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Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada India Pale AleSierra Nevada India Pale Ale
382 Ratings
Sierra Nevada India Pale AleSierra Nevada India Pale Ale

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

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-25-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of yzer
4.92/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review for BA, so I should make my viewpoint known. I am pretty new to craft, micro brews and ales in general. I took an interest in ales only two years ago.

It seems to me that there are two ways of evaluating an IPA. An IPA can be tasted fresh and soon after the bottling date, or it can be evaluated after six months of cellaring. I believe that the true test of any IPA must be made after a minimum of six months of bottle aging: the true test of a beer that was originally formulated to be consumed after an unrefrigerated voyage of six months duration from the British Isles to the Indian subcontinent.

I enjoyed the February 2007 bottling of Sierra Nevada IPA fresh. I also enjoy another SN IPA as a fresh IPA: Celebration Ale.

For this review I have notes for Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale (with the dark green schooner label) bottled 70058 (February 27, 2007). This evaluation was enjoyed in September of 2007, when the IPA was six months old. It was cellared without refrigeration in my garage stored dark and covered in a cool northern corner on slab concrete.

SN India Pale Ale is poured into a glass stein. Aroma is hoppy, fruity and pungent without the slightest trace of skunking. A raisin scent is noticed immediately. The head is quick to form, modest in height, dense, sandy off-white in color and laces well. Carbonation is lively and long lasting. The color is dark amber with burnished gold highlights. This IPA poured with a medium clarity owing to suspended yeast that accumulated on the bottom ½ inch of the bottle during six months of aging. Plenty of yeast stayed put on the bottom of the bottle.

The taste displayed a sharp but not overly powerful hops bite that lingered as the predominant aftertaste. The malt and fruitiness of the Goldings hops combined harmoniously as only single hop ale can: toasty, mellow malt with depth and a rich caramelized sweetness. The dark raisin and toffee taste was a welcome surprise. Substantial, but medium feel in the mouth but refreshing. Not bad in the summer. Robust hops bitterness aside: this is the sweetest IPA I have yet to taste.

I’ll offer another review of this ale in March 2008, after the brew has bottle aged for a year.

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale is a beautifully balanced bottled IPA. I’m asking the brewery to do another bottled run in February 2008. I hope they listen. Pack it in 12-pack boxes so we can lay it up for six months or more.

I’m looking forward to tasting SN Celebration Ale late this summer. I’ve laid up several 12-packs low in the boat so they will be ready to enjoy at anchor in the heat of August.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.84/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The bottle identifies it as 2007 vintage. Beyond that, "7005A0844" is as cryptic as anything that I have ever seen. Oh well.

Poured with about a finger's worth of off-tan head with little retention. Nose was pine-y, citrus-y, and resin-y, absolutely an American IPA! Color was a slightly hazy deep-amber with a lot of effervescence. Mouthfeel was full and bubbly with an outrageous burst of hops on the tongue that almost made me cough. After a week of Ukrainian whatevers, this was such a welcome change. Oh man, I felt like a junkie who has been trying to kick with methadone for a week and finally gives up, taking a solid mainline hit into his favorite vein (not that I'd know anything about any of that, being such a straight arrow and all). The finish was hops, hops, and more hops. Tell you what - keep the malty stuff and just keep feeding me this kind of thing. Say, did anyone else hear a monkey chattering in the background the last few days? It's no matter. He seems to have shut up now. Where can I get some more of this? It was much needed.

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Photo of oelergud
4.82/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper body. Plenty of carbonation feeding a light tan head with great lace and good retention.
Spicy hops and sweet malt greets the nose. Some honey and caramel. Faint floral notes and even weaker hints of licorice.
Incredible balance. Very sweet malts are held in perfect check by the strong and spicy hops. Aftertaste is pure bliss and last pleasantly on the tongue. balanced at first then giving way to stronger and more powerful hop characters.
Mouthfeel is great. Slightly dry finish and very refreshing. Good coating and slick sensation left after the swallow.
Great drinkability but watch the ABV. This is an IPA with enough kick to take on anyone.


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Photo of doppelmeup
4.73/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was really an awesome beer!

