Experimental Hop Double IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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American Imperial IPA
3.67 | pDev: 9.81%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Notes: Complex and resiny
An aggressive new hop varietal plays tricks on the mind in this bold Double IPA. Though the beer has never seen the inside of a barrel, HBC 472 lends it a distinctive oaky, barrel-aged character. Jackson 104 brings heavy fruit-forward and citrus-like flavors to the beer,while Steiner 07270 rounds out the hop finish with deep, resinous notes of dank pine and grapefruit for a complex and powerful beer.
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 104 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of monkist
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the beer that was kind of the icing on the cake, that crowned the lineup of beers in the Experimental box.
Because this was a richly dark amber, richly resinous hoppy, almost sweet, intensively hoppy double IPA. It kind of bloomed into its full colors and richness steadily and reassuringly and was really a hit. A bullseye that you expected.
Because you don't expect such a luscious IPA that Stone makes from Sierra - mind you, we are in NorCal - but the way Sierra is doing it, it has an amazing depth that they introduced to the world with the Pale Ale. Now they are delivering the goods in the same spirit. And this is reassuring to know, that Sierra is perhaps one of - if not THE - best craft brewery in the world.
Thank you Sierra for this great beer, for the exciting Experimental box of new hop beers and thank you for being the best. Keep it up!

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Photo of Mandpasbury
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yet another offering from the Sierra Nevada Experimental Hop 12-pack. Poured from can into glassware. It pours a VERY dark orange/copper color with a large amount of foam that leaves fast but has nice lacing on the side of the glass. I get a bready aroma, with a slight amount of fruit and some wood smell as well, not too bad at all. The flavor is a bit muted, something I also found in the Experimental Hop Session ale. Being a DIPA, I was expecting a LARGE hop flavoring. The hop flavor is there but not as punchy as I thought it would be. IT sits on the palate well and does have the nice hoppy burn at the finish that I like. Overall, pretty solid offering from Sierra Nevada, but would certainly benefit from some tweaking.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - The beer pours a darker orange color with a one finger head of white foam. The head fades super fast to leave a bit of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The smell is very light overall for a double IPA. There are some aromas of caramel, bread, and light citrus. With these smells are some light herb, grass and woody smells as well.

Taste - The taste begins with with a very beady and rather sweeter taste of caramel and citrus fruit. The hops are somewhat lighter upfront and are mainly of a citrus nature. As the taste advances the flavors gets sweeter and more malty with some lighter hints of pine, earth, and wood. toward the very end, some tropical fruits come to the tongue, and with the blend of hop leave one with a sweeter and malty taste, that had a bit of a light, but diverse hop blend to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the brew is rather thick with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. For the sweeter and more malty tastes of the IPA the feel is rather appropriate and creates a rather nice medium for the rich flavors.

Overall- A decent brew overall, but for a double IPA I would have liked a little bit more hop flavor. Not bad to try, but not really one I think Sierra Nevada should hold onto.

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Photo of IronLover
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Golden yellow in color with very good clarity. Poured with a tall, creamy, bright white foam with very good retention. Mellow, earthy and light herbal hop aromas with sweet bready malt and leafy mint. Medium bodied with soft, medium carbonation. Creamy smooth feel through the middle with pleasant warmth toward the finish. Earthy, herbal hop flavors up front with a hint of dankness. Solid malty backbone throughout with light bready notes. Medium high, spicy hop bitterness through the middle followed by herbal and minty hop flavors. Finished with a light boozy note, sweet maltiness and lingering herbal/minty hop bitterness. Well balanced with mellow, earthy malt character, a solid malt backbone, great look and feel and pleasant booziness.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gold with creamy head; coconut nose; toast, thread of vanilla, mango, slight citrus, more coconut, and pine end.

4 3.75 3.75 4 3.75

Experimental Hops 472, 104 & 07270

HBC 472 is coconut + bourbon; Jackson 104 “brings heavy fruit-forward and citrus-like flavors”, and Steiner 07270 is Apollo-esque: spicy, resinous, + tangerine.
Homework done; now beer. There is an oakiness - is that from the woody 472 hops? Not huge on fruit, though, other than greasy rind. Just kinda weird, altogether. Failed experiment.

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Photo of hreb
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz canned 010818 and served in a pint glass. This beer is an orange-y amber, and this particular can gushes with head. Again, very slightly hazy, which is unusual for Sierra Nevada. Disappointingly, very little in the way of aroma. Flavor has an unfamiliar hop profile. Butter, burned toast / vegetables, grapefruit pith. Strong flavors, but this is not a particularly bitter DIPA. It also finishes clean and as a result is very drinkable, even at 8.0%. Definitely not a classic DIPA, but one which will hold my interest at least for 12oz worth.

