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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Ratings: 3,090 |  Reviews: 1,344
Photo of DaveWhite
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a tanish, thin head. The smell is faint, at least from this bottle. I've had other bottles with a stronger hop smell. The first sip is soft. There is a hint of a citrus fruit, not sure which. Maybe some apricot as well. The end of the sip is bitter as the hops are strong. This is an older bottle, so perhaps the wet hop has aged a little, but it is still delicious. This is one of the best IPAs I've had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of jskoog
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange yellow in color. Scent is pine and lemon peel. Has a bit of a resinous mouthfeel. Taste is similar to the scent. I normally prefer IPAs with a more citrus profile but this was tasty for a change up. In my opinion not as tasty as their Wet Hop but overall a satisfying brew. I could have a few of these in one sitting no problem.

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

A-Giant head; this thing has a beer afro. Dark amber. Looks boss.

S-Not as amazing as it looks. Floral hops. Not a very memorable smell.

T-Pretty mellow taste. Well balanced, good hop profile with some sweet malts. Earthy. Mellow but tasty.

M-I love the mouthfeel. Medium body. Dry and oily.

D-Drinks nice. Could have a couple glasses.

Just because its not a juggernaut in the taste department does not mean it tastes bad. I would try this beer again.

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Photo of StephenRich
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

"Each fall, hops reach their peak flavor, bursting with aromatic oils that give ales layers of complex flavor that can only happen at harvest time. For us, fall comes twice a year - once in each hemisphere. This Harvest Ale features fresh hops from New Zealand - where fall occurs during our spring. These fresh whole hop cones are picked, dried and shipped to the brewery within days of the harvest."

So the genius minds at Sierra Nevada now take advantage of two harvest seasons, one that is their own, and one that is typically foreign to us. This is great stuff, and pure ingenuity. Great beer minds are at work here, and I have faith in this beer after enjoying both the Estate and the Wet Hop, two other of the four beers in this Harvest Series. The whole idea is the absolute FRESHEST ingredients. Who's going to complain about that? All have been pale ales, and so far all have been great. I'd be interested to see what happens if they bring other beer styles into this wonderful world of freshness.

This is a short but fat 750ml capped bottle coming in at 6.7% abv; pretty much where everything in the Harvest Series lands. I opened the Southern Hemisphere up cool around 8C (45F) and let it slide into a Sierra pint glass. The pour was smooth and very gentle. Only a small rumbling of foam built in the glass, eventually capping the beer with one inch of tightly pack, dense, yet airy soft white head. The beer was glistening in the light showing me a ballet of ruby pinks, rich oak reds, copper, golden browns and soft haze. Really a very nice stature.

The nose was gentle and soft, not really busting at me like I had expected it to. Light touches of sweet caramel, bright pale malts and a smoothly crisp hop sensation just barely tickle your nostrils. An inkling of floral, lightly spicy and herbal hops are there in the back. Even a bit of sweet tropical fruit makes its way in. But certainly not the rush of citrus and pine we have seen before from Sierra's Pale Ales.

This beer will effortlessly calm your palate in a smooth and elegant world of gently sweet malts, and aromatic fresh hops. The sensation here is pretty remarkable. All American Pale Ales should try to mimic this construction; it's just about seamless. Hops come through first showing more citrus than felt on the nose. A combination of zesty lemon and grapefruit blends with hayfields, pepper and spice to crisply refresh and entertain your tongue.

The malts here are definitely wallpaper in a beautifully furnished room. Its not what you are focusing on, but if not done properly if could ruin the whole experience. In such case, the malts are perfect. Soft and elegant, they flow in with light caramel, distinctly clean pale malts and a touch of brown sugar. All melting into a beautiful balance, and a creamy, sort of silky-lush mouthfeel.

