Headstock IPA | Nickel Brook Brewing Co.

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Headstock IPAHeadstock IPA
Very Good
Headstock IPAHeadstock IPA

Brewed by:
Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A boldly hopped, full bodied American style IPA. Headstock IPA is brewed primarily with nugget hops, which gives rise to a distinct hop flavor, bitterness and aroma. It also uses blend of classic European and North American malts to enhance the body and full flavour. No additives. No Preservatives. Naturally carbonated for a smooth, crisp finish.

80 IBU

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 290
Photo of eberesford
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours pale gold with a slightly frothy head. Aromas of apricot and citrus. Flavour: Tropical fruit (pineapple) and stone fruit sweetness balanced by citrusy, piney, bitterness.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very nice IPA from Canada, surprisingly refreshing and well-balanced. Golden hazy color with some nice head and lingering lacing. Smells of fruity and floral hops; tastes of citrus zest hops more than floral hops, but there's also caramel, grain and a nice malt backbone in there. Nice smooth mild mouthfeel with nice finish and good amount of carbonation. Very pleasant hint of bitterness at the end. Will definitely check out more offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of monkist
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Woo-hoo! Canada did it again! And from US hops but nevertheless: Simcoe, Amarillo, Equinox and Mosaic do the job pretty well along with the Californian yeast - and there you have it, it's almost like a Californian West Coast IPA! The Canadian frost starts thawing up immediately and the palm trees show up and now you're feeling this, round, slightly sweet piney bitterness in the ocean air. Great!
Snells amazing, dlightly tropical fruits, oranges, sweet red grapefruits. A mild taste and almost no bitterness, and the orange grapefruits smell is just there all the time. Great. And its mild and smooth and low carbonation, almost like a juice. Of hops and tropical fruits. Great.

Now I let them speak for themselves. This is from the can:

"WE ADMIT IT. WE HAVE A PROBLEM... WE LOVE OUR HOPS. We especially adore the amazing science of hops! As homage to our favourite wonder of nature, we present you our award-winning Headstock IPA. The flowering humulus lupulus hop-cone provides us with the vital acids, essential oils and resins that permeate throughout our IPA. The result is a deliciously obscene wallop of tropical fruit, citrus and pine hop flavours and aromas any hop-head would gladly provide a DNA sample for.

We conclude that hop science is one tasty passion!"

And they put the headstock of my favorite Gibson guitars on the can. Boom. Great. This is awesome.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Straw and hazy with a little, fast rising, small bubbled carbonation. Topped with 5 fingers of off white, creamy head.

Smells of pine, tropical fruits, pineapple, and grapefruit pith.

The taste is initially sweet and fruity. Tons of tropical fruit, mangos, papayas, pineapple, and peaches. It finishes with a balancing bitterness that doesn't take it too far in another direction.

Medium, resinous body with a little carbonation.

Drinking on Lake Muskoka, Feb 21st, 2018. Excellent IPA!

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy orange in color with about two fingers of head. Retention and lacing are nice.

Citrusy hops and caramel malts are dominant on the nose. As I drink, I notice the malts on the nose a bit more.

Citrus and pine resin lead the way on flavor. They hit you up front, and then you get those caramel malts.

A medium body with good carbonation. A dry bitter finish which is quite enjoyable.

A good IPA that would make an easy go to in a pinch. It is an enjoyable drink that would be great on a warm day at the lake.

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Photo of Mysticmage
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

fall batch from a can poured into a pint glass. wow! A surprise treat here. pours orange murky just like a true American IPA marred only by a weak collar. Gorgeous fruit nose here with cirtus dominance with a hint of woodsy goodness. smooth start with a little bitter aftertaste but hold flavour well throughout. solid strength, a interestng blend of ingredients...all from Burlington? aye. An excellent find!

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Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden, super fruity aroma of citrus, tropical fruit, tangerine with distinct hoppiness. Taste of ripe citrus, pineapple, milder pine. Loved the mouth feel - prominent full carbonation and finishes with a lingering bitterness that 80 IBUs would suggest, yet smooth start to finish. Really good.

