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

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1,510 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: 1,510 | Ratings: 3,607
Photo of Domingo
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap before at the Falling Rock, but it typically goes fast. This review is from the bottled item.
Pours a bright orange color with a huge rocky head that laces the glass as you drink.
Smell is hoppy, but it's not overwhelming like a DIPA or even a few other fresh hop ales I've had. It's grassy and floral hops in this case.
Flavor is sublime. The hops don't make it bitter, but they grant a lot of flavor. Pine and a very light citrus. The malt actually shows itself more than you might expect. Especially as it warms. Creamy and delicious! Thanks to ColoradoBobs for pointing this out about wet hopped ales, but you can pick up spearmint in the finish. Once someone points it out - you can't miss it.
I want more of this as I could drink it all day.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
4.84/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this beer into a nice red wine glass. The color was pretty amber glow with a tan pillowy head. The smell of fresh pine and roasted malts. The taste is so smooth with a big presence of earth tones and fresh roasted peanuts. Great oily pine resin really cotes the tongue. The mouthfeel is med. body but the beer is so well balanced that is comes off bigger than expected. Drinkabilty is perfect. So complex so many foods this would go well with.

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Photo of Deuane
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Brew House Grill

A--Copper / Amber with thick off white head. Beautiful lacing on the glass.

S--Wonderful hoopy goodness with the slightest hint of caramel malt

T--Whoa!! Casecase and Chinook hoppy goodness.... a bit more bitter than I expected. As it warms the malt sweetness does catch up somewhat.

M--Sticky hop flavors meld with the caramel malt in a nice way...hops still rule throughout though.

D--Nice wet-hopped brew. As stated previously, a bit more aggressive on the hop kick than I expected. Overall a very good beer by this old gaurd.

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Photo of bradford
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought a case of 24 oz bottle from BevMo and have been quickly drinking and trading off my stock
Looks very good. Clean, amber, orange, fluffy white head
Smell is great. One of the better smelling beers that have ever reached my nose.
Taste was very good. Not so much hoppy as oily, sweet, semi-bitter, but very smooth and drinkable. Quite refreshing
Mouthfeel was nice. The hop bill which is obviously most aromatic had a nice balance with malt as well that makes this beer very enjoyable to savor
Drinkability is as good as it gets. Sierra Nevada has brewing down to an exact science and that is why I will never stop buying their products. Highly recommended

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Photo of plaid75
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured an herbal and earthy hop with some oily citric notes.

The taste consisted of an upfront herbal character with some resiny hop and pepper character. A light graininess was apparent in the background.

The mouthfeel was toward the lighter side with a slight astringency and some medicinal tingle at the finish.

Overall a tasty and very drinkable APA. However, a bit more body would have gone far to temper the medicinal herbal hop notes.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Fathead's served in a pint glass,very cold, just a small off-white head,beer was served to the top of the glass,the head there did have good retention. Clear with just a slight haze.

Strong hop aromas piney and very grassy. Strong malt aromas as well with sweet, toasty,slighty burnt carmelly notes. Seemed to have a slight buttery aroma in there also.

Sweet strong,malty taste followed by a rush of piney,grassy/straw hop tastes. Had a heavy burnt carmell taste as in the nose. Finished very dry with lingering bitterness.

Full,creamy mouthfeel,had a nice smooth feel, for all the hoppyness, suprizing drinkability would have loved another,but have to move onto something else.

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Photo of walshclimb
3.91/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish golden with 1/2" white head that leaves a continuous lace rim, but the head dissipates relatively quickly. The aroma is moderately malty with light hops and very slight carboard. The taste is good - malty, slightly sweet initial flavor with moderate to heavy hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Light to medium bodied with dry finish and lively carbonation. Overall, this is a good, easily drinkable pale ale that is not too sweet. I think it is maybe a little overpriced compared with some beers of equal quality.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 24oz bottle into a pint glass. Body is a golden-orange comor, topped by a thin layer of wispy, creamy white head. Aroma of lightly sweet caramel malt and fresh, fruity hops with some tropical fruit undertones. Palate is a smooth, mellow blend of light caramel malt and English-style hops. A mild biscuity character is prevalent up front, with a more assertive hoppy bitterness emerging towards the finish.
Body is nice and smooth, about perfect for the flavors embodied in this beer. An exceptionally drinkable ale, I wish I could get this fresh year-round. Alas, it's one's of the best treats of fall.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark copper color, brilliantly glowing but deeper centered and quite clear with some slow bubbly activity within. Huge roofing of lightly parched white starchy tight foam. Keeps its consistency for great length and leaves massive amounts of shelf sized sheets of lace. Gorgeous looking ale!

