Head High - Kane Brewing Company

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Head High
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

74 Reviews
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Reviews: 74
Hads: 535
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 102
Gots: 81 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kane Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bonbini26 on 08-27-2011

Head High is our interpretation of an American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). This beer is all about the hops; we use a blend of five different varieties all grown in the Pacific Northwest. A small charge of Chinook and Columbus early in the boil adds a smooth bitterness. A majority of the hops are then added late in the kettle or post-fermentation to produce a beer that is heavy on hop flavor and aroma. The combination of Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus give Head High a noticeable grapefruit flavor with aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Our house American ale yeast ferments to a dry finish that accentuates the use of imported Pilsner and lightly kilned crystal malt resulting in Head High’s straw color and crisp flavor.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 74 | Hads: 535
Photo of greg4579
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking IPA. Drank from a growler into a Teku. Nose is faint pineapple and pine with malts. Taste is tropical with lingering bitterness. Mouthful is quite nice. Enjoyable. (177 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

- draft

A: Soft glowing orange with a low visibility of carbonation. Quickly dissipating dirty white head lapses to a bubbly covering. No lacing.

S: Fresh tropical nose, mango-pineapple, freshly squeezed oranges. Great duration, very good awareness.

T: Smooth tropical bitterness, lightly toast bread and grains. Tropical notes of pineapple orange, crisp pale malts, cleanly brewed flavor, fresh sticky pine resins. Finishes wit a soft dry pine, dank citrus, and prickly dry pineapple hopping of moderate levels and retention.

M: Mouthful was very smooth, dry tropical bittering warmth, low carbonation awareness.

O: Overall smooth semi-dry tropical hopping, very well balanced, good drinkability. NJ is long overdue for some hop respect, this garnishes it. (767 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a slightly hazy amber orange.

The aroma hits of a crackery malt, grapefruit, pine, floral, a touch of rubber. A very underwhelming nose.

On the flavor, the beer makes up with grapefruit, a hint of tropical of mango and pineapple. Pine throughout and onto the finish with some grapefruit sweetness on the back. The malt is the highlight as the pilsner make offers a crackery malt up front, a hint of breadiness, but then is driven away by a full bitterness. Some metallic lingering on the finish.

A very crisp and drinkable IPA, with some West Coast notes. This would benefit from an aroma and a bigger hop presence. (636 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.04/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent IPA. Bright, clear classic look. Slight nose, but what comes through is clean citrus and a bitter note. Definitely an IPA that would please the masses. Big orange, citrus zest flavors on top of a clean malt bill. Slightly dry mouthfeel. Hint watery (though sampled along with Overhead, so...). Well executed. (318 characters)

Photo of WaterFurnace
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy golden pour, and a thick 1 inch head that lasts for a long time. Strong hoppy taste that leaves a reserved bitter taste even minutes after drinking. A well balanced fruity flavor with a slight taste of grapefruit, but not overpowering. Great IPA to drink all night. Second beer from Kane after having the Overhead and i can say i am impressed and looking forward to seeing what else this brewery has to offer. (416 characters)

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a beautiful hazy orange. 1 inch head with awesome lacing and retention. Smell is tropical fruits and the taste follows. Lots of grapefruit here, to me almost as much as grapefruit sculpin. Love this beer. My favorite offering from Kane, which is saying a hell of a lot. The pilsener malts really let the hops shine here. If you can get this beer fresh, it should be sought after. (385 characters)

Photo of Antc2382
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is another impressive IPA. Very flavorful. A bit of a bitter aftertaste that sticks around. Tastes great going down. I can confidently recommend this. It is actually my first beer from Kane.. It won't be my last.. (218 characters)

Photo of beerbully
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from growler into Heady Topper glass

Hazy orange, honey color.....1/2 inch head that slips away to a white cap that settles on top of the beer.........thick lacing that coats the glass

S-Tropical fruit hops.......fruity nectar, melon, mango, papaya, bubble gum, slight biscuit, pine is more pronounced as this brew warms

T-Far more pine on the taste buds than in the nose, grapefruit juice and rind, taste is far more bitter than nose leads one to believe., slight tropical fruit in the finish along with some lemon, grapefruit bitterness...........some resinous dankness

