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

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

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1,471 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,471
Hads: 3,418
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 5.04%
Wants: 192
Gots: 198 | 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
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Reviews: 1,471 | Hads: 3,418
Photo of lovesweatbeers
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: It has a beautiful amber color. There is a thin lacy head that lingers like nobody's business. It sticks to the glass 'til the end.

Smell: The beer smells of hops and light citrus, but there's not a big kick of either grapefruit or clove. It's a blend of fragrances.

Taste: It's bitter. It starts bitter and ends bitter. However, the flavor-to-bitter ratio is perfectly balanced. It's not like those beers that are bitter for the sake of bitter. No, this dog has bite to match the bark. It is also heavy in both malt and hops. The malt is more caramel - not overly roasted.

Mouthfeel: It is moderate to high in carbonation, but not overdone. It's also very smooth.

Drinkability: It's so drinkable that my hubby and I both enjoy it... crazy. (756 characters)

Photo of twigfarm
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not going to get into a detailed review here - just my impressions. Please see other entries for more in-depth write-ups.

We just got the 13th Release of this ale in on Thursday,10/08/09, in 24oz. bottles (I work at a large liquor store with a great beer department in CT) so my sample is about as fresh a bottle as I'm going to see out here on the east coast. Poured into a typical straight-sided, slightly flared pint glass (which happened to be branded Sierra Nevada), this ale had a very attractive orangery hue with a nice, firm, three-finger head when poured not-too-aggressively. Head retention was decent but would probably have been better had I used a 20 oz. tulip-shaped glass - my favorite vessel for seriously tasting & drinking beer.

Right away my initial impression was that this was a much better balanced IPA than their Torpedo offering which in my opinion is ALL grapefruit and very little else. The Wet Hop Ale had a very well-balanced citrus/grapefruit taste with a really nice hint of mandarin giving it that extra something. Much more complex than the Torpedo, it reminded me more of an English-style IPA than of an American, depending on your definition of the two. This ale had great "bounce" in the mouth with a wonderful mouth-feel that may have been due - in part or in whole - to the use of wet hops. This is one of my first "wet hop" ales so I'm not entirely sure this is a result of their use.
I love all things hops & IPA and the Harvest Wet Hop Ale is a winner in my book. It's interesting, keeps your interest and in my opinion definitely merits a strong "A", especially considering the price/performance ratio (24oz. bottle retails for $4.29 in our shop).

Is there a downside to this brew? Absolutely not!. Pick up a bottle & enjoy!

Dave (1,780 characters)

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: huge head on an easy pour and very sticky lacing. The color is a deep red. It looks very fresh.
S: has a pine and faint citrus smell and a distant sweet apple aroma creeping in.
T: has a strong hoppy pine taste with some floral and citrus tastes. The aftertaste has a fresh hop oil taste that lingers for a while.
M/D: I was surprised that this brew wasn't more bitter and drying. It was really smooth with some hitter mouth later on that is not really bothersome. The drinkability is good for sipping slowly and savoring. (525 characters)

Photo of zakyj
4.73/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle into pint glass

A - Light copper color with an excellent 2 finger thick creamy white head. absolute excellent retention with superb lacing through out.

S - Floral bitter goodness.

T - perfection could almost describe it. Bitterness is complemented by the citrus-y hint that follows. this brew really embodies what a wet hop should be about.

M - Excellent medium body. Bitter beginning with a citrus-y taste finish. Coats the pallet perfectly. Bottom line; this is the way its suppose to be. find it now. (515 characters)

Photo of magnod
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got a bottle from the local store and was very impressed with this beer. It cured my harvest beer blues after I was let down by Hop Trip.

A: Good solid deep amber color.
S: Excellent floral smell. You can pick up the freshness of the hops with some light grassy notes.
T: Very well balanced. Strong malty backbone that carries a good complex hop bitterness. The hop characteristics evolve as it sits in your mouth highlighted by an early floral bouquet down to its underlying bitter end notes.
M: Deep body and satisfying feel in your mouth.
D: Very good harvest style beer. Get it early while it last. (605 characters)

Photo of william5586
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- Pours a rich tan color. Darker and richer than the SN pale ale. Two fingers of head that subsides to a ring around the edge of the glass and some foam int he middle. Leaves some sticky lace as you drink.

