I was in the store the other day, and saw a sixer of Sierra Nevada IPA, a beer listed on the brewery's webpage as a "specialty draft." Apparently a seasonal, but I know nothing more about it. However, it was mighty tasty, so here's a quickie review (more on the style here, if you wish a backgrounder).
Sierra Nevada has gone for an English IPA, distinct from the Northwest version by virtue of hops. You notice it first in the nose (the appearance, golden orange, looks like Inversion)--nothing citrusy about this beer. It has an aroma I finally settled on as cedar, reminiscent of strongly-hopped London ales I've had.
The flavor is also woody, with an intense, resinous hopping. I am particularly (pleasantly) sensitive to Goldings, and these really pop. The beer is sharply effervescent and has a hard-water crispness. The aftertaste leaves your mouth coated and lips smacking. It reminded me quite a bit of Fuller's ESB, though I don't know if they would taste alike side by side.
Given that there are a million IPAs on the West Coast, it's a nice change-up to find an English style. I really enjoyed this one.
Malts: "English malts"
Hops: Boil - Magnum; finishing and dry-hop - Golding
Alcohol by volume: 6.9%
Original Gravity: N/A
Bitterness Units: N/A
PHOTO: SF Fred