Nuclear Nugget Imperial Honey IPA | Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

very good
23 Reviews
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Nuclear Nugget Imperial Honey IPANuclear Nugget Imperial Honey IPA

Brewed by:
Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by VeganUndead on 06-02-2014

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 108
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
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.

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Photo of JohnathanColeman
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

This beer is extremely disappointing. Classified as an unfiltered IPA, but could pass as an IPL all day. Poured a dark copper brown and had very little hints of honey. Tasted more like hoppy cough syrup.

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Photo of rjs246
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Damn. I wanted to like this more. It's totally fine. And if you love big beers and don't mind that extra alcohol burn this might be your thing. But for me this was just ok. The standard bearer for big honey DIPAs is Hopslam and what makes it so unique is its ability to pack a huge abv punch without burning out your tastebuds. At no point when drinking Nuclear Nugget was I unaware of the alcohol. Not necessarily bad, but not great either. I hope they stick with it and refine it down because there's promise here.

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Photo of argock
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of Pencible
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy dark copper with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like grapefruit zest and earthy copper, with some sweet honey.
T: It tasted like bitter grapefruit zest and resin and earthy copper, with some sweet honey. It had a clean bitter aftertaste.
M: It was oily with a little carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a nice IPA, but the scent and taste weren't super delicious. The body was solid, but the finish was a little harsh, so it was better to sip. Not a bad brew, but doesn't compete with some of the more extreme IPAs in the past few years.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

This was really good, for the most part. Nice malt character and very bitter hop finish. Nose is really nice as well, very citric and sticky. What kills this beer is that the alcohol seems a little out of place, and it's a little too sweet, in a "this doesn't fit" type of a way. That being said, it's still good beer, nice hops. Not extremely drinkable.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's interesting - the kind of IIPA you can give to someone who just thinks "hops = bitter = don't like" and they'll be more open to it. I don't want to say I thought there was too much honey, but it was a bit too sweet for me with the higher abv and honey notes. Still, for a relatively inexpensive bottle from LHC - definitely worth a try and a good one to share on a warm day.

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Photo of SlothB77
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a big, bold, boozy, chewy double IPA. A borderline barleywine. Lots of heat. The alcohol is not hidden at all.

I get a lot of resin and honey, some herbs and pine; not much citrus. Like a wrecking ball on the palate. Not subtle or delicate at all.

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Photo of JayQue
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of dd43
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I've never had Bells Hopslam, to which this beer is compared. The honey seems to have been added primarily to provide more fermentable sugars to drive up the ABV. Taste was in the vector of sticky/resinous pine. Nice hop bite on the initial nose but to be frank this beer felt a little one dimensional. Drinkable and tasty in its own right, but not something I'd necessarily tell someone to seek out.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Review from bottle in May, 2015, original rating straight 4:
This beer didn't look that great, to be honest, save for a nice creamy ream-colored head that lasted. The beer was brownish-yellow, fairly cloudy, with some floaties. The color reminded me of my homebrews that oxidize, and this is likely a bottle-conditioned beer I got a little aggressive with.

Nose is sweet (honey) and floral (orange blossom), but with a hint of wet grain. Not much bitterness detected.

Taste definitely brings some honey to the front and back of the taste. There is also a candy orange flavor early before a piney/grassy dry bitterness joins the party. The IBUs are noticed, but the malty sweetness keeps the bitterness from destroying your mouth. Alcohol is noticeable and adds a bite when combined with the hops, but not strong.

Body is medium full, carbonation light, but that alcohol/bitter spice bite replaces it.

I think the look might be an anomaly. The bitterness grows throughout the pour such that the beer slowly grows into a nice easy-coast, malt forward IPA. I think the flavors get a bit muddled, making it less clean than I'd like.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to my man olavzisper for sending me this bottle! Enjoyed from a lccb snifter.
Bottle #775

Brew pours a surprisingly dark almost brown with a thin off white IPA head. Head dissolves mostly leaving a thick skin on the surface of the brew and nice lace on the glass.

Nose is a soft resinous hop.

Taste follows the nose leading with rich resinous hop over a big caramel malt backbone. Almost barleywine like. Very piny and caramel biscuit. Bitterness on the finish, a bit chewy.

Overall falls on the resinous side of the IPA scale as opposed to the citric bombs I love. Not a bad brew and I will have no problem taking down the 750, but this one seems to tow the line on an American barleywine with thick rich hopping and a but syrupy. Very enjoyable and worth checking out if you get the chance, but don't expect west coast or citric IPA here. Almost comes across as an amber and is a bit reminiscent of nugget nectar but on steroids...a hint of booziness tingles my mouth.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. Retention is excellent, and combines with the creaminess of the head to create some nice aesthetic appeal (even if the body isn't that attractive). A thick ring of lacing is left behind.