S- Amazing hop aroma.

T- Pine hops like in the SN pale ale are there but seem more mellow. Some sweetness at the start which is nicely balanced by the bitter finish.

M- Medium body. Amazingly smooth. I cannot find the words to give it any justice. its just so smooth. Almost a creamy feel.

D- I could think all year long if only it was available. (598 characters)

Photo of bilyboy65
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Possibly one of the best AIPAs that I have ever had.

Beautiful crisp copper color. Good thick light tan head. Left a level mark on the glass with every pull. Good film too. A nice hoppy-creamy bready nose. The taste is a little bitter, but the hops and yeast really come together. Makes a nice sweet bread taste. Smooth on the tongue with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep the flavors dancing.

I will look for this one again. (437 characters)

Photo of ajhod
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into two room temp pint glasses from a the 24 oz bottle shown. Bottle purchased in New Hampshire two weeks ago and carried to NS by hand.

Pours with a thick creamy slightly tan head, lingers for the whole pint.

Aroma is of fresh, fresh hops. Amazing and bright.

Bitter and upfront with the hops, very assertive and amazingly fresh tasting. Lingering sweetness balances out the hops.

Heavy in the mouth, coats the tongue, but the alpha acid cuts through it well.

Strong in ABV and in flavour. A good beer to enjoy slowly, but hard to drink several in a row.

This is an amazing beer. It is filled with the type of fresh hop aroma that you get when you crush freshly harvested hops in your palms. Reminds me of hop picking day last season at my house!

Thanks for this beer! (784 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (389 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Crisp, golden amber pour unleashes a dense and creamy off white head that retains majestically and leaves thick lace everywhere.

Aroma is a sweet perfume of dripping green hops, resinous and oily. There's a semi-sweet malt presence but this nose is all about the hops.

Nice golden malt entry leads to complex hop flavors that are fruity, citrussy, and remind me of bubblegum. There's a piney level to the bitterness that is very sprucey. Well balanced and delicious.

Body is perfectly medium, smooth, and oh so quaffable. I could drink this any time, anywhere. Too bad they don't bottle it. (599 characters)

Photo of phishgator
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Beautiful amber hue with a foamy white head that dissipates to lace the glass. Carbonation is very evident. The aroma is fresh mowed grass, fields of grain blowing in a spring breeze, and a floral hoppy flower. The taste is hop oil mixed with more hop oil and then a malt backbone that tells you its there, but faintly. The oils coat the mouth from start to finish. The body is medium to full. I would drink this every day until my tastebuds were completely burned out. (495 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12th Release - 2008
Wet Hop Ale

pours a copper color with a huge frothy and bubbly cream colored head. great retentive lacing. the nose is a nice bouquet of floral hops, mildly spicy hops, piney hops, subtle sweet malts. the taste is piney hops, sweet malts, nice bitterness, kicks you in the tongue with spicy hops, slight citrus in the finish. a very crisp brew. tastes like a hoppy American Red Ale. medium body, medium spritzy carbo, semi dry finish (454 characters)

Photo of NCSUdo
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

24 oz bottle

A: Crystal clear amber under a huge chunky head due to too vigorous of a pour on my part. Head really sticks around due to my pour. It eventually dies down to cover to the top of the beer with a decent amout still clinging to the sides of the glass to remind me where it was.

S: Nice hoppy nose. Not overpowering at all. Nice piney with a certain citrus bite. Good balance but a little lacking.

T: Though the smell was a little short, this beer makes up for and then some once you pour it into your mouth. Incredible taste. This may be one of the most impressive tasting beers I've ever had. Balance is not the word for how this beer feels and tastes. A very nice malt sweetness up front flows smoothly into a hop bitterness to finish. The bitterness is not overpowering at all. Some hints of a citrus fruitiness but nothing specific that I can pin my finger on. You can really taste the hops in this one which is exactly what you should expect. Not like eating a hop bud, but like eating hop soup where the base is a mildly sweet beer. Incredible. If I could give a 6 for taste, I would.

M/D: Meduim bodied with surprisingly little carbonation noticable on the palate. For an APA, you feel like you are drinking a slighly heavier beer, and I think this is a good thing. Drinkability is way up there with this one.

