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

Not Rated.
Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94

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very good

347 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 347
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%
Wants: 8
Gots: 6 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian IPA |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Dark Belgian IPA

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of redsoxfan73
2.25/5  rDev -40.6%

Photo of corby112
2.43/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pouts a dark chocolate brown color that appears black in the glass with faint mahogany edges and a one finger beige head quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing left behind.

Earthy, slightly chalky aroma with roasted dark malt notes and ester-y dark fruit notes. Most of the hoppy/IPA characteristics are muted with subtle resinous pine and grass. The tropical fruit notes mentioned on the label are nowhere to be found in the nose. Feels more like a roasted dry stout/Belgian strong dark ale hybrid. Toasted malts along with dark chocolate, coffee bean and oatmeal followed by plum, raisin and fig. Not offensive but disappointing for an IPA.

Medium bodied with a stronger hop presence than the nose hints at but it's still dominated by roasted dark malt and sweet dark fruit esters. Dry, earthy and bitter but the hop profile is one dimensional with grass and sticky pine needle flavor lingering throughout. Again, the tropical/citrus fruit sweetness is completely absent. The bitterness is complimented by roasted/acrid dark malts. Slightly smokey with burnt toast flavor along with bitter dark chocolate, stale coffee and oatmeal. Thankfully the Belgian yeast provides some much needed sweetness with hints of grape, fig and other dark berries. Still, it's not enough to overcome the overwhelming roast and one dimensional bitterness.

Photo of DeutschesBier
2.5/5  rDev -34%

Photo of JednoPivoProsim
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. ALC. 7.7% BY VOL. Bottled on day 190 of 2013 (July 9). 2013 Belgian-Style Black IPA Beer Camp #94.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a thin toffee colored head.

Smell: Lemony with an overpowering Belgian yeast aroma.

Taste: Tart Belgian pale ale flavor, with lemon overtones. Too many flavors competing for front and center recognition. I do not even recognize any roasted malt, which may have confused this beer even more had it been more evident.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, maybe the highlight of the beer for me.

Overall: Belgian-Style Black IPA? Absolutely not my cup of tea (or beer). Just because different ingredients/beer style characteristics are at one's disposal, does not mean they all belong in one beer together. Beer camp gone bad?

Photo of lcdawg
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of largadeer
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of Zbeetleman
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of kojevergas
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have no idea what is "Belgian style" about a Black IPA, but okay...

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with fun label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a Sierra Nevada beer camp variety 12-pack at Wheatsville Co-Op and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. Reviewed as a Black IPA because it clearly identifies as such. 2013 vintage. 7.7% ABV confirmed per the label.

Nowhere does the label say "Sleight of Hand," but I believe this discrepancy on the site is due to the scheduling of the beer camp releases; Black IPA sounds more marketable than the less descript "Sleight of Hand."

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a four finger wide head of khaki-tan colour. Nice creaminess and thickness; decent frothiness. Head retention is good - about 7-8 minutes. Has a nice soft complexion. Decent consistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass when I tilt it.

Body colour is a predictable opaque black; not quite a jet black. No yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for the style, but the head retention is nice. Not unique or special. No obvious flaws are noticeable.

Sm: Dreadful caramel, molasses, and vinous malts. No real roasty presence. Dark malts, chocolate malts, a hint of stale cocoa dust. Cream. Floral hop character, pine needles, evergreen, and noticeable earthiness along with some fennel/anise. Pine is dominant. Unwelcome spearmint. It's a striking aroma, but I don't know that it's a good one; I fear the "Black" aspect of the beer is clashing with the IPA aspect. An inoffensive aroma of moderate strength.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Awful spearmint. Aggressive pine needles/evergreen. Earthy tree bark. Anise. Fennel. Licorice. Burnt caramel. Has some charred character. Plenty of bitterness - but more from the earthy anise than from the hops. Floral hop character is submissive to the pine. I'd love some roast, but no dice. Dark malts. Generic chocolate malts. I do like the slight cream on the finish.

Not much balance here. It has a loose cohesion, but the notes from either "side" of the Black IPA style frequently clash here. Not much subtlety either. Very limited complexity. Not a gestalt beer. Note layering is average.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: More smooth than coarse, more wet than dry. A biteen sticky. Chewy. Decent thickness and body. Complements the flavour profile decently. A biteen overcarbonated. Nice presence on the palate for what it is. Doesn't feel custom-tailored to the flavour profile, but it suits it in a very general sense.

