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Thunderhead IPA - Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

Not Rated.
Thunderhead IPAThunderhead IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

621 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 621
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 15.98%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | 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:
A golden nectar with a striking floral aroma, Thunderhead holds a harmonious balance between its bold hop bitterness and subtle malt background.

(Beer added by: Jason on 09-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 621 | Reviews: 425 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bditty187


4.1/5  rDev +21.3%

Semi-clear, golden-amber in color, served with a large off-white head, good retention… produced some webs of lace. The nose is hoppy with grapefruit rind and a touch of pine… there is little malt influence, its rather straightforward, potent, and inviting. Tasty palate, perfectly bitter, hoppy, slightly acidic, grapefruit rind, pine… a hint of distant caramel malt in the background. Its not balanced… one-dimensional… its all hops, full-throttle… this is not really a negative (I suppose)… lacks complexity… a few tweaks away from being outstanding. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation… dry leafy, piney finish… somewhat brisk but “more-ish” at the same time. Ideal abv. I was pleasantly surprised with this Pyramid product, I’d drink it again… try one.

07-22-2003 00:34:29 | More by bditty187
Photo of BitteBier


3.45/5  rDev +2.1%

An attractive, deeply golden-orange color with 3/4" of tight, off-white foam after a very aggressive pour. Some carbonation is visible, and the beer turns less hazy as the bubbles and the head fade away, which happens quite quickly. Typical IPA smell of bitter hops with not much else going on. Taste is similarly hopped up with a distinctly bitter grapefruit flavor. But as with the smell, the taste is monotone. I like bitter hoppiness, but it would be better if complemented by stronger malts or some spice. Mouthfeel is flat, which is what happens to this beer once the head fades away. This is one of Pyramid's better beers, but by no means a top-notch IPA.

07-13-2003 18:11:24 | More by BitteBier
Photo of Indybeer


3.38/5  rDev 0%

12 oz bottle. Poured a hazy orange color with very little head. Aroma is muted. I expected more hop aroma from a IPA. Slight citrus hidden in there. Taste is all hops, with just a faint hit of malt. Mouthfeel is good, and this is a well balanced beer. I've only found a few IPA's that I really enjoyed, and would have again. But not this one.

06-25-2003 09:47:26 | More by Indybeer
Photo of jeffboo


3.55/5  rDev +5%

Deep golden color with a smallish white head. A mild aroma of citrus hops (grapefruit) and chewy malt. The flavor leans toward the chewy malt with some grapefruit flavors and a sharp bitterness in the finish. This is a bit too sweet for my taste, it's a medium to full bodied beer with a very solid malt base but could use more hop flavors to balance this out for me. A decent but not quite balanced IPA for one's who like it a little sweeter.

06-19-2003 08:49:04 | More by jeffboo
Photo of drewbage


4.05/5  rDev +19.8%

Sampled at the Pyramid Ale House across from the Mariner's Stadium.

Beer pours pale yellow with copper highlights and a tight white head.

Amazingly aggressive and herbal hoppy nose with barely discernable toasted malt behind it. Flavor is clean and crisp with an initial malt cleansed by a bitter intense hop bittering finish.

06-11-2003 22:14:39 | More by drewbage
Photo of Reidrover


4.1/5  rDev +21.3%

Ok comes in 12 oz brown stubbie..usual Pyramid label.
THis is one nice looking beer..nice slightly hazy orange colour with a large frothy pure white head..thennit shrinks but still leaves good lacing.
Nice fresh hoppy aroma..very spicy
MM nice smooth IPA yet still has plenty of hop "bite " at the end..very "zingy" indeed..I also detect a faint malt flavour
Most adventureous on the tongue.
Very drinkable IPA..I was surprised I had come to expect nothing much from Pyramid..this is the best beer of theirs I have tried so far..good brew.

06-09-2003 21:20:34 | More by Reidrover
Photo of freed


3.98/5  rDev +17.8%

Deeper amber coloring for an IPA with a very nice, dense head. Unique hop aroma like that of drying hops; very green. Bitterness is sufficient and compliments the malt well. The malt is nice and shows off the citrus of the hops. Though a strong IPA, you'll notice its affect on you before you notice the alcohol taste. Great after-work beer.

