1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Halcyon - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.
HalcyonHalcyon

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

188 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
Wants: 9
Gots: 8 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mdagnew on 03-30-2009)
View: Beers (50) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShemRahBoo
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Polasiuss
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No freshness date. Bought from John's Grocery.

A- pours a hazy straw colour, over 1 finger head of foam, leaves some lacing. Lots of sediment.

S- bitter notes of grass and tropical fruit with a mild malt sweetness.

T- pretty bitter taste here. Tropical fruitiness with grassy flavour that brings that bitter taste. Mild on the malt, not much offered by way of sweetness or balance.

M- on the high end of medium bodied, well carbonated, good mouthfeel.

O- I have no idea how fresh this bottle is but it's a good IPA, 7.4% abv per my bottle.

Photo of ummswimmin
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer at Ginger Man in NYC (the review is taken from notes).

This beer was served in a fluted glass. The beer is hazy yellow with about one and a half fingers of foam.

The nose has a little bit of spices and a decent amount of sour presence. There is also some good hopping.

The flavor has a good saison feel to it, and the hops continue in there. It doesn't seem like a very stock Euro style beer.

There is some breadiness to this beer. It makes for a challenging sipper.

Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy straw with a little white head and sediment.
S: It smelled like sugary orange.
T: It tasted like sugary orange and cantaloupe. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was a little thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was much better than Kipling. The scent wasn't great, but the taste was enjoyable and unique. The body was good, and the finish was pretty smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nothing special, but a good enough brew.

Photo of Samp01
3.86/5  rDev -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 biegaman
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Halcyon is a very light-coloured beer, a fact that bodes well for die-hard hopheads; the amount of haziness and suspended proteins, however, indicates that little malt was spared for this 7.4% Double-ish IPA. The glass looks like it's been made-up in a frilly dress; lacing abounds.

Halcyon has a bouquet that stinks like ganja. Undeniably pungent at first sniff, this stanky herbal character is lifted only slightly by hints of zesty lime, flowery peach and bitter greens. If you haven't figured it out yet - it's hoppy. That being said, there's a lot of biscuity malt that comes through as well. This smells like it should be balanced...

Drinking Halcyon is just like eating crackers - albeit crackers that are mushy and wet, presumably because they're soaked in grapefruit juice. The flavour has lots of biscuity maltiness as well as accompanying citrus and herbal notes. There's a strong lemon-and-dill-like note that should suit white seafood just fine, and certainly enough tarragon flavour to hold up to chicken.

The more I drink it, the more I find this DIPA to have a Sauvignon Blanc-like profile: overtly herbaceous, grassy and acidic. The broad graininess aside, this beer is dominated by its hints of under-ripe pear, green apple, peach and prominently tropical flavours of passionfruit. If you're going to enjoy these flavours, mind you, be advised to do in a few months from bottling - don't wait the full year Thornbridge allots. It won't last.

Like Kipling or Jaipur IPA, Halcyon is as stinky, weedy, and tropical as any beer you'd pluck from the shelves of a southern Californian beer store - it's offerings like this that make Derbyshire seem like the new San Diego. Despite their long voyage I've really enjoyed all these hoppy offerings. Halcyon is a good one, especially for those who like their IPAs ultra green, pithy, and herbal.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden sunshine with slight haze and loose craggy white foam with the occasional trailer and ring. Lemon peel and pineapple on the nose with some gooey mango underneath.
Saltines and lemon rind up front plus maybe lychee then passionfruit and grapefruit hops to end. Shortbread and creamy body comes out as it warms.
Pineapple finish and metallic, bitter linger. Light, crisp, dry.

Warrior and Hallertau Magnum hops for bittering, then Hallertau Brewers Gold, Spalter Select and Perle for aroma, supposedly, but then I read it was wet hopped but it doesn't say that on the bottle plus it smells all NZ, so who knows, really.

Maris Otter is supposed to be bringing the biscuits, but I can't find them. Fruitiness is there, but tartness and hop bitterness far outweighs it, at least until it opens. A lean IPA with no sweetness for balance.

I'm not tasting the notes or feeling the love that others seem to for this beer, and Thornbridge so rarely do wrong, so maybe it's just me. Revisit?

Note: Labeled as 7.4%

Photo of spinrsx
3.9/5  rDev -2%
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 John_M
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and considerable lacing. Really am not picking up very much on the nose... maybe some light grains, light dry citrus and a hint of leafy tobacco. The flavor profile is more of the same, except I do get some nice bitterness in this dry IPA. This beer is fairly light on its feet, and the beer has a clean, fairly bitter finish. The beer is well balanced, and it does seem to have a bit more hoppy bitterness than what I normally encouter in a Brit IPA. One thing I will say... the alcohol is well disguised in this beer, and it does not drink like a 7.7% abv. beer. That being said, my understanding is that this level of alcohol is fairly unusual in a brit IPA (it's high), and I notice that almost all the reviews for this beer are from consumers in the colonies. Makes me wonder if this beer wasn't made specifically for the US market.

