It’s been a while since I’ve done a straight up beer review but yesterday I had a beer that affected me in many ways. Sierra Nevada in this part of the world (Idaho) is like the west’s version of Samuel Adams. Good, solid beers, reasonably priced and a good reserve series. I had seen the Torpedo in the case for about two years now, and finally thought I would pick one up.
First off this is one heck of a value for a big IPA. It comes in a 24 ounce bomber, yes that is two additional ounces, and it cost me less than $3.00 in one of our local grocery stores. So when I saw it for that price I went ahead and get one for the bunker. It didn’t stay long in the bunker either, but perhaps it would have been better if I had waited for a day that wasn’t Mother’s Day…
This is an “Extra” IPA and it looks the part. A deep terra cotta orange color with a frothy off white head that left a whole lot of lacing on the glass. The questions began when I smelled the beer. It didn’t have any nose at all really. I got malt, but I didn’t get any of the wonderful hoppy goodness I had expected. I wondered if it was old, and it was not. It was bottled this year and stored cold. So it should have been fresh enough to give good hoppy presence if it was there to begin with. But as far as the nose was considered it didn’t deliver.
This immediately made me wonder what I was going to get when I began to drink. Let me just put it this way, I got something, but what I got wasn’t what I expected. The flavor was malt forward with a medium to light mouthfeel, almost watery with a much smaller hop presence than I hoped. Let’s face it, if you buy an IPA you aren’t thinking “Mmmm…This is going to be a great malt bomb!” And it wasn’t entirely, but it was very light on hoppiness. When I buy an IPA I’m expecting a very hop forward fruity or floral beer with great hop flavor. What this delivered was a good brew, but I’m not sure why it is an “Extra” IPA, it wasn’t apparent in the flavor.
What I DID get was knocked on my butt for most of the evening. I didn’t realize this when I opened it, but this is a 7.2% ABV Brew! Based on its flavor I would have put it in the 5% range, but it was definitely a 7.2% brew, because I was thrashed for the rest of the day. When I drink a really big brew I get sleepy and drag a little bit. Well, when you have to prepare dinner and be engaging for the evening that is a tall order after drinking this brew. This is an after the kids are in bed mancave beer to be sure.
In the final analysis this was a good beer, but not a great one. It is not one I would go to for an inexpensive fridge filler, because I didn’t love the flavor. But for a Big beer at a low price this is a good option if you don’t like big hops.