November 22, 2014

Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

Brewed By: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California 
Purchased: 12oz bottle from the 2014 Snowpack purchased at Binny's in Chicago, IL; 2014
Style/ABV: Coffee Stout,
 6.2%
Reported IBUs: 53

DAE Cerro Nevarros? I do. For $14.99 the 2014 Snowpack was too cheap to pass up. This year's Snowpack features their Porter, Pale Ale, Boomerang IPA, and Coffee Stout. About Sierra Nevada:
Sierra Nevada are one of the big players in craft brewing, and one of the first craft breweries to arrive on the craft beer scene. If you check out their history page, you will see that founder Ken Grossman began his quest to build a brewery in 1976. In 1980, Ken Grossman and co-founder Paul Camusi brewed their first batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. According to Wikipedia, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is the second best selling craft beer behind Boston Lager. Sierra Nevada is the sixth largest brewing company in the United States as well, cranking out over 750,000 barrels in 2010. For more info, check out their website.
Coffee Stouts are maybe my favorite thing ever, so I have some pretty high expectations with this one. The Coffee Stout punches in at 6.2% with 53 IBUs, and is brewed with Nugget hops; Two-row Pale, Caramel, Chocolate, Wheat, and Brown malts; and cold brewed coffee and lactose. 
Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

This pours into a near-black body, kicking up a finger of dark brown head. Bright light betrays some of those brown tones around the edges, but this is basically opaque through and through. Head retention is good, with solid lacing. 

The aroma here: coffee, hazelnut, mocha, coffee + creamer, a little espresso, and lots of filter coffee and coffee that has been leftover in the filter. There is also a substantial amount of lactose on the nose, with hints of creamer, vanilla, and milk.

This pretty much follows the nose to the tee...leading off with lots of sweet coffee, filtered coffee, espresso, ground coffee, and some hazelnut sweetness. Along with the coffee onslaught is a lot of hints of mocha, creamer, lactose, and sweet notes. The sweet notes include some sugars and hints of dark fruits...beneath the coffee is some hints of roast complexity, but this is mostly a sweet coffee ride.

This is pretty straightforward, but gets credit for being medium-full at just 6.2%. The palate depth here is really good, but this isn't the most complex beer in the world. This pretty much rides sweet coffee up front, with tons of coffee, espresso, and hazelnut; the mids roll into some creamer, lactose sugars, mocha, and earth/tobacco; the back end trails with lots of coffee sweetness, and has a bit of roast. The theme here is sweet and coffee. A part of me wonders if this beer would be elevated if it had a little more roast or dark malt complexity to balance out some of the sugars.


Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Light 
Above-Average here. This is a really solid coffee stout, especially at the ABV, but I do think it could be a bit more complex. Still, this is a great addition to the winter pack, and also a tasty beer. I would pair this with some dessert....maybe some dry chocolate cake. Yum.

Random Thought: The 2014 Snowpack doesn't have any mind-blowing beers, but it does feature four very good beers. I'd say it is worth the $14.99. 

Sierra Nevada Boomerang IPA

Brewed By: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California 
Purchased: 12oz bottle from the 2014 Snowpack purchased at Binny's in Chicago, IL; 2014
Style/ABV: American IPA
, 6.7%
Reported IBUs: 60

DAE Cerro Nevarros? I do. For $14.99 the 2014 Snowpack was too cheap to pass up. This year's Snowpack features their Porter, Pale Ale, Boomerang IPA, and Coffee Stout. About Sierra Nevada:
Sierra Nevada are one of the big players in craft brewing, and one of the first craft breweries to arrive on the craft beer scene. If you check out their history page, you will see that founder Ken Grossman began his quest to build a brewery in 1976. In 1980, Ken Grossman and co-founder Paul Camusi brewed their first batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. According to Wikipedia, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is the second best selling craft beer behind Boston Lager. Sierra Nevada is the sixth largest brewing company in the United States as well, cranking out over 750,000 barrels in 2010. For more info, check out their website.
The Boomerang IPA is brewed with Galaxy, Vic Secret, and Ella hops. This one features a malt base of Two-row Pale, and Wheat. This veers into the land of golden IPAs, with golden tones for days. The beer is well carbonated, and kicks up a finger of fluffy, creamy, whipped head. 
Sierra Nevada Boomerang IPA

The aroma here is really nice, with lemon, pineapple, white pepper, and big spicy and resinous hops. As you dig into the aroma, you can pull out some citrus: grapefruit, tangerine, and orange. There are also some grassy notes, and the malt backbone reminds me of a Pilsner for some reason.

