1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest AleSierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

381 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 381
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jmoore50 on 09-05-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 381 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of specksnreds
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Amber pour into a pint glass. Two finger head that laced well. It's a beautiful looking beer. Smelled of old pennies and stale bread. Hops were present but muted by a musty odor. Tasted better than it smelled, but the bitterness was too much. No balance to speak of. Great mouthfeel; creamy without being too heavy. I love the "Estate" concept, but this beer costs way too much to be so mediocre.

specksnreds, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -26.5%

jophish17, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of TimH
3/5  rDev -26.5%

TimH, May 19, 2012
Photo of RyanC84
3.05/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: One of the better looking beers I've had in quite a long time. Pours a true amber color with a huge two finger head that leaves loads of lace on the glass.

S: Understated. Resiny hops on top of caramel malts.

T: Not big on this one. Very dry, bitter up front followed by burnt malt. A little spicy.

M: Medium bodied with very sharp carbonation.

D: Not interested in having this one again or finishing the last 6 ounces.

RyanC84, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of getalife2k5
3.1/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

slightly cloudy brown with some sediment floating about... hmmm... thick foamy frothy off-white head.

not much aroma... some sourness and/or alcohol.

nutty, toasty, sweet maltiness with some faint piney hops. the alcohol adds a pungency that is slightly acrid. nothing unique whatsoever.

fairly full body, a little syrupy.

it tastes a little like a beer that's just starting to turn... that can't be right since i think it was just released and it was refrigerated at Whole Foods... Sierra Nevada still deserves credit for using local ingredients. I wish more brewers would.

getalife2k5, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
3.1/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've been really interested in this beer since I first heard about it. I think it's a really interesting concept, and I usually like SN offerings.

Appearance- A rich, deep copper brown color. Surprisingly dark. It has a full, thick inch of tan head. Almost like meringue.

Smell- Very grassy and herbal. A strong malt backbone. None of the citrus pop that often comes with SN IPAs.

Taste- Maltier than expected. Very rich. It has a strong herbal, grassy hop taste. Very green and bitter. The bitterness follows on the finish. No pop.

Mouthfeel- Thin, almost grainy. Unpleasant.

Drinkability- Too grassy and herbal. Nothing terrible, but I'll pass.

This was a very disappointing beer. SN makes some great beers, but this isn't one of them. It's really a shame.

callmescraps, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 22oz bottle into 10oz glass. Poured a pleasant copper color, slightly darker than most of the style, with a minimum of just off-white head that had minimal retention and lacing.

A pleasingly sharp hop scent greeted the nose, and as usual with SN, the malt foundation is well hidden. For me, the flavors were not as bold as the aroma had led me to expect. The flavors were exactly what I expect in a quality IPA.

The body and drinkability were typical for the style. This beer is certainly worth trying, and I applaud SN for doing as much in-house as they can, but overall this is just an average IPA. Try it when you see it, but not worth effort to obtain.

beertunes, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of nickfl
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Two fingers of off-white head with a light brown tinge. The body is golden brown with perfect clarity and the foam settles slowly, leaving thick lace on the glass. An unusually attractive beer.

S - Lots of toasted malt and a hint of caramel. Some weak, but fresh and resinous pine hop aromas as well.

T - Lots of dry, tosty malt up front, quickly balanced by strong hop bitterness. Some minor grapefruit hop flavors in the middle that are quickly replaced by the intense malt. The finish is dominated by notes of burnt toast and soapy bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - Well, I have once again been let down by a big, expensive bottle of Sierra Nevada. The hop character is decent, if a bit subdued, in the aroma but in the flavor it is almost totally lacking. There is plenty of bitterness, but little else going on. The malt is one dimensional as well with dry, burnt-toast being the dominant flavor. This beer just isn't drinkable, the flavor is harsh and uninteresting and it borders on being difficult to drink. I liked the original SN Harvest Ale, but Southern Hemisphere was disappointing and this is even more of a let down. I definitely wouldn't drink this again (especiallly at $10 a bottle!).

nickfl, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of mgbickel
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Pittsburgh Bottleshop. Served in a standard pint glass.

