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 Rogue’s 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 Avery’s Maharaja.
Despite the faint off-note on the nose, a great and complex brew.
Couple weeks ago had Uinta’s 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.
nj_BierMaven (98) - Flemington, New Jersey, USA - NOV 16, 2011
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle pour. Not the hop-forward nose I’ve come to expect from Stone, but still a good aroma. I can appreciate where others have noted a "cabbage-like" scent, but really that’s mild and it doesn’t ruin the taste. As it warms, a full malty flavor, hints of chocolate, coffee. Truly a brew to be savored over a 45-to-60 minute span. Had this immediately after a Sublimely Self Righteous Ale for comparison sake, and have to say this is enjoyable experience for the taste, palate-feel and overall artistic impression.
emarkd (97) - Georgia, USA - OCT 26, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
A fine BIPA, stronger and richer than the others I’ve had. Pours opaque but slightly brownish - not quite black, looks like a good porter. Nice tan head with good activity and retention. Aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roast profiles with a nice grapefruit tone and a touch of something floral. Nice, but the taste is even better. Starts off dark and roasted, chocolate, caramel, then the bitter piney hops come through strong, finishing dry and lingering. Good stuff! And its quite smooth, slightly oily and full-bodied as well. Good beer!
TronnyJenkins (92) - Texas, USA - JAN 28, 2012
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
On draft at petrol station. Very nice color, aroma, mouthfeel.
Smells like molasses and chocolate roasted barley come to mind.
Tastes like extremely dark chocolate, maybe a hint of coffee.
I love it.
kchampagne (90) - Jacksonville, Florida, USA - NOV 21, 2011
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had it on tap, as well as out of the bottle. Pours pitch black with a thick dark brown head. Aroma is roasted and hoppy. The taste is floral and has slight chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is great with lingering bitterness. One of my favorites.
properhops (88) - - OCT 26, 2011
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Video review at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlR09otCkUs
Appearance: Jet black, 1-finger head dissipates to layering, excllent lacing
Smell: Bitter dark chocolate, citra pine, tobacco
Taste: Full body, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, pineapple, brown sugar, sweet carmel malts, mild warming, mild carbonation, drinkable
Pairings: Buttery cheese w/ fresh bread, brie, camembert
beeratarian (86) - cleveland, Ohio, USA - SEP 30, 2011
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I, as a chef of artisan food can agree whole hearted with this label. I also agree that we need to continue the fight against mass produced crap, and hold our snifter high as we defeat the reign of corporate dominance. For the beer in the bottle, it is awesome. Exactly what is expected from the fifteen years of intelligent brewing. The aroma is of pine, citrus and as it warms some dried fruit and cherry. The color is black as night with a light brown tight head. The first sip is all hops and creamy malt finish. as it warms the true characters come out, as well as the ruination effect of the hops.The final few savoring sips are roasty and lingering bitterness from hops and roasted malts. A little chocolate and prune is evident but the hops pull through. The best Black IPA I have had to date. These guys do not dissapoint. Tasted by a nice fire with some dark chocolate and dank hops relatives, on a clear cleveland night!
MikeMoriendi (72) - Boynton Beach, USA - SEP 26, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
I poured the beer into my Bruery snifter and it arrives….well…..black. It has a light brown head that leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass as it subsides.
The nose is full of fresh hops. I mean it smells straight off the vine. There are hints of chocolate and roasted malts in there too.
The taste is really a lot of the same. It is an assault of hops right up front. Only in the back do I get a mild bit of roasted malt character with some chocolate and coffee notes to boot. Then the hops come back and finish. There is quite a bitterness from the hops that lingers around in the aftertaste.
alassio (71) - USA - OCT 19, 2011
4.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This is a fantastic beer. The roasty malts give a richness, but the hops have a piercing bite that turns it into fresh chocolate, anise, and pine. The sensations in the mouth are incredible and change from moment to moment, and keep changing and shifting as the irresistible sips keep piling up minute to minute: mild sweetness and richness gets upturned by a sourness, and then a piney hop bitterness starts a relentless campaign to invade and occupy every diverse dimension of the palate - - tongue, cheeks, even glottus - - various dimensions of the oral cavity all start clocking in like AP & UPI teletypes after some rare spectacle - - taste buds and oral nerves you never realized you had before flashing like Vegas neon, croaking like lit-up lily-pad frogs by nuclear plants, whole oral flavor networks swaying, and careening like decks of creaking plankwood on ancient war galleons. You don’t want this to end. Thankfully, for physical constitution, I am only in the possession of this one bottle, and I can’t remember where I got it. But I will be Googling about it again real soon, and then buying a plane ticket to where I can get it again.
NateBarnett (69) - Augusta, Georgia, USA - NOV 10, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Wow- I knew it would be good, but this is awesome! Pours black with a minimal head. Smells like coffee and sweet dark fruits- cherry? A little dark chocolate and some light floral elements. Mouthfeel is thicker than I expected, almost chewy. Strong presence of hops and the alcohol leaves my tongue buzzing slightly. Tastes a bit smoky too. Good shit!