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Thunderhead IPA - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Thunderhead IPAThunderhead IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

430 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 430
Hads: 667
Avg: 3.41
pDev: 19.35%
Wants: 4
Gots: 28 | 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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 430 | Hads: 667
Photo of vande
2.83/5  rDev -17%
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...

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Photo of Bfarr
2.44/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear orange amber with light yellow highlights with thin off-white foamy head with okay retention and lacing. Crisp floral aroma and an adjunct skunk. Malt forward with hop ending with a moderate linger. Malted sweetness with grapefruit and floral hops with an unpleasant linger and light alcohol. Sharp, thin feel with heavy carbonation.

Not a whole lot of flavor except a bit of a hoppy bittering and feel that disappears rather quickly. If you’re in a place with not much of a choice and can deal with at least having the overall impression of an IPA than this is satisfactory.

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Photo of bum732
1.81/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

S: Slight fruity notes, orange, cracker malt notes, fairly malty.

L: Fairly clear golden yellow, off white head that dissipates quickly.

T: Malty sweet, caramel mostly with some residual hoppiness. Medium low bitterness. Herbal mostly. Finishes fairly sweet.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Couldn't find a bottling date, but there was pretty much no hops in this beer. I guess i'll assume its old and maybe check back, but pretty piss poor.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.53/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-oz. bottle into a pilsner glass. Looked like a mix of the colors orange and brown with about ¼-inches of head. The film stayed a long time after the initial pour. No surprise but it smells like an IPA. Definitely smells hoppy, but not overbearing. Has a smell of “try me, you’ll love it.” Really good first taste that starts small and ends with strong, alcohol-heavy feel. Unlike other IPA’s, however, the alcohol isn’t really overbeating. Not as carbonated as I would have thought, but there’s some acidity in there that sticks with you long after a drink. It goes down pretty smooth for an IPA. I could see myself ordering this at a bar more than once, which is something that wouldn’t happen with all IPAs for me.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.27/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours orange with a small, short-lived, white head. Aroma is of caramel and biscuit malt and citrusy hops. Medium, crisp body. Biscuit malt and citrusy, earthy hops fill the mouth. Finish is long, hoppy. This is not too hoppy, probably, English style IPA.

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Photo of kaseydad
2.92/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy apricot colored ale with some nice white head retention. The smell is citrusy with a big malt presence also. Not getting a lot of hops in the aroma. The taste is much to malty for my IPA liking but there is a noticable hop presence that I wasn't getting in the smell. Lingering grapefruit-like after taste and it does leave my mouth slightly watering. Still nothing out of the ordinary. Overall I prefer this on draft and may re-review from the draft rather than this bottle. Not a bad IPA just nothing special that separates it from the competition.

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Photo of Goliath
3.38/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden/amber color with a one inch bone white head. There is decent head retention and some frothy lacing left behind.

The aroma is relatively unimpressive. It's lightly citrusy and sweet. Outside of some fruity esters, I don't get much else.

The taste is ok. There's some malt sweetness with some basic flavors. Bread and grain is available profiles here. This is followed by a light bitterness that's somewhat piney in nature.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very fine efforvescence for carbonations.

Drinkability is relatively high. The ABV is moderate making for an easy drinker. The flavor profile is simple and pleasing enough. I'd say it's a run of the mill IPA.

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Photo of whatthehull
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasted April 26th 2011 (from notes)

Poured into a New Belgium snifter

A - golden amber, half finger manilla head and little lacing

S - alcohol, molasses, caramel, brown sugar, sweet yeast, slightly toasted malt, floral and maybe some pineapple

T - the sugar makes a high alcohol taste. Nice hop bitterness and a mix of sweet. Tropical hops, brown sugar, molasses, earth, sweet yeast and a bit of oak

M - light, a bit of carbonation, light to medium acidity and short finish and some what balanced

D - nice for an IPA, easy to drink. Taste higher than a 6.7% but it's still nice

Final thought - I think pyramid is getting better at making beer

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Photo of BilbosNuts
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color. It looks very carbonated. It has a thin, medium sized head that last for a minute or so.

S: It has a strong grassy and herbal smell. There is also some fruitiness to it.

T: Overall, the taste is kind of dull. Nothing really stands out. There is some mild hoppiness, but nothing like I would expect from an IPA.

M: It is kind of thin and light bodied. The high carbonation leaves a tingling sensation on the tongue. It drinks very smoothly for an IPA.

D: It is easily drinkable, but overall, it is very mild. Nothing really special about this IPA.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split and shared with a mate.

Poured clear and well carbonated into a undersized pint glass. Pours a pleasing golden color with a nice off-white head that doesn't fade too quickly.

