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Brewer's Blackbird Black IPA - Beer Camp #27 | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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29 Ratings

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour into an imperial pint glass at the Sierra Nevada pub in Chico.

A: Opaque black color with one finger of beige foam head. Continuous lacing remains on the glass, with extra-thick overlapping ribbons and a band of thick foam near the top of the glass.

S: Mild roasty and faintly smoky malt with light pine and citrus hop aromatics. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins with immense depth of roasted malt flavor, umami, some chocolate, and dark fruit. The flavors continue to develop with the emergence of elaborate hop complexity similar to the smell, but without diminishing the initial savory malt and yeast notes. Finishes moderately bitter that lingers while remaining off-dry. No alcohol is detected.

M: Velvety-smooth, but thick, viscosity with light carbonation. The feel of this beer on the palate is sublime, elevating the overall experience.

D: This beer is a complete success at combining the best qualities of a dark beer and a west coast IPA. While strong, the mouthfeel alone compels continued consumption. A score of 5 seems too low for the mouthfeel encountered here. I have seen others rave about the mouthfeel of other dark offering by Sierra Nevada such as Fritz and Ken's stout or Dark Forces porter, and yet the mouthfeel of this beer stands alone in my mind.

This beer is an imperial version of the black IPA style and should be evaluated alongside other similar beers such as Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous and Stone/Brewdog Bashah. That said, SSR seems harsh and unrefined, while Bashah comes across as uninteresting, compared to this beer.

 1,576 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of bishopdc0
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Great lost bear. Reviewing from notes.

Served in a nice tulip.
A nice black, but transparent when held to the light. A nice hear forms and stays for the majority of the beer.

The nose is big citrus hops and a slight roast. The hops dominate the aroma, an almost berry nose with some pine hops in the back.

The taste is very nice a mix of roast and citrus flavor hops take the first round on the flavor. As the citrus flavor dissipates the roasted flavor brings in a bitterness that lingers. very nice

Overall I like this beer it is very well rounded and a great example of the style

 611 characters

Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of PGHeppJr
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes 04SEP2010

Poured into Unibroue tulip at Kickback's Gastropub in Jax

Well seeing as I used to work for a guy who helped brew this beauty at Sierra Nevada's Beer Camp, good work Flo & Co. That being said, this was one a big boy of a Cascade Dark/Black IPA/ whatever we call em now. Not sure where it fits in the style categories honestly, but do know that I would drink it up again.

 393 characters

Photo of azorie
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap with the maker Steve at kickbacks in Jacksonville. as a non IPA lover and all that i did not have any thoughts before trying this beer.

Appearance: served in tulip type (duval type glass) not much head, was very cold dark porter looking beer, one swirl your get a average head, off white creamy

S: I get a earthly, caramel, molasses hit in the nose. Hops are earthy, not piney at all.

T/M/O Drinking it I get the hops they are there Motueka hops, very nice not citrus or piney at all, I guess its why i liked it, its not a typical pine tar bomb the WC folks love so much. i get a Pepsi cola, sweetness in the taste. some red wine and port flavors, and some honey, the hops and yeast very earthy but not overpowering. the palate was creamy and medium body with lively carbonation, and slightly bitter finish. overall drinkable black /porter like IPA I enjoyed it.

reviewed from notes on Friday 3 SEP 2010, sorry not better formatted reviewed on RB first.

 966 characters

Photo of Chrixsus
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Donger69
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Neffbeer
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with an off white tan head. A good deal of lacing. The nose is full of caramel and chocolate followed by a strong citrus hop background. Taste, first caramel, burnt dark bread, chocolate, followed by the piney citrus hop punch. Finishes dry and clean with a hint of bread. Medium carbonation with a smooth creamy mouth feel. Overall a good version of a CDA. Not quite session-able at 8.7%, but a good once and done.

 430 characters

Photo of Lukecook
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at The Great Lost Bear

A- Jet black, two fingers of white head, head slightly receeds, but seems to stick around forever.

S-Slight smell of wet piney hops, not getting much else.

T- Wow, roasted malts are prominent with a nice bittering hop punch.

M- Smooth, medium body, and medium carbonation.

D- I was worried about this beer from the lack of smell but the taste and mouthfeel of this beer are great, would definetly drink again.

 444 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of berley31
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME.

A: Poured in such a way that there is only a small amount of a tan-colored head... even this small head hung around, however. Body is jet-black and appears opaque.

S: Strong aroma of fresh, citrusy and piney hops. There is also the slightest hint of roasted aroma, but it really is quite minimal.

