Sierra Nevada is a Bad Ass Brewer

March 8, 2010

There are very few breweries that are as consistently good as Sierra Nevada.  I have had most of their beers, and the worst one was still pretty damn good.  Sierra Nevada is one of my ‘go-to’ brewers, along with Dogfish Head and Victory.

The Torpedo IPA is a recent edition to the Sierra Nevada lineup, and it is a great one.  Intensely hoppy, with powerful pine, citrus and herbal aromas, this beer is easy to drink, and easy to drink quite a few of them, which is a bit dangerous as it clocks in at 7.2% ABV.  It pours a dark copper color and keeps a nice head to the bottom of the glass.  This is a top notch beer and earns a 8.5/10.

The Sierra Nevada Porter is deep brown in color with a creamy head, but is surprisingly mild flavored.  Not much in the way of hops bitterness, it has a slight nutty caramel flavor behind the maltiness.  This is not as good as the Torpedo, but it earns a very respectable 7/10.

The Glissade Golden Bock is Sierra Nevada’s spring beer.  It poured a crystal clear pale gold with a snow white head that faded quickly.  The Golden Bock barely had any hops, and had a slightly sweet malt flavor.  It is probably my least favorite of their beers, but it was far from bad.  I give it a 5.5/10.

The final beer to be graded is the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  Pale ales are the redheaded step children of the beer world.  Beer snobs tend to dismiss them because they lack the punch of IPAs and other ‘bigger’ beers, and macro-beer drinkers (god help them!) who try them quickly revert back to their bud swilling ways.  I fall in the beer snob category, but not when it comes to this beer.  Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is a winner.  It is complex, fragrant, and has a helluva lot more “drinkability” than that damned Bud Light.  This one gets a 8.5/10.


Smuttynose Baltic Porter

February 7, 2010

New Hampshire’s Smuttynose is one of my favorite breweries.  They are traditionalists.  Smuttynose does not push the envelope with their beers (unlike DogfishHead for example).  They brew traditional styles, and they do those styles very well.  Smuttynose is widely available in New Jersey, usually on the lower end of the price scale when it comes to craft beers, and the worst Smuttynose beer is pretty damn good.

Case in point is the Smuttynose Baltic Porter.  Porter is a style of beer that I have always thought of as being the kid brother to stouts, which is more a reflection of my idiocy than reality.  Porters and stouts are different styles, and I will need to explore those differences in the future.  This porter had hints of chocolate, coffee and dried fruit.  This one gets an 8/10.


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