Second Fiddle
Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Second FiddleSecond Fiddle
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #18
Ranked #241
4.46 | pDev: 7.4%
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Second FiddleSecond Fiddle
Notes: Extensively dry-hopped, Second Fiddle is second in name only. Big, juicy and aromatic.
Reviews: 309 | Ratings: 2,317 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of vludwig
vludwig from Massachusetts

2.78/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a beautifully made DIPA that I just don't like very much. Beautiful bright amber, with a dense white head, and expected haziness. The aroma is bright, like smelling mint, but very subdued and without any specific aromatic character, except for dankness. The taste is also bright and cool (mint-like), but without any distinct malt or hop flavor that is appealing. (The flavors actually exists for a brief moment , but disappears immediately into a clean bitterness that erases any impression of what you have just drunk.) The body is more like an IPA than a double IPA, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm sure this will appeal to those who are looking for a clean, refreshing blast of alcohol, but I'm looking for more aroma and flavor in a DIPA.

Apr 24, 2021
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AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

1-2 month old can poured into a tulip.

Fully opaque, almost apple cider coloring, but I wouldn't really call it "hazy" by modern definition. Fluffy initial eggshell head with a couple sips' worth of retention and some nice, sticky, splotchy lacing. Almost looks like a saison. Definitely clean and crisp looking. Perhaps this is a more traditional Vermont hazy?

Aroma profile is a nice blend of coasts, with tons of semi-sweet fruit juice but a nice blast of bitter, pithy citrus and pine resin. There's a dank, almost funkiness in the mix -- started as an almost sweaty gym socks aroma but gradually became more overripe fruity. It may sound strange, but I like it, whatever it is -- adds a nice degree of complexity to the hybrid IIPA base. Berries, tangerine, tropical fruit, stone fruit, grapefruit, pineapple -- it's a great fruit salad, but none of it is overly bold or potent. Just a pleasant and mouthwatering smeller.

Taste initially follows pretty closely, but this one is much drier than I expected. Citrus, tropical fruit, grapes, and berries up front, then a huge blast of grapefruit pith and lemon rind. Good piney twang with a big mineral note. I keep waiting for some residual sweetness to flow in, but it simply never does. This one has (un-sugared) grapefruit all over it. Extremely drinkable and well made, but note very layered or nuanced. The dryness and grapefruit definitely remind me of Alchemist IPAs, but this one isn't quite of the same quality.

Soft and silky like a modern, murky hazy, with a nice bite of carbonation along with the pithy twang. Coats the teeth and tongue really well, with the pine resin coming back to the forefront.

Apr 08, 2021
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sethmeister from New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 16oz can marked BLONDE NO. 2 03/03/21 13:30

Pours into my tulip glass a well hazed amber with gold highlights and a moderate sized fluffy cream colored head. Rings of fluffly lace with some soapy streaks.

Scent is peach, tropical fruits, citrus, pineapple, tangerine.

Taste is tropical fruit, spice (white pepper), an oniony dankness (love that), citrus and grapefruit. Some pine resin in the background. Relatively low bitterness; it's there but it's soft.

Mouth is creamy and soft; abv hidden well.

This is a delicious DIPA. Love the combination of spicy/resiny/dank with tropical and citrus. Hits all my favorite notes.

Mar 25, 2021
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 2/18/21

It's funny, I had heard of this beer a few times here and there over the years, but it doesn't seem to be too widely discussed. When I picked it up at the store I figured I was just go for it. Little did I know that it currently sits at #240 of all time here of BA, which naturally drives my expectations up. Let's see if it can live up to this

Pours a cloudy golden orange with 3 fingers of dense white head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves decent lacing

In the nose, there's less of a malt presence than my favorite IIPA's, but it is still nicely balanced, more so balanced in terms of different hops expressions. I'm picking up on aromas of pine sap, pithy grapefruit, mango, orange zest, white pepper, lemon, a touch of honey, and light bready malt

This bitters up even more in taste, but keeps it interesting while remaining classic at the same time. On the front of the sip I'm tasting pine sap, resiny hops, orange zest, and a touch of pale malt. The swallow brings notes of oily pine, white pepper, pale malt, and a touch pf lemon

A medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a crisp and refreshing beer. Finishes completely dry and bitter

While this was quite good, I don't think it's as good as many make it out to be. That being said, I'd get it again in a heartbeat

Mar 25, 2021
Photo of Lance_Keimig
Lance_Keimig from Vermont

4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This actually pours almost clear if you leave the last ½ ounce in the can. A deep yellow color with a wispy foam and lot's of lacing. Definitely more of a West Coast style DIPA than NE Hazy. Dank and piney, opens up a bit as it warms. Bitter, but still goes down easily. It's one of my personal favorites and I feel is underrated. Available in growlers and 16 ounce cans. New label in February of this year.

