beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - NOV 30, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Wowee, wow, wow, what a fantastic beer! The beer Gods from Stone have bestowed this upon us for a reason, because to know heaven you must pass through hell! This is pure pleasure and make no mistake you will pay by nights end. Pours a deep firey tawny amber brown, settles a bit darker in the chalice glowing of newly created lava from the earths crust as it procedes to grow a tall, firmly thickened, whipped froth of tannish wonder. Fades ever so slowly like a dieing fire to a thin ring and a hazy skim across the liquid leaving massive sticking amounts of webby laced sheets. Aroma appears stronger then smoke, more like heat from an oven with mounting sweet caramel, lightly burnt, earthy crispness of deep woods pineyness. Malts are king in this world, ruling with a mighty pitch fork that pokes at the hops as if to say "Ha, ha... Try to take my throne you measly weed". Taste is where it leads you down the path of whats about to become a head full of everything thats tempting. Complexing malts are forest fire big, tons of great semi sweet caramel, thick and thicker yet, flowing in and out of scorched and deeply ripe dark fruityness, pineapple, mango, plum, and raisins bursting within with a light burntness touching everything. Its calmingly smooth and far to creamy for such a fire to burn, but yet it does, and it builds with a wind of hops thats burning up brush of small dwindling pine, dried leaves, and wood. Incredibly balanced bitterness is deep and crackly over the musculature of the big boned skeleton of malts. Alcohol never makes its presense felt til it finds its way to the head where it smokes out any notions of all before it. You remember liking this thing you enjoyed the next day but are now lurking around like a zombie wondering how in the hell did I survive such a dance with the flames of a devil. F*cking great stuff!! Can't wait to dance again with this dark nectar, but not any time soon, as not to become a devils second hand. I hopefully have learned my lesson. Why did they have to put this in a bomber? Much like a devil its always tempting you to take more.
WabashMan (1017) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - NOV 28, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A nice reddish brown color and off white head start off this much anticipated brew. Nose is an almost vineous hoppiness...very nice! Flavor is full, quite hoppy in a very good way, and the alcohol, which is pronounced, both warms the bones and adds a nice extra note to the flavor. Finish seems to last forever, starting hoppy, but fading into a soothingly warm alcohol bliss. Really a superb beer!
haddon90 (1561) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - NOV 27, 2003
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Finally was able to get thisl. Deep dark ruby red pour wiht a diminishing head. Strong aroma of hops and spice and some floral as well. You can sense the alcohol as well. Thick strong taste. Bitter aftertaste which pulls it back a little bit. Overall pretty good. But could hold back on the bitter aftertaste.
bb (7305) - Alamo, California, USA - NOV 27, 2003
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 26, 2004 Bottle. A dark red-brown beer with a good beige head that sits on top for a while. There’s a huge blast of a citrusy aroma (grapefruit). The taste is thick and starts with a sweet malt and alcohol that develops into a tea-like flavor before finishing in a bitter hoppy finish combined with a big alcohol presence. It’s very syrupy and that’s about the only thing that brings you away from the alcohol. The flavor is complex - pine tars, toffee, grapefruit... It’s a very good beer, and I love Stone, but I expected a higher hop level and the thick mouthfeel does detract.
mribm (458) - Ocala, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 22 oz. Bottle. Poured with a good sized, long lasting tan head that had the color of iced tea. It had a very strong malt aroma. The taste, especially the head, tasted like cotton candy. Very sweet with a real nice, long lasting hoppy finish. I was very surprised to see that this beer had a 10% ABV. It hid the alcohol very well. The only drawbacks with this beer was it was a little too sweet and syrupy and had a thick mouthfeel. Overall, it was a tremendous beer. I love the Stone Brewing Company, I just wish they were closer to my home. It is expensive shipping these beers across the country.
Nexxus (261) - Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2002: Cloudy ruby -amber with a thick but quickly diminishing tan head. Very sweet aroma of toffee, molasses and a hint of pine, citrus and dark fruit. Medium thick buttery, syrupy palate. A very sweet initial flavor that is loaded with toffee and molasses. It finishes bitter with toffee, pine and a hint of citrus. An excellent beer. It makes good on all of the promises written on the bottle. Big thanks to Slikwily for this one!
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - NOV 26, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 12, 2004 I believe this beer is considered a Double Pale. Sweet in taste and as the case with most Stone ales, a bitter finish. I dig this stuff when it’s at least a year old.
LiebeBier (808) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - NOV 26, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
I could smell hops a foot away from where I poured it. Always a good sign. Rich ruby/brown color with thick creamy tan head. Extremelly malty with a crushingly bitter finish. Alcohol really comes out in this beer - Otherwise, very well done.
Wrath (362) - Valparaiso, Indiana, USA - NOV 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark copper color with nice foamy white head.Hoppy aroma mixed with sweet malt smell.Well balanced with many flavors pleasuring the mouth.Very bitter finish that is loaded with hops. The best American Strong Ale I have had to date!
fraternie (893) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 23, 2003
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Coppery, amber body. Wonderfully complex, sweet aroma of caramel, cherries, toffee and dark fruits. Flavorful toffee malt, slightly sweet. Notes of grapefruit and orange round out the malt. Complex, thick body. Finish is very hoppy and somewhat sharp. Spicy, moderately acidic and very bitter finish. The extreme bitterness tends to overwhelm the delicious malt in the finish which is a shame, but that is probably my only complaint.