Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA: Brewed in Chico, CA, this beer was the subject of a short but relatively public dispute over the black IPA lettering used on the bottle which was just, barely, sorta similar to the Lagunitas IPA font they use on their white labeled IPA bottle. It is brewed to a strength of 6.2% abv with 60 IBUs of hops, including some distilled hop oil which is the main selling point of this beer. There’s a video below that explains the process they use to get the oil if you are interested in learning more about it, but basically the intention is to give the beer a fresh hop like flavour by using the extracted oils from fresh hops.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a clear golden colour with two fingers of foam and an average carbonation level. The aroma is nectarine skin, passion fruit, tangerine and orange citrus with caramel malts and floral hops.
Flavour: Immediately I noticed the huge fruity hop oils featuring tangerine and orange peel up front while it merged into some caramel malts, cereal grains and nectarines in the middle. For the finish, Hop Hunter highlighted some serious pine resin bitterness and a floral, herbal bitterness that was very intense as it went down my throat.
Overall Impression: I thought they did a pretty good job mimicking a fresh hopped beer, not quite the same as fresh cones but very close nonetheless.
Rating: I gave it an excellent rating of 8/10, happy to buy more 6 packs of this one.
Food Pairing: There’s a lot of fruit in this IPA, so I’d pair it up with some jerk chicken and mango salsa to compliment the fruitiness in the beer while contrasting the spices in the food.
Here’s a video that quickly describes the hop distilling process they use to get the hop oil which is quite interesting to say the least.