DevESTATEtion | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
121 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mverity on 09-07-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 572
Photo of corby112
2.9/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears nearly black in the glass, with dark mahogany edges and a frothy, two finger beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap/ring. The retention is crazy, almost too good, taking forever to settle. The glass is left coated with rings and chunks of soapy lacing.

The dank, earthy hops and smokey roasted dark malts combine for a very odd, metallic-like aroma with a strong phenol/chemical character that is very unpleasant. Resinous pine sap, grass, dirt/soil and spruce tip followed by smoke, charcoal, roasted malt, coffee bean and oatmeal. There's a touch of caramel sweetness in the nose but the hop and malt combination makes it smell like phenolic bandaid. Everything seems to clash and scream, "Don't drink this"!

Thankfully this beer tastes a lot better than it smells. The solvent-like chemicals and phenols that I picked up in the nose are nowhere to be found. The hop and malt flavors are better integrated than I expected. The hop profile is still kind of one dimensional, however, with lots of dry, earthy bitterness. Resinous oil, sticky buds, grass, pine tree and spruce tip flavor give this beer overwhelming bitterness that's decently cut by the complex flavors of the malt bill. The malts are pretty robust and smokey but there's some underlying sweetness that balances things out. The smoked and charred malt compliment the hop bitterness with hints of charcoal, burnt toast, deeply roasted coffee bean and oatmeal. This is countered by bittersweet dark chocolate, toffee and slight caramel flavor. A bit harsh and nit the mist balanced beer but after the palate adjusts to the bitterness, this beer becomes decently drinkable.

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Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown brew with a big beige foam in the tall Petrus goblet. Very attractive with an abundance of lacing, plus the appealing sudsy mouthful. A rather earthy and musty smell with a note of tea.

Medium body with a malty mouthfeel. Quite bitter right from the start. Hints of chocolate (bitter, natch) and a little cedar. Strong herbal tea and serious dankness. Dirty dreadlock bong water dankness.

I'm not entirely sure what's the point of this exercise. Guys who own hop farms shouldn't have to prove it. This is massively bitter and hard to get down. A beautiful but deadly brew. From the 22 oz bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with interesting label art and waxed-over branded pressure cap acquired at me Whole Foods HQ and served into an Avery stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. 2013 vintage. 6.70% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a Black IPA because the label identifies it as such. "Organic." "Wet hop ale."

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of light khaki colour. Good creaminess. Nice thickness. Inconsistent spotty lacing/legs clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is good - about 5 minutes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque solid black. No yeast particles are visible.

Appears well-carbonated - possibly overcarbonated.

It looks as most black IPAs do, but it's not unique or special. There are no obvious flaws. Standard fare.

Sm: Caramel, dark malts, cream, chocolate malt, hints of milk chocolate, floral hops, cocoa, vague biscotti, and pale malts. Pine, spruce, and mint surface more and more as it warms. Maybe sage too? Something else in the mint family. Vague anise, but luckily no licorice. It doesn't deliver much diversity or depth in terms of hops, but the chocolate is quite appealing here. I don't know that I'd peg it as a Black IPA if I tried it blind. I love the cocoa and biscotti notes - wow.

A surprisingly appealing aroma of moderate strength.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable.

T: Anise comes on heavier in the taste than it did in the aroma, and is joined unfavorably by mint, sage, evergreen, and prominent pine needle hop character. Too herbal. I'd like a different hop profile - citrus, nectar, oily, fruity, anything - pine is not ideal. Caramel. Has plenty of cocoa and chocolate malt. The cocoa is lovely on its own, but unfortunately - like with many black IPAs - the "dark" aspect of the beer clashes with the hoppy aspect, yielding an imbalanced flavour profile. Far from gestalt, but it does have a decent loose cohesion. I guess some roasted barley would be nice. Most of all, I just wish the hop presence was toned down - that this weren't trying to be a black IPA at all.

Sadly, the biscotti note I was so looking forward to is nowhere to be found here. It's too bitter as well, featuring the bitterness both from the hops and from the chocolate.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It has a forced complexity, but no subtlety.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Overcarbonated. Unrefreshing. Lightly oily. Chewy. Smooth and wet. Has a good body and presence on the palate; it's a shame the flavour profile isn't better. Good thickness. Suits the flavour profile well in a general sense, but the texture doesn't seem custom-tailored to the taste.

Not astringent, harsh, boozy, hot, gushed, or rough.

