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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,510 | Ratings: 3,601
Photo of heygeebee
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First day in country, so I guess fresh....

A - copper, one finger pillowy white head. Lovely. Good spotty lace.

S - pine, sweet, marmalade, hops.

T - very lively, but slightly dull earthy hops, contradiction, I know. Add marmalade... Moderate malt.

M - medium bodied, light to medium carbonation.

O - unsure as to why I have not had this before, but very very well made. Be interesting, but not possible, to do a north vs south comparison.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper, medium-low head, lots of lacing. Looks warm and inviting
Slightly “piney” and sweet, malty
Caramel and malt presence. Not too bitter, but you know the hops are there for sure.
Unique and very enjoyable, I would take this one over the southern Hemisphere if I had to choose. I will definitely look for this again, if I can find it in my area.


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Photo of TheBrewo
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We crack a bottle, pouring a brew of rich golden almond into our Great Lakes pint glasses. A solid two to three finger head billows up, composed of creamy, soapy sand colored bubbles, showing excellent retention as it boils away like a thick stew. Lacing is cratered and honeycombed. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be pervasively active. The aroma is biscuity and toasty, giving a forwardness to the pale, amber, rye, caramel, and deeper red malt notes. Balance comes in the form of piney, citric, and dirty earthen hop freshness, pencil lead, wet moss, sweet maple sugars, roasted red apple sweetness, tinny metallics, lemon tea tannins, phenolic plastics, and wheat bready yeastiness. Booze seeps out with warmth, with a suggest of nutmeg and gingerbread spiciness. Our first impression is that the hops explode in the flavoring, giving a massive bitterness of west coast power to start, with a sweeter transition through the finish, for a nice and clean sip. The taste begins with huge floral, piney, and bitterly earthen hops, burnt buttery diacetyls, bitter grassy sappiness, lemon and grapefruity rind, roasty caramel malt saltiness, sweet maple bark and apple crumble sugars, and wet aluminum. All the fruitiness of the beer is contained within the middle, with macerated strawberry, cherry, and blackberry twang, sweet booziness, white sugar, continued grainy wash of sticky caramels, hard plastics, piney hop blend, and burnt pale maltiness. The end comes with lighter maple sugars, tree sap, green herbal hops, strength of amber, rye, caramel, and red malt graininess, black pepper, spicy booziness, powdery pollen florals, and graham cracker sweetness. The aftertaste breathes of phenolic clove, black pepper spice, fusel ethanol, twiggy resins, green grassiness, melted plastics, crispy pale, metallic red malts, funky brie rind, hairspray bitters, raw honeys, woodsy mustiness, vinyl plastics, and overripe honeydew melon fruitiness. The body is thick and full, with carbonation landing in the medium column. Each sip gives great slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. Pull is hard to the mustache, sucking you into the glass with as the wave recedes back. The mouth is initially left coated and sugary, but this quickly dives into tannic and chalky astringent dryness that touches every corner of the mouth. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks a bit slower than your average IPA, but still nicely.

Overall, the best thing about this beer is its flavoring, which is helped along by that full and robust pull to the mouthfeel. We were actually disappointed on the first sniff of this one, as we felt the malts were somewhat overpowering to what we figured would be a bright hop-filled nose. The taste, on the other hand, brings a whole new perspective to it, as it should. The grain bill was wildly complex, sparring intensely with its unexpectedly bittered hoppy counterparts. Not sure why we were so surprised to have a bitter IPA from a classically west coast-centric brewery, but I guess the nose just got us thinking down an initially divergent path. This is one heavy, malty, and hoppy beer, and with all of the right components in eventual unison, most beer fans will find something they like about this guy. This, coupled with the Southern Hemisphere, is a really fun and tasty idea for a series, and they absolutely nail it.

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Photo of Hop-Droppen-Roll
3.06/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm enjoying this, my first SN Harvest, a little late. I don't know when these puppies hit shelves but I know it was at least a couple of months ago. I saw it in my little small town bottle shop and had to pick it up. It looks great. The appearance doesn't tell me much but it's that nice golden amber that great IPAs tend to be. I predict a solid malty backbone.

