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> Beer Talk: Torpedo Extra IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
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Taliesin 
Posted: 19-Mar-2009, 04:59 PM
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To my knowledge, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has never made an IPA as part of their regularly available lineup. This would make Torpedo their first major IPA, and as a first effort goes, it's quite good. Sierra Nevada's beers are all over-hopped in my opinion, especially the Bigfoot Barleywine Ale, so I fully expected them to just go over the top with this one. I was pleasantly surprised.

To begin, I'll tell you that I'm going to evaluate this beer based on what an IPA is SUPPOSED to be using the guidelines set forth by the Beer Judge Certification Program. Many people think they're judging beers when actually they're stating their style preferences. One can not like the IPA style, and still give a given IPA a high score.

Bouquet/Aroma - 5/10 - There were a LOT less hops in the nose than I expected with an IPA. An American IPA should have a pretty darn citrus, floral, pine, etc. aroma, and while the hops were more prominent than, say, a brown ale, they weren't nearly as prominent.

Appearance - 5/6 - The color is just what an IPA should be. Darker than a pale, lighter than a brown or even an amber. The head retention wasn't much for this beer, but the lacing left on the sides of the glass was excellent. The head wasn't bad to start out, just didn't stick around. I ended up pouring a second glass of this between the time I started this review and ended it, and it had a little better head retention. The second glass had the same excellent lacing.

Flavor - 18/19 - This is a really well-balanced IPA. In some American IPA's the malt just doesn't stand up to the battering that the hops give it. In a truly masterful IPA, however, the brewer will ensure the finished product has a bold malt backbone, balancing things nicely. Perhaps my score in this category is colored by what I THOUGHT this IPA would be. I really thought the hop character would be overwhelming, but the balance on this is really quite good

Body - 3/5 - This beer is not bad, but I thought the mouthfeel could have used a little more carbonation to sort of "pop" the flavors. It's got a pretty thick mouthfeel, which you'd expect from an ale with this much alcohol, but I would have preferred a little more bubbly on the palate.

Drinkability/Overall Impressions - 9/10 - This is a VERY approachable IPA. Hop-haters will find something to dislike about it, of course, but then there aren't going to be very many IPA's that hop-haters will like. This ale is very well-balanced, though, and should appeal to anyone looking to get out of the all-malt world. Anyone who is a fan of uber-hops should let this ale warm in the glass a little as the hop character tended to come out a little more as it warmed. Still, good balance, high malt, and a very decent abv% for an easy-to-find offering make this an excellent addition to any gathering, IMO. A heap more aromatic hops would have made this a more stellar IPA, IMO.

Total Score 40/50


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 19-Mar-2009, 09:35 PM
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I found it to be QUITE good, especially since I'm NOT a big fan of many of SN beers! Bigfoot REALLY bites and their pale ale is just that, PALE! But I like the Fresh Hop products AND Torpedo! thumbs_up.gif


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Taliesin 
Posted: 20-Mar-2009, 12:05 AM
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ZodiacIvy

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I would tend to agree in that it was surprisingly good. Their wet hop ale is tasty as well.

The reason I would score this beer higher than their other offerings is balance. This IPA is balanced superbly. That being said, the only reason I didn't score it as high as I could was lack of hops in the nose, and the carbonation could have been higher. The second point I'll grant as taste. The first is sort of a necessity for an IPA. smile.gif Still, excellent beer.
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togo 
Posted: 20-Mar-2009, 05:41 AM
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Taliesin excellent detailed review and analysis. I am looking forward to giving it a try. I'm always looking for new beer tastes and choices.
Can this be a regular segment???? The beer reviews???
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 20-Mar-2009, 07:53 AM
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QUOTE
Taliesin excellent detailed review and analysis. I am looking forward to giving it a try. I'm always looking for new beer tastes and choices.
Can this be a regular segment???? The beer reviews???



