DevESTATEtion - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

566 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 566
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 8.95%
Wants: 11
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Black Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mverity on 09-07-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 566 | Reviews: 121
Reviews by JednoPivoProsim:
Photo of JednoPivoProsim
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 1 PT., 9.4 FL. OZ. bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on day 267 (September 24) of 2013. 2013 DevESTATEtion Black IPA Almost Homegrown Ale.

Appearance: Pours a rich dark ruby with a thick toffee colored head. Very robust looking. This monster head is going nowhere and is present past the last sip - creamy and long lasting like a stout.

Smell: Citra, Citra, and more Citra! I love the aroma because I am a huge fan of this hop. Tropical fruits, slight citrus orange rind. If you can wade through the hop aroma, you can pick up a bit of coffee from the dark malts.

Taste: Less hoppy and more dark malt flavor than the nose suggests. I tend to think that the wet hops are less intense, yet somehow smoother and better tasting - which may lose their impact in a black ale. Strong coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy, smooth and stout-like.

Overall: I drink this with the lament and heavy-heart that it is taking the place of this year's Estate Homegrown Ale, one of my all-time favorites. I am not a huge fan of dark ales (or roasted malts in general), but this does taste good. I like the fact that Sierra Nevada was able to salvage a semi-homegrown ale with an organic twist by using their homegrown hops. I look forward to next year's return of their traditional Estate Homegrown Ale!

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish hued deep walnut brown witha large sticky off white head atop,wow it sticks like glue to the glass and glides down very slowly.Roasted and light earthy notes in the nose along with more mild chocolate and piney hops.Quite dry and earthy on the palate up front,very earthy in fact,light bitter chocolate provides scant sweetness,herbal and pine hops linger in the finish.A solid beer,one of the dryer ABA's I have had to date.

Photo of NicMurray
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Found this at my local co-op and gave it a try.
It was the 22oz wax covered bottle.
I liked that it was organic, and it was a Black IPA. (kinda)
It poured very smooth and had a more brownish caramel color, with
malty scents. It goes down smooth and doesn't have a harsh after taste.
I find that with the dark IPA's drinking them not super chilled suits my pallet
better than a getting it cold cold.
As for comparison there are definitely better black IPA's out there.
Probably would not buy again.

Photo of mverity
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


When the going gets bad, we make great beer.

It’s a shame when good barley goes bad. This spring, the combined effect of double digit sustained winds and concentrated rainfall created major stress on the normal course of our barley maturation — our crop went down for the count. Instead of crying in our beer—or lack thereof—we decided to do one better and make something new. Featuring organic malts and our estate-grown wet hops, this black IPA is the evil twin of our legendary Estate Ale. Black in color with a mild roasty flavor and moderate body, this beer has a bold citrusy and earthy hop flavor and aroma from the use of our own wet hops. We’d never let one bad harvest get in the way of a great beer, so join us in a toast to the memory of our devastating season.

Photo of aquazr1
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish black with a huge dirty white head that quickly dissipated. Leaves real lite lacing afterwards. The initial smell made me think porter and then the taste had expresso and chocolate elements. Not sure what to think of it. Decent beer though the wax needs to go.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a waxed 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown with hints of ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big three finger off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: An earthy, juicy, and roasty hop forward aroma with good hints of pine, citrus, and chocolate. Upfront mix of earthy, floral, and herbal hops with good hints of wet grass and dank pine resin. Citrus hop hints of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and pineapple. Dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate, burnt toast, coffee, biscuit, grains, yeast, and cracker. A very solid oily aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an oily, juicy, earthy, and roasty black ale taste with big notes of dank pine and dark chocolate. Big combo of earthy, floral, and herbal hops. Upfront notes of spicy pine resin and wet musty grass. Citrus notes of orange peel, grapefruit, lemon, and pineapple. Big dark roasted barley malt presence with notes of dark chocolate, toast, coffee, grains, biscuit, cracker, and yeast. Nicely oily and bitter. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Oily, chewy, and pretty drying.

