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Head High | Kane Brewing Company

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Head HighHead High

Brewed by:
Kane Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Head High is our interpretation of an American-style India Pale Ale (IPA). This beer is all about the hops; we use a blend of five different varieties all grown in the Pacific Northwest. A small charge of Chinook and Columbus early in the boil adds a smooth bitterness. A majority of the hops are then added late in the kettle or post-fermentation to produce a beer that is heavy on hop flavor and aroma. The combination of Cascade, Centennial, Citra and Columbus give Head High a noticeable grapefruit flavor with aromas of citrus, tropical fruits and pine. Our house American ale yeast ferments to a dry finish that accentuates the use of imported Pilsner and lightly kilned crystal malt resulting in Head High’s straw color and crisp flavor.

Added by bonbini26 on 08-27-2011

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 729
Photo of cpetrone84
3/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is lightly hazed yellowish amber with a thin white ring. Nose has a light cereal with a hint of rubber. A bit phenolic with a hint of pine and citrus. Taste has a light bitterness and gentle carbonation. Grain an cereal on the light body with more citrus and a light pine. Bitterness lingers with some dirty wheat. Bitterness out weighs the other hop flavors an malts are a bit unrefined and unfocused.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

16 oz. can. Orange body with a small white head. Smells of mango hops and some caramel malt. Tastes less interesting. More grapefruit than tropical fruits. Some caramel and toasty malts and a moderate bitterness. Medium body. Solid IPA, but smells better than it tastes, ultimately.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Beer pours a copper hued orange with a thin foamy cap that dissipates to a few bubbles. The scent hits me immediately upon opening my growler. Strong smells of orange peal, pine and a touch of caramel. The piney citrus scent from the hops is absolutely wonderful.

The taste is not quite as strong as the scent. It begins with a touch of citrus that moves toward the pine like resinous character, but refrains from becoming very bitter. The malt has a caramel hint, but largely remains a backdrop. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium and a little thinner than I would prefer. All in all a greats smelling beer that falls short of my expectations on the palate, but still enjoyable all around.

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Photo of BFCarr
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A clean execution of the style, but there's something missing for me that keeps it from being great. Probably my own preferences.
Pours cloudy with a nice white head. Lots of lacing.
Hop bitterness dominates but not over the top.
Finishes very clean.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce can poured into an oversized tulip.

Pours a light copper color like dried apricot. The head is frothy, riddled with lace as it recedes and in general just looks rich and sticky. Carbonation ceaselessly rises through the body showing an effervescent beverage. 5

I smell melon. Yum. Floral melon. And bubblegum. Pineapple and mango and sticky tropical fruit. Beyond that are piney and resinous notes. It's got a little hop profile for everyone. Lovely. 4.25

Woosa that's a lot of grapefruit peel with that first sip. From there comes bubblegum, melon, mango, annnnnd, hmmm, something buttery and odd. Could it be diacetyl or something else? Dunno but something seems misplaced. Maybe a bit vegetal. Funny thing is there are delicious flavors around this, but clearly something skewing the magic. 3.5

It's got some juiciness, light-drinking, refreshing quality, some zesty bite and a light, lingering bitterness. That part works well. Drinks nice. 4.25

As I noted, the flavor seems off. As I've never had this before, I can't say for sure, but the beer doesn't taste optimal. I'll have to revisit, I guess.

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Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Office in Westfield with mikeg67. Poured an orange hued amber with a medium lasting white head, some lacing. Aroma and Taste of pine hops, tangy grapefruit, citrus with some splashes of orange, some caramel malt for balance. A medium crisp body, good carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel malt, pine citrus hops with a bit of tangy grapefruit and orange flavor. A well balanced and enjoyable brew.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On Tap at The Office. Pours orange with a long lasting white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of piney hops, orange marmalade, caramel and bready malt. Body is full and very crisp. Taste is very similar to aroma. Finish is long, bitter, grapefruity. Very nice IPA.

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Photo of maximum12
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SadMachine for this 16 oz. can that’s going to break up my 48 hours of sobriety. Jeff VanVonderen would not be amused.

The pour is a light golden that seems to have its own internal light source: glowing. Big head collapses quickly . Nose is lighter than expected, with nice mango, wet grass, goldfish crackers. OK.

Head High is as passive aggressive as any Minnesotan. The hop bitterness, initially so mild I took another look at the style, builds into a bite that would do a good BDSM scene proud. The advertised fruitiness is subsumed by the raunchy bittering hops: there’s wandering tropical fruits & distant pine. The head high point is the mouthfeel, which is resinous to the point that my hands are sticky. I hope that’s beer. Slips down my throat like a greased finger. A nice one. Is that my throat?

