Second Fiddle
Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Second FiddleSecond Fiddle
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Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Vermont, United States
Imperial IPA
Ranked #24
Ranked #331
4.44 | pDev: 7.43%
Nov 18, 2023
Jul 22, 2013
Extensively dry-hopped, Second Fiddle is second in name only. Big, juicy and aromatic.
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Rated: 4.42 by Neelbeer from New York

Nov 18, 2023
Rated: 4.48 by Mcb99d from Massachusetts

Oct 30, 2023
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Reviewed by MVotter from New York

5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
L - Pours from tall boy can the color of straw, half-inch head, no lacing to speak of.
S - Fresh peaches, hops, grapefruit.
T - Delicious, rich hopiness! Grapefruit from the aroma comes through in the taste. There's a sweetness to some of these New England hop-centric IPAs that really complements the bitter characteristics.
F - Dry, not sticky, and not heavy.
O - This brew plays Second Fiddle to none! It has the freshness in the hops we've come to associate with the New England beers ... with a touch of west-coast-style sweetness to offer more of a balance to the overall palate. It simply doesn't get much better than this. It's a hop-bonanza without being harsh. Superb beer!
Oct 15, 2023
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Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
The 19.2 fluid ounce can emptied its contents nicely into a clear glass liter mug. No starchy stark white foam here. Instead, there's a modest just-off-white head that might be enduring. Maybe there's actually some barley malt in an IPA. Imagine that! Its color is amber, with a slightly golden tint.The aroma has a nice hop/malt balance, although nothing is pronounced. This is a nicely balanced tasting Double IPA. It's not overly hoppy, nor is it overly malty. It doesn't bring a major hit on either side. Another thing that doesn't hit is the 8.2% ABV, which seems to only bitter the hop bite a bit and dry out the finish. Now that it seems to be West Coast versus New England styles, put this in the West Coast category. It's hoppy, but not too bitter, but there's no softening starches like wheat and/or oats to muddle what an IPA is traditionally supposed to be. OK, The glass lacing isn't extraordinary; but, it's acceptable, like everything else is, at least, for its style. It's the same with the overall. There's nothing outstanding about this, perhaps excepting the taste and mouthfeel in relation to its ABV. But, there's also nothing even closely wrong about it, neither. This is one to come back to.
Oct 13, 2023
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Reviewed by Act25 from New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Wegmans Ocean NJ. Among best of Vermont.
a) Pours a chilling gold with a big white head that lasts and leaves lacing behind.
s) better at cask temp - fresh citrus, resin, shellac, and dark dank earthen cellar.
t) Opens with grapefuit rind, orange, and mango, continues to resinous pine; lots of hop oil.
f) Oils keeps the flavors rolling long after each sip, refreshing.
o) West coast style from Vermont,
Sep 16, 2023
Rated: 4.32 by ndmoore22 from Massachusetts

Sep 13, 2023
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Reviewed by sublimesipping from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
My first review- in many a pint,can,pour. I am moved to record my Most amazing CoVId and beyond beer discovery. Fantastic! And I have had Lawsons(wonderful) and Heady(better though never had it at the source) and also my local Nimble Fiant- but I can say after 40 cans or so- Second fiddle is no second choice for me. My favorite- balanced- great mouthfeel. This is NEIPA right? I do not see too much west coast here. Brewer has some chops and this is my go to beer with 25 years building my palate- great beer! Check it out and taste for yourself….
Sep 10, 2023
Rated: 4.4 by ctbeerman1 from Connecticut

Sep 05, 2023
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Moderately yet uniformly hazy amber-orange with a short but lightly creamy and bright white head leaving a few wobbly arms of lacing.

Zesty and crisp to start, but light on flavor, it mainly features notes of mild evergreen cologne.

It translates as an inoffensively clean West Coaster, despite the haze.
Aug 24, 2023
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Reviewed by gestyr from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours a cloudy gold into the glass with a long lasting white head. Smells of a mixture of citrus and piney aromas. Nice hoppy taste balanced with a malty sweetness. No alcohol sting. Good mouth feel. Overall a very likeable IIPA.
Aug 20, 2023
Rated: 4.12 by Bryan-K from Pennsylvania

Aug 19, 2023
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Reviewed by jbolger from Connecticut

4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Canned 6/14/23. This is my 3rd of a 4 pack. I like it more each time. Others have compared it to Sip & Heady & I see the similarities. If those two classics were not available, I would gladly do Second Fiddle again.
Aug 16, 2023
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Reviewed by CarolinaCardinals from North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Picked up a four-pack from the Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, VT 8-3-23 for $14.50. Canned 6-22-23; consumed for review 8-10-23.

Beer poured a chilled gold with a big white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is very nice, fresh citrus and resinous hops are front and center leaving a nice touch of dankness behind.

Taste is a nice combination of grapefuit, orange, and mango flavors that the large but light malt base provides the canvas for. FInishes with a touch of resinous pine; 6/10 on my bitterness scale. Each after sip aspirations leaves a nice trace of the flavors behind.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and very refreshing for a bigger beer.

