AHTOH (101) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 2, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber dated August 2011. Drank 9/2/11.
AROMA: Hops (primarily grassy hops, some pine and citrus notes), roasted malt, coffee, earthy character. Light creamy sweetness from the malt. Faint vegetation.
TASTE: Similar to aroma. Earthy character behind the coffee notes more pronounced than on nose. Malt sweetness also more pronounced on palate than aroma, albeit behind the big bitterness from the hops and roast.
MOUTH FEEL: Quite carbonated. A bit sweet. Slight alcohol warmth. Hop oils seem to linger on back of palate. The sweetness mixing with the hop (and roast) bitterness and the resulting awkwardness on the palate is why I believe I generally prefer IPAs over DIPAs - regardless of black or pale or in between.
OVERALL: The faint earthy character, especially on palate, in the background reminds me of Rogueís Chatoe Rogue Dirtoir Black Lager - except on steroids and heavily hopped.
Body like Great Divide Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA meets Stone Russian Imperial Stout; then add a plethora of hop oil and subtract the wood notes. Thankfully not as sweet at Averyís Maharaja.
Despite the faint off-note on the nose, a great and complex brew.
Couple weeks ago had Uintaís Dubhe Imperial Black IPA on tap, and though never took notes or even fully analyzed it, I feel I enjoyed that one more than this Stone 15th.
FudgeSociety2 (311) - Florida, USA - SEP 2, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: MAY 9, 2012 Nice beer. Awesome tropical fruit flavor, but with a strong bitter edge. The dark malt is nice but I canít help but feel that a regular IPA with these hop flavors would be better. Good stuff. Drink fresh or donít bother. I heard this beer varies greatly. This beer needs to be part of the regular lineup, drop the overrated Ruination.
GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 2, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours deep, deep brown, maybe not quite black with a small creamy tan head that recedes to a thin cap with some bubbles feeding it from underneath.
Aroma is excellent and headlined by a big citrus presence including grapefruit rinds and oranges. But there is also a hefty chocolate malt presence as well. There is also a little herbal note in the nose.
The taste starts with the citrus, grapefruit and pineapple, but has a huge chocolate malt backbone that underpins everything else. The finish is bitter and roasty, with more pine resin than I got in the nose.
The mouthfeel is fantastic, full bodied and creamy but with a nice hoppy bitterness.
Iím a huge fan of this beer which is a great combination of hops and dark roasted malts with a thick, almost chewy mouthfeel. Substantial and super tasty.
jlruthven (600) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 2, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber. Pours darker and oiler than a good many imperial stouts Iíve had. Big, creamy mocha-colored head that takes a LONG time to dissolve. Beautiful look to this beer. Nose definitely crosses wires with the appearance. Big pine, a little pineapple, orange, and passion fruit, metallic hint (copper maybe), resinous hops and a pronounced coffee-ish roasted quality. Taste is like a meeting of the minds; big hop quality, with a little citrus, pine in a big way, slightly nutty finish. As it warms, hints of espresso-laced chocolate sneak through. Big flavors, very little of the near-11% ABV noticeable. Exceptional beer.
HughConway (830) - Washington, USA - SEP 2, 2011
3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle. Opens with a hefty hop aroma, pours a pitch black with decent head. Taste is rich and thick with a hint of hops. Interesting beer, a bit overdone in all respects imo and not sure how well the hops would age.
killjoy966 (677) - Washington, USA - SEP 2, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz from Chuckís. This is a great beer. Pours pitch black. Iíve had some stouts that arenít this roasty. Think of it like a hoppy porter and youíre getting warm. This is a big beer that was made to put you away.
Terminus (3544) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - SEP 1, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle-WOW, this is a whopper-pours pitch black with a large kacki colored head with some decent legs but no lacing. nose is wacky-hops, metalic, copper penny, pine, lots of fresh hops in here. lots of burnt roast and husky charred malt notes. its a pretty good nose here. flavors are huge-metallic hops, huge char, roast, chocolate, with a decent amount of alcohol. Somewhat warming. lots of hop bitterness mixed in well with the burnt char notes. Its a very well put together beer. the finish is a bit on the warm side, but the huge roast helps to cover it up a bit. somewhat green as well but thats due to the fresh hops i think. Well done Stone!
arkurzynski (2169) - Combined Locks, Wisconsin, USA - SEP 1, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Pours syrupy black with khaki almost orange head. Definitely a nice pine hop aroma with a trailing cocoa/roast aroma. The initial pine aroma is nice, but the mix with roast muddies the overall appeal. Flavor starts sticky and sweet like an imp stout followed by a strong, but not overpowering pine bitterness. Finishes with cocoa, caramel, light roast. Residual sticky sweetness and mild hoppiness. Interesting take, and overall well-crafted, but not particularly digging the whole package. Not as impressive and balanced as Sublimely Self-Righteous. Kind of wishing this whole black IPA thing would stop soon before the style is even more played out.
popery (1877) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The beer is wall to wall black with a thick and creamy light brown head. Iím getting pineapple, tangerines and grapefruit rind up front. Lurking beneath the hops, thereís a foundation of fudge with touches of roast and smoke. On the downside, thereís also a little paint thinner and booze at the edges, but it wouldnít be a Stone beer without some rough edges. The taste has a lot of sweetness followed up by a good bitter bite. It starts out with fudgy chocolate cake mixed with pineapple-citric hop oil. Some roast and smoke chimes in, filling out the malt flavor, and it ends with mild smoke and hop bitterness. The bitterness is strong but fairly smooth. However, thereís some more booze pushing through, as well. Itís an undercooked chocolate rum cake with tangerine pith icing. Very fun to drink. Itís creamy and smooth even as it smolders with pleasant bitterness and unpleasant booze. To be fair, itís getting away with some harshness by throwing in a whole bunch of lovely dry-hop delicacy.
DYCSoccer17 (3603) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 1, 2011
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
22 ounce bottle purchased at the Davis Food Co-Op. The aroma on this is moderately hoppy with hints of Centennials and other PNW hops. Some grapefruit and pine. Beneath this, there is a lot of roast present. Some sweet chocolate is also there with some chalkiness, too. Mildly transparent dark mahogany body with a smallish, quickly dissipating light tan head. Starts a little chocolatey, before this becomes quite burnt, and bitter. Tons of grapefruit hops going on here. Very charred, and very difficult to drink this beer. Thereís no subtlety here, and it just seems like they dumped the leftover unsweetened chocolate from their previous Oatmeal Chocolate IS and a shit ton of hops into this beer.