Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop AleNorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,417 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,417
Reviews: 1,485
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.59%
Wants: 187
Gots: 193 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jmatthew on 10-15-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,417 | Reviews: 1,485
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.24/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 24 ounce bottle into a English pint style glass.

As with most all of Sierra Nevada's offerings, this is a beautiful beer in a glass, as it has a deep red, copper body, with an excellent amount of head and lacing. Being a veteran SN drinker, I expected a lot of hops in the aroma. Surprisingly, I picked up on a significant amount of caramel and toffee like sweetness along with the spicy citrus hop notes.

First sip was even more of a surprise, as last year's harvest offering was much hoppier. This year's version is actually almost dominated by a somewhat coarse, caramel and toffee malt sweetness. As the beer warms, the trademark fruity ester flavors become more present and blend nicely with the hops at the end. Even more surprising, for an IPA, the hops seem to struggle to balance out the toffee malt flavors. Mouthfeel is very solid, a bit creamy, but just the right weight for an IPA.

Overall, this is somewhat of a letdown, in my opinion. It almost tastes more like an ESB rather than an IPA. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for just another hoppy beer, but the malt character seems to be just too strong and somewhat rough in this brew and seems to clash rather than blend with the hops. Noting horrible, but it appears SN wanted to try something new this year, and this one just didn't quite do it.

As a side note, their Celebration Ale this season seems to also be maltier than last years, and in my opinion, this years is probably the best one they have ever done.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Meh. Did not impress. Hops were extremely lite, maltiness tastes muddled. SN has been a bit disappointing as of late.

Photo of necrat
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Just a quick review on this one.

Aside from the previously described notes about the cloudy, lacing, etc, my only note is this...

How does it get a 93?? This is a B, B- beer AT BEST. It's got so much potential, and comes off when you taste it like it just isn't there. It's not bad, there is some hop to it, and some pine notes. But overall, it's weak. Much weaker than I expected given the reviews.

Photo of Bighuge
3.26/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007.

Deep copper hue. Slightly hazed. Rocky eggshell colored head sits on top. The retenion is better than average and lace patterns are quite full and intricate. Nice hop aroma, but not as heavy as I was expecting from this wet hopped beer. It contains all the usual suspects on the nose. Grapefruit, canabis, pine resin and citrus. Just not that strong for the style. This beer is pretty thick. Full bodied and heavy. Carbonation is pretty light. The malt base of this beer is caramel and toffee based. The bitterness does linger, but it's more of an astringent kind of bitterness. The hoppiness is pretty subdued for a wet hopped beer. Not sure what happened here, but it's really not what I was expecting. Celebration has a lot more juicy hop flavors than this. Maybe the Town Hall's Fresh Hop beer has me spoiled now, but this really is pretty average.

Photo of dancinwillie
3.27/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber, more brown than red, however, garnet highlights when held up to the light, medium brown when sitting on my desk. Sponge-like light tan head that begins at about 2 fingers high, then drops to about a finger, and remains. Beautiful lacing remains, two distinct lines about a centimeter apart surround the insides of my goblet.

Aroma seems to be made up primarily of piney hops.

Taste is more balanced than I was expecting. I thought it the hops would dominate, or at least tip the scale in that direction. But instead, the hops are in there, and they seem to have a deeper flavor. Pine, citrus, and some grassy notes come into play. The malt plays a big role as well, and is a sweet, bready foil to the bitterness of the hops. Picking up a slight herbal flavor also.

Mouthfeel is medium full, slick, and astringent. In other words good to go.

Overall, I would probably drink this more often if it were available on a year round basis. It's not the best IPA out there, definitely worth a try, however, and I will try to check back in from year to year.

Cheers!

Photo of Ryan011235
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 10/24/10

2010 Vintage

Clear copper color with burnt amber highlights. One finger of bubbly foam. 50% retention after a few minutes, though a few minutes more leave just a large swath of bubbles. Initially there were rings of lace, though much has started to resemble eroding sand.

Earthy, juicy & very floral hop aroma. Notions of oily pine & hints of citrus - orange & maybe a touch of grapefruit pith. Solid malt presence; biscuit & a hint of sweet bread. Maybe crystal malts.

The substantial malt profile absolutely carries over to taste as a blend of dry bread & sweeter aspects of caramel. I swear, I just tasted a stray hint of cocoa. Huh? Anyway, the malts have a wide berth & takes up much of the total space available leaving the hops to do more with less. Sure there's some bitterness by way of pine resin & the potency of the hop oils help round it out but it all seems forced away too soon from the burgeoning malts.

