Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Click for full size picture

Rate this beer

VN:D [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 4.8/5 (8 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Website:
  • Country: United States
  • State: California
  • Style: American IPA
  • Malts: 2-row pale, crystal
  • Hops: Magnum, crystal, citra
  • ABV: 7.2%
  • IBUs: 65
  • Tasting Notes: Citrus, pine, spicy, floral
  • Preferred Glass: Pint
  • Food Pairing: Barbecue, sharp/spicy cheeses, grilled salmon
  • PHM Grade: A

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Written by

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is quickly becoming a prime example for how a socially and environmentally responsible company can compete, and indeed succeed, against the careless corporations of America. Their flagship Pale Ale currently stands as one of the best-selling ales in the U.S., often featured alongside such inferior beverages as Budweiser and Miller Lite.

Of course, as their distribution has grown, this California-born brewery has managed to start shipping out some of its lesser-known brews, such as their Porter, Stout, and even Hefeweizen. Recently, I managed to get my hands on their Extra IPA, entitled Torpedo, and for such a petite bottle, it contained explosive flavor.

Upon the first pour, Torpedo formed a slightly fluffy, off-white head, and retained it excellently at around the half-a-centimeter mark. The body of the beer poured hazy, but eventually cleared, revealing a brilliant, copper tone.

The smell was incredible (if you like hops). Somehow the hoppiness seemed more holistically hoppy, ripe with pine and citrus; this is because, among the hops used in Torpedo, is a rather new variety called Citra. Citra hops have only come onto the scene over the last few years, having been officially released in the U.S. in 2008. They have a vibrant, tropical aroma and flavor, and something else that’s hard to put the finger on. If you’ve read other reviews of Torpedo, you’ve probably noticed people describing it as containing pine, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, papaya, etc. Don’t be fooled. It has none of those, just a whole lot of Citra.

The beer’s taste was, as anticipated, hoppy (duh) and tropical. The sensation of hoppiness was mild at first—almost smooth—but was quickly overtaken by a spicy citrus (most likely the effect of the Crystal hop flavors transitioning into the Citra). The finish was crisp and reminiscently floral, echoing just a touch of malt.

As far as an IPA is concerned, this is almost exactly what to look for: a lot of hop, i.e., floral, and citrus tones; a flavor that diminishes the taste of alcohol; and very mild to minimal taste of malt or barley. The only possible complaint I could make is that it lacks the complete smoothness of more critically acclaimed IPAs, e.g., Pliny the Elder by Russian River Brewing Company. But considering you’re more likely to find an eyelash in a ball pit than find Pliny east of the Rockies, Torpedo is an excellent alternative.

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, 4.8 out of 5 based on 8 ratings
  1. This one is a classic.

    Taylor — May 5th, 2011, 11:39 AM
  2. Speaking of Citra hops…watch for a brew by Three Floyds called Zombie Dust. It’s apparently going to be released in bottles (it has been solely at the brewpub). I had it…and it’s amazing.

    Noel — May 5th, 2011, 4:23 PM
  3. Might want to fact check a bit….”Of course, as their distribution has grown, this Colorado-born brewery…..”

    Sierra is a California-born brewery….Chico to be exact.

    Jason — May 5th, 2011, 9:35 PM
  4. Quite right, Jason … editor’s error. Thanks for the tipper. We definitely know SN is from Chico…

    Taylor — May 6th, 2011, 11:36 AM
  5. Great analysis of the beer. I love IPA’s and was introduced to Torpedo by a beer connoisseur (David, the author of this review). I typically do not like the fruity oriented type of beers, but Torpedo has good balanced flavor. I highly recommend it.

    Lloyd — May 14th, 2011, 11:51 AM
  6. A taste of pure ‘Hop Heaven’, and at $15.49 a 12 pack in Western New York a great deal!

    Steve — June 14th, 2011, 7:02 AM
  7. As good an IPA as there is. The sweet malt balances out the intense hop flavor.Must try it, if you haven’t had this amazing IPA from Sierra Nevada.

    Chris D from RVA — November 11th, 2017, 5:27 PM
Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: