Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

1,517 Reviews
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPANorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Added by jmatthew on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,517 | Ratings: 3,635
Photo of orfeu
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tawny, crystalline amber. Steady, driving streams of carbonation. Ecru foam, all fat, chunky, pock-marked and sticky. Floral, citrus, and pine aromas are fresh and fully present, yet more understated than brash dry-hopping would produce. Bitter grapefruit pith and lemongrass. Slightly sugary background. Lightly toasted bread in the aftertaste, with grassy, piney, raw hop burps. Fuller mouthfeel than expected, with a medium-heavy slickness to it. Most certainly a fresh-hopped brew to be reckoned with, and by far the best I’ve ever tasted. Love the 24-ounce overgrown stubby bottle, too.

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Photo of Celtics76
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't planning on buying this today, but $4.99 for a 24 oz. bottle from a great brewery is a good deal to me. For those Rhode Islanders reading this review, Bottles on the East Side has it.

Pours a clear copper with a healthy half inch of head. Quickly reduces to a thin layer. Smells piney more than anything, but also very floral/citrusy. Very well balanced flavor - the pine/floral/citrus notes come out with a solid carbonated bite. Crisp. Good lingering hop bitterness. The bitterness is not overpowering though - quite easy to drink for a seasoned IPA drinker like myself.

Interested in trying other wet hop ales. Founders Harvest is up next - this one is a tough act to follow.

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Photo of shawnsmith1
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage

A: Pours slightly hazy, rich copper into tulip. Nice two finger tan head with impressive retention and lacing.

S: Spice. White pepper laced caramel. Just a touch of pine. The "fresh" wet hops attributes have definitely become subdued over the past year, allowing other attributes to take the forefront as the beer develops in the bottle.

T: Malt forward. Bread crust and sweet caramel on a firm backbone of grapefruity bitterness.

M: Medium bodied, nice creamy carbonation. A touch resinous in mouthfeel, but even this seems to have mellowed over the past year. On the finish, cocoa nibs, toffee, cayenne and white pepper eventually fade, leaving a nice bitterness that lingers long.

O: Very enjoyable! This beer has in no way diminished with a little age. The aromatics and the resinous mouthfeel imparted by the wet hops have clearly faded, but only to give way to other characteristics which are equally enjoyable. Would be worthwhile tasting this against a fresh 2011 vintage.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large 24 oz brown sierra Nevada style bottle. Poured into tulip balloon style glass.

A - a gorgeous off white head sits on top. Very thick and fluffy with amazing lace. This head and lace are maybe the best I've ever seen. Simply world class.

S - well balanced aroma. Bready and grainy like scents with a good amount of fresh hops. Has a woodsy appeal to it. The wet hop aroma is very much there, but isn't a knock you out overpowering bite like some IPAs I've had. Hints of sweet caramel whiffs as well.

T - lots of pine and nice grapefruit like notes that give it some somewhat bitterness. Much more malt flavors compared to other citrusy IPAs which isn't a bad thing. A touch of caramel just before the finish. The finish was a bit overly bitter and seemed to linger, but the spices are nice.

M - upper medium to heavy bodied brew with a perfect dose of carbonation. Left my mouth wanting more.

O - id like to thank my local craft guru, Bob W, for pointing this one out to me, and to Sierra Nevada for shipping this seasonal to my area. This was a very good beer. It's more of a well balanced hybrid of sorts, but has enough hop character as the highlight to be considered an IPA. This brew really surprised me in the sense that I'll buy another one of these this autumn season. I rarely ever drink IPAs in the fall. A real winner here. Everything anyone could ask for in a good IPA. Wouldn't expect anything different from SN.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 709ml bottle (!) into a pint glass. This is the 2012 release.

Reveals a deep amber color, a large fluffy head, and in my view, looks kind of like a SN pale ale on steroids except with less carbonation. Looks exciting!

