Experimental Hop IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Experimental Hop IPAExperimental Hop IPA
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American IPA
3.79 | pDev: 8.97%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Experimental Hop IPAExperimental Hop IPA
Notes: Heavy hops, light haziness
The new style in IPAs is to highlight heavy hop aroma without intense bitterness, and this lightly hazy IPA does just that. It features the native-grown FZMR2 hop varietal, known for its mango-forward flavors, as well as HBC598, 438, and NeoMexicanus. The result is a danky, juicy, citrusy IPA with big flavor and aroma and low bitterness.
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 115 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of StJamesGate
4.06/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waxy lemon rind, grass, and coconut; thread of caramel, big orange rind, some resin, a rustic weedy thing, touch of mango, and dank, peppery ending. Scratchy bitter linger. Oily.

4 4.25 4 4 4

FZMR2 hop varietal, known for its mango-forward flavors, as well as HBC598, 438, and NeoMexicanus

FZMR2 is peppery melon (high 4MMP; think Citra’s green tea, Chardonnay + grapefruit); HBC 438 is now Sabro, the usual tropical plus coconut, cedar, + lemongrass (it was the twist in Timequake) HBC 598 is not on the radar anywhere. So much for the tasting pointers. In the event this is very Neo-Mex, rougher + less refinement than the usual SN (in a good way), with just a slick apricot skin or coconut meat viscosity to hint at anything. Good, if not as interesting as promised.

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Photo of monkist
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the first IPA I had from Sierra's Experimental box. I was a bit taken aback by the averageness of the Session IPA first but the comfort I felt when opening this can was enormous. That Sierra indeed is a master brewery and cannot go wrong.
Because this IPA is just magnificent. Citrus, but rather pine and slightly earthy hops prevail and it is an IPA that is fruity like a lemonade and has that remarkable resinous quality to it. Sierra choose these new hops very well, and you feel that it is a novelty somehow, beyond the familiar IPA qualities you feel something new. Something exciting. And it's perfectly balanced, with Sierra's mastery - it is truly really good.
Snd the best thing is that I can try it another two times and discover it's subtleties, from the Experimental box.

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Photo of Mandpasbury
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a great orange color with a touch of haze to it. Nice, dense one finger amount of dense foam that dissipated a bit quicker than I thought it would given the density. It has a bread-heavy aroma, that mixes well with the other bits of fruit and grains that are also present, that I like. It has a nice hoppy flavor, not quite Torpedo or anything like that, but better than a lot of IPA’s out there today. The beer sits a bit heavy on the palate and that probably is due to the low amount of carbonation that is present. Overall, another fine offering from Sierra Nevada. Not as enjoyable as their Pale Ale (but hey, not many are as enjoyable as that) but I will certainly have this again!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy orange color with a one finger head of moderately thick foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over about 5 minutes to leave a light level of spiderweb lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is heaviest of a bready and slightly tropical fruit smell with the tropical being mostly of tangerine, pineapple, and papaya. Along with these aromas comes some lighter smells of a dank hop nature with some herb and grass.

Taste - The taste begins with a more malty flavor with a decent showing of bread. Mixed with these tastes are some caramel flavors as well as a light fruity taste of tangerine and pineapple, which were also detected in the nose. The sweeter flavors were lighter overall and were matched right from the start with some citrus hop as well as a decent showing of some dank hop flavors of pine, grass, and herb. As the taste advances the readiness and the dank hop increase all while the sweeter flavors dwindle, leaving one with a more malty and dank hop taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel - The body of the brew is slightly more chewy and the carbonation level is a bit low. The chewy body was good for the dank hop and the thicker malt taste, but oddly, the lower carbonation, which normally I would like for a brew like this, didn't really cut it. I think a little higher carbonation would have accentuated the nice fruit and sweeter flavors better and balanced the brew a bit more.

Overall - A fun brew to try. Nothing to rave about or to replace torpedo or the pale, but a good and tasty brew overall.

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Photo of IronLover
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Orange in color with an opaque, unfiltered appearance. Poured with a moderate, bright white, soapy white foam with moderate retention. Fresh, mellow, minty, earthy, woody hop aromas. Medium malt aromas. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Light creamy feel up front followed by a light warm feel to the end. Mellow melon and fleshy tropical fruit flavors with earthy, subdued minty hop flavors up front that have a dry feel. Medium malty backbone throughout. Mellow, medium high, minty and tangy bitterness through the middle. Fleshy, melon fruit sweetness and earthy bitterness on the back end. Finished with dark melon and mango flavors followed by mellow, earthy, spicy bitterness. There's a lot of unique hop character here: earthy, minty, spicy, mango....every sip seems to uncover a new experience. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Great malt backbone, hop character and balance with unique flavors.

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Photo of hreb
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can packaged 011118. Poured into a pint glass it produces a ton of off white foam atop a cloudy yellow-to-orange mass. The experimental hop brews are going 4/4 on cloudiness. I'm not getting a ton of aroma -- I guess this beer is nearly 4 months old.

