It's that time of year when all the Harvest Ales start showing up on the shelves, and hopheads journey down to the beer retailers to get the wet hop goodness. This is my first time trying the Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Wet Hop Harvest Ale, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my thoughts.
Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Wet Hop Harvest Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co- Chico, CA
Each Fall, hops reach their peak flavor-bursting with aromatic oils that give ales layers of complex flavor and aroma that can only happen at harvest time. For us, fall comes twice a year-once in each hemisphere. This Harvest Ale features "wet" or un-dried whole-cone hops from Yakima, WA that are plucked from the vine and delivered to our brewery within 24 hours of picking.
Smitty's Review: Sampled at 55 degrees. Pours a beautiful deep copper amber with a two-finger light beige head that dissipates to a ring. Nice webby lacing that clings to the glass all the way to the end. The nose is a balance of caramelly malts and fresh crushed hop cones- which give off an aroma that reminds me of an orange grove. Medium bodied with carbonation that is on the softer side of medium, and a slight creaminess in texture. The malt profile is a nice compliment to the hops, as opposed to pale backdrop. It is an interesting mix of bready malts, caramel and rye. The hops really dominate mid palate, with an assertive grapefruit and piney bitterness that carries through to the long , semi-dry finish.There is an strong amount of hop oils that cling to palate, and I mean they really cling. I will be tasting this tomorrow!
If you are a hop head, you should really enjoy this beer. I think this is Sierra Nevada's Best Harvest ale to date. The fresher the better. Grab this sooner than later.
Rating*: 9.5 out of 10
Recommended Food Pairing: Grilled meats, sharp or spicy cheeses
Value: Good at $4.99 per 24 ounce bottle
Beer Audience: Hop heads and experienced craft beer drinkers.
Where To Buy: I picked this up at Midtown Wine & Spirits, but other liquor stores with a good craft beer selection should have this.
* rating system based on aroma (1 pt), appearance (1pt), palate (2 pts) flavor (3pts), comparison to other commercial examples of the style (3pts)