The overall feel is strange for this medium bodied brew. On one had the aforementioned oils give it an almost slick feel, while on the other there are prominent undercurrents of grittiness. The grit, in conjunction with the dryness, makes for a slow finish.

Not a bad beer really; it's just kind of "meh" in terms of an IPA. Now, if the hops were given more wiggle room...

Photo of Damian
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from a 24 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
11th Edition

Poured a crystal clear, deep, mahogany-amber with a tight, khaki, one-finger, sea foam head.

The aroma was quite hoppy yet fairly well rounded. Citrusy, cascade hops prevailed over mild caramel malt and candy-like notes. As the beer warmed, some brown sugar came out as well.

The taste was overwhelmingly hoppy and edgy. The beer started slow (almost flavorless) up front before an intense, oily hoppiness kicked in. Crisp, cutting hops attacked and never gave my taste buds a rest. An intense hop spice flavor was apparent as well. The beer became harsh and biting on the back end and finished piney, bitter, tannic and dry. At first, I mistook this beer for having a reasonably high alcohol content but I later discovered that this sharpness was merely a result of the hops. As for being a "fresh hop" beer, I was not able to detect much of a difference between this pale ale and those made with dried hops. The only exception may have been that the hops in this offering displayed more of an herbal/medical quality

Mouthfeel was light, thin and fairly over carbonated.

Overall, I was disappointed with this beer. Hop heads may rejoice with this seasonal offering, but I found its overwhelming hop bitterness rather difficult to stomach.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle purchased at Connecticut Ave Wine & Liquors, packaged on 09/24/2014, poured into my NEBCo Gandhi-Bot snifter, drank over an hour or so

A: 2/3 - deep amber-brown coloration, initial khaki head settles into a 1/4 finger coating that persists throughout drinking; high clarity (can both see and read through); moderate alcohol legs

A: 7/12 - muted grapefruit, orange and pine notes over a moderate malt bready/biscuity aroma; some alcohol; no diacetyl, no DMS

T: 11/20 - mild bitterness on the front of the tongue; mid-palate is followed by grapefruit, pine and tangerine that is followed and quickly overtaken by malts - toast, biscuit and cracker; some mild alcohol on the back of the palate; finishes dry with little aftertaste

M: 3/5 - moderate carbonation; some hop oils and alcohol fullness coat the tongue

O: 7/10 - decent IPA but an another disappointing harvest ale - other than the novelty of the fresh/whole cone experience, I just don't understand the appeal - with the exception of Troegs Hop Knife, which used their Hop Cyclone, all harvest ales are light on hop aroma/flavor in favor of malts, which is usually boring profile (lots of 2-row and little else); it's not a bad beer but, for me, is no 93 and your money is much better spent elsewhere

TOTAL - 30/50

Photo of SierraFlight
3.32/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2014 vintage shared with Hector during the white elephant gift exchange.

Photo of ShanePB
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24 ounce bottle, 2011 version poured into a tulip glass.

A: Clear bronze/amber body with a slightly off-white head. Very bubbly, creamy and thick looking head that left huge sticky lacing and a great retention cap the entire time. Seriously, this is just a killer looking IPA.

S: Pine, sap, hop resin, slight bitter citrus notes (orange and lemon peel). A nice bitterness comes through along with a faint caramel malt aroma. The focus is certainly the bitter hops.

T: Bitter hop notes all over the palate, through and through. Pine, floral notes, hop resin, orange oils and more caramel malts towards the back end. The finish is sticky with a earthy and dry distinct bitterness.

M: Bubbly and creamy, a bit thicker than I'd personally like for an IPA. Quite dry and sticky in the linger, not bad but there's a few things off about it.

Eh, this was okay for me. I can appreciate the concept of the hop harvesting and such but I think I've become more akin to a citrus IPA profile, as opposed to this brash pine and sap bitterness. It's good but it's tiresome after a while. I didn't even end up finishing the bottle.

Photo of t0rin0
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Lucky Baldwins tonight. One bartender poured it for me and it didn't seem right so another bartender poured me another to compare. This is not an IPA, its a hoppier amber ale. I loved the harvest last year, what happened?

Pours a reddish copper color. A bit light for a red but too dark for an IPA. Good clarity, good retention + lacing.

Aroma is sweet and very red ale-like. Very malty, very hoppy too. I could smell what I am sure is Chinook hops. Mild grapefruit moderate pine smell.

