Beer Review 0020: Sierra Nevada Glissade

Glissade is a between seasons seasonal produced by Sierra Nevada. In an era where nearly every beer company produces seasonal beers, most of them have started an unsavory trend (in my opinion) of releasing the seasonal brews way before the actual season comes about, meaning most Spring drinks come out in, say, January. (See my review of Magic Hat Vinyl, a “Spring seasonal” I reviewed exactly one month ago.)

Sierra Nevada says Glissade is meant for the last days of winter, when the days warm up but the nights remain cold. It’s a Golden Bock that is supposed to “slide across the palate, bracing you against the last cold nights of winter.”

Frankly, I couldn’t think of a better beer to review right now; here in North Carolina, we’ve had a couple weeks of nice warm weather while the nights are still getting quite cool. Traditionally, Bock beers are normally served in May, so this is an interesting take on the style.

I quaffed back a couple of these on February 24 expressly for review.

An aggressive pour yielded a large head, too large, to be exact. I overflowed this one and there was precious beer loss; however, don’t cry tears: it was only about a tablespoon. The head was creamy and frothy, leading to a golden-yellow drink that was clear in body with no particles or sediment. Glissade is visually inviting, with lacing that sticks to the rim of the glass and is sporadic all the way down.

The aromatics are somewhat subdued but overall quite nice. Immediately there is a classic citrus and floral hop scent, followed by a layer of caramel malts that takes on a straw note. The balance between hop and malt is perfect and I would classify this is a great “classic” beer scent — yeah, it’s nothing special, but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that.

On the palate, Glissade delivers a slightly sweet citrus grapefruit flavor, followed by a good balance of the caramel malt. The finish is dry and bitter, but not overwhelmingly bitter, which lends a refreshing quality. I noted a very creamy mouthfeel but the flavor duration was too short for my liking.

This is a simple beer with simple flavors. When the balance is in check, simple works and a nice harmony of flavor is created. Glissade achieves this in spades, and it matches in every category for the time of year it is to be enjoyed.

I scored this beer 13 points in both aroma and appearance, 31 points in flavor and 29 points for overall drinkability. As compared to the Winter Sierra Nevada seasonal I reviewed, Celebration, I enjoyed Glissade more and would recommend it to anyone as an introduction to craft brew.

Sierra Nevada Glissade, 86 points. Price: $7.99 for six pack.

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