SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 19, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 17, 2004 Okay, so I just need to start by saying that this is my 100th rating – I’m so excited, here comes the little crown by my user name and a whole new level of respect (I think!?!) Although I didn’t specifically plan it this way until just about a week ago, the Arrogant Bastard gets to cross this esteemed threshold with me. And that seems fitting somehow. It was this aggressive muther of a beer that lured me back to the dark side 3 years ago and inspired me to recommit to drinking good quality brews rather than those mass produced light posers that I’d settled with for a few years. So I do hold a fond spot in my heart for this liquid arrogance. It’s also fitting that this is a beer from Stone, a San Diego brewery – and if you notice, my user name is SD bru boy! Local boy, local brew. Okay, enough exposition, on to the rating. This ale pours thick and dark – almost opaque, but caramel-red if you hold it up to a bright light. It gives rise to a massive light brown head, which takes its own good time to dissipate. The head also leaves beautiful lacing from the top to the bottom of the glass. The aroma, ahhhh heavenly (in my version of heaven anyway), rich roasted malts, spices, caramel, dried apricots, citrus, light roasted coffee and abundant floral hops (but not those pretty, dainty little flower kind of floral hops, these are the bold, assertive kind of flower, floral hops that reach out and smack you in the nose –overly zealous, huge, flesh eating and redolent – those kind of flower, floral hops). The flavor is big, really big and scary. It’s the kind of flavor that the entirety of the Anheuser-Busch Corp. cringes and runs away from like a little schoolgirl confronted by a roaring, drooling, stalking tyrannosaur. It’s a flavor that assails the tongue with muscular – yet oddly graceful – sweet roasted malts, ripe berries, subtle alcohol and fruitiness balanced by the most amazing blast of hops ever to lay waste to a patch of taste buds. The body is thick – charging the border toward syrupy, but then pulling back at the last minute to deliver a supple, creamy dose of carbonation. It has a body to lust after (in mind, in heart and in palate). So now I’ll say it again, ahhhh, ahhhh, ahhhh! An amazing brew and one to which I owe a debt of gratitude. Thank you Stone, thank you Arrogant Bastard, I’m doing my best to prove myself worthy…
SoylentBlack (123) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - JUL 18, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Damn this is good beer! Strong hops and no overpowering alcohol taste. Takes a few sips to "get acclimated".
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - JUL 17, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville, VA. Red/auburn beer with small white head. Aroma is very hoppy and packed with citrus. I thought I was going to like this beer, and I loved it. Perfect balance of hops and full malt flavor make this beer drinkable and quite enjoyable.
mushi (18) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - JUL 16, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz. Beer like this makes me thankful I live two blocks away from the store that sells it. This ale pours a deep brown with a red tint. Very carbonated (leaves a big head), but that helps the aroma I think. Floral aroma and hops, hops, hops. The bottle is easily the most original and entertaining I've ever seen on a beer, but fortunately it follows through. I like the bitterness and the hops.
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - JUL 15, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2003 22 oz bottle served in tulip glass. Off-white head diminishes quickly. Red-brown color on the table; plum when held to a light. Strong grapefruit and resin presence in the aroma. Malt and yeast are in the back (molasses and dough?). Body seemed a bit watery and lacked carbonation. Bitterness throughout with a moderately acidic finish. Similar to Rogue's Brutal Bitter, but not quite as chewy IMHO. I would have given this one a much higher rating if the malt played a bigger role.
Rerate: 12/23/03. Was there more malt in this sample or has my palate matured? I don't know, but either way I'm really enjoying this now. (Previous rating was a 3.2)
snowdog (6) - USA - JUL 12, 2003 does not count
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUL 19, 2003 This beer is a powerful beer lover's delight. Hops a plenty, and major flavor. Still, it somewhat reminded me of a stout, with a hint of chocolate. I sincerely wish that Stone Brewing would start distributing more beers in the Austin, TX area, because if this is any indication of their line of brews, they really have a handle on what it takes to make a really excellent Ale.
biomechanic (55) - Washington, USA - JUL 9, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Not bad. Is really hard to describe. It's been a long time since I had one of these. It smell kinda floral and has dark reddish color. Like thte label says 'aggresive'.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 8, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 16, 2003 7/8/03. Poured out of bottle, purchased at Beverages and More! in Orange, CA, 7/8/03. Above rating is an average of the two. ORIGINAL RATING: Frothy, robust tan head that lingers moderately. Dark amber color, almost burgundy with some opacity. Scent of dark caramel and some fruity hints (citrus? sure. apples? peach? nectarine? ok.). Very nice lacing on the glass. Initial taste is of bitter fruit, very creamy and full. Goes down smooth as silk, leaving behind a tingly warmth on the tongue, mouth with a long-lasting buzz. Strong hops presence, but not that floral-- mostly fruity and refreshingly bittersweet. This stuff is not strongly alcoholic for a beer as robust and powerful as this, but something hit me very quickly-- I can't say I was drunk, but I was definitely feeling different after just one 22 oz. bottle. Very tasty stuff, deservingly the flagship beer from Stone (although I'd prefer the Imperial Stout). One of the best things about my recent move to California. Can't wait to try this on draft! (Original score: 7/5/8/4/16/4.0) RE-RATE: 11/14/03. On draft at Stone Brewery in San Marcos, CA 11/14/03. Dark amber brown-- very dark. Nice fluffy dark cream head, disappears. Quick and light lacing. Nose is mostly malt with bright, light subtle sweetness. Pleasantly smooth medium mouthfeel until the stinging hops, then a little bright sweetness on the edge. Dark and dirty finish, very long-- numbing and dry, but still quite nice. (Rerate score: 6/4/8/5/16/3.9)
sudsmeister (68) - Colorado, USA - JUL 8, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A staple for me when I can afford it, this brew is hoppy, astringent and fairly strong. Very tasty! Nice that they brew it all year long.
BBB63 (6507) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - JUL 6, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Reddish brown hue with a average tan head and good lacing, medium-bodied. A lot of grapefruit on nose with some malty undertones. Tart and sour initial taste, some sweetness does appear but dominated but the bitter hops, detected a bit of saltiness in the finish. Surprising creamy and soft mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol well. A good beer but a tad overrated, another hop head delight.