Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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 hunteraw
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light orangey amber in color, very clear, one finger head with decent retention. Lighter color than I would expect in an English IPA, but spot on for an American.

Smell: More malt than expected in the nose. English (apparently it's Goldings?) rather than citrusy American hops.

Taste: Hops are much more assertive on the palate than in the nose. Bitterness is in the fore, hops flavors take a back seat - I guess that's the magnum at work. Finishes on a kind of odd berry note (distinctly reminds me, strangely enough, of the SA Longshot boysenberry beer). Interesting that malt and hops switched positions between the smell and the taste.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: I wonder what they were shooting for here. Historical authenticity might explain the emphasis on bitterness rather than hop flavor, but I would have expected a darker color and more malt, too, in that case. In any case, interesting but the supremacy of SNPA & Celebration remains secure.

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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 xav33
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in a tulip glass
Recent brewing (2007), sipped 05/07

Poured a clear amber copper with a large fluffy off-white mostly lasting head with good lacing.

Smelt of strong caramel and moderate floral hops.

Taste was upfront strong sweet caramel and oranges and biter floral orange blossoms hops followed by a strong bitter pine resin and light caramel on a long bitter green finish.

Palate was medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated and strongly astringent.

Overall, an IPA that starts tame and finishes with a punch. Some nice soft sweet orange fruit touches. Seemed a bit tame for an American IPA, but it is done in the subtler English tradition. Also seems like the regular Pale Ale has a bit more bite, but I will have to try them side by side to confirm.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.21/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 2007 version.

Dark golden with a thick, creamy, lasting, tan head. Thick sticky lace trails down the glass.

Aroma is light caramel with a dusting of hops

Flavor starts slightly sweet and finishes with a light piney bitterness.

It’s not bad, I was just expecting more.

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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 stephendr
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of reddish brown , with a small stark white head - nose of grapefruit , malts , some BO , and mild hops – taste of dirty hops , mild grapefruit , red fruit??, and malts - body is dry , and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of hops , resin , dry , and slight malts

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

A: Golden-amber, off-white head, not much retention but it leaves a nice lace.

S: Pine, grass, citrus & hints of floral hop aromas; bready malt with a little light caramel.

T: Assertive (but not overbearing) bitterness, piney hop flavour up front, with a little grass & citrus to round it out. Certainly more pine and less citrus than their pale, and balanced tilted to the bitter side. It's probably actually closer to the bigfoot than the pale. There's a little biscuit & light caramel in the background. The alcohol is really well-hidden.

M: Well attenuated, moderate body, smooth, dry, slightly acidic. Modest carbonation.

D: It's well-attenuated & digestible, but the hops are a little harsh & the alcohol could really catch up to you.

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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 yelterdow
4.06/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 2007 edition, served cold in a pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a brilliant gold with nice activity inside the glass... the head rises to three fingers and condenses very well to a fat, inch thick cap. Consistent, sticky lacing drapes the inside walls.

Smell- A perfumy nose of grapefruit and flowers dominates the aroma.

Taste- Restrained, but on the other hand terrifically balanced. The hop bite counters the nice malt backbone, but it finishes with an everlasting smooth bitterness that's really impressive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The initial prickliness on the tongue quickly concedes to a foamy, slick texture that I enjoy for the duration of the tasting. Impressive and consistent, remaining so throughout. A great example of a classic U.S. brewer's take on an English IPA.

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Photo of theopholis
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Poured a nice clear, golden/copper/amber color. Decent off-white head with little staying power and just a little lacing.

Aroma - Some malt sweetenss, but mostly a sprucy-piney hops aroma. Maybe some sour-dough biscuity nose. Not overwhelming. A bit subtle for an IPA actually.

Taste – Very up-front spicy, piney/sprucy floral hop bitterness. Some malt sweetness hiding in the back-ground then followed by a pronounced hop bitterness. At 1st, it doesn't seem like a nice blend, but as the flavor changes within your pallet, you kind of appreciate it.

Mouthfeel- Quite sharp at 1st, then mellows out. Medium body, a tad over-carboanted.

Drinkability - Not the best IPA, but certainly interesting enough to give it a whirl.

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

Clear amber with reddish hues. 2 finger foamy head.
Slight hop presence in the aroma, the foreground is more biscuity.
A citrus-hop flavor in the forefront but not extreme, well balanced with the malty background.
Leaves a tasty, lingering grapefruit flavor on the tongue but it doesn't expand much.
A very drinkable IPA. one could knock back several of these without feeling like a hop bomb went off in the mouth.
As an English IPA I think it hits the mark well. It's very refreshing and I think it could be considered a session IPA but it's tame compared to American IPAs.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

350ml bottle bought from the Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a nice golden coppery orange colour. Creamy head with orange tinges poured quite thick then faded quickly to light ring around the edge. No carbonation and no real lacing either...

Aroma - Spicy juicy fruits (apricots, limes, oranges), piney / grassy hops, some caramel sweetness, biscuity maltes, perfumey, some light almond nuttiness, toasted bread... all a bit underwhelming, washed out..

Taste – Quite sharp spicy, piney / floral hop bitterness, toasty / biscuity maltiness, light honey / caramel sweetness, good fruitiness (oranges and limes), buttery notes, light medicinal hints, perfumey, sea salt traces, some metallic hints... all much better than the aromas indicated...

M&D - Quite sharp initially then mellows out. Light / medium bodied... Pretty refreshing and drinkable...

