Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange Pale Ale

Total Score: 7.1/10 Orange1Caramel1Lemon1Nonicpint1

Sierra Nevada, I must have reviewed them all by now, I certainly love their beers (not Otra Vez) it would come as no surprise if I’ve reviewed all of them, let me check it now on BeerAdvocate… HOLY TOLEDO! Sierra Nevada have 210 beers listed and 339 archived, and I’ve only reviewed 20 so far… oh well this makes 21. TBH I wasn’t drawn to Sidecar like a moth to the flame of most SN brews, probably because I’m getting over citrus flavours in beers, who knows, it just didn’t grab me. However for sheer archival reasons I decided to reach out and grab the bottle from the shelf – yes it’s a tick beer, but tick beers make up about a third of my reviews so you should thank me for doing all this dirty work for you [no problem Doc!].

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Hazed ummm… orange body (I’m seeing oranges now) with a 1 centimetre cream-coloured head that soon drops back to thin blanket. The appearance of this brew is a poster child for Pale Ales so there’s not much else to say… better head maybe? Yeah, better head next time SN! 7/10.

S: I’m a bit concerned the orange peel is too much with a heady hit of orange rind on the nose. Hints of melon, lemon and a light biscuit base as well linger in the background, but man alive that orange note is all like “I’m orange, kiss my ass jive turkey!”… it’s intimidating. 7/10.

T: Huh, it’s SN Pale Ale with a bitter orange rind note in the finish. Hardly as exciting as I expected. Flavour of a broad caramel/biscuit base (like SNPA) mingles with orange and lemon hops. If the orange peel added anything to the flavour it’s hard to tell, and why didn’t they reinvent the wheel instead of trying to fit a new tyre to this already tired but well-known sedan? I mean they could have made a different base to accentuate the peel, but it’s just SNPA, I’ve had that a million times already. 7/10.

M: Medium bodied with a bit of hop oils swimming on the palate and a thin, reasonably dense carbonation, top marks here IMO. 8/10.

D: So it’s SNPA (with orange peel). It feels like they could have done something different, something better. As it is SNPA is one of the classics, but resting on your laurels much Sierra Nevada? As far as I’m concerned I would have liked a bit more of a different direction from them, they’re becoming bromidic IMO and need to find a new objective… I mean Tropical Torpedo was simply Torpedo with tropical hops added (I DID like that one though) come on SN! 7/10.

Food match: Malaysian, why? Because I said so.


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