Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter Review

Name: Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter
Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.2%
IBUs: 60

A new IPA from Sierra Nevada, who would've thought? Well actually, it doesn't come as too much of a shock to me seeing as how the brewery itself has already made at least 75 different IPAs throughout their history, both bottled, draft-only, and limited release per Beer Advocate stats. However if the brewery is to be believed, Hop Hunter is no ordinary IPA as Sierra Nevada has apparently found a new way to incorporate hops into their beers.

Apparently this an IPA made with Distilled Hop Oil. They are using a process that extracts the hop oil from the hops using some sort of steam process, which in turn they use it during the brewing process in addition to using actual hop cones and......you know what, I think the video from the brewery does a better job of explaining the process....

Sounds interesting, if not a little novelty-esque.

Appearance - Mildly hazy bright orange color with a mild amount of visible carbonation. The head starts out quite foamy, but it starts to fade away after a couple of minutes before settling for a thin filmy appearance and bringing with it decent lacing.

Aroma - Even before I brought this close, I managed to get a whiff of the beer and it had a very strong citrus hop aroma to it. Bringing it closer, I'm still getting a strong citrus hop aroma along with some grapefruitiness, piney hops, pale malts and some rather potent yeastiness. So far it doesn't smell any different than any other IPA I've had before.

Taste - Strong citra hop and bitter hop notes on the front of the palate, followed by some grapefruitiness, a moderate pale malt backbone and some more yeastiness. The aftertaste is composed of bitter grapefruit hoppiness and what appears to be some light yeast notes.

I don't think there is anything terribly special about this that I already haven't seen in an IPA and I still think the whole distilled hop oil process is more of a novelty than anything else. However, this is an extremely easy to drink beer with a good flavor profile, and it feels very crisp on the palate. I'd say this IPA is a crowd pleaser to both seasoned IPA fans and those new to the style. As such, I'd say you really can't go wrong with this beer.

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter - 8.5/10

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