The pour yielded a single finger of bubbly white head that receded quickly; little to no lacing. The body is amber/orange with golden highlights.

The nose is on the weaker side...lots of grassy/grainy aromas up front. Some hops are also present. The backbone seems to be malts, but the grassy smell dominates.

The taste is like the nose, but once again, I cannot get over the grassiness of this one. Oddly bitter...metallic almost. Not very pleasant.

The mouth feel is light/medium, oily and mildly carbonated.

Meh...I had higher hopes for this beer. Traded it to the wife for her stout about halfway through the pint. Great idea, but I will not buy this one again.

mgbickel, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I grabbed a bottle two days back. At $10, there was definite sticker shock, but I was intrigued by the concept and had to try it.

A: This doesn't really look like an IPA, it's just so deep in its reddish amber hues that I'd mistake it for something else. There's a dense off-white head with rather excellent retention lacework is pretty stellar too.

S: The nose is rather muted, with some hop bitterness, a little astringent in character, and a fair bit of caramel malt. Hop character is primarily citrus peel-like,Disappointingly, there really isn't much character on the nose.

T: Opens with a mild bitterness that's mostly citrus/orange in character with a mildly chalky character. Bitterness is a little too low, though the flavor is OK. Way more sweetness than is needed, and this just amplifies the need for more bitterness here. Sweet caramel, almost syrup-like. Rather disappointing. Sweet on the finish with a touch of bitterness

M: Medium in body with medium carbonation, this is way sweeter than it needs to be, and could use plenty more bittering hops.

D: At $10 a bottle, I feel burned here. Ouch. While I could drink it all, it's not really worthy.
*Edit: I poured out the last 6-8oz of this beer. I just didn't enjoy it too much, it had nothing that I was looking for.

DefenCorps, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of TEKNISHE
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

TEKNISHE, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of iammatt
3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a semi-cloudy amber from a bomber into a pint glass. A chewyl, off-white, two finger foam pours and slowly fades to a half finger cap that lingers with the whole beer, leaving behind a lace that lasts as long. Reeks of Cascade hops, piney grapefruit in all of it's glory. A bit of sweet toffee can be picked up as well.

Taste is all hops, all grapefruit in it's bitter glory. Sweet, slightly roasted malt rolls over your tongue, but is quickly smashed face first back in the ground. Spice and Piney hops finish out the IPA bitterness. Sadly, I feel the bitterness hides the flavors of the hops. This is fine with the style, however as a Complete Estate Fresh Hop Ale I'd like to taste the complexity of the hops and malt instead of my palate being conquered by bitterness.

The hops bring around a sloppy bitter kiss to the feel in the mouth, however it's a fairly smooth beer with a bit of alcohol burn. I'd like to see how this beer progresses through it's future releases.

iammatt, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange color with a good head that laces the glass, looks a lot like the chico estate from last year or the regular harvest beer they put out annually. The smell is off-putting at first, burned plastic that then becomes kind of malty. The taste is also quite underwhelming with just a bit of grassy hoppiness. This is not a bad beer its just sort of boring to me for some reason although I felt the same way about the Chico estate and the Southern Hemisphere.

ArrogantB, Oct 06, 2009
Photo of fastsrt
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 25 ounce bottle in pint

A: fluffy, rich, creamy head. amber

S: malty the hops are there but its past its

T: nice english style malts, I feel this one is past its prime as there is a staleness there, it is a solid amber ale though.

M: good lots of carbonation. refreshing

D: goes down with ease, and could drink a good amount of em.

fastsrt, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. Pours a very dark but perfectly clear amber. Sierra Nevada can't seem to restrain themselves with the dark malts. A small white head retains nicely. The nose is caramel, mineral, toast and c-hops. Very light hop aroma here. The taste is caramelly, semi-sweet, toasty and nutty with a subtle but fresh floral hop character. Medium-bodied with a semi-crisp finish. This is a decent beer that probably would have been a hell of a lot better with a simpler malt bill. Hardly worth the $10 they're asking for it.

largadeer, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Pehlman for sharing and allowing me to pour this fresh brewed beer into my tulip glass.

