Hop Hunter
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Hop HunterHop Hunter
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American IPA
Ranked #379
Ranked #4,215
4.06 | pDev: 9.11%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Hop HunterHop Hunter
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 625 | Ratings: 3,370 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thehooksman:
Photo of thehooksman
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
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 -3.9%
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 hophugger
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
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 NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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 Bis4beer70
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
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 +2.7%
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 cfalls
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - clear yellow, small white head

S - not a strong aroma, fruity, pine, clean

T - apricots, passion fruit, not too malty, faint plasticy taste, really nice

F - pretty thin, which I kind of like, refreshing, medium carbonation

O - I didn't have high expectations, but this was a nice easy-drinking IPA.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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 draheim
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. Pours a clear pale golden color w/ a nice fluffy white head, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and citrusy, tropical. Mostly orange and grapefruit, maybe some pineapple. Typical clean Sierra Nevada profile.

Taste is dry biscuity pale malt and delicious resinous hops with a nice acidic bitter finish. Great balance, very drinkable.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, goes down easy.

Overall a really nice, easy drinking summer IPA.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.27/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours crystal clear yellow/gold with a smooth one-finger white head. Firm rings of lacing.

S - Pungent aroma of pine, tropical fruits, honey malts, and grass.

T - Bitter resinous hop character; spruce, grass, hop flower, mint. Some subdued lemon/lime and grapefruit flavor in the mid-palate, but none of the tropical fruits or honey notes present in the nose. Malt bill doesn't stand up to the aggressive hopping, leaving the end result a bitter grass bomb. Not well balanced.

M - Very light bodied, with aggressive carbonation. Bone dry finish.

O - Very underwhelmed with this. I know this is the latest in "beer science" with the hop oil process but if this is the end result, maybe they should stick to the traditional methods. I can't think of any reason I would buy this again, as I could easily name 50 IPA's that are superior.

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Photo of Spock_Savage
4.99/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite beer, by far.

So crisp, so we'll balanced.

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Photo of ordybill
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Gotpar
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Kinda feels like beer concentrate. It's an interesting change of pace. And that huge hop flavor lingers for a LONG time! I was tasting it like 15 minutes after I finished the glass!

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Photo of Buck89
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden straw color with a foamy white head that lingered. Big aromas of mainly pine, but also orange, bread, and earth tones. Taste follows but I get more citrus up front, with complex tastes of pine, earth, and malt. Dry finish and well-balanced.

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Photo of beertunes
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hey, Lagunitas! I can see why you sued over this beer, it kicks your IPA's ass! terrific job by SN.

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Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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 Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-01-23 in Lancaster, PA at Hunger N' Thirst. On tap.

A - Clear golden yellow with a one finger white head and excellent lace.

S - They did it. Fresh, dank hop bud, grapefruit and a bit of pine. Very light malt.

T - Hop forward, moderately dank, orange, pine. Light malt. Finishes dry and moderately bitter with a touch of sweetness for balance.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. A little prickly but still refreshing.

O - Not like the Harvest series. This doesn't have the caramel backbone. It's good but I prefer the Harvest series. Of their 3 new beers so far this year, I like the Nooner Pils, this, then the Hoppy Lager. All are worth revisiting.

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Photo of Jbrew22
4.81/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Its a good beer i dont have to say much it speaks for its self .

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Photo of Nichols33
2.42/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Wow, I guess I've just gone to far the snob route. This beer was below average. No aroma, no juiciness, no citrus, no dank. Basically on par with a home brew.

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Photo of Tilley4
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The aroma is where this beer really shines. Reminds me so much of Celebration... The flavors don't quite equate to the aromas but this is still a nice beer. I'm not sure that this breaks new ground, but it's probably one that I will pick up from time to time when I want something a little more hop forward than their pale ale. I can see myself drinking quite a few of these this summer.

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Photo of ibbjamin
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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 HattedClassic
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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 Goatdavemac
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good...but not incredible...I guess I was looking for more from the hop oil...

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Photo of Flani
4.96/5  rDev +22.2%
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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Hop Hunter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 3370 ratings