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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,847 Reviews
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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPASierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
From the brewery ... Sierra Nevada Torpedo Ale is a big American IPA; bold, assertive and full of flavor and aromas highlighting the complex citrus, pine and herbal character of whole-cone American hops.

Added by GClarkage on 05-12-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,847 | Ratings: 10,598
Photo of mjw06
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

two finger size big bubble rocky pearl colored head that has moderate retention and leaves a nice lacing. the beer is a true amber color, and not like an amber beer, but like amber itself. everything from its color to its transparency makes me feel like i should find a mosquito trapped in it or something.

a rich spiced hoppy smell. with a hint of floral and herbal.

a consistant hoppiness with an array of characters as it flows down the palate. it starts off slightly sweet with a hint of bitterness. becomes slightly citrusy, particularly grapefruit, and spiced as it moves towards the back. and finishes florally on the back of the tongue.

properly carbonated light to medium body.

the taste of this beer, though good at first really wears on me. after awhile i feel like im drinking spiced liquid flowers. and its the trademark use of the cascade hops by sierra nevada. this beer is without a doubt a sierra nevada selection, however i think some beer styles require flexibility in the brewery style to make it work, and thats what i would have appreciated from sierra nevada on this extra ipa.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this beer before and it's been great. Time for an official review. 12oz bottle...

A: A clear golden honey color with a hint of reds blended in. A 1/2 inch tan head that fades at a slow pace. Good.

S: Smells of honey malts upfront quickly followed by a blended hop citrus. Some mild iced tea scent on the backend. Good.

T: A mild watery clean malt upfront quickly followed by a slow ramping hop bite. It starts out not very bitter, and ends up more bitter as it sits on your taste buds. It ends with a nice hop bitterness that is citrusy with a mild pepper. Decent.

M: Medium body with a hard carbonation. A bitter dry finish.

O: All in all, this is a good beer. I like it, for the fact that it blends malt and hop well. It's not overly hoppy, but you shouldn't expect that from an American IPA. Try this if you're a fan of well blended IPA's.

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Photo of JVEyck309
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, tawny reddish orange with thick head that slowly dwindles down.

S: piney hops. oranges

T: Orange/citrus/piney hops, biting dry finish, sweet biscuity malt backbone.

M: a bit chewey, nice carbonation... uhm..

D: for it's price and its ABV (let's not kid ourselves..) it is a great go-to IPA.. Is it a great IPA in general?? ehhhh.. you be the judge! But for me, and my alcoholism, it's a great go-to beer when everything else seems too expensive or too weak..

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Photo of callmescraps
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pretty stoked about this. It's been well regarded, so I'm optimistic.

Appearance - A real nice copper with almost an inch of head. Very clear and sharp looking. Very nice.

Smell - I can smell it from the table. Nice. Nice pine hops with some grapefruit. Real piney.

Taste - Starts with some nice citrus, with the pine. With some spiciness and a little warmth on the follow. It's a little thin. I wish it'd really gone for it and been a real DIPA. It's close but not quite there. There's just a layer of oomph missing. It's not even that it's balanced, it's just that it's a tad flat on the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Not bad. A little watery pretty good carbonation, but not quite enough of that tongue coating goodness.

Drinkability - Very nice. It's crisp, it's pretty tasty, it's pretty mellow. Very drinkable.

This is a good, not great, beer. It's kind of what one would expect from a "strong" IPA that's being more broadly distributed. I'll happily grab a sixer of this, but I'm not going out of my way to introduce someone to it. And frankly, this beer isn't likely to really introduce itself.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Served cool from Pint can into pint glass.

A) Attractive copper colour and white foamy head that does persist.

S) Spritzy resin-like hops. Very appealing even though I am not a big hop-head.

M) Pleasantly fizzy. Consistency not really different from most beers.

T) Fairly pleasant hop-forward taste with slightly astringent aftertaste.

O) Very good, enjoyed it more than I thought I might, not being a fan of American-type hops. Maybe this one works a lot better than British imitations because the hops are balanced out by robust use of malt (which boosts the alcohol content). Will buy again if I see it.

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Photo of nukem5
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A:t Pours a rich copper color with a huge pillow of tan head.

S: Aroma is of sweet citrus and piney notes.

T: Sweet citrusy piney and a great balance of flavors.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation that clears the palate.

O: Ovaerall would not hesitate to drink this one every day, very good indeed, thanks Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of JimHulley
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Medium amber color, little head.

Torpedo is always a pleasure to drink with a delicious piney and citrusy taste. GREAT balance of fruity essence with hoppy flavors. In my opinion it’s really the that balance that sets it apart from your everyday IPAs as it has strong, but not overly one-sided flavor.

