Pyramid Thunderhead IPA | Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)

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Pyramid Thunderhead IPAPyramid Thunderhead IPA

Brewed by:
Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 69
Photo of OF001
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650 mL btl. Served at 7C in an imperial pint glass.

Nice deep amber clear pour, thick dense pitted head with great lacing.

Smells of mildly toasted pale malts, some underlying tropical fruit sweetness with some leafy, subtle but vibrant hops.

Juicy sweet tropical fruits but lacks the citrus complement to define them. Slight pine note, but definitely oily, balanced with citrus; some herbal and leafy qualities. Bitter dry hop finish.

Decent medium body. starts mildly juicy, neutral in the mid and finished dry and medium-short.

Nice nose, but lacks some... pzazz and umph. Its just too malty for an IPA.
Taste is adequate, and better than the majority in the price range; but it lacks a certain unification. Its smooth, easy and reasonably balanced but needs a punchier hop balance as it comes across as a very under-hoped double IPA or an under hopped English.
A highly rated malty pale ale for sure, but shit, it just lacks.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into Pyramid pint glass. Enjoy by 06-07-12.

A: Pours a clear golden color with 2 finger rocky white head. Plenty of visible bubbles. Head reduces to a thin film with plenty of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose of bread and yeast with plenty of hops. Pulling citrus and floral notes from the beer.

T: Lot more hops in the flavor than in the smell. A little hop upfront, met by ample malt before finishing with a hop aftertaste.

M: Light on the palate, average carbonation. Slightly sticky after swallowing.

Overall one of the first beers I had that I really enjoyed. Looking back at it now its still a good beer. Happy it is finally available in NY.

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Photo of ohndray
3.43/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked a six pack of bottles up at a local grocer.

This is definitely one of the easiest IPAs to drink. BUT... i had great experience with it.

Really enjoyed the hop flavor... but nothing to write home about.

If you're in a mood for a good night... drink with pizza. Excellent pair.

Not one of my favorite IPA's but still enjoyable.

Exclaimer: I'm just a normal guy who likes beer... I consider myself a beer lover but I'm very realistic in my opinions... not looking for the "perfect beer"... they all are in my opinion! haha.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hadn't tried this so I grabbed a 6 pack from the store:

A - Pale golden color, decent head, sticks to the glass.

S - fruity, citrusy hops, malt tones as well.

T - Somewhat complex tastes, cant quite put my finger on the fruity tastes. Not typical. Not as well balanced as I would like but interesting.

M - Medium bodied, kinda chewy, well carbonated.

D - Not quite my cup of tea but worth trying.

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Photo of phiberoptik
2.35/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I sent this one back...

I had some expectations as this was the only unique beer they had on tap. When she said it was an IPA, I said I would take one.

Came to me with no head and very much looked like it could have been a Budweiser. Golden yellow with a faint smell of hops with an after smell of malts.

This had more of a malty aftertaste than a hoppy front. It hit my tongue and tasted good, then dropped off unexpectedly to my best description, a Budweiser. I am no expert, but compared to most of the IPAs I have been trying, this one should be a Pale Ale, not an IPA.

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Photo of bnes09
2.53/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Sampled a bottle from a friend. 12oz bottle with a twist-off cap that is nearly impossible to twist off.

Color is a pale, transparent, yellow orange; very pale for the style. The head is white but does have a good retention and sticky lace.

Not much to the smell. Faint hops that give a slightly sour aroma.

Taste is disappointing. Now that I look at the bottle, it expired about a year ago, which would explain the taste. The hops are definetly soured and somewhat skunky. Malt provides a smoothness but the taste is off. Finishes dry with an unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Very low carbonation. Nothing much else to note.

Very difficult to drink, probably due the lack of freshness. I might be ok if it weren't stale so this review is somewhat biased but I doubt it would be anything worth getting again, even fresh. Morale of the story: check the dates before you buy it. The date on this one is barely discernable but if you cant read it, don't buy it.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I remember way back when how when this was released by pyramid and it was considered by some to be a gamble, they weren't sure how the public would like a more full flavor higher booze beer, boy how things have changed, that was like 10 years ago. This is actually a pretty run of the mill IPA, not really that hoppy, but more citrusy and a bit of a caramel flavor. It is a very malty beer that I guess balances out the hops that you would expect with an IPA. Overall this is a very drinkable beer, nothing special but a beer you can count on. I don't know about the new packaging though, kinda lame.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.26/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish yellow color with a slight fluffy head. The smell is more malty than hoppy, but there is a hint of citrus hops. The taste is of citrus hops and some floral hops, it is not as hoppy as other IPA's but it has a good bitterness to it. The mouthfeel is a light to moderate carbonation. Overall the drinkability is slightly above average it isn't as hoppy as some ipa's but is smooth and balanced.

