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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 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 echoes
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a glass.

A: Pours a golden-amber color. About finger-length bright, white head. Head dissipates rather slowly leaving an admirable spider-web lacing. Little bit of carbonation visible.

S: Smells like malts/bread and caramel (malt). Piney/earthy hops smell is also there.

T: Kind of herbal and sweet. Also kind of a bread/biscuit taste. Quite reminiscent of a pale ale because the bitterness isn't as high as most other IPAs I've tried. Does have a bitter aftertaste however. Not too bad though.

M: Medium-bodied and smooth. Pretty satisfying.

O: Might not be satisfactory for IPA fans, which I do not consider myself. As others have mentioned, it does resemble a regular pale ale. The bready/biscuit/carmael malts/flavors actually blend surprisingly well with the light hops.
Not too bitter and is satisfying IMO.

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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 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 CanuckRover
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A polished copper with big foamy head. Nice lacings all the way down.

Oddly enough, not a whole lot of hops in the aroma. Malt is a good deal more noticeable, with nice toffee and caramel notes.

Again, malt is surprisingly front and centre for an American IPA. Loads of sweet juicy malt with a strong toffee presence. Hops come a bit late to the party, but provide a pretty long lasting bitter finish.

It's not a bad beer, but a bit too subtle for the style. A bit of an English feel to this IPA.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy amber pour, with a thin head & not much lacing. Aroma was dominated by woody/citrus notes, and not much hop bitterness. The flavor affirmed this, but it was even a little more subtle. Medium-bodied, fair carbonation, and a nice dry finish. Certainly sessionable, but it just doesn't have that hop kick that most people have gotten accustomed to, even for an English-style ipa. I was surprised that the Cascade presence, which is Sierra's calling card, was less than anticipated.

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Photo of smithflipper
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber in colour, poured without a great deal of head.

faint citrus, pine and sweet caramel.

Not a great deal of hop flavour for an IPA. some piney hops come then the caramel malt flavour covers it.

reasonably sessionable, not overly carbonated.

Pleasant but a touch plain jane.

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

I was shopping for some bottles at Jessup Beverage and ducked in next door to their bar to see what was on. I settled on this. Arrived in a standard shaker glass a tad too cold. Appears a clear copper color with barely a finger of lingering, off white foam. Not much lacing to speak of. Smell and taste is dominated by notes of pine with bitter citrus (lemon), and bready malts playing backup. Medium in both body and carbonation. I'd probably look elsewhere for my IPA fix.

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Photo of MisterClean
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sac Brew Company's Sierra Nevada night.

A - Poured copper with a 1 fingered white head, which dissipated moderately slow and left little lacing.

S/T - Notes of caramel, breadiness, light pine, and bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, very hop dominated and dry.

D - Not bad, but I expect much better from SN. Not their best effort.

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Photo of cnally
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at a buffalo wild wings. start the jokes now.

amber clear coloring with a fluffy distictly lacing head. not bad, but pretty standard.

pukey sour smell, the hops fade weakly in the background.

slightly malty and floral flavor. creamy and very subdued on the hop flavor which is always discouraging walking into an ipa. I by no means like hop bombs, but at least a slight bang of hops would be nice.

creamy feel. full and not cloying.

easy to drink but keep your nose out of the glass.

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Photo of SykDoc
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a transparent light copper. A 1/4 inch almost white head forms that reduces to a nice lacing.

The aroma was a bit unusual to me when comparing to other good IPAs. It has a very earthy tone with some background citrus and pine notes. The maltiness is readily present.

The taste was is similar to the aroma with some raw earth that is stronger than the hoppy goodness which is definitely present. The malt flavor is reasonable and it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a light/medium body with a adequate level of carbonation. There is a dryness that lingers with the bitterness.

Overall, this is a fairly good beer but when comparing it to some of the better IPAs, it just fails to compete.

