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!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

3,266 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,266
Reviews: 1,465
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.57%
Wants: 169
Gots: 143 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: jmatthew on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,266 | Reviews: 1,465 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BDLbrewster
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy honey hued amber color with a sticky off white head that leaves a whole bunch of lacing.

The smell is rich with aromatic hops, medicinal notes and fresh cut vegetation. Some pine notes are apparent as well, along with some spicy background aromas. Very aromatic, they should market this as perfume.

The taste provides a punch of green, mildly citric (going with lemony grapefruit here) hop flavors on the front. Some oily pine flavors and a healthy, not overly sweet malt bill to support the weight of the wet tasting hops. It's pretty obvious that the hops have started to fade a bit, but they retain spicy undertones that set this beer off.

The mouthfeel is on par. Ample carbonation and a slick airy (not watery) body that feels very nice in the mouth.

Overall, I can dig it. Manageable ABV and flavors that leave you wanting more. Nothing over the top, just a solid seasonal offering from a cornerstone of the craft revolution.

BDLbrewster, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of BeerMasterD
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

13 Release, 2009.
Poured a perfect beautiful amber/orange color into a mug with 2 fat fingers of off-white creamy fluff head with good retention, and quite possibly the best sticky lace rings i have seen to date, all the way down, just pure awesome. Gives off big hops, pine/mango aromas. At first sip its a very nice roasty/toasty flavor with alot of citric and piny hops that are strong but not overly so, bitter but just right. A medium feel and the right amount of carbonation, the flavors in this IPA are blended just right, a real solid brew. Im drinking this in winter but i wish id had it during fall also as it would be great for the season, definitely going to pick this up again.

BeerMasterD, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of VWBuggirl
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first IPA I can get into! I am super excited about it.

It is a light amber color with hints of copper/orange. The foam has a slightly off white color to it. I am getting tangerine from it more than an orange.

This has a floral scent with a lot of citrus as well. I really like the smell.

It has the bitterness I have come to expect from IPAs, but it isn't nearly as strong as the (admittedly few) IPAs I have had before. This does not have a dry finish, nor does it have a ton of carbonation. It goes down well and I am enjoying it.

VWBuggirl, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

13th release poured into tulip

Appearance
Clear burnt orange body under a thick airy off-white head. Nice lacing and fair retention.

Aroma
Grapefruit, cloves pine and honey

Taste
Hops all over the place. Beginning with floral and citrus and flowing into piney and spicy. Subtle honey and biscuit malt make a minor appearance.

Mouth feel
Crisp and well carbonated

Overall
The first sip provided a harsh lupulin overload, but once my palate was prepared, the complexity of the hop presence revealed itself. While the ale is certainly hop dominated, it is in no way one-dimensional. Very enjoyable.

LongsPeakAveBrew, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of mempath
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep copper with massive buckwheat pancake batter head....i leave the glass unattended for a few minutes and come back and the lacing looks like haunted castle cobweb networking. good gawd.

smells big with oily-resiny fresh hops and the expected citrus, maybe tangerine.

taste has an initial, split-second sweetness that disappears in the wake of the big oily hop blast and a lingering bitter finish that dances on the tongue nicely. mouthfeel is very smooth/creamy, but i'd really like a little more of that carbonation i witnessed! still, outstanding.

if you love hops, sure, it's very drinkable. and not so strong as to preclude it from being a sessioneer...

again, another reason i put SN at the top as one of the best breweries. one of the true pioneers still at it.

mempath, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of HappyBivouac
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada 2009 13th Release Harvest Wet Hop Ale. Poured from the 24oz to a Bell's imperial pint glass.

a- Pours (vigorously) a nice-looking amber orange with a HUGE faintly yellow-green off-white head. Spotty lacing down the glass after a few sips.

s- Fresh cut grass of a summer's day, grapefruit wedges, and evergreen sap aromas wafting in through the window. Little bit of spice, honey, and bready/biscuity malts. I like what this is doing. A fairly full and well-rounded aroma.

