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Thunderhead IPA - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Thunderhead IPAThunderhead IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

430 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 430
Hads: 664
rAvg: 3.43
pDev: 15.74%
Wants: 4
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc. visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 09-16-2001

A golden nectar with a striking floral aroma, Thunderhead holds a harmonious balance between its bold hop bitterness and subtle malt background.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 430 | Hads: 664
Photo of mnrider
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Twist off. Freshness date printed on label

A: Pours a clear light amber. Plenty of carbonation with a large white head.
It eventually settles down to a coaster thin layer.

S: Sweet, fruity malts and mild floral hops. Average.

T/M: Floral hops that are a little over powered by the malts. Still well balanced
though. Goes down smooth and creamy with a good carbonation feel.
The aftertaste is clean and the 6.7 ABV is really never noticeable.

O: An average IPA. The taste brings it down a little as the hops are just not there
for me. It is easy to drink which helps. But still nothing too special.

Cheers! (615 characters)

Photo of cbutova
2.24/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just noticed this one along with some other Pyramid brews. Easily worth a review at it's low price.

A- Poured into a pint glass with a slightly hazy, golden-light orange body. A big, bubbly white head forms to about three fingers and has decent retention. A frothy ring around the top of the beer leaves moderately thick lace patches.

S- Floral and herbal notes make up the hop bill. The rest of the beer is a base of apple, light caramel and bread. Really have to stress to pick up the aroma after just a few sips.

T- Mostly hoppy. Pine, floral, herbal, citrus and grassy hints make up a hop bill that doesn't really do much to satisfy with so many good IPAs out there. An apple/light fruit note seems to build with time taking away from the hops. Some caramel and slight buttery hints as well.

MF- SIlky lower end carbonation for the style with a creamy overall body. Bitterness isn't as clean as other IPAs, just feels a tad harsh for some reason.

Started out decent but it seemed like flavor score just kept going down. The flavors present just don't seem to meld all that well and drink as smoothly as most other IPAs on the market. Jumbled. (1,151 characters)

Photo of mxchap
1.79/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Let me start by saying that most beers I have had from Pyramid are at least passable.
This IPA, however, was terrible. Will be trying another soon (perhaps on tap to ensure freshness)
to make sure this one wasn't rotten.

Appearance: golden amber with a short, but dense head. Somewhat opaque.

Aroma: Carmel malt and earthy hops. Specialty grains definitely stick out.

Flavor: slightly sour, noticeable alcohol and metallic flavors. Off flavors mask the malt and hops substantially.

Mouthfeel: alcohol very noticeable, carbonation okay.

Overall: Not very drinkable, and not per the style. First pour-out in a while.

Hoping the next one is better. (651 characters)

Photo of vkv822
2.19/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz : tulip

Burnt-orange with a foamy off white head.

Mild fruity, floral hops, breaded malt backing.

More faint floral, lightly citric hops with a malty bread backbone.

Medium body, low-medium carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but really a bit bland, especially for the style. Could probably pass as an average American pale ale, but not IPA. (344 characters)

Photo of scootpolute
2.75/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.

A - Pours golden-amber, with a nice white head...- some good lacing.

S - Malts and Hops and lots of sweet citrus - some orange & grapefruit tones...

T - HUGE malt flavor and great hop kick at the top, followed by some citrus, then ending with a bit of pine-like spices...with the warmth from the alcohol...

M - Carbination is good...The heavy malts with a fair amount of hops puts this one on the heavier side of medium...

O - This one is OK...The price is right ($2.99 for a bomber for crying out loud!)...I don't think I'll be going back for another, but worth three bucks...Chasin' Cheers :~) (645 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.56/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear golden/amber color with cascading bubbles. The head is large and impressive. Very creamy and fluffy. It resembles a pillow atop the beer. Retention is excellent. Thin but dense and sticky rings of lacing cling to the glass.

S: Hop scents are grassy and floral with melon rind and slight tropical fruits too. Distinct flash of bubblegum. Hop aromas are balanced by equally present malt scents of grain, dough, and a touch of toast.

