30th Anniversary – Jack & Ken’s Ale

OK, a 'Black Barleywine' brewed by an American brewery is frankly unlikely to be a beer that I fall in love with, so for that reason I decided to sit on this one for a while. I've had it since it first came to Georgia, so a decent amount of time on it now. Opening corked & caged affair gives a pretty alarming pop with some good gun smoke. A really dark chestnut colored pour that reminds me of the most mature conkers that I had as a kid. A thin, creamy film/cap forms on the beer as things...

Ovila

Corked & caged bottle with an unusual shape around the neck. Opens with a fearful pop with a button mushroom like cork - I suggest great care opening this one, but to be honest I would rather have it that way than without sufficient carbonation. Nice gun smoke. Attractive reddish brown hue which seems less muddy than the usual Dubbel appearance which is a bonus. Having said that beer is a dreadfully disappointing head and it fades horribly. No lace, no retention - shame. Light, alcoholic...

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

2011 vintage. The 24 oz large format bottle that SN seems to have favored for this type of release for sometime now. $9.99 from Smyrna World of Beverage, Smyrna, Atlanta, GA, USA. A very, very attractive looking beer. A beautiful golden, clear body with some significant white, frothy, sticky lace which is well retained considering the ABV, and is really pretty. Nose has some alcohol, but frankly not a huge amount of hop presence when considering the nature of the beast. The tastes are...

30th Anniversary – Grand Cru

750 mL with a tight cork and cage. BIG pop on opening - take care! The beer really does look magnificent in the DFH signature glass. There is a deep, garnet color with some super clarity, and a remarkable, high head with good lace. The head is both creamy and rocky and has an of-white color that is truly impressive. OK, I have to admit that I was hoping that this was going to be a Belgian Dark of some description (given the Grand Cru moniker), but of course there is no reason why that should...

Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale

VERY robust bottle with annoying wax over the cap. Quite an effort to get into it. $9.99 for the bottle, NOT good value. Nice light amber pour with a smallish head but it does produce a little lace. Plenty of citrus, slightly onion-based aromas. Tastes are clean, obviously nicely hopped and straightforward but ultimately forgettable. Well balanced and refreshing, but in the end it's simply just another hop-forward Sierra Nevada beer and not much else. In that respect it seems a bit pointless...

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

On tap @ Taco Mac in Peachtree City, GA, USA. Absolutely delighted by the concept of a SN beer that *should* reduce the hop profile to a lesser role, let's see if the beer manages to apply that theory to practice. Nothing to complain about in the pour. A decent dark brown color (personally I'd like to see a little more red in the body but that's really a personal preference) with a nice, rocky, full head that lingers and produces some super lace. Good looking beer. Nose and tastes do well to...

30th Anniversary- Charlie, Fred And Ken’s Bock

Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Blah, ultimately very disappointed consider the supposed gravity of this series. The biggest problem here was the carbonation and general life associated with the beer - in the end nothing but flat and dull. Pour was a surprisingly dark, mid-copper body with some large bubbles and a decent head. The problems started as the head faded, both quickly and badly. It left a brown; literally "dead" liquid in the glass which was flat and unappealing. All of this after a...

30th Anniversary – Fritz And Ken’s Ale

$9.99 Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Impressive pop from the unusually shaped bottle that is corked & caged. Some gunsmoke. Presentation is classy, including the label. Pour is definitely intense-black with a large head at first but it fades away. Not much lace and a thin film is left on the surface. A little disappointing in the head department, but given the ABV not all that surprising. Having said that, I've seen similar strength stouts with much better retention and lace. A...

Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock

12 oz single from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Usual SN presentation. Delighted to find a new SN beer that does NOT fit squarely into the "large hopped IPA" category! Hooray. Classic pour with a high, if somewhat poorly retained head and little lace, on top of a great looking, golden body with tremendous clarity. Carbonation is perfect. Malts hold the hop bitterness together nicely. A beer that perfectly showcases the crisp, sharp, bitter metallic notes of the hops in the style. Bitterness...