Nicely clean, dark, oily, fresh hop aroma of soft piney grapefruit and a bit of leafy freshness. Barely there toasted malts hang low underneath.

Nice balance on the taste buds to start things off, solid hop tones are soothed throughout the entire length of the palate with a nice softly fluffy and delicate natured citrus and pine. Partially oiled with superbly balanced bitterness and pithy squeezed bite of grapefruit. Again, some partailly oiled woody resin of soft pine and bark create a bit of extra texture and taste. Dryness is fair and soft with affectionate woody notes. And bringing it all together is a well held toasted malty backing keeping a freshly crispness and grabbing toastyness to its character.

Body is about medium, smooth, soft, and kinda oily, well, in the middle anyways, gets fluffy and bittered with grapefruit and pin enotes as it rounds out the finish late with very well timed toasted ascents. Its the overall texture of it that I really like. It has a unique sodtness to it that really smacks of well-crafted, fresh brewing.

This stuff is now one of my favs from SN. Glad I finally can get it in bottles, 24oz even! as its been a hard find here for years.
Yummy solid stuff!

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had a clear orange color and a musty smell, yum…the mouthfeel is like lots of tiny bubbles, weird carbonation. Taste is subtle oily hops, no bitterness and the alcohol is not noticeable. Good fresh hop ale but my favorite is Deschutes Hop trip. Sierra Nevada never seems to disappoint.

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Photo of nortmand
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel orange with a fluffy, sustained white head.

Clean aromas of bright grapefruit, plenty of malt balance.

Sweet caramel malts up front, plentiful clean citrus flavors as well. Rich blood orange mid tongue, leaves a faint, pleasant bitterness. Pretty much perfect.

Medium bodied, pleasant carbonation, very refreshing, balanced and hoppy. A very nice beer.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great amber apperance with thick ass head that will not stop clinging to the glass.

Smell is of caramel malts with a nice hoppiness. I love the wet hops. MMM

Taste is of thick caramel malts on the palate followedd by a cascade and chinook hop bitterness.

This beer clings to the palate failry well and makes for a decent session.

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Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep orange tone with good clarity. Cascading foam at first, a good 1" head that slowly simmers down. Lace that has a certain terraced effect, with stairstepped rings...pretty cool.

Citrusy grapefruit in the aroma, a little bit earthy and grassy, pure wet hops.

A nice toasted malt follows up the bitter yet juicy hop load. Lingering bitter pine with a hint of sweet. Malt has a round feel after the inital bitterness. Dry, tacky in the aftertaste. Very easy to finish the 24 oz. bottle. Reccommended.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition

Bottle inspection: 22 oz. non-twisty...new territory for SN, huh? At least it's the first time this kind of packaging has made it to Central OH.

Aroma: Earthy and citrusy hop aroma. Leafy hop notes assert themselves as the beer warms. Low fruity esters and a little carmel sweetness.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear amber body with a sticky and sudsy white head.

Flavor: Spicy and floral hop flavor on the front and sides of the tongue. Some honey and biscuity malt base in the background. The finish is bitter but clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. A slight carbonic bite noted. Oily hop resins coat the palate.

Overall impression: Clean, well balanced, and smooth. High carbonation makes it seem lighter than it probably is. Strikingly smooth for the amount of hops. Well balanced and enjoyable. I know wet hop beers are kind of trendy but SN delivers in spades here. Nicely done!

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Photo of Grundle20
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours dark copper in color. There's a perfect eggshell white head to the beer that displays great retention and clumpy lacing as the glass is drained.

