1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

DevESTATEtion - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 11
Gots: 39 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mverity on 09-07-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of DevESTATEtion Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 540 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a 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, and slight char aromas. I am not getting any real hop aromas from this one. Taste is much the same with cocoa and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that reminds me much more of a hoppy stout or porter than a black IPA, especially with the aromas I am getting.

UCLABrewN84, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

djrn2, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

nmann08, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.1%

acurtis, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany, with an impressive three fingers of khaki foam; great retention and impressive lacing

Smell: Burnt bread, dark chocolate and piney hops

Taste: Very roasty, up front, with burnt bread and chocolate flavors; the hops jump in quickly, adding a piney element with citric undertones; the roastiness persists from start to finish and complements the bitter flavors in very assertive fashion

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: This beer charts a very aggressive course in both the roasty and bitter directions; not something I would want to drink a lot of, but a pretty good take on the style

brentk56, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

When life gives you lemons... make beer! With or without this year's estate barley crop, Sierra Nevada vows not to leave their fall fans hanging. DevESTATEtion ale is a tutorial in the close relationship of the earth and the brewer- terrior at its best, and worst.

In almost obvious fashion, of course it had to be a "black" ale and of course it has to be hoppy. This allows for the dark brown ale to shed a massive, creamy, light tan head. With high retention and sticky lace, the ale is true to both its toaste and hoppy roots.

Burnt citrus and light chocolate play out on the nose with the scent of a hoppy Porter. Grapefruit, oranges and pine all seem of the scorched variety while heavy toast, nutty, and slight coffee scents abound. A starchy note of heavy whipping cream allows a slight "Whoppers" candy scent to pull from the sweetness underneath.

But that sweet cream flavor is short lived as the beer sheds its burnt toffee flavor early in order to prefer coffee roast, cocoa, and charred embers in the middle. Its hoppy counterpart is also of the burnt citrus of the nose until the ale trails into a dry toast and bitter wood finish.

Medium bodied, the ale comes dangerously close to that "porter-type" creamy sweetness. But there's just enough of that IPA crispness to cause a crispness, cleaness and drinkability that's common to hop heads. Assisted by resinous pine bitterness, char and alcohol warmth- its finish is malty-dry.

Black IPA is a fickle genre of beer. If it's a hoppy Porter, its does little to excite. But a drier, cleaner and simplified toast character really accents the hop bitterness for fuller lupulin effect. DevESTATEtion sits right on that line.

BEERchitect, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Texasfan549, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.6%

kjkinsey, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -23.1%

GRG1313, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +9%

jaydoc, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Knapp85, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.94/5  rDev +1%
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.

oberon, Nov 07, 2013
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

largadeer, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.6%

zeff80, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Jason, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown brew with a big beige foam in the tall Petrus goblet. Very attractive with an abundance of lacing, plus the appealing sudsy mouthful. A rather earthy and musty smell with a note of tea.

Medium body with a malty mouthfeel. Quite bitter right from the start. Hints of chocolate (bitter, natch) and a little cedar. Strong herbal tea and serious dankness. Dirty dreadlock bong water dankness.

I'm not entirely sure what's the point of this exercise. Guys who own hop farms shouldn't have to prove it. This is massively bitter and hard to get down. A beautiful but deadly brew. From the 22 oz bottle.

mactrail, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

mendvicdog, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

DrunkinYogi, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

beernads, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +9%

GClarkage, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting label art and waxed-over branded pressure cap acquired at me Whole Foods HQ and served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. 2013 vintage. 6.70% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a Black IPA because the label identifies it as such. "Organic." "Wet hop ale."

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 1.5 finger wide head of light khaki colour. Good creaminess. Nice thickness. Inconsistent spotty lacing/legs clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible.

Appears well-carbonated - possibly overcarbonated.

It looks as most black IPAs do, but it's not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws. Standard fare.

Sm: Caramel, dark malts, cream, chocolate malt, hints of milk chocolate, floral hops, cocoa, vague biscotti, and pale malts. Pine, spruce, and mint surface more and more as it warms. Maybe sage too? Something else in the mint family. Vague anise, but luckily no licorice. It doesn't deliver much diversity or depth in terms of hops, but the chocolate is quite appealing here. I don't know that I'd peg it as a Black IPA if I tried it blind. I love the cocoa and biscotti notes - wow.

