mribm (460) - Ocala, Florida, USA - OCT 3, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
22 0z. Bottle. Smelled like a hoppy biscuit and tasted like a hoppy pineapple with a sugary hoppy finish. This was a very unusual, yet very enjoyable beer. Not really my idea of a pale ale, more of an IPA.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - MAR 19, 2004
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Super clouded, deeply golden bronzed yellow color in the glass, a creeping smallish off-white head just sits there a while before it decides to melt away leaving a bubbly edged collar and the lace sticks in small spots and strings. Aroma is oh so yummy, soon as I wiffed this in I knew I was gonna like it. Malt laden caramel candy-refic nose. The caramel malt here is fantastic, its nearly undescribable; besides, just saying that its super fine yummy nice is enough! Totally reminds of Double Bastards' nose with nearly the same roaring axiom over the hops. What hops I do detect (tangerine, dried grapefruit, citric, woody) seem to realm very meagerly compared to what most pales are and should be. But I'll throw that to the weighside as Stone always seems to push the envelope in all styles neither true nor erroneous.
Love those malts! It never fades. It never gives up. It just cinders like a cinamatic memory. On your mark... sip...no wait...gulp...WOW, how easy is it to love this beer is beyond words. I can say this "Stone brews rock my world!" Yum, yum, yummy times ten! This is emaculate stuff! Pale ale, or what ever they want to call it, I want more! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy...I'm one happy lad this day! Hello caramel! Hello hops! A beautiful meadly of the miraculous malten heavy yet hop filled brigade of a beer! Caramel malts strongly covers the front (yum), mixing with a salad of fruits intreguing grapefruit, tangerine, plum, fig, and dulled raisin to boast, but as it settles a toasty effect takes over with major crusted bread and toasty grainy malts becomes the center, melding with the caramel (delicish). Perfect bitterness for me in the hops, which float and stay steady across the finish with mild yet giving citrus and wood dryness...lingers...lingers some more, yields both the malts and hops together to bring a grin to thee lips. Oooh yeah, thats the stuff...caramel, candy, toffee, citrus, wood... everything Stone has ever offered has risen through to torment you to think, " What could possibly be next by these guys?" Holy shit this is good stuff! Feel is way to smooth, full, and malty for a pale, yet it gives and gives, never letting go of your expectations, nor your buds, nor your memory. Great start, great finish. What else is neeeded? This has everything; malts in the front which carry through to the finish, and the finish is hop laden and lingering both on the palate and the memory. The 7.7 ABV catches up to ya pretty quickly, even though it takes nothing to drink it out of the bomber, which is gone before you know it, and your craving strongly for more...and I need more! I can only think of a cross between Old Guardian and Dbl. Bastard, but without all the alcohol, but believe me, this still has a worldly effect on the noggin'. The Levitation and Smoked Porter are the brews to be sessioned by the guys at Stone. Try to session this stuff and it'll be a short evening. Still drinkable beyond commensense and you'll continue to convince yourself as I did that it is.
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - APR 20, 2004
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This was a really great pale ale. It is more like an imperial version of the style which is great. It pours a cloudy dark orange with a thin white head. The taste is balanced but the hops still take the lead. Just an overall great beer and one worth trying if you can find it.
BeerRunner (144) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 11, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Oh, this is really, really wonderful! It's like the marvelous Stone Pale Ale to the 7th. power, my friends! It is truly delicious. It pours a gorgeous, dark amber colour with an off-white, heavily laced head. The flavor is very intese, with much grapefruit and pine. It is a strong beer, to be sure, but the alcohol is not at all overpowering on the tongue. Beautiful mouthfeel, just oh too good.
ultraspank (867) - Alverca, Lisboa, PORTUGAL - SEP 21, 2003
4.6 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours from the bottle a sparkling medium copper with orange highlights. The tight thick off white head is fully lasting with good lacing. The fresh nose is spruce & pineapple, and candied orange peels - music to my sinuses. The awesome flavor is meant to be savored but O-So-Hard to drink slow. Unparalleled richness, wonderful depth and warmth await you. This brew starts sweet and finishes bitter with a little touch of everything else in between. The silky smooth full body is soft and creamy and feels clean at the finish. Hats off once again to Stone brewing.
SirTom (89) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - DEC 5, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2003 Dead between arrogant and ruination! A+ * Had this at a beer club meeting with many other beers, hence I don't remember all my comments - only the ratings which I wrote down at the time.
DocLock (10000) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 9, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
A HUGE thanks to belgianhomebrew for this one. First of all, I consider this to be an Imperial IPA. The pour was turbid copper/orange, with a big, creamy white head and more lace than Oprah in lingerie. Exquisite aroma which included hops, fruit, spice, and citrus. Tastes very hoppy, with a solid malt presence, and some frutiness and finishing spiciness. The palate was medium, firm, bold. This one, to me, seemed like 3 parts I2PA + 1 part barleywine. I no longer want a Harley. I want a vertical tasting of the Stone Anniversaries.
Darkover (1535) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - AUG 8, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Amber color with a small beige head. Citrus and floral hop aroma. Just bursting with hops and citrus flavor. Long hoppy finish. Well balanced and very drinkable.
ThomW (35) - USA - AUG 16, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A great anniversary ale by Stone. Great looking, smelling and tasting. A little stronger than their Arrogant Bastard Ale and just as pretentious.
beerguy101 (5359) - Newark, California, USA - AUG 21, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Orange gold color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is grapefruity, piney, fruity and slightly sweet. A full to medium bodied pale ale. The hops will assault your taste buds, take no prisoners and you will be lucky to only have to walk the plank, stripped don to your undies. Your taste buds are then rescued by the really big nutty malt sweetness. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are grapefruity, piney and a touch resiny. This beer goes from being hoppy to malty then back to hoppy again, all while staying in balance. Smooth tasting. This is a very nice beer, Stone has done it again, produced a very familiar style beer, but in a way that is unique and very definitely Stone. I wonder what this beer will taste like with some bottle aging, its still a little young. Very cool artwork on the etched bottle. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.