Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve

We picked up the newest Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewers Reserve- an Oak Aged Ale. It's a blend of their Oak-aged Bigfoot Barleywine, their Celebration Ale, and the flagship Pale Ale. Then they dryhop the hell out of it!

Clocking in at 9.2% ABV, I got a heavily hopped initial taste of the barleywine - a whopper of a boozy taste up front, but smooth rather than raw or hot.

Strong hop aroma, courtesy of the dry hopping, and there is a pronounced spicy hop flavor, which battles the barleywine bully. As it warms, the woody vanilla flavors courtesy of the oak aging of the Bigfoot becomes more pronounced. I didn't get the citrus or floral hop notes that other reviewers describe, but once I was able to differentiate the hop spiciness and the boozy oak-y spiciness, I was able to match the hop aroma in the nose with the intense hoppiness of the taste.

An interesting beer- it's hoppy as hell but somehow that was camouflaged by the woodsy tones and barleywine booziness so it didn't drink like a hoppy beer. Even though it was bitter. And spicy. And the sweetness from the malt.

It poured a ruby-amber color with significant foamy head and sticky lacing stayed on the glass taunting me with the amount of beer I used to have, but no longer. Is in mah belly!

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