Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008) - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 159 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by chiefydawg:
4.53/5 rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Crystal clear copper with actively rising bubbles. And what a head: thick, fluffy, rocky, alive. Grasping the sides like it's gonna take a rubber spatula to remove it, and it clings the entire time. Sits on top for awhile like whipped cream.
Got a shot of yeast and CO2 directly as I sniffed the fresh pour, much reminding me of the first whiff of a primary fermenter when done. Then grapefruit, pine needle, and wildflower essence from hops follow. Also is a slightly roasted toffee that very nicely balances the hop. It smells good and balanced, but there was less of it than expected. I don't think I have a cold...
Although this has the predicted citrus/pine taste, it is without the token big bitterness. At the swallow, one has to be thinking: 'here it comes - the grapefruit pulp bite', but it never does. I like it bitter as the next hophead, but to to make a beer just to this edge is just art. Some this is due to the malt balance hinted at in the scent. Never heavy-handed like one would expect to fend off the lupulin, it is gentle and understated - just enough to get the job done with caramel, and warm wheat bread. Hop flavor and bitterness shines unencumbered, but that malt keeps the harsh edges down. Not incredibly complex, but that would be unwelcome here.
This is an incredibly balanced beer without any real flaws. Smooth and soft,and with zero hint of 6.8% until the last sips, the medium-light body adds to a drinkability that is barely on the charts for an real IPA.
I'm grateful this is a 24oz bottle, and wish it was a 40. Gonna snag a keg if I can. Now one of my favorite beers.
Serving type: bottle
10-18-2008 02:20:05 | More by chiefydawg
More User Reviews:
Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.