The hops for sure play the starring role. This beer is more bitter on the palate than the other two of the series I have had, but it also shows confident restraint. What I mean by that is that you can taste the pine, hints of grapefruit peel, and touches of lemon grass. You can feel the elegant. Taste the flavor, and feel the elegance - this rather than feeling everything and being overwhelmed.

The finish is as you should expect; sensationally refreshing, somehow very smooth and calm, with a fresh ans short finish. This I would enjoy with anything grilled or fried, all sorts of pub food, big strong cheeses and beef stew.

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Photo of samyoung
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle at Key Food in Windsor Terrace. It traveled nearly 3,000 miles to get to me!

A - Looks good. Bronze- red hue. Cloudy.
S - Smell those pennies - this one has a bronze-y yet amazingly floral smell.
T - Really excellent tart bitterness.
M - Nice and clean, lively and most of all thick.
D - I want another bottle for sure.

Sierra Nevada does it right. Go Chico!

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Photo of FrothyBeverage
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful rich golden amber hue. Color reminds me of summer afternoons. Transperancy somewhat cloudy and hazy. Waterfall lacing on the glass. Smells of tropical fresh hops and very pleasing to the nose. This beer has just the rite amount of hops to my liking. A very ballanced bitterness. Im so used to cascade hops that i can taste and detect the flavors in these exotic new zealand hops. Upon first taste i detected hints of lilikoi(passion fruit). This beer tastes like hawaii. This brew has an excellent mouthfeel. Very clean and fresh. Ballanced carbonation and tingly to the tounge. This beer is super drinkable. One of my favs of 2010. This particular beer holds centimental value to me because it uses new zealand hops like steinlager, my staple in hawaii.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Orange-amber, clear, big head with lots of lace.

Smell: Nose was somewhat lacking in intensity overall but there was grapefruit and pine hop in a background of malt.

Taste: Nice balance of the piney-resinous and citrus-grapefruit hop with caramel malt. Clean, fresh hop bitterness on the finish. Overall is not so hoppy as to shrink your head, but enough to be tasty and quite drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation, works well.

Drinkability: It's not overpoweringly hoppy and has a clean finish, quite drinkable.

Update: 2011 Bottling tasted 4/5/2011..Taste is a bit more hoppy and seems less balanced? Hops are very pine-forward this year, the resinous oils stick to the tongue, finishes bitter. Downgrading the overall from 4.5 to 4.0.

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

1pt. 8 fl oz. bottle (via trade) into a tulip.
Poured a golden orange with a one-finger head which settled to a coating. Lacing was abundant and lasting. Nose was citrus and pine with some floral notes and some sugary sweetness. Taste was some citrus up-front but a heavy kick of sweet bready malts and only mild bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with little hop bite. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a nice well-balanced IPA I would seek out again absolutely.

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Photo of deaconoflove
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ap. cloudy orange with nice, but short lived head. some lacing. REVISITED...a bright clear deep golden brown with a huge frothy head and copius lacing. Can this be the same beer?
Sm. Orange and grapefruit and hops. The orange gives it a bit of sweetness. REV. Good maltiness, too.
Ta. Early hint of caramel and malt, then orangey grapefruit with a nicely bitter finish.
Mf. Light and fresh, but not insubstantial. REV. Nice fullness and still fresh.
Dr. Certainly! Very easy going beer. A very, very good beer.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottle

22oz bomber at fridge temp poured into a pint glass. pours a clear amber color with a big white billowy, creamy head on it. great retention and a lot of sticky lace.

i was maybe expecting a little more from the aroma. grapefruit citrus and pine needle hops come through, balanced by a nice caramel malt. im not sure how to describe it, but from picking my own hops throughout the week, the hop aromas smell very similar- fresher.

pretty good taste, but again, i might have been expecting just a little more. dont know when this was bottled so i have no idea how old it is. piney resinous hops fill the palate, some grapefruit citrus. good amount of bitterness, but nothing knocking the teeth out. a little bit of grassy hops in the backend. balanced very nicely by some toasted grains and caramel malts. lingering bitterness.

medium bodied beer, carbonation is just right. resinous, oily hops attack the palate.

this drinks pretty good, one bomber is enough, i might drink 2 in a session, the price isnt too bad. i might get this again, prolly wait till next year though. i would definatly like to try some of the other harvest ales however.

the use of fresh hops isnt greatly noticeable, also a variety of hops not too common in the U.S. were used in the beer as the hops were from new zealand. on a side note, i just harvested my own hops and i can only hope my ipa turns out as good as i am not the master brewer yet and this is my first time with whole cones.

