Monday, October 5, 2009

Sierra Nevada Estate

Unstoppable: Eli Manning is. So is his Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale, fueled by hops and barley, it never needs a recall, just like the people...who drink it.

Ah yes, the first release of the new Estate Harvest Ale (not to be confused with Chico Estate Wet Hop Harvest), Sierra Nevada's experiment of brewing with completely their own ingredients grown at their brewery in Chico. I've been waiting to get my hands on this ever since I heard of the concept a little while back, since I have been such a huge fan of the other brews in the Harvest lineup. Of course, our friends at State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD pull through and had some available.

Appearance: A deep amber color with alive and kicking carbonation that produces greater than a finger of fluffy head, topping off a crisp, clean beer.

Smell: Tremendous hop scent, a combination of citrus, floral, and juicy (a first for me in describing a scent like that, but it does remind me of a juice box smell, in a good way) hops, along with a hint of sweetness from the malts.

Taste: Fantastic taste, resiny and citrus hops with some light biscuit malts as backup, and finishes with that juiciness and fruit taste, very light on the spice, only subtle hints until it warms up, with the hop bitterness giving way to the malts.

Mouthfeel: Oily and resiny, not too thin, perfectly carbonated, which I was afraid of overcarbonation given the amount of head on the pour, light to medium body, almost no alcoholic aftertaste or bite that you might get from an IPA (which it technically is).

Drinkability: Maybe I'm biased towards Sierra Nevada's brews, specifically the Harvest ales, but for a 1st release (technically the Chico Estate used only its own hops, this went a step further) this is a great beer, albeit a tad overpriced. I've heard prices everywhere from $8-$11 for a 24 oz. bottle, which is a little steep in my opinion. If money is no object, you could easily put back a few at only 6.7% abv and still be game for more. I would give this beer a 9+, but I'll have to ding them a bit for the price. 8.5/10

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Sam Adams glass


Jimmy said...

I don't know what I like better about the review: Eli Manning the size of the bomber bottle or the adjective "juicy". I do enjoy your price analysis though; it is so cheap and juicy

Jimmy said...

I picked up this bomber at the same time and place as Mikey. His review is pretty much right on.

Appearance - Deep amber brown that is shades away from a ruby red. Clear and simple body with an active cloud of head.

Smell - Ahhhhh! Glorious piney/resiny hops (I wish they made a cologne like this). My senses don't pick up any malts.

Taste - Not as hoppy as expected from the smell. Balanced and well created with a biscuit-like malts.

Mouthfeel - Surprisingly not too thin like the looks. Medium body with a pleasant not overly bitter hop linger

Drinkability - As Mike says, you can definitely drink this one all day and not get bored. Yes, I agree that it is over priced and hence I will give it a 8/10.