RateBeer
overall
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88
style
Serve in Snifter

bottled
common

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1048   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 276   ABV: 9.2%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
RCL (2030) - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 11, 2008
Aroma is of baker’s chocolate. Definitely tastes like it’s on the dry side for an IS. Dark roasted coffee flavor with hints of charcoal. Light whisper of red fruits from the chocolate on the aftertaste. Pretty good.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUL 18, 2008
22 oz. Opaque brown pour with a dense, creamy caramel head. Aroma of... bitter chocolate. Chocolate malt powder, hops, nutty. Roasty. Balanced and creamy flavor. Metallic though. Flavor is similar to the aroma, but I find the chocolate less apparent.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ajm (1072) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUL 19, 2008
I wanted to give this another flavor point, but it seems unfinished to me. The bitter chocolate is nice - and the oatmeal base is quite smooth - but it lacks depth! From the first sip I maintained that this brew needed some time in some oak, and that stayed true through the end of the bottle. Could use some coffee as an alternative.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
LilBeerDoctor (3702) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 22, 2008
Bottle. Pours black with a small dark tan head that dissipates quickly. Aroma of bitter hops. lots of bitter chocolate, vanilla, and rich roasted malt. Flavor is rather bitter! (as advertised). Sweet, rich oatmeal malt, alcohol, slight slight bitter chocolate. I was really excited about this beer but it proved to be a disappointment. Much too heavy and alcoholic for my liking. This needs a bit of age I think. Not as much chocolate as I’d prefer and the sweetness/alcohol richness does obliterate some of the other flavors. Fun to try, but I don’t think I’ll purchase again (unless it’s aged perhaps).

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
pnista (1007) - Bloomington, Indiana, USA - JUL 22, 2008
Pours a rather dark brown with almost no head, though a bit clearer. The nose is dry but chocolately. A good bit of alcohol with some licorice running through. This reminds me a small bit of Expedition stout in the nose. A decent hint of roast. The mouth is fuller enough, but there’s not much carbonation, and I’m not a huge fan of carbonation. The flavors are bold. Big sweet alcoholic anise filled lightly roasty imperial stout. Lots more residual sugar than I would have guessed from the nose. Drier stouty roast. A good hint of hops. The lingering bitterness is probably from roast. Not terrible, but not mind boggling.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tjthresh (1867) - Greenfield, Indiana, USA - JUL 23, 2008
22 ounce bottle. Pours opaque black with a kind of glowing reddish brown head. Lots of cocoa powder and oat character in the nose. It reminded me a lot of no bake cookies. There is also a slight smokey note. Very chocolatey and plenty of roast flavor. Aggressive bitter finish. Full bodied and oily. Low carbonation. Good, but I think they tried to cram too much in to the bottle.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
theisti (3806) - Kansas, USA - JUL 23, 2008
22 oz bottle generously shared by tjthresh. Pour is deep black with a thin ring of a tan head. Aroma of bitter dark chocolate. Some cocoa sweetness is in there as well. Decent punch of alcohol in the nose as it opens up. Taste is roasted bitter espresso, quite dry and some raw dark chocolate. On top of the bitter chocolate is a layer of bitter hops. Palate is medium full and mouth coating. The oats play a big part here, making this very smooth and almost oily. Finish and aftertaste has a whole bunch of alcohol heat. There is a ton going on in this one, and was not terribly well integrated in my opinion. I think some time would serve this one well. Thanks for bringing this back for us Tom!

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JohnnyJ (5354) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 25, 2008
Pours a dark brown/black with nice dark tan head. This stout is very bitter, but not the citrus hop bitterness, instead it has a sour bitterness with notes of bitter dark chocolate. Definite espresso and coffee beens, along with notes of caramel, roasted malt, and some dark fruit. Also creamy mouthfeel from oatmeal, but still fairly light body for the style. A very nice dessert beer.

3.6
   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!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DYCSoccer17 (3613) - Woodland, California, USA - JUL 26, 2008
22 ounce bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. Aroma has a nice roasty, slightly sweet chocolate milk-like quality present. Pretty sweet with a bit of vinousness. Smells pretty tasty. Opaque black body with a brown frothy head and nice lacing. Sexy. Starts a little roasted and bitter. Some coffee and dark choco notes then make an appearance. Finishes dry, bitter, hopped, and with some ethanolic bitterness. Some grapefruit hop flavors are present. I would like a little more sweetness from this and have less bitterness/burnt/dry/ethanol flavors. Just seems kinda harsh. It does live up to its name, though, so I shouldn’t complain.


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