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 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 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 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 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 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 CHickman
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (922 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 Monkeyknife
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle a cloudy lemon yellow with two fingers of bright white head.

Hoppy aroma of pine resin, green grass, and tangerine along with a bit of maltiness. High hopes for this one based on the aroma.

A surprising taste upfront of lemon, candy sugar, and medicinal herbs which I hadn't expected from an American IPA. Finishes with a medicinal maltiness.

Lighter bodied and dry with a fizzy carbonation.

I'm not sure this is what I'd call an American IPA. Honestly, I'm not sure what to call it...though it it is quite interesting. (546 characters)

Photo of nick76
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is grassy, and malty with licorice and a touch of citrus. The appearance is hazy amber gold with particulates and an average head. The taste is like the aroma. The palate is average for the style. Overall this is drinkable but not a great beer. (254 characters)

Photo of Cresant
3.28/5  rDev -18%
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. (595 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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. (834 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 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 OttoBomb
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (1,160 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 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 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 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)

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