Guerde (1218) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - APR 20, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
(bottle) Pours a lightly hazed dark copper with a cream colored head that retains as a medium cap. Aroma of gummi bears, pineapple, maybe guava or mango as well. Very tropical, with some underlying caramel in there as well and maybe a bit of pine. Flavor is pretty simple really, which is a disappointing departure from the complexities displayed in the aroma. Light caramel to begin with which is supported for a split second by some nice tropical juicy hop, but this quickly drops off to an overly piny and incredibly bitter finish. Itís so bitter in fact that it reminds me of when I have inadvertently gotten some bug spray in my mouth during the summer months. Quite nostalgic, but unwelcome in this instance. Really dry as well. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is perfect. I donít believe this is a very fresh bottle, so perhaps the split second of juicy hops would be more prevalent in a fresher sample, but it was still a decent beer overall.
Sigmund (5730) - Tau, NORWAY - APR 20, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
350 ml bottle, bought at Systembolaget, Sweden. ABV is 7.2%. Deep golden to orange colour, big off-white head. Lovely aroma of citrussy, herbal and piney American hops, hints of caramel too. Intense flavour of hops, piney and grapefruity notes, distinct bitterness, but I can live with it. Some malty sweetness too. Not bad!
Hermod (4356) - Vantaa, FINLAND - APR 20, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle from Alko. Poured amber color with a white head. Atoma is nicely hoppy with som fruity notes. Flavor is citrus and grapefruit, very hoppy. Nice bitter finish, hint of alcohol warmth in the finish. Dry aftertaste. Probably the best IPA I have tried so far.
OldMrCrow (2157) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 18, 2010
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yep, this beer is so Sierra Nevada, lovely balance, classic c-hop profile. Itís no prima donna; itís a beer that just drinks real nice without demanding the sort of attention and appreciation that some of the bigger beer-geek offerings require --- or at least request.
Up against the world-beating west coast IPAs -- Pliny, Sculpin -- itís not as leafy and fruity; definitely the c-hop story driving things here. Nor does it have the rich caramel malt flavors of Celebration (though it drinks like a malts-toned-down Celebration). But I really like it; props to SN for another great beer.
Chad9976 (1419) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 18, 2010
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Is it possible for a brewery to underestimate their popularity or reputation or their own craftsmanship? Iím sure the folks at Sierra Nevada know how well respected they are among the beer geeks of the world, and even the Joe and Jane Six Packs for that matter. However, I canít help but think they might have sold themselves short when they launched their Torpedo Extra IPA earlier in 2009.
This is a beer that has been so well-received itís extremely difficult to find in most beer stores. Even my beer store, which boasts over 1,100 beers from around the globe, is not able to acquire more than two cases per week. After finally getting my hands on some I can see why. This is a beer that could seriously contend for the title of the best American India Pale Ale.
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
This beer pours to a clear shade of copper, like a newly-minted penny. There is some carbonation noticeable but the bubbles rise very slowly. I didnít notice any sediment, although other beer drinkers have reportedly encountered some. The head is a perfectly-proportioned, off-white, thick foamy layer which lasts throughout the course of the drink and leaves generous lacing on the glass from top to bottom.
The aroma is a very enticing scent of pine and citrus. I notice some orange, specifically, but otherwise I detect a general sweetness to the nose.
When I think of a perfect IPA, a palate such as Torpedo Extra IPA is exactly what I have in mind. Itís a great hybrid of East and West Coast styles. I find Western IPAs tend to have a resin-like, very piney component to their flavor and are more sweet and dry, whereas beers of the Eastern variety are more citrus-flavored, tart and crisp. Somehow this beer manages to contain elements of both (although Iíd say it leans a little towards the west).
There is a strong hop presence to be tasted here with a very bitter back end. In fact, the finish might be just a bit too dry for some, but I enjoyed it. The initial taste is sweet with notes of resin Ė giving the beer a sticky palate (literally). It doesnít quite crackle like a more tart beer would, but the sweetness itself is extremely satisfying and very inviting. Itís actually rather tangy, maybe even a little watery, but itís ultimately pleasing to the palate and thatís what matters most, right?
The problem with promoting a beer as being very bitter is it can turn off the novice beer drinker. Thatís a shame because very bitter beers are actually some of the easiest to drink and Iíd say thatís certainly true of Torpedo. The mouthfeel is only a little thicker than your average brew, but itís soft and gentle on the palate and finishes mostly clean. The aftertaste, although mild, is indeed bitter, but itís also hoppy like the palate itself and I have no problem with that.
I inititally thought this beer was an imperial style, but at 7.2% ABV, Sierra Nevadaís ďExtra IPAĒ lives up to its name perfectly. Itís a little bit heavier than average, but not quite as obese as the really big boys. The alcohol is masked extremely well in both the flavor and the weight as the beer does not overwhelm or fill you up easily. Itís rare a beer of this high ABV could work so well as a session drink.
They say good things come to those who wait, and on that note Iíd say Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA definitely did not disappoint. Itís everything I look for in a great IPA and it has a lot of unique qualities to it as well. If this could become as popular as Sierra Nevadaís flagship Pale Ale there could be a new wave of hop appreciation sweeping the country!
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
BrooHa (120) - New York, USA - APR 18, 2010
3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Pours a cloudy, orange-ish copper. Off white head. Smells "dry". Toffee pervades with resin hop smell. Sharp and a bit bitter in the mouth (in a good way). Residual, smackable sweetness. Mostly sharp hop notes with malt to balance, though the two donít come forward simultaneously. Itís hoppy and biting first with malt sweetness following. Pretty good but underwhelming. Would reach for different IPAs.
Zeswaft (1466) - Charleston, South Carolina, USA - APR 17, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Donít call it a comeback...I havenít rated anything in over 2 years. Nothing momentous about this rating but itís somewhere to start and I have time. Sierra Nevada has really stepped up in the last couple years with new releases. I thought at some point this was supposed to be Celebration Ale but released during the summer. At least back in the day when it was draft only, but I see few similarities. Regardless, it rocks. Bitter as shit and packs a punch. All around tasty and cheap. Usually I can find a sixer for $7 or $8.
coyforce (676) - California, USA - APR 17, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Strong hops taste. Bitter and strong. Aroma is also hops. Pours a nice medium golden yellow with a small white head.
jonas (6103) - Garching b. MŁnchen, GERMANY - APR 16, 2010
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle. Amber, plentifull bubbles, golden cream. Sweet pine aroma. Dry resinny start, honey, caramel, grass. Dry chewy body, sparkly on the tongue.
Deceptively easy to drink, moreish.
HopBurp (74) - Michigan, USA - APR 15, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very resinous nose with a small head with good lacing throughout. Flavor has an extreme bitter hop bite--reminds me of yellow grapefruit. Not much sweetness, but a good balance if youíre looking for the pronounced hop finish. Leaves you with a puckered bitterness on the palate. Hop heads shall enjoy this one.