tongue, and finishes a touch dry, leaving one wanting for another sip. Overall, a phenomenal DIPA that is truly deserving of its “world-class” status. Do not hesitate to seek out this one if given the opportunity.

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Photo of tkrane
4.54/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glad I was able to enjoy this great beer. Pours great and has a wonderful cloudy orange color. Has a nice juicy pop up front with a smooth creamy finish. Can't wait to get it again.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cold from a 16 oz can into a 7 oz taster. This is contrary to instruction from the brewer to drink straight from the can.

Pours with light-medium body and a modest white head. The room fills with fresh hop aroma as you pour!

Nose is hops. Perfect hop perfection. Usually the nose of an IPA is citrusy, piney, grapefruity, catty, grassy--describable. Heady Topper smells in the glass (or straight from the can) exactly like when you take cones and rub them between your palms! I've never smelled another beer like it; no other beer effuses that overwhelming essence of fresh cones ready to brew with.

Color is hazy straw, almost green, suggestive of a white ale or hefe.

Taste is hop forward but not overwhelming. I've sampled and brewed IPAs with extraordinary flavoring hops, this one does not deaden the tongue, instead it excites the tongue! Neutral to dry finish, no sweetness to mar the hop-forward nectar.

Edit: Myoriginal review sadly sufferd from grade inflation. Tasted side by side with Pliny, the Toppa is missing the clarity and bitterness that make a more perft beer.

Mouthfeel is light-moderate, smooth, easy-drinking, with no evidence of alcohol warmth or fusels. Bitterness is light.

As it warms in the glass, it perfectly maintains its balance. It is a pleasure to drink from start to finish, goes down very easy and smoothly. Wish it had a hint more bitterness, but flavor and aroma are dead on.

Overall an amazingly drinkable beer, one that I enjoy again and again. Literally, because you can actually buy this--any time you want as much as you want (well I saw somebody buy 10 cases the other day--I suppose you could want more...)

I must taste this head to head with PtE--have case will travel, need to hook up with BAs when The Elder is on tap.

12/22/11 edit:
Quoting from the can: "Drink this beer immediately, we are always making more."

This is a no b.s. warning to the wise. If you're drinking old Topper, you're not really drinking Topper. It changes character so much in just a few weeks, loses a lot of the raw-hop-cones-shoved-up-your-nostrils sensation.

Vinnie counsels regarding Pliny the Elder: "Drink fresh, do not age! Pliny the Elder is a historical figure, don't make the beer inside this bottle one ... Age your cheese, not your Pliny ... Pliny is for savoring, not for saving! ... Respect hops, consume fresh!"

This admonishment for Pliny the Elder applies likewise to Heady Topper.

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Photo of FFreak
5/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased and consumed many times over the past couple of years. I typically ignore the can and drink from a tall glass.

If fresh, it pours out a hazy lemonade yellow with a thick foamy head that slowly dissipates and leaves a bit of lace.

Smell is heavy with citrus and a touch of tropical fruit and dank.

Taste varies a little by batch but is typically a grapefruit bomb, with some cannabis, and finishing with a perfect balance of soft bitterness.

Mouth feel is just right - medium body, clean and refreshing.

Overall, this is the ultimate Vermont style IPA - as good as it gets. I wish I could brew it.

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Photo of Pourharddrinkslow
4.88/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look - Light and inviting, golden yellow with a slight amount of murkiness

Smell - Nothing overwhelming, a mix of citrus, pine, and hops

Taste - Unlike any IPA i've ever had, I don't even know how to describe it. Smooth and delicious.

Feel - Incredibly smooth, which is unfortunate (not really) because as good as this beer is I wish I didn't drink it so quickly.

Overall - Outstanding

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Heady Topper from The Alchemist
100 out of 100 based on 2,070 ratings.