Halcyon - Thornbridge Brewery

Not Rated.
HalcyonHalcyon

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BA SCORE
89
very good

202 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 70
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.3%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 202 | Reviews: 70
Photo of Bitterbill
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
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 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 Tone
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of flyingpig
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from Peckhams (£3.75):
Clear golden colour with a good sized, foamy white head on top that had good retention and only shows a slight reduction in size.

Medium, hop filled aroma with a lot of pine and some subdued tropical fruit notes coming through. The smell isn't a weak one by any means but I was expecting stronger from a double IPA. There is some citrus notes shooting through and an earthy floral scent with a touch of sourness.

Bitter pine hops and floral notes straight off the bat and this is coupled with a fruity bitterness, mainly grapefruit and a few tropical fruit flavours as well. There is some citrus too.

Strong & smooth beer with light medium carbonation and a strong citrus and alcohol laced kick. The beer is quite dry at the finish and very bitter.

An average double IPA, perhaps a little light although it smelt quite nice. Bitterness levels were what let it down, I felt it was a little to strong on the front. Still, not a bad effort from Thornbridge.

Photo of mick303
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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 ummswimmin
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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 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 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 VelvetExtract
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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 crnipeter
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Label on the bottle differs from the one currently displayed on this website and describes the beer as "Imperial IPA", so I'm rating it as such.

Pale-golden body with visible effervescence and slight haze given by dry hopping gets topped by two fingers of sticky side-coating white head with good retention.

Aroma of tropical fruits with discernible mango, grapefruit and grass is backed by subdued biscuity malt.

Medium bodied with moderately high carbonation and grapefruity, grassy hop-flavor dominating over the light malt underneath. Aftertaste features lingering bitterness with restrained astringency to it.

Overall, a well attenuated fruity-grassy Imperial (!) IPA (500 ml bottle, BB 2013-05-13, into pint).

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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 StJamesGate
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
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 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 CwrwAmByth
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Zimbo
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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 dedrinker
4.52/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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 kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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 John_M
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
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 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.

Halcyon from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.