I just had time for a swift half of Blindfold the last time I was in The Brew Dock. It was one of three Sierra Nevada beers on and is a black IPA of 7.3% ABV. As is usual with this style, I started by checking its credentials and figuring out which sub-category it fits into.
It's certainly black, just showing brown at the edges. The first pull revealed a beautifully smooth beer with lots of dark sweet molasses flavours. Ah, so we're in hoppy stout territory rather than sleight-of-hand looks-dark/tastes-pale. It takes a few seconds for the hops to kick in, but kick in they do, delivering some lovely powerful grass and earth flavours. Not what I'd expect from a Californian, but it turns out that German Magnum hops played a big part in the recipe so perhaps that has something to do with it. The inevitable citrus grapefruit (there's Cascade and Chinook too) offers a little bit of light relief, unusually. The flavours fade leaving a tangy and lasting bitterness on the palate.
Even though it lacked the fresh soft fruit I enjoy most in black IPAs, this is a seriously good beer with something for everyone in its profile.