StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - DEC 13, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2005 2005 batch.
Beautiful glowing translucent yellow-to-orange in color with a persistent head, and sticky, clinging lacing. Some cascade and Chinook in the aroma in addition to a floral party of lilacs and lilies of the valley. Bitter pine needles seem to have fallen into a vat of nectar, plucked out and then sustained by a process of aeration and dry ice to preserve the bitter sweet memoir. Sweet, sugary pineapple esters are mildly trumped by a bitter squeezed grapefruit juice flavor. Dry, chafing bitterness spreads across the entire tongue like sucking on an experimental, long lasting Jolly Rancher principally concocted from passion fruit pulp. “Clean” would be one way of putting it, but “consensual rape” is more appropriate. Amarillo and warrior hops flavors seem to be more present time around, arriving with amaretto sweetness and aggressive bitterness. Such a delectable, sturdy balance is achieved. Bitter finish dances long into the night with interjections of papaya and that taste sensation you get when you drink orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth.
So many things have been said about this beer. Long story short: it’s good. Nice bitterness, alcohol is well hidden but comes somewhat through in the finish. Nice balance with the hops. Hearty describes it well. Different from most winter brews. Nevertheless, a great IPA.
beermaniac (86) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 12, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Celebration 2003, drank 12/12/04
Aroma: Fruity, hoppy-citrus. Some caramel/sherry.
Appearance: Somewhat turbid-I mistakenly poured some sediment in. Low head retention. Amber color.
Flavor: Hoppy flavor and bitterness dominates with an adequate supporting malt backbone. Some caramel and sherry again-because it is an older bottle?
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mouthfeel with some lingering bitterness from hops.
Overall: A fresher bottle would be better and have more hop character, but good nonetheless.
biermensch (64) - USA - DEC 12, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Kind of like SNPA but with more of a malt backbone. Starts of with an attractive amber color and foamy head. Well-balanced for an IPA, I prefer it to the SNPA. Hops flavor is still predominate, with nice citrus and pleasing bitterness.
A bigger ale, but not too big to be a "session" choice. Well done!
Imbockinsxtx (81) - Big Bend (Benavides, TX), Texas, USA - DEC 12, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a Reddish/Brownish Colour with ample off white head. The Aroma is Classic Sierra Nevada Hops with some Malty Characteristics. The Flavour today is almost identical to its brother the Pale Ale but when I had it last week it was much sweeter, maltier, and candier. Oh well, could be the Glass. Nuntheless, it is a very appetizing beer. Lots of Alcohol in the beer can be alluring. CHEERS!
lamas (1419) - Washington DC, USA - DEC 11, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 11, 2006 ’04 bottle. Pours a copper color with a HUGE off-white head that leaves rings of lace. Aroma is very hoppy and grapefruity. The predominant taste is of those grapefruity, resiny hops. Finishes with a nice citric bitterness. Fairly complex. Each sip brings something new. Not what I was expecting, though still pretty nice. Seems more like a summer brew. Original rating from 12/11/04: 6,3,7,3,16. Re-Rate: When I started on this site, I was almost exclusively a dark beer lover. I’ve become a serious Hop-Head in the time since I last had this beer. I love hops so much now that I had to buy a case (a rarity for me) of this beer that everyone is always raving about. I’m bumping the mouth-watering Cascade aroma up a couple of points and the palate and the overall up a point each. Everything else stays the same. I definitely appreciate this beer plenty more now (especially since a case is so affordable). What was I thinking with that "summer brew" comment?!
Hooker (467) - Coquitlam, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 11, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 edition. Clear copper colour with large rocky head that fades to lingering light head. strong citric hoppy nose. strong bitter hop taste that stays with you. good lace
IMtheOptimator (1162) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - DEC 11, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2005 RERATE, 2005 VINTAGE: Poured a mostly clear effervescent amber with an off-white head that left a thin lacing on the glass. Aroma of orange and grapefruit with some sweet candy. Taste is grapefruit and pine hops with some toffee in the background. Long dry finish. A bit too much toffee covering up the hops, and could use some more balance to it.
Gachupines (997) - USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very good beer, like a souped up version of the SNPA. Hops are pretty much prevalent in the beer, and it’s pretty easy to drink as well.
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 26, 2006 2005 bottle - Pours a clear copper color with a good size head that lasts. Light lacing. Nice citrus hop aroma. Very similar to the SN pale ale we all come to love. Medium body.
VAYankee (334) - Virginia, USA - DEC 10, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Clear red/amber body with a small cream colored head. Full floral hop aroma. Flavor starts out strongly bitter and hoppy. Gradually fades away (but never completely disappears) to allow a bit of maltiness through. Dry, bitter finish.