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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94 | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94
Very Good
510 Ratings
Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94

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

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Dark Belgian IPA. AKA - Sleight Of Hand

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-11-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 510 |  Reviews: 125
Photo of StoutHunter
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Sierra Nevada's Belgian Style Black IPA from this years Beer Camp Series a couple weeks ago for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. This is the one I was most interested in trying from this years Beer Camp series and I hope I saved the best for last, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a shorter brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is ok and it's the typical Beer Camp label with a decent description of the beer on the back. It poured a nice looking dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had three fingers worth of creamy slightly darker tan head that died down down to a very thick ring that stayed till the end and left some nice sheets of lacing behind. This is a very good looking beer, I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by a nice fruity hop aroma coming through which seems to be an even mixture of citrus and tropical fruit hops that come together nicely with no one fruit sticking out more than the other. Up next comes that malts that impart a nice roasted malt and chocolate like aroma with a slight coffee aroma in the background. Towards the end comes the Belgian yeast which imparts some spicy and banana like aromas. This beer had a very good aroma, it had the roasted malt, hoppy and Belgian yeast aspect that name describes and all three aspects came together nicely with none of them being too overpowering or hidden.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a higher amount of bitterness followed by some roasted malts that still have that nice roasted, chocolate and slight coffee aspect to it, but the roast is much heavier than it was in the aroma and it tastes slightly charred. Up next comes the Belgian yeast that imparts a spicy flavor with cloves seeming to stick out the most. On the finish comes the hops which impart a slightly bright citrus hops flavor with a roasted and slight Belgian yeast like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, but I wish the taste was a little more complex and more like the aroma.

M- A little smooth, creamy, velvety, slightly sticky, on the thicker side of being medium bodied, with a slightly lighter amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice and it worked well, but the strong bitterness up front seems to hurt the drinkability.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a good example of the style, I don't think I've had a Black IPA with Belgian yeast but I thought that the combination worked out nicely, I wasn't sure how the yeast would work with this style, but the malts, hops and yeast all blended together nicely and it made for a pretty unique and interesting beer. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, it was a little smooth and the flavors did a nice job at holding my attention, but that stronger bitterness up front doesn't make it as drinkable as it could be and I think one would be enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was how well the malts, hops, and yeast, worked together neither one was too overpowering and the Belgian yeast seems to help enhance that fruity hop aspect a little. What I liked the least about this beer was the higher bitterness up front, I would have liked it more if the bitterness was toned down just a little and showed up more towards the end. I would buy this beer again, but I wouldn't buy it often and probably only one bottle at a time. I would recommend this to anyone who likes hoppy Belgian ales and it would probably help to like Black IPA's also. All in all I liked this beer, but I thought it was still a little rough around the edges, but I think with a couple slight changes this could be a really good beer. I also like how unique it is, I can't say that i have had a beer that tastes similar to this one. Good job guys this was a pretty interesting beer and I like that you guys took a chance and decided to distribute it. I'n glad I gave this beer a try and it's been my favorite from this years Beer Camp series, but all in all I prefer last years Beer Camp selections, but this years was still pretty solid.

 4,226 characters

Photo of sbanacho
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of andylipp
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of visualmartyr
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of EatonHops
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from the new Beer Camp mixer, approximate cost $1.49. Deep black color, good head, looks fine enough. Aroma was muted hops, a bit of Belgian yeast, some lemon, just ok. Flavor had a bit of hoppiness, some plastic flavor, Belgian yeast, again not great, just ok. I was sort of disappointed in this beer but I think a black IPA is a hard style to pull off and when you add that Belgian yeast you are just muddying the waters. Too bad I had to drink four of these.

 473 characters

Photo of lucasj82
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dgherm
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of phooky
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Renegrenade
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sam adams custom glass, color is dark brown to black with a light tan head that presents 1/2" thick then dissipates to a light top and ring.

Smell is light roast malts, hints of off notes and phenols from the the yeast off products, nice hop bitterness noted, clean more grassy style.

Taste is a wonderful blend of the perfect amount of roasted malts, hints of toffee, chocolate and coffee with the subtle yeast off products and phenos, light spice. Very solid hop bitterness but subdued flavor, grassy.

Mouthfeel is right where you would expect a dark, belgian style ipa - lingering flavors on the tongue, good bitter mouthfeel and mild carbonation.

