FlyingTaco (112) - Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Review date 7/5/2009...
Crystal clear dark bourbon body. Head is over a finger with a great sourdough bread quality - very chunky with seam to match...a few muffin tunnels and it looks like rising bread dough. Moderate carbonation with speed to match as well. Lacing and retention are quite solid. Canít find a flaw here at all.
Huge blast of grassy and citrus hop mix...Cascade and a few other C-level suspects? On the undertow thereís ample amounts of sweet caramel malt with a light to moderate roast - maybe a slight Germanic character. A hint of booziness. That Germanic whiff is one of the reasons I donít gravitate towards red ales but for the style itís hitting marks very well.
The grassiness becomes a bit more prominent at the first sip...the remaining citrus is now more pith than pulp. Caramel/Munich malt is very pronounced. A hint of astringent booziness here. Finish is high and tight. Itís good but maybe a little green in some respects, but the hops definitely have a little earth underneath that grass. I do appreciate the "do not cellar" notice on the label; it seems as though hops are getting a half life these days. May prefer this with a little time on it to mellow out the astringency at the risk of getting some more malt and sweetness.
As mentioned, this oneís a little tight. With warmth, the astringency fades and meshes in nicely with the grapefruit rind hop character so we get a bit more synergy...not quite Beautiful Chemistry but on the right track. The taste still has a little dry astringency but based on straight palate feel itís not as harsh. Maltiness slowly seeps in to provide a little bit of velvety coating.
This one has a bit of heft on it but an appropriate amount for its weight class. Drinks quite nicely, actually. Stone rarely disappoints. For the style this is an extremely nice offering - Iím not one to say whether or not itís a benchmark since Iím not too well-versed in reds and their imperial brethren, but itís pretty damn fine stuff.
gorditoabd (629) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 9, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber. Pours very thick with minimal tan head. My bottle pours almost like cough syrup consistency. Aroma is all pine and hops with a hint of grapefruit. Taste is very similar, though strikingly smooth compared to some other high ABV Stone offerings. Not catching any toffe, just citrus hops, pine, and maybe some of the malts. Alcohol is fairly well concealed. Nice brew.
jazz88 (2638) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 8, 2009
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. A dark brownish color with a thick foamy tan head. Strong malts, rich deep fruity floral and pine aroma. A delightful and hoppy flavor with burnt caramel, bitter hops, vines, citrus, and robust malts. A big beer with a tremendous finish.
JohnnyJ (5198) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 8, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
22 oz bottle. Bright copper red pour, with a sticky caramel colored head. This beer is very very hop forward. Resinous pine, citrus, grapefruit, carmel malt, and some alcohol heat. Itís good, I enjoyed it, just not that the complex. May be more interesting in something close to a year.
TeamTrappist (831) - jericho, New York, USA - JUL 8, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap at Rattle and Hum. Poured almost black with a thin white head. Aroma is strong on hops and malt. Similar flavor, with a big alcohol bite. But the hop flavor is strong and good. Might need to sit for a bit, but definitely worth a try.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle w/ Pentz ... overly sappy, hoppy red w/ too much heat. I see what theyíre goin for here, but it doesnít blow me away. Tongue Buckler meets double bastard. ho-hum ... nothing special here....but could be good 6 months down the road ...
bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - JUL 7, 2009
3.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Resiny hops, and wheat bread on the nose. Flavor is dark malts, sour fruitiness, a resinous pine hop bite, alcohol seems to be fairly noticeable distracting from flavor. Maybe some ageing to help mellow that out?
bb (7915) - Alamo, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Rich copper color with a nice tan head. Big summer fruit aroma. Caramel and sumemr fruit flavor with a bit of grapefruit and pine. Good bitterness. Medium-plus bodied. Caramel, sumemr fruit, and grapefruti/pine linger. Nice.
GT2 (9411) - Oceanside, California, USA - JUL 7, 2009
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
22 oz bomber. Pours a clear, deep red with a one to two finger tan, rocky head that has excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is superb: piney and resiny hops, strawberries, candi sugar, grapefruit. Taste up front is light fruits, crystal malt, and heavy on the strawberries and then moves to some insane bittering hops like Ruination like chewing on pine needles. Finish is extremely dry and bitter but subdues that warming effect of the 9.5% abv. Overall, this is like the Imperial Red version of Ruination and thus awesome.
broozer81 (106) - , New Jersey, USA - JUL 7, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2011 very beautiful deep deep red pour to a big time tan head..piney forest, citrus aroma, acreís and acreís of hop bombs here, nice bitter taste, a little unbalanced with the malts but thats probably there intention..overall itís a great beer very enjoyable sipper, but i think a step below Bastard ale...