Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop AleEstate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Taste fresh-from-the-field flavors with this handmade, homegrown, and completely natural ale. Made with organic wet hops and barley grown at our brewery in Chico, this remarkable ale is the only one of its kind."

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2010

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Reviews: 553 | Ratings: 1,430
Photo of ONUMello
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Copper colored; 1-finger head that lingers
S: Slightly muted, but distinct pine and grapefruit aromas
T: Grassy with hints of earth & herbs. Given the nose I would have expected the hops to make more of an appearance, but they did not.
M: Medium bodied & crisp
O: While this didn't blow me a way, I enjoyed it and as others have mentioned appreciate the organic estate-made approach.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a gorgeous 22oz green-wax-capped bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Rich deep tangelo body, clear with glimmering orange peel highlights. A sudsy finger of ivory foam creates a lasting pearling head ringed by concentric circles of thick sticky lacing.

Floral, soapy/perfume-like aromatics (a character which seems emblematic of wet hop IPAs) assail the senses - pine sap, juicy citrus, and phenolic white pepper notes join forces as well.

Clean cutting pale malt - much like that found in their standard pale ale, but magnified in intensity here - the unmistakable signature of Sierra Nevada accompanied by a lasting grapefruit pith bitterness on the palate. This flavor coupling slowly gives way to a faint spicy/herbal element from the hops and a vaguely toasty flavor from the malt. Very dry, clean, and fresh finish.

Moderate carbonation, smooth medium-light bodied feel - yet the flavor accentuates crispness over all.

If you enjoy the pale malt base of Sierra Nevada's namesake, this will rate my case, I think that flavor impedes the impact of the hops, which reduces my enjoyment significantly. Among their offerings, I'd rather reach for Torpedo...ymmv.

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Photo of JLeege
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft, poured into a 12 oz tulip glass.

Appearance- Pours a light amber color with a two finger just off white head. Good retention and left good lacing.

Smell- Floral and piney hops.

Taste- Pine hops all the way with with a bit of citrus thrown in. Small caramel malt backbone. Somewhat resinous, lasting bitter/dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, fairly creamy.

Overall- Found this to be similar to the rest of SN IPA's. Nothing really made this one stand out at all. Not bad, but nothing great or groundbreaking.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle with green wax on the cap. Pours a deep amber color with a big thick head. Massive amounts of lacing throughout. Powerful aroma. I'm smelling some nice floral hops and a slight citrus aroma. Taste is more of the fragrant floral hops. Earthy. This is quite crisp. Overall this is a good beer but the floweriness of the hops might be a tad bit more than I care for. I think it would work better in a 12oz bottle than a 22oz. Still I do like this beer and would recommend it.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage poured into a wine glass.

A: Nice orange-red appearance, consistent but not clear, good off-white head with great retention throughout pour and good lacing.

S: Actually mostly malty up front on the nose, this bottle is a few months old and has been stored properly but I believe the hops have faded quite a bit from what I remember a few months ago. Definite caramel and toffee notes. Bready as well.

T: Again some nice caramel malts, a bit of bright hop cirtrusy bitterness at the end. Decently balanced, good overall taste.

M: reasonably smooth, good carbonation, average mouthfeel. No alcohol heat at all.

O: I very good beer overall. Would definitely recommend. I do think there is quite a bit more hop character fresh, but I like it today a few months aged as well.

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Photo of Phelps
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at Tops in a tasting glass.

Deep golden-orange with perfect clarity. Half a finger of fuzzy off white foam deposits hills of bubbly lace.

The nose is a mix of tropical hops and biscuity malt. Mango, honey, biscuits, flowers. Sweet and floral.

The hops in the flavor, strangely, display a much more earthy terroir. There’s lots of bitterness, earth and flowers. Improved maltiness lends a bready finish. Strange, stark contrast between aroma and flavor.

Mild carbonation in a smooth, medium-light body. Soft fizz.

