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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,341 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,341
Reviews: 1,470
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.81%
Wants: 170
Gots: 158 | 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
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Ratings: 3,341 | Reviews: 1,470 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada 13th Release Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Appears a deep amber copper hue with a bright khaki off white head that forms thick and billows with cloudy texture above the rim of my imperial pint glass. I love these big 24 ounce Sierra Nevada offerings even the pale ale tastes great out of them. Lacing leaves behind big chunks of beautifully patterned head that clings to the class with each sip. This beer is a class act and at $3.49 a bottle it can't be beat, I bought three whilst shopping at the new Giant Eagle Market District this past Saturday.

Aroma is full of big raw herbaceous, resinous pine cone, citrus peel, and earthy bitterness from the fresh hop additions. Full on malt balance is achieved with a sweet caramelized glaze across the hop profile. There's nothing like fresh hopped beer, the hop nose is popping with character, each sniff makes you want to dive in.

The flavor draws you in even deeper with waves of hop flavor hitting you from every angle, any where from a slight vegetable freshness quality to floral, pine, earthy, and citric hop qualities slugging it out with one another. Amazingly complex and well constructed the value factor that this beer offers up is unbelievable, an OMG gold standard of fresh hopped ales. Sugar sprinkled grapefruit with some harsh fresh cut pine needle qualities, with herbaceous kind bud and earthy dirty hop oils. The malt balance is amazing sugar coated hops are awesome, caramelized brown sugar slightly toasted biscuits. Balanced flavorful wet hopped ale, they invented the wheel according to this beer label.

Mouthfeel is oily textured with resins that glide with each sip across the palate. Carbonation levels are so moderate and natural it's a smooth drinking experience for sure that I will revisit every season as long as they continue to this awesome tradition. I've been drinking the Wet Hopped Ale since circa 2000-2001.

Drinkability overall is killer something that you will want to hoard but an experience that you should definitely pass around to some close friends. Considering this type of experience could convert a fraction of the masses drinking mindlessly bland tasting American industrial lager.

Photo of bobsy
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We had this one back-to-back with a bomber of Leafer Madness. For my liking, the Sierra Nevada was the more balanced and tastier of the two wet hopped ales.

Poured a clear orange with a couple fingers of off-white head that showed good retention and laced well. Aroma of fresh leafy hops greets the nose with note of pine, grapefruit and tangerine. Underpinning this is a nice caramel malt base. This is an incredibly balanced IPA. Upfront there's a nice dose of caramel and pale malt, which sets the stage for a great range of hop flavours. Grapefruit and pine follow, before culminating in a floral, spicy grassiness (I feel like I've used all my hop descriptors in this sentence!). The body is fuller than usual for an IPA, and I like how its creaminess bulks up the flavour profile.

I wouldn't expect anything less from Sierra Nevada. This is an excellently balanced IPA, and a pleasure to drink. Thanks to Shawn for sharing.

Photo of ozzyCobblepot
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fourth beer at the "Why Is There Beer?" tasting on Oct. 27, 2009 at Brickskeller. Paired with the St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition to demonstrate two extremes of hops flavor--this one being the all about hops example.

A: Amber colored, fantastic head
S: Slightly sour, but the bitterness of the hops is already coming through
T: A pale ale with a hearty hops flavor

This was the first time I had drank a wet hop beer. This particular brew involves picking the hops and getting them into the boil within a few hours, which is amazing to me. The result is not just a very hoppy beer, but one in which the hops taste almost raw and unrefined. Takes a few sips to get used to, and this isn't really a beer to enjoy for much longer than that, at least in one sitting, but even so this is a fantastic beer. Makes me proud to be an American.

Photo of kylejohnson03
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber. Great autumn colors dominate the pour, with brown and orange hues and a dirty white head. Good layer of head, lacing sticks but doesnt last long. Nose filled with that fresh hop smell you would expect. Some citrusy notes as well. The "fresh" smell and taste is simply put, amazing. Fresh cut grass and just enough maltiness to provide a nice balance. Medium in body, good amount of carbonation. Drinks so smooth, I have already finished the bomber. For the price, this beer is an incredible value. The perfect beer for the fall season and I am going to be drinking this beer well into the cold months of winter.

