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

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
3,636 Ratings
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPANorthern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop IPA
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,636
Reviews:
1,518
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Wants:
242
Gots:
283
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,636 |  Reviews: 1,518
Photo of rderedin
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of LSUPT
3/5  rDev -27.9%

Photo of Kyrojack
3/5  rDev -27.9%

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.

 1,406 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
3.07/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Quite a bit of head, and a little haze to the amber body.

S: A strong hoppy aroma with hints of bitter grapefruit and orange with a slightly malty background, but just enough to notice, not much more. That strength fades fast though. This is not the resiny beast I expected.

T: Man, what a disappointment. If the malt is here at all it is grainy and astringent. There is no briteness to the hops at all. They taste stale, somehow. It does linger though.

M: Apparently all the carbonation went out with the head, because this beer has the thick flatness of a much hoppier double IPA with none of the flavor.

O: Not something I wanted to spend $6 on, especially not 2....

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Photo of iamtimanderson
3.08/5  rDev -26%

Photo of Amalak
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I grabbed a growler of this at Pawling Beer Distributer in Dutchess County, NY.
A- Muddy brown color, opaque with a decent head and some lace.
S- Fruity, sweet scent.
T- It should be noted that this came of a keg that was kicked after serving. It had an intense taste, very bitter with a banana kind of taste. Slight balance of wheat to it.

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Photo of billc1
3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

24 oz bottle packaged 9/22/15
Look is clear copper. Smell is malty. Feel is average, medium body. Taste has SN's nice dry, bready malt that we all love, but with more of a toasted, caramel flavor. That's followed by some bland bitterness. There are no hops here. I checked multiple times, and there aren't any. No citrus. No pine. And certainly none of the juicy, sulphury greatness found in a wet hop. Overall: big disappointment for a wet hop harvest ale, and even a poor example of an IPA. I am a SN fan, and I've heard about this one for a few years, but this is the first time I've found any. I don't think freshness is a factor, since the other wet hop ales go well into the winter with no problems, despite the common "drink now" plea. And the only thing off with this N. Hemisphere is the lack of hops. I wish I'd left it at the distributor.

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Photo of beercat11
3.11/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer has been my most favorite hop bomb for years. Picked up 2 bottles yesterday. I look forward to this limited release every year. I paid $5.99 for 1 bottle, I have never paid more that $5 before yesterday. Poured into a pint glass and took a wiff, not much here I thought. Took my first sip and was very let down. I know how this beer is supposed to taste and it just isn't there. Where is that resinous oil from the wet hop? I really had to struggle to find it. Something is not right this year. I find it very subdued and mild. It does taste fresh but I don't remember a year that this beer tasted this mild. Sometimes my expectations are high before a sip but I buy cases of this brew every year because it is so limited and I know it's meant to be enjoyed fresh. I will get some from another store before it's gone so that maybe by chance these 2 bottles were not handled right and it's freshness was somehow compromised. Beer distributors are the enemy of beer that needs to be enjoyed fresh. They are also known for holding back new releases until the summer ones are gone. I hate beer distributors for this one reason, I want my hops fresh damn it!

 1,163 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention but no lacing. Aroma consists of bitter hops with some traces of caramel malt. Taste is a mix between some bitter green hops with some notes of caramel malt. Medium body with some average carbonation. This beer is really average on so many levels and it definitely isn't one of the best harvest hops beers that I have had the chance to try.

 455 characters

Photo of ledouge
3.15/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of JG-90
3.16/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

N Hemisphere is a clear, red/amber color. Pours a small, dense and creamy tan head that has okay retention and leaves heavy lacing.Has a overall faint smell consisting of bread and dank/resinous hops.

Taste starts with prickly resinous hops, then a lot of dankness, with a bitter orange/bread/lemon finish, bready/resinous aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very light, feels thin and watery, with high carbonation.

Actually kinda dissapointed with this one, to mouthfeel is just SOOOO thin it really takes away from the beer in my opinion, theres also not too much overall aroma which I think SN usually does a good job with both.

 623 characters

Photo of cokes
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Scarlet-leaning copper with a fat, sticky cloud of eggy suds on top.
The nose is modest and balanced between the toffee and toasted grain of the malts and the grapefruit pith, dried grass, and conifer resin of the hops. It's not bent in the direction I would anticipate, as the hops are basically in check. There's also an unfortunate rubber band-type phenol, which-- while minor-- further distracts the nose from its purpose.
Through the mouth, it starts with a sturdy malt foundation of toasted nuts and grains, sweetened with toffee and even a few glimmers of jammy dark fruits. Almost trailmix-like. The malt does it's job, and should anchor the beer for the hop squall due to arrive. Except it never really comes, or at least not like it seems it should. Hop flavor is minimal, with pulpy plant matter, peppery dried grass hues. Bitterness is magnified with an astringent blast of alum at the close.
It's slightly plumper than medium body and subtle carbonation seems appropriate for the style, and keeps it drinkable in spite of some significant flaws.
The hop flavor here is pretty dry for a wet hopped beer. See Great Divide's Fresh Hop Ale for a study in wet hopping. This doesn't get it done.

 1,204 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint 8 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. This is the 2011 vintage. Acquired at Wally's Wine. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of very appealing cream lacing, great thickness, and good retention. Maybe four minutes. Colour is a dark copper; semitransparent.

Sm: Pleasantly hoppy and light, with some lovely floral notes. Moderate in strength and quite appealing.

T: Pleasantly hoppy with some lovely toasted malt as a foundation. Some nice floral notes are present alongside cream but only in the open. No alcohol comes through. The hops are really nicely treated and fit right in. It's well balanced and built, though it's a touch too bitter on the finish and in the aftertaste. It's simple, but forgivable. Complexity wouldn't suit the style (I'm judging it as an Autumn Ale, not the forced categories of Beeradvocate).

