1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

DevESTATEtion - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
DevESTATEtionDevESTATEtion

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

559 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 559
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of DevESTATEtion Alström Bros
Ratings: 559 | Reviews: 119 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kaelingirl
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BeerBeast
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Samuel906
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark deep red, almost porter black with a thick, clingy white head. Smell is fairly benign, some piney hops and lots of roasted malts. Good but subtle. Taste is not very reminiscent of an IPA, but instead features lots of malts, bakers chocolate, coffee and cream. There is some hoppy bitterness as well, but not the full force citrus and pine explosion you may expect. Feel is light, medium carbonation, not sticky or heavy. Overall, a pretty mellow beer that has some really good flavors and not much wrong with it. Nothing astonishing or exciting here, but is an interesting bridge between the classic styles of porters and IPAs and finds a nice happy middle ground.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades to a fingers worth that stays around forever and leaves great lacing

S: Roasted malts right up front with some dark chocolate and cocoa with a hint of sweetness. Nice pine and citrus notes from the hops as well. Very well balanced

T: Follows the nose. The roasted malts are first to hit with the dark chocolate and lightly sweet cocoa and caramel notes. Some surprising coffee notes come in as well. Hops follow suit, giving off some pine, citrus, and floral notes. Finishes lightly bitter, from both the hops and dark chocolate/coffee notes from the malts

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Lightly dry

O: What a recovery from SN, especially being able to release such a nice beer as this. On the good/great side of the black IPAs/ABAs/CDAs that I've had, and it's extremely easy to drink to boot. A little pricey when compared to other SN brews, but I guess that's understandable when your entire crop of barley gets destroyed. FWIW, I enjoyed this more than the regular Estate Ale, and I'm a fan of wet-hopped IPAs

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Riedel tulip glass. Pours an opaque black with some nice red hues on the edges. Thick light brown head.

Smell is very subdued. I could get some toasty malts, but that was really it, and even those I could barely smell. To be fair, there was also chili cooking in the house, so that could have been blocking my smell receptors.

Taste is super malty. It's nice and toasty and chocolatey. The toasty malt is punctuated by minty, citrusy hops. The mintiness of the hops mixes really well with the alcohol. It's not boozy by any means, but the alcohol presence is notable. The citrusiness of the hops mixes well with the malts - coming across like a chocolate orange. Still, this beer seems to be way more about the malts than the hops, which is surprising for a fresh-hop. On one hand, I feel a little bad that that they used fresh hops on a malt-forward beer because there are starving children in China who would love to have a fresh-hopped IPA, or, heck, even a Pale Ale, but I guess Sierra Nevada has three hop-forward fresh-hop beers to their name, so this one is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly thick, in keeping with it being more malty than hoppy, but not quite viscous.

Overall it's a really great beer. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting, but all of the disparate elements in it worked together really well. If they ever decide to brew it again I will definitely buy it again.

Photo of braedon_peluso
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of mdaschaf
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of thomascj
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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 Spider889
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%

Photo of Bung
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
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 n2185
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
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 Norm406
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Drink_LocalSD
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of BigOldOaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of rangerred
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass out of a 750ml bottle. That wax seal is a real pain.

Pours pitch black with a nearly two finger tan head. Amazin head retention and really good lacing on top of that.

Aroma has a really nice coffee/chocolate thing going that is married perfectly with tropical fruit from the hops. I'm really amazed at how great the balance is between hops and malt.

The flavor is really amazing as well. Milk chocolate and dark roasted malt up front is complimented nicely by tropical fruit with a touch of pine. There is a really nice chocolate/coffee balance that is nearly perfect. The fruit and pine from the hops provides a moderate to high bitterness that works perfectly to balance out the malt. Medium mouthfeel with a light stickyness on the finish.

Overall, a very impressive Black IPA and one of the best I have had in the style. Sierra Nevada really knocked it out of the park with this one.

Photo of Dylanjf
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of bccocx
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
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 Basshooker
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of sloelco
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of tabascosigned
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
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 DrewLikesBeer
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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 JimmyFlatRock
4/5  rDev +2.6%

DevESTATEtion from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 559 ratings.