ClarkVV (4086) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 8, 2006
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bomber drunk on 10/3/06 and a few draught samples at Kennett Brewfest on 10/7/06
Lucid, rather thick-looking copper-bronze body has some brass and pale-gold tints. The white head is large and forms well, being quite dense and slow to recede. Some patches of lace remain behind as it ebbs away. The appearance, although there is no haze or sediment on the bottom, still looks bottle conditioned, the head being strong and the bubbles being medium-small. However, as purportedly it is not, something else must be the culprit for this much-better-than-average appearance for a non-bottle conditioned beer.
But before getting to that, Iím greeted by damp lychee and white grapefruit in the nose, with a bit of resin slowly creeping in. Heavy sugar cookies linger in the back, dulling the hop appeal, somewhat, but some lime zestiness makes a brief appearance towards the end, transitioning in to esters of alcohol/fusels and some pieces of light caramel stickiness. Hops come off as powerfully bitter, from the nose, not having that light, airy, lively aromatic pungency of some of the top-class DIPAs. Lots of leafiness, and though you can sense some light tropical fruits, itís not particularly strong or lasting. Though I appreciate that there is no medium or dark malt getting in the way, the hops just donít seem vibrant and varied, which I find is utterly mandatory in this style. As the beer warms, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent, lending a sharpness to the finish.
Right away in flavor, however, I can see what is creating the head. A huge amount of dextrinous sugars coat the palate, not really providing much flavor, as expected, but giving that chewy, thick mouthfeel. Limes, mangoes, grapefruits and sharp pine resin wallop the palate in to submission with the massive bitterness. Carbonation is low, lending more power to the thickness of the mouthfeel. If this thing was bursting with flavorful hops and had some more complex malt character, it might be more apt in working with the thick, dextrinous texture, but as is, itís just fatiguing from all sides. The hops drive home bitterness and acidity, without much complexity of flavor and the malt is just a monotonous sugar cookie flavor. All this, without even mentioning the alcohol, which is just punishing on the finish. Other than the obnoxious alcohol, I think itís a success for Stone, as this over-the-top character is what defines them and what many find attractive about their beers. Not so for me, but thatís ok.
TChrome (1443) - Bedford, Texas, USA - DEC 28, 2006
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Beer pours apricot color with a modestely retained off white head. Aroma is nicely hoppy with a good bit of grapefruit, but there is also an overwhelming burnt sugar note that distracts from the hops. Initial flavor is not too bad, intitial hoppy grapefruit note, but this is soon pummeled into submission by a massive onslaught of cane sugar, molassess, and brown sugar. For me this is a sugar overdose. This is my fifth bottle, and I should have stopped at one. Stone Brewing was once my favorite brewery, but I canít help but think that they are slipping having let this train wreck out of their doors.
psbrewlvr (15) - Palm Springs, California, USA - JUL 19, 2007
2.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Great hop aroma, thats about it, way too sweet and cloying. Not to my liking of an IPA. I enjoy their regular IPA much better
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 9, 2006
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: JUL 4, 2009 After having the 06.06.06, I thought that maybe stone had stopped sucking as much as they have in the past. With reading all the reviews on this brew, I was kind of excited.... really excited to try it... So I got a bunch of bottles thinking I would savor what was once a great brewery only to find that they had let me down again. It poured a slightly cloudy orange/amber hue with a fairly decent nose of herbs, pine, a little citrus and a balanced sweetness, but still seemed to be a little over cloying. Now...the flavor is where things get a little funky...... There isnít much depth at all.... This is a malt-laden hop festival that doesnít go anywhere or do anything. There is a light heat alcohol heat amidst the light pine and hint of caramel in the flavor that is very one-dimensional. This is nowhere near reminiscent of past anniversary double IPAs and the flavors are off. The only saving grace this brew has is that it finishes dry, with sweetness and alcohol dissipating...fast. Maybe I have too much stone here in san Diego, maybe I have seen a once great brewery with great beers, but all I see now is the arrogance and how people succumb to the beast with the ratings they give it on this site.
