Halcyon - Thornbridge Brewery

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HalcyonHalcyon

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BA SCORE
89
very good

68 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 68
Hads: 202
rAvg: 4
pDev: 4.75%
Wants: 12
Gots: 13 | 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.
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 202
Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantabulous! Poured at a good temperature with a mammoth, foamy, frothy, fluffy, sudsy, off-white head that settled after a bit and lots of clingy lace. Color is a clear amber yellow with some bubble trails. Aroma is great, somewhat simple, but balanced and still interesting - sweet zone between resin and citrus with a hint of weed. Flavor's like nose, but more complex: sweet up front is quickly dominated by bitter and accented by tang; flavor's being again, like nose plus yeast, apricot,- malt, grain. Body/carbonation are perfect. Finish has a bit of an off-flavor, longish, and is quite drinkable with only a suggestion of alcohol. True to style. Killer beer. (667 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

I find this to be an outstanding IPA,complex,engaging, sell-rounded, and highly drinkable.

Dark straw yellow, slightly hazy, it has a big white head steadily shrinking to lasting thin foamy top.

Aroma is yeasty lemon, hints of grapefruit, pineapple, bread, flowery and woody (cedar?), hint of orange marmalade - aromatic, juicy , complex and very nice.

Taste is very cedary, juicy (passionfruit), lemony, yeasty up front through the finish, some bread crust and pepper coming later.It has some definite but restrained sweetness and bitterness, balanced and slightly on the dry side. It has lingering zesty, engaging bitterness, light mineral quality, and a creamy, full feel. (678 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A lighter straw golden color that surprised me a little.

A fruity biscuity aroma - stone fruits, citrus etc.

A fruity malty taste of tangerine, marmalade and scones, the hops lend a citrusy resinous character, but not in a dominant sense rather a supporting and amplifying of the fruity malt character.

Medium body - perhaps a bit more, but such texture and flavor; subtle yet rich and assertive in a non-American way. Didn't taste like no American IPA to me.

Loved it. Cask condition had a lot to do with it too I suppose. (527 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on cask at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME.

Wasn’t sure what to expect, but boy it was Awesome. So surprised by the American IPA notes, since this is from the U.K.

Nice tight finger of creamy head that left sheets of lace. Light amber to a golden/amber color with a slight haze.

Bright, fresh citrus/grapefruit aroma with light toasty malt hints.

Flavor is incredibly bready with a wonderful fresh grapefruit pith hop feel. Slightly oily from the aggressive hop notes.

Creamy awedsome feel. Lighter body

Planned on having one and moving onto something else. I never did, I stuck with this as it was fantastic. (631 characters)

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thornbridge Halcyon "Green Hopped IPA 2009 Harvest", 500-ml bottle bought at Best Yet Market in Harlem, NYC, for $8.99.

"Hops harvested in 2009 and bottled in April 2010". Bottle bought on April 2 2011. I was way too curious about this beer not to buy it. For once, I have never seen it before. Besides that, the fact that they are so proud of a "Fresh Hop IPA" that is, however, two years old made me giddy with curiosity and excitement.

Appearance: Served in my Sierra snifter, pours thick and yummy, with a huge, frothy snow-white head reminiscent of a Belgian beer (saison, mostly). Good retention and decent lacing. Color is dirty apple juice, hazy amber. This looks good, but definitely not like an IPA!

Smell: Totally Belgian, with lots of yeast and sour apple invading the nose right away. Some lemon juice. Spice. Again, this is a saison!

Taste: Sourness, tartness. Clove, spice. More yeast, some breadiness. Sweet, fruity notes and prickly hops, but so different from the hops you expect in an American IPA! I keep thinking of Ommegang Hennepin, and maybe of a quality German Hefeweizen.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, full flavor, medium body. Refreshing, not too filling. Again, not an IPA here, but damn delicious!! Finishes bitter, with a carbonated bite that lingers.

