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Mastermind | Fiddlehead Brewing Company

102 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Vermont, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BTVflatlander on 09-06-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 102 | Ratings: 1,071
Photo of rabbott2
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this last batch fresh out of a can in a tulip.

L-cloudy and golden with a creamy head
S-dank. citrus galore! sweet orange and pineapple
T-dank. grapefruit, pineapple, orange and some ripeness and pineyness to it as well
F-creamy but juicy, great combo
O-love this quite a bit. really think this is one of the best DIPAs out there.

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Photo of ragnar3
4.06/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a tulip. Slightly hazy yellow pour. More tropical than piney but maltier than I prefer my IPA's. Worth searching out overall but there are better NE IPA's available.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.97/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned 10-30-2015 - Consumed 12-18-2015

Look - An awesome light golden color. New England hazed look.
Smell - Candied orange, floral, sweet malts, very slight tropical notes
Taste - Floral, citrus pith, candied orange, sweetness, hints of pineapple

Overall - Tasted a lot of malt sweetness in this one. Could it be passed it's prime?!? Second Fiddle crushes this.

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Photo of westcoastbeergeek
4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma and Appearance: It pours a cloudy golden yellow colour with one finger of foam and some slow rising bubbles. The aroma is sweet dough, mild lemon, caramel and lychee with hints of biscuit and a floral overtones.

Flavour: Initially, there is a lot of biscuit malt and lemon drop candy up front. In the middle, sweet sticky biscuit dough takes over while blasts of passion fruit and orange peel overwhelm your entire palate. It eventually calms down into a tangerine and grapefruit citrus finish that has leafy lemons and pine resin on the aftertaste.

Overall Impression: This was an intense and delightful experience, the flavours are quite profound and tongue tingling.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.11/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz. can into a Hop Showers glass.

Pours a foamy, 2 finger white head with excellent retention. Beer is a crystal clear goldenrod. Lacing is layered and thick with great stick. An outstanding looking beer.

Nose has hints of lemon and citrus zest, pine, grass and pineapple. Tropical and juicy but overall pretty mellow.

Opens soft. Hints of papaya and pineapple fortified by a mellow malt body. Some citrus fruit in the middle with a bit of grass and pine in the back. Sweet and juicy end with a bit of a dry, resiny aftertaste. Pretty nice.

Medium bodied with moderate to low carbonation. Slick and quenching in the mouth and soft going down. Mellow finish with a dry, lingering, filmy aftertate. Excellent!

Great balance here and everything from the flavor to the look to the feel is above average. Worth trying but I don't know if its so much better than all the other outstanding offerings in the style that I'd go out of my way for it.

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Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.73/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Positives: appearance, feel, clean finish; quite smooth for a double IPA
Negatives: funky smell, tastes too much like juice

Props to Fiddlehead for brewing a unique blend of hops and flavors. Just not my type of IPA.

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Photo of MikeyA
3.45/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Need to give this another try. It was a 3 month old can and I think it wasn't treated well temperature wise. Very bitter flavor. Not the melon bomb sans bitterness I keep hearing about.

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Photo of StoutFox
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Review from notes (drank Aug. 6th)
Received in a trade
All I have to say is holy cow, one of may top 5 IPAs of all time. This really wow'd me. a huge funkiness from the hops and yeast that plays very well with the rest of the flavors. seek it out if you can

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.71/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another winner from Fiddlehead. This is the 3rd IPA I've had from Fiddlehead and all have been excellent. Nice aroma. Nice hop hit up front that's just right followed by amazing fruity flavor. Great beer from a great brewery. A must stop whenever I'm in VT.

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Photo of MLDucky
4.27/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very light in color with a huge citrus nose. Pineapple, mango with a hint of pine. Taste was much of the same, very high citrus flavor, mango and pineapple. The pine in the aroma becomes a bit lost and the body seemed a bit thin, possibly due to the grain bill used? Overall a great IPA and I'm glad to have gotten to experience it. I really like what Fiddlehead is putting out there.

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Photo of kevanb
4.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, didn't see a date, but was brought back just a few days prior from Vermont. Poured into a Hill Farmstead oversized wine glass. Thanks to Steve for his generosity. Enjoyed on 8.17.15, reviewed from tasting journal.

