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

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop AleNorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

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1,474 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,474
Hads: 3,433
Avg: 4.17
pDev: 14.87%
Wants: 203
Gots: 207 | 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: 1,474 | Hads: 3,433
Photo of GClarkage
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10/06/05- On tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a pint glass.

Appearance- Amber in color, 1/2 inch head with above average lacing.

Smell- Equal parts of both hops and malt. Comparable to their regualr ale, but with some more floral hops.

Taste- Slight fruit flavoring in the hops. Maybe a touch of lemon. Again, this tastes similar to their pale ale except with more attention to the hops.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch overcarbonated. Slight bitterness.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. Almost carries over into the IPA category. Fairly well rounded. Would definitely get this one again.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a 2009 vintage, their 13th iteration, according to the label.

Despite being a year old, this has held up well. My pour created a finger of tawny head with good retention. Its color was a deep amber with NE-quality clarity and lots of CO2 bubbles. Nose had a very earthy quality underlain with a dry spiciness. Mouthfeel was medium with a grassy hop bite on the tongue. Finish was quite grassy, a bit malty, but it had held up really well. It speaks well for refrigeration.

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Photo of billab914
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz bottle into my Russian River tulip glass. Pours a copper color with a fluffy white head. The foam settled out pretty quickly but left nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma has citrus and pine with a little malty sweetness. The hops are present but not as present as some other wet hop releases. Taste also has the citrusness and some pine from the hops but also a moderate caramely sweetness present as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, the flavors aren't overpowering making this a good drinking beer.

Overall for a beer that cost under $5 this was very good. Probably not my favorite wet hop beer but a great value.

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Photo of Gavage
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Harvest 11th Edition in a 24 oz bottle.

Appearance: pours a nice amber color with a 3"+ head that last a while before slowly falling to a thick surface foam. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: big hop bitterness leaps out of the glass. Some caramels and fruity sweetness round it out.

Taste: the bold hop flavors are up front but not offensive. The oily bitterness is well balanced with the caramel sweetness. Pears and ripe green grapes provide some fruitiness and there is a definite dryness lingering around.

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry from start to finish. Medium bodied. Long aftertaste as the dryness and bitterness stick around for several minutes.

Drinkability: phenominal is all I can say. I think this is my favorite Sierra Nevada beer. Easy to drink, great tasting, and one everyone should get there hands on.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Fresh too, pretty recent, and finally the last Beer of Fame for me to finish. Vintage 2011.

A classic off white to light tan/caramel colored head, very large off the pour and foamy. Body color is just a gorgeous dark orange amber, crystal clear too. Nice small but plentiful rising carbonation coming up. This just looks great I really love this orange color on the body. Super clumpy retention on this head too!

Nose is soft chewy hop, sweet mix of malt and lots of subtle fresh cut grass. Slight bread too but highly masked by the hop front. Smells great!

Taste is hopin good! Fresh chewy and grass hop with bready pine finishing. Malt balance and sweet bread finish on the palate as well. Lightly carbonated, slightly resiny but not too much.

Overall just a great example of fresh hop beer, with lots of well balanced taste everywhere as well. I definitely like this one more than the Southern too. Great beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at the Hop Leaf, Chicago
This beer is a clear amber color, and it has a surprisingly long tasting tan head, at least for a draught beer. There is a fresh, herbal, hoppy character to this beer, and there is a hint of caramel to the nose as well. The taste is sharp and herbal, but there is perhaps a bit more malt character than is in the Celebration, I get note of caramel and biscuits. Of course this beer is about the hops, the hoppiness is quite sharp, definitely with an herbal quality to it, and it is just pungent. The sweet caramel like flavors of the malt mix with and, accentuate the orange-bergamot notes from the hops. The finish is fairly bitter, though this is a mix of traditional bitterness, and a contribution from the herbal hoppiness that is found in this beer. This is quite tasty, though it is perhaps a bit too green and herbal, though of course this is what this beer is all about.

