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Nickel Brook Headstock IPA - Better Bitters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPANickel Brook Headstock IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

153 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 153
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 10.58%
Wants: 2
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co. visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A boldly hopped, full bodied American style IPA. Headstock IPA is brewed primarily with nugget hops, which gives rise to a distinct hop flavor, bitterness and aroma. It also uses blend of classic European and North American malts to enhance the body and full flavour. No additives. No Preservatives. Naturally carbonated for a smooth, crisp finish.

80 IBU

(Beer added by: Sammy on 08-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 153 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bar Volo, IPA day. Neutral aroa, malting A lacey beer with a reddish tinged body. Above average carboantion and lighter than average outhfeel. Some bitternes, not all that tasty, the bitter flavour more in the finish and chalky on first sips, as filler.So-so drinkability.

Sammy, Aug 05, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of earthy and bitter hops is dominating. Taste is a good mix between some earthy hops with a medium bitter finish. Caramel malt backbone provides a nice balance to the hops with some light residual sugar. Body is quite full with good carbonation. A bit too sweet for my taste but still enjoyable nonetheless.

Phyl21ca, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml can, nice spacey Woodstock-esque imagery on the label - I especially like the bugged-out appearing bird.

This beer pours a hazy, muddled dark bronzed amber colour (pale ale, my tuckus), with three fingers of roiling, foamy, raw cake-like eggshell white head, which leaves some nice chunky, broken cage lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs southward.

It smells of bitter citrus cream and pine oil, blended seamlessly with a weighty caramel toffee sweetness. The taste is more tart, bitter grapefruit rind, some softer tropical citrus fruit, not so soft pine resin, and a sturdy caramel pudding malt backbone, quite capable of weathering, and somewhat withering, the hop onslaught. Booze warming? Not so much.

The bubbles punch in, punch out, and put in their work day, with no complaints, the body a bit on the light side, which seems to work, and further feeds a snappy, good enough for now smoothness. It finishes leaning towards a grudging detente, the hops wilting just a tad, and malt digging in.

Well, I'll be, another well-rounded, big flavoured IPA from Ontario, and in a can, no less. Nice and hoppy, in a big-boy way, with a countering malt that states firmly: you're still in Canada, son. This is going camping with me this summer.

biboergosum, May 25, 2012
Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

473ml can purchased as a single from the LCBO booth at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light beige head over the cloudy golden copper brew. Head holds on nicely, with lasting lace. Aroma is juicy citrus.

Taste starts sweet, jiucy citrus from nose in the middle, moderately bitter close coupled with even more citrus. Mouthfeel is way smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Liking this one.

ppoitras, Nov 18, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

"Pale" is usually a misnomer when it comes to India Pale Ales. It certainly is in this case: baring a bit of orange gloss, the beer is basically brown. *Head*stock, however, is aptly named: thick, bubbly foam shoots in every direction like Medusa's hair and leaves a lacing so detailed and particular you'd think it was made by Faberge.

The aroma is a wickedly enticing blend of candied orange peel and sappy pine resins. A lot of pineapple is noted too, as is the general herbal-leafy notes that necessarily characterize a good hop job. The fruitiness of the hops is elevated by toasty, lightly caramelized malts. The bouquet, somewhat impressively, contains as much sweetness as bitterness.

80 units of bitterness and 7% alcohol isn't too hard to swallow for a drinker like me who is long accustomed to, and finds highly gratifying, strong and bitter beers. For those used to pale lagers, however, a beer like this might just make them cringe. The leafy, herbal hop astringency is almost puckering it's so bitter. It's like drinking fruit pith.

All that being said, there's plenty of nutty, chewy, caramelized maltiness in there that makes things a little more palatable. The flavor of the hops too - candied orange peel, pineapple fruit, pine resin - are pretty appealing also. Put another way, this isn't just an IPA for IPA makers; it should suit the average craft beer drinker just fine.

