rich42 (128) - USA - OCT 25, 2002
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
soot black, moderate smoke. little bit of licorice, maybe a touch of black fruit. ample hop bitterness for a porter. some alchohol flavor. revised: upgraded rated a little. came around a bit / flavors seemed more integrated as it warmed up. this beer should be served very close to room temperature - maybe 65F. UPDATE: having a bottle at 68F - seems considerably more balanced / upgraded rating. This beer was clearly engineered for room temperature consumption. Donít even try unless itís 60F or warmer.
bigbeersrule (113) - USA - OCT 1, 2003
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I thought this beer was good but wasn't quite up to what I usually expect from Stone. Bring back the Anniversary IPAs please.
archstanton (105) - mukilteo, Washington, USA - NOV 13, 2003
3.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
almost tar colored pours like maple syrup and tastes great for a smoked porter.as always stone rules
droopy49 (97) - Lancaster, California, USA - JUN 13, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
22oz bottle shared at Svenís homebrew party, thanks Steven! This poured a deep black with a nice tan head. Magnificent aroma, notes of smoke, dried fruit, and chocolate. I sniffed on this dark beauty for a while anticipating the flavor and it did not disappoint. The smokey notes were present in the flavor as well, more chocolate as well. Roasted malt chewyness to this one. Great full-bodied flavor, wish I had my own bottle to cellar!
Smacky (71) - San Clemente, California, USA - JUN 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A great porter. However, it might have gotten even higher marks from me if I weren't tasting it in 88 degree weather on a blacktop (at the Stone 6th Anniversary Open House). This gem is dark but not quite opaque (the sun shining through it cast a crimson light on the sweaty surface of my forearm). Sweet nose of caramel, malt, and even some red fruit and hops. Rich, chocolate mouth, with butterscotch and coconut notes in the lingering aftertaste. Hops are quite subtle for a Stone Brew.
PushEject (42) - Palmdale, California, USA - APR 4, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
This is a stellar beer. A little bitter for the style, but unmistakably in line with Stone's other beers. Think big fat porter with a smoky aftertaste and on the high end of the IBU scale.
document (36) - USA - FEB 7, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I like the beer. But I agree, perhaps a bit too hoppy. For perfection, anyway. It's well matched by a huge roasted maltiness, and by the end of the bottle, with the concomittent softening of brain cells, I have very warm feelings for the drink. No grim reaper, but maybe a ride with ET on his bicycle through the fields of hop flowers, before landing in a burnt grain silo. Worth cracking open.
hoped (18) - Arizona, USA - JUN 10, 2003
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The 22 oz. bottle poured with a noble two inch pillowy head. The color was black with a deep red garnet color when held up to the light. Great head retention. The aroma was complex with malt, berry, chocolate, black licorice, and a slight alcohol presence. The taste was smoky and malty sweet with a bitter peppery finish. The smoky flavors were unlike anything Ive tasted in a beer before. Something in the flavor reminded me of a great tequilla I once sampled. And the halcyon warmth that followed was similar
too. The mouthfeel silky andy viscous, not a bit dry and excellent
carbonation. Another fine experience from Stone Brewing Co. This brew is one I would like to have around all the time.
SaveTheAles (5) - San Jose, California, USA - DEC 24, 2002 does not count
4.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
A bit too unbalanced for my tastes as it is now, but should get better with aging. Had a cloying sweetness in the nose and finish, with a subtle smoke aroma. Not enough hop aroma and bitterness to counteract the rich, viscous body and sweet, malty flavors. Also had strong alcoholic aroma and flavor, which became more pronounced as it warmed. The alcohol overpowers other elements, namely the roastiness and smokiness. Iíd prefer it much more with less residual sugars (i.e. drier) and with sharper hop bitterness. If youíre gonna boost the malt over-the -top, make sure to boost the hops accordingly!
Re-rate 12/23/02: Different bottle from a different batch. This was much more balanced. Smokiness much more apparent, alcohol much more subdued, better attenuated (drier), and more noticeable bitterness. This bottle and others Iíve tried more recently are much more balanced. They taste like theyíve been aged/conditioned longer.