T: Leafy and floral hop tastes up front with some oily, green bitterness. That spike of bubblegum hits immediately after, just as it did in the nose. Mild pine needle and resin taste, perhaps a touch of mint. Very subtle hints of pineapple and tangerine play in the background. Malt character is prominent, with grainy and doughy tastes providing a solid backbone. Dries toward the end and finishes with crackery and slightly toasty malt and a tame, oily bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Very full and creamy/fluffy in the mouth. Scrubbing carbonation lifts it, making it seem lighter than it is and adding some crispness. Great mouthfeel.

O: A tame, simple IPA. Very balanced, and more like what you'd expect from the east coast rather than the Pacific northwest. Its shining points are its approachability and drinkability. It won't excite the veteran craft enthusiast, but it'll do in a pinch. It's a good stepping-stone beer for the novice. Reminds me a lot of Harpoon IPA. (1,473 characters)

Photo of JRed
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy orange in body with white fluffy head that leaves lacing. Smells of citrus, bubblegum, some grass, and papaya. Hop overload with no direction: citrus with rind, bubblegum, grass, pine, bathroom cleaner, then bitterness sets in. Heavy in body with with medium carbonation. The look and aroma are nice but adding as many different types of hops possible to a brew doesn't add inches to your mash paddle. (414 characters)

Photo of maximum12
2.1/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Picked up this 12 oz. bottle in a mixed sixer recently (OK, actually, my wife did, but she's not home, so she'll never know, right?). Cryptic 'Best By' date of 7/21/12, but not sure how far that is from the bottling date, but it should be good, right? AmIright?

The pour is on the lighter orange/yellow curve of the IPA spectrum with serious carbonation. Nose is faint, I have to suck hard to get much, mild floral hops, mixed in with a bit of citrus & sweet malts. I think I sprained my nasal cavity.

Thunderhead gave me several different faces in the few seconds after the first sip - lololowza. First impression is of sticking one's tongue into a potpourri bowl, huge lavender & floral notes line the palate. That's chased quickly by a dose of caramel that clashed with the field of flowers something serious. An unpleasant twinge of tartness, almost acidic, intrudes in the middle, just before the bittering hoppiness finally arrives...except it's more like ground-up children's aspirin than anything else. Give it another go, but, no. Realistically, a couple ounces of this was more than enough.

There's something off about this beer & I can't quite put my finger on it, but the whole experience is rather unpleasant. The beer gets worse as it warms. This is a fail as an IPA & as a beer. Drain pour bad. (1,314 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
2.26/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Translucent orange with a chalky white frothy head of one finger statue. Medium mid pace effervesce with a thin band of lace.

S: Fresh grass, oranges and ice berg lettuce. Very faint aroma wise. A solid example of a 2.0 unimpressed rating.

T: Some bitterness but harsh with sour dried lemon grind, pine and some sour orange peels occurring on the fade. Dry wheat, starchy flour hints.

M: doughy, medium based with a lazy carbonation lacking crispness and sharpeness.

O: Overall the nose is lackluster, the flavor is sour and off and not very tasty. Tastes like a macro hybrid of a wit /ipa. A perfectly good waste of bottle glass. (641 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and somewhat cloudy golden orange with lots of bubbles and a big four finger white head with good retention. Leaves lots of creamy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Aroma has a rather subdued presence of floral and citrus hops. Big bready malt backing with lots of caramel and biscuit. Also some grainy wheat. Smells more like a malty pale ale than a IPA.

Taste: Like the smell leads, a very malt forward ale with lots of bready wheat grains, caramel, and biscuit. Subtle earthy hops with some light hints of citrus orange and grapefruit. Pretty lacking in hop bite, but the flavor that is here is nice and easily drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very crisp and smooth. Somewhat drying.

Overall: For an IPA, the hop profile is very understated. This is however a very crisp and enjoyable beer as a lighter summer option. Just think of it as more like an English Pale Ale. (1,006 characters)

Photo of bubseymour
2.66/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A= murky copper with 2 finger head that doesn't hold

s - says drink before 5/24/12 and its 5/18/12 so this one is pretty old and not very fresh smelling at all. Very malty and metalic smelling
like a english or scotch ale

T - tastes like a scotch ale and certainly not an American IPA Perhaps the older date changed this beer. Its ok to drink at best but not really very enjoyable at all

Mouthfeel - ok

Overall - this was a disappointing beer. Perhaps I'll try another one that is more fresh someday and edit this review. (526 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a beginners IPA. If you are a hop head in training this is a good place to start. This beer pours a nice deep copper and has an OK head. The smell is of deep thick hops, not sharp and crispy as a top notch IPA would be. However this beer is very drinkable and smooth as well as any great crossroads beer should be. I could drink tons of this however I think it is slightly better on tap, but a very drinkable IPA. However I think that on the hop scale it is only slightly hoppier than SNPA. (498 characters)

Photo of thebrood1987
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I get some floral scents maybe some mint in there with some bready sweetness. You get the hop bite but its not that strong and then its followed by a liquid bread taste almost reminiscent of a cheaper lager but then finishing good with the citric bitter bite we all love in ipas.

