Hoptagon (239) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - JUN 24, 2011
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
Thewade (340) - USA - JUN 24, 2011
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
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
hopscotch (10077) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JUN 24, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
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.
auerbrau (3182) - Peace Dale, Rhode Island, USA - JUN 22, 2011
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
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.
caralkaline87 (435) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 21, 2011
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
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.
zizzybalubba (1604) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - JUN 21, 2011
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
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.
jeremytoni (3011) - Swedesboro, New Jersey, USA - JUN 20, 2011
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
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.
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 19, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
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.
mikesaum (632) - Newark, Ohio, USA - JUN 19, 2011
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
pours dark black with nice tan head, aroma is slight coffee and tons of anise, taste is about the same, smalls hints of chocolate and coffee and huge hits of anise, not noticing the oak much or the belgian yeast, still a great beer, the anise may have been too strong though and covered up too much of the other parts of this brew, aging one so lets see how it matures.
thornecb (4791) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 19, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours black into a snifter. Mocha head with medium retention recedes to hug rim. Anise, chocolate and oak aromas. Medium bodied liquid choco good n’ plenty from front to back. Lasting bitter espresso anise finish.