Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
226 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPASierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Blindfold blankets us in darkness yet maintains a surprisingly light body and bold, hoppy character. This black IPA emerged from our Beer Camp program and builds on Sierra Nevada’s legendary love of hops with roasted malts for depth and complexity. Like its namesake, Blindfold is a bit disorienting—the color of a stout and the intense, hop-forward flavors of a classic American IPA.

Added by DaltonC on 02-23-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 1,411
Photo of Benjolovesbeer
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great in a tulip. Looks like a stout or a porter with it's blackness but tastes like an IPA, if only you could buy it in a sixer, at least I never seen it in a sixer.

 167 characters

Photo of TonyC
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh Sierra you have done it again! Another one I can't breakdown in a review because I absolutely love this offering. Black as pitch with a nice tan brown head, which leaves a great lace. Dark roasted chocolate malty goodness, with a wonderful citrusy finish. Perfect carbonation, easy and flavorful to drink, and slightly reminiscent of my favorite beer ever, Hop Rod Rye. I hope this becomes an everyday selection, as this beer ranks up there with Sierra Nevada's best.

 470 characters

Photo of nizzle8287
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a bit hard with a 1:1 beer:head ratio at around 45 degrees F. into a pint mug. Head dissipates so slow leaving huge, beautiful chunks of lacing all the way around. Dark brown with burgundy around the edges, sort of looks like a porter until the smell. Smells of cascade hops, west coast style, Sierra Nevada standard like a dark Torpedo scent in a way. Deep and dark molasses and hops hit the nose with a mixed dank mustiness. Medium bodied with carbonation that makes it seem fuller than it really is. Bitter. Quite dank and tasty but not very sweet west coast hops, dark chocolate, coffee, molasses on dark bread toast with butter! Lingering aftertaste sort of like campfire blackened marshmallow. As it warms, the charred chocolate campfire treats and signature cascade hop bitterness lingers ever more. If only all beers could taste this good. Trick I think with this one is to let the aromatics out with a rough pour at just below 50 degrees F. Kind of tones down the acidity while enhancing the natural flavor.

 1,033 characters

Photo of leantom
4.81/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really, really tried to be critical and deduct points from this beer. I really did. Sierra Nevada is just too impressive. It's the most consistent brewery by far. All the beers they come out with are at least "good." Here goes:

A: Perfect. Pitch black - and I mean opaque!. Pours a massive head with a crapload of lacing. There's nothing I can deduct from this beer. Amazing.

S: S: Exquisite. A perfect balance of malt and hops; and I mean perfect. Initial smell is one of pine and some grapefruit and lemon (the pine predominates, however). Complementing this in equal robustness is a heavily-kilned malt backbone. Lots of chocolate and coffee. I'm literally crying in anticipation for how good this beer is going to taste - tears of joy are streaming down my face.

T: Can't get any better than this. I thought Stone's black ipa would be the best that I was ever going to have. But I was wrong - dead wrong. Tastes of pine, smatterings of grapefruit and lemon are quickly superseded by robust dark chocolate and coffee. However, it should be noted that the dark chocolate and coffee aren't bitter at all. In fact, they're rather smooth and sweet. The initial taste is one of robust hops (the IPA feel), and this is followed by intense stout malt. I'm in tears over how good this beer is.

F: Very smooth, thick and biting. Great. Smoothness of a stout but bitterness of an IPA. Perfect beer.

O: I am so glad I traded for this beer. Simply marvelous.

 1,487 characters

Photo of burnerfinger
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

bought a single bottle for $1.75 @ market street just today:

a like a chocolate stout: Dark, nearly black, tan creamy head of nearly 3 fingers, settles to a thick film with ultra thick laciing ZERO clarity.

s nice but markedly diff than a standard IPA - not as sharp of a hoppy nose and a touch of sweetness

t here goes: STRONG, stone style bite of frutiy hops with a nice lingering aftertaste

m thick and creamy

d 6.8 - good buzz potential - but way to heavy to drink en masse. SAVOR THE FLAVOR

 502 characters

Photo of Jeffrey-Pulver
4.71/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a very dark almost black color. Smells of hops, coffee, and hints of chocolate. Taste is fantastic, malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and hops. Overall fantastic. Like a stronger Guinness with hops.