Photo of Reaper16
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24oz. bomber served into a globe glass

Pours a toasted orange color that Crayola might as well label the color "Typical American IPA." Two big ol' fingers of fluffy off-white head make for that lovely kind of notched lacing. This is really the prototypical IPA look; it would be a covershot on a magazine.

The relative freshness of this wet-hopped beer serves to create a juicy bouquet of hop aromas. Lots of pine and leafy smells but somehow those pine needles are dripping with grapefruit and lemon juices.

For being a hoppy harvest ale there is a good deal of malt taste to this beer. In addition to the bready notes there's a touch of nutmeg or hazlenut or something similar that really sets off the other, more expected hoppy flavors. And those flavors are well executed. Straight-up pine and grapefruit rind. This IPA does not do anything daring, it just nails the archetypal flavors that you expect it to have. There is almost no aftertaste, which subtracts from the enjoyment of this beer for committed hopheads.

The most surprising thing about this beer is its lack of bitter aftertaste. The strong flavors on the tongue just wash completely away. This makes for a supremely drinkable IPA. The mouthfeel is appropriately bodied and altogether conducive for consumption without doing anything so special as to merit mention.

I love how Sierra Nevada celebrates everything with hops. Autumn? Let's make some wet-hopped IPAs! Winter? Let's make one of Reaper's favorite IPAs in Celebration Ale! Go buy a bomber or two of this and raise a glass to the hop farmers who make it all possible.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a slightly hazy, deep copper-amber color. The tall head has a caramel tint and a very dense, lathery, frothy and, as it slowly fades, rocky texture. Retention is extremely firm, with ring after ring of sticky lace.

S: Some brown sugar and caramel in the nose up front. Fragrant hop notes of candied grapefruit, orange oil, and pine resin. Perhaps a bit earthy as well.

T: A firm dose of maltiness up front, with a pale malt backbone and a healthy shot of brown sugar/caramel flavor to boot. Hop bitterness is robust, with strong citric (orange oil, grapefruit pith), earthen, and piney notes. Also a pleasant grassiness into the finish, which departs a bit from what I expected.

M: A somewhat full-bodied feel. Carbonation is soft and creamy. A flash of dry bitterness into the finish.

D: Ho-hum....another delicious specialty IPA from the folks at Sierra Nevada. I wonder if they get bored of brewing these big, fresh, beers all the time. I'd guess not, and I'm certainly not tired of drinking them. A very nice, juicy, grassy IPA that's worth seeking out.

Photo of HitokiriNate85
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber.

A - Clear, burnt orange with a golden tinge. Semi-rocky off-white head.

S - Big grassy, slighty herbal notes. Slightly spicy with toasted malt in the background. The fresh hops are the key player here, though, and really shine through.

T - The nose follows straight through here. The grassy/floral notes are really strong. Bitterness is lower than I expected since this is listed as an IPA, but it's there. There's a solid malt backbone that's slightly toasted and bready. Really, though, everything seems set up to showcase the flavors of the fresh hops.

MF - Fuller than the average IPA, with a creaminess that's really nice. Slightly sticky in the finish.

D - Pretty good. I won't have any trouble finishing the bomber. I think if it was on the dry side, drinkability would be even better. Pretty nicely priced for my area at $6 per bomber. I rarely get bombers cheaper than that, honestly.

Photo of Pedro07
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had an urge for some Sierra Nevada tonight...mmm hops!

A- Pours a rather somewhat clear amber-rust color. A slightly off-white head rises to a gorgous inch and sloooowly drops. Lots of lovely lacing all the way down the glass!

