Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Chico IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
28 Ratings

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Our answer to the calls for a big "west-coast" style double IPA. This beer is a big hop-hearty bruiser packed with flavor. A deep, tarnished-penny color, Chico IPA is brewed using massive amounts of Simcoe and new experimental varieties of hops. The beer has a full body and flavor from the malt, which balances perfectly against the assertive citrus, pine, and spicy herbal notes in the hops. Chico IPA is dry-hopped during fermentation to harness all the thick resinous aromas and flavors of bold, whole cone American hops."

Added by tonistruth on 08-21-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of rodbeermunch
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one drops with a good amount of dark burnt copper and ruby red in it, almost light brown. Small 1/3" head. Hops are the usual C hops and some Simcoe. Similar to Torpedo too in that there might be some Magnums in here.

The malt seems almost rye like, similar to the spice character I get from those Magnums (which may or not be here, but that is definitely the descriptor I would use). They went all in on the hops and malt, caramel, yet it finishes dry and clean, not heavy, woody or soggy. Good hop bite interplay between grapefruit, pine and a little bit of sweet citrus. Significantly bitter.

Wouldn't mind seeing this one get made again.

 658 characters

Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of grahamboudreaux
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of mjweth2
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of bakeith
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of KidRagnarok
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at the Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a deep copper hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a resinous citrus hop and light grain.

The taste consisted of a spicy grapefruit and white pepper hop with a grainy caramel maltiness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a nice residual spice.

Overall a complex hop driven ale. On the level with Ruination in my opinion.

 445 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A good almost ruby appearance poured at the Bistro 13th ipa festival. A little brown around the edges. Great thick lace. Hops in the nose for sure, almost spicy, somewhere between harvest, torpedo and celebration ale.

Good malt backbone on this thing. The slightest bit of peppery spice to it, that's the most unique aspect of this that separates it from the other SN beers. Big bitterness pairs well with big malt roast. All the other usuals, pine, citrus etc. . .

Just another good beer from SN.

 499 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost-clear, dark amber color with a nice white head. Smells very sweet, with a well-balanced hoppy finish. A little more hoppy than Torpedo. The taste is somewhat familiar, but much more complex... It tastes like Torpedo if Torpedo was a chemist... More going on in the flavor department. Not putting Torpedo down at all, this beer is just a bit more on the complex side IMO. Very nice grapefruit finish on this beer. The mouthfeel is very nice considering it is labeled as an IPA...could be borderline DIPA. AMAZING drinkability on this.

 549 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark amberish color with a mild off-white head to it.

S: Lots of pine and citrus, namely grapefruit, hop aromas immediately fill the nose. There is also a touch of woodiness to it, perhaps rosemary?

T: This beer is surprisingly bitter, especially compared to other Sierra IPAs. Lots and lots of pine and citrus (grapefruit again), with a lingering resinous bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a moderate carbonation.

D: At times, the bitterness came off as harsh. But, it was not quite so sustained as to significantly impact my perception of the beer (in a negative manner).

 599 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told that this beer was a little bit of a mistake. The brewers were brewing something else, but because of a shortage of a certain variety of hop or something, they used some of the estate hops instead. When that came to light, it was then decided that this would just be a new beer! Well, thanks for that!

A - It pours with a slight haze that's probably from hops. Tiny bubbles rise steadily through the brass-gold body. A short cap of creamy off-white foam drops slowly, leaving behind some excellent patches of sticky lace.

S - Citrusy/fruity and gently pine-accented hops rise over a lightly sweet, straightforward malt base.

F - Aggressive and a bit edgy, the hops clearly dominate with notes of pineapple, citrus rind, grapefruit, orange, lemon zest and pine. A bold bitterness anchors it, and although the malt is clearly present throughout, it seems almost as just something balances the bitterness and contain the hop character. It finishes dry and hoppy, but fairly short, and not as bitter as you might expect given the solidness found in the flavor.

M - Medium-bodied with a gently bristling, fine-bubbled carbonation.

D - I was quite surprised at how brash and powerful this was, coming on the heels of the mundane Torpedo IPA. This is bold! This is bright! This is what I was expecting the Torpedo to be, a solid, hop-juice drenched west coast IPA. Certainly worth trying!

 1,397 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap from the SN event at sunset grill and tap, in allston, ma, on april 23, 2009, during the week of the craft brewers conference.

clear, dark amber. head fades to sparse wisps and ring. good lace.

aroma: fresh piney hops, some citrus rind, apple esters, caramelized malt.

taste: piney hops again, with citrusy grapefruit (fruit, rind and zest), giving bold resinous bitterness. apple fruitiness and malty caramel foundation.

smooth, with resinous finish. slightly fizzy but creamy carbonation.

pretty standard stuff. perhaps served too cold however.

 558 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Drafting room in Exton, served during brunch after the West Coast Brewery night 6/5.

Served chilled in a goblet

A - A light bronze dark golden shade w/ 2finger light pale cap. There is great lacing w/ an extra fine bead. Gently hazed appearance w/ visible carbonation ascending

S - Sweet pine and mild grapefruit aroma w light honey malt scnet and hints of orange and lemon w/ mild white grape

M - Crisp hop acidity w/ mild sweet hop flavor. The citrus type acidity and hints of spice dominate the feel as it finishes

T - Juicy and citrus taste from American hops through and through w/ citrus aplenty-grapefruit/tangerine and light floral and lemon accents. The tip is sweet and has a great green bitter flavor after the initial taste that just hits and drops back. The flavor is full of hop taste, not just bitterness, w/ floral resinous and juicy citrus flavors. There is mild rind in the taste but the malt back is substantial and keeps the bitterness in range to be considered pleasurable

D - A great IPA that has excellent hop flavor and is very bitter too. The drinkability is very high, it really refreshes and this drinks better than most w/ refreshing balance for such a hoppy west coast IPA

 1,233 characters

Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small fluffy light tan head with good lacing, color was a deep slightly hazy copper color.

