From Sierra Nevada:
It’s a shame when good barley goes bad. This spring, the combined effect of double digit sustained winds and concentrated rainfall created major stress on the normal course of our barley maturation — our crop went down for the count. Instead of crying in our beer—or lack thereof—we decided to do one better and make something new. Featuring organic malts and our estate-grown wet hops, this black IPA is the evil twin of our legendary Estate Ale. Black in color with a mild roasty flavor and moderate body, this beer has a bold citrusy and earthy hop flavor and aroma from the use of our own wet hops. We’d never let one bad harvest get in the way of a great beer, so join us in a toast to the memory of our devastating season.
Roasty is what hits you first… Almost a burnt sumatra coffee. Is is a medium bodied beer that is nearly opaque black and clocks in at a respectable 6.7%abv. It has a bone dry finish that lingers a little too long and leaves an astringency in your back palate that I am not a huge fan of. Strong bittering that overpowers the malt. What is lacking is any hop aroma to speak of. I have citrusy flavors, but the nose is absent. I don’t know when they brewed this beer or how it handled transit, but the beer store did have it on a warm shelf, so that could account for the hop degradation. Also, it’s so hard to work with wet hops and balance them with the malt bill the brewer has chosen. Also FWIW, it is an Organic beer…
All in all a decent beer as is everything from Sierra Nevada, but I don’t think I will seek out another bottle of it this year.