F-slight to Mild carbonation, coats the mouth well, a bit creamy,

O-very enjoyable, flavor and aroma changes as the beer warms.........interesting to see how this beer changes from start to finish. very drinkable and the ABV wont knock you out.......seems to feel and taste like the ABV would be higher (888 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
4.14/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer was served on tap at Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, New Jersey. It arrived in a generic pint glass at the bar, showing a dusty and dark apricot coloring, and holding a tight finger’s worth of a white head. This retained only briefly before leaving mountainous lacing around the glass and a heavy film across the top of the liquid. Haze was incredibly thick, but sediment was lacking. Carbonation appeared to be mild. The aroma was super intense, highlighting grapefruity and nectary fruity hoppiness, fresh lemon juice and rind, Juicy Fruit bubblegum, heavy creamer, cold honey, pale and amber malts, candy corn syrup, light phenolic clove, clean booze, green twig and grass plant quality, and more of a piney hop as it warmed to temperature. The flavoring gave highly bittering citric and piney hops, grapefruit flesh, rind, and juice, coppery metallics, honey sugars, pale, amber and rye grain, bittering chemical and plastic phenol, bittering fusel alcohol, mild pseudo wet wheatiness, and pencil eraser. Again, as the beer warmed up, the hops here changed as well, becoming a dense floral bouquet. The body was medium to full, and the carbonation was medium. Slurp, smack, cream, and froth were all okay. The latter was quick to the mouth, and gone in a flash. Warmth also flooded to the back of the palate, but beside a touch of pucker, no real coating or drying of the mouth occurred. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank back easily.

Overall, this is a very, very bitter IPA, nearly to the tune of a west coast variant. It is actually quite the hybrid, because to meet that bite comes harsh boozy wash and a big maltiness, more akin to your eastern varietals. That said, however, little is done to quell that hoppy bitterness. Once it all settles out through the aftertaste, the beauty of the blend becomes apparent. It’s great. Actually, we should have started out by discussing the aroma, because that is crazy, crazy intense, almost to the point of them overdoing it and becoming synthetic and curiously lemony. To be picky, the look was not as impressive, as the head falls of rather quickly, but ehh. In the end, this is a great beer, but for those seeking a lighter, sessionable, “single” IPA, this one is a bit bigger and heavier, so fair warning. (2,306 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

32oz. growler into a Bullfrog Grrrz snifter.

Heavy pour yields a .5 finger coarse white head with low retention. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is stringy and spotty with good stick. A pretty good looking beer.

Nose is outrageously aromatic.Hints of citrus, pine, grapefruit and cane sugar. A heavy dose of fruit-forward hops make this a really pure and intense experience.

Opens citrus hop bitterness. Notes of pine, grass, and resin balanced by the slightest malt presence in the back. A tiny bit of tartness lingers and comes in and out of the flavor profile. Finishes dry and hoppy with a bone dry aftertaste that cuts the palate. A pretty classic combination of flavors.

Light bodied with moderate to ample carbonation. Smooth but aggressive in the mouth and goes down soft and quenching. Dry finish with an even drier aftertaste. Excellent.

Head High is an extremely well balanced and put together IPA. I would personally prefer a bit more of a malt presence but as is, this is still very solid. For a year-round brew, this is certainly one of the best. (1,070 characters)

Photo of GFM
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Clear golden pour. Moderate head and decent lacing. Inviting grapefruit-intense hoppy scent. Feel and taste remind me a lot of Sculpin. Now time to be overly discerning and express personal preference--a bit too bitter and the taste and feel were too typical to make this a standout for me. Overall though, very enjoyable IPA with a hop profile that I really enjoyed. I'm proud this is a product of my home state. (9.0) (427 characters)

Photo of leantom
4.24/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap at the brewery. Here goes:

A: Fluffy head and plenty of lacing. However, the beer is somewhat hazy-gold in appearance. Well-carbonated, but just average looking, especially considering other IPA's that I've recently had.

S: Best part of the beer. Tons of complex scents, but they're all EXTREMELY well-balanced. Citrus, flowers, grapefruit, herbs - all refreshingly balanced. Not much malt, but the hops are exquisite.

