Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sierra Nevada Harvest Ale

This being my first experience with any beer made from fresh hops I was not quite sure what to expect. That being said I can't say with any authority whether or not it's an acceptable representation of the style, however, I am happy to report that SN Harvest Ale is quite good. As in really, really f'ing good.

Poured from a fair-sized 24 oz. bottle it was the perfect amount of liquid for one session unless you plan on getting sloppy or if you're a person who regularly finds yourself having to split anything over 12 oz. (you know who you are and if you can sleep at night then I'll hold my judgment for another time). I was feeling a bit fancy so I used my trusty Boulevard Smokestack chalice, although I've tasted the same brew from a standard pint glass since then and noticed no outstanding differences other than a more pronounced smell when experienced through the chalice. As expected, it pours a murky caramel color with a truly amazing frothy head. Think sea-foam only less disgusting. The head retention was spot-on and was easily rebuilt every time I topped off the glass and lasted through the end. This beer will make you feel like a professional every time you pour it. The smell from the glass was just as I had hoped: lots of piny, grassy hops and an overall "green" scent. After a moment to settle I was ready to begin.

This one is difficult to relate to since I'm not familiar with the style. That being said, this is an absolutely delicious beer. The mouth feel is spectacular: somewhat sticky as the lacing would suggest. Plenty of hops, with a nice clean, bitter finish. It's redundant to describe it as fresh since it says so in the name but that really is the most accurate description I can give it. This beer tastes like a nice spring day. If mowing the lawn had a taste and that taste had been bottled and sold, it would be damn similar to this.

Let me conclude by saying this: if Harvest Ale is a true representation of the fresh hop style then I'm in.

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