Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPASierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA
Very Good
1,419 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,419 |  Reviews: 230
Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/21/14.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial 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, coffee bean, and slight citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and slight citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and slightly medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mixture of roast and hop qualities all around.

 637 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

such a good beer, awesome black ipa here, the best of both worlds. we sometimes dont give sierra nevada enough credit, yeah, they are huge, but this latest four way ipa box is evidence that they are among the best in the world, especially when it comes to hops. this beer is coffee black, and has some of that similar earthy bitterness on the front end. its light and airy wispy tan head is similar to its feel, also very delicate and fluffy, nice on the tongue, and subtle or a beer in this style. hops are citric and not bitter, that comes from the grain, a fun complex for this seemingly sessionable yet nearly 7% abv brew. its the perfect accompaniment to rare fillet mignon oscar, with fresh crab hollandaise sauce and wild mushrooms. i put the mushies in brandy and rosemary, and with this beer, its just unfairly tasty. a food driven beer for sure, and it could be a great compliment to a number of cool dishes, has me inspired, but tonight it was first fiddle, and this box of ipa is absolutely sensational.

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Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of kojevergas
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a variety IPA 12 pack at an H-E-B grocery in April 2014 and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Label is green and appealing. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average given the style (which is hard to brew in a balanced fashion) and the brewery (which tends to disappoint). 6.8% ABV per the label. Bottled 02/14/14. Identifies itself as a Black IPA, so I'm reviewing it as such.

Served at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Has decent thickness and nice creaminess, but isn't real frothy or full. Still, it's got a nice fluffy consistency and appears soft and inviting, plus it retains pretty well for its ABV - about 4 minutes. Spotty inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the tulip as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. Dark, but not quite a jet black. Appears adequately carbonated. I don't see any yeast particles or hop sediment, so I guess you could call it clean.

Overall, it looks like any other Black IPA. Far from unique or special, but there's nothing clearly wrong with it.

Sm: Floral, piney, and light resinous hop character is prominent here. Sadly though, as with most Black IPAs, the hop notes seem to battle the dark malts/roasted barley, betraying the beer's lack of balance - at least in the aroma. The malts and hops never feel like they're working in tandem, but rather aggressively play against each other. The roast is a bit too restrained for my tastes (or my smells...?) and the cream here feels out of place. I pick up on some light bready malts, a kiss of fennel/anise, just a biteen of burnt sugars, and even a hint of lactose sugar. In some ways, it smells like a milk stout, only with an intrusive unwelcome hop presence.

Overall, it's an inoffensive aroma of mild strength. I can't say I'm expecting anything great.

No yeast character or alcohol is noticeable in the aroma.

Mf: The creamy, smooth (almost silky), and wet texture works well here, lending it a soft comforting (yet unrefreshing) feel on the palate, which is complemented nicely by its medium body and moderate thickness. It's not too filling or heavy, and has a nice presence overall. A bit overcarbonated, but it's forgivable.

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

Outside of style conventions, the texture is working for me, and is well executed.

Unfortunately, the texture - while good on its own - doesn't really suit this beer's flavour profile in particular, mostly because the flavours aren't great.

T: Just as in the aroma, the hop notes (pine/evergreen, light resinous, and floral notes) just don't play well with the malts (dark malts, roasted barley, a dab of caramalt, maybe some chocolate malt). It's a fundamentally imbalanced brew, and as such never feels gestalt or even particularly cohesive. As with most Black IPAs, I find myself wanting the intrusive hop notes gone; the "dark side" of the flavour profile is pretty enjoyable.

Depth, duration, and intensity of flavour are average. It's not a complex brew, but it might be a complicated one - there's a lot going on here, but the many notes don't feel well layered or integrated into a cohesive whole. Lacks subtlety, intricacy, and nuance. Poor amplitude.

I do like it in a general sense, but the absence of balance makes it hard to love.

Dr: It's a drinkable but forgettable Black IPA. I wouldn't get it again, but to Sierra Nevada's credit it's not as imbalanced as many Black IPAs I've tried. I wouldn't mind seeing it in a variety box in the future, but I'd never order it at a bar or anything. You could do worse for this price point, but Sierra Nevada continues to underwhelm. This will have its fans, but the discerning drinker can safely skip this offering. Finally, the emphasis on piney hop character doesn't really cater to my personal tastes, which is what holds this beer back from getting a C+. I'd probably even say this might be worth aging for a year if only to tone back those pesky hop notes.

Bottom Line: On the high side of average for the style, but still an underwhelming effort.

High C

 4,317 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/30/2014. Pours fairly pitch black color with a 2 finger dense light tan head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, coffee, roasted malt, light char, toast, floral, grass, pine, and floral/roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of citrus/pine hop and dark roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange peel, lemon zest, coffee, roasted malt, cocoa, light char, toast, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roasted earthiness. Good amount of pine/roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, coffee, roast, cocoa, light char, toast, pine, floral, grass, and floral/roast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of citrus/pine hops and dark roasted malt flavors; with a very crisp malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, moderately sticky, and slightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice black IPA. All around good balance of citrus/pine hops and dark roasted malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,383 characters

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of jlindros
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not usually a fan of black IPAs, but SN seems to do all styles fairly well, so hopefully this one is a bit better than the norm.

Pours a darker colored creamy but fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades at a slower pace, nice foamy lacing, super dark molasses brown almost pitch black colored beer.

Nose brings nice hops, floral grassy, spicy, mild citrus rind, nice mix of those hops, blending with a decent dark malt, little dark chocolate and roast, mild coffee roast, with the floral grassy hops really coming through again.

Taste brings more creamy dark malts, little roast and coffee like notes, hint of creamy cocoa but not a lot, nice dark roasty malt really starting to come through, mild acrid touch. Then hops, grassy and earthy at first, the spicy and piney, with a touch of floral hop note, and quite bitter. The hops turn earthy with a little forest floor piney sap like note, a touch of orange peel citrus and hint of dark chocolate which adds a nice chocolate orange peel thing. Finish is very bitter, drier but quite sticky, more earthy forest floor and pine hops, spicy hops too, and a touch of roast and dark bitter roasty malts. Later the hops get a bit of a spearamint like note and herbal minty tea.

Mouth is med to abit heavier bod, slight creamy, nice carb.

Overall not bad, nice dark malt profile with a bit of roast and even slight dark chocolate, but the hops just didn't do it for me, the earthy pine and forest floor aren't too bad except they start to clash with the dark malts IMO, and the mild orange is also meh. I do like that little minty herbal tea note late on the finish, and the grassy and spicy hop notes would have been a nice touch if they earthy piney citrus rind hops didn't overpower it. Again just continues that this is one of my least fav styles.

 1,798 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, floral hops, citrus and chocolate.

T: The taste starts out with a harsh hops bitterness followed by the bitter-sweet flavor of dark chocolate. The malt character is hearty and brings some balance. There are also faint background flavors of citrus and coffee. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, there are definitely a lot of other beers in the style that I would pick first.

 782 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 1,419 ratings