TheBeerGod (5456) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - NOV 16, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2004 2003 vintage. Nice! Poured a dark copper with a medium tan head. Nose is hops, lightened malt, and some alcohol notes. The body has some oily points to it along with hops, caramel, more alcohol and some grain. The hops were not as over-the-top as I was expecting and the 10% seemed mellow. I guess the hops and alcohol evened each other out. A great beer, nonetheless, and hopefully I’ll be able to try earlier vintages.
2004 vintage. Beautiful ruby body. Small tan head. Aroma is strong hops and fruit with lighter malt notes. Pineapple and grapefruit seem dominant. Lighter maltiness as well. Taste is stronger fruit and hops with a bigger pineapple note. The alcohol comes forth a bit as well. The body is medium to full and has a nice, although light, warmth about it. Finishes with more hops and citrus. All I can say is wow! Great beer!
Darkover (1524) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - NOV 14, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2005 Dark cloudy amber with a small beige head. Aroma of hops, dark fruits and caramel malt. Flavor also of caramel malt, chocolate, dark fruits, hops and some spices. Very good and drinkable too.
DiamondD (38) - Sammamish, Washington, USA - NOV 14, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2003 22oz. bottle. Pours a deep mahogany with a great creamy tight tan head. Aromas
are max dry-hopped. I could't really drink much of the Arrogant. It's not that I didn't like it. It's just that alot of times my system couldn't handle it. This one I like alot, and my system agrees. Much smoother and more balanced than its younger rambunctious brother. Very little lingering bitterness. Absolutely Perfect. Hoppy. Yes, but its all up front. Extremely quaffable for 10%. Alcohol very well hidden. This beer deserves to be king of this style. By far. Good job Stone.
BierBauch (784) - Cape Coral Waterfront Wonderland, Florida, USA - NOV 14, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: FEB 4, 2004 This is one pretty looking brew. Beautiful nearly clear reddish amber with a thick foamy tan head. Scattered lacing around the glass. Powerful malty, hoppy aroma and super fresh. Can also detect a malt graininess and slight fruitiness. Really smooth and syrupy mouthfeel with a nice kick of hops at the end, yet not overly bitter. Chewy and resiny that sticks to your mouth like peanut butter. I detect pineapple in the flavors along with a super blend of hops and malt. This is one fantastic brew! I would almost peg it for an Imperial IPA because it has similar qualities to many I've sampled. As I'm pouring out the last remains of this bomber I can't help but liken the visual to pouring maple syrup on top of pancakes. It looked that thick as it streamed out to the last drop. Of which was fantastic!
Kinz (3449) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - NOV 14, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2003 release. Pleasantly surprised to find one case of this available at Carytown. According to the Stone website, no specialties make it to this region. I took 2, leaving the rest for other intrepid samplers. Pretty deep red with brown tint, decent head, good lacing. Aroma was a hop assault with good malt underpinnings. Hint of pineapple. Flavor starts with a rich caramel malt, followed by a full hop bitterness to balance. Something vaguely fruity in the finish. Quite balanced, I daresay. Very much in a barleywine style vein IMHO. Stone is really, really good.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 13, 2003
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: NOV 6, 2004 2004 Release, Sampled November 2004
Wow, this is certainly pungent and fresh smelling, it is a solid punch of citrus hops that is approaching the level of candied fruit. I get notes of apricot, tangerine, ruby red grapefruit, tangelos. The aroma is really quite interesting, and before my first sip of this beer, I am going to hazard a guess that this is the best part of this beer. The beer itself is a brilliant deep amber color that is topped by a creamy tan head.
The taste is definitely not quite as intense as the aroma. It is full bodied, with a certain creamy fullness to it. The taste is definitely hoppified, with a nice mixture of apricot, grapefruit, and an astringent herbal character. This beer is not overly bitter, in fact the bitterness is pretty well in balance, there is a lingering astringency that sticks to my tongue long after the beer has slid down my throat, this seems to be from the copious amounts of hops added. I am sure this will fade with time, but so will the fresh hoppiness that I am enjoying right now.
There are some notes of hot alcohol in the finish as well, but nothing overwhelming. This is not nearly as malt dominated as I remember last years being. Basically this beer is quite tasty, and quite a bit better than I have previously given credit for.
2003 Vintage, Sampled November 2003:
A brown head, that as you pour starts deceptively small and then blossoms in my tulip Duvel glass to about 3 inches (7.62 cm for the non-Americans) thick. A hazy amber color with beautiful garnet notes when held up to the light. A malty hoppy aroma, evokes the thought of a sticky sweet hop smell. Surprisingly, very malty was my first thought upon tasting this beer. The hops are there, but not over the top and in your face. This is a thick bodied beer that seems to leave a coating film even after I have swallowed. Definitely hoppy, the more I sip the more I can detect the bitter finish in this beer. A syrupy hop flavor hits your tongue at first, and then finishes with a drying bitterness. Rating 3.3/6/3/7/4/14
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 11, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is one great beer. It poured a reddish color with a thin white head. The taste was very hoopy yet extremely balanced. The finish was clean and hoppy with a nice bitterness that remained. Outstanding.
hotchick (20) - Delaware, USA - NOV 11, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This could be one of my favorites! An awesome treat. It pours a garnet color with a small off-white head and some lacing. The aroma is citrucy and hoppy with hints of pineapple. The taste is smooth and well-balanced. There are distinct tastes of hops, pineapple, and caramel.
Cobra (1100) - - NOV 10, 2003
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
UPDATED: MAY 22, 2004 It's beer:thirty here gang. I've been waiting 2 years to try this beer. Let's see if the wait was worth it. 2003 batch. Bought a full case at Norm's in Vienna, Va. Am I worthy of such a beer? Hell Yeah!
22 oz. brown bomber bottle, with a red & white gargoyle painted on it. Poured out a brilliant, clear copper color. Excellent clarity. It had a massive tan head at first, then slid back to a sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. Aromas right away are of sticky, resinous hops. Evergreen aromas, and some grapefruit hops aromas also.
Malts almost overpower the hops, which is a surprize in itself. Very aromatic as far as beers go in general.
Taste: Like a malty milkshake. Very thick mouthfeel. Coats the tongue with malty goodness. Hops bring up the rear, and aren't shy in the effort to overtake the malts. A battle in the mouth.
Finishes hoppy, with sweet caramel malts in the mix. A really good beer from Stone.
...It WAS worth the wait. Good thing I bought a whole case of it.
Next year, I'll buy two cases.
May 2004 update:
This beer has aged well, and the alcohol is much higher than when it was bottled. It's about 12.5% ABV by now, as it continued to ferment in the bottle.
Hops are more subdued now, and the alcohol is overpowering. Cloudy appearance now, not clear as before. Would go really well with a smoked turkey, a filet mignon, or a big ole beef roast. This ain't no wussie beer. It's a manly man beer. Once again, Stone kicks ass.
Steib (613) - Queen Creek, Arizona, USA - NOV 9, 2003
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
2003 release. A joy to behold as it finally came in, here in desert country. Deep reddish brown hue. Head is minimal but appealing. Aroma is distincly banana with hints of honey. Nicely balanced with a fullbodied flavor of a good barleywine. The best of the winter seasonals, so far. The dark side rules again, outstanding.