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Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPASierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,331 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 1,331
Hads: 2,956
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 86
Gots: 172 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 05-07-2008

ABV: 6.7%
Beginning gravity: 14.7 Plato
Ending gravity: 3.9 Plato
IBU: 66
Malts: Pale and Caramel
Yeast: Top-fermenting ale yeast
Bittering hops: Pacific Halertau
Finishing hops: New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,331 | Hads: 2,956
Photo of gfreed
3.11/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For me, SN produces some of the best and some of the worst beer in America. This one falls squarely in the middle and is, in fact, a rather predictable AIPA. The color is a welcoming light amber, with loads of bubbles and a vanishing fritzy head. In other words, not much different from, say, any other west-coast AIPA. Plenty of grapefruit and tart citrus in the nose, some notes of caramel and a wee bit of toasted grains, with some high-leaping bubbles to land on your nose. In other words... not much different from, say, any other west-coast AIPA. There's a nice bite from the fizz (pleasant on a hot evening) and a strong blow of hops/citrus/grapefruit from beginning to end in the taste, with some malt density to add gravity and body. In other words... uh... um... well, it's not much different from, say, any other west-coast AIPA. I will note that the malt content is rather high for this style, I think, which probably saved it from being a total dud for me.

Worth the $5 to give it a try but not worth repeating. (1,026 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have liked this much more in prior years. 2010 is an off-year.

A - Pours a deep reddish amber with scant retention and lace.

S - I am getting a very pungent grassy and vegetal hop. Malt is subdued. Not betterthan average,

T - Huh, the taste is not fully melded; it seems to have a segmented palette. Lots of bitterness at the end, and not the best flavor coming from the hop.

M - IPA. Good.

D - I would say that almost all of SN's regular hoppy offerings are better: Pale Ale, Estate, Torpedo, and Celebration... (520 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured into tulip. from notes

A - Nice copper/amber colour with fluffy white head

S - Some piney hops, lemon zest, some pepper. Nothing too exciting

T - Odd, not what I was expecting. The 'fresh hops' tasted not fresh even though this bottle was new. I did pick up the citric zest of orange and lemon rind, some spiciness. Sort of disappointing, was expecting a 'juicier' taste.

M - Very thin and almost watery. Above average carbonation

D - I think this one is easy enough to drink but there are way better fresh hop choices out there. I may be in the minority here, but that's what I think! (597 characters)

Photo of infestaxion
3.14/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Coppery orange with a cream head that leaves little lacing.

S - Not getting much here. A bit of malt. Not really any hops. Not what I was hoping for with a fresh hop ale.

T - Sort of metallic. Some malt. The hops come through at the end. Citrus and piny. It's ok.

M - Good body and carbonation. Pretty much the best part of the beer.

D - Very drinkable. The only problem is that it's not very good.

I'm not going to lie. I was hoping for more here. But it's better than a Budweiser. (491 characters)

Photo of BrewMonkey
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours coppery/amber with off white head that recedes fairly quickly, with some decent lacing left behind.

Aroma is suprisingly subdued, I was expecting far more hop aroma. The hop aroma smells citrusy and sweet, with more malt sweetness and just a hint of alcohol in the nose.

Despite the lack of aroma, the flavor of hops dominates everything else, creating a nearly oily mouthfeel. Something rugged about the flavor, maybe in the rush some insects were left in the hops. Bitterness levels are on par with their pale ale, maybe slightly more bitterness, but its hard to tell under all the oily hop flavor. Somewhat drying quality to the finish keeps the oily mouthfeel in check.

Fairly interesting, not really sure what I think about it after the first try though. Certainly not wowed, but not entirely dissappointed either. If it's fair to compare, I loved the other Harvest version, this one, not so much.