There are huge pine needle notes, fruity yeastiness, as well as a zesty aroma that is thoroughly present. Slightly malty, yet hop oil oozes through this thing. Sugary, and caramel and honeycomb aromas make it warm and vibrant.

Far yeastier than expected, yet SN really nailed making a semi imperial IPA here, if that's what they were going for. The yeasty astringency makes it wild and fully-flavored, and the hop aromas range from grapefruit to oranges to apricot tarts. There's a thick, juicy flavor throughout that gives the impression that this is not really beer but some kind of juice/hop nectar. Excellent, unnoticeable carbonation, although the alcohol really starts to kick in faster than expected.

A truly a sensational, flavorful beer, and proof that SN really knows what they're doing when they overload their hops. This is bound to become one of my favorite releases from any notable craft brewery.

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Photo of AmitC
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So excited to open this, and that too on a friday night.

Poured from the 1pt 8 fl oz bottle into my large snifter.

Clear red amberish color. One finger thick off-white head that dissipates and turns into a thin persisting head. Excellent lacing. Quite a large number of bubbles. Very clear reddish ruby tint. Perfect.

Aroma: Citrus upfront. Grassy and fresh hoppy aroma. Pine notes are abundant as well. Good, rich and complex aroma that fills your nose with aplomb. Malts take a backseat.

Taste: Bitter hops upfront. Very clear wet hopping. Malt just lessens the effect of hops and otherwise is non-existent. Dry bitter finish. Should not be very high on IBUs but is delicious. Lingering hop taste in the mouth that is very distinct from dry hopping. Some grapefruit after taste.

Mouth feel :Medium bodied. Oily feel. Very resiny and extremely smooth finish. Moderate carbonation.

This is a phenomenal beer. With SN, you never are disappointed. Good bang for the bucks. I just love it.

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Photo of caminiti
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- light orange with a nice white head
S- Hops that jump right out at if. If you love hops, and I do, you will love this.
T- Hops up the wazzoo with a little bit of a fruit taste as well.
D- Excellent! Goes down smooth, alcohol content is the only thing that kept me from chugging it!
An exceptional value, drink it fresh while you can get it!

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Photo of Jason
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was really surprised to find bottles of this beer at my local East Boston Kappy's, just more proof that popularity of good beer is still on the rise.

24oz brown bottle. Tarnish copper penny color, good clarity and the lacing is out of this world. Smells of green hops cut right off of the vine, a little vegetable and woody. Mild fruity esters and toasted grain in the nose as well. So damn smooth and creamy, a perfect level of carbonation in this solid medium bodied brew. Big fresh cut grass and oily hop character to start, bitterness is there but not harsh at all. Maltiness is bready with undertones of crust and caramel. Faint fruitiness from the alcohol and hops, finishes a little bitter with a broad flavor of fresh hop oil.

I'll be heading back to the store to get a few more bottles as this easily cured my hop fix. I look forward to this beer every year for at least the past few years.

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Photo of Psilo707
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks very appealing. Thick and patchy lacing on top over a very solid reddish-brown tinted ale.

S: Smells *unbelievably* good. I have rarely had an ale that has had this strong of scent right off the bat. Very fruity yet not overly done smell. Can't wait for this!

T: Just as expected: delicious. Has that fully textured Sierra Nevada vibe while adding some new hints of taste to the mix. Can definitely taste a stronger ABV in it but it is masked very well by a small fruity-piney flavor that lingers in the mouth for long after each sip.

M: Demands your attention right away, in a good way. Very nice! As previously mentions, lingers in the mouth for a good while before dissipating fully and smoothly.

D: This is an ale that you should take in full, long mouthfuls rather than quick sips over and over. The higher % of alcohol can be sensed more when not enough care is given to each sip.

Overall: Probably my favorite Sierra Nevada brew of all time. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the original stuff. It's even better!

