We returned from vacation on Friday and we’ve been recovering the last couple days. It’s given me a few hours to catch up on reviews, which inspired me to do one. Right before we left, I bought a “4-way IPA” case of Sierra Nevada beers. I thought I’d give one of them a try. On the bottle it says:
Hoppy, light-boddied IPAs have become a hallmark of the West Coast style of brewing, and our Golden IPA is as West Coast as a sunset over the Pacific. It’s heady with the signature pine and grapefruit aromas of whole-cone Cascade hops tied together in a bold but approachable IPA.
Location: Poured into a TEKU glass at my home in Bloomington, IL
Numbers: 5.9% ABV, 55 IBUs, 13.8° plato OG, 2.8° plato FG, ~150 Calories
Ingredients: Hops: Chinook, Cascade, Centennial; Malts: Two-row Pale, Munich, Caramel
Appearance & Aroma: It’s golden-yellow in color and a bit hazy. There was a big, bright white, pillowy head that fell slowly and left nice lacing as I sipped it. There’s also a good amount of carbonation in it to keep the fluffy head covering the top. The aroma is piney-resinous hops with some lightly floral-citrus hops behind it.
Taste & Feel: The body is medium and the mouthfeel is lightly crisp from the carbonation. The flavor up front is slightly hidden behind the carbonation, but a lightly citrusy hop sweetness is noticeable. The citrusy hoppiness becomes quite juicy in the middle with some bitterness, which continues to grow and peak in the finish. The finish is a big piney-resinous and citrusy hop flavor and bitterness, which lasts in the aftertaste for a minute or two.
Food Pairing: The big hop flavors and bitterness need something solid to stand up to it. Therefore, I’d pair this beer with a thick seafood pasta with a white sauce that would contrast nicely with the citrusy and piney flavors and like lemon, would help pull out some of the seafood flavors.
Overall Impression: Sierra Nevada makes solid beers, and they believe whole-cone hops are best for making their beers. This beer definitely highlights the hops, with a lot of hop flavor and bitterness – from citrusy to piney and resinous. It seemed to have a decent malt backbone, but it was definitely covered up, from start to finish, by the hops. Overall, it was a very solid IPA.