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Photo of ADicerni
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great head and some lacing. Hazy golden appearance.
Fresh hop aroma with citrus notes.
Taste is fresh and clean with citrus and pine on the tongue. Good carbonation as well. Nice mouth feel with lingering bitterness on finish.
Overall a favourite for me.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: hazy; deep gold in color; 2+ finger off white head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: earthy, floral, and caramel;

T: follows the nose for a moment, then mint becomes predominant; by the mild to moderately bitter finish; the mint has faded;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: well made; definitely a different take on the style, although not what I'm looking for when I choose an IPA;

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Photo of MichaelGennings
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nickel Brook Brewing Company's Headstock IPA.

473ml can. 7% alc. 80 IBUs.

The beer has a soapy white head and the body appears a hazy golden colour that is almost orange. There is quite a bit of sediment due to the fact the beer is unfiltered.

The notes are grapefruit and other citrus fruits, tropical fruit, pine, and a slight floral fragrance.

The taste is similar to the aroma, plus an underlying hop bitterness that is really tasty.

There is a juice-like quality to the beer, making it smooth and quite gulpable. As a result, given the high ABV, one should be cautious.

This is a light to medium bodied beer.

All said, I quite like this beer and would buy it again.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy orange body, basically translucent, with a thin white head, and a sticky lacing coating the sides of the glass.

S - Soft orange and a bit of resin and pine. Pith and zest.

T - Follows the nose, with a full orange open, a malty middle highlighting toasted bread and biscuits mingling with juicy fruit notes of grapefruit juice, and a close that is smartly bitter, laying out a pith and slightly spicy close.

M - Slightly spiky carbonation but a soft feel, with a drying close that avoids being harsh but definitely one that builds over time.

O - I had a couple beers from this brewery last year during a visit to Toronto, and generally thought well of them. So imagine my surprise when this and Naughty Neighbor appeared on my local shelf. This is a great juicy drink, full of grapefruit and citrus and a feel that is pleasant and approachable. I'll grab more again soon.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Something I'd never had before from a brewer I've never sampled before, but unfortunately, this IPA is coming in at just under 3 months old, which is not ideal for a first tasting. 1/16/17 canning. Features Simcoe, Amarillo, Equinox, and Mosaic hops, 2-Row, Pale ale, Carastan, Carafoam, and flaked Wheat malts, and California yeast. 7.0% abv, 80 IBUs... Unfiltered medium-gold color, big white foam head and lotsa lace. Grain aromas, earthy and rich, predominate. Flavors are like-wise fairly grain-forward, with underpinnings of dry citrus pith suggestive of grapefruit and a squeeze of lime with a soft current of resinous caramel pine. Soft, moderately carbonated and very smooth. Very enjoyable. Would love to try this with say, 3 weeks on it as opposed to 3 months. This beer must be crazy-good fresh...

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a can of this in Brantford whilst in Canada for my son's hockey tournament. It poured a hazy orangish with white head that is leaving some lace. The scent is pine resin. The taste is bitter through the drink with pine presence. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

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Photo of Sid_Smith
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thought I would rate this one first, as it is my favorite beer of all time. At 7% it has so much hop complexity that it completely masks the alcohol content. It is Piney, sweet, herbal and very citrusy. The smell is mostly piney. The after taste is extremely fresh and clean, while very bitter, kind of like a sweeter grapefruit. It is my go to beer when it is in stock.

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Photo of portwood
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smell: earthy hops, bitter grapefruit pith, lemon rind.
Taste: creamy mouthfeel, low sugar, pine resin.
Finish: very dry, some citrus but very bitter.
smells better than it tastes
(can 05/25/16)

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Photo of Mwat
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This wasn't a typical IPA for me. it was a little sweeter than most IPA that I enjoy but had a nice taste and feel. Would have liked it a little more crisp with less sweet and a lighter mouth feel. I like when an IPA has the sensation of easily sliding down while maintaining that bite to the taste.

