Estate Brewers Harvest Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Estate Brewers Harvest AleEstate Brewers Harvest Ale
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
IPA - American
4.08 | pDev: 8.82%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Estate Brewers Harvest AleEstate Brewers Harvest Ale
Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 389 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by abuliarose:
Photo of abuliarose
abuliarose from New Hampshire

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, revealing a clear ruby amber color with creamy thick head. Smells like hops and gym socks, honestly, with hints of boiled chestnut. There's something earthy but unappealing about the smell that doesn't attract me. It could be the hop type, though, so there's your grain of salt.

The taste more than makes up for the smell. It starts out smooth and chestnutty, transitioning to the floral hoppiness hinted at in the smell. A creamy and borderline medium-thicknessed mouthfeel makes it easy to drink and the carbonation adds a nice acidity to the bitter finish. Gentle malt flavor is interlaced throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I concede that this is a well-done American-type IPA and would easily drink more if the smell weren't as off-putting. With a clothespin, it's amazing. I look forward to Sierra Nevada's future estate harvest brews.

Sep 27, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of racer2k
racer2k from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 24oz. bottle into a pint glass

A - Amber / Copper color with thick cake batter colored head which leaves behind plenty of lacing as the head recedes. A nice layer of thin foam sits on top of this beer

S- The smell of freshly harvested hops, citrus, pine and a slight malty character. A balance of sweet and malty aromas.

T- This beer brings is a characteristic fresh hoppy beer taste which begins sweet and finishes malty. There is a very nice hop resiny character to this beer. The wet hops are excellent!

M - Moderate carbonation and mouth feel which is very creamy and resiny from the hops. This is an excellent beer!

D - Wet hopped IPAs have been one of my favorites for several years and Sierra Nevada seems to lead way each year.

Sep 29, 2009
Photo of JordanEllwanger
JordanEllwanger from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark copper amber color with a full fast rising thick off white head. Smells like a veracious blend of hops and malts. The malt tones come through in a rich way. I remember drinking this when it first came out and had much more hop dominance. Now there is a beautiful blend between the two. I am very glad I had one a bit ago and again now. I can really tell the difference a couple moths can make in the hops. Awesome stuff.

Mar 03, 2010
Photo of drpimento
drpimento from Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmmm, yessir, this is indeed one fine brew. With an aggressive pour I got just about a perfect head on this beer. It was light tan foamy frothy and thick with good lacing. Color is a hazy copper amber. Aroma is really nice with a pronounced sense of balance even though the malt and hops are so forward, it still smelled like good fresh beer. Flavor is like aroma, but much bigger and the addition of the bitter/sweet characteristics. Body and carbonation are excellent - full and round with the fizz to cut through it. Finish is like flavor except it gets a little boozy.

Apr 22, 2010
Photo of IronLover
IronLover from Pennsylvania

4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Weathered copper orange in color with a slight haze. Poured with a huge white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap that left random sticky lacings on the glass. Sticky sweet caramel and toasted malt aromas with fresh spicy and pine hops aromas on top of ripe citrus grapefruit hops beneath. Medium bodied with an oily smooth feel that subdues the carbonation. Spicy hop flavors up front with ripe grapefruit flavors in tow. Pine hop flavors intensify from the middle to the end. A strong sweet caramel malt backbone throughout. Finished with some boozy notes and a lingering pine hop bitterness. Lots of different flavors and aromas with solid maltiness and a great feel.

Jan 20, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a stemmed pint glass)
A- This beer has a crystal clear reddish hint to an orange glowing body with a sea of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface. There is a thick creamy tan head that last as a big thick cloud and some sticky lacing that remains on the glass with each sip.
S- The green herbal hops have a soft slightly sweet malt flavor and a honey malt depth to it.
T- This beer has a honey malt sweetness that supports the full green herbal hops flavor. The hops have an interesting depth of flavor that is slightly fruity, more like watermelon, and a green cinnamon spice to them in the finish.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz finish that makes this beer more crisp in the body.
D- This beer has full hop flavor with the right balance of sweetness and bitterness and a good unique depth to the hops aswell. The malt really does a nice job of supporting the hops and this is very quaftable.

May 26, 2010
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Almost three fingers of head on a hazy deep amber colored body. Beautiful.
The aroma is faint with some lemon and honey.
A bold taste: lemon and grapefruit bitterness all over the place with some malt sweetness in the background... way in the back. The bitter finish is long lasting too.
A crisp texture with moderate carbonation.
A wonderfully bold IPA, could use some work in the aroma area though.

