Torpedo is Sierra Nevada’s first addition to their year-round lineup of beers in almost 10 years! It is billed as an “Extra India Pale Ale” and it just hit markets in bottles in the last couple weeks. I hit Gomer’s in Midtown as soon as I heard it was out.
The name “torpedo” is in honor of the whole-hop system Sierra Nevada uses for all of its beers. Torpedo is also Sierra Nevada’s first use of their proprietary “breed” of hops called Citra. Only a small amount were available to use, so the company used them primarily as aroma hops, and even with minute quantities in the beer you can certainly tell. For my nose, that means a lot!
The beer pours a nice dark copper color with a hint of cloudiness. In addition to the Citra hops used in the aroma, it also contains Magnum and Crystal hops. It weighs in at 70 IBUs and hefty 7.2% ABV. I purchased two six packs and a 6′er of Barons ESB that was on sale for $4 and walked out just over $20, so it must have been $7-$8 for a six pack of the Torpedo.
The Citra hop is supposed to be loaded with aromas of “soft fruits” like pineapple, peaches, etc. I caught some pineapple for sure on the aroma, but it died out quickly, so smell quickly or you may lose it! The beer has a huge hop bitterness on the flavor. There is a fair amount of malt in this beer, too, but the hops just ran my pallet over like a freight train! I love bitter drinks, so this is exactly what I was hoping for. The bitterness built a little as I drank, but didn’t get overwhelming. On one sip I caught flavors that reminded me a lot of softer gins, so the pine flavors and resiny character of some hops are definitely alive and well in Torpedo.
Torpedo Extra IPA has instantly become my favorite IPA. I can’t wait to pick up some Single Wide and compare the two. From my own experience of having it on tap a couple months ago I think they are completely different animals, but a head-to-head will be interesting. Sierra Nevada waited 30 years to develop a year-round IPA, and I think it was worth it!