Mastermind - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

70 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 70
Hads: 865
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 10.73%
Wants: 315
Gots: 140 | FT: 1
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: BTVflatlander on 09-06-2013

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: 70 | Hads: 865
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

we went over to get this for the release, and by 1030 or so in the morning, there was a line that wrapped like a snake around the building. there was no way we were waiting in that, i thought for sure all the beer would be gone, so we gave up on it and went elsewhere. to my amazement, when i got home, a friend of mine offered me up a can, since he had scored that day and was feeling generous. lucky me, we shared this a few ways, and all in our party were very impressed. the freshness for one, consuming hoppy beer on the day it comes out is always a treat, but this one is a real unique brew too. it has a super pale color to it, looks like a hazy pils in the glass, with an airy white head over an inch tall and fading only slowly. it smells like amarillo and citra, maybe mosaic, its hard to say for sure if there is more than a few varietals in it, but the nose is amazing. ive been getting pineapple juice from these hops lately, and i got it pretty strongly here too, but there is also notes of mango, aloe, lime zest, and cheerios. pretty basic stay out of the way type malt base, very light body for a stronger ipa, and quite clean in the finish. bitterness is moderate, or rather aggressive but just balanced expertly by the sweeter oily elements of the hops. somehow lighter and more drinkable than others, and with no appreciable yeast flavor going on, unlike many of its vermont counterparts. a beautifully done brew, perfect twist on the style for hot weather, and a beer i was real thankful to get my hands on. these guys are really putting out some delicious stuff lately, wow! (1,596 characters)

Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.79/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can dated ten days old into a tulip glass. Thanks to MakersNeat for the can.
Appearance: Clear yellow with lots of head
Nose: lots of pine, honey, candied sugars
Taste: pine, white grape, lemon, lemon drop candy. Finish has a little bitterness, tartness, and slight alcohol note
Feel: Light to medium and bready
This is a lemony, champagne light IPA. Interesting beer (381 characters)

Photo of Danismaximus
4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pretty much right off the bat you can smell that this beer is special. It has a really unique hoppy aroma that is very distinct and interesting. The flavor is outstanding. This is one of those beers that you sit and rock your head back-and-forth in disbelief. It really is that good.

The only reason I don't give it a complete five star review is that in the past I've judged beers on the clarity/turbidity a little harshly. Although I don't really care a whole lot anymore, it wouldn't be fair to judge too differently. This beer is a little cloudy but I honestly like that. I really like the spear and hope that I can find it again soon. I need more friends to travel to Vermont I guess. (691 characters)

Photo of mhs413
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Comparable to Heady Topper in my opinion, and less challenging to acquire. I even like the 12-ounce can, though I would not object to a 16-ounce repackaging. As good a beer as I have had the pleasure to enjoy. Can't wait for your return. (237 characters)

Photo of Ready4aHeady
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I could tell it wasn't quite to my top NE IIPA standards in that the appearance is a light lemon yellow as opposed to the apricot color ive come to associate with concentration and complexity... It is hazy though, as it should be...
Nose has some nice hoppy funk but is rather restrained...
Flavor is hoppy and citrusy with some lemon and a very mild bitter finish...
A welcome edition to the NE IIPA line-up and though falls short of HF offerings, Dinner, and Trilliums... is a delicious beer.... (497 characters)

Photo of Samp01
3.78/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Pours a hazy medium yellow gold, with a small white head. Has a very piney citrus grapefruit aroma. Taste is similar with a nice citrus grapefruit tangy hops flavor, mild biscuit malt with some caramel notes as well. A medium body on the palate, good carbonation. Finish is sweet citrus, pine and grapefruit tanginess, with mild malt and caramel notes, slight dry finish. A good tasty solid all around brew. (417 characters)

Photo of Jaxbrew
4.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was fortunate to get several 4 packs of this during his October release from a friend traveling in Vermont. This beer is amazing! 2 weeks in the can showed explosive hop character and reminded me of a tropical hop punch! I added Fiddlehead to my Vermont trip for next year because of this beer. I actually prefer this over Heady Topper now. Get you some! (356 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.36/5  rDev -0.5%

From 12/14/14 notes. Thanks to BeerLawyer85 for sharing a can of this, it wads very good. 12 oz. can into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat clear yellow color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident. Tons of pine, spruce, citrus hops, grapefruit juice, lemon zest, oranges, and some nice tropical fruits. Also some fruity malts and bread. Medium body and moderate carbonation, no bitterness to it.

Overall really good. Not as tropical as Sip of Sunshine and more pine, but just as drinkable. Really great, well worth checking out. (557 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer. I got this one on a trade. Thanks to a great trader! It is definitely interesting. It reminds me a lot of pseudosue, but not nearly as thick a mouthfeel and a little more lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Appearance: Hazy golden color.