Overall a delicious new school WCDIPA!
Aug 10, 2023
Rated: 4.22 by cdub70085 from Connecticut

Aug 02, 2023
Rated: 4.42 by cd34 from Illinois

Jul 18, 2023
Rated: 3.78 by stephenlee93 from England

Jul 09, 2023
Rated: 4.46 by TheYeasticandoo from Massachusetts

Jul 05, 2023
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Reviewed by LiquidAmber from Washington

4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a moderately hazy, medium golden amber with a two finger white head with great retention and solid lacing. Aroma of lightly caramel malt, citrus and fruity hops, grapefruit, lemon and light orange, hints of mixed fruit and pine. Flavor is pale malt, citrus and piney hops, grapefruit, lemon, mild mixed tropical fruit, summer herbs and mint. Citrus and piney, nicely bitter finish with residual herbal notes. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess. A classic example of a modern "West Coast" IPA that is a hybrid of somewhat hazy fruit hops and traditional WC pine and citrus varieties. I really like these when they have an appropriate bitterness and this one delivers both flavor and finishing alpha oil character. What sets this apart is an interesting terpenoid flavor that is reminiscent of mint and summer herbs (although doesn't really taste like either) that is quite refreshing and different. I've been trying to sample non-hazy styles from East Coast brewers and have been pleasantly surprised to find a lot of IPAs with great herbal hop flavors and assertive bitterness. This is one of them. Nicely done. I'd get this again if the opportunity arises.
Jun 20, 2023
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Reviewed by Cathartes from Massachusetts

3.62/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75
Stovepipe can acclimated to 51°F and poured into an IPA glass.

Pours a clear, vibrant yellow gold, with a 3 finger ever so slightly yellowed white foamy head. If I were a painter and I was going to paint the sun in a classic imagining, this would be the primary color I would use.

Initial aroma is lightly hoppy with a little yeast and clove, and some sweetness backing it. Crisp and clean. Smells lighter than the color looks.

Initial taste is not what I expect from a double IPA, but it's good. Very crisp and clean and not excessively hoppy or bitter. I pick up a floral note that reminds me of lavender and a pastel yellow color, and I can't shake the taste of clove. A familiar dry bitter IPA aftertaste lingers on the back of the throat. 7 or 8 sips in and I can taste the alcohol, only in the lungs, it's not a burn but a vapor, it's now that the taste becomes slightly dry yellow mustardy/black peppery.

Mouthfeel is foamy and thick, while still feeling clean to me. It gushes around my mouth. I also like the way it pulls through my teeth slowly. Interesting because I haven't known the style to have such a thick mouthfeel, very pleasant.

Will likely purchase again, as well as recommend because:
The mouthfeel is very very enjoyable.
It's low on how and bitterness (I also enjoy the opposite) and it's very pleasant to drink as a stovepipe.

Also it doesn't matter but I really love the fiddlehead artwork.
May 13, 2023
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Reviewed by teromous from Virginia

3.06/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
From the bottom of the can: "SHELLY 03/29/23 08:54"

Appearance: The body is a medium-light shade of gold which is hazy enough to make everything look fuzzy through the glass, although dark and fuzzy shapes are still easy to make out . The head is white and has the consistency of a plastic dishwashing scrubber. It has pretty good retention; it slowly fades out but it still manages to keep a short cap over the beer. It has large blotches of lacing which look good.

Aroma: There is a light bit of garlic on the nose with a bit of cabbage and a light bit of black pepper. There is a bit of a wildflower aroma too which elevates the beer quite a bit.

Taste: There isn't a lot of flavor towards the tip of the tongue. The center has a bit of pine but again there isn't a lot of perceivable flavor which is weird. There is some rough bitterness but no real flavor. A touch of alcohol hits the back of the palate with more nondescript bitterness. It's a weird beer. The aftertaste is pine and menthol which actually has more flavor than while drinking the beer itself.

Mouthfeel: There is a hop bitterness that starts out in the medium range while drinking the beer then creeps up a bit near the back of the palate and spikes more in the aftertaste. It has this woody, pine-like, somewhat cedar bitterness which is nice. There is also this menthol-like character at the end which cools down the mouth while delivering a dose of woody bitterness. The mouthfeel is actually a lot better than the flavor of the beer itself because, while the bitterness and cooling sensation is nice, there isn't much flavor to accompany it. The can states that this is "8.2% ALC. BY VOL." and the alcohol definitely shows in this beer but it isn't a detractor given he high ABV.

Overall: The beer does a good job of delivering a pleasant bitterness that ramps sharply at the end of the drinking experience, which is somewhat counterbalanced by this menthol-like cooling sensation on the palate. Unfortunately it lacks in flavor. I could drink a beer like this again if I were at the brewery or if I was looking for something to drink with a sandwich at a restaurant. I probably wouldn't buy it again otherwise. Recommendation-wise it might be worth picking up if you want to try something new but as a whole it feels very average and there are better average-quality beers on the market.
May 06, 2023
Second Fiddle from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 2410 ratings