Thunderhead IPA | Pyramid Breweries, Inc.

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Thunderhead IPAThunderhead IPA

Brewed by:
Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
Washington, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A golden nectar with a striking floral aroma, Thunderhead holds a harmonious balance between its bold hop bitterness and subtle malt background.

Added by Jason on 09-16-2001

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Reviews: 437 | Ratings: 683
Photo of q33jeff
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


AROMA:Fruity Nose.
LOOK: Golden color, small lasting head.
TASTE: Good hoppy flavors, Strong Bite.

On Tap at Daddy O's, Rooftop, LBI.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Mild orange appearance, 1/3" white head. Aroma his some C hop aromas.

Taste was a nice surprise from Pyramid, often a purveyor of the mundane. Nice hop vegetal flavor, grapefruit, pine, nice woodsy presence, nice bitterness, not grating. Stays a dry body but a resolute malt presence.

Affordable, available, one of pyramid's better offerings.

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Photo of Stevem68
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light Amber color. Aroma is malty and kind of off putting for an IPA. Flavor is malty with a touch of hops on the back end, just ok. Overall this is a pretty forgettable IPA.

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Photo of stevoj
3.17/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice aroma, but taste is a little flat. Normal hop sharpness, appearance is great with high fluffy head. Finish is short, with mild lingering bitterness. Good, but not great.

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Photo of vladdswrath
2.58/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy golden honey with a big 2 inch head foamy head that leaves a fantastic lace. Aroma is almost non-existant. Taste is better than I had hoped after the lack of smell, but still fairly one dimensional and like the aroma, the flavors are fleeting. Mildly sweet malt, a touch of swamp and a wall of quickly dissipating bitterness is all you get. Mouthfeel is fairly light, again it feels like it is going to be thick and then it just sort of vanishes. Weird Brew...

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Photo of gandres
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Appearance: Orange - light amber color , minimal head, minimal lacing
Smell: not a strong of hops compared to other IPAs
Taste: does not taste like most west coast IPAs
Overall: Good beer

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Photo of pianoguy
3.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle. No discernible bottling info.

Pours a copper orange body with a white head.. Some retention, Good thin lacing.

A piney, slightly citrus smell right after the pour, then the malts crept in and kind of takes over...

Follows the smell... The malts have that distinctive "Pyramid Breweries" malt taste. (slightly sweet). Then a very nice bitter takes over.. And oh yeah, It is a very good bitter!

Feel was ok.

Nicely done . I wasn't expecting this beer to be this good .Great value for the dollar. I will have it again.

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Photo of muldersha
2.06/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had a 22oz bomber purchased in Portland, OR

Pours a pretty deep amber hue with a solid chunky white head and decent retention and lacing.

Aromas are piney, but mostly steely. Smells of steel, pine , and more steel.

Malty and medium to medium full bodied on the palate. Finish is sweet and malty with a nice cut of bitter hops.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.94/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like honey, nice transparent shade of amber with slight cloudiness to it. Head is tan with decent retention and lacing, forming a film on the surface on the liquid. Very strong aromas of bread, caramel, and raisins. Hops are faint. To the taste it is the same, but herbal, rindy, resinous hops are stronger, balancing out malt qualities, and at their biggest toward the end. Mildly bitter and astringent finish. Medium-bodied, not terribly carbonated, not super smooth. Overall an interesting, different IPA. Nice change of scenery.

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Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Orangey amber brew with plenty of foam in the Einbecker Pils glass. Modest resiny aroma. Pleasant sudsy mouthfeel with a bitter tang.

Flavor of orange with some peel. Woody, even a hint of cardboard. Dank and herbal hops. Big bitter aftertaste. Tasty malt with a hint of sweetness. Some fruity baked pear flavors.

This is a big-flavored brew with a different flavor than the typical current West Coast IPAs. From the 22 oz bottle bought at The Market in Anacortes.

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Photo of FreeBeer_Score99
3.18/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Ideal place for this beer: beer you pick up at a quiky mart on the way to your aunts Thanksgiving dinner in Newberg, OR. Your cousin from Seattle says its not really a "micro", but he only drinks "nano" beers.