Flavor is dry and chalky like an amber. Moderate/high bitterness, medium hop flavor, sweet, sticky, and dry aftertaste. Really malty.

Medium body, good CO2 (from a keg though so this doesn't mean anything). Very drinkable, but this was not at all what I was expecting.

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.34/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a copper colored beer that smells like a citrus grove and candy.

Taste is simple, light pine and bitterness at the start fading into an oily bitterness. I am pretty biased against hoppy beers, so I will stop here.

Mouthfeel is airy with bubbles but not a lot of fizz. Swish it around and you will get a cloud of foam in your mouth but not a bunch of tingling.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with an off white head. Aromas of hops and faint earthiness. In the taste, earthy, hoppy and somewhat sticky sweet. A smooth, yet watery mouthfeel and a small bitter aftertaste. Nice flavors, kind of light, yet easy to drink. A great seasonal!

Photo of alexhammond
3.35/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked this one up on discount, disappointed I couldn't get this one fresh when it was released. I always enjoy IPAs better fresh (especially overly-hopped brews like this one)

pours a nice looking amber, with a decent fluffy head.
smells of citrus and pine, everything I'm looking for in an enticing IPA.
strong, bitter hop taste at first, but it hit me quick and didn't last long. a good balance with the malts, which was surprising considering SNs pale ale products are usually all hops. interesting, but here it didn't really work for me. the flavors came on strong and got me excited, but left me wanting more. a bit of a creamy after taste, with lingering pine and orange peel flavors.
I wasn't overly impressed by this one; maybe it's because I've been so enamored with the Torpedo and Anniversary offerings, maybe I was just expecting a major hop bomb, or maybe this beer was simply past it's prime. worth a try, but I'd wait until the next batch is released to check it out.

Photo of Beaver13
3.38/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

24 oz bottle, 2007 11th edition. Pours a clear copper with a creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet doughy malts with floral piney hops and a little tar.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with a lingering burnt bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery.

Overall, a decent IPA(?) with good bitterness. It's a little simplistic and not totally to my tastes.

Photo of jakon
3.38/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24oz bottle purchased for $4.29 on 10-3-7 at Belmont Station.

Pours a clear amberish copper with an adequate eggshell white head that dissipates quickly leaving sporadic lacing. The aroma is interesting. Spicy hop character and something resembling a hair salon. Don't know how else to describe that, but it is in your face. The taste is mostly about the hops, obviously, balanced by caramel malt. There is an aspirin-like after taste. In my opinion, this offering doesn't quite live up to expectations. I was hoping for a bit more bright hop character in the taste and aroma and was put off by whatever it is that reminds me of a hair salon.

Photo of JDV
3.38/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice ruby amber with a good sized lasting off white head in a tulip. Piney, chemical cleaner like hops aroma. After it warms, some bitter unripe pecan like nuttiness too. Taste is pretty similar to smell. Kind of piney, fairly bitter, and astringent like hop taste. Nicely carbonated and nice body. Sharp, dry metallic bitterness but a faint earthy sweetness in the finish as well. Overall a hoppier than average IPA that has a unique character about it. Good, but something I'll have to try again, I think.

Photo of wheatyweiss
3.38/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a perfect from a 22 ounce bomber.

Pours a light copper with a huge head that recedes to a one finger cap and laces the glass very amply.

Aroma is not a hop forward as I was expecting. Aroma is tannic malts with a light hop rider. Quite crackery and bready, this has less hop than most SN ales I've had, might be the age.

Flavor is tannic and light hop. Grain is solid, caramel and roasted. Hop is tannic and astringent. Numbing on the tongue with less flavor than normally from SN beers. There is an astringency not normal for these beers. For the amount my lips and tongue are numbing, the bruising flavor is not present.

Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is adequate, drinkability is hindered by the tongue numbing astringency.

I am a fan of SN beers but this was way off from what I am used to, the chemical astringent tongue numbing flavor turned me off.

Disappointment for me, if only because of what I am accustomed to.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.39/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice and fresh IPA. A bit short of the outstanding promise but worth it in any case.

Presentation: 24 oz bottle. Iconic special release Sierra Nevada bomber, big and chubby. A lot of mannerism in the design without the best of visual legibility. Includes a solid narrative in the front label putting the brewing effort in context with a good description of the ale. Date of bottling or freshness shown as 2009, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, only Alc. (6.7%) Poured into a tall tulip glass.

A - Clear golden/coppery color. Tremendous foamy head with great retention and lacing. Persistent foamy cap throughout.

