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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.

1,474 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,474
Hads: 3,433
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 14.87%
Wants: 203
Gots: 208 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,474 | Hads: 3,433
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Balanced and smooth. Good understated piney, bitterness, grapefruity and fruity. Brownish, Some lacing,Hmm, the carbonation Perhaps their gas combination detract. Drying finish though Full mouthfeel and satisfying.
2007 bottle, dry but hoppy. Understated IPA, viz. pale. Lots of good head.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear copper color with a huge 2 inch bone color head to a 1/3 cap. Lots of pretty sticky, chunky lacing.

S - Huge citrus and pine hops with a spicy element.

T - Citrus zest, pine needles, and surprisingly only a slightly bitter aftertaste.

M - Low carbonation left a somewhat flat beer. The beer is very creamy however and leaves a hop oil coating in the mouth.

D - Very good beer but I was expecting more hop smell and taste. I was also expecting an extremely bitter hop aftertaste but this beer was lacking in that regard.

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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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1.5 finger foamy head. Murky dark amber with golden hues.

S: earthy, floral, sweet, bready and mildly hoppy. Many aromas mixed in.

T: apricot sweetness up front. Somewhat piney hop finish. Floral, sweet malt and earthy notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: the aroma and taste with this one is very complex. Some of these conflict but others mesh. Very interesting beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear amber in color, the beer has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that quickly died down yet left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of citrus and pine resin hops in the nose along with some notes of caramel malts.
T: The overall taste is very well balanced between the malts and hops; the initial taste has some notes of caramel and hints of sweetness while the finish has a light amount of bitterness.
M: If feels medium-bodied, smooth and a bit crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because it is well balanced and there isn't a trace of alcohol perceptible in the taste.

Note: 2010 vintage

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i swear this one gets better every year. pours a dark whiskey colored amber into a frozen pint glass with a spectacular head. looks like a handful of shaving cream, or, like flying over the north pole in a helicopter. white puffy dunes that do not diminish one bit as it sits. immaculate presentation. nose is fresh hops in that mild, subtle, high quality sense, like a wise man being patient with a group of children. the taste is excellent, balanced malts and the elemental hops that were grown with love for exactly this realization. man i can't say enough about this one. enjoyed on a 50 degree fall night with maple mustard chicken on the slow charcoal fire and a setting rocky mountain sun. the smells and vibes of the food and the beer almost become one in a weird ritualistic synergy that is the absolute essence of fall relaxation. magic!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a 16 oz. pint glass with the Bell's Oberon logo. This is the 2008 version, the 12th Release. Bottled on September 22, 2008.

A: Pours a nice, thick, and bubbly two-fingered head. The top of the head looks like the surface of the moon and it is already quite apparent that there will be plenty of lacing with this brew. The color is a dark amber. There are no apparent carbonation bubbles, and the beer is quite transparent.

S: Very sharp immediately on the first whiff. Slight floral aromas. A little bit of pine as well.

T: Somewhat grassy and the hops have faded a little bit. Slightly bitter.

M: Lightly carbonated and medium-bodied. The beer feels slightly thicker in the mouth than the typical APA. There is somewhat of a dry feeling present on the roof of my mouth, though the beer goes down smooth.

D: This beer could be quasi-sessionable. As it is, the 24oz. bottle suits me perfectly--two servings of this should be a decent start off to any night.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice looking copper color, the head was thick, foamy and white. The lacing was sticky on this brew. The smell of the beer has a big hop aroma to it along with some sweet malts in the background. The taste of the beer was pretty good, it's got the really nice bitter sweet bite that Sierra Nevada loves to do. The mouthfeel of the beer is lighter than a medium bodied brew, it's drinkable. Overall I enjoyed it, I thought this was a pretty good brew all around.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a sturdy, but rocky head that leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Fresh, floral and grapefruity

Taste: After a biscuity beginning, the fresh hop flavors kick in - grapefruit, primarily; after the swallow, there is a nice balance between the fruit and the underlying malt backbone

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A pretty nice APA, overall; well-balanced, with enough bitterness to please the hophead

