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 Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A serviceable IPA. Plenty bitter with a medium to lighter mouthfeel. Some malt, but tilted to bitterness, with pine resin. OK with food, but with all the balanced IPAs available, I would seek those out first.Nice head with orangey colour.Thirst quencher.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage: Sampled on 03/24/07.

Could I possibly be a little disapointed in this brew? The basic pale malts does not balance well against the spicy hops, strong yeast, and soft textures. The hops just seem strong, sharing a metalic note over the timid malt base and throws the beer out of whack. Thus, religating the brew to other ordinary IPA's. The beer feels thin and lingers too much in the metallic range. Just not balanced as well as their famed APA.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a firm head that leaves shards of lace

Smell: Very modest aromatics - a touch of caramel and some earthy hops

Taste: Starts out by laying a nice caramel base upon which some earthy hops tap dance lightly; after the swallow, the earthy/piney hop flavors become more pronounced but there is some pith and aspirin astringency on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent middle of the road English IPA marred only by the finish

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a nice copper color with a foamy, tan one-finger head. Left some very nice lace.

S - It smelled of malt, hops and spice.

T - It tasted very hoppy and malty. The spicy-bitterness was understated.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good IPA. Good blend of malt and hops. Nothing is too overpowering.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at my local hangout I had never seen this anywhere to be honest.Pours a deep orange with a soapy looking head,aroma is hops hops and more hops,very zesty and resiny.Taste as expected was full of hops but not crazy overpowering there was some malt base in there but still citriusy hop ruled the flavor.a better than average beer but nothing to seek out,worth a try.

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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 BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Polished ripe orange with a fine particulate haze that is only detectable with backlighting. A spirited pour results in a lovely, creamyfirm, lightly toasted pastel orange head. A respectable stickiness leads to several 'lace bridges' from crown to glass and a decent amount of lace in small, scattered chunks. A classic looking IPA.

I knew going in that this one is hopped with English varieties (Magnum and Goldings) rather than American ones. That's understandable from Sierra Nevada's standpoint since they probably figured that their Pale Ale has the Cascade/citric hop market cornered. That said, I would have appreciated an aroma with more oomph. I like Goldings just fine, but they haven't been showcased optimally here.

A much better beer on the palate and an excellent example of a style that is too often underhopped (says the 'hop mad' American). How many times have you been drinking an English pale ale and thought 'if only there were more hops... '. Happens to me all the time. I've no idea why those little green cones are muzzled in the nose, but they've certainly been unleashed on the palate.

This beer tastes newly-bottled and is one of the greenest, most bitter IPAs that I've had in quite a while. Some might even call it unbalanced. That word doesn't find its way into my reviews very often, but I'm tempted to use it here. Be aware: when fresh, this stuff borders on tongue abusive. Malt? What malt? Toasted, lightly caramel-like, very nearly invisible.

Bitingly bitter, saliva-suckingly dry finish. Have some bottled water on hand if you plan to make a session out of these babies. The body/mouthfeel reflects the usual SN attention to detail and committment to quality. It's solidly medium--if not a fraction bigger--and is firm rather than creamy or lush. This is an angular, sharp-edged beer rather than a silky, smooth one. That's not a negative, it's just an observation.

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale is probably the most aggressively hopped English IPA that I've ever had. That makes it both authentic and unquestionably American in nature. I like it, but for those who think that SN Pale Ale is too hoppy (and I've known plenty), this beer will make them beg for mercy.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another stellar offering from SN. I had the pleasure of picking this one up recently. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/30/2010.

The pour was typically for SN, rich dark amber with a towering head of white foam that only settles after putting up a hell of a fight, lol. Nice side lacing then drips down the glass. Aroma is mild, nice piney hops, hints of grass. Very herbal and chewy, even in the smell, but I was looking for more of that tea leave like hop note I like in a good english IPA. Nice mellow, well rounded flavor. Hit with the earthy hops first and these mellow out quiet nicely before jumping back with a mild biscuit like flvor that rounds it out quite well. Warming brings more grainy and bready properties out and the stellar carbonation really lets the flavor pop.

Overall another solid and very well recieved offering from a great, great brewery. Could do this one anyday.

