Nuclear Nugget
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

Nuclear NuggetNuclear Nugget
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Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #3,408
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
89
Ranked #12,348
Avg:
3.96 | pDev: 13.38%
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
158
From:
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
 
Virginia, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  14
Gots
  25
SCORE
89
Very Good
Nuclear NuggetNuclear Nugget
Notes: This hop bomb is a lot of things. One thing it is not, is subtle. Nuclear Nugget explodes the nose with notes of citrus, flowers, and Centennial hops, then the nuclear fallout is accompanied by local clover honey, to bring everybody back to safety. Our onsite LCCBee’s and other local apiaries provide our honey. BEEr Power. Support the Bees.
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the large can, it pours a dark amber color with a large, lasting, off-white head - lacing as you enjoy it. Honey dominates the nose, along with citrus. In the mouth, honey is definitely there, along with sweet malt and grapefruit.

The biggest knock I have on this brew is that it is being sold in a non-resealable pint can despite its massive alcohol strength - 10.5% - share it with at least one friend!

Sunday at 11:27 PM
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz can into a pint glass. Canned 7/31/20, so 5 months old, couple months older than would be preferred.

Looks damn good in the glass though. Dark murky dull orange body with a massive slightly off white head. This eventually shrinks to a solid covering, and leaves excellent scattered lacing.

Only getting a malty sweetness on the nose.

However, the taste is very enjoyable. Big grapefruit punch in the mouth. Right cross of warmth from the abv followed by a left hook of pepper. Enough boxing quotes, but this is a smashmouth beer.

Mouth close to full, finish peppery bitterness.

Overall, enjoyable beer. 5 months old, and still fierce, Is it the can, the abv, or the brewing quality? Intrigued to try one on draft fresh off the line. Likely 3rd round tko.

Dec 29, 2020
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cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

far from best in class but they stake out some ground on flavor. not subtle, not balanced. but tasty
L: from the can. it's a sharp can.
S: i get honey on the nose. floral. smells nice. most delicate thing about this baby
T: definitely a hop head's delight. pine. grapefruit bitterness. some sweetness from the honey. taste of booze but less than you'd expect. it's in your face hoppiness. Daddy likes.
F: smooth. not overly heavy.
O: well, this is just me, but it's a bit over the top & it works for me.

Oct 22, 2020
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metter98 from New York

3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high light beige head that consistently left a large, thin patch of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with notes of floral and citrusy hops.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather malty and has flavors of caramel malts along with hints of floral hops and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and slightly crisp with a slight amount of bitterness.
O: This beer is quite malty compared to other Imperial IPAs but does a good job at masking the alcohol from the taste.

Serving type: can

Aug 15, 2020
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Pentastar from New York

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark reddish orange with fluffy white head.
Smell: Sugar and malt, a little pine resin.
Taste: Malt and some hop bitterness in the background. Botanicals and pine in the foreground.
Feel: Effervescent and crisp.
Overall: Pretty good overall, easy to drink for 10.5%.

Jul 05, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The past couple of days have been an amazing CANmalgam of Goses & Pilsners, but now my supply is exhausted. I had the Duvel as kind of an oddball, but it will lead me back to some of the breweries from which I reviewed beers the last couple of days, including Transmitter, Manayunk (CANayunk), Sly Fox, Conshohocken (CANshohocken), Sloop & Great North. Following that excursion, I will be focusing on imports for a while, bringing me full circle to that one. Stay tuned. It's gonna be CANother wild ride on The CANQuest (tm)! For while, beginning now, it is going to look like an undulating sine wave, bouncing between Lickinghole Creek, Two Bandits & Manayunk!

From the CAN: "Nuclear Nugget Imperial Honey India Pale Ale"; "Virginia's Farm Brewery"; "Nuclear Nugget is a hop bomb. It's not delicate or subtle. What it is, is a hop-head's dream fulfilled. Nuclear Nugget explodes with flavor notes of citrus, flowers (Centennial) and strong herbal and spice notes (Nugget). Local clover honey attempts to contain the Nugget fallout, only to be radiated with dry hop Nugget additions. Not intended for the faint of heart or the uninitiated."; "PROCEED WITH CAUTION: The Hour Draws Nigh."

