bubslang (438) - Kentwood, Michigan, USA - SEP 16, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Golden amber with off white head. Intense hop aroma with some malt sweetness trying to poke through. Initial taste is an explosion of hop bitterness, both grapefruit and floral, some malt sweetness starts to come through midway for some balance. a hop lovers delight.
FlacoAlto (3891) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - SEP 10, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
An orangey gold color, quite a bit of haze is present in this beer. Pours with a decently thick cream colored head. Smells of hay, a field of grass with some sort of spicy blooming flowers, slightly lemony. There is a solid mouth feel presence, it coats the front of the mouth. Of course it is quite bitter, but in no way is it out of balance, quite remarkable for that in fact. The hop flavor is crawling out of this beer all over the place. The bitterness stays with you after one swallows. A complex floral, orangey (though only slightly), apricot (but just a hint) mix of flavors. It is like sucking the nectar from an aromatic-fruity, but not particularly sweet, flower on some unspecified aromatic herb (of course this would be a hop). Effectively saturates one's taste buds as the bottle has promised. I am still struck by the fact that, though this is utterly bitter and hoppy, it is not perceived to be too over the top. There is a solid malt backbone that, though effectively hidden by the hop attack, is what makes this beer possible, it is what brings this beer to the next level.
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 7, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: DEC 14, 2006 Another big, bold, in your face ale from Stone. Pours deep amber color with a thick off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is full, bracing and instantly communicates the assertive hop character of this ale. Flavor is surprisingly balanced for a 100+ IBU brew with rich malts notable along with the massive hops. The high alcohol level is barely discernable in the flavor and it sweetened noticibly as it warmed as well. Medium body, smooth carbonation and overall nice mouthfeel.
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - SEP 7, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Real nice hoppy kick. Hoppy and malty flavor. Finish is dry, bitter, and clean.
ClarkVV (4353) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - SEP 2, 2003
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
UPDATED: DEC 26, 2006 2003 bottle.
Aroma is hoppy. Not citrusy-hoppy. There is definitely some sugary malt smell in there, almost like molasses. Very poignant, though I was expecting a much more profound aroma. Beer is clear. Why is this filtered?? Booooo. Unimpressive appearance. Looks like any other IPA. Nice small white head. Good amber color. If you cant already tell, I was disappointed with this beer. I heard so much that hyped it up, but I will try not to be biased and not base my rating on expectations.
Opens up with a fairly acidic hops flavor that is clear and bold. However, malt rushes in immediately. After my first few sips, I thought, too much malt?? Wow, I was surprised, I definitely applaud balancing out an IPA with good caramel malt, but this almost seemed like too much. It added a fuzzy texture and seemed to detract from the hops flavor. This reminded me of Sam Smiths IPA which was quite traditional and balanced. Unfortunately I feel the hops flavor here is not as clear. The hops succumbed and did not persist, distinctly, on the finish. I think the addition of so much alcohol prevented Stone from achieving what Samuel Smiths did, a soft balanced traditional ale. With only about 66% of the alcohol, Sam Smiths presents a much less acidic, hoppy treat. This certainly was drinkable though, good floral notes, surpringly lacking in citrus (relatively speaking), but had a lot of molasses/brown sugar appeal towards the middle of the body. The beer was also flat. Some more carbonation (perhaps derived from a bottle fermentation, hint hint), would have added some much needed zip. Will definitely try again and rerate. Would imagine this to gain a lot of points on tap, hopefully i can test that theory soon.
Well either I was on drugs last time I had this, or a lot has changed. Bitter. Pure soily fresh hops on the nose. Flavor starts out hoppy, gets bitter and extremely fresh and hoppy. Neither citrus nor floral notes dominate, but the malt is there only in texture. It is lightly sweet on the finish. Just pure, brutal, let’s-see-how-hoppy-we-can-make-this beer. My score reflects the quality of the beer, not how much I like it.
2005 draught It’s nice to try this fresh on draught and damn is it bitter, but the quality is impressive, really good hops flavor, tons of thick malt. It burns on the end still, and makes me cringe. Can only finish a glass if I make a point to do so.
FezMonkey (268) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - AUG 24, 2003
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I'm going by memory because I was without internet when I had this one. It good but I am not sure if I prefer the original or not. I guess that gives me a reason to go buy another IPA to make sure!
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 24, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2003 Pours a light gold-red with a small amount of head. A pleasent citrus, hoppy aroma. Nice floral, hoppy flavor. Very smooth palate with a bitter finish and some lace. Great IPA, don't know which i like better, this or the original.
haddon90 (1562) - Costa Mesa, California, USA - AUG 21, 2003
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Not as good as the original IPA. But still, nice golden pour. Great lingering head. But not quite the hoppy kick i was hoping. But still, a damn good IPA.
andy609 (143) - Auburndale, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 20, 2003
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Here I go, ruining my palate for life. Pours a beautiful gold to amber color with a very large head. This beer has a huge aroma. The glass is currently 2 feet away, but I can still smell its beautiful floral hop aroma. This is one hoppy beer! Big sweet hop taste with an amazingly bitter finish. There is a big, big malt prescene too. This glorious beer massages your palate with the perfect amount of carbonation and delights it with a constantly changing flavor. I agree with the previous rater, that this blows away the regular Stone IPA and all other IPA's. Has my palate been ruined? You bet. I'll have to start buying this by the case.
harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - AUG 19, 2003
4.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Such an incredibly tasty beer. I personally think it blows away the standard IPA from Stone. So beautiful you do not want to take another sip, you just want to sit there and stare at it, and admire it. Cloudy and orange, creamy and hazy. A real fruity cream pie essence to this one. Incredibly spicy and hoppy, I cannot even begin to name all of the complex subtelties that I am enjoying with this one. Something new in every taste. Surely a liquid poem to the glory of the hop.