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been such an ellusive beer for me; but the billing was worth it. This is a fantastic beer. The pour brings a dark copper - nearly brown appearance with nice head retention and some lacing. Aromas are simply of light toasty malt, and a soft powdery sweetness -- kinda Dortmunder-like. The hop aromas was certainly showcased in the nose with a sharp, fresh, spicy, citrus character along with pine and lemon grass. Flavors remain soft and simple on the malt front with a firm toast taste, and delicate sweetness. And again, the hops steel the show, bringing a big hit of grapefruit, orange rinds, pine resins, and a bitter, grassy flavor. The texture is quite light and very easy to drink. Refreshing and hoppy in the finish. Simply a great beer. Thanks again Clvand0.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention but no lacing. Aroma consists of bitter hops with some traces of caramel malt. Taste is a mix between some bitter green hops with some notes of caramel malt. Medium body with some average carbonation. This beer is really average on so many levels and it definitely isn't one of the best harvest hops beers that I have had the chance to try.

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Photo of largadeer
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark but brilliantly clear copper with a billowing off-white head that leaves sheets of sticky lace in its wake.

Smell: Candied grapefruit, lemon peel and pine. Faint grassy notes, hints of caramel. This one's got an outstanding hop aroma.

Taste & mouthfeel: Toasted grain and a touch of pale malt meets rich, oily, resiny hops. Sierra Nevada's proprietary yeast always gives their beer a slightly metallic quality to my buds, and this one is no different, though it's masked somewhat by the enormous hop flavor. The finish is pleasantly dry but slightly more bitter than I like. Despite a few rough edges, this is good stuff. I'm glad I picked up a couple of bottles.

Notes: 2008 vintage.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a bomber of this while visiting a friend in Austin, Texas. This beer pours a medium copper, with a copius amount of foamy white head, with lots of lacing. The aroma is of citrus and pine hops, with a slight sweet malt presence. The taste has a moderate pine hop bite, and a smooth malt backbone, quite balanced. There is a mild carbonation, with no noticeable warming. This is very easy to drink, a decent offering from this brewery.

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Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange tone with good clarity. Cascading foam at first, a good 1" head that slowly simmers down. Lace that has a certain terraced effect, with stairstepped rings...pretty cool.

Citrusy grapefruit in the aroma, a little bit earthy and grassy, pure wet hops.

A nice toasted malt follows up the bitter yet juicy hop load. Lingering bitter pine with a hint of sweet. Malt has a round feel after the inital bitterness. Dry, tacky in the aftertaste. Very easy to finish the 24 oz. bottle. Reccommended.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bronzed orange peel with honey colored trim. I'm surprised that the beer is perfectly clear. Where's the haziness from the hop particles? The impressively bubbly cap, equal parts pale sandstone and pastel orange, is laying down lace as only a resin-filled fresh hop ale can. Forget the clarity, this is great looking beer.

Although the nose is wonderful, I expected more in terms of pure pungency. With this many fresh Centennial and Cascade hop cones on the loose, the aroma should be jumping out of the glass with reckless abandon. Edit: warming turns up the volume and allows me to grant the above score. The caramel malt is evident, as is the grapefruitiness of the C-hops.

I wish Sierra Nevada (and all brewers for that matter) could figure out a way to get 'fresh hop' flavor to last longer than a few months. Actually, a few months is probably pushing it. This bottle is an estimated six weeks of age and I'm sure it's lost a little in that time. It's still beautifully hoppy, although it's nowhere near scathingly hoppy. Assuming it ever was.

I like the specific recipe that Harvest Ale uses more than I like the recipes for Pale Ale and Anniversary Ale. It might be the freshness of the hops, but I have a feeling that it's the *Centennial* hops that make me love this APA as much as I do. The pale and caramel malt backbone is sturdy enough to stand up to the grapefruit and bitter orange pithiness and to give the beer some semblance of balance.

Things improve as each mouthful progresses because the malt sugars fade first, allowing the hops to slap the tongue around a little on the long, lingering finish. The mark of a great beer is that each mouthful is better than the one that came before. Harvest Ale is great beer. It's also compulsively drinkable beer, so I'm glad that it comes in a big, fat, 24-ounce bottle.

