Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada India Pale AleSierra Nevada India Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.67 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 382 |  Reviews: 332
Photo of DuqTroops
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a lot of in the past 10 years.
Reviewed: January 13, 2006

-color is orange and a little amber in body

-very hoppy in smell

-initial taste is sweet with some hops to it.

-not too carbonated and is easy to drink a lot of at one time; or, you can drink one and still be content in the flavor/aroma of the beer.

Will be drank soon and reviewed later.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed on tap at Crickets in Waco.

Aroma: Light but present hop aroma belies the hit your about to take.

Appearance: Clear red glass with a rather small white head for an IPA that only left a couple spots of lace.

Flavor: A balance, but not between hop and malt, but between bittering and flavoring hops. Malt was beat down early and told to stay there. I’m not a fan of heavy bittering hops preferring my hop load towards the end of the boil, but this IPA rides the line for me fairly well. So much bitter that I had to respect it, but not so much that I didn’t enjoy it. There was an orange rind and spice element to the taste as well, which I assume was hop induced.

Mouthfeel: Fairly heavy body, low carbonation and a bit viscous.

Overall Impression: Not what I expected. It’s like a super hopped Celebration Ale. I’d take a Celebration over this one. It’s an interesting take on an American IPA and I’d recommend one just to go to school on. I can’t see this as a session though.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Hollingshead. I've never had this brew so i couldnt wait to try it.

I was pleasantly surprised with this IPA. It was different than i expected. It poured an orangy-copper color with a very slight haze and a nice airy light beige head. Smelled of crisp hops mixed in with malt.

The taste was well nicely balanced with nice hop character of citrus-orange giving way to caramel, very pleasing on the palate... a nice blend of flavors. I was expecting and hoping for a more in your face west coast hops profile but this IPA plays more on the balance and refined side one could say... pleasantly surprising. I wish I could get this in 6 packs.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Sunset. I can't believe it was 6.8, didn't taste that way to me. Rich amber in color, came topped with a 1/4 of thin head. What throws me off is the notes say: gummi bear aroma. I like gummi bears, so I stuck around. Tastewise, the trend continues, as I found this beer to be more hoppy than malty. Definitely not a hop bomb, as I found the hops to be a bit low in this one. More of a early-mid nineties throwback (?) as opposed to today's mega hoppy beers I think.

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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 Truh
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the good fortune of being present to record the meeting of east and west with this one on 4/13/2005. 16-oz. angled glass pour at the Sunset.

Good ½-inch fluff of egg drop carbonation to start with no stick or lace. Kind of a golden mahogany hue with extreme clarity and some drunken action. Very clean smelling hop hit on the nose, along with a light char character, and some underlying woodiness that all adds up to a libation that I must quaff with extreme prejudice. Great hop character but not too biting and a great light roast which I find unusual for the style, but relish.

Got the tip-off to this one from PaulB and knew I had to grab one now before the weekend as I’d be up in VT. The question is, where has this been all my life? Quality ale, I could drink this for a long time.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour with a very thin white head that didn't stick around too long. Even in a smoke-filled bar, you can smell a pretty muscular citrus hop profile in the nose. Fairly straightforward California IPA, but I think I like this one better than the SNPA on tap. The bittering is fairly strong, but I feel that although the hops are stronger, the flavor comes off as more balanced. A nice enough IPA on tap, and I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Crosling
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Hoppy aroma, mainly mint, lemon, grapefruit, herbs and orange with perhaps a hint of toffee and caramel.

Metallic, herbal and very minty hop taste with other notes of pine, resin, honey and caramel. A solid beer. I just dislike the hop variety.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena, CA on Saturday 18th September during the Sierra Nevada Beer Festival and a mini-BA Gathering. Served in a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, $3 for the Pint.

Generic Sierra Nevada Tap Handle that had a dark green tap handle with the letters ‘IPA’ on it in white text.

Appearance: Lovely orangey body with some coppery hints. Nice looking white head that was a ¼” thick and hangs around looking like it will disappear at any time but never does.

Nose: Spicy hops in the nose, some malts and a light lemon trait also.

Taste: Another clean brew, simplistic yet refined. All the benefits of the Pale Ale mixed with the daring extra hops mean that this is most definitely an India Pale Ale, but in a Sierra Nevada kind of way. Does not disappoint, but its not a “big” IPA as some may expect.

Mouthfeel: Above average body, I don’t recall anything but a creamy dry feel that balanced the malts and hops in the body of this one, though this was after quite a few of the Sierra Nevada brews at this point.

Drinkability: Nicely balanced with a decent hop kick. Good offering from Sierra Nevada that adds an extra notch for those of us that still love SNPA but fancy that bit extra.

Overall: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with a bigger hop profile which is not a complaint but more of an observation. A tasty IPA, and one that I would invest in for the times I want a beer I don’t have to think about but know that I can enjoy. Never seen it in bottles but if I did I would get a 6-Pack.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber hued coppery pint in an apropos SN pint. Tight thin, off white sticky hop infused head with spotty lace.

Earthy hoppy nose meets some hard candy, possibly from a malt balance.

First Swigs: Yes, SNPA-ish however with more pine resin hopinesseven more so. Orange hints. (Centennial?) Slight dry finish that lasts a bit.

Medium bodied with well sizzled feel.

Last swigs: A Sizzle crisp feel. Lighter than SNPA but prefer the Pale. Had this a Grace Tavern 9/11/04 in Philly for $4. I was quite looking forward to trying this one, but a wee bit dissapointed.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada IPA. The name brings to mind a stinky mug full o' hops, but this one isn't as over-the-top as i'd expected. Not even close to an imperial or double.