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Photo of zdk9
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A hazy light orange/ dark yellow color. A finger's worth of head tops the beer and leaves some decent lacing. Actually I should give it more credit- very good and strong lacing.

S- Some caramel and some tropical fruit- mango, unripe pineapple, even some papaya.

T- Very bitter and quite tropical. This is really on a different side of the hops spectrum from what I typically like and I'm hard pressed to really enjoy this one. While it is resonably complex and has a lot of flavor I'm just not enjoying those flavors. There is also a hefty caramel flavor- think pecan caramel bun.

M- Lasting bitterness, and quite syrupy. This is part of what tires out my pallate.

D- I had a feeling each time I drank this beer- I got halfway through and just didn't feel like finishing it. Not a bad beer, just not the tastes that I want and strong and bitter enough that I just got tired of it before I could finish 12oz.

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Photo of badmoon
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip from a bomber.

A: Cloudy, amber body. Very little head with no lacing. It's alright but I've seen better.

S: I'm picking up a ton of malt here. There is a tiny bit of hops but the malt is very evident.

T: I'm getting some hops but nothing remarkable. It's alright. It's actually tame for an IPA.

M: Pretty standard. Hop finish is average with slight carbonation.

D: It's very drinkable. I'd rather have this than any of the macros. It wouldn't be at the top of my list outside of that.

Overall: It's a decent brew. I'd compare it to Summit because of where I live but I choose Summit first. For what it is, it's a good beer.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a mostly clear orange/copper color, with a quarter inch bubble like head that reduces quickly to a broken ring. Has lite-medium carbonation. Smells of pungent & somewhat floral raisin and pine. Nice citrus like hops and hints of alcohol, hints of fruity almost pineapple aroma. Not much else, not to complex at all.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of loads of hopy bitterness, some sweet malty undertones. Finishes with wonderful lingering traces of burnt biscuit like bitterness, and a touch of alcohol. Some raisin and citrus notes as well. Mouthfeel is smooth & almost creamy, with some lively carbonation on the palate. Has a medium-full body.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - All in all it's a pretty decent IPA but nothing memorable or attractive for me. I could go for maybe 1-2 if there wasn't a better IPA available. Lots of bitterness like an IPA should have, still nothing outstanding. It's worth a try I guess. Has 6.7% ABV though, so watch out!

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Photo of ghebel
3.7/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gold to amber color, smallist head of small sized bubbles that dissipates quickly but does leave mild lacing on the glass. Only a small ring remains after sitting.

S - Hoped for more hop aroma. Mostly malts to my nose.

T - Taste makes up a bit for lack of smell. Has a noticeable bitterness and bite.

M - Moderate body with warm sensation.

D - This beer is good, but having had other IPAs and being partial to the type, I must say that this one is average. I would drink it again, but prefer others.

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Photo of stephens101
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A one-finger off white and bubbly head tops off a reddish-golden brew after a hard pour. Has a healthy head retention, but leaves little lacing behind. Smells biscuity and a bit sour with the hops hidden underneath and some apricots mixed in which adds a nice affect. Taste is a bit tangy and medicinal with a good hop hit and a decent malt base finishing things off. A different sort of IPA that is not totally in line with the style in my opinion, but decent drinking anyway.

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Photo of seagis
3.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm a sucker for IPA. To me, it is really hard to screw it up. Maybe that means that I just haven't tried enough of them. I'll wear that hat. :-)

This poured a nice, even, apricot color, with a very thin head that almost evaporated. The smell was pleasant, too. Nothing terribly strong, but very pleasant. If the Yankee Candle Company made a candle that smelled like this, I'd buy one. AND I'd brag about it.

The taste was nice. The malt showed through quite clearly in the initial taste. The hoppy flavor made for a nice balance - not too strong, yet not underpowered, either.

The mouthfeel was quite disarming. It doesn't taste very warm, given the relatively high ABV. It is deceptively easy going down.

Drinkability, as mentioned above, is almost too good. I would almost go so far as to say that this would make a good session beer, except for the fact that it is 6.7% ABV. If that makes a session beer for you, then you're my new hero. I could easily knock back a few of these before I realized that it was too late to say "I shouldn't have done that."

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Photo of blakesell
3.22/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is roughly a year old.

Appearance- Beer pours a hazy orange with virtually no head at all. a slight film of carbonation over the top of the beer.

Smell- Hops upfront with a good amount of malt. Nothing really special standing out in this one.

Taste- Resiny hops with a grainy malted off flavor. I believe this beer may be slightly past its prime even with ideal cellering conditions. Not the most redeeming IPA I have had this week.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and alcoholic, but not warming even though this is a somewhat alcoholic beer at 6.7% Near-Complete lack of carbonation really detracts from this beer as well.

Drinkability- This beer was a bit more drinkable when it was fresh. Now it's really not that good at all. After the pleasure of an aged Hopslam, this is quite dissapointing overall.

