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Review by SAP on 02/03/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
78 3 10 15 4 7 2008
A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass nets me a four-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. The beer is an amber-copper color that shows a brilliantly clear, rich copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is nice and hoppy, but still has a light crystal malt edge to it as well. The malt lens some biscuit-like notes and a touch of caramel; this last melds with the citrus hop components that are the most noticeable part of the beer. Notes of grapefruit, lemon zest, a bit of herbal grassiness, spruce tips and a touch of pine seem to define the hop aromatics; actually this smells a lot like Meyer lemon, it is surprisingly lemony compared to many an American IPA.

The carbonation provides a solid fizziness, though this is not over-carbonated. The beer has a light crystal malt sweetness to it that is substantially dried out by the biting hop character. This has an ample bitterness to it that is noticeable from the biting through to the lingering finish of each sip. The hop flavor has quite a bit of sharp, herbal notes to it that leans a touch towards fresh pine needles; this is pretty well met by essential citrus oil notes that remind me of grapefruit, tart tangerine zest and orange zest. This has a nice biscuit like malt character to it that helps to dry out the finish just a little bit more. This has a touch of malt body to it, but is still quite quaffable and light enough to be a drinking IPA (though the alcohol percentage may tell you otherwise after a couple).

This is a solid IPA offering from Sierra Nevada. It is perhaps a little sharp, slightly astringent, and a little more herbal focused than I might prefer, but it is damn tasty. I still prefer the slightly more malt balanced Celebration as it brings out the fruity-citrus character from the hops a bit more than this beer does. Despite the noticeable malt presence, this is definitely an aggressively hopped IPA.

Served In: Tulip