Tag Archives: Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest

  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Country: USA
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 6.7 %
  • Size: 710 ml
  • Bought from: Systembolaget, ? euro
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer


Hops grown in the Northern Hemisphere are usually harvested during the fall, and to honor the harvest, Sierra Nevada brew a fresh hop (or wet hop) beer each year. According to Sierra Nevada’s website, the hops move from field to brewery in less than 24 hours, so they should still be full-packed with aromatic oils once they are used in the brew. The beer has a simple malt bill consisting of only 2-row and crystal malts, and has been hopped with the classic American C hops Cascade and Centennial. The beer isn’t super fresh anymore, since it was brewed in the fall of 2011, but I’m still expecting lots of hoppy goodness in both aroma and flavor. Sierra Nevada rarely disappoint, so am really looking forward to this one. Cheers!

[easyreview title=”Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer pours with a slightly hazy amber color, and a slight off-white head is formed, that collapses quickly leaving some oily foam islands and drapes of lacing.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is a blend of sweet caramel and a floral, grapefruity and herbal hoppiness, lending some hints of pine resin as well. The hop aroma could be a bit stronger, but still nice.” cat2rating=”4″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The flavor begins with a slightly sweet and caramelly maltiness, that is joined by a soapy, citrusy, resiny and herby hoppiness. The hop flavors feel a bit unfamiliar, but work well. The flavor ends slightly dry and with a pleasant bitterness. The beer is quite well balanced, with the slightly sweet tones and hop flavors countering the earthy bitterness. I can’t decide whether to give the taste a 3.5 or a 4. Ok, a weak 4.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium body and carbonation level. Easily drinkable, but has a slightly oily and soapy feel.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”Overall a great beer, with the flavor being the weakest point. The beer had a strange herby and soapy flavor that I haven’t really met in any other beers before. The flavor was still very pleasant. This is the first time I try a wet/fresh hop beer, and I thought it was a really interesting experience. I am also looking forward to trying Port Brewing’s High Tide which I have waiting in the fridge. Sierra Nevada also brew a Southern Hemisphere Harvest ale, with New Zealand hops, that would be nice to try out as well.”]

Thanks Ingo for buying me the bottle!

Around the World in 1 day

Last Saturday my girlfriend had organized an ‘Around the World’-themed date for me. The day included trips to a lot of bars, and I was to have a ‘local’ beer in each one. The day began with some breakfast in France at home, and after that the first stop was Belge, a Belgian-styled bar. Here I had a Poperings Hommelbier (from tap; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer), while my girlfriend had a Lindemans Cassis (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). The Hommelbier was OK, with both fruity hop tones and spicy Belgian yeast tones, but it is not amongst my favorites. Belge is a cozy place, but a little on the expensive side. They have a (average) selection of Belgian beers on bottle and tap. We also had a waffle there that was tasty, though service was a little slow (we were one of the only customers in the bar, and it took them almost 30 minutes to prepare the waffle).


Lindemans Cassis to the left and Poperings Hommelbier to the right


After Belge, we travelled to (Bierhuis) Rotterdam, where I had a Dutch beer: Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). I was thinking about having a La Trappe, but since I knew it would be a long day and many beers I opted for the lower ABV beers in the first bars. My girlfriend a Magners Pear Cider, since she didn’t really find any beers she liked. The brown ale was also OK, with a taste that was malty, caramelly and slightly chocolately and roasty. Some Belgian yeast tones were detectable as well. It didn’t fit so well with the warm weather though. The label on the bottle featured a painting from “Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. Rotterdam has a nice selection, a cozy interior, and great location, which makes it worth a visit (if you can fit in).


Tilburg’s Dutch Brown Ale in the front, Magners Pear Cider in the back.


After Holland it was time to travel to Italy. This time it wasn’t a bar, but we went to Cafe Java to have an espresso and ice latte. With some caffeine in the body we traveled to Africa, and went to Kiasma, where they had an African art exhibition. After some interesting art, we had lunch in Japan (Daruma Sushi in Kamppi). They had some tasty and reasonably priced sushi, so I can recommend the place! It is a little hidden in Kamppi, but worth the search. After Japan we traveled to China and with Nomads, when we visited Kulttuurien museo in Tennispalatsi. They had two exhibitions Värimatka Kiinaan (Colorful Travels in China) and Liikkuva Koti (Movable Home). The visit was free, and certainly interesting. After China it was time for another beer, so we traveled to nearby Australia, which meant a visit to Aussie Bar of course. Here I had a Coopers Sparkling Ale (bottle; Beer Advocate; Ratebeer). This is an Australian Pale/Golden Ale, featuring some honey and fruit tones in the aroma and flavour. Unfortunately I don’t recall anymore details on the beer (this was not because I was drunk, just because this beer wasn’t anything special). It was a good thirst quencher in the heat though.


