Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPASierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV: 6.7%
Beginning gravity: 14.7 Plato
Ending gravity: 3.9 Plato
IBU: 66
Malts: Pale and Caramel
Yeast: Top-fermenting ale yeast
Bittering hops: Pacific Halertau
Finishing hops: New Zealand Motueka and New Zealand Southern Cross

Added by Todd on 05-07-2008

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Reviews: 1,344 | Ratings: 3,092
Photo of EStreet20
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bottle, 20 ounce nonic.

A - Nice reddish golden color with two fingers of nearly white head. Head has tremendous staying power (no doubt due to the fresh hops) and leaves lacing rings down the sides of my glass.

S - Citrsusy, grapefruity hop aroma. Some grassy smell in there as well.

T - A very nice hoppy ride. Straightforwars with a tiny bit of citrus hop initially. The brew gives way to some earthy hop. The finish and aftertaste are comprised of a ton of earthy hop flavor with a bitter aftertaste.

M - A smooth, slick feel with just the right prickly carbonation.

D - Another winner. A quenching hop bitterness and smooth feel make this one easy to quaff.

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Photo of rightsideways
4.64/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours a nice clear copper w/ a good amount of head that clings to the glass nicely as it subsides. the first thing i was looking for with this beer was the smell which struck me as really similar to cracking a vacuum sealed hop pellet bag two seconds before dropping it into the kettle. Obviously it was a bit more subtle than that, but i'm really impressed w/ the freshness of the smell. it tastes hoppy as hell as well but is balanced nicely with the malt. This is one of the best beers i've had in a while! I've always been a fan of the trusty old Sierra Pale but after this I'm going to have trouble going back...

almost makes me want to buy a plane ticket for later this summer when their own Chico hops go into the next Harvest Ale...

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp amber colour with a semi-creamy head that leaves patchy residue marks on the glass.

The aroma mainly consists of floral/grassy hops some some basic malt notes and perhaps a bit of spice. There's a nice bread aroma that cuts through this one as well, making for a relatively simple yet effective aroma.

The flavour continues on with the bread notes picked up in the aroma and expands upon it. Bread is a dominant player here, along wit ha good amount of earth flavour and the previously mentioned floral/grassy hops still hanging around aplenty. There is a nice bitter finish to each sip. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a definite amount of oil/slickness to it.

This one had nice flavour and balance overall. The fresh hops add a nice bitter quality to the flavour that's a bit different but good. Certainly worth a try and your time.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

06/05/08- Purchased at City Beer in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 24oz bottle with some kind of code (not sure if it's a freshness code) next to the bar code. Poured into my Stone Ruination 20oz glass.

Appearance- Copper-amber colored pour. About a 1/2 inch head on the pour. A good 1/8th of an inch remains for the duration. Good patchy lace remains afterwards.

Smell- Very light smelling fruity and sugary hop scent. Maybe a slight touch of toasted malt. Not very assertive.

Taste- Reminds me a bit of an ESB. Very hoppy with a grassy and bitter aftertaste. Sweet and pine with lemony flavored hops. Sweet at first and becomes just plain a good way.
Malt play second fiddle here for sure with a very light toasted caramel showing.

Mouthfeel- Perfect carbonation with a lasting...and lasting grassy bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability- Quite a fine brew. Hoppy for sure and worth seeking out.

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Photo of ericj551
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale (wow, that's a mouthful!) pours a golden copper witha fluffy, foamy head. The aroma is dominated by grassy, herbal and slightly earthy hops. Some caramel malt comes through, but just barely. The flavor is bitterness at first, followed by herbal, spicy and earthy hops flavor. Dry maltiness comes through, but just barely. Not quite balanced, but a pretty decent beer. I'm confused about the idea of it being a fresh hop beer. According to the label, the hops are dried, so I'm not sure what differentiates the beer other than their used very soon after harverst.

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Photo of lpayette
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a nice copper orange with plenty of rocky and sticky head.

Smell- Immediately upon opening the "fresh seal cap" a hiss of CO2 releases a brilliant bouqet of fresh hop essence. A hint of biscuit.

Taste- is very much hop-centric, but has a fairly decent malt balance. Tastes very much like a typical sierra nevada brew but with a very pronounced hop profile, as expected. Very predictable, and as predicted, it's pretty darn good but not enough to blow me away.

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Photo of Goliath
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber color with one finger of frothy off-white head. Good retention and some bubbley lace.

A nice aroma, but not as big as I was hoping. Mostly a piney/citrusy hop profile with a touch of malt sweetness.

