Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

332 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 332 | Ratings: 382
Photo of waughbrew
1.96/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

What the hell was this? I have never tasted rat poison, but I am pretty sure it tastes just like this stuff. (The only thing that I can think of that could explain this mess is if they used a ton of Amarillo hops - only those hops can give off such a harsh, "I'm chewing on sawdust" type of taste to a beer. But the website says magnums and goldings, so I guess I am wrong)

Looked nice, with its deep copper body and pretty creamy stubborn head. Smell was fine, but did give me a hint to what was coming with its aggressive, semi-grating hoppage rubbing me the wrong way. Feel was thicker than any other IPA I have ever had, perhaps a bit too heavy.

But the taste, oh the taste. The only reason that I cannot give it a 1 is that I finished a pint, so it couldn't have been the most awful thing, but it took me about two hours to get it down. Thick and rough, this was like a IIPA gone wrong.

I will give this another chance next time I see it, but only because I cannot believe that SN would put out something that is consistently this awful.

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Photo of drugsbunny
1.98/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Coming from one of my favorite breweries, I am shocked at how much I dislike this beer. I love their Pale Ale and Celebration Ale. As well as the Harvest and Brown Ale, but this is bad. It has an orange tint, moderate head. I couldn't say if it lasted long since I dumped half the beer down the drain. It smelled sour and unpleasantly bitter. And the taste was just acrid bitterness. No malt, no flavor that I could discern. I hope it was a bad bottle, because I got 5 more at home. Skip the IPA.

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Photo of hero27
2.11/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

2007 vintage.
12 oz bottle.

This IPA is ridiculously expensive in my area.. You can actually get a sixer of Bigfoot for cheaper. I should write SN to see why this particular beer is marked up so much higher than their other brews.. SN Celebration I can get for $7.99/six and Bigfoot around $10/six. Why is this $11-12? I guess to discourage me from buying it.. however I did manage to grab a couple singles just to try the '07.

Glowing orange color. Head holds its own for quite some time..
Aroma is missing..very faint, just some slight malt and a ghost of floral hops.
Lackluster hop character..the bitterness is there, but nothing too interesting as far as the floral hop flavor is concerned. No citrus aspect as well so it really leaves this pretty one-dimensional. The malt also lingers in the background, doesn't really show any muscle at all, and fails to compliment the brew. Slick mouthfeel, modest carbonation.
As far as drinkability is concerned, I really have no urge to grab another.

Several big steps down from their Celebration Ale and very dissapointing by Sierra Nevada standards.

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Photo of phartman133
2.13/5  rDev -42%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

A nice copper big with a big head. It has pine and oaky smells. You can't smell the hops in the aroma, but you can once you taste it. Great IPA for someone who isn't into IPA's and who doesn't enjoy that hoppy taste. Goes down smooth, with a pleasant aftertaste.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
2.18/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sierra Nevada- IPA

Appearance- Light golden orange with a small moderate lacing head.
Smell- Metallic. Bitter hops, not the grapefruit rind I was hoping.
Taste- Very metallic. Bitter. Very green unripe hop flavor but mostly a metallic bitter twang.
Mouthfeel- Light and hoppy up front but becoming quite a mess.

Overall- Highly disappointed with this one! I drank the other five only after I polished off a 4 pack of Rasputin Imperial stout ( to help numb my tongue/ mouth)

At all costs buy every Sierra Nevada offering except this!

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Photo of dippy
2.19/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

After years of drinking their pale ale I thought that this would be bringing me to a whole new level of hop. Not so.

Poured a nice golden orange with 2 1/2 -3 fingers of head. Rocky head. Nice start.

Not a huge hop scent, disappointing.

Hop taste is out of wack. It is present but all over the place. There is more hop in my burps than in the beer.

Kind of tastes like a horse pill vitamin.

Not what I expected. I won't be trying this brew again until next years effort.

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Photo of Jwaks
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving 12oz bottle

Shows a great translucent pale orange color with ample carbonation, a lasting off-white head and tons of lacing.

Very muted on the nose with hints of light bready malts, some bitter hops and a dash of citrus zest and resins.

More malty than hoppy, this ipa emphasizes bready and nutty malts on the entry and mid palate with some bitter hops and a bit of lemon zest peaking in on the mid palate to finish. Flavors don't linger for long on the slightly dry grassy hop flavored finish. Lots of resins sneak in here and there making the aftertaste almost woody. Bitterness doesn't come with any citrus or fruit, a bit unpleasant.

Mouthfeel is full for an ipa, with little carbonation and not much grip to speak of on the finish. A bit hallow in the tailend. Not terribly interesting.

A few of these would be all right but it's just too malty and resiny for an ipa, I still thirst for that great hop bite!

All right for an ipa and ok for a backup beer if you can't find your favorite ipa.


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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.27/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - fills the pint mug with 3/4ths beer and 1/4th foam. Sticky eggshell-shaded bubbles slowly recede to a soapy mass of a half-finger of lace around the glass. The beer has a dull tangerine color to it.

