Monday, February 6, 2012

Fiddlehead IPA

The much anticipated Fiddlehead IPA is here. Former head brewer at Magic Hat, Matt Cohen went on to form his own company with this American IPA leading the way. I sessioned this one at Ake's Place in downtown Burlington.

Alcohol Content: ?
IBU: 50
Malts: ?
Hops: Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe, Galaxy

Price: $4.25 for a pint
Medium: On draught served in a regular pint glass

Aroma: Some grapefruit-like citrus qualities with unclear supporting malts - very bland/ pale malt sweetness not leading to any specific direction. Grassy and piney notes present a strong hop aroma no doubt. Fermentation seems clean.
Appearance: Poured for a thick, fluffy white head. Only the slightest bit of haze, representing a great fermentation - the beer is unfiltered and sits in a bright tank before kegging. Golden with some amber. Great head retention.
Flavor: Pale sweet malts appear first but are quickly overrun by the bittering hops. Hop flavor is primarily of grapefruit citrus and finishes a slightly fruity tart/ sourness. Mid-palate has a bit of wet vegetal matter. Somewhat spicy/ peppery notes throughout, although citrus still dominates. Minimal drying in the aftertaste is paired with some residual sweetness (sweetness is mostly identified with the mouthfeel and no particular direction or distinct flavors). Balance is slightly favored towards the hops (in flavor but not bitterness).
Mouthfeel: Moderate body and carbonation. Slightly warm finish, perhaps from the lingering hops. No distinct off-flavors present. Everything about this one feels very clean. No strong alcohol flavors but I'm sure it still packs a punch.
Overall Impression: This is a great example of an IPA that finds a happy medium between competing styles - Its definitely more approachable than most IPA's but also offers a great hop character for the hop heads. I would love to see this available in 6-packs but for now its springing up on tap around town. Get your hands on it as soon as you can!


  1. Must have been great with those Simcoe and Amarillo!

  2. Its so good - Between this and the Heady Topper definitely the two best IPA's in Vermont. Our homebrewing club got a private tour of this new start-up, such a great experience to hear him lecture too!