Overall: A very solid take on a Black Ale. Forward with the piney hops but the dark malt has a strong presence as well.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750mL black waxed bottle; poured into teku.
Pours a dark brown, brown/black in the glass, showing deep, clear garnet in the light. Huge fluffy off-white head that leaves tons of sticky lacing, even from a careful pour.
Smells of herbal and citrusey hops, over metallic dark roasted malts, with some breadiness as well.
Taste is first a big wave of hops; citrus, earthy herbal bitterness, and a hint of sweeter fruit. Following the hops is sweet, dark malt; dark bread, coffee, chocolate, and slight dark fruit slides through a clean, wet finish into a bittersweet aftertaste with lingering hints of citrus and roasty chocolate. I'm loving the malt profile on this one.
Mouthfeel is clean and wet, medium-bodied.
Overall, this is a good black IPA. It's not mind-blowing, but it's delicious and unique.

Photo of Auraan
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a nice very dark brown with a reddish tint when held to light, with a three finger off-white head that receded slowly leaving thick lacing down the glass. Very nice, like a good, thick stout. Scents of roast malt, rich chocolate, fresh dark bread, some coconut, and faint hints of grass and peat moss. Pretty much no hop aroma, which is odd, the aroma is quite stout like actually, with a bit of coconut and the usual peat moss of a Black IPA. Flavor begins sweet with bready malt and some black coffee and roastiness, moving into more roast malt, staying modestly sweet throughout, with grapefruit and citrus pith hop flavors coming in the middle. Nice bitter pine resin hop finish and aftertaste, with a strong hit of roastiness on the finish and aftertaste as well. It's good, stout-like roastiness combines with West Coast style citrus heavy hops with a good hit of pine resin. It's balanced between the hops and the malt and between sweet and bitter. The balance is slightly in favor of the hops, with a fairly even balance between sweet and bitter. Very complex and quite nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly slick and oily feel with an oily finish. Very nice, quite true to form for a hop-forward beer. Overall this is a nice beer. It's balanced, but still abundant in both hop character and roast malt boldness. An enjoyable beer to drink, with a good overall character.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great beer. Pours pitch black with a huge head that forms like marshmallows or pillows above the beer. The smell is huge, roasted malts and smokiness. The taste is the same but with a sweet caramel and coffee flavor adding to the dark roast and smoke tastes. The beer is really smooth-drinking, has a good, creamy mouth and overall makes for a great beer. I'd buy a ton of these and stash them for future months and years.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle with a black wax covering. My official Thanksgiving day brew.

Very dark, nearly black with a light tan colored foamy cap and rather lively look.

The aroma is dominated by a pine, bitter tinged sweet fruit hop aroma. The dark malty scent of light coffee and dark wheat are subtle. Big, pine hop.

The flavor is much of the same, but a bit more well-rounded. The wet, fresh hop flavor brings big tangy, pine and grapefruit, very dry and earthy after the gulp goes down. A full but almost easy-drinking feel, fresh and rather big mouth feel but it sure goes down easy. The dark malt flavor's round out the hops with subtle coffee, dry dark wheat flavor's. Balance is good, not great, this one seems like some time in the cellar might meld these two drastic worlds of hops and malt together. The hop flavor also seems to bed a bit crazy, almost working against itself in the complexity department.

Overall, the flavor's are impressive, do they come together to work as a whole?? Not for my taste. But I have a hunch 12 months in the cellar might improve this.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The bottle I just cranked was from 2013. The color was a dark ruby amber with frothy white head that left some lace. The scent carried floral and citrus notes. The taste was mostly roast and earth with good pine and citrus back drop. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it was good...but not the best BIPA ive had.

Photo of papazulu
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Highly drinkable. Lovely brew from Sierra Nevada. Nice well balance hops and toasted malts flavor. Chewy but not really oily. A luscious brew but not too cloying. I'm tempted to go get another one tonight. I got it in a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle. Love the artwork on the cover and the dark brown glass.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big khaki head. Sugary legs. Deep brown body.

