PackPride (112) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 20, 2011
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I never rate beers near perfect, but this beer is as near perfection as it can get. Pours a dark rich color with a large brown head. Tastes of chocolate, oak, and hints of alcohol. Overall a terrific beer!
mandalarules (104) - Akron, Ohio, USA - NOV 6, 2011
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bomber. Aroma of dark roasted fruits, black cherry, a hint of chocolate and citrus. Appearance is espresso black with a beautiful tan frothy head. Taste is complex. Chocolate, dark fruit, hints of coffee and citrus. Hop forward and malt dry bitter finish. This is an incredible brew and has changed my palate for the better in trying new beers. Its a fine example of how far craft beer had come and how far its going to go in the future.
sistinas (102) - Mountain View, California, USA - OCT 15, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bomber. Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma is citrusy hops, pine, some chocolatey sweetness. It’s quite bitter upon first sip, but melds into a more malty aftertaste. The piney/charred taste lasts throughout and in a way almost reminds me of some scotches. It’s thick and almost a little chewy. You don’t really taste the alcohol but it does warm you up pretty quickly. Not amazing but a decent brew.
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.
emarkd (100) - 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.
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
alassio (78) - 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.
mike12da (73) - 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 I’ve never had a black IPA this bitter. Everything about this beer is Imperial. Excellent.
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.