Another beer that goes great with cake.

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Photo of NavyVet1959
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly, I stumbled across a 12-pack this one at Wal-Mart one evening and decided to give it a try. I liked it well enough to order a 15.5 gal keg of it for my kegerator. It takes me about 6 months to finish a keg, so I guess it says something that I liked it well enough to drink it for the next 6 months. Shiner makes a Wicked Ram IPA and this is definitely better than it. A bit more expensive though, worth it.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Clean golden amber with just a few bubbles meandering to and fro. Head is full figured and simply dope. A full pillow of light beige foams guards teh top of the beer.

S: Faint grapefruit, pine oil, copper and red fruit.

T: Begins lightly fruity with a toasted grain malt background. Moments of metallic copper and ripe red apple also add the beers personality. Then the bitterness hits...it sneaks up on you, smacking you upside the head before you realize its there. Finishes sort of bready, very bitter with tickles of orange, apple and star fruit.

M: Medium body with a fairly full mouthfeel. Bit fuzzy.

D: Interesting brew. Not really complex but thats not the point. This beer serves its purpose very well...a tasty amber bitter bomb.

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Photo of BillRowe
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a really nice IPA it says citrus and pine flavor but i get more of the piney IPA flavor and my preference is slightly leaning towards the citrus side but overall a really good beer I definitely would buy it again but probably only 6 and not a 12pack but the more you drink the better the mouthfeel the better the taste..etc. i poured this into a tall beer glass and it brought more of the flavors out and not just the pine

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Photo of NefariousR
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a medium yellowish amber with a frothy white head. The head dissipated after a few minutes, but left a nice webby trail down the glass.

S - Flowery; both malt and hops are present in the aroma, with maybe some light fruit scents.

T - Hops are present upfront with a bittersweetness, which then fades to a malty aftertaste. Some light, fruity complexities balance it out.

M - Mildly thick feel, leaves the mouth feeling a bit sticky. Light carbonation

D - Overall a solid beer, a little too thick and complex to drink repeatedly, plus the alcohol content is a bit much. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark golden amber, on the copper side with generous foam and lots of lacing.

Smell is strong - the hops jump out and smack you in the face. Earthy, piney with a malt back.

Taste is all hop - from dawn to dusk. They're powerful and dominate the taste. The residual bittering can be a bit much, but not enough to dampen the enthusiasm. The grassy pine comes through, almost bordering on being minty.

Flavorful enough to drink several, though the full on hop assault takes some getting used to. A quality brew, nevertheless.

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Photo of tykees88
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber lots of carbonation. Nice fluffy head

S- Smells fantastic. The hoppiness is evident, but also smells piney

T- Throws this one off for me. It's too much hop finish. The pine taste is right at the beginning and is a nice start, but the swallow leaves a terrible bitter aftertaste.

M- Carbonated for sure, feels light and almost bubbly in the mouth.

D- I didn't like this one so my drinkability is going to be lower. However, I know alot of people really enjoy this beer, the abv is not bad and you could easily drink a few.

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Photo of djura
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Honey golden color. Beautiful carbonation with half finger white foam.
S- Different as most ipa`s, weaker aroma of hops, honey, orange and fresh grains.
T/M- Bitter all the way. Sweeter finish from honey. Lots of barley.

O- Not my favorite ipa.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a rich amber with a generous head. The aroma gives me sticky pine, a touch of tangerine, and pineapple. The flavor starts with rich whole grain malts, followed by a pleasant dose of pine, tropical fruits, and a hint of citrus. The mouthfeel is full and fizzy. Overall this is a very pleasant well contructed brew that I honestly have not tried up until now.

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Photo of rodney45
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like the color of this beer, its more Irish red then amber. This beer is a very good example of what an Extra IPA should smell like. The Magnum hops are fantastically overwhelming upon even opening the 12 oz bottle, chilled, but not cold. I don't know why, but i was a bit underwhelmed by the beer itself. I was expecting a big bitter Extra IPA, and was kind of let down. By all means, this beer is extremely good, but... I wanted more. I love Sierra, and this was a good addition to their line of enjoyable, well balanced beers. The problem with this beer is that I was spoiled by the Anniversary and Celebration ales... Buy it!

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Photo of bobhits
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tall white fluffy head leaving lacing once it dissipates. The color is excellent deep amber and very good clarity.

Very good balance in the nose on the herbal and citrus hops. The malt aromas just come off as flat and non-descript. Somewhat funky and very unlike most American IPAs.

Grapefruit like hops, somewhat interesting herbal flavor, and I’m starting to pick up on some pine. This bottle might be a hair old, I can’t read their dating system, but what I’m getting her is a truly well balance IPA. The hops build like they are going to take a bite out of my tongue and then they step back and let a strong toasty malt mellow things out. The end result is a rather different IPA than I’d have expected.

