23 March 2016

A question of latitude

Yet another IPA by Sierra Nevada today, this one a spring seasonal from their Beer Camp project. It seems very on-trend, named as it is Tropical IPA and promising mango and papaya fruit flavours. Sierra Nevada built its empire on hoppy bitterness so I was a little sceptical about this newcomer's ability to take on the tropical-and-juicy sub-genre.

The beer certainly smells the part: strong and concentrated cantaloupe and kiwi fruit, almost verging on sickly and definitely showing its big 6.7% ABV. The flavour is less convincing. I mean, it's nice, but the dominant characteristic is a spiky pine bitterness and only after that has made itself at home on your palate are the assorted fruits allowed sidle in after it, quietly. The papaya is probably the most pronounced of them, adding a green bitterness of its own rather than mouthwatering juices.

Fans of the Sierra Nevada way of doing things will find lots to like here: it's only a small sideways twist on the sort of experience you get from beers like Hop Hunter and Torpedo. If anything, the fruit effort is a bit of a gimmicky distraction from a straight-up quality US IPA. No pleasing some people.