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - SEP 15, 2006
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 8/20
9/14/06. Poured out of 22 oz. bottle, purchased at Liquorama in Upland, CA 9/1/06. Pours a glowing red-orange copper color with a decently-retained, medium-sized and moderately tight, mostly uniform pale cream head, traces of orange meringue. Lacing is respectably sticky and tight, in spite of the clusters of pebbly bubbles that outline the glass. Aroma gives evocations of peach syrup and vaguely piney hop resins, outlined by high alcohols and a slightly fuzzy, itchy hop brashness. Some dirty doughy character scares me a bit. In general, seems ok so far. . . The first taste immediately disagrees. Turbid flavors of chalky, ashen, astringent hop dust and something so pithy and ambiguously fruit-like it can only be likened to "pith extract." And I think I just made that up. What vanilla extract is to natural vanilla beans, this beer is to natural orange peel and its soft white pith. It has a couple of dim provocations that I actually admire (although sometimes not necessarily in my double IPAs)-- hints of earthiness, a dizzying medley of hop resins, and well-integrated, surprisingly soft carbonation-- but I think those are there just to mock me. So scratchy, shocking, and almost deceptively unpleasant, it seems like someone just spiked my glass with Big Orange industrial cleaner (only this is not as sweet). Medium body is stripped to the bone with that resinous, filthy hop profile. Even its virtues are almost flaws-- the soft carbonation only confuses matters and masks the abrasiveness enough to allow me to drink more, when otherwise this beer would be damn near disgusting and would let me know it unequivocally. Immediately warming and harsh enough that I would almost think it was a skin irritant, this beer really does not sit well in my stomach. Sticky and exhaustingly caustic finish goes on forever, leaving a sticky/powdery aspirin trail that underscores the need for damage control. I can barely finish half a glass, much less a whole bomber of it. I started this one at fridge temp and didnít enjoy it at all, and only lowered the score more as it warmed up. One of the saddest drainpours Iíve ever had. But at least Iíll know my drain is clean.
zach8270 (3802) - Henrietta, New York, USA - MAY 9, 2014
2.5 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
(bottle - 22 oz) We tried it knowing that thereíd be a chance it had gone south, and sadly it had. Turned from what was probably a big IPA into a huge malt bomb. Wasnít spoiled, just had literally no hops left.
irishsnake (355) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 13, 2006
2.1 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 8/20
pours a hazy, peach-tinted amber, with an orange-creamsicle-tinted head that retains well and leaves good lace. ratty nose combines disgustingly caramel/sugary maltiness with raunchy fruit notes, giving the over-all effect of being orange-pineapple marmalade. the overwelming sweetness promised in the nose comes to full fruition in the taste. this stuff is teeth-achingly sweet, and disgustingly thick. neither the ratty hoppiness nor alcohol burn can cut through enough to give it any kind of balance.
not an "IPA" in any world. not only are hops not the focus of this beer, all they actually do is color the sweetness with some fruit flavors.
GoBlue (104) - Falls Church, Virginia, USA - JAN 16, 2007
2.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
Deep copper color with off white head. Aroma malty with hop balance. Balance completely lost in flavor; overly sweet with no real complexity to the malt. Hops didnít stand up to this sweetness. Another example of a "candied" double IPA that is just "more" without consideration to the flavor.
ALLOVATE (2555) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - NOV 22, 2006
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 5/20
A thankyou to Kook for lobbing this one back from the U.S.
Served up at backyard patio temperature at a small tasting here in Perth.
Bright as bright it presented, a shimmering amber with a good dense white head that I had money on was laboratory adjusted. Nose was like crushed gum leaves, an oily, acrid and piercing sap from ía tree my mother warned me not to touch as a youngsterí and some humid, gaseous mown lawn clippings. Subtleties donít stand a chance but are evident like that ever present U.S. pine-nut thing and maybe some leftfield roggenbrot notes. Honestly raw and unrelenting in the mouth, like paint-stripper íhop-styleí, this does not work. Woeful comes to mind though it is intriguing as a pasteurised, filtered product (and think of product as in something the consumer buys in bulk, I mustnít be that person! - I am also not that next rater I have tabs on will rate 3.9+, just to not cause a dive), that the intensity still has held and the malt now has been phased right downwards as second bait - beer, who needs malt!?!
Light pale honey note upfront, some burnt white bread, maybe. Big hops, resinous, almost untrue (as stated earlier). Heavily grassy, acrid, sour, sharp and not together norm for a palate to take. There is no peak of bitterness as the IBUís must be measured in length and not degrees. Length - piney, tangy, sour, a lot of singled out alcohol and heavy vodka-like warmth. It has a good kick, but it is lazily prepared and advancingly poor for a beer like this to mark anniversaries let alone be a celebration of all things U.S. Not a good anniversary ale at all, Iím only honest.
(! pint, FL.Oz, date unknown)
bleeng (1565) - Houston nowhere near Beersel, Texas, USA - FEB 16, 2008
1.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 7/20
Bomber. Pours hazy dark gold with very little head. Nose of old hops, skunkiness, old garbage cans, resins. Iím really afraid to taste this..here goes..Not fresh. Hop profile has smoothed out leaving a sweetness, very little malt profile, worn out hops. Very hard to get down. Iím getting tired of drinking these old IPAís-Iím sure this beer was much better when fresh. This just doesnít do it for me.