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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

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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
Reviews by MadCat:
Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours black with good tan head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, resinous and piney hops

Taste: Coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts are up front, a change of pace for something with IPA in the name. There are some nice pine and resin hops in there as well. A nice balance between hops and malts, does have enough hops where I feel that it is a Black IPA rather than a hoppy stout.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: A solid brew all around, I'm happy with it. Would have been nicer a month or so ago when it was colder weather and I was craving some hops, it is a good way to get in a darker winter brew and satisfy a hop craving. Better drink them before it gets too warm!

More User Reviews:
Photo of tillmac62
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

BOD 109/14. As advertised, this one pours just like a stout - almost black with a massive head. Lacing and retention are excellent. The nose is more IPA like, pine and floral hops over a light chocolate with roast notes. Medium body with a slick texture that is almost creamy. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence on the finish. The unique flavor profile is quite nice, balanced and complex. It begins with citrus hop, then flows to pine over a light chocolate sweetness. Bitterness follows that is citric rind in nature over a very light smoke from the roast - very well balanced so each component is evident, but not over powering. The smooth finish leaves you with a lingering citric bitterness with a chocolate note. An Outstanding example of the style.

Photo of Beaver13
2.94/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a big creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts and a little bandaid.

The flavor is acidic roasted bitter chocolate malts with some residual sweetness and sprucey hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, an OK black IPA with lots of bitterness but it's very acidic and not well balanced.

Photo of bsp77
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic pint.

Appearance: Near black with nice, billowing tan head that leaves some minor lacing behind.

Smell: Pretty fruity aroma, with some coffee, chocolate and chalk.

Taste: Strong fruity taste, and not of the expected citrus and/or tropical kind. It is more berry and dark fruits. Some chocolate as well. The finish is somewhat bitter with coffee and pine.

Feel: Medium body that is fairly creamy with carbonation mostly in check. Mostly dry finish.

Overall: Tastes like a Milk Stout with a more bitter, pine-like finish. Not really a "Black IPA". Still good, but a little too fruity to compare to better examples of the style.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Huge four finger light tan head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A roasty and juicy mix of citrus and earthy hops with dark malt. Earthy and floral hops with hints of grass and pine resin. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, pineapple, and tangerine. Big presence of dark roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate, coffee beans, caramel, toast, biscuit, grains, and yeast. A pretty solid balanced aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty, earthy, and juicy mix of hops and dark malt. Citrus hops with juicy notes of grapefruit, lemon, orange peel, pineapple, and tangerine. Floral and earthy hops with notes of pine resin and grass. Big dark roasted malt presence with notes of dark chocolate, coffee bean, toasted bread, caramel, grains, biscuit, and yeast. A nicely balanced taste of dark roast and oily hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very solid Black IPA. Good presence of both hops and dark roast notes.

Photo of GOBLIN
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Blindfold

Sierra Nevada beer in a Sierra Nevada glass

Poured into pint glass

A: Dark like a rich porter but not quite stout

S: Again, like a decent porter or stout. Roasted malts but no hop presence . . . Where are the hops ?

T: A little dissapointed. Not because this is not a good beer. It is. It's just that I was expecting a black ipa and I got a porter.

M: Full bodied. Thick and somewhat creamy.

O: As I said above, I'm just a little dissapointed with Blindfold because it smells, looks and tastes like a porter. This might be the only complaint and I do mean only complaint that I have with S.N. And that is for my money they don't deliver on this style. Overall not a bad beer just not what I was expecting.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost pitch black, there are ruby highlights at the edges when held toward the light, light tan head looks kind of like a dry Irish stout in the glass. Nice full thicket of head with chunky textures. Aroma dark roasted malts, earthy almost mint like herbal hop qualities. It also has a nuttiness that's complementing the dark roasted malt character with some generic ale fruitiness that may be characteristic of the hops as well. Flavor I'm getting more of that nutty character with the bitterness of the hops call me crazy but I'm experiencing something that almost comes off like peanut butter for a minute...maybe I've drank too much DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus lately, but that's what I'm getting even though I know that's not intended I think it's some interaction between the roasted malts and the hop character here. Caramelized roasted malts, dark chocolate edges more like drinking a very hoppy porter with a bit more malt expression than your average dry dark roasted malt finish, the bitterness here is definitely from the hop varieties used. A very good sipping beer complex herbal/fruity/citrus hop edge wrapped in dark nutty caramelized malts that border on complex iced coffee flavors. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied great textures on the palate, a tad oily but flowing carbonation clears that off the palate quite nicely dry herbal/dark roasted malt finish. Overall, a very good version of the style, it's hard to come by a good Black IPA, I hope this sampler remains available for awhile...I could picture myself needing more of this.

