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Fiddlehead IPA - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

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Fiddlehead IPA
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very good

61 Reviews
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Reviews: 61
Hads: 635
Avg: 4
pDev: 32.5%
Wants: 35
Gots: 114 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fiddlehead Brewing Company visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Brad007 on 01-01-2012

This medium bodied American style IPA has an alluring golden glow and beautifully blends three strains of hops. While strong citrus notes ambush your taste buds halfway through the palate, the beer finishes very crisp and dry.

53 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 635
Photo of FFreak
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap in a standard pint glass with dinner at a local restaurant. A clear golden beer with slight apricot tint and a finger or so of white head. Nice fresh hop aromatics with citrus, resin and a bit of dank. Taste is nicely balanced malt with the above mentioned hop flavors and slight bitterness. A fairly dry beer, perfectly carbonated and definitely refreshing. Overall, another excellent IPA.

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Photo of Guess2814
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! It's just as hard to find this beer then it is the Heady Topper.. It has a golden smokey look to it.. Great smell to it.. Very fresh and it has great flavors.. If you are in Vermont make sure you grab this beer....the three times I've had this beer it never disappointed

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Photo of scotorum
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Draft pint served in a mason jar at The Reservoir in Waterbury Vermont.

a: Dark gold with a light surface foam film when it arrived at table.

s; Pine

t: A pretty strong piney hop bite over medium malt base.

m: Moderate.

o: A fine medium strength IPA, tasty and refreshing, easily the match of most on the market.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had 4oz pour into a tulip glass from growler

A-Hazy golden pour,one finger white head,sticky lacing.

S-Aroma is peach,apricot with a touch of pine and herb.

T-Flavor is earthy,grassy some honey/biscuit notes. Less exciting then the aroma, disappointing.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium bodied,quick dry finish. Good carbonation.

O-Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of fmccormi
3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 1L flip-top growler to the DFH/SN “IPA glass”—growler filled yesterday. Should be in pretty decent condition.

Appearance (4.5): Amazing pour, though the glass definitely helps with that: just over three fingers of pale tan-colored foam rises off the pour, capping a modestly hazy body that’s the color of wildflower honey—kind of an orangey, light- to medium-amber color. The head dies down slowly, leaving a thick cookie of cratery foam on the surface, clinging to one side, and collars of fine lacing all around the glass spaced pretty tightly.

Smell (4.0): Bright pineapple, gummy orange candies, a slight dank character with a little herbality and resin, well-toasted country white bread, and some nuttiness. Smells a little yeasty, which would make sense. A bit skunky, too, but I like it. Relatively straightforward, but very solid and well-crafted for the style.

Taste (3.75): A solid bitterness that’s heavily skewed toward grapefruit zest punches through first, blending in a little pine and resin, and then a bunch of skunky herbal character on the back-end—this is really a solidly bitter IPA, and relatively light on the hop “flavor,” as it were. The malt body is rather dry: dry biscuits, common crackers, dry white toast, etc. It’s got a good, solidly bitter finish that hangs out for a little bit—strongly herbal. Significantly more bitter and not as fruity as the nose would suggest, but solid.

Mouthfeel (4.25): Smooth, lush foaming action throughout the body, tingling lightly here and there before washing out. The body is on the light- side of medium-weight, dry, quenching, and insanely easy to drink.

Overall (4.0): This is a funny IPA, but I always enjoy it (having had it maybe half a dozen times now). I can see why some of us beer geeks might be a little put off, given its nice nose and a palate that’s almost completely absent of the juicy fruitiness everyone’s addicted to these days, but I can also see why it’s so goddamn popular at the brewery: dry, easy to drink, rather bitter with a great aroma, and accessible ($6 for a 1L, $10 for a 2L). If you’ve never been, the brewery is immediately adjacent to a really fantastic pizzeria called Folino’s, and they have a symbiotic relationship: you walk in one door and buy beer (and that’s it—no food at the brewery), and slide in a connecting door to the pizzeria and sit down for some pizza (and that’s it, aside from a salad—it’s strictly a pizzeria, and a damn good one). And in that setting, getting a fresh, drinkable, bitter IPA to eat with some dank-ass pizza, this beer is immensely enjoyable. Definitely keep in mind a good food pairing when you drink this. So, yeah. I’m a fan of Fiddlehead. Check ’em out if you’re in the area.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange with a haze. Thin white head and some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus and pine.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of bitter hops and pine with hints of citrus.