Taste is good. A nice hop bitterness dominates for me. A citrusy hop with a slightly toasted malt backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with small but potent carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. Alcohol is reasonable and flavor is decent. Bitterness may eventually overwhelm.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purs a nice coppery amber with a nice sized very light tan head that fades to a film
the aroma's got some nice floral/grassy hops that are slightly piney. there's also
the flavor is surprisingly mild (but flavorful), with a soft english character (biscuit, toffee, caramel) and some fresh tasting floral/herbal hops. citrus is there, but in shorter supply than the other flavors. a moderate amount of bitterness cleans up the finish nicely. the malt flavors seem to be very yeast driven, as in you can really taste the influence of the yeast.
the mouthfeel is medium with a moderately active, but delicate carbonation.
good drinkability. it's got a good balance, has a nice moderate amount a flavor, and maintains a quenching low alcohol quality.
a nice simple, but tasty pale ale.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours an orange coppery color, lots of bumpy, creamy foam setting up, almost two fingers' depth. Thick rings of lace left in the wake of the beer's demise.

Aroma - releases some moderate pine oil scents at first, crackery malts alongside.

Taste - a big healthy first pull yields lots of pine flavor, the requisite biscuit style malts pairing up. A little fight put up by the malts to assert some sweetness, but nothing doing. The hops are in control fairly quickly, mid-palate to swallow. Piny, grapefruit rind kind of thing, turning more bitter on the aftertaste. Some medicinal notes pushing in now, occasionally resolving to a late citrusy note at the end.

Mouthfeel - very crisp, burp-inducing stuff. Smooth feeling, moderate to moderate-light body.

Drinkability - not enough floral presence for my tastes. Those bitter-mongerers among us may well like this, though.

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Photo of Damian
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Drank from a 24 FL OZ bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA

Poured a dark, crimson-amber with a tight, fluffy, two-finger, sea foam head that slowly faded to a clingy film. Outstanding retention. Thick rings of lacing blanketed the entire glass.

The aroma was powdery and dry initially, with a touch of malty sweetness in the background. As the beer warmed, the maltiness intensified and some citrus notes came out as well.

The taste was hoppy and somewhat astringent. The overall flavor profile however was far more subdued than I anticipated. What was quite prevalent however was an intense, stinging bitterness that lasted from start to finish. Orange peel was noticeable in the center, along with some malt sweetness. Spicy, floral hops came through as well. As the beer warmed, the hops also displayed some medicinal flavors. The finish was piney and very bitter with an intensely strong and long-lasting, herbal/medicinal aftertaste. By the near end of the glass, the astringency of the hops made the beer rather harsh and hot.

The mouthfeel was rich, creamy and silky smooth. Oily and slick.

While the 6.7% ABV was rather well hidden, I found that drinkability was hampered by the overwhelming bitterness and lack of balance in this brew.

Like the other fresh hop pale ales I have tried in the past, this one seemed to be big on hop bitterness but rather low on overall flavor. It was definitely a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of Lupe
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a big fluffy head. Serious retention and tons of sticky lace are left behind.

Wonderful hoppy aroma. Not exactly the usual scent of hops, but still has citrus (orange & lemon), tropical fruit, fresh grass and floral notes.

Spicy hops kick things off before fruit sets in. Citrus and pineapple are present and mingle with the sweet caramel malt. Toasted bread and apricot preserves come in before a blast of resiny hop bitterness. Finishes with mildly bitter with a slighlt sweet floral flavor. Incredibly well balanced while providing a juicy hop kick.

Medium bodied and silky smooth with maybe a touch of graininess on the tongue. Highly drinkable and just so enjoyable. I was still looking for more after finishing the 24oz bottle. I'd love to always have a bottle or two around.

I really liked the hop profile in this one. It was like an old school pale ale on steriods. Gotta love the freshness of this beer as well.

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Photo of cokes
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper colored with just a hint of haze. The head is smallish and ivory, and endures most of the while as a skim.
Lemon rind and rose petal nose with dry coniferous backing and specks of pepper. Malt doesn't present much in the aroma, but what is there is doughy and lightly sweet.
Once into the mouth, malt makes a much mightier stand. Dry biscuits, honey roasted peanuts, and caramel apples all appear towards the fore, and the sweetness lingers throughout for balance. Hops bring a lemon-lime citric sourness, a pressed flower sense of perfume oil, prickly peppercorns and dead weeds, and a juicier (and much subtler) notion of tangerine. Bitterness isn't way up there, but the focus like any Fresh Hop ale is on flavor and aroma.
The body is squarely medium with a sedate carbonation for a round, yet slick feel. 24oz of this is appreciated as it drinks with abandon.
All told, I enjoyed this oodles more than last fall's US version, or really, any SN product I've had in a while. The intricacies of some unusual hops (here, at least) play out well against a sturdy malt backbones. Yet it sucks down like a session beer that you've had a million times.

