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Halcyon - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.
HalcyonHalcyon

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BA SCORE
89
very good

200 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 200
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.55%
Wants: 12
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 03-30-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (54) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 200 | Reviews: 69
Reviews by Cramshawbar:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Green Hopped 2009 Harvest version,hops harvested in 2009 and bottled in April 2010.Poured into a imperial nonic a dull hazed lighter golden with a hint of burnt orange,a large fluffy white head atop.Fruity hops really stick out in the nose,a mix of grapefruit,orange,and tropical fruit,there is a fair share resinous pine as well,a big caramel/boozy sweetness as well.Flavors are not as big as the nose, the hop flavors wich are mainly pine resin, are just a bit muted,there is a hefty caramel/biscuit sweetness that really stands out,as the beer warms more of the citric qualities show themselves.Highly drinkable for the style wich I would say is a somewhat muted version of an American DIPA wich isnt a bad thing.A nice refined beer.

Photo of BeerDrinker01
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle served cold in a pint glass

Light golden with a thin head with some lacing. Smell, Tropical fruits, Passionfruit & Mango, Citrus, Grassy, Pine hops. Taste, Tropical fruits, Grass, Bitter pine hops, Citrus. Mouthfeel is Medium body with moderate carbonation balanced with a dry finish nice bitterness. Overall a very drinkable well balanced IPA from Thornbridge

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bu11zeye for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is a lot of orange citrus and bready malts. The flavor is more bready malt with a lot of hop flavor. I get both resiny and orange citrus hops. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2012. ABV stated as 7.4%. Picked up from my local beer specialist. Described on the label as an imperial IPA.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A bright golden-yellow with medium carbonation and faint sediment (looks like chill haze to me). Yields a large head of brilliant white foam that lasts for a minute or so before subsiding. An intense hoppy aroma bursting with fruity notes; white grapes, grapefruit and melon, along with hints of citrus. A whiff of malt in the background. Strangely, the overall effect is reminiscent of mature farmhouse cheddar - bizarre but not unpleasant!

Tastes of subtle malt with intense aromatic hops and a crisp bitter finish. Notes of tropical fruit, grapes, citrus and melon. Pretty dry; a hint of solvent upon swallowing. Again, there is a background quality that reminds me of mature cheddar (weird!). Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and dry, with good body. Somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of fruity aromatic hops.

Lovely, even with the strange cheese effect. A fantastically aromatic IPA, with tons of fruity notes taking centre stage. The ABV goes virtually unnoticed - impressive for a 7.4% brew. Subtle malt and good attenuation take this close to perfection. Highly drinkable and highly recommended. Get one now!

Photo of BGDrock
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: thoughts of lemon custard and meringue pie, with a misty lemon body and egg white, foamy head

Aroma: lemon cookie, light pine touch of candy sweetness, mango, pineapple

Taste & Mouthfeel: clean and fruity with a solid pine hop finish providing just the right balance, not overwhelming the other flavours; lemon and mango shine against, and biscuit - it's really got into my head that this is a "pie" flavoured brew, all the elements just come together in that sense (with a bunch of bitterness thrown in); perfect carbonation, medium body, doesn't feel like 7% at all

Overall: so fresh and crisp, amazing for summer, and very sessionable - which could be dangerous! This is my kind of IPA, showing off wonderful balance and bright flavours

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thornbridge, is a superior quality brewery, and this effort is a very good IPA. Orange coloured body with a bit of white head. A hoppy aroma that yields a good hoppyness. I get the dry hops, it is a satisfying brew. Perhaps a bit average mouthfeel and drinkability. From Premiere. Well balanced.

Photo of KTCamm
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours hazy stark yellow. Bubble suspended in mid-beverage. Some foam sits a top. Sneaky citrus malt. Taste is a thin bitter, persistent, with very minor body. Grapefruit all over. Surprsingly light and bitter at the same time.

Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle. Pours a pale golden yellow with a slowly fading white head. Aroma is of citrus floral hops, biscuit malt, some caramel, fruity with mild grassy notes. Taste is the same as aroma with some mild bitterness. A medium body on the palate with some mild carbonation. Finish is sweet biscuit malt, mild grassy notes, fruity with some yeast followed by some good citrus floral hops for balance. Overall a well balanced, enjoyable brew for the style. A solid showing.

Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 21, 2014.

Slightly hazy pale yellow pour building up to a full, creamy white head that slowly settles down but never disappears entirely.

The nose is quite mild for an Imperial IPA. I expected explosive hops but instead they are more subtle and they balance well with the roasted malts. There is also a kind of melon note.

Light body.

The malts express themselves more than the hops considering this is an Imperial IPA. It would not bother me as much if this was a standard English style IPA. I shouldn't say it bothers me. It was not what I anticipated. Malts mix in well. Hops linger a little at the end. I did enjoy it but I was expecting more hop bitterness.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a small head.
Nose shows light fruit: pears, apples, elderflower. Also some sweet light malt.
Flavours instead focus on spicy and earthy hops with a soft light malt character in the background. Bitterness is not insane but stands out amongst the low malt.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy bright yellow color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus hops flavours with light sweet malt undertones. Taste is also dominated by sweet undertones with non-descript cereal notes and some citrus floral notes that are quite nice. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Prefer the Nelson Sauvin IPA by the same brewery better but still quite enjoyable.

