Second Fiddle - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

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Second FiddleSecond Fiddle

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

101 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 101
Hads: 1,170
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 9.03%
Wants: 358
Gots: 214 | 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
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Reviews: 101 | Hads: 1,170
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
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 -0.2%
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 +2.7%
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 +2.7%
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 +1.1%
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 +3.8%
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 +4.3%
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 -18.1%
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 +9.5%
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 +10.6%
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 +3.6%
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 -10.8%
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 kevanb
4.12/5  rDev -7%
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 -12.4%
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 +5.6%
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 -9.7%
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)

Photo of sprat1960
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep golden color; cloudy and opaque. Big 2+ finger off-white head when poured; dies down slowly leaving an uneven layer of foam on the surface of the beer. Lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. Near perfect!

Smell: Rich citrusy, hoppy aroma. Made me want to take a drink.

Taste: Citrus start (think grapefruit), slightly grassy middle, tart lemony, mild hoppy finish. Delicious!

Feel: Medium body; slight fizz from the mild carbonation and a mildly dry finish. Refreshing. Not too dry from the hops.

Overall: Awesome Double IPA. One of the best IPA that I have ever had; might even top Heady Topper! (638 characters)

Photo of anteatr23
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy with a good amount of carbonation. Tall head. Smells piney and peppery with citrus aroma. Taste is bitter bitter and hoppy. Not as much of the citrus shining through, but some orange. Bitter and dry aftertaste with the peppery malts and hops. Overall - well done and tasty. Pick it up if you can. (316 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can picked up at Julios yesterday somehow... shared with Rudzud and kyle.

Pours great fluffy airy creamy almost 2 finger head that fades at a need pace with tons of lacing coating, hazy wheat orange color.

Nose brings bright hops, mild dank resin, but lots of citrus, dank resin, orange rind and grapefruit pith, Clementine, orange cream notes, so much dank resin and mild earthiness and hint of pine.

Taste brings nice orange cream, juice orange cream hops, little tangy, nice dankness, orange rind and nice grapefruit pith, nice Clementine juicy, little earthy grassy hop, faint chewy spicy notes on the back end. Nice creamy malt, little malty flavor. Finish is drier, big lingering spicy hop with nice big bitterness, nice pith and orange peel lingering nicely.

Mouth is med bod, nice creamy malt, good carb.

Overall very enjoyable, booze hidden well, nice hop profile, nice creamy malt, well done. (911 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a hazy golden hue with a big fluffy f
head that fades to leave sticky lacing.

S - Aromas of big dank hops, pine, citrus rind. Nice malt backbone, Little sweetness,

T - Taste is similar to the nose, malt sweetness, hop dankness, little citrus peel and pine.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, clean.

O - Overall this beer was tasty, nice dank hops.

Serving type: can (446 characters)

Photo of Damian
4.21/5  rDev -5%
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 warmed.

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 in 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 incredibly slick fluffiness on the palate. Very impressive.

Second Fiddle is a solid beer that reminds me more of a West Coast-style double IPA than a dank, tropical fruit-forward Vermont-style DIPA. I would be happy to drink this beer again, but I definitely would not go to great efforts to acquire it. (1,333 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of tregan_20
5/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (150 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (1,500 characters)

Photo of Rutager
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (496 characters)

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Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 101 ratings.