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Photo of eclaycamp
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber. I've always liked the idea of Sierra Nevada's Harvest line, beers brewed with ingredients from specific places. 2010 vintage. I really like the label on this bottle. Reminds me a little bit of a map from the 1600s. Poured into a basic glass. I like the head retention on this beer, it looks almost oily. The color of the brew is burnt orange, almost like the crayon color of my youth. Light aroma that I'm guessing may be due to the beer's age - the website states this was bottled way back in April. Interesting flavor profile. More malty than I was expecting, but again I'm betting this is due to the age. As my palate adjusts I get more hop character in the nose, but it's still not as much as I was expecting. Gets better the more I drink it. Pretty easy to drink really. The body and flavor of this beer is just really well balanced and quite delicious. It's a nice beer that straddles the line between their Pale Ale and their Toperdo. Nicely done.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harvest 2010 -- bottled April 23, 2010 if I understand the code correctly. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Beer is amber and hazy, forms a thin head of off white tiny bubbles that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. Beer is moderately carbonated. Looks good.

Aroma is overall weak but its kind of piny hoppy. Not much there.

Beer is pretty thick with a nice back palate bitterness. Its not malty but it quite heavy for an IPA. Almost chewy on the palate. Its good and I believe I've had this beer for the past several years when it comes out. Definitely not my favorite IPA and I couldn't drink it everyday, but its decent.

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Photo of Pardishcreel
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer is where it shines. Its head is almost perfect, and the color like and dark amber reddish color that just lets light threw it. My first comment was on how great the beer looked.

Then the smell of pine needles and hops hit me. The smell was a dead give away for this style of beer.

The taste was bitter it did dissipate much faster then beers of this style and the after taste wasn't to overpowering. The next sip still as bitter upfront, its to bad cause the flavors in the after taste were quite nice, wish I could have tasted those up front.

The drinkabilty was high for a hop ale because I drank another one when in most cases one hop ale is enough for me and then I am ready to fix my pallet with something less bitter.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle a clear light brown / amber to a sun king shaped pint glass with a foamy, light caramel colored, finger and a half head leaving nice retention.

pleasant, not overpowering, aroma of citrus hops.

very mild and sweet, not what i was expecting at all. unexpected malt balance in this IPA.

smooth and creamy, mild bitterness follows to the rear of the tongue

very drinkable.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears a clear pale golden hue, with two fingers of thin creamy white head, which renders a thin wall of lace as it recedes. It smells of dry citrus, mostly grapefruit, and bready caramel malt. The taste is mostly in-line with the aroma - big citrus hops, a bit of edgy pine, and more caramel malt. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, smooth, and kind of airy, and it finishes dry, the piney, fruity hops predominating.

A pretty good IPA, even if the citrus components' hemispherical origins are lost on me. And the retail cost of the bomber form of this beer is a bit outlandish - I saw it at a grocery store for 9 bucks. Good thing I found it on tap, on a cheap pint night...

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz seasonal bottle.
I remember not liking this beer so much just a month ago when I tried it. I think it was way too young at that time, and is properly aged now.
This was an exceptional example of an IPA. Southern Hemisphere hops are some really unique hops. New Zealand hops typically have a very high alpha acid, and are known to be spicy and zesty. You definitely have that in the aroma of this beer. The taste has a nice tanginess to it. Almost like you are drinking hop juice.
Very powerfully hopped in bitterness, flavor and aroma. And they were used fresh within 24 hours off the hop bines. Also New Zealand has very strict rules about organic farming, so it is almost guaranteed they used organic hops. Interesting beer. Although I could go for something a bit different now. I don't know that I would want to drink this all night long.