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Photo of marc956
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I enjoy IPA's (especially Stone Brewing Co. and Lagunitas), but was quite disappointed with this one especially compared to other Sierra Nevada products that I've had over the years. It was a bit too bitter for my taste and not quite strong enough.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada IPA is an amber ale with some tiny dust-like particles swarming around in it. It is topped with a small, frothy, off-white head that fades rather quickly but leaves excellent lacing. The aroma is of pine and citrus. Underneath that is straw, molasses, concord grapes and granny smith apples. The mouth feel is slippery and slick. It is light to medium bodied. The carbonation is soft. It has a softly numbing effect on the mouth. The flavor is of West Coast hops-- pine and citrus. The flavor sweetens a bit and ends up like cinnamon candy. This is like their pale ale with a little more oomf.
(rated Jul 17, 2007)

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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 nasty15108
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz bottle (2007) into a pint glass.

A - Cloudy amber/orange color with a head of off-white foam.

S - Malty with hints of caramel and citrus/pine hops.

T - Slightly sweet up front followed by a slightly spicy hop bitterness.

MF&D - Nothing special. I don't think I would want to drink more that 1 or 2 of theses.

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Photo of praufs01
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear copper with a frothy off-white head and good lacing.

Aroma - Light malty smell with a little wet hay in the background.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with light carbonation.

Taste - Crisp and clean with pine and grapefruit domination the flavor.

Overall - A very nice IPA, of course most beers taste better on tap. I could drink a lot of these ; )

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

Poured a nice copper color with a thin white head that provided some lacing, but dissipated fairly quickly.

Smells hoppy, but not a strong as I'd expect from Sierra Nevada. Some other grain scents can be detected.

Nice hops flavor with some citrus tones and some malts. Nice finish, not bitter like others in the class.

Medium body and carbonation.

Easy drinking, smooth.

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Photo of dnichols
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was served an 8 ounce sampler from a keg at a Blues festival in eastern Washington.

A: It poured a bright orange body with a modest white head. The head retained well and supported a layered lacing down the side of the glass.

S: It emitted the aroma of pine and citrusy hops with a background of toasted malts.

T: It had a dominant hop profile that was well balanced by sweet toasted malts. The hops were piney and citrusy and the malts were creamy and sweet.

M: It was light to medium bodied with a bitter aftertaste. It was moderately carbonated.

D: It was a bit overhopped for my taste. However, there was an effort to present a balance, but, the brew fell just short.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A nice rich copper color with a small head and very little lacing.

S- Very light and small amount of hops here. Pretty mild comparing to other IPA's I've had.

T- Not terrible pretty mild for an IPA though. Still a little better than the smell indicated. Some sharp spices, hoppiness and also some light fruit hints here.

M- Very little carbonation and felt very light.

D- Not too bad just like my IPA's with more bite to them.

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

(Originally reviewed on Feb. 21, 2007)

Red/orange with a tinge of caramel; crystal clear and a moderate inch head which took some aggressive pouring to reach; head subsided quickly and there's a steady, minimal stream of carbonation bubbles.

Smells of hops and bready malts. Nothing big hopwise here, which was both surprising and disappointing. It almost displays more malt presence than hops.

Taste & Mouthfeel
Nice crisp and clean flavor, which a good bite of hops all the way through, though not over the top like an American version would be. Light-to-medium body. The hops are balanced nicely by a subtle malt backbone. Even though the predominant flavor is hops, it's still not as hoppy as one would expect from Sierra Nevada, but to be fair, they were going for an English style IPA. Compared to Sierra's other IPA, Celebration Ale, this isn't as striking, balanced, or tasty. It's not a bad beer, but is fairly weak for an IPA.

It's a tasty beer for sure, but not one I would seek out again and again. I've had many other IPAs which stand out much more than this one. This is just too weak for an IPA, especially from Sierra Nevada. I will gladly stick with their Celebration Ale when it's in season. Otherwise, their Pale Ale is just as enjoyable, if not more so, than this.

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Photo of Pencible
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear copper with good light tan head. It had a mild scent of wild hops and a bit of malt. It tasted surprisingly mild with a great hops flavor and a bit of malt balance. Perhaps some of the most delicious hops I've had (up there with the Dogfish Head 90 Minute). It was smooth and oily with no carbonation, and had an aftertaste that started small but built into a nice bitterness. Overall this was very easy to drink but also very flavorful. Great IPA.

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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 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 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 long...well...it almost makes a man weepy. Almost. Thanks for not selling out SN.

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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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