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Photo of brentk56
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a bounteous head that leaves plenty of lace around the glass

Smell: Orange, pineapple and apricot; floral and fragrant

Taste: Starts out with plenty of fruit, with pineapple dominating until mid-palate, when the citrus and apricot become more prominent; subtle undertones of resinous bitterness and caramel malt; after the swallow, the floral sweetness provides a underpinning to the bitter and malty flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Really enjoyable, with lovely fragrant floral elements and a nice balancing element of bitter flavor

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Photo of walshclimb
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear reddish copper with a thiick off white head that leaves rings of continuous bubbly lace. Smells strongly of citrus hops with a slight malty base. The aroma is increaingly malty as the beer warms up and the hop aroma dies off, approaching a good slighly bready smell. It has a nice crisp flavor. The flavor is mostly citrus hops upfront, but not overwhelmingly so. Slow transition to a mildly bitter aftertaste. This aftertaste seems to increase in bitterness a little as you make your way through the glass. It is a good tip of the tongue bitter that goes nicely with the crisp and realatively highly carbonated feel. Light to medium bodied and well carbonated. This iis an easy drinker with more hops than the usual pale ale. Pleasant and worth a try.

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Photo of getalife2k5
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle. the color of iced tea with a floral aroma. my girlfriend, who is Korean, said it smells like Korean barley tea. it seems to be very well balanced and easy to drink. there are certaily hints of apricot and grapefruit with a bitterness that lingers on the tongue. the hops are continuously present and actually a little spicy, just as the description indicates. somehow seems much stronger than 6.7%. i could drink this all night! i also like the rustic label with the map of New Zealand.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 - 1st release - 24 oz. bottle:

Pours copper with an off-white head. Some trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is lemony citrus with a background of buttered biscuit. It has a "Sierra Nevada" aroma about it (a good thing).

The taste is of sweet malt, some caramel, a touch of butterscotch. Herbal hops come in a bit late, but then hang on. The is an aspirin-like/tea-leaf bitterness/dryness mixing in with the sweetness in the finish.

The feel is a bit too weak to keep up with the alcohol sharpness, but is still medium-bodied.

An interesting beer. Pretty well-balanced, with a nice citric/lemon touch. Not one of my favs. from this brewery, but a nice enough, different, one.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm a little surprised to see where this beer sits ratings-wise on this site. It had some nice aroma, but that's where the majority of the hop-character in this beer seemed confined to me. It was very malty and not very hoppy in flavor for an IPA. OK, but not going out of your way (to say New Zealand) for.

Color was nice; this beer was a pretty rich amber gold color and was clear and brilliant with good head formation. Aroma was lightly floral and citrus hop notes, which set high expectations for what I might get from the taste. And this was disappointing...far more malty than hoppy, the hop aroma gave way to not much bitterness, nor any of the citrus or floral notes I was hoping for. Mouthfeel was reasonably crisp. All-in-all the beer was enjoyable, although all the maltiness unbalanced by much hop in this beer made it less drinkable than other high quality IPAs.

I'd weakly recommend this beer.

One final thought - at least part of craft beer's appeal is its local-ness and the assemblage of somewhat humble ingredients into something great. While I know other brewers (DFH for instance) have procured exotic ingredients for their beers, somehow jetting to New Zealand and jetting back with a plane-load of hops a week later seems somehow at odds with what got craft beer to where it is to me. Not condemnation, just my thought.

Had this on-tap at Roman's Pub in St. Francis.

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Photo of ATPete
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

fat 24oz bottle

A- pours a deep amber color, slightly red and rusty. Big peachy white head, the liquid itself has a weighty appearance.

S- Fresh hops, dry hops, citrus fruits, pepper-like spices, grass, undertones of a sweet malt

T- Sweet malts at first, very bitter mid palate, lingering hops throughout, lots of orange and grapefruit. Spice and bitter hops upon the finish.

M- Medium in body, weak carbonation, tiny bubbles of cO2 caress the tongue but leaves a very flat, bitter and dry finish. Some may love this others may not.

D- Eh, im good with just one bomber, glad i tried this one but it definitely did not wow me.

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

On tap at Callahan's, San Diego

Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a rocky off white head. Mild spicy aroma. Taste is spicier, but with fresh hop bitterness and light nuances of malts. Still, quite strong and robust, but with rather noticable carbonation and good flavor.

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Photo of senorton
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: the chubby 24 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. Pours a clear tawny amber with a fluffy, off-white two finger head. The carbonation backs off in the glass fairly quickly. The head dissipates eventually, but leaves good rings pretty much all the way down.