Coopers Sparkling Ale


After Australia, it was time for a trip over the Pacific Ocean to the United States. It was a long visit in this country, as we first went to Chico’s, where we had some snacks and I had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo (you can read a review here). After this we went to William K Tennispalatsi, where I had a Victory HopDevil (taste notes here) and we played Kimble while waiting for our US comedy (Bad Teacher) to start at Finnkino Tennispalatsi.


Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Victory HopDevil


After the movie, we headed towards Spain and Bar Celona to have some Tapas, Cava and San Miguel. The beer was unfortunately, as I remembered, a quite typical and tasteless bulk-lager. Then it was time for the final destination of the journey: Siberia/North Pole/Some goddamn cold place. We ended the day with a visit to Arctic Icebar, a bar made out of ice and with an interior temperature of -5 degrees C. They had a very limited cocktail range, and it was expensive, but it certainly was a fantastic experience and a perfect end to a great ‘trip around the world’ here in Helsinki. I had a Screwdriver and a shot of Minttu Black (they had no beer, and only Absolut products), which helped warm the body up in the cold bar.





Thanks to Pia for arranging this fantastic day!

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2010


  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada
  • Country: USA
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 6.8%
  • Size: 350 ml
  • Bought from: Alko, 4.25€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  • Here is another review on a Sierra Nevada beer (probably the last one for a while). This one is their seasonal IPA, brewed every winter with fresh Cascade, Centennial and Chinook. The beer has a bitterness of 65 IBUs.

    [easyreview title=”Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a golden-amber color and is slightly hazy. The beer features a fluffy white head, that leaves some nice lacing along the glass as it quite quickly collapses.” cat1rating=”4″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The aroma is filled with citrusy and piney hop aroma, combined some caramelly maltiness. Note: This beer is not super fresh (over 7 months old), so I can almost guarantee that it has lost a lot of its aroma.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The taste is hoppy from the beginning, with a spicy, citrusy and resiny hop flavour, that is quickly joined by a caramelly sweetness. The taste ends in some bitterness, but it is not as strong as I expected. As with the aroma, I really wish I could have tasted this half a year ago, since I’m certain this beer has lost much lovely hop flavour to time. ” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium body and carbonation level, and is quite well balanced. Nothing special here.” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”As with many of the other Sierra Nevada regulars, I have to say this is a good beer, but nothing spectacular or amongst my absolute favorites. It’s a shame it is almost impossible to get fresh US IPAs here in Finland.”]

    Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA


  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada
  • Country: USA
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • Size: 350 ml
  • Bought from: Oluthuone William K. Sello, 6.90€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  • This beer was one of my all time favorites a couple of years ago when I started drinking ‘good beer’ instead of the typical ‘bulk lagers’. This beer has been mentioned a couple of times in previous posts, but this time I’ll make a full review of it. The Torpedo is an American IPA made with 2-Row Pale malt and Crystal malt, and hopped with Magnum, Crystal and Citra. The beer boasts and IBU of 65. Let’s see how it scores.

    [easyreview title=”Sierra Nevada Torpedo” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a, just slightly hazy, golden-amber color with a minimal cream-colored head, that leaves some lacing along the glass.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The beer has a caramelly and slightly citrusy and fruity hoppy aroma. I expected much more hop aroma. Would probably do better fresh.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”The initial taste is sweet and malty with caramel tones. The flavour shifts over to slight tropical fruit and resiny hoppiness, which finishes in nice bitterness on the tongue. As with the aroma, this could you a bit more hop flavour, as the maltiness and bitterness dominated.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a medium-full body with a medium level of carbonation, and is easy to drink. The beer is quite well balanced, with nothing overpowering.” cat4rating=”4″ summary=”I’ve now given this beer 3 attempts this spring, and I must say this bottle was the best of the three. I still must say that this beer failed to impress me in the way it once had when I was a ‘bulk lager’ drinker. Still this is a good American IPA, but there are definitely better ones available on the market. Could use more hop aroma and flavour, or be a bit fresher when drunken.”]

    Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 2011


  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada
  • Country: USA
  • Style: American Barleywine
  • ABV: 9.6%
  • Size: 350 ml
  • Bought from: Alko, 4.16€
  • Beer Advocate
  • RateBeer
  • This infamous barleywine, brewed by Sierra Nevada, is currently available from the Arkadia Alko (‘Lippulaiva’). This is the 2011 version, and I bought two bottles, one to drink fresh, and one to age a couple of years.

