Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Mastermind - Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

98 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 98
Hads: 1,016
Avg: 4.39
pDev: 8.88%
Wants: 362
Gots: 171 | 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: 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: 98 | Hads: 1,016
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.11/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 950 characters

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.73/5  rDev -15%
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.

 217 characters

Photo of MikeyA
3.45/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

 185 characters

Photo of StoutFox
4.77/5  rDev +8.7%
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

 258 characters

Photo of reds2harleys
4.71/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of MLDucky
4.27/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 389 characters

Photo of kevanb
4.26/5  rDev -3%
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.

 1,100 characters

Photo of BullDoza
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

 1,273 characters

Photo of AMCimpi
4.52/5  rDev +3%
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

 269 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.14/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 1,116 characters

Photo of danh53
4.55/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 552 characters

Photo of Zaximus
3.88/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 611 characters

Photo of captainkrad
4.31/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 215 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.44/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

 255 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.02/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 399 characters

Photo of Beldark
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

 1,695 characters

Photo of NYC-IPAnAPA
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 298 characters

Photo of pmangold
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 171 characters

Photo of MOVERTON1284
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
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!

 185 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 308 characters

Photo of Horbar
4.93/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

 268 characters

Photo of GinjaSlice
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a very pale clear yellow with minimal white head and decent lacing.
S: Super lemony very different from most ipas, almost like candy, with maybe some grapefruit to it
T: Lots of lemon/citrus again just like the nose. Not much hop/dank flavor i love in ipas. Tasted almost like a session to me. But a good lemony/hop aftertaste that was very unique.
F: Pretty good little too much carbonation a little to much stick to it.

O: A very unique DIPA, not really a hop bomb but instead very lemony and kind of candyish, reminds me of grapefruit sculpin.

 556 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.81/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can poured into water glass canned on 7/24

A: murky gold colored with a small bubbled head that disappears to a film

S: This smells like grapefruit with lots of lemon squeezed in has a very herbal smell about it as well. I wonder if it is the yeast giving it such a depth of character on the nose with the earthiness

T: like drinking the pulp out of orange juice very citrusy with a huge herbal tea quality to it with a ton of lingering grapefruit peel esters on the tongue with a depth of earthiness to it that keeps bringing more flavor. Picking up some melon taste like honeydew as well.

M: very heavy for an IPA this coats the tongue and gives it a richer deeper taste

O: I can't pinpoint exactly why this beer is so good but it definitely is! its not juicy as so much as it is thick with deep citrus flavors counterpointed by an herbal depth that gives it almost a slight earthy taste. Its so complex its fruity, but piney, earthy, herbal and slightly floral all at once. And that full heavy feel on the tongue is just outstanding. ABV is very well hidden as well.

 1,082 characters

Photo of calitrie1486
3.95/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got a bunch of cans from the last release and heard so much hype about it. I honestly don't think it is that great or even worth going out of your way for. I think second fiddle blows this beer out of the water as do most of the others. Overall it is good. . . its just missing something that makes it great like the others in its class.

 337 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.46/5  rDev +1.6%
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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Mastermind from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.