Life & Limb

$9.99 for the 24 oz bottle a la SN Harvest brews. Pour is a dark, chestnut body with some frothy lace sitting on the surface. Little lace, but as expected for the ABV. Surprisingly smooth drinking given the alcoholic content. The beer is very sweet (obviously as a function of the syrup), but also maintains a decent balance of flavors without losing the plot. Alcohol is very well hidden until the back end when it kicks in slightly. Hop profile is lowish Definitely a light, woody note and some...

Sierra Nevada Belgian Trippel

Delighted and surprised to find this on tap at Taco Mac in Douglasville, GA, USA. 16 oz pour. Pours with a bright, bright golden body, a decent head and amazingly clarity. Normally I'm a huge fan of such clarity but to be honest I expect my Tripel's to lack some that and have a least a degree of chill-haze about them. Surprised at the clear nature of the beer. Nose reveals some typical bubblegum notes. The tastes are essentially ALL, massive, sweet, sugar! There isn't really the slightly...

Sierra Nevada Estate Brewers Harvest Ale

24 oz bottle from Total Wine, Perimeter, Atlanta, GA, USA. $9.99 for the privilege! Second time I've had this. Pour is a surprisingly red body with a nice high, white rocky head that produces some really nice lace in the glass. Apart from the fact that the body has a rather odd color for an IPA (which may bother some), it looks pretty good. Nose gives a pretty large dose of resinous, west coast hops with sinus clearing properties. The nose seems really "green" and fresh, like a wet-hopped...

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen

12 oz stubbie (usual SN presentation) poured aggressively into the Tucher, 0.5 L Weizen glass - nice pairing. Looks good and as it should. High, rocky, white head and a light, lemon colored body with the appropriate clouded appearance. Unusually though, very little yeasty sediment came out in the last 20% swirl. Nose lays on the banana side of things rather than the clove. Spices are low-key for the style. Light banana is replicated in the tastes with a touch more spice being evident compared...

Sierra Nevada Brown Saison

16 oz pour, Summits Wayside Tavern, Woodstock, GA, USA. I've been fairly critical of SN in the past for over-hopping their beers so that so many of them taste so similar (The Harvest series, SNPA, Anniversary series, Torpedo, ESB, to some extent even celebration etc., all seem like clones of the same, hoppy-based beer to me with little or no imagination), so I always approach their beers with a degree of skepticism to say the least. However, on this ocassion we got a really nice brew. I'm not...

Sierra Nevada IDEA

Had this on tap at Manuel's, Atlanta, GA, USA. 16 oz pour. A bit turbid in the glass, not an especially attractive beer. A bit of a strange brew to say the least. Not sure how I would categorize it but it seemed to me like a cross between a brown ale and an IPA. To me, that generally means "American Brown Ale" with some of the appearance of a brown, but a hoppier presence that would otherwise be expected in such a beer. There are some dark malts present up front, and given SN's liberal use of...

Imperial Smoked Porter

$4.75 for the 16 oz pint at Taco Mac, Lindbergh, Atlanta, GA, USA. AT LAST, a new SN beer that is NOT the umpteenth hop based, IPA clone for the bazillionth time - in itself that's a minor miracle for SN! Congratulations! Anyway, back to the beer. Fairly standard pour in terms of color, with a smallish coffee colored head. The lace is very good as the beer is consumed. The nose is quite alcohol based but this does not manifest itself in the taste. The alcohol IS there, but not as astringent as...

Sierra Nevada Double DeBockEl

11 oz pour, Taco Mac, Marietta, GA, USA. $5.50. Surprised to see this here - bonus! Golden body with excellent clarity. Surprisingly good carbonation considering ABV. Head is absent (possibly because of the crappy pour) but at this ABV unlikely to be very big anyway. Very light color for the style. Nose is malty alcohol but even on warming it reveals little. Certainly sugary sweet presence amongst the alcohol, but the beer manages to stay away from the viscous syrup that can plague this style...

