Showing posts with label Sierra Nevada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sierra Nevada. Show all posts

Feb 22, 2013

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

     Sierra Nevada is well beyond being considered a microbrewery these days. Their brews are one of the gateways to the crazy world of beer snobbery. The main reason for both is that they are always solid and consistent. They don't get all crazy with a billion different gimmicky concoctions but when they roll out their occasion seasonal or special brews-it's usually a safe bet that it is going to well crafted with very much attention being paid to everything that goes into the particular style.
     According to the Sierra Nevada press blurb this brew is "a hurricane of whole-cone hop flavor. Hopped, dry hopped and torpedoed for incredible hop flavor and complexity, Hoptimum is the pinnacle of whole-cone hoppiness and the biggest Imperial IPA we have ever produced. It features resinous “new school” hop varieties: Magnum, Chinook, Simcoe, Citra and a new experimental hop variety exclusive to Sierra Nevada."
     A "new experimental hop variety exclusive"? Sounds top secret and a challenge to the drinker! Especially when later the one-sheet says it throws down the gauntlet to all other IPAs.
     Even though I have been a serious "Gimme all them hops bitter you can! Citrus peel, pine and skunk bud flavors-BRING 'EM ON AND MAKE IT HURT!" IPA kinda guy for many years now I have found myself needing breaks from them from time to time. A few bottles of this been sitting in my fridge for a few weeks now. In a place where I could see it and reminding me of it's existence. Tonight the craving for one struck my fancy. After a week of hustle and bustle I just wanna chill and not head to the store. Alright, Hoptimum. Looks like it is you and me tonight.
     The color here is hazy copper. The light tan head is slight but keeps a lot of it's retention making lace rings with each sip. The bouquet starts to jump right out of the glass after the pour. I was sitting 3 feet from the glass letting it breath a little bit. Banging huge hop aromas of lime and grapefruit from that distance. Further inspection up to the nose brings out lilts of green apple and rose petals.
     On first sip the first noticed is the how full bodied it feels in the mouth with a right about of carbonation and slight oily texture to give it a fluffy exponent. Then BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The different hops seem to each take a different direction in a grapefruit, pine and white pepper explosion before all joining back together. Quite interesting. The tarts and bitters are then patted down with a caramel and honey sweetness. The finish is a blend of the above with a slight alcohol hotness but enough to think it's an over 10% abv.
     Sierra Nevada never disappoints, do they?
http://www.sierranevada.com/ 

Dec 28, 2012

Sierra Nevada Narwhal

     Looking outside the window at the 10 inches of snow that dropped in my yard the last couple of days it is most definitely winter time in these parts. Time for some slow sipping beers that bring a nice warmth to the body and encourage contemplation. Not just contemplation of the beer but just things in general.
     Pouring almost black and letting no light in at all (I tried it in several rooms, against several windows and lamps), minimal head (might be from a super soft pour or the glass as I had one of these a week back and it boomed with an inch and half frothiness that hung on for quite awhile) and slight lacing (again maybe the glass and the soft pour) this is quite a rich looking stout.
     Aromas starting bursting as soon as the hit the glass and filled the room. Reminded me something of a port wine with hints of chocolate and a good dose roasted coffee for good measure. 
     Bitter dark fruits come first in the flavor. Quite rich and distinctive. Notes of bourbon, coffee and a tad of hop bite follow it adding a the first twist to the brews complexity.  Another twist comes in the end as there is a bit of creaminess followed by a dry baker's chocolate finish.
     The mouthfeel of the beer itself is interesting for as thick as it may appear there is bit of airiness to it but is still a bit chewy. The kick of the 10.2% abv is present all throughout the sips but is never overbearing but has enough warmth to make the frigid temps outside not seem so bad. This is a good one to nurse on a day like today where there is no need to go outside, there's a hearty meal cooking in the oven (though one of these is almost a meal in itself) and wool sock provide the perfect buffer zone between feet and a cold floor.
www.sierranevada.com