05-11-2003 22:25:57 | More by freed
Photo of TXHops


3.35/5  rDev -0.9%

-Original Gravity: 1.069
-Final Gravity: 1.019
-ABV: 6.7%
-ABW: 5.2%
-Attenuation: 71.7
-Real Extract: 6.95 P
-Calories per 12 oz: 229
-Malts: 2-row, Munich, Caramel, Carapils
-Hops: Tomahawk
-IBU’s: 67

I’ve always been a fan of Pyramid’s IPA. It’s typically fairly affordable around here, and it’s a wonderfully hoppy beer. Back when there seemed to be a lot of IPA’s that just weren’t, this one was a mainstay for my hop jonesing…

This IPA is of the “classic” looking variety—hazy and orangish with a lovely, very smooth white head of immeasurably small bubbles, which have a strong affinity for lacing down the side of the glass. According to a fascinating lecture I once saw Roger Protz give, the original IPA’s were brewed with pale malt and brewing sugar only; no body-building Munich, Caramel and Carapils malts. Still, without the ready availability of multiple months aboard a slowly-swaying vessel to complete secondary fermentation, I’ll gladly “settle” for kilned malts as mouth-fillers.

The nose on this IPA is big and hoppy of course, but there’s also a nice undercurrent of caramelly malt sweetness to keep things interesting. The softly-carbonated, but firm body starts out with a solid shot of vinous, hop resin. The Tomahawk hops, a variety I don’t knowingly encounter very often, taste quite American—citric and slightly pineapple-like, but also different. Apparently this is the first Super Alpha that was commercially grown in the US. I found that they imparted a pretty citric nose, but a more herbal flavor in the finish. Anyway, after the hoppy start, and the sweet, malty, caramelly middle, the end of this beer grew into an herbal, slightly alcoholic bitterness.

Like I thought when I first discovered this beer a few years ago, I find it to be a solid IPA with enough hoppiness to satisfy a strong craving and enough sweet maltiness to lend the necessary complexity to prevent the beer from being totally one dimensional. I’d like it more if the maltiness had enough yeast interaction evident to induce some estery complexity, and I thought that the herbal, vinous hop quality mingled with the slight alcohol presence to create a very slightly unpleasant bitterness in the exceptionally long finish. Still, this is an outstanding beer and one I recommend highly.

Update--Afte the last two 6 packs I've had of this stuff, I have to edit down my score for taste and aroma. There's too much of a green, vegetal quality in the nose and in the mouth. It's especially evident when tasting side-by-side with other IPA's. Still a solid, hoppy offering, but with flaws.

04-09-2003 18:11:26 | More by TXHops
Photo of tavernjef


3.95/5  rDev +16.9%

Coppery color with lots of bubbly action giving out to a small, light, off-whitish head.

Smells a bit oily of fresh hop resin with slight citrusy, orangey/graprefreuit tang and pulpy juiceyness.

Taste is of mildly oily hops and some sweetness leading to a smooth slightly bitter finish of tamed orange pith and grapefruit oil.

Feel is about medium with a malty smoothness, less bite then most IPA's, bitterness is clean and mild and well in check as its tendency is towards an oily side.

A decent IPA. But nothing to outstanding.

03-21-2003 06:18:32 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Gusler


3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

A crystalline amber color crowned by a brilliant white head that is creamy in its texture, as the head evaporates it leaves a sticky and moderately thick sheet of lace to obscure the glass. The aroma of the hop flower present as is the malted grain, quite citrus crisp and pleasing to the senses. At the front sweet, the top middling and the finish spicily hopped and a touch acidic, but not overly so, droughty aftertaste and a pleasant beer to drink and enjoy at the end of another days work.

12-10-2002 17:19:00 | More by Gusler
Photo of aaronh


3.58/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours with a thick, off-white head that leaves a nice lace. The aroma has a hint of malt underneath floral hops. The first taste reveals an assertive hop flavor which mellows to reveal some malt character on sucessive drinks. Very pronounced citrus flavor. Pyramid claims 67 IBU's for this beer, and I believe it. Very hoppy. The mouthfeel is very full and the finish is rather clean with a hint of a hops aftertaste. Due to the slightly heavy hop profile and the ABV, I would not drink a bunch of these in one evening, but it is a good, agressive IPA.

10-14-2002 15:22:23 | More by aaronh
Photo of putnam


3.63/5  rDev +7.4%

As second, much better sample. Hop-steeped liquid. Texture is silky and holds the fresh hop notes well. Generous, chewy, bright, citric and mint taste dominates but does not overwhelm. There are rumblings of canola and nuts. The finish is medium in length. Foursquare.