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale (2007-2009)

To say that I have grown tired of SN may be an exaggeration, but I've been drinking less and less of their products recently. I've grown a touch wary of these somewhat bland and certainly unimaginative hop based pale ales that they turn out time and time again. There are about 9 or 10 beers that are close to identical - what's the point? This has been in ATL for a long time but I had no interest in a sixer for the reasons above, so I bought this one as a 12 oz bottle at Taco Mac in...

Sierra Nevada ESB (Early Spring Beer)

I Absolutely DESPISE the use of the letters ESB to mean Early Spring Beer; it is both deceptive and classless. This is NOT an ESB, so if we are going to rate this on style it gets a F grade. I'll resist that temptation, JUST. 12oz stubbie bottle from the original six pack from The Wine Shop on Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA, USA. Pour is a dark orange body with a thinnish looking white head. A little lace. Carbonation is way too high. Nose is mainly mild, sweet hops but not much else....

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

On-tap at The Brick Store, Atlanta, GA, USA. Whatever. What's the point in SN producing yet ANOTHER hoppy beer? I just don't get it. In the wake of so many others in their portfolio, this is just another average, hoppy brew. Golden yellow (macro like) pour with a semi-decent head. Hoppy aroma which is obviously translated into the taste. Overbearing hops - not in a very aggressive way, but just unbalanced and mediocre. Tired. Seems like a cross between the PA, The Harvest and the (HA, HA!)...

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale

=== 2010 vintage 05/13/10 === Fresher hop taste and much "greener" than I remember in the past. The beer seems a little darker too, with a more bitter, metallic finish than I remember. Al in all the beer seems more aggressive and has a harder edge than in past years. Still in the 24 oz bottle, a slightly different label this year. Green's on Ponce. === 2009 vintage 05/12/09 === Much the same as last year (unsurprisingly) and HIGHLY predictable from SN - even perhaps a little boring! === 2008...

Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale

This USED to be listed as a different beer each year in the BA db but in Oct '09 he versions were merged along with one another. === 2009 (13th) === ‎24 oz bottle, the usual presentation. ‎ What's this? A SN hop based beer in the classic APA/American IPA style - I've NEVER seen one of those ‎before, WHAT a huge departure for SN!! ;-) ‎ Anyway, here we go. ‎ As usual a great looking copper clarity in the body and some decent head, retention and some sticky...

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale (2007-2009)

On draught at the Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Nice beer, but for me this is a VERY bog-standard IPA. Nothing much to report here. Decent copper color, nice clarity and a decent head. Not bad retention. Looks good. Some simple west coast pine notes, but not especially pronounced. Drinks easily and tastily, a bit like a poor mans Celebration. OK beer, but seeing as it is a "special" release I thought it was a bit weak. If yu're expecting something special look elsewhere, this is just another,...

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (bottle)

Hard to believe that I have never reviewed this from the bottle, so here goes. I end up drinking quite a lot of this beer, but it's really only by default. In the majority of bars that one finds oneself in much of the USA, this is often the only palatable option amongst the nasty BMC swill. As a result I feel it has a somewhat better reputation than it deserves in the grand scheme - some people rave on about it like it is some stellar product. I think it is better than average, but that's...

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

2006 release. On tap at Taco Mac, East-West Connector, Austell, GA, USA. $4.25 or $4.75 a pint. Great color with crystal clear copper notes and a lot more carbonated than I remember in the past. Lots of rising bubbles. Smallish head and not much lace. As usual very clean grapefruit notes are all over the place and not much else. I don't mind Celebration, but I simply do not find it to be a very complex beer. It's really just a hop concoction without much character to me.

Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale

On-tap, Taco Mac, Decatur, GA, USA. Hazed orange pour with a fluffy head and good lacing. Grapefruit notes are immediately apparent in the nose and this manifests itself on the palate quickly too. Green hop bitterness is consistent, and does not fade, and makes this a very drinkable, session type consistent ale. Solid representation of the American take on an IPA, with plenty of hoppiness not afraid to hide. Refreshing too, with a short and sharp bite in the finish. Clean too. As is often the...

Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Very nice, I enjoyed this on tap at Taco Mac in Marietta, GA. Initially I was not expecting much from this as I am generally not a huge fan of SN products. Don't get me wrong I like them, but not to the extent that many other BA's seem to enjoy them. However I was delighted at what I found. Great, clear, copper colored pour with a decent head and some lacing and retention. Good crisp clear hoppy aroma, but the initial mouthfuls are sweet malts. Then the hops kick in in a clean and sharp way...

Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager

Awful. A nasty macro in micro packaging. Reminded me of a low quality macro lager, with all the charm and sophistication that goes with them. Nasty color, nasty aroma and a weak, but somehow unpleasant taste. Bright gold, incredibly clear (frankly this literally looks like piss) with zero head retention and a nasty adjunct taste. Drink BMC they're cheaper.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

=== '10 vintage, reviewed 02/10 === The usual copper clarity on the pour but it seems much more carbonated this year. Fresh and clean and sweeter than many other vintages. The hop bitterness seems reserved for the finish and the aftertaste. Less hop forward than many previous years. I enjoyed this more than I though I would. === '09 vintage, reviewed 01/09 === Good, reddish copper colored pour and it still has that flesh colored head. Sooo typical of SN with hops, hops, hops everywhere. I KNOW...

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

2010 Vintage. As usual, large grapefruit notes and not a great deal else. 2006 Vintage. Only paid $6.99 this year at Green's. Still grapefruit and soap based, and although I have grown to enjoy this more each year, it still strikes me as a beer that is out of balance. 2004 Vintage. $8.99 Six Pack, Arbor Beverage Depot, Douglasville, GA, USA. Well, you BA's certainly got me worked up for this one. I was anticipating something extraordinary and ended up being disappointed. Another SN brew, that...

Sierra Nevada Stout

Large head resulted from an agressive pour, but it disappointed quickly. After that it looked good with an opaque black, solid looking appearance. A lot of bitterness in the whole taste and experience for me. Some of it wasn't really the usual burnt chocolate or dark malt and hops, it was simply bitter and rather unappealing. There didn't seem to be a real softer side to take the edge off the bitterness and as a result it left a clawing aftertaste that I was singularly unimpressed with....

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (on-tap)

Significantly better on draught than in the bottle. Hoppy, malty and tasty, this is a very nice, an often available oasis of a drink, in an frequently hopeless desert of North American macro's. A very good example of the style that I enjoy reverting back to as a steady staple of (unspectacular) quality and consistency. Always a decent body and color with a good head, nice bitterness and a well rounded ending. This is a satisfying beer as a commonly available and decent staple and I will...

Sierra Nevada Wheat Beer

Nice. A real tasty little number. Pours the classic, cloudy unfiltered orangey yellow color with a decent head and some lacing. Malts are the initial aroma and flavors which lead to a much hoppier finish than I was expecting. I like the stumpy, short bottles of SN, and the labels are very attractive and colorful too. I do like this stuff, and it is certainly above average, but I find SN's products generally over-rated. To be honest a similar and better brew is the much under-rated and probably...

Sierra Nevada Porter

$7.29 Six Pack Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA Very nice. Poured a dark chocolate color with a very small head that disappeared quickly. Some lacing. The fact this is in the Porter style is very much on its side, and this counteracts what I found to be a fairly acidic aroma and initial taste. Once you have consumed about half a bottle the aftertaste becomes quite smooth - in the Porter style. A little thin in the mouth for my taste but nevertheless a good brew.