Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sierra Nevada's Harvest Ale

Beer: Sierra Nevada's 2007 Harvest Fresh Hop Ale
Brewery Location: Chico, CA
Beer Style: American Pale Ale
Serving Style: Bottle
ABV: 6.7%

I was in Party Pak the other day and picked up a bottle of this years Harvest Ale. This is my first experience with the Harvest Ale, but I like Sierra Nevada and I've heard great things about this, so it was an easy choice. According to the bottle this is the 11th year for this special brew, and they used 8,000 lbs of hops in one day brewing this. I don't really care about them talking about that, because the proof is in the pudding (or in this case the beer).

This beer poured a nice amber/copper hue with a thick dense tan head that was a full three fingers worth. The head had good retention and left a decent amount of lacing on my imperial pint glass. With a name like Harvest Ale you would expect the scent of hops and this beer delivers. This is one of the best smelling APA's I've ever smelled. Strong scents of grapefruit and pine with slight grassy overtones. The scent is very pleasant and never leaves throughout the entire beer. The taste is just like the nose. Flavors classic of an easy drinking IPA with a good malty backbone that balances out the hops very well and doesn't let them overpower the beer. It is a well balanced beer that finished very smooth with very little bittering. Very nice considering the amount of hops that went into this beer. The mouthfeel is very smooth and slightly sticky. It coats the mouth very well and overall is very quaff able. Drinkability also holds very high for this beer. It's fresh, tasty, and it leaves you wanting another one.

This is just a very well made beer. It's crisp and refreshing. It provides so much more flavor than most APA's, but is better made than most IPA's. This is really a very nice beer and should enjoyed if you can find some. Party Pak had plenty when I was there. I just wish this beer would be available all year long, because I would find myself drinking it quite often, and this would probably be my go-to-beer (Sorry Two Hearted). This would be a perfect gateway beer for people that are looking to move on from BMC.

4.4 out of 5


Joe said...

Hey Matt, I really liked this beer a lot, too. It tastes good, and it's reasonably priced. I wish it were available all the time. Oh well. Thanks again for the Munsterfest.

Matt said...

We need to get together soon. Have you gotten any Breakfast Stout? I've been trying to find some without much luck.

Anonymous said...

Your review of the Brasserie (sp?) makes me want to go there. I haven't found any of the Breakfast Stout yet. I've really been limiting my drinking lately. There's so many damn calories in these great beers. I had Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner tonight, and thought that it tasted like water mixed with dish soap. I didn't care for it, and I think it really ruined my enjoyment of the Schafly Pumpkin Ale. I thought that was a good beer, but I can't really make a complete judgement on it.

Joe said...

Sorry, I forgot to put my name on the above comment.