Overall. This was an ok IPA. I would have it again.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.91/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fiddlehead IPA - Tap from "Growlette"

The other day it was my wife's birthday and one of the things we did was go over to Fiddlehead. Our daughter goes to school with the owner's son and it was long overdue. Nice operation he has going there, hard to believe it's only been less than two years.

Look - Pours a hazy golden with just a twinge of amber. Moderate, bubbly head that dissipates at a medium pace. Good lacing. Minimal carbonation. (Latest edit, look is about the same, this latest batch had great lacing).

Smell - Citrus (grapefruit) hops and slight smooth malts, floral, mouth watering and fresh. (Latest edit, this again but a bit more oomph, if that makes sense, super super juicy and dank Galaxy hops).

Taste - Spices with a pinch of malt comes in first, then hops rest on the palette. Super smooth and crisp. (Latest edit, juicier than before, almost has a puckering effect which is excellent)

Mouthfeel - Rests bitter hoppy but not overbearing, casual drinkers would enjoy (as well as seasoned craft drinkers). Alcohol is detectable but it is not overly boozy. (Latest edit, a little warmer than before but also a lot smoother and more drinkable).

Overall - Interesting focus on hops instead of malt or malt blending. Great brew made by a friend, if you are in the Burlington, VT area, stop by and have a few of their samples, they have three different samples at any given time. (Latest edit, this is now one of my favorite beers, the careful ingredient selection has really refined this into an amazing brew)

EDIT: October 13th, 2013

The dankness and freshness of the hops in the latest batch skyrockets this brew for me up to the top of the list, it has been slowly evolving over the past year or so and I now think it deserves a spot at the top of my list.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fiddlead IPA served up locally in a pint glass.
Nice light amber color and low frothy head.
Smell is herby, grassy, hoppy.
Tastes delicious, not a hop bomb or alcohol blitz, an easy drinking but engaging IPA. Not as citrusy as other IPAs, certainly not as bitter. An IPA you could enjoy a few of.
Moutfeel is nice and crisp, a little dry on the finish.
Overall, a great beer. Not going for insane ABV or IBU, but going for a well crafted, medium bodied and enjoyable IPA.
Matty Cohen knows his stuff.

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Photo of neophilus
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bright yellow brew lights up brilliantly with a fluffy white head on top. Aroma of lemons and assorted citrus fruit, not much malt on the nose.

Flavor dominated by lemon rind with a medium level of hop bitterness. Rough edge of the bittering hops lends some dimension to this citrus-centric brew. Grapefruit makes an appearance as well, bitterness tingles the taste buds.

Cleans up nicely and finishes with a gentle citrus aftertaste. I would say this beer was a bit one dimensional but I don't think you can go wring with a properly bittered IPA that is drenched in citrus flavor. I caught a hint of dry cracker malt in there somewhere but this one had Lemon Party written all over it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, hazy, yellow-gold coloring with a filmy, white, clingy head. Nose of pepper, oregano, lemon, and herbal greens. Flavors of pepper and roast greens on the forward tongue, with tart citrus notes and a roasted grain backbone. Spicy and bitter aftertaste, with sweet tones throughout. Clean, slightly effervesced finish. Unique IPA, and damn tasty.

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Photo of plaid75
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Windjammer Restaurant, South Burlington, VT.

Poured a hazy pale orange hue with a whispy white cap.

The smell featured a vibrant citrusy hop.

The taste consisted of an upfront juicy orange with a round pale malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side of the style.

Overall a tasty light bodied IPA.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Served in a taster.

Appearance - Hazy orange. Small white head. Not a lot of space in the taster glass. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Really raw hop pellet aroma. Grassy and green like a bowl of pellets. A bit of malt back there.

Taste - Less coarse hop flavor than the aroma. Still pretty grassy and piney, but a faint bit of grapefruit comes through. Grainy. Medium bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very grainy and a slightly harsh bitterness.

