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Halcyon | Thornbridge Brewery

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BA SCORE
89
very good
75 Reviews
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HalcyonHalcyon
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Thornbridge Brewery
United Kingdom (England) | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 03-30-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
220
Avg:
4
pDev:
15.75%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
19
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 220
Photo of HWMASTERBREW
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale yellow with good foam stability. Nice lacing left on glass as foam subsides. Very good West Coast style IPA, but seems a bit unbalanced, with very strong citrus hop flavour overpowering the malt. Very good bittering and aroma, with strong citrus aroma. Very good beer, but would have liked the malt to come through a bit more. Mouthfeel was very good, and the beer had a good long finish.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold color, almost clear. White head, unfortunately completely impermanent, leaves a mark on the glass.
Aroma: the wealth of fruit, citrus, tropics, floral notes.
Taste: Citrus fruits clear advantage, again flowers.
Gentian intense, slightly resinous, saturation average.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, very pale yellow. Smells mostly of earthy hops and sweet malts, with a hint of honey. Initially tastes sweet, but goes bitter and hoppy. Very light body, crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of Spike
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich, yellow, gold with a large, frothy head. No carbonation unless shaken. Low clarity due to plentiful, pale haze. No mention of sediment on the label. More like a suspension.

Powerful nose, brimming with oranges and melon. Some resin. Banana.

Equally powerful taste, although the resin beats out the citrus this time. A little sweetness on the tip of the tongue that is quickly subsumed by the dryness of the hops.

Lovely, slightly oily mouthfeel. The carbonation is more obvious than its appearance would suggest. Very clever. Not sure how this is done. The dryness is looong.

At 7.4% ABV not a session ale, and maybe too rich for a lunchtime brew in the beer garden. This is a big beer. But perfect for a Friday evening tipple any time of the year. In my opinion, if you're going to make an American IPA, make it big. Like this one.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale golden color was a shade lighter than expected, and the pour was filled with suspended yeast sediment stirred up during transport. The smell was unusual for the style, as I did not expect the strong lemon aroma. The sour smell did not translate into a sour taste however. The flavor was full of floral hops followed appropriately by a strong flavor of honey. The finish had a spicy quality to it. This was not exactly American in a flavor profile, nor was it British. It tasted closest to a cross between an APA and a BSPA to me. The body was medium thick, making this quite easy to drink. Quite expensive for what you get, but worth trying once at least.

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Photo of bobcat1977
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Hazy yellow with a lovely fruity hoppy aroma. Taste reminds me of a slighty weaker Sierra Nevarda Torpedo, little mellower and less herbal.

Excellent beer from Thornbridge, Jaipur is great and this is one notch higher - love it.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy gold under a 1” cream colored foam cap that is persistent, clingy and lacy. S: Big earthy, woody hops with traces of citrus supported by light biscuit notes. T: The palate is maltier and fruitier than the nose. The malt is medium to medium low and supports slightly above medium hop and yeast flavors. There are tropical fruit flavors especially mango with traces of berry and citrus throughout with a hint of banana in the finish. F: Medium to medium light body and medium low carbonation. O: A very interesting IPA packed with flavor. It is much fruitier and less bitter than its American counterparts and has bit tropical fruit flavors.

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Photo of djura
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Golden honey color. Something tick in the glass, from yeast or something else, very interesting. White foam, low carbonation.
S - Honey, haze, fresh, grassy, highly aromatic.
T/M - Haze, honey, balanced bitterness, refreshing, crisp.

O - Very good. Maybe a bit less imperial IPA, and a bit more English IPA.

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Photo of FLima
3.94/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber yellow color with a thick one finger head with medium retention and leaving some laces.
Aroma of bread malt, pineapple, melon and lemongrass.
Flavor of mango, melon, spices, grass, pine, biscuit malt base, floral and mildly citrus hops, grapefruit, lemon and white wine. Dry, almost astringent aftertaste with a long lasting bitterness.
Full malty body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 7.4% is well disguised.
Great British take on an American DIPA. Malty, but not overly sweet with enough hops to undertake it. Good mix between green, citrus and tropical. Very drinkable, especially considering the style. Love the Thornbridges.