Edit: I try not to read reviews before I try the beer, and after reviewing this one I read mattcrill's review, and maybe I'm having the same issue with this beer, but don't quite have the palate to discern the problem....but something just a bit off with this one. (1,177 characters)

Photo of atowle25
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper, nearly amber color with a big fluffy white head which sticks to the top of the glass and all the way down. Smell is really grassy and full of pine. Very earthy aroma. The taste is bitter up front with a strong caramel finish. Honestly, a little too much caramel tasting malt for me. Even a little alcohol on the finish. The bitterness is not very flavorful, just bitter. This beer smells a lot better than it tastes. Overall - probably wouldn't buy again. I have no problem finishing it, and it is enjoyable to drink, but there are much better options out there. I'll take Torpedo for half the price. (621 characters)

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2011 batch poured into imperial pint

A- Orange almost amber... Very large yellowish white head, foamy and light... Great lacing

S- Smells sweet as soon as it hits the nose, much like a biscuit smothered in honey, some dank aroma on the back end with a very grassy and earthy hop presence first... DMS noticeable in a tiny amount

T/M- Tastes more bitter than nose alludes... Starts light bitterness, then gets a touch sweet, then very grassy, then more bitter which lingers on the sides tongue... a bit harsh for the flavor depth. To me it's just too dirty and earthy which is what you get in a wet hopped beer, but not my fancy... Medium body and pretty crisp carbonation, but too astringent on tongue

O- Average... Not enough flavor and bitterness is harsh for the profile... again, i'm not a wet hop guy, but this is alright (830 characters)

Photo of PhageLab
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Bright, vibrant orange coloration, decent two tip head, excellent retention and lacing.

S - Pleasant grapefruit aroma with a kiss of fresh hops. Near the end however a strange fishy smell makes an appearance.

T - Very sweet fruity body with a low bitterness and a slight hint of pine. Disappointingly bland, I was expecting some more flavors to be present.

M - Oily light body, medium carbonation level, leaves a syrupy coating on the palate.

D - Not bad at all, but fairly boring. I doubt I'd seek this one out anytime soon. I suppose it's worth a try if you find it, but I wouldn't go out of my way for this one. (658 characters)

Photo of PeatReek
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Decanted a bottle of the 2008 vintage (in case there are others later...). Clear pale amber, rocky off-white head laces the glass nicely. Initial aroma is fresh, bitey, piney, and in fact quite malty. First sip is a big bitter wallop; develops quickly into a mouthful of aggressive, "dirty", Cascade-type hop flavor, with a prominent grapefruit component. Towards the end of each sip the bitterness sneaks back in along with a crisp, Alt-type maltiness.

By about halfway through the double-size bottle, I feel like this is just a somewhat strong version of the typical American pale ale. The huge floral attack of the New Zealand hops is pretty good, but after that it's nothing particularly special. (702 characters)

Photo of prdstmnky
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 7/17/10*

Bottled on date: 4/26/10

2010 bottle / 24oz

Pours a darker amber / rust colored body with 2 fingers of off-white head that leaves some lacing on my pint glass. The nose has some grassy / floral qualities, thought they are not as pronounced as I would expect given the style. Floral and earthy hops are at the forefront of the taste, not a whole lot of malt balance in this but the hops aren't overpowering either. Medium bodied with a solid amount of carbonation.

From my experience these fresh hop ales are really hit and miss. Although freshness is often paramount, I have had some with a couple months on them that are still really good. Others, including this one, are just average IPAs. (726 characters)

Photo of Mikus
3.22/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Man... missed out by not having a smart phone for this one. Guy at the bottle shop told me that these were just in. Broke my cardinal rule of checking dates on IPAs... however, I guess that this one is still within the acceptable window (107 days since bottled)... I guess you always wonder what could have been. In his defense, I haven't seen it there, so... Anyways, here goes. Poured from a bomber ($7.99) into my snifter. Rich amber hue with a small head (lacing galore) with a unique lemon meringue hue. Really had to work for the aroma, and was able to detect some hints of citrus, almost like lemon peel, and a bit of booze as well. Crisp bitterness on the taste, nice clean (Sierra Nevada style) aftertaste. Would have to imagine that some of the hop flavor has faded. Great, continual carbonation and a nice light mouthfeel. Excellent after 4 hours in the yard, quite refreshing. Overall, there were some unique aromas and flavors going on, and I think that I will definitely want to try this around May next year. (1,023 characters)

Photo of dino213aa
3.22/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one side-by-side with the standard 2008 Harvest. Personally I prefer the regular Harvest more. Maybe it's because I'm more of a malt fan.

A: Pours with I nice frothy light tan head which clings mightily down the glass. Mostly clear appearance with only a few floaters.

S: Smell is the least appealing part of this brew for me. Acidic and almost bark-like, the first thing that popped to my mind was vomit. Seriously, there's a whiff of stomach acid that just doesn't settle well with me.

