Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Taste

2008 Sierra Nevada 12th Release Harvest Wet Hop Ale

Source: Montgomery County, Maryland Liquor and Wine Control Authority

Brewer: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Marketing BS: "Our Harvest Ale was the first American beer ever brewed with 100% fresh picked, wet hops. In just one day, we harvest hops in Yakima, WA, ship them that night to our brewery in Chico, CA and then rush them into the brew kettle as they are unloaded at dawn the next day. This extraordinary effort creates a beer with unmatched aromatics of pine and citrus with layers of spicy-sweet notes that hop fanatics like us dream of all year. Enjoy!"

Translation of Marketing BS: This is one wet motherfucker of a beer and you'll be wet in the pants just thinking about it.

Setting: In front of TV watching playoff football alone three days after Christmas and after too many days with parents and sisters and dealing with all their unchanging idiosyncrasies, annoyances, and stupidity.

Bottle: A big, brown, heavy 24 ounce bastard.

Label: Plays on the usual Sierra Nevada treasure map look and feel: brown and gold. Picture of Cascade mountains and a field of hop plants under minuscule marketing BS type.

The Cap: A barely perceptible "Pssst" upon release.

Alcohol Content: 6.7%. Remember, it's 24 ounces. An important consideration if attempting to recover from an overdose of holiday familiatyphus.

Method of Imbibation: Pint glass

First Swig: A great wash of bitterness and wonder. Sweetness follows. Mission accomplished, you genius bastards at Sierra Nevada. Steps on the tongue like a dozen Italian farm girls stomping on grapes. Lots of grapefruit (white, not ruby red). Strangely, a slight taste of Port Salut cheese. Not picking up any pine trees, though. Perhaps a hint of pressure treated 2x4.

Competition: No clue.

Recommendation: Drink lots of this while it is available. If you buy a bunch, you might get a cool, wooden little crate, which you can use to store crap under your tool bench.