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

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.

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Reviews: 304 | Ratings: 389
Photo of ComfortablyBum
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 bottle poured into a DFH glass.
The appearance was a clear amber with a nice off white two finger head. The lacing was big and sticky.

The aroma was piney and citrusy hops with fruity hints.

This beer really stands out to me in taste. The hops are right up front and stay there throughout. It has a nice citrusy taste and is mixed with grapefruit. The caramel malt is subtle but present. It's very bitter but still smooth.

It has a good amount of carbonation which mixes well with the alcohol to bight the tongue. It has a creamy mouthful, but a dry hoppy finish.

I could definitely down a couple of these if they didn't cost ten bucks a bomber. I split it with my girlfriend, but ended up stealing hers when she drank it to slow. I might have to agree with the guy that said the northern hemisphere one was just as good and half the price.

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Photo of smokeypeat
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. Nice large creamy off-white head. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Pure amber color. Aromas give off a lot of citrus. Really drinks smooth. I like hops, but am definitely not a hop-head, this hits just the right sweet spot. I could drink this all day. Another winner from SN.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer, circa 2008 "Chino Estate", is certainly the most phenomenal IPA I have ever tasted. It looked the part of a radiant golden prototypical IPA, as does 2009-10. 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.

In 2009 the quality of the beer declines. It looks as radiant as ever, but the aroma and taste are definitely lesser. The brew is bitter and hoppy, but not well-melded. The aroma is better than the flavor in 2009, and as such it is promising large citrus notes and a big caramel-maltiness, an offer that is only halfway delivered upon .

It is immediately apparent that 2010's vintage is both superior to 2009's and inferior to 2008's original. That is actually a pretty good spot to be in. The flavors are still not melded in the kind of awe-inspiring fashion that they were in 2008. Though somewhat dry in a flavor-sense, the malt tastes a bit heavy, and almost (slightly) rye-like. And the hop is grassy AND grape-fruity. Not bad...

This tick is a normalizing of the scores of the three vintages beginning with the first-ever bottling.

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Photo of BrewBra
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took a minute to get the wax seal off but once that was done and the cap was off, Wow!
Poured out a fantastic amber color with nice lacing, the aroma is outstanding, I notice citrus notes.
Over all excellent mouth feel and super drinkable.
This is a great beer.

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Photo of alli4051
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from what I think is a bit bigger than a 750ml bottle into a SA perfect pint.

Pours a deep, burnt orange, with a creamy khaki colored head. Head is huge, foamy, slow to receded, and leaves lots of lacing in its wake. Love the way this one looks. Scent is great too. Obviously hoppy and I have a hard time finding words to describe it other than "fresh", which is painfully obvious. Taste is, obviously, predominately hops. Lots of grapefruit as the label promises but with a nice grainy backbone for balance. Bitterness is a little higher than I expected but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Overall it looks and smells phenomenal and tastes pretty good too. Would definitely be drinking more if I had it; however, at this price point I think I'll wait till next years release to try again.

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

Poured from a nice looking wax dipped bottle into my Duvel tulip. Not too fond of the wax dipping but it sure looks nice.

A - Orange/brown-ish body with a big off white head. Plenty of sticky lacing

S - Citrus and tropical hop notes dominate. Hints of sweetness as well.

T - I first pick of a citrus hop bite followed by a bit of a tropical note but hat quickly leaves. A solid malt backbone is certainly present before giving way to a bitter piney aftertaste.

M - medium body. an above average amount of carbonation.

D - Pretty solid beer. I don't know if it is worth the price but still a good beer. Love the way it looks but I find it annoying having to take the wax off an IPA.

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

A: Ruby/Copper, slightly opaque, but fairly clear. Monster head on this one, partly because I poured it really hard at the end on accident. Super thick and residual though, like seafoam. Slightly beige colored head.

S: Not super strong as I was expecting, but really pleasant nonetheless. Sweet pine and fruity notes. Also smelling some roasty malts. Very clean.

T: Pretty damn good, yet slightly on the sweet side for me, definitely not overly so. Definitely getting some refreshing bitter hops right at the beginning, which get spicy in the middle and just a little alcohol heat. Not much malt taste, but I'm assuming that's where the sweetness is coming from. Almost a Red Ale type sweetness, and enough hops to satisfy the average hophead such as myself.

M: Medium bodied, slightly creamy but the alcohol definitely shines through more than some better IPA's at this ABV (6.7%). Really just a small gripe here.

D: No problem finishing this bomber.