The aroma here is lacking. I suspect that's a freshness issue but I could be totally wrong. Oh well, I trust the flavor will make up for it....

... maybe, maybe not. This is really different. Have I had a wet-hopped ale before? I'm not getting the citrusy punch I've come to expect. In fact, the flavor of this beer is almost that of a plain APA. This beer must be way past its prime. The only factor of any real interest is the surprisingly bitterness. It's got a definite 'crushed-aspirin-on-the-back-of-my-tongue' thing going on. If this sensation were coupled with a booming floral aroma and a piney, citrus taste, I'd really dig it. On its own, though, it's a little off-putting.

OVERALL - (READ THIS IF YOU'RE WONDERING WHAT THE DEAL IS WITH THE LOW SCORE) - go ahead and consider this a review of a past-its-prime SN Harvest. I considered scrapping this review but I don't think it's useless, as it can serve those who possess old bottles of this beer, so I'm letting it ride. I'll try to pick some up fresh this fall and re-review.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a deep copper with a two-finger white foamy head. Heavy amount of lacing.

S - Light amount of floral, piney hops. Some citrus and malty sweetness are also present.

T - Taste is big pine and citrus. Good amount of toasted grains and a sweet malt backbone. Finish mostly bitter hops.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

O - Very good IPA. Well balanced and very easy to drink.

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

Appearance: Nice amber color, plenty of light tan head, tons of lacing

Smell: Vegetable, grassy, malty, toasted grain

Taste: Bready, caramel malts. Grassy, herbal hops. Some bitterness, but not a ton

Mouthfeel: A nice medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Excellent. Would love to try more wet hop brews, a very unique hop character

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Lovely golden brown color with a full, white head that lasts and laces.

S - A strong note of the hops one would expect, hints of grass, pine and citrus, although for an American IPA, the citrus notes are more subdued.

T - An immediate note of the malt, with a breadiness and sweetness quickly swamped with hoppiness, again with strong hits of pine and grass. The citrus is there, particularly as the beer finishes with a certain bitterness, but remains a secondary character in this IPA.

M - Smooth, easy drinkability with only slight drying at the end.

O - It is an excellent IPA. Tasty. Complex. I personally love the more fruity notes of grapefruit and other citrus that take a back seat here, but the result is nevertheless both satisfying and an excellent example of what an IPA can be without being a blast of fruit and bitterness. I'd pick this one up again.

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Photo of delta490
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- poured into a Samuel Adams glass. a deep effervescent copper-tinted amber with a huge pillowy white head. Monstrous retention and big lacing

S- a great melding of citrus and pine hops with a little hint of burnt sugar sweetness

T- hop forward, even more-so than the aroma would indicate. There's a hint of the malt backbone that holds this hop bomb up, but it's not prominent.

M- a little thinner and less resin-y than might be thought given the huge hops aromas and flavors. A little thinner, even. Still great though.

O- this is a great seasonal IPA from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Beautiful deep amber with just few traces of bubbles. Medium thick head the color of condensed milk, somewhat sticky, long lasting with some nice lacy residue on the glass.

The smell is fresh, grassy, hoppy, not overpowering.

Taste is where the hops shine. Clean citrus with some malt sweetness. Not cloying or overpowering. Well balanced with a long finish of hops and malt, with the malt winning out in the end.

Excellent mouthfeel, not too fizzy, well carbonated. Medium body.

Generally I'm not a hophead but this could change my mind.

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Photo of K-Os
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Perfect amber color for an IPA with a moderate head.

Smell - Very fresh and floral scent that doesn't venture as far as to become harsh.

Taste - Extremely well balanced flavors leading to a pleasant combination (similar to grapefruit in taste) of sweet malt flavors and the floral, and slightly bitter, hops. The wet hopping doesn't lead to an overly hopped or exceedingly bitter beer, as I was expecting, but still allows for an exceedingly fresh hop taste within a balanced beer.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth. Appropriately carbonated. Not incredible, but better than good.

