Hop Hunter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Hop HunterHop Hunter
3,346 Ratings
Hop HunterHop Hunter

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA will feature hop oil from distilled hops. The idea, which Sierra Nevada hasn't fully revealed, will extract pure hop oil from mature cones, to create an IPA that smells unlike any other IPA you've had. Aroma is key. Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA should finish at 6.2% ABV, 60 IBUs.

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Ratings: 3,346 |  Reviews: 617
Reviews by patpbr:
Photo of patpbr
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Golden pour looks like a pisner.
S - Hoppy aroma but less powerful then I was lead to believe.
T - Pine and resin with mild bitterness
M - Medium body
O - Solid IPA

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More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

interesting this is finally out, and a cool method, trying to preserve that wet hop character we all love so much. i think its largely successful too, the beer smells and tastes as fresh as any, wet and oily, fresh as can be, citrus and wet lawn and all the resinous dankness there could be really. pale beer, nice head, bright in the glass, and the aroma is all hops. not sure the exact chemistry on distilling this stuff, but it seems to work. the taste is right on too, similar to other hoppy beers they make, but seemingly more fresh and pungent, more heavily dosed on the hops. the one thing i dont like it the mouthfeel. i like the sticky honey textured thing you get from all the wet hop oils, it really gives the beer a signature weight and feel, and its totally absent here. it seems almost thin for how big its flavors are, and while carbonation is just fine, the beer seems off, or confused rather. love the nose and taste, that part is true to wet hops, but the mouthfeel exposes it a little. a reasonable facsimile of a wet hop beer other than that though, and for an all year around brew, ill take it. fairly priced helps a lot too. well done on the whole, but ill still look forward to real wet hop season with just the same enthusiasm i always have...

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Hop hunter IPA is the first beer to feature oil from wet hops steam distilled directly in the field, minutes after harvest. We use this pure, powerful hop essence in concert with whole-cone hops in our brew kettle and in our Hop Torpedo to create the ultimate IPA experience." Brewed in the style of an American IPA. Available as a newly released year-round beer in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Sierra Nevada tulip glass. Served above 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a cream white head of a frothy foam consistency over a moderately hazy pale amber body with very thin, abundant sediment. Carbonation is light and sparse, retention is good and lacing is light and spotty. 4

(Smell) The aroma carries lots of juicy, moist hop flavor up front. Potent grapefruit, citrusy and resinous hop notes with a moderate bitterness generates a rounded and full hop aroma with a lot of hop freshness. Pale malts with a touch of sweetness in the background, although hops lead the charge in this beer. Potency is medium/high. 4

(Taste) The hop profile is a bit lighter in character than the aroma suggests, with less grapefruit and citrus notes up front- more lemon, grassy and soft herbal or peppery hops, but with plenty of flavor and a moderate bitterness. As in the aroma, the pale malt profile is fairly simple, with just a touch of biscuity body and a light enough sweetness to draw focus to the hop profile. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) The texture is soft, very clean, lightly dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a soft frothiness and a medium crispness on the finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, shy of medium overall. Balance is slightly bitter over sweet. Alcohol presence is very low and there are no notable off flavors. Although the hop oil distillation does a good job at preserving wet hop character, the body of this beer is a bit light to reflect the stickiness and oiliness of fresh, wet hops. 4

(Overall) I don't see hop oil gaining much ground as a primary source for integrating hop flavors into beer, but this is an appreciated attempt at approaching hops from a new angle. The use of hop oils seems to preserve much of the bitterness and a good bit of fresh hop flavor, although the flavor in this beer in particular seems to fall light of matching what an aggressively cone-hopped IPA would generate. It seems, instead to call a lot of attention to the subtleties of the hops that are drowned out by more vibrant hops or potent malt bodies, calling the flavors of grassy, lemony and herbal hop flavors to the front. Thus, it does have a practical benefit for the balance and complexity of IPAs, and I should also commend that this is one of the cleanest drinking IPAs that I've had with virtually no hop bite or edge- just flavor. Hop oil distillation could be seen at the least as an effective secondary technique to add hop flavor in addition to pellets or whole cones. I'm looking forward to more beers that use this technique or perhaps apply this technique to existing beers to call to attention just how significant a difference using hop oil makes over whole cones or pellets. 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Hop Hunter IPA

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada "Hop Hunter IPA"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "PKGD 02/18/15 0752"
$1.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