 201 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%

Pours out pitch black. Light off-white head. Head is very frothy and sticks around a good, long while. Smells of roasted, chocolatey malt and citrus/pine hops. Flavor starts off like a stout with chocolate and coffee. The hops don't take too long to kick in with oily citrus and pine needles. Heavy bitterness that lingers. Stout character returns in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel has a thickness brought on by a carbonation. It is very active on the tongue. Awesome example of a black IPA. Wish this were in 6 packs.

 524 characters

Photo of smanders
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I still consider myself new to this style so I didn't know if this would live up to my expectations. Came as a part of the 4-way IPA 12'er, brewed on 02/10/15.

Appearance: black as pitch with a tan, firm head. Chunky lacing.

Smell: Similar to Wookey Jack (i.e. one whiff brings sweet; the next, piney citrus). I smell everything from chocolate and molasses, to citrus fruit and pine.

Taste: Awesome! The perfect combination for someone who enjoys both stouts and IPAs. Sweet, bitter, bready, hoppy. Gets even more complex as it warms.

Mouthfeel: medium. You should expect a little cloying when it looks like Quaker State.

Overall: Love it! I am a "Black IPA" fan! Hope this becomes available year-round in its own 6'ers. Thanks Sierra!

 741 characters

Photo of 1PA
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been tried before by others but I've never had a black ipa that I would seek out again. This is the exception. Love the combo. Classic sn on the hoop character. I think this is where the other's miss. It blends ask nicely with the malt. Smooth. Finished one and wanted a second. Rare in my book

 309 characters

Photo of barter
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good Black IPA that is reminiscent of Hop in the Dark.

Tons of hops up front with a smooth roasty flavor on the back end. I love this style and feel that is this a great example.

-Nose is pure IPA
-Low carbonation with a light tan head
-Tons of flavor: Hops and malty goodness to round it out.

Hope Sierra Nevada makes it a regular offering.

 362 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Black color with ruby red highlights. Thick beige head.

Piney, resiny, spicy, some dark roasted malts and dark chocolate.

Hop bitterness up front, piney, resiny, herbal, leafy, a little citrusy. Dark roasted malts, burnt caramel, dark bitter chocolate, black licorice. Finish is sharp, bitter, pretty crisp. Medium bodied, sticky, a little oily, dry, very smooth.

It's a superb Black IPA.

 442 characters

Photo of TeamMathis
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black. Tan head. Leaves a decent lace.
Smell: Roasted grapefruit.
Taste: Roasted malt, grapefruit, and pine.

I love this. Another shocker with the relatively low rating though. The look is great: deep black. Very inviting. The smell is roasted malt and grapefruit; like a roasted grapefruit. The taste is delicious in the same way, if not more so. I wish this was a regular offering.

 396 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark black with thick, brown, foamy head. Has an average amount of lacing on the side of the glass. Has a mildly piney, roasted, caramel smell. Strong roasted, malty taste up front. Can discern mainly dark chocolate. There is some coffee as well. There is a piney, bitter taste at the end. Strong, bitter aftertaste that persists. This one seems to fill me up like a stout would. Very good black IPA.

 408 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Blackish brown with a 2 inch head, tons of thick, foamy lacing.

Smell - Roasty malts mixed with sweet fruits. Orange, grapefruit, lemon, some cocoa, chocolate , raisin, plums and coffee.

Taste - First sip is very roasty malts, mixed with some sweet citric fruits. Ample amount of coffee, chocolate and molasses really balance and give complexity. Nice mix of citric and dark fruits, adds a lot to the flavor. Lots of orange and grapefruit at first, then raisin and plum come in. Cocoa and chocolate are very present and balance out the bitter hop flavors.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets smoked malts, cocoa, chocolate with some citric fruits. Palate gets a lot of the same, with addition of plum and raisin. Aftertaste is malty, fruity, sweet and coffee.

