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

3,636 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,636 |  Reviews: 1,518
Photo of JosiahS
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: Tulip

Lovely deep and burnt orange-red body with a 1 finger tan head, lacing is great, leaving thick a full waves of foam all along the side of the glass.

Ah, great fresh and wet hops on the nose. Some zesty, lemon, pepper and pungent grassy aromas followed by a nice cracker, toasted bread malt profile.

Woh, big orange zest in the flavor, lots of peppery a zesty hops that lend a decent amount of bitterness. A great doughy, cracker-like malt flavor throughout. Smooth, semi-rich (for a medium body) with a lively helping of carbonation. The bitterness does accumulate just a bit more than i'd prefer.

Great, dial down the bitterness a notch and this IPA would be one to remember.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle - Poured from a 24oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada pint glass:

Appearance: Pours a beautiful deep amber in color, nice clarity. Billowing head rises up the glass and slowly dissapates, leaving behind thin wisps of lacing. Good head retention here.

Smell: Citrus florals burst off the bat in the aroma department, I get a slight pepper note here as well, delving back into some more citrus properties (orange, mango, lemon) from the whole cone hops - a hint of malt spice can be smelled in the back of the beer here which makes me think I'm in for a real treat here.

Taste: Wow - these wet hops really give a beer a whole new meaning. Up front I get a huge lip smacking citrus blow to the tongue, passion fruit, mango, orange, wow it's good. This beer is the epitome of what a perfectly hopped beer should taste like. Towards the middle and finish here I also get a hint of caramel/toffee from the malt which is refreshing and adds great balance to the abundance of hop florals. Overall finish of the beer shows off the wet hops again with a citrus/pepper like flavor that's intense but again, well balanced.

Mouthfeel: This one feels like it's ripping the skin off your tongue. Pretty bitter to say the least and it's PERFECT! Medium bodied - sit's nicely on the tongue without drying out or losing it's body.

Drinkability: I must say after trying alot of wet hop beers this one takes the cake as my favorite. I love how this beer is a full on hop explosion - really showing off those citrus properties perfectly, a nice balance of malt tends to slow things down and make this beer more interesting as well. And the mouthfeel on this beer is fantastic - bitter, not too dry or cloying - almost perfect. By far a homerun in any hop heads book. If you see it - TRY IT!

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Photo of pburland23
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 ounce bottle into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip.

Beer pours a clear, coppery orange with a full finger of fluffy, porous white head. Excellent sticky lacing.

Fresh hops oil dominates the aroma. It's earthy, pungent and very piney. A great smelling beer.

The taste is similarly hoppy. It's bitter, but not too bitter. There is enough malt to balance out the hops bill. It's piney and fresh.

The mouthfeel is bready and resinous. There is lots of creamy carbonation which adds to the medium body of the beer.

Overall, a nice IPA. It's not Celebration but it's still a good IPA with loads of fresh hops flavors.

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4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a large sniffter

Appearance : this pours a deep bronze amber in color. This beer has some of the best head formation and retention that I have ever seen along with lots and lots of sticky lacing

Smell : tons of piney resinous evergreen aroms abound in this ale. Cant get enough of this beer its the best smelling harvest ale I've ever had the pleasure of enjoying

Taste : huge flavor profile with lots of bitterness and only a little malt sweetness. As this beer warms up the bitterness really dominates the flavor. I'm tasting lot of subtle orange aromas

Mouthfeel : full body beer with alot of carbonation

Overall : I love this beer in my opinion its Serria Nevada's best beer overall. The price is unbeatable I bought my bombed for $3.99 . So much flavor and biting bitterness this harvest ale has no equal .

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

Poured from a 1 pt 8 fl oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottled on day 264 of 2011 (September 21). Vintage 2011 Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale.

Appearance: Pours a burnt orange amber with a thick off white head. Head rises like bread. Lots of doughy air pockets. Beautiful lacing.

Smell: Smells of wonderful wet hops! Piney, with citrusy grapefruit.

Taste: Excellent. Hoppy, but not overpoweringly so. Slightly citrusy. A bitter, bready taste that kisses the palate but does not kill it.

Mouthfeel: Light, smooth and refreshingly satisfying. I could drink this all day.

Overall: Sierra Nevada does it again with this wet hop ale. Wonderful flavor and remarkably balanced. If pressed to choose, I think I still prefer the Estate Ale, but this one is great too.

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

Poured a ruddy orange-amber with a finger of fluffy white head. Big, slightly floral aroma with grapefruit, tangerine, pine, and hints of caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a creamy, slightly oily mouthfeel. Orange and biscuity caramel up front followed by mildly bitter grapefruit/citrus and gentle pine on the finish.

Not the most vivid wet hop ale I've tried, but really well-balanced with some solid flavors.

