Having thusfar been unable to get my hands on Life and Limb or Limb and Life (the collaborative brews of Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada), I was happy to at least find a new Sierra Nevada brew staring at me on the shelf of my favorite beer store. The Estate is described as a brewer’s harvest ale, and it says “our own hops, our own barley” on the label. The full description is as follows:
“This is one of the only estate-made ales available in the world today. Produced with hops and barley grown on the premises of our brewery in Chico, this ale reflects the flavors of our surroundings in California’s fertile Central Valley. By growing our own natural ingredients, we ensure the finest two-row barley and the freshest hops on earth, from the field into the brew kettle.”
Maybe its just the story, but when I uncapped this and poured it out, a really pleasant and bright smell followed the pouring. It smelled like… summer? Flowery almost, but not sweet, just bright. Its hard to pick a word for it but similar to that happy feeling you get when you smell clean laundry that’s been dried in the sun. That “ahhh” of cleanliness and lightness.
The taste follows suit, and I think that I can safely say that these are fun, citrusy and bright hops in center stage. But unlike some other hoppy beers, it isn’t syrupy. The mouthfeel is thin, but in a very refreshing way. A fellow twitterer classified the beer as a “hoppy ESB” because it doesn’t seem to quite hit the IPA level of hop-smashing. I do like it a lot, and it reminds me of summer, which I suppose is due to the fresh hops and the California heritage.
I highly recommend this beer because it satisfies the hop craving that a lot of us beer lovers get sometimes, but doesn’t rob the taste buds of all feeling after each sip. Its a good one, and I’d recommend it. It says its their “first release” so I hope that they will do it again. I also hope to someday visit the “estate” myself, and get an idea of the origin of this beer.