Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sierra Nevada DevESTATEtion Black IPA

This is a 6.7% ABV fresh hopped black IPA from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California. It is their "almost" homegrown estate beer. Why "almost"? They have their own farm where they grow hops and barley for their Estate releases. However, this year, their barley crop was ruined by strong winds and drought. So, this has their estate hops, but not their estate barley.

The beer pours black in appearance, a very dark ruby when held to the light. There is a tall head of thick, creamy, foamy head, very light brown in color. The head leaves sticky lacing on the glass. The aroma is deep and rich dark roasted malt, coffee, mocha, dark chocolate, with piney hops melding nicely, blending into a lingering tangy fruitiness. The taste essentially follows the aromas, a creamy, rich, dark roasted beer, with coffee and dark chocolate, melding perfectly with piney hops with just a note of fruitiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the finish is fairly bitter. Too many black IPA’s are too out of balance one way or another. The few that are the best are in perfect balance, just as this one is. I darn near left this one on the shelf, I am so glad that I didn't!

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