Hop Hunter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

580 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

Added by BeerVikingSailor on 12-01-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 580 | Ratings: 3,197
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 681 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
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...

 1,267 characters

Photo of metter98
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is relatively clear deep golden yellow and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a collar around the edge of the glass and a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface along with some lacing down the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of piney hops are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is dominated by flavors of piney hops and has a moderate amount of associated bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has lots of aromas and flavors of piney hops, but there's no resin-like smell or taste that you would normally expect, particularly in the finish. I'm assuming this has something to do with the use of distilled hops in lieu of whole hops or hop pellets.

Serving type: bottle

 874 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

 1,199 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - hmmm...distilled hop oil, eh? Nice to try another one actually made with it, as opposed to adjoined to it, like Phillips' 13th anniversary brew.

The beer pours a clear, pale golden yellow hue, with one fat finger of puffy, rather loosely foamy, and mostly just bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of streaky and smeared lace around the glass as things quickly sink away.

It smells of tart, reduced citrus rind, pungent, slightly dank pine resin, a twinge of generic tropical fruit, and a very hard to pin down crackery caramel malt. The taste is more zesty orange and white grapefruit pith, fruitier tropicals, oily (natch) pine tree resin, bready caramel malt, and further mildly bitter, leafy and herbal florals.

The carbonation is adequately strong enough to keep me from scraping my tongue, what with its lightly cutting frothiness, the body a so-so middleweight, and smooth, sure, but the cracks in the hop-hold are starting to show. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness of the hops and the workaday malt keeping this thing between the ditches.

Perhaps my lupulin tolerance has reached a near practical limit, as I didn't find this one particularly bitter, but I guess that might be the whole point here. Lots of varied hoppy flavour, from the citrus and pine, to the tropical and herbal, but nothing that invokes that bitter beer face (even the good, craft beer kind).

 1,401 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest head that leaves some splashes of lacing

Smell: Very bright and pithy, with pine tones as well

Taste: Shortbread malt, up front, with pith flavors building; a more assertive, pine flavor arrives in the middle and the malts reassert in the finish to balance out the bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nicely balanced IPA with an enjoyable hop bill; nothing mind-blowing but an appealing middle of the road IPA

 506 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great sessionable IPA.
Bright golden orange with a steady plume of ever present carbonation. A ton of sticky lacing and long lasting head retention. Looks great.

Pungent aroma with a hint of the dank, resiny greens, chive.

Melon or cantaloupe flavors minus the sweetness, toasted popcorn kernels, light bitterness. This is all about the hop flavor. Light to medium bodied without the sticky sweetness or harsh bitterness of some IPAs. Even keel and very drinkable. Recommended.

 489 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear golden color ale with a medium size white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of light floral hops with some citrus notes. Taste is mostly dominated by dry caramel malt notes with some citrus hops notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Good but doesn’t stand out as much as I had expected and can’t really tell the difference between this hop oil and the regular hopping process.

 421 characters

Photo of mothman
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite ipas from SN. At $1 a bottle, this is hard to pass up. Very juicy and hop resiny. Bitter, but clean. A lot of floral hop flavors. Very easy to drink. Very enjoyable.

 184 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 2/17/2015. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep golden color with a 2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine resin, cracker, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of bright citrus/pine hops and light-moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, orange peel, citrus rind, pine, cracker, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, lemon/orange peel, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice IPA. All around great complexity and balance of bright citrus/pine hops and light-moderate pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,433 characters

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a standard pint glass a lighter orange infused golden with a half finger quick to fade white head atop.A mix of citrus and floral notes on the nose,some dry bready malt as well.A good mix of citrus,grass,and herbal hop flavors that meld into a dry lightly toast malty finish.A good drinking flavorful year around from SN,can see this being a fridge beer for me.

 369 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nose of pine, resin, grapefruit, floral, dank, faint bready malt. Taste citrus, grapefruit, grassy, oily, hint sweet malt, slight spiciness, light-med body.

 156 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 1,113 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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?

 1,537 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 3/13/2015 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI, served in a tapered pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a strong hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a very solid IPA to drink for a long time.