Photo of timontheroad
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark black color, with some reddish highlights as I look at a light through the beer. Nice billowy two finger thick brown head that stayed nicely and left some good lacing all down the glass.
Smell: Heavy aromas of dark roasted malt, some slight chocolate notes, and just a hint of grass in the nose.
Taste: Pretty close to the smell, with the malt and light chocolate flavors dominant. Some piney hop flavors, but not what I'd expect for a Black IPA.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice carbonation on the tongue.
Overall: Almost reminded me of a slightly hoppy porter. This was just a ok beer, nothing special - not overly smitten with the style either.

Photo of Auraan
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a gorgeous deep black/brown with red highlights around the edges and a finger and a half of beautiful tan head. It looks fantastic, like a good stout. Scents of pine resin, peat moss, undertones of tropical fruit, with an emphasis on mango, notes of dark chocolate, coffee and roast malt and faint undertones of orange and lemon zest. A nice aroma that combines rich roasted malt aromas with bright fruity and pine-like notes from hops. Quite nice. Flavor begins lightly sweet, with notes of toffee and dark chocolate mingling with orange flesh and orange and grapefruit peel. Pine resin joins grapefruit peel, roast malt, black coffee and light sweetness in the middle. The finish is medium-dry with notes of pine resin, grapefruit peel, and light roast malt. Aftertaste is dry with notes of roast malt, pine resin and grapefruit peel. A good black ale flavor profile that combines a stout with IPA level hopping quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation and a resinous, slightly drying feel. Quite nice and very drinkable. Overall this is a pretty good American Black Ale. It has the nice hybrid of stout and IPA in its aroma and taste and combines it with a very drinkable mouthfeel. A good experiment that is worth trying.

Photo of Brenden
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Blindfold looks a rich mahogany brown color on the pour and settles darker, not quite black but close to it. The head is creamy and frothy, reaching about a finger and dropping, then more slowly leveling to foam. An unbroken ring of lacing forms where the beer settles in the glass, then follows with pretty heavy spotting.
Nice, rich dry malts put out a bit of ash and wood into the nose along with some pine and leaf or flora.
The taste brings out a much stronger bitterness, but not too hard, mostly again pine but dry and woody as well. It's actually a very firm hoppiness, with some earthy elements coming out into the raw but clean bitter taste. Roast is just enough to make this one of the more hop-forward of the style out there.
The feel allows for a brightness but some strong support from the malts, a good sturdy crispness, and level carbonation that never falls off. It flows exceptionally well, with lots of creamy smoothness on the palate from start to finish. Even dry and woody all the way through, it never gives up depth or richness.

Photo of CloudStrife
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 01 21 14 inkjet on the neck of the label.

A: Pours a clear dark ruby brown appearing almost black in the glass with a slightly tanned head sitting on top. Leaves some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. Bit too dark to see any visible carbonation.

S: Aroma is pleasant on this one. Initially you notice some floral and fruity hops which is complimented by a roasty quality in the malts. Bit of chocolate in the background.

T: Good balance going on here with a definitive lean toward the hopiness you would expect in an IPA. The hop fruitiness blends very well with the roasted malt giving you one whole flavor instead of a competition between the two. Decent bitterness and a touch of alcohol.

M: Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish from the hops.

Overall this is a very finely tuned Black IPA that unites such a difference of flavors into one delicious blend. Worth a try.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 4-way IPA pack that arrived to New Mexico last week.

A- Robust, foamy and persistent head that settles into a plateau. Pitch black liquid, opaque and stout-like. Some lacing is there.

S- Piney and fruity hops, very resinous, hop spice, dark roasted malts and hints of coffee.

T- Roasted coffee hits me immediately, than chocolate, and then the hops come late on the palate and are floral and earthy with some spice. I get a nice lingering baker's chocolate taste at the end.

M- There's some coffee-like qualities to this beer, but it's also creamy and has a bit of a bite from the hops before the dry finish.

I'm becoming a big fan of Sierra Nevada and this is yet another beer I could drink regularly from them. Matter of fact, I will drink it regularly since the 12 packs are $12.99.

Photo of tastybeer
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark, nearly opaque with a nice large head and plenty of sticky lace that clings all over the glass. Aroma is caramel, toffee, nutty cocoa, pine, and citrus. Floral as well. Taste is more hoppy than the aroma but with a nice dark ale maltiness. Creamy, caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, and some scattered hop flavors. Hops seem more heavily bittering and along with that this beer has a hoppy resiny mouthfeel to it. Very nice. Pretty good stuff. Maybe a little syrupy in texture around the resiny qualities.