Smell: Light tropical fruit, spicy hops, honey and malt backbone. Nothing impressive here, the smell is soft and faint.

Taste is ok, mild hop bitterness that includes some citrus bite and some malt sweetness. Its a little toasty with bitter hops in the beginning and end.

The mouthfeel is good and crisp, well carbonated and pretty drinkable. If the taste and nose had been better this beer could have scored higher on the drinkability to me.

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Photo of Hollybee
3.47/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, has a nice golden color and is very clear. Pours a nice head, but dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing.

Has only a faint floral smell with a little orange to back it up.

Makes up for the timid nose in it's flavor with a nice sweet malt followed by the hoppy bitterness accompanied with a bit of orange and just a touch of caramel. Bitterness lingers but not too heavily.

The carbonation is pleasing and crisp, has a medium-ish body but leaves a somewhat resiny quality behind.

Overall a fairly good IPA, delivering the hoppy bitterness and golden citrus quality one would expect from a Westcoast IPA. With a fairly strong ABV one or two will be plenty.

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Photo of nezelrac
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into shaker pint

A - pale orange-amber; one finger of persistent dense white head; minimal lacing

S - slightly muted pine and citrus hop nose; rather clean/clear malt in the background

T - some simple malt and pleasant hops; moderate bitterness for an IPA; good length, but not very exciting

M - light end of medium bodied; slightly creamy at the back end

D - a crowd-pleaser, as it were; plenty drinkable, but a beer for beginners

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Photo of gkunkle
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Although this is certainly not the greatest IPA I have ever tasted, it is a great price for a decent beer. Pours a golden color with a white head. Smell isn't very impressive, slight citrus hop. Taste is pretty average, in the Pacific NW it's nothing to write home about, but in other areas of the country, it would be the talk of the town. Mouthfeel is crisp, refreshing. Pretty drinkable, good price, share it with your friends.

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Photo of MikeThompson
2.71/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was on sale, I am a big IPA fan so had to get it.

This beer poured well, and I was excited to get an IPA on Friday night. I am a grad student, and good beer comes once a week.

Needless to say, this beer ruined my night. It tasted like crappy malt liquor with hops added. Nasty rotten malt flavor with slight citrus from the hops.

This beer might have been cool 10 years ago, but when I can buy Lagunitas IPA for a dollar more, so screw this crap. Not a terrible beer by its own merits, so I can't give it less than a C, but c'mon dudes, let's put a little muscle in the hustle.

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Photo of NickRivers
2.89/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured From A TWIST CAP?!?! Bottle.

A - Light Golden Color. Nothin' Special

S - Citrusy Hop smell but again Nothin' Special

T - Hoppy. Bitter. More Bitter. Floral. Nothin' Special.

M - Crisp and Bitter

D - Not much flavor for a good session beer. But I guess i'll pick it up again.

Couldn't find anything special about this IPA. There's better session IPA's out there. Its kinda like Long-Hammer, good but nothing great. I gotta say I expected more from Pyramid, considering they make Apricot Ale, a fruit beer that actually tastes good. I ate a lemon and had another Thunderhead but it didn't seam to have effect. the mouthfeel has nice carbonation but the smell is bland. I'm a huge Hop-Head and hate to give this beer a "Meh" review.

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Photo of bsp77
2.87/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Clear yellow orange with moderate stark white head. Light lacing.

Smell: Almost non-existent. Very light sweet malts and very light spiciness.

Taste: Mild, slightly sweet caramel and toasted malts, somewhat balanced by floral and spicy hops. The cheap hops used do not have much flavor, but at least the bitterness kills the sweetness.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, almost dry finish that is tarnished by a slight residual sweetness.

Drinkability: Fairly bland IPA, but at least it is fairly dry and refreshing.

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Photo of NWer
2.3/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I haven't had this beer in a long time and gave it a go because it was deeply discounted at the local Fred Meyer's.
For a flagship IPA from one of the premiere Seattle brewers, this is a disappointment.
I know they do better. Their Alehouse Exclusives are pretty good.
So what's with propagating an IPA that may have been above average years ago but is past its prime?
The industry has evolved. This beer is a relic of the past and should be retired.
By todays standard, it is boring and doesn't measure up to current West Coast standards.
I tried to give this another go since I have this sixer that will be finished - eventually - when I'm not in the mood to drink something really good - think eating the grapefruit rind instead of the fruit.
That's Thunderhead.
Pretty pathetic.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Probably one of the first stateside IPAs that I tried years ago during a trip there, not surprising, given its ubiquity in grocery stores. Bring on the 'hop heaping'.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, muddled golden amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, then tightly foamy, and then bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent sagebrush profile of lace around the glass in its lazy-ass wake.

