Few things in life bring the excitement that comes along with unboxing a new product you’ve been anticipating for ages. Whether it’s the IPhone, Playstation 4, Xbox One or any other new-fangled technology, videos are often posted on the internet to show other consumers what they might come to expect once the cardboard packaging has been removed, and the shiny new product is finally in their hands. It’s also no secret that most of the wonderment of Christmas morning is the unwrapping of gifts to see what lies underneath.
Personally, nothing brings me greater joy than unboxing a new craft beer – and that is exactly what I was able to do with Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Extra IPA. Although I’ve enjoyed this brew in the past, I’ve only had it in its bottled-form. With that said, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to grab a four pack of tall boy aluminum cans in my local grocery mart.
A little #beer101 before we begin. The American IPA is a beer made famous by Sierra Nevada. If you’ve had their regular IPA then you already know that it’s a wonderful hoppy, yet drinkable Pale Ale. The Torpedo Extra IPA sets out to redefine the style even further. The ‘Torpedo’ actually refers to the stainless steel tanks they use to ‘dry-hop’ the beer towards the end of the fermentation process. These tanks are filled with nearly 100lbs of fresh hops, which once applied to cold beer allows hoppy aromas to infuse the sud without additional bitterness.
Now, onto the sud itself. Once unboxed and uncanned, the beer’s aroma is certainly hoppy. Pine, citrus, floral notes are all prevalent. A few more sniffs and you begin to smell some caramel malts present to balance out the American hops. The beer pours a deep orange amber color with a huge, foamy, fluffy wheat-tinted head. This is a really pretty beer inside of the glass.
The first sip is almost all head – with only a little bit of the amber-colored liquid breaking through. As you continue sipping the beer you begin to appreciate the complexity. Up front taste of pine and citrus hops. Caramel malt then appears to help balance this beer out. The sud finishes with a dry – but not overly dry taste. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body and medium carbonation. The caramel balances the hop bitterness and leads to great drinkability.
Overall, this is an outstanding American IPA. Be warned, however, it’s important that you are actually in the mood to have an outstanding beer – otherwise finishing a 16oz can of this elixir may seem like a chore. If you are craving a light, drinkable lawnmower beer, look elsewhere or tread carefully! This is a crisp, refreshing, yet complex pale ale which requires your full attention to appreciate all of its wonder. Luckily for me, I’m always in the mood for an amazing beer!