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!
acsilver877 (10) - Arizona, USA - MAR 27, 2012
0.5 AROMA 1/10 APPEARANCE 1/5 TASTE 1/10 PALATE 1/5 OVERALL 1/20
Unless you just want to get drunk without drinking a lot, stay away from this beer. The only thing it has going for it is the high alcohol...if you are into that.
cggipa (7) - New Mexico, USA - DEC 28, 2011 does not count
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours black with a tan head that holds and leaves nice lacing. Aroma is dark strong malt and heavy hops - citrus. Medium to heavy body has full mouthfeel. Dark malt, roasty toasty, coffee notes and faint dark chocolate with heavy hop bitterness on the finish. Alcohol is in the background, but the tastes are very heavy, almost plodding. Great technical brew, just not something you can drink on your own. Too much work in finishing the bottle.
hophouse (5) - - SEP 5, 2011 does not count
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
I guess my rating is unfair in this regard. I have unrealistically high expectations for stone. This is nothing more than the grain bill for their Russian imperial less the anise and hopped like an American IPA. I expected something more unique. It pours a deep black. Nice piney, floral aroma but the flavor while solid is lacking that punch you expect from stone. In a way it is a bit unfair if this were from someone else I would rave, but its not it’s from Stone and I expect better
Hans12 (5) - California, USA - OCT 7, 2011 does not count
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Strong hop aroma, reminiscent of many other stone brews. Stout-like head. Strong on the hops, almost creamy mouth feel with a clean finish. Good strong brew
pchristi (4) - - OCT 6, 2012 does not count
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice flavor, would like to have had it last year. All around good beet. Alot better than the 16th
bigoldbo (3) - - FEB 18, 2012 does not count
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma is Figs/Rasins, Sticky, Pepper, Pine/Grapefruit shifting as it warms.
Appearance, Black with a tan head. one finger with an agressive pour.
Taste, sweet and slightly bitter with an aftertaste like a fresh brewed coffee.
medium body, sticky, slick feel,
I love this beer, I am finding that i am drawn to these black IPAs and this is at the top of my list, sadly, this was a one time release.
mwhip (2) - - NOV 17, 2011 does not count
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured from a keg in Dallas at the Common Table. Very nice head with a great aroma of chocolate. Finish was a little bitter which I love.
Mahlik (1) - Portland, Oregon, USA - SEP 15, 2011 does not count
3.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured a pitch black with a tan creamy head. I get a piney and fruity presence in the aroma. But the in-your-face hoppiness is what dominates the aroma. Taste wise, it doesn’t stray too far from the aroma. I get a lot of hops up front with some chocolatey malts on the backside. Can definitely feel the alcohol’s presence in this beer. Medium bodied. Thicker and creamier than your usual IPA. Overall, not my favorite beer but a good one. I wouldn’t enjoy more than one of these at a time (probably a good thing considering the 11% abv).
hopkween87 (1) - mint hill, North Carolina, USA - SEP 23, 2011 does not count
4.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I’ve always been a huge ipa fan but have been trying to expand my palate. I’ve met a lot of great doubles, blacks, and imperials on my way but this has all the best of all worlds: rich dark Malts, fantastic bitter hops, and a slightly clingy aftertaste that lingers joy on the tongue.
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