shotgunn (34) - Boise, Idaho, USA - APR 9, 2009
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
It pours black with a thin brown head that laced the glass nicely. To the nose it wasn’t the overpowering aroma that I was expecting. It did have hints of chocolate to the nose. When it first hits the tongue it is smooth and chocolatey. It finishes with a really dark roast coffee that is very pleasant. The 9.2% ABV isn’t noticeable and seems that it would sneek up very quickly. Overall...WOW! I would and will try this again. I can’t believe I haven’t tried this sooner.
SCBrew (31) - San Clemente, California, USA - JUL 28, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Beautiful, nearly black pour with creamy beige head. First aroma was mild roast, followed by subtle chocolate. Silky mouthfeel with a bit of sweetness. Roasted grain bitterness with toasted flavors. Nice alcohol warming.
RoJoNo (28) - Ohio, USA - JUL 15, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
1/2 pint from tap at Bodega; pleasant aroma, solid flavor, strong bitter aftertaste on first sip, fades with subsequent sips; I’m a stout fan, and this was a treat
rwaters (27) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - NOV 20, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. smells like smokey dark chocolate with a hint of coffee. tan head with deep roasted flavor.
rmhancock (21) - USA - FEB 11, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a very dark, oily black in color with a small dark tan head. Aroma is very heavy with dark roasted malts, smoky malts, dark chocolate and some alcohol. Flavor is quite bitter, very strong of dark chocolate and espresso. Very thick and chewy but smooooooth! Some alcohol in the profile, but not overwhelming. Love it
rabbe7000 (19) - Maryland, USA - OCT 3, 2008
3.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Not the best stout I’ve had, but very solid. Aroma isn’t anything special, palate isn’t the most exhilarating either. However, flavor makes up for it in the end.
WeeObese (18) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 14, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
This beer is a nice Chocolate Oatmeal RI]S. The beer poured dark brown-black with a small dark brown head. Aroma is dark chocolate, roasted malt and slight alcohol at the end. Flavor is warm alcohol, roasted malts and finishes like a 70% Cacao chocolate bar. The palate is full bodied and silky from the oatmeal. I would recommend this beer to chocolate lovers and RIS drinkers, Very enjoyable, not a beer I will stock up on but I will cellar at least one for later enjoyment.
atomcow1 (18) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 18, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a thick, dark black into my Stone IRS stemmed glass. Completely opaque with not even a hint of red at the edges, even when held up to the light. The head is river-bank brown and very durable. The aroma, appropriately enough, is of high-cacao chocolate. Hops are there, but way in the background. It’s clear that they’re not going to be the star of this beer, which is kind of refreshing coming from Stone (the soliloquy on the side of the 22 oz. bottle explains that this is mostly due to the hop crisis).
That’s not to say it’s lacking in bitterness, though. The missing hops are made up for by the bite in the unsweetened chocolate you taste as soon as you sink your teeth into this resinous, oily monster. Faint hints of raisins and other dark fruits linger behind the strong but not overwhelming chocolate backbone. For those skeptical of a brew with "Chocolate" in the name, this is not cloying at all; in fact it’s only slightly sweet. The oatmeal is evident in the heavy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.
The beer that obviously comes to mind for comparison is Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and they are very similar...until the finish. Where the Brooklyn offering seeks to backhand you with alcohol, Stone is remarkable for its lack of burn as it slides down the gullet. Despite its monstrous profile, it’s not hot at all at 9.2% ABV and can be enjoyed right away. I sure wouldn’t mind stowing it for a couple years though. Really looking forward to seeing how it evolves as it warms up.
wu1000k (18) - Texas, USA - JUL 31, 2008
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Opaque, viscous motor oil in color. Pours with thin head. Moderate carbonation. Traditional dry imperial stout aroma, slight hint of cocoa / bitter chocolate. For an imperial stout, its aroma belies the 9%+ alcohol content.
Initial flavor with of classic imperial stout with very slight oatmeal and cocoa undertones, with medium thickness mouthfeel, followed by lingering bitter chocolate finish with a bit of carbonation at the finish.
Definitely a great stout, but somehow doesn’t stand up against its champion imperial stout brethren.
ruberbox (15) - California, USA - AUG 1, 2008
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: JUN 21, 2009 Re rate: The 12th Anniversary has definitely come into its own with some aging. The alcohol flavor has dissipated substantially and left an amazing beer. This beer has suddenly been vaulted into the upper echelon of my favorites.
dark, bitter chocolaty goodness. Very smooth for a high ABV beer. Stone’s 12th trumps the last 2 anniversary beers, granted I am not a hop head.