Nickel Brook Headstock IPA | Better Bitters Brewing Co.

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86
very good
81 Reviews
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Nickel Brook Headstock IPANickel Brook Headstock IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Better Bitters Brewing Co.
Ontario, Canada
nickelbrook.com

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

Added by Sammy on 08-05-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
81
Ratings:
250
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
18.28%
 
 
Wants:
8
Gots:
42
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 250
Photo of portwood
3.6/5  rDev -6%
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)

 194 characters

Photo of Mwat
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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 +15.1%
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 +5.7%
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 +7%
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 +18%
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 +20.4%
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 +9.9%
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 0%
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 +4.4%
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.

 385 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.06/5  rDev +6%
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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Photo of headlessparrot
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The can orders me to "Drink Fresh," and yet the absence of a canned-on or best before date makes that a difficult proposition, especially since I found this Ontario beer in the wild in Alberta.

Nevertheless, onward: not a bad little IPA. Hazy in colour, big head. Lots of earthy, piney hops, cat piss, vegetal, and a big malt base. Almost tastes more "English" than American, despite the brewery's claims (or it could be a freshness deficit). A nice IPA, but it's not setting the world on fire.

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Photo of EricVonStein
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice golden orange colour, cloudy so unfiltered. Generous finger of off white head. Oily shine visible - likely from hops oils. Good head retention.

Peachy fruits on the nose, melon, then musty and grainy. No citrus, this is more dank.

Fruits are more fermented than in the nose, slight sourness of lemon. Resiny and piny hops, some citrus peel. Background mustiness is present. finish is dry and bitter, but quite earthy, even swampy. Pretty unique and definitely stands out a bit to the typical profile in the genre. Med-light bodied and thick on the tongue, leaving a film. Carbonation is good.

Overall a bit of curve ball here, surprised me with the flavours. More pine earthy and dank IPA than fruit and citrus bomb. Above description says nugget hop was used which is described as earth woody and herby, which matches the taste well, but the can says Amarillo Simcoe Mosaic Equinox, which are more usual suspects in citrus forward IPAs. Simcoe is listed first so perhaps thats the earthy dominance. Really nice and much fuller than their American Pale Ale.

 1,067 characters

Photo of Samuel_Merryweather
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good head but doesn't add a lot to the enjoyment. Great hoppy scent, floral with minimal bitterness. More bitterness in the taste leaving the floral notes by the wayside. Malt is very well balanced with the hops... Meaning in this case that there isn't a lot of malt flavour. Average mouthfeel. Perhaps a tad watery. Overall a solid IPA that doesn't quite manage to rise above the pack. Definitely above average tho.

Edit: prematurely rated this. About halfway through the glass you get accustomed to the hops and the balance between bitter and floral becomes perfect and delicious. With this added revelation I think this beer does rise above the pack. Will buy again for sure

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Photo of akdo
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: The beer looks likea dark honey with a one-finger head. The head dissipates quickly and leaves its foam on the glass as you drink. The body is also cloudy thanks to the yeast.

Smell: The nose is akin to lemon and grapefruit upon being smelled twice. The notes of pine woods are absent.

Taste: The palate briefly tastes like lemon then shifts quickly to the notes of pine woods. Because of the malt, you can sense the imprint of grapefruits on the pine woods.

Feel: Despite an IBU of 80, it is a rather light IPA. Although I appreciate the attempt to balance the bouquet of flavours, I would have loved to taste the grapefruit first and the lemon along with the pine woods altogether later.

Overall: This is an interesting take on an American IPA. My only reservation is about the weird order in which the different flavours come in play. Nonetheless, the beer has a voice of its own and I would drink it again.

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Photo of Tilly
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wrote! Just when I was about to give up on Ontario craft breweries Nickel Brock hits it out of the park!
Pores a clear gold with a frothy white head that dissipates quickly.
Heavenly aromas of skunky pine, grapefruit, lemon and huge hops.
Taste does not disappoint.
Good dry mouth feel with a disappointing lack of bitterness but still a nice finish.
Great job!

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Normally cans with shrink-wrapped labels on them look pretty silly. This one is the exception in that it uses a matte-style wrap, which I think looks really good.

