Tried it along side the '09. Obviously fresher, but the flavor is almost identical. Personally I find Sierra Nevada's hoppy beers to have something unpleasent and harsh about their bitterness. I will decent and say that I am not a fan - obviously well made, but there are other IPA's i'd rather drink.
I wonder if this has something to do with cohumulone levels. Sierra uses whole hops - do whole hops have more cohumulone then pellets.... I am really just being random here with trying to identify the reason for the unpleasent bitterness, but is somehting I find pervasive amongst Sierra's hoppy beer.