Blindfold - Beer Camp #73 | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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150 Ratings

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

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BEERchitect on 03-04-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by Green1981:
Photo of Green1981
4/5  rDev +7.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass at Jake's Billiards today,the color was pretty much opaque with a thinner but well sustained tan colored head.Chocolate and earthy notes in the nose,some sweetness from the alcohol crept in as well.Earthy and piney hops over top of bitter chcolate and a tinge of licorice,the alcohol sweetness is there but not overly big.Not real complex but there are some nice flavors going on.A nice find on tap here in G-boro.

 440 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak Cafe. Tried a sip of my buddy's, decided I wanted my own pint so I went back and got one the next day. As expected, pours a deep black color with only a slight shade of dark brown at the top. The light khaki-colored head sits pretty at a few millimeters and leaves some crazy-good lace, ALL the way down the glass. Very, very nice looking beer.

Aroma is full of some ashy and peppery hops, slightly piney on the nose, too. The malts bring in a reasonable amount of cocoa powder and faint coffee beans. The roast is relatively low, and I'd be willing to say the hops are actually quite a bit stronger (in the aroma) than the malts. As time goes on, some citrus notes become more and more prevalent; grapefruit being the biggest. Light wood and a little more cocoa-roast on the tail.

I take a sip and I'm not really sure what to think. Black IPAs are something that always confuse my senses, every single time. Upfront, you'd think this was a juicy IPA - the citric hops are strong and howling instantly; white grapefruit, tangerines, all encrusted in a coating of light pepper. The hop flavors are not far behind with a mild abrasion of herbal leaves and lightly resinous pine needles. Bitterness starts out mellow and peaks halfway through - nothing quite tongue scraping, though.

After the hops settle just a bit, the malts spring forward and suddenly it feels more like you're drinking a porter, albeit one that's slightly more hopped up than usual. The roasted malts peek their head out and prove to be much stronger than they seemed in the aroma. Cocoa powder, very light coffee beans, and mild woody flavors bring up the finish with a mild, lingering bitterness from the hops. Medium bodied, almost sticky but not quite - more of a slick and oily mouth feel, medium carbonation.

I never really know what to expect when I get a black IPA. Despite being a somewhat specific style, they seem very sensitive to small changes - a few tweaks and small differences in the malt or hop bill could be the difference between a great beer or a bad beer. In this case, it kind of falls somewhere in the middle. This is a good beer; not a great one, but far from a bad one. There are better black ales out there, sure, but this is still a decent choice and I would recommend it at least once to fans of this new style.

 2,331 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of SanFranJake
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Todd
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of tigg924
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Had on tap at New World Tavern Plymouth--served into a pint glass

Appearance: dark reddish-brown in color, clear, 1/4 inch head, medium carbonation

Smell: roasted malt, chocolate, and piney hops

Taste: piney hops, charred roasted malt, and light cream

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, low carbonation, sweet start that becomes bitter and dry

Overall: An above average piney American black ale. One to sit with for a bit. Not sure if I would rush out to get this again, but I would not pass it up either.

 505 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with a minimal cream colored head. It let's a minimal amount of light through. The aroma is roasted barley quickly followed by hops. I get some roasted barley and the odd New Zealand hops hops in the flavor. The lingering bitterness slowly fades on your tongue. Excellent balance. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Not as hoppy as the typical black IPA, but something a bit different.

 395 characters

Photo of dmk91
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Brenden
3.72/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Whatever you call the style, "black" is the key, and black this beer is. It grows a very nice creamy but dense and even somewhat rocky tan head that makes it to over one finger tall and takes time to dissipate. It's got lots of stick to it, and manages a good amount of mostly patchy lace that branches out a bit too after dropping a nice ring at the top.
There's an interesting combination on the nose between a sweeter malt than is typical of the style, making the cocoa milkier than the usually bittersweet note, bitterness of pine and raw plant stem (woody), and bitter/citrus combo of grapefruit peel/zest.
The flavor allows the different components to develop nicely. It actually ends up being more of a hoppy porter/almost stout than anything. There's a good pine and grapefruit bitterness, but malts are a stronger component overall. Roast, chocolate and coffee grounds are major flavors. More bitterness, particularly grapefruit, does slide into a well-lingering finish.
There's good crispness through each sip, and it's also fairly smooth. The body is a steady medium. It ends up going dry through the middle, and more so in the finih, with just a touch of astringency coming out later.

 1,196 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of hsus0225
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Final Gravity in Roseville, CA

Appearance - Pours a deep, near black ruby red hue, served to me with a light tan, half finger head. Fair retention, leaving a thin layer of microbubbles to coat the surface. Lacing is spotty with fair stick.

Smell - Strong coffee notes, moderate cocoa. Hop aroma is subdued, but hits on light grass and citrus character.

Taste - Follows the nose. Coffee and cocoa base, while the hops take a backseat. Cocoa notes own mid-taste and into the finish. Hops are there, but hard to distinguish; briefly touches on citrus, pine and a faint bit of grass.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. A touch of chalky grit. Goes down easy enough.

Overall - I was clamoring for a Black IPA with a solid roast malt base, but not at the sacrifice of a strong hop punch. Unfortunately that's the case here. Hops come across weak and nearly washed out. I have no idea the date of the keg, but if this was anywhere near fresh, then they need to go back to the drawing board with this one. It was a nice tasting beer, but nowhere close to where a black IPA should be. My search for the ideal Black IPA continues.

 1,159 characters

Photo of Graeme24
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured no head on a black body.
The aroma is rich roasted malt with lemon. Very aromatic and nice.
The taste is smooth roasted malt with moderate lemon bitterness. Nice balance.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Really good. Too bad it isn't a regular.

 267 characters

Photo of mindfuldave
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler. Pours black with a couple fingers of rich and foamy mocha head. This stays robust and frothy, slathering the sides of the glass with sticky lacing. The aroma smells floral, piney and a little dank, with fresh citrus flavors and a touch of leafy spice. An underlying mix of roast, chocolate and caramel all rise up, mixing in with the hop flavors to give the nose a rich smoky twang. The taste has a crisp green bitterness to that spreads leafy citrus and pine out across the tongue, leaving this bitter, spicy and resinous on the finish. A sticky and burnt mix of roast, chocolate and caramel malts stays on the sides of the profile, doing a good job of balancing the hops and even leaving a little char behind as well in the backend. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a silky smooth creaminess that also harbors a bit of crispness down the center of it where those hops lay. Alcohol is well hid. I love when these Beer Camp efforts randomly show up in our area and this was a nice one, being a Black IPA of rich depth (there is a clear separation here between malt and hops yet they still balance and complement each other nicely) and a super easy drinkability for a bigger IPA. I maybe have to go back for another growler of this…

 1,250 characters

Photo of mzeld
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Photo of Nage37
5/5  rDev +34.8%

Photo of Danielr26
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Chrixsus
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of erialbill
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of emerge077
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft in a footed tulip glass.
Jet black body, long lasting khaki tinged foam that deposits sheets of dripping lace in the glass. Good head retention also. After a few sips the skim eventually breaks.

Smells like chocolate milk and pine needles.

Dry earthy hop bitterness, pine sap, dry roast malt, and dry pretzels. Vague notes of dry bakers chocolate. Smooth and clean, lingering bitterness in the dry finish. It's a good Black IPA, especially if your preference leans toward the dry and bitter end of the spectrum.

 520 characters

Photo of jsh420
3/5  rDev -19.1%

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Blindfold - Beer Camp #73 from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 150 ratings