8=O O. M. F. G.! How do I respond to THAT?!? By Crack!ing open the vent as I beCAN the explosion into the awaiting glass via a powerful C-Line Glug, that's how. It erupted to form a two-plus finger mushroom cloud of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with great retention up until the fallout. 8=O I was left with a load of lacing & debris everywhere! Color was the beauteous shade of Deep-Amber/Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) that always sets my Geiger Counter to clicking since it reminds me of an old flame's hair. Linda Lou was a beauty that wriggled off of the hook & got away. 8=( They were NOT kidding about the nose! I'm just going to use their verbiage since I CAN't put it any better, even as a wordsmith - "Nuclear Nugget explodes with flavor notes of citrus, flowers (Centennial) and strong herbal and spice notes (Nugget)." Explodes is the operative word as my sinuses burnt in the fury & riotousness of it all. They failed to mention the sweetness of the clover honey that was being run over roughshod by the hops. It was a valiant effort on the part of the failsafe, but the attack could not be averted. 8=( Mouthfeel was thick, full & viscous, like a bomb had been dropped into my mouth & onto my tongue. I was out with Iggy Pop, nightclubbing & learning brand new dances, like the Nuclear Bomb! Now, I was riding with Dr. J. Frank Parnell in his 1964 Chevy Malibu as eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dies. The initial flash was of flowers, both from the Centennial and the honey, then came the exploding boom of grapefruit-orange citrus, followed by the shock wave of a peppery spiciness! Jeezum. I am an initiated Bob-ist, having taken part in a Bobtism, but this was all a bit much, even for me. The fallout, I mean, finish was cool, dry & spicy with nothing left in its wake but the buildings, since Bob forbid that we destroy man-made structures. 8=( I heard Vera Lynn singing "We'll Meet Again" commingled with the Dead Kennedys' "Kill the Poor" as tears streamed down my cheeks. It's finished. It's over. It's all over. 8=( YMMV.

May 10, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can from Tavour. Dark amber/ copper with small creamy beige head. Aroma is caramelly malts with hints of citrus. Taste brings in hops big time, sharp and stinging, palate is left tingling. More citrus notes too. A hop bomb.......

Mar 30, 2020
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mikeinportc from New York

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned 2/20/20 , so about 1 month old.

Translucent deep coppery-orange, with light white head, that leaves a persistent ring, & a few spots of lacing.

Smell from the glass is caramel and toffee , with a faint bit of dry grass. From the open can I also get some dried pine , and some vague something that nits my nostrils with a light,sharp tang.

Taste is a moderate dried citrus rind (which citrus, I'm not sure) light pine, caramel and toffee, as in the aroma, but not as strong , and much less sweet. Just a kiss of sweetness to balance the medium bitterness. No noticeable alcohol, despite the 10+% abv.

Feel is high-end-of medium, initially seeming as if it's going to be syrupy, but the very fine, sharp carbonation comes in, & with the bitterness, cuts that off , lightening it a bit. Nice balancing of elements. Some mild heat in the chest, as I get about halfway through this.

Overall enjoyable, though (as I've noted with some other TIPAs) Im not sure anything is gained by making this a triple, rather than a double. worth a try, if you like IPAs with high abv and a sweet.malty backbone.

Mar 23, 2020
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stoumi from California

4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nuclear Nugget pours a dark honeycomb orange color with a well formed, slightly off white one finger head that lingers with spotty lacing. Thew pour in the light looked amazing! The smell is malty and honey sweet on the nose with hints of resiny, dark pine with a bit of an herbal and floral characteristics. The taste is quite boozy up front with a balance of malty sweetness and dank pine with grapefruit rind some orange oil and a bit of caramel.

Jun 15, 2019
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Beejay from Virginia

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Medium amber in color, hazy, with a light tan head.

S: Malty and sweet with some very resinous and sticky smelling hops. Juniper, pine, and grapefruit.

T: An interesting balance between sweet and bitter. Malty sweet up front, but then a resinous pine flavor with bitterness takes over, finish is honey and biscuit.

M: Medium thick in feel, with fairly high carbonation. I think the carbonation level does a good job of making this not feel too syrupy.

O: Overall pretty tasty, but it does drink a little more like a barley wine for me. Still tasty.