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

Richly hoppy, grassy aroma has an undertone of yeast and a hint of caramel - and it just sends me. It pours a luscious clear copper with a very thick fine-bubbled cream-white head that leaves some good lacing. Hoppy flavor has fruity and yeasty tones and a hint of caramel, and is only slightly bitter. Lively, fizzy, restless texture has average body and truly dances on the tongue and on the way down, leaving a woody and hoppy texture. Harvest indeed! Drink deeply - and responsibly.

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

Poured from a 24oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottled on Julian date code of 9/21/11. Was a clear rich amber color with lots of micro floaters. It had a large, foamy head that settled into a thick foam cap. Good, quick sliding lace with some sticking.

The aroma was excellent with piney and grapefruit hops up front with some floral hops and caramel malt in the back. Really fresh smelling as expected since wet hopped. The taste was also really fresh with good dose of pine bitter from the start and increasing till the end. The citric and floral were there but not as prevalent. Touch of caramel malt to keep the bitter from taking too far off. I would have liked a little more sweet to bitter myself but still pretty damn tasty. Full and creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation and moderately bitter aftertaste.

Overall, a really tasty fresh hop experience. Personally would have liked a little more of the grapefruit over the pine but still highly recommend. Avail here in TX. Rotation - glad to get to try this one after missing it somehow last year. Kinda pricey and still a little on the bitter side for me so probably just a bomber a year for now would be good. [O;O]

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours aggressively a dark amber with very puffy 2.5 finger head that just glides down the glass and leaves tons of lacing along the side.

S - Great mixture of citrus and piney hops here. Sweet grapefruit, orange peel, and then just a ton of piney, bitter hops. Malt seems to smell sweet, even a bit caramely. Great smell.

T - The hops carry over and provide a wallop of pine in the mouth. The citrusy hops in the nose tend to be a bit muted here in favor of pine and floral, there's a touch of sweetness in there that balances the beer ever so slightly.

M - Very smooth actually, while it's quite bitter, it doesn't really dry my mouth. Alcohol hidden well.

Overall - An impressive IPA. The hops are certainly present here if there was so more malt here, it would almost pass for a Bigfoot. Still, well done by the folks at SN.

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

Poured from 24oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich orange hue with a crystal-clear body and two fingers of pillowy ivory foam. A nice looking beer.

Smell: funky, somewhat spicy hop aroma sitting on top of a slightly biscuity malt base. The overall effect is very fresh and rather autumnal. I like it.

Taste: slightly floral and funky hop flavor with a pretty mild malt base. Bitterness is strong and comes on quick, but finishes surprisingly mildly in comparison. I like this beer quite a bit.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent level of carbonation. Its bracingly bitter flavor prevents me from describing this as creamy, but it has a good feel nonetheless. Well done.

Overall: the somewhat dry, nutty and biscuity nature of this beer get in the way of ultimate enjoyment for me, but I do appreciate the role those characteristics play in making this a seasonal harvest-time ale. Not my favorite beer, but quite good despite that.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into snifter. 2011 batch.

A: copper hued brew. bright. pretty clear. dense off-white head. reasonable retention w/ beautiful lacing. great looking beer.

S: very american. citrus and earthy. smells resinousy. a beehive honey-like aroma in there as well. malty presence there too. grainy and oaty. complex depending on the visit.

T: a very tasty bitterness. tropical and sharp. grapefruity. a little bubblegummy. balanced delightfully with a mild sweetness. finish is bitter and a little bit dry.

M: a naturally light/moderate carbonation. medium/full body.

D: tasty brew from SN. gotta love the wet hop brews especially from these guys that know there IPA's. highly quaffable and not overpowering.

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Photo of Nugganooch
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Notes from 10-24-11 - Big thanks to my bro for sharing this one.
*Bomber (2011) to pint glass

A: Pour is a caramel amber color with a softer glow around the edges. Two fingers thick of khaki froth. Decent carbonation evident. Some crazy lace. Just gobs and gobs.

S: Smell has an herbal spice and pine hop nose with some light citrus notes and an underlying caramel sweetness. I love the smell of fresh hops in the morning!

T: Spicy wet juicy hops that are just super fresh and danky. Flavors are mostly an herbal spice and grassiness with some resinous pinecones that perk as the beer opens up. Has a sugary sweet caramel base. Touch of biscuit but not too bready or malty at all. This one is more about the hops. Solid balance. Bitter melon fruit notes. No alcohol. Really good and quite well done.

M: Lighter to med. body with a nice creamy texture and dry crisp finish. Good carbonation. Hops linger bittering across the palate providing that dry puckering effect.

D: Really quite hoppy and nice. Toned malt and alcohol balance makes for some great drinkability and a refreshing hop kick. This might be some of Sierra Nevada’s best stuff actually.

This brew really took me by surprise on how good it was. A huge oversight on my drinking part. Will definitely be picking up some more.

