Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94 - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94
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very good

508 Ratings

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Ratings: 508
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 9.74%
Wants: 8
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Dark Belgian IPA. AKA - Sleight Of Hand
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 508 | Reviews: 124
Reviews by thatoneguymike:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours nearly jet black in to a small tulip glass except for some brownish red highlights showing thru when hed to the light,a large blooming light tan colored head atop.Like others of the Beer Camp series Ihave today the aromas are light and somewhat unassuming,some yeasty spice and earth stood out mainly.Earthy and bitter chocolate flavors stand out most,alot of bitter chocolate,mild yeasty notes but they are heald in check well,some leafy hops in the finish.Not bad,it won't knock you over the head in flavor but it has nice subtle components to it.

Photo of MadScientist
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beer camp Belgian Black IPA #31
A: Almost completely black, letting just a little bit of light through showing deep garnet hues. The head is a very long lasting, rocky brown foam.

S: The nose comes together like a blend of juniper, lemon, licorice and spice with a touch of chocolate. A medium-strong aromas of citrus and fruit hops having, a lot of that herbaceous dry hopped character,, blending with a medium phenol and a medium-low roast malt. The hops are lemony and melon-like while the phenols are peppery and somewhat clove. There is a light malt sweetness and a low floral alcohol aroma.

T: A smooth blend of melon, grape and citrus fruit flavors from the hops along with a medium-strong hops bitterness. There is a light touch of dark roast and malt sweetness but the balance is fairly bitter. The Belgian yeast character is there with a medium amount of spice and the fruit hard to name under the hops. The finish is off-dry and the after taste if a hops bitterness and a light roast.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with a medium-strong level of carbonation.

O: The hops are strong but they they still let plenty of the dark malt and yeast come through to compliment the flavor profile. When I think IPA I always want more hops but I’m can back off to enjoy a well crafted, balanced beer with a lot going on.

Photo of SanFranJake
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer Camp 94 from the 2013 Beer Camp 12 pack
Poured into a Stone IRS snifter.
Almost as dark as a IRS but not as viscous.
Great head, even at 1/4" over the top of the glass. Very nice brown, fluffy head.
Very easy down, great mouthfeel and light lacing.
While I'm usually not a huge Black IPA fan, this was very enjoyable, very tasty and quite memorable.

Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pimt.

Appearance: Just about pitch black with persistent tan head and light lacing.

Smell: Roasted, chocolate, smoke and some hard to identify fruitiness.

Taste: Strong roasted malt body with chocolate, char, coffee and smoke. Lemon and tropical notes play against the malts, but seem secondary. Some light banana as well from the Belgain yeast. The yeast is more noticeable on the borderline Saison-like finish, with a fruity spiciness. Bitterness is relatively restrained.

Feel: Fairly full body that is smooth and creamy with light carbonation. Finish is semi-dry.

Overall: The Belgian IPA and Black IPA styles are already polarizing for attempting to mesh together styles that seemingly should not, but you have to commend Sierra Nevada for taking it to the extreme and then meshing those styles together. The results are a little muddled, but overall I really do like it.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice. Date on the "Beer Camp" box is 07/29/13.

Appearance: Pours a dark brownish black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big three finger tan head which slowly recedes into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty Belgian style aroma with big hints of earthy hops and dark malt. Belgian yeast upfront with some farmhouse funk, clove, and pepper spicing. Fruity esters of banana, pear, grapes, orange, lemon zest, and slight mango. Earthy and floral hops with hints of pine resin and grass. Dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, toast, grains, biscuit, caramel, and toffee. A pretty interesting and good aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a balanced and tasty mix of Belgian yeast, earthy hops, and dark roasty malt. Upfront Belgian yeast with some farmhouse funk and clove and pepper spices. Big hop presence with floral and earthy notes. Fairly grassy with some noticeable pine resin. Fruit notes of banana, orange, grapes, lemon zest, pear, and a little mango. Big dark malt presence with roasty notes of chocolate, coffee, toasted bread, biscuit, grains, caramel, and toffee. Tastes like a combination of Saison, piney IPA, and oatmeal stout. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, silky, and pretty smooth. Pretty drying with well hidden alcohol.

Overall: A very good twist on a Black ale. Good Belgian style yeasty notes with a solid balance of hops and dark malt. The flavors play off each other well.

Photo of far333
3.18/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Seems miscategorized as a Belgian IPA. The label says Belgian style black IPA, which also seems miscategorized.

