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

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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94
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BA SCORE
86
very good

508 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
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
Photo of Brad007
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black hue with a thick brown head. I haven't been much into black IPAs as of late.

Spicy, earthy yeast notes compliment a pine hop aroma with a touch of molasses upfront. It definitely isn't a typical dark IPA.

Again, a strong emphasis on the spiciness and earthiness of the yeast here with a touch of pine hops and bittersweet chocolate in the finish.

The mouthfeel was dominated by hops and lingering traces of bittersweet chocolate.

I enjoy the complexity of this fine example of a Belgian Pale Ale. It's the best of both worlds for lovers of the former style and the newcomer American Black Ale style.

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

Appearance:
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.

Aroma:
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.

Taste:
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.

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

Overall:
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 surferdrew
4.44/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap. goblet. 55F.

A: As black as brown can get. khaki head. Lace clings to the glass walls throughout the quaffing.

S: Caramelized banana bread crust, garam masala spices, clove, gooseberry.

T: Sweet toffee, dried fig, licorice give way to caramelized grapefruit rind and citrus.

M: Smooth, smooth, smooth. Medium body, medium carbonation, alcohol is well masked.

O: Another great offering from Sierra Nevada. Excited that this will be re-brewed and distributed as a Best of Beer Camp in 2013. Will be interested to lay some of these down to see how the spice and malt add complexity over time.

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated 7/23/13 (tried in a tulip and snifter; preferred the snifter).
Appearance - great looking brew! black, no light coming through, thin tan head with very nice lacing!
Smell - some floral hops but more citrus and some banana bread.
Taste - wow! More hop forward than I expected based on the nose. Hints of the Belgian yeast, but this is more of a refreshing black IPA for sure!
Feel - nice! Hop bitterness in the finish, very well balanced with the dark malts, and the belgian yeast; medium body!
Overall - this is a terrific beer! I am a huge Black IPA fan, and this is wonderful and complex...hopefully Sierra Nevada brings this back!

Photo of CSFerrier
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first actual beer review, I've done several ratings but no actual reviews.

The Black IPA is deliciously thick and smoky. It's not overly hopped and it's smoky flavoring adds a smooth and bonus extra to this IPA.

The head is thick and long lasting on the glass.

The named does it justice, even when held to the lite window its as black as an anomaly. It really is a gorgeous beer in a sniffer.

Overall, I wish this wasn't limited.

Photo of dbauer78
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: the beer is black, if you look hard you can see some cloudyness to it as well but very hard to see though the beer. The head is thick and a light brown, leaving alot of lacing the whole way to the bottom of the glass.

S: the hops take most of the the nose. mostly fruity as well as some pine. some of the dark roasted malts peak though the hops but not much.

T: there is alot going on hear and hard to pick it apart, the burt malt mixed with the hops mixed with the spicy belgin yeast.

M: smooth mouthfeel, mixed with a mild amount of carbonation

O: very complex almost seams like all the flavors are trying to fight each other for your attention. its a grate beer and they hit everything on the label, belgin yeast, hops, and dark malts.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap 11/20/2013 at Doherty’s Ale House, in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

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

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty roasted malt character that is quickly followed by flavors of dark chocolate and coffee. Then a strong hops bitterness comes in creating a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

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

O: Very tasty, goes down easily, not to filling, good kick, very good combination of styles, this is a very nice beer to pound down for a long time.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a dark mahogany brown, nearly opaque in the glass with a fine two finger light tan head with great retention and lacing. An unusual and intriguing looking IPA. Aroma of earthy spices, clove, herbal and grassy hops, Belgian yeast and sweet malt, interesting. Flavor brings out more of the black ale components, charred coffee, toasted malt, vanilla, but with the earthy spiciness and Belgian yeast flavors of the aroma as well as cola influences. Finishes with clove and light grassy, herbal hops. Medium, creamy bodied. A very idiosynchratic take on an IPA. There is a lot of complexity here and some that doesn't seem like it should work, but I really liked the combination of flavors. The Belgian clove spiciness really fit in well with the toaste malt. I'm impressed. Not much of a hop bomb, but very enjoyable. Second and favorite of the pack so far.

Photo of herman77
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a light beige head that sticks around. Nice lacing.

S: Lots going on in the nose. You get some interesting Belgium yeast (slight spiciness) that plays really well with the nelson Sauvin and Sorachi ace hops as well as a nice roasted malt scent as well. A fruity/tropicaly chocolatey kind of smell.

