AceOfHearts (1374) - Mountain View, California, USA - JUL 5, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Truly unique! Without reading other peoples’ ratings, yeah, it’s pretty much a combination of a dark lager and an IPA. The dark malts blend nicely with the firm hoppiness to produce something great. Dark caramel, wheat, and pine are the words of the day. Definitely not a porter or stout, this is something different. Tarrish finish that sticks with you pretty good. You don’t really taste the alcohol, but you know it is there based on it being a Stone beer.
chrisafari (100) - Orange, California, USA - JUL 4, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Growler fill from the Brewery. Pours dark black with a small white head. Slight aroma of hops. Flavor of malt and nice sweet hops. Flavor and aroma seem to have faded over the year. Had it earlier last year, and it was much better! OK.
aplusbreaks (330) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - JUL 2, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark brown/black that little light makes it through. Has a nice tan head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some decent lacing. Aroma at the beginning of the glass its a blast of hops, but then the hops mellow out and the caramel and malt notes kick in. As for the flavor my first reaction was malts and and dark fruits, but the bitterness of the hops really kicks in at the end. I do recall this being a little better and more IPA like when I had it a few months back.
travita (4715) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 30, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Brown to black in color with a tan head. Smells of hops, caramel, malts, something else also that I could not quite put my finger on. Taste is slightly bitter, malts, roasty. Good balance between the hops and malts.
NobleSquirrel (3439) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 29, 2008
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2009 Bottle of Stone XI, thanks to Timmy300. I believe this one has crossed the line in terms of where it peaks. I could see the potential for this to be a black IPA, but it came more across as a very hoppy porter, regardless of the commercial deScription. Immensely bitter, the aroma and hop flavor has diminished and the roasted grains really press through at this point, some coffee and molasses. Still, a very nice beer that was surely a pleasure fresh.
doppelmeup (51) - Wake Forest, North Carolina, USA - JUN 27, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Rich, inky black pour with little light shining through. A moderate off-white head with a fair amount of lacing. Looks like black beer.
Aromas of grapefruit, pine. No doubt about it, this is an IPA! Hops are not overpowering, but are blended nicely.
As I drink this, if I close my eyes I swear I’m drinking an IPA, but when I look at the beer, my brain says no way. Very interesting brew. I like it.
A very clean finish. This is a smooth beer. The ABV is very well hidden.
Overall, a very drinkable and unique beer.
awautlet (45) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JUN 27, 2008
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a coffee like color with amber hues and a tan head. I’ve never seen an IPA this dark. On the palate there is a malty start but a very complex finish with roasted malt, dark bitter chocolate and a hint of coffee. I never thought I’d be saying chocolate and coffee while describing an IPA... stunning
philippem (105) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - JUN 27, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 13, 2009 Une India Dark Ale explosive où houblons sautillants et choco-moka fondant / fondu viennent se rencontrer pour mieux s’embrasser en bouche. Rôti et agrumes sont également au rendez-vous. Une robe noire qui pourrait faire rougir la plus impérieuse des Stout Impériales! Un autre chef-d’oeuvre de Stone.
buzzoven (376) - JAPAN - JUN 26, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Very malty, hoppy black IPA that manages to be aggressive, yet mild and medium bodied at the same time. Poured a black ruby brown from the bottle with a nice tan creamy head. There is some brandy on the nose and a heavy roasted taste. Then the finish kick in and, wow! The finish is incredibly complex, with at least 4 stages of subtle change on the tongue. A tingling sensation followed by some sharp hints of bitterness, then a rollicking wave on the tastebuds that settles into a smooth, refined exit. Truly great.
can8ianben (1458) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 25, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Hmm. It is true that it is hoppy and dark, but this could have just as easily been labeled as an imperial stout or some kind of imperial porter. Its very dark and very hoppy. Lots of hops in the aroma, and loads of rich malt in the flavor. A big tan fluffy head, notes of charred meat, plums, raisins, and cereal. Confusing as it is, it is also very tasty.