Stone Brewing announced today the release of "Monolith," a 27.3% alc/vol ale which sets a new world record for the strongest ale. Monolith is the result of a secret project that has been 17 months in the making at Stone Brewing. This rare ale was produced by brewing 17 small batches on the brewery's pilot brewing system, fermenting with 17 different yeast strains over the 17-month period.
<P>We here in Toronto had the genius plan back in December to invent Ratebeerís new #1 beer, which we would conveniently all taste on March 31st for rating on April 1st. Unfortunately, not everyone remembered to log in and help out the cause so it only garnered seven ratings, despite the valiant contributions of Radek's cat Turbo.
<P>Thankfully, that failed effort was eclipsed by a much more effective prank, Stone Monolith. Ratebeerians got right into this one, and came up with some great ratings. Of course the beer canít stay on the site officially, but I couldnít bring myself to delete these classics altogether. So for posterity, and for those who missed the fun the first time around, here they are.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=1349>Issoroku_Yamamoto My friend Lobsang Hefetrub, the abbot of the largest Tibetan monastery in metropolitan Schnecksville, got a bottle of this through a relative in the order of ink-making monks. We drank this in his office, out of a Tibetan ceremonial cup made of a human skull lined with silver and trimmed with petrified ocelot nipples. Drank may not be the exact word, since the seventeen strains of yeast interact in an odd way which makes this beer as volatile as ether when consumed from such a vessel. So we chased the slow-moving black fumes around with ceremonial Tibetan fume-chasing implements made from the beaks of the now-extinct Farnsworth-Smythe's Grubby Ibis, which was reknowned for its grating call, its habit of solely inhabiting abandoned kilns, and the emetic quality of its flesh-- but I digress. As I said, the fumes were black and slow-moving. These percolated through a head the color of blood. The beer itself tasted oddly similar to the potato-and-squid pierogies that old Mrs. Szczrskwszjnrzczlmrnszynski down the road makes, with slight overtones of peat and a hint of cannoli. While the aroma of the yak-butter lamps in the monastery is strong, it could not obscure the beer's overwhelming scent of piano wire and mice. Not bad at all, except that after drinking it I kept hallucinating that I was trapped in a Swiss girls' boarding school...
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=956>muzzlehatch I was perusing Ebay this morning, looking for odd beer-related things, as is my wont on a slow cold Tuesday with the wind howling and the bears growling...well you get the picture. Usually there's nothing special, but today there was, holy of holies, the new beer from Stone I'd been reading about for lo those many minutes. I'd been burned before in my efforts to acquire SA's "Millenium", "Utopia", "Armageddon" and "Bill Gates" so I quickly pulled up that new auto-bidding software I just got and let 'er rip. Just barely edged out some guy from Canada name "JOakes" or some such (no Canadian is worthy of this honor) and for $4,793.00 I was the proud winner of this auction from "T&J_Alls" somewhere in the Boston area. The madness hit, you've all had it, we've all driven a hundred miles to a liquor store, continued to drink bad beers from a local swillmeister just to say we've had them, you know what it's like.. anyway, I just needed it NOW. The reviews were already showing up as I hopped in my beater car and put the pedal to the medal. One hour and 58 minutes later, I was there. I can't describe the circumstances of the purchase, suffice it to say that it was cash only, it involved a bridge and a garbage can, I never did get a clear glimpse of a face and I'm pretty sure "he" (I can only assume) was wearing lifts. Transaction concluded, I headed back to B-Town for the Official Sampling of this Nectar of the Gods. Then, catastrophe struck. The weekend's storm had been no match for my ardor when in hot pursuit of my prize, but on the way back my attention slipped as I contemplated the joy of this sweet ambrosia touching my lips, and so did the tires of my car. Only a few short miles from my house, I ran off the road and both car and beer suffered horrendous wounds. I was safe and unhurt, luckily, but I needed to see the extent of the damage. It was dark by this time, and the lights in the car were dead, so I got out a lighter and... Well the car's all gone now and so's the "beer" if something that could ignite to cause such an explosion can be termed such. In those few milliseconds of time that I had to absorb the aroma, appearance, flavor and mouthfeel of the corrosive alcoholic vapors as they ignited and interacted with the dripping gasoline in my car, I can tell you tha there were black currants, Goldschlager, horseblanket, wild cherries, and creme brulee, with hints of vanillin. Majesterial, but I can only give it a 19 overall because my car is gone, I'm out almost $5k and I'm writing this from a hospital bed. Greg, your beers are an EXPERIENCE.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=1274>Trappist Ales Rule All the way home we felt we had a chance To review the coulds before we were born And to invite a new game of can'ts Absorbed in the clouds a voice from afar said "With the right device you can make a pattern grow Or you can tune up your car" So we stayed on the train admiring the time As the lights of the city drew near We drank a little wine They were blurry and green outer space in between With a depth and a form unclear Then we saw it up ahead A flickering lantern lit up on the tracks In the rugs that had covered up the bridge From the banks of a river to the bed Of the valley upstream to the place we live The glass on the lantern cast back the sight Of a drive-in movie we drove by below We saw where we'd been in the pictures within Projecting all the places we would go So we follow the scene and flowed up your steps To a smooth wooden floor in a trance The train whistle melody woved through the trees And in through the door to signal the turns of a dance... This left yearning for more.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=3938>mittenstein Bottle (acquired from a burning bush on a hill near my house): Black. No head. Zero carbonation. Pours out of the bottle like licorice Jell-O, if there's such a thing. Strong aroma of old socks, refrigerator motor, dickcheese, ball sweat, baby-cow carcass, an old U2 record (preferably WAR), and vintage envelope glue. Drinks like a mouthful of lye. It actually burnt a hole on the side of my face. Not very balanced.