DevESTATEtion - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
DevESTATEtionDevESTATEtion

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

560 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 560
Reviews: 119
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 8.97%
Wants: 13
Gots: 44 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mverity on 09-07-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 560 | 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.

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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

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.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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.

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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.

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

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+

Photo of GClarkage
4.25/5  rDev +9%

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.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled 9/27/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, chocolate, cocoa, toast, roasted malt, coffee, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, cocoa, chocolate, roasted malt, toast, coffee, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, cocoa, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, toast, floral, pine, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; with a great hop/roasted malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy, moderately sticky, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of roasted malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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DevESTATEtion from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 560 ratings.