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

Deep copper orange in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a frothy, off-white foam with superb staying power to the finish. The foam leaves sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Intense, fresh-hop aroma: tangy citrus orange and lemon, earthy floral and pine hop aromas with a touch of grapefruit. Medium-bodied, lighly resinous, with lively carbonation. Flavor is a balance of tangy citrus orange and pine hops from beginning to end. There is a bit of sweet maltiness beneath, but only enough to be noticed. Earthy floral hop flavors show up at the finish and transition into a lingering pine hop aftertaste.

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at O'Brien's 2011 Wet Hop Ale Festival. Pint glass.

Pours a medium amber with stone colored foam, very dense, good retention and leaving a swath of lacing. Smell is a nice mellow hoppiness (citrus and floral), some tropical fruit. Taste is grassy and floral, again pretty mellow, which is followed by a dose of pine, juicy orange, and grapefruit peel, with a pleasant bitterness throughout. Very light carbonation and medium body. Overall, very drinkable and nice balance, a good choice to have on cask.

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Photo of EDNOSE
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into a tulip.

Pours a nice dark orange/brown with a nice head. I savored over three pours so the head didn't get crazy.

The hop aroma is amazingly resiny. So deep and fresh. The point of the beer is obvious.

The hops are strong in the mouth. The feel is great.

The taste is slightly overwhelming from the hops as compared to the malt but that may be nit picking.

Overall, an incredibly good wet hop IPA. Factor in the great price ($4.99 in CT) and it is tough to beat for the style.

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Photo of Keithstone44
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light amber color with a 2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

S: Citrus, lemon and floral notes. grapefruit as well

T: The hops are very dominant here. It begins with some citrus notes, and then melds into more an earthy, resiny taste.

M: Medium-bodied, with light carbonation

O: Solid brew. Great balance between the malt and hops, while providing a unique taste

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Photo of Pahn
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle into Duvel tulip. 2011 vintage.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 2+ inch fluffy bonewhite head that dissipates steadily and rockily, leaving thick streaks of lacing. Pours a clear reddish orange and leaves streaks and spots of lacing everywhere.

Smell: Right away this beer puts its money where its mouth is. It promises ultra fresh, "wet" Cascade and Centennial hops, and delivers layer upon layer of hop aroma: piny, dank, citrus, candied tropical fruit; endless depth. Smells fresher and hoppier than actual hops.

You can't overstate how spot-on this smells for an American IPA. It's got numerous varieties of citrus smell (orange, tangerine, slight grapefruit), thick and pungent, almost vegetal. No booziness at all. Really just perfect.

Taste: Bitter, oily and resinous hops, piny and dank. Smooth and subtle malt backbone lets the hops shine. Hop flavor is mainly pine and pungency, with some slight vegetal (but not in a bad "brewing flaw" way; tastes like hops sometimes smell) and citrus flavors. Light crystal malt sweetness, and occasionally some breadiness in the finish, but usually just thick resinous hops and bitterness.

The flavor isn't as expansive as the aroma, but it is as potent. The 6.7% isn't apparent at all, though perhaps the high alcohol content is helping to heighten the impact of the hops.

This beer is direct and satisfying. Only hop lovers need apply.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Ample but unobtrusive carbonation. Semi-dry finish. Smooth, approaching both creamy and juicy but not really getting to either. Works really well with the flavor.

Overall: This beer provides an excellent hop fix. It would be worth running out to the store and buying fresh at $10/bottle, but I got this for $5 (AKA would be a $15 6pack or a $10 4pack), which obviously I would say is a great deal.

What is there to say about this beer? The label talks a big game about fresh ingredients, and makes like rushing these not-yet-dried hops to from Yakima, WA to Chico, CA to make this beer is a big deal. Then it delivers deep, powerful hop aroma and flavor exactly as advertised. If you like that sort of thing, you should be buying this beer.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy deep orange with a huge, rocky white head that laces.

Smells of pine and citrus with some caramel/sweet malt coming through though that could be from the hops as well but the smell is subtle...not a big nose on this one.

Big up front sweet hop character with some spice/Chinook type notes coming through with a nice bitter hop punch right towards the end and finishes on an almost watermelon flavor. Amazing flavor. This has that hop "tea" type flavor that I love in spades.

Lighter to medium body with medium carbonation. Dry and easy to down.

This is a fantastic IPA with a big bitter kick and a spice, pine, stone fruit flavor. It is dry and all too easy to drink. Well done.

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Photo of imasloth
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

'Tis the season!

I let this large bottle sit out for a bit to warm before opening and pouring into a pint glass.

A- Perfectly clear orange-amber color with an off-white, smallish head. Head mostly melts away though evidence of it remains on top of beer. Some lacing.

S- This is my first wet-hopped beer and I was maybe expecting the opposite ... This has a softer hop aroma than many standard IPAs. Still strong, but not as overpowering and perhaps more pleasant. I get pine and spiciness.