Overall - Clean flavor, but that hop flavor is straight pellet. Reminiscent of a much smaller brewery.

Edit: Had this a second time. A larger pour yields a much better flavor.

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Photo of Gatch
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Loft Tavern at Okemo! Next to the base lodge.

A: Filtered but still good lookin. Golden yellow with a frothy bright white head. Bits of lace and retention.

S: Huge tropical citrus, pine, resin, grass. Love it.

T: Same as the nose. So much flavor. Hops are on point. Really solid IPA. Sticky and tasty.

M: Massive flavor and so smooth. Proper carbonation and super easy to drink.

O: What can I say? Other than...another ridiculously delicious Vermont IPA! Great day of riding at Okemo followed by a great beer. Life is great.

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Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this on tap at the brewery, from a growler and at many bars. So long as its fresh, and it always is, the review remains the same.

Pours a hazy light gold color.

Smell is fantastic, floral and citrus hop aromas abound without even a swirl of the glass. Head pour is a solid finger and the lacing is appropriate for the style.

Taste doesn't disappoint after the awesome nose. Dominated by the citrus hops with just a hint of sweet malt in the backbone. Pleasant bitterness with that nice tingle many IPA's whiff on.

Overall I find this to be a fantastic beer. Its on tap all over the area and its just as good at a bar as it is from the brewery. I drink this beer whenever I can. Overall a very underrated beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tap: Poured a clear amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of floral citrus hops is quite nice and very refreshing. Taste is mostly dominated by nice floral hops notes with lightly sweet malt backbone with nice grassy feeling and medium bitterness. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable and refreshing.

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

Brewery has monday $8 growler fill specials of this. $10 other days.
A-hazy golden orange, decent head, unfiltered
S-nice piney & citrus hops
T-nice pine hop taste that isn't overly bitter
M-light malt, smooth, hop bitterness aftertaste
O-I find this on tap a lot of places too and will more than likely get it. Really nice

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Photo of Hendry
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of the next door neighbor, a fresh 32 oz growler from the Shelburne,VT brewery.

Pours a golden wheat color,nicely cloudy,lively carbonation,1 finger soapy white head that recedes quickly,lacing a solid average.

Aroma: hop forward but not a hop bomb, piney aromas mostly, a hint of grapefruit rind, malts lie below the surface.

Taste is pleasantly bitter, some might call it unbalanced because the malts are in the basement, but that isn't a problem for my tastes. Some grapefruit bitterness starts things off,
then it drops off in a somewhat typical "session" IPA fashion with a crackery, yeasty finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, slightly oily hop resins,dry crisp finish.

Overall, a good session IPA that should please hop fans on the drinkability and bitterness level. Sort of one dimensional in flavor, but a good effort and better than many.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Half pint at Pro Pig in Waterbury. From notes.

A - Poured with a slightly hazy golden colour. Good carbonation, one finger white head and greta lace and a film of retention.

S - Nice citrus. Lot's of mint.

T - Juicy citrus. Pine, grapefruit. Pine dominates.

M - Good bitterness. Good carbonation, liight body, pithy finish.

O/D - A nice IPA. Tasty and complex. Could have a few, but one of the less memorable from the region.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.44/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured repeatedly from a growler into a pint glass.

A: Amber yellow and clear with wispy lacing. Poured with one finger of off-white head on the first pour, and two fingers on the second.

S: Potpourri of sweet, sharp citrus and a lil' bit of berry.

T: Very citrusy. Semisweet, with tart grapefruit and orange notes. Slight bitter pine on the finish.

M: Very smooth. Mildly viscous and dry on the end.

O: Not bad, but IPAs are not my thing. My folks were vacationing in Vermont and brought back a growler for me since they know I'm into microbrews. Thanks folks!

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Photo of BTVflatlander
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Overwhelming citrus hop profile akin to many other high end Vermont IPAs.

S: Fruit, a bit of grapefruit and general citrus.

T: True to the aroma, the prevailing flavor comes in the form of citrus hops, with little malt presence.

M: Smooth and bright. Very refreshing.