I must say though, it is definitely overpriced. Today along with this I bought the Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, which I tried the other night and I'm pretty sure I like it better, at almost half the price....($5.99 compared to $10.99 for this.) Still love SN and this beer, I've definitely been SO much more disappointed dropping this much before.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A majestic looking brew. A big pillow of froth sits atop an amber colored body. Plenty of retention and sticky ring lace.

This is interesting in that it doesn't fit into any mainstream smell and taste. It definitely leans on an IPA background with some bittering hops that are fresh like a wet hop ale. Its fairly aggressive in heat. Sharp from start to finish.

Notes: Very nice brew but it fails the price per value ratio. Way overpriced. Worthy of sampling for a special occasion.

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Photo of beagle75
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a shaker pint at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, reddish-medium amber with one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Grapefruit citrus and spicy hop aromas, with restrained toffee that matches well with the appearance.

T: Begins off-dry, immediately toasty and spicy, followed by the citrusy aromatic flavors prevalent from the smell. The hop flavors are very assertive with a snappy energy that forms a buzzing sensation at the corners of the cheeks. Robust bitterness, alongside a lingering spiciness that is trademark Sierra Nevada, marks the finish.

M: Light-medium viscosity, fairly wet on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D: This strong pale ale resembles strongly the other harvest and southern hemisphere beers that are its seasonal siblings, but here the hops are especially explosive in their flavor profile. While malty for an IPA, its abv does match the style closely, making this beer drinkable, food-friendly, and ultimately interesting on the palate.

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

Pours a clear deep orange amber color with a thick foamy white head that sticks to most of my glass as I drink her down. Smells of resin and pine with maybe a hint of earth and grapefruit. Toasted malt and a hint of caramel deep beneath. Great hoppy nose! Toasted malt layered with resinous pine that lingers long after every sip. Slight sweetness on the tongue and a remarkable smooth hop bitterness. Resinous bong watery mouthfeel :) Medium carbonation level and body. Great fresh wet hop ale. Has that Sierra Nevada sameness that all of their beers seem to have. Its a good thing I enjoy their beers.

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Photo of philbertk
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Chico Estate Harvest Wet Hop Ale--5th Release--2008 24 oz. Bottle. 6.70% ABV. 66 IBU's. (4.95 / 5.0) Harvest Ale. Dense rocky thick rich lacy off white head. Clear bright rich amber color. Rich earthy malty floral pine hop front. Crusty mild sweet resinous hop infused toasted biscuit mild fruit rich malty nutty body. Cloying malt balanced refreshing mellow hop spice end. Sampled 9/23/2008. $5.49 Each.

Estate Brewers Harvest Ale 1st Release--Our Own Hops--Our Own Barley--2009 24 oz. Bottle. 6.70% ABV. 66 IBU's. (4.85 / 5.0) Harvest Ale. Lip Smacking Delicious From Start! Rich lacy off white head. Clear bright pretty rich amber color. Rich floral herbal pine hop front. Medium bodied hop infused rich creamy mild sweet caramel grapefruit pine earthy intoxicating hop body. Puckery hop spice end. Sampled 10/13/2009. $5.49 Each.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company--Estate Homegrown Ale--Organic--Wet Hop Ale--Green Wax Sealed Longneck Brown 24 oz. Bottle--2010 Release. 6.70% ABV. 66 IBU's. (4.4 / 5.0) Fresh Hop ESB. Rich lacy dense sustained off white head. Clear bright inviting rich red amber color. Toasted earthy floral hop pine resin front. Hop infused mild caramel brown bread mild sweet earthy crusty creamy body. Satisfying mild bitter toasted earthy end. Fresh Hops! Sampled 9/28/2010. Purchased for $10.00 each @ PCC--Fremont, Seattle, WA on 9/28/2010.

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Photo of Kbogac
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark amber with an inch or so of head. The thick foam slowly settles to a nice ring. Clear with lots of tiny floaties. I'm not sure what it is but it remains suspended while drinking. Very fresh mildly hoppy scent. I also get some citrus and a little spruce. Taste is wonderfully mild and fruity. Almost a little tea like. Very little aftertaste, clean finish. Very little carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. It's a great drinking beer. If it wasn't pricey I could drink a lot of this.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Estate

A- Deep copper color, with a huge, thick, fluffy tan head. Looks nice.

S- Citric and conifer hop aroma, with some animal crackers and malt.

T- Sweet caramel malt flavors predominates, with a hoppy brightness and thankfully a restrained hop bitterness. Some toffee.

M, D- This is a well-balanced brew. After experiencing some IPA fatigue lately, the balance and proportion here is welcome. Smooth, rich, full, nicely structured, and very drinkable.

