Nick Carr on February 1, 2017 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Location Chico, CA Style American IPA ABV 6.7% IBU 55 Hops Amarillo, Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado, Comet Malts Two-row Pale, Munich, Honey Shelf Life 1 to 3 months Suggested Glass Pint or IPA Glass Serving Temp 46-50°F Availability Year-Round Food Pairings Jerk Chicken, Thai Green Curry, Asiago Cheese, Key Lime Pie Sierra Nevada has a solid line of beer. They helped start the craft beer revolution, helped nurse it through its infancy, and, even as they’ve grown, continued to be an overwhelming advocate for the small scale brewer. They are the 3rd largest craft beer brewery in America behind Yuengling & Son and the Boston Beer Company. Despite their size, or perhaps partially because of it, Sierra Nevada found it hard to grow their sales last year, especially where their main, year around, lineup was concerned. With the boom in craft brewing there’s a lot out there to choose from. Competition is tight. And I’ll be the first to admit I’m more likely to try something new than go for one of the grocery store staples like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale or Torpedo. Though, I’m sure there’s plenty on the other side of the coin, continually grabbing these old favorites… just not as many as maybe there once was. The Best-Selling Sierra Nevada Glassware & T-Shirts Sierra Nevada sales volumes dropped by around 4.4 percent in 2016, with neither the pale ale nor Torpedo performing all that well. Obviously, the brewery felt something needed to be done. So, they decided to expand the year-round line, rolling out a couple new beers built on already much proven success. Entire the Sidecar and the Tropical Torpedo. The Sidecar is a pale ale with orange added to it, but our focus today will be on the Tropical Torpedo. There was a Tropical Torpedo released in 2016 as part of the Beer Camp series. This version stems from that recipe. There has been some movement in the last couple years toward more approachable options when it comes to the IPA style. IPA is a huge money maker for craft breweries right now and because of their popularity, they are also becoming more and more of an entry point style for those new to craft beer (I know, who would have guessed). Thus, there is something to be said for making IPA’s that are big in the flavor category, but maybe don’t quite rock the charts the way they used to on the bitterness front. Sierra Nevada’s Tropical Torpedo, I think, is meant to fill this niche for the brewery. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Sierra Nevada’s Tropical Torpedo. If you tasted this beer or you’re reading this review with a pint in hand, please share your thoughts with everyone down in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: The Tropical Torpedo falls into the glass a bright honeyed golden color. Clarity is superb allowing a good view of the carbonation streaming up off the bottom. The head builds a pillowy bright white layer of foam, climbing to about a finger and a half. It holds well. Dropping to an appreciable half finger within the first few minutes, then holding steady. Noticeable, yet subtle notes of pineapple, papaya, and mango greet the nose. The pineapple is especially evident to me, but maybe that’s just because I’ve been eating a lot of it lately, making the memory-aroma fresh and forefront in my perception. Not much in the way of malt in the aroma. Mouthfeel and Taste: Body is a soft bouncy medium and mouthfeel is slightly spritzy, lightly playful on the palate. There’s subtle astringency toward the back. There’s a light background of pale malt graininess, but of course it’s the hops that are being showcased here. The malts do their job well, creating a mostly washed canvas for the hops’ citrusy paint job. The pineapple combines with a grapefruitiness and comes through less on the taste for me. I can still pick out the papaya, maybe some mango, but the citrusy elements muddle a bit. Mid-palate some dank and resin-like, slightly woody, bitterness arises. Finish is drying and sets up a plea for that next sip. Aftertaste is of a little citrus, a bit of resin. FINISHING THOUGHTS Overall, this is a friendly approachable IPA iteration, and will likely do well in Sierra Nevada’s lineup as that IPA meant for those freshly arrived on the IPA beachhead, looking for a more playful, less bitter option. As its description says on Sierra Nevada’s site, it would be a great accompaniment to a beach and Tropical sun. Overall, I would have to say, I think I prefer the original Torpedo over this one. But, I haven’t actually had the original in an embarrassingly long time, so it would be interesting to grab a bottle and do a side by side comparison.