T: Follows the nose. Love the complexity. A nice roasted malt stage, with fruity hops and a bit of spice from the Belgium yeast. It's got a bit of everything, roast, bitter, sweet, fruity, tropical, earthy and spice. It all comes together very well.

M: On the heavier side of medium. Great carbonation, feels pretty creamy. Feels a lot like a stout.

O: Pretty good drinkability. A very different beer for sure. Doesn't seem like it would work that well but I think it came out excellent and just the way they wanted it too. I thought the combo of the Belgium yeast with the Sorachi Ace and Nelson Sauvin hops would clash, but it worked out to be a wonderful and very interesting tasting beer.

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 lordofstarside
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz to snifter, bottled 8/1

Pours pitch black with a voluminous two fingers of mocha colored foam, 0% transparency even around the edges when held to the light (heavy smoke, not very bright out however). After a minute the foams died down to a finger, but is doing well retaining it with mild carbonation on the sides

Smells of a strong chocolate malt coming through strongest with a bit of funk on the end. Citrusy hops next with a bit of pine, coffee, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. Everything melds pretty well

Taste is with the nose, strong upfront hoppy chocolate with some citrus and pine. Sweet toasty and coffeed malts back up the hops, a bit of funk on the finish with a bit of booze. Some nice complexity

Mouth is a full body with a touch of carbonation. Very bitter and drinkable, alcohol concealed well. Also very smooth and creamy on the finish, incredibly drinkable

Overall a nice spin on the style, definite recommendation to anyone curious about it. All of the beer camp beers this year have been incredible, kudos Sierra Nevada- will buy some more

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review was taken the day Beer Camp 2013 variety pack arrived here. I'm reviewing both versions being the 2013 Beer Camp #94 Belgian black ipa and #94 sleight of hand are what I'm assuming is the same beer.

12 oz brown Sierra Nevada style shorty bottle with fantastic Beer Camp logo and label. This was poured into a Belgian style stemmed tulip. Note: the beer camp series labeling and art really describe for me the style of craft brewing in California. Good stuff!

A - it definitely pours dark. Black in fact. A rich black. When held to the light the deep ruby dark red shines through, but this thing is black. Head comes out very nice, darker side of off white to a tan coloring. It's creamy and lasts a good while. A nice sized ring of lacing leaves pretty good stick as well.

S - woodsy character up front. Like a man's man cologne only not. Soft coffee and burnt chocolate malt make up a nice base. Hops finally begin to show themselves with a fruity tropical like aroma. Very odd flavors, but this isn't a bad thing. It smells wonderful. The funky Belgian style yeast blends perfectly.

T - smoked coffee beans start things off with tropical fruits with lemon highlighting the fruit notes. Dark chocolate creeps up and slides to the back making way for more of that down right unique Belgian yeast strain. The hop profile In this flavor is fruity dominance with some excellent Belgian spices.

M - good feel and textured very well. Gets the flavors to touch every inch of the palate. Excellent SN style thickness to the body with an upper-medium body. Nearly full and packed with flavor. Unique flavor, but good flavor. Very enjoyable.

O - love the beer camp releases. This may be the most enjoyable Beer Camp offering I've had. Not sure, its the best, but definitely on top of my personal favorite Camp releases. I'd love to have this again in the future. It's just an perfectly crafted brew and whoever thought this up did very well at Beer Camp. This takes full advantage of a number of different characteristics and then some. Very good and I can assure you ill buy it again if its ever bottled in the future. #94 is my favorite Camp release yet!

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 jimmah120
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, a couple months old, into weird-ass 10oz glass that i dont know the name of. came with the beer camp sampler.

pours out black with a head that quickly fades to nothing. smell is roasted malts and stinky belgian yeast. taste is an interesting and very well done blend of 3 styles: porter, IPA, belgian.

when fresher the hops were brighter, and the beer was better. this is still good, tho

Photo of BierStein711
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass, beige three finger head with a jet black body. The brilliance of off white lacing coats the shaker pint.

No carbonation

Smells: herbal, and grassy

Taste: grassy, medicinal, green tea, toffee, chocolate, coffee, the hops at the end smooths the sweet roller coaster out with some balance

Overall: It was not as good as Summit's Black Ale, but it comes in at a close second!

I'd get a sixer of this brilliant beer anytime!

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/9/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 2-3 finger dense and rocky tan head with awesome retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, light char, banana, clove, pepper, lemon zest, pine, floral, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt, yeast, and moderate hop notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, pepper, clove, banana, lemon zest, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, light char, pepper, clove, banana, lemon zest, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt, yeast, and moderate hop flavors; with a nice bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased in the mixed case best of beer camp -enjoyed chilled from the 12oz in a oversized wine glass.

