To be honest, I’m not a big fan of California-based brewing company Sierra Nevada. Well, of the two beers I’ve tried so far; their Pale Ale and Torpedo Extra IPA. They just come across forgettable and bland. But I am a sucker for strong, boozy tropical beers. So when I see a case-load of eye-catching Tropical Torpedo IPA bottles in Whole Foods, I grab two and hit the road.
The bottle, itself, looks like a jacked-up, NASCAR version of smooth, South African orange milk drink Tropika. Sierra Nevada describes it as a “tropical twist on the American IPA.” And straight away, they’ve got my full attention. The mango, papaya and passionfruit kicks are all there, but the flavours are subtle. It’s smooth, fruity and tropical, but gentle at the same time. Restrained. With a 6.7% ABV that sneaks up like sunscreen bottles filled with tequila.
Mosaic, Citra, El Dorado and Comet hops set the pace, while Amarillo adds that wonderfully refreshing bitter finish that makes me lick me lips. Overall, it’s definitely more memorable than previous Sierra Nevada beers I’ve tried. More of a stand out. And closer to magical. Yet, despite all of its island promise, the Tropical Torpedo never goes full Wilson, or “Island” Niles. It never gets really carried away. In other words, it’s no Beavertown Tropigamma. It is good, though.