Black IPA | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Black IPABlack IPA
Very Good
234 Ratings
Black IPABlack IPA

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by gillagorilla on 01-01-2017

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 234 |  Reviews: 75
Reviews by carrollmel7:
Photo of carrollmel7
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of Ahypercube
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!

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DanGeo
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bsp77
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A little off for a Black IPA. It has some pine and citrus hops, and some chocolate and coffee notes. All good so far. But then there is another malt layer that really reminds me of an Irish Red Ale. So it is interesting and tasty, but just not really what I want.

 263 characters

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

Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an IPA glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown. Lots of bubbles and a big three finger beige head that slowly settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and oily aroma of earthy hops and dark malt. Earthy hop scent of pine resin and grass. Slight hints of citrus orange peel, grapefruit, and lemon. Dark malt scent of toast, chocolate, smoke, biscuit, and grains with some yeast. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an oily and roasty taste with notes of earthy hops and dark malt. Earthy and oily hop presence with notes of pine resin and grass. Light citrus notes of orange, lemon, and grapefruit. Dark malt notes of toast, biscuit, smoke, chocolate, and grains along with yeast. A very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Slick and oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty good Black IPA. Nice balance of oily hops and dark malt.

 942 characters

Photo of doremite
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of takusan1000
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of weareallfalafel
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OKbrew89
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LXIXME
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a bad beer by any means. Maybe better than my score reflects. I don't feel SN brews any bad beers. This one just was mediocre for me. A run of the mill Black IPA in a sea of black IPAs. Nothing really stood out. It was a bit biscuity and the crackery oatmeal cookie flavor that accompanied the piney hops didn't have me coming back for any more than the one bottle. No off flavors and was balanced well between the two styles I must admit to it's defense.

 466 characters

Photo of DrewBest
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/16/16 Drunk on 3/12/17 day of the winter storm blizzard Stella.

"Black"....well, not exactly. The liquid when poured into a proper English pint glass reveals that the coloration is really a very dark brown with dense and deep amber hues. Not opaque, as a bit of direct light shines through. Sea foam thick, mocha-ish colored cap, lacy, clumpy and high. Long term retention.

A slightly roasty, mild chocolate, cocoa and maple syrup scented malty nose is pretty nice. Herbal mix and earthy aroma's blend well, marshmellows and roasty nuts come from various hops and very complex malt.

The malt comes through like clean springwater style, feel and effect. Long currents of medium bodied , roasty but also maple syruppy malt. Mildest chocolate/maple/marshmellow/ roated nuts and oats give excellent malty complexity but not a full feel. Hops give off various earthy and tangy flavors. Each aspect of the flavor spectrum is bold, but very seperate.

The hops complexity is in fine balance with a rather exceptional malty effect. The hops never really bring the goods, but the overall blend makes for a fine time.

 1,138 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled date of 12/08/16

Appearance - Pours dark cola brown with a khaki, one finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Good lacing, with broken sheeting, lines and spotting found along the glass.

Smell - Strong aromatic character of pine, citrus and spice with a bit of roasted malt laying beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Citrus, pine and light spice sits atop a slightly roasty, slightly smokey malt backbone. Finishes much the way it starts, with pine and orange pith bitterness and light, lingering roast.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium in body with moderate, lightly bitey carbonation. Slick texture makes this an easy drinker.

Overall - This is good, but my question is, why? Blindfold was a very solid Black IPA and had more going for it, IMO. We want Blindfold! We want Blindfold! This will do until Grand Teton Trout Hop finally hits the Sac market, which should be any day now...

 983 characters

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

Photo of tdm168
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

12oz bottle, New Belgium glass, bottled 12/22/16.

The color is tawny, with a hint of light. You might think you had a lighter porter on hand. The head is a thing of beauty; all latte foam in texture and color. It stays around too.

Cocoa, chicory, pine, dark wet earth, vanilla.

Dark malt bitterness, pine resin, cocoa powder. I'm sure the hops have faded a good bit, but it's like a very good, very hoppy porter. Strong bitterness of chocolate malt and citric hops.

It has a luxurious creamy texture from the body to bubbles.

Certainly hits the mark on a hoppy dark beer. I'm curious how much the malts vary from your standard American Porter. It's tasty.

 662 characters

Photo of secondtooth
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.

 443 characters

Photo of Damian74
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ben1313
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KensWorld
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

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Black IPA from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 234 ratings