Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPAFebruary 20th, 2009 beckel
Today I have the newest year round ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing, Torpedo an India Pale Ale that due to distribution issues just hit Minneapolis shelves the other day. I am very curious to sample this ale as Sierra Nevada produces a number of hoppy beers but only now has a proper year round IPA and apparently it’s “Extra” so we will have to see how that plays in. I have high hopes and am also excited to sample this years BigFoot Barleywine that is in my fridge, but that will be a post for another day. Pouring this beer it is easy to get a three finger plus off white head so it may be wise to not initially pour directly down the glass. Head remains for many minutes and seems to hide the aroma a bit. This brew appears very amber in color with some copper hues as well and is very translucent. Smells of the two-row Pale Malt that Sierra Nevada tends to use as well as some nice but not particularly dominate citrus and floral hints. Flavor is decent, tastes similar to their Pale Ale with the Pale Malt but then adds an extra dimension with some nice bitterness presumably from the Magnum hops. Initial sips provide sweet maltyness that transitions into some grapefruit citrus and other floral hoppy flavors wrapping in some more malt contrast and then finishing nice and bitter. Medium body though light for an IPA and rather drinkable with a smooth mouthfeel. The label suggests this brew is a celebration of the character of whole-cone American hops and the wonderful complexities and balancing opportunities they provide and I must say I agree with their sentiment and they have done a rather good job. Though this ale contains many nice hop flavors it has more pale malt flavors than I prefer in an IPA and probably won’t be something I pick up regularly. A good choice for someone who is a fan of Sierra Nevada but would like something with more hop complexity and bitterness. Though not an Imperial India Pale Ale, the 7.2% will do well enough to keep you on your toes. I will certainly enjoy the rest of my six pack and could see an ale like this being particularly refreshing on a hot summer day because of its lighter malt profile. If you like hops but don’t want something too intense this might just hit the spot, though it isn’t necessarily the beer for the hop wary. Give it a shot and ride your bike.