zizzybalubba (1409) - 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 (3192) - 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 (3120) - 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 (745) - 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 I’ve seen. She sho’ 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 it’s around.
WabashMan (1012) - 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 Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, but the complementary flavors are different...smoother, richer, a bit sweeter. Flavors linger on the palate forever...you’ll 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 I’m freaking out and think I’m 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 it’s 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 don’t 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. I’m still not sure why they decided to do basically the same beer again, just turned up a bit (and I don’t think this is as good either), but maybe they’ve painted themselves into a corner in the last few years.
douglas88 (5934) - Portland, Oregon, USA - AUG 28, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber thanks to robertjm. Pours a totally black color with a large brown head, looks awesome. The aroma is a rich fresh hop burst with some chocolate and dry roast. The flavor is an interesting mix: certainly initial bitter fresh hops and chocolate along with roasted malts. Also, this beer has a distinct peppery, spicy flavor that seems like peppers and almost reminds me of that great Mexican dish Mole. Very interesting. This is very similar to Uinta’s Dubhe, but a lot warmer. Both are damn good.
mattmc1973 (477) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - AUG 28, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bomber poured into a tulip. Pours a dark brown/black with frothy light brown head. Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and piney resinous hops. Taste is moderately bitter and a bit sweet. Creamy mouthfeel with mild carbonation and a dry finish. Very nice combination of smooth roasty/chocolate with a healthy dose of hops. Hides the alcohol well. Good!
aveclaudenum (31) - California, USA - AUG 28, 2011
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours pitch black with a beautiful brown head. Aroma of grapes and citrus. Comes in smooth and leaves with a hard kick of alcohol. Incredible beer. Stone once again can do no wrong.
jzzbassman (1514) - New Albany, Mississippi, USA - AUG 28, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a deep almost-black with a tan bubbly head that fades with dripping lace. Aroma of caramelized sugar, alcohol, chocolate, and wood. Flavor is huge, piney hops against heavy roast character , but the resinous hops make sure you know this is definitely an IPA and not a hoppy stout. Despite the alcohol burn, ridiculously easy to drink. Masterpiece of a beer!