Poured a bottle in a pint glass. Thick, half inch head that left gorgeous lacing all the way down the glass. Golden amber color. It looks like the perfect light (as opposed to stout) beer.

Aroma was nice and hoppy, but not overpowering. It really smelled good! I was glad that it lacked the strong grapefruit and pine smells which I have really grown to dislike in so many other American beers.

The taste was perfect. Very bitter, balanced by the right amount of malt flavor.

A very clean, bitter finish that left the palate refreshed and wanting more without leaving behind a clingy, nasty, hoppy aftertaste, a la Celebration. Just the right thickness and carbonation.

Extremely drinkable brew. I've found a new favorite beer to have when I just want a "beer" to drink and don't want to mess with all the over-the-top and extreme beers that we seem so obsessed with creating. This is what I think of when I think of a glass of beer.

Hats off to Sierra Nevada for creating this awesome brew!!

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Photo of John
4.66/5  rDev +27%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deliciously hoppy with just enough malt balance. A rare and exceptional American IPA.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gave this a vigorous pour which resulted in an 1 1/2 inch head that gradually subsided into an 1/2 inch about halfway-down, then 1/4 inch or less the rest of the way, and left nice lacing all the way down. Color is an appealing golden-orange copper. Aroma is hop citrusy, and slight malt sweetness- both of these seem almost perfectly balanced. Taste is similiar, pretty much delivering the taste promised by aroma: a mild grapefuit hop bite followed by a minimally sweet (which I prefer) malt, finishing slightly and pleasantly dry, but not parchingly so. Very smooth and full mouthfeel.This is entirely satisfying, and leaving me wanting more, and more was had, and has been had. SNIPA2006 is very drinkable, one for both us hopheads, and those who are, well, the OTHERS (it won't scare them away, and they will actually enjoy it). An excellent, if sublime substitute for Celebration, and in fact I found this after exhausting all possible sources of SN Celebration 2005. I have been enjoying this since finishing the last of 2005 Celebration that I could find, and while Celebration is infinitely way more better, as well as my personal favorite, this is an excellent IPA- a little less (but only a little less) aggressive as most "west coast IPA's", which makes it seem a more sublime IPA than it really is, and of course another excellent offering from SN.

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Photo of JDK
4.65/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden amber color with an off white head that slowly disappeared into a ring
Smell is very faint, light hops
Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation
Very good citrus taste, mostly of grapefruit, that lasts for quite a while on the tongue.
This is a great beer, very easy to drink.
Definately one of my favorite PA's

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.58/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

excited to try this one, i've been trying to find it for a while. probably my favorite style by one of my top 5 breweries.

pours a semi-dark pale copper color. strangely crystal clear. off-white head will explode if you're not careful. looks nice.

smells like bitter earthy hops. pretty good. very subtle citrus. kind of faint.

taste is great. quite bitter hops dominate. very earthy tasting, not the fruitiest IPA. the finish is nice and dry and smooths out nicely. more balanced than i expected, although the hops run up front. a very earthy, herbal hoppy tasting brew. i rate it exceptional for it's crispness, smoothness, and it's unique bitter flavor.

mouthfeel is quite crisp. medium in body, and nice crisp dry finish makes it extremely drinkable. it's dry enough to keep you thirsty, and its unique flavor keeps you (or at least me) interested. not what i expected, but awesome brew!

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Photo of ITK4ever
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid 4.5 across the board. I realy expected nothing less from Sierra Nevada. This will be a go-to IPA that macro drinkers will embrace. Clear honey-amber pour with a medium white head that lingered nicely. Not the ball-basher that most new IPA's are, but very well balanced and tasty. Hint of everything an IPA should be, but in balance. This brings to mind "Old School" IPA's before the US hopped them up beyond all recognition.

