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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPASierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

936 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 936
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 12
Gots: 209 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DaltonC on 02-23-2014

Blindfold blankets us in darkness yet maintains a surprisingly light body and bold, hoppy character. This black IPA emerged from our Beer Camp program and builds on Sierra Nevada’s legendary love of hops with roasted malts for depth and complexity. Like its namesake, Blindfold is a bit disorienting—the color of a stout and the intense, hop-forward flavors of a classic American IPA.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 936 | Reviews: 173
Photo of ARoman
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a wide flute. The aroma is initially licorice and bakers chocolate, with undertones of sweet citrus Later in the drink, coffee gets added to the mix with a chalkiness, some caramel, and just a touch of wet cardboard. The beer is a rich, oily mahogany with a light brown, frothy dense head that leaves good lace, and has an abundant, but uneven retention. The taste is a medium high, balanced chocolate bittersweet. The texture is smooth with a creamy, foamy head. The medium-full body consists of chocolate brownie, background notes of sweet citrus, and chalk up front, and finishes with a swell of sweet citrus and caramel (in turns), that's quickly replaced by a clean chalk and spice character flavored with coffee and peanut butter. These notes mellow quickly leaving an aftertaste that's chalky, piney, and clean with hints of peanut butter. After a long time, the peanut butter disappears and is replaced by a light, pleasant grapefruit.

Photo of LarryV
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Full disclosure, I'm not a big fan of the black beer trend, I think it' gimmicky at best. This is no exception.

Photo of josvemden
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Meer smaak van de Golden maar weer te veel of te scherpe hop die alle andere smaken wegneemt

Photo of dasenebler
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz, packaged 2.24.15

Light tan head is very thick. Nice black body. Excellent lacing.

Slight citrus hop profile on the nose. Leans more towards the spice and pine. Dark malts.

Roasty, chalky malts. Bitter but not overwhelming. Hops have a bit of overripe fruit, but mainly carrying pine and spice. Woody. Very clean.

Very nice body, thick but dry. Medium carbonation.

Starts well but ends a bit lackluster. A good dark ale. IPA character somewhat intact. Very drinkable. Good stuff.

Photo of Myotus
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a fingers worth of off-white foam that reduces to a single line within a minute. Beer is black with a brown tint. A massive amount of bubbles began to rise after beer was poured then subsided to a few that still rose. Has mild aromas of roasted malts that are evenly matched in intensity by fruity hop aromas. Pine aromas can be found hiding around. Initial taste is a combination of pine and fruit flavors from hops resulting in a near-rye flavor. Roasted malts slowly enter the taste palate as the fruity and piney hops become distiguishable from each other abondoning the almost-rye flavor. Like most beers high in hops, it leaves the mouth very dry. Carbonation is mild. Overall, an above average American Black Ale. NOTE: The bitterness in this beer increases drastically as it warms up. Drink relatively quick to avoid unbearable levels of bitterness.

Photo of Prestonmg
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect mix of an IPA and a stout, wonderful beer.

Photo of cyoung35
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An over hopped, dry, dark beer with a bitterness that lingers. Very roasty on the palate and nose with a light body. Drink it with your mouth hole

Photo of sporklift87
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to snifter. Somewhat aggressive pour shows a finger of brownish foam with some large sudsy bubbles. Fair retention, decent lacing walls, and fades into a medium film. Opaque black, with some tiny bits of garnet shining through. Roasted malt and dark chocolate on nose, with hints of citrus. Tastes of dark cocoa and fairly bitter hops. Fairly straightforward. Feels frothy on tongue, and has a light/medium body, with medium carbonation. A nice cocoa finish lingers on back of tongue. A good beer, perhaps more closely related to a porter than an IPA, but the bitter hops are definitely there. Though enjoyable, I must say it seems lacking in complexity for an IPA. Well balanced and the lighter body makes it quite sessionable. Would buy again.

Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.71/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very dark almost black color. Smells of hops, coffee, and hints of chocolate. Taste is fantastic, malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and hops. Overall fantastic. Like a stronger Guinness with hops.

Photo of Tavverin
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ill be honest, its more my wife's kinda beer than mine, but I like all beers anyway. And shell help me with this one so it'll be ok.

Look. retains head, though not more than is fine. leaves pretty trace bubbles. lightens the imagination. color is dark dark brown to black

Smell. smells nice. like beer I guess. Nutty .

Taste. There were strong tones of nuts, and hops. maybe citrus?

feel. feels soft. fuzzy. microsudsy? very full bodied. Lovely.


Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a coffee colored head that leaves a nice trail of lace.

Smells of pine, citrus, roasted malt, and lemon.

Up front it has a nice roasted malt character pulled back towards bitter pine and citrus - largely lemon- before it can be sweet. It is lively and moving with a nice depth to it.

Photo of NCMatt
1.94/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

I didn't really know what to expect from a "Black IPA". I've had a few different black beers before, and i've had many different IPA's. Never together, and now I know why. Best way I can describe this is burnt citrus. Unappetizing for me. Literally one of the only beers I've not been able to finish and found it's way down the drain. I'm glad it was just part of the 4-way IPA variety pack I bought and not a 6 pack of just this!

Photo of Lard_City
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sort of an IPA/Porter hybrid. Very mild hop and malt aroma. Dark red cola color. Hoppy, fruity and bitter. Malt is way overshadowed by the hops. Aftertaste fades quickly for the IBU level. Not bad but would probably only drink this when I am also eating something to contrast the hops.

Photo of kaseydad
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black/dark brown ale with a nice beige whip cream looking head. Big lacing.