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Photo of burtonbe
1.94/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A - Light, brilliant gold color. Decent head, which was thin and dissipated quickly.

S - Textbook IPA smell at first, not as much hop aroma as I was expecting.

T - Very spicy. I can really taste the spicyness of the hops. Over-the-top, which is acceptable for the style. Almost careless in a way. Carbonation is appropriate. As it warmed I got a very harsh fusel alcohol taste. Toward the end of the glass it tasted and smelled like rubbing alcohol. Disappointing.

M - Appropriate for the style. Nothing special or outstanding.

D - For the style it is decent. But do not drink this one warm, as the fusel taste ruins the entire experience.

Overall this one tastes like the brewmaster threw it together without refining. If this was a homebrew I would not serve it to guests, as I would be ashamed.

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Photo of beeragent
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a light gold, forming a thin 1 inch head, leaving medium rings of lace on the glass. The aroma is a sweet floral aroma from the hops. The taste is a nice amount of citrus hop flavor, along with a good balance of malt. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, this is the type of pale ale I enjoy. Smooth finish makes this a very sessionable brew. Recommended!

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Photo of jackorain
3.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Slight chill haze in the golden orange color. 1/2 inch white head with decent retention and very good lacing.

S-the only thing I got from this was some carmel and biscuit malt when I poured it. After that I was left with only a clean fresh aroma of very mild hops and yeast. not what I would expect from a West Coast IPA

T-Green an citrus hops with a biscuit malt backbone, nic balance. Long bitter green finish

M-A little thin and watery also weak on carbonation.

D-not too bad, I could have several of these

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: nice thick large head, good retention
Smell: citrusy, common of ipas.
Taste: Hops dominate like any American IPA, yet there is good balance. Was surprised that this beer is 6.7% abv.
Mouthfeel: Refreshing, could be a little more carbonated and crisp
Drinkability: An easy IPA to drink. Very sessionable.

I like this IPA, very easy to drink. A good one to start out with.

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Photo of Beauregard
2.83/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a weak light orange color. Aroma is malty, not what I would expect from an IPA. Very little hope presence in the aroma. Flavor consisted of a strong malt presence, good bitterness, but disappointing lack of fresh hop taste. A little piney-ness, but that's about it. Overall, I would say that this is not a good example of an American IPA. Malt character was almost that of a lager, and the hop aromas and flavors just weren't strong enough. All that aside, drinkability was pretty good.

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Photo of AaronHomoya
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a light auburn color with good head. Aroma is very nice and hoppy-citrusy. The taste is pretty good, a balance of malt sweetness, citrus hops and clean, bitter finish. The aftertaste was a bit on the unpleasant kind of bitter side to me, but not too bad. Mouthfeel was fine, medium-to-light body and not too much carbonation. Overall a nice beer, nothing too exceptional and the aftertaste took it down a notch in my book. I'd try it again, though.

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Photo of gdogalishus
3.44/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a nice deep golden color into a pint style glass. Good sized green tinted head gave me the visual indication that I was in for a hoppy experience. Tis turned out to be true... sort of. The aroma was a nice earthy type hops, but vanished after the first sniff.... hmmm.
The flavor on the other hand was nice and hoppy, good bittering on the back of the tongue and little sweetness. This character remained all the way to the finish.
Tastewise a solid American IPA. It would have gotten a better score had the aroma lasted a few sniffs.

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Photo of Luigi
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange color. The head is not huge but it stays around for the life of the beer and has good lacing. The aroma is a floral hop with a malty sweet background. This IPA is balanced out nicely. It has everything I would want and expect from an American IPA. The hops and floral and a bit piney. The malt is sweet and a little cracker like. A touch of alcoholic sweetness helps balance out the brew. Finishes off dry and mildy hoppy. Thumbs up for me!

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Photo of sinistermadman
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean, clear golden color while emitting a sparse head.

Smell hints at pine, citrus and yeast. Subdued but appealing.

This brew has medium body with moderate carbonation. Taste begins with a bitter iron/citrus twang which resonates throughout the taste. Almost an extreme citrus twang. This obscures the rest of the flavor. This is pretty imbalanced. Haphazard malt and hop balance. Not a total loss, but close.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.78/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazed orange hue. One finger head; semi-dense but poor retention and no lacing. Strong cascade hop nose, very citrusy, but not much else. Toasted pale malt briefly sweetens the palate, then a wave of american hops bring spicy, herbal, and a floral/citrus flavor. The dry aftertaste is pleasently coarse, as well as the mouthfeel. The tiny streaming carbonation and thin body prevent the residual bitterenss from becomeing overwhelming, and a good balance of flavor is preserved. Finish is grassy. American hopheads will find this highly drinkable and very satisfying.

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Pyramid Thunderhead IPA from Walnut Creek Alehouse (Pyramid)
3.35 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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