Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
225 Reviews
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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: 225 | Ratings: 1,410
Photo of Phocion
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle with a packaged date of 12/03/14. Pours into my glass a dark, deep brown with about an inch of khaki, rocky head. Good retention and solid rings of lacing as the beer falls.

Dark, roasted malts dominate the aroma. Medium-roast coffee and dark chocolates are powerful, with a hint of roasted nuttiness. Hops are surprisingly mellow, with just a light indistinguishable citrus zest as well as piney aroma in the very back.

The hoppiness is much more noticeable than in the nose. Dark roasted malts combine with a piney and fruity flavor. Between the dark malts and the hoppy bitterness, a decent level of astringency is created. Dark chocolate and a drying charcoal flavor. Very dry, bitter finish.

Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Very smooth and creamy but with a harsh finish.

Black IPAs are very hit-or-miss with me, and this one is a miss. The weakest of the 4-Way IPA pack, in my opinion. Very harsh bitterness but relatively little hop flavor. Big roasted malts overpower. I'm rarely disappointed with Sierra Nevada, but it's happening now.

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Photo of CraigS119
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Purchased Mid Jan., 2015 (already has 2015 on the bottle) at a Publix in Tampa. Pours a nice murky black with pillowy eggshell head. Aromas are typical IPA: pine, hops, resin, a little malt, and hints of grapefruit pith and citrus juices. Flavors are darker, with tart, roasted hazelnuts, smoke, and burnt-ness that accompany the aromas. Has a really bitter, charcoaly aftertaste that kinda sticks with ya. Body is in between that of a stout and IPA, with some silky/creaminess. Overall, this is a "black-tar affair" of a beer in that it is eloquent, dark, and fucking brutal... not in a bad way, just in a manly, campfire-on-a-frozen-lake kinda way. I give it a B.

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Photo of Daktah
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Came as part of the 4-Way IPA seasonal pack. Great looking beer with obvious body. Roasted malt nose with a little citrus hop coming though. Taste is heavier on the hops, but completely balanced with the roasted malt light biscuit flavor.

A great take on the black IPA style, and an example of how to do it without blasting every sense at once. Definitely something I'd drink again.

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Photo of predikit
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours brown, settles in the glass black, left tall foamy light beige head that stuck around for a long while. Globules of lacing abound.

Scent is mostly hoppy, citrus and pine, grapefruit pith notes.

Hop foward, which leaves a resinous bitter on the tongue, coffee notes surface in the middle and ride through the finish, bitterness present the entire time.

Medium bodied, slight oily feel, medium-low carbonation, goes down fairly smooth. Out of the seasonal IPA variety pack, this is my favorite.

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Photo of Catracho5
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip

A: Pitch black, tan head, looks like a stout.

A: Getting nothing but roasted malts on the nose, no hoppy fruity aromas.

T: A little hoppy flavors up front, very bitter, roasted malts, alcohol, was hoping for more hop aromas.

M: Medium mouthfeel, dry.

O: I was expecting more citrusy or piny hop aromas and flavors on this, wasn't there, more roasty than hoppy, still a good tasting beer. It's almost 6 weeks old so I am not sure if the hops have died off, but it's less than I expected.

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Photo of ZebraCakez
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The typical SN hoppy IPA in every sense, but with a roasted malt goodness that comes off almost coffee like on the finish. A fantastic addition to their lineup.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 12-03-14

Poured out opaque black and produced a massive three finger off white head that left beautiful skirts of lacing down the glass. On the nose it gave off a mellow dark roast with some coffee, citrus, and grapefruit which went back and forth from malt roast to hops. The taste is like the nose with a bitterness, dark roast, coffee, citrus, pine, all coming through strong and coming out at different times. Sometimes I get more citrus/pine and some times I get more of the dark bittered roast qualities. Comes in medium bodied and slick in the mouth and comes across dry which is perfect for this beer. This is a really enjoyable black IPA, I wish Sierra Nevada would make this a regular in their line up. Best beer in their mixed IPA pack and one I wish to try again, Cheers!

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up tonight at Brewer's Haven... Pours with a 2 finger dark tan head... great lacing... the brew is black as any porter.

Nose shows dark chocolate... dry roasty malt... piney/pithy citrus hoppiness.

Dry roasted malt... a bit ashy IMO... sorta astringent and doesn't exactly jive with the big "C" hops.

Body and carbonation are about expected... Okay, but not in my top tier of Black IPA's.


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Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

I like the Blindfold.....its not as bold as the Stone SSRA but its an lighter version. It pours a dark opaque with think ecru head that is leaving a nice lacing. The scent carries pine and some citrus like hops. The taste carries IPA flare with coffee/roast/peat base. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall....solid.

