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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

872 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 872
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 10
Gots: 168 | 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: 872 | Reviews: 160
Photo of schickp1
1.08/5  rDev -71.9%

Photo of Bmftbl8
1.75/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not a very good black IPA. Not much carbonation or flavors. Taste like black coffee. Wouldn't recommend it.

Photo of dorne29
2.12/5  rDev -44.8%

Photo of Angelwhisner
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of Monty784
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of Tigre
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.74/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. The head is about, um, 352 fingers high, and has a khaki shade. The texture is rather soapy, and the retention is rather inconsistent (usually the sign of a well-hopped beer). Some streaks of lacing are left behind.

S: There are some nice hops here - primarily herbaceous and piny in that typical SN fashion - but similar to the Snow Wit I had before this, its hop profile is rather restrained. But that's okay, the rest of the aroma is restrained as well. Wait...anyways, I'm only getting touches of brown sugar, touches of dark fruit, touches of chocolate, and that's it. I'm really let down by the aroma's lacking oomph.

T: It follows the nose well. The predominant flavor is hop bitterness - not much flavor, just bitterness. I'm getting some light caramel, brown sugar, and MAYBE a few espresso notes around the middle and back end, but nothing impressive. All in all though, this one is too bland and too generically bitter.

M: At the very least, this beer's lightness on the palate is laudable. It's somewhat dry finishing, too, so there is a bit of danger to drinking this quick. If only it weren't so bland...

O: Totally disappointing. SN's standard porter is far more enjoyable. Thankfully, I have three more opportunities to give this another chance - this wasn't so horrible that I never want to drink it again. I'm just not that enthused by such a prospect. This is honestly my least favorite SN offering to date.

Photo of Bieniek30
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of BB1313
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Bottled on 2/14/14. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours black with a light fluffy khaki head that fades slowly and leaves great lacing and retention. The aromas are loaded with malts. The hop aromas are basically non-existent. Subtle hints of coffee. Ultimately, the nose is very weak. The flavors aren't overly impressive to me either. Lots of earthy hop bitterness with no hop flavor at all. Very grainy. Lots of grass. Slightly roasty. Some smoke. More cocoa malts. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Some pine needles in the mix. Finishes pretty dry. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's medium-bodied with active carbonation. It's pretty smooth and creamy. Easy to drink.

I'm not really feeling this one at all. It's just not an interesting take on the style to me. I'd love to see Sierra Nevada brew their Juniper Black Ale again..

Photo of GuitarIPA
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of tb4475
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of jricharc
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

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 gillagorilla
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (013014C216:10)

A: Minimal head. Slightly tan head with ok lacing. It is pitch black.

S: Rye malts with an almost smokey or toasty scent to it. I get a bit of chocolate on the nose. Not really anything in the way of hops. It kind of smells like a porter.

T: You get light hops here but it is overcome by the roasted malts. It is almost like charcoal. I get just a light amount of sweet malt with only a smidgen of pine. Sticky aftertaste, that is a burnt flavor.

M: The mouthfeel here is decent, but still a bit odd. It is super light with like no bubbles or texture. It is almost oily.

O: Just a weird light beer with very little hop flavor. I wouldn't call this an IPA. The roast and malts just blanket everything. Not a fan. All of this is making me less excited to try Torpedo.

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a variety IPA 12 pack at an H-E-B grocery in April 2014 and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Label is green and appealing. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the style (which is hard to brew in a balanced fashion) and the brewery (which tends to disappoint). 6.8% ABV per the label. Bottled 02/14/14. Identifies itself as a Black IPA, so I'm reviewing it as such.

Served at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Has decent thickness and nice creaminess, but isn't real frothy or full. Still, it's got a nice fluffy consistency and appears soft and inviting, plus it retains pretty well for its ABV - about 4 minutes. Spotty inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the tulip as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Dark, but not quite a jet black. Appears adequately carbonated. I don't see any yeast particles or hop sediment, so I guess you could call it clean.

Overall, it looks like any other Black IPA. Far from unique or special, but there's nothing clearly wrong with it.

Sm: Floral, piney, and light resinous hop character is prominent here. Sadly though, as with most Black IPAs, the hop notes seem to battle the dark malts/roasted barley, betraying the beer's lack of balance - at least in the aroma. The malts and hops never feel like they're working in tandem, but rather aggressively play against each other. The roast is a bit too restrained for my tastes (or my smells...?) and the cream here feels out of place. I pick up on some light bready malts, a kiss of fennel/anise, just a biteen of burnt sugars, and even a hint of lactose sugar. In some ways, it smells like a milk stout, only with an intrusive unwelcome hop presence.

Overall, it's an inoffensive aroma of mild strength. I can't say I'm expecting anything great.

No yeast character or alcohol is noticeable in the aroma.

Mf: The creamy, smooth (almost silky), and wet texture works well here, lending it a soft comforting (yet unrefreshing) feel on the palate, which is complemented nicely by its medium body and moderate thickness. It's not too filling or heavy, and has a nice presence overall. A bit overcarbonated, but it's forgivable.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Outside of style conventions, the texture is working for me, and is well executed.

Unfortunately, the texture - while good on its own - doesn't really suit this beer's flavour profile in particular, mostly because the flavours aren't great.

T: Just as in the aroma, the hop notes (pine/evergreen, light resinous, and floral notes) just don't play well with the malts (dark malts, roasted barley, a dab of caramalt, maybe some chocolate malt). It's a fundamentally imbalanced brew, and as such never feels gestalt or even particularly cohesive. As with most Black IPAs, I find myself wanting the intrusive hop notes gone; the "dark side" of the flavour profile is pretty enjoyable.

Depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. It's not a complex brew, but it might be a complicated one - there's a lot going on here, but the many notes don't feel well layered or integrated into a cohesive whole. Lacks subtlety, intricacy, and nuance. Poor amplitude.

I do like it in a general sense, but the absence of balance makes it hard to love.

Dr: It's a drinkable but forgettable Black IPA. I wouldn't get it again, but to Sierra Nevada's credit it's not as imbalanced as many Black IPAs I've tried. I wouldn't mind seeing it in a variety box in the future, but I'd never order it at a bar or anything. You could do worse for this price point, but Sierra Nevada continues to underwhelm. This will have its fans, but the discerning drinker can safely skip this offering. Finally, the emphasis on piney hop character doesn't really cater to my personal tastes, which is what holds this beer back from getting a C+. I'd probably even say this might be worth aging for a year if only to tone back those pesky hop notes.

Bottom Line: On the high side of average for the style, but still an underwhelming effort.

High C

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.