The beer pours a bright gold color, hazy and cloudy with straw hues and a finger of white head, little retention but great lace. The aroma is super tropical, loads of pineapple, citrus peel, mild resinous pine, floral, a bit of mango, super bright, clean and snappy with just a kiss of pale malt. The flavors are right in, mango, pineapple, crisp and fresh, tangy with some nice bright wildflower, a bit of citrus peel bitterness, mild pine but really tropical and juicy, a decent amount of counterbalancing malt is there as well, adds a bit of sweetness too. The mouthfeel is good, coating, moderate carbonation, lively with an easy but dry finish.

Verdict: A very nice double IPA from Fiddlehead. Delicate, juicy, bright, clean, fresh, tropical, super refreshing as well. These Vermont brewers keep putting out gem after gem, and this beer can hang with the best of them.

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Photo of BullDoza
4.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Soapy, white, 1/4 finger head. The liquid is a soft orange-y color. Opaque with a very slight haze. Though murky, it is definitely an attractive beer.

S: Tropical and juicy. It jumped from the can as I was pouring it, before I even put my nose in. TONS of pineapple for me. Mango. Grapefruit starts to emerges as it sits a couple minutes. A perfect malt sweetness lies beneath to compliment the juicy aromas. I could smell this forever.

T: Juice from nose pops as expected. Pineapple and grapefruit dominate until the malty sweetness swoops in for a perfect balance. The tropical, juicy notes linger and are overtaken at just the right time by the malt. The fade is near perfect. If that's not enough, the beer finishes with the PERFECT amount of lingering bitterness. This beer is so well made and so well layered.

F: Light and so drinkable for a DIPA. Falls right off the palate. Just so damn drinkable. Not much to complain about.

O: Best DIPA I've had in quite some time. From the appearance, to the nose, to the taste...it delivers. Not really sure what else I could ask of this beer. It was the perfect IPA for my mood and palate. So well made/balanced. So drinkable that it disappeared out of the glass too quickly. Will certainly seek this one out again.

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Photo of AMCimpi
4.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A:light golden color, with a little head. S: Tropical fruits and some lemon peel. T: Pineapple, some passion fruit and some lemon zest. M: That nice creamy FH mouthfeel. O: Just a solid imperial IPA. So different than second fiddle on the taste, but still just as tasty

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.14/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can poured into a globe.

A: Golden-orange, the color of mango flesh. Deep haze. Fine-bubbled white head is persistent and holds at an inch in height. Webby lacing.

S: Freshly sliced mango and pineapple. Apricot. Tangerine. Leafy and dank. Doughy malt, lightly honeyed.

T: Fleshy mango and tangerine. Earthy and leafy hop flavors ride up and begin to steal the show. Spicy, peppery, and herbal. Apricot and tropical fruits assert themselves again. Green grass. Mild tartness in the background. Bitterness is firm and even. Doughy and toasty malt with a dab of raw honey. Earthy and herbal hop finish.

M: Hefty medium body. Very round and creamy. Very fine prickling carbonation adds bite. Astringencies are rather tame for the style, but there's some grittiness to it. Touch of warming alcohol.

O: Great stuff. Tame and drinkable for its size. Unfiltered and unfettered, raw, and bursting with tropical and leafy hop flavors. A quintessential 'New England' IPA, as I hear some calling this newer riff on the style. It's the sort of beer that's very en vogue with hopheads these days, and for good reason.

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Photo of danh53
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like grapefruit juice in the glass. Straw color and totally opaque. Aroma is grapefruit, pineapple, melon, slight grassy notes, and very juicy. The juicy citrus and tropical fruit play nicely with the bitter, grassy hops. This beer is a month old and the hops still taste fresh. I get some pine resin as well. Not too sweet. The mouth feel is soft, almost pillowy mid palate then finishes very dry. Slightly over carbed. I've only had a can or two each of the top IPAs, but I would put this right up there with Green and AGE and prefer it to SoS.

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Photo of Zaximus
3.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can date of 7/17 so...

L - Strawlike, urine yellow.

S - Great. Very piney. Grassy.