Overall: Funny enough, this has got the same ABV as Hennepin, and both are immensely drinkable, refreshing and enjoyable. If you see this at your local shop and feel antsy about buying an "old" IPA, fear not. This is not really an IPA, it has aged well and it is stunning. I'm glad I bought it!! (1,584 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

From Slowbeer. BB 2014.

Appearance - light golden, two finger head, tons of spotty lace

Smell - tangerines, passionfruit, mango, peach, hops.

Taste - tropical fruits, mango, balanced hops, moderate malt

Mouthfeel - smooth, medium bodies, slightly alcoholic warmth

Overall - wow! Thornbridge just keep on delivering. As with their other beers, a very integrated and balanced taste without being massive, or more importantly needing to. A very atypical APA, or AIPA, as per Thornbridge norm. Tropical heaven. (512 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
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! (1,286 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (939 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
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. (2,127 characters)

Photo of kevinlater
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic pint

a: hazy but very vibrant pale yellow -- lighter in colour than a lager. lots of floating particles. 3+ fingers of head on this one so be careful with your pour

s: pretty strong pear presence right when i opened the bottle. with the nose in the nonic, i get big floral and pear notes. peach and apricot follow. subtle malt aromas as well. smells wonderful

t: floral and pear notes up front, peach and apricot afterwards, some slight mango and lemon, then a nice pop of crackery bready malt. the bitterness comes through afterwards -- not tongue-ripping but just enough to balance the sweet fruit and malt flavours. finishes dry with some lemon notes. delicious!

m: medium bodied, medium carbonation

o: a departure from the citrus-dominant IPAs but this brew is surely unique and amazing. would definitely have this again some time in the future (877 characters)

Photo of PartyBear
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a hazy muted amber in colour, with a substantial head, and persistent lively carbonation. Hints of cut grass in the aroma, along with pine, and limes. There is an unexpected light smokiness at the top, followed by fruity citrus flavours of oranges and limes, with traces of fresh mint, all held together by honey undertones from the malts. The bitterness is apparent towards the end, and lingers in the aftertaste. There is a superb even balance between the hops and the malts here, making drinkability high. (513 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
4.28/5  rDev +7%
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 (754 characters)

Photo of fank2788
4.28/5  rDev +7%
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. (1,048 characters)

Photo of djura
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Golden honey color. Something tick in the glass, from yeast or something else, very interesting. White foam, low carbonation.
S - Honey, haze, fresh, grassy, highly aromatic.
T/M - Haze, honey, balanced bitterness, refreshing, crisp.

O - Very good. Maybe a bit less imperial IPA, and a bit more English IPA. (312 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a pale yellow color, forming a big and bubbled white head. Great retention and tons of lingering and soapy lacings left in the glass

S: Great notes of tropical fruits and pine. Watermelon, grapefruit, pine, sweet pale grains and earthy yeasts

T: Follows the nose. Slightly sweet upfront. Notes of watermelon, grapefruits, pine. Quite smooth with a medium but very pleasant bitterness in the end. A bit earthy and bready. Pale Ale style yeasts. Very light to a 7.4% ABV, no sign of alcohol

M: Medium and creamy body. Medium carbonation. Sweet pale malts + pine and citrus fruits in the aftertaste. However, its bitterness is not persistent

O: Excellent drinkability. Great British IPA with some American character (763 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

A - Poured light golden with light haze and some floaty bits. Two fingers of fluffy white head on top with good carbonation left a good finger of retention and spotty lace.

S - Biz zippy tropical aroma. Biscuity malt, honey, sweet fruits and candy. Sweet honey notes were strong.

T - Nice tropical fruit, light passionfruit, some malt there too. Big juicy tropical fruits with orange and sweet candied fruit.

M - Good mild but noticeable carbonation, medium to full body and a nice bitterness.

