Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008)Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008)
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American IPA
4.22 | pDev: 8.29%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008)Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008)
Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 203 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.84/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from the backlog-o-tron. FWIW I still hold this up there with the greatest IPA/PA/DIPAs I've ever had; easily on the level of fresh Pliny, Double Trouble, Devil Dancer, Hoppy Birthday, Just Outstanding, old school Jai Alai, et al.

This beer is certainly the most phenomenal IPA I have ever tasted. It looks the part of a radiant golden prototypical IPA. The dankness of the aroma is engrossing and tantalizing. The flavor exceeds the loftiest of expectations. It is unbelievably balanced, INTENSELY flavorful, and rife with pine-y, citric and earthy hop notes. Great body, a bit bigger than medium, with a good balance of effervescence and viscosity. There is a earthy cannabis note that is omnipresent and endlessly enjoyable, which really puts this one over the top. This may be the most delicious beer I have ever had.

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3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey amber color, light thin head. Medium lacing.

Buttery toffee malts and skunky hops dominate smell.

Smooth and slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Small amount of prickly carbonation creeps through.

Tastes of sweet pine and phenolic citrus. Biscuit with burnt notes. Sweet and buttery as well.

Drinkability is high.

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Photo of corby112
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Pours a dark hazy golden amber/orange color with a two finger foamy yellowish head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a thick cap that coats the glass with large chunks of soapy lacing.

Amazing dank hoppy aroma with lots of earthy floral notes as well as some pine and citrus fruit. Hints of grapefruit, lemon peel and orange.

Medium bodied with an explosion of uberfresh dank hops up front that lingers throughout into a long dry finish. Plenty of earthy floral notes with hints of pine, biscuit, grapefruit citrus peel and graham cracker. There is some subtle malt backbone for balance but this doesn't take away from the glorious delicious hops. The ABV is extremely well masked making this beer dangerously drinkable. I have to stop myself from guzzling it down too quickly. Excellent!

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool concept; worth the price to try. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a copper-amber color with an off white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings forward what Sierra is known for--citrus and pine hops. A bit of malt sweetness in the background. Taste is fairly bitter with a nice fresh taste of resinous pine and citrus. Good, slight malt character to back it up. Good, moderately-dry mouthfeel. Drinks quite well and I am a fan of the concept.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Bring on the wet hops--that is what hopheads dream about, right?

The head sits there towering over the beer: It passed the top of the glass during the initial pour, but never fell over, and there are huge patches of lace stuck to the glass. Enough talk about the insane head. Nearly crystal-clear, amber hue. Thick hop-resin aroma of spearmint, pine sap, fresh-cut grass and a faint jasmine spice. Sure, there is a bit of toasted malt and fruitiness in the nose, but the hops are clearly on top. So very smooth on the palate with a medium body. The full hop jacket lays down, covering bitterness, and follows with a thick, vegetal flavor that soon unfolds to more spicy, pine, hemp seed oil, blonde tobacco and wild herbal tones. That hop flavor sticks to the taste buds throughout. The toasted malt has enough muscle to push past most of the hop character; mild yet sweet apricot juice fruitiness from the yeast. Alcohol is mildly warming. Finishes with a sticky resin hop residual and lands semisweet with the malt.

There is no such thing as too much hops, no matter which way you get them. Sierra Nevada brought it with Chico Estate and put down a large but soft footprint of hop prowess.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank on 11.21.08

very nice pour - 2+ finger head. clear, crisp reddish copper color. head lasted quite long with nice frothy lacing. smell had some subtle earthy hoppy smell - slight piny but a dampened hop smell/ with malt in the background.

decent taste. moderate hop, earthy pine taste. a bit mellow - good mouthfeel, very smooth.

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Photo of Cresant
3.62/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this a the Lupulin Land Festival at the New Albanian Brewing Co./Richo's. A 20 oz. pour arrived with a nice amount of creamy, lumpy head which stuck to the glass. The body was golden copper color.

Smell was minimal and hard to discern in the bar. Organic and leafy.

Taste was citrus with bright, grassy hops. Worked well with the sweet malty presence. Lightly spicy. Pretty rich and flavorful.

Mouthfeel was silky and moderate/mildly carbonated. Definitely one to go back to.

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Photo of beer4colin
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Full disclosure: I have always been a BIG SN fan. I have
long thought that their bottled product is very
high quality and well done - liked by tyros yet
complex enough for the aficianado.

This is a fantastic offering. Appearence is a nice
slight haze tea tan. Hops (more on that!) pops
on the tongue. This beer is lively but nowhere
near extreme.

Love the Estate naming as SN only uses SN
grown hops here ala Napa Valley estate wines
using estate grapes.

I could drink this all night or for 4 quarters. GO PATS!