Overall - Very interesting beer for both the brewing and consumption. Never overdoes any single aspect of the beer leading to a wonderful product, overall. Significantly different from your standard American IPA and well worth a tasting.

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Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It claims to use wet hops, meaning brought from the fields in less than 24 hours.
Amber copper color with a thick off-white head with great retention and leaving laces.
Light aroma of honey, bready malt and a hop citrusy.
Flavor of grapefruits, pine, grass and American amber peppery yeast. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with good carbonation.
Good hoppy IPA that also has a touch of American Amber Ale. The aroma could be bolder though.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Piccadilly, Champaign, IL
Date: 2013-09-24 (3267210:21)
Glass: Tulip

Sierra Nevada's Northern Hemisphere was full of surprises for me: it was not widely available in my city this year, for whatever reason. While drinking and learning about the beer, I was somewhat surprised to learn that it exclusively uses Cascade and Centennial hops, due to the very continental European flavors that the "wet" versions of these hops produce. The beer itself is a hop forward American IPA, with slight hints of the malt character occasionally becoming apparent in the background. The dominant flavors are woodsy and spicy hop characters, with very resinous pine and more modest grapefruit character. The large bottle was easy to drink, and I was much more impressed with this beer than its southern counterpart. At a price point lower than many 22oz bottles (and for more than 22oz of expensive wet hopped beer), this is a value.

Pours a very tall head of light beige foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, yielding a frothy appearance. Retention is excellent, with the foam lasting over three minutes in a slow decline to a thin cap of lace atop the body of the beer. Lacing is also excellent, with thick rings and complex webbing clinging to all sides of the glass. Body is a dark golden orange to brown color, with light bringing out brighter golden orange hues that have a slight yellow tint around the edges. Carbonation is visible through the somewhat hazy (20-30% opacity) body, low in number though fast in activity.

Aroma of strongly woodsy and spicy hops with some toned-down pine, very resinous, and mild grapefruit.

Flavor is moderately bitter, with fresh, woodsy and spicy hop flavors, very resinous, modest grapefruit and bitter orange. Mid-palate of moderately strong bitterness, pine, resinous oils, woodsy and spicy hop flavors with hints of grapefruit and orange and a notable caramel malt sweetness. Back of palate is where grapefruit and bitter orange become much more prominent, with medium intensity bitterness and background pine and hop spiciness and woodsiness. Aftertaste of long-lingering bitterness that isn't overly intense, but definitely in focus, with pine, woodsiness and spiciness atop a faintly sweet and grainy malt base.

Beer is medium bodied, with carbonation of medium intensity, resulting in a softly foamy (3/4) and smooth (1/4) mouthfeel that fits the style and the beer quite well. Closes dry, with low stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber to a tulip glass

A-pours an amber color with two finger white head great lacing even on the second pour

S-great aromas of hops, juicy orange citrus,pine,and sweet malt

T-flavor has a great floral citrus hops and resiney pine

M-juicy mouthfeel that is refreshing it start sweet and finishes with a great bitterness. Dry slickly oil on tongue. Very crisp medium body

O-great IPA I was quite impressed especially with the everlasting head. I can't wait to try the Southern Hemisphere harvest!

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

64 oz growler filled about an hour ago.
A: Fantastic. Golden amber color with a tiny red-ish tint. Only the slightest amount of cloudiness. Aggressive pour into a 12 oz tall taster glass. 1 inch white head with excellent retention and very sticky lacing. I think this is the stickiest lacing I have ever seen. Its like glue on the side of the glass. Pillow-like head on edges with only a slight covering to the center. Lots of size variation in carbonation from tiny to quite large bubbles. Expectations are high.
S: Great smell but not as strong as I was expecting. Pine, grapefruit, citrus, malt background barely distinguishable. Very subtle.
T: Perfect. This beer is so balanced. The hops taste awesome. The malt is just right. The finish is very smooth and very bitter with a final bit of sweetness from the malt. I love the taste of this beer.
M: Very smooth and creamy with the hops and carbonation giving it a little bit of bite. Absolutely no indication of alcohol.
O: Wow. What an accidental score. I got this only because I scratched off the other ones on the board just because I had already had them or was not interested. Not only that but I got it at a discount. I hope they have some more left tomorrow cause I am going to kill this growler tonight. WOOOOHOOO! This is definitely a beer you want to get hold of if you can during the harvest season. Way to go Sierra Nevada!!!

