Head High - Kane Brewing Company

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Head High
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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

74 Reviews
THE BROS
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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 metter98
4.19/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Little Town NJ, Hoboken, NJ

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and does not have any visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving delicate lacing covering the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of pine resin and citrus hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell but also has initial flavors of tropical fruits. The pine resin hops seem to be a little more prominent and linger through the finish. A moderate amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is packed with lots of aromas and flavors of hops but isn't overly bitter. I really enjoyed the combination of hops because the three different types (citrus, pine resin and tropical fruits) made it rather complex. (870 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drabmuh for bringing this growler to our most-recent tasting. I certainly never complain about a growler of a hoppy brew at a tasting. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a nice orange color with a good white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. Some spots around. The nose brings forward a good dose of citrus rind and pine. Nice hop character, though nothing quite over the top.

The flavor follows the same theme with citrus and pine competing for the top spot. Nice mix and quite interesting. Good body and a nice finish. Good bitterness level. Solid brew, for sure. Thanks again, Matt. (607 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives with a perky cap sitting above the cloudy amber liquid; the head fades quickly, leaving only a few strand behind

Smell: Really fresh hop aromatics, with grapefruit and pine galore; a bit of biscuit and toffee underneath

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a hint of toffee; the hops arrive quickly to dominate, however, bringing grapefruit, pine and a touch of tropical fruit; sweet tropical hop elements are balanced by the bitterness and continue through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: While I might have preferred just a touch lighter mouthfeel, this is a first rate West Coast style IPA - from Jersey, no less (679 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 10/13/12 notes. Big thanks to whoever brought this one to the Top Hops tasting in NYC. Been a big Want of mine for a few months; a highly rated Jersey IPA close to my hometown.

a - Pours a deep orange-amber color with once inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of dank, pine hops, grapefruit, citrus hops, earthy notes, biscuit and bready malts, tropical fruits, and fruity malts. Tons of pine up front and smells very hoppy; really nice nose.

t - Tastes of pine hops, grapefruit, citrus, floral hops, earthy notes, fruity malts, some bready malts. Again, a lot of pine and more grapefruit here; a decent bitter bite to it. I think the nose was a little hoppier, but the taste is still great.

m - Medium body and low to mdoerate carbonation, with a medium bite to it thanks to the hops. Pretty easy to drink and would definitely want a few glasses of it.

o - Overall a really nice east coast IPA done in the style of a lot of west coast IPAs. A ton of pine to it, as well as grapefruit. Some bitterness from the hops, but not difficult to drink; well worth checking out. Glad I can get this pretty easy in NJ.
___

EDIT: 07/29/13: Have had this a bunch of times now, most recently on 7/27/13 at the brewery and 2 hours later from a growler. Nose is amazing and no bitterness whatsoever, a really great, easy drinking IPA. Better nose than Overhead, though I like Overhead's taste a little better. (1,436 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler received through a trade, I forgot my tasters so this was poured into a cervoise. Beer is amber, reddish, with a nice off white head, almost tan, some retention, some lacing, some carbonation, looks fine, slight haze.

Aroma is biscuity but not too much, mostly piny hops, earthiness too. Smells like a good IPA.

Beer is medium in body, earthy / piny hoppiness, a fair amount of bitterness on the backend, a strong tasting beer. It is good overall and a very enjoyable beer. A little heavy on the malt but not distracting or overly so. I would have this again for sure. (578 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Cork City Pub in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a lightly cloudy deep golden orange in color with some copper highlights and moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering about half of the surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of tropical fruit/pineapple/mango and citrus/grapefruit hops with just a touch of pine hops as well. There are hints of caramel malt sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malt sweetness that is quickly overtaken by the strong hop flavors - tropical fruit/pineapple/mango and citrus/grapefruit. After that, there is a light amount of pine hop flavors as well. Gentle but moderate amounts of bitterness that linger but not for too long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly crisp with a very light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: This is a really enjoyable IPA and a great example for the style - solid hop flavors with out overly aggressive bitterness. I would gladly have this one regularly if I found it on tap. (1,196 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer appears light orange with a mild haze and a white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, dank hops - a seemingly balanced example of the style. Notes of pine and earth along with some resin and malt tones. Lingering bitterness with a slight astringency. Overall, this was pretty drinkable and sessionable. I would have it again. (409 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark golden orange color with tangerine hues and a frothy, one finger white head that had good retention, slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  Streaks of soapy lacing are left behind. 

Dank floral hop aroma with some oily resins and earthy grass along with pine needle, spruce tip, tropical/citrus fruit and pale malt.  Grassy pine needle character followed by mango, pineapple and grapefruit.  Some sweet malt underneath the hops with hints of caramel and toffee along with some bread and cracker.  

Full bodied with a blast of dank, earthy hops that provide the perfect amount of lingering, dry bitterness.  Crisp and refreshing with the resinous oils countered by sweeter hop notes and a pale malt backbone.  Lots of citrus, especially grapefruit and blood orange, along with some mango and pineapple.  The malt backbone is a little stronger than expected but doesn't interfere with the dank hop notes.  Some caramel and toffee flavor along with hints of bread, biscuit and graham cracker.  Very nice balance of flavors in this beer.  The hop profile is very complex and flavorful and there's just enough malt character, making this beer incredibly drinkable.   (1,251 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 claspada
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright, light orange color with a solid white fluffy head and a bit of spotty lacing as the head recedes.

Aromas begin with solid dose of citrus rind and pine. Nice potent hop character, though nothing quite over the top. Light biscuity malt emerges as it warms a little.

