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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

836 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 836
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 7
Gots: 153 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 836 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/21/14.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. A foamy lattice of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coffee bean, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and slight citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and slightly medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mixture of roast and hop qualities all around.

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

such a good beer, awesome black ipa here, the best of both worlds. we sometimes dont give sierra nevada enough credit, yeah, they are huge, but this latest four way ipa box is evidence that they are among the best in the world, especially when it comes to hops. this beer is coffee black, and has some of that similar earthy bitterness on the front end. its light and airy wispy tan head is similar to its feel, also very delicate and fluffy, nice on the tongue, and subtle or a beer in this style. hops are citric and not bitter, that comes from the grain, a fun complex for this seemingly sessionable yet nearly 7% abv brew. its the perfect accompaniment to rare fillet mignon oscar, with fresh crab hollandaise sauce and wild mushrooms. i put the mushies in brandy and rosemary, and with this beer, its just unfairly tasty. a food driven beer for sure, and it could be a great compliment to a number of cool dishes, has me inspired, but tonight it was first fiddle, and this box of ipa is absolutely sensational.

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, floral hops, citrus and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh hops bitterness followed by the bitter-sweet flavor of dark chocolate. The malt character is hearty and brings some balance. There are also faint background flavors of citrus and coffee. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are definitely a lot of other beers in the style that I would pick first.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a good, well-balanced black ipa. Nice hopped tones I a kind of oily base. Nothing screaming too loudly. But nothing bland by any means. Just a well done version of the style. I could go for numerous of these in a sitting. Hopefully SN keeps this around for a while.

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 XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Photo of smcolw
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large, lumpy head with plenty of chunky lace on the glass. Near black color where no light shines through except through the edges.

Dry, unsweetened cocoa aroma, reminds me of a porter but with a little hop bite.

The flavor is far more hoppy with a black pepper. There's still a distinct dark chocolate flavor with a bit of burnt black patent malt. Neutral body with a mildly diminished carbonation level. Long hoppy/burnt toast aftertaste.

Photo of Gavage
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black color with a huge 3" head that lasts a long time. Thick lace paints the glass.

Smell: woody bitterness, some pine, and a bit of citrus is mild on the nose.

Taste: roasted malt with earthy / woody tones, grapefruit, a hint of pine, and some mild chocolate flavors are wrapped in a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: an enjoyable black IPA that was refreshing and satisfying.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/30/2014. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense light tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, coffee, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hop and dark roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, coffee, roast, cocoa, light char, toast, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of citrus/pine hops and dark roasted malt flavors; with a very crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, moderately sticky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. All around good balance of citrus/pine hops and dark roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of stakem
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks Slatetank for gifting me with this. Standard 12oz bottle into a tulip. The brew appears dark brown with clarity when held to the light. Some brown head rests atop, fading leaving patchy lace on the glass.

The smell is piney with some roasted chocolate and coffee appeal before a slight tingle of hops gets noticed. The taste includes notes of coffee, chocolate and roasty earth with piney hops. A slight mineral feel lingers with citrus hoppiness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A pretty standard black ipa that I really enjoyed for its lack of over the top hop influence though, it was still present and accounted for. I would drink this again.

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of BARFLYB
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 836 ratings.