Fiddlehead IPA | Fiddlehead Brewing Company

77 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Fiddlehead Brewing Company
Vermont, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This medium bodied American style IPA has an alluring golden glow and beautifully blends three strains of hops. While strong citrus notes ambush your taste buds halfway through the palate, the beer finishes very crisp and dry.

53 IBU

Added by Brad007 on 01-01-2012

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Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 745
Photo of RichKent
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Reading older reviews makes me think this beer has changed over time. I had this on tap at two locations, then visited the brewery twice, and both times shared a 64oz over pizza, then filled 3x 64oz growlers, so I've had lots of it.

Fiddlehead's IPA is my 2nd favorite IPA after Treehouse's Julius. It's incredibly well-balanced, very fruity, and juicy. Break down:

A - Hazy orange unfiltered goodness. Pours with a one finger head if you're careful, or a bigger head if you're not.

S - Starts with grapefruit and some tropical fruit. As the beer warms it becomes much more flavorful and I smell guava, passionfruit, and mostly peach juice.

T - Follows the nose. I regularly drink high IBU (>100) beers, so the bitterness on this one barely registers. Mostly tastes very fruity - sharper citrus when cold, and opens up wonderfully as it warms until it tastes like a juice box. By the end of each glass it tastes like peach juice mixed with other tropical juice.. In fact, my group called this IPA 'Juicy Juice' by the end of the trip. I'm not sure where others get 'crackers', 'biscuits', 'earthly', or 'grassy' as I didn't get any of that at all. Everyone's different, but it makes me thing they've been working on the hop profile with a very positive result.

M - Perfect.

O - A fantastic IPA. If I could get my hands on it, I would always have this in my fridge!

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Photo of nebula1999
4.99/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This s the perfect IPA for me. I love this beer. Mouthfeel is tremendous. I wish I could get my hands on it more often. Perfect perfect Perfect. I must go to northern VT more often.

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Photo of Kinger22
4.99/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. The citrusy aroma is followed by a bitter starting taste, that transitions into a citrusy burst of tropical flavors to balance the brew. It goes down easy and is great after a day of skiing or hiking in the Green Mountain State.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.91/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fiddlehead IPA - Tap from "Growlette"

The other day it was my wife's birthday and one of the things we did was go over to Fiddlehead. Our daughter goes to school with the owner's son and it was long overdue. Nice operation he has going there, hard to believe it's only been less than two years.

Look - Pours a hazy golden with just a twinge of amber. Moderate, bubbly head that dissipates at a medium pace. Good lacing. Minimal carbonation. (Latest edit, look is about the same, this latest batch had great lacing).

Smell - Citrus (grapefruit) hops and slight smooth malts, floral, mouth watering and fresh. (Latest edit, this again but a bit more oomph, if that makes sense, super super juicy and dank Galaxy hops).

Taste - Spices with a pinch of malt comes in first, then hops rest on the palette. Super smooth and crisp. (Latest edit, juicier than before, almost has a puckering effect which is excellent)

Mouthfeel - Rests bitter hoppy but not overbearing, casual drinkers would enjoy (as well as seasoned craft drinkers). Alcohol is detectable but it is not overly boozy. (Latest edit, a little warmer than before but also a lot smoother and more drinkable).

Overall - Interesting focus on hops instead of malt or malt blending. Great brew made by a friend, if you are in the Burlington, VT area, stop by and have a few of their samples, they have three different samples at any given time. (Latest edit, this is now one of my favorite beers, the careful ingredient selection has really refined this into an amazing brew)

EDIT: October 13th, 2013

The dankness and freshness of the hops in the latest batch skyrockets this brew for me up to the top of the list, it has been slowly evolving over the past year or so and I now think it deserves a spot at the top of my list.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer really shocked me. Unfortunately I couldn't give it a solid written review because I had no wifi. The aroma is fresh and citrusy/ floral hops. The taste is punches your taste buds with a juiciness similar to Sip Of Sunshine. Honestly would rank this easily in my top 3 IPAs. Starting to think Vermont locals are a little spoiled with their beer considering the rating. Next up is pieces of 8!

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Photo of djnickelb
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

This is my favorite Vermont beer... one of the few that retains its taste as it warms. I'd take this over other popular IPAs any time. Multi-layered hop flavors, great carbonation and not too boozey. Hope it gets distributed more soon.

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Photo of 1upstate
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great IPA that I wish had a wider distribution. It's great smell and texture made it enjoyable to drink. We enjoyed a couple of growlers while up that way.

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Photo of mhs413
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great IPA. If you are lucky enough to enjoy a growler of this at the pizza place adjacent to the brewery, you will experience and almost perfectly pairing.