Smells of hops and some citrus/grapefruit notes.

Tastes like it smells, of hops and citrus/grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is bitter that is medium bodied and medium has carbonation. Finishes dry.

Drinks pretty good. Reminds me a lot of most other hoppy Sierra Nevada brews. Pretty easy to drink. Masks the ABV well.

 401 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at SN tasting at Olives.

Poured clear daek copper color with an average frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate to heavy sour citrus and floral hop aroma. Medium body with slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium to heavy smooth bitter hoppy flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a good beer that was better then my expectations.

 421 characters

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer 2 of 4 for the Sierra Nevada Tasting Event at Stub and Herbs that I reviewed.

Poured into 6 oz Sierra Nevada sample glass. Pours a small head, due to the glass. This beer left decent lace. It was kind of hazy. Color was blush red/golden orange.

Aroma: More floral hops. Grapefruit. A lot like the other Sierra Nevada IPAs.

Taste: Yep, more floral hops. Quite a lot of citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bitter. Leaves an aftertaste heavy on the hops. Medium bodied. Carbonation is good.

Overall, this beer just reminds me a lot of the other Sierra Nevada beers. Very solid of course. The 7.3% abv is well masked.

 623 characters

Photo of John_M
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at TJsEveryday this past Saturday.

The beer pours a copper amber color with very good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just some pepper, light citrus and celery. Maybe it's the type of hops SN used for this beer, but on the palate I get a huge blast of bitter hops and celery salt. This beer is very, very impressive, and is easily the hoppiest beer I've ever had from SN. Wow! This beer is a mouthful. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a long, drawn out finish. The beer is definitely on the dry side, and is West Coast all the way. Drinkability is pretty good; would guess the abv. is around 6% or 7%.

A very fine beer from SN. Very glad to have had the opportunity to try this one.

 716 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

growler from the grey lodge

my favorite of the sierra nevada ipas/apas... become a big fan of these recently... between torpedo, harvest, celebration, aniversary and this, the chico estate ipa, sierra nevada is amassing a collection of subtly different and superiorly crafted ipas...

chico ipa is more piney than the harvest ale, and more resinous than torpedo... hitting at very nice sweet spot

A: Rich amber body with a monstrous fluffy off white head, great retention before settling into a excellent skim... leaves behind dense lacing which grips the glass and does not let go... only down side is the lacing doesn't just wash right away, a little scrubbing is necessary, but i won't hold that against the beer!

S: Resinous. Lots of floral and pine cents are a welcome treat. Dense and vibrant hop character like this is always welcome in my book. The hopping is certainly present in the nose and lends to a very nice aroma profile.

T: Matching the nose note for note, it starts with a blast of pine and floral hop bitterness, followed by the creamy malt backbone working its way forward before banging out a nice resinous finish.

M: Medium bodied with a healthy amount of carbonation. Super dry on the finish.

D: This is a fresh tasting beer for sure. Garden fresh pine and floral hops make this a delicious treat... Now I just need to get back to finishing this growler off... which will not be a problem.

 1,419 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from tap at TJs in Paoli into a nonic pint. I hear from Jeff that this stuff is ULTRA rare.

A: A medium amber orange color with a minimal white head. Wonderful glass lacing.

S: Some citrus/pine hops with not much malt sweetness. Not a ton of nose here.

T: Wow! Totally not expected from what you smell. Massive west coast hops. I got big flavors of grapefruit, pineapple with a hint of orange/tangerine and some subtle pine notes. So fresh and hoppy, so damn good! The malt lies underneath, but the hops keep banging it down. I just can't get over how good this beer is, wow. Finish is long and lingering with bitterness, but not overly so. Very nice, no better than nice, outstanding!

M: Medium and dry with bitterness, but no alcohol sticks out.

D: High, higher than high. Uber.

Overall I have had a ton of SN products, including the new Torpedo. I have always loved Celebration, I also now love Torpedo, but this is in a separate class. This beer beats both of them, hands down. Outstanding, I still can't get over it. Hats off to SN.

 1,051 characters

Photo of Source
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served ontap in a pint glass.

A: Dark amber with excellent head retention.
S: Faint citrus and hoppitude.
T: Everything an IPA should be. Very well balanced. Citrus, pine, malt mixed to near perfection.
M and D: Smooth and sessionable. Easily my favorite IPA.

 260 characters

Photo of popery
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It's a good looking light amber IPA. There was little head, but it was a cask pour.

S: Good but muted aroma of citrus and pine hops.

T: Excellent flavor on this IPA. Like most Sierra Nevada IPAs, there is a pine dominant hop flavor. All of their hoppy beers have subtly different hop flavors, in my opinion. This one has a bit more bright citrus, pineapple than some. It's a delicious beer. I could definitely drink it all the time.

M: I'm not quite sure how to rate this category. The feel was great, but I really like the feel of cask conditioned ales. It was smooth and creamy with no bad points. I guess I'll dodge the perfect score by saying that it didn't wow me any more than most cask-conditioned beers.

D: Very drinkable. It's a good cask-conditioned IPA.

 771 characters

Photo of ironlung
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-cask @ Toronado SF. 3/07/09...

Burnt orange with a big bubbly head. Smell is muted a bit I bet from the cask action. Taste is stellar. The Bartender tells me this is their Chico Estate Harvest that has been casked. I feel lucky to have tried this. Mouthfeel is easy drinking(for a hop-head). Every thing's in place with this solid offering form SN. Drinkability is very high on this one. I think I found a one-off with this one. Nice to get down to my favorite shit-hole lol!

 479 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Chico IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 28 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.