Black IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Black IPABlack IPA
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IPA - Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
3.86 | pDev: 7.51%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Black IPABlack IPA
Notes: There is a debate raging in the beer world: dark vs. hoppy. Never ones to be bound by convention, we're combining them both in our newest Black IPA. Bright citrus and pine hop aroma and a hint of roasted malt flavor come together in this all-American beer mashup.
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 237 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of fedt
fedt from Arizona

4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Black IPA, 6.9%
Sampler pack, 2017
12oz bottle poured to glass

L: Black, opaque, very thick light brown head
S: Piney hops, caramel, roasted malt, nuts, sweet aroma
T: Initial bitter hops of pine/citrus, raisins, chocolate, very pleasing.  Good taste.
F: Medium thickness, higher ABV at 6.9%, well balanced overall
O: Some dark malts that are made into IPAs are flops. This one actually worked. Not the best around, but it was good. Little sad they discontinued this.

Jan 05, 2020
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - black color Good tan head and sticky lacing
Smell - toasty slight caramel a little pine and citrus
Taste - just like the scent
Feel - medium body light carb
Overall - pretty tasty

Apr 19, 2019
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beer poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours black with slight red tint with a light brown head. Smells of citrus hops with some darker grain notes. Tastes of smooth dark grain with citrus hop notes. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation and very smooth. Overall, an above average beer.

Feb 25, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass, the appearance was a nice dark black color with a thin eggshell white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Sly lace ran here and there.
The aroma melded around some roasted malts, somewhat rugged with a stiff bitterness roaming all in and around the smell. With some warming, a light grapefruit bitter edge came in slightly and then a light pine underneath.
The flavor was moderately bitter and roasty with an ample amount of sweet, but somewhat underneath. Aftertaste was mildly bitter pulling in the roast to amplify the total flavor pretty nice.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a good sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate. Some dryness along my tongue.
Overall, pretty nice as a black IPA with not too much normality of the "palate wrecking" capabilities of most ones of this style. It's one I could come back to.

Aug 23, 2017
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taste: toasted, malts, mix with tropical grapefruit hops, smooth finish. Rich roasted malt, nose. Black/Brown, mostly opaque, tall tan head, with ring of lace. Medium/Full body. Tangy easy drinking IPA. 60 IBUs

Aug 21, 2017
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Everydayoff from Thailand

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

Very deep brown to almost black in color, the pour builds up very thick foamy light khaki head that stands with good retention before gradually subsiding to a long-lasting foamy sheet atop and leaving some spotty and patchy lacing on the glass-side.

The aroma has a quite balance blend of roasted malt and IPA. The IPA side lends its citrus, lime, pine, and spice while the roasted side provides notes of roasted malt, dark bread, black coffee, brown sugar, and black dough.

The taste is at the same time disclosed the flavors of both fruity hop and roasted malt with notes of citrus, lime, and pine, all from hops while roasted malt with its dark bread, black coffee, brown sugar, and black dough. The end and aftertaste is wrapped up with upright bitterness together from both roasted malt and hop.

The body is medium with rather smooth mouthfeel and quite lively carbonation. The feeling is crisp and refreshing with a very dry finish.

Not my ideal Black IPA, it is a little bit less on the richness of dark and roasted side for my liking. Anyway, still a pretty good one.

Jun 24, 2017
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5/8/17...pours dark black with heavy foam that laces up to 1/4 inch. Roasted nose, light coffee. Smooth milky malt, sneaky pine bitter. Oily. Bitter builds. Tasty.

Jun 04, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and great lacing. Smells of strong piney hops, roasted malt, resin, sweet malt, and yeast. Fits the style of an American Black Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong piney hops, roasted malt, resin, sweet malt, and yeast. Overall, decent appearance, aroma, blend, and body.

May 31, 2017
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was part of the IPA 12-pack, and I've always been flummoxed by the style - is it a dark IPA, or a hoppy stout?

This is definitely a hoppy dark IPA - piney hops are bursting around all the edges of this beer, and the toasty malt adds a cocoa-like quality that fits well with the hops. Well done by one of my favorite breweries.