I'll be sessioning this stuff all summer long.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The alcohol is 6.8% by volume as indicated on the keg cap. It pours a clear mahogany with a frothy off-white head that holds extremely well and leaves excellent lace. The hoppy aroma is reminiscent of pine, mild fresh cut grass and gently sweet citrus. (Cascades are clearly evident in the burp). It's very inviting - and far from overpowering. The body is medium with a very fine and moderate carbonation that starts lightly crisp and becomes gently creamy as it warms in the mouth. Very smooth. The flavor starts with a berry-like fruitiness that's well-entwined with caramel-tinged malt (quite similar to the maltiness in their Bigfoot barleywine), and reveals some more hop flavor as it crosses the palate. It finishes dry with a soft, sweet malty note that receeds to show the full bitterness. Exceptionally well balanced. The bitterness supports the malt and somehow does not really show its full force until the end - and it keeps that very nice contrast going throughout the glass! I was surprised at how unique this beer was, as so many IPA's seem to be carbon-copies of each other these days. I was also impressed that I wasn't beat over the head with hop bitterness and flavor, but allowed to enjoy a really interesting malt character as well. Very interesting, very unique, and very drinkable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Zorro
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the efforts of Murrayswine and UTBIF!

Bizarrely this beer is made in California and I can't find any of it in this state! A fresh bottle that proudly proclaims that it was brewed in 2006 and not 2005.

Pours a clear copper colored beer with a tall thick long lasting light tan head.

Smell is nice rich malt with some caramel and candy aromas. Scent of good strong and fresh West Coast hop leaps right out at my nose lots of grapefruit and citrus aromas and the oily to soapy aroma that you only get with the very fresh version. Lesser scents of cake and vanilla round out the scent of this beer, it is a little sweeter smelling than the pale ale version.

Taste is very mildly sweet but that is quickly pushed aside by a good stiff hop bitterness and spiciness. Very piney and resinous flavor from the very start this is quite a strong IPA. Individual hop flavors of lemon and grapefruit rind dominate the bitterness and add a pleasant spiciness. The herbal aspects of hops are not lost either this has a very pleasant herbal flavor but I wouldn't really say it is an English style IPA. As strong as the hop load is with this one it avoids harshness which is the telltale difference between a good IPA and a beer with just a whole hell of a lot of hops thrown in it.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

I feared that this would be over hyped and beer that wasn't nearly as good as it's reputation in reality: I was pleasantly wrong about that. This is a VERY good IPA that I wish I had more of. I do see that I rated this a straight 4.5 beer and I have been sitting here and trying to find a reason to take away some points but I honestly can't find any way to do that, this is a truly good IPA. Highly recommended by me!

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Photo of scottder
4.49/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As many others have noted, this is a very balanced IPA. The hops are their, but there is malt spine behind it. That's how I personally like my IPA's. I find the hop flavor a TAD harsh, but nothing that would make me avoid this beer in the future. Now they just need to make their AWESONE Celebration Ale year round.

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Photo of cbak999
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - an instant favorite of mine.
This is like their APA on steroids. And it's hoppy. Some citrus, but mostly piney hops come together in a crisp, lightly colored IPA. An excellent display of cascades!! This beer poured into the glass a coppery, tan color - not as dark as Celebration. Great head and lace that lasted the entire glass. This is very drinkable and I will be going to this beer often - as it's now available in FL. WHOHOO! Definitely worth a shot if you are an American IPA fan!

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Photo of dlbrockmiller
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice shade of amber with a smallish head that settles slowly. It has mellow woodsy citrusy aroma. The taste is even better than the smell with a nice smooth mouthfeel, not too carbonated. It does have a bit of a spicy hops bite but not as much as some. Overall another nice beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. stubby, 2007 version. A rough pour delivers a two inch, sticky head atop a coppery, hazed, and lightly carbonated body. It smells of earthy hops, with a light backing of buttery malts, and piney, perfumy, floral, and citric notes emerging as it warms. The flavor follows this closely, with an assertive bitterness quickly subduing any notions of the mildly sweet, carmel malts provided for ballast. The body is medium and quite smooth, (but a bit too low in carbonation) with a long, enjoyable finish. Overall a well crafted IPA. I like the hop usage here (American for bitterness, British for aroma), as it makes this beer stand out a bit more in the large field of IPAs. Definitely worth a try - make sure to keep an eye out for this seasonal.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.41/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks amazing. Sheets of beautiful lace, nice head. Smells ok, malty and hoppy.

Tastes nice. Earthy, grassy hops, clean bitterness. Nice malt backbone as well. Smooth, clean mouthfeel. Superbly drinkable for the ABV. Glad this has finally made it to Indy, another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of psugrad98
4.39/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a surprisingly good IPA. Fresh tasting, with a fruity/floral bouquet. Slight bitterness at the finish. Better at cellar temperature.

