Beer Review: Sierra Nevada/Russian River’s Yvan The Great Belgian Style Blonde

yvanthegreat

 

The collaboration with one of craft beers most notorious breweries, Russian River, is up next. They chose to collaborate with Sierra Nevada on a Belgian Style Blonde, or more a Belgian Pale Ale really. This is another one I was a bit disappointed by the style choice, why not an American Wild or a even a Belgian Golden? Either way I was certainly glad to see Russian River was included in the Beer Camp festivities as they are certainly one of Americas greatest craft breweries and certainly always trying to push the envelope. Yvan The Great comes in at 6.3% ABV and 50 IBUs.

Appearance: Bright golden yellow, very hazy with a small 1/2 finger head as expected from the style. Not much lacing to report.

Nose: Lots of Belgian yeast up front, fruity esters, apple, clove, green apple. Some resin hop notes present as well as citrus and fruit juice. Mostly dominated by the Belgian yeast strain used.

Taste/Mouth: Fruity Belgian yeast flavors up front carrying over from the nose. Barnyard and apple flavors very present as well. Hops add some bitterness to the mouth and some citrusy and earthy notes to the flavor. Has a medium body and moderate carbonation. Finishes a little bitter and spicy.

Price/Availability: As with all of the Beer Camp Collabs this is a one time only deal. Price of 12 pack was around $28.

Overall: Wish these two breweries went with a different style still. This obviously a well crafted beer but it was nothing special for me and doesn’t feel like a huge collab between two of the best American breweries. As with many of the beers in the pack it was good just not anything mindblowing.

Grade: B

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada/Three Floyd’s Chico King Pale Ale

chicokingpale

 

The beer in the entire Beer Camp pack I was looking forward to the most was quite possibly this one, the collaboration between Three Floyds and Sierra. And what did these two amazing breweries decide to brew? A pale ale of course. Thank god, finally someone decided to brew the style they are most known for. Three Floyds has arguably the best APA in the world right now in Zombie Dust and Sierra has the most classic and iconic APA in their Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is a match made in heaven and of all the beers in the pack this one sounded like it was gonna be the best. Chico King comes in at 6.5% ABV and 45 IBUs.

Appearance: Deep gold, light amber color darker than I was expecting it to be. 2 finger white head and pretty hazy beer.

Nose: Smells like Sierra Pale Ale, gotta be the Sierra yeast which seems to make most APA’s smell like the Sierra Pale Ale. You get some citrus, floral and resin as well as a good amount of maltiness in the nose. Not a very bright or exciting nose, granted I know it’s not super fresh because of all the work it took to actually put this pack together. Pretty damn disappointed already at this point.

Taste/Mouth: Some citrusy hops especially some lemon, orange and grapefruit notes. More so than that though this beer is malty, way too malty. Finish is more malt and slightly dry and bitter. Not very complex or exciting at all, actually pretty dull and boring. This is where I am now super disappointed and thoroughly not enjoying this beer at all.

Price/Availability: As with all of the Beer Camp Collabs this is a one time only deal. Price of 12 pack was around $28.

Overall: Super underwhelming and disappointing. This beer had so much promise (they used citra, el dorado, mosaic and calypso hops!) and unless you like malty below average APA’s you will probably be upset. Like I said before I would’ve liked to have it on the fresher side but I got it as early as I could it didn’t make it’s way to the east coast for quite some time. Either way I expected so much more from this collab and what I thought would be one of the best if not the best in the pack is actually one of the worst if not the worst.

Grade: C-

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada/Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Tater Ridge Scottish Ale

taterridge

 

Moving forward with my reviews of the Beer Camp Across America 12 pack I have the collaboration between the Asheville Brewers Alliance and Sierra, Tater Ridge, a Scottish Ale brewed with sweet potatoes. Speaking honestly this was one of the beers in the pack I was least excited about for a few reasons. First I don’t know much about the Asheville Brewers Alliance in comparison to a lot of the other collaborators. Second, while I do enjoy Scottish Ales they were not the type of beer I really wanted to see in this pack. Finally third I really don’t like gimmicky beers (ie. most of Dogfish Head’s beers with random stuff thrown in them) so seeing this had sweet potatoes randomly tossed into it made me a little weary. Well let’s get into it shall we. Tater Ridge comes in at &% ABV and 35 IBUs.

