Sierra Nevada – Blindfold – Black IPA

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.

Malted barley generally falls into two camps: base malt and specialty malt. Base malt is highly modified malt that is responsible for producing the bulk of the fermentable sugars in the beer. Specialty malt is malt added for its flavor, color or effect on the body and mouthfeel of the finished beer. Specialty malts are typically produced by kilning and/or roasting barley. Caramel malt is made by placing germinated barley with a high moisture content directly into a roaster. The resulting malt produces unfermentable sugars during the mashing process, adding sweetness and body to finished beer. Roasted malt is base malt that has been placed in a roaster similar to a coffee roaster to produce deeper, darker, baker’s cocoa and espresso flavors like those common in a porter or a stout.

Traditional dry hopping uses nylon sacks stuffed with hops and suspended in the tank. We found that as we removed the hop sacks, even after weeks suspended in beer, we’d occasionally find the center to be dry, meaning that the hops never came in contact with the beer. We thought there had to be a better way and, nearly ten years ago, an idea was sketched in a bar that changed the way we dry hop. In 2009, that idea became a reality with the invention of the Hop Torpedo. The Torpedo is a stainless steel device packed with whole-cone hops and sealed against pressure. Fermenting beer is circulated out of a fermenter, through the column of hops, and back into the fermentation tank. This circulation method is easily manipulated through time, temperature and speed. We can control what types of flavors and aromas we extract from the hops and how those aromas will appear in the finished beer.


  • YEAST Ale yeast
  • BITTERING HOPS Summit, Chinook
  • FINISHING HOPS Summit, Cascade, Galaxy
  • MALTS Two-row Pale, Carafa III


  • CUISINE Smoked chicken, Roasted Lamb, Blackened flatiron steak
  • CHEESE Roquefort, Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano
Breweries: Sierra Nevada.
Flavor Elements: Coffee and roasted.
Beer Types: Black IPA.
ABV: 6.8%
UBUs: 70
Roasted: 3.5/5
Astringent: 1/5
Dry: 3/5
Heavy: 3.5/5
Puckering: 1/5
Sparkling: 3.5/5
Alcohol taste: 3/5
Bitter taste: 4/5
Salt taste: 2/5