Coaster Critique: Heady Topper

I was really happy to hear that Heady Topper from the Alchemist in Waterbury, Vermont took the top spot on Beer Advocate’s top 250 beers list. I’ve enjoyed this beer on more than one occasion at brewfests and at the Alchemist brewpub before it was flooded by Hurricane Irene. Whenever I make a trip to Vermont I make sure to pick up a couple 4 packs of Heady Topper, it’s definitely one of my favorite New England beers.

Name: Heady Topper

Brewed by: The Alchemist

ABV: 8%

Style: Double IPA

Heady Topper pours a hazy orange color with lots of sediment, definitely an unfiltered beer. Pour raised a short white head that laced the glass as I drank.

Smell is amazing; I can smell the hops without lifting the glass to my nose. This beer is very aromatic, full of grapefruit and pine.

One of the smoothest double IPA’s I’ve ever had, lots of hop flavor. Taste follows the nose, grapefruit and pine that lingers on your tongue after each sip. There is a solid malt backbone, caramel and bready notes. I would normally expect a more aggressive bitterness from a double IPA but this one is very pleasant, not overwhelming at all.

Overall an excellent Double IPA, very drinkable, this is a treat for hopheads like me, full of hops flavor without the palate wrecking bitterness. This beer is not available in Maine, but it’s worth the trip to Waterbury, Vermont. If you can’t justify the trip just for beer, the Ben and Jerry’s factory is less than a mile from the Cannery, I’ve dropped the family off for an ice cream while I load up on Heady Topper.



Chad Lothian

About Chad Lothian

Chad Lothian lives in Old Town, Maine. He is a craft beer enthusiast and homebrewer. Chad has travelled to brewpubs, breweries and brewfests all over New England.