I'm not sure what else one could ask for in an APA mouthfeel. It didn't get my attention at first, but it definitely has it now. The beer is amazingly smooth and polished with a voluminous silkiness borne of a perfect amount of carbonation. Great job.

The single word that occurs to me when I think of Sierra Nevada is 'solid'. As it turns out, one of the original American craft breweries is also one of the best. Harvest Ale (11th Edition) is delicious beer that deserves to be released throughout the entire country, right alongside their standard lineup. Given its 'fresh hop' nature, I know that isn't possible, but it sure would make a lot of hopheads happy. This one included.

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Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle acquired via trade with dertbert

A - Poured out a cloudy, amber/orange with a very foamy, off-white, two-finger head. It left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of fresh hops and grasses. It really had a nice floral aroma. There was also a roasted malt nose.

T - It had a great carmel roasted malt flavor. Good hop kick with hints of citrus.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - Great APA. You can really tell how fresh hops make a difference in a beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Man I love the fresh hop ales,I should have bought this when more fresh.Poured into a standard pint glass a rich clear copper/bronze with a large fluffy two finger slight off white head atop.Aromas of pine and caramel mainly with a bit of citrus and biscuit as well.Flavors are spicey like the label claimed,the hops are not overpowering but are the dominant flavor with a full caramel base.A little thin but not overly so,I very nice brew I liked the spiciness going on there,well done.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thrilled to see this one on tap tonight at mezzaluna i went straigh/t at it for my first beer. served cold an in a pint glass, consumed on 10/09/2010

really just a fantastic pour, exactly what i would have expected with a deep copper color and a rich head of two fingers high coating the sides of the glass throughout.

aroma is deep piney hops. fresh and clean with a pronounced bitterness to it. warming does nothing but bring this out to the forefront even more. really just an amazingly complex hop aroma. clean, crisp and ever refreshing the resin filled flavor coats the palate and leaves you looking for more the second that dry finish hits your lips.

overall simply a stunning example of quality.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.91/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Served up a clear, amber-hued body with a ½ inch of lasting white foam that left sheer sheets of lace on the way down.

Smell: Citrusy hop nose smelling of pithy grapefruits and lemons accented by notable notes of caramel and toasted grains and a touch of spice.

Taste: A start of toasty pale malts with a lightly sweet touch of light caramel. Next, in rolls the pithy citrus character and hints of spiciness and florals from the Centennial and Cascade hops. Medium-plus bitterness, though it accumulates on the tongue, eventually overshadowing the malts. Drying, bitterish finish with a final note of grains.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Yet another decently drinkable, fairly enjoyable India Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of nickfl
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of off white foam leaves good lace. The dark copper body is crystal clear.

S - Smells like hops (surprise). Strong floral/citrus hop aroma and a barely discernible malty note in the background. Really reminiscent of raw (unboiled) hops.

T - Aggressive hoppiness, mostly in the flavor area. There is also a powerful malt note in this beer and while it never eclipses the hops it is absolutely essential to keep them from overwhelming the palate. Elements of citrus, pine, and non-specific spiciness. Bitterness only really shows up in the finish and it is admirably restrained.

M - Medium to slightly heavy body with moderate carbonation. Slight astringency.

D - I am somewhat surprised to say that this beer is highly drinkable. I am always a bit wary of hop-centric beers, especially from west coast brewers, as they can easily become over the top abuses of the virtues of the hop bine. However, SNV Harvest is a strong reminder that many brewers are capable of centering a beer around hops while maintaining balance and bringing out all of the best characteristics of the hops. I think that one of the reasons that this beer is so successful is its somewhat restrained bitterness. By aiming their hops more at aroma and flavor than bittering they have achieved a level of hop complexity far beyond that of beers that shoot for shock-value IBU numbers.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at Durty Nellie's.