09-26-2002 11:19:16 | More by putnam
Photo of marc77


3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

Light copper hue w/ a light haze, topped by a thin, but dense head that manages loose lace. Assertive citrusy hop nose w/ hints of mint accompanied by a light caramel sweetness, buttery malt as well as mild biscuit in aroma. In flavor, an initially sharp hop bitterness mellows then yields to a strong caramel malt presence. Toasty grain provides a dryish counterpart to the malt sweetness along with the assertive hop bitterness. Moderate and dextrinous in body, with well calculated carbonation to help facilitate a smooth mouthfeel. Hop flavor is expectedly citrusy, albeit one dimensionally so. Finishes w/ dry breadiness and a hint of butterscotch lingering. Pyrmaid IPA is a well crafted, enjoyable IPA w/ a solid malt backbone to support the hops. It's just a tad one dimensional and not particularly imaginative.

09-21-2002 18:03:54 | More by marc77
Photo of bcm119


3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Hazy orange appearance with a thin but fairly durable head. Aroma was sweet and grainy, almost candy-like. The sweet pale malt showed up first in the nose, which turned fruity with ripe, candied citrus hop flavors. Mouthfeel is a little gummy and medium bodied. Finish marked by a lasting film of hops, leaving a sticky hop aftertaste. Overall a nice tasting IPA, but too sweet and not crisp enough for my taste.

08-22-2002 12:25:42 | More by bcm119
Photo of Dogbrick


3.1/5  rDev -8.3%

Not nearly as good as Samuel Smith's IPA, but not bad. I thought it could have used some more malt to balance the hops. I would like to try it on tap some day. Nice honey color and rather bubbly.

08-14-2002 07:59:57 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of Mark


3.95/5  rDev +16.9%

Finally got around to visiting the new Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek. Was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't filled with trend sucking yuppie scum. On to the beer, This IPA was a bit of a letdown appearance wise. The head vanished quick and lace was minimal. However I gave it decent marks everywhere else. Hops were prominent and very tasty (Tomahawk) good drinkable IPA. I think I'll try another one next time to see if the head improves.

07-07-2002 19:24:59 | More by Mark
Photo of jackndan


3.88/5  rDev +14.8%

Pyramid IPA: Very nice IPA. Nice head, and Belgian lace all the way to the bottom of the glass. Has an aroma that wafts out the glass. Nice tangy taste, not too much hops, but enough that you Know they are there. Mild alcohol warmth going down. Nice.

06-27-2002 19:40:59 | More by jackndan
Photo of goindownsouth


4.5/5  rDev +33.1%

I must agreet with "tigerpaws" on this one. Being a huge advocate of the IPA's, this may well be my favorite of them all. It was amazingly fragrant before I even took a sip. The drinkability flat-out amazing. One of the best beers I have had in a long, long time.

06-20-2002 18:12:04 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of ADR


3.4/5  rDev +0.6%

Clear copper color, 1/4 inch head that leaves some rim-clinging lace. Tangy aroma. Nice caramel malt flavor, hops are very assertive but taste more like grapefruit pith than rind. I love super hoppy brews but there's too much early bitterness as well as at the finish. This brew seems overbalanced toward the hops even for an American India. Hops are more burning than refreshing. I don't actively dislike this brew, but think that it needs more fiddling.

06-18-2002 09:59:17 | More by ADR
Photo of tigerpaws

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +31.1%

This beer is a hopheads nectar, for the avergae beer drinker it comes on to powerful. I myself loved it...I drank it with some very spicy chili and the powerful hops complimented the hot spices perfectly. The hop taste lingers even as you are eating the hot spicy food. And also would like to compliment Pyramid on their presentation, I would want to try this beer just because of the artistci labels..........CHEERS

06-13-2002 08:00:33 | More by tigerpaws
Photo of EagleTalon


3.65/5  rDev +8%

The bottles that I had were one month past the drink by date. I bought the sixpack in an Oklahoma liquor store where refrigeration of "strong beer" is prohibited (Booo). The verdict: I really enjoyed this beer. I bet the aging did it some good. The hop bitterness, flavor and aroma were extremely powerful yet balanced; it was not funky or harsh. This is the best bottled commercial IPA I have tasted, but given everyone else's reviews, I suspect there must be better ones out there.

Update: And yes, there ARE better ones than this beer. See my other IPA reviews. This beer is too "one-dimensional" to be considered an excellent IPA. Not bad, but could be better.

05-06-2002 22:16:51 | More by EagleTalon
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Thunderhead IPA from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 621 ratings.