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Sierra Nevada Audition 44

Sierra Nevada Audition 44
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RATINGS: 3   MEAN: 3.83/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.11/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 168   ABV: 5.6%
Our audition ales are experimental pilot brews we use to test new ingredients and methods. Our audition beers are made with identical basic American ale malt recipes, but hopped throughout with a new experimental hop. #44 has a bright and lemony hop flavor and pronounced aromas featuring notes of blueberry and blackberry with a semi-dry and smooth finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - JUN 17, 2010
Sampled at the brewpub on 6/16/2010. This American Pale Ale pours a medium orange gold color from the tap. Small sized white foamy head. The aroma is citrusy and lemony. A medium bodied Pale Ale. The malts are fruity and sweet. The hops are citrusy and lemony. Nice carbonation. God balance. An interesting beer, its citrusy and lemony at the start, yet there is a touch of berry at the finish. Nice crisp and dry finish. Not a lot of residual bitterness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
kmweaver (3207) - Petaluma, California, USA - JUN 9, 2010
Growler from Sierra Nevada courtesy of my delightful wife. Thanks, Ali! The listed ABV on this round is 5.4%. Pours a bright, mostly-clear, golden-orange color; creamy, fluffy, fine-bubbled white head with great lacing and retention; just an awesome-looking pour, and on par with normal SNPA. I’m going to generally compare this to their core pale ale, just because that makes for a familiar starting point and the overall intention seems to be the use of these different hop varieties. The nose offers much less of a bright citrusy aroma, instead in favor of dark fruits and earthiness (the blackberry notes? perhaps; but the blueberry only becomes apparent in the mouth); modestly bitter, nothing rough, and a very dry, simple malt core, showing off these hops beautifully: lively and zesty stuff. Medium body; lively carbonation; a very light creaminess, with no astringency or rough bitterness (who’s surprised?); the blueberry and blackberry hop notes really do shine through here, in a delicate, almost-floral presentation of hop flavor; the lightly toasty, quiet malt core is just enough, and overall this is hugely drinkable pale ale on par with their standard, with far less citrus and far more darker berries. Not quite the oomph of something like boutique Nelson Sauvin, but interesting and damn good; I hope they carry this one through. Medium finish of dry, lightly bitter hoppiness (blackberries, mostly) and gentle toastiness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
J_man (934) - Tustin, California, USA - MAY 22, 2010
Very interesting pale ale. The notes of blueberry are fairly obvious in the mid to back palate, but since there is no fruit or fruit flavoring added to this beer, it’s a mystery where that’s coming from (no hops I know of produce a flavor like that). Nice looking yellow-gold brew with a white head and easy drinking. Very different from the Audition 66 (see upcoming review) that is apparently made from the same ingredients other than the hop variety used in them. This should be a very interesting series to sample (if you have access to the beer)!

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