Flavor has some new hop flavors, as you'd hope. Green apple stands out to me, and orange pith. More bitter than fruity or juicy. Clean finish, moderate carbonation, well-controled alcohol content, along with a novel hop character keep this quite drinkable. Very good now, maybe it was great when it was fresher.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a small, white head of foam. It smelled citrus, pine and toasted caramel. Nice bitter IPA with some citrus bite.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy golden amber, with a nice off-white head and a little lace.

Aroma: Tropical fruit, always welcomed.

Taste: Fruity hops here, with some floral and pine notes. I get pineapple and grapefruit first and foremost. Pretty good stuff!

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Photo of Stoutmaster9
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A murky, hazy slimy gold color, plenty of lacing and a finger & a half head.

Sour citrus scent. Malty.

Following the nose, plus creamy-floral, lemon-grass hop & gentle resin.
No grapefruit taste or smell, fine by me.

A rather mild, mellow, ultra-easy drinking experience. High quality, nonetheless, and no mistaking the Sierra Nevada alchemy, which we have come to depend on!

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Photo of barnzy78
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, PKGD 01/08/18C. Slightly hazed deep golden colored body with a tall frothy off-white head. Grassy & citric hops with pale malt for an aroma. Hop profile is earthy, herbal, spicy, and citric; malt is mildly sweet with light caramel. Medium-to-full body, ample carbonation, finishing moderately bitter and semi-dry. Pretty good IPA here, but I'm glad I got a single can rather than the whole pack.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased the 12 can (3x each) sample pack of the Experimental Hop Series. This was tied for my favorite of the four, but given a choice between the top two, I'd probably pick this "second." Nice looking gold color (a bit hazy?) in the glass, with a nice pale yellow head of foam. Not much lacing to speak of, though the citrus/piney hops was present in the nose and at initial taste. I kept looking for the name of the hops varietal, but Sierra Nevada says they're only known by numbers (they're new hybrids). Even so, the flavor was enjoyable and I'd definitely try this again, given a choice. That said, I wouldn't spring for the mixed pack. I don't regret buying it, however, as who can go wrong with experiments that involve beer? ;)

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. can served in a pint glass. Pours a dull, hazy orange with loose, quarter inch, off-white head that quickly disperses into a soapy slick. Nose expresses citrus and earthy/herbal notes. Taste consistent with nose; however, it comes off a bit dull and unassuming. Finish with crackery malt notes. Mouthfeel is light in body with an assertive carbonation and a mild acidity. All and all, a solid offering but not better than the standard line-up.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - hazy orangish copper color with a good lasting white head and sticky lacing
Smell - piney citrus mango fruity hops and a good caramel malt backbone
Taste - dank fruity bitterness with the caramel Martiness
Feel - medium body with a medium light carb
Overall - yummy fantastic old meets new beer. Good balanced tradition ipa by Sierra with a great different hop.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy Hoppy New Easter April Beer Fools' Sunday (Week 684)! Between hops & wanting to make a fool out of myself, this seems like the perfect way to spend the day. I am off tomorrow as part of an amended Spring Break (Good Friday & tomorrow, but not Maundy Thursday), so I feel like I have been given an imbiber's green light. Even better is the opportunity to further The CANQuest (tm), which has now become an impossibility - new & limited-release CANs hit the market EVERY day (or so it seems). I am not giving up, but CANversely, I know that I am missing out. C'est la guerre & I do not suffer from FOMO, mofos, since I have more than enough to keep me satiated for a LONG time. Onward!

From the CAN: "Family Owned, Operated & Argued Over"; "Experimental hops offer exciting new flavors"; "Please recycle".

I Crack!ed open the vent & beCAN a slow, gentle Glug, but it was futile. The Notes mention a "light haziness", but it was more than just slightly hazy. I gave up & in and finished with an unrestricted pour into the awaiting glass. This was followed by an in-glass swirl that raised two-plus fingers of soapy, foamy, rocky, eggshell-white head with decent retention, leaving behind nice lacing. Color was a hazy Amber (SRM = > , < 9). Nose was big with mango, but also with notes of green tea and biscuit malts, not exactly earthy, but definitely not sweet. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste, while meeting their description, was not on par with the style guidelines. The lack of bitterness really hurt it, in my eyes. Further, the taste was seemingly muted, nowhere near as intense as on the nose. Instead, It had a light tropical fruitiness, but it was undefined, kind of wandering around the map. The malts were more earthy than the nose had led me to expect, which was actually pretty good, but I was not feeling this one. Finish was semi-dry, fruity and biscuity, but just not what I expect in/from an AIPA.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another Sierra Nevada Experimental brew that totally works and deserves attention.

It pours slightly deep yellow with massive head that lingers. The aroma is on the civilized side of pungent. The hopped bitter taste is accompanied by a bit of bite. A very satisfying brew.

Recommended, but will we ever see it?

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Photo of Beaver13
3.22/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours hazy golden orange with a big fluffy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is subdued - sweet bready malts and a little fruit and resin.

