Sierra Nevada Trip in the Woods Barrel Aged Narwhal is hitting shelves nationally.
Variants of this type are typically only found at Sierra Nevada’s taprooms. This time, you are in luck. Narwhal, the brewery’s imperial stout has been spending some time in bourbon barrels with red and black currants – both types of gooseberries. Red currants are a bit like muscadine grapes in flavor. Black – a bit like concentrated blackberries.
We age this rich, chocolatey Imperial Stout in bourbon barrels with a mix of both red currants and black currants for a pop of sweet and tart flavor. The deep, rich notes of the stout blend well with the berries in barrels to create complex flavors of coca and coconut with a mellow fruit undertone.
The base, which is barrel-aged Narwahl, is a big, boozy imperial stout. The berries muted the boozy aspects of this beer a bit. While we can’t say we are experts on red vs. black currants, this beer seems to be very black currant heavy. The mix of berries, chocolate and bourbon, turn this beer into a something of a cocktail, or dessert. You be the judge.
Sierra Nevada Trip in the Woods Barrel Aged Narwhal is avaialbe in limited quantities in 750 milliliter bottles.
In 2015, Sierra Nevada bottled their Oktoberfest for the first time. While the brewery has released editions of this style in the past, the bottled release was a collaboration with Brauhaus Riegele from Augsburg, Germany. Each year, Sierra will collaborate with a different German brewery.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2016 is a collaboration brew with Bamberg, Germany’s Mahrs Brau. While Sierra Nevada has 35 years of commercial brewing under their belt, Mahrs Brau boasts a few more. The family-owned brewery was founded in 1670.
“We’re excited to be working together with Mahrs Bräu,” said Ken Grossman, “We have so much in common with them in the way we approach brewing, and the way we run our businesses. We’re both independent, family-owned breweries with a respect for tradition, yet we’re not handcuffed by it. We’re not afraid to innovate and to change things up. We both care deeply about the environment, and work to make our respective beers with a mindful eye on how that impacts the world around us.”
This year’s edition (if we recall correctly) is lighter in both body and color when compared to last year’s edition. Flavor is very malt forward, with a touch of straw and sweet malt. A very crisp, and very clean beer. Sierra Nevada’s attention to absolute quality meets hundreds of years of Mahrs Brau craft.
Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2016 is hitting shelves in 12 ounce bottles and draft nationally. Reminder, this year is different from last year’s release.
Hops: German Magnum, Palisade, Saphir, Crystal, German Record
Malts: 2-Row Pale, Steffi Pilsner, Munich, Vienna
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft
Release: August, 2016
Sierra Nevada Maple Scotch, a future bottle potential by the California/North Carolina brewery.
By the looks of this release, Sierra Nevada Maple Scotch is a malty scotch ale, brewed with a touch of maple syrup.
Scotch Ales are wintertime staples, known for their rich, malty flavors. This robust beer combines that traditional sweet malt flavor with a hint of maple for and added layer of depth, making this intense beer the perfect thing for sipping near a warm winter hearth.
Sierra Nevada Maple Scotch is a 12 ounce bottle and draft offering. The brewery has not officially announced this release.
Sierra Nevada’s Steve Dressler will retire in 2017. Dresler has been in charge of the brewing program since the early 1980’s.
We’ve gotten to meet Steve at the Chico, California brewery a few years ago. Having a beer with such an iconic brewer in the American craft industry was a great honor. He’s a ridiculously laid back guy that is full of knowledge.
During Steve’s tenure, Sierra Nevada has won 8 World Beer Cup awards and 31 medals at the Great American Beer Festival.
“It’s bittersweet. Steve is an iconic figure in our brewery and in the industry. His talent and personality are legendary, and he has set the tone in our production department for years. I wish him all the best in this much-deserved retirement.” – Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman
Dresler will continue in his position into 2017. The brewery will begin the hunt to fill the position immediately.
The Sierra Nevada monastic collaborative series, “Ovila” will soon have a mixed pack for it’s fans this month.
A collaboration with California based Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Abbey Ales is a modern take on Belgian-style abbey ales. When possible, the beers feature ingredients grown and harvests on the monks’ 600 acre working farm.
Instead of releasing a bottle one at a time throughout 2016, the brewery is releasing all three in a mixed pack. Each box features three different 750 milliliter bottles of Ovila. The styles include:
- Ovila Quad with Cherries
- Ovila Brown with Mandarin & Cocoa
- Ovila Saison with Sage
The Sierra Nevada Ovila Mixed Pack is available across the United States while supplies last.
Sierra Nevada Chocolate Chili Stout is a new big bottle potential from one of America’s most popular breweries.
While Sierra Nevada’s skill is in pale ales and India pale ales, recently they have been showing off their creativity with releases like Otra Vez. Future additions to their High Altitude Series will take that creativity even further, with the imperial stout with cocoa nibs and chilies you see above.
By their very nature, imperial stouts are bold beers. This version takes another step toward the dark side with the use of spicy and aromatic dried chilies and rich cocoa nibs for a complex and intense kick. It features notes of coffee, baker’s cocoa, and dark fruit and a slight twinge of heat.
Sierra Nevada Chocolate Chili Stout will be a 24 ounce bottle offering. If initial rumors prove true, this stout will be a part of a 4-pack of 24 ounce bottles, each a different style.
The brewery has not yet announced this offering.
Sierra Nevada Stout of the Union Robust Stout