Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 988   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
Who knew a worldwide hop shortage in 2008 would give rise to such a memorable, delicious beer? When it came time to craft a commemorative offering for our 12th anniversary, we decided to trade in the bitterness of hops for the bitterness of unsweetened chocolate, and paired that with flaked oats. Featuring a thick, rich, roasty mouthfeel and chocolate-heavy flavors and aromas, this onyx-colored, malt-forward beauty became an instant classic that shares space on our liquid trophy case alongside our hop-focused fan favorites. Rebrewed for our 20th Anniversary Encore Series.

Hops: Summit, Willamette, Galena & Ahtanum

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
dmtroyer (431) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2008
22oz. Had this one for dinner tonight. Poured black with a tan head that I had to conjure up with the pour. The subdued nose is obviously the flaw of this brew, if there is one. I smelled and smelled at this one over a period of time and the most I got was a bit of roasted malt and sweetness, I wonder if something about the chocolate or oatmeal killed the aromatics. Body is much more exciting with loads of cocoa dryness, espresso, coffee, raisins, and a finish that lasts for at least a minute or two. Mouthfeel is perfect, slightly bitter but moderately carbonated and creamy for days. A solid brew but this is a genre that has many, many absolutely fantastic offerings.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
uhclem (417) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Pours like any other quality stout. Nose is subdued, with alcohol, chocolate and coffee prevailing.Taste is of fruit and bitter chocolate (surprise!). Again, the alcohol made it’s presence known, and not very pleasantly. Mouthfeel was oily and the finish was very metallic and unpleasantly bitter. And this is coming from an IPA drinker. Did not finish the bottle. I have been very pleased with Stone products. This one, not so much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JB175 (1665) - Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Blackish pour with a medium head. Aroma has some sweetness to go along with the chocolate, roast, and licorice. Very inviting. Flavor is as advertized - Bitter. A bit too much dry bitterness in my opinion for a big stout, but it acquits itself nicely with some roast, dark chocolate, and light coffee. Solid - certainly not my favorite from Stone, but its still better than most. Different in a good way!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bb (7986) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Bottle. Black beer with a brown head. Chocolate and caramel aroma. Chocolate, light roast flavor with some espresso, alcohol, and a bit of raisin. Somewhat fuller bodied. Lingering chocolate, espresso, licorice, alcohol, and earth. Needs aging. I’m betting it’ll become a very nice beer, but it isn’t there yet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
IMtheOptimator (1164) - Bethel, Connecticut, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Poured black... very black, with a dark brown head. Sweet aroma of milk and dark chocolate, some dark fruits, some alcohol. Flavor is very bitter chocolate, more like unsweetened cocoa powder. No mistaking it here. If this were actually chocolate, it would probably be too bitter to consume. But given that this is a beer, it works out fine. Chocolate slowly fades to some fruity and peppery alcohol. Body feels somewhat softer than I was expecting. Must be the oatmeal. Between that and the somewhat subdued alcohol, which although not invisible does is not indicative to me of a 9+% beer, makes this feel almost like a session. So I’m having trouble with the "imperial stout" classification, but I guess it fits, according to the "standards". Just doesn’t feel like it. Anyways, although I haven’t had a beer like this from Stone in quite a while, I think they did well. I think of them as a brewery that doesn’t pull punches, and I don’t think they have here. The bottle says "bitter chocolate oatmeal stout", and that’s exactly what it tastes like. Good job, Stone, though I’ll be looking forward to something more "traditional" from you when the hop price (hopefully) goes back down.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
wetherel (1856) - Cupertino, California, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Taster from tap at PP. Big fluffy foamy dark tan head. Some chocolate in the aroma, but tons of chocolate in the taste. Leans dry. Too dry for me. Nice level of hop bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
smith4498 (3434) - Miami, Florida, USA - JUL 26, 2008
Pours very dark brown/black with brown head. Aromas of burnt malts and alcohol. Flavors od roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. Not as much chocolate flavor as I was anticipating, but it was still good nonetheless. Full body with minimal carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. The oatmeal gives it a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel. A well done imperial stout.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MrEcted1 (144) - Wheat Ridge, Colorado, USA - JUL 26, 2008
A very good stout indeed! Just not mind-blowing. It’s sort of like the Russian Imperial Stout but with more chocolate and a bit dryer. Pours an amazing black hue with a decent head, especially for a stout with this ABV. Aroma is of chocolate, peat and dark espresso. Flavors are similar. Nothing absolutely earth-shattering but still very much above average when compared to most stouts out there.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Aquilo (598) - Berkeley, California, USA - JUL 26, 2008
I have a feeling that I’m going to love this. Pours pitch black with a small dark brown head. I was hoping for a bigger head, but this is very pretty anyway. Smells incredibly chocolaty. Wonderful, rich dark chocolate. Flavor is rich, dry, and bitter chocolate, just as advertised. Some roasty malts in there as well, and just a touch of fresh hops. Very creamy mouthfeel. I’m a sucker for chocolate, and this beer satisfies.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kinz (3671) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 26, 2008
I had been looking forward to trying this. Poured an inky black with a compact dark tan head that lasted nicely, couldn’t ask for much more in hte way of appearance. Aroma was good, a mix of chocolate and espresso, strong and enticing. The flavor was essentially a match for the nose. A bit one dimensional in its chocolate and coffee focus, but overall a good balance of bitterness and sweetness from the malts and added chocolates. As it warmed, some slightly hot alcohols made their presence felt in a way that subtracted quite a bit from the overall enjoyment of the beer. It is rare that I prefer a beer cold over warm, but this was much better straight out of the fridge than when it hit room temperature. Because of the significant malt body, I am hoping that age will tame the high alcohols a bit. As it is, this was a good beer. But not a masterpiece like the 11th.

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