Nevada’s new “Hop Hunter IPA” claims to be brewed using a radical new
method of “steam distilled” hop oil. They’ve even got a video explaining
it on their website. I have a feeling it’s slightly hokey, but I can’t
argue with the fact they made a good beer anyway. This is more than just
a solid standard IPA; it’s got the hop character, bitterness and high
drinkability you want in a well-rounded brew of the style.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It was bottled on 2/6/15 and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Glowing shade of dark gold/pale orange. Cloudy as
particulates can be seen floating in suspension. Pours to a small,
white, soapy head which mostly evaporates, but still leaves good lacing.
Smell: Fairly aromatic bouquet of piney, grassy and spicy hops.
Taste: One swig into this beer and I was convinced that the distilled
hop oil technique had worked. Hops are definitely the first and last
thing you taste with this beer. It starts off with a strong sensation of
grassy and slightly spicy hops (a touch of garlic or onion). It’s
reminiscent of the “New England-style” IPAs that have been exploding in
popularity thanks to Heady Topper. Piney in the first half with a spice
rack sensation of the second. Not much in the way of overt or
distinctive malt flavor, though. Just a light sweetness through the
middle to give it some balance. This isn’t an especially bitter beer,
either, as it’s only 60 IBUs which makes it quite drinker-friendly. This
is what makes for a good, to-spec IPA.
Drinkability: While there is a lot of taste to this beer, I am a bit
surprised by how drinkable it is. The mouthfeel is rather thin and
surprisingly crisp; akin to a lager rather than an ale. Refreshing while
in the mouth with just a slightly dry aftertaste. At 6.2% ABV, Sierra
Nevada Hop Hunter IPA has the amount of flavor you expect from the
potency, but not the weight (which is a good thing).