For a fresh hopped ale I was expecting a little more power behind the scent but it's actually pretty subtle. There's a good balance of crisp caramel malts and pine-like hop scents.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The malts come through up front but they're either pretty weak or overpowered by the aggressively bitter hopping which makes for a brief spike of bread like sweetness. Making up the majority of this beer is obviously the hops. Initially the bitterness is strong and citrus rind like in flavor. The harsh bitterness mellows out from front to back but a solid presence of slick hops is maintained throughout. The beer finishes crisp and pretty clean with a lingering reminder of this beer's bitterness in the aftertaste.

The beer if very dry and crisp and about what I expected from a wet hopped ale. I suspect non hop heads will probably dislike this beer quite a bit given its strong hop bitterness but if you don't shy away from hops then I find this beer to be quite tasty and drinkable.

Bottom Line:
Probably the best beer I've ever had from Sierra Nevada and it quite easily rivals Great Divide's Fresh Hop.

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Photo of jaxon53
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at nearly cellar temperature, in a pint glass, from a twenty-four ounce bottle. Poured a beautiful, rich dark reddish copper color that was quite clear. About a two finger, thick almost pillowy off-white head rose and slowly faded back into the glass, leaving plenty of lace in it's wake. Smell was of very fresh hops, thick malty aromas, and some citrusy notes in the background. Taste was as good maybe better. Nice fresh resiny hops, a big sweet balancing malt bill, some minor pine notes, with a little bit of a yeasty flavor. Not too bad for my first wet hop beer. Mouthfeel was full and thick and quite a palate pleaser. Drinkability was quite good as well.

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Photo of grub
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

biegaman was nice enough to share this one. thanks jan!

24oz bottle. 2007 harvest.

pours a gorgeous crystal clear orangey amber colour with a big fluffy cream coloured head. the head drops very slowly and leaves lots of chunky lace behind.

aroma is great. bread and cracker malts. bit of grapefruit. earthy hops. bit of floral character too. has a bit of kolsch-like aroma to it too that makes it more interesting. light alcohol.

taste is great. just above medium bitterness level, which seems to be a bit much and out of balance. big chewy bread and cracker malts. bit of biscuit. grapefruit. bit of resiny pine. light earthy character. that lager-like flavour is here too, brightening it up and making it a little more interesting. light alcohol. light caramel sweetness.

mouthfeel is ok. lingering clingy bitterness. hint of astringency. medium body.

drinkability is ok. this is one that i think needs some time for the bitterness to mellow. right now it's a little unbalanced and the bitterness lingers long after you taste it. the alcohol and malt backing are nice, and i can see this being great a year down the road.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish/ copper color with an off white head. Aromas of hops and faint earthiness. In the taste, earthy, hoppy and somewhat sticky sweet. A smooth, yet watery mouthfeel and a small bitter aftertaste. Nice flavors, kind of light, yet easy to drink. A great seasonal!

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Photo of mnapier
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Service Temperature, 35 degrees. Tasted, 12 ounce tulip glass. 2007 Edition.

Appearance, can easily be described as dusk orange and clear with an off white foamy head that leaves behind a sudsy lace.
To the nose, I detect some dryness, very faint apple and a nice hop spice & pine. As I pour this medium bodied ale into my mouth, I detect spice, a nice lingering of citrus and pine hops throughout, mixed in with roasted and toffee malts. Minor cloying is present but I can't but feel this is definitely a nice worth while beverage to have alongside with some ham or a blt sandwhich.


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Photo of Zorro
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear dark amber colored ale verging on the color red. Tall light brown colored head it is just a little too dark to call beige.

The smell is strong clean fresh hops and not much else. The only malt I can sense is a little bit of caramel and scorched sugar. Mostly citrus scents here but you can tell the freshness of the hops used.

The taste starts malty with a good bitter snap. Caramel and wood are the strongest flavors here besides the bitterness. There isn't much stereotypical IPA flavor here, no strong citrus or pine this is much closer to a British style Pale Ale in taste.

The mouthfeel is good.

Certainly easy to drink the strongest point of this ale is the scent. Probably this is a bit over hyped; it is a good beer but not the best fresh hop ale around. Recommended but forget the hype about it.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a warm red, light the glow of neon massage parlors.

Smells a hoppy fresh, some malts, and an alcohol note. You can smell the hop love.