After a string of fairly bad IPAs, some of which I haven't even bothered to review, I've now come across Sierra Nevada's Hop Hunter. It does exactly what Sierra Nevada has always done, and that's to deliver a well-rounded and balanced beer. It's bright and clear in appearance (just slightly hazy), aroma, and flavor - but not overdone. No, this is a drinkable IPA, not too unlike their torpedo, with a restrained 60 IBUs (Torpedo is 65). Think of it like a session IPA with just a bit more alcohol, because really that's what it's going for - it's a beer that's got more hop aroma and flavor, but not that much alcohol - except that it's actually 6.2% abv. (Torpedo is 7.2%). It's made up of Crystal and Citra hops, which I see mainly as almost 'lager' hops, giving it a floral and gently spicy character backed by softer notes of pine and citrus. It finishes dry but not rough, and pleasantly lingering. So although I've lumped it in with session IPAs, it is actually an IPA, but not an aggressive version. Perhaps a better comparison would be that this is the American equivalent of what an English IPA currently is... ? Or maybe I'm off-course... in the end I'll stick with what I originally started out saying, it's a well balanced and rounded IPA that delivers bright hop aromas and flavors without going too far into bitterness and strength. Nicely done.

... OK, we're finished, may I have another?

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Photo of hophugger
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours your basic gold color with average head and nice clingy lacing. There has been a lot of hype about this IPA and it's distilled hop oil. Aroma is pungent right up front with the dank aroma of fresh hops and then slowly fades away. Taste starts first with hop bitterness, both piney and dank. Flavor quickly lightens up to an almost watery finish with only a trace of the hop oil flavor. Mouthfeel is decent and balance is alittle off, like trying to mix oil and vinegar. Don't get me wrong, this is a fine beer, just not the balanced, complex beer that I was expecting...

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Photo of Bis4beer70
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wife said she was gonna pick this up for me awhile back and i said no,just the torpedo for me today...i should'a tried this earlier, i dig it...high drinkability here...dunno if it will pass the torpedo as my favorite sierra nevada or not but so far, so good...drinking it today while listening to a bootleg of my first bob dylan show i ever went to (with my dad in april 1994 in Valparaiso,IN),reading Tom Robbins' "Villa Incognito"(bummer-his worst book but he is a GREAT man) & setting by my basenji dog,"Mr. Sputnik"...the wife is doing laundry in the basement & of course,we are all awaiting the news of the coming apocalypse that is as usual,supposed to be "Obama's fault",like as in "“It's all Obama's fault. He's responsible for everything that has ever gone wrong in the world"...& "when he is gone all will be just lovely & right with the world"...ha! little do they care that then we will be in another major,costly war,getting "trickled down" upon by the rich as little as possible (as Hunter thompson would call 'em: those greed head war pigs) & they will choose to celebrate a dark patriotic/religion-induced fascism instead of our now,so-called "socialism"...good times,can't wait.....cheers...whatever....i'm gonna hunt hops & beer & books instead of money,bullets (torpedoes) & greed...just call me a "hop hunting tree hugging hippie"...no Fu*ks are given.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Packaged 1/23/15.

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, grapefruit juice, pine needle, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, and slight pine needle flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great mix of citrus and earthy hop qualities that are fairly potent without being super bitter.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Jpeach70
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look- Yellow and clear, it looks lighter than it tastes.

Smell- Floral hops.

Taste- The initial taste isn't anything special, again just floral hops. However this beer has one of the best aftertastes I'v ever tasted in an IPA. This beer leaves your mouth coated with a layer of pure hops! It really is remarkable.

Feel- Full bodied, oily, good carbonation. Pleasant to drink.

This is another good brew by Sierra Nevada. I could drink it all day long and never get tired of the delicious aftertaste.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass to reveal a crystal clear, pure golden brew with an off-white 2 finger head. Strong retention, breaking down in due time to a thin, consistent layer of film and exhibiting a generous coating of lace around the glass.

Smell - Tons of citrus and a clean, fresh minty/leafy/herbal character. Light hints of pine.

Taste - Follows the nose, though not as potent. Citrus notes that hit mostly on orange zest, but also big on fresh hop leafiness that exhibits a hint of mint quality. Malts are near non-existent, displaying but the faintest trace of generic bready sweetness. Finish brings faint hints of pine and orange pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. drinks more like a blonde than an IPA. Smooth, but a bit underwhelming.

Overall - Despite the lack of any real malt body, this is a hell of a brew. The hop profile is simply a thing of beauty. Bought a 12 pack, and it won't be my last. Easy drinking brew that may be a go-to during the upcoming summer.

