Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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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

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Reviews: 226 | Ratings: 1,411
Photo of Lard_City
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sort of an IPA/Porter hybrid. Very mild hop and malt aroma. Dark red cola color. Hoppy, fruity and bitter. Malt is way overshadowed by the hops. Aftertaste fades quickly for the IBU level. Not bad but would probably only drink this when I am also eating something to contrast the hops.

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Photo of Gear54
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a snifter. Got this in a SN variety pack

Jet black pour with 2 fingers of kaki head and thick lace on the glass.

Smell is malts and hops. Very subdued and not overly aromatic. Smell didn't improve as the warmed over several min.

Taste is quite different than smell. Lots of carbonation and pine. I get roasted malty flavors and some coffee/dark chocolate in the background.

Mouth feel is ok but it's not as bitter as I would have thought for a BIPA. Closer to a porter in fell even with the high carbonation.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black/dark brown ale with a nice beige whip cream looking head. Big lacing.

The aroma is dark fruits, banana, roasted malt, tobacco, leather, shoe polish and coffee grounds.

The taste is black coffee, roasted malt, fruity, bitter chocolate yet hops definitely shine through to let you know this is still not the beer your grandpa grew up on. Nicely done SN.

Overall I feel some of the reviews for this are not fit the style. I think SN did a great job for the style. Let it warm and see the difference. I could even see the name changing to strictly Blindfold Black Ale. Let the consumer decide what this is. Complex and tasty nonetheless. Good stuff.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours like a lumberjack's coffee with champion grade lacing. Roasted malts and earthy aroma hops come through the nose and the palate strong. Heavy creamy mouthfeel, not bad

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with good 2-3 fingers of tan foam with fair residual lacing. Smells of roasted malts, piney hops with just a hint of citrus, cocoa, bit of coffee aroma, but mostly piney bouquet. Piney, floral hop notes at forefront of taste, malty, dark unsweetened cocoa mid note with a hint of piney, leathery hop bite at the end with a residual bitterness as the aftertaste. Medium body with fair amount of carbonation.
Overall, a good representative of the style. A little more bitter than I’m accustomed, but a tasty and complex black IPA.

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Photo of travolta
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Jet black, but a beautiful ruby when held up to the light. A thickish tan/brown head that has very good retention and lacing.

Nose: Some molasses and coffee,

Taste: Very crisply carbonated, tastes like a stout. Bitter and metallic. Very crisp.

Notes: This is more of a bad stout than it is a BIPA

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Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear black colored beer with a medium sized dark tan colored head.

Smells mostly of patent malt. Some grapefruit hop but not much. Not a very aromatic beer at all.

Starts out metallic and a little sweet with no strong flavor except bitterness. Little bit of roasted grain. Slight chocolate. Mild bitterness.

Reads the bottle 70 IBUs? I'm not tasting it. Drinks like a basic porter.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall 70 IBUs? Bottle was "PKGD 01/15/15 15:52" so it's not old. This is more like "Sort of hoppy porter."

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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!

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Photo of hoppygram
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one makes me question the difference between a black ipa and a stout. I am still learning. It seems more like a stout to me. I like it as a stout, but not as an IPA.

Aroma - hops aroma is minimal

Taste - coffee, some pine

Mouthfeel - good, full

Overall - I like it, but will drink it as a stout, not an ipa

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Photo of Beejay
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown/black in the glass, with a large tan head on top.

S: Dark chocolate malt aroma, coffee, and earthy hops.

T: Coffee and chocolate. The hops are somewhat subdued in the forefront, but there is a nice lingering earthy bitterness in the finish. Not as bitter as I would have thought, although what is there is subtle and smooth.

M: Medium in body, with medium low carbonation.

O: Overall a very nice beer, although I think the bitterness is a little low for the style.. Still smooth and enjoyable.

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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...

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Photo of obrike
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

This one grows on me. Very subtle black IPA, but extremely smooth. That's the best part. Certainly a good entry level brew for the style. SN once again puts out a winner.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at BC's Pizza and Beer

A: Pours dark brown with a slight ruby hue and a creamy khaki head that settles and laces very well.

S: Pine and light citrus hops and some roasted malt.

T: Pine and light citrus hops, maybe even some floral notes, roasted malt, strong coffee, and maybe a touch of sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This is pretty spot on for a black IPA in my books. The hops are good and assertive up front, but the dark malt pushes back too. I dig it.

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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.

