Sierra Nevada is the brewery that probably gets most craft brewers hooked on the idea of American Pale Ale; there is no end to the pale imitators and delightful, almost flawless copies. Their India Pale Ale, the Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, will with any luck spawn another round of duplication.
Pours amber, the aroma is like releasing a depth charge in a pine forest. The flavour is hoppy to the point of being almost sticky like pine tar with a bitter, astringent finish, hops covering the 7.2% alcohol entirely. This is over-the-top American brewing, pushing as much floral hoppiness into beer as possible.
If you were going to split beer enthusiasts into two broad churches, one would worship the malt and yeast characters in beers made by actual monks; the other would worship hops and flee to the New World, or more specifically, Portland, Oregon.
As for the site of Armageddon, neither party would have picked New Zealand, from whence this beer came. It is certainly the American, hop-filled vision of the end times rather than one imagined by Trappists.
Epic says: “In the beginning, there was nothing. Then an impish brewer piled a ludicrous amount of hops into a batch of beer. This zymurgical big bang is Epic Armageddon, an apocalyptic assault on your preconceptions and taste buds. It may be too huge for this fragile planet so enjoy this beer like it was the last one on Earth”
I say: Pours a orange-copper color. The aroma is hops, the flavour is hoppy to the point of being oily and resinous; pine forest and orange. No maltiness or any other character, just hops, which amply conceals the 6.66% alcohol punch. The finish is bitter. It’s unbalanced just like a good India pale ale should be.