Brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co · Chico · California · United States
Read more www.sierranevada.com
We’ve been moving house for the past two weeks, hence the relative silence on the site. I’m really looking forward to setting up the new place and having lots of amazing beers there. I’m also planning to start home brewing in the new apartment. There’s a small “spare” room I set my eyes on ever since we first went to see the place. I know it’ll be just the perfect spot!
In the meantime, before my own beer’s due for comsumption, I have to make do with what’s at the bottle shop, which isn’t too bad a thing considering I was able to get a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Northern Hemisphere Haverst Ale the other week. It’s an American IPA brewed using two-row pale & caramel malts then spiced with Cascade & Centennial hops, putting it at 65 International Bitterness Units, which should give it a nice bitter bite.
Popping the cap I get a hissing sound like a door on the Death Star opening and closing. Sampled in an Iitala Essence wine glass, the pour is a red/orange color with a two finger frothy off-white head. The head leaves beautiful sticky and dry lacing on the walls of the glass. There’s a rich lid of foam that stays through out the sampling.
First off there’s a sweet rather complex and strong toffee malt base. Secondly there are potent and vigorous American Yakima hops. The hops are really going wild in this one. I’d say it’s almost like stuffing my nostrils full of hops pellets! There also a faint marzipan/almond profile which is reminiscent of barley-wine. The strongest and most lingering aroma is of the wet hops though.
Perhaps not a smooth but adequate transition from aroma to flavor starting off with a sticky sweet toffee malt taste. It also includes a faint fudge and vanilla profile. Trailing is a soft, chalky bitterness. Then the hops arrive, all in one hard smack down. Building up on the back of the tongue is a medium grapefruit bitterness. As the liquid warms I get some light citric flavors as well as sun-ripe apricots. The prominent flavors are resin and pine needles.
Classic medium body, averagely carbonated with gentle and soft bubbles. The liquid’s sweet and sticky, although not cloyingly so. Eventually it leaves some sugary residue on the lips. A prominent grapefruit bitterness stays on in the aftertaste.
Overall impression 7/10
Goodness gracious! The caramelly maltness does strongly remind me of the malts in Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale. These two beers start off in the same, great fashion so to speak. I’m a fan of both fresh hop beers, but the balanced flavor profile on this is just a notch better than the Celebration. I do look forward to both of these seasonal beers as a break from SN’s otherwise great year-round offerings.
This is a great beer and if you get the chance you should try its fraternal twin beer Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale.
Total Score 40/50
Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.