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Photo of Act25
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

IPA variety pack is great bargain with 4 winner beers, that I rank
Torpedo 4.3, Blindfold 4, Ruthless Rye 3.9, and Golden IPA 3.8. All good and true. No false notes.
Priced between $14-17, a great value.
Now proudly also brewed in NC like Oskar.

1stly - I am big fan of black IPAs and porters.

A - An opaque black with 1 finger of frothy tan head that lasts and laces abundantly.

S - Abundant nose. Black bread malt, wood char, mountain wet grass meadow, and piney resin hops. No fruit.

T - Followed the smell and more char, coffee, and bitter and then clean to the finish. Charcoal, woodsy, pine, and sweet thick moist slabs of black bread, that ride into a long wood smoke and pine finale.

F - A good mouthful. Oily texture. Too much carbonation? Bitter finish, but a bit of a thick feel rather than super clean ending.

Overall - this smokey black IPA is great take on the style, but I've had better.

I welcome the others but not back to back.

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Photo of hophugger
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Very deep chocolate/black color. Nice tan head and great lacing all over the glass. Aroma is relatively light with some malt and light citrus. Taste is hop forward with some malt sweetness and a nice roasted coffee bitterness that lingers for a while. Overall, feels good, tastes good and is pretty well balanced.........

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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!!!

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Photo of Gmann
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep brown color, almost cola like. There is a short tight head with some larger soapy bubbles. The beige head settles into a light airy ring.

The aroma is of citrus hops, mainly grapefruit. There is a slight hint of the roast. The hop aroma dominates the malt and provides a nice bright aroma.

The hop profile in the flavor has more pine notes. The grapefruit is still there but the pine seems to be stronger. A char like bitterness from the roast. Perhaps some baker chocolate notes. Not a lot of complexity to the malt.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Mainly bitter on the palate; a bit chalky and aspirin like. You get the double whammy of bitterness between the hops and the malt.

A fine black IPA. Seems to have good balance between the malt and hops. Just not a huge fan of the double shot of bitterness that black IPA's provide.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Exactly how it is billed, and exactly what you would expect. Deep brown color. Classic SN head, retention, and feel. Nice roasty flavor that finishes with a flourish of hops. Very clean finish. Actually a bit softer than normal. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from mix pack, pgkgd 12/3/14, poured into an IPA glass.

A- Dark black with ruby and brown overtones. Two finger fluffy head, excellent lace retention.

S -Mix of citrus/orange, nuts, and burnt grains and mild chocolate/coffee notes.

T - More citrus mixed with malted grains, mild smoke, hazelnut.

M - Fairly mild carbonation, medium density, finished a tad bitter but not overbearing.

O - A decent, well made black IPA that doesn't try to overdo any particular aspect.

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Photo of timontheroad
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark black color, with some reddish highlights as I look at a light through the beer. Nice billowy two finger thick brown head that stayed nicely and left some good lacing all down the glass.
Smell: Heavy aromas of dark roasted malt, some slight chocolate notes, and just a hint of grass in the nose.
Taste: Pretty close to the smell, with the malt and light chocolate flavors dominant. Some piney hop flavors, but not what I'd expect for a Black IPA.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice carbonation on the tongue.
Overall: Almost reminded me of a slightly hoppy porter. This was just a ok beer, nothing special - not overly smitten with the style either.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a tulip glass bottled on 12/10/14

Appearance: Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights

Smell: Mostly hops and some roasted notes

Taste: Lots of hop citrus and earthy notes with chocolate malt balancing out the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium with the hop bitterness coating the mouth

Overall: Probably one of the more balanced Black IPAs

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a brown head that lasts. Aroma is hop bitterness and slight roast malts. Taste is light citrus and bitterness with roasted tones and a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall this is a great black ipa with lots of roast and bitterness. Looks like a stout, drinks like a roasted ipa.

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Photo of ColdOneKev
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark brown, almost black body with a slightly tan thick head, which fades and leaves heavy lacing.
S - Nice blend between hop resin and roasted malts.
T - Piney hops and roasted malt battle for control. This is less hoppy than other Black IPA's (or CDA if prefer) that I've had.
M - Medium body, medium carb. Leaves the palate relatively cleanly.
O - This is a nice compliment to a mix pack, but not something that could stand out on its' own.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not quite black, deep mahoghany would be a better description with a tan head. Nice lacing. Rye aroma blended with mild herbal hops. Flavor is rye like but maltier than hoppy, but bitters remain present. Smoother than a standard IPA but still nicely carbonated with a bit of bite.

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,411 ratings.
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