T: The roastiness comes through a bit more in the flavor, but the hops still dominate, and are similar to those in the aroma. Bitterness is moderate-high in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

D: A very interesting and tasty beer. Hard to judge how this is compared to other "Black IPAs", since opinions still seem to differ over how this should taste. However, it's NOT just a black IPA, nor is it a hoppy porter or stout, so it seems pretty accurate to me.

 830 characters

Photo of KevMo84
3.25/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Vigilante
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Blackbird on tap at Rattle N' Hum in Manhattan, NYC.

Appearance: Served in snifter, comes with a beautiful dark color, looking super black and opaque and with a perfect one-finger head of a coffee-with-cream. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Very dark and roasty, chocolate, cheesecake, hot milk. The nose is more like an Imperial Stout. Some vanilla, sweetness. Distant hops , very subdued and cooked. I smell this beer and go back to the fields of drying corn around Columbus, Ohio, in the late summer where I fell in love with the bare, abstract landscapes of the Midwest.

Taste: Not as enticing as nose and body, but good. Very chocolaty, tastes and feels like European hot/liquid chocolate, only cold. Some hops in the back, and a slightly dry finish. A nice bitterness lingers in the mouth after sipping.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body, full flavor. Creamy, smooth, like a cask Imperial Stout.

Drinkability: Drinks very well, super tasty, fresh, never too boozy. Beautiful! The 8.7% is surely present, though, and it hits eventually. This is more of a Russian Imperial Stout than a Black IPA, but in any case, it is a delicious brew.

 1,165 characters

Photo of seanwhite
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of Jame515
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of ToasterChef
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes. Served on tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME. Mike, the bartender here, was one of the Beer Camp attendees who helped concoct this beverage. I was hoping to ask him some questions about the beer, but he wasn't working when I arrived.

The beer arrived to me in a tulip glass that was nearly full of an intense black liquid. To me it looks like a stout, but it is notoriously dark at the GLB and I occasionally have a hard time determining how dark a beer here actually is. The high amount of liquid left little room for the head, but what was there was a small cap of tan foam. I would have liked to see what this beer looks like when there is some room for a full head to form. As I sip it, patchy lace is left behind.

Like most SN beers, this one has a good aroma full of west coast hops. They give it a forest like quality, which seems appropriate to me (because birds like the forest).

This blackbird has a big bittr flavor, especially in the finish. Eash sip begins with a balance of malt and hops, but the malts are quickly overpowered by oily hops. These hops linger. Like the aroma, the flavor profile of the hops reminds me of a forest. The malts taste a little toasted. This is most apparent in the finish; here the toasted malts, bitter hops and warm alcohol blend together impressively. Is this unique, common to black IPAs, or just something I don't remember experiencing before? It doesn't matter really, as it is such a tasty beer.

The beer is full-bodied and possesses slightly above average carbonation. A good sized coat is left in my mouth after each swallow. It retains a bitter flavor. It also leaves my mouth a little sticky.

I find this beer to be pretty drinkable. I could probably have a couple servings in glasses of this size. Any more than that, and I think I would have to switch to a less hoppy beer. It's possible that if you found this beer on tap, there would be better IPAs available, but in my opinion, a new beer from Sierra Nevada is always worth trying.

 2,027 characters

Photo of BuzzLitebier
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of unclejimbay
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blackbird ipa draft at kickbacks, 9/15/2010


Appearance is dark coffee with a beautiful cappuccino head that lasts and lasts with whisper of a pillowing cap.
Roasty malt wafts as I hoped along with a bold but zen-like hop aroma. Tastes as it smells with a roasty malt and bitter hop duel, exactly as it should be for this style twist on an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium light and body with a nice hop and roasty finish. Drinkable for sure, leads the trend with a dash of kickbacks essence, enjoyable enough to deserve a timeless classic reputation. I hope this Blackbird sings again, and often.
Nice work Steve!

Photo @

 705 characters

Photo of Bloodbuzz99
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of CampusCrew
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First to review!!!! Had it at Kickbacks. Which the owner Steve Flores from Kickbacks Jacksonville helped brew at the SN Beer Camp.

appearance: pitch black with some good head rentention and amzing lacing down the glass.

smell: big citus on the nose with some earthiness to go along with it.

taste: very complex and complicated beer. which makes it interesting. Earthy and citrusy hops blend well with the dark malts. Had a citursy ice tea like finish. really cool.

mouthfeel: medium and light for a dark beer

drinkability: superb.... a new fav of mine

 556 characters

Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -27.4%

Photo of ElizabethEleanor
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of drummermattie02
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -3.1%

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Brewer's Blackbird Black IPA - Beer Camp #27 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 29 ratings