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Photo of paulieatworld
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into pint glass, scarlett with a two finger ivory head that settles to a quarter of an inch and persists as the drink progresses - leaving significant lacing.

heavy citrus aroma. definitely some pine and slight sweet malts in the background.

beautiful citrus bouquet on the front, with sweet, vanilla bean and caramel notes from the malts blending into a dry pine finish. not a super aggressive hop attack. but really enjoyable. sorta like a mellow 90 minute.

sooo $9.99 steep?? yeah. unreasonable? no. factor in the labor it takes to do an estate grown beer (hops, malts, yeast etc.) with simple supply and demand (1st annual release - high allocation and the success of the harvest series 24's) and its easy to see why this one is 10$. i imagine this will get better with each release.

i only hope brewing continues to trend towards the craft side so breweries like stone, bear republic, green flash will get the funds to release estate grown beers. such an awesome and commendable project from sierra who is leading the way in sustainable brewing.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruddy brown and very clear. Bright orangish-brown when held up to light. Head is very foamy and about two fingers thick. Leaves sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - Big grapefruit aroma backed by surprisingly strong malty sweetness. Hints of pine underneath as well. Definitely a hop dominant nose but a surprising amount of malt as well.

T - Strong grapefruit and pine up front. Very resinous. A sticky sweetness comes through mid drink and lingers through the end. Strong caramel malt taste. Very straight forward IPA and very good to boot. A little more sweetness than I usually expect from SN, but still very good.

M/D - Medium bodied and very sticky. Carbonation is good but is msked by the sticky sweetness. Very easy drinking IPA.

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Photo of mikey711
3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love this concept. Way to go Sierra Nevada!

A: Rich amber and copper in color with a two finger thick head. some areas of the foam have bigger bubbles than other areas and the head lingers for a minute or two leaving nice lacy rings.

S: Very fruity and floral hops. It is not super complex in terms of smell but it is very pleasant.

T: Oily hop flavor that is strongly bitter. It is piney with a bit of malt sweetness in the background/

M: Full flavored and bodied. It is a bit harsh but only due to the hoppiness that exists.

D: Easy to drink a bomber, but more enjoyable to split. There is a ton of hops in this beer

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark amber/brown with no head. Smell is tons of malt and a good amount of hops, but not too over the top.

Taste is just as the nose, but ever hoppier than I was expecting. Mouthfeel is nice and thick with some of the best hoppiness I've had in a while. Bitterness lingers for quite a while, overall very good.

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Photo of nickd717
3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint on tap at Rose & Crown in Palo Alto for $7, which seemed a little high but I had to try it. The rating may have been higher if I hadn't had fresh Sculpin just prior to drinking this, but hey, I've got high standards (for beer at least).

A - Clear amber with an off white head. Good lacing and retention.

S - Fresh hop aroma along with some caramel malt.

T - Flavor is malty with lots of caramel, grain, and toast, almost like a scotch ale-marzen-IPA, which is a little strange but not bad. Hops not as intense as I'd like, but still nice.

M - Palate fairly smooth with hop bitterness lasting despite the hop flavor being only average, with medium body.

D - Pretty solid. I got it down fairly quickly, but hell, I drink DFH 120 Minute quickly too. That's probably part of the reason why I always have brutal hangovers the day after like I do now.

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Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished copper color with swarms of small bubbles rising up quickly to a two finger head of dimpled rocky foam.

Inviting aroma of citrus and toffee.

Big hoppy flavor right upfront, loads of tangerine and grapefruit and peach, turning quickly to red grapefruit, finishing piney. Balanced nicely with toffee and honey malt. A peppery spiciness lingers.

Full and even mouthfeel, fairly creamy, but moderate to high carbonation with a bubbly finish.

Very tasty and drinkable beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Naja's, on to the beer:

Hazy orange amber in appearance, topped by a 1/2 inch thick head with good retention initially. Tobacco, faded hops, and passionfruit tickle the nostrils. There's a lot going on in the taste, but something is keeping me from truly enjoying this...could its current condition be a factor? Anyways, grassy, tropical, faint passionfruit and pineeapple flavor play as distractions to the fruity gooey esters and touch of diacetyl. A little oily, and pretty smooth in the mouth.

Not a bad beer, but I didn't get the burst of fresh hops I got in their regular fresh hop ale. Age could be a factor, but regardless, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of mhatters
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at TDR Exton poured into a standard pint glass

Pours a beautiful copper color. A good head that sticks around a long time. A great looking beer.

Very spicy nose, some floral hops - less that I expected, a hint of apple along with the yeast.

Malty flavor (rather surprisingly) the spiciness comes through very well, blending to a more nutty than spicy note. Hopes come through at the end, citrus then pine. For a wet hopped beer, less hope note than I thought.

Medium bodied, easy to drink, a fun beer. I would look for this, it is worth it.

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Photo of koopa
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

24oz Bottle received as a trade extra.

Appearance: Burnt Amber body with a nice 2-3 finger foam crown with good retention that is comprised of fine bubbles that leave loads of lacing. Nice!

Smell: Fresh Hops and Tea. Mind you this is being sampled far after bottling which probably takes away in this department considering the style of beer.

