Sierra Nevada has long been one of my favorite craft brews, and like much of the industry they are really into what they do. They started as a tiny makeshift operation and in 1980 brewed the now staple beer of Sierra Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. From interviews I have heard, and things I have read, the recipe has been tweaked, but they have held true to their roots. A privately owned company, brewing a quality product with fresh ingredients. They grow their own hops, source the freshest hops around the world, and have even gone so far as to help fund research to develop hops specially made for their beers.
All of this said, it seemed like a no brainer to add Sierra Nevada to the list of reviews on Cycling Phun. Today's brew is Torpedo Extra IPA. Almost ten years since their last lineup change and thirty years in the making their first year-round IPA has hit the market. As someone who loves big hoppy beers, I have to say Torpedo delivers.
APPEARANCE: A beautiful, deep, bright amber color, bordering orange, with an off white (bordering a pale orangey-taupe) head and nice lacing.
AROMA: The first thing out of the gate is the freshest smell of hops I’ve ever smelled in a beer. It’s that distinct grapefruit bordering on pine scent that is so common, and wonderful, in truly wonderful IPA. Only, in the Torpedo is more concentrated and stronger from the time you pop the cap to the last sip.
FLAVOR: This beer has a distinct and noticeable hop character, and the Magnum Hop really comes through. The malt is perfectly balanced, in my opinion, to keep the harshness of the hops subdued. Don’t get me wrong, though, this is all about the bitterness of the hops. While not huge, by some standards, the 7.2% ABV is hidden very well by the layers of flavor. The most noticeable notes are those of grapefruit (rind), a hint of pine, and a slight almost black peppery note. Also I noticed, especially when it started to near room temp, an odd almost fruit character about this beer. After researching the Citra Hop used in the beer, I am guessing that this is where the fruity notes might come from.
MOUTH FEEL: A medium-bodied beer, extremely well balanced. It’s on the higher side of carbonation, but also very creamy which I think helps really coat your mouth with the beautiful taste of this hop bomb. I think the best part is how the taste lingers on the palate long after you’ve swallowed. Another assumption; this might be from the oils in the whole cone hops?
NOTES: Sierra Nevada is known for their use of American Whole Cone Hops. I think this amplifies the fresh smell and taste of hops in this beer. I had this wonderful 7.2% ABV poured from a bottle into a pint glass, and straight from the bottle. It was great both ways; have it at home in a pint glass or take the bottles with you. This could easily be my go to summer beer with as crisp and fresh as it is. I could, once again, see the 7.2% making it tough to really session this beer, but it is the kind of beer you need while cooking out or working on a laptop from a hammock… Which, is what I’m doing right now! Cheers!
Well, get out, pick up some beers, some food for the grill, sit around the fire, watch some fireworks and have yourself a great Fourth of July. Also, don't forget to catch the Tour de France starting Saturday July 4th at 9:30 am Eastern. Check back over the weekend, I'll likely post a quickie on the start of the Tour, either way I'll catch you again Monday for sure.