Smooth, creamy, and just darn clean finishing. One of the better drinking IPAs I’ve had recently, but far from the best. The weight of the alcohol is certainly in here even if I can’t taste it. This beer hits imo the line between a double and single IPA. Up the IBU’s and this alcohol and body could be a double IPA by any standard.

I like this offering from Sierra. I have to say my memory of the first time I had this is far better than this experience. This won’t be a regular beer for me, but I’m glad that it is around when I’m looking.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass. Label calls it a "Big" American IPA and tells me something about u-boats and hops...or something.

Anyway, pours up in that oh-so-comforting consistent Sierra Nevada way: every one of their beers, even the porter, has given me two fingers of mellow dense foam, in this case white. Plenty of cottony sheets come down the glass throughout the tasting, and the body is another signature reddish-caramel, just a twinge more brown than an amber. Unless you're an absolute gimp I'm pretty sure you can get two solid fingers that won't quit on a pour.

For such a big IPA I was expecting more on the nose. The Harvest Ale release, in the big bottle, yielded much more in the way of hop aromas for me, with a huge citric and floral bouquet. This emphasized much more grapefruit and lemon, and in particular the non-flesh parts of the fruit, like the zest or the seed, the parts with all the oil, rather than the juice, in it. One thing that was fantastic on the nose was the creeping thin sweetness of crystal malt. Lent a neat sugar cookie dimension to the bright hop notes. I also got some more resinous notes on this that suggest a piney palate.

This goes from a suggestion to a shout when you drink the beer. Lots of great parching conifer needle goodness on the back end of this poppy. Enough to really wallop you into another sip--I drank this much more quickly than usual, so I don't really know how this changes with warming. In the front and middle you get more of those grapefruit oil/seed extract flavors along with a little clementine or tangelo or some other dark skinned orange (maybe tangerine?), followed by a soft wash of biscuity light sweet malt that forms the backbone of the flavor profile. Exceedingly well structured for the level of hops in this.

Mouthfeel as always is smooth, rich, and creamy. The brewers at SN get my vote for best mouthfeel out of any American at least brewery. Impeccable. Drinkability was average to me just because that much pine wears this drinker out. I feel like Jim the Hacksaw Dugan has taken his white pine plank and walloped me on either side of my tongue.

I liked the Harvest Ale better, but then again that was the beer that made me realize hops were special, so saying I like it less ain't saying much. This is still a worthwhile IPA I'd recommend checking out.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A golden amber color, pretty classic look, slow and mellow carbonation gets the job done with a towering and clumpy...very healthy looking off-white head, amazing retention and very sticky. SN brews seem to always look great.

The aroma is full of herbal, earthy hops with a fruity edge. sour and red berry fruits with a spicey herbal balance.

A very crisp and very hoppy flavor, it is very much like the classic Pale ale and IPA with perhaps a bit more red fruits invloved. SN brews always have a rightous, heady feel, medium bodied, crisp but smooth, almost full feeling. Not as complex as some big-boy IPA's out right now, but it's a classic example if you like slightly less intense versions.

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Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at American Flatbread. A good Ipa and drinkable good bitternes. The c-hop in the aroma, the foam on a darker colour.Works for me.Nice balance, with each aspect working. Representative American IPA. Not Celebration.Carbonation could have been mre perfect and could have been served not as cold, but hey this ain't SR fault.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours a beautiful amber-orange, big fluffy head.
Moderate amount of carbonation, lacing left on the glass. Has a medium-bodied feel to it.
Aroma is pine-like, slightly citric. Taste centers around a full hop body, bitter and a bit acidic. I noticed more alcohol taste in the background, has a bitter aftertaste on the palate. For an IPA, this beer is smartly focused on hop flavor, and is unique in using American hops to distinguish it from an English IPA or other.

First time I tried this beer I found it way too bitter and didn't enjoy it. Now reviewing it after trying more bitter ales and stouts I think it isn't so bad. Wouldn't be easy for me to drink several of these, and they do have a higher ABV but I enjoy one at a time. A decent full-flavored IPA with a higher alcohol content than regular ones. Would be nice with a meal or just by itself on a hot day. I say it's quite good for an IPA, just not my favorite type of beer.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with an eggshell head. The hop presence is evident in the towering stature of the foam and it's resilience. Nice lacing. Aromas of piney and citric hops are very forward, but they don't quite drown out a hint of sweet, biscuity malt in the background. Piney bitterness hits again on the palate, though there's again a fair amount of sweet malt to back it up. Really heavy tasting. Thick feel. Even though this isn't my style--bigger IPAs have always been a little too "in your face" for me--this is one that I'd definitely drink again.