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Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Harvest

Pours amber with a nice big tan head and some lacing.

Smells of sweet citrus (grapefruit and lemon), pine, and a touch of mint. There is a little wet blanket hanging around in there as well.

The taste sweet and citrust up front with pineapple and lemon followed by sticky pine and a hint of mint. There is a bit of wood and some more pine in the finish. Great depth of flavor.

The feel is nice and creamy, much creamier than some IPAs around.

This is a good summertime IPA. Great depth, great feel, refreshing. I'm going to pick up another few of these.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Oakmont pub and a recent bottle that came my way.

A darker shade than your average IPA, SH is a deep copper slightly bronze body that does not look all that thin. A big off khaki foam stood on top and left lines of lace on the way down. It looks tasty.

A nice hopping with citrus and small traces of pine in the nose. A certain amount of toasted and pale malt and some nutty appeal. Small traces of caramel with warming, and again hoppy plus spicy. Some bitter appeal.

A few sips in I knew this was a winner. Not a huge tropic bomb but there is some grapefruit and lemon in there. After that a small nutty thing with caramel. Finishes spicy going along with the hops still going, bitter in a friendly way.

The body is about medium. It looks like it would be more by color and look but it's pretty tame. Carb not a problem here, spritzy. There is a nice long aftertaste of GOOD.

I had a few, I liked it, will have again. SN makes good beer.

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Photo of rand
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SN Southern Hemisphere Harvest 07/22/2010
From bomber to pint glass

A: Pours a dark golden tan with a 2 1/2 inch head from a moderate pour. The head is thick and fluffy with a caramel hue, and there is a fair amount of lacing. Effervescence is strong and you can assume that the carbonation is aggressive.

S: Strong citrusy hops with a backdrop of freshly baked pastries. Citrus notes are strong but the pine scents are faint for this style.

T: Hops are about the only thing you can taste on first sip, but these are very citrusy hops and not overly bitter. The malts quickly balance and there are strong notes
of apple and grapefruit. The malts have a freshly-baked bread quality and serve as a prop for the crisp, citrusy bite. This beer is so citrusy it's almost sour, but it finishes clean with a pleasant aftertaste. Given the citrusy-hop overtones, the brew is incredibly balanced.

M: Moderately chewy but the heavy carbonation works to clean the palate after each sip.

D; Completely refreshing ale that IPA fans will toss back like water. I find the balanced grapefruit-apple hop profile addictive.

Notes: Wow, I'm really going to have to reevaluate Sierra Nevada. I guess I just grew tired of SNPA in my younger days which led me to avoid SN offerings altogether (except for Bigfoot Barleywine). This tastes nothing like other SN beers I've tried, and it's surprsingly refreshing. A complete hop-bomp, but the hops don't wreck your palate like a Stone Ruination (I was actually going to the store to pick up Stone Ruination when I saw this). After Life-n-Limb and Estate, I'm a Sierra Neveda re-convert - this is a great beer.

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Photo of sonata2008
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy copper color with a a thin ivory head.
S: Mild citrus hop aroma.
T: Lovely malt flavor, biscuity, with some subtle fruit notes and a nice hop tang at the end. Well balanced. Great taste from beginning to end.
M: Very smooth mouth feel.
D: Very drinkable beer with an outstanding taste. Would pair well with a burger or a steak.

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Photo of mwa423
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a slightly hazy amber with two fingers of eggshell head that leaves a strong lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Very light on the aroma, but there is definitely some citrusy and piney hops but also a slight malty sweetness along with a bit of peppery spice.

T - Very muted taste, a hop profile that is very floral but not a lot. I could compare this to an APA more than an IPA. There is some malty sweetness but only enough to balance out the bit of hops.