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Photo of Billolick
4.11/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large chubby bottle, "11th edition" no freshness info offered, pours typical clear almond amber, under a long lasting medium tan head, loose bubbles and as it recedes, gobs of sheeting and clustered lacing left behind. Leafy hop nose, with maple malts in the rear. Smooth, balanced beer, hops are present and drying but low bitterness. Layers of malts provide a pleasing under layer. easy drinking, slight notes of nuts, maple, leafy hops. Nice fall beer, worthy sessioner.
I also enjoyed 2 pints of this quality offering on tap at the Gingerman in NYC. Smooth, tasty, balanced and thoroughly enjoyable ale. Fresh hops poking through and in sublime balance with layers of smooth malts. Nice job by SN.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.94/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle into a pint glass and then some. NHHWHA has a dark golden look with some bronze type tints. A significant amount of lace sticks to the glass all over the place, spraypaint like. Smells like wet hops with muted citrus and a nice bready build. This comes off hoppy in a earthy and different way. Taste is quite nice and one of my favorite wet hopped beers of the season. Getting a nice amount of citrus backed by pine with some caramel and bread. I like taste of this, alot. Feel is approaching medium with some spritz, drinkability is insane. I like the big bottles of this two. This is one i'll be scooping up a few more of before they are gone. I think southern hemisphere got this beat by a bit though.

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

Bomber from Vendome I purchase after the store held a beer tasting, on to this beer:

Poured into a mug, it's a deep cooper-orange color with excellent head retention. As a pale ale using fresh hops, the hops in this beer are crazy! It starts bready with a touch of caramel, which is then puished aside for lots of bitterness. Grapefruit and piney notes are most noticable of the group. Bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. With the hop presence as big as it is, it's more of an IPA than a pale ale.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always a fan of the Harvest ale. Found this at Jaq's in Topeka.
Pours a good copper body, very consistent. Yet the head is splotchy at best. Off white/tan bubbles clump in some areas on the surface, but don't seem to have much body to them. They fade to nothing.

Nice pine and citrus aroma, just the right strength to not overwhelm. Slight hints of clove and coriander as well.

solid flavor. Pine is dominant, followed by a citrus burst and covered with subtle spices. Sharp bite at first, then slowly gives way to a buttery feel and sweetish finish. As it warms, the sharpness is rounded out and it settles down. Overall a solid brew

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 oz. big Sierra Nevada bomber bottle, excited to try this, it is finally out in bottles,

A: Pours a light amber colour, with a thick, off-white head, some generous lacing as well.

S: Smells generously of fresh hops, wet pine, grapefruit, some hay and earth, wet grass, lawn-mower clippings.

T: Taste is hop dominated, not as hoppy as I thought it be, but still quite tasty, nonetheless. Lots of pine and grapefruit, grass, tastes like a fresher version of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

M: Rich and creamy, not as resiny as I would have thought, good carbonation coats the tongue.

D: I'm still just getting into these harvest, wet hop ales, as they seem to be getting more available around here in Huntington and Orange County. A very good beer from Sierra Nevada, I will definitely be getting more of this while it is still available.

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Photo of tempest
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my, I think I'm in love. The hops are big, but are so perfectly balanced that I could drink this all night. I mean damn, lots of beers can throw tons of hops at you without making a great beer (I'm thinking of Weyerbacher's Hops Infusion). Other hoppy beers just don't feel right on the tongue, being too sticky or oily or sharp. But the 2007 Harvest is right on the money with big, complex citrus flavors rolling all over your mouth, all while being wonderfully drinkable.

2008 UPDATE: There's an intense citrus and pine hops hit at firsy, but it quickly fades to mellower grapefruit flavors. Still a great beer, but I found last year's beer to have a fuller hop flavor. Still worth a try. Very tasty.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. 24 oz bomber. Poured into a 20 oz. steeler pint glass. Huge rocky, pillowy head on an amber brown body.