Dr: Huge ripoff for the (lack of) quality. This is the type of beer many people forget about when they claim that Sierra Nevada is the best value brewery in the country. Where's the roasty character they brag about on the label? I'd honestly recommend just setting this one down for a few years; maybe age will get rid of the lackluster hop character and let the well-executed cocoa powder and chocolate malt notes take over. Hell, if they don't want it to be aged, why are they waxing it? I wouldn't get this again, nor would I recommend it to friends. Not the strongest Black IPA I've had so far, but not the weakest either. Another mundane brew in an emerging young style. I appreciate the effort to scrap together something new due to a failed harvest, but who are we kidding? Drinkable but underwhelming.

I do have to concede it's above average for the style, but perhaps only because so many beers in the style are fundamental failures - especially with regard to balance.

Low C+

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Photo of mentor
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dirty-tan two-fingered head over a brilliant brown liquid with ruby tinge. Smells dry roasty malt, cream, hop piney, and hop pithy. Tastes roast dry with mild malt sweet underneath. Iron, burnt grains, cedar wood. Hop flavor is pine, pith, and light resin. Hop bitter is clean hop oily and blends well with the bitter of the roast grains. Medium-light in the mouth with a very dry finish. Modest clean alcohol sting. Lingering dry roast finish is augmented by mild waxy hop bitter. A bit too dry for my liking. Dry stout meets American hops? Favors the dark grain flavors more than the hops. Gorgeous lacing and a thin layer of head hung around until the end.

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Photo of bobhits
3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

From the bottle pours a medium tan colored beer that quickly forms a thick creamy tan head. Under the foam forms a deep amber bordering on black body. The body however is a touch thin based on the absurd bottle (they did their big 750 ml bottle with a wax cap....I swear I want the buck they wasted on the look of this back since i know I paid for it).

The aroma is pretty darn interesting. Citrus orange and grape fruit mixed with coffee and light bakers chocolate. I'm under selling it a bit with this description. The draw back is after the pour it becomes increasingly hard to smell surprisingly quickly.

The flavor is where this one drops off. This reminds me of a porter with a bit of hops and a really weak overall flavor. The beer lacks a decent malt back or enough hops. the end result is the chocolate and coffee porter notes poorly balanced with hops and a lack of a real finish. Ultimately the beer drinks like a 5% beer vs nearly 7% and it underwhelms.

Black IPAs sadly often do not reach high levels of carbonation in the mouth feel. this is a real problem as that's an important element of non imperial IPAs. Instead this takes on a fairly silky smooth body with only a slight ever so subtle hop bite at the end.

At 10 bucks a bottle, I admit it knowing I'd be disappointed I might still buy it to try. Bottom line this is the weakest hop forward beer I can recall from Sierra and putting it in this silly bottle and charging 10 bucks for it just makes it that much worse.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Big khaki head. Sugary legs. Deep brown body.

Smell - Nutty with some grassy hops. Smells like a hoppy brown.

Taste - Grassy and grapefruit hop. Lots of deep caramel malts. Some bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - It's ok, but it's not a black ipa. Just a hefty brown ale.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Dark, dark brown color with a minimal head and decent lacing.

S: Smells very dark with a fair amount of roast in there. It is very bready. I get no hops on the nose.

T: Tastes like a standard black ale, but is quite watery. Maybe they should have dried the hops off first. Roasty malts and quite dark tasting.

M: Quite prickly.

O: Kind of a let down just like their harvest/crops this year. I admire that they tried to save it with this release, but I don't think it worked. They should have kept this for draft-only or made it into a stout/porter. At least it was relatively cheap, but still. Eh, maybe next year SN.

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Photo of leckart
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love black IPAs. This one strikes me as a little watery and somewhat bland, which makes sense given the color: it's not nearly as dark as I would expect from a black ipa. 21st Ammendment's black ipa isn't the best I've had but it's better than this

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Photo of keeper7215
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle at home. Black IPA made to counter-balance poor grain harvest on estate.

A: pours a deep brown with ruby highlights; creamy off-white head with nice retention

S: roasty, toasty, almost coffee-like smells, with a sweetness coming through - perhaps burnt coconut or candied grapefruit

T: more hops on flavor than aroma; can taste the roast in the grains; good balance between the astringency from grains and the hop bitterness and some sweet notes; nothing overpowers the other

M: medium-full body; enough carbonation to carry the weight

O: overall a really well-balanced and well-made beer

Personally dislike the black IPA style and have found very few examples I enjoy. This one, however, is really well done and I like it.

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Photo of bccocx
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank on 11/04/2013 out of a pint glass.