One damn fine beer. I could probably drink one after another if my life depended on it, or if I just had more than one 24 oz. bottle in the fridge. If you see this one, pick it up, you will not be sorry. (1,537 characters)

Photo of smulkowski
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 24 oz. bomber into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Lacy, dark amber, strong milky head.

Smell: Phenomenal. West Coast IPA with more subtle and floral undertones...pine, grapefruit, lilac.

Taste: Strong hop bite fades to soft biscuity malts, smooth and balanced, fades on the palate from bity to smooth to bitter. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Soft, supple body. Wonderful hop harshness fades into this again.

Drinkability: As good as could be reasonably expected from such a flavorful brew. (494 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking for this one for a long time.... From what I've heard 2007 is the first bottled edition(the 11th overall), whether or not this is the truth I'm glad I've finally a pint of this in front of me.

Eye: Very strong head. Great head formation, retention and lacing. They do not get better than this. Color is crystal clear copper with gold highlights and the head is a creamy tainted white. This is an optical orgasm.

Nose: Rich, rich hops. This brew has a very heavy and strong hop aroma. Hops are citrusy and floral, much more than any I've ever smelt in an APA before. This beer isn't all just in your face hop aroma though. It has a very strong malt backbone. I mean, this one is very strong, holds the brew together, very three dimensional. Sweet malt aromas, toastiness and some caramel make up the backbone of this brew.

Tongue: The brew is very clean in flavor. Lots of floral and citrus hop flavor in the dry finish of this one. For me its pretty hard to taste anything past the hops, but eventually I find that there is some of the sweet malt flavors there as well as a bit of warm slightly toasted flavor. Don't really taste that much caramel, maybe my nose or tongue is off-aroma vs.flavor? A sense of bitterness lingers after the flavor has diminished.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This beer has a full body and is appropriately carbonated. As mentioned before it finishes with a somewhat dry character, and leaves the mouth watering, wanting more. This is a brew that I perceive to be heavier in body than most APAs, I like that. This is a brew that I'd not hesitate to buy again, though I'll have to wait a year to buy it again. Before I come back to this one I'd definitely like to try some other fresh hop ales and see how they compare. This is definitely an offering from Sierra Nevada that you don't want to miss out on. (1,850 characters)

Photo of laglocal
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass (24oz bomber)

A: Slightly amberish for a pale, this poured a great white/off white head that retained then dissipated slowly leaving elegant lacing down the glass. The quality of hops is evident.

S: Hops forward with a bit of grain. Maybe just a hint of malt.

T: Just delicious. Hops are obviously the centerpoint of this brew but the malt is there, and this beer is extremely balanced and delicious. Almost a creamy aspect to it, which is not how I ever thought I would describe a pale. Drinkable as all hell but worth savoring, I have already mentally committed to going back to get more of this.

M: Excellent carbonation, could literally drink this all day. Finish lingers and hops build in your palate gradually as you work your way through this gorgeous tasty brew

Overally, this is truly one of the best hop experiences I have had, maybe its placebo but there is something just so damn delicious about this beer. (948 characters)

Photo of sloejams
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For some reason, I expected a beer with subtle hop character and limited flavor. I was all sorts of wrong on that. Initial scent is nothing but hops. Bountiful, beautiful hops – oh, how I love thee. It’s very aromatic, quite floral – a little pine smell. The color is a dark dark brown, not terribly pretty. What it lacks in beauty is made up in taste. Truly amazing flavor: full of hoppiness – evenly distributed, well proportioned. The mouthfeel is perfect, finishing with a nice creaminess. This is a top-notch beer, find it and drink it! (545 characters)

Photo of Celtics17
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a nice caramel-amber, foreshadowing a nice malt balance, with a tan head that leaves lots of lace. Really beautiful.

Smell is peppery, grassy, and citrusy. Lots of caramel maltiness in the smell

Taste has lots of grassy, grapefruity, earthy hops mixed perfectly with some sweet caramelly malt. The finish is clean, with only a little bit of lingering bitterness that doesn't stay long, and leaves you wanting another sip. A few more tastes leave me with a nut aftertaste. (479 characters)

Photo of kdawg105
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Ale! I must say poured into a pint glass it has a dark aber color with a nice head that sticks to the glass the whole way down. It has a strong but nice smell of hops. The taste is a very hoppy with the taste of pine being whats noticable. The mouthfeel is great. You would think from the look of it that it would be heavy but its slick and smooth, which makes for a superp drinkability! (397 characters)

Photo of KingG
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served chilled and pured into my Tripel Karmeliet glass.