The malts they use in this beer throw me off a bit cause I've tasted that same taste in cheaper macro beers. Not to say this beer is cheap or anything because it definitely has more taste then that I was just reminded of it slightly by I guess the barley they chose to use in this beer.

It drinks like a session IPA yet its 6.7 alcohol. Its not my favorite IPA but definitely a quality beer with some nice herbal and citrus flavors and bite from the hops they use. (746 characters)

Photo of dbossman
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light copper hue, bubbly; with a great foamy head--good retention; lacing is good too

S: Some floral and citrus hops but fairly subdued; also some bready malt undertones but all in all this is fairly subtle

T: Some hop bittering up front: grapefruit, pine, etc. and also some toasty breadiness with just a touch of astringency but fairly subtle--refreshing but simple

F: Medium body with oily and sticky mouth feel

O: An okay IPA but just rather simple and subtle; it's refreshing and I could drink a few but there are so many killer IPAs out there...so... (563 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
1.3/5  rDev -62.1%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear copper color with a sticky and fluffy white head. Floral and citric nose, nothing too overpowering.

Seems unbalanced, the malt kind of outweighs the hops a bit in my opinion with a lot of caramel coming through. Caramel throughout, floral and piney hops on the finish. Drying finish but with the caramel lingering. quick and concise but there's not much depth and a definite imbalance here. Slightly soapy finish. Not a drain pour but not having it again. (470 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.11/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thunderhead IPA has a light orange body with a finger or two of head on top of it. Good retention and lacing, as foams remains on my glass in rings and sheets.

The aroma is mostly citrus hops with a big dose of caramel behind it.

The flavor works out to be about the same as the aroma. Hops lead off, with a punch of pine and a good bit of grapefruit. This IPA is pretty bitter as well. The malt flavors are about as powerful as the hops, with a good bit of caramel and a little bit of a toasted malt flavor.

The body and carbonation are right about where they should be.

Thunderhead IPA is a pretty standard IPA that won't knock your socks off, but probably won't disappoint you either as long as it's fresh. (713 characters)

Photo of lwillitz
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - nice appearance in the glass; slightly cloudy golden/orange body with just a few carbonation bubbles under two fingers of soft, light khaki foam; very nice trail of lace down the glass

S - floral hops and subdued grainy malt

T - dominant floral hops, strong presence of bready malt in the background; a bit more malty than a typical IPA, but a very nice balance in my opinion; dry, slightly warming finish

M - thick full body with medium carbonation, some astringency, smooth; alcohol warmth in the finish

O - Thunderhead looks and smells like a run-of-the-mill IPA. The taste, while malty for an IPA, is very good. The thick mouthfeel is excellent. If you prefer IPAs with a little malt, give this one a try. (768 characters)

Photo of Ego
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

eyes...
on an easy pour this thunders up to almost 2 fingers o foam, it recedes quickly but leaves tell tale traces of lace to tell the story of where it has been, the curtains of lace are in excellent form, rolling cloned microbubbles acting like the tide caressing the shore, slightly burnt orange hue with a just a smudge of haze, carbonation is as steady as jerome jerome the metronome, this is a good looking beer.

nose...
fruit candy? or that dried fruit that was always out on the table at Aunt (insert name here)'s house ? you know that dried pineapple stuff that can crack concrete and is covered in mysterious white dust... beneath the malt assault is hints of hops, like frogs on the pond at night you only hear there calls once in a while on the blaring din of constant cricket chatter, that fruit character is bothering me, I can't peg if it is sickly mango or nectarines... it is interesting that is for sure.

