Chico Estate IPA features malt and hops grown on premises by Sierra Nevada. Much like the wine industry, Sierra Nevada is trying their hand at growing everything that goes into their product. This experiment began in 2003 and we are seeing the first release in 2009.
Appearance: Red amber with a thick, tight off-white head. Good lacing - bit cloudy. Great looking beer.
Aroma: Clean, malty - not the hop bouquet I was expecting, maybe a little pine in there. I would be curious to try this on draft as I bet it would have more of hop nose.
Flavor: Very well balanced - features both the malt and the hops, has the unique Sierra Nevada taste. Clean, drinkable - hop bitterness is present but not overwhelming.
Palate: Very drinkable - not too heavy or light. Creamy, well carbonated - almost melts in the mouth. Not too sweet and has a lingering hop-bitter finish.
Overall, a great house ale that I could drink all night. Their Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale remains my favorite, but this was solid and a perfect compliment to the fresh kielbasa/vegetable bake we had that night.
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