Nickel Brook Headstock IPA from the Better Bitters Brewing Company in Burlington, Ontario pours a hazy, rusty amber colour with a medium-sized tan coloured head that is retained for a while as a frothy colour. There is spotty lacing and small grains of yeast sediment are visible. This American IPA has a thick, syrupy aroma with citrus and berry tones in the forefront and a sturdy caramel malt base with a pine accent and a subtle spicy note.
The taste of Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is similar to the smell, with bright citrus and red berry tones taking the lead and backed by toasty, bready malts with a hint of caramel. There is a nice balance of sweetness in the taste and a solid bitterness in the finish. The ale is full-bodied with a relatively mild carbonation. It is very creamy on the tongue with a lingering oily sensation and flavours of lemon zest, pine and a peppery spice in the aftertaste.
The can that houses Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is primarily bright orange, with purple and yellow imagery that evokes a certain 1969 music festival’s poster and green images of hops near the brewery’s logo at the top. On the back you will find a description of the beer and a black and white image of a man playing a guitar that looks conspicuously like the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. A clearly stamped best before date is found on the can’s underside.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is a very drinkable, flavourful and competitively-priced entry in the increasingly crowded Ontario IPA scene that masks its ABV well and one I’ll be sure to try again. It pairs well with salty, spicy and fried foods of course, but in my experience it went particularly well with red pasta sauce and sharp cheese.
Nickel Brook Headstock IPA is currently listed at over 100 LCBO locations and you can find Better Bitters Brewing Company products on tap at dozens of bars and restaurants in southern Ontario. You can also visit the brewery in Burlington for a tour and sampling session.
Type: American IPA
Region: Ontario, Burlington
Brewery: Better Bitters Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 473 mL
Alcohol Content: 7.0%