    [easyreview title=”Sierra Nevada Bigfoot” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”The beer has a clear deep amber-ruby color and boasts a massive cream-colored head, that quickly collapes leaving some lacing along the glass. Makes it look extremely tasty.” cat1rating=”4.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”There is some citrusy hoppiness in the aroma of this beer, but not as much as I expected (not super fresh, as the beer was released in January), and it is balanced with sweet, caramelly maltiness. The alcohol is detectable from the aroma.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”There is alot of bitterness and resiny flavours from the hops directly from the start (IBUs should lie around 90), that combine with sweet caramel and toffee flavours, that ends in some fruitiness (hops and esters?) and just slight alcohol presence. Surprisingly bitter and dry finish, as I was expecting a sweeter and maltier taste (as in e.g. Anchor Old Foghorn), as this could be mistaken for an Imperial IPA. Tasty nonetheless.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The beer has a quite full body with a medium level of carbonation. The beer has a relatively harsh bitterness, that probably will fade as the beer ages (can’t wait to try an aged Bigfoot in some years!). Quite well balanced, as the strong hoppiness and maltiness cover the alcohol quite well, but not completely.” cat4rating=”3.5″ summary=”A good beer, but not amongst my absolute favorites. Will see how this one changes with age. There are a lot of strong flavours in this one, that combine into a complex flavour experience. If you have never tried this one I recommend you try it out (only 960 bottles are sold at Alko)!”]

    Weekend beers

    Had some different beers this weekend, some of them very good. First up was a Dixie (by Dixie Brewing), which is an American Lager that was quite tasteless, but very easy to drink. Would probably make a good thirst quencher in the summer, but otherwise it was nothing special.

    Next up was an Anchor Porter, which is an American Porter. The beer poured very dark brown/black with a tan head. Flavour was sweet, roasted, and chocolatey, and the beer had a thick creamy feel. Not a big fan of darker beers, but this one was really tasty.

    Next up was a Bitter & Twisted (by Harviestoun Brewery), which is an English IPA. The beer poured a golden color, and had a very citrusy (lemon) aroma. The taste was malty with hints of grassy and citrusy hoppiness. A tasty English-style ale.

    Then it was time for a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum from Oluthuone Kaisla. This huge (10.4% ABV, 100 IBU, 660 ml bottle) Imperial IPA is a limited edition release from Sierra Nevada, hopped with Magnum, Simcoe, Citra, Chinook, and a new unnamed hop variety. The beer poured an amber color with a minimal head. The beer was full of fruity, piney and citrusy aroma and flavour, balanced with a sweet and malty backbone. A fantastic beer, that is one of my absolute favorites. Unfortunately the beer is limited, hard to find (only available in Kaisla), was expensive, and was a bit big to drink on my own.

    Next was a visit to Olutravintola Pikkulintu, where I had a Pikkulintu Triple IPA (brewed at Grassroots Brewery). A full review of it will be posted later.

    Finally I had a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, which was a bit fresher than the last one I had last weekend, but it still disappointed me a bit. Almost no hop aroma, and taste was lacking as well. I remember it being much better. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky receiving another one that has gone a bit bad.

    Tasty IPAs at Hilpeä Hauki

    Had some good beers yesterday at Hilpeä Hauki, a beer restaurant in Kallio, Helsinki (part of the ‘fish restaurant’ chain (Kalaravintolat)). I noticed they had one of my all-time favorites, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, on the pricelist, so had to have one of those again. The bartender also revealed that they had some hoppy beers from Victory Brewing Company: their HopDevil (American IPA) and Hop Wallop (Imperial IPA). I only had time for one other beer, so went for the HopDevil (after reading many good reviews on it). I wasn’t disappointed, as it was fantastic, and will definitely have to come back and taste the Hop Wallop. Below are some short comments (won’t be doing any full reviews, since I had nothing to take notes on and was a little drunk).

    This is an aggressively hopped American IPA (6.7% ABV), with a hazy amber color and an almost non-existing tan head. The aroma was citrusy and piney, and the flavour was also dominated by fruity, citrusy and piney hops. It had a very aggressive, but pleasant, bitter bite on the tongue. A very good beer, would definitely drink again. Unfortunately only available from restaurants.

    This is also a aggressively hopped (Magnum, Crystal and Citra) American IPA (sometimes classified as a Double IPA), with an amber color. Unfortunately the bottle I received has its best before date a month ago, so this beer had lost a lot of its aroma and flavour. You could still get some of the fruity and citrusy Citra aroma and flavour, but I was very disappointed. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to drink a fresher Torpedo soon.