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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
83
good

146 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 146
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 2
Gots: 9 | 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: 146 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Kmat10, May 21, 2013
Photo of SebD
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes

Appearance: It has a nice deep orange/amber color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of citrus, mango, grapefruit (very tropical) with some piney notes and some bready malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some nice citrus, grapefruit and mango along with some piney notes and bready and caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. Definitely one of the better IPA's in Ontario.

SebD, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky orange with some flocculated yeast chunks floating around. The head is patchy and shortlived, not much foam clings to the glass. Some light tropical fruit and citrus notes in the nose. Piney hops are upfront in the first sip, followed quickly by an astringent character, almost metallic. Its not overbearing but it does detract a bit from the hops. The malt profile is diminutive and simple, just some sweetness. Alcohol spicyness is present in the finish, as well as some bitterness and that same astringency.

An OK IPA, but some flavor imperfections. I'd try it on tap for sure. Its definitely hop forward.

CAMRAhardliner, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of Bilco
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Bilco, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of deonreds
4/5  rDev +6.1%

deonreds, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of hopsolutely
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excellent Ontario-brewed American IPA.

Pours a dark and hazy copper with decent white head. Retention is not outstanding, but the residual lacing remains visually appealing. Mouthfeel is sharper and thinner than I would have expected from this much robust flavour, so although enjoyable, mouthfeel the weakest of the beer’s characteristics.

Enticing aroma of citrus, predominantly grapefruit, with a malted barley backbone. Stunning flavour of "west coast" tropical fruits and citrus, with pineapple and mango moving to the fore. Enough caramelized malts to truly classify as an American IPA versus an APA. Ends with a delightfully bitter finish in which the citrus lingers for an impressive length of time, before becoming a hop sharpness.

A lot of character and would definitely recommend.

hopsolutely, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of TerryW
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy red under a moderate head that settles to a heavy film and gives spotty lace.

Nose is hops and a hint of alcohol. Sweet on the palate to start, finishes with lingering bitterness. Grapefruit hops and alcohol to taste, not a lot else. Kind of one dimensional as IPAs go. Drinkable, but unremarkable.

TerryW, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of mick303
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger head of creamy tan amber head. Colour is an attractive medium amber brown with a good carbonation.

Nose is strongly of hops. Also a fresh foresty aspect. Quite good balance.

Taste is initially bitter, but then develops a malt backbone which carries a few other flavours, some slight nuttiness and sweetness. Hops are quite prevalent, I picked up a slightly metallic cloying note, but this didn't stick around. Bitterness on the whole is quite balanced despite being nice and full.

Good, medium-bodied in comparison to some of the very full IPAs. But quite refreshing, and moderately smooth.

Its a pretty solid IPA and fairly drinkable, but nothing particularly exceptional. Nice bit of fruitiness to it as well. Drinks quite well, and a definite session option.

mick303, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

BarrytheBear, Jun 01, 2013
Photo of kjyost
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured fridge cold into a tulip glass. Recieved in trade via jeffo, thanks!

A Hazy deep copper with tons of tan head and nice lacing. Earthy pine needles on nose. Light notes of grapefruit develop given time. An OK nose, but it really needs more aroma. Body has decent bitterness with a strong sweet caramel malt presence balancing it a little too well. Bitterness builds well with decent hop flavours of earth, dank hops & pine. A solid IPA considering that Ontario, until recently, has had barely passable IPAs and Nickelbrook is hardly a craft brewery of any reknown.

kjyost, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from a can picked up at the Lower Jarvis LCBO. Digging the Woodstock poster motif for some reason. For some reason I always associate American IPAs with the colour orange, so the colour just felt right.

Poured into a nonic. Deep amber ruby, slight haze, about an inch of head that levelled off into a fine ring.

Nose is light, but all IPA. Citrus, caramel, peach, a bit of lemon, pale malt.

Decent IPA, with notes of pine, earth, citrus and caramel. Tasty, drinkable ale, though a little bit sweet for my personal preferences. Still, enjoyable.

Mild carbonation, medium bodied, slight oil.

Another enjoyable IPA from Ontario, and part of a string of good brews from Nickel Brook. Worth a try if you see it on Ontario shelves - nice IPA in a can for the summer.