Estate Harvest is an interesting showcase of estate-grown hops, displaying well the California terroir. But it’s not too exciting, and a little disjointed at times. Glad I paid for a taster instead of the overpriced wax-topped bottle.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at 60 F degrees.

A - An amber red body with with a 2 finger moundy eggshell head that sinks around the edges and holds a cylinder crest in the middle. The head is beautiful and has deeply sunken trenches all through it. Excellent retention. Very nice patterns of lacing. Thick mounds rest on the edges of the glass.

S - Aromas of earthy hops, green and sultry. Lemony zest, grapefruit resides in the background. I'm having a hard time picking out aromas. Kind of weak on the nose.

T - Herbal pine floods the senses immediately. Peppery notes from the hops. A caramel cracker malts stands and backs the leafy green hop. Toasted grains. Some bright strawberries, and raspberry show full strength toward the middle and almost takes over all flavors for a brief moment and then start to die as the pine juices slowly flood the palate towards the end. Mango and melon round off the the malt. Bits of tannins on the finish. Very refreshing finish.

M - Medium body, well carbonated. A full lushy feeling.

This is a great IPA but too expensive for what is. I respect fact that it's homegrown barley and hops and the fact that it's organic. All in all its a very refreshing and fresh IPA. But It's not worth $10 for a bomber.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass this brew pours a pumpkin orange with a 3 finger thick, fluffy head with a little orange tint to it. This brew is laying down the best lace I've seen (tied with FFF Dreadnaught). Wonderful.

S: The aroma is lacking complexity and power that I love in an IPA. This brew is very earthy and toasty. Biscuit and roasted malt shine through. A little pinny hoppyness is present.

T: The flavor is very disappointing, however this is still a solid beer. Drinking more like a pale ale, the hops are very attenuated....and this brew is fresh. Very earthy, with tons of pale malt, and a little caramel malt. Hops add a little citrus peel and pine to the flavor notes.

MF/D: Both mouthfeel and drink are right where they should be.

Overall, this brew tastes organic....very earth-like, but missing a fresh hop flavor/aroma that I would love to have seen.

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Photo of jsanford
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a SN Pint Glass

A - Pours a hazy orange-amber with a creamy off-white head. Features that typically amazing Sierra Nevada retention and lacing. Beautiful as always.
S - Sweet caramel malt, grapefruit and pine resin. Disappointing and underwhelming nose given the SN track record, this doesn't do much for me.
T - Crisp and juicy flavors of grapefruit, pine resin, pineapple and orange peel with a sweet caramel malt backbone. Again, it's good but just doesn't blow me away.
M - Crisp with a medium body and sharp carbonation.
D - Really good drinkablility, like all of SNs offerings.

Pretty good, but given the price and presentation, this didn't do it for me. I can get a Sixer of Celebration for less then the price of this. A vary rare miss from Sierra Nevada, but it's still better then a lot of beers.

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Photo of plaid75
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured earthy herbal hops atop a soft caramel.

The taste was a touch muddled with an overall earthy sensation. Leafy herbal hops, some tropical fruit and a round sweet malt detected.

The mouthfeel was soft and full.

Overall a good and well balanced ale.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Initially poured fairly hard into a tulip, bringing a two to three-finger off white head with some larger carbonation bubbles on top. Fairly thick from the sides and clinging in a nearly-uniform pattern as the head recedes. Color is a medium, transparent copper color. Hints of a reddish hue as well.

A long sniff after a lengthy swirl reveals some muted aromas of earthy hops and a tad bit of pale malt. Second whiff reveals some more floral hops along with hints of pine. As of yet, not getting any of the citrus notes mentioned on the label. Time will tell as this one warms up a bit.

First sip is a bit mild, although it's still fairly chilled. Some of the base malt comes through with a very mild caramel flavor. Prickly carbonation on the front of my tongue and then smooth throughout. The finish is dry on the center of my tongue, although neither hop flavor nor bitterness have really come through at this point. Additionally, there's a mild, alcohol-type heat coming through, which I've grown to associate with wet hopped ales. This is pleasant and associates well with the quaint bitterness.