S - Nice if a bit subdued hoppy nose, not very floral or aromatic. It's a crisp smell with some malty notes.

T - Fairly fresh taste, with a smaller start and a large bitter finish, and malty notes.

M - Straight and abundant bitterness, a bit of a light body. It's not quite watery but it does not have the malt base of other IPAs.

D - The light malty base with such a bitterness makes it nicely drinkable.

Notes: Nice brew, in line with some of these Sierra Nevada big bottle offerings,i.e. nice but not too remarkable. Rather similar to those reviews. In fact, it might be a bit of a let down if one follows its own hype. I could have had this one a bit late off the shelve compromising the freshness, but the place is typically legit and I´m getting this vibe from their production on this range. For a web hop ale I sure had a better feel with others.

Photo of claspada
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is fairly decent with some earthy, floral and citrus hop contributions. Nothing overpowering. Light pale and caramel malts in the background.

Taste follows the nose, quire hoppy with florals and citrus dominating. Decent pale and caramel malt backbone, more than I expected honestly.

Nice crisp mouthfeel. Good hoppy aftertaste. Worth a try.

Photo of phantomwyse
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Somewhat opaque almond copper color with a 2 finger lathery head. Classic lacing.

S: Juicy grapefruit hop smell, older pine. Mot much malt happening here.

T: Full frontal hop assault. Acidic citrus, tangy overripe grapefruit, just there bready malt. Resilient and resounding hop bitterness at the end.

M: Crisp but thinner bodied than expected.

D: Fairly enjoyable, particularly for it's intrinsic status.

An expose on hop fundamentals. But, not much more to make me come back for more.

Photo of oakbluff
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle- pours deep copper/caramel colour with average head and thin lacing. Nose- grassy pine, some spice. Taste- spicy, with fairly meaty hop profile that is quite bitter and quickly drying. The caramel malts are there, but this is a very bitter brew and a little one sided on that aspect of the hops. Was hoping for more "fresh" hop flavours. Drinkability is good, but the dry bitterness does get somewhat tiring.

Photo of yeastsipper
3.41/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have had this beer a handful of times, but this is the first attempt at a review.

Beer pours a lovely amber with lots of bubbles racing to the top and a big, long-lasting, frothy head. A lot going on here.

Pine dominates the smell, not surprising given the wet hops. There are also some spicy notes and lemon zest.

The taste was not what I expected; much more malty and less hoppy. The hops are not truly noted until the aftertaste. Frankly, I am wondering if this beer is as fresh as it could be. I swear I have had other bottles that are hoppier.

The mouthfeel is fine, but a little light in my opinion.

Drinkability is somewhat low, due to issues with the taste mentioned above. The lack of bitterness upfront, combined with the excess in the aftertaste, make this a less drinkable beer than other SNs I have had.

Again, I am really suspicious that the beer is not fresh, had a rough journey to me, or whatever, that affected the overall quality. THIS beer is not bad, but certainly nothing great.

Photo of Luk13
3.41/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle via trade with HogtownHarry. This isn't as fresh as it should be I guess, but here goes. Beautiful deep copper pour with white head just sitting on top. Aroma is quite hoppy, peppery, earthy, leafy, everything IPA should smell like but this is dimmed down a bit. Taste is still quite bitter, just enough malt sweetness to make it enjoyable. Palate is average but good.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.43/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

GLASS: Capt. America for Prez Pint Glass (Yahooo!)
TEMP: Chilled to approx 45 degrees

First, I disagree with this being reviewed under the same entry as last years version, because this is a different bottle altogether. I thought about starting a new listing, but everyone else seems to be putting their reviews under this one so, I guess that I will, too.
Last years release (11th) was a dry-hopped version, while this years is wet-hopped. Last years was 6.2% abv while this years is 6.7% abv.

Clear, golden amber liquid, similar to maple syrup in appearance. Massive 4+ finger head with very good retention. Excellent lacing, very sticky.

Very hoppy nose. Very citrusy. Lots of lemon zest and tons of grapefruit. Lighter floral tones. Slight hint of fresh-cut grass. Some sweet malt notes are detected.

Big bitter hop bite smacked me in the face, right out of the gate. Piney, citrusy and floral all combine for an abundant attack. Flavors of grapefruit, pine resin, and bitter citrus. Light malt sweetness is in there, but it's way down deep.

Good mouthfeel in general, but I find it abit on the waterey side.

I can see that this would make an easy drinking bottle, but for me, the hops are too over dominant. I might pick up a few bottles to cellar for a year or two, to see how they age.

Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 3,417 ratings.