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Photo of stodbrew
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep copper/amber color. Nice white head that hung around for a while, but then pretty much went away.

Aroma is very understated, hopwise, but this is a British style IPA. The hops are there, certainly. Earthy and slightly spicy.

Flavor is malt up front and then the earthiness of the hops comes through. Finishes with a lingering hop flavor and a very pronounced, but also very pleasant bitterness.

This is a pretty full bodied beer. Stays with you for a while. Nice carbonation, too.

Overall, they did a great job with this IPA. I'll be getting some more.

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Photo of pheurton
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the blind tiger: a deep reddish brown, nice fluffy white head. this beer remined me of a cross between celebration ale and the pale ale. PNW hops in the aroma, and dominating the taste, but with a great carmel malt presence for balancing. i think this beer doesn't get the respect it deserves b/c it is not over the top, as seems to be the trend these days with IPA's. i found it to be as well crafted as any IPA i've had, and more quaffable than most. understated, but in an elegant way. seek it out.

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Photo of BradBLR
4.37/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the 2007 Edition of IPA.

This beer poured a brownish orange with a white head that lasted most of the beer with a good amount of lacing. The color of this beer seemed very orange, but it still looked very inviting. The aroma was a very strong floral aroma with hints of a dry malt and grapefruit.

The taste of this beer is hops. There was a very strong hop taste that made this beer very bitter, the was a very hint taste of the malt and that seemed to be pretty dry. The mouthfeel of this beer was good with the thickness being about average for an IPA and the CO2 being just right.

All in all another great beer from Sierra Nevada. Give it a try if you get a chance.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear deep amber color. Bountious white puffy head that slowly fell to a thin coating leaving a very attractive lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is a pleasant combination of sujmmer fruit and hops. Taste matched the smell with an initial malt sweetness followed by an impressive, but not overdone, dry bitterness. Finished with more of the bitterness taking control from the malt, and each taste beckons for the next. Impressine and supremely enjoyable.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright shiny copper. Excellent clarity. Light beige three inch head of micro-micro bubbles with a rocky surface. Enticing stretchy lacing.

Fresh bread aroma upfront, with plenty of yeast. Fruity background notes increase greatly as it warms.

Taste starts with a solid caramel/toffee foundation laying down at the front of the tongue. Hops gradually scrub the sweetness away, replacing it withan increasing bitterness. Fruity finish cuts the bitterness. Dry aftertaste. Well balanced, non-abrasive.

Smooth light-medium mouthfeel. Substantial without being overly filling.

Good drinkability, fine for having multiplies per session.

A highly enjoyable example of the lost art of English style IPAs.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

SN IPA has finally appeared in Texas. Into a chalice glass, this pours a clear walnut color with a modest head of foam on top. Aroma is moderately hoppy--grassy and lightly citrusy. Not much aroma, but it's got a fabulous taste, with a burst of flavorful bitterness. Malt presence is very light for the strength, and it ends with a very dry, well-attenuated finish. Few breweries do Cascades like Sierra Nevada. This beer differs from Celebration in that it has a light body despite the strength, and is deceptively drinkable. The strength kinda sneaks up on you.

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Photo of alexgash
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clean, orange bronze body with a thick, dense, ever-lasting light tan head. Very nice looking. Lean, sweetish biscuity malt and fruity sugar get lost in very sappy, Scotch tape-y hops. Sappy, bitter hop flavors right out of the gate. Though the tongue gets numbed early, sweet fruit and toffee malts crack through in an attempt to balance. They almost do, and the long finish is sweet down the middle with almost-astringent bitter edges. Medium-bodied, with a creamy feel. Pretty good. I was ready to be disappointed from some of the talk, but I'll buy more.

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Photo of SargeC
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy orange-gold brew with a golden tan head.

Smell: Pine and citrus hops, sweet malt.

Taste: Nice hop bite with a sweet malt undercurrent.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly acidic with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Great, balanced flavor. The sweet malt really tones down the hops and reduces their bite.

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Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 382 ratings
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