 726 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium golden orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint honey colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy bright white head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Strong aromas of hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit, pine, and herbal in descending order of intensity. That is followed by light aromas of slightly sweet grainy malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sightly sweet grainy malts. That is followed by strong flavors of hops - citrus/grapefruit zest, citrus/grapefruit, pine, and herbal in descending order of intensity. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness which fades away slowly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp upfront with a light amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable, nice strong aromas and flavors of hops without being overly bitter. Sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the hops are pretty much in balance. Easy to drink and definitely one to grab again.

 1,205 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pretty basic and uninteresting, not very crisp and hoppy like I prefer my IPAs. Not undrinkable, but I'd probably even take a regular SN Pale Ale over this.

 156 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Interesting melon fragrance. Looks nice enough in the nonic with a big foam. Usually the SN brews are paragons of carbonation so I am just being picky when this one seems to be coarse and watery.

Honeydew melon with a touch of lime. A touch of honey and lemon-lime soda. Way bitter. Barky and herbal finish. Not one of my favorites in the IPA realm. Gets less drinkable as I sip. Those who love a good hop roughhouse may be pleased. From the 12 oz single purchased at a little liquor store in Anacortes, Wash.

 511 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a little to catty/weedy for me (on draft). Loved the nose. Will buy bottles if I see them to show that compares to draft. Worth a try by all means...

 161 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Hazy, dark gold color. Moderate head that leaves a cross between web and blanketing lace.

"Refrigerator" hop aroma. What I mean is the smell reminds me of my hops from the fridge for a making home-brew--they weren't fresh, but they still were appealing.

The flavor has a good lightly caramel malt base with a neutral bittering hop bite in the swallow. Nice balance. I like the full body with the elevated carbonation. The aftertaste is straight-up bitter which lasts a long time. Easy to drink.

 504 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Fridge in Lancaster, poured chilled in a pint glass from the 12oz.

The color is brilliant golden with great clarity and 2 finger white head with fine bead and lace that sticks and holds. The smell has a full on hop aroma with herbal odor and slight pine scent with a gentle tropical quality with mild malt in the nose -there is an impressive amount of hop aroma. The feel is moderately high in bitterness with light sweetness level and medium carbonation with mostly dry finish and low astringency with residual bitter texture and light alcohol influence.

The taste is dank with spicy hop flavor up front and piney/herbal quality in taste with mild malt adding only a touch of sweetness to the hop dominant middle with a warming element of alcohol as it warms with mostly dry spicy finish. Overall this is a very good IPA, the taste is decent for the style with a nice amount of citrus hop flavor and aroma with enough bitterness to go with.

 965 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Alright, let's freebase some hops whilst drinking their seasoned nectar, shall we? This stuff pours a clear sunshine brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises pine resin, greens, a hint of either leek or cabbage (it's faint, so it's hard to tell which with any bit of certainty), and a backbone of mild caramel. The taste brings in more of the same, some pine needles joining the party in the vaporous aftertaste (seriously, I've got a whole Vicks humidifier thing going on in my mouth here). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a solid IPA, though I'm not sure the hop oil distillation was really all that necessary or even that helpful. Gimmicks be gimmicks, regardless of who's using them, but at least this one is relatively benign.

 861 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, VA.

Clear golden body with a frothy quarter inch of white head. Fresh pine and citrus aromas. Fresh hop character with minimal malt interference. Refreshing with a subtle bitterness in the finish. Easy drinking and smooth. Tasty.

 270 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Hop Hunter is quite nice. The beer poured a golden clear with thin white head that is leaving a lace. The scent has bittering hops with hints of pine. The taste follows the scent fairly closely....and finishes bitter. This seems more like a true English style than west coast style. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall...NICE!

 363 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A new beer by Lagunitas? Sweet!!

The hop oils seem very defined here, clean, and sharp. But there is a strong vegetal tone with a slight toasted edge also that seems a bit out of place. It's certainly good, but it's almost too clean. Still a very nice beer though. Just a bit different it seems.

 296 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hop Hunter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 3,197 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.