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!
Snojerk321 (2970) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 16, 2011
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Draft at Local Habit. This was one big beer! Pours a viscous deep coffee brown with a thick tan head leaving behind some nice lacing. Big nose of fresh piny hops followed by toffee, cocoa dust and deep roasted malts. Heavy on the palate with sweet chocolate and a medium bitter hop finish. The 10.5 % is very well hidden.
Lubiere (8239) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 17, 2013
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A dark brown head with a thin brown head. In aroma, meaty chocolate with piney hops, iodin, meaty character, very nice. In mouth, a smooth chocolate with herbal piney hops, licorice and alcohol warmth, very nice. When did the ticker the beer.
Bule (182) - California, USA - MAY 17, 2013
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Taps in Petaluma. Pours a dark black with lots of foamy head. Roasted malt and lots of hops.
shrevis (8) - Illinois, USA - MAY 16, 2013 does not count
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Was not a particular fan of black IPAs until I tried this beer. This definitely changed my mind. Living three miles away from Stone's brewery has opened my mind and palate to a whole new world of delicious and not 'fizzy yellow' beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
jookos (761) - Helsinki, FINLAND - MAY 9, 2013
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
(1/2012) bottle. Black. Roasted coffee, chocolate, quite thick. I remember this feeling more like an ipa than stout.
Mora2000 (4042) - McKinney, Texas, USA - APR 1, 2013
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown to black pour with a tan head. The aroma is full of roasted malt with some cocoa and pine thrown in. The flavor is similar. I get some bitter pine notes that are complimented by the roasted malt and chocolate. The alcohol is also quite present. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.
Wombata (329) - Kobe, JAPAN - MAR 18, 2013
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Aroma: Chocolate, pine, creamy
Flavor: bitter chocolate, black licorice, black currant, with piney hop, coffee and caramel on the finish.
Comment: Big yet balanced--very tasty.
b3shine (2230) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - FEB 14, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draft to snifter. Looks good; a dull black with foamy beige head. Smells and tastes of bitter hops and dark may with some toastiness. Nice on the palate. Enjoyable.
M82 (86) - Kansas, USA - JAN 25, 2013
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fresh bottle when released. Outrageous ABA. Almost an imperial stout, but the balance leans just enough towards the hops to make it an Imperial ABA. An abundance of raw extreme ale complexities merge into one of the most exciting beers I’ve found. There’s definitely more developed, suave ales out there, but this is so much fun. Stone, please make this available year-round in 4pks.
8balls (12) - Winston-Salem, USA - DEC 31, 2012
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Had this brew last year, but the memory of it held strong. I drank a bottle of this from the commerative glass that was available. This was unlike any IPA (much less black) that I had ever tasted. Maybe it was the overall aura of things, but this 1 blew me away. Actually didn’t even taste like IPA & hard 2 describe. It was 1 of those unique brews that required tasting 2 believe. Stone soared on their 15th!
thedm (4773) - Fort Wayne, USA - DEC 30, 2012
4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
This bottled brew from a bottle shop poured a head of cascading foam finely sized very dark tan colored bubbles that were and left behind a very softly carbonated opaque black colored body. The mild aroma was dark malt. The sharp mouth feel was very tingly at the start and at the finish with a strong biting roasted toasted malty hoppy aftertaste. The strong flavor contained notes of strong black malt and dark malt. A wonderful best in class brew.
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