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

on tap at the black rose in hendersonville tonight, i was thrilled to see this one up on the board. served in a pint glass and consumed on 09/04/2010.

nice dark amber pour with a creamy off white head that thoroughly coated the sides of the glass with thick webbing and lacing.

aroma is sweet malts, loads of piney hops right up front. warming brings caramel, light grain notes and an herbal presence out in the nose. nice and medium feel with rich carbonation and smooth, even presence that really made it come across much thicker then i thought it would be. mellowed hops with a rich and sweet character to it wash across the palate and leave slight drying with a good bit of pine in the finish.

overall a very solid beer. a more down to earth and well balanced ipa, i felt a damn good pick with dinner.

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Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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

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Photo of StephenRich
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"This is one of the only estate-made ales available in the world today. Produced with hops and barley grown on the premises of our brewery in Chico, this ale reflects the flavors of our surroundings in California's fertile Central Valley. By growing our own natural ingredients, we ensure the finest two-row barley and the freshest hops on earth, from the field and into the brew kettle."

This is the beautiful sentiment on the front of this Sierra Nevada bottle that says it all. Everything that went into this beer was grown and tended to by Sierra Nevada with passion and care. The fields began with hops in 2003, and the first Estate Ale was released in 2008. Then by the next release (this, the 2009) Sierra Nevada also had a fresh and tall field of barley to harvest, and thus was born a completely estate grown beer. The idea was taken from the wine world, where terroir references the various geographical locations where grapes grow and how that affect the wine. Amazing work guys.

Really we shouldn't be surprised; I mean, this is Sierra Nevada we're talking about. One of the original craft brewers in North America, and one of three or four brewers which single handedly proved to the world that Craft Beer is amazing! These guys helped spark the boom! Beyond that, many people consider their Pale Ale to be the definitive example of an American Pale Ale. No small feat there.

The Estate is the first in a series of four beers for Sierra Nevada known as the Harvest Series. A few months ago I wrote about the Wet Hop, which utilizes fresh, rather than dried hops, and soon I will review the Southern Hemisphere, which uses three hop varieties all from New Zealand. But back to the Estate.

It comes in a wide 750ml capped bottle at 6.7% abv. I opened it up cool around 8C (45F) and poured it into Sierra Nevada's own pint glass. It poured out smoothly but met the glass with a rush of life and combustion. A hugely frothy head was building immediately, I had to slow my roll to let the beer catch up. Eventually a rather beautiful pillowy eggshell head was built near two inches tall. The bubbles were amazingly precise and consistent, and stood with great retention for several minutes. The beer below was a rich and glowing copper orange with golden browns and beams of red oak pouring out of it. The Estate showed great depth and was lightly hazy into the light. Very exciting so far.

The nose here is classic Sierra Nevada. Big fresh and zesty hops make their way directly into your olfactory sensors brining grapefruit, orange zest, and huge floral aromas. Right next to it though is sweet and caramely malts showing light sugar, hints of candy, and soft toffee. The hops and pale malts do come together to form a toasty, lemon peel malt aroma which is both fresh, and slightly resiny. Big blasts of refreshment come out everywhere in the nose and a deeply aromatic fashion.

In for a big swoosh of this beer brings with it smooth and mouth watering pale and caramel malt sensations first, followed shortly by quenching hop citrus bites and fresh earth. Great overall feeling here, really great. The malts are distinctly apparent showing juicy candy apple, freshly sweet toffee, hints of cookie and nougat, with light toast and creamy maltiness.

Hops definitely play a just-barely-dominant role here, but the beauty is this rich malt backbone. It really allows the hops to come to the front without blasting a painfully bitter beer at you. As such, lightly crisp but genuinely smooth hops fall straight back down your tongue and flood your cheeks with the classical west coast flavors of grapefruit peel, lemon zest, hints of pine, fresh grass, herbs and fresh cut flowers. The hops add a dryness to a seemingly mouth watering and juicy beer. This all works together to form perfectly immaculate balance. Bitter is balanced by sweet, malt by zest, crisp by smooth, and fresh by depth. Awesome guys.

The finish is hop centered and shows me and 80/20 mix of clean and alive hop zest, and creamy and gentle malt warmth. I don't know if this beer could have been done any better. This is a mouth watering, palate quenching, flavor erupting sensational beer that will treat the hopheads to a taste of heaven, and malt fans to a soothing harmony. I'm not even going to suggest food, just have it on its own with friends.

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Photo of fastsrt
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 25 ounce bottle in pint

A: fluffy, rich, creamy head. amber

S: malty the hops are there but its past its

T: nice english style malts, I feel this one is past its prime as there is a staleness there, it is a solid amber ale though.

