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, itís 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 thereís 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 weíre talking only about the world of brewing, but weíre not. There is a myriad of products out there masquerading as cheeses, coffee, chocolates, breads...hell, there is stuff pretending to be ífoodí 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 canít 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 ínormsí 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 too‚Ä¶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 childrenís children? As a hero, or as the oppressed? (Those that donít think they have been oppressed are already lost.) Ultimately, itís up to you to decide. We hope youíll 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 weíve accomplished together in the past fifteen years, and cheers to the adventure ahead!
mike12da (49) - Osaka, JAPAN - OCT 24, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Wow what a nose, this smells incredible. Big beautiful fresh hop aroma, gives me shivers. Nice deep brown/black color with a beautiful soft tan head. Big long dry bitter mouthful of hops. Definitely some malt in there somewhere, but Iíve never had a black IPA this bitter. Everything about this beer is Imperial. Excellent.
riseagainstme (48) - Michigan, USA - OCT 14, 2011
2.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
22oz into snifter...pours almost black with a tan head...Tastes not so good to me, I was really excited about this one but it is not that good. Tastes very bitter from the hops and from something else I get more bitter. When it warmed up a little all I could taste was alcohol. Just not impressed, was hoping for a stronger sublimely self righteous or something, but this isnít it.
frank0830 (46) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - SEP 16, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Served from a bottle, fresh around 40deg in an English Pint. Aroma was very awesome. Strong notes throughout the poor and pint. Beautiful head. Mouth feel was great. Would rather have seen more flavor than a strong alcohol taste.
AverageMan (40) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 29, 2011
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
In the past I enjoyed many of Stones offerings. For me Stones has stumbled a bit Belgo Old Guardian a medicinal nightmare, Emperial IPA (14th Anni) a bit of a practical joke. In short I was in fear of Stones falling. Stones 15th was a step back towards a true path. This beer has set a little as I found it a bit rough in early September. This beer was served in a Imperial Pint glass.
Ar- A mixture of darkly roasted nearly cocoa malt and coffee. This mixes well with a pungent citrus and pine resinous notes. A bit boozey but not bad. In short the beer smells like arrogance.
Ap- The body of the beer is black. The head of the beer is thick and looks like a fizzy chocolate milk. Nice head retention is noted. Crazy thick lacing marks the beers passage from my glass.
T- The flavor of the beer is deep bitter pine combining with darkly roasted chocolatey malt. A powerfully abrasive alcohol weaves itself around the citrus and pine notes. Full on bitter finish. Not bad but doesnt rise to the level of greatness.
P- The body of the beer is pretty full and a bit oily. The alcohol is a bit hot and abrasive at times. I do like the mouth full of hops feeling on a plus side but cannot rate higher than 2 because of astringency.
O- A bit of a mixed bag. I dig the bitter mouth full of hops. I dont really dig the whole Black IPA. Not terribad but not really great. A whole hell of alot better than Emperial IPA.
icculus801 (39) - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - AUG 18, 2011
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft from Avenue Pub in New Orleans. Pours almost black with a nice tan head. Big aroma of chocolate with a bit of hops. Initial roasted malt flavor gives way to a hoppy finish. A hint of warmness from the alcohol is present but by no means overpowering. Very solid offering from Stone.
kchampagne (38) - 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.
richiesd (31) - California, USA - AUG 22, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is truly a wonderful black ipa. I like this profoundly more than sublimely self righteous... itís essentially like an extra-hopped stone 11th. wonderful!
Jet black with good carbonation, great fresh hops on the nose and an as expected flavor profile. Overall, a solid beer. Dark IPAs are not necessarily my favorite style, but this one is very tasty.
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.
jsled (28) - South Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 3, 2011
2.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
P: 4/5. Perfectly opaque black, good tan head, well supported with lacing.
A: 4/5. luxurious hops. some citrus, but a piney, resiny wonderfulness. no real
F: 6/10. sweet, roasty, alcohol. roast finishes in an astringent twang. unpleasant
balance on the back of the tongue.
M: 2/5. not overly coating, but much residual bitterness, and no residual
sweetness to balance.
O: 6/10. Not quite what Iíd like in a BIPA.
Kranin (23) - - MAR 7, 2012
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Beautiful brew. Roasty, hoppy, alcohol rich goodness.
(22oz bottle / Blue Max / 03/2012)
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