A- Dark brown / almost black in low lighting. Pours well with a nice white / slightly tan head. The head sticks around and leaves a nice lacing in my glass

S- I pick up the roasted malt smell first and foremost, followed by a nice blend of earthly hops. Overall, not a very strong aroma.

T - Like the smell, I pick up the malt flavors first. The hops then come in to provide some bitterness. Definitely not an overpowering (flavor wise) beer. It's pretty mellow.

M - This is a medium bodied beer. I'd consider it a very easy drinker.

O - Solid offering from Sierra Nevada. I've definitely had better black IPAs, but I think this one is definitely worth drinking once. I liked the malt profile, but I would have probably enjoyed a bit more bitterness. Bottle presentation was nice with the waxed tip. This is a beer I will probably only drink once.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a nice dirty cream-colored head that fades into a thin cap with a little bit of lacing

S: Sordove of a letdown actually. I received lots of roasted malt and coffee but not much on the hop backing. I literally had to faceplant in order to get any pine or Earthiness to this beer.

T: Initially I receive a blend of cocoa and coffee, nice amount of roast a very tame pine and Earthiness appear bt it's just low rent. The finish has a lingering roasted and moderate bitterness with some cocoa on the end

M: The body was light-medium to medium but I thought it was pretty creamy initially.

O: Sordove disappointed on this. Not a bad beer but definitely a little weak on the hop presence, especially to carry such a name and black wax...

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Photo of Rizalini
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a black wax top bomber bottle into my Stone goblet...

A - Pours a very dark crimson color, with a finger of light brown head. A nice collar is left behind when it falls.

S - The smell is different... a combination of dark chocolate and earthy hops. Not a whole lot going on here.

T/M - I'm really not too sure what to make of this one. There's a dark roasted malt backbone and a bitter hop finish. There are carmel and grassy notes that I'm picking up on. Mouthfeel is medium.

O - I was a little disappointed by this one, especially with the $10 price tag. I can't really say anything bad about this beer, but I can't say anything great about it either. Solid example of the style, but nothing mind-blowing.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Sierra Nevada's DevESTATEtion last month for $9.49 at Cork N Ale. I had a bottle of the last Estate Homegrown Wet Hop Ale and I thought it was pretty good and I planned on trying the newest release, then I heard about the problems they had with their crops and how it would be a Black IPA instead, I'm still interested to see how this one turns out, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 750ml waxed bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it looks a little similar to the last one and I think it's a little eye catching. It poured a decent brown color that took on light brown hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of creamy light tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some nice rings of sticky and patchy lacing behind. I thought this was a nice looking beer, the head and lacing were nice, but I wish the color was a little darker.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the hops being the first to show up and they impart some herbal, piney and earthy hops with a slightly lighter citrus rind hop aroma with some grapefruit aromas coming through and neither aspect seems to stick out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart some roasted malts, caramel, sweet malts and light chocolate like aromas with a slight creamy aroma coming through towards the end. I thought this beer had a nice aroma, there was some good balance between the hops and the malts.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up and they are little lighter then they were in the aroma, but they impart the same hoppy aspects with neither aspect seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma but this time the chocolate comes through more and along with the roast malts they stick out the most. On the finish there's a higher amount of medium bitterness with a earthy/herbal hop, roasted malt and light chocolate like aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer, but I wish the hops flavors were bolder and the malts could be a little bolder also.

M- Fairly smooth, a little creamy, fairly crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a nice mouthfeel that worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and i think it's a slightly above average example of a Black IPA, it's got most of the aspects that I expect from the style, but most of them seem to be on the lighter side for the style and i find myself wishing this was a bolder and more robust beer. This beer had nice drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little creamy, fairly crisp, not too filling and the taste did a decent job at holding my attention, I think one glass is enough for me, but I don't think I would have a problem drinking a full bottle since the bitterness isn't too high, but any more than that and I'm sure I would get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer was the nothing, there wasn't a single aspect of this beer that I like more than the others, they were all equal. What I like the least about this beer was that it left me wanting more and I wish the hops and the malts were both a little more flavorful. I don't think I would buy this beer again, but it if their crops gets ruined again there's a decent chance I'll give the Black IPA version another try, and I would say it's worth a try, but I wouldn't recommend it as a great Black IPA. All in all I thought this was solid, but I was expecting more, I had their Estate Grown Wet Hopped Ale when it was a year old it and it was still pretty good, so I was expecting good things from this one, but in the ever growing style of Black IPA's this one seems to be forgettable. It's not my favorite Black IPA or Sierra Nevada beer and I prefer the normal version of this beer. I appreciate the effort on this one, it sucks to have your hard work ruined by some bad luck, thanks for still putting out a beer out, but this one wasn't as good as I had hoped.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a Tamp Bay Brewing Company pint glass.