Appearance: Very dark red/purple or light brown perhaps depending on how the light hits it. Small 1/2 finger head but some pretty decent lacing. NIce clarity on this beer as well, suppose they had to filer or there could be chunks of sweet potatoes floating around.

Nose: Roasted malt, coffee, toffee and some nice earthy notes as well. Not a terribly big nose on this beer though, was trying to pick out some sweet potato in their but couldn’t really get any.

Taste/Mouth: Really clean mouth on this one, low to medium carbonation. Some coffee and toffee flavors carrying over nicely from the nose. I think what the sweet potatoes lend to this beer mostly come in the form of body. I think they really help to give this beer a really nice full, thick mouthfeel and body. It is a nice malty beer and certainly very easy to drink.

Price/Availability: As with all of the Beer Camp Collabs this is a one time only deal. Price of 12 pack was around $28.

Overall: I will say this beer definitely exceeded my expectations I had for it, while I am still bummed it wasn’t replaced by a more innovative style I can’t say I didn’t enjoy drinking it. Not sure how much the sweet potatoes really add past giving it a little more body. This is definitely a beer in the pack that will not receive very much attention but it was a well brewed, extremely drinkable Scottish Ale. Somewhere in the middle of the group as far as ranking in the pack.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada/Victory’s Alt Route Altbier

altroutealtbier

 

Next up is the collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Victory, Alt Route, their take on the German style Altbier featuring a hybrid ale/lager yeast. This is the closest brewery in the pack to my hometown in NJ (Victory is about a 2 hour car ride from my house). Although when the styles of the collabs were announced I was hoping for maybe a Double IPA (since Victory has been killing the IIPA game lately, ie. Dirt Wolf) the Altbier wasn’t the biggest letdown as far as styles some breweries chose. I knew the style left them quite a bit of room to make an interesting beer. Alt Route comes in at 6.6% ABV and 50 IBUs. 

Appearance: Pours a really nice plum, deep ruby color with a 1 finger head. The beer produced some really nice lacing as well. This beer just like the Yonder Bock had such a nice color, a nice change of pace from all the golden and copper colored beers. 

Nose: Nice malty lager nose on this beer, some caramel, grassy and toffee scents coming out. Get some earthy and floral hop aromas as well. Nose is not spectacular but you wouldn’t expect that from the style, it is certainly suitable for the style.

Taste/Mouth: Medium carbonation gives it a nice bite. Dark fruit, caramel, roasty malt are all very present in the flavor. Very drinkable beer, could easily session a few of these and not get bored. Slightly dry finish and bit woody and earthy as well. Extremely well done beer.

Availability/Price: As with all of the Beer Camp Collabs this is a one time only deal. Price of 12 pack was around $28.

Overall: Very enjoyable and really drinkable but at the same time nothing spectacular or extremely groundbreaking here but I would definitely drink it again if I saw it. Still wish they made a super dank Double IPA.

Grade: B+

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada/Cigar City’s Yonder Bock Tropical Maibock

yonderbock

 

Finally gonna start rolling out my reviews of the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America collaboration 12 pack! Yes, I will be reviewing all 12 beers in the pack and will do my best to get them up as quick as I can (I am almost done drinking and taking notes on them all). Gonna start things off with the collab between Sierra and Florida’s Cigar City, which was definitely one of the beers in the pack I was most excited for. It is a summer time twist on the German style lager adding in of course some of Cigar City’s favorite hops including those Experimental hops they are always eager to try out. Yonder Bock comes in at 7.7% ABV and 45 IBUs.

Appearance: Deep amber, ruby red color with a nice 1 thick 1 finger head. Real nice lacing on this one and nice clarity in the beer. Really an awesome color I definitely found myself looking at this beer quite a bit as I drank it down.

Nose: Get that nice lager yeast smell up front with some tropical fruit aromas definitely can get some mango and passionfruit like the notes on this beer suggest. Can definitely pick out the nice maltiness of this beer in the nose as well some caramel and bready malt notes. 

