1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Second Fiddle - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Second FiddleSecond Fiddle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

936 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 936
Reviews: 112
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.02%
Wants: 310
Gots: 167 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Fiddlehead Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gatch on 07-22-2013

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (39) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 936 | Reviews: 112
Photo of Damian
4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at Lord Hobo, Cambridge, MA
Served in a cervoise

Hazy, dark amber appearance. Slightly short of cloudy. The beer was capped by an inch tall, tight, creamy, foamy, light tan crown. Multiple rings of thick, drippy lacing coated the top portion of the glass.

The nose was hoppy but a bit generic. Citrusy with a hefty dose of orange zest. Some tangerine as well. Subtle tropical fruit notes. Semisweet. Solid overall, but this could have been punchier and more complex. A slight skunkiness was noticeable as the beer sat.

The flavor profile was definitely more interesting than the aroma. Loads of citrus. Zesty orange peel was quite apparent. The beer was anchored by a slightly sweet, malty backbone. Tropical fruits were noticeable. Mango was most apparent. Lots of white grapefruit flavor on the back end and the finish. Pithy, somewhat bitter, rind-like notes lingered.

The mouthfeel was silky smooth. Super soft and creamy. Supple. The beer contained a fine, moderate carbonation that gave the beer an incredible, slick fluffiness on the palate. Very impressive.

Second Fiddle is a solidly made beer that reminds me more of an old-school, West Coast-style double IPA than a dank, tropical fruit forward rendition currently being produced by Vermont's brewing elite. I would be happy to sample this beer again but I definitely would not go to great efforts to acquire it.

Photo of tduecen
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thought this one was great fresh, certainly one of my favorites

Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 5/14/15. A week old today.

Poured from the 16 oz. can into a Tree House snifter.

a: Hazy dark orange with a finger thick white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Moderate strength citrus and pine resin.

t: Follows the nose but with more presence over a hefty bready malt base, followed by a widespread bitterness and slight throat burn.

m: Medium plus, great body and lots of carbonation tingle.

o; A mighty weighty DIPA in which considerable malt is balances the considerable hops. Not as citrus-dominated, "juicy" or "dank" as some, but a good solid taste treat.

Photo of Guess2814
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It the voice of Rock -The Second Fiddle has come back into my hands.. What a beer I must stay. Get it if you can.

Photo of Jdavis23112
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Right there with Heady in my opinion

Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down, this is one of the best DIPAs Vermont has to offer. I can't say enough good things about it! I was lucky enough to obtain this in a trade.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to angrybabboon for four of these bad boys.

Appearance: Hazy medium to dark orange gold. A touch of clarity comes through as it warms. Head is off-white and creamy. Drops to a small clumpy cap and collar with some streaks and splotches of lacing.

Smell: Dank. Pine sap. Some tangerine and mild hints of generic stonefruit. A touch catty. Malts offer a touch of caramelized sweetness with some mild bready elements. Biscuits. Cooked malts. Juicy and floral with a ton of citrus. Grapefruit, ruby red as well. A touch of raw mint. Not particularly aggressive - more dense than assertive. Some pale malt as well.

Taste: Citrus and pine. Lingering bitterness. A woody pine. Some pine resin. Tangerine and grapefruit round it out with a touch of orange. Malts offer a nice balancing sweetness without going too far. Some pale bready malts with a touch of caramelized sweetness. Lightly tropical and follows the nose with the push of general stone fruit - but peach does jump out after a few sips. Warming pushes the peach/tropical elements through the back. Soft yeast. Mint sprig.

Mouthfeel: Medium slightly creamy body. Moderate carbonation with a slight hint of astringency.

Overall: First Fiddle must be a true legend.

This is a Vermont IPA/DIPA for sure. It's decidedly drinkable and not as aggressive as others in the style. Carries that dank thing I've encountered with other Fiddlehead beer, which is a positive in this case. Well worth trying...and now I need to try the regular IPA.

Photo of themind
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome brew! like a miniature Heady, just excellent.

Photo of Rutager
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you to hoppypocket and tom1010101 for each sending me a can of this at the same time. One for now, one for an all star ipa showdown coming in the next week with the boys from work.

Pours a hazy orange-gold with 2 fingers of sticky off-white head. Just an awesome citrus nose and a touch of toasty pale malts. Taste follows with tangy citrus fruits, a nice easy bitterness, and a bit of those nice pale malts. Really smooth carbonation gives it a creamy feel. Damn, that's a fine ipa.

Photo of CHickman
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours very hazy bright yellow gold color with a massive 2 finger foamy off white head that was full of bubbles, dissipating very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing and rings as it went down.

Wow, huge juicy citrus hops blast your nostrils as the glass approaches your face. Smells of fresh oranges split open, red grapefruit, lemon zest, pineapple, mango, tangerine, citrus hops, graham cracker, piney hops/pine cones, biscuit, caramel, mild spices and light floral hops. Enough malt backbone to prop this up and keep it juicy citrus perfection.

Tastes like it smells with fresh wet citrus hops, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, mango, tangerine, citrus hops, toffee, lightly roasted grains, graham cracker, piney hops/pine cones, biscuit, caramel, mild spices like pepper, coriander and faint cinnamon, dry floral hops, tea leaf and a few earthy notes. Mild bitterness accompanies the strong citrus fruit flavors which dominate this beer. The malt base is a combo of toasted crackers, wheat bread toast and sweet graham crackers which allow the juicy hops to really shine. Really damn tasty beer, something in the water up in northern Vermont is helping make some outstanding beers.