S: This nose is ridiculously candy-like - I'm immediately reminded of those little fruit snacks with its notes of stone/tropical fruit and sugar. Caramel malts lie behind it, with bittering notes being nearly imperceptible. Might be too sweet for DIPA standards, but it really works as a barleywine.

T: Follows the nose well. I'm getting an initial hit of juicy fruits - peach, pineapple, mango, and perhaps even cherry. Yeah, cherry in a DIPA. Honey flavors really dominate the midtaste, while it finishes with a combination of caramel malts and piny touches. The malts have a real richness to them that reminds me of a barleywine (and it's not just LC using a buttload of Crystal malt to 'balance' it, either). While quite delicious, it's still too sweet at the end of the day.

M: This is full bodied, soft, and creamy; but then the finish is dried out by the honey presence. Actually, it might be too dry - it's creating an astringent sensation that practically parches the palate. Carbonation is hidden behind the rich texture.

O: Malty DIPAs (which sounds redundant) can be wildly hit-or-miss with me. Some can pull off the sweetness well...others can't. This is the former, mainly because it's closer to a barleywine than a DIPA. The big caramel sweetness works quite well with the almost candied hops and impressive honey presence. It's a very rich beer - hell, I'd even suggest it would be great for dessert.

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Photo of delta490
3.89/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of MacQ32
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a muddied amber with a hint of orange. Dense caramel finger of head with absolutely fantastic retention and a thick and complete lacing slowly slide back into the brew.

S - Mostly honey and caramel malts. A bit of grapefruit type citrus barely peeks through, just enough to make me think the flavor may contain a decent bit of citrusy ipa characteristics.

T - Definite honey up front but a nice bit of boozy citrus come through fairly strongly quickly after. Finish is mostly citrus (orange, grapefruit) with a hint of booze. Aftertaste is slightly bitter/rind-like and boozy.

M - Very interesting feel on this one. I would say medium bodied plus, certainly full bodied for the style. Carbonation is moderate, smooth as all hell.

O - very interesting, definitely growing on me as I go. Tons of honey but the grapefruit/orange type flavors really start to shine as it warms up a bit. mouthfeel is intriguing

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours a copper brown body with decent head and little lace retention for some lace patches.
Aroma is a mix of citric hops along with touches of sweet honey malt (surprised I even picked it up) along with possible caramel malt as well.
While this is a hoppy brew, naturally, the hops do not overpower beer like I thought they would and this is a genuinely sweet, honeylike IPA that hangs on to both sweetness and a prolific citric hop profile.
This combonation, or the sweetness in general, might irk some people but I really loved it and the over 10% ABV is well-hidden so I was able to really enjoy this beer.

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Photo of gopens44
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Where to start....

Well, let's go with the look. This is beautiful. Dark orange, almost dark translucent copper. Massive creme colored head with an odd pattern of lacing but there nonetheless.

Only knock on this beer is the nose. Smells "mealy" or something along with some hop jump.

Tastes just spectacular. Seriously. A touch of heat on the front end that gives way to some citrus, some honey but finally earthy on the tongue. Bitter as hell but with purpose! When I say bitter, I mean crimony, it's a bitter thing indeed. Bitterness is hanging out on the tongue as if protesting something vigorously.

Judging by other ratings, this seems like a polarizing beer. But, well worth givign a try. You may be pleasantly surprised, like I was.

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Photo of arizcards
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a snifter a Capital Grill in Richmond earlier today for $7.75.

Beer was served golden orange with a nice white head.

Nose was nice, dank citrus hop.

Taste is citrus and tropical with a bit of pine. It is a tad sweet but not cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall a solid double ipa that is pretty similar to Hop Slam...definitely would do again.

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Photo of dwren89
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: cloudy burnt auburn color, thick and puffy cream colored head.

Smell: strong biscuit aroma, piney, hint of citrus fruit like a pineapple and mixed berry,

Taste: strong biscuit and medium full body up front, pine and pineapple hop flavors primarily, with a very bitter but not at all astringent finish

Mouthfeel: medium full body, thick and a little chewy, very long finish

Overall: A very fine DIPA. The hop character is what makes it though. A delicate balance between pine and pineapple with a little mixed berry on the nose is backed up by a thick and mildly chewy biscuit malt flavor. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Photo of rockaroo
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brought in a growler. Should he called "palate wrecker" but name already taken. Big upfront hops semi unsavory followed by huge lingering fascinating big hop blast. I drank the whole growler without switching off to another bottled beer. I like stuff that is nasty natural rather than refined, like this. I still don't like the water they use but this beer pushes my respect of this brewery way higher..

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Nuclear Nugget Imperial Honey IPA from Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery
3.85 out of 5 based on 108 ratings.
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