Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,956 | Reviews: 1,436 | Display Reviews Only:
3.88/5 rDev -7.6%
First time I've ever had the grand-daddy of all wet hop ales. It's light copper in color with a long-lasting head; the bouquet is very flowery, with a strong, neutral (ie generalized) hop smell. Similarly, the biting hop start is pronounced and has a nice juiciness to it. There's a light tinge of alcohol on the finish; the aftertaste is bitter and enduring. You'll have to search for any malt presence to speak of, but that's not really what this beer is about is it? A wonderfully refreshing APA that is a great showcase for hops. There are better 'wet hop' beers out there, but Harvest Ale is a classic, unrepenting introduction to the beauties of the hop.
11-17-2007 22:05:58 | More by benito
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
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.
11-17-2007 21:57:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.25/5 rDev -22.6%
Drank from a 24 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
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.
11-17-2007 16:53:12 | More by Damian
4.18/5 rDev -0.5%
24 oz bottle, 07 edition.
Clear copper with a long lasting tanish head and sticky lace.
Sweet caramel aroma with a solid background of citrusy and earthy hops.
Flavor starts out with a carmel malt sweetness, followed up by a well balanced attack of juicy grapefruit and light sweet earthy hops, with a little spice in the mix.
Finish is long and grapefruity bitter.
11-17-2007 07:04:58 | More by Padron4KM
4.35/5 rDev +3.6%
A - Pours up golden amber with gold highlights. A thick head lasts a long time. The head has a greenish cast?
S - fresh, grassy hops dominate.
T - Starts of with a hint of malt, but piney hops replace it. Leaves a nich hop tingle on the tongue in the finish. Very smooth.
M - Full mouthfeel.
D - Despite the aroma, deceptively smooth. More than one at a time? maybe. Very nice.
11-17-2007 03:57:10 | More by hiikeeba
3.78/5 rDev -10%
A very drinkable beer. Great with spicy foods.
A: Typicaly for APA styles. Foams up pretty good and keeps some head.
S: Piney goodness
T: Definitely a West Coast Style. Hops dominate thoughout without any other tastes.
M: Very light on the palate.
D: A great session beer
A good above average harvest beer.
11-17-2007 03:18:42 | More by wardough
3.9/5 rDev -7.1%
A 24 oz bottle from a recent trade with PBRstreetgang.
A: The ale is a brilliant copper color, deeper burnt siena color at the wider sections of the glass and orange at the narrower parts. The head on pour was huge, and luckily the Troegenator mug was more than able to handle the 4 fingers of foam. As a result of the foam explosion, lace clings to the side of the glass.
S: The ale has a well-balanced profile of maltiness and fresh hops. While both are in balance, neither one stands out and gets me fired up.
T: The bitterness of the hops is evident from the first sip. The piney and citrusy flavors grip the tongue and don't let go. The hops are not overwhelmingly strong but they do manage to block out any maltiness. Only as the ale warms does the finish reveal some cereal graininess. I like the hops up front but they lack a certain oomph.
M: The mouthfeel is nicely built on the hops. The bitterness that they convey is nice but a little to strong to be a great harvest ale.
D: As an APA, this is a nice drink. I'd like to see a little more wet hop flavor, as the uniqueness of the flavor makes for a great drink.
11-17-2007 03:04:46 | More by akorsak
4.5/5 rDev +7.1%
2007 Edition, from the 24 oz. bottle.
Gloriously good. It reminds me of a fresh hop beer I had while at the Bridgeport Brewpub in Oregon.
The dominant thing here is not surprisingly hops, however, what makes this special is that the hops are more floral and aromatic than bitter. I can pick up bits of resiny pine and something sorta herbal... well the only thing I know to compare it to is, well, the smell of an herb related to hops which will go nameless.
As far as drinkability goes, I don't think I could have too many of these. I love this beer but I could have only so many before my tastebuds are blasted to smithereens. There's a lot going on here and it truly is that good.
