Shag (2765) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - NOV 6, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2004 Amber appearance with a moderate head. Aroma is dark fruit, hops, and caramel. The flavor is well balance with the malt dominating. There is a definite floral hoppy backbone overshadowed by a sweet candyish malt presence. I catch some orange peel and grapefruit in there. Overall this is a bigger maltier version of an IPA. Its different but I like it.
Tejas (969) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 6, 2004
3.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JAN 19, 2009 I donít see a big difference between this and S Nís Pale Ale except that itís a bit hoppier and fruitier. Cherry? Maybe more body too? I donít at all care for most Sierra Nevadaís brews but I have to give credit where credit is due. This is good, especially on draught.
willblake (2654) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - NOV 6, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
11.04.04 12oz bottle. Well Iíll be a blue-nosed gopher. I honestly had no idea that this was an IPA until today. Never been a big fan of the Sierra Nevada stuff, but I hear so many folks rave about this that I decided to go ahead and buy a 6-pack to try -- what the hell, I get a discount. I turns out that this is some serious hop juice, and itís very, very, very delicious. Iím kicking myself for not having tried this goodness sooner. Stupid. Anyway...Pours a beautiful garnet-copper with medium, lasting, lacing head. Aromas are sweet, floral, jammy (apricot and orange), lightly spicey. Sharp hops flavor, especially for such a high volume production brew. Very nice balance of bitterness and sweet/thick malt body without sacrificing the hoppy highlights. An excellent brew, my only complaint might be too quick a finish that cuts short a good thing in the soft malt middle.
footbalm (1219) - Western Minneapolis Suburbs, Minnesota, USA - NOV 5, 2004
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 28, 2005 2004 bottle.Pours a clear red brown with a big cream head of big bubbles and a nice layer of lacing.Huge Grapefruit and hop nose.Not quite as big on the flavor as the aroma would dictate but still a good brew.bitter afteryasye lingers.nice.
johnyvt (158) - West Hollywood, California, USA - NOV 5, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2004 2004 bottle. Pours amber-reddish with an off-white head. A warming brew for hopheads that has a distinctively oily mouth feel and taste.
mjurney (64) - Amarillo, Texas, USA - NOV 5, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours out deep amber red color with a head. Very rich, really hoppy, nice citrus flavor, nice alcohol warmth at the end. I really love this brew!!
NeonLX (261) - Wisconsin, USA - NOV 5, 2004
4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hopheads take note: this brew is ALL ABOUT hops. 2004 edition pours a crystal clear, medium amber with a nice tan head. Head never disappears completely. Huge hop aroma. First taste is hops--and so is the middle and the last. Itís hops all the way through. Palate is relatively light with moderate carbonation. This is a nice beer, though I was expecting a little more depth. But if youíre a complete hophead, this beerís for you.
sethdude (706) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 4, 2004
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2005 2004: Holy Crap! Thatís a lot of hops! Pours a deep bronze color with a volumnous "rocky" tan head that lends fantastic lacing. Aroma is INCREDIBLE. Piney, citrusy hop aroma overwhelms the nose, with a slight sweet malt undertone. Flavor is HOPPY, with little to no balance. Leaves the sensation in the mouth similar to that of lemon zest. If not for the blind lack of balance, this could have been the best beer I ever had. Itís still damned close.
roacheater (43) - Alabama, USA - NOV 3, 2004
0.9 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
UPDATED: NOV 17, 2012 2012 version - fuck off sierra nevada... something is seriously wrong at this brewery... celebration, bigfoot, and the pale ale are all drain pours at this point.
2011 version - another max out effort from the lads in chico. í09 and í10 were like wallpaper... this stuff properly strips off that wallpaper. i wish they were able to make it like this every year.
2008 version is outstanding... very harsh and piney. iíve been drinking this stuff a long time and the í08 is completely over the top. itís nice to see that sierra nevada has dropped any pretense of this being some goofy "holiday" beer ----- previous review: 2004 version comes roaring back after the muted 2003 effort. The flavor totally dominates this yearís offering and it is harsh and oily. A single swig can last over a minute on the tongue and back half of your mouth. Awesome.
thegreenrooster (3810) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 3, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2004 version. Pours is a nice red with a white head. Aroma is very hoppy almost winey. Flavor is a dry hoppy bite with some malts at the back end. Very fresh and full bodied. Good stuff!