...And that is how it suits me. Not great. But "just fine". It's a beer I like well enough to buy often, though I probably won't. It's a beer I can't really find any faults in, though I think there's room for improvement. One thing is for certain though, it's a welcomed and really successful offering from this brewery. With this they've raised their standards.

biegaman, May 23, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from the LCBO, 473ml into a tulip. Best before September 23, 2012.

Poured an unfiltered deep red, some shades of brown perhaps as well. Soapy offwhite head, good lacing and some chunky bits of head retain. Hops are strong in this one, completely evident once cracking the can. Citrusy and piney, with some sweet caramel and earthy like malt notes. A little gentler on the palate but still strong hops, slight spicy, citrusy, piney with a relatively bready and caramel malt flavour - fairly secondary to the hops still. A bit chewy, bitterness is fairly potent but diminishes quickly. Medium mouthfeel and medium low carbonation - a level which I tend to enjoy my IPAs best. Surprisingly good, a good addition to the IPA scene in Ontario. Brew this in small batches Nickel Brook, and keep this fresh on the shelves.

liamt07, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle from the brewery poured in to Founders tulip.

A - Medium to dark amber colour with an orange glow around the edges and one finger of cream coloured head. Some sediment.

S - Some citrus and big herbal notes from the hops with a big bitterness present up front. The background adds some sweet caramel.

T - Sharp bitterness up front with herbal and earthy hop notes and some light floral notes. A slightly sweet malt base provides a some balance.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Light to moderate carbonation. A dry finish.

TheSevenDuffs, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into tulip 27/4/12 thanks liamt07 for sending the can

A dark for the style looks reddish brown, murky with little chunks floating around in a thick looking liquid, dense two fingers of beige foam has great retention and leaves a few rings of lace followed by random patches, looking great

S floral and piney hops with some grapefruit and tangerine, not all hops but pretty close just a little caramel malt create some balance and some booze is there but not too bad

T slightly more toffee and more rind then the nose, similar other then that and pretty solid if you ask me

M full bodied with creamy carbonation and a nice bitter bite, leaves a little behind in you mouth, no booze detected and a long piney rind aftertaste, no issues here

O pretty solid stuff going on here, nothing to complain about and it looks and feels great, well rounded IPA

not sure what beer all the others are reviewing because I though this was a solid IPA that I`d be happy to put in my regular rotation If I could get it here. thanks again liamt07 for the can

wordemupg, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473ml Can from the LCBO for 2.65

Appearance - Slightly hazy copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation and there is some fair/good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, apricots, grapefruit, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and caramel. There is also a bit of an earthiness and some light fruit flavours such as apricots and grapefruit/oranges. The beer ends with a malty sweet aftertaste and a surprising amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - Reminds me a bit of a smashbomb mixed with a Beau's IPeh. It's a welcome addition to the lacking hoppy beer scene in Ontario. I'd buy it again.

spinrsx, May 10, 2012
Photo of tbeckett
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From old notes.

A - Poured hazy copper with good carbonation coming up. One finger of beige head. Minimal lace, half finger retention.

S - Citrus, bread, a bit of pine, very inviting and strong.

T - Juicy with some pine there as well. Really tasty, juicy, and citrussy.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, nice bitterness.

O/D - One of the better IPAs in Ontario right now. Lovely flavour with a high drinkability for the ABV. A nice one to have in these parts.

tbeckett, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice murky dark amber colour, with a beige two finger of head dissipating to some webby lacing. There's a bit more sweet caramel malts in the aroma than hops, but there are some pine, citrus and floral hops notes. The taste has a nice mellow, but assertive bitterness, with some floral and citrus hop notes with touches of pine. The feel was smooth and slick, with a medium body.

Pretty good and solid IPA!

EgadBananas, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep red-orange with two fingers of thick, lightly amber tinted head that lasts a while and paints the sides of the glass.