Apr 17, 2019
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Bruno74200 from France

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber body with a thin white head
Herbal, floral and citrusy notes alongside a big toffee presence.
The taste is balanced between a certain sweetness and a certain bitterness.
Thick mouthfeel, moderate carbonation

Dec 17, 2018
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brewerburgundy from California

3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16oz can, red wine glass, canned 10/31/18.

First, a comment on the cab; good label design and art as a sticker that leaves the silver can exposed can be a real nice look. Now on to the beer! Against the light it’s a blood orange, sunset shade. Head is minimal.

Citrus oil, honey, treacly malt. Even cold, bitter, boozy alcohol is apparent.

Big bitterness is the name of the game, from both hops and alcohol. Orange oil, alcohol, menthol.

It’s on the verge of gritty. Medium body, slick, almost cooling alcohol when it’s cold.

This is the type of imperial IPA I’m not a fan of; alcoholic for no apparent reason, label copy that promises all the hops, and a beer that is one dimensional. If you like boozy, solely citric IIPAs, this would be up your street.

Nov 22, 2018
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oberon from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into an imperial nonic a hazed/murky amber brown with a thinner off white head atop,very menacing looking.Sharp citric notes in the nose over top of nutty malts,seems kinda old school.Sharp grapefruit rind flavors with some sugary sweetness intertwined with nutty malts and alcohol,some mild honey funk shows itself as well.So yeah it's sweet like too many of the style but it has a nice sharpness to it as well.Not your NE style IPA/DIPA by any means.

Dec 21, 2017
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is an intense brown with golden orange highlights and an offwhite head.

Aroma is intense sweet malt not much aroma.

Taste is a very sweet malt with a touch of hunny with bitter herbal hops running through.

Aug 24, 2017
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obywan59 from Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber against my wall, but definitely red when held up to the light. An initial 3 1/2 finger faintly tan head becoming chunky on the way down with thick lacing trying to climb up my tulip glass.

Tart citrus on the nose with honey and herb, flower and spice.

Grapefruit and honey with substantial caramel. Rather bitter as well, which with the caramel, at times closely simulates a dark chocolate caramel bar. Bitter grapefruit rind at the end. Taste of alcohol throughout.

Medium full in body. Rather syrupy with light carbonation and a burn of alcohol.

At first I thought this was reminiscent of a Belgian without the funk, but now I agree with the previous reviewer in that it seems more like a hopped up barleywine. It's a thin line though, you could as easily describe it as a malted up DIPA. At 10.5% ABV, this is definitely a sipper, but there's nothing hard about drinking this. You take one sip, and you just have to wallow awhile in the luxury of it.

Jul 17, 2017
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AngusOg from North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

Deep amber in color, head doesn't stick around long at all.

Very heavy on the malty sweetness. Seems more like a hoppy barlywine, rather than a dipa. There is some pineapple and piney flavors from the hops, and if the malt was dialed back a bit, they'd have a real winner in my book. I just like my dipas a bit more hop toward.

Still, not an entirely bad beer, just not normally what l look for in this style. Relatively easy to drink for the high abv, but I do feel it creeping up on me. Good thing I waited until the night before a day off work, to take on this 750 mil bottle.

Jul 11, 2017
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VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Revisited 2/2/19

A-Pours a dark amber color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has malty and hoppy hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a malty and hoppy flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A decent IIPA

Jun 20, 2017
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avalon07 from South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a tulip. Had a moderately brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Below average lacing.

S: A decent aroma of hops, citrus, malt, and a floral aroma.

T: Tasted of light malt notes, a good shot of hops (not as much as in other DIPAs), a lot of citrus (grapefruit, especially), pine, some honey and the aforementioned floral quality. An interesting flavor that's not as hoppy as other beers of the style. Tasty, and it gets better as you go along.

F: An average amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a solidly made DIPA that's easy to drink. Tasty and well made.

Jun 19, 2017
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AndrewMichael from Virginia

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL capped bottle, poured into a stemmed glass. Brown color to the beer, with a nice, off white head after poured. I got a nice honey aroma, with a floral bitterness after tasting. Pretty smooth for the abv, and overall, an outstanding beer.

