Off the Wall: Heady Topper

Heady TopperName: Heady Topper
Brewery: The Alchemist
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Waterbury, Vermont
Style: American Double / Imperial Stout
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.00%
First Brewed: –
Price: $3.49

Ricky’s Thoughts

What is with the name? Also, this beer must be good. It has a 100 BA Score. The Bros gave it a 96. I like the label a lot, too. This is hard to find if you don’t live near Vermont, so I had to trade for a can of this. I actually thought we were getting 2 cans, but beggars can’t be choosers. I just really hope this beer lives up to the hype. Oh, and you are supposed to drink this out of the can. It says right on the can to drink it from the can. “DRINK FROM THE CAN!” Here goes nothing!

In the Glass: We aren’t pouring this beer in a glass, so I have no idea what it looks like. Remember, drink this beer from a can!

Nose: Holy hop overload. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Granted, I am smelling this from a can, but man that smells good. I am getting a lot of funky grapefruit flavors here mixed with a nice piney aroma that I like in a good DIPA. SO excited to drink this.

Flavor: It’s good. It tastes like an IPA. It is well balanced and had a nice bitter finish. But I was expecting a lot more flavor than this. I mean… A 100 BA score makes this beer “world-class” and this is far from world-class. I don’t mean to be rude, but this is just OK. If I lived in Vermont, having had this, I wouldn’t buy it again. Just lacks complexity and leaves me wanting more.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is nice, and the top of my palate gets destroyed with hop bitterness, but it quickly dwindles. This can isn’t fresh… Maybe a month old. I doubt that would change the flavor that much. Plus, canned beer is supposed to be better than bottled beer. Just ask the guys at Maui Brewing Co. They ONLY can.

Aftertaste: At first, there is a ton of bitterness. But it quickly dwindles and makes me take another sip just to get more flavor in my mouth. I took 1 more sip, and while I enjoy this beer very much, it is nothing to write home about. There are better beers out there. Heck, Dogfish Head 90 Minute is better than this. Yeah, I said it.

Boo. I really wanted that to be good.

Heady Topper – The can says: “Heady Topper is an American Double India Pale Ale. This beer is 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 your 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? The act of pouring it in a glass smells nice, but it releases the essential hop aromas that we have worked 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 when 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”

Rating: 3/5 

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I’ve been hearing a lot about this beer for a while, but we have had a hard time getting our hands on a can of it. I’ve heard a lot of good things. Usually we pour our beers into separate glasses so we can both drink and review at the same time, but this one says in big bold letters on the can “DRINK FROM THE CAN!” so that’s what we are doing. Ricky tried it first, and he is apparently disappointed. This one has a rating of 100 on Beer Advocate, and Ricky loves IPAs, so I’m sad to hear that and now curious to taste it for myself.

Since I’m drinking straight from the can, I can’t tell you what the beer looks like. The can is kind of cool-looking, but that’s all I can really say. I did take a sniff before drinking any, so I can tell you that it does smell pretty hoppy. That, and I can smell the can. Guess there’s nothing left to do but find out how it tastes. Here goes nothing.

Hmm. Well, I can definitely taste the hops. Tastes… wet? I don’t really know that much about wet hops vs dry hops or the different kinds of hops, but that’s what it tastes like to me. It definitely leaves you with that hoppy IPA aftertaste. I mean, to me it’s a good IPA. I like it. I’m not sure Ricky didn’t. But since I’m not a huge IPA fan, it’s not too special to me. It really just tastes wet and hoppy. I’ve tried some IPAs that to me were more balanced than others, that didn’t just have an overall hoppy taste to them, but just had a more balanced flavor. This is not that. It’s pretty hoppy.

Would I buy it again? Not sure. If I happened to be in an IPA mood, maybe. But that doesn’t happen too often, so probably not.

Rating: 3.5/5


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