11-16-2007 04:52:21 | More by jmbranum
4.88/5 rDev +16.2%
24oz. bottle - 2007 edition
Pours a clear copper color with a creamy eggshell head that thins. Thick, sticky lacing on the glass.
A faint hint of caramel malt among layers of fantastic hop smells. Citrusy, grassy, floral, and just extremely fresh smelling.
A nice, chewy, caramel malt base that somehow manages to survive among a complex blend of hop flavors. Citrus, floral, grassy, and plenty of IBUs to boot. Superbly balanced and fresh tasting.
Medium body, creamy texture.
Wow, what a great brew. Really showcases the flavors that can be produced with fresh hops, and does so with a masterful level of balance. The 24 ounce bottle goes down as fast as if it were just 12.
11-16-2007 03:18:24 | More by MaltyGoodness
3.95/5 rDev -6%
24oz bottle purchased for $4 from Clarendon Wines in Boston. Pours a clear, medium copper with ample head. Terrific lacing. Nice fresh hop aroma, but I have a feeling it would be much stronger if this was on draught. Flavour is quite nice - with fresh hops upfront. I'm enjoying this quite a bit more than the Harpoon Glacier Harvest Wet Hop beer.
11-16-2007 02:38:40 | More by sstackho
4.43/5 rDev +5.5%
Poured out a fairly clear amber brew with a 2 finger head. Smells of hops as soon as i pop the cap off,,hell yea. Smells of floral citrusy hoppage,,really nice smell.Taste is very good,excellent use of hops make this anIPA that possibly people that arent into IPAs like.Mouthfeel is nice.This is a vey likable drink,,Sierra Nevada should make this all the time. Good Stuff!!!
11-16-2007 02:07:08 | More by tweeder263
4.38/5 rDev +4.3%
Now THIS is a freakin harvest ale one needs to try!
Starts out with a spectacular pour; a clear ruby copper with a never-ending ivory pillow floating on top lacing like a boot on the way down.
Aroma is a hop farm to enjoy, even some spices that can bite though the nose. Quaff had a rich malty start, even a touch of chocolate in there. Finishes with a push of floral hop.
Nice medium bodied brew that had a bit of an oily finish.
Smooth and tasty, and not a bad buy at $4.50 for a 24oz jug bottle at almost 7% alcohol.
11-15-2007 14:49:24 | More by Vancer
3.8/5 rDev -9.5%
Sierra Nevada Harvest 07 pours a clear amber color in the glass with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly down to a thick sheet on the beer which lasts most of the way to the bottom of the glass. A fair amount of netted lace clings to the sides.
The aroma is mainly grassy and citrus hops with an odd vegetal aroma mixed in. Some sweet malt can also be detected. Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and slightly chewy. The flavor begins with sweet caramel and pale malt. Slightly bready. Towards the middle the hops move in with grass and citrus flavors that balance out all the malt quite well. It finishes rather bitter and leaves behind some citrus hop flavors when gone.
This is a well balanced, tasty beer. Other than the odd notes I picked up in the aroma this would make a great everyday APA.
11-15-2007 00:14:03 | More by WanderingFool
3.7/5 rDev -11.9%
11th Edition poured into a Greene King IPA pint glass. Huge thick head that likes to linger around with significant lacing on the sides. Delicious looking bright amber colored ale almost crystal clear. Very handsome looking.
I was expecting hop aroma in the Boom to Kaboom range, instead it's more of a pop. The usual pine and citrus mixed in with a lump of grass and some brown tea.
Flavor is dry and bitter with lingering hop resins, more like an IPA than an APA. There are hints of biscuit and caramel, not very significant. Mouth feel is at the heavy end for an APA (really thought this was an IPA until I looked).
Overall I thought this was a slightly above average pale ale. I'm glad I had the opportunity to try it, but I'd rather have an Anniversary or Celebration Ale.
11-14-2007 06:01:46 | More by SafeAtFirst
3.8/5 rDev -9.5%
Three finger off-tan head over a clear, but fuzzy particulated brown-copper liquid. Head settled to a fine and clingy layer. Beautiful head, I wish I could get something like that in my homebrew. Smells orange hoppy grassy with sweet caramel and tropical esters. Pencil erasers, seriously. Alcohol is noticable.
