Product description: At Beer Camp, no beer style is off limits, so we jumped at the idea of doing a Golden IPA using wheat malt for a light, dry body and bold American and experimental hops for intense citrus flavor. The perfect spring seasonal, we invite you to enjoy this year’s Beer Camp encore.
Sierra Nevada Brewing – Sierra Nevada 2017 Beer Camp Golden IPA – 12 oz. bottle poured into a specialty glass. 6.5% abv.
I’m a huge Sierra Nevada fan, so I was excited to see the recent Golden IPA release for this year hit the shelves in my area. With a packaging date of 12/29/2016, I’m tasting these exactly a month after bottling. A bit too long in my opinion, but SN hoppy beers seem to hold up better than others on the shelf from my experience.
Golden IPA certainly is a departure from the iconic amber IPAs I’m used to with Sierra Nevada. Though it does seem a bit silly to clarify that this India Pale Ale is actually pale, I’m thankful for the lack of specialty malt. Pouring a brilliantly clear pale straw color, carbonation is very high and head formation is amble and persisting. Thick layers of lacing on the glass are also in the superlative category. Carbonation and alpha acid content are two things Sierra Nevada has down to a science.
The aroma on the Golden IPA is fresh and grassy with bready malt notes that are instantly identifiable as Sierra Nevada’s house grainy note. Think terroir for malt profile. Fresh pomelo and candied lemon take over as it warms. Though it is January, the Spring character advertised on the beer label is coming through.
Flavors here dance between sourdough bread, dandelion, leafy hops, lemon zest, and a more rustic cornbread-like gritty grain character. I think that this, like almost all SN hoppy beers, shows a lot more malt character than aggressive hop bitterness or exorbitant dry-hopping for aroma. Sierra Nevada continues to produce beers that are very purist in form. Even with less well-known recipes, that distinctive water and malt profile dominate and make just about any hop schedule taste delicious.
Palate-wise, this one is lighter-bodied than Torpedo or even regular SN Pale Ale. And there is a persisting lactic acid character from powerful sourdough flavors that pile-on for a yogurt-like mouthfeel. There truly is another level of malt extraction expertise at Sierra Nevada that is unmatched. It’s a refreshing rather than heavy IPA.
Overall, I’m a big fan of this one. Don’t pass it up.