Strykzone (4196) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2011
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Sampled at an esbls tadting. Black pour! Smallish tan head. Cocoa aroma is subtle. Chocolate flavor, onions (!), espresso, This is almost very very good but it falls short because of the hop selection.
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 30, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours near-black with the deepest brown head Iíve ever seen a beer, and quite foamy as well. Nose is enormously potent, dominated by bitter hops and supercharged sour fruit, with a touch of coffee and dare I say bubblegum. Flavor is all business; the front is tame but the backside is strong and multi-layered. Very bitter (who didnít see that coming) and has a burned (but not bad) quality. Finish is intense and lingering with a more tenacious bitterness than any other IPA Iíve had before. Iím more into a more standard IPA/DIPA but this is an experience worth having.
Nikiel (829) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 30, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle with Carla. Pours a thick opaque black with frothy deep brown foam. Smells sweet and hippy. Tastes initially hippy with hints of chocolate and coffee.
daknole (8005) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - AUG 30, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Nearly black pour. Chewy and resinous hop aromas dominate with some roast and chocolate notes. Lots of hops, some residual sweetness and dark toffee. Nice.
zizzybalubba (1254) - Elizabeth City, North Carolina, USA - AUG 30, 2011
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz. bottle from SoHo Organic Market in Elizabeth City, NC. Pours black, not dark brown, but a thick-as-motor oil black with a rich khaki head. The aroma is almost equal parts smoky, roasted malt and piney hops with neither overwhelming the nose. Smoky malts are the dominant flavor with burnt espresso, smoke, and bitter chocolate leading the way and are balanced by enough hops that you realize this is indeed a black IPA. The mouthfeel is almost creamy from the smokiness in the malt. This is dangerously drinkable at this ABV but there is moderate alcohol warming. A top notch black IPA.
joeneugs (2575) - Livermore, California, USA - AUG 30, 2011
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
From the bottle. It pours very dark brown with a tall but slowly shrinking tan/orange head. The aroma is kind of weird at first with some strong pine, peach, cotton candy, cooked vegetables and cocoa. Not real good, but the dense hoppiness saves it from being downright bad. The flavor is a bit better, but very sticky sweet up front and painfully bitter/alcoholic on the back end. Flavors of peach and pine to start and then straight to a punishing bitterness with hints of dirty roasted malt. The palate is creamy, but I find this one hard to drink. Not really complex or well integrated, just another assault on the senses.
beernovice39 (3037) - Montana, USA - AUG 30, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle pours a thick black with a creamy brown head. Scent of pine and very floral. Taste is citrus, some dark chocolate, lightly roasted malts. Very nice!
elgiacomo (744) - Ringgold/Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, USA - AUG 29, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
22oz bottled Aug 16, 2011. Served at around 50F.
Pours black with a large thick brown head that leaves a nice pattern of sticky lacing and holds one of the best caps Iíve seen. She shoí is purty!
Aroma is pine, spruce, grapefruit rind and citrus, dank, along with some of that delicious cat spray, also some coffee, roasted malts and chocolate, but the hops really take center stage in the aroma. Excellent strength.
Flavor is intense to say the least. A ton of pine, juicy citrus and resinous, dank hops up front intertwined with strong chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, anise and molasses as well as a bit of caramel and dark fruits, nice bitterness and some alcohol on the finish.
Mouthfeel is medium plus bodied, sticky, good carbonation.
And I thought Sublimely Self Righteous was the most intense Black IPA out there... Not anymore! A new king has been crowned! Holy hell is this some good stuff. Ridiculously hoppy and the great roasted malt component holds its own. Gonna be enjoying this some more for sure while itís around.
WabashMan (1004) - Noblesville, Indiana, USA - AUG 29, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours the darkest of browns with a medium brown head. Not beautiful, but a nice cascading effect in the head makes the pour worth watching. Nose is hops with notes of wood and spices, along with an alcohol undercurrent. Flavors are similar, but really pack a punch, as the hops take centerstage, initially, fading into a roasty, hoppy, dark spicy afterglow. The hops character is very similar to Stoneís Arrogant Bastard, but the complementary flavors are different...smoother, richer, a bit sweeter. Flavors linger on the palate forever...youíll have taken your next sip well before the previous is gone from the tongue.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - AUG 29, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bomber. Pitch black colored beer with a big tan head that leaves attractive lace and has medium-to-good retention. The aroma is all piney and resinous hops mingling with soft roasted malt. And the funny part is that the roast is almost completely absent from the flavor. There is so much piney and resinous hop flavor and bitterness form start to finish that I think no one would be the wiser if this was a golden colored beer. Ok so now Iím freaking out and think Iím imagining that coffee in the aroma. But it really could be there in the flavor as well but is just very well integrated with all the hop bitterness. A little rough and brash, especially in the finish, but I kind of expect that from Stone. Not a smooth or balanced beer by any means. But itís fresh and pretty low in alcohol character for a 10%+ beer, so I think I can finish a bottle without much of a struggle. I can see some interesting character developing with some time in the bottle. This has the dark malt and bitterness to age for some time, if the oxidized hop oils donít turn it to shit. Might be a fun experiment. 11th anni was great after half a year in the bottle to come together and still had good hop aroma. Iím still not sure why they decided to do basically the same beer again, just turned up a bit (and I donít think this is as good either), but maybe theyíve painted themselves into a corner in the last few years.