Flavor is more on the pine tone with a thick profile. I thought to myself that it tasted unfiltered and turned the can just a smidge to see the word "unfiltered." Very robust and earthy. Some filtering could probably do it some justice, but what is here provides a good beer to go with food.

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Photo of Batheinfire
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy orange with almost 2 fingers of white head.
Intense tropical/ citrus fruit smell
Slightly sweet with a nice crisp hoppyness. A top notch IPA.

 155 characters

Photo of Beccy
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm glad they changed their branding, I would have never picked up this multicoloured mess before they changed it to the sleek and stylish handcrafted chalky look. I judge beers and books by their ability to hire a decent designer.

A bit cloudy with an ok head, smells like tropical fruit, tastes like a bitter grapefruit (in a nice way?), needs a bit more fizz. Good beer, stronger than it tastes, a little hoppy for me though.

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Photo of Logan12321
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a darker yellow, not very clear. Head forms to about 1"-1 1/2" stays around for a couples minutes.

Wonderful aroma, mangos is the one scent that really sticks out the most for me here, little bit of oranges as well.

The same tastes appear that appeared in the aroma for the start, smooth going down but with a bit of a bitter finish.

Refreshing and the bitterness gives it a bit of a bite at the end, overall nice beer to relax, could see myself purchasing for a outdoor event in the summer, has that kind of summer feel to it.

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Photo of Dna_Infinity
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can to Glass

Appearance - Poured a hazy orange with a nice two finger white head

Smell - Lots of tropical fruits, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, orange. Great smelling

Taste - Tropical fruits come through, a lot more bitterness then I expected

Overall - A well made hoppy IPA

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Photo of kevinlater
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

473ml can into nonic pint. canned june 16, 2014. enjoyed on july 6, 2014 with slices of chipotle-gouda and jalapeno-havarti cheeses

a: a somewhat opaque orangey tangerine colour. 3 fingers of off-white head that dies out slowly. nice lacing too

s: great hop presence here. citrusy, grapefruit, orange, pine, caramel, slight tropical fruit notes

t: did i just bite into a grapefruit? orange, melon, and lemon follow as well. the taste gets piney mid-palate, with good malty flavours balancing out the grapefruit bitterness. doesn't feel like 80 IBU as indicated on the can, but it still gives a prominent drying feeling

m: medium body, medium carbonation.

o: tasty stuff that will definitely satisfy hopheads. definitely gonna have this again in the future. try it out!

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Photo of beerluvr
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Poured a cloudy darkish orange into a Duvel tulip, substantial eggshell-colored head leaves a nice collar as it slowly settles.
S: Bracing nose of fresh Nugget hops and firm maltiness as an afterthought...but that nose is all about those hops!
T: Sweet candy-fruity yeasty maltiness then POW!...hops all up in your face, flowery and quite bitter, very well balanced but in the end the hop takes precedent.
M: Firm malt base, sweet yet non-cloying makes for great mouthfeel before the hoppiness takes the stage.
O: Fantastic take on an American-style aggressively hopped IPA. One of my faves up here in Ottawa and a great bargain at $2.85 (Canadian) for a tall boy can. Great find for this hop head...gotta keep my eyes open for some other offerings by this outfit. Recommended without hesitation.

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Photo of DaveBar
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3 for a 473ml can. Served at 8deg C in a draught glass.

A- Very good! Unfiltered. Opened well for an IPA. Not much head as expected

S- Pretty good. Citrus, honey.

T- Nice. Not too hop forward but blended well. Mild malt and citrus hues match well

M- Excellent! Enjoyed the creamy dry slightly bitter texture

O- Pretty good for a Canadian IPA. Will buy again

Food Pairing

This nice little IPA paired very well with... sushi. I rolled a very nice spicy tuna roll and a spicy salmon roll and all was delicious!

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Photo of ssmack
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden yellow colour with 1 inch fine white head. Tons of suspended debris that settled to the bottom.

A strong citrus aroma. Grapefruit and pine along with a floral spicy smell.

The taste is built on a sweet malt base. Largely grapefruit. Sharp bitterness.

A medium feel with a bite. Slightly oily.

An excellent AIPA but it should be labelled as unfiltered.

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Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from Better Bitters Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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