T: Unfortunately, the beer's hop profile doesn't produce the flavors to complement the beautiful olfactory profile. Initial taste citrus followed by overwhelming grapefruit. Grapefruit completely coats the palate, leaving a bitter, lingering aftertaste.

F: Great water quality. Well-carbonated, goes down the tongue smoothly (very smoothly).

O: Good beer, but there are better representations on the style. (862 characters)

Photo of HopDeezy
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Light orange, white head that dissipates rather quickly.

S - Floral, Floral, Floral with tangerine and pine on the nose. Very nice.

T - Follows that nose well but with the addition of peach flavors to boot. Returning to nose I did pick up that peach/apricot as well.

M - pungent carbonation, sweet and pleasant light bitter finish.

O - I was very pleased and surprised to find this on tap. New keg tapped right in front of me! Awesome IPA, extremely drinkable with some unique subtle flavors I've not had in an IPA before. I'd put this on par with Maine Beer IPAs....that's a good thing! (599 characters)

Photo of jwjon1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

This is just a damn fine IPA. Hop driven through and through... some may say unbalanced, but they'd be making a poor reference to old school "east coast" IPAs. This is a modern IPA--west coast nod if you must, but modern is more appropriate--and a really good example of one. Nice blend of citrus/pine/very slightly dank aromas and with a resinous finish from late addition hops, and assertive bitterness from hops in the boil. There are malts there, but they are clean and subtle--and limited enough to keep the ABV nicely moderate (not a session beer by any stretch, but even my pansy ass can put a few down and feel perfectly fine in the AM). Couple this with yeast that does not get in the way and clean water, and you've got a great IPA on your hands. (763 characters)

Photo of HopBomb515
4.59/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Deep orange with amber hue and thick off white head that laces great down the glass. Smell is citrus forward. Grapefruit, orange peel, light floral, mango and un ripe berry. Taste brings big grapefruit favors, light mango, little berry, biscuit backbone through the middle, un ripe melon, floral and bitter on the finish. Mouthfeel has perfect carbonation, light end of medium mouthfeel and super dry, puckering finish. This IPA is unbalanced in all the right ways and I love it! (484 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%

Sure enough, I live less than a mile from the Cloverleaf Tavern but it wasn't until recently that I started going in there on a regular basis. Recently, this is the beer that I see everyone having and raving about more than any other that's regularly on tap. After knocking off quite a few on my way to that establishment's MBA, this was next on my list. Why i didn't cross it off first is still beyond me!

Solid pour to this, as the beer had a cloudy hue, frothy head, and left more than enough lacing as I worked my way through this. Lots of grapefruit in the aroma and even more in the taste but what was missing here was the burn. No overpowering hops and maybe the most balanced IPA that I've had in a long time; if ever. The flavors really shined through the resin consistency of the mouthfeel and there was even a bit of chocolate-weed going on here (yes, Y typed that in right) to living things up and remind me of a good West Coast example of this style.

What separated this from those was the nice balance here and the relatively low amount of alcohol - this had the flavor profile of an IPA without the strength and potency of it. Some beers are just damn enjoyable without having to think about them too much or wonder why they go empty every time someone puts a glass of them in front of you. This was one of those and I'm so thankful that this is on-tap nearly all the time in my neck of the woods. So tasty and balanced at the same time - this beer even makes me a bit more proud to be from the Garden State. Undoubtedly worth seeking out! (1,560 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had sample at SN Beer Camp Philly

A- Pours transparent amber/copper with off-white head. Great lacing.

S-Aroma of floral and citrusy and resinous and fruity hops, some caramel and pale malts, and light dough.

T-Flavor the same as the aroma but with a strong floral hops.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced and has average carbonation.