JohnnyBarman, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of thehyperduck
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tallboy can from the LCBO; best before Nov 30 2012. I am a self-professed IPA fan, and this is one of the random ones I happened to pick up during my last stop. I've had one decent beer from this brewery, and a few lame ones, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Pours a muddy brownish-amber colour, much cloudier than a lot of the IPAs I've been having recently. The dense, creamy, off-white head seated atop the liquid sticks around for a decent bit, and leaves some good thick lacing behind when it finally bites the dust. Looks good to me. Nice fresh aroma with lots of citrus zest, pine needles, along with some juicy pineapple notes. This is underlain by some faint bready malts and brown sugar. Rather subdued, however, and nothing unusually good for the style.

I am in love with this stuff after one sip. The taste is heavy on the hops, of course - their powerful fruity flavours dominate the profile of this brew. I can pick up pineapple, tangerine, lemon and earthy pine resin as well, and all of the flavours blend together wonderfully. Modest malt bill; some caramel sweetness, but it's hard to make out much else. Strong, fruity, lingering bitter aftertaste that coaxes you into another sip. Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation levels that make for a slightly crisp, but highly refreshing brew. Slightly oily, with the 7% alcohol quite well hidden even at colder temperatures.

Final Grade: 4.1, an A-. Headstock IPA isn't something I'd want to session, but I have a feeling I'll still be buying plenty of it (assuming I continue to see it on shelves). I have been very impressed with a lot of the OCB IPAs I've tried recently, and this is another one to add to the list. Highly recommended if you are a hophead, and easily the best concoction from this brewer - of the ones I've tried so far. Excellent value for the price.

[Updated Jun. 28 2014]

Another can, this one dated Jun 16 2014, so ridiculously fresh by LCBO standards. I'm bumping the score a bit - this is easily one of Ontario's best IPAs IMO. It's not balanced - the flavour is highly astringent, and I would not recommend it to anyone unaccustomed to bitter, hoppy beers. That being said - there is plenty of room in this style for unbalanced beers, and this is a highly palatable example that is always welcome in my glass.

thehyperduck, Jun 21, 2012
Photo of ucsbmullet
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

ucsbmullet, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +6.1%

irishkyle21, May 24, 2012
Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +6.1%

virinow, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

yancot, Wednesday at 02:40 AM
Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +6.1%

RedAleMan, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of kelvarnsen
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

kelvarnsen, Jul 03, 2012
Photo of NightINgale
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

NightINgale, May 08, 2012
Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +6.1%

beerhunter13, May 05, 2012
Photo of korguy123
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can into pint glass.

A- Hazy dark copper pour with a two finger off white head. Lacing is excellent.

S- Bright floral hops, bitter citrus with a sweetness of strawberries and caramel from the malts.

T- Bitter pine and citrus with a heavy dose of malt and toffee.

M- Light to medium, slightly creamy, good carbonation.

O- Solid for an Ontario IPA will carry stock in the fridge when I can.

korguy123, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of leaddog
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a dark copper amber with two fingers of creamy bubbly white head.

Smell- Piney, earthy hops, citrus, grapefruit, other tropical fruits, caramalts.

Taste- Piney, earthy hops upfront with the citrus, grapefruit and caramalts. The caramalts play a nice role to balance this brew out.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A tad creamy. Finishes with a pleasant bitterness.

Overall- An enjoyable American IPA by Nickelbrook. The ABV in this one is pretty hidden. This brew is respectable amongst the other American IPA's I have had. Its nice to see more Ontario made beers here in the Alberta market.

leaddog, Sep 15, 2012
Photo of beerluvr
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy darkish orange into a Duvel tulip, substantial eggshell-colored head leaves a nice collar as it slowly settles.
S: Bracing nose of fresh Nugget hops and firm maltiness as an afterthought...but that nose is all about those hops!
T: Sweet candy-fruity yeasty maltiness then POW!...hops all up in your face, flowery and quite bitter, very well balanced but in the end the hop takes precedent.
M: Firm malt base, sweet yet non-cloying makes for great mouthfeel before the hoppiness takes the stage.
O: Fantastic take on an American-style aggressively hopped IPA. One of my faves up here in Ottawa and a great bargain at $2.85 (Canadian) for a tall boy can. Great find for this hop head...gotta keep my eyes open for some other offerings by this outfit. Recommended without hesitation.

beerluvr, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of ThinkAgain
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

ThinkAgain, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Hypersomnia
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Hypersomnia, Sep 26, 2014
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.