Overall - A good clean simple IPA... nothing groundbreaking but certainly worth a try...

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Photo of Bighuge
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bronze. Thick frothy crop of white head. Lacing is excellent. Aroma is kind of deep and earthy. Nice layers of toffeeish malts with some herbal and resiny hop notes. On the buds, the malt base is toffeeish and caramelly. Solid base. The hops give some pungency and "grundge" to the mix. Body is a hefty medium-full. Nicely carbonated and quite drinkable. Good EIPA.

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

Disappointed by this offering from Sierra Nevada, especially considering how their APA is pretty much that style's standard. Its amber color is nice, with a half-inch of white head and some lacing. Smells of hops, alright -- reminds me a bit of England, but very one-dimensional, and not a scent I particularly like unless it's offsetting a malt or a sweeter hop -- it's that bitter herbal that I guess is Kent Goldings. Not well balanced. Also tastes strongly of that hop -- unimaginative was the word that came to mind. It did have a nice body, but about halfway through this beer, all I could think about was that I'd rather have a Stone.

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

12 oz 2007 edition

Good clear amber color brew, with a good head, good lacing all the way down to the bottom of the glass

Smells good, like west coast hops

Good beer, good hops

Carbination is good, hop bitterness is nice

I'll have another, and another, and another, and...

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Photo of soupyman10
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden-copper color, a small head. Fairly average looking. Scent is mild. Mostly hops, a little touch of fruit and malt. Taste is almost insanely standard for an IPA, disappointing given how great their APA is. Lots of hops, although definitely not exceptional for the style. A subtle slap of interesting floral hops, some grapefruit, but very mild overall. Feel is highly average, medium bodied. It's a drinkable beer, although really not that great. Given the great SN beers I've had in the past, this one was a bit of a downer. I guess maybe I was possibly comparing it to an American IPA instead of an English, but still. Good, but not great.

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Photo of guzzle211
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into typical pint glass.

Pours dark copper red, yielding to dark orange in direct light. Creates a thin but complete white head that left a light, yet impresssive for an upper abv ale, lace. It smells of typical style hops, with slight citrus hints. Important to note that only traditional style hops are detected, which is respectable.

Taste follows through from the smell. The traditional hop style is crisp and clean. There was obvious care taken to preserve the crisp hop character without overdoing it for the sake of IBU. The alcohol content is very well hidden.

This India Pale is very mouth-friendly. It rolls over the pallate, leaving its hoppy mark but without offending or over-stepping its boundaries, making it very drinkable for a 6.9% ale.

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Photo of Drew966
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The neck label says it's the 2007 edition. A little bit of citrusy hops is all I'm getting in the nose (it's still a bit cold). Lots and lots of hops in the flavor. I love it. Not for the faint of heart, if you don't like hops, this beer will not suit you. Be forewarned, this is not a typical Northwest citrus hop beer either, it's more bitter/ astringent. If you like hops, give it a shot. Very enjoyable from my point of view.

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

Copper orange brew, I coaxed a couple fingers of head, fairly white color, patchy lacing works its way down the glass. Floral Goldings hop aroma is also a little medicinal, not too strong.

The buzzword here is bitter, there's a good hop presence but it's not complex and dimensional, just quite bitter and slightly herbal. Earthy malt, very slightly sweet, is shoved way back here, and the finish is all hops again. Medium mouthfeel, not too bad at all, fairly smooth - it's just the leftover astringents bring down the drinkability.

This one is too unbalanced, although I do like the size (6.8%) and peppery hop character in this American-brewed English style IPA. I didn't fly through the six pack, but it is tasty if you're in the mood for some out of whack hops.

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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 jackorain
2.93/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Looks good, orange amber clear nice head nce lace nice retention

Smells very hoppy, citrus, green. not much else comes through in the nose

1st sip you get wacked with green hop bitterness, not balanced by any stretch by the mild biscuit malt

medium body, a little creamy

Drinkability is low due to the unbalance

overall-Not a well balanced IPS, the intesne bitterness seems out of place and that's from a hophead. I bouth a whole case and it took a while to get through it.

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Photo of Duster72
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2007 bottle. Pours a clear medium amber into a tulip glass with no head and no lacing. Aroma is pleasant blend of carmel with floral and citrus hops. Taste is light malts, earthy hops and more bitter than anticipated. Rather thin mouthfeel. A little too bitter to be considered highly drinkable. Good average IPA.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice orange color with a decent white head that fades somewhat quickly. There is a slightly sweet hop smell, mostly of grapefruit juice, and a malt background that is also slightly sweet.Notes of pine on the finish. The taste is pretty well rounded, maybe slightly on the malty side. The hop bitterness builds, but the initial flavor is slightly sweet malt followed by earthy bitter hops. The mouthfeel is fairly crisp, but a little thick. Pretty drinkable, but this wouldn't be the first thing I reach for, and the sweetness and graininess make it hard to have more than one.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap, poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a clear reddish/brown with a mild head and good carbonation.

S - Well-balanced between malt and hops...floral notes in the background with mild fruit.

T - Solid taste; slightly malty with citrus fruits & earthy tones - all giving way to a medium-hopped finish. Not much else to say - pretty straightforward, easy-drinking IPA.

M - Medium body with a crisp finish...milder aftertaste.

D - Very drinkable...alcohol could easily be mistaken for a 5.0. Strong from start to finish.

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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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