“There’s no better way to start a lazy afternoon than with a group of friends and a few beers. Nooner IPA is a session beer that’s light in body yet big in hop flavor. By using intense, whole-cone American hops in our Hop Torpedo we pack this small beer with a hefty hop punch. Traditionally, IPAs have been bigger, stronger beers, but this session beer offers the same hop assertiveness with an easy drinkability.” 4.8% ABV American IPA.
Purchased from Das Bierhaus in Fresno, California.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Spiegelau IPA glass (Thanks Robert!). The color is golden yellow with a bit of honey, and it is just ever so slightly hazy. An ample large white head is poured, which retains well in the glass and leaves good lacing. Plenty of carbonation effervescence is visible.
Dank, piney hop resin dominates, with additional scents of grapefruit citrus and light pale malt character. The aromas are certainly not subdued, offering just as much as bigger IPA’s.
The body of the beer is pretty light, soft going down and finishing with light hop bitterness (its 40 IBUs seems just about right). The flavors begin with light lemon citrus and grapefruit notes, as well as mild earthy tones. The aftertaste of lingering pale malts, with very light hop flavor or bitterness. It finishes “wet”, similar to a golden/blonde ale in flavor.
Well, it seems like every big craft brewery is making a session IPA this year, and Sierra Nevada’s entry into the style has arrived. The only other session style, big hop ale I’ve had to date is Stone Levitation, and Nooner fails to deliver the same level of flavor intensity. The aromas are certainly there, but they don’t quite translate to flavors. Like stated above, it finishes closer to a blonde ale instead of an IPA. I was thinking it would be more like a low ABV/high IBU ale, but maybe that doesn’t translate in the brewing process. It is still a very decent, very easy to drink beer, and I certainly wouldn’t turn one down during an afternoon barbecue. I’ll have to get some of Stone’s new Go To IPA to compare it to soon. 6.5/10
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, Ca