Tastes well made in intensity for malt sweet and hops. Sweet is stronger than the hops, but they are in reasonable balance for the style. Malt is strongest up from with hop flavor hitting in the middle and barely staying stonger than the drying flat hop bitter that rises late. Aftertaste dries with gentle and a very clean alcohol. Hop flavor is woody and oranges. Add in the green fibery hop bitter and I'm not a fan. Really rough on the cohumulone or grassiness, such that it's beginning to wear. Esters are present...not quite pineapple, but the light and playful character found can find a pineapple, if you take out the acid punch.
Md-light body with a thicker mouthfeel than I would expect. Touch a creaminess that I like. Drinkablilty is moderate for me.
As the beer warms the malt sweet shows a come-back in the finish that really helps things out.
11-14-2007 03:21:54 | More by mentor
4.03/5 rDev -4%
Nice copper color with a half inch head that has great retention that leaves some stickly lacing. Smell is as expected, hops, mostly on the piney side. I had a full case of these and this is one of the last 2. Early on the hops had a really fresh smell, now with some age on it, it comes across slightly metallic. Taste again is piney hops with a sligth metallic tinge. Again when it was fresh it was outstanding, now it has dropped to mearly a good level. Overall I thought this was a great beer and really enjoyed a case of it. Only complaint is that it dosn't age real well but that is to be expected with a hoppy beer like this one. Get it fresh next year and enjoy it.
11-14-2007 01:22:47 | More by beermanbrian
4.43/5 rDev +5.5%
24oz bottle into pint glass.
Pours a very nice ruby red. Has a huge fluffy white head. Sticky sheets of icing like lace cover the edges of the glass.
Smell is of oily grassy hops and sweet malts.
Taste, this is a malt bomb! Big malt presence with nice grassy hops that do just enough to balance it out.
Overall, I've been looking forward to trying this one and was not disappointed in the least. A very tasty beer that I will be getting every year it comes out from now on.
11-13-2007 00:08:38 | More by bluegrassbrew
4/5 rDev -4.8%
Last year I had this brew on tap but had not reviewed it at that time. This year I was able to track this brew down bottled. This brew poured to a copper color that had amber highlights, had a nice sized off white head that had good retention and left a fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aromas, as expected, really show off the hops which give a very nice floral scent but also noticeable is a nice malt sweetness that gives it a very inviting scent. The taste, is very good, the hops really stand out here as they seem to coat the mouth quite well leaving a hop residue and linger at the tail end. In the beginning the malt flavor does stick out and with that start and the hop finish it seems to be ell balanced. This is a very good brew, nice one to bridge the fall till the winter when the celebration ale makes its appearance.
11-12-2007 19:28:36 | More by Stimack
4.6/5 rDev +9.5%
24 oz. brown bottle with 2007 noted on the neck label. Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass.
Appearance: coppery orange colored body with a sticky, craggy, foamy beige colored head. the lacing never dies throughout the entire beer. Tiny, micro bubble carbonation.
Smell: big time fresh, piney resinous hop scents along with juicy grapefruit rinds, sweet toffee and caramel.
Taste: lots of resiny hops with a bite of deep bitter citrus rind is equalled by a sweet caramel malt base. Alcohol at the finish is well hidden.
Mouthfeel: silky and soft creaminess with gentle carbonation in a full bodied brew. Bitterness of the hops lingers on the tongue.
Drinkability: the fresh enjoyable taste is accentuated by a wonderful mouthfeel. I would love to have this all year round.
11-12-2007 17:08:49 | More by Procrastinator
4.15/5 rDev -1.2%
OMG. This beer is incredible. It pours a light brown color, clear and not cloudy at all. Absolutely love the color. Frothy white head that laces all the way down the glass. Aroma is incredible. This is my first fresh hop beer and I am blown away. Truly unique aroma. Fresh flowery bouquet, rich and deep, some sweetness, bready, and a bit peppery. Flavor is again unique. A whole different type of bitterness here. Fresh. Sort of a light hop bite, but very much upfront if that makes any sense. Again, a very rich hop experience. Very well done. A nice malty backbone here too and bready.
