“Blindfold blankets us in darkness yet maintains a surprisingly light body and bold, hoppy character. This black IPA emerged from our Beer Camp program and builds on Sierra Nevada’s legendary love of hops with roasted malts for depth and complexity. Like its namesake, Blindfold is a bit disorienting—the color of a stout and the intense, hop-forward flavors of a classic American IPA.” 6.8% ABV American Black Ale
Purchased from Das Bierhaus in Fresno, California.
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada shaker pint glass. The color is mostly black, with some ruby-red hues showing around the edges. A light khaki-brown head is poured, which has good retention and leaves decent lacing. Little carbonation can be seen in the glass.
Ample roasted malts and barley are immediately noticeable. Undertones of coffee, citrus, and piney hops blend together to give a good overall balance.
Blindfold is medium-bodied, going down with moderate bitter harshness. The flavors begin with a solid punch of roasted, almost burnt roasted barley notes. Faint dark chocolate begins to come through, as well black coffee. The piney and citrus hops from the nose poke their head out for a moment, before giving way to a lingering aftertaste comprising mostly of the bitter roasted tones.
I really enjoyed the dark roasted flavor of this Black IPA. It is less hoppy than other black IPA’s I’ve had, such as 21st’s or Firestone Walker’s, and most of the bitterness seems to come from the dark/burnt roasted barley characteristics. I think this brew could definitely be a “gateway” IPA for those who really enjoy porters and stouts. It is easy to drink at 6.8% ABV, and I wish I could find it in its own 6-pack, instead of in an IPA variety pack. 8/10
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Chico, California