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Second Fiddle - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Second FiddleSecond Fiddle

Educational use only; do not reuse.

134 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 134
Hads: 1,348
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 24.66%
Wants: 418
Gots: 277 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Fiddlehead Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  8.20% 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
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Reviews: 134 | Hads: 1,348
Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark orange with crusty off white, clingy head. 4.25
Lots of mango with soap, coriander, flowers and grapefruit rind.4
Apricot and orange Swedish fish then mango, resin, and dank. 4.25
Sugared grapefruit rind end and lingering herbal bitterness.
Medium, sticky, oily. 4

Dank and syrupy to start with, but lightens with flecks of grapefruit. Real depth to the hops. Goes into that sugary-greasy thing I associate with Oregon. Sets the bar high. 4.25

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Amazing. Just happened to luck out to a release when visiting the area. Heady Topper, Sip O Sunshine, and Second Fiddle all on the same trip. Ooooooo!

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Photo of vfgccp
4.08/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oct 2015 can, opened Nov 2015

A - Beautiful deep peach gold body. Bone-white head pours 2 fingers high with nice retention and lace.

S - Soft nose. Mango, pine, cilantro, and soft malt and a minerally backbone.

T - Nice, sharply bitter profile. Pine, wood, mineral water, bitter wet plant stems, and malty bread.

M - OK mouthfeel. Par medium body with par carbonation.

O - Not bad. Solid bitter character with a woodsy flavor profile.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.13/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- Deep orange with fluffy white head
S- Grass, a bit of pine
T- Clean, grassy, and herbally
F- Medium
O- A bit in the vein of Heady, but a bit less aggressive on the grassiness

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Traded for this with a friend a few weeks back up at the Cloverleaf. Never had this before and never heard of Fiddlehead either, as none of their offerings are currently available in this neck of the woods. After enjoying this beer immensely, I can say that I'm the better for having it and at some point, would make the trek to Vermont to get more of this on my way to Hill Farmstead and Lawson's Finest. Amazingly, this beer was on par with those brewed by those big boys!

Wonderful pour to this as the beer had a cloudy, off-gold appearance with a frothy head, and nice aroma. Lots of orange, tangerine, and earthy hops in it, as the citrus pith, rind, and tropical fruits came out in the taste. A slight candied sweetness set in later on as the hop oils were also present but not potent enough to overpower everything else. Nice balance here as the bitterness was not burning and faded away softly at the end, leaving some melon and ruby red grapefruit to blissfully linger into my next sip.

Sure, this was strong but I didn't taste most of the alcohol in this at all. It was noticeable at the end but not to the point where it detracted from the overall enjoyment of this. Although there wasn't a lot of lacing left on the side of my pint glass, this was thick enough to not just slide down and crisp enough to have a minty finish to it. On par with SingleCut's releases, this is further evidence that IIPA's don't have to be overpowering hop bombs to be highly rated. Fabulous stuff that deserves to be more widely distributed!

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fiddlehead Brewing Company a newer company on the block here in Vermont seems to be pushing the brink on making outstanding AIPA's. Mediocrity doesn't show its face in this beer either.
Treating this as a DIPA, this was poured into a tulip for review.
The appearance was a soft hazy burnt orange color with a slight transparency allowing soft carbonation to be seen rising at a moderate pace to fill a one finger white foamy head. This head dissipates at a nice pace leaving some stringy lacing sliding into the beer.
The smell has some tangerine and grapefruit pulp becoming juicy and floral tones soften into light melon and then some pine with a touch of spice to blend nicely.
The taste was sweet to a light spice with a touch of dry earthiness. A dry clean sweet floral aftertaste leads into a refined sweet earthy finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a sly carbonation to hit underneath and allowing a slight oily slick feel sliding over my tongue.
Overall, in a world filled with fantastic DIPA's, Fiddlehead seems to have staked their claim near the top with this one.

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

The beer has a hazy dark orange color. The aroma is grassy and vegetal. The taste is creamy, grassy, vegetal, bubblegum, fruity, and has a clean finish. Tastes a lot like the IPAs from Tree House. Very good stuff

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Photo of mdlb44
4.89/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is easily on of my top 5 IPAs I have ever had. And I had it in a Blind taste test so no hype just amazing hoppy but balanced greatness. So smooth So balanced. Fantastic!

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Photo of zander4dawin
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange beer with a sticky head. Really good nose, fresh flowers, cut grass, orange, pine apple. Taste is grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, grass, white peach, hay, somewhat tropical and a deep bitterness in the after taste. One of the better DIPA I've had.

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Photo of Sintech
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

16 ounce can poured into a snifter.

Overall - A well crafted, pine and citrus DIPA.

Taste - Pine with citrus.

Smell - Big citrus and dank pine.

Look - Muddled golden yellow hue.

Mouthfeel - Medium attenuation. Medium carbonation.

Grade - (A)

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

Pours an absolutely beautiful hazy honey yellow. The nose is tons of citrus, some mandarin orange and lemon most notable. The first thing I notice on the first sip is just how amazing of a mouth feel this beer has. Up there as one of the best examples of a creamy mouth coating yet silky new england ipa. The taste begins with a blast of citrus, nice blend of orange and tangerines, before a nice wave of grapefruit and pine rush your taste buds for a long finish. The aftertaste leaves orange and grapefruit lingering. Quality beer.

