Nailing the baseline
A Review of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/20/2012 by Chops
A funny thing happens when you come across a quality version of a baseline beer style. There's just not that much to say about it. You simply check off a handful of core traits and then go about your drinking business. Unfortunately beer fans will associate this phenomenon with a bland or boring beer, but this is far from the case. High quality is never boring. Case in point: the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This is a high quality example of a standard pale ale. And to be perfectly honest, that's really all you need to know about it. But I'm not one to phone it in on reviews, so let's dissect this delicious nectar.

In the glass, this beer has a warm golden coloration. It comes with a rocky white head that has great retention. On the nose, I was greeted with a sweet pale malt along with some honey notes and a grassy under layer. All it takes is one sip to realize that you have a winner. I immediately fell in love with this beer's hop profile because it is really clean and pure. It properly asserts itself without being distracting. The flavor it creates is a sweet citrus consisting of orange and lemongrass. A savory sweet pale malt is always present and takes on a biscuit-like flavor. The mouthfeel is pleasantly smooth with a solid medium body. The beer exits crisp and clean, leaving a bittersweet aftertaste.

Overall, the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a quality representation of the pale ale style. Like I said, there's really not much else to say about it. It's very well made and beautifully hits all the core style traits. There are no distractions, strange flavors, or unnecessary spins. The more I sample Sierra Nevada brews, the more I understand that this is one of their defining characteristics. Their core line is fantastic. They know what they are doing and they do it really well. Sure, they have a huge arsenal of beers and some may work better than others, but they never compromise core quality. You have to respect that in a brewery.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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