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Photo of ordybill
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Bought as part of a "pick your six" at the local Kroger.
Aroma- Big hop smell with a hint of citrus
Appearance- Pours an orange - yellow color with an off-white head
Taste- A wall of hops with a citrus taste on the back end
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- Another good IPA from Sierra Nevada

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Photo of richj1970
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass. Dated 1/17/2015.

A: Pours a light sunshine yellow with two finger fluffy white head leaving decent lacing.

S: Light citrus and floral hops, cracker malts. Aroma is lighter than I was expecting with the whole hop oil thing.

T: Lemon rind, oranges, and light malts. Citrus and floral hops. All of the makings of a nice basic IPA.

M: Medium body with slightly dry and bitter finish.

O: Very drinkable IPA but nothing that really stands out. I wouldn't turn down another, but probably will not seek it out.

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Photo of Dikfour
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Two fingers of slightly off white head dissipates at a reasonable clip to a quarter inch rim around the glass. Color is a crystal clear and Golden. Some very tiny sediment specks floating about my beer. Very active carbonation. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Moderate tropical fruits slightly overpowered by piney resinous hops. Very slightly floral.

Taste: Big bright citrus up front. Lemon and Grapefruit rind. More fruit up front than I was expecting. Middle continues with the citrus but it takes on a flowery quality as it rounds back to the perfectly bitter close. Lots of Pine and resin on the finish. Lingering after taste of Oranges and tree sap.

Feel: Very much oily and great carbonation. Finish is really dry.

Overall: The innovation and technology that went into creating this beer, by distilling wet-hop oil, just blows my mind. I always looked forward to having a wet hopped IPA once or twice a year come harvest time. This just makes it possible to have one year round at a great consistent quality at a very great price. Thumbs up. Must try.

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Photo of Flani
4.96/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Amazing hop aroma upon the pour. Less malt than other IPA's, the flavor is beautifully balanced, again, the aroma, highly sessionable even with an ABV of 6.2.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice white and foamy head that takes a while to dissipate. Thee beer itself is a clear pale gold. The overall look is very nice and looks extremely crisp. The gold hue is exceptionally bright without looking orange.

The beer smell is very hoppy. In fact, the smell appears to be nothing but hop notes. The hop notes come off as a floral, citrus, and very pine with a bit of oiliness to them. Thee smell isn't crisp and the pine notes appear to be not as sharp as other beers. The citrus notes seem to be the strongest note while the floral notes are extremely light.

The beer is just as hoppy as the smell but with different flavor strengths and a bit of a difference. The hop notes are still pine, citrus and floral. The citrus and floral notes are the strongest notes in the taste and create a nice fruity, tropical flavor after they mix. The pine resin notes seem to linger in the aftertaste, which isn't that appealing.

The beer mouthfeel is not bad. The beer itself is medium bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. The beer has a pretty dry finish but has a nice refreshing feel while drinking it but with an oily feel to it.

Overall, a pretty decent IPA and offering. Although, the taste suffers a little bit because of how strong the resin is and the hop oil seems to mess with the taste and texture as well. I'd still recommend to have at least one since it seems to be one of those beers you have to have in order judge it.

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Photo of ruzzal
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Meh, not sorry I bought a six, but won't buy again.

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Photo of Droopy487
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to this offering from Sierra Nevada. I really respect the brewery, I enjoy their beer overall, and I was interested in tasting this new process of distilled hop oil in an IPA. I tried this beer on draft at a craft beer bar this week. They just got the keg in the day before I tried it. So, I assume since this is a new beer, a craft beer bar that turns over a lot of kegs, and properly cleans their lines that the flavor was how it was supposed to be.

The look is pretty good to this beer overall. It has a nice hue to it.

The smell was kind of weak. I thought I would really be able to smell it, like a harvest ale offering from breweries. The overall smell was really subtle for an ipa, especially since I was ready to be blown away by this hop oil from distilled hops.

The taste was really subtle. This would be a good beer to drink in the summer on a golf course, on a boat, etc. It is a good, thin IPA that is made for drinking. It's reminiscent of a session IPA. The flavor really does not have a punch, it's not overly hoppy. It would be a good intro beer for someone who has not had many IPA's.

The feel is kind of thin and watery. Once again, it would be a good beer to pound in the summer on a hot day.

Overall, this beer did not blow me away, but was it supposed to? I know it's kind of an experimental beer with the distilled hop oil. I almost wonder if the flavor has went away quicker than a normal IPA. Does anyone know how long the shelf life is for this beer?