S. Smells of earthy hops. Some doughy yeast in there as well. Traces of malt sweetness.

T. Piney resinous hops. Caramel malt that is bready in character. Bitterness lingers along with a roasted grain flavor. Some pineapple fruityness.

M. Medium bodied and slightly creamy. Crisp carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

D. A damn fine beer. Tasty and quaffable. Clean and well executed. Layers of hop goodness. Recommended.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer- Complex and fresh tasting with a lot of nuances of the hops on display. Great to see that this was bottled. Pours a dark orange with a grainy looking head that settles to a thin cap and some light lacing. Lots of citrusy hop aromas, tangerine and lime especially, and some floral notes. Beautiful. There are some honeyed malt notes that are an appropriate balance for the vibrant but not in-your-face hops. The taste is robust, and because they are fresh hops there are some vegetal notes up front, including a touch of asparagus and herbs. There is also an added note of pine. Some sweet malt throughout. I love the fresh taste and the interplay of different hop components. Smooth and clean in the mouth, this is absolutely delicious.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is a crystal amber-copper color with a thick, small-bubbled, foamy head. There are smells of hops and slight spicing all over the nose, and some sweet malt aromas under it all. Citrus and grapefruit abound, with plenty of resinous, dank, pitch notes. The beer has a sweet caramel malt backbone that does a very good job of platforming for the low, steady assault of peppered hops flavors throughout the brew, as well as the tangy tropical fruit and citrus notes, especially grapefruit. The beer is light and creamy in mouth, which has a great feel for the flavors riding it. The beer also has a fantastic lacing as you make your way through the brew, with decent head retention, too. A peppery and hoppy aftertaste that lingers through the finish, with a shift to just hop bitterness all over the tongue and roof of your mouth. Delicious for hop heads like me. Heavy flavors are balanced by the light body, and the ABV makes this one an easy drinker.

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Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

12th release. Pours a clear dark chestnut amber/golden orange color with a thick frothy yellowish tan head. Decent retention, minimal lacing.

Earthy hoppy aroma with some caramel nutty maltiness. Citrus and pine notes from the hops along with some piny hop resin. The strong malt presence takes away from the fresh hops.

On the fuller end of medium bodied and pretty well balanced considering how hoppy the beer is. Nice balance of sweet caramel malt and sweet citrus hop notes. Hints of pineapple, lemon and grapefruit as well as dank dry piny bitterness that lingers throughout into a long bone dry finish.

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Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear dark amber colored ale verging on the color red. Tall light brown colored head it is just a little too dark to call beige.

The smell is strong clean fresh hops and not much else. The only malt I can sense is a little bit of caramel and scorched sugar. Mostly citrus scents here but you can tell the freshness of the hops used.

The taste starts malty with a good bitter snap. Caramel and wood are the strongest flavors here besides the bitterness. There isn't much stereotypical IPA flavor here, no strong citrus or pine this is much closer to a British style Pale Ale in taste.

The mouthfeel is good.

Certainly easy to drink the strongest point of this ale is the scent. Probably this is a bit over hyped; it is a good beer but not the best fresh hop ale around. Recommended but forget the hype about it.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium golden with a HUGE frothy head. The retention is fantastic and the lacing is outstanding. The aroma is of fresh mint, grapefruit, pine sap, and caramel malt. Delicious grapefruity fresh hops great my palate. The hops impart a nice level of bitterness that tastes of mint and herbs, and which is joined by a solid sweet caramel backbone. The mouthfeel is sticky and the carbonation is excellent.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a glistening golden amber colour with a glorious, amazingly thick head of orange-white bubbles, lacing is sublime - extremely spirited around the edges of the glass. Dammit, this is a great looking beer. Absolutely perfect for the style.