Photo of Retroman40
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

Pours a beautiful dark amber color with a rich creamy head. Floral hops dominate the smell but the flavor is a great balance between hops, malt and some coffee in the finish. The carbonation and mouth feel as superb. Overall a great beer.

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

Pours a dark brown (nearly black) with ruby highlights. A thick head of off-white carbonation. Beautiful, loopy, frilly lace.

Nose is roast coffee and mocha/bittersweet chocolate malts. Little trace of the "IPA" characteristics promised in the name.

Taste is, at first, roasty coffee and chocolate, with some definite bitterness from the hops shining through. Finishes a curious blend of bitter citrus hops and roasty malts. A tasty and enjoyable mix of styles.

Photo of Roguer
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark, dark brownish black brew. Pours a nice, slightly fizzy, tan head. Retention is very good. Decent lacing.

A bit of a "wet dog" earthy hop aroma, as well as slight grapefruit and floral notes. Chocolate malts balance the rest out. Hint of coffee. Surprisingly subdued aroma.

Huge, full flavor, heavy on chocolate malts, finishing up nice and roasted. Very slight grapefruit citrus hops, but very bitter overall. Resin and earthy hops. Citrus peel on the back-end. Hoppier as you go.

Creamy and full mouthfeel. Slightly dry finish with staying power. Very drinkable.

Wow, this really comes across more like a hoppy stout, a la Storm King. The hops are definitely secondary to the malts. It is a very hoppy beer, but the hops aren't presented as the most important flavor component here.

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a brown head that lasts. Aroma is hop bitterness and slight roast malts. Taste is light citrus and bitterness with roasted tones and a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall this is a great black ipa with lots of roast and bitterness. Looks like a stout, drinks like a roasted ipa.

Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Standard pry off 12 oz. bottle poured into a globe glass. The Blindfold pours a clear deep brown, and deep mahogany in the light, with half inch of light mocha foam which offers decent retention.

Piney and citric hops on the nose, lightly muddled by the roasted malt presence. Typical for the style which doesn't offer great variety for me. Still, well fitted within that narrow range and enticing and relatively hop forward.

Taste offers more malt character than the aroma yet doesn't overdoe it either. Touch of coffee and a bit of milk chocolate and thin(not sweet) cherry notes on the finish fit well with a surprising lack of coarseness of bitterness from the dark malts, perhaps debittered in nature. Offers a good carbonation and a light hop bitterness on the finish without being too drying on the palate. Overall I like this for the style, yet perhaps in part because I'm not a big fan of the style.

Photo of DrDerek
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Dark Brown/Black color with a little foamy tan head

S: Coffee sent with hints of grapefruit/lemon

T: More of a coffee stout flavor with the hints if a classic american IPA in the background. There are also hints of fruit and the taste of coffee sticks with you for a few minutes after drinking.

M: There is a nice mouth feel with this beer. It is not quite as thick as a stout but thick enough for it's class.

O: I enjoyed the beer but not my favorite Sierra Nevada IPA. A good black IPA in most senses.

Serving type: bottle

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 larryarms847
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is dark and poured a frothy two finger head.

Smell of slight caramel and raisins.

Tastes of raisins, vanilla, and other dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is a little bitter, but overall velvety and good carbonation.

Overall this is a great black IPA, not overpoweringly sweet and would definitely buy again.

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.

Photo of Flopjack
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into tulip

Appearance - Black with a 1 finger light mocha colored head. Nice lacing.

Smell - Floral hoppy aroma balanced nicely with roasted notes. Citrus, molasses, spent coffee grounds.

Taste - At first you get almost the same level of hoppiness you get with the smell. Pine, and grapefruit come forth first and establish a bitterness that lasts. Molasses, spent coffee grounds, malts and even slight smokiness seem to each subtly present themselves towards the middle and end, but the citrusy bitterness still remains.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth.

Overall - Good beer. Bought as a single to try and cannot say that I'm dissipointed.

Photo of Treyliff
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

A- pours a nearly opaque black color with a two-finger frothy, rocky and pillowy light-tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind

S- slightly smoky roasted malt aroma with notes of cocoa and a hint of coffee. Piney and floral hops with some earthy & grassy notes

T- Roasty & smoky malt base gives notes of chocolate and a hint of coffee, burnt marshmallow, and some earthy notes. Hop bitterness begins to kick in around mid-palate, with an emphasis on pine and floral; some grassy & peppery notes kick in before finishing dry with a hoppy linger

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a super creamy mouthfeel that continues into an almost chewy, smooth & dry finish. The everlasting head really helps with the creamy mouthfeel, which is spot on

O- really surprised that this isn't rated higher, a very good example of the style with a perfect mouthfeel

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!

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