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Photo of rayjay
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, yeah baby. Just came out on tap today at the brewery. Pours a robust dark copper color, small firm head and nice looking lacing. Nose is full of freshly broken-up hop flowers in their full glory. Really bitter bite, accompanied by a full body like most other SN ales. Fruity and piney but the bitterness predominates. Hops galore. Unique because all the hops punch you in the mouth at first, but fade away before the aftertaste kicks in. Big hearty body reminiscent of fresh baked bread. Nothing overly astringent or assertive, just resins and oils and bitterness and full flavor. Beautiful. Perfectly balanced. The finest beer Sierra Nevada makes.

Seek this out now. I don't want to see any of those bad mid-summer next year reviews, this MUST be consumed fresh. Put this on your must-drink list today. Cheers!

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Photo of williamherbert
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is seriously one of the best beers I have ever had....

The look is clear copper-orange. Little bubbles shoot up like tiny elevators. Three enormous fingers of fluffy heads. Rings of thick lace like a redwood; ice cream float head on top. It's got it all.

The hops in the nose are a complex blend of major oily citrus. Sweet flowery perfume, but a tiny, slight resiny pine. Beautiful. Some burnt firewood.

The taste is a bitter perfume; sweet, but with a bite on the back end. Roasted caramel malts are crucial. It's about the perfect IPA. There is a triumphant triumverate of sweet hops, bitter citrus hops, and roasted malts. [In flavor, it is very similar to Stone Ruination and Flying Dog Double Dog.]

The feel is strangely bubbly and fizzy with a bite on the way down. Though this beer is really bitter, it's beautifully balanced. A superior Harvest/IPA. Dynamite in a glass.

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Photo of prg1976
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber, with a frothy white head. Lots of lacing.

Smells super fruity. Citrus, a little pine in there too.

Tastes a dry but slightly sweet citrus flavor. Bitter, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is good, but the bitterness could get to you after a while.

Very drinkable, gets a little tastier as it warms up.

Overall, a very good brew.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007, 11th Edition, drank on May 1, 2008

Toasted cranberry red with a 1/4" head--very appealing and rich color, appearing much more like an IPA; some lacing left behind

Despite sitting in a bottle in room temp for a number of months now, the fresh hops are still alive and well; they're the same hop bill as Celebration Ale (which is great), but much fresher and 'wetter' in aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel
From the first luscious sip I was hooked. It's remarkably balanced for being such a hop-forward ale. The hops are juicy, rich, and spicy, but kept in balance by the hearty two-row pale and caramel malts. The texture is oily (must be from those freshly picked hop cones) and silky, and medium-bodied, making it a standout attribute of the beer. This beer is so full of flavor it's hard to accept its classification as simply a pale ale; I'd definitely say it's an IPA as it has just as many IBUs and similar ABV as Celebration.

This is quite possibly as good as Celebration Ale, which is hard for me to believe. Celebration seems to possess a more pronounced hoppiness, but this has the unique vibrancy of freshly harvested hops, making it incredibly delectable and unique. I can only imagine how this is even more impressive within the first month of it being bottled, though this by no means tasted like it had aged at all.

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Photo of CVC
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Eleventh Edition 2007 Harvest Fresh Hop Ale.

Came in a 24 oz. bomber; served in a pint glass.

This beer pours a very nice clear copper color with reddish hues. The thick, white, long-lasting three-finger head must be noted. It lasted forever! And it left some sticky lace at the botton half of the glass. It smells earthy and grainy, of course--it's Harvest Ale! The taste is pretty much the same as the smell, but more nutty and slighty burnt. It's fairly thick on the palate. I find this beer very drinkable.

Well, long time, no see, Beer Advocate! This is my first beer review since January 2005. I was still drinking while I was away, of course, I just wasn't coming here to report it.
Anyway, let's continue:
I just realized that they are selling this stuff in bottles now. I always knew about the Harvest Ale--since I'm a big fan of Sierra Nevada, and I'm aware of what they make--and I thought it was exclusively sold on-tap at the Sierra Nevada brewery. So, when I saw this I picked it up with the quickness. And I'm glad I did. Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and drinking this beer reminds me of the season. It just tastes like autumn. I love it. I had the pleasure of having this beer with my Thanksgiving meal, and it was a great pairing. 'Twas a great way to begin the holiday season. Especially at $2.99!

