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The Beer Circle » Beer, Budget, IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. » Budget: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Torpedo (In a Can!)

Budget: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Torpedo (In a Can!)

While I’ve recently expounded upon how I’m a self-admitted Tröegs fanatic, another one of my favorite, dependable (and inexpensive) breweries is the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.  In my opinion, their Pale Ale is one of the best gateway beers out there for introducing someone to what craft beer has to offer.  It’s both flavorful and inexpensive, which is why this was one of my strategically-chosen choices in a recent post. Some time ago, someone at Sierra Nevada decided that offering their quality offerings in a can would be a good idea.  Cans may be plagued by the stigma of lesser-quality, cheap offerings, but it’s difficult to ignore the practical advantages of canning beer.  On their website, Sierra Nevada details the portability, environmental, taste, and durability advantages of canning beer. Less than a month ago, these cans began to hit store shelves.  When I stumbled across 16-ounce pounders of Torpedo at an area store, I had to get my hands on one.

Having paid $8.49 for four sixteen-ounce cans, this proved to be a greater price-per-ounce vs. buying a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles at $7.49 at Total Wine & More in Fairfax, VA.  The cans amounted to $0.13/oz, the bottles still reigning the budget king at $0.10/oz.  I’d attribute this possibly to the novelty of the canned product, or the fact that they’re not as ramped-up on their can production as compared to the bottled counterparts, as canning should afford them cost savings in production and shipment.  Perhaps this will come in time, and the premium is absolutely worth it if you wish to take Sierra Nevada somewhere that glass is prohibited, or impractical to transport to. (The beach, anyone?)

Nevertheless, I friggin’ love Torpedo, and was excited to see what this new, metallic delivery method was capable of. At least in my experience, the results were… different than what I expected.


Sierra Nevada Torpedo
This looks a lot like Torpedo out of the bottle. Almost dark-orangish, with a thick white head. Something may have happened to my can, or someone may have dropped it, because this initially poured to almost 100% head. This was disconcerting. The head retained for a while, and left a small amount of lacing as it went down.
This smells a lot like your typical IPA, with a lot of sweetness going on. Citrus immediately hits the nose, followed by hints of pine and a good amount of maltiness, but really nothing special.
This is an excellent, inexpensive IPA that packs a bit more punch than some of your more conventional inexpensive IPA offerings. The can didn't seem to change the taste appreciably, but the lack of carbonation detracted from full appreciation of the flavors presented. Lots of hops kick you in the face here, seemingly a bit more pine, grassiness vs. the citrus that the nose would indicate, but, ordinarily delicious.
Again, I'm not sure what happened, but the initial insane amount of head may have killed any hope of carbonation being left while I drank this. I love Torpedo, but this one was just flat for me after that. The only thing left on my tongue was sweetness, with no pleasant carbonation or anything to balance that out. Really disappointed here, but I'll need to try another one for comparison.
Sierra Nevada Torpedo represents an exceptional offering as far as value goes, but it's odd that these cans cost more than the bottled versions. Maybe this will change with time, or maybe that's a price you pay for the versatility of cans. Because I normally consider this one a great standby, however, I'm going to leave this at a 4.
I'm not sure if there's something weird that happened with my can, if it were dropped, or what happened, but I just did not have an amazing experience with this one. I look forward to comparing this to another can, or breaking out one of my trusty bottles of the stuff and running a comparison. Either way, this will be a solid grab if you need to take Sierra Nevada to places it can't ordinarily go.

The can is the one on the right.

Beer Stats
Style: American IPA
Serving: Can
Size: 16oz
ABV: 7.20%
BA Score: 91
RB Score: 98


So, I’m not sure what may have happened with this one as far as the near-complete lack of carbonation.  It may have been as simple as someone deciding to play football with the cans while unloading the trucks before putting them on the shelves – they were still cold, presumably from the truck, when I got to them.  Expect a follow-up review of Torpedo, hopefully with better results, soon!

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Written by Garrett Miller

Garrett brings a somewhat different perspective on beer to the table. While always thrilled to try any new, exotic brew that finds itself his way, Garrett finds that he's often quite satisfied with reliable, common craft choices. As such, Garrett is a fan of trying and reviewing these (admittedly less expensive) beers, and using them to introduce the exciting, flavorful world of craft beer to those not-yet-acquainted. Garrett’s favorite styles are IPAs and bourbon stouts, but won’t turn his nose up at anything. Find Garrett Miller on Google Plus

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