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Photo of russpowell
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours honey/bronze with a 2" deep white bubbly head. Head retention below average. Some lacing

Smell: Earthy and citrusy hops mingle with alcohol smell

Taste: Piney/grapefruit hops with some sweetness on the throat during the finish/w more oily bittereness on the end of the tounge

Very well balanced and good carbonation

Good IPA that doesn't overwhelm/excite the palate, but extremely quaffble. Try this

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Photo of smcolw
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts off very good: slight haze with an orange-amber color. Small head, but has good lace.

The smell is surprisingly ordinary. Very little hop (particularly when compared to the Pale Ale and Celebration Ale). Very neutral, not much malt either.

The taste is an improvement from the smell, but still isn't the typical expectation from Sierra Nevada. There is better hop but it is not lasting. The malt is without flaws. Good body and decent carbonation.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh but this doesn't match their typically spectacular offerings. Yet, it is drinkable. I believe that it matches closer to an English Bitter than an IPA.

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Photo of Jason
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz brown stubby, no freshness date but the neck label has the year 2006 on it.

A- Hard three fingers of foam from a vigorous pour, sea foam crust latches on to the inside of the glass. Shiny pale copper hue.

S- A mix of fruity and citric children's vitamins or PEZ in the nose. Coarse hop aroma.

T&M- Sharp bitterness from the hops; herbal, stale tobacco. Graininess has a horse feed like quality. Medium body, crisp and smooth enough to get by. Touch of malt sweetness gets lost quick. Finishes with a harsh herbal hop.

D- This one just seems out of whack to me, the back-end is too clean and the graininess and hop bitterness runs amok.

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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 WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another beer sampled on tap at Fathead's in da Southside. Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber with a full creamy tan head with a nice coating of lacing. Aroma: Citrus within a barrage of west coast cascade hops with notes of a malty backbone, let's get things straight the hops are up front here. Taste: Piney hops nice hop resin oil glides along the palate with each sip, some rich malt caramel playing second fiddle to this magnificant hopped up Sierra Neveda Brew. The hops kick you in your teeth and don't ever really let up but despite this IPA lacking some balance compared to some of the other great ones, it's still oh so good. Mouthfeel: Chewy texture sticky and full body great sensations for the palate. Drinkability: Some may find it a bit cloying due to the pure dominance of the hops, but I have yet to find a beer that's too hoppy. This was a true find in fact I never recalled ever seeing it before, so if you hunt it down give it a try.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, I want to say that I appreciate the fact that SN labels this as the 2007 IPA. I personally feel more brewers should use dates for their beers.

Pours a very slightly fogged amber. Small cream head. Nose is pine hops. Flavor is nice and thick, malty, and mature. Exemplifies the style. Nothing Showy. Just well made. Smooth but a bit thin on the liquid. Nice carbonation. Very drinkable. Could have many of these for sure. For SN to still be putting out a quality product like this after being in the biz for so almost makes a man weepy. Almost. Thanks for not selling out SN.

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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 feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, bright golden/ amber hue, thick, puffy, white head. Classic look, I'm ready for the rest...

Vibrant, hoppy nose, but clean and tight. I can't imagine which hops are here, but it's a spicy, zesty blend...none of the grapefruit-y esters one associates with Sierra Nevada, that's for sure. I like it. English style, lively, but not over-the-top.

Tasting it...bouncy hop play on the palate at first sip, they jump and jostle all over the tongue, but in a most gentle fashion. Bitterness is well within the bounds of propriety, but dazzles the senses just enough. Further flavors raise their voices, apples, ginger, spice, a slice of lemon. Ample malt, hold the court full well, little biscuit and cracker tasting. Firm body, bitter finish, long hold on the palate actually, great hoppy flavor never really flags or fades. I'm liking this one more and more as I finish the glass.

A terrific IPA, not at all like one of the new breed SoCal palate-smashers, but unfailingly delicious all the way through. Nice one.

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Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, twist top and no freshness dating. Pours slighly orangish amber, clear, under a light tan minor head, that leaves a moderate amount of tiny bubble lacing. Nose is boldly of leafy hops. Nicely crafted Brit style IPA, non citric as so many of the Calif. IPAs tend to be, more grainy, resiny in character. Enjoyable, easy drinking ale. I love the SNPA, this is similar, just with an exta load of hops tossed in, Enjoy.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/29/06- Purchased at Safeway in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no noted freshness info. Poured into my Celebration pint glass.