T - Kind of disappointing. As expected following the nose. Very piney. Dry. Bitterness comes early and is counteracted by a decent malt backbone. But the flavors are just, eh. Nothing complex. Pine. Grass. Somewhat floral. Not getting much citrus or fruit. No real sweetness. Just, eh.

F - Full for the style. Almost rich.

O - Bit disappointed by this one as this is the first Vermont IPA I've had that has let me down. Kind of one dimensional. Perhaps its great a bit fresher as this one has five weeks on it but... still.

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Photo of captainkrad
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Incredible nose. Pine and citrus. Unlike any IPA I've had. Nice IPA flavors. Pineapple, grapefruit, fresh, green pine resin. Malty backbone and creamy mouth feel. I note a subtle velvety presence of oats. Terrific.

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Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice unfiltered straw with a nice head.
Nose is all nelson, sour grapes, tangerines, awesome. Taste is pleasantly tart grape, some lemon and citrus as well. The mouth feel is wonderful, really covers your mouth well and finishes smooth and bitter.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.02/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to jkrug5 for this extra!

Cloudy pale orange with a slightly off-white head thick, frothy head. Aroma is mainly citrus and orange, big hop presence. Flavor is big on the citrus as well, lots of orange, a hint of pineapple, some grapefruit. Huge bitterness. The feel is slightly creamy, medium carbonation, slight lingering prickliness. Really different, change of pace IIPA, big citrus.

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Photo of Beldark
4.73/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Canned 8/7/2015, bought the next day at the brewery. Props to Fiddlehead for a very efficient system. We drove by to see 300+ people in line, and gave up, only to return an hour later. The line had dissipated completely, but still, anyone who wanted a case got one. Super quick and I actually felt like these guys were happy that people were getting to try their beer, unlike some of the bigger names in the area.

Poured into a tulip from a 12oz can - I understand this to be the first batch with the new colored (plastic) labels.

L: Beautiful golden-amber color in front of a light. No visible sediment at all, but rather opaque. I prefer clear beer but this looks apetizing.

S: Big, sweet citrus and melon. Very clean and not as in-your-face as something like Sip of Sunshine.

T: Utterly ridiculous. Right off the bat this is one of the most balanced beers I've ever tasted. Grassy turns to melon, then suddenly a long tangerine-like citrus finish. I adore fruit bombs and this one is perfect. Nothing else hiding in the flavor, just a nice logarithmic curve up to the fruity finish. Unreal.

F: Almost a little thin up front for the style - but it's so brief I can't even be sure. As the flavor comes on, so does the mouthfeel. Perfectly fills the palate, but doesn't give me sweater teeth like Heady and some other over-the-top resin jobs.

O: I don't even know what to say. I love everything about this beer, from buying it on premises to the last drop. I would make the 6 hour drive back to Shelburne just for this. Given the choice, I wouldn't take Heady Topper or SoS over Mastermind. Okay, I've calmed down a little. Now I just have to figure out how to make it back for more.

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Photo of NYC-IPAnAPA
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light colored double IPA that looks almost like a pale ale. Great citrus/juicy flavors, but not your typical NE hop bomb that is so common among highly rated NE IPAs and DIPAs. No question that this is the best tasting beer that is predominantly hopped w/galaxy hops, at least that I've ever had.

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Photo of pmangold
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

lighter/pale yellow (lighter than most DIPAs) with plenty of carb. juicy pineapple/citrus notes in the nose. Taste follows, drinks really easy for a double. Great brew.

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Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love straw colored IPA's and this one fits the bill. Poured into an Upland snifter, very opaque. I get a very unique hop aroma and taste from this beer. Balanced and not boozy at all!

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap, served in a snifter. Bright orange coloring, not much head. This is a cantaloupe bomb. It's sweet and tropical; but more than anything, I get a smack of cantaloupe. If anything, that's what makes this beer special. An enjoyable DIPA that didn't disappoint me, but didn't blow me away either.

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Photo of Horbar
4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A masterpiece.

It's so ugly it's beautiful..
Pours a murky straw yellow with hints of orange.
Smells like pineapple and orange.
Juicy as hell. Grapefruit with pineapple and orange.
I wish this was brewed more often.
One of the juiciest hop bombs ever.

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Mastermind from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.