I've had precious little time this fall for anything but work, but things are starting to ease up. Amanda and I will be off to Dublin and London in less than two weeks for a much needed vacation and I'm really looking forward to that trip both culturally and zymologically. This will be our first trip together in nearly two years, and it just so happens to be our fifth wedding anniversary and the celebration of a full decade together.
My schedule, the way it is, and the planning for this trip have left me finding the moments in between to sample new beers. I've also been pretty well stocked for homebrew, so I haven't really seen the need to overstock the fridge with new finds.
So here I find myself with five dollars in my pocket, a well-rested palate and a hankering to give something new a try. And to top that all off, I'm mustering the will to review it, with words, on my blog!
Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest 2012 - Wet Hop Ale
24 Ounce Bottle into Tulip Pint
The beer pours with a deep auburn body with enough fluffy off-white foam to nearly overtake the rim of the glass. A quick sip takes care that none of the sticky head pours out onto the countertop and allows a cursory evaluation of the flavor and aroma. Excellent lacing with a steady cap of foam rising from the lazer-etched hop cone emblazoned at the bottom of the glass, an appropriate emblem to say the least.
The aroma is pine-like with a deep earthiness, almost pitch-like. Citrus fruit rind, grapefruit with just a hint of spruce. The malt is also present with a mild caramel malt sweetness, that helps to balance the aroma without detracting from the main event.
The layering of flavors is extraordinary, starting with grapefruit pith, fresh grass and evergreen with that same earthiness in the finish and finally a lingering resinous sap-like quality. Again, in the flavor, the malt doesn't exactly take a backseat, present in just a hint of grain and balancing sweetness, yet it never overpowers, it carries the hops along in a wash of bitterness that lasts from beginning to end.
Just the hop kick I needed.
It's been some time since I formally reviewed a beer like this...it feels good. I'll have to remind myself to do it more often.