Monday, January 26, 2009

Torpedo = Taste Assault

A few weeks ago at the Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival, those of us at the "Brewers Gone Wild" seminar had a rare treat: Sampling a new product before it hit the shelves.

The test case for which we were guinea pigs: Sierra Nevada's Torpedo Extra IPA.

The verdict: Get it when it comes out.

I can't vouch for the fact that it's hit the Denver area yet; I was in Argonaut on Saturday night, and there was no Torpedo to be found. But we were told it was going to be available by the end of January, and Sierra Nevada's website now lists it in its beer portfolio. So, if it's not out yet, let this serve as the preseason hype for an exciting new entrant into the league of great beers.

Torpedo, as brewer Nick Ison explained to me, isn't quite an IPA and it isn't quite a double. Its dry hopping features Citra hops - a fairly new player on the brewing scene - and certainly has that sweet, sticky scent of an all-enveloping double IPA. But while it comes on big, it doesn't have the extreme bitterness on the backtaste of others in its class. Instead, its piney character rests gently in the mouth before lighting up like a Zippo on the back bitter taste buds.

Torpedo Extra IPA will serve as the first new nationally released year-round beer for the Chico
legend in more than a decade. And while it may not create its own category at the Great American Beer Festival, it's worth the wait for a biting yet wonderfully drinkable experience.

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