Smell - Nutty with some grassy hops. Smells like a hoppy brown.

Taste - Grassy and grapefruit hop. Lots of deep caramel malts. Some bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - It's ok, but it's not a black ipa. Just a hefty brown ale.

Photo of Gmann
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown, almost cola like color with a huge pillowy tan head that left a wall of lacing. Fantastic.

The aroma is of a mild roast, slight coffee notes. Nutty, toasted multigrain bread. Caramel sweetness.

Weak coffee roast. Light caramel with a hint of vanilla. Nutty undercurrents. Slight grassy notes from the hops. Malt driven black IPA. Very much like a brown ale. A metallic note similar to an English ale.

Moderate feel with soft carbonation. Roasty bitterness on the palate.

Great hoppy brown ale. Not sure about the black IPA label. Not hoppy enough. Great beer though.

Photo of bccocx
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 11/04/2013 out of a pint glass.

A- Dark brown / almost black in low lighting. Pours well with a nice white / slightly tan head. The head sticks around and leaves a nice lacing in my glass

S- I pick up the roasted malt smell first and foremost, followed by a nice blend of earthly hops. Overall, not a very strong aroma.

T - Like the smell, I pick up the malt flavors first. The hops then come in to provide some bitterness. Definitely not an overpowering (flavor wise) beer. It's pretty mellow.

M - This is a medium bodied beer. I'd consider it a very easy drinker.

O - Solid offering from Sierra Nevada. I've definitely had better black IPAs, but I think this one is definitely worth drinking once. I liked the malt profile, but I would have probably enjoyed a bit more bitterness. Bottle presentation was nice with the waxed tip. This is a beer I will probably only drink once.

Photo of Bung
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. A really dark brown pour, frothy tan head that retains well.

Aroma, Some herbal hops, toasted malt and peat.

Taste, More bitter piney hop here, large roast bite. Toasted malt, very dark chocolate nearly unsweetened at all. Heavy anise, a tiny bit of coffee.

Light side of medium body. A bit resiney, easy to drink. Very good level of carbonation.

May not be the typical hop disaster most are looking for, but this is another typically well crafted by Sierra Nevada. Aroma is just very muddling for some reason. Worth trying and the price is reasonable by todays standards.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Dark, dark brown color with a minimal head and decent lacing.

S: Smells very dark with a fair amount of roast in there. It is very bready. I get no hops on the nose.

T: Tastes like a standard black ale, but is quite watery. Maybe they should have dried the hops off first. Roasty malts and quite dark tasting.

M: Quite prickly.

O: Kind of a let down just like their harvest/crops this year. I admire that they tried to save it with this release, but I don't think it worked. They should have kept this for draft-only or made it into a stout/porter. At least it was relatively cheap, but still. Eh, maybe next year SN.

Photo of puboflyons
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on December 24, 2013.

The pour is dark amber with ruby red hues and a good supply of tan head that leaves a decent amount of lacing in its wake.

The aroma is mildly hopped but more focused on the medium dark malts and mild sweetness. Good grainy character. A bit of butter.

The body is medium with the slightest astringency happening. Hops can do that.

The taste has a decent caramel maltiness at first that is quickly offset by vague fruitiness and medium hop finish. It does finish well but the finish lingers. A decent Black IPA.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, going by the date code printed on the bottle it was bottled on September 25, 2013. Served in a Dogfish Head IPA glass, the beer pours dark reddish/brown with an inch light tan head that stays around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like roasted malt, citrusy hops, coffee and some dark bread. It tastes like roasted malt, citrusy and earthy hops, dark bread, coffee, and some dark chocolate. There's a nice bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's creamy and slick with a good amount of soft carbonation. To me it seems more like a hoppy porter than a black IPA, but I'm not complaining. I think it's a good brew. $8.99 a bottle, definitely worth a try.

