Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest AleSierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale
389 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest AleSierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jmoore50 on 09-05-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 389 |  Reviews: 304
Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Estate poured out as a really nice looking copper color the head was thick and very foamy. The lacing left of the glass was very good too. The smell of the beer was very hoppy with some cirtus and grains in the mix. The taste was bitter from the hops and had a nice sweetness as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and leaves a dry mouth kind of feeling. Overall this was probably one my first favorite IPA's that really sparked my intrest in the whole style. Very enjoyable beer for sure.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 - tasted 10/11/10 Pours a dark orange with copper tint and nice off white head.

Nose is really pleasant fruit and malt with nice esters light apple, pear and stone fruit but very "fresh" in character.

Mouthfeel is rich and very creamy. Very well balanced and leaves you really wanting to drink it. Mouthfeel is of quality, just like the dated 2009. (This one is without the date of 2010 but with an extremely well designed new label). "

The flavors on this just rock. Big, bold, assertive, rich and impressive. Big fruit front palate with a very rich and elegant character that grows to a wonderfully full and rich bitter hop pine.

Finish is all rich, fresh and green bitter pine and really long lasting. This is a first rate effort; a wonderful drink; great with lots of food profiles and perhaps one of the nicest SN brews I've had. Layers and layers of flavor and character and really just "tastes expensive" and "high class." Better than the 2009 in my opinion.

* * *

2009 - Pours a clear and bright copper with orange cast and a nice white head, although it fades a bit quickly.

Bright lemon juice nose with hints of pine; a really lovely perfumy citrus pine character.

Mouthfeel is medium to full and with a rich and creamy "half and half" character. Mouthfeel is quality.

Flavors are rich, full bitter pine and pine resin but with quality and character. Perhaps a bit single dimensional but well balanced and a real quality character to it.

A very well made beer. Very drinkable and appealing with a full hop flavor quality that's rich and drinkable.

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Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, copper/burgundy color with a one-finger, off-white head of thick foam. It left sheets of lace on the sides of the pint glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, pine and bubblegum. There was a burnt toast maltiness.

T - It had a great roasted malt taste, quite toasty, with citrus hops. Some grapefruit flavors were in there, too.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A medium bodied ale that had a smooth, dry finish.

D - This is a great beer. I'm glad I got to try an estate-grown brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a towering head that grows craggy and leaves curtains of lace around the pint glass

Smell: Grapefruit and mint, with undertones of toasted malt and a hint of caramel

Taste: After a brief flirtation with the toasty malt, the grapefruit and peppermint hop character jumps to the fore and dominates through mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops and malt combine to provide a floral sweetness that persists well into the finish, with a touch of caramel lingering into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Another fine hoppy beer by SN, though as others have noted, the flavor profile alone does not justify the high price

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Photo of mothman
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Bud American Ale glass

Pours a creamy beige 2 finger head. Good head retention with some thick lace walls going down the glass. Always a plus. Color is a clear golden bronze.

Aroma: a nice floral bouquet of hops, kind of mellow. A lot of sugar/caramel flavors. The typical citrus fruit comes through as well.

Taste: There seems to be something a little different here than most ipas. It almost has a weedy/grassy flavor to it mixed with the floral hops. It isn't anything to distracting, but just a bit different. Very piney as well. A lot of caramel malts with some citrus notes kicked in as well.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and then some. Somewhat smooth. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Ends with a very sticky/hoppy aftertaste. One part of the beer that is a little subpar for me.

Overall, another SN that is pretty solid. A lot of their beers taste similar but all have their distinctions. This is no exception. A good beer at a good price. I dig SN for this one. Drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So I'm in one of my fav beer stores, scoping out the wares to see what they have new. I grab my bottle of Speedway from the beer manager as he pulls it from the secret box in the back. Of course I have to show him the secret handshake to get the Speedway. While I'm wiping back the saliva I from starting at the Speedway he asks in a low voice barely above a whisper, "Hey, you want a bottle of Estate?" I peered over my shoulders secretively and snidely pushed up my hand carriage towards him with a quick nod. Thinking that I was getting some random bottle of wine I wasn't too excited, but knowing that he has never let me down with delicious 'behind the counter' beverages, I couldn't refuse. That was until I saw him pull out the Sierra Nevada Estate 2009 bottle. I glanced over it quickly and he snuck back from behind the secret counter quickly so nobody could see him doling out the Speedway and Estate, and made his way back about his business. I nonchalantly made my way up to the counter and threw a few bags of chips on top so nobody could see the score I made that day. I finally made my way home so I could change my pants. The speedway has to wait a year or two, but now it's time to taste my new Estate.