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Photo of tillmac62
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Pours a clear amber with an outstanding head that laces just as well. Nose is hoppy of pine and grapefruit with a slight malt undertone. Light medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. The taste is well balanced between hop flavor and bitterness and a touch of malt sweetness. Neither pine or grapefruit flavor predominate. Clean finish with lingering moderate grapefruit bitterness. Quite nice.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.89/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear copper color with over 2-fingers of dense, khaki colored head that lingered all the way to the bottom of the glass, leaving behind an insane amount of lacing -- Truly, there is no flaw in the appearance of this ale.

S: Mostly hops, mostly toward the floral and pine-sap aromas. There are hints of toasted grain, and a faint acrid smell that reminded me of burnt gunpowder.

T: Toasted grain, but no real sweetness from the malt. Faint fruity esters, but mostly hops bitterness (and hardly any of the citrus hops that I prefer, despite claims on the bottle's label to the contrary).

M: Nicely carbonated, yet smooth. This one went down easily.

O: One of the best-looking beers I've ever seen, and a rather tasty one at that. As before, I prefer my hops a little more on the citrus end of the spectrum, but I'd gladly have another.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Sierra Nevada
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale
Look 6/10
Smell 16/20
Taste 33/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 12/20

Overall 75/100

I kept wanting to like this, as it is perceived well. I just keep picking up soap and caramel. Has a funky after taste. I wonder if its old maybe? A revisit is in order next year~

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Photo of Apellonious
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1 pt 8 fl oz from fmcd's poured into a pint glass

A -pours a clear golden orange amber with a three finger fluffy head

S - pine, hops, grapefruit

T - much more balanced than the nose suggests. Taste is of mild pine and citrus, supported by a malty grain backbone. Mild bittersweet chocolate notes. A touch of smoke followed by a bitter hop finish and aftertaste.

M - close to perfect. Moderately low carbonation, creamy mouthfeel.

O - highly recommended. Really digging the wet hop harvest style.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: clear amber tending towards a little brown, sustaining foamy head with some larger bubbles. Quite decent lacing.
S: the nose wasn't as strong as I would expect. With some effort, what I got was a nice meadow scent, little earthy and a little grassy and flowery, blended well together. Just wish there was a stronger presence to enjoy it.

T/M: dry from the beginning, pleasantly so; also very earthy flavor throughout. There is very little malt up front, maybe a little nuttiness from the grain is what you will get. The bitterness in the hops tends toward grapefruit flavors. The flavors don't evolve a whole lot through the taste, but stay steady in their earth-tones: dirt, clay, grass, hay and pine. The dryness is also well hidden, but savoring the flavors sip by sip, I started to notice it more.

O: I enjoyed the taste, but was hoping more for the nose. I think the balance and consistency of the taste throughout are something to be appreciated, and perhaps I should appreciate it more than my expectations of strong scents and flavors one way or another.

(edit: retried today, and stand by original assessment except so expound that the dry earthiness does tend to linger quite long - x2 on re-re-review 11/2014.)

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Photo of dheacck11
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper/amber with some haziness. Nice frothy off white head which lingers for a while. Nose is not super potent. Little bit of grass and peat moss, and some light bitter hops. Taste is powerfully hoppy. Just drenched in super wet, sticky, bitter hoppy ness. Just a little bit of a caramelly malt backbone, but really just lots of hops. Really nice finish with super fresh hop flavor. Feels on the medium medium end of things.

Lovely seasonal brew for harvest time of year. Could use a little more distinction in the hop character, and maybe a little more balance. But Definitely fun and worth a drink.