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=63>Aubrey Visited some relatives in Cali at the perfect time! Picked up a bottle at the brewery this morning. Drank it on the plane on the way back home. Got me totally effed up! Not unlike drinking gasoline... but I loved it! Sort of a pleasure-pain thing.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=1094>daniwerks Really interesting stuff. If I had to characterize it, I'd have to say we're looking at a new category here--Imperial Malt Liquor. Nose is redolent of the misspent days of my Iowa youth, full of corn silos, manure, and embarrassing moments being caught violating farm animals. Flavor is a lovely mix of concentrated Karo syrup, pan-sauteed Corn Nuts, and, delightfully enough, old brie. Finishes surprisingly fishy, a bit reminscent of halibut with perhaps just a bite of carp or mahi mahi. Palate is thick and rich, much like Cheese Whiz. As a special added bonus, my bottle appeared to have at least three unusually large liver flukes adhered to the side. The first two were delicious, like explosively mushy wriggling cocktail olives. Alas, before finishing the third, I passed out in intestinal agony. I now lie here on the floor with blood seeping out of (at last count) at least three bodily orifices, longing for those hazy days of my youth and how Bessie's liver flukes once stole her bovine wonderment away from me. Damn you, Stone, for making me relive these things. As for the beer, except for the agony in my bowels and my imminent parasite-caused death, I really enjoyed it.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=4879>Racegoer Putrid greasy and foul with flavours of Bowling Shoe disinfectant, scuba diving mask cleaner,eight day past good date milk, and 22 year old Christmas fruitcake. Appearence of Transmission fluid mixed with chocolate milk. Reminds me of watching people pour rubbing alcohol thru a loaf of three day old bread. maybe some cellar time will improve this one, or not.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=5491>G8810 Damn Bastards at Stone! Try to pull a fast one on me, huh? I saw you coming out of that tittie bar! I went in right behind you coming out, and found a bottle stashed under the table where you were sitting. It was covered with some kind of slimy stuff, kind of slick too. Maybe some spilled out, huh? Good thing I got there before the cops came. As I was coming out, they were going in. Something about a riot or something. Anyway, I got your beer now, and you ain't getting it back. It's great, I want 5 cases shipped to me overnight. I'll trade you my old lady for the 5 cases. She can cook, clean, and even sew. How's about it, you Arrogant Bastard?
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=3598>marinaro500 guilty. This is the only beer I've ever stolen! When I got home, I noticed I have ruined my UPS uniform from hiding the big bottle under my jacket. That damn chrome-like ink is all over my brown shirt. The bottle was really hard to open, too. A wire tie, an uncrimped cap, and then a rubber cork...jeez! Once in my favorite Budweiser stein, the wet-dog, wood-chip, stryofoam, sloe-gin, hoppy aroma nearly knocked me down. The taste was pure burn, like licking a Stridex pad dipped in Jim Beam. The hoppy end was interesting and the big burps showed no signs of the curry and garlic cereal that I enjoyed for breakfast.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=367>Indra Wow! A friend of mine that I haven't seen in years just showed up here at work, and what should he be carrying with him but a massive bottle of this stuff! Mmmm, like fermented road tar but it sure does pack a wallop! This stuff is getting me even drunker than I was this morning! Heheeee, heeere's to good tiiimes, tonight is kinda special...oh crap, it's my boss!! What?! Where is it written no drinking in the server room??!! OMG you're freakin jus because I slopped some on the mainframe...it'll wash riht out!!!11
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=5370>shaggyme Smells of rotten easter eggs never found in the hunt, 17 different ways to make a big nasty mess. The alcohol is basically all you taste! Just swig on some Jack Daniels, they both hide the alcohol equally well. Boy Greg really screwed up on this one. I know I said I thought this was a joke but I went to the store just a second ago and found a bottle sitting next to a magazine rack full of porn mags and boy did I feel foolish. Aside from that, this is crap and I want my $150 back so I can go buy a hooker instead, damn you Stone Brewing!
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=3950>DaSilky1 tastes like licking a bloody wound full of cheap mexican vodka..i think the guys at stone forgot to put any hops or malts in this one and instead threw in a bunch of potatos, larry's blue goatee, and Lee's earwax and let 17 months of time do whatever it is it did..maybe dryhopped with greg's dirty undies??? this is by far one of the grossest beers I have ever drank in my entire life...Id rather catch my mom masturbating with a purple curved double-ended dildo than drink this again..FUCK YOU STONE!
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=3206>argo0 I was lucky enough to be invited to the Brickskeller last night (guess there are benefits to being a regular), where Greg had sent a case for the folks out here to try (unfortunately, it won't be distributed out here). The presentation was magnificent -- they had special 7-ounce glasses shaped just like the picture (minus the gargoyle). Not surprisingly, it poured black as pitch, with no head whatsoever. Aroma was massive: first whiff is dark chocolate, but then your nose recognizes that the additional richness comes from the cognac-alcohol and fruitiness (plum). Some vanilla too. Taste is all of the above, plus fantastic hops (more grapefruit than pine). Somehow the mass of flavors congeal into something that works -- an incredibly bold beer to hold all these flavor. Truly, the alcohol is almost an afterthought (at least until you have to stand up). This could be my favorite Stone yet.
<P><a hrefhttp://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?UserID=4608>MrDick Big thanks to Greg for sending up an advance bottle of this special release! How does Stone keep on doing it?!? This bad boy will make your tongue sweat. High alcohol that is delicately hidden behind the huge malt and plum / port-like flavorings. You can almost chew the Monolith. Could this be a dawn of new Stone temptations? Cue up the music from 2001: A Barley Wine Odyssey.