This was my first time having this beer, and I must say that it is another fabulous beer by Sierrra Nevada!

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle (2007 edition) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful copper color with a thick off-white head. Excellent head retention throughout as well as great lacing.

S: Lots of oily piney hops. It smells fresh and clean with lots of incredibly fresh earthly flavors.

T: A flat-out delicious beer. It's very different than any other beer that I've ever had but it's exceptional. The burst of fresh hops in the mouth is hard to describe. Some of the flavors found include orange, grapefruit, pine and this is expertly balanced with some biscuity malts. It's ever so slightly sweet just the right amount of dry and hoppy bitterness. If you love hops you will undoubtedly love this beer. It's an explosion of fresh hops to the palate.

M: The mouthfeel could be the best part. The beer coats the mouth in tons of fresh hop oils which contributes to an incredibly creamy mouthfeel.

D: I loved this beer. I was really looking forward to this beer after watching the video on Sierra Nevada's website about how they truck the fresh hops down to Chico and brew the beer within 36 hours. It did not disappoint whatsoever.

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Photo of dansmcd
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright pink-orange hue with a frothy head and oodles of sticky chunky lacing.

S - Rockmelon, grapefruit and banana, battle piney hops. So enticing.

T - A zesty blast of hop bitterness explodes and then mellows. Pine resin and tropical fruit.

M - Sharop bitterness, medium to high carbonation, oily medium body, soft mouthful. Delicious.

O - F***ing brilliant!

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Photo of JimmieFrisbee
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber of the 13th Release (2009).

Pour reveals an orange/copper/almost-pink tinted body with a frothy, slightly reddish-brown off-white head. Really like the color of the body, reminds me of nugget nectar. It almost glows. Head slowly shrinks, leaving some nice lacing behind.

Smell immediately makes me think summer for some reason. It has that grapefruit hop smell I love so much. The smell is well defined and strong, but also delicate. It doesnt smack me in the face the way some IPAs do. Very inviting. Smells like something I would like to wake up to...

Taste is very nice. Not over the top, but definitely relying heavily on the hops. It is somewhat bitter, but not in a harsh sort of way, kind of sweet from the malt and the fruitiness in the hops, and overall satisfying. The taste is much like the smell in that it is not what I would call balanced (the hops do the heavy lifting here), but is by no means over the top or in your face.

Mouthfeel is near-perfect. Lowly carbonated, yet it feels alive and vibrant as I drank. Makes it extremely smooth. The soft yet delightful flavors along with this really low carbonation make it super drinkable. I dont mind a more carbonated beer, but man, this is about perfect for the flavor profile.

One extraordinary grapefruity-IPA, could probably be considered an American Pale Ale, not too bold but just very, very well done. Cannot be beat for the price!

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Photo of FSUmac
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into a pint glass...

Appearance: A deep amber/brown with a nice frothy 2 finger head. Lacing everywhere.

Smell: A distinct pine and grassy smell, but not overpowering.

Taste: I gotta tell ya, this is fantastic. Enough piney hops for hopheads and a great malt back to balance it out. A slight hint of bitterness on the finish, but definitely not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Not overly thick like some double IPAs or other highly hopped beers. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability: I have always been a fan of Sierra Nevada brews and this one is no exception. I love the Southern Hemi Harvest, but this one is even better IMO. Far exceeded my already lofty expectations and quite a steal at $5 for a bomber.