Right out of the bottle after opening, the nose is a lovely (if one-dimensional) piney hop aroma. Off the head, the aroma is fairly retiring--the hops are more subdued and there's a little malt evident, but it's all fairly subdued.

On the palate, the results are surprisingly balanced--there's an initial bready malt which is quickly joined by the hops. The alcohol (6.7%) is little in evidence. The hops go tangy in the finish--which lingers a good while--but he malt is not drowned out.

This ale has a resinous, slightly coating mouth-feel with a medium body and is very drinkable.

Now that i'm 3/4 of the way through the bottle, i'm finding that the haps have a cumulative effect: the finish is seeming increasingly bitter. (And mind you i'm not complaining!)

I'm finding with the wet hop and fresh hop beers that while I was expecting an in-your-face hop experience, the results across the board are far more balanced. My samples so far: Harpoon Glacier Harvest Wet Hop (very mellow but very tasty); Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop (a bit more hopped up; superlative!); and the present example. Even at 66 IBU, this is still hardly the killer hop monster that one might expect.

Further data (from the Sierra Nevada website):

bittering hops: Pacific Hallertau
finishing hops: New Zealand Motueka & New Zealand Southern Cross
malts: Pale & Caramel

Find this while you still can! Personally, i'll be keeping a close eye out in the fall for the Harvest Wet Hop Ale.

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Photo of tdrshayden
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a big and stubby 24 oz bottle, this ale has a clear amber appearance with 3 fingers of off-white foam. Sheets of lace cling to the walls of glass as it empties.

Fresh Floral, spicy aroma with a faint malt presence.

Crispy hop flavor with a pleasant malt backing. The finish is very dry and long.

Although I finished my pint rather quickly I preferred Sierra's Harvest 2007 over the SH.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky looking copper brew. Thin ivory white head. Bubbly near the edge. Lace is spotty and sporadic. Very nice aroma. Lemony and oily. Citric and Floral. Great combination of aroma traits from these New Zealand hops. I've been thinking of brewing an IPA using New Zealand hops so I'm eager to dive in here to this one of a kind. The bitterness is soft, yet substantial. Pine needle and lemon peel lead the way in this area (Southern Cross?). I love the oily texture and slight orange marmalade feel to this (Pacific Hallertau?). And I also get a lemon/lime type of yin/yang thing going on with tropical fruit overtures (Motueka?). To me, this hop profile is very appealing. But why no Nelson Sauvin? Anyway, underneath all this hop goodness lies a bed of pillowy caramel malt. Quite easy drinking and a pleasure to have a fresh hop beer in June. Cheers to Sierra Nevada and New Zealand!!

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The So-Hem pours a nice, deep dark golden color with a decent-sized head on top. Carbonation is moderate.

Smell is instantly fresh, spicy hops. Its definitely floral but I also get some sweet fruit notes, kind of like Froot Loops cereal a bit (I can't think of a better way to describe it).

Taste is crisp, tongue-drying and has a long lasting aftertaste of hop bitterness. There is a strong acidic quality to this beer. Its kind of like the alpha acids are tiny scrubbing bubbles really giving it to the inside of your mouth. Its mouth puckering with not a whole lot of malt backbone. A lot of this has to do with the brewing process I'm sure.

This is a great beer if you need to free base some hops to get your fix. Personally, I love it but not as much as the original Harvest Ale.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Southern Hemisphere fresh hop ale pours a copper color with a good 2 finger foam head. It leaves some sudsy lacing on the side of the glass.

The aroma was a bit subdued initially but as it warmed it gave a slight floral smell with some spiciness.

The taste was spicy with an upfront maltiness. The hop bitterness shows itself in the finish where you are left with a spicy lemon flavor.

It was semi chewy in the mouth and left its New Zealand hop bitterness all around the sides and top of the mouth.

Overall I was very happy to see this on the shelves in late spring/early summer as I am used to having to wait for the hop trip until the fall. I would buy this beer again and it was a good value at $3.99 for 24oz.

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Photo of oelergud
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Massive looking short 24oz brown glass bottle with a pry-off cap. The label conveys the story of the hops coming from New Zealand.
Clear ruby copper body with a large tan buttes head of small to large bubbles. The retention is great and the lace clumpy.
Fresh pine hops dominate the smell over the pinenuts and faint caramel notes.
The taste is great. Strong rough hops all over the place lined with a fine layer of caramel and molasses. The aftertaste wont quit it's onslaught of oily hop notes, but does mellow out just enough to let the malts shine through more than in the initial taste.
Full body with plenty of coating and a very slick oily feel.
Excellent drinkability, very delicious. Can't wait to try the other two new harvest ales.


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Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 3,092 ratings.
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