Nick Carr on November 3, 2014 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Location: Chico, CA Style: American IPA ABV: 6.7% IBU: 60 Appearance: Pale Golden Yellow with Frothy, Pure White Foam Aroma: Hops. Floral & Fruity with Undertones of Earthiness Flavor: Dank, Earthy Hoppiness With Floral & Citrus Notes Availability: Limited Pairs With: Seafood, Herb-Roasted Chicken, Pork Tacos, Lemon Tarts For some reason I always look forward to the Fall and Winter seasonal beers more than the Spring and Summer ones. Maybe it’s because I feel these are usually darker, more complex of character, and generally more interesting than those that appear for the warmer seasons. Suffice to say I’m having a great time hunting up all my old favorites while keeping a wary eye for anything new and interesting. I was out hunting when I came across Sierra Nevada’s winter 12-pack sampler, newly out for the coming winter months. It’s called “Snowpack” and what caught my eye were two new debuts standing among a couple tried and true recipes. The two standbys? Sierra Nevada’s decades old Porter, which was part of their inaugural lineup; and the beer that started it all, the Pale Ale. Great beers both, though I did question the logic of the Pale Ale being part of a winter sampler. But I contemplated the puzzle only briefly, for it flitted through my head like a ghost-of-winter-sampler’s-past and was gone, chased away by the excitement of unexplored territory. The two new brews are a most excellent coffee stout (yes I broke one open that same evening… curiosity you know, it’ll wait only so long); the other, my reviewee for today, the Boomerang IPA. “When winter does blow and brace (upon the door), tip a glass and taste of warmer place.” The Boomerang is an American IPA with an Aussie twist. It seems Sierra Nevada wanted to highlight some of the great hops being developed by their friends Down Under, and what better style to showcase floral and fruity hop characters then an American IPA. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Sierra Nevada’s Boomerang IPA. If you tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma Being used to the burnt orange to copper color of most American IPA’s, this one took me a bit by surprise. With a color like a washed-out sun, the Boomerang poured a pale golden yellow, much more reminiscent of a blonde or light lager, than any IPA’s I can remember. It is extremely clear with moderate carbonation rising off the bottom. The head is frothy, pure white and stands a good inch above the liquid, before falling back to a vanguard of liquid-hugging foam. Surprisingly this smaller head sticks until the very end. The aroma is all hops. I can’t even get a peek at any malt undertones beneath the wash of hop aromatics going on. I’d be interested to know what Australian hops they used here. It’s similar to many other American IPA’s, but then it’s also quite different in subtle ways. Floral and fruity seem to be the stars here, with undertones of earth, and even fleeting hints of something akin to, cattiness or dank character. Very nice. Mouthfeel and Taste It has a medium body pushed by moderate carbonation and a reasonably smooth mouthfeel brings slight warming with it. I get a small sense of dank earth at the front with the mid palate becoming a wash of further “hop character;” floral, citrus, and small stabs at peach and other fruits are noticeable, along with subdued resin. Astringency seems a little more forward on this one, with a drying, sucking bitterness remaining into the aftertaste. Great stuff. Don’t get much sense of malt and, to my taste, it seems to be a wee bit sweeter than the standard American IPA offering. Finishing The Impression I hope this beer becomes one of their year round brews. Incidentally, I could find no information on whether either this beer or the coffee stout was going to have any life beyond the Snowpack, but one can hope. This just may be one of the best IPA’s I’ve had in a while, at least where the American style is concerned. There’s something very nice about this one, somehow they’ve hit upon the right combination of hop character to “scratch me right where I itch.” This bangs all the right buttons for the style while being refreshingly, subtly, sneakily different. This fits well as a winter IPA too. With the memory of warmer weather firmly imbedded in every hop-ladened sip, it easily conjures images of the not-so-far-away change in season, even as the winter tempest rattles the house and the snow drifts its changing silence down on the world. Cheers! More Beer Reviews: Ruthless Rye IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Ovila Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Rebel IPA from Samuel Adams G’Knight Double Red IPA from Oskar Blues Brewing Co.