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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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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 68
Hads: 203
rAvg: 4
pDev: 8%
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 68 | Hads: 203
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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. (295 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single finger head with nice lacing on a clear straw and golden body. Nice toast, cream soda and floral aroma. Flavor is more on the creamy side with mild hop flavor and citrus. Honey and floral notes are nice as well. Light body for the style and moderate carbonation. Overall a good beer and would definitely get again. (321 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev 0%
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. (922 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (740 characters)

Photo of oline73
2.88/5  rDev -28%
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. (572 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 Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -8%
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. (308 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 johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (1,474 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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. (914 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
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. (1,861 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(2009 Harvest) Purchased at the RAIB stall, GBBF 2010; bottle-conditioned in a slim 500ml brown bottle, BB 17/10/2010, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. NOTE: the back label describes this vintage using Target hops in the late-hopping - don't know if this element is different every year?

A: dark yellow-ish golden in colour, translucent (I tried to avoid the yeast sediments during the pour), coming with healthy streams of small- & mid-sized fizz and topped with a well-lasting white cottony foamy head.
S: pronounced aroma of fruitiness dominates the nose along with a semi-assertive dose of sour-nectar or fermented pineapple-ish yeasts, hinting at very clean & sour-ish honey, sweet citrus, floral cordial, kiwi-fruit and goose-berry like berry fruits. Hop resins do no manifest themselves in the same way as American counterparts, actually being balanced off a bit by the yeasty elements. The very pale-coloured malts come understated, making up only secondary aroma in the balance. But I think the yeasty intervention somehow disturbs the preferable balance, making it unnecessarily sour-ish overall.
T: superior to the nose, the semi-lubricating and mildly effervescent swallow of citrus, light pears and unripe lychee-fruits comes pretty clean, treading lightly on a soft platform of aromatic pale malts; gradually, a wave of citrus-peel-ish tannins and chewy mouthfeel expands and occupies the rear of the tongue, not without more fruit tannins at play. Not aggressively bitter or hoppy as one might expect from an AIPA, the aftertaste seems to be aiming for some kind of a harmony b/w fresh hop aroma, tannins, deeper hop bitterness and lingering undertones of lovely pale malts, which I think has been achieved elegantly. The second pour includes the yeasty remnants in the bottle, rendering a slightly fuller mouthfeel with pleasantly spicy undertone.
M&D: very well bottle-conditioned, the mouthfeel is refreshing, not at all overly fizzy but lively enough to skilfully lift the weight (7.7%abv.). The body is around medium to me, as it's so easy to drink, not for a second does it require a pause. I think this green-hopped ale is still in the tradition of British IPA, using British hops and carefully crafted+presented with a balance in mind. The overall performance would be better if the sour-ish elements on the nose could be skilfully balanced off, though. (2,391 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.64/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy, straw/golden color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, hint of pine, hint of tea, slight alcohol, and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American IPA, though it does have the subtle qualities of a good English IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, slight herbal flavors, slight sweet malt, slight alcohol, hint of floral hops, and hint of citrus hops. Overall, good appearance, blend, both body and aroma strongly dominated by hops. (557 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev 0%
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. (640 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.84/5  rDev -4%
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. (544 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  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. (755 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (681 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a hazy consistency. Some light sediment. There was an inch and a half of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A sweet, fruity aroma, that also had some hoppiness to it also.

T: Tasted of hops (milder than I would have thought), a little malt, and a big helping of tropical fruit (mango, pineapple, etc.). A very light and lively flavor. Extremely easy to drink.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: Another thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable beer from Thornbridge. They seem to really understand what it takes to make a good IPA or pale ale. (675 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is not quite as hoppy as I expected, but it is citrusy, mainly lemon, and just slightly sweet - and rather appealing. It pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a very thick, fine-bubbled, rather persistent white head that leaves some respectable lacing. Flavor is fairly hoppy, scarcely bitter, with an undertone of citrus that is mainly lemon and grapefruit but not too sour. Texture is smooth yet lively, leaving a nice hoppy tingle. (443 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 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 CrazyDavros
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (271 characters)

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