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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

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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

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Photo of CHickman
3.81/5  rDev -1%

Pours black color with brown around the edges where the light hits it and an extremely thick foamy 2 finger tan head that was full of bubbles of all sizes and faded very slowly, leaving good lacing and a foamy tan layer on top. The head literally took a few minutes to fade and was extremely impressive; if the lace would have left rings it would have been a perfect score.

Smells of roasted malt, charcoal, piney hops, cocoa powder, lemon zest, peat moss and earthy notes; coffee, dry grass and floral hops come through late and the roasted malts win out the battle of the nose by a 60/40 margin over the hops.

Tastes similar to the nose, with roasted malt, piney hops, charcoal, lemon zest, cocoa powder, toffee, burnt coffee, peat moss, mild spices like pepper and cinnamon, earthy notes like dry grass and floral hops, and acrid dark chocolate like a S’mores held over a campfire too long. Rich, roasted and malty, with chocolate malts, coffee and piney hops showing the strongest flavor notes, so to me it was more dark ale and porter-like than IPA.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a heavy chewy body, and a slightly bitter aftertaste that's a combo of burnt coffee, piney hops and burnt wood. It fades almost dry and leaves a nice cocoa powder aftertaste.

Overall a good Black IPA, and even above average compared to what I’ve had, but not outstanding. Easy to drink and hoppy enough to fit in with the Sierra Nevada profile, it was a good new beer from Sierra Nevada and one that I would definitely recommend and have again.

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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.

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Photo of smcolw
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large, lumpy head with plenty of chunky lace on the glass. Near black color where no light shines through except through the edges.

Dry, unsweetened cocoa aroma, reminds me of a porter but with a little hop bite.

The flavor is far more hoppy with a black pepper. There's still a distinct dark chocolate flavor with a bit of burnt black patent malt. Neutral body with a mildly diminished carbonation level. Long hoppy/burnt toast aftertaste.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Bubbawilly88
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Blacker than your X-wife's soul. More bitter than her heart. Sorta like drinking the spirit of your enemy in existential dominance. Charted malty notes up front like the sacrificial BBQ you burned her voodoo doll on. Finishes with the bitterness of vengeance all consuming. Violent yet, intriguingly addictive. Superb offering from a world class brewery.

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Photo of Esmitab
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours black like a stout, with good head retention cream in color. Aroma is pleasant with citrus, pine, roasted malt, and earth notes. Mouth feel is balanced and nice chocolate coffee after taste.

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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.

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Photo of Retroman40
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Pours a beautiful dark amber color with a rich creamy head. Floral hops dominate the smell but the flavor is a great balance between hops, malt and some coffee in the finish. The carbonation and mouth feel as superb. Overall a great beer.

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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.

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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!!!~

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Photo of HoppyBastard
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "PKGD 6/25/14".

APPEARANCE: pours so dark that light cannot penetrate it's surface, one finger brown head that dissipated into a thin broken layer of small bubbles, a good amount of lacing on the glass, medium carbonation.

SMELL: roasted, chocolate, there is a floral note, some pine.

TASTE: initially sweet, understated roasted malt, chocolate, then a nice traditional IPA piney hop profile. The 6.8% ABV is nearly imperceptible.

PALATE: this is a lighter body for the style with medium carbonation, creamy.

OVERALL: I must confess I do not like the Black IPA style. I did however, enjoy this beer. The roasted notes in this style are usually too pronounced for my liking but this beer was pleasantly roasted in an understated way. The hop profile was like a nice traditional IPA should be. I would buy this beer again. Sierra Nevada is becoming one of my favorite brewers. The beers are excellent and reasonably priced.

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

12 oz bottle poured into my Goose Island 16th anniversary pint glass, the beer is black with mahogany highlights and a thick brown head. It has lots of lacing.

I liked the nose of roasted malts, brown sugar and ripe apple.

This is a nice stab at a style I really enjoy. It is roasty with some slowpoke sucker type taste that adds a nice hint of sweetness. There is some bitterness by the second sip. It is a bitterness derived both from the roasted malts and the hops. More ripe red apple and muted coffee notes as the beer warms.

The only minor tweak I would make would be to turn down the carbonation a notch, but this is a minor quibble as the beer is tasty and balanced.

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Photo of northcoastwolf
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - very dark, pours black with little head which is dirty tan

S - smells good. Fruity, roasted malts and a hint of coffee

T - faintly bitter, strong roasted malts overpowers hops which are experienced mostly towards the end with a light flourish of coffee

M - mild carbonation, slightly dry, body is medium and lighter than expected

O - the dark roasted malts are favored over the hops and this is a different
taste profile than other black IPAs, but once adjusted to found to be an enjoyable and, so far, unique offering of the style

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Sierra Nevada Blindfold Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.85 out of 5 based on 1,410 ratings.
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