Mar 22, 2021
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Jfidzal from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! Great hit of fresh hop aroma on opening. Also a fan of the "regular" IPA from them. My local beer store (MetroWest Massachusetts) has both regularly and they are usually one to two weeks from canning. Not too boozy for a 8.2% so be forewarned ; )

Mar 11, 2021
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NYNorseman from New York

4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a four pack at beer store today and didn't know too much about it. Saw the ratings and I was stoked. This is a well balanced DIPA. I am a big fan of the super hazy NEIPAs and this is not overly smoggy, but it is delicious. This is a great brew for a warm afternoon on the front porch!

Feb 25, 2021
Photo of harrypowers
harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I see that all of the other reviews ate from 6 years ago. It apparently has not been brewed for a while so it is possible that this brew is significantly different from the earlier one.

Pours a hazy straw color with a large foamy head that ends as copious lacing.

Smells of dank piney hops. Initial tastes are dominated by dank hops. As my glass warmed light tastes of citrus, mango and pineapple came out. Mildly bitter hop finish.

The body is surprisingly light for a DIPA. Light carbonation. Light clean mouthfeel.

Very enjoyable. More on the West Coast side of the spectrum than most NEIPA's I have tried.

Feb 16, 2021
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stuffandthings from California

4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hadn't actually heard of this one before managing to grab myself a can. But this was a delight! Really, really solid east coast double. Worth seeking out if available in your area.

Jan 02, 2021
Photo of gooddaydiablo
gooddaydiablo from New Jersey

4.09/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look: yellow, a little dark

smell: mainly pine,

taste: follows the smell, pine mostly, maybe some bread, but no fruit

feel: smooth, easy to chug, medium body, a little bitter finish

overall: I think it's overrated, it's similar with bells two hearted or lawson's sunshine, sunshine is better!

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of papposilenus
papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 16oz can, dated 11/11/20. Served in an IPA glass.

Pours an only moderately hazy, translucent amber-gold with two-plus fingers of beautiful, pouffy white head. Retention is excellent, leaving a fat, whipped foam cap and gobs of merengue-like lacing.

Smell is sharp and forest-like, sandalwood, pine tips and pitch.

Taste is clean and malty, chewy biscuit, pine bark and lemon peel with a deep, soul-satisfying sprucey bitterness.

Feel is clean, crisp and quenching, medium-plus bodied with ample fine, prickly carbonation.

Overall, an excellent beverage. A bit of a throwback - not wc turpentine-level piney bitterness but definitely not a doughy, fruity contemporary NEIPA either. Pure Goldilocks.

(Replaces a 4.28/5 rDev on 10/22/15 rating-without-review).

Dec 10, 2020
Photo of mikeinportc
mikeinportc from New York

4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent medium orange, with one finger of coarse white head, that leaves a thing ring and slight spotty lacing. Looks like fresh-squeezed tangerine juice, minus the pulp.

Smell is ....oh!....:>) ....very enticing! Tangerine, sweet red grapefruit, candied papaya, dead-ripe pineapple, a faint bit of mango, and just a hint of fresh bread. Also, bit of pine, green onion, and lime zest from the open can.

Taste is grapefruit pith, orange rind, dried pineapple, persimmon, and a slight bit of green onion. Moderate pleasant bitterness, that lingers awhile, and gives a bit of drying effect on the finish.

Feel is medium, slightly sticky/syrupy, with moderate, soft carbonation.

Overall, just a joy. I'm not completely on-board with the green onion flavor in beer (Amarillo hops?) , in general, but in this case it's a light touch, and works well with the other flavors. I like the bitter/dry finish , as it tempers the sweet, juicy fruity elements. I see why this is so highly recommended . I concur. If you see it, grab it. You (probably) won't be disappointed.

Nov 10, 2020
Photo of Specialmick
Specialmick from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look...very lovely A-typical hazy Vermont ipa. Hazy yellow brown
Smell...ripe pineapple of the hop boom!!! a little dankness from the yeast ... nice
Taste...Sweet ipa bitter to a cascade of full perfect bitterness. this is my third one and i am really enjoying. Good price or what i expect to pay. I pay for exceptional and don't like paying way over that. This exceeds on both levels.
Feel...A little thin but nice
Overall...this is good and bordering on very good. I will definitely need more to investigate

Oct 18, 2020
Photo of Siriusfisherman
Siriusfisherman from Vermont

4.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Slightly Hazy orange/yellow with no head and a touch of lacing.

S: Pine resin, Ruby red grapefruit, pineapple and a touch of candied crystal malt.

T: Firm bitterness, moves into flavors of pine, citrus pith, pineapple, and grapefruit. Solid malt flavor that is not disruptive.