What was I writing? Beer. This one started meh, & just grew on me sip by sip. Excellent beer.

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Photo of cbeer88
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a growler courtesy of NJBeerNerd. Poured into 20oz imperial nonic glass.

Appearance: Darkish golden orange body with a thin half-finger head. Decent dotted lacing in the glass. Body is nice and clear. Solid appearance.

Smell: Nose is a little on the weak side. Some decent earthy and piney hops smell, but a good bit of caramel malt almost overpowers the hops.

Taste: Very nice. Piney hops perfectly balanced with caramel malt on the base of the body. A nice dash of fruity/grapefruit flavor on the initial bite, and some lingering hop resins on the aftertaste. Alcohol is nicely hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and adequately carbed, this is a very dry beer. Gonna need a glass of water after this...

Drinkability: Average. I'll have a second glass of this, but I wouldn't drink it all night.

Overall: This is a nice IPA, and one of the better East Coast IPA's out there. I think I've been a bit spoiled by Hill Farmstead as this guy doesn't quite meet that level, but it's still an excellent beer. Town Hall Masala Mama comes to mind as I drink it down.

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Photo of argock
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a Shaker pint at Proof (Newark, NJ).

A: Pleasing medium Amber with short cap of off-white head which leaves pretty substantial lacing.

S: grapefruit and honeysuckle herbal grassy aromas are strongest with pretty light caramel and pale maltiness

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Photo of greg4579
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great looking IPA. Drank from a growler into a Teku. Nose is faint pineapple and pine with malts. Taste is tropical with lingering bitterness. Mouthful is quite nice. Enjoyable.

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Photo of rp07090
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Office in Westfield, NJ. Pale appearance, intense grapefruit smell and taste, nice hoppy mouthfeel and overall outstanding brew. It got better as I drank, the grapefruit got less intense and settled down to an overall drinkable and enjoyable IPA. I would definitely get again. At 6.5%, I can drink a few of these.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

The beer appears light orange with a mild haze and a white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, dank hops - a seemingly balanced example of the style. Notes of pine and earth along with some resin and malt tones. Lingering bitterness with a slight astringency. Overall, this was pretty drinkable and sessionable. I would have it again.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft in a shaker pint

Golden in color, clear. thin head that disappears. Nice well rounded hop aroma and flavor. Not much of a malt component. Thinner bodied and higher carbonation.

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Photo of grover37
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pint at Newark airport for $10. Glowing orange with sticky lacing. Too much sweet caramel and harsh pine for my tastes but still pretty good. Partner liked it much more, which was fine as my consolation prize was a Boat Beer.

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Photo of Antc2382
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is another impressive IPA. Very flavorful. A bit of a bitter aftertaste that sticks around. Tastes great going down. I can confidently recommend this. It is actually my first beer from Kane.. It won't be my last..

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to drabmuh for bringing this growler to our most-recent tasting. I certainly never complain about a growler of a hoppy brew at a tasting. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a nice orange color with a good white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. Some spots around. The nose brings forward a good dose of citrus rind and pine. Nice hop character, though nothing quite over the top.

The flavor follows the same theme with citrus and pine competing for the top spot. Nice mix and quite interesting. Good body and a nice finish. Good bitterness level. Solid brew, for sure. Thanks again, Matt.

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Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed after having a fresh pint on tap

Appearance: Dark golden orange with a good white head, good lacing

Smell: Piney and resinous, some floral notes.

Taste: Earthy hops, bitterness, Citrusy hops, caramel bready malts. Well balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Outstanding this time. A good local treat. Not sure why I didn't really like it so much the first time around, but this was fantastic this time. Reinforces the fact that Kane is a local brewery to watch.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Morris Tap and Grill in Randolph NJ.

Pours a medium color with some foam attached. Strong grapefruit nose, very pushy. Very nice nose. Toffee malt taste, little sweet, subtle hop fade out. Smooth flavorful progression. Citrus. Quite good. One of the better ones tasted that evening.

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the growler staion at my local shop into a room-temp pint glass.

A- a great looking golden-orange color, bright with a bit of haze together. A one-plus finger head, fluffy, good lacing. Well carbonated.

S- strong citrus, grapefruit aroma. Some pine as well. No alcohol nose.