Mouthfeel is slick, smooth and lightly carbonated for an almost slick feel with a medium body that is on the thicker side, finishing bitter and hoppy with a buttery malty aftertaste.

Overall a great beer that was just a notch or two below Heady Topper on the DIPA spectrum, but this is a fine example of the style that hides the ABV masterfully and is extremely easy to drink.

Photo of lyssacarlock
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hate me, but being a native Vermonter with so many good beers to choose from, I tend to go the "Heady is overhyped" route. In my opinion, Second Fiddle takes the trophy for one of the best VT DIPAs. Not overly bitter, but a tad citrusy with a thirst quenching quality, this one is right up my alley.

Photo of CTpilgrim
4.76/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just cracked this after a heady. Maybe it's just me but I might like this a little better. Big fruity smell and taste in this one. The mouthfeel is one of the best I've drank. Tons of hops with just the right amount of malt. This to me is one of the finest VT ipas out there. Well done!

Photo of PHBoiler
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pineapple/melon hop notes with a balancing bitterness. Maybe some orange juice and guava as well. Big juicy hop bomb that is well balanced. Plenty of malt but it doesn't get in the way. Not overly sweet either. Well made DIPA.

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.84/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My buddy Mike picked this up last weekend as he bought every beer in VT and brought it back to MA (he paid no tax on his return....Dept of Rev....call me if you want his address). This was new to me and such a great surprise. Fantastic DIPA that was hazy, but had such a great florally taste with perfect hoppiness. I see comments saying it isn't Heady Topper....if that is the required bar, many will fail. This though was once again fantastic - you folks in VT are killing it.

Photo of angrybabboon
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 5/6/15; canned 4/24/15

A: Somewhat hazy, but there is some clarity here - medium to burnt orange with some dark gold and honey - pours with a medium size, bright white head, fades to a nearly solid, wispy cap, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: Nicely hoppy, but not as explosive as one may expect - lots of citrus and fruit - ripe tangerine, grapefruit, and ruby red grapefruit - fleshy, juicy, and floral - big citrus aromas, but it's a softer aroma than a hoppy blast - tropical fruits, peach, and melon - some spicy and piney aromas - pale, clean malts

T: Citrusy, juicy, and is there some Nelson Sauvin in here? - tangerine, pink and ruby red grapefruit flesh, juice - some light tropical flavors and stone fruit - some lightly spicy, lightly earthy pine - a distinct fruitiness with hints of white wine that lead me to think I'm either losing my mind or this features Nelson hops - pale malts at the base, very clean - minimal sweetness, minimal hint of alcohol

M: Medium body, carbonation on the low side, smooth and almost oily, but mostly dry

O: Waiting for Third Fiddle

After drinking Mastermind, and now this, I think Fiddlehead has potential to brew something that will knock Heady Topper of its throne. But Second Fiddle is not that beer... After three cans, I have to reluctantly state that I think it's great, but not excellent (and not as good as Mastermind). The hop profile here is lovely, but it seems to pull some punches. However, like Mastermind, this is stupidly easy to drink. This appears to be the strength of Fiddlehead. I look forward to their future efforts.

Photo of Kraj30
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

very awesome IIPA.. love to try it back to back with HT. very east coast style

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to @tom10101 for sending me this amazing dipa

Photo of nhindian
2.97/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Canned 4/08/2015.

Appearance - The body is very cloudy, to the point where nothing can really be seen through the glass. A rocky head fills the last quarter of the glass with a frothy texture that sits lazily atop the liquid.

Aroma - The nose is super dank and filled with pine and floral notes. There's just a hint of citrus, but for the most part this is more earthy hops on display.

Taste - The taste seems a bit off compared to the other big IPAs coming out of Vermont; Second Fiddle is a little more spicy, herbal and earthy, and besides some melon flavors, it isn't exactly fruity. I'm not a huge fan of the finish at all, as it is slightly buttery and spicy.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is nice and full-bodied. I'd like a little a more carbonation, though.

Closing Arguments - I'm not sure if this beer falls off quickly, or if something is wrong with this batch, but I'm not digging this beer at all. It certainly doesn't compete with the heavy hitters in this style or state. Maybe the second can will be better...

Photo of Mulzicus
3.29/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Too much haziness for style.

Photo of BltByKrmn
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I fear I got to this one too late, 3/10 canned date. I'm sure it's fantastic fresh, but just like their regular IPA there's a real steep drop off.

Photo of GOBLIN
4.09/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aromas of possibly every fruit cliche imaginable . . . Lovely nose to this beer. Feel is slick and smooth, just the right touch of carbonation. Taste is citrusy, piney, grassy and an ever so slight oniony finish. Bitterness doesn't last long and finishes clean. Second Fiddle reminds me more of Surly Abrasive, less of Fat Heads Hop Stalker and maybe a bit similar to Heady minus the oniony finish. Terrific beer.

Photo of Jwburns75
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Compared to other northeast IPAs I feel as though Second Fiddle is more balanced. This is a very smooth brew, strong hop presence but not overtly bitter or piney. Just really tasty, not playing second fiddle to the big boys at all. Dark copper color, nice creamy, sticky looking head and retains well. Taste is delicious, finishes very strong.

Photo of rongcsc
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a great surprise! From the land of Heady Topper comes another wonderful DIPA. Very well balanced and perfect mouthfeel. The hop attack is somewhat muted but nearly perfect. Well done Fiddlehead.

Photo of goalpucks
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is a fantastic beer . I'm interested to see how it holds up in a blind taste test against other world-class IPA's. Stay tuned.

Photo of BillyGam
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing zing a kick you in the ass hop flavor

to view more.
Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.