As the head starts to finally recede, spots of lacing dot the walls of the glass and a thin film coats the top of the brew. As it warms, both the taste and smell are still fairly muted. Much less hoppy than I would expect from Sierra, especially on their first fully homegrown ale. The taste is fairly bright and crisp, with a fairly light mouthfeel contributing just enough carbonation to carry the soft bitterness.

In the end, this is a bit of a disappointment, as I expected much more on this inaugural brew. However, this is also Sierra being a victim of their own success. I expect so much of all their beers--especially the hop-centric ones--that I can't help but wish that there was a little something more to this.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

wax sealed 750ml bottle served in a standard pint glass. can't remember too many wax-dipped IPAs. not exactly sure what the point is here (other than to grind my gears trying to chisel it off), but okay...

pours a nice dark amber tone with a creamy two finger, beige head; a touch of cloudiness to it... very impressive retention and bountiful lacing. awesome presentation.

nose is solid with citrusy, earthy hoppiness. maybe not as aromatic as i typically look for. flavor follows the aroma with grapefuit, a touch of pine, and maybe a few herbal and grassy notes in the background. strong hops bitterness persists through the finish. very good, very enjoyable, but personally i don't find this one propelling itself into noteworthiness (in a style loaded with superstars).

medium-plus bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. on its own the beer is very drinkable and well worth a try, but when you factor the cost, well, for my money there are better IPAs out there that come with a much more palatable price tag.

originally reviewed: 01-13-2011

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Photo of Schwarzbart
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4 oz
A: A nice bottle presentation with the green waxed top and certified organic symbol. It poured a big 2+ finger off-white rocky clumpy head. It has a hazy chestnut color and awesome sticky lacing.
S: Earthy, wet, resiny hops fill the nose and is sweetened by the malts. Raison like malts also fill the nose.
T: The malts and hops balance out quite nicely. That raison malt sweetness is delicious. Earthy hops with a slight spice. The hops finish resiny, earthy and grassy. Some other qualities include garlic & onion and grapefruit.
M&D: A very drinkable IPA and my opinion is that it could almost pass for a hopped up pale ale if it wasn't for the fuller mouthfeel. This beer has a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel that gives it an oily quality which helps those hop notes stick to your tongue.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An impulse buy from Wegman's, fresh is good right?

Usually I go for older hop bombs, but I decided to push the palet.

Beauty of a glass; great color, fizz, foam. And huge bubbles in the bottle, soapish and delightful. A nice carbonation with a stable foam that rises up pretty fast. Very sticky off white lace.

Very long grassy flavor. Sediment free bottle. Peachy?
Medium light body.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a darker copper color. The head is two fingers high, with an off-white shade. Retention is quite good (as is typical of many SN beers), and the thick texture leaves behind nice rings of lacing on the glass. Sierra Nevada's IPAs almost always look amazing, and guess what? This is no exception to that rule. (4.5)

Smell: I wish I could say that I pick up vibrant, defined fresh hops...but I don't. Seriously, where's the freshness? The hop notes seem rather subdued, only bringing generic and non-descript pine and flowers. Luckily, these qualities gain some more definition as the beer opens up. Grapefruit and lemon are very mild. There is some caramel malt popping through, too. Man, I'm disappointed in how mundane this wet hop ale comes across, plain and simple. (3)

Taste: Thankfully, it tastes better than it smells. It opens up with notes of earth and grapefruit. Some milder melon flavors near the finish seem to balance things, as well as the malt backbone. The mid-taste, in particular, features a powerful pungency I like the prevalence of the malt here: it's there, but not ridiculous. Maybe it's not balanced in the traditional sense (the hops definitely overpower the malt), but it's balanced in my book. And the best part? It still tastes very fresh. Very, very fresh. (4)

