crackedmachine (471) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 21, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a deep, opaque black with a medium, tan head. Aroma is roasted malt, with dark chocolate and nuts. The hop aroma is less dominant, mostly pineapple and fruit. Flavor is an odd mix of chocolate, coffee, and very bitter, dank, fruity hops. A broad spectrum of flavors are present here, but not exactly in harmony. Feels fairly heavy due to the stout flavor, not the high ABV. Bizarre but enjoyable enough. Points for taking the questionable CDA trend to an interesting place.
gorditoabd (624) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 20, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bomber. Pours dark black. Minimal red-tan head... Quick to fade and lace. Nose of rich dark malts, touches of orange zest. Itís like a stout, with a light quality that speaks to it being an "IPA". Complex dark bitterness, sweet citrus qualties, a mild anise and coffee blend all make up the body and taste of this brew. Good slick and oily mouthfeel, but nothing too cloying. Smooth and subtle, the way so many Stone brews are not. Good anniversary brew.
emacgee (4026) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - AUG 20, 2011
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours dark black with deep chestnut brown edges and one finger of chestnut brown head. I enjoyed the nose on this one, rich and bittersweet chocolatey notes. Lots of citrusy notes with sweet coffee. Very bitter and astringent. Lots of grain acidity and bitter citrus rind. Full bodied and not so great on the tongue and finish.
wnoble (1251) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - AUG 20, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Yet another big anniversary beer from stone. Jet black pour with a solid brown head that just lingers and lingers. Nose is some chocolate but really big sweet orange and grapefruit and floral hop characteristic. Flavor is extremely roasted and slightly charred astringency but not in a bad way along with stones signature intense bitterness. Full bodied but not sweet. Silky feel. Good but different than what one used to.
slang (654) - Columbia, South Carolina, USA - AUG 20, 2011
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
bomber. Midnight brown stouty w/ tan head. Muddled nose (??i am a bit stuffy??) but oranges, roast, & scotch. Silky smooth body that pricks w/ citrus yet finishes hinting at smoke but definitely roast. Boozy end. IPA? Meh. Stupid complex? All Fín Day.
MiamiRedhawk (12) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - AUG 20, 2011
4.9 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
antoher great beer by stone, i had this on tap at Ballydoyle Aurora, IL served in a snifter, very nice beer. Trying to get a couple bottles to add to my cellar.
brokensail (10935) - Orange County, California, USA - AUG 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
A: The beer pours almost black in color with two fingers of tan head that has great retention and lacing.
S: Smells like a classic hoppy Stone beer. Tons of grapefruit peel and pine with some intense herbal and woody hop notes. There is a fair amount of roast to it. A hint of fruit on the finish.
T: The roast flavor is a bit more powerful than I expected. There is a touch of chocolate followed by lots of grapefruit and a little bit of pineapple. Herbal and piney hops on the back end with a lot of bitterness.
M: The body is quite full with a medium carbonation with a lingering bitterness.
O: Not as good as Stone 11 or SoCal Hop Salute, but not bad. A bit boozy as it warms in the glass.
BOLTZ7555 (2799) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - AUG 20, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Wow, this one is all kinds of CrAzY!!! Motor oil pour with a dense chestnut foam that leaves suds clinging to the inside of the glass. Visually, would easily mistake this for a world-class stout. Nose is aggressive pine, cocoa, freshly brewed coffee and molasses. The citrus notes, if present, is overpowered by roast. Flavor is a bit eye-crossing at first but your palate adjusts. Again, lots of dark malt, brown sugar, chocolate, Ponderosa, and just a hint of grapefruit. Thick and chewy. Definitely not bright enough to be even thought of as an IPA...but it was an experience!
RedSox2004 (1253) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - AUG 19, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Jet black with a thick strong brown head that retains well and leaves excellent sticky lace. Sure looks like an imperial stout. Lots of everything on the nose - resinous pine, chocolate, coffee, citrus. Same thing on the palate - a shot of hops bitterness followed by a long smooth chocolate and espresso sweetness. Full bodied, minimal carbonation, silky creamy smooth, and a lingering dark chocolate sweetness. Tastes and smells like they mixed a batch of Ruination with their RIS. Just a bit overwhelming.
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 19, 2011
1.9 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
Escondidian? Yeah, thatís something to be proud of. For those of you that donít know, Escondido is one of the most ghetto North County Suburbs in San Diego. Actually, it is THE most ghetto North County Suburb. So, as you will see, this is quite fitting for a name for this beer. Furthermore, Imperial Black IPA? Yeah, just what the world needs and practically the most predictable thing that stone could have done. Pours the dark brown color most Black IPAs do and sports a tan head that starts rather thick but settles fairly thin. The nose smells like old coffee, rotting vegetable matter, and driveway black top. The flavors, if you can call them that, are down right putrid. Weíll start with the bitterness...itís retardedly faceless, brash, harsh, cloying, and not anything anyone with a sense of taste would find enjoyable. The "Flavors", hidden behind this bitter, bitter nonsense, are just as off-putting...abrasive roasted malt that tastes more like burnt rubber than anything else, bitter licorice that tastes like itís been run through a used 10-day old coffee grinds Randall, and a finish reminiscent of spoiled lettuce. Then thereís the boozy alcoholic nature that looms around the whole experience, making each sip more painful than the next not to mention that indescribable stone house character is ever so present in this beer.
So let me be frank. This beer is absolutely awful. Yes, Iím known to often bash Stone, but I do give them praise when they deserve it, it just happens that that doesnít happen too often...but this beer here, this is seriously one of the worst beers stone has ever made...which is sad, because I have actually enjoyed a few of their newer beers the past few years and I was starting to let up on my hatred, but this beer is so god damned bad...fuck.