Appearance is very good. Clear copper beer with a huge clumpy off-white head. Impressive lacing. Carbonation bubbles rising slowly to the top. Beautiful looking brew.

Smell is good. Danky, bittering herbal and grapefruit hops that smell insanely fresh (it is a fresh hop beer after all) Touch of caramel malt in the background.

Taste is exceptional. Bittering hops crush the palate and linger after the swallow. The herbal hops play a big role in the flavor. Complex hop taste that gets balanced out (somewhat) with the caramel malt. Finishes with bitter grapefruit. Borderline IPA; I've tasted IPA's with less hop bite than this. Wonderful. Perfect for the style.

Mouthfeel is very good. Medium-bodied. Carbonation is perfect. The swallow is clean, quick and numbing from the hops.

Drinkability is exceptional. I could seriously drink this non-stop with absolutely no gripes. Addictive flavor and mouthfeel.

I've had this beer numerous times on draft and loved it. In the bottle it might be better since I'm drinking it so fresh. Best Fresh-Hop beer I've ever had. Highly recommended. (1,158 characters)

Photo of harvester
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on on Tap a the T in SF I was looking for some Celly but was way happy to see this one on the board!!

A- Very pretty- nice lite amber color to it. Had a nice head to it at first but did not stick around to long but left very nice laceing through out the whole beer.

S- Has a nice earthy smell to it with a hint of citrus mostly grapefruit

T- Very clean I love the taste of a fresh hop beer. The hops come through very balanced with a nice backing of malts and a lite hint of citrus. I love the water they use as well makes for such a crisp and refreshing brew.

M- I would say this is a medium bodied brew and is very smooth on the palet it taste great and goes down smooth leaves my mouth feeling clean and crisp not all sticky with sap.

D- I could sit and drink this one all night smooth and easy to drink I just love the harvest line up Thanks SN for another fine brew. (885 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from Big Z. Pours dark orange with a small, thick white head (not quite as luscious as the head from the bottle). Aroma of sweet caramel malt. Flavor of rich, sweet caramel malt with a bitter finish. Some tropical fruits make their presence too. Pretty much just as awesome as the bottled version!
Appearance: 5/5
Aroma: 8/10
Palate: 5/5
Flavor: 10/10
Overall: 19/20
4.7/5 (380 characters)

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. (871 characters)

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

Pours caramel orange with a fluffy, sustained white head.

Clean aromas of bright grapefruit, plenty of malt balance.

Sweet caramel malts up front, plentiful clean citrus flavors as well. Rich blood orange mid tongue, leaves a faint, pleasant bitterness. Pretty much perfect.

Medium bodied, pleasant carbonation, very refreshing, balanced and hoppy. A very nice beer. (369 characters)

Photo of dino213aa
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Edition

I've really tried hard to review this with consideration to the style. I am not a big fan of pale ale's- especially Sierra Nevada's. However, this years SN Harvest Ale really asks me to reconsider my prejudices against this style.

A: Clear, deep amber with no gradation in color. Pours with minimal head but lots of intricate lacing in ~1-inch tiers.

S: Slightly toasty with whispers of lavender and citrus.

T&M: Personally I dislike pale ales because of bitter hops. That's it. However, this brew is incredibly balanced between bitterness and underlying character. There is a floral quality that reminds me of lavender, clover, grain with a touch of citrus reminiscent of plums or wild strawberries (as opposed to lemon). I can't imagine a pale ale tasting better than this, and by that measure I rate this brew as exceptional. Mouthfeel is crisp yet enduring.

D: Highly drinkable. I'd give this a 5 if I liked hops more.

Rarely does a beer invoke the kind of imagery and sensations as this brew has for me. Perfectly balanced and complex, this brew tantalizes the imagination and beckons me to drink more.

Very highly recommend. (1,150 characters)

Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,471 ratings.