T- This is where I think the hops really show their worth - It is a subtler flavor as the nose implies, but richer and deeper. It's hops all the way through put with different notes of piney-ness.

M- This may be where the beer suffers. My first sip was fantastic, but as I went back for more I was unable to taste it as fully because of the bitterness' effects on my taste buds. The beer is light-bodied and smooth, but numbs the mouth to its taste. (This explains my completely inadequate taste description.)

O- I like it, but may have to snack on something between sips to balance the hop flavor and let me fully appreciate the beer. Luckily, there's plenty left in the bottle!

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Photo of harrymel
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A: pours dark copper with a finger of off-white/light tan foam which falls to a sheet of the same over several minutes. Cobweb lace. Excellent clarity.
S: pine and resin with underlying toasted crystal malts.
T: Oily and hoppy. The resin hops are strong on this one. Plenty of english endorsed malt profiling here as well.
M: Medium on heavy for the style with low carb. thick oily finish.
O: Good beer, but not my favorite harvest ale.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz 2011 vintage from "Lifesource" Salem. $5.85 Wow pretty dark amber for a regular IPA but attractive with a gorgeous thick frothy eggshell white head. Good fresh hop aromas..slightly resiny,herbal wih a hint of pine Strange the taste while well hopped has a monsterous creamy caramel maltiness. Hops take over more at the back..this balance is very nice for me..this seems to be in the same direction that many newer PNW IPAs are going..stronger but more balanced. I like. Great smooth mouthfeel..creamy. Overall an excellent beer may not make ultra-hop heads happy though

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle. I think it was $5.99 from Tasty Beverage in Raleigh.

Appearance: Typical fantastic looking SN beer. Clear orange-topaz, thick and fluffy head, sticky sheets of lacing.

Smell: Nice fresh hit of citrus, pine, and a little spicy hops. Little bit of pale malty sweetness rounds it out nicely.

Taste: Really tasty resiny hops. Lots of sweet and bitter citrus and Pine Sol. Its quite bitter, but still in reasonable balance with the malt.

Mouthfeel: Again, as always, perfect carbonation. Sticky, resiny mouthfeel and finish.

Overall: This is a damn tasty and well done beer, and a pretty good deal for a limited release. Kind of like a Hoptimum light.

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

23 ounce bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep golden color with a huge off-white head and great retention on the pint glass. Smell is so fresh. Lots of floral and pine up front with sweet fruits and fresh hops. Smell is powerful and appealing. Taste is also very fresh. Nice complexity with sweet fruits, malted grains, and bitter hops. I could drink so much of this. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and good carbonation. Overall I loved this. Nice alternative to other fall seasonal beers.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.33/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

24 ounce bottle, 2011 version poured into a tulip glass.

A: Clear bronze/amber body with a slightly off-white head. Very bubbly, creamy and thick looking head that left huge sticky lacing and a great retention cap the entire time. Seriously, this is just a killer looking IPA.

S: Pine, sap, hop resin, slight bitter citrus notes (orange and lemon peel). A nice bitterness comes through along with a faint caramel malt aroma. The focus is certainly the bitter hops.

T: Bitter hop notes all over the palate, through and through. Pine, floral notes, hop resin, orange oils and more caramel malts towards the back end. The finish is sticky with a earthy and dry distinct bitterness.

M: Bubbly and creamy, a bit thicker than I'd personally like for an IPA. Quite dry and sticky in the linger, not bad but there's a few things off about it.

Eh, this was okay for me. I can appreciate the concept of the hop harvesting and such but I think I've become more akin to a citrus IPA profile, as opposed to this brash pine and sap bitterness. It's good but it's tiresome after a while. I didn't even end up finishing the bottle.

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

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle, dated Sept. 21, 2011, bottling line #2, 1:30 pm, into a Duvel tulip, 50 degrees at serving.

A: Shade between amber & copper; clear; slight effervescence; 1-1/2" off-white head that settles in 2 minutes, with short, sparse lacing.

S: Pine woods, with some caramel; restrained.

T: Sweet, caramel malt dominates at first, then sharp, bitter, hops kick in and linger.

M: Low-to-moderate carbonation, smooth and medium-bodied, resinous, medium-dry finish, low alcohol warming.

O: This is a lot of IPA, with big malt and big hops that appear almost isolated in two distinct stages. Not as open in fragrance and and hop-forward in taste as other 2011 wet-hop harvest ales, such as Founders or 3F Broo Doo, it is a reminder of the wide variety possible within a similar type. I feel fortunate to obtain and sample a fresh-hop brew from the west coast within a month of its issue. I think that this brew could hold up for a while. The hops take their time to appear, but once they do they leave a strong impression.

6.7%, 60-65 IBU.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,636 ratings.
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