t- Pine, grapefruit, grass all hit the tongue, with a beautiful and surprisingly strong honey-like sweetness. Only slight astringency-- exactly what I want in my IPA and what I think Sierra Nevada nails better than just about anyone else. Faint and indistinguishable spices, and a very balancing malt backbone. In the aftertaste the sweetness slowly fades to leave a mostly grassy impression. I find this completely takes care of my hop fix but keeps the balance in check very nicely.

m- Medium-bodied with a nice hoppy "sticky" quality to it. Where's the carbonation? A bit more would do this wonders. I almost wonder if the fresh hop oils dampen this a bit, but I wouldn't really know.

d- So good. Each sip/gulp/drink leaves me wanting another. Very refreshing, full in flavor, but balanced. An exemplary example of what this brewery does so well. I can fall back on this beer time and time again. (especially with the Torpedo shortage in Iowa right now! but that's another discussion altogether)

HappyBivouac, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of taxguyjase
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The big white frothy head tops a nice copper beer. Love the hop smell, which is really powerful and fragrant. Sorta like you stuck your nose in a bag of piney and citrusy hops. So tasty. Deliciously hoppy, there is a hint of sour and sweet at the end. The flavor isn't terribly bitter, but definitely characteristic of an IPA. The sourness covers your mouth and dissipates after a bit. Not terribly carbonated, so isn't filling. It's a thicker beer than I expected, which I don't mind. Would pick this one up again, as it's a solid IPA.

Appearance - 3.5/5.0 - White frothy head, copper color
Smell - 5.0/5.0 - Lots and lots of citrusy and piney hops
Taste - 3.5/5.0 - Sour, hoppy, strong flavor. Aftertaste isn't terribly strong, but tasty.
Feel - 4.0/5.0 - Thicker than expected, but the flavor fills your mouth.
Drinkability - 4.0/5.0 - Would pick up again, a nice representation of an IPA

taxguyjase, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 Harvest.

24oz. brown bottle served cool into an imperial pint glass. It has a great redish coppery color with great clarity. The thick white head is long-lasting and super sticky leaving lace all over the glass.

Aroma is fantastically hoppy with great spice and floral notes. Citrus and pine in there as well... basically it's all the hops into one great aroma.

Flavor is excellent as well. There is great spicy hop profile with some pine and grass. The malts are a nice balance with some caramel and toast but it's really a showcase for great west coast hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lowish carbonation. It's low for the style but it works well for me. Drinkability is good as well. It's not too bitter, not too strong in ABV, and still a great IPA.

Overall it's a lot like a bigger fresher tasting Celebration ale. It has the spice, caramel and toast but it's just a bit bigger and more delicious. Great beer.

GilGarp, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Arbitrator
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Man, I love these $5 24oz bottles from Sierra Nevada. Always a great deal, usually a great beer. 13th release.

A: Pours a clear orange-amber body in the glass, with a finger of short-lived cream-colored head. Nice lacing down the sides during a sip, and plenty of sticky ivy trails left as well.

S: Citrus (mostly lemon rind) and a nice floral whiff. Possibly some grass. Caramel.

T: Lemon rind, orange peel, and grass define the initial taste. Caramel follows shortly after, but the taste is still tipped toward bitter. The finish is lightly floral and has a sticky, lingering bitterness. Quite enjoyable.

M: Just a tad lighter than medium bodied, with a chewy feeling as if there are particles sticking to the teeth. Moderate carbonation. A bitter finish. A bit oily, in fact.

D: I don't think it's the most mindblowing IPA out there, but I almost always get one of these when I see them. They're very solid and a steal for the price.

Arbitrator, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a nearly flawless clear orange with a thick and creamy billow of foam remaining at about a half-inch throughout, as well as clinging and leaving beautiful lace the whole way down.

The nose carries with it citrus aromas, that of pungent flowers, as well as a good whiff of hop oils.

The taste starts with assertive piney hops bitterness followed by the more citrus hop notes and phenols which balance nearly perfectly with the slightly sweet alcohol and malt tastes.

The fairly thick mouthfeel (sticky) is significantly lightened by the generous carbonation. This brew is a deliciously drinkable beer, and if the ABV was not an issue, could easily be drank en masse.