Smell: Tropical fruits, some piney resin but not a huge amount going on with this one other than that. Maybe a little sweetness in the malt backbone.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, lots of fruits, honeysuckle, tropical notes and oh so smooth, just a tinge of bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Overall: This is very similar to pseudosue, its a bit more watery, but I don't know if that is really an issue. I would love to have more access to these in the summer months. I am an IPA fiend but I am transitioning to different styles at the moment. Nevertheless, this is a top notch one in my opinion. (878 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.54/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a muddles dark yellow/pale orange color, extremely thick as some swirling sediment settles, and initially this actually develops a sort of sediment cloud that dissipates to form the complete opacity that it finishes with. The head is an impressively strong and sizeable pure white one, a crown that never drops below half a finger and leaves chunky lacing in good volume.
I'm impressed by the aromatics even with all the hype, and I don't even need to get my nose very close to the glass to get a burst of tangerine and grapefruit. Just a few moments give the bouquet time to develops to an extremely strong dose of pine and, in a good way, a bit of earth/soil. There are levels of depth to work through, though, and a little more rawness, leaf, even some herb from the middle to finish, all come out to mingle together and make for one of the best aroma I've gotten from any hoppy beer.
It's strong, for sure, with hops banging the palate right away but somehow never fatiguing it. There has to be a pretty big malt underneath to balance this hugely hoppy beer this well, adding just enough caramel and honey sweetness to balance almost perfectly without taking anything from the hops. All kinds of bitterness rolls on the tongue from pine to grapefruit peel to pith, maybe a flash of something briny in the middle, but no astringency or harshness. It rides into a floral, even perfumey end with lots more zest lingering into the finish. This is a world-class beer that could be as close to perfect as possible with just the slightest cleanup in the middle as a slight saltiness flashes in, but this is in the upper echelon of DIPAs.
The body is as thick as it looks, flowing smoothness beginning each sip and giving way to a strong bite of crispness that carries through. It dries out strongly after a few seconds and remains dry. (1,853 characters)

Photo of jageraholic
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Very hazy, looks like pineapple juice. Smells tropical and minty, mild pine. Taste is fantastic and unique. Mild mint, ton of tropical flavor, tangerine, lemon lime, grapefruit, kiwi, minimal bitterness...awesome stuff. I could smell and taste this for hours and get different flavors. Crazy complex, very very easy drinking. Great mouthfeel. (348 characters)

Photo of tylerstravis
3/5  rDev -31.5%

I don't understand... This tastes like a fruit juice cocktail. I'm not talking about a grapefruit like hop taste, I'm talking about a pineapple juice cocktail.

Not what I expected. I figure if people like fruit juice this may be up their ally, but I personally hate canned fruit juice.

Canned 14 days ago. (308 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale orange. Medium white head with good retention. Thin collar.

Smell - Very tropical, especially as it warms. A little dank. Pale malt.

Taste - And lots of tropical fruits here too. Sweet mango. Orange and grapefruit. Very light sweet malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium carbonation, but it's got a creaminess.

Overall - Very good without really standing apart from its other Vermont IPA competition. (464 characters)

Photo of SABERG
4/5  rDev -8.7%

Enjoyed poured into a modified tulip.
A wonderful bright nose, lots of citrus and lily. The taste is much the same. A slight slickness covers the palate, a dryer finish might help with the close out here.
The carbonation is steady but cannot compete with the body.
Overall a nice IIPA that with some slight refinement could be incredible.
Fine work by Fiddlehead.

Cheers all (376 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very hazy, unfiltered pale yellow. Looks like I peed after a long night of drinking. Sorry. Huge puffy cloud white head.

Smells pretty sour. Grapefruit, pineapple, lime juice. A little bit of floral hop, but mostly citrus.

Taste is dank and sour. A ton of resin. Lots of grapefruit. I also get lime juice. Nice sweet malt background. Not bitter at all. Alcohol not noticeable.

Seems slightly undercarbonated, but smooth, almost creamy, with a dry finish.

Different than most DIPAs I have had. Not sure exactly why or what, but there is something funky about it that I cant put my finger on. That vague aspect is the thing I am not crazy about, but it grows on you. Outstanding overall. If you are borderline on sour beers, I may avoid though. (756 characters)

Photo of Mo_fro
4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- It has a nice hazy straw color, with a thick bubbly off white two finger head. As the head recedes it leaves a nice thick lacing all the way around the glass.
S- Has a nice smell of fermented pineapple and mango.
T- Big sweet taste of grape and pear up front followed by a nice smooth malt backbone that keeps it from tasting like wine. The finish is salty and tart. This beer hit all the taste buds.
M- Crisp and light, coats the mouth evenly and has medium carbonation.
O- This beer is quality. I’m loving everything about it. The flavor profile is amazing and packs a hidden 8.1% alc. I feel like I could accidentally drink too many on a hot summer day. (676 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

thanks to Rob for this, shared with tenderbranson69 enjoyed chilled in a willybecker.