This is clean and refreshing but kind of par the course...you get some nice hops. Actually, this is pretty vibrant, with clean lemony hops, white pepper, and lots of tangerine. This has a good amount of spice, and the malt backbone drifts towards that American Pilsner thing...which is weird. It's like crackery.

This is medium-light bodied, with great carbonation, great palate depth, and not a ton of complexity. This is pretty straightforward, with tight execution. A refreshing winter beer for sure...and much cleaner and brighter than the Celebration Ale and Torpedo. This leads with lots of lemon and white pepper up front; and gives way to some resinous citrus and lemon; the back end lingers with white pepper and a fair amount of cracker malts. Not bad, not great, good. 

Rating: Average (3.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Strong 
Average on this. This is definitely par the course for the style, but it's very well executed with clean lemony lines and lots of nice white pepper. You could pair this with burgers and wings and be in good company.


Random Thought: Beeer...mmm

Sierra Nevada Porter

Brewed By: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California 
Purchased: 12oz bottle from the 2014 Snowpack purchased at Binny's in Chicago, IL; 2014 (bottled on 10/03/2014)
Style/ABV: American Porter
, 5.6%
Reported IBUs: 32

DAE Cerro Nevarros? I do. For $14.99 the 2014 Snowpack was too cheap to pass up. This year's Snowpack features their Porter, Pale Ale, Boomerang IPA, and Coffee Stout. About Sierra Nevada:
Sierra Nevada are one of the big players in craft brewing, and one of the first craft breweries to arrive on the craft beer scene. If you check out their history page, you will see that founder Ken Grossman began his quest to build a brewery in 1976. In 1980, Ken Grossman and co-founder Paul Camusi brewed their first batch of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. According to Wikipedia, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is the second best selling craft beer behind Boston Lager. Sierra Nevada is the sixth largest brewing company in the United States as well, cranking out over 750,000 barrels in 2010. For more info, check out their website.
The Sierra Nevada Porter has been around for a while. This beer is brewed with Aurora and Yakima Golding hops, and a malt base of Two-row Pale, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel, Black & Carafa. This one is available year-round, and is a classic example of the style.
Sierra Nevada Porter

As you'd expect, this pours into a ruby-red/brown body, kicking up a finger of caramel tinged head. Brown Ale or Porter, take a guess. There's good lacing...carbonation...blah blah.

The aroma here is actually really good. There's a lot of deep toasty notes, nuttiness, and lots of lightly roasted coffee. I'm getting a lot of hazelnut, light wood, light earth/tobacco, and some really nice dark grains. The aroma is not muddled, and stands out boldly.

The taste is a good extension of the nose: there are rich dark grains present, with lots of coffee, hazelnut, toasted notes, a good amount of woody/earthy/tobacco/chocolate notes, and some grassy hops. 

This is a very straightforward and classic example of a Porter, but the execution here is top-notch stuff. Like many of Sierra Nevada's beer, this one could serve as a standby or a regular fridge stuffer. This is medium bodied, with spot-on carbonation, good palate depth, and good complexity. The carbonation is what you'd expect from a Porter, Brown Ale, Dry Stout, or regular American Stout. It's really a fantastic beer, with lots of coffee and hazelnut up front; some chocolate and earthy tobacco in the mids; and more coffee and some hops in the back. I could drink this shit all day long, and at 5.6% you should.

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'm feeling a Strong 
Above-Average here. What a fantastic beer....I really like Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale, Stout, Porter, and Hefe. You have to hand it to Sierra Nevada, they know how to roll out these classic styles. The sweeter coffee notes in this porter beg to be paired with some pork. I'm thinking dried ribs or a pork roast. You could also pair this with some beef ribs or beef brisket. Yum.

Random Thought: I <3 Winter Beers.