A: Pours a medium to dark brown, with a fair amount of haze but still quite translucent. Forms a half-finger of off-white head with poor retention, and moderate visible carbonation.

S: Brown toasted malts, some resin and vegetal hops. A touch of cardboard and oxidation as well, despite being fairly fresh and wax-sealed. Not a ton of aroma overall.

T: Brown toasted malts, a moderate amount of resinous, spice and a bit of melon hops. These then fade into a green coffee and/or roasted malt flavor with bitterness (likely a combination of hops and roasted malts) that lasts into the hang.

M: The body is a little thinner than ideal for the flavor profile, but not watery. Low carbonation sensation, and moderate alcohol presence.

O: This was an interesting mishmash of flavors, but I'm not sure that I'm a fan of the combination. I'm underwhelmed by this one. One to check off and move on.

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Photo of basscram
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color is like that of coca cola, which is very dull dark brown. pours into glass with 2 finger head dissipating into a 1/4 inch head.

Smells like a very clean light roasted coffee beans, with some hop aroma.

Taste is slightly roasty with some bittering on the middle of the tongue. Supposed to be a black ipa. It does have some nice modest hop bitterness. There is a touch of sweetness to balance this out as well.

I really like this beer. I had to have it since it was all cool with the wax and looked appealing due to the label.

I highly recommend drinking this beer from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of McStagger
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Goddamn wax...

A: Not really black at all. More of a very dark, clear leather color. Two fingers porter colored head. Retention is stellar, as is lacing.

S: Roasted grain, some citric hops. Bit of pine. Smells like yet another Sierra Nevada beer.

T: Initial sweetness is met with rustic IPA notes. Shots of pine, lemon, grapefruit skin. Aftertaste is some roasted elements. A little smoky, with a non descript astrigency in the finish.

M: Thin, borderline watery. Lacking the body that both the roasted and hoppy presence demands.

O: Massive, massive dissapointment. Big lack of flavor considering the price.

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Photo of ADZA
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a mate for this one and pours a dark brown hue with the creamiest three finger head and lacing everywhere,the smell is very earthy along with gherkins,pine and a touch dark spicy malts,the feel is medium bodied moderately carbonated and easy going and for a black IPA the tastes are a little subdued with tastes of earthy piney hops,dark malts and the finish is herbal hoppy bitter and overall yeah it's not bad and easy going compared to the big black hoppy IPAs out there cheers.

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Photo of CHickman
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25 oz bottle that was wax sealed, poured into a snifter: pours pitch black color that looks dark brown when held up to light with a huge foamy 2 finger dark tan head that was full of microscopically small bubbles and faded very slowly, leaving excellent foamy lacing coating the sides and rings as it went down – standard good looks from Sierra Nevada.

Smells like roasted malt and burnt grains up front, with charcoal, molasses, cocoa, ground coffee, herbs and faint piney hops; this smells more like a porter or smoked beer than an IPA and the lack of hop presence is surprising for Sierra Nevada.

Tastes much like the nose, but a lot more bitter with more noticeable hops. Now, the hops show up more in the flavor, but this is still a malt dominated brew with lots of roasted notes and a mix of roasted malt, cocoa, wet coffee grinds, burnt grains, charcoal, molasses, dark chocolate, herbs, piney hops, light grapefruit, oaky notes, peat moss, anise, pepper and other spices like cumin or cinnamon. If fresh hops were added then they were wasted as they don’t add any value to this mix; IPA by label, like the nose this is more like a porter or smoked beer than an IPA and the chocolate roasted malts seem to be the strongest part of the aroma and flavor. Very earthy and a lot of smoky flavor which just added to the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is think and on the heavy side with average carbonation and a lot of roasted and smoky malt flavors that trail off bitter and more like charcoal that hops.

Overall it was OK but way too unbalanced for a Sierra Nevada IPA, if we can indeed call it an IPA. Seems like an IPA formula may have been used at the start, but this burnt grain/charred wood malt bomb is far from the fresh hop Estate IPA’s they produce. This is a decent beer, but not smooth, not balanced and not what I was expecting. It would make for an average porter and above average smoke beer, but as a black IPA it fell short, especially from this legend of a brewer. Glad they tried this experiment, but not sure I’d buy another bottle.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle $10.49. Dark brown color but not quite black. Aroma has hints of fresh hops but nothing major, bits of roasted malts too. Almost smells like porter. Flavor has a bit of juicy citrus but really tastes like a hoppy porter. I think they should have used the fresh hops for a pale ale to showcase them better. This was also a complete ripoff for $10.49.

