Sierra Nevada Experimental Hop Session IPA

Third of Four would be this beer's Borg name. The first experimental beer was a very good effort. The second beer should probably have stayed in Nevada (or California or North Carolina or wherever it was made). This, then, is the penultimate experimental beer, and it has a hole to dig itself out of.

The light straw colored beer with a fluffy head strikes me as a wheat beer on looks, and the aroma has lots of lemons in it to back up that first look, but the bread in the malt isn't grainy enough, so "session" it is. I guess they know what they're doing when it comes to naming these things. I try not to judge these beers based on amount of alcohol, but 4.6% ABV is pretty tame. I was nearly affronted by the paltry 6.7% of the first 'experimental' beer I had.

First sip is enough to make me think this is a wheat beer. It has heavy grains up front in the form of a whole wheat Ritz cracker with a dose of herbs, oranges, and lemons. It's not the best beer for sipping, I can tell that from the first, but that doesn't rule it out as a good drinking beer, does it?

Tip-in is watery lemons and cracker malt with light grains and a sweetness on the back of the tongue that was unaccounted for in the sip. The middle spreads its herb-and-spice wings to allow the bread and the various citrus flavors to touch lightly on the tongue with each pull. The finish is an abrupt end to the silliness and a hammer of bitter, tart, and wayward loneliness.

Bottom Line: Unrefined and unrestrained, this also requires more experimentation.



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