Audition Double IPA – Sierra Nevada
Sierra Nevada’s Audition began as a one-off product of their Beer Camp program, briefly appeared on draft at their Chico taproom, and finally was bottled in limited release for sale at the brewery. It didn’t even receive the benefit of a legitimate Sierra Nevada label, just plain text on a green background. Audition pours a clear, bright gold with a pillow-y and persistent white head – check out the copious bubbles lazily floating to the surface while you wait for the foam to subside – and a mountain-pine nose of resinous needles and fresh fruit zest. A brutalizing West Coast-style Double IPA, Audition delivers a mouthful of piney, palette-busting hops on the first swallow, backed up by lemon rind bitterness and a cracker/spice quality indicative of Simcoe hop use. This beer is a real treat for hop-bomb freaks, but it’s also strangely balanced between the citrus, pine, and spice notes endemic to super IPAs.