11-12-2007 02:40:42 | More by ahking
4.63/5 rDev +10.2%
Wowee! Exceptional beer. This is way better than the Celebration. This is much softer and rounder. wish it were sitting on my lap. mmmm. The hops arent so sharp and are in harmony with the malts. Lots of lace with a nice head. Clear amber color. Nice nose. Earthy without fruitiness. Extremely drinkable. Great finish.
11-12-2007 00:19:56 | More by drpimento
4.4/5 rDev +4.8%
I've averaged my numerical ratings from the different iterations of this that I've tried, notes are below.
11th edition of this fresh hop beer, I poured it into a pint glass.
A: Beautiful packaging. Yellow amber with 1 finger of head. When held to the light, it has a nice yellow at the edges and bottom, and amber at the center. A good layer of head is retained.
S: Hard to get a read on it since it is mingling with the fruit olive oil smell on the stove. Difficult to decipher citrus smell - after tasting it it is easier to smell. A lovely spicy aroma.
T: Bready with a pleasant bitterness along the edges of my tongue. A great bitter finish in the center back of my tongue. Tastes like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but more bready. Were fresh Cascade hops used?
M: Effervescent, clean, crisp.
D: Highly drinkable
Notes on 13th edition also poured into pint glass -
A: Same as 11th
S: I would describe the aroma as restrained floral, with some citrus - smells delicious.
T: Bitter, crisp, clean, fruity, tasty. Not west coast hoppy at first though it comes in later. EIPA at first even. A bit of perfumey alcohol.
M: Bitter, Breathy perfumey alcohol
D: Gimme more.
11-11-2007 20:37:08 | More by dfillius
4.47/5 rDev +6.4%
So glad they bottled this year's.
24 ounce bottle, shaker pint.
A - A nice clear amber color. Two fingers of off white head sitcking out over the top of the glass. A beautiful looking pale ale. Lots of tiny bubbles rush to feed the head. Head cakes up a little in the middle and has awesome staying power. sporadic lacing, with a full finger of the cakey head remaining throughout the whole pint. Gotta love fresh hops.
S - Big aroma of fresh hops. Loads of pine with a citrusy tinge. Some tea like aroma as well. Very nice smell.
T - More fresh hops on the taste. Loving the citrus notes that play off some piny flavor. Nice bitterness gives it a great finish, but is not overwhelming.
M - Light to medium in body with fairly lively carbonation.
D - The fresh hop taste is always one I want to quaff. Glad I can get my hands on this brew this year.
11-11-2007 04:57:37 | More by EStreet20
3.83/5 rDev -8.8%
24 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Tall, chunky head that tries to escape the glass. Thick chunks of lace stick to the glass. Nice clear copper red color.
Smell is a mild hops citrus. This is a little disappointing. I was expecting a much larger kick based on the description on the label. Taste has more hops presence, with a mild malt backbone.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, though it drinks very easily. Good beer, but I don't think it lives up to the "extreme" hype on the label.
11-11-2007 04:43:28 | More by bort11
3.58/5 rDev -14.8%
2007 Edition - 24 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.
A: Clear amber in color with a nice thick head that settled into creamy dense lumps of foam. Great lacing on the sides of the glass as I drink it.
S: As promised, smells of very fresh hops. There is also a sweetness under the hops.
T: Very pleasant hoppiness that is balanced with some malt sweetness. Leaves a slight bitter taste in your mouth which is good for the style and expected for a "fresh hop" beer.
M: Nice and creamy but maybe a little overcarbonated.
D: This glass is disappearing quickly and the other half of the bottle will soon follow but the hop bitterness is starting to catch up with me.
11-11-2007 03:24:22 | More by thisisbigrob
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,956 ratings.