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Photo of Offa
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

I find this to be an outstanding IPA,complex,engaging, sell-rounded, and highly drinkable.

Dark straw yellow, slightly hazy, it has a big white head steadily shrinking to lasting thin foamy top.

Aroma is yeasty lemon, hints of grapefruit, pineapple, bread, flowery and woody (cedar?), hint of orange marmalade - aromatic, juicy , complex and very nice.

Taste is very cedary, juicy (passionfruit), lemony, yeasty up front through the finish, some bread crust and pepper coming later.It has some definite but restrained sweetness and bitterness, balanced and slightly on the dry side. It has lingering zesty, engaging bitterness, light mineral quality, and a creamy, full feel.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.27/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle served in a pint glass.

A: Pours a pale yellow color, forming a big and bubbled white head. Great retention and tons of lingering and soapy lacings left in the glass

S: Great notes of tropical fruits and pine. Watermelon, grapefruit, pine, sweet pale grains and earthy yeasts

T: Follows the nose. Slightly sweet upfront. Notes of watermelon, grapefruits, pine. Quite smooth with a medium but very pleasant bitterness in the end. A bit earthy and bready. Pale Ale style yeasts. Very light to a 7.4% ABV, no sign of alcohol

M: Medium and creamy body. Medium carbonation. Sweet pale malts + pine and citrus fruits in the aftertaste. However, its bitterness is not persistent

O: Excellent drinkability. Great British IPA with some American character

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; best before March 20 2015. The last two Thornbridge brews I tried (Jaipur and Kipling) were both excellent and still count amongst my favourite pale ales of all time, so grabbing this one was reflexive more than anything. Served just below cellar temperature.

Pours a lovely golden-blonde colour, slightly hazy but obscured with countless flakes of, um, stuff. Nearly two fingers of foamy, eggshell-white head erupts at the surface, but recedes steadily over the next few minutes into an uneven, frothy cap and collar, leaving behind a doily pattern ring of lacing. The aroma is fruity and zesty, with a wide range of citrusy notes including lemon, orange and lime. Rather floral, with a hint of peach and pineapple. This is shaping up to be a solid one.

The first sip does not disappoint - this is a stellar IPA. A biscuity malt backbone is definitely present, but my tongue is far too distracted by the cavalcade of beautiful hop juiciness to care much about that. Tropical fruits figure in strongly - not only citrusy grapefruit and lemon pith, but also some pineapple and passionfruit. Apricot also comes in nicely, with the pear drop note (mentioned on the back label) providing a delectable sweetness toward the finish. There's some mild resiny bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers on the palate, likely thanks to the viscous, oily mouthfeel of this one. Medium-bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel and relatively mild carbonation. Thornbridge is quickly becoming one of my favourite UK brewers.

Final Grade: 4.39, an excellent A grade. Despite basically being a DIPA, Halcyon is extremely drinkable, which combined with its delicious nature could become problematic. I mean, I only picked up one bottle! In all seriousness, this is a fabulous India pale ale that is well worth the $5.25 price tag in this province. This bottle was bought out of town, but if I had ready access to this stuff I would be buying it by the armful. Great beer that I highly recommend to all hopheads, and would certainly buy again - all that good stuff. An ideal selection for my 650th review on BA.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into nonic pint

a: hazy but very vibrant pale yellow -- lighter in colour than a lager. lots of floating particles. 3+ fingers of head on this one so be careful with your pour

s: pretty strong pear presence right when i opened the bottle. with the nose in the nonic, i get big floral and pear notes. peach and apricot follow. subtle malt aromas as well. smells wonderful

t: floral and pear notes up front, peach and apricot afterwards, some slight mango and lemon, then a nice pop of crackery bready malt. the bitterness comes through afterwards -- not tongue-ripping but just enough to balance the sweet fruit and malt flavours. finishes dry with some lemon notes. delicious!

m: medium bodied, medium carbonation

o: a departure from the citrus-dominant IPAs but this brew is surely unique and amazing. would definitely have this again some time in the future

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Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on May 21, 2014.