Aroma - the sniff seems a bit stale, a first for an IPA. Dare I say macro-ish. Yes, there is a bit of floral hoppiness which fortunately begins to dominate after a few minutes. Still smells a bit off, though.

Taste - good flavor up front with biscuity malts, a brief play of sweetness. The florals and citrus are at mid-palate with the swallow turning things over to the full bitterness of the hops. Dry, just a touch brash, and a little more than a touch medicinal. The finish is quite bitter and a little too harsh. I know the IBU rating is the thing here but the hop character is too under-developed. They start out okay but become increasingly bitter to the point of distaste.

Mouthfeel - the best part. Smooth in the mouth, crisp carbonation, good weight.

Drinkability - I'm glad I didn't buy six of these, one is plenty.Perhaps I'll buy another one just to age it out some of that harsh bitterness and see what happens.

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Photo of gordavidson
2.28/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A- Pours a clear golden color. A small head forms that leaves a little sheet of bubbles across the top.

S- Wow, this is different. There is not a very strong aroma for this IPA. Seemed kind of sour with a little citrus.

T- For some reason the hops and malt seemed off to me. I love IPAs, but this was was just a mess to me. It is bitter and malty- but something is wrong and I can't put my finger on it.

M- Good amount of carbonation, reminds me of the Pale Ale.

D- I did not find this all that easy to drink and it was not refreshing or interesting to me by any means. Why would Sierra Nevada bother with this when they have the Celebration?

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Photo of jdhilt
2.36/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a five+ finger off-white head that slowly fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Nice crystal clear amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is sweet and hoppy with hoppy finish and lingering bitter aftertaste. Typical IPA. $1.50 for a 12 oz bottle from Capital Convenience Concord, NH.

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Photo of NBake
2.51/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a orange/golden color with a 1 finger head taht leaves little lace.

S: Nothing special here. I can smell piney hops, but that's all i'm getting.

T: This one is very unbalanced. Hardly any malt can be discerned until the beer is room temperature, and it is disgustingly bitter. I'm not sure what hop this is, but I'm not a big fan. Tastes piney and resinous. Maybe a little tobacco. Alcohol comes at the dry finish.

M: Mouthfeel is ok. Medium bodied.

D: This one is simply not good in my book. The hops are fierce and there is simply not enough malt to balance it out. I did finish most of the six pack, but the drain saw it's share as well. Given this and any macro lager I would pick the macro in a second.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.59/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one just became available in our neck of the woods, but I had it on tap when I was at the Sierra Nevada Brewery. Their beef-jerky sucks, BTW. Pours to a clear burnt orange, forming a soapy off-white head with superior retention and super-excellent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is actually quite mild when it comes to other American IPA's. The hops are nearly what I anticipated. Mostly grassy, except when swirled. Not alot of esters. The mouthfeel is smooth (at first) and quite nice (at first) with a medium-dense body. The taste is interesting (at first)...Lots of herbaceous hops up front with a smidge of nondescript malt in the middle...the bitterness is up there, but it's not sharp (at first), and over time, leaves me with a sense of oak astringency/bitterness in the finish. Throughout the glass, it becomes more dominant and starts to become harsh, limiting it's drinkability. It almost takes on a Chardonnay astringency the longer I drink it. Very, very dry finish.

The herbal nature of the hops and the sharp bitterness really ruin this beer. Completely unbalanced, astringent, whacked-out bitterness. Bleh.

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Photo of GimmeAles
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Was excited to see this in my local QFC - is this new? Haven't see it before up here although the excellent standards: Pale, Porter and Stout are fairly ubiquitous.

Pours clear and golden, with a pillowy white head (pils like?) that quickly dwindles and almost dissapears entirely. Only the etching on the bottom of my tulip glass keeps anything resembling a head around. Fairly dead after it warms.

Smells of bready, somewhat biscut-like malts with some slightly piney-citrusy hops - though doesn't reveal too much in the complexity department.

Taste is not unlike smell, though bitter, metallic hops assert themselves more. Mouthfeel is thin and again, I'm getting a Pils-like feeling from this beer, strangely enough. Not at all what I was expecting. Would not have guessed this to be an IPA. Lacks complexity, character, etc. Alcohol content is fairly well hidden, however.

Not something I'd buy again - sad considering the quality of Sierra Nevadas standards.

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Photo of geographie
2.63/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

this is the 2007 edition of Sierra Nevada's India Pale Ale.

Pours a nice clear amber color, with a weak off-white head. Smells of cheaper malt bases, reminiscent of a macro-lager. Light, citrus-y hops and a sweet almost melon character is perceived in aroma. The flavor is weak for a 6.9%er. Heavy on the tannins this is quite tangy, potentially masking more delicate notes. Minimal malt front with a decent all around bitterness.
I was expecting something with a little more depth of character and balance from SN, however, this is still an okay beer. Just not great, good is a stretch too. The parts are all here in this beer, the pieces just don't fit right is all.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Another gracious bottle from what I thought was my best friend's fridge.
Glad I could be taking one for the team and alleviating his fridge of this goodliness.
Pours amber in color with a nice half inch head. Smell is some grassy, piney hops. Subdued hops, but they are there. Taste is pretty non-obtrusive IPA. Nothing to get excited about, and not enough hops to make it memorable. Easy drinking, slightly bittering. Decent beer, but will not drink again. Now where's my Two Hearted!