Photo of Zimbo
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spiky bitter nose in the bottle with some sweet grapefruit. Very pale slightly off clear light yellow. Easy one inch plus head. Slightly carbonic, nice light flavour but a bit dead across the palate and could do with some more depth. Good mouthfeel, herbally bitterness on the tongue from the onset which follows all the way to the end. Doesn't balance out perfectly when it finishes though. Could do with a bit more oomph and intensity for an Imperial IPA.Despite being a let down here and there I do quite like it. Sure wouldn't say no to another.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First Thornbridge beer I've managed to get a hold of besides their Antipodean collaborations with Epic and Mountain Goat. Picked this one up from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA.

Opens with a hiss, and immediately a wafting aroma of hops comes out of the bottle. The beer is a very pale and slightly hazy straw yellow colour, with a persistent and frothy head of white. Lacing is excellent. Body looks thin, but that's not that bad in this style. I have to say I'm looking forward to drinking this beer.

Nose is indeed fresh, green and hoppy, giving a noticeable crushed leaf aroma to the expected notes of citrus skin and fruit. Very sharp characters, for the most part, certainly at the zest and green end of the hop spectrum, but that's no bad thing.

Taste is far more subdued, which I often find in fresh-hopped beers. Despite the sharpness on the nose, here there's very little true hop bitterness, more of that slightly organic spread of hop essence over the entire palate. Light malt does just enough to balance, although without the expected sharp vector of bitterness, it does feel surprisingly sweet.

Feel is smooth but light and slick. Goes very nicely with the mild hop character.

A very drinkable and very refreshing brew, and one which shows a good deal of craft. I always thing green- or wet-hopped ales have something to offer, and this is probably one of the better examples I've had. Thornbridge, it seems, doesn't just do great collaborations.

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
3.9/5  rDev -2%

Photo of stomioka
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
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 mick303
3.94/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7.4% 500 mL bottle. Poured a pale straw gold, a large head of rocky white foam. Shows nice retention and good lacing.

Smell has dried grapefruit, pine sap, tropical fruits, dry earthy notes. Fair bit of malt and some honey in the background. Some florals, nicely fragrant and balanced.

Taste has a full hop and fruity bitterness. Again quite dry, dried grapefruit, pine needles, mango, raspberry. Not too medicinal, but a nice mild astringency. The hops are not overly assertive abone the biscuity sweet malt. Finish is quite dry, coating hop and pine oils.

Mouthfeel has a big body, a soft moderate carbonation makes it really nice and easy to drink. Alcohol is only perceptible as a warming spice on the finish. Balanced feel, quite tasty.

Not the most interesting IPA ever, but it is nice. This is much more about balance over real intense depth. Falls somewhere between a regular and imperial IPA, not too big on the palate and really easy to drink. Balance is certainly quite good, and this is a beer I would for sure have again. A good brew for a UK brewer but there are better ones stateside.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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 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 crossovert
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle, says it was bottled in april. So it is probably jsut nearing the end of it being worthy. TBH I didn't see it on the shelf until recently.

It pours a slightly hazy golden color with a hint of orange. The head is Foamy and off white and leaves some really nice lacing.

Unfortunately they used target. It smells good but not great, still has a decent smell that has lasted. There is a decent amount of malt in here too. Sorry I'm being ambiguous here but the hops don't speak to me.

Again in the flavor the hops are good but not great. It has a decent floral character with some pine and a moderate bitterness. The malt does level the hops a bit but it is a nice balance.

The mouthfeel was a tad bit watery.

Overall it is a decent IPA, nothing special, mainly hindered by the hop selection imo, but it is well-crafted.

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

On cask at Nerax North
Pours a light clear golden color with a thinnish white head that actually shows some retention. Smells of hops, yeah! Fruity bready honey malts back us up, but this one is firmly rooted in the hop camp. Taste is barely bready and sweet with fruity citrus and earthy hop flavors all screaming for attention. 7.7% abv is nowhere to be found. Medium body and level of carbonation with a slick resinous mouthfeel. This might be my favorite beer from the fest, or maybe it isn't, but its certainly in the running.

Photo of FLima
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber yellow color with a thick one finger head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Aroma of bread malt, pineapple, melon and lemongrass.
Flavor of mango, melon, spices, grass, pine, biscuit malt base, floral and mildly citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and white wine. Dry, almost astringent aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Full malty body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7.4% is well disguised.
Great British take on an American DIPA. Malty, but not overly sweet with enough hops to undertake it. Good mix between green, citrus and tropical. Very drinkable, especially considering the style. Love the Thornbridges.

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev 0%
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 ColForbinBC
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle split among three buddies

Pale golden body, a little orange. Fairly hazy with a sticky off-white cap. Some mild lacing around the glass.

The nose is of pale tropical fruits and grassy, earthy hops. Definitely a noble hop aroma with some tropical fruit thrown in. Some sweet bready malts underneath; like shortbread and biscuits.

On the palate, bready malt asserts itself well, balancing out the hop attack. Light burst of tropical fruit (mango and pineapple) and then the earth notes poke through. A mildly spicy, earthy bitterness in the finish.

Medium body, light on the carbonation. Dry finish.

This is a very nice IPA with definite English characteristics. It almost has a cask like feel to it. Nice job.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Discount Supermarket and poured into a pint glass.
Pours a light colden colour with a white head with quite good lacing around the glass.
Smells faintly hoppy.
Tastes strongly hoppy.
Overall a lovely ipa, hoppy but well balanced and refreshingly tasty.

Halcyon from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.