Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Second Fiddle - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Second FiddleSecond Fiddle

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

113 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 1,225
rAvg: 4.42
pDev: 9.5%
Wants: 386
Gots: 233 | FT: 2
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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 113 | Hads: 1,225
Photo of Elsuperjefe
4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pint can into tulip at 40 degrees... hazy brownish orange. Nose is subtle compared to other DIPA whales but pleasant citrus and dank orange dominate. Tastes as such. Grapefruit lingers after initial piney punch. Light carbonation makes it easy to drink despite its almost full body syrupy consistency... However I feel full after one. Excellent brew.... Can't say enough about it. Glad I have a few more. Yum! (425 characters)

Photo of RJB66
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It started out a little so so but as this high quality brew warmed it really got quite tasty. Vermont keeps kicking out great beers! I recommend this awesome tasting IIPA! (171 characters)

Photo of agreenman19
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - 4.75 - Deep, dark hazy orange. I can see the resin from here! Beautiful fluffy head with lasting power.

S - 5.00 - Wow! So many aromas going on in this beer! Dank, yet floral hops and a STRONG presence of vegetables. Cut grass and a green vege I can't quite put my finger on. Cilantro? Scallions? So herbal. Wildly unique.

T - 5.00 - Monstrous pine up front. Juicy hops in the middle. Light mango, lots of resin throughout. Green onions. Finishes oh so slightly dry, coating the sides of my tongue with sticky bittersweetness. A lingering bitter sensation from the huge hops and alcohol as I sit here digesting this fantastic beer.

F - 4.75 - Light and fluffy on the tongue. Melts across your mouth, slinking its way into every crevasse, injecting flavor throughout. The perfect delivery system for this beer.

O - 4.75 - A damn impressive offering from Fiddlehead. It just dawned on me as I was wrapping up the taste portion of my review why I was getting so many grassy herbal notes. I even bought a shirt at the brewery that says "be a fern believer". I'm ashamed it took me this long! Tree House picked tropical fruits, and these guys picked vegetables. So different and so impressive. I see why this beer is so highly thought of. (1,244 characters)

Photo of ScaryEd
4.81/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly hazy, light amber color with a whitish-tan head that leaves the slightest bit of lacing around the glass.

The aroma is filled with notes of citrus and pine. I get strong notes of grapefruit and tangerine, with some big notes of fresh pine needles on the back end. Not too subtle, but not overpowering. Definitely a pleasant smelling beer.

The taste is a perfect balance of sweet and bitter, with the citrus flavors coming through up front and the bitter resin hitting my tongue on the back. I get lots of grapefruit and mango, as well as what I assume to be melon. There's also plenty of bitter, piney hop resin that I can only compare to fresh grass clippings. The sweet, biscuit malt backbone is also present which gives this beer some pretty good balance.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and medium-bodied with good carbonation. The alcohol is fairly well-hidden.

Overall, this is yet another fantastic IPA from Vermont. I wouldn't say it's quite on the level of Heady, but it's a lot closer than I expected it to be. (1,042 characters)

Photo of vicinandp
4.99/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had it side by side with Heady and SOS and I have to say this was my favorite of the three. Drank straight from the can . Lots of grapefruit, piney and citrus aromas. Lots going on in the taste grapefruit, mango, citrus, slight pine, minimal bitterness. Currently my favorite canned beer. (288 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.83/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pour is mostly clear, light hop haze, darker orange amber in color with lots of white head, some large bubbles, long lasting retention and thick lace. Nose is a bit of sweet malt, caramel and lightly doughy, faint touch of clean grain, with a citrus/resin balance hop presence. Flavor is more sweet, biscuity malt, sweet caramel, grain mid palate, slightly metallic, back end is strong citrus, light resin than the nose, quite bitter and fairly high acidity, body is a bit fuller, assertive carb, bitterness takes away from the citrusy finish. (545 characters)

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

The beer is a bright and fairly pale orangey amber color. Fairly hazy liquid. The head is off white and sudsy. Very good retention with some lacing. The aroma is peaches and grapes with tangerine and pineapple. Lots of sweet fruitiness. Mild pine in the background. Light caramel, pretty mild malt character. Taste follows the aroma. It’s quite low on bitterness for the abv and general hoppiness of the beer. Lots of sweet hop fruitiness. Probably a bit low on bitterness for my taste. Finishes mildly dry. Light and smooth feel. Solid DIPA. (544 characters)

Photo of andilane
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted side by side with a Heady - my first introduction to the Vermont IPA style. Both we're delicious, but this took the cake. Amazing aromas. So much rich passionfruit, grapefruit, bitter and also juicy citrus. Also, tons of pot. Grassy and floral and dank. Balanced bitterness, great mouthfeel - you can taste the water that makes this beer. Loved it! Would seek it out to try again. (388 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16 ounce can sent to me by cavedave. 6/25/15 canning date.