T- citrus and pine from the dominant hops. The malts are hiding in there.

M- tangy hop and carbonation, a bit of oil residue, good body. Qiute sharp.

O- a very pleasant surprise. I've had this more than once and will get more. Drinks easy @ 6.5 as well.

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Photo of 9InchNails
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kane Wet Hop Ale

On tap at the Cloverleaf.

Excellent looking white head with a hazy murky light copper body. The head slowly fades leaving great lacing on the glass.

Caramel, citrus and pine with the aroma.

Caramel, pine, citrus some metallic tasting hops from the wet hops. Slight dry taste.

Light to almost approaching medium body, light body, dry feeling, easy to drink.

My first beer by Kane Brewery. Tasty, easy drinking and quite a excellent looking beer. The lacing clinging to the glass says a lot about this beer. You know you're enjoying a fresh, tasty brew. I hope to try more by my home state brewery, Kane. Such a great thing that NJ is making such great beer.

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Photo of Mikus
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent IPA. Bright, clear classic look. Slight nose, but what comes through is clean citrus and a bitter note. Definitely an IPA that would please the masses. Big orange, citrus zest flavors on top of a clean malt bill. Slightly dry mouthfeel. Hint watery (though sampled along with Overhead, so...). Well executed.

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Photo of John_M
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. As the beer warms a bit, I pick up considerable tropical fruit and orange citrus (the beer smells like it has considerable mosaic and citra hops, but the description on BA indicates no mosaic hops were used). It really smells like a juicy, fruit forward IPA. On the palate, it was hard not to be a bit disappointed, given the aroma profile. I'm picking up some nice tropical fruit on the palate, and the sweetness is pretty nicely balanced by the hops in this beer. That tends to dry the beer out on the finish, which I think is always a good thing. However, this is clearly another East Coast all the way style of IPA, with virtually no bitterness whatsoever on the finish. In fact, the finish is a bit short, fading off rather quickly into nothingness. To be honest, a beer with this little bitterness probably shouldn't be characterized as an IPA (SNPA has considerably more bitterness in the finish then Head High). Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, and so drinkability is pretty decent.

A nice beer, but it's becoming more and more apparent to me that this style of IPA is just not my cup of tea. However, there seems to be a never ending thirst for the style, so you sure can't blame Kane for catering to the current craze. Regardless, I'm glad I got to sample this beer. Thanks Derek!

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Photo of dacrza1
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

DATE: March 30, 2016... OCCASION: celebrating a gift card at the Tap House in Mansfield--with a second beer... GLASSWARE: 16 oz. pint... APPEARANCE: murky waters to start, with a light golden peach body denying any vision through it... as it is a draft and filed to its rim, the glass sports a singular ring of white foam... arcs form in the draining... AROMA: punchy pineapple, grapefruit and resin impact the nostrils... malts are suggestive of light metal and aromatic bread, but not pronounced... PALATE: smooth, with activity at the teeth as expected.... medium-bodied and formidable enough not to be consumed in large gulps... a rather bitter finish puckers the lips... TASTE: true to its aroma, the powerful collision of citrus (thanks to everything, but big nod to the Citra) and forest pine (thanks to the Chinook)... the resin retreats into a mostly grapefruit/ pineapple profile, which is bold, almost arresting for a beer at 6.5%.. OVERALL: Holy hops! After Carton's Red Rye, this IPA arrived in a big way, clearing out the remainder of nachos and cutting the sharpness of cheese with nonchalance... a delicious, mostly fruity beer that works as a stand-alone or with a properly-paired meal, but not so much as a sessionable brew... a good introduction to Kane, one of the Jersey breweries others have urged me to try...

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Photo of xnicknj
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler poured into tulip - thanks to aviencko and cjo

Pours a hazed burnt orange color with a layer of white head, fades to a bubbly collar with patches of lacing on the glass.

Pungent hop nose, bitter and fruit notes. Grapefruit is strong with sweeter pineapple tones and some touches of caramel. Very enticing.

Nice bite of hops up front, bitter and a little dry. Fruit sweetness with grapefruit and pulp, followed by some floral and herbal notes. Lighter bready malt base with some soft sweetness from caramel. Finishes bitter with residual hops and bud-like tones.

Medium body, solid carbonation, dry and sticky. Really nice West coast style IPA, dry and bitter but tempered from the fruit touches. I'm excited to see more from Kane and hopefully visit the brewery in the near future.

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Head High from Kane Brewing Company
4.26 out of 5 based on 729 ratings.
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