This is one of the beers that I got the other day while buying up the "Battle of the Pils" beers, dicussed in the last post.
It came in a 22 oz. bottle, like a little Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (SNPA) bottle, but in a big size, and with a pop cap, not a screw top. I had checked it out after buying it but before tasting it, on BeerAdvocate and it has perhaps the ONLY 100% approval rating I've ever seen on there. Needless to say, my expectations were high.
This has an outrageous hop aroma. Monstrously grapefruit and piney. Classic American Hops. In great abundance. The flavor pretty much matches it. The hops are so strong here, that they practically taste like thier cousin, Cannabis, in this concoction. I don't know how close Chico is to Humboldt, but I wouldn't even be surprised if the crops were cross contaminated. This is just SO HOPPY! The malt is detectable beneath the hops, and I wouldn't say it's balanced, but I also wouldn't say it's one-dimensional. I think it is a great celebration of the hop harvest.
It is funny in a way, because I see several times a week all sorts of small brewers looking for a hundred pounds of hops here and there, and these guys as Sierra Nevada bravely dump 8000 pounds of hops into one batch of sweet nectar. I guess they aren't living hop harvest to hop harvest. I'd like to see their hops storage facitlity, it must be awesome!
What's also great about this single-time limited-edition beer is that it was only four bucks for a bomber. A great deal for the special nature of this brew.
All that praise aside, I am still surprised this has the unanimous support of those in the BeerAdvocate community. I guess everyone who bought it is a hophead, because I think you'd have to be to love it. I am sort of a recovering hophead - I used to drink nothing but IPA, but now I appreciate almost every style (still working on a few, such as smoked beers or really sour beer). Fortunately, a bit of the old alpha acids is good for the system.