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Photo of Roadking1979
1.99/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

22 oz. bomber from Albertson's grocery close to Bremerton, Washington. perhaps this Indiana boy is spoiled by the easy availability of Alpha King and Two-Hearted, but my first foray into Pyramid beers was not memorable. Some floral hints and decent coloring, but otherwise non-descript and bland throughout. Would drink this over a Coors Light...on second thought, maybe not. Hope Pyramid has more to offer and will do more research before buying another.

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Photo of greentam2
3.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a fresh crisp mouthfeel, with a long lingering backtaste of fresh green tasting citrusy hops. It is pleasant on the front taste, and memorable on the backside of the draught. A nice inbetween ipa between your session beer and an imperial. Very drinkable, and requests that you sip, due to its long lasting aftertaste, and significant abc. This beer is right up there with Sierra Nevada Torpedo, slightly sweeter, and only a photo finish behind.

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Photo of ssteakley
2.99/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Qualifies as an IPA, but struggles to keep up with the numerous excellent IPA's in the PNW. A dry bitter finish and starts well just just does not hold up well. A caramel malt perhaps. Don't give up Pyramid has some other better brews for sure, recently took a Seattle Road Dog Brewery tour and Pyramid was one of them.

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Photo of hopflyer
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

consumed in a casino of all places. was the only IPA there so needed to have this instead of an AAL. clean and light bodied but not hoppy enough. it did satisfy though.

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Photo of BabaYagaRIS
2.91/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is my first review and will be improving upon them as I go on hopefully.

Drinking from the bottle as when I drink lately it's from a frosty pint glass (or similar) or a cold bottle. I do not enjoy a beer that is not 'cold' so will not be able to judge much on that.

The beer is in a slightly different labeling convention than shown on the profile - it has a number of pyramids with lightning behind them should that help with the date of release.

I am not smelling a very floral smell, although I do feel some citrus within, perhaps bitter even. Not sure how much you can get from a bottle, but I enjoy reading others critiques and will do so to help develop these reviews as well. I understand a bottle is not optimal by any means.
[Edit: In hindsight, when I was thinking 'floral' I was thinking 'sweet'. I now understand that 'floral' likely means similar to smelling a flower which I think this does have a correlation with.]

From a taste perspective I enjoy the bubbles and find this to be a 'live' been from that perspective. I'm finding a little too much steel for my taste although that is lessened from the first sip to the last.
[Edit: I believe the term I am after here is bitter, not steel]

I am not getting a huge sweetness from this which reminds me more of a pale I suppose. It also tastes like the tacos I just ate and that's not extremely helpful:)

It does seem to have a dry finish and a mouth pop suggests you should take another drink.

Overall, if I'm ranking this from an enjoyment standpint for a IPA @ 6.7%, this is very drinkable but I would call it a straightforward beer. It does not have the characteristics I want from drinking 2 beers, but may for drinking 4.

I welcome any feedback on how to do this better.

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Photo of Smurf2055
2.02/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Bland smell.
Murky and fizzy appearance (like a wheat beer).
Slightly bitter taste, not a lot of depth. Drinkable.

My craft beer friends all hate it, and my non-craft beer friends all hate it, not sure where the appeal is on this. Maybe for wannabe beer snobs?

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.45/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle enjoyed at the Hong Kong Brewhouse in Lan Kwai Fong. As I said for Mendocino's White Hawk IPA, can't be sure this isn't grey-market imported to Hong Kong. Apologies to Pyramind if it is.

Pours a pale gold colour with a bit of sediment. Head is a shade darker than white, bit whispy but retains a nice tight crown with slight spots of lace. Bit dull, but OK.

Smells tangy with a big lychee hit. Slight metallic note with citric hint on the back. Bit sherbety and a bit phenolic. Quite pleasant, could use a bit more grounding.

Taste is quite sweet upfront. Big malty oomph with some mandarin and orange pith notes. Gets rich toffee caramel midway before hops take over with more strong lychee notes, sherbet and medicinal phenols. Nice tangy citrus note on the back that gets a bit resiny. Decent IPA but nothing amazing.

A bit sharp; hop oils, possibly carbonation bites a little.

