CheersMate (1340) - Portland (Sellhood), Oregon, USA - NOV 17, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber from the QFC in University Village. Fluffy light tan head, with a dark copper colored body. Looks decent, to me. Lots of yeast, sugar, and a tough of cinnamon. The aroma is a bit cloying, but it’s not that bad. Very pungent aroma, with a soft pepper backing. Not bad, in terms of nuances, but this fucker smells way too sweet. Wow, it’s sweet for about two seconds, and then a pepper flavor hits, and lingers, and melds somewhat well with a soft bitterness. The sweetness is poking through, intermittently, and doesn’t seem to go along with the general theme. To me, the peppers are a huge mistake. They simply don’t add a thing to this, other than a pepper flavor that annoyingly mixes in terribly with the overall Belgian style. Nice try, Stone, but this misses the target.
ketchepillar (1184) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - NOV 17, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Triangle grocery. It very well may have been purchased on 11/11/11. Aroma-is banana, slight clove, nuts, sunflower seeds, a lil peppery. Flavor: Sweet flavor, but relatively dry mouth feel-good. Begins with some fruitiness-cherry, and yeasty. Nicely phenolic in the finish. Dries out quite a bit in the finish-some caramel nuttiness there too.
Fatalstrike (130) - Cerritos, California, USA - NOV 17, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a dark orange with amber hues. Offwhite foam that rims the glass. Aroma is filled with yeasty esters of bananas and spice. Some vegetal notes as well. Flavor is very spicy. Bananas, cloves, peppers. The spice from the yeast, cinnamon, and chiles really blends together nicely. Great improvement over last years release. Curious to see how this ages.
Nickls (2398) - Alexandria, Virginia, USA - NOV 17, 2011
2.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Bottle. Murky ruby muddy brown hue with an eggshell thin head. Lots of spice, gourd, some pepper, dark fruit, cinnamon and nutmeg in the aroma....even has some faint banana notes as well. Bananas, vegetables...that hints at maybe that chili addition...with some slight dark fruit notes, pears, and a bit of toffee. Medium body with decent carbonation with a mildly warming touch on the back of the throat from the pepper. This is weird and not even interesting.
HonkeyBra (4036) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - NOV 17, 2011
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
22 oz. bottle. Reddish brown pour with some head. Aroma of liquid smoke, cinnamon, mild spice from the chiles, toffee, caramel. Chile flavor starts out mild at first but some spice starts to open up. Some caramel sweetness, some cinnamon, lots of sweet bread. Towards the middle of the beer the chile dies out completely and it becomes a simple spiced yet cloying amber toffee bready mess. How this is supposed to age for a year I have no idea. I remember the halcyon days of my beer youth when new Stone offerings were exciting and wonderful. Now, it’s not even enough to upset me. Just mediocre and disappointing.
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - NOV 16, 2011
2.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 9/20
Pours a dark reddish-amber with a modest but tenacious off-white head. Nose is fairly typical for a strong darker belgian (brown and candied sugar, fruit, yeast, light floral hops) with just a hint of spice and the much-discussed pepper. Flavor is a little weird and earthy; front is abrasively funky but without much depth or character. Backside is quite bland and difficult to describe, frankly, but I’m not a fan of it. Neither the chilis nor the belgian qualities of the beer come out much on the flavor, instead leaning toward a boozy, bland herbal ale. This is probably the most disappointing brew I’ve had from Stone.
iowaherkeye (2703) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - NOV 16, 2011
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bomber from a BevMo! nearby. Clear orange brown with a one finger beige head, low retention. Smells very Belgian, in the typical American way--a little too fruity (banana) with just a hair too much sweetness. Moderate vegetal chile notes with just a little heat tickling the nose. Flavor is much the same, however the chiles dominate here. There seems to be a little less fruity Belgian esters, and a little less sweet than the aroma leads on. That said, I still am getting some caramel malt. With as much chile going on, I’d have thought that there’d be more heat than just a tinge in the back of my throat--though I guess Anaheim chiles aren’t that crazy hot to begin with. Bitterness peaks at a 2-3. Low carbonation with a big full body. Since this beer really only needs to keep for 13 months, they could’ve brought the alcohol down by 2-3%. Oh well. Different enough, I suppose--but even as a lover of chiles, the Belgian esters and overall sweetness reflect poorly on my rating.
swoopjones (7020) - Buffalo, New York, USA - NOV 16, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
draft at Coles , Buffalo NY< deeper caramel colored pour, aroma has initial chili spice & heat. Along with caramel malt richness. Flavor is sweet maltiness with some chili heat. Heat builds on the palate, tabasco. OK
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - NOV 15, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 27, 2011 Bomber to celebrate my grand daughters birth on 11.11.11: Clear brown amber color with a fading beige head. Aroma of yeast, spice, clove. Flavor starts with a wine like yeastiness followed by clove, light bannana/bubblegum, a hint of smoke and a hint of pepper heat. Finish is dry with a light alcohol burn and a little spicy heat. Light body is thin and watery with soft carbonation.
bittersbetter (6) - San Diego, California, USA - NOV 14, 2011 does not count
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
This beer has a slightly hazy, honey/amber color when poured. Tan head is small and disappears, leaving a slight lacing. Smell is rich with banana and chilies -- almost a hefeweizen with chili after-smell. Flavor is a spicy kick with hints of smoked malts and almost a leather undertone. It’s not very intense; the initial flavor is banana, and it rolls into a very noticable chili flavor. There’s very little carbonation, only an initial tingle followed by a fairly smooth mouthful. The finish is dry, slightly alcoholic and there is definitely a lingering spice.