Slightly hazy pale yellow pour building up to a full, creamy white head that slowly settles down but never disappears entirely.

The nose is quite mild for an Imperial IPA. I expected explosive hops but instead they are more subtle and they balance well with the roasted malts. There is also a kind of melon note.

Light body.

The malts express themselves more than the hops considering this is an Imperial IPA. It would not bother me as much if this was a standard English style IPA. I shouldn't say it bothers me. It was not what I anticipated. Malts mix in well. Hops linger a little at the end. I did enjoy it but I was expecting more hop bitterness.

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Photo of BGDrock
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: thoughts of lemon custard and meringue pie, with a misty lemon body and egg white, foamy head

Aroma: lemon cookie, light pine touch of candy sweetness, mango, pineapple

Taste & Mouthfeel: clean and fruity with a solid pine hop finish providing just the right balance, not overwhelming the other flavours; lemon and mango shine against, and biscuit - it's really got into my head that this is a "pie" flavoured brew, all the elements just come together in that sense (with a bunch of bitterness thrown in); perfect carbonation, medium body, doesn't feel like 7% at all

Overall: so fresh and crisp, amazing for summer, and very sessionable - which could be dangerous! This is my kind of IPA, showing off wonderful balance and bright flavours

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Photo of tbeckett
4.26/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes.

A - Poured light golden with light haze and some floaty bits. Two fingers of fluffy white head on top with good carbonation left a good finger of retention and spotty lace.

S - Biz zippy tropical aroma. Biscuity malt, honey, sweet fruits and candy. Sweet honey notes were strong.

T - Nice tropical fruit, light passionfruit, some malt there too. Big juicy tropical fruits with orange and sweet candied fruit.

M - Good mild but noticeable carbonation, medium to full body and a nice bitterness.

O/D - Very solid. Another good Thornbridge offering. Very drinkable and complex. Delicious stuff. Well done.

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Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Halcyon is a very light-coloured beer, a fact that bodes well for die-hard hopheads; the amount of haziness and suspended proteins, however, indicates that little malt was spared for this 7.4% Double-ish IPA. The glass looks like it's been made-up in a frilly dress; lacing abounds.

Halcyon has a bouquet that stinks like ganja. Undeniably pungent at first sniff, this stanky herbal character is lifted only slightly by hints of zesty lime, flowery peach and bitter greens. If you haven't figured it out yet - it's hoppy. That being said, there's a lot of biscuity malt that comes through as well. This smells like it should be balanced...

Drinking Halcyon is just like eating crackers - albeit crackers that are mushy and wet, presumably because they're soaked in grapefruit juice. The flavour has lots of biscuity maltiness as well as accompanying citrus and herbal notes. There's a strong lemon-and-dill-like note that should suit white seafood just fine, and certainly enough tarragon flavour to hold up to chicken.

The more I drink it, the more I find this DIPA to have a Sauvignon Blanc-like profile: overtly herbaceous, grassy and acidic. The broad graininess aside, this beer is dominated by its hints of under-ripe pear, green apple, peach and prominently tropical flavours of passionfruit. If you're going to enjoy these flavours, mind you, be advised to do in a few months from bottling - don't wait the full year Thornbridge allots. It won't last.

Like Kipling or Jaipur IPA, Halcyon is as stinky, weedy, and tropical as any beer you'd pluck from the shelves of a southern Californian beer store - it's offerings like this that make Derbyshire seem like the new San Diego. Despite their long voyage I've really enjoyed all these hoppy offerings. Halcyon is a good one, especially for those who like their IPAs ultra green, pithy, and herbal.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 500 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: hazy gold in color with a full fluffy head that lasts for quite a while. There is fantastic lacing and lovely meringue like islands left after the head breaks.

S: floral and citrus hops with a lovely sweet touch. Malts and grains are there as well.

T: hoppy, citrus first with some pine followed by a sweetness from malts.

M: medium carbonation and body with a really nice finish that leaves you wanting more... Just a nice balance between dry and sweet.