Mouthfeel: It doesn't seem to be particularly sappy - while it has a decent body, it's also crisp and dry. Only a slight amount of malt sweetness lingers, as well as a touch of hop resin. Easy to drink and decently carbonated. (3.75)

Overall: SN's Northern Hemisphere Wet Hop IPA was quite good, so the hope was there that this would be impressive as well. The nose threw me for a curveball, but otherwise it's every bit the IPA the former was. To me, this is a bit more balanced and malty. Still, it does a good job of bringing the wet hop goodness I enjoy. This one is well worth anyone's time, especially for those who love big, bitter IPAs. (3.75)

3.75/5: Sierra Nevada makes some rock-solid IPAs...and this is another one of them

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Photo of ATPete
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, green wax

Pours a glowing light orange color with a large off white head, some sticking. The aromatics are more subdued than expected. To the guy who said he caught whiffs of fresh cut Jersey tomatoes, yes. Totally. Herbal qualities, pine, cannabis, an eggy-ness (sulphur?), a light citrus note and a light sweetness in the nose. Crisp and resinous with a bite, lots of citrus flavor and a light pale malt body behind it all. Overall i cant say Im thrilled with the beer, the bottle has taken me about 45 minutes or so but man, i love the concept. I'm probably the first one to say 'thanks' to Sierra Nevada for keeping the price so low. 9.99 on the shelf is very fair for what went in to making this one, that, and the USDA cert is not cheap. Good work guys, I've been nothing but impressed with Sierra Nevada this year for so many different reasons..

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1pt 9.4oz bottle poured into a New Belgium Globe. The wax dipped bottle is cool looking, but a pain in the ass to open.

A: Brilliant clear ruby/orange. Looks like a gem in a glass. Big, thick, foamy cream colored head. Great retention, lots of sticky lacing.

S: Fresh green floral hops with hints of citrus, some tropical fruits, and some earthy pine. Sweet grainy malt hides in the background. Not the most assertive of noses.

T: Green floral hops with a good degree of bitterness and some fruity citric notes. Melon rind sweetness and some tastes of tropical fruits (orange, mango, pineapple) come out as well. Sweet grainy malt and some caramel malt taste just barely come through. Finishes dry with a slight hint of grainy malts and a long, lingering taste of bitter pine and citric hops.

M: Moderately thick, creamy, and silky smooth. Nice. Moderate carbonation provides a welcome crispness.

D: Sits a little heavy in my stomach, but drinkability is still good. I wasn't blown away by this beer, but it drinks pleasantly enough.

Notes: Truth be told, I expected more out of this beer, especially in the aroma department. The nose is subdued for a wet-hop. This is not a bad beer, however. In taste the hop profile is quite nice. Typical West Coast and Sierra Nevada style. Hops first, malt takes a back seat. Maybe a little more-so in this beer than in others though. Hop heads should find something they like here.

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Photo of Zorro
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored beer with a very tall tan colored head. This is dark enough to be called a red ale.

Smells malty with an earthy aroma. I smell tea, mushrooms and peaches, but honestly this isn't real fragrant for a Sierra Nevada beer.

Starts off sweet and malty with a fair bitter aftertaste. Strongly earthy and pine flavors. Pretty balanced but not real complex.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good, very smooth. Could be more complex. I really expected more from this beer.

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Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy amber with 2 finger head and great lacing. Smells earthy, touch sweet, and subtle hops. Tastes fairly bitter hops on back on end of sips, minor tea leaf as well. Good carbonation and drinkability. Not a fan of earthy bitterness that lingers on this one, would be a 1 glass then switch if done again.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with booming 3-4F frothy head that is reminiscent of pancake batter - thick, and goes down slowly. Deep amber colored body - quite clear. Tons of sticky lacing.

Aroma was shockingly absent. Faint piney hops and some bready malt.

Flavors come thru, tho. Rich & smoooth mouthfeel. Sharp wet-hop sting lingers long in the aftertaste. More grapefruit than pine. Not much in terms of balance. Very dry finish.