I would like to see that. As long as it doesn't get too pretentious. I have left a couple of beer sites because the "Beer Snots" have lost sight of the fact that it's just beer!


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Shadows 
Posted: 20-Mar-2009, 08:50 AM
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The is a section in the" From Your Kitchen to My Plate" forum already set up to discuss drinks if you want to post there...

http://www.celticradio.net/php/forums/inde...hp?showforum=35



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Taliesin 
Posted: 20-Mar-2009, 12:14 PM
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I was looking for something like that when I posted. smile.gif

I am hoping to make it somewhat regular, as I'm always trying new beers.

As for whether this is "just" beer, or whether anything is "just" anything, it's all based on perception. Everything I said in my review is based on my perception of the beer I tasted when I wrote it. As to whether it was pretentious or not, I cannot say, but I will say that there is good beer and bad beer, and everyone can have their opinions as to why a beer is good or bad. The problem comes when you try to tell others why your selected beer is good or bad.

I could have said, "Torpedo Extra IPA is a very good beer." It would have been truthful, accurate, and woefully inadequate. What makes it good, in my opinion? What would have made it better? See, I happen to enjoy hoppy beers, but my brother-in-law doesn't. My review would have helped him understand his expectations of that beer. He might have noted that I said it was well-balanced, and tried it one day. It might not have mattered because of his dislike for noticeable hops.

A detailed review helps people understand what a beer is without tasting it, and helps them to know whether they should drop increasingly more on a six pack. smile.gif

If I can do a semi-regular beer review feature, I'm hoping it will be exactly like the one I just wrote. smile.gif
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togo 
Posted: 22-Mar-2009, 10:12 AM
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Went to my liquor to get some Torpedo Extra IPA this weekend. Sold out.
Now this store is huge and has every beer imaginable from all around the world. There was a section for it but it was empty. Is this beer very popular right now?? Is it that good??
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Taliesin 
Posted: 22-Mar-2009, 10:52 AM
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It is by no means the best IPA I've ever had. If I had to pick a "best", I'd have to go with Stone IPA, Stone's Ruination IPA, or one of the IPA's from the Lagunitas Brewery in Petaluma California. It's pretty darn good, though, especially for Sierra Nevada. I wouldn't call it AMAZING, or SPECTACULAR, but it's tasty, which is what matters. smile.gif

What this beer IS, however, is new. smile.gif I would expect it to be sold out if it's just shown up in your area, but if Sierra Nevada has one thing down, it's volume. They're going to be cranking out plenty of Torpedo in the near (and I imagine distant) future.
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togo 
Posted: 05-Apr-2009, 07:39 AM
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I tried the Torpedo and really liked it. It is my favorite of the Sierra Nevada's. (of which I like in general but am not a huge fan of).
Taliesin your reveiw was right on target, for my taste, on this one.
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Taliesin 
Posted: 07-Apr-2009, 01:28 PM
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Togo, I'm glad my review helped.

The beauty of being so detailed in reviews is precisely what you report. It shouldn't matter what tastes people have. A detailed review will inform them what the beer is like, and if someone hates hoppy beers, they'll know they ought to stay away from the Torpedo IPA, or any IPA for that matter.

Not being detailed enough in reviews like this can make for unpleasant surprises. smile.gif

Something that doesn't really fit in my concept for beer reviews is a general discussion of beer, flavors, ingredients, styles, etc. There's so much to talk about, but I don't want to make reviews any longer than they already are. smile.gif

Maybe I'll have more discussion topics in here talking about general beer concepts. smile.gif

Coming up this week, a review of Guinness Extra Stout, and yes...this is different than regular Guinness Draught. smile.gif
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karenrah 
Posted: 08-Apr-2009, 06:17 AM
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I don't drink beer, but my husband, Maisky used to be a "huge" beer fan. Since he was diagnosed as diabetic last June (he quit all alcohol immediatly) he has lost 60 pounds. He misses his fine beers a lot. So, those of you who can still drink beer, please raise a glass for Maisky.
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