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Photo of HopDerek
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found on tap at The Drafting Room in Exton, PA.
Appearance was a rich amber color with a nice heavy frothy white head. The brew smelled of a wonderful mix of piney and citrusy hops with a slight hint of malt. The taste was that of a sweet start, followed by a citrus takeover and a nice bitter finish. Extremely smooth beer with a nice fresh hoppiness and a hop dryness. Very drinkable and not too high in alcohol content. A wonderful brew I long for again.

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Photo of jp32
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent auburn color with decent head retention. Outstanding lacings coat the inside of the glass throughout the session. The aroma is of pungent oily hops. Very piney, fresh-hop smell. The taste is magnificent. There is a wonderful hop flavor that is different on the palate than the usual dry-hopped beers. Using the fresh undried hops really seems to make quite a difference. This is one of the best beers I have tasted in a while, probably the most satisfying of the fall season so far. Very impressed with this offering, as I generally am with most Sierra Nevada brews. Very nicely done.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 13th Edition

Pours out a deep ruby red with a thick white head. Great lacing all the way down. The scent is barely apparent with my terrible nose. The taste has a very nice hop bite upfront. The freshness of the hops is very evident and much appreciated. The mouthfeel is great, very smooth and just the right amount of carbonation. Sierra Nevada does it again with another great Wet Hop Beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass stein. Amber color, transparent with a big two fingers of head. Looks awesome.

Huge smell, pine, grapefruit and bit of malt in the background

The taste is a trip. Start down the road slow, a bitter bite. Moving a little faster with a good malt and then the hops are back; bigger and faster. Lemon, pine tree in my mouth, chalky bitter, grapefruit, how many different bitter tastes are there? Well, drink this beer and find out.

Medium body, moderate carbonation, almost clean texture.

Wow. The head of a stout, big and fluffy with the most complex taste and body to match. This is a new favorite on my IPA circuit.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.56/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a brilliant amber-orange with a thick off-white head that is rocky and pitting. It takes forever to fall and is clinging like mad to the sides of my glass. Thick, sudsy lace and great retention. Great appearance.

S: Wow. Intense and rich hop aromas, but with a solid malt backbone to boot. Flowery and citrus hop aromas, a sweet caramel aroma that provides a wonderful backdrop to the hops. I'm struck by how fresh the hop aromas are. There's an entirely added dimension to them that's unlike any other beer I've had. If this was APA style, it'd be a 4.5 or 5, but for IPAs it's a 4. Aroma could be stronger.

T&M: A solid malt backbone gives way to fresh, bursting citrus hops. Vivid and intense flavor, but well-balanced as well. Malt is lightly toasted, with notes of toffee, a slight breadiness. Hop flavors explode with citrus and pine. The finish is long, slightly puckering, and dry. Mouthfeel is outstanding--resiny and sticky. Coating is wonderful.

D: I downed about 20 ounces of this in 15 or so minutes. You better watch out with the higher ABV, but this thing is so delicious you'll want to get it down fast. The mouthfeel and wonderful flavor really beckons one to another sip. One of the best beers I've had in the last few months.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This had a copper body with about two fingers worth of white head. Head had decent retention and left some rings of lace around the glass. Aroma is full of hops with citric and grassy notes coming on strong. A good bit of malt is present as well to keep the balance. Taste comes across a bit hoppy with citric notes with balancing malt coming on almost as strong. Very well balanced and tasty brew that has a very clean crisp taste. Aftertaste is a bit hoppy with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium with a very crisp feel to it. Drinkability can be defined by this stuff. This could almost be overly drinkable. All around excellent beer that I wish they would bottle.

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Photo of ReDave
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I rushed down to BeMo and got this as soon as it was available last fall, and had it right away.

Very unique.
Great aroma. Different hoppy apa, kinda IPA
great stuff.
great after taste.
Not too high in alcohol, so a bomber plus is easy.
I've bought over a case, and while the taste has changed over time, [and maybe lost just a 'touch' of the greatness] this is still a great beer. The aroma is not quite there, but this is still good stuff.
thanks Sierra Nevada!

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,635 ratings.
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