M/D - Mouthfeel is rich and smooth and lacks the bite of most American IPA. This is reasonably drinkable but certainly not the best IPA for $5 a bomber.

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Photo of Yimosan
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1PT. 8FL. OZ Bottle poured onto my Weizen glass.

A- Clear copper in color with a fluffy off white head. Nice retention and sticky lacing.

S- Pine, citrus rind and a slight hint of malt.

T- The first sip reminded me of a lemon/pepper condiment that I use to season my seafood. There is definitely a piney bitterness and a bit of malt in the back palate, but the citric component with a somewhat peppery finish, IMO, is more prevalent.

M- Nice and smooth with a long-lasting finish.

D- It's a very nice beer, but for my taste it lacked the caramel and malt that I look for in the Ales I favor the most.

Food pairing: I think this would go great with a nicely seasoned grilled tuna steak, pineapple coleslaw, and sweet potato fries.


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Photo of thagr81us
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours red-orange with a one finger off-white head. Maintains nice lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of hops and nutty notes. The flavor was of malt, nutty, and a slight hop flavor. It was light on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew that was very smooth going down. Giving it dangerous drinkability. This is one of the first IPAs where I have encountered a nutty flavor that wasn't upsetting the beer. It was actually kind of welcomed with this one.

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Photo of kwjd
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper-orange colour with big white head. Great head retention and lacing. Smell is of herbal and citrus hops. Taste has a lot of citrus hops, with a little bit of bitterness. Nice bready malt too. This seems to be closer to an APA than an IPA I think, but still good either way. Very nice drinking beer, I could have a lot of this.

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Photo of bigeyedfish
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010-series purchased in Montague, NJ during a weekend in the Mountains. 1pt. 8 fl oz. bottle poured into an oversized-wine glass.

1/3 of the bottle poured into the wineglass produces just-under 2 fingers of off-white head with bubbles of varying-sizes throughout most of the top. The head fades at a pretty steady pace. The body is a vibrant, burnt orange with some carbonation bubbling up sporadically to the top. The faded head leaves a ring of lacing around the perimeter of the glass; parts of it are solid from the top of the lacing to the beer while others have holes throughout the lacing.

Once the areas of carbonation vanish on top the top of the beer has a whispy-lace quality. All in all a really nice-looking IPA.

The aroma is pretty-disappointing; it's quite weak and (at least with a fresh-hop, kind of expected) lacking in a dominant aroma. A mild-hint of stickiness (if that is an actual thing, which it may not even be) is magnified by being swirled in the wine glass; the head is revitalized and a hint of soft-pine comes forward.

The taste is very good. While it starts not being very defined, around the mid-palate it burst with pine/hop bitterness. It leaves a very nice aftertaste, the same pine/hop bitterness only in a form that is more dry and pungent; it's really quite pleasant.

The mouthfeel is pretty average, when you think about it. There's a little carbonation on the back-pallet, and there's the long finish, but, for an IPA there isn't much going on before the finish. I guess, since it's a fresh-hop, that's kind of to-be-expected.

Overall, a pretty drinkable IPA. And I don't think in this case, it's a good thing. It's drinkable because in a lot of the IPA-defining characteristics, it's pretty weak-to-average. It's taste, it's mouthfeel, it's smell. All pretty weak-to-average. There's nothing about this beer that'll knock you out, and aside from the lingering aftertaste, which, again, is quite nice, there's not a lot that will make this stand out from the pack.

Overall; is this a beer worth having? Of course. There are very few breweries doing what SN is doing with their fresh hop, and Southern Hemisphere is a great way to see what eventually might be. The whole Tom Friedman thing, hops from one corner of the globe being in another within a week of harvest, etc. But still, when it's all said and done, as an IPA, compared to the field, it's a middle-of-the-road effort, through no fault of the brewer.

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Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 3,090 ratings.
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