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

Poured into pint glass, amber -- light color.

Smells a tad citrusy - decent hop aroma.

Taste was pretty mellow, does not pack the punch of other IPA's (I understand they were going for the more traditional, English style IPA). The wave of hops was a little more then a splash at the end of the drink. Definitely more malt balance then other IPA's.

Mouthfeel was decent, very similar to their Pale Ale.

I was happy to stumble across this release at the local grocery store and had heard about this seasonal brew. I would recommend this IPA to beer drinkers who are not into IPA's or have never tried one. I would drink it again but would not go out of my way to find it - lacked that hoppy punch to the face of most AIPA's.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a clear and rich orange amber with a nice slightly tan head.

Smell. Very natural aroma. Hops and malts are both present. There is a nice caramel aroma accompanied by some citrus tartness.

Taste. Initally very puckering from the bitterness, but does not have an embellished hop taste to it, just bitter. If i had to put characteristics here, it would be a little piney and natural. The finish is a little citusy.

Mouthfeel. Body is on the fuller side. I can really detect the alcohol content here. Balance seems to be there, but off at the same time in a strange way.

Overall, I want to like this beer. I know many english ipa's dont have the hop domination as many american versions, but i wish it would have had more hops characteristics, other than just being bitter. Not exactly what i was expecting from sierra nevada.

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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 rodrot
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber, medium red color with a fairly substantial head that leaves some nice layers on the glass. The aroma is hoppy and piney with a surprising amount of maltiness mixed in. Taste was a little boring however. Fairly hoppy and citrusy, but not much else. I could also taste an unpleasant flavor that I can only describe as being "artificial", as if some kind of flavoring was added to the beer. Mouthfeel was light for an IPA. Drinkability was average. This is the first beer from Sierra Nevada that has left me disappointed. Maybe because I was expecting a hop monster or something along those lines. If this were the only beer available, I certainly wouldn't pass it up. Otherwise, I'm not going out of my way to seek this out again.

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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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3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

So here I sit with my first bottle of this poured into a glass....don't get me wrong I usually do this but the others were drank with friends while watching the slightly disappointing first episode of the second half of this seasons Lost. It was purchased from a bodega and I paid the ridiculous price of $12 for the sixer.

Pours a light golden amber color with a white head that is about one fingers with tall that diminished quickly...a couple rings of lace....and lots of little bubbles.

The nose is not the signature SN smell as I was expecting, but not bad....slight floral and slight citrus but nothing mind blowing...a lttle musky and a malty backbone.

Clean hop and malt flavor in the body long lasting bitter finish...again a little bit floraly, but overall nothing that really does it. The taste is that of an IPA, but does not stand up like some of the English brewed in the style...

The hops create an interesting mouthfeel in this brew, coats the tongue yet still feels a little watery...overall it makes me miss celebration. I'm starting to think that I only really like Summerfest and BigFoot as seasonals.

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

Poured a clear golden amber color with better than an inch of an off white head that was fairly stiff and resisted fading. Some lacing observed.

The smell is quite subtle. Not what i was expecting. I got the hops, some sweetness and malt earthiness.

The mouth feel is medium. The pine feel of hops with a creamy texture.

The flavor is less than remarkable IMO. The 6.8 ABV is well hidden.

Glad that i had the opportunity to try it, but i'm going to pass it by next time.

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Photo of Enola
3.22/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is yet another beer that has let me down after a good smell. The beer is a mostly clear with just a faint hint of cloudiness. There is lots of carbonation. The smell was a sweet bitterness. The taste is bitter but not a sweet bitterness. The mouthfeel is a good amount of lasting hoppiness. I could drink these again but there is better within the style. An average 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 germaniac
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear and coppery, with a compact, tightly bubbled head.

Aroma sends mixed signals- fruity and citric, but there is a slight "green" feel down in the depths.

Taste is crisp hop bitterness, pretty understated from the guys that brought forth Celebration Ale. A little caramel malt sweetness followed up with a bittersweet finsh.

Seems like there is just a tad more carbonation than is necessary.

Not a bad beer by any means, just not one I would care to drink too much of.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

rolling sand dune like head, eggshell white, leaves clingy lacing.