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Photo of soughtbygod
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear black, could be mistaken easily for a dark brown ale filtered and clear looking when help up to the light

smell: roasty malt, dark chocolate, slight hops expected a more hoppy nose on this one

taste: typical of sierra nevada, oxidation up front, followed by hops but quickly over layered by robustness of the black barley and kind of a messy finish a little all over the place

mouthfeel is the best thing about this beer drinks great for the style with perfect carb

overall i would drink it again if offered, but im pretty sure this will be my only purchase of it

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark cola color with a dense, tan head. Sticky lacing and firm retention make for a really inviting beer.

S- Dark grain bill with caramel malts and a slight doughy aroma. Hops seem herbal and spicy. Pretty standard for the style.

T- Some roasted notes and slight chocolate blends well with a peppery spice and earthy, pine hops. Certainly a raw, sharp aspect to this one not unlike Wookey Jack. Some roasted additional character takes hold on the way down before finishing with a clean bitterness.

M- Silky and creamy really comes to mind here. Maybe the leading aspect imo. Mid body with firm but delicate carbonation.

O- A truly outstanding effort by a classy brewery to make a little something out of nothing. And for the most part, all was not lost as they were able to salvage the hops and make a black ipa worth trying. Would have preferred the hops not take as much of a back seat to the malt, but still wonderful ingenuity and creativity. Malty IPA or hopped up stout...either way...good stuff.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark deep red, almost porter black with a thick, clingy white head. Smell is fairly benign, some piney hops and lots of roasted malts. Good but subtle. Taste is not very reminiscent of an IPA, but instead features lots of malts, bakers chocolate, coffee and cream. There is some hoppy bitterness as well, but not the full force citrus and pine explosion you may expect. Feel is light, medium carbonation, not sticky or heavy. Overall, a pretty mellow beer that has some really good flavors and not much wrong with it. Nothing astonishing or exciting here, but is an interesting bridge between the classic styles of porters and IPAs and finds a nice happy middle ground.

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Photo of n2185
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear, dark brown with copper highlights and three fingers of cream-colored head that fades into a thin cap with a solid sheet of lacing.

S: Roasted malts with sweet cocoa up front followed by earthy and piney hop aromas bringing up the finish.

T: Roasted malts here as well with bitter chocolate and coffee flavors followed by resinous pine hop flavors. The finish is moderately bitter with some char flavors.

M: Body is on the lighter side of moderate with medium carbonation, this beer avoids being too watery or oily feeling.

O: A solid beer, overall. I'd like a bit more complexity from the hops and maybe a bit less bitterness, but it's still enjoyable.

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Photo of BB1313
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an extremely dark amber with ruby brown hues; it's not black. Fluffy off-white that sticks around and leaves awesome lacing and retention. Looks great like all of Sierra Nevada's beers. The aromas are dominated by black coffee. There's some hazelnut and vanilla in the mix as well. The hops take a backseat in the nose. Lots of cocoa malts as well. Flavors are very roasty. More roasted black coffee. Lots of dark chocolates. There's an earthy bitterness to this one. Subtle hints of pine needles. I'm also picking up some berries. Not as much hop flavor, but solid hop bitterness. This has alot of stout and brown ale qualities. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied; but light and almost watery. Despite being slightly thin, it really works in this case. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Nice brew.

Coffee IPA? This is an interesting beer. It's pretty complex and has alot going on. It doesn't really feel like your typical IPA to me, although it definitely has IPA qualities. It's enjoyable stuff.

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Photo of sethmeister
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A very attractive beer. Pours mid brown but appears nearly black in the glass with tawny brown highlights and a big bubbly foamy ecru head. my shaker pint is curtained with fluffy sticky lace.

Great nose - wafts from the bottle and i get caramel, floral, and fruity notes before I even raise the glass.

Taste is bitter dark chocolate and cocoa with a touch of dark fruit - raisins and figs. Roasted stout-like flavors. Very nice malt bill here but the hops seem rather subdued. There are earthy and slightly spicy hop notes as well as a hint of citrus and a pleasing bitterness on the finish but this is a very balanced beer rather than a hop forward one

Nice creamy mouth feel and excellent drinkability.

Overall a very enjoyable ale from a brewery I am very fond of but to be honest I would have preferred more hop activity here.

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DevESTATEtion from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 572 ratings.
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