Nice sweet fruits on the nose - notes of orange sherbet, celeriac, pine needles and resin. Tropical, but with a great basic bread note as well, very fine, very delicious.

Sharp hoppy bitterness on the palate, but pleasantly sweet underneath it all. Clean notes of bitter orange rind, even a hint of something spicier, like ginger. Tannic notes on the very back. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, sits nicely with the hops.

This isn't an incredibly extreme beer; it's just a very nice, very well made one. Everything just locks in to place beautifully, giving an extremely pleasant IPA, full of luscious hops. Very drinkable, very enjoyable.

I paid $2.99 for a 24oz bottle. This was a bargain.

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12th Release - 2008 Vintage.

The sun burnished gold of a rolling wheat field blends into the orange gloss of pumpkin and butternut squash, it is an appearance most befitting for a 'Harvest' themed ale. Although allusions to Dutch post-Impressionist paintings are solemnly used in beer reviews, a reference to Van Gogh's 'Harvest in Provence of Wheat Field with Sheaves' is both accurate and appropriate. Besides, how many ways are there to say 'orangey gold' anyways?

Ok, so now I've got to come up with something in place of 'it smells frickin awesome!' for the aroma... actually no, that will sum it up quite nice - this does, indeed, smell frickin awesome! The aroma contains all that is delicious with IPA's, and not just trace hints either. It is a fully blossomed bouquet of caramel coated cookies and pine soaked citrus.

The wet hops seem to have done a little more for the aroma than for taste. Not to say there isn't plenty of hops in the flavour but it doesn't seep into the senses like it continues to with my nasal sinus. What the hops have contributed is a green leafy kind of bitterness, with a wet grass like character and the taste of flower petals, pine bark and citrus pith.

Although clearly cast with the main role, hops don't carry the production entirely on their own. The malt bill is a delicious makeup of finely toasted, lightly crisp wafers and breads that flavour the beer with wads of toffee and heaping spoonfuls of caramel drizzle. This sweetness plays a very important role in terms of drinkability: it must counter the beer's bitterness. As usual, Sierra Nevada has found just the right balance.

Indeed, I come for the hops but I stay for the malts. Each sip treats me to a hefty, husky, heavyset mouthfeel that is so thick and gooey with caramel I constantly catch myself licking my lips and smacking my gums. I might suggest they start bottling in 36 ounce bottles because the 24 ounces I started with have very quickly depleted.

Just as red-wine connoisseurs have the Burgundy region in France, hop heads have the Chico estate in California. Not only the 'New World's' first brewery to start liberally hoping their beers, Sierra Nevada also claims to be North America's first brewery to ever release a beer with 100% fresh picked 'wet' hops. This means Sierra Nevada not only re-acquainted us with tradition but also introduced us to innovation.

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

Have had this in previous years, but don't recall previous years being THIS outstanding. This year's version truly is outstanding and is a hop head's delight.

The beer pours a lovely copper color with good head retention and adequate lacing. Nothing special, but the beer looks good. The nose is pretty impressive with citrus and leafy tobacco aroma from the wet hops (I assume). Not overdone, but this does smell like a well hopped beer. On the palate the beer replicates the nose, but here the leafy tobacco and bitterness from the hops are very noticeable. The bitterness builds as I drink more and more and is nearly mouthpuckering near the end. Quite impressive. Nevertheless, what strikes me about this beer is how well balanced it is, and how Sierra Nevada manages to keep the alcohol in check. The malt adds just enough sweetness to keep the beer interesting and drinkable, and frankly this beer is absolutely delicious. The beer finishes very nicely without an overdose of hops until I'm near the end of my pint. This is a very easy to drink ale.