The aroma is dark fruits, banana, roasted malt, tobacco, leather, shoe polish and coffee grounds.

The taste is black coffee, roasted malt, fruity, bitter chocolate yet hops definitely shine through to let you know this is still not the beer your grandpa grew up on. Nicely done SN.

Overall I feel some of the reviews for this are not fit the style. I think SN did a great job for the style. Let it warm and see the difference. I could even see the name changing to strictly Blindfold Black Ale. Let the consumer decide what this is. Complex and tasty nonetheless. Good stuff.

Photo of E-McFarden
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours like a lumberjack's coffee with champion grade lacing. Roasted malts and earthy aroma hops come through the nose and the palate strong. Heavy creamy mouthfeel, not bad

Photo of RedWeizen83
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a very good beer, will drink again.

Photo of ThaneMcC
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with good 2-3 fingers of tan foam with fair residual lacing. Smells of roasted malts, piney hops with just a hint of citrus, cocoa, bit of coffee aroma, but mostly piney bouquet. Piney, floral hop notes at forefront of taste, malty, dark unsweetened cocoa mid note with a hint of piney, leathery hop bite at the end with a residual bitterness as the aftertaste. Medium body with fair amount of carbonation.
Overall, a good representative of the style. A little more bitter than I’m accustomed, but a tasty and complex black IPA.

Photo of Frozetoes
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice taste. Not add hoppy as i thought it would be. Definite repeater!

Photo of smanders
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I still consider myself new to this style so I didn't know if this would live up to my expectations. Came as a part of the 4-way IPA 12'er, brewed on 02/10/15.

Appearance: black as pitch with a tan, firm head. Chunky lacing.

Smell: Similar to Wookey Jack (i.e. one whiff brings sweet; the next, piney citrus). I smell everything from chocolate and molasses, to citrus fruit and pine.

Taste: Awesome! The perfect combination for someone who enjoys both stouts and IPAs. Sweet, bitter, bready, hoppy. Gets even more complex as it warms.

Mouthfeel: medium. You should expect a little cloying when it looks like Quaker State.

Overall: Love it! I am a "Black IPA" fan! Hope this becomes available year-round in its own 6'ers. Thanks Sierra!

Photo of Golfer3Aces
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Love the way the hops go with the roasted malt. This beer is a winner for me.

Photo of nizzle8287
4.83/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a bit hard with a 1:1 beer:head ratio at around 45 degrees F. into a pint mug. Head dissipates so slow leaving huge, beautiful chunks of lacing all the way around. Dark brown with burgundy around the edges, sort of looks like a porter until the smell. Smells of cascade hops, west coast style, Sierra Nevada standard like a dark Torpedo scent in a way. Deep and dark molasses and hops hit the nose with a mixed dank mustiness. Medium bodied with carbonation that makes it seem fuller than it really is. Bitter. Quite dank and tasty but not very sweet west coast hops, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses on dark bread toast with butter! Lingering aftertaste sort of like campfire blackened marshmallow. As it warms, the charred chocolate campfire treats and signature cascade hop bitterness lingers ever more. If only all beers could taste this good. Trick I think with this one is to let the aromatics out with a rough pour at just below 50 degrees F. Kind of tones down the acidity while enhancing the natural flavor.

Photo of LexingtonBeer
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Intriguing mix of stout and IPA. Luckily it's the best of both worlds and not the worst. The IPA is definataly the predominant style.

Photo of hophugger
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very deep chocolate/black color. Nice tan head and great lacing all over the glass. Aroma is relatively light with some malt and light citrus. Taste is hop forward with some malt sweetness and a nice roasted coffee bitterness that lingers for a while. Overall, feels good, tastes good and is pretty well balanced.........

Photo of JohnnyI
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Translucent deep brown as it pours in to the New Belgium tulip. Impenetrably black once it collects in the glass. Remarkable 3 finger head of coffee colored foam that settles gradually in to a resilient layer, leaving impressive lacing all the way around. This could easily be mistaken for a robust imperial stout based on the appearance alone. Chocolate and coffee bean aromas mingle with a fresh, leafy hop bouquet. Toasted biscuit notes give the scent some depth. Smoky, roasted coffee bitterness bounces off of spicy, herbal hop notes creating an artful exposition of flavor. Hints of dark chocolate and minty pine come together in the finish to give the subtle impression of a peppermint patty. Medium bodied with creamy, active carbonation that really plays up the roasty bite. Perhaps a little slick for such a dark, foreboding brew, but executed well nonetheless. The pithy zing clings to your palate with a cumulative effect, reminding you that it's definitely an IPA. A little booziness on the breath also lets you know that it's a sturdy brew. The combined bitterness of the burnt malts and assertive hops yield an aspirin-like quality that's surely not for everyone. But, for me, this was pretty divine. Another win for Sierra Nevada and beer drinkers the country over. So glad they have expanded East!!!

Photo of Gmann
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep brown color, almost cola like. There is a short tight head with some larger soapy bubbles. The beige head settles into a light airy ring.

The aroma is of citrus hops, mainly grapefruit. There is a slight hint of the roast. The hop aroma dominates the malt and provides a nice bright aroma.

The hop profile in the flavor has more pine notes. The grapefruit is still there but the pine seems to be stronger. A char like bitterness from the roast. Perhaps some baker chocolate notes. Not a lot of complexity to the malt.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Mainly bitter on the palate; a bit chalky and aspirin like. You get the double whammy of bitterness between the hops and the malt.

A fine black IPA. Seems to have good balance between the malt and hops. Just not a huge fan of the double shot of bitterness that black IPA's provide.

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.