S- Well, I get hops. What else do you want from a beer labeled as a "wet" hop ale? The hops are pungent, yet not overbearing. If hops ina beer can have a "smooth" aroma, these do and not in a bad way! I get tangerines and grass...:)

T- This one doesn't bite on the tip of the tounge. Then again, this isn't an over the top double IPA, just a beer with really good, really, really fresh hops. The taste is of grapefruit...not a whole lot of earth...a little grass like in the nose. Well balanced actually.

M- Great mouthfeel. The beer is very well balanced in this department. It definitly feels like I'm drinking a solid ale, yet it's not too chewey.

D- Yes, this is some good stuff. I won't turn it down.

Overall, I dig Sierra Nevada. They do harmonious things with hops. I prefer the Southern Hemisphere on taste, but this one is lovely!

Photo of Buebie
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I feel privileged that I'm able to get this beer every year!

Poured from a 24 ounce brown bottle into a pub glass. Off the pour a 2'' off white foamy head builds up, somewhat slow to recede and leave a thin cap and thick collar. Lace is thick with sticky webbing all around.
The liquid itself is a transparent amber, glowing bright when held to light.

Aroma is pungent with dank hops, pine, rind and spiceie onions, earthy and weed filled.

Taste following aroma, only more strongly and so much more fulfilling! Dank weed, resin, hops are hard to explain here, its extremely flavorful and yet not overpowering bitters. Much like drinking vamp blood in the show true blood, I can taste the earth these hop vines grew in (if you have not seen the show u will not get this at all without me sounding loony)
Still malt comes forward, bready with caramel, toasted bread crust, burnt sugars, mustard seeds, ahh its wonderful.
The finish is an excellerant of hop bitterness and lemon rind that lingers long time and loves you long time.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with moderate carbonation. Not thin, but light. Not light, but thin. No wait...the other way around.

Highly recommend, as always.

Photo of PretzelsNBeer
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz I see the hazy orange/amber beer form a nice white head at the top of my pint glass. The smell of the beer lends a hoppy spiciness smell and gets you ready for the flavor that's about to ensue. Not sure what to expect from a wet hopped beer, I'm pleasantly surprised at the freshness of this beer. As I tasted it, there's a malty initial taste followed by the hops. Real nice fresh hoppy flavor comes through which gives way to a citrus and spicey flavor. Overall, it's a very nice balance between the malt and hops. There is a touch of bitterness in the finish but that's definitely a good thing. The mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied. The body of the beer, the balance and smell make this beer a very drinkable IPA from SN. Not that I expected anything less. A real nice flavorful beer with a great balance of flavor, body and aroma. This is a beer you can settle into for the evening and sample a few from the luxury of your own home.

Photo of mooseisloose
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber. I love SNBC bombers, they are the full 24 oz. not 2 oz short like all other bombers (even my own home brew hehe). Bottle smell is a crispy hoppiness followed by an intertwined maltiness. Pours to a yellow brown with a nice two finger micro bubble head. Taste is indeed hoppy but the bitterness is accompanied by a brown sugar maltiness. Great backbone. Very consistent from start to finish, with a tad more bitterness in the finish. Most definitely a hop lovers beer. Great aroma, flavor and bitterness. SNBC never dissapoints, I'm glad almost all of what they make, I think, is available here in FL.

Photo of bum732
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper orange, nice creamy head with decent retention and lacing. Smells of resiny grapefruity hops, some grassy and floral aromas, touch of breadiness, little sulfur. Tastes of very green and grassy hops accented with a very lemony and spicy bitterness. Wow, the finish is huge with resiny hops, grassiness, hemp even. Just enough malt to balance the hops, but just barely, they serve only as a footnote. Finish is slick with resiny qualities and bitter lemon and citrus fruits. Mouthfeel fairly average, good carbonation.

This baby was very fresh, all the chemicals in the hops were here to play. It was almost a little overwhelming, i was hoping for some maltiness to at least balance some of the hops. But wow, extremely unique and a must try.