The color is black as night with an opaque clarity with thick 3 finger light beige cap with rocky head and average bead with a webbing of lace. The smell is very fruity and tropical with a lot of dark malt aroma almost like french roast with citrus and char pretty equal in the nose. The feel is bitter but juicy too with some intense roasted almost char in the texture with dry and moderate carbonation level with some light acidity and moderate sweetness to balance.

The flavor is a very intriguing combo of citrus like tanginess almost lemony with some black coffee and mild mango type tropical juiciness which sounds odd, but it works it has such a nice dry spice from the belgian yeast bringing out some more bitterness and biscuit-like flavor from the malt. I really enjoy how the slight sweetness seems to bring it all together with the hop flavor and acrid dark malt somehow being interwoven with yeast and light spice in the finish. Overall I really like the way the combination of ingredients came together in this beer, a really array of hops in the taste foremost yet the dark malt was not forgotten in favor of a black looking IPA, it carries some of the char of black malt into the flavor with a nice blend of black beer and IPA yet still dry and earthy with a west coast flair -the best of the batch in my opinion.

Photo of Gavage
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" head that slowly falls.

Smell: belgian yeast and some earthy bitterness rise from the glass.

Taste: roasted malts, bready belgian yeast, dark fruits, chocolate, and an earthy bitterness are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout with some dryness late. The yeast flavor lingers long into aftertaste.

Overall: a very enjoyable beer that isn't as hop forward as some other SN beers. Nice version worth seeking out.

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 smell...furniture 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 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 scottfrie
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into SN hop glass.

A: Pours a cola brown color with a huge dark tan fluffy head that slowly faded into a thick pillowy film. Chunky lacing was left down the glass.
S: I get notes of citrus rind, floral hops, mild tropical fruits, mild roast.
T: Super hoppy with a solid bitterness. Lemon citrus, faint tangerine, fresh hop resin, and a balancing amount of roast, chocolate, and spice come through. The finish is full of spicy herbal hops and fruity yeast, and the aftertaste is roasted and bitter. Belgian yeast comes out more in the aftertaste as the beer warms.
M: Medium body, soft and smooth carbonation, bitter, slick and drying mouthfeel but not a desert.
O: A solid, well rounded, and balanced black ipa. Belgian yeast adds another dimension but not super noticeable. Drinkable but forgettable.

Photo of chugalug06
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep black brew with tan crispy foam head. Lacing is slightly above average, but head retention is very nice.

Roasty, chocolate, banana, clove, spice, pepper. Slightly awkard aroma, but unique for sure.

Creamy, milky, roasty chocolate with lots of bizarre flavors brought from the Belgian half. Tons of dry biting bitterness on the back-end. Wet and forward roasty clove flavors on the front-end. Banana-chocolate shines at the beginning giving way to piney bites. Carbonation is spot on, but dryness sucks the back-end out of the brew. Moderate drinkability.

A very complex and unique brew. Reminds me of the Belgian Yeti from Great Divide. A very solid brew. Glad I grabbed this one on a whim.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Pours near black with a thin, tan head. Long lacing and mild light penetration of the body.

S-Nelson Sauvin hops are my absolute favorite and Sorachi Ace are up there too. I get both in the nose. The hops, specifically the Sorachi give me a sort of Piña Colada aroma and flavor. The Nelson hops could sand to be a bit more lively here unfortunately. I also get small whiffs of Beligan yeast and some solid coffee and chocolate.

T-The hops used really match the roast and dark malts well. The Nelson hops come out more here with a must, white grape flavor and some herby citrus combos. The lemongrass of the Sorachi hops also pop up too. A whispy Belgian yeast strain is enveloped by the roast and lig chocolate.

M-Medium body. Lighter than it looks. Booze is hidden. Not violently bitter but has a solid bittering factor.

O/D-Here I am thinking this would be my least favorite. Turns put it was my favorite. The Nelson Sauvin combined with the Sorachi Ace is magnificent. I also like how this brew isn't too heavy of the Belgian aspect. If only this was a normal IPA and not a Black one, then I could see greatness.

Photo of SawDog505
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a near pitch black, with s 3 inch light tan head, with tons of beautiful lace. Smell is chocolate, clove, vanilla, biscuit, and toffee. Taste is similar, roasted expresso upfront and clove and toffee in the smooth finish. Body is medium large, nice amount of carbonation, a little dry, and excellent drinkability. This is really good. A complex highbred, I like and wish it was a regular.

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