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Photo of wilderness37
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Got this in the experimental sampler pack. Poured a huge head, with a small bit sticking around and decent lacing. Smell is... something. I get the pine and maybe some floral notes mixed with malt, but is that other smell urine? Seriously. It’s not terribly off putting but I swear that smell is in there. Taste is of a pretty standard IPA, some pine, citrus, and some malt ending with a decent bitterness that doesn’t linger too long. Mouthfeel is a little oily, but clears up quickly. Overall, good but I won’t rush to grab another before I’m running low on the rest of the sampler. For a DIPA this is somewhat lacking in hop aroma and taste.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, PKGD 010818C. Deep copper colored ale with a frothy & persistent beige head. Earthy pine and pithy citrus with a heft of caramel malt for aroma. Nice flavors with notes of caramel malt, earthy and spicy pine, mango, grapefruity citrus with a hint of orange. Full body, resinous hop oils coat the palate with bitterness. Overall, I thought this was good not great, but always happy to try anything new from Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of zeff80
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz can. Poured a clear, golden orange color with a large, off-white head of foam. It smelled of pine, grapefruit and toasted caramel. There was an odd flavor that I'm struggling to identify - vanilla-like?? Very bitter without much of the fruity sweetness I expected.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Cloudy amber-copper, with a huge head of off-white suds. Nice lace.

Aroma: Fruity citrus hops, some floral…nice!

Taste: Big, bitter grapefruit up front. Pine and floral come around in the finish with bitterness. A classic American IPA here with a strong kick of non-fruity hops goodness.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look - great fairly clear dark copper color with a big lasting sticky off white head
Smell - smells like a classic well balanced piney citrus malty iipa
Taste - slight caramel malts bitter pine and a little citrus
Feel - medium full body with a creamy medium carbonation
Overall - very Sierra Nevada and not to different for them

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Photo of GrandpaGeorge
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Purchased the 12 can (3x each) sample pack of the Experimental Hop Series. This wasn't my favorite of the four, but it was pretty good for what it was. Deep gold to amber in the glass, with a very tall head of foam. Some nice lacing as it fell. Hint of hops in the nose, but a fairly intense malty body that then mellowed into a more subtle fruity hops flavor. The higher ABV didn't show itself in the flavor, however; and I did enjoy it. Besides, who can go wrong with experiments that involve beer? ;)

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Photo of Stooven
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Acquired this, the Experimental Session and the Experimental IPA for a quarter(!) each after a packaging mishap. Glad I didn't throw down for the whole 12er. While I'm happy with recent SN iterations of Tropical, Hazy Little Thing, and Hop Bullet, this one was barely worth finishing. The hop is hard to describe, but tastes like a biological manipulation. Something fizzy and unsettled about it. Not excited about the other two, and secretly thinking I should have just grabbed the safe Pilsner option.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz. can served in a tulip. Pours a dull burnt orange with a slightly hazy clarity and a loose, quarter inch, off-white head. Nose is somewhat malt forward followed by hints of candied citrus and earthy/herbal notes. Taste consistent with nose; however finish is medicinal and bitter. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a prickly carbonation. All and all, not loving this experimental hop addition.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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".

For my fourth & final foray into Experimentalville for today, I decided on a return to basics. That CANsisted of a Crack! of the vent, followed by a slow, gentle Glug into the awaiting glass. An in-glass swirl raised two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, tawny head with decent retention, leaving nice lacing in its wake. Color was a solid Amber (SRM = > , < 9) with NE-quality clarity, leading me to shake my head in wonderment/disbelief that Sierra Nevada would follow the haze craze. Nose was MUCH more aligned with style, resinous with pine while bitter with grapefruit citrus. Mmm. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite up to creamy status. The taste was more pine and white oak than grapefruit, although there was enough citrusiness to keep me happy. Still, I just kept thinking that it was not quite up to par. I give them props & cred for their willingness to experiment, but it just was not quite scratching my hophead itch. Finish was dry, resinous & woody, but I just felt unfulfilled.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last from the 12-pack. A rich, amber pour, frothy head solid lacing. To the nose, beery and an unidentified, vegetation-like background that's not unpleasant, just unlike anything we have had in a beer. The hop blend makes for an interesting experience, but appears unfocused. Good try, and we're pleased SN makes these experiments available instead of being strictly a back-of-the-house special.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours clear golden orange with a big rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet bready malts and piney hops with a little fruit. It's a bit subdued.

The flavor is sweet bready malts with some fruit and spicy resiny hops and a slightly harsh alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, an OK DIPA.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This double exceeds expectations. I was hoping it wouldn't be syrupy. Otherwise I did not know what to expect. Well, syrupy it isn't, though it is a mouthful.

It pours thick yellow with loads and loads of fantastic tiny bubbles. The aroma is dangerous and slightly funky. The taste certainly is sweet but the balance with loads of hops and especially bitterness is what it is all about. This is a big AIPA that is very pleasant to drink.