O-Great and very solid IPA. I must go to brewery the next time in NJ. (404 characters)

Photo of djspe
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

One of the best IPAs I've had in a while. Tremendous flavor without being overpowered by the bite of the hops -- which is all too common these days. You can really taste the fresh hops, piney, crisp, ever so slight citrus/graprefruit, and a bit of malt without being sweet. I believe this was unfiltered, adding to the rich mouth-feel and overall complexity. (358 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is lightly hazed yellowish amber with a thin white ring. Nose has a light cereal with a hint of rubber. A bit phenolic with a hint of pine and citrus. Taste has a light bitterness and gentle carbonation. Grain an cereal on the light body with more citrus and a light pine. Bitterness lingers with some dirty wheat. Bitterness out weighs the other hop flavors an malts are a bit unrefined and unfocused. (407 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

on tap at Garden State Diner, Newark Airport.

Rocky, crusty taupe head that sheets over goldenrod body.
Big green hopsack nose with lemon peel and some skunk - rocking.
Mango donut with papaya, overripe orange, and light rosin hops.
Tropical fruit salad finish and piney linger. Little hop resin-crystal comebacks.
Lt-med, creamy, round, touch of oil.

Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus

Fruity, almost session strength, and way smooth. A bit thin - an APA, really - but the dry hopping really gets the best tropical character out of Citra. Auspicious début for Kane and a solid for NJ. (597 characters)

Photo of PeterParker
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Court Jester in Matawan.

Clear golden color. Half a finger of head, tight bubbles with good lacing.

Strong hop profile up front. Some pine is in there and maybe some orange peel on the tail end.

A hophead's dream. Complex combination of bittering hops that's tough to pinpoint. I get pine, grapefruit, and lots of spice. Aftertaste is lemony. Really nice.

Medium carbonation.

A real winner here. I, for once, am proud of a New Jersey beer! Not saying NJ beer is bad, but it usually doesn't quite stack up. Head High does stack up to the best of em. (563 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy golden color with a 2 inch head and great lacing.

S: Bursting with citrus flavor. Overwhelming smell of grapefruit.

T: Grapefruit, mango, orange, and some kiwi. Bitter IPA but with a small malt background to keep the bitterness in check.

M: Medium bodied, slightly chewy with a dry finish.

O: Just a great IPA. Lucky that this beer is fairly common in NJ.

On a side note, I was lucky to have this from a cask dry hopped with Citra and it was a magical experience. (476 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed after having a fresh pint on tap

Appearance: Dark golden orange with a good white head, good lacing

Smell: Piney and resinous, some floral notes.

Taste: Earthy hops, bitterness, Citrusy hops, caramel bready malts. Well balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Outstanding this time. A good local treat. Not sure why I didn't really like it so much the first time around, but this was fantastic this time. Reinforces the fact that Kane is a local brewery to watch. (498 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On Tap at Old Man Rafferty’s in New Brunswick, NJ
12/11/13 – Standard pint glass

A: Light caramel orange hue with some chill haze slightly in effect. Thin layer of paper white foam rests on top for a few moments. Light ribbons and swaths of lace decorate the glass all the way down the drink.

S: Smells like a big ol’ grapefruit bomb with some mild tropical fruit notes. Mix in a bit of dank herbs, gooseberry, and a dash white wine grape. Really nice. There is some faint pale malt sugar making its way through that sweetens up the aroma. Overall a very nice fruity and floral bouquet. Definitely has some Citra going on which has me excited.

T: Nice hop flavors of grapefruit zest, gooseberry, unripe berry, melon, and some earthy herbals towards the finish. Resinous with a high level of bitterness and puckering dryness to it. Restrained malt cracker with some light sugary crumbs sets the stage for dem hops. Alcohol is noticeable but kept well in check throughout the drink. This is a pretty solid IPA. Digging it.

M: Moderate to lighter in filling with an even amount of carb giving a nice spritz to an otherwise smooth consistency. Bitter and resinous on the palate with some mild alcohol warmth. Crisp and dry with a long lasting linger.

D: This is my kind of IPA – West Coast in style with lots of fruity flavor and Citra goodness.
Nice find. Recommended. (1,380 characters)

Photo of alaimoa
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewery and in growler same night
Overall this is an outstanding brew that can hold it's own against HF society 5. Initial thought was wow nose very similar with pine and grapefruit. Semi bitter with a nice citrus (grapefruit/pineapple) and earthiness. Nice depth and crisp dry finish. (303 characters)

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Head High from Kane Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.