Jul 09, 2016
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JayQue from Virginia

3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a pint glass, a clear dark amber color with light highlights when held to a light. Big light tan head with a hard pour and almost complete lacing coverage on the glass. Head retention is good. Aroma is mostly piney hops and a bit of sweetness (more likely honey than sweet malt). The initial taste includes some strong bitterness but it fades with honey sweetness. The honey doesn't overwhelm the bitterness, but definitely cuts it a bit. Mouthfeel is crisp, bitter to start and then more smooth and sweet. No hint of alcohol. A good DIPA, very enjoyable.

Jul 07, 2016
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delta490 from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This has a lovely dark amber body with a golden tint. There is a moderately thick cap of very light tan head that has great retention and leaves ribbons of small sticky lacing. The aroma isn't huge but it has great hops qualities, citrus and pine, with just a hint of sweetness, I think more from the honey than the malt. The taste is also at the very good level, nice hops, well-balanced with the sweetness of the malt. It is medium-bodied with a just a little bitter finish and a small but steady trickle of carbonation.

Jun 10, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, deep, vibrant, bronze coloring with a low profile, clingy, foamy, off-white head. Aromas of wet, sticky, piney hops forward, with a solid pepper spice, and hints of tropical fruit, with a rich, solid honey backbone. Flavors are roasted forward, with a solid blast of bitter hops notes, heavy on pine, resin, wet grass, and pepper spice. This dankness is followed by rich honey sweetness, earthy notes, and subtle tropical fruit notes of pineapple and mango. Very heavy and dynamic palate, on a rich, robust, oily slick body. The aftertaste is heavy on the hops bitterness, with the tropical sweet and richly sweet honey blend still lingering on, as well. Solid, lingering bitterness on the slick, dry finish.

Apr 23, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

2.53/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Shared by Sumner. Thanks man. Copper body with an off-white head. Breast, biscuity, malty. Some pine resin, bitter hops, honey sweetness. Out of balance, too sweet. Malt body overshadows hop character. I did not enjoy this.

Oct 27, 2015
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HattedClassic from Virginia

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice off-white head that is pretty creamy. The beer itself is a pretty hazy deep amber/brown color. The look isn't bad and it's certainly what I expected given the ingredients.

The smell is super hoppy with only a bit of sweetness and malt notes that do not do much to balance it out. The hope notes are strongly pine with a strong bit of resin in it. The hops seem to have a slight woody note that comes with the dry hopping. While there is a citrus note, it is very faint and impossible to detect. The smell does have some honey sweetness to it but ultimately overwhelmed by the hops.

The taste is just as hoppy as the smell. The hop notes come off mainly as pine and resin. The honey note is much stronger than in the smell and does a better job of balancing out the hop taste.

The mouthfeel is pretty nice. The honey gives the beer bit of thicker feel than normal. The beer is heavy bodied but the carbonation gives it a lighter texture. Really dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good Honey DIPA and a nice and relatively inexpensive substitute for Hopslam. Definitely recommended.

Aug 15, 2015
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argock from Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a clear glass tulip. No freshness date on bottle. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Hazy, opaque orange-copper with 1-finger oatmeal colored head with good retention and a lot of spotty lace around the glass.

S: A lot of woody, herbal hops aroma which doesn't really mix that well with the heavy medium-heavy caramel malt presence. I don't get much citrus, mostly herbal and resinous notes. Alcohol burns the nostrils.

T: The flavor is a palate hammer for sure with heavy herbal and resin notes which are enhanced by the medium and medium-high caramel malt components. The maltiness is modestly sweet, caramelly and a little candylike. I don't get much if any citrus or floral notes -- just a hefty blast of resin and woody, herbal hops. Alcohol is pretty heavy as well -- too much, especially in the finish, and it makes this beer come of a lot more harsh than it should. Bitterness is definitely high.

M: Very heavy in body and I agree with those that put it in the near-barleywine category. Carbonation is medium. This is too hefty for me for this style and it is approaching American Barleywine in style.

O: A very heavy IIPA -- close to American barleywine and I would love to try it side by side with Avery Hog Heaven or another hoppy fresh example. Be ready for a big bitter, alcoholic beer.

Jun 22, 2015
Nuclear Nugget from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 158 ratings