Been dancing around this one for years, figured it was time to finally take it down. It pours a clear brass-amber topped by a finger of lightly sandy cream-white foam. The nose comprises pine needles, caramel, sweet toffee, and a bit of lemon zest. This isn't to say that it smelled old or anything, but rather it smelled more balanced than I imagined a wet hop from SN to be. The taste holds notes of pine resin, light cedar, mild caramel, light menthol, and a kiss of spearmint. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice wet hop, one that maintains a healthy balance without disregarding or canceling out the wet hop addition. Still, it is a bit one-sided in terms of hop flavor, but this isn't a total negative, as it works well with it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

6.3% ABV as indicated by the keg cap. Clear, copper in color with a very creamy and dense, 1/4" tight-bubbled tan head that holds really well and leaves very nice lace throughout the glass. The aroma is like opening a bag of fresh whole leaf hops! Stunning. Slightly sweet Cascades. It's hard to find the malt through the hop aroma. The body is medium with a very fine carbonation, giving a zesty mouthfeel that becomes creamy as it warms. The flavor is of a rich, lightly sweet, somewhat biscuity and brightly caramel malt entwined with restrained, grassy & lightly citrusy hop flavors. The hops are all in the nose! And that's not easy to do - very well brewed! Nor is the bitterness overdone. Very well balanced allowing malt and hop flavors to come through unhindered! An extremely nice and incredibly enjoyable beer that is absolutely worth seeking out. Draft only.

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Photo of jlindros
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 9/24/14, barely a month old, which is nice for a beer like this as often you find them more than a month old already on the shelf.

Pours a nice fizzy slight creamy bubbly 1 finger head that fades fairly slowly, nice soapy notched lacing, a very clear amber slight rosy reddish-orange color.

Nose explodes out of the gate! Lots of fresh hops, plenty fruity, with some citrus and grapefruit, with plenty of floral hops as well, a little pine and grassy notes too, with some fresh wet hop resin and hop oils. Also a sweet toasty reddish almost caramel candy like malt underneath, but mostly hops, and even dank.

Taste brings malts out front actually, a sweet candy malt, toffee, caramel and even a touch of a toasted brown sugar like, but not too sweet, just thick and chewy sweet malts, it tastes kinda like a brown ale actually. Then hops kick in, plenty of them too, with some grassy earthy notes out front, then quickly into a mild spicy and piney flavor. Pine eventually seems to dominate, bringing a mild dankness, and some resin, fresh wet hop oil and resin, mild grapefruit and citrus rind in there too. Fluffy malts finish it off as it dries a bit on the finish, little sticky but pretty dry, quite bitter too as it wasn't too bitter to start, a bit more pine and spicy hop notes lingering, a touch of resin and dankness, and a little candy malt toffee caramel flavor.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, nice fluffy full malt feel, with nice carb.

Overall pretty nice but not great, it has some good hops that come through nicely on the aroma but are quite lacking on the flavor, malts are nice but hard to see that in an IPA, more like an amber or even brown ale, nice bitterness, great mouth feel, but just lacking that hop profile on the flavor to really kick this up.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From one of the newly released 11th Edition 2007 24oz bottles.

Pours a clear reddish orange with about an inch or so of fantastic looking white head that left some great lacing. Aroma is just of fresh, fresh, earthy hops, piney resin, and citrus but a spicey sweetness creeps in at the end.

Taste matches the aroma perfectly. Fresh hop character dominates but there is that nicely spiced malt backbone for balance. Nice medium body with a hoppy bitterness lasts until the end. Drinkability is off the charts. Easy drinking and refreshing for hop heads and non hop heads alike.

What can I say. This is one of my favorite beers on draft and it's just as good in the bottle. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for finally making this available in bottles. Do yourself a favor and seek it out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hoppy and malty amber ale.

I'm glad I tried this back-of-the-cooler bottle. Beautiful amber color with a touch of red. Big mouthful of hops with resiny and floral flavors. But malt is very assertive. Mellow and a hint of sweetness. Bitterness finally takes over for the aftertaste. We tried it with the assertive flavors of Middle Eastern food and it was ideal.

Why don't more hop shop breweries try this kind of restraint in their IPA? Or come up with new category for extreme hop-crazed beers? Like Beyond IPA. This is so pleasant yet hop powered, I think it ought to set a standard.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,474 ratings.