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RATINGS: 564   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.56   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
Ale brewed with anise, oak chips and belgian yeast.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 10/20
talon1117 (1152) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - JUN 25, 2011
Pour is opaque and nearly black with a dark tan, pillowy, creamy, fairly large head; it diminishes in some time with fair lacing. The nose is completely anise dominant very Sambuca-like; other notes of dark chocolate and chicory, earthy coffee, light dark breads. The flavor starts Sambuca-like still, dark roast sets in, bakers’ chocolate, oak is prominent, and still bread with some currant notes. The palate is of course motor oil thick, warming throughout, soft to lively, slick and oily - the one thing from the original that has not changed. The beer finishes with anise still dominating, some roast, burnt bread, and an earthy presence. It pours like the original, it has the feel of the original, but the nose and taste are completely different. I know the original is an in your face, viscous, motor oil of an IS which is always better with significant age, but........ This one is completely anise driven, every other note is hard to find and deep underneath the Sambuca-like anise notes. The oak comes through in the flavor and does well with subsiding some anise, but the Belgian yeast is unnoticed to me in this stage of the beer’s progression. Love Stone and their attempts at originality but this one needs to eliminate the anise. First Stone beer I could not finish. The "Odd year" releases have been less than appealing.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HonkeyBra (3730) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - JUN 24, 2011
22 oz. bottle from Binny’s. Ok, for transparency sake, I came into this expecting the worst. Pours a very dark brown if not black with a thin tan head that laces well. Aroma smells like absinthe and chocolate. At first I wanted to say this smelled like Nyquil but that would be wrong. This smells like a strong chocolate licorice liquor. Flavor is just a punch of anise and an envelope of chocolate. I hated it at first but as I sip I started to like it more. This is pretty ridiculous for a beer but if you consider it as just a drink it’s fine. Full bodied. Fine carbonation. Look at it this way, kid. I feared the worst going into this. Everything went better than expected.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUN 24, 2011
22oz. Bomber. Definitely has the right look with a deep black body and strong collar of froth that laces nicely. The aromatic quality of the beer is intense, but I think they may have overshot the mark with the anise/licorice character. It pretty much overwhelms the nose. If you can get past the root beer aromas there is a little bit of oak and maybe some bitter chocolate. Tastes like an oak bomb with notes of black licorice, charcoal, peppers and dark chocolate. The mouthfeel is creamy and the body has a silky quality to it. The Belgian yeast seems to be kept in the background and might contribute some sweetness, but its definitely of limited impact. Alcohol is well hidden but the back half of the beer fades to a weird combination that feels like ashy root beer. The finish is harshly dry like an eighty year old woman’s bat cave. Will be sticking with the original RIS from now on.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Thewade (340) - USA - JUN 24, 2011
Nice stout. Especially easy to drink for 10.5%. I did not get a whole lot of flavor from this brew, but enjoyed it non-theless

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopscotch (10083) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 24, 2011
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2011 Draft... Pours nearly black with a small, creamy, beige head. Decent retention. Anise is very prominent in the aroma with everything else taking a backseat, although banana, light clove, espresso and burnt malt are also players. Medium to full-bodied with a slick mouthfeel and stinging carbonation. The flavor is bitter, burnt and loaded with anise, brewer’s licorice and charcoal. Finishes carbonaceous, medium bitter and mildly acrid.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - JUN 22, 2011
22oz Bottle, shared at a RIFT meeting. Good lord, what am I drinking, m-f-ing rootbeer? I had NO idea this had anise and poured myself a small snifter. First aroma smells likes a birch-heavy rootbeer. Flavors elicit five-spiced pork. I had just had AleSmith Speedway Stout, which is so rich and complex. This seemed like hitting a nail with a freakin’ Zeppelin. Thanks for the dose of anise. For an Imperial Stout, this is a pretty good spice store sample. Blech. Drain pour.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 21, 2011
Pours near-black with a small brown head. Nose is deeply roasty with lots of coffee beans, chocolate, roasted barley, and some hops. Flavor jumps nose-deep into hops, and, dare I say, has a pepperoni-like flavor dominating the palate from front to back. The roasty components are not as outspoken once you’ve had a gulp or two. This is one of the lesser offers I’ve had from Stone.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
zizzybalubba (1610) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUN 21, 2011
22 oz. bottle from SoHo Organic Market in Elizabeth City, NC. Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a bubbly khaki head. Licorice dominates the nose with hints of coffee, chocolate, and smoke underneath. At first I taste lots of bitter chocolate but very quickly the licorice comes through. It is a bit overpowering in my opinion. While not bad, I can’t say I would try this one again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jeremytoni (3017) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JUN 20, 2011
From a bottle poured a dark brown color with a small amount of head. Strong sweet malty flavor with a black licorice flavor and finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 19, 2011
A - Pours a dark jet black color with a finger of frothy tan-brown head. The head hangs around for quite a while leaving behind some thick lacing. S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate malts and potent anise. There is also some oak and Belgian yeast in the background as well. T - Starts off with a mix of anise and roasted chocolate malts. The anise is pretty potent. Through the middle, a mix of some oak and vanilla as well as a bit of the Belgian yeast flavor. The finish is a mix of all of the mentioned flavors with the addition of a bit of booze. M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and fairly creamy. The oak and the booze in the finish warm the mouth alongside anise flavor lingering. D - Pretty drinkable. The balance is not quite perfect here. The anise feels a bit too strong and the oak a bit too weak, and the Belgian yeast does not seem to make all that much of a difference.

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