F: Medium bodied, dry with clean finish.

Overall: A stellar DIPA with tons of aroma and flavor. Good even by Vermont standards.

Sep 30, 2020
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can. Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a good-sized, off0white head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass. It smelled of pine, orange juice, mango and pineapple. Big juicy taste with tons of tropical fruit, sweet caramel and a piney bitter punch.

Jul 05, 2020
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Pentastar from New York

4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Hazy golden orange. Fluffy white head.
Smell: Tropical fruit, not sure just what ones, maybe pineapple and orange peel.
Taste: Pineapple, peach and orange, maybe some apricot as well. Good hop presence but not very bitter.
Feel: Not very heavy carbonation, but good.
Overall: A pretty good beer, very drinkable for 8.2% ABV.

Jun 27, 2020
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz can from Halftime. Hazy golden pour, small silky head. Aroma brings citrusy hops, pure and simple. Taste is more hops, lemony, citrus, that leaves your palate tingling. Slightly dry, sweet, plenty bitter.

Jun 14, 2020
Photo of wpmooney
wpmooney from New York

4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great NEIPA. Has the look and taste that you want from this kind of beer. Hoppy but not too much..I think it beats Sip of Sunshine for flavor and smoothness. (And that says a lot from me).

May 30, 2020
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Brewed_Awakening from Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Look: fairly clear, but not totally, gold with a very slight lean toward amber

Smell: slight sweetness with some tropical notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body

Taste: Tropical hop richness, perhaps less full than Zero Gravity's Madonna, with a grassy pretty bitter finish.

Overall: At the end of the day, this one leans a bit to bitter for me.  Its well-made, but not really my thing... reminds me of the plethora of IPAs from 5-10 years ago, all trying to out bitter each other.  I enjoyed it for what it was, as the 8.2% most definitely hit my head hard, but wouldn't seek it out in the future.

May 29, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.1/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This can pour is less than 20 days old. The pour is golden with a slight haze and hosts a 2 cm foam cap. The aroma is slight, pine and a bit of. Iris are noted. The flavor is citrus zest, (orange and lime) with prominent pine and a bready malt back. The hop bitterness is moderate. The mouthfeel is crisp. There is no alcohol heat. This Is quite good.

Apr 19, 2020
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brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can.

Pours clear gold with an average head, retention, and lacing. Pithy grapefruit with dank pine in the nose. Subdued for the style. Medium bodied with a crisp but creamy mouthfeel. Grapefruit, pine, and faint orange oil on the palate. Finishes firmly dry and bitter with lingering grapefruit, a trace of malt, and a mild booziness.

Apr 16, 2020
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Shiredave from New York

3.92/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh - 4-8-20 canning date
Poured out of it's feather-light can at @ 50 deg f allowing a billow of bright white foam to form a sticky head above a golden beer with just the right amount of protein haze - no oaty murk here. Good, steady streams of carbonation race to the surface to die or join the few scant bubbles around the edge of the tulip belly. A head will kick up again if gently swirled but fades quickly.
Sharp aromas of citrus and sugary malt in balance are beaten back by boozy notes as it warms. And warms it does as you swallow and savor the piney/ citrus flavors that get heated by the alcohol - yes warm it do, all the way down.
The hops - it is all about the hops in a DIPA right? Well, I say balance is but thats just me . This like many, is harsh on the back end - maybe just for me but it does go well with the hot mildly boozy finish so it ticks all the boxes for a solid DIPA. Great medium ++ body and tongue wrapping hop bite, nice nose but could be richer with better balance and mouth feel, aftertaste is just harsh bitter with a warming alcoholic finish .

Apr 15, 2020
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tekstr1der from New Hampshire

4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned 02-05, pours a slightly cloudy golden with a small white cap that fades to a ring. Aromas are subdued with only slight notes of citrus and pine mixed with a really nice doughy/crackery malt. Flavors are another story altogether! Immediate burst of vegetal hops and somewhat bitter pith character. Mouthfeel is fairly light for the abv, and the finish is slightly bitter AND slightly sweet simultaneously. Nice change of pace.

Feb 21, 2020
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DarkSideOfTheMoon from Virginia

4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can into a pint glass. Slightly opaque yellowish gold with a thin head. Moderate carbonation. Not very much on the nose. Grass, pine, slight grapefruit mainly. Taste is nicely hopped and not too bitter. VERY drinkable and considering the ABV that's a bit scary. Would definitely have again.

Dec 22, 2019
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.04/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Light copper colored and hazy in complexion. There’s a fingernail of eggshell white around the rim and covering a third of the top. Moderate lacing. The aroma is of earthy hops. I’m tasting earthy to vegetal hops. The mouth is smooth, easygoing, and crisp.

Nov 04, 2019
Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 2317 ratings