Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1079) - Albany, New York, USA - APR 8, 2014
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 1/31/14 and came as part of a mixpack for $15.99 ($1.33 per bottle or $0.11 per ounce).

Appearance: Golden sunshine hue over a slightly hazy body. Suspended yeast creates a lavalamp-like effect. Pours to an average sized, white, foamy which laces and retains fairly well.

Smell: Clean citrusy aroma of lemon along with minor spice or herbal notes.

Taste: The trend of turning every style into an IPA style has kind of annoyed me lately. However, I find there are a few gems to be found in these weird mutant styles and Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA might be one of the best of them. It really does have the best of both worlds: a fruity, spicy character from the witbier base brew, but a pleasant hop flavor and bitterness from the hops.

Belgian Whites tend to be brewed with orange peel and coriander, but this one opts for lemon peel instead. That lemony flavor is immediately recognizable – giving the beer is slight sweet and tart taste. It’s followed by a light herbal character from the “experimental dwarf hops.” These complement the coriander perfectly – creating for a dry peppery spiciness, but still mild enough to not overshadow the fruity taste at the core. The Belgian yeast is noticeable on the finish, leaving a light candy-like flavor, though there is some residual dryness from the hops. This is probably better classified as a very hoppy witbier than a true “White IPA” (if such a style exists), but it’s really delectable and that’s what matters.

Drinkability: There are certain beers that just taste like a season, and Sierra Nevada Snow Wit White IPA is definitely summer in a bottle. The mouthfeel is medium, but consistently crisp – yet never spastic. The beer is refreshing while crossing the tongue, and the spicy/hoppy finish makes it a good palate cleanser. At 5.7% ABV it’s deceptively light as it feels like a true session beer since it doesn’t overwhelm and is amazingly easy to drink. 
Grade: 9/10

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