A surprisingly appealing aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

T: Anise comes on heavier in the taste than it did in the aroma, and is joined unfavorably by mint, sage, evergreen, and prominent pine needle hop character. Too herbal. I'd like a different hop profile - citrus, nectar, oily, fruity, anything - pine is not ideal. Caramel. Has plenty of cocoa and chocolate malt. The cocoa is lovely on its own, but unfortunately - like with many black IPAs - the "dark" aspect of the beer clashes with the hoppy aspect, yielding an imbalanced flavour profile. Far from gestalt, but it does have a decent loose cohesion. I guess some roasted barley would be nice. Most of all, I just wish the hop presence was toned down - that this weren't trying to be a black IPA at all.

Sadly, the biscotti note I was so looking forward to is nowhere to be found here. It's too bitter as well, featuring the bitterness both from the hops and from the chocolate.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It has a forced complexity, but no subtlety.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Lightly oily. Chewy. Smooth and wet. Has a good body and presence on the palate; it's a shame the flavour profile isn't better. Good thickness. Suits the flavour profile well in a general sense, but the texture doesn't seem custom-tailored to the taste.

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

Dr: Huge ripoff for the (lack of) quality. This is the type of beer many people forget about when they claim that Sierra Nevada is the best value brewery in the country. Where's the roasty character they brag about on the label? I'd honestly recommend just setting this one down for a few years; maybe age will get rid of the lackluster hop character and let the well-executed cocoa powder and chocolate malt notes take over. Hell, if they don't want it to be aged, why are they waxing it? I wouldn't get this again, nor would I recommend it to friends. Not the strongest Black IPA I've had so far, but not the weakest either. Another mundane brew in an emerging young style. I appreciate the effort to scrap together something new due to a failed harvest, but who are we kidding? Drinkable but underwhelming.

I do have to concede it's above average for the style, but perhaps only because so many beers in the style are fundamental failures - especially with regard to balance.

Low C+

kojevergas, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

oriolesfan4, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of corby112
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears nearly black in the glass, with dark mahogany edges and a frothy, two finger beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap/ring. The retention is crazy, almost too good, taking forever to settle. The glass is left coated with rings and chunks of soapy lacing.

The dank, earthy hops and smokey roasted dark malts combine for a very odd, metallic-like aroma with a strong phenol/chemical character that is very unpleasant. Resinous pine sap, grass, dirt/soil and spruce tip followed by smoke, charcoal, roasted malt, coffee bean and oatmeal. There's a touch of caramel sweetness in the nose but the hop and malt combination makes it smell like phenolic bandaid. Everything seems to clash and scream, "Don't drink this"!

Thankfully this beer tastes a lot better than it smells. The solvent-like chemicals and phenols that I picked up in the nose are nowhere to be found. The hop and malt flavors are better integrated than I expected. The hop profile is still kind of one dimensional, however, with lots of dry, earthy bitterness. Resinous oil, sticky buds, grass, pine tree and spruce tip flavor give this beer overwhelming bitterness that's decently cut by the complex flavors of the malt bill. The malts are pretty robust and smokey but there's some underlying sweetness that balances things out. The smoked and charred malt compliment the hop bitterness with hints of charcoal, burnt toast, deeply roasted coffee bean and oatmeal. This is countered by bittersweet dark chocolate, toffee and slight caramel flavor. A bit harsh and nit the mist balanced beer but after the palate adjusts to the bitterness, this beer becomes decently drinkable.

corby112, Nov 11, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice dirty cream-colored head that fades into a thin cap with a little bit of lacing

S: Sordove of a letdown actually. I received lots of roasted malt and coffee but not much on the hop backing. I literally had to faceplant in order to get any pine or Earthiness to this beer.

T: Initially I receive a blend of cocoa and coffee, nice amount of roast a very tame pine and Earthiness appear bt it's just low rent. The finish has a lingering roasted and moderate bitterness with some cocoa on the end

M: The body was light-medium to medium but I thought it was pretty creamy initially.

O: Sordove disappointed on this. Not a bad beer but definitely a little weak on the hop presence, especially to carry such a name and black wax...

barleywinefiend, Nov 19, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
DevESTATEtion from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.