I applaud Sierra Nevada for trying something new. I was expecting hop aroma, hop bitterness, and hop flavor to blow me away with their new method, but it didn't do that. It did however make a great, easy drinking summer time, hot weather IPA that is light and easy to slam.


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Photo of CHickman
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear gold color with a thick foamy 2 finger white head that faded slowly and left good lacing and rings as it went down; bubbles raced up the brew like champagne.

Smells of potent citrus and floral hops, with fruity notes that are a mix of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, graham cracker, wet grass, tangerine, light spices like pepper and piney hops. Aroma is on the clean side like a pilsner from a keg mixed with fresh hops that are leafy and oily at the same time.

Taste is like the nose but the hops seem mellow like they went through a washing machine, yet its still pretty tasty with a mix of citrus and piney hops – classic Sierra Nevada. Malt backbone is more present in the flavor, with graham cracker, caramel, biscuit and lightly toasted grains mixing with the peppery spices, tea leaf and floral hops, grapefruit, lemon, coriander and floral or herb notes. The aftertaste is more grainy than hoppy, and it’s on the dry side with more English IPA than West Coast IPA style (IMO).

Mouthfeel is thin and watery, with mild fizzy carbonation, a sweet grainy taste that’s dry and has some citrus fruit sweetness leading to a slightly bitter finish which is closer to clean than to sweet and grainy. Overall a good to above average IPA that is very interesting in its brewing engineering with the use of distilled hop oils. Sierra Nevada continues to lead the craft beer movement, and this experimental IPA is certainly worth a try. Very easy to drink, I had 5 tonight and feel just fine.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Light gold in color; seemingly more transparent and lighter in color for the style.

Traditional Sierra Nevada hop bouquet in the nose. This one doesn't come off any more hoppy than their standard Pale Ale despite it being an IPA with slightly more ABV.

Superb mouthfeel and drinkability. The smooth creamy mouth on this beer is its strongest attribute.

Overall a pretty solid IPA as the majority of hoppy ales coming out of this brewery are.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i think this is a pretty amazing beer from SN -- it is not Knock Your Socks Off great -- but it is very solid and highly quaffable. i am not a big torpedo fan -- so to me, this is SNs first real IPA.

crystal clear pour, excellent carbonation. the aroma is ok, not amazing -- but the drink is perfect. very upfront hops have real bite, this beer drinks very fresh (i think it was bottled 2 weeks ago, so there you go.) WAY MORE of a dry finish than is usual for SN... way more tropical, less pine, than torpedo which i find to be a little too heavy.

very happy this is going to be a year round beer as well. three cheers for Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice foamy creamy 1+ finger head that fades semi slowly with nice lacing, clear but sediment laden golden honey tan color.

Nose brings dank resin, hop oil, bright citrus like fruity hops, fruity, a little floral fresh grassy floral hops mixed with the generic fruitiness, no real malt profile. Faint grapefruit pith and fruity bubblegum.

Taste brings more hops, a mild dank resin and hop oil starts off, then a mild citrus and general fruity flavor, then the hops turn spicy and chewy, strong chewy spicy hops start to go crazy and overpowering. Mild juicy fruity bubblegum and grapefruit pith, as well as pine sap resin and citrus peel, lots of rind. Mild malt, just a touch that dries quickly on the finish, pretty bitter but doesn't linger as much as get as crazy bitter as it seemed it would.

Mouth is med bod, mild hop oil feel, nice carb.

Overall pretty good, not much for balance but with a name like this I doubt they were going for that, I do like the mix of nice fruity light style hops with the big spicy pine oily heavy hops, and big bitterness that doesn't linger too much. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Redneckwine
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, very fresh, into tulip

Appearance - Slightly dark golden and crystal clear. One finger head is quick to dissipate into a wispy cap; retension isn't very good. Spotty lacing.

Smell - Pungent hop burst: fresh and grassy, dank pine, mint, skunky/herbal with spicy/floral undertones. A light, toasty malt note in the background. A fairly unique smell.

Taste - Taste mostly follows nose but loses some oomph, and comes off as fresh, piney/skunky, minty/herbal, with slight citrus. Very reminiscent of pot, actually. A bit of dry, toasty, biscuity malt hangs out behind the hoppy scenes. Finishes very long and bracingly dry with a moderate lingering bitterness. Not much if any residual sweetness in this beer, which seems a bit unusual.