Photo of jsh420
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

13th release

pours clear redish copper with a big pillowy 2+ finger head - great retention - glass caked with lacing

smells of citrus and earthy hops some spice as well along with some sweet carmel malt

taste is great - big juicy citrus hops (not overpowering just juicy) good amount of pepper in the hops - solid malt back bone

mouthfeel was a bit of a let down - no real bite like most SN brews - felt a little flat - it was very smooth and creamy

drinkability - i have yet to have i beer from SA where i did not want another one - its just too bad i only bought one - live & learn

Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Looks promising. Nice head, amber/copper color...

Smell: Smells VERY enticing. Like wet, gooey, aromatic sticky hop buds. Really, I think the smell is the halo around the crown here, the highlighting character.

Taste: An exceptional blend between malt and hops. Right amount of malt for the right amount of hops. Very balanced- earns my respects. Love the fresh hop character, similar to dry hopping, only more complex. Wet hops seem to adhere to the malt stonger, thus creating a more homogenous and well balanced beer. There are elements here not present in dry hopping. More earthness, which equals, more smoothness in the transition from hops to malt.

M: A nicely balanced malt and hop blend. Not too watery, not too thick, rightly carbonated. Masters of the trade, point in case.

Drinkability: I'm on my first cup, wouldn't want to over do it, but it would be easy! Just sayin', it's quality stuff.

Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

13th release.

Poured a copper color with a small, white head. Smell is hoppy, but not the pine and citrus I was expecting. Taste is very well balanced, with lots of caramel and biscuity malt to go with a strong hop flavor. I am once again not getting much pine or citrus in the taste. It is more of an earthy hop aroma. A very well put together IPA.

Photo of TheFlern
4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

13th Release

Appearance: Lots of thick white head, good lacing. Golden amber pour. Beautiful, just wish it wasn't filtered.

Smell: Lots of great hop aromas. Its a great mixture of pine, floral, and citrus notes of hop deliciousness!

Taste: Just great. I can only expect this to get better with a little aging. The taste is just balanced enough to get a 5. Lots of hop but its not overpowering and that is nice.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a great aftertaste and feel. It finishes clean.

Drinkability: For the price compared to the Sierra Nevada estate brew this is a steal. This is far superior to any of the Sierra Nevada IPAs and should be experienced by any lover of good IPAs. High ABV aside this beer would be too tasty not to be drinking it as long as possible.

Photo of dudecandle
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark copper-brown coloring with a small one-finger head. It lasted a couple minutes, left a good cap.
The smell and taste were both distinctly defined by the wonderfully resiny hops, but in neither case did it overpower. The malt backbone was still pleasantly sweet, toasty, with a bit of citrus involved, slight fruit. The hops were there but not to an off-putting degree of over-abundance, as would be expected from an IPA or more aggressive APA's.
It was a bit one-noted, but I couldn't get enough of it. Every sip is enjoyable and strongly encourages another. This beer is perfect for any occasion: slightly dry and distinctly hoppy, while still well-balanced and a bit fruity.

Photo of BeerNinja007
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

13th release. 24oz bottle poured into O'Douls pint glass.

Orange-brown brew, 2-fingers of taupe lacy head. Lots of lace on the glass. Promising combination of intense hop and malt aromas, very aromatic... grass, pine, and dark sugars most prominent. Taste is much drier than the smell, really dominated by complex hop flavors... bitter orange (which is huge), grass, pine, lemon. Orange and pine linger long in the finish. Mouthfeel is moderate, a little on the thin side. Finish is very dry in a good, hoppy, way.

I'd like to see more malt backing up these awesome hops. It is a bit on the thin side, especially for a fall release. This type of body would be more appropriate for spring/summer.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper with a tight, rising off white head that leaves a beautiful lacing on the glass.

Smells of mostly some citrus, floral hops and a little malty bread.

Tastes of the hops upfront that are followed by a bready toasted malt. The hops are "fresh" and have a bit of a grassy kind of flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little thin and I wish it was a little more full.

Photo of zplug123
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into a pint glass:

A: Light caramel color, great head retention with plenty of lacing. Very clear

S: Little aroma, hops is present along with a touch of slightly roasted malt.

