Sierra Nevada 4-Way IPA Pack: Round 1
Blindfold Black IPA (6.8 ABV) vs Torpedo Extra IPA (7.2% ABV)
Black IPA vs American IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing
After awhile, IPA after IPA after IPA, they all sort of blend together. Sure, some are smoother than others, but I was getting in a rut. I have a stack of IPAs I wanted to bring to the site, but I was hitting a wall writing about them larger than the IBUs.
Sierra Nevada has a novel variety pack of four different IPAs, most of which, in Austin at least, are only in the variety pack. With four IPAs in one box, the only thing came to mind was which one was the most interesting?
We have two initial rounds: Blindfold Black vs Torpedo Extra and Ruthless Rye vs Golden IPA. They were seeded by IBUs—a higher and lower division.
Round 1: Higher IBUs
First up, Torpedo Extra weighing in at 65 IBUs. This is one of Sierra Nevada’s easier-to-acquire beers available in various sizes and quantities. It’s a nice color with a standard IPA hoppy aroma. It feels like a typical IPA. For me, it is relatively smooth (given the IBU and ABV), nice tasting IPA. My wife, on the other hand, gave me the instant bitter beer face.
It’s a decent showing, but is it enough to win out in Round 1?
This was a wonderful beer to drink. It brings a complexity to the IPA rarely found. The roasted flavors make it a joy. I picked up on both typical hop flavors and flavors more common to a stout—coffee and whatnot.
My wife gave the thumbs up to this one, swearing she picked up a bacon flavor. I never picked up on it, but hey, if you like bacon, maybe coffee and hops is close?
I really enjoyed this one. Both beers were well-made—no question there—but the Blindfold is a beer that I can see myself suggesting to someone when they’re hunting around for something solid, unique yet comfortable.
No split decision here. The Torpedo is a fine beer, but it is one of many well-made typical IPAs. The Blindfold mixed it up, practiced late into the night, and, in the end, came out on top. It’ll advanced to the next level of the tourney against the winner of Ruthless/Golden.