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
2.74/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured froma 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.
2006 on the neck label.

Super clear, deep orange color, with a nice half inch off white head. Tons of delicate lacing. From here this IPA just doesn't do it for me. Very weak aromas, you really have to take a deep breath to smell anything. Some hops, citrus and maybe malts. Nothing special at all. Taste mimics the smell, weak also, it doesn't have that classic hoppy IPA taste. Some citrusy hops and malts. Leaves you with that morning breath taste in your mouth. Grainy and bitter. One of these beers is enough for me. I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada, but their IPA is not for me.

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Photo of 1whiskey
2.76/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Nice bronze color...fairly clear. HUGE head takes a while to settle down. Lots of thick lacing clinging to the side of the glass. Note: Pour this one gently.

Musty aroma greets you once the head dies down.

Thick malty flavor hits you right away, then followed immediately by a bitter and spicy hop bite. There also a sour and musty (again) flavor lingering in the background. Something is off about this beer...but I can't quite put my finger on it. I guess all the elements just don't seem to meld together into a cohesive flavor.

Mouthfeel is very thick for an IPA. Off flavors make for poor drinkability.

Sierra Nevada is an elite brewery with many wonderful beers. This just isn't one of their better offerings.

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Photo of magictrokini
2.8/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear gold with a decent white head. Crystal malt and grassy aroma. But, this tasted just like a regular old Sierra Nevada pale ale. Crystal and caramel malt, tart citrus hops, and mineral water. Maybe if I had one at the same time as their "IPA" I might be able to tell the difference. Where are the hops? Not impressed.

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Photo of Dizzy
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours orange into a pint glass, thin white head. I'm not picking up much aroma, some fruits and hop aroma. This is a very, very bitter beer. I notice some malts peeking out from behind the bitterness, and maybe some fruitiness, but the bitterness really dominates the flavor. Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation.

I remembered liking this beer more on tap, but from the bottle I'm not very impressed.

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Photo of kcillini77
2.82/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into an Ommegang Hennepin glass - aggressive pour fills glass to the top with a two inch creamy head that dissipates over a short amount of time, but not too quickly. Good lacing.

Smell is strong hops - delightful.

Taste is less than impressive, considering the smell. Mostly this is because I am a fan of balanced American IPA's and this tastes more English. If I dare say, not hoppy enough??

Mouthfeel is okay, but nothing impressive.

Very drinkable at 6.9%.

Was glad to see wider distribution on this, but as an IPA fan, I think I prefer Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and Celebration Ale. So it was a disappointment. The guy at the store told me he thought I would like it more than a Goose Island IPA. He was wrong.

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Photo of phiberoptik
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer just was not for me.

It arrived in a traditional beer pint glass with no head left on it, filled to the brim.

Nothing noticeable about the smell, frankly, less than 48 hours later I cannot tell you I smelled much of anything distinct other than the hint of pine hops and some malt.

This beer did not taste like an IPA should to me. No dominating hops, it actually reminded me more of a standard pale ale rather than an IPA. It was drinkable, but not nearly as enjoyable as I had hoped.

If this was the only IPA on the menu I would order it again, but otherwise no thank you.

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Photo of granite
2.86/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A---It poured golden with a medium sized rocky white head.

S--- The aroma was all 2-row malt.

T---Bitterness on top of more bitterness with no detectable flavor or aroma hop additions. Malt is an afterthought it seems. A little saltine crackers came through after it warmed.

M---Medium bodied.

D---It was really below average for an English style IPA. It lacked that floor malted English base malt flavor and fruity English yeast I expect in this style.

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Photo of jwc215
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a thin head that becomes a lasting, thin patch.

The smell is of some faint floral notes. Restrained aroma.

The taste is dry, bitter, herbal, somewhat floral. It has a lean honeyish sweet backbone that at times seems like tea-like leafiness. It has a metallic tinge. Hops dominate, but seem at odds with the malt.

A bit thin, though staying within medium body. Somewhat chewy, but rather harsh.

Can't say I'm impressed with this. It is hoppy, but it doesn't work. The bitterness is out of whack, with an odd sweetness in the back. Certainly nowhere near their Celebration (would have expected a better IPA considering). This is just mediocre at best.

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Photo of Brad007
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a light copper color with a thick foamy head. Has a minimal hop bouquet and seems more malty than hoppy at first. The taste comes off as bitter at first with a mild hoppiness. Not very impressive as something seems to be missing. Not that drinkable either. I am sure though that it would taste better from a tap.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.92/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish amber color with a small off-white head. A sweet maltier hop aroma. In the taste, a mellow, small hop, and a bitter, dry end. It does leave a small hoppy dryness in the mouth. A very nice front and nose, taste was a bit mellow, a nice mellow IPA.

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Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.67 out of 5 based on 382 ratings.
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