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

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1,499 Reviews
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop AleNorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale

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

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jmatthew on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,499 | Ratings: 3,550
Photo of FLima
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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 +0.7%
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 +8.4%
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 +15.6%
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%
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 -6.7%
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 -13.9%
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 +0.7%
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 -0.5%
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 -5.5%
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 -10.1%
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 -7.2%
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
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | 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 -4.8%
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 -6%
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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Photo of mmclaughlin38
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber, with a frothy, creamy 2 finger head. Great, citrus, hoppy aroma. Mild malty backbone. Well balanced and delicious. Very smooth, drinkable with a light mouthfeel. It's a dangerous 6.7%, but drinks easier. Overall, really pleased.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.39/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on draft at Three Penny Tap Room in Montpelier, VT.
Nice light amber color and 1.5 fingers of white head. Moderate lacing.
Aromas are floral hops, some sweetness and moderate dank grain.
Taste was delicious, very nice balance of bitterness and floral hops.
Mouthfeel was thin, slippery and quenching.
Overall, I was very much impressed by this IPA. Bravo!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on draft at beer study in chapel hill. sierra Nevada shaker.

pours a dark copper with a nice head. smell is nice and hoppy and fresh! taste is just amazingly fresh and hoppy and good. very impressive! medium bodied, mild carbonation.

overall a great fresh hop IPA!

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Photo of Celtics17
4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a nice caramel-amber, foreshadowing a nice malt balance, with a tan head that leaves lots of lace. Really beautiful.

Smell is peppery, grassy, and citrusy. Lots of caramel maltiness in the smell

Taste has lots of grassy, grapefruity, earthy hops mixed perfectly with some sweet caramelly malt. The finish is clean, with only a little bit of lingering bitterness that doesn't stay long, and leaves you wanting another sip. A few more tastes leave me with a nut aftertaste.

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Dogfish Head IPA glass. Pours a nice caramel-amber, foreshadowing a nice malt balance, with a tan head that leaves lots of lace. Really beautiful.

Smell is peppery, grassy, and citrusy. Lots of caramel maltiness in the smell, as well. It's really not a hop knockout, but it really smells delicious. Smells like balance.

Taste delivers on the balance. It's got lots of grassy, grapefruity, earthy hops mixed perfectly with some sweet caramelly malt. The finish is clean, with only a little bit of lingering bitterness that doesn't stay long, and leaves you wanting another sip.

Mouthfeel is moderate - perfect and expected for the style.

Overall, it's a really great, balanced hoppy beer. It's definitely hop-forward, but not at all a hop-bomb, which is refreshing. Overall, the hops are almost evenly balanced by the malts, and the hops only barely win out on the finish.

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Photo of TYLY22
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- a dark amber with a white frothy head that stands firm throughout.

Smell- very earthy/piney with some citrus...faint smell of alcohol in the background.

Taste- kicks out with a strong orangey/grapefruit taste, which is then immediately kicked back by a malty finish that leaves an extremely bounced taste.

Mouthfeel- this beer's mouthfeel is the perfect combination of creamy silkiness with refreshing juiciness that I search for in my IPAs. Wish my mouth always felt like this.

Overall- This is a beer that defines the word "balance" when it comes to the American IPA. Although this is made by Sierra Nevada, you definitely can not call it a West Coast-style IPA, so hop heads should not go to this beer looking for their "hop-fix". This is a very good beer that I would definitely like to find a few more of while I can.

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Photo of dar482
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a clear ruby red color with a huge white head. It looks almost like a cranberry juice.

The aroma has sweet grapefruit, orange peel, tons of sweet caramel malt and breadiness, along with lots of pine, grassy note, very green.

The flavor follows a hint of orange and grapefruit peel in the front, and then it rolls onto a sugary caramel sweetness. It's quite chewy and really gives the beer tons of body. It then smacks with a deep rich green pine, resin, slight earthiness. It lingers for a while, but it's great that the sweetness hits before it to balance it slightly.

This beer is basically a red IPA/amber ale. Still extremely drinkable and simple, but hoppy and tasty (and cheap at $4.50 for a bomber).

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Photo of Dave1999
3.74/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep reddish amber with a nice big foamy white head.

The smell is citrus, bread and caramel.

The taste is slightly bitter, with some spicy flavors, followed by some earthy grassy hops. The tongue is coated with a bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation. The finish is very wet.

A decent IPA, was expecting a bit more though.

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Photo of NickSMpls
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Updated from a 2013 rating. Nice pour and thick head with solid lacing along the SA Perfect Pint glass. Being from SN, you know it'll be a solid IPA. Good aroma, fresh and not too harsh bitterness combined with spot-on ABV. Not on the top of the pile, the Harvest series is a dependable addition to the seemingly ever-growing fresh / wet hop style.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Piney, grassy, citrusy, bready, caramel , citrusy, and floral.

Taste: You pick up more grapefruit and tangerine in the taste to go with the bready, pale, and caramel malts. Nice hoppy pine and fresh grassy hops too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, medium bodied, medium carbonation, and a nice mild hop bitterness.

Overall: Nothing better than an IPA with fresh hops. Very delicious brew.

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Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.17 out of 5 based on 3,550 ratings.
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