Recommended, but like the other experiments, will we ever see it again? Enjoy it now.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This beer pours a beautiful, slightly hazy, golden amber color with a huge, dense, foamy off white head. Retention is exemplary and there are tons of thin rings of lacing left all over the glass.

Smell is harsh and boozy. Alcohol and wood are the two most prominent aromas with a layer of pine, caramel and citrus hidden well below the surface.

Taste is similar, but not quite as harsh as the nose suggests. The citrus and pine come through most on the finish.

Feel is medium bodied and resinous. The booziness clings to the palate long after the sip is finished.

Overall I'm not a fan of this beer. They are right that it really does taste barrel aged. It reminded me of a Founders Doom Jr. and I was really not a fan of that beer.

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Photo of mushroomcloud
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz canned 1-8-18
Bright orange/amber, slight haze, with a 1" off white dense head. Good retention and lacing.
Smells sticky, sweet malts and tropical fruit (papaya, guava, etc...).
Fruity hops dominate, a little grassy/weedy/woody flavors here as well. Sweet-ish ending.
Medium body and carbonation, long finish.
Typical Double IPA from what I've been tasting lately.

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Photo of teromous
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottom of the can: "PKGD 010818C15:59"

Appearance: It has a pretty amber body with a predominantly orange hue. The head is large with an eggshell white color. The head has amazing retention and lacing. The body has a light haze with a nice opalescence.

Aroma: There is a very nice woody aroma to the beer. It smells like a mixture of oak wood and pine boughs. When smelling the can there is a clear vanillin scent.

Taste: Up front there is a clear wood flavor which tastes like oak. It is followed by a light twiggy character mixed with pine. This is then slowly dipped into a flavor mix of vanillin and just a hint of lemon. Wood follows once more with a tannic and lightly bitter finish. It feels expertly crafted.

Mouthfeel: There are light tannins mixed with mellow bitterness all wrapped up with a kiss of alcohol. The whole drinking experience of this beer feels perfect.

Overall: Sierra Nevada really hit it out of the park with this one. If this was more than a one-off then I would buy it very regularly. When you smell and taste the beer you just know it was aged on wood. The time it was left on wood is just enough to give you the character you want without getting too much tannin or wood character. it's right on the mark and it works wonders with the hops. This beer is good enough that I would recommend buying the experimental hop pack just for this one beer; it's "the beer that makes the pack." After having one of these beers it just makes you want another one.

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Photo of Squire
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, deep amber gold with good white cap and lasting lacing.

Aroma of dark, resinous hops with a decidedly citrus bent, essential oils of grapefruit and lemon, I also get some oak bark as well, not wood, bark, White Oak to be specific.

Taste is both malt and hops with malt occupying the front half of the palate and hops the back all going on simultaneously. This is really good. With DIPAs I'm looking for more than just twice the hops (in whatever combination or when added) but also a substantial amount of malt flavor as well. For me this is the distinction over IPAs, even strong ones, that place so much emphasis on hops that malt recedes into the background. Full flavors, complex, well defined, yet bringing the parts together in an harmonious whole that is seamless all the way into the aftertaste.

Full texture with balancing carbonation.

Outstanding brew here, lots of everything good about beer but none to excess. This is big boy pants beer.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had his on 2018-03-04 in Bolingbrook, IL from a 12oz canned on 2018-02-05

A - Clear amber-gold with an initial 4-finger white head, which sticks around and leaves good lace.

S - Fairly mild aroma for a DIPA. I get orange flesh, mango, white bread, oak, tea, lightly dank,

T - Upfront there's oak plus pine and orange zest bitterness, which gives way to lightly toasted bread with orange marmalade, then some pepper, tea, alcohol sweetness, light heat and reasonable bitterness for the style.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Resinous and moderately prickly. Gelatinous. My kind of feel for this style.

O - Interesting take on a DIPA. The oak/tea flavors surprised me. I prefer their new Hop Bullet.

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

A: A light amber brown in color with a hint of pink, light tan head.

S: I get very little from the nose, light pine and perhaps a touch of wood.

T: Tropical fruits, with some resin, and definite oak, very interesting.... A touch of booze in there.

M: Medium in body with moderate carbonation.

O: Overall an interesting brew.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this the other day, went for a quick drive trying to go shooting, but damn snowstorm wasn't having it, so we just took the dog down to the river and I cracked open this cold one with the boys.

Darkest of the pack, understandably given that it probably has about the same malt content of the other 3 combined (or more). Light amber and copper, 1/2" white head, great clarity. Aroma was pretty tame. These experimental hops aren't very aromatic, none of them were.

Taste is alright, they actually managed to keep the malt body not too excessive, you can still pick up the lemon and lime notes that the hops in all of these experimental hop pack beers had. They went better in the lighter styles, no doubt. Bitterness clocking in around 60ibu methinks. Lemon lime grapefruit taste. I didn't hate it, but it probably is below average for Sierra Nevada despite still being a "good" beer.

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Experimental Hop Double IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 104 ratings