Dark brown and opaque with a beige frothy head that settles out quickly. Low aroma of lemon and phenols. Initial flavor of roasted malt, followed by clove and phenols, some faint floral hops, not much hoppiness to offset the malt. Any bitterness is contributed by the darkly roasted malt. More phenols in the finish. An acrid and ashey bitterness lingers. Moderate to full mouthfeel, dry like an irish stout. Seems like a Belgian style dark ale or Belgian style stout.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into belgian goblet; pure black, with a moderate dense tan head that descends steadily leaving fine rings of awesome lacing.
Smells interesting; cocoa and black malt melds with belgian yeast and some sort of odd polish? Could just be sharp alcohol or some other notes.
Taste is unlike anything I've had before; dark cocoa and fermented fruit blends with belgian yeast and slight alcohol, also some hops and I don't even know what's going on. Neat!
Mouthfeel is thin but smooth.
Overall, this is a very cool beer. A lot going on, but it works well together. My favorite of the Beer Camp 2013s I've had so far, if only because the last 2 had no hop flavor at all...

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small light brown head and very thin lacing above a black colored beer.

Dark roasted malts with some black licorice in the aroma.

Dark roasted malts, light dark chocolate and black licorice blended taste, with a lesser degree of some hops coming through.

Dryish lightly bitter aftertaste with some of the darker tastes remaining with this medium bodied beer.

A decent enough tasting black IPA but not really enough hops tastes for me.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Beer camp 2013.

A: Pours very dark with a dense two finger slightly tanned head. Takes a few minutes to dissipate. Leaves a complete coating of lacing on the opposite side of the snifter as I sip.

S: Belgian yeast is the first thing I notice. Roastiness does come through of course. Good touch of farmhouse earthiness and yeast. Hops come through with an herbal character. Bit of sweetness.

T: Hops are prevalent from start to finish. Real nice belgian qualities with the yeast and touch of funk. The roastiness of the malts compliments the belgian tone. Booziness does come through a bit reminding you its there.

M: Fairly light body for such a boozy and flavorful beer. Carbonation is pleasant. Finish is a bit sticky from the hopping which is understandable.

Overall another good beer camp selection by Sierra Nevada. Good mix of IPA styles going on here in this brew. Certainly worth a try.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours jet black with a light tan near 2 finger head. Good retention. Leaves a layer of suds across the surface that's thin in some spots, and clumped in others. Lacing is consistent around the glass, but is small and spotty. Good stick.

Smell - Aroma hits on caramel and chocolate, with latent roasted notes beneath. That funky belgian sourness is there, but hangs in the back.

Taste - Milk chocolate and caramel malt flavors are most noticeable, with a touch of roast that's not quite up to par hanging somewhere in the back. Green banana and funk from start to finish. Finishes much the same as it starts.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with low to moderate carbonation. Touches on chalky texture. Goes down easy enough.

Overall - There's something about that milk chocolate/caramel combination that doesn't do it for me if it isn't supported by a strong roast character. It's the same malt character I get from Rogue's Daddy's Little Helper and Moyan's Orange & Black Congrats Ale. It does not suit my palate. It doesn't work here for me, either.

Photo of GilGarp
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served chilled into a goblet.

Beer Camp #94 is nearly black in the glass with creamy off-white head. It is slow to settle and leaves some nice lacing behind.

Aroma is milk chocolatey sweet with some citrusy hops and funky Belgian yeast.

Flavor is sweet like a milk stout at first but some of that fresh hop bitterness comes through. The yeast provides some unique character but its mostly hidden by the assertiveness of the other ingredients.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy smooth.

Overall an interesting experimental brew but one that misses the mark slightly.

Photo of alphagnome
4.55/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If I didn't know any better, I'd think it to be a stout! Pitch black body allows no light to penetrate. Thick, light brown head hangs around for some time before fading away and leaving plenty of lacing behind.

Has a very welcoming peated malt character to it, reminds me more of a Scottish ale than a Belgian. Nice lightly roasted coffee notes. Lemon grass.

Complex and unique - easily the best beer I've had from Sierra Nevada! Rich & smoky malts hit up front with a hint of caramel and a fair amount of sweetness. Then a considerable amount of citrus hits the palate as earthy hop character sweep in to bitter things up. The bitterness is surprisingly restrained. A nice amount of dark fruits tickle the taste buds. Alcohol is noticeable but adds character.