Up front bittering hops, deep earthy, musky finish. Some sweet caramel notes at the end. Good undertow of malts. If this were a wet hop sea monster, it's body would be a hop, but it would have tentacles of sweet malts.

Long finish, low abv for what we're all used to at this point.

Good beer. I like this one a lot!

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Photo of bboven
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red-golden color, thick but shallow head that leaves loads of lacing. Very very clear.

Smell is all hops. I know this is a hop display, so you expect that. The hops are wonderful, the bottle was right; there are so many layers to the aroma that you don't care about smelling malt. There's an earthy muskiness, sharp conifer, and a little citrus.

Taste is all hop as well. Up front it's very sweet but gets surprisingly bitter at the end. A little harsher than I thought it would be, but still one of the best hoppy ales I have tasted.

Very carbonated but surprisingly smooth for the level. Interesting.

I bought two of these, and I think I'll go buy more tomorrow. 3.99 for a bomber of this is almost a steal!

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Photo of neddy191
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 edition

a - Copper, briliantly clear. Off-white, one-finger head with good retention. Beautiful lacing on glass.

s - Intense and dominate earthy hop smell up front. Rather pronounced grassyness. Citrusy.

t -Balanced toward hops, as would be expected in the beer. Upfront a very earthy, grassy, even spicy impression from the hops. Little malt flavor comes through the hops. Definately showcases the fresh hops nicely.

m - medium body. moderate to high carbonation. Nice crisp feel on the palate.

d- Very drinkable, especially if you tend to be more of a hop-head. The fresh hops definately give a different impression to teh ber.

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Photo of malty
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11th edition <2007>

Pours into my new Sam Adams futuristic glass a brilliantly clear amber/copper with miniscule suspended particles visible. Moderate visible carbonation rising upward sustaining the 1 1/2" loose and full off white head. Gobs of thick lace all the way down.

Fresh oily hops bathed in vanilla and faint toffee. Hops smell for earthy and rindy than floral and perfumy - which is very interesting and nice. A toasty sweet pale malt scent bookend the main stage hops.

Dry and oily all at the same time - the hops really put on a vigorous production upon the first gulp. Although the scent carried a non-perfumy hop profile, I do get a big dose of astringent and perfumy hop flavor at the finish. I wonder if because the hops were never dried, that why I'm getting a spicy, woody and earthy overtone? It's very rustic and dense, but still very dry and bitter - almost a little gritty.

Mouthfeel is great. Medium bodies with a nice fine carbonation at just the right level. Long, dry spicy, rindy finish.

Drinkability is very nice. I’ll have no problem finishing off the remainder of the 24 oz. bottle in no time.

I was expecting something closer to an IPA, but this creature is very original and gave me a good lesson on diversification of hop profiles. The overall spiciness of this brew lends itself nicely to the fall season (right now the leaves are almost peaked and it's sunny and 54F outside). A very interesting and unique pale ale with a very organic and earthy core. Good beer for certain.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

from notes:

uhhh ehhh

im going to go out on a limb here. i agree with most of the comments i've read from my beer reviewin' pals.. earthy, grassy.. yes. lemon pith? yep. mos def. woody? oh fo' sho. my take.. one dimensional? si, senor. probably my biggest complaint here, and the factor that puts this beer decidedly into the just above average realm.

first off, let me say i've had SN harvest in its draft-only incarnation the past couple of years, and had a much more enthusiastic reaction. granted, expanding the production by 500% is going to dull the final product a bit.. but the fruity, oily freshness doesn't seem to speak as loudly in the bottled product as does an overabundance of the acidic effect of any hop, fresh or not. yes, it's bitter.. and yes, it has a really grassy tone.. but so do many NON-wet ipa's that strive for C-ness.

i will have no problem consuming the 72 oz of harvest ale that i purchased today for $12. i even feel that i made out like a bandit price-wise. i just don't feel like this beer lives up to the hype of previous years.. nor does it live up to the hype i've read here.

this should have stayed a draft specialty, with focus on maintaining a freshness level that bottling kills.. at least in perception.

i'd reach for a fresh celebration just as fast as i reach for this beer. recommended, just don't expect what you've had in the past to show up in the bottle.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,607 ratings.
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