Drinkability is nice, but due to the heavy front end of sharp hops, it's not something that I'd want to make a session of.

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Photo of jampics2
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Winking Lizard.  Served in a pint glass.  

Estate is an amber color with some gold and ruby highlights.  The beer has little head retention but great lace.  The appearance is attractive and pleasant but just doesn't stand out in the crowd.  

Immediately, some sweet malt greets my nose followed closely by nice citrus and pine hops, and a touch of noticeable alcohol.  The greeness of the hops doesn't really come out.  The citrus is reminiscent of orange and grapefruit with a touch of mint.  The malt base is backed up with some booze that is noticeable but not overwhelming.  I'm not getting a ton of difference between this and the other "special" "harvest" whatever Sierra beers.

The two flavors that Estate features the most are, you guessed it, sweet and hoppy. The hops are pretty expressive but not terribly bitter, taking on more of a citrus taste, like grapefruit and orange, is this cascade at work?  A touch of pine also shows up along with a touch of funky earthy hop.  There is a slight toast on the malt, with some caramel and toffee tastes too.  A bit of booze in the finish. Doesn't ruin the beer but makes it feel just a bit too big for it's britches. 

The mouthfeel is comprised of a medium body, low carbonation and some slight stickiness.  There's a moderately bitter finish.  This beer is drinkable and enjoyable.  It has some decently heavy malt to balance the hops.  But I really was hoping this would be special and instead I got what I consider to be the average Sierra Nevada bomber.  I also think a harvest ale should have more pizzaz and this is just muted and old tasting.    

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Photo of mattcrill
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Pleasant light grassy and pine-like hop notes up front. Slight bready background notes. Clean fermentation character. Aroma is very "Pale ale-like" which I consider a great thing.

Appearance: Deep clear amber pour with brick red highlights. Sticky off-white head that retains well.

Flavor: Pine-like hop flavors up front. Light grassy hop flavors blend well with the crusty malt base. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is lingering and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. Slightly oily. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: Seems a little "light" for an IPA but very drinkable and always well crafted. For the price, I probably wouldn't grab it again but it was a nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of ehammond1
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Lone Hill Liquors
Glendale, CA

A beautiful dark auburn, nearly brown, with gold edges. Huge, pillowy, fluffy yet persistent off-white head and the most amazing, sticking, chunky lacing down the glass you can imagine.

A very sweet aroma, consisting of lots of caramel and crystal malts and some pine and mild citrus hops. There is a slight aroma of alcohol sting as well, which is unfortunate.

A decidedly bitter and sweet IPA with a lot of piney flavored hop character and sweet, bready, and even spicy malt character. Interesting, though I personally wish it was a bit more hop-forward.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Sierra Nevada wins here always!

A good IPA, and one I've seen grow from seed, to vine, to flower, to bottle, to glass, (literally), though I can find much better IPAs for far cheaper.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color with a huge foamy tan head. Nice lacing down the glass and great head retention.

S: Dank floral hops with some sweet malts and honey in the background. A bit of overripe mango as well.

T: The hops are the star of the show, but they aren't that potent. Grapefruit pith and caramel malts come in around the middle and the beer is rounded out by a lingering bitterness. Overall, a pretty tasty IPA.

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Photo of Overlord
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a surprisingly dark amber with both orange and red highlights. Huge gob-bish off-white foam head. Truly titanic. One inch of head for one inch of beer.

Smells overwhelmingly floral, with some bittering pine. No citrus. That makes me sad.

Taste is bitter pine, a ton of fresh cut grass, a splash of sweet honey-ed malt, and a strange, almost earth-y lingering ... I don't know ... I guess earthiness is the best term for it, aftertaste. Maybe a smidgen of grapefruit husk.

Eh. For some reason, I recall the Chico Estate iteration being significantly better. Needs a lot more citrus, and the hops are pretty one note. Great mouthfeel, though. Fluffy and drinkable.

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Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.1 out of 5 based on 1,430 ratings.
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