Taste/Mouth: Very malt forward with good caramel flavors but with a good bite from the bitterness of the hops adding to the flavor and body of this beer. Medium carbonation helps lend to this beers really nice full mouthfeel. It finishes really clean. Really incredibly drinkable beer and refreshing. Unique take on the style, the tropical hop notes definitely play well with the maltiness of the beer.

Availability/Price: As with all of the Beer Camp Collabs this is a one time only deal. Price of 12 pack was around $28.

Overall: This lived up to my expectations, really unique and well executed collaboration from these two breweries. One of the first times I have really loved a beer featuring the Calypso hop. Would love to have this again if possible in the future if not I am certainly glad I got to have it and glad it is the beer I chose to kick off the 12 pack with. Without a doubt one of the best in the pack.

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Green Flash’s Citra Session IPA

greenflashcitrasession

Follow up my Flying Dog Single Hop Citra Imperial IPA up with another Single Hop Citra beer this time the Citra Session IPA from Green Flash. From their Hop Odyssey I was very excited to see this on shelves in NJ this past week. Also knowing it was fresh is also a huge plus since you never really know with Green Flash beers, they tend to sit on shelves quite a bit unfortunately. Citra Session comes in at 4.5% ABV and 45 IBUs.

Appearance: Golden yellow with no haze, perfect clarity. Good 1-2 finger head and incredible lacing. I like the updated Green Flash labels as well.

Nose: Tropical fruit and citrus fruits up front especially getting a lot of mandarin and grapefruit in this one. Some pine and resin; smells  nice and sweet. Big aroma with a 4.5% beer.

Taste/Mouth: Nice amount of bitterness and light-medium carbonation gives a nice bite on your tongue and makes it an easy drinker. Really very light and refreshing and very drinkable. Really nice citrus notes in the flavor from the exclusive citra hopping. Balanced out by some biscuit and grassy malt notes. Awesome approachable and drinkable beer so easy to kick back and enjoy.

Price/Availability: Rotating availability but this is the first time I have seen it bottled. $6 for a bomber is a pretty fair price especially considering Green Flash can sometimes be a little overpriced.

Overall: Great showcase of citra hops in this very drinkable Session IPA. I would definitely revisit this beer many times in the future. Will definitely grab it whenever I see it!

Grade: A-

Beer Review: Flying Dog Single Hop Citra Imperial IPA

singlehopcitraflyingdog

 

From Flying Dog’s series of Single Hop Imperial IPA’s I have the Citra variety. In the past I have and enjoyed the El Dorado variety of the Single Hop Series quite a bit so when I heard that the newest one would feature one of my absolute favorite hop varieties in Citra I was very excited to give it a try. In the past I have been not too impressed with a lot of Flying Dog’s hoppy beer selections but obviously was willing to give this a go due to the Citra and that I did enjoy the El Dorado one as well. Single Hop CItra Imperial IPA comes in at 10% ABV and 70 IBUs.

Appearance: Nice 1 finger head produces some really great sticky lacing down the entire glass. Very bright golden color which is just slightly hazy. As usual Flying Dog with some great bottle and packaging art.

Nose: Citrus fruit particularly grapefruit right up front with a good amount of pine and resin as well. Smells like sweet fruit juice with some orange citrus coming through as well. You get some of the alcohol in the nose as well with some stinky onion aromas (not a bad thing!).

Taste/Mouth: Very tropical fruit and citrus forward with some good bitterness throughout the beer. Somewhat dry finish with good malt sweetness balancing out the bitterness. Pretty warming from the alcohol but it is pleasant and adds to the complexity of the beer.

Availability/Price: You would expect a 10% beer to come in a 4 pack but this one is in a 6 pack so for $13 your getting a pretty damn good deal. Rotating availability but mostly available in July I believe.

Overall: Really like this one from Flying Dog a lot and I love the concept of the series. Gotta say most of Flying Dog’s other hoppy offerings are pretty terrible in my opinion (Raging Bitch, Snake Dog, etc) but they nailed this one. I will continue to try out all the Single Hop Imperial IPAs they release and hope to see them do this one again in the future!

Grade: A-