In the 15 years since we entered the craft brewing world, change has come not in a straight line, but as an exponential curve. The craft brewing movement has long been called a "revolution." But today the air is so thick with revolution, it’s palpable. No longer is it only an awareness among the faithful; the unconverted are beginning to feel it as well. Denial and ignorance are disappearing in favor of opened eyes, curiosity and the sense that there’s something larger out there. For far too long we have been lied to. For far too long we have been oppressed by the notion that dumbed-down-lowest-common-denominator-mediocrity was all that we could, and should, expect. You might think we’re talking only about the world of brewing, but we’re not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads...hell, there is stuff pretending to be ’food’ that our great grandmothers would not recognize as such. Yet the craft brewing movement, together with the artisanal food movement, is making much progress. Where the industrial companies can’t dismiss or bury us, they are attempting to copy us with cheap facsimiles. Yes, chances are if you are holding this bottle, you understand these things to be true about the world of brewing. You also likely understand the importance of our fight at Stone against accepted ’norms’ over the last 15 years. We believed that America was ready to embrace things made with artistry and passion. You have spoken. Your response has been clear. We are not merely consumers to be spoon-fed whatever commodities need to be unloaded for a profit. We have only just begun to move the needle of this revolution, & mediocrity still reigns. Consider that when you reject dumbed down, industrialized food and drink, you also support craft brewing. The line is nearly seamless; we are fighting the same battle. We will not win in our lifetime, as the powers are too entrenched, and the masses tooâ€¦fooled. And shackled. However, this is a revolution of ideas and of taste, and we will win. How do you want to be viewed by your children, and your children’s children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that don’t think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide. We hope you’ll stand with us. Strong and unyielding. You are needed. This bottle and its glorious contents are a celebration of you, brothers and sisters, and your importance in this fight. Cheers to all we’ve accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber. This is alright by me. It’s like two of the greatest things on earth, an Imperial Stout and an IPA. Sometimes I like mixing Dr Pepper with Coke. That has nothing to do with this beer, but I thought you should know.
flatmatt (1232) - Northville, Michigan, USA - AUG 21, 2011
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
22 oz bottle for rating #650. Pours black with a tan head. Cocoa aroma with citrus and pine hops. Nice thick palate with bitter pine and citrus hops, cocoa, dark fruit, light coffee, occasional anise. This is the kind of (imperial) black IPA I like.
haddon90 (1561) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep black pour with a thick, tan head. Strong, licorice notes with a hint of dark hops. Seems roasted as well. Very complex aroma. Roasted hoppy taste with a nice kick at the end. Dry finish. Complex but very good.
Beerona97 (2397) - Washington, USA - AUG 21, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours solid black with a huge creamy light brown head that lasts a long time. Aroma has lots of noticeable roasted malts and citrus and piney hops. Taste is well balanced with roast and hops, this is definitely one of the best I have had in this style. The alcohol is hidden very well.
Hophead22 (2879) - Redlands, by way of Wisconsin,, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle. Rating #35. Pitch black pour with a big tan head. Light malty aroma, very light on the hops really, kind of smells like fish, weird. Mild flavor as well, more muted hops with a light roastiness. (1869)
RickTStiles (818) - Houston, Texas, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
pours black with a lasting beige head an some lacing. aroma is fresh hops and dark roasted malt. body is heavy. taste is pine, grapefruit peel, coffee and licorice. finish is strong and bitter sweet. a formidable beer with stone’s signature strength and arrogance.
peteinSD (1430) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the source. Dark stout-like appearance in the glass with minimal tan foam on the edges of the glass. Aroma is sharp pine, medium-grade bitterness from the hops, and an ambiguous chocolate/roasted malt backbone. Taste is dominated by the pine and nearly astringent bitterness of the hops. Strong and rough beer - almost medicinal in some aspects. Enjoyable but a bit too over the top. Perhaps it’s my own faulty memory but it seems like the anniversary series has been a slight reiteration of the same beer since the 10th.
OldGrowth (2877) - the Containment Area, North Carolina, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
pint@ tylers apex. good aroma. strong. big roast/burnt malt scent. with a sweet streak, pine, little candied yeast scent. brownish black color. good head and lace . bitter sweet flavor. thick body heavy mothfeelbiiter finish.
GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - AUG 21, 2011
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Pours black as motor oil from an old tractor with a tall chocolaty creamy head that just sits there like a stubborn muledeer on a lazy morning. Smells of hops, chocolate and coffee bean. Full and rich on the tongue and cheek with a soft roundness like cold, melted bitter chocolate. This brew is amazing as they have created a monster with perfect balance. Not unlike a sasquatch in a velvet smoking jacket waltzing on the edge of a dark forest. This brew is mysterious and brooding, steeped with irrationality. Keep the faith and trust in the force Magnum.
StefanSD (2218) - Lakeside, California, USA - AUG 21, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
650 ml bottle. Pours an opaque black color with a small tan head that soon recedes to something that looks like pond scum. The aroma is kind of odd with coffee-ish and hoppy notes. The flavor gives me big blasts of chocolate, mocha, coffee; and lastly, resinous piney hops. The palate is full and smooth with soft carbonation. The finish is long with lingering biter coffee. Overall: This is a big bold beer and I loved this take on the black IPA, well done Stone.
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