taste etc...
mouth feel is right, but this seems bitter in the wrong way, I like hop bombs, hell, I eat hop bombs for breakfast but the bitterness here is really distracting to me, it is out of balance like a midget with one leg in a javelin throwing competition, as I sip down the bitterness is not as brash and the malts decided to show up (don't give me that fashionably late garbage...), some burn from the alcohol is making itself known from the depths of my gullet.

verdict?
not impressed with what counts the most - flavor and enjoyment. this beer reminds me of chicks from staten island, they look all amazingly hot and then they open their mouth and you hear that god awful accent. sure, you'd still bang them but hey, such is life. (1,668 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

would describe this one much more as an american pale ale rather than an ipa, but nonetheless, a great brew. pours a darker goldenrod color with a nice head. lace demarcating every sip. smells sweet and fruity, but hoppy too. taste of fresh honey, raw honey, and hops. fresh hops almost. shockingly bitter in the finish, a front of tongue thing, but still a lot of malt, almost on the amber end of it, sweeter. a really beautiful large body mouthfeel and a nice crisp hop finish. drying. an excellent beer, not quite an ipa, but sessionable as anything!

edit: better in the bottle, bitter as! (593 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

appearance - gold/amber, mostly transparent, moderate head and retention, some lacing

smell - some faint floral hop notes

taste - about 30% floral hop forward with a malt back that is definitely present, somewhat balanced, has a bit of a chemical/pellet taste going on but subtle

mouthfeel - medium body, good carbonation, slightly dry finish, some slickness

overall - not an outstanding ipa but it's fine in a pinch (457 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – light amber in color, clear, with about half a finger to a finger’s worth of off-white colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – sweet and hoppy at the same time. Not much else that I can pull out of it other than that.

Taste – I can’t taste as much of the hops as I can feel, but the bitterness is there, as is a musky quality that hits hard at the very beginning of the taste. There’s a spicy quality too that’s felt in the beginning and middle. The apex of the bitterness comes just after the middle of the taste.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, but leans a little more on the watery side.

Overall – not a bad brew, and decently interesting to taste, but super intriguing either. (758 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a five finger head of light cream, decent thickness, and good retention. Colour is a light yellow-copper.

Sm: Light pleasant floral hop notes, light restrained cream, and generic barley. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Pleasantly floral hoppy body, with a clean barley foundation. There's nothing special going on here, so in that respect it's simple, but it does avoid the common IPA pitfall of overdone coarseness. It's also nicely balanced.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours of the body. Luckily, it's not too coarse like many IPAs.

Dr: A simple IPA that doesn't lose points, but fails to win many either. I enjoyed it for what it is as part of a sampler pack, but it's far from their best brew. Fans of the style should definitely check it out, but stout lovers like meself are best off leaving it on the shelf. (988 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mactarnahan Brewpub in Portland.

A - Poured a bright, clear orange with a near white head. Fades only a bit and leaves lots of streaks of lacing on the glass.

S - Hoppy pine and floral tones up front with some malts following it up.

T - Very similar to the taste. Mild all-around.

D - Good carbonation and body.

O - A more mild ipa with more malt background than most in Portland. (399 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Orangish copper in color. Slightly hazy. One finger light yellowish head with no retention and ok lacing.

S: Mostly malts. Slightly sweet caramel. A funky citrus and floral hop aroma with sort of a old tangerine apricot aroma bordering on rotten. Some biscuity aromas as well.

T: Light caramel upfront. A tart/sour bitterness from a mostly floral hop taste. Very light citrus coming through. A soapy, bad soapy, aftertaste.

M: A decent medium body, with good carbonation. Slightly slick. No dryness. Aftertaste lingers on the very back of the tongue and throat.

O: Not great. Wouldn't buy myself. Got the 12-pack as a kind of gift. Nice to know this isn't a good one so I don't waste my money. Definitely not a drain pour tho. (773 characters)

Photo of vande
2.83/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this last at Mariners Vs Angles game, on tap. Way to pricey for the quality, but I was at a stadium. Decent golden color with a light aroma of hops. Nothing overly prevalent, maybe a bit pine. Tasted like a basic IPA. Just not wowed. Drinkable, like a miller light. probably would be one of the last beers I'd grab out of my fridge when grabbing. For the style, I'd put it as average..Wasn't horrible horrible, just that there are so many out there that raise the bar... (474 characters)

Thunderhead IPA from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
78 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.