T&M: This has a crisper, hoppier flavor that is less balanced than the traditional Harvest Ale. To me this is less complex than the other. Bitter all the way through- damn if I can taste anything else.

D: I'd have to say mediocre. Even to a hop fan, I can't imagine thinking this is very interesting. Probably the first and last one of these I try. (854 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

bomber into tulip.

A: a bright copper body. clear. head is bright white and frothy. retention is good and lacing is exceptional.

S: hop aroma is good, not over the top. a little bit of lemon and black pepper.

T: very malty. too malty. there is a hop presence on this thing, but it really isn't that great for aipa. a bit of citrus is all I can really pick out.

M: average carb on a medium body.

D: good, but not great. I have had better hoppy beers from SN. (466 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one is a bit milder than the Fresh Hop "regular". Pours a light golden brown, slight haze yet clean. Huge head that rocked up a bit and left really nice lacing.
Mild hops aroma, more citrus and herbs than pine. Malt is tucked away. Some caramel hits, but it's weak.

Hops seem a bit tired. The flavor is there with mild citrus, but it just doesn't last long. Alcohol is prevalent towards the end, and malt never gets a clear shot. Yet, it is refreshing and does have nice hops. Would like to see more balance and/or complexity with hops-malt-yeast.

*I love the label stating "...journey to the only place on the planet where fresh hops are harvested in our spring, the Southern Hemisphere". yeah, just half the planet. It's kind of a big place. Yes, I know the hops are from NZ...then why not say that? A hemisphere is pretty large. (839 characters)

Photo of smorris291
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First time I had this SN, tasted alongside the Northern Hemisphere ale.

Not sure if this suffered due to a lack of freshness, but it was a pale imitation of the Northern Hemisphere, which I loved. Hoppiness was not there, and it was lacking in carbonation. not bad, but a little disappointing. (295 characters)

Photo of SuperNova777
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 Edition, Notes from 08/29/10

A:Poured a copper color with orange hues when held to the light, two fingers worth
of head that slowly falls good lacing as brew is drank down.

S:Pale malts up front followed by some citrus and piney hops, not as dominate as I remember
last years version being

T:Just as nose detects a hit of malt up front with a faint hint of hops afterwards. Nothing
to great at all, palate is left pretty dry

M:Thinner to medium body with enough carbonation throughout

D:Not really what I was expecting from SN Fresh Harvest Ale just not as good as it
was last year. Taste more than less like a little more hopped up SNPA. (651 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clear copper color with a thin tan head that had low retention and just some scant lacing.

The aroma was a nice balance of hops and malt, unusual for SN, with neither having a bold or dominant role. The flavor were very similar, nothing particularly outstanding, with the addition of a bitter hop finish.

The body was decent, full and smooth. Drinkability was good,even though the beer was a bit meh. Overall, not one of SN's better beers, but worth a shot to see if you like it. (521 characters)

Photo of mwa423
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber with two fingers of eggshell head that leaves a strong lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Very light on the aroma, but there is definitely some citrusy and piney hops but also a slight malty sweetness along with a bit of peppery spice.

T - Very muted taste, a hop profile that is very floral but not a lot. I could compare this to an APA more than an IPA. There is some malty sweetness but only enough to balance out the bit of hops.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich and smooth and lacks the bite of most American IPA. This is reasonably drinkable but certainly not the best IPA for $5 a bomber. (625 characters)

Photo of danieelol
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is apricot with nice head and lacing.

Smell is intense citrus with a secondary pine characteristic. Very lemony. Nice. Bit of piney malt.

Taste falls back to a more generic SN profile. Still get the hops here though.

Mouthfeel is fine.

A fine, fairly enjoyable IPA. (280 characters)

Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2012 bottle as fresh as fresh can be.

A: Copper/amber and slightly see-through. A finger of head with very little lacing.

S: Sweet floral hops with a slight malty tone. Very clean smell. Nothing too special.

T: Flowery and herbal, bitter green tea, slight citrus fruits, caramel malt sweetness.

M: Low carbonation and very bitter.