O: A solid Vermont IPA. For the $10 pricetag on a growler and the 20 minute drive to the brewery, this was certainly worth the effort. And, although I won't be going out of my way to return and get another in the immediate future, I will certainly end up patronizing Fiddlehead again.

Update (6/9/13): I must admit, my first impression of this beer was not terribly positive. However, having had it on tap several times since (now that the warmer weather has descended upon us), I have grown more and more partial to this brew. For the über reasonable price tag of $10 a growler, this is undoubtedly the best value IPA out of Vermont and, in my opinion achieves the all important malt-hop balance that so many other VT IPAs fail to conquer.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-golden amber color with a smallish off-white head and decent lacing

S-citrus, pine, grain, floral notes

T-orange, lemon, pine,floral, lighter malt body with a decent bitter hop finish

F-light to medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-a decent IPA, a little on the light side and faces some stiff competition in this state

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Photo of jbertsch
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a couple spots around Jay Peak, Vermont.

Hazy muted yellow in color with a soft, luxurious, rocky head that remind me of carbonation from Hill Farmstead.

Smells wonderful. Bright, citrusy, juicy. It reminds me of its world-class brethren in the same state. Its aroma is in the same vein as many of the HF and Lawson IPAs, and could be seen as a baby Heady Topper with lighter malts.

Its flavor is super approachable. Juicy hop flavors (melon primarily) sit on top of clean light malts that almost give you the perception this is a wheat base. The malts are very light but that’s how I like my IPAs anyway. Though, I can see how other people may dock it points for that. It really just lets the hops take the whole stage which deserve it.

Mouthfeel is soft. Very drinkable. Almost no bitterness lingers.

If you like your IPAs on the unbalanced side, favoring to showcase bright citrusy hops, this beer is for you. And it’s definitely for me, too! I love it and want more of it NOW. Hopefully this will make it into bottles sometime.

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Photo of brewtus
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at JAX off of Killington peak in VT. Got a pint of it and of came out light orange with a small head. Smelled and tasted like hops, apricots, and pine. This is hardly the best review ever but I can tell you that this is well worth a try. It's so balanced and drinkable but also has a ton of IPA flavor, nice work.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 12/21/12

Growler filled less than a week ago

Appearance: Deep orange, with some amber and some gold - slight haze, but mostly clear - pours with a thick, white head - fades to a minimal cap, leaves nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Fleshy and floral citrus, with some pine - not particularly aggressive or bitter-smelling, but it's charming in a gentle way - sweet tangerine and orange flesh - sweet fruitiness but not sugary - malts are very light, pale

Taste: A very gentle IPA, but it works - orange and tangerine flesh - more juicy, sweet than bitter - mild bitterness, which builds gradually - some pithy grapefruit, floral notes - light, albeit resiny pine - malts are very pale, almost watery at times

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nicely carbonated, smooth, but a bit watery

Overall: Very quaffable, but not particularly outstanding

This beer has a very interesting hop profile. It's almost reminiscent of my dear friend, Heady Topper. Sans the malt magic. Unfortunately, the lack of malts is also a problem in the taste. It's tasty, but just above average. Worth a try, though.

Update (7/28/14)
I picked up a fresh growler at the brewery on Saturday, July 26. And my mind was pretty much blown. When fresh (and for about 2 more days), this beer is nothing short of spectacular. It just fades extremely quickly. Fresh, the hops are extremely lively, with some bright citrus, tropical notes, and some clean, sharp, pithy bitterness. It's extremely drinkable, too. I'm going to average scores from the following:
1 week old scores: 4/4/3.5/3.5/3.5
1 day old scores: 4/4.25/4.25/4/4.25

Update (4/26/15)
Another fresh growler. Either Fiddlehead is getting better at brewing this, or I am losing my mind. Either way, I'm bumping the score up.

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Photo of duracell
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light golden color with a white head leaving a good lacing on the glass.

S - Mild smell of citrus and piney note.

T - Good bitterness and happy flavors but the malt is far too discrete.

M - Good mouthfeel, relatively smooth but the body is on the light side and the alcohol tends to become a bit overpowering as the beer gets warm.

O - Just above the average, this IPA lacks some malty character IMO. Refreshing but a bit straightforward...

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Fiddlehead IPA from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.