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Photo of CayseyW
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Very nice looking beer; a nice hazy copper body with a full white head with a decent lacing.
S: Tropical fruits and citrus dominate the nose. Very pleasant, very Vermont.
T: Follows the smell, although the citrus notes like grapefruit peel really come through in the taste.
F: The balance is a little strange. It's a little sweet and also a tiny bit too bitter. I really like the smell and the flavor but I was hoping for a better mouth.
O: Despite some nitpicking with the feel, this is another great VT DIPA. I was happy to finally get my hands on some, and was even happier that it was fresh.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got a 4 pack in a trade. Drank right out of the can, so right to aroma and taste. Aroma is of tropical fruit bubble gum. A fruit forward ipa with a nice balance of hops, malts, almost a creamy feel. Problem for me was the finish was a bit watery. Def good, but more hype than anything. For me, Sip of Sunshine blows this away in that style.

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Photo of weonfire
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I absolutely love the feel. This IPA is not going for the 'cleanest'. But it is one of the creamiest IIPAs out there. Not malty. Just beautifully delicious.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I tried this on tap at Siptemberfest, enjoyed chilled in a glass.

The appearance is a hazy golden amber look like peach nectar with thick white head. The smell is tropical with tons of citrus with a fresh sweet fruit quality and slight herbal dank accent. The feel is full of hop resins the oily smooth moderately biter texture with the perfect amount of carbonation and semi-dry finsish.

The flavor is excellent, load of tropical and dank herbal hop flavors with subtle citrus fruitiness and light malt in the back with not a ton of bitterness but enough to know what you are dealing with -mainly the hops are juicy and taste fresh which is just delicious and makes you want more after each sip. This is up there with some of the best of this style if not one of my all time favorites -must try/world class~!

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Photo of danh53
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with half finger head and lots of lacing. Aroma is sweet, crisp, biscuity malt with some caramelized tangerines. Nice balance between sticky sweetness and crisp bread notes. On the taste, that sweetness is balanced by garlic and herbal notes. Not very fruity, but there I do get grapefruit pith mid palate. More bread and crisp malts. Mouth feel is medium. Sticky in some places. Crisp in others. This is a well crafted beer. I only wish it had more fruit.

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Photo of -Rick
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a nice orange/yellow color with a slight white head. This beer smells and tastes of fruity hops, oranges, slightly bitter, and has a nice lingering malty base. Overall a very nice IIPA.

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

Stunning D/IPA action - ample fruits, pale and tropical, provide lotsa juiciness. Hops bring appropriate citrus and floral notes, with bittering becoming bolder with subsequent sips. Body is lean and taut, but with a hint of chew on the back-end. Ample carbonation is soft and plush. 8.2% abv hits just right. A real winner...

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Photo of fmccormi
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 16oz can a constricted-top wineglass. This was canned nine days ago, according to the date stamped in black ink on the underside of the can (“9/4/2015 SHIP OF FOOLS”). It’s been kept in good conditions and chilled in the fridge for about 48 hours.

Appearance (4.75): About three fingers of active, bubbly foam the color of ivory rise off of the pour, capping a moderately hazy, dark orange body with amber tones in its core. The head dies down slowly, leaving a quarter-inch little biscuit of dense foam floating on the surface of the beer, along with a few broken but stubborn collars and a patchwork of splotchy lace all around the glass. As the beer goes on, the lacing and collars merge into one insane mash-up of foamy film and frothy clumps all around. Really, really impressive.

Smell (4.25): Rich citrus aromas (papaya, a bit of overripe pineapple, maybe a little mandarin) mingle with light floral, earthy bud, and candied orange peel notes. There’s a moderately substantial malt body underneath the hops, from the smell of it, coming out with some pancake batter, honey, and brioche—but all swept under the sweetness of papaya and melon. As it warms, tart lime juice and a resinous, piney character pop up.

Taste (4.0): In contrast to the nose, fresh-cut grass and mildly herbal bitterness lead the way, backed up by white grapefruit zest and nice floral tones. The malt body is less obvious, offering sugar cookies and a bit of plain white bread, shaded by just a faint papaya sweetness. Some more white grapefruit, and flesh this time as it warms . . . but really, this is dominated by grassy and pithy hops, as well as a piney flavor that creeps up as the beer goes on. No sign of booze, which is impressive for 8.2% ABV. It’s very well-crafted and pleasant, but not as dynamic or juicy as I was expecting. Still—really, really tasty.

Mouthfeel (4.5): The body is smooth, silky, and feels a medium weight, belying its size; the hop oils offer a drying feeling that only increases, subtly, as the beer moves around; the carbonation is very subdued at first, but then pops up with an assertive tingle wherever the beer’s gone. The silky feel, smooth carbonation, and the dry body and finish make this waaaaaay too easy to drink. No sense of its size or strength.

Overall (4.0): To be honest, this beer is not what I expected. For some reason I had it in my head that this would be another supremely juicy, dank, opaque New England IPA. Instead, this beer’s characterized by a lighter hop character that’s still assertively bitter but dominated by grass (along with a bit of herbs and citrus zest), a shape-shifting malt body, and an insanely silky, drinkable feel. Not what I expected, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Is it worth the top-tier Vermont hype? Not in my opinion, but definitely worth at least a four-pack, at least once.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.