Another winner from the good folks at Sierra Nevada. Using hops from New Zealand, the Southern Hemisphere Harvest is a big citrus and pine hop bomb, more of a sipping IPA rather than a chugging beer. To be honest, the flavor is so intense that finishing the bottle by myself was not quite challenging, but not exactly easy either. The fluffy two fingered head stuck around to the bottom of the glass, and the creamy mouthfeel and bubbly carbonation helped bring out the malty aftertaste. It only clocks in at 6.7 % ABV. Given the intense flavors, that ABV might have been higher. I am giving this an 8/10.
Mr. JK has a second home near Bellows Falls, Vermont. The house is the oldest home in the county. It has a fully modern kitchen, a pool, all sorts of grilling and smoking devices, and it is situated a stone’s throw from the Connecticut River. Mr. JK tries to organize a ‘Boy’s Weekend’ in the spring and the fall, and invites friends, colleagues from work, random passerby on the street, etc. The 2010 Spring Weekend was a few weeks back. Unfortunately, everyone Mr. JK invited crapped out on him except for the V-Man and me, so it was just the three of us.
Being in Vermont is wonderful, but getting to Vermont is a royal pain in the ass. For reasons that no one can adequately explain, the V-Man and I left Jersey City at about 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon, with Mr. JK taking the train to New Haven. We were going to pick him up there when he got off the train shortly after 4 p.m. and continue on to Vermont. That plan did not survive first contact with the enemy. The V-Man and I hit the Merritt Parkway at which point we came to a dead stop. We never got above twenty miles per hour, and even though Connecticut is a small state, it takes forever to cross it if you are constantly braking your car. Things got so bad that I picked out a fat bald guy smoking a cigar in his Audi convertible, and told the V-Man that I wanted to grab the tire iron from the trunk and beat the crap out of “that smug asshole.” The V-Man is as even keeled and as level-headed as anyone I have ever known, and even he thought it was a pretty good idea. Good God, we hated that guy, smoking his stogie with his stubby pink fingers, while he jibber-jabbered on his cell phone, no doubt locking in another obscene bonus with our bailout money.* Read the rest of this entry »
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.