Mar 16, 2013
Photo of bruachan
bruachan from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

smells like hops glorious hops! and i'm all about the principle of the project!

very nice rich copper color with a (to-be-expected) good froth above. a little sudsy a little creamy

plenty of cascade aroma, caramel. a little spicy a little woody and a good amount of malt depth. some darker variety of honey seems to make itself known, as well

ooh, the hops are restrained in the flavor. the whole experience is quite soft and relaxed. the bouquet hadn't exactly convinced me to the contrary but i still would have expected more punch (read "expected", not "desired"). malt fruitiness is kept to a minimum, staying in the cleanmalty range. a touch of rye bread. you know, a fruity element does make its way through but it's all in the date-type spectrum. a touch of strong butterscotch

bitterness is strong in the rearview mirror but doesn't seem to wish any interference with my tasting of the brew. good mouthfeel, though certainly on the thick side according to style. a touch lighter in body might be nice. that being said, drinkable!

Feb 22, 2010
Photo of TheFlern
TheFlern from Idaho

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber color. Creamy colored head that pours a little less than a half inch. The head fades over time but the lacing is good.

Smell: A nice hoppy character here, it smells pretty darn bitter. Something else is there that i can't put my finger on, I want to think it is the yeast (this is a good thing imo).

Taste: Very much like your typical Sierra Nevada. The hop flavor is craddled nicely within the barley. This is a great pinnacle of American IPA style.

Mouthfeel: This is what I would consider a dry beer. Not much malt sugars here to make it sweet. We get lots of bitterness from the hops while the barley and malt is just enough to soften the edges.

Drinkability: For me you are just as good going with this or regular sierra nevada. This costs more so imo the drinkability is less because you get less for your buck.

Oct 01, 2009
Photo of allengarvin
allengarvin from Texas

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a nonik glass. After it settles, the beer is a lovely copper color, a tad hazy, with a dense 3-quarters inch head on top, very persistent. Fresh citrus, resinous hops fill out the nose, very bright and perfumy. Hops are by far the dominant flavor, with a very high bitterness, and a load of grassy, dry pine-needle taste, carrying through to a forcibly dry finish.There's little else here. It's a good hop-bomb, certainly, but it's really nothing but a hop bomb.

Nov 19, 2009
Photo of Gavilan
Gavilan from Virginia

4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A bit pricey compared to other Sierra Nevada offerings but I'm looking forward to this one. The fact that they grew their own barley and hops says a lot about their commitment to craft brewing.

A. Beautiful deep amber color with a fluffy off-white head.

S. Strong piney/grapefruit resiny...the signature Sierra Nevada profile.

T. Intense spicy fresh hop flavor with the malt definetly playing a backup role (nothing wrong with that!). Love the bitterness in the back.

M. Love the bubbly carbonation.

D. I can certainly have a few!

Another great effort by a brewery that continues to define IPA.

Sep 25, 2009
Photo of valkyre65
valkyre65 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Dec 08, 2011
Photo of icetrauma
icetrauma from Texas

4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a bomber at Specs several days ago and decided to give it a go. At first I was bitching why does SN limited releases always have to be IPA's! Anyway on to the review.

I popped the top and was immediatly hit by a wafe of piney hoppiness love. Poured into my pint glass and it poured a nice coppery hue with a light tan lacey head that slowly went away.

At first sniff I was impressed. Scents of citrusy peach followed by pine hit the olfactory nerve. At 2nd sniff a slight alcohol smell was detected.

It was love at first taste. As this fine elixer hit the taste buds flavors of citrus peach and orange rind hit the palate first. This was followed by a hint of smooth malt flavor which was immediately followed by hop love. The flavor of hops hit the palate and slowly rose to 10,000 ft and helf for a lovely lingering hoppy taste. Which slowly dissapated and left a nice pine after taste.

Mouthfeel was almost spot on. Not to thin and def. not thick and syrupy. Felt like velvet.

This brew is def. a session IPA. I could drink this all day!

Nov 09, 2009
Photo of berley31
berley31 from Canada (NB)

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a fairly large, white, creamy head that had very good lasting power. Body is an amber / copper color, and mostly clear except for a slight touch of haziness.

s: Pleasant aroma of malt breadiness, light hops, and a fairly prevalent scent of citrus as well.