O: Man...I'd like to rate this one higher, but this one is a miss for me. Trust me, I'm a huge SN fan and I love everything they've done, but this one isn't doing it for me. The bitterness isn't balanced with much else. Maybe my allergies are getting in the way of tasting this, because I'd really like to like it at only $5 a bomber from one of my favorite breweries, so I'll have to try it again in the future. As of right now, I'm not really enjoying it. (796 characters)

Photo of bigeyedfish
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010-series purchased in Montague, NJ during a weekend in the Mountains. 1pt. 8 fl oz. bottle poured into an oversized-wine glass.

1/3 of the bottle poured into the wineglass produces just-under 2 fingers of off-white head with bubbles of varying-sizes throughout most of the top. The head fades at a pretty steady pace. The body is a vibrant, burnt orange with some carbonation bubbling up sporadically to the top. The faded head leaves a ring of lacing around the perimeter of the glass; parts of it are solid from the top of the lacing to the beer while others have holes throughout the lacing.

Once the areas of carbonation vanish on top the top of the beer has a whispy-lace quality. All in all a really nice-looking IPA.

The aroma is pretty-disappointing; it's quite weak and (at least with a fresh-hop, kind of expected) lacking in a dominant aroma. A mild-hint of stickiness (if that is an actual thing, which it may not even be) is magnified by being swirled in the wine glass; the head is revitalized and a hint of soft-pine comes forward.

The taste is very good. While it starts not being very defined, around the mid-palate it burst with pine/hop bitterness. It leaves a very nice aftertaste, the same pine/hop bitterness only in a form that is more dry and pungent; it's really quite pleasant.

The mouthfeel is pretty average, when you think about it. There's a little carbonation on the back-pallet, and there's the long finish, but, for an IPA there isn't much going on before the finish. I guess, since it's a fresh-hop, that's kind of to-be-expected.

Overall, a pretty drinkable IPA. And I don't think in this case, it's a good thing. It's drinkable because in a lot of the IPA-defining characteristics, it's pretty weak-to-average. It's taste, it's mouthfeel, it's smell. All pretty weak-to-average. There's nothing about this beer that'll knock you out, and aside from the lingering aftertaste, which, again, is quite nice, there's not a lot that will make this stand out from the pack.

Overall; is this a beer worth having? Of course. There are very few breweries doing what SN is doing with their fresh hop, and Southern Hemisphere is a great way to see what eventually might be. The whole Tom Friedman thing, hops from one corner of the globe being in another within a week of harvest, etc. But still, when it's all said and done, as an IPA, compared to the field, it's a middle-of-the-road effort, through no fault of the brewer. (2,466 characters)

Photo of lostinfla
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured oversize bottle into a large beer stein . Late summer buy and it's been in my stock for several weeks so I may not have the freshest taste going here...

This one was a little surprising to me as I expected a more pilsner style , especially with the focus on the summer hops, but it turned out to be a heavier, darker fall style brew. Poured a medium dark amber with a bright orange, thick head to match. Big thick suds and a great pine and citrus rind aroma.
Taste matched the color with big full malts and a bittersweet finish.
I had a hard time getting my head around this one as it was so much different than expected. Carbonation was great and the mouthfeel was typical Sierra.

Was a good change, not sure I'd grab another. (738 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a copper color, about 80% opaque with a two finger fluffy white head and medium carbonation. Some of the head remains on top of the brew until the end. Heavy lacing remains on the glass until the end.

The smell is floral hops with a light sweet malt backbone. I can't detect much else.

The taste is piney hops followed by a malt backbone and finishing with more pine hops and a little orange peel.

The feel is creamy, oily and a little tangy. A small amount of hop oil remains on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this is a lackluster IPA; not what I am used to from Sierra Nevada. Perhaps these Southern Hemisphere hops are not the way to go. (666 characters)

Photo of taigor
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2009 2nd release from a 24oz bottle

A - Amber in color with lots of creamy head that laces and lasts.

S - Lots of hops with hints of fruits and flowers.

T - Very powerful taste of hops with lots of malt flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is ok with good carbonation. Very crisp and fresh. Aftertaste is extremely bitter.

D - Low because of the aftertaste. (347 characters)

Photo of stumac
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the brew pours up an orangish amber color. not much head to it. the aroma is mellow hops and subtle sweet malts. the taste is very citrusy. it also has a very nice bitter taste. its a pretty full bodied beer as well.

i rather enjoyed this beer as a pretty sessionable beer. (274 characters)

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,331 ratings.