Medium bodied and light on carbonation. Has a dry, smoky oak finish.

If you see it, get it! Fantastic brew! It's a really saddening experience knowing that this is a one time brew because it truly is exceptional. Here's to hoping they keep the recipe around!

Photo of tdm168
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - blackish brown with a very large, dense, brownish head that has great retention

S - spicy, floral, citrus, chocolate, hemp, fruity, herbal; the dark malts, hops, and spicy Belgian yeast play very well together in the nose

T - marijuana, spicy, herbal, bitter, piney, faint chocolate, faint roasted malt

M - a bit thin for what I would expect, well carbonated

This is a strange brew. I love the concept, but I'm not really sure how I feel about the final product. The notes of hemp throughout are different. I'm not sure I've experienced that before, and I'm not sure it was intentional. The hop character is enjoyable and very pungent. The Belgian yeast offers some spicy notes which also get along with the hops. The malt character is where I'm disappointed. I find the malt character subdued and not very supportive of the robust hop/yeast spiciness. Overall, this is a decent beer. I like the concept and there is enough of a hop presence to keep me interested. Worth a try.

Photo of secondtooth
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black with brown-amber highlights. Huge and frothy head of tan bubbles. Massive and detailed lace.

Nose is a bit fruity, malty and yeasty at first, with a citrus undercurrent. Definitely more on the Belgian side of things. Some floral hops pop out after the suds subside.

Taste is huge and rich -- a well-balanced mix of almost sour Belgian yeasts and sour grapefruit citrus hoppiness. A hearty and heavy-duty melange of Belgian complexity and American hop-centric, this is solid, but not one I'd pursue further.

Photo of cjgator3
4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark black color with a tan colored head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma is dark malts that are slightly roasted with some floral hops.

T- The taste like the aroma is dark and roasty up front from the malts with a wonderfully flavored bitterness in the finish from the hops. I'm really digging the combination of the roasted malts and hops in this one, they both work very well together.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, I think that Sierra Nevada hit a home run with this offering. I really enjoyed this brew, highly recommended!

Photo of Fatehunter
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a healthy two fingers of head on a black body. Looks great.
The aroma is strong roasted malt and a little campfire smoke.
The taste is bold: lots of roasted malt, almost burnt toast, with a lingering moderate bitterness to finish.
The texture is chewy with moderate carbonation.
It comes across more of a stout, but very enjoyable.

Photo of russpowell
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazel colored with 3 fingers of khaki colored head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Coffee, a bit of dark fruit & woody notes

T: Faint coffee, roastyness, faint carob notes & a bit of musty yeastyness up front. Slight cloveyness & a hint of Band-Aid, along with some white wine notes, along with carob & more roastyness as this warms; a touch of mushroom as well. Finishes dry, roasty, slightly dirty & shroomy, plus a bit of anise & plums, with a dab of smokeyness

MF: Medium boded, fairly assertive carbonation. that smooths out over time

A interesting take on this style. Not a bad drinker for the style, but not sure why this would be a Belgian IPA, vice a Belgian dark, or are we at the Black Belgian IPA divide?

Photo of flayedandskinned
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on July/9/13
Poured into Sierra Nevada/Dogfish IPA glass.

Pours a clear, extremely deep, dark brown with some red undertones. The beer quickly sprouts a gigantic, 3 fingers tall khaki head that has tons of retention. As the head dissipates it leaves some thick curtains of lace down the edges of the glass. Pretty impressive looking Black IPA.

Aroma: (3.5)
A wave of Belgian yeast becomes immediately apparent as you bring the glass to your nose; mostly banana and faint plum. Alongside the yeast, there are some fruity hop aromatics; white grape, subtle tangerine, and lemon peel. Beneath these somewhat subdued hop aromatics, there is a sizable, chocolate forward malt backbone, bringing with it notes of nuts and lightly roasted coffee.

Taste: (3.5)
Pretty similar to the nose. Sweet notes of banana and plum from the Belgian greets your palate first, with some fruity hops right alongside it; The hops have a slightly tropical tone to their notes of white grape, lemon peel and slightly dank pine. Playing counterpoint to these fruity tones is a lightly roasted malt backbone; impressions of baker's chocolate, coffee and a distinct nuttiness. Finishes off dry and bitter with lingering impressions of pine, bananas, chocolate and that toasted nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: (3.5)
Medium bodied, slightly creamy with moderate carbonation.