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Photo of TJBOtt
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Very smooth American style IPA. A strong, but not overpowering hoppinness. Very crisp. I grabbed some Mastermind from their brewpub, and I'm hoping it's as strong.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ain't nothin quite like getting a call from a friend who just got back from tv and they have a surprise for ya...and best yet, it is a growler of this bad boy along with so e fiddlehead cans! Enjoyed from a heady topper stemless wine glass.

a - classic IPA look. Murky orange, frothy foamy head, tons of spotty lace. My mouth begins to water,

s - dat nose though! Fresh citric hops with a slap of earthiness over natural spring water. There be magic in that tv water.

t/m/o - while this beer may be a bit thin in the mouthfeel dept, it more an makes up in the quench ability. This beer drinks like juice. This is the kind of beer you want to drink immediately following a 5k run cause it gets right at your thirst and satisfies. Beyond that, just a really solid all around IPA. I could live off this stuff. Amazing beer, go get some! Super juicy, one of the best IPAs I have tried.

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Photo of Naugled
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at multiple locations in Burlington VT.

A deep yellow IPA, with nice white head and retention and good lacing.

Wonderful fresh hop aroma, bursting with piney and citrusy notes. They seemed amazingly fresh.

Flavor backs up the piney citrusy aromas, it is firmly bittered and it lingers, but works well with this, there's enough sweetness to balance it. Not malty or caramelly, but just sweet.

Good mouth feel, medium to rich.

Over all a great beer, I was very impressed by it. It easily out shown the other beers they had on tap. Kudos Fiddlehead!

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Photo of Guess2814
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer! It's just as hard to find this beer then it is the Heady Topper.. It has a golden smokey look to it.. Great smell to it.. Very fresh and it has great flavors.. If you are in Vermont make sure you grab this beer....the three times I've had this beer it never disappointed

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Photo of jbertsch
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a couple spots around Jay Peak, Vermont.

Hazy muted yellow in color with a soft, luxurious, rocky head that remind me of carbonation from Hill Farmstead.

Smells wonderful. Bright, citrusy, juicy. It reminds me of its world-class brethren in the same state. Its aroma is in the same vein as many of the HF and Lawson IPAs, and could be seen as a baby Heady Topper with lighter malts.

Its flavor is super approachable. Juicy hop flavors (melon primarily) sit on top of clean light malts that almost give you the perception this is a wheat base. The malts are very light but that’s how I like my IPAs anyway. Though, I can see how other people may dock it points for that. It really just lets the hops take the whole stage which deserve it.

Mouthfeel is soft. Very drinkable. Almost no bitterness lingers.

If you like your IPAs on the unbalanced side, favoring to showcase bright citrusy hops, this beer is for you. And it’s definitely for me, too! I love it and want more of it NOW. Hopefully this will make it into bottles sometime.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass at the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, VT.

Pours a clear amber orange color with a 2-finger fluffy white head. Leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is very citrusy and tropical, but also slightly floral as well. I get plenty of grapefruit rind and sweet orange, and just a bit of pine to add some earthy bitterness.

The taste starts off slightly bitter, but is immediately taken over by the bright tropical flavors. There's also a subtle, bready malt present that adds just a bit of graininess to the flavor which is very pleasant.

The mouth is medium bodied, with medium-high carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing. Slightly dry, but not a lot of lingering bitterness.

Overall, this is a very underrated offering from Fiddlehead. It's tropical and juicy, yet has plenty of bitter pine notes as well as a nice subtle malt character to balance out the flavors. It's very drinkable and goes down smooth. Certainly doesn't come close to the standards set by Second Fiddle, but this is still a very fine IPA and one I'd gladly drink again and again.

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Photo of Gatch
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at The Loft Tavern at Okemo! Next to the base lodge.

A: Filtered but still good lookin. Golden yellow with a frothy bright white head. Bits of lace and retention.

S: Huge tropical citrus, pine, resin, grass. Love it.

T: Same as the nose. So much flavor. Hops are on point. Really solid IPA. Sticky and tasty.

M: Massive flavor and so smooth. Proper carbonation and super easy to drink.

O: What can I say? Other than...another ridiculously delicious Vermont IPA! Great day of riding at Okemo followed by a great beer. Life is great.

Update: pickup up a growler at the brewery in December 2015. An incredibly drinkable, consistent, delicious IPA that would be a go-to if I lived in Vermont.

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Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Checked out this brewery for the first time yesterday. They also have a 5.2% Amber currently on tap.

Pours a nice bright golden/yellow color with a thick, frothy head into my glass. Ultra-fresh too!

Grassy hops with just a hint of pine resin greet the nose. Hoppy but not by too much.

The taste is where this shines: grassy, piney hops upfront followed by a slight amount of buttery malt. It's hop-forward and reminds me of the IPA once brewed by Orlio (the brewer is Matty O, ex-Magic Hat).

The mouthfeel is a treat because the hops cling to the throat, leaving a bit of warmth on the way down.

Hate to be a homer but this is a very nice IPA! I wasn't too big on the Amber but I think I'll be hitting Fiddlehead more for this IPA!

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Photo of hardysf
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pleasant color with nice head that last throughout the beer. Had on draft. Beer is well carbonated throughout. Lots of simcoe and mosaic hop aroma. Lost of west coast dankness and pine coming through. Some sweet malt and grain flavor comes through and lingers on the palate. Very well balanced and makes me keep reaching for another drink.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a brewery-filled growler into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts out mildly sweet with flavors of caramel and citrus. Then a nice earthy hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA to drink for a long time.