T: Apparent hops, pine/grapefruit with some earth/toasted/caramel notes. Bitterness is even and long-lived throughout the entire taste.

M: Medium bodied, enough carbonation to help the bite of hops. Leaves the signature resin feeling on the tongue

D: A well made wet-hopped beer, could have another glass or two. Sierra Nevada continues its reputation for distinguished brews

Photo of ski271
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mostly clear medium amber with a medium-large, foamy, off-white head that slowly diminishes to a thin lasting head. Very nice lacing. Smell just as the label describes, huge juicy hops aromas that put a face on my face. Malts presence is of course not center-stage here but offers enough in the nose to balance it out. The taste is more of the same, Huge pine and citrus over a light sweet malt backbone. Bitter and cloying? Very. And not in a bad way at all. I was tasting this for an hour after finishing it.

Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the 13th release, I'm not sure I should add just another release to the list so I will refrain this time. Beer released in 2009. Beer is poured from a bottle into a goblet. Beer is amber / copper in color and forms a thin white head that falls away leaving a little lacing on the glass. Minimal to no haze at all.

Beer has a mild aroma, really mild in fact. Almost nothing to note. A vague sense of hops, maybe some malts, a pretty clean smelling beer.

Beer is bitter on the back end but only slightly. The mouthfeel is a little thin. Not a lot happening in the midpalate or front mouth areas as far as this beer. Second taste time, some funk in there as well. Not a well balanced hoppy ale, sorry SN. A slight miss IMO. Drinkability is fine, although the bitterness builds on you. Its mediocre, I expect more from you SN.

Photo of rfgetz
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber/copper color, with full off-white head. Decent retention & lacing. Smell is fresh, spicy and piney hops with hints of carmel, as well as floral and citrus hops. Upfront taste is a spicy and piney bitter hop blend, smooth carmel malts, toasted grains and hints of floral and citrus hops present. Feel is medium body, slightly sticky and coating with good carbonation. Another good beer from Sierra Nevada that shows the different things you can do with grains and hops.

Photo of zdk9
3.55/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- The liquid is a light orange color toned as canned manderin syrup. Head is about 2 fingers of fluffy uneven foam. Loads of lacing coat the glass- sheets on some parts and bands on others.

S- Very hoppy on the aroma. Earthy, like rich compost, claylike, some dried grass, or even straw. Orange tinted shortcake.

T- Much grassier on the tongue than the nose. And also much maltier. Other flavors include some bitter orange pith, borderline grapefruit, and some bready sweet syrupyness.

M- Pretty bitter for my tastes. I understand it but I don't really like it.

D- Good, tasty. Complex enough. Not a knock you off your socks kind of beer but one I'm glad I drank.

Photo of jjanega08
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a nice lighter amber color with a beautiful huge off white head. The head is ridiculous this baby stays around throughout the entire drink and leaves great lacing on the glass. Really nice looking head on it. The color is just average as far as I'm concerned though.
S= citrus and grass hops... what more do you expect from it. There is actually a bit of underlying malty sweetness however. lots of caramel I pick up. Smells like fresh hops for sure but more so green and grassy with a lot of some sort of fresh cut grass than a lot of hop punch. The punch that it does have is very citrusy.
T= The hops are the highlight of this beer but it still seems like they are too grassy. I loved the fresh plant taste from founders harvest ale but this one tastes more bland I guess. Not enough AA? I don't know what the problem is to tell you the truth but it just doesn't have the punch I'm looking for. Very nice malty balance to it while still being a completely hop centric beer. The hops are very grassy like I mentioned and sort of have a hint of overripe orange to it.
M= Really nice and crisp. not bad. good amount of carbonation for a beer that is hop centric.
D= Not too bad. the only complaint I have the the grassy hop taste didn't have enough punch for me. Torpedo had too much punch and this had to little... The thing I don't like about this beer may be that it tastes like the shitty hops one of my neighbors gave me this year... I'm grateful for the hops and they are great for something like dry hopping but the AA isn't there.

Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,341 ratings.