Taste: Biscuit Malt!!! Sorry but I despise caramel malt and find that far too many beers utilize it. Nice amount of earthy and floral hops! This is yummy. I bet it was more bitter when first bottled so perhaps my entire review is skewed.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied and a touch chewy but carbonated well enough to work.

Drinkability: Good considering the mouthfeel but a touch heavy.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sample at local BA gathering.

Poured a clear copper color with a large frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate citrus, resin and earthy aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation. Medium bitter flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met and this beer would go well with spicy food.

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Photo of critterbeer
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice two finger head, slightly cloudy burnt sienna hue. Even latice like lace.

S- Slight piney crispness weaker then expected

T- Tart, strong hop charecter

M- Medium light with even carbonation

D- Very well rounded easy to drink. I could easily drink quite a few of these as I can with most of the Sierra line of beers. They do a great job

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Grey Lodge in NE Philly. Served in a pint glass.

A- Chico has a slighty darker color than your average American IPA with a amber appearance and some brown spots thrown in. A nice white cap graces the top eventually fading while lacing was minimal.

S- Loads of hops in the smell slighty dominating the malt addition. These hops give off a grassy scent as well as pine needles with some grapefruit scent in the distance. On par with most american IPA's.

T- A whole lot of bitterness coming from the 3 hop varieties(Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops) with piney and resinous qualities. Some malts come through to offset this but are not in the forefront. Overall this has a very grassy and earthy appeal to it.

M- Chico has a medium build and is a bit thicker on the mouth than other ipa's, probably a result of the hops going str8 to the kettle and not being dried leaving more resin quality on the cones. Bitter as hell but not a hop bomb that kills tastebuds. I was burping up the hop bill hours after consuming.

D- A little higher than sessionable but within reason. I had to take my time with this one as the thickness is a bit higher than I prefer. I did not know this was wet hopped when I drank it but after learning this information I concluded that this is an exceptional beer. I've had other brewery's wet hopped beers and they don't hold a candle to this one.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SN- Chico

A- Brilliant copper with a thick heavy lacing white head.
S- Thick sweet caramel malt, grapefruit rind, and a mossy pine hop aroma.
T- Sugary sweet butter and caramel malt with sour grapefruit and earthy oily pine hops.
M- Thick and creamy sweet malt starts off but quickly fades into a slight citrus but more earthy pine bitterness. Hoppy and oily on the tongue.

Overall- Big malts with even bigger hops make this tasty. Very good beer from tap!

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Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this bottle a little late. I should have had this closer to the time I purchased it. Oh well, here goes.

Pours a cloudy amber gold with a large milshake foamy head. Perfect retention and beautiful perfect lacing rings after each sip. Smells of grapefruit and other citrus. Some grassy notes, but mellowed by time for sure.

Mouthfeel is alot thinner after sitting in dark storage for a few months. Not as crisp as it was destined to be. Flavor profile is of grapefruity hops, slight biscuity flavor in there as well. Some lemony zip on the finish.

Great brew still, but would be better fresh for sure. I'll look for this again this summer. Recommend.

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Photo of beerorRIP
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 24 oz into a standard pint glass -
a nice amber color shows up, and a 2 finger head quickly rises to the top of the glass. it reduces, but 1/2 a finger of head remains for some time. lacing clings to the sides of the glass. suprisingly clear.

i was kind of surprised by the smell. being the bottle is a bit old, i'm guessing the grassy notes have died down as i really didn't find that much of them. there is a the citrus from the hops and a slight floral note, but not the big punch i was expecting. i can easily catch the caramel / toffee of the malts which is nice, but i was thinking it would be more hop forward in the nose. hopefully the next time i can buy it (which was by luck itself) it'll be fresher.

the taste is quite nice on this one. the aforementioned hop character is there with the citrus playing along with ample bittering. and some sweetness from the caramel malts is also around. but more hops. i'm guessing again the hops are not in full effect...

the mouthfeel is good on this. slightly creamy, with the carbonation just prickling the tongue on the edges.

another beer that's easy going down. not hard to imagine have a more than one pint of it!

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Photo of GJ40
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 24oz bottle acquired in a trade with mwompus.

A - A deep golden ale with good clarity and a thick creamy head. Loads of lacing.

S - Piney and floral hops with some malt and alcohol poking through.

T - Rich hop flavors with elements of citrus (especially grapefruit) and pine backed by a nice foundation of toasted malt. This is noticeably better than the other SN harvest ales. I guess going straight from the vine to the kettle really makes a difference.

M - Good consistency with a slightly oily quality. Moderate carbonation.

D - This is an ideal session beer: hoppy and flavorful yet light and refreshing.

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Photo of Spikester
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Full amber with a big off white head from a gentle pour. Good amount of lacings. Aroma of citrus, leather, caramel. Taste is bitter citrus hops with a strong caramel malt presence. Rather full bodied and good amount of carbonation. This bottle is probably at least five months old so the hops were probably a bit subdued. I would have liked to get my hands on this when it was fresh. Still, a very fine IPA just not as crisp due to age.

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Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale (2008) from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 203 ratings