MrHassellYaHurd, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -6%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of nick76
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is very hoppy with citrus, yeast, grains, caramel, and pine. The appearance is amber gold with a large foamy head. The flavor is like the aroma with a bitter finish. The palate is smooth. Overall a very well made beer that tastes even hoppier than it smells.

nick76, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of alexhammond
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

alexhammond, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Yojimbo1941
4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful amber coloring; large, fluffy white head which dissipated slowly

S: Pine, citrus, slight malt; one of the other people who tried it last night said that is smelled a little like marijuana

T: Wow. Just wow. Bitter, yet smooth taste as the hops blend in flawlessly with the malt backbone. Caramel notes.

M: Medium to light mouthfeel.

D: All day, every day. This is a great example of how to make a session PA that still retains flavor and aroma. Delicious and well-priced at 3.99 for a 24oz

Yojimbo1941, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of jwhancher
4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light amber color with a haze evident from the hops.

S: Smells fantastic! It's like opening up a bag of hops. Citrusy aromas fill the nose.

T: Caramel & amber malts. Very nice hop notes & bittering effect. Hops aren't overly powerful, but just right.

M: Even bodied brew with just enough hops to satisfy the hopheads. Good carbonation.

D: I could drink this brew year-round.

jwhancher, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of samie85
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours an almost blood red amber with a two finger head into a tulip.

S-Smells mostly of citrus(grapefruit) and piny hops.

T-Piny and citrusy up front with a caramel malt backbone to balance things. Finishes with mild bitterness and very clean.

M-Very smooth and med. bodied with low carbonation.

D-Very, very easy drinking. The lack of overt bitterness makes this dangerously drinkable.

samie85, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of berley31
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a large, white, thick and creamy head that had great lasting traits and excellent lacing in sheets on the sides of the glass. Body is a nice, copper color and very clear.

S: Awesome, citrusy smell that is also very strong in hops. Definitely has that 'wet hop' aroma that is so indicative.

T: Lots of citrus in the beginning, with a very bitter, enjoyable finish. Long duration for the flavor. Doesn't let up at all as you continue to sip on it, and the bitterness does not get tiresome at all.

M: Creamy texture, with a medium-to-full body and average-to-lively carbonation.

D: I haven't been let down by a Sierra Nevada beer yet, and this is no exception. In fact, I'd go as far to say it's my favorite SN beer to date.

berley31, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of Trappissed
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A spicy well-hopped aroma. Piny and a little fruity. Tastes like fresh piny hops with touches of spicy bitterness. Some citrus, but more pine in my experience. Sweet caramel shows itself in the background. Somewhat bready and drying on the finish. Nicely carbonated, smooth and slick mouthfeel. A worthwhile IPA.

Trappissed, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Prime 16 in New Haven, Conn.

A: Poured a golden, honey amber color with a robust head of tight, white carbonation which left a spider web of clingy lace. Carbonation was ample throughout and head retention was good.

S: Smells like a big rush of grapefruit and whole, green hop leaves. Slightly earthy, sugary and plant-like with some douglas-fir dashed in there.

T: Flavor is a big, bittersweet citrusy, fresh hop explosion. A nice sweet, light roasted malt flavor leaps up with the first dose of bitter, lemon and grapefruit hops. Then a mellow, dry hopping occurs mid palate before washing down sweet and oily with an herbal, peppery whole leaf hop finish which lingers for some time.

M: Mouthfeel is really quite clean and fresh and the residual oils are there, but not clingy in an unwelcome sort of way.

D: A really nice seasonal fresh hop offering from SA and at 6.7%, one you could pick up a few bottles of and make a grilling session out of. Went really well with my stuffed mushroom and scallion burger with whole grain IPA mustard. Really tasty on its own as well. A must try.

Gambrinus1184, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of Trizzle
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey amber,with a good 1.5 finger head. Great head retention and loads of lace. 5/5. Beautifiul.

Instant floral esters and citrus hops. Warmth reveals background caramal and buscuit malt.

I'm not the worlds biggest hop head, but I can really appreciate this. The hop profile is huge and fruity, herby and even oily. Nicely bitter at the end. All backed up by a solid, but not huge malt body.