My review notes are rather funny for this particular sample, messy and underspecific. To paraphrase, the beer was surprisingly typical from a brewery with a definete love/addiction with the hop cone. The taste was very mellow and avoided that sting-y west coast hop blast with a more mellowed, noble-hop effect. I'd bet these are all west-coast hops, though.

Falls right in after the Pale, before the Harvest and well below Celebration in terms of IBU, I suspect. Tasty nonetheless, and something i'd really warm up to if I had it occasionally.

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Photo of IceAce
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Body is burnt sienna (my favorite crayola color) topped with a thick and sticky dark cream-colored collar of foam

Aroma: Hoppy (of course) and sweeter than expected...though reminiscent of it's Pale Ale and Celebration cousins

Taste: While very good by IPA standards...dissapointing by the brewer who also delivers the aforementioned Pale and Holiday beers

Mouthfeel: Engages the entire mouth with oily, hoppy resins...

Drinkability: Enhanced by the fact that this beer is a rare find on draught in So. Cal.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.07/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Maproom in Chicago.

Dark copper color, 1/2" head, leaves very nice lacing.

Floral hop aroma very noticable and well balanced by malt sweetness.

Medium-full bodied, fairly smooth with prickly carbonation. Floral hops abound and become slightly bitter. A light sweetness comes through as wll and leaves behind a light dryness. A very straightforward and drinkable IPA.

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Photo of bditty187
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tawny-coppery-bronze hue, largely clear, it was served with a tiny, soapy head. I can’t really comment on the “head” retention, I guess the soapy bubbles did hang around for a while. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but pervelent. This is a good-looking beer. The bouquet is launched with big citrusy-orange aromas, very potent and very pleasant. Behind the fruitiness were the hops, raw hop leaves, piney, but nothing extraordinary. The bouquet does have typical IPA qualities. I’m sold. Lets drink. The palate is balanced enough, the hops shine up front, and it’s a bit spicy, citrusy too, vaguely piney at the back. In the middle the hops still linger but the malt makes a fleeting appearance and introduces itself as nothing more than an ordinary kiss of caramel-maltiness, which doesn’t last long anyway. In the finish a bit of alcohol heat melts into the reemerged spiciness of the hops. This is a perfect ending for this IPA. Modestly long aftertaste. Medium in body, modest, natural carbonation, all in all it has a good mouthfeel. This is highly drinkable and plenty tasty enough to enjoy a few in one setting even if this is little more than a textbook IPA. Still, it is worth trying. I sampled this dandy on tap in Omaha.

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Photo of Trentonator
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer. It had a nice, light taste and a good, not too overpowering mouthfeel, A lot of pale ales taste like you are sucking on an old penny, you get a coppery, bitter aftertaste. Not so with this fine IPA. This beer would be excellent with some Indian food, complementing it precisely.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This arrived with a good head sitting on top of a light brown tone with hints of orange. It left a substantial and good-looking lace as well.

This was much more balanced than I expected. The taste is very good, and the hop kick was snappy but not at all overwhelming. It feels good in the mouth and it goes down pretty easily. Unique flavor, and well done!

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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 CBFanWish
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Your textbook IPA, really. It poured a golden amber with a moderate head. The scent was fruity and had a slight pine aroma to it. The taste was very hoppy. Bitter with a fruity flavor to it. Not a bad beer. Not a bad IPA. I would drink it any time. I guess I'm just a wierdo hippy.

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Photo of ChappyCubsFan
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Having been drinking the pale ale for so many years I was surprised when I finally saw the IPA in the store. My reaction was somewhat neutral. It had a cascade hop taste and a fairly good malt balance, but I expected more. I was looking for something more bold. I liked the color, but not impressed with the pour or taste. It just doesn't measure up to the big robust taste of the California IPA's. That was the only Sierra Nevada IPA I've had. There's just too many better ones on the market.

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

Pours a nice amber with a small wispy white head. Hops assault the nostrils and some sweet malts are there as well. Floral and citrus are in the front of the palate, and a slightly sticky, sweet, and resinous bite stays with you throughout the pint. Dry, slight bitter finish, then disappears. A very nice IPA, and the first time I have ever seen it offered (hey, I live in no-man's land, OK? :) )

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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 allboutbierge
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An extremely drinkable IPA.

An off white head seems to float endlessly on top of its copper/golden body. Aroma is strong and that of fresh floral/citrus like hops. The smell quickly grabs the drinkers attention. Taste is dominated by a combination of relatively strong, but balanced hops alongside sweet and mellow carmel malts. Its slightly bitter but no where near over bearing. I expected it to be heavier in the hops, coming from SN and all, but I was not dissapointed. Very drinkable as it doesnt scorch your taste buds like so many overhopped IPAs (on a side note, which are my favorite). Solid and worth a try.

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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 LarryKemp
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer came clear and golden with a fair head. The hops were not promenant in the aroma. They were also mellow in the flavor. The taste was fairly balanced with the hops slightly winning the battle with the malt. The mouthfeel was light and carbonated. The bite on the tongue was short lived but the bitterness lingered. It was a drinkable beer but was not what I expected in an American IPA. All aspects were understated.

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

Coppered yellowy color with a thinnly placed, thick, foamy white head. Smells of light lemon and leafy hops. Crisp and clean but fairly light. Strong taste of lemony hop oil with a feathered leafy texutre. Bitter citrus finish that boosts and grabs the palate. Has some slight pineyness to it and a light toasted malt backing. Fairly full feel at first, gradually smooths out as it warms but stays fairly hoppy and bittered. A decent enough IPA.

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Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 51.3% out of 100 with 382 ratings
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