This beer is similar to the celebration ale, but is a bit sweeter and then there is the leafy tobacco aroma and flavor from the wet hopping. In any event, this is an excellent beer from Sierra Nevada. If not particularly surprised by that, I will say that I'm nevertheless impressed. Very good beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured amber with an off white head that disipated. Nose is very nice, the fresh (wet) hops really give it a different aroma with a nice malt backbone. Taste is of caramel malt, but the hops seem to be very subtle compared to a dry hopped beer, nice hop flavor with a tad bit of bitterness at the the end. Definatly a beer I could have a few of, and one of the better SN beers I have ever had. Smelled and tasted GREAT

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Photo of wl0307
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Utobeer, the famous beer stall in the Borough Market of South London; it's very pricey though - 5 quid something I paid. This bottle is "11th Edition - 2007 Harvest Fresh Hop Ale", at 6.7%abv., served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. NOTE: The label seems to suggest that this version used 8000 lbs. of fresh hops in one brewing and it was repeated afterwards in the same day - but was it for the same brew?! I don't normally fall for figures (esp. on something I know very little about), but this sounds seriously hoppy to me...

A: it lands in the glass a deep dark yet also bright amber hue, coming with constant streams of tiny round bubbles in support of a thick, ice-creamy and marvellously tight light-beige froth to last throughout the drink.
S: having not tried an American IPA for almost three months now, the aroma here reminds me of the beauty of hops, big time! - the almost "sticky"-rich aroma of fresh Cascade (or the like) bouquet surely does the name right justice, that it's assertively flowery-fruity (with hints of ripe, fresh lychee fruits, longan-fruit tea, a touch of grapefruit marmalade, and faintly roasted tea leaves) against a medium-thick malty backbone of pale malts and amber-/cara-malts, while a subtle sour edge of ripe white grapes and fat prunes lingers at the back as a balancer. Overall, very pleasant, very hoppy indeed, yet I find the sweet elements are a bit too "in the face" and slightly more than desirable for the balance. As the beer warms up a bit (esp. in the second pour), the sweetness tunes down slightly and renders a harmony; simultaneously, a swirl even reveals a subtly Fuggles-like stinky hop aroma - very interesting.
T: a mouthful of "hop juice tea" upfront... light caramely malts with an apparent powdery texture and abundant hints of sultanas and sweetened grapefruity citrusness follow the lychee-skin like and piney aromatic taste of US hops. The mid-taste yields a decently deepening dry edge like a well-aged, semi-dry sherry with a unique herbally woody touch (impossible to link to anything I can think of); then the whole palate settles down and softens in flavour intensity, leaving only the lengthy and deep, tannic (not unlike crushed grapefruit seeds), chewy and also mildly citrus-zesty bitterness to linger in the end. At times, a phenol-like yeasty-hoppy hint also emerges. Surprisingly, this ale doesn't taste "that" bitter as I imagined, but the hop level surely is the selling point here (what else?), that a neat, evolving hoppy structure in taste is clearly and honourably demonstrated.
M&D: very soothing and light on the carbonation on top of a hoppy flavour and good level of bitterness, guaranteeing that the richly flavoured hoppy palate treads rather light. The relatively clean texture and medium-light body complements the flavour really well, making it in every sense a quaffable type of IPA to me. All in all, this fresh hop ale is very delicious as well as decently balanced (after some time into the tasting, that is), and I have nothing to complain about this beer except for the price - maybe it's time Sierra Nevada finds a permanent importer in the UK?

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

Thanks goes out to ArrogantB for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one finger creamy off-white head, lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is hoppy, with some malts, citrus, pines, some spicyness, and caramel. The taste is a hop bomb, some malts kick in later with a slight sweetness, nice citrus/pine tones, and nice touch of spices/caramel. The finish is slightly dry and bitter. Medium body. Very drinkable, a mighty fine brew from SN.

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Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a three finger pillowy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an herbal and earthy hop with some oily citric notes.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal character with some resiny hop and pepper character. A light graininess was apparent in the background.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side with a slight astringency and some medicinal tingle at the finish.

Overall a tasty and very drinkable APA. However, a bit more body would have gone far to temper the medicinal herbal hop notes.

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