A: Poured a very deep copper color with fluffy oat hued head and cob web-like lacing.

S: Vegetative aromas up front that reminded me of some sort of spinach leaf. I was also able to pick up some pine-like and sweet malt character, but that vegetative smell dominated this aspect of the beer.

T: Broccoli and spinach upfront, sweet malt in the middle, and extremely hard bitter finish. A palate wrecker to say the least and was at times, hard to even drink.

M: Kind of a surprise, but this beer was full bodied and had a creamy/oily feel. Nice.

D: The over top bitterness was heavy on the palate, but flavor wise, this brew had a nice flavor profile that enjoyed for most of my glass.

Overall: Not a bad beer and something I would probably consume again...but I was a little let down to be honest. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

On tap at the Rose & Crown. I wanted to try this beer, but I didn't want to pay $10 a bottle for it without some prior assurance that it would be worth it (i.e. good).

A: Poured a surprisingly dark reddish-amber body, slightly murky, with substantial off-white head and good retention. It left lots of register marks down the sides as I sipped. My first thought upon seeing this was, "Did they pour me an amber ale by mistake?"

S: When first poured, all I could smell were caramel and bread. Worried that I'd gotten the wrong beer, I went up to check. Nope, it's the right beer. As it warms, it develops a subtle floral character... It's blossoming into an APA aroma. It's all right, I guess, but nothing outstanding in the way of hoppiness.

T: Tasted like a scotch ale at first, with tons of caramel and nothing else. As it warmed, the flavors fleshed out into a decent assortment of floral hops and earthiness in the initial taste. Bread / toast appeared near the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation. Cleanses the palate well. A malty finish overall.

D: I'm not that impressed. I like the concept, but the beer doesn't stand on its own merits. And its weird confusion in identity (looks like an amber, smells like an APA, initially drinks like a scotch ale) is disconcerting.

Arbitrator, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of ccrida
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pricey 24 oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint, the 2009 Estate Brewer's Harvest Ale is a chill hazed dark copper with a large, auburn tinged off-white head that is dense and long lasting, leaving gorgeous lace.

Smell is hoppy, citrus, and sweet fruitiness that I really like.

Taste is pretty good, the hops are much more spicy then fruity like the nose. There's some decent maltiness, pretty clean, but by far the spiciness is the main characteristic. Pretty average tasting IPA really.

Mouthfeel is slick, well carbonated, medium bodied, with a dry finish.

Drinkability is fine, nothing spectacular, and not worth the price, which was as much as a whole six pack of any other IPA at the store...

ccrida, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of ipa247
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

ipa247, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of devilben02
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition, 1st release

Every time you get a limited/special edition beer, you want to get a little something special. Coming from Sierra Nevada, which produces such quality products generally, I expected something with a little extra something. Unfortunately, I don't think that this beer is anything special.

It pours a terrific deep copper color, with a thick foamy head. The aroma is light and fruity, and is almost reminiscent of a crisp white wine. The flavor is a little oilier, with a very mild hop taste, with herbal, earthy, and slightly spicy undertones. Again, the taste and mouthfeel are almost like a white wine with a bit of hops in the finish.

Overall, I certainly didn't dislike this beer, but it doesn't meet the expectations I had for a Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale.

devilben02, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of AlphaKing414
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

AlphaKing414, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

jaxon53, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of zbkai189
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

zbkai189, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of Lerxst
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a deep clear amber with nice two finger head that disappeared quickly and left little lacing.

S-Underplayed piney, citrusy hops with biscuits. Not bad, but the nose is a bit weak.

T-A bit of a hop bite, but not much, more malty than expected with a decent finish of floral and piney hops, but very understated.

M-Light and thin with sharp carbonation.

D-The beer itself is drinkable, but at 10 bucks a bottle it is very cost prohibitive.

I'm a big fan of SN, and honestly expected more from this. Maybe my expectations were to high going in.

Lerxst, Oct 04, 2009
Photo of kvgomps
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

kvgomps, Jan 22, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 381 ratings.