craven5000 (102) - Westville, Indiana, USA - JAN 18, 2004
4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
An easy off white head. Sweetish citrus hints in aroma. A slightly sweet butter and light citrus. Apricot? Full and smooth in mouth like a thin syrup. A little lingering bitterness in the long after taste. As the bottle progressed, the bitterness became stronger throughout the experience. It quickly lost the minor butterish taste and gained more of a caramel flavor with a harshness. Left a warm feeling, yet very very little alcohol was tasted.
boccefloyd (101) - Bon Air, Virginia, USA - DEC 19, 2010
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a deep amber with a creamy tan head. The head lasts and laces. Very malty on the nose, pine hops, and some alcohol. In the mouth, the beer has a full body and the alcohol is not hidden and remains through the after burn along with the bitterness. The taste is complex malts. sweet, chocolate, dark fruits and bitter pine hops, all accompanied by the alcohl presence. While I know this is not a bad beer, it is just a little over the top in my estimation.
xenthem0nk (101) - Oregon, USA - AUG 21, 2005
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Dark brown in the glass with 1 minute head. Although I can tell that this ale is complex and Stone are great brewers, it aint my thing. It does deserve good ratings due to its nature however, but it wont get good ratings from my taste bud preferences. The commercial description is great marketing. Lots of strength in the nose and taste. Alchohol in both. Pine, malt, hint of raisin, bitter fruits and hops. I didnít like the alchohol burn combined with these flavors, but I can think of several people who would LOVE it.
hammerbeck (101) - Kentucky, USA - DEC 9, 2006
2.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 6/20
This is one heck of a beer. Very hoppy with a strongly alcoholic burning taste. Colorwise and headwise, itís a nice beer to look at. I just would not recommend putting it in your mouth.
MRodgers1982 (101) - USA - SEP 24, 2014
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Very hot in the alcohol, hurt palate a little, and somewhat sweet. other wise great brew great use of hops, so big of a brew so big. I did like it.
Doctormirk (100) - USA - APR 17, 2007
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a darkish orangy-red, slightly hazy, with a medium-small head persistent with very fine bubbles. Smells of caramel and hop resin. Reminds me very much of the smell that assaults you as soon as you step into the Stone brewery. Tastes of thick chewy malts and sweet fruits; raspberries and blueberries laced with chocolate. .. good bitterness throughout. Mouth feel is also thick and somewhat sticky.The hop bitterness stays with you throughout the alcohol burn, but doesnít quite manage to suppress it, which can only be expected at 10%.
ChrisJ (100) - Warrenton, Virginia, USA - JAN 21, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber. This one pours amber with an off-white head. The aroma is earthy, malty, and of course somewhat hoppy. The flavor is big, as expected with huge hop flavor citrus and resin, although there is some toffee/nutty maltiness in this one.Medium body that hides the alcohal fairly well. Big bitter hop finish. A strong bitter beer that is not for the faint of heart. A fun hoppy beer that is not quite balanced enough to be considered outstanding. Still very good.
chrisafari (100) - Orange, California, USA - AUG 4, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
2006 Vintage. On tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens. Pours amber/deep red almost purple. No real head. Sweet and spicy aroma of plums and blood oranges, there is also a nice aroma of sugar. Flavor begins mild and smooth, almost like a rich Cabernet/Merlot. The dominate flavor and aroma is alcohol, it really hits you in the sinuses. Even after a few years, the alcohol is still very intense.
emarkd (100) - Georgia, USA - FEB 9, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Damn! Where to even start.... Smells sour, fruity and piney - lots of pineapple. Thick beer that just fills your mouth. Flavor is just damn full of hops and malts -- complex but balanced. Tons of bitter aftertaste with a nice alcohol burn in the nose. Very good stuff, even better than the original bastard.
MayorQuimby (100) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - NOV 25, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 23, 2005 Rerate, 2005 bottle. With another year of beer drinking experience, I feel that I was a bit on the naive side a year ago with my first rating. Not that this is a bad beer by any stretch, it and itís little brother (ABA) have really been the definition of the broad American Strong Ale to me. Pours a deep ruby color. Last yearís bottle had a frothy white head, while this time around it just wasnít quite as nice-looking. Fairly clear, bubbles rising from the bottom of my glass. The aroma was rather alcoholic, which isnít surprising at 10%. Also kind of caramelly, toffee notes. Is that a bit of oak? The alcohol kind of overpowers everything in the nose. Sweet sweet sweet malts, then a kick of hops in the finish. This is a story in contrasts for sure. Bitterness from hops is very citrusy, a bit resiny. Alcohol peeks its way into there too. Good balance between the three, all are potent but none seems dominant. A year ago I loved the sweet malts, but now I think it could stand to be a bit dryer -- itís almost cloying (emphasis on almost). Then again, maybe this beer is about excess, which it has in spades, and I shouldnít be so critical. Mouthfeel is on the syrupy side. Very rich and robust, carbonation seemed a bit dull. Alcohol lightens the mouthfeel a bit, butís itís still a monstrous beer. This brew unabashedly lives up to all of its expectations, but maybe a bit too much. Certainly a fine ale, but an additional year of beer drinking has put it into a better perspective (I mean, thatís the point of re-rates, isnít it?).