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Photo of StephenRich
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When it comes to crisp, clean, malty refreshment, there are few breweries that have as much experience quenching our palates as does Sierra Nevada. Sierra Nevada set the presence for Pale Ales in America winning its first gold medal back in 1993 at the Great American Beer Festival. But they also have a bigger, richer more potent quencher on the roster; the Torpedo Extra IPA.

This really is a classic American style IPA with significant malt character and that undeniably fresh and citrus west coast hop flavor. The Torpedo comes in at 65 IBUs, almost double the Pale Ale's 37 - so you should expect a good bitter punch from this beer, but still nothing crazy. Like all their beers, the Torpedo utilizes only whole cone hops; no pellets and no extracts. Sierra Nevada prides themselves on this, and thus they spent years developing the recipe for this IPA before it was finally released in early 2009 as a year round offering.

I recently opened a bottle with my roommate after a long hard day in the heat - we both needed something to cleanly refresh our palates and sooth the heat out of us. I went right for the Torpedo Extra IPA. We opened it right away cold around 5C (40F), which really is a bit to cold for a big IPA of this sorts, but we both wanted a cold quenching beer - so it was perfect for us at the time. This is really key here, the Serving Temperature Guide is just that - a guide. Everyone has their own preference for what temperature they enjoy certain beer's at, and every specific scenario may warrant a variation on that preference. The guide is meanly a suggestion as a starting place; but really, let your palate guide your journey.

The Torpedo comes in Sierra's typical stubby 355ml bottle at 7.2% abv. I poured it generously into a Sierra Nevada pint glass and the beer erupted with life and excitement right away. First a golden orange beer brewed slowly in the bottom, but curling waves of carbonation rushed through the beer as the bottle was emptied. It created a transparent golden orange beer with honey and rich amber browns shining though it holding up a big fluffy and pillowy 1.5 inch off white, cream colored, almost pearl head. It was loaded with bubbles and air standing its place for a few minutes then eventually fading to a sticky lacing on the beer.

The nose shows a great fresh rush of classic west coat hops and rich citrus fruits. Its filled with pine up front and the classic tartness of grapefruit and lemon peels. It is very up front and bitter with a hint of zesty funk. There is soft caramel sweet malt in the background, and hints of pepper and spice, but this nose is definitely dominated by floral hops, as you should expect.

A big wave of cold Torpedo is fresh and quenching everywhere on your palate and opens into your mouth with smooth sweet malts and the quick rush of quenching earthy hops. There are no two ways around it, the hops push their way into your palate bringing with them bright aromas and crisp flavors. Pine and fresh grapefruit peel are most dominant and up front, but floral spices, herbs, earth and touches of tropical fruit sweetness also hit my cheeks and play back around to my lips.

Its not devastatingly bitter, I certainly have had bigger beers before, but the Torpedo conducts itself very precisely. The soft balance of smooth pale malts and gentle caramel create a delicious character and help ease the overall fresh bitter bite which dominated this beer. The mouthfeel is succulent and perfect as you should expect from Sierra Nevada by now. It is light and creamy with modest carbonation and a real tooth grabbing texture. It does make me want more.

The finish is crisp and short performing its duty with care. Fresh pine and citrus show again on the edge and dissipate all malt sweetness from your palate. Go in for spicy Vindaloo or big Thai dishes; the Torpedo Extra IPA will meet the sweetness of the sauce, and quench every range of heat you can conjure up.

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Photo of EspressoGuy
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: med gold honey;
S: just a hint of grapefruit
T: very solid, nicely balanced, noticeable bitterness on finish but no alcoholic heat (7.2%). Bright malt profile. Hops in bitterness only.
Not complex or all that interesting but so well balanced.
M: fresh, not heavy. Nice.

Unlike other IPAs of similar alcohol level this one is much better balanced. It has a freshness that makes it quite enjoyable.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber/orange colour with a nice size rocky/creamy/frothy off-white head. There is a lot of carbonation showing and the lacing is excellent. The head lasted for several minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - hops, cereal, caramel, lemon, pine

Taste & Mouth - There is quite a bit of carbonation on the tongue and the beer is creamy yet dry. The most noticeable flavours are cookies, pine, nuts, and caramel. There are also notes of citrus and a sort of rustiness. I can't put my finger on it, but something just tastes like it doesn't belong. It finishes with a nutty bitter hop aftertaste.

Drink - It's definitely an above average brew, but something just didn't taste right. Perhaps I am just more of a fan of their Celebration ale and their Pale Ale. I expected more, but it was still worth a try.

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Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.