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some nice cream. It's nice and pleasant. It suits the flavour in a general sense.

Dr: Very drinkable if not for the ruinous bitterness on the finish. I'd try it on draught if I found it, but otherwise it's not interesting enough to make me pay its price again.

---
2013 batch reviewed 10/20/13. Reviewed live. Notes below are truncated since I've already reviewed this. 1 pint 8 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pry-off cap served into a pilsner glass in me gaff in Austin, Texas. Purchased earlier today.

Served cold. Side-poured.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a two finger wide head of off-white/light khaki colour. Nice thickness and creaminess. Decent frothiness. Head retenton is good - about 5-6+ minutes.

Body colour is a clear copper of above average vibrance. Appears adequately carbonated. No yeast particles are visible.

Standard fare for style. Not unique/special. No obvious flaws.

Sm: Floral hops. Grassy. Bready malts, caramalt, pale malts. Faint fruity hops; quite vague. Light restrained pine. Some toasted grains. Some oily hop character. Grassiness is dominant. A pleasant aroma of mild strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Piney hop character, floral hops, vaguely fruity hops. Some grassiness. Caramalt, pale malts, toasted grains, clean barley. Hints of lemon citrus/zest. Okay tradeoffs between malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness; the balance is never ideal. Not a gestalt beer. Has general cohesion. Has interesting elements, but overall it's a fairly simple brew without much subtlety or nuance. I like it generally, but it's not great.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to coax out some depth of flavour. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated. Too thick and full-bodied for the flavour profile. Slightly oily. Decent presence on the palate.

Not harsh, astringent, gushed, or boozy.

Dr: A drinkable IPA that exhibits none of the best aspects of a wet hop ale. It's decently priced, but I wouldn't bother with it again. Better balance and more complexity/subtlety is needed. Certainly not world class, but worth trying once.

C+

 3,207 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.19/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. It's not bad, but, well, it's not all that good either. Maybe it was too young. Maybe I'll let my second bottle age a year or two.

Pours clear amber with a fluffy decent head and a little bit of carbonation from the glass. The aroma is sharp and hoppy, but strangely soapy. The flavor is sharp and bitter, but not pleasant - I find it spicy, astringent, with a strange soapy character that I have only encountered a few times in my life with hops. It reminds me of chewing on a piece of Orange zest. And it's strangely thin - there is plenty of hop flavor here, to be sure, but it is strange and unpleasant and lacking in solid malt balance. The mouthfeel is at once thin and clingy, leaving a lingering spicy bitterness on the tongue and the top of the mouth. Overall, the effect is just not what I'd want from a special Sierra Nevada product.

I know I am in the minority, but this ranks as a major disappointment for me.

 979 characters

Photo of Arrowhuntr
3.2/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Ale&Witch

A - It pours a radiant amber-bronze and is capped with a textbook example of foam, leaving exemplary lace. SN has most everything beer-related down pat, but especially appearance. I have never seen an ugly Sierra Nevada beer in my life.

S - The nose is equal parts piney, and bitter white grapfruit-y. As it airs out, the biscuity and caramelly malt starts to rear its semi-attractive head. The hop bouquet is not particulary dynamic or pungent, but is still enjoyable in a general sense; it is not special enough for a special release.

T - Using Pale Ale, Celebration or Torpedo as a basis for comparison, the flavor is not doing it for me here. There is a tinny metallic flavor that is apparent from the second the beer touched my lips. Other than that major detractor, the flavor is quite nice. Catty, resinous, dank hops atop crackery malt and perfectly sharp carbonation to enhance the flavor. Seriously, other than the nasty metallic flavor, this is a finely crafted brew.

M - IPA. Good.

O - A mixed bag. Solid craftmanship, but it has a major off-putting character.

 1,097 characters

Photo of KenOnBass
3.22/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer distributor in Patterson, NY. Poured from a growler.

A: Amber dark color, decent head and okay lacing

S: Very citrusy sweet smell, smells like oranges.

T: Very sweet and intense bitter taste. Weird and smooth like juice. I also had this at the end of the keg so not sure if this can be a fair assessment or not.

M: Really smooth, almost like juice. Too smooth.

D: I will have to try this again in from a bottle or on tap somewhere.

 441 characters

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.24/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a 24 ounce bottle into a English pint style glass.

As with most all of Sierra Nevada's offerings, this is a beautiful beer in a glass, as it has a deep red, copper body, with an excellent amount of head and lacing. Being a veteran SN drinker, I expected a lot of hops in the aroma. Surprisingly, I picked up on a significant amount of caramel and toffee like sweetness along with the spicy citrus hop notes.

First sip was even more of a surprise, as last year's harvest offering was much hoppier. This year's version is actually almost dominated by a somewhat coarse, caramel and toffee malt sweetness. As the beer warms, the trademark fruity ester flavors become more present and blend nicely with the hops at the end. Even more surprising, for an IPA, the hops seem to struggle to balance out the toffee malt flavors. Mouthfeel is very solid, a bit creamy, but just the right weight for an IPA.

Overall, this is somewhat of a letdown, in my opinion. It almost tastes more like an ESB rather than an IPA. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for just another hoppy beer, but the malt character seems to be just too strong and somewhat rough in this brew and seems to clash rather than blend with the hops. Noting horrible, but it appears SN wanted to try something new this year, and this one just didn't quite do it.

As a side note, their Celebration Ale this season seems to also be maltier than last years, and in my opinion, this years is probably the best one they have ever done.

 1,500 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of dogfishandi
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Meh. Did not impress. Hops were extremely lite, maltiness tastes muddled. SN has been a bit disappointing as of late.

117 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Topher78
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of JonNunes
3.25/5  rDev -21.9%

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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