The tastes begin with a nice bite of hops up front, citrus fruits with grapefruit and blood orange pulp, followed by some floral, herbal and lesser pine notes. Lighter bready malt base with some soft sweetness in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is dry, sticky and pretty bitter, but not overly so.

Overall this is a great locally made IPA that I would gladly stock in my fridge if it was readily available (or bottled for that matter). Glad NJ brewers can produce an above average IPA and I look forward to trying more from this newly launched local brewery. (891 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler poured into tulip - thanks to aviencko and cjo

Pours a hazed burnt orange color with a layer of white head, fades to a bubbly collar with patches of lacing on the glass.

Pungent hop nose, bitter and fruit notes. Grapefruit is strong with sweeter pineapple tones and some touches of caramel. Very enticing.

Nice bite of hops up front, bitter and a little dry. Fruit sweetness with grapefruit and pulp, followed by some floral and herbal notes. Lighter bready malt base with some soft sweetness from caramel. Finishes bitter with residual hops and bud-like tones.

Medium body, solid carbonation, dry and sticky. Really nice West coast style IPA, dry and bitter but tempered from the fruit touches. I'm excited to see more from Kane and hopefully visit the brewery in the near future. (796 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 ColForbinBC
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a tulip

An orange hued body with a fluffy off white cap. The cap rose one finger and left some big sip marks inside the glass.

The nose is of big tropical fruits and pine. Grapefruit, pine needles, mango, tangerines, and apricots over a bed of light biscuit malt with a touch of caramel. The balance definitely leans towards the hops, but the malts are definitely present.

Grapefruit, tangerines, and mangoes rush onto the palate. Juicy fruit before malt carries through the middle. The finish is a good dose of citrus and pine bitterness. A nice balance within the hopping of juicy, sweet fruits and bitterness.

Medium body with a dry, bitter finish. Smooth with just a little bit of an oily/resiny feel.

My third offering from Kane behind Rye Head High and Overhead. They definitely know how to use their hops over there. This is a damn fine IPA that could easily dance in some of the elite circles. (926 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 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 EgadBananas
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: sunny, light orange, lots of clarity, off white finger of fluffy head.

Aroma: tropical fruit, manga, peach, nectarine, pine needles, grass, pungent citrus.

Taste: medium bitterness, tropical fruits and citrus, light toasted white bread, light pale malt sweetness, grassy, piny, soft linger.

***Just wonderful. Carbonation was fervent, and the body was medium and oily, clean and crisp. The growler was enough for a several hour session. Delicious! (464 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper color with a thin white lacing ring, carbonation is light.

S - Nice citrus orange, grapefruit, pine, and light biscuit caramels malt.

T - Lots of floral character w/rose hips, piney hops, grapefruit bitterness, and very light biscuity malt in the background but the hops definitely shine in this hop forward single IPA.

M - Full medium body with semi-dry finish.

O - Never heard of this brewery before and Millerbuffoon was generous enough to share a growler with us tonight, it's a solid IPA that's well worth trying. (548 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill in Randolph NJ.

Pours a medium color with some foam attached. Strong grapefruit nose, very pushy. Very nice nose. Toffee malt taste, little sweet, subtle hop fade out. Smooth flavorful progression. Citrus. Quite good. One of the better ones tasted that evening. (300 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Free Bridge liquors.

Slightly hazy golden amber body, topped by three fingers of snow white froth. Excellent lacing.

Beautiful inviting citrus aroma of oranges, apricots, grapefruit.

A solid caramel base coats the tongue even as the first wave of juicy fruits ride on top of it. Bitterness doesn't so much bite as it crashes like a wave and rides throughout the afterglow.

Firm medium mouthfeel.

A delightful IPA from this new New Jersey brewery, and a beer I will visit frequently. How good is this? The plan was half the growler tonight, half tomorrow, but I just poured out the last of it. I'll sleep well tonight. (635 characters)

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

A-light amber color with a decent white head and good lacing

S-citrus, orange, mango, pine, grassy, malt

T-bread dough, grapefruit, tropical fruit, pine, grassy, moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-really good IPA, nice flavor and balance (278 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: orange/shiny body, finger head, solid lacing

S: grapefruit, mango, pine, malt nose

T: grapefruit/citrus, pine, malt, grain, long oily
bitty finish

M: med/heavy body, oily/sticky mouth

O: WOW! Great to see a mighty fine NJ beer.
I will get this again and highly recommend this
to any hop head.

VERY GOOD, TRY SOME! (324 characters)

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

64oz growler poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Slightly hazed gold with 1/2 a finger of tight, white head. Lively carbonation.

Nose
Honey, grapefruit, tangerine, papaya, lemon and candy sugars.

Taste
Pink grapefruit juice, tangerine, papaya and lemon. Honey sweetened pale malts with notes of candy sugars. Finishes with pine resin and florals.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, smooth and silky.

Overall
As far as American IPAs go, this is top notch. Beautiful balance with a nice bitterness and hella-easy-drinking. (524 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer as part of the PHD program at Cloverleaf bar in Caldwell, NJ. It is a fun program. I recommend it if you are in the area... however, if you are an avid beer drinker in Northern New Jersey; then you have heard of Cloverleaf.

I sampled this beer about a month ago, and it blew me away. This is one of the best beers to come out of New Jersey, and it is easily the best New Jersey IPA.

The smell is really good. You get a lot of pine and citrus. The flavor has a lot of grapefruit in it. It is so good. Even the mouthfeel is very good.

It smells and tastes like a DIPA with this much power to it. I had to double check the ABV on this beer.

I recommend this beer thoroughly. Kane made a hell of a beer. (720 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 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)

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