T: Extremely smooth, very well-balanced flavor of malt, citrus, and a bitter finish. I couldn't detect any alcohol, and while the finish WAS bitter, it still remained as smooth as the beginning of the tasting.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, and extremely creamy, with average carbonation. Fantastic on the palate.

D: Yet another winner from SN. This is one smooth beer.

Mar 06, 2010
Photo of kingjames1
kingjames1 from South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I admit, I am by no means an unbiased reviewer of anything from Sierra Nevada. I love nearly everything they've produced. This beer pours a beautiful, rich amber, with a fluffly, sticky head. Smells wonderful, if somewhat subdued. Citrus, florals, and grass. Taste is incredibly refreshing. Crisp citrus, fruity (almost reminds me of the yellow fruit loops) - satisfyingly sour and sweet, with a grassy layer on top. There is also a strong earthy element that I can't quite put a finger on. It is rich, complex and very satisfying. The mouthfeel is flawless, and this beer is incredibly drinkable. Is there a better brewery out there for consistently producing solid and delicious pales and IPAs? A hop-lovers go-to favorite!

Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Exiled
Exiled from Texas

4/5  rDev -2%

Nov 15, 2011
Photo of rowew
rowew from Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 24 oz bottle that looks similar to the regular line. Date code is cryptic, 1st release. ABV is clearly labeled.

Appearance: Clear orange-red color, nice large head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Very grassy hop aroma. Wet hops and a bit of bready malt.

Taste: Lots of bitterness, grassy hop flavor. Lacking a bit of malt to back up the bitterness.

Overall impression: Not as good as most of the other Sierra Nevada offerings - a bit unbalanced. The bitterness could use more malt.

Nov 02, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$9.99 @ Nikki's.. only had a case... this beer is on request.

A- A nice, robust, caramel/amber beer. Sticky.... impossibly sticky head that lasts for ages.

S- Hops, maple syrup, a bit of candi sugar, although I doubt that's in this. Still, sweet, sweet, sweet beer.

T- More subdued than the nose would leave you to believe. Incredibly palatable.. I enjoy this beer.

The hops are there... yet in their place. A mich, sticky sweet malt backbone is in perfect harmony. Not an in-your-face IPA... a really well-balanced house ale that is very tasty. I am impressed... Chico. CA must be the perfect place for an Estate Ale. Mild piny hops, a faint resin/octane quality, but it's all in check.

M- Crisp, light enough to be a quaffable beer, despite the +/-7% ABV. I'm impressed.

D- High. I'd have another. And another. And maybe another after that. This is a tasty beer. Glad I got to try it. While it's not a door-buster, this beer is tasty to the max. Glad to see Sierra Navada taking leap of faith.... and winning! What a good beer this is. I will buy more... and I hope we see an Estate Ale every g.d. year.

Nov 22, 2009
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus from California

4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich copper with a great, big bubbly tannish head that clings to the glass for dear life as it falls. The aroma is slight but hoppy, with some pine to it. The flavor is surprisingly light, with piny hops and a tinge of bready malt. The main interesting component is a sneaky, piny bitterness that comes up slowly on the finish. Somewhere behind the initial hoppines comes some vanilla and cream. This is a beer that rewards taking a healthy mouthful and rolling it around slowly and carefully before swallowing - if you simply swallowed immediately, you'd miss some of the complexity that's hiding in the straight-forward-seeming Sierra Nevada hop character.

The mouthfeel is extremely creamy, accentuating that vanilla cream soda character, which is something which I have never encountered before in a beer. And I like it.

Nov 07, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
beerwolf77 from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wasatch for sending this brew my way. John is a great BA.

1st bottling. Yet another bottle from line# 2 on August 31 at 1:13 pm. Damn that was a busy line that day.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a lightly hazed orange amber. The off white head fills at least three fingers before receding to leave a nice coating of lace around the glass.

The aroma is nice balance of hops and malt. Floral hops with light pine meld with sweet biscuity malt. This was probably alot hoppier when it came of the line.

The flavor is a solid burst of malt that sort of melts inot a piney bitter hop bite. A n ice balance of sweet and sour. I can only imagine the hops blast if you grabbed this fresh.

Medium to full body that has a decent heft to it. Seems a touch sticky in the finish.