Photo of fank2788
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reviewing this out of the bottle after trying it first at My Place in Newtown, CT
Pale gold in the glass, a bit hazy with a thin white head that falls to a bit of lace. The smell is atypical for an strong IPA. While there is a normal amount of hop aroma, the hops used by Thornbridge for this and their other beers are far more tropical than what I'm used to in American made doubles. This beer smells like pineapples and fresh grain primarily with other citrusy and floral hop in there as well. The taste is really nice also, it matches the smell and being a British made Double IPA it's not nearly as heavy or strong as the American versions we may be more used to, however, that doesn't detract from this offering and may make it more drinkable, I had no problem having two on tap (which is a little better than the bottle). Carbonation is moderate with a finish that is spicy and tingly as a result of the bitterness. Overall this is quite a nice beer and a good example of the style if not a bit different but in good ways, highly recommended.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark straw colour, slightly hazy, with a bright white head leaving lots of lace. Bright citrus aromas, floral and spicy hops. Lots of citrus on the taste, with a predominant lemony note. Mild biscuity malts. Somewhat herbal too. Nice somewhat crisp feel, lighter body, easy drinking.

Interesting, quite good for an English brewed IPA, quite good overall.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a light yellowish golden amber. Nice two finger, fine white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by tropical fruit, a bit of grapefruit and citrus hops. Flavor is a sweet malt body with tropical fruit, grapefruit and mild citrus hops. Finishes a bit dry with a long citrus and hop bitter aftertaste. Decent flavor progression for an IPA. I like the good malt support and hop finish, but would like to see a bit more fresh hop flavor in the main taste. The tropical fruit flavors are a nice change for an IPA. I enjoyed this. Nice medium body with some creaminess. Well made.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some fine particles visible floating in suspension. It poured with a finger high white head that gradually died down and left a thin layer of bubbles coating the surface and sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of tropical fruits in the nose—mango seems to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the hops contribute flavors of mangoes and other tropical fruits and a light to moderate amount of bitterness. As the beer begins to warm up, some hints of caramel malts become detectable.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a great IPA if you like hops with flavors of tropical fruits. It’s relatively light-bodied in nature compared to other beers in the style and has no traces of alcohol in the taste.

Photo of oline73
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I had this on cask at Max's. Poured into a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden with a layer of fluffy white carbonation that to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet, picking up the malt up front. Reminds me a lot of sparkling grape juice.

Taste: Bready malt with some very grassy hops. The sparkling grape juice from the smell is still there. Not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is thin with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very different beer. It really reminded me of sparkling grape juice. I wouldn't have another.

Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas are quite inviting indeed with notes of cut grass, citrus, pine, and limes; quite complex indeed.

The tastes are delicious as well. Starts with light caramel malts and then the hops steal the show. Citrusy and earthy hops all over the place with the main flavors of orange and lime. These are all held together by honey undertones from the malts. The bitterness is apparent towards the end, and lingers in the aftertaste, but in a pleasant way.

Overall this a is superb English/American IPA. Not sure it warrants the inflated price tag but there is a superb balance between the hops and the malts here, making drinkability high and in the end making it worth it I guess.

Photo of Cresant
3.28/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served this 500 mL brown bottle in a Sam Adams glass. Bottled April 2010. The body was orange with a distinct green hue. Hazy with a thin white head that stayed and left some lacing too.

The smell was floral hops and pennies. Green and leafy. The label says Target hops were used.

The taste was green and resinous. Not sharp but raw. Hard candy-like tartness. Evergreen. Understated caramel malts. This is a good UK take on the American IPA style. Interesting. I would drink it again except for the price ($8.49).

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with some slipperiness. Adequately carbonated.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. This is the more recent blue labeled version. Clear straw colored pour with two finger head with decent retention and great lacing. The nose is huge and unique. Intense herbal hops with tons of tropical fruits. Hints of grapefruit, mango and pine. I'm not sure what hops were used in this, but I'd bet Nelson Sauvin. The taste follows suit with the resiny, fresh hops really coming through. A very unique, perfumey flavor that really sets this beer apart from the pack. Hints of mango, pine, and grapefruit that's complemented nicely by a solid, sweet caramel base. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a great crisp, tangy finish. The 7.4% ABV is on the lower end of an Imperial IPA which adds to the drinkability. This is yet another awesome beer from Thornbridge. It mirrors the previous beers I've tried as that it's hugely flavorful and incredibly drinkable.

Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $5.25

Appearance - Gold colour with a large size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, apricots, grapefruit, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste apricot, grapefruit, and malts. There is also a variety of tropical fruit flavour

Overall - A very solid brew. Borders the IPA/DIPA line but is very drinkable. Not exactly sure how fresh this beer is, but if it is a few months old, I can only imagine how good it was fresh. I picked up a few bottles and I'll grab a few more. One of the better beers from the LCBO 2014 spring release.

Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Harvest: Pours cloudy light orange in color with a 1 finger creamy white head that faded slow and left great lacing. The head was very thick and creamy, and lasted quite a while.

Smells of huge hops, floral hops, citrus hops and piney hops, with caramel, sweet malt, flowers, grass, light grains, light yeast, and a hint of spices like pepper and coriander. The hops dominate the aroma, but there are plenty of earthy notes mixed in this smell.

Tastes like it smells, with floral hops, citrus hops, caramel, sweet malt, grass, grapefruiy, light yeast, spices, coriander and maybe some orange peel; slight bitterness to it, but it was subtle and didn't take away from the flavor.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost oily, smooth and airy with light carbonation, a medium body and a sweet semi-dry finish. Really tasty IPA that goes down smooth and easy. Too expensive to drink all the time, but this beer was a treat.

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a 500 ml bottle with 2 year old hop for a harvest ipa i had to try this one

A- pours a nice light copper color with a 1 finger off-white head some nice lacing and a fresh collar

S-Mmm smell is hops both floral and citrus a touch of pine,sweet caramel malts and bread

T- follows the nose lots of floral and and some bitter pine hops,offset with some citrus hops and sweet caramel.wet grass a little lemon and baked bread

M- prickly ,crisp,a touch bitter with hops carbonation is medium+ a clean finish with a definite hop bite

O- 2 year old hops in a harvest ipa?..this one works and is very good

Photo of thehyperduck
4.39/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before March 20 2015. The last two Thornbridge brews I tried (Jaipur and Kipling) were both excellent and still count amongst my favourite pale ales of all time, so grabbing this one was reflexive more than anything. Served just below cellar temperature.

Pours a lovely golden-blonde colour, slightly hazy but obscured with countless flakes of, um, stuff. Nearly two fingers of foamy, eggshell-white head erupts at the surface, but recedes steadily over the next few minutes into an uneven, frothy cap and collar, leaving behind a doily pattern ring of lacing. The aroma is fruity and zesty, with a wide range of citrusy notes including lemon, orange and lime. Rather floral, with a hint of peach and pineapple. This is shaping up to be a solid one.

The first sip does not disappoint - this is a stellar IPA. A biscuity malt backbone is definitely present, but my tongue is far too distracted by the cavalcade of beautiful hop juiciness to care much about that. Tropical fruits figure in strongly - not only citrusy grapefruit and lemon pith, but also some pineapple and passionfruit. Apricot also comes in nicely, with the pear drop note (mentioned on the back label) providing a delectable sweetness toward the finish. There's some mild resiny bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers on the palate, likely thanks to the viscous, oily mouthfeel of this one. Medium-bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel and relatively mild carbonation. Thornbridge is quickly becoming one of my favourite UK brewers.

Final Grade: 4.39, an excellent A grade. Despite basically being a DIPA, Halcyon is extremely drinkable, which combined with its delicious nature could become problematic. I mean, I only picked up one bottle! In all seriousness, this is a fabulous India pale ale that is well worth the $5.25 price tag in this province. This bottle was bought out of town, but if I had ready access to this stuff I would be buying it by the armful. Great beer that I highly recommend to all hopheads, and would certainly buy again - all that good stuff. An ideal selection for my 650th review on BA.

Photo of mdagnew
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com...

Poured a hazy golden orange colour. White head poured tight, thick and foamy with a meringue like topping then faded slowly to good covering with thick edging... barely any carbonation bubbles... lots of sticky lacing lines...

Aroma - Strong piney sap resin, quite rubbery, lemon and lime citrus notes, soapy, talcum powder traces, light tobacco smoke, green tea, quite herbal, cut wet grass...

Taste - Very citrusy - grapefruits and limes, strong piney hop bitterness, floral and herbal, some soapy traces, orange peel / pith, faint vanilla sugar sweetness, light vegetal traces...

M&D - Pretty sharp and dry... light / medium bodied... an extremely quaffable brew even at 7.7%

Overall - An excellent example of a dry hopped IPA... recommended...

Photo of OttoBomb
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle poured into Dogfish Head signature glass (August 2, 2010). The rear label states "Hops harvested in 2009 and bottled in April 2010"

Eyes: It pours a very hazy amber-yellow. Much brighter and hazier than many IPAs. A vigorous pour creates fluffy white head that almost overflows the rim. Three fingers easy with significant lacing.

Nose: I'm not sure if my bottle is different from those of other reviewers, but the nose is extremely tame. Some pine and citrus evident but quite muted.

Tongue: An impressive hop kick starts each sip, and forebodes a bitter palate assault, but the bitterness surprisingly fades on the tail. Much more flavorful than the nose, herbal citruses, and some pine.

Mouth: Good carbonation and feel.

Libation: I like this beer, but I'm left a bit confused. It's quite drinkable, nicely smooth for the style, and the flavor profile isn't overwhelmed by bitterness or alcohol. That said, what the beer does have going for it (flavor & mouth feel), isn't fantastic. All in all I liked it, but based on the odd appearance, aroma, and flavor profiles I think I'll have to revisit this one to make a final decision on it.

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Halcyon from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 200 ratings.