This Scumbag

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Musician, engineer/producer and former employee at Beer Ritz in Leeds. Enthusiast of extreme metal and beer, which happily go extremely well together. Follow @BenCorkhill

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Big Bad Yank

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest

So, here we go with my first beer review - and what a way to start than with a beer everyone's been talking about recently (and which spent less time within the walls of Beer Ritz than a bottle of Crumpton Oaks), it's Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere Harvest! The label, the bottle, the description - this beer presents itself as a huge deal in every conceivable way, which got me incredibly excited (admittedly, the bottle spent a while sat in my cupboard, but I was saving it for a special occasion). The buzz surrounding this ale in the build up to its arrival at the shop spoke volumes about what was in store, and I can reveal now that it certainly was not a lot of fuss about nothing…

This monster was desperate to be drank; as soon as I opened the bottle its aromas leapt straight out and rammed themselves up my nostrils with relentless ferocity. This roused my insatiable lust for beer as I emptied some of the bottle's contents into a Tripel Karmeliet glass - my latest vessel of choice. It poured a fantastically tempting light orange, with a lovely big white head which stood its ground nicely (long enough for it to pose for the camera, as you can see). It looked like it had a nice amount of carbonation. Man was I thirsty by this point!

Just look at this monster!
 Already I could tell that this was the real deal. The immediate big hoppy aroma also presented what I perceived as a fresh maltiness with a good amount of citrus in there. As soon as it hit my tongue, I picked up a nice soft fruitiness - I'm thinking melon, grapefruit and a very slight hint of apricot. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and, for lack of a more specific term, lovely! Nice and soft on the tongue, leave it in the mouth for a few seconds and there's some nice caramel hints in there. After the swallow, an immediate yet soft aftertaste of those ever-present fruits is noticeable in a dry, slightly bitter finish. That fruitiness once again comes back up the throat, accompanied by hints of pine reminding me of my all time favourite beer, Alba Scots Pine Ale; this, of course, is a very positive attribute.

At 6.7% this isn't massively alcoholic for an American beer of this immense nature, but what alcohol is in there is masked beautifully; it certainly tastes huge, but in various combined subtle ways… if that makes sense. It's amazingly balanced, and the consistency of the head is a big plus in my book. It has an overall light floral quality to it and is just generally a delicious pleasure to drink! In fact, I wanted to spend a bit of time drinking this beer, but it was too nice to put down for more than a few minutes. And even at the (relatively) low abv, after two weeks of taking it easy on the beer front due to the antibiotics course I've been on, I'll admit it did leave me a little light headed, and incredibly thirsty for more. I now wish I'd taken Ghostie's advice and bought two…

If you ever come across this beast, buy it. Over and out.

1 comment:

  1. I bought one last Wednesday and drunk if Friday. Lovely beer! Reminded me in some ways of Thornbridge Halcyon but less resinous