Feel - Feel is quite light on a medium body. Briskly carbonated and a bit fizzy. Very crisp and fairly drinkable for the 6.2% ABV, but this beer is so bone dry it comes dangerously close to feeling unbalanced - could use some more "more meat on the bones", so to say.

Overall - An intriguing offering here from SN with a very unique hop profile - it's easy to see what this distilled hop oil is all about: super fresh, herbal/grassy, skunky/piney hop action. Definitely an interesting and welcome flavor departure from most IPAs out there; this beer showcases that difference very well, but I fear it's at the expense of body and balance. I'm pretty surprised and slightly dissapointed SN didn't quite nail this one (imo). Still a solid beer though, and pretty good with food, I've been discovering.

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Photo of alexrichman
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L) Poured from a 12oz bottle into glassware. Hop Hunter poured with a thick, creamy white head that held up for the entire drinking session and left nice lacing on the way down. Held up to the sun this beer reveals it's pale straw color.

S) The aroma was dominated with sweet peach and tropical fruit aromas.

T) Hop Hunter has a surprisingly delicate taste with an incredible amount of hop flavor without being overly bitter. Quite sweet with ripe white peach and mango flavors dominating and hints of citrus popping through on the finish. The malt comes through a bit on the finish creating a nice balance that ties the beer together amazingly well.

F) Carbonation is quite present and thins things out a bit too much perhaps. Maybe on the high side for the style but doesn't effect the drinkability of this brew - it's a very drinkable beer.

O) Sierra Nevada really outdid themselves with this beer in my opinion. An exceptional IPA and easily one of the best I've ever had. Truly delicious with over the top tropical and peach hop flavor/aroma while remaining incredibly well balanced and not being overly bitter. Using hop oil is a huge success because this beer is a world class IPA. Well done Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of Celtics17
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my kind of IPA. IPA's are hop driven, but when you focus on the hops like SN did with hop hunter. It's great for me. Big tropical notes, and smooth hops all the way. NO MALT HERE.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, PKGD 09/11/17 ... poured into a fat tulip)

L: fairly-clear, pale yellow-gold colored liquid; 2-finger tall, open-spongy mountain of white foam, craggy and lacing in thick, crusty webs... doesn't end up holding an unbroken cap for long

S: pineapple, lemon zest, hints of candied ginger... soft notes of pepper and fresh-cut grass... undercurrent of fresh navel orange flesh... rather typical fragrance of citrus/tropical hops, but very vibrant, with a bit of round dimension... maybe a very subtle undertone of yeasty-bready malt, but quite light

T: layers of hops are somehow apparent upon first sip, interwoven with the bready malt, finishing with some notes of subtly toasty, leafy whole cone flowers; also, notably dry in the aftertaste ... second sip reveals some emerging leafy bitterness with a tinge of a dried citrus peels - again, very little (malt) sweetness, but certainly some of its toasty, grainy husk ... little bit of spice late in the aftertaste, with a vague phenolic tinge

F: classic, dependable SA dryness, and with a short snap-off at the end; the onset carries an enlivening gassy tingle, while the flow-through has a delicate powdery texture... mellow spice from hops and alcohol leave a lovely warm hum on the palate... if only it had a nip less frothiness

O: surely a bit past its prime, but still full of bold, layered (hop) aromas and flavors (if none unique)... what makes this worthy of repeat visits (like most SA beers) is its seldom-paralleled taut, streamlined construct - fantastic!... will seek out a fresher sixer in the near future

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With it's strong celebration of new ways to capture hop character, Sierra Nevada describes their new IPA a being borne of "distilled hop oils" for a unique taste to evoke salavation from hop heads near and far. They sell high, but...

The deep camel amber hue is bright and sparkling. Only the faintest of haze denotes any unabridged late hop character. Its nose is surely juicy of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon, grass and pine but is just as vibrant with caramel and graham cracker for a balanced attack.

While the taste is malty early and soon succumbs to the hop rebuttal. Those citrus components do little to exceed the lingering malty backbone; rendering the middle palate balanced and firm. As the finish looms, the caramel, biscuit and cakey malts are reluctant to any respectable fade and the hops and gentle as a pup to keep the beer stagnant late.

Its firm bodied taste and textures are medium and malty-dry. Those stubborn malt tendencies begin to detract from that technology and methodology that the "distilled hop" character is supposed to exploit. In the end, the taste of their classic Pale Ale is front and center and in more vivid display. But as a game changing IPA, it is not.

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Hop Hunter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 3,346 ratings