With all that build up, it better be an awesome beer.

A: Pouring into my DFH giant oversized snifter reveals a huge 2 finger thick frothy head I have to cut with a knife to make it through. The pouring side is filled with a pyramid of large bubbles literally building about 2 inches over the rest of the head, which is a thick fluffy marshmellow look that leaves a lacing on the sides of the glass as it slowly fades. Digging below that I find a semi hazy semi clear bright rusty copper reddish brown colored sediment filled abyss of delicious beverage.

N: An instant hop aroma spins its way out of the glass. It has an apparent stick hop oil aroma, with fresh hops. They have a low alpha and decent aroma, but don't smack you in the face. A slightly sweet malty aroma builds out a backbone of the beer to help carry the nice hop flavors. A slight spicy, juicy, citrus hop aroma carry out with a touch of pine. The more I breath it in, the more I start to get a slight caramel like aroma. I keep hitting the end of my lung capacity trying to nose this as deep as possible. A very slight alcohol vapor escapes as well.

T: Starts with a slightly sweet malt taste. A nice crystal malt with touch of caramel flavor and hints of toffee. Also adds some slight roasted flavors and slight biscuit taste. As these start to become well known by the tongue, a big bitterness hits. This is brought about by some slight piney and juicy hop flavors, and slight fresh hop taste. It has a slightly chewy hop taste as well that makes me want to have a bowl of hop cereal in the morning, mmmm...

M: Slightly thick and syrupy, almost sticky hop presence, decent carbonation.

F: A nice strong bitterness comes through on the finish, with some pine, citrus, and earthy hop flavor that really explodes in mid finish. The bitterness really dries off the palate and the two accentuate each other. It almost starts to get too dry. More orange peel flavors arise and fall back as quickly as the sun rises and sets for one day in contrast to a year just before the strong bitter explosion. The dry bitterness and touch of orange peel seem to stay for minutes after the taste is done. It doesn't want to go away, but its a pleasant taste for the most part, but at least I would like to have it gone at some point.

A light burp here and there after the finish reminds me of the delicious hop flavor it once had while I was swirling it around my mouth.

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Photo of largadeer
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Rose & Crown in Palo Alto. Pours a very dark but perfectly clear amber. Sierra Nevada can't seem to restrain themselves with the dark malts. A small white head retains nicely. The nose is caramel, mineral, toast and c-hops. Very light hop aroma here. The taste is caramelly, semi-sweet, toasty and nutty with a subtle but fresh floral hop character. Medium-bodied with a semi-crisp finish. This is a decent beer that probably would have been a hell of a lot better with a simpler malt bill. Hardly worth the $10 they're asking for it.

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Photo of krome
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of nickfl
3.21/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Two fingers of off-white head with a light brown tinge. The body is golden brown with perfect clarity and the foam settles slowly, leaving thick lace on the glass. An unusually attractive beer.

S - Lots of toasted malt and a hint of caramel. Some weak, but fresh and resinous pine hop aromas as well.

T - Lots of dry, tosty malt up front, quickly balanced by strong hop bitterness. Some minor grapefruit hop flavors in the middle that are quickly replaced by the intense malt. The finish is dominated by notes of burnt toast and soapy bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - Well, I have once again been let down by a big, expensive bottle of Sierra Nevada. The hop character is decent, if a bit subdued, in the aroma but in the flavor it is almost totally lacking. There is plenty of bitterness, but little else going on. The malt is one dimensional as well with dry, burnt-toast being the dominant flavor. This beer just isn't drinkable, the flavor is harsh and uninteresting and it borders on being difficult to drink. I liked the original SN Harvest Ale, but Southern Hemisphere was disappointing and this is even more of a let down. I definitely wouldn't drink this again (especiallly at $10 a bottle!).

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is a nice blend of strong citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste is well-balanced and starts with a strong caramel and fruity citrus sweetness that is quickly followed by an intense burst of grassy hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and helps brings everything together. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice solid IPA that is worth drinking for an entire evening.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My bottle marked it as their "1st Release". Cool.