The flavor is sweet bready malt with tropical fruit and a resiny hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice IPA.

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Photo of Beejay
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A hazy tangerine orange in color with a light white head.

S: Light pine, with grapefruit and tangerine, with perhaps a bit of fruity sparkling wine in the finish.

T: Tangerine and grapefruit, with light caramel, and perhaps a hint of mellon in the finish. Rather lovely.

M: Medium light, with moderate to aggressive carbonation, and a small bitter cling.

O: Overall a pretty tasty IPA. Fine work.

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Photo of teromous
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottom of the can: "PKGD 010818C 10:18"

Appearance: The body is a light gold color and it is hazy. The head is medium sized, white, fluffy with ripples on top, and retains nicely.

Aroma: It has a very nice fruity and almost candy-like scent which smells a bit like tangerines and gummy worms. The aroma is of moderate strength and apparent freshness.

Taste: There is an interesting mix of what tastes like the edge of pineapple near the skin and grapefruit pulp. There is a bit of what tastes like flour or even a bit of biscuit character towards the end. After a while the beer started to pick up a bit of a lemon finish.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a moderate bitterness which is about average for what you would normally find in an IPA. It has a light body with a clean finish and good carbonation. It is a very easy beer to drink.

Overall: The beer is enjoyable to drink and I would both recommend it and drink it again. I found that, while drinking this beer, it developed more flavor closer to the bottom of the glass. It feels like the type of beer that a person would really want to have two or more of just to get the full experience.

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Photo of AdmiralOzone
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber color with a thick white head that hangs around and leaves good lacing. The aroma is citrusy, the flavor is dank and citrusy as well. A touch sweet with some malt backbone. Nice feel and carbonation.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The weird thing that I found with every one of these experimental beers in the variety pack is that they all have that lemon-lime kind of thing going for them. The commercial tug job seems to indicate these are lower bitterness than they are on the palate. I found the bitterness in them to be typical of Sierra Nevada's historical portfolio of hoppy beers.

This one pours a mostly golden and light amber color with a thin 1/3" white head. Aroma was mostly that lemon lime thing again. For pumping out words about aroma, this is just eh.

Taste, more of the lemon lime, mostly light bodied malt thing going on, very little if any crystal malt. Does showcase the experimental hop nature, but it really reveals that these experimental hops are better suited in their lighter bodied beers. Weird choice for a winter time release given the better beers in the pack are of a more warmer weather suitability. Good stuff, but I don't think this one competes with their other ipas so well.

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3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz canned 1-8-18
Orange/peach color, somewhat hazy. 1" white head that retains very well @ 1/2 ".
Classic weedy, piney hop aroma. Funny to say classic when this is an experimental hop pack. Subtle sweet malt undertones.
Weedy, grassy, piney, herbal....mint (?) character. Not much citrus or fruit apparent. Dankness is apparent.
Bitterness is strong until mid-palate and then it fades away. Full bodied mouthfeel, a little prickly on the tongue.
Enjoyable, a little strong on the weedy dank character but overall good. I didn't perceive much new or experimental/different out of these hops.

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Photo of CanConPhilly
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada - Experimental Hop IPA
IPA - 6.7% abv
Canned 1/9/17 (46 days ago)

L - 3-finger fluffy, lasting head atop a translucent dark yellow body.

S - grass, herb, some citrus, some candy sweetness.

T - grassy. Dank. Meaty. Very unusual hop profile, but I dig it. Moderate bitterness. Low sweetness. Noticeable but restrained booziness.

F - Medium body and carb.

O - An unusual ipa, but it works. Very dank. This is a hop worth using again.

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Photo of Suds
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I enjoy trying these experimental beers, especially in the mixed pack, so you can compare and contrast. This brew is hazy, light-orange in color, with a solid white head. The aroma is of musty, earthy hops. Meaty, fleshy fruit is underneath...ripe and juicy. The taste is bitter...crisp, grassy, and at times a little dank. Resin-like finish. Bitter...you have to search for the malt. Long lasting hop finish.

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Photo of Squire
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very attractive slightly hazy orange gold color with lasting white cap and lacing.

Somewhat muted aroma of piney citrus with some ripe fruit elements. Not bad, just not much.

Taste on entry is citrusy hop forward leaning toward a firmer sort of bitterness. Simple flavors that run parallel without merging, every time I think I'm finding some malt hops quickly overshadow the malt presence. Flavors are consistent throughout and last into the aftertaste.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

Purchased as part of the experimental pack this is not the leader of the pack.

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Photo of Ahonky
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This one was a grower for me. Upon first whiff and taste, the full-on marijuana blast hit with a wide hand. I found it off-putting...but the more I sipped the bigger sips got, and before long I had put away my three cans. I NEVER DO THAT.

Nice looking beer. Clear, golden and with a pretty good head that left gorgeous lacing.

Insanely crisp with a real unique hop note, something honey-like in there too, dry, pointed and engaging.

Miles better than Torpedo, Tropical Torpedo and Hop Hunter. Left a big impression . Want more.

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Experimental Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 115 ratings