Appearance- Perfect amber in color pour. Full crystal white inch inch head and leaves behind tons of sticky lace. One of the best looking IPA's I have set my eyes upon.

Smell- Malt comes out pretty big in the nose. Much more than the hops IMO. Seems like their regular pale ale smells more hoppy than this one. There is some muted grapefruit and pine there, but not as much as expected.

Taste- Flavor is alot like the smell. Very nice malted action going on with the hops balancing out this brew. The hops are pretty sharp and bitter. Sharp grapefruit flavor. Not a whole bunch of pine if any at all. Malt is deeply toasted and really puts the hops in check.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation level. Mild bitterness in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- Not great, but much better than average and maybe even almost in that upper eschelon. Tasty and one of the better balanced ones I have had.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer served in a shaker pint, beer is amber and has a mild haze, nice white head, one finger, some retention, some lacing, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is very hoppy, very piny and earthy.

Beer is medium in body thins out on the end and finishes really bitter, strongly piny, very bitter, way too bitter for an English IPA but a decent beer, it is a shame this is being retired, oh well.

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Photo of Gavage
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear orange color with a 3" fluffy merangue-like head. Carbonation bubbles clearly streaming upward.

Smell: some hop bitterness is detectable, along with a whiff of citrus.

Taste: nicely balanced malt level with grapefruit, orange, and a pleasant hop bitterness. Lightly dry. Nothing overwhelming, but clearly the bigger brother of SNPA.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout, and the bitterness and citrus tones last a bit into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: a nice IPA, not one to take you to the edge. Pleasantly easy to quaff. There are better IPAs out there, but this is pretty good.

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Photo of tempest
4.17/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty decent english IPA. Nice to find on the shelves as I dont come across many EIPA's. True to style there wasn't a ton of hops flavor. There was a nice mix of the citrus and grass hops and good, strong bitterness. Strong and hoppy, can't ask for much more from the style. Would dry-hopping be appropriate? I feel like tying to improve this beer would just make an American IPA. Give it a try if you like the style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 6.9% ABV stated on the label might inspire you to think it's American styled, but the frigate on the label and short description of the style being brewed since the days of British colonial trade will question your first impression. Let's get this on:

Poured into a glass, its glows with a deep orange color. Now to smell, piney, fruity, and hoppy. A little faint for what I was expecting. When the beer hits the tongue, nothing happens at first touch, but it soon transforms into a citrusy, bitter treat. Notes of raisins, pinewood, and a touch of yeast are caught in the flavors. The bitterness lasts long on the palate.

American? English? Does it really matter? It tastes good. Not quite as bitter as their Celebration Ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear golden/amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head, some lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of bitter hops, a touch of citrus.

T - The taste is very hoppy, with a nice clean bitter ending.

M - Medium body. A slight carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable. Been waiting a long time for this brew and I was not dissappointed at all. Another great brew from SN. Would recommend and buy again.

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Photo of plaid75
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a solid caramel malt with a mild citrus hop aroma. Slight diacetyl aroma detected.

The taste consisted of a soft caramel malt, a biting hop spice and a bit of green apple.

The mouthfeel was clean and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall a good drinkable IPA with a punchy ABV. A nice rendition of the English style. I would like to see an AIPA from Sierra however.

Thanks to brentk56 for sending this my way.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, one-finger thick, light tan colored head that has a bit of staying power. The beer is quite clear and a reddish-tinged full copper color. The aroma has a nice, though subtle, lightly toasted malt note to it and a hint of crystal malt like caramel in the finish. Of course the aroma is quite hoppy with notes of pine, oranges. The aroma is somewhat subtle, and not all that typically aromatic, for a modern American IPA, but it is quite nice and exactly what I expect from Sierra Nevada.

This beer has a solid, almost disproportionate bitterness up front as soon as this beer hits my tongue. The bitterness continues through to the finish where it lingers on for some time. I think that the spicy fried rice that I just had is affecting my perception of the bitterness. There is a hint of citrus character, but just a touch, mostly there is an almost minty-like herbal note and some pine-like flavors as well. At other times this beer has been much more aromatic & hop flavorful that it is right now, though this is the first time I have had this out of the bottle and I wonder if that is effecting things. All in all this is pretty enjoyable, and it is certainly aggressively hopped.

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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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