Wednesday, December 23, 2009

176a. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Another beer from Sierra Nevada—this is our third, following the Anniversary Ale 2009 and the Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2008. And since Elli is channeling her love for me through beer, she’s choosing to hit up some West Coast ales while I am away.

Torpedo is a hazy copper with a lacy ivory head. The nose is dominated by hops—herbal, resiny, and skunky (a good skunky)—with some biscuit malt in the background. The flavor profile is hoppy throughout, with grapefruit and piney flavors in the middle, and ending with resiny, tongue curling bitterness. The malt profile is substantial enough to balance the aggressive hop-load, but not distinctive or distracting. There is crystal (slight sweetness at the start) and perhaps some biscuit flavors, with a dry, clean finish. Torpedo has a medium body, a creamy mouthfeel, and some astringency at the finish. A well balanced beer overall, with the malt body existing to carry the hops without overwhelming them, although the sweetness does become more apparent as the beer warms. Tasty and enjoyable—we’ll be drinking this one again.

From the bottle: “A big American IPA, perfectly balanced yet full of flavor and aromas highlighting the complex citrus, pine, and herbal character of whole-cone American hops.”

From the Sierra Nevada website: “Torpedo celebrates the brewery’s dedication to 100% whole-cone hops all the way through the brewing process. The name itself comes from a device called the “hop torpedo” that was conceived, designed and developed at the brewery. The result is a revolutionary method of dry-hopping that harnesses the vital hop oils and resins that lead to an unusually flavorful and aromatic beer featuring the full, nuanced range of spicy complexity that hops have to offer. Designed with a mixture of hop varietals, each with their own unique character, Torpedo Extra IPA has layers of flavors ranging from citrus, herbs, black pepper and pine, with delicate hints of tropical fruit. Torpedo is an assertive American IPA deep reddish-gold in color, with a smooth and bready malt presence and over-the-top hop aromas. The beer has a solid bitterness and a massive hop flavor, yet remains easy drinking with a pleasant dry finish. Torpedo Extra IPA will be available for hop fans nationwide in 6-pack bottles starting late January 2009.”

ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 65
OG: 17.3° P
FG: 4.2° P
Malts: 2-row, Pale, & Crystal
Bittering Hops: Magnum
Finishing Hops: Magnum & Crystal
Dry Hops: Magnum, Crystal, & Citra


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