Dec 28, 2015

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA

When Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter was first announced back in January of this year, the brewery promised that “…for the first time, drinkers can taste wet-hop character year-round.” The brewery was able to accomplish this by extracting oil from wet hops after they are steam distilled in the hop field. That sounds pretty damn complex, but does it actually work and provide that “wet hop” character throughout the year?

Well, yes and no. Fresh bottles of the beer have been outstanding and have produced a wonderfully, fresh hop flavor. This particular bottle of the Hop Hunter IPA was bottled in March 2015 (and just recently showed up on shelves when I purchased/reviewed it late October). Much like any IPA, the hop oil has also faded over that time, but not as dramatically as one that may have used fresh hops. The the beer was still pretty darn solid.


The beer pours a sort of dull straw in color with a rocky cap of off-white foam.

Sierra Nevada Hop Hunter IPA photo


Even at seven months in the bottle, the hop traits in the aroma are still strong. Citrus, tropical fruits, pine and herbal notes are all there.


Well, the brew is certainly not as fresh tasting as I’ve had it in the past, but it’s still quite good. Pine, leafy hops, herbal notes and a bit more malt is starting to show through. A good bitterness lingers for a while in the lightly drying and teasing finish.


I’ve had this beer several times before, but neglected to review it at that time. I saw this bottle on the shelves, saw the bottling date and figured I’d see how the hop oil has stood up over time. Surprisingly, it still maintained a good bit of flavor. It’s obviously not as bright and pungent as a new bottle, but Hop Hunter IPA still held its own pretty well after sitting in the bottle for that long.

Rating: Fresh 4/5, now 3.25/5

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