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

Dr: A drinkable Black IPA that falls prey to the key mistake of the style - a lack of balance. This needs some work to warrant a second purchase; I wouldn't get it again. I'm not a huge fan, but it's passable. More pedestrian work from Sierra Nevada. Not recommended, but it'll draw its fans. If you're not big on anise/fennel/licorice, I'd caution against trying this one. Hides its ABV okay.


Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of huddyball
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of scott2269
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of fredmugs
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of ajcantu
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a stemless wine glass

A- pours jet black with a two finger brown head. The head fades pretty quickly and leaves...well, kind of a mess of foam. Eh.

S- nice bit of roast, slight aroma of piney hops as well. Throw in the little bit of bubblegum from the yeast, and you've got the makings of something...kind of ugly, actually

T- chocolate, roast, slight hoppiness. Almost tastes like an ash tray, and *not* in the good way.

M- the body is actually very, very thin and watery. No depth whatsoever

O- this is....not good. The worst of the three Beer Camp beers this year by far.

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Total black body, no highlights at all, topped by four fingers of loose bubbly light tan foam.

Aroma is bits and pieces of chocolate, coffee, citrus, and a big dollop of spice.

Starts with light mocha. Then fruity citrus. Big bitter snap at the swallow that lingers throughout the afterglow. Sprinkles of Belgian yeast spiciness from beginning to end.

Light to medium mouthfeel. Smooth but thin enough to really distinguish this from a porter or stout.

All the pieces of a Belgian Black IPA are here. But the finish product is a bit of a Frankenstein Monster.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the new Beer Camp mixer, approximate cost $1.49. Deep black color, good head, looks fine enough. Aroma was muted hops, a bit of Belgian yeast, some lemon, just ok. Flavor had a bit of hoppiness, some plastic flavor, Belgian yeast, again not great, just ok. I was sort of disappointed in this beer but I think a black IPA is a hard style to pull off and when you add that Belgian yeast you are just muddying the waters. Too bad I had to drink four of these.

Photo of stakem
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BA Slatetank for gifting me a variety of these current beer camp offerings. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a matching Sierra Nevada snifter. The brew appears dark brown to black with a rich khaki head that fades leaving a wall of lace. Decent retention maibtains nearly a finger strong. A swirl brings back a strong cap effortlessly.

The smell includes notes of pine resin that gets herbal and dank with hops. Some roast like coffee and hints of mineral quality takes this brew off in a not so appeal direction. A hint of sulfur and grassy to veggie character comes out as it warms up.

The flavor has minerals and earth with light citrus notes blended with coffee and weedy herbal and dank aspects. Initially it is a bit clashing but the roast gives up the fight to the hops which are somewhat rindy. While the brew was quite clashing at first, it starts to meld together with more sips.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. Initially awkward but it grew on me as the experience continues. I didnt care for the mineral aspect though once it took hold was nearly unshakeable upon every sip. I also dont understand or get the belgian aspect of this, it is seemingly no different from other black ipas with bitterness coming from both roasted grain and hops.

Photo of far333
3.19/5  rDev -15.8%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a cola color. A tall (3 fingers), fluffy mocha-shaded head caps the body off well. Retention is pretty good, and the lacing left behind is monstrous.

S: At first, it's fairly chocolaty, but once it's allowed to open up, it develops a strong note of hop-derived lemongrass. I really don't pick up much Belgian yeast, sadly. Still, this has a very intriguing nose.

T: There's less chocolate than the nose suggested - in fact, the dark malt qualities are really buried beneath the hop flavors. That's not exactly a bad thing. Here, they don't sneak up on you; instead, the lemon, grass, white grape, and subtle (sadly, too subtle for me) tropical fruit notes play well with the doughy yeast notes and low bitterness. Only a slight note of toast on the back end. It's well balanced when it's chilled, but the trademark Sorachi Ace flavors (read: lemongrass) tend to overly dominate once this warms up. Not bad, though.

M: It's creamy with a good (not overly heavy) body and carbonation that isn't overbearing. The finish isn't very dry, but thankfully yeast astringency is kept in check. I wouldn't call it easy to drink.

O: This one's okay. I think it's main problem is that the concept is more interesting (Belgian-style Black IPA with highfalutin' Sorachi Ace and Nelson Sauvin hops) than the actual brew itself. For this to be a total success, I reckon it would need more Nelson Sauvin notes, a bit more roast, and a drier finish.

Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.