Overall - This is really good. Relaly ahs a one-two punch of a ipa, and a porter, then it all ties in together to create a black ipa. Smooth, flavorful, sweet, bitter and bold, has it all. Id buy a 6'er of this for sure. Excellent brew.

 1,025 characters

Photo of ARoman
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a wide flute. The aroma is initially licorice and bakers chocolate, with undertones of sweet citrus Later in the drink, coffee gets added to the mix with a chalkiness, some caramel, and just a touch of wet cardboard. The beer is a rich, oily mahogany with a light brown, frothy dense head that leaves good lace, and has an abundant, but uneven retention. The taste is a medium high, balanced chocolate bittersweet. The texture is smooth with a creamy, foamy head. The medium-full body consists of chocolate brownie, background notes of sweet citrus, and chalk up front, and finishes with a swell of sweet citrus and caramel (in turns), that's quickly replaced by a clean chalk and spice character flavored with coffee and peanut butter. These notes mellow quickly leaving an aftertaste that's chalky, piney, and clean with hints of peanut butter. After a long time, the peanut butter disappears and is replaced by a light, pleasant grapefruit.

 967 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours black with dark-brown highlights, with a three finger head of khaki colored foam with good retention. Fantastic rings of lacing.

S - Moderate strength aroma of charred grains, chocolate malt, and piney West Coast hops.

T - VERY smooth taste of dark chocolate, a touch of caramel, raisin, mint, hop resin, and spruce. Malts are sweeter than any other black IPA I have tried, and the hop bill works in perfect harmony. Two things stand out here: 1) How the hops carry the bitterness instead of sand blasting your taste buds with bitter burnt grains AND super bitter hops, and 2) how well balanced this is. Excellent.

M - Heavier side of medium bodied with assertive carbonation. Body supports the flavor profile perfectly. Any thinner and this would be a fail. Hint of creaminess as well, which balances the acidity from the hops.

O - Best black IPA I have ever sampled and it's not even close. I found the hint of sweetness in the malts made this beer sing. If this came in 6 packs, I'd be buying it all the time.

 1,068 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

A- pours a nearly opaque black color with a two-finger frothy, rocky and pillowy light-tan head that retains long after the pour, leaving some nice lacing behind

S- slightly smoky roasted malt aroma with notes of cocoa and a hint of coffee. Piney and floral hops with some earthy & grassy notes

T- Roasty & smoky malt base gives notes of chocolate and a hint of coffee, burnt marshmallow, and some earthy notes. Hop bitterness begins to kick in around mid-palate, with an emphasis on pine and floral; some grassy & peppery notes kick in before finishing dry with a hoppy linger

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a super creamy mouthfeel that continues into an almost chewy, smooth & dry finish. The everlasting head really helps with the creamy mouthfeel, which is spot on

O- really surprised that this isn't rated higher, a very good example of the style with a perfect mouthfeel

 947 characters

Photo of Libeertarian
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very dark with wine hues in the light. Tannish brown chunky foamy head that retains and laces very well. Aromatically it's pine, perfume, pepper, paint, dankness, roastiness, alcohol. Palate-wise, it's molasses-like roastiness, light smoke, strong black coffee, tobacco, tartness, cereal, coniferous sap, leather, vegetal and soapy bitterness, strong peppercorn in both finish and retro-olfaction. Hops in this are amazing. Medium-bodied, somewhat viscuous and chewy, with fine gentle prickles. Quite astringent with lingering bitter, smokey, and even meaty aftereffects.

 571 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6.8% ABV

A - Slivers of dark brown clarity barely show through this dark beer that's accentuated by heavy sheets of lace left on the pint from the billowing khaki foam cap.

S - Roasted malts suggest nuances of cocoa-rolled coffee beans while American hops offer notes of pine needle pulled from sticky sap for an interesting combination that works well!

T - Bitter baker's chocolate and cold espresso load the dark malts onto the tongue without hesitation while piny, earthy hops follow through with sharp bitterness that prickles the tongue.