O: okay, I was not expecting this to be this tasty. A really nice beer with a refreshing finish. If not for the 7.4% abv this would be down right sessionable.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $5.25

Appearance - Gold colour with a large size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Hops, apricots, grapefruit, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste apricot, grapefruit, and malts. There is also a variety of tropical fruit flavour

Overall - A very solid brew. Borders the IPA/DIPA line but is very drinkable. Not exactly sure how fresh this beer is, but if it is a few months old, I can only imagine how good it was fresh. I picked up a few bottles and I'll grab a few more. One of the better beers from the LCBO 2014 spring release.

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Photo of peensteen
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed verypale blonde colour, more than a finger of white head, quite a bit of lace. Smell is bright and floral at fisrt, grassy with citrus fruit secondary, hoppy with white grapefruit and orange, just a bit of crisp crackery malt. Taste is hoppy and dry, some initial citrus replaced by grassy piune, a bit of crisp malt, dank pine, dry aftertaste with a slight honey sweetness, Dry medium body, medium carbonation. Solid stuff, not exceptional but incredibly drinkable, would certainly have this again.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served well chilled into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBo for something under $5 CDN.

Appearance- Moderate pour yielded a fluffy 2.5 finger white head resting on top of a mostly clear golden ale. Some resting particulate is visible in the beer. Head lingers for a while leaving a frothy white cap on top of the beer and streaky lacing down the asides of the glass.

Smell - Earthy, citrusy lemon lime aromas, with some tropical sweetness in the way of pineapple. Sort of a grounded woodsiness about the aroma too, however that remains subdued while the extravagant fruit lies up front.

Sweet and fruity up front, definitely pineapple and other sweet tropical fruit flavors before transitioning to an earthier bitterness on the back end with trace amount of the sweetness lingering. There's not a lot else, just a simple very well constructed IPA with big tropical hop flavors and a bitter yet subdued backbone.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy, yet light enough be refreshing and I would consider more than one in a sitting. Mouthfeel is light and medium bodied, yet heavier than is indicated in the light appearance.

Overall - One of those beers that isn't quite mind-blowingly good in any respect but is just a really, really solid all around IPA, that is easy to drink and enjoy. Highly recommended, and isn't so out there that beginners to craft will find this to strange for them either.

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Photo of Pencible
3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy straw with a little white head and sediment.
S: It smelled like sugary orange.
T: It tasted like sugary orange and cantaloupe. It had a clean bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was a little thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was much better than Kipling. The scent wasn't great, but the taste was enjoyable and unique. The body was good, and the finish was pretty smooth, so it was easy to drink. Nothing special, but a good enough brew.

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Photo of Kenee
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely fruity citrus smell. Uber refreshing, light citrus flavour. Thin mouthfeel with very little alcohol taste despite being 7.2%. Really nice after taste although hardly any astringency. Bloody lovely beer. Reminds me of a summers day. More please!

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Photo of BeerDrinker01
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle served cold in a pint glass

Light golden with a thin head with some lacing. Smell, Tropical fruits, Passionfruit & Mango, Citrus, Grassy, Pine hops. Taste, Tropical fruits, Grass, Bitter pine hops, Citrus. Mouthfeel is Medium body with moderate carbonation balanced with a dry finish nice bitterness. Overall a very drinkable well balanced IPA from Thornbridge

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Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Fantabulous! Poured at a good temperature with a mammoth, foamy, frothy, fluffy, sudsy, off-white head that settled after a bit and lots of clingy lace. Color is a clear amber yellow with some bubble trails. Aroma is great, somewhat simple, but balanced and still interesting - sweet zone between resin and citrus with a hint of weed. Flavor's like nose, but more complex: sweet up front is quickly dominated by bitter and accented by tang; flavor's being again, like nose plus yeast, apricot,- malt, grain. Body/carbonation are perfect. Finish has a bit of an off-flavor, longish, and is quite drinkable with only a suggestion of alcohol. True to style. Killer beer.

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Halcyon from Thornbridge Brewery
89 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.
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