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Photo of Roguer
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Copper red/amber ale color, off-white head, about 4 fingers from a turbulent pour. Good retention and fantastic, bubbly lacing. Brew is nearly transparent and bubbly.

Strong, pleasant pine aroma with hints of citrus and tropical fruit. Typical SN aroma, which is a good thing. Dose of caramel malt and honey in the background. Slightly sweet; nicely hoppy; smooth.

Immediately sweet and smooth on the tongue. Dry, piney hops add a pleasant astringency. Grassy green flavor and caramel malts swirl in the background nicely. Fresh hop flavor.

Feel is a little too syrupy and light; very little carbonation sting, and it almost comes across as flat. Almost a dry alcohol feel, as well. Almost creamy, but not quite there.

This beer shows some promise, but it falls well short of my expectations. The mouthfeel is far and away its worst characteristic; the smell and taste were very good, if not outstanding.

Silly Sierra Nevada date code; definitely not 326, because that's the future. Has to be fresh within the last month or two, though, as it's currently mid-November.

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Photo of Premo88
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

24 oz. bomber poured into nonic
(Sept. 24, 2013 bottling date)

L: burnt orange with more brown than amber; some definite cloudiness to it, but it's at least 75-80% clear and looks like it will clear up more; typically thick, fluffy, long-lasting Sierra Nevada head pushes up at least an inch and is sticking like glue -- only this is very tan, much darker than most Sierra Nevada heads; lacing like a champ

S: bitter hops storm the nose, but I honestly think I can detect some sweet bread malt in there; the hops are more piney/citrusy than tropical fruit-like ... you could even say grassy

T: ironically different from the nose, the hops here *do* have some of that American DIPA mango/caramel/tropical fruit sweetness -- but not totally; there's a big upfront hop bite that follows the citrusy nose; i can't taste malt for all the hops, but I'm going to keep trying

F: what a beer should be, plenty of carbonation and enough weight to offset the otherwise light feel ... you could mistake this for watery, because it is light, but it's perfect -- a perfect balance of light, drinkable but with some depth

O: while it does taste like "just another" American IPA in most respects, it's still worth seeking out if you're a hop head; very, very bitter but with a lot of other taste to keep it interesting; the strong bitter bite very well could be a bit fresher, but i hesitate to decare this brew the freshest of the wet-hop ales (the one I'm drinking is almost 2 months old ... I wonder what it would taste like just 1 month old or younger?)

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Photo of DenverHopHead
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into a Dogfish Head IPA glass.
Appearance - dark gold, slightly cloudy. Thick, fluffy, white head! Lacing is superb!
Smell - the nose features more citrus than most SN IPA's, however, the presence of some bready malts leads me to believe that this will be a classic, balanced SN IPA!
Taste - follows the nose perfectly! More hop forward than Torpedo, but definitely not one sided!
Feel - as to be expected from both the smell and taste; the feel leans more towards hop bitterness, but still a very balanced IPA!
Overall - a quality brew from a quality brewery!

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very pretty copper color with lots and lots of bubbles. Its has a nice white 2 finger head with very good retention and nice lacing

S - Very piney aroma with slight undertones of grapefruit and apples. Very nice smelling IPA but definately not a west coast style

T - Wow. Very big pine flavors. I also detect some raisins in the background. The bitterness lingers for some time on the tounge

M - This is a medium bodied beer. Slick feeling in the mouth and has a warming sensation. I assume its from the alcohol but I didnt think it was that stout a beer

O - A very drinkable and enjoyable IPA. Much different from all the West Coast styles out there today. It was a nice change of pace and shows that the other hops are still very very good. A very different beer that I'd be more than happy to drink again

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The body is a semi-transparent amber with a thick fluffy off-white head. Sticky lacing all over.

Hoppy aroma of citrus, spice, grass, and black tea.

Spicy and grassy hop flavor. The malts come across more bready. Middling bitterness that asserts itself over the tongue.

This drinks so wonderfully.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.16 out of 5 based on 3,601 ratings.
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