My pour resulted in two fingers' worth of rocky ecru head with good retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber with a slight haziness. The nose had an earthy pine/floral scent. Mouthfeel was medium with a minty (spearmint? peppermint?) flavor accompanying that of the piney hops. Wow! What hops variety did they harvest, anyway? Finish was zesty in its minty, hoppy bite. Terroir, indeed.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. So easy to things a bit jumbled with all these different estate beers--might be easier to name them on BA after the color of the label (or wax, I suppose, now) rather than what it says on the bottle. Anyway, on to the review.

Poured into a tulip. Color is a very slightly-hazed burnt orange to copper color with a nice white head. Head is about two fingers to begin though it recedes with time to a few bubbles on top of the brew. Pretty good lacing. The nose is nice with a great green fresh-hop character along with strong notes of citrus and pine. A bit of bitter citrus peel and zest.

The taste isn't as overtly hoppy as the nose. There is a moderate amount of bitterness and green hops, although the elegant notes of orange and grapefruit aren't there in as much of an abundance. There is some resiny pine. Good overall body and carbonation. Another solid fresh-hop beer from those who pioneered the style.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from Schmittymack, cheers Dan!

Pours an effervescent amber/orange with 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Citric & floral hops show up early, but muted

T: Floral & piney hops, plus biscuitty malt up front. Herbal hops & caramel as this warms along with some pineyness & dryness. Finishes with dryness, a touch of caramel sweetness & some grapefruit

MF: Medium bodied, fairly creamy

Drinks pretty easy, but not too impressed with this, I'd rather have celebration or torpedo (which you can get a sixer for the same price) despite the lack of Terrier

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Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear amber, with several fingers of off-white foamy head. Very rich retention here, staying strong looking and leaving a big soapy latticework of heavy lacing behind. The aroma is very deeply floral in the nose, with lots of spice and softer tropical fruits but most of all, a deep herbal tang that floats in and out of the nostrils along with notes of malty sweetness. A herbal grainy tang sums this up pretty nicely.

The taste is overall pretty mellower in the mouth, with a mix of herbal hops, citrus rind, and silky toasted grains. Sharp spice and resins rear their heads in the backend of the profile, sticking (and lingering for a good while) to the tongue and roof of the mouth. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a creamy sharpness to the carbonation that perfectly compliments not only the prickly nature of the hops but also the more smooth and herbal qualities as well.

Nice mix of gritty herbal character and more aggressive bitter hops here, with a super creamy body that kept the drinkibility high. Just another well done notch in their belt of Harvest Ales from these guys.

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Photo of dvmin98
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this bottle at State Line Liquors in Elkton MD, shared the 24oz w/ tenderbranson69 -poured chilled into a willybecker.

A - A deep copper like a worn penny w/ excellent clarity-visible carbonation is evident. The head of ecru is about 3 fingers thick- very full and appears 'whipped up'. The lace that results is well clinging.

S - A mild pine scent w/ hints of sweet grass and mild herbal aromas w/ light biscuit notes from the malt w/ light ale yeast esters.

M - A crisp medium bitterness is felt w/ a mild dry leafy texture + slightly bitter middle w/ light grassy and mild sweetness keeping it more balance w/ light astringent tinges noted and mildly resinous texture in the dry finish

T - A subtle spiced taste w/ crisp medium carbonation and moderately high bitterness w/ tastes of pine, grassy and herbal hop notes w/ gentle toasted malt that is countered by a hint of pepper and mild earthy spice w/ a dry citrus element. The finish is lightly sweet and mild toasted malt under an herbal hop flavor w/ subtle alcohol flavor. The hops while full-on in the flavor contribute a more spiced or bitter taste than any pine or citrus as the residual taste settles on the palate.

D - A pretty tasty Ale, I appreciate what went into this but more bitter hops than flavor. I consider this very drinkable and it is hard not to expect more when you know all the effort and unique elemnents from the terroir. I think what you end up getting is a very focused and well made beer -solid.

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Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24oz brown bottle with 2009 on the label.

Faint haze on this ruddy amber colored brew, good head retention as expected. Light floral, citrusy and herbal hops aroma. Some mild esters and bready malt in the nose as well. Big rolling smoothness off of the medium body, a little crisp bite there as well. Alcohol is noticeable throughout, mild but a little estery and definitely warming. Hops come across a little coarse with some citric rind and pine which both linger in the after taste. Malt is a toasty, nutty with a kiss of caramel though hops stay on top from start to finish. Finishes bitter with a breath of alcohol.

Good all around, not for the faint of hops ... looking forward to try it every year to see if the hops and malt change subtly.

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Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 389 ratings