Poured into an oversized tulip.

A mighty head on this one, firm, foamy, pale white head. Radiant carbonation that surges upward intensely through an opaque, somewhat cloudy copper body. Lace forms eventually but the head just sits there for ages. 5

Piney and citrusy nose. Resin and grapefruit. Zesty. Orange juice. Each pass of my nose brings a new smell that I love. This is potent. 4.25

The taste retains some of the piney resin from the nose, but it's more subdued. Herbal finish that kinda resembles tea. In between it's dank and... more pineyness. As it warms, a sweeter and more orange and grapefruit-like profile emerges. Grapefruit zest is more pronounced on the finish too. 4.25

Excellent balance to the feel of this beer. Feels medium-bodied and malty but has a spicy, resinous quality and the occasional moments of zestiness. Bitterness is substantial but somehow only noticeable after I've nearly finished a can. Well done. 4.25

I have to like this. It's tasty. But when I drink East Coast beers, I want something less like what our NM brews taste like and this is far too much like everything we get out here. (1,190 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16oz can poured into a globe.

A: Hazy and tawny colored. Creamy off-white head retains at two solid fingers. Blotchy lacing.

S: Sliced mango, apricot, and peach. Pineapple. Pine needles. Leafy and earthy. Hints of dried tobacco. Graham cracker and toast malt aromas. Light whiff of alcohol.

T: Juicy peach, mango, apricot. Zested grapefruit. Passion fruit. Pineapple. Earthy pine, leaves, and tobacco pick up a bit middle to end, but the tropical flavors never leave. Spicy in a sweet onion sort of way (subtly though). Very heady. Firm and stable bitterness. Somewhat doughy. Graham cracker malt. Heady and tropical hop finish.

M: Hefty medium body. Round and silky. Prickling carbonation. Some gripping hop astringency.

O: An absolute gem. One of the finest of its kind in New England and elsewhere. Seek it. (816 characters)

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tall boy that was canned on 6/25/15 into a snifter. I had it the first time on 6/27/15, so my tasting now and recollection of how damn fresh it was then will be taken into account.
Pours a nice orange copper, with a small off white head that leaves pretty good lacing.
Smells strong of dank citrus, was so absurdly fresh when I first got the cans. Has since slightly balanced out, but in a very good way. The tastes matches the aroma, fresh hop taste, one of the freshest I've ever had.
Absolutely delicious beer. And although its Vermont peers in the IPA game cast a very large shadow, Second Fiddle is worthy of its competitors. (647 characters)

Photo of PaleCale
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional beer. Burnt orange and hazy, this was darker than expected. However, the citrus hop profile keeps the darker (crystal?) malts in balance. Smell is awesome - some tropical fruit but I get somewhat bitter citrus, maybe tangelo. Taste follows and alcohol is well-hidden. Different from Heady or Sip - I would say it's the most fruit-forward of the top VT DIPAs. (375 characters)

Photo of Zaximus
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smells fantastic. Taste is very nice as well. Piney, sticky, dank, a little sweet. The alcohol is very well hidden in this one as it's quite easy to drink. For a double not overly hoppy but very well balanced. Sturdy malt backbone to balance out the hops. This is very well conceived. I'd be a regular consumer if this was an option. Very nice. (345 characters)

Photo of reds2harleys
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very tasty brew. I had a friend in VT. She asked about Heady and was told they were sold out ( no surprise ) but they suggested Second Fiddle. They were dead on. Very similar, excellent - excellent flavor that seems to get better with each sip. I did get some Heady recently and while I'd still give Heady the nod its by a hair. A thin hair at that. This is a fantastic beer. If you're ever in VT make this a stop. (420 characters)

Photo of OGFGabv
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastic offering out of VT. Drank this one in a blind test with Sip and Heady and chose this one by a land slide. Nice golden orange color. Fresh, ripened, fruit- peaches, grapefruit, tangerine in the nose. Has a nice bitterness to it up front until the citrus blast rolls in and dominates. Fantastic brew. The only negative comment I can make is with the packaging. The cans are paper thin aluminum and I have had a couple cans puncture on me. (454 characters)

Photo of nickshep7
3.63/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Solid, but not in upper echelon, IMO. Nice golden appearance with eggshell white head. Light danky hops, honey and candied fruit smell. Taste was similar and sweet. Nice bite from the hop. Overall, just solid. (213 characters)

Photo of MA_hops
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Cloudy, burnt orange, with a thin, foamy white head.

