Monday, February 2, 2009

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Hello from the Pacific Northwest!
As a first time author on the Vagabond Appetite created by the esteemed Bryce Midas Richardson, I'd like to introduce myself as Justin: the Beer Adventurer! I have been neck deep in homebrew recipies, drowned myself in 2 year-old horse piss swill, encountered barleywines and IPA's of the Gods, and some how managed to come out with an understanding of almost all aspects of the greatest beverage known to humankind: BEER.

Todays beer is SIERRA NEVADAS "Torpedo Extra IPA"

I finished packing all my belongings on a fine Saturday afternoon to move to a new location and find that I forgot to pack one of my most beloved beer vessels, the Belgian chalice. What To DO? I ask myself. Fill it with SN's Torpedo Extra IPA is WHAT TO DO!!!!

Man, this is one of the BEST IPA's I have ever had. Balanced, full, spicy, fruity. And unlike most big IPA's, the Boys at The Sierra Brewery kept the bitterness at a minimum. Lovely. As to allow the tongue to soak up the flavors before the bittering hops take over.

First off, Lets clarify a few things. To those unfamiliar with beer verbage, heres a few basics:

-IPA: India Pale Ale. ( Created By the British, mass amounts of hops in the beer acted as a preservative to keep the beer fresh on the long voyages to the troops in India. )

-IBU: International Bittering Units. (most humans cannot taste IBU's exceeding 100)

-ABV: Alcohol By Volume

-Hops: the flower contributing to flavor, aroma, and bitterness.

Okay, onward!!!

Head Retention- Because I used the wrong vessel (see pic below), I cannot comment on the head retention. It didn't last long enough to create the merengue texture I hoped for. Next time.

Body/Taste- was a deep amber/copper tone that rested on the palette nicely. The taste is well balanced and solid, with a spicy hop bite up front that imparts a more moderate bitterness. This is evened out well by tangy tropical fruits and a mix of grainy and bready malts.

Aroma- Floral, spicy. Pineapple, mango, papaya?? I expected mostly grapefruit as is usually the case in big IPA's.

The reason is the choice in hops:

The Citra hop is a new breed of hop funded and developed by Sierra Nevada and a couple of undisclosed breweries.

Now for the fun part.
The name TORPEDO stems from an invention that Ken Grossman and the brewers came up with several years ago. The Hop Torpedo is a cylindrical stainless steel vessel that was developed to harness the essential oils and resins in hops, without extracting bitterness. The device essentially works like an espresso machine.

So theres two reasons to go out and get a 6 pack while they're available.
New Hop breed and the Torpedo method.

ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 70
Availability: 12oz 6-pk, Year round
Brewer: Sierra Nevada, Chico, CA (


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