Hop Hunter | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 579 | Ratings: 3,193
Photo of ArrogantB
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Light orange color, good head. Aroma is a nice hoppy aroma, very think and inviting. The flavor was boring, bitter but nothing special given the new process. Reminds me of Golden IPA. Boring.

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Photo of Flani
4.96/5  rDev +23.4%
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 Celtics17
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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 tommcsweeney
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me of when Coca Cola came out with a new formula to compete with Pepsi. Sierra Nevada's my go to brand but Hop Hunter IPA tastes like a Lagunitas to me. And I don't like Lagunitas. I'll finish the sixer and see if my opinion changes-

Hop Hunter IPA comment (part 2) - well I feel like a first class heal. After finishing my Hop Hunter IPA sixer I've realized that Lagunitas WISHES it made a beer this great. The hop oil and resins procured through your marvelous process are the likes of which we've never seen (or tasted) before. "What a truly fascinating modern age we live in." I stand corrected and contrite, no longer able to consider myself among the Sierra Nevada faithful. Faithful or not I'll continue to extol Sierra Nevada Brewing Company's virtues and remember the time that even I lost faith, albeit only momentarily.

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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...

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

Capitalizing on new distilled hops technology Sierra Nevada hits you upside the head with another solid ipa. Wasn't sure what to expect from this. Not surprised to discover that it drinks like another outstanding ipa. With a nice blending of tropical, floral and piney hop characteristics on the nose and palate, it's sure to satisfy the hop heads fix.

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Photo of Dodgerrigo77
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice looking beer, poured into a pub size pint. 2inch thick foam head, beers not as golden as I normally like but standard Sierra Nevada appearance.
I can already smell the hops jumpin from the bottle!!
Nice full taste, more bitter & hop forward then I expected. Good balance as malt compliments without getting in the way.
Good carb level.
Really happy with this new 12pack from Sierra Nevada about $13 a 12pack at Safeway, which is a Great deal, Very good IPA but even better deal!

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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.

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Photo of Gotpar
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
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 ocelot2500
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a frothy white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of pine and citrus hops.

Tastes of deep hops with a good malt backbone. Hops lead off with pine, citrus, and some earthiness as well as some herbal notes. Moderately bitter. Malts come in and add some bread and a bit of sweetness. Finishes with a bit of pine resin.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly assertive amount of carbonation.

Overall, I don't know how the hop oil changes it, but this is a good IPA.

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Photo of pkalix
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

session brew !!!!
nice color, mild carbonation, little head.
aromatic.... just like the last guy said "citrus and clean, minty/leafy/herbal...." my apologies for stealing your words, but you hit it right on the head. very light. not necessarily crisp like a great lager but similar qualities and very easy to drink. wish it had just a tad more carbonation..... but other than that, it's a great brew in my book! and I honestly have never met a SN brew that I remember I can say that I really liked.... this kind of reminds me of Lagunita's Born First (yes, i'm aware of the irony of Lagunitas suing SN over the font on this brew....).

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
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 frozen-1984
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep amber with little white head. Lacing is minimal. Smells of the hop oil big pine and citrus notes. Taste is over par. Golf term lol. Just a good but not great Sierra Nevada beer. Good notes from the hop oil but I prefer tornado over this.

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Photo of mabermud
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice. I'm impressed with SN. They've stepped up in these ultra-competitive times. This is a great beer. Sometimes I think of SN as a macro, but when I have beers like this from them, I think, what am I talking about. The look, smell, taste, and feel remind me that this is one of the great pioneers of the craft beer scene. Go Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of everyman
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The aromatics are great! Just pour it and snort it all night. Really, It's just an ok IPA though. The taste and mouth feel are on the brink of...well, diluted and dank compared to Torpedo, and there's a bitter, piney aftertaste that lingers awkwardly, uncomfortably.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. 003 15 C-2 0319 S is the bottle code. Fridge temp.

Poursclear, light golden with a very slight coppery tinge, medium-small head that retains well and lots of carbonation. Pretty. Smell is very nice. Flowery and tropical, but not super strong. Honeysuckle and a little pine.

Taste is surprisingly muted, too. I'm not sure what my fridge temp is, but maybe it's too cold. Second, slower, slurpier sip reveals a hell of a piney bitter backbone. Most of that bright fruity flavor is dominated, but it's there.

Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Overall, quite good beer.

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

Pours a dark gold hue with a quickly dissipating white head.

Nose is grass, pine and some citrus.

Taste is a bit disappointing. Mostly bitter grass and herbal qualities. The bitterness is clean and refreshing but it's not amazing in any regard. Malt is biscuity but not very discernible. This beer is a bit too one note for me. I'll drink a few more of these in my life, I'm sure, but I won't be seeking it out.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.21/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very transparent gold body with a sticky bone-white head. Huge aroma of pine and grapefruit zest. Flavor is similar to the aroma with almost no malt presence. Very easy to drink, on the lighter side with medium carbonation. Not sure if this really stands out from the crowded field of IPAs, but it is a very solid take on a hop-forward IPA.

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Photo of Moose90
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served from 12oz bottle

A — Pours a very very pale amber color, very light overall. There is a thin almost white colored head on top of it.

S — Smells of bitter piney hops, little bit of malt, but its really dominated by piney and bitter hop tones.

T — Quite one dimensional and hop forward, very bitter and dry.

M — Thin overall, extremely crisp, almost over carbonated.

O — OK overall, but it misses the mark, just a bitter piney and dry mess.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the idea of "beer science and experimentation", but I think ultimately it does a disservice to beer flavor/aroma complexity... But I worry MORE if this practice becomes commonplace... "Hey, I know SN is doing this, we should too?!?!?" Also, it will lower the bottom line of big-hop brewers like Sierra Nevada, LAGUNITAS, and Stone... And that will have a big effect on other fantastic local breweries to do anything with hops because they won't be able to do the UBER-IBU the way the big 3x Cali hop brewers do things.

Ultimately I hate the idea of hop essence and distillation as a practice.. Whole Cones 1st!! Pellets 2nd!! Hop Oil....... If I have to.


6-pack picked up over the weekend at the COOP, but it has definitely hit all the bottleshops and I'm sure grocery stores are right behind. Poured tonight into my Funk Fest goblet.. The brew is pale golden... short lived white head with no real retention.

Nose is pithy citrus/bits of pink bubblegum and mango.. very little pale maltiness.. okay when cold, but shows no other elements with warmth... odd.

Clean bitterness up front and honestly a bit abrasive because there doesn't seem to be enough hoppy flavor and the bitterness just drops off and leaves a sorta drying bitter bite on the finish. Weird..

Despite my above bitching, this is a good beer that has plenty of science behind why it is so good.


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Photo of Cheynem
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty good. I consider it to be most useful as a daytime beer as it's pretty light on the hops all told.

It's very easy to drink and balanced, however, and it has a good dank aroma that is instantly enjoyable.

Overall though I think it's more of an 8/10 beer than a 10/10 beer, it's good at what it does especially for the crazy low price but nothing that's going to make you go crazy for it really.

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Photo of spoofer
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had really high hopes and Sierra Nevada let me down on this one. The finish is what I didn't like. Not near as crisp as torpedo or their harvest series. Still a definitely drinkable beer but I think I'll stick to their other offerings.

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Photo of DIM
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, I'm going to be drinking a lot of this one!

Quick review for now, huge sticky grapefruit notes in the aroma and flavor. Very little in the way of malt balance, just a trace of sugar cookie sweetness. Lingering pithy citrus bitterness. Bright and fresh on the palate, this went down quick.

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Photo of jeffstinson
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer overall. On draft at Hunger and Thirst in Lancaster PA, I revived a tulip glass with a 12oz pour. Look, golden body, light thin head, reasonable carbonation. Nose was actually weaker than I anticipated but I also was going post head cold, so that could be me. Very low floral notes but mostly an oily pine resin was present along with a small citrus note. Now the taste is what amplified this beer form a great IPA to a must have. Bitter, citrus, piney, west coast IPA, with a smooth yet somewhat oily texture, and I mean that in the best of ways. This isn't your super dank iPA by any means, but reminds me of a stronger session IPA using the hop oil extract from the Lagunitas line of beers. Bravo Sierra Nevada, this may be one of your best yet in my book.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Hop Hunter from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.02 out of 5 based on 3,193 ratings.
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