Was fortunate enough to get a couple cans of Fiddlehead’s new double IPA, Mastermind recently for my birthday and tried this when it was as fresh as possible. Not for nothing, but the label design rather invites comparison between the Mastermind and the Alchemist’s “mad hop scientist” from the Heady Topper label. It was the very first thing I thought of when I saw the label art. That said, if you ignore the similarity, I love the label.
It had a very inviting grapefruit nose, but poured a much lighter, cloudy hue than I expected. Almost like orange juice. Some really nice, juicy citrus flavors (grapefruit and orange most notably). It’s also got a hint of (of all things) licorice going on. It’s not quite as chewy or bold in the hops department as many of its distinguished contemporaries from the Green Mountain State, which is part of the problem: I can’t forget that beers like that exist when I drink this one, which isn’t really fair to the Mastermind. I’m just being honest here.
If I could pop down to the corner and pick some of this up, I would…over most anything I can get here in Massachusetts. But it’s all relative, and this is a damn good double IPA by anyone’s standards.