Review: Nickel Brook Brewing - Headstock

Today we take a look at Nickel Brook's I.P.A.: the Headstock.  I've been lucky to sample this on cask, but today we look at it in a can.


This American style I.P.A. weighs in at a 7.0% alc./vol.

It pours a very cloudy amber with an orange tinge.  The head is a thick off-white with strong retention and medium lacing.

The aroma is very strong, I smelled the citrus notes from a foot away.  Some light grain can be picked up beneath the strong citrus and pine notes that dominate the nose.

From start to finish there is a strong bitterness in the flavour.  It starts with a bitter hoppiness mixed with a grapefruit citrus, then moves into some light caramel malts and finishes with a sweet bitterness and minor hints of toasted bread.  For such bitterness, there is very little in the way of a lingering aftertaste, which was rather surprising (and welcome.)

The body is full and creamy with medium carbonation.  Every sip finishes dry, making you go back for more (and what's not to love about that?)

I'll tell you what this is: a great take on an I.P.A.  The complexity is there, the presentation is great, the aroma is strong, the bitterness slaps you in the face and wakes you up, and yet it goes down so smoothly.
I'll also tell you what it isn't: a session beer.  Don't plan on drinking this all night long, or you'll wake up with a wooden plank for a tongue.  It also isn't for people who are used to calling Keith's an I.P.A.  If you're looking to branch out from the main stream and try something different, you may not be ready for this.  That being said, try it.  It'll definitely wake your tastebuds up.

Thanks for reading fellow beer lovers!  'Til next week!
-Jimmy "the Boy" Kempster.