Overall a real nice beer. What else can you expect from this brewery? They simply just do things the right way.

Apr 08, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter from Germany

3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a Wegman's super market while on vacation in NY. Beautiful copper pour with a huge tan head and nice lacing. The nose was not typical Sierra Nevada as the citrusy hops were not the star. In fact, the bready, caramel malt was at the forefront with a grassy background. The taste was much the same. A little less balanced than I'm used to with Sierra Nevada. And there's a grassy bitterness to it that's not typical either. Would have liked to have seen more of the resiny hop bite as opposed to the grassiness. With that said, it is improving as I drink it. The grassiness has faded and it's fairly drinkable. Perhaps it was too cold. Still, not a typical great beer from one of my favorite breweries.

Jun 29, 2010
Photo of jhoban19
jhoban19 from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz. bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

A: deep copper color, 2 fingers solid off-white foam with lasting retention; eventually settles into a solid ring with full surface coverage. Strong lacing forms at each level on the glass as I drink and sticks throughout the entire pint. This is a good looking brew.

S: floral/herbal hops are first to jump from the glass, quickly followed by a bready malt that overpowers the hops for the rest of the brew. As it warms, caramel and nutty malt aromas come through.

T: much like the aroma, the first sip or two is quite hoppy- an excellent combination of hop flavors that ranger across herbal, citrus (a bit of grapefruit) and pine (just a hint). The hop flavor quickly retreats and gives way to the toasty/nutty malt; however, the hops fight their way back on this finish, which is quite bitter. The finish also starts out a bit dry, but as it warms a malt sweetness presents itself.

M: well carbonated, but not overly so. Medium body that starts out a bit astringent but quickly becomes smoother and smoother with each sip. A nice balance of hop bitterness and bready malt linger all the way to the bottom of the glass. The hops really linger here- just finished the last of the 24oz and I'm still tasting a strong hop bitterness.

D: Estate Harvest Ale is a very drinkable brew. Strong on both hops (both in flavor and bitterness on the finish) and malt yet well balanced. Not the best IPA I've had, but a pretty good one from one of my favorite breweries.

Dec 12, 2009
Photo of plaid75
plaid75 from New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a medium amber hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light cereal grain and light herbal hop.

The taste featured a lightly sweet cereal malt with a piney and softly citric hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and essentially malt driven ale b

Aug 25, 2010
Photo of kegger22
kegger22 from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale is a deep amber color with a generous, two inch tan head that displays good retention.

The aroma is more malt than hops to me, but elements of both are in competition.

The taste is citrus hops, though not over whelmingly so, then a sweet malt backbone. I find little bitterness.

The mouth feel is medium bodied, a little oily and with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good, the 6.70 ABV being quite reasonable.

Estate Harvest is a fine American IPA and if decently priced, should do well. I paid $5.99 in the late fall and $6.99 would seem about right for what you get. I have heard that pricing was at $11.99 and if that was the case, I would never have purchased it.

Jan 03, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

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

Of course Sierra Nevada can do now wrong with these beers. From here, it's all about what type of 'ideal' we're talking about.

The pour brings a deep copper, nearly mohogany and ruby hues of amber. Nearly stark white head forms atop the beer and settles in for the session, leaving good ordinances of lace all around the glass. A mild haze is a testiment to dry-hopping and gives an inviting refraction to the light.

Cascade, Cascade, and Cascade hops through and through. Fruity grapefruits with background notes of lemon and orange zests decorate the spicy and floral nose. Light toffee with a hint of toast are the only evidence of malt burried deep in the background. A mild 'catty' note from the hops might be a slight deterant but acceptable.

Flavors are more balanced but still hop-dominant. Grapefruit and orange zest flavors set the tone up front while the toast, toffee, and cracker-like malts re-affirm the beer's base and gives a lot of texture and body to support the hop flavor and bitterness.

Medium maltiness up front gives the slight impression of dry toast, crusty breads, and everso sweetness. But the beer quickly turns bitter because of the libral additions of high alpha-acid hops- giving a soft, resiny bite to the beer. Again, the beer dries out beautifully in the end with the combination of hop bitterness and alcohol strength. Maybe a light minty finish to accompany the long bitter linger of grapefruit.

A beautifully crafted beer that deserves a lot of praise.

Oct 07, 2009
Estate Brewers Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 389 ratings