Smell. Big piney hops, some toasty grains and caramel and a little citrus.

Taste. Great tasting toasty grains, waves of piney hops and cirtus rinds, but not in an overwhelming way. Good bitter finish with a little toastyness still backing up those hops.

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body with medium carbonation.

Overall. My kind of ipa. I'm really liking the malt flavours in this one, and the hops were fantastic. Thanks liamt07!! From CANBIF

Rutager, May 28, 2012
Photo of Canada_Dan
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%

Canada_Dan, Oct 21, 2014
Photo of jrenihan
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB April 12 2013.

Beer pours a murky caramel. Fairly large off-white head. Dissipates at a moderate pace, leaves a bit of lace.

Hops are upfront in the nose. Lots of citrus, orange and grapefruit. Mango. A bit of pine. Caramel malt.

Taste is similar to the nose, but the malts are a bit heavier. Moderately bitter, with the tropical side of the hops poking through a bit more than citrus (both are present). Caramel malt, a bit of biscuit.

Medium bodied, highly carbonated. I find it a bit irritating. Bready, oily.

Overall, quite good. One of the better Ontario IPAs.

jrenihan, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of JohnK17
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

JohnK17, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of Jeffo
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Originally had this at The Rib & Craft Beer Festival a couple years ago in Kitchener Ontario. Thought it was outstanding then. Was really happy to see it canned in the LCBO when I went home this past summer, so I was sure to stock up.

From a 16oz can into a snifter
80 IBUs

Note: Tested this one as part of the Great Ontarian IPA Showdown against Railway City's Dead Elephant, Muskoka Mad Tom IPA, and Double Trouble's Hops & Robbers.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white head with good retention. Opaque, hazy, burnt orange body with very low levels of carbonation evident. Head eventually fades to a full wisp. A splotchy film remains until the end and leaves touches of lacing down the glass. Good, but needs a thicker head and more lacing for top marks.

SMELL: Pretty big nose on this one. Pale malts, honeydew melon, grapefruit and lemon citrus aromas as well. Some piney hop notes in there too. Quite impressive for sure.

TASTE: Pale malts and melon sweetness up front, then piney and citrus grapefruit at the swallow. Lots of bitterness as well. Big and lingering aftertaste of piney, bitter hops, lemon citrus and grapefruit with just a touch of melon sweetness as balance. Quite flavorful and interesting.

PALATE: Fuller body with medium levels of carbonation. Very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down fine and finishes quite dry. Good stuff all around.

OVERALL: Just wonderful. This was the beer of the festival a couple years back, and it is just as good in can form as I remember it. Maybe the only Ontario brewed IPA that I'd be proud to showcase around the world. This one blew away the competition in the Ontario Showdown. Great job on this one guys. Keep it coming.

Jeffo, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +19%

Molson2000, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of Howlader
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of DaPan
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

DaPan, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -20.6%

cfalovo97, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of peensteen
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber/copper colour, almost 2 fingers tan/off white head, some lace. Pine and citrus upfront on the nose, lightly biscuity malt profile, grapefruit and tangerine there as well, light alcohol notes come and go. Taste is of floral hops and lightly sweet, big maltyness comes through, nice bitterness throughout, pine with some citrus in the aftertaste, buttery at points. Lightly oily, medium carbonation, light to medium weight. Not bad altogether but could use some work to be top notch, still pretty enjoyable though.

peensteen, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of Zbeetleman
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Zbeetleman, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of ElGallo
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

ElGallo, Aug 04, 2014
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from notes
A - Hazy bubbly burnt orange, tall tan head, solid retention
S - Pine, citrus, pepper, bready
T - Pine and citrus hops, then grain and caramel, peppery finish
M - Full feel medium carbo, finishes slightly bitter
O - not outstanding but for a random purchase this turns out to be a worthy enough treat

joemcgrath27, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Kmat10, May 21, 2013
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Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.