O/D - Very solid. Another good Thornbridge offering. Very drinkable and complex. Delicious stuff. Well done. (619 characters)

Photo of BeerDrinker01
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
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 (375 characters)

Photo of SteveDavies
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle-Conditioned 50cl bottle from The Beer Emporium, Sandbach. Poured into a Moors Beer glass. Spot on clear, pale orangey colour, light carbonation, light foamy head that cleared to light lacing. Hops dominate the aroma with orangey, citrus explosions - I love it. The taste is an experience, wow! hoppy, hoppy. The green target hops really make the difference for me. The dry bitterness is just right balance for this strength IPA. Mouthfeel is a full-bodied joy, the hop content hits straight away leaving a craving for more. For such a strong IPA I found myself drinking rather too quickly as the flavours developed and taste buds demanded more! Definitely up there as one of my current favourites (703 characters)

Photo of Kenee
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely fruity citrus smell. Uber refreshing, light citrus flavour. Thin mouthfeel with very little alcohol taste despite being 7.2%. Really nice after taste although hardly any astringency. Bloody lovely beer. Reminds me of a summers day. More please! (251 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a sightly opaque honey hue with orange undertones. Head is a beauty. Big, foamy and frothy. Bleach white in color. Head leaves tons of fluffy islands along the glass. Body really shines.

S-Huge initial clementine whiff. Cracker and buttered biscuit malt. I am also getting some nice grassy hop notes. Hops are exotic and very enticing. Hints of pineapple, mango and apricot. This nose deserves a very high grade. Tropical and right down my alley.

T-The flavor starts off tropical then absolutely morphs into a fistful of grass rammed into my mouth. Light pale malt with caramel and cracker. Hops are a bit less fruity and tropical unfortunately. But it is still pretty tasty. Solid yeastiness as well. Moderate bitterness. The flavor is not as forceful as the nose.

M-From the bottle, it almost tastes like its from a cask. Great feel. Light bubbles. Velvety. Dry but not overwhelmingly bitter. Goes down far too quick.

O/D-I liked this slightly more than Jaipur but considerably less than Kipling. Its a solid DIPA that drinks like a beer than is about 5% ABV. The nose was superior to the flavor, but it was still an above average brew. I find that Thornbridge is one of the best import breweries at doing hoppy brews. Definitely worth a buy…Went down scary fast. (1,280 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: hazy gold in color with a full fluffy head that lasts for quite a while. There is fantastic lacing and lovely meringue like islands left after the head breaks.

S: floral and citrus hops with a lovely sweet touch. Malts and grains are there as well.

T: hoppy, citrus first with some pine followed by a sweetness from malts.

M: medium carbonation and body with a really nice finish that leaves you wanting more... Just a nice balance between dry and sweet.

O: okay, I was not expecting this to be this tasty. A really nice beer with a refreshing finish. If not for the 7.4% abv this would be down right sessionable. (663 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Pizzeria Paradiso in Alexandria, Virginia.

A: This beer appears a hazy, straw yellow hue with an inch of fluffy, white head.

S: Hops, citrus, subtle malt, alcohol.

T: A decent harvest ale with nice citrus flavors, backed by a sturdy malt bill.

M: Medium body with a solid level of carbonation present. A warming sensation with subtle alcohol notes is present in the finish.

D: A tasty beer that I enjoyed and would not mind having again. (455 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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... (815 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very cloudy, orange amber color. Good starting head that leaves a lot of blanketing lace.

Hop flower aroma with a mild malt background.

Nice malty start. Interestingly, the hop stays muted until the swallow. The aftertaste is good blend, tipping the scale on the hop side. The body is rich and the carbonation is low. There is very little alcohol on the tongue.

Overall, this is a solid IPA that is deceptively easy to drink. (430 characters)

Photo of peensteen
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed verypale blonde colour, more than a finger of white head, quite a bit of lace. Smell is bright and floral at fisrt, grassy with citrus fruit secondary, hoppy with white grapefruit and orange, just a bit of crisp crackery malt. Taste is hoppy and dry, some initial citrus replaced by grassy piune, a bit of crisp malt, dank pine, dry aftertaste with a slight honey sweetness, Dry medium body, medium carbonation. Solid stuff, not exceptional but incredibly drinkable, would certainly have this again. (514 characters)

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Halcyon from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.