Overall, a very nicely done brew, perfect amount of roast and belgian style yeast flavors with neutral flavored hops in the background.

 804 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black with brown-amber highlights. Huge and frothy head of tan bubbles. Massive and detailed lace.

Nose is a bit fruity, malty and yeasty at first, with a citrus undercurrent. Definitely more on the Belgian side of things. Some floral hops pop out after the suds subside.

Taste is huge and rich -- a well-balanced mix of almost sour Belgian yeasts and sour grapefruit citrus hoppiness. A hearty and heavy-duty melange of Belgian complexity and American hop-centric, this is solid, but not one I'd pursue further.

 522 characters

Photo of robbee
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/9/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 2-3 finger dense and rocky tan head with awesome retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, light char, banana, clove, pepper, lemon zest, pine, floral, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt, yeast, and moderate hop notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, pepper, clove, banana, lemon zest, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, light char, pepper, clove, banana, lemon zest, floral, pine, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt, yeast, and moderate hop flavors; with a nice bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, crisp, and moderately sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian Black IPA. All around great balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,400 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of aggressive head that seems as if it will have excellent retention. The head is medium beige with mocha aspects while the body is an opaque black. Already, a good amount of lacing has been left behind.

Nose- Starts off strong, both from the bottle and the glass, with lots of lemon. I don't think I have a beer with Sorachi Ace but I think I see what it brings to the table. From the glass, this opens into brighter lemon which progress into floral and perfume notes. This fades from the bottles and shows some caramel and coffee. Some hints of grape and raisin as the lemon from the glass fades.

Taste- Lemon is on the front and is quite bright while coffee tones follow and become even brighter than the lemon. This transitions into a mild hint of Belgian spice and wood bitterness. A very round flavor profile that seems to dip into particular note and revel in it while smoothly moving to the next disparate element. Normally, these notes would clash but they seem to work in harmony. What really brings them together is the pepper, coriander, and slight cinnamon from the yeast which melds in to a slightly bitter woody finish. I drank all of my Beer Camp beers from the bottle before finally reviewing them and the Belgian black was the winner then and it's the winner now. The linger of cinnamon is delightful and the incongruous flavors actually meshing is a treat. It's definitely one of those beers that is more than the sum of its parts. Some evidence of raisin and grape but the presence of blended coffee and Belgian spice/yeast notes is the defining aspect of this beer. Solid beer that I have enjoyed both in the bottle and in the glass. Some minor chocolate. A bit of clove.

Mouthfeel- Close to medium bodied with ample carbonation that doesn't interfere. Some syrup in the texture.

Drinkability- The flavor profile propels this. And price wise? This made 2013 Beer Camp. And it pretty much made it worth the price.

Overall- Solid beer. I would definitely try this beer. It might not be the easiest beer for the palate to comprehend but it never fails to be interesting to me.

 2,139 characters

Photo of J_Dub
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ThreeKingdoms
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle dated 7/23/13 (tried in a tulip and snifter; preferred the snifter).
Appearance - great looking brew! black, no light coming through, thin tan head with very nice lacing!
Smell - some floral hops but more citrus and some banana bread.
Taste - wow! More hop forward than I expected based on the nose. Hints of the Belgian yeast, but this is more of a refreshing black IPA for sure!
Feel - nice! Hop bitterness in the finish, very well balanced with the dark malts, and the belgian yeast; medium body!
Overall - this is a terrific beer! I am a huge Black IPA fan, and this is wonderful and complex...hopefully Sierra Nevada brings this back!

 660 characters

Photo of Zanico
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of powdersoldier
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of dbauer78
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: the beer is black, if you look hard you can see some cloudyness to it as well but very hard to see though the beer. The head is thick and a light brown, leaving alot of lacing the whole way to the bottom of the glass.

S: the hops take most of the the nose. mostly fruity as well as some pine. some of the dark roasted malts peak though the hops but not much.

T: there is alot going on hear and hard to pick it apart, the burt malt mixed with the hops mixed with the spicy belgin yeast.

M: smooth mouthfeel, mixed with a mild amount of carbonation

O: very complex almost seams like all the flavors are trying to fight each other for your attention. its a grate beer and they hit everything on the label, belgin yeast, hops, and dark malts.

 746 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Sleight Of Hand - Beer Camp #94 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 510 ratings
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