M - Smooth and medium bodied, Blindfold is deceiving for it's dark color as is the sharp, dry bitterness from the hops, though that can be inferred from the IPA label.

O - From the original masters of the hop comes this late black IPA bloomer, Blindfold. As with the majority of Sierra Nevada's beers, it's hoppy; it's also very well done. The hop bite and flavor adds a unique twist to the chocolaty, coffee roasted malt profile that lingers on the tongue.

 1,061 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Pours black with a large, lasting off-white head.
Nose shows soft clean roast, piny hops, liquorice and spicy notes.
Roasty flavours with a fair bit of supporting piny, spicy and grapefruit hop notes. Actually quite drinkable with a little sweet malt underneath.
Carbonation is just a little high.

 297 characters

Photo of Hergestridge
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A - Very Dark, almost the colour of a moonless night sky. A nice 2 inch head of dusty brown, teasing carbonation, sending little rays of golden brown bubble to the top.

S - smell is excellent, nice juniper sweetness, a touch coffee and Cream. Pleasant to the nose a slight tinge of cocoa

T - Excellent IPA taste as I'm finding with most of Sierra Nevada's IPA

M - nice carbonation, slightly dry, body is dense but delicate.
O - This is a classic and I've Never been a big fan of Darker beers. Though I've been noticing that they are becoming a treat to experience and savour. Excellent Entry!!!
~Carry On Citizens!!!~

 630 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

BOD 109/14. As advertised, this one pours just like a stout - almost black with a massive head. Lacing and retention are excellent. The nose is more IPA like, pine and floral hops over a light chocolate with roast notes. Medium body with a slick texture that is almost creamy. Below normal carbonation with no effervescence on the finish. The unique flavor profile is quite nice, balanced and complex. It begins with citrus hop, then flows to pine over a light chocolate sweetness. Bitterness follows that is citric rind in nature over a very light smoke from the roast - very well balanced so each component is evident, but not over powering. The smooth finish leaves you with a lingering citric bitterness with a chocolate note. An Outstanding example of the style.

 776 characters

Photo of Harvest06
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black, off white head. Good lacing.
S: Citrus and pine followed by chocolate and coffee.
T: Starts with some citrus and pine hops, middle is chocolate and coffee with a nice dry bitter finish.
M: Light to medium body. Good medium carbenation.
O: Exactly what I look for in a black IPA. Well balanced, light to medium body with stout and IPA characteristics.

Btw this ale has two other entries, one discontinued and another from the original beer camp...

 459 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Translucent deep brown as it pours in to the New Belgium tulip. Impenetrably black once it collects in the glass. Remarkable 3 finger head of coffee colored foam that settles gradually in to a resilient layer, leaving impressive lacing all the way around. This could easily be mistaken for a robust imperial stout based on the appearance alone. Chocolate and coffee bean aromas mingle with a fresh, leafy hop bouquet. Toasted biscuit notes give the scent some depth. Smoky, roasted coffee bitterness bounces off of spicy, herbal hop notes creating an artful exposition of flavor. Hints of dark chocolate and minty pine come together in the finish to give the subtle impression of a peppermint patty. Medium bodied with creamy, active carbonation that really plays up the roasty bite. Perhaps a little slick for such a dark, foreboding brew, but executed well nonetheless. The pithy zing clings to your palate with a cumulative effect, reminding you that it's definitely an IPA. A little booziness on the breath also lets you know that it's a sturdy brew. The combined bitterness of the burnt malts and assertive hops yield an aspirin-like quality that's surely not for everyone. But, for me, this was pretty divine. Another win for Sierra Nevada and beer drinkers the country over. So glad they have expanded East!!!

 1,316 characters

Photo of Celtics17
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very big coffee notes on the nose,and very sweet, ice coffee like taste. This was not a Black IPA for me. I like this beer. It was hard to taste any of the hop characters in this beer. It was bitter, but I didn't get any grapefruit, pine notes. Slight grapefruit as I drink more.

 279 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,411 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.