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Photo of owenwood
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought at the LCBO on the main drag in Peterborough, Ontario. After a few Canadian IPAs that I tried, I became a Canadian IPA cynic. This beer has brought me back into the fold. A hoppy, orangey, decent brew that stays with you between sips. Just the right amount of bitter vs. taste. I'd buy more than one of these if/when I get back to another LCBO.

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Photo of Noelan
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

There was a day a IPA tasted like shit to me because i drank macro brews. Lets see if that changed. Another Canadian microbrew today. "head stock" poured from a 473ml can into a stein. Also noteworthy: This beer is brewed 45 minutes from where I live, so I assume it's very fresh.

Look: cloudy golden-amber, a finger of head with good retention, less lacing than i'd like to see but nonetheless decent lacing 3.5

Smell: earthy pine, hops, very hoppy and malty. Also hints of lemon and grapefruit like most IPA's i've had, which isn't many. 4.0

Taste: Fresh, bitter and fruity with hidden elements of earth. Oh yeah, HOPS. 4.25

Feel: Dry, lightly carbonated. 3.75

Overall: Would purchase again. 4.0

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/10/2015. Pours slight hazy orange/copper color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, melon, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, melon, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Good amount of dryness from sticky bitterness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, sticky/resinous, and slightly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent IPA! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of cosmin
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased one can from the LCBO AFTER the best before date (only realized when I got home).

Warning: not for the faint of hops!

Pours a hazy orange/copper colour with about a finger of head. Smell of citrus and pine. Very hoppy and aromatic with a serious bitterness at the end (80 IBU). Cannot tell this is medium bodied IPA is 7% ABV!!! This one is definitely up there on my list of IPAs. It is comparable to Hop City's Hop Bot IPA and Amsterdam Brewing Co's Boneshaker IPA. I will definitely be going back looking for more of these. Well done guys!

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Photo of Boo-urns
4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy, kind of an orangey colour, smells so fruity and piney, very fresh tasting, not too malty, but maybe hard to notice the maltiness due to the almost overwhelming bitterness - I love it! A nice aftertaste, makes my mouth feel fresh. Even my burp had a fresh feeling. I could see myself getting pretty buzzed off of these, goes down pretty smooth for a 7%.

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Photo of beersareonme
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Quite possibly one of my favorite pints. I keep this very hoppy, bitter & citrus brew in my fridge at all times. Thick creamy long lasting head. Wonderful cloudy orange copper in appearance. Yums all around. Cheers.

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Photo of Rukeli76
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really miss the old can design. That's all I'm going to say here.

Nice pale ale colour. Impressive lacing.

The hops are definitely at the grapefruit-y, cat piss-y, pine-y end of the spectrum. Love 'em or hate 'em, the hops are the main attraction here.

Hoppy. Not a lot of malt. Dry.

Quite effervescent.

This is one of the first local American IPAs I ever had. I don't pick this one up a lot anymore, but I usually enjoy it when I do. Bold, unique, pioneering.

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Photo of staubot
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frothy head that is unique and does not go away easy. A bit hazey.
Very unique, smells of apricot hops
Very sour (grapefruit) bitter taste and unique but a unfriendly long lasting heavy hops flavor in the end and after taste.

Taste is not to my liking but it is still a quality taste. That said however due to personal dislike of the taste style I can’t give full marks here.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can packaged 5/4/15 at 42 degrees into snifter
From a trade with @SebD
Aroma of pine and tropical fruit, doesn’t last
Head small (Two cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to two mm ring and partial frothy layer
Lacing excellent – complete rings of tiny to small bubbles
Body medium orange, hazy
Flavor more of tropical fruit than pine, not very bitter, mostly Mosaic hops coming through; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly oily, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Headstock IPA from Nickel Brook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 290 ratings