M: good lots of carbonation. refreshing

D: goes down with ease, and could drink a good amount of em.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - This one is a nice, orangish-brown in color with a beautiful off-white head that showed great retention and left lacing on the inside of the glass. The foam finally settled in little pits on top of the liquid which was very cool-looking.

Smell - The hops are sharp but balanced here at the smell and the malt is rich and filled with caramel notes. Together they work in perfect harmony together. There's a lot of earthy greenish kind of smells too which gives this an old-fashioned kind of aroma.

Tasty - This really does have an earthy, wholesome quality. It's greener even then I thought from the nose and the hops find their way rightly to the taste. It's very hop-forward but shows a high-class malt base to support the big floral flavors.

Mouthfeel - This is a solid medium-bodied ale with a surprisingly bitter character throughout. The carbonation is modest and not tingly.

Drinkability - You really feel like you are drinking a quality, hand-crafted beer when sipping on this wonderful ale. I'm a big fan of SN anyway but now I'm really sold.

Note: I very much enjoy fresh produce and natural, ugami-esque flavors. I can easily see how someone would not be as appreciative of this ale if it's not your thing but for me I just loved it.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fluffy head over an amber colored beer. I got a cloudy glass due to the bottle conditioning. Pungent sweet malty aroma. Tastes pretty good, mostly malt coming through. Good alcohol content. Maybe because I just had a southern hemisphere harvest ale, but I detect very little hops for an American IPA. I feel like the S.N. Pale Ale has a more noticeable hop aroma and flavor.

Also I have a pet peeve with some beers: when you have a great looking head, but it sits back in the glass when you take a sip. I couldn't get a sip with head (I was only served 1/2 a glass.) I could be weird for caring about this. But I find it to be a tease, and don't like it when that happens in beer.

I always appreciate it when brewing companies take on the responsibility of aging their own beers before distribution. To give the public a better chance of drinking properly mature beer. And to age the beer under ideal conditions.

I was really excited about this beer and it kind of disappointed me. Very expensive for what it is.

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Photo of beer2day
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy deep orange color with well spaced 2-finger medium cream head. Nice retention and sparse, but thick lacing.

Extremely malty bready nose for a beer this hopped-up. Slight vegetable twinge to the nose.

Very clean hit. Floral tastes come in midway and yield to a clean hop finish.

Lots of malt body here. Almost too much so, drowning out what could be a very good hop presence.

Heaviness of the body brings this down a bit.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle on 12/28/09

A - pours a hazy burnt orange with a little bit of foam

S - citrus hops jumpout at you at first with a malty backbone

T - nice lemon and orange hoppiness up front with an earthy bitter finish

M - crisp mouthfeel, good carbonation

D - very flavorful, could drink alot of this one

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Big stubby 24 oz. bottle (2009 version) poured into a snifter glass in two parts.

Appearance: Deep, rich amber in color. Absolutely no haze. Big two finger beige head with good retention. Head sticks nicely to the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Nice balance of malt and hops in the nose. Hop aroma is very citrusy and sweet. Some nice caramel and honey notes from malt as well.

Taste: The malt and hop interplay here reminds me much more of an amber ale than an IPA. Big citrus and pine from the hops. There is a hint of bitterness toward the end that I did not pick up so much in the aroma. The malt also plays a nice role here. Some nice sweetness is present from the malt. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Not much carbonation. Smooth, but not really crisp.

Drinkability: The moderate ABV and the smooth mouthfeel make this really drinkable.

Overall, a really nice flavorful ale. Not sure if i would call it an IPA or an amber, but whatever it is, it is certainly enjoyable. I really like the concept and the execution.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.23/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Pittsburgh Bottleshop. Served in a standard pint glass.

The pour yielded a single finger of bubbly white head that receded quickly; little to no lacing. The body is amber/orange with golden highlights.

The nose is on the weaker side...lots of grassy/grainy aromas up front. Some hops are also present. The backbone seems to be malts, but the grassy smell dominates.

The taste is like the nose, but once again, I cannot get over the grassiness of this one. Oddly bitter...metallic almost. Not very pleasant.

The mouth feel is light/medium, oily and mildly carbonated.

Meh...I had higher hopes for this beer. Traded it to the wife for her stout about halfway through the pint. Great idea, but I will not buy this one again.

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Photo of Dodt
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bomber into a pint glass
appearance burnt orange in color with a creay had that leaves a good bit of lacing
smell balanced in hops and malt
mouthfeel and drinkability solid
i've had a lot of the beers for the Sierra Nevada brewery , so far i have not found a beer from them that has been a disappointment this is a must try for any fan of american ipa

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Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 389 ratings.
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