Thursday, 2 February 2012

REVIEW #23: Torpedo Extra IPA (Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.)

Pours pure amber, with a head that soon dissipates to a sparse white blanket sitting atop the liquid. Pine, turps, cedar and resin on the nose. Think a muted version of Vicks VapoRub and your getting there. The taste incorporates the above notes, intensified and oily, and finishes dryly aromatic.

Probably like most people in the UK, I became acquainted with American Pale Ales by way of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale. The little lime-green bottle with a label depicting a tranquil scene of a river coursing its way through the Rocky Mountains. Its a familiar sight in the 'world beers' section of several British supermarkets. The label's bucolic scenery urges you into thinking that hidden within is a little slice of nature itself.

I bought Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on this account whilst cynically thinking to myself that decorative labels are usually better than the beers they adorn... I finished it a convert; amazed and thinking that the American hop varieties employed are about as close as a human can get to imbibing a pine tree! That is unless you go wild like Ray Mears and decide to make your own pine needle tea (or, I later found out, sample the Williams Bro's incredible Alba Scots Pine Ale, brewed with sprigs of spruce and pine in place of hops).

Anyway, Torpedo Extra IPA has a fuller mouthfeel than Pale Ale and ramps up the long lingering bitterness levels to additional heights. Fully recommended. Though if you are new to the style I suggest starting with their Pale Ale and work up to this one.
  • MALTS: 2-row pale, crystal
  • IBU: 65
  • ABV: 7.2%

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