I've had better IPAs; there's potential here for a very nice beer but it seems a bit heavy-handed at some times and underwhelming at others.

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Photo of WalterHeisenberg
3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle aggressive pour into pint glass
A: dark amber nice white foamy head great retention great lacing looks pretty tasty
S: malty floral not too hoppy or more malty than hoppy
T: slight malt up front bitter and bitterer and bitterer yet still malty . It's bitter but malt really stands out. Needs a something not sure what. Heavy hops heavy malt needs something to be a go between
O: It seems to jump back and forth between bitter and malty one or the other needs that something extra. Not bad. Not great you could do way worse but you can do better

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Photo of Omnium
3.49/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Copperish yellow in appearance, shy of a finger head, minimal lacing.
S - Floral hops, some slightly lemon, big honey aroma, and a slightly offsetting soapy scent.
T - Definitely on the sweeter side of things, some lemon juice, lighter caramel malt, and floral hop bitterness.
M - A tad sticky and sour on the palate, not a lot of bitterness, but just enough.
O - Not too pleased with this, I'd like to try some other Pyramid beers, but this really isnt a good American IPA, lots of honey and sour sweetness that really doesnt make you want to get another.

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Photo of Jellopants356
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid brass color. Minimal glazed head. Slight lacing. Smells of honey, citrus and some hops. Bright and bubbly to start but ends with a rather odd metallic finish. Rough on the palate. Not really a great IPA, more of a decent pale ale.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.51/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A half finger of head on a dark amber colored body.
The aroma is mild grapefruit and faint overall.
There's a solid lemon bitterness in the taste. It's straight forward and bold.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's a "no-frills" IPA and build well.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.71/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from Wegmans Dewitt NY for 2$

Appearance - Clear light copper colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, grassy notes

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel and hops. There is also some light grapefruit flavour mixed with a grassiness and an light apricot sweetness. It ends with a dry hop aftertaste.

Overall – Better than the reviews on this site had lead me to expect. It's not one of the more exciting american IPA's, but it is still tasty and very drinkable. It has a few flavours that I would expect to find in an English IPA.. almost like a hybrid of the 2 styles. Worth a try.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22oz bomber into new belgium globe

A- Clear copper with a one-finger head. Elegant but nothing special, pretty standard IPA fare. Good leftovers on the side of the glassware though!

S- Citrus, pine, and floral hops over a strong malt base. Sweet fruity smell emerges as it get a bit warmer - this may be from esters but perhaps hops I can't tell.

T- A little smoky grain with less citrus than the nose. Tastes fine, plenty of caramel, but the cold temperature, hoppiness, and carbonation make it difficult to pick out specifics. Loads of hop bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Aftertaste is a weird mix of sweet and bitter. Almost like dish soap? I will give taste a 2.75 because there are some great aspects and not-so-great ones all going on at once.

M- Nice body and medium-high carbonation that leaves a pleasant prickle. Hard to judge feel because of the taste leftover after swallowing.

O- Straight-over tackle IPA in the western parts. Not a lot to separate it from the pack but a tasty, drinkable, refreshing hop soda nonetheless.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.42/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Clingy sandy head that leaves crust rings over an amber body.
Nose is totally dead when cold, some hop dankness and tangerine oil comes out with warmth.
Orange marmalade and overripe peaches with lots of tangerine hops warming to some harsh dried orange rind and wood resin stickiness.
Orange pith ending that turns spicy with warmth and evergreen linger.
Light, soft, some chew, oily.

APA more than IPA to start - the 6.7% is buried. There's some Lagunitas juiciness when cold, making it an easy drinker.
I'd have never guessed Nugget until it warmed up; then the nose came out and some sandpaper bitterness emerges.
Moves from an overly simple if quaffable APA to a rough sappy IBU-fest without ever being a straight IPA or, honestly, a particularly nice beer.

2nd tasting, September 2016: Big and dumb: candy sweet notes in broad strokes, plus husky and thin. Very 90s; nothing very interesting. But effective and available (on AmTrak, for example) as far as it goes. 3.75

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Thunderhead IPA from Pyramid Breweries, Inc.
3.4 out of 5 based on 683 ratings.
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