The color is hazed golden with 2 finger white head and thick lace with average bead. The smell has strong dank and herbal hop scent with very fresh and juicy grapefruit tropical aroma. The smell is a raw hop smell like crushed pellets with light pine accent. The feel has a very tangy and juicy quality with light spiceand lightly astringent feel with medium carbonation and light malt sweetness with dry and tangy finish.

The taste is excellent with tangy juicy and citrus acidity with light tangerine fruitiness mixed with a pineapple like acidity with a light pine and grapefruit tinge with mild herbal dank flavor and slight sweet aspect like apricot in the flavor toward the finish. This is an impressive Imperial IPA so much hop flavor it is not hard to compare this to other highly rated Imperial IPA's from Vermont, very enjoyable an outstanding drinkable beer (957 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Bottle: Poured a pale yellow color ale with a generous pure white foamy head with excellent retention and good amount of lacing. Aroma of fresh juicy hops with nice grapefruit and tropical notes. Taste is also dominated by loads of juicy hops notes with fresh tropical fruit notes as well as some grapefruit. Body is light with good carbonation. World-class IIPA indeed with almost no bitterness and loads of fresh hops juice. (426 characters)

Photo of ironchefmiyagi13
4.79/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I gave this beer a perfect sore because it did everything I wanted to in terms of what I think should be.

Look was hazy orange with a nice fluffy head.

Aroma was out of this world. Just like Double Sunshine with no alcohol presence.

Flavor is as juicy as biting into an orange and then sipping on a glass of pineapple juice. So flavorful without being sweet. Was rather dry; that's just how I like them.

Mouthfeel was soft in terms of carbonation and bitterness wasn't aggressive or off-putting.

One of only a few perfect IPAs I have had, and I have had a lot. This was so memorable. (589 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.89/5  rDev +11.6%

The beer comes in a golden orange color.

The aroma is delectable. It's a combination of tropical, grapefruit, resin, and cotton candy sweetness.

The flavor follows with those sweet stone fruits up front along with passion fruit and orange rind. The beer offers some balanced sweetness in the middle and ends on a medium light resinous pine.

A beer that somehow offers sweetness, but explodes of clean qualities and tropical and citrus fruits. A beer that beats Ghandi Bot, as a "maltier, yet clean DIPA." A wonderful applicant to the fantastic DIPAs from VT. (561 characters)

Photo of Drunkelstiltskin
5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is Matt Cohen's (Fiddlehead's) best brew ever, and should be renamed Masterpiece. When you open the can, hints of pineapple, and citrus come oozing out, getting your taste buds ready for a treat. It has a bright yellow color, not gold, and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. Mastermind IPA is currently my favorite beer, and is on the same level of greatness as Heady Topper. (391 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.7/5  rDev -38.4%

Thanks to baybum for this little can of a beer. I’ve been rolling around in glorious, world-class IPAs the past couple of weeks, so I’m looking for one more. Greedy, I am. 12 oz. black and white can with a 10/23/14 date (yeah!) dumped into my Creature Comforts glass that I’m growing more & more fond of.

The pour is drug test yellow, almost bright, opaque, full of more bubbles than there are political analysts on the TV tonight (it’s Election Day! "I pull my shirt off & pray..."). The nose delivers pineapple & citrus in spades, & smells bright, if that makes sense. Nice.

Mastermind doesn’t hew to the typical IPA. It opens with an odd burst of herbal, spring-like greens mixed with earthiness that makes me wonder what I just put in my mouth (I haven’t shown such good judgment at times in the past). The mid-palate kicks up some IPA dust, with the fruitiness in the nose, strange, fake, hanging-from-the-mirror evergreen, & a low flash of bitterness. Ends muddled. If we’re being honest, I wish I’d split this with my wife.

I will admit it: I’m baffled. This beer is a wild mess. Not even mediocre. (1,129 characters)

Photo of Flashy
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

I just don't get the hype with this one. Four pack canned on 11/15/14, purchased for $11 on 11/26/14 close to the source. Second batch in a row I find it to be harsh and over carbonated. (190 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.82/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz can dated 10/9 into a LA teku.

Appreance is cloudy yellow/gold with one finger of bubbly white head that leaves nice lacing. Smell is dank grassy hops, tangerine, grapefruit, peach. Taste is a blast of grapefruit, tangerine, peach, pear, grass, and finish is pine and tangerine. feel is well carbonated and smooth. Very easy to drink for 8%. No hints of booze at all.

Overall- I'm blown away by how good this is. I want this more than Heady though. (470 characters)

Photo of durlta
4.25/5  rDev -3%

This one tasted like baby aspirin or Smarties; some serious powdered orange candy notes in the nose and, more prominently, in the taste. Poured from the can as the second to last beer in an epic tasting featuring lots of HF growlers, a sip of sunshine, a pseudo sue, and a fat heads. Not the star of the evening, but quite memorable. (334 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mastermind from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.