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Photo of Hendry
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of the next door neighbor, a fresh 32 oz growler from the Shelburne,VT brewery.

Pours a golden wheat color,nicely cloudy,lively carbonation,1 finger soapy white head that recedes quickly,lacing a solid average.

Aroma: hop forward but not a hop bomb, piney aromas mostly, a hint of grapefruit rind, malts lie below the surface.

Taste is pleasantly bitter, some might call it unbalanced because the malts are in the basement, but that isn't a problem for my tastes. Some grapefruit bitterness starts things off,
then it drops off in a somewhat typical "session" IPA fashion with a crackery, yeasty finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, slightly oily hop resins,dry crisp finish.

Overall, a good session IPA that should please hop fans on the drinkability and bitterness level. Sort of one dimensional in flavor, but a good effort and better than many.

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Photo of SpasmWaiter
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ive had this on tap at the brewery, from a growler and at many bars. So long as its fresh, and it always is, the review remains the same.

Pours a hazy light gold color.

Smell is fantastic, floral and citrus hop aromas abound without even a swirl of the glass. Head pour is a solid finger and the lacing is appropriate for the style.

Taste doesn't disappoint after the awesome nose. Dominated by the citrus hops with just a hint of sweet malt in the backbone. Pleasant bitterness with that nice tingle many IPA's whiff on.

Overall I find this to be a fantastic beer. Its on tap all over the area and its just as good at a bar as it is from the brewery. I drink this beer whenever I can. Overall a very underrated beer.

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Photo of JMUbrewz
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one seems to be overshadowed by Fiddlehead's DIPAs and all the other great hoppy beers in VT. It's a delightful single IPA with notes of citrus, mango, and fresh cut grass. It finishes dry and leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of daudelin2000
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just a solid beer all around. Is it the best IPA in Vermont? Definitely not. However, if you want some, a trip to the brewery for a growler fill is a cinch. No lines. Or, just head to just about any local restaurant in Vermont and there's a good chance they have it on tap. Point being, what it lacks in IPA awesomeness, it more than makes up for it with it's availability. Definitely a go to beer when I'm having dinner out with the family.

Pours a hazy golden yellow with thick, fluffy, white head. Aroma is of citrus fruits and pine with a slight touch of dankness and grassiness. Taste leans more towards pine than citrus. Not much malt to speak of. Finishes very dry with just the right amount of bitterness. Mouthfeel is perfectly medium for the style. Just a solid IPA that I'll continue drinking again and again.

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Photo of argock
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Served from a growler into a clear, oversized wineglass. Purchased directly from the brewery at Fiddlehead Brewing Co. (Shelburne, VT).

A: Hazy peach-orange amber with 1-2 fingers of off-white, sticky, frothy head with excellent retention and a clumpy collar of thick lacing. (4.0)

S: Aroma stings with grassy dankness at first but pops through with plenty of variety including grapefruit rind, pine resin, and honeysuckle notes. The maltiness is muted but provides some bready and light caramel too. No yeast or alcohol component. A clean, slightly dank but more complex East Coast style IPA with a bit more citrus but still a whole helluva a lot of resiny in there. (4.0)

T: The flavor outdoes the aroma but a long-shot, which is saying something as good as the nose is on this beer. The hops component has a big range of flavors including orange, lime, grapefruit, pine, grassy, herbal, and honeysuckle played smoothly against a light caramel malt backing. The flavor is quintessential aggressive East Coast IPA in that it provides moderate bitterness with a resiny based flavor but it provides so much more with bright grassy, lemon-lime, grapefruit and honeysuckle flavors. Fiddlehead is really pumping out some winners (see Mellow Mike). This beer handles Columbus hops very well - it treads the line of grassy and hoppy without crossing over to weedy and overly vegetal. (4.25)

M: Mouthfeel is slick and medium in body, tending towards light. The carbonation is medium with a superbly dry finish. (4.25)

O: Wow -- Fiddlehead is really hitting them out of the park -- the hops flavors are bright yet and varied without being muddled and the beer doesn't forget about the malt component, which provides ample counterflavor. The feel is on the money too. Another super beer from Fiddlehead -- check it out and buy a half- or full-growler of Fiddlehead IPA or Mellow Mike -- both are excellent beers. (4.25)

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Photo of tkdchampxi
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fiddlehad IPA has become one of my favorites, especially on draft and especially after a day of skiing.

Poured with a big foamy head and really soft initial mouthfeel. Pretty effervescent in the middle, but then soft finish at the end too.

Flavor is very tropical and a little bitter. No alcohol burn. Some nice wheat and cracker notes.

Color is Orange haze with some nice cloudiness

Nose is light but full of sweetness, tangerine, and a bit of the tropics.

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Photo of garyloveman
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a tap, light golden/yellow hues.
Smells a little hop citrusy, sweet bread on the front end.
Taste is lighter, citrus, slight pine flavor.
Really nice mouthfeel, feels lighter than a standard IPA, little lighter carbonation, goes down easy.

I really enjoyed this one, goes down super smooth.

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Fiddlehead IPA from Fiddlehead Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 745 ratings.
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