Mouthfeel is good. Slightly syrupy and good carbonation.

A great experience. A great drink. A few of these could easily convert me into a real hop monster.

Trizzle, Jan 11, 2010
Photo of rajendra82
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The light copper colored body displayed some chill haze, and sported a picturesque two finger thick head. The smell was fresh and herbal, just a wet hop ale should be. The taste was very caramelized and citric with a sugary malt backbone. The body felt slightly thinner than the norm, and the sugary burst like aftertaste was a little brief as well. A very well constructed beer in my opinion.

rajendra82, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of goldbot
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz bottle. 13th release, 2009.

Pours an orange copper with a bit of haze and decent carbonation. Moderate yellowy-white frothy head which is retained well with lots of lacing.

Lots of grapefruit and pine tree aromas. Surprisingly a decent amount of malty grainy character as well. Some coriander spice present and interesting floral notes.

The spice and floral notes are most prevalent in tasting this beer. There is some citrus and pine, but they are more subdued. This is very earthy or planty, very different than your usual IPA for sure.

This beer has absolutely changed the way I look at hoppy ales. The fresh hops add huge depth and complexity in the flavor and aromas that you don't expect to find in most IPAs. I look forward to getting more of this as soon as I see it, and I'll be on the lookout for Sierra Nevada's other fresh hop/harvest beers.

goldbot, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a coppery-orange with a medium turbidity that offered a light haziness. The capping was frothy, desert sand in color and displayed remarkable composure lasting well over 5+ minutes, and never lapsed below a ¼ inch thick whipped coating for the remainder of the drink. The lacing was equal parts impressive with splotchy masses clumping about on a greater portion of the glass walls. Visible effervesce was medium, composed of micro bubbles that lazily drifted upwards with no hurry.

S: The nose was fresh, think wet dripping pine needles on a damp morning. Soft grapefruit/citrus tones are abundant as well a good balancing act of sweetness from the malt in the way of semi-dried caramelized grains and dried toffee.

T: The flavor was lively with a wet hopping of fresh pine hop cones that was combined with a sweet-n-dry caramel malting. The hopping soon becomes flowery and slightly dry with a medium-strong nature that was exceptionally smooth, but none the less noticeably bitter. The malting was toasted grains with a warming alcohol feel. The finish finds a spicy citrusy bite, semi-dry that graces the tongue with a light flowery coating. I really liked the balance of malts and hops here, especially with the fresh wet nature of the hops, which came off smooth and relaxing, a nice change of pace from dry and obnoxious usually per style. A simply well executed and masterfully brewed beer, clean, and eloquently smooth.

M: The mouthful was medium bodied offering a good deal of creaminess, Nice soft foaming action swells up on the tongue while a good deal of carbonation provides some dance especially around the edges.

D: An exceptionally smooth brewed beer that satisfies your thirst of fresh wet hops with a smooth character that will no doubt keep you coming back for more. Solid drinkability with a good enjoyability factor. A good beer to sit back and relax to on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

beerthulhu, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of SiphonKing
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a light tan head. Aromas of hops dominate but there is a faint aroma of malt. A backbone of malt is in the flavor followed by the subtle wet hop flavor (chinook maybe?). Smooth finish slightly piney and citrusy. Very refreshing and not over the top makes this an enjoyable beer.

SiphonKing, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of darklordlager
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper/bronze with a magnificent 2" butter coloured head. Great lacing as it goes down the glass, and a constant flow of bubbles from the bottom into the head of foam.

S: Rich, grapefruit citric hops. Floral. Smells of hop pellets without the harsh bitterness. Sweet caramel and two row malt provide a great backbone for the hops. Skunky.

T: Waves of intense yet smooth hop flavour. The blast of wet hop flavour is the slightest bit slow to come on, which might be due to this being a bit old. Bitter citrus, sweet malt, and a lingering hop bitterness.

M: Slick, and a little heavier than I was expecting.

D: This is a great value beer from Sierra Nevada (as always). Next year I'll have to pick this up right after it comes out.

darklordlager, Jan 06, 2010
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,266 ratings.