Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Total Score: 8/10 HopFlower1 Biscuit1 Caramel1 Nonicpint1

Another American beer, this time a highly recommended one… do not disappoint me Sierra Nevada. I’m looking forward to the hoppy APA I’ve grown to love in Little Creatures, and I’ve heard much talk regarding the American micro-brewery scene on the west coast, so here goes!

Poured from a 12oz (what’s that in ml’s?) bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A: Looks a treat. Like most APA’s I’ve had before: slightly cloudy honey coloured body with a nice white head that leaves minor lacing in the glass. 9/10.

S: Hell yeah! Floral hops lead my nose to an Ale paradise with a hint of caramel malts in the background. The balance here is sublime – nothing overpowering, but the hops are definitely the champion here. 10/10.

T: It’s good, not great but good. On the front palate there are tangy hops, biscuit malts, which all blends well with a caramel sweetness: very nice. The back palate/aftertaste is where it’s let down; hops that would otherwise have a chance to shine merely end up as a bitter twang that upsets the foundation of flavour set out from the beginning. Like I said: good but not great. 7/10.

M: The texture is where I find real sparks of brilliance – the body is perfect, mid to heavy with carbonation representative of the style (low to mid), and a slight oiliness top marks here! 10/10.

D: I started out the review comparing this to Little Creatures Pale Ale, and it that respect it is a letdown, however overall this is a good representation of the style that with a little finesse with the hopping could be as great as LCPA… (or even better). To me this APA is a missed opportunity, a great malt base let down by overtly bitter hop flavours in the back note. If it weren’t prohibitively expensive over here in Australia I would definitely drink it as a back-up to LCPA though. 7/10.

Food match: Hearty food would suit this brew well, roast game birds and salad with a celeriac puree and vingerette… Mmmm.

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