Quite a bit of sweetness rolls out of the glass, hops are subtle at least in the smell.

Well the smell was pretty much on except the hops are more evident and they lean towards a dry and sharp effect. Malts seem to be musky and I get some farm like qualities to this offering. In the back of my mind I was hoping this would be along the lines of their pale ale, just kicked up a few notches. That thinking, while flawed since this is going after the english pale flavor, still resinates.

Notes: Quite sweet up front, and although it has a nice finish, in my opinion it doesn't quite fit the overall high standard of excellence from this brewery. That being said its still above average for the style comparatively.

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

12 ounce bottle from Vons supermarket

Poured into a pint glass

This was a very bitter IPA, but not one of my favorites

Very dark brown color with a medium sized head

Smoky flavor takes over and you do not really get to determine the different hops in it

Long and dry aftertaste

Might be worth trying if you are an IPA fan, but if not, probably steer clear of it

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer was poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A nice foamy head formed on top of a bronze colored beer. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell was a bit subdued. Not very impressive or hoppy for an IPA.

Taste was very average. A nice hop bite to it but not very complex. Nothing about this beer stands out to me. Good balanc I suppose but not much else.

Average mouthfeel and drinkability. Nothing impressive. My least favorite Sierra beer by far.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Loads of bubbles in this one, though head is only about one cm thick. Color is light copper and ultra clear throughout. Smell is very weak. Faint piney hops and caramel malt flavor present but very subdued. Taste has mild hoppiness, malt flavor is not really evident. It does have a decently strong bitterness at the end which lingers throughout the whole experience. Mouthfeel is nice, medium body, coats nicely, strong carbonation. Drinkability is about average. It's a a nice bitter IPA, but flavor is weak and far from complex. I would have expected more from Sierra Nevada.

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

Is it possible for an IPA to be too bitter? No, I don't think so. But there are different sorts of bitter, and this beers got a mean kick. Every sip finishes with a very harsh, grinding bitterness that attacks the taste buds at the back of my tongue. Not to say I don't like this beer, because I do, but something just seems out of whack, maybe a little too unbalanced? Yea, I might be commiting sacrilege by suggesting that an American IPA might be unbalanced, but that's how I'm calling it. Yea, I know what style this beer is technically in, but it's also technically an IPA made by an American brewery, hence, aww, just read the review.

Tastes, other than the harsh hop bitterness, are of tea, citrus fruits, and fruit juice. If you windex your beer glass, and pour this beer into it, you could easily read the newspaper through it. Clear is an understatement, and it's an attribute of SN beers I like. Smells good, if you like the smell of hops, which I do. Smells like fruit juice, a bit flowery. Intermittently after some sips I would notice a syrupy residue in my mouth, but other than that I like the body of this beer, which is slightly chewy, but also bubbly and crisp.

Overall I think the bitterness is too harsh in the finish, and the various flavors that are going on here seem uncoordinated. I like Celebration Ale better.

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Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle a medium amber with a thin white head. Very light lacing/

Faint caramel and hops with a bit of sweet malt.

Sharply bitter and malty. I expected something like the pale ale but with more hops.

Medium carbonation and fairly smooth.

I found this beer to be more on the bitter side than I expected. Though, the second was much more enjoyable than the first.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of beeragent
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love this brewery! Thats why I was expecting more when I tried this.

A - Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep orange, forming a fluffy 1/4 inch head, leaving medium lacing in its wake.

S - Aroma is all hops, but not nearly as strong as expected. Sweet citrus smell.

T - Light citrus flavor, with a very sharp finish. This is almost like their Celebration Ale, but with way less flavor, and a sharp finish instead of a smooth one.

M - Medium mouthfeel, with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, I had higher hopes for this brew. I had been wanting to try it for so long, that maybe my expectations for it had become unreasonable. I know Sierra Nevada is a kick*ss brewery, so maybe I just got a bad batch, or its possible that my palate just isnt right tonight. Anyhow, I will try this again another time, and compare.

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Photo of Howlader
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of BillRoth
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of popery
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of Nate
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 382 ratings