S: Fresh orange, peach , tangerine, citrusy.

T: Hops prickly to the tongue, orange, very citrusy, juicy.

M: Fluffy mouthfeel, slight bitterness, dry, hoppy finish, medium-high carbonation

O: Reminds me of a very similar version of Julius. (299 characters)

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.9/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Heady killer. As balanced as heady with one of the most pleasant noses I've had the pleasure of enjoying. It's been a little while since I've had fresh heady, but second fiddle is the clubhouse leader right now until I can get my hands on some. (249 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange brew, topped by an off-white head of excellent size and fantastic retention, leaving behind copious amounts of lacing.

Aroma is hop-forward and juicy: tropical fruit, pepper, grapefruit pulp and peel, and a touch of herb. Sweet caramel and pale malts linger in the background.

Flavor is as expected: juicy mango and pineapple, ruby red grapefruit, lemon, and a touch of pepper. Malt base is very much in the background, akin to a single IPA.

Smooth, almost chewy feel, extremely drinkable, lively.

This is an absolutely fantastic DIPA; unquestionably world class. (581 characters)

Photo of Herky21
3.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The flavor and aroma has both citrus, earth, and almost the taste of dirt and grass. There are flashes of a great beer here and it is hopped to all hell for those who like that, for the sake of doing it. The balance of the hops isn't quite there, but its certainly enjoyable and has a wonderful smell of musk melon. (315 characters)

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can a month old into a tulip glass. Thanks to MakersNeat for the can.
Appearance: Orange to gold color with half finger of head
Nose: pine, orange, honey, apricot
Taste: pine, grapefruit, orange, lemon. Finish has a little bitterness. No alcohol notes.
Feel: Light to medium and bready body

I have had this beer three times now. Great DIPA which is very drinkable. (379 characters)

Photo of kevanb
4.12/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz can poured into a Fiddlehead stemmed glass, almost a teku but not. Enjoyed on May 14, 2015, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a hazy and cloudy copper color, orange and apricot hues with a thick, billowy, white head, about 2 fingers high, that has great retention and leaves large swatches of lace behind. The aroma is really nice, floral, earthy, dank, citrusy, has nice pine and grassy expressions, citrus peel, wildflower, a bit of bright stone fruit and fleshy tropical fruits with nice doughy malt, pale and lightly sweet. The flavors echo the nose, lots of pine and grassy bitterness, earthy, dank wildflower and resinous hop spice, transition nicely into juicy fruitiness and bitter citrus peel with assertive malt, chewy and hearty, decently balanced. The mouthfeel is nice, coating, crisp, medium carbonation that has a bit of prickliness to it that finishes fully and very dry.


Verdict: A nice double IPA from Fiddlehead, reminds me a lot of a Half Acre beer as it has that similar dank profile that doesn't lean too much on pine, wildflower or grassiness as it's staple, nicely melds them all together and the fruit profile seals the deal on a great treat for any hop head. (1,205 characters)

Photo of themaj
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not sure if I got a bad 4 pk or what but the smell was a little off to me and taste the same. Not quite chemical but almost like overpowering fresh grass clippings. Maybe that's how it's supposed to taste? (205 characters)

Photo of jhavs
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock, VT. Served in their Snifter glass.
A= Deep amber with a thick off white head. Has some cloudiness. lacing sticks to glass.
S= Lots of citrus, can smell the malts. Tropical flavors with some resinous pine.
T= Get the citrus and pine up front, earthy and a little spicy, great balance, some residual sweetness from high malt content, nothing to complain about.
M= Medium body and perfect level of carbonation.
O= Great DIPA, above my expectations, no complaints. Got on the way home from a failed trip to buy their cans (shipment arrived at 3pm, was sold out when I got there at 5:30 at local Woodstock, VT store. Seeing it on tap a few minutes later made that less disappointing. (722 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey color ale with a nice large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of fresh floral hops notes nice citrusy notes and no bitterness. Taste is also dominated by fresh citrusy hops notes with limited bitterness and light residual sugar notes. Light fruity notes could also be detected. Body is pretty full with good carbonation. Very well brewed but lacking a little something to be placed among the great VT IPA. (454 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.