Photo of n2185
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear, dark brown with copper highlights and three fingers of cream-colored head that fades into a thin cap with a solid sheet of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with sweet cocoa up front followed by earthy and piney hop aromas bringing up the finish.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter chocolate and coffee flavors followed by resinous pine hop flavors. The finish is moderately bitter with some char flavors.

M: Body is on the lighter side of moderate with medium carbonation, this beer avoids being too watery or oily feeling.

O: A solid beer, overall. I'd like a bit more complexity from the hops and maybe a bit less bitterness, but it's still enjoyable.

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head old style IPA glass.

This is a real looker of an ale. Out of the bottle chestnut brown, but hits with dark walnut brown/black colors, and has this gorgeous ruby red hue to it. Head forms like nothing, 4 fingers tall clumpy retention, and island cap with a little bit of swiss cheese bubbles not totally but closely uniform. And absolutely gorgeous looking beer.

Nose is a bit of a one note wonder, but it's a good one. Large aromatic dark cocoa powder just bursting. Slight juicy fruits and grapefruit quality possibly hiding. Not very complicated, but it's a very enjoyable aroma.

Palate brings much of the same. However, the chocolate notes are toned down as dark roasted malts compliment but take a backseat to some wonderful juicy hop fruit character. Nice mellow grapefruit, complimenting roast to go with it hinting at drip bean coffee. The mouthfeel does bring a little bit of silky quality, and the dark chocolate comes with more sweetness as it warms.

This is a nice wonderful "diversion" from what Sierra Nevada had in mind, wonderful job.

Photo of BrewUSA
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada DevESTATEtion

Look 8/10
Smell 15/20
Taste 38/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 86/100

Solid Black IPA, I'm totally guilty of comparing every Black IPA to 'sublimely Self Righteous' mostly because that's the first beer that really knocked my socks off. Never the less it kind I ruined the style for me... Nothing ever seems to be as full bodied and balanced. That said, this has a great feel, and is equally hoppy as it is roasty. I loved the bottle more than the beer though. If it's any consolation... It was one of my fave bottle/labels ever~

Photo of Greywulfken
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: brown poured into pitch in the glass, full-as-ya-want-it head of tan foam.

S: deep roasted dark malts and chewy dark bread, sweet with molasses; hoppy pines and musks and earth-tones

T: as with the nose, lots of flat roasted malt and dark chewy bread, mildly bitter and with touches of wet char, some bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened; herbal and woodsy elements at play as well

M: medium-bodied, mildly coating, mildly bittering; slightly sticky; feels mildly carbonated

O: a nice black ale/black IPA, seasonally appropriate and well-crafted, perhaps of particular interest for fans of the style, a hoppy-ish take on the American black ale, described on the bottle as a "black IPA"

Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a two finger light tan head with good retention and lots of lacing. Nice aroma of piney and citrus hops, orange, grapefruit and dark toasted malt. Flavor is a nice citrusy caramel malt with citrus and pine hops, somewhat earthy; hints of chocolate. Finishes with citrus rind and pine needles, herbal hops. Medium bodied with peppery carbonation. A very nice Cascadian dark ale with a very well integrated toaste malt and fresh tasting hops. I expect the best from Sierra Nevada and this one delivered in full. I will have to get another bottle of this while it's still around.

Photo of Immortale25
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly patch of surface foam. Resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- A lot of chocolate, some spice and a little coffee is coming from the nose making for a unique bouquet. There's also some hop fume and a tinge of booze.

T- Dark roasted malt flavor with some bitterness on the back end. Everything's balanced but accentuated if that makes sense. The roast hits hard, the hops hit hard but both work in harmony.

M- A bit on the thin side but has some hop oiliness to it. Medium carbonation and a mostly full body.

O- If the reason they went black for this edition of Estate is because their crop was decimated, then it was a blessing in disguise and I hope they never go back. Get it?

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DevESTATEtion from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 566 ratings.