Overall: (3.5)
A very complex IPA, but I feel that the sweet Belgian yeast, combined with the rich, chocolate malt profile overwhelms the soft, lush hop profile. If Sierra Nevada toned down the yeast phenols, as well upped the hopping regiment, this really could be a winner.

Photo of Mongrel
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours just short of pitch black with a frothy two fingers of khaki head. The head dissipates somewhat quickly to leave a sudsy film on top that remains for the entirety. A great looking beer with good sticky lacing.

Smell is subtle, mostly piney with some tropical fruit.

Taste follows the nose for the most part, although the tropical fruit flavor is vague and nondescript. There's also a really pleasant burnt note (burnt toffee, perhaps?) hiding somewhere in there. Semi-sweet chocolate balances out the cool, minty hops.

Overall, this is a tasty beer that suffers from a bit of an identity crisis. It's labeled as a Belgian style black IPA, but the Belgian spice/yeast notes are just barely perceptible. It's also not big, hoppy and nuanced enough to compete with some of the better American style black IPAs out there, so it's a little confusing.

Photo of EagleTalon
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark brown color and tan head with good lacing. Aromas are spicy, earthy, phenolic and very Belgian with strong catty hops. Flavor is where the color expresses itself with toasty coffees and biscuits mix with hops to make good, complex, savory brew. Mouthfeel is medium and crisp with just the right amount of carbonation. Overall a pleasure to drink.

Photo of Treyliff
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours black with a big three-finger foamy and creamy light tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind

S- roasty coffee with some grainy malt, fruity hop profile with some pineapple/mango, lemon peel and grapefruit, some fresh grassy notes as well

T- the fruity hop profile continues into the flavor, papaya/mango with some citrus, nice malty sweetness mid-palate that finishes with some roasted coffee and a hint if musty Belgian yeast

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth finish, only a hint if alcohol warmth on the finish

O- the fruity hop profile is a bit of a switch up to the black IPA style, and works quite nicely, fruity and roasty

Photo of gillagorilla
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's (from notes).

A: Dark brown.

S: Roasty malts with rye.

T: Burnt and roasted malts. Quite good but not too much on the IPA. Nice stout flavors though.

M: Nice prickly crispness.

O: Interesting and different. My first from their Beer Camp series. Love the idea and not everyone is going to be a knockout. Great for experimentation and innovation.

Photo of goochpunch
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out jet black with a mocha head. Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, and citrusy malts. Chocolate malts are very strong in the flavor. Lots of lemon and butter from the sorachi ace. This needs more hop bitterness, but it's packed with hop flavor. Not picking up much Belgian character from this. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft. Overall, this is pretty good, but it could use more bitterness for my tastes.

Photo of puboflyons
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 2013 batch 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on November 14, 2013.

It is a very nice looking beer with its dark brown to nearly black pour and lingering, tan head. The look is worth very high marks.

The aroma is mainly malty with an apparent earthy hop note, licorice, and a hint of spice.

The body is medium to full.

The taste tends to have a little more character than the nose but the dark malts are forward and the hops are playing up the rear but lingering a moment. A slight bite that feels bigger than 7.7% ABV.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A thick, viscose dark cola pour yields a monstrous 3+ inch dark khaki, dense foam head. The coloring is midnight black in the vessel with a moderatedly paced rise of effervesce creeping up along the glass walls. The head decays to a soapy appearence, with large cavenous voids and pockets along the sides of the glass . Head potential is lasting with tons of soapy foam deposits sticking well behind of generous coverage.

S: The nose yields a quick flash of sweet, rich chocolate, soil and tree bark earthiness, dried cola all of moderate strength.

T: The flavor was rich with a hearthy roastiness, softly charred nature, dark, moderately bitter with some doughy yeastiness. Bittering earthiness, cola, dried dark fruit of dates, earthy smoked vegetative and tobacco, with some lightly smoked pine wood. Bittering anise on the finish, burnt pine needles, with some lemony-caraway spicing and a light background of fruitiness.

M: Mouthful was doughy, chewy, full bodied with a great viscosity that was lightly carbonated. Bittering warmth on the inner cheeks.

O: Overall some good doughy yeast quality meets an earthy bitterness and roasty appeal to give this a woodsy, old camp feel. Smooth drinking, dark, roasty flavor that has its moments.

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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.