It smells of well-blended (i.e. indecipherable) citrusy, floral, and herbal hops, a metallic stoniness, a touch of soap suds, and a soft, musty, grainy, and bready malt. The taste is wet pine and herbal hops, bready caramel malt, dank florals, and an overripe, yet still zingy citrus essence.

The carbonation is moderate, just a wan frothiness, the body a steady medium weight, mostly smooth (those floral-heavy hops not into causing much of a fuss), and even a touch creamy. It finishes with a stilted flourish of herbal, piney, and perfumed hops, backed by a bland, nondescript grainy malt sweetness.

A so-so IPA, with just a bit more going on than the average underdeveloped bitter hops/caramel malt Mexican standoff. However, those additional elements kind of put me off a bit, particularly the herbal character. Just a little 'unclean' for my liking, and subsequently my endorsement. Not a heap overly worth jumping into.

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Photo of jsprain1
2.63/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Clear orange-gold. Thin head dissapears more or less into nothing, with little lace.
S- Smell is very much lacking. Little bit of floral hops.
T- A bit malt heavy and not enough hop presence.
M- Thin body. A bit low on carbonation.
D- Not a terrible IPA but not a particularly great one either.

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Photo of flexabull
3.16/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright gold color with a pretty nice white head. Looks nice in the glass.

Aromas are faint, some pine hops, and grapefruit, but this is a pretty tame smelling IPA. Not bad though.

Taste starts a little bit bitter, some earthy hop notes, light creamy sweetness, and a dusty malty flavor. Finish is bitter, mineral like, and like crushed up aspirin. Ehhh... kind of messy tasting.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, full enough, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is so so at best. This isn't the most flavorful or tasty IPA, it's messy, and misses the mark for the style. Drinkable in a pinch if nothing better is available, but this isn't one I'd grab for.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden-orange color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Label says to Enjoy by 01-19-2011. So this probably isn't the freshest considering it will be past it's "enjoy by" date in less than a month. Smell is sweet citrus with very little hoppiness. Taste is extremely sweet, and lacking a strong hop profile. The bitterness is there at the end, but if this were a blind tasting, I would not be able to pick this out as an IPA. This doesn't make the taste bad, however. It just is lacking in style. There are tons of citrus notes (grapefruit, orange, etc.) and maybe even a little pineapple. There are some floral notes as well. There definitely are a good amount of hops, just not enough to be an IPA I feel. Mouthfeel is very creamy and quite nice. Drinkability is fairly high.

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Photo of albertjr21
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: In a pint glass, this settles a dense foggy burnt orange color under a thin off white head that leaves a nice lacing.

S: A sweet citrus and cotton candy noted nose.

M/T: A sweet, spritzy lemon and orange citrus opening makes way to a crisp bitter hop (and robust) center. This ends with an "extra sweet grapefruit" bitter residual finish.

D: A solid and complex enough IPA for the hop session seeker.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.67/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - cloudy orange copper with a very short head that dissipated to random thin covering
S - a hop mix of herbal, spicy, and citrus, with some syrup sweetness
T - herbal and spicy hops up front, light toasty malt with a strong lemon zest finish
M - decent carbonation with a nice hop bitter, although the citrus zest tang is a little much
D - i love american IPA's, and this is a good effort, but the citrus zestiness seems to build as you drink it to unneccesary levels, BUT still a nice hop bomb that may be appealing depending on your preference

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Photo of velosuds
3.34/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a clear pint glass. No freshness date. Purchased at local grocer for $2.29 on sale.

A-Pours a clear burnt orange hue with a one and on-half finger, off-white head with modest retention and lacing. Very effervescent.

S-Aroma is way too faint for an IPA. All I discern is biscuit like malt. Smell is more representative of a bottom of the barrel adjunct lager. Disappointing.

T-Some mild hop bitterness up front without much flavor. Disappointing, but improves as it warms with citric fruitiness and grainy malts.

M-Smooth with adequate carbonation.

D-Another nondescript IPA that I won't buy again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.36/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking beer. Bright, semi-pale golden. White head is big and somewhat rocky. Lacing could use more stick-um.

Aroma is a bit weak. Grassy and husks mixed in with citrus and floral hops. Malt is faint, would like to see this a touch more.

Dry feel, but almost like 'empty'. The citrus just didn't come through in the flavor, nor did the floral. They both were there, just weak and overtaken by the huskiness. This gives a bit more of a pine feel.

Easy drinking though. And good summer beer if you do want a bit of a biting beer.

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