May 26, 2017
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Bierliebhaber3 from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This black IPA pours a black color with a distinct red tint and a medium foamy tan head. The smell has pine and citrus, standard IPA scents, but also an undertone of roasted malts. As you would imagine with a black IPA the taste is a combination of standard IPA flavors and dark malts notes. There is pine, citrus, roasted grains, and a little bit of chocolate and caramel. This black IPA leans more towards the IPA side, but it has the dark beer undertones and it definitely has a bit more body. There is a slight lingering bitterness, which is common to Sierra Nevada IPAs. The finish is semi-dry. This is basically like the Sierra Nevada pale ale if it had more body and had some dark malt flavor. I probably like the original slightly better, but I think this is a solid beer as well. I still don’t know that I am fully behind “black IPAs” as a style though.

May 25, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: opaque, but crystal clear when held up to a light; ruby colored; 2 finger light brown head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: restrained; floral with citrus and pine in the background;

T: a balance between toasty and pine from start to finish; moderate bitterness at the and

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: nice, but not memorable;

May 19, 2017
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an effervescent chestnut/mahogany with 2+ fingers of pillowy tan head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Faint roastyness, not much else

T: Pine, dryness, some charred grain up front. More pine & charred grain as this warms, faint Baker's chocolate notes as well, plus a little more dryness. Finishes piney with a little woody dryness, & a wisp of charred grain

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation

Decent drinking, solid take on the style, but would pass if I saw it again

May 18, 2017
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Ahypercube from California

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is a phenomenal brew. I love it every time SN does malty stuff. Got this one from Costco in a mixed 24 pack "4-Way IPA" ...It's only the second best of the four because one of them is obviously Torpedo.

L: Pours with a fluffy rise of beige head that starts to look like a melting dollop of whipped cream on a latte. Except the body of the latte is black. But it's not completely opaque. Light makes it about an inch and a half through the brew... once the head dissipates, it looks like iced black coffee with some creamy lacing on the glass.

S: Roast is less dominant than expected. Sweet notes of red delicious apple, honeydew and cumquat splash over rich oatmeal and some pine. Little bit of chocolate and caramel before a healthy full roasted malt finish. No coffee on the nose at all.

T: Wow, no coffee on the palate either, just roast; although it really does take center stage. The fruits are all there, but mellow next to the delicious toasty bread and pine notes. It has much more grassy tones than the nose suggests as well. Extremely palatable level of roast. Just as it starts to overstay its welcome, the bitter edge starts to soften into something more like toasty bread crust.

F: Insanely drinkable. This is where this beer really shines. Dry, but smooth, creamy, and with a satisfying body and not at all oily, syrupy, or cloying. They clearly stick to clean, pure, robust hops and malt.

O: Reminds me a lot of Torpedo, which speaks to the quality of this brewery's style. Take away some hops and make the malt extra crispy and it's still an exemplary beer. Cheers!

May 05, 2017
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secondtooth from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep brown (nearly black) with ruby highlights. Nice thick head of pillowy tan suds, and an appealing layer of lace.

Aroma: Perfectly balanced mesh of pine/citrus hops and some roasty malts.

Taste: Again, balance permeates the feel of this fine ale, with fruity, bittering hops working in tandem with dark coffee and cocoa roastiness. Solid beer all the way, and one I’d buy a 12-pack of immediately if it were available as so.

May 04, 2017
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Hackattack from Indiana

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a sampler 12-pack to try a variety of Sierra Nevada brews. I like dark brews. This is a good dark, malty one with a bit of hops added on to the tail end. Really rich and smooth.

Apr 29, 2017
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ThePold from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle in a multi pack that was dated over 5 months but it doesn't really seem to have harmed this beer. It looks exactly like a Guinness, so I poured it into a Guinness glass. Turns out to have a wonderful balance of heavy malts and light hops. Mouthfeel is great, taste is pleasant if you know the brewer's intent. Quaffable indeed. Black beers matter. Not to trivialize that saying.

Apr 22, 2017
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johnnnniee from New Hampshire

3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the mixed 12 pack from Market Basket.
deep dark brown with faint highlights and a creamy bubbly off white head that persists. Rich roasty caramel and a hint of chocolate along with plenty of earthy pine to counter. Pretty straight forward beer, easy to drink.

Apr 19, 2017
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: Pours out brown, but looks almost pitch black in the glass with dark brown at the edges. Tan head with good retention, and some lacing.

S: Piney, woody, and spicy hops with a pronounced roasted barley smell. Burnt toast and burnt grains, leaning toward black coffee. Just the slightest hint of grapefruit as well.

T: Big bitter pine sap, pine bark, and fennel flavors, which linger long into the aftertaste. The malt is burnt toast and grains and acrid black coffee. There's just a very faint hint of raisin, too.

F: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, porter-like body and feel.

O: Just an okay black IPA. Nothing too interesting or flavorful in either roasted malts or hops. Just an ashen burnt flavor with a crazy piney aftertaste.

Apr 19, 2017
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black IPA brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., With an ABV of 6.90% This American Black Ale pours out a deep brown color with a nice creamy off white head. This brew has the look of cola, not saying that is a bad thing. There is also some real nice lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is rich with hoppy at first. Then a nice slight sweetness and roasted grians and malts. The look and smell of this IPA is really inviting. Now for the taste, it is different, but in a good way. It is bitter sweet, the roasted grians and malts are a real nice touch to this brew. Kinda puts you in the mind set of an IPA crossed with a Porter. This is one great combination. The body of Black IPA is a heavy medium, however it is nice and smooth. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. I can't get over how smooth this brew is, it is really hard to pick up on the 6.90% ABV in this Black Ale. The mouth feel of Black IPA is Bold, Hoppy, Roasted, Clean and Refreshing. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.50 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Did a super nice job with this brew. If you like IPA's and Porters look this brew up.

Apr 19, 2017
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gandres from Philippines

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle 12 ounce bottle poured to wine glass
Sight: Black, very dark, small light brown foam, some lacing
Smell: not a lot, not hoppy for an IPA
Taste: medium bitterness, some sweetness
Mouthfeel: lively carbonation, long finish, bitter aftertaste
Overall: very good beer, ok to repeat and look for
drank: Thursday, April 13, 2017 4:50 PM

Apr 14, 2017
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JeffBlue from California

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

3/25/17 (12oz bottle, San Francisco) very enjoyable beer as a brown or amber, had some nice dark notes that you might find in a darker beer, will definitely have again, 3.8

Apr 12, 2017
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from short 12oz bottle into pint glass. Bottled on February 17th 2017.

L: Not exactly black, more like a deep ruby brown. Finger width beige head with very very good retention.

S: Pine hops, surprisingly the malt smells lightly roasted, almost a rye note with some spicy hops.

T: Very close to the nose here, well balanced. Super astringent IMO.

F: Medium bodied, super dry. Good carbonation.

O: Wasn't very taken with this beer. Possibly that this style isn't my type.

Apr 11, 2017
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vikinggary28 from California

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into chilled glass. Dated four months ago. Colour is very dark brown, almost black with a thick tan head. Aroma is initially very typical of a black IPA, light roasted malts with piney hops but this one has fruity, peachy after scent. Taste is roasted malt chocolate with a West Coast IPA type of pine and grapefruit compliment. Very smooth with a great mouthfeel. Prost!

Apr 10, 2017
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arizcards from Arizona

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up the IPA mixed 12 pack at Brookshire Brothers groceries in Canyon Lake, TX for $16.99. Bottled on 12-22-16.

Beer poured dark brown with a very nice off white head that is leaving lacing.

Nose has hints of grapefruit and light roasted malts.

Taste is a mildly roasted malts base with grapefruit and pine layered into the base nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall a tasty brew that was definitely worthy of a shot!

Apr 09, 2017
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Caveworm from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a snifter, this beer's got a three finger thick tan head, with solid lacing, and a pitch black body.

Smells like nice and juicy